Casual New Years Eve

by Wally

Before y’all go out and celebrate, a few things to ponder and debate before we hit the boatload of games coming our way Saturday:

* I’m still surprised that Miami is favored over the Irish by 2 1/2 in today’s Sun Bowl.   I woulda pegged ND the fave by 4 or so.   I guess Miami is still viewed to have superior team speed and athleticism, etc, but they sure didn’t play well in November and just fired their coach.   Meanwhile, the Irish are enjoying their best late season run in recent memory and seem to have discovered the keys to really good defense.    Am I overly optimistic?   Missing something obvious?   Maybe I’m not the guy you want rooting for your team … my picks in the PPP have been quite awful … lucky if I’m batting near the Mendoza Line so far.   Well … we’ll see in a few hours if I’ve pegged the ND game correctly!

* Are the Lakers regressing to be  just another “very good team”?     They’ve already lost 10 games and looked quite beatable in San Antonio earlier this week, not to mention getting beat at home by the Bucks.   The Bucks!   Heck, even the Bulls have lost 10 games.   What’s the problem in LA LA land??   (Crash … your analysis??)   Oh, and suddenly the Eastern Conference is looking just as strong as the West.    The revamped Magic join the Heat and Celtics as title contenders.

* Speaking of the Spurs, anyone else notice that Tim “Not” Dunkin has an “advancing hairline” (as opposed to a receding one, like most humans)?   Seriously, his hair is about to merge with his eyebrows.   We’re not talkin’ forehead here … Tim’s got a threehead and maybe even a twohead.   🙂

* Congrats to Duke’s Coach K for passing UNC’s Dean Smith on the all-time wins list.   I’m sure this is sweet for Dukies since he passed a Carolina guy.   Next up:   Bobby Knight, K’s former mentor.

* Down goes Frazier!   Down goes Fra …. er, uh the UConn women.   Thanks to Stanford, UConn’s consecutive win streak ends at 90 games.   Congrats to both teams … Stanford for the win and UConn for an incredible feat.   (Stanford was the last team to beat UConn before the streak started.

* I’m really looking forward to the Rose Bowl.   Aside from the National title game, and ND/Miami, the Rose Bowl is THE GAME that I think the nation is very interested in.   Will “David” (TCU) knock out “Goliath” (Wisc)???   Utah and Boise State were able to pull off BCS bowl wins for the non-AQers in recent seasons past, but I think this Rose Bowl might have greater impact overall.    I anticipate a very competitive game that could go either way.   Hoping the Horned Frogs win a good one!

* College hoops:   #15 Notre Dame visits #5 Syracuse at the Carrier Dome Saturday afternoon.    I’m sure the Orange are favored by a solid 10.   Here’s a great measuring stick for the Irish … not many tougher places to play than at the CD when the Orange are good, which they are (again)!

* I can’t stand the thought of Pete Carroll and his Seattle Seachickens making the playoffs.   GO RAMS!!!

* Anyone see the Tennessee Volunteers dumb away another football game vs UNC?   What Lane Kiffin proved in his short tenure there at UT is that’s it’s easy to recruit stupid.   Athletic players, yes, but dumb as a Rock (y Top).    Hope he continues doing that at USuC.

* Anyone notice that the “favorites” in these bowl games between mediocre teams are, for the most part, not prepared to play at the start of the game.   The underdogs are almost always jumping on top quickly, often building double digit leads midway through 2nd quarter.   Then the faves come back only to fall short in the end.   (Which explains my paltry point total in the PPP … that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!).

* Looks like the Washington Huskies are gonna be a force in the Pac 10/12 in the years to come under Steve Sarkisian.  However, stud QB Jake Locker graduates.   None of us predicted they’d beat Nebraska.

* The PPP.    Some of the more pivotal games we’ll see Saturday in Stages 6 and 7 (point totals per game) are Northwestern vs Texas Tech, Florida vs Penn State, Wisc vs TCU and Stanford vs Va Tech.    Picks on these games by PPP participants were quite varied … if someone gets hot, we could see big separation from the pack.   Here are the latest standings going into Dec 31:

Crash 25
ND Dad 24
Chas 23
Smitty 22
Dan 21
Joe 21
Pete 20
Wannabe 18
AC (Pete) 17
Bill 15
Mark (Pete) 13
Rey 12
Casey 10
Pete Jr. 10
Wally 10

* Lastly and most importantly, I want to wish everyone the best of health, happiness and good furtune in 2011.   HAPPY NEW YEAR!

37 Responses to "Casual New Years Eve"

  1. Crossword Pete   December 31, 2010 at 9:48 am

    So Stanford is the bookends to UConn’s record streak. They are the ND of women’s sports. ND is the bookends to the longest streaks in men’s major sports. UCLA’s 88 game win streak in MCBB was bookended by ND, and less noted is the fact that Oklahoma’s 47 game win streak in CFB was also bookended by ND. Stanford Cardinal, welcome to the Bookend Club!

  2. Casey   December 31, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Pete – I was wondering if the streak was going to get around to ND. That would have been interesting.

    As for the pool – shouldn’t ties be alphabetized? 🙂

  3. Wally   December 31, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Casey —
    It’s just the way my sort program works in Excel. Besides …. C’s have been given priority over W’s for centuries, so a little turnaround is fair play 😉

  4. bill ribas   December 31, 2010 at 10:42 am

    wow – I guessed on my picks, and I’m pretty much smack dab in the middle. Hey Casey, can you see me from down there? Heh heh heh.

  5. Casey   December 31, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Yeah well P is also before W in the alphabet.

  6. Wally   December 31, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Author’s privilege.

  7. Casey   December 31, 2010 at 11:03 am

    I’m thinking of a Jack Nicholson line.

  8. Smitty   December 31, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I am still reeling from the fact that I didn’t pick NC State. I watched the game rooting for them, thought I had them picked – imagine my disappointment.

    I think the NFL has to do something – any teams below .500 can’t make the playoffs…..unless it is the Jets. 🙂

    How many women basketball teams have the players to follow the game plan Stanford executed against UConn last night? My guess, not many..

  9. Smitty   December 31, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Ooops – Happy New Year everyone!!

  10. Crash   December 31, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Well the way my PPP picks have gone the last 2 days I fully expect to be dethroned today…Have there been some dog s%#! games or what ? I know this may come as a complete surprise but I believe I’m the only one picking the “Convicts” over the “Catholics” That could be my saving grace today ! 2010 has to be the year of the missed kick…FG or PAT ! Never remember so many missed makeable opportunities in both college and NFL…Anyone agree or is it just me ?

    As far as the Fakers er Lakers are concerned, don’t be…This is December for “Crissakes” They started 8-0 and are 15-10 since…They are horrible against teams above .500 and look bored already…I guess 3 consecutive trips to the Finals can do that to you…The East really only has 3 legitimate contenders…Boston,Miami,Orlando in that order…The road to “ringville” still goes through LA LA land and I fully expect to be there when Phil and Kobe will beat Doc and Shaq in June…Stay tuned !

    Newsflash, womens basketball is unwatchable ! When was the last time you set your DVR for the Sparks/Mystics game ? Seriously, nobody really cares…Sorry…Congratulations to the UCONN women. 90 in a row is impressive…It’s NOT UCLA’s 88 ! End of that story…Someone mess up Geno’s hair please !

    I hope the Rams crush the Seachickens in Seattle Sunday…Sam Bradford is my pick for rookie of the year !

    And finally Wally, a rare chance to correct YOU but for the record it’s Duncan not Dunkin ! That would make him Tim “Dunkin” Donuts…Speaking of Dunkin’ Donuts what’s the attraction ? It’s a freakin’ donut ! Their coffee sucks too !
    Much like Krispy Creme…Overated !

    Happy New Year “Pineriders” May 2011 be another goodin’ …

  11. Smitty   December 31, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Sorry Crash – haven’t gotten that newsflash.. I happened to watch the game last night and happen to enjoy watching women’s basketball. And I don’t care if you are male or female or both – winning 88 or 90 games is extremely impressive. The game against Stanford is evident – UConn get its opponent’s best each and every night. If they didn’t play at their top level – and they didn’t last night – they could get beat.

    I just spent the morning watching the Wendy’ Shootout. The 3 players from the LPGA ended up 3 strokes behind the PGA players who won on the last hole. They played from the same tees as the other golfers and I would contend that they have more shots in their bag – as opposed to Dustin Johnson or Nick Price bullying their way around the golf course. Is the LPGA unwatchable?

  12. Crash   December 31, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Sorry, unwatchable ! It’s hard enough to watch mens golf (impossible if Tigers not playing) let alone the LPGA…However, if Paula Creamer wore a bikini on the front or back nine I would probably tune in for a couple of holes…Be sure to set your TIVO the Dinah Shore Kraft Nabisco Lesbian Open is coming up in April ! Now that is must see TV…

  13. Wally   December 31, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    You’re losing ground, Crash. That’s what ya get for pickin’ against the Irish!!! You let your bitterness over the ND win at USuC in November cloud your judgment on the PPP picks. Tsk, tsk 🙂

  14. Wally   January 1, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Lots of jockeying and shifting around during Stage 5. Crash goes from the penthouse to a floor or two above the outhouse in just one day. Smitty is our leader in the clubhouse at the moment. This is anybody’s ball game as we head into Stages 6 & 7. Here are the standings as of 12:01 AM, Jan 1, 2011:

    Smitty 32
    Joe 31
    Pete 30
    ND Dad 29
    Chas 28
    Wannabe 28
    AC (Pete) 27
    Dan 26
    Casey 25
    Crash 25
    Wally 25
    Mark (Pete) 23
    Bill 20
    Pete Jr 20
    Rey 17

    Avg 25.7

    Enjoy all the bowl games … Happy New Year, everyone!

  15. Wally   January 1, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Casey … Thanks for the copy of your book “Everybody On, Nobody Out”. Will start giving it a read this weekend. 🙂

  16. bill ribas   January 1, 2011 at 11:40 am

    That’s better for me, closer to the basement. I’ll just read a book down here.

  17. Chas   January 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Happy New Year to everyone on the Pine!

    Go Penn State!

  18. Wally   January 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Great start to the New Year when the Michigan Skunkbears go down in flames. Gotta love it 😉

  19. Casey   January 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Careful what you wish for – Rich Rod staying in Ann Arbor bodes well for opponents.

  20. Wally   January 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    What I wish for is Michigan to lose EVERY game they play. What better game to lose than today’s bowl game with entire nation watching them get thoroughly EMBARRASSED?? If this exacerbates a coaching change … so be it. Chaos in Ann Arbor is desired … a coaching change is always tumultuous. This team is geared for the spread, so the new coach better be a spread coach or it will be an even longer transition. Recruiting in near term will take a hit. It’s all good when the Skunkbears lose.

  21. Casey   January 1, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Remember when the Michigan QB (what’s his name?) was the favorite to win the Heisman.

  22. Wally   January 1, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    TCU wins, TCU wins!!! This was not “just a Rose Bowl victory”, but actually much bigger than that. TCU just sent a message to the CFB world that really shouldn’t need to be sent. Anyway, the message goes to Ohio State’s Gordon Gee, Lee Corso, Mark May and all the other butthead naysayers with limited intelligence who somehow think the “major conferences” are superior and the non-AQers shouldn’t be given a chance. Well guys … TCU says you can take your ignorance and go #$*% yoursleves.

    Hey Gordon … Gee, your Big 10,11,12 or whatever conference really showed up today and demonstrated it’s “superiority”. Here are the facts:

    – Texas Tech 45 Northwestern 38
    – Alabama 49 Michigan State 7
    – Miss State 52 Michigan 14
    – Florida 37 Penn State 24
    – TCU 21 Wisc 19

    Oh … and new addition Nebraska was clobbered by Washington. Having a bad day??

  23. Wally   January 1, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Smitty sure had a good day today! Wow … perfect. And Wally & Casey have traveled quite a ways up the ladder … thanks to Wally ;). Everyone picked Oklahoma to win the game vs UConn, so the following will be the standings tomorrow morning regardless of that outcome (which allows all of us to root for UConn which is quite liberating. But they will get killed).

    Smitty 63
    AC (Pete) 51
    Casey 50
    Joe 50
    Wally 50
    Pete 49
    Mark (Pete) 48
    ND Dad 47
    Chas 46
    Wannabe 40
    Pete Jr 38
    Crash 37
    Bill 26

  24. Crash   January 1, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Ouch ! That was my butt bouncing off of Bill ! Glad you were there pal to cushion the blow…:)

  25. bill ribas   January 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    No problem there Crash. I was just sweeping up down here.

  26. Wally   January 2, 2011 at 1:10 am

    Current standings after the Oklahoma win:

    Smitty 70
    Dan 58
    AC (Pete) 58
    Casey 57
    Joe 57
    Wally 57
    Pete 56
    Mark (Pete) 55
    ND Dad 54
    Chas 53
    Rey 48
    Wannabe 47
    Pete Jr 45
    Crash 44
    Bill 33

    AVG 53

  27. Wally   January 2, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I saw that. 🙂

  28. Wally   January 4, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Standings in the PPP after the Stanford win:

    Smitty 77
    AC (Pete) 65
    Joe 64
    Pete 63
    Mark (Pete) 62
    ND Dad 61
    Chas 60
    Dan 58
    Casey 57
    Wally 57
    Rey 55
    Wannabe 54
    Crash 51
    Pete Jr 45
    Bill 40

    Smitty is looking very tough to catch right now … fyi, he picked Arkansas tonight, so we’ll see what happens. Anyway, a great battle for Silver and Bronze right now.

  29. Chas   January 4, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Smitty’s certainly in the driver’s seat, but he’s still very catchable, although not by everyone. Here are Smitty’s picks, and the points on the line, the rest of the way:

    Arkansas (7)
    Miami (2)
    LSU (7)
    Kentucky (3)
    Nevada (3)
    Oregon (10)

    AC picked differently in four of those games, including Ohio State over Arkansas and Auburn over Oregon. He’s only 12 points behind, but there are a total of 22 points on the line in the games where they differ.

  30. Wally   January 4, 2011 at 11:46 am

    It appears as though Pete and his band of “ringer wise guys” are monopolizing the top half of the standings (aside from Smitty of course). Obviously, this ain’t their first rodeo.

    This late in the game, my goal has simply become to finish ahead of Crash 😉

  31. Crossword Pete   January 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    In NASCAR they would say Smitty has “checked out.” If you ask me, it’s pretty much a race for second place, but a tight one indeed. Good luck to all in achieving their personal goals, which certainly vary at this point. Crash lived up to his name, but not to his license plate!

  32. Crossword Pete   January 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I wrote this comment on 12/31 in response to Wally’s comment about Miami being favored over ND. My internet connection went haywire, so I copied it to a document for later (also known as too late) publication. Just getting achance to send it out today.

    Wally, remember that the betting line is just that, a line based on how the betting is going, guaranteeing that the bookies will not take a beating. ND is still not a betting favorite; too many disappointing seasons. The public still favors Miami, but that is no indication they are the better team, just that they are the “favorite”.
    How fitting if Pete Carroll does win the division, making it a historic accomplishment – the first sub .500 division champ, making him a loser even when he’s a winner! But I’m with you; GO Rams! Funny that we often talk of Carroll and Kiffin in the same breath. The only difference between those 2 is that Kiffin has proven an abject failure at ALL levels!

  33. Wally   January 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Pete —
    ND played an excellent game for 3 quarters (and Miami played poorly) and the outcome … a double digit win … is a scenario I certainly envisioned given how the two teams ended the regular season. I just didn’t see ND being up 30-3 to start the 4th, but gleefully happy that was the case.

    Game balls to Harrison Smith for his 3 INTs, Tommy Rees for very efficient and effective QB play, and Michael Floyd for being the offensive difference-maker. How good would Floyd be if he didn’t try to hotdog it every now and then???

  34. Crossword Pete   January 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Surprising to hear some talk radio CFB people talk about Dayne Crist as the projected starter next season at ND. Rees has more than earned a shot, if not the actual nod at this moment.

    BTW, I have not yet decided if I will go with Pete Care-ill or Pete Carrolless.

  35. Wally   January 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    If ya could combine Crist’s athletic ability with Rees’s instincts and touch … ya might have … John Elway. No, seriously, I agree … Rees has to be the leading candidate at the moment because he actually won the only 4 games he’s started, and they were the last 4 games against pretty good competition. Miami was supposed to have GREAT pass defense and Rees beat ’em. Rees’s play and the defense are two reasons why we’re glad to talk ND football again after things looked so terrible coming into November.

    Not only that, but Rees is a freshman (now) and Crist is a junior … so more years of upside with Tommy. We all wish Rees had Crist’s 6’4″ height, speed and cannon arm to go along with his smarts, etc … but I think we’d rather have the brains vs the brawn at that position. Still … i think it’s smart that Kelly keeps it an open competition for the next 8 months. I think we’ll be happy with whoever wins the job because if Crist truly beats out Rees, then he’s got to be quite improved.


    This just in … Rich Rod has been fired at Michigan. So the Skunkbears will be looking for Jim Harbaugh, BUT there are strong rumors that Harbaugh prefers other jobs. Will they try to pry Les Miles from LSU (Mich grad)? Who knows … but they are stuck, and with this chaos so close to signing day, their incoming freshman class will look quite pedestrian … and possibly ill-suited to whoever the eventual coach is. Even if Harbaugh takes the UM job, I don’t think their personnel meshes with his coaching/offense style. Wonder if they would consider the former Texas Tech coach, Mike Leach. Nah … probably too much renegade. Hey …. Dave Wannstedt, Mike Haywood and Ralph Friedgen are available. 🙂

  36. Smitty   January 4, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    The fact that I am in contention with Pete and his posse – well that is a compliment in itself!

    As for me, I am taking the Bill Belichick approach to the PPL – one game at a time.. Ohio State is the best college football team and Arkansas will have to play at the top of its game.. Go Petrino!! Okay that part made me sick… Back to Belichick… okay.. ummmm I am just trying to take it one pick at a time. I am just trying to improve with each and every pick. Trying to be the best picker I can possibly be. I can’t control what other guys pick, I just have to worry about what I pick..

    Wait… are we talking about college football or noses?? Where is Tom Coughlin? I need someone to kick.. Golfing??? Whose his caddy? His punter??

    Okay, I am done.. 🙂

  37. Wally   January 5, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Geeeeeez, if Arkansas WRs could catch the ball or fall on fumbles, the Razorbacks probably woulda won this game. Instead, they were clutching their own esophagi and gagged this one away. Same for Ryan Mallet in the end … how many times have we seen him on the doorstep of a big victory only to pull a Favre with an awful INT? Million dollar arm, two cent head. THAT’S WHY you’re Arkansas!!

    Anyway, the PPP plot thickens since Smitty did not pick TOSU … here are the updated standings:

    1 Smitty 77
    2 AC (Pete) 72
    3 Joe 71
    4 ND Dad 68
    5 Chas 67
    6 Dan 65
    7 Pete 63
    8 Rey 62
    9 Mark (Pete) 62
    10 Crash 58
    11 Casey 57
    12 Wally 57
    13 Wannabe 54
    14 Bill 47
    15 Pete Jr 45

    Average 61.7

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