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