Monday, November 21, 2011

2012 NFL Mock Draft 1-16

With almost every college football team contending for the BCS title game losing this weekend, I figured it would be a great time to point out who the individual winners will be in April's NFL draft.  Obviously, the draft order may change, but as of November 21, this is what I got:

Andrew Luck
1.  Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck (QB) Stanford: Was the most NFL-ready prospect last year and has done nothing to change that assessment.  The Colts will have to decide what to do with both Peyton Manning and Luck on the roster, but Manning will most likely dictate that decision and make it easy on general manager Bill Polian, anyway.

2.  St. Louis Rams: Matt Kalil (OT) Southern Cal: Kalil has done a phenomenal job protecting Matt Barkley and his skills translate nicely to the NFL.  Rams quarterback of the future Sam Bradford was sacked a league-high 22 times before getting injured (due to the fact that he was taking constant punishment from the opposition.

3.  Carolina Panthers: Justin Blackmon (WR) Oklahoma St: Blackmon's freakish on-field talents instantly drew scouts to compare him with another recent Oklahoma State receiver: Dez Bryant.  Unlike Bryant, Blackmon combines his on-field talent with a hearty work-ethic and zero off-the-field issues.  Additionally, Steve Smith will be a 33-year-old receiver making close to $8 million next season.  Securing another weapon for rookie sensation Cam Newton will make this offense outright scary.

Jonathan Martin
4.  Minnesota Vikings: Jonathan Martin (OT) Stanford: When was the last time Stanford had two top-ten picks in the NFL draft?  That's right, never.  Minnesota may kick itself for drafting Christian Ponder with Matt Barkley still on the board here, but they'll take a standout tackle to protect their Ponder investment.

5.  Miami Dolphins: Matt Barkley (QB) Southern Cal: This pick comes with a caveat: Robert Griffin III does not wow scouts with his throwing abilities at the combine/pro-day. Barkley has been the clear-cut #2 prospect for a while now, and some argue is closing the gap between him and Andrew Luck.  Miami has desperately needed a quarterback since Dan Marino retired.

6. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinton Coples (DE) North Carolina: The Jags are a mess.  At this point, even Jack Del Rio knows that he is going to get fired and is going through the motions.  With Blackmon off the board and with questions about South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffries speed and route-running, the Jags focus on their defense, which has been good in the secondary, but terrible against the run, and Coples does a great job against the run and rushing the passer.

Robert Griffin III
7. Arizona Cardinals: Morris Claiborne (CB) LSU: Another team that is likely going to be facing a new coaching regime, and will need multiple pieces, so picking the best player available will apply, and his name is Morris Claiborne.  Pair him with fellow LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, and you have a pair of shutdown corners that will allow the Cardinals to blitz more at will.

8.  Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III (QB) Baylor: Redskins owner Dan Snyder will not be able to resist the temptation of landing one of the, if not the most, talented athletes in this year's draft.

Trent Richardson
9.  San Diego Chargers: Riley Reiff (OT) Iowa: San Diego's offensive line is in shambles, especially on the right side.  Even though Reiff has primarily played on the left side, a move to the right side should be relatively simple for the ultra-durable Hawkeye.  His mean streak in the run game combined with his quick feet for pass blocking make him one of the elite tackle prospects in the draft.

10.  Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson (RB) Alabama: Cleveland would be tickled pink if Richardson falls this far to them, and would not waste much time on the clock, either.  With Peyton Hillis likely leaving via free agency, this pick makes all the sense in the world.  So much so that the Browns will actually do it.

11.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dre Kirkpatrick (CB) Alabama: Tampa Bay's cornerback depth chart could look very bad if Aqib Talib goes to jail and if Ronde Barber retires.  Either way, cornerback would be a good spot to shore up and Kirkpatrick has shown a propensity to make plays against both the pass and the run.

Landry Jones
12.  Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Kuechly (ILB) Boston College: Doesn't have the ideal athleticism for the position, but his instincts and tackling have cemented him as a standout linebacker, and the Eagles need a blue-collar worker on that defense.  Kuechly could start on day one for Philadelphia given their lack of talent at the linebacker position.

13.  Seattle Seahawks: Landry Jones (QB) Oklahoma: The Tavaris Jackson/Charlie Whitehurst experiment has clearly failed in Seattle and Jones has shown the ability to accurately distribute the football, albeit in the spread offense.  If he improves his pocket presence, he will not be available at this spot in the draft. 

14.  Kansas City Chiefs: Vontaze Burfict (ILB) Arizona State: Kansas City just needs to get healthy with three vital pieces on IR by week 2 (Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles, and Tony Moeaki).  Burfict is a best player available candidate given his raw ability and natural instincts.  I don't anticipate the Chiefs keeping this pick.

Michael Floyd
15.  Buffalo Bills: Michael Floyd (WR) Notre Dame: What happened to that potent Bills passing attack?  That's right, other teams watched film and saw the lack of talent at WR and started pressing them.   Floyd makes a lot of sense here to help out newly-designated franchise quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

16.  New York Jets: Courtney Upshaw (DE/OLB) Alabama: Elite athleticism that is a perfect fit into Rex Ryan's 3-4 scheme.  Given his experience in Nick Saban's pro-style 3-4 at Alabama, it should give him the leg up on fellow linebacker prospect Ronnell Lewis out of Oklahoma.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Syracuse Joins Penn State Sex Scandal Family

Just when you thought that Penn State was in a class all by itself, breaking news into Syracuse shows that assistant coach, and heir apparent (sounding eerily similar, eh) Bernie Fine, has had illegal touching of young boys and has travelled with children on road trips.  Additionally, news is starting to break that head coach and Syracuse icon Jim Boeheim knew about it and did nothing.  If true, look for the city of Syracuse to act as inappropriately as State College.  As one grad student, if similar events transpire and this leads to the firing of Jim Boeheim, I will NOT be upset nor will I be protesting, and I will be encouraging others to do the same.

Once again, breaking news into SportsbyGotti that Sracuse Orange assistant coach Bernie Fine has been charged with illegal touching of young boys and traveling with said boys on road trips.  Additionally, Jim Boeheim identified by name as a party with knowledge of the situation and not taking any action.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Real Truth Behind the Paterno Firing

Listening to the news reports and other blogs, you'll hear reporters and writers pontificate that Penn State fired Paterno because of the moral obligation it has as an institution.  They'll talk about how Paterno failed to protect the victims and didn't completely fulfill his duties as the head football coach and as one of the most powerful people at the university.  Another writer on this site, Gotti, wrote a good article detailing the callousness of the "protesters" of the firing.

However, the real reason why Paterno got fired is the same reason behind the NBA lockout as well as almost all business arguments: money.  Most people have this utopian idea that universities are higher-learning institutions that conduct independent research and educate our young adults before they are sent out into the real world.  I regret to inform you, that isn't the case.  University presidents and provosts are primarily measured on their ability to raise money.  The more money the university has, the better you can pay professors/coaches, provide state of the art research/athletic facilities, etc.  Universities get money in various fashions, but one big way is through donations.

The thing about the Paterno case is that the worst part has yet to happen.  We have seen some horrific details from the grand jury testimony and the stories about what the graduate assistant witnessed.  However, we have yet to hear everything the prosecution has up its sleeves.  To get the indictment, the prosecution only had to show enough evidence that there is reasonable suspicion that the crime the accused is being charged with had occurred.  It is a pretty low standard of burden for the prosecution.  Given that, there is no reason for the prosecution to show most of its hand.  Certainly during the trial, more details will come out and as that happens, people will start looking at the people in charge at Penn State and how they could have possibly missed these horrific acts.  While this negative attention will be bad enough on the university, it would be exponentially worse if people such as the president, AD and yes, the head football coach are still at the university.  Like it or not, these positions come with a certain level of responsibility and the individuals holding the position are held to higher standards.

In order to limit the hit on donation amounts and research grants being conducted at Penn State, the board of trustees had no choice but to clean house and distance itself as much as possible for this atrocious incident.  We can applaud the board for "doing the right thing" but make no mistake about it, if it was financially beneficial to keep Joe Paterno and/or the president, they board would have done it.  As always in business (yes, universities are businesses), follow the money!

Fight For People Who Can't Fight For Themselves

Penn State students (I will not call them protestors because they were just acting as students and not reasonably thinking adults) embarrassed themselves Thursday night by turning over cars and causing property damage in response to Penn State head coach Joe Paterno's firing.  Subsequent Facebook posts by current and former Penn State students have me so alarmed that I felt the need to blog about it.  I try to not let anything political dawn this website, but I can not sit idly by while sexual abuse of a ten-year-old child is not taken as seriously as it should.  As an avid sports fan, I understand that objectivity is difficult when it involves ones own team, but even I can separate the humanity of this issue vs. my loyalty to an institution.  For anyone that still is not disgusted that Penn State did not do more as an institution to prevent the clusterfuck that is the current investigation on sex abuse ON THE PENN STATE CAMPUS (I'll explain later why that is capitalized), these are the reasons why Penn State and everyone involved deserves any and all punishment they get:

  1. Penn State swept sexual abuse under the rug for the sake of College Football.  They knew about what had happened and did not take the right actions until it was way too late, and continued to allow Sandusky access to the University up to a week before today.  Sandusky has been barred from school districts and has taken small children to Penn State bowl games.  If you think this coverage is bad, just wait until the national freight train comes through State College.
  2. Jerry Sandusky recruited his victims through his "Second Mile" charity.  A Charity that Penn State sponsored after knowing about the allegations against Sandusky.  A charity that Paterno encouraged his players to volunteer. 
  3. As a public school educator (which all coaches are at Penn State), one is considered a first responder when witnessing a crime such as sexual abuse ON CAMPUS.  The fact that the child (who is the only victim so far) was not helped in any way, shape, or form while the crime was being committed and witnessed is the greatest travesty of all.
  4. Penn State, as a public school, "must disclose criminal offenses committed on campus each year." -US Department of Education
  5. Joe paterno was told about at least one victim of this grand jury testimony.  How do you NOT tell the police?  Especially when you are legally obligated to as a first responder.
This will be a permanent blight on Penn State (as it should) and the lack of action will hopefully spur a movement to prevent this from happening to another child.  Now that the national media and investigative journalists are in State College, the truth will come out, and not just what a small town wants us to hear, and I want everyone involved to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  If you do not agree, I feel sorry for you and hope that you receive help.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What I Think I Know: NFL Week 7

Last Week we got back on track picking a whole bunch of winners, ultimately going 3-1 with three correct eliminator picks, bringing our season record to 11-9.  Apparently, betting on the Bills or the Panthers is really difficult.  We'll stay away from the Bills this week because they're on a bye, but I'm gonna hop right back on the Panthers bandwagon this week.

Eliminator Picks: Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, and Carolina Panthers (if you're desperate).

Even Though I Did Not Draw This, This is What My Artwork Looks Like

Carolina Panthers (-3) vs. Washington Redskins: Got burned by Carolina last week, but they will bounce back against a Redskins team that got exposed last week against Philadelphia.  Plus, Washington is switching quarterbacks from "Sexy Rexy" Grossman to John Beck.  It won't be pretty but Carolina should pull out a squeaker against the 'Skins.  Final Score: Carolina 25, Washington 20

St. Louis Rams (+13) @ Dallas Cowboys: St. Louis is not going to win this game, but I don't trust the Cowboys to beat anyone by 13 points, and especially not when they will be turning to backup running backs Tashard Choice and DeMarco Murray behind what has been a shaky offensive line.  Give me the Rams, who will rejuvenate their season in the second half, and the points.  Final Score: Dallas 27, St. Louis 17

Baltimore Ravens (-8.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: Unlike the Cowboys, the Ravens have the pieces to demolish teams, particularly on defense.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Baltimore defense outscores the Jacksonville offense by themselves.  Blaine Gabbert will get many "welcome to the NFL" moments brought to him by Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed, and the rest of the mean Baltimore D.  Unfortunately, there will be no other games to turn to during this debacle on Monday night so have a backup plan for the night if you would like to watch something interesting (perhaps Big Bang Theory).  Final Score: Baltimore 26, Jacksonville 9

Pittsburgh Steelers (-4) @ Arizona Cardinals: Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb has not shown me enough to believe that he can beat a veteran defense like the Steelers.  Pittsburgh will not beat themselves in this game turning the ball over, and wide receiver Mike Wallace is going to abuse Cardinals rookie cornerback Patrick Peterson all day for multiple big plays.  I'll give the four points and take the Steelers continuing to show that they are not "too old."  Final Score: Pittsburgh 30, Arizona 17

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What I Think I Know: NFL Week 6

As Vince Lombardi famously said, "what the hell is goin' on out there?"  1-3 last week and my eliminator pick (Giants) spit the bit.  That is no good like Scott Norwood.  It is unacceptable and, like Mike Vick, I take full responsibility for my 8-8 record for the season so far.  However, if you listened to NostraDovus, you went 1-0-1 last week and 1-2-1 for the season (he had his up-to-date Mayan calendars).  There are some unbelievable lines this weekend begging to be taken advantage of.  Here we go.

Eliminator Pick: Green Bay Packers (+15 1/2) vs. St Louis Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers (+13) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, or Cincinnati Bengals (+7) vs. Indiannapolis Colts.  Although the Giants inexplicably lost to the Seahawks last week, if  you are still in any survivor/eliminator pool, those three are the biggest spreads of the weekend, and you should go with one of them, if you can.


Dallas Cowboys (+7) @ New England Patriots: I'm not saying the the Cowboys are going to win, so don't go all-in with the Cowboys, but (like the cheerleaders) have a nice spread.  Dallas is coming off of a bye where Romo got to rest his ribs/lungs and the rest of the team had the chance to get one week healthier.  This just in, the Patriots are really bad on defense.  This game has the potential to be a shootout, which is a bad way to try and beat the Patriots, but it is a good strategy to stay within 7 points.  Final Score: Dallas 30, New England 35

Indianapolis Colts (+7) @ Cincinnati Bengals: Once again, I do not expect the Colts to win (even though it would surprise me), but Cincinnati does not have an offense that will blow anyone out.  Additionally, Colts quarterback Curtis Painter (and his golden lochs) has improved every week and has really developed a nice chemistry with receiver Pierre Garcon.  Final Score: Indiannapolis 16, Cincinnati 17

Carolina Panthers (+4) @ Atlanta Falcons: I'm not giving more than three points to the Panthers as long as Cam Newton is their starter.  Newton has the ability to keep any game close (even against the Saints last week), and last week was the last time I will get burned by it.  I am going to call for the upset here because Atlanta has zero identity on offense and Carolina knows exactly what they are trying to do.  Final Score: Carolina 26, Atlanta 24

Chicago Bears (-3) vs. Minnesota Vikings: I think Vegas is overreacting to Minnesota's dominating performance last week against the Buccaneers.  Chicago, even on the short week, will not let its defense to be embarrassed again by long, gashing runs like it did against Lions running back Jahvid Best.  Furthermore, Jay Cutler had his best performance of the year last week and will build on it against a lackluster Vikings pass defense.  Final Score: Chicago 24, Minnesota 17

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

NBA Players Need to Learn From NHL Lockout, Not NFL

If the NBA players and their leader Billy Hunter want to strike a deal and save their season, they should take their cues from the NHL lockout and its lost 2004-2005 season.  In fact, six of the NBA owners were a part of the NHL lockout.  If the players think that the owners will give into their demands, they are crazy.  According to ESPN's Ric Bucher, those group of six owners are telling the other NBA owners that the NHL's lost season was great for them in terms of getting what they wanted in the new collective bargaining agreement.  Billionaires do not become billionaires by making bad deals.  In the NHL's case, the players got far less in the new collective bargaining deal because they decided to sit out a season, and this will happen to the NBA players as well if they sit around too long.

In the old collective bargaining agreement, the NBA players took a 57% cut from all "basketball related revenues," and will not settle for anything less than 53% in any new deal (even though there was a 50-50 split on the table from the owners).  There's one problem with this theory: the owners can afford to not play basketball, the players can not.  If players decide to play in other countries, they will soon find out that everything is different (for the worse) compared to their cushy NBA lives.  Furthermore, some owners would lose less by not playing this season.  How many is still a mystery and until the teams reveal all of their financial data, I will not believe any number of teams commissioner David Stern says are in the red.  In negotiations, at the end of the day, it all boils down to what one can and can't do.  Nothing else.

To prove this point, there are already rumors that the owners will not accept any deal unless they get at least 53% of all basketball-related revenues.  The gap between the players and the owners is widening, and unless the players cave to that 50-50 split quickly, the season will be lost because the owners can, and will, sit out and the players will have to come back to the negotiation table with their collective tails in between their legs.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What I Think I Know: NFL Week 5

Even Steven
Another average week last week but we are still 7-5 for the season and 4-0 on eliminator picks.  Lets not flirt with the Even Steven line and head towards what we all seek: profit.

NostraDovus Picks of the Week:

New York Jets (+9) @ New England Patriots
Detroit Lions (-6) vs. Chicago Bears

The Dovus has realigned his Mayan calendars and has bet against the Patriots again!  Many things he is not, but persistent he is.  However, the stars are officially aligning for the Lions now.  Both games will be wildly entertaining and I have to agree on both picks.  However, I'm not betting on either...division games are always so tricky.  Here are the games worth betting on.

You Can Bet On It

Eliminator Pick: New York Giants.  The Gmen get the Seattle Seachickens at home and have the largest point spread of the weekend (10 1/2).  Rumor has it that Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora will start, but even if the Giants only have one of them, it will be enough to make Seattle QB Tavaris Jackson worry himself into a couple of turnovers.  A backup pick would be the San Diego Chargers, Houston Texans, and New Orleans Saints if you haven't used them already.

San Diego Chargers (-4) @ Denver Broncos: I know this is a division game, and those can always be tricky, but this line does not reflect the "eye test." When I watch these two teams play, the Chargers look infinitely better than the Broncos, and it's not the Broncos fault.  Denver fans will be calling for a third string QB to come in and continue to deflate the first string team that is on the field.  Willis McGahee has been a nice surprise for the Broncos, but the Chargers have been monsters against the run this year not allowing a 100 yard rusher yet.  The Chargers are starting a three game road swing that needs to get started off on the right foot.  Take the Bolts and give the points.  Final Score: San Diego 27, Denver 16.

Philadelphia Eagles (-3) @ Buffalo Bills: The Bills have burned me every week, I gotta get one of these right.  The Eagles are having a San Diego Chargers-esque start to the season (1-3 but supremely talented), but the clock has struck October and the real Eagles will stand up.  Look for the Eagles to pile on the offense in the first half and hold on for dear life in the second half with one defensive stop to end the game.  Final Score: Philadelphia 34, Buffalo 30.

Houston Texans (-6) vs. Oakland Raiders: The Raiders defense got exposed against the Patriots, and the Texans can take advantage of the Raiders fly-by-night style.  Look for running back Arian Foster to have a HUGE day leading the Texans.  Oakland is going to get worn down by the Texans running game early and will run out of gas late from constantly being on the field.  Final Score: Houston 29, Oakland 20.

New Orleans Saints (-7) @ Carolina Panthers: Carolina is better than expected, but so are the Saints.  Darren Sproles has injected what Reggie Bush was supposed to inject into the Saints offense.  Look for the Panthers tight ends to continue to catch a ton of passes with the Saints cover 2 shell, but Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has the speed to spy Carolina's rookie-of-the-year quarterback Cam Newton to "limit" him enough to cover the spread.  Final Score: New Orleans 38, Carolina 30.

Friday, September 30, 2011

What I Think I Know: NFL Week 4

Color me average.  2-2 last week with the picks plus a squeaker in the eliminator pick (SD) who did not cover the spread.  It is a new year so lets open it on a good note, eh?  To begin the new year, we are adding a segment called "NostraDovus" where my buddy Dov, who predicted the Bills would win every week, will make his "off the beaten path" pick that could score big.  Lets get started, shall we?

The scary part is that the NostraDovus looks a lot like this.
NostraDovus Locks of the Week: 

New York Jets (+4) @ Baltimore Ravens: "Fuck the points."
Oakland Raiders (+4 1/2 vs. New England Patriots: "Oakland wants it more."

My Thoughts: Although entertaining, I don't think Rex Ryan has a gut big enough to eat those points in Baltimore (although the crabs are good there).  Furthermore, the only thing Oakland wants to do more than New England is punch them in the throat.  I have to disagree on both, but then again, I have disagreed on all three of his Buffalo picks so he is proving that the "experts" are only right 8% more than complete amateurs like the NostraDovus.  We will keep score the rest of the year and see where this crazy experiment takes us.

You Can Bet On It Eliminator Style: New Orleans.  Drew Brees and the Saints go marching into Jacksonville this weekend, and will march out victorious.  Easily.  The scary part about the Saints early success is that they have done it without a run game and their #1 receiver Marques Colston.  Despite being on the road, the Saints are currently favored by 7 1/2, and I don't think it will be that close.  The only thing New Orleans will be missing on the road are the Saintsationals.

Buffalo Bills (-3) @ Cincinnati Bengals: This game will not be a blowout.  Buffalo has not been convincing in any of its wins, but they have found a way to won, which is more than the pitiful Bengals can say.  The Bengals have reverted back to its hoodlum days with both Cedric Benson and Jerome Simpson facing criminal charges, and no one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.  Take the Bills and the points, but don't expect a blowout.  Final Score: Buffalo 34, Cincinnati 20.

New England Patriots (-4 1/2) @ Oakland Raiders: The theme for this week will be "The Elite Strike Back." The Patriots, after losing at Buffalo, are hungry for a win and will not lose two games in a row.  The Raiders are a good team (as much as it pains this Chargers fan to say), but they are catching New England at a bad time and will get torched by the quick passing game of New England.  Oakland's inability to avoid penalties will also cost them the game late.  Final Score: New England 38, Oakland 31.

Carolina Panthers (+7) @ Chicago Bears: Don't get me wrong, I don't think the Panthers are going to win here, but seven points is too many points for the Bears to give.  Chicago's two-deep zone is the perfect defense for Carolina's offense that comprises mostly of a three-headed running attack (DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, and Cam Newton) and underneath passing to two talented tight ends (Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey).  Look for the Carolina tight ends to have impressive fantasy weeks as the bears will have trouble covering them in the seams.  Final Score: Chicago 22, Carolina 16.

Atlanta Falcons (-5 1/2) @ Seattle Seahawks: Atlanta is another elite team that will be striking back this weekend in Seattle.  Atlanta has lost its identity by going away from the power running game to set up the play-action passing game.  The Falcons will right the ship this week in a blowout in Seattle.  Look for Turner to surpass 100 yards rushing and Roddy White to go over 100 receiving yards.  Final Score: Atlanta 28, Seattle 16.

Friday, September 23, 2011

NCAA Realignment

In the famous words of Vince Lombardi, "What the hell is goin' on around here?  Seriously, what the hell is going on int he world of NCAA conferences?

Why even have conferences if they look like this?

With Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Missouri as the latest installments of College programs to jump ship to another conference, the geography of conferences is all sorts of messed up.  Missouri is neither south nor east to be in the SEC (it's midwest for all those who don't know.  Furthermore, neither Syracuse nor Pittsburgh are within a 4 1/2 hour drive to the Atlantic.  Numerically, the conferences are getting all sorts of messed up.  The Big Ten has twelve teams and the Big Twelve had ten teams, and now nine after Mizzou's departure.  The "pacific" 12 conference may have 16 teams if Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech join.  This is all, obviously, about football placement and money.  The big business of college athletics will soon absorb any academic responsibility these players and coaches have, if it hasn't already.  The attempt to balance the financial and educational forces has led to the debacle we now find ourselves. 

College athletics is a mess because of the concept of the "student" athlete.  In football, students are told to withdraw from certain classes before they begin because they are "too hard."  Unlike in basketball, the good players have to attend more than one semester of classes and getting bad grades can impact their eligibility going forward, and their NFL career subsequently.  I understand why schools want to coddle their prized athletes academically, but they are doing those kids a huge injustice by asking them to limit their brains to just football.  The biggest crime in this world is to limit someone's education and/or thinking power.  Especially if it is in the advancement of one's own position in college athletics. 

College basketball has become a joke when it comes to living up to the college half.  The best of the incoming talent to college basketball give less than 4 months of commitment to their academics and then do God-knows-what second semester (which ends after their athletic season is over).

The New Moneyball
The worst part about all of this is that the athletes have the audacity to complain that they are not getting paid, when they are missing out on the one thing that can serve as currency the rest of their lives: a free college education.  The fact that they do not see their education as a priceless entity shows how uneducated they really are.  I understand that kids who come from impoverished backgrounds don't see the education as a way to finance themselves when they can be making millions on a football field or basketball court.  If that is the case, and they want to try their hand at professional sports, then let them.  If they fall flat on their face, no one should feel sorry for them.  The NFL and NBA need to let players of all ages enter their leagues.  Natural selection will do the rest.  No one is saying that professional athletes can't also get an education, but they can then pay for it on their own with their professional salaries.  Use the scholarship money for those who seek an education, not a national championship.  Forcing kids to go to college is not working, so eliminate the force. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What I Think I Know: NFL week 3

For all of those who took my advice last week, you're welcome (3-1 + correct eliminator selection that also covered the spread).  Week 3 is here and there are some very interesting games coming up, betting-wise.  If you are still in eliminator pools, my choice (and the obvious one) is San Diego vs. KC.  It's not rocket science yet because it is still early in the season and the good teams will still be available for you to pick, not to mention it is safe to go with the highest (15) point spread of the week.  Line-makers in Vegas pay their mortgages with these lines so you can feel safe following their lead.  Now for the more difficult lines.
Go Chargers, GO!

You Can Bet On It:

Detroit Lions (-4) @ Minnesota Vikings: I don't know if you've received the memo, but the Lions are really good.  Quarterback Matthew Stafford is tied with Tom Brady with 7 passing TD, plus he has 1 rushing TD.  Wide receiver Calvin Johnson has looked unstoppable and is being supported nicely by fellow wideout Nate Burleson, running back Jahvid Best, and tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler.  Final score: Detroit 27, Minnesota 17

New England Patriots (-9) @ Buffalo Bills: The Bills have been a cute story so far t his NFL season.  However,  the machine that is the Patriots offense comes to town this week, and Buffalo's defense has not looked up to snuff as of yet.  Buffalo's only chance to win this game is by outscoring New England and we all know that that is not happening.  I anticipate the Patriots getting off to a torrid start in this game and never looking back.  Final Score: New England 42, Buffalo 28.

Green Bay Packers (-4) @ Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler still has a raspy voice due to a vicious hit to the throat he took last week against New Orleans.  Unfortunately for Cutler and the Bears, Clay Matthews and the rest of the Packers defense led by sackmaster-general Dom Capers are coming to town.  Chicago's offensive line was a big concern coming into this season.  Enough so that they chose Gabe Carimi in the first round of this year's draft.  Guess what?  Carimi is out for this game, delivering another blow to the Bears offensive line.  Final Score: Green Bay 31, Chicago 20.

Carolina Panthers (-4) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Never thought I'd say this, but how good is Cam Newton?  I don't think I've whiffed more on someone than I have on Cam, and he hasn't even won a game yet.  As expected, Newton made some rookie mistakes last week, but he was able to jump out to a lead against the super bowl champion Green Bay Packers defense last week.  Oh yeah, he went over 400 yards passing again.  Now, translate his efforts against what is a pathetic Jacsonville Jaguars team that will also be starting a rookie quarterback in Blaine Gabbert.  Final score: Carolina 24, Jacksonville Jaguars: 12.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What I Think I Know: NFL Week 2

Week 1 was great and week 2, on paper, looks even better.  For everyone in eliminator pools, choose Pittsburgh (I know you didn't choose them last week because they lost).  Not only is it the highest spread (14 1/2), but it just makes the most sense.

You Can Bet On It: I'm introducing this new segment every Saturday for everyone to place at their favorite betting establishment.  Please be responsible for I am not omnipotent, but I'm pretty good.  Lets get started:

Detroit Lions (-8) vs Kansas City Chiefs: This line started at -6, but with safety Eric Berry now out for the year in Kansas City, there will be nothing stopping the Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson connection in Detroit.  Look for big days from Stafford, Johnson, and the rest of the Detroit offense as Kansas City continues to struggle to find its 2010 form.
Oakland Raiders (+4) @ Buffalo Bills: Oakland may not win this game, but their defense will keep them close.  As impressive as Buffalo's offense was last week, Ryan Fitzpatrick will not be given as much time to throw with the likes of Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelley constantly chasing him.  We will find out how tough the Bills are because one thing Oakland will certainly do is punch them in the mouth, literally.
St. Louis Rams (+7) @ New York Giants: St. Louis got a little humiliated by the Eagles last week, but the Giants are not nearly as good.  Once again, don't go crazy and pick the Rams to win (even though I personally think they will), but take the massive 7 points.  Eli Manning looks lost without Steve Smith on third downs and the Rams can get after the quarterback (head coach Steve Spagnuolo was the defensive coordinator for the Giants pass rush that battered Tom Brady in the Super Bowl).

Atlanta Falcons (+3) vs. Philadelphia: Classic home underdog situation.  Throw in the fact that 0-1 teams  desperately do not want to go 0-2 and play that way.  Oh yeah, Mike Vick returns to Atlanta, and the Falcons want to send a message that they are better without Vick.  Look for Atlanta to win this game and for Matt Ryan to continue his home dominance in the regular season.  The fact that Atlanta is getting a field goal is a nice safety net, though.