Sunday, May 02, 2010

College Football Realignment

I am hearing more and more about Super conferences in college sports… I think it could look like this:

SEC

- All the current schools with the addition of Texas, Texas A & M, Baylor and Texas Tech

Big 10

- All the current schools with the addition of Syracuse, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Nebraska and Notre Dame (maybe Rutgers instead of Notre Dame)

ACC

- All the current schools with the addition of WVA, South Florida, Rutgers and UCONN (ECU if Rutgers goes Big 10)


Big 12

- All the current schools with the addition of Louisville, TCU, Memphis, Cincy, Houston, Tulsa, Colorado State, Rice and Tulsa… Not sure about this one…


Pac 10

- All the current Teams with the addition of Boise State, Utah, BYU, New Mexico St, New Mexico and San Diego St… Not sure about this one either…


After this is complete the remaining teams would combine into the Sun Belt/Conference USA for one conference and the Mountain West/Western Athletic for another… The MAC stays intact at this point but they could also add Army and Navy, which would put them just short of having sixteen teams so they would probably add one more…

What happens from there??? Who knows??? There are rumors that the big five Super Conferences would break off from the NCAA completely (I do not see that happening) and I am not sure how that would work…

Now you are poised for a football playoff but how would that work??? Would it be the top five teams and than two at large teams get into a playoff??? I do not like that idea because a team could lose a conference championship game and still win a National Championship…

Do the newly formed Sun Belt/Conference USA, Mountain West/WAC and MAC get in and you now have an eight-team playoff??? Sounds logical but I do not see the Super Conferences allowing that to happen…

An eight team playoff could be conducted based off of seeding, 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5 for the qualifiers but what happens if and LSU goes 12 and 0 and loses in the SEC Championship game to a Florida team that is 10 and 2 (they would finish 11 and 2)??? LSU would get squeezed out the big bowl games for say an undefeated Temple from the MAC or ECU from the Conference USA/Sun Belt League??? That is the problem today and the problem tomorrow… A team is getting punished for being really good and playing in a good conference…

The bowl games are going to stay intact for sure because they mean too much financially to TV and the towns that host these games (F the people that say there are too many because that is total BS… Post Season college football is great!!!) I am not sure though how the playoff thing shakes out…

With a Super conference format you would have to play every team in your division (that puts you at seven games) and than I am not sure how you could rotate through and play one of the teams on the other side of your conference other than you alternate home and home meaning you would play every team on the other side over a sixteen year period (not sure that works out very well but that is the only way to balance it out)…

Take for example University of Kentucky… They would play seven SEC East teams and one game against an SEC West Opponent… That leaves them four games to play against other conferences… You would get four home games and four road games each year in your conference… UK would than stick with U of L and play them in a home and home and than play three non con games at home (that would be against the MAC, C-USA/Sun Belt or the WAC/Mountain West)…

Or you have these Super Conferences and you ditch the entire National Championship thing for football and go back to the format that was in place before the BCS where the conferences make their own agreements with the bowl games… Don’t see that one happening either…



KSR on a Covert Mission

Kentucky Sports Radio recently did a piece where they went to a U of L message board and extracted some comments… The article is linked below… I still do not understand why any teams fans (I know UK Fans do it too as do Bama to Auburn, Red Sox to Yankees, Cubs to Cardinals and vice versa) worry so much about what their rival is doing especially enough to make that the conversation on their own message boards or to maybe do a cover mission or to post that covert mission on your blog (yes I am guilty also)…

http://kentuckysportsradio.com/?p=50235

My favorite two posts from this article are below…

makwalker: If your fed up with this slime ball please contact the NCAA
Write letters, call, and email. Maybe the NCAA will do something about this. He is making a mockery for kids that go to school to get an education. He is recruiting kids that go to school for a semester and then jump ship. The NCAA is not a feeder system to the NBA.
We all know he’s a crook as does KY fans. Something has to be done about this guy and NOW.


Point is once again how is it that Cal and Cal alone is making this a mockery??? There are at least five other freshmen, besides the one’s from UK that are planning on turning pro so are you also calling these coaches out as “making a mockery for kids”… Cal did not make the rule!!! The NBA made the rule and it is a bad rule but to blame Cal is C R A Z Y!!!


NurseCard: I honestly do NOT think that I would be happy if I were a UK fan right now.

For me… I am thrilled to death to be a UK fan today and for the my entire life… That is and will always be my team… As for right now… I say it again: 35 and 3, SEC Champs, SEC Tournament Champs, Won the Cancun tournament and made it to the final eight!!! I am pretty happy and even more excited about the players that Cal has brought in for next year… One and done is not going to be an every year occurrence at UK but I will take a John Wall and Demarcus Cousins for one year every year.

As for Cal… The guy who has got to be one of the greatest recruiters ever now has a top five-college basketball program to use as a tool to recruit with!!! Back in the conversation!!! We wanted to be back in the conversation and we are there but……………………………

Grades for UK Basketball Team

As reported by Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Paper…

Not really what I wanted to see from this team… A 2.02 GPA for the fall semester…

http://www.kentucky.com/2010/05/02/1248238/uk-basketball-low-on-the-gpa-scale.html

Per information released by the University, the UK players' individual GPAs in the fall semester ranged from 3.59 to 1.67… Four were at 2.0 or lower and two were better than 3.0… The three below 2.0 should have been suspended for the Spring 2010 semester in my opinion but the NCAA does not require that to be done…

Two first year players are apparently below the minimum eligibility requirement for the next semester though (Fall of 2010) unless they bring their grades up in the spring or they leave for the NBA… This means that two other players are just above the minimum requirement of 1.8 to be eligible for the fall of 2010…

It is duly noted that that freshman John Wall had all A's and B's in the fall semester, and UK touted three seniors plus junior Patrick Patterson on target to graduate this spring (Ramon Harris is actually graduating early)… Those are good things…

If a person is not cutting it academically they will and should suffer the consequences… I will defend Calipari and the University on most things but this is unacceptable to me!!! No matter how many games you win, what you do for the community, etc… this is NOT acceptable!!!

I will be keeping a close eye on this one…


UK Spring Football

I did not get to attend this year so I really have no insight to offer… I like the things I read about the defense and the I like that we have a couple of running backs who sound like they will be a great compliment to Derrick Locke…

I think that UK has three very capable quarterbacks and with Newton and Massokowski you could have some stars in the making but they are one to two years away from that for sure… Hartline is capable so we will see because I am sure he will be the starter although I expect the other two guys to play…

The key to UK on offense is the development of their receiving group… They need a go to wide receiver and they for sure need the tight ends or a tight end to step up next year…

I like the coaching changes that Joker put in place with the offensive line and defensive line and those are two areas that we should have been better last year even though we were pretty good…

One thing is for sure… Even though UK is in the SEC we do not draw for Spring Practice like the rest of the SEC does… Kind of a shame in my opinion but we will forever be a basketball fan base unless Joker can take this program to the next level in the SEC… I hope he can but reality is reality and I think we are who we are on the gridiron…


Redbirds

The St Louis pitching staff is awesome to this point… The hitting is doing well but they are living by the home run a bit too much to this point…

It is great to see the young players doing so well to this point on offense… Colby Rasmus is a star in the making and has a chance to be one of the all time St Louis greats (I like that he leads the team in walks)… Freese is doing quite well at third base and his defense will get better as he progresses through this season I think…

Matt Holiday is not producing to the pace he did last year and I am anxious to see him come around… I still think that St Louis paid to much for him but I also think they had to have him so time will tell on that one… He has a great work ethic so he should be fine as the season goes…

Lopez is a nice utility player and when he comes off of the DL his playing time may increase if Brendan Ryan is not handling the bat a little better…
Ludwick has very solid consistent numbers to this point but Molina and Schumaker are not giving St Louis the punch they need to on offense…

Puljos… Well he is off to another great start… I would say with Ryan Howard signing a five year $125 million dollar contract Puljos will get about either an eight to ten year contract for the same per year amount… My guess is eight with two one-year options… That would just about guarantee he finishes his career in St Louis…

Here are their numbers through the Atlanta series:

Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB AVG OBP
Albert Pujols 84 15 28 6 0 7 19 12 14 1 0.333 0.417
Colby Rasmus 59 15 19 5 1 6 12 15 20 3 0.322 0.459
Ryan Ludwick 80 12 24 3 1 4 10 10 18 0 0.300 0.385
David Freese 61 3 18 2 0 0 8 5 18 1 0.295 0.353
Bryan Anderson 7 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0.286 0.286
Matt Holliday 80 14 22 4 0 4 8 4 12 2 0.275 0.326
Felipe López 44 6 12 4 0 1 4 5 12 2 0.273 0.347
Nick Stavinoha 11 1 3 0 0 1 2 0 4 0 0.273 0.273
Yadier Molina 71 5 17 2 0 2 13 6 9 2 0.239 0.313
Skip Schumaker 77 14 17 4 0 1 3 10 11 0 0.221 0.318
Joe Mather 16 0 3 1 0 0 0 1 3 0 0.188 0.235
Brendan Ryan 63 5 10 1 1 0 4 9 19 0 0.159 0.264
Allen Craig 18 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 5 0 0.056 0.150
Jason LaRue 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Jon Jay 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Totals 677 91 176 33 3 26 84 79 148 11 0.260 0.317

Pitching through the Atlanta Series:
Player GS W L SV BS H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP BAA
Dennys Reyes 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 5 0 0.83 0.056
Blake Hawksworth 0 0 0 0 0 10 2 0 0 2 7 0 1.64 0.323
Brad Penny 4 3 0 0 0 25 4 3 0 3 15 0.94 0.98 0.24
Jaime García 4 2 1 0 0 16 5 3 0 9 17 1.04 0.96 0.176
Adam Wainwright 4 3 1 0 0 20 7 6 1 6 26 1.69 0.81 0.187
Jason Motte 0 1 1 1 0 8 2 2 1 4 7 2.08 1.38 0.242
Trever Miller 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 1 0 2 5 2.45 1.09 0.167
Kyle McClellan 0 0 1 0 0 10 4 3 1 5 9 3.24 1.8 0.294
Chris Carpenter 5 3 0 0 0 25 15 12 5 10 31 3.48 1.13 0.216
Ryan Franklin 0 0 0 7 0 11 4 4 0 0 3 3.6 1.1 0.282
Mitchell Boggs 0 0 1 0 0 9 4 4 1 4 8 4 1.44 0.257
Kyle Lohse 4 0 1 0 0 26 16 16 0 9 7 6.55 1.59 0.306

What stands out here is a team ERA less than 2.6, WHIP of 1.17 and that BAA is .233 to this point… Brad Penny was a great pick up as a number three starter and he has the lowest ERA on the team (another great job by Pitching Coach Dave Duncan), Lohse has thrown well but has nothing to show for it and his BAA and ERA are a bit deceptive and rookie Jaime Garcia is fantastic although I bet his numbers tell off a bit his second time around the league…

Carp has pitched well but he has given up five home runs (three in one game) to this point… Wainwright is setting himself up for Cy Young run again this year and has been just awesome to this point… He gets better as the game goes on when he pitches…

The bullpen has performed well to this point but I am not sure I like the fact that the closer has only three strikeouts but he does force the opposing batters into hitting allot of ground balls… Management may have some worked to do yet in the bullpen…

St Louis is capable of winning this division by double digits if the pitching continues at this pace… Go Redbirds!!!


NBA Draft (Early Entries Only)


Wow… What a list… I did not know that Coach Cal, the guy who is ruining college basketball, had this much influence over this many players at this many schools… Besides the four freshmen from UK you have at least six other freshmen on this list from five other schools…


One and done or two and done (look at the list of Sophomores) is not just a Kentucky thing folks… If you want a good rule than two and done or go with the Baseball rule…

Player, School, Status

Solomon Alabi, Florida State, Sophomore
Cole Aldrich, Kansas, Junior
Lavoy Allen, Temple, Junior
Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest, Sophomore
James Anderson, Oklahoma State, Junior
Kevin Anderson, Richmond, Junior
Luke Babbitt, Nevada, Sophomore
Armon Bassett, Ohio, Junior
Talor Battle, Penn State, Junior
Keith Benson, Oakland, Junior
Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky, Freshman
Anatoly Bose, Nicholls State, Junior
Dee Bost, Mississippi State, Sophomore
Craig Brackins, Iowa State, Junior
Avery Bradley, Texas, Freshman
Carlon Brown, Utah, Junior
Derrick Caracter, UTEP, Junior
DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky, Freshman
Jordan Crawford, Xavier, Sophomore
Ed Davis, North Carolina, Sophomore
Mike Davis, Illinois, Junior
Paul Davis, Winston-Salem State, Junior
Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech, Junior
Devin Ebanks, West Virginia, Sophomore
Kenneth Faried, Morehead State, Junior
Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech, Freshman
Courtney Fortson, Arkansas, Sophomore
Jimmer Fredette, BYU, Junior
Keith “Tiny” Gallon, Oklahoma, Freshman
Charles Garcia, Seattle, Junior
Paul George, Fresno State, Sophomore
Anthony Gurley, Massachusetts, Junior
Manny Harris, Michigan, Junior
Gordon Hayward, Butler, Sophomore
Jeremy Hazell, Seton Hall, Junior
Xavier Henry, Kansas, Freshman
Darington Hobson, New Mexico, Junior
Adnan Hodzic, Lipscomb, Junior
Armon Johnson, Nevada, Junior
JaJuan Johnson, Purdue, Junior
Ravern Johnson, Mississippi State, Junior
Wesley Johnson, Syracuse, Junior
Cameron Jones, Northern Arizona, Junior
Dominique Jones, South Florida, Junior
Mac Koshwal, DePaul, Junior
Sylven Landesberg, Virginia, Sophomore
Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech, Junior
Kenny Lawson, Creighton, Junior
Tommy Mason-Griffin, Oklahoma, Freshman
Demetri McCamey, Illinois, Junior
Elijah Millsap, Alabama-Birmingham, Junior
Greg Monroe, Georgetown, Sophomore
E’Twaun Moore, Purdue, Junior
Arnett Moultrie, UTEP, Sophomore
A.J. Ogilvy, Vanderbilt, Junior
Daniel Orton, Kentucky, Freshman
Patrick Patterson, Kentucky, Junior
Rico Pickett, Manhattan, Junior
Eniel Polynice, Mississippi, Junior
Herb Pope, Seton Hall, Sophomore
Jeff Robinson, Seton Hall, Junior
Samardo Samuels, Louisville, Sophomore
Larry Sanders, Virginia Commonwealth, Junior
John Sloan, Huntingdon (AL), Junior
Tracy Smith, North Carolina State, Junior
Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati, Freshman
Lazar Trifunovic, Radford, Junior
Evan Turner, Ohio State, Junior
Alex Tyus, Florida, Junior
Ekpe Udoh, Baylor, Junior
John Wall, Kentucky, Freshman
Willie Warren, Oklahoma, Sophomore
Quinton Watkins, San Diego State, Freshman
C.J. Webster, San Jose State, Junior
Terrico White, Mississippi, Sophomore
Hassan Whiteside, Marshall, Freshman
Elliot Williams, Memphis, Sophomore
Stevy Worah-Ozimo, Slippery Rock, Junior
Chris Wright, Dayton, Junior
Jahmar Young, New Mexico State, Junior



Oaks Day At Churchill Downs

Louisville’s day at the races has almost become as big as Derby day… The crowds are large and there is just as much mass chaos around CD as there is the first Saturday in May… Maybe I should go to the races on the Thursday before Derby…

I am really not a big fan of the track on either day anymore mainly because they (CD) gouge the common folks to death!!! For Oaks Day a reserved seat even down in the far reaches of turn four is $60 per person and the accommodations in the area are quite pathetic… You would think they would put one or two jumbo trons in the area from section 124 to 128 so people can watch the race and also be able to keep track of the current betting odds… Instead we get a betting window 300 yards away with a fuzzy TV that you cannot see anything on…

They keep the booze flowing with plenty of vendors in the area but $8 for a large beer and an even more ridiculous amount of money for a mint julep or the Oaks Lilly drink (even with the souvenir glass) is just outrageous…

The food… Awful!! They have hot dogs ($4 for the worst hot dog ever) and the only other food booth in the area is a bar b q place that is basically serving some shaved heated up processed pork (was cooked in a bag) with some nasty sauce on it (I watched multiple people take a couple of bites and just toss it away)…

You would think that at such a marquee event Churchill Downs would make an effort to bring in some really good food vendors and serve some great Kentucky Bar B Q (the real stuff), Kentucky’s famous Burgoo Dish, have some grilled hamburgers or even grilled hot dogs, brats, etc… Pathetic…

That is the problem that the folks at Churchill Downs just do not understand… Their whole deal is to cater to the money people for two days a year and than think it is ok to gouge the other folks that keep the track going the rest of the year… It is of course my choice to go and know one is holding a gun to my head to make me go but my point is Churchill is really missing out on an opportunity to make even more revenue off of this event and give it a much better flavor…

Don’t get me wrong I love the track and the races but throw me a bone with some decent food at a decent price and I could see me and my wife out their during the Spring and Fall Meet allot more… They need me more than I need them and they are not going to get me there with expanded gaming!!!

Churchill needs to take a page from the folks at Augusta, Georgia when it comes to the food that is served and the price of the food… The patrons for that event literally pay nothing for food and beverage items which of course frees up dollars to buy more Master’s swag…
But that is Churchill Downs way and why I do not support any expanding gaming at the track period!!! They just do not get it and that is sad for the Commonwealth… They are their own worst enemy…

This is why I rarely go to Churchill Downs… I choose to spend my entertainment dollars in other places that offers a little bit more than what the track offers…

As for yesterday… Thanks to my wife the whole day was on them… After paying for tickets, beer, water, a hot dog and a pretzel we left with more money than we came in with and that is always a good day at the track… Gave a little back on the Derby bets today but money wise we did well…

I will give CD props for the new $.50 trifecta wagers… Nice value at $12 for four horses…


Random

- You just can’t bet against Calvin Borel in the Derby… He is hot for sure and not really just the derby the Triple Crown races period…

- You may NEVER have another triple-crown winner until Churchill Downs (The ‘Greedy’ Churchill Downs) cuts the filed to 15 horses… There are five horses in the race that have no chance and they are hurting the field… None of the Triple Crown winners had to fight through this many horses in the Derby… Point is how many great horses got shut out in the Derby and than skipped the next race and won the Belmont, won the Preakness and skipped the Belmont or skipped the next two races all together… Two of the better horses clearly got boxed in today at the Derby and that impacted their final finish less than the condition of the track did…

- Nice pick to the guy who won the opportunity to bet $100,000 on the race and won… Not sure how that will be taxed (whether you add the $100,000 to what he won or not)… Either way the government will take 40% right off the top so his net take home is going to be $500,000 to $600,000… I am going to refrain from the hair jokes about the guy…

- Nice job by the NCAA to only add three teams to the basketball tournament… Four play in games is a nice touch to kick the tournament off… Do not go any further than that with expansion…

- DH will now always be a part of the all-star game… I am OK with that and I am OK that they are playing for home field advantage because it makes the game mean something and forces the managers to manage… Free agency and league jumping took allot away from that game for many years and this added something back to it so I am for the format… I am not however someone who wants to see the DH in the National League… I have said it before… I like that the two leagues are somewhat different…


- Heard John Saunders on ESPN talk about it is time to pay NCAA players… The problem is you have to pay them all John… That means the archery team, the soccer team, the tennis team, the track team, field hockey team, the golf team in addition to football and basketball… The second problem with this is of course is there is not enough money to go around to be able to do this for every athlete in division one evenly (some schools departments struggle to turn any kind of profit at all so they cannot do this)… Bottom line is you cannot pay the athletes in college sports… They are paid with full ride scholarships, meals, a place to live, travel, etc… That is compensation enough…


- As for the issue with the video games using likeness of the college athletes (most of the video games do not use an exact likeness or image) and the suit by college athletes they should get paid for using the likeness they have a good argument there to me… Not sure how that one plays out in court… The game, I play, EA Sports PS2 football, for sure uses the exact set of players to their skill level for each team although it is not an exact likeness or by their name you are playing with Colt McCoy, Eric Berry, Trevard Lindley, Tim Tebow, etc… They may need to be paying a royalty to these players after they graduate…


Music

XMU is the new channel we are listening to allot… Nice variety and much different than XM 44, 47 or 54… Also on digital cable we are listening to allot of the channel Dream Sequence…