Saturday, December 30

ok, this is just a prelim post, but in case i don't get to this before tonight:

Washington over New York: No Shockey, teammates not trusting one another, a 2-11 record playing without Strahan, War Eagle will have too much time back there in the pocket tonight and can thus pick apart the weakling Giant secondary.

the rest later......

later it is, i have a UNC Grad App to wrap up, so this will be short and sweet:

yeah, i'm feeling a 1-5, GO PANTHERS!!!

fucking redskins

edit #2: the panthers are one of 5 teams to be alive going into the last week of the season for the last 4 consecutive years (along with seattle, new england, denver, and indy), at least thats something to applaud.

Friday, December 29

Week 17 Picks:

New York over Washington. War Eagle can't help his defense, unfortunately, which ranks 31st. Blech.

Jacksonville over Kansas City. Question: how, with Larry Johnson, does the Chiefs' rushing offense rank 20th? I don't get it. Anyway, the Jaguars are on fire right now; they shouldn't have too much of a problem in this one.

Minnesota over St. Louis. Question: how, with Chester Taylor, does the Vikings' rushing offense rank 1st? I don't get it. Anyway, the Rams suck total nuts right now; they should have loads of problems in this one.

Tampa Bay over Seattle. Pick'em game. I like the Buccaneers' rushing game in this one (don't ask why I'm so big on rushing games right now).

New England over Tennessee. Go Titans, but I just can't see them pulling this one off. New England is a force right now.

Chicago over Green Bay. The greatest quarterback ever won't be able to do much against the Bears' pass defense, which is ranked 1st. Sorry, Brett.

And the money game of the week:

some new KenPom thoughts:

he's added a "predicted pace" for each game now, UNC has no game paced under 70 but none over 80. i'm not sure how he got this specific value, but i think it has something to do with weighting the team by their respective rankings, with the dominant team taking over. so, if we had a "predicted" possessions for the FAU game, it'd likely be over 80.

the highest i can find: VMI v. UNC-A (97)
and lowest: Princeton v. generic Ivy opponent (49)

also, Texas A&M SKYROCKETED into the #2 spot by drubbing Grambling 101-27. this is evidence of one of the basic tenets of KenPom, its ALL the games matter, every minute of every game. i'm pretty sure he doesn't have a margin of victory cap on, which is why this win carries so much weight. the same win probably hurt the Aggies' RPI because of a weaker schedule. this brings in some new questions, what happens to teams that don't run up the score? i can't think of any off the top of my head, but what if a (theoretical) team was incredibly moralistic and benched their A team with 10 minutes to go and a 20 point lead? yeah, yeah, its unlikely, but such a team would be hiding in the upper double digit rankings but would probably look better under an RPI microscope, i'll check into this...

also, apparently we have Bob Knight to thank for the breakneck pace of the Big 10 nowadays, before he got their they were apparently a normal league.

NFL Lines:
NYG @ WAS(+3)
JAX(+3) @ KC
STL @ MIN(+3)
CAR @ NO(+3) (waaah?!?)
SEA (+3.5) @ TB (waaaaaaah???!!?)
NE (+3) @ TEN (waaaaaaaaaaaah?!?!?)
GB(+3) @ CHI (ah, thats better)

sooo, money game? i have no clue, but make the NYG/WAS pick before tomorrow

Thursday, December 28

Little late on last week's results, but here they are, with adjusted win-loss records:

John: 4-4 (40-32)
Ryan: 2-6 (27-45)
Combo platter: 1-3 (17-25)

Damn it, combo platter, come on. Bizarro Ryan strikes again, leaving Normal Ryan flapping in the breeze this week. The Patriots' victory pulls John up scratching and clawing to .500 on the week.

Edit: I neglected to include Bonus Ryan's Green Bay pick over Minnesota, earning him a 3-6 record on the week, with a 28-45 record overall.
This week's Power 16, based on Kenpom Rating, SOS, and Consistency:

2. Arizona
3. Florida
4. Duke

5. UNC
6. Butler
7. Ohio State
8. Maryland

9. Villanova
10. Purdue
11. Texas A&M
12. Kansas

13. Wisconsin
14. Illinois
15. Indiana
16. Virginia Tech

Tuesday, December 26


From Will Carroll, writer for Baseball Prospectus:

"While I can’t give specifics on the deal, there are still at least six teams involved in some discussions centering on Atlanta. The Braves are in full dump mode, trying to get something for Andruw Jones, trying to find Jones’ replacement on the cheap, and working more on the bullpen. Leo Mazzone isn’t there to build a bullpen out of dreck anymore. So how does this all work together? Why trade a young player like Andy LaRoche if they’re trying to control the payroll? Why deal Jones right now rather than at the deadline? The team is determined to find a solid bullpen and think they can do it with a series of deals that include LaRoche, Mike Gonzalez, Andruw Jones, and several CF candidates that I’m told include Rocco Baldelli, Curtis Granderson, and Nick Markakis. The deals appear to also have some other big names like Tim Hudson, Mark Teixeira, and Dontrelle Willis on the periphery. The three team deal that seemed close over the weekend doesn’t seem so close now as the complexity has increased. Remember that John Schuerholz is normally a slow worker, so quiet on this front doesn’t mean that nothing is happening."

Friday, December 22

in case John missed it, i mean, i know he doesn't read cbs sportsline that often, here are a couple of articles on the Braves' offseason plans:

well, ok ok, we all know John knew most of what was in there, this can just be for the rest of us (kinda like Festivus). that is, if he ever quits playing ocarina of time, lets see, a 30 hour game, started at 3am this morning, he should be done in time to watch OSU-Florida, i mean, this week's OSU-Florida, not the football game.

Thursday, December 21

Here's my Power 16 for this week, based on strength of schedule and consistency, as was last week's.

1. Arizona
3. Ohio State
4. Duke

5. UNC
6. Butler
7. Kansas
8. Florida

9. Michigan State
10. Maryland
11. Illinois
12. Villanova

13. Purdue
14. Missouri State
15. Missouri
16. Kentucky

Let the scathing Johnpom remarks begin!
Ryan's Post of NFL Picks (switching back to bizarro for the time being):

NO < NYG i was thinking saints, the giants are in disarray, the saints need the win more
WAS < STL the skins are playing well, and on top of their game, and mr. war eagle should be able to capitalize on a weak secondary
BAL < PIT baltimore should be in total control here, they have a dominant defense and their offense should do enough to win
ATL < CAR the falcons are playing at home for a playoff spot, the panthers' season is all beat up, end of story, that and i can't pick away from home, damn achilles heel
NE < JAX the jags are erratic the pats aren't, and they've switched it on, should be the patriots
CIN > DEN the broncos have their backs against the wall, and cutler is all warmed up, now they just need to make the playoffs
NYJ < MIA the fins are flailing, the jets are streaking and looking for a playoff spot, they should be alright in this one

come on, big money big money big money, daddy needs a new pair of shoes ...
Ryan and I have agreed that while he will pick eight games this week (he needs the bonus points), I'll pick seven as usual. Of the eight possible games, I tossed Tampa Bay/Cleveland because it has no playoff implications and has a higher spread (3) than Washington/St. Louis (2).

New York over New Orleans. This game is essentially a pick'em, but I'm hoping the Giants will want to distance themselves from the playoff pack with a victory here.

Carolina over Atlanta. Go Panthers. Essentially a meaningless victory, since we'll lose next week to the Saints to miss the playoffs anyway (sound familiar?).

Washington over St. Louis. Go War Eagle. That Rams defense just won't be able to stop him.

Baltimore over Pittsburgh. The Ravens are a MUCH more solid team than the Steelers are. Period. Both teams pass fairly well but suck at running, and the Ravens defense is just stellar overall. The Steelers defense stops the rush well, but not the pass.

Cincinnati over Denver. Another pick against the Broncos, but damn, those Bengals are good. They can't stop the pass very well, but Cutler has yet to show me anything in the NFL.

Miami over New York. The Dolphins defense says more to me than the Jets offense here, and the Dolphins have been playing better overall as of late.

And the money game for the week...

New England over Jacksonville. Another very tough one to pick. I'm thinking that the Jaguars* just won't show up today, having been thrown under a bus by the Jaguars**.
ok, so i'm stuck in NO CABLE (except for at sports bars like maybe friday for unc/st. louis please call me about this ok Byron?) LAND. this fact will allow me to go over and update my whole family is staring at me because the tv is on mute and my keyboard is making a lot of noise... anyways.

this post exists for 2 reasons, 1) post the games to pick for the week and 2) update our power 16 pre-big weekend of college hoops (starting tonight with pitt@osu and duke's semi-test against the 'zags, and ending with the pre-BCS championship florida-osu), hopefully my prediction and rankings will turn out better off than a certain other set of predictions of which we won't speak.

1) NFL PICK 'EM - figured we'd get this out of the way for those of you who don't want to read through that other crap to get to the weekend picks, yeah, i'm talking to all of you NFL fans who pick along at home with us each weekend. btw, why don't you all post, i mean, we give you plenty of oppurtunities, oh well, its a mystery. onto this week's games:
IND @ HOU (hah, just making sure you were still awake)
all of these lines are +/-3, so all's fair, though i'm picking GB over Minny tonight for the extra bonus point, i need whatever i can get, now, onto college bball...

2) The Power 16

1 Seeds

1) UCLA - well, they haven't lost, haven't impressed in a while, but they're the most impressive and you can't point to a team thats beaten them
2) Ohio St - yeah, this counts Greg Oden, and they still might lose this weekend, but its at Florida, hopefully the team can live up to their potential inclusive of Oden and aren't thrown off by the addition, some high quality competition should provide a nice peak
3) UNC - yeah, i don't want to put us here, but we haven't lost in a while, i think roy is slowly whipping the boys into shape
4) Arizona - not sure why john 'kempom' abernethy was drooling all over them at #1, but this is supposed to be an adapted version of his ratings, so i'll respect that

2 Seeds

5) Florida - this is sans Horford, which they are for now so the rating reflects that, i think if they weren't the returning champs they'd have one less loss, but thats the price you pay for carrying around that heavy golden belt with built in on-the-back target
6) Wichita St - yeah, yeah, i'm falling for the MVC, i pledge to watch more of their games this year, to see if they're for real
7) Duke - so much to say, McRoberts can carry them through a lot, but to make it through the ACC they're going to need contributions from others, my prediction is 11-5
8) none of these next teams impresses me enough to warrant giving them a 2 seed, maybe coolmanjohnpom can help me out

3 Seeds
9a) Villanova - ummm, again, another one of john's statistical babies, but out of respect they're still around and close to their old ranking, i mean, they lost to drexel for crying out loud, my patience is growing thin captain kenpom
9b) Wisconsin - yeah, they've looked impressive against quality competition, so i'll reward that with a decent ranking, but i'm not going ga-ga over him like a certain roommate of a certain co-author of a certain blog
10) Pittsburgh - no losses until the one to UW, i have a feeling they'll step it up against Ok St and the near-heel jameson
11) Kansas - lots and lots and LOTS of potential, go baby hawks, i would hate to see this team in my bracket come march, then again, its just bill self, i'm not sold on him as a quality coach
12) Southern Illinois - adding on another MVC team, go ahead, call me Craig Littlepage

4 Seeds
13) Butler - an experienced squad with good guard play may suffer some losses, but they also have the ability to beat almost anyone in the country
14) Washington - debuting this week Ryan's front runner for grad school and a team that showed up a decent LSU squad, to they take their place in the rankings
15) Gonzaga - i mean, they've got a killer quality win, (snicker snicker)
16) Maryland - i've got a soft spot for this team, i mean, i hate them because they're Maryland, but they represent the backbone of the ACC, several teams that have good talent, hustle, and are extremely well coached. though i stand by my early opinions about them peaking too early

Tuesday, December 19

soooooo, looks like john accidentally hopped on the ryan train this week "wooo woooooo" next stop sub-.500-ville. thank god the Colts came through or we'd both be a paltry 1-7.

John: 3-5 (36-28)
Ryan: 3-5 (25-39)
Combo Platter: 1-4 (16-22) and things were looking so good

today, since there is no more school, i'll also provide a short look into how it went down. we agreed on 5 of the 7 games (including $$). our Panthers optimism obviously cost us, as well as misplaced faith in the Jags and Raiders defense. in the past, John has picked the Panthers with his brain (vs g-men and 'boys) whereas i've used my heart, or rather hope. in my picks, the two i noted doubting as i posted ended up being dead wrong, maybe i should trust my secondary gut feeling more often. the Colts saved the day, artificially inflating our week's results to near .500 status. the games we differed on we split, John opting with the Bills and myself taking the Broncos. let it also be noted that i correctly predicted Champ Bailey's ownership of a certain SoCal pretty boy.

look for some college bball input from me later in the week, as soon as christmas shopping is done and Katelyn is in Chicago i'll be spending my free time in KenPom land (hopefully John can email me a map). its either there or with my new plethora of SNES Roms, who needs a PS3 to stain the carpet when you can play the orginal Mario Cart...

Saturday, December 16

Ok, just in the nick of time, oh, not picking Cowboys Falcons eh? alright then, just in the nick of time by 18 hours...

MIN > NYJ - I was gonna revive bizarro Ryan picks, then i saw this game, hehehehe, Vikes in a WALK, the Jets just don't frighten me that much, and of course, every team the Panthers need to lose will obviously win

MIA > BUF - Ummmmmmm, reason #2 I didn't revive the bizarro picks, Dolphins should take this one pretty easily (sidenote: i checked the DVOA rankings and these teams, reasons #1 and #2, are rediculously close, i may indeed ignore instinct and go back to bizarro, anyways, this is going to be a stream of consciousness post, if you couldn't tell already)

CAR > PIT - gotta go with my home team, as if there was any doubt, no Samoan Wonder = no INTs = Panthers' W, um, yeah, thats it

JAX > TEN - the titans have been just squeaking by against worse teams than the jags*, also, the jags* just ran all over the colts. then again, the jags** did lose to the texans, the redskins, and lets not forget, the texans. i'm (most likely foolishly) banking on the jags* to show up and not the jags**
(sidenote: jags*=good jags, jags**=bad jags, if you needed to read this sidenote, perhaps you should read our blog more often)

DEN > ARZ - ummmm, yes john, they have fallen a long way, but not THAT far, Champ Bailey shows pretty boy what the NFL is all about, the cards offense won't be able to do much, and the Broncos get to jump start their playoff run, (ps: post game the cardinals will wonder why they picked lienart over this other stud Cutler)

OAK > STL - wow, wow, wow, i can't even make a snap judgement here, maybe thats a good thing , ok, got that over with, um, defense wins championships? when in doubt go with the home team? yeah, i'm actually gonna pick the raiders here, gag me

$$: IND > CIN - i haven't picked the colts right in a while, but i don't feel like the Bengals will beat the Colts the right way (running the ball) Carson will get giddy and try to prove he's a top teir QB too, yeah, smart move Carson, smart move, Colts snap back into it and get a convincing Monday Night W. (furthermore, i'm going to predict that john picks the bengals here, if i get that right, and the game wrong, can i get at least 1 point?, thanks) yes, i've officially been resigned to begging and pleading

btw: ATL > DAL, oh yeah, i'm calling this one, and now introducing RB Michael Vick (whom i like much better than QB Michael Vick), if they don't, they're screwed
As of 3:00 on Saturday, the line for Falcons/Cowboys has gone to 4 1/2. We'll stick with Jaguars/Titans and Bengals/Colts.

Friday, December 15

My Week 15 Picks:

Minnesota over New York. The Vikings' defense, surprisingly, is ranked fourth. The Jets just don't seem to like sweets, because they've turned their noses up at their cupcake schedule, causing their playoff hopes to be somewhat less of a lock with a loss to Buffalo.

Buffalo over Miami. Going with a Bills upset here because of their home-field advantage and their special teams play (ranked second). No other reason, really.

Carolina over Pittsburgh. The Panthers absolutely HAVE to win now, so they will. In dominant fashion.

Jacksonville over Tennessee. While I would love to go with the Titans in this one, they've won four straight, so they'll probably come crashing down against the Jaguars.

Arizona over Denver. Going with the gutsy Cardinals call over a Broncos team in a total tailspin (they've lost their last four).

Oakland over St. Louis. Pick'em game, in my opinion. Why I'm going with the Raiders? Home-field advantage. That's it.


Indianapolis over Cincinnati. I'm guessing we'll see fire in Peyton's eyes after the drubbing against the Jaguars. True, the Colts' rush defense is last in the league, but the Bengals actually don't have a very solid running game, clocking in at a resounding 0.0% DVOA.
Games for Week 15:

New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals (man, talk about the Broncos falling off the wagon)
St. Louis Rams at Oakland Raiders


Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts

Note: Jaguars/Titans and Bengals/Colts are both 3 1/2 point spreads. There is one additional 3 1/2 spread game, which is Dallas at Atlanta. I thought Jaguars/Titans and Bengals/Colts would each be tougher to pick than Cowboys/Falcons.

Thursday, December 14

In light of ESPN's Power 16, the latest installment of which includes Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State, and Connecticut, I'm offering my list.

1. Arizona
3. North Carolina
4. Ohio State

5. Florida
6. Villanova
7. Southern Illinois
8. Wichita State

9. Duke
10. Butler
11. Maryland
12. Michigan State

13. Gonzaga
14. Purdue
15. Kansas
16. LSU

Tuesday, December 12

I retract my earlier comment about UCLA not being a big deal. UCLA and Arizona should be considered the top two teams in the country right now. Ohio State, Villanova, Wichita State, and Southern Illinois are all looking extremely solid right now as well. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, still has yet to play anyone of note, but to their credit, they own the seventh-best offense in the country. Their next two games are at Wisconsin and at Oklahoma State (two other overrated teams), so they'll get a chance to show me something then.

Sunday, December 10

Hey guys! It's John, taking a vacation from Kenpom land, finally taking my shift tallying the year-to-date pick'em results.

John: 7-1 (33-23) DAMN what a week.

Ryan: 3-5 (22-34) DAMN what a season. Next year, big guy, next year.

Combined: 3-1 (15-18) Bringing it back, just gotta get on board the John picks train, and the combined results will roll to victory.

Oh, and the Holiday Hawk continues to win; looks like a top seed in the playoffs this year.
Sorry for the delay; had some Blogger technical difficulties. I promise, these are pre-1:00 picks.

Kansas City over Baltimore. The Ravens are due for an upset today.
Atlanta over Tampa Bay. Sorry Bucs, you just look terrible right now.
Minnesota over Detroit. ...But the Lions look even worse. Not really sure how this game has a spread this low.
Tennessee over Houston. The Titans are the bomb diggety.
New York over Carolina. Panthers just have too many injuries to win today against the Giants.
Jacksonville over Indianapolis. Bizarro Jags show up and beat the Colts today.
Philadelphia over Washington. WAR EAGLE NOOOOOO

Edit: New York over Carolina is the money pick for the week.
KC over balt - just a guess, kansas city is rolling, so are the ravens, oh, i mean reeling
ATL over tb this seems to be a given, the bucs can't stop anyone this year, but i'll be pulling for them
MINNY over det - another apparent given
TENN over hou - yeah, the titans are FOR REAL, ok, maybe not, but the texans aren't for real
INDY over jax - almost went the other way, i mean, it seems obvious, but whenever i flip on the colts, they prove me wrong
WASH over philly - don't know why, probably b/c i want the panthers in the playoffs, but the redskins are playing well
HOLI over spr - the holiday hawk wins in a walk, over sprite and sublymonal crap

$$$ Game:
CAR over nyg - like i'd pick it any other way, besides, with the panthers backs to the wall they play the best, and they need to win this game

sorry for the shortened format but exams are calling, too bad we don't know last week's results, maybe if we could sneak them onto someone around here might stumble across them

OK OK, i caved, and technically we tied, so i can't stick john with the responsibility of posting, besides, i think he's lost in kenpom land, JOHN, CAN YOU HEAR ME? TURN LEFT AT Luck/Rnk, RIGHT AT Pyth, ANF FOLLOW THE BLOG HOME


Ryan: 4-4 (19-29), ugh ugh ugh ugh

John: 4-4 WOAH (26-22), john is holding above .500, but with some cupcake games this week should be ok

combined: 3-4, (12-17) yeah, that killed the momentum, GONE

Saturday, December 9

Games that won't be on TV but I'd like to watch more than some of the ones that are:

Missouri (9-0) at Purdue (7-1): Missouri remains unbeaten, and Purdue has a little-known star in Carl Landry. Missouri shoots the ball very well and forces turnovers, and Purdue does lots of things well both on offense and defense. Purdue's only loss has come against Georgia Tech while beating Oklahoma, DePaul, and Virginia.

Nebraska (5-1) at Oregon (6-0): Oregon plays killer defense, boasting the best three-point defense in the country. Nebraska, on the other hand, shoots the three-ball the best of anyone in the country. Should be a great matchup.

Wichita State (6-0) at Wyoming (7-1): Love Wichita State; it shoots well and doesn't turn the ball over. They'll get the chance to keep their season perfect against a Wyoming team that does a lot of things well offensively, but has a terrible defense.

UNLV (6-2) at Nevada (7-0): This game will showcase two very capable big men, pitting UNLV's Wendell White versus Nevada's Nick Fazekas, who should be considered a candidate for Player of the Year if his production continues as it has so far.

Washington (7-0) at Gonzaga (8-2): This will be an opportunity for Gonzaga to show the nation that Washington is way overrated. The only thing Washington has done well so far is rebound, but they've done it against far inferior competition (strength of schedule ranked #308). Gonzaga, on the other hand, does everything well. Manhandling will occur.

By the way, everything on TV looks like it will be at least a decent matchup, with the notable exception of Toledo at Kansas. Toledo? At Kansas? Give me a break. All right, it's a hawk, but there's nothing jay about it.

Thursday, December 7

All seven of our Week 14 games at or under 3 are at 1:00 on Sunday...weird. I'm holding off on making picks because I'm sure I'll have plenty of dead time before exams begin to do research, but here are the matchups:

Baltimore at Kansas City
Atlanta at Tampa Bay
Minnesota at Detroit
Tennessee at Houston (!)
New York at Carolina
Indianapolis at Jacksonville
Philadelphia at Washington

A number of money-game options; which do we want to go with? Ravens/Chiefs (3)? Giants/Panthers (3)? Or Colts/Jaguars (1.5)?
I wanted to make a quick note about a high-visibility team that no one seems to be paying attention to nationally - Michigan State. Their record is 8-2, with their two losses coming against strong Maryland and Boston College teams. Their strength of schedule isn't remarkable, at 81st in the nation, but two quality wins have been against Texas (won a nail-biter by two) and Bradley, whom they blew out by 29 points. Most remarkable has been their margin of victory; they've beaten teams by an average of 25 points, including the two-point win over Texas. Once conference play begins, we'll get a chance to see how strong the team really is, or if these lopsided victories are solely the result of a cupcake schedule.
The Braves have traded Horacio Ramirez to the Mariners for Rafael Soriano. For those who don't know that much about Soriano (Ryan), he was second on the team in VORP, behind fellow reliever J.J. Putz. He threw 60 innings this year in relief, with 6.60 hits/9 innings, 3.15 walks/9, 9.75 strikeouts/9, and 0.90 home runs/9. He finished with a 2.25 ERA. His 25.3 VORP would have led Braves relievers (for reference, our best reliever, Oscar Villarreal, had a VORP of 20.7). Notable relievers just ahead of Soriano in VORP include Billy Wagner, Dan Wheeler (26.0 VORP each), and Trevor Hoffman (25.7).

It's hard to tell now which team will end up on the upside of this trade in the long run, given each pitchers' injury history, in addition to the fact that it's usually better to trade a reliever for a starter rather than the other way around, but for now, the Mariners needed a solid starter, and the Braves needed a bullpen ace. The Braves will still make a few more moves this winter, likely adding another bullpen arm and possibly a new left fielder and/or second baseman, but our first trade of the winter looks like a good one.

I'll provide a link to Baseball America's analysis of the trade when one goes up.

Tuesday, December 5

Speaking of teams being overrated, why do they even have college basketball rankings this early in the season? Either teams should be ranked based on how good voters think they'll end up being, or they should be ranked based on how the field looks right now. Either keep the rankings schedules as they are now, and just rank teams based on the current season's performance to date, or start ranking teams after non-conference play, so everyone has a much clearer picture of how things are shaping up.
I believe that Butler will enter then NCAA tournament with 2 or more losses and a seed of third or lower

(we'll put this on the short list to be checked back on in March)
In other news, if Butler wins out on the season (their best in-conference opponent is Loyola Chicago), they'll be deserving of a #1 seed in the tournament. Also, Tanyon Sturtze signed with the Braves yesterday.
I'm not really sure what the big deal is with UCLA. Their quality wins? Kentucky and Georgia Tech. Come on, guys. UCLA will get a chance to impress me when they play Texas A&M on the 9th (whom, incidentally, is way overrated as well). Also, Pittsburgh? Their best win is Florida State! Neither of these teams have played a hard schedule so far, and don't deserve nearly as much credit as they've been getting, or that a team like Gonzaga or Air Force deserves.





THEY DESERVE A NO. 1 john says


"THERE'S BRAVES NEWS" whines john, yet he IMs me that sturtz signs with us


Sunday, December 3

ok, here are the knowns:
1) i'm averaging 3-5 on the season (37.5% correct)
2) my logic works the same every week
3) i've only had one week above .500 ball

thus, if i use my logic, and guess all them games, THEN SWITCH THE PICKS, i have a good shot at ending up above .500. and that would make me pretty happy. so, here goes, "ryan's week of bizarro picks", oh yeah, my picks are bolded this week, instead in the right order, b/c i pasted them in and am too lazy to erase over and reorder them on each line

falcons at REDSKINS: just because the redskins run d showed up last week doesn't mean its here to stay, and of course the falcons have the ability to hang around and muck up the playoff log jam. besides, its another team galvanized by outsiders doubting them (no, i don't mean FO, but i guess they doubt them, too). sounds like the falcons look solid here (ps, i wrote this one last, so when i say "another" i'm referring to... well, just read on and you'll see)

jets at PACKERS: the packers are playing decent football of late, but so are the jets. well, lets apply the transitive property, jets 17 = ne 14 and ne 35 = gb 0. using subtraction (-38) or division (-42.5) it doesn't look good for the packers, besides, eric mangini is a GENIUS.

JAGS at dolphins: hmmm, one of these teams is erratic, one has won 4 in a row. now, normal ryan would be pissed off at the jags for being so wishy-washy. he'd probably take that anger out on them and pick against them because they screwed him over last week, well then, using that logic bizarro ryan will take the jaguars.

at raiders: the raiders defense is really actually good, but they play in the AFC West, so it hasn't been that evident in the results column, also, andrew walter gets relieved of duty this week, so my gut says raiders

$$$ GAME
COWBOYS at giants: the g-men finally have their starting d-line back together, which has been part of the reason that the team has been losing so much. the cowboys' qb change didn't actually make the o-line any better, so i'm of the opinion the giants will be able to rattle romo. plus, all the "the giants suck" talk will motivate them, nothing like a little bulletin board material

at eagles: ok, bizarro world for almost all of them, the panthers really need this one; de(shaun & angelo) should have a good game, its almost like the panthers only win when their back is to the wall

besides, could i really enjoy that extra point if it came at the panthers' expense? nope, no way

PS good luck to the tar heel women's soccer team tomorrow in the nat'l championship game

Saturday, December 2

Week 13 picks:

Washington over Atlanta. Go War Eagle!

Green Bay over New York. The Jets seem to be fading, even with their CUPCAKE schedule. The greatest quarterback ever shouldn't have a problem.

Jacksonville over Miami. Those inconsistent Jaguars should win a close, low-scoring game over the Dolphins.

Houston over Oakland. I <3 the Texans' wide receivers, even more than I <3 the Raiders' defense.

Dallas over New York. The Cowboys seem unstoppable right now, but if anyone can beat them, it's the Giants. There might be a tad too much internal strife right now for that to happen, though.

Carolina over Philadelphia. I'm really not sure how this game's line is +/- 3, but it is. Panthers win in dominant fashion.

I'm not really sure about the money game for the week...Cowboys/Giants or Jaguars/Dolphins seem to be the best options. If we want to put big-ticket money games on hiatus for a week, though, Packers/Jets actually seems to be the closest matchup. That's my vote.

Thursday, November 30

uh, ditto

the ravens will walk in this one

and i hate the nfl network
I'm going with Baltimore in tonight's matchup against Cincinnati. Other picks to come later.

Wednesday, November 29

Last week:

Ryan: 3-5 (15-25), my picks were right on my average, leaving DISMAL so far this year, oh well, they're still the playoffs

John: 7-1 WOAH (22-18), john jumps above .500, not too shabby

combined: 3-1, (pretty f'ing sweet) 9-13 on the rise!!

so, i'm thinking playoff pick'em, and john's superior record allows him to pick the games HE wants to pick first, leaving me with the harder games, is this making sense? or we could just pick 'em all (gotta pick 'em all, Pick-e-mon)

i guess we're both glad we didn't pick the panthers game, it would have hurt in all three categories, unless john ended up letting war eagle sway him over.

College Basketball Thoughts (yes, yes, this is more than a NFL pick 'em blog)
Duke - wow, they look beatable, and not just aginst a fired up, young, athletic Marquette on a neutral floor, but an average (I tried to look up Indiana's Big Ten pre-season rank, but apparently the Big Ten only publishes the top 3, and Indiana wasn't one of them) Indiana team, at home, playing slowed down basketball Duke normally dominates. I'm not comparing Paulus to Felton, well, I am, but NO BYRON, DON'T CLOSE THE WINDOW, just stick with me for a second, but only in importance to the team. Just like in 2004 and 2005, we had no reliable PG behind Felton, no Melvin Scott doesn't count. In the games that Felton got into foul trouble early, we obviously struggled. Paulus means as much to Duke as Felton did to those Tar Heel teams, and with only freshmen behind him, no one can run the team quite like Paulus. SO, in light of this, i suggest teams attack Paulus by driving, and forcing him into foul trouble, it might be the easiest way to get to Duke.

Maryland - move over Duke, move over BC, move over UNC? Maryland is playing good solid Gary Williams basketball, with perhaps their least talented team in the past 3 years. I guess Gary can still coach 'em up with the best. Maryland is playing the best basketball in the ACC right now, hands down, no debate. They have clearly replaced Duke and BC as the co-favorites to run with UNC for the ACC title (and thats based on pre-season opinions 1.UNC 2a. Duke 2b. BC). And along with BC struggling, Maryland looks to be moving on up in the world, oh boy, I can't wait for Md at Cameron (hmmm, Feb 28th, things might look a LOT different then). Speaking of, is Maryland peaking too early? Lets check the past few years in search of teams that peaked early after being initially ranked outside the top 25.

2006 - Washington started ranked #26 (technically), and 10-0 before cooling off, but i all ended up OK (#1 seed in tourney, elite 8), then again, they play in a weaker bball conference, and probably weren't tested as severely in conference

2005 - Iowa starts off hot and rockets into the top 25, only losing to UNC in Maui (correct me if i'm wrong), however, they cooled back off and fell out of the rankings, did they suspend someone or something? I feel like one of their players got in trouble around new years, oh well.

OK, thats all i'm going to look into for now, i mean, its kinda hard to do clicking around on ESPN and without the actual schedule results, just records and weekly top 25s. That and i think the professor is noticing that i haven't looked up in like 25 minutes. Anyways, thanks to Dr. Styers for giving a lecture that would inspire me to post. God, i hope this stuff isn't on the final.

PS: State, impressive, that was a quality win, for State basketball this year at least, Injun going down reeks of Ewing theory


that is all.

PPPS: oh yeah, PLEASE POST, call me an idiot, call me a genius, call me a UNC back stabber for saying UMD>UNC, whatever, just say something.

snake? SNAAAAAAAAKE!!?!?!!?

Sunday, November 26

Wolfpack Releases Chuck Amato

We all knew State fans liked kicking Chuck around, but according to, it appears that "NC State Director of Athletics Lee Fowler has announced that head football [sic] Chuck Amato will not be retained for next season."

Wolfpack Club members have made it abundantly clear that losing to UNC three years in a row is absolutely unacceptable, no matter what else goes their football coach does (take Phil Rivers, for example).
Ok, I'm not sure if I remeber the games to pick

12:45:27 AM johannimhaus: jags/bills
12:45:30 AM johannimhaus: steelers/ravens
12:45:37 AM johannimhaus: bengals/browns
12:45:39 AM johannimhaus: falcons/saints
12:45:48 AM johannimhaus: and bears/pats $$

All that, plus the 2 we already picked for turkey day, that starts me at a 1 game hole (Dolphins>LIONS, Broncos>CHIEFS) anyways, I'm gonna change it up a little, new formatting (home team in caps, winning team first, example above) and pick solely based on my gut instinct because, well, I've gotta turn it around.

jags > BILLS: umm yeah, even if they did have willis, no one would be picking the Bills here, not sure why the line is so low, David Gerrard WINS GAMES

RAVENS > steelers:
yeah, i've been wrong on every steelers game, ever. so, i'm just putting that out there, but i think the Ravens' D will bottle up the run game and force angry pass happy Big Ben to show up, which spells doom

bengals > BROWNS:
i like picking the Browns on occasion, they're a decent team, but today is a points-fest, and the Browns can't keep up with the Bengals during a points-fest, over-under 58.

FALCONS > saints:
the Falcons are a confusing team with two certainties, 1) they play well when motivated and 2) Micheal Vick passes well against poor defenses. BOTH are true today, so i'll take the Falcants

bears > PATS ($$$):
ok, i lied, i did some research, when i read about this game earlier in the week FO said that the Bears are the best defense in the NFL against all receivers except WR1's, this indicates that it takes skill as a reciever to beat them (ie steve smith), that is something that the Patriots severely lack, and i think the Patriots are overrated, well I think the Bears are too, but the Patriots more

side note: we tossed out Giants/Titans, because thats shooting fish in a barrel, and we don't cop out around here, and if you don't believe us just check out our records, that should be proof enough
Guess what? I want to introduce you to a friend of mine.

Saturday, November 25

Here are the Week 12 picks (we're only picking five now, since we already picked two for Thanksgiving):

Jacksonville over Buffalo. The Jaguars, while quite inconsistent, have looked dominant recently.

Baltimore over Pittsburgh. Big Ben's going to have a bit tougher time against the Ravens' D than he has in the past two weeks, so I can't convince myself to take a gamble on riding the Steelers' coattails to victory for three straight weeks.

Cincinnati over Cleveland. The league's third-best offense will run roughshod over Cleveland's 29th-best offense.

New Orleans over Atlanta. Michael Vick just looks terrible right now.

And the money pick...

New England over Chicago. Gutsy call, but I'm manning up and sticking with the Pats after an initial pre-stat-check pick. And if Ryan's luck is any good at predicting who will win, this one's money in the bank for me. Hey, if Miami can do it...

Friday, November 24

This might be a tad much, but is there any interest in doing a Top 25 college basketball pick'em?
I have the HOLIDAY HAWK on my side! It promises a winning record at the end of the season in addition to serenading me with holiday melodies!

Thursday, November 23

I'm going with Kansas City over Denver and Miami over Detroit. Happy Thanksgiving!
wow, ryan's picks, AKA seeking new depths
last week: 2-6, on the year: something horrible (12-20)

last week: 4-4, on the year: something better than horrible (15-17)

combined: 1-3, 6-12 ugh

and in the kasparov vs. big blue showdown:
John: 10-6
Ryan: 8-8
Big Blue: 8-8

not too bad, especially since the lines were remarkably low this week (9 under 4 points)

This next week, I move to just void the Thursday games, unless you want to post before they start tomorrow john (just post and I'll know)
Miami (-3) @ Detroit
Tampa (+11.5) @ Dallas
Denver (+1.5) @ Kansas City

if we end up using these, my picks are in bold, have a good weekend everyone

Sunday, November 19

so, there at 6 games that definitely count this week (line 3 or less)

Now, here's where it gets interesting, 3 games area at 3.5:

so, let's pick the game we all got right: Atlanta v. Baltimore, or we can do it randomly, advice?
Okay, we're picking all the games this week, so here goes (one-liners to come, maybe)

Kansas City over Oakland.

New Orleans over Cincinnati.

Pittsburgh over Cleveland.

Philadelphia over Tennessee.

Baltimore over Atlanta.

Carolina over St. Louis.

Houston over Buffalo.

New England over Green Bay.

Washington over Tampa Bay.

Chicago over New York.

Miami over Minnesota.

Detroit over Arizona.

Seattle over San Francisco.

Dallas over Indianapolis.

San Diego over Denver.

Jacksonville over New York.

Saturday, November 18

Ryan's Picks (here we go, making Byron look sillier than MICHIGAN did yesterday)
Baltimore over Atlanta: this one was close, no ray-ray, but Vick has been horrible lately, he'll have to make a vast improvement to beat this defense

Houston over Buffalo: i almost had to think about this game, then i realized the bills don't have McGahee

Chicago over N.Y. Jets: yeah, Benson, 2 TDs, and still on my bench, maybe i'll put him in for Tatum

New Orleans over Cincinnati: yeah, they shot their wad last week, time for an emotional letdown and more yelling at teammates

Miami over Minnesota: solid defense stops the excuse for a run game that the Jets have, and when you can't run you can't win

New England over Green Bay: three in a row? ha, not for the street urchin

Kansas City over Oakland: this is the one Byron will flip "Oakland" and be sorry he challenged John and I

Cleveland over Pittsburgh: the upset is really tempting here, not sure why, what the hell, you only live once right, GO BROWNS

Carolina over St. Louis: gotta go with the home team, that and Pep will OWN this rook playing in place of Orlando Pace, too bad Lucas isn't playing or I'd be starting the Panther's D in fantasy

Philadelphia over Tennessee: McNabb of the past vs. McNabb of the future, i'll take the experience

Tampa Bay over Washington: yeah, Washington couldn't beat Duke right now, they can't run, can't pass (not yet with Jason Campbell), and can't defend ANYone

Detroit over Arizona: its hard to pick a game between two equally erratic equally and hard-luck teams

Seattle over San Francisco: well, i think i'd pick Seattle even without Hasselbeck and Alexander, who might be back

Indianapolis over Dallas: apparently Dallas isn't going to alter their gameplan for the Colts, what a joke, lets NOT drop 6 on every play and force them to run and pound the ball down their throats like Tenn and Buff did, god Parcells is a genius

Denver over San Diego: its at Denver, i don't care if the ghost of Gale Sayers was playing against them, or if Jim Brown 30 years ago, or Barry Sanders crossed with Gale Sayers, or Ryan Houston, people don't score on Denver in Denver
Jacksonville over New York: no pass rush no win for the Giants, the Jags defense is staunch as usual

Friday, November 17

Last week, upon Byron's learning (yes we had to tell him, no he doesn't read the blog) that our picks were a paltry .500 on the year, he laughed at us, and suggested he could do better with a quarter or computer randomizer. We took his challenge, and so far we're all tied at 1-0 (we all picked the Panthers over the Bucs). Now, lets see what and increased sample size will do. This week we're going to pick ALL the games to prove our point that we're smarter than a random coin. However, don't worry, we'll still keep tabs on our top-7 and the money game of the week (gotta be denver/san diego). The only problem is that Byron is "in absentia" visiting the cold and soon to be depressed Ann Arbor campus for med school interviews. Never fear, for we can use Byron's computer, which he left, to predict the games, since that's what he'd use anyways. Ok, enough talk, on to the schedule:

Atlanta at Baltimore

Buffalo at Houston

Chicago at N.Y. Jets

Cincinnati at New Orleans

Minnesota at Miami

New England at Green Bay

Oakland at Kansas City

Pittsburgh at Cleveland

St. Louis at Carolina

Tennessee at Philadelphia

Washington at Tampa Bay

Detroit at Arizona

Seattle at San Francisco

Indianapolis at Dallas

San Diego at Denver $$$
New York at Jacksonville

sorry folks, turns out I was jumping the gun a tad, and we have MULTIPE ELIGIBLE GAMES!!! There are 8 games that have a line of <4, (including SD/Den) so that means that John and I actually pick this week. I'm also throwing in Baltimore/Atlanta b/c its 4 points. And Tampa/Wash is still blank, but if i had to guess the line will be close. FYI, the eligible games are bolded, and we'll figure that out later. Looks like Byron lucked out and may have a better shot than we thought with so many close games.

UPDATE (5:10 PM): 2 more games added, Wash/TB is within the margin as per Bill Simmons' column and apparently so is Seattle @ SF, should be a fun week

Monday, November 13


The secret hiring of Butch Davis has finally been announced! The week long wait for homecoming to be over so that no one will be stepping on Bunting's toes has passed, and the word has come down from on high (Baddour's office), that Davis is indeed the next football coach of the Tar Heels. According to reports 2 members of the new offensive triumvirate (Houston & Paulus) have reconfirmed their commitment to UNC football with Davis at the helm, with no word yet from Dwight Jones (on a side note, 194 yds 3 tds for Houston in a first round playoff win). Hopefully all the cogs will remain in place to keep together this top-15 recruiting class.

in other news:
-UVa upsets #10 Arizona to open their new arena
-Greg Paulus has already returned from his broken foot
-"kid bro sweets' crew" has been renamed "the '85 DeLoreans" and has started building for the future after the loss of star RB Bro Sweets for the season
-i have a paper due tomorrow, so expect 3 more posts tonight, including an analysis of the top 25 college football teams headed down the stretch
um, so yeah, john and i need to start using our picks to benifit the Panthers' playoff hopes, as in, ALWAYS pick the Falcons and Saints to win...

John 4-4, 11-13 overall
Ryan 3-5, 10-14 overall
combined 2-4, 5-9 overall

um, yeah, next week Byron the Magnificent and his quarter will be joining us

Saturday, November 11

Week 10 picks:

Kansas City over Miami. It's not that the Dolphins looked all that great last week; the Bears just looked terrible.

San Diego over Cincinnati. The Chargers, my midseason Super Bowl champions pick, just look dominant right now. I don't see them losing another game this season.

Minnesota over Green Bay. Toss-up on this one, but the Vikings have more quality wins, so I'm going with them.

Detroit over San Francisco. The Lions looked pretty good last week over the Falcons in a surprising victory. This one won't be surprising, as they'll dominate the 49ers.

Pittsburgh over New Orleans. This one should be a great game; Big Ben looked great last week throwing for a career high in yardage - over 400 yards. The Steelers win a close one.

St. Louis over Seattle. The Rams avenge their earlier loss to the Seahawks and pull the upset.

Carolina over Tampa Bay. Everything will click on Monday night for the Panthers as they absolutely dominate the Buccaneers in a blowout.

And the money pick:

Chicago over New York. This one is shaping up to be one of the better games this season, but the loss of Toomer just hurts the Giants too much.
My Weakly Picks (more explanation later if I find the time)
Chiefs over Dolphins: This week the Dolphins go back to being the Dolphins

Lions over Niners: Kevin Jones has a MONSTER day here

Vikings over Packers: the Vike's defense is at home in the dome

Chargers over Bengals: hmmm, good RB, poor run defense, lemme think...
just imagine if the Panthers had kept on running the ball agains the Bengals

Saints over Steelers: upset pick number 1? maybe, i just don't have faith in the Stellars anymore, no team talking to the media about quitting can concievably win a game

Rams over Seahawks: upset pick number 2? again, maybe, the Rams' offense has looked solid, and their defense should be able to hold the 'hawks B-team that's starting right now

$$$ Game
(based on many counted absentee fan ballots)
Bears over Giants: weak secondary allows Grossman to get back in the swing of things, and Benson scores 2 TDs from my bench just to spite me

Friday, November 10

So, um, yeah, we've kinda fallen asleep at the switch here. I'll just update the football standings:

John: 4-4 (7-9 overall)
Ryan: 3-5 (7-9 overall)
combined: 3-5 (all weeks, $$$ game counts as 1)

and in other news, GO RUTGERS, who saved my title game prediction last night by beating Louisville

the eligible games of the week:
Chiefs @ Dolphins
Bears @ Giants
Rams @ Seahawks
Chargers @ Bengals
(now we get out of the +/- 3 pt spread range)
Packers (+5.5) @ Vikings
Saints (+4.5) @ Steelers
Niners (+6) @ Lions

money game, any suggestions?

Sunday, November 5

short and sweet today:

Chiefs over Rams - LJ too much for revamped Rams' D

Ravens over Bengals - defense regains its poise, Palmer throws 3 picks

Saints over Bucs
- repeat of 3 weeks ago

Packers over Bills
- cold weather? cold weather doesn't bother the GREATEST QB EVER

Cowboys over Redskins
- yeah, i wish Clinton would go for 120 and 2 touches, but its doubtful

Steelers over Broncos
- upset special, Steelers stop the run, and Jake regains old form

and the $$$$$ game of the week:
Patriots over Colts
- yeah, yeah, yeah, but Peyton's still a better QB (Maroney/Dillon tag team run for 300+ combined yards)

Last week: Ryan 4-4, John 3-5, combined 0-1
My Week 9 picks:

Kansas City over St. Louis. Seems to be an even matchup, but that Rams defense is terrible.

Baltimore over Cincinnati.
Ravens win by two touchdowns.

New Orleans over Tampa Bay.
This one's a lot more lopsided than people seem to think it is. Our boy Reggie gets two touchdowns today - one rushing, one receiving.

Green Bay over Buffalo.
Favre lights up the Bills' poor defense to the tune of five touchdowns.

Dallas over Washington
(not Atlanta, as Ryan seemed to think earlier). This one's also a lot more lopsided than people seem to think it is; the Cowboys win handily.

Denver over Pittsburgh. This one should actually be pretty close, because Roethlisberger should be getting over that concussion by now.

And the money pick:

New England over Indianapolis. Horrors! This one will be fun to watch. Peyton's totally the better quarterback (I do love laser, rocket arms), but all signs point to the Patriots right now.

I'm pretty sure Ryan and I will agree on most of these...these games, though with similar spreads, aren't nearly as close matchup-wise as last week's games.

Saturday, November 4

Gold Glove Debate, NL

Winner: Greg Maddux (2.83/1.000/2)
Maddux was the clear winner with the best Range Factor at his position in the third-most total chances, with a perfect fielding percentage.

Winner: Albert Pujols (10.55/.996/25)
Pujols also was the clear winner here, with the highest Range Factor at his position in the second-most total chances, with a stellar .996 fielding percentage.

Winner: Orlando Hudson (5.47/.984/42)
Wow! 3-3 so far on clear winners. His closest competitor was Jamey Carroll, who also had 42 FRAR in some 300 fewer total chances (Carroll actually had a higher FRAR overall, but only 42 came as a second baseman).

Winner: Omar Vizquel (4.18/.993/20)
Should have won: Pretty much anyone else. The best fielding shortstop this season, no surprise, was Adam Everett, posting a 4.74/.990/39 line. Other candidates include Rafael Furcal (32 FRAR), Jimmy Rollins (31), Jack Wilson (27), and Craig Counsell (25).

Winner: Scott Rolen (3.06/.965/24)
Should have won: Freddy Sanchez (3.31/.981/30)
Uh-oh. Falling off the wagon on clear choices here. This one wasn't as bad as the 19-point FRAR difference between Vizquel and Everett, but come on, guys.

Winners: Carlos Beltran (2.81/.995/31), Mike Cameron (2.70/.984/21), Andruw Jones (2.61/.995/14)
Should have won: Willy Taveras (2.77/.986/33), Beltran, and Randy Winn (2.68/.992/25)
Cameron was an okay selection; Andruw wasn't. Just two errors this season, but his range isn't what it used to be. There were a number of better candidates over his 14 FRAR.

Winner: Brad Ausmus (7.94/.998/30)
The Astros continue to play Ausmus and Everett for their gloves instead of their bats, and it seems to be working out okay, as both continue to excel at their position.

Not bad for the NL, either; SS, 3B, and an OF should have had different winners this year, with Vizquel and Andruw being the only terrible selections.
Gold Glove Debate, AL

Let's start with Derek Jeter, since he's always the first person to jump to anyone's mind when shortstop defense is discussed. Jeter posted a 4.14 Range Factor, a .975 Fielding Percentage, and 30 Fielding Runs Above Replacement. Not bad overall, but he takes a backseat to two other shortstops in the league: Jhonny Peralta and Michael Young. Peralta posted a 4.90/.977/46 line, while Young put up 4.86/.981/44. Fairly equivalent stats, and both clearly above Jeter, but to be fair, Jeter has put up MUCH better fielding numbers the last few years than he has in the past (since 2000: 2, 2, 2, -3, 18, 36, 30).

Winner: Kenny Rogers (2.29/.912/1)
Should have won: Jake Westbrook (3.11/.986/4)

Winner: Mark Teixeira (10.09/.997/20)
Teixeira was the clear choice here, with his closest competition coming from Lyle Overbay, who had 13 FRAR.

Winner: Mark Grudzielanek (5.13/.994/30)
Wow. Gruddy was actually the clear winner at second (I know, I couldn't believe it either). His closest competitor, Mark Ellis, had 24 FRAR.

Winner: Eric Chavez (2.98/.987/30)
Should have won: Mike Lowell (3.17/.987/33)
Each a consistent third baseman, but Lowell deserved it this year over Chavez by a hair.

Winners: Ichiro (2.40/.992/23), Torii Hunter (2.56/.989/20), Vernon Wells (2.34/.988/13)
Should have won: Curtis Granderson (2.66/.997/38), Brian Anderson (2.87/.994/26) and Ichiro.
How did Granderson's 38 FRAR get overlooked? Don't like that fancy statistic? What about the fact that he made one error while having the second-most total fielding chances in the league? Wells had four errors with 49 fewer chances.

Winner: Ivan Rodriguez (6.82/.998/37)
Rodriguez posted the best numbers; his closest competitor was Jorge Posada (7.33/.990/34)

Overall, just four spots had undeserved gold gloves (pitcher, shortstop, and two outfield spots). Not bad, considering how badly these awards have been handed out in the past. The pitcher spot I really don't care about all that much; it's just a 3-FRAR difference. Not that big of a deal. The fact that neither Young nor Peralta took home the shortstop Gold Glove and the fact that Granderson managed to get overlooked in favor of Wells were really the only qualms I had with this year's selections for the AL.

Friday, November 3


According to, Butch Davis has been "tacitly" offered the coaching job at UNC. Rumor has it that he has assembled a coaching staff who has been asking around about a variety of topics, from conditions of facilities, to ability to win at UNC. This would be an excellent hire in my opinion. Butch Davis restored Miami to power (that Coker is losing hold of apparently) and should be the number one name on our list (perhaps tied with Rodriguez). My only hope is that he keeps Frank Cignetti as offensive coordinator and Houston, Jones, and Paulus as recrits.
ok, so this week in the NFL is officially "Blowout Sunday", as only 6 games meeting our preset "no cop out " policy of the line having to be less than or equal to 3 points. thus we are forced to include the Bills Packers game, with a current line of 3.5 points. if for some reason the line goes crazy (like, Brett Favre gets kidnapped for the betterment of society) then i vote we throw this game out and just go with 6 this week. Anyways, the games are:

Chiefs @ Rams
Bengals @ Ravens
Saints @ Bucs
Packers @ Bills
Cowboys @ Redskins
Broncos @ Steelers

and the money pick (drumroll please) based on all of your votes:
Colts @ Patriots

i know, we're going to recieve a lot of flack for that pick, it was a dead heat between that game and the Packers Bills Brett Favre rejuvination game, but we're sorry. if you would like to complain, please use the form below:

"I think your choice of <team A> vs. <team B> for money game of the week, was a <insert biased, short-sighted, or a total cop out> since its obvious that <game you wanted to see us pick> is a much harder game to pick and far more important in the grand scheme of things."

you know, thats just to get you started, if you wanted to complain about such things.

PS: i hate the Bobcats, 10 pt lead heading into the 4th, then lose the 4th quarter 36-13. same ol' same ol'. what's not the same is the lopsided hustle stats, Bernie's Bunch was taken out back on the offensive glass (19-5), thus erasing the 35.6 to 47.1 FG% advantage they owned. on the bright side, one ravi sanghani can shut the hell up about us needing to draft Rudy Gay over Adam Morrison:
Gay: 0-4 for 2 pts in 13 mins.
Morrison: 8-15 for 21 pts in 30 mins.
(they both had similarly low boards, assists, TOs, etc)

Wednesday, November 1

alright, in an attempt to flaunt my sports knowledge of another sport over john, its time for NBA Pick'em!!! ok, yeah, thats not happening, however, its time for predictions of the season to come, i mean, thats the whole point of this blog right? to show our sports genius by providing accountability for our predictions, so here goes:

West Suprise Team
+Houston Rockets: solid line-up, and all it takes is yao and t-mac healthy for the season
(Clips, runner up, but i think eveyone expectes them to succeed)
-NO Hornets: CP3 year two, he won't sneak up on anyone this year, come May they'll find themselves closer to Greg Oden than to the playoffs
West Champ: SA Spurs

East Suprise Team
+Milwalkee Bucks: new uniforms colors = good karma, its already started as Andrew Bogut will be back ahead of schedule, add his development to fleecing Toronto out of Chuck Villenueva and they'll be better than expected
(close runner up the Nets, but i think they're expected to be good, so i dunno if this should count)
-Miami Heat: don't get me wrong, they're playoff caliber especially in the East, but they won't run away with things, like many suggest (expecially if Halloween Shaq shows up all year)
East Champ: Bulls (as 3 or 4 seed in the playoffs, its all about defense that time of year)
NBA Champ: SA Spurs

Tuesday, October 31

MVPs: Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter
-These seem to be the clear choices, even for blockhead voters. Pujols' biggest competition is Ryan Howard, who didn't "get his team to the playoffs," nor did he break the home run record, as many (including myself) posited he might. Jeter's competition lies in Travis Hafner and David Ortiz, both designated hitters, which, as we saw last year, takes a toll on your MVP votes. Plus, apparently no one seems to know who Travis Hafner even is, even though he has a career .297/.402/.583 (BA/OBP/SLG) line.

Cy Young: Johan Santana, Roy Oswalt
-Johan seems to be a shoo-in after his infuriating snub last season (Bartolo Colon? What?). His competition lies in Roy Halladay and Chien-Ming Wang. Oswalt deserves the award in the NL, but Carpenter will likely get it, even though he was just the third-best pitcher in the league this season, behind Oswalt and Brandon Webb. But Carpenter's team made the playoffs, and so obviously he pitched better this season than the other two. Hope for Oswalt lies in the fact that he and Carpenter had 15 "Wins" each, while Webb had just 16 (tied for the league lead). Really, the three had pretty comparable statistics, so I wouldn't mind any of them winning the award. But again, Carpenter's team made the playoffs, so he'll probably get the award.

Rookie of the Year: Hanley Ramirez, Francisco Liriano
-The NL race seems to be pretty clear, with Ramirez having absolutely no competition anywhere. Ramirez' VORP: 54.9. Closest competitor: Clay Hensley, 40.8. Liriano's VORP, on the other hand: 51.0. Closest competitors: Justin Verlander, 47.5, and Jered Weaver, 46.5. Any of these three would be a good choice, but I can't tell whom the voters will select - Liriano or Verlander. Weaver hasn't gotten quite the press that these two got this season, even though he pitched 123 innings to Liriano's 121.

Silver Slugger Award Winners, According to RARP (AL, NL):

C: Joe Mauer, Brian McCann
1B: Justin Morneau, Albert Pujols
2B: Robinson Cano, Chase Utley
SS: Derek Jeter, Hanley Ramirez
3B: Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Cabrera
LF: Manny Ramirez, Jason Bay
CF: Grady Sizemore, Carlos Beltran
RF: Jermaine Dye, J.D. Drew
P: Dontrelle Willis
DH: Travis Hafner (replaces Morneau if you consider DHs equivalent to 1Bmen)
Overall, I'm very happy with how the week went down. My losses were by a touchdown, a field goal, and a safety, and my wins were all monster blowouts. Hopefully Ryan's fantasy luck will translate into his blog picks, and I'll win out on the season.
Baltimore defeats New Orleans 35-22 (John)

Atlanta defeats Cincinnati 29-27 (Ryan)

Tennessee defeats Houston 28-22 (Neither)

Cleveland defeats New York 20-13 (Ryan)

Dallas defeats Carolina 35-14 (John)

New England defeats Minnesota 31-7 (John)

$ - Indianapolis defeats Denver 34-31 (Ryan +1)

Total: Ryan 4, John 3

Sunday, October 29


"Having missed most of the season's final three months with an ailing right shoulder, Thomson has indicated that he'd be willing to return to Atlanta at a much lower cost and with the responsibility of serving as a reliever."

I don't see any reason why Atlanta wouldn't re-sign Thomson, given this situation. At worst, he'd have another injury-filled season, but the Braves wouldn't be paying much. At best, he'd return to his usual consistent ways and be a fill-in if one of our rotation members gets hurt.
Woo! Go Texans! Just so you know, "fans," we didn't collaborate on our picks; what you see are our individual opinions. Good thing we disagree, that makes for better blogvision.
Baltimore over New Orleans. The Ravens' O comes through seemingly for the first time all season big against the Saints' 19th-ranked D.

New England over Minnesota. Tom Brady faces a tough game against Minnesota's 3rd-ranked D, but comes out on top in a close one.

Dallas over Carolina. *winces* Sorry, boys, Dallas just looks better right now.

Cincinnati over Atlanta. The Falcons' anemic offense gets shut out in this one.

New York over Cleveland. Toss-up, but the Jets win by a field goal.

Houston over Tennessee. David Carr finds Andre Johnson and Eric Moulds all day while marching all over the Titans' D in a blowout win.

And the money pick...

Denver over Indianapolis. The home-field advantage the Broncos get is almost tangible as they win a slugfest over the Colts. "Art" Tatum Bell scores three touchdowns in the win.
Texans > Titans
would go with the Titans, but Pac-Man is sitting this one out so Carr throws for 250
Saints > Ravens
too good in the dome
Vikings > Pats
just a hunch, the pats aren't forcing enough TO's this year, and thats the only way to get to the vikes
Panthers > Cowgirls
keyshawn goes for 95 and 2 TD's
Falcons > Bengals
strength (Falcons Run O) v. weakness (Bengals Run D) here
Browns > Jets
does it show that i have no faith in the AFC East
Colts > Broncos
if only so i can FINALLY win a week of fantasy, and the AFC paper-rock-scissors
ok, here's the deal:

john and i will set down a gaunlet of 7 games to pick for the week, we each get 3 games (non-overlapping) and 1 agreed on "money pick" worth twice as much, for the hardest game of the week (as determined by the comments section over the week prior). the one qualifier is games must have a line of below 7 points, we don't cop out around here.

john selects the games:
Texans @ Titans, Ravens @ Saints, Patriots @ Vikings
ryan selects:
Cowboys @ Panthers, Falcons @ Bengals, Jets @ Browns
and the money pick of the week:
Colts @ Broncos
Bold prediction: Michigan-Auburn in the title game, thanks to Ryan's rationale on why it won't be OSU-Michigan.

Basically, baseball is the only sport I know a hill of beans about, so most of my posts will be in that regard. The two sites I get most of my information from are and, so most of my posts will be tangents off articles from those sites. Look for hot stove commentary in the coming months, in addition to weekly NFL picks (ooh, maybe Ryan and I can have NFL pick-offs, provided we don't both go by's DVOA rankings for our picks).
john: why won't the championship game be OSU/Michigan part two?

ryan: the TV networks will tinker with one of the computer formulas, or pressure voters, or both, so that the national championship game isn't A) a repeat of a game already played and B) a midwest only affair

besides, i think it will be the SEC championship game winner anyways, assuming they still have one loss, because of strength of schedule (Florida would have to beat Auburn or vice versa)

bold prediction: national championship game: OSU-Auburn (as much as i'd like to see Florida or Michigan, or both, in the game, i doubt it will happen)

Wednesday, October 25

humorous take on the "look again player of the year" award, presented by Holiday Inn from Fire Joe Morgan
this is a test post...