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.