Busy Basketball Weekend
The college basketball teams ranked No. 3-6 and 8, 10-14, 16-18, 19-21 and 23 are all playing on Saturday. Then on Sunday the No. 1, 7, 9, 15, 19, 22, 24, and 25 teams have games. And there are match-ups on ranked teams all over the place - some on television.
- Colorado at No. 2 Texas
- Georgia at No. 3 Kentucky
- No. 4 Purdue at No. 20 Wisconsin
- No. 5 Duke at No. 17 Georgia Tech on ESPN
- Marquette at No. 6 Villanova
- No. 8 West Virginia at Notre Dame
- No. 10 Kansas State at Missouri
- No. 11 Michigan State at Iowa
- No. 13 Connecticut at No. 12 Georgetown on ESPN
- UNLV at No. 14 New Mexico
- Miss. St at No. 16 Mississippi
- No. 18 Gonzaga at Portland
- Boston College at No. 21 Clemson
- No. 23 BYU at UTEP
- No. 1 Kansas at No. 15 Tenn on CBS
- South Florida at No. 7 Syracuse
- Virginia Tech at No. 9 UNC
- No. 19 Florida State at Maryland
- No. 22 Washington at Arizona
- No. 24 Butler at Detroit
- No. 25 Temple at Rhode Island
Duke at GT – GT had one of the best recruiting classes this year, headlined by the want to see GT’s super-freshmen Derrick Favors play. Favors was the No. 2 recruit in the nation last year and while he is not getting the headlines like other freshmen (John Wall and Xavier Henry), Favors is averaging 12.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg and 2.2 blocks per game.
Kansas at Tennessee – Does anyone know what is happening or going to happen to the players arrested? I think they are suspend indefinitely, so this match-up may not be as close as it would be with Tyler Smith in the line-up. Still these are both talented teams, but Kansas is just bigger than Tennessee. Update – Smith has been dismissed from the team.
Purdue at Wisconsin – I know that Big Ten basketball can be very painful to watch, but this is the Boilmakers first real road test at the toughest place to play in the Big Ten - i.e. Duke in ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
UNLV at New Mexico – I know nothing about either of these teams, but there is buzz surrounding both teams. Should be a tough conference game.
NFL Playoffs Getting Started
The first round of the playoffs are also happening this weekend. And there are two rematch from last week with Philly and Dallas and Green Bay at Arizona. A lot people are picking upsets and home teams losing. Here are match-ups:
- NY Jets at Cincinnati
- Philadelphia at Dallas
- Baltimore at New England
- Green Bay at Arizona
Every match-up really could go either way, but here are my quick thoughts.
- New York beats Cincinnati, I have no real thoughts about this game.
- But the Philly/Dallas game is very interesting. Was what we saw last week real with Philly? I am not sure. But I think The Eagles go back to Dallas and upset the Cowboys.
- New England could struggle without Wes Welker, but I am not confident in the Ravens offense. So, I am picking New England.
- Green Bay rolled over Arizona – or did the Cardinals roll-over when they knew there was nothing to play for? I think Green Bay wins again.
The Vikings will play either Dallas, Arizona or Green Bay next Sunday. I fear only the Cowboys – but the Cardinals beat the crap of the Vikings and it is very hard to beat a team three times in a season. But the Purple are playing at home.
Minnesota Timberwolve GM David Kahn Podcast
I listen to a lot of podcasts – ESPN has a ton – and one that I listen to is the NBA Today with Ryan Rusillo. He however is not the reason that I listen. Rusillo just thinks to much of himself and kind of drives me nuts, but he gets a lot of good guests on the podcast.
he latest podcast features an interview with T’Wolve GM David Kahn and they discussed the team and his thoughts on the future of the team. Click here to get to the NBA Today podcast page.
Did anyone know that the Minnesota Vikings are playing the Green Bay Packers tonight?!?
I have heard/read that the expected ratings are supposed to be on par with Super Bowls. Crazy!
It will be a close, tough, game, but I expected the Vikings to win 31-21 with Brett Favre throwing two touchdowns.
This is the last Sunday until early February that we will have without the NFL. With that season about to start, I think it is time to give an a forecast of what the Vikings could – and should – accomplish in the 2009-10 season.
1. After Bernard Berrian, the receivers lack much proven ability. Sydney Rice has yet to prove he is a worthy No. 2, and Bobby Wade is going to give what you think he will and not much more. Percy Harvin should be a great asset for the receiver core and I like Darius Reynaud – the former West Virginia Mountaineer – he will get major looks on special teams.
2. Center of Attention! There is plenty of reason to believe that the offensive line should be as good as they have been in the pasty few years, but long time starting center and Minnesota native Matt Birk, is now in Baltimore and the Vikings are looking to second year player John Sullivan, to take over for the Pro Bowler.
3. The Vikings offense skill players maybe the best in the league. Adrian Peterson is a gimme. But then you have RB Chester Taylor, Berrian, Harvin, and TE Visanthe Shiancoe. There are plenty of targets for Brett Favre.
4. Brett Favre must stay withing the system. If, and it is a major IF, Favre can stay within the system, the Vikings should be even more lethal then they were last year.
5. The linebackers were good last year, and they were without EJ Henderson. For many years the linebackers were the weakness of the Vikings defense. Look how quickly things turn around. The squads leading tacker, Chad Greenway, Ben Leiber, along with Henderson make the most complete trio of linebackers in the NFC North.
6. The pass defense is like the pass offense – needs to prove they are good enough! With two new safeties – Tyrell Johnson and Madieu Williams, the Vikings would have been stupid not to resign Pro Bowl CB Antoine Winfield. Cedric Griffin‘s time is now. He needs to show that he can balance the field and tackle like his counter-part, Winfield.
7. If the Vikings don’t reach at least the NFC Championship game, Brad Childress should be gone. He has too many tools in the tool box that if can’t fix the problem, it’s not the tools’ fault.
8. The defensive line is the deepest in the league. Seriously – take a look.
9. The back-up QB’s will see very little game time this season. Favre is the most durable QB of all-time. with the added incentive of coming back to the league, unless Favre is nearly dead, he will be under center.
10. Know who you are. Like Shaq going to Cleavland, or some other major player going to a VERY good team, you have to remember what makes you a VERY good team. And in Minnesotas case, it is Peterson and the defense. While this team as many weapons, the team’s bread and butter is the typical smash mouth football. That being said, MN did a nice job last year switch gears with Berrian and Taylor, and I would imagine that Harvin will add another layer into the much deeper playbook that Childress will use with Favre.
PREDICTION - 12-4 and play in the NFC Championship game. I am not saying if the Vikings will win or lose, but they will make it there.
DTP Gets a New Face – Just call me Joan Rivers
I needed something new and I like the look of this layout. Nothing too flashy and yet lighter than the older face.
The old layout was good to us but it was time for step in a new direction. So, here it is.
- No one in the NBA wants Allen Iverson – Can you blame them? While this guy is a crazy athlete – he is the NBA’s version of Terrell Owens – A.I. can not fit into a system that does not have him dominating the ball.
- Jason Williams- last seen playing the Miami Heat in ’07-’08 - has signed with the Orlando Magic. He should add some veteran leadership – but that’s about it.
- Fox Sports put tother a list of the Top 10 NBA Coach’s of All-Time: take a look.
- The NBA chatter has slowed down. So here is a Top-Ten of LeBron from last season that NBA.com put together. Just ignore all the traveling. – sidenote: NBA.com is a much better site than it used to be.
Brett Favre Plays All of Heaven Rejoices
He went 1-for-4 for 4 yards! Woohoo! Plan the parade!
I do not put much stock in preseason and this is a perfect example of the exact reasoning behind that thought. I did not pay much attention to the game, but I did see Taravis Jackson go 12-for-15 for 202 yards and two touchdowns. You can call his an audition for another team.
POP Culture Moments
- Millon Dollar Idiot
My wife and I have an agreement. Granted, it is one that will likely never be needed, but we have discussed that if one of us were to be so lucky to get on a game some, i.e. Millionaire or Deal or No Deal, and we had the chance to walk away with a “lot of money”, we would.
The reason I bring this up. On Sunday, ABC had Regis Philban back to host a prim-time 10th Anniversary Show (he had been hosting all week). After guy with awesome money vest, answered wrong, here came this 24-year-old – Harvard Law graduating – entertainment lawyer.
He breezes through a ton of questions and is looking at the three final questions with four life lines left. Nice! He had already made a blind guess at what seemed to be an easy question and was sitting at the Million Dollar Question! It felt like this guys whole round was easy and ABC just wanted a winner on their 10th Anniversary Show. Anyway, he guessed at the question and was wrong. Lame – his ego took over for his logic and he lost $475K.
The agreement with my wife – would have allowed me to see the million dollar question, use my life lines, and then walked away with $500K. Paying off all out debate, setting our kids up, buying a house and looking at a nice sized pot to grow interest and that want wait until retirement.
But 24-year-old entertainment lawyer is thinking he needs to guess on a question that he said “either you know it or you don’t”. There is no process of elimination or logic behind it, but he dove head first and lost. National TV FAIL!
- Dancing With Who?
Did anyone know that Congressmen Tom DeLay, Kelli Osbourne, Aaron Carter and UFC Fighter Chuck Liddell are on Dancing with the Stars? There are probably more, but that’s as far as I could get before I became lighted headed thinking of all the horrible that will take place!
Sad Day for Soccer
World Soccer Daily has been canceled. It is a very completcated story and appartenly has gotten extremely serious very fast. For a good non-biased recapping the issue, read over this article from goal.com.
I am only entering my third season of English Premier League Soccer and try to get my soccer fix when and where I can. I found this podcast only a few months ago and it daily opens the world of soccer to a nation fans that have a hard time finding soccer news in the main stream.
I do not know enough to have an opinon on Steven Cohen’s claims and the events that happened in the Hillsborough Disaster. Even many of the veiwers disagree with Cohen’s claims and do not agree with the actions of the Liverpool supporters. Please listen to the last podcast to come to your own conclusion.
Favre in Minnesota Purple and Gold
This is a surprise to no one and to be honest, it is a great move all around. Here is some Quick Hits reasoning to why this is a good move.
For the MN Vikings - They get a legit QB on a team many people believe were a legit QB away from the Super Bowl.
Ziggy Wilf- Financially this is a win-win. The media coverage and the ticket/jersey sales is going to be awesome.
Adrian Peterson – Teams will not be able to stack the box as much.
Viking Receivers – You get a QB who can throw the ball into the ocean.
Brett Favre – No matter what he says, the Packers ran Favre out of town. They did – and now he has a chance to shut them up.
Michael Vick – We moved off this topic for a couple days.
The NFL – They get another story line that is not highlighting some criminal act. Unless you talk to the Packer Fans – they might view this as a misdemeanor at least!
I have never been a Favre fan, but I have always respected him and enjoyed watching him play. And I can understand that if a team offers you a chance to play and compete at a high level, $12 Million a year, and an opportunity to go back to Green Bay and stick it to Ted Thompson - you tell me why he doesn’t sign.
One thing I would like to say to Brett – because I am sure he checks out the blogs: Remember – this was a good team without you with a great running back and defense, stay within the system. Please – it worked in Green bay your last year – just let it happen and don’t force the issue unless necessary.
Former Duke PG Greg Paulus to Start at QB for Syracuse
Someone would have to prove it, but I am not sure this has ever happened before. An athlete that goes from being a starting point guard at one school to becoming the starting quarterback at another school.
Just like the Favre story, this will be an interesting ride. Click here for the ESPN write-up and video.
MN Timberwolves Head Coach – Kurt Rambis
The Rambis signing is one that I understand and I “ok” with. This is a young team that needs to grow together and why not have a new coach that willl grow with them. Mark Jackson would have been fine, but I do think Rambis is more ready to lead a team.
Ben Woodside Update
NDSU’s All-Time leading scorer is going to play over in France. After playing on the Timberwolves summer squad, the 5’10″ point guard has picked his bags and will follow former teammate Brett Winkelman to Europe. Winkelman will play with Edimes Pavia in Italy.
“Woodside signed a contract to play professionally with BCM Gravelines Dunkerque, a team that placed sixth last year in the 16-team Pro A League — the highest league in France. Woodside would not disclose his salary but said he has an option until early September to sign with another team.” *Taken from Dickinson Press 8/12/09.
Good Luck Guys – have fun.
We thought it was over. We thought the better choice had been made. The bad decision was made better. Yet here we are again. With our hopes and dreams tied to a quarterback no one in Minnesota knew prior to the moment he was drafted a few years ago.
After a rough start, Tarvaris Jackson was pulled and replaced by 38 year-old veteran Gus Frerotte. Other than a starting stint with the Washington redskins, Frerotte has mostly been a back-up quarterback for seven different teams.
Jackson is a young, inexperienced, mobile quarterback who has yet to show the ability to plays and decisions when the game in on the line. He does not know now to “manage” the game and at times tries to make plays all by himself.
Frerotte is more of a typical NFL quarterback. He sits in the pocket and used his strong arm to get the ball to teammates and lets them make plays.
After the change was made, success slowly came with Frerotte, and he has lead the the Vikings to an 8-5 record. Going into Sundays game at Arizona, Minnesota is in first place in the NFC North and would be the 3 seed if the playoffs started this week.
Last week, during a win over the Detroit Lions, Frerotte left the game with a back injury. Jackson was called on to lead the Vikings to the win and played well enough to do just that. Barring a Christmas miracle, Jackson will start the game against the cardinals.
How will this affect the Vikings game plan? What does that mean for Adrian Peterson? How do the natives feel with Jackson under center and the playoffs are on the line?
So instead of trying to speak for all that proudly wear the purple and yellow, I asked some of the guys in my fantasy football league how they feel and what the think will happen.
The major concern for me is how, and if, the Vikings will change the playbook.
The major critique of the Vikings early in the season, was that coach Brad Childress decided to cut the play book in half trying to protect Jackson from self inflected mistakes. The coaching staff also tried to play on Jackson’s mobility.
Yet, if you never throw the ball down field, opposing safeties are going to creep in the box and wait to pounce on the run with either running backs Peterson or Chester Taylor. Or on the occasion the Vikings do pass, the Cardinals will bring a ton of pressure.
Chris, first of our fantasy footballers, stated, “Even though T-Jack is mobile and can be a definite threat out of the pocket, if he can’t move the ball in the air, defenses only have two things to concentrate on, 28 and 29. No matter how good of a 1-2 punch Peterson and Taylor are, opposing defenses will be able to stack the box if T-Jack can’t find targets downfield.”
Matching-up against a Cardinals defense that only gives up 96.5 rushing yards per game, you would imagine the Vikings to pass more with Jackson than they did in the first two games. But if the first two games of the season are any indicators, don’t be to sure.
Eric throw out the idea of a different formation; “Run split backs! Let the Cardinals key on Peterson, and then give Taylor the ball. It won’t take long for the magnets teams have on Peterson to abandon him.”
I love the idea of using both backs and keeping the cardinals on the heels. Taylor’s play has been strong in recent weeks and might be the best “back-up” in the NFL. Once a team gets used to running at Taylor, then you give the ball to Peterson, who has another gear.
Jackson’s accuracy has been an issue since coming into the league. In his first two starts, Jackson’s completion rate was on 52%. Last week, coming off the bench, Jackson went 8-10 for 105 yards and 1 touchdown. So which will we get?
Looking at this start for Jackson, fantasy footballer Ben stated that “the fact of the matter is that T-Jack has been given a chance to resurrect his status as starter position with a NFC North play-off contender.”
Going to Arizona, Jackson will have a shot at leading this team to a win and regaining some of the faith lost by the fans. I do think if Frerotte is healthy next week, we will see him starting regardless of how Jackson plays this week.
So to Jackson, be smart, stay positive. You have weapons on offense, and don’t be afraid to use them.
All we need is one win. And on Sunday, that’s the best you can do.