Sunday, November 30, 2008

5 NFL Questions - Week 13

1) What will high emotions result in on 'Sean Taylor Day' in Washington D.C. as the Skins battle the first-place Giants?
2) Will the Bucs end the playoff hopes of the NFL South-darling Saints?
3) Are the Chargers going to be only one game out of the AFC West with a 5-7 record after today?
4) Who will be on top of the NFC North following today: Bears or Vikings?
5) Steelers @ Patriots: Who do you got???

Kevin Boss has quietly over the past few weeks displayed why the G-Men were ready to trade Shockey. Can his fantasy value rise as the playoffs arrive?
Credit: Yahoo! Sports

***Fantasy Football Bonus Question***
6) How do you deal with Giants - not Eli Manning - like Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, Amani Toomer, Kevin Boss, Giants DEF, etc???

Friday, November 28, 2008

Clement’s Weekly Picks & Prognostications…Week 13

13 weeks and there are 5 questions you have to ask yourself this time of the season:

1) Is my team in the playoff hunt?
2) Is my fantasy team contending for the regular season championship?
3) Is my favorite player healthy?
4) What is the odds on Super Bowl?
5) Where in the standings are the team(s) I hate the most?

Unfortunately, several people have negative answers for all of them.
To you, I say…stop rooting for the Lions and drafting them in fantasy football.

Let’s roll on towards our push for 40 correct picks before Week 15.

Ike Taylor will need more than motivation from head coach Mike Tomlin come Sunday.
Mission: Cover Randy Moss

Credit: Yahoo! Sports

…Turkey Day results included…
NFL Picks: 35-19 (With prospective, my Iggles prediction was a little crazy.)
Upset Special: 9-10 (This isn’t the ‘Year of the Upset’.)

… gets the honors (but don’t bet!)…

Indianapolis Colts @ Cleveland Browns (+4.5)
Not sure what the Colts did to keep this game under a touchdown spread; however, I’m not buying for one second that Peyton and co. will have to squeak this one out. Derek Anderson is going to be a well paid backup next season. Colts win BIG.

New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4)
Never rely on the ‘Aints. The Bucs are quietly becoming one of the more solid teams in the NFC this past month. Nevertheless – even though I’m picking them to cover this week – who doesn’t believe this is the team you want to play come playoff time.

Carolina Panthers @ Green Bay Packers (-3)
Two tricky teams for me all season, I’ll take the Pack at home to be a little more desperate than the Panthers. I also don’t trust Carolina on the road. Memo to the Pack: run run run with Ryan Grant. Preferably away from Julius Peppers.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots (-1)
Just about a pick’em game, this is the type of game the experts love to avoid. NOT ME! While Roethlisberger can pick apart the Patriot secondary, I’m looking at another Pro Bowl Steeler – Troy Polamalu – to make the plays this team needs to win. He will. Steelers win a brutally tough road game. Somehow, someway.

Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings (-3)
Major game in the NFC North as 7-5 might be the driver’s seat to a title (especially with a Pack loss earlier in the day). As much as I love Matt Forte’s impact with da Bears, I’m taking Apete at home to break off a big run or five against a Jekyl and Hyde defense from Chicago.

Ten Fantasy Insights this Weekend
1) There were a TON of major fantasy plays this weekend, especially Warner/Romo/TO/Westbrook/McNabb/Titan RBs/Calvin Johnson/Cardinal WRs/Marion Barber III/anyone else I didn’t mention. Thursday may have impacted fantasy games more than Sunday.
2) For all of you who picked up Shaun Alexander after the Skins signed him…ha ha.
3) Kevin Walter may catch 10 TDs this season. AJ…5 or less. Wow.
4) Don’t start Zach Miller. He’s still a Raider.
5) Tyler Thigpen had the ’09 KC QB job before the turnover-fest began last week.
6) When do we get a Peyton Manning/Greg Oden commercial?
7) Chester Taylor is worth a flex start.
8) Jabar Gaffney is not.
9) Santonio Holmes is a risky play if you need a TD out of your receiver badly this week.
10) How many of you sat Brian Westbrook??? Ouch.

See you next week!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Clement’s Weekly Picks & Prognostications…(Late) Night Turkey Day Edition

Sorry for the timing of this post; however, the busy day got the best of this writer.

First off, happy Thanksgiving to all. If for some reason the holiday isn’t your thing, I at least hope you have the day off. Although I suppose if anyone is working, at least you’re getting paid extra.

If none of these reach out to you. I pity you.

While the regular NFL edition will get its due tomorrow, I decided to peg out a “holiday edition” for the five of you who look forward to this weekly-column.

Probably came as no surprise to YOU that CJ/White both had MONSTER days.
Did it to me?
Credit: Yahoo! Sports

NFL Picks: 33-18 [A LaDell Betts fumble cost me 3-0, but not the Skins the game.]
Upset Special: 9-10 [That late 2-point conversion that failed for San Fran cost me a winning record in a dismal “upset” season of picks.]

…spreads courtesy of…

Tennessee Titans vs. Detroit Lions (+ 11 ½)
The lack of this game being 11-0 vs. 0-11 might turn off fourteen of the twenty-eight viewers who aren’t connected to this game for fantasy or as a Lions/Titans fan. Nevertheless, the Titans are on a short week after a brutal ***-kicking from the Jets. Meanwhile, Detroit is starting to hear 0-16 more and more every day. I expect this game to be very very ugly. That means the Lions are going to be 0-12, losing by 12 or more points.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Dallas Cowboys (-13)
This game – for Dallas – needs to be against an NFC East rival every year. Rotate between the three or have the guys to make this game Dallas vs. Washington every year. Nevertheless, Seattle is a BAD team who doesn’t even play well at home – no less on the road – this season. Julius Jones returns to Dallas as the starter and will be a non-factor. Look for Romo to light up the air and toss 3-4 TDs and keep pacifying his wide receiver known commonly as TO. 13 is a TON of points to leave out there. I’m taking em though, as I see this as the second route of a lukewarm Turkey Day schedule.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Eagles (-3)
It boggles my mind the spreads that come out for Philly at home. I know that public money and the oddsmakers are always “behind the scenes”; nevertheless, Arizona was beaten up by the Giants and will travel cross-country easier than their last two-week stay. While the weather might be frightful, Andy Reid and Donovan F. McNabb aren’t going to salvage much out of this season. My real interest is on the play of erratic Cardinal LB Dansby and how Coach Wisenhunt manages an underachieving rushing gameplan (not necessarily the talent). Would 1 or 2 I formations – outside of the red zone – kill this team? Maybe. Sorry Iggles fans, you won’t cover or win.

See you tomorrow with the Friday edition. Here’s to shooting for 40-25. Then maybe 50-30 by playoff time.

Happy holiday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Homogenizing the Heterogeneity of College Basketball in November

There's a good reason why I have not posted much about college basketball the last two years in October and November. Well, two good reasons.

First, it's generally a busy time for government consulting which is my current profession.

Second, I'm processing the bits and pieces that I see from game action mixed with the preseason reviews from the likes of Blue Ribbon, Athlon Sports and others. That said, trends have yet to develop.

Here are 10 takeaway messages thus far.

* Syracuse earned two of their most valuable non-conference wins since 2003. Clement (a loyal 'Cuse fan who I thought was going to break my parents' television in 2003 during a tournament game between the Carmelos and Oklahoma State) and I joked about this but ultimately decided that this was the case. That said, all of this can go to waste if a player gets injured and/or the 'Cuse loses to ... say, Virginia.

* Barring injury, Blake Griffin is the best collegiate player in America. I got that one out of the way pretty quickly.

* Xavier gained at least 2 seed lines with their three wins against Missouri, Virginia Tech and Memphis in Puerto Rico. Though Memphis may be the only shoe-in to make the tournament out of the three wins, the Selection Committee loves to reward teams who play what I call "loseable games". Case in point from last season: Vanderbilt. In their 15 non-conference tilts, only 4 were against RPI sub-200 opponents and 7 were against those in the top 100. Of those 7 teams, exactly ZERO made the NCAA Tournament and Vanderbilt got a controversial #4 seed. The learning: the NCAA rewards teams who do not schedule cupcakes (and take care of business in conference). I'll never understand how USC, who played in a tougher conference with a better marquee win and tougher loseable non-conference games were placed two seed lines beneath Vanderbilt. This is a tidbit that nerdy bracketologists can talk about for hours in a forum. Eight months later, you can tell I'm over it all.

* Mike Davis threw down the gauntlet for his team in non-conference play and it had better get noticed. At Arizona. At Old Dominion. At Oklahoma (tonight). At Cincinnati. At Louisville. At Butler. And that's just through December 30.

* Wink Adams is the best point guard in the nation that you haven't really seen, unless you live out West or have an awkward sleeping schedule. Or both. His shooting will improve, but his assist-to-turnover ratio, rebounds, and steals are up from last season.

* Let's just say Stephen Curry's transition to point guard is going pretty well (7.0 assists to 2.5 turnovers per game). Andrew Lovedale doesn't mind that Curry went scoreless last night. Contrary to what some may think, Loyola (MD) did not lay out a blueprint for other teams to take note. It's called 3 v. 4 basketball and four usually routs three by about 30 points. Please don't insult Bob McKillop like that.

* If teams like Kentucky, San Diego, VCU and Old Dominion are in the at-large bid conversation come March, it's very hard to look past some debilitating losses. Eric Maynor's unconventional double-double (points and turnovers) at Rhode Island on Saturday will not help the draft stock.

*'s #1 recruit BJ Mullens has played 29 minutes in two games, contributing nine points, four rebounds and a block. Not the start I envisioned.

* The winner of the Old Spice Classic will move up as many as 4 seed lines. Here are the teams involved: Tennessee (Sweet 16), Michigan State (Sweet 16), Georgetown (Round of 32), Gonzaga (1st Round), Maryland (Gary Williams is guaranteed to sweat through 6 suits + Vasquez is a great point if he can reduce the turnovers), Oklahoma State (team on the rise + new coach), Siena (Round of 32), Wichita State (every tournament needs a weak link).

* Hansbrough v. Harangody will NOT be the story in tonight's clash between North Carolina and Notre Dame. It's no secret that the formula to defeat Carolina is to shoot exceptionally well from the perimeter in the halfcourt set (which presupposes that you have good ballhandlers and ND has 2 playing at all times) and to limit Carolina to one shot. Texas outrebounded the Irish 44 to 35 last night and pulled down 14 offensive boards. Good luck to limiting the Tar Heels on the offensive boards (assuming they miss shots)!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday FourCast: Week 12

You can't write a better script than what happens in the NFL on a weekly basis. This season has been far from disappointing. If I were Siskel and Ebert, I'd give it two thumbs up. If I was IMDB, I would give it an 8.5 out of 10. Right now, the only football movie that could top it is Goldie Hawn's "Wildcats" (yes, that was sarcasm).

1. Role Models

We've all heard Charles Barkley say, "Athletes are not role models." We've also heard him say "Knucklehead". About a year ago on Monday night football, he called Donovan McNabb "Fuhntastic". Yesterday, however, McNabb was T-R-B-L, Turrrrrible. Andy Reid felt the same, and yanked McNabb for the second half in favor of Kevin Kolb. Wait. That was Reid who told him right? No? Reid had an assistant coach deliver the bad news? To steal a term from Sum, that was some serious douche-baggery. Kevin Kolb played like a knucklehead. Altogether, in Philly's case, the athletes (and coaches) are not the role models. They are the juveniles in need of a role model. Look for McNabb to be throwing passes in Minnesota next year, and for Reid to be working in a broadcasting booth. As for Kolb and the Eagles...good luck.

2. Quantum of Solace

Like your average Bond flick, the Titans are going to start off taking on all evil and prevailing. Then Bond hits a snag. He makes a mistake. He gets caught. His love interest is murdered. The Titans made their mistakes. The Jets caught them with their pants down. Luckily nobody was murdered. The question now remains: Do the Titans come back like Bond and conquer their opponents in the end? Or, will they veer off the path and play down to the level that one looking at their roster on paper would think they would play? The NFL is a league of copy-cats. For the Titans' sake, hopefully teams can't take much away from the strategy used by the Jets.

3. Twilight

Every love story starts with two people. While this isn't your traditional love story, it does start with two people. On one hand you have Matt Cassel. After back to back 400 yard games, this free agent to be has every GM with a bad QB situation in love. On the other hand, you have Kurt Warner, who continues his Cinderella season towards an MVP trophy. The league and fans have fallen in love with Warner again. Both will receive nice contracts going into next season. Warner with the Cards, Cassel with another team (the Jets look like the most likely candidate). But, will either (or both) suck the blood out of their teams next season? Kurt Warner is a concussion away from being Steve Young, and Matt Cassel could be a system QB.

4. Madagascar 2

The kids love this one, and speaking of kids, if you caught the nation's top college game last week, you saw a kid you will love. Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford led the Sooners to the annihilation of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. While I've been high on Michael Crabtree, Bradford spent this season climbing up my charts. If he decides to go into the NFL draft (he is a redshirt sophomore), I can see him going as the #1 pick overall. Bradford made NFL throws in Saturday's game, and looked like an NFL QB. Only problem is, it looks like he might end up in Detroit.

Monday, November 24, 2008

NFL Monday Wrap-Up

Is it fair to "wrap-up" the NFL week before Monday night's game? Yes.

We all try our best to supply a top-notch Fourcast; however, I feel the juice of a successful Sunday running through my veins (J-E-T-S) and think it's time our loyal reader(s) get to enjoy Monday analysis outside of Peter "Stiller" King and whomever else wants to rant today.

While I could generate talk of the week galore, instead I want to focus on the "awards chase", which changes weekly (of course).

Awards Index: Monday of Week 12

1) Kurt Warner
-The 300+ yards would've looked better with a W, more than 1 TD, less than 2 turnovers, and countless other reasons. Nevertheless, the Cardinals remain 7-4 and primed for a NFC West title and good shot at a bye (the NFC South will beat each other up). What was truly telling - even with the G-Men absent Jacobs & Plax - was the Cardinals expecting to win yesterday. Guess who changed that philosophy??? Warner (and Whisenhunt).
2) Peyton Manning
-Don't look now but the Colts are becoming the favorite in the AFC playoff picture. If they get in. To think, David Thomas might end up playing a huge role in a tie-breaker between Colts/Pats. The more likely scenario has the Ravens falling off and the Colts/Pats being lethal 5 and 6 seeds. Yikes.
3) Eli Manning
-Jacobs and the RBs get all the acclaim; however, it's obvious Eli is a changed QB. Despite some struggles at times, he is a poised passer who can win games. The Giants are 10-1 and the consensus best team in the league. It's because of their QB they are 10-1. Thus, the #3 slot.
4) Michael Turner
-Matt Ryan's story is getting more pub; yet, Turner changed Atlanta. A few frowned at how much of an impact he could have, until he finally won me over with a 4 TD day. He's 3rd in the NFL in rushing and is a fantasy force to boot. Turner has Atlanta in prime contention for a playoff spot. Nobody saw that. NOBODY.
5) Brett Favre
-Jets fan, right? Of course. Check the atmosphere in New York around Favre and the team. He breeds confidence and winning. The Jets are 8-3. After the 1-2 start and that loss at Oakland, I questioned the move. Now, I realize why Green Bay fans love the guy so much. He's an egotistical prick who wanted everything handed to him. Now, he's winning with a team that has a lot more talent - and spent their money oh so well this off-season - and is becoming dangerous.

Offensive Player of the Year
1) Clinton Portis
-On a gimpy knee he carried the Skins to victory in Seattle. Then Ladell Betts ruined it. Why Jim Zorn had to back up Betts the way he did is beyond me.
2) Adrian Peterson
-Durability is still an issue...or is it? A-Pete is likely to take home a rushing crown, but can he get his team into the playoffs out of a crowded NFC North?
3) Kurt Warner
-As talented as Fitz/Boldin/Breaston are, do you honestly think Matt Leinart would have them at numbers anywhere close to they are now? Seriously?
4) Brandon Jacobs
-Missed a week; however, his rushing prowess, goalline abilities, and the steamrolling attitude has been a godsend for the Giants. He's also made Derrick Ward and Bradshaw better because their contrasting styles are a nightmare after Jacobs bulldozes you.

Defensive Player of the Year
1) Kris Jenkins
-Slips past Alby due to shutting down he gameplan for the Titans. Guess how many rushing attempts Len Dale had? ONE. That isn't because the Titans planned on passing. (Not with Revis, Rhodes, & Elam playing so well) Instead, the Titans knew Jenkins would swallow up the inside rush attack and CJ had to be deployed outside the tackles. Didn't work either way. Jenkins or Favre is a great "better off-season trade" debate.
2) Albert Haynesworth
-One week doesn't take away from an incredible campaign. He is getting better. Although, I don't like the excuses of him being dinged up in the second half. He was barely a factor in the first. Faneca has breathed life back into Mangold. It's ironic Mangold and Mawae were on the same field yesterday, at least for me.
3) Charles Woodson
-He might intercept 12 passes...tonight. Drew Brees is overrated as an offensive force. So what if he throws for a lot of yards. His team constantly underachieves and it isn't 100% the defense. The offense makes plenty of mistakes, including Brees. As Pay told me, his stats are biggest in his losses. I smell a pick-six for good old AllProCW2 (plug!).
4) Julius Peppers
-His return to dominance might've been rushed. He's been a force this year, yet I want to see it in a big game. A really big game. He'll get his shot soon enough.

Offensive Rookie of the Year
1) Matt Ryan
-If you thought the Falcons would be 7-4 and that Ryan would have 7 games without an INT, go to Vegas and start placing multiple bets.
2) Joe Flacco
-If you thought Joe Flacco would be 7-4 as a rookie starting QB, you'd have to think the Ravens defense from 2000 was cloned in 2K8.
3) Matt Forte
-Amazing he's an obvious third-selection. The guy is a force of nature as of late. By the way, this dude can catch the ball too. If anything, he would've been a great third down back by this point for any other team who might've drafted him.

Defensive Rookie of the Year
1) Jerod Mayo
-Enough said. Oh wait, he's a BEAST. (Damn Patsies)

I'll let you all worry about Comeback and Executive of the Year and all the rest.

Although I gotta give more Jet love to our former QB Chad Pennington.
Could he really win Comeback Player of the Year two years in a row?
Stranger things have happened...

See you next Monday!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

5 NFL Questions - Week 12

The real "turkey" next week might be the 11-0 Titans traveling to the 0-11 Lions.
Lucky us.

Credit: DistantOcean

1) Will the Titans walk away 11-0 after their matchup hosting the Jets?
2) Will Daunte Culpepper and the Lions move to 0-11 after their matchup in Ford Field (Silverdome) against the Bucs?
3) Will Kevin Walter continue to "steal" Andre Johnson's touchdown receptions?
4) Is Tyler Thigpen getting closer to securing the Chiefs starting QB job in 2009?
5) Which of the 5-5s is closest to making a legitimate playoff push: Buffalo, New Orleans, Green Bay, Minnesota, or Chicago?

***Fantasy Question***
6) Who will be more unpleased after Sunday: TO or TO's fantasy owners? Or neither?

InClement Weather: Midnight Musings

Here are twenty-or-so random thoughts running throw my head, sitting in front of my computer screen at 12:36am.

I'll try my best to make them relevant, my friends.

Memo to Greg Oden:
1) Everyone owns a digital camera.
2) Anyone can upload to YouTube
3) Don't ever trust girls wearing outfits like THAT.
4) Seriously bro. Watch the knees!!!

Credit: Deadspin

1) I'm glad the election frenzy is nearly a month behind us. As excited as I was (especially being an 8th grade Civics teacher), it's nice to focus on what "really matters".
2) LeBron James (5) already has more 50 point games than Larry Bird (4). Did you know that Iverson (11) and Kobe (23!) lead the way with active players with 50+-point outings?
3) Ramon Sessions is gonna be a very good point-guard in the NBA for a long time. Gee, I wonder which two writers on this staff predicted that?
4) The Wizards should be embarrassed losing to a 7-man Knicks squad tonight. Especially since they gave up 7 treys to the Q. Pathetic.
5) When's Lost coming back? Seriously? WHEN!?!?

6) Dan Patrick still remains the best thing on radio...but not on television.
7) Pete Prisco of HATES my Jets. GOOD! He can dine with Peter "Always a Fatty" King. Yeah, that nickname is perfect.
8) I hate how much impact November games have on the selection status come mid-March for the NCAA tournament. I think dates of these early pre-conference games should come into effect when you count wins and losses.
9) There might not be a better ending than Friday afternoon's hoopla between Xavier (Santos!) and Virginia Tech.
10) Texas beat Oklahoma on a neutral field. Therefore, they deserve a higher BCS ranking than the Sooners.

11) Casino Royale was supposed to be the "return" of the Bond franchise. After Quantum of Solace...the franchise has slipped big time again (thanks Mr. Director!).
12) Brazilian film City of God is the best movie none of you have ever seen. Rent it!
13) Major League Baseball needs to hand out its awards during the postseason. Even if Pujols has to receive his MVP on vacation in San Juan or on his recliner in the Lew.
14) Props to Mike Mussina. Going out without a ring but with a 20-win season. Props.
15) Psycho T will be Psycho T soon enough. Be patient UNC fans.

16) Alabama vs. Florida can't be half the stinker Texas Tech/Oklahoma was, right? PLEASE!!!
17) The Heisman trophy grows more irrelevant with every passing year.
18) Elton Brand had to enjoy that game-winning bucket against the Clippers more than he showed. Right?
19) Stay healthy Greg Oden. Please. Please. Please.
20) I really am pulling for Oregon State to win the Civil War. Just like I pulled for the Union army.

See ya next time...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Clement's Weekly Picks and Prognostications...Week 12

A lack of an introduction can only help me at this point.
Oh wait, was this an intro???


NFL Picks: 31-17
[Yes, I was one of "those" who lost a pick due to the Polamalu-non TD. Stupid zebras. Picks are on a roll, by the way.]
Upset Specials: 8-8 [Should've gone to that Skins/Cowboys slobberknocker.]

You might not see a better catch this season than this one. Don't believe me? WATCH.
Credit: Yahoo! Sports (assist to YouTube)

Philadelphia Eagles @ Baltimore Ravens (-1 1/2)
Not taking the road dog here. It's likely time Reid, McNabb, or both go. Fear not, they'll both have plenty of suitors. As for the game, Ray Lewis won't fear the tiny Iggle backs. Ravens win a crucial game for their playoff hopes.

Minnesota Vikings @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-2 1/2)
Not liking the Jags or the Vikes much after last weekend. If the Jags can't rush the ball, they won't be able to pass it to win. David Garrard might be the next Jeff Blake. That's not a good thing, by the way.

Washington Redskins @ Seattle Seahawks (+ 3 1/2)
Could Sean Alexander return to Seattle as a starter for Skin fans? If he does, they're likely to lose this game traveling west. I trust CP will suit it up and Santana Moss will catch a big play or two. It'll be close, but not FG close.

Upset Special #1
Indianapolis Colts @ San Diego Chargers (- 2 1/2)
A lot of public money will hit Indy early and often. San Diego - even at home - doesn't have anything left in the tank that scares people. Indy is clicking. Despite Norv having Dungy's number, Peyton and co. are playing too well. Bob Sanders needs to play though.

Upset Special #2
NY Giants @ Arizona Cardinals (+3 1/2)
Jacobs should be fine; however, Vegas knows something in this spread the average eye doesn't. Ballhawking safeties like Rolle and Wilson might make Eli regret a pass or two. He's gotten away with a few too many close-INTs this season. I'm taking a real shot least for that spread - as small as it seems - not to last. (Deep breath)

Upset Special #3
San Francisco 49ers @ Dallas Cowboys (-11 1/2)
Either Dallas guts out this win (barely) in the closing minutes OR Shaun Hill struggles big time and Big D wins by three touchdowns. Dallas isn't ready for Romo to throw a parade of TDs. TO needs a 2-TD day badly though. I fear that because I'm up against him in fantasy. More deep breaths to come shortly...

Top Ten Fantasy Insights of the Week...You Didn't Expect
1) Kurt Warner is likely on one of the top team's in your fantasy league.
2) Tom Brady isn't.
3) Peyton Manning is back. The idiots who traded him will pay.
4) LT will not be #1 next year. Adrian Peterson has that locked up.
5) Andre Johnson owners (me!) are panicking.
6) Anquan Boldin owners aren't.
7) Coles and Cotchery won't each have a good fantasy week the rest of the way. Good luck with that!
8) Santana Moss can't be started until he's 100%.
9) Kevin Boss owners might see a few more doughnuts this season.
10) NFC North defenses are mad unpredictable.

See ya next week...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday FourCast: Week 11

This was a week of some crazy storylines in the NFL. Now while Scott Green’s horrendous call causing a $66 million swing in betting on the Steelers/Bolts game doesn’t quite match up to a worm-eating freak who carries a clock, this weekend still brought back my childhood (and subsequently, college-hood) memories of that great non-sport: Professional Wrestling.

1. Do You Smell What the Rock is Cooking?

The Sunday Night Football game on NBC brought us a crappy performance by the Cowpokes matched by an even crappier performance by the Portises, er, Redskins. For much of the first half of this yawn-fest, the Skins led 7-0. But Dallas , arguably, caught a break on what appeared to be a fantastic punt by Ryan Plackemeier. The ball nestled at the 1-yard line, and did not appear to be moving from that spot. Yet, out of nowhere, Rock Cartwright bolted onto the scene to down the ball. Unfortunately for the Redskins, the Rock’s overzealousness caused his “roody poo, candy ass” to be in contact with the goal line at the moment he downed the football, resulting in a touchback. Could Dallas have scored the equalizing TD on a 99-yard drive instead of an 80-yard drive? Possibly, but starting out of your own endzone is always a daunting task.

2. The Mega Powers

You know how the classic tag team match goes in pro wrestling. The match starts off fairly even, or possibly in favor of the good guys … but then the heels take control. The good guys start to get pummeled a little bit. For a few quarters of the Titans and Jags game on Sunday, Titans fans saw this playing out. The Jaguars were beating the undefeated Titans 14-3 at half time thanks to 2 MJD touchdowns. It looked as though the Jaguars had figured out that vaunted Tennessee defense. But Jack Del Rio’s boys forgot one thing … like true champions, Jeff Fisher and Kerry Collins say their prayers, eat their vitamins, and kick some ass! Collins came out after the break and threw 3 touchdown passes, and the Tennessee D stepped up, helping guide this season’s mega powers to a 24-14 win and a 10-0 record.

3. The Power of the Warrior!!!

Sometimes people will say something that will leave you scratching your head. That “something” could be a crazy white man, hopped up on steroids with paint on his face, saying “Dig your claws into my organs!! Stretch into my tendons!! Bury your angers into my bones, for the power of the Warrior will always prevaiilllll!!!” Or, it could be a 10-year veteran NFL quarterback saying that he didn’t know the NFL rulebook allowed for ties. Yes, I know a more renowned blog (*cough*PFT*cough*) has already beaten Donovan McNabb’s gaffe into submission … but I can’t let this go. It’s inexcusable for a veteran QB who has been to multiple Pro Bowls, to the Super Bowl, and eaten thousands of cans of Chunky’s Chicken Noodle Soup to be that dense as to the rules and regulations of his profession. Perhaps years of hearing nothing other than “throw the screen pass” from Andy Reid have had the same affect on McNabb’s brain than the ‘roids had on the Warrior’s grape-nuts.

4. This is Where the Power Lies ... Brotherrrrrrr!!!

Okay, okay. So the '49ers and Cardinals are not powerful groups (especially the '49ers), nor do they represent evil (except for the Bidwell's wallet). However, for thousands of Rams fans from the glory years of the late 1990's and early 2000's, three of the greatest heroes were Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce and Mike Martz. They were three of the integral parts of the "Greatest Show on Turf." Now, in two of the past three weeks, these three have faced their former team, and have shattered the hearts of their ex-fans. In week 9, Kurt Warner took his Cards into St. Louis and dismantled his ex-team in front of the same fans who cheered him to two MVP awards. This past weekend, Bruce and Martz thrashed their ex-team ... at least they had the decency to do it in San Francisco. This trend of former beloved players returning to face against their old teams and old fans is nothing new ... but for that 16 year old kid, who 7 years ago screamed from the stands wearing a blue and gold #80 jersey, it will always hard to be difficult to cheer against his former idol ... even if that player is now on the dark side.

Monday, November 17, 2008

InClement Weather: MY BCS

I don't care what the contracts, computers, or Lee Corso has to say.

I am fixing the BCS. How?
Watch me!

Instead of Mark Sanchez, you might see a guy named Lyle at QB in the Rose Bowl. Good.
Credit: Yahoo! Sports

Scenario #1: Current 5 BCS Bowl Format
Assuming...chaos theory doesn't happen.
Texas Tech defeats Oklahoma (yes, in Norman) & Missouri. Undefeated.
Alabama defeats Florida. Yes, the Gators.
Oregon State wins out. Sorry, Trojans.
Somebody...anybody...wins the ACC & Big (L)East.
Utah wins out. Boise State wins out. Ball State wins out.

BCS Title Game
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Analysis: DUH!

Rose Bowl
Oregon State vs. Penn State
Analysis: There, Pac-10 vs. Big Ten. Eat up the pageantry!

Sugar Bowl
Florida vs. USC
Analysis: The game most of America will be dying for.

Orange Bowl
Boise State vs. Ball State
Analysis: The ACC is extremely competitive, but doesn't have a BCS-quality team. We all know about the Big (L)East. Yes, I'm gonna continue using that. Reward the undefeated teams. Why? Because nobody will schedule em from the majors!

Fiesta Bowl
Texas vs. Utah
Analysis: Offenses galore! Fine with me.

Scenario #2: Eight-Team Playoff (Obama-Style)

#1. Alabama vs. #8. Penn State
#2. Texas Tech vs. #7. Florida
#3. Texas vs. #6. Oklahoma
#4. USC vs. #5. Penn State

Note: I know the "computers" want conference champions...but it's my post and I want these 8!

Let's see YOU do better...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

5 NFL Questions - Week 11

  1. How will Tony Romo and Matt Hasselbeck fare on their returns?
  2. Which away team needs to win in the worst way today?
  3. How many points will Carolina put up on Detroit?
  4. Can Sage Rosenfels forget the helicopter fumble six from the last time he played Indy?
  5. Will the Titans still be undefeated after today?

Friday, November 14, 2008

NCAA Tournament Bracket Projections -- November 14, 2008

The college basketball season has begun (barely), but something’s missing … the PHSports preseason NCAA tournament bracket projections.

Make no mistake about it. The North Carolina Tar Heels are the team to beat this season. Despite injuries early on, Tyler Hansbrough’s injury is not of the long-term variety. Who’s the best among the rest? Try UCLA, Texas, Duke, Tennessee and The Big East Conference.

Yes, I went there. In past seasons, the Big East has struggled to get the elusive 9th bid from its conference. Not only will the conference earn all nine bids, they boast three of the nation’s best eight teams. While some love Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, I favor the teams of Calhoun and Pitino.

Among the sleeper conferences, look no further than the Western time zone. The Mountain West (UNLV, San Diego State, BYU, Utah) and the West Coast Conferences (Gonzaga, St. Mary’s, San Diego) are this year’s Atlantic 10. That said, this will not be a big year for the mid-majors as some of the nation’s best mid-major programs lost players (to graduation, of course).

Let the basketball begin! If you have any questions, comments, or just wish to send a shout, shoot me a line at

The Seedings
1: North Carolina, UConn (Big East), UCLA (PAC-10), Louisville
2: Texas (Big XII), Pittsburgh, Duke (ACC), Tennessee
3: Notre Dame, Purdue (Big Ten), Oklahoma, Gonzaga (WCC)
4: Memphis (C-USA), Marquette, Arizona State, Florida (SEC)
5: Michigan State, Miami-FL, Kansas, USC
6: Georgetown, Ohio State, Villanova, St. Mary’s
7: Clemson, Xavier, Syracuse, Kentucky
8: Creighton (MVC), Baylor, Wake Forest, UNLV (Mountain West)
9: West Virginia, Wisconsin, UAB, Oklahoma State
10: Washington, San Diego State, Davidson (Southern), Vanderbilt
11: Nevada (WAC), LSU, VCU (CAA), Virginia Tech
12: BYU, Washington State, St. Joseph’s, Ole Miss
13: Cleveland State (Horizon), Western Michigan (MAC), Siena (Metro Atlantic), Oakland (Summit)
14: American (Patriot), Vermont (America East), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Portland State (Big Sky)
15: Cornell (Ivy), South Alabama (Sun Belt), Belmont (Atlantic Sun), Cal State Northridge (Big West)
16: Winthrop (Big South), Delaware State (MEAC), Murray State (Ohio Valley), Mount St. Mary’s (Northeast), Jackson State (SWAC)

Last Four In: BYU, Washington State, St. Joseph’s, Ole Miss
Last Four Out: Missouri, San Diego, Arizona, Temple
Next Four Out: Minnesota, Providence, Alabama, Utah

Seeding Summary (Multi-Bid Conferences Only in Order of Percentage)

Big East: 9/16
ACC: 6/12
SEC: 6/12
Pac-10: 5/10
Big XII: 5/12
Big Ten: 4/11
Mountain West: 3/9
West Coast: 2/8
C-USA: 2/12
A-10: 2/14

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Clement's Weekly Picks and Prognostications...Week 11

...sans intro...

NFL Picks: 28-16 [Of all the games to get wrong, I'm happiest it was a 47-3 victory for the Jets.]
Upset Specials: 7-7 [It's the return of the...oh way...he didn't just say, what I think he did, did he?]

While you won't find any New England/NY Jets talk...I will mention one key name you'd never expect. Jet LB David Bowens has mighty shoes to fill behind Kris Jenkins with David Harris still injured and out of the lineup. This is an unknown X-factor to the "press".

Arizona @ Seattle (+3)
If Arizona had lost Monday night, this game would've taken on a whole new level of interest. Instead, greedy fantasy owners feast off of the Cardinals while Matt Hasselbeck returns as the starting QB...but for how long? Cards win, by much more than 3 in not-so-tough Seattle.

Tennessee @ Jacksonville (+3)
Jacksonville is 4-5 and definitely can't afford 6 losses after 10 decisions. Meanwhile, Tennessee aired it out last week and won in Chicago. With another tough road test, I have to wonder if 10-0 is in their future? Yes. Why? Titans can stop the run. Jags can't win without it.

San Diego @ Pittsburgh (-4 1/2)
Rivers' stats are overinflated this season. This game is in Pittsburgh and the Stillers aren't losing back-to-back there. Their O-Line better beat up on a banged up Charger D. The real key in Pittsburgh is the health of "Fast Willie" and whether or not Santonio Holmes can be at least mildly productive this weekend. The Steelers - as well as a few fantasy owners - need that desperately.

Minnesota @ Tampa Bay (-3 1/2)
The 1/2 scares me; however, this game means way too much in both the NFC South, NFC North, and NFC Wild-Card. While APete is my #2 in the MVP-race (behind Warner), the Bucs D is rested and their offense should have a healthy Joey Galloway, Warrick Dunn, and even word of Cadillac Williams getting carries. I'm taking the home team to frustrated Frerotte into a pick-six (or two) and a vastly important home victory...somehow.

Upset Special #1
Dallas @ Washington (+2)
Most books won't take bets because of injury concerns to Romo (returning) and Portis (50/50) so early in the week. Not me. The Cowboys have too many new faces returning (Romo, Newman, & Jones) for me to pick them on the road. However, a win equals 6-4 and makes the NFC more wide open than ever. Interesting, if nothing else.

Upset Special #2
Denver @ Atlanta (-6)
Who would've ever imagined this number in Week 10 at the beginning of the season? NOBODY. While Jay Cutler may break down carrying this team, I don't want to give the Falcons too easy a road to 7-3. I imagine this being a FG type game. Extra interesting with new-kid Prater battling Bronco-vet Jason Elam. While I like the Falcons, I don't by 6.

Top Ten Fantasy Insights of the Week...You Didn't Expect
1) Depending on wideouts - even your Andre Johnson and Brandon Marshall types - isn't safe come fantasy playoff stretch run.
2) Larry Johnson...avoid starting him this or any week.
3) Thomas Jones isn't going to have another 40-point week, but he's a weekly start now.
4) There's still enough upside to start guys like Steve Breaston.
5) Tony Gonzalez may quietly be this season's highest scoring tight end.
6) Defenses can win fantasy championships. Seriously.
7) Marvin Harrison just might be done.

Oh yeah, three NFL Thoughts to finish out the top 10.

8) Atlanta is going to make the playoffs.
9) So is Baltimore.
10) One of the above teams won't...obviously.

Until next time!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday FourCast: Week 10

1) Kurt Warner for MVP
I know it was just two weeks ago I was plugging Clinton Portis for MVP (who will play against Dallas, I guarantee it); however, the NFL is fickle beyond fickle. While CP still has the award well within his sights, two names have emerged in recent weeks: Adrian Peterson and Kurt Warner. While APete's performance Sunday was magical, I'm sticking with the ressurected QB in the desert. Despite his team nearly blowing it (at home, no less) against the Niners, Warner's numbers, poise in the pocket, and leadership are exactly what the red birds need. Can you honestly predict this team would be anything better than 3-6 with Matt "Laguna Beach" Leinart at the helms? Me thinks not. If you're a stat geek, a 100+ QB rating and 19 TDs through 9 games should suffice, right?

2) Same Old Melody
Ever watched a Chargers game the past few years? More than likely, here's the script:
A) Play like *** in the 1st half.
B) Struggle to get going in the 3rd quarter.
C) LT and Gates wear on opponent - Rivers gets cheap TD tosses - and win the game late.
Yep, that's how the Chargers "do it". Problem is, they have a playoff script too:
A) Underachieve
B) Underachieve
C) Sit out injuries without trying to play
D) Miss kicks with a "Pro Bowl" kicker left and right (literally).
Must be fun to enjoy the weather out there, at least.

3) NFC (L)East
Philly fans can blame the following after last Sunday night's loss - dropping them to 0-3 in the NFC East - at home (while favored!) to the Giants:
A) McNabb's ridiculous inaccuracy
B) Andy Reid's generic-beyond-stale playcalling
C) Whatever was with Brian Westbrook
D) Assante Samuel's averageness
E) A stupid rule - but not call - with Eli Manning's "forward pass"
F) Ryan Howard
Why Ryan Howard? Because the Phillies obviously took away all the "big wins" for the season for the city. That's why.

4) For Real?
How "legit" do you consider the NFC South? Here's how I feel.
A) New Orleans is a walking dissapointment. Instead of just stinking - as in years past - they are the 'darling' of America come pre-season. In the end though, they can't win close games, Drew Brees turns the ball over a lot more than we think, and the Reggie Bush-situation hasn't ever really worked out.
B) Carolina is who we thought they were. They have a talented defense that isn't underachieving this season, Steve Smith is still one of the best (not the best) wideouts in football, and their running game is hot and cold from week to week.
C) Tampa Bay will always be under the radar; yet, I don't see them sneaking into the playoffs this year. John Gruden gets the most out of a roster at opposite ends of the spectrum age-wise.
D) Atlanta...well, they're the feel good story of the season. Props to head coach Mike Smith, rookie QB Matt Ryan, and phenomenal wideout Roddy White. I'm enjoying the ride, playoffs or not.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

College Football Weekend: Top 10 & BCS Projections

And you thought we would just "hit it and quit it" after last weekend, didn't you? Didn't you?
Not a chance.
In fact, we're back and making scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Now remember…

-Any Division I-A team is eligible for at-large consideration. The BCS has never changed its automatic qualifiers -- the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the final standings; the champions of the Big East, Big Ten, Southeastern, Pac-10, Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conferences; Notre Dame if it finishes in the top eight; and a non-BCS team that finishes in the top 12, or in the top 16 if they're ahead of a BCS champion.
-No more than two teams from any conference, no questions asked. (Sorry Big XII fans)
-No plus-one game either. However, with the addition of the “BCS Title Game”…we at least have 10 teams and not 8 invited to the party.
-With that being said, we know the BCS gets released sometime late this afternoon/early evening on FOX.
-I don’t particularly feel like “guessing” what that outcome will be. Instead, here’s the PHSports Top Ten, followed by our BCS Bowl Projections. Don’t worry; they’re based on real-life standings and not our Top Ten. You can breathe now.

PHSports Top Ten Rankings:
1) (10-0) Alabama Crimson Tide
2) (10-0) Texas Tech Red Raiders
3) (8-1) Florida Gators
4) (9-1) Texas Longhorns
5) (9-1) Oklahoma Sooners
6) (8-1) USC Trojans
7) (10-0) Utah Utes
8) (9-0) Boise State Broncos
9) (8-2) Oklahoma State Cowboys
10) (9-1) Penn State Nittany Lions

On the Cusp: Ohio State, Missouri, UNC, Georgia, & Michigan State

BCS Bowl Projected Conference Champions: (as of today)
…get ready for a laugh…

ACC -- Wake Forest
Big East -- West Virginia
Big Ten -- Michigan State
Big 12 -- Texas Tech
Pac-10 -- USC
SEC -- Alabama

Note: Wake Forest gets in b/c of its 4-2 ACC record and its tie-breaker over FSU. WVU gets the nod at 3-1 in the conference as it owns the only win between the two others at 3-1 (over Cincy, Pitt has played neither). Michigan State is tops in the Big Ten at 6-1 (Penn State, who plays the Spartans later this season, is 5-1).

Top At-Large Candidates:

Utah (highest non-BCS automatic qualifier)
Boise State (second highest non-BCS automatic qualifier)
BYU (third highest non-BCS automatic qualifier...over TCU)
Penn State (owns a win @ Columbus and controls own Big Ten destiny)

Stop me if you've heard this before...

Of course, it’s borderline crazy to predict "insert ACC team" in the ACC. However, the truth is that conference is only getting one team into the BCS. Ditto for the Big (L)East (same as last week). As for the SEC, LSU is done and Georgia really doesn't have any realistic path anymore. Bama and the Gators are on a collision course, both locked into the SEC Title game. The real interesting scenario is how a 2-loss Florida team would stack up in the projection-mess. Of course, I won't simply dismiss FSU giving the Gators a good game either. Nevertheless, the winner of the SEC Championship Game - assuming both win out - seems a lock to be in the national championship game. Key word: seems.

You also have to remember the “two per conference” rules with the stacked Big 12. Texas Tech still needs to overcome a trip to Norman against the Sooners, after winning two in a row after beating Texas & Oklahoma State (impressively, might I add) in Lubbock. Of course, that doesn't even cover the possibility of the Big XII Title game, which seems more and more likely to have Missouri and Chase Daniels representing the maligned Big XII North division.

As for the non-BCS schools…

It’s not too unlikely that Boise State goes undefeated and returns to the BCS. Utah passed its toughest test on Thursday nigth against TCU; however, they do host BYU later this month. If the Utes lose and the Broncos win out, they'll be the "outsider" getting in.

Both Utah and Boise State could end up in the top 7 or 8 of the BCS; however, the rules state that only one of these teams has to be chosen. Another one could be chosen for one of the "at-large" bids, yet does that seem likely? Boise State fans or Ohio State fans? Let me think.

How about this “BCS lineup”: ...sans MEGA-POWERHOUSE Oklahoma (for now) might I add...

Orange Bowl:
Wake Forest Deamon Deacons vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

Sugar Bowl:
Texas Longhorns vs. Florida Gators

Fiesta Bowl:
Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Utah Utes

Note: Wouldn't it be all too ironic if the Fiesta - home to Boise State acclaim - actually did what was "right" and took Utah vs. Boise State. The ratings might be in the toilet...but I'd love it.

Rose Bowl:
USC Trojans vs. Michigan State Spartans

Note: Now the Rose Bowl gets its traditional Pac 10/Big 10 rivalry. The network is hoping my projections falter when Penn State defeats Michigan State at the end of their respective regular seasons.

BCS National Championship Game:
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Note: Remember, these aren't projections in the sense that I'm playing out every game. That's too easy and too risky. Instead, I'm trying to lay out the picture - as best as I can - as of today. If you don't like don't like it.

There’s much more on the radar; however, that’s all I’m giving out today.
Hope you enjoyed the second-go-round.

5 NFL Questions - Week 10

Since the games have already started, you will be reading an adjusted version of the 5 NFL Questions ....
  1. When will Rex Grossman throw his 1st pick six?
  2. With New Orleans down 11 late in the 1st half, will Brees throw for 200+ yards in the second half?
  3. Will the Pittsburgh O-Line be able to contain the edges against Freeney, Mathis & Co.?
  4. Will the Eagles try to establish the power running game against the blitz-happy Giants?
  5. Why on earth does Arizona and San Francisco have at least one nationally-televised game against each other every season?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

5 College Football Games We're All Excited For...Plus-1 Surprise

Is there any chance any of my loyal "readers" get the inference in the title.

My desire for at least a "plus-one" game; since we know a playoff is TKO'd before the match has started.


#12. Ohio State vs. Northwestern
Don't look now, but the Wildcats are 7-2 (bowl eligible) and might be creeping their way into the talk of the Big Ten's "second-tier". While only the Spartans have a realistic Rose Bowl chance - outside of Penn State - the Wildcats just might be playing on New Year's Day if they can pull off their biggest upset in seemingly countless years.

#22. Georgia Tech vs. #19. North Carolina
The ACC is completely up for grabs (especially since Maryland lost to Tech, as expected) and now seemingly half the conference "controls" its BCS destiny. Scary though, right? Cavalier, Hokie, Hurricane, and Seminole fans will have a keen interest in this outcome out of Chapel Hill.

Kansas State vs. #13. Missouri
With the Big 12 South LOADED (Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma, & Oklahoma State), too many people have forgotten the Big XII title game is likely to pair up the winner of Kansas v. Missouri. Nevertheless, the Tigers need to start building momentum for that not-as-major-as-last-year showdown with the Jayhawks.

#21. California vs. #7. USC
So Pete Carroll now wants a playoff...shocker. The loss in Corvalis continues to sting while the Golden Bears can take driver's spot en route to the Rose Bowl with a road victory. Something tells me picking against the Trojans at home is a mistake.

#8. Oklahaoma State vs. #2. Texas Tech
Everyone is picking against Mike Leach, Graham Harrell, and Michael Crabtree. Except me. They're at home and there won't be a letdown. They may win in the closing seconds (although not like last week I bet); however, I think Texas Tech is one-week away from its first loss. Maybe.

...under the radar a bit...

#3. Penn State vs. Iowa
Am I calling an upset? NO! However, the Nittany Lions may only have one more "test" before an undefeated campaign (hello Michigan State!). I'm still a little interested in how they perform agaisnt the underachieving Hawkeyes on the road. I'm just saying...

Note: I know I didn't mention Alabama vs. LSU. Why? I'm tired of the SEC right now and tired of Nick Saban's drama. Even if he isn't pushing it.

Enjoy the games...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Clement’s Weekly Picks and Prognostications…Week 10

Double digits in weekends of NFL action this season and the end of byes as we know it.
Okay, the second is true next week.

Nevertheless, we roll on!

NFL Picks: 23-15 [Fuzzy math has gotta stop, Clement. Karl Rove's fingerprint on American politics is slowly being smudged away.]
Upset Specials: 6-7 [Yeah, we wisely avoid those last week.]
...back to the Sportsbook...

Buffalo @ New England (-3 1/2)
Belicheat won't allow his team not to execute in the 4th quarter two weeks in a row. Even if David Thomas was acting far from his coach's desires. Trent Edwards is not going to throw well on the road and Marshawn Lynch is non-existent as of late.

Tennessee @ Chicago (+3)
Screaming push? Not a chance. Titans go to 9-0. Why? Two words. Sexy Rexy.

New Orleans @ Atlanta (-1)
The Saints (Jags, too) are my fantasy enigma. I'm taking the home Falcons. Yeah, I said it.

St. Louis @ NY Jets (-9)
I usually don't pick the Jets. I'm fearing a letdown; however, it appears Action Jackson won't play. Jets win, but I won't take the 9.

Baltimore @ Houston (-1)
Joe Flacco is a beast. Well, at least for rookie QBs from the CAA. Right? Right. Oh yeah...Ravens road-W.

Upset Special (1 and only!)
NY Giants @ Philadelphia (-3)
Taking the G-Men straight up. Why? Two words. Justin Tuck.

Top Ten Fantasy Insights of the Week...You Didn't Expect
1) Nobody should ever call into local radio and ask if they should start Andre Johnson as one of their 3 wideouts. I heard it four times today and nearly puked by the end.
2) Lav Coles and Jericho Cotchery are not 50/50 options. Still start them.
3) Kurt Warner is likely the steal of your fantasy football draft. Check the numbers.
4) Where is that Colston guy in Nawlins?
5) Anybody who has Len Dale and CJ...start both of em and smile.
6) Joey Galloway will not be more than a lucky 1-week start all season long.
7) Don't go to nuts over Brady Quinn just yet.
8) Brandon Marshall is gonna wear down by Week 14.
9) Denver needs to make a trade for an RB. Oh wait, that deadline came and went a long time ago.
10) I'd still take Randy Moss over Santana Moss on my fantasy roster. I think.

Anything else, you think of!

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

InClement Weather

I can't take credit for the title; however, I can get right to my two points for today.

Something tells me he's gonna win a "few more" of these...
Credit: DoubleNation

Point #1: It's OKAY that Texas Tech leapfrogged Penn State in the AP Poll.

Texas Tech is undefeated. They play in a tougher conference. They have a more impressive win(@home vs. Texas beats out @Columbus against the Buckeyes). Penn State might end up being this year's "Auburn" if Texas Tech defies the odds and goes undefeated throughout Big 12 play (ditto for Bama in the SEC). We'll worry about that later. You can blame the system, not the polls, for that "issue". The BCS is likely to work out for an undefeated Penn State still, but then again...who knows with computers being involved.

In the end, it's cut and dry for me. Texas Tech has more checks next to it when compared directly to Penn State.

Mark these words: if anyone goes undefeated in a BCS-conference (i.e. the MAJORS), they're playing in the BCS Title Game. I said it. I meant it.

Point #2: It's NOT OKAY that Oklahoma is ranked higher than Texas in the USA Today/Coaches Poll.

If you think that there is honestly any logic behind ranking Oklahoma in front of Texas: shut up. Yeah, I said shut up. Honestly, college football polls are beyond ludicrous. (Yet, I’m here complaining about something I find irrelevant. Brilliant!) They are designed to do nothing more than sell games on national television and tick off blog writers (hello!). Like I give a damn what Georgia and Florida's rankings are. Sadly - as evident in my first point - we have to react to them and we have to worry about their seemingly countless flaws.

As for the former "World Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party", when both teams have one loss and the SEC East is for the taking, I don't need single-digits next to each team's name to get excited. To top it all off, we have these ridiculous pre-season polls which overinflate big-name programs and - even worse - prop up that year's trendy pick (i.e. Clemson). Stupid and lame are my responses to that mess.

As for the heart of this gripe, this past weekend #1 Texas traveled to #6 Texas Tech for the Longhorns' fourth top-12 showdown in four weeks. While computers may not take it into account, Texas went into hostile Lubbock - fell down 19-0 - and scored the potential game-winning touchdown with the now-infamous 1:29 left. We know the rest. We saw the drive, the dropped tipped ball, the catch, the broken tackle, and the bedlam that ensued. What the coaches (i.e. pollsters) should've seen whenever they were given their ranking's sheet is one glaring result: Saturday, October 11th in Dallas, Texas defeats Oklahoma 45-35. By 10 points on a neutral field, people. I don't care what they were ranked at the time, Texas won. By 10!

Meanwhile, one idiotic coach gives a 1-loss Oklahoma team a first-place vote? Based on what? I don't care if you think they're "better" than the teams above them. Look at their records and look at their wins and losses. If your idiotic logic reigned supreme, Georgia would've played USC for the National Championship last year. We wouldn't have witnessed the turd that was LSU/Ohio State. Despite that logic not working against me, logic damn well better win out. The Coaches poll is fraudulent for this very example.

The AP poll shouldn't take solace either. They've proven countless times how trivial they are as well. (Florida with a first-place vote is a relevant response TODAY!) Oklahoma has NO business - at least this week - being ranked before Texas. Blaming it on "when they lost" is beyond inexcusable. Not to mention, my last point, is look at their losses. Oklahoma lost to Texas, ranked below them, on a neutral field.

Is that worse than Texas losing to Texas Tech (ranked higher than BOTH Oklahoma and Texas by EVERYONE involved) on the road! No no no no no NO!

Now fix it!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tuesday FourCast: Week 9

I've given this week's FourCast a commercial theme for the most part. While we all look forward to Super Bowl commercials, the current commercials (especially during the Presidential Campaigns) are the type of mindless drivel that could drive us all insane. Anyway...I'll kick it off with the worst of them all.

1) Saved By Zero

I now understand the annoyance level of Terrell Owens (sorta). Watching college and NFL football over the last three weekends has caused me to hear the all too familiar jingle on the Toyota commercials. I have even discussed the fact that the cars in the commercial are animated, and the fact that the Prius doesn't get that kind of financing because the market is hot for them and Toyota wants to put it to Prius buyers with their financing. Regardless, the commercial is driving me insane. Anyway...T.O. seems to be dealing with the same kind of frustration when it comes to his QBs. Brad Johnson was nothing short of...well...short on a lot of his noodle-armed passes. Brooks Bollinger showed his true value on his first play (an interception). The Cowboys are in shambles, and while the return of Romo would make T.O. less frustrated, there seems to be more to fix on that team than just the QB situation. Some DBs that can cover would be a start.

2) Can you hand your team to a man who has never been in charge of anything?

While McCain's Campaign aired this commercial way too much, I think Curt Menefee made a great observation in his live editorial on Fox NFL Sunday which asked the same question. There are too many teams out there that are run by non-football people. I'm interested to know which team he mentioned is now run by a former blogger. It makes me feel qualified to run a team. He also mentioned that these non-football people running these teams have made knee-jerk reactions to the media and the criticism of their respective teams. While I'm not going to complain about how well they're doing now, as a Redskins fan I have seen this with Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato. They are not football guys, and it's taken them a while to get to the current success that they're having. How many teams are dealing with this issue? I would say Oakland is a pretty good place to begin.

3) $5 Foot Long

A bargain, right? Except when you realize you just saved $0.19 on your sub. Want a real bargain? Look no further than the Titans who just finished up a perfect first half of the season. They entered this season with nearly $18 million in cap space (6th lowest cap figure in the league). In my opinion, several factors lead to the 8-0 Titans. First and foremost, you start with Jeff Fisher. He has been the head coach of the franchise since 1994 (replacing Jack Pardee late in the season). The defensive system has been intact since that time, and while the offense has changed somewhat over that time, the overall structure remained. At the QB position, they actually have a real QB playing. Kerry Collins has solidified that offense with his ability to make reads (better than Vince Young, at least) and complete passes. Finally, you add Chris Johnson to the mix, who is everything Chris Henry was supposed to be at RB for this franchise. Many jumped on the Titans on draft day for taking Johnson so early. The Titans are having the last laugh with Johnson, who is leading the AFC in rushing. If they can secure homefield advantage over the next 8 weeks, they could find themselves playing for the Lombardi.

4) This is a Test

For the next sixty days, the "team" known as the Lions will conduct a test of the Emergency QB System. This is only a test. However, should Daunte Culpepper show us anything during that time, he could resurrect his career (sort of). One of the questions is whether the Lions are the right team for him. A few things don’t make a lot of sense. Culpepper (as Sum would put it) is no spring chicken. Drew Stanton was about to be handed the reigns this year. The Lions are in rebuild mode. I don’t think I’ll be too far out on a limb to predict that this union between Culpepper and the Lions won’t end in any kind of great success.

Monday, November 03, 2008

AI Is A Piston

As you all know, pending a medical examination, AI will be joining the boys of MoTown in a return to the Eastern Conference. Chauncey Billups has been dangled since the off-season and is the key piece heading to Denver along with big men Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb.

Some instant analysis from this trade:
* On its face, Denver is the winner and beefs up a thin frontline.
* When examined closer, Detroit acquires an expiring contract of a fading star and ships that of Billups (signed until 2010-11 with a team option the next year) and McDyess (signed until 2010). Cheikh Samb may have just been a salary leveller. Detroit basically announced that it will be a major player in the free agency market of Summer 2010. This cannot be understated.
* The Melo/AI project did not work.
* Denver wants more PT for the volatile JR Smith.
* Detroit lacks a true starting point guard (sorry guys, Rodney Stuckey and AI are not point guards) and have three starters worthy of playing the two. If you are not Clement (who hates Arron Afflalo), then they may have four.
* AI is playing for a contract or a championship, and not with Detroit. Don't be shocked if he gets traded again.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

College Football Weekend: Top 10 & BCS Projections

After taking a “few too many weeks” off, this writer is now in the last week of coaching middle school football (sadly, a record-breaking 6-0 season may be followed up with an 0-6 unmitigated disaster) and decided to return to college football speak.

Specifically, that of the BCS.
And to think…we might not need to drop the C this year.
Yeah, sure.

Now remember…
Any Division I-A team is eligible for at-large consideration. The BCS has never changed its automatic qualifiers -- the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the final standings; the champions of the Big East, Big Ten, Southeastern, Pac-10, Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conferences; Notre Dame if it finishes in the top eight; and a non-BCS team that finishes in the top 12, or in the top 16 if they're ahead of a BCS champion.

Remember as well…
No more than two teams from any conference, no questions asked. (Sorry Big XII fans)
No plus-one game either. However, with the addition of the “BCS Title Game”…we at least have 10 teams and not 8 invited to the party.

With that being said, we know the BCS gets released sometime late this afternoon/early evening on FOX.

I don’t particularly feel like “guessing” what that outcome will be. Instead, here’s the PHSports Top Ten, followed by our BCS Bowl Projections. Don’t worry; they’re based on real-life standings and not our Top Ten. You can breathe now.

PHSports Top Ten Rankings:
1) (9-0) Alabama Crimson Tide
2) (9-0) Penn State Nittany Lions
3) (9-0) Texas Tech Red Raiders
4) (7-1) Florida Gators
5) (8-1) Texas Longhorns
6) (8-1) Oklahoma Sooners
7) (7-1) USC Trojans
8) (8-1) Oklahoma State Cowboys
9) (9-0) Utah Utes
10) (8-0) Boise State Broncos

On the Cusp: TCU, Ohio State, Missouri, Ball State, Georgia, & UNC

BCS Bowl Projected Conference Champions: (as of today)
…get ready for a laugh…

ACC -- Maryland
Big East -- West Virginia
Big Ten -- Penn State
Big 12 -- Texas Tech
Pac-10 -- USC
SEC -- Alabama

Top At-Large Candidates:

Utah (highest non-BCS automatic qualifier)
Boise State (second highest non-BCS automatic qualifier)
TCU (third highest non-BCS automatic qualifier)
Ohio State (top two-loss team beloved by the computers)

Shocking, right?

Of course, it’s borderline crazy to predict Maryland (3-1 in the ACC) in the ACC. However, the truth is that conference is only getting one team into the BCS. Ditto for the Big (L)East. As for the SEC, Georgia & LSU seem outsiders now – outside of an SEC Title Game upset – with Bama and the Gators on a collision course. You also have to remember the “two per conference” rules with the stacked Big 12. Texas Tech gets two ridiculous tests in a row after beating Texas in Lubbock (Ok. State & @Oklahoma) AND the rest of the conference still has several key showdowns. Meanwhile, Pac-10 supremacy is on the line with Cal vs. USC next weekend.

As for the non-BCS schools…

It’s not too unlikely that Boise State goes undefeated and returns to the BCS. Utah has a much tougher road, although they do host both TCU and BYU in the next month. The Utah/TCU matchup almost assures only one of them can get in; however, it’s not unlikely that BYU sneaks back into consideration with a strong stretch.

I can easily foresee a realistic scenario in which Boise State, BYU, and TCU are in the BCS top 12. Especially if a few favorites hold key and the “middle of the pack” can’t keep up.
Whether that’s a good or bad thing, remains to be seen.

How about this “BCS lineup”:

Orange Bowl:
Maryland Terrapins vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

Sugar Bowl:
Texas Longhorns vs. Florida Gators

Fiesta Bowl:
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Utah Utes

Rose Bowl:
USC Trojans vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Note: I’ve always found the Rose Bowl to be a mockery of “pageantry and tradition”. They’ll choke us with the all-too-typical Pac 10/Big 10 rivalry game; instead of USC/Boise State.

BCS National Championship Game:
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Penn State Nittany Lions

There’s much more on the radar; however, that’s all I’m giving out today.