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Archive for January, 2011

Five Bracketbuster Games That Matter

The Aggies might need to beat St Mary's to get an at-large bid

Five Bracketbuster Games That Matter

ESPN just unveiled their Bracketbuster weekend matchups to be played February 18-20. These matchups could play a critical role in determining the tournament worthiness of some of these teams. Some teams like St Mary’s and Old Dominion have seemingly done enough OOC to warrant a potential at-large selection. But most of these teams might need that one quality win added to their resume to justify inclusion into this year’s field of 68.

Here are the top matchups with each team’s current RPI listed:

  1. (30)Utah State at (34) St Mary’s (CA): Both teams involved are possible at-large candidates if they don’t win their conference tournaments. St Mary’s has a solid OOC profile but they’re hopes took a hit with the blowout loss to Portland on Saturday. Utah State doesn’t have a great OOC profile. USU is 0-2 against the top 25 RPI teams and 0-0 against the rest of the top 100. This could be a must-win for their at-large hopes.
  2. (53) Virginia Commonwealth at (48) Wichita State: VCU has an early season win over UCLA and a tough loss to Tennessee in the Preseason NIT. Wichita State has a close loss in Maui to Connecticut and also lost to San Diego State. Although the CAA is probably better than the MVC this season, both teams might have to win this game in order to warrant an at-large bid on Selection Sunday.
  3.  (29) Cleveland State at (31) Old Dominion: If ODU was in a top 8 league, they’d be playing for a seed right now. But in the CAA, nobody can take an at-large for granted. Cleveland State might win Butler’s conference. But Butler is down and the Horizon is ranked 11 in the RPI. In addition, while the Vikings only lost to West Virginia OOC, they don’t have any “resume” wins. Like Utah State, it’s going to be hard to convince the BCS dominated selection committee that they are tournament worthy without a good win. Beating ODU would do just that. ODU can solidify their already tournament worthy resume with a win here.
  4. (33) George Mason at (55) Northern Iowa: Mason is lacking a “big” win against a BCS-type, but have good wins over Harvard (don’t sleep on Tommy Amaker’s team) and Duquesne. The Patriots have a very good RPI and can get into very good position to claim an at-large bid should they lose in the CAA final. UNI has won seven straight but underwhelmed during their OOC schedule and has a couple of bad losses. They would be a surprise at-large selection, even with a win over Mason.
  5. (46) Missouri State at (56) Valparaiso: Missouri State doesn’t have a good history when it comes to getting at-large bids and this year might get added to their list of disappointments. Even with a win over Valpo, MSU has to win the Valley and lose in the MVC final to get at-large consideration. Valpo might end up winning the Horizon if they beat out Cleveland State. Even with a Horizon regular season title, it’s difficult to see them getting an at-large with losses to RPI 324 Toledo and no OOC wins of note.

Despite Butler and Gonzaga sitting out the Bracketbusters, these might be the only mid-majors that you see in the Big Dance since those two schools might not get at-large bids on Selection Sunday. Although these matchups are a great idea, it would be nice if the big boys would give these teams more of a chance during November and December when they’re usually playing teams south of 250 in the RPI.

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Brett Favre vs Bill Cowher: Who Has the Most to Lose In the Super Bowl?

It doesn't look like the Steelers miss Billy the Chin

Both Favre and Cowher got to Green Bay and Pittsburgh, respectively, for the 1992 season. Cowher left the Steelers after the 2006 season, one year removed from winning his only Super Bowl. Favre was traded to the Jets after the 2007 season that ended with a loss to the Giants in the NFC championship game in Lambeau Field. Favre played his final 11 seasons in Green Bay without winning a Super Bowl.

With the “Big Game” coming up on Sunday, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at who has the most to lose in that game and why these two might (probably) be rooting against their former teams.

Favre’s history with the Packers:

  1. Packers got sick of him retiring and un-retiring, then shipped him to the Jets instead of Vikings. Deal with Jets contained a “poison pill” which would have required the Jets to compensate the Packers with 3 additional first round picks if they sent Favre to a NFC North team.
  2. Favre reportedly spoke with Matt Millen regarding the Packers offense before the Lions played the Packers in October 2008. After some hemming and hawing, Millen and Favre admitted to speaking with each other, but not about the Packers.
  3. Aaron Rodgers claimed that Favre wouldn’t talk to him after he was traded from the Packers.
  4. After the 2008 season with the Jets, Favre retired, was released from the Jets, and then high-tailed it to Minneapolis to join the Vikings. Favre and new coach Brad Childress would make sweet music together. Well, at least they would win for one season.
  5. A few weeks back, following Aaron Rodgers “perfect” game against the Falcons, Favre selectively praised the Packers team, especially its defense. Rodgers and his extraordinary play were not mentioned.

Why does Favre have problems with Rodgers and the Packers? It’s because his already tarnished legacy is in play here. If the Packers win the Super Bowl only 3 years after Favre departed, what does that say about the ‘Ol Gunslinger? At least people would ask the question and that would be enough to get under his skin. Does anybody know if Favre will be wearing his authentic Steelers #7 jersey in Kiln on Sunday?

Cowher’s history with the Steelers:

  1. Cowher was criticized frequently for his team’s inability to get to the Super Bowl during his tenure in Pittsburgh. Five times Cowher’s teams lost in the playoffs at home, four of those in the AFC championship game. Included in those numbers is the 15-1 team in 2004 that lost to New England. The Minnesota Vikings of 1998 are the only other 15-1 team to not make the Super Bowl.
  2. Cowher wouldn’t open up the offense with the Steelers. He’s been criticized for trying to run the ball too much, especially when some of his Steelers’ teams were built to spread the field and pass. The Tomlin versions of the Steelers have been more wide open offensively and the Steelers are in their second Super Bowl in the four years since Billy the Chin left.
  3. Cowher is clearly petty enough to care about his reputation as the hit that he put out on the Giants Tom Coughlin, Dolphins Tony Sparano, and Texans Gary Kubiak indicates. None of these three were fired despite Cowher’s media plant, Chris Mortenson, letting it be known that Cowher wanted one of those three jobs.
  4. During the run-up to the AFC championship game two weeks ago, Cowher appeared on New York talk radio and indicated that he felt the Jets would win. By game time Sunday, he had backtracked and picked the Steelers. But that was after the backlash from the Steelers and their fans, including Hines Ward, who played nine years for Cowher.

Cowher’s situation is more about creating demand for his coaching skills and attracting the employer of HIS choice, as evidenced by the Mortenson plant. If the Steelers appear to be better off without Billy the Chin, then that might affect demand for him to coach.

So who has the most at stake? Well with Favre, it’s strictly personal. The business side of his career is over (hopefully) and his legacy is set. Does it stand the test of time?

With Cowher, it’s different. His situation is a mix of personal and business, but it’s mostly business. He’s going to eventually want another head coaching job and if his reputation/legacy takes a hit based on Tomlin’s success, then it could drive down the demand for Cowher and the cash that a coach in high demand commands. Since cash is King, Billy the Chin has the most to lose.

Road to Selection Sunday for Jan 31

The Red Storm stood tall against the Dukies yesterday

Welcome to the Road to Selection Sunday for Jan 31

A couple of big wins on Sunday have gotten St John’s and Washington State back into contention for an at-large bid next month. Both teams have plenty more to do, but their chances are a lot more legitimate now with those wins.

Yesterday’s Winners:

St. John’s: Big win in the Garden over Duke. They were up big all game and now have a big OOC win on their resume. Their OOC profile is still a little shaky with those A-10 losses, but this helps offset those a bit. Next weekend at UCLA is their final opportunity to solidify their OOC profile.

Washington State: At 4-4 in the Pac-10, the Cougars couldn’t afford to go to 5 losses this early in the season. They probably still need 12-13 conference wins to make the Big Dance, but losing this game would have been crippling. A sweep next weekend in Oregon is a must.

Northern Iowa: The Panthers win at Missouri State gives them seven straight and puts them in position to win the MVC regular season. Their RPI is now 55 and with a Bracketbuster win, they might find a way into the at-large discussion should they fail to win the MVC tourney.

Duquesne: The Dukes remained unbeaten in the A-10 by taking down Dayton. While they don’t have a great OOC profile, the Dukes might be able to get into the at-large discussion if they can win the A-10 regular season title and not lose early in AC.

Michigan: The Wolverines NCAA chances remained on life support after beating Iowa on Sunday to bring their Big Ten record to 3-6. They need to get to at least .500 to have a chance.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies kept their sputtering NCAA chances going by getting a must-win over Miami.

Michigan State: Put the Spartans under survivors after escaping over Indiana in OT yesterday. Is there a more disappointing team in the country right now than Sparty?

Maryland: The Terps faint NCAA hopes stayed alive with their must-win in Atlanta over the Yellow Jackets.

Losers:

ACC: The Duke loss illustrates how down the conference is this season and there will be a trickle down effect on Selection Sunday.

Duke: Unless they win out, the Dukies might be playing for a 2 seed. It will be interesting to see how Duke will be compared with Big East teams that have 2-3 more losses on Selection Sunday but a much more difficult schedule.

Dayton: The Flyers faint NCAA hopes are slipping away and an almost 20 point loss to Duquesne might have put the nail in their coffin.

Providence: The Friars woke up and scored two big wins over Louisville and Villanova giving them hope. Yesterday’s loss to Seton Hall should quell that.

Miami (FL): The Canes just can’t win in the ACC. They’re now 1-6 and virtually out of contention for an at-large berth. They entered the ACC with one of the top 4 RPI’s in the conference, but their OOC performance has gone for naught for the second year in a row.

Missouri State: The Bears have a dubious OOC profile and really need at least 15 MVC wins to make their at-large case. They really don’t have any more margin for error now.

Tonight’s Notable Games: RPI in ()

(23) Louisville at (5) Georgetown: ESPN at 7 EST

(10) Texas at (16) Texas A&M: ESPN at 9 EST

Click here for conference breakdowns on This Week in College Basketball.

Big Ten Basketball Overview January 31

Big Ten Basketball Overview January 31

Team Overviews: Records are going into January 31st. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Current NCAA Locks:

Ohio State Buckeyes RPI 3

  • 22-0, 9-0 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 13-0 with a good win over Florida. They have 7 gimme wins. RPI 8, schedule 114.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Ind, at Iowa, Minn, at Mich, Penn St, Iowa, at Ill, Purdue, NW
  • The Buckeyes can probably get a #1 seed if they go 16-2 in the Big Ten and at least win a game in the Big Ten tourney, depending who beats them.

Purdue Boilermakers RPI 8

  • 18-4, 7-2 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 11-1 with a solid win over Virginia Tech and losses to Richmond and West Virginia. They had 4 gimme wins. RPI 16, schedule 79.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Mich, NW, at Penn St, Iowa, Penn St, Mich St, Minn    Losses: at Minn, at Ohio St
  • The Boilers look pretty good, except when playing the Buckeyes. They can get a 2 seed if they win at least 9 more games. That could vary based on how the top Big East teams do.

Minnesota Golden Gophers RPI 20

  • 16-5, 5-4 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 11-1 with solid wins over West Virginia and North Carolina. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 28, schedule 127.
  • Big Ten Wins: Ind, Pur, Iowa, at Mich, NW     Losses: at Wis, at Mich St, at Ohio St, at Pur
  • The Gophers have played a tough Big Ten schedule so far. With manageable road games and a shot at Ohio St at home, the Gophers can make a run. If they can win at least 8 more with a win over Ohio St, they should be a Sweet 16 seed on Selection Sunday.

Wisconsin Badgers RPI 27

  • 15-5, 5-3 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 10-2 with wins over BC and Marquette and losses to UNLV and Notre Dame. They also had 5 gimme wins. RPI 34, schedule 124.
  • Big Ten Wins: Minn, Mich, Ill, Ind, at NW   Losses: at Ill, at Mich St, at Penn St
  • The Badgers aren’t going to make any headway without winning on the road. They are going to need at least 7 more wins to feel secure on Selection Sunday.

 

Bubble Territory:

Illinois Fighting Illini RPI 39

  • 14-7, 4-4 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with solid wins over Maryland, North Carolina, and Gonzaga with losses to Texas and Missouri. They also have a horrible loss to Illinois-Chicago and 4 gimme wins. RPI 39, schedule 61.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Iowa, Wisc, NW, Michigan St    Losses: at Penn St, at Wis, Ohio St, at Ind
  • That Indiana loss, combined with their UIC loss could haunt the Illini on Selection Sunday. They need to win at least 7 more games to be secure on Selection Sunday. The rest of their schedule is tough.

Michigan State Spartans RPI 38

  • 13-8, 5-4 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 8-4 with their only good win over Washington, but solid losses to Syracuse, Connecticut, Duke, and Texas. They also have 4 gimme wins and a non-division I win. RPI 57, schedule 21.
  • Big Ten Wins: Minn, at NW, Wis, NW, Ind   Losses: at Penn St, at Ill, at Pur, Mich
  • Rough stretch for the Spartans, losing 3 of 4 and barely beating Indiana. They are going to need at least 7 more wins to make it on Selection Sunday. Beating Ohio State can give them some additional wiggle room.

Penn State Nittany Lions RPI 45

  • 12-8, 5-4 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 7-4 with a win over Duquesne and losses to Ole Miss, Maryland and Virginia Tech. They also have 3 gimme wins a horrible loss to Maine. RPI 88, schedule 32.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Ind, Mich St, Ill, Iowa, Wis    Losses: at Mich, Pur, at Ohio St, at Pur
  • The Lions need to win at least 8 more to be secure on Selection Sunday. The timing of the Ohio State game could be huge if they win.

 

Needs To Get Hot:

Michigan Wolverines RPI 73

  • 13-9, 3-6 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with no good wins, but solid losses to Syracuse and Kansas. They also have 5 gimme wins and a non-division I win. RPI 61, schedule 66.
  • Big Ten Wins: Penn St, at Mich St, Iowa    Losses: Pur, at Wis, Ohio St, at Ind, at NW, Minn
  • Those were two big wins last week for the Wolverines. John Beilein’s job has to be on the line if they don’t have at least a 9-9 record in the Big Ten and their 1-6 looked like they were doomed. They need at least 9 more wins with a deep run in the Big Ten tourney to get in. But it looks more doable today than it did last week.

 

Northwestern Wildcats RPI 87

  • 13-8, 3-7 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 9-1 with no impressive wins and their loss was decent, to St. John’s. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 60, schedule 291.
  • Big Ten Wins: Ind, at Iowa, Mich   Losses: at Pur, Mich St, at Ill, at Mich St, Wis, at Minn, Ohio St
  • Hanging on for their NCAA lives in Evanston. They can only lose once before the Big Ten championship game.

 

Better Win the Conference Tournament:

Indiana Hoosiers RPI 150

  • 11-11, 2-7 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 9-4 with no good wins. RPI 144, schedule 258.
  • The Hoosiers are showing some life with the big win over Illinois and close loss to Sparty.

Iowa Hawkeyes RPI 158

  • 8-13, 1-8 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 7-5 with no good wins. RPI 191, schedule 296.
  • The race for last in the Big Ten is a tight one. Fran’s a good coach, it will get better.

 

That’s this week’s Big Ten overview. This will be updated next Sunday.

Make sure you check in every morning for a review of the previous day’s games on the Road to Selection Sunday.

Big East Basketball Overview January 31

January 31, 2011 1 comment

Big East Basketball Overview January 31

Team Overviews: Records are going into January 31st. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Current NCAA Locks:

Pittsburgh Panthers RPI 9

  • 20-2, 8-1 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 12-1 with solid wins over Rhode Island, Maryland, and Texas and a solid loss to Tennessee. RPI 15, schedule 78.
  • Big East: Wins: Conn, at Prov, Marq, at Gtown, Seton Hall, Syr, at Dep, at Rut   Losses: ND
  • The Panthers still have the look of a #1 seed. If they win 8 or 9 or more, they should be a #1, depending on if they win the regular season title and not lose their first game in MSG.

Connecticut Huskies RPI 6

  • 17-3, 5-3 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 12-0 with good wins over Wichita State, Michigan State, Kentucky, at Texas, and Tennessee. RPI 2, schedule 28.
  • Big East: Wins: USF, Rut, at Dep, Vill, at Marq   Losses: at Pitt, at ND, Lou
  • The Huskies have a great OOC profile and have done well in the conference. They need at least 9 more wins to claim a #1 seed and not lose their first game in MSG.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish RPI 7

  • 17-4, 6-3 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 11-1 with good wins over Georgia, Wisconsin, and Gonzaga with a good loss to Kentucky. RPI 23, schedule 122.
  • Big East: Wins: Gtown, Conn, St John’s, Cin, Marq, at Pitt      Losses: at Syr, at Marq, at St John’s
  • Nobody in the country has two wins like the ones the Irish have over Pitt and UConn. While they don’t look consistent enough to win the Big East, if they won at least 9 more, they might get a #1 seed.

Georgetown Hoyas RPI 5

  • 16-5, 5-4 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 11-1 with good wins at Old Dominion, at Missouri, and Utah State. Solid loss to Temple. RPI 1, schedule 4.
  • Big East: Wins: Dep, at Rut, at Seton Hall, St John’s, at Vill   Losses: at ND, at St John’s, WVU, Pitt
  • Nice comeback for the Hoyas from their 1-4 start in the Big East. That win on Saturday against Nova was huge. The Hoyas need at least 7 more wins to ensure a Sweet 16 seed.

Villanova Wildcats RPI 14

  • 17-4, 5-3 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 11-1 with Maryland on Saturday. They have a good win over Temple and UCLA. RPI 18, schedule 126.
  • Big East: Wins: Rut, at USF, Cin, Lou, at Syr   Losses: at Conn, at PC, Gtown
  • Tough week with losses to PC and Georgetown. The Cats need to win at least 9 more to get a Sweet 16 seed.

Syracuse Orangemen RPI 21

  • 18-4, 5-4 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 13-0 with wins over Michigan and Michigan State. RPI 9, schedule 131.
  • Big East: Wins: PC, ND, at Seton Hall, at St John’s, Cin    Losses: at Pitt, Vill, Seton Hall, at Marq
  • Four losses in a row for the Cuse and they’re soft schedule is becoming a factor. They need at least 8 more wins to get a Sweet 16 seed.

Louisville Cardinals RPI 24

  • 17-4, 6-2 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 11-2 with a decent win over Butler and a good win over UNLV with losses to Drexel and Kentucky. RPI 52, schedule 87.
  • Big East: Wins: Seton Hall, at USF, Marq, St John’s, WV, at Conn    Losses: Vill, at Prov
  • Very good week for the Cards with wins over WVU and at UConn. They would only get a #1 seed if they only lose once more. Their OOC profile isn’t that great. They need at least 8 more wins to ensure a Sweet 16 seed.

West Virginia Mountaineers RPI 12

  • 14-6, 5-3 in Big East.
  • OOC rundown: 9-3 with solid wins over Purdue, Vanderbilt and Cleveland St and losses to Minnesota, Miami (FL), and Marshall. RPI 7, schedule 3.
  • Big East: Wins: at Dep, at Gtown, PC, USF, at Cin     Losses: St John’s, at Marq, at Lou
  • It’s going to take a solid finish, but the Mountaineers can get a Sweet 16 seed with at least 8 more wins.

 

Bubble Territory:

Cincinnati Bearcats RPI 42

  • 18-4, 5-4 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 13-0 with blowout wins over Dayton and Xavier and 7 gimmes. RPI 45, schedule 294.
  • Big East: Wins: Dep, Seton Hall, USF, at St John’s, Rut     Losses: at Vill, at Syr, at ND, WVU
  • The Bearcats aren’t there yet. The only win over a current sure thing is Xavier. The Bearcats are probably not a Sweet 16 candidate, but can get into that 5-7 seed area by winning at least 8 more games.

 St John’s Redman RPI 25

  • 12-8, 4-5 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 8-3 with a game at UCLA remaining. They have beaten Duke, but lost to St Mary’s, St Bonaventure, and Fordham. RPI 42, schedule 56.
  • Big East: Wins: at WVU, at PC, Gtown, ND   Losses: at ND, Syr, at Lou, Cin, at Gtown
  • Three straight losses were followed by a huge OOC resume win over Duke on Sunday. It still looks like the Johnnies need to get to 19 or 20 wins to make it. The Duke win is good, but those A-10 losses are worse than the Duke win was good.

Marquette Warriors RPI 58

  • 14-8, 5-4 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 9-4 with no notable wins and losses to Duke, Gonzaga, Wisconsin, and Vanderbilt. RPI 133, schedule 209.
  • Big East: Wins: WVU, at Rut, ND, Dep, Syr   Losses: at Pitt, at Lou, at ND, Conn
  • Marquette can go either way right now. The overall strength of the Big East is the only thing propping up their chances. They need at least another 7 wins to feel safe on Selection Sunday.

 

Needs To Get Hot:

Rutgers Scarlet Knights RPI 99

  • 12-9, 3-6 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 9-3 with a good win over Miami (FL) and a decent loss to North Carolina and bad losses to Princeton and St. Joseph’s. RPI 117, schedule 279.
  • The Scarlet Knights need to win at least 9 more games and get help. A spirited showing in the Big East tourney is a must.

Providence Friars RPI 97

  • 13-9, 2-7 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 11-2 with a solid win over URI and a decent loss to BC. RPI 77, schedule 231.
  • If they end up with an 8-10 Big East record or better and win more than one game in MSG, then we’ll talk. So I’m saying they have a chance.

Better Win the Conference Tournament:

Seton Hall Pirates RPI 89

  • 10-12, 4-6 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 6-6 with no good wins and plenty of solid losses. RPI 128, schedule 54.
  • Their losing record shouldn’t turn off the CBI committee.

South Florida Bulls RPI 122

  • 8-14, 2-7 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 6-7 with a win over VCU and plenty of losses. RPI 118, schedule 24.
  • Not this year.

DePaul Blue Demons RPI 234

  • 6-14, 0-8 in Big East
  • OOC rundown: 6-6 with no good wins and plenty of bad losses. RPI 262, schedule 266.
  • Will they win a game in the Big East?

 

That’s this week’s Big East overview. This will be updated next Sunday.

Make sure you check in every morning for a review of the previous day’s games on the Road to Selection Sunday.

Michael Vick to remain an Eagle; will Kevin Kolb be traded?

January 30, 2011 2 comments

Mr. Excitement to remain in Philly

The worst kept secret of the upcoming NFL offseason has been revealed. The Eagles will use the “Franchise Tag” on Michael Vick virtually ensuring that he plays for the team again next season, whenever that might be.

Given Vick’s on-field exploits during his 2010 comeback season, this was a no-brainer for the typically shrewd Eagles brass. Keeping Vick ensures that the Eagles will remain contenders next season and cause headaches and other ailments in NFC East rival cities Dallas, New York, and Washington.

So for the next 7-8 months, or however long it will be before the players go to training camp for the next season, the pressure has shifted to Vick. He goes into the offseason having regained his prominence as the most exciting player in professional football and the typical off-field scrutiny is sure to follow. Vick still has over a year left on his probation and his suspended sentence stemming from his conviction for dog fighting in 2007.

Last summer, Vick was unable to navigate the offseason without incident, which undoubtedly played into the Eagles decision to use the Franchise Tag and not sign him to a long-term deal with an enormous signing bonus. To get that long-term deal, Vick will have to make it through this offseason without any issues and prove that he’s going to avoid any kind of trouble that might get him locked up again.

As for Kevin Kolb, the Eagles are reportedly now discussing trading their 2010 opening day starter. With this being reported the day after the Senior Bowl was played, one wonders if the Eagles found somebody to make their newest QB project?

Kolb’s value shouldn’t get any higher than it is right now and there are plenty of possibilities for a trade partner:

  • Carolina: The Panthers say that they are not comfortable with Jimmy Clausen as their QB and that they consider that a position of need. Now a skeptic would see that and determine that the Panthers are posturing in an effort to drive up the price for their first overall pick and the ability to draft anybody on the board. But if the Panthers are serious and they are interested in Kolb, maybe a combination of Kolb and the Eagles #23 pick for the #1 could come up?
  • Buffalo: You never really know with the Bills these days. There’s been a lot of speculation in upstate New York about their QB situation. Would 92 yr old Ralph Wilson be more comfortable with a somewhat proven NFL QB like Kolb over a rookie draft pick like Gabbert or Newton? This could be another potential trade with Kolb and the #23 for the Bills #3 pick.
  • Cincinnati: Carson Palmer wants out. Would the Bengals trade their #4 for Kolb and the #23, and then trade Palmer for a second or third rounder? That might be too complex for owner Mike Brown to handle.
  • Arizona, San Francisco, and Minnesota: These are all NFC competitors (much better than Carolina) that are relatively close to a playoff spot and could eventually compete for a NFC championship. It’s hard to believe that Andy Reid would keep Kolb in the NFC unless he didn’t like him that much and thought that he could beat Kolb. He traded McNabb to the Redskins because he knew Donovan was done and how to defend him.
  • Tennessee: Would the Eagles be interested in the spunky Courtland Finnegan? Maybe the Titans and Eagles can swap first rounders and Kolb for Finnegan? Then the Eagles would have addressed their second corner position while getting an opportunity to move into the end of the top 10. New defensive line coach, Jim Washburn, came from the Titans and could have input here.

Another team, like the Dolphins, might get into this as well, but don’t they remember A.J. Feeley in South Beach?

What would be interesting to see is if the Eagles were impressed with the play of, say, FSU QB Christian Ponder during yesterday’s Senior Bowl and they were willing to move Kolb to acquire more draft pieces in order to get Ponder in the 20-30 area while also having another first round pick to get a linebacker or corner?

Head coach and QB are the two most important positions for a NFL team. The Eagles decision to keep Vick and move Kolb might be the best thing to happen to Kolb’s eventual new team.

Big 12 Basketball Overview January 30

January 30, 2011 1 comment

"The Beard" ran into trouble in Allen Fieldhouse

Welcome to the weekly Big 12 college basketball overview, taking a look at each teams results and how they are positioned for postseason play. Saturday wasn’t a good day for the bubble teams in the Big 12. K-State and Oklahoma State can’t afford too many more losses. Nebraska is lurking and Iowa State looks done. Colorado and Baylor are hanging around as well. Here’s a quick look some interesting items from this week:

Team Overviews: Records are going into January 31st. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Current NCAA Locks:

Kansas Jayhawks RPI 1

  • 20-1, 5-1 in Big 12
  • OOC rundown: 15-0 with good wins over Arizona, UCLA, USC, and Michigan. They also have 4 gimme wins. RPI 3, schedule 31.
  • Big 12: Wins: at Iowa St, Neb, at Bay, at Colo, Kan St     Losses: Texas
  • They Jayhawks need 9 more total wins to secure one of the four #1 seeds in the Big Dance. It will take at least 4 more losses to drop them below a Sweet 16 seed.  

Texas Longhorns RPI 11

  • 18-3, 6-0 in Big 12
  • OOC rundown: 12-3 with good wins over Illinois, North Carolina, and Michigan St and losses to Pitt, USC, and UConn. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 33, schedule 66.
  • Big 12: Wins: at Tex Tech, Okla, Texas A&M, at Kan, at Okla St, Mizz
  • The Horns are still in the running for a #1 seed. Getting 10 more wins will put them in the discussion. They might have to beat out Kansas to get that #1, otherwise they are heading to a #2 seed with 9 or more wins.

Texas A&M Aggies RPI 16

  • 17-3, 4-2 in Big 12
  • OOC rundown: 13-1 solid wins over Temple and Washington and a decent loss to BC. They also have 7 gimme wins. RPI 31, schedule 173.
  • Big 12: Wins: at Okla, Okla St, Mizz, Kan St    Losses: at Texas, Nebraska
  • Classic look-ahead loss to Nebraska with the Longhorns coming in on Monday night. The Aggies have a decent OOC profile and need 8 more wins to remain in a Sweet 16 seed.

Missouri Tigers RPI 27

  • 17-4, 3-3 in Big 12
  • OOC rundown: 14-1 with good wins over Vanderbilt, Illinois, and Old Dominion with a solid loss to Georgetown. They also have 6 gimme wins and a non division I win. RPI 36, schedule 213.
  • Big 12: Wins: Neb, Kan St, Iowa St      Losses: at Colo, at Tex A&M, at Texas
  • The Tigers need to start winning on the road. They need another 9 or more wins to be in the Sweet 16 discussion. They still need 7 or more to be safe on Selection Sunday.

Bubble Territory:

Kansas State Wildcats RPI 41

  • 14-8, 2-5 in Big 12
  • OOC rundown: 12-3 with good wins over Virginia Tech, Gonzaga, and Wash St with losses to Duke, Florida, and UNLV. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 25, schedule 46.
  • Big 12: Wins: Tex Tech, Baylor      Losses: at Okla St, Colo, at Mizz, at Tex A&M, at Kan
  • It’s going to be tough to include the Wildcats in the Big Dance with a losing record in the Big 12. It’s possible, but not probable. They’ve played a really difficult Big 12 schedule so far, but they need to win some games on the road to get that record even. Their home games are must wins and next Saturday against Iowa St is also.

Oklahoma State Cowboys RPI 58

  • 14-7, 2-5 in Big 12
  • OOC rundown: 12-2 with Missouri State being the only solid win and losses to Gonzaga and Virginia Tech. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 45, schedule 178.
  • Big 12: Wins: Kan St, Iowa St       Losses: at Tex A&M, at Colo, at Bay, Tex, at Tex Tech
  • That Tech loss could be devastating. They’re in this category for a reason. Unlike K-State, the Cowboys can’t finish at .500 and get in. They need at least 8 or more wins.

 

Needs To Get Hot:

Baylor Bears RPI 85

  • 14-6, 4-3 in Big 12
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with no notable wins and decent losses to Gonzaga, Washington State, and Florida State. They also have 7 gimme wins. RPI 127, schedule 250.
  • Big 12: Wins: at Tex Tech, Okla, Okla St, Colo        Losses: at Iowa St, Kan, at Kan St
  • The Bears have 5 games against Texas, A&M, and Mizzou. They need a minimum of 3 wins in those games. They also need to get to 10-6 or better and win a game in the Big 12 tourney. It’s not going to be easy.

Nebraska Cornhuskers RPI 81

  • 15-5, 3-3 in Big 12
  • OOC rundown: 12-2 with a win over USC and losses to Vanderbilt and Davidson. They also have 8 gimme wins. RPI 130, schedule 323.
  • Big 12: Wins: Iowa St, Colo, Tex A&M      Losses: at Mizz, at Kan, at Tex Tech
  • They followed the bad loss to Tech with a good win over A&M. Their OOC schedule was a complete joke and the Huskers need at least 9 more wins to have a chance.

Colorado Buffaloes RPI 95

  • 14-8, 3-4 in Big 12
  • OOC rundown: 11-4 with no notable wins. They also have 8 gimme wins and a non-division I win. RPI 140, schedule 305.
  • Big 12: Wins: Mizz, at Kan St, and Okla St     Losses: at Neb, at Okla
  • The Buffs chances are on life support and they might only be able to lose once before the Big 12 finals. Their OOC profile is too bad to give them a reasonable chance.

 

Better Win the Conference Tournament:

Iowa State Cyclones RPI 127

  • 14-8, 1-6 in Big 12
  • OOC rundown: 13-2 with decent wins over Creighton and Virginia and losses to Northern Iowa and Cal. They also have 9 gimme wins. RPI 113, schedule 313.
  • They essentially need to win the Big 12 tourney.

Oklahoma Sooners RPI 120

  • 11-9, 3-3 in Big 12
  • OOC rundown: 8-6 with no good wins and a horrible loss to Chaminade. They also have 7 gimme wins. RPI 192, schedule 254.
  • A winning record makes them NIT eligible and the RPI is moving up into range for a bid.

Texas Tech Red Raiders RPI 149

  • 11-11, 3-4 in Big 12
  • OOC rundown: 8-7 with no good wins and some bad losses. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 213, schedule 186.
  • Pat Knight might save his job with 6 or 7 Big 12 wins.

That’s this week’s Big 12 overview. This will be updated next Sunday.

Make sure you check in every morning for a review of the previous day’s games on the Road to Selection Sunday.