Category: Sports

College football rankings that will be obsolete within 24 hours

Today is conference championship Saturday, which is a great excuse to stay at home and watch too much football.

Eyes across the nation will be glued to the SEC, ACC and B1G games to see who will make the College Football Playoff. That’s both a good and a bad thing.

The inherent problem with college sports is that the postseason is so subjective. There too many teams competing for too few spots.

One way to fix this would be a universal scheduling system handed down from the NCAA big wigs, but that seems like a pipe dream. In an ideal world, each conference champion could then be seeded into a 10-team playoff.

But for now, we’re stuck with the idea of a committee getting together and trying to determine who the four “best” teams are. There is all sorts of criteria, but it’s still pretty subjective.

So before tonight’s games change everything, I’m going to give you my top four seeds.

1. Alabama

When Alabama lost this season, there was an excitement in the air. Alabama was out. Maybe this was the year we’d see someone else come out of the SEC. Maybe we’d have some variety.

Nope.

Alabama is the best team in the country from the best conference in the country. They deserve the top seed in the College Football Playoff.

2. Oklahoma

Oklahoma is an incredible offensive powerhouse. Baker Mayfield leads a unit that averages nearly 46 points per game. Even in the Big 12, that’s pretty special.

Oklahoma does the football equivalent of getting buckets, and for that, they get the second seed.

3. Ohio State

This is probably a controversial pick. Ohio State is a long shot to make the playoff since they’re not playing in the B1G Championship Game. The truth is, though, Iowa is the fourth-best team in the conference. I’m pretty sure the Hawkeyes played my high school at some point this season.

Michigan has three losses, so they’re out. That leaves Michigan State and Ohio State. Sparty played a tougher schedule, but Ohio State has better numbers (better than Bama!). In the end, I’m going to go with the team that didn’t lose to Nebraska.

4. Clemson

The ACC is the weakest of the 5 big conferences, but an undefeated Clemson is better than a two-loss Stanford. Clemson’s reward for a perfect season is getting Alabama in the first round.

Song for when tonight’s games ruin your rankings

Get Hype Game of the Night!

Michigan St. vs. Iowa – 8:17 p.m. – Fox

Because life is imperfect and unfair, the winner of this game will got to the College Football Playoff. You might as well watch.

What do I have against Kobe?

Kobe Bryant announced his retirement on Sunday with a terrible poem on a terrible website, and I’ve been through a range of emotions ever since. I’ve smiled with glee at all the hit pieces saying Kobe could never truly reach all-time greatness, and I’ve cringed at anything saying the opposite.

In fact, just this morning, I found myself yelling (internally) at Reggie Miller for suggesting that Kobe was a top-3 guard of all time.

None of this makes sense. Kobe Bryant has never done anything to me personally. He is the 5th-ish best player of his generation, and has had a top-20 NBA career. I readily admit that. Heck, I own a pair of his sneakers.

So what’s my beef with Kobe? I’m not saying this solely to setup the rest of the blog, I’m genuinely asking this question. Maybe if I put my thoughts in writing, we can discover the answer together.

The first, and most obvious answer, would lie somewhere in Eagle County, Colorado. For those of you who are unaware, that’s where Kobe Bryant was charged with sexual assault over a decade ago. The charges were eventually dropped when the accuser failed to testify in court.

Now, it’s perfectly reasonable to not like an alleged rapist. Rape is a bad thing to do. The problem I’m having, and I don’t know what this says about me as a person, is that I don’t think this is the reason I dislike Kobe.

There are people (probably too many people) that have done terrible things and I’ve given passes to. There’s some cognitive dissonance that happens when you appreciate someone’s work and ignore their deplorable actions. I mean, does anyone really get on their high horse when “Ignition” starts playing?

If we ignore the sexual assault (not a great phrase to use out of context), there’s the fact that Kobe Bryant is a lifetime Laker. It’s hard to ignore my irrational disdain for the Lakers. And this is where the Derek Jeter comparisons really start to take hold for me.

Other, non-New-Englander, people have compared the two as great players who got a lot more recognition than they deserved. I agree with that, and I’ll get to it a little bit later, but there’s an extra link between the two for me. They are the face of the enemy.

That sounds stupid, and it is. There is nothing objectively right or wrong about rooting for one team over another. I should not dislike any person based on where they go to work, but it’s an idea that’s hard to shake. And Kobe might actually be the last roadblock. I don’t think there’s anyone else on the Yankees or Lakers that I actively dislike, despite irrationally wishing that both organizations fail to achieve success.

If it’s not that, there’s only one thing I can think of. Kobe is Michael Jordan Light. He looks like him, he acts like him, he plays like him, but he’s not Michael Jordan. Kobe was never as good as Michael Jordan.

Full disclosure here, like many kids my age, I grew up worshiping MJ. Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player I’ve ever seen. LeBron’s probably close, but Kobe’s way behind.

Even this, though, is stupid. Comparing players is stupid. Comparing eras is stupid. Hatred is stupid.

I don’t know why I have this dislike for Kobe Bryant, but I’m glad he’s retiring so I don’t have to think about it anymore.

Song for when you’re done thinking about Kobe Bryant

Get Hype Game of the Night!

Maryland vs. North Carolina – 9:30 p.m. – ESPN

It’s like an ACC rivalry, but it’s not. Marcus Paige is back for North Carolina after missing their first 5 games.

Pick: Maryland +7

The Playa Hater’s NBA Preview

Hello, everyone! I’m back to lead you astray with another season preview. This time, I’m talking about basketball.

That video is ridiculous.

On a more serious note, professional basketball has a unique distinction among the major american sports. It’s almost fluke-proof. Better teams will win games based entirely on the premise that they are better. There’s nothing to change a game dramatically like a touchdown, home run, or goal. The game centers around a large sample size of possessions.

That being said, my predictions are going to look a lot like last year’s standings. It’s just the nature of the beast. I need you to remember that I’ll probably be wrong, though.

Atlantic Division

  1. Toronto Raptors*
  2. Boston Celtics*
  3. Brooklyn Nets
  4. Philadelphia 76ers
  5. New York Knicks

The Atlantic is a lot like the Northwest, in that it’s a weak division that will only yield two playoff teams. The Celtics show signs of improvement, which means they’ll inexplicably finish fighting the Detroit Pistons for the last playoff spot.

Central Division

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers*
  2. Chicago Bulls*
  3. Milwaukee Bucks*
  4. Indiana Pacers*
  5. Detroit Pistons

I like Indiana to make the playoffs. I think getting Paul George back will give them a leg to stand on.

Southeast Division

  1. Atlanta Hawks*
  2. Washington Wizards*
  3. Miami Heat
  4. Charlotte Hornets
  5. Orlando Magic

If the NBA preseason means anything, the Charlotte Hornets will win the championship. The NBA preseason does not mean anything.

Northwest Division

  1. Portland Trail Blazers*
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder*
  3. Utah Jazz
  4. Denver Nuggets
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves

Maybe I believe in Damian Lillard too much. Maybe I don’t trust the Thunder to stay healthy. Maybe I just wanted to throw in one crazy prediction so I could point to it if it hits. No one knows.

Pacific Division

  1. Golden State Warriors*
  2. Los Angeles Clippers*
  3. Phoenix Suns
  4. Sacramento Kings
  5. Los Angeles Lakers

I don’t think there’s anything I like more than the Lakers being awful.

Southwest Division

  1. San Antonio Spurs*
  2. Houston Rockets*
  3. Memphis Grizzlies*
  4. Dallas Mavericks*
  5. New Orleans Pelicans

Poor Pelicans. I just don’t think they can stay healthy enough to get back into the playoffs.

Playoffs

Screenshot (2)

MVP: James Harden

Song for making you google “Jose Feliciano”

Was wrestling good last night?

Yes.

Get Hype Game of the Night

Ravens vs. Cardinals – 8:30 p.m. – ESPN

The Cardinals lead the NFC in scoring. Both teams lost their last game.

All aboard the Star Wars hype train

This trailer dropped last night during halftime of a brutal Monday Night Football game. Immediately, movie ticket websites were crashing or bogged down. I even saw the hype in the newsroom.

People who don’t even care about football were glued to ESPN. I overheard a conversation about whether or not Boba Fett died inside the sarlacc. Our floor director was jumping up and down when the trailer finally aired.

The hype for the newest Star Wars movie is certainly real, but the question is, “Am I hyped?” It’s fair to say that I don’t get hype about very many things. In fact, I can only think of one trailer that got me really, truly, hype.

That’s not to say this trailer isn’t good. In fact it showed me the things I wanted to see. Ever since the second teaser showed a giant, crashed star destroyer, I was hoping someone would explore the ship. Right off the bat in this trailer, we see our protagonist exploring the ship.

I’m also excited to see where the story goes, but not to the point of actively looking for information. I’ve kind of been avoiding information because I just want to see it on the screen. I guess I’ve changed a lot since the days of endlessly researching the backstory of Cloverfield (Where is our sequel?).

Overall, I’d say I’m excited, but I won’t be hyped until Lando shows up.

Link for you to click on

Fantasy basketball

Song that has nothing to do with Star Wars

Was wrestling good last night?

No.

Get Hype Game of the Night!

Mets vs. Cubs – 8:07 p.m. – TBS

The Mets have lost seven straight games at Wrigley Field. deGrom is facing Hendricks tonight.

I want to be Jose Bautista when I grow up

I can’t stop watching this clip. Jose Bautista must have the Infinity Gauntlet, because he has complete mastery over time, space, mind, soul, reality, and power. Mostly power.

The game might have been played in Toronto, but I think the ball landed somewhere near Dallas. In 1963. That home run broke space time and killed JFK. You can see it on the director’s cut of the Zapruder film.

He smoked that ball. I’m serious. Jose Bautista hit a ball so hard that it took on a gaseous form. And then he watched it. You can see his eternal monologue. “Man, I just did something really cool, but I should probably call Bill Nye and tell him that I can alter matter.”

A lot of people focus on the bat flip, but the stare really does it for me. Nothing says “I’m a better person than you” like staring a hole into a pitcher after sending his life’s work into orbit.

Not to say the bat flip wasn’t great as well. It was a dismissive, non-verbal way for Bautista to let Sam Dyson know that he’s not even worthy of belonging to the same species as Joey Bats. It reminded me of when Jordan put my boy Harold Miner in his place.

Vicious. In all seriousness, though, The Blue Jays, Jose Bautista, and his Joe Budden facial hair are going to win this whole thing. Might as well enjoy the ride.

Link for you to click on

Fantasy basketball

Song for looking like Joey Bats

Get Hype Game of the Night

Mets vs. Dodgers – 8:07 p.m. – TBS

Mets are trying to clinch their first NLCS bid since 2000. Greinke taking on deGrom.

The Playa Hater’s NHL Preview

The NHL season starts tonight, so you officially have something to watch if the baseball playoffs aren’t your thing. That also means we’re about a month away from the NBA starting up again, but we’ll deal with things one at a time for right now.

Here are my predicted standings for this season.

Atlantic Division

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning*
  2. Montreal Canadiens*
  3. Ottawa Senators*
  4. Detroit Red Wings*
  5. Boston Bruins
  6. Florida Panthers
  7. Toronto Maple Leafs
  8. Buffalo Sabres

Metropolitan Division

  1. New York Rangers*
  2. Washington Capitals*
  3. New York Islanders*
  4. Pittsburgh Penguins*
  5. Columbus Blue Jackets
  6. Philadelphia Flyers
  7. New Jersey Devils
  8. Carolina Hurricanes

Central Division

  1. St. Louis Blues*
  2. Chicago Blackhawks*
  3. Minnesota Wild*
  4. Nashville Predators*
  5. Winnipeg Jets*
  6. Dallas Stars
  7. Colorado Avalanche

Pacific Division

  1. Calgary Flames*
  2. Vancouver Canucks*
  3. Los Angeles Kings*
  4. Anaheim Ducks
  5. San Jose Sharks
  6. Edmonton Oilers
  7. Arizona Coyotes

Playoffs

 

Screenshot (1)

MVP: Carey Price

Link for you to click on

Fantasy Basketball

Song for being honest, but also real

Get Hype Game of the Night!

Cubs vs. Pirates – 8:08 p.m. – TBS

Arrieta has dominated Pittsburgh this season, allowing only four runs in 36 innings. He faces Gerrit Cole tonight.

The Playa Hater’s MLB Playoff Preview

Yes, Red Sox fans, the MLB playoffs start tonight. I know, I was surprised too.

Tonight (and this is a spoiler alert for the Get Hype Game of the Night), the Astros travel to New York for the AL Wild Card Game, officially beginning the postseason. In order to get you ready for next month of baseball that actually matters, I’m going to give you my predictions.

Feel free to take these to the bookie of your choice.

AL Wild Card Game – Astros vs. Yankees

It’s unfortunate that the second and third-best teams in the MLB, forget just the AL, have to play each other so early. And I’m serious about this. There are four teams in the AL playoffs I would take over the best team in the NL. You want to see the Cardinals in a competitive World Series? Bring in the Orioles.

Anyway, as for this game, I like the Astros too much to see them bounced this early. Houston wins a 1-run game on the road to advance.

Pick: Houston

NL Wild Card Game – Cubs vs. Pirates

The NL this season was all about the Central Division. Everything else was just a side story. So, instead of these teams getting to face each other later, we have to knock one out right now. Pittsburgh hangs on at home for a 1-run victory.

Pick: Pittsburgh

AL Divisional Round – Rangers vs. Blue Jays – Astros vs. Royals

I’m not sure there’s ever been a top seed more under-the-radar than the Royals. And you know what? I’m completely OK with that. The Royals can stay under the radar with their small ball shenanigans. I want to watch people hit home runs and flip bats.

Pick: Houston in 4

The other series is easily the most lopsided match-up in these playoffs. This is going to be a massacre.

Pick: Toronto in 3

NL Divisional Round – Pirates vs. Cardinals – Mets vs. Dodgers

We get the NLCS a little early this season. The Cardinals are a boring lot, which is why it’s going to hurt me to put them in the World Series.

Pick: St. Louis in 4

In the second NL Divisional series, we get what will probably be the most competitive series of the whole playoffs. I see the Dodgers having the slight edge because of the two aces they have.

Pick: Los Angeles in 5

AL Championship Series – Astros vs. Blue Jays

Oh yeah. This is what baseball is all about. The two best teams in the league slugging it out in a long and entertaining series. Well, at least an entertaining series. Toronto is really good at baseball.

Pick: Toronto in 4

NL Championship Series – Dodgers vs. Cardinals

Stupid Cardinals. I hope some other team can give them their comeuppance in the World Series.

Pick: St. Louis in 4

World Series – Cardinals vs. Blue Jays

This is a battle of the two birds that your mom will call you over to look at every time she sees one. And much like those birds, the opportunity to watch this series will be over before you know it.

Pick: Toronto in 4

Link for you to click on

Fantasy Basketball

Song for partying with a drunk Kawasaki

Was wrestling good last night?

Yes.

Get Hype Game of the Night!

Astros vs. Yankees – 8:00 – ESPN

Dallas Keuchel is going up against Tanaka on short rest.