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BCS On Track For Another Bad Title Game

October 29, 2009 under College Football

By Eddie Mayrose

NCAA Football at Mercy of Illogical BCS: Iowa Is Latest Fraud

It only took two weeks of BCS rankings before the first absurdity reared its ugly head. Iowa football, based on itshawkeye incredible offensive output that produced a thrilling, last-minute, 15-13 victory over the super charged, 4-4 Michigan State Spartans, leap frogs Boise State in this week’s poll and lands in the Number Four spot, ahead of TCU, and the Cincinnati Bearcats as well. So much for computers in sports.

Iowa has slogged its way through the mind-numbingly, mediocre Big Ten Conference; benefiting immensely from the BCS’ inability to recognize the conference as the weakest of its six leagues. The Hawkeyes have but one signature win; a 21-10 yawnfest over Penn State in Happy Valley. Even that victory can’t be accurately valued, as the Nittany Lions have played more cupcakes than anyone in the Top 25. Who knows if they’re any good?

Boise, on the other hand, walloped an Oregon team facing off with USC this weekend for the inside track to the Rose Bowl. That the Ducks have been manhandling opponents without their best offensive player, LeGarrette Blount, makes Boise’s season-opening thrashing of Oregon, with Blount, even more impressive. TCU has traveled to Clemson and BYU to register dominating wins while Cincinnati has knocked off South Florida and Oregon State in their own buildings. All of these teams are better than any that Iowa has faced to this point.

Am I bashing the Big Ten, Here? Absolutely and with good reason. Based on past reputation, the conference perennially reaps the benefits of being severely overrated. Ask yourself this. Which of the other teams in the Top Ten wouldn’t be favored in a matchup with Iowa? Hell, Ohio State is at seventeen and will absolutely be favored when they meet in two weeks.  Here’s hoping this mess works itself out, if only to spare us what has become the annual slaughter of the Big Ten in the BCS title game.

College Football Games of the Week

USC Trojans vs the Oregon Ducks– In the de facto Pac Ten championship game, Oregon poses the last true hurdle on the Trojans’ path to the Rose Bowl. Pete Carroll’s boys have already suffered their one upset and are not out of the BCS Championship picture just yet. They’ll be too much for Oregon to handle, especially with a rapidly maturing Matt Barkley under center. USC 27 Oregon 13

Texas Longhorns v Oklahoma State Sooners

– The Longhorns road to the Big 12 Championship game is clear once they get past Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have done well to rebound from two significant, early season losses. The first, to Houston and the second, All American WR Dez Bryant; declared ineligible by the NCAA. Texas 31 Oklahoma State 10

Curry at Nichols– The Bison host their long time rival, Curry, in a matchup that’s gone against Nichols for longer than they’d care to admit. Head Coach Bill Carven has had enough, emotionally declaring to his charges, “I will not lose to Curry College!” The Bison have done a great job regrouping from the loss of four senior standouts and have fashioned a solid season. Look for DE Bill Hassett to wreak havoc in the Curry backfield and lead the Bison to a hard fought win. Nichols 16 Curry 14

Heisman Watch

Jimmy Clausen, QB Notre Dame– The junior signal caller has the Irish at 5-2 and just a few plays claussenfrom 7-0 solely on the strength of his right arm. With Notre Dame’s defense employing a “bend and almost break” scheme every week, Clausen’s Montana-like, last minute heroics are the biggest reason the Irish are still in contention for a BCS bowl bid. If the award was given out today, it’d go to Clausen.





Tim Tebow, QB Florida

– The pre-season favorite and former Heisman winner muddled through tebow 2another mediocre performance at Mississippi State. Have to really start wondering if he’s all the way back from that concussion. He’ll have the advantage of an almost weekly national stage but needs to pick up his game if he wants bookends.





Mark Ingram, RB Alabama

– His fumble dealt a big blow to the Tide as it narrowly escaped mark-ingramTennessee’s upset bid last week in Tuscaloosa. Ingram committed the deadliest sin of Heisman hopefuls in failing to take advantage of a national television audience.





Anthony Pillari, WR Nichols

– The senior wideout could be in for a big weekend. Two weeks after pillariestablishing the Nichols’ record for receptions in a game (13), he needs just three catches this week to set a new Bison mark for receptions in a career(125). Should he grab seven, he’ll also own the school’s single season record (49) . As a Div. III player, the New Jersey native knows he’s a longshot for the Heisman but figures he’ll go out and have a great season, nonetheless. “This team graduated some legendary seniors last year”, said Pillari, “and I’m just trying to live up to the things I learned in their house; do your best and don’t be a shem.”

CollegeSportsView Top 25 in College Football

1) Florida 7-0
2) Texas 7-0
3) Alabama 8-0
4) Boise State 7-0
5) Cincinnati 7-0
6) TCU 7-0
7) USC 6-1
8 )LSU 6-1
9) Oregon 6-1
10)Iowa 8-0
11)Georgia Tech 7-1
12)Oklahoma State 6-1
13)South Carolina 6-2
14)Houston 6-1
15)Penn State 7-1
16)Virginia Tech 5-2
17)Oklahoma State 6-1
18)Notre Dame 5-2
19)Pittsburgh 7-1
20)Utah 6-1
21)West Virginia 6-1
22)Mississippi 5-2
23)Miami 5-2
24)California 5-2
25)Oklahoma 4-3

Five to Watch
Wisconsin 5-2
Navy 6-2
BYU 6-2
South Florida 5-2
Nichols 4-4

 

Ahead of the Point Spread: Rife with Opinions Week 9

October 29, 2009 under College Football

By Eddie Mayrose

 

Gil Lock Goes AWOL

It was a strange week in the Lock household as husband Gil struggled not only with his own ineptitude butryno rife his wife, Jill’s, continued success.  We tried on numerous occasions to contact Gil and get his selections for this week but he just wasn’t talking.  After a number of calls went unreturned, we turned to Jill for some answers.

“He’s shot this week”, said Mrs. Lock.  “It’s worse than the last time he pulled an ohfer.  At least, then, he didn’t have his wife looking over his shoulder with an 11-4 record.”  “He’s been down all week and breaks out in a sweat at the mere mention of College Football.”  When asked how the CollegeSportsView would eventually get Gil’s picks, Jill proposed an alternative solution.  “Our nephew, Padraig; (they call him Pad), is in from Ireland.  He’s completely taken with American Football and thinks he can do better than Gil.  Hell, he can’t do worse.”

So, while we’re still worried about Gil Lock’s state of mind, we’ve a column to write.  Here are Jill Lock’s Week 9 prognostications along with those of her nephew, Pad Lock.  Enjoy and good luck.

Locks of the Week

 

Jill Lock’s Picks

 

Nevada-26.5 over Hawaii

Nevada has been very good to me during its four game winning streak and is probably the reason Gil won’t play this week as their 70 point performance vs. Idaho was his third and last flop. Hawaii stinks, Nevada’s hot and I love saying the quarterback’s name.  Colin Kaepernick.  Colin Kaepernick.

Boise State -33 over San Jose State

– Think Boise was pissed at the BCS ratings this week?  Their only shot to bounce back is to score 100 points a week and hope others lose.  Besides, their head coach is such a cutie.  Do they still have the running back that proposed to his girlfriend at the Fiesta Bowl?  Love that.

Missouri – 4 over Colorado

–  It’s not unusual, (I love Tom Jones), for a head coach to bench his quarterback during a bad season.  But his own son?  That’s what Colorado’s Dan Hawkins did so, I’m picking Missouri because Hawkins is such a mean dad.

Pad Lock’s Picks

 

Ohio State-New Mexico State Over 47.5

– This is the kind of improperly valued line that my Uncle Gil taught me to look for.  Ohio State is favored by 39.5 but the Over/Under is just 8 points higher. All you should need is one score from New Mexico State.

North Texas-Western Kentucky Over 66.5

– Here’s another one I learned from Uncle Gil. It’s a matter of a special math he uses called, Arifemetic. The formula is to add up the average points allowed by each team and compare to the Over/Under.  So, using his method, North Texas allows 38 PPG and Western Kentucky 42 PPG.  Add them together and you get, like, 95 or something which is, like 50 points more than 66.5.  Take the over.

Cincinnati- 14.5 over Syracuse

–  Cincy needs to keep winning and winning big to move up in the BCS.  I’d lay 24.5 here, especially with Greg Paulus at QB for Syracuse.

Season Record- 18-14-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The View from the Cheap Seats

October 28, 2009 under Cheap Seats

By Eddie Mayrose

After Long Wait, World Series Gets Started

Finally, after what seemed like interminable Division and Championship series, we get to the business of  the World Series.  Even though these teams seemcheap_seats_3_ like mirror images of each other, many have given the Yanks a slight edge due to their advantage in the bullpen.  I disagree.  Not that Mariano Rivera isn’t better than Brad Lidge; at this point so is Chita Rivera.  But the Yankee bats have just rendered two of the top closers in the AL powerless and there’s no reason to believe they won’t do the same to Lidge.  In other words, even if the Phillies’ closer was at the top of his game, Charlie Manuel would be making other plans, anyway.  What I think it’ll come down to is who starts Game Five for the Bombers.  We know Sabathia goes in Games One, Four and Seven but the Yankees don’t want A.J. Burnett to pitch in Philadelphia.  If they save him for a Game Six in the Bronx, that’ll not only put an inexperienced starter on the mound, it’ll mean Andy Pettitte goes just once in a seven game series.  Still, I like the Yankees in seven.

Major League Baseball Needs a Salary Cap

Last night’s Game One starters, Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia, stood as monuments to baseball’s biggest problem: the disparity in payrolls between small and large market teams.  As the last two winners of the AL Cy Young Award, they would have been a huge help to an Indians’ staff that featured both until Cleveland couldn’t afford either.  Much is made in New York about the “Core Four” of Yankee vets, Rivera, Posada, Pettitte and Jeter, all homegrown and together for much of the Yankees incredible run since 1996.  What most miss in that analysis is that, unlike many teams, the Yankees could afford to keep all of them once they became stars.  Would the Yanks have swept a Twins’ team that included Johan Santana and Torii Hunter?  Would that Twins team have even won the division if the Royals still had Carlos Beltran and Johnny Damon?  The fact is, large market teams don’t do anything better than their small market counterparts.  They simply make more money because of their location; something baseball needs to address.

NY Jets’ Leon Washington Hurt at Worst Time

Next time you want to come down on an NFL player holding out for a contract extension, think of the Jets’ Leon Washington; on the verge of stardom until a broken leg ended his season.  These guys have a very small window to earn their money and each week brings the possibilty of a career-ending injury.

On Bob Griese, Jay-Z and Hypocrisy

ESPN college football analyst, Bob Griese, received a one game suspension from the network for remarks he made last Saturday about Griese_Sep26_bNASCAR’s Juan Pablo Montoya.  When a Top Five list of drivers was posted, another broadcaster asked where Montoya was.  Griese replied, “out having a taco.”  For his part, Montoya told reporters after Sunday’s Sprint Cup series race that he “couldn’t resist making fun of the controversy. I could say I just spent the last three hours eating tacos, but I was driving the car.”  Montoya said of Griese, “I don’t even know who he is and I don’t really care.”  That Griese apologized for the remark twice during the broadcast and ESPN later stated that it considered the matter closed was of no consequence once the PC police got their teeth into it.  Bob Griese is and always has been a professional gentleman on the air and it’s a shame that we no longer look at an entire body of work and simply see a good guy who screwed up.  Instead, Griese and others like him suddenly and inexplicably become bigots.

I’m wondering how long Griese would have been suspended had he, instead, glorified the rape and murder of prostitutes, African-Americans, homosexuals and police.   Didn’t seem to matter much to Major League Baseball or the Yankees last night as they invited rapper Jay-Z to perform before Game 1 of the World Series.  In a song whose title is too despicable for print, Jay-Z promotes each of those; something that doesn’t seem to concern the NBA, either; as he’s a part owner of the New Jersey Nets.  Just because freedom of speech cuts two ways doesn’t make a double standard less hypocritical.

Is There Life After High School?

I write weekly about college and professional sports because of their high profile and the fact that I just love sports.  But, I must confess, despite all of the time spent watching, analyzing and enjoying these televised events, my heart still belongs to the high school athletes.  Their spirit is as irresistible as it is inspirational.  Whether it be the jubilation experienced by a basketball team winning a championship in the last minute, the despair of senior football players weeping at the realization that they’ve just played their last game together or the apprehension of a cheerleader waiting to step on the mat while praying to avoid a misstep, each emotion is so raw as to take me back to the wonderful time when I felt that way, myself.   It’s why I still go to my school’s football and basketball games even though my sons have graduated, why I have my daughter’s competitions circled on the calendar and why I found myself at St. Joseph Hill Academy High School last week for a critical volleyball match with St. Joseph by the Sea.

Seven years ago, the Staten Island Catholic Girls’ High School league was established, with three schools initiating programs and joining two others in their infancy.  Sea quickly established itself as the loop’s dominant force while another school, Notre Dame Academy, grabbed last year’s title.  This time around, Hill started the season 7-0; a record that featured a big home win over Sea but would later include a loss to their rival in a rematch; sending both teams into last week’s rubber match with identical records.  The winner would take the title.  Now, the result, (Hill won), is secondary to my point, even though I have to admit , the victory made for a much happier home as my wife, Virginia, is Hill’s fearless leader.  As I sat there in a packed, noisy gym watching the Hill girls in the stands screaming their support to their classmates, I was reminded again of why I eat this stuff up.  High school is the only sports arena in which the athletes and the fans are bonded by friendship.  The fans don’t cheer for love of school but, rather, love of the players; their friends.  It is the reason the passion is unmatched.  Yes, I know all about the Cameron Crazies at Duke, the Bleacher Bums in Chicago and Cleveland’s Dawg Pound but how many of them studied for a chemistry test with a player the night before a game?   How many had a player decorate their locker on a birthday, cry on their shoulder after a failed road test or celebrate the birth of a baby sister?  And where else is a coach so concerned with a player’s development as a person?

On the prep level, coaches are not motivated by financial gain.  If you ever broke down their stipend to an hourly wage, it would work out to just pennies. Instead, it is the dedication to young men and women that drives so many of them and it is that same dedication that serves as a model for how their impressionable, young players should lead their lives.  It is why I am so grateful to the incredible people that have coached my children and a reason I am so proud to say I am my wife’s husband.  It’s also why I’ll be sitting courtside this weekend watching the St. Joseph Hill girls volleyball team, Staten Island Champion, take on the other boroughs in the city playoffs in front of a gym full of their close friends.  Let me know how Notre Dame does against Washington State.

The View from the Cheap Seats

October 22, 2009 under Cheap Seats

By Eddie Mayrose

The NY Jets? …. “Listen to your father, kid.”

November 27, 1994;  Jets vs. Dolphins at the Meadowlands.  New York came into the cheap_seats_3_owummatchup looking to gain a tie with Miami atop the standings in the AFC East as well as the inside track to the division title.  With a possible playoff appearance on the table, Jet fans were keyed up from the tailgates in the parking lot through the pre-game introductions.  When the home team scored to stretch its lead to 24-6 with less than four minutes left in the third quarter, Giants Stadium sounded just like Shea used to during the days of the Sack Exchange.  All that stood between Gang Green and a return to glory was eighteen more minutes of dominating football and four extremely winnable games against inferior opponents over the last month of the season.  Sure, that’s all.

I had been fortunate enough to score four tickets to the game through the courtesy of a friend.  I’d given up my own season subscription seven years earlier because, quite frankly, I hated everything about the Meadowlands.  I hated the Turnpike, the tolls, the traffic, the parking lot, the turf, the wind and, most of all, the losing.  God, they always lost!  I’d go home with a headache every week and for what?  They always lost!   But now, with a fiery young coach and a battle for first place with the hated Dolphins as incentives, I decided to accept the tickets and take my three young boys, ages seven, five and four.  They’d all just started playing various levels of flyweight football and had been watching games with me all season.  Their excitement built throughout the week until they were beside themselves when the game finally kicked off.  By the time Boomer Esiason hit Johnny Mitchell in the end zone to put the Jets up by eighteen, all three were convinced that they were watching the greatest football team in the world.  If only they’d known.

Our seats were in the lower section; about the five yard line on the home side of the field.  We were, naturally, sitting amongst Jet fans but, as we were using someone else’s tickets, didn’t know any of them.  When Miami QB Dan Marino closed out the third quarter with a TD pass to Mark Ingram and a two point conversion to Irving Fryar,  I threw my head back and said to no one in particular, “We’re going to lose this game”.  My oldest, Terrence, couldn’t believe my pessimism. “Dad, you gotta be kidding.  We’re still up ten, Boomer’s having a great game and there’s only one quarter left.  There’s no way we lose.”  Before I could respond, the guy sitting behind us, obviously a seasoned Jet fan and, until that moment, a total stranger, leaned up in his seat, looked at my son and said, “Listen to your father, kid.”  And, as if it was the period on the end of his sentence, the game immediately turned ugly.

Esiason would fumble three times in that fourth quarter and throw two interceptions.fake spike 3 Marino would find Ingram for two more scores, the second in the final minute courtesy of the now infamous “Fake Spike” that gave the Dolphins the victory.  The Jets would go on to lose all of their remaining games, fire Pete Carroll and usher in the disastrous Rich Kotite era that produced a 3-29 record over two seasons.  “Listen to your father, kid.”

As a recovering Jetaholic, myself, I try to steer other Jet addicts away from the evil teases thrown at them by our favorite team because, as surely as Lucy will always pull that football away from Charlie Brown and watch him land on his ample head, the Jets will break your heart every time.  Vinny Testaverde’s set to lead Bill Parcells’ heavily favored Jets to the Super Bowl?  Not with a snapped Achilles, he won’t.  Jets on the verge of ousting Pittsburgh from the 2004 playoffs and advancing to the AFC title game?  Doug Brien misses, not one, but two game winning field goals.  Man-genius?  Beginner’s luck.  Brett Favre leads Jets to 8-3 record?  Favre goes color blind in 1-4 finish while Chad Pennington wins the division for the Dolphins.  Jet fans are so starved for even a small measure of success, they’ll jump at anything resembling hope.  And, just like Lucy, Gang Green pulls the football away every time and laughs as they land on their heads.  “Listen to your father, kid.”

So, here we are again.  Despite the low expectations accompanying a first-time Head Coach and a rookie quarterback, the Jetsies started the season with three straight wins; including one where they completely dominated the invincible Patriots and Tom Brady.  Certainly, this season would be different.  Rex Ryan’s brought a new attitude to the organization, the defense is the best in the league, there’s a relatively easy three game stretch coming up and the Hall of Fame in Canton is clearing space for the bust of Mark Sanchez.  There’s no way Lucy pulls the ball away this time.  Is there?  Well, right on cue,  Rex Ryan developed a severe case of “Herm Edwards Clockophobia” in Miami, the defense couldn’t stop a backup QB from Harvard last week and Mark Sanchez suddenly has more interceptions than endorsements.  Leave it to the Jets to make a 3-3 record seem miles worse than the 1-5 start many had predicted.  And the fans?  They’re laying on their heads in the Meadowlands parking lot because, stunningly, Lucy pulled the football away yet again. “Listen to your father, kid.”

I got an email after the Miami loss from Cheap Seater Lou Ricciardi, a Jetaholic attempting recovery but prone to lapses such as this one: “Now that they’ve sucked me in again this year”, he wrote, “I am not jumping off the bandwagon and saying, ‘same old Jets’, just yet.”  “If, however, they lose one of the next two games, then I will.”  If ?!  If ?!   Poor, Lou.  Landed on his head again.  But, if it’s any comfort to him, or fellow Cheap Seaters Brendan Grady, Jack O’Sullivan, Mike Walsh and any other Jetaholics that need assistance, there is hope.  No matter how many times the Jets convince you that this is finally the year,  no matter how many past warnings have gone unheeded and no matter how strong your instinct to jump back up on that bandwagon, there is a cure.  It will save you.  All you need to do, the next time thousands of Jetaholics start racing at Lucy to kick that football, is to take a step back, close your eyes and wait for the wisdom of that anonymous Jet fan who’d seen enough.  I promise, if it’s what you truly want, that you’ll hear his voice above the din of your television or the roar of the crowd and you’ll be safe.  Such simple advice; but it’ll save you a broken heart.  “Listen to your father, kid.”

Ahead of the Point Spread: Rife With Opinions

October 22, 2009 under College Football, Uncategorized

It’s amazing what a little success can do for you.  Just a month ago, our man, Gil Lock of Ryno Rife Sports Handicappers, couldn’t pick his nose.  So bad was his performance ryno rifethat we here at Rife With Opinions turned to his wife, Jill, to steady the ship.  But, now, after posting a 6-2-1 record over the past three weeks, it seems that people can’t get enough of Gil.  Here’s a sampling of a few emails we received this week.

from sallypipes-so thanks for the tip on Idaho.  It reminded me of a girl I once dated.  Is it possible we’ve met?  I think I went to school with a Gil Lock.  Did you go to San Giamino Junior College?

from 2dollarjd- …and used some of my winnings to buy coffee for the guys at work.  The dopey kid screwed up my order and dripped sweat all over the bag but everyone else enjoyed.  Thanks.

from harrychriscaray- … Holy Cow.  Me and Murphy gonna go out and get some women.

from northstar_CIT- … my boys at Hogs and Heifers got off you when you didn’t show early muscle but I stayed with you even though you failed to fire.  I don’t mind laying heavy wood against a bad streak.  I mean, you couldn’t be a dead piece forever.  That’d be like the Yankees losing three straight to the Royals.

Jill was no slouch, herself, last week as she posted her third straight 2-1 week.  Here are the lovely couple’s selections for Week 8.

Locks of the Week

Jill’s Picks

The BCS rankings were the criteria for all of my picks this week.  I selected teams that needed big, impressive wins to either move up or restore confidence after a poor performance.

Cincinnati -18   over Louisville
Florida -23 over Mississippi State
Boise State – 25 over Hawaii

Gil’s Picks

Alabama -14  over Tennessee I just can’t see the Vols scoring more than six points against Bama’s defense, especially now that the Tide is protecting a BCS title bid.

Washington + 10 over Oregon Classic trap game for the Ducks as they face USC next week.  Just ask USC if the Huskies can bite you.

Idaho +15 1/2 over Nevada Yes, I’m going back to Idaho, Sally Pipes, because they have too good an offense to lose by this many to Nevada.

Season Record- 16-10-1


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