College Football Quick Hits: the BCS Picture

With the Ducks off this week and the introduction of the first BCS rankings today, I thought it would a good time to see which teams still have legitimate  national championship dreams. Most don’t. There are a lot of pretenders in the top 10.

Is Tim  Tebow ever not yelling? His teammates must be so sick of it. I can only imagine him at a party.

Is Tim Tebow ever not yelling? His teammates must be so sick of it. I can only imagine him at a party: tap that keg!! tap it good!!!

No. 1 (AP Poll) Alabama

Granted, I don't know a whole lot about art history, but I swear something is different about this picutre.The SEC is thought of as the number one conference in college football, but somehow the Tide managed to play a schedule easier than a girl at a party who has done four keg stands. Yes, I was a witness Friday night. Let’s just say she was walking with a pretty major gangsta lean from the keg to the alley. Things didn’t end well. See where I’m going?

Alabama has a nice win at VA Tech but none of their other wins are too impressive. They still have one challenging match-up when they host LSU – another overrated team – before they play Florida in the SEC championship game. With a fully healthy Tim Tebow by then, Florida should be able to roll the Tide.

No. 2 Florida

This just in: Tim Tebow is pretty good. Still my BCS pick.

No. 3 Texas

Despite only beating the Sam Bradford-less Sooners by 3, the Longhorns deserve some credit for playing a tough non-conference schedule…wait. Louisiana-Monroe, Wyoming, and UTEP. Yea, seriously. Might as well play a line-up of Junior Colleges.

No. 4 USC

Their season comes down to the match-up with Oregon. I don’t see either team losing another game, save for this match-up, during the rest of the Pac-10 schedule.

No. 5 Cincinnati

This is not the fifth best team in the country. They will lose at least two of their last four games – Connecticut, West Virginia, Illinois, and Pittsburgh.

No. 6 Boise State

If the Broncos think they deserve a spot in the BCS they better do a lot better than beating UC-Davis by 18 and Tulsa by 7. When the second toughest match-up on your schedule is Idaho, you better be decisive in your victories. Overrated until further notice.

No. 7 Iowa

I’m waiting. Lose that game to that inexplicably bad Big 10 team any week now, Hawkeyes. Seriously, you’re not good. I have a good feeling about this week, though.

No. 8 Miami and No. 9 LSU

Ehh

No. 10 TCU

The only non-BCS team this year deserving of a top-10 ranking. Wins at Virginia, Clemson, and this weekend in BYU would go a long way in proving the Horned Frogs mettle.

No. 11 Georgia Tech

Are the Yellow Jackets really better than Oregon? I rest my case.

No. 12 Oregon

Win on Halloween against USC and the Ducks are golden. Legitimate BCS hopes with a victory.

No. 13 Penn State

They play one ranked team this season – Ohio State. Hey Joe Pa, are you too old to realize your non-conference schedule is absolutely worthless?

It’s not worth going any further down than this.

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NFL Power Rankings

Time for the Sports Dude to do some actual analysis. With the NFL season right around the corner, it’s time for everybody’s favorite: the Power Rankings. With pre-season hope still riding high for every team, except possibly the Raiders and the Bengals, one could make the case for any team to top the list, but this is just one simple blogger’s point of a view (albeit a knowledgeable, yet overly-confident college student).

chadAs always, there’s the chance these rankings could very well end up being completely meaningless, but I’m just going to disregard that because at least for right now, I’m 100% not wrong.

Along with my prediction for each team, you’ll get one fantasy player who will exceed expectations (completely free of charge!) How about them apples?

32 – Bengals – What do you get when you put together an already bad NFL team, a publicity stunt appearance on “Hard Knocks,” and a player who legally changed his name to a grammatically incorrect spelling of his jersey number in Spanish? Answer: an even worse NFL team. I pity Bengals fans this season.

Prediction: 3-13.

Fantasy player to watch: Cedric Benson – After never living up to expectations in Chicago, the former number four overall pick quietly had a nice run as the starter last year; could flourish in full-time gig.

31 – Lions – I like what Jim Schwartz brings to the Lions and I guarantee that they will win more games this year than they did last year, although I don’t think it will be by much. Matthew Stafford will be a good NFL quarterback, but not this year. Rookie quarterbacks are almost never successful, especially when they are thrown into bad situations.

Prediction: 3-13.

Fantasy player to watch: Brandon Pettigrew – With Calvin Johnson sure to draw double and triple teams, look for Stafford to use Pettigrew as his security blanket a lot this season.

30 – Rams – Marc Bulger has been awful the past two years, and that was when he had Torry Holt as a go-to receiver. Who is he going to throw to now, Randy McMichael?

Prediction: 4-12.

Fantasy player to watch: Steven Jackson – Is there a single player more important to his team’s offense than him this year? Jackson will get plenty of touches, health is the key.

29 – Browns – Will finally hand starting gig to Brady Quinn. Unfortunately, that means they will have to take their lumps as Quinn learns on the job. I do like what Mangini will bring to the defense, but it’ll take him more than one year to turn things around.

Prediction: 4-12.

Fantasy player to watch: Braylon Edwards – Let’s just say I was visibly angry when my buddy Alon grabbed him right one spot ahead of me in the draft. Could be a top-5 receiver this year at a 6th round value.

28 – Raiders – Until Al Davis goes away, the Raiders will continue dwell in mediocrity (or worse), but there are some exciting pieces to work with. Darren McFadden, Justin Fargess and Michael Bush form a legitimate three-headed monster of a backfield that will take pressure off of developing quarterback JaMarcus Russell, but until someone steps up to help All-Pro CB Nnamdi Asomugha, the sieve-like run defense will be their undoing.

Prediction: 5-11.

sp_raiders_bengals_f04Fantasy player to watch: Darren McFadden – As talented as Adrian Peterson, just needs the help in the trenches; could emerge as a fantasy stud this year. Keep an eye on Zach Miller as well.

27 – Chiefs – Not sold on Matt Cassel outside of New England. When you trade Randy Moss, Wes Welker and a top-5 O-line for Dwayne Bowe, Mark Bradley and the rotting corpse of Larry Johnson, you unquestionably take a step back. Heck, give me Moss and Welker and I could put up 3,000 yards.

Prediction: 5-11

Fantasy player to watch: Dwayne Bowe – A near lock for 1,000 yards and 6 touchdowns. Not sexy, but he will produce.

26 – Buccaneers – Let me get this straight, Byron Leftwich is the starting quarterback? Really? This is the same team that stockpiled like five quarterbacks two years ago. What happened?  Washed up quarterback, new offensive scheme and a defensive-minded head coach. Without even knowing the number, I’ll take the under on every single of their games this season.

Prediction: 6-10

Fantasy player to watch: Kellen Winslow Jr – Over 1,100 yards in 2007 and then crashed with the rest of the Browns in ’08. I feel a major comeback with the change of scenery this season.

25 – Jets – They have the same issue as the Lions: starting a rookie QB. Difference is, Mark Sanchez only had one full season under center in college. Is he talented? Yea, no doubt. Would Kellen Clemens be any better? Probably not. But remember, there have only been three quarterbacks to lead their team to at least seven wins in their rookie season: Dan Marino, Kerry Collins and Matt Ryan (as multiple readers have pointed out, Big Ben and Joe Flacco have done so as well, my mistake).

Prediction: 6-10

Fantasy player to watch: Defense/ST – Even though Pod Vader from the Fantasy Focus on ESPN isn’t a fan, I think defensive mastermind Rex Ryan will implement a run-first scheme that will keep the defense rested and off the field, and the scoring low.

24 – Seahawks – Quickly becoming a media darling in the putrid NFC West. I wish former-Oregon Duck Max Unger all the best, but I just don’t see it.

Prediction: 6-10

Fantasy player to watch: Matt Hasselbeck – With his receivers healthy again, I could see the gritty Hasselbeck re-emerge as a premier QB in the NFC.

23 – Jaguars – Unfortunately they play in the toughest division in football, and even more unfortunately, three of their first four games are against the AFC South. The other game? The NFC champions Arizona Cardinals. Quite possibly could start the year 0-4.

Prediction 6-10

Fatntasy player to watch: Torry Holt – Had 8 straight 1,000 yard season before the Rams fell apart last year. May be getting older, but the crafty veteran will be the favorite target of surprisingly effective David Garrard.

22 – Dolphins – They had a magical Cinderella season last year, but with the inevitable year-after curse and an off-season for teams to figure out the Wildcat, the Dolphins will come crashing back to earth. Of course, with Parcell’s running the ship, there’s always a chance Miami will jump the Bills and have a shot at the Wild Card come December.

Prediction: 7-9

Fantasy player to watch: Anthony Fasano – Fasano was a favorite red-zone target of Chad Pennington last season, totally seven touchdowns. Fasano should see an increased workload between the 20’s this year as well.

Come back tomorrow for teams 21 through 11.

If you have a disagreement with any of my rankings, please feel free to make your argument in the comments!

The Sports Dude’s Man Crushes

i-love-you-man-segel-rudd-476x300-(2)Disclaimer – these are all completely heterosexual. I have a girlfriend.

Derek Jeter – Yeah, I know, he’s a Yankee. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s been my childhood idol ever since I picked up a baseball for the first time. There are multiple factors that make this aging first-ballot Hall-of-Famer a personal fave.

First of all, I am man enough to admit that he’s a pretty damn good lookin’ dude. He has that boy next door look, with his huge toothy smile, and clean cut appearance. Embarrassingly, I confess that I once took a picture of his hair with me to Great Clips, pointed to the 47-year old Asian women who only spoke broken English and said, “I want that.” Unfortunately, either she skipped the Derek Jeter Haircut Day in beauty school or she didn’t think I could pull it off, saying, “no, you no want that.” To this day, I believe the former.

Also, Derek Jeter is so good at baseball that he took a typical play, the middle infielder jump throw, and did it so well that now he is forever known as the “Jump Man.” How many other players have their own play? The Jose Cruz Jr. dropped fly ball? The Ruben Rivera base running spectacular? They don’t quite have the same ring to it. I don’t think there is a major league baseball player who has caused more unearned runs in little league games by having kids try to imitate his signature play.  Plus, the man has hooked up with 6 (possibly more) of the Maxim Top 100 list despite having the middle name Sanderson. That’s G.

Albert Pujols – Have you ever seen him swing a baseball bat? If yes, you need no further explanation. If no, drop whatever you are doing and YouTube him. And he’s even got a sense of humor.

Tom Brady – First of all, how can you not love his story? 6th round pick becomes best QB of his era. He was passed over by guys like Spergon Wynn out of football powerhouse Southwest Texas State, and Giovanni Carmazzi from Hofstra. Think the Browns and Niners regret those picks?

The San Mateo, Calif. native (my hometown, baby!!!) was even drafted out of Serra high school in the 18th round to play catcher for the Montreal Expos. That’s doubly impressive because he didn’t necessarily have a body that makes you go, “wow, what an athlete.” He gives short white guys like me hope, maybe not to dominate the NFL, but intramural football at Oregon certainly isn’t out of the question.

He is basically the Derek Jeter of the NFL. Golden boy who leads their team to multiple championships, has multi-million dollar endorsements, the hottest girlfriend in the world (sorry baby, Giselle is well, Giselle) and has led the Sports Dude to several fantasy football titles. He even held his own in a recent guest appearance on Entourage, looking like a Ralph Lauren model while simultaneously making fun of Johnny Drama. Impressive.

Paul Rudd – So what if he’s not a star athlete? If I could trade personalities with anyone, it would be him. The talented actor displays the perfect combination of witty quirkiness, boyish good looks, happy go lucky attitude, and shyness topped with a subtle yet strong sense of confidence. His resume is impeccable, starring in The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Anchorman, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and I Love You, Man, while also adding a little extra bit of wonderful to seasons 6 through 8 of Friends, and displaying some impressive range in his performances of Nick Carraway in the Great Gatsby and the bad guy in the Halloween movie from 1995.

Once again, he gives me hope of becoming famous. One look at Mr. Rudd and all you see is an unassuming, mildly chubby, 5’9 pale white guy, but the more I watch him, the deeper my man crush grows. I think it’s because I can relate to him. And damn, can he dance – the sexuality was palpable.

Coming soon: The Anti-man Crushes, People the Sports Dude Hates.

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