Friday, September 07, 2007

Weekend Selections - The Seaward

(Home teams in bold)

NCAA Week 2

#2 LSU over #9 Virginia Tech -- The Tigers don't give a rat's ass about America's Team.
#3 West Virginia over Marshall -- WE ARE. INSANELY OVERMATCHED.
#4 Florida over Troy -- Can DeMarcus Ware get a 5th year of eligibility to make this interesting? Please?
#5 Oklahoma over Miami -- It wasn't too long ago that this game would've been relevant...
#5 Wisconsin over UNLV -- A TSE writer dies a little bit inside every time he picks Wisco.
#19 TCU over #7 Texas -- I don't trust any Big XII team whose QB looks like he's 11 years old.
#10 Cal over Colorado State -- In the battle of overrated trim vs. underrated trim... overrated trim wins. Le sigh.
#11 Georgia over South Carolina -- I smell overtime here. UGA isn't that good and SC isn't that bad.
#12 Ohio State over Akron -- No Charlie Frye + No Dominic Hixon = 49-3 OSU at half.
#13 UCLA over BYU -- Last year this game would've been sick. This year it's a left coast afternoon yawner.
#14 Penn State over Notre Dame -- Not even Anthony Morelli could screw this up.
#16 Nebraska over Wake Forest -- But I'll be rooting for the Deacs.
#17 Auburn over South Florida -- Once again with no Brad Lester, all Brandon Cox has to do is not suck; I may be forced to reconsider this pick.
#20 Hawaii over La. Tech -- Colt Brennan. Colt Brennan. Colt Brennan.
#21 Georgia Tech over Samford -- Could Samford be any worse than the Golden Dome last week?
Washington over #22 Boise State -- Tyrone Willingham is unamused with your gadgetry.
#23 Texas A&M over Fresno State -- The Aggies may be the most underrated (and therefore best) team in the Little Dozen.
#24 Tennessee over Southern Miss. -- JTBI's hopes of Phil Fulmer going 0-fer in '07 are dashed.
#25 Clemson over UL-Monroe -- Reminder to the Tigers: this is not hockey; games do not end after 3 periods.

NFL Week 1

Broncos over Bills -- Denver's Secondary > Buffalo's Receivers.
Steelers over Browns -- God in heaven, I better be wrong.
Eagles over Packers -- Big Daddy Drew said it best yesterday, but the Eagles in September are generally unstoppable.
Panthers over Rams -- I flipped a coin to pick this game.
Vikings over Falcons -- Atlanta is a total gongshow this year; I may not pick them once.
Patriots over Jets -- The Pats have no business not going 16-0 this year.
Miami over Washington -- For one shining moment, Ronnie Brown is slightly less enfuriating to fantasy owners than Clinton Portis.
Titans over Jaguars -- You, too, could play quarterback for the Jags this week!
Chiefs over Texans -- I'm starting to get uneasy picking so many road teams but most of these are no brainers.
Seahawks over Buccaneers -- I don't really have to explain this, do I?
Cowboys over Giants -- Like most others, you'll probably be rooting for cancer on Sunday night.
Bengals over Ravens -- Kinda Overrated gets the best of Massively, Staggeringly, Egregiously Overrated on MNF.
San Francisco over Arizona -- All good running backs at Candlestick on Monday take one step forward. Not so fast, Edgerrin.

(Last Week: Asleep) more...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

TSE NFL Games of the Week

Well, first post in a while, and first post ever in the UP. Good to be back. The air is a lot fresher up here, and thats because we are pushing for no more sulfide mining. Billboards all across the UP state that Wisconsin has stopped doing it, we should too. Which I guess is a nice way of saying, "Good Lord, if Wisconsin can manage to do it, why can't we?" I'll leave it at that.

Aaaaanyway, moving on. The NFL is kicking off this week, and as always there are a slew of games that the powers that be at the League office and national networks every week think are more important than others. Naturally, they are right, and these games are more important than the others. Let's take a look:

Thursday Night: New Orleans v. Indianapolis
The Meddling Parents Bowl

Sure, on the surface this matchup looks like the Super Bowl champs hosting a team that fell a game short of making this a Super Bowl rematch. I urge all of you to look a little deeper. Take a look at the starting quarterbacks, for instance.

Peyton Manning is a good southern boy, raised to respect his elders. One of the biggest parts of respecting your elders is, of course, to keep the paychecks coming in to your daddy for as long as you can. Peyton loves his daddy, and will do anything to keep him relevant. Sportscenter commercials, week-long footballing camps, whatever Archie wants to do, Peyton can make it happen.

Now if that ain't the dag-gum cutest picture you've ever seen. Don't know what in tarnation could be. A ding-dang-do.

Conversley, Drew Brees hates his mother and would rather she just leave him alone.

Drew was none too happy that his mother was using his likeness in campaign ads. Now, would a good Southern boy like Peyton have done that to his Mommy if she were running for the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas. No rootin'-tootin' way.

Which quarterback will prevail? The Daddy's boy or the Mom hater? NBC has all the action Thursday night.

Sunday Night: New York at Dallas

The Hardass Bowl

A match-up of divisional foes is just masking the real reason people should tune in. Now that Bill Parcells is out of the division, Tom Coughlin will be attempting to assert himself as the Hard-Ass coach of the division. This is definitely a high honor in the NFC East, considering that the likes of Tom Landry, Bill Parcells (twice), Barry Switzer (carrying a gun into an airport cemented his place) and Ray Rhodes has held this lofty honor. Wade Phillips is the newcomer, and the most direct threat .

Learning from the master. Coughlin has a tough road to hoe, but the news today that he got Tiki Barber to retire is only helping his cause.

Why are the other two coaches in the division not in the running? Well, the head coach fo the Redskins is a nice elderly gentleman, who likes to play with cars in his spare time. And all of the badassery in the Andy Reid bloodline apparently skipped a generation.
Grizzled veterans behind the mic. But only one can be the NFC East badass. Sunday Night on NBC.

Monday Night: Baltimore at Cincinnati
The Incarcerated v. The Acquitted

On the surface, a great matchup of two teams in what many regard as the hardest division in football, the AFC North. But, this in fact will prove once and for all: is a team better when they have players arrested for minor brushes with the law, such as selling alcohol to minors, or is the superior team one where the best player might have had a hand in murdering another human being, a much loftier charge, but was found innocent by a jury of his peers that may or may not have been assembled by Gene Upshaw? It's just a shame that Eric Steinbach isn't back with the Bengals this year. He was arrested last year after getting a DUI on a boat. Ray Lewis gets three of those in the inner harbor before breakfast.

Who will win-- petty criminals or pretty lucky streetwalkers? Monday Night Football on ESPN.

Monday Night: Arizona v. San Fransisco
The Beefcake Bowl

One could see this as a battle between up-and-coming teams in the up-and-coming NFC West. Really, the focus is on the two extremely dreamy quarterbacks who are really just trying to stay in the conversation until Brady Quinn makes his first start.

I do declare. Both crushingly pensive, yet ruggedly masculine. The early line goes to Smith with his positively inviting baby blues.
One dated Paris, one probably will in a few weeks. Can they not be hot for 60 minutes? Monday Night Football on ESPN!
There you have it. The real reasons these games will be featured this weekend. The best part about this article is that it guarantees that I will never be writing about the Browns all season. Fantastic.

The Evening Of on TSE -- 9.4.07

The Magic Number and September Baseball... they go together like peanut butter and ladies.

"We go together like cocaine and waffles and alimony!"

The Magic Number, of course, is a figure that represents the total number of first place team wins combined with second place team losses that would clinch the division/wild card for that particular team. When a team's magic number reaches 1 they are guaranteed at least a tie in their division/wild card.

For example, the Cleveland Indians enter play tonight with a Magic Number of 20. Any combination over the next 3 1/2 weeks of baseball of Indians wins and Tigers losses that add up to 20 will clinch the A.L. Central for the Tribe.

But have you ever wondered how those folks in the sports media ivory towers come up with the mythical Magic Number? It's actually remarkably easy to calculate. All you need to do is take 162 (the number of games in the MLB season) add 1 (to eliminate a tie in the division/wild card), then subtract the number of wins the first place team has (W1st) and subtract the number of losses the second place team has (L2nd) to arrive at the Magic Number.

The formula looks like this:

MN = 163 - W1st - L2nd

I'll use the example of the Indians again. They enter play tonight at 79-58 while the Tigers are 73-64; each have played 137 games with 25 remaining with the Tribe holding a 6-game lead. The formula reads: 163 - 79 - 64 = 20. The math adds up as if the Indians, with their 6-game lead, win 20 of their remaining 25 games, it is impossible for Detroit to win the A.L. Central.

The more advanced explanation of the mathematics involved can be found at the Obsolete Computer Museum.

You can also use the Magic Number formula to check if teams are eliminated. Teams such as the Devil Rays (the second hottest team in the bigs right now, thankyouverymuch), whose number of losses we will substitute for L2nd: 163 - 83 - 81 = -1... so, sadly, the Red Sox' win on Sunday nixed the Rays' hopes of their first ever A.L. East title. You can also use this formula to check a second place team's Magic Number.

The more you know. more...

Profiles in Courage: Hilliard Davidson HS

High School football in Columbus, Ohio isn't the religious experience it is in Texas and Pennsylvania, but from time to time, we Columbusites (Columbusans?  Columbophiles?) sometimes strike the jackpot.

Hilliard Davidson HS, one of a few schools in the Columbus suburbs, was frequented with several acts of graffiti by rival school Hilliard Darby HS, proclaiming that their school sucked.  Whether they do or not isn't up for debate.  How the students of Davidson reacted, however, is what brings us to the crux of this post.

The sheer amplitude of brain power behind this stunt still boggles my mind and even after racking my brain, filled now with 4+ years of college and countless years of other schooling still can't even begin to figure out how to go about doing this, but, man, it would be sweet to do it, wouldn't it?

In all it's YouTube glory...

This is, of course, a derivation of a classic prank, earned the evil-doers suspensions though we here at TSE salute hellcats of Hilliard - were it up to us, we would have given them HS degrees and made them principal for the day on the spot.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A sports day to remember

The "official" "Re-Launch" of TSE will start on Monday and Tuesday but how can a sports blog not mention something about a day like this in the sports world? We start early in the day in Columbus...

I am a Buckeye fan through and through but this season, especially after the debacle that was last season, came with a lot of questions. Can Todd Boeckman and company replace Troy Smith, Tedd Ginn and Anthony Gonzalez? Will the defense be stout enough to keep the untested offense in contention? What color vest will Coach Tressel wear? The myriad questions started to receive their answers when the Buckeyes dispatched of the #6 FCS Youngstown State Fightin' Penguins in Ohio Stadium today. Really, the game was in no doubt and the offense, which had many annoying 5-yard penalties, showed a few signs of things to come. And Tres wore a grey vest today. All told, though, the best part was easy enough to identify:

There is nothing in the world like the Alumni band and TBDBITL putting four Script-Ohio's on the field at once. Almost made the $60 ticket worth it (though mine was comped - happy birthday to me).

But that's when things started to get interesting., the preeminent Wolverines blog had the picture to answer 1000 questions.

Technical Difficulties indeed. Michigan goes down to Appalachian State in front of 107,000+ in the Big House. The Mountaineers are no slouches themselves in the FCS (formerly Division 1-AA) having won some national championships of their own, so it's not like UM was going up against the scout team from WBUP-TV in Marquette. Appy was in it all the way and won in grand fashion, blocking the would-be winning field goal as time expired. As a Buckeye fan, I have my hat tips and finger wags about the loss, but as for college football, this one was huge, perhaps the biggest upset in college football history. Hell, ESPNews compared it to USA over USSR in the 1980 Olympics, if you want a grand scale to put this on. So where does Michigan go? And when Oregon comes into the Big House next week what can we expect? Mike Hart still put on a show, but if that show can't beat the FCS, then what are the Wolverines to do?

A quick sidebar: what do you do with Michigan in the rankings next week? One would think that losing to an FCS team would get you out of the top-25 (some have even suggested giving Appy St. a vote or two in the rankings next week). I think they'll drop down to #22-#24, but if they fall out of it, that would surprise me too much.

Finally, the story that trumps even a monumental college football upset came at Fenway Park. Clay Buchholz, called up to replace an inactive Tim Wakefield, went out and did something no Boston rookie had ever done. The game cast spells it out pretty well:

Buchholz throws a wonderful no-hitter (with some fantastic help from Dustin Pedroia on defense) as the Sox win 10-0 at home. The story in Boston is that the brass told Buchholz would be dropped down to the PawSox even if he did something like...throw a no-hitter. Well, Buchholz did it in start #2 so it looks like his bags should stay in Boston for the near future.

So Ohio State wins, Michigan loses and the BoSox snap out of a 4-game slide in a huge way. All-in-all, for me anyway, this was one hell of a day for sports.

The Re-Launch will begin next week, so look forward to all the Sports Elitists you can handle. more...