You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2008.
LSU is coming off a loss.
And is facing its ‘rival’.
So they shouldn’t have a letdown, right?
We’ll have to wait and see.
But I didn’t see an LSU team focused on beating Tulane this week . . . I saw a team chomping to beat Alabama, so we’ll see how it plays out, but I think for a second-straight year, LSU might come out flat against the Wave.
But with all that being said, Tulane is in shambles. They don’t know who their quarterback is going to be, they just lost their starting halfback for the season, and they have lost 14 players who played significant roles in the beginning of the season.
So I see LSU starting slow, but finishing strong and earning an easy win.
The second storyline that is interesting is how the whole Hatch ordeal will play out.
Andrew Hatch will not play Saturday and probably will not play next weekend against Alabama.
So I am curious to see what Jordan Jefferson’s role will be.
If I were Miles, I would play him in Hatch’s old role. He is bigger, stronger, faster, etc… than Hatch, so if it worked for him, it should work for the freshman. But the problem with that is in that role, you take quite a beating and I think the concern will be that if Jefferson goes down, then LSU has just 1 quarterback left.
So we’ll see how that works out.
More on this game tomorrow.
Well, the Phillies won the World Series in the strangest of ways, winning the 6th-9th innings of Game 5 last night.
The Rays just are one of those “year-away” teams. The problem is just that they may not ever get back to the position they were just in, because of Boston and New York’s big spending ways.
We’ll see, but even though I picked Tampa to win the series, it was clear the best team won.
The NBA season is a few days old and here are my week 1 power rankings after having watched most of the contenders play.
1. Lakers – It will be very, very tough to dethrone them if they stay healthy and happy.
2. Rockets – If Mt. Artest stays happy, this is the best Rockets team since 1995.
3. Celtics – I know they are good. But I just wonder if they have that internal drive they had last year.
4. Hornets – Any of the teams 1-4 can be in any order. There is a real jumble at the top.
5. Raptors – Make them my sleeper pick to win the NBA Title
6. Spurs – They seem to win the title in every other year. This would be that year.
7. Jazz – Don’t sleep on Utah. They are the best coached team in the NBA.
8. Pistons – I do not like that they stood pat. But they still have a tremendous team.
9. Magic – They start a point guard, who really wants to be a shooting guard, three small forwards and a center. You can see the problem there, too, right?
10. Knicks – No, I do not think the Knicks will be the 10th best NBA team. I just put them up here, because they are a major sleeper to me. The talent is there. The coaching is now there. It’s time to turn this thing around.
SEC games this weekend:
Ole Miss 13
Miss St. 24
Arkansas State 10
South Carolina 28
Tulane ? (Stay tuned).
That’s it for me today!
You all have a blessed Friday!
More about this game tomorrow!
Well, at least now we know why LSU coach Les Miles spilled his guts about wanting to play Jordan Jefferson.
Just a day after Miles proclaimed he would not be opposed to burning Jefferson’s redshirt to get him playing time the rest of the season — a move that made no sense to me at the time — the truth came out that Andrew Hatch is injured with a leg injury and Jefferson is now needed to be the team’s backup.
No one knows the extent of Hatch’s injury — and I mean that when I say it — NO ONE, because he is going to be looked at by a physician tomorrow and given a prognosis.
So until then, let’s not speculate on the severity of the injury.
But Hatch was seen on crutches on campus earlier in the day on Tuesday, so I’d say the chances of him playing Saturday are slim and none.
Also slim and none are the chances Jefferson will make the big impact a lot of people on message boards and such seem to think the kid will make.
This time last year, Jefferson was facing the likes of Hahnville, East St. John and John Ehret. That’s a far step down from Georgia, Florida and Alabama.
I believe this kid has sky-high potential, but for the time being, he will only be successful operating on option runs and dink passes.
I’ll talk tomorrow about if I think LSU will overlook Tulane again this season after last season’s debacle in the first half.
The NBA season kicked off last night and although only 6 teams played, I think a clear-cut favorite to win the NBA title has already emerged and I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the Celtics.
But it’s rather the Lakers, who looked lights-out good, despite not shooting the ball terribly well, in a blowout win against the upstart Blazers.
Tell me a team who can deal with a lineup of Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
I know Odom isn’t starting, but he will still be on the floor in money-time, so he is still a “starter” in my eyes as I measure ‘starters’ as the people who play in the last 6 minutes of a game.
So it will be tough for anyone out there to beat the Lakers and barring an injury, you can pencil them in right now to win at least 55-60 games.
Today marks the beginning of the season for my two teams of cheering interest, the Houston Rockets and the Hornets.
And I must say, it’s a fun time to be a fan of both as they are each projected to have a big impact on the way the West is won this season.
I’ll begin with the Rockets, because they made the big splash and got Ron Artest from the Kings.
Artest joins Tracy McGrady and Yao as the new “Big Three” and when you throw in smaller additions like Brent Barry and a new year of seasoning for stud power forwards Luis Scola and Carl Landry, the Rockets are deeper and more equipped to make a run, even if injuries ravage through their roster like they have in years past.
I predict 55-57 wins for the Rockets and if they have each of their big three available in the playoffs (and that’s a big if), then I see them winning two playoff series and becoming the second best team in the West behind the Lakers.
The Hornets made a lesser move, but a move that may have just as big an impact as they signed Finals hero James Posey to help guard the perimeter and cannon threes off Chris Paul’s penetration.
The Hornets also return all their gunners from last season like David West, Tyson Chandler, Peja, etc…
But what concerns me is the backup point guard position. The Hornets currently have Mike James as their backup. And that is absolute garbage. I just worry that if James will be ineffective early in the season if Byron Scott will play Paul more minutes.
And if he does, then I wonder if Paul will be able to handle it.
We have to remember that there was no offseason for Paul last summer as he played deep into May in the postseason before training for the Olympics and winning a gold medal.
But assuming Paul remains 100 percent, I see the Hornets slipping just behind Houston into the third position in the West.
The reason for that is simple to me.
The Hornets won the Southwest Division by one game last season over Houston.
And I think all things considered:
Artest > Posey by more than one game.
So I see Houston winning the division by probably 2-3 games with the Spurs and Mavs lagging close behind.
With all of that being said, here are a few preseason predictions.
MVP: Lebron James – I see 29 points, 8 boards and 8 assists in this young man’s future
ROY: OJ Mayo – Will be Michael Beasley if the Heat make the playoffs, but if not, Mayo’s 20+ a game will win him the award.
Coach of the Year: Sam Mitchell – Will anchor the Raptors into the playoffs as the 2-seed behind Boston and just in front of Orlando. Jermaine O’Neal (if healthy) makes them a real force.
Best Newcomer: Elton Brand to Philly
Worst Newcomer: Baron Davis to the Clippers
First coach to get fired: Lawrence Frank
Number of times it’ll be rumored Larry Brown will leave the Bobcats: 4
Leading scorer: Kobe Bryant — 31.4 per game
Number of games T-Mac will play — 72
Number of games Yao will play — 80
Best rookie no one has ever heard of — Courtney Lee (Orlando)
Stephon Marbury will remain a Knick all season and have an impact.
That’s all for me.
First and foremost, I want to apologize for the lack of preparedness in yesterday’s vlog.
There were a lot of “umm’s…” and “you know’s” in the voice post, because I was (and still am) under the weather, so I did not have the patience to do the proper homework I needed to do.
But with that being said, the LSU football coaches watched the film of the UGA game today and it did not look any better the 2nd time they saw it.
The worst part about the way LSU is losing is they are not being dominated or destroyed — they are beating themselves.
If UGA would have done like Florida and driven the ball down LSU’s throat for their 50+ points, that would have been one thing.
But LSU beat itself with defensive breakdowns and communication issues, etc… etc…
Despite the No. 2 team in the country still being on LSU’s schedule, the teeth of LSU’s schedule is finished.
I do not trust Alabama now and will not trust Alabama as a legitimate national contender as long as John Parker Wilson is their starting quarterback, so while the Tide is talented (and hot), they are not as much of a matchup problem to LSU in my opinion than Florida and Georgia were.
The games that concern me more for LSU than the Alabama game when everyone will be big-time jacked is the Ole Miss and Arkansas games, mostly the Ole Miss game.
I just think LSU will spend so much energy the Saturday of the Alabama game that I have concerns about whether or not they will have enough time to regroup and move on just seven days later against a talented (despite their record) Ole Miss team.
But with all of that being said, I see LSU sweeping the rest of the season (although it won’t be pretty) and possibly even going to the SEC Championship Game if Alabama has a slip up.
But LSU is not in the elite SEC ranks this year like Florida and Georgia and would be trashed again in the SECCG if that were to occur.
The Saints overcame the odds and beat the Chargers in London 37-32 Sunday, leaving many to wonder what sort of narcotics the team used to cheat with before this game (just kidding, Saints fans).
But on a serious note, the Saints moved the ball at will on what is a very lacking Chargers defense that missed Shawne Merriman more and more with each passing day.
But the win was not without drama as the Saints had firm control over the game with 9 minutes to go and nearly blew it all in the final minutes. The Chargers even had a last-ditch Hail Mary heave at the end zone to win the game.
But all negativity aside, the Saints are in position to possibly have the NFL’s MVP this season, because if the team sniffs the playoffs, Drew Brees should be the guy chosen for the award.
A lot of his statistics are ballooned because of the Saints’ system (it’s almost like being the QB for Texas Tech). But the fact remains, he still does have to execute the throws, and more often than not, he does, so he is having a tremendous season.
Men’s BBall Preview:
A few days ago, I gave a preview of the women’s team.
So today, I will take a turn with the men.
As everyone knows, this is the first year of the new Trent Johnson regime.
For those of you out there who wanted a totally new style and a totally new scheme, dream on, because Johnson may be more hardcore defense-minded than even Brady was. But the thing Johnson has in his favor is he has the attention of his team — something I do not think Brady ever had — even in the Final Four season.
Virtually the entire LSU roster returns from last season minus Anthony Randolph who was a first-round draft pick of the Golden State Warriors.
But to replace Randolph, LSU returns Tasmin Mitchell from injury and also has added four three-star prospects who figure to add depth to a team starving for some.
You all know all SEC slasher Marcus Thornton and Mitchell, so I will stay away from them.
But here are 3 lesser knowns to keep an eye on this season.
Farrer started a few games last year and LSU played really well in the games he started — because he is one of the few ‘glue guys’ on LSU’s roster, which last year was full of guys who dominated the basketball like Randolph and Thornton.
With a fellow West Coast cat on the bench, I think Farrer will fit Johnson’s system beautifully and be a very quality role player.
Bass was only offered a scholarship by LSU after J’Mison Morgan switched his LSU commitment to UCLA in the 11th hour.
But initial reports say Bass and Bo Spencer will make up a very capable one-two punch at the PG position.
Bass likely will not start in his freshman campaign, but people are saying he is very quick with the basketball in his hands and will be a spark plug for LSU this season.
Does the last name sound familiar? Yes, he is indeed Brandon’s little brother.
Everyone knows who Temple is in this neck of the woods. But I throw him on the list, because I think he will have a big senior season — primarily because he will be allowed to play off the ball for the first time since his freshman season, when he reaked havoc on players all across the country.
With Temple not having the burden and the strain of taking the ball up the floor anymore, look for LSU to get their lock-down defender back for a full season, because in the last two seasons, the strain of being primarily a one-guard has worn Temple down by the end of the season.
PREDICTION: LSU finishes the season third in the SEC West and is one of the final 6 teams into the NCAA Tournament.
I hope you all are having a tremendous weekend!
I’ve broken down this LSU/UGA matchup all week and I have done my best to leave every I dotted and every T crossed, so now it’s time for me to make my pick.
I said earlier in the week that the key for LSU is to win the matchup in the trenches.
If the LSU offensive and defensive lines win, LSU wins. It’s that simple.
And with that being said, I will go with LSU.
I do not know about you guys, but I just heard a ‘click’ last Saturday in the second half against S. Carolina. LSU rode that big, mean, nasty and physical offensive line to victory while keeping the Gamecocks off the scoreboard.
I think LSU probably falls behind early, then just wears out the Dawgs’ inexperienced offensive line late and wins a very similar game to last week’s S. Carolina contest.
Here are my SEC picks for this week.
Kentucky at Florida – Florida is coming off a bye and is still on a high from its beating of LSU. Gators by 20+.
Duke at Vanderbilt – Vanderbilt is reeling with a handful of losses in a row and Duke is more talented than they usually are. But Vandy wins ugly, 17-10.
Middle Tennessee at Miss State – Too much talent for the Dawgs who have been playing better the last few weekends. 35-17 MSU.
Mississippi at Arkansas – Ole Miss is a good team, gang. Anyone who goes to Florida and wins and has near misses at Bama and at Wake is a good team. Houston Nutt ransacks the team who unjustly didn’t respect his coaching ability. Ole Miss by a lot.
Alabama at Tennessee – Upset alert. Alabama CAN NOT keep playing 15 out of 60 minutes and win. Tennessee always plays well when Phil Fulmer’s head is on the chopping block, so I go with the Vols in a low scoring affair.
Ohio St. 17
Penn St. 6
Ok St 21
Texas Tech 44
The big national story coming out of today revolves around the Saints as reports out of Denver say that Deuce McAllister and Will Smith allegedly took ‘water pills’ to cut weight. The problem is that these water pills are on the list of banned substances and if the reports are true, both guys will have to serve a manditory 4-game suspension.
I feel sorry for the team, if this is true, because they are already depleted by injury. But it’s hard to feel sorry for the individuals.
All week long, I heard people say that Cowboys cornerback PacMan Jones was wrong for being suspended for using alcohol after being told specifically not to use it by the NFL.
If Jones is guilty in his case, then Deuce and Smith have to be considered as equal culprits, too, because like Jones they consumed a product clearly on the “DO NOT USE” list.
So if the report is true, I think the NFL is right in taking away their jobs for 4 weeks.
Game 3 of the World Series is tonight . . . maybe as forecasts have rain in the Philly area that may force the MLB to make a change of plans.
Big game James Shields is going to be on the hill for the Rays opposed by Jamie Moyer for the Phils.
1. If the game is playing as scheduled, huge advantage for the Rays. Jamie Moyer is about closer to 50 than he is to 40. And he has not exactly been stellar in his last couple of starts. A patient Rays offense will lace him into the ground.
2. If the game is pushed back, look for the Phils to maybe push Cole Hamels up in the rotation. He is their best shot.
Game 3 pick: Rays in a high-scoring affair.
It’s almost my favorite time of the year — basketball season.
With that being said, I will give you guys and gals a preview of the LSU teams, starting first with the women and then the men tomorrow.
The Lady Tigers have been to the Final Four 5-straight years. But gone are stars like Sylvia Fowles, Erica White and Quianna Chaney. Gone are role players like Ashley Thomas, RaShonta LeBlanc and Mesha Williams.
But LSU coach Van Chancellor had a stellar recruiting class and has 4 solid returning players and I expect it to be a fun and exciting women’s basketball season.
Here are some ladies to watch this season.
Hightower has been the Sixth player for LSU the last few seasons, but it’s her team now and it’s her time to shine — and she will in a big way.
Hightower is known by a lot of people around the SEC as just primarily a spot-up shooter, but she has great slashing ability and with more offensive freedom this year, she will show a complete offensive game and take the SEC by storm.
Graham played only sparingly last season as a freshman, but that was not because she didn’t have skills. That was because she was buried in the depth chart behind the likes of Chaney, Hightower and Marian Whitfield.
When KG did get on the floor last season, she showed a tremendous mid-range game and I think she will emerge as one of LSU’s primary scorers behind Hightower this season in Van Chancellor’s offense.
Morris is not Sylvia Fowles, so don’t expect the countless double-doubles and one-handed slam dunks. But LSU’s lone senior is a very, very talented post player and skillful rebounder.
Morris also has a quality game from 12-14 feet around the basket, which will enable her to keep the lane clear when Hightower and the other LSU gunners slash to the cup.
I refrained from putting any of the incoming freshmen on the list, because it’s really unknown how anyone will shape up into they actually step onto the hardwood.
But I do know LSU had one of the best classes in all of America, so out of those 7-8 players they picked up, I expect at least 5-6 of them to become contributors to aid the above mentioned players, as well as sophomore Latear Eason who will be back in the fold this season after her injury last season.
I did not go in-depth about Eason, because of the injury last season, but she is a quality player. If she proves to be 100%, she will absolutely be in the regular rotation for the Lady Tigers.
With all of that being said, I encourage you all to go out to the PMAC and watch these ladies play if you have a free evening in the spring.
It will be a struggle for them — especially early in the season as everyone learns their new roles within the system, but I think come Feb-March, you will see a quality ball club out there.
But I’ve been around the program for the past 2 seasons and these ladies deserve all of the success that they have.
Outside of being great athletes, they are also all great students and most importantly, great people.
I’ve gotten to know a couple of the ladies on the team, and they have always gone out of their way to be nice and it just makes it so much easier to cheer for someone who deserves all of the success they have.
So go check these women out if you guys get a free weekend — I know they’ll appreciate it!
That’s it for me today.
If you’re traveling into BR tomorrow, be safe!
Have a great weekend, everyone!
LSU vs. UGA keys to victory
Fantasy Football picks
Topics today: LSU vs. UGA, LSU injury update, the World Series, WVU and Auburn, plus an interview clip from Herman Johnson.
I will start to do vlogs on days when I am busy, because it takes me so much less time to speak that it does to physically type out my thoughs.
Click below for today’s Vlog.
3. Injuries in the NFL.
Both of the teams I have rooting interests for are being hit very, very hard by number three right now — as both the Saints and Cowboys were manhandled by the Panthers and Rams respectively yesterday.
But when you crunch the numbers, you can nearly field an entire offense and defense with this laundry list of guys on the shelf for what I consider to be the two most injury plagued teams in the NFL.
QB: Tony Romo
RB: Felix Jones
WR: Marquis Colston
WR: David Patten
WR/RB: Reggie Bush
TE: Jeremy Shockey
DT: Sedrick Ellis
OLB: Anthony Spencer
MLB: Mark Simoneau
CB: Terrance Newman
CB: PacMan Jones *(suspended)*
FS: Roy Williams
K: Martin Gramatica
P: Matt McBriar
That’s 14 guys, 7 of whom have made the Pro Bowl.
I know people are out there saying ‘Cry me a river,’ everyone has injuries. But let’s be real, guys, you take names like Tony Romo or Reggie Bush off any NFL team and what you’ll have is a 4-3 team predicted to be a Superbowl contender and a 3-4 team 2 games in last place inside their division.
It’s one thing to cheer for a team who just truly sucks, like the Kansas City Chiefs or the Detroit Lions, but an entirely more frustrating game to cheer for a team with a ton of talent who is sidetracked by things that no one can control.
So hopefully these problems clear themselves up for both the Saints and the Cowboys and they can get back in the thick of things in the NFL race.
I love to gloat when I am right. But I also am the first person to admit when I am wrong, so I will use the next 150-200 words to write about how wrong I was about the Tampa Bay Rays this season.
I’ve used this place many a times to label those guys as frauds or as overrated or as a team who would falter and crumble in the heat of postseason baseball, but I was wrong and the Rays are going to the World Series after a Game 7 win against the Red Sox last night.
I will be the 1st to admit that after the way the team folded in Game 5 against the Sox, I thought the series was over. But the Rays got a masterful performance from former SEC pitcher David Price and closed out the win.
It takes a real nut-check for a kid barely able to drink legally, to stand before the defending world champions with his back against the wall and throw down the hammer to close out the series.
What this series and this postseason has shown to me is just how valuable ‘arms’ are. The Rays history of losing has earned them one top pick after another in the past 10 years and it shows as they have tons and tons of ’20-something’ pitchers who are blossoming at the right time to allow this run to be possible.
I will give a World Series pick after I do a little more research, but I can say off hand that I don’t care how many saves in a row he has, I don’t trust Brad Lidge, so that gives a small edge right now to Tampa Bay for me.
Some LSU injury news:
1. T-Bob Hebert is done for the season following an injury Saturday against USC. It is not fully clear what the injury was yet. But hopefully it is something that will have him back 100% before spring, because he will most likely be either the team’s starting center or starting fullback, depending on where Coach Miles decides to use him.
2. RJF should be ready for the Georgia game. Groins are tough and everytime he tries to give it a go, he reinjures himself, so barring a setback, he should be good to go.
3. All of the other guys who suffered minor licks just had cramps and should be fine.
T’is all for me.
Take it easy.
It’s good to be back!