Sent to faculty, staff and students, the e-mail says that all sports at Santa Clara will be “discontinued indefinitely.” This comes on the same night that Santa Clara’s basketball team beat a Pac-12 opponent, Washington State. No reason for the action is given.
More to come as information becomes available.
Or not. A clarification email was sent out just now saying that Coonan’s email was hacked. Which makes sense. We did beat Washington State though, so…go Broncos, I guess.
.1. We’re just a week removed from rivalry weekend, and it isn’t even championship weekend yet in college football, but the fact is that there are two emotions that are prevailing for me regarding college football right now: depression and dread. I know I should be focused on the upcoming championships, bowl games and the (Russillo’s or Rece Davis’s voice) FIRST. EVER. COLLEGE FOOTBALL. PLAYOFF. Presented by Dr. Pepper (I listen to entirely too much sports talk radio). I am looking forward to those things, and you better believe I will enjoy them, I will enjoy the HELL out of them. But Championship week has a dirty little secret. Championship week means that you couldn’t possibly be farther from the next rivalry weekend, and that’s a shame because rivalry weekend is AWESOME. Thanksgiving should be renamed pre-rivalry-weekend-feast. Your move congress.
.2. Need some evidence? Here. Watch this:
Need some more? Here’s this
(Yeah I know I posted that trailer last week too. It’s awesome. Sue me.)
Fine one more…
.3. It isn’t just the iron bowl, either. That entire nation goes nuts for rivalry week. I’m not going to lie to you. I’m slipping. Almost a year until the next full college football weekend. Please, no!
.4. Apparently, they are shutting down the above chant (the Dixieland Delight one, not Rammer Jammer), which is MALARKEY. First, the obvious: Not playing Dixieland Delight will not prevent drunk college kids from swearing at football games. More importantly,
.4. HOLY HELL Thomas Vanek sucks at gambling. Do you have any idea how hard it is to lose TEN MILLION DOLLARS gambling? Me neither, because that is literally inconceivable. I’ve had to pay up on a six-pack bet before, and while checking out at 7-Eleven, thinking damn this one hurts, and chances are I was going to get at least one or two of the beers. It probably isn’t like his bookie was some billionaire, either. Dude probably wasn’t letting him slap down 500k on some MACtion. 7k-10k can move a line in Vegas. Bookies play the long odds. They aren’t giving back 100k at a time because the Eagles covered. That means that Vanek most likely lost $10 million betting 5-10 thousand at a time (and even that is a lot). That means he lost 1000 more bets (minimum) than he won. Let that sink in. Vanek has made 57 million in his career (according to a Capgeek number that I glanced at without crosschecking or even seeing if that includes future contracts but whatever it’s around there). On the one hand, that leaves 47 million dollars made in less than a decade- plenty to live off of, but on the other hand, he lost almost 20% of his income betting. The Thomas Vanek picks newsletter (wherein we trick Thomas to give out his honest picks, which we then short) would be the most subscribed to email list in the world. Vegas would go out of business in a football season.
TEAM GET MINE!
Kinda funny, obviously meaningless, right? Except that that bucket—no joke, covered the spread. Unbelievable. Someone has to investigate that kid for point shaving, right?
.7. Speaking of point shaving…when the first allegations against Jamies Winston came out, they seemed patently ridiculous, right? There was a year of film on him and he was the biggest target on everyone’s schedule. Now, though? I don’t know. It is still, obviously a extremely unlikely. I;m not saying he is, but the contrast between how he is playing in first halves the past couple of months and the way that he has looked at all other times is staggering. I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t think he is shaving points, but if it were to come out that he is, it wouldn’t be the most surprising thing that I’ve ever heard.
.8. A few thoughts on Serial, which is AWESOME:
(Spoilers for days)
First of all, Gutierrez, in addition to clearly having health issues that precluded her from doing her job, made a huge mistake by bringing in Mr. S into the trial.
She also completely whiffed with an apparent shot in the dark about how she may be able to discredit the most compelling facts in the state’s case, and focused her biggest “get” on something that was ultimately meaningless. Other than that, and the fact that she lost in a case that everyone agrees had tons and tons of doubt, she did a bang up job.
The obvious theory, to me, is that Jay and Adnan were selling drugs together. Something happened, and they did it together. Them doing it together seems almost obvious, what isn’t is why he hasn’t flipped on Jay, or what their actual relationship was. (Admittedly the Barstool theory actually ties that together more elegantly than anything else I have heard.)
.9. I got offered free tickets to the Pac12 Championship game by not one, not two but THREE completely separate friends. Awesome, right? Except for the fact that I had an exam at 6:00 on Friday night, which is rough enough when you aren’t passing up the opportunity to go to a major college football championship.
I mean, I get that typically skipping exams goes contrary to the traditional policies of a law school, but they say that a good lawyer knows the rules, a great lawyer knows the exception. This great lawyer thinks that there should be an exception to the “you have to go to all your exams” rule.
.10. AAAND Finally, let’s take a look at what we can expect Sunday night, what should happen, what might happen and what will happen.
My first instinct is that I want Baylor punished. It’s nothing personal, I just think that if you are going to play the weakest schedule that you possibly can and bank on running through it, not running through it should mean that you don’t play for the title. I get that they beat TCU, and that makes it tough to argue that the Horned Frogs should make the playoff over them, so ultimately I will be rooting for K-State to make the decision for the committee. If Baylor wins, I think that the committee treats them as the conference champion, and the K-State win is the strongest they have, giving their resume a significant boost. I think that they get in (unless Ohio State absolutely ROLLS Wisco). Given this exact scenario, I guess I would be okay with that, but it sucks that their schedule (and the Big12’s lack of a title game) will be rewarded.
Also, the committee is meeting in Grapevine, TX to make the decision, because apparently Barry Alverez, Mike Gould and Condi Rice are going to go antique shopping after they get their four. (That’s a joke that you only get if you have spent time in Plano County, Texas, but so be it).
9-1, no, seriously, I went 9-1 last weekend. And you were wondering why I love rivalry week so much. #FreeMoney. 82-59 on the season
.I. Cowboys (-4.5) over Bears
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>Cowboys -3.5, yes please. I'm on record, NitPicks forthcoming but probably not before kickoff.</p>— Jack Morgus (@OVSportsJack) <a href=”https://twitter.com/OVSportsJack/status/540614676581588993″>December 4, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
.II. Cincinnati (-7) over Houston
I think that Gunner Keil is good. His numbers aren’t exceptional but he has gone off when I have been watching, so there is that.
.III. Oklahoma State (+21) over Oklahoma
A huge number for Bedlam. Take three scores in a rivalry game.
.IV. Missouri (+15) over Alabama
This was the toughest call of the weekend, but you can’t just ignore the SEC title game. Bama could certainly win by 20, but ultimately, I just think that Mizzu can keep it close. The 15th point could come into play, but I’m taking the dog.
.V. Kansas State (+7) over Baylor
This game is a toss up, could go either way. With that in mind, take the seven degrees of charity.
Thanksgiving is here. Turkey, potatoes family (for better and for worse), perhaps a few drinks and MEANINGFUL FOOTBALL. Let’s go.
1. Put this down as year 8 in a row when, while on the couch on the Saturday after Thanksgiving I complain to whoever I’m with that I should have gone to the Iron Bowl. Having been to Alabama during the RollDamnTideWarDamnEagle Bowl visiting extended family in Birmingham, I can say that the electricity in that state this week is ELECTRIC. It is Iron Bowl week first and Thanksgiving week second. Some day.
2. Sticking with the SEC, there are two extremes that we could see after this weekend, and after the championship game. The first would be utter chaos. Auburn beats Bama. Ole Miss beats Miss. State. Mizzu comes into the championship game having lost to INDIANA, but with the same record as their high and might SEC West opponent. Mizzu could also easily lose to Arkansas, leading to a Georgia appearance in the title game. Chalk is certainly a possibility, but so is chaos, but I for one would like to see everything turned on its head.
3. IF I were to be 100000% honest, Marshall fans have absolutely every right to be pissed off that they are undefeated and not poised to play in a New Years Day game. If I were a Marshall fan, or if that happened to Boise State I would be steamed. HOWEVER, I am not a Marshall fan. I am a true blue Boise State fan, so instead, I am ECSTATIC.
Also, go big red blobs.
4. As we watch the first game this wonderful Thanksgiving, let us be reminded that Matthew Stafford is the first pick overall, starting quarterback and face of the franchise for Team Think-They-Should-Be-Good-Want-Them-To-Be-Good-But-Just-Not-That-Good. I will fall into the Stafford illusion and pick the Lions to beat a good team at least 4 times a year. Today is one of those days.
6. I wonder if, when the Lions play the Bears, Matt Stafford and Jay Cutler realized that they are basically looking in a mirror. Does Jay see Stafford try to thread a ball through three defenders and say ‘oh man, great throw he almost had him‘ or does he watch him fire a ball into the D line for the 5th time and with a complete lack of self awareness, just think ‘what an IDIOT‘ to himself. My guess is that Stafford begrugingly realizes that he makes the same thing, while Cutler just thinks to himself DOOOONNNT CARE.
7. These are the things that I think about while I watch football.
8. Yes, I went on a run this morning. Yes, I went through the whole ‘justify pigging out later with a small amount of exercise in the morning.’ I did those things for a number of reasons: 1. I’m not near a gym, B. I hate how cliche it is, but the weight truly doesn’t stay off like it did a few years ago, and III. I am a basic bitch. Deal with it.
8. How is it possible that the Cowboys have, after just 11 games, broken through their plateau of mediocrity, or at least reached it, with a chance to take control of the division, and yet I have almost ZERO confidence that they will be a playoff team? Don’t get me wrong: I think that they’re a really good team. I think that they have a great shot and I’m hopeful. The problem is that teams like San Francisco, Green Bay and Seattle lurking in the wild card chase, there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of room out there in the NFC.
1. I think that it is about time for me to swear off of bashing Roger Goodell. I have ponded keys on the subject over and over again, but I’m just over it. He sucks. It is what it is.
2. Having said that, he will probably do something else stupid and I’ll relapse like that. I give it 30 days.
3. Boston College is America’s team today. Florida State NEEDS to lose. I can’t take it anymore. Can’t do it. They need to be stopped.
4. I somehow just figured out that Boise has a home and home against Florida State in 2019-20. I was super pumped at first and I think I want to go to Tally, but then I realized that I’ll be 30 and I got depressed. Whatever.
When Harvard Law graduate Rob Manfred secedes Bud Selig as MLB commissioner following the World Series, Roger Goodell will be the only major sports commissioner that is not a lawyer. It is not a coincidence that the business/PR trained Goodell is the only one who clearly deserves to lose his job.
In the past few months, Goodell has badly mismanaged the league, particularly with regards to the scandal surrounding Ray Rice. The mismanagement displayed by Goodell highlight the problems caused by having a mediocre corporate lackey as he head of a major sports league, and serve as Exhibit A as to why a legal background is necessary for the commissioner of a professional league. Continue reading →
This is it. These are the weekends that we wait for. Sure, we have had a couple of huge college football weekends already (the state of Mississippi coming out party when they beat Alabama and LSU comes to mind) and there were some crazy ‘elimination’ games the past couple of weeks (Ole Miss last week), but it’s November now (technically was last weekend but whatever), and it is about to get real. There are 6 games featuring two ranked teams this weekend. SIX. Of those, four are clear cut de facto playoff games where the loser is done and the winner has an inside track to the playoff: TCU-K-State, Ohio State-Michigan State, Notre Dame-Arizona State and LSU-Alabama. Utah and Oklahoma are likely on the outside looking in even with wins (already having two losses), but for Oregon and Baylor, this week represents an elimination game against a top 15 opponent.
I got a bit of a pushback when running the “playoff game” thing by some friends, so I’ll explain. Obviously the four teams above aren’t going to be in the playoff just by winning, but it looks like they have at least a good chance to control their own destiny. Sure, Notre Dame, TCU or Ohio State may still need help to end up in the top 4 with a win, but if they get one and win out, it they maintain a very good shot at the playoff. As for the lowest ranked team that I’m including on the inside track category, LSU, a win against Bama will still have them two games behind MSU, but that’s a team that still has to go through Alabama and Ole Miss. If they lose those two, and Alabama wins the Iron Bowl, we have ourselves a good old fashioned 5 way tie. They need some help, but it isn’t the craziest thing in the world, so I’m still including LSU in the picture.
That bears repeating. Let’s make this a scenario ‘If LSU beats Alabama.’ Tell me which of these things seems that unlikely:
Bama beats Miss St.
Ole Miss beats Miss. St.
Bama beats Auburn
All five of the teams above take care of whatever business they have against Arkansas and A&M.
The result of that would be a FIVE WAY TIE with two losses atop the SEC West, with none of the teams having lost a game to a team outside of the five way tie.
The result of THAT would be something along the lines of heads exploding, a fourth or fifth tie breaker being used, and a possible civil war.
Granted, if you make all four of those games an absolute toss up (I’d say LSU over Bama would be an upset-only slightly in Baton Rouge, but an upset- the Egg Bowl is a toss-up and the other two are more likely to go the way I have them above, so let’s just call it a wash and say they are 50/50 games), there is only a 1/16 chance of all four games going the way they need to, but still.
This is college football. There are plenty of times when the long odds that lead to chaos have a way of working themselves out. Please let this be one of those times.
So the NFL has floated a proposal that would mandate that if an NFL team is going to host a Super Bowl, they have to play one of their eight home games in London. Now, I don’t want to make this an “and now everyone is outraged” thing, because I don’t know for sure that it is, but there does seem to be at least a small amount of negative treatment of the story. Putting aside any opinion on whether or not an increased number of games in the UK is a positive thing (seeing as it has pretty much been determined that there will be), this seems like a no brainer. I haven’t read any revenue distribution details at this point, but you are trading a regular season home date for a guaranteed home date that happens to be one of the biggest events in the world. Sure, you give up a home game for season ticket holders and from a competitive perspective, but any owner would be a FOOL not to go for that. If the NFL is going to look for an increased presence overseas, this seems like a no brainer win-win.
It looks like the Cowboys could be a Brandon Weeden loss in London away from being off the rails just a couple of weeks removed from being atop the NFC. And that is how you go 8-8 every year.
The first rankings came out last week (and the second this week). Here are my top 4s, the first being “if the season ended today,” and the second being what I think it will look like when said and done:
Snapshot. Get it?
Last Out: TCU, Oregon, Michigan State
Last Out: Notre Dame, Florida State, Baylor
I don’t even think I believe that, but that is what came out and so I’m sticking with it. I guess I’m predicting K-State pulls off wins against perhaps the three (other) best teams in the Big12. And that Florida State is going to lose to Duke or Miami. I’m probably wrong about both of those things but whatever. I do think that Mississippi State has 2 losses left on their schedule, though.
Couple of notes on games that are worth talking about, but I don’t feel strongly enough to put my name to:
I would take the points (6.5) in the Alabama-LSU matchup. I think that LSU is firing on as many cylinders as they have right now, and I think that it will be a single possession game. BUT, I think that Alabama wins the game, and I hate picking a dog getting less than a score, when I don’t think they are going to win outright. So, push comes to shove give me the charity, but I think that the Tide roll in the game.
I think Oregon probably beats Utah handily, probably by double digits. I really don’t want them to, though, so I’m not going to put my name to the Ducks (-8.5) and force myself to root for Oregon (that, and 8.5 is just enough that I wouldn’t feel good about it at all.
Last week, I basically forgot to do NitPicks (or didn’t get a chance, anyways) and churned out ten potential moneymakers in about 5 minutes. This will surprise nobody, but it could have gone better, and half way through Saturday afternoon, I knew that it wasn’t going to be an awesome weekend for your boy picks wise.
It actually bounced back nicely in the late games, and with a split on the Sunday two, I broke .500, but looking back on some picks that were out there and a couple of the teams that I threw weight behind, it could have been way better.
At any rate, 5-5 has me at 55-46.
10. THE PICKS!
I. Georgia (-10) over Kentucky
Georgia had everything that possibly could go wrong last week. They will 1000% bounce back and rip apart the Wildcats.
II. Baylor (+5.5) over Oklahoma
Is Oklanoma good?
III. Duke (-3.5) over Syracuse
Duke sneaky only has 1 loss. Seriously. Look it up. Cuse is awful.
IV. West Virginia (-3.5) over Texas
I know that Texas’s D has been good, but they are no match for Trickett’s hair and Holgerson’s whole persona.
V. Washington (+6) over UCLA
Pete with points at home. Gimme.
VI. Boise State (-19) over New Mexico
I figured I must be a homer because I pick Boise to cover pretty much every week, which gave me pause, even though I think they win big this weekend. So I went back, and it turns out I’m 4-2 picking as a homer this year. I’m going for 5-2.
VII. Kansas State (+6) over TCU
Game’s a toss up. Take the points.
VIII. Michigan State (-3.5) over Ohio State
I think that Michigan State is the better team. I think that it is clear cut. I don’t think it is by a wide margin, though, so I can’t say I feel great about this, but ultimately I would lay the 3.5.
This is taken more or less verbatim from one of my NitPicks points this week, but it stands on its own because we are within reach of the ultimate clusteryouknowwhat in college football’s toughest division: Continue reading →