ESPN's Bottom Line - Version 2.0

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dr. SKOHR's Weekend Picks. Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the SKOHRboard.

This will be our regular Friday post about what is going to be awesome this coming weekend.  Welcome to the Weekend Picks.

- #3 TCU vs. #5 Utah
Saturday at 3:30 on CBS in some places on everywhere. Great matchup of the none automatic qualifiers/still unbeatens.  TCU has been playing shutdown defense for the last two years and will have to continue to do that as they bring their game to Utah this weekend.

- #15 Arizona vs. #13 Stanford
Saturday at 8:00 on ABC.  This is another matchup of top QBs.  Nick Foles of Arizona and Andrew Luck of Stanford get to showcase their talents to a national prime-time audience.  Both of these guys fall into the top echelon of draft eligible Quarterbacks of nearly everyone's draft board.

- Indianapolis Colts vs. Philadelphia Eagles.
Sunday at 4:15 on CBS.  The return of Mike Vick to the starting lineup.  The return of Desean Jackson to the starting lineup after getting his brain scrambled.  Unfortunately for Eagles fans it's also the return of Peyton Manning (to the Linc) who can apparently win football games with only 10 random kids from mediocre high school teams around him.

-KC Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
Sunday at 4:15 on CBS.  Surprisingly this game is worth watching.  Last year it would have been a real snooze-fest of cellar dwellers but this year both organizations have seemingly turned things around and are in heated battles for the lead in both their division and why not the AFC crown?

Enjoy the games!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

SKOHRboard's Top 3 Thoughts on the Week

Wow what a week!  So much going on it's going to be hard to narrow it down to the Top 3.

They're Giants!  The San Francisco Giants win the World Series.  It was truly a story of pitching in the 2010 baseball season and the World Series really epitomized that trend with some lights out pitching from Lincecum, Cain, and Wilson.  Even their rookie Madison Bumgarner looked like a stud in the making at 21 years old.  Although it's true that chicks dig the longball, this was a very exciting Series to watch despite the lack of firepower.  I guess you could argue that guys throwing rockets from their severely distorted arms was firepower enough.

I hope you all voted for King this week because I know I sure didn't.  There was nothing up for election that really mattered to me here.  When I'm forced to chose between the lesser of two evils, nobody is the winner.  Let's get some real politicians that attempt to help their constituents not just their financial supporters.  Aaaaand that's enough of that.

Now property of the Tennessee Titans, Randy Moss will attempt to not care about his job and under-perform  his GIGANTIC paycheck for the 3rd team this season.  Is that some kind of record.  By all accounts the Titans could have just pulled off a brilliant move if Moss actually does try to fulfill his end of the contract.  Their offense could be extremely potent with Vince Young able to scramble, CJ2K (Chris Johnson for the non-nickname inclined) able to run faster than anyone, and Moss able to pull the top off the defense there should be plenty of extra room for all of them to run free on Sundays.  Looks like they could really make a push for a playoff spot and it definitely makes the final weeks season that much more interesting in a very heated battle for the AFC South title.

Kiper's Young Guns: Newton a 1st Round Draft Pick?

Renowned college scouting guru for ESPN, Mel Kiper, recently put out his list of the Top 5 underclassmen at every position.  It's an Insider thing so unless you are one I don't know how much of the article you'll get to see.  It's a very basic list format but he does go through every position on both sides of the ball.  Pretty good stuff if you are looking for some basic names to follow as we begin to get a better feel for draft places and needs for NFL teams this season.

He has included a lot of popular names in the list but that is obvious because it's a list of the best players and naturally the best players are the popular names.  For example the Top 5 QBs are in order; 
  1. Andrew Luck, Stanford
  2. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
  3. Cam Newton, Auburn
  4. Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
  5. Nick Foles, Arizona
It does seem like a pretty solid list and it's somewhat difficult to argue with at this point but I would like to make one thing known.  Cam Newton is not a Top 5 QB right now.  Would you want him to be the signal caller for your NFL team at this time next year given what we know about him now?  I would even put Matt Barkley, USC up there before him.  Yes Newton is an incredible weapon in the college game but how often have we seen a great scrambling QB dominate in college and amount to not that much in the NFL.  

Typically the #3 QB goes off the board in the NFL Draft sometime in the mid 1st through early 2nd round.  Last year we saw Denver take a shot on the Jesusback, Tim Tebow, and the jury is still out on that move but it certainly doesn't sound like he is really pushing Kyle Orton too strongly.  Mike Vick is probably the best example of a recent QB who has had success as a run first style player at the position.  Actually he looks to be much better now than he maybe ever was before.  Unfortunately for Atlanta it took him some jail time and a new team before that happened though.   Admittedly I don't know Cam Newton personally and can't really put much analysis into his character and he certainly seems to be a harder worker than Vick was so maybe he'll try harder to be a passing QB but who knows.  My point is that at this point in his career it's hard to say that Newton projects to be top tier QB in the NFL.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Big East Expansion

The Big East Conference discussed expansion in their last meeting this past week.  Very exciting news for fans of any team in the Big East.  It's definitely the smallest football conference among the SECs and Big Pac - 12s out there.  According to NCAA bylaws a conference must have at least 10 teams in order to hold a championship game.  Which means that right now the Big East Champ is crowned by virtue of regular season conference record and not a lucrative Championship game.

The question isn't whether or not this is a good move but rather who will they pick.  Well it's probably not the only question but it is definitely the most fun to speculate about.  The names being thrown around right now include TCU, UCF, and Villanova.  As you can see in the picture above I would like to personally include Notre Dame.  Let's examine each of these schools and in the comments I'd like to encourage you to do the same with any school you think the Big East should consider.

The Horned Frogs would be a great addition to the Big East for a number of reasons but the strange thing about them is that they just geographically don't make sense.  Texas is really far from any of the other schools currently in the conference.  However, that is actually a good thing as far as the conference is concerned because it gives them access to a huge TV audience in Texas that normally wouldn't be watching.  TCU would clearly bring some football success to the Big East by virtue that they have had a Top 5 team at various points over the past few years and they are currently a few more wins away from a shot at a National Championship.  The coaches would also like to expand into the fertile recruiting lands of the Lonestar State.

The Golden Knights have really put together a respectable program over the past decade.  By utilizing the immense amount of athletic talent available in Florida the Knights have been able to put some great runs together.  By solidifying the Big East presence in Florida with 2 schools there it would help the conference as a whole find more and more of that speed so often associated with the SEC.

The Wildcats basketball team is already a standout member of the Big East and their football team is coming off a Div-1AA championship season.  Villanova would provide a center for the conference geographically speaking.  It would be somewhat easier to convince the school to make the leap to FBS by joining their conference because they are already a member of the conference in their other sports.

Notre Dame -
The Golden Domers like Villanova are currently members of the Big East in other sports.  After an atrocious run over the past few years it might be about time for ND to stop playing the exclusive card and join a conference.  Why not the Big East?  As much as I hate to say it, the Big East is a conference that a school like Notre Dame could join and continually compete for a championship in.  ND would be great for the conference due to their enormous following which just so happens to be very big in the East.
(UPDATE: Looks like Andy Staples of SI beat me to the punch here.  But at least we're both on the same page)

Well how about it?  What other schools should be considered for membership into the Big East?

A Different Angle on Concussions

If any of you guys are former football players or just interested in the latest research on head trauma sustained from playing football this is a can't miss article.  SI's David Epstein covers some new ways of looking at how chronic brain impairment is caused in football players as early as their high school years.  Scary stuff but as I'm sure you are aware, knowing is half the battle.

Check out the article here
THE DAMAGE DONE - David Epstein - 11.01.10 - SI Vault

Monday, November 1, 2010

Goodbye Vikings.

It's not that losing Randy Moss means that they don't have a good team or can't beat teams any longer.  It means that the whole organization is going crazy.  Who knows what exactly it was that made the team decide they couldn't stand that HOF wide receiver they JUST paid a 3rd Round draft pick for a month ago.  But that decision after such a bad loss and a week after the QB debate, it screams that the Vikings are a team with no answers.

First of all we don't know who made the call to ditch Moss.  It could have been Chilly or Ziggy.  Hopefully the players know and for his sake hopefully it was Ziggy because at least that way Chilly can tell his team that he stood up for Moss and maybe keep some respect from the players.  Favre already treats Chilly like he is just an annoying playground attendant and now it's pretty clear that the owner, who yes, does "own" the team, has all the power.  It's clear that Chilly is done after this year and it's been clear that Favre is finally done after this year.

It's almost impossible to believe that the Vikings would just outright cut Moss after such a short period of time.  Yes he wasn't putting up huge number and yes he press conference was a little too happy for the Pats to have just beaten his team and sure it didn't seem like he was giving it his all on every play.  But isn't that what you knew you were getting in an aging Randy Moss?  I mean look at the giant increase in production from Percy Harvin now that teams had to double Moss.  Look at the touchdowns he scored when he wasn't doubled.  Those things mean something.  He might not be good enough to beat doubles anymore but he is still good enough to demand them from defenses.

But what happens to him now?  He has to pass through waivers which process by inverse order of the current winning percentage of teams.  So as of right now the top 15 teams with a shot at Moss are as follows.

  1. Buffalo
  2. Dallas
  3. Carolina
  4. Denver
  5. San Francisco
  6. Cincinnati
  7. Cleveland
  8. Detroit
  9. Minnesota
  10. San Diego
  11. Arizona
  12. Jacksonville
  13. Oakland
  14. Washington
  15. St. Louis
Out of that group who would pick him up?  Well you'd have to think a team that is looking for one more WR to help open up the offense.  The downside is obviously that Randy isn't the same Randy as he was 3 years ago and his contract is up after this season.  So it would primarily be teams looking for help THIS season.  But there are also enterprising teams on that list that see the opportunity to sign Randy Moss as a great deal because they can then trade him or even hit him with the franchise tag and keep him for next year.  

If I were Carolina I would absolutely pick him up.  He could help get Steve Smith single covered and open up some running room for their currently stagnant running game.  
Maybe Denver with McDaniels the former Pats coach at the helm.  
Detroit has been a stickler for using their position in the waiver order over the last few years and I wouldn't put it past them to grab him.  I mean I'm sure they have someone on their roster that they can get rid of for Moss.  Besides their fans deserve a shot at winning a few more games.
-San Diego
The Chargers would have an opportunity to put Vincent Jackson and Randy Moss on the field at the same time for the rest of the season.  What a ridiculous offensive upgrade in one week that would be!  Rivers has already passed for over 300 yards 5 times this season.  Without either of them.
How badly do the Jags need talent?  I mean everywhere.  This would be a team I'd think would grab him to try to trade for picks.  Even an extra 5th or 6th rounder is better than they had last week.
No doubt the Redskins with Snyder will put in a claim on Moss.  They are in dire need of someone to catch all those sexy passes from Rex Grossman (ohmygodIcan'tbelievetheyputGrossmaninratherthanMcNabb.)

So there you have it folks.  Who do you think will pick up Randy Moss?

SKOHRboard Top 25 10-31-10

Did you piss off Cam Newton?

Lots of big games this past weekend and accordingly lots of big upsets.  As you'll see in the Top 25 below there are some new teams shuffling in and out of the rankings as well as a few teams dropping significantly.  Please let me know who is too high, who is too low, and who was left out in the comments.

1. Oregon
2. Auburn
3. Boise St.
4. TCU
5. Alabama
6. Nebraska
7. Utah
8. Oklahoma
9. Stanford
10. Wisconsin
11. Oklahoma St.
12. Iowa
13. Ohio St.
14. Michigan St.
15. South Carolina
16. Arizona
17. Missouri
18. LSU
19. Baylor
20. Arkansas
21. Mississippi St.
22. North Carolina St.
23. Virginia Tech
24. Hawaii
25. Syracuse

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