ESPN's Bottom Line - Version 2.0

Friday, November 12, 2010

SKOHR's Weekend Picks

#14 Utah at Notre Dame
2:30 on NBC
We get one of a very chances to see Utah play on national TV.  After a great start to the season they were pummeled last week by TCU.  Now they get to face off against a down Notre Dame team looking to rebound at home against a ranked opponent.

#10 Oklahoma St. at Texas
8:00 on ABC
Can 26 year old QB Dan Weeden and WR sensation Justin Blackmon go into Texas and come out with a win?  Even though Texas isn't their old national title contending self this year they are always a tough Big-12 opponent for anyone.

Patriots vs Steelers
8:20 PM on NBC
How can you not watch this game?  Both teams are playing great this year except for the extra bye week the Pats took last week in a huge loss to the Browns.  It's a classic clash of two of the best AFC teams of the last decade being played out in Prime Time Sunday night.

Eagles vs Redskins
8:30 PM on ESPN
A week after Mike Vick defeats Peyton Manning he gets to lead the Eagles into the Nations Capital to face his predecessor in Philadelphia.  Donovan McNabb will be looking for revenge against all the media and long time critics after taking some serious heat before the Redskins bye when he was benched by Coach Shannahan for lack of cardiovascular conditioning and a lack of understanding a 2 minute offense.  Ouch.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tonight's Winner: New Jersey

Is it just me or is all of the talent in tonight's NFL game from New Jersey?  Well maybe not all of it but Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, and Ray Rice all have ties to the Garden State.  That combination leads me to assert the not so bold claim that New Jersey is most under-rated football state in the country.  

Sure we hear a lot about Texas and California.  Florida is obviously where the fastest football players come from and Ohio claims that they hold claim to the most "blue collar" football in the country.  Well all of those states can take their claim to whatever they want but New Jersey is hands down home to the most under-valued wealth of football talent.    I've written about it before but would like to repeat myself again.  And again.  

(UPDATE - I actually wrote about the talent from the NJ area way back in May in my discussion of Rutgers possibly moving to the Big-10

In last year's NFL draft there were 7 kids taken in the first round with NJ roots. That is more than any other state! Actually from the first round alone in the last 3 drafts there has been a ton of talent from the NJ, NY, PA, and DE area. How would this lineup have looked wearing Scarlet Red on Saturdays?

QBs: Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco
RBs: Knowshon Moreno, Donald Brown
WR: Kenny Britt
OL: Eugene Monroe, Jeff Otah, Anthony Davis
DL: BJ Raji, Aaron Maybin, Derrick Morgan
LB: Brian Cushing
        DB: Mike Jenkins, Devin McCourty

SKOHRboard's Top 3 Thoughts on the Week

#1  Veteran's Day.
Today, November 11th is Veteran's Day.  An American Holiday signed into being by Dwight Eisenhower in 1954 to honor Veterans of the US armed forces.  There are currently an estimated 24 million veterans living in the US.  So go out there and show your support for out troops.  One of my favorite charities is the Wounded Warrior Project which 
"was founded in Roanoke, Virginia by a group of veterans and friends who took action to help the injured service men and women of this generation."
 To find out more about the WWP check out their site and show your support

#2 Cammy
Oi!  At this point I feel bad for the kid.  Even if he got more than the $200,000 that ESPN continues to flash in my face, he is going to get way more than that in about 7-8 months when he signs he rookie contract in the NFL.  If he did take money he is probably totally regretting it and not just waiting.  But let's talk about what really matters here, me.  I've been over this story from about 10 seconds after I heard it.  Well maybe more like 20 minutes but that was a long time ago and I'm still seeing "BREAKING NEWS!!!!" alerts like something new has been uncovered.  Enough.  We get it, College Football recruiting might have a shady underside.
Speaking of that you guys should all watch the 30 for 30 about Marcus Dupree, "The Greatest that Never Was."  It's all about college recruiting and how it's all about the money, not the kids.

#3  Thursday Night Football!!
IT'S BACK!  Today is a great day as it marks the return of the NFL on Thursday nights.  Why this doesn't just start in week 1 is beyond me.  I'll have to check with my inside sources though.  The point is that you should be excited and go watch the game if you can.  Unfortunately for NYC residents like yours truly this is an impossibility due to Time Warner Cable being awful.  I really can't imagine a company providing worse service, not to mention being so backwards and slow to adopt any new technology that it's almost out of date by the time they get it.  That's a discussion for another day though.  Go out and enjoy Football tonight!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why The Outrage about Cam Newton?

According to everything I've seen in the sports media, people are OUTRAGED that Cam Newton could have taken money to go to Auburn.  Apparently I am supposed to feel the same way.  But I don't.  Actually, I have to say that there is a part of me that thinks, "good for you Cam."  AH!

We are supposed to be so shocked and angry because yes it is against NCAA rules to accept money or favors as a student athlete.  I'm sure you've seen the story that some rogue agent was trying to get money from schools in return for Cam signing with them.  He was a big-time recruit who originally went to Florida and played behind Tim Tebow.  His ability was clear from the start but I don't really care who you are you're not usurping Tebow's playing time (in college at least.)  Then there were some academic problems.  Mainly he was apparently caught cheating on tests/papers and in possession of a stolen laptop.  At which point he transfered to Blinn College, a JuCo in Texas, where he promptly won the National Championship.  After that he was once again eligible to be recruited and play in the FBS.  

This is where it gets murky.  Mississippi St. and Auburn were both after his services when according to Miss St. they were approached by an agent working for Cam who asked the school for $180,000 for Cam to commit there.  The Newton family said they know nothing about this agent.  Auburn has dismissed that anyone tried to or did essentially sell them the rights to Cam Newton.  Who do we believe?

Do we really care?

Let's say that Auburn did pay the Newton's $180,000 for Cam's services.  Was it worth it?  You bet it was.  No way would Auburn be in the National Title hunt right now if he wasn't playing for them.  Cam Newton is single handedly destroying defenses.  Is a shot at the National Championship and a potential Heisman winner worth $180,000?  Absolutely.  According to a report in a Florida Paper last year the take home for playing in the BCS  Championship game was $17 million per school.  However, the report went on to say that although that money gets divided throughout the conference the school stands to make even more money through officially licensed and merchandised goods.  To me it sounds like $180,000 is a pretty good investment if the potential return is in the millions.  Not that college sports is a business though, right?  Because nobody earns any money from it.  Oh wait... it's just the labor force that doesn't get any money.

Except for Reggie Bush of course.  He was the only one who ever got paid and according this video evidence, yeah he was worth it.

The NCAA rule was not created to establish some system of slave labor, it was created to make the recruiting field even.  Or closer to even.  By not paying athletes, schools with small budgets had a much better chance to land star players than they would if they had to compete with the big schools who could afford to pay them quite a bit.  What drives me crazy is that according to The Media ever since the rule was made everybody stopped the practice.  I may not be a rocket scientist (or am I?) but I'm no dummy either and I'd have to be a dummy to believe that no college athlete ever gets some money thrown their way.  Which is why I ask, why the outrage?  Do we really care?  Will it really make a difference?  Even if there were no money involved does anyone think that Blinn College or maybe Georgia State (he is from Georgia) had a shot at landing Cam Newton?  No.

The problem with all of this is that the story focuses on Cam Newton and not Auburn's AD.  Who is the one guilty of something here, a kid and his family (his father is apparently a minister, whatever that means) who are going to bring a ton of attention and a great football player to a school or the Athletic Department of the school who could have paid for the right to his services?  In my mind it's the Athletic Department who is at fault in this case and hopefully The Media begins to understand that they need to hold the correct party responsible for this situation sooner than later.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

SKOHRboard's NFL Mid-Season Awards Show

We are half way through the NFL season as all teams have now played 8 games.  It's about time to look at who have been the top performers so far this year.

Most Valuable Player: Peyton Manning, QB Indianapolis Colts

Offensive Player of the Year: Philip Rivers, QB San Diego Chargers

Defensive Player of the Year: Clay Matthews, OLB Green Bay Packers

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Sam Bradford, QB St. Louis Rams

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Ndamukong Suh, DT Detroit Lions

Comeback Player of the Year: Mike Vick, QB Philadelphia Eagles

Coach of the Year: Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kicker Named Suh

How about Ndamukong Suh winning the backup kicker job in camp this Summer with the Lions? What an athlete!! Why didn't we hear about this story before this Sunday? How unfortunate is it that the Lions have a rookie Defensive Tackle playing backup Kicker and the one time in a season that a team might need a back-up Kicker that theirs misses an extra point which would have proved a game winner had he made it?

Make no mistake this is a good Lions team and they are just getting better and better. I said before the season that I wouldn't be surprised if they made the playoffs this season but it looks like it will be at least another year before that happens. Fortunately for them they will have Suh focusing on destroying QBs rather than kicking extra points next year too.

Them Cowboys

Yeah, them Cowboys are dead.  After firing Head Coach Wade Phillips today it's all but official that their season is over.  It's at best shaky optimism for even the most diehard Cowboy fans to even think that their Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett can turn things around.  There has literally been nothing going on with their offense that makes me think his players have any confidence in him more so than they did with Phillips but maybe Jon Kitna will prove me wrong.

This was supposed to be the year of the Cowboys who were foretold to be a sure lock for the Super Bowl (which just so happens to be in Dallas this year) by many pundits.  But now it seems that things are shaping up to go for another 1 win season a la the 1989 Cowboys.  Clearly this is a conspiracy put on by Jerry Jones in order to stock his team with more top level draft picks in hopes to build for the future.  That is unless they can "win the next 9 in a row" as their WR Roy Williams suggested before they lost this week 45-7.  So I guess now they can shoot for 8 in a row?

SKOHRboard Top 25 11-8-10

The Ducks keep chugging right along.  HUGE win for TCU really moves them up to an easy 2nd place overall in these standings.  Boise St. crushed the Rainbow Warriors what was to be the hardest game remaining on their schedule to lock up 3rd.  While Auburn had an easy one this week and handled it as such, I like to see teams continue to push themselves down the stretch and continue to prove their excellence but alas in these days of the "BCS" they are forced to play easy teams and continue to improve their record.  If only there were a playoff we would get to see exciting football from September through January.

SKOHRboard is going to start giving some rankings love to more of the unknown teams out there that are playing good football but might not have the big names to get most other polls interested.  Here at SKOHRboard, it's about the football not the name. 

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