ESPN's Bottom Line - Version 2.0

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Day Bowl Guide

Happy New Year!!
There is really no better way to start off 2011 than by settling in to watch a full day of College Football.  You already made the first correct move, when you came to for great advice on what games are worth tuning in to.  Oh and if you weren't sure, these Bowl Games are on the ESPN family so if it's not on ABC, then it's on ESPN.

Outback Bowl
Florida vs. Penn State

After a down year for both schools this is a final chance at redemption for lots of talented players.  This game is also the Urban Meyer's last game as the Florida Head Coach.  Which is surprising because the opposing head coach is of course the 392 year old Joe Paterno who has announced that he'll be back for 2011.

Capital One Bowl
#9 Michigan State vs. #16 Alabama

These two very good teams will square off in a great SEC vs. Big Ten match-up.  Alabama is last year's National Champion and they are competing with lots of youth at key positions so they've lost a few games they probably could've won.  Michigan St. however is playing with team a little bit longer in the tooth.  They finished 3rd in the Big Ten but defeated the conference champion, Wisconsin, earlier in the year.  Watch for tackle machine Greg Jones to have a big day against Alabama's running duo, Ingram and Richardson.

Rose Bowl
#3 TCU vs. #5 Wisconsin

This is not only the GRANDADDY OF 'EM ALL but it's also the best game on TV today.  TCU has had a suffocating defense the the last 2 years and led the nation in points allowed this year with only 11.4 per game!  Wisconsin has a healthy three-headed running attack with John Clay, Jason White, and Montee Ball who have been sensational this year.  Over their last 3 games the Badgers have scored a combined 201 points!  Look for TCU to drop that Badger average substantially.

Fiesta Bowl
#7 Oklahoma vs. Connecticut

On paper, this might be one of the biggest mismatches the BCS has ever seen as unranked UConn takes on Oklahoma who has one of the best passing offenses in the country.  The Sooner stars Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles will try to put on a show tonight.  Keep your eyes on Huskie, Jordan Todman, who has been one of the best runners in the nation despite not getting much attention this year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Singled Out in San Francisco

Mike Singletary was on the opposite end of a sack yesterday when he was fired as Head Coach of the 49ers by owner Jed York.  The 49ers were considered to be contenders this season but after failing to win the pitiful NFC West, York had seen enough.  The once fearsome Chicago linebacker had lost the respect of his locker-room after several childish rants and displays from the otherwise intense Coach. j 

It remains a mystery who could be up for the 49er job after this season much like the other head coach openings around the league.  There probably won't be any Head Coach jobs filled until at least after the regular season is over and other disappointed owners begin to let their coaches go.  There are some big names out there that keep getting thrown around like Gruden, Cowher, Dungy, and Parcells.  Other guys to consider could be UFL's Jim Fassel, the Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, and collegiate coaches like Florida's Urban Meyer and Boise State's Chris Petersen.  

This is all speculation until other NFL teams finish firing their own Coaches and all the openings hit the market.  We could see up to 10 NFL teams looking to replace their Head Coaches this offseason.  We might see many of those teams promote from within which would make for a much easier adjustment if the teams are going to begin playing after shortened offseason due to lengthy and drawn out Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations.  

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Playoff Implications Week 16

There are only two weeks of regular season NFL Football left and unless your team is in the Playoff hunt, you better be savoring every minute remaining.  For those of you whose team is in the hunt you can see just what they need to do in the breakout below.  I'll be doing my best to cope with the lack of Eagles this weekend because of their game postponement until Tuesday.  As a fan who has a flight back home on Tuesday night, I am very unhappy about this development.  I can't believe the NFL buckled to a blizzard in light of the "cold weather" Super Bowl they just approved last year.


CLINCHED:  New England, Pittsburgh (playoff spots)

   New England clinches AFC East division and homefield advantage:
    1) NE win or tie
    2) NYJ loss or tie

  Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division and a first-round bye:
   1) PIT win + BAL loss

  Kansas City clinches AFC West division:
   1) KC win + SD loss or tie
   2) KC tie + SD loss

  Baltimore clinches a playoff spot:
   1) BAL win or tie
   2) KC loss + JAC loss or tie
   3) KC loss + IND loss or tie
   4) SD loss + JAC loss or tie
   5) SD loss + IND loss or tie

  NY Jets clinch a playoff spot:
   1) NYJ win or tie
   2) JAC loss or tie
   3) IND loss or tie
(Note:  In scenarios where a JAC or IND loss or tie occurs, NYJ has clinched strength of victory tiebreaker over SD)


  Atlanta clinches NFC South division and homefield advantage:
   1) ATL win or tie

  Philadelphia clinches NFC East division:
   1) PHI win
   2) PHI tie + NYG loss or tie
   3) NYG loss
  Philadelphia clinches a playoff spot:
   1) PHI tie
   2) TB loss or tie

  Chicago clinches a first-round bye:
   1) CHI win + PHI loss + NYG loss or tie

  New Orleans clinches a playoff spot:
   1) NO win or tie
   2) TB loss or tie

  NY Giants clinch a playoff spot:
   1) NYG win

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