Friday, December 7, 2007


Everyone is fussing about the BCS system, how flawed it is, and using this year's polls as a huge reason why we need a playoff system.

I hear you all loud and clear.

However, NCAA Division I-A Football (and I refuse to call it by their proper FBS title) is not the National Football League, the Arena Football League, or even NCAA Division I-AA football. A playoff system would be much worse for D1 football than the BCS has seemingly been for fans over the past 10 years. Personally, I would love to see a playoff. I have done like every other college football fan out there and developed their own thesis on the college football playoff system they would love to see put into action. I have the perfect system for a football playoff that could put the forementioned organziations to shame.

But, Division 1-A Football is a totally different monster. There are literally dozens of schools that are driven by their football programs in D1-A. Do you think Notre Dame, Nebraska, Alabama, and Michigan enjoy their current slumps? These are storied schools who pride theirselves in being an alum, a student, or a fan of these programs. There is so much passion in D1-A football, its insane. Yet, in no way am I saying a D1-AA school isn't passionate - I am a student of a newcomer to the D-1 system, and football is a big deal for the University of Central Arkansas. However, there is not the same publicity, pressure, or presence in 1-AA as there is in 1-A. UCA finished 2nd in their conference in their first year, posted a 6-5 record, and no one is calling for Coach Clint Conque's head ... on the flip side, in 2006, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks finish first in the SEC with a 10-2 record, 7-1 SEC record, a valiant effort against the LSU Tigers in the SEC Championship Game, and a sub-par perfomance against Wisconsin in the Capitol One Bowl, and everyone wants Houston Nutt gone. Of course, those are two difference scenarios, but you get the picture. D1-A schools expect more, and feel they deserve to be champions, and will roll over any one who can't deliver it. Houston Nutt resigned after this past season, took 3 million dollars, and went to a rival school, and everyone in Arkansas hates him for that.

Division 1-AA playoffs work because each school isn't driven by their athletics - Appalachian State, McNeese State, Northern Iowa, and Montana are at the top of the polls in D1-AA football, but in three of four years, they may be at the bottom. Fluxuations occure because of the rarity of talent that leaks down from D1-A football programs. Most football programs are not hit hard by missing the playoffs, simply because they are, more times than not, driven by academics, or some other avenue being a university. Playoffs work because football doesn't mean life of death for fans of their D1-AA schools. The players still show the same intesity, have the same heart, and play with the same purpose of being the best, but because they are left out of the elite won't turn the programs for a flip.

Turn the page to D1-A. How many teams, fans, or all the above are either A) unsatisfied with the two teams that are playing for the National Championship, or B) upset they were not selected to play in the National Championship game, or C) all the above.


Oklahoma, USC, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia. All runners-up to LSU and Ohio State for the National Championship. All but Ohio State and Kansas, one loss teams, shared the same number of losses with two. Five of those teams won their conference. Only two of the teams played head to head, LSU and Virginia Tech, which LSU took the victory. Hawaii posted the only flawless record of any team. Overall, a fairly even playing field. So how does one select two teams and two teams only to play for a championship? Before the BCS came along almost ten years ago now, there were too many agreements between the conferences and the bowls to truely match number one and number two. The BCS did away with the total tie-ins to certain bowls for conferences until the BCS Championship Game selection. The Rose Bowl still strives to match Pac-10 v. Big 10, the Orange Bowl also tries to match Big 12 v. Big East, and the Sugar Bowl with SEC v. ACC. However, there have been instances where this hasn't worked due the the National Championship bids taking the qualified teams. The BCS, not the conferences, determine the tie-ins, and make the deals between bowl sponsors and bowls, not just for the BCS Bowls, but the other useless bowls as well. The BCS selects eight teams to play in four bowl games on or after New Years, and another two to play in the national championship game. Essentially, each year, eight teams are left out, five of which are legitimate, being conference champions (of the BCS conferences), three are at-large. More times than not, one, if not more, team is left "high and dry," a team that easily could have played for a national championship, but was left out in favor of another team. The two most recent instances, 2003 and 2004, three teams were conference champions with equal records. Two played, one went to a BCS bowl, instead of THE BCS Game. In 2003, they took the easy way out (they being the AP) and crowned USC (who was left out, and won their BCS Bowl game against Michigan) and LSU national champions. In 2004-2005, Auburn was left out, won their bowl game, but settled for number two as they watched USC pound Oklahoma. No co-national championship this year. Flash to this year, 2007-2008, the number jumps from three to five conference champions (WV, Hawaii, VT, Oklahoma, and USC), four with equal records, and again, one who is undefeated.

Now, I know you are exhausted, but try to formulate a playoff format you think could work. If you come up empty, take this easy one into consideration: Ten team playoff system based off the BCS Bowl games, re-seeding the teams by their BCS ranking. They bracket would look like this:
(1) OSU
(9) Hawaii

(3) VT
(7) Kansas

(5) Georgia
(6) USC

(4) Oklahoma
(8) West Virginia

(2) LSU
(10) Illinois

Take on the second round however you will, whether you allow the highest seed to have a bye, re-seed, and play on, etc. Let us consider the worst-case scenario - lowest seed wins every game. The second round would then look like this:

(7) Kansas
(9) Hawaii

(8) West Virginia
(10) Illinois

(6) USC

Now, we have a dandy here, eh? Kansas v. Hawaii? Mountaineers and Illini? USC gets bye? OSU, LSU one and done? How about Georgia, who snuk in, and lost? Would Tennessee have won? What about Florida? Auburn? Arkansas? Now, let's say the at-large teams (Georgia, Illinois) lose. Does Michigan, Tennesse, and Florida feel slighted even more? How does the world feel about giving OSU a number one seed to watch them get beat by ... Hawaii?

Fans would love to see upsets, but then again, what about the 109 teams that were left out? If they sit there and watch a one or two, or even three or four seed fall in the first round, what do you think other deserving programs want now? Expand the playoffs, we deserve to be in. Tennessee rolled Georgia in the regular season, and if the Dawgs get rolled by USC, how even of a matchup would Tennessee and USC could have been? Fans of football want to see a cinderella story unfold. People love March Madness, thirteen over four seeds, twelve over fives. George freaking Mason in the Final Four! Can football capture that same excitement? Unless it can expand to sixteen teams, no. Sixteen teams means four rounds, four additional games to the already busy college football season. Even ten teams equals three additional games, and cutting it back to eight would yield the same. Four teams is absurd, simply because two conference champions would be left out, and that would heighten the talk about who's conference is stronger, while leaving no hope for teams like Hawaii, Boise State, and TCU to make their case if they run their own tables.

If I have not yet convinced you that the BCS will have to do, my apologies. Most people thought communism would work and would not be convinced otherwise until the system blew up. Many people think of the BCS as communism. While it may not be the most desirable of systems, but its the best thing we have. Just like our "democracy".

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Draft Thoughts Day 1

If you were like me, you watched the entire 6 plus hour draft, breaking down each team's needs and predicting who would take who. Most of my predictions stood, such as Russell to the Raiders, Thomas to the Browns, Brown to the Cards, Meachem to the Saints, and Gonzales to the Colts. Others, like Gaines Adams going to Tampa Bay, were not of surprise, then Miami, passing on Brady Quinn, takes Ted Ginn, Jr. Ok, so maybe they didn't want Quinn, that's cool. But, first round pick on Ginn? They could have picked up Sidney Rice in the second and received a better pick at round one, such as Okoye, Willis, or Carriker. Instead, its Ginn, then they grab BYU quarterback John Beck, who is a much respected quarterback. Obviously, Miami was planning on getting Ginn, regardless if Quinn was available or not. The injury raises a big question on will he be ready to go 100% when the regular season rolls around. If he is sitting out most of the pre-season recovering from the injury, it will not be a good sign for the front office's decision. It's a big gamble, and for it to be a first round pick, it's almost a stupid gamble.

Detroit took yet another wide receiver in Calvin Johnson, but soon made room for him, trading Mike Williams and Josh McCown for a fourth round pick. This should work out for both teams, provided what happens with Randy Moss in Oakland. I feel that if Moss is traded, Williams will be called upon to be the #1 receiver for Russell. The Lions also released Charles Rodgers, yet another first round pick, leaving only Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson as the first round wide receivers. Roy Williams has proved to be a solid receiver for Jon Kitna, and with the selection of Stanton, the offense is shaping up really nicely for the Lions, and under Mike Martz, there is no limit to their improvement. Good draft day for both the Lions and Raiders.

Other good pickups include Patrick Willis to San Francisco, Jamaal Anderson and Chris Houston to Atlanta, and New England again acquiring a first round pick for next year, while picking up Brandon Merriweather. Pittsburgh looked to find a replacement for Joey Porter with Lawrence Timmons, Buffalo got a real nice deal, trading up to get Paul Poluszny.

A puzzling pick for me was the Eagles selecting Kevin Kolb with their first pick, meaning they are ready to move past the Donnovan Days, or do not expect Donnovan to be healthy this season, but either way, Kolb is going to have a starting spot very soon. One would wonder Donnovan's thoughts on this...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

NBA Playoffs - Eastern Conference

The NBA Playoffs are amongst us! Only one night remaining in the regular season, and the Western Conference needs this night to decide its eighth and final seed. The Eastern Conference, however, is already set. Here is what the playoff picture is looking like, and few comments from me to go along with it.
* denotes seeding is clinched

(1) Detroit Pistons *

(8) Orlando Magic
Its been a few years since the Magic have been to the playoffs, and their last visit wasn't so pleasant. Up 3-1 over the top-seeded Pistons, Tracey McGrady guaranteed the Magic were moving on. 3 games later, the Pistons were in the second round. Since then, its been a rough ride for Orlando, but they have finally landed back in the playoffs, even if its the 8-seed playing against Detroit. Dwight Howard has dominated down low this season against the Pistons, averaging 20 point and 16 boards in 4 games, all losses however. Orlando will need a lot more help if they are to dethrone the top seed. Orlando steals a game, but thats it. Detroit in 5.

(2) Chicago Bulls

(7) Washington Wizards

The last time these two teams met in the playoffs were in 2005. Chicago, without most of what makes up their roster today, could not withstand Arenas or Hughes, and Washington won in 6. This year, Chicago comes in much more favored, looking to lock up a 2-seed, going against a Wizards team without Arenas (injury) or Hughes (traded) this time. Caron Butler is a doubtful, which will take out the top two scoring threats. The Wizards will need far more support from their bench than they can account for, and Chicago should clean house. Chicago in 4.

(3) Toronto Raptors *

(6) New Jersey Nets

These aren't your typical Raptors. You won't see a Vince Carter on this roster. What you will see is an excellent roster that could go a good ways in the playoffs. TJ Ford and Anthony Parker make for a good backcourt duo, and Morris Peterson complements Parker as an exceptional 3-point shooter and can attack the basket. Chris Bosh is one the league's top forwards today, and Andrea Bargnani has lived up to his hype as a strong body down low. New Jersey does have the big three, Kidd, Jefferson, and Carter, but without a physical presence down low to stop Bosh, Barnani, and Nesterovich, it will be a tough series. New Jersey will play a good series, but it will be happy day in O' Canada! Toronto in 6.

(4) Miami Heat *

(5) Cleveland Cavaliers

If Cleveland does indeed finish as the fifth seed (Wednesday night's games will decide), you can almost count on Miami advancing; considering the season Miami has had, losing O'Neal, Wade, Coach Riley, Williams, and Kapono to injuries, they still managed to overcome in the second half and take the Southeast Division title for the third straight year. The Diesel is in full gear, and Wade is showing great signs of healing, the Heat will be a handful to handle, especially without a dominant defensive post player, such as Ben Wallace. LeBron will be the key if the Cavs look to take down the defending champs. He will need to score and get the whole floor involved, else Miami will make it look easy. Miami in 6.

In the case that both Cleveland and Chicago win in Wednesday night's games, Chicago would own the tie-breaker with more division wins (12-4) than Cleveland (9-6), thus securing the 2-seed. For Cleveland's sake, at least for the first round, they will need to win and Chicago to lose to get the 2-seed and face Washington, again. Either way, there is not a road to the conference finals that doesn't go through Miami for the Cavs.

Due tomorrow ... the Western Conference breakdowns and any revisions that need to be made in match-ups listed here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March: Best Month. Period

If someone came and asked you what your favorite month of the year is, what would be your response? December, July, or maybe May? If someone were to conduct a poll of 1,000 people, the majority may be one of those months. If that someone were to ask me not only what my favorite month is, but why, I would say March, and give the following reasons:

No other sporting event can top the NCAA Tournament
I love football, I love the Super Bowl, and I love watching baseball and basketball playoffs. However, the entire month of March revolves around the "Big Dance". The first week and a half are spent trying to make the last surge to get in, while the last three weeks are spent playing to be a champion. Unlike the Super Bowl, which may be the second greatest sporting event in my opinion, March Madness goes on everyday for two to three weeks, while only hype surrounding the Super Bowl spans that same time. Plus, it is the biggest fan fair available in sports, with millions of pools created to see who can pick the tournament winners the closest. Bracket-mania is a hellishly-fun 4 days leading up to the Big Dance, and just the NCAA Tournament alone makes the statement March is the year's best month.

Baseball Season Starts Up
Although the actual regular season doesn't begin until April, March is the best month to get baseball, aside from October. Spring training carries all the hype of 1) last year's World Series winner, and how they will fare 2) big name signings/trades 3) and steroids (only kidding about the latter). Not only is the weather as perfect as it can possibly be in March, it's a good reason to travel to the Sunshine State other than the beaches. Think of it like one of those appetizers you could be satisfied with as your entree.

The Peak of All Other Sports
Football gets prepped for the draft with the combines, free agency, and trades. NBA basketball fires up heading into the last stretch of the season, with bubble teams fighting for the few games needed to get into the playoffs, hockey also revving up for the playoffs, NASCAR season shifts into second and third gears, while tennis and golf begin their craze for the year. March represents the summit of all sports, and there is no better month than the beginning of spring, best weather next to September's (which happens to be the second best month, but we will wait until then).

St. Patrick's Day
You let me know of another occasion where rivers are dyed green, and we will argue.

My Birthday
Just because March birthdays are the best, along with September's.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Top Three Stories that Bothered Me

This past week has been wild in the world of sports. If you haven't been paying attention, I can't help you, but I can let you in on three stories that occurred the past few days that left an itch I can't scratch.

Juan Pablo Montoya Takes First Busch Series Victory in Mexico City

... but not without some criticism from his own teammate, Scott Pruett, whom Montoya collided with in the final laps of the Telcel-Motorola 200 in Mexico City. Pruett publicly expressed his disgust with his teammate's actions, calling his driving "lowdown, nasty, [and] dirty."

I have never raced in a circuit-format with high-powered cars, and I definitely do not understand the entire aspect of the sport, but from years of watching with my granddad as a kid, and having family who is into the sport, racing is not a cry-baby event. Pruett whined about being spun by his own teammate on national TV, and in my opinion, he was more at fault that Montoya. Pruett went high into the turn, and Montoya shot low. Pruett came down sharp on the curve, while Montoya already established his position deep in the turn, therefore swiping the nose of Montoya's car, and spinning backwards, while Montoya bounced back outside and off the track to avoid further contact. After watching the final 20 laps, as Montoya bounced from mid-way through the field to the top 5, I was certain he would take the victory. With 8 to go, Montoya was on a war path to take first from teammate Pruett. He had the fastest car on the track, and he knew how to handle it on the road course. Montoya was driving to win, Pruett was driving to win, and unfortunately for Pruett, he ended up being spun.

I don't know Pruett as a racer, because I don't watch too much NASCAR, but I am sure this will blow over in due time. They are both professionals and should handle this in that accordance.

But it gets worse ...

Artest Arrested on Charges of Domestic Violence; Excused from Sacramento

Boy, were my hopes in vain when the Kings acquired him last January. Initially, he served really well as the defensive muscle, improving the Kings defense noticeably and boosting them into the playoffs as an eight seed. This year, however, hasn't gone as well. The Kings are 5 games under .500, and Ron Artest has already been accused of animal mistreatment in early February, now he takes it out on a woman. After watching the news ticket on ESPN News last night, I was in total disgust. The Kings have become the outlaw team of the NBA. They are working on the title of the Cincinnati Bengals of basketball. Head coach Erick Musselman (I guess that's the right spelling for this Erick, could care less) has already been cited twice this season for driving while intoxicated, and now Artest has been arrested, posted 50 stacks for bail, and excused from any further participation with the Sacramento Kings basketball organization until further notice. Geoff Petrie, Kings GM, made the announcement of Artest's unofficial suspension (Kings publicist says its not a suspension, he is still being paid) after hearing the news of the hopeful hero of Sacramento. The entire organization is now in total disarray, and I feel that not only is their season over, they need a total reconstruction of the organization.

Henderson Suspended after Intentional Foul on Hansbrough

I have all the respect in the world for Coach K and all the incredible things he
has done at Duke. But, as far as me liking the Duke organization (Maryland fan), it doesn't quite go as well. After I saw North Carolina's star big-man Tyler Hansbrough take a shot from Duke's Gerald Henderson, I found a bit more hate for Duke. You can say all you want that basketball is a contact sport, and collisions resulting in injuries occur, but that was not a collision. Henderson came down with an elbow on Hansbrough with intentions of making contact. He may have not wanted to break his nose, but that's what all accused gunmen say, "I didn't want to kill him." I played basketball long enough to know there is contact, and I personally had my way with elbows coming down on heads, but never have I been in the situation as Henderson was to come down that hard with his elbow, and to hit another player in the face is a whole other aspect. I think his suspension served him right, this is not a UFC match, its a basketball game. I respect Hansbrough for not holding any harsh feelings towards Henderson for the blow he took, and neither will I view Henderson any differently, but I am certain Henderson had every intention of striking Hansbrough on that play.

At the time of publishing this blog, I just watched the video of Kobe Bryant again flailing his arm after a shot, and again hitting an opposing player. This time he was called for the foul, and maybe this time he will learn his lesson. Basketball is a game of control, and Bryant doesn't appear to have much of it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

American Idol Performances - Week 1

With this year only being the second full year I've watched American Idol, I can't judge on how the first four seasons were like, but I have a feeling they started out a little better than this one. The guys end of the performances were not so great, maybe two or three that were good, but nothing spectacular. I thought there was some great potiental too, Sonjaya was the biggest let down. You could tell he was about to piss his pants. Sundance really stunk up the place, and Chris Sligh got into it with Simon, and its only the first week! The few performances I did like were Blake Lewis and Phil Stacey. Blake did well with a tough song by Keane, "Somewhere Only We Know" and pulled out a good performance, but nothing spectacular. Phil started off really bland with Edwin McCain "I Could Not Ask For More" but really put together a nice vocal performance once the chorus and bridge came around. Other than that, they were all just OK. Jared Cotter attempted Brian McKnight, and didn't do terrible, but I think he has a rich, smooth voice, and if he continues to pick good songs, he could go far. My early favorite, Chris Sligh, did not really impress me that much. The song choice was fun to perform, but I don't think the overall performance was the best of the guys' group. My picks to go home this week will have to be Sundance Head and Chris Richardson.

The gals, on the other hand, totally rocked the house big time. Much more exciting performances overall from the ladies than that of the men. Stephanie Edwards got things started off on the right foot, and most of the remaining ladies followed. Definitely the best performance, and everyone can agree, was from Lakisha Jones. She let it all out, and I doubt there is anything she couldn't sing. Melinda Doolittle also did extremely well, proving attitude isn't the end all be all. A word of advice to the ladies; no Celine Dion PLEASE! Sappy, slow, and heart-wrenching songs do not appeal to a lot of your viewers. Especially me. Pick a song to have fun with and give energy through, not to just stand behind the mic and force out notes, which is what a few of the girls tried to do, even with upbeat songs. My favorite girl now is definitely Leslie Hunt. Not only does she have a unique attractiveness to her, she has a darn good voice, and "Natural Woman" fit real well. Unfortunately, two girls must leave the competition, and I am predicting that Haley Scarnato and Nicole Tranquillo will be those two. A couple of gorgeous ladies, but it didn't work for them on Wednesday.

Stay tuned after the results show where I will have my quick blurb on my reaction of the results and expectations for next week.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of the SEC

Saturday, February 17 2007. Most of the population of the southern states, from Florida to Arkansas will remember this date for a variety of reasons. If, however, you are outside the threshold of the great south, don't feel left out; I will walk through a Saturday that will make, break, or just flat out kill an athletic program.
Let's begin with ...

Frank Broyles to Retire at Arkansas
Basically, Broyles is gone. After a half-century at Arkansas in one form another, whether it had been coaching the late great Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys (no wonder they operate their programs identically ...), or hiring coaches such as Lou Holtz, Jimmy Johnson, Eddie Sutton, and Nolan Richardson as the athletic director. Despite Broyles' much famed success as a coach and an AD, he has been heavily criticized by the Arkansas fan base over the past few years over the lack of success with the football program, along with head football coach Houston Nutt. Following Arkansas' breakout performance in the 2006 season, winning ten consecutive games after falling to Southern California the first game of the season, the SEC West title, and a New Year's Day bowl game, the state of Arkansas still were not happy. The drama surrounding the departure of offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, and the probable departure of highly-recruited quarter back Mitch Mustain wasn't handled as expected from the board of trustees and the fan base. Rumors early in the week suggested Broyles had until Saturday to state his resignation or will be forced from the school by the board. Too many Arkansans, this is the greatest news since Nolan Richardson was fired (but we all see how well that decision fared). Broyles' retirement will take effect at the end of the 2007 calendar year.
Frank Broyles is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Broyles assistances while a head coach went on to win a combined 40 conference titles, 5 National Championships and 5 Super Bowls.

Number 1 Ranked Florida Tossed by Vanderbilt in Nashville
Florida came into Saturday's game a perfect 11-0 in Southeastern Conference play and riding the nation's longest win-streak at 17. Obviously, the team already penciled in win number 12 and add one to the win streak before stepping on the court. Florida played from behind the entire game, their biggest lead of only 5 points 5 minutes into the game. Florida's lack of support from its starting five, all of which who average double digits on the season, along with Vandy's outstanding guard play from Byars and Foster (24 points a piece) spelled out Florida's first SEC lost of the season, and on the road in a surprisingly tough arena to play in, especially carrying the number one ranking in the nation. A stat that really stuck out to me was this: Noah only played 21 minutes and scored 15. Reserve center played 22 minutes and scored a mere 2 points. That might have not been the key stat in their loss, but ... Florida will have to have much more bench support if they are to make another Final Four or even a National Championship run (Florida's bench:52 minutes, 13 points). That also lies upon the shoulders of the starters to stay out of foul trouble, which is what tagged Noah. Florida's season is long from over, of course. But, the loss today definately pointed out that this team is human. They can be stopped. And it doesn't necessarily have to be a power house team that has to do it (since the 2000 Finals loss, Florida did not make it to the Sweet 16 once until their title run in 2006). No jinx or anything, but, at the current pattern, it will be 2012 before Florida makes it past the Sweet 16 again.
Vanderbilt was the first team to celebrate a victory over Florida in 2007; the Gators last loss - December 17, 2006 against in-state rival Florida State.

If you didn't get a picture of how big of impact this Saturday was for most of the south-east, then there is no other way to paint it. For Arkansas fans, this either means the beginning of the end, or the beginning to a new Arkansas Razorbacks. This is essentially like losing Jerry Jones or George Steinbrenner; American icons in sporting ownerships. His accomplishments aside, a majority of the Razorback nation is relieved Broyles will be nothing but history to Arkansas in the year coming. That is, unless he dies first.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

American Idol Returns!

All I can say, "it's about time!" I think this will be yet another good and memorable year for Idol. I am not totally sure who my favorite is this year (last year, Taylor had me from "I was born on the river,"), but if I were forced, Chris Sligh would get my nod. Like Taylor, he doesn't quite have that look of being a great singer, but he is. I don't like to make premature predictions, so I will wait at least until next week before I figure out who will be in the top 6 on the guys' side. One thing I feel this season is lacking is a Chris Daughtry/Bo Bice type of singer. Most of the guys are more pop, jazz, or R&B sounding, but I will still stand by my comment on this being a memorable season.

As for the ladies, lots of great looking ones for sure, and again, as it was last year, I think there is more talent on the guys' side. But, you never know. I would like to see a girl comeback and get it. There isn't really ONE girl that stands out as far as singing. Looks, that's another story. Miss Jordin Sparks (my nominee for this season's Lisa Tucker, I mean they look JUST ALIKE!) is absolutely beautiful, not to mention she can belt it out. So, I guess she can be my fave at the moment. I am eager to hear all the girls sing, because I may be surprised at what I hear from some. Thank goodness we do not have another Pickler this season. That might have ruined it for me. Oh, and no Kevin Covais either! WOHOO, this could be a much better season for Idol after all.

Check out to see all the contestants' profiles and photos. Be sure to watch the guys perform on Tuesday and be ready to vote for you favorite. Check back each week prior to vote offs to get my insight on each performance and who I would send home and which girl I want to take home.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

NFL Offseason Report

The NFL Offseason has begun, and so far, has been filled with its share of activity.

The main story of the first week has been the firing of Coach Marty Schottenheimer from the San Deigo Chargers on Tuesday 13 February. This comes after an NFL best 14-2 record, yet a second-round dismissal from the playoffs, courtesy of the New England Patriots. Schottenheimer ends his 5-year tenure at San Deigo without a postseason win, adding to his infamous resume of being unsucessful in the playoffs. Schottenheimer will still receive $4 million from San Diego to not coach in 2007, which is probably likely, after Schottenheimer stating on ESPNews on Tuesday he is not sure if coaching still lies in his future.
Early speculation says that former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells is a possibility for the void, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, but John Clayton suggests that neither Parcells or USC coach Pete Caroll would be candidates because of GM A.J. Smith's unwillingness to hand over full control of the team.

Key coaching moves this off-season including the Dallas Cowboys' hiring of Wade Phillips, who was assistant to Marty Schottenheimer in San Diego, and Pittsburgh Steelers' decision on head coach Mike Tomlin, after each team lost Hall-of-Fame bound head coaches Bill Parcells and Bill Cowher. Lane Kiffin, Cam Cameron, Ken Whisenhunt, and Bobby Petrino will all make their head coaching debut in the NFL in 2007 after being hired to the Raiders, Dolphins, Cardinals, and Falcons respectively. Petrino and Cameron both have college head coaching experience, Petrino at Louisville and Cameron at Indiana. Kiffin, at age 31, became the youngest coach in the NFL since the NFL-AFL merger.

After the Colts won Super Bowl XLI, many doubters were finally assured that Peyton Manning had the "monkey" off his back. However, the question that also comes up is can Peyton do it again, much more, can the Colts do it again? The Colts have $200,000 (before Manning's restructured contract lends $8 million to the cap) in salary cap room, which doesn't leave a lot considering the number of valuable unrestricted free agents the Colts are dealing with this off-season, including Ricky Proehl, Terrance Wilkins, Rob Morris, Nick Harper, Dominic Rhodes, Rocky Boiman, James Mungro, Dan Klecko, Cato June, and Dwight Freeney. Rhodes, seeming to be the biggest loss if he decides to leave the Colts for a starring role elsewhere, has had mixed responses on whether he would rather stay and back up Joseph Addai, or leave for a starting position. The loss of June could also account for some valuable line backers the Colts have lost in previous years. Freeney, who received the franchise tag last year, will more than likely get tagged again. The Colts need to focus on how to keep Rhodes around, in case Addai is injured, he is a veteran who has proved he can carry the load of hand offs and be a starter, which is the main reason in a possible decision to leave.

With the combine just around the corner, there is sure to be more and more talk about who will get the number one draft pick. With Oakland holding the first pick, it would not be a surprise for them to draft Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson, since the Randy Moss situation might end up in a trade. If Oakland can get Aaron Brooks in a proven system, having Johnson would turn this team completely around, considering the monster of a defense that is already in place. If Johnson is the first pick, there would be no doubt that LSU QB JaMarcus Russell would go to Detroit, considering they haven't exactly had firm lock the starter. With the receivers in place, Detroit could turn into a good offensive team with Russell behind center. However, if Oakland decides to pass on Johnson and take Russell first pick, that would shape up my top five board:
1. Oakland - JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
2. Detroit - Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
3. Tampa Bay - Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
4. Cleveland - Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
5. Arizona - Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas