Posted on: December 5, 2010 2:33 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 12:57 pm

Rankings 1 - December 6

Well folks, I told you they would come and here they are. Sundays will be my heartfelt 'this is how I see it' rankings while I have developed a mathematical ranking system which I will explain and leave for Mondays this year. Hope you enjoy.

1 Duke 8-0
2 Pittsburgh 9-0
3 Ohio State 6-0
4 Kansas 7-0
5 Connecticut 7-0
6 Kansas State 7-1
7 Syracuse 8-0
8 Georgetown 8-0
9 Tennessee 6-0
10 Missouri 6-1
11 Baylor 6-0
12 Michigan State 6-2
13 Minnesota 7-1
14 Memphis 7-0
15 San Diego St. 8-0
16 Villanova 6-1
17 Kentucky 5-2
18 Illinois 8-1
19 BYU 8-0
20 UNLV 8-0
21 Notre Dame 8-0
22 Purdue 7-1
23 Texas 6-2
24 Washington 5-2
25 Louisville 6-0

- Yes, UNC's win against Kentucky was a big win, but I'm going to need to see another quality win before I put them in my rankings. 
- Vanderbilt is my 26th team for the week. Just missed.
- I don't necessarily think that Syracuse has won by enough in their games to justify a top 10 ranking, but the upside is there so I'm going to leave them at 7 for the time being. Could easily be down in the 15's but they just keep winning. We'll see how they do against Michigan State at the Garden on Tuesday.
- Butler put up more of a fight than I expected them to against Duke, but Duke is far and away the best team in the nation and I don't forsee them losing anytime soon.
- I am still very unimpressed with Baylor.
- Washington is still a quality team no matter how low they drop in the rankings. Losing to KTY and MST and blowing out other opponents by averaging 93.7 PPG.
- Anyone who thinks about giving Gonzaga a vote is a fool. 4-3 with an RPI ranked 143? I don't think so.

Best 2 conferences this year in no particular order are clearly the Big East and the Big Ten (12) this year. I don't want to hear the arguments for other conferences because they just aren't good enough. Sorry.

Posted on: December 27, 2009 9:06 pm

NCAAB Rankings 5 - Sunday, December 27, 2009

1. Kansas 11-0
2. Kentucky 13-0
3. Syracuse 12-0
4. Texas 11-0
5. Purdue 11-0
6. West Virginia 10-0
7. Villanova 11-1
8. Duke 9-1
9. Connecticut 9-2
10. Georgetown 9-1
11. Kansas State 11-1
12. Tennessee 9-2
13. North Carolina 9-3
14. Michigan State 9-3
15. Clemson 11-2
16. Ohio State 10-2
17. New Mexico 11-1
18. Texas Tech 10-1
19. Florida State 11-2
20. UAB 11-1
21. Mississippi 10-2
22. Washington 9-2
23. Temple 9-2
24. Wisconsin 10-2
25. Georgia Tech 9-2

Last 5 Out
26. BYU 12-1
27. Oklahoma State 10-1
28. Texas A&M
29. Gonzaga 8-3
30. UNLV 12-2
Posted on: December 15, 2009 1:56 pm

Saturday Can't Come Soon Enough!

If you are a fan of college basketball, you'll know that we are entering those few weeks of the season before conference play when the absolute cupcake weeks of the schedule happen. Until Saturday, no ranked team plays another ranked team, making for a boring week of basketball. If you have the patience to wait until Saturday, however, you are in for quite a treat. Here is the listings of quality matchups for Saturday:

#10/10 North Carolina @ #2/2 Texas - 2:00 PM

Xavier @ #21/17 Butler - 2:00 PM

#15/15 Gonzaga vs. #7/7 Duke - 4:00 PM
CBS - Game Played in New York City

Portland @ #24/21 Washington - 10:00 PM
all times Eastern.

The only reason I am including the Portland game is that they are one of those teams that you need to prepare well for and watch because if teams just brush them off they will come out to get you. Just look at the Anaheim Tournament, which earned them a spot in the AP Top 25 for one week.

Also, keep watching out for Temple in the future. They've got #1/1 Kansas coming in on Jan. 2, and that should be a pretty good game. They are in the area of 28-30 in both polls, so we could end up with a matchup of ranked teams. The A10 always has some sleepers in it, and by the way Temple beat Villanova and was close to taking down GTown, don't sleep on this team.

Early Saturday Picks:
over UNC*
Butler over Xavier in a very very close one.
Duke over Gonzaga
Washington over Portland

*I am picking Texas here, but if there is a team that is going to get upset this weekend, I think that this is the game where we will see it.

My Pick Stats:
Overall: 5-4
Conference Games: 0-0
Ranked vs. Ranked: 0-1
Ranked vs. Unranked: 4-1
Unranked vs. Unranked: 1-2

Posted on: December 8, 2009 2:32 pm

A Few Explanations

First off, my last post was a test of the pictures that have not been working lately, but oh well enough about that.

For this week's "exCUSE me!" Top 25 poll, here are my explanations as to what I did.

#3 Syracuse Orange
      - The reason that I bumped up Syracuse to the 3 spot is because of the absolute dominance that they have shown. They have won all 8 games to this point by double digits, and are averaging about 90 points per game. Until they lose or stop being so dominant they will remain near the top, and not just because I go there.

#6 Florida Gators
      - Florida is an impressive 8-0, winning their preseason tournament in Atlantic City, and dispatching Michigan State pretty easily. This ranking is optimistic, so I'm hoping that Florida can live up to it, although they have a ridiculously tough one coming up against Syracuse.

NR Washington Huskies
      - "One loss and they're out of the top 25? What gives?" First off I'd like to say that I think the Pac-10 is a relatively average conference this year. They are weak in terms of BCS conferences and until some team gives me a reason to believe otherwise that is my stance. I had them up near the rankings in the first place because they were undefeated and ranked in the polls, so the first opportunity they gave me when they lost to Texas Tech (a very winnable game in my opinion) my chance had arrived.

#20 Wisconsin Badgers
      - Wow that game against Duke was impressive. I'm not sold on them yet, but they showed a great commitment to defense which I hope to see more in the future. They will have success in the Big Ten if they keep it up in a conference which I feels defense seems to come first.

#24 Texas Tech Raiders
      - Do I think they'll be around for long? Nope. But they did beat Washington, and they are 8-0 so they deserve some love.

Scroll back to the rankings for my ideas about the UNC/Ohio State debate, user Spanky J brought up a good point there.

Enjoy! Like my rankings? Hate my rankings? Let me know!!

Posted on: November 29, 2009 11:42 pm

NCAAB Rankings 1 - Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009

Hey all, so here is my first set of Top 25 rankings of the season. I'll post here every Sunday night with the rankings, and every Monday night with a critique of the AP/Coaches Poll as well as some of my explanations, so don't complain that I don't explain my picks, you'll just have to wait a day. So without further ado, here they are:

Week 3 (November 30-December 6)

1. Kansas 5-0
2. Villanova 6-0
3. Texas 5-0
4. Duke 6-0
5. Syracuse 6-0
6. Purdue 5-0
7. West Virginia 5-0
8. Kentucky 6-0
9. Michigan State 5-1
10. Tennessee 5-1
11. Connecticut 4-1
12. Ohio State 5-1
13. North Carolina 6-1
14. Florida 6-0
15. Washington 5-0
16. Gonzaga 5-1
17. Louisville 4-1
18. Georgetown 4-0
19. Florida State 6-1
20. Texas A&M 5-1
21. Clemson 6-1
22. Marquette 6-1
23. Notre Dame 6-1
24. Oklahoma State 6-0
25. Mississippi 5-1


Posted on: May 29, 2009 11:34 pm

Umpires, Hawkeye, and some NBA Playoffs

The first point I want to make tonight is about the hilarious ejections that happened in last night's Red Sox/Twins game. Now I understand when a call is pretty close or when the player touches the umpire you are going to get ejected. And I also understand that usually the calls the umpire makes are correct, so usually the player's argument is not justified anyway. The thing that I find so comical about the Varitek ejection is that the runner was absolutely out at the plate. He was out by a decent margin, and if you look at the replay it was blatantly obvious that Varitek tagged him out at the plate. This is one of the only cases where I've seen the player's argument justified. The guy throws out 4 players in a single inning. That must be some sort of record. He changed what was a pretty darn good ball game too. Varitek had two homers, and I think it was something like 11 hits in the ballgame total. Maybe it was just a bad day at the office, I'm not sure. But if you are going to start throwing players out, at least make your calls right before you do it.

In watching the French Open I've noticed that this is the only Grand Slam that doesn't use the Hawkeye system to challenge line calls. The premise behind this is good because you can actually see the ball spots in the clay, so the players can ask the Chair Umpire to come down and look at the ball mark for the official ruling. The problem with this is that I've already seen about 4 missed/wrong calls in the week that I have been watching. In the grand scheme this isn't really that big of a deal, but in a close match it could make all the difference.

For example, in the Safin/Ouanna match that I referenced in my last post, there was a point where Safin was on serve, down 1 game at a crucial point in the match where he served what looked like a good ball on the corner of the box. Ouanna challenged the call and the umpire came down and looked at the wrong spot, awarding the point to Safin. ESPN's ShotSpot showed that the ball was clearly out by a good 2 inches. Ouanna lost the next point and Safin tied the game up. Ouanna would go on to win the match, but lets say that the score was 30-30 and Ouanna was down a game, trying to break to stay in the match. This would have been crucial in the match to have this call right. the human element has been the way to go for years, but now there is technology which is better, so why not use it?

NBA Playoffs:
Why did the Nuggets not even show up tonight? They just layed down and gave the Lakers the series, which is very disappointing. Each game of the conference finals has come down to the wire and has been a real treat to watch. Normally NBA games lack enthusiasm and competition, and until this game they had proved me wrong. This one was, quite honestly, boring to watch. Don't take anything away from the Lakers, they came in and just turned it up a notch, but you would think that the Nuggets would put up more of a fight. As I type the Lakers are up 112-88 in the 4th. Come on. A 10-point game would have at least been watchable.

In Other News:
- The 76ers have offered Eddie Jordan a contract to be their next head coach. What I want to know is were the 76ers watching when Jordan and the Wizards were basement dwelling during his tenure there? I'm not sure. You can't judge a coach before he shows you what he's got the first couple of years, but I'm not really sure that this signing is going to excite the 76ers fans. It sure doesn't excite me. I hope he proves me wrong. We shall see.

- J.A. Happ went out tonight and pitched a beautiful game against the Nationals, giving up 1 run while he was on the mound and leaving the game with a 5-1 lead. It's ashame that the bullpen gave him 2 more earned runs and almost blew the game in the 6th inning there. A spot of good news for the Phillies though, Brad Lidge came out and shut down the Nats in the ninth, picking up his 10th save of the season. Granted, it is only the Nationals, but it's not exactly their lineup that is holding them back. They are definitely capable of producing runs, they just aren't that capable of holding teams to under 5.

Posted on: May 25, 2009 4:36 pm

Stadium Tours: Nationals Park

For my first installment of Stadium Tours, we're going to look at the home of the Washington Nationals, the park I visited most recently. Being an avid Phillies fan, a few friends and I went to an away game between the Phillies and Nationals, a 1:35 PM start.

Accessibility: 4/5
- The park is not that hard to get to if you use the Baltimore/Washington Parkway. Right on Capitol Rd, it is pretty easy to get to, the only problem we ran into is the amount of construction and traffic on the parkway. If you add 15-30 extra minutes in your trip for that you should be set.

Parking: 1/5
- Parking was kind of a joke. For the parking garages right next to the stadium, it costs $35-$40 to park for a single game. The other garages which are 4-5 blocks away are $15-20 to park, and the lot we parked in, lot HH, was $10 but it was 6 blocks from the stadium and literally underneath a highway. It was quite sketchy

Food: 3.5/5
- The food was a bit overpriced, even for a ballpark, but it was understandable for the cost of a new stadium. The food was actually quite delicious, and was made to order. This did, however, increase wait times, which is why I can't give it a 4 or higher.

Attractions: 4.5/5
- The main area with things to do is the outfield section, and boy was there a lot. Starting out in left field, the stadium opens up and by the centerfield gate before the game the Presidents come out to greet the guests and take pictures. They have some fan contests before the game, and the MASN broadcast center is right out in centerfield, so you can watch the pregame show live as it happens, which is pretty cool. The Centerfield section provides some good dining options. In right field, if you go up the steps there is a picnic area behind the scoreboard. Also, there is a pitching/batting cage sort of thing and the Playstation Pavilion offers at least 16-20 PS3 gaming consoles with 4 different games that people can play. The Presidents' Race is a real nice touch for the between-inning entertainment. There's quite a lot to do at the ballpark.

Seating/Section: 5/5+
- We sat in the Centerfield Lounge, section 100L, row B and let me tell you I highly recommend it. First off, the seats are heavily padded, and were very comfortable throughout the game. The view is almost dead centerfield and you get a great view of the action. There are even servers that come down and take food and drink orders through the 7th inning and bring them out to you. Granted, the prices are a little much, but if you're only going for one game I would splurge a little bit and take them up on it. Overall, I would highly recommend that Centerfield Lounge.

Fans: 1/5
- Alright, I know they are the last place team in the league, but there were really more Phillies fans than Nationals fans by a good amount, and even then none of the Nationals fans gave us a problem. As a visitor you expect to get harassed and heckled, and it makes it feel even better being in their stadium but there was really none of that. It was kind of disappointing to be quite honest.

Overall: 19/30
- Overall it was a very nice experience. If it weren't for the fans and parking, this would be a quality ballpark to spend your summer watching baseball. I would definitely go back, but you have to make sure you don't overpay on parking (if there is such a thing).

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com