Thomas Talks ‘Roids

Frank Thomas, a former 1st baseman of the Chicago White Sox during the 90’s, is very close to getting into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. There is no doubt on anyone’s mind that “The Big Hurt” will get in on the first try. In an interview with ESPN, Thomas said that times have changed:

“When I played, guys all said, ‘Let’s get to the Hall of Fame.’ Now guys are like, ‘Let’s do five years and make $150 million, and you’re set for life. Who cares?’ I think that’s the feeling among most of the guys now.”

And when you think about it, it really is true. He said he talked to some Hall of Famers and it was “eye-opening”. They are so against it, obviously, and don’t understand why someone would risk ruining their legacy with something like that. And you can tell that most people feel the same way. The leading home run hitter in history couldn’t even get in on his first try because he is linked to the ‘roids. This is all coming up because of the scandal with the Biogenesis Clinic in Miami that has linked such stars as A-Rod and downloadBraun to PEDs.

Thomas says he knows that Bonds and Clemens are Hall of Famers, but what they did at the end of their long careers is going to ruin them. He even went as far as saying Bonds could have been the greatest player of all time with 500 Homers and 500 Steals, but he chose to cheat to get his HR total to 762, and now he will pay for it.

Frank Thomas should have no problem getting in along with Braves’ greats Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine (Played for Billerica High School, and is the one good thing about that town.)  Good luck to all the non-cheaters!

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C’s Top Heat

The Celtics were able to outlast the Miami Heat on Sunday in a double-overtime victory. Boston escaped with a 100-98 victory that few have thought much about. The reason is simple—Rajon Rondo is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. The starting NBA: Miami Heat at Boston CelticsAll-Star Point Guard was averaging a league leading 11.1 Assists Per Game and recorded back to back Triple-Doubles before hyper-extending his knee on Friday against the Hawks.

The good news is, we beat the 1st place Heat behind KG’s 24 points and 11 rebounds and a Triple-Double by Paul Pierce.  Even the struggling Jason Terry contributed with 13 points while Jeff Green added 11 of his own. Other than that it was a defensive matchup for the most part, until the two overtimes allowed the teams some more time to raise their scoring averages. LeBron James had 34 points and 16 rebounds for the visiting Heat. With this win, the Celtics break a 6 game skid and will host the 16-29 Kings on Wednesday.

C’s Take on the Heat

The Celtics have yet another tough test on Sunday when the first-place Miami Heat come to town. Everyone knows that it is Ray Allen’s first game back in Boston since leaving, but we have a lot more on our plate than that. The Heat are in first place in the East once again. However, we always play them tough, and as of indexlast game, they are the worst rebounding team in the NBA, we are second to last. I know it’s not much, but they need to cling onto anything that they can to beat this team.

It’s not Ray Ray that we have to worry about, as he is only averaging 11.4 points in 25.5 minutes per game, both significantly lower than the rest of his career.  It’s another guy, named LeBron James, that is having a quiet but huge season. He is averaging 26.4 PPG (.7 lower than last season) but has raised his Assists per game up to 7.1 (from 6.2) and 8.1 Rebounds per game (7.9 last season). Below is a quick preview of how the teams match up. Who do you think comes out on top?

Heat Celtics
W-L 28-12 20-23
Points Scored 102.8 95
Points Allowed 96.9 96.4
Rebounds 39.1 39.5
Assists 22.5 23
Turnovers lost 13.6 14.6
Turnovers forced 14.9 15.7

BCS Shakedown: Ducks and Wildcats and Leprechauns Oh My

ImageComputer Crash: By now we all know 9th ranked Texas A&M (15th ranked during the upset) and “Johnny Football” Manziel, sent shock waves down the spine of the BCS computer ranking system, as the Aggies knocked off Alabama last Saturday 29-24 in Tuscaloosa.

With that said, here’s a check up on the new top 4 BCS Standings and Projected Bowl Predictions according to ESPN.com:

BCS Standings: Top 4 as of November 11th: 1. Kansas State 2. Oregon 3. Notre Dame 4. Alabama

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With the Crimson Tide rolling to 4th in the BCS polls it is likely that they will be on the outside looking in for this year’s national championship contest. Alabama would have to win out (including the SEC championship game) and hope Kansas State, Oregon, or Notre Dame loses, to even have a chance at the title.

This means Kansas State and Oregon will likely be on a crash course to meet up in Miami for the title game. The Wildcats remaining opponents include Baylor and newly ranked number 15 Texas, while the Ducks will face number 13 Stanford and number 11 Oregon State.

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Both programs could see upsets coming their way, ( K-State falling to Baylor or Texas, Oregon dropping either Stanford or Oregon State) but both are projected to play in the championship game for now. While we can’t count out Notre Dame, with games left against Wake Forest and USC, they simply would not outrank the Wildcats or Ducks if all were to win out. Dame, much like Bama, would need K-State or Oregon to lose.

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Predicted Bowl Projections: While there are 35 bowl games in all, I will only focus on the BCS Bowl games. Here’s the projections as picked by ESPN’ Mark Schlabach and Brad Edwards:

1. Discover BCS National Championship: Kansas State vs Oregon (both projected the same pick)

2.  Rose Bowl:  Nebraska vs Notre Dame (both projected the same pick)

3. Allstate Sugar Bowl:  Georgia vs Clemson (both projected the same pick)

4. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs LSU (Schlabach’ pick) or Oklahoma vs Texas A&M (Edwards’ pick)

5. Discover Orange Bowl:  Florida State vs Rutgers (both projected the same pick)

Here’s a link to the other 30 bowl projections: http://espn.go.com/college-football/bowls/projections?season=2012

Final Thoughts: Seeing as how my last BCS article prediction (Oregon beating Bama in the title game) is shot out of the water now, I’d like to re-do my prediction. I whole-heatedly believe Oregon will win this year’s BCS National Championship against Kansas State, with the Ducks beating the Wildcats 30-24 in Miami.

BCS Championship Breakdown: Ducks Quack Up The SEC 7-Peat, Beat Bama

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As the college football regular season begins to wind down the BCS National Championship race is beginning to heat up. While there are 25 teams ranked in the BCS standings, and most will certainly make a trip to some kind of a bowl game in December or early January, I’m focusing on the top 4 rated teams for this post. (Georgia is ranked 5th, but I don’t see another all SEC BCS title game so I’m excluding them for now)

Here’s the top 4 as of November 4th: 1. Alabama 2. Kansas State 3. Oregon 4. Notre Dame

Now let’s look at the roads each team has left to travel in their quest to play for this year’s crystal football.

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Alabama: Remaining Schedule: #15 Texas A&M (home), Western Carolina (home), and Auburn (home).

BCS Champ Chances: Alabama (much like last season) is as close to a championship lock as it gets. The Tide have been rolling all season long and look poised to return their third BCS National Championship in four years. With Play-makers like QB A.J. McCarron, T.J. Yeldon, and CB Dee Milliner, Bama seems unstoppable at this point and could very well earn the SEC it’s unprecedented 7th straight BCS title.

Potential Roadblock: The only road block I foresee is the Tide’ upcoming bout with A&M. The Aggies have played tough in their first year as an SEC newbie and could give Bama a fight early. But I believe the Tide will roll on and make it to the ship.

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Kansas State: Remaining Schedule: TCU (away), Baylor (Away), and #17 Texas (home).

BCS Champ Chances: I think K-State actually has a chance to run the table and has a legitimate shot at making the championship game. The Wildcats should be able to handle a pair of Big-12 road games against the Horned Frogs and Bears and has home-field advantage against the Longhorns.

Potential Roadblock: The only pothole I see stopping Kansas State from running the table is no doubt their finale against Texas. The Longhorns are certainly good enough to upset K-State. That game will come down to how the Defense handles Wildcats QB Collin Klein (pending he’s back and healthy). Sadly even if they win out, I don’t see them outranking Oregon at seasons end.

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Oregon: Remaining Schedule: California (away), #14 Stanford (home), and #11 Oregon State (away).

BCS Champ Chances: The Ducks can certainly dump on the points (as exampled against USC in a 62-51 W) and the USC game has been the closest contest they’ve had all year (11pts). Oregon has a tough finish with two ranked opponents to close out the season. But if the SEC has taught us anything, speed kills and the Ducks have lightning in a bottle with guys like RB De’Anthony “Black Mamba” Thomas. I see the Ducks quacking there way into the BCS National Championship game.

Potential Roadblock: Oregon should have no trouble with Cal or Stanford. The only thorn in their side I see is Oregon State at the end of the year. The Beavers could play BCS spoiler for the Ducks. They’ve upset USC and other Pac-12 company before in past seasons. However, as stated above, the Ducks should cruise to a championship.

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Notre Dame: Remaining Schedule: Boston College (away), Wake Forest (Home), and USC (away).

BCS Champ Chances: While ND does have a good chance to go undefeated I don’t see them getting the at large bid and don’t see them outranking K-state or Oregon at seasons end. Basically a lot would have to happen for the Irish to make it to Miami. Both Oregon and Kansas State would have to lose and I just don’t see that happening.

Potential Roadblock: As mentioned above there are a few bumps that will keep the Irish out of this year’s BCS title game. Dame should beat BC, and Wake as USC would be the only potential loss that would certainly keep them out of the race. I see Notre Dame in one of the big four BCS bowls, just not “The Big One”.

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BCS National Championship Bold Prediction: With all that said, I predict, well, a predictable title game this year. I have Alabama taking on Oregon for all the BCS marbles in Miami and will boldy choose the Oregon Ducks as your National Champions beating Bama 24-21.

Your Thoughts: What do you think will happen? Who do you have winning it all? Leave a comment below.

Celtics Head to South Beach

The Celts are taking their talents to South Beach tonight as they prepare to take on Lebron and the Heat. Pretty much everyone has already counted the C’s out. I mean the spread is -10.5 in favor of Miami. I’m not going to sit here and pretend to talk like the Celtics should win, but I don’t think it’s going to be as much of a massacre as everyone is making out to be. Christmas Day we saw what the Celtics are capable of. They can play. Granted, we also saw the Heat man handle the defending champion Mavs right after. But then again, the Nuggets just smoked them last night too so I feel a little better about it. If Rondo comes out firing, takes control of the offense and Brandon Bass steps up again, I could see this being a close game. Only thing that’s rough for the C’s is they’ll be once again without Pierce, and Pietrus isn’t going to start until Friday, leaving a questionable defense to cover Lebron and Wade. I guess it could go either way. Regardless, the Celtics can’t sit back early on because the Heat are not the Knicks. If we don’t show up right away, they won’t let us in.

 

Patriots Seek Top Seed in the AFC

Tomorrow, our AFC East champs are set for a Christmas Eve matchup in Foxboro against the Miami Dolphins. AFC champions is a great start, but let’s be honest…it’s just a start and in fact, doesn’t mean a whole lot in the bigger picture. Winning out and securing the top seed in the AFC is what the Pats are looking to accomplish. This would set the stage for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, a much more advantageous accommodation than simply winning the division. Although the Pats are 6-2 on the road this year, they need to look past that and at what they could potentially face. Both the Steelers and the Ravens have proved their dominance at home, as opposed to their road schedules. The Steelers are 6-1 at home, 4-3 on the road, while the Ravens are 7-0 at home this year, and 3-4 on the road. The Pats need to come into the final two games of the regular season as if they’re fighting for a playoff spot. No longer does it mean putting in backups and giving Brady a rest. They need to take the Dolphins seriously, as the team has won 5 of their last 7 after a less than dismal start. If the Pats leave it all on the field tomorrow and again New Year’s Day against a struggling Buffalo, they should be well off on their journey to Super Bowl XLVI.

Flyin’ under the Radar

With all this CP3 drama going on – which is a total mess – a lot of people have failed to notice one of the biggest acquisitions of this off season, Shane Battier. As Chris rightfully mentioned yesterday, Shane Battier will be the “biggest role player in the league this year.” I think that he hit the nail on the head with this assumption. The 33 year old defensive veteran is the final piece of the Heat Puzzle. That team doesn’t need scorers, we get that, but this signing will allow each of the Big 3 to specialize. First, you’re taking some weight off of Lebron, who normally has the duty of guarding the opposing top scorer. This will further allow him to focus on creating on the offensive side and dropping for help-D down low. Second, he is a perfect fit for the clubhouse. This guy is a total gamer, loves to win, and is a veteran presence amongst superstar egos. This move also bolsters the Heat bench a bit, too. A stronger presence on the defensive side will also allow the Heat to ramp up their transition game. The list goes on and on. I really think that this could be the biggest off season acquisition, and it could be a catalyst to a dynasty…