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I’ll be out of town and away from the internets for several days.
HERE ARE THE PIGSKIN PICKEM PICKS
IF I HAD TO BET 5 I WOULD SAY:
I’ve held off on making this post b/c i hate the southeast division and didn’t even want to make a post on it, but i’m gonna make this quick so i can move on to the western conference and talk about how good the sharks are….so here we go.
Washington Capitals: 11-7-3 25 pts.
Carolina Hurricanes: 11-9-2 24 pts.
Tampa Bay Lightning: 6-8-6 18 pts.
Florida Panthers: 8-11-1 17 pts.
Atlanta Thrashers: 7-10-2 16 pts.
Washington Capitals: I only see one team making it out of this division to make the playoffs. It could either be the Capitals or the canes. Luck may let them both sneak in. The Caps can score a lot of goals but are absolutely miserable on the road. They’ll probably win this division though b/c its horrible.
Carolina Hurricanes: Carolina is struggling but surviving. they are capable of scoring but haven’t really shown it this year. Cam Ward is so inconsistent it is unbelieveable. This team could honestly do a number of things. I think they’ll finish in second, just out of a playoff spot. They just don’t have the all around talent to impress me yet.
Tampa Bay Lightning: I wonder if the lightning will ever score. I’m used to the devils being the low scoring team, but with brodeur out they’ve actually stepped up their game a bit and are putting points on the board. The lightning however cant score and dont have a brodeur in net to make up for. This team is screwed but could easily finish third in this division since the next two teams are somehow worse.
Florida Panthers: Ummmmm. yeah, the panthers have one more goal than the horrible lightning and vokoun is not getting it done this year. They rely on solid goaltending but they are currently struggling to determine who should be the main starter. vokouns had the role for years but he’s struggling this year and Craig Anderson has looked pretty good in the starts he’s gotten so there’s definitely a chance they could split time soon and if Vokoun doesnt step up his game could lose his starting job.
Atlanta Thrashers: I hate this team. That is all.
Prediction for the Eastern Conference:
1) Boston Bruins (the way they’re playing right now, i dont see how they can lose)
2) New York Rangers (great goaltending, consistent offense, seems like a good equation)
3) Washington Capitals (they should make it out of their division)
4) Montreal Canadiens
5) Pittsburgh Penguins
6) Philadelphia Flyers
7) Buffalo Sabres
8) New Jersey Devils / Carolina Hurricanes (depends when brodeur comes back and how they fair without him.)
Ok, glad i was able to get through that. Look out for a western conference analysis pretty soon.
I got into a discussion earlier today about the merits of Chad Pennington vs. Brett Favre as a starting QB. My Verdict: The difference between Chad Pennington and Brett Favre is just public perception. A.K.A. Tony Kornheiser and John Madden love Brett Favre.
p.s. This argument does not center around historical greatness. Brett Favre is obviously better overall. It is, if you needed one QB to win one game next Sunday who would be better.
Lets take a look at their last 5 seasons without naming the player.
2008: 225 comp./341 att.,66%, 8.0 yd/attempt, 11TD, 6INT, 1.8% of passes INTED, 93.4 rating.
2007: 179/260, 68.8%, 6.8, 10 TD, 9 INT, 3.5%, 86.1.
2006: 313/485, 64.5%, 6.9, 17 TD, 16 INT, 3.3% 82.6.
2005: 49/83, 59%, 6.4, 2 TD, 3 INT, 3.6%, 70.9.
2004: 242/370, 65.4%, 7.2, 16 TD, 9 INT, 2.4%, 91.0.
2008: 245/347,70.6%, 7.1, 20 TD, 13 INT, 3.7%, 94.1.
2007: 356/535, 66.5%, 7.8, 28 TD, 15 INT, 2.8%, 95.7.
2006: 343/613, 56%, 6.3, 18 TD, 18 INT, 2.9%, 72.7.
2005: 372/607, 61.3%, 6.4, 20 TD, 29 INT, 4.8%, 70.7.
2004: 346/540, 64.1%, 7.6, 30 TD, 17 INT, 3.1%, 92.4.
The second group of Stats is obviously Brett Favre, based on the sheer amount of pass attempts.
Here are three common arguments I heard against Chad:
1)Well, Brett throws more TD’s.
2)The Jets are a much better offense this year without Chad.
3) Oh, well if the Jets had Ronnie Brown, Favre would be doing better.
4) Brett Favre is Jesus.
1) Yes, Brett throws more TD’s, but, Look at the disparity in Pass attempts.
What is interesting is some of the ratios. The past two seasons Brett has thrown TD’s on around 5% of pass attempts. Pennington was slightly below 4%. A difference, yes. A huge difference, No.
Pennington has thrown interceptions on 1.8% of his passes this year, compared to 3.7% for Brett Favre. That is the important point of my argument. I want someone who is not going to turn the ball over.
Can Chad win the game for you by throwing 80 times? No. Will Chad cost you the game by throwing 4 interceptions? No. Brett will, but it is okay, because he is a gunslinger.
2) Now, another argument is well Brett is 8-3 this year with the same team as Chad had last year. Football outsiders has the Jets as the 18th best offense at 4.5% in their DVOA rankings.
Last year, the Jets had the 25th best offense according to DVOA. The Dolphins were 23rd. The Jets have improved by 7 spots, The Dolphins, have improved by 14.
The Dolphins have the 9th best offense according to DVOA at 16.7%. Furthermore, they are 6th best in PASS DVOA. (The Jets are 19th!)
The Dolphins were 25th in Pass DVOA last year, a 19 spot improvement. The Jets, 23rd(improved by 4). Chad Pennington has improved the Dolphins more than Brett Favre has improved the Jets.
3) The Jets are 7th in Running Offense based on DVOA. The Dolphins are 9th. Yes, DVOA thinks the Jets are a better running team.
4) I obviously can’t refute that.
THE VERDICT: Chad Pennington is at least as good a QB right now as Brett Favre. I would suggest that the Jets improvement is from the Offensive line. FO had them as the 21st best line last year. This year they are the 3rd best line. I feel very confident in saying that the Jets would be a better team with Chad Pennington. The reason this sounds so outlandish is because ESPN and every other media outlet loves Favre.
Not me, I’ll take Chad any day.
Clever. I know.
In this addition of BCmesS we will be looking at the Big 12 South division where there is currently a 3-way tie between Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech: The Tie-breaker: who is higher in the BCS standings. Yikes.
We need to determine by process of elimination who deserves to play in the Big 12 title game.
First, the head-to-head scores:
But on to the actual football teams. In this case, there is the advantage of comparing two teams in the conference, who have played roughly the same schedule.
Out of Conference, Texas played FAU, Arkansas, Rice, UTEP. Also known as no one. Oklahoma played Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Washington and TCU. Cincy has done well in the Big East, and TCU is a couple missed field goals away from a BCS Bowl, so Oklahoma has to have a huge edge in out of conference schedule.
In Big 12 play, Oklahoma has outscored their opponents 380-205 including averaging 62.75 points per game on offense in their last 4 games. The key to their offense on Saturday night was absolutely bruising offensive line play. The OU offensive line looked like the Old USC lines, where Reggie Bush wouldn’t get touched until he was 7 yards down the field.
In their last four games, Oklahoma has amassed 1094 yards on the ground. That is a credit to a dominant offensive line.
Texas on the other hand, has scored 280 points in Big 12 play, while allowing 171. Impressive but not quite as crazy as Oklahoma. Texas’ offense is tied for 4th in the Big 12 averaging 464 yards per conference contest. That is over 100 yards less per conference game than Oklahoma.
Defensively, Texas has the slight edge allowing only 374 yds/g in conference play, best in the Big 12. Oklahoma allowed 407 yds/g in conference play.
For those of you scoring at home, Oklahoma was +166 yds/g, Texas is +90 yds/g. In my opinion Oklahoma is the best team in the Big 12 South.
With one week left in the regular season, here is how all three teams stand:
TEXAS: currently holds the tie-breaker edge because they lead Oklahoma by .08 in the BCS Standings. Unfortunately for the Longhorns, and their fantastic cheerleaders, it is only by .08. It is hard to believe that a win over Texas AM, while Oklahoma beats a tougher Okie St. that Texas will maintain there small margin.
WHAT THEY NEED TO DO: Hang 100 on the Aggies on Thanksgiving and hope the voters aren’t already sleeping from lots of Turkey. Also, a Texas Tech loss would give them the head-to-head edge against Oklahoma.
OKLAHOMA: I’ve got them as the presumptive favorites, because of the aforementioned reasons. Beat Okie St. and they should be headed to the Big 12 Title game. Based on their line play last week, and what Texas Tech’s O-Line did to Okie St. this win should not be a problem.
WHAT THEY NEED TO DO: Win in a rivalry game.
TEXAS TECH: There dead right? wrong. While I think they are obviously the third team out in the three-way tie scenario, If OU was to lose in a rivalry game, That puts Texas Tech right back in the driver’s seat. Why? They beat UT 39-33 earlier this year.
WHAT THEY NEED TO DO: Win against Baylor. No Problem. Pray that the Cowboys of Okie St. step up their game, and take down Oklahoma.
Wow. That was fun. Let’s only hope that one of these three teams beats Missouri in the Big 12 title game, because if they don’t it gets crazy.
ST JOES +8.5(.8)
SAN DIEGO +6(.8)
Washington +6 (1.6)
BCS POST COMING UP…