Heisman Biased

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The winner of 2015 Heisman Trophy is……..Derrick Henry from The University of Alabama.

These were the words spoken on December 12th in New York City. Derrick Henry won the Heisman trophy becoming the 2nd Alabama running back to do so. Runner up was Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, and third place went to the talented Clemson Quarterback Deshaun Watson. While I was watching this presentation I told my girlfriend, who I was with at the time, “McCaffrey should win, Henry will win.” Then just as I predicted Henry won the Heisman. Over the last couple years, we have seen the Heisman become a QB award. In fact, since 2000 only one other player has won the award at another position. That being another Alabama running back Mark Ingram in 2009. When I said that McCaffery should have won I really meant that. McCaffery has had a HISTORIC season. He broke the NCAA record for most all-purpose yards in a single season, held by Barry Sanders, he tallied over 2,000 yards rushing. Along with 645 yards receiving while catching 5 TD’s and rushing for 8 more. He also returned punts in which he recorded 130 yards returning along with a touchdown. Oh and he also PASSED for 2 TD’s. All of those stats alone should have been enough to win the Heisman Trophy but it was not, because he does not attend and SEC or Big Ten school. There I said it! Yes, that stuff happens! The voters look at the competition that the SEC and Big Ten hold and automatically value those player statistics more. Henry only has 42 more rushing yards with 22 more carries. Another thing that factors in these votes are the time zones. With Henry playing in the south the games kick off at 7 pm CT, most of Stanford’s games this season started at 10 pm CT. So right there we can infer that people did not stay up long enough to see McCaffrey beast it up this year! Trust me I had a hard time staying awake watching them play at 11:30 pm.

Here is another thing that I believe factored into the voting. McCafffrey is a caucasian man playing running back. It takes more for people to notice his greatness because he is a white man running the football. The same went for when African Americans started playing the quarterback position. Most people did not recognize their talent because it was not the norm. Take a look at the NFL, just a couple of years ago Mick Vick was shattering all the social norms running the ball as a quarterback. Now, there are four starting QB’s that are African American. Most notably right now is Cam Newton. It took people a while to recognize him as a great NFL QB. And how many caucasian running backs do you see in the NFL? One. Danny Woodhead of the San Diego Chargers and now with Melvin Gordon there he does not get many touches. This is just the social norm on what we think it should be. Quarterbacks should be white, running backs should be black. That is what the norm is, so now we have Christian McCaffrey a white running back breaking records and doing it easily. It will take him a little while for people to accept his greatness just like it did with Cam Newton or Mick Vick. With that being said if McCaffrey continues on this tear and can replicate this year’s numbers a year from now. He will win, and if he does not. The NCAA will be getting a letter from me!

These Are Bowl Games?!?!

Most College Football fans wait for is New Years Day. The Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Sugar Bowl are some that fans look forward to every year. Last year the first ever College Football Playoff games aired on New Years Day and were a huge success. With TV ratings that were rivaling the NFL ratings on Sundays, the NCAA got cocky moving the two playoff games this year to New Years Eve. It was a complete BUST! What the NCAA did not account for was that most people with normal jobs do work on New Years Eve. They scheduled a playoff game for 3 pm, while most people were still at work, there was no way they could have watched the Orange Bowl between the Clemson Tigers and the Oklahoma Sooners. The next game in the College Football Playoff was Michigan St vs. Alabama. This game started at 7 pm, on New Years Eve, when most adults are getting ready for the wild night they are about to have. The TV ratings for these two games were terrible and not at all what the NCAA had in mind. Most ratings are good on New Years Day because people just sit on the couch hungover from the night before, they have nothing else to do with the day so why not watch these football games. Well the NCAA got these games messed up as well.

I was fully expecting some very good competitive games on New Years Eve and New Years day. I was wrong. The two College Football Playoff games were blowouts too. Clemson put a whooping on Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl winning 37-17 and outscored the Sooners 21-0 in the second half. The other playoff game was not even competitive Alabama SPANKED the Spartans 38-0. This leads me to the New Years six games. Six bowl games on New Years Day, exciting right? NOT! Every single one of these games was terrible. The average score for these games was 44-15. Every winning team scored at least 40 and Notre Dame was the only losing team to score more than 20 points. The complete domination on all these games made them boring to watch and most people ended up turning off these televisions. Hopefully, the National Championship will be more competitive because if not, it could KILL the NCAA Playoff. After the two playoff games when Michigan State got destroyed I figured that Iowa who never got any recognition they thought they deserved would show out against Stanford. Instead, they lost 45-16. These poor bowl games could become detrimental to the NCAA College Football Playoff.

Fly Eagles Fly!

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Last week I decided that my next article was going to tackle the debacle in Philly regarding the Eagles. Well, it was later that night that Chip Kelly was fired from the organization so I guess there really is no better time than now.

Let me start by saying this. Chip Kelly is a good coach. I am sick and tired of hearing that Kelly does not deserve to be in NFL and that he needs to go back to college. Did we just forget the fact that he did lead this team to back-to-back 10 win seasons? Or what about how Kelly managed to coach Nick Foles well enough for him to have one of the highest QBR’s in the league. So the notion that Kelly needs to go back to the collegiate level and that he does not belong in the NFL needs to be stopped. I can give you many reasons on why I believe Kelly and his system can work in the NFL but I don’t know if we have that kind of time. What I can tell you is why I think Chip Kelly and The Eagles didn’t work out. Chip Kelly is a very strong willed man, and so is Philadelphia’s owner Jeffrey Lurie. This could very well be the reason that this “experiment” did not work out for both parties. Since Lurie became the owner in 1994 the Eagles have only had 7 seasons with losing records. So we know that Lurie definitely expects wins from his coaches. If you recall Andy Reid was fired after a 4-12 season in 2012. Another reason this coach/team relationship broke up was because of the drastic moves that Chip Kelly made. He got rid of the Eagles all-time leading rusher LeSean McCoy, an explosive playmaker in Jeremy Maclin, and many more. This I believe was the last straw for owner Jeffrey Lurie, he gave the reigns completely to Kelly and it has not worked out for the Eagles.

What is next for Chip Kelly? With me being a huge Oregon Duck fan I am hoping that he goes to Nashville and becomes the Head Coach for the Titans to coach his former Quarterback Marcus Mariota. If Kelly could go to a team that does not have the “must win now” mind frame I believe he can be successful. Tennesse could be a perfect fit Kelly and he could be the perfect fit for the Titans with a dynamic Quarterback in Marcus Mariota. Nevertheless, just wait and see, Chip Kelly WILL succeed in the NFL.

All-Star Voting

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Recently the first NBA All-Star votes came in. You would think that possibly the reigning MVP Steph Curry who is averaging 30.8 PPG woul be the number one vote getter. NOPE! Kobe Bryant was number one bringing in 719,235 votes. This is 209,033 more votes than Steph Curry received and more than LeBron and Kevin Durant COMBINED. In my own opinion this is outrageous! To say that Kobe is the most deserving of being in the All-Star game to me is just ridiculous!

I will give credit where credit is due. Kobe will go down as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Although I did not like seeing him beat my Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals he is undeniably a first ballot Hall Of Famer. So by me saying that he should not be the number 1 vote getter it is not a shot at his career but if you tell me that Kobe is the most deserving THIS year you are out of your mind. Kobe is currently 119th in field goal percentage this season. Shooting 34.3% from the field. He is averaging 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 3.4 assist this season. Those numbers are not deserving of the most votes for the All-Star game. What we are seeing this season is a goodbye tour for Bryant. Every night is a grand farewell at each city he visits. Over the years we have seen the All-Star game become a popularity contest. Do not get me wrong, I am all for fans to be involved in these businesses, besides we consumers are the ones who make the money for them. But when it gets to the point that popularity and brand recognition can get you in the All-Star game it might be time to make some changes. I guess a perk of retiring is that you are a guaranteed a spot in the All-Star game. So Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Tim Duncan do not worry too much. If you start doing terrible just retire, you WILL be an NBA All-Star your last year.

Now I am aware that the coaches get a vote as well but they are just as biased towards brands and names too. Anthony Davis last year missed out on the All-Star game despite leading the league in blocks and ranking 5th in scoring, averaging 28 PPG. So this season will forever be “Kobe Bryant’s goodbye tour” and a NBA All-Star he will be, for the 18th time in his career

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College Football Rankings Week 8

After eight weeks of NCAA football here is my top 4:

1. Ohio State- I know, I know, they have not lived up to the hype that was given to them. But does anybody really live up to hype? Despite not having the greatest showing this season they are still undefeated, and now they have their QB. J.T. Barrett takes over for good and the offense showed what it could do this week. Why Urban Myer started Cardale Jones over Barrett is beyond me, I thought Barrett should have started Week 1. Now he has made the switch and it should be all up hill for the Buckeyes.

2. Clemson Tigers- Yes, the CLEMSON TIGERS. They have dominated every team they have played this year. Coming off a 58-0 dismantling of Miami they move to my number 2 spot in the rankings. The defensive front for the Tigers is dominant! Probably the best in the nation. Now look at the offense, Deshaun Watson has played tremendously this season ranking 4th in Total QBR. This team is for real.

3.TCU Horned Frogs- Another team that hasn’t relatively performed well. Struggled with teams such as Texas Tech and other Big 12 schools. With that being said they are starting to look like the team we thought they would be. Trevone Boykin is number 2 in Total QBR and his favorite target Josh Doctson is second in receiving yards this season. TCU should win out the remainder of the season, including their matchup against Baylor. (Who fell from my top 4)

4. Michigan State Spartans- Ole’ Sparty! For the time being I do have Michigan State in my top 4. There win against Michigan was one for the ages, nevertheless Sparty maintained grounded and handled Indiana 52-26.Connor Cook is an outstanding QB with 17 TD’s to only 2 INT’s this season. The winner of Michigan State-Ohio State will be in the college football playoff.

 

ON THE BUBBLE

  • Baylor- Fell from top 4 contention with the season-ending injury to QB Seth Russell.
  • LSU- Fournette is my Heisman favorite, but will he be a one-man show in Baton-Rouge?

NBA Preview

The NBA season starts tomorrow. Boy am I stoked! Last season NOBODY and I mean NOBODY had the Golden State Warriors winning the NBA Finals. Nobody predicted that Stephen Curry would win the MVP. Nobody predicted that the San Antonio Spurs would make the playoffs…..okay maybe that last one people predicted considering they haven’t missed the playoffs since 1997. But I bet experts would have not predicted that they would go and make a free agency run on the top free agent of the year. Well they did and they got their man LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs added a great talent on top of their great coaching and great veteran players, but will it be enough to reach the NBA Finals out of the stacked Western Conference?

The Western Conference is stacked. There are potentially five teams that could come out of the Western Conference.

  1. Golden State Warriors- Steph Curry and co. put on a show last year with one of the best team performances in NBA history. Will that success carry over to this year? Steph will be Steph but will they repeat such a great season a year ago? When will Steve Kerr come back to the sideline and coach this team? Even with these questions the Warriors are the team to beat in the West.
  2. OKC Thunder- Durant is back, Westbrook is healthy. Will the duo be able to lead their team to a NBA Finals victory? We will see how this team works under first year head coach Billy Donavon who had great success at the college level.
  3. SA Spurs- They are always in the mix right? After a 2014 Championship, will the Spurs get back to glory? Adding Aldridge and bringing back 6-man Ginobili was huge, but will this team be able to get over the younger teams of GS and OKC to win the West?
  4. Houston Rockets- Harden was cooking it up last year just falling short of MVP honors which he thought he deserved. Will he produce like he did a year ago? Will Dwight Howard remain a dominate big man in this league? Will they finally get over the hump and win the West?
  5. LA Clippers- Lob City is back and better than ever. After a saga of a FA for Deandre Jordan, who ditched Dallas like a Bachelorette contestant, the Clippers look the FINALLY win the West and get to the Finals. The Truth, aka Paul Pierce, left the nations capital to rejoin former coach Doc Rivers. Will this be enough to send the Clippers to the Finals?

Western Conference Championship: Houston Rockets vs. LA Clippers

In the East it is a different story. There are some teams that can give Cleveland a run for their money on a shot to the Finals, but it is ultimately Cleveland’s to loose. Boston is a couple years from being a contender but are trending up, as well as the NY Knicks with Melo and now 7’1 Kristaps Porzingis. But here are the teams that I believe could be in it at the end.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers – IF this team stays healthy it should be a breeze through. That is a big IF though, LeBron is already having back issues and is already talking about sitting out some games to rest it. I believe this team is better than the teams in Miami a few years ago. Now they know how to work with each other and hopefully they can stay healthy. Kevin Love is a more natural shooter than Chris Bosh ever was and Kyrie is essentially I younger D-Wade. Now that they FINALLY signed Tristan Thompson to a deal this team is locked and ready to go.
  2. Atlanta Hawks- Where did the Hawks come from last year? They had a fantastic season but fell short of a NBA Finals. They return most of their roster and add some crazy neon uniforms, will that change be what they need to change the atmosphere in Atlanta?
  3. Chicago Bulls- Will D-Rose EVER be healthy? This guy seems to be made of glass. Although Rose’s status is always uncertain Jimmy Butler is a guy who has made a name for himself, and he can do it all. Butler is a natural talent who can shoot well, pass good and defend great. He is a elite defender. Now will Butler and Rose lead a veteran squad with a new head coach to the promise land even with Noah possibly coming off the bench?
  4. Miami Heat- D-Wade, Chris Bosh and Goran Dragic??? Is that the big three for Miami now? Although Dragic is currently sidelined with a back injury he is there PG. Shabazz Napier showed great promise in his rookie season but is still a couple years away from stardom.
  5. Indiana Pacers- Paul George suffered a gruesome injury last year which sat him out the whole season. But now he is back, will young talent around him, and a veteran Guard in Monta Ellis. But will this be enough to win the East?

Eastern Conference: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls

NBA Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers defeat LA Clippers 4-2

NFL Week 7

Week 7 has come and gone (excluding tonights MNF) and we are coming accustom to seeing certain things. Brady and the Patriots continue their winning ways, the Colts cannot seem to get it together, and the Cowboys cannot win without Tony Romo. But many outcomes this week are not, Raiders and Dolphins with monstrous wins over the Chargers and Texans respectively.

Lets start with Dan Campbell and the Dolphins. Two weeks ago when the organization fired Joe Philbin who went 24-28 and no playoff appearances during his tenner. Dolphin fans did not know what to expect from interim Head Coach Dan Campbell after starting the season 1-3, but they got two wins in as many weeks and exploited the Texans defense yesterday afternoon when leading at halftime 41-0. Dan Campbell has come in and fired this group up! This team is playing with a total different demeanor now, they are playing with passion and intensity. Now of course the Texans are not a super power team, they have a decent defensive line that still could not stop the likes of Lamar Miller who rushed for 175 yards and a score. Although in a tough division with Brady and the undefeated Patriots as well as a extremely great coached NY Jets team, Dolphin fans do have something to cheer about with Dan Campbell.

Sunday 4:25 ET, the Dallas Cowboys played division rival NY Giants in the Meadowland with new back-up/starting for now Quarterback Matt Cassel. After loosing Tony Romo week 2 the Cowboys are winless, loosing three straight. Last night started great for Dallas as the went down the field but could only manage a field goal. And most of you know how the game turned out. I have three topics from this game.

  1. Cassel completely opens this offense up. The past three weeks with Weeden at the helm the offense has been completely one dimensional. Defenses would just stack the box and it was a three and out for Dallas. Last night the Giants had to game plan for Cassel throwing the ball. He took shots downfield which Weeden hadn’t done in his three games. There were some low points for Cassel as well, of course the three interceptions hurt tremendously. At times I felt as is Cassel was scared to hit the check down man. Many plays McFadden, Witten or Escobar would be open in the short flat but Cassel would try to force it into a small opening. If they could just combine the big play ability from Cassel and the check down specialty of Weeden they would be great.
  2. THEY CAN STILL RUN THE BALL! Surprise!!! Dallas can still run the ball even without Demarco Murray. Dallas ran for 233 yards last night, I understand that the Giants are not the best run stop defense but at times it seemed too easy for the offensive line to open up holes in the middle, which is great! If Dallas can run the ball like this, Cassel becomes comfortable in the system and he limits turnovers they could win some games while Romo is sidelined.
  3. Do not look to much into the Greg Hardy/Dez Bryant debacle. These are two extremely talented and passionate guys. This is football, players get upset and yell and scream, this is not unusual to see. This is not a big deal whether or not the media says so.