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Westsider Rider

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A few more days until we find out our fate

I don't recall getting as excited for a regular season game that did not involve Michigan like I am this week for UCLA-USC. Partially since I grew up rooting for UCLA and I've always hated USC and then add in the implications for Michigan and it's a big, big game. A lot of my friends who haven't seen UCLA much this year have been asking if I believe there's any chance they win this week and I gave them a definite yes. The Bruins are capable of winning this game, this is not the same USC juggernaut we have seen in years past. Just because they throttled Notre Dame doesn't mean anything, ND was overrated to begin with.

Bruinsnation has a great post with a great video on the top 5 reasons to root for UCLA over USC. Michigan fans will especially like reason #1. Also don't forget it wouldn't hurt to pull for Arkansas over Florida in the SEC Championship just to be safe, if the Bruins can get the job done.

Go Blue! and Go Bruins!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

And I thought Michigan-Ohio State, Dodgers-Giants was bad

Picked this up from Sunday Morning QB where a bet from the Clemson-South Carolina game ended up in murder, and the bet was $20 at that. I've always taken college football and my sports teams very seriously probably beyond what most people consider normal behavior. I used to live with my teams like it was life and death, but now as I've grown up I still take losses hard but I don't go into a shell like I used to. Stories like this make me realize that no matter how important it is to me it's still a game, and for someone to get killed over a $20 bet on a game is ridiculous. At least Clemson-South Carolina will keep the most violent rivalry tag as this comes on the heels of their brawl a couple years back.

Week 14 Top 25

1. Ohio State
2. Michigan
3. USC
4. Florida
5. LSU
6. Arkansas
7. Louisville
8. Oklahoma
9. Wisconsin
10. Boise State
11. Auburn
12. Rutgers
13. Virginia Tech
14. Wake Forest
15. Tennessee
16. Texas
17. West Virginia
18. California
19. Texas A&M
20. Notre Dame
21. BYU
22. Hawaii
23. Nebraska
24. Georgia Tech
25. Boston College

USC played well, but still made a lot of mistakes, yardage wise ND kept up with them and since the Trojans were at home I expected a bigger win than that. I kept saying all year that SC would dominate ND through the air because if they had no answer for Super Mario then they definitely wouldn't have an answer for Jarrett, Smith, Turner and co. and it was dead on. I'm still resigned to the fact that we will play in the Rose Bowl just do not give us a ND rematch. We play them every year, we beat them at their place by 26, does the Rose Bowl committee really think it would get any better on a neutral field?

Florida squeaks by FSU, almost moved them down but gave them credit for beating LSU earlier in the year, still not sold on the Gators, I can easily see the Razorbacks getting the W on Saturday.

Gotta give a lot of credit to Bob Stoops who should be a one loss team after the debacle in Oregon but considering what he's done with the Bomar situation, the AP injury, I'd say he's at the top of my list for coach of the year.

Wonder what the odds were preseason for Wake Forest to get to the ACC Championship game?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Picks of the Week

And we're back after the week hiatus due to sickness and travel the week before was successful going 3-1 upping the season to 32-22.

Oklahoma -5.5 @ Oklahoma State - Sooners are playing well as of late, Bob Stoops has done a great job this year considering the off field problems as well as injuries, most notably AP.

Arkansas +115 vs. LSU - Not many people are giving Arkansas their due credit they are still undefeated in the SEC and are a home dog??? I'll take the ML, no need for the points.

Oregon State - 3 vs. Oregon - Oregon can't win on the road since they can't take their home cookin referees with them. Also the home team has won the Civil War since 98, I expect that to continue.

UTEP -13 vs. Memphis - Memphis is a pretty bad team without DeAngelo Williams as they have one win on the year. Jordan Palmer has had a pretty good season for the Miners and they are one win away from finishing 500 and potentially going to a bowl, not sure exactly about the Conf USA bowl tie ins, and I think that will be enough for UTEP to cover.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Week 13 Top 25

1. Ohio State
2. Michigan
3. USC
4. Arkansas
5. Florida
6. LSU
7. Louisville
8. West Virginia
9. Notre Dame
10. Texas
11. Wisconsin
12. Oklahoma
13. Auburn
14. Boise State
15. Rutgers
16. Georgia Tech
17. Virginia Tech
18. California
19. Boston College
20. Wake Forest
21. Tennessee
22. Nebraska
23. Hawaii
24. Clemson
25. BYU

Think what you may but I still believe Michigan is the #2 team in the country, I've seen enough of USC this year to believe that Michigan would beat them anytime on a neutral field. Was at the game so I can't really comment about anything else that went on this week in college football.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Back from Columbus

Still recovering from the sickness, but definitely better than when I left. Not many pictures this time around, only some from pregame, nothing during because I was too into the game and didn't want to bring out my camera all the time. Where to begin, the first drive couldn't have gone any better as we marched down and took the first score. Then when I expected the D to lock it down and get us the ball back, gets marched down the field. I could not believe the D that we were witnessing. It was almost like Herrmann was back or something.

Missing Mario wiiidddeee open wasn't good, I wish we could have that one back. We didn't play our best game but we had our chances so I can't complain. Before the game I was definitely against a rematch but afterwards I'd be lying if I said I didn't want another shot at the Buckeyes. But I'm not too concerned about it, if it happens it happens if it doesn't I'll look forward to spending New Years in Pasadena and getting a W to finish as the #2 team in the country.

Other points about the game. On the drive where we turned over on downs on OSU's 33 yard line, if you know that's 4 down territory why did we not run the draw on 3rd down? The draw was working very well all game long and even if it only got 4 yards, it's still makes it a manageable 4th down at 4th and 6 or we could trot Rivas out there for a 46 yarder, and those 3 points were the difference in the end.

Who would've thought missing Willis Barringer would hurt that much, along with Prescott it definitely hurt. They attacked our weak spot effectively and there was nothing we could do to get to Troy Smith. Spread the field, quick passes there's not much we could do to pressure him.
I must admit fan behavior in Columbus has greatly improved. It was the fourth time I've been there and this was definitely by far the best I've ever been treated there. Sure there were your usual idiots running their mouths but that was to be expected. We got far more Go Bucks! cheers as opposed to the Fuck Michigan! that we're so used to hearing. Also a lot of good luck's before the game as well, although some were followed by "you're gonna need it." The only thing that got me very upset before the game was we were walking to the stadium through the Fawcett Center lot after leaving the student tailgate and there was this kid with a "No Mo Bo" sign. With his ultimate redneck dad standing there proud as hell, it was the most disgusting sight I've ever seen. After the game was more of the same a lot of Good Game's even some followed up with "hope to see you again in January."

Yes, I hope so too.

Friday, November 17, 2006

R.I.P. Bo

On the eve of the biggest game of our lives

I've come down with the worst cold I've had in years. Hence the lack of posting this week. If my flight was last night I don't know if I would've been able to get on the plane. But I feel slightly better today and hopefully by tonight will start feelling better. But it doesn't matter how I feel as I told my friend earlier this week "nothing short of death will keep me from this game."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Week 12 Top 25

1. Ohio State
2. Michigan
3. Arkansas
4. Florida
5. USC
6. Rutgers
7. LSU
8. Louisville
9. West Virginia
10. Notre Dame
11. Wisconsin
12. California
13. Texas
14. Wake Forest
15. Auburn
16. Oklahoma
17. Georgia Tech
18. Boise State
19. Virginia Tech
20. Boston College
21. Maryland
22. Nebraska
23. Tennessee
24. Hawaii
25. BYU

Lots of movement following the upset filled weekend that was college football last week. The whole cluster from 3-12 that could be ranked anywhere last week has shrunk to now about 3-8 or so.

Arkansas gets the big jump as they are playing as good as anyone in the country right now. Darren McFadden should and will be getting a lot more Heisman love and my thought that Arkansas would be knocked off again in the SEC is starting to change because they look real, real good.

Still don't think USC is as great as everyone says they are, Oregon can't play on the road so it doesn't show me much. I said it before that I thought Cal would win this week and I'm sticking with that, if USC dominates the Bears like they did the Ducks then they will definitely move up.
Also not sold on Notre Dame. They have played 2 good teams in Michigan (home loss) and Georgia Tech (close win on the road) and has filled the rest of the schedule with decent teams from big conferences (Michigan State, UCLA) and the service academies. Beating up on all the service academies and winning the commander in chief trophy does nothing for me as well. Beat USC at the Coliseum then I'll start believing.

Cal, Auburn, Texas are among the teams that blew their shot at getting to the championship game this past week but I expect all three to bounce back this week.

Wake Forest with the impressive 30-0 win at Florida State, granted it's not as impressive as it used to be but considering it's Wake Forest it's really weird to see that. Stat of the week is that Rutgers and Wake Forest have 1 combined loss between them this year.

The Game is inching closer and closer, I really need Friday to get here.

Battle of the Blogs Post is Up

I thought my post was running tomorrow but it's up today. I should have clarified that the strength of schedule numbers were from the NCAA website. Feel free to post your thoughts on it here. I'll have my new top 25 up later today as well.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Battle of the Blogs

CSTV.com is doing a battle of the blogs between Michigan and Ohio State blogs this week which can be found here. Today's entry by The M Zone, my entry will be posted on Wednesday and MGoBlog goes on Friday. Not sure what other sites are featured.

I am completely worthless at work today as probably is the case for the majority of Michigan and Ohio State fans this week. It will probably only get worse as the week progresses. Just a few more days, counting the hours til I get on that plane.


I always start the week of The Game with this quote from ESPN Sportscentury ranking the top rivalries of all time. It gets me so fired up, even more so this year:

When Ohio Stadium opened in 1922, Michigan spoiled the party with a 22-0 victory. The rivalry was heated in the early days as both have been long-time college football powers. But it got even hotter in 1969, when Bo Schembechler took over as Michigan's coach and upset Woody Hayes' No. 1-ranked, undefeated Buckeyes. Four times in the next six years, both teams were ranked in the top five when they met. In 1970 and 1973, both were undefeated (they tied 10-10 in '73). From 1970 through 1975, Michigan entered without a loss every year. The Wolverines won just once. Ohio State was 9-0-1 in 1993, 11-0 in 1995 and 10-0 in 1996. The Buckeyes lost each time. That is rivalry.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It is finally upon us

From the new ESPN commercial narrated by Brent Musberger:

A century so young already has it's game. Courtesy of an age old rivalry. They always meet this time of year, but never before like this. 1 and 2, a dream on the line, and America on the edge of its seat. Carve it in stone, that's where it belongs. November 18th, 2006, Michigan and Ohio State.

After weeks of anticipation Football Armageddon is here. Coming into this season I could have never dimagined this game happening like this with these implications not only for the Big Ten but for the country. The winner will be in the BCS National Championship game while the loser will most likely be in the Rose Bowl.

There was some doubt cast after two less than impressive performances by both teams but all those doubts were silenced after both Michigan and Ohio State made easy work of their opponents on Saturday. Never in the history of the rivalry have both teams come in as the #1 and #2 teams in the country and it will happen this week.

As soon as the clock went to 0:00 in Bloomington, I finally allowed myself to really think about this game actually happening. I could not believe that this is actually going to go down. I thought about how I'm going to feel getting on that plane on Friday to head to the game and how much this game means to me and the rest of the Michigan faithful. Later in the evening during College Gameday Final when ESPN showed their first commercial for The Game, the one that is quoted above, I got chills. There will be many sleepless nights this week in anticipation of the showdown. ESPN has coined this game Judgement Day, we all know what happened at our last Judgement Day in 97, only 6 days to go...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Picks of the Week

2-3 again last week, season total to 29-21, thanks to UCLA's late TD that was unnecessary same goes for Temple who ended Central Michigan's unbeaten ATS streak. Only 3 games this week as I don't see that many attractive matchups.

Wisconsin -1.5 @ Iowa - Wisconsin is a one loss team that is getting no respect around the country. They have a solid D to go along with a great RB in P.J. Hill and that should be enough as Iowa has struggled this season, culminating in their loss last week at home to Northwestern

Georgia Tech -13.5 @ North Carolina - North Carolina sucks, and Georgia Tech has a solid RB in Tashard Choice and they have Calvin Johnson. Let me repeat that Calvin Johnson.

USC - 8 vs. Oregon - Oregon cannot win on the road, it seems without home field advantage referees at Autzen the Ducks cannot win. I really would like them to win but I don't see it happening. USC rolls big.

Update: Found one more I really like the more I look at it:
Wake Forest +8.5 @ Florida State - I think Wake is still being undersold here. Florida State hasn't shown much this season and I think getting 8.5 points is too many so I'm going with the Demon Deacons. Their ML is an attractive bet as well at +270.

What will the BCS do now?

Looks like the BCS will have another mess on its hands as the clear #3 Louisville fell last night to Rutgers leaving only 4 unbeatens, but with 2 being too far behind to make it to Glendale in the end it looks like there will be 1 major conference team unbeaten with a bunch of once beatens fighting it out for the other spot. There are so many contenders with so much football to be played I'm not going to look at all the teams and their chances but rather at what the BCS is going to do to change the system next year.

The BCS has always made changes after something went wrong with the system the year prior. So I wonder what changes will be made after this season. There's been polls added and removed, the importance of computers have been tweaked as well as quality wins thrown in and then removed as well. I really do not like the BCS and wish there were changes made but the problem is change to what? Some years the BCS works with only two unbeaten teams, that will not be the case this year which leaves numerous 1 loss teams fighting for one spot see Nebraska and Oregon in 2001, and Miami and Florida State in 2000.

I really don't have a groundbreaking solution for all of this, I would want it to go to a 8 team playoff or just go back to the old school bowl tie ins. There is already enough controversy and debate as it is with a supposed system that is supposed to end all that so why not go back to the old system and let each fan base argue for their team at the end of the year, they still do it anyways.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Andrew Bynum is the Man

With the upcoming game of the millenium I've been trying to focus my attention on football but performances like last night by Andrew Bynum didn't allow me to. For those that did not watch the game last night Bynum finished with 20 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks, throw in 8 of 10 from the Free Throw line and 0 turnovers and you've got a bunch of happy Laker fans right now after a 95-88 win over Minnesota pushing the season record to 4-1. There were question marks when Bynum was drafted by the Lakers with the 10th overall pick. Coming straight out of high school, he would take a couple years to develop and many were not sold on the idea, myself included, while you had the best player in the game today Kobe Bryant using up years in his prime. I was among those who, at the time, wanted Danny Granger, someone who could step right in and contribute to the Lakers immediately.

Well I'll gladly eat the crow that's coming to me on this one because Bynum looks like he could be developing into a special player. He is only 19 years old and has put up some big games and he will only get better. He is learning from one of the greatest centers in the game in Kareem Abdul Jabbar and he doesn't have the pressure to immediately contribute since he has Kobe and Lamar at his side.

What I love about his game is that he is not afraid to go up hard to the basket. A lot of young players are very tentative when going up for shots in the paint, but Bynum is not. He will take it strong and either make the dunk or get fouled. On top of that he is hitting his free throws so he is not a liability like Shaq was. Bynum is also emerging as a defensive force in the paint. He had 3 blocks last night, he also had 3 on Friday against Seattle. Not only is he getting blocks he is forcing players to alter their shots when they come against him.

Before I get too carried away I do realize that he is only 19 and he is not ready to do this on a night in-night out basis. But when Kwame and Mihm come back it will make a formidable front line for the Lakers. He is only supposed to be a sophomore at UConn right now so I know there will be nights that his conditioning will not be there, but it will get there in the next year or two. If he keeps this up, as well as the rest of the team, my expectation of getting out of Round 1 of the playoffs will have to be raised even higher.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Blogpoll Roundtable from Hey Jenny Slater

The latest installment of the roundtable comes to us from Hey Jenny Slater:

1. We're just a few weeks away from the end of the regular season, so everybody should have a pretty good handle on how good their teams are and what sort of records they can expect to finish with. Looking back over the season, which was the game where your team really defined itself in 2006, for good or ill? Or to look at it another way, which game, win or loss, was most representative of your team's attitude and style of play this season?

Coming into this season the road gauntlet at Notre Dame, at Penn State and at Ohio State worried me greatly. Combine that with a team coming off of a 7-5 record and I wasn't the most optimistic fan coming into this season. That all changed on September 16th when Michigan went into South Bend and did something many Michigan teams prior to them could not accomplish. They beat Notre Dame in South Bend, they won a road opener and with the win gave Michigan fans a great feeling knowing that they would probably finish September with an unbeaten record for the first time in 7 years. That win definitely set the tone for the rest of the season. Granted the team hasn't played great as of late, they've done enough to get the job done, which is more than can be said of other Michigan teams in the past that have let a game or two slip away that they should not have. The wins haven't been pretty as of late but we're 10-0 and I'll take that anytime.

2. Are there any teams you think are still hugely overrated? What about underrated?

I don't really see many teams that are hugely overrated. Sure I think Notre Dame and USC are not as good as their rankings are but not by a large amount. Teams 3-12 in the polls right now could be put in pretty much any order as there would be arguments for and against each team.

However, there are a few teams I do think are underrated in Cal, Wisconsin and Arkansas. All teams have one loss but are towards the bottom of the 1 loss teams. It's hard to argue for a top 10 team to be underrated but I really believe Cal is a top 5 team and will be by the end of the year. Wisconsin has only one loss to Michigan and is still outside the top 15. They may not be pretty but they get the job done. Arkansas is in a similar situation to Cal as they have one loss in their first game of the year and have run the table since. People are holding that opening game loss against them and are not looking at what they have done after that.

3. Did your team play any Division I-AA opponents this year? If so, do you think it benefited your team at all? If you were a coach or an NCAA official, what policy would you have toward scheduling D-IAAs?

Nope, Michigan has not and probably will not ever play a D IAA team with the local MAC teams in the area. I think it should be outlawed completely.

4. Which not-a-typical-national-powerhouse team (i.e. no Ohio States or USCs) has played well enough this year to set themselves up for a breakout season in '07?

Wake Forest is a surprising 8-1, only a couple of plays from being 9-0 and poised to keep it up next year as a lot of their contributors are very young. Riley Skinner who stepped in the place of an injured Ben Mauk is a freshman as is the current leading rusher Kevin Harris. Who would've thought that the marquee game this year in the ACC would be Wake Forest-Maryland and no, not in basketball.

5. Take a look at your team's bowl prospects this season. Which bowl(s) do you think you have a reasonable shot of ending up in? Of the teams you might likely face in a bowl, which team would you most want to play and why (maybe you've always wanted to see how your team would match up with them, maybe there's an old score you want to settle, or maybe you just want to finish the season with an easy win)? Conversely, which potential opponent would you really like to avoid in a bowl game?

Who would've thought at this point in the year I could say at worst case scenario Michigan would be in the Rose Bowl, I would take that every season. If Michigan gets to Glendale, I really don't care who we play, I just want to be able to play in that game. Now if Michigan loses it probably means the Rose Bowl and in that case I want to play USC. I have a strong dislike for them ever since I was little growing up around here and I want some payback for the 2004 Rose Bowl. The team I do not want to face if we end up in Pasadena is California. I think they are playing like one of the best teams in the country and would be a very dangerous matchup for us.

6. In a roundtable question during the off-season, we were asked whom you'd pick if your current coach fell deathly ill and you had to select another coach to lead your team to victory. Let's turn this around and imagine that you've somehow schemed your way onto the search committee to select your biggest rival's next head coach. Which rival would that be, and which coaching sooper genius would you try to stick them with?

For most Michigan fans these answers will probably be the same. All we would want is certain coaches of the past brought back, Bobby Williams for Michigan State, Bob Davie for Notre Dame and John Cooper for Ohio State.

Week 11 Top 25

1. Ohio State
2. Michigan
3. California
4. Texas
5. Louisville
6. Florida
7. Auburn
8. USC
9. Arkansas
10. Wisconsin
11. West Virginia
12. Rutgers
13. LSU
14. Tennessee
15. Boise State
16. Oklahoma
17. Georgia Tech
18. Wake Forest
19. Virginia Tech
20. Boston College
21. Maryland
22. Oregon
23. Nebraska
24. Texas A&M
25. Hawaii

Poor performances by Ohio State and Michigan, but they were expected as Illinois has proven that they can cause some problems, although they cannot get a win, and Michigan pretty much treated this game like a bye week in that they didn't show up. Nothing to be too concerned about, they are still the two best teams in the country and will be ready to go when they face each other in two weeks.

West Virginia falls after their loss at Louisville, they were overhyped to begin with as they played a weak schedule and had the respect of the media because they had beaten Georgia the year before, shows how much that was worth.

Tennessee falls from the ranks of the once beaten as LSU gets the job done in Knoxville. A great game that went back and forth at the end, one of the best games I've seen all year. Both teams made plays to win but Jamarcus Russell got it done in the end.

I've been riding with Cal for a while now and I don't see any reason to get off. Ever since the season opening loss to Tennessee they have been on fire and I don't think there are many other teams in the country that are playing at their level. They are so balanced on offense with Marshawn Lynch/Justin Forsett running and then you've got to deal with DeSean Jackson, Robert Jordan and Lavelle Hawkins in the air.

Texas is also playing great ball right now but I haeven't had the chance to watch them as much as I do Cal so I guess there's some West Coast bias in my poll. Numbers 3-12 are pretty much all interchangeable and with a lot of football still to be played it will be sorted out.

Louisville gets it done versus West Virginia and now they travel to Rutgers this week where another unbeaten will fall. I think Rutgers can get it done but not sure if they're ready for the big time yet. It will be interesting to see if Rutgers gets it done what happens with all the 1 loss teams out there.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Picks of the Week

Time to regroup after a subpar couple of weeks. Last week was a 2-3 week bringing the year total to 27-18.

Indiana +6 @ Minnesota - The Hoosiers are on a roll heading into Minneapolis after the beating they put on the Sparties and ended up being the last straw in John L. Smith's coaching career in East Lansing. Kellen Lewis to James Hardy has become a deadly duo and they should continue to do so this week. IU is one win away from bowl eligibility so they will be fired up and ready to go. Another suggestion if you want to roll the dice is take them on the +210 ML.

Cal -17 @ UCLA - The Golden Bears are ready to roll as they say up in Berkeley after the bye week. After the season opening loss to Tennessee not many teams have been as hot as Cal, the game against Washington aside. Marshawn Lynch has carried the team when needed and he will continue to do so against a reeling UCLA team coming off of 3 consecutive losses. This game won't be close, the Bears roll over the Bruins.

Virginia Tech -2.5 @ Miami - The Hokies have played Miami very well the past few years, minus last year's beating in Blacksburg and I expect that to continue. Brandon Ore is having a great season running the ball and been on fire of late rushing for over 200 yards the past two games. He probably won't get to that 200 yard mark this week but he should get over 100 to help the Hokies continue the Hurricanes tailspin.

Central Michigan -18.5 @ Temple - two things with this, Temple is very bad, although they did pick up their first win in 20 games last week and 2nd is Central Michigan has been undefeated ATS all season long, let's hope trends continue this week.

Vanderbilt +17 vs. Florida - Many may look at me being pretty crazy taking this but Vanderbilt isn't the same Vandy you know from years past. Chris Nickson is a solid QB, who will end up having a very good career for the Commodores. Earl Bennett is a playmaker at the WR position and Vandy will have plenty of emotion as they were very close to upsetting the Gators last year in the Swamp if not for a bad excessive celebration call by the refs. I fully expect Florida to win but the Commodores will give them a run.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thoughts for a Thursday

Lakers with another big win on the road without Kobe. With it being a second night of a back to back I wouldn't have been surprised to see an L but guys keep stepping up which is great to see. This team has a lot of depth which definitely helps with the Mamba is out. Opening night it was Andrew Bynum and Maurice Evans, last night it was Ronny Turiaf. Turiaf was one of my favorite players to watch in college because he worked so hard and I was ecstatic to see him drafted by the Lakers and he's starting to show why. To think last year around this time he wasn't sure if he would be alive with his heart condition, much less playing in the NBA and contributing at that.

West Virginia-Louisville kicks off in about half an hour and don't get me wrong its a huge game but I really don't care about it too much. Probably because it starts at 4:30 pacific time meaning I'll still be at work for pretty much the first half, then having to drive home in the traffic means I'll get the 4th quarter if I'm lucky. It's crazy to think that a college football game of this importance is taking place on a Thursday night. There's another big one next week when Rutgers hosts Louisville so if the Cardinal pull it out tonight we get another unbeaten showdown next Thursday.

A lot has been made of Kirk Herbstreit's comments earlier this week but I don't see what the big fuss about it is. Sure calling someone worthless isn't the best of things but he's playing to his crowd on his Columbus radio show. Granted he is a Buckeye but I've never had a problem with him ESPN, he's better than most, if not all of the analysts on the network. People are a bit more fired up now that the impending Game of the Millenium is only 2 weeks from happening, especially Michigan fans because they feel their team is being disrespected in the media. Sure not many are giving the Wolverines a chance but I love that role, we've been there before, Coach Carr has been there before and I know this team will give all they have on that field in Columbus and I can't wait.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What a way to start the season

The Lakers opened the year with a big 114-106 victory over the Phoenix Suns last night. Andrew Bynum played great in his first career start and Lamar Odom had a career day to lead the Lakers to the win. Also can't forget the great contribution by Maurice Evans off the bench. As I sat at the Staples Center and witnessed what happened in person I have to say I could not be more proud of this team than I was last night. After starting the game going pretty much basket for basket, Phoenix started catching fire and opened up at 19 point lead in the first quarter. Without Kobe playing it seemed the air was taken out of the building and there was not much hope. All I wanted from the team at that point was to not give up and just fight back to make it a respectable game. They gave me and the other Lakers fans across the country, much more than that.

This team, without their best player, defeated one of the best teams in the league after falling in a huge hole. Last year this would not have been possible as I'm pretty sure the Lakers would have been run out of the building. In addition, there were contributions from everyone that played. This is a deep squad that will cause a lot more problems for the league than many expect. Granted this was only one game, but if this keeps up my expectations will be rising this season. Now we just need the Mamba back.

The Lights Out campaign was a major success IMO. The court has more light on it while there is less on the crowd itself which is definitely a plus. Everyone must focus on the court because you can't find any celebrities in the stands because it is so dark. Also it definitely will put a stop to people calling friends telling them they are on TV and waving at the camera while the game is going on, thank goodness. Lights Out gets two big thumbs up in my book and it should be kept from here on out.

Last note is the actor that plays the Mongoose in those NBA 07 commercials was in front of Staples Center passing out flyers for NBA 07 and it was hilarious. He was doing his crouched defensive stance and trying to guard people as they walked by. Had a couple great pics from the game that Yahoo had I was gonna post but blogger won't cooperate right now, I'll try to get them up later.