Monday, December 03, 2007
No movement on the Aaron Rowand front. No movement on any front, really. This has been a sloooowwwww off-season. Eventually Rowand will sign a massive 5 or 6 year deal worth $70-80 million, but not any time soon. I think teams are waiting to see how the Yankees and Mets play out their negotiations with the Twins for Johan Santana before they jump. Once Santana is unloaded and the A’s decide what they want for Dan Haren, I think you’ll see Rowand, Carlos Silva and Kyle Lohse finally find homes.
Don’t count on the Phillies being too active. Now that they have Brad Lidge on the roster, I honestly think they might be out of moves. With Mike Lowell back in Boston, there are no available third basemen for them to scoop up, and with Jon Garland in Anaheim, I think their target for a trade for starting pitching is gone. This is the roster that the Phillies will probably go to Opening Day with.
Too bad Randy Wold inked a one-year deal with the Padres, because I wanted to see if the Phillies could re-sign him and bring him home. Oh well.
So the Eagles season is basically finished with their 28-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks yesterday. After this loss and last week’s 31-28 loss to the Patriots, the 5-7 Eagles don’t have much of a shot. The NFC East title is out of reach, about to be claimed by the Cowboys. The Eagles have to win next Sunday’s game with the New York Giants because a loss to them means that the Eagles can’t catch them for wildcard slot #1. After the Giants there are three teams locked in at 6-6 (Minnesota, Detroit and Arizona) and then there are a slew of 5-7 teams with the Eagles. The Eagles aren’t a lost cause – they beat Detroit and Minnesota earlier in the season, remember, so they own tie-breakers – but the road is pretty tough. They basically have to win every game from here on out. My gut tells me that we’ll soon see Kevin Kolb making his NFL debut.
College Football: another year, another BCS controversy. Isn’t about time to junk this idiotic idea? I know college football doesn’t want to kill the BCS because it means the end of the traditional bowl system, but the fact that you have a two-loss team like LSU and a pretender like Ohio State battling it out for the National Title while the undefeated Hawaii Warriors aren’t playing for a National Title is absurd.
After all of those seasons watching teams forced to play in other bowls rather than meeting for a climatic championship game (Penn State and Nebraska in 1994, Michigan and Nebraska in 1997), the BCS was meant to preserve the lucrative bowl system and still get a consensus #1 vs. #2 match-up. Does it ever really accomplish that? Honestly, I think there was less controversy about the National Champ before the BCS, back when Miami would go 12-0 and you’d say, “Yes, that’s the best team, no question.”
This year’s match-up features Ohio State, a Big Ten team with a soft schedule that didn’t have the burden of playing in a conference title game, against LSU, a team with two losses. If Ohio State wins, the Big Ten gets away with highway robbery: they get a national champ despite having a conference full of mediocre teams that play nobody and not having their team leap through the hurdle of a conference championship game.
If LSU wins, then it is chaos. Utter, utter chaos. How do you give LSU the title if Hawaii wins the Sugar Bowl? How do the Tigers get to be #1 when the Warriors went undefeated? How does one-loss Kansas get to be excluded when two loss LSU wins it?
Other teams have finished their regular seasons undefeated and never been given a chance at a National Title game: Utah in 2004 and Boise State last season in particular come to mind. Both of those teams proved they deserved to be in their games with impressive wins over their opponents.
Some of the match-ups are absurd: how did USC and Illinois get into a BCS bowl? Why did the people who run the Rose Bowl take Illinois over Missouri? Afraid of competition for USC if they took Missouri? I won’t even watch the Rose Bowl this year, it is a real snoozer of a match-up. Why is Arizona State relegated to the Holiday Bowl?
My alma mater, Pitt, helped to make the weekend controversial with their 13-9 win over the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday. The Panthers, who limped into the game with a 4-7 record, were 28 point underdogs to WVU and still managed to win the game thanks to some tough running by tailback LaSean McCoy run 38 times for 148 yards, Pitt’s defense made terrific plays – they held WVU’s vaunted rushing attack to just 183 net yards – and WVU’s kicker missed two chip-shot field goals. It really fills you with confidence about Pitt’s 2008 prospects since McCoy and starting QB Pat Bostick are both freshmen.
How about some love for the Big East? WVU nearly played for a National Title. They went 5-0 in Bowl games in 2006. Connecticut had one of the best defenses in the country. Cincinnati was terrific, as was Rutgers. The Big East is clearly a great conference and definitely a better one than the Big Ten. Hey, at least one of our teams didn’t lose to a Division I-AA school.
Still, the BCS was a sham this year. Missouri not in the BCS while Illinois makes it? Oklahoma not considered for the title game despite winning the game's second best conference (and beating MU twice)? Ohio State doesn't deserve the title game at all. LSU/OU is my title game. I'd rather see OSU/USC in the Rose, VTtech/WVU in the Orange, UH/MU in the Fiesta and UGA/KU in the Sugar.
I wouldn't say Hawaii deserves national title consideration. That's the problem with being in the WAC.
Looking forward to the pitching review.
- Malcolm (pheeling.wordpress.com)