Dear Grady Sizemore

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dear Grady Sizemore,

Have you ever heard of Vanessa Hutchins? I'm just wondering because one would have thought when her photos leaked out that perhaps sending provocative photos through email might have been removed from the equation. How about Santonio Holmes? Have you ever heard of him? The Steelers Wide Receiver whom unleashed the Python on Deadspin viewers a few years back? Does that name escape you as well?

I understand your girlfriend is incredibly hot and you wanted to do something for her, but you had to kind of know this was coming right? You probably have at least a handful of deranged stalkers or mad ex girlfriends that you knew had the ability to hack into your accounts. Now you have pictures on the internet of just you and a coffee cup. Congrats big man. Enjoy 2010 with the Indians.

Sincerely,
People That Don't Want to See Your Penis

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The Phrase "Manage the Game" Bothers Me

While watching the New York Jets defeat the Carolina Panthers, I was subjected to the FOX announcers, Brian Billick and Thom Brennaman, uttering the phrase "Manage the Game" on repetition for three hours. The Jets just want Mark Sanchez to "Manage the Game". Rex Ryan has to be pleased with the way Mark Sanchez is "Managing the Game". Etc. Etc. Etc. It's annoying. At one point in time Mark Sanchez was 2 for 5 with woooo no interceptions and Brian Billick said something along the lines with this is exactly how Rex Ryan wants Mark Sanchez to manage the game.

When announcers utter the phrase "Manage the Game" it essentially means they, along with everyone else, thinks that the quarterback is a detriment to the team and that the his one and that his job is to hand the ball off, throw screen and 5 yard passes, never take chances, and not be stupid. No NFL fan truly wants their quarterback to "Manage the Game". They actually want their quarterback to participate in winning the game. If all you want your quarterback to do is "Manage the Game" than why the hell is he your starting quarterback?

It's great that the Jets won yesterday, but the credit goes to the defense and not to Mark Sanchez. He led the offense to one touchdown drive of 38 yards*. Not exactly Brady-esque. He simply didn't lose the game like he did the Pats and Saints games. So please spare me any praise thrust Sanchez's way after this weekends performance and definitely spare me the phrase "Manage the Game" for the remainder of the New York Jets' telecasts.

*In fairness, Sanchez should have led the Jets to a 78 yard td drive except Dustin Keller decided to be careless at the goal line.

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Blogging the Offseason: Chicago Cubs

Blogging the Offseason is a 30 team series in which I ask a blogging representative from each MLB team a series of ten questions about their desires and thoughts surrounding the offseason. Check out all of them here.

Today's NL team is the Chicago Cubs and our guest is Sarah Spain from the Chicago Blog, No Spain No Gain.

1. The 2009 season was a massive disappointment for Cubs fans. What went wrong? Where must they improve to once again take home the division?
The main issue with the Cubs is that they've put money into the wrong people. The contracts given to guys like Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano are way too long and way too lucrative. They have to find a better balance if they hope to become successful again and moves like giving John Grabow a two-year, $7.5 million extension this offseason aren't a good start.

2. The Ricketts family just purchased the Cubs from the Tribune Company. What impact do you see this having on the team? Will they be throwing around money this offseason?
The problem with the Cubs in the past few years hasn't been a lack of spending, but rather a misappropriation of funds. Unlike Sam Zell and the Tribune Company, I think the Ricketts intend to help the team win, not just become more profitable. I hope they follow through with their professed desire to make the team better without sacrificing fan-friendly aspects of the Cubs, like the integrity of Wrigley Field.

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Time for the NCAA Semifinals

This weekends SEC title game is going to be pretty difficult to top by any game this season or any SEC title game in the future. Alabama and Florida have been the #1 and #2 ranked teams for much of the season. The two teams are undefeated. The two teams have just knocked off their in state rivals. They both have National Championship winning coaches. They both have 5 star recruits everywhere on the field. They both know what is at stake in this game. Winner gets a chance at the Crystal Ball and loser gets some Sugar.

Even if Texas does get upset by Nebraska on Saturday, the SEC Championship game should serve as a Semifinal. In 2006 Michigan was thought to have a chance at a rematch with Ohio State but were passed up in favor of Florida. The same should happen this season. In 2006 Michigan had a case over Florida because both teams had a loss, but the committee rightfully chose to avoid a rematch. This season there are potentially three undefeated teams waiting for the opportunity to play in the BCS Title game. All of whom would have just as much a claim to the game as a Florida/Alabama loser would.

So let's enjoy saturday's game for what it is. A battle between two of the best college teams in the country with everything on the line. It's the psuedo playoff game we always wanted.

And the preliminary blogpoll after the break.

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Dear Jason Witten, I Don't Like You

Dear Jason Witten,

You don't know me and chances are pretty good that we will never meet, but I just want to say that you annoy the hell out of me and likely many others like me. See I drafted you in fantasy football this year thinking that you would be a beast. T.O. was gone and even more balls were going to come your way. So I thought. But that hasn't been the case. You've been an epic disappointment. Whatever the reason is, you haven't gotten it done. So on Wednesday when I was watching NFL live and they said that you were questionable, a game time decision and probably not going to go, I thought "Ok well whatever not like you've been good all year. I'll just bench you in case you don't play and pick up whatever TE off the waiver wire." What happens? You actually play and you have the one good game you've had all year. Thanks jackass.

Sincerely,
Everyone that Drafted You

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Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Get drunk, get fat, get sleep, and watch some terrible football.

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Week 12 NFL Pick Suggestions

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is gonna be quick because I'm terrible and because it has to be posted earlier than normal.

1. Seattle Seahawks (-2 1/2) vs. St. Louis Rams
The Rams are still terrible and despite the Seahawks faltering every week and getting embarrassed last week they should still be able to beat the Rams.

2. New York Giants (-6 1/2) at Denver Broncos
Both of these teams are terribly overrated at 6-4, I just hate the Broncos more.

3. New England Patriots (+3 1/2) at New Orleans Saints
The Pats faltered in their first chance to knock off an unbeaten. They won't falter twice.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (+3 1/2) at San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers really aren't a good team. This matchup will be Gore vs. Jones-Drew and MJD will win.

5. Miami Dolphins (-3.5) at Buffalo Bills
The Bills are turrible.

Survivor Pick of the Week: Damn You Bengals
Who cares anymore... but Dallas

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Blogging the Offseason: Seattle Mariners

Blogging the Offseason is a 30 team series in which I ask a blogging representative from each MLB team a series of ten questions about their desires and thoughts surrounding the offseason. Check out all of them here.

Today's AL team is the Seattle Mariners and our guest is Griffin from the Mariners Blog, Sodo Mojo.

1. What do the Mariners need to do this offseason to truly make them a contender for the AL West crown in 2010?
They have to sign or acquire a legitimate #2 starter, figure out the third base situation, and sign a real DH. The Mariners had the worst DH production in baseball in 2009, and there's no way they contend without significantly improving on that. As for their pitching, right now it's pretty much Felix, then a bunch of back of the rotation guys. To make that rotation respectable they'll have to get some middle of the rotation help.

2. I've locked you, your owner and your GM in a room and am forcing you to trade King Felix. What would you need to get in return to walk out of the room a happy man?
It'd have to be a butt load of near major league ready, type A prospects, along with some major league talent. The fact is, it's gotta be huge, because trading Felix would eliminate any chance the Mariners have of contending next season.

3. First off, why was Russell Branyan good last year? Secondly, will the Ms bring him back or will another team give him a decent sized contract just to watch him regress back to the player he used to be?
Branyan showed his true colors last year. He's got a ton of power, and he's going to whiff, a lot. The fact is, regression already hit him. He was hitting over .300 for the first couple months of the season, but when that obscenely high BABIP finally came back to earth, the numbers dropped off quickly. However, he's still a valuable offensive player, and by far the best option the Mariners have at first base right now. No team is going to give him a multi year contract because of his back issues, and I expect him to be back on a one year deal, probably with a 2011 club/mutual option.

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The Big 5 College Football Games of Week 13

This weekend is pretty much just an appetizer to Conference Championship weekend.

5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Stanford Cardinal
Not like Charlie Weis has any life support cords still connected to his body but in the 0.005% chance that Notre Dame has not already made up their mind to fire him, a loss to Stanford would pretty much cinch that up. The Pick: Cardinal by 3

4. Pittsburgh Panthers at West Virginia Mountaineers
The Wannstache heads into the back yard brawl dreaming of BCS trips to come. All he needs to do is beat Cincinnati next weekend. But what about the backyard brawl? It is their rivalry game? It kind of means nothing when it comes to the BCS bid. Will he overlook them? The Pick: Pitt by 3

3. Texas Lonhorns at Texas A&M Aggies
The Longhorns are two wins away from the Championship Game trip that narrowly escaped them last year. The Aggies won't be much of a road block. The Pick: Longhorns by 20

2. Florida State Seminoles at Florida Gators
Oh how I think we all wish the Seminoles were still good and this matchup had some kind of intrigue. Instead the Seminoles are a reeling 6-5 team with little to no hope of even being competitive with the Gators. The Pick: Gators by 23.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide at Auburn Tigers
The Iron Bowl is the biggest show of the weekend. The Tide win and they are in the Semifinals. They lose and then it becomes highly more questionable. Would they deserve to be ahead of TCU / Cincy if they beat Florida in the SEC title game? I'm not sure. But that question likely won't need to be answered. The Pick: Tide by 10

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Blogging the Offseason: Washington Nationals

Blogging the Offseason is a 30 team series in which I ask a blogging representative from each MLB team a series of ten questions about their desires and thoughts surrounding the offseason. Check out all of them here.

Today's NL team is the Washington Nationals and our guest is Ed from the Nats Blog, Federal Baseball.

1. You mentioned you were in Arizona for the Arizona Fall League, were you there simply to suffice the man crush you have on Stephen Strasburg? Was the day they signed him the single greatest day in Nats history thus far?
Strasburg, Drew Storen, a closer out of Stanford that Washington drafted with the second 1st round pick the Nationals made in '09; Danny Espinosa the first or second (depending on the source) ranked shorstop in the Nationals' organization; Chris Marrero, the Nationals' second 1st round pick in 2007, and the Nats' top-ranked 1st base prospect; as well as pitchers like Jeff Mandel and Josh Wilkie, who had good minor league seasons in 2009, or Sean Rooney, a talented catcher in the DC system, there were more than a few reasons to check out the Nats' prospects in action in the Arizona Fall League, but yes Strasburg was the draw, and aside from the fact that injuries kept him out of the two nationally-televised AFL games he did not disappoint. I don't know if the day Washington signed Strasburg was the "single greatest day" in the team's history, but it was another step towards legitimacy when it comes to signing the best available draft picks and free agents, when just a few years ago in Montreal they were drafting and pursuing "signable" talent that was not necessarily the best available...

2. Do the Nats have Bryce Harper's jersey already made? Do you think there's a chance they go in another direction? Have you started printing out Battery t-shirts with Harper on one side and Strasburg on the other?
DC GM Mike Rizzo and some in his front office are on record saying that Bryce Harper's in no way set himself apart from the pack the way Stephen Strasburg did last season in terms of being the clear-cut No. 1 prospect in the country, but you know they'll be watching closely. The media has yet to descend on Harper the way they had on Strasburg at this point last season, (though he's already gotten some ridiculous exposure from Sports Illustrated), so his game hasn't yet been picked apart the way it will by the time the draft comes around, so I think there is a definite possibility that the Nationals go in another direction if a college or top high school pitcher emerges...plus, with a 17-year-old, who knows when he'd actually be ready for major league competition...so no to the battery t-shirts...I already bought my Strasburg name and # t-shirt though...had to replace the Lastings Milledge shirt...

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Week 12 Blogpoll

Before you yell and say where is so and so team, please read my polling philosophy and then yell afterwards.

Time is just not allowing me to put together a QW/BL spreadsheet. So we continue with how it looks now where I'm kind of mostly adjusting via the previous weeks results. The fine toothed comb will come out by the final weekend, I promise.

1. Alabama - Quality Wins: Virginia Tech(n), @Ole Miss, South Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU
2. Florida - Quality Wins: Tennessee, @LSU, Arkansas, Georgia (n)
3. Texas - Quality Wins: TT, Oklahoma (n), @Oklahoma St.
4. TCU - Quality Wins: @Clemson, @BYU, Utah
5. Cincinnati - Quality Wins: @Rutgers, @Oregon State, @USF
6. Boise State - Quality Wins: Oregon
7. Georgia Tech - Quality Wins: Clemson, UNC, VT
8. Oregon- Quality Wins: Utah, Cal, @UCLA, USC
9. Ohio State - Quality Wins: Iowa, @Penn State, Wisconsin - Bad Losses: @Purdon't
10. Iowa - .Quality Wins: @Penn State, Arizona, @Wisconsin
11. Pitt - Quality Wins: ND, Navy

The entire poll is after the jump.

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Googling the Jets

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Let's take a quick look at what the people are googlin when it comes to the New York Jets...

The only thing people care about with Rex Ryan is the fact that he might be a bit overweight. I thought at the very least there would be "Rex Ryan is a loudmouthed ass" or "Rex Ryan talks and loses more than Eric Mangini", but both did not pop up.
Absent from that is "Mark Sanchez is a future hall of famer", I wonder why? Also missing is "Mark Sanchez is an Arm Punter".

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There's Nothing More Enjoyable Than a Good Peewee Football Hit



Just when I thought my afternoon was boring this video pops up and brightens the day. I think I'm going to watch it 150 times before the afternoon is over.

H/T With Leather

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Blogging the Offseason: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Blogging the Offseason is a 30 team series in which I ask a blogging representative from each MLB team a series of ten questions about their desires and thoughts surrounding the offseason. Check out all of them here.

Today's AL team is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and our guest is Jim from the Angels Blog, Halos Heaven.

1. Both Lackey and Escobar are free agents this year. Will the Angels bring either back? If not whom will they target as a replacement?
My fear is that they replaced Lackey with Kazmir in August. Not a "fear" like being afraid of death, but more than a worry. Escobar is done I think.

2. I feel as if Chone Figgins is going to get overpaid this offseason. Will the Angels be the ones to overpay? If not how will they replace them?
I hope they are not the ones who overpay Figgy. Wood will be fine at 3B.

3. What did you think about the Kazmir trade when it happenned? What do you expect from him in 2010?
I think the Angels expect him to be the ace. It was unfortunate that he did not get a lot of run support in that people would be more relaxed with the idea of him replacing Lackey, but the club is locked in. With Butcher as his pitching coach - and Mike was the coach in Tampa in '06 when Kazmir had his best season - I think we get near-ace stuff from Scott.

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NFL Week 11 Awards

Wow You Guys Suck: The AFC North, The entire division lost this weekend and they lost badly. The Steelers and Bengals lost to two basement feeders, the Ravens choked away a potential upset of the Colts, and the Browns laughably lost to the Lions. Runners Up: the Broncos are a sinking ship, the Redskins offense can't even put up 9 points.

Cough Cough Cough: Andre Caldwell, Perhaps Caldwell shouldn't have been the replacement for kickoff returns. In a tie game with limited time left the absolute last thing a kick returner can do is cough up the ball. Caldwell did and his team coughed away the game. Runners Up: the Giants defense tried to cough away the game but good ole NFL Overtime Rules saved the day, the Sanchize <3s Arm Punts.

The Shocker: The Bengals & Steelers, I already harped on this twice, but who the hell saw these losses coming? The Chiefs and Raiders are TERRIBLE. Coming into the weekend the two teams had 4 combined wins, two of which were against each other. They are barely NFL teams yet the Steelers and Bengals choked away victories and snatched up defeats. Runners Up: Nothing compares to the AFC North Disaster.

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Blogging the Offseason: Arizona Diamondbacks

Blogging the Offseason is a 30 team series in which I ask a blogging representative from each MLB team a series of ten questions about their desires and thoughts surrounding the offseason. Check out all of them here.

Today's NL team is the Arizona Diamondbacks and our guest is Jim from the Dbacks Blog, AZ SNakepit.

1. What do the Dbacks do with Webb this offseason? Do they deal him? Do they pick up his option? Do they try to extend him?
This question has already half answered itself, as the team made the (relatively-easy) decision to pick up his option. They were already on the hook for $2m if they declined it, and what would the balance left after that ($6.5m) get you in the free-agent market? I'm sure they'd love to extend Webb, and Webb is making all the right noises, but we're talking about someone who won or was runner-up in the Cy Young the past three healthy years. He may well be outside the team's budget: they'll try, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Webb dealt around the trade deadline, if the Diamondbacks are no longer in the playoff hunt.

2. Why has Chris Young been in a decline for the past two seasons? Were the DBacks wrong to sign him to a long term deal? Will he bounce back in 2010?
Wish I knew. Probably. I hope so. What? You want more than that? There was a sliver of dawn peaking over the horizon after Young's return from Triple-A in August. He hit .263/.351/.508 over his final 31 starts, and we'd all settle for that in 2010. He was basically getting under the ball, resulting in an insane number of infield flies and shallow pop-ups

Certainly, there's a good case to be made that signing him on the basis of one good season *was* a mistake, though if we'd waited and he'd followed up that year with more good ones, the cost of extending him would have increased precipitously. Unfortunately, the area of contract extensions has posed problems for Arizona, with the bad ones (Eric Byrnes, Chad Tracy, Chris Snyder and Young) outnumbering the good (Dan Haren). Hey, look: a smooth segue into...

3. I have Dan Haren on my fantasy team and was incredibly frustrated by his lack of run support, hence the post "Is Dan Haren Gonna Have to Choke a Bitch", tell Dan Haren which juicy power hitting free agent is going to be in his lineup to make him sleep easier next year.
Well, Doug Davis probably has slightly more reason to complain about a lack of run support than Haren. However, Haren just needs to incline his head towards third-base to see the power-hitting threat for 2010. Mark Reynolds hit more home-runs than all but three players and won HitTrackerOnline.com's "Golden Sledgehammer" award for the longest average distance on his blasts. Between Reynolds and Justin Upton, who hit 26 homers as a 21-year old, despite spending three weeks on the disabled list, Getting a slugger is not going to be high on Arizona's priorities this winter, not with. And besides, ask the Brewers how much Prince Fielder's homers helped them reach the playoffs this years,

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Ghosts of Arm Punts Past

Season 2 Episode 2 of Arm Punt Formations starring the Gunslinger with Guest Star the Sanchize.
a comic strip!
Check out more Episodes of Arm Punt Formations

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Blogging the Offseason: Detroit Tigers

Monday, November 23, 2009

Blogging the Offseason is a 30 team series in which I ask a blogging representative from each MLB team a series of ten questions about their desires and thoughts surrounding the offseason. Check out all of them here.

Today's AL team is the Detroit Tigers and our guest is Ian from the Tigers Blog, Bless You Boys.

1. Rumors are swirling around that the Tigers are looking to cut payroll and that Curtis Granderson might be the first man on the block? What are your thoughts on Granderson getting dealt?
Trying to look at it objectively, it's smart of Dave Dombrowski to see what he might be able to get for one of the few tradeable contracts on his roster. What if a team offers exactly what he's looking for in return?

As a fan, however, trading Granderson would be a huge disappointment. I've written that I think he's the face of the team. The Tigers haven't had many young players worth getting excited about, never mind one that's used his celebrity to help the community. Good centerfielders aren't easy to replace, and I don't think it's a coincidence that the Tigers' re-emergence as a playoff contender has coincided with his addition to the team.

2. Both Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney are free agents. Do the Tigers bring either back? Is it finally time for Joel Zumaya to get the closers job? Assuming he can stay away from Guitar Hero and other video game related injuries.
My feeling is that the Tigers would like to bring Lyon back. Rodney had a good season, but he once again showed how inconsistent he can be. If he's looking for a multi-year contract, Detroit won't be interested. Not with the reliever prospects they're developing. The same goes for Lyon, in terms of contract. But maybe the opportunity to compete for the closer's job persuades him to accept another one-year deal.

Regarding Zumaya, I don't think anyone's convinced he can stay healthy enough to be the full-time closer. The Tigers were probably hoping he'd be ready for that next year, but he became a question mark all over again.

3. Placido Polanco is also a Tigers free agent. He's been somewhat of a main stay for the Tigers for awhile and just took home the Gold Glove. Will the Tigers bring him back? If not whom will they turn to to man 2b?
I don't believe Polanco will be back, and wouldn't be surprised if that decision was made a long time ago. The Tigers have been relatively deep in second base prospects over the past few seasons. One of them just needed to develop by the time Polanco's contract ran out.

Scott Sizemore appears to be that guy. Barring a setback with the broken leg he suffered in the Arizona Fall League, the Tigers think he's ready to take over. If there are any doubts about his recovery, they might offer Polanco arbitration, and maybe he accepts a one-year deal.

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Jermain Defoe 5, Denver Broncos 3

Josh McDaniels certainly had a bad Sunday. His Broncos scored just 3 points after he apparently told a few Chargers "We own you." At the opposite end of the spectrum is Jermain Defoe. Defoe a striker for the north London Tottenham Hotspur scored 5 goals in one game. That's two goals more than the Broncos scored points. Ouch.

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Tracking New York Sports in November

The chart shows a tracking through November of the total wins by each New York team. The Yankees won on November 1st so on that date they are at 1. They then won on November 4th so on that date they are at 2. They have not played a game since so they have stayed at 2. What you will notice on the chart is that none of the major New York Teams (Knicks, Nets, Jets, Giants, Rangers, Yankees) have won more than 3 games in the month of November. The Yankees who shouldn't really be playing in November have picked up more wins this month than the Nets, Jets and Giants combined. The chart is a bit tough to see at this size but if you click on it to enlarge you should be able to find humor.


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Wes Welker the Invisible

Here's a quick two picture representation of the difference between what the Jets saw on Sunday and the actual Patriot formations.

The Formation the Jets Saw


The Actual Formation


Someone is missing...

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Blogging the Offseason: Cincinnati Reds

Blogging the Offseason is a 30 team series in which I ask a blogging representative from each MLB team a series of ten questions about their desires and thoughts surrounding the offseason. Check out all of them here.

Today's NL team is the Cincinnati Reds and our guest is Slyde from the Reds Blog, Red Reporter.

1. The Reds roster contains almost no impending free agents and thus no extra salary coming off the books, do you think this hinders them from making moves this offseason or do you think the Reds will spend some cash?
Yes I think it hinders them. I don't expect the Reds to spend much money this off-season unless they trade one of their big contracts. Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, and Francisco Cordero are all set to make $12M+ next season. I don't know if trading any of those players is in the best interest of winning for 2010, but I'm fairly certain that they won't spend money if they can't deal one of those players.

2. What would you say is the absolute biggest need for the Reds to address in the offseason?
Offense. The Reds were in the bottom 3 in the NL in batting average, on-base percentage, and OPS+. They finished with just 673 runs on the season, only the 3rd time they've scored under 700 in the last 15 years. The big problem is the lack of focus on getting people on base. There is a lot of talk from management about doing the little things, but the Reds had the most sacrifice hits in the NL, hit into the 3rd fewest double plays, and were pretty good, though not great, at stealing bases and they still finished the year with their lowest offensive output in 12 years.
The spot on the field that needs the most offensive help is shortstop. The Reds were 2nd to last in the NL in OPS at the shortstop position. They were last in production from CF, but rookie Drew Stubbs looked much better than Willy Taveras in his short stint with the team last year. If the Reds can just keep from making the same mistake of playing Taveras in CF and leading him off everyday, they should see improvements offensively there by default. Perhaps the biggest determining factor in the improvement of the Reds offense next year will be Jay Bruce, who, if he can make some improvements at the plate and see some of his bad luck turn around, could turn in a monster year and give the Reds some dramatic improvement all on his own.

3. Any chance the Reds will talk to Dusty about how to protect Cueto and Volquez or will their arms fall completely off their bodies in 2010?
Well, Volquez is already out for most of the 2010 season after having Tommy John surgery last August. However, I think Baker's reputation in this area is a bit hyperbolic. There have been a couple instances where he has ridden pitchers a lot longer than I think most people were comfortable with, but in general I don't feel like he has really overworked either Cueto or Volquez. I think the bigger issue for both pitchers is that they didn't take much time off during the off-season last year as both pitched in the Dominican Winter League and in the World Baseball Classic. Obviously that won't be an issue for Volquez this year and it looks like the Reds are going to keep Cueto from pitching in the DWL. Hopefully that will help the fatigue issues that Cueto seemed to run into last season.

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Five More Games Until the Inevitable

At the start of the season the consensus thinking was that the championship game would again be a battle of the Big 12 Champion and the SEC Champion. Most people figured that the winner of the Red River Shootout would run the table and find their way to Pasadena and that the SEC Title game would pit a powerhouse Florida team against either Bama or LSU with the right to play for the crystal ball on the line. For once it appears as if the consensus was right. We are now just five games away from this scenario.

Florida vs. Florida State: This used to be an epic rivalry, now its two programs in vastly different stratospheres. Florida is looking to win their 3rd National Title in 4 years. The Seminoles are barely bowl eligible.

Alabama at Auburn: Of the games this weekend, the Iron Bowl would appear to be the biggest opportunity for an upset. Auburn has played decently for first year coach Gene Chizik and they do have an extra week to prepare for the Tide. They likely just don't have the talent to win this game.

Texas at Texas A&M: Texas A&M just got slaughtered by Oklahoma two weeks ago 65-10. The next week they beat Baylor 38-3. They are a team of inconsistency that will get crushed by the Longhorns on Thanksgiving.

Big 12 Title Game, Texas vs. Nebraska:The Cornhuskers have a chance on a neutral field against the Longhorns. An upset is a possibility but the probability of it is like 10% or lower.

SEC Title Game, aka National Championship Semifinal, Florida vs. Alabama: It's a semifinal game. See there's playoffs after all.

Preliminary Blogpoll after the jump...

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Potential Notre Dame Coaches for 2010

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I think we all know that Charlie Weis is getting the boot after this season because Jesus is pissed off with the lack of Notre Dame production and Jesus takes his football very very seriously. So whom will Jesus choose as the next coach? The amount of people available are plentiful. But the amount of people qualified are so few. Here's a list of the ten people who Notre Dame should ask to coach their team.

10. Bill Belichick
Qualifications: 3 Super Bowl Championships as a Head Coach 2 as a D-Coordinator, arguably the best coach in football history.
Weakness: Has he won a single college championship? No. And he's way way too close to the FUPA. He would just be FUPA 2.
Verdict: The Belicheat is out. Notre Dame deserves someone FUPA free.

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Tracking the AP #1 Votes

Friday, November 20, 2009

Here is a quick chart which shows the progression from week to week on who is garnering all of the #1 votes. The only team to garner a #1 vote outside of Texas, Bama and Florida was USC in week 2.

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Just in Case You Have a Little Sibling

This is how you get shit done boys and gals.



And off to the weekend.

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The Ascension of Cincy, Boise and TCU

Here's a simple chart surrounding the ascensions up the AP poll for Cincy who started unranked, Boise St. who started #14 and TCU who started at #17. They now are ranked 4, 5 and 6 respectively.

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Degrees of Loss Separation: Michigan > Ohio State

The Degrees of Loss Separation is a simple concept, I go out and find a highly rated team with some losses playing against a crappy team with lots of losses. Next I find a chain of losses which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt (not at all) that the underdog is going to pull the major upset and storm the field. The Final Outcome is calculated simply: Add up the scores of the losers, add up the scores of the winners in the degrees of loss separation and divide both by the # of degrees.

The Game: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines
Michigan vs. Ohio State is one of America's greatest rivalries yet for the 2nd straight season its practically not on America's radar thanks to the Wolverines ineptitude. Michigan fans are thankful for the Ohio State game not because they legitimately expect victory but rather because it signifies the end of yet another torturous season under Rich Rodriguez. But alas the Degrees are here to bring you hope Wolverine fans. All is not lost. Michigan will pull off the upset on saturday and will close out their season with a loss in the GMAC bowl or something similarly crappy.

3ยบ of Loss Separation : Michigan > Notre Dame > Purdue > Ohio State
The Degrees start back in ye olden tymes, aka September, when Michigan was still winning football games. The Wolverines took out the Mighty Irish 38-34. The Irish two weeks later dispatched of the Boilermakers 24-21 in one of their many field goal or less wins. The Degrees was completed when the Purdon't shocked the world and knocked off Ohio State 26-18.

Final Outcome: Michigan 29 Ohio State 24
Tate the Great leads a last minute drive down the field and completes a game winning touchdown pass with under 30 seconds remaining. Wolverines win, Wolverines win.

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A Collection of Youth Hockey Checks

Just for fun, here's a collection of youth hockey checks. Kids of all ages knocking the crap out of others for the amusement of the masses.

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Blogging the Offseason: Toronto Blue Jays

Blogging the Offseason is a 30 team series in which I ask a blogging representative from each MLB team a series of ten questions about their desires and thoughts surrounding the offseason. Check out all of them here.

Today's team NL is the Toronto Blue Jays and our guest is Stoeten from the Jays Blog, Drunk Jays Fans.

1. The obvious question on everybody's mind surrounding the Jays is what do they do with Halladay. Will they trade him? Will they extend him? Will they wait til the all start break? Thoughts?
They’ve been saying all the right things—that they love him so much that they’re not even sure they can bring themselves to trade him, and that they’re comfortable letting him walk at the end of the year and taking the draft picks—mostly because they saw what happened during the summer when the previous GM said all the wrong things, but make no mistake, behind the scenes, they’re working on dealing him, and I’d wager that it’s going to happen sooner than later. I don’t think he’s a Jay when the season starts, and at this point.
2. The Jays freed up money when they straight up just let the White Sox take Alex Rios. Were you happy with the move? Where do you think they utilize the cash they saved?
I loved the move. Rios is an incredibly talented guy and may still make the Jays look like fools for it, but given that they’re already saddled with Vernon Wells’ untradeable contract, they’d have been in an incredibly tough spot in terms of payroll flexibility if Rios continued to go the same route. It hurt to deal him at his lowest value and to get nothing but salary relief back for him, but unlike a lot of fans, I do have faith that ownership will reinvest that money back into the team down the line. Legend has it Rogers’ CEO Nadir Mohamed asked Paul Beeston this year if he needed an infusion of cash, and Beeston said no, preferring to cash in that offer when the organization is at a point where it makes sense to take them to the next level and seems less like simply throwing money at a problem.

3. Shawn Marcum and Dustin McGowan were solid contributors in 08 but injured in 09, will they be in the rotation on opening day? Whom else will make up the 5-man?
Marcum was on pace to be back this August, if they needed him, so he should be fine, and as long as he’s the same guy as he was before the injury, he’ll be a very solid, very underrated pitcher in the American League, and the anchor of the rotation—unless they get someone even better back for Halladay. McGowan is the wildcard. For a lot of the summer we were hearing that he wasn’t progressing well, and the team wouldn’t even say for sure that they thought he’d ever pitch again. Lately we’ve been hearing much more encouraging reports, but still, nobody knows what to expect. It’s been a long road for him—he lost a year to Tommy John in the minors and spent six other seasons down there before finally putting it together. Then, almost as soon as he figured it out, he tore his labrum. If he’s the same guy he was in 2007 he’ll have fantastic, front-of-the-rotation stuff, with inconsistent command that ideally he’ll improve over time. But it’s impossible to believe he’ll still be that guy—especially right away. The rest of the rotation is a bit of a crapshoot, but I’d guess Romero, Rzepczynski, someone who comes back for Halladay, and if McGowan isn’t ready, Brett Cecil.

4. Where the hell did Aaron Hill's 36 home runs come from? If anything you have to like the fact that Ricciardi locked him up for the long term. Is there anything else J.P. did in his tenure that you think will help the Jays build in the future?
I think there’s a lot of good that JP did, and I actually backed his moves a lot longer than most. The Jays had a couple years where they had some of the best pitching and defense in baseball—if not the best-- and couldn't find a way to score enough runs. But there's value to that, and the pitching depth is still quite good. Lind, Hill and Snider are his players, and even at the bitter end, he did well in the Scott Rolen trade, I think. Of course, there was a lot that went wrong, and having only two above average position players and one strong prospect to your credit, after eight years, is pretty incredibly awful. But still, there is a lot that JP did that can be built on. As for Hill, he’s always been a good contact hitter—I’d like to see him walk a bit more—and someone who we thought could hit a lot of doubles. Honestly, my theory is that, while he was out with a post-concussion syndrome in 2008, he was able to work out and bulk up a bit more than he would have had the opportunity to during the grind of a baseball season, meaning that balls that would have been doubles in previous years were now going yard. I have absolutely nothing scientific to back that up, though.

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The Big 5 College Football Games of Week 12

What an absolute garbage weekend for college football. The #1 and #2 teams are ducking competition and there is no showcase games whatsoever. This might be a good Saturday to run errands. Hell even the normally interesting Michigan vs. Ohio State game is completely irrelevant. The Buckeyes are already in the Rose Bowl and Michigan is turrible.

5. Louisiana State Tigers at Ole Miss Rebels
This game could have meant something big had both teams not been dumped by Alabama. Now it's just a battle between two teams that are good. It should be entertaining but it doesn't have much meaning. The Pick: LSU by 3

4. Virginia Cavaliers at Clemson Tigers
Clemson wins and they are in the ACC title game. They lose and BC likely gets to go to the ACC title game and lose for the 37th time in a row. Good thing Clemson is facing Al Groh.The Pick: Tigers by 16

3. Kansas Jayhawks at Texas Longhorns
Mark Mangino just might be getting fired soon thanks to his former players saying he was an abusive hitter. I bet if he pulls off a stunning upset and knocks the Longhorns out of title contention, he will have a better chance of keeping his job. The Pick: Texas by 17

2. California Bears at Stanford Cardinal
The Cardinal have come out of nowhere the past two weeks and are now just a win, an Oregon loss and an Arizona loss away from the Rose Bowl. Step 1 of the process is beating Cal - Jahvid Best. The Pick: Cardinal by 9.

1. Oregon Ducks at Arizona Wildcats
This is the biggest matchup of the weekend because the Ducks win and they are a Civil War away from the Rose Bowl. Arizona wins and they need to jump on the beat USC bandwagon and then they will be in the Rose Bowl. The Pick: Oregon by 10

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The Vernon Wells Contract is Remarkably Bad

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I think we all have heard that Vernon Wells has a bloated contract and that he is incredibly un-tradeable. This morning I decided to take a look at just how bad the remainder of Vernon Wells contract is, and well its really really really bad.

Vernon Wells signed a 7 year 126 million dollar extension in December 2006. That sounds bad doesn't it? Eighteen Million a year for Vernon Wells, ugh. But it's actually way worse than just Eighteen Million. See the Blue Jays backloaded basically the entire deal except for a signing bonus. In 2008 Wells made just .5$ million plus 1/3 of his 25.5$ million dollar signing bonus. In 2009 he made 1.5$ million plus 1/3 of the signing bonus. Therefore if you do a quick calculation through 2/7 of his contract he has been paid just 18.5 of the 126 million dollar deal. In 10 each of the next five years he will make more than 20 million dollars. UGH.

Just a reminder, Vernon Wells hit .260 last year and only hit 15 home runs. Wow that's a bad contract.

H/t Cot's Contracts

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Week 11 NFL Pick Suggestions

Woo more Thursday night football that I can't watch because I don't get the NFL Network. Woo.

1. Carolina Panthers (-3 1/2) vs. Miami Dolphins
No more Ronny Brown means no more diesel wildcat. All wildcat will now be run with the 130 pound gazelle Pat White. It won't be very effective and the Dolphins offense will struggle because of it.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (-3 1/2) at Chicago Bears
The Eagles and Bears are in spiral down mode. I'm taking the Eagles here because I think that they will be able to put up ample points on the weakened Bears D and that their defense will continue the Cutler frustration and color blindness.

3. Detroit Lions(-3 1/2) vs. Cleveland Browns
The Lions can score around 20 points on any team and they can give up around 20 points to any team, but the Browns. The Browns have no offensive talent whatsoever and will be lucky to score double digits in any game the rest of the year.

4. San Diego Chargers (-2 1/2) at Denver Broncos
I hate the god damn Broncos. I can't even pick them right when they're playing the god damn Redskins. Screw the Broncos, their downward spiral is going to continue.

5. New York Giants (-6.5) vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons will be without Michael Turner, their main weapon. The Giants will be coming off a bye and will be desperate for a win to keep them above .500. This is a game the Giants can't lose.

Survivor Pick of the Week: Bengals
The two options are the Cards at Rams and the Bengals at the Raiders. I think the Raiders are worse than the Rams thus we are going Bengals. Feels risky.

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Ireland Getting Snubbed is All Bud Selig's Fault

Ireland was defeated by France yesterday in the final stages of World Cup Qualifying thanks to a blatant handball by French striker / pansyman Thierre Henry. How blatant of a handball was it? Take it away Thierre:

"It was a handball, but I'm not the ref,'' he said on BBC Radio Five Live. ''The ball hit my arm, fell in front of me and I played it. The ref allowed it. That's a question you should ask him." [ESPN]

Now see for yourself:


I think it's time we can finally agree that god damn Bud Selig needs to institute replay in Football and that plays like this could easily be corrected if we just allowed replay. How long would it take for an official to go up in the booth and correct the call? We all know it was the wrong call. On behalf of all of Ireland, all of the Irish descendants in America and all of those who hate France, here's a giant F You to Bud Selig for hating replay.

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Could Florida's or Alabama's Saturday Schedule Be Lamer?

So I'm getting ready to build up The Big 5 post for this week and the first thing I see when looking at this weekends schedule is a glaring travesty. What the hell are Florida and Alabama doing in late November playing Florida International and Chattanooga respectively? It appears as if both teams are taking a similar approach to their impeding in state rivalry games on Thanksgiving weekend, play a team so shitty that you can beat them by 30 even if you don't watch a second of their film. Thus instead of awesome SEC or battles this weekend we have the two best teams in the nation eating cupcakes. Lame.

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Blogging the Offseason: Atlanta Braves

Blogging the Offseason is a 30 team series in which I ask a blogging representative from each MLB team a series of ten questions about their desires and thoughts surrounding the offseason. Check out all of them here.

Today's team NL is the Atlanta Braves and our guest is Gondee from the Braves Blog, Talking Chop.

1. The biggest question for the Braves this offseason is what to do with their abundance of starting pitching. Do you think they try to unload an arm to bring in some offensive firepower?
They've got to fill at least one offensive vacancy and one bullpen/closer vacancy, so using one of their starters to do that in a trade seems to make sense, especially in this weak free agent market.

2. Adam LaRoche played pretty close to lights out after getting traded back to Atlanta, do the Braves try to lock him up this offseason?
I think so, but we don't have any indication from the team. I think they're still concerned about his poor first halves. It makes sense to bring him back, but not long term.

3. Both Gonzalez and Soriano are free agents this offseason which leaves a massive hole at the end of their bullpen. How will the Braves address this glaring concern in the offseason?
They'll try to re-sign one of them, and will likely offer arbitration to both, but they may look to other free agents or trade targets to fill their bullpen vacancies.

4. The Braves could use a left fielder with a little pop. Whom do you think mans this position next year? Will the Braves venture on the market and go after a big name?
I see us getting someone in a trade, or letting Matt Diaz take the role full time. I can't see the Brave throwing money at Jason Bay or Matt Holliday, and I'm not sure there are any other difference makers on the market, so a trade seems likely.

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The Top 5 QBs Vs. the Jets

I think sometimes I make charts to piss myself off. The below chart tracks the week by week yardage totals for the NFL's top 5 QBs. Three of these 5 QBs have played the Jets (Schaub, Brees and Brady). Of these QBs all but Brady had their lowest output of the season against the Jets, and Brady had just 1 yard more than his worst season output which came at Denver. All in all of the 5 worst yardage performances by the top 5 NFL QBs, 3 of them have come against the Jets, but they're still just 4-5.


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Hit in the Balls

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I decided to come up with a compilation of people getting hit in the balls. Why? I don't know. I think it honestly had something to do with them adding the more tag on Blogger and me wanting to celebrate. So here goes you lucky bastards, lots of videos of lots of people getting drilled in the balls.


Many More Hits after the jump...

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The AP Poll, Then and Now

Here's a quick look at the Preseason AP poll compared to the current AP poll. Movement is tracked with arrows. Those in the preseason poll no longer ranked are X'd and those in the rankings who were not preseason ranked are O'd.


What you notice is the big Big East hating that went on in the preseason poll. Cincy and Pitt have now crept into the Top 8. Before the season started nobody respected a single Big East team. I guess 2 1/2 months of football and just one loss between the two account for some respect. Other little footnotes are the massive climb TCU has made. The fact that Bama justifiably jumped Texas and the precipitous fall by Oklahoma (yay Bradford) and USC (ugh defense).

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The Defensosaurus Rex is a Crier


Seriously? The Defensosaurus Rex is a Crier? That's not very intimidating.

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Blogging the Offseason: Pittsburgh Pirates

Blogging the Offseason is a 30 team series in which I ask a blogging representative from each MLB team a series of ten questions about their desires and thoughts surrounding the offseason. Check out all of them here.

Today's team NL is the Pittsburgh Pirates and our guest is Pat from the Pirates Blog, Where Have You Gone Andy Slyke?.

1. Do you foresee the Pirates making any significant offseason moves or do you see them going with straight youth?
Well, they've already made one move in trading for Akinori Iwamura. I don't think they'll do anything HUGE like try to sign John Lackey or Matt Holliday, but if another deal like the Iwamura deal presents itself where the Pirates can fill a position of immediate need (like shortstop or maybe to add a starting pitcher) without giving much away, I think they'll do it.

2. Garrett Jones, Lastings Milledge and Andrew McCutchen all won't be eligible for free agency for many a year, what logic will the GM conjure up when he trades two of them prior to the deadline?
McCutchen isn't going anywhere for a long while, and I'd be surprised if Milledge is either. If Jones is traded, it will only be because Pedro Alvarez, Andy LaRoche, and Jose Tabata are all performing at the Major League level and Jones becomes the odd-man out in a situation where they can sell high on him before he comes crashing back to earth.

3. Speaking of Garrett Jones, Fluke or For Real?
Like so many of these situations, the truth probably lies somewhere in between. I don't think he's a 40 homer, .900+ OPS player, but I don't think he's suddenly going to morph back into a Quad-A player that can't crack a big league roster.

4. Any chance the Pirates try to pull off a Longoria-esque move and lock up McCutchen for the long haul?
Every night, I pray that the Pirates can lock him into a deal like the Rays signed Crawford to back in the day to buy out his arbitration years and give us some options on his first couple free agency seasons. I'm sure the Pirates would be interested, but the rest is up to him.

5. Of the Assets garnered in the Outfield Sale Sweepstakes whom do you think will have the biggest impact on the Pirates next season?
I'm going to cheat and give a two-fold answer here. I really thought Lastings Milledge made some progress as a fielder with the Pirates and as the season ended, his hitting started to come back sans power. He recently admitted that his injured hand hampered his power, but he's now feeling better. I just have a good feeling about him in 2010. I also really, really like Charlie Morton, acquired from the Braves in the Nate McLouth trade. He started out rough with the Pirates, but after being bombed by the Cubs at Wrigley in mid-August, things started to come together a bit and he closed his season out with a complete game shutout back at Wrigley.

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Week 11 Blogpoll

Before you yell and say where is so and so team, please read my polling philosophy and then yell afterwards.

Its looking like the fine toothed comb review of the rankings may be waiting for another week. So here's a quick sum up. TCU jumped Cincy thanks to a combo of Clemson's continued success and TCU's dominance over Utah. Stanford was the biggest thanks to "Oh Wow We Beat SC". UNC doubled up their VT win with a Miami win. I have Oklahoma St. lower than everybody in the universe because they haven't beaten a team with a record better than 6-4. Oh and Houston went boom.

1. Alabama - Quality Wins: Virginia Tech(n), @Ole Miss, South Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU
2. Florida - Quality Wins: Tennessee, @LSU, Arkansas, Georgia (n)
3. Texas - Quality Wins: TT, Oklahoma (n), @Oklahoma St.
4. TCU - Quality Wins: @Clemson, @BYU, Utah
5. Cincinnati - Quality Wins: @Rutgers, @Oregon State, @USF
6. Boise State - Quality Wins: Oregon
7. Georgia Tech - Quality Wins: Clemson, UNC, VT
8. Oregon- Quality Wins: Utah, Cal, @UCLA, USC
9. LSU - .Quality Wins: Auburn, @Georgia
10. Ohio State - Quality Wins: Iowa, @Penn State, Wisconsin - Bad Losses: @Purdon't
11. Pitt - Quality Wins: ND, Navy

RankTeamDelta
1 Alabama
2 Florida
3 Texas
4 TCU 1
5 Cincinnati 1
6 Boise State
7 Georgia Tech 1
8 Oregon 1
9 LSU 1
10 Ohio State 5
11 Pittsburgh 2
12 Stanford 6
13 Iowa 6
14 Southern Cal 3
15 North Carolina 6
16 Virginia Tech 1
17 Oklahoma State
18 Clemson 5
19 Oregon State
20 Penn State
21 Miami (Florida) 7
22 Houston 10
23 Wisconsin
24 Brigham Young
25 Oklahoma
Last week's ballot

Dropped Out: Arizona (#16), Texas Tech (#22), South Florida (#24), Auburn (#25).

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