Archive for March, 2008

It’s compensatory pick day!

March 31, 2008

The Colts were awarded three sixth round compensatory draft picks by the NFL today. Pretty nice. I love getting draft picks for losing average players.

Last year the Colts fared a little better, receiving third, fourth, and fifth round picks. I would have guessed that we would have gotten similar picks this year. But perhaps the fact that Dom Rhodes played very little for the Raiders in 2007 didn’t help. Or maybe, just maybe they thought Edgerrin James was a tougher free agency loss.

DZ Comments: Why do I hear Adam Sandler’s voice when I read that headline? Stop looking at me schwaaaaaan.

New day, same story

March 31, 2008

Three hits? I waited 6 months for the same team that is utterly incapable of generating offense as last year. The Reds 4-2 loss was exactly the same crap they pulled last year. Corey Patterson is the worst possible solution at lead off. Keppinger has 3 month wonder written all over him. The Reds biggest problem is that the only guys who get on base are the same guys who can drive in the runs. I realize it’s just one game, but the only bright spot I could see was the Cubs and Brewers bullpens imploding at the same time.

It’s gonna be a long summer in the Central.

Madden-riffic

March 31, 2008

The NFL has announced that the Colts and Bears will play the first Sunday night game of the 08-09 season in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Now all we have to do is survive until September 4th. Thank God for baseball.

Links:
Ok, you have to realize how bored I am watch the Tigers Royals while I wait out rain delays. That’ll explain why I link up this utterly bizzarre article. Don’t read it if you are easily offended. It is among the weirdest things I’ve ever read.

I’ve also refiled some stuff on the main page. I’m in the process of updating some of the articles to include 2007 stats. Basically if you have any interest in the Vince Young Files or the old Eyes in the Backfield pieces, then check their new index pages.

Tony Bennett is on the clock

March 30, 2008

Basketball posts are what happen when your team doesn’t have a first round draft pick and they don’t play a meaningful game for another five months. Relax, it’ll be over soon.

As an IU fan I’ve been following their search for a head coach pretty closely. One thing you need to understand: IU does not have any money. Most major programs get the majority of their revenue from their football programs. See? I mentioned football. Money is the big reason why we are seeing the success of schools like Florida and Texas who aren’t traditional basketball powers. I don’t need to tell you that Indiana doesn’t squeeze much green from its football program. To compound the issue they are still paying considerable sums to former coaches like Gerry Dinardo, Mike Davis, and Kelvin Sampson. Also they spent two million dollars on a new scoreboard for Assembly Hall.

The cash crunch pretty much eliminates the dream candidates like Bruce Pearl, John Calipari, and Rick Pitino. Dream is the operative word. This leaves the up and comers like Tony Bennett of Wazzu, Sean Miller of Xavier, Jamie Dixon of Pitt, and several others. Gary Parrish of CBS is reporting that Indiana has told Bennett the job is his if he can make up his mind within 24 hours.
Don’t know much about Tony Bennett? He’s the the son of former (Final Four in 2000) Wisconsin coach Dick Bennett and brother of former Indiana Women’s coach Kathi Bennett. He starred at Wisconsin Green Bay as a guard and holds the NCAA record as the most accurate three-point shooter with a .497 percentage. He was an assistant under his dad for four years at Washington State. After his father’s retirement, Tony took over the reins and has led the Cougars to back to back tournament appearances. The Cougars were knocked out in the Sweet Sixteen this year by UNC.

This doesn’t sound like much of a resume unless you know a little about the feat that the Bennetts have pulled off at Washington State. WSU is arguably the most remote Division I program in the nation. It is nestled against Idaho on the eastern border of Washington. The Cougars are historically one of the worst basketball programs in DI. Before Tony Bennett, Wazzu had been to the NCAA tournament just four times in its less-than-storied history (1941, 1980, 1983, 1994).

The knocks on Bennett are obvious. He’s only 38 years old and has been a head coach for just two years. He coaches a slow-tempo style that would fit in all too well in the Big Ten. The upside is that he has successfully recruited in about the most difficult place imaginable. His starting five is from Wisconsin, Hawaii, a transfer from Tulane, Australia, and Texas. He has players contributing off the bench from Serbia and Colorado.

You can’t blame Indiana fans for expecting AD Rick Greenspan to screw up this hire. The goodwill he built up by the fantastic hiring of Terry Hoeppner has since been diminished by hiring of Bill “Division III” Lynch. The ugly end to the Kelvin Sampson era should have spelled the end to Greenspan’s time in Bloomington. But here we are again. The program has been to one Sweet Sixteen in 14 years, but flirted with relevance this year. A great hire could save Indiana Basketball, but it feels as if one more bad decision could doom it.

UPDATE: Tony Bennett has turned down the Indiana job to stay at Washington “effing” State. Unbelievable how far the the Indiana program has fallen in the past fifteen years. To paraphrase Jackie Chiles: This is the most public yet of Indiana’s many humiliations. I’m shocked, angry, and depressed.

DZ COMMENTS: It could be worse. We could be dialing up Zeke on the phone.
DZ: Just a note that the Harrison article is finished.

PLAAAAAY BAAAAALLL!

March 30, 2008
More videos from the “ryanparkersongs’s channel” channel at Heavy.com
I can’t wait for tomorrow!

A New Article? No Way…

March 29, 2008

Well, I’ve gone and done it. I finally got around to writing a new article for the main page. As promised, I’ve started doing a comparison of 88 vs some of the other wideouts on the goofy ESPN Top 10 All Time list. As of now, the article just compares Harrison to Chris Carter. By the end of the weekend, I should get sections on Irvin and TO done as well. You also might enjoy checking out the discussion on the FO page as well.

It’s amazing how the “Harrison is only great because of Manning” crowd has shown up. I’m about ready to lose it. The Pats fans want to dog Manning because he has Harrison and Wayne. NOW, some guy claims Wayne isn’t even a top 10 wideout and Harrison is widely overrated because he gets to play with Peyton.

Let’s be clear. Marvin Harrison has been a revelation at wide receiver for nearly a decade. He’s made more impossible catches, crazy jukes, and clutch first down grabs than any man not named Rice. I’ve seen up close for all this time, and if you’ve watched him like we have, then you know that he is a man of incomparable skills.

(and yes this is all trumped up bluster. I know. But frick, what are we supposed to talk about? The Colts second round pick next month?)

UPDATE: Part two is also posted. Harrison is better than Irvin. Follow the original link and scroll down.

88 is 10th?

March 26, 2008

A panel of experts was commissioned by ESPN to select the 10 best WRs of all time, and the great Marvin Harrison came in at 10th. I don’t have time to get into everything here, but how can anyone possibly rank Harrison behind Chris Carter and Michael Irvin? I’m not really sure how Harrison ranks behind T.O. either. This requires more analysis than I can give it at the moment. We’ll try to get a response article with stats and cogent arguments up before the weekend is up. At first blush though, it seems ridiculous.

In happier news, the Boss is back through 2011. Aside from Manning staying healthy, nothing will go further toward making the Colts competitive than Bill Polian staying in the driver’s seat.

Buster Olney needs to quit playing with my emotions.

Demond Sanders: I’m not sure we should even dignify this garbage journalism with a response, but here goes. I think the second spot is solidly up for grabs between Owens, Moss, and Harrison. Obviously many on the list are tough to compare because of the eras are so different, but certainly Chris Carter is flat out laughable. Irvin played in more or less the same era and his numbers are dwarfed by those of Harrison.

The headline on ESPN is appropriate: Out of sight. I think Marvin’s absence last season has pushed him down at least five spots on this list and maybe more. I think in the end it will come down to how these three guys finish their HOF careers. Marvin is one championship up on both Owens and Moss. Can he get healthy and pad his lead?

Football links? It’s about time…

March 25, 2008

Here are a couple of interesting ones to chew on:

Scouts Inc ranks the top 64 wideouts. Wayne, Harrison and AG are 5, 13, and 45 respectively. I’d get into analysing this more, but it was done by Scouts Inc., so it’s not really worth getting into it.

Don Banks discusses picking high in the draft, using the Colts as the idyllic scenario.

Some may wonder why we ignored Peyton’s birthday yesterday. It’s because Peyton doesn’t have birthdays. He lives in a cryogenic tube in the offseason, and they thaw him out to play. He won’t ever get older. He’ll play for twenty more years at least.

Demond Sanders: I’ll never understand the media’s fascination with Steve Smith. To me it’s all about on the field production. That’s why to me it has to be Wayne, Moss, and TO (not necessarily in that order). Smith has played for seven seasons and has just one season with more than 100 catches and just one season with double digit touchdowns. Wayne on the other hand gets a little better every season. And say what you want about #81 and #81, but those a-holes know how to score.

DZ adds another link: Because it’s easier than creating a whole new post just to say that the footballoutsiders have their AFC South offseason summary up. How boring is the Colts offseason? They spend more time talking about urinals than they do players we signed.

Hey, CBSsportsline has their offseason analysis up as well!
It’s Pete Prisco, but we’ll link it anyway.

Weekend Wrap-up

March 24, 2008

Just a couple of thoughts from the sports weekend:

  • Butler got hosed with their seed. They were clearly every bit the team that two seed Tennessee was. It was criminal that those two played a second round game. The committee should be ashamed. Great game, but it should have taken place in the Sweet 16.
  • It was good to see Michigan St. and Wisconsin advance. Truth is that I expect MSU to beat Memphis. Memphis is embarrassing. I hate that team. They are artless.
  • While no one was looking, the Pacers have gone and played themselves into contention. They’ll have a tough go with the Hornets, but the rest of their schedule is very doable.
  • Donnie Walsh is probably coming back; but it looks like Bird faces a demotion.
  • The Tigers signing Miggy Cabrera to a long term deal is a great move. This kid is a beast and even if he does get off his conditioning program and blows up to look like ManRam, HE’LL STILL hit like ManRam, so where’s the downside?
  • The PGA finally figured out how to stop Tiger. Make the course so easy that everyone is 15 under par. Harder courses thin the field, easier courses make everyone play at his level. I realize that the wind/weather worked out to make that course in Miami play easy this week, but still. It’s tough to go lower than everyone else when that means -20.

Links: Cold Hard Football Facts does their Colts offseason preview. There’s nothing we don’t already know, but it’s always nice to read about football.

UPDATE: Ok, so no sooner is he back in, then we push him right out! Donnie Walsh is done with the Pacers. Bird is staying on. I’m not sure what impact this will have on the team moving forward but let’s all just pause to say thanks:

For Reggie and Rik

For AD and DSquared

For the playoffs and the Finals

For Larry Brown and Larry Bird

For Mark and Slick

Donnie Walsh took pro-basketball in Indiana to the top and under his guidance we went from a franchise on the verge of implosion to a premiere franchise in the league for more than a decade.

Thanks Donnie. We’ll miss you.

Guest Columnist

March 22, 2008

Some thoughts from Josh (as posted in the comments of the previous post):

The success of IU, Purdue, Butler is greatly impacted by the number of core kids from the state. When I say core, I mean key contributors. In 1994, under pressure to win, coach Knight moved away from his recruiting philosophy of having a core of Indiana kids and went after and landed three McDonald’s All-Americans, with little or no Indiana ties, Neil Reed, Charlie Miller, and Andre Patterson. I was a freshmen with those guys and spent four years with them as an IU manager. The move didn’t work.

IU has never really returned to Coach Knight’s successful recruiting philosophy, (I’d like to see the 2002 roster, but wasn’t the core Indiana/Midwest?) and has continued to look elsewhere for talent, going after the big names and not landing them and settling for decent talent from other states. Davis did it, Sampson was doing it. During these coaching changes, we’ve also seen three different styles or systems of basketball.

In the meantime, Purdue went through an orchestrated coaching change that passed the system and recruiting philosophy from Keady to Painter. There were some rough years for Purdue, but now they seem to have the ship righted and have a core of Indiana kids.

While IU was ignoring Indiana talent, Butler was reaping the benefits. The establishment of a system and the available Indiana players that fit the system well has seen them through some great years of basketball and three head coaches.

I tried to do some archiving and look at the rosters from all 3 of these schools for the last 20 years but I couldn’t‘ dig anything up on the internet beyond the last few. I would love to look at that information and see what story it tells. I believe there is a formula for success there, and that Indiana has moved away from it.

Indiana doesn’t need a big name magician of a basketball coach. I’m not sure if one would want to come here anyway. It just needs someone who has a developed system of success (Butler, Wisconsin, even the Colts operate by this philosophy) and knows how to assemble a core of Indiana/Midwest kids that fit the system. Even when IU was winning this year, it wasn’t as enjoyable to watch as Butler and Purdue were (and currently are, since they are both still playing.)

Let me know if you are able to dig up any of this information and what story it tells.

DZ comments: It’s surprising how long that info takes to find online. A trip to the library would probably yield faster results. I’ve found that a lot of info before 1999 gets sketchy in most sports. On the surface, your theory sounds probable. I think most of IUs problems have been caused by the pro-Knight faction that insisted on burying Mike Davis. For some reason, he was frozen out by the HS coaches in Indiana that had been loyal to Knight. The knock on him wasn’t that he didn’t try to recruit in state, but that he couldn’t LAND any of the recruits in state. As for the ’02 roster, the key players were Jeffries (Bloomington), Coverdale (Noblesville), Fife (Michigan). I believe they were the only real midwestern guys on the roster. A couple were from Georgia, and Newton was from NC. The bottom line is if three guys (Sean May, Greg Oden, Mike Conley) had gone to Indiana, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. It’s going to take a guy who can land the top Hoosier stars without cheating.

If you come up with any more research let us know; I count your opinion highly on Hoosier bball.

The real question is should we be rooting for the Boilers today? I’m having a hard time with it. It would help the Big 10, but… I’ll just content myself to root for the Bulldogs tomorrow.

I’ll let you all guess what Demond’s answer to this question is. I doubt it would be printable.