Posted on: October 29, 2009 1:24 pm

Greatest Sports Time of the Year

This is possibly the best sports time of the year.  Don't get me wrong.  I love March Madness and all that time of the year brings with spring training and the golf season warming up, but this is the time of year I really look forward to!  The leaves change colors, college football on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, NFL on Sundays, great golf weather (at least in Atlanta!), the NBA has tipped off and the beginning of college basketball is near.  This is an exciting time for CBB.  Every team has question marks and hopes.  Everyone has championship aspirations.  From Air Force to Youngstown State, every one has a chance to make it to the big dance.  The advantage of college basketball over college football is the importance of the ENTIRE regular season.  People like to make the argument that college football's regular season would be tainted by a playoff.  Tell that to a BCS team who stumbles out of the gate losing their first 2 games.  All of a sudden the next 10 do not matter as much.  Put a playoff in place and the next 10 become so much more important.  The regular season shouldn't be a playoff, it should determine the playoffs.  Just my opinion, but there is a reason that every other major sport on earth has a playoff system.  Even ancient civilizations knew this was the right way to determine champions.

What is your favorite time of the year for sports?  Why?
Posted on: July 27, 2009 3:31 pm

ACC Basketball 2009-2010 Early Outlook

ACC Basketball 2009-2010 Early Outlook


Predicted Conference Record:

Tyler Hansbrough (F) -  (20.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg)
Ty Lawson (G) - (16.6 ppg, 6.6 apg, 3 rpg)
Wayne Ellington (G) - (15.8 ppg, 2.7 apg, 4.9 rpg)
Danny Green (G-F) - (13.1 ppg, 4.7 apg, 1.3 bpg)
Bobby Frasor (G) - (2.6 ppg, 2 rpg)
J.B. Tanner (G) - (1.1 ppg)
Jack Wooten (G) - (0.5 ppg)
Patrick Moody (F) - (1 ppg)
Mike Copeland (F) -  (0.8 ppg)


Additions: ranked 3rd overall class
John Henson (PF) – 1st ranked PF
Dexter Strickland (G) – 8th ranked SG
Leslie McDonald (SG) – 12th ranked SG
David Wear (PF) – 13th ranked PF
Travis Wear (PF) – 14th ranked PF

The 2009 NCAA champions return only one starter from their title run earlier this year.  The Tarheels will reload with a top-notch recruiting class and the return of senior SG Marcus Ginyard from a medical redshirt.  There is a lot to replace for this UNC team but there is some experience left over to mix in with the new blood.  The starting line-up will most likely include only one freshman, John Henson.  He is a great athlete with the ability to score both inside and out.  Henson is a dynamic player and should end the season as a Freshman All-American.  In the front court along with Henson in the starting line-up will most likely be senior Dion Thompson and sophomore Ed Davis.   Davis was a projected lottery pick if he had chosen to declare for the draft.  Expect him to be first team all ACC with the potential to lead the league in rebounds and blocked shots.  With sophomore Tyler Zeller and freshman forward twins David and Travis Wear competing for minutes, the UNC frontcourt should be among the best in the nation.  The backcourt will be the biggest question mark for this UNC team.  Larry Drew II will need to improve greatly from his freshman season.  There was a large drop-off in team play when Lawson was out with injury in ‘08-‘09.  Although he will not be expected to score a lot, it will be important for him to keep the ball going toward UNC’s basket.  Teams will press him early until he can prove that he can take care of the ball.  Ginyard will play a huge roll defensively and provide much needed leadership to an otherwise young team.  Freshman Dexter Strickland will be called on to handle the ball in some occasions and Leslie McDonald will be a solid defender and shooter off the bench.   This will be an interesting year for the Tarheels.  They will get better as the season moves along and be ready come tournament time.

Prediction:  Final Four




Predicted Conference Record: 

Sophomore Terrence Oglesby (G) - (13.2 ppg)
K.C. Rivers (G-F) -  (14.2 ppg, 6 rpg)
Raymond Sykes ( C ) - (7.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg)
Jesse Yanutola (F) - (0.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg

Additions: top 10 recruiting class
Milton Jennings (PF) – 8th ranked PF
Noel Johnson (SG) – 13th ranked SG
Devin Booker (PF) – 17th ranked PF
Donte Hill (SF) – 23rd ranked SF


With the loss of Rivers and Oglesby, Clemson will need to replace their 2 best three point threats.  They will try to do this with Noel Johnson, David Potter and the improvement of Demontez Stitt’s 3 point accuracy.  Clemson will be deep in the post with Booker (last year’s ACC leading rebounding at 9.7 rbg) and the incoming Milton Jennings and Devin Booker.  Look for Potter to begin the season as the starting 2 guard before giving way to Noel Johnson sometime before ACC play begins.  I think the loss of Oglesby will be addition through subtraction.  He was not a strong leader and averaged less than 2 apg over his 2 years.  Although he made 92 three point field goals last year (2.9 per game), he missed 145 attempts.  Unofficially, 90% of those 145 attempts were very bad shots.

This year Clemson has an opportunity to make up to their fans for finishing so poorly the last few years after having hot start.  Clemson was bounced in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year, but I think they will go much deeper into March Madness this year.

Prediction:  Elite Eight with potential to make it to the Final Four.

3) DUKE:


Predicted Conference Record:

Greg Paulus (G) - (4.9 ppg)
David McClure (F) - (1.9 ppg)
Gerald Henderson (G-F) - (16.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg)
Elliot Williams (G) – (4.2 ppg)

Ryan Kelly (PF) – 4th ranked PF
Mason Plumlee (PF) – 6th ranked PF
Andre Dawkins (G) – 3rd ranked SG in class on 2010 but allowed to enroll early and eligible for 2009 season.


After being embarrassed in the Sweet Sixteen last year, Duke hopes ACC POY candidate Kyle Singler can help the Blue Devils rebound to the greatness the levels reached earlier this decade.  The loss of Henderson to the NBA is a big loss, but they return 5 players that started at least 16 games last year.  Incoming forwards Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee will be expected to contribute immediately.   The early eligibility of Dawkins will give Duke much needed depth at guard, but is an unknown commodity.  The key to Duke’s season will be the continued growth and maturity of the returning players not named Singler.  Singler should be one of the best players in the ACC but can’t be relied on to do it all by himself.  Smith, Lance Thomas, and Miles Plumlee will need to show a marked improvement.  The biggest question mark for the Blue Devils is still their inside presence.  Although they brought in 2 top ranked players at the PF position, they both prefer to play facing the basket.  Coach K has been enamored with the international game while coaching the Olympics and I believe that is holding his college team back a bit.  If Duke gets any inside play from Zoubek, they will be better than advertised.

Prediction:  Sweet 16 with the talent to go deeper.



Predicted Conference Record:

Dave Neal (F) - (8.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg)
Braxton Dupree (F-C) - (2.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg)

Jordan Williams (PF/C) – 16th ranked C
James Padgett (PF/C) – 25th ranked C


Maryland was one of only 3 ACC teams to escape the first round in the NCAA tournament last year.  The Terrapins are a curious team this year because we know that they will be better this year than they were last year.  The curious part is that no one is sure how good they were last year.  They were wildly inconsistent and many fans were once doing the unthinkable and calling for Gary Williams’ job.  This year should be better with Vazquez returning.  He led the Terps in all three major statistical categories.  He can single handedly win games by himself – the UNC game last year is a perfect example.  They return most of their starting lineup and the year of experience will help them improve on last year’s 21-14 record.  UMD lacked big men and relied heavily on the 3 point shot last year, often times running what amounted to a 4 guard offense.  The addition of their 2 big recruits should help them compete against the bigger teams in the ACC. 

Prediction:  Sweet 16 with Elite Eight potential



Predicted Conference Record:

Tyrese Rice (G) - (16.9 ppg, 5.3 apg)

Additions: none


BC finished last year’s season with a first round loss to USC in the NCAA tournament.  They lose their on-court leader and best scorer in Tyrese Rice.  BC will have experience and depth to rival any team in the conference.  They return 4 players that were together in 34 starting line-ups last year.  Junior Rakim Sanders, a 4-star recruit in 2007, will step in as an immediate scoring option.  He averaged 13 ppg and 4.5 rbg last year as a sophomore.  Coach Skinner runs a relatively complicated flex offense, so having experienced players on the floor is a large bonus for BC.  Trapani will have another solid, if not spectacular year.  Look for this team to pull off surprises and make it interesting in the NCAA tournament.

Prediction:  Sweet Sixteen



Predicted Conference Record:

Lewis Clinch (G) - (15.5 ppg)
Bassirou Dieng (C-F) - (1.2 ppg)
Gary Cage (G) - (0.7 ppg)
Alade Aminu (F) - (11.8 ppg, 8 rpg) 

Additions: ranked 5th overall class
Derrick Favors (C) – ranked #1 overall player
Mfon Udofia (PG) – 5th ranked PG
Daniel Miller (C) – 28th ranked C
Brian Oliver (SF) - 29th ranked SF
Kammeon Holsey (PF) – 30th ranked PF
Glen Rice (SG) – 31st ranked SG


Georgia Tech looks to make a huge improvement over last year’s terrible season.  The Yellow Jackets only won 2 conference games in 2008-2009.  This year they bring in Derrick Favors, the top overall recruit according to  He is as good as advertised and will combine with Gani Lawal to make a very formidable front court combination.  After finishing second in the ACC with 9.5 rebounds per game, Lawal was projected as a first round draft pick but chose to come back to Tech for another year.  The biggest plus for Tech this year is that Shumpert will not have to play the point.  He is an unbelievable talent at the 2 spot but averaged nearly 4 turnovers a game while playing out of position.  Tech brings in Mfon Udofia (the 5th ranked point guard in the class), Maurice Miller is a year older (and healthy), and they will get guard help from 5th year senior D’Andre Bell after sitting out a year with a medical red-shirt.  I expect to see Udofia starting at the point and Shumpert playing a much more comfortable 2 guard position.  I would have the Yellow Jackets above .500 in conference play if their conference schedule was more favorable.  They have to play UNC, Duke, Florida State, Wake Forest, and Clemson twice.  They only play NC State and Virginia (both expected to be the bottom 2 teams in the ACC) once each.  If Tech beats the teams they are supposed to beat and can will 18-20 games, they will get an NCAA tournament nod even with a losing record in the ACC.

Prediction:  NCAA tournament round of 32 with potential to go further.



Predicted Conference Record:

James Johnson (F) – (15.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg)
Jeff Teague (G) – (18.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.5 apg)

Ari Stewart (SF) – 8th ranked SF
C.J. Harris (SG) – 24th ranked SG
Konner Tucker (PG) – JC transfer 


Another ACC team that finished the season with a disappointing loss in the first round of the NCAA, Wake Forest is hopeful that the losses of Jeff Teague and James Johnson will not set them back very far.  The key to Wake’s success this season will be guard play.  Wake Forest stumbled near the end of last season as Teague showed some signs of wear.  The good news is that Wake will be returning PG Ishmael Smith, who was a 2 year starter prior to a foot injury last year.  He will be a solid senior leader for the club this year. Another senior, L.D. Williams will be instrumental in replacing Teague’s production.  7 foot senior Chaz McFarland, 7’ sophomore Ty Walker, and 6’10” Toney Woods will be important pieces to the puzzle this year.  Walker and Woods were both top 10 centers in the 2008 recruiting class and are expected to garner much more playing time this year.  Combined, these 3 players have plenty of ability to help ease the loss of Johnson. The one certainty for Wake this year is Al-Farouq Aminu.  He will be good, very good.  After freshman season averages of 13 points and 8 rebounds a game, he will be the focal point of the offense and should average nearly 18 and 10.  Aminu needs to improve his ability to play on the perimeter, but already has the ability to be the ACC player of the year.  I think Wake takes a step back during the regular season, but has the ability to do so much more.  The clock is ticking for Gino Gaudio to prove himself as a coach worthy of a job in the ACC.

Prediction:  Round of 32 with sweet 16 potential.



Predicted Conference Record:

Brian Hoff (G) - (1 ppg)
Toney Douglas (G-F) - (21.5 ppg)
Uche Echefu (F) - (8.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg)

Additions: ranked 24th overall class
Michael Snaer (SG) – 3rd ranked SG
Terrence Shannon (PF) – 28th ranked PF


FSU won 10 games in the conference last year for the first time in 15 years, but finished with a disappointing loss to Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA tourney.  The loss of Toney Douglas will definitely hurt on both ends of the floor, especially offense.  The addition of Michael Snaer is big time.  He is ready to contribute immediately on the offensive end.  Look for him to be the starter at 2 guard to begin the season.  FSU returns a lot of height and frontcourt talent, but they must improve their rebounding margin to be successful.  They will look for Alabi, a projected lottery pick, for a little more scoring inside and Derwin Kitchen, a 2nd year JC transfer, is a capable ball handler and leader.  Look for Chris Singleton to improve on his freshman totals of 8 ppg and 5 rbg.  I expect him to have a big impact and challenge for a spot on the All-ACC second team.   A lot of questions for FSU will be answered before most teams even begin to practice. They started organized practices on July 17th due to a tour in Spain next month.


Prediction:  Sweet Sixteen with potential to reach the Elite Eight.


Predicted Conference Record:

A.D. Vassallo (G-F) - (19.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg)
Cheick Diakite ( C ) - (3.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg)

Cadarian Raines (C) – 9th ranked C
Erik Green (PG) – 17th ranked PG
Manny Atkins (SF) – 27th ranked SF
Ben Boggs (SG)


Virginia Tech lost in the second round of the NIT to Baylor last year.  The bad news is that the Hokies will most likely struggle to replace Vassallo’s nightly averages of 19 points and 6 rebounds.  The good news is they do return Malcom Delaney and Jeff Allen.  Delaney averaged 18 points and 4 rebounds a game while Allen averaged nearly 14 and 8.  They will be the cornerstone of the Hokie’s starting 5.  They will look to J.T. Thomas to continue where he left off last year, finishing strong after being slowed by a hernia operation at the beginning of the season.  Guard Deronzo Hudson will also play an important role in helping to replace the production of Vassallo.  Freshman Cadarian Raines will most likely immediately be in the rotation for minutes.  Raines is a 6’8” center that is a solid defender and rebounder but currently lacks the post moves to be a serious offensive threat in a league filled with big defenders.  Virginia Tech will most likely take a small step back, but will still compete for a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Prediction:  NIT

10) MIAMI:


Predicted Conference Record:

Jimmy Graham (F) - (4 ppg, 5.9 rpg)
Lance Hurdle (G) -  (7.3 ppg)
Brian Asbury (F) - (8 ppg, 5 rpg)
Jack McClinton (G) - (19.3 ppg)

Durand Scott (SG) – 5th ranked SG
Donnavan Kirk (SF) – 23rd ranked SF
Garrius Adams (SG) – 28th ranked SG
Antoine Allen (G)


Miami was unable to make the NCAA tournament in 2008-2009.  They lost in the second round of the NIT to UF.  They lose their number one scoring option and team leader, Jack McClinton.  They will look to five star recruit, Durand Scott, to help pick up the slack that McClinton’s absence will leave.  Scott is a 6’4” big time player that has huge upside.  Miami will also return 6’8” Dwayne Collins.  Collins initially entered the 2009 draft before withdrawing to continue his college basketball career.  He will be the teams returning leader in both points (10.6) and rebounds (7.3).  He has to have a great season for Miami to succeed.  Other scoring options to replace McClinton will be James Dews (8.6 ppg in 2008-09) and Villanova transfer, Malcom Grant.  He is eligible to play this year after sitting last year out.  Miami will have to replace a team leader by committee and rely on the offerings of many rather than the gifts from a few.  They may take a step back this year before being more competitive in 2010-2011.

Prediction:  NIT



Predicted Conference Record:

Tunji Soroye (C) - (1.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg)
Mamadi Diane (G-F) - (6 ppg, 2 rpg)

Tristan Spurlock (SF) – 18th ranked SF
Jontel Evans (PG) – 19th ranked PG


2008-2009 was another disappointing season in Charlottesville.  The Cavaliers posted an abysmal record of 10-18 overall with only 4 conference wins.  The good news is that UVA returns most everyone from last season and brings in two respectable recruits.  They return their top 6 scorers including last year’s ACC rookie of the year, Sylvan Landesberg (16.6 ppg).  They also return their top 5 rebounding players, most notably Mike Scott (7.4 rbg).  Scott was also 2nd on the team in scoring averaging just over 10 points per game.  Freshman small forward Tristan Spurlock will most likely be given the opportunity to win the starting job at the beginning of the season.  He should be a good player for the next few years.  The biggest addition will be new head coach, Tony Bennett.  The Cavaliers will play good defense under Bennett.  Bennett is a definite upgrade over Leitao and should be worth a couple more conference wins.  Washington State was among the best defensive teams in the nation in Bennett’s three years there.  The offense will be stale and boring but they will win more games, which UVA fans will welcome with open arms.  It will take Bennett a couple of years to get his type of players onto campus, so patience with this program will be necessary.  Another plus is the schedule.  On paper, the Wahoos have the easiest schedule in the ACC.  The Cavaliers only play Duke (home) and UNC (away) once and they also get to play 4 games against Miami and NC State.  UVA gets better this year, but not good enough to compete in the top half of a very competitive and deep ACC.

Prediction:  They improve to a .500 overall club, but no postseason



Predicted Conference Record:

Courtney Fells (G-F) - (11.3 ppg)
Simon Harris (F) - (1.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg)
Ben McCauley (F-C) - (12.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.0 apg)
Brandon Costner (F) – (13.3 ppg, 6 rpg)
Trevor Ferguson (G) – (5.5 ppg)

Additions: ranked 14th overall class
Richard Howell (PF) – 16th ranked PF
Deshawn Painter (PF) – 20th ranked PF
Scott Wood (SG) – 26th ranked SG
Jordan Vandenberg (C) – 7 footer from Australia
Josh Davis (SF)


The Wolfpack lost a lot of players off an already bad team.  NCSU is losing 53% of their scoring from last year and nearly 60% of their rebounding.  The team will be damaged even more by their top recruit, Lorenzo Brown (G) – 6th ranked SG, failing to qualify academically and having to take a detour to Hargrave Military Academy.  With the other additions, NC State’s ceiling is close to an identical conference record as they posted last year.  Sidney Lowe has not shown that he can produce more with less, so I look for the Wolfpack to take a step back this year.  The lone bright spot may be Tracy Smith.  Smith average 10 ppg and 4.5 rbg in about 18 minutes per game last year.  I expect to see him close to 16 and 8 this year.  Otherwise, this team won’t be much to watch.

Prediction:  No postseason

- All recruit rankings used were as ranked by

Posted on: April 14, 2009 11:48 am
Edited on: April 14, 2009 2:59 pm

Early TOP 25 for NCAA Basketball 2009-2010 (1-10)

 I know it is early, but 1/2 the fun is revising after everyone has hired agents, recruits are final, etc...  I will be doing this in increments with my 1 - 10 today.


1.  Kansas - With Aldrich and Collins staying they would already be the favorite.  Add that to their already signed recruiting class with 5-star commits from Elijah Johnson (#6 SG according to and Thomas Robinson (#7 PF) and the possible signing of Xavier Henry (#1 SG) and Lance Stephenson (#1 SF).  I think they will most likely sign either or Henry/Stephenson, but it is anyone's guess.  We should know more Saturday.

2.  Duke - I believe that Henderson will be back.  I don't believe financial difficulty is a problem with his family with his father playing 13 years in the NBA and both parents being real estate agents.  If they do return all 5 starters with their signed recruits being 6'10.5 Ryan Kelly (#3 PF) and 6'11" Mason Plumlee (#6 PF) they should be a team with high expectations.  The weakness will once again be no inside presence.  Even with the addition of Plumlee (205 pounds) and Kelly (210) they are still really light in the middle other than Zoubek.

3.  Michigan State - A return to the final four is a possibility for this MSU team returning 5 of its top 6 scorers.  Losing Suton may be a bit more damaging than a lot of people think.  They played much better with him in the line-up this year.  They do have 2 four star centers signed (#'s 8 and 19 respectively). Derrick Nix is a beast at 6'9" and 275 pounds but needs a little polish before being a steady contributor.  MSU is always a contender because of the fine coaching by Tom Izzo and I expect similiar results next year.

4.  Villanova - While losing Cunningham from the final four team, Nova has a recruiting class highlighted by 5-star #3 SF Dominic Cheek and 3 4-star players, Villanova will be a team that should be able to go deep in the tournament once again.  They should once again be a stifling defensive squad and a slightly relaxed Big-East should prepare them well for the post-season.

5.  UCONN - Assuming that Thabeet is gone, they have a hole to fill in the middle.  They will try to fill the hole with rising senior 7'0" 240 pound Mandeldove and incoming freshman recruit Alex Oriakhi (#4 C).  I expect that Oriakhi will get the majority of minutes.  Mandeldove was known as a shot blocker when coming out of high school but hasn't averaged more than 2.5 minutes a game since his frosh season.  The bonus is that UCONN doesn't expect many points coming from the center position with the most likely return of Stanly Robinson combined with Walker and Dyson.

6.  Purdue - With their top 4 scorers all returning (3 rising juniors and 22 year old senior leader Keaton Grant), Purdue could be a team to watch.  They will have experience and should be ready to take that next step.  All of Purdue's top players are very coachable and play hard. Matt Painter should be able to guide them in the right direction.

7.  UNC - Will most likely start the season with only 1 starter returning from their NCAA title squad.  The Heels will reload with one of the top ranked recruiting classes. The class combined with seniors Marcus Ginyard and Dion Thompson and sophomores Ed Davis, Tyler Zeller and Larry Drew II, the Heels should be back in the mix for a deep run in March.  The recruiting class brings in 3 PF - John Henson (#1 PF) and twins David (#15 PF) and Travis Wear (#14 PF) and 2 SG - Dexter Strickland (#4 SG) and Leslie McDonald (#13 SG).  The biggest hole UNC will have to fill is PG.  Larry Drew II received respectable minutes in the backup role this year.  I look for Davis to have a huge year and for the Heels to gel towards the middle of the year.

8.  Kentucky - If both Meeks and Patterson return UK could be in the top 5, however, I believe at least one of the 2 will leave.  If either do indeed leave, UK will still be a very talented but young team for 1st year head coach John Calipari.  With DeMarcus Cousins (#2 C) and Daniel Orton (#3 C) coming in UK should have a strong front court especially if Patterson stays.  UK is still in the running to land John Wall (#1 PG) and Xavier Henry.  Regardless of anyone staying or going, UK should be poised to be a solid contender in the SEC next season. 

9.  Butler - Should return every body from their 2008-09 team.  They did not have a single senior on their roster last year and started 3 true freshman.  With head coach Brad Stevens signing a contract extension, the team looks poised to continue their recent success.  Although they lost to LSU in the first round of the tournament the experience should prove to be invaluable.  Barring injury, I believe Butler should be a definite sweet 16 team with the possibility of reaching the Elite Eight. 

10.  Clemson - This is the year Clemson doesn't fold down the stretch.  Clemson will be solid.  They are returning three of their top scorers and they will be ready to prove that they are the team that we saw the first half of last season, not the latter half of last season.  Purnell is a good coach.  Clemson has a recruiting class coming in featuring the Milton Jennings (#8 PF) and ACC player of the year candidate Trevor Booker's younger brother Devin (# 24 PF).  Look for Jennings to contribute early.  This Clemson squad is definitely a player for a run to the elite eight.


Posted on: March 12, 2009 10:29 am

Tiger Woods, Byron Nelson and the Media

Tiger is one of the most dominant golfers of all time and possesses the uncanny desire to win (much like Jack Nicklaus).  This always brings up the argument of "best all time".  I definitely believe that Tiger is the most hyped and media driven professional golfer of all time and I believe he is definitely in the top 5 golfers of all time.  However, (if you twisted my arm to make a comparison) in my opinion the most dominant golfer of all time would be Byron Nelson.  From 1942-1946 he had a streak of 65 tournaments where he finished in the top 10.  He won 34 of those and finished 2nd in 16 others.  He won 11 in a row and 18 in one year.  His scoring average over the 1945 season was an unbelievable 68.33. Unheard of at that time!  A scoring average like that would match Tiger's great 2000 season.  Imagine if he lifted weights or had better equipment.  Nelson won 6 times in 1946 and then retired from regular tournament golf to own a ranch in Texas at the age of 34.  Right in the middle of his prime when he was playing his best golf.  He said the reason for retiring so young was that when he started playing golf professionally, he had an amount of money in his mind he was determined to make in order to buy a ranch.  When he made that money, he stopped playing and moved on to the ranch lifestyle.  In only parts of 11 seasons of professional golf he won 54 times.  He also held the record for most consecutive cuts made at 113.  He would have inevitably extended that streak for much longer had he not retired.  Another thing to look at is "making the cut" in Nelson's day meant finishing in the top 20 (only those players received paychecks) and although Woods had a consecutive cuts streak of 145, 36 of those tournaments were "no-cut" tournaments meaning everyone makes the cut and receives a paycheck (like in this weekend's World Golf Championship event) and Woods also finished outside the top 20 many times but still made the cut.

That being said, I don't want to take anything away from what Tiger has accomplished in HIS era.  What makes Tiger so great is his ability to win.  People have this notion that he dominates the sport of golf every week.  While it is true that he is great, the casual golfer thinks he wins every tournament because the media makes it seem that way. The truth is he only wins 25% of the tournaments he enters (which is spectacular) and he has only lead the PGA tour in scoring 7 times in 12 years (Nicklaus lead the PGA in scoring 8 times in 12 years).  As amazing as he is.  I don't think it is possible to say he is the greatest ever.  It is like comparing Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle or Ted Williams to Griffey, Bonds or A-Rod.  I think it is safe to say he is the greatest in his era but I think we should only judge eras individually.


Posted on: March 5, 2009 11:00 am
Edited on: March 10, 2009 9:14 am

March Madness

As this time of year approaches it brings with it many quandaries.  Who to put in the tournament and who to leave out.  Do you reward teams like Maryland for playing a difficult schedule but struggled to an 18-11 record or a team like Davidson?  Maryland has wins over UNC, VA Tech, Michigan, Miami and @ Michigan State, but they were blown out by Georgetown, Duke and Gonzaga.  I believe it isn't just good enough to have solid teams on your schedule.  You have to win at least one of those games to prove you belong.  I believe that if you prove you can BEAT a good team it should go a long way toward solidifying your tournament resume.  Davidson beat WVU @ WVU and N.C. State.

I think it depends on what you believe the committee's job should be.  Is it to reward a team for their regular season or is it to put teams in the tournament that has a legitimate chance to win it all?  If it is the former you may lean to Siena and if it is the latter, you may lean towards Maryland.  If you match the Sienas and Niagaras of the college basketball world against the Marylands and Villanovas of the world, the UMDs and Villanovas win at least 8 out of 10 times.  Maryland and Villanova could beat any team in the tournament 4 out of 10 times.  I don't believe the same is true for most of the smaller conference teams.  Other than UNLV in '90 who had 4 NBA players on their starting 5, there hasn't been a team from outside the major conferences win an NCAA basketball title since
Loyola in 1963.  Another point worth making is that only two seeds #8 and above have ever made the championship game - Villanova and UCLA - both from BCS conferences. 

I know it sounds like I think the big conferences should get the nod, but that is where my dilemma begins.  There is nothing more exciting than watching a team like George Mason from 2006 or Davidson from last year pull off upsets and advance through the tourney.  I always have a hard time making up my mind about what I want the selection committee to focus on.  I am glad I don't have to choose.




Posted on: February 23, 2009 9:46 am

Weekend Thoughts

Phil finally showed some poise this weekend.  After such a roller coaster ride to play 16, 17 and 18 with such composure was impressive.  It was nice to see him hit 3 wood on 18 instead of being too aggresive.  Seriously, if you hit a 6-iron 227 yards, do you need to have a driver?  Looking forward to seeing how Tiger plays at the Accenture.  Should be a good weekend to watch golf.

The Tarheels losing was a real downer on an otherwise great sports weekend.  You have to look better than that against a Maryland team playing their heart out.  I can't tell you how frustrating the Heel's perimeter defense can be from a fan's perspective.

Spring training is in full swing and it is the best time of the year to be a Cubs fan!  So much hope and optimism.  I can only wish that it will carry through the rest of the season.  I pray we are buyers when the time comes to improve or disband rosters around the All-Star break.

Thoughts and comments are welcome.

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