Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday morning thoughts

-The injury to Jason Chapman seems serious enough to likely keep him out of the Michigan game, so my thoughts for the D-line - DeCremer starting at DE, Newkirk playing more at DT - are about to come true, although not in the way I imagined. That's a huge blow to an already thin unit. Really wish some of those early games had been more lopsided so Stehle and Cascone could have gotten more experience.

-Here's another kick in the groin for non-Big Ten Networkers: the Badger basketball team kicks off exhibition play tonight at 7 p.m. against Edgewood in a game on the BTN. UW also plays Wednesday night against Eau Claire on the BTN. No big deal you say? These are just two of at least 21 games I count that will be on the BTN. So this fight isn't over just because the Wisconsin-Ohio State game is over, or at least it shouldn't be.

-Our Iola-Scandinava Thunderbirds advanced to the state football semifinals with a thrilling 29-22 win over private school power Stevens Point Pacelli Friday night. The game was played just down the block from our house, and we've never seen suge a crowd for a game, great atmosphere. Next up is Fennimore, Luke Swan's alma mater, and I just hope our kids don't have the feeling they just won state by beating Pacelli ... although I can't imagine our coach will let that happen.

-West Bend East lost to Watertown in the state volleyball finals last night in their first trip to state since 2001. Seems like the proper team won, as East was mainly an undersized group of scrappers who fell behind 2-0 and rallied in its first two matches at state. Apparently many of their key players went to my grade school, St. Frances Cabrini - SFC Warriors represent!

-Can't believe Michigan is in position to be a top 10 team, when they still haven't beaten anyone. Tell me why they were ranked #12 yesterday, about 10 spots ahead of us, with the same record, same amount of quality wins (zero), but more losses to I-AA teams.

-Andy and I watched the LSU-Alabama game, what an exciting game with talented athletes and great coaches. Then you switch on Illinois-Minnesota ... zzzzzzzzzz. I've been a Big Ten defender all the way, but it's now reached the point where the SEC is so much better than our conference that there's no way to spin it. Florida's domination of Ohio State in the title game last season was emphatic, and if LSU survives to face the Buckeyes in New Orleans this year it will be another rout.

-Yi Jianlian played really well for the Bucks in their win over the Bulls last night. Our much-hyped rookie from China shows a nice shooting touch, and should be able to combine with Redd for a tough-to-defend pick and roll combo. My favorite thing about him last night was his aggressiveness against some tough interior defenders. At one point, he went up for a dunk and had it blocked, thought he got fouled. But a couple minutes later he drove to the rim and tried to dunk again - and had it blocked again, cleanly. I liked how he stayed on the attack.

-Marquette lost a potential contributor when Trevor Mbakwe was lost for the season with a knee injury. The kid seems to have gotten a raw deal, held up from practice by the NCAA clearinghouse, now injured. They're pretty thin inside, which will probably preclude them from winning anything really significant this season.


Jim Polzin said...

Good point on the UW-Michigan ranking disparity. It all comes down to when you lose, which is why I hate rankings.

Michigan benefits by losing early in the season and putting together a long winning streak. UW starts off with five wins, then drops below Michigan because it loses its two games in the middle of the season.

I would hate to be a pollster (I know, I know, I am Polster). The best ones weigh wins and losses as a whole and don't base it on when you lose games.

This is a horrible example, but let's say Ohio State beats Illinois and then loses to Michigan. Someone in the LSU, Oregon and Oklahoma crowd would get the chance to play for the national title; Ohio State wouldn't, because its late loss would cause it to fall behind those teams in the Harris poll.

Like I said, not a great example because I'm not sure Ohio State, if it doesn't even win its own conference title, would be deserving at national title game appearance.

I'm not sold on the SEC being way better than the Big Ten. Ohio State's flop against Florida doesn't help my argument, but that game is closer if Ted Ginn doesn't get hurt early in the game. And UW and Penn State beat good SEC teams.

I guess we'll see in January.

Will said...

Really enjoy reading Stewart Mandel's weekly explaination of his rankings...they usually make a lot of sense.

As much as I don't like Michigan they're undefeated in conference and had to make a really long journey to the rankings because no pollster wanted to put them back in. Ohio State would need to win the national championship to erase the bad image the Big Ten has created for itself this season simply because of the Wolverines.

Also in Michigan's defense: that loss to Oregon doesn't look so bad right now. The loss to a Division I-AA powerhouse is probably equal to losing to a lower-level MAC or Sun Belt school. Not saying that it wasn't an awful loss but it shouldn't prevent them from getting back into the rankings. UW got back in the top 25 after beating Northern Illinois and a decent Indiana squad.

I think UW has actually been treated very well by the pollsters this season.

Wonder for the SEC schools that don't play in BCS they care as much? There are so many NFL prospects....are they more concerned with draft position and getting ready for the combine? Is the wear and tear of the SEC season a factor? Does all the hype, all the pagentry that is associated with the weekly games deflate some of the excitement about playing in the bowl? Not sure if any of this is true, but it might play some factor.

Toohey said...

Taps, a couple comments.

-Good comments regarding High School Football. Schwib and I went to see #3 Edina (my Alma Mater) play @ #1 Eden Prairie. Granted I haven't been to a HS football game in a while but I was amazed by the crowd. Had to 5000 plus. I'm looking forward to watching more games next fall.

-Regarding Michigan; Where does Big Blue go if they beat Bucky next week and tOSU the following week, assuming tOSU takes care of Mendenhall (I'm also a big fan) and Illinois? Do they deserve a BCS bid?

Scott Tappa said...

-Respectfully disagree with Jim's revisionist take on the title game. Ginn wouldn't have made a difference- that game was won on the line, especially with Florida overwhelming OSU's O-line, and OSU's D-line generating no pass rush.

-I'd be interested in seeing the SEC's record in bowl games over, say, the last decade, compared to other conferences.

-Wouldn't Michigan play in the Rose Bowl? No way they play in the title game.

-Who won, Edina or Eden Prairie?

mjschwal said...

Eden Prairie killed them, 38-7. Bud Grant's kid coaches the team and his grandson is QB. They are the Minnesota powerhouse and looked it Friday night.

Edina runs the spread, which is probably why their program has become relevant now, but Friday their QB had absolutely no time.

EP is one of the better high school teams I've seen in a long time. Not flashy and they don't have any super athletes, but they are one of the best-coached teams I've ever seen.

By the way, the Badgers' Blake Sorenson comes from EP.