So, does anyone think the ACC is back on track after Miami thumped Pitt last night? No? Okay, how about the Big East? Just kidding. The state of football on the East Coast is in a bad way, with the only preseason contender remaining undefeated a questionable West Virginia squad. The Big East has been little more than a Mountain West of the East for the last few seasons, and both conferences make you wonder why any conference should be guaranteed an automatic bid before the season. If the conference stinks, why should some 8-4 patsy be thrust into the BCS? Let the season play out and THEN see who is deserving. The ACC and Big East champs can still play… just not for BCS money. But that’s another post. We are hitting MLB, NFL, and NBA this week, so let’s line up for the kick…
Can Someone Please Remind me Why Rays-Yankees Matters?
In high school I was tasked with doing a statistical analysis of any given phenomenon I wanted (within reason), and I decided to go out on a limb and analyze the effect of being a Wild Card team on playoff success. The sample size was small, etc, and so yea I had all those problems, but what I found at the time was surprising- Wild Card teams actually tended to have more success than the average other playoff team, probably because the second-best team in a league is probably better than a few of the division winners.
Regardless, we have seen time and time again that being a home team might give you some edge in the playoffs, but all in all it isn’t that big a deal. So why are we all up in arms about Yankees-Rays and who will win the division? Whether the Rays get another banner or the Yankees shrug their shoulders at winning another division title it doesn’t exactly matter- a bigger story might be the Twins slowly sneaking up as the best team in the AL. The Yankees-Rays storyline is convenient for the media, but largely irrelevant come October.
Can’t Defend You, Braylon
I want to defend Braylon Edwards, I really do. As a Michigan guy who saw him make miraculous catch after miraculous catch, I was crestfallen seeing him drafted by the Browns (by the way, he dropped the easy balls and caught the hard ones at Michigan, too). This latest round of off-field incidents is simply too much- not only did he drive drunk, but was irresponsible enough to do so with at least two teammates in the car with him. That is not just stupid, it’s wrong. I hope the Jets make an example of Braylon the same way Roger Goodell did with Nate Burleson a few years back- suspending him not just for driving under the influence but for a history of behavior that said he needed help. We have no reason to think that Edwards has a drinking problem necessarily, but clearly his uncomfortable exit from Cleveland was not a reminder to get his act together. Add in his taunting of an opposing player and you are looking at someone who has regressed in his maturity since entering the league. He needs a strong message from the team and from the commissioner before his tremendous talent is completely “wasted.”
Don Nelson Out as Warriors Head Coach
In theory, I understand this move- Don Nelson has a way of getting under people’s skin, be them players, owners, fans, etc. His abrasive style and aggressive style of play tends to drive superstars away and keep the team, even at its best, a mid-level playoff contender and many years in the cellar. That said, I understand this move… in May. Maybe even June. But the end of September? I understand that Joe Jacob only purchased the team in July, but perhaps that’s a sign not to change things too much when you show up. Now, not only has Jacob not actually gotten to see the inner workings of the team during the season, but he is left with a presumably lame-duck coach for an entire season until he can replace promoted assistant coach Keith Smart, who will be looking for a multi-year deal- good luck with that. This is the classic example of a knee jerk reaction to “shake things up”, but what it actually gives Golden State is another wasted season that ownership has capitulated before the preseason has even started. The winningest coach in NBA history, however hollow that title might be, is worth one season until you can get “your guy” at the beginning of the next offseason.