Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday Morning Quarterback

Thanksgiving does not only mean giving thanks, over-eating and praying that your Uncle who believes the family hates him, doesn't have too much to drink and the police are called due to an in progress Domestic Battery. Oh no, Turkey day also serves as a symbol that the Autumn/Winter sports are in full swing.

This time of year is extra special for sports fans. The college football bowl picture is near complete, the NFL drive to make the playoffs heats up and college basketball is in full press. There's hockey, but unless you live in a country that wishes it was France, nobody really cares.

Therefore I am establishing a new feature in Paulies Points, Monday Morning Quarterback. The title is in honor of my weekly sports column, of the same name, written during my college days at Indiana University for the Indiana Daily Student.

Weekend Sports Picks Review

Paulies Points had an excellent weekend going 2-0-2. My Ohio State and Kansas City Chiefs predictions regarding the winner with the points spread came through, while the Notre Dame and Tampa Bay picks where exactly on the spread line, which is called a push. No win or loss.

I will note and laugh at my bonus game, which was way-off. New England destroyed Green Bay. I made the decision the the Packers would win based on the fact that the Patriots had just lost to a mediocre Jets club, have been inconsistent and QB Tom Brady was not playing true to form. Green Bay was at home, better than their record and overall playing good football. However, the better Patriots team showed up and the Packers teams of the early 80's infiltrated Lambeau Field. Still a good weekend for your brilliant bloggers picks.

BCS gets it right

When the latest college football ranking came out Sunday, I was surprised and pleased to see that Michigan remained #2 after their great match against #1 Ohio State in Columbus. Even though the Wolverines lost, the margin was 3 points against the highest ranked team in the country on their home field. Many people will contend that a loss means you must drop in rank, a theory I do not subscribe too.

Most people including your brilliant blogger believed that USC would be ranked #2 after defeating #17 ranked California. However, by no means did USC look very impressive at home in their win and dominance at home is very important when the rankings are so close.

If USC wins their remaining games against #5 Notre dame and UCLA, they most likely will climb ahead of Michigan in the rankings and play Ohio State in the Title game. I believe we have already seen the two best teams in the country face-off this past weekend in Columbus. A rematch on a neutral playing field is what college football fans want to see. I hope we have the chance. This whole scenario serves as a reminder of how badly college football needs a playoff or tournament system to determine #1.

No more Undefeated Teams

The Indianapolis Colts dream of an undefeated season was crushed yesterday after losing to the Cowboys 21-14. Like last year, Indianapolis is a great team and will play in the AFC Championship game, but once again they do not have the defense of a Superbowl caliber team.

I must state that I am a Colts fan. I am devoted to the Chicago Bears, but when it comes to the AFC I cheer on Indianapolis. It's simply related to my strong ties to Indiana. With that said, I have never been certain that Tony Dungy can get them to the promised land. No doubt that Dungy is a solid NFL Head Coach with an impressive win/loss record. However, the Colts have had question marks on defense his entire tenor (5 years) even though they have definitely improved since he took over. The past two seasons the Indy Defense was suppose to make great strides to compliment the leagues best offense. Last year they finished ranked 11th and this year they are currently 16th. Respectable, but not Superbowl Caliber.

Another concern I have with Indy is with the running game. After losing Edgerrin James to Arizona, Colts faithful had reason to be concerned about the running attack. However, Indy got lucky and received a gift horse, but still rely too much on a dead mule. Rookie Joseph Addai has had an excellent rookie season average 4.7 yards a carry. Addai has over 200 more rushing yards than Dominic Rhodes on only 9 more carries. It's clear the Addai needs to be the featured back instead of rushing by committee. Rhodes seems to get the bulk of the carries in the first half and Addai in the second. Indy has only lead at halftime, four times this season, but have a 9-1 record. Coincidence? Dungy can add even more depth to his offense if he starts asserting Addai throughout the entire game.

I am cheering on Indy and hope they can reach the big dance and loose to my Chicago Bears. I'm just not sure they are going to get past San Diego or Baltimore to win the conference. I hope I'm wrong.

Farewell Bo

I have a confession to make. Before Indiana became my Alma Matter, I grew up cheering on the Michigan Wolverines. It was the only school I had any ties too. My Uncle Abe received his Doctorate from UM and my father attended school literally across the street at Eastern Michigan. I grew up loving Bo Schembechler and never stopped.

Schembechler passed away this past Friday right before the big game against Ohio State. History will immortalize him as one of the greatest coaches off all time, but the students who played and worked under him will go on and teach their children the values installed into them by a great "disciplinarian who had paternal qualities," as one alumnist stated.

Every college football fan who grew up in the 70's and 80's will always smile when they recollect Hall of fame announcer Keith Jackson utter the phrase "the Wolverines of Michigan under Head Coach Bo Schembechler." God Bless Bo.



At 11/20/2006 4:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how you decided you were 2-0-2.

Ohio State - You said Michigan wins outright and we must assume that's how you phoned in your bet. That's one loss.

ND - Push.

Tampa Bay - Push

Oakland - Correct. Win.

Green Bay - Got spanked. Loss.

By my math, that makes you 1-2-2.

At 11/21/2006 9:23 AM , Blogger Paulie said...

If you understand Sports wagering at all and read this blog regularly, you would know that you always take the spread, especially when straight wagering. I said and highlighted OSU would not cover, but added a more personal belief that Michigahn would win. The obvious bet is take Michigan and the points, which won and how I would bet.

The NE vs GB game was a bonus game, which is a long shot at best, but in my eyes has a better chance than vegas is giving. I don't always offer such a game because they usually don't exist. Win or loose I don't count them in the total, but if it makes you happy 2-1-2.


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