This Week’s Sports Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Gator Fail

Florida gators photo

Photo by bjmcdonald

Statistically speaking, Florida played a great game against Missouri tonight. They had 8 minutes more time of possession, ran 35 more plays, gained well over twice as many yards and were given 11 penalties against Missouri.

So how did they lose 42-13? A kickoff return and punt return for touchdowns and 6 turnovers will do that.

Honestly, Missouri couldn’t have played a worse game on offense than this, but Florida mistakes helped them to a 42-0 lead anyway.

I don’t even know how a team can make that many mistakes. You can blame the starting QB, Jeff Driskel for some of those turnovers, but he doesn’t cover kicks. This mess of bad football goes much deeper, and I know Gator fans seem willing to dump much of it on the head coach. Can’t really argue with them.

Can history repeat itself and the Gators find the perfect replacement the way they did after the Ron Zook era? If they do, does that mean Muschamp will be at Illinois next year? ;-)

Will Florida State Fans Protest During Gameday?

They appear to be trying to organize a silent protest during the ESPN Gameday show, apparently to protest the “unfair”, “hateful” coverage of their beloved Seminoles and Jameis Winston.

Aww, it’s so cute when fans are completely blind to the possibility that their team is dirty and blame the entire thing on the media. Yeah, the New York Times is investigating the possibility that the Tallahassee PD is corrupt, but that’s all Lee Corso’s fault. I’m sure you’ll show them…..

Politics and Sports: Serbia and Albania

Really, shouldn’t UEFA get together with the NBA and figure out how to rig the ping pong balls so that these two teams don’t wind up in the same qualifying group?

Serbia-Albania match abandoned after drone carrying Albanian flag sparks brawl

I mean they’re already playing the games with bans on any visiting fans, and still this happens. What’s next, playing the games in empty stadiums at undisclosed locations? How will the TV networks get their highlights? Won’t anyone think of the highlights??

Seriously though, I’m glad it looks like no one was seriously hurt and I hope they can find a way to get through a freaking soccer match without fighting!

Could the Cowboys Be For Real?

A win in Seattle certainly makes it seem like this team is real. The offensive line dominating, leading the way to a record setting running back and a passing game relying on big play wideouts and dependable tight end, is a combination that certainly seems familiar to Cowboy fans. Even the defense, which was terrible last year, has been surprisingly good this year. (Is Rolando McClain the pickup of the year or what??)

On the other hand, it’s October. We’ve been here before in October and November only to see December bring heartbreak. I think all Cowboy fans are pleasantly surprised, and excited, but waiting to see what happens late in the season. 5-1 is nice, but it could turn into 8-8 again, we all know that!

For this week though, going into Seattle, running the ball effectively against that defense, overcoming their own turnovers and getting key turnovers with the game on the line, against a team that simply doesn’t lose at home? I’d take that all day long!

How ’bout them Cowboys?

Photo from Flick user raybouk

Why the SEC Should Embrace My Playoff Plan

Jordan Hare StadiumI first introduced it last season, but as I watch the SEC devour itself this season, I can’t help but wonder if SEC fans would maybe, just maybe, like to think about the benefits of a playoff where the conference winners advanced to the playoffs regardless of record. strength of schedule and so on.

Mississippi State and Ole Miss may look like the darlings of the SEC West right now, but remember, not only do they still play each other, but State also has a date with Alabama coming, and Ole Miss has dates with Auburn and at LSU too. This race ain’t over, although frankly, there’s also a really good chance Auburn or Bama is going to get hung with a second loss too, before they play each other.  In the end, it’s not a real stretch to imagine that the winner of the West could end up a two loss team. And then we have to assume they actually win the championship game, which may be against another 2 or even 3 loss team from the East. Wouldn’t it be something if the SEC wound up with an upset champion, like Georgia, and had to go out and try to claim a spot in the final four with undefeated Florida State sitting out there, and undefeated Baylor, and one-loss Oregon, Michigan State and Notre Dame out there as well? Now, that’s probably not going to be the case, but wouldn’t you feel better knowing that whoever wins the SEC, they’ll advanced to the 10 team playoff, against the other conference champs? Suddenly the regular season clashes that are tremendously exciting already take on so much more meaning, and we can stop worrying about how the preseason polls got it all wrong, but made it easier for some teams to stay ranked highly, and so on.

SEC fans could watch the carnage taking place thanks to the wins being piled up by the state of Mississippi, without the fear that neither of those teams is going to make it out of the regular season with a record impressive enough for the final four. Like I said, I feel like that is probably how they are watching it now, but not evey season is going to be this season. Eventually, some conference is going to consume itself and wind up outside the final four. Let’s fix that now before it happens!

Thoughts on Islanders and Hurricanes Home and Home Weekend

Islanders Crest
Photo: IslesPunkFan / Flickr

After catching both ends of the home and home with the Carolina Hurricanes this weekend, I can happily report that the Isles are 2-0. Given recent history with the Canes, that is saying a lot. Of course, as many have pointed out, the Canes came in without Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner, and lost Eric Staal part way through the second game tonight, and it’s not like they are predicted to be world beaters with those guys. Still two wins in two games is good news and we’ll take it!

Other thoughts:

  • 1. You can’t complain about the offense or the PowerPlay. Tavares, Boychuk and Nelson have been producing a ton of points with the man advantage, and let’s face it, the Isles haven’t had a booming shot like that on the PP in awhile!
  • 2. The other lines have been a little less consistent and haven’t domianted play, but they’ve gotten goals from Grabovski, Conacher and Bailey in these two games, so that’s a good sign that there might actually be some secondary scoring this season!
  • 3. The penalty kill, meanwhile, seems to be a mess. 4 PP goals given up to this CArolina lineup? Ugh. I hope this isn’t a result of missing Grabner and is more just a unit that needs to figure out playing together, but it needs to happen soon. Poor penalty killing hurt the Isles last year and it’ll hurt them again.
  • 4. The struggles of the third defensive pairing, Strait and Reinhart is not that surprising. Once DeHaan and Visnovsky are healthy, these guys can go back to playing the roles they are suited to right now, Strait as the extra defender playing with a strong partner when he does play, and Reinhart in Bridgeport playing 25-30 minutes a game and honing his skills.
  • 5. I can’t hep but feeling like Clutterbuck would be better suited to playing on the third line. How good could that line be with Neilsen centering Kulemin and Clutterbuck in terms of being a good defensive matchup and annoying the hell out of the first line of other teams? The problem, of course, is that Bailey and Kulemin seem to be very similar players. Neither is suited to play alongside Cizikas and Martin. So Clutterbuck is back there, for now.

Anyway you look at it, it’s good to see the Islanders winning games they should win. Now it’s on to MSG and a good measuring stick game against the Rangers, who are coming off a feisty loss in Columbus.

What has impressed you the most so far this young season? What has you worried?


One Last Season in Nassau

Last Look At The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

- photo by slgckgc
It’s been talked about over and over, but with this being the Islanders last season before moving to the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, I wanted to add a thought or two.

I’m in an interesting position on this, both because I don’t live in the area any more, and because I’m actually an Islanders fan from Brooklyn. As a child, I recall going out to Bayport and watching the games with my grandparents. That’s when I fell in love with the Isles. (They had moved out to the Island the same year the Islanders started playing, so they naturally felt that the Isles were part of their new life on LI)

So yeah, I do think the Islanders belong on Long Island, but I’m not heartbroken about them being in Brooklyn instead. I also tend to agree with some of what Howie Rose said yesterday:

“It makes me sick to think of the process that brought it to this point,” he said. “Did you happen to see the front page of Newsday a couple of days ago? Now they are talking about a Long Island Rail Road stop at the Nassau Coliseum?  Where have you turkeys been for the last 40 years? And you want to know why the Islanders are leaving?

We can acknowledge that we love the building and all it has meant over the years, but we have to also acknowledge that it’s a dump in the middle of nowhere, and that every attempt to change that has been blocked. I mean really, I’ve seen much, much more attractive buildings in better locations in much smaller markets. For a New York team to, basically, have the equivalent of a strip mall in the suburbs just doesn’t cut it.
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This Week’s Sports Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.