At Section 123 – 01/02/16

Happy New Year!  Since I rarely post on the other social media site – here’s hoping to a happy and healthy year for all.

I don’t do resolutions, but if I had one – it’d be to break a self-portrait stick.  A lot of things to look at in the sports world, so here we go…

-My Top 10 things of the past year – in no order:

  • Wisconsin Badgers reaching the National Championship Game in the NCAA Tournament.  Beating blue-blood teams like Arizona, North Carolina and Kentucky opened the eyes of the country on this team.
  • Green Bay Packers making a run to the NFC Championship Game
  • U.S. Women winning the Soccer World Cup.  I don’t watch soccer, but that was a cool moment
  • Badgers beating Auburn and USC in bowl games.
  • Milwaukee Bucks making the playoffs as a rare occasion.
  • Kansas City Royals winning the World Series – see…small market!
  • One of the best Super Bowls played, but I don’t like either team of Seattle and New England.
  • Packers trip to Denver.  Outside of 3 1/2 hours of them getting their asses kicked by the Broncos, a great weekend.
  • Brett Favre returning to Green Bay in a long overdue reunion
  • The miracle hail mary win at Detroit

Honorable mention:

  • We say farewell to another NFL great, Charles Woodson.  Enjoy your well-earned retirement!
  • Watching Ronda Rousey get KTFO with my sister.

-My Bottom 10 things of the past year

  • Green Bay Packers losing the NFC Championship game to Seattle after dominating that game for 55 minutes
  • Bo Ryan retiring abruptly – understand the timing of it.
  • Wisconsin losing to Marquette – should NEVER happen.
  • Milwaukee Brewers sucking ass this year, leading to some much needed changes in that organization
  • Wisconsin losing to Western Illinois and Milwaukee in non-conference basketball.  Growing pains!
  • Watching the obvious frustration within the Packers
  • Not attending a Brewers game this past season
  • Duke winning the National Championship over Wisconsin

Guess I could only come up with 8.  I haven’t had enough coffee to think on the fly yet.

-Congratulations Wisconsin on their 23-21 win over USC in the some-fucked-up-sponsor Holiday Bowl. Here’s some observations:

Good overall balance in the team

  • Back-to-back-to-back sacks by Jack Cichy
  • Come out party for Rob Wheelwright?
  • Potential Badgers in the NFL. Joe Schobert.  Alex Erickson (slot guy).  Saw an NFL Analyst (Gil Brandt) suggest Joel Stave could be drafted?
  • Kind of expected this to be the last game for Dave Aranda.  I had expected him to go to USC, not LSU.  This will lead to a rant later on about Wisconsin.

Questions for 2016

  • Who will be the QB?
  • Who replaces LB Joe Schobert?
  • Who will replace S Michael Caputo?
  • Resurrection of RB Corey Clement
  • Who will be the new Defensive Coordinator (hello Houston DC Todd Orlando)
  • Look at the 2016 schedule.  LSU; Akron is not a gimme; at Michigan State, at Michigan, Ohio State, at Iowa, at Northwestern and Nebraska to open the Big Ten schedule?  Ouch!!

-As much as I’ve ripped on him – it’s time to give Joel Stave props.  As much shit this guy has taken from the coaches and fans – he’s tied for the most wins in Wisconsin Football history.   And a tough guy – he got kicked in the face during the Holiday Bowl only to return and lead the team on the winning field goal drive.

-Now, I need to rant about the Badgers for a bit.  Specifically Barry Alvarez On why coaches are continuing to leave Wisconsin for other jobs.  I thought UW had plenty to sell on the Madison area??  I know this – Alvarez is a cheap ass…if you want to keep the best, you need to pony up.  Continuing with this behavior shows the fans they a) don’t really care about taking the next step in their program and b) we are profitable….who cares!  Great coaches are replacable.

It’s hard not that coaches don’t view Wisconsin as a destination job vs. a stepping stone, but money talks – no matter how nice of an area you live in.  For some it’s not about the money and they want to challenge themselves, which is respectable.  But in that business, a lot of it is money and family security.  Of the long list of coaches that have left since 2010, most have left due to getting a significant raise or a better job.  A better job, I fully understand, but not lateral moves.   Honestly, I’m at the point where I’d be fine if he was the one retiring.

-Yep – growing pains for UW basketball team will continue.  They’ll be solid after taking some more lumpings during first half of conference play.

-I yearn for an 8-team or perhaps a 12-16 team playoff in college football?  I mean, this isn’t about the student athlete, correct?  Let’s eliminate the Conference Championship games and have the first round and the quarterfinal games at the higher seeded schools’ home stadiums.

For the other bowl games, you must be 7-5 to qualify for a game.  The semifinals are played on New Years Day….with the Championship played one week later.

This makes way too much sense, and you could send this proposal to the NCAA for it to be corrupted in some fashion.

But after watching Clemson dismantle Oklahoma and Alabama bitch-slap Michigan State, you wonder if the playoffs will stay at four teams for quite a while.

Q: What do I have in common with the Marquette University Golden Eagles?
A: In March we’ll both be watching the college basketball tournament on television.

Getting whacked by Seton Hall by 20 at home was the start of a great day (Dec. 30th)!

-Coaching carousel – who’s out?

  • Chip Kelly – already gone and to no surprise.  The dictator and ‘my way or the highway’ works in college, but not in the NFL.  He may wind up in Tennessee with Marcus Mariota or back to the college game.
  • Chuck Pagano – I keep hearing he’s gone.  He’s not the problem.  Lack of offensive line, running back, and defensive line are their issues.
  • Jim Caldwell – could save his job with hot finish?
  • Jim Tromula – can’s see him surviving in San Francisco
  • Mike McCoy – city relocates to Los Angeles, new coach with it?
  • Jeff Fisher? – he may stick, but some assistants won’t
  • Mike Pettine – both he and GM are on the block
  • Dan Campbell – interim job in Miami did not produce better results
  • Mike Mularkey – see Dan Campbell.  #1 pick overall –
  • Trade of Sean Payton? – could see this happening.

-Minnesota at Green Bay – first, it sucks that this game got flexed to Sunday night.  I would have loved the noon game.

For the Packers to wear the NFC North crown, they must get Eddie Lacy heavily involved in this game.  He has historically ran over the Minnesota defense, and for the Packers to host a game next weekend, he and the offensive line are the key.

Another thought – STOP THROWING TO LOBSTER CLAWS!!!  a.k.a. Davante Adams.  The stats say he has 9 drops this year, isn’t that per game?  He claims his confidence is still there, but from what I see, I don’t think he’s confident…at all.

The Packers defense also must be huge in this game.  I know people say slow down 28 (and they need to), but they also need to get after Teddy Bridgewater.  Let’s see if he can handle the pressure of the big stage.

Minnesota is hot, and they’re motivated which is usually a dangerous combination.  The Packers got their clocks cleaned last week in Arizona, so why do I think they take the game Sunday night?  Because, they have the Vikings number.

The pick: Packers 24, Vikings 20.

-NFL Picks

  • Minnesota over Green Bay – NFC North Champs again
  • Detroit over Chicago – Do the Lions consider moving on from Megatron?
  • Kansas City over Oakland – Chiefs are my sleeper team in the AFC playoffs
  • Houston over Jacksonville – impressive feat to win division with shitty quarterbacks.
  • Indianapolis over Tennessee – The Colts are one of the top disappointments of the 2015 season.  Even if Andrew Luck was healthy this year, the Colts did not look good.
  • Arizona over Seattle – this should send Seattle to Green Bay next weekend.  Cardinals are my pick in the NFC as we’ll discuss next week.
  • St. Louis over San Francisco – does this save Jeff Fishers’ job?
  • Pittsburgh over Cleveland – sneak into playoffs due to Buffalo upsetting the Jets.
  • Cincinnati over Baltimore – need to continue treading and hope Andy Dalton gets back.
  • Carolina over Tampa Bay – #1 seed in the NFC…and I don’t think they’re going to the Super Bowl.
  • Washington over Dallas – hot Redskins team going into playoffs.
  • New England over Miami – question for the Dolphins, do they start to look beyond Ryan Tannehill?
  • NY Giants over Philadelphia – time for legendary coach Tom Coughlin to go?

Upsets

  • San Diego over Denver – just because I want Cincinnati to get the bye
  • New Orleans over Atlanta – question for both teams.  Will both Drew Brees and Matt Ryan be back next season?
  • Buffalo over NY Jets – if any teams needs a quarterback, it’s Buffalo…and Houston.  The surrounding talent is there.

 

Dumbass of the week.

Bill Belichick / Patriots for knowing to kick the ball in OT loss to Jets.  Come on, Hoodie…do not even pretend to say that you called for the Patriots to kick off after winning the toss in overtime.  You have freaking Tom Brady as your quarterback, you know, one of the top 5 quarterbacks of all time and you’re sending your defense out?  Yep, that makes sense to me, too!  Dumbass….nice cover up.

TCU QB Tevone Boykin – for not controlling his emotions days before a huge Alamo Bowl game vs. Oregon.  Getting in a bar fight – not smart, dude…you need to rise above that stuff.  The fans win in that case.

Winner is Hoodie.

Back at it next week, as we begin to look at the NFL Playoffs.  Have a great week!

-n

 

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