Lane Kiffin!

This is the first post-Thanksgiving post, and there’s been some (one specifically) big things that have happened in my world of sports since the last post. So let’s get down to it.

As most of you will know by now the University of Tennessee has confirmed that they will be introducing Lane Kiffin as the football team’s head coach on Monday. I am absolutely pumped about this. Many (or at least some) of you know that I have had Kiffin as #1 on my list for Phil Fulmer’s replacement since I read the fabulous piece written by The Ghost of Neyland, over at 3SIB. Bryan and I were actually on a duck boat, touring Chattanooga when Bryan received a text message informing him that Kiffin had been named the next head football coach at the University of Tennessee. When Bryan told me, I had to exercise every ounce of self control I could to not jump up and down, which would have probably ended with me falling into the Tennessee River.

Kiffin is only 33 years old. He’s young and he’s a great recruiter. During his time at USC, while serving as the offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator he had back-to-back-to-back years hauling in the best recruiting classes in the nation. Kiffin is already exercising those recruiting skills. Just this morning he called Jarvis Giles, who was one of Tennessee’s biggest commitments until he decommited shortly after it was announced that Fulmer would not be returning next year. Giles has made it sound like he would likely recommit to Tennessee if running backs coach, Stan Drayton, kept his job.

However there may also be another reason for Giles to change his mind, and recommit to Tennessee. Multiple media sources have reported that David Reaves, quarterbacks coach, recruiting coordinator for the University of South Carolina and brother-in-law to Kiffin will be joining Kiffin’s staff at Tennessee. Giles said that he is close with Reaves. Giles also said that he had heard good things about Kiffin. It also appears that Lane Kiffin, who is known as being an offensive-minded coach will be bringing in his father, Monte Kiffin, to take over as defensive coordinator. Monte Kiffin is currently the defensive coordinator for the 9-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is considered one of the best defensive coaches in the business.

Lane Kiffin is coming in, making changes and giving the program a makeover and I like it. That’s what needs to happen and I love the way he’s doing it. He’s bringing in a top notch NFL defensive coordinator, bringing in a coach who was the recruiting coordinator for an SEC East opponent who has experience with competing with the other SEC teams for recruits, and he’s started hitting the recruiting trail himself. I don’t know what else I could possibly ask of someone who hasn’t even been officially introduced as the head coach yet.

Well, I guess there is one other thing I could ask for. The University consulted Tennessee-great, Peyton Manning on hiring Kiffin. Peyton Manning gave his approval. If Peyton Manning approves, then who am I not to approve?

Go Vols!

My 2008 NFL Predictions (11/25)

It’s been about a month since my last set of predictions. To see how I go about making these predictions, you can find that out here. So let’s get right down to it.

North South East West
Steelers (12-4) Titans (13-3) Jets (12-4) Broncos (9-7)
Ravens (9-7) Colts (12-4) Patriots (10-6) Chargers (7-9)
Browns (6-10) Jaguars (7-9) Bills (8-8) Raiders (4-12)
Bengals (3-12-1) Texans (5-11) Dolphins (8-8) Chiefs (3-13)

North South East West
Vikings (9-7) Buccaneers (11-5) Giants (14-2) Cardinals (11-5)
Packers (8-8) Panthers (10-6) Cowboys (11-5) 49ers (4-12)
Bears (8-8) Saints (9-7) Redskins (10-6) Seahawks (3-13)
Lions (1-15) Falcons (9-7) Eagles (7-8-1) Rams (2-14)

Based on those results, this is what the seedings for the playoffs would look like:

AFC 1. Titans NFC 1. Giants

2. Steelers
2. Cardinals

3. Jets
3. Buccaneers

4. Broncos
4. Vikings

5. Colts
5. Cowboys

6. Patriots
6. Panthers

And based on those seeding, this is how I would predict the post season to play out:

Wild Card Round Divisional Round
Matchup Winner Matchup Winner
Patriots @ Jets Jets Jets @ Steelers Jets
Colts @ Broncos Colts Colts @ Titans Colts
Panthers @ Buccaneers Buccaneers Cowboys @ Giants Giants
Vikings @ Cowboys Cowboys Buccaneers @ Cardinals Cardinals

AFC Championship NFC Championship
Matchup Winner Matchup Winner
Colts @ Jets Colts Cardinals @ Giants Giants

Super Bowl XLIII Matchup Super Bowl XLIII Champions
Colts Vs Giants Indianapolis Colts

I’ll put up new power rankings tomorrow.

My NCAA Football Top 25 – Week 13

Please keep in mind that while “LW” does stand for “Last Week” I haven’t actually had rankings up for almost a month. So the number in the column titled “LW” are actually from a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. Well, maybe not, but you get the point. However, to make up for the long gap in rankings I threw in a few extra teams this time rather than just having the usual Top 25 and an additional 5 teams list under “Others to Note” and I’ve thrown in a poll as well.

RK (LW) School Comment
1 2 Alabama The only remaining undefeated team from a BCS conference. Where else could they be ranked?
2 1 Texas The Longhorns need to beat Texas A&M convincingly enough to stay ahead of Oklahoma in the BCS if they’re going to make it to the Big 12 Championship.
3 4 Oklahoma The Sooners need to beat their in-state rivals, Oklahoma State, in Stillwater and they need to beat them by a lot if they plan to jump Texas and represent the Big 12 South in the Conference Championship.
4 8 florida Can the gators avoid a big upset against Florida State this week? I sure hope not.
5 9 Utah The undefeated Utes think they deserve a shot at the National Title, but unless something crazy happens between now and then, they’ll have to settle for an at-large BCS bid.
6 7 Southern California The Trojans get Notre Dame at home and then a game at UCLA. They should be able to avoid an upset and keep their hopes alive of sneaking in to the National Championship game.
7 3 Pennsylvania St These Nittany Lions couldn’t be happier. Joe Pa is coming back, they’re going to the Rose Bowl and the school reached the 800-win mile stone.
8 5 Texas Tech Well that was embarrassing.
9 11 Boise St. The Broncos are 59-4 in conference games since joining the WAC in 2001.
10 14 Ohio St. Five straight wins against Michigan. That’s a first.
11 6 Georgia These preseason favorites need to survive against Georgia Tech this week.
12 13 Missouri They’re already the Big 12 North Champions, but they’ll look to win the Border War in a convincing matter for nothing more than bragging rights in one of the biggest rivalries in the nation.
13 10 Oklahoma St. The Cowboys are undefeated at home but the Sooners are coming to town. Can they upset their in-state rival?
14 12 TCU The Horned Frogs finished the season with losses to only Oklahoma and Utah. Now they can just sit and wait to see how things play out.
15 18 Ball St. The Cardinals play Western Michigan tomorrow. This could turn out to be a very good game. The winner will also clinch the division and head to the MAC title game.
16 NR Cincinnati If the Bearcats beat Syracuse this week then they will earn their first ever Big East title.
17 NR Oregon St The Beavers can almost smell the roses, but they need to win the Civil War first.
18 19 Brigham Young Max Hall had six turnovers against Utah. Whoops.
19 NR Boston College If the Eagles can beat Maryland then they’ll be heading to the ACC Championship.
20 24 Oregon The Ducks will look to run the ball against Oregon State in the Civil War game.
21 22 Michigan St. Mark Dantonio has certainly earned respect, but there’s still room for improvement.
22 25 Georgia Tech If the Yellow Jackets want to be in the ACC Championship game (and I assume they do) then they need Virginia to beat Virginia Tech
23 16 Florida St. Go Seminoles!
24 NR Northwestern All these Wildcats can do now is sit and wait to see how things play out to see which bowl game they fall in to.
25 29 Pittsburgh I couldn’t decide if Pitt or WVU should grab the final top 25 spot, so I’m listing both of them. They play each other on Friday, so the answer will be clear soon enough
25 27 West Virginia

Others to note:
27 15 Louisiana St.
28 NR Iowa
29 NR Mississippi
30 NR Western Michigan
31 NR South Carolina
32 28 California

81 NR Tennessee

Here’s the poll I mentioned above:

WaB Field Trip

Yesterday the writers of the blog you’re reading made the trip up to Kansas City for the titanic clash between the Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills.  Since Columbia is exactly halfway between Kansas City and St. Louis there are about 50% Rams fans and 50% Chiefs fans.  It gets to the point where these two fan bases argue about who is better, etc. (though not much of that happens this year).   Because of this, I’ve only been to one Chiefs game in my life and that was only to see Peyton Manning play.  So on Friday when I was offered a chance to see the self-proclaimed “Greatest Fans in the World” in the “Loudest Stadium in Football,” I took them.

n16830756_39466211_1147I realize that they’re 1-10, so the fan base won’t be quite what it was in years past.  Either way, the stands were half empty at halftime.  Not impressive.  We probably wouldn’t have stayed for the entire game except it cost $22 to park.  Between us, we had $17 in cash and luckily Weller found a $5 bill in the side of his car door.  The lady in toll booth seemed to think we were pretty funny while we tried to decide how would were going to pay for parking.  I thought I was going to have to cut off Weller’s fingers and barter with those.  He’s lucky.

Once we reached our $22 parking spot and I decided that it was odd that $22 didn’t get me a parking spot where I could see the stadium, we made our way inside.

I actually watched a whole lot less of the game than I thought I would.  You would think that a game which featured 85 combined points might hold my interest a little bit.  It didn’t.  I spent most of my time pulling for Rian Lindell field goals for my fantasy team.  He got me 18 points, and could have had more if the Bills ran up the score like the Oklahoma Sooners.

All in all, it was a good trip.  Nothing terribly exciting, but it was fun.  The Bills ended up winning 54-31and we were some of the final 27 fans left in the stadium at the end.  Next time you hear a Chiefs fan talk about how great Arrowhead is, pull up this article.  Arrowhead will never, ever be Lambeau Field.  I wish they’d stop saying that.

Oklahoma anyone?

After tonight’s beating of Texas Tech, I want no part of Oklahoma for the rest of the year.  (Also, given Mizzou’s track record against the Sooners, I didn’t want any part of them to begin with.)  I guess we’ll settle all this next week.  I was really pulling for Texas Tech so I could post some great Mike Leach quotes, but alas, that just wasn’t to be. 

Anyway, I’m headed to the Chiefs-Bills game at Arrowhead tomorrow.  I haven’t been to a Chiefs game in about five years, so we’ll see how this goes.  I really don’t care who wins the game since I don’t like the Chiefs and don’t care about the Bills.  I guess the Chiefs’ record is worse than my Rams, so I need them to win so we’ll get the better draft pick.  Full report tomorrow.

Habs Fans Are Serious About Their All-Star Game

At first glance, it just looks like the Montreal Canadiens are on track to be the first team to have their entire starting lineup start the NHL All-Star game in January.  After the first day of voting six Habs players virtually doubled the 7th place vote getter, Alexander Semin.  Habs netminder, Carey Price, did double the Western Conference’s leading vote getter, Roberto Luongo.  I know Montreal loves its hockey, but the least they could do is be a little more inconspicuous.  I mean, come on.

Here is another article about the cheating.  Here are the current totals.  Good Stuff.

In other news, Pacman Jones is coming back.  I’m giving him four games before he hits a stripper or something.

The US Men’s National Soccer Team defeated Guatemala 2-0 in Denver tonight.  This was the final game in this stage of qualifying, but the US had already advanced so the game really didn’t matter.  In my opinion, we looked very dangerous up front, just had a little trouble finishing.  Freddy Adu did score a brilliant free kick for his first international goal.  I’d post the video but is down at the moment, maybe later.

The Royals traded for Coco Crisp this morning.  That’s about all that needs to be said about that.

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday night, faithful readers, I’m going to watch Die Hard.

2008 NFL Power Rankings (Week 11)

Okay, this is my comeback post. I’ve been post-less for almost three weeks. You should also keep this in mind when looking at the the column under “LW” (Last Week) because they aren’t actually the rankings from last week, they’re my week 8 rankings.

Rank LW Team W L T SOS PD/G Avg Rnk Score
1 1 Tennessee 10 0 0 44.83 11.30 1.31 1011.0232
2 2 NY Giants 9 1 0 45.47 12.20 1.69 739.6453
3 3 Carolina 8 2 0 45.10 6.70 3.44 262.4000
4 4 Pittsburgh 7 3 0 49.44 5.90 4.56 183.5646
5 6 Tampa Bay 7 3 0 49.40 5.90 5.19 161.3178
6 12 Arizona 7 3 0 47.84 6.10 6.94 117.7812
7 17 NY Jets 7 3 0 44.08 6.80 7.13 108.6997
8 20 Indianapolis 6 4 0 52.66 0.00 7.19 80.4462
9 14 Baltimore 6 4 0 51.80 4.20 12.31 56.7959
10 5 Washington 6 4 0 50.66 -0.10 10.50 52.6864
11 10 New England 6 4 0 47.54 2.50 11.44 51.8732
12 9 Dallas 6 4 0 51.89 0.10 11.56 49.5451
13 16 Atlanta 6 4 0 46.00 3.30 13.25 44.9932
14 23 Miami 6 4 0 48.21 1.20 12.75 44.2398
15 13 Green Bay 5 5 0 51.37 6.50 14.63 43.5547
16 8 Philadelphia 5 4 1 48.23 7.10 16.38 41.1464
17 18 Denver 6 4 0 47.07 -2.30 15.06 29.9998
18 11 Chicago 5 5 0 50.74 0.90 19.00 25.6371
19 15 New Orleans 5 5 0 48.60 1.70 19.69 24.6857
20 24 Minnesota 5 5 0 52.34 -1.10 19.75 22.7911
21 7 Buffalo 5 5 0 46.21 0.10 20.00 21.2566
22 19 San Diego 4 6 0 51.24 2.50 20.38 20.9235
23 21 Jacksonville 4 6 0 51.10 0.20 22.75 16.6215
24 22 Cleveland 4 6 0 54.10 -2.00 23.19 15.2122
25 25 Houston 3 7 0 51.23 -5.10 25.56 7.9363
26 27 San Francisco 3 7 0 46.34 -4.50 27.25 7.0403
27 26 Seattle 2 8 0 50.54 -6.70 26.06 4.4989
28 28 Oakland 2 8 0 51.91 -10.70 29.81 2.6466
29 31 Cincinnati 1 8 1 57.56 -11.10 28.69 2.1670
30 30 Kansas City 1 9 0 56.07 -10.80 29.63 1.4195
31 29 St. Louis 2 8 0 52.95 -17.30 29.00 0.3652
32 32 Detroit 0 10 0 49.84 -13.50 31.94 0.0749

Legend: W-Wins, L-Losses, T-Ties, SOS-Strength of Schedule, PD/G- Point Differential per Game, Score-The number my formula gave me for each team.

Let me know what you think of my formula.

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