Pardon the Interruption: an Arena game (Game Four: Opening Topic posted!)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Arena' started by Rogue...Jedi, Jul 23, 2008.

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  1. JediCouncilMember Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2003
    star 4
    I'd agree that Atl isn't really a push over, but certainly a team you should beat if you want to win your divsion. I just like the way the Mets Sched lines up compared to the Phillies. Even playing the Cubs the Mets may catch a break if the Cubbies maintain a 5,6 + game lead. They may rest up Dempster since this is his first year back as a starter and catch the Cubbies sitting some valuable playoff pitchers to give them a little rest or have them on strict pitch counts.
  2. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    Similar answers for the two Olympic questions, so it comes down to the Jets and the NL East... where both have good arguments. Its a toss up for me with the Jets, but the NL East has been ridiculously close all season and looks like it will remain so down the stretch... so in an extremely close race, the winner of game 2 is Onoto!

    So, Onoto, you have 24 hours to post your happy-happies and a TV pick, then we'll start game three!

    Wins:
    Jedi Council Member: 1
    Onoto: 1 (streak 1)

    Losses:
    DarthIntegral: 1
    Onoto: 1
    Kyptastic: .5
    rechedelphar: .5
  3. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    Happy anniversary, Olympic Cricket! On this day in 1900, the one and only cricket Olympic match was played. A British touring club team defeated a French team composed of members of the British Embassy in Paris by 158.

    Happy anniversary, Iron Mike! On this day in 1995, the former baddest man on the planet fought for the first time after his three-year incarceration, beating Heavyweight palooka Peter McNeeley in 89 seconds.

    Happy birthday, Morten Andersen! The NFL's all-time leading scorer was born on this day in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1960. He wants to play until he's fifty, and last season he set a new career high in field goal accuracy.

    Happy trails, Rudi Johnson! Cincy's running back has sustained another hamstring injury, which caused him to miss the Bengals' game against the Lions. Backup Kenny Watson did a very good job for Cincinnati last season, and that might spell Rudi's doom as a Bengal.

    My TV pick of the night is more Olympic coverage, as its Tuesday night and they aren't showing the Angels/Rays game on national TV.
  4. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    All right, time for the next game to start up:

    The College Football season has officially begun, with Alabama taking down Clemson 34-10 in the game ESPN had tabbed as the best opening-weekend game.

    <img src="http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/0830/ncf_a_saban1_sw_412.jpg">

    Tell me, what was the biggest story of college football weekend, who was the biggest surprise, and who was the biggest disappointment?
  5. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    The biggest story of the college football weekend was Alabama's dismantling of a highly-touted Clemson team. The Tide's defense held arguably the best running back tandem in the country to a combined 20 yards on 8 carries. Long-time starting quarterback John Parker Wilson played an excellent game and 'Bama's running game produced over 200 yards. Such a dominant start by a storied program in a marquee game following a disgraceful 6-6 year? That alone is huge, but the Alabama game also is important in regards to conference pecking order. The ACC has been disgraced (especially when you throw in Va. Tech's loss to ECU) while the SEC looks even tougher now, which is both good and bad for the league. It seems downright impossible for a team to escape conference play with one loss, much less undefeated, but that toughness practically guarantees the conference champion a shot at the national title. That has to be the biggest story, especially on a weekend with so many cupcake match-ups.

    Beyond that game, the biggest story would be Michigan's loss in its first game using the spread offense under Rich Rodriguez. Note that I don't file this under "biggest disappointment", because I don't think anyone outside of Ann Arbor is surprised by the Wolverines' poor play. The Michigan recruiting area simply doesn't provide the guys that Rodriguez needs to play his style (much like the state of Nebraska didn't provide Callahan with the players to run his offense right away), so it'll take time for him to succeed, assuming he ever will (Callahan never did). The defense wasn't terrible, but it definitely needs to improve if Michigan is going to make a bowl game this year. I think January should be put well out of Michigan's mind, because there's no way that the team that played yesterday is going to be doing anything except watching TV come 2009.

    The biggest disappointment for me was Beanie Wells' injury, which has a good chance at keeping him out of action in the game against USC. This could derail the Buckeyes' shot at redemption, as they'll only be playing in the BCS National Championship Game again with a perfect record and a Heisman Trophy winning tailback. Ohio State doesn't win the game at Southern California if Wells isn't healthy, and then, no matter their play in-conference, the 2008 campaign will have nothing but a bitter taste for the Columbus faithful.

    The biggest surprise in my mind was how good USC looked. They weren't playing a great team, but Virginia is respectable, and the win was especially impressive considering it was a season-opening road game. The SoCal defense played well, collecting four turnovers and limiting the Cavaliers to under 35 yards rushing, but the story of the game was Mark Sanchez's 300-yard, 3-touchdown performance. If the Trojans really do have the heir to the throne of Palmer and Leinart, which appears to be the case, then I have to say that they are the best team in the land. I wasn't expecting a national title before the season, but I can definitely see it happening.
  6. JediCouncilMember Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2003
    star 4
    I think the biggest story was Michigan's loss at home, again.
    I think it is only fitting given the way the brought in Rodriguez and I think the college football gods weren't pleased. Given last year's opening loss to App. St. and then Carr leaving, the whole point was to bring in Rodriguez and revitialize Michigan football. And an opening home loss DOES NOT do that. Can I Lol@Michigan?

    This is also one of my biggest disapointments, you bring in a new coach and are playing at home in a game you should win and you get beat. Not good.
    But I also think Clemson was one of the biggest disappointments, here you have two ranked teams going at it and Clemson didn't even show up and was trounced.

    For surpise I'll say East Carolina over Va Tech.
  7. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    I have to disagree with you JCM. Michigan is a big story, but Alabama's victory is bigger, especially since it's significant in its impact on both teams. Clemson and Alabama are going to have entirely different seasons now, while Utah stays the same course and Michigan is going to have its growing pains.

    I'd think Saban's ahead-of-schedule turnaround (beating up the best team in a BCS conference is sign enough for me) has to take precedence over a scenario one had to be expecting. I mean, the 'Bama win has major implications on the SEC West, and subsequently the national title race.

    It wasn't the story of the week when the Tide, under highly publicized first-year Nick Saban, lost to a crummy Florida State team last year. No, the story was Florida's upset loss to Auburn. Using that as a precedent, what should be the story be about this week: a storied program in a down year with a brand-new coach losing to a lesser team or a middling team shockingly beating a national title contender?
  8. whiteeagle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2004
    star 6
    You're both wrong. The biggest suprise is Rick Neuheisel's come back at UCLA. You go in and win against a ranked #18 Tennessee and beat them with your third string quarterback. One of the things he said to his qb at halftime was hey dont worry about those 4 picks, I threw 4 ints in my first game as a starter. With Norm Chow up in the booth and Neuheisel on the field watch out for UCLA. Here they come USC . . . .

    The biggest story would be Alabama's comeback. But where we all really that suprised? I'm not a Saban fan but whenever he's on the field I always feel he can win the game no matter who he's coaching. But did Alabama hit their high too early? What would be the fallout from this? Will his players get too overconfident, you never know.

    Biggest disappointment for me is Michigan. But I'm almost inclined to give Rich Rodriguez a pass this year. I know the michigan fans wont. But he's implementing his new system and to be honest I dont think he has anywhere near the capable players for his system but then ppl will say but he's at Michigan he should have quality talent there. That's true but he runs his own system and just because your a talented offensive football doesnt mean your a good fit for his system.
  9. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    Well, cut me some slack, as I posted mine better than 24 hours before Tennessee lost.

    Remember about the Tenn-UCLA game: it was a home game for the Bruins, and the season opener for both. Also note that UCLA was out-gained by almost 100 yards and out-rushed by almost 150. It was a fine win, but don't pin too much hope for UCLA's revival on an early-season, fairly mediocre home performance against a team with an inexperienced starting quarterback.

    I'd also like to point at that Neuheisel is one of those slimy guys I wouldn't touch with a 29-and-one-half-foot pole. Chow is great, though.

    I think people aren't so much dumbfounded by the fact that Alabama won, though it definitely was an upset, so much as by the dominating performance, offensively and defensively. They imposed their will on what was generally considered a national title contending team.

    I will agree with you about the system issues the Wolverines are going to have. That's something I dislike about a lot of coaches: they only know one style, and they don't adapt to fit their personnel. I've said a lot of things against Bob Stoops, but his Sooner teams have changed their offensive styles dramatically in response to the capabilities of the best athletes they could recruit. West Coast, Run and Shoot, Vertical, I-Formation, whatever.
  10. whiteeagle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2004
    star 6
    Well they both were inexperience as for starting at the Divison 1 level.

    I agree that Stoops is one of the best coaches to do that. Maybe he got that from Spurrier and his deck of many qb's he had down in Florida Case in point he had a heisman winner in Jason White but ran the ball more his senior year with the freshmen stud Adrian Peterson.

    In fact really only the top tier coaches do this well, Stoops, Carroll, Meyer and Tressell. They are able to pinpoint their quarterbacks strengths and adapt their offense accordingly.
  11. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    I completely disagree with you about Meyer. He lucked out and got Tebow, the perfect fit for his offense, but was an absolute jerk to Chris Leak, a very good pocket passer who would have excelled with a good coaching staff.
  12. whiteeagle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2004
    star 6
    What about Alex Smith? Did he luck out there? Leak's disappointment was more due to overhype in my opinion. I dont believe he was a jerk to Leak he publicly endorsed him as his starter in 2006.

    Leak may have excelled if given the time but he suffered from 3 different offensive coordinators during his time there. Plus he did have a whole year before Tebow got there to learn the system. Bottom line he wasnt as good as advertised anyways.
  13. PTMurphy84 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2008
    star 2
    Hey, is it too late to join Pardon the Interruption, or is there a process one must endure?

    Edit: SORRY! I thought I Pmed Rouge...Jedi!
  14. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    Nope, not too late, just post your response to the current opening topic and tomorrow sometime I'll pick the two best arguments and those two people will go on to compete in whatever PTI game this one turns out to be :)
  15. PTMurphy84 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2008
    star 2
    Ah well ok

    *after a bit of stretching and knuckle cracking*

    Michigan being beaten is by far the biggest story. You take a team that has not had a loosing season since 1968, has semi-consistently trumped the great Joe Paterno, and the sheer amount of Big 10 conference championships, and then they go and loose their tune-up game against the Utah Utes?
    Whos biggest claim to fame is the so-called "Holy War" against BYU?

    That changes the entire face of the Big 10. It was bad enough that Mich has a new coach, but now theres Wolverine blood in the water, and you can be sure that the rest of the Big 10 will pick up on it and have fun at Michicans expense, especially in the early games.
  16. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    I'm not sure about the point you're trying to make with Alex Smith. Yes, he lucked into getting a guy to run the system he wanted. Smith had the physical tools Meyer needed, and the coach is good enough to win with such a set-up.

    Urban Meyer can publicly endorse whoever he pleases...giving Tebow playing time his freshman year undermined Leak's authority. Although Leak is the quarterback who won Florida the national title, Tebow's minimal contributions will be remembered far more vividly than Leak's.

    The bottom line is not that Leak wasn't as good as advertised. We can't know. He had many positive qualities and played very well in many big games throughout his career, but the coaching instability and poor fit hurt him badly. The bottom line is that he wasn't given the opportunity to play in a system that took advantage of his abilities.
  17. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    Sorry for the delay... things have gotten hectic here of late.

    Game 3: Oddsmakers with Onoto and whiteeagle!

    <img src="http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/0907/nfl_a_bradyts01_412.jpg">

    After the first week of the NFL season, the biggest news is Tom Brady's knee, which was injured in game 1, and it has been reported that he will miss the entire season, though this is not official yet. The Patriots current backup quarterback is Matt Cassell, who hasn't started a game since HS and had thrown a grand total of 39 passes in his first three NFL seasons, and didn't exactly throw many in college either.

    So, tell me, and this has multiple parts: what are the odds that the Patriots win their division and/or make the playoffs if Tom Brady is indeed out for the entire season?
  18. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    Thanks for an easy one. Their is a 100% chance the Patriots win the division. Not just make the playoffs. Win the division. One. Oh. Oh.

    They had one of the top ten defenses in the league in practically every category last season, and it doesn't look to be any worse despite some upheaval. Their offense, while obviously suffering from Brady's injury, boasts a good o-line and a very talented tailback in Laurence Maroney. The guy averaged 4.5 yards a carry last year, and the stable of running backs is pretty deep. Sammy Morris has been fairly productive, and LaMont Jordan is a good #2 back playing third string. When Kevin Faulk returns from suspension, you could even make the argument that they have the best running back corps in the league, as I can't think of another team with four guys who could quite reasonably get double-digit touches every game.

    Cassell will also be okay in that it's a lot easier for good receivers to make average quarterbacks good than vice-versa. You figure that if Randy Moss gets one-on-one, anybody good enough to play in the NFL is going to make that throw most of the time. You also figure that if Welker gets separation from the underneath coverage that Cassell has a much bigger window in which to throw. I don't think they'll be as good without Brady, but Cassell will be productive and the offense is still going to be one of the best in the game.

    Remember that this team was expected to win about 13 games, as their schedule, while featuring road games in San Diego, Indianapolis, and Seattle, also features eight or nine "definitely should win" games and another four or five that are "probably should win" games. Two games against a Jets team that boasts the all-time interceptions leader after finishing tied for sixth in team interceptions, a category they've performed very well in this decade. Two games against the woeful Miami Dolphins. Two against a talented, but as yet unproven Buffalo team. They also play the NFC West, which is at least three wins right there. A game against the Raiders and home games against the Broncos and Steelers. All of those are potential W's, and while their division isn't pathetic, 10-6 might be enough to win it, and the Pats are good enough to take a look at 12-4.
  19. whiteeagle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2004
    star 6
    Honestly I dont think this team makes the playoffs, let alone win the division.

    How grueling of a time is it to be a patriots. In the span of less than a quarter of football, you lose your perfect season, then Brady goes down for the year. Terrible.

    But here are the things that are going to hinder them.

    1. Onoto mentioned their stable of good running back depth. Okay Maroney? Sure he averaged 4.5 ypc but he hasnt even gone over a 1000 yards yet as a rusher. And look at the stats from the sunday's game even with Matt Cassell he only got 10 touches total, are you serious .... that's your gamebreaker? For them to even sniff the playoffs this guy has to step up his game immensely, but you know he hasnt played a full season, hasnt had over 200 carries or a 1000 yards. Can this guy even hold up?

    2. The defense. I do realize this statistically is one of the top defenses but you lose Brady who last year it was almost a given that he throws for 400 yards and 4 tds. Well that's 28 points there and that takes tremendous pressure off their defense. I believe they are going to have alot of games like the KC game and that the defense is going to have to play shutdown ball the entire year, I just dont know how they'll hold up as well. Harrison, Vrabel and Bruschi arent exactly in the prime of thier careers.

    And last but not least is yep you guessed it Matt Cassell.

    3. Ill highlight the obvious, this guy hasnt played meaningful minutes since high school. All of a sudden he takes over the premier offense in the league? How's his mental makeup going to be? I'm inclined to not even grade him this week because coming in as a sub and starting the game are took very diff. things in the NFL. He's got the talent, im sure, otherwise I'm sure he would be long gone by now. I'm banking on this guy crumbles under the scrutiny, teams are going to double Moss and Welker anyway they can and they will make Cassell have to beat him with smarts. I just dont he has it.
  20. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    [Reali] A number, whiteeagle, I need a number![/Reali]
  21. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    What are your percentages? You throwing out the squadoosh? Because throwing out the squadoosh on the Pats is just plain ridiculous. I wouldn't throw out the squadoosh on the Detroit Lions, man.

    Maroney hasn't gone for 1000 yards because he's never gotten enough carries, due to competition in the backfield, injuries, and a successful passing game. Give him the 270 carries a lot of backs get and I guarandamntee you that he'll finish with at least 1200 yards. Maroney had 10 carries for 51 yards, and they also had Morris collect 53 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. He only had ten touches because that's all they needed from him, which only further illustrates how bountiful that offense is. There will be days when the passing game won't work (happens to the best of them), and the running game will pick up the slack, with Maroney probably getting the lion's share of the carries. Just look at his game against the Jets last year. Brady sucked, but Maroney had 104 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown. But even if you doubt Maroney and his health, you're nuts if you don't think that the other three guys in the backfield (Morris, Jordan, and Faulk) won't be productive.

    For any team to be successful, of course their defense has to be good. But you're just assuming the Patriots won't be despite no evidence to back it up. Sure, their linebackers are old, but they're smart and they can tackle. They'll need to hold teams to 20 points or under to have a good chance at winning most games, yes, and they're good enough to do that 10 or 11 times.

    If teams are going to double Moss and Welker, what does that leave? Hmm. Let's think. For such an arrangement to be effective, we're talking 6 d-backs on the field. That means the Pats run wild and get big plays in the passing game out of Watson and Thomas, who would have to be covered by safeties. To say that "Teams will double his best receivers, which means he'll have to be really, really smart" completely disregards the fact that the defense is limited to 11 men on the field. If you're putting 4 guys against 2, you're either creating big openings for other skill positions or you're making the pass rush nil. Either way, Cassell gets a big advantage and can be at least as productive as when they're singling Moss and Welker.

    Beyond that, it just comes down to this: Cassell is an NFL quarterback. He obviously has the tools, and it's unfair to assume that he'll be unsuccessful just because his name isn't Tom. The guy is in his fourth year, and if he's got the smarts (again, no reason to think he won't), he won't be bamboozled the way rookie starters are. He isn't a rookie, despite his lack of in-game experience, and he's got help around him. He'll be fine, and he won't take the Patriots from Super Bowl Favorite to Divisional Cupcake.
  22. whiteeagle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2004
    star 6
    Ill say 37% percent they'll win their division and 25% for the playoffs.

    1. You made my point. He hasnt had the carries or yards due to injuries. So what's going to happen to him this year when they'll need him for all 16 games and probably 20 carries a game. He hasnt proven he can stay healthy for the whole season.

    2. I didnt say the Pats defense wouldnt be as good, what I said was I dont know how the older players they rely on for leadership will hold up if they're going to have to play 16 games and play shutdown ball for them to get into the playoffs. I questioned their age and the mileage on those tires.

    3. Again I didnt say they where going to double Moss and Welker. Thats not what I meant. I meant that on alomst every play Moss or Welker will be doubled. What do you think Cassell is just going to be able to lob up it up to Moss or dump it underneath to Welker every time? These defensive coordinators he'll face arent afraid of Matt Cassell. Want to know why? Well again cause he hasnt played any MEANINGFUL minutes since high school. He isnt a rookie? Are you kidding me? Alex "done in san fran" Smith has more in game experience than he does.
  23. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    Just to point out, I think you mean a 63% at the playoffs, as that's division plus wild card, the only thing you could have meant for playoffs.

    Yeah, Maroney's been hurt. But fluke injuries happen. He missed all of one game during his three seasons (sore right ankle) at Minnesota. What? Did moving up a class suddenly turn his skeleton to chicken bones? And my point, actually, was that Maroney can be good, but he'll have a lot of help, too.

    And questioning the d's age in regards to its effect on its performance is, by definition, an attack on the defense itself. Maybe it will have an impact, but the Pats are good at finding ways to patch any holes that develop in their roster. I think they are more than capable of holding opponents to an average of 18-20 points a game. (Easily good enough for the top third, which, by the way, practically guarantees a playoff spot. Last year, 10 of the top 11 teams in points against made the playoffs.)

    And you did say double Moss and Welker, but that's neither here nor there. But I have to ask: how dumb do you think Cassell is? Do you think he can't notice who has double coverage and who has single coverage after years of watching? It's the guy's job, for goodness' sake! He doesn't just get dressed in a ridiculous suit of armor and drink Gatorade. And even if you doubt him, don't doubt the coaches who are, you know, talking in his ear before every...single...snap. The correct play will be called the majority of the time. He'll throw it up for Moss when he has single coverage, he'll dump it to Welker when he has a favorable matchup, he'll check down when those two guys are covered, and they'll run when linebackers and secondary are spread too thin. Coaches get paid a lot of money to make sure that those things happen, and we have no reason to think that Cassell will be unable to do a solid job.

    No, he isn't a rookie. I don't really care how much in-game experience he does or doesn't have. He has been around the professional game, and its the culture shock that dooms rookies more than anything. You think good quarterbacks just materialize with ten years in their back pocket? What's wrong with relying on the system that worked until the big draft money forced the change: backing up a guy for three, four, five years and then taking over the reigns with a head on your shoulders? Cassell may have issues, but unless he's as dumb as you seem to think he is, his only problems will be physical. And those problems can be fixed quite readily.

    I'll say it again. The Pats will suffer, but they are still a Super Bowl contender, and easily the best team in the AFC East. I'm 100% sure about that.
  24. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    For our second topic, we'll turn to one that was actually on PTI this afternoon, and would have been laughable just a couple weeks ago, or even less.

    <img src="http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/0327/mlb_u_roswalt_412.jpg">

    Given up for dead earlier this summer, the Houston Astros have won 10 out of their last 11 games and are (at the moment I type this) a mere 4 games out of the NL Wild Card. Given what we've seen in recent years, notably the Rockies last year, what are the chances they win the wild card and make the playoffs?
  25. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    I'll give them a 49% chance. They have a more favorable schedule than the Brewers do the rest of the way, as the 'Stros will get the Red and the Pirates while the Brewers have to play Chicago approximately eight zillion times. The Brewers are only 3 of their last 10, dropping a series to the Reds, splitting with the Pads, and getting swept by the Mets. Note that each and every one of those games was at home. Ouch.

    Houston also boasts the second-best hitter in the National League, Lance Berkman, and he has been on fire lately. During this push, his OPS is 1.119! The Astros swept the Cubs and the Cardinals recently. They'll have to go something like 12-4 or 13-3, but that's actually conceivable. That being said, I'm giving the Brewers a little leeway, as they have CC, the most dominant pitcher in baseball at the moment, and an offense that hits for power. You get a guy or two swinging well and you'll win some games almost exclusively because of the longball. They've built up enough of a lead that you can't bet against them, but it'll be a close finish.
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