Monthly Archives: September 2011

World Series Predictions

Greetings everyone – Hope that the last day of the baseball regular season wasn’t too crazy.  While Red Sox fans are crying in the wreck of their own submission and Braves fans are wondering why no one is feeling sorry for them, the post season is coming quickly, and needs to be taken stock.  Without further ado, here is the prediction of the Squeeze crew for this year’s World Series.

Monty

ALDS: NYY vs. DET Tigers
ALDS: TEX vs. TAM Rays
NLDS: PHI vs. STL Phillies
NLDS: MIL vs. ARI Brewers
ALCS Tigers
NLCS Brewers
World Series Tigers

Tonight in Baseball History

Bot 12th: Tampa Bay
– E. Longoria homered to left

Why the Phillies Will and Won’t Win the World Series

The Phillies are right where they were expected to be at this point of the season – on top of the National League with an inside track to the World Series.  The only question right now is; can anyone derail this train that seems destined for a second title in four years?

A team 3.04 ERA, WHIP of 1.17 and a quality start count of 107 are all tops in the major leagues, with opposing team’s batting average of .241 the fourth best total in the majors.  This pitching staff is pure dirt.  The staff that many thought would control the National League is doing just that, as Halladay, Lee and Hamels are all pitching as you would expect a world series squad to do.  But remember, this is how the squad (sans Lee) looked in 2010 before they were side swipped by the Giants

The offense is the Achilles heel of the Phillies. A team that ranks outside of the top ten in all major offensive categories will have to score runs in order for the pitching to do its job.  There is not a .300 hitter on the team, Shane Victorino the closest with a .280 average.  The offense that has been a major uplift of this squad over the last two years seems to be declining, as Ryan Howard sitting at 33 home runs on the season simply is under expectation.

The Phillies have World Champions written all over them, but that was said last year too.  Remember when Halladay threw a playoff no-hitter but then the Phils got smoked in the NLCS?  The Phillies are like the New England Patriots of the MLB.  You can pick them early on in the season, but by the time that they get to the playoffs, they give you enough reason to doubt them.  Should the Phillies win the World Series?  Absolutely.  Will they?  Meh….

Why the Yankees Will and Won’t Win the World Series

At the beginning of the season, people were wondering if the Yankees were even going to make the playoffs with a stacked American League East division.  But top ten rankings in runs scored (855, 2nd), on-base percentage (.344, 2nd) and team earned run average (3.69, 10th) put the Yankees back on the map, and gave them the fast track to the AL East title.  Now the question is; will the youth of the Yankees starting lineup lead the team to title #28, or will the age show for the second consecutive season?  Hit the break to find out what the Squeeze thinks about the Bronx Bombers.

The offense relies on the middle part of the lineup.  Curtis Granderson is a legitimate MVP candidate with a .266 batting average, 41 home runs and 119 RBIs.  Hitting 26 doubles during the season, Granderson will get on base, but it will be up to the usual targets like Robinson Cano and Mark Texiera to bring him home.  The breaking point for the offense will depend on which Yankee will either rise or fall in this occasion.  Obviously the main focus will be placed on Alex Rodriguez, and whether or not he will bounce back from his injury to reclaim his impressive recent playoff play.

Ivan Nova will either make or break this playoff season for New York.  A 16-4 record with a 3.70 ERA and 98 strikeouts show that this rookie is a freak.  If he keeps his current streak, then the Yankees will have a much higher chance of advancing deep in the playoffs.  If he pulls off a Joba, then the trip will come to a quick and sudden stop.

So where will the Yankees end up this postseason?  Look at the competition they should be facing.  Chalk says that the Bronx Bombers will (at press time) play Detroit in the first round followed by the same team that took them out last year in the ALCS, the Rangers. The worst case scenario for the Yankees would be a five-game series against the young and upstart series, and if it happens, it will cost the Yankees. Either way, I see it difficult to see the Yanks past game five of the ALCS.

Finals days of the National League Wild Card chase

By Roy-Z

Earlier today here at SqueezeSituation, you received a glimpse into the fate of the one remaining race of the America League – the Wild Card. It would only be fair to construct the National League counterpart – the surprising race between the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves. The Braves looked like the Wild Card team all season – but like the Red Sox, have fallen into what could be a season-ending skid. The Cardinals on the other hand seemed out of it in August after some Milwaukee-led beatings, but have responded with sparkling 16-7 record in September. But this is baseball, and we’ve got to play it one game at a time

Monday

St. Louis Cardinals (Jaime Garcia) @ Houston Astros (Wandy Rodriguez)

Garcia has quietly put together a great year, and Wandy Rodriguez has had pretty much the same season, but at 11-11 opposed to Garcia’s 13-7. It amazing what run support will do, isn’t it Tim Lincecum? In this matchup, we have to side with the hot hand – St.  Louis. Too much for the ‘Cards to lose and too little for the Astros to care about.

Calling it: Cardinals pull off a nail-biter.

Philadelphia Phillies (Cliff Lee) @ Atlanta Braves (Randall Delgado)

If the Braves hadn’t fallen on their faces this September, it wouldn’t be such an uphill battle for them. However, the hill just gets steeper versus the continents best team through September – the Philadelphia Phillies. Though the Phitins have phaltered a bit in the past couple weeks, manager Charlie Manuel has vowed to not rest his stars versus in-contention teams. Randall Delgado has looked good so far, but he’ll have to beat Cliff Lee, who should be receiving much more Cy Young hype than he is.

Braves – 89-71

Cardinals – 89-71

Tuesday

St. Louis Cardinals (Jake Westbrook) @ Houston Astros (Henry Sosa)

After starting his career off slowly through Auagust, Henry Sosa has looked decent through September. Westbrook, aside from a flurry of walks in his past two starts, has been tough to hit this month. On most days this game is a push – evenly matched pitchers, anemic offences. However, this is a playoff run – and as long as Tony LaRussa doesn’t manage to criminally mismanage his team, I think the Cardinals playing with a little something extra might pull this one off.

Calling it: Slight edge to Jake Westbrook showing up big and holding off the National League’s worst team.

Philadelphia Phillies (Roy Oswalt) @ Atlanta Braves (Derek Lowe)

It isn’t getting any easier for the Braves. They’ll get Roy Oswalt Tuesday night and throw the dead arm of Derek Lowe out against them.Lowe has been atrocious all season, including a bludgeoning by Philadelphia in his last appearance against them. Oswalt’s results have been all over the place since returning from the DL  – seemingly giving up five or zero runs in alternating appearances, but it shouldn’t take much to topple a Braves team that has looked so bad in the past weeks.

Calling it: Phillies take down the Braves, Derek Lowe can finally put 2011 behind him.

Braves – 89-72

Cardinals – 90-71

Wednesday

Going into the last day of the season, the surprising Cardinals have taken a one-game lead in the Wild Card. The season is up to the Braves to decide:

Philadelphia Phillies (Cole Hamels) @ Atlanta Braves (Tim Hudson)

Wednesday continues to be promising as the most exciting day of the season for Major League Baseball. Highlighting this will be the possible elimination games of Phillies/Braves and Cardinals/Astros. Hamels is 2-1 versus Atlanta this season and shows no signs of the softee he has seemingly been in years past. If not for outstanding years from Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay; Cole would be a front-runner for NL cy Young. He’ll have the task of facing Tim Hudson – possibly being the last hope for Atlanta’s season. Hudson has been decent versus the Phils this season, going 1-1 with a 3.8 ERA over 20+IP. Despite being day-to-day, I have to go with Tim Hudson and the Braves in this one. Plus, I am dying for a play-in game.

Calling it: Pitcher duel – Hudson outlast Hamels and the Phillies pen, Braves win.

St. Louis Cardinals (Chris Carpenter) @ Houston Astros (Brett Myers)

Through September, Brett Myers has been excellent, sporting a 4-0 record and a 1.23 ERA. Carpenter’s stats looks good at a glance for September, but two losses against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh stand as outliers, giving up 10 runs combined in those outings. However, against Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Chicago in September, he has only given up 1 run through 24 innings. With the season on the line, Carpenter has to come up big versus Brett Myers and the Astros.

Calling it: Carpenter and Myers duel through 7+IP, Cardinals bullpens holds it, Astros bullpen mails it in. Cardinals take the wild card.

Braves – 90-72

Cardinals – 91-71

As much as I want to see a play-in game this season, it doesn’t seem likely. This assumption is based on the Cardinals sweeping the Astros, which earlier in the season seemed an easy task, but with the chip on the Astros shoulder and Brett Myers’ hot hand, will be a difficult task. The Phillies pitching, however, is just too strong for a Braves offense with a dormant Jason Heyward and mediocre pitching. So congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals for winning the Wild Card, but I appologize in advance for the merciless beating they will take from the Phillies in round 1.

Three Days to Decide the American League Wild Card

By Roy-Z

The late 2011 MLB season has been a story of hot and cold teams. In the American League East, the Tampa Bay Rays have been red hot and the Boston Red Sox have been playing…well, I guess they’ve been playing, but more on par with that one team on your high school schedule you’re thankful you play twice every season. However, we’re 159 games into a 162 game season, and aside from the first 8 games of the season and this recent Mets-esque stretch, the Red Sox have been one of the best teams in the MLB this season.

As it stands right now, the Red Sox are holding on for dear life with a 1-game lead in the Wild Card. So here’s how we’re going to look at it: both teams have three games remaining against the best and the worst of the American League East – the Yankees and Orioles, and we’re breaking down each of the matchups in a predictive preview of their remaining games.

Monday

Boston Red Sox (Josh Beckett) @ Baltimore Orioles (Tommy Hunter)

At a glance, this looks like a no-brainer. Beckett is heaving a great bounce-back season and Tommy Hunter has been serviceable – but suffers from the terrible communicative disease that is Oriolepitcheritis. However, Beckett got knocked around by Baltimore last start – held out for a bit too long at 7.1 IP and piling up 6 earned runs. Beckett is the key to this game- and though his numbers versus Baltimore (career and 2011) are meager at best. Tommy Hunter’s stats versus Boston are not favourable, either – 2W, 1L in 17.1 IP for an 8.10 ERA (a bit misleading, eh?).

Calling it: A slugfest deep into the Baltimore night – Red Sox pull it out in a battle of the bullpens.

 New York Yankees (Hector Noesi) @ Tampa Bay Rays (James Shields)

Listen: if you think the Yankees are going to throw this series so that the Rays make it in and the Red Sox do not – you obviously haven’t thought of the implications. This is simpler than everyone thinks: the playoffs come down to pitching. The Rays have it, and the Red Sox do not. Why face Price/Hellickson/Shields/Moore/Davis when you can face Lester(maybe not)/Lackey/Miscellaneous? It makes no sense for the Yankees to lay down and take it from TB in this series.

On to the game – as much as I despise the blowout-aided douchery that is James Shields, it looks like a Rays win here. Shields has been great this years and Noesi is still a little green – not to mention Tampa’s season would get a huge boost with a home win tonight.

Calling it: Shields goes 8+ IP, less than two runs. Longoria and BJUpton go yard. Rays win.

Red Sox – 90-70

Rays – 89-71

Tuesday

Boston Red Sox (Erik Bedard) @ Baltimore Orioles (Zach Britton)

Oh boy. If you’re going to be attending this game, bring a bucket for the home run balls. Bedard’s numbers versus his old mates (though I doubt they see it that way) are not bad – only three earned runs, but only 10 IP. Britton has been…just plain awful, awful, awful, awful versus the Red Sox – 9 runs in 6.1 IP this season. Even with Bedard’s hatred of baseball I don’t see the Orioles pulling this one out – but crazier things have happened (do you recall Moses and the Red Sea?)

Calling it: Red Sox win a barn-burner. At least three HRs hit in this game (Gonzalez, Ellsbury, Reynolds x2).

New York Yankees (Bartolo Colon) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Jeremy Hellickson)

Rays take it. Bartolo Colon has been exposed – getting obliterated by the Rays in his last start and giving up 5 or more earned runs in 4 of his last seven.

Calling it: Rays pummel the Yankees B-Team behind Bartolo Colon, Hellickson remains serviceable and Rays get another day to decide their fate.

Red Sox – 91-70

Rays – 90-71

Wednesday

It’s the final day of the season – and it’s a must win for the Rays – who need to sweep the best team in the American League and the Red Sox need to win to eliminate the Rays or face a possible  play-in game. To switch this up a bit and avoid any potential spoilers – we’ll start with Rays/Yankees.

New York Yankees (Undecided) @ Tampa Bay Rays (David Price)

David Price made a name for himself a few years back carrying the Rays down the stretch pitching big games, effectively schooling the Kevin-Long Bombers to a 3-1 record over 50IP from 08-10 versus NYY and serviceable against them this year (1-1, 4.26 ERA). This game will likely come down to Price’s run support, which will come down to the Yankee’s decision of who to start – and Joe Girardi has made it clear the team will be resting it’s regulars.

Calling it: Price takes down the Yankees easily with the season on the line – should get some decent run support.

Boston Red Sox (Jon Lester) @ Baltimore Orioles (Alfredo Simon)

I really wish this was a more exciting matchup than it is. Throughout writing this article, I only checked on the matchups once it was time to write them down. As much as I’d like to call this one for Baltimore and force the 1-game play in, I cannot. Alfredo Simon is just not very good and with an offense like Boston’s, I fail to see how Baltimore stands a chance in this game with all that the Sawx are playing for.

Calling it: Boston breaks out, clinch American League Wild Card.

Boston Red Sox – 92-70

Tampa Bay Rays – 91-71

So that’s it. Sorry, Rays fans. Better luck next year. Keep in mind this is based on both the Rays and Red Sox sweeping this series against the Orioles and Yankees – both teams which can easily play the part of spoilers right now – especially the Orioles, who man-handled the Red Sox as recently as last week.

 

 

Running Down the Polls: Week Four

Four weeks into the NCAA season, and it looks that one conference that has long asserted its dominance is on even ground with a conference nearing its extinction.  According to the newest Associated Press Top 25 poll, the Southeastern Conference places two teams in the top three with LSU jumping Oklahoma for the number one spot after its 47-21 stomping of West Virginia, and Alabama sitting pretty at number three after a big win against ranked Arkansas.  Here is a breakdown of the newest AP Rankings and what to think of the top teams in the nation.
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2011 NFL Predictions..ish

By RoyZ

Wait, so…erm, it’s football season? No shit. I’ll be honest, I don’t know NFL football – I’m on the Squeeze Situation for the baseball coverage, musings and miscellaneous (and frequent Yankee-bashing). However, I do know how to rank things based on no previous experience or expertise. As I write this, I have the NFL standings open in a web browser to the right of my MS-Word sheet, because, well, most of the time I don’t even know who is in what divisions or leads. Be prepared for awful pre-season rankings based on my biases against a city’s baseball fans, jersey colours and local delicacies.
AFC East:
New England Patriots
New York Jets
Miami Dolphins
Buffalo Bills
You know, this one is actually kind of easy. The Bills are rebuilding, sports-writer lingua for “shitty”. The Dolphins are not much better. Jets seem to be improving, and growing up in the decidedly Jets-centric universe slash hellhole of Central New York, seem to be pretty good. But honestly, I kind of like the Patriots every season, and the Jets are surely not the Patriots. Tom Brady is the man, and people need to figure this out.
AFC North:
Pittsburgh Steelers
Baltimore Ravens
Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati Bengals
I kind of despise the Steelers, for no reasons more than their ultimate-douche QB and taking attention and revenue away from my beloved Pirates (no, I cannot prove that – but I assume Pittsburghians will purchase a $50 Steelers jersey versus a $175 McCutchen jersey). Ravens seems to be good, but since their Super-Bowl season, are just plain uninteresting. The Browns are getting better from what I’ve seen in my three years of casual and/or lethargic football watching, but the Cincinnati Bengals are a trainwreck. Ochocinco likened being traded to New England as one of the greatest moments of his life. Pretty simple to see that there is nothing positive coming out of the 2011 Bengals season.

AFC North:
Indianapolis Colts
Jacksonville Jaguars
Houston Texans
Tennessee Titans
No idea what’s going on here. Peyton Manning, right? I don’t know the difference between the Texans and the Titans. I think one of them has Arian Foster, and he’s fast. Whichever team he is on will be better than the other.

AFC West:
San Diego Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs
Denver Broncos
Oakland Raiders.
Oakland sucks. Broncos are…I don’t know, something. They have Peyton Hillis, right? He’s better than the Oakland team. Chiefs have some backup that turned out to be super-awesome and all, and the Chargers are pretty good – featuring the Philip Rivers Cuomo Experience. As an east-coaster, these teams get virtually NO coverage out this way, so forgive my ig’nince in this case, and likely for the NFS West, as well.
NFC North:
Green Bay Packers
Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings
I find it funny that all of the teams I like in the NFL are all in the same division. It makes for having a favorite team to be rather difficult – but one team in the North is always good and always green. I believe in the Packers completely – and they are my favorite for the Super Bowl trophy over the Patriots. That would be sweet, wouldn’t it? As for the others – Orton and “Starts with a C, ends with an O, and in the middle ya got “hicag”” are the #1 threat to the Packers, but Rodgers and company are just better. Factor in my hometown-Starks homerism here for further blinders of what really goes on in the NFL. Vikings…yikes. QB is their biggest problem, and I just don’t see McNabb as a fit – but can stand to prove me wrong with a huge season. As for the Lions, ask Bryan.

NFC South:
New Orleans Saints
Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This really isn’t worth discussing. Saints lost their first game – but I doubt they’ll be challenged much for the rest of the season. Falcons are a solid #2 and likely a playoff team with Matty Ryan.

NFC West
Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers
St. Louis Rams
Seattle Seahawks
Umm…what? Why are all the bottom of the barrel teams in the same division all of the time? This is the equivalent National League West in baseball – mediocrity versus mediocrity. Yeah, I could pick a winner, but they’d probably screw the pooch and trade off their best players (I’m looking at you, Colorado Rockies.) My pick to win the NFC West: Charlotte Hornets.
So, there. Take it or leave it, I don’t write about football, so whatevs. Stay tuned for baseball analysis, on this baseball-namesaked blog.

NFL Preview: NFC West

Bryan Montgomery
NFC West
1.) St. Louis (10-6) In Sam Bradford’s rookie campaign, he had the Rams one
win away from a division title. This year, he won’t have the pressure of
having to win the final game of the year to make the playoffs. The Rams are
clearly the class of the NFC West. Bradford overcame a rash of injuries to
his receiving core to pass for more than 3,500 yards and 18 touchdowns in
2010. Surprisingly, the Rams cut Donnie Avery and (less surprisingly) Mardy
Gillyard and considering Mark Clayton won’t be ready until at least Week 6,
it is easy for St. Louis fans to wonder what the front office is thinking. What
they are thinking is that they will be fine. They signed Mike Sims-Walker and
if he is on his game he provides Bradford with a No. 1 caliber pass catcher.
The biggest benefit of the injuries was the emergence of Danny Amendola,
who is a poor mans Wes Welker. Plus, Clayton will return this season and
in his brief time with the team last year, he and Bradford were a potent
combination. The offense will only be better in Bradford’s second year and
the defense will be vastly improved in 2011. This is coach Steve Spagnuolo’s
third year in St. Louis and this will be the year the NFL sees a true Spagnuolo
defense. The defense has a pair of pass rushing defensive ends in Chris Long
and James Hall. The defensive line’s play allows James Laurinaitis to do his
thing and in 2011 I see a breakout performance for the former Buckeye. In
2010 the NFC West had the first every sub-.500 division champion (Seattle
at 7-9). That won’t happen again this year thanks to the improved and young
Rams.
2.) Seattle (7-9) Seattle became the first team to qualify for the playoffs with at
record under .500 last season. To the Seahawks’ credit, they did pull off an
upset of New Orleans in the Wild Card round, but fans who cried foul that
a 7-9 team could make the playoffs have nothing to worry about this year.
Seattle will finish with the same record, but won’t sniff a playoff spot. Now, IF
the Seahawks realize they have the weakest set of quarterbacks in the league
and sign David Garrard (as they should) they could challenge St. Louis for
the division title. But, until they upgrade the quarterback position, they will
play second fiddle to the Rams. That is a shame really because the talent level
in Seattle, particularly on the offensive side of the ball is much higher than
the casual fan realizes. Seattle signed Sidney Rice, Zach Miller and Robert
Gallery. They already had Marshawn Lynch, Mike Williams and Golden
Tate. The talent surrounding quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (and eventually
Charlie Whitehurst) offensively will make him by default OK. Aside from the
quarterback issue, the biggest problem for the Seahawks is the play of the
defense. Linebacker Aaron Curry has been underwhelming thus far and gone
is Lofa Tatupu. Aside from Chris Clemons, the defensive line scares nobody.
Seattle botched this offseason by not adequately addressing the quarterback
position and it will come back to bite them. Luckily for them, they have
enough offensive talent to make them respectable and in the NFC West that
will get you close to .500.

3.) Arizona (6-10) When Arizona was making its Super Bowl run, they had the
great quarterback Kurt Warner under center. In the first year AK (After Kurt)
the Cardinals realized how important he was to their success. Cardinals fans
had to suffer through watching Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton
under center last year and their record reflected the state of the quarterback
position (5-11). Arizona knew it had to address the position to get back to
respectability and perhaps more importantly, keep franchise icon Larry
Fitzgerald happy. So they traded for Kevin Kolb, and instantly expectations
in Phoenix skyrocketed again. Not so fast. While Kolb is unquestionably
better than any quarterback that lined up under center last year, he is by
no means a sure thing. He has never started more than half of his teams’
games and last year had just as many touchdowns as interceptions, seven
and that was with the Eagles’ high-powered offense. The Cardinals of 2011
are completely different than the Cardinals of 2009 that featured Anquan
Boldin and Fitzgerald. Boldin has since been traded to Baltimore and No. 3
receiver Steve Breaston bolted for Kansas City. Until another receiver steps
up, defenses will take away Fitzgerald and make someone else beat them.
That job will fall to Todd Heap, Andre Roberts and Early Doucet, who is
entering what is almost a make-or-break year. As much as Arizona would like
to believe that it is close to recapturing the magic of the Warner era, they are
realistically a year or two away from climbing back to those heights.
4.) San Francisco (4-12). As you can probably tell by the rest of this preview,
the NFC West has a number of quarterback questions and the 49ers are no
different. Instead of pursuing a quarterback like Kevin Kolb, they decided
to bring back Alex Smith, the former No. 1 pick. That move wasn’t received
to well by the San Francisco fan base and after watching the preseason, it’s
obvious that Smith isn’t the answer (any person with any type of knowledge
knew that was the case before the preseason, but that is a story for another
day.) That is unfortunate for first-year coach Jim Harbaugh, but it may help
him reunite with his former quarterback: Stanford’s Andrew Luck. The
defense may have lost some big name players, but they are poised to be even
better in 2011. The 49ers brought in Donte Whitner and Carlos Rogers and
the talk out of camp was that rookie linebacker Aldon Smith was impressive.
The defense will have to be stout to make up for what will be a lackluster
offense.

College Football Preview: Big East

Bryan Montgomery
BIG EAST
1. West Virginia: Although the Mountaineers were not the highest scoring team
in the Big East, their defense is what will thrive this football team to the top
of the conference. They were ranked 3rd in points against with 13.5 and yards
against with 261. Teams had no rushing attack against the Mountaineers,
which caused the ball to be in the air a lot giving the secondary multiple
possibilities for interceptions. On offense, Geno Smith is only entering
his junior year and is ready to take on that leadership role. Smith had an
impressive 2,700 yards last season with 24 touchdowns and only seven
interceptions. . West Virginia will easily take the Big East and move their way
up in the AP rankings.
2. Pittsburg: The Panthers are another team that impressed many on defense.
They were not too far behind West Virginia on the defensive rankings and
were first in the Big East with only 10 points against. The Panthers do have
a shot to top the Big East Conference, but they will have to put up points to
do that. Pittsburg was dead last in the Big East and barely broke the top 100
in all of FBS when it came to scoring. Tino Sunseri got that sophomore slump
out of his system last year and will hopefully be ready to take control of that
Panther offense. Besides West Virginia and Notre Dame, the Panthers have
an easy schedule and all they need is a few West Virginia mistakes to take
control of the East.
3. USF: South Florida has been a team that has worked it’s way out of the
shadows the past couple of seasons and will continue to flirt with the top of
the Big East. Unlike Pittsburg and West Virginia, the Bulls lack experience
on defense, but were second in scoring in the Big East. B.J. Daniels is also
entering his junior year and worked out most of his kinks during the 2010
season. Daniels will look to decrease his interception numbers from last year
(13 in 2010) and increase his touchdown numbers (11 in 2010). The Bulls
are still a work in progress, but it will not be long until they become one of
the Elite in the Big East.
4. Syracuse: If the Orange could just find that key weapon on offense then they
can easily be the team to beat in the East. Unfortunately, they don’t and need
to find other ways to win. Syracuse defense was very productive last year
and kept them in the running for many games, but as we all know, it is very
difficult to win games when you cannot score. The Orange was 97th in all of
NCAA in total offense and 139th in total points scored. Those numbers are not
acceptable for a team who has the potential to be the best.
5. Louisville: For a team who smelled a BCS Championship just a few years
back, they have taken a turn for the worst. The Cardinals have not been a
threat in the Big East for a while now and have made no effort in the past to
make any improvements to their team. Their defense has been horrific, they
haven’t had an offensive leader since Brian Brohm and the overall coaching
has been sub-par. The Cardinals lost their leading rusher in Bilal Powell to
the Jets and sophomore Jeremy Wight is far from ready to take that role. If it
weren’t for the Big East being one of the weakest conferences in NCAA FBS,
the Cardinals would be close if not dead last.
6. Cincinnati: With a 4-8 record last year, you would think that the Bearcats
played some tough teams last year. Unfortunately for them, they played
a bunch of nobodies with the exception of Oklahoma. For all you Bearcat
fans, you may want to dust off the blindfolds for another horrific season.
Zach Collaros is now going into his senior year at the quarterback position,
and will try to get his interception rate down from last year. Running Back
Isaiah Pead is also returning to the field for his senior year and will look to
get his team from being the worst in the East. The Bearcats schedule did
not get any easier from last year and will struggle. This team had some high
hopes in 2010 and epically failed to live up to standards, expect the same
disappointment in 2011.
7. Connecticut: U Conn may want to just skip football and head right into
basketball season. This team has no potential at all to be a contender in the
East and will be lucky to win a game (only win may be against Rutgers).
U Conn may have one of if not the weakest schedule in the NCAA FBS.
Unfortunately, the Huskies were ranked 96th in total offense and 146th in
points scored in 2010 and no real improvements have been made. You
know you are in trouble when your quarterback had less total yards then
your running back. I know I have been harsh to this conference, but for a
conference that is so weak, it’s hard to believe that all of these teams can’t
contend for the conference title.
8. Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights used to be a Big East threat just a measly four
years ago, now they are the biggest disappointment in NJ since the airing
Jersey Shore. If you are a Big East fan, you must really hate me by now so
here is some enlightenment. This team is going to be a lot better in the near
future compared other teams in the Big East. Chas Dodd is only a sophomore
and he made some nice improvements last season as a freshmen. Rutgers
knew Dodd would be a project and it will pay off, it is just going to take time.
I do feel it will not be long before the Knights are back on top in the East, but
for now, just root for improvement… and no more scary injuries.