Thursday, September 27, 2012

Power Rankings - Week 4

Power Rankings


Just as preseason polls in college football are idiotic, and yet overly affect the true outcome of the season, NFL power rankings prior to seeing teams actually perform on the field are equally pointless. However, as seemingly everyone does one, I will capitulate and put out my own rankings now that I have had a few weeks to digest what teams are. Keep in mind, this list is based on what they are right now, not what they may become. And while I do take in to consideration a team’s ability to overcome their weaknesses (a season-ending injury versus a rookie at a position hurts more), I do not base my thoughts on some arbitrary “they should be better” idea I brought with me into the season. To do so seems narcissistic and dishonest like I am trying to manipulate popular opinion for my own ratings (I’m looking at you, ESPN!). With that preamble out of the way, here’s my thoughts:


1.      Atlanta Falcons (3-0) – I give the nod to the Falcons over the Texans merely due to strength of opponents thus far. The “Dirty Birds” appear to be firing on all cylinders.

2.      Houston Texans (3-0) – The Texans have looked quite stout early against lesser competition, and having Schaub back could mean a deep playoff run for this team.

3.      Arizona Cardinals (3-0) – The only other undefeated team gets more love from me than in most lists, but wins against the Eagles and the Patriots are not flukes. Still need to answer the QB question, but that defense looks stout.

4.     Baltimore Ravens (2-1) – As we reach the 1 loss teams, weaknesses become more apparent. The Ravens inability to create pressure on the QB without Terrell Suggs could plague them all year.

5.      San Francisco 49ers (2-1) – Despite laying a massive egg in Minnesota last week, the Niners still have the formula to win. They just have to remember that it’s running the ball and defense, not Alex Smith.

6.     Seattle Seahawks (2-1) – Two big home-wins against the Cowboys and Packers (though a bit controversial) get the worst uniforms in football to #6. A rugged defense and a learning QB could keep them in contention for the post season.

7.     Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) – A ridiculous run-to-pass ratio with a QB who is careless with the ball is not a good trend. But an opportunistic defense and a ton of talent when healthy keep Philly in the win column.

8.     Chicago Bears (2-1) – If the Bears can keep Cutler and Forte upright and healthy behind a pretty terrible O-Line, they definitely have the defense to make the playoffs.

9.     Dallas Cowboys (2-1) – After spending an off-season rebuilding their defense, the Boys look pretty stout on that side of the ball through 3 games. However, using duct tape and chewing gum on the O-Line could cost them dearly.

10.  New York Giants (2-1) – The defending champs started behind the eight ball with injuries in the secondary. But if Eli can keep slinging and get his weapons healthy, watch for the late season surge from them again.

11.   San Diego Chargers (2-1) – The Chargers took advantage of a soft opening schedule to jump to nice 2-0 start. However, getting steamrolled by the Falcons last week tells you more about this team than the start does.

12.   Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) – After an ugly opener, the Bengals are starting to find their stride, with tough defense and big plays from the wide receivers. Too bad they look like a one-and-done playoff team right now.

13.  New York Jets (2-1) – The loss of Revis for the season is a killer for a team starting with 2 division wins. But a complete lack of skill positions on offense means Sanchez, Tebow or even Namath couldn’t be that successful.

14.  Buffalo Bills (2-1) – If the Bills could keep a RB healthy, they might have a chance to live up to all the hype heaped on them this off-season. But the weak-armed Ivy League QB may not be the long-term answer.

15.  Minnesota Vikings (2-1) – Despite an impressive win against the 49ers, the Vikings still have a long way to prove this isn’t a fluke. Peterson still slowly gets up to speed and Ponder is starting to finally not suck.

16.  New England Patriots (1-2) – These are not your daddy’s Pats, as a very suspect O-Line has Tom Brady a bit nervous and therefore has slowed that high powered offense. Not sure how that gets better.

17.  Green Bay Packers (1-2) – Getting screwed by the refs notwithstanding, the Packers are not the same offense as last year. The blueprint appears to be out on them, and it will be interesting to see if they can adjust.

18.  Denver Broncos (1-2) – Peyton Manning is clearly not the same guy from Indy, with lesser arm strength and even lesser targets. However, a tough schedule is mostly to blame for the 1-2 start. However, it doesn’t get much better going forward.

19.  Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2) – If you notice a theme with the last four teams, a poor and injured offensive line is to blame for the offensive woes. Being without big playmakers of defense doesn’t help either. Look for this team to move up.

20.  Detroit Lions (1-2) – The complete lack of discipline, both on and off the field, can take any talented team down quick. Not sure how this problem gets better short of a complete culture change. And that’s not just the coach.

21.   Washington Redskins (1-2) – The early promise of RGIII and an attacking defense made the Skins look scary. But the loss of Orakpo and others on both sides of the ball means a below .500 record looks imminent

22.   Carolina Panthers (1-2) – Another team whose only win is against the Saints, the Fightin’ Cams look just like last year’s team: Cam and not much else on offense and a leaky defense. Might be 6-10 like last year’s team too.

23.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2) – The Greg Schiano era, complete with the unnecessary kneel-down defense, has made the Bucs much more competitive than last year. But still hasn’t come all together yet.

24.  St Louis Rams (1-2) – Jeff Fisher is a great coach and his influence can already be seen on these Rams. However, that just means that this terrible collection of talent will be slightly better than awful.

25.  Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) – Just riddled with injuries coming out of the preseason, the Chiefs looked just terrible through 2 weeks. But a big comeback win against the Saints could be the turning point for KC. Or not.

26.  Indianapolis Colts (1-2) – On the bright side, Andrew Luck looks like he is the real deal. However, he is not without his rookie warts and the rest of the team around him is still 2 solid drafts away from being competitive.

27.  Miami Dolphins (1-2) – This year’s Hard Knocks team is about the most unexciting team ever. Reggie Bush finally looks interested in being a RB, but Tannehill is a project without any weapons to make him look better.

28.  Oakland Raiders (1-2) – An over-the-hill QB combined with a lack of real receivers, a star running back who can’t stay healthy and has no blockers and a defense that is incredibly inconsistent is how you get to #28.

29.  Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) – Other than MJD (who they don’t even want to pay), this team has NOTHING! Gabbert is terrible, and anyone who says different is an idiot. Throwing one 80 yard bomb last week does not a QB make.

30. Tennessee Titans (1-2) – The flukiest 4th quarter in the history of the NFL is all that keeps the Titans from the bottom of this list. The Jake Locker Experiment is off to a very rocky start and CJ2K is averaging less than 2 yards per carry.

31.  New Orleans Saints (0-3) – Guess what: COACHING MATTERS! The Saints are in a bad way right now, with a bunch of ill-fitting parts with no one to mash them into competitiveness.

32.  Cleveland Browns (0-3) – The saddest part about the Browns season is if Colt McCoy starts the year, this team is 1-2 or maybe even 2-1. Richardson looks like a beast but they must go get a big time WR next year.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bottom Of The Bottle

Bottom Of The Bottle
from The Mick

Ok, your old buddy The Mick is confused. I read an article saying that Madonna will strip if Obama is reelected. That is correct ladies and gentlemen if Obama is put back into office 54 year old Madonna will take off all of her clothes at an undisclosed yet public venue. Let me say that again, at an unknown place, unknown time, somewhere that you might be Madonna will be completely naked if Obama if elected for a second term. Please feel free to register to vote now, the blog will still be online when you get back.

Now for the confusing bit my friends. When I first read the headline my first thought was ‘I didn’t know Madonna was republican.’ As I read further I discovered that it wasn’t a threat, it was a promise. WHAT!?! Yes, a promise. Following an expletive laced tirade while sipping “water” she opened her shirt to expose Obama stenciled on her chest and a bra that wished it had never been made. One could admire her for such a bold statement if she wasn’t a burnt out slut that has tried so hard to escape her Jersey origins she adopted and English accent while keeping Guy Ritchie drugged for 8 years.

So let’s review, someone who hates this country so much that she left wants to tell you how to vote. This same person has made books, movies and music video using her naked body as a selling point for decades now wants to get naked again if you do what she tells you. Now you did notice I just said decades, right? Yes the 90’s were 20 years ago and that was the last time Madonna was worth looking at. I’m not saying that all women in their 50’s are gross, but she is. Okay I tried to find some hot celebs over 50, but, I couldn’t. They are all gross.

Holy crap I forgot the dumbest part of this story, the reason Madonna has such an obsession for Obama. She thinks he’s a Black Muslim and that’s the s#!t. Seriously, that’s her main reason for supporting him. Of course, Obama and his camp have repeatedly denied both claims. That’s what you get for listening to an ancient dumpster that hates the country it’s from. So please, in the name of all that is Holy and Good don’t be responsible for Madonna getting naked again. I realize that Romney may suck, but, he is all that stands between us and a naked zombie.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Episode #4

This week, Jeff and friends discuss the wacky weekend of college and pro football, including lots of replacement referee talk, explore the life of Ravens Wide Receiver Torrey Smith, get and Entertainment Enema administered by The Mick, Visit with Darren Boyd and gaze lovingly at The Sports Landscape, and wrap things up with a batch of terrible NFL picks.

I. NFL Recaps

II. The Narrative - The Adversity and Triumph of Torrey Smith
III. College Football Round Up

IV. Entertainment Enema featuring The Mick

V. The Sports Landscape with happy little trees

VI. Terrible NFL Picks

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Bottom of the Bottle Blog

The Bottom of the Bottle

By The Mick


Amanda Bynes has finally lost it.  Of course I’m not surprised as none of you should be surprised.  She was a child star just like Lindsay Lohan and Danny Bonaduce. So this latest head case has been drinking (of course), running over people (image that), and acting in a completely inappropriate manner (what?!?). Sound familiar? Are you shocked? Did you think she was different? Did you think she was somehow better than Miley Cyrus? SHE’S NOT!

All child stars are statistically doomed to utter collapse and jail time. Yes we have a few exceptions but they only provide the curve to the bell. Neil Patrick Harris, the homosexual author of the bro code, has yet to kill someone and get caught. But once again even he can be judged deviant depending on your point of view. This is where we find the real issue. Who are you to judge?

Yeah a lot of child stars end up doing stupid things, but, so do you and I. The only difference is we haven’t blown through millions of dollars (presumably) and we don’t have photographers following us (hopefully). I’m sure that at least five of the six people that read this little blog has had a few too many to be driving yet still fired up the engine. At least half of us have jumped someone that we probably shouldn’t have and locked ourselves in a changing room for about 2 hours.

All it means is that celebrities are people just like us. Sure they make millions by playing dress up and reading words written by other people. Should we be envious? Some of us should and that’s alright. Should we use them as role models? Absolutely not. For some reason when people start idolizing the literate they get placed on unrealistic pedestals. Celebrities are flawed individuals that have their negative attributes exasperated by the fact that people around them give in hoping to get a buck.

In our society we need heroes and leaders to help point us in the right direction. In the past we could look toward elected officials. There isn’t a man on this planet that couldn’t use a page from Teddy Roosevelt’s book. The church has a basically good message, but, it gets lost in the translation. So now we have turned to actors and actresses and we are all screwed.

Episode #3

This week, Jeff and Darren detail week 2 in the NFL as well as the rest of the sports world, venture into another episode of The Entertainment Enema with The Mick and highlight the Notre Dame and Michigan rivalry and connections prior to Saturday's meeting.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Podcast Episode #2

On this week's show, Jeff and Darren discuss the big football weekend, look around the world of sports as well, explore the anniversary of 9/11 and how it relates to the Sports world and bring on The Mick for a new segment called the Entertainment Enema!


I. NFL Recaps
II. The Narrative - 9/11 and Sports
III. College Football Talk
IV. Entertainment Enema w/ The Mick
V. Around the Sports Landscape
VI. NFL Picks (sure to be terrible!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Draft Nuggets

Draft Nuggets

When you’re a draft nut such as Norm and myself are, it is never too early to begin looking ahead to draft time next year as it pertains to potential Cowboys needs. Taking a snapshot of the Cowboys as they emerge from camp and into the season and of the potential candidates coming from the college ranks, here’s just some interesting prospects to keep your eyes on as you watch football on Saturdays. It’s a small inside look at what a scouting department does year round in preparation for the NFL draft in April.

As the Cowboys are currently constituted (and given potential Free Agents), I believe their needs for next year to be the following:

1.       Interior Offensive Line

2.       Defensive Line

3.       Outside Linebacker

4.       Running Back

5.       Cornerback

6.       Wide Receiver

7.       Tight End

8.       Quarterback

The list of potential Free Agents in 2013 are as follows:

-          RB Felix Jones

-          CB Mike Jenkins

-          OLB Anthony Spencer

-          LS L.P. Ladoucer

-          DE Kenyon Coleman

-          OLB Victor Butler

-          TE John Phillips

-          SS Barry Church

-          C Phil Costa

-          DB Danny McCray

-          OG Derrick Dockery

-          WR Kevin Ogletree

-          QB Rudy Carpenter

-          CB Mario Butler

-          S Mana Silva

Of this list, Jones and Jenkins are almost assuredly gone unless they take a large pay cut. Spencer was franchised this year and due a healthy pay day, and Butler could be squeezed accordingly. Players just beginning to emerge like Church, Ogletree and Phillips could play their way into bigger money. And depth players such as Butler could face competition from undrafted FAs or late round picks.

With that being said, let’s take a look at some players in the college ranks to keep an eye on that currently may fall in the realm on Cowboys interest. Of course, all these evaluations are subjective and can change at any moment. The Draft is by no means an exact science, and ebbs and flows with the whims of GMs, owners or in the Cowboys case, Jerry!

1st Round Prospects

Now, as much as Norm and I may plead with Jerry to take Interior OL in the first, that seems to be relatively unrealistic and very against Jerry’s draft profile. So, we will focus here on the DL and pass rushers. Also, I am projecting the Cowboys for a lower half of the round pick, probably in the 20’s but will include players of surrounding talent levels.

Nose Tackles:

1.       Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah Height: 6-4. Weight: 325. Projected Top 10 Pick

2.       Johnathan Hankins*, DT, Ohio State Height: 6-4. Weight: 325 Projected Top 25

3.       Jonathan Jenkins*, DT, Georgia Height: 6-3. Weight: 351. Projected 2nd round

As is becoming increasingly apparent, Jay Ratliff is not getting any younger and has being the warrior he has in the middle of that 3-4 defense has taken a toll. So adding so real beef on that D Line would be very nice. The Lotulelei kid is a Vince Wilfolk starter kit and unattainable without a massive trade up. Hankins from Ohio State intrigues me greatly. He could fall right in that sweet spot and his versatility could have Rob Ryan salivating.

3-4 Defensive Ends:

1.    William Gholston*, DE, Michigan State Height: 6-7. Weight: 278 Projected 1st-2nd

2.    Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama Height: 6-4. Weight: 320 Projected 2nd round

3.    Margus Hunt, DE, SMU Height: 6-8. Weight: 275 Projected 2nd-3rd

With Coleman most certainly gone and Spears potentially a cap casualty, the DE position could definitely be a need next spring. Gholston, the cousin of Jets 1st round bust Vernon Gholston, shows lots of potential, but not much consistency. Williams is from Australia and very raw, but will get some great training in that Saban 3-4 defense. Hunt from SMU is also foreign, from Estonia, and is much more a project, but does have an amazing proficiency at blocking field goals

Outside Linebackers:

1.    Jackson Jeffcoat*, DE, Texas Height: 6-5. Weight: 245 Projected 1st round

2.    Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB, Florida State Height: 6-3. Weight: 260 Project 1st round

3.    Alex Okafor, DE, Texas Height: 6-4. Weight: 265 Projected early 2nd round

This year’s draft class looks rich with potential 3-4 OLBs, and with Spencer’s and Butler’s impending free agency and DeMarcus Ware clearing the 30 year old mark, this may be the time to add that complimentary pass rusher. Jeffcoat, the son of former Cowboys great Jim, seems like a natural fit, but isn’t asked to drop in coverage often. Jenkins is an amazing talent, but suffered a season ending Lyfranc injury in Game 1 this year. Okafor is an all round athlete who puts up great numbers.

2nd-3rd round Prospects

In this section we will focus on the OL, RB and CBs. All 3 of these areas could suffer due to free agents losses and are primed to have an infusion of talent. Keep in mind, a good solid draft should yield 1-2 immediate starters, 2-3 contributing backups and at least 2 more developmental backups.

Offensive Center:

1.    Khaled Holmes, C, USC Height: 6-4. Weight: 305 Projected early 2nd

2.    Graham Pocic, C, Illinois Height: 6-5. Weight: 305 Projected 3rd-4th

3.    Gabe Ikard*, G/C, Oklahoma Height: 6-2. Weight: 295 Projected 3rd-4th

As with most years, the Center position is pretty thin. Holmes is far and away the finest pure center candidate, but as we saw in last year’s draft, Peter Konz wasn;t picked until well into Day 2. Pocic has great size but needs to use better leverage and Ikard isn’t a natural center, but his size suggests he should be.

Offensive Guards:

1.    Barrett Jones, T/G/C, Alabama Height: 6-5. Weight: 311 Projected Top 25

2.    Chance Warmack, G, Alabama Height: 6-3. Weight: 320 Projected Top 25

3.    Travis Frederick*, G, Wisconsin Height: 6-4. Weight: 338 Projecte 2nd round

When you want Guards, you go to either Alabama or Wisconsin! Jones’s versatility will make teams drool and could make him out of reach for Dallas. Warmack is a road grader who is SEC tested. Frederick is a physical wonder, but benefitted from being surrounded by a lot of talent.


1.    Nickell Robey*, CB, USC Height: 5-8. Weight: 165 Projected 2nd- 3rd

2.    Branden Smith, CB, Georgia Height: 5-11. Weight: 182 Projected 3rd

3.    Carrington Byndom*, CB, Texas Height: 6-0. Weight: 180 Projected 2nd-3rd

I know the Cowboys just bought and drafted 2 corners, but with continuing disappointment in Scandrick and Jenkins and Butler being free, the depth at that may position may be significantly weak. Robey is a little Bulldog who just won’t quit, Smith is SEC tested but needs to fill out some more, and Byndom is great, but unlikely to declare in next year’s draft.

Later round Prospects

With the other positions, here’s just a few names to watch out for during the college football season:

Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia Height: 5-9. Weight: 176 Projected 4th round

Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M Height: 6-1. Weight: 206 Projected 3rd-4th

Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson Height: 5-10. Weight: 190 Projected 2nd-3rd

Michael Dyer*, RB, Arkansas State Height: 5-9. Weight: 210 Projected 3rd-5th

Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse Height: 6-2. Weight: 229 Projected 4th-5th

Michael Williams, TE, Alabama Height: 6-6. Weight: 270 Projected  4th-6th

D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina Height: 6-0. Weight: 210 Projected 5th


Friday, September 7, 2012

Episode #1

This week, Jeff and Darren discuss week 1 of the college football season, the upcoming NFL season with picks against the spread, the races in MLB, and interview the great Norm Hitzges about the Dallas Cowboys of today and of the past.


1. College Football Talk
2. Interview with Norm
3. NFL Talk
4. Football 101 - rule changes
5. Baseball Talk
6. Picks sure to be terrible

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

NFL Season Predictions

(aka another nut punch in about 5 months)

Jeff's Picks

AFC E - New England Patriots
AFC N - Cincinnati Bengals
AFC S - Houston Texans
AFC W - Kansas City Chiefs

AFC WC - Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets

AFC Champion - New York Jets (Tebow! Tebow!)

NFC E - Philadelphia Eagles
NFC N - Green Bay Packers
NFC S - Atlanta Falcons
NFC W - San Francisco 49ers

NFC WC - Chicago Bears, New York Giants

NFC Champion - Philadelphia Eagles


(Can you say "homer?")

Darren's Picks

AFC E - Patriots
AFC N - Ravens
AFC S - Texans
AFC W - Broncos

AFC WC - Steelers, Chargers

AFC Champion - Houston Texans

NFC E - Eagles
NFC N - Packers
NFC S - Falcons
NFC W - 49ers

NFC WC - Saints, Bears

NFC Champion - Green Bay Packers