Texas Rattlers

S.Samek

Today we discuss relocation. Yet in a sport that I didn’t think was coming.
Major League Lacrosse has announced that the former Rochester Rattlers are moving to Frisco, Texas to become the Dallas Rattlers.

 

Its an interesting move to say the least. It extends the geographic footprint of the league a bit. This should make travel a bit more difficult for teams as Dallas is the only team in the central time zone against a mostly eastern standard time focused league.

 

It is also interesting to see if this could be the return of west coast lacrosse. The MLL formally had posts in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

 

Team up a couple California, or other Texas entrants with together with league man stay Denver and you may have something here.

 
The only question is how big of a market is Lacrosse down in Texas. Seems to me like when compared to New York, or other eastern coast states it isn’t as sought after in Texas.

 
The Rattlers also have plenty of competition for revenue in their new home. Six other franchises call the Frisco area friendly confines.

 
Yet it gives the Rattlers a chance to play in a state of the art facility. They will play in the Ford Center, home of the Dallas Cowboys complexes. The same place that hosted the 2017 MLL championship game.

 
While the move is interesting I do think one positive came out of it. The new logo. It gets a much fiercer and modern look against the old logo. The silver, navy blue and orange is a great color scheme and a lot better than the brown orange of before.

 

Good luck to the newly rebranded Dallas Rattlers.

 

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Pick Them Week 14

S.Samek

Through week 14 13-3 week 13 and 123-66.

Saints @ Falcons

Colts @ Bills

Cowboys @ Giants

Lions @ Buccaneers

Raiders @ Chiefs

49ers @ Texans

Packers @ Browns

Bears @ Bengals

Vikings @ Panthers

Redskins @ Chargers

Jets @ Broncos

Titans @ Cardinals

Eagles @ Rams

Seahawks @ Jaguars

Ravens @ Steelers

Patriots @ Dolphins

 

 

 

 

 

Ball Family Strikes Again.

S.Samek

The Ball family strikes again. Not for reasons in a positive light either.

 

The big announcement is that Liangelo Ball has been pulled out of UCLA. Liangelo hasn’t played in any games for the Bruins this year. He will look to transfer. This comes after an incident in which Liangelo was suspended indefinitely for shoplifting during a team trip to China.

 

I guess it makes sense to me to explore other options if you’re not going to play. Yet it was his own fault for shoplifting as to why he got suspended.

 
Yet Lavar Ball will let his youngest son Lamelo commit to UCLA just like Lonzo Ball did.

 
The Los Angeles Lakers announced a rule that plan to enforce. This is that no media member may congregate outside of the section designated for family members and associates of players.

 
The rule has been dubbed the Lavar Ball rule after the infamous father did an on -court interview on opening night of the season.

 
While he hasn’t done anything like that sense. He can’t do it anymore. However, the league does allow on court access for those with credentials.

 
This is a fair rule. Give the players some space to breath without a camera, or notepad in front of their face. Let them enjoy family time. Yet still honoring the leagues rules and having the credentialed media members do what they need to do.

 

I just hope Lavar will be quite and let his sons just play some basketball.

 

 

 

 

College Football Playoffs 2017

S.Samek

This is it. College football is over and the real fun begins. By fun I mean the college football playoffs.

 
The teams that have separated themselves from the pack and emerged with a bracket spot and national championship hopes are Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Clemson.

 
Lots of teams feel slighted by this system. Ohio State, Wisconsin and Auburn come to mind here. So why didn’t they get in? Well I think I’ll brake down a bit of why teams got in and why they didn’t.

Teams In.

Starting with the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia Finished the year at 11-1 and won the SEC conference title game over Auburn. That lone blemish came at the hands of the Tigers in November by a 40-17 margin on the road. Yet they got revenge by beating the previous number two ranked team in the nation by 21 points.

 

The Bulldogs won three games against top 25 opponents and only lost one game against them. They also dominated in the Sec not playing many close games.

 
Plane and simple they put together a good season. They beat everyone on the schedule. They avenged their loss to Auburn and won a tough conference. The finished ahead of Alabama and Auburn in overall record. Putting them securely in the playoffs.

 

Second let’s discuss the Clemson Tigers. Winners of the ACC title game by a wide margin over Miami.

 
The Tigers do own a close win over Auburn. They own six victories over top 25 teams. Sure, they lost to Syracuse by a field goal, but they also lost to Pitt by a point during last season championship run. Not games they should have lost, but they did.

 

This season could be déjà vu for the Tigers.

They earned every win during this 12-1 season and sit atop the rankings for a reason. No argument as to why Clemson would be left out.

Third is the Alabama Crimson Tide. This is the head scratcher pick. The lost to Auburn. They didn’t play for a conference championship. Yet they finished ahead of the War Eagle in overall record.

 

The Tide owns an 11-1 record as does Georgia. The Crimson Tide also owns an identical record to Georgia against ranked teams.

 

Sadly, they didn’t match up during the season, or I think the winner there is in the playoffs, while the loser sits out.

Alabama is a good team. Though this year I think they slid in because they have been there before and people watch them.

 

The final team in is Oklahoma. The Sooners are another one loss team at 12-1. They won the Big 12 conference championship game by dominating TCU, a team they beat twice. They have four wins against the top 25 including beating Ohio State in Columbus.

 

The lone lost came by a score to Iowa State. I would compare that to Clemson’s loss to Syracuse. It hurts and costs your undefeated mark, but isn’t too bad if you take care of business. Oklahoma took care of business and should absolutely be in this bracket.

Just Missed

Now for the Ohio State Buckeyes. The team upended Wisconsin for the Big Ten title. They finished at 11-2, including the all too familiar three out of four victories against ranked teams. The lone loss in the top 25, against the aforementioned Sooners.

 

I think the second loss is what took them out of the playoffs. Losing to Iowa on the road by 31 isn’t good for playoff hopes. Usually in this format one slip up can be forgiven, two and your fate may be sealed. I think that’s the case here.

 

Now to look at the team beaten by Ohio State, for the Big Ten Championship Wisconsin. The Badger’s have the better overall record than the Buckeyes at 12-1. However, the Badgers own only two ranked wins in three tries this year. Their schedule seems a lot more forgiving too when compared to Ohio States.

If they beat OSU, the undefeated record and Big Ten title is more than enough to get them in the playoffs. Yet you coun’t really get the signature win you needed to put you in for sure. Good pick by the committee to leave them out.

Then taking a look at Auburn. They do have those important head to head wins over Alabama and Georgia. They did play for an Sec championship. Yet they also lost head to head to both Clemson and Georgia.

 

Add on a third loss to LSU and its your done. No team with three losses is getting in under this format. Even if they are quality losses.

 

No Way

Now to finish let’s look at the lone undefeated team in the nation in Central Florida. Yep the lone 12-0 mark comes to us from the American Conference. The Golden Knights then took care of Memphis for the second time this year to win the conference title game. This was the lone time they beat a top 25 team.

Plain and simple I will say the Knights have no right to a top ten spot in the polls. They maybe top 15 and that’s at best. They don’t play anybody.

The American conference is a joke compared to the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Pac 12 and more. Yes, teams in these conference schedule cupcake teams. But if you have a case like Clemson where your playing six ranked teams, your schedule going to be softer at some points.

 

Every team getting into the playoffs did have a couple weaker teams on the slate, but not a whole slate of them. I wouldn’t accuse any of them of having a soft except Wisconsin and it was still tougher than UCF’s.

 

I do think you get a chance to rebut if your UCF against Auburn. However, bet on the Tigers to win and win big in the Peach Bowl matchup with the Golden Knights.

 

There you have it the college football playoffs all set and ready to roll. Should be a great way to start out the new year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebels Rebelling

S.Samek

A we move toward Christmas; college football bowl season is upon us. However, one team will not be joining in the party. The Mississippi Rebels.

 
The Rebels were placed under investigation and had a head coach resign prior to the start of the year. The university then gave itself a one-year ban from playing in a bowl game.
However, the NCAA is extending that penalty an extra year and imposing additional punishments. The Rebels will lose scholarships, be fined almost 200,000 and be on four years of probation. Though the bowl ban is only this year and an extra one not two years plus the self-imposed year.

 
The Rebels went 6-6 this season with an interim coach.
These seem to be pretty fair punishments. I mean one of the charges is academic fraud and paying off potential recruits. Pretty serious stuff.

 
It maybe competitive Sec football, but this is ridiculous. Good too see them earn a fair punishment.

 

Pick Them Week 13

S.Samek

112-63 through week 12 after going 12-4 during that week.

Redskins @ Cowboys

Vikings @ Falcons

Texans @ Titans

Chiefs @ Jets

Broncos @ Dolphins

Colts @ Jaguars

Buccaneers @ Packers

Lions @ Ravens

Patriots @ Bills

49ers @ Bears

Browns @ Chargers

Giants @ Raiders

Panthers @ Saints

Rams @ Cardinals

Eagles@ Seahawks

Steelers @ Bengals

More Suspensions

S.Samek

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost another player to suspension. The kicker is it isn’t who you would think.

Both Le’veon Bell and Martavis Bryant will be in uniform against the Packers.

Marcus Gilbert will not be, however. Gilbert failed a drug test and received a four game suspension.

He has decided to not appeal the suspension. This is a refreshing rarity as most players appeal as much as they can prior to suspension.

The suspension will be lifted after the December 17th game.

Gilbert is a seventh year man out of Florida and the starting right tackle. He has started the last five games after missing time with a hamstring injury.

This is an annoying loss. Gilbert is a major contributor and will be missed during this stretch run. Though on the plus side he should be back in time for the playoffs