2014 March Madness Bracketology: South Region

Written March 19th, 2014 by Ken

Our Bracket Breakdown gets a little close to home…

14South

Dayton and Syracuse and Kansas… Oh My!

The South Region is of some interest to us since that is Ohio State’s “Region”. It also has a few other top-rated teams such as Florida, Kansas, UCLA and Syracuse. Whoever emerges from this Region has a legitimate chance to be in the Finals and possibly win it all.

Rather than go through game-by-game in the Region, I’ll focus on five (5) topics; 1) the team likely to win region, 2) the region’s Cinderella team, 3) team most likely to be upset, 4) who is region’s unheralded player and 5) my Elite 8 picks. Envelopes, please…

Regional Favorite: Florida is my choice to win this Region. The Gators haven’t lost a game since December 2nd, and it’s unlikely they lose this week, until possibly the Finals. They are a well-balanced team, play decently on offense, but are a top notch defensive team. In their last 14 games, dating back to February 1st, they have allowed less than 60 points in 7 of them. A capable offense and a tough defense will carry this team to the Final Four.

Cinderella: The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks could be wearing the Glass Slipper, at least until midnight. They aren’t rated well (RPI 55, SOS 315) but they come in as the #12 seed against VCU and the Rams are only a 6 point favorite. They have a decent defense and are efficient of on offense (1.16 PPP). And, a #11/#12 seed moving on is not unheard of; just ask VCU. Read More

tBBC Preview: Texas Bowl – Minnesota vs. Syracuse

Written December 26th, 2013 by Eric

Welcome to the B1G Bowl season! In previous years, we’ve previewed all of the season’s bowl games. This year however, we’re going to be looking at the Big Ten games and BCS bowl games. In other words, the only games you remotely care about. Your spinal column and eyeballs should thank us.

Texas Bowl

Minnesota (8-4, 4-4 B1G) vs. Syracuse (6-6, 4-4 ACC)
December 27th, 2013 6:00 PM ET ESPN

History: The Texas Bowl has a relatively short history, first coming into existence in 2006 as the Meineke Car Care Bowl. It replaced the now non-existent Houston Bowl that ran from 2000-2005. The game was originally tied to the Big 12, but rotated its other tie-in between the Conference USA, Big East, and Mountain West Conference. They also invited MAC member Western Michigan to play a game in 2008. Lately, the Big Ten has been its second conference of choice.

The Big Ten has visited the Texas Bowl the last three seasons and holds a 1-2 record. First Big Ten win came in their first appearance, when Illinois beat Baylor 38-14. Two years ago, Texas A&M won their last game as a member of the Big 12 conference by beating Northwestern 33-22. That was followed last season by Texas Tech picking up another win for the Big 12 by a score of 34-31. That win was over Minnesota, who now makes their second appearance in the game.
Read More

Silver Bullet Points To Los Angeles

Written March 27th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Well, howdy-do, Buckeye nation! Thanks for paying attention to my little neck of the sunshine state… hope it works out as well as last time Ohio State had a team out here.  You know what? Since we’ve already got a visit scheduled to the Bay Area for September, what say we just go for the trifecta and come on back out this way in January. Multiple options for today’s soundtrack- Vintage, Old School, Hippie, Country, Top 40, Hip Hop, Rock. Oh, and I’ve got a great recommendation for a place to stay.

Silver Bullet, Knotts Berry Farm

Buckeye 411

  • Big Plays- In today’s scrimmage, both Heuerman and Fields had long receptions for scores, coming on the first play and a fourth down play action (respectively).
  • You Rock- Also, we found out today that former DeSales star and one time Michigan defensive end Chris Rock has returned home to Columbus to be a walk-0n third year sophomore at Ohio State. Given the last “walk on” from TTUN, there’s reason to be optimistic regarding his career as a Buckeye. If nothing else, he certainly helped my parenting skills.
  • Backup Plans- It seems that Tuesday’s practice was a chance for the staff to look a bit closer at some of the folks who might be called into service if there’s an injury. Kenny G sat out while Cardale took snaps with the second team, and Carlos Hyde gave way to the “young Bucks” in the backfield. Which brings us to…
  • A Good Problem To Have- Great reports from the Running Backs thus far; Rod Smith had an amazing practice Tuesday, while Brionte Dunn was singled out by some as a highlight  in last week’s practices. Not to be left out, Warren Ball’s shiftiness and ability to get extra yards seemed to be a constant part of Tuesday’s work. Oh, and there were even passes to a fullback during Tuesday’s drills.  Running Back by Committee ain’t to shabby when all of the Committee are stellar.
  • Rising To The Challenge- Coach Withers talked at the end of practice about his wanting to see more from Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown, telling him that he wasn’t playing well enough to keep from being jumped on the depth chart by some of the incoming team.  On Tuesday, Brown seemed to be playing with that edge, making key plays in coverage as well as a crucial stop in the goal-line period.
  • Up Front- Coach Meyer talked about how positively he feels about the current offensive line; they’re picking up where they left off, and should be among the best in the conference. Defensively, Michael Bennett has taken a more vocal leadership role for the D, including a firey moment when the Offense managed to score. Bennett, according to Coach Meyer, has graded out as 5/6 “wins” for each practice.
  • New Crush Candidate- Since John Simon has chosen to leave me, I’m just going to get on #TeamSpence for the near future. From what we hear in practice, he’s going to be the next in great Ohio State rush ends. Read More

Top 25: The Week in Review & The Week Ahead

Written February 17th, 2013 by Gary Russell II

B1G! B1G!

The college basketball season is winding down but that doesn’t mean that the excitement is too.  More over time games, more losses, and more surprises continue to be story of the season.  Duke kept the streak of Top 5 teams losing by dropping their game to Maryland.  The Miami Hurricanes continue to turn heads and move up the polls and will most likely do the same this week after beating Florida State.  The Big East and Big Ten are proving to be the two best conferences in the nation as they continue to beat up on each other.  The week of games are becoming too much for me to wrap up in a paragraph so I will stop rambling so you can see how everyone did last week.

Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review:

1.       Indiana (23-3, 11-2) Previous Rank: 1

Past Week: 2/10 @ (13) Ohio State, W 81-68 & 2/13 Nebraska, W 76-47 & 2/16 Purdue, W 83-55

Upcoming: 2/19 @ (8) Michigan State

So the Hoosiers lose and stayed number one this past week……No love to the Hurricanes.  After knocking off Ohio State in Columbus they now travel to East Lansing to face a scorching hot Michigan State team.

 

2.       Duke (22-3, 9-3) Previous Rank: 4

Past Week: 2/10 @ Boston College, W 62-61 & 2/13 North Carolina, W 73-68 & 2/16 @ Maryland, L 81-83

Upcoming: 2/21 @ Virginia Tech

Duke held their own on home court in college basketball’s biggest rivalry after beating North Carolina.  They followed it up with a disappointing loss at Maryland.  They hope to bounce back when they face Virginia Tech on the road. Read More

Top 25: The Week in Review and The Week Ahead

Written December 23rd, 2012 by Gary Russell II

Don't worry, Be Happy

And then there were 4! While I love to sit here and talk about the Syracuse Orangemen falling from the ranks of the unbeatens, Christmas came a week early for me. Three teams lost their first game of the season - Syracuse, Illinois, and (No….I do not have my shocked face on at this one) New Mexico.  In addition to these upsets, several other ranked teams lost at least one game this week.  Some teams lost in surprising games and others to fellow ranked squads (I thought the madness was in March).  Wichita State fell from the Top 25, as expected, and made room for Butler after their amazing win over Indiana.  This week many teams take a very light schedule to spend time with their families and gear up for their conference runs.  So, without further delay, let’s see what happened this week.

Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review.

 

1.       Duke (11-0) Previous Rank: 2

Past Week:  12/19 Cornell, W 88-47 & 12/20 Elon, W 76-54

Upcoming:  12/29 Santa Clara

Duke spent their first week at Number One with easy wins over Cornell and Elon.  Santa Clara visits Cameron Indoor this week but Duke should win this one easily. Read More

Top 25: The Week in Review & The Week Ahead

Written December 9th, 2012 by Gary Russell II

Even though the week featured many blowouts and easy wins, this week’s Top 25 has many changes to it from the previous week. Two teams dropped out of the polls, including a Top 10 team disappearing from the nation’s top teams. This week’s action also only featured one loss to any of the current Top 25 teams (it would have been two if Colorado decided to get off the plane in Kansas). The upcoming week only features one Top 25 matchup when (6) Florida travels to (8) Arizona but does feature some possible upset alerts (We’re looking at you Purdue and West Virginia).

Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review.

Still On Top

1. Indiana (9-0) Previous Rank: 1
Past Week: 12/8 Central Connecticut State, W 100-69
Upcoming: 12/15 Butler
Indiana cruised to a victory over Central Connecticut State but this week’s Butler team will be a tougher challenge for the Hoosiers

2. Duke (9-0) Previous Rank: 2
Past Week: 12/8 Temple, W 90-67
Upcoming: No Games This Week
The Blue Devils didn’t have any let downs after an emotional win against Ohio State in walloping Temple. This week they look to rest a little bit with an off week

3. Michigan (9-0) Previous Rank: 3
Past Week: 12/4 Western Michigan, W 73-41 & 12/8 Arkansas, W 80-67
Upcoming: 12/11 Binghamton & 12/15 @West Virginia
The Wolverines were challenged from time by Arkansas but pulled away in the end to defeat the Razorbacks. They travel to Morgantown to meet upset-minded West Virginia.

4. Syracuse (8-0) Previous Rank: 6
Past Week: 12/3 Eastern Michigan, W 84-48 & 12/6 Long Beach State, W 84-53 & 12/8 Monmouth, W 108-56
Upcoming: 12/15 Canisius
Syracuse continues the cream puff part of their schedule as Jim Boeheim works toward becoming the third coach in history with 900 wins.

5. Louisville (8-1) Previous Rank: 6
Past Week: 12/4 @Charleston, W 80-38 & 12/8 Missouri-Kansas City, W 99-47
Upcoming: 12/15 @Memphis
Not much to speak of with Louisville either, as they breezed past their two opponents this past week and Memphis probably won’t be much different.

6. Florida (7-0) Previous Rank: 7 Read More

Picks for the Weak: Week 2

Written September 5th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

Double the pay, three times the work.

After week one I am way down the list and am rethinking my position as an “expert” picker for this pool! Anyhow, as it is I do not have a choice because I drew the short straw in our last office meeting and the current status of our picketing union has caused me more work. My pay has been doubled by Mali, but my work has been increased three-fold… go figure!

Week one saw me going 2 and 3 as I grade things- here are the results for my picks. Keep in mind that I expect my picks to be spot on with regards to score, competitive level and who won!

  • MSU defeated Boise State 17 to 13 – Prediction right: MSU 21 to 7
  • Alabama defeated TTUN 41 to 14 – Prediction Wrong: Alabama 21 to 10
  • Virginia Tech defeated Georgia Tech in OT 20 to 17 – Prediction Wrong: VT 34 to 14
  • Louisville defeated Kentucky 32 to 14 – Prediction right: Louisville 42 to 3
  • Notre Dame defeated Navy 50 to 10 – Prediction Totally Wrong Navy 23 to 17

As we move forward I have decided to format my choices into five titles, hope you enjoy it and if you have any suggestions of things you’d like to see just let me know. Here we go with the even weaker week two! Read More

tBBC Conference Calvacade: Big East

Written August 26th, 2012 by Janelle

Yup. Still a thing.

I was recently asked to do a conference preview of the Big East for the upcoming season.  Go ahead and laugh.  We drew straws, and I got the shortest one, so here I am, writing about the Big East, a conference that only has eight teams competing in football.  I know this conference’s football doesn’t inspire a lot of excitement, but hey, you never know, Louisville could come out and win a national title for all we know (doubt it).  So now, with all jokes aside, I give you our Big East football preview.

Where does the conference fall in the national rankings – how likely are they to have a team in the Title game?

With the departure of West Virginia, Louisville is the cream of the crop in this conference. They are currently the only team ranked in the AP Top 25, and the conference has no ranked teams in the USA Today Poll.  The Cardinals are coming off a 2011 campaign where they went 7-6. Yes, the strongest team in the conference was 7-6 last year, so that should tell you a lot about how the conference compares to others nationally.

Behind Louisville, the next best team is likely Cincinnati, a team that went 10-3 last year, but the Bearcats lost some key players on offense, including quarterback Zach Collaros and running back Isaiah Pead.  Past those two teams, it’s Pittsburgh and everybody else.  Expect Louisville to get the at-large automatic BCS Bowl bid come bowl season.

In terms of conference strength, I’m going to be blunt. It’s the weakest BCS conference.   Put these teams up against any of the other power conferences, and it makes for an ugly comparison… there just isn’t any other way to put it.

Who is the best team in the conference? Who will play for the conference title game (if there is one)? Read More

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