Oct 31, 2007

The Hornets are back

The New Orleans Hornets (no longer carrying around that dreadful /Oklahoma City or NOOCH moniker), make their return to the Big Easy tonight as they kick off the NBA season against the Sacramento Kings.

New Orleans has had an up-and-down relationship with the team since they arrived from Charlotte. Never feeling like the home town team, the Hornets made the playoffs a few times before turning into a high lottery team prior to Hurricane Katrina. Going through three head coaches and getting rid of stars/fan favorites like Jamal Mashburn, Baron Davis, Jamaal Magloire, P.J. Brown, David Wesley, etc., hurt attendance and fan interest. Just when things were looking exciting with the drafting of Chris Paul, Katrina hit and the team was displaced to Oklahoma City. For the past two seasons, the team has been basically "out of sight, out of mind" to Louisianians.

Now the team is back. They have an exciting roster led by Paul and David West. Their major free agent signing from last year, Peja Stojakovic, is hopefully healthy enough to make it through a majority of the season. Center Tyson Chandler is coming on as a potential All-Star, and the rookie class of Julian Wright and Adam Haluska have shown promise in preseason. Add to that the signing of Morris Peterson and second year center Hilton Armstrong looking for a break-out season, the Hornets look like a team on the rise in the West.

New Orleans and the South are football first areas. The New Orleans Saints are having unprecedented success in ticket sales and team support, but there's no reason the Hornets can't feel the same love. This team will be exciting to watch and they will compete with the top stars in the NBA. The city needs to embrace this team as it has with the Saints. The Hornets are our team now. They are far removed from their Charlotte days and the flirting with Oklahoma City is in the past. Its time for Louisiana and the Gulf South to show that we are not the small, forgotten market that the national media sees us as. With the All-Star game coming to New Orleans this season and a full slate of Hornets games, fans can show that basketball can strive in the Big Easy.

Oct 30, 2007

Week 9 Top 25

LSU had a bye week, but the teams in the Top 10 had some good victories, but the top of the rankings are just as muddled as ever. Let's look at how I rank them:

  1. Ohio State (9-0)
  2. LSU (7-1)
  3. Oregon (7-1)
  4. Boston College (8-0)
  5. Oklahoma (7-1)
  6. Arizona St. (8-0)
  7. West Virginia (7-1)
  8. Kansas (8-0)
  9. Missouri (7-1)
  10. Virgina Tech (6-2)
  11. Texas (7-2)
  12. Michigan (7-2)
  13. Hawaii (8-0)
  14. Georgia (6-2)
  15. USC (6-2)
  16. Boise State (7-1)
  17. Connecticut (7-1)
  18. Florida (5-3)
  19. Alabama (6-2)
  20. Tennessee (5-3)
  21. Auburn (6-3)
  22. South Carolina (6-3)
  23. South Florida (6-2)
  24. Virginia (7-2)
  25. Kentucky (6-3)
*Dropped from rankings: Rutgers (previously #19), California (previously #20)

Oct 29, 2007

Stay Away from The Sports Guy's Columns for a While

With the Red Sox four-game sweep in the World Series, the Patriots running up the score on everybody and the NBA season tipping off this week, it would be a wise move to avoid ESPN's Bill Simmons for a while. He's always focused on Boston sports, but the past few years (since the Patriots won three Superbowls and Red Sox World Series win in 2004), he's been almost impossible to read. Every column comes back to Brady and Patriots or the Sox. Now that the Celtics are projected to have a good year, he's throwing them out there even more.

I imagine he'll write a couple of columns this week. One talking about how awesome the Red Sox are with two World Series sweeps in the past four years (even tough most baseball fans now view them as the equivalent of the Yankees). Also, the undefeated Patriots play the undefeated Colts on Sunday in a game that will be more hyped than this year's Superbowl. Simmons will join the fun and talk about the Patriots being the best team ever, and how Brady is smashing every passing record known to man. While Peyton Manning is viewed as the best QB of this era, and perhaps all-time, Simmons gives him little credit. When the Colts won the Superbowl last year, Simmons did not write a column and eat his crow in public. There was no Superbowl column from Sports Guy...just a mention in a later column.

When it came out earlier this year that the Patriots cheated and were caught, Simmons owned up to it and wrote about it. After a couple of weeks though, he tried to do like the NFL and sweep it under the rug. Journalist all around the country were trying to get to the bottom of the cheating scandal and Simmons and the league just played the "forget about it" card. The Pats are showing themselves to be a classless franchise, also equal to the Yankees with their swagger and free agent spending. Running up the score on one of the most loved coaches in NFL history, Joe Gibbs, was ridiculous and just remember, what comes around, goes around. The Pats and Boston sports fans may be on top of the world right now, but with people like Simmons rubbing everyone's face in it each week, the good times won't last.

Oct 27, 2007

Saints vs. 49ers

The Saints are on the road this weekend, taking on former NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers. Last year against the 49ers, Reggie Bush had four TDs...look for him to have another break-out performance on Sunday.

The Saints need this victory to get closer to the .500 mark and to try to get back in the playoff picture. The 49ers started the year with two victories, but they haven't won since.

Saints 32
49ers 16

Oct 24, 2007

What to do without Lost?

We're still months away from the start of season 4 of the best show on TV, Lost. Luckily, once the show starts in February, we'll get 16 straight episodes with no repeats. In the meantime, what are we to do while waiting? I've rewatched a few of season 1's episodes, but here's some other shows that have kept my interest while waiting for a return to Craphole Island:
  • The Office: This season started off slow with their hour long episodes. The format just works better in 1/2 chunks, but last week's visit to Dwight's beet farm was awesome. They are hitting their stride now and the rest of the season will be awesome. Plus, TBS is now running the repeats from the first few seasons, so you can't go wrong with The Office.
  • Doctor Who: How did I miss Doctor Who growing up? My friend Josh is a big fan and I was introduced to the Time Lord after hearing about it from him. Whether its the new series on Sci-Fi or catching up on Classic Who, this is a really good show. I'm still unsure of who my favorite doctor is, but I know that I really like Doctors #4, #5, #9, and #10 the best so far...but not necessarily in that order. I still need to see more of #3, but he's right up there too. #6, #7 and #8 are ones that I have yet to check out any of their shows, so I can't really talk much about them yet.
  • Heroes: Season 2 of Heroes is offering more adventure and more heroes than last year. The problem is that there is now too many stories to focus on. Instead of "Are you on the list" and "Save the cheerleader, save the world," there now seems to be a core group of original heroes that are being killed off. A fun mystery for the show and maybe we'll see the origins of these powers.
  • Flash Gordon: The original Flash Gordon serials inspired George Lucas to write Star Wars, so the new series was one I had to check out. The first few episodes were a bit slow since they had to introduce the characters, but now that the intros are out of the way, they can focus on the adventure. Its not great acting, but it is a fun sci-fi show to check out.
  • How I Met Your Mother/Big Bang Theory: These shows make up the 7-8:00 hour on Monday nights and both are worth checking out. How I Met Your Mother is always good for some laughs, especially from Barney (Neil Patrick Harris). Big Bang Theory is another cheesy sitcom that I'm enjoying that my wife thinks will get canceled (like The Class and Inside Schwartz). It focuses on science/sci-fi nerds, and of course, I can relate to the material.
  • Top Chef: The 3rd season of Top Chef recently ended with Hung winning the title of Top Chef. This was definately an interesting season and I enjoyed all of the contestants this year. I thought that Dale was going to pull it out at the end after Casey basically had her worst performance of the season in the finale, but Hung used his "me first" attitude (along with molten chocolate cake) to get the victory.

Oct 23, 2007

Week 8 Top 25

Another crazy week of college football with three of my Top 10 teams losing. Let's look at how my rankings shape up this week:

  1. Ohio State (8-0)
  2. LSU (7-1)
  3. Boston College (7-0)
  4. Oklahoma (7-1)
  5. Oregon (6-1)
  6. Florida (5-2)
  7. Virgina Tech (6-1)
  8. West Virginia (6-1)
  9. USC (6-1)
  10. Arizona St. (7-0)
  11. Kansas (7-0)
  12. South Florida (6-1)
  13. Kentucky (6-2)
  14. Missouri (6-1)
  15. Hawaii (7-0)
  16. South Carolina (6-2)
  17. Texas (6-2)
  18. Michigan (6-2)
  19. Rutgers (5-2)
  20. California (5-2)
  21. Virginia (7-1)
  22. Alabama (6-2)
  23. Auburn (5-3)
  24. Boise State (6-1)
  25. Connecticut (6-1)
*Dropped from rankings: Texas Tech (previously #19), Tennessee (previously #21), Cincinnati (previously #22), Georgia (previously #25)

Oct 22, 2007

Two-Game Win Streak!

Don't look now, but the Saints are on a roll...a 2 game roll, but one none-the-less. They defeated division rival Atlanta 22-16 yesterday to keep their hopes alive for turning this season around. They didn't look great and the offense and secondary still have their problems, but they held on and pulled out the victory.

Drew Brees is definately not playing up to his standards. He was OK yesterday, but missed receivers a couple of times and just doesn't look as comfortable running the offense as he did last year. Maybe he's trying to do too much, maybe the receivers aren't where they are supposed to be. To the average fan though, it looks like Brees is off a bit this year.

Another gripe I have with this year's offense is the lack of faith in the running game. Yes, they have struggled running the ball, but in order for play-action to work, the other team has to think you might run. Coach Payton forgets about the running game and has Brees drop back to pass too often. Sure Reggie Bush isn't going to carry the ball 25-30 times every game, but it would do some good to get Pierre Thomas more than two carries in these games.

The defensive front four is playing well, especially against the run. They have finally learned to stay in the their gaps and clog running lanes. The only problem is teams know that they can pass against the Saints and will abandon their running game for more yards through the air. Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich picked apart the Saints secondary and Roddy White had a career day. With a consistent pass rush, the secondary would perform better, but the front four gets their pressure in spurts. Hopefully, secondary and linebacker will finally be addressed next offseason. In the meantime, CB Jason David should be back from his injury soon...but considering his play earlier this year, that may not be such a good thing.

Oct 19, 2007

Falcons vs. Saints

The Saints have a rivalry game of their own this week, when the Atlanta Falcons come to the Superdome on Sunday. The Saints finally picked up their first victory of the season last week in Seattle. The offense finally got moving and didn't kill themselves with turnovers.

The game will mark the return of two of the most loved Saints to New Orleans, Morten Andersen and Joe Horn. Andersen's played in the dome a time or two since leaving the Saints, but this is Horn's first visit back. It will be special and Saints fans should give him a warm welcome.

The Saints defense is preparing for a new quarterback with Byron Leftwich making his first Falcon start. It is not clear what Leftwich will bring to the game as he looked terrible in his last action against Tennessee. He probably doesn't have a full grasp of the offense yet and with his lack of mobility, New Orleans should be able to pressure him all day.

Reggie Bush looks to continue his solid performance from last week. He didn't find the end zone, but came just three yards shy of his 2nd career 100-yard rushing day. He'll want to keep proving that he can be an NFL starting running back and will likely find the end zone this weekend.

Falcons 10
Saints 24

Auburn vs. LSU


After suffering their first defeat last week, LSU will taken on conference rival Auburn this Saturday. In a game that has feature some great moments in Tiger history (Earthquake game, Barn Burner, LSU's first SEC West championship, etc), something excited always seems to take place when these two teams meet.

Auburn looked like they were an SEC bottom-dweller earlier this year with losses to USF and Mississippi State, but they've turned it around nicely with stellar defensive play. LSU's offense will have a tough time moving the ball on Auburn, especially if Matt Flynn continues to struggle.

LSU's praised defense has been beaten up in consecutive weeks by Florida and Kentucky. They need to find themselves this week and show the effort that they displayed earlier this season. The hyped D hasn't been living up to their reputation.

Aubrun 13
LSU 21

Oct 18, 2007


The New Orleans Hornets preseason schedule has begun and to commemorate their return to the Big Easy, they will wear the above fleur-de-bee patch. At first, I was not a fan of the patch, but it has grown on me. Supposedly fan support of the logo has the team considering making it a secondary logo and perhaps putting it on the court next year.

It definitely gives the team a more New Orleans feel, as the other logos are either retreads from the Charlotte Hornets or just the often fan criticized "stinger H." I applaud the Hornets for working to make the team fit in with New Orleans culture and trying to get New Orleans fans to buy in that this really is their team, not Charlotte or Oklahoma City's.

Oct 15, 2007

Week 7 Top 25

A tough weekend for LSU fans as the #1 team in the country fell to Kentucky in triple overtime. Cal also felt their first defeat after moving up to #2. This opens the door for some unlikely teams to make their claim at the top of the polls, let's look at my rankings after seven weeks of college football:

  1. Ohio State (7-0)
  2. LSU (6-1)
  3. Boston College (7-0)
  4. South Florida (6-0)
  5. Oklahoma (6-1)
  6. South Carolina (6-1)
  7. Oregon (5-1)
  8. Florida (4-2)
  9. Kentucky (6-1)
  10. Virgina Tech (6-1)
  11. California (5-1)
  12. West Virginia (5-1)
  13. USC (5-1)
  14. Arizona St. (7-0)
  15. Hawaii (7-0)
  16. Auburn (5-2)
  17. Kansas (6-0)
  18. Texas (5-2)
  19. Texas Tech (6-1)
  20. Missouri (5-1)
  21. Tennessee (4-2)
  22. Cincinnati (6-1)
  23. Michigan (5-2)
  24. Boise State (5-1)
  25. Georgia (5-2)
*Dropped from rankings: Illinois (previously #14), Wisconsin (previously #18), Purdue (previously #21), Florida State (previously #23, Connecticut (previously #24)

Oct 9, 2007

Early Predictions

I'll be without Internet for the next few days, so predictions are coming early. Both the Saints and LSU are on the road this week against tough opponents. LSU looks to continue to roll, while the Saints look to pick up their first victory.

LSU 38
Kentucky 20

Saints 24
Seahawks 17

Week 6 Top 25

What a game between LSU and Florida! That was the loudest I have heard Tiger Stadium in a long time. Then with USC getting upset, the night was that much sweeter. It's time to take a look at how this shook up my rankings:
  1. LSU (6-0)
  2. California (5-0)
  3. Ohio State (6-0)
  4. Boston College (6-0)
  5. South Florida (5-0)
  6. Oklahoma (5-1)
  7. Oregon (4-1)
  8. Florida (4-2)
  9. West Virginia (5-1)
  10. USC (4-1)
  11. South Carolina (5-1)
  12. Virgina Tech (5-1)
  13. Arizona St. (6-0)
  14. Illinois (5-1)
  15. Hawaii (6-0)
  16. Cincinnati (6-0)
  17. Missouri (5-0)
  18. Wisconsin (5-1)
  19. Kentucky (5-1)
  20. Auburn (4-2)
  21. Purdue (5-1)
  22. Kansas (5-0)
  23. Florida State (4-1)
  24. Connecticut (5-0)
  25. Texas (4-2)
*Dropped from rankings: Georgia (previously #13), Kansas State (previously #22), Rutgers (previously #23), Clemson (previously #25)

Oct 5, 2007

Panthers vs. Saints

Two struggling NFC South teams meet up in the Superdome on Sunday when the Panthers take on the Saints. Injuries have hit these teams and they are both without team leaders Deuce McAllister and Jake Delhomme. Both clubs are looking to right the ship after shaky starts to the season, but who will be able to get the victory?

Reggie Bush will get his wish on Sunday and will have a chance to show that he can be an everydown tailback in the NFL. Lots of media outlets are throwing the bust tag out for Bush, so he'll be extra determined to showcase his skills. Drew Brees will also want to show that he's still the same player who competed for the NFL MVP last season. If there ever was a must-win game this early in the season, this is it for the Saints against the rival Panthers. These teams seem to always play each other close, no matter what their records are.

Panthers 17
Saints 20

Florida vs. LSU


This is it...the match-up all Tiger fans have been anticipating. Too bad the Gators lost last week because this was shaping up to be the game of the year in college football. It's still going to be a great game and an awesome college football atmosphere, but there is a bit of luster gone from it.

College GameDay will be making their second trip to Baton Rouge this season to preview the LSU-Florida game. While Florida lost last week, LSU struggled to find their rhythm against Tulane. For two straight weeks, QB Matt Flynn has not looked well. His injured ankle could be bothering him more than he wants fans and opponents to know, or he could be missing injured senior WR Early Doucet a lot.

The offense better get in sync quickly on Saturday. With a potent running game, the Tigers should focus their attention on getting carries for Jacob Hester, Keiland Williams and Charles Scott. Also, backup QB Ryan Perriloux should be allowed to open the playbook more when he enters the game. Let him throw. Don't just have him run up the gut. Be creative with him. He's one of the best athletes in the conference.

The Tigers strength is their defense, and they must focus on stopping ESPN's new goldenboy Tim Tebow. Tebow is a big QB and seems to prefer running than checking down to options #3 and 4. The Tigers haven't had a starting QB finish a game against them yet and their success Saturday will come down to how much they can rattle Tebow.

Florida 14
LSU 27

Oct 4, 2007

Week 4 Power Rankings

  1. Indianapolis Colts (4-0): Beat Denver, but a few key players are nursing injuries.
  2. New England Patriots (4-0): Probably the #1 team in the NFL right now, but until they beat the defending champs, they have to settle for #2.
  3. Dallas Cowboys (4-0): The legend of Tony Romo is growing (according to ESPN), let's see him win some playoff games before we anoint him as Montana or Young.
  4. Green Bay Packers (4-0): Brett Favre is the man. He looks like he could play 5 more years, and he might.
  5. Seattle Seahawks (3-1): Seattle is playing consistent and sitting on top of their disappointing division.
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1): The former Pittsburgh coordinators in Arizona showed that they know a thing or two about the Steelers.
  7. Tennessee Titans (2-1): Vince Young needs to quit worrying about the Heisman Trophy and Reggie Bush, he's in the NFL now.
  8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1): The NFC South looks like it belongs to the Bucs, but injuries will bring them down a bit.
  9. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1): Had a bye week and moved into the Top 10.
  10. Detroit Lions (3-1): The league's top passing offense. Would you expect anything less from Mike Martz?
  11. Denver Broncos (2-2): Still don't have the talent to hang with the Colts.
  12. Washington Redskins (2-1): Used the bye week to hide Clinton Portis' injured knee.
  13. New York Giants (2-2): After basically not showing up the first two weeks, the Giants defense is making a statement.
  14. San Diego Chargers (1-3): Fans are already calling for Norv Turner to be fired, after only 4 games played.
  15. Arizona Cardinals (2-2): Two QB system in the NFL. How long will this last?
  16. Baltimore Ravens (2-2): Steve McNair showing his age and his injuries.
  17. Chicago Bears (1-3): Griese or Grossman...doesn't matter, same results.
  18. Oakland Raiders (2-2): Dante Culpepper's 5 touchdown day helped him show Miami what he could do.
  19. Houston Texans (2-2): Tough loss to the previously unbeaten Falcons. Injuries are starting to add up, especially at WR.
  20. Cleveland Browns (2-2): Don't look now, but the Browns are making some noise.
  21. Carolina Panthers (2-2): QB David Carr gets the start this weekend, how many times will he get sacked?
  22. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3): Giving up 12+ sacks is just ridiculous.
  23. San Francisco 49ers (2-2): QB Alex Smith injured his shoulder and give way to veteran Trent Dilfer.
  24. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2): Two wins in a row for KC, are they starting to put it together?
  25. Cincinnati Bengals (1-3): Oucho Cinco isn't happy, how much of a distraction will he be?
  26. Minnesota Vikings (1-3): Andrian Peterson is running away with Rookie of the Year.
  27. New York Jets (1-3): Despite putting up good stats, Pennington and the Jets fell to the Bills.
  28. New Orleans Saints (0-3): Can Reggie Bush step up and fill Deuce's big shoes?
  29. Atlanta Falcons (1-3): Joey Harrington looked legit and the Falcons picked up their first victory.
  30. Buffalo Bills (1-3): Trent Edwards or JP Losman? Does anyone really care?
  31. Miami Dolphins (0-4): Another former Dolphin QB outplays the current one.
  32. St. Louis Rams (0-4): Marc Bulger injuries and poor play have spurned a Gus Ferotte sighting.

Oct 1, 2007

Week 5 Top 25

"Upset Saturday" shook up the world of college football. With six of my top 11 teams falling this weekend, let's take a look at my updated rankings:

  1. LSU (5-0)
  2. USC (4-0)
  3. California (5-0)
  4. Ohio State (5-0)
  5. Wisconsin (5-0)
  6. Boston College (5-0)
  7. South Florida (4-0)
  8. Florida (4-1)
  9. Oklahoma (4-1)
  10. Kentucky (5-0)
  11. Oregon (4-1)
  12. West Virginia (4-1)
  13. Georgia (4-1)
  14. Purdue (5-0)
  15. Virgina Tech (4-1)
  16. Hawaii (5-0)
  17. South Carolina (4-1)
  18. Arizona St. (5-0)
  19. Texas (4-1)
  20. Cincinnati (5-0)
  21. Missouri (4-0)
  22. Kansas State (3-1)
  23. Rutgers (3-1)
  24. Illinois (4-1)
  25. Clemson (4-1)
*Dropped from rankings: Penn State (previously #19), Alabama (previously #24)