Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mid-term Report Card

Now entering November, most of us college students are starting to get into the depth of our classes, meaning longer hours in the library and less time for recreation. This may not be true for everyone, but it certainly is for me. That's why you haven't seen a post from me in a few weeks. Don't fret, though, friends, for I have come up with a wonderful idea to combine school and sports for an awesome story.

I am going to give out letter grades to certain teams based on their performance compared to their expectations. Hope you enjoy! And remember, Professor DiSchiano doesn't give grades, teams earn them.

St. Louis Cardinals - A+

Not only did the Cards win the World Series, they won when the Rangers were just an out away from the title - twice! St. Louis conveyed the meaning of resilience, winning with class and heart. A great World Series with two great teams; certainly a treat for all sports fans alike.

Clemson Tigers - A-

Starting out the college football season 8-0 with wins over the defending-champion Auburn Tigers, Florida State, and Virginia Tech, the Tigers established themsevles as national title contenders. Will they make an appearance in the BCS National Championship? Probably not. Even if they win out, they're still in a weak conference in the ACC, so the BCS isn't likely to recognize their strength. Good team, but not A+ caliber.

The Big 12 Conference - B

You can wave goodbye to Texas A&M (which may not be such a bad thing after all) and Missouri looks to be parting ways (be careful what you wish for, Tigers), but the Big 12 has made up for its future losses by adding some very solid schools with TCU and West Virginia, and there's still rumor that Louisville will be on board as well. When you add Kansas into that mix, you're getting closer and closer to a powerhouse basketball conference.

Kansas Jayhawks (Basketball) - C+

The preseason AP Poll has come out, and the Jayhawks are feeling no love from the voters. Ranked 13th, this Kansas team has something to prove coming out of the gates, and we'll just have to wait and see if they were placed accordingly.

Philadelphia Eagles - D

They're 2-4, Michael Vick is playing like he did in his rookie year, and the defense is handing out points like candy. If they don't shape up now, the players of this proclaimed "Dream Team" will only be playing in the Super Bowl in their dreams.

Texas A&M - F

Is there a grade lower than "F" that I can give? How about "H" for "helpless"? "I" for "inconsistent"? "Z" for "Zach thinks that you are all incompetent football players who can't hold on to a lead to save your lives, and for some reason you think that you will fare better against SEC teams when you can't even leave the middle of the Big 12 standings"? Pitiful. I really do want to see the Aggies succeed - they're a talented team with a great coaching staff and excellent fan base -  it's just so frustrating when they continue to underachieve yet act as if they are number one in the polls.

With all that said, I'm naming the Cardinals my teacher's pet and sending the Aggies to detention. Any questions?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Shadow of Death - Marshawn Lynch

I spent a solid four hours or so teaching myself the complexities of this wonderfully frustrating program called Adobe After Effects. The details put forth into this video are countless, and I must say I have so much more respect for the people who do this every day for a living. Those guys are geniuses. Hopefully I'll get there one day - but for now, baby steps. Remember, whether you think you can or can't, you're usually right.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Top 5 Most Overrated Players in the NFL

 Is there a reason the cover of Madden is a Browns running back that averages 65 yards a game?

One of my favorite pastimes is giving credit to those who deserve it and discrediting those who don't. In today's article, we get to focus on those who don't. We're now entering our sixth week of the NFL season, and I think I've got a pretty good idea on which players are performing well and which players are just selling jerseys.

The Top 5 Most Overrated Players in the NFL

5. Joe Flacco - QB - Ravens

The Ravens are winning games...but is it really because of Joe? He's the second-worst quarterback as far as completion percentage goes, and he's turned the ball over as many times as he's thrown for touchdowns this season.

4. Josh Freeman - QB - Buccaneers

In the preseason, all we heard were talks of the resurgence of this Tampa Bay offense, and instead we get twice as many interceptions as touchdowns. If it weren't for that running game, the Bucs might be in the same position as the Colts - last.

3. Peyton Hillis - RB - Browns

You can call it the Madden Curse, but I never had faith in Peyton to begin with. He's missed a game because he was "sick", and in his other three games he's average a measly 3.6 yards a carry with two touchdowns and a fumble.

2. Tony Romo - QB - Dallas

One week he's a top five quarterback, the next he's no better than Jon Kitna. He's thrown for seven touchdowns, but also five interceptions - two of which were returned for touchdowns and eventually lost the Cowboys a game.

1. Reggie Bush - RB - Dolphins

He's the worst running back as far as yards per carry goes (3.0), he averages just 29.8 yards a game, and he has still yet to score a touchdown on the ground, and he's already lost his starting job to Daniel Thomas. He may have won the Heisman a few years ago (which was revoked) but because this was probably his last chance to make a name for himself, Reggie Bush will never reach the stardom that appeared to be inevitable when he left USC.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Game of the Week

Yes, the Patriots have the most high-powered offense in the league. But Rex Ryan does something to these Jets, I don't know if it's some sort of legendary motivational speech or just an intricate, well  thought-out game plan, but the guy wins games under pressure. And after that loss to the Ravens, it's safe to say the Jets are at a pivotal point in the season. This is the most heated rivalry in the NFL today, and this will be an ugly game. There's going to be pushing and shoving after every first down, there's going to be injuries and turnovers, and there's going to be big hits and big plays. The thing about this New York team, though, is that they usually win ugly games.

27-24 Jets.

Monday, October 3, 2011

NFL Power Rankings

It's been an exciting season already, filled with surprise success stories and disappointing failures - here are the power rankings for the season up through Week 4.

1. Green Bay Packers (4-0)

The defending champs are as good as they've ever been, thanks to phenomenal play from my top MVP candidate, Aaron Rodgers.

2. New England Patriots (3-1)

They let one game slip from them, but this offense is just too high-powered to leave out of the top 2.

3. Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

Defense wins championships, they just happen to have a really good running back, quarterback, and set of receivers.

4. Detroit Lions (4-0)

They're undefeated, but not quite there yet. The offense looks great, but the defense worries me.

5. New York Giants (3-1)

Strong running game, tough defensive line, and playmaking receivers make the G-Men legitimate contenders.

6. Houston Texans (3-1)

People are underestimating Matt Schuab and the Texans, who beat Indy and Pittsburgh already.

7. New Orleans Saints (3-1)

The Saints are quietly asserting themselves as playoff contenders, thanks to the departure of Reggie Bush and the addition of home-run hitter Darren Sproles.

8. San Diego Chargers (3-1)

I'm not quite sold on the Bolts just yet, but Ryan Matthews seems to have a good hold on the running game and Phillip Rivers is an elite QB.

9. Tampa Bay Bucaneers (2-1)

This position depends on whether or not they beat the Colts tonight, but Josh Freeman and the Bucs have put together a strong start thus far.

10. New York Jets (2-2)

If they can get back to the running game, they'll get back to winning.

11. Tennessee Titans (3-1)

Give Matt Hasselbeck credit - he's old, but he's throwing like he's 21 again.

12. Atlanta Falcons (2-2)

Matt Ryan is finally getting used to his new receivers, and once this offense gels, the Falcons will be on their way to another playoff appearance.

13. Buffalo Bills (3-1)

Ryan Fitzpatrick has surprised a lot of folks, but we'll see if he can keep this dream season alive.

14. San Francisco 49ers (3-1)

The 9ers success depends on Frank Gore and the running game, which finally took off against the Eagles.

15. Washington Redskins (3-1)

Rex Grossman has impressed, and the Redskins defense has held up nicely.

16. Chicago Bears (2-2)

The offensive line needs to protect Cutler better if the Bears want to keep their playoff hopes alive.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2)

I don't know what's wrong with Big Ben, but he's gonna be in Big Trouble if he can't find his groove.

18. Cleveland Browns (2-2)

Colt McCoy is getting better and better each week, while their running game is getting worse and worse. #MaddenCurse

19. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)

You gotta love the intensity Andy Dalton plays with.

20. Oakland Raiders (2-2)

Darren McFadden quietly leads the league in rushing yards.

21. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3)

The "Dream Team" is looking more and more like a nightmare.

22. Carolina Panthers (1-3)

Cam Newton is establishing himself as a future NFL star.

23. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3)

Without Jamaal Charles, it's going to be a long season.

24. Dallas Cowboys (2-2)

Tony Romo is as reliable as flat tire.

25. Denver Broncos (1-3)

We want Tebow, we want Tebow!

26. Seattle Seahawks (1-3)

This offense has dangerous weapons, they just don't work very well.

27. Minnesota Vikings (0-4)

Adrian Peterson is doing all that he can, but the poor guy gets no help.

28. Arizona Cardinals (1-3)

There's been a nice connection between Larry Fitzgerald and Kevin Kolb, we'll see if this turns into anything.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3)

The Jags are a decent team, but until Blaine Gabbert develops into a better QB, they'll stay at just decent.

30. St. Louis Rams (0-4)

The Rams need Steven Jackson healthy and Sam Bradford accurate.

31. Miami Dolphins (0-4)

Reggie Bush sucks at football.

32. Indianapolis Colts (0-3)

We have now verified that the Colts are, in fact, nothing without Peyton Manning.