Sunday, July 27, 2008

Football schedules

ESPN has published out of conference schedules for Big 10 schools, and it ain't pretty:

Illinois: Missouri (St. Louis), Eastern Illinois, Louisiana-Lafayette, Western Michigan (Detroit)

Indiana: Western Kentucky, Murray State, Ball State, Central Michigan

Iowa: Maine, Florida International, Iowa State, at Pitt

Michigan: Utah, Miami (Ohio), at Notre Dame, Toledo

Michigan State: at California, Eastern Michigan, Florida Atlantic, Notre Dame

Minnesota: Northern Illinois, at Bowling Green, Montana State, Florida Atlantic

Northwestern: Syracuse, at Duke, Southern Illinois, Ohio

Ohio State: Youngstown State, Ohio, at USC, Troy

Penn State: Coastal Carolina, Oregon State, at Syracuse, Temple

Purdue: Northern Colorado, Oregon, Central Michigan, at Notre Dame

Wisconsin: Akron, Marshall, at Fresno State, Cal Poly

There are a total of just fifteen "respectable" opponents on this list. No one plays more than two respectable nonconference games.

Missouri for Illinois (normally an unimportant game, but this year both teams are good), Iowa State and Pitt for Iowa, Utah and Notre Dame for us, Cal and Notre Dame for State, Syracuse and Duke (nominally) for Northwestern, USC for Ohio State, Oregon State and Syracuse for Penn State, Oregon and Notre Dame for Purdue, and Fresno State for Wisconsin.

I've long complained about this watering down of our schedule. As before, it's easy to compare to USC, which is the model of difficult schedules:

2008: Virginia, Ohio State, Notre Dame
2009: San Jose State, Ohio State, Notre Dame

Commendably, the Pac 10 plays a complete round robin, so they have one less out of conference game. San Jose State is weak, but that's one poor game in two years.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More Sabathia

Aaaaaand it only gets worse for the Cardinals. Now it's three consecutive complete game wins for Sabathia.

I think the Cards are done. If Carpenter had been healthy they could have stuck around, but I don't think they can last.

Dave Duncan is still the best. Kyle Lohse is now 12-2, after having won 12 games total the previous three years. He's still 29, so maybe he'll end up a long term quality starter.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Giants Cleaning House

It should have happened a couple of years ago, but finally it looks like they're ditching the old guys. Ray Durham is gone, which needed to happen. Even if they get nothing for him, at least they're not spending money on him.

Omar Vizquel needs to be next. As the Chronicle points out, though, it could be tough to deal a guy hitting so far below the Mendoza line (.166? Wow, that's awful). It's not exactly new news that he can't hit, but it's better to admit it now than waste more at bats on him.

The chickens are coming home to roost for Sabean. He tried to patch together an old lineup for years in hopes of getting to the World Series with Bonds. 2002 seems a long time ago.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

C.C. Sabathia

C.C. Sabathia is just dominating in the National League with complete game wins in his last two starts.

Although it's tough for the Cardinals, it's great for baseball that the Brewers could pick him up. I think it's a demonstration of baseball's vastly increased revenue. Teams are sharing more revenue, which is better because teams like the Brewers (who've been awful for decades) have a shot at the playoffs.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I can't resist.

There has been a lot of talk about how Obama is energizing young people in this election.

As of today, Obama's Facebook group has 1,154,734 supporters. John McCain's Facebook page has 169,280.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brandon Jennings


I read about Brandon Jennings recently. He's a high school kid who, instead of playing one year at Arizona, is going to play in Europe

Sportswriters reactions ranged from glee because the NCAA is somehow going down (huh?) to announcements from Lute Olson that he'll no longer sign players who will say for just one year (riiiiiight).

I think it's good and I read exactly one column that started to touch on why. I follow neither high school basketball nor the Italian pro league. I have no idea whether this will be good for Jennings or not.

But it seems to me that the NBA shouldn't be unhappy. Part of the whole point of preventing kids from going pro right after high school was to try to ensure that they were more developed and well rounded both on and off the court. I'm sure that Jennings would grow as a person and as a player at Arizona, but nowhere near how he'll do at, uhhh, Pallacanestro Virtus Roma. I say good for him. I expect he'll learn quite a bit and he'll be a better player if and when he enters the NBA draft next year.

What's the problem?