It’s Monday already? Wow, where did the weekend go? Anyway, if it’s Monday, it’s time for another edition of “19 points to ponder”. Ponder away and when I write something you completely disagree with, be sure and throw a comment or two my way.
1. If the Terps were in a heavyweight fight, right now they’d be getting a standing eight count. This Maryland semi-collapse isn’t a total shock when you consider that James Gist has completely disappeared over the last two weeks. The Terps just can’t win if he’s not hitting on all cylinders. With Miami and Clemson both having a considerably higher RPI ranking than MD, it might take a trip to the ACC Final to get Gary’s gang in the big dance (if they don’t win their last three in the regular season). Things sure do change in the span of 10 days.
2. The NFL combine will certainly separate some of the big names in college football, but at this point (not knowing everything from the combine since it’s still ongoing), I’d be more than happy to see the Ravens get either Sedrick Ellis, Phillip Merling or Aqib Talib with the #8 pick in the draft. Ellis might be gone by #8, but Merling and Talib should probably be there. Then again, the combine could change a lot of things.
3. Tiger Woods made 51 birdies in 117 holes during the just-completed Match Play Championship. He also passed Arnold Palmer for career wins and needs just 10 more to pass Jack Nicklaus. Hard to believe that at age 31 Tiger’s the best ever – but he is.
4. Matt Wieters won’t spend the entire 2008 season in the minor leagues.
5. C.C. Williams has quietly had a heckuva senior year for Pat Kennedy’s Towson Tigers. With their returning nucleus and a couple of high profile recruits including Harrisburg’s Ricardo Brown, Towson might move up into the top 5 of the CAA next season.
6. The Ravens will have “an axe to grind” in about 12 of their 16 games next season. Think about it: they have the six divisional games…plus, Philadelphia (Harbaugh vs. his ex-team), Dallas (Ravens vs. Jason Garrett in “The Snub Bowl”), Washington (no explanation necessary), N.Y. Giants (everyone likes to beat the defending champs), Indy (see Washington above) and Tennessee (McNair & Co. vs. old team).
7. I know it’s never easy to pick all four Final 4 teams when you fill out your NCAA bracket, but this year is going to be ultra-tough. I can think of 12 to 16 teams that might have Final 4 aspirations – real ones – right now.
8. I keep adding up projected wins from the Baltimore baseball team’s starting pitchers and I just don’t see how the club is going to win more than 60 games this season…unless someone on the staff wins 16-18 games instead of the 8-10 I’m figuring on.
9. Speaking of pitching, look at Pedro Martinez’s 8-year stretch from 1997 through 2004 and find a better run (of at least 8 years) from any pitcher in baseball since the 1950’s. If Martinez isn’t a first ballot Hall of Famer, they should just lock the doors at Cooperstown and shut it down for good.
10. I can’t say enough about the great regular season the UMBC Retrievers have had. They’ve nailed down at least a berth in the N.I.T. with their regular season America East conference title, but I’m sure they’re really hoping for a trip to the big dance by winning the conference tournament. Here’s hoping those Dogs get to bark!
11. Wouldn’t it be better if Towson and Loyola played one another in lacrosse later on in the season, say, in April, maybe, so the lacrosse community could come out and watch it in decent weather?
12. Best five golfers in the world: 1. Tiger 2. Phil Mickelson 3. K.J. Choi 4. Angel Cabrera 5. Aaron Baddeley.
13. The Capitals look like they might be running out of steam. I hope not. I’d really like to go see a playoff hockey game in Washington D.C. this April.
14. I’d be very surprised if Steve McNair isn’t the starting QB for the Ravens in September.
15. Evidently there was a big fight on Saturday night. Someone beat someone. I stopped following boxing the night they stole that Sugar Ray Leonard fight from Marvin Hagler in Las Vegas.
16. Of all the Stone Cold-Vince McMahon hi-jinx during their 2-year “war”, their best scene was when McMahon was in the hospital and called for a nurse and in came Stone Cold who hit him with a bed pan and crushed his already “broken leg”.
17. It’s a dead heat between the Dolphins and the Texans to determine who has the best logo in the NFL.
18. I wasn’t overly impressed with either Tennessee or Memphis on Saturday night, but I think Tennessee has a better chance of winning it all than Memphis simply because the SEC is such a strong conference. I’m still sticking with Kansas at this point…or at least until I see the brackets.
19. It wouldn’t be a Monday if I didn’t have a bush-league move from the baseball team to report on from the weekend. I contacted them Sunday to see if I could have a player on with me during Monday’s edition of The Comcast Morning Show. Never got a return call. Nothing. Zilch. Zippo. Nada. Not even a text message (something like this: Thanks for asking. No one is available.) Shameful…and that’s being kind.