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Friday, August 17, 2012

Random thoughts on the Red Sox, the Jets backup QB, and...SEC dominance

So much has been made recently of the Boston Red Sox struggles. Now I will admit that I am not a Red Sox fan, and in fact, I actually prefer the Yankees. But I feel I have to say a few things about this topic.

First off, I want to make it clear that I think Red Sox fans have become spoiled. If their team doesn't have a legitimate shot of making the playoffs, they whine like no other fan base I know. Look, I get it, being a Cleveland fan I understand you want your team to win. Heck, I think fellow Cleveland sports fans can agree with me when I say we want our teams to be competitive.

But I digress. The point I am trying to make is that you need to give manager Bobby Valentine a chance. Don't blame Dustin Pedroia or Josh Beckett's struggles on a divided clubhouse, saying if the front office hired a different manager things would be better. He hasn't even had a full season, and this is the same team a few years removed from a World Series title. I'll be honest, I don't fully understand the impact a manager has on team chemistry in baseball, but I think it would be rash to fire any manager after one bad season unless he won less than 20 percent of his games(and this is not the case.)

So my advice to all the Sox fans is suck it up, your stuck with Bobby V for another year. And if you aren't, well don't complain when Mike Hargrove(hired as his replacement for 2013) can't right the ship in a year's time either. If you really want someone to blame, how about a front office that paid 100 million way back when to Japan just for the rights to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka. So what has your ace been up to recently? He has a record of 0-3 with a 6.65 ERA in 5 starts. And to think a few years ago Boston management ponied up 100 large just for the rights to negotiate with him.

Bottom line is that whatever is wrong with Red Sox Nation now, firing Bobby Valentine isn't the solution.

...Moving right along, I have had enough of the talk about the Jets backup quarterback. So much so that this is the last time I talk about him. Ever. In fact I am so fed up, that, while not mentioning his name, I told Skip Bayless to tell ESPN to take their hero worship of a guy who will be a career backup elsewhere, the nation tires of it. The Broncos won last season because they ran the ball well, and despite everyone's knock on their defense, they actually stepped up when it counted. Peyton Manning will improve Denver, no doubt. But that is for another blog.

Finally, when will the SEC dominance in college football end? I wasn't aware it had ever begun. Yes, teams like Alabama and Florida have won four of the last seven national championships, but, taken as a whole, the SEC is not much better than the rest of the nation. As a matter of fact, the SEC was slightly better than the BIG 10 last year in bowl games, going 5-3 vs the latter's 3-4 record.

Fact of the matter is, because the Southeast has won the last six national titles, they are automatically considered the premiere conference in that nation. But let's go a little bit deeper into the conference. A Georgia squad that was a preseason title favorite in 2011 lost an overtime thriller to Big Ten runner up Michigan State. Florida, playing in the Gator Bowl against Ohio State(a rematch of their '06 BCS title game), ended up a 24-17 winner over a Buckeye squad featuring one of the worst offenses in the nation last year. Arkansas won rather handily over Kansas State.  Finally, while Auburn beat Virginia handily, Vanderbilt would fall to Big East champ Cincinnati.

But because they keep winning the big one, the media will continue to harp on the SEC as the elite league in the FBS. And while I am supposed to root for USC to end their dominance, I am not feeling it. Especially for a team that has its scholarships cut and then uses a loophole created by the NCAA to offer a scholarship to former PSU running back Silas Redd. But for all the talent they have on offense, the Trojans had better have watched last season's BCS title game. Cause offense wasn't really the reason Bama won their second title in three years.

So, when will the SEC's dominance of college football come to an end? I am not entirely sure. One thing is for certain: even if they don't win the BCS this season, don't expect them to all of a sudden fade into the background.

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