Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Super Bowl XLI

Bears vs. Colts

Well I have weighed the factors and the official PKA stance is we want the Colts to win. In fact as I thought about it there wasn't one good reason that I could come up with why I would be chearing for the Bears. Here is my rational in descending order....

6. I don't like the other teams in my division and I won't root for them in the playoffs. They are sworn enemies for the first 16 weeks and I don't see why that should change unless I hate the other team more.
5. Darrel Reid - former Gopher
4. Ben Utech - former Gopher
3. Peyton Manning - this guys has had monkeys thrown on his back that he's had to carry for years. I would be happy for Peyton if he were to validate his stance as one of the greatest QBs to ever play in the NFL. Plus he's from Louisiana and did you see how that city was destroyed by George Bush's hurricane?
2. Tony Dungy - former Gopher, former Viking coach, the guy we should have canned Denny Green for and more importantly the guy who's son committed suicide in the middle of what was supposed to be his greatest season as a head coach. Things didn't work out very well for him last year on a number of fronts but I would like to see him get a ring.

and the #1 reason I do not want the Bears to win on Sunday?...

1. their Championship Statute of Limitations had just run out. A friend of mine (and enemy of the PKA :) ) and I have a rule that after 20 years you lose the "when was the last time your team won a Championship" right in arguments. He had the Bears and Bulls and I of course cling tightly to the Twins. The rule heavily favors me since last Feb when the Bears 85 Championship reached it's said statute. I don't want to have to bank on the Vikings winning a Super Bowl in the next 20 years cause we all know that just isn't in the cards (but maybe next year!).

Go horse shoes! If I get around to it this week I may offer a more detailed analysis but this is as good as it gets for now.

** UPDATE ** I should point out that I have several friends who are Bears fans and I would be happy for them should the Bears pull this one out, because nothing is more fun than your team winning it all. But I don't think my heart could take it.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Mike Tomlin might be gone

Sports Illustrated is reporting that the Steelers have offered their vacanted head coaching position to Mike Tomlin! (here is the Pioneer Press blog on this hire)

This IS quite a development from more than 1 angle.

  1. The Vikings are going to lose the one positive constant on 2006's team. The defense was on pace to be the best rush defense in the history of the NFL. That was of course before the team totally quit for their season finale vs. St. Louis.
  2. The Steelers are less than 1 year removed from winning the Super Bowl and they have decided to give control of their team to a 34 yr old coach with only 1 year experience as a coordinator!
I don't like this development at all. When Tomlin was hired, there was a lot of press about how he was a rising star and may someday leave the organization to be a head coach. I had hoped that at least we'd have him for a few years. Get himself established as a coordinator, not be 1 year removed from being a position coach. Some thought it was even a stretch to hire Tomlin as the Vikings Coordinator. But he was successful and very good for the Vikings in 2006. I am a big fan of Tomlin and I hope this report is inaccurate.

BUT, Tomlin was not perfect last year. It isn't easy to forget that the Vikings pass defense was LAST in the NFL. We were unable to adjust to other team's passing schemes (especially between the hash marks). That is what makes this hire so bizarre for an organization like Pittsburg.

Nothing has been confirmed and nobody outside of Sports Illustrated is reporting it (here is ESPN's version). Regardless of how you feel about Tomlin, this is potentially a big event for the Vikings.

Monday, January 15, 2007

GOPHER FANS - Get in line for season tickets NOW!

ESPN.com - NCF - Sources: Gophers pull new coach from NFL's Broncos

At first glance it appears as though Maturi and his trusty search firm dropped the ball on this hire. An NFL tight ends coach who nobody has heard of will do nothing to boost ticket sales or more importantly stadium fundraising efforts. Obviously Brewster and Maturi will be judged on victories, but a coach that excites the alumni and fan base would at least give you a short-term financial boost. Brewster will not give you said boost (although you may get a recruiting boost, more on that later).

Here are the positives to Brewster...

1. Coach Brewster has a son. This son plays QB. This QB is rated by ESPN as the 8th best QB in the country. Clint has verbally committed to Illinois, but my gut tells me that his dad won't let him go to a conference school. Clint immediately is the best recruit we have this year.

#45 overall in ESPN top 150

#8 QB

rating of 82 (Gophers current top rated player is 78 and nobody near the top 150)

2. The 2nd positive thing I can come up with Brewster is that you can type Brewster with only your left hand on the keyboard! That is sweet!

3. Brewster coached Antonio Gates. This might be more meaningless than #2 when it comes to the Gopher's program.

4. Brewster coached for 14 years in college, mostly under Mack Brown. Texas and North Carolina were his most recent stops and he has recruiting experience as he was the recruiting coordinator at UNC.

Here is who we DIDN'T hire...

1. Tony Dungy - This was always a longshot and moved to 1 in a 1,000,000 status with Indy's AFC /championship berth, but this would have been everything the Brewster hire is not. Tickets and alumni donations would instantly have gone up. EVERYTHING in their power should have been done to make Dungy happen if he had a remote interest.

2. Lane Kiffin - Offensive coordinator for a high powered offense that has dominated college football for several seasons. AND one of the most recognized college recruiters. Kiffin is from MN which is only important in that it may keep him here longer if he were to turn the program around. This is a springboard program at this point but maybe Kiffin would be inclined to raise his family in MN as he had stated. A proven recruiter and important assistant to the best college program this decade.

3. Gary Patterson - head coach at TCU. Patterson has head coaching experience and has been successful making a typical mid-level Div 1 program a recognizable name. TCU has won 11 games in 3 of the last 4 seasons beating high profile non-conference games including a win over #7 Oklahoma in 2005. Patterson also likely has recruiting relationships with high school coaches in the talent laden state of Texas.

All in all who knows if this will be a good hire or not. As stated my disgust is more that this is not the kind of big name hire that fans were drooling for. Brewster is a nobody as far as we are concerned and he has some work to do to inspire the fan base and make himself known to high school coaches and Gopher recruits.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday"s Divisional Games...

So I was completely wrong on the Indy game and I was pretty close on the New Orleans win. I guess that just means Dungy won't get fired and he won't become a candidate for the Gopher job that he is already "not a candidate for." (Copyright Nick Saban).

Seattle @ Chicago

This game is just underway so I need to get this typed before Grossman throws an INT. This is a tough one to call. The Bears have not been playing well over the last few games, especially at QB. Seattle has been dramatically up and down. So if Seattle is playing well I wouldn't hesitate to call this game for them. Chicago has had extra time to prepare and hopefully for Bears fans Grossman has his bearings again. I don't think this one is pretty but Chicago eeeks it out at home.

Chicago - 17
Seattle - 14

UPDATE - "we want the ball and we're gonna score!" Seattle/Chicago have played a very entertaining game and are now headed to OT. Settle will get the ball. Will Hasselbeck repeat his OT playoff performance of 2003 @ Green Bay. At the coin toss Matt declared "we want the ball and we're gonna score!" He then threw a pick 6 to Al Harris and Green Bay won.

New England @ San Diego

This obviously is the premier game this weekend. The current best player in the league (that would be Tomlinson) vs. the premier playoff QB and coach. Both teams are well coached, both teams play great together as a team and both teams have playoff experience. My infinite knowledge tells me never to go against Belichick and Brady even if the other team has LT. The Belichick/Brady factor + Philip Rivers being essentially a rookie QB = a Patriot upset victory.

New England by 4

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

NOW the playoffs start

Now that we have finished with the "Play-in" games we can start the playoffs with the full slate of playoff caliber teams. Here is the Kool-Aided preview (I knew you just couldn't wait for this kind of analysis)...

Game 1. Saturday afternoon
Indianapolis @ Baltimore

In the playoffs some things are always a constant. 1. Defense wins games. 2. Manning loses games. I think that the Raven defense is good enough to bring the Colt offense to it's knees even if Manning is in top form. On the flip side I think the Raven's offense can score 21 on the Colt defense even if they had Brad Johnson under center.

Ravens - 24
Colts - 16

Game 2. Saturday evening
Philadelphia @ New Orleans

This game is intriguing in some ways and a bore in others. Neither team is capable of winning the Super Bowl so this is a Wild Card game being played in the Divisional Round. New Orleans is home and has a well rounded team. But they also have no playoff experience (outside of Brees). Philly is hot but I think their luck will run out. This one will come down to a big play by one of the Saint rookies (Colston or Bush).

New Orleans - 20
Philly - 17

Kool Aid Drinkers