Yankees Offseason/early 2012 preview

Hey everyone! I am very sorry for not yet posting anything since last December. A lot has happened withe Yankees  since my last post. Here’s a look at some of the off season moves and how 2012 looks for the bombers.

Since 2009 the New York Yankees have had one prospect that seemingly every team in the league wanted to get their hands on. That prospect was none other than Catcher/DH Jesus Montero who ironically was considered by some of the Yankee’s ownership as the savior of the organization. Montero who is only 22 years old has already shown that he is a monster with a bat in his hand. In only 18 games last season the Phenom had 4 HR’s ,12 RBI’s and a BAA of .328 . In most of these games he played as a DH instead of behind the plate. What the 2011 Yankees had in hitting they lacked in their pitching staff. Because of their poor pitching GM Brian Cashman felt that it was a necessity for the team to add at least 2 more arms to its starting rotation.  So on January 14th 2012 in a trade with the Seattle Mariners the Yankees parted ways with their coveted prospect in exchange for a young 23-year-old SP by the name of Michael Pineda. Pineda like Montero had been the prized possession in the Seattle farm system, standing at a towering 6’7 ” Pineda can reach speeds upwards of 99 mph on the radar gun and features a slider that breaks in hard on Left Handed batters. Along with the acquiring   of Pineda the team also sign RHP Hiroki Kuroda who spent the 2011 season in LA with the Dodgers. The 36-year-old Kuroda is a native of Japan and has been in the majors for 3 seasons. Kuroda is not a pitcher that will over power hitters like Pineda will but will instead use strategy and movement with his pitches to fool hitters. His numbers weren’t too shabby with a career ERA of 3.45 2011 was not an awful year by any means for Kuroda. With a 13-16 record and an ERA of 3.07 Hiroki should really benefit from the Yankees offense that is much stronger and more reliable than the bats in LA.

(Left) Pineda and (Right) Kuroda

With the addition of these two arms Manager Joe Giaradi will have some flexibility on how he wants to set up his rotation. Here’s how I would do it if I were in his shoes.

The Rotation:

  1. CC Sabathia LHP : He’s the ACE you’ve gotta put him as your leader
  2. Ivan Nova RHP: Still young Nova proved himself last season
  3. Michael Pineda RHP: The big acquisition,Pineda will have to show he was worth the price of Montero
  4. Hiroki Kuroda RHP: Coming over from the NL his number should dip somewhat but will feel comfortable with Yankees bats behind him
  5. Either AJ Burnett or Phil Hughes : Both Hughes and Burnett had seasons to forget in 2011. Hughes only pitched in 17 games battling with injures throughout the season while Burnett had most of the Yankees Universe asking for his departure. This will be a Spring training decision.

After the Starting rotation the Yankees have one of the stronger bullpens returning from 2011. With old reliable Mariano in the closer role along with Dave Robertson , Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain to set up and even a core group of lefty specialists like Boone Logan,Pedro Feliciano.

As for the lineup and fielding spots here’s my picks.

The Lineup:

  1. SS Derek Jeter :Still captain clutch and continuing to prove his doubters and skeptics wrong look for Jeter to at least start this season 1st in the order
  2. CF Curtis Granderson: Coming off of an MVP caliber season Granderson is a solid lock at 2nd in the order
  3. 1B Mark Texiera: solid, still one of the best in the order
  4. 2B Robinson Cano: Yes I have Cano at 4 over AROD simply because of recent history and potential, Cano will be in the MVP race in 2012
  5. DH Alex Rodriguez: Like Tex he is still one of the better players in the game with the bat but not the same in the field which is why there is a DH next to his name
  6. RF Nick Swisher: A down year in 2011 swish has a lot to prove in 2012
  7. C Russell Martin: Will start the year as the as the number 1 Catcher on the roster but the development of Austin Romine will be something watch
  8. 3B Eduardo Nunez: He earned his spot last season and will be a sight to see in 2012, the latest infielder to come from the farm system
  9. LF Brett Gardner: He will get reps at the leadoff spot but for now he is batting at the end of the order.

As for the season itself I like the Yankees to perform at high level in 2012. They have proven that they can beat the Nation to the north and should be the winners of the AL East if all goes as planned.

What I will also say about 2012 is that like in 2007 the team will showcase and feature young talented arms. Back in 07 it was Joba Chamberlain , Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy that showcased their talents for the Yankee Universe, now guys like RHP Dellin Batances,RHP D.J. Mitchell and C Austin Romine will showcase their talents and cor=tribute to not only;y this team but also for teams to come in the future.

BCS Bowl Picks

NOTE: (This post was meant to be published on December 29th but due to problems with posting I was unable to get it up until today enjoy !)

Hey everyone ! Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!! I apologize for not posting anything in ages but like all of you I have been busy. Anyway the BCS games are here and I as you can imagine am all pumped up not only cause Virginia Tech found their way into the Sugar Bowl with Michigan but also for the rest of the games. From the Orange Bowl, Clemson vs West Virginia to the Fiesta Bowl, Oklahoma State vs Stanford nearly every BCS game has the potential to be an instant classic! In addition to the 4 BCS Bowls there is also a game I am calling the “Snub Bowl”… aka the Cotton Bowl featuring Kansas State and Arkansas, two teams that could easily compete with any of the 8 teams in BCS Bowls.

We’ll pick the games in order of when they will be played so it’ll start with the “Grand Daddy of them all” the Rose Bowl with Wisconsin taking on Oregon.

Rose Bowl:Oregon vs Wisconsin, January 2nd 2012 @ 5pm:

The ultimate contrast in styles. You get a classic Big 10 power vs PAC 12 speed matchup. For Wisconsin it’s going to be all about running the ball down Oregon’s throat. They should be able to this against Oregon’s 45th ranked rush defense allowing 137 ypg on the ground. For Oregon its going to be their quickness and athleticism on offense. But more specifically the Ducks will have to capitalize on early opportunities, moving the ball shouldn’t be a problem with their 5th ranked offense that moves for an average of 515 ypg. I believe this game will be high scoring but will go to an overall better Wisconsin team. WISCONSIN

Fiesta Bowl:Stanford vs Oklahoma State,Janurary 2nd 2012 @ 8:30 pm :

The 3rd and 4th ranked teams in the BCS Standings. Oklahoma State was 6 points away from playing LSU in the National Championship game. However they will settle for the tough challenge of facing the highly regarded Stanford Cardinal and their QB Andrew Luck. I expect Stanford to win simply because of the weakness of Oklahoma State’s defense. With that said the Cowboys brilliant tandem of QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon will be tested like never before with a tough and experienced Cardinal defense. So the pick from me is the Cardinal in Andrew Luck’s final collegiate game. STANFORD

Sugar Bowl: Virginia Tech vs Michigan,January 3rd 2012 @ 8:30 pm:

On Selection Sunday for the BCS bowls I like many members of Hokie Nation was glued to the message boards on TSL (Techsideline.com) for the latest news. Once wind off the Sugar Bowl came out I felt two things.. 1. Holy crap is this really happening? 2. YES a BCS Bowl ! But what the “Experts” on ESPN are saying about VT not being worthy or deserving let me ask you What the Hell has Michigan done ??? They lost to a weak Iowa team and a decent/ above average Michigan State. Sure they beat Nebraska but the Hokies only lost to one team all season. As a VT fan I am loving the role of the Underdog simply because in recent years Tech has been listed as the favorite and been embarrassed. This year I believe Tech will rain on the Wolverines parade in what will likely be RB David Wilson and CB Jayron Hosley’s last game in the Maroon and Orange Tech will triumph in the national spotlight. VIRGINIA TECH

Orange Bowl: Clemson vs West Virginia,January 4th 2012 @ 8:30 pm:

The classic ACC vs Big “Least” matchup. Clemson started and finished the year strong but had a few crucial mishaps in the middle portion of the season. West Virginia on the other hand is the best of the losers that currently make up the Big East.  The Mountaineers had a tough matchup with LSU early in the year and went on to fall 2 more times over the coarse of the season. I like Clemson big time in this matchup even though WVU is 7th in passing yards per game (341.8 yards) I feel that the Tigers rushing attack and speed will just dominate the weak Mountaineers. CLEMSON

Cotton Bowl:Kansas State vs Arkansas,January 6th 2012 @ 8 pm:

Two teams that should be in the BCS will square off in the legendary Cotton Bowl. Both schools will bring busloads of people to nearby Cowboys Stadium in Dallas making for a very loud and hectic environment. The game will come down to the 3rd phase… not offense nor defense but each team special units. And the clear advantage in that category goes in the way of the Razorbacks with WR Joe Adams returning punts for the Hogs look for him to get his 4th Return for a TD.It also helps that Arkansas lost to the two titans playing for the crystal ball (Bama and LSU). ARKANSAS

BCS National Championship Game: Alabama vs LSU, January 9th 2012 @ 8:30 pm:

The epic and highly anticipated rematch of the game many referred to as the “Game of the Century”, Bama and LSY finally meet again. What people took away from this amazing battle the 1st time around was that Defense does indeed win games and championships. Both LSU and Alabama are ranked either 1st or 2nd in nearly every defensive category in the country. This stalemate between defenses and the shutting down of the opposing offense the game came down to the special teams units of the 1st and 2nd ranked teams. The advantage fell in the favor of the Bayou Bengals who went on the win the game after kicking woes from the Tide. I expect a very similar game the 2nd time around but I do see one difference… A TD will be scored maybe not by the offense but perhaps by one of the incredible punt returners. Between the Tigers’ Tyrann “Honeybadger” Mathieu and the Tide’s Marquis Maze don’t be surprised if you see multiple TD’s in the return game by either team. Now for the moment of truth; and THE PICK is LSU! LSU

2011 College Football Awards

Before I get started with this post I would like to take the time to address to things. 1. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the recent shooting at Virginia Tech. and 2. I have nothing to say about Tech’s awful loss to Clemson but I can say that for the 1st time ever a team has won by losing.

The annual college football awards settle all the arguments… Whose the best QB? RB? WR? DB? LB? OL/DL? and outstanding player? These answers will be addressed tonight when the college football universe declares its best at each individual position.Today we’re gonna run through the many awards and give our predictions. Let’s start with the Bednarik Award

Chuck Bednarik Award (Best defensive player): There are 3 finalists for the award: Tyrann Mathieu,LSU; Donta’ Hightower,Bama; Devon Still,Penn State. In other words there is only 1 Finalist for the award…. THE HONEY BADGER. Mathieu has not only been the best defensive player in the country but also is in the race for the Heisman Trophy ! Honey Badger should win by a landslide.

Biletnikoff Award (Best WR): Comes down to 3 awesome play makers who will all be major impacts in the pros. You’ve got Justin Blackmon from Ok. State, Ryan Broyles from Oklahoma and Robert Woods from USC. Look at it this way… Broyles is hurt so he is out for me, Woods plays for USC who is under serious NCAA probation and they are not able to be ranked knocking him out leaving only 1 superstar, Justin Blackmon. If he doesn’t declare for the draft (Highly unlikely) will be Heisman frontrunner in 2012.

Davey O’Brien Award (Best QB): Like the Biletnikoff it features 3 absolute monsters. Andrew Luck out of Stanford, Case Keenum from Houston and my personal favorite RG III, Robert Griffin III from Baylor. All 3 are straight up gunslingers that want to throw until their arms fall off. This will come down to numbers not all time (Keenum would win 18,312 career passing yards) but this season. The stats are Completion %,TD’s and passer rating. All of the numbers point to Griffin. Sure Luck is going to be the number 1 overall pick in the draft and people love him but Griffin had better numbers and won. Also he showed up in the tight situations that Luck failed in.

RG III

Doak Walker Award (Best RB) Again 3 finalists but all 3 bring very different styles to the table. There’s power with Wisconsin’s big back Monte Ball who has rushed for an astounding 32 TD’s this season with over 1,700 yards gained. On the lopsided theres

Juan Carlos Oviedo, and Other Such Follies

Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes - World Baseball Classic - Puerto Rico Day 4

Way to go amigo!

One of the most active teams so far this off season has been the Miami Marlins.  In anticipation of bringing in more fans to games, the Marlins have been aggressively pursuing some of the game’s top free agents.  They have had talks with agents for King Albert, CJ Wilson, Mark Buehrle, and that bum Jose Reyes.  The Marlins’ closer of much of the 2011 season, Leo Nun- WAIT! THIS JUST IN! The reliever formerly known as Leo Nunez, now by his “real” name, Juan Carlos Oviedo, will not be coming back to Miami for the 2012 season as the Marlins and Padres All-Star closer Heath Bell   have reportedly reached a three year $27,000,000 agreement.  This move, provided it goes through, will put the Miami Marlins in a position to contend for a playoff spot.  In order for them to be a winning, competitive ballclub, they would still need to make one more signing.

Personally, I believe that the Marlins should more agressively pursue a position player.  The almost perfect fit for Miami would be to sign Jose Reyes.  As much as it pains me to say it, Jose is a good athelete and has potential to put this Marlins team over the hump.  The only issue that could arise from a signing of this variety is what to do with not one, but two All-Star shortstops on your team.  Miami would have Jose and Hanley together.  The question is what to do with them.  Earlier reports from mlb.com indicate that the Marlins would try to move Hanley over to third base to make way for Reyes.  We all know about Hanley and how he, like Reyes, is a good athelete but not a good ballplayer.  Can the Marlins function witha bonehead and a bum on the left side of their infield?

There have been quite a few changes of clubs’ managers so far this offseason.  The teams I’m talking about are the Boston Redsox (Bobby Valentine), the Miami Marlins (Ozzie Guillen), the Chicago Cubs (Dale Sveum), the Chicago White Sox (Robin Ventura), and the regining WS champs, the St. Louis Cardinals (Mike Matheny).  MLB.com’s columnist Alden Gonzalez believes that Bobby V will have the highest mountain to climb in Boston out of those five.  His rankings from toughest job to easiest job are Valentine in Boston, Matheny with the Cards, Sveum on the North side, Guillen in Miami, and rounding it out with Ventura on the South side.  You can read the full article at http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111201&content_id=26070932&vkey=perspectives&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb.

I disagree with his rankings and see fit to give you my rankings:

Mike Matheny

1.  The new Manager with the toughest job will be Matheny in St. Louis.  Cardinals GM John Mozeliak chose a rookie manager who will need to do a lot of learning on the job.  When you look at the Cardinals roster, you see experienced guys like Holliday, Berkman, Carpenter, and the returning Wainwright.  That is of course, assuming that King Albert does not reurn, but if he does, you obviously throw him into the mix of experienced winners.

You can view Matheny’s job in a similar way to how you may view the job of whatever poor guy gets stuck playing shortstop for the Yankees once Jeter retires.  The shoes Matheny needs to fill are ones that Shaq would have a hard time filling.  Tony La Russa’s managerial career in St. Louis spanned sixteen years and owns a total 1408-1182 record in those years, giving him a winning percentage of .544.  La Russa is the longest tenured manager in Cardinals history and his retirement ultimately ended an era of greatness in St. Louis.

Ozzie Guillen speaks as the Florida Marlins introduce him as their new manager during a press conference at Sun Life Stadium on September 28, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Ozzie Guillen

2.  Ozzie Guillen will have a tough time in Florida.  We may not get a feel for his sturggles through all of his Ozzie-isms but this job provides to be a difficult one.  The Florida Marlins have moved into a brand new stadium and changed their name to the Miami Marlins.  The front office is adverstising this club as a new, improved versioned of Marlins baseball.

The Marlins are aggressively pursuing top free agents and putting up big dollars for them in anticipation of the increased revenue that comes along with a  new stadium.  In 2009, when the Yankees and Mets moved to their respective new ballparks.  The Yankees went on to win the World series that year against the Philadelphia Phillies.  Meanwhile in Flushing, the New York Mets finished 70-92 and fourth in their division above only the lowly Nationals.  The Miami Marlins have potential to have a season like the ’09 Yankees, yes, but if they finish in the bottom of the division, like the Mets did, the new stadium schtick will get old fast.

Dale Sveum

3.  The Chicago Cubs are a storied franchise with many great years and many great players.  The atmosphere of Cubs baseball has been the same for decades, a fun day at the ballpark to watch America’s game.  The great home of the Cubbies, Wrigley Field, the Friendly Confines, is one of the temples of the game.  Billy Williams, Andre Dawson, and Ryne Sandberg among other players have passed through the field.  It seems the only thing missing from this American treasure is a World Series title.  Truth is though, they have had two.  The Chicago Cubs won consecutive WS in 1907 and 1908.  each one over 100 years ago.

Dale Sveum will just be the next in line to try and put the Cubs back on top, but with a roster like the Cubs have now, I don’t see it happenning in 2012 or even 2013.  The Only hope for this ballclub is not in their manager, but their brand new General Manager, Theo Epstein.  The problem is that the media sees a team doing poorly and they blame it on the skipper.  Sveum will be under a lot of fire if the Cubs don’t excel quickly, and I don’t see that happenning.

Bobby Valentine

4.  Unlike the Chicago Cubs, the Boston Redsox have experienced a lot of success recently.  After Theo Epstein took over, the Redsox won two WS championships in 2004 and 2007 and made the playoffs six times in ten years.  The firing of Terry Francona at the end of last year was and still is a mystery to me.  It was not at all his fault for his players lack of ability to perform at the beginning and at the end of last year.  Bbobby Valentine was finally selected and given his rightful place as a manger in the MLB once again.

Out of all five of these Manangers, Bobby V has the most experience out of all of them.  He and Ozzie Guillen are my two favorite because they promise to provide entertainment.  Valentine has previously managed the Rangers and the Mets.  He, like many of baseball’s other colorful managers will be under scrutiny at least in this, his first year with a new team.  Unless Boston starts a multi-year slide much like the Mets, Valentine should be fine as manager.

Robin Ventura, the new manager of the Chicago White Sox, speaks during an introductory press conference at U.S. Cellular Field on October 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.

Robin Ventura

5.  The manager with easiest job out of the above four is Robin Ventura of the White Sox.  This is the only spot I agree with from Gonzalez’s rankings.  Although my version of the reason is much simpler than others.  The White Sox are a god awful team.  They have no chance to succeed in the AL Central, and before they can get a guy to lead their players, they need players.  Simple as that.  They just don’t have players.

The New York Mets….

What kind of article would this be if I didnt write about my favorite team?  The issue with the Mets is pitching.  The New York Mets’ official website has made it very clear that GM Sandy Alderson wants to resign Reyes.  The fact that that is one of our team’s headlines alone is pathetic.  The fact that Alderson wants Reyes back is less pathetic, but still pretty low.  Here’s the order I see these things in:

5th place finish with a GOOD team > Sandy Alderson> Jose Reyes > Omar Minaya > Carlos Beltran…

The New York mets are probably going to waste 20 million dollars trying to get Jose Reyes back in Flushing.  Jose Reyes doesn’t belong in Flushing.  He wants to play in Florida with Hanley Ramirez, so why don’t we let him go?  Many fans would love for him to stay and I respect that they do, but I personally can’t see it happenning.  The Mets need to address a sloppy rotation and a poor back end of the bullpen.  To make it simple, the last time the Mets had a good starting five and closer was in 2007.  Here’s the comparison:

2007:
Projected 2012:

  • Ace:  Tom Glavine
    Ace:  Johan Santana
  • #2:    John Maine
    #2:    Mike Pelfrey
  • #3:    Oliver Perez
    #3:    R.A. Dickey
  • #4:    Orlando Hernandez
    #4:    Jon Niese
  • #5:    Mike Pelfrey
    #5:    Dillon Gee
  • Closer:  Billy Wagner
    Closer:  ????????????

My point being that Mets need to sign former Phillies’ closer Ryan Madson.

Hokies and Wahoos playing for more than bragging rights

With 8 seconds left on the game clock in Doak Campbell Stadium Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins lined up for a 43 yard field goal attempt that would give the Seminoles a victory over the Cavaliers of UVA. For only the 4th time all year Hopkins missed the kick wide right. The impact of this missed field goal could be felt not only in the Sunshine State but also in the great state of Virginia 625 miles away in Blacksburg. The impact can be characterized as both one of joy and one of fear. Joy because it means that the annual game between VT and UVA will have bigger implications than in recent years. Fear because of what can happen to the Hokies season with a loss to UVA, something that hasn’t happened in 2,550 days (That’s 7 years ! )

Davon Morgan and friends celebrate 2010 Cup win

Last years game as seen in the photo above was played in Blacksburg and won by the Hokies 37 – 7. Even though the Hokies have dominated the rivalry a lot has changed since the last time these two met. In the off season UVA and coach Mike London dominated the state of Virginia in recruiting. Taking recruits like CB Demetrious Nicholson , RB Clifton Richardson and WR Dominique Terrell from the tidewater/ Virginia Beach region of the state that the Hokies have been controlling for years. Nicholson has been the most productive of the group with 50 tackles and 2 interceptions coming into Saturdays game. This early production is only a sign of whats to come of the Hoos 2011 recruiting class.

Nicholson is one of many players thriving in Mike London’s defensive scheme that is ranked 28th in the nation for points allowed per game(20.1). Led by junior LB Steve Greer, who has 94 tackles on the season, the Cavs have used speed and athletisim to mess with the opposing QB especially in the red zone. Another bright spot for UVA has been the play of QB Mike Rocco and RB Perry Jones who have each provided sparks when their team needs them most. Look for Jones to have a tough day going against a Hokies defense that has allowed and average of 3

Perry Jones

.3 yards per carry this season. UVA will have a shot to upset their hated rivals and win more than just the Commonwealth Cup.

For the Hokies to avoid the upset and the embarrassment that the Cavs are planning to give them they must do 3 things perfectly.

  1. Don’t go for the big hit just make the tackle: The Hokies have struggled with wrapping up ball carriers this season and it has lead to big runs and plays. Fortunately this only happens a few times over the course of a game but it usually results in a score for the opposition.
  2. The O-LINE must buy some time for Logan Thomas: In Tech’s Thursday night win over UNC Logan Thomas was outside of the pocket more than he was inside of it, Sure he works well on edge and utilizes his feet but he would benefit greatly with a few extra seconds to make a clear decision on where to throw the ball. A sloppy game by the big boys up front would be fatal to Techs chances.
  3. Don’t be complacent: So many times when a team is ranked highly and predicted to win by many experts they become happy or content with what they have and don’t strive for more. It’s what knocked my own High School team out of the playoffs this year and its what can certainly destroy any hopes that the Hokies have of an ACC Championship and a BCS Bowl appearance.

The Hokies should win this game with the play of David Wilson and Logan Thomas in recent weeks. Sure UVA’ s defense has been pretty good and they have a lot of momentum building to the game but they have yet to see a QB of Thomas’ size, speed and athleticism. Tech will have to play perfect and score early silencing the Wahoowaa in Charlottesville and crushing any hopes that they have of an upset.

My prediction is that the Hokies will win over UVA for the 8th straight year but it will be very very close and could come down to the final minutes of the game. Techs special teams will give them the slight edge and the leg of Kicker Cody Jounell will show the country that the Hokies do belong (something that Oregon, Oklahoma State and Alabama failed to do).

In addition to predicting this game I also have some picks on the other rivalry games of week 13

Arkansas will beat LSU on their home field.

Auburn will beat Alabama in Auburn in what will be the best Iron Bowl to date.

Oklahoma State will beat Oklahoma in Bedlam

If my 1st two picks are right look for the Hokies to move into the top 3 with a realistic shot at a BCS Championship game berth. But for any of that to happen Tech must 1st take care of UVA and maintain control of the Commonwealth Cup.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and enjoy your football weekend !

 

Joe Pa out, Cardinal vs Ducks and Logan Thomas is the BIG man on Campus

There is so much to talk about in the college football universe. Between the firing of the legendary Joe Paterno to this weeks monster matchup in the PAC 12 this week, 4 Stanford vs 7 Oregon and even the Hokies win on Thursday night and the career nights of RB David Wilson and QB Logan Thomas. We’ll start with the hot button topic of Joe Pa’s exit at Penn State.

Paterno and Sandusky

For 46 years Joe Paterno has not only been the face of Penn State football but also one of the great figureheads in college football. He is up there with Bear Bryant ,Bobby Bowden, and Woody Hayes on the Mount Rushmore of College Football coaches. He has 409 wins overall as head coach and has built  a  prestigious program out of nothing. But it has all been overshadowed by one bad decision that he made or one that he didn’t make when he knew of longtime assistant coach and defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky’s behaviors and horrific actions with little boys no older than 10 years of age. I won’t go into detail with the story because it seems to be changing every minute and it is also known by everyone. But the real question with the whole mess lies with the board of trustees’ (Who were appointed by Paterno) decision to relieve Joe Pa of his duties is justified. There are two ways to look at it… He did do the right thing according top the law by reporting it to his superior but morally he failed miserably and is now paying the price for it, granted that Paterno was close to retirement anyways being 84 years old and having to coach from the press box over looking the field of play. This incident will have an impact on the athletics of Penn State and the university as a whole this whole event deeply saddens everyone. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this horrific event.

On a happier not we now move to the monster game tonight in the PAC 12 between the only 2 teams of relevance in the conference, the Stanford Cardinal and the Oregon Ducks. These two teams are complete opposites of each other in the way they play the game, the types of players that they recruit and in their mentalities. The Ducks are a fast paced team that runs the spread offense. Everything from their erratic style to their endless number of uniform combinations makes them an exciting team to watch especially with QB Darron Thomas and RB LaMichael James in the backfield. The team in the opposite side , Stanford is based on power and traditional football. The star power of QB Andrew Luck (who will be a future 1st overall selection in the NFL draft either this year or next) and the use of big physical TE ‘s  like Coby Fleener who measures up at 6’6 244lbs has 8 TD’s this season. This game will be close (tonight on ABC @  8pm eastern time) but like Lee Corso I think that Stanford’s experience and leadership will payoff and get them a home victory over the Ducks.

Fear the Tree

 

And now for the Hokie topic of the post… Coming into the season people of Hokie natoin didn’t know what to expect from 1st year starting QB Logan Thomas. Would he live up to his 5 star recruit hype ? or would he be a total bust and be forced back to a TE or WR role ? The answer has been yes to the 1st statement has Thomas has passed all tests (with the exception of Clemson) with flying colors. throwing for over 2000 yards and having a QB rating of 140.3 Thomas is showing why I made suck a big deal about him back when I used to do “Hokie Updates” in 2008 (http://mattburrill.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/hokie-update/). Lets look at Thomas from a defense players perspective. He stands at 6’6 weighs 260 lbs and runs a 4.6 40 ?!?! Impossible is usually the explanation when these stats or attributes get put together but not for Thomas who is only in his Sophomore year giving him up to 2 more years as a Hokie! His size and speed has made him a running threat an automatic go to guy in 3rd or 4th and short situations. To back it up Logan has rushed for 335 yards (3.4 yard average) and scored 8 times by using his legs this season .The other reason for Thomas’ success is the other guys around especially RB David Wilson who like Thomas had a career night in Atlanta.  Wilson who got virtually no carries a season ago splitting time with now NFL players Ryan Williams and Darren Evans has shown that he belongs here. Rushing for 1360 yards so far (175 on Thursday). David Wilson is getting some Heisman Trophy looks as maybe a 3rd or 4th candidate, his chances will depend on the Hokies success moving into critical matchups with ACC opponents UNC and UVA to end the season. The Hokies will next play on Thursday Night Football this week on ESPN @ 8 pm in the Hell Hole they call Lane Stadium.

I have found highlights of Tech’s Triumph over the Yellow Jackets courtesy of thePhreakofVT on youtube… enjoy !