Thursday, October 30, 2014

NFL Week 9 Primer (With Picks): The More Things Change…

This was the least-flattering picture we could find of Tom Brady. Damn you beautiful man!
 By Jeremy Conlin (@jeremy_conlin) and Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

We all know the NFL is a league of parity, where a team can rise from the bottom to the middle, from the middle to the top and, occasionally, from the bottom to the top in the span of a single season.

Just look at this week's Cowboys-Cardinals game in Dallas. Even after the 'Boys fell to Washington on Monday Night, this is the unquestioned game of the week, as the No. 1 spot in the NFC will be up for grabs. Who saw that coming?

But, the more things change, the more they stay the same. This week will also bring another installment in the historic Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning rivalry, with the winner putting his team in the driver's seat for home field advantage in the AFC playoffs. We'll also get a prime time game in Pittsburgh featuring the Steelers and Ravens duking it out for AFC North dominance.

Let's take a look at those games, plus our underdog update and weekly picks, below.


NCAA Football Weekend Primer: The First College Football Playoff Rankings

Despite a disappointing finish in Death Valley last week, quarterback Bo Wallace and Ole Miss are still right where they want to be.
 By Andy Dougherty (@AndyDougherty10)

Since the 1930s, fans of college football have relied on the AP Poll to assess the best football teams in the country. This week, the AP Poll gained a new rival.

College Football Playoff Rankings

On Tuesday, October 28th, a selection committee released the first ever College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings. The same committee will release its final rankings on Sunday, December 7th, and the top 4 teams in those rankings will qualify for the College Football Playoff. Mississippi State holds the distinction of being the first No. 1 ranked team under the current system. Florida State, Auburn and Ole Miss round out the top 4.

Undefeated powerhouses Mississippi State and Florida State are the consensus picks as the nation’s top 2 teams. The CFP and AP rankings both place Auburn in the top 4. But after those initial similarities, the two rankings start to diverge quite a bit. 

I Tried Baseball, I Really Did

Apparently, these guys won the World Series last night.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

So, apparently an epic Game 7 of the World Series took place last night. I was, embarrassingly and honestly, completely unaware of that until I saw somebody post about it on Twitter as I was getting off work around 6 pm yesterday.

After work I had a flag football game that my team, also embarrassingly and honestly, lost by 35 points, but when I got home I decided I was going to give this supposedly awesome game a chance.

A little background on my relationship with baseball: I never liked baseball, despite it being one of my better sports. I would always bat third or fourth on my Little League teams (I was the fat kid with enough weight to hit for power) and I did enjoy trips to the batting cages. But playing the actual game? Ugh.

I remember one time the kids on my team got mad at me because I snuck a Gameboy into the dugout and played Pokemon while waiting for my turn to bat. I don't know what they were so mad about, it's not like we had any strategy to discuss (Don't worry guys, I will try to hit the ball, not let the ball go through your legs on defense and throw to first), and I found the concept of supporting my teammates in this largely individual sport to be pretty pointless.

Eastern Mass HS Football Playoff Preview

Led by two-way stars Noah Sorrento (#4), Kenny Kern (#45) and Joe Gaziano (#97), Xaverian is the favorite in a loaded Division 1 bracket.
By Mike Uva (@mike_uva), with a cameo by Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Earlier this week, editor Joe Parello gave you his Central Mass playoff preview. Now, correspondent Mike Uva checks in with his thoughts on the Eastern part of the Commonwealth.

Normally, Joe stays out of these Eastern Mass affairs, but he had a few thoughts on some of the smaller divisions. You can find his thoughts sprinkled in below.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Milestones Within Reach of the 2014-15 Boston Celtics

Current Celtic Brandon Bass and former Boston great Paul Pierce are each chasing milestones this season.
By Adam Lowenstein (@StatsAdam)

The 2014-15 NBA season begins for the Boston Celtics tonight as we head into the second, and unfortunately most likely not the last, year of the their below-.500 project. The Celtics have lost more than 55 games just three times ever, and one of those dreadful seasons came last year when they went 25-57, with Brandon Bass leading the team in win shares.

Unsurprisingly, he put up the third-lowest win-share total for a single-season leader in Celtics history. To add insult to injury, Jeff Green’s 16.9 points per game were the lowest for a Celtics’ leading scorer since Dee Brown’s 15.5 in 1993-94.