Michael's Sports Blog

NBA Finals 2011

This year’s NBA Finals is a rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals, where the Miami Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks.  The two meet again five years later.  That year the Heat won in six games.  During that season, the Heat didn’t have the big three; they only had Dwayne Wade.  And now with the addition of LeBron James and Chris Bosh, I think this year’s outcome will turn out exactly the same with the Heat winning the NBA Championship.

Although this isn’t really a rematch because the teams are completely different, this is going to be a great series.  The Mavericks were on fire in their last series, and I’m looking forward to seeing if they can bring that intensity to the new series.  The Heat showed that their three superstar players can prove to be too much for a team to handle.

I think the Heat will end up winning the series in six or seven games, but I think six is more likely.  The Heat just have too many talented players on their team to fall to the Mavericks.  The one thing the Mavericks have on their team are players with lots of experience, and this could help them possibly pull the upset over the Heat.  However, I think that the big time players on the Heat will cause problems for the Mavericks (ex: matchups, rebounding, spreading the floor).

Prediction: Miami Heat in Six Games

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May 31, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , | 2 Comments

Jim Tressel Resigns as OSU Coach

Jim Tressel

In relation to my last blog post, I mentioned how Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was involved in an NCAA violation involving his players.  He resigned yesterday amid findings that there were more than just the six current players who had received tattoos for signed memorabilia.  Upon resignation he said this: “After meeting with university officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach.”

According to Sports Illustrated, “the wrongdoing by Tressel’s players was far more widespread than had been reported. The memorabilia-for-tattoos violations actually stretched back to 2002, Tressel’s second season at Ohio State, and involved at least 28 players — 22 more than the university has acknowledged. Those numbers include an additional nine current players as well as nine former players whose alleged wrongdoing might fall within the NCAA’s four-year statute of limitations on violations.”  This shows that Tressel knew for many years about his players violating NCAA rules, but didn’t say anything.

He resigned, however, he would have been fired even if he didn’t resign.  When so many players are involved in a scandal like this, a coach would definitely get the boot.  Ohio State is still under investigation by the NCAA for the violations, and it will be interesting now to see what action the NCAA takes.  I sure hope that they receive worse punishment than USC did.  USC only was involved in scandals with a few players, not almost thirty over a 10-year period.

May 31, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , | 1 Comment

USC Appeal Denied

The NCAA’s “Infractions Appeals Committee upheld all findings and penalties against USC in their infractions case involving former players Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo.”  This decision was very disappointing to the school, and many officials of the school were upset.  The USC appeal had “asked that the 30 scholarships lost over three years with a maximum of 75 allowed and a two-year postseason bowl ban be cut in half.”  However, the NCAA upheld the ruling.

The ruling makes sure that USC will have less scholarships than teams not under sanction-those not under sanction can have 85 scholarship players on the roster-and seniors are allowed to transfer without having to sit out a year.  The decision to deny the appeal also will not allow USC to play in the first Pac-12 championship game, as well as a postseason bowl game.  The basketball team did not receive any more sanctions.

I’m not a fan of the NCAA’s decision.  I know I am a fan of USC so obviously I am upset, however, the NCAA has taken other similar issues more lightly, so I think their decision against USC is unfair.  There are many teams who have used ineligible players or have been rumored to have paid players to come to the school, but nothing has been done that has been as detrimental to the program as the sanctions against USC.

Recently, Ohio State has been in the news for players and coaches violating NCAA rules.  The coach of the Buckeyes, Jim Tressel, knew his players were receiving tattoos in return for signing/selling memorabilia, yet he did nothing to stop this.  The players were therefore ineligible, but the coach continued to play them, allowing the team to make it to the Sugar Bowl.  The players and coach were suspended for the first five games of next season and also had to forfeit most of their wins from the previous season, but nothing has affected their postseason ability or scholarship amount.  As you can see, USC football was harmed much worse than the Buckeyes.

May 26, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , | 3 Comments

Bulls and Thunder Going to Make Comeback?

The Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder are now down 3-1 in there respective series.  According to USA Today, “of the 189 NBA teams that were down 3-1 in a best-of-seven playoff series, eight advanced.”  It doesn’t look good for either team down 3-1.

The Thunder and Bulls seemed to be in control in game four of their series, however, both the Mavericks and Heat were able to win.  If the Thunder and Bulls had won their fourth game, each series would have been tied 2-2, leaving much better odds of advancing.

In the Heat-Bulls series, it seems as though the three-pronged attack of the Heat team is proving to be too much.  LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh came together because they thought this would be the best chance to win an NBA championship, and it seems like this is working.  I think that these three big-time stars are enough to cause the Bulls trouble, and even the team they may play in the finals.

In the Mavericks-Thunder series, Dirk Nowitzki is on fire, and the Thunder don’t seem to have a way of stopping him.  His size and ability to make shots is causing a lot of problems for the Thunder and unless they are able to stop him, they will not advance.

I think the Heat and Mavericks will advance to the NBA Finals easily.  The Heat I believe will win the finals though because they have too much talent not to win.

May 25, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , , | 2 Comments

USC Football Schedule 2011

All the dates and almost all the times have been set for the USC football games next season.  There are five away games and seven home games for Trojans.  We will now play Utah and Colorado this year instead of Washington State and Oregon State with the addition of the two new teams.  I don’t know what to expect since this is the first year Colorado and Utah are in the conference, but we’ll see how those games go.

With the new television deal with Fox and ESPN, some games will not take place on the typical Saturday.  The Cal game (also known as the Weekender game for 2011) will take place on Thursday night, unlike previous seasons where the game was on Saturday.  This is going to make it hard for some students to make the trek out to the game because of classes.  The game against Colorado will take place on Friday.  This is supposed to give the Pac-12 more national exposure as one of the only games on during that day, so more people will be inclined to watch.  All the rest of the games will take place on Saturday.

Here’s the schedule:

2011 SCHEDULE
Date Opponent / Event Location Time / Result
09/03/11 vs. Minnesota TV L.A. Coliseum 12:30 p.m. PT
09/10/11 vs. Utah * L.A. Coliseum TBA
09/17/11 vs. Syracuse L.A. Coliseum TBA
09/24/11 at Arizona State * TV Tempe, Ariz. 7:15 p.m. PT
10/01/11 vs. Arizona L.A. Coliseum TBA
10/13/11 at California * TV San Francisco, Calif. 6:00 p.m. PT
10/22/11 at Notre Dame TV South Bend, Ind. 4:30 p.m. PT
10/29/11 vs. Stanford * TV L.A. Coliseum 5:00 p.m. PT
11/04/11 at Colorado * TV Boulder, Colo. 6:00 p.m. PT
11/12/11 vs. Washington * TV L.A. Coliseum 12:30 p.m. PT
11/19/11 at Oregon * TV Eugene, Ore. 5:00 p.m. PT
11/26/11 vs. UCLA * L.A. Coliseum TBA

May 20, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sacramento Kings Staying in Sacramento… At Least for Another Year

In a previous post I talked about the possibility of the Sacramento Kings moving to Anaheim and becoming the Anaheim Royals.  The deadline for the decision ended about a week ago, and I wanted to update you on the situation.  The owners of the Kings have decided to keep the team in Sacramento for at least another year.  They are giving the Sacramento Mayor, Kevin Johnson, a chance to come up with a realistic plan for a new arena.  Johnson was able to get support behind the team and raised $10 million to show that people still believe in the Kings in Sacramento.

According to an ESPN article, “co-owner Joe Maloof and NBA Commissioner David Stern made clear that the team will leave after next season if an arena plan is not in place.”  So, this means that Johnson needs to make sure that he has attractive plans for an arena because if not, the team will be heading off to Anaheim.  Without a new arena, the team would be able to get a lot more revenue in Anaheim, which is a good enough reason for the owners to want to move the team.

I am glad that the team is not going to move, at least for now.  I don’t think I could handle another NBA team in Southern California.  I already don’t understand the point of there being two teams in Los Angeles.  Both teams share the same arena-which makes no sense to me who is the home team when both teams play each other- and people have to decide which team they want to be a fan of.  By having a team in Anaheim, that would mean there would be three teams within forty-five miles of each other.  This is way too many teams to have in such a short distance.

May 9, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , | 1 Comment

Lakers Swept by the Mavericks

The Lakers became another team added to the seemingly impossible statistic of coming back after being down 0-3 in a playoff basketball series.  They are now the 99th team to lose the series after starting 0-3.  There were a few teams who were able to make it to seven games, which I thought the Lakers may have been able to do, but not with their performance today.  Another interesting fact about this series is that there are only a few teams who won the championship the year before and then were swept in a series the following year.  The Lakers are now part of that group as well.

The Lakers didn’t look good today in their 122-86 loss to the Mavericks.  The team shot 38 percent, while the Mavericks shot 60 percent.  Not only were the Mavericks hitting two point shots, but they hit a playoff record 20 three point shots.  A 36-point loss is something you don’t expect in a playoff game because that just means one game completely outplayed the other.  A playoff team should not be outplayed as badly as the Lakers were this series.

Bynum and Odom were both ejected in the fourth quarter for an unnecessary flagrant foul, making them the second and third players thrown out of a game in the series.  The Lakers’ players were frustrated and took out their anger on the Mavericks.  You could see from the players’ faces that they were upset with how each other was playing, and this led to the Laker downfall.  I know from experience that when you are mad at people you are playing with, it gets in your head and causes you to be distracted from your play.

I can’t believe this may be the last game that Phil Jackson coached in his legendary career.  This is not the way you would like to end your career, but he has had many great seasons to cancel out this last playoff disaster.  Jackson may be the best NBA coach ever, with eleven titles and three three-peats.  I would like to see him back next year, but if he doesn’t come back, I hope his successor will be able to do as good a job as he did.

May 8, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lakers Down 0-3 Against the Mavericks

It doesn’t look good for the Los Angeles Lakers attempt to win their third NBA Championship in a row.  The Lakers won their first round series against the Hornets, however, the team looked a little off even with their victories.  The next series against the Mavericks has not turned out well.  The Lakers lost the first two games in the series at home, and then lost the next game in Dallas.  I did not expect the Mavericks to come out with this much fire and the Lakers to play this badly, but they have.

The statistics are against the Lakers chances to come back from the 0-3 deficit.  An NBA blog gave the facts about the Lakers chances of winning the series against the Mavericks: “While three teams in NBA history have won a seven-game series after losing the first two at home, no team has rallied from an 0-3 deficit.”  So, as you can see, the biggest game was the third game of the series because at least by winning this game, there were three teams who had come back from this deficit before.

Although there has been no team that has come back from the hole the Lakers are in now, they have a very talented team and there still is hope that they can win the next four games.  Kobe Bryant is a leader, and if he can talk his players into believing they can win, I think the Lakers may be the first team to overcome the 0-3 deficit.  This is also most likely Phil Jackson’s last season as a coach in the NBA, and I’m sure the players don’t want to disappoint their coach by losing a second round series.

May 7, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , | 4 Comments

Pac-10 Lands Television Deal with Fox and ESPN

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott

The Pac-10 conference (soon to be the Pac-12 conference) landed an incredible television deal with Fox and ESPN Tuesday.  The deal will begin in the 2012-2013 season, and is worth approximately $225-$250 million per year.  This is the largest television deal for any college conference right now.  The ACC, SEC, and Big Ten recently signed deals, but these were worth $155 million, $205 million, $220 million respectively.

The previous media rights deal for the Pac-10 conference was $60 million per year, which was one of the lowest for college conferences.  I have to give credit to Scott for coming through with getting a $165-$190 million per year increase in media rights for the Pac-10 conference.  I heard that Scott was trying to get the biggest contract of any conference, but I didn’t think this would be possible.  Yes, the Pac-10 has a lot of good teams.  But there are other conferences out there with better teams than us, and also with more loyal fans.  The massive increase in payment for the conference shows that the demand for television rights to college conferences is vastly increasing.

Larry Scott said this about the deal: “We are excited to become a more integral part of the ESPN family.  We look forward to providing dramatically enhanced national exposure for our institutions and their outstanding programs.”  Fox and ESPN will share the coverage of the games, each putting a certain amount of games on their network.  There will be a few Thursday and Friday night football games, as well as Saturday games.  The Thursday and Friday night games will help increase the exposure for the conference because not many games are played on these games, so more people will watch these games.

According to an ESPN article, “every Pac-12 football and men’s basketball game will be televised on either ESPN, Fox Sports or a new Pac-12 network, according to the new television contract.”  One of the things that Scott wanted to get from a new deal was increased exposure for the conference, and by having all these games televised will definitely increase exposure.  Last year there were many times when I wanted to watch a Pac-10 game, but I was unable to watch because it wasn’t on T.V.

The deal also will start Pac-12 Media Enterprises, which will “own the Pac-12 Network, the Pac-12 Digital Network and Pac-12 Properties.”  The Pac-12 network will include non-sports content as well as sports content to try and please all the people who would possibly watch the network.

May 6, 2011 Posted by | Sports | 1 Comment

Department of Justice Looking into BCS System

The first blog post I wrote about dealt with the BCS vs. playoff system in college football.  I explained why I believed that the playoff system was better for college football than the BCS system.  It makes no sense to me why all other sports in college have a tournament type system, yet college football stands alone with a BCS format.  There has been some recent news regarding this system that I figured I’d share with you.

Recently, Utah attorney general, Mark Shurtleff, has threatened to file an antitrust lawsuit against the BCS.  He believes that the BCS is an unfair system, and that the system is also anti-competitive.  If you look at how the BCS system is decided, you will see that it definitely favors certain schools over others.

Shurtleff’s first reason for the lawsuit is that it is hard for non-automatic qualifying schools to make it to the big BCS games.  The winner of the power conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, Big East, SEC) automatically gets a bid to a BCS bowl, unlike the other five conferences.  The other five conferences have to get an at-large bid, and may not even make big bowl games with one or two losses, unlike the power conferences.

Another reason is that the BCS gives a lot more money to the automatic qualifying conferences than the non-automatic qualifying conferences.  A Sports Illustrated article said that the: “six automatic qualifying conferences made $145.2 million this year versus $24.7 million made by the five non-automatic qualifying conferences.”  This is a big discrepancy in the numbers.  It is no wonder the power conference schools are able to get top recruits every year over other schools because the BCS is basically feeding them the money they need to recruit these players.

Along with this lawsuit, twenty-one professors from universities around the country sent letters to the Department of Justice explaining their reasons why the department should look at the current BCS college football system.  And it seems like the Department of Justice listened to what these people had to say.  A Huffington Post article explained that “the Justice Department has sent a pointed letter to the NCAA asking why there isn’t a playoff system for college football, saying “serious questions” continue to be raised about whether the current Bowl Championship Series complies with federal antitrust laws.”  I’m curious to see how the NCAA responds.

The Department of Justice and Utah attorney general have made their point that they believe the current college football system is anti-competitive.  There will be plenty of evidence to prove this system is ineffective.  I am glad that something is finally getting done regarding the use of the BCS system because I don’t like this system.

Hopefully the Department of Justice is able to persuade the NCAA to change the college football system to a playoff system so that each team will have an equal shot at getting to the bowl game they deserve.  As a fan, I want to see games that are the best available, and having a BCS system that favors certain teams over others does not allow this to happen.  I am also not a fan of an unfair system, and this is definitely one that is not fair to all schools involved.

May 5, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , | Leave a comment