Monday, March 7, 2016

Back in the saddle: A hodge-podge of things.

So I took a little time off from the sports blogging.  Not that I haven't been watching, I have, I just haven't felt the need to write about it much.  A lot of things have happened however since I last wrote about anything on February 11th.

Let's take a look.

March Madness: Believe it or not, the University of Houston is squarely on the bubble. If you would have asked me if they could be after the horrible loss to Grand Canyon I would have laughed.  But Kelvin Sampson is a heck of a coach and has the team playing pretty good basketball right now.  A deep run in the AAC tournament and they might not want to tune-out on Selection Sunday.

Speaking of, LSU with Ben Simmons is a candidate for the team that wasted a generational talent (again). Not only are they clearly in danger of missing the Tournament but this will most-likely be Simmons one and done year with the team.

Maryland is probably the most talented team in the country.  However, they also are the worst coached, and worst mental team in the country.  Because of that I see them falling out of the tournament in the first two rounds.

The SEC is a 3-bid league but they're going to get more because of who they are.

Don't talk to me about how good the Big XII is.  Until someone can beat Kansas for the conference title then they are the Big One and the Little Nine.

Saw this yesterday and it's a good question:  So far this year Jim Nantz has not been on the call for one college basketball game.  Despite this he's going to be CBS' lead announcer for the Tournament.

Houston Rockets: Finally gave up on Ty Lawson, the team is still not very good. I will say this again. If you're a Rockets fan then you want them to miss the playoffs.  Also, it's time to start asking the tough questions of Daryl Morey.

Houston Texans:  I saw today that Robert Griffin III was released by the Redskins.  There will be a call to bring him to Houston.  There's also a call to sign Brock Osweiler. If I had my druthers I'd take RG III over Osweiler.  People forget that RGIII was pretty good before he got caught up in injuries and the Gruden mess.  Better yet, you can probably get him for cheap so sign Osweiler, sign RGIII and let the two of them compete in camp.  That would free up a draft pick (that GM Rick Smith would waste by overreaching into a weak QB class anyway) to shore up the many, many other holes in the Texans roster.

Of course, they're not going to do this so welcome to Houston Christian Hackenberg.

On that note: Houston Chronicle NFL writer John McClain has the Texans taking Paxton Lynch with the 22nd pick in the 1st round. (Texans beat-writer Aaron Wilson has them taking Emmanuel Ogbah, DE-OSU at that slot.) Typically McClain's first mock draft is a thinly veiled attempt to troll Texans fans.  This time however I think he might have opened up with what will be his final prediction.  I've seen Lynch go all over the board however and I don't think he'll be available at 22.  Wilson's pick is just bizarre.  Even after a strong combine Ogbah is considered a late 2nd/early 3rd round prospect who has little explosiveness, and a questionable motor.

I haven't put my first round mock draft together but it's sure as heck not going to include the Texans taking Ogbah.

Houston Dynamo: I haven't watched many Dynamo games.  In fact, I don't watch much M(inor) League Soccer at all.  When you're used to watching the International leagues the pace of play is glacial, the skill is sub-par and the tactics are basic.  I don't care what US apologists like Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman say, the product is poor.  I feel that the closed league system that the MLS employs leads to that.  While promotion/relegation isn't a be all/end all fix for US Soccer it is one step in the right direction.

That said, after watching the opener vs. the New England Revolution on Sunday I won't be wasting much more time watching this team.  Horrible defense, shoddy goal keeping and uninspired mid-field and offensive play?  I'll watch the BPL, La Liqa and Serie A thank you very much.

UFC: I'm finding this fight promotion to be more and more unwatchable every event.  The staged fights at the press conferences/weigh-ins are getting stale and the entire event feels more like a side-show than a serious combat sports event.  This makes sense when you realize that UFC President Dana White is nothing more than a glorified carnival barker.

And it's not just the trash talk, I like it as much as the next guy, it's the predictability of the run-up to the fights now.  Also, McGregor jumped up two weight classes to fight a mid-range guy at 170. It's a loss that he never should have had to take.

Now that Holm has lost to Miesha Tate White has already come out and said that Rousey gets the first shot at Tate.  Why?  Let's have Rousey/Holm II and the winner of that gets Tate for the belt. Just another example of Dana White playing favorites and politics with the championships.

I'm done with them.  Back to boxing, which has it's flaws but which owns them, and doesn't try to act like they don't exist.

And finally......

Houston Astros: Big hopes this year.  Early on the pitching is struggling a little bit but the bats appear to be better than last year.  Like most in Houston I'm hoping to get a full year of Correa/Sprinter/Altuve healthy and just ripping the cover off of the ball.

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