Monday

Lousy DFT Weekend and Week 2 Picks Post-Mortem


Hello again everybody...

It was a restful weekend around the Sports Take offices. Unfortunately it was a depressing one as well, as concerns the world of baseball. But there was also plenty of interesting football action to make up for it. So I'm coming into this week fairly well rested and ready to go!

So today I have to give you a mini-DFTU since it was such a horrible weekend for the DFT's. Oof. And then it's the highly anticipated Week 2 Picks Post-Mortem. Was I able to eke my way north of the .500-mark? Stay tuned and find out!

"Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong."
- George Carlin (1937 - 2008), American stand-up comedian, actor and author

That quote has nothing to do with anything. I just thought it was funny!

First off today, it's a mini-DFTU segment:


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Minnesota Twins: After a whale of a series opener against the Tigers, the Twins found a way to drop the next two and lose the series. Winning a series is important at any time of the year, but when you're in the final month of a season, and battling for your playoff life, losing a series against a team you should beat is terribly disappointing.

Let's face it, the bullpen's a mess. I really hoped that adding Eddie Guardado would help settle things down and establish some roles amongst a group of guys who's confidence was clearly shaken. So far? Hasn't really worked. And when Joe Nathan, who's been absolutely lights-out for the Twins since taking over the closer's role, starts to struggle, you know you've got a serious problem.

Now the Twins find themselves 2.5 games behind the White Sox who visit the friendly confines of the Metrodome in a couple of weeks. The Twins will have to close that gap a touch before then, or they'll find themselves in need of a series-sweep. Never a comfortable position.

The upcoming three-game series with the Royals starting tomorrow becomes of paramount importance, because after that, it's back out on the road for 10. Oh my...

Arizona Diamondbacks: What's more painful than losing a series at home against a team you ought to beat? How about getting broomed by your division rival in the last series you have with them during the regular season. Ouch.

Oh, and did I mention that Dan Haren and Brandon Webb started the first two games of that 3-loss extravaganza? It sort of felt like that moment where Rocky hit Clubber Lang with his best right cross and Clubber just rubbed his jaw and growled at him. Not good.

(Aside: It was just announced that Patriots QB Tom Brady did tear his ACL and will miss the entire 2008 season. Team of Destiny? Dead. What was really crazy is that CNBC broke into their live broadcast with coverage of the New England press conference. Picture Bill Belichick in his tattered hoody with a picture-in-picture box below him showing the current Dow-Jones Industrial Average. That's not an image you get out of your head very easily!)

The Snakes are now 1.5 games behind the Dodgers and will have a tougher time making up those games since their done with L.A. for the year. 1.5 games isn't an insurmountable margin by any means. But considering they had a chance a week or two back to have buried the Dodgers all together, any deficit is pretty disappointing.

So now Arizona manager Bob Melvin has to find a way to get his team back up, focused and believing they're still the best team in the division. I have no idea how he's going to do it, but that's his task. And that's why he gets paid a generous salary. Best of luck to you Bob. Oof.

The D'backs begin a 3-game series in San Francisco tonight before returning home for 3-games with Cincinnati on Friday.

So enough of the depressing news, let's get on to the Week 2 Picks Post-Mortem. I had my favorite pick of the year in this batch, so let's see how I did!

East Carolina +8 vs. West Virginia: Final Score - ECU 24, WVU 3.
Readers on my email list last year will remember me saying, "One of the greatest experiences in sports is the home dog winning outright." And that hasn't changed.

I hesitate to say that the Mountaineers were intimidated by the East Carolina crowd, but clearly WVU never got in any kind of rhythm offensively. And that gave the Pirates a lot of confidence. And there isn't anything more dangerous in college football than a team with slightly above-average talent that's brimming with confidence.

What Dan Learned: We here in The Sports Take offices have found a new team to cheer for. Yes, the Badgers are far and away #1 on our list, but ECU's a fun team to watch and an even more fun team to root for! Are they this year's BCS buster? I can't say that yet, but they've got as good a chance as anybody else.

So 1-0 and feeling good... next...

Stanford +14 @ Arizona State: Final Score - ASU 41, Stanford 17.
I was good with the home dog, but the road dog? Not so much.

In my defense, Stanford was still within covering ranged into the 4th quarter. But ASU piled on late and denied me my first 2-0 status of the year.

I didn't get to see the game as the local Fox Sports Net outlet decided that airing "Vikings Weekly" was a better ratings grabber than a Pac 10 tilt. Sadly, they were probably right.

What Dan Learned: I made a big fat hairy deal out of ECU being at home and how that played into them making it a closer game than the spread would indicate. And then I promptly ignored the fact that Stanford was on the road and went with them anyway. Home field matters in college football. We're not going to forget that again!

1-1... still hanging at .500 baby! Thirdly...

Wake Forst -8 vs. Mississippi: A loyal reader of the Sports Take who shall remain nameless predicted that Ole Miss would win this game outright. And they very nearly did. This was a whale of a game to watch. It was back and forth all day with Wake having to hit a 41-yard field goal with 3 seconds remaining in regulation to get the win.

The Rebels are going to give people in the SEC fits this year thanks to their QB Jevan Snead. Snead transferred to Mississippi after being edged out by Colt McCoy for the starting job at Texas, and it was easy to see yesterday why he was so highly recruited. 20-31, with 253 yards and 4 TD's? A very impressive performance by the sophomore.

What Dan Learned: The ACC officially sucks. Wake was second only to Clemson in terms of people predicting them to win the conference in pre-season polling. And if one of the ACC contenders has to scratch and claw to win a game at home against a middle-of-the-pack (and I may be generous with that title) SEC team, that's a bad sign for the ACC. A very bad sign.

So 1-2. Come on Flyer Picks! I need you to get me back to .500!

Nebraska -26.5 vs. San Jose State: Final Score - Nebraska 35, SJSU 12.
Ooooh. So close! I never did hear back about whether there were any "Bo for President" signs hung in Lincoln.

I didn't see any of this game, and have yet to get a game report from an ST reader who attended. Hopefully he'll attach a little something to this column!

What Dan Learned: I'm gonna say that even though they didn't cover, I'm still the Nebraska good luck charm. So will I still pick them this week? You know I'm not going to give that away on a Monday!

So still 1-2 (remember, Flyer picks don't count unless we win! - hey, it's my blog, I can make the rules work however I like!). Did the Gators get me back to .500?

Florida -21.5 vs. Miami: Final Score - Florida 26, Miami 3
There we go! .500 baby! Although I'm torn over this victory. I really wanted to show how talented the Hammer was with this sort of thing, and this sort of puts a dent in his impressive armor. Oh he's still standing, no worries there. But I'd hoped that this pick would lend his NFL picks a little more cache.

Sorry bout that Hammer.

Miami kept things close for most of the game. The score was 9-3 at halftime and after 3 quarters. But the Hurricanes couldn't ever really sustain any offense, and it was very clear that Florida had a distinct edge in team speed. 17 points in the 4th quarter got us the cover.

What Dan Learned: I'm tempted to make the Gators this year's Team of Destiny, but I'll need a touch more evidence before I make that official. This is a seriously talented team though. They play in the toughest league in the country, so it won't be a cakewalk, but if any team east of Los Angeles is going to run the table, Florida might be the best bet.

So another week, another 2-2 record. That makes me 4-4 on the year. This is miles ahead of where I was last year. So needless to say, we're feeling good around The Sports Take offices. But there are nearly 13 more weeks to go. Lots of time to crash back down to earth!

That's all for today. I'll be back on Wednesday with hopefully a sunnier outlook on the DFT's. Until then, thanks for reading!

6 comments:

  1. Regarding the NU game, I was listening on the radio. The first half was pretty disappointing. I was attending a wedding that afternoon, and in the interest of keeping my mood tolerable, I quit listening (knowing that a loss would destroy my social skills) shortly after halftime.

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  2. oops, I hope it wasn't me that left the impression I was at the game. Lon was following me to the wedding. I did not see any posters in Omaha and I am still waiting for the defense to show up. An interception for a TD was sweat and the kickoff return helped. To top it off the offense decided not to show up. And 12 penalties?

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  3. So just to keep track of ACTUAL record of picks, we're looking at 4-5 overall, right?

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  4. No... we're looking at 4-4. Flyer Picks only count if I win... read the rules Josh!!!

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  5. I just figured we could track "Dan math" and "real math" just for the sake of...intrigue! :-)

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  6. Start you own blog and you can track whatever the heck you like! ;)

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