My Favorite Today: Ramona Shelburne’s Great Article About Lakers’ Owner Jeanie Buss

I’m not particularly a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA. Like most casual fans of professional basketball though, I had heard about the drama surrounding the ownership of the Lakers franchise. I had also heard that Jeanie Buss, one of the daughters of the previous owner, had become the controlling owner of it.

What I didn’t know was why, or how, or what it meant for Jeanie Buss.

This remarkable article by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne covers that. It’s a beautifully-written article about how Jeanie Buss did the best she could with terrible, awkward circumstances surrounding her siblings and the ownership of the team. Click here to check it out.

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ESPN College Pick’em selections, week 10; Buying In to Oklahoma State

Dear Stanford; thank you for pulling out the win in the last game of the night last week. With that win, I went 7-3 last week. What does that mean?

I’ve got 50 right picks this year!!! Ooooowwwww!!!! 😛

I’m officially 50-40 this season!

Is that really that good? Is making 55 percent of my picks really that impressive? Probably not, but maybe, I don’t know because I’ve never done this before lol. Come on now, I’m new at this, I’m entitled to celebrate irrelevant things, and the number 50 pertaining to anything good is always impressive.

Anyways, last week Texas laid an egg and was shutout. So much for my hope in them this year. I still think they’ll do well though and win the next couple of games. I still think they’ll upset Baylor in December, but I don’t think that’ll be as big of a deal then as it might seem to be now. After watching Baylor against K-State, I’m not impressed. Add that to the fact that Baylor plays Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and TCU between now and then, and I think Baylor could have three losses by that point. We’ll see.

Speaking of Oklahoma State, they’re my pick this week to cause some mayhem. I’ll save you the overrated analysis, you aren’t reading this blog for that and as I mentioned earlier, I’m new to this. But I have watched Oklahoma State a little, and I just really think they look good. Both them and their opponents this week survived scares by K-State, but theirs seemed less scary. Then again it was at home and was wide receiver Kody Cook’s first playing time at quarterback this season and Oklahoma State as at home. TCU had neither circumstance going for them. So which was closer? Who’s to really know.

That said let’s get right to it today as my picks go.

Week 10 picks 🙂

Arizona State on the road over Washington State: Most ESPN users are picking Washington State in this one, maybe because they have one more win to the their record. They don’t seem divided by that much to me though, so I’ll take ASU.

North Carolina at home over Duke: This is another toss up, and it’s a rivalry so it’s hard to pick for sure. Still, I’ll take North Carolina.

#4 Alabama at home over #2 LSU: Aside from Bill Snyder, I still think Nick Saban is the best coach in the country. If anyone can stop Leonard Fournette, my money would be on Saban. This is also this week’s tiebreaker pick, so I’m predicting a score 28-21 Alabama. Role Tide… 😛

#13 Memphis at home over Navy: Come on now, is this even going to be a contest?

#12 Utah on the road over Washington: Utah has been hit and miss but they do only have one loss, so I’ll take them at home.

#5 Notre Dame on the road over Pittsburg: Notre Dame might be for real this year. I’ve read at least one column that says Notre Dame is on “upset alert” today, but I think they’ll still pull this out 🙂

#1 Clemson on the road over #16 Florida State: This game is one I could see being a major upset, in no small part because Clemson tends to loose big games a the worst possible times, and this would count. Still, they have a lot of momentum as a team right now. I’ll take them.

#9 Iowa on the road over Indiana: There’s been a lot of talk about how wronged Iowa feels after being 8-0 but well out of the college football playoff picture since the initial rankings came out this week. Let’s see how play today. I bet they drop 50 points on the Hoosiers.

Marshall on the road over Middle Tennessee State: Marshall, for what they are, is 8-1 this year. MTSU is 3-5. I don’t know anything about either team, but I know a blowout coming when I see it… I think ;).

#14 Oklahoma State on the road over #8 TCU: I think Oklahoma State stand a much better chance of knocking off than anyone else remaining on TCU’s schedule, which includes OU, Baylor and Kansas. K-State almost upset TCU at home back in October, and I think Oklahoma State is significantly better than K-State. So this is my major upset pick today.

ESPN College Pick’em selections, week 9; Texas Putting Big 12 On Notice

A 5-5 week last week kept me on the positive side of .500 for the season, leaving my record this year 43-37. The relieving news is that I can’t pick K-State this week, since they have a Bye week before welcoming the Baylor Bears to Manhattan next Thursday.

I wrote last week that if Texas won against either Kansas State or Iowa State, (which were their next two scheduled opponents at the time), I thought they would become a real recruiting force in the Big 12 again starting immediately.

I’m not going back on that.

Analysis

Kansas State went into Austin and got beat cleanly. Going into that game, the Longhorns were tied but ranked slightly below Iowa State in the Big 12 standings. Now, after their own win and Iowa State’s loss to #2 ranked Baylor last week, the ‘Horns are actually a game ahead of the Cyclones as they arrive in Iowa to play against them this week. Texas isn’t great on the road, but here’s an interesting statistic I found on ESPN.com.

Texas actually has scored the second fewest points in the conference, both in conference play and including nonconference play as well. Do you know which team is the only one who’s scored less? That would be last place Kansas, but that isn’t the interesting part. The interesting part is that Texas has won two straight in conference, including against then #10 ranked Oklahoma.

According to ESPN, if you look at the last two games for each Big 12 team, Texas is the only team that has won both of their last two games while averaging under 30 points per win. The teams above them in the Big 12 are TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Those teams average 42.5, 53.5. 45.5, and 59 points respectively.

Texas is winning games scoring half as many points as teams above them in the standings are, including against Oklahoma (Texas had a Bye week two weeks ago, so OU has played two games since that one, hence they’ve won their last two like Texas has). All they’ve needed to score was 23 points each week to compete.

To me, that says the whole conference needs to watch out. That doesn’t exclude Baylor, which is on their schedule in December. Iowa State, West Virginia and even FCS (division two) Lamar University have all scored over 25 points against Baylor.

That could be a real problem against a Texas team that only needs 23 points per week to win lately, especially if they come in having won today against Iowa State and then the next two weeks against Kansas and West Virginia.

With all that said, here are my picks. K-State has a Bye this week, so I’m free to actually objectively(ish) judge all 20 teams I’m picking winners from. As always, we’ll go from my “least confident” choices to my “most confident” ones.

Week 9 Picks 🙂

San Diego State on the road over Colorado State: I have no knowledge of either team, but San Diego State is the last of the two teams I remember being ranked, so I’m taking them.

Penn State at home over Illinois: Penn State continues to look strong this year, with a 6-2 record only blemished by loses in the first week to Temple (which was week 1, it happens) and to #1 Ohio State. I won’t pick against them until at least Nov. 21.

#11 Florida at home over Georgia: I’ve picked Georgia twice this year against good teams, and they’ve lost both. Sorry Georgia, but I don’t have any faith in y’all.

#19 Ole Miss on the road over Auburn: Ole Miss is a good team with a very tough schedule. I think they might loose two more games this year. This won’t be one of them.

Kentucky at home over Tennessee: Most ESPN users seem to be picking Tennessee, but I’m not so sure about the Volunteers. I think I’ll have to pick what appears to be an upset here.

California at home over USC: USC is such a hard team to predict this year! They’ve tested Notre Dame and outright beaten then #3 Utah, but they’ve also lost to Washington in their own stadium, so I’ll take my chances and pick California, though I know this one is a dangerous pick.

#9 Notre Dame on the road over #21 Temple: I like Temple’s coach, I watched him after the Penn State game and he seemed to make a lot of sense, but this Notre Dame team has played some stiff competition and is battle tested. I can’t definitively say the same for Temple. I think Penn State was an aberration, not a sign of their talent. This is the tiebreaker this week, so I pick the score to be 41-27 Irish.

#8 Stanford on the road over Washington State: Stanford has scored 104 points more than they’ve allowed, while Washington State has scored just 25 more than they’ve have. That’s a big difference, so I’m going with Stanford.

#12 Oklahoma State on the road over Texas Tech: Oklahoma State continues to impress, so I’m buying them. They might be a great pick to win the Big 12.

Texas on the road over Iowa State: Texas is tied with Oklahoma for the longest win streak in the conference outside of those three unbeaten teams at the top (TCU, Baylor, and Oklahoma State). Iowa State has lost three straight. I’m betting Texas continues to build on the momentum they’ve developed.

ESPN College Pick’em Selections, Week 8; Catching Up, And An Intriguing Matchup In Austin

Last week I forgot to post my picks. It was a chaotic week and I’ll try not to forget again this season. Here’s a brief summary of the last couple of weeks to catch you up.

Catching Up

Two weeks ago (in week 6) I had my best week of the season. I went 8-2 after successfully picking Texas over Oklahoma, and narrowly picking then #5 Utah over #23 California. I picked Georgia to win, but that became impossible when their star running back was injured on what I believe was the first play from scrimmage. I’ll be hoping the kid can come back soon.

Speaking of people who need a comeback, week 7 was more normal for my picks: I went 6-4 for the second time this season (week 2 was the other) even though it was my second highest point total in ESPN Pick’Em because of how I ranked the ones I was most confident of. I’m now 38-32 on the season.

I got my most confident pick wrong last week as OU came and slaughtered K-State, just down the road from where I write this, 55-0. That game was a perfect storm though, and few but the most rugged Wildcat’s fans probably picked that. OU was coming off a loss to Texas the week prior and was 6-0 under current coach Bob Stoops in the weeks following Red River Rivalry losses. Add in that Texas fans left about 3,000 seats on their side of the stadium empty, and Texas still won, and you had a high probability OU would roll into Manhattan a little pissed the heck off.

K-State, on the other hand, had come off two heartbreaking second-half comeback losses by ranked teams, Oklahoma State on the road and top 5 ranked TCU at home. So when the Wildcats came out flat, and OU came out strong, it’s hard to say I was completely surprised, though I’d never pick against my Wildcats. :). The bottom line though, having watched OU two straight weeks, is that I don’t think they are as good as they showed against K-State, and I don’t K-State is actually as bad as they looked against OU.

K-State Versus Texas Analysis

Now I get a chance to back up my point about picking K-State against anyone, because for the second straight week, ESPN is calling it’s users to pick the winner of a game featuring the Wildcats. This week they go into Austin, Texas to play a Longhorns team some think may be right at the turnaround point in their rebuilding efforts since longtime coach Mack Brown left following the 2013 season and Charlie Strong took over. That win against OU two weeks ago went a long way in securing the fanbases’ faith in Strong, and the coming weeks should give them even more reason to trust the process.

After K-State, they play Iowa State, who is ranked one spot above them in the Big 12 standings. If they win even one of the games against either ISU or KSU, they should blow through their next two games, which are against Big 12 bottom-dwellers Kansas and West Virginia.

As for this week’s game against K-State; it’s an intriguing one. K-State recently seems to have Texas’ number. They’re 7-1 against Texas dating back to 2006 when they injured Colt McCoy and ended Texas’ chances of repeating as National Champions the year after Vince Young’s historic game against USC (which is the best game I’ve ever watched as a sports fan). The Wildcats are also 1-0 against Charlie Strong, beating Texas last year 23-0, and shutting them out for the first time since OU did it in 2004, according to ESPN.

Still, Texas has had two weeks to plan for this one because of a BYE week last week, and after that dramatic win against OU, I’d bet Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is straight up sold-out against a K-State team that fans probably consider very beatable.

Still, I’m picking K-State. Head coach Bill Snyder knows what he has to do. I think K-State will come in and just relax after three straight games where they were underdogs against ranked teams.

So without further ado:

Week 8 Picks 🙂

Wisconsin on the road over Illinois: This is one of those “I know nothing about either team” picks, but Wisconsin did well for me earlier this year when I picked them over Nebraska in week 6, so why not watch them do it again :).

Ohio on the road over Buffalo: How did this matchup even get picked? I don’t think I’ve even heard of either team, but hey, I’ll go with Ohio. We’ll see what happens, but this is probably the pick I’m most likely to get wrong this week.

#23 Duke on the road over Virginia Tech: ….wait, Duke can’t have decent football AND good basketball…it’s against the rules! Meh, I’ll pick them, but I don’t think I quite believe they should be ranked just yet. Just saying…

Arizona at home over Washington State: My first home pick of the week goes Arizona. According to ESPN, they’ve only lost to ranked teams this season: UCLA and Stanford. I have no reason to believe WSU is as good as either.

#15 Texas A&M on the road over #24 Ole Miss: I successfully picked A&M’s loss to Alabama last week, but that wasn’t an indictment on them. I’m a big Kevin Sumlin fan: he’s a good coach and he seems to make a lot of sense when he speaks in interviews. I think he’ll get that team ready, and I think Texas A&M is actually really good, as much as the Longhorns fan in me hates to say it.

#6 Clemson on the road over Miami (FL): This one is simple for me. Miami is good, but Clemson is better. Watch me eat those words later 😛

#3 Utah on the road over USC: I actually picked USC to win last week against Notre Dame, but I don’t think Utah is a big enough rivalry (if it’s one at all) to get them fired up, plus Utah looks good this year. I’m slowing starting to buy their legitimacy. This is the tiebreaker in ESPN Pick’em this week, so I predict a final score of 45-35.

Mississippi State at home over Kentucky: I don’t know much about either team here either, I promise that’s my last one this week lol, but their only to losses came, ironically, to teams each ranked #14 at the time: LSU in week 2, and Texas A&M in week 5. They shouldn’t be ashamed of either loss.

#25 Pittsburg on the road over Syracuse: It’s hard for me to ever know what to do with Pittsburg, but Syracuse just isn’t very good. Still, neither team seems to have played anyone legendary or anything, so this is a hard one to pick.

Kansas State on the road over Texas: I love Austin more than I love any place anywhere, but I think this will be the last chance K-State has to beat Texas while they’re in rebuild mode. So go Cats!!!! 🙂

Really Great Interview with boxer Cam Awesome on Highly Questionable :)

Hi Everyone,

One of my favorite shows on ESPN is Highly Questionable. They do great interviews and Dan Le Batard alongside Bomani Jones is one of my favorite journalist combos in all of sports media. Yesterday, they did an awesome interview with Cam Awesome, a professional boxer hopefully representing the United States in the 2016 Olympics. Spoiler: he calls himself the “Taylor Swift of boxing” in the interview. :P. Check it out 🙂

Fantasy Football Experimentation

Hi everyone!

So I started a fantasy football league on ESPN, and I was hoping I might be able to get some of y’all interested in it. Basically my premise is if you’re a blogger, a dancer, or just a writer in general, I’d love to have ya. If you’ve ever heard your boyfriend or husband talking about it and have been curious, or if you’re a dude and you’ve never tried it or are just looking for something relaxed and kind of casual, I’d love to have you be part of it.

If you have any questions or are potentially interested, feel free to contact me at poet598@ksu.edu or just leave me a comment here.

Have a great day. 🙂

A Glimpse Into ESPN Beat Writers :)

If you like the St. Louis Rams, or just any NFC West team in the National Football League, this is a neat article, because in it you get a glimpse of each of the major ESPN beat writers for each team in the division :). Josh Weinfuss (covering AZ), Terry Blount (covering Sea) and Paul Gutierrez (covering SF).

http://espn.go.com/blog/st-louis-rams/post/_/id/19441/nfc-west-qa-are-the-rams-viewed-as-a-real-contender

#GoCardinals #SuperBowl2016 #CPalmerForComebackPlayerOfTheYear