13) College basketball starts tonight; ton of games, which is fun, but handicapping these games is extremely difficult, because even a lot of these coaches have very little idea what they actually have right now.
There is so much turnover on rosters these days (over one transfer per team LY), that year-to-year continuity is virtually a thing of the past, which makes handicapping in November a very dangerous minefield for gamblers.
12) Take Nevada; they hired a new coach (Steve Alford) who inherited two players and had to recruit the rest of his squad after most of the year’s recruiting vines had already been harvested.
Even the blue bloods have issues; Duke has four new freshmen recruits, but how great are they really? ESPN touted Zion Williamson as the second coming of Karl Malone LY, but the Blue Devils didn’t make the Final Four- they lacked outside shooters.
11) Here is where LY’ Final Four teams ranked in minutes continuity:
— Auburn #63
— Virginia #79
— Michigan State #171
— Texas Tech #277
Everyone does things differently; for me personally, have to watch a ton of games and get a feel for which teams are developing chemistry as the season goes on.
10) World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg just completed the third year of a 7-year, $175M contract extension he signed in May ’16; Saturday he opted out of the last four years of that deal, leaving $100M on the table, wagering that some other team will make him a better offer, or maybe Washington will pony up more money. Time will tell.
9) Florida State fired football coach Willie Taggart Sunday, giving him $17M to take a hike. Seminoles were 9-12 (6-9 ACC) through Taggart’s 21 games as coach- not a lot of big money guys get the boot after only two years or less with a team.
8) Why some teams don’t win that much: In the 2012 NFL Draft, Jacksonville Jaguars took a punter in the 3rd round; that guy (Bryan Anger) is still in the NFL, punting for Houston, but another guy taken in the 3rd round is also still in the league.
Five picks after the Jaguars took Anger, Seattle drafted a guy you may have heard of, a QB from Wisconsin. A guy named Russell Wilson.
7) Dallas Mavericks’ star Luke Doncic is the first player since Oscar Robertson (1965) to score 25+ points, dish out 15+ assists, and grab 10+ rebounds in back-to-back games.
6) From ESPN research: Through eight games, the Baltimore Ravens are averaging 222.1 passing yards per game and 204.9 rush yards per game. No team in NFL history has averaged 200+ passing ypg and 200+ rushing ypg for an entire season.
5) Case Keenum has earned roughly $36M in his NFL career; he’s playing for his 4th team in four years. His career W-L record is 27-34; even when he led Minnesota to a 13-3 record two years ago, the Vikings dumped him for Kirk Cousins.
Interesting career; he threw for 19,217 yards and 155 TD’s in college at Houston. Keenum is another guy who could write a hell of a book.
4) Steelers were fined $75,000, coach Mike Tomlin fined $25,000 for violating the NFL Injury Report Policy by not accurately listing QB Ben Roethlisberger on the practice report prior to the team’s Week 2 game against the Seahawks.
I agree with these fines, seeing how I picked Pittsburgh in that game. 🙂
3) Kentucky is the school with the most players on NBA opening-night rosters (28) for the 8th straight year. Duke (23 players) and North Carolina (14) are next on the list.
2) NBA rosters have 108 international players from 38 different countries. 42% of all NBA players also played in the G-League.
1) Alabama is favored at home by 6.5 points over LSU Saturday; this is the fewest points the Crimson Tide has been favored by at home since November 2011, when 5.5-point favorite Alabama lost 9-6, also against LSU.