NASCAR 2007 Season in Review

This year was sort of a disappointment for me as far as NASCAR is concerned. Jeff Gordon dominated the entire year and has nothing to show for it. He went into the chase leading by over 300 points, and wasn’t even in first when they started the race at New Hampshire. I think something needs to be done about the current system. Gordon should get something for winning the ‘regular season’. In the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL they have division and league champs. There should be some sort of trophy for finishing first in the first 26 races. I know it won’t mean as much as the title does, but it is still something. Gordon had an amazing year. He had 30 top 10′s on the season. Think about it. In 36 races he only finished 10th or worse six times. He had a season that would probably be considered his second best behind the 1998 season. Jimmie Johnson his teammate was hot when it counted. He won four races in a row to all but lock up the chase at the end. His team reminds me of the old days when Gordon has Ray in the pits. Whatever call was made was the right one. One thing that did get to me watching the Homestead race was how the announcers kept saying that Gordon had been chasing Johnson all year. That is untrue! They love to jump on the bandwagon of the new pretty boy don’t they? If it was up to them Edwards would win everything.

Here is how I did on my pre-season predictions:
Daytona 500 Winner: My pick was Tony Stewart. He of course did not win. Kevin Harvick spoiled the day for Mark Martin by passing him at the last minute for the win.
Daytona 500 Rookie of the Race: Montoya. I really did not go out on a limb here. See rookie of the year.
Race of the Year: I picked the spring Bristol race because of the track history, and the debut of the car of tomorrow. In my opinion the race of the year was the duel between Gordon and Johnson at Martinsville.
Rookie of the Year: I picked Juan Montoya because I am a smart man. He is such a good racer it would have taken a tragedy for him not to get this.
Nextel Cup (Soon to be Sprint Cup) Champion: I picked Stewart. I really thought it would be his year. His season was summed up at Homestead when he backed the car into the wall, and then keyed the mike and said “Fix it now.” He was loose all day, and finally lost it. The team did put four tires on him so he could go back out. The actual champ. See above rant.
Big Name to Miss the Chase: Dale Jr. I was right here. I think next year will be much different though.
Surprise Driver in the Chase: I had a hard time picking between Stremme and Yeley. They both were let go from their teams so that shows what I know. Bowyer was by far the biggest surprise in the chase. He was in the hunt for quite some time.
Drivers in the Chase: Here are the drivers that I thought would be in:Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, David Stremme, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Jeff Burton. I was only off by a couple. Here are the drivers that made the chase. Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., and Clint Bowyer.

The Cup will be called the Sprint Cup next season, but that is not the sad issue. The saddest thing for me is the fact that the Busch Series will be called the Nationwide Series. This is one of the last parts of NASCAR that has not changed since I started watching. Now that is gone as well. I suppose I will just be stubborn and call it the Busch Series.

Next year I will be going to the spring race at Bristol. I haven’t been to a Cup race since 2004, and it was the spring race at Bristol. We are over 4 months away from leaving, but I am already excited. I posted a small clip I found on YouTube that I thought was pretty cool.

Dog Bites Auburn Player

One of the weirdest plays you will ever see in college football. While watching this game live I saw the Auburn player twist like he caught his hand on something. I even told the people I was watching the game with that he must have gotten caught on a camera. When the replay showed that the dog nipped him as he ran by we all started laughing. I have not heard any updates on the player, but you could see for the next few minutes that his hand was still hurting him. It looked like he ripped it away from the dog when it was in his mouth. That is never good to do, but also is the typical reaction most people would have. Anyway here is the play…enjoy!

The New BCS Standings

Here are the BCS Standings that were released today:

1. Missouri 11-1
2. West Virginia 10-1
3. Ohio State 11-1
4. Georgia 10-2
5. Kansas 11-1
6. Virginia Tech 10-2
7. LSU 10-2
8. USC 9-2
9. Oklahoma 10-2
10. Florida 9-3
11. Boston College 10-2
12. Hawaii 11-0
13. Arizona State 9-2
14. Tennessee 9-3
15. Illinois 9-3
16. Clemson 9-3
17. Oregon 8-3
18. Wisconsin 9-3
19. BYU 9-2
20. Texas 9-3
21. South Florida 9-3
22. Virginia 9-3
23. Cincinnati 9-3
24. Auburn 8-4
25. Boise State 10-2

Ohio State, Illinois, and Wisconsin are the only Big Ten teams on the list this week. Ohio State is on the doorstep of playing for the national title two years in a row. Illinios needs a couple of upsets to sneak into a BCS bowl.

Big Ten Bowl Predictions #2

With some upsets this week the opponents that the Big Ten teams have changed slightly. Here are some updated bowl forecasts.

CBSsportsline.com
Rose Bowl: Ohio State v. USC
Outback Bowl: Wisconsin v. Tennessee
Capital One Bowl: Illinois v. Florida
Alamo Bowl: Michigan v. Texas A&M
Champs Sports Bowl: Penn State v. Boston College
Insight Bowl: Indiana v. Oklahoma State
Motor City Bowl: Michigan State v. Central Michigan
Bell Helicopter Armed Services Bowl: Purdue v. New Mexico
Purdue is hanging on to a bowl by a thread.

BCS Top 15

Here is how the top 15 of the BCS fared this weekend.

1. LSU – Lost to Arkansas
2. Kansas – Lost to Missouri
3. West Virginia – Won against UConn
4. Missouri – Won against Kansas
5. Ohio State – Idle
6. Arizona State – Lost to USC
7. Georgia – Won at Georgia Tech
8. Virginia Tech – Won at Virginia
9. Oregon – Lost UCLA
10. Oklahoma – Won against Oklahoma State
11. USC – Won at Arizona State
12. Florida – Won against Florida State
13. Texas – Lost to Texas A&M
14. Boston College – Won against Miami
15. Hawaii – Won against Boise State

Four top ten teams, and five out of the top 15 lost this weekend. USC beating Arizona State and Oregon losing puts USC in the drivers seat in the PAC 10. It also may spell the end for Purdue in the Las Vegas bowl. The Big 12 took step one of deciding its champion as well. Oklahoma will face Missouri in the Big 12 championship game next weekend. That QB for the Tigers looked awesome tonight. The game next week should be very exciting. Tennessee won in overtime to earn the right to play LSU in the SEC championship game leaving Georgia on the outside looking in. West Virginia beat UConn at home to claim the Big East title, and give them a great shot at the national title. Hawaii needs to win next week, and they will probably get an at large berth in the BCS. The win over Boise State was the biggest hurdle that they needed to face. Ohio State is sitting idle for the next couple of weeks rooting for some more upsets. They will need Oklahoma to win in the Big 12 championship game to have a shot at the title for the second year in a row.

Big Mac’s For All!

I went to my first Notre Dame Women’s game of the year today. The last two years my tickets have been in the bleachers, but this year I am at center court very low. I really enjoyed my seats. I get a good view of both benches as well as the floor. The above picture is of the tip-off from my seats. The Irish played a great game today. They had a 14 point lead at halftime, but stretched it to 30 by the end of the game. What really made the game though is a new promotion this year. If the Irish score 88 points everyone in the crowd gets a free Big Mac. Towards the end of the game Notre Dame was close, but could not get some easy buckets to fall. They were within two with ten seconds left when freshman Brittany Mallory stole the ball and took off towards the Irish hoop. The crowd went absolutely wild cheering her on. When she made the basket it sounded like the Irish had just won the National Championship. What a great promotion that gets the crowed into the game. The #23 ranked Irish took the game 88-58 with the help of 33 turnovers by Boston College. Notre Dame really pressured the Eagles making it hard to just get the ball up the court. The Irish didn’t look perfect today, but they looked very good. This will be a fun team to watch the rest of the year. Five players finished the game in double figures. They look deep, and ready to make some noise this year.

Updated Bowl Projections

Yesterday was another crazy day in college football. LSU lost to Arkansas in three overtimes, and Texas A&M beat Texas to muddle the bowl picture once again. Hawaii did beat Boise State though. I have read many predictions that if Hawaii loses, then Illinois would be in a Big Ten bowl. Things will change today for sure. The big game of the day of course being #2 Kansas v. #4 Missouri. The Scout.com projections must think that neither of these two teams will win out because they have West Virginia and Ohio State playing for the National Championship. Here are the updated predictions as of last night by Scout.com:

National Title Game: Ohio State v. West Virginia
Capital One Bowl: Illinois v. Tennessee
Outback Bowl: Michigan v. Auburn
Insight Bowl: Indiana v. Oklahoma State
Bell Helictopter Armed Services Bowl; Purdue v. TCU
Alamo Bowl: Wisconsin v. Texas A&M
Champs Sports Bowl: Penn State v. Boston College
Motor City Bowl: Michigan State v. Central Michigan

As you can see another possible bowl outcome is now shown. We could really end up anywhere. Ball State took our place in the Las Vegas bowl in this projection. If Ball State were really chosen over Purdue, then that shows how much trouble our program is really in. I don’t even know if I like our chances against a team like TCU. I am an idiot, so I will probably go. Well some of this will change today, so I will be on here again when the dust settles.

2007 Big Ten Bowl Projections #1

I was bored today so I thought that I would see where Purdue stacked up in the many bowl projections that come out every week. None of these are my own, but rather a collection of the projections that I look at every week. So here they are:

ESPN – Ivan Maisel
Rose Bowl: Ohio State v. Oregon
Capital One: Illinois v. Florida
Outback: Wisconsin v. Tennessee
Alamo: Michigan v. Oklahoma State
Champs Sports: Penn State v. Virginia
Insight: Purdue v. Colorado
Motor City: Indiana v. Central Michigan
Las Vegas: Michigan State v. BYU
Iowa and Northwestern are shut out of a bowl according to Maisel

ESPN – Mark Schlabach
Rose Bowl: Ohio State v. USC
Capital One: Illinois v. Florida
Outback: Wisconsin v. Auburn
Alamo: Michigan v. Texas Tech
Champs Sports: Penn State v. Clemson
Insight: Indiana v. Texas A&M
Motor City: Michigan State v. Central Michigan
New Mexico: Purdue v. Utah
Iowa and Northwestern are shut out of a bowl

Rivals.com
Rose Bowl: Ohio State v. Arizona State
Capital One: Illinois v. Florida
Outback: Wisconsin v. Kentucky
Insight: Michigan State v. Oklahoma State
Alamo: Michigan v. Texas A&M
Emerald: Purdue v. Georgia Tech
Motor City: Indiana v. Miami (OH)
Iowa and Northwestern are shut out of a bowl

CBS Sportsline
Rose Bowl: Ohio State v. Oregon
Outback: Wisconsin v. Tennessee
Capital One: Illinois v. Florida
Insight: Indiana v. Nebraska
Alamo: Michigan v. Oklahoma State
Champs Sports: Penn State v. Boston College
Motor City: Michigan State v. Central Michigan
Las Vegas: Purdue v. BYU
Iowa and Northwestern are shut out of a bowl

Fox Sports
Rose Bowl: Ohio State v. Arizona State
Capital One: Michigan v. Tennessee
Outback: Illinois v. Florida
Insight: Indiana v. Oklahoma State
Alamo: Wisconsin v. Texas Tech
Champs Sports: Penn State v. Virginia
Motor City: Michigan State v. Central Michigan
Las Vegas: Purdue v. BYU
Iowa and Northwestern are shut out of a bowl

Sports Illustrated.com – Stewart Mandel
Rose Bowl: Ohio State v. Arizona State
Fiesta Bowl: Illinois v. Texas
Capital One: Wisconsin v. Florida
Outback: Michigan v. Kentucky
Insight: Indiana v. Texas A&M
Alamo: Penn State v. Oklahoma State
Champs Sports: Michigan State v. Boston College
Motor City: Purdue v. Miami (OH)
Iowa and Northwestern are shut out of a bowl

A popular choice for Purdue is to go to the Las Vegas Bowl and play BYU. The basketball team will already be out there playing in a tournament so that would work out. Of course two Pac 10 teams would have to lose this weekend for that to happen. If Purdue were to go to Vegas I might have to go just to see both squads in action. The day of the bowl game the teams schedules collide, but in a two day span I could see both play. The other attractive option is the Motor City Bowl. Most years I would not want to see us there, but this year I don’t want to drive to far to see this team. I don’t think that this is likely though. If Central Michigan wins the MAC the bowl officials would not want a rematch with Purdue, and a Michigan State – Central Michigan matchup would be much more likely. If Miami (OH) were to win, then Indiana would be a good choice. In the year of playing for Hep, seeing two teams that he coached in a bowl would be a draw. Unless Illinois makes the BCS, we will have to look outside the Big Ten bowls for a spot. Another option that I saw was the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco. Rivals has us playing Georgia Tech. They spanked Notre Dame in South Bend this year. We had a tough time with the Irish in West Lafayette. I don’t know how excited I am to see this matchup. Before we went in the tank at the end of the year I was looking forward to the possibility of going to the Alamo or Insight bowls because of all the history that is in the area. I could easily make a week out of both trips. Now I think that both of those destinations will have to wait. Purdue needs some upsets to get in a Big Ten bowl, and even then we would just be in Detroit. I guess it could be worse. Both Iowa and Northwestern are bowl eligible, and neither team showed up in any of the projections. After the Arizona State loss last night some of these projections seem a little off. I will try this again next week to see if are chances at a good matchup improve.

Democracy Takes a Hit

Yesterday I made my post about heading to the Notre Dame game, grabbed my gear and went out to the car. It was then that I realized that it was raining and almost 30 degrees. I may be a sports junkie, but I am not stupid. I came back in the house and watched the game on TV. Democracy may have failed here, but acting as the Supreme Court I made my own determination of the rules. Notre Dame did get their second win of the season against Duke. A good day for the seniors as they played in the stadium for the final time. In other action Purdue was beaten on a kick in the final minute to lose the Oaken Bucket. As far as my three teams go this has to be the worst season I can remember. The Slicers spent the season on the brink, and lost a bunch of very close games. Purdue could not close the deal on the season, and Notre Dame never really started the season. I don’t know if next year looks any better. I may have to find a new sport. With the way the Sox played this year Lacrosse may be the only option left.

The Votes are In!

Well it was a close vote, but Notre Dame – Duke edged out Purdue – Indiana by one vote to win the game of the week honors. So today I will travel to South Bend to watch a monster of a game. Two 1-9 teams will match up to see who the worst team in college football is. Two weeks ago I went to the stadium to see the Navy game and could have had two tickets for $20 a piece. We will see what the going rate is today after two straight losses. That will probably be the most exciting part of the game. Who will get their 2nd win of the season? Only time will tell. I have to go to the stadium now to be a part of the tremendous gameday atmosphere. If I had to predict a winner I would say it is the ND fans who only have to sit through this last home game this year. They can rest easy after today. The actual game on the field is sadly too close to call.