Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Super Bowl Preview part 2, and more troubles at Colorado.

More Red Raider love.

Yoni Cohen who runs the most comprehensive national college hoops blog out there,
warns Texas Tech opponents not to sleep on the Red Raiders.

More Colorado Embarassment.

I'm not trying to pick on Colorado, really. At this point I feel for the folks in Boulder. (In fact, I have an uncle who works for CU and I'm sure he doesn't appreciate all the scandal either.)

First, a former CU female kicker says she got sexually harassed by the football team. Then Gary Barnett basically says she kicked like a girl. Then the Boulder DA's office starts investigating sexual assaults by Buffalo football recruits. Then
budget cuts force the men's basketball team to cancel charter flights and miss class. Then the women's hoops team has to cancel the end-of-year banquet. Then we find out the football team gets free electronic gear for making a bowl game despite $3 million in losses by the athletic program.

So not wanting to be left out of the "embarrass our university" trend, the CU faculty has decided to join the party. An ethnic studies professor at the University of Colorado
recently compared the people who died in the World Trade Center attacks to Adolf Eichmann (The Nazi who was the architect of the Holocaust).

Having spent time in graduate history courses, I know that in academic circles comparing someone to a Nazi or suggesting that a person is "facist" is about the worst insult you can levy on someone, so basically he was justifying their deaths. Which is bad enough except that this professor, Ward Churchill, was scheduled to speak at a panel discussion at a college in New York state, a state where many 9/11 families live.

He may have a right to say it, but please pick a topic that doesn't get others to exercise their right to respond. Especially since the Holocaust and 9/11 are sensitive subjects and those statements could cause people to respond by not donating or your Board of Regents to respond by cutting your department's budget. Given what this school has been through already, you'd think everyone at Colorado would be a bit more careful.

Sorry for venturing into a quasi-political topic like that, I know you the reader normally read this for sports. But it's just been scandal, scandal and more scandal at that school, and nothing's going to change at Colorado unless someone calls attention to it. CU needs new leadership badly. I feel for the folks in Boulder, really.

Anyway, Ricardo Patton's Buffs travel to Lubbock to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders tonight. Hopefully, CU administration relents and lets them take a charter flight because there are no direct flights between Denver (the nearest airport) and Lubbock. Besides, it sounds like they have bigger problems to deal with.

Still the undisputed, undefeated #1

Illinois,
now the unanimous #1 in both polls, passed it second crucial road test with flying colors last night, beating Michigan State 81-68.

If you were to look up "winning going away" in your Microsoft Encarta it would have a video of this game. After 13:57 in the first half, Illinois pulled away and never looked back. It wasn't that Michigan State wasn't trying, it's just hard to stop a team when they are shooting 60% overall and a mind-boggling 54% from 3-point range.

NFL Retirements

Will Emmit Smith retire? At first, it looked like he would. Then ESPN reports that Smith told the Dallas Morning News that he's not retiring. One problem: The DMN story may not exist.
I'm not finding this story anywhere on the DallasNews.com website (it's about 7:17 AM Central when I'm typing this), so I don't know where ESPN is getting this info (if it's legit, they probably got it from Tim Cowlishaw). If it pops up later, I'll update.

There are equally mixed signals on whether Brett Favre will retire or not. Donald Driver says he thinks he might retire, family sources say he'll play.

Super Bowl Item of the Day

Freddie Mitchell took another shot at Media Day,
this time at the Eagles' media people. He's upset that he didn't get a podium, and suggested that the Eagles were censoring him because of his remarks about Rodney Harrison.

Super Bowl Preview Part 2: Eagles offense vs. Patriots defense

Rankings:
Eagles' Offense: #9
Patriots' Defense: #9

In order to break down this matchup, you first have to answer the question whether or not Terrell Owens is going to play. I think he is. He's convinced himself and his coaches that he's heathly enough to play, and apparently that's all it takes. I still don't think he should play, but that's a completely different issue.

So now that we've settled that question, how will Donovan McNabb and company fare against the Patriots' defense?

Everyone says Brian Westbrook will be an X-factor, I don't think he will be a factor. Mike Vrabel and Willie McGinest are both athletic enough and good enough pass defenders to keep up with Westbrook.

Some say Donovan McNabb will beat the Patriots with his legs, something the Patriots haven't seen all year. Maybe, but Belichick has proved that he can game plan for anything.

Some say the Eagles and an "81%" T.O. could try and take advantage of a depleted Patriots' secondary. Didn't we say Indianapolis was going to do that too? What happened there?

So how about running the ball? Nice idea, except Brian Westbrook isn't a 25-carry-a-game guy.

Doesn't look good for the Eagles offense. This is where the Patriots will really dominate.
Edge: Patriots

Tomorrow: Part 3

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