Let me just say that I am not a big fan of the way the college football playoff teams are selected. I don’t even know how I would fix it but I just don’t like it at all. I would love to make it an 8 team playoff and just stretch out the games an extra week, it would be an easy fix. There are more than 4 teams each year deserving to fight for the natty. Look at Penn State last year or USC, both teams coming into the postseason red hot but neither of them could make it due to losses in September. Just pick the 4 best teams and don’t look so much into all of the other politics of it. Here’s my top 4 after this weekend’s games

1. Alabama

I don’t even see an argument here. Even when Georgia was at 1 it didn’t make any sense. Bama is so obviously the best team in the country. They have the experience, the best coach in history, and the most amount of talent in the country. Bama faces a tough test next week against Auburn but even with a loss, they probably get in. That won’t be an issue though. Alabama will wipe the floor next week at the Iron Bowl and get ready for another top 10 face off with Georgia in the SEC Championship. All that Bama really has to do over the next 2 weeks is win 1 game and they’ll be in.

2. Oklahoma

I think there is something to say in the rankings for a team with the best player in the country (excluding Saquan Barkley). They have 1 loss to a very solid Iowa State team who has actually been surprisingly decent especially after they beat Oklahoma. The Sooners might not have the best defense but Baker Mayfield is literally never out of a game. They get West Virginia next weekend at home possibly without an injured Will Grier which won’t be a problem then the Big 12 title game against TCU most likely. Oklahoma should win out and get into the playoff and get the respect they and Baker deserve.

3. Clemson/Miami

These teams are completely interchangeable for me because they play in the ACC Championship in two weekends. Miami gets Pitt on Friday after Thanksgiving and Clemson gets a solid South Carolina team. Assuming neither of these teams trip up next weekend the winner of the ACC Championship game will get into the playoff. Even if Miami loses the ACC Championship and that is their only loss they’re not getting in as a 1 loss team most likely. Clemson will get in even with a horrible loss at Syracuse. That’s the Dabo effect and some recency bias. I love Miami but something tells me they can’t be counted on. I could totally see them losing to Pitt but if not Clemson should take care of them. Clemson will be in.

4. Ohio State/Wisconsin

Yeah, I can’t believe it either but I think Ohio State will sneak into the top 4. Lets see how: Ohio State will handle Michigan next weekend and Wisconsin will finish at 12-0 after wasting their time next Saturday against Minnesota. Wisconsin doesn’t seem legit to me; they have played absolutely no one and you can say they beat Michigan but that’s the only ranked team they’ve played, they played them at home, and Michigan was only ranked because of Jim Harbaugh’s presence. I can see Ohio State as a double digit favorite against Wisconsin in Indy and when Ohio State beats Wisconsin, the Badgers will be out of the playoff with that terrible strength of schedule. I think everyone can agree that a 2 loss Ohio State team is still better than a 1 loss Badger squad. Ohio State needs Bama to beat Auburn which will knock them out, Bama to beat Georgia in the SEC title game which would knock them out, and hope the committee sees them as better than either a 2 loss Clemson team (which they will) or a 1 loss Miami team (still to be seen).

First 2 out with no chance

Above I have the teams that still have a possible chance. You can say Auburn does and Georgia does but I’m just assuming they lose to Bama because it’s Bama. I really only see a path for those 6 teams so here are the top 2 teams that don’t have a path to the playoff.

  1. Penn State

This Nittany Lion team is absolutely legit. They lost 2 games on the road to ranked teams by a combined 4 points. Just tough luck for James Franklin. They have the best running back that I’ve seen since Reggie Bush in Saquan Barkley and a very capable quarterback in Trace McSorley. They will not be playing in the Big 10 championship game like last year and will probably finish at 10-2. A 2 loss team that doesn’t win their conference title just doesn’t have a path and that’s the tough part about a 4 team playoff because this team is legit.

2. USC

The Trojans are in a very similar position to Penn State except they’ll have a chance to play in their conference title game. They have a top 5 NFL pick also in Sam Darnold and are an exciting team to watch. USC obviously wont get into the playoff but I’d love to see a USC and Penn State bowl game rematch, wouldn’t you?


Call me crazy but Lebron James is in the midst of his best season ever. Here we go, cue the haters!! I know what you’re gonna say, “He’s playing in a weak Eastern Conference blah blah.” WELL HE PLAYS 40 MINUTES A GAME! Cry me a river man, why can’t anyone sit back and appreciate his greatness? Who knows how many years left we have watching the King so why are we trying to evaluate every single aspect of his game? The 15 year vet is the NBA villain yet again for no reason.

Sure, maybe I follow Nick Wright and maybe he is a bit excessive, but we’re out here everyday trying to defend someone who has legitimate credentials to pass as the greatest player of all time.

“People really forget how trash basketball was in the 80’s” – Nick Wright 

Look, what Lebron puts on social media should only help his stature. He’s just the biggest troll in the world with his tactics and his corny sayings. Those Arthur memes make it so easy to love him even more. He is always one-step ahead of everyone else. His Instagram stories that go viral while he’s working out are hilarious and make me want to run through a brick wall for him.

All I hear in the Lebron vs. Jordan arguments are “6 RINGS!!!! 6 RINGS!!!” First off lemme start by saying congrats… Because that’s literally your only argument. Jordan won in an era where athletes weren’t at the top of their game and no one trained nearly as hard as the players do today. I would agree that the game has gotten softer, but what makes you think a 6’8 250 lb. behemoth of a man couldn’t dominate back then too? The reason people hate him is because he is everything everyone wants to be. FACT. 3-5 in the finals? SO. WHAT. Eight (8 YES YOU HEARD THAT CORRECTLY) straight finals against teams with the most elite talent and coaching in the NBA, and he is able to consistently showcase jaw-dropping numbers year in and year out.

I can’t even believe I’m writing this right now. If someone told me they don’t like Lebron because he’s a whiner who asks for every call I’d consider throwing up in front of them. All of the best athletes ask for every call. You ever see Tom Brady throw a fit about something? It’s every other play man. Saying he begs for calls couldn’t be more irrelevant and I still hear this on a consistent basis. HE IS ENTITLED TO EVERYTHING IN THE NBA. THERE I SAID IT. Lebron James has single handedly changed the sport and whether you hate it or not, you should respect it.

I cannot stress this enough, the best player in the world still holds his crown because of his uncanny ability to perform at an elite level in all aspects of the game. He is a bully on the court. He’s better than Jordan, better than Magic, no other way to describe it. He is the greatest athlete the world has ever seen.

A National Championship game in November

God do I love Duke. That’s no joke. Call me a bandwagon, call me a scumbag that’s up to you but I love Duke and there’s nothing you can say that’s gonna change that. Grayson Allen? God. JJ Reddick? GOAT. I get why people hate Grayson Allen but man is he great. He embraces everything that all villains have to. He’s sooooo damn clutch. 37 points in the third game of the season vs the #2 team in the Country!? I need more of that in college basketball. Granted, I know they were playing MSU so I cheered in silence and rooted for my school but was a bit disappointed with their play.


I would’ve been happier had MSU been able to come away with the win but we all live and learn. Hopefully that’s what this team will do because I was pretty unimpressed if I’m being honest and here’s why. I guess I’ll start out with what they did well. I thought Jaren Jackson Jr. was awesome in that game. He played like the 5 star talent he is, hitting clutch 3’s in big moments and making plays down low that included finishing some big and 1’s and dishing the ball outside. One thing I thought he could’ve improved on was rebounding. Duke was absolutely out bodying State on the boards and I really am convinced had MSU been able to take away some of those offensive rebounds from Duke they would’ve. There’s your good. Here’s the bad.


Two words: Miles. Bridges. DUDE! What are you doing?? He played scared the whole night except for that one stint where he hit 2 three’s in a row. He did that thing where he slapped the floor with both hands and stuck his tongue out, opened his eyes all big and I stood up and said “JUST GIVE ME THE NATTY RIGHT NOW!” I was fired up as was all of Spartan Nation. Not so fast I found out. After that outburst from Miles he went soft. He had NO answers for that 2-3 zone and as a sophomore no doubt NBA talent you have to be able to create your own shot, move the ball, just do something. You can’t just stand at the wing and when you get the ball either throw up a 3 or pass it off. ATTACK BIG MAN. Bridges is a freak of nature one of the most pure athletic talents I’ve ever witnessed but he didn’t use it in that game. He looked scared. He needed to penetrate that zone and put shots up or create something to find  the open man.


Here’s what MSU needs to do in the future to win. They need to be as physical as Duke, and they need to find ways to create open shots, and then when they get the opportunity they need to sink them. If Josh Langford wants to be a successful 2 guard he needs to be able to hit shots consistently. Rebounds and scoring. That’s going to be the biggest needs for the Spartans if they want to live up to the hype that’s been placed on them this season. Turnovers and mental mistakes will be fixed you have my word. Izzo will not put up with that and I have no worries about that.


These two teams will meet up again I can promise that. And when they do, Izzo’s gonna take a win from Coach K. 13 and 2 baby. Izzo’s climbing back. You heard it here first.

UCLA Officially Led the Nation in Steals Before the Season Even Started

Last week, LiAngelo Ball and two teammates were arrested in China for shop lifting. The players have since been released due to the ever so brave negotiation tactics of former television celebrity Donald Trump. His valiant efforts that spared the boys of 10 years (fake news) in prison for shoplifting thankfully have not gone unnoticed. Unless of course you ask Trump himself. Who made sure amidst all of what could be keeping a man like him busy, to acknowledge his own “heroic” efforts.


Spanning to the other end of the Big-Baller Spectrum we find LaVar Ball sitting in silence, a sound he is not much familiar with. LaVar, who is yet to comment on the investigation of his son, mentioned to reporters that he is expecting to have a meeting with Trump sometime in the near future. However, this meeting seems doubtful to occur for two men with such loaded agendas of course. You know, since one man is busy running one of the most powerful organizations in the world, and the other busy pretending to be the President of the United States.

Oh to be a fly on the wall for that meeting. Picture it now. White House staff just finished prepping the oval office for it to welcome the biggestpolitical(?) news channel, ESPN.


First Take on Location: Washington D.C.downloaddownload-1download-2


I’ll digress before I venture too far into the idea of Stephen A. Smith and Donald Trump struggling to land subtle verbal jabs on one another over the loud mouth of the UCLA star’s father.


“They will have to earn their way back,” said Coach Steve Alford of his three recently suspended players. What does this mean?


Well for basketball purposes this means that Steve Alford is pretty pissed about having to sit some of his players for something stupid and something that he couldn’t care less about. Classic coach line to say that they will have to earn it back. Alford’s quote translates almost perfectly to normal fan language as “I’ll wait until things blow over before they play again so I don’t look bad and the school doesn’t get mad at me.” You don’t keep a member of the First Family of Chino Hills on your roster if you’re Steve Alford and UCLA unless you’re looking for any sort of attention you can get. Which is exactly why UCLA was over in China anyway, looking for rich Chinese family’s attention with the hopes of them sending their children over-seas to the prestigious academics of the Pac-12.


And for us? Well it means that we’re now responsible for sitting back and reflecting on how good the next episode of the Kardashian’s Ball’s reality show is going to be when it eventually airs on Facebook. Does this mean UCLA is screwed for this season? Is LiAngelo now going to be the most relevant Ball? It’s too soon to tell for either of those but a few things I do know…


I do know that LaVar Ball has long been the face of the Ball’s big brand. I do know that LaMelo dropped 92 on a bunch of high school kids that none of us can name one time. And I do know that Lonzo is starring in his new role on the Lakers bench. What I didn’t know? That LiAngelo was even part of the family before this stunt.


I’m not saying that I don’t think what you think I’m saying, but stay woke on everyone mistaking this possible conscious decision as an “inexcusable lapse of judgement.”

Keep the Home Plate Umpire on the Field

The abuse of home plate umpires on their strike and ball calls has been a part of baseball forever. These humans that wear masks and pads to protect themselves from a collection of 102 mph Aroldis Chapman fastballs and 90 mph Noah Syndergaard sliders get strikes and balls correct over 90% of the time. Sure, calls like Jim Joyce on Armando Galarraga should not be a part of the game and it isn’t anymore. The current replay system has its flaws but all in all it has worked for the MLB. I simply can’t imagine a world where there wouldn’t be a human set up behind the catcher and calling the game. That is just how we have all grown up watching the game and playing it and the home plate umpire is part of the fun. Imagine if there wasn’t a human back there. Who would Bobby Cox have yelled at every night or Joe Girardi yelled at when A-Rod got drilled by Ryan Dempster. The human element should be part of the game for this reason alone. There aren’t robots calling holding penalties on offensive lines or offside penalties in soccer.


The only possible way that the automated strike zone would seem feasible would be for reviews. What happened when replay first came into the sport? The umpires on the bases didn’t leave the field and let a computer call safe and out. There were replays when coaches didn’t agree with calls. So why can’t the automated strike zone be implemented like this when it is ready. I can see a world where there is a human umpire behind the plate and coaches have a certain amount of strike-ball challenges per game. The call would be simple, replay operators would know right away if the automated strike zone was tracking each pitch. The umpire wouldn’t even have to leave the catcher’s box and a call could be made to him within seconds if a coach chooses to challenge a pitch. Just remember, the human umpire is correct on over 90% of strike-ball calls. There’s no need to change the game just yet, Rob Manfred.

Don't beat yourself up, we know we're right