Thursday, December 18, 2014

Updated NFL Standings, Current and Proposed

Continuing the weekly update of what the playoff picture should be. In short, in the NFC, the East and South would form a division and the West and North would form the other. In the AFC, the East and North would be one division and the West and South would be the other.

Here are the updated standings: actual and new. If the playoffs began today, the AFC playoffs would look like this:
Byes: 1) NE 11-3; 2) Den 11-3.
Home playoff games: 3) Ind 10-4; 4) Cin 9-4-1.
Road playoff games: 5) Pit 9-5; 6) Bal 9-5.

AFC playoffs in the new format:
Byes: 1) NE 11-3; 2) Den 11-3.
Home playoff games: 3) Ind 10-4; 4) Cin 9-4-1.
Road playoff games: 5) Pit 9-5; 6) Bal 9-5.

The AFC playoffs are fair all around as of now. One thing we miss out with the current format is division races. In the North/East, Cincy would be a game back of New England. In the South/West, Denver would be only a game up on Indy- instead, both have clinched their division titles.


If the playoffs began today, the NFC playoffs would look like this:
Byes: 1) Ari 11-3; 2) Det 10-4.
Home playoff games: 3) Dal 10-4; 4) NO 6-8.
Road playoff games: 5) Sea 10-4; 6) GB 10-4.

NFC playoffs in the new format:
Byes: 1) Ari 11-3; 2) Dal 10-4.
Home playoff games: 3) Det 10-4; 4) Sea 10-4.
Road playoff games: 5) GB 10-4; 6) Phi 9-5.

In the NFC, there are clearly 6 top teams. They won't all get in under the current format. In the new format, they all would make it in.

It would be exciting to see where all 6 teams wind up. They could all finish with road games in the Wild Card round or byes. Unfortunately, we've been stripped of that possibility. Instead, one of the six will be unfairly excluded and an inferior team from the NFC South will make it in.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The New NFL Division Format Update

Continuing the weekly update of what the playoff picture should be. In short, in the NFC, the East and South would form a division and the West and North would form the other. In the AFC, the East and North would be one division and the West and South would be the other.

Here are the updated standings: actual and new. If the playoffs began today, the AFC playoffs would look like this:
Byes: 1) NE 10-3; 2) Den 10-3.
Home playoff games: 3) Ind 9-4; 4) Cin 8-4-1.
Road playoff games: 5) Pit 8-5; 6) SD 8-5.

AFC playoffs in the new format:
Byes: 1) NE 10-3; 2) Den 10-3.
Home playoff games: 3) Ind 9-4; 4) Cin 8-4-1.
Road playoff games: 5) Pit 8-5; 6) SD 8-5.

Things are as they should be in the AFC at the moment. The big difference between the current system and the new system is with the new division alignment, there would be a lot more up in the air, which makes for more drama. Currently, only one of the four division races in the AFC is closer than two games. In the new alignment, Cincy would be a game and a half back of New England for the North/East lead. In the South/West, Denver would be up only one game on Indy.


If the playoffs began today, the NFC playoffs would look like this:
Byes: 1) Ari 10-3; 2) GB 10-3.
Home playoff games: 3) Phi 9-4; 4) Atl 5-8.
Road playoff games: 5) Sea 9-4; 6) Det 9-4.

NFC playoffs in the new format:
Byes: 1) Ari 10-3; 2) Phi 9-4.
Home playoff games: 3) GB 10-3; 4) Sea 9-4.
Road playoff games: 5) Det 9-4; 6) Dal 9-4.

In the NFC, there are clearly 6 best teams. They won't all get in under the current format. In the new format, they all would make it in.

There is one way the new format is less than fair than the current one (and many ways that it's far more fair). Green Bay and Arizona would both be in the same division, so only one would get a bye. Philly would be up in the South/East, so Philly would currently be in line for the other bye. That isn't fair, because Green Bay currently has a better record than Philly, but it's a hell of a lot more fair than Atlanta getting in and one of the 9-4 teams not making it.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Justice and Humanity

I’m angry about the way our society values the lives of black men. It’s not only an issue of police brutality and racial profiling. Our culture portrays black men as a threat and that perception seeps into our subconscious. I know it does for me.

All Americans, but especially we as white people need to recognize our own unintentional prejudices. We can’t keep on resting on our personal relationships with black people to absolve us our responsibility to confront our own prejudices. The question should not be: how do we treat our black friends or family, but how do we view the black stranger on the street?

If we view the black stranger with anything less than the full humanity in which we view others, then we must acknowledge that fact and vow to change. I acknowledge it and I vow to change. Our disregard for black men’s lives is a societal issue, but we must do better as individuals. Amadou Diallo, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and many others are gone, but the lives of countless other black men depend upon our self-analysis.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

NFL Realignment Update

Continuing the weekly update of what the playoff picture should be. In short, in the NFC, the East and South would form a division and the West and North would form the other. In the AFC, the East and North would be one division and the West and South would be the other.

Here are the updated standings: actual and new. If the playoffs began today, the AFC playoffs would look like this:
Byes: 1) NE 9-3; 2) Den 9-3.
Home playoff games: 3) Cin 8-3-1; 4) Ind 8-4.
Road playoff games: 5) SD 8-4; 6) Mia 7-5.

AFC playoffs in the new format:
Byes: 1) NE 9-3; 2) Den 9-3.
Home playoff games: 3) Cin 8-3-1; 4) Ind 8-4.
Road playoff games: 5) SD 8-4; 6) Mia 7-5.

Things are pretty fair in the AFC at the moment. The one big difference the new format would improve is the Colts would be in the thick of the playoff chase. They would be ahead of San Diego using the 5th tie-breaker and would be only a game ahead of the six teams tied at 7-5. As it stands in the current format, they're two games ahead of Houston for the South division lead.

The race for the division titles would also be more interesting. New England would be a half game ahead of Cincy. Denver would be a game up on Indy and San Diego. Division winners would get a bye.


If the playoffs began today, the NFC playoffs would look like this:
Byes: 1) Ari 9-3; 2) GB 9-3.
Home playoff games: 3) Phi 9-3; 4) Atl 5-7.
Road playoff games: 5) Sea 8-4; 6) Det 8-4.

NFC playoffs in the new format:
Byes: 1) Ari 9-3; 2) Phi 9-3.
Home playoff games: 3) GB 9-3; 4) Sea 8-4.
Road playoff games: 5) Det 8-4; 6) Dal 8-4.

The NFC in 2014 is the reason why the NFL should change. It's pretty simple; Atlanta is 5-7 and doesn't deserve to make the playoffs. They'd be in a 5-way tie for 8th in the new alignment, 3 games out of playoff position. Instead, one team is going to get screwed royally. Right now, Dallas loses a three-way tie for the 5th and 6th spots in the current NFL format. San Fran is 7-5 and could also be the screwed team. In the new format, all of the 8-4 teams are in with San Fran a game out, as it should be.

The NFC North and West division in the new format would be quite exciting. Arizona and Green Bay would be tied at 9-3 for first with Seattle and Detroit just a game back. Arizona and Seattle would play each other twice and so would Green Bay and Detroit. Arizona and Seattle would each play Detroit and Green Bay once in the new alignment. Think about all of the high-level football to decide a division!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

NFL Realignment Update

Last week was the first time this year, I showed what the playoffs would look like with a simple realignment. Each conference would have two divisions. Each team would play the three other teams in their current division twice and the four new teams in their division once. The AFC East and North would be one division and the South and West would be another. In the NFC, the East and South would be one division and the West and North would be the other.

Here are the updated standings: actual and new. If the playoffs began today, the AFC playoffs would look like this:
Byes: 1) NE 9-2; 2) Den 8-3.
Home playoff games: 3) Cin 7-3-1; 4) Ind 7-4.
Road playoff games: 5) KC 7-4; 6) SD 7-4.

AFC playoffs in the new format:
Byes: 1) NE 9-2; 2) Den 8-3.
Home playoff games: 3) Cin 7-3-1; 4) Pit 7-4.
Road playoff games: 5) Ind 7-4; 6) KC 7-4.

There are six teams in the AFC tied at 7-4. In the NFL, tie-breakers involving three or more teams are essentially come down to conference record, although ties are first broken within the division, which is weird. For the new format, I simply broke the ties with conference record. Pit and Indy are both 6-3 in the conference and since Pit beat Indy, they are in the 4th spot. KC and SD are both 5-3 and KC beat SD earlier this year.

In the NFL's format, Indy has a comfortable lead for the fourth spot because the next best team in their division is 5-6.


If the playoffs began today, the NFC playoffs would look like this:
Byes: 1) Ari 9-2; 2) GB 8-3.
Home playoff games: 3) Phi 8-3; 4) Atl 4-7.
Road playoff games: 5) Dal 8-3; 6) Sea 7-4.

NFC playoffs in the new format:
Byes: 1) Ari 9-2; 2) Phi 8-3.
Home playoff games: 3) GB 8-3; 4) Dal 8-3.
Road playoff games: 5) Sea 7-4; 6) Det 7-4.

The Atlanta situation is embarrassing for the NFL. It simply wouldn't happen in the new format. The NFC shows the vast superiority of the new format.

The GB, Philly, Dal tie was broken by first determining the leader of the East-South division. Philly has a better division record than Dallas. GB has a better conference record than Dal and thus is in the third spot.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New NFL Format Standings are Back Again

Back again is my attempt to make the NFL playoffs and seedings far more fair. Check out last season's final standings. We combine the AFC East and AFC North into one division. The AFC West and AFC South will be in another. The division winner earn byes.

The NFC East and the NFC South will be in one division and the NFC North and West will be in the other.

Each team will play their current division foes twice every year and the four new teams in the division once. For example, the Buffalo Bills will still face the Patriots, Dolphins, and Jets twice a year, but will face the Ravens, Browns, Bengals, and Steelers once a year. Four games will be played against teams in the other conference in the same way they are now. And the other two games will be based on last season's record.

Here are the updated standings: actual and new. If the playoffs began today, the AFC playoffs would look like this:
Byes: 1) NE 8-2; 2) Den 7-3.
Home playoff games: 3) Cin 6-3-1; 4) Ind 6-4.
Road playoff games: 5) KC 7-3; 6) Pit 7-4.

AFC playoffs in the new format:
Byes: 1) NE 8-2; 2) Den 7-3.
Home playoff games: 3) KC 7-3; 4) Cin 6-3-1.
Road playoff games: 5) Pit 7-4 ; 6) Mia 6-4.

For the second year in a row, the current NFL format rewards the Colts for being in a weak division and hurts Kansas City for sharing a division with Denver. In the new format, five teams would be tied for the sixth spot. Miami has the best conference record of the five.


If the playoffs began today, the NFC playoffs would look like this:
Byes: 1) Ari 9-1; 2) Det 7-3.
Home playoff games: 3) Phi 7-3; 4) Atl 4-6.
Road playoff games: 5) GB 7-3; 6) Dal 7-3.

NFC playoffs in the new format:
Byes: 1) Ari 9-1; 2) Phi 7-3.
Home playoff games: 3) Det 7-3; 4) GB 7-3.
Road playoff games: 5) Dal 7-3; 6) SF 6-4.

This is exactly the scenario the new format is designed to prevent. Right now, Atlanta would get a home playoff game, despite having a 4-6 record. It is simply unfair. In the new format, Atlanta would be in a five-way tie for eighth place.Realistically, any division-winning team in the current NFC South will have to go at least 5-1 to finish with a winning record.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Game 7: An Ace in the Hole

The scoring in Game 7 ended early. In the second inning, Jeremy Guthrie plunked Pablo Sandoval, who went 3 for 3. Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt both singled, which loaded the bases. Michael Morse and Brandon Crawford hit sac flies to give the Giants a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, Billy Butler singled off of Tim Hudson. Alex Gordon doubled him in. Salvador Perez was hit by a pitch. Gordon made it the third and Omar Infante his a sac fly tying the game at 2. Hudson was removed for Jeremy Affeldt, who pitched two and a third innings of scoreless ball.

In the third, the Giants went away softly, but the Royals continued to put pressure. Lorenzo Cain singled off of Affeldt. Eric Hosmer pulled a scorcher. Second baseman Joe Panik dove and started a memorable double play, which killed Kansas City's momentum.

After singled by Sandoval and Pence in the fourth, Guthrie was lifted for Kelvin Herrera with one out. Herrera pitched well, throwing two and two-thirds innings and striking out four, but a single to Michael Morse scored Sandoval in the fourth. The Giants led 3-2.

Madison Bumgarner entered for the Giants in the fifth. Most figured he'd give San Francisco about an inning or so. Instead, his performance was one of the most impressive and clutch in recent baseball history. In five innings, after a pitching a shutout in Game 5, he gave up two hits and struck out four.

Bumgarner won the World Series MVP and the Giants captured their third championship in five seasons.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Game 6: A Blowout and a Game 7

The Kansas City Royals allowed fans to cancel any non-baseball plans the for the tomorrow night with a seven run second inning. When it was all over, the Royals had won 10-0.

Lorenzo Cain knocked in three runs and Eric Hasmer added two more. The three and four hitters combined to go 4 for 8 with 2 walks. Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer off Hunter Strickland in the seventh.

In addition to Kansas City's bats coming alive, young Yordani Ventura shut down the Giants in seven innings, only giving up three hits. The Giants were not as fortunate on the hill. Jake Peavy was credited with giving up five runs. Yusmeiro Petit gave up two and so did Jean Machi.

This will be the first Game 7 of the World Series since 2002.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014-15 NBA Predictions

East
Out in first round: Toronto, Washington, Miami, Brooklyn
Out in Eastern semis: New York, Charlotte
Eastern Finals: Cleveland over Chicago 4-2

West
Out in first round: Memphis, Denver, Dallas, Houston
Out in Western semis: San Antonio, OKC
Western Finals: LA Clippers over Golden State 4-3

NBA Finals
LA Clippers over Cleveland 4-2

Monday, October 27, 2014

Game 5 - A Masterpiece

The Giants' Madison Bumgarner continued his incredible World Series run. He pitched nine shutout innings in Game 5. he struck out eight and only allowed four hits.

James Shields, who has had a difficult postseason, finally settled down. He gave up a couple of singles int he second inning that led to an RBI groundout by Brandon Crawford. In the fourth, a couple of singles led to a Crawford RBI hit. Shields went six innings and only gave up those two runs.

Kelvin Herrera pitched a scoreless seventh, but struggled in the eight. Wade Davis, who has a microscopic ERA, finally showed he was human in the same inning. Pinch-hitter Juan Perez doubled in two off Davis. Crawford got his third RBI of the game later in the inning.

The Giants won 5-0 and took a 302 series lead heading back to Kansas City.