Lindsey Vonn Retires

Lindsey Vonn was born in Minnesota, got her start  skiing from a venue called Buck  Hill. It truly was just a hill, having only a 300 ft. elevation. She was an active participant in the Minnesota ski scene, being a member of the Buck Hill ski team. She won a lot on the local scene, and decided to test herself against the best, the US had to offer.

She eventually moved to Colorado, where she began to hone her skills, on the best ski venues, in Colorado. She developed into a US Superstar. She eventually headed to Europe to ski against the best in the world. She began competing successfully on the best venues in  the world accomplishing the following resume:

  • 82 World Cup victories. The most by any women in history.

  • 14 World Cup Season victories.

  • She won in every ski discipline. Only women to do so.

  • 214 Top Ten finishes. A women’s record.

  • She won one Olympic Gold Medal in the 2010 Olympics, becoming the first American, to win an Olympic downhill race  in history.

  • She won an additional 3 bronzes, while competing in 4 Olympics.

Vonn will always be defined as aggressive & fearless. In her later years she showed the competitiveness along with the will & commitment, she made to return to the world ski scene. following many of her spectacular crashes.

It’s hard to believe that a girl born and raised on the flat roaming countryside in Minnesota, would arguably become the best skier of all-time. We in Minnesota are proud to claim her as our GOAT.

College Basketball Analytics Need Analyzing

 

I recently read about a new evaluation tool, for the NCAA to help determine the participants, in the annual NCAA Basketball Tourney. The new tool is called the NET. Here is what will factor into the NET:

  1. Game results

  2. Net offensive and defensive efficiency

  3. Winning percentage

  4. Adjusted winning percentage

  5. Scoring Margin (capped at ten points per game)

A NCAA Vice President, said it’s going to be a great opportunity, for the committee, to have a modern and more contemporary and sophisticated metric, to use as the primary metric, in the process to evaluate teams.

Many coaches have expressed their feeling that NET almost forces you to strive for big winning margins. To move up in NET you have to have wins with an excess of at least 10 points. A good quality win, against a ranked team, under 10 points is not counted in the system.

Using the University of Minnesota as an example. They are currently the number #50 in the NET process, yet they rank #33 in the RPI. Look at the discrepancy. That would be the difference, between being a number 7 seed, and probably a 11 or 12 seed. While the Gophers are 16-5, Indiana is 12-10 having lost 8 in  row. Indiana is # 48 in the NET and # 66 in RPI. Under the new system, Indiana would go to the big dance, before Minnesota. So much for using analytics to improve the system. We may as well select teams for the big dance, by the team colors.

 

 

 

Rams vs. Saints: It ain’t Over Yet!

This past week, all the local sports talk shows, couldn’t get enough  chatter, about the controversial non call in the Rams- Saints game.

Let me set it up for you:

The game is tied at 17. There is a little under 2 minutes left, in the 4th quarter. The Saints are driving, with 3rd down and 10 from the Rams 12. Brees throws a pass at the the goal line to Tommylee  Lewis. It appears to be easily caught, when he gets creamed, in a helmet to helmet tackle, by Nickell Robey- Coleman. That brings up 4th down and the Saints kick a 33 yard field goal, and take a 23-20 lead with under 2 minutes. Everyone in the Saints stadium, felt it was pass  interference. All the Rams felt it was a PI, including Robey-Coleman. The NFL admitted it was a blown call.

Conventional wisdom would be, that had the call been made, it would have been 1 st and ten from the 12. Brees could take 3 knees and chew up a minute and a half, then kick the field goal, for a 3 point advantage, the kickoff giving the Rams under 30 seconds, to tie the game with a field goal.

As I mentioned, there was a lot of conversation, about this. The senator from LA has filed suit against the NFL. There has been talk of a boycott. Every sportswriter in the country has expressed their opinion.

There was a lot of betters who lost big on the no call. Some of those betters are unsavory vicious characters.

The NFL and their glorious leader Goodell, always say, the key to solving all the controversial plays, is to get it right. That was the reason for initiating challenges, then expanded to the official review, in New York.

My two cents worth, sez: Play another playoff game. Big money for NFL and the teams. Let the play on the field decide who goes to the Super Bowl, instead of a board room decision.

Vikings 2019 Forecast: Conflict

viking imagesKU2705H5I get so sick of the media, not reporting truthful stories, but not lying, just not telling the whole story. An example would be, when an NFL  General Manager is fired, here’s the story: General Manager of the white knights  and the owner mutually agreed, to end his contract, and wish him well in his future endeavors.

A perfect example, is the hiring of Gary Kubiak, by the Minnesota Vikings. The stories all seem to indicate that, Zimmer put the deal together. My guess is Ziggy made the hire, and jammed it down Zimmers throat.

Who do think hired Klint Kubiak, as quarterbacks coach? Who do think hired Rick Dennison, as O-Line coach? Who do think hired Brian Pariani as tight ends coach? These should have been positions hired by Kevin Stefanski, but we all know they weren’t. I’ll bet Zimmer cringed  as well. They were part of the terms necessary, to bring in Gary Kubiak’s army. All these coaches have 20  plus years experience with Kubiak. Remember Stefanski’s has no experience as an offensive coordinator.

After digesting the above, who do you think, will be the lead, in developing a new offensive strategy?

Then think, who has the most Super Bowl victories, Kubiak or Zimmer?

I can’t believe the Vikings would enter into this relationship, knowing  the conflicts, that will occur. The writing is definitely on the wall for Zimmer.

Minnesota Gophers Program Mediocrity

national-signing-day-2018-commits-recruits-news-rumors

This past week was national Signing Day for High School Football players. Gophers coach PJ Fleck was talking of his excitement,with the recruits he was able to sign.  He signed 23 recruits, of which only one was a 4 star recruit.

Flecks inability to attract 4 & 5 star athletes, keeps them in the same state, they have been in since 1967. They will win a couple of Big Ten games a year , against other teams that are of the same caliber.

Most would agree, that athletes win games, not coaches. So when you see the major college teams, and their number of 4 & 5 star recruits, it is pretty evident, who is going to lead their conferences, and vie for the college playoffs, now and in  the future.

 

Here is a  ranking of the nations colleges, and the number of 4 star &5 star recruits, they have signed.

  • Alabama……….25

  • Georgia…………19

  • Texas A & M….14

  • LSU……………….13

  • Oregon………….12

  • Oklahoma……..14

  • Clemson………..12

  • Michigan……….16

  • Texas…………….13

  • Penn State……..17

  • Auburn…………..11

  • Ohio State………11

  • Notre Dame……15

  • Florida State…..10

  • Washington……12

  • Minnesota………1

It’s not just making a list for conversations, on all the sports talk shows. In realty, the best, just keep getting better. An example would be Alabama. If they got 20 plus, 5 star recruits per year, that would mean 80 on the team. As a player, you would play against the best everyday in practice, making you better everyday.

Staying on Alabama, teams coming into Tuscaloosa are intimidated when they walk on the field, and see Saban walking the sidelines and Tua warming up. A lot of the Alabama guys are TV stars now, and you can’t help but watch them.

My recommendation to the gophers, is to concentrate on the 4 & 5’s to begin building a base, and dont’ spend too much time, on the 3’s. The ones you get, can’t be much worse than previous 3’s.

The Bison Deserve Some Ink

Being an alum of NDSU, I can’t help but notice, the lack of respect that the Bison get, from the Star Tribune.

A little background:

  • The Bison have won 6 of the last 7 national championships in FCS Divison football.

  • They have the longest winning streak, in college football; at 19.

  • They  beat the Big Ten’s Minnesota Golden Gophers the last time they met.

  • They have more Minnesotans on their roster than the Golden Gophers.

  • In the recent college signing period the Bison got 18 letters of intent, to the Gophers 3, from Minnesota’s top 100 footballers.

  • Believe me when I say, there is more interest in Minneapolis & St. Paul, for the weekly Bison game, than there is for the Gopher game.

Given those facts, you’d think the Star Tribune would at least list their upcoming games, in their listing, of all upcoming college and pro games. They list St. Johns, Mary Hardin, Alabama-Birmingham, Middle Tennessee, but no Bison. We have go to the NDSU website, or to the award winning Fargo Forum, to get the game times

As a real kicker; how many ESPN Game Days have the Golden Gophers, or St. Johns, or Mary Hardin, or Alabama – Birmingham had in the past 3 years. The Bison have had 2.

The Vikings:Useless in Seattle

From the opening drive, you could see the Vikings didn’t come to play. They looked like they had all, received a roofy (date drug), on the ride to the stadium..

Let me set the scene: The Vikings must win this game to get into the playoffs. They have been working on this football stuff since July. They basically are the healthiest, they have been all season. They signed a $ 84 million dollar quarterback, to perform in these situations. There is an open battle between Coach Zimmer, Offensive coordinator DeFillippo, and quarterback Cousins on how to play the game. Unfortunately, DeFillippo is the odd man out. So he gets fired, the day after the game, but Zimmer and Speilman stay.

Zimmer tells DeFillippo he wants more running plays, so DePhillippo utilizes more running plays. They aren’t successful so DeFillippo gets canned for doing what he was told to do. What gives?

The Vikings – Seahawk game was deplorable, with the Vikings getting their butts whipped.

Why?
1. The Vikings aren’t as good as we thought they were.
2. Cousins looked lost and tentative.
3. The play calling was horrendous.
4. Cousins missed two open receivers for touchdowns.
5. They could not convert 3rd downs.
6. They could not convert 4th and ones.
7. Neither Diggs or Theilen caught a meaningfull pass, til late in the fourth.
8. The $84 million man looked like $ 84.00.

But most embarrassing, came when one of the Seattle defenders, came off the field, and was running up and down the sidelines, saying excitedly ” They can’t run, they can’t pass, they don’t know what to do!!”.

Welcome to the world of the Minnesota Vikings.