Archives for the month of: November, 2015

This week with the Holiday, Devin and I are taking a break from the normal podcasting format and instead we are simply giving our musing in the written form for your enjoyment.  I have decided to eschew the normal column format and instead simply give thanks to what the Bay Area sports scene has given me in the last year.  So without further sidetracking, here are some things from the past year that have put a smile on my face and that I am thankful for:

Competent Ownership

The Warriors finally have an ownership group that seems to understand how to run a team and it has led them to a historic place. Watching basketball in the Bay has never been so fun. After a year of watching 67 wins during the regular season, an MVP from a certain baby faced assassin, and an NBA championship I can’t help but feel lucky. And maybe that is the luck that pundits and opposing teams are talking about when it comes to the Warriors. The luck of having an incredible fan base that showed up no matter what, through wasted lottery picks and traded future stars. The luck of finally, after 35 years of arguably the worst run franchise in NBA history being dealt to owners who could actually build a winning team. The luck of having the best basketball player in the world and the best lineup that may have ever graced an NBA arena (The Warrior Death Squad).  Thank you to competent ownership. (If you want to learn more about what the “lucky” Warrior fans have had to endure over the last 40 years there is a great article in Grantland.

Incompetent Ownership

If the Santa Clara 49ers were any good this year the Bay Area Brothers Sports Podcast could very well get bloated and take up far more time than we should if we still wanted to have an enjoyable listening experience.  Have no fear though, Jed York is here.  Jed very considerately parted ways with the best coach the franchise has had since Walsh.  Not only did he fire him, but he did it in such an underhanded way that it may have broken the confidence of his franchise’s quarterback, caused 4 Pro-bowl caliber players to leave, and eviscerate one of the best coaching staffs at developing talent. So a big heart-felt thank you to incompetent ownership keeping this podcast on track.

The Axe

Stanford won The Big Game again this Saturday and took home The Axe. There is nothing to start off the holiday week quite like beating your bitter rival. It is moments like seeing the sad bumble bee looking Cal fans that puts a smile on my face.

The Cardinal’s vanquishing of the Bears allows me to be candid in just how truly much I hate Cal:

  1. I hope Jared Goff leaves. That he gets picked in the top 5 of the draft and has a successful career and never gets a chance to beat the Cardinal.
  2. I think Goff will have a rough adjustment in the NFL. He is a system quarterback who will need a few years to acclimate to the speed of the pros, and he may never be successful
  3. I hope that Sonny Dykes leaves for a different job. He has just started to see some success with the Bears, and that is just too much success for my liking. I want Sonny to leave, and for the Cal program to be set back another 4 years before they are even competitive in The Big Game Again.
  4. The knee was clearly down and the ball was lateraled forward.

I really big thanks to Cal for losing to Stanford once again and allowing us to keep The Axe.

This

Enough said!

The College Football Playoff

Is it perfect? No, definitely not, but it is better than only picking 2.  It should be eight teams, but that is an issue to discuss when we aren’t giving thanks. The playoff system is so much better than the BCS system that preceded it.  At least now more teams have a chance to prove on the field that they can be the best team in the country. Finally we are seeing that all football knowledge skill is not kept tied up in the deep south.  The SEC is not in-fact the unquestioned best football conference, and now that reputation and voter bias are lessened their unfair reign as college football king seems to be over. So thank you College Football Playoff, now every conference actually gets a fair chance (unless you are the Big 12 it seems).

-Dylan

 

 

The Big Game

In the 118th edition of the Big Game Stanford was able to cruise to a sixth consecutive win. This week the Stanford Cardinal won in peculiar fashion. Cal won the time of possession battle, holding the ball for 31:16, and out gained the Cardinal 495-356. These are very unusual for the Cardinal but this seems to be an anomaly and probably will not become a trend going forward.

Then there is Christian McCaffrey:


The Wildcaff rushed for 192 yards, had a touchdown catch of 49 yards and this kickoff return for a touchdown.

While Stanford did win there is some concern over this defense and specifically this secondary. I think the likes of Terrence Alexander, who had a sound tackling game, Quenton Meeks, and Justin Reid are going to be very good in the coming years. But this past weekend they were exposed a little bit. Cal was able to throw for 397 yards this past game and the experienced Goff took advantage of some youth in the secondary.

It was a sad night for Cal seniors who will have played at Cal never winning the big game. In fact there is only one player from the graduating classes of ’14, ’15, ’16 who has won the Big Game, Brennan Scarlett, who played in his first Big Game this past weekend. Scarlett has performed very well the past couple of weeks and it is great that he was finally able to play in a Big Game.

Notre Dame Game

Looking ahead to this weekend Stanford has one of the toughest opponents on the schedule coming to The Farm. Notre Dame has one of the most talented football teams in the nation. Will Fuller, Tori Hunter Jr., and Corey Robinson are all experienced and talented wide receivers that DeShone Kizer will throw to. The defense is a little banged up but they still have who I believe is the best linebacker in the country in Jaylon Smith. Smith played well against the Cardinal last year and look for him to have a stand out game this time around.

Notre Dame’s roster has loads of NFL talent, but they have been devastated by injuries. The defense has lost some defensive linemen recently, but the biggest loss for this game is running back C.J. Prosise who was injured in last week’s game. Prosise was the engine that ran the Notre Dame offense for most of this season and without him Notre Dame could have difficulty moving the ball.

Stanford’s defense does a very good job of stopping offenses that are one dimensional. Without Prosise Notre Dame might have to simplify their playbook which will play right into Stanford’s strengths as a defense. Kevin Anderson getting healthier every week will improve the pass rush and if Ronnie Harris returns the back end of the defense should be improved.

Prediction:

Christian McCaffery needs 443 all-purpose yards to pass Barry Sanders for the most all-purpose yards in a single season. While at this point it seems that McCaffery will pass Sanders with at least three games still left in the season, McCaffery will have a very good shot at being a Heisman finalist if he gets the record before bowl season. I believe because of Notre Dame’s injuries in their front seven McCaffery will put up monster numbers in this game. I expect him to get more than 200 rushing yards and get close to breaking the single game Stanford record for most all-purpose yards that he set last game.

Stanford 31 Notre Dame 20

College Football Playoff

As we speak the four teams that are in the College Football Playoff are, Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Iowa. At this point I believe that these four teams would make a great playoff. The 2 versus 3 match up would be a clash of historical giants (Alabama and Oklahoma), and in the other semifinal two undefeated football teams that have been able to get the job done each week (Clemson and Iowa).

At this point, unless craziness happens, the Big Ten champion will be in the playoffs, and if Clemson, Oklahoma, and Alabama win out they will also be in. So who is going to be left out, and how could they get in. At this point I believe that five teams outside of the top four have a realistic chance at getting into the playoff.

555d6973b64b59-51359539 Michigan State 

Win out. Michigan State has potentially two games remaining. This week they play Penn State, and if they win they will play Iowa in the Big Ten championship game. If they win out they will be the Big Ten champs and they will be in the playoff.

2004_notre_dame_fighting_irish-alternate-1994 Notre Dame  

Beat Stanford, and then get help. Notre Dame needs either Oklahoma, Alabama, or Clemson to lose. Oklahoma has Oklahoma State to close out they year, Alabama plays Auburn and then Florida, and Clemson plays South Carolina and then North Carolina. If one of these teams has an extra lose on there schedule then they will most likely be in the top four.

baylor-university Baylor

Baylor needs to beat TCU and then Texas. Baylor needs to be the Big 12 champion, which means Oklahoma losses to Oklahoma State. Notre Dame would also have to lose to Stanford, and then Stanford lose to the south champion in the PAC-12 championship game. They also need to have a two lose conference Champion from the Big Ten. This can happen if Ohio State loses to Michigan, and Michigan State loses to Penn State. Then Michigan goes to the Big Ten Championship game where they would have to beat Iowa. They could also have one of either Clemson or Alabama lose. Baylor would have to have some combination of these things to happen to ensure that they get into the playoff.

2000px-2013_ohio_state_buckeyes_logo-svg Ohio State  

Win the Big Ten. This can happen if they beat Michigan, and Michigan State losses to Penn State. And then they beat Iowa in the championship game. This might be enough for the defending national champion, with the most talent of the roster to get an invite to the playoff. A lose from the teams ahead of them would also contribute to their likelihood of getting in.

stanford_logo Stanford    

Win out. As PAC-12 Champions Stanford would have a really good resume, and I believe they are realistically the only two lose team that has a chance to make the playoff. If Oklahoma losses to Oklahoma State, and either a 1 loss Iowa or a two loss Michigan wins the Big Ten Stanford probably gets into the playoff. Baylor could also have a chance in this scenario.

There are many things that are still to be determined, and with two weeks remaining in the college football season a couple of things are for sure. There are going to be some exciting finishes. The final weeks are going to be fun to watch. And anything can happen.

Why Draymond Green Deserves to be in the conversation for MVP

We all know that Steph Curry is right now the front runner for MVP and according to Harrison Barnes could also win the Most Improved Player Award as well. But there is another player on the warriors that deserves to be in the conversation for MVP as well, it is Draymond Green.

According to Basketball Reference’s MVP award tracker Draymond is currently 4th in probability of winning MVP. While he has a 1.6% chance of winning the award Russel Westbrook, second place, only has 4.2% chance at this point of winning the award. Westbrook, Green, and all the other stars in the league have such a low probability at this point because Steph Curry is just that good.

Steph Curry hands down is the best player in the NBA right now, and he deserves the MVP without a doubt, but Draymond Green should also be on the ballot. Draymond has stepped up his game on the offensive end of the court. Green’s true shooting percentage (TS%) is .605 up from the .540 that he had last year. He is making more threes per game (1.7 this year-1.4 last year) while taking less threes per game (3.9 this year- 4.2 last year). So it is clear that Draymond has become much more efficient shooting the ball.

Draymond has also developed into a great passer. True his turnovers have increased this year, that is to be expected when handling the ball as much as he does. But his assists have drastically increased from last year, and he is pushing the ball quickly down the floor on fast breaks which shows that he understands what the Warriors want to do.

Draymond is probably going to be an all-star this year. It might also be the time to start thinking of him as an MVP candidate as well.

-Devin

This week the brothers discuss the disappointing performance by the Stanford Cardinal against the Oregon ducks last Saturday.  After coping with the loss of playoff hopes they move on to discuss the College Football Playoff as well as an in depth discussion of the greater trends and topics in the National Basketball Association.

 

This week The Brothers embark on a discussion that meanders through various topics that abound in the sporting world this week.  The College Football picture and where the Stanford Cardinal sit in relation to the rest of the country is also discussed.  The 49ers and Raiders are briefly touch upon as well as the recent political activism by the Missouri Tigers.

The Brothers discuss Stanford’s recent travels to Pullman and Washington State.  Stanford dug deep to pull out a come from behind win against the Cougars.  Also the College Football Playoff released its first rankings and the Brothers discuss how wrong they are.   Also the young NBA season is discussed along with Steph Curry’s sensational start.