Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 2:25 AM
THE SUPER BOWL 50 "FALLOUT"…
PLUS OUR YEAR-END NFL POINTSPREAD CHART…
AND COLLEGE BASKETBALL'S MID-WEEK REPORT
Let's face it
It has taken a day or two to fully digest that slop-fest Super Bowl 50 win by the Denver Broncos over the Carolina Panthers last Sunday night in Santa Clara but it surely didn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the "3 Stars" of that game were – in some order – Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, Broncos' MVP linebacker Von Miller and fellow OLB DeMarcus Ware.
The Broncos' take-no-prisoners 24-10 triumph won't go down in history as one of the top 10 Super Bowls even though the media went completely overboard with the whole Peyton Manning Saga bit – and it did remind us that 10 years ago we predicted here that the Manning Brothers would combine for five Super Bowl wins in the next 10 years and so four SB crowns in that time wasn't so bad, eh?
Still, our Jim Sez column today puts a bow on the whole NFL 2015 season/post-season and so that means dealing with some of the "fallout" from SB 50:
First off, the Manning Factor.
Hey, there's no two ways about it, the soon-to-be-40-year-old will be shown the door even if he might have an inclination to return (he does not!) and so that means we'll have a defending Super Bowl champion with long-time back-up Brock Osweiler at the helm and don't you just know the Broncos are tickled pink that he got to start in six games this year. Folks, right now we'd put Osweiler in the upper crust – that's somewhere in the top half of the league's 32 starting quarterbacks – and that might surprise you but the kid can chuck it and he has real leadership skills. Simply put, this wound up being a win-win-win situation for the Broncos who snagged their first Super Bowl crown in 17 years, were able to send Manning out in style and have a QB-ready guy who this teams loves ready to roll in 2016.
Secondly, the losing Panthers must avoid the knee-jerk reaction that it has to do a major overhaul following the rotten showing in Super Bowl 50 – true, the NFC champions must shore up the offensive tackle positions after melting down against Messers. Miller and Ware but Carolina only needs to do some tweaking at the other positions including wide receiver where out-for-the-year WR Kelvin Benjamin will be back in 2016 after knee surgery last August. Perhaps, the Panthers should look to lap up a free agent wide out next month but this organization should not put a wrecking ball to this roster. Got it?.
Finally, here's some commentary on the "fallout" after watching the whole Super Bowl… commercials, halftime, post-game, etc.
It's high time to getting back to the game and – heaven forbid – cutting back commercial time as all those dopey ads disrupted the rhythm and flow of Super Bowl 50 and we had a tough time just getting through a first quarter that took nearly a full hour in real time to finish.
Can we simply make the game the star? Can we ditch the halftime junk once and for all (and thus keep the halftime break to the usual 15 minutes)? All the commercialism for the big game has gotten sickening with pizza face Papa John kissing Manning at game's end, talk of a major beer company and all the other "not-so-subtle" hints have hurt the game… trust us, it's time to give the Super Bowl back to the true fans of the NFL, not the geeks of Madison Avenue and not the moronic "casual fans" who make Super Sunday some silly holiday.
Here's the top choices from Las Vegas to win Super Bowl LI in Houston next year (all based on $100 per play):
|TEAM||ODDS TO WIN SB 51|
And now hear this…
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FINAL NFL 2015 POINTSPREAD STANDINGS
THE COLLEGE HOOPS REPORT
Don't know about you but just a quickie glance at the top teams in this week's Associated Press Top 25 poll and, well, it doesn't "feel" like we're talking about Final Four-type teams. Okay, it's a big leap to claim the #1 thru #4 teams in the current AP poll are gonna be those teams we watch in the Final Four this spring but you get the idea.
Guess what we're saying is when you check out the current rankings right at the top, there is no Kentucky, no North Carolina, no Duke, no Kansas and no Michigan State. Something just doesn't "feel right"… know what we mean?
Anyway, here's the current AP top four teams and what lies ahead for 'em:
#1 VILLANOVA (20-3, 10-1 Big East) – Maybe Wildcats Nation doesn't wish to hear this but playing in a watered-down Big East Conference only hurts Jay Wright's crew as they embark on what the school hopes will be the first title in 31 years. Think playing a half-dozen games against the likes of Marquette, DePaul and St. John's is really helping the competitive feel for 'Nova? We don't. One thing that has been making the rounds later is the notion that Villanova could be "home" for majority of the post-season what with the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City, then there's first- and second-round NCAA Tournament games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and then Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games in Philadelphia ... would the muckety-muck NCAA Tourney folks really allow that to happen?
#2 MARYLAND (21-3, 10-2 Big 10) – The Terrapins are a dynamic hoops team with five double-digit scorers and a really respected sideline boss in Mark Turgeon but, sorry, they don't (at least to us) give off the shine of a Final Four team. Still, Maryland could wind up with 30 wins even before the "Big Dance" starts next month as the upcoming sked isn't overly challenging (there are road games at Purdue and at Indiana) and yet we're hard-pressed to remember a team that's gonna head into the NCAAs with, let's say, 28 or 30 wins and them not feeling like a modern-day Goliath.
#3 OKLAHOMA (20-3, 8-3 Big 12) – Now, here's a team that feels as if it could be Final Four timber. The OU Sooners, after all, sport the lead-pipe cinch National Player of the Year in G Buddy Hield (25.7 ppg) and all those big, prime-time games that Lon Kruger's club has played in should toughen up the Norman gang for a major run this year but leave it to yours truly to pour some cold water on this potential victory parade as Oklahoma could have trouble cranking out a winning record in the final seven regular-season games that incudes Saturday's home tilt and that might damage the tourney seed. Stay tuned.
#4 IOWA (19-4, 10-1 Big 10) – The Hawkeyes are on a major roll with 12 wins in their last 13 games (only the 74-68 loss at Maryland on Jan. 28th spoiled the past two months for the black-and-gold) and they rank inside the top 25 nationally in scoring (80.7 ppg) and in the top 50 in scoring defense (allowing 67.4 ppg) but do you think Final Four right away when you consider Fran McCaffery's squad? We don't. Iowa does have road games at Indiana and at Michigan in the final few weeks of play and either game could "expose" the 'Eyes but what generally feels like a Sweet 16-type team now has folks thinking bigger-and-better based on the current rankings, and that might be a leap in faith that won't come true.
NOTE: More College Hoops plus we close in on the NBA All-Star Game break with Report Cards later this week right here at Jim Sez.