The Sports Report

A Statistical Take on Sports and Politics

The Boots (October 14, 2008)

Boot Up: Ohio State’s Upcoming Schedule – After back-to-back ugly victories, the Ohio State football team finds itself at 6-1 and as the #13 team in the nation. Are they deserving of such a high ranking this week from the Harris Poll after failing to produce an offensive touchdown against Purdue? That is debatable, but the important aspect of the Buckeyes so highly ranked is that they have two extremely important games in the next two weeks. This week, the Buckeyes take on #18 Michigan State, a team that is 6-1 thus far this season mostly because of the incredible talent of Dayton Chaminade-Julienne graduate Javon Ringer. Their star 5-9 senior running back already has 1,112 yards and 14 touchdowns in seven games this season, and could very well be the first running back selected in the NFL Draft next year. He ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns last week in the Spartans victory over previously unbeaten Northwestern, and had a ridiculous 282 yards in a game against Florida Atlantic earlier this season. This will not be a very easy road game at all for Ohio State, and they must be able to get their offense back on track if they are going to contend with Michigan State for a full 60 minutes. They will not be able to rely upon a “bailout” from Terrelle Pryor as they did in the game against Wisconsin.

After that game this week in East Lansing, the Buckeyes have the extreme pleasure of hosting the #3 Penn State Nittany Lions. Joe Paterno’s crew is standing tall at 7-0 this season, and they look like the most logical team to stop Ohio State in their path to the Rose Bowl in 2008. I know it is not wise to overlook the road game this week against Michigan State, but this one should not be a walk in the park at all either. Senior Derrick Williams was one of the top recruits in the nation coming into Penn State four years ago, but has only just started to blossom for the team this season. In addition, it looks like this team utilized addition by subtraction through the graduation of Anthony Morelli, who had a less than stellar two full years as the starting quarterback. This game will make or break the Ohio State season, as a win in this game could easily propel them back on the national championship radar, along with putting them in line to win the Big Ten. Continue reading

October 14, 2008 Posted by | The Boots | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Outside of Ohio Version of The Boots (October 7, 2008)

Boot Up: Mountain West Conference – This past Thursday night, the #13 team in the nation (according to the Harris Poll) Utah Utes defeated the Oregon State Beavers by the score of 31-28. Senior placekicker Louie Sakoda hit a 37-yard field goal, his third field goal of the night, just as time expired to give Utah the win. Utah managed to come back in this game despite trailing Oregon State, who defeated Southern Cal at home last week, by the score of 28-20 with only 2:18 remaining, and despite producing only 30 yards of offense in the third quarter. After the game, senior quarterback Brian Johnson, in his third full year as the starter, said that, “hands-down, the biggest win of my career.” Jacquizz Rodgers, the outstanding 5-6, 180 pound freshman out of Richmond, TX who punished Southern Cal just last week for 186 yards and two touchdowns was able to gather another 177 yards of total offense with a touchdown, but it was not enough for the Beavers who fell to 2-3 on the season while Utah improved to 6-0.

Why does this game matter in the world of college football? The most obvious connection is that Utah, who will certainly move up in the polls this week because upsets always happen, is right now the second most logical BCS buster. They are flying high at 6-0 with wins over Michigan, UNLV and now Oregon State, but all of their hard work must go into their season finale on November 22 against current #9, and Mountain West leading BYU. In addition to the strength of these two teams, it is important to note that the Mountain West improved to 6-1 this season against the Pac-10. That is not a misprint. Here is the proof: Continue reading

October 6, 2008 Posted by | The Boots | , , | Leave a comment

“Art Street Sports Beat” on 99.5-FM WUDR

I am thrilled to announce that starting this Saturday, September 13th I will have a sports talk radio show on 99.5-FM WUDR here in Dayton, OH. My friend Collin Schmidt from Rochester, New York will be filling in this week for my partner Ron Zeszut, a graduate of St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio. For those outside the Dayton area, you can always listen online anytime at the WUDR website. Click on the link on the left-hand side to “Listen Now,” and follow the instructions of downloading Real Player in order to listen live. Do not hesitate to call the radio station at (937) 229-2774 if you need help listening to the show online.

The following is a rough outline for my first-ever live radio show. So if you are so enlightened, feel free to give me a call at anytime to talk sports, or even ask some political questions. I will be happy to take any callers, and I would be especially thrilled to hear from some people back in Akron:

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September 12, 2008 Posted by | The Boots | , , , | Leave a comment

The Boots (September 2, 2008)

Boot Up: Cleveland Indians recent play – The Cleveland Indians recent ten-game winning streak is a certain sign that things are sure to improve n 2009 for this very young team. Despite this past weekend’s three-game sweep at the hands of the Seattle Mariners, the Indians have played above average baseball throughout the second half of the season. When the Indians traded C.C. Sabathia just after their game on Sunday, July 6th, they had just lost to the Minnesota Twins and fallen to a record of 37-51 in the days before the All-Star break. Since that time, and despite the fact C.C. Sabathia may be a possible Cy Young candidate in the National League (which could include a no-hitter, pending an MLB report on whether or not a lousy infield single is ruled an error from Saturday’s game) the Indians have been 29-19. The Milwaukee Brewers, on the other hand, were 49-39 before the trade, and have been 31-18 since. This shows that since losing their best pitcher, the Indians have played right on track with one of the best teams in the National League: a team that currently has a 94.6% chance of making the playoffs according to Baseball Prospectus.

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September 2, 2008 Posted by | The Boots | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Boots (July 16, 2008)

Boot Up: Oklahoma Outlaws – The Seattle Supersonics are officially moving to Oklahoma City. The newest team in the NBA has a very complicated history, as special clauses in the arrangement between Seattle, and Oklahoma City allow this new team to share the history of the old Sonics. Either way you slice it there is no doubt in my mind that the team name should be the Oklahoma Outlaws. Including the term “City” is very old-fashioned, and if you look at all of the major sports, only Kansas City does such a thing. The team nickname Outlaws is catchy, somewhat modern, original, and is more related to the history of the state than many current team nicknames such as the Utah Jazz, and LA Lakers. The entire process was extremely complicated in moving the Sonics away from their home, and I do not expect this team to compete for a very long time, but it definitely should be interesting to see when the new logos comes out.

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July 16, 2008 Posted by | The Boots | , , , , , , | 1 Comment