Weekly Sports Blogger Debate – Top 5 Sports Questions of the Week:
We’ve asked some of our favorite bloggers the top 5 sports questions of the week to have a fun debate! Thanks to Dave, Tyler and Rob for joining Steveo in the debate!
What do you think? Give your opinion below!
1. Who will win the AFC North and why?
The Ravens have been playing very well lately, so I have to go with them. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes either way.
Baltimore. They swept the Steelers and have a better division record, so Ravens have the tiebreakers. Steelers need to win out (STL, @CLE) and get help to win the division, in my opinion. Ravens host Cleveland (a sure win) this weekend, then go to Cincinnati.
Ravens, because they are playing much better now and seem to have a better balance. Plus, as we saw Monday night, Big Ben is not fully healthy and that’s a big blow to the Steelers.
I say the Steelers end up with the division due to an assist by the Bengals in week 17.
2. Did the Rangers overpay for Yu Darvish?
I think it’s always a risk when teams pull in players from Japan and other countries because of the transition in so many areas. Considering that when all is said and done, Darvish will likely cost the team over $100 million, I think they may have gone a little high.
Of course they did. That’s how the system is rigged. Darvish has dominated in Japan, but that’s the equivalent of high Double-A/low Triple-A competition. I’m always wary of the high-priced, big name international free agents, whether it’s Japan, Cuba, whereever. The level of competition is just nowhere close to the states, so you don’t know how much success is due to the player’s talent level or lack thereof of the competition. Darvish will be fascinating to watch, if he indeed signs a contract with the Rangers. All Texas has done so far is win the rights to negotiate with him. Getting him under contract is another thing entirely.
These are all relative… we’ll find out as the season begins.
No, Darvish will come with a big price tag, but it wouldn’t shock me if he ends up the best pitcher from this free agent class. Losing Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson in back to back years hurt Texas and they needed to make a statement.
3. As College Bowl games are underway, which big Conference will have the best winning percentage?
There are so many interesting match ups to look out for this bowl season, but the Big 12 may have an upper hand on the rest of the field. They do traditionally well in bowl games, and a high-powered offense (which has become a staple for these teams) is always a plus in big games.
Honestly, who knows and who really cares at this point? College football conferences are a big, unfunny joke anymore. For all the whining college presidents have done defending the BCS and college bowl traditions, the way they’ve carved up the conferences to create these “superconferences” is shameful. Boise St. in the Big East? Pathetic.
SEC – simply because they both teams in the championship game… maybe that’s flawed logic, but it’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
I’ll say the Big 10 ends up with the best winning percentage, I think they have a couple real favorable matchups.
4. What NBA team will be most improved in this shortened season?
I don’t follow the NBA very closely, but from a general fan’s POV, I would always look out for the Cavs. They have a lot to prove and not much to lose.
Hard not to say the Los Angeles Clippers, eh? Chris Paul automatically makes this team downright scary. He comes in to run the show around an already blossoming group including Blake Griffin, big man DeAndre Jordan, and natural wing scorer Caron Butler, picked up in free agnecy. The Clippers also have two former all-star point gaurds (Chauncy Billups and Mo Williams) as trade chips to land another scorer or big body to help Jordan down low.
L.A. Clippers… they’ve got lots of new players that seem to have them heading in the right direction, and there’s certainly an opening in the West.
I think it will be the Clippers, in addition to Paul and Griffin, I think DeAndre Jordan is ready to take his game to the next level. They have some other really solid pieces as well.
5. Do you agree with the NCAA punishment of Ohio State?
The NCAA hit Ohio State exactly how I thought they would. The fact that the Buckeyes took some self-imposed punishment helped a little, but I think they NCAA saw its opportunity to send a clear message to other schools, so they did.
Yes and no. If it were just for the gear-for-tattoos violations, sure. It was a clear violation and a modest one at that. But I think the coverup by former head coach Jim Tressel was more damaging than the actual violations. Tressel was cited by the NCAA for “unethical conduct” and will have a difficult time if he wants to return to a college football head coaching job since he subject to a “show cause” order, but that’s not enough. The NCAA found no lack of institutional control in the situation, which is why the modest punishment (one year bowl ban, loss of nine scholarships). It’s almost like there was no punishment to the university for Tressel’s actions.
Yes, it seems this was brewing for a long time.
Yes you had to give them a Bowl ban and take some scholarships away after those violations. Teams can’t just ‘vacate’ former seasons and not get hit on the financial side. A bowl ban is a serious loss to Ohio State, and it will also keep them out of the Big 10 championship game as well.