Links of the Turkey Day 11/26/15

Hey friends! I hope you are enjoying your Holiday. It’s almost time for turkey, but perhaps you can read these links before dozing off after dinner.

I hope Blaine Gabbert found some friends for Thanksgiving. His press conferences are lonely. 

No matter how bad it gets, your team will never be as bad as the Phladelphia 76ers.

The Rams’ Stedman Bailey was shot in the head, and is in critical condition. 

Vancouver 3, Minnesota 2 – The Wild are in 8th place in the west, but they have also played fewer games than any other team in the League. Good spot to be in.
North Dakota State 73, Montana 53 – Can you imagine the bus ride from Missoula to Fargo? Ugh.
Kansas 70, Vanderbilt 63 – Kansas won in Maui. Great for the resume later this year.

Your team isn’t as good as the Patriots

New England Patriots v Baltimore Ravens

All right, I’ll admit it. The Patriots are pretty good. They won Monday night against Buffalo to get to 10 wins and remain undefeated. They finish with 10+ wins every year. They have had an even longer run at perfection than a simple 10-0. They’re good.

People wondered if the Patriots were truly a dynasty after they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, then failed to win another Super Bowl for over 10 years. They were beaten twice by the Giants in that time frame, which means they were still able to be relevant in that window. In fact, they have won those 10+ games every year since 2003. That’s some seriously prolonged success.

Everyone can appreciate the run that has occurred since 2003, as that is very near to the time that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick came aboard, but really, the Patriots were only briefly a bad team before that. In fact, in the past 20 years, New England has only had 2 seasons below .500. The last time the Pats were just flat out bad was the early 90s.

Perhaps it was because the Patriots were SO bad, winning so few games from their Super Bowl in 1986 to when they started to turn it around under Bill Parcells and Drew Bledsoe that nobody took them seriously. Even though they were in the Super Bowl in 1996, nobody seemed to notice that the Pats were consistently above average from the mid 90s going forward, not until they strung some Super Bowls together.

Was it the departure of Pat Patriot? Just a lucky break when Bill Parcells entered the fold? Who knows. I’m just here to let you know that the New England Patriots aren’t just the hot team of the moment. They are among the best teams, historically with a longer run of consecutive success than really any other team in history. With 20 years of good football now in the tank, it’s time to talk about the Patriots as being one of the best teams ever.

Links of the Day 11/24/15

This is it guys, just one arduous last day until Thanksgiving break.

The four teams in the playoffs, as they stand right now, include Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Iowa. Of course, Iowa.

If you are interested, this is what the Wild and Blackhawks will be wearing when they play at TCF outside on February 21st. 

A shattered backboard…. at UMASS-Lowell?

Fairfield 113, Maryland-Eastern Shore 74 – The Hawks may need to shore some things up on defense, I think.
Kansas 92, UCLA 72 – Classy win in Maui for the Jayhawks.
North Carolina 80, Kansas State 70 – This would be North Carolina’s second win over Wildcats in consecutive days.

Rhino and Compass Radio: Episode 30, the Entertainment Edition

For the 30th episode of the podcast, Kyle is on assignment, and Katie Henning fills in. What is the deal with Mockingjay Part 2? Star Wars? Walking Dead? It’s all discussed on this special edition of the Pod.

The new Star Wars movie was discussed among other topics. Would you like to watch ever scrap of trailers and teasers released so far? Here you go!



Links of the Day 11/24/15

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? I sure am. Love me some stuffing.

Peyton Manning will sit out another week.

Rod Carew is in need of a heart transplant. 

Also, Joe Flacco is down with an injury for the rest of the year. 

Kansas 123, Chaminade 72 – Good day to be in Maui.
North Carolina 80, Northwestern 69 – At least this isn’t the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. North Carolina is scuffling so far.

It all comes down to an ax


I don’t know that there has been quite as much pressure on a local college team to win a particular game than Saturday’s game against the Wisconsin Badgers. First, there is the fact that Minnesota is 5-6. A win is the difference between a bowl and a disappointing losing record for a team that is much better than the results may suggest.

Then, there is the fact that the game is against Wisconsin, Minnesota’s most hated college foe. And the game is winnable. Wisconsin is down a bit this year, and coming off a sloppy game against Northwestern, which resulted in a loss for the Badgers. The game is in Minneapols, and there may be a palpable feeling, or even an expectation, that the Gophers could win this game.

Of course, there was also Sunday’s game that the Vikings were so longingly desired to win. There wasn’t as much attached to the game: The Vikings will likely still make the playoffs, but it was a game that people expected the Vikings to win, at home against a hated rival from Wisconsin. There are similarities.

So, Gophers, don’t worry. There isn’t much to stress about. Just don’t worry about the implications for your season, the weight of a cross state rivalry, and picking up the burden, where the professionals left off this weekend.

No pressure.

Links of the Day 11/23/15

Short week, people. You can do it.

Purdue basketball has won their preseason tournament, trouncing Florida. 

Meanwhile, Minnesota played their former coach in Puerto Rico, and were drubbed.

Kyle Busch is your NASCAR champion. 

Norwegian Cup
Rosenborg 2, Sarpsborg 0 – RBK officially wins the domestic double. Tough to do. Great accomplishment.
Carolina 44, Washington 16 – Cam is still good. No surprises for PAnthers fans.
Indianapolis 24, Atlanta 21 – It took a defense, and for some reason, a defensive touchdown, but it’s a second win in a row!
Green Bay 30, Minnesota 13 – Minnesotans were getting a little bit too positive.
Seattle 29, San Francisco 13 – San Fran loses a game they should lose. Justice.
Texas Tech 81, Minnesota 68 – Kind of embarrassing to lose in front of the old coach.
Purdue 85, Florida 70 – I’m very excited about this team.
Miami 85, Butler 75 – The Hurricanes just keep beating ranked teams. Watch out for the Hurricanes.


Watt Luck

Andrew Luck has been pretty bad this season. Extra bad. A large amount of his struggle stemmed from his inability to stay healthy. As we have learned in Minnesota, many people believe a person’s ability to stay healthy is a skill, or a matter of will power. Some also seem to be of the impression that an unhealthy Luck is representative of who he is as a person.

Making matters worse, is that Matt Hasselbeck is 3-0 helming the Colts. Even when Luck gets healthy, is it time to bench him in favor of the vet? Well, of course not.

Hasselbeck has won despite having the two lowest passing totals of any Colts QB this season, and has also benefitted from some of the best games in terms of points allowed. The best game the Colts have played defensively was against Jacksonville, hwne they allowed 13 points… And then Indianapolis needed an extra frame to top Jacksonville.

And then there are the opponents. Hasselbeck played against Jacksonville, Houston when they were at their lowest and a severely backsliding Atlanta (and then needed a horrible pick 6 to get there) to get his three wins. Andrew Luck has lost to both the undefeated teams, as well as Buffalo and New York, who are greatly improved this year. Admittedly, the New Orleans game was a dud. .

Unquestionably, Andrew Luck has had a bad season, and as much as I harp on the terrible line play, Luck needs to adapt to his situation. On the other hand, the hero worship of a backup QB not blowing winnable games is the type of thinking that can set whole franchises back by a few years, if the organization listens to the praise too closely.

Links of the Day 11/22/15

Today is my dad’s birthday. Happy birthday pop!

It’s Sunday, which means you get bowl projections. 

Iowa State is looking for a new coach. 

Cam Newton: Pretty good.

Football League Championship
Blackburn 2, Preston North End 1 – Nice job, beating the absolute dregs of English football.
Minnesota 32, Illinois 23 – The Gophers will look for a win over the Badgers to become bowl eligible, officially.
Miami 38, Georgia Tech 21 – I get the impression that there is a lot of disparity in the ACC.
North Dakota State 55, Missouri State 0 – Missouri State with a couple of showings in the links over the last couple of days. Interesting. Not great showings, either.
Wofford 73, Maryland Eastern Shore 63 – Wofford has played both teams that are on the Following the Compass list this year. UMES can be proud of this result.
Purdue 61, Old Dominion 39 – There is a whole lot of 7 footers for the Purdue Boilermakers this year. That’s a lot of fun.
Northern Iowa 71, North Carolina 67 – Huge upset. UNC was number 1 in the country, and they lost in Waterloo.
Minnesota 4, Nashville 0 – Wooo! Starting a home stand right.

Just like everyone expected (European edition)

EPL Table

This isn’t just a little way into the season. We are fully 1/3rd of the way through this season’s Barclay’s Premier League season, and the table appears to be a little bit…off. Start at the top, where Leicester City, promoted to the EPL just last year and enjoying an offensive explosion from their long time striker Jamie Vardy, who has a whopping 18 goals through 13 games. Not only is Vardy and Leicester winning, they are doing so in style. In second is Manchester United, who has only 19 goals, but they play a much better brand of defense. They play next week, in what will certainly be a blockbuster.

Then, towards the bottom of the table in 15th place is Chelsea, last year’s champions. Finally, after a narrow victory over Norwich Saturday, they have a little room between themselves and the drop zone. They aren’t scoring as much as they would like (Jamie Vardy alone has more goals than the whole of Chelsea) and their defense is spotty. It’s already too late in the season, probably, to say that Chelsea has a realistic chance of winning the title again, but despite their limp performance so far, they have the means and the talent to continue climbing up the table.

There is still quite a bit of season left for us to get through, but after a third of the season, I think we can safely say that this season is going to defy expectations.