Links of the Day 11/28/14

Hello! If you are like me last year, then you have been up for 4 hours already and want a nap. There are more sports on today, so enjoy the day off (so long as you aren’t working retail.)

A cricket player named Phil Hughes was killed in a terrible on field incident. .

Haven’t seen any Timberwolves action yet this year, but this is exciting. 

Darryl Talley is in rough shape after a long NFL career. 

Seattle 19, San Francisco 3 – It seems pretty likely that one of these two teams won’t make the playoffs. Would you have predicted that at the beginning of the season?

Happy Thanksgiving! At least we don’t live in Wisconsin!

I mean, sure, the team is actually in he Bahamas right now, and are really good, but hey, that dude got hit in the face!

Hope your day was full of family and fun. See you tomorrow for some real content.

Links of the Day 11/27/14

Happy Thanksgiving! If you are done with dinner and need something to help you fall asleep, here are some links!

If we’re lucky, one of the games today will match one of the top 10 greatest Thanksgiving Day games. 

The Diamondbacks signed a talented Cuban defector named Yasmany Tomas yesterday. We are seeing a proliferation of Yasmany/i in the Majors.

Former Purdue Boilermaker Shaun Phillips is going to play for the Colts. I had a class with him one time.

Purdue 87, BYU 85 – Purdue ends up with 5th place and only a loss to Kansas State in the Maui Classic. Not bad.
St. Johns 80, Minnesota 71 – This is a particularly bad result for Minnesota, because it’s the type of game that could have told America that the Gophers were legit. Nope.
Kansas 76, Rhode Island 60 – The Jayhawks are back and ready for action.
Los Angeles 4, Minnesota 0 – Speaking of bad results…

Links of the Day 11/26/14

I MIGHT be back tomorrow for some posting action, but if I do, it will be very late. In the mean time, I hope you and yours have a very safe and happy Thanksgiving. I’m going to South Dakota.

Tyler Thigpen just wanted a junior bacon cheeseburger. 

Behind on the latest hot stove rumors? I am here to help. Well, is here to help.

This is a rumor that I’d not heard before. Rays to Montreal?

Iowa 73, Northern Iowa 45 – It appears a full state is better than half of a state.
North Dakota State 64, Minnesota-Crookston 63 – Not a great look for the Bison, but at least they won.
Miami 77, Charlotte 74 – Sounds like it could be a game between the Heat and Hornets, but alas, it was instead for the Charleston Classic crown. Nice work by the Hurricanes.

NFL Computerized Power Ranks: Week 12

In week 12, the Seahawks finally woke up and beat the formerly #1 Cardinals, knocking them back to #2.  The surging Patriots are now the #1 team.  In our mismatch of the week from last week, the Raiders upset the Chiefs, which caused Kansas City to fall 5 spots to #8, and allowed the Packers to move up to #3.  The Seahawks, Browns, and Bengals each moved up 3 spots to take the #4, #5, and #6 spots.

On the bottom, the previously mentioned Raiders got their first win of the season and they moved all the way up to #29, pushing the Jaguars back to #32 and the Titans to #31 after they also fell behind Tampa, who stayed at #30.  The idle Panthers did not lose this week so they moved ahead of the Jets, who lost bad to the Detroit (unpaid water?) Bills.

The biggest gainers this week were the 49ers, who jumped up 6 spots after winning their 3rd in a row and are back in the NFC playoff race at #7.  The biggest losers were the other team from Detroit, the Lions, who seem to possibly be beginning their late season slide.  They fell 11 spots to #17.  The Dolphins, who lost valiantly to the Broncos, but fell way back in the playoff race in the process, dropped 9 spots to #14

Playoff Projections:

1st Round Byes: #2 Cardinals, #3 Packers
#7 49ers @ #12 Eagles
#4 Seahawks @ #20 Falcons
Top 5 Out: #13 Cowboys, #17 Lions, #21 Vikings, #22 Rams, #23 Bears

1st Round Byes: #1 Patriots, #5 Browns
#9 Ravens @ #8 Chiefs
#6 Bengals @ #18 Colts
Top 5 Out: #10 Broncos, #11 Steelers, #14 Dolphins, #15 Bills, #16 Chargers

Week 13 Look-Ahead
Game of the Week: #1 Patriots @ #3 Packers (wow, perfect time for this one based on how hot they have been)
Mismatch of the Week: #6 Bengals @ #30 Buccaneers
Pillow Fight of the Week: #26 Giants @ #32 Jaguars

Full Ranks

Week 12
1 NE 81.01 1
2 AZ 74.86 -1
3 GB 71.91 1
4 SEA 68.32 3
5 CLE 66.31 3
6 CIN 65.51 3
7 SF 65.21 6
8 KC 64.62 -5
9 BAL 64.47 1
10 DEN 62.28 2
11 PIT 61.39 0
12 PHI 61.00 3
13 DAL 59.17 1
14 MIA 59.00 -9
15 BUF 58.91 2
16 SD 58.72 3
17 DET 57.98 -11
18 IND 55.77 -2
19 HOU 52.66 -1
20 ATL 44.47 1
21 MIN 43.79 -1
22 STL 42 1
23 CHI 41.96 2
24 NO 34.74 -2
25 WAS 30.87 -1
26 NYG 26.63 0
27 CAR 24.95 1
28 NYJ 23.27 -1
29 OAK 22.40 3
30 TB 22.12 0
31 TEN 19.97 -2
32 JAX 11.93 -1


Entertainment Roundup: Home for the Holidays

It’s Thanksgiving week, and in exactly a month, it will be time for Christmas. Kids have an extended weekend this weekend, and about 2 weeks off next month, and there is only so much time you can spend indoors together. Eventually, inexorably, a family of more than 2 is going to go to a theater to see some movies. I don’t know exactly which movie you will all see this holiday season, but I do know that previews are the best part, The new Star Wars trailer is going to start showing up soon,  but before that time, here are a couple more that your family might end up talking about.

This fairy tale mashup will appeal to kids and Into the Woods’ star studded cast will appeal to grown ups, looking for the next person they recognize on screen. The movie open on Chrstmas.

Chris Pratt stars in a movie that tends to be a little bit more menacing. Jurassic World doesn’t open until next summer, but you can bet all of the little boys in your life will be looking forward to seeing the movie with the dinosaurs. Of course, Jurassic World appears to be a bit more like if Jurassic Park bred with Godzilla and had a giant lizard baby, so Jurassic Park fans may be skeptical… but the kids won’t be. Dinosaurs!

Links of the Day 11/25/14

One month until Christmas!

Hey, Scott Chandler, thanks for the effort, but that’s not ACTUALLY helping anyone dig out. 

Chiefs safety Eric Berry may have cancer. 

The Cubs REALLY want Jon Lester. 

Kansas State 88, Purdue 79 – I don’t know how the Boilers could have 2 7 footers and not rebound.
Kansas 87, Rider 60 – Big day for Kansas. Next thing you’ll tell me is there was a bumper crop of wheat or something this year.
Minnesota 4, Florida 1 – The Wild got two goals from Jason Zucker again. He is the man.
Purdue 82, Missouri 61 – The Boilers come back with a big win over a major conference foe. They should be playing BYU for 5th place in the Maui Classic tomorrow.

Anyone worried about Jerry Kill now?


For the first time in about 45 years, it’s the Gophers that are capturing the attention of football fans in the Twin Cities after Saturday’s win in Lincoln. If they can somehow beat Wisconsin, in Madison next week, they will move on to the Big Ten Championship game. Pretty incredible, given how much flak Jerry Kill and the Gophers were given before the season started.

“Jerry Kill’s weakened schedule is embarrassing.”

“Jerry Kill’s epilepsy undermines his ability to lead this team.”

“The Gophers were better last year when Kill was out. ”

Yeah, all of that is crap. Kill long stated that he wanted to start his career with softer schedules, because getting to 6 wins meant trips to bowl games, and trips to bowl games mean more pracitices with the team. It was a gambit with long term implications, to help develop the program, and it seems to be paying off.

The nice thing about having a strategy like this? If you make the players you recruit better, and you have good strategy sessions and responsible coordinators, if your players are paying attention, you don’t always necessarily need to be on the sideline. Thankfully, Kill hasn’t had any medical episodes this season, but if he did, he has now set up the type of institution that will adapt without him.

Jerry Kill may not have been the greatest recruiter to this point in his Gophers career, but he may well be on his way, now that he has proved you can win in Minnesoa. The Gophers don’t have any prospects projected to go in the first two days of the draft, but as a unit, they are winning, all because Jerry Kill is a tremendous coach.

Links of the Day 11/24/14

Hey, I’m working on the Links before 8AM, so this day is going to be a rough one.

TY Hilton had a baby in the morning, scored a touchdown in the afternoon. 

The Red Sox signed Hanley Ramirez overnight, and it sounds like they are going to end up with Pablo Sandoval soon as well.

Odell Beckham made a heck of a catch last night. 

Indianapolis 23, Jacksonville 3 – This game was off to a sluggish start, with a halftime score of 6-3. The Jaguars are usually ready for Indianapolis.
Green Bay 24, Minnesota 1 – This… wasn’t as bad as expected!
San Francisco 17, Washington 13 – The 49ers should probably have done better at home against Washington, but a win’s a win.
Miami 77, San Francisco 58 – The Hurricanes are the most classic team in Charleston!

The Twins have a pitching coach now too.


According to sources (someone else’s, definitely not mine), the Twins are hiring Tampa Bay AAA pitching coach Neil Allen to take over the same role in Minnesota’s major league organization. In general, I like the move. Would you like me to expand upon that opinion? Sure thing.

First, I like that the Twins were willing to go outside of the organization in order to add members to their staff. Previously, it just seemed like the organization was trying to get the band back together, what with Paul Molitor, Tom Brunansky, Gene Glynn and Eddie Guardado getting positions with the club. Casting the net further is a good thing. The Twins could work well with a new, non-organizational face. He could help with development, as that has been his strong suit in Durham, but fresh eyes will help note flaws in deliveries that could stand to be fixed.

Second, Allen has a record of success preparing pitchers for the Majors. He didn’t get to work with David Price, but Jeremy Hellickson, Alex Cobb, Matt Moore and Chris Archer have all benefited from his tutelage. He comes with wisdom and a good track record, and despite his lack of MLB experience, he should be well regarded.

Naturally, it’s way too soon to make any REAL judgment on the hire, but right now, I like where the Twins’ heads are at.