Wednesday, June 16, 2010


It looks like the Big XII has survived their showdown with the Pac-10, as conference juggernaut Texas has decided to stay put.

“This is a long-term and unequivocal commitment. We’ve decided the Big 12 provides the best long-term opportunity for our university.”

That's University of Texas President William Powers Jr.'s verbal commitment to the Big XII.

What prompted the decision was the promise of more TV revenue, particularly for headlining programs like Texas and Oklahoma. Texas will also be able to start its own TV station, broadcasting its sports across the country. Something which the Pac-10 wouldn't have allowed.

What really broke apart the Pac-10's power grab was a Mexican standoff between the Big XII, Pac-10, and SEC. Just like the end of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The Pac-10 didn't just want Texas. They wanted Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech to defect. But they needed all five to agree to it. Then A&M and Oklahoma started leaning toward the SEC. This dissolved the unanimity of The Big Five, and broke up the Pac-10's scavenging.

Sweetening the deal for Texas to stay was that they, along with Oklahoma and A&M, will likely split the money surrendered by Nebraska and Colorado for leaving the conference. Smaller Big XII members like Baylor, Iowa State, and Kansas State will divert their shares of the buyout money to the big members of the Big XII.

I have to say that I'm glad the Big XII is remaining, even though it will be a 10 team conference, with no more title game. Texas and Oklahoma playing Oregon in a conference game is simply wrong. I do think the notion of conferences is antiquated for college football, but I'm also glad to see the gluttonous Pac-10 thwarted.

AP via Yahoo!


Lots and lots of surprises in group play, especially for goaltenders. Very few seem to have a good gauge on the ball.

Netherlands 2, Denmark 0

Nobody's really talking about the Dutch, who are always competitive and bring deep teams to the Cup. They're ranked 4th by FIFA for a reason.

Japan 1, Cameroon 0
This is a huge upset, as the Japanese had never won a World Cup game away from their home soil.

Italy 1, Paraguay 1

If not for a goalkeeper's error, Italy would have lost its opener 1-0. The Italian National Team are like Maseratis. They're sleek, expensive, fast, but wholly overrated, completely unreliable, and you're better off spending your money on a Ferrari, Porsche, or Aston Martin.

New Zealand 1, Slovakia 1
This was New Zealand's first point EVER at the World Cup. So in their minds, they've already won and can go back to focusing on rugby.

Ivory Coast 0, Portugal 0
In the Group of Death, you just want to avoid losing your opener. Both teams played defensively sound, and neither were able to break through to score. It's to be expected.

Brazil 2, North Korea 1

Brazil didn't score until 54 minutes in. If they hadn't beaten North Korea, the undisputed bitch of Group G, they would have been in a world of hurt.


Don't look now but Clay Buchholz is tied for the League lead in wins. He recorded his 9th over the Diamondbacks last night as the Sox rolled to a solid 6-3 victory.

The usual suspects knocked in runs for the Sox. Ortiz's 13th homer netted him RBIs 40 and 41. Youkilis kept pace with his 41st. Pedroia knocked in his 32nd, and Victor Martinez his 35th.

I don't have much to say about this game except I wish the Sox could play NL teams more often. Of course, with the Yankees continuing to win, anything short of a sweep over the 5th place team in the NL West is shameful.

The Sox also moved up the start time of Thursday's game to 6:10pm, which will allow fans in attendance to enjoy most of Game 7, which tips off after 9.

Jon Lester opposes 2-5 Rodrigo Lopez tonight.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo


I don't think the 89-67 pounding the Lakers gave the Celtics was as bad as the score suggests. But it was still pretty bad. The Lakers dominated the inside game, outrebounding the C's 40-28 (the ratio was much worse before garbage time). The Celtics missed 2 dunks and 3 lay-ups in the 1st half alone. LA's bench outshined Boston's, scoring 25 points, compared to 13 from the C's. The difference was 24-0 at one point in the 3rd.

Then again, Perkins only logged 7 minutes before leaving with a sprain. Then Sheed got himself into foul trouble. This allowed the Lakers to really pour it on. That being said, even a healthy Perkins and the Celtics still lose this game convincingly.

We've seen this kind of game before. The Celtics offense depends on defensive success in order to really get going, particularly Rondo. But the Lakers seemingly hit every shot. Hell, Ron Artest was 6 for 11, and 3 of 6 beyond the arc. When Ron Artest is making jumpshots, it's just not going to be your night.

But the rebounding also killed the Celtics. 5 of Gasol's 8 rebounds came off the offensive glass. Those kind of second chance opportunities kill both the Celtics defense, and slow down their offense.

The Celtics only attempted 10 free throws. The Lakers had 19. To me, that demonstrates the Celtics forfeiting that inside game. And without your starting center, you can't really blame them. But the Celtics need to get to the line, and need to get key Lakers in foul trouble to disrupt LA's defensive scheming.

The Lakers played about as good as they can. Although Kobe is capable of more than 26 points, as we well know. And the Celtics played almost as poorly as they can. 33.3% from the field, 21.7% for 3. No bench contributions, mediocre defense, no rebounding. All the ingredients of a blowout loss. But they can improve. And they must.

Ironically, the regular season comes into play here. All post-season, we've repeated the following mantra in Boston: "See, the regular season doesn't matter." Now it does, with Game 7 on LA's court, where they've won 10 of 11 playoff games.

Game 7 Thursday night. Will Perkins play? Will Bynum? Lots of questions to be answered, but that's what Game 7s invariably do.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo