It’s been a while, once again, since I last wrote an “Inside the Mind of Ditti” blog…so I guess it is now time for me to finally get to that.
Since I last posted a non-UCF or Jacksonville Jags blog on here a TON has happened in the world of sports…seriously, a TON. First and foremost I think I need to extend a congratulations and heart-felt thank you to our Orlando City Soccer Club on their hugely successful inaugural season both on the pitch and off. This model franchise has taken over the City Beautiful and made us a ravenous soccer town and I for one LOVE IT!
With the 35k+ in attendance for the USWNT vs Brazil game to the MLS expansion team record average attendance for the Lions, Orlando has become a soccer mecca. Now we have the NWSL club (Orlando Pride) on the way including USA superstar Alex Morgan…so things just keep getting better around here.
Now to the big things I’ve missed my chance to comment on…at least through this medium.
2015 World Series
This one didn’t go as I thought it would.
I completely expected a 6 or 7 game series (predicted Mets in 6) and a neck and neck battle for the Commissioner’s Trophy. Instead it was the Bad News Mets booting grounders and fly balls and throwing the ball around the diamond like little leaguers and obviously just superb baseball in every facet by the World Champion Kansas City Royals.
I find it very hard to hate this Royals team. They pitch well, they play smart baseball and they may be the best situational hitting team I’ve ever seen. They are very much deserving of the title “World Series Champions.”
On the opposite side of the coin you have the New York Mets who for lack of a better phrase….blew it.
From the very first pitch in Game 1 by Matt Harvey (which was misplayed by Cespedes and turned into an inside-the-park home run) it was apparent that the World Series Mets were not as in control and dominant as the NLCS Mets. A lot of this I have to credit to Kansas City…but you can’t ignore the obvious defensive gaffes throughout the series, the power outage at the plate and of course the fact that the Mets had late leads in 3 of their 4 losses in this series.
I don’t fault closer Jeurys Familia with all 3 of his “record-setting” blown saves. Duda should be able to step and throw home to end Game 5 and Murphy’s lapse of fundamentals (GLOVE TO THE GROUND!) let to another. The only blown save I feel comfortable giving Familia 100% fault on was the monster home run he gave up to Alex Gordon in Game 1.
Really in the end, the Mets outplayed the Royals for the majority of this 5 game series. The Royals just did what had to be done, when it had to be done, and in turn are your champions.
Kudos to the Royals on the crown, kudos to the Mets for being about a year ahead of themselves and as you can see in the picture attached to this post…we’re all in 1st place now! On to 2016, Go Sox!
College Football Playoff Rankings
Okay…repeat after me: THESE DON’T MATTER YET.
Seriously, I get the gripe on Alabama getting #4. I get the gripe about Ohio State getting #3 with their shaky season so far. The thing is…it just simply doesn’t matter. LSU and Alabama play this week, so next Tuesday’s ranking will be different already. #1 Clemson plays FSU…they COULD (though I don’t think they will) lose and not be #1. Baylor has games against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU in the next few weeks. TCU plays the two Oklahoma schools and then Baylor in the next few weeks. Oh and Ohio State has Michigan State, Michigan and a Big Ten title game down the road.
This will all work itself out, just like it always does. We sit 5 weeks out from the actual rankings that actually matter. The FINAL ranking, after the conference title games, are the only rankings that mean anything…because they are your official “final four.”
Remember…Ohio State was #10 at this point last year, they won the National Championship.
So breath SEC conspiracy theorists, Alabama will lose to LSU on Saturday and no longer be in the Top 4 next week…I’m not going to “book of promise” it, but I’m pretty damn close to doing so. So for now, just write it down.
NCAA Coaching Openings
Spurrier, O’Leary, Kill and Beamer all call it quits.
Golden and Sarkisian get the boot.
It’s been a crazy few weeks in college football. Now we see Miami, UCF, South Carolina, Minnesota, Virginia Tech and USC (and more) looking for the next head ball coach….and there are still 4 more weeks left to go.
Now I’m not going to pretend to know who the actual candidates for all of these jobs are, nor am I going to wax poetic about which job is better or worse or irrelevant…though I definitely have an opinion on it. All I’m going to say is that UCF and South Carolina are in a great position to hire a great coach and continue their rises to the upper crust of college football and they have their recently departed coaches to thank.
Before O’Leary and Spurrier took these jobs over a decade ago, they were irrelevant. That is not the case now that they’ve both stepped aside. The ironic fact surrounding these two coaches…O’Leary’s Knights were Spurrier’s first and last win at South Carolina. In between those two match-ups both teams had great success and then giant collapses in 2015.
I don’t think it’s outlandish to think both of these teams get the exact coach they need and stay relevant nationally. I also think that UCF finds an AD and Coach that will take them into the Power 5 and very soon.
I mean I really think I deserve to gloat right now.
I’ve never hidden my allegiances as far as “my teams” are concerned….and between January and now I have dealt with the brunt of every buffoonish take on “deflategate” and done so pretty much in stride. So now here we sit 8 weeks into the 2015 season and the Patriots have yet to lose a game and Tom Brady looks better than he ever has. This all with the NFL putting every move the Patriots make under a massive microscope.
So here’s your homer moment of the day: Ha ha ha ha you all look silly. Tom Brady rules, Patriots are the kings, and I am happy.
Ok, moving on.
I have to admit…I wouldn’t have ever guessed that the Carolina Panthers of 2015 would be 7-0 and WITHOUT Kelvin Benjamin. What’s amazing is that Cam Newton really isn’t playing very good, at least not statistically. Obviously he’s getting the job done on the field…but his stats aren’t much different from those of Colin Kaepernick and he’s getting benched this week for Blaine Gabbert.
Yes, Blaine Gabbert.
The difference is quite obvious between the two, the team around Newton is very good…the 49ers are very very bad. That being said, I’m still baffled by the fact that Carolina is 7-0. Not sure they can maintain, but then again I didn’t think they’d get to this point…so let’s wait and see.
Not So Shocking–
The Broncos, Patriots and Bengals are undefeated.
Okay fine, maybe the Bengals are slightly shocking, but not really. Outside of this past week’s gave against the Steelers, I haven’t had an issue picking Cincinnati to win every single week.
What is slightly shocking is that the Broncos are undefeated and it really has nothing to do with Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. Through 7 games, Manning has just 7 touchdowns…and 11 interceptions. This isn’t the Peyton Manning of 2013 or even 2014. Something is obviously not the same with the legendary quarterback, but I highly doubt it’ll hurt this team in the long run. Especially now that Vernon Davis has come to the Mile High City.
I will right now predict that the Patriots and Broncos will remain undefeated until they face off in Denver on November 29th. The winner of that game will end up with home-field advantage in the playoffs and in my opinion will win the AFC Championship and head to the Super Bowl.
I have so much more to say about so many more topics, but for now I must wrap this up. Catch more of my ramblings on Your Girlfriend’s Favorite Sports Show every week (found at YGFFSS.podbean.com follow us on Twitter as well- @YGFFSS) and be on the lookout for more blogs and podcasts!
Any and all feedback welcomed! Get me on Twitter (@Ditti33)!