Archive for December, 2017

Best Wishes for a Joyous Holiday Season

December 21, 2017

Since my last post, the Blue Jackets went 4-3 and fell out of the lead in the Metropolitan division. A couple of those losses were real stinkers. One bright spot is that the power play (currently last in the league) improved dramatically in last night’s 4-2 win over Toronto.

The UK men have a big game against UCLA coming up on Saturday. Ohio State plays North Carolina on Saturday after having won 3 games easily since my last post.

The Ohio State women had 3 fairly easy wins since my last post, but the UK women have lost 4 in a row. It looks like it will be a tough year for the Cats, who haven’t yet beaten a ranked team.

I want to extend wishes for a joyous holiday season to all readers!

A First Look At Basketball

December 6, 2017

Basketball season is about a month old. All the teams I follow are doing reasonably well.

The Kentucky men had somewhat of a “slow start” in that they did not look impressive against weak competition early. But the new freshmen have already improved a lot, and the Cats are 7-1. The only blemish on the record is a 4-point loss to Kansas. For the first time in many years, I made it to Rupp Arena for a game the other day, as UK blew out Illinois-Chicago 107-73.

The Ohio State men have looked much better under new coach Chris Holtmann. They lost two of three games at the PK80 tournament in Portland, Oregon. The Bucks were no match for perennial-power Gonzaga. In the fifth-place game, OSU fell to Butler (Chris Holtmann’s old school) in overtime. Then in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Ohio State lost at home to a good Clemson team.

But the start of the Big Ten season gave us a pleasant surprise. There were two conference games in early December. The Buckeyes opened by routing Wisconsin in Madison. Monday night in Columbus, the Bucks were behind Michigan by 20 in the first half. Then OSU mounted an incredible run and won 71-62.

The OSU women are 8-2 and nationally ranked, with losses to Louisville and Duke. The Kentucky women haven’t had quite as tough a schedule but are 8-1 and also nationally ranked, having only lost at Baylor.

On The Outside Looking In

December 6, 2017

Ohio State’s win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game put the College Football Playoff Committee is a tough spot. Clemson, Georgia and Oklahoma were pretty obvious picks for the first three spots. For the fourth spot, they had to choose between Alabama, a one loss team that did not win its conference, and Ohio State which did win its conference, but has two losses.

Am I disappointed that they took Alabama? Not really. Ohio State suffered a blow-out loss at Iowa that really demonstrated the Buckeyes’ inconsistency this year. Alabama is still Alabama. Their only loss this year was at Auburn, a good team in its own right.

If the Iowa loss had never happened the Bucks would have been in the playoffs.

Kentucky finished the season 7-5. Not surprisingly, they were no match for Georgia. Then they turned out to be no match for Louisville either, despite having a team of similar quality.

The Blue Jackets are one point behind New Jersey at the top of the Metropolitan division standings. Columbus has looked pretty good in most phases of the game, except for the power play, where they rank dead last in the league at a miserable 8.6%.

Last night in Nationwide Arena, the Devils and Blue Jackets met for the first time this season. New Jersey came away with a 4-1 win. The teams meet in New Jersey Friday night. Columbus needs to at least make a game of it.