FROM THE DESK OF THE “FUGITIVE” COMMISSIONER
Hello Football Fans,
There are only 4 bowl games remaining this year, including the championship game next Monday. It's really the SEC rematch, more inbreeding and avoidance of playing against outside formidable opponents. Whatever. Check out "Black Monday" activity also,
The Fugitive Commissioner of the FFHL
SHOCKER OF THE WEEK
“Black Monday” (see details below) was three days ago, but San Diego Chargers’ Coach Norv Turner and GM AJ Smith will retain their jobs for 2012. Mind-boggling! Bolt fans must be unhappy right now. They missed the playoffs again even with an AFC West division title ripe for picking, had a six-game losing streak in the middle of the year (coming off their “bye” week), and when they really needed a victory to stay in the playoff race in Detroit (Week #16), the Chargers lost 38-10.
COLLEGE BOWL GAMES (after Monday)
TUESDAY JAN 3RD
#13 Michigan -2h beat #11 VA Tech in New Orleans in the BCS Sugar Bowl, 23-20 in overtime. The Wolverines gained only 184 yards from scrimmage (377 for VA.Tk), but the VT Hokies didn’t take full advantage of early opportunities to score (settled for two FG’s and stopped on 4th and 1 inside red zone).Michigan got back into the game and took the lead. Viriginia Tech had to kick a FG with 0:05 on the clock to tie the score and send the game into overtime.
Interesting side story:
The Hokies’ kicker missed a 37-yard FG in overtime to give the UM ‘Ganders the opportunity to win with their own 37-yard FG. Who was he?
He wasn’t the #1 field goal kicker; that guy didn’t make the trip with the team because he was arrested the prior week on a break-in and entering (home invasion) charge.
He wasn’t the #2 field goal kicker (the backup, who had only tried one FG attempt this year, a miss from 29 yards); that guy broke curfew in New Orleans by missing a 1AM bed check, and was sent home on a bus – with an 833-mile, one-way ticket.
He was the #3 kicker, Justin Myer, a senior whose main duty was kickoffs because of his strong leg. Justin had attempted two FG’s during the season, and missed both, albeit from 53 and 57 yards. He made 4 of 5 field goal attempts during the Sugar Bowl, converting in regulation on all four attempts – from 37, 43, 36, and from 25 yards out with five seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score.
WEDNESDAY JAN 4TH
#23 West VA +3h beat #15 Clemson in Miami, FL (BCS Orange Bowl), 70-33. What a brutal beat.
The Clemson Tigers were trying to punch it in for a TD and a 24-21 lead, but fumbled on the 1-yard line, the WVA Mountaineers returned it 99 yards for a TD of their own, and it was a 14-point swing. Score: WVA 28, CLEM 17. The rest of the 1st half was all West VA and Clemson turnovers, momentum all against the Tigers. HALFTIME SCORE: WVA 49, CLEM 20. Unbelievable.
FINAL: WVA 70, CLEM 33 – ugly.
COLLEGE BOWLS (Start of FFHL playoff finals – WEEK #18A)
There are only 4 bowl games remaining for the 2011 football season.
Friday Jan 6th #6 Arkansas -7h vs. #8 Kansas St. in Arlington, TX
Saturday Jan 7th Pittsburgh -3h vs. SMU in Birmingham, AL
Sunday Jan 8th Arkansas State -1 vs. Northern Illinois in Mobile, AL
Monday Jan 9th #2 Alabama -1 vs. #1 LSU in New Orleans, LA for the BCS title
#6 Cincinnati +3 at #3 Houston SATURDAY 4:30PM Eastern
** FIRST TIME IN NFL HISTORY TWO ROOKIE QB’S STARTING and facing each other in a PLAYOFF GAME – ANDY DALTON vs. T.J. YATES **
#5 Pittsburgh -8 at #4 Denver SUNDAY 4:30PM Eastern
PIT QB Ben Roethlisberger is hobbled, and DEN QB Tim Tebow is struggling.
PIT RB Rashard Mendenhall is out.
#6 Detroit +10h at #3 New Orleans SATURDAY 8PM Eastern
** FIRST TIME IN NFL HISTORY TWO QB’S facing each other have thrown for over 5000 yards in a season – MATTHEW STAFFORD vs. DREW BREES **
#5 Atlanta +3 at #4 New York Giants SUNDAY 1PM Eastern
OTHER NFL HAPPENINGS
“Black Monday” was January 2, 2012; that is the day after the last 2011 regular season games were played by each of the 32 NFL teams. Non-playoff teams want to clean house as soon as possible after the season is over, if deemed necessary. What’s been happening?
As mentioned above, shockingly the coach and GM are staying the same for 2012. There may a change at defensive coordinator, but the Chargers organization (Dean Spanos & Co.) is trying to blame missing the playoffs on the lack of talent with their backup players, who had to fill in for injured starters.Lame. Bottom line may be that Spanos put out feelers for Bill Cowher and/or Jon Gruden and they weren’t interested in San Diego (speculation only).
Coach Andy Reid will be back for his 14th year in 2012, but both he and QB Michael Vick will be on the “hot seat” next year, presumably based on the way both of their contracts are structured. Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo is probably OK as well.
In another shocker, owner Jim Irsay fired well-respected Vice Chairman Bill Polian and the Colts’ GM, his son Chris Polian. There may have been a difference of opinion as to how to handle the Peyton Manning situation, including his $28MM payment due later this winter if he’s still on the team. Plus, the Colts have all-but already drafted QB Andrew Luck with the #1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and he will be ready to start immediately (no huge rookie learning curve anticipated for him).
The fate of head coach Jim Caldwell has yet to be determined, but he’s probably gone.
Coach Lovie Smith keeps his job for 2012. GM Jerry Angelo (11 years with Bears) and offensive coordinator Mike Martz have been fired.
The loose Vikings organization, without a GM since the 1980’s, was restructured for 2012. Rick Spielman was promoted to general manager (GM); he is the older brother of Chris Spielman, former NFL linebacker. Head coach Leslie Frazier loses control of roster and personnel decisions, but keeps control of his coaching staff (he’s supposedly OK with that) and keeps his job for 2012.
FYI: QB Christian Ponder was Spielman’s guy, and former QB Donovan McNabb was Frazier’s guy, so this works well for the soon-to-be 2nd year QB Ponder.The Vikes have the #3 pick in the NFL draft, and maybe it will not be a quarterback. They need help in many other areas.
Coach Steve Spagnuolo and GM Billy Devaney were fired on Black Monday. The search for replacements is ongoing. Spagnuolo will likely find a defensive coordinator job somewhere for 2012.
With the passing of Al Davis, the Raiders need a new GM. Coach Hue Jackson wants to be part of that decision. Al’s son Mark now owns the team, but he will likely let the current front office personnel handle the hiring process.
Many of the defensive staff (four rumored), including defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, are likely to be let go this week.
Coach Rahim Morris was fired after losing control of the team, losing 10 straight games to end the season after starting the season 4-2 and coming off a 10-6 season last year.
Former coach Tony Sparano was fired during the season, and the search is on for a permanent replacement. GM Jeff Ireland has presumably hired former football “expert” Carl Peterson from Kansas City to take a Parcells-type role in the Dolphins’ front office.
Miami has already interviewed Jeff Fisher (but it certainly is not a done deal; Fisher is interviewing elsewhere-STL, IND, etc.); Peterson was in the interview meeting with the former TEN Titans head coach.
Former coach Todd Haley was fired during the season, and former Browns’ head coach and Chiefs’ defensive coordinator (DC) Romeo Crennel took over as the interim head coach to finish the season. He is a candidate for the permanent job in Kansas City, and if he doesn’t get it, possibly will remain the DC for 2012.
Former coach Jack Del Rio was fired during the season. The search is on for a replacement, and rumor has it the Jaguars are looking for an offensive stabilizer to help in the development of 2011 rookie QB Blaine Gabbert. NYJ’s offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is a possibility (and another rumor has it that the Jets would be happy to let him go).
NEW YORK JETS
It seems the team wants a new direction with the offense, and OC Brian Schottenheimer may be out, even if he doesn’t get the head job in Jacksonville. WR Santonio Holmes is a head case and has alienated himself from teammates, but may be too costly to just let go. QB Marc Sanchez has had his successes, but struggled at times during the 2011 campaign.
FFHL RESULTS – WEEK SEVENTEEN
In the NFL, our 40 picks were 22-17-1 ATS (56.3%). In our 44 college bowl picks we were 23-21-0 ATS (52.3%).
In the NFL, the favorites were 7-8-1 ATS (46.9%) and the home teams were 10-5-1 ATS (65.6%).
In the 31 college bowl games played to date, the favorites are 19-12-0 ATS (61.3%).
Only 7 underdogs have won bowl games outright (abnormally low at 22.6%).
FFHL PLAYOFF RESULTS
FILTER KING beat KRAUT with a 5-2 record ATS.
Kraut was also 5-2, but lost in a tiebreaker to drop into the Consolation Bowl for Week #18.
MOORE MONEY & SON beat out his three opponents with a 4-3 record ATS, sealing up the victory with a ½ point cover ATS with Michigan winning in overtime by 3 as a 2½ point favorite.
Moore Money’s three opponents all had 3-4 records ATS.
BFD BOWL PRELIMINARIES
The six non-playoff teams were fighting for three spots in the BFD Bowl.
ADVANCING TO BFD BOWL:
YO MAMA 4-2-1 ATS TLWWWLW
THE FUGITIVE 4-3 ATS WWWLLWL
KID RUST 4-3 ATS WLWLWWL
1-800-OPPOSITE 4-3 ATS LLWLWWW
HAWKEYE 3-4 ATS
THE ROUNDERS 3-4 ATS
FFHL2 “THE DEUCE” POINTS LEADERS
There is only one long “week” to go (the NFL playoffs for the month of January).
FILTER KING 256.5 Not mathematically a winner yet
MOORE MONEY & SON 205.0 Basically fighting for 2nd place
WILD MAN 201.5 Basically fighting for 2nd place
KRAUT 200.0 Basically fighting for 2nd place
1-800-OPPOSITE 170.5 Tough road to get into the money
LITTLE HAWKEYE 166.5 Tough road to get into the money
THE ROUNDERS 164.0 Tough road to get into the money
Maximum points for week: 39 with a 7-0 record ATS
Minimum points for week: -14 with a 0-7 record ATS
MOST CUMULATIVE WINS ATS YEAR-TO-DATE
Each of us has picked 126 games ATS [18 weeks x 7 picks each week]
FFHL Handicapper Wins
FILTER KING 78.0 61.9% ATS
MOORE MONEY & SON 76.5 60.7% ATS
KRAUT 75.5 59.9% ATS
1-800-OPPOSITE 71.0 56.3% ATS
WILD MAN 69.5 55.2% ATS
LITTLE HAWKEYE 69.5 55.2% ATS
THE ROUNDERS 68.5 54.4% ATS
FOOTBALL QUIZ QUESTION
What team pulled off the greatest comeback in NFL history?
What deficit did they overcome?
HINT: It was an AFC Wild Card playoff game.
You may have gotten that last one. Try this one.
What team pulled off the greatest comeback in regular season NFL history?
What deficit did they overcome?
HINT: It was in 1980.
On January 3, 1993, the 1992 Buffalo Bills were behind 35-3 in the 3rd quarter at home. Backup QB Frank Reich filled in for an injured Jim Kelly, threw four TD passes (3 to WR Andre Reed) to tie the Houston Oilers in regulation, and led the Bills to the win in overtime, 41-38. Oilers’ QB Warren Moon had thrown 4 TD passes in the first half.
The Bills and Oilers had faced each other in the final game of the regular season, with Houston defeating Buffalo, 27–3 in Houston. During that game, Bills starting QB Kelly suffered strained ligaments in his knee, leaving backup QB Reich to finish the game in his place. With Kelly out, Reich took the reins starting in place of Kelly the following week in the wild card game at Buffalo.