Monday, November 29, 2010

Big East Football Chatter Makes it to ESPN (on a Basketball Broadcast)

This is old news, but it's still pretty awesome.

TCU to Join the Big East.. Time to Commit

This Makes Me Horny
TCU is making a big move toward the stabilization of the Big East and has decided to join the conference as an all sports member according to the NY Daily News.

Well Villanova administration, it's time to stop dragging your feet and make a fucking decision already. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

That Kinda Really Sucked

What sucked about that game:
  • The officials
  • The gameplan
  • Corey Fisher 
More on this abortion later

Monday, November 22, 2010

Uncharted Territory

For the first time ever, Villanova has made it to the NCAA Division 1 Football Playoffs three straight years.  One ominous hurdle in their way is the fact that they have never in their history won a road playoff game.  There have been close calls such as the highway robbery that took place at the hands of the officials at McNeese State in 2002, or the devastating loss against Rodney Landers and JMU in 2008, but they have never been able to do it.  Stephen F. Austin presents a whole new challenge, as Nacogdoches is the furthest a Villanova team will have ever traveled to play an FCS opponent.  Luckily for The 'Cats, they will have a bye week to prepare for the long trip and The Lumberjacks (such a homoerotic nickname.)

Winning while facing adversity is kinda what this team does best.. so let's do this.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

5 Years in a Row

joe flacco vs. Villanova: 0-2 
pat devlin vs. Villanova: 0-2 
Chris Whitney vs. delaware: 4-0 
5 in a row baby.
SUCK IT DELAWARE!

more to come on this later

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Villanova-BU Highlights

Enjoy

A Letter to The Villanova Football Team- PLEASE Beat Delaware

Dear Villanova Football Team,
I will forgo my normal "Keys to The Game" this week to make a plea to you.  The last two games have been a clusterfuck of everything that you haven't done for the past two seasons.  Turnovers, giving up big plays, ill-timed penalties, special teams mistakes, and a lack of energy out of the gate seem to have put this season into a tailspin.  If you win, you will have a very realistic shot at the playoffs, but if you lose you have no chance and will be sitting on your asses most likely watching another CAA team play for or win a national championship.  Delaware is a VERY good team, but they aren't so good that they cannot be beaten. 

Chris Whitney- You have cemented your place as the greatest quarterback in the Andy Talley era, if not the history of the program by winning games just like this one.  Do everything in your power to prevent your fantastic career from ending in Newark this Saturday.

Matt Szczur- Your senior year has been derailed by unfortunate injury, but you still have the opportunity to come back this week and do something heroic (something rather common in the Szczur file.)  Rest up, get treated and play as if nothing ever happened. 

To the rest of the team- don't let the fantastic start you got off to go to waste.  Take any opportunities you can to win this game and continue the season, because if you don't win, there will be blood you will have missed an opportunity to be something truly great.

Good Luck,

Fact

Thoughts After Three Games

We've seen three games so far, and as expected Villanova's record is unblemished.  The first real challenge comes next Wednesday when they play UCLA at Madison Square Garden (with a game against Lafayette coming on Saturday.) 

Here's what i think i think i think after three games
  • Corey Fisher won't shoot under 28 percent from three all season, that number should correct itself.  
  • I'm not getting too excited about Maurice Sutton's performance against Marist.  It's a small sample against lesser competition.
  • I can't remember the last time that a Villanova point guard had 12 assists in a game.  Through three games, Maalik Wayns has 22 assists and only eight turnovers, not bad.
  • I've realized that I'll never be able to consistently count on Antonio Pena to do anything unless he does something to prove otherwise.
  • Mouph finally gives Villanova a shot blocker, something they haven't had in over a decade. 
  • Isaiah Armwood looks like his ears are stapled to the side of his head.
  • Stop saying that Cheek even looks like Kerry Kittles.. That's what you call placing unrealistic expectations on a 19 year old.
  • Defense at the beginning of a season!? ZOMG

Thursday, November 11, 2010

KEY to the Game- Eating Crow (UNH) Edition

District 5 Villanova Wildcats
Last week i came out and said that Villanova should slaughter URI and I was wrong so this week i'll keep my mouth shut and leave you with one (and only one) key for this game that The 'Cats need to win in order to make the playoffs. 

Here it is:
  1. Don't play like you did last week! that is all

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some More Clarity on The Football Situation

Recently, Brian from VUHoops.com reached out to Father Peter to get some more specifics as to a potential football upgrade

here is the gist of what is being considered from the horse's mouth:
The implications of a move from FCS to FBS
  • On our present Strategic Plan
  • On our Academic programming and the ratio of Athletic spending to Academic spending
  • The positive or negative effect on the question of National exposure
  • What effect it might have on our Basketball program
  • The need to upgrade playing and practice Facilities
  • Financial issues:
    • Our endowment in comparison to many who participate in the FBS
    • The increased cost of salaries and personnel
    • The necessary upgrade of women’s sports due to title IX requirements
    • Potential expenditures and revenues
So as you can see, nothing on that list is really earth shattering.  It's basically what any rational human being would consider because this after all is a big decision.  There is nothing about a timeline on there, so keep holding your breath and vocally stating that you are in favor of such an upgrade.

Friday, November 5, 2010

New E-Mail From The President RE: Football

Read Between the lines if you must, it looks intentionally neutral.  I just want an answer as I support the Football program either way.
Dear Villanova Alumni,

I wanted to update you on some recent happenings at the Big East Conference regarding its FBS football program. As you may recall, the Big East Commissioner paid a visit to Villanova in early September and reported that the members were interested in adding Villanova as a football member of the conference.

Earlier this week at our bi-annual conference meeting, the Big East presidents officially approved a process to evaluate terms and conditions for expansion in order to enhance membership stability and to assure our competitive position for the future. Because of this, there has been increased media interest, and therefore you may once again hear rumors and speculation as to possible plans and expansion strategies for the conference as well as how it impacts Villanova's decision.

I want to assure you that this announcement in no way affects the Board and my commitment to the process or our in-depth and thorough evaluation of this opportunity. We are continuing on our exploratory path--looking at all possible scenarios and working diligently to compile the necessary information in order to make a thoughtful, informed decision.

In the coming weeks, we will be reaching out to you, as it is important that we engage our entire community. This is a major decision for Villanova--with many pros and cons--and throughout the process we are dedicated to being as open and transparent as possible.

As I shared with you in September, a decision will be made only after we conduct a careful and complete analysis and weigh all the options. We expect this assessment to conclude by early spring 2011. Regardless of the timeframe, we will do what's right for Villanova, and you can be confident that whatever decision we make will fully support our community-wide commitment to the University's strategic objectives.

Sincerely,


Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A.
President

What are Realistic Expectations For Corey Fisher?

Cheesasaurus Rex
From the rumors of the spring to the buzz of the summer, there is no doubt that Corey Fisher has had an eventful 2010.  Fish enters the 2010-11 season with very high expectations both nationally and among Villanova fan circles.  This made me wonder what expectations should realistically be for the senior guard from The Bronx.

Past Performance and Improvement
The best predictor of future performance is past performance.  In his first three years on the Main Line, Fish has improved his per game scoring average from 9.1 his freshman year to 13.3 last season.  It's safe to assume that this number will improve further with the graduation of Scottie Reynolds necessitating the replacement of that production. 
Offensive Role
Over the last few years, Villanova fans have been repeatedly teased by the (maddeningly) inconsistent play of Antonio Pena and the (at times) hot and cold shooting of Corey Stokes.  There is no question that Fish will see an increased number of looks, but there are some factors that could mitigate his potential scoring output.  I think the ultimate wild card in Fisher's ultimate scoring output is how well Mouph Yarou is able to score in the post.  If Mouph is able to score in double figures, then Fish may ultimate have the biggest impact handling the ball and dishing it into the paint.
Unforseen Factors
Newcomers are always a wild card on a sports team.  The question is always the speed in which they become acclimated.  JayVaughn Pinkston could see action early in the season, but James Bell has fallen victim to a pair of stress fractures in his legs that should slow down his ability to get minutes until well into the season.  An injury to an established player (Stokes or Pena) could force Fish into the unquestioned primary scoring role, which he would undoubtedly take advantage of.

Conclusion:
I think that this team will be more of a scoring by committee type team, and that will limit Fish's ability to put up gaudy stats and get recognized on All-American teams.  I do have no question though, that Fish is the best player on Villanova and one of the better players in the country.  Temper your 22 point per game expectations folks, because this team will be more dangerous if they don't have to rely on one player.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Keys to the Game- Villanova-Rhode Island Edition

On Saturday afternoon, the 6-2 (4-1) Villanova Football Team will head to the University of Rhode Island to try to improve their record to 7-2 (5-1) on the season.  While I could be nice and say that Rhode Island is "a team that is on the rise" or that they are "rebuilding," I'm simply not going to do it because the fact is that this is not a good football team and Villanova fans should be satisfied with no result other than pounding this team into the turf and winning by at least three touchdowns.

Okay, here's what i think Villanova needs to do to win:
  1. Show Up- Seriously.. this team is bad.  If Villanova brings its C- game and URI brings its A game, Villanova still might win.  You'll hear quotes talking about a hostile environment, traveling and other garbage, but the fact is that there will probably be 3,000 people in the stadium and a few hundred will be Villanova fans.  As long as The 'Cats don't drink copious amounts of alcohol the night before, they should win big.  Not that it means much, but Villanova is 14-2 all time against Rhode Island.  
  2. Avoid Turnovers- The only way i see this game being close is if The Rams win the turnover margin by two or more.  Luckily, VU is generally pretty good at protecting the ball so URI's defense will have to put on a virtuoso performance, especially since they're negative in the turnover margin for the season.  
  3. Score Touchdowns- Nick Yako has been pretty abysmal this year when he's tried kicking for three points, so it makes scoring touchdowns even more important because it's hard to count on someone who is missing field goals that used to be routine.
  4. Throw Early- I enjoy when the coaching staff gets aggressive and lets Chris Whitney air it out on early downs, and I hope that they aren't afraid to air it out on first and second downs.  With a stable of receivers including Norman White (who has a touchdown catch in the last five games,) Dorian Wells, Mikey Reynolds and others, Villanova's biggest strength this season has been throwing the ball down the field.  When VU establishes the pass, they are a very difficult team to beat.
That's it for this week.. I'll start with basketball soon, I promise.

    UCF.. Really?

    Desperation
    The Big East has every reason to desire expansion beyond its current (undesirable) lineup of eight teams, but one of the names being floated around, University of Central Florida makes me scratch my head.  While producing solid NFL talent (Brandon Marshall, Mike Sims-Walker, Asante Samuel and Daunte Culpepper to name a few,)  UCF has been inconsistent at best in Conference USA, a "mid major" FBS conference and would offer next to nothing in any other sport, which would make them joining as a football only school the most likely scenario (see: Temple if you need convincing as to why this doesn't work.)

    The conference needs to assess its priorities and see whether they're really desperate enough for the (mediocre) Orlando market and another team to accept a school with a questionable football (and academic) reputation to go along with the fact that they wouldn't be able to contribute anything in any other sports.  I would personally rather see Memphis or (especially) TCU join and I think UCF should be nothing more than an absolute desperation move.

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    The Big East to Expand to 10


    What this means for Villanova at this point, i don't know.  It is certainly a decent sign.

    Ben Ijalana Getting Serious NFL Love


    If you have been following the Villanova football team at all, Ben Ijalana is a name that you should know.  Not only is Ijalana, an offensive tackle getting the respect he deserves on the FCS level, but NFL scouts seem to be drooling over the guy.  Here is a quote from Wes Bunting of The National Football Post regarding Ijalana's recent performance against Richmond:
    "Watching the Villanova/Richmond matchup this weekend was fun on a couple levels because when you get these two teams together the overall talent level is good enough to definitely compete and even beat a fair amount of the FBS teams that are out there. But, from an NFL prospect type view, there is also one guy who is really starting to shine above the rest and that’s ‘Nova OG Benjamin Ijalana. Ijalana is a big, 6-4, 320-pound kid who can bend and block with leverage in the run game as well as sit into his stance and anchor vs. the pass. However, he really stood out on the move to me this weekend when asked to pull, get out to the second level as he absolutely demolished downhill attacking defenders with a compact punch and powerful leg drive."
    As you can see, this guy has all the tools and could end up a very early draft pick and a productive NFL starter.  Depending on his performance at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine he could end up climbing all the way to the second round (no Villanova player has been drafted in the second round or higher since Pro Hall of Famer Howie Long was taken 48th overall by the Oakland Raiders in 1981.)

    Getting In The Election Day Spirit


    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Dumb Idea Hall of Fame: Preseason Game at The Wells Fargo Center

    don't waste your time or your money
    Exhibition games of any kind in any sport are undoubtedly the worst type of sporting event on earth.  What makes them worse is the fact that teams generally charge full price for them.

    Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with Villanova's desire to have a couple exhibition games on their schedule to warm the team up for the upcoming season.  What I do have a problem with is charging 25 bucks for the game and playing it at the CoreStates First Union Wachovia Wells Fargo Center.  What the hell is wrong with The Pavilion? This is just a desperate grab on behalf of the athletic department to try to earn some extra money, and it probably won't even work.