Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Top Bog Heavy

No change in the Top Three this week as Georgetown and Maryland dominated American and GW, respectively, and Virginia Tech asserted itself over Navy just in time. The Mids made the big move to #4 because the loss to Tech was their first in eight games. By beating UVa, George Mason and William & Mary, Liberty can be included in a discussion of the best teams in Virginia. As can VMI, so here's hoping we get to see them on TV both times that they play. George Mason only has two losses (LIberty and Hampton), so the Patriots should be able to move up if those teams keep winning. VCU won just enough to claw back in, but GW appears to be in disarray and a good bet to fall back out. Virginia had better beat Longwood next week; if they don't, it could take a Tobacco Road sweep to get them back in the Top 10.


1. Georgetown (5-1)
After losing to Tennessee, Georgetown beat Maryland and American by a combined score of 148-97. Don't poke the Hoya, kids.
2. Maryland (6-2)
Landon Milbourne's supremacy over GW was more impressive than the Milbourne identity against Michigan, but my personal favorite was the Milbourne ultimatum against Youngstown State.
3. Virginia Tech (5-3)

Hanging on to the #3 ranking like Barack Obama clutching his last Marlboro.
4. Navy (7-2)
Coach Billy Lange has proposed changing academy motto of "from knowledge, seapower," to "from knowledge, three-pointers."
5. Liberty (6-2)

Flames snuffed at Clemson, which is big in the south, but not in the Big South.
6. George Mason (6-2)

Patriots' overtime loss at Liberty presents tremendous opportunity for political statement about Patriot Act and civil liberties that would have been so witty in 2003, but not so much now. Why couldn't they have lost to the Citibanks?
7. GW (3-2)
Karl Hobbs still weighing offer from the Obama Administration to become Undersecretary of Barely Controlled Rage.
8. VCU (5-3)
Larry Sanders is averaging three blocks per game; expect him to start at tackle for the Redskins next week.
9. VMI (6-2)

Keith Gabriel > Peter Gabriel > Roman Gabriel
10. Hampton (5-3)
Beat Howard 45-39 in Madison Square Garden; fortunately, Knick fans in attendance able to appreciate a game where the winner shoots 32%.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Bog Update

Way too many Bog matchups going on to wait a whole week for an update, so here goes. #1 Georgetown's battering of #2 Maryland earned the Hoyas a nice break until they face #8 American on Saturday. G'town should coast but the Eagles are in a Bog do-or-die period for the next two weeks. After gagging at home against the Mount, they have games against #7 GW, UMBC and Maryland after they play Georgetown. Going to be tough for them to stay in the Top 10 if they go less than .500 in that stretch.

Speaking of the Terps, they can extend their Big 10 win streak to seven games against Michigan tonight. The Wolverines are 5-1, but only one impressive win (UCLA); still, when you've lost 20+ games three straight years, you take 5-1 and run. Maryland get's GW in the BB&T on Sunday, so 6-2 is just as likely as 4-4.

Beating Maryland could mean a big move up for the Colonials due to losses by UVa, VaTech, and #4 George Mason. To be fair, Tech nearly knocked off Wisconsin and the Hokies three losses have been by a total of seven points to quality teams. Still, they'd better take care of Navy on Sunday, or they could find themselves in the bottom half of the Top 10, or out altogether.

Virginia, on the other hand, is still reeling from its home loss to Liberty; that, and the fact that teams have figured out they'd better guard Sylven Landesberg. In the Cavs three wins, he had 28, 21, and 22 points; in their three losses, 17, 16, and 10. Fortunately, they've got a couple weeks to get ready for Longwood.

And what to make of Liberty? The Flames have beaten William and Mary, UVa, and George Mason, and freshman Seth Curry has shown flashes of big bro' Steph's jumpshot and big play demeanor. Having already played Montreat and Coker, Liberty should be able to pad its win total with contests against Anderson and Cincinnati Christian, but also has yet to face Clemson, St. Louis and Northern Colorado in its non-con. Hard to believe that the Bog Games of the Year could be the two between VMI and Liberty.

VMI fell out of my Top 10, but a home win against Winthrop tonight would certainly get them back on track. As for the rest of my Top 10, #5 Navy is another team with a chance to move up but Tech at Cassell will be tough sledding. #4 George Mason had better put the Liberty game behind them and get ready for CAA opener Drexel. #9 JMU should take note of recent Bog team "upsets" tonight and not take Longwood for granted. The Lancers have already got four wins this season.

Tonight, the TV is thick with Bog action. I'll be watching Maryland-Michigan, Towson-UMBC, Richmond-ODU, and even a little VMI-Winthrop.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Stephen Curry has a little brother

Unbelievable. Two years ago in the NCAA Tournament, Stephen Curry announced his presence to the college basketball world with 30 points in Davidson's first round loss to Maryland. Last year his Wildcats came within a whisker of the Final Four. So when Steph's baby brother Seth graduated from Charlotte Christian high school last spring he must have been inundated with major Division I scholarship offers, right? Okay, he's maybe 6-1, 180, but big brother Steph has panned out pretty well, so surely none of the big schools wanted to miss on another Curry, right?

Wrong. Seth Curry is now a freshman at Liberty (#30 in the above photo, if you haven't figured it out already) in the mighty Big South conference, the home of March Madness bracket busters Winthrop and Coastal Carolina. And, don't look now, but the Liberty Flames are 5-1 with wins over Virginia, George Mason, and William and Mary, and their leading scorer is one S. Curry with 22 ppg. Granted, UVa is not Duke and George Mason is not Georgetown and the Flames' other two wins are against Coker and Montreat. The Big South is not even a mid-major, so Liberty will have to substantially improve its 0-1 conference record for Curry to match his brother's impact nationally, but something tells me that come March, plenty of major college assistant coaches are going to have some explaining to do. Again.

Big South Bog

Another week, another Big South team enters the poll. With wins over Montreat and Coker, the Liberty Flames' 4-1 record is a bit deceiving, but the victory at UVa gives them a legitimate entry into the Bog Top 10. At the other end of the spectrum, Georgetown dominated Maryland so thoroughly in the Old Spice Classic at Disney World that the Terrapins' impressive performance against Michigan State faded like Cinderella's dress after midnight. Virginia's fairy tale season imploded with a home loss to Liberty followed by a road downer at Syracuse; not coincidentally, Sylven Landesberg was held under 20 in both losses. Navy has won five straight since dropping its opener at Towson and George Mason has been strong save for a slipup against Hampton. GW is back in also, but nobody in the 6-10 spots is safe with all the quality looking on from just outside.

1. Georgetown (4-1)
Hoyas' win over Maryland was so anticlimactic, the band played "Don't Stop Believing" at the final buzzer as the arena faded to black.
2. Maryland (4-2)
Terps' performance at the Milk House over the weekend only slightly worse than Gus Van Sant's political biopic, "Milk."
3. Virginia Tech (4-2)
Hokies are 38-118 from three-point range this season. Who is their shooting coach, Plaxico Burress?
4. George Mason (5-1)
A loss to Hampton is all that stands between the Patriots and a Number One ranking; that, and BCS voter bias.
5. Navy (5-1)
Academy officials surprised that the Village People's "In the Navy" doesn't jazz the home crowd quite as much as "YMCA."
6. Virginia (4-2)
Home loss to Liberty means Virginia misses chance for a Big South sweep, a feat not achieved since William Tecumseh Sherman marched from Atlanta to Savannah in 1864.
7. GW (3-1)
Colonials fans incensed that the Washington Post gave more coverage to Georgetown-Maryland than GW-UMBC.
8. American (4-2)
Eagles haven't played a home game since November 17; apparently Bender Arena is the temporary home of the Obama transition team.
9. James Madison (4-2)
JMU went 1-1 on the weekend; the Duke won at Fordham but nobody beats New York City holiday traffic.
10. Liberty (4-1)
Toughest part of the Flames schedule is finding Montreat and Coker.