With 8 major college football teams winning blowouts Saturday to stay undefeated, MLB quietly hoping the Dodgers can hold of the Nations tonight en route to a Yankees-Dodgers World Series, and my first running of Value Add Basketball projections showing the great Chris Mack has Louisville back on top in just his second year since a great Xavier career, this is the best sports time of year for me. (updates to this info at this blog)
My quick headlines with links to each sport:
Baseball: While the Dodgers are favorites to win the NL for the third time with Cy Young candidate Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound tonight against the Nationals, in my simulated (free) Statis-Pro game the Dodgers won a record straight 17 games only to be upset by the Braves who in turn lost in 7 games to the Nats. That Nats and Astros cards in the game are actually slightly better than the Dodgers and Yanks with three great starters (like the Dodgers) and incredible line-ups (like the Yankees). The Astros ended up ties with the Yanks in my simulated season, but edged them in the real regular season and in my playoffs as the Astros today joined the Nats in my Statis-Pro World Series. Still, MLB's dream of a ratings bonanza Yankees vs. Dodgers is just as likely in the reason game. Click for free game and player cards to play your own, or accounts of how simulated games played out for a the Nats-Astros World Series.
Basketball: This weekend I calculated the projected values of 3,725 college basketball players for the upcoming season and as always invite all of the Sports Information Directors and sports writers on this list to please make notes on this Master Google Sheet of 2020 Projections. When I first put these out this time of year seven years ago, the great Eamonn Brennan (now at the Athletic) wrote on ESPN: "When you think about the intersection of advanced sports statistics and political forecasting, you think of Nate Silver. Far fewer people will know the name John Pudner, but college hoops fans probably should." It is great to see Chris Mack, who I've interviewed many times at Madison Square Garden during Big East Tournaments, has already assembled the best talent in the country nudging out No. 2 Duke on the team tab). Click for player projections on any of 353 college teams and feel free to make any corrections, click here for past years, or here for the free game of 48 great all-time teams, and notes on how we project NBA prospects, JUCOs etc.
Football: So it is not the best weekend to be in Auburn, but hey with an 18 year old quarterback even the fall to No. 12 points to a great future. Also, the Penn State team I traveled to see play Pitt (see blog with Tony Dorsett in front of our seats) has now outscored Big Ten opponents 94-7 to emerge as one of eight major undefeated teams making the case to dethrone defending champion Clemson.
Sure there are other things going on - from the new national sport of politics engaging such strong emotions to family sports with two of my children part of the big cross country season at South Alabama. This is why sports can be such a great escape. Even while we try to solve major and serious issues while remaining calm. I hope we can all work like ducks - frantically working like the duck's non-stop kicking under the water to stay afloat with the outside appearance of calm (as in being civil). Click here for recent Fox Ohio TV.
Take a break to enjoy family, friends and some sports (or whatever your leisure is) in between solving problems.
John Pudner 404.606.3163
firstname.lastname@example.org for sports updates, email@example.com for work-releated