WeAreDePaul.com Bubble Report - 12/5/05

In this report WeAreDePaul.com's Mike Adam takes a look around the NCAA...

A couple of random thoughts to start:

Texas 70, Colorado 3. USC 66, UCLA 19. Any question who should be in the Rose Bowl? The funniest part of this dialogue to me is that those who defend the BCS say, "See, this is why we implemented the system. We got it right this year"…as if the human polls would have put any other team in there besides these two. And if there was some concern that the humans would have picked any other teams, perhaps we don't have the right humans voting in the poll.

Bears: 9-3. Packers: 2-10. I don't care about all the Packer injuries – it's still fun to say. Poll question: which media member loves Brett Favre the most?

A: All of them

B: All of them

C: Either A or B

You know, the Bears offense looks a lot like that guy you play against in some football video game who only knows the game controller well enough to do running plays and one pass play – the fade route. Whatever works, I suppose.

One other comment on yesterday's game: as Rashied Davis muffed his second punt, the announcers asked, "How much do you think the Bears miss R. W. McQuarters?" If the trade-off is that every punt is an adventure but Nathan Vasher is my starting cornerback, I think I'll take that trade-off.

Commercial of the Week: This commercial is not for the weak, so you'll be excused if you skip this section. It also gets the "Sigmund Freud Subliminal Advertising Award" for 2005 for me. I was flipping channels late night earlier this week, and I saw a commercial for a product called "Urine Gone". The product is purportedly to help rid yourself of accidents your pets may have around the house. Like any cleaning product, the commercial demonstration shows people wiping certain areas of the house. The first area is a carpet. The second area is a couch. The third area is a shower wall.

Okay, hold the phone. Now I've never had a pet, but my parents have a dog. In the six months in which they've had the dog, not once has he had the least inclination to enter the bathroom, much less jump in the shower. I don't know about people with other furry pets, but I can't imagine the pets are in too much of a hurry to take a shower, either. And even if they are, the angle at which they may use the shower for that sort of, um, purpose doesn't seem to lend itself to hitting the wall. So, pray tell, who is being targeted when the advertiser is showing someone wiping off a shower wall? Mmm, hmm.

The subtlety continues on the website: www.dutchguard.com/p-URINGONE.html Notice how the page is essentially geared towards pets except for one sentence: "Urine Gone Stain and Odor Eliminator with Enzyme Action for Pet or People Accidents." See how they snuck in that "or people" part? Very nicely done, Dutch Guard. Bravo.

This Week in the Big East

Cincinnati: So much for the undefeated coaching career of Andy Kennedy. The Bearcats drop a pair of home games this week, to Dayton (75-66) and Memphis (91-81) to drop to 3-2 overall. They get the week off until Saturday, where they will visit an undefeated Vanderbilt team.

Connecticut: The Huskies keep breezing, moving to 6-0 with wins over Army (68-54) and Texas Southern (113-49). Connecticut only has one game over roughly the next two weeks – a home date with Massachusetts on Thursday.

Georgetown: Here's your statistical anomaly in the Big East so far. Georgetown is 0-1 at home and 3-0 on the road. They went into Eugene on Saturday and handled the Oregon Ducks quite nicely, posting a 71-57 victory. So should we favor them as they head to Champaign this week against Illinois? What about at home on Sunday to Fairfield?

Louisville: Nice to see Louisville decided to start playing again this week. As part of a home tournament, they beat Prairie View A&M on Saturday 90-65, then dispatched Arkansas State 67-55 on Sunday to move to 3-0. They play Richmond tonight, then host Akron on Saturday.

Marquette: The Golden Gold had a split this week, moving their record to 5-2. They lost to Nebraska at Lincoln 84-74, then came home and mopped up on South Dakota State 87-52. This week, they host Valparaiso, then travel to Madison to play the Badgers.

Notre Dame: Only one game for the Irish this week, and they dropped it to Michigan in South Bend, 71-67. The loss evens their mark on the season at 2-2, and I bet the Mike Brey whispers are starting to get louder. No rest for the weary, as Notre Dame heads to Alabama on Wednesday, then comes home to host Florida International.

Pitt: The Panthers move to 5-0, dispatching St. Francis (NY) (79-58 ), then trouncing Auburn 78-41. This week, Pitt finally leaves its home confines to play Duquesne, then hosts Penn State.

Providence: The week had a promising start for the Friars, defeating Fairfield 81-78, but they followed that effort up with two consecutive losses at Wichita State and at Rhode Island. Now 3-2, Providence has quite the week coming up, hosting Florida, then Memphis. Yikes.

Rutgers: Rutgers has moved to a quiet 5-1, scoring wins over Temple (67-53) and St. Mary's (75-69) this week at home. They have a fairly decent shot at entering Big East play at 11-1, actually, but there wouldn't be many impressive wins on the docket if they did. This week features a game at home against Maryland-Eastern Shore and then a trip to Buffalo.

Seton Hall: Seton Hall split this week to move their record to 3-2. They defeated St. Peter's at the Meadowlands 66-57, then traveled to Richmond and lost to the Spiders 60-49. This week holds a trio of winnable home games for them: Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth and Tulane. And for the record, even though they're 3-2, the Pirates are still being outscored in aggregate by 38 points by their opponents.

St. John's: The Red Storm suffered a surprising home setback early in the week, losing at Madison Square Garden to Hofstra, 64-51. They got back on track on Saturday, beating Charleston Southern 64-50 to move their record to 4-1. They start the week with their sixth consecutive home game against Stony Brook, then a dangerous trip to Blacksburg to play Virginia Tech.

South Florida: It was too good to last for the Bulls, as they dropped their first two games this week. First was a double-overtime loss to future DePaul opponent Florida International 69-64, followed by a loss at a neutral site to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 59-47. They rebounded on Saturday with a 72-66 victory over Georgia Southern to move to 3-2. This week holds a home game versus Stetson, then a trip to Ann Arbor to battle Michigan.

Syracuse: Well, Syracuse is 6-2, but it took an overtime escape at home against Manhattan (87-82), then a solid victory over TCU (80-64) to get there. Only one game this week, yet another home game against Colgate.

Villanova: Villanova dispatched Rider on Wednesday easily (86-57), then scored probably the most impressive non-conference victory among the Big East teams, beating Oklahoma at home 85-74 to move to 4-0. This week, the Wildcats travel to ever-present Bucknell, then play in Atlantic City against Longwood.

West Virginia: The Pittsnogles had a harder-than-expected victory at St. Bonaventure, 66-61 before beating up on non-Division I Washington & Jefferson 83-33. The .500 West Virginia squad gets to steady themselves this week, hosting Maryland-Baltimore County and Duquesne.

Non-Conference Opponents

Bradley: The Braves split this week, first with a mildly surprising loss to Loyola (86-72), then taking out their frustration all over Bowling Green (93-64). Only one game this week for 3-1 Bradley, at Butler on Tuesday.

Northwestern: After losing to Dave Leitao's former team last Saturday, the Wildcats went to Virginia and lost to his current team as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge 72-57. Then Saturday, they eked out an overtime win over Delaware State 61-54 to move to 4-3. Northwestern is taking the week off this week – no games scheduled.

Northern Illinois: Congratulations to the Huskies, who, although had a rough week in football, lead the MAC in basketball at 1-0, winning 73-69 at Toledo. They, too, have the week off after earning a 2-1 start to their season.

Creighton: Only the DePaul game was scheduled this week for Creighton, and the loss dropped them to 3-1. This week, they travel to Chattanooga, then host Nebraska.

Bucknell: Yes, we're all aware – the Bison are 5-0. We'll see how long that lasts as they host Villanova on Tuesday. Should they win, they would likely be the only team in Patriot League history (I don't have the historical statistics handy) to go 3-0 versus the Big East, already having a win at Syracuse on their resume.

UAB: UAB took one on the chin in surprising fashion at home against Western Kentucky, then went to Nebraska (why is everyone playing Nebraska?) and squeezed out a one-point victory (73-72) over the Cornhuskers to move to 3-1. After their visit to Allstate on Tuesday, the Blazers host Alcorn State.

Dayton: Dayton ran the table this week to move to 5-2. First, as mentioned above, they went to Cincinnati and took out the Bearcats. They dominated Pepperdine (63-45), then struggled but got past Grambling (59-55). Before the Demons visit, the Flyers host Central Michigan earlier in the week.

Wake Forest: As part of the ACC/Big Ten challenge, the Demon Deacons bested Wisconsin 91-88, then took out Elon College at a neutral site (78-59) to move to 7-1 overall. Wake is off until DePaul comes visiting on the 13th.

Old Dominion: The Monarchs keep rolling, improving their record to 5-1. They dominated both opponents this week, VMI (77-62) and East Carolina (79-53). This week, they actually start Colonial Athletic Association play, hosting George Mason, then traveling to media darling (but slumping) Drexel.

California: Cal also improves to 5-1, winning home games against San Jose State (70-52) and Akron (89-75). This week, they play their sixth consecutive home game against San Diego State, then go to Kansas City to play Kansas.

Florida International: On the "MolsonBlue" watch, FIU scored a big win (well, for them) in defeating South Florida, then an easy victory over non-Division I Florida Tech. They now start a four-game road trip, traveling to George Washington and Notre Dame this week.

Aggregate overall D-I record: 44-14 (.759)

Other Games of Note This Week

Ed Hochuli "Power Game of the Week"

It had to be the game above: Villanova 85, Oklahoma 74. The #4 ranked team in the country takes out the #5 ranked team in the country in Philadelphia. Villanova guard Randy Foye garnered the headlines for his 32 points, but how about doing it on 14-for-21 shooting? Allan Ray shored up the scoring with 21 points, including 10-for-10 from the free throw line. Not bad without Curtis Sumpter – not bad at all.

Other games this week…

Georgia Southern 89, UIC 69; Chicago State 75, UIC 74. I give up – you figure out UIC.

Gardner Webb 73, Minnesota 72. So if Minnesota is sitting on the bubble this year, how much is this one going to hurt? Another good question: how good is Gardner Webb, after losing to North Carolina at Chapel Hill only by three, then posting this result?

Houston 84, LSU 83; Houston 69, Arizona 65. What the heck has gotten into the Cougars? Two straight upsets in the same week over ranked teams, including the LSU win in Baton Rouge.

Nevada 72, Kansas 70. When you're making out those brackets in March, you could do worse than the Wolf Pack as an Elite Eight sleeper – assuming they're still a "sleeper" at that point.

Southern Miss 83, New Orleans 79 (4 OT). Larry Eustachy's program has been about as offensively-challenged as the Bears this year, scoring 30, 51, 33 and 35 in their four-game losing streak. So how do you crack 80? Play four overtimes. Longest game of the year, to date.

San Francisco 90, Texas Tech 72. Whoa. The Dons come out and crush Bobby Knight's squad.

The Citadel 126, Florida Christian College 43. As if it wasn't bad enough that the Citadel was leading 73-35 at halftime, they managed to outscore Florida Christian 53-8 in the second half. Seriously, what purpose do games like this serve? Could Florida Christian really be getting that much money from playing at the Citadel?

Until next week, let's go, Demons.

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