The Giants sign a replacement for Jason Schmidt:
Just breaking news has the Giants signing LHP Barry Zito of the crossbay Oakland A's to a 7 year $126 million dollar deal with an option for an 8th year. There is also a no trade clause thrown in along with some Zito's demands for some charity money for the Giants to pay that sounds nice. JK should be posting more on this later because he is this blogs go to guy when it comes time to spell out contracts and evaluate worth in the crazy sports market we are living in today. As far as my opinion of the signing I hope that Zito can remain interested in pitching at a high level and stay healthy because he has been a very durable pitcher for the A's. To pay for himself he needs 18-20 wins a year in my book and needs to be able to pitch a lot of innings and I just dont know if that is going to happen. When was the last time the Giants had a lefty as the ace of the staff unless Noah Lowery was considered an ace last year when Schmidt was down? The last lefty that was going to be a great starter for the Giants was a kid named Shawn Estes and we all know how that worked out. All in all I look forward to the upcoming season to see how Zito can help the team and if they can keep anyone on the 35 and older roster healthy.
-Zito agrees to 7 yr deal with Giants-
Bowl Season off to a slow start:
Of the handful of games played until last night, the Hawaii matchup has been the only game that has provided any sort of enjoyment thus far. Colt Brennan was unbelievable in the 2nd half and how often do you see a guy pass for 559 yards and have a receiver with 14 catches for 308 yards? Not many people have seen UH play this season because lack of TV time and the fact that they kickoff at 7-8 pm on the islands. I was very impressed with them this year and also Jerry Glanville deserves credit for making the defense much more competitive. It doesnt hurt that he has Leonard aka "the next Troy Polumalu" Peters roaming the secondary. If you didnt watch the game that joke may not be understood very well.
Last nights UCLA-Florida State matchup was an interesting pairing in the Emerald Bowl from San Francisco. Most people were predicting a low scoring affair in which UCLA would prevail. I even saw a 15-6 prediction. Most believed that UCLA had a huge advantage coming in because of the big win over crosstown rival USC and that the momentum would spill over into the bowl game. That just didnt happen as the UCLA defense did not play as insired or that well as a whole considering the quality of offense they were facing. The final score was 44-27 FSU but the late pick six thrown by UCLA Qb Patrick Cowan made it look like a bit of a rout which it was not.
Former Edison (Fresno) standout Brandon Breazell had one catch, but he made the most of it with a 78 yard TD. UCLA played three quarters of sufficient football and then just imploded. Give credit to "Bobby" and FSU for pulling this thing out, actually displaying what looked like an offense, and building some momentum heading into next year. He had better hire himself a great offensive coordinator this offseason though. Kudos also to FSU Rb Lorenzo Booker in his performance last night (22 carries 91 yds. 2 tds.-5 recs 117 yds). He was as good a prospect as Reggie Bush coming out of St. Bonaventure High in Ventura, Ca, but he never did get it going in his time as a Seminole. He showed well last night and also played the way most thought he would throughout his career in Tallahassee. Fact is, I still consider him a much better pro prospect than he ever was a player at FSU. He is great athlete and he is versatile out of the backfield like Mr. Bush. He is a 2nd or 3rd round Reggie Bush type player that will begin his NFL career with little hype which may just work to his advantage this time around.
-FSU 44 UCLA 27-
A few "potentially" good bowl matchups tonight:
#21 Texas A&M versus #20 Cal looks to be one of the better matchup leading up to the January 1st slough of Bowl games. Both teams come in at 9-3 and had some good moment in the course of the season, but both leave their fan bases wondering both what could have been and asking how good they really are? The importance of this game on a national stage may not be much at all, but going into next year Coach Fran needs to prove to Aggie fan there is something to be excited about and he is building things for a run next year. Coach Jeff Tedford returns much of the offense next year and has a capable starter in Rb Justin Forsett if Marshawn Lynch heads to the NFL like many believe he will. A good showing for Golden Bear Qb Nate Longshore is in order, he has plenty of weapons to work with, I just think his nonchalance at the Qb position is detrimental to both him and his teammates at times.
The NFL Network will have their first broadcast of a College game tonight when Rutgers matches up with Kansas State in the Texas Bowl. Rutgers season has been intriguing, and the progression Coach Greg Schiano has went through in Piscataway has been remarkable. A loss to a surging Kansas State team could be a damaging and put a negative spin on an otherwise fruitful season for the Scarlet Knights. Fresno State fans such as myself will be interested to see the Wildcats play because they have a road date in Fresno in the 07 season.
Fresno State Sat. Vs. University of San Diego:
Coming off of a 95-75 victory over Cal Poly, the Dogs will be hosting the Toreros of San Diego on Saturday at the Save Mart Center. Hector Hernandez led the way against Cal Poly with a career high 31 point including hitting 8 of the teams record 16 3s. Unfortunately, guard Javance Coleman has found no sort of touch or scoring ability and is still mired in a slump of epic proportions. Thankfully, junior PG Kevin Bell is running the team well and handed out 12 assists, Dominic McGuire continues to do it on both ends of the floor along with fellow forward Quinton Hosley. They combine to average 19 rebounds per game and team to help makeup for an obvious lack of a true post presence. The Dogs are facing a USD team playing much improved ball of late and need to protect the home court. There is a very tiny margin of error for Coach Steve Cleveland and the Bulldogs because of a soft non-conference schedule and an unproven ability to win a big road game against a good opponent. (Oregon State and USF do not count in my eyes)
-FSU Vs. USD Saturday at SMC-
Michigan will return both Henne and Hart for 07':
Lastly, the Wolverines have had a bounceback year for sure and have proven themselves as a top 5 program again. If they can play well in the Rose Bowl and beat Petey and the Trojans, they will definately solidify themselves as a favorite heading into next year.
-Hart solidifies Wolverine backfield for 07'-