SINGING THE BLUES

SINGING THE BLUES at this time of the year with the Holidays on the horizon seems a bit Scrooge-Like. But…it has to be said! 😊 Let’s start with SINGING THE BLUES about the BLUES!

…the Blues are driving us crazy with their uneven play. Prior to the season, some experts predicted that the Blues would a 92pt team in 22-23. As I write this the Blues have 22 points in 24 games. At that rate, the Blues would complete 22-23 season with 75 points!  That’s AFTER a nice spell of games which raised their rate from a 44 point season to a 75 point season.  Statistically, the Blues playoff “chances” have tumbled from 54% @ the start of the season to

…What’s happened? In the words of an hocky “expert”, Dom Luszczyszyn ,it sounds ominous. “ The Blues are not nearly as bad as their current record. But they were never as good as last season’s record either. They were not a 109-point team. The point of having a model is finding the “real” number, and for the Blues that looked like a team that was a bit above average — not elite. Many parts of that team remain, and it’s why it’s not time to panic completely just yet. But it is time to accept the reality that the Blues, in fact, were not as good as advertised.”

…Real reasons for the fall… Blues are missing David Perron on the Power Play… Blues are being outscored 38-24 in 2nd period (it’s much tougher to win coming out to begin 3rd period behind in the game)….the Blues seem to give up goals in bunches—this really pressures the offense to score. Yet, the Blues are scoring at a 5.7 percent rate of their shots rather than 10.3 percent of last year.

…Last season’s team gave up 5.8 goals per game while offensively 6.7 expected goals per 60. This season, both numbers have ballooned, to 11.7 and 11.4 respectively. That’s almost twice as many goals per game…ugh!

…The two UFA-Tarasenko & O’Reilly are challenging. Tarasenko, while having a good-enough season has always been hot & cold in stretches. O’Reilly is a proven player but clearly, from the numbers, his play has diminished. Do the Blues start to reconfigure their roster with trades? For decades, the Blues fans were seemingly satisfied to make the playoffs. However, since winning the Cup, the bar seems to have been raised! I give them until Jan 15th-ish to make moves.

…I’m SINGING THE BLUES about the NCAA Football playoff system. I suppose we all knew that it wasn’t going to stay at 4 teams—there’s too much money to be made. Going to 12 teams is a step towards their goal of 16 teams.  I’m afraid that it’ll become like an SEC/Big 10 post-season tourney. I hope not. I really hope that they make it a National Tournament. How about filling the brackets first of all with the 5 major conference champions—Big 10, Big 12, ACC, SEC, Pac 12 getting an automatic bid. Then move to the 2nd level of teams—Independent teams, Mountain West, AAC, MAC, Conf USA, Sun Belt-choose the best 5 teams from this configuration. That leaves 2 more spots. Let committee choose the final 2 teams with these conditions, if 2 teams are chosen from the same conference, they MUST be in different side of the bracket so that the only way that they could meet would be in the Championship Game.

….In the  first 8 years of the NCAA-Football Championship games. In those 8 years there were 32 spots but only 22 different schools have played. Alabama & Clemson have each been in 6 of the 8 years. Oklahoma & Ohio State-4x each. Alabama has 3 titles, Clemson twice and 1 each for Ohio St, LSU and Georgia. The #4 seed (the last seed) has won it in 2014(Ohio St)  & 2017(Bama).

…Here’s our baseball quiz of this day. This player played in the MLB from 1956-1976. He won the MVP Award twice (once in each league). His best year was 1966 in Baltimore (his 1st year there), his incredible stats were:  49 HR, 122 RBI, hit .316, OPS for the season of 1.047. He crowded the plate and was HBP 198 times. When he retired he was 4th All-Time in HR behind Ruth, Aaron & Mays. He may be most remembered for being the 1st Black Manager in MLB. He is…..(at the end)

….I’m SINGING THE Blues about a very talented local Collegiate basketball team being overlooked. DII- UMSl is 8-0 for this season! NO ONE in the Lou seems to know about this fantastic secret!  Their last win over MO S&T was a fast paced, well played, hard fought 73-67 win. Head Coach Bob Sunvold has all his players “bought into” the team defense concept. When 1 player “helps”, the rotation of the other players picks up likely offensive options. Offensively,there’s speed, movement w/o the ball, outside 3-ball shooting & inside power moves. It’s a very entertaining team to watch. The Tritons are converting 52% of the FG attempts! Holding a 77 ppg average against their opponents 59 ppg says a lot! Sr Isiah Fuller has really blossomed this year! He leads the team in PPG-15.8, reb -38, 2nd-Assists, 2nd-steals. A continual contribution from all of the top 8-10 players has made matchup easier for Coach. Give ‘em a watch sometime!  Next home game is this Sat, Dec 10 3:30 (women @ 1:00)-1 admission for both games.

…Still SINGING THE BLUES about College Basketball Rankings—Mizzou & SLU. Their ratings seem very, very subjective to me.  SLU is 6-2 with the 56th-best schedule in the country to date, according to Ken Pomeroy’s rankings. The Billikens are ranked No. 43 by KenPom as of last week. Meanwhile, Mizzou is 8-0 this year while playing a far softer schedule. Their schedule is ranked #358 (of 363 teams) in the country. I don’t blame the new Coach Gates at all! Many Coaches want  to establish a “winning” attitude in this first years. SLU has played a far tougher schedule. KenPom explained that Mizzou handled the weaker opponents better!?  Sooo…from my view, you’re better off in the rankings to “run it up” on a cupcake then you are to play much better competition. SLU has wins over #27 Memphis, & #79 Providence with losses to #19 Auburn & #20 Maryland. So…SLU’s 2 losses.

…Thanks for your read!  I really, really enjoy YOUR thoughts on any part of the blog. Post on my website (www.bobryansportsblog.com) or on Facebook. The answer to the quiz—Frank Robinson. Have a super week!  Bob

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