Friday, November 19, 2010

New NFL and NBA rankings

Each week I have a chance to go over the college football rankings, but I haven't had a chance recently to look at the professionals. What's up in the NBA and NFL (besides me being embarrassed by the Detroit Lions)?
Here's four trends to look at going ahead:
1. The NFC West sucks.
Anybody who follows football already knew this, but having 24th ranked St. Louis as their best team is almost unbelievable. Ishan stands a chance at winning his bet that the 49ers make the playoffs (made when they were 0-5) but I think the winner is goint to be the Rams. That's right Masta' P, your St. Louis Rams will beat Seattle on January second for their 7th win of the season, clinching the division by tiebreaker over the Seahawks.
2. The Bears aren't just lucky.
Yeah, the Bears have won some close games this season. They've lost some too though, and updating the rankings through today they'd project to have 6.23 wins at this point, not too far from the 7 they actually have. They have a touch finishing schedule (average opponent rating of 1.67, right in between the Colts and Patriots) but with the parity in the NFL this year they are still predicted to have 2.73 wins. A 10-6 Chicago Bears team? That could make the playoffs.
3. The Heat will "get better".
Yeah, they're 7-4, but they're atop the power rankings and should be 9-2 (9.09 wins exactly). As the season goes on those mistakes will iron out, and I project them to finish at 67-15 at their current pace. They'll probably regress to the mean some, but the MiAmigos are still a very good team, probably the best in the NBA.
4. The Hornets are for real.
Chris Paul's return (not "CP3" a terrible excuse for a nickname) and the new focus on defense are a big deal. They boast the best record in the NBA at 9-1, and THEY'VE PLAYED THE TOUGHEST SCHEDULE. Once the easier teams roll in, they'll kick even more butt. At this rate, they'll finish the season 70-12! Don't expect that, but do expect them to stick around as a legitimate dark horse contender.

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