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Petro’s AP College BB Ballot

Petro’s AP College BB Ballot

By Soren Petro

 Below is Sports Radio 810’s Soren Petro’s ballot for the Associated Press college basketball poll for Monday, January 9, 2017.

  1.  Kansas
  2. Baylor
  3. Villanova
  4. UCLA
  5. Duke
  6. Kentucky
  7. Louisville
  8. Gonzaga
  9. West Virginia
  10. Virginia
  11. North Carolina
  12. Arizona
  13. Purdue
  14. Creighton
  15. Wisconsin
  16. Oregon
  17. Florida St.
  18. Xavier
  19. Butler
  20. Saint Mary’s
  21. Cincinnati
  22. Florida
  23. Notre Dame
  24. South Carolina
  25. Minnesota

 

  1. Seton Hall
  2. Iowa St.
  3. Maryland
  4. Indiana
  5. Kansas St.
  6. California
  7. USC
  8. Clemson
  9. SMU
  10. Miami
  11. Texas Tech
  12. Wichita St.
  13. Virginia Tech
  14. Dayton

40.

 

I couldn’t put any of the remaining teams at number 40.  There was just no case to be made for any of them.

Update on the Royals Offseason

Update on the Royals Offseason

By: Cody Tapp

Update on the Royals offseason

Update on the Royals Offseason

 

The Royals offseason has been quiet. Almost painfully so…

 

Royals just traded for Peter O’Brien to add another power bat to a system that has lacked power and that was after adding more power in a young bat in Jorge Soler. Other than that nothing is in sight and here is why

 

For the first time in several years I finally believe the Royals when they say that they are living beyond their means. Kanas City is one of only six teams that haven’t signed a free agent worth more than 3 million dollars. Keep in mind that the average salary for a play in MLB is just over 4 million.

 

Five other teams are in the same boat so you can’t blame them for being on their own but that means 80 percent of the league has already made a bigger move than them. Jayson Stark pointed out that some of these teams are just waiting out what was a pretty pricey market and looking for back end deals that might come down cheaper. That would make sense for the Royals who appeared to have overpaid just last season but jumping on Soria when the market was booming.

 

The problem is that I don’t think a deal is coming for the Royals. They might back end a starter for a cheap price and hope to catch the Chris Young lighting in a bottle scenario again but the Indians just gave Encarnacion 20 million dollars a year and their payroll in 2017 is still less than the Royals.

 

I want them to spend it all this year too. If it was my money I think that is what I would do with pending free agency for almost every single big named player on the Royals but it seems like the plan for KC this year is to run this group back together and hope.

 

That is running it back with a team that finished 81-81 and had career years from Danny Duffy and Eric Hosmer. They will be doing it without one of the most dominant closers in baseball in Wade Davis and without the bullpen depth this team has been accustomed to. The rotation depth will also suffer without Volquez. I know he had a bad year but he was out there and replacing those innings wont come easy especially in baseball now where getting 180 innings from a pitcher comes at a decreasing number each year.

 

This offseason is likely forecasting for what is to come but don’t expect much more from the Royals this offseason unless it is a move for a small amount of money. There two biggest moves were for stability in RF for the next 5 years and for a O’Brien a guy that is the opposite of a Dayton Moore player. Big time power….big time strikeouts.

 

I hope more is to come but it might be quiet leading all the way up to spring training which is sneaking up quick.

Home is Where the Hurt is

Home is Where the Hurt is

By: Kurtis Seaboldt

For the Chiefs, Home is Where the Hurt Is

By Kurtis Seaboldt

Saturday night, millions of Chiefs fans in Kansas City gathered with friends and family and watched the clock tick down. When it hit zero, everyone cheered. There were drinks and hugs and expressions of joy.

Sunday afternoon, millions of Chiefs fans in Kansas City gathered with friends and family and watched two clocks tick down – one in San Diego, one in Denver. When they hit zero, everyone cheered. There were drinks and hugs and expressions of joy.

A year that almost everyone wanted to see end had finally ended and the New Year was already looking pretty good. The Chiefs had won. The Raiders had lost. The AFC West championship was on its way back to Kansas City and the team that brought it back gets to stay here for a little while.

After a week off to relax, the Chiefs will get back to work next Wednesday before hosting Pittsburgh, Houston or Oakland in an AFC Divisional Playoff game on Sunday, January 15. The rarity of a Chiefs playoff game at home is notable. The rarity of a Chiefs playoff win at home is almost historic.

Since moving to Kansas City in 1963, the Chiefs have hosted a total of seven playoff games:

1971 – Miami 27, Kansas City 24 (2OT)

1991 – Kansas City 10, L.A. Raiders 6

1993 – Kansas City 27, Pittsburgh 24 (OT)

1995 – Indianapolis 10, Kansas City 7

1997 – Denver 14, Kansas City 10

2003 – Indianapolis 38, Kansas City 31

2010 – Baltimore 30, Kansas City 7

In the years that they have been in Kansas City, only five teams have hosted fewer home playoff games than the Chiefs. Three of them did not even exist in 1993 much less 1963. They are the Ravens (5), Cardinals (4), Texans (3), Jaguars (3) and Lions (2). The Jaguars began in 1995, the Ravens in 1996 and the Texans in 2002.

Now. About those home playoff wins. Yes, both of them.

Only the Lions (1) have fewer home playoff wins than the Chiefs since 1963. Just how bad is it to have just two home playoff wins in that time span? Well, 63 different teams have won two home playoff games in a single season. Think about that. Sixty-three teams have won as many playoff games in a single season as the Chiefs have in fifty-four years. The Steelers and Broncos have done it six times each.

Here’s a fun stat. If you count their 1962 AFL Championship as the Dallas Texans, the Chiefs have won more post-season games in Houston than they have in Kansas City.

The Chiefs can make some history next Sunday. Arrowhead Stadium could sure use it.

Five From the Fieldhouse

Five From the Fieldhouse

By Nate Bukaty

  1. Walk Chalk Jayhhawk: Let’s just start with what everyone is talking/Tweeting/Facebooking about from this game: Yes, Svi walked. He took three steps. Maybe even four. He dribbled the ball ONE TIME after he got across half court for crying out loud. How in the world three referees can all be watching that play and swallow their whistles is beyond me. Especially when they spent the majority of the game blowing their whistles at anything that moved.
    Now, is this part of some vast conspiracy by the Big 12 to hand another trophy to Kansas? I’m sure you don’t have to search far on the internet to find all sorts of claims to that effect. If that’s the case, the referees did a fantastic job by disguising this one, as K-State shot more free throws and KU was called for more fouls in the game. That very rarely happens for any road team in the Big 12. What I think is more plausible is that refs tend to swallow their whistle in the final seconds of close games, particularly in favor of the home team. It certainly worked out that way for Kansas Tuesday night.
  2. Credit K-State: I stated Tuesday morning that I had learned next to nothing about The Wildcats through their charmin-soft nonconference schedule. The truth is, the only time they were tested by a decent team, they blew the game at the end. Ironically, the Wildcats might have proven more in their two losses than they have in any of their victories. They played tough and poised at Allen Fieldhouse, all the way to the wire. If Dean Wade hits a wide open three pointer with a few seconds remaining, we aren’t even talking about the non-call at the end of the game. It’s a shame for Wade, because he did just about everything for K-State in this game, apart from hitting his threes. If K-State can play like that on a consistent basis, they’ve got a chance to finish in the top half of this league and make the NCAA tournament. But the Wildcats still need to show that they can finish a game off. Losing in the final seconds has been far too much of a trend with them over the past couple of years. Still, this performance in Lawrence is something they can build off of going into the rest of league play.
  3. About that Defense: Bill Self lit into his team after their poor defensive performance in Fort Worth last Friday. Well, evidently it didn’t make much of an impression on the team. Self’s players responded to that tongue lashing by allowing Kansas State to score 88 points, which is the second highest point total for a K-State team ever in Allen Fieldhouse (they scored 91 in 1962.) After escaping with the win, Self called this the poorest defensive team he has had at KU. Now, is that just the coach trying to motivate his team, or is that just hashtag realtalk? Tough to say after the first two performances of conference play. Fortunately for the Jayhawks, they are elite offensively, which has allowed them to turn in a couple of stinkers on the defensive end, and still come away with a 2-0 record.
  4. Look for Lucas: Self also said after Tuesday night’s game that Landon Lucas has emerged as the team’s most dependable player right now. In two games of league play, Lucas has posted two double-doubles. He went for 18 points and 12 rebounds against Kansas State. But what stood out to me even more than his overall production was the fact that, in the final two minutes, with the game on the line, Self drew up plays to specifically get the ball to Lucas down low. With all of the offensive weapons on the floor for KU, those are not words I thought I would be typing at any point this season. And the fifth year senior rewarded his coach’s by scoring a big basket with 1:27 to go, although he missed the and-one opportunity. Lucas also drained two big free throws with 1:02 to go, after getting DJ Johnson to foul out.
  5. Three T’s for Jackson: Josh Jackson played an outstanding game against Kansas State, scoring 22 points, grabbing nine rebounds, and dishing out six assists. But the play involving Jackson that drew the most conversation after the game was the technical foul he picked up, which is his third already this season. According to Bill Self, Jackson got T’d up this time for simply yelling “call the foul” at the official. Jackson says that K-State players yelled the exact same thing at the refs multiple times thereafter, with no punishment. That’s all well and good, but Jackson has a problem on his hands now. Clearly the refs have their antennae up when it comes to Jackson. And, fair or unfair, three technicals in 14 games means he has a reputation now. That means he’s going to have less leeway with the refs than other players will. On Tuesday night, Jackson was able to stay out of foul trouble despite the T. But against TCU, his technical foul contributed to him fouling out in just 13 minutes of playing time. Jackson’s emotional intensity is one of his best attributes, so you’d hate to see him lose that. But he’s going to have to be a little more careful going forward.
Future of NFL Statistics is Now

Future of NFL Statistics is Now

By Charlie Karlen

The NFL strives to be the best in everything they do. The NFL is without a doubt the most popular sports league in the world and that will likely never change. Whether it is in total revenue, popularity, or statistical analysis, the NFL dominates in every category. This has been the story for many years now, however something that’s new is a futuristic way of capturing statistics.

The NFL integrated a new technology this season called Next Gen Stats. The concept is gaining popularity every week and has the feel of something you would see in a video game. You may have seen it being used on Monday Night Football or talked about during pregame and postgame shows. According to the Next Gen Stats webpage on NFL.com, “Next Gen Stats captures real time location data, speed and acceleration for every player, every play on every inch of the field.” They have special computer chips called RFID chips that they put on players’ shoulder pads. Those computer chips communicate with other RFID chips that are placed throughout the stadium. These sensors track and chart individual movements of NFL players within inches. If someone was curious about the speed a certain player reached on a punt return or a long touchdown run, they could use this app to determine that. Not only does it record the speed of a player but also the distance and direction that a player moves down the field on their way to the end zone – and much more. 

The categories on the offensive side of the football that this new-age statistical model captures are Average Time to Throw for a quarterback, Average Air Distance for a quarterback’s throw, Fastest Ball Carriers, and Longest Plays. The categories on defense captured by the app are Time to Sack, or the measuring of time it takes a player to make a sack, and Longest Tackle or distance traveled (in yards) to make a tackle.

You might be asking how this applies to Chiefs fans who are reading this, or which players are at the top of each of these statistical categories. You would be surprised how many Chiefs are on these lists. The top two quarterbacks in Average Time to Throw are Nick Foles and Alex Smith, obviously both Kansas City quarterbacks. Nick Foles leads this category at 2.36 seconds to get the ball out of his hands. Alex Smith is right behind him at 2.37 seconds. This category measures the time from the moment the ball is snapped to the moment the ball leaves the passer’s hands. So, quarterbacks who stay in the pocket and get rid of it quickly by throwing shorts passes, like Alex Smith, are favored in this category. Quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Cam Newton or Aaron Rodgers who tend to leave the pocket to find receivers downfield are lower on the list.

The other statistic for quarterbacks is Air Distance which measures the distance the ball travels from the point of release to the point of reception. With this statistic, quarterbacks with strong arms and trustworthy wide receivers are higher on the list. Cam Newton leads the list, with Kirk Cousins, Marcus Mariota, and Aaron Rodgers also showing up in the top 10.

The Next Gen Statistics that apply to the Chiefs the most and that are arguably the most exciting, are Fastest Ball Carriers and Longest Plays. The Fastest Ball Carriers stat is pretty self-explanatory and features the same player in the top two ranks: Tyreek Hill. Unfortunately, the top play in this statistic is Tyreek Hill’s kickoff return for a touchdown that was called back due to a holding penalty against the Houston Texans. He reached a top speed on that play of 23.24 mph and covered 139.37 yards on the play. We all remember how excited we were when we saw that happen and realized the potential possessed by this rookie back in week two. Number 2 on the list though was Tyreek Hill’s safety punt return that he took 86 yards for a touchdown, with no flags on the play, against the Broncos in week 12. Yes, this was the play that Tyreek Hill burned every Bronco player and high fived teammate De’Anthony Thomas before running it into the end zone. Hill reached a top speed of 22.77 mph and traveled a total of 122.24 yards on one of the most exciting plays of the season.

The other exciting Next Gen Stat that also applies to the Chiefs the most is Longest Plays. Three Chiefs plays round out the top 5, and you can probably guess who has at least one of them. Odell Beckham Jr. owns the top spot on this list, but like the Fastest Ball Carriers stat, it was a play that did not stand due to a penalty. Beckham Jr. returned a punt for a touchdown in week 15 and covered a total distance of 141.43 yards against the Lions. Tyreek Hill owns the 2nd spot on this list, again with his kickoff return that was called back against the Texans in week 2, covering 139.37 yards on the play. The number 3 spot on the list is owned by Daniel Sorensen when he recovered a fumble in the end zone against the Titans in week 15 and returned it the KC 47-yard line, covering a distance of 136.28 yards on the play. Since this play was not called back by a penalty, it is deserving of the top spot on the list.

The last two categories on the Next Gen Statistics database are Fastest Sack and Longest Tackle. You would expect Justin Houston or Von Miller to be at the top of Fastest Sack, but neither even make the list. Cam Johnson for the Browns has the top spot when he sacked Kirk Cousins in week 4, making the sack in 1.8 seconds. Desmond Trufant earned the number 2 spot on the list when he sacked Russell Wilson in week 6, tackling him in the backfield in 2 seconds. Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril is number 3 after sacking Ryan Fitzpatrick in week 4 in 2.1 seconds. Obviously this depends on the speed and skill of the pass rusher against the offensive lineman and highlights defenders with some of the best instincts in the NFL.

The final Next Gen Statistical category is Longest Tackle, or the distance covered by a player to make the tackle. Andrew Sendejo with the Vikings is number 1 on the list when he covered 102.3 yards to make the tackle on a 67-yard pass play from Eli Manning and the Giants. Travis Benjamin owns the number 2 spot when he covered 86.02 yards to make the tackle on Sean Smith after a Phillip Rivers interception. Chris Conley for the Chiefs has the number 4 spot when he covered 84.41 yards in week 2 against the Texans on a Spencer Ware fumble that would have likely lead to a touchdown if Conley did not hustle downfield to make the play.

This new technology and statistical model and will only improve from here. Many Chiefs made the list so it is quite relevant to the playoff-bound team wrapping up the regular season in San Diego on Sunday.

Petro’s Ballot for AP College Basketball Poll, January 2

Petro’s Ballot for AP College Basketball Poll, January 2

By Soren Petro

 

1. Villanova

2. Kansas

3. Baylor

4. UCLA

5. Virginia

6. Duke

7. Louisville

8. Kentucky

9. Gonzaga

10. West Virginia

11. Wisconsin

12. North Carolina

13. Arizona

14. Creighton

15. Purdue

16. Oregon

17. Florida St.

18. Xavier

19. BuButle

20. Saint Mary’s

21. Cincinnati

22. Florida

23. Miami

24. Indiana

25. Notre Dame

 

26. Iowa St.

 

27. Clemson

 

28. Virginia Tech

 

29. Michigan St.

 

30. Seton Hall

 

31. USC

 

32. Kansas St.

 

33. California

 

34. South Carolina

 

35. Maryland

 

36. SMU

 

37. Texas Tech

 

38. Minnesota

 

39. Michigan

 

40. Oklahoma St.