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Entries in Cal Bears (4)

Tuesday
Mar132012

Scared Money Don't Make Money

Alas, the madness begins. Tonight, with 2 play in games, March Madness and the NCAA Tournament officially gets underway.

I haven't won a bracket pool in over 5 years, so taking my advice can prove detrimental to your pocket, like taking your friend's advice on stock picks. However, I'm consistent in finishing 2nd, 3rd or 4th every year, sometimes in pools as large as 100 people. There is something to be said for consistency, like a Vanguard mutual fund.

Speaking of investing, let's treat our bracket like a stock portfolio this year.

The #1 seeds are your blue-chips. Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, Michigan State. Apple, Nike, Disney, Google. Having these in your portfolio/bracket guarantees you stay in the game. You're not going to blow up like Long Term Capital Management or Enron.

Your #2 and #3 seeds are value picks. Pick the right one and you're rich. Pick the wrong one, you're done. Companies that fit this profile are Amazon, Netflix, Sirius XM, Microsoft, HP, Barnes & Noble, Target, etc. Schools that fit the profile are Baylor, Duke, Missouri, Kansas, Ohio State, Florida State, Georgetown, Marquette. 

The #4 seed. It's the stock you hate but always seems to beat analysts projections and earnings. Wisconsin, Indiana, Louisville, Michigan. Is it just me or are Wisconsin and Indiana always 4 seeds? And now Michigan. It's like the selection committee just says, "Oh, a Big-Ten school. We don't know. 4 seed." Companies like this are IBM, Caterpillar, McDonalds, Qualcomm. 

And finally, the start-up. The sexy pick. Cinderella. The magical place where profitability and revenue don't seem to matter. Business wise, this is LinkedIn, Pandora, Zynga. In Bracketology these are the 12 seeds. Harvard, Long Beach State, VCU, Cal. Odd that 3/4 12 seeds this year hail from Harvard, NorCal/Silicon Valley and SoCal, the hottest startup regions around. Mid-majors like Murray State, Saint Mary's and Wichita State also fit the profile.

Want to win your bracket? Want to become rich? The best approach is to diversify. Or dont. What do I know? I'm not rich and I haven't won a bracket in years. Maybe you should just roll the dice and bet it all on New Mexico State. 

Sunday
Mar042012

Madness Awaits... 

This is blasphemy. This is madness.... No. This is SPARTA!

We enter Championship Week and the Conference Tournaments and I'm giddy with excitement. March Madness is right around the corner, sports craziest time of year.

Before we get there though, we've got huge West Coast matchups ahead. Starting first, with the WCC and the West Coast Tournament. Much of this 2012 tourney has been played, all that's left is to decide the title. An emerging West Coast power, the Saint Mary's program takes on an always tough, no longer a Cinderella school in Gonzaga. March 5th is the date. This is becoming a solid rivalry.

In the Mountain West Conference there's 3 teams I'm paying close attention to. They are San Diego State, UNLV and New Mexico. SDSU and UNLV are the better teams, but New Mexico has beaten both of them.

In a very down Pac-12 year, the conference has the usual performers ready to dance. Washington, Oregon, Cal and Arizona should all get in, but a run in the conference tourney by Colorado or UCLA could make things interesting. Expect a big time sleeper to come out of the Pac-12 and make noise in the NCAA Tournament, like a Colorado.

In the Big West, the Long Beach State 49ers, aka Dirtbags, are known for baseball, evidenced by their nickname. This year, lead by Casper "Gomez" Ware, they are armed and dangerous on the court. Big West gets big style points for the most creative school nicknames. Clearly LBState, the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara and Anteaters of UC Irvine lead the way.

The WAC, Western Athletic Conference, has 2 very good teams with a third sneaky pick. The top 2 are Nevada 25-5 and New Mexico State 23-9. The third, if they get into the dance look out, is the Utah State Aggies. The Aggies punched their ticket the last 3 years and took top seeds to the final seconds of the first round, only to lose. They have the experience. Don't rule it out.

There is still a lot to be decided, but one thing is for certain. It will be Madness.

Sunday
Jan012012

Luck-y Ducks: Stanford and Oregon Take Center Stage

Courtesy of Nike

Thus far in the 2011/2012 Bowl Season, the Pac-12 has not fared well. They are 1-4, with the only win being a come from behind variety for the conference newcomer, Utah. UCLA, ASU, Cal and U-Dub have lost each of their bowl games. 

Now it is Oregon's turn to showcase the talent out West. The Ducks take on Wisconsin in Pasadena's Rose Bowl, a game that figures to test the limits of the scoreboard. Read more about it here and get a taste of Nike's fresh new gear. So fresh and so clean, clean.

Andrew's Luck: Scared Money Don't Make Money.Later on Monday, the 4th ranked Stanford Cardinal take on 3rd ranked Oklahoma State in Glendale, AZ at the Tostito's Fiesta Bowl. Each year, the Fiesta Bowl winds up being one of the most exciting bowl games and this round looks to be no different.

Andrew Luck must play well as all the scouts will be watching... especially those who are employed by the Colts and Rams. After Heisman Winner Robert Griffin III put on a show versus Washington, it is Luck's turn to answer the bell. (RG3 declared for the NFL draft following the 123 point Alamo Bowl shootout).

Luck figures to be the 1st player selected in the 2012 NFL draft, although the two teams with the worst records (Indy and STL) already have franchise QBs in Sam Bradford and Peyton Manning.

One thing is for sure, January 2nd in Prime-Time is going to be an incredible night of college football.

Thursday
Dec012011

Pac-12 Takes Center Stage: NFL Thursday Night Football

The "Dream Team" Philadelphia Eagles take on the Seattle Seahawks tonight at Seattle's CenturyLink Field, a stadium known for being extremely loud.

One of the crown jewels of West Coast stadiums will be featured in prime-time, as well as 21 Pac-12 players and a coach. In all, the following schools represent WestSide Culture tonight: Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford and USC. Additionally there two Mountain West schools in the mix with San Diego State and Boise State. (Blue turf, what what).

Take a look at the following names and tell me this is not impressive:

Desean Jackson and Marshawn Lynch, Cal Golden Bears teammates.ASU - Zach Miller

Cal - Desean Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Nnamdi Asomugha (Lynch, Jackson and Forsett were all on the same team, almost as dominant as when Dennis Erickson had Stephen Jackson, Chad OchoCinco Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh at Oregon State).

Stanford - Doug Baldwin

USC - Pete Carroll, Mike Williams, Steve Smith

Hey, in a game where two 4-7 teams take the field, you gotta' find something interesting to follow. Let's see if we can get the Pac-12 to outscore all the rest of college football tonight. I'll keep track for you. Give me the Pac-12 minus 7.

As a side note the soon to be fired head coach of the Eagles, Andy Reid, has some ties to the West Coast. Reid was born in Los Angeles, CA, attended BYU and coached at BYU, San Francisco State and Northern Arizona University. Reid also runs a modified version of the West Coast Offense.