My alma mater’s men’s basketball team is riding a six-game winning streak after beating Evansville on Wednesday night. That’s the longest winning streak for Southern Illinois University Carbondale since 2007, when it was plowing through opponents en route to the Sweet 16.
Back then, I felt as if the Salukis were going to make it to the NCAA Tournament every year. They haven’t made it since. But if they make it this year, I might need to make sure there is some money put away in the unlikely case that happens. Go Dawgs!
- I was taken off guard when I saw early releases of 2021 NFL MVP futures odds, but to see projected NFL win totals for the 2020 season in February — just days after the Super Bowl ended — is flat-out jarring. The new league year doesn’t open up for business for another 42 days. Trades can’t go through and free agent signings can’t be announced until March 18. And then we have the draft to go through in April. So to say these numbers are ridiculously premature is putting it lightly. And yet, here they are in all their glory:
OVER/UNDER 2020 NFC win totals (BetOnline):
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) February 5, 2020
- A projected 8-win season for the Bears puts them tied for the ninth highest number in the NFC and behind the Vikings (9.5) and Packers (9.5) in the NFC North. To be honest, I can’t say there is much of an argument against that number after what the Bears did last season. Though, I suppose that Chicago winning eight games with a broken offense in a year where so many little things went wrong suggests that — with better luck and a less broken offense — the Bears could get to 9 or 10 wins in 2020.
- I’ll say this: If you have a gut feeling about the Bears making major changes on the offense, while also maintaining an excellent defense, then I would say that it would be sensible to place a safe wager on the OVER 8 wins for the 2020 Bears. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t dare get out ahead of my skis. Not after how last year turned out to be a gut-punch of a disappointment. But teams jump up every year after being knocked down a peg, many of which don’t have a defense to lean on that is as good as the Bears’ unit.
- Whatever happens with the Bears in 2020 will be tied to quarterback play. If it is good, the Bears will be good. If it takes another step back, then trouble will be on the horizon and jobs could be on the line. So before you place a wager because you believe the Bears can win more than eight games, know how important the quarterback position will be. Perhaps even take some other odds into consideration. Such as this from John Perrotto of Sports Betting Dime, who notes that BetOnline has Mitch Trubisky being a Week 1 starter in the NFL at -500. Those are overwhelmingly strong odds in Trubisky’s favor.
- In a recent mailbag, Larry Mayer of the Bears’ official website name-drops all the top tight ends when asked about a position group the Bears need to overhaul this season. If you’re into the idea of spending money in free agency, then it’s worth noting that NFLTradeRumors.com has Austin Hooper (17th), Hunter Henry (18th), and Eric Ebron (43rd) as tight ends who are among the 50 best free agents-to-be this offseason. Greg Olsen (who sounds like he is still waiting for a call from the Bears) and Tyler Eifert are in the bottom half of the top-100.
- Meanwhile, Mayer also cites CBS Sports’ prospect list as he mines for tight end talent. There are five tight ends who are on the site’s top-100 prospect list. Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet (39th), Purdue’s Brycen Hopkins (45th), Washington’s Hunter Bryant (55th), Vanderbilt’s Jared Pinkney (63rd), and Oregon’s Jacob Breeland (97th) should all get good, long looks from the Bears’ scouting department during the pre-draft process.
- I want to see Jay Cutler break something down like this if he gets a job in an NFL broadcast booth in 2020:
Old diagram here (Cutler at QB for the Bears). And I’m missing some routes — deep over, pivot, double moves.
But this illustrates how much “space” Slot CBs have to cover. Plus, you have to play both inside/outside releases without the protection (or help) of the sideline. pic.twitter.com/4nuB219eA4
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) February 5, 2020
- Hey! It could happen.
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities have produced some of your favorite players:
- This made me chuckle::
- Happy NBA Trade Deadline Day:
With Hours To Go Before the Deadline, Trade Talk on Valentine, Young Frustratingly Quiet for Bullshttps://t.co/1W5viTXuk2
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) February 6, 2020