The college football season is winding down, while the NBA season cranks up as MLB’s offseason begins. That doesn’t even touch on college basketball, the NHL or the NFL.
What a time for a sports fan.
Let’s take a look at three issues, one regarding a college football team aiming for a spot in the playoff, one about whether a slugging first baseman will get dealt this Winter, and the last regarding a faltering NBA team.
RahimAli: Win or lose against Alabama, Georgia will still make the College Football Playoff
Cullen: Hard sell. Georgia will make the CFP if they defeat Alabama in the SEC Championship game. There’s no doubt about that. However, if the Bulldogs lose to the Crimson Tide, then they’ll need a lot of help to get in, and I don’t see it happening.
For Georgia to lose on Saturday but still have a shot, they’ll need Northwestern to defeat Ohio State in the Big 10 Championship game and they’ll need Texas to defeat Oklahoma in the Big XII Championship game. While the Longhorns may get it done against the Sooners (they already defeated them once this year), the Buckeyes will not lose to the Wildcats.
This is how I see it going down. If Georgia wins, then the four playoff teams, in no particular order, will be Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Notre Dame. If Alabama wins, it will be Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and one of either Oklahoma or Ohio State.
Joel: Selling on Georgia making the CFP if they lose to Alabama. I agree with Cullen that they’ll have to beat Alabama to get in. If the question was, “Alabama still makes the CFP win or lose against Georgia?” I’d easily buy that. Alabama has been the most dominatnt team in college football this season. Even if they lost to Georgia in the SEC title game, the committee knows it couldn’t leave them out because of how good they are.
However, this question isn’t about Alabama. Georgia is a good team this year, but they haven’t dominated the way Alabama has. You could make a case for Georgia being as good as teams like Ohio State, Notre Dame and just about everyone else who’s ranked up there, but not Alabama.
Like Cullen said, Georgia will need a lot of help to get in the CFP if they lose to Alabama, but I don’t see them getting the help they’d need to make it.
Cullen: The Arizona Diamondbacks will not trade Paul Goldschmidt this offseason
Joel: Buying the Diamondbacks not trading Goldschmidt in the offseason. If it were me, I’d wait until before the trade deadline during the season to trade him. Goldschmidt is one of the best players in the league, as evidenced by his sixth-place finish for National League MVP last season. A player like that is never someone you want to trade.
Many believe the Diamondbacks are entering a rebuilding period, but maybe they can make the right moves this offseason to make them playoff contenders. If they keep Goldschmidt heading into the season, they can at least see what kind of team they have. If they think they can contend for the playoffs as the season goes on, they should keep him around. If they’re actually heading toward a rebuild and aren’t in playoff contention, they trade him and at least get something for him before his deal ends.
Then there’s the fact that Goldschmidt plays a position a lot of contenders don’t need. The Dodgers have Max Muncy, the Braves have Freddie Freeman and the Brewers have Jesus Aguilar. They’re not the only contenders, but you get the point. I could see them making a trade for Goldschmidt later if something were to happen to one of those guys. Not sure if a team who’s not contending would be willing pay the price for a guy like Goldschmidt.
RahimAli: I buy that the Arizona Diamondbacks will not trade Paul Goldschmidt. Like Joel said, Goldschmidt has been one of the best players in the major leagues over the last five years and he is one of the best at his position. Regardless of the Diamondbacks missing the playoffs, getting rid of the best player on the team isn’t the ideal thing to do, especially when they were a Wild Card team in the 2017 season.
The Diamondbacks aren’t a bad team, they just have a lot of players who can do so many different things for them. They haven’t been able to figure it out yet. Goldschmidt is the only question that doesn’t need to be answered. Maybe it makes more sense to trade him now when you can get something for him, but I like the idea of waiting until closer to the deadline where you can strike an even better deal.
With Goldschmidt being a free agent next year, I understand the urge of wanting to trade him away and get a fresh start, but there’s not really a big need more him right now with every team set at that position, or at least happy with what they have there. If a Goldschmidt deal gets done, it will be a deal like the one that was done for Manny Machado last year, where he was traded to fill the void of Corey Seager, who had a season-ending injury. If anything were to happen to a top first baseman and the Diamondbacks are still looking for offers, then Goldschmidt should be dealt. Otherwise, he’ll stay with the team for the rest of the year and make the decision in free agency!
Joel: One season after being one game away from the NBA Finals, the Houston Rockets will miss the playoffs
Cullen: Selling the Rockets missing the playoffs. Though currently in the midst of a four-game losing streak and sitting two games below .500, Houston will right the ship in the remaining 60+ games. Expect a deal or two before the deadline by Daryl Morey. Heck, maybe even a coaching change. With the Western Conference so packed together (they’re only 4.5 games out of the #2 seed right now), the Rockets will rise in the standings, while some early surprises, like the Kings and Grizzlies, falter.
RahimAli: I am also selling the Rockets missing the playoffs. So far this season, we have seen several different types of this Rockets team. The one with Carmelo Anthony, James Harden and Chris Paul. Other one with Paul and the rest of the team. Harden was even by himself at one point.
The Rockets tried the ‘Melo-D’Antoni experiment again and quickly lost sight of their goal. Paul and Harden have both suffered early season injuries or suspensions, which have impacted them in some games, but they should be fine.
Does Houston have a problem? Yes, I believe they do have a problem, but they are one of the teams with the most experience and they have well over 58 games left to right to ship. The real question is, where will they finish in the Western Conference playoff picture? It’s clearly still too early to tell, but it’s a wide open conference at the moment. We will continue to keep an eye on this situation in Houston. I will also be giving you all an update of the standings every other week in my “NBA Season Review” article, where you can see where the Rockets stand!
What do you think?
- If Georgia loses to Alabama, will they get enough outside help to still reach the College Football Playoff?
- What are the Diamondbacks going to do with Paul Goldschmidt?
- Has the window for contention closed for the Houston Rockets?
Hit us up in the comments!