Saturday, March 01, 2003
Along with spotty online access, the reason I've been so quiet (thanks for asking) is El Paso's all I wanna talk about. And yet, there's nothing I can say.
Meaning, no commentary, analysis or satire can compete with the reality, as laid out in the El Paso Times (for specific links, read the last several Farm Reports).
So. Moving on. Are they suddenly wearing Rattlers sweaters in Amarillo or what? Guess the Buzzards really like their skates.
Two weeks ago the Apes were poised to take over the Northwest. Since then they've earned two points out of a possible 12 and let Memphis zip right past them. Bossier too.
The only saving grace for Joe Ferras' squad is two precious games in hand on Tulsa, which hasn't been much better -- four points (albeit over the CHL's top two teams) in its last half-dozen contests.
Oklahoma City has been brilliant by comparison -- yeah, the Blazers lost to Fort Worth one-and-a-half times and dropped another shootout to the Bats, but they've added to their total in five out of six games, earning eight in all. (For the record, Bossier earned six points out of 12, Memphis eight.)
The momentum could swing again next weekend, but right now I'd say whoever wins that division is fodder for the defending champs. And given the yearlong, back-and-forth intensity of the Indy-Memphis rivalry, that's a seven-game series I would like to see.
The Bugs can tie the Oilers Sunday with a win over Fort Worth, while Amarillo is not likely to go down at El Paso two games in a row.
More intriguingly, Tulsa still has to face the Gorillas and the Mudbugs one time each, with tiebreakers at stake in both. Beat Amarillo and the Oilers hold the head-to-head advantage; beat Bossier and the head-to-head is even, with the next tiebreaker (overall wins) in Tulsa's favor.
I know the standings say the fourth-place Southern Conference team is the weak sister of the playoffs, but I'm gonna suggest that Corpus Christi is a somewhat underrated team.
Why? Well, if the Rayz could replace 50% of their games against Austin and Laredo with games against the North, they might very well have 67 points. Conversely, if Oklahoma City or Memphis had to play Austin and Laredo 23 times, they might be in the 50s.
Just a theory.
On the other hand, Corpus' road record is atrocious. Lubbock's too. In fact, the C-Kings have been awful, going 5-10-1 from Jan 28-Feb 28 before Saturday's win over the Oil.
Which is why New Mexico holds the final spot for now. Macker finally got his club to gel, with five wins in a row before tonight (so much for the Southwest title talk).
In other news...
The Killer Bees have found their coach, and he's currently associated with one of the 16 CHL teams. Does that mean if Lubbock keeps playing like it has been, the announcement will come sooner than "late April?"