In this week’s edition of Around the Dorm, “Ref” Miguel Gonzalez asked our panel of three experts — Maximillian C. Burgos, Michael Battista and Alexandra Parado — three questions: 1. With the college basketball season starting, who do you see having a breakout season? 2. What will Roy Halladay’s legacy be? 3. Which four teams deserve to be in the College Football Playoffs?
1. With the college basketball season starting, who do you see having a breakout season?
Max: Duke will go all the way. The Blue Devils are talented with their starting lineup: Trevon Duval, Grayson Allen, Gary Trent, Jr., Wendell Carter, Jr. and Marvin Bagley III. Coach Mike Krzyzewski is a legend. Duke is always in the mix of things when it comes to men’s basketball. It might not be a breakout season, but it will definitely be interesting to watch. I think Duke will start off slow before exploding onto the scene and bursting through March Madness.
Michael: My pick is coming from the Big East and it’s not Seton Hall. It’s Creighton. Last year the team shocked me by knocking off Xavier in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament and it looks like they can go even farther this season. The Blue Jays have done great in recruiting determined players, including Syracuse University transfer Kaleb Joseph who seems primed to finally start with the team after his redshirt year last season. Plus they have returning starters like Khyri Thomas, last year’s Big East defensive player of the year, and Marcus Foster. The team has one of the hardest schedules this year and kicked it off by defeating Yale, a notoriously tough defensive team, 92-76. I can smell Sweet 16 come March for this group. Besides them, those UCLA players should be breaking out of a Chinese jail soon.
Alex: Duke is definitely the team to watch this season. They have young, talented recruits who don’t play like college freshmen. For most teams, having so many young starters would be nerve-racking but for Duke, it’s nothing new. Mike Krzyzewski has once led Duke to a national title behind three freshmen and I’m sure he can do it again. Grayson Allen is also a senior this year. Last season, he almost wrecked the competition so I really think he’s going turn things around this season and be the leader on the team that Duke needs. People either love or hate Duke. They get hate because they’re so damn good.
Alex gets 3 points for mentioning Grayson Allen. Max gets 2 points for talking about Duke’s starting lineup. Michael gets 1 point because Creighton is overrated.
2. What will Roy Halladay’s legacy be in baseball?
Max: Roy Halladay’s loss will be felt for a long time. He was deeply cared for and was known as a family man. Halladay didn’t have the traditional road to success in the MLB. Halladay knew what it meant to work hard and earn everything that comes to you. His loss was a tragedy for the sports world. Everyone that knew him had nothing but good things to say. I feel bad for his family and hope that no one forgets the kind and inspirational man that Halladay was.
Michael: Roy Halladay was one of the best pitchers of the 2000s and his eight All-Star selections and two Cy Young awards prove that. There’s only been 23 perfect games in MLB history. He pitched one of them in 2010, while also achieving the second ever no-hitter in postseason history the same year. Besides his talent, he was a family man off the field. Halladay helped create “Doc’s Box,” a specially renovated luxury suite, in Toronto for children and their families from the Hospital for Sick Children. The father who, after he retired, spent time with his two kids and helped coach his son’s high school team to a state championship. Almost eerily, I think Halladay’s legacy is similar to famed Yankees’ catcher Thurman Munson who also died in a plane crash. Both were players who gave the game everything, who earned the respect of both their teammates and organizations and who loved nothing more than their families. Munson’s No. 15 has never been worn by a Yankee since, and I see his No. 32 never being worn in Rogers Centre again.
Alex: Roy Halladay was everybody’s hero. He was a huge figure in baseball and his passing is truly heartbreaking news. Roy Halladay is probably your favorite player’s favorite player. He should go into the Hall of Fame as one of the absolute best pitchers in baseball. Not only was he a great baseball player, he was a person a lot of people looked up to. He’s made his mark in Baseball history. He’s two time Cy Young Award winner who pitched a perfect game and had a playoff no-hitter. You can’t tell me that’s normal! But there’s more to being just an athlete, he’ll always be remembered as a great friend, mentor, husband and overall just a great person.
Michael gets 3 points for mentioning Doc’s Box. Max and Alex get 2 points for talking about Halladay’s impact off the field.
3. Which four teams deserve to be in the College Football Playoffs?
Max: After Notre Dame got slaughtered by Miami, I say Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and Oklahoma belong in the top four. Notre Dame had a rough schedule this year, but it is their own fault for being independent. Alabama seems like a dynasty that no one can stop with a straight up frontal assault offense. To beat Alabama you need a miracle. I would not be surprised if they win another national championship this year. But you can’t count out Clemson who has beaten Alabama before. Georgia also looks really good this year, even with the loss to Auburn. Oklahoma may blow it, but they are also really good this year. I think it’ll come down to Clemson and Alabama as the final two.
Michael: The top four in college football, in no particular order, is Alabama, Miami, Clemson and Oklahoma. Alabama may have nearly lost on Saturday, but the fact is the team is undefeated and have monster wins under its belt. The winner of Miami and Notre Dame over the weekend was pretty much going to decide which of these teams deserve a spot. The Hurricanes’ destruction of the fighting Irish speaks for itself. The last two spots are difficult, and honestly these teams may not deserve the spots in the next few weeks. Clemson cannot lose another game because of their loss to an unranked Syracuse. Even if Clemson loses against Miami, Wisconsin will become way more deserving. The Sooners have a record with impressive wins and an easier schedule remaining minus TCU next week. If Auburn didn’t have both Alabama and Georgia in its final few weeks, I could see the team jumping up. I also see Oklahoma heading to the playoffs easily.
Alex: Clemson has been ranked in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings for the past two seasons. Clemson definitely deserves to be there. The Tigers lost a lot of their playmakers last year. A lot of people thought that would be a setback for the team. So far, it’s not a problem for the team. Their offense is incredible and experienced this season. Players who are underutilized were given the opportunity to play with players like Wayne Gallman, Mike Williams and Deshaun Watson. There’s enough leadership and experience on the team to go with the youth’s ambition on the team. Also I might be a little biased because I thought about transferring to Clemson instead of the College, but that’s a story for another time.
Michael gets 3 points for his thorough analysis. Max gets 2 points for mentioning Notre Dame’s reckoning. Alex gets 1 point for considering Clemson over TCNJ.
Michael wins ATD 7-6-6
“Long live the king of ATD!”