The Takes are Back and Better than EVER!

After hibernating for a couple of months, Top Shelf Takes is back with some of the hottest and most correct takes you will ever witness.

First, a couple of things…

If you haven’t already, go check out our podcast! You can listen to it on any major streaming platform when you search Top Shelf Takes. We are trying to become more of a weekly podcast with myself and Kyle hosting while having guests on every episode. The main focus has been fantasy sports and, of course, betting tips. Nevertheless, we are still giving our takes on major news headlining every sport.

We are attempting to work with other newly developed podcasts to hopefully expand our audience and give you all more content to enjoy. Unfortunately, time has not been on our side as we all have things like school, jobs, and families that have priority over our content. Hopefully, as the new year comes into full swing, as well as a return to normalcy, we will be able to distribute new and improved content on a regular basis.

I want to personally thank those of you who have stuck with us and asked about us during our period of “hibernation.” Truthfully, I had been wanting Top Shelf Takes to become something that is not quite possible yet. I had high hopes that, during this day and age, Top Shelf Takes might be able to work out on its own and become a hit with an audience craving for content. However, I soon realized that dream was not possible right now and probably not possible for the foreseeable future as myself and the guys continue to try and find a footing in our respective career paths. But mark my words, one day Top Shelf Takes (this might be under a different name at some point) will become what we all had hoped it would become. In conclusion, we will be working closely to deliver on our promise on giving you continuous, correct, and controversial takes on sports, pop culture, and even politics depending on how ballsy we are feeling at the moment.

I’m just going to throw it out there that you will not be seeing a whole lot of opinions on politics unless, for some reason, we feel that it is imperative our audience should be aware of what is going on. With the risk that comes along with stating your political opinions in this day and age of being canceled and tarnishing the possibility of any bright future you might have, the “reward” does not correspond with the “risk” whatsoever. But no promises we stay silent. If you want us to discuss politics either with us, one of us, or even have us discuss it on the podcast or blog, please make an inquiry through the contact email under the contacts page on our website or reach out to us on social media and we can go from there.

Lastly, I’m not going by the Boss anymore. I don’t like it. I’m still thinking on a name cha

Now to the good stuff…

We are currently a few weeks from the NFL playoffs, college football bowl season, and the NBA and college basketball have resumed their seasons as well. Of course, COVID has made for a huge obstacle with some games being postponed or canceled all together. Despite that, each sport has persevered and made its way to starting point for basketball and an ending point for the NFL. I will try to post my takes on each sport every week, but for now, I’m sticking with football with this post.

A Few Correct Takes on the NFL season thus far…

  1. The Pittsburgh Steelers will not make the AFC Champ game

The Pittsburgh Steelers were the lone remaining undefeated team when they went up against the Washington Football Team last Monday. Since then, they have now lost two straight and have been officially dubbed overrated by all NFL watchers, myself included.

Don’t get me wrong. I think they are still a great football team, in fact, they can still win their division and more than likely get the number 2 or 3 seed in the playoffs. Actually, there’s a very, very slim chance they could get back the 1 seed but a million different things would have to got their way. But, as we all know, you judge every team against the best team within that division, conference, or league. And that’s the Kansas City Chiefs. To me, the Steelers are close, but are not yet able to be a for sure bet to beat the reigning Super Bowl champs.

Besides the obvious dominance of the Chiefs, there’s also the Buffalo Bills who beat the Steelers last night on primetime. Buffalo is playing its best football at the right time. They are on track to win the AFC East and, as of right now, have a high probability of locking the 2 seed in the playoffs. Josh Allen and the offense have been electric and their defense has been pretty much one of the more consistent units in the league in 2020. Moreover, their play and continued success just makes HC Doug McDermott a vastly underrated coach. You have to love what’s going on Buffalo now and for seasons to come.

Let’s not forget the possibility that the Steelers could lose the AFC North. If the cards are played out correctly, the Cleveland Browns might be sitting on top. The Browns are currently 9-3 and still have to play some pretty good football teams. However, one of those matchups will be the Steelers with the last game of the season. Considering their respective schedules in the coming weeks with how bad the Steelers offense has been and as injuries continue to stack up on the defense, that Week 17 showdown could be a battle for the 2 or 3 seed in the AFC. The Steelers also have to play the Indianapolis Colts in Week 16 so please please don’t overlook that game. That offense has been grooving and that defense is definitely at top 5 defense in the league. It’ll be interesting to see how Tomlin and Co. respond, but as of right now, their playoff outlook doesn’t look terrific.

2. The NFC will probably lose the Super Bowl

This might be quite obvious, but I’m gonna say it anyway. If you look, right now, at the division leaders and the projected wild card spots compared to the AFC, the NFC comes no where near as close to being dominate compared to any of the top 4 AFC teams. Green Bay, New Orleans, LA Rams, and Washington are your division leaders. Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota are you wild cards. Stack those teams against their AFC counterparts and I give the AFC the edge. Here’s why….

Green Bay’s defensive play, as of right now, will keep Aaron Rodgers from winning another Super Bowl. That’s the unfortunate truth for a guy who will go down as a Top 5 QB of all time. If Green Bay can figure their defensive side of the ball out, they might have a chance to make it back to the NFC Champ game and have a decent shot at defeating the Chiefs. New Orleans is the complete opposite. Their defense is good but their offense is in shambles behind Taysom Hill and not much better when Drew Brees is back behind center. It’s sad but true. Seattle has no defense and Tampa Bay, honestly, has too many weapons and, to me, are more worried about making people happy than playing football. Or they just aren’t a very good team right now, idk. I’m not even going to consider the NFC East as legitimate threats to anyone of those teams I just mentioned.

To me, the NFC playoffs are going to be glorious. We are going to have upsets. We are going to have parody. We are going to have major headlines to talk about for the beginning of 2021 that reveals some sort of normalcy. But when it’s all said and done, I have a difficult time looking at any of those teams and 100% believing they can actually beat Kansas City, who is clearly the most dominant team in the AFC, for 4 quarters of football.

3. Aaron Rodgers deserves MVP over anyone else

Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, and Russell Wilson. That’s it. That’s the list of potential MVPs. Wilson might be out of the running due to his team’s recent poor performances in the last few weeks. But comparing Rodgers play to Mahomes, to me, it’s not even close. Mahomes has so many weapons to work with compared to Rodgers. The sports world talks every single year how the Green Bay Packers organization is not giving their Hall of Fame QB enough weapons and they sure aren’t. But that guy makes the most of it and has led his team to the top of the NFC standings and potentially landing the 1 seed depending on how the season goes. If you look at their stats prior to yesterday’s games, they are pretty similar. But when you factor in the weapons each has to work with, those stats make Rodgers’ performance more and more impressive. Mahomes is a great QB and the future of the league, but you gotta give credit where it is due and Rodgers is the clear MVP.

A Few Correct Takes on the College Football Season thus far…

  1. No one is going to beat Alabama

This might not come as a shocker to some of you, but unlike some people who are obsessed with college football, I’m a realist. I don’t let my fandom cloud my judgment. After watching Alabama demolish their opponents with ease with arguably the most explosive offense since A.J. McCarron was QB for the Tide and one of HC Nick Saban’s better defenses, there is not a team that can beat them, in my expert opinion. They demolished Top 10 Georgia and Texas A&M. Poor Auburn didn’t stand a chance when they were ranked 22nd and former HC Gus Malzahn had a job. Unless COVID makes its way through the team the night before or day of a playoff game or the national championship, then their opponents do not stand a chance.

2. Notre Dame should join a conference

Notre Dame joined the ACC for the 2020 season and should either stay there or join somewhere else. With a 4 team playoff and Notre Dame remaining independent after this season, I feel that is wrong to leave out a conference champ, whether they are undefeated or have 1 loss, and put a 1 loss or undefeated Notre Dame out there. I understand there are scenarios where Notre Dame might actually be better than those conference champs, however, the tie should definitely go to the team who played that extra game to be champs. Honestly, if you look at Notre Dame’s schedule minus this year, most of their games are not that good. They’re ancient. USC is not what it used to be and same for Stanford. Some of their ACC games are good depending on the year. But generally, their schedule can be pretty weak compared to those who won their conferences. This year, I am fine with having more than one team from the same conference due to all this madness but at least make it right, NCAA, for seasons to come.

Saying all that, this is ultimately up to either the committee or NCAA or whomever is in charge of the college football playoffs. They need either expand to 8 teams instead of the current 4 or they need to have set criteria in play when situations such as Notre Dame vying for a playoff spot are on the table. The current eye test is arguably worse, no it is actually worse, than the old BCS computer algorithm thing. To me, the playoffs should be expanded to 8 teams, they should have set criteria that you need to win your conference to make the playoffs (similar to what basketball does in making the NCAA tournament), and it wouldn’t hurt to restructure the conferences. I understand there’s a lot of money on the line by doing this but it makes for simpler, better football which would hopefully translate to the generation of revenue schools are scared of losing by leaving their current conferences.

3. Ohio State should not be in the playoffs

This is 100% an unpopular opinion according to the world of Twitter but it remains true. And I’m just going to say that I’m not blaming Ohio State for this opinion, but it’s more so against the Big 10 as a whole. I personally do not see how you can reward a program who is obviously not their conference champ nor have they played a fraction of the games these other teams in the ACC or SEC (sorry Big 12 I love you but not this year) have played. We are talking about these teams electing to play football, working out a schedule in case they had to postpone games, and going through all of the necessary COVID protocols to play the games. Not to mention the obvious wear and tear on the players who have played a full schedule. It’s seemingly unfair to place Ohio State in there. I don’t care if one wants to take the subjective point of view and say they are one of the top 4 best teams, but how can you really say that when they have played a fraction of the games? Their own league had to restructure the rules so they could be in the Big 10 champ game.

I can reiterate my points from above about what the committee should do but I won’t take up much more of your time. Having Ohio State in the college football playoff might be good for TV ratings but it’s not good for college football. Stick a group of 5 member in the top 4 who deserves to be in the top 4 like Cincinnati. This would be the year for the committee to do that unlike UCF in 2017. Regardless, there is another week of college football left before I can really get bent out of shape about this so I’ll leave it at that.

That’s pretty much it…

Obviously, I have a lot more to talk about with all that’s going on in the sports world but I figured those few points were good starters. Stay tuned for more blog posts, hopefully with more basketball, and be on the lookout for new podcast episodes coming out here soon! Let us know your thoughts!

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