Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bummer of a Thursday Night NFL game

A dud NFL game tonight, with the Carolina Panthers (2-12) facing the Pittsburgh Steelers (10-4). Quarterback woes for the Panthers spread like wildfire across the whole team, leading to a bad 2010 campaign. Panthers fans are praying for no miracle win tonight so that they remain in line for the #1 overall pick in April's NFL Draft.

The Steelers should come away with an easy win. Their offense has struggled lately, and I like their chances to work out a few issues despite the short week of preparation. Nothing better to feast on than the team with the NFL's worst record.

Poinsettia Bowl tonight

The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (what a name) kicks off tonight at 5:00pm PST in San Diego, California.

The Navy Midshipmen (9-3) face off against the San Diego State Aztecs (8-4) in one of the best pre-Christmas bowls. In regards to notable teams and an even matchup, its possibly the best game we'll have until Air Force and Georgia Tech face off on December 27 in what should be a quick game with a maximum of a combined 10 passes and 100 rushes.

As for tonight, we should see a game that deserves to trump the viewership of NFL Thursday Night Football (see 2-12 Carolina vs. 10-4 Pittsburgh...yuck).

Who Will Win: San Diego State
This game will be a terrific matchup between a team who seems to live and die by the passing game (SDS) and a team who lives and dies by the rushing game (N). San Diego State averages over 300 yards passing per game, good for 11th in the nation (out of 120 teams). Ryan Lindley is a tremendous quarterback and his two top receivers, DeMarco Sampson and Vincent Brown, are studs. However, the key to an Aztecs win will come if they can stop the Navy triple-option rushing attack. In October, triple-option threat Air Force rushed for over 300 yards against the Aztecs, and the San Diego State offense bailed on the rush defense in a 27-25 win. The Aztecs will need defensive success to hold off the Midshipmen.

How They Could Win: Navy
With nine wins, and a solid triple-option attack led by senior leader Ricky Dobbs, there are a lot of reasons to believe Navy can win this game. The Midshipmen were not dealt a brutal schedule this year, so the Aztec passing attack will be the best one that Navy has faced all season. My biggest concern for Navy is the field conditions. Over 10 inches of rain soaked the field over the past week, leaving a very saturated ground behind. Even though Navy rushes for a hair under 300 yards per game, I worry that the field will be a second enemy tonight. The wet ground will slow down the rushes, affecting everyone's footing. San Diego State can resort to a strong, vertical passing attack to counter the elements. The Midshipmen will have a shot if they can find vertical running success, taking time off the clock and keeping this score under 30. Force two turnovers or more, and the Midshipmen will come away with a win on the San Diego State's backyard.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl Preview

Tonight at 8:00pm ET, the Louisville Cardinals and Southern Miss Golden Eagles will face off in this year's Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Who Will Win: Southern Miss
The Golden Eagles, underdogs (3 pts) against the Cardinals, will be able to win this game courtesy of their offense. The last time I thought a strong offense would get slowed by a capable defense in a bowl game, Troy gave Ohio the business in a 48-21 victory. This high-powered Southern Miss offense averaging almost 38 points per game and over 458 yards of offense will be able to beat Louisville. Freshman Kendrick Hardy awoke the Golden Eagles rushing game late in the season, rushing for 676 of his 855 yards in the final six games of the season. Quarterback Austin Davis has numerous athletic targets to work with. Louisville, meanwhile, has named a starter at quarterback but hasn't ruled out two other quarterbacks from getting playing time, leaving a messy trio of guys to lead the Cardinals' offense.

How They Could Win: Louisville
Louisville has won four straight matchups against Southern Miss, including a 25-23 victory last fall. Bilal Powell rushed for 1,330 yards for Louisville, and will need to be at his best tonight in order to get the Cardinals a victory. If he can help keep Louisville's offense on the field, and consequently the Southern Miss offense off the field, the Cardinals have a chance in this one. Louisville needs to take advantage of an aggressive Southern Miss front seven, finding Powell and other receivers through screen passes and quick passes.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

UC Davis Women Win Causeway Classic

The UC Davis women's basketball team defeated Sacramento State 78-55 on Sunday afternoon to win the annual Causeway Classic matchup.

The Aggies improve to 8-2 on the season while Sacramento State drops to 3-10.

Heidi Heintz paced the Aggies with 14 points and Paige Mintun added 12 points and a team-high 8 rebounds.

The Hornets were led by 11 points from Sami Field-Polisso and 10 points from Mallorie Franco. Kylie Kuhns added 9 points and 12 rebounds.

The Aggies outrebounded Sacramento State 50-39 and forced the Hornets into 22 turnovers.

UC Davis trailed 7-2 in the early moments of the first half, but promptly went on an 18-5 run to build a lead, and would not trail from that point on. The Aggies led 38-28 at halftime.

UC Davis continues their short road trip with a game on Tuesday at San Jose State (0-10), with tip-off scheduled for 7:00pm.

Overall for the 2010-2011 athletic season, UC Davis now leads the Causeway Classic series 7-2. There are 8 match-ups remaining in Causeway Classic events throughout the remainder of 2010-2011.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

2010-2011 Bowl Week 1 Preview

Each week, we will preview one week of the 2010-2011 NCAA football bowl season. The bowls begin Saturday, December 18 and continue through January 10. After each week, we will also look back to see how things worked out in the previous week of games.

Saturday, December 18

New Mexico Bowl

Who Will Win: BYU
The Cougars came on strong to end the season to clinch bowl eligibility. Things sure didn't look good after a loss TCU dropped BYU to 2-5 on October 16. However, the Cougars rattled off four straight wins against lesser opponents in the Mountain West Conference to get to six wins, and just missed upsetting rival Utah in the annual Holy War. Quarterback Jake Heaps, only a freshman, has come a long way in establishing himself as a successful replacement for a long list of great BYU quarterbacks who came before him.

How They Could Win: UTEP
UTEP comes in to this game in opposite fashion of BYU, instead having lost five of their last six after starting the season 5-1. The Miners are led by quarterback Trevor Vittatoe, who threw for over 2,500 yards this season and 19 touchdowns. He has a favorite receiver in Kris Adams, who caught 11 of those touchdowns this season. If those two can pair up to be successful against the BYU secondary, UTEP has a shot in this one.

uDrove Humanitarian Bowl
Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State

Who Will Win: Fresno State
The Bulldogs get the edge in this one because of the recent un-doing of Northern Illinois in the past three weeks. After Northern Illinois lost a heartbreaker in the MAC Championship, their head coach (Jerry Kill) who guided them to one of their most successful seasons in school history departed for the head coach vacancy at Minnesota. The feelings are different for the Huskies in this one versus Fresno State, who comes in with a capable offense led by quarterback Ryan Colburn and running back Robbie Rouse.  Fresno State's defense will be tested against a NIU offense averaging 37.8 points per game.

How They Could Win: Northern Illinois
Statistically, the Huskies seem favored in this game. They score about eight more points per game than Fresno State, and allow ten less points per game. Chad Spann leads a rushing attack that was 7th in the nation, with over 1,000 yards of his own. Weather will play a factor in this one in Boise, Idaho, forecasted to be in the mid 30's with precipitation, so the NIU running game will be a major player for the Huskies to win this game.

New Orleans Bowl
Ohio vs. Troy

Who Will Win: Ohio
Playing in only their fifth bowl game, the Bobcats are looking for their first ever postseason victory. Head coach Frank Solich has won two bowl games elsewhere, and looks to bring that success into a 'W' for Ohio. It will be a great matchup between a solid Ohio defense and a very strong Troy offense. I like the Bobcats to come out on top in this one courtesy of their defense.

How They Could Win: Troy
The Trojans offense is stellar, led by Corey Robinson who threw for 3,339 yards to lead an offense averaging a hair under 33 points per game. Troy does not rely much on its rushing attack, but teams are so worried about the Trojans' passing ability that Troy can find success on the ground when needed, with their top two backs averaging over five yards per carry.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Missed One Thing

One story I missed that I want to make sure you're aware of. In the third quarter of the game this afternoon between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, Miami special teams player Nolan Carroll was intentionally tripped by a staff member on the Jets' sideline. Using the recap through the previous link, find the video "Dolphin gets tripped on Jets sideline." On a punt, Carroll used the sideline in an attempt to pass by the Jets two cover players. A member of the Jets staff, somebody not in uniform, intentionally put a knee forward as Carroll passed by, sending him to the ground. The alleged staff member, Sal Alosi, has since apologized, but this action is very uncalled for. Carroll was injured on the trip, caused by the knee-to-knee contact with Alosi. "The team is reviewing the situation and is looking into  the appropriate next steps," Jets senior director of media relations Bruce Speight said in a statement after the game.

In my opinion, this guy should be immediately fired. It was inexplicable and uncalled for. It is a huge injury risk. Carroll stayed down for a few moments and was helped from the field. At this point, it appears he will be okay, but the knee-to-knee contact caused by Alosi could have been a recipe for a knee injury disaster. It will be very interesting to see how this story plays out, and to hear ESPN shows such as Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption debate it as the week goes on.

Any thoughts on the issue?

NFL Sunday Notes

A few thoughts from Sunday's NFL games...

-HUGE injury news out of Green Bay. Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down in the second quarter on Sunday, suffering a concussion against the Detroit Lions. To make matters worse for the Packers, backup quarterback Matt Flynn could not find the end zone, and Detroit beat Green Bay 7-3. Yes,  just simply 7-3. The Lions snapped a five game losing streak overall, and a ten game losing streak against the Packers. It was also their first win over a fellow NFL North squad in twenty tries. Green Bay's playoff hopes were damaged, particularly if Rodgers is out for an extended period of time. 

-In Minnesota, the Metrodome roof collapsed this morning under the weight of 17 inches of snow. I'm sure many people have already seen the video, but just in case you haven't or you want to see it again, check it out below. The Vikings game, previously scheduled for this morning, has been postponed to Monday night at 7:30pm ET, and will be played at Ford Field in Detroit.

-The race for the NFC West title continues to be fascinating. The Rams and Seahawks are tied for the division lead at 6-7. The 49ers are not far behind at 5-8. Heck, lets call Arizona relevant still at 4-8. The Cardinals' rookie quarterback John Skelton was a winner in his first NFL start, a 43-13 win over the Denver Broncos. Arizona kicker Jay Feely even scored a touchdown via a short run on a fake field goal. I hope this link allows you to check out his score. 

-The race for the AFC West is also intriguing. The Chiefs lost 31-0 at San Diego to fall to 8-5. The did not score under the direction of quarterback Brodie Croyle, who was starting in place of Matt Cassel, who missed the game due to an appendectomy that was performed midweek. The Raiders lost to drop to 6-7, but aren't out of the race yet. 

-Crazy shinanigans went down at the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins. A steady rain fell throughout the game, forcing a few memorable mishaps. Redskins kicker Graham Gano missed two field goals. Late in the game, a mistake by somebody gave Washington an extra down, which the team needed to score a touchdown with 19 seconds remaining. On the extra point, which would have tied the score at 17, Redskins punter Hunter Smith had the high snap slip through his hands, and the Buccaneers game away with a 17-16 victory

-The New England Patriots beat the Chicago Bears 36-7 amidst an epic snowstorm, the same storm that pounded Minnesota this weekend. Tom Brady, a top MVP candidate, was brilliant for the Patriots, who host Green Bay next weekend, in a matchup that will lose most of its luster if the Packers are without quarterback Aaron Rodgers. 

The "Big 3" Roll Through Sacramento

Saturday night I had the pleasure of heading over to ARCO Arena to see the Sacramento Kings take on the Miami Heat.

The Heat are arguably the NBA's most "intriguing" team this season, with the newly founded trio of Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh leading the way. Miami has had its ups and downs so far early this season, and is capped off a strong road trip with a 104-83 victory over Sacramento.

It was fascinating to watch the progress the Heat's trio is making in regards to continuing to work better together. Wade and James have long simply existed as the individual star of their team with varying members of their supporting cast. Now, these two are having a blast working to get Miami another championship.

The transition game these two guys bring to the table is incredible. They are close to unstoppable when one-on-one in transition, often drawing a foul and almost as often scoring the basket as well. Together, they create a nightmare matchup for teams who only have one superb defender. Heading into last night's game, I was eager to see what the Kings had played defensively in regards to guarding each guy. Donte Greene did a solid job covering James early, save for a successful ally-oop on the first possession of the game. Tyreke Evans covered Dwayne Wade early before exiting for most of the second half due to a lingering foot injury. Omri Casspi also had moments with the responsibility of covering James or Wade.

In introductions and every time Lebron touched the ball, the crowd gave him a chorus of "boos." A second half dunk, followed by a technical foul for taunting, brought upon a mixture of cheers and "boos."

Overall, a fun night seeing a big ticket in Sacramento, despite the Kings' loss. Plenty of joy came from getting to see a few NBA stars in town, ones who I'd never be sad to see in a Kings uniform.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

America's Greatest Rivalry

America's greatest rivalry is set to kick off in just under 12 hours. It doesn't feature flashy players who are award winners or All-Americans. It doesn't feature teams competing for a spot in a BCS Bowl. In simply involves two of our country's finest universities.

At 2:30pm ET on Saturday, the only Division I-A college football game of the weekend will kick off. It will feature two fine universities of our nation's service academies.

The Army Black Knights will face the Navy Midshipmen on Saturday for the 111th time since 1890. Navy leads the series 54-49-7, with the Midshipmen winning the previous 8 meetings, including last season's 17-3 victory. Navy is a 7.5 point favorite for Saturday's matchup.

This game has come to embody the spirit of the interservice rivalry of the United States Armed Forces. Members of each school have committed to serve their respective academy for 5 years upon graduation from each university. 

The game will be held in Philadelphia, which is roughly an equal distance from each school. At the current time, the game is always held on the second Saturday in December as the only Division I-A game, the only on that second Saturday. 

With a limited number of players from each team playing for a future in the NFL, the joy of this game is seeing the honest passion and emotion from each player, fighting for bragging rights. 

Following the game, no matter what the outcome, both service academies will play their alma mater. First, both teams will stand in unison and face the losing side, hearing their alma mater. Afterwards, the teams will stand in unison to face the fans of the victorious team. 

Because nearly every player on each side will ultimately pursue a career with their respective service academy, this game has a special place in the hearts of many. It does to me as well, seeing two teams pledging terms of service to the United States of America, and also playing football. 

This season, I have a particular sense of joy because each of these teams will get to play in a bowl game following this game. Navy will face San Diego State in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. Army will face Southern Methodist in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. 

As for tomorrow's game, here is our prediction:

Navy 23, Army 16

Thursday, December 9, 2010

NFL Thursday Night Pick

More NFL picks for this weekend will come later, but for now....

Tonight, we're going with Tennessee over Indianapolis. At home, the Titans will ride the return of Kenny Britt, who will improve the Titans passing attack. Additionally, Kerry Collins is ready to go at quarterback and Chris Johnson is determined to put his last two poor performances behind him. Cortland Finnegan vs. Reggie Wayne will be a GREAT matchup. Not Andre Johnson-Cortland Finnegan great, but somewhere up there.

Tennessee 27, Indianapolis 20

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

UC Davis women #8 in Mid-Major Top 25

The UC Davis women's basketball team moved up to #8 in the most recent College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 poll. This poll is made up from teams in 23 of the smaller conferences within Division I basketball.

The Aggies, who were ranked #15 in last week's poll, moved up after defeated Saint Mary's, who is also ranked in the Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

UC Davis' next game is on the road, this Sunday (12/12) at Kansas State. The Wildcats are receiving 23 votes in the Associated Press poll, ranking all Division-I teams. The 23 votes have Kansas State just outside the Top 25, two spots outside of the rankings.

MLB Winter Meetings

The 2010 offseason MLB Winter Meetings are in full swing in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Some notes on today's biggest news:

-Paul Konerko re-signed with the Chicago White Sox; 3 year contract, 37.5 million dollars
-Carlos Pena signed with the Chicago Cubs; 1 year contract, 10 million dollars
-Jeff Francoeur signed with the Kansas City Royals; 1 year contract; 2.5 million dollars

Top Remaining Free Agents

1. Cliff Lee, pitcher
Potential Suitors: Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals

2. Carl Crawford, outfielder
Potential Suitors: New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox

3. Adrian Beltre, third baseman
Potential Suitors: Los Angeles Angels, Oakland A's

4. Rafael Soriano, relief pitcher
Potential Suitors: Los Angeles Angels

5. Vladimir Guerrero, designated hitter (maybe outfielder....maybe)
Potential Suitors: Texas Rangers, Oakland A's

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Auburn v. Oregon, January 10

The headlines are endless, seen on every sports website and even on numerous big news websites.

"Auburn, Oregon set to meet for National Title"

All the headlines go something like that, prepping 1+ month of news readying us for the January 10 National Championship that will come from Glendale, Arizona.

Each top team won today in order to complete a perfect regular season, Auburn over South Carolina and Oregon over Oregon State. The teams are almost certain to remain #1 and #2 in the BCS Standings, respectively, which technically are updated tomorrow, but really what it means is that all the BCS matchups will be set.

Other teams who have clinched a spot in a BCS Bowl Game include:

TCU (Mountain West)
Oklahoma (Big 12)
Connecticut (Big East)
Virginia Tech (ACC)

Other teams extremely likely to play in a BCS Game:
Stanford (Pac-10), as an automatic qualifier by virtue of being in Top 4 of BCS Standings
Wisconsin (Big 10), as highest Big 10 team in the final BCS Standings, released tomorrow

Other teams in the running for a BCS spot: (in order of likelihood)
Arkansas (SEC), as an at-large
Ohio State (Big 10), as an at-large
Michigan State (Big 10), as an at-large
LSU (SEC), as an at-large
Boise State (WAC), as an at-large

Red Sox Strengthen Offense

The Boston Red Sox offense took a hit this offseason when star catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez left the team via free agency to the Detroit Tigers. Additionally, it appears third baseman Adrian Beltre will not return to the team, as he appears bound for another team also through free agency.

But the Red Sox made a big move on Saturday by finalizing a trade to acquire stellar first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the San Diego Padres. Boston sent away three prospects, namely a pitcher Casey Kelly, who is consider to be a top prospect.

This adds a critical piece to the Red Sox offense in regard to keeping up with other AL East offensive powerhouses, the Yankees and Rays. The Red Sox also are contenders to land one or two free agent outfielders, Jayson Werth or Carl Crawford.

More baseball thoughts coming soon...

Monday, November 29, 2010

US Women's Soccer in Group C

The groups for the 2011 Women's World Cup was announced today, with the United States being placed in Group C along with North Korea, Sweden and Columbia. The 2011 Women's World Cup will be played at nine various sites in Germany.

Group C is the best group among the four groups, based on world rankings. Sweden is #4 in the latest world rankings, while North Korea is #6.

The U.S. women will begin play on June 28 against North Korea, followed by World Cup newcomer Columbia on July 2, and finishing with a July 6 game against Sweden.

2011 World Cup play begins June 26 and finishes on July 17.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

BCS Bowl Projections

The BCS Standings were updated this evening, and there were many changes at the top. Here is the top 10 in the most recently released BCS Standings:

1. Auburn
2. Oregon
3. TCU
4. Stanford
5. Wisconsin
6. Ohio State
7. Arkansas
8. Michigan State
9. Oklahoma
10. LSU

Here is the BCS Bowl Game setup:
BCS National Championship: #1 vs. #2 BCS teams
Sugar Bowl: SEC Champion vs. At-Large
Orange Bowl: ACC Champion vs. At-Large
Fiesta Bowl: Big 12 Champion vs. At-Large
Rose Bowl: Big 10 Champion vs. Pac 10 Champion

-The Big East also earns an automatic BCS Game spot, but does not have any tie-ins with a specific BCS Bowl game. In essence, the Big East is filled in as an at-large team.

Here is our projections for how the 5 major BCS will be:

BCS National Championship: #2 Oregon vs. #1 Auburn
Sugar Bowl: #7 Arkansas vs. #6 Ohio State
Orange Bowl: (#15) Virginia Tech vs. (#24) West Virginia
Fiesta Bowl: #9 Oklahoma vs. #4 Stanford
Rose Bowl: #5 Wisconsin vs. #3 TCU

-TCU will earn an at-large BCS Spot by virtue of finishing in the Top 12 of the BCS Standings, being from a non-BCS conference, and finishing the highest in the BCS of non-BCS teams

-The Pac-10 forfeits it Rose Bowl BCS Spot by sending Oregon to the National Championship game, but Stanford still makes a BCS Game because of finishing in the Top 4 of the BCS Standings

-Ohio State will receive an at-large BCS spot, and won't be matched up with Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl because they each reign from the Big 10.

-Arkansas receives an at-large BCS Spot, because the SEC forfeits its BCS tie-in when Auburn plays in the BCS National Championship game.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

College Football; What a Weekend

The college football season took another incredible turn this weekend, with two top five teams losing and seven Top 25 teams losing altogether. (Boise State, LSU, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Arizona, North Carolina State, Iowa)

The nation's top two teams, Oregon and Auburn, were both victorious this weekend. That means if each wins in their final games next weekend, they will meet for the BCS National Championship in January. If either loses, the top teams behind them are likely to be TCU, Stanford and Wisconsin.

Boise State, previously #4 in the BCS Standings, was beaten by #19 Nevada in Reno. The Broncos season will now not finish in a BCS Bowl, as they had dreamed all season long. 

LSU, previously #5 in the BCS Standings, was beating by #12 Arkansas on the road. The Tigers were hoping to represent the SEC as a secondary BCS team, but now will not. Arkansas may have an outside shot at a BCS game depending on how games finish out next weekend. 

Here's what we anticipate for the upcoming BCS Standings, which will be released tomorrow:

1. Auburn (12-0)
2. Oregon (11-0)
3. TCU (12-0)
4. Stanford (11-1)
5. Wisconsin (11-1)
6. Ohio State (11-1)
7. Arkansas (10-2)
8. Michigan State (11-1)
9. Oklahoma (10-2)
10. Boise State (11-1)
11. LSU (10-2)
12. Missouri (10-2)
13. Nebraska (10-2)
14. Nevada (11-1)
15. Virginia Tech (10-2)
16. Oklahoma State (10-2)
17. Alabama (9-3)
18. Texas A&M (9-3)
19. South Carolina (9-3)
20. Utah (10-2)
21. Florida State (9-3)
22. Mississippi State (8-4)
23. West Virginia (8-3)
24. Northern Illinois (10-2)
25. Arizona (8-3)

Projected (BCS) Conference Champions:

ACC: Virginia Tech 
          (Virginia Tech will face Florida State on December 4 for ACC Title)

Big East: West Virginia
         (West Virginia, Connecticut and Pittsburgh are currently tied atop the Big East. If Connecticut    wins next weekend at South Florida, then Connecticut will represent the Big East in a BCS game. We project South Florida will defeat Connecticut. We project West Virginia and Pittsburgh will both win their respective games, ending the season tied atop the conference. West Virginia holds the advantage through the head-to-head tiebreaker)

Big 10: Wisconsin
        (Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan are tied atop the Big 10 Standings. We project that Wisconsin will be the highest team of these three in the final BCS Standings, which is the tiebreaker when more than a two-team tie is present. Wisconsin will represent the Big 10 in a BCS Game.)

Big 12: Oklahoma
       (Nebraska will represent the Big 12 North in the Big 12 Championship Game, set to take place next weekend. The representative from the Big 12 South will be either Oklahoma, Oklahoma State or Texas A&M. We anticipate that Oklahoma will be the highest ranked team of these three in the BCS Standings that are released tomorrow, and will therefore face Nebraska for the Big 12 Championship. 

Pac-10: Oregon
      (The Ducks have clinched the Pac-10 Championship. If they beat Oregon State on December 4, they    will almost certainly be in the BCS National Championship game.)

SEC: Auburn
      (Auburn will face South Carolina for the SEC Championship on December 4.)

Check back tomorrow for the first edition of our BCS Bowl Projections.

I've finally mustered up the strength to get up off the couch, refasten my belt and continue with my life after the greatest buffet of all time AKA Thanksgiving. And with that I've also finally gotten past my 48 hour distaste with the sport of football after the dreaded Cowboys/Saints game which punched me right in the stomach. So, despite a wicked stomach ache and extra pounds gained, its time to pump out the NFC South of the Midseason NFL Report.

NFC South

Current Record: 8-2
Final Record: 13-3

The Falcons have had a weird last 5 years. Vick leaves the team...Bobby Petrino leaves the team midway through the season....They draft Matt Ryan 2nd overall and he brings the team back into contention....Down year last year and after an opening loss to Pittsburgh, they've gone 7-1 and are probably the best team in the NFC right now. On a 4 game win streak, Matt Ryan has only lost once at home in his career and I would say they would lose this Sunday to the Packers, but that record tells me otherwise. Their schedule from here on out is pretty easy: Carolina twice, Tampa Bay, and Seattle. I see them winning all those games, but the questionable games are this week vs. Green Bay, and a Week 16 matchup on Monday Night with the Saints that could decide the NFC South. Statistic to look out for, 24th in the league in Pass D, and I'm sure Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees love to hear that. They're half a game up for first now, and Matt Ryan has had a great career so far. These last 6 games will really decide whether Matt Ryan is truly an elite QB in this league or not.

Current Record: 8-3
Final Record: 11-5

It seems like we see this every year recently. The defending Super Bowl champion comes into the season inconsistent and can barely put together a winning season. The Steelers were .500 both years after Big Ben and Co. won, and the Saints were 4-3 after a loss to Cleveland a month ago. Since that game they haven't lost, and are looking more and more like last years team on this win streak. Despite a close call on Turkey Day that I'd rather not talk about, this Saints team is still looking like a top team in the NFC. Top 3 in Passing, Top 5 in defending the pass, the only achilles heel has been involved with the running game. 25th in rushing, and 16th in defending the rush, they have not had a consistent running back all year. Drew Brees stats aren't all that impressive either: 23 TD's and 15 INT's. They have Baltimore and Atlanta back to back, which I see them losing. But trips to Cincy, St. Louis and Tampa Bay equals a 3-2 end to the season and a wild card spot in the playoffs.

Current Record: 7-3
Final Record: 10-6

Looking at the team statistics for this Bucs team and its a wonder how they're as good as they are. 22nd in Passing, 12th in Rushing, 6th in Pass D, and an abysmal 29th in Rush D and this team could be tied for 1st after this week if they play their cards right. Bad news is they have Baltimore and Atlanta back to back these next two weeks. At Washington, then home for Detroit and Seattle before finishing against New Orleans in the Superdome, Raheem Morris has his plate full with good opponents. Josh Freeman is the comeback king, and I believe Raheem Morris is a strong candidate for Coach of the Year. They might not be the best team in the NFC like Morris thinks, but a 10-6 record to end is pretty solid considering this team was one of the worst teams a year ago.

Current Record: 1-9
Final Record: 2-14

Better luck next year Carolina. Since going far in the playoffs 2 years ago, Delhomme completely fell off and was let go, and this team doesn't have a QB unless you can kinda count Brian St. Pierre. Their easiest opponent left on the schedule, Arizona in Week 15 but other than that I just keep seeing loss after loss after loss. Look out San Fran fans, don't be surprised if come draft day the Panthers are eyeing either Luck or Locker because Claussen might not be the answer. Either way their Pass D is surprisingly a valiant 7th in the league, so they got that going for them.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

UCD Men Win; Causeway Classic Standings

The UC Davis men's basketball team defeated Sacramento State 61-54 on Tuesday night in Hornet Gym. Ryan Sypkens came off the bench to spark the Aggies with 16 points, including four second-half three-pointers. UC Davis trailed 26-25 at halftime, but built an early lead in the second half and never looked back. Joe Harden added 13 points for the Aggies and Eddie Miller had 12 points.

The Aggies (2-4) next game is this Saturday (11/27) at home against Seattle University (2-5), with tip-off scheduled for 1:00pm at the Pavilion.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Let's take a look at how the Causeway Classic matchup is going so far in all UC Davis vs. Sacramento State athletics for the 2010-2011 season. Let's go ahead and award one point for every victory in each sport:

Men's cross country: UC Davis*
Women's cross country: UC Davis*
Men's soccer: Sacramento State
Women's soccer: UC Davis
Women's golf: UC Davis
Women's volleyball: Sacramento State
Football: UC Davis
Men's Basketball: UC Davis

* = Teams competed several times, 1 point awarded to majority winner

Currently, UC Davis leads the Causeway Classic 6-2

Before the 2010-2011 sports year ends, the teams will meet several more times:
Women's basketball
Men's baseball*
Women's softball
Women's golf
Men's tennis
Women's tennis
Women's gymnastics
Men's track and field*
Women's track and field*

* = Teams will compete several times, 1 point will be awarded to majority winner

NFL Rewind + Weekend Preview

A look back on Week 11 in the NFL, before we get to the upcoming weekends preview:

Cheers: The Chicago Bears defensive effort last Thursday night against Miami. The Bears and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli took full advantage of the Dolphins quarterback injury woes, burying Tyler Thigpen with six sacks and an interception. Jay Cutler was mostly bad as quarterback again for Chicago, which didn't matter, because the Bears scored and the Dolphins didn't.

Jeers: The Cincinnati Bengals. As a fan of the team, it's hard for me to comment at all, but the Bengals blew a 31-14 halftime lead to the Buffalo Bills and eventually lost 49-31. The implosion led wide receiver Terrell Owens to comment after the game that the Bengals are clearly playing horrible football...."What's crazy is the fact that we're just terrible. That's just plain and simple. When I say we, that's me included," said Owens following the loss. Owens concluded his comments with ,"We may go 2-14 at the rate we're playing."

Cheers: Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys, who beat the Detroit Lions 35-19 on Sunday to move to 2-0 under their new coach. For the 'Boys, it was a much needed win at home versus an inferior opponent. Dallas' chances to make the postseason are still slim, but at this point it's hard to consider them a pushover in any game, as we might have prior to Garrett's promotion to head coach.

Jeers: Vince Young. And sort of Jeff Fisher. I'm not going to read you the whole story, so instead check it out through Will Robinson's post on the SACK Lunch Blog. One of both of these guys will not be in Tennessee in 2011.

Cheers: The NY Jets game-winning touchdown drive to beat the Houston Texans. The Jets blew a 23-7 lead at home against the Texans, but rallied for a 30-27 win courtesy a Santonio Holmes touchdown catch with ten second left in the game. Houston scored twice within three minutes to cut the lead to 23-17, then scored again with 2:18 left to go ahead 24-23. Mark Sanchez promptly threw an interception, but Houston did not run out the clock and settled for a field goal. Down 27-23, Sanchez took the Jets 68 yards in 5 plays elapsing 45 seconds for the home win. The Jets last three wins have included two overtime victories and this late game score.

Jeers: Richard Seymour punching Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in Sunday's game. The video will appear below. Roethlisberger threw a touchdown pass in the second quarter to add to Pittsburgh's lead (eventual 35-3 victory), and Big Ben felt inclined to go say something to Raiders' defensive lineman Seymour, or just get in his face. Seymour said after the game that "it was a lot of ongoing stuff, and you're out there to protect yourself.....I just turned around, and he just ran up on me quick. It was just natural reaction." I don't even like it when guys get in each other's faces talking smack like Roethlisberger may or may not have done, but it's even worse to actually hit a guy like Seymour did.

Cheers: Seymour punching Roethlisberger. Now, hear me out on this one for just a second. It may not be ethical, logical, nice or any other synonym, but I personally admired Seymour for hitting Roethlisberger. Personally I am a Bengals fan and hate Pittsburgh and Big Ben, so I gloated in seeing him get knocked down. He is a punk for being on Pittsburgh, and a punk for getting in legal trouble multiple times and getting suspended.

Jeers: The two Bay Area football teams losing a combined 56-3. The aforementioned Raiders were stomped on the road, and the San Francisco 49ers were beating 21-0 at home. Troy Smith struggled in a game where he actually was asked to do a bit more than simply manage the game. In recent wins over St. Louis and Denver, Smith only had to do so much in order to get the 49ers a win. This game, the team fell behind because Tampa Bay stuffed the box with 8-9 guys to stop Frank Gore from rushing. Smith threw an interception and was sacked six times.

Cheers: Having 16 NFL games over the weekend. For the first time since Week 3, nobody had a "bye" which packed the weekend with games and gave no excuses for bad fantasy football performances because star players had the week off.
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Alright, onto the preview for this upcoming weekend:

Thanksgiving football is always a pleasure to watch. These year's games don't necessarily feature marquee matchups in the sense of even or close records, but nonetheless there are some good games. In the morning game, the New England Patriots (8-2) travel to Detroit to take on the Lions (2-8), who are a staple of Turkey Day football. In the midday, the Dallas Cowboys (3-7) host the New Orleans Saints (7-3). The Saints might have running/receiving/special teams threat Reggie Bush back in uniform for the first time since Week 2. Dallas is playing much better, and is at home, so my best is this could be a close game. The evening game (on that darn NFL Network) features a rematch of an opening round playoff game from this past January. The struggling Cincinnati Bengals (2-8) head to New York (technically, New Jersey) to take on the Jets (8-2). The Bengals have lost six straight, including what I mentioned about the disaster last weekend against Buffalo. The Jets have won three straight games that came down to the wire. Terrell Owens is already fueling the fire, probably something he shouldn't do. Despite being a Bengals fan, I hope Owens winds up with one catch for seven yards.

As for Sunday's slate, there are 3-4 terrific matchups, depending on what your definition of that is. In the morning, the red hot Green Bay Packers (7-3) take to the road to play the Atlanta Falcons (8-2) who are a nearly-impossible team to beat inside the Georgia Dome. Michael Vick at the Philadelphia Eagles (7-3) take on the Chicago Bears (7-3) at Soldier Field, a team who's quietly tied for first atop the NFC North. One of this season surprise teams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3), will be in Baltimore to take on the Ravens (7-3). It's taken all year to convince me, but at this point I am 93.7% convinced that the Buccaneers are for real. If they win this game, or even make it close on the road against the gritty Ravens, I'll move that number towards 100%. In the night cap, the San Diego Chargers (5-5) play at the Indianapolis Colts (6-4). The San Diego Chargers are heating up, as they always do this time of year. In 2008, the Chargers entered November with a 3-5 record, and wound up 8-8 in the playoffs. In 2009, San Diego entered November 3-3, and won out, finishing 13-3. San Diego entered November this season 3-5, and has won both of their November contests. Classic Chargers football. The Chargers get wide receiver Vincent Jackson back this week, which will be a great boost to their already top ranked pass offense.

Here's how we guarantee that Week 12 will go down:
New England over Detroit
Dallas over New Orleans
NY Jets over Cincinnati

Atlanta over Green Bay
Pittsburgh over Buffalo
Cleveland over Carolina
NY Giants over Jacksonville
Minnesota over Washington
Houston over Tennessee
Oakland over Miami
Seattle over Kansas City
Philadelphia over Chicago
Denver over St. Louis
Baltimore over Tampa Bay
San Diego over Indianapolis

San Francisco over Arizona (3-7 team versus 3-7 team, worst MNF matchup ever)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Joey Votto Takes MVP Award

Congrats to Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds for winning the MLB 2010 National League MVP Award. It is the first time this honor has been given to Votto, who beat our St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols and Colorado Rockies rising star Carlos Gonzalez.

Votto claimed 31 of a possible 32 first place votes, with the only other vote going to Albert Pujols, who finished second in the voting.

MLB National League MVP Award

The MLB National League MVP Award will be announced at 2:00pm ET today (in approximately 15 minutes). The candidates are:

Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies

Our predicted order of finish in the voting:

1. Albert Pujols
2. Joey Votto
3. Carlos Gonzalez

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Colorado Rapids claim MLS Title

An own goal in overtime gave the Colorado Rapids a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas in Sunday's MLS Cup Final. It is the first championship in franchise history for Colorado.

Macoumba Kandji was credited with the goal in the 107th minute to give Colorado the lead. Kandji appeared to hit the ball off the back of a FC Dallas defender, redirecting it into the goal past goalkeper Kevin Hartman. Kandji appeared to be injured on the play and immediately left for the locker room, leaving the Rapids to finish the remainder of overtime with only 10 players.

FC Dallas got off a few shots in the final moments, one of which was saved in brilliant fashion by Colorado goalie Matt Pickens. 

Midseason NFL Report: NFC West and South

We're finishing the NFC portion of the Midseason NFL Report, concluding with the West and South divisions. The AFC portion of this blog will be available before the radio show on Tuesday.

NFC West

Current Record: 5-5
Final Record: 9-7

How bad is the NFC West this year? The Seahawks team stats: 22nd in Passing, 28th in Rushing, 28th in Passing Yds allowed, and a mediocre 14th in Rushing Yds allowed. 185 points scored, 233 allowed. Matt Hasselbeck has 7 TD's and 7 Int's. Despite such mediocrity, this Seahawks team would have a home game if the playoffs started today. That's how bad the NFC West is. They have the Chiefs and Panthers at home, both very winable games especially with the 12th man in the house. Then they have San Fran, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta to test their durability and these games will be crucial if they want to sneak into the playoffs. I do not want to see an 8-8 team in the playoffs, so I'll say the Seahawks finish 9-7.

Current Record: 4-6
Final Record: 6-10

It's pretty unbelievable this Rams team turned around a terrible season last year, into a season that can best be described as "not too shabby". Well considering that they are 4-6 and only a game out of 1st place in the NFC West, these boys from St. Louis could accidentally win this division. Steven Jackson has been up and down with only 3 TD's and 700 yards. Sam Bradford is a strong candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year, and their run defense is top 10 in the NFL. They have the Cardinals, Saints, and Chiefs in a row and that's what scares me. Not to mention Denver in Mile High, and the Niners and Seahawks to end the season. All those teams hittin the Rams back to back....I see them ending 2-4. Compared to last season, if they end 6-10 the Rams can pat themselves on the back for a pretty solid turnaround.

Current Record: 3-7
Final Record: 5-11

This Niners team was supposed to run away with this division this year, then joined the list of lost causes after the first month and a half. Searching for their first win, all the while making Goodell feel sick for giving London a game between them and the Broncos. But then a win in Oakland, followed by a 2 game win streak, now winners of 3 out of 5....wait a minute! This team is sort of back in the hunt. Only 2 games out, this Niners team got a fresh start with Troy Smith, who has been looking pretty solid but not the answer. They have a pretty tough schedule to end out the season, including 4 division games, Green Bay and San Diego. I say they win 2 games at best and finish this disappointing season 5-11.

Current Record: 3-7
Final Record: 4-12

Bye weeks are supposed to be gifts from the schedule makers to grant a team a week of rest. Teams usually thrive after this time, but not the Arizona Cardinals. 3-2 heading into their bye week, they have not won since they beat the Saints on Oct 10th. This team lost its veteran leadership they had in Kurt Warner, and Derek Anderson proves that they need a valid QB. Obviously slumping, they are not above 27th in any category on offense or defense. They have 4 home games remaining, but despite that I think they keeping falling and end 1-5, bringing them to a dismal 1-10 after their bye week.

College Football Thoughts

All across the country yesterday, the college football action was stellar. LSU scored in the final minute at home to beat Ole Miss, Stanford kicked the door down against Cal to win the annual "Big Game," and the Big 10 stayed gridlocked at the top with a berth to the Rose Bowl on the line.

But nothing was more special (at least for us local fans) than UC Davis' 17-16 victory in the Causeway Classic over Sacramento State. It was an epic, rain-soaked game which included a 47-minute severe weather delay during halftime because of torrential rain and lightning. The wind was consistently between 25 and 30 MPH, with gusts of winds close to double those numbers. I wasn't at the game, but just on television you could get an idea of how insane the weather was. After the delay, roughly 1,000 of the announced 9,785 remained at Aggie Stadium.

The Aggies kicked a field goal with 6:34 remaining after a game-changing turnover gave UC Davis the ball inside the Sacramento State 10-yard line. The Aggies faced a fourth down at midfield in the fourth quarter, and punted away to Hornet returner Kyle Monson, who muffed the catch, allowing Aggie special teams player Stephen Dunstan to recover at the 8-yard line. From there, the Aggies failed to score a touchdown but Sean Kelley converted the field goal that put UC Davis ahead for good.

UC Davis honored 14 seniors before the game: Marshall Congdon, Sean Creadick, Jeff Freeman, Reggie Mason, Tom McConnell, Marcus North, Dean Rogers, Eric Sobotka, Brandon Sofley, Mark Tos, Joe Trombetta, Brandon Tucker, Dozie Amajoyi and Danny Hart.

Amongst the rest of the college football world, all the top teams maintained themselves atop of the BCS Standings. Boise State used a 51-0 win over Fresno State to move closer in the BCS Standings to #3 TCU, who was idle. Boise State (#4) has two games remaining, including a showdown this weekend with #17 Nevada. TCU has one game remaining. 

Oregon remained #1 and Auburn remained #2, both also having no game this past weekend. Oregon hosts Arizona in the upcoming weekend and Auburn travels to face Alabama, which is arguably the most challenging game of their season thus far. 

In regards to the games I made notes about prior to the weekend:

-Boise State dominated Fresno State, 51-0. Kellen Moore threw for 333 yards and 4 touchdowns for the Broncos. It was an incredible defensive game from Boise State which I did not anticipate. I figured the decent Fresno State quarterback Ryan Colburn and running back Robbie Rouse would get Fresno State on the scoreboard.

-Florida pummeled Appalachian State 48-10, with the Mountaineers having no hope of repeating an upset of a D-I team as they did against Michigan in 2007. The Gators rushed for 311 yards and 6 touchdowns in the victory.

-Ohio State scored in the final two minutes to beat Iowa 20-17. The Buckeyes remain in the hunt for the Big 10 title, tied atop the league with Michigan State and Wisconsin. Dan Herron scored on a 1-yard run with 1:47 left to put Ohio State ahead for good.

-Stanford beat Cal 48-14 in the annual rivalry matchup, the "Big Game." Andrew Luck completed 16 of 20 passes for 235 yards and 2 touchdowns in a tidy performance by the Cardinal, that spoke "business as usual." Stanford is #6 in the BCS Standings and hosts Oregon State next Saturday with Rose Bowl hopes still on the line. 

-Notre Dame beat Army 27-3 at Yankee Stadium in one of the many Fighting Irish rivalry games. Notre Dame allowed only 39 yards passing and held Army to 3.1 yards per rush. Army led 3-0 after the first quarter before allowing 27 unanswered points. 

In regards to getting our "picks" correct, we were right on 4 of 5 (Iowa lost) but didn't get terribly close on any of the score predictions. We did predict a 19-17 victory for UC Davis in the Causeway Classic, which was only off by 3 points combined (17-16). 

Check back later this week for another college football preview, looking into Auburn's big game at Alabama and Boise State's contest at Nevada. GO AGS!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Midseason NFL Report Part 2: The NFC North Strikes Back

In this latest installment of the Midseason NFL Report, we're gonna look at the NFC North. I covered the NFC East on Monday, and the rest of the NFC Report will come this weekend. Look for the AFC Report on Monday Night. Ohhhh...the NFC North, there are a lot of questions coming out of this, jam that we've got there. Let us take a deeper look into this unpredictable division.

NFC North

Current Record: 7-3
Final Record: 9-7

This Bears team has flown under the radar out of the NFC North, and at 7-3 they could quietly be a contender to come out of the NFC. However, their durability will definitely be tested in these next couple weeks, with Philly upcoming next week, then New England, Minnesota, the J-E-T-S, before finishing the season off with a trip to Lambeau in a game that will decide the NFC North division crown. If we based this wacky season on statistics, the Bears are a miracle to be where they are now. 27th in Passing Yds, 20th in Rushing. Their defense is one of the best in the league at stopping the run, and outside the top 10 in passing yds allowed. Definitely a wild card, this Bears team controls their own destiny, if not Green Bay is lurking...Speaking of which...

Current Record: 6-3
Final Record: 12-4

How bout facing this team right now? The Packers have won 3 in a row (none of which were nailbiters either). They own a +78 in points, the best in the NFC. Aaron Rodgers has made this offense click, without Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley, as well as an unhealthy Donald Driver. Clay Matthews in his sophomore season has evolved into arguably the best linebacker in the NFL, and has kept this defense solid despite releasing Al Harris for an unproven rookie. Only stat that scares me, is their road record. A mediocre 2-2, they have a very hard schedule on the road. 4 of their final 7 games are on the road with trips to: Atlanta and Mr. 18-1 at home Matt Ryan, New England and the mosquito-like Patriots. I call them that because for the last decade they've been like mosquitoes, they just won't go away. Annoying, spray them with draft picks and random talent, and they just turn it around into a success. Before I rant too much, the Patriots on Sunday Night will prove whether the Packers can hang outside of the weak NFC. Despite their hard schedule, I say Aaron Rodgers gets this team to a 6-1 second half and easily winning the division over the Bears.

Current Record: 3-6
Final Record: 6-10

Only 7 more episodes/weeks of the Brett Favre saga until the series finale, and they cannot come fast enough. See what happens when you hype a football team nowadays? The media blows it so out of proportion, that the players cannot block it out and therefore their performance falters. I.E. the Minnesota Vikings and Brett Favre coming off a career year in which he was once again one mistake away from reaching a Super Bowl. Other team with their kind of hype was my Dallas Cowboys and their homecoming Super Bowl, and we're seeing how these teams handle the spotlight. Favre better handle the reins and end his career right, because we're seeing front and center that you might not see a difference between 30 and 31, but 40 and 41 is a whole different ballgame. This Favre looks hopeless, with 10 TD's and 16 INT's, Favre might not have a choice but to retire. Peterson has been trying his best to carry his team with 908 yards and 7 TD's. Say what you want about the offense, but this defense has shown up week to week. Top 10 in both passing and rushing yds allowed, this defense is just waiting for the offense to pick things up. I forecast a 3-4 end to the season, as their division is pretty gnarly this year. Favre can go out quietly at the end of the year, and this year will be forgiveable when compared to his illustrious career. Although, it would have probably been better for him to go out Clint Eastwood style last year, gunslinging till the end.

Current Record: 2-7
Final Record: 3-13

I feel so bad for this Lions team. This year of rebuilding was screwed from the get go, as 4 of their first 6 games were on the road. Their passing game is nothing to mess with, as Calvin Johnson is proving that he is among the best in the game with 9 TD's. This season, home field advantage has been big for teams such as Detroit and Seattle, and the schedule favors the Lions there. With a 3 game home stand against Chicago, New England, and Green Bay, I'm not sure if home field is gonna matter against those teams. Stafford got hurt again, this team needs a power back to set up Jahvid Best, and with a very hard closing schedule against good teams, I see this team winning 1 mayyyybe 2 games at most.

Friday, November 19, 2010

College Football Preview

A quick quiz to start off this week's college football preview:

How many end zones does it take to play a college football game?

If you guess two, should should be horribly embarrassed and ashamed and know that you're wrong. Obviously, it only takes one. Saturday's football matchup at Wrigley Field features the Northwestern Wildcats battling the Illinois Illini for in-state supremacy. It is the first time Wrigley Field has hosted a football game since 1970, and evidently game officials don't recall how to properly set up the stadium for a football game. Due to the unique dimensions of the park, Big Ten officials have announced that only one end zone will be used due to safety concerns. To get a better understanding, you can read the article linked above, or just take note of these bullet points:

• All offensive plays will head toward the west end zone, including all extra points and all overtime possessions.

• All kickoffs will be kicked toward the east end zone.
• After every change of possession, the ball will be repositioned for the offense to head toward the west end zone.

It will be very interesting to watch the teams play towards only one end zone. I feel just horrible for the fans sitting in the opposite end of the "one endzone," who thought they'd see endzone action right in front of them but instead might only get to witness a defensive touchdown at their end. I'm also excited for this scenario:
Northwestern has the ball with under one minute to play in the first quarter; handoff to the running back goes for six yards, tackled at their own 27. The time in the first quarter expires, and the teams head to the other end of the field because normally they would switch directions. Then they all realize they don't get to move at all and trudge back.
Also, choosing which end you want to defend during the coin toss is completely irrelevant, since now you don't get to pick which end you defend at.

Northwestern is the "home" team in this matchup (3:30pm ET kickoff on Saturday), despite being played at a neutral site. Their campus is significantly closer to Chicago, so it can be assumed this is only fair. Nonetheless, Northwestern (7-3) is 7.5 point underdogs against Illinois (5-5). Our pick is indeed for the Illini to cover the spread (and win 31-16); but only because Northwestern lost stud quarterback Dan Persa last weekend to an injury and he will not play for the remainder of the season. However, one stat that I was intrigued by (courtesy of Rivals) is that Northwestern has either been winning or tied in every single one of its past 26 games, dating back to November 2008.

Other important games this weekend:

Fresno State (6-3) at Boise State (9-0), Friday 9:30pm ET

Important just because Boise State is still undefeated, and is watched every week to make sure they stay that way. The Broncos have never lost a WAC home game, and this one should be no different (30.5 point favorites). Nonetheless, Boise State is in the spotlight every week.

The pick: Boise State 48, Fresno State 24

Appalachian State (9-1) at Florida (6-4), Saturday 12:30pm ET

Anytime Appalachian State plays a relevant team from the FBS, it has to be mentioned. Ever since 2007 when Appalachian State beat Michigan in the Big House, we've kept an eye on them in big games. Now, Florida is easily favored in this game, but now nobody can count out Appalachian State.

The pick: Florida 34, Appalachian State 20

Ohio State (9-1) at Iowa (7-3), Saturday 3:30pm ET

Ohio State has won 11 of the past 12 against the Hawkeyes, and needs this win to stay tied atop the Big 10. But Iowa has a gritty habit of getting upsets, and they are in particularly good shape because they are playing at home. Fortunately for Terrell Pryor, even if he and the Buckeyes lose this one, he can try again next year. (Ohio State is 3-point favorites)

The pick: Iowa 30, Ohio State 21

Stanford (9-1) at Cal (5-5), Saturday 3:30pm ET

It's the "Big Game," so it is definitely a "Big Deal." Stanford comes in with BCS hopes still fully intact, while Cal dreams of spoiling the Cardinal season in Berkeley. Cal left it all out on the field last weekend, barely losing to #1 Oregon 15-13; their defense and how it responds after last week will dictate whether the Bears can pull the upset over favored Stanford (-6.5). Also, the weather forecast

The pick: Stanford 26, Cal 13

Army (6-4) at Notre Dame (5-5), Saturday 7:00pm ET

This one is exciting because it is one of two games being played this weekend in a professional baseball stadium. Fans will pack Yankee Stadium for this one, the first time these two will meet in the new Yankee Stadium (22 meetings in old Yankee Stadium). Notre Dame has won 13 in a row in this series, and lead the series overall 37-8-4. The Fighting Irish are 8-point favorites on Saturday.

The pick: Notre Dame 24, Army 19

These games also have importance this weekend:
Virginia Tech at Miami, Saturday 3:30pm ET
Nebraska at Texas A&M, Saturday 8:00pm ET
Wisconsin at Michigan, Saturday 12:00pm ET

And don't forget the Causeway Classic! Sacramento State at UC Davis, Saturday at 4:07pm locally. Go Ags!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Night Football

Only minimal time to mention our pick for tonight's NFL game, but something is better than nothing:

Chicago Bears at Miami Dolphins
8:20pm ET

Our pick: Chicago 24, Miami 16

Well, foremost, an injury concern for the Dolphins is the health of their quarterbacks. Both Chad Henne and Chad Pennington were injured last weekend and will not be available for tonight's game. Tyler Thigpen is starting for Miami, and that is bad news for the home squad.

The Bears defense played tremendously well last weekend in a victory over the Minnesota Vikings, and we anticipate a continued display of those efforts tonight against the Dolphins. Miami may gain some good field position courtesy of some Chicago turnovers, but the Dolphins will have to settle for too many Dan Carpenter field goals in order to beat Miami.

MLS Cup Final

Are you a soccer junkie? This weekend, the MLS season wraps up with the championship game, coming from Toronto, Canada. Kickoff is at 8:30pm ET on Sunday evening, televised on ESPN.

For a full preview of the upcoming action, check out The SACK Lunch blog, where you can gain all sorts of insight to the matchup between the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas. By gametime, it will even include our own prediction for the outcoming of the MLS Cup Final.

Causeway Classic Preview

When rivals clash, it goes without saying that anything is possible; teams can put together a miracle upset, an incredible last second touchdown to win or have a defensive stand that seals a sweet victory.

A historic timeline continues on Saturday here in Davis, when the UC Davis Aggies host the Sacramento State Hornets in the 57th edition of the football Causeway Classic. With stadiums separated by only 20.1 miles (thank you, Google maps), it is not a long trek for the Hornets to come to Davis for Saturday’s 4:07pm kickoff at Aggie Stadium.

UC Davis added to the rivalry already in 2010, paving the way for a continued legacy upon announcing a major change this past September within the football program. Beginning in 2012 or 2013, UC Davis football will compete in the Big Sky, a conference which has had Sacramento State as a member since 1996.

Sacramento State comes in with an overall record of 6-4, including a 5-3 mark in Big Sky Conference play. The Hornets have won three games in a row, all conference matchups. The Hornets primary offensive contributors are quarterback Jeff Fleming, running back Bryan Hillard and wide receiver tandem Chase Deadder and Morris Norrise. Peter Buck leads the Hornets with 90 tackles this season, and Zack Nash leads the Sacramento State pass rush with a team-high 13 sacks.

UC Davis comes in with an overall record of 5-5, including a 3-1 mark in Great West Conference play. The Aggies have won two games in a row, both in conference play. The Aggies offensive is led by redshirt freshman quarterback Randy Wright, running back Nick Aprile and wide receiver Sean Creadick. Defensively, Dozie Amajoyi leads UC Davis with 84 tackles. Eric Sobotka has recorded 4 sacks to lead UC Davis in that department.

Quick Stats to remember on gameday:
-UC Davis leads the all-time series 39-18
-Sacramento State has won the previous two meetings
-The weather forecast calls for a 70% chance of rain and a high of 51 degrees
-UC Davis won every season from 2000-2007

In-Depth Stats for this matchup:
  • Sacramento State averages 33.7 points per game
  • UC Davis averages 21.6 points per game
  • Sacramento State is allowing 25.5 points per game
  • UC Davis is allowing 27.9 points per game
  • Sacramento State averages 394.6 yards per game
  • UC Davis averages 318.2 yards per game
  • Sacramento State is allowing 352.1 yards per game
  • UC Davis is allowing 387.0 yards per game
Random stats that could have an affect on this game:
  • Sacramento State has attempted 2 onside kicks this season, and recovered both
  • UC Davis has attempted 1 onside kick this season, and recovered it successfully
  • Sacramento State's defense has recorded 25 sacks this season
  • UC Davis' defense has recorded 15 sacks this season
  • Sacramento State has made 12 of 13 field goal attempts this season
  • UC Davis has made 12 of 15 field goal attempts this season
  • Sacramento State has converted 7 of 14 on their fourth-down attempts
  • UC Davis has converted 7 of 15 on their fourth-down attempts
  • Sacramento State averages 10.2 yards per punt return
  • UC Davis averages 2.9 yards per punt return
Our pick; UC Davis 19, Sacramento State 17

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

UC Davis beats UC Santa Cruz

After a frustrating opening weekend in which the UC Davis men's basketball team dropped all three of its games, the Aggies finally got in the win column Wednesday night.

The Aggies got 16 points and 11 rebounds from senior Joe Harden in a 70-49 victory over visiting UC Santa Cruz. The Division III Banana Slugs were led by 12 points and 4 rebounds from Ryan Matsuoka.

It was critical for the Aggies to get their first win of the year Wednesday night, just three days removed from arriving home after a tough tournament in Oregon. The Aggies lost over the weekend to Florida Atlantic, Portland and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. UC Davis is now 1-3 on the season.

Boise State comes to town for the Aggies on Sunday at 1:00pm at the Pavillion.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Midseason NFL Report

Its that time of year. Its nearing the end of Week 10 in the NFL and unlike any other year in recent memory, it is a true tossup. Week in and week out, favorites are getting defeated by mediocre teams, and it seems the only constant in this season was that the home team had a good chance of winning. The best record in football is 7-2? And its held by the predictable Jets and Patriots, not to mention the Falcons who might have the best 12th man in football (sorry Seattle). If the playoffs started today the Raiders would be in? The Chiefs were the last undefeated team? Brett and Chuck's favorite two teams are a combined 4-14???? Even though personally its a down year for football, this season is very memorable because of the unpredictability of this season. What follows is a midseason NFL report of all 32 teams, and the prediction of their final record.


Current Record: 6-3
Final Record: 10-6

They're averaging 263 yards passing a game, and that's 6th in the NFL. In the other major categories they rank in the top 5, needless to say Peyton's little brother and co. has been tearing it up in the NFL this first half. Even though Jason Garrett and the Cowboys took away some of their swagger (at least defensively by scoring 33 pts), this Giants team is destined to stay on track to make the playoffs, especially in an NFC that could send an 8-8 team to the playoffs. 4 of their next 7 games are division games with 2 against Philly and 2 against the Skins. Throw in Jacksonville, Minnesota, and the pesky Green Bay Packers and a 4-3 record to end the season is a safe bet. Would be good enough to win the NFC East if not for this next team...

Current Record: 5-3 (and if they continue this romp of the Redskins, 6-3)
Final Record: 11-5 (win NFC East)

The secret to this team's success is obviously Michael Vick. When he's on the field, the obvious candidate for Comeback Player of the Year turns this offense into the quickest in the NFL. With DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin flying around the field and the breathtaking arm/feet of Vick, this Eagles team is nothing to mess with. Don't let the team stats fool you: 13th in passing yards, 5th in rushing, 13th in opp passing yards, 12th in opp rushing yards. This team is arguably a top 5 team not only in the NFC but in the whole NFL. Not enough can be said about Vick though. Vick has played in 5 games this year, with 7 TD's and 0 (that's right 0) INT. He's completed 76 passes for over 1000 yards, along with 261 yds rushing with 2 rushing TD's it looks like the sky's the limit for Vick and the Eagles. Looks like unloading McNabb may have been the right idea, touche Andy Reid. They still have Dallas and New York twice in December and January, but if Vick can lead this team to a division title, ol' number 7 will definitely be in the MVP discussion.

Current Record: 4-4
Final Record: 5-11

Washington seems a little more two faced then Harvey Dent. Some weeks they look like they can hold their own at least defensively while McNabb is working with what he's got. Other weeks, such as the loss to Detroit last week and the whole "Grossman gives us the best chance to win" statement by Shanahan, and this team looks like a deer in headlights. Such as tonight, currently the Redskins are getting pounced by 28 in the first quarter. Good news for the Skins, is that Donovan McNabb is staying in Washington for the next 5 years. Bad news, is that their schedule doesn't get any easier with their easiest game being either against Minnesota or against Jacksonville, games that could go either way. Also, McNabb probably won't be there for the next 5 years. I don't see them getting anywhere in the second half, and falter to a 1-7 finish. Better luck next year (maybe).

Current Record: 2-7
Final Record: 6-10

Being a Dallas Cowboys fan, the first half of the NFL season was quite a let down to say the least. Coming into the season I requested every Sunday off of work, so I can sit and scream at the TV in my DeMarcus Ware jersey and hopefully celebrate a Cowboy victory. After a very dismal start, with a close loss to Washington, embarrasing loss to Chicago, and finally a Texas Bowl victory over Houston, at 1-2 my Cowboys were looking to straighten things out. Then the wheels completely came off, the plane crashed into the mountain, the "first team to host their own Super Bowl" prediction turned into "first team eliminated from playoff contention". It seemed week after week, the Cowboys would play pretty well, and despite giving up points in the 30's (and sometimes 40's) they would still only lose by single digits. Tony Romo went down, Jon Kitna never really showed up, and Wade Phillips looked like he held the best season ticket you can possibly get instead of a Head Coach. But maybe with a breath of fresh air in the form of familiar face Jason Garrett, this very talented team might get that kick in the rear that they need and finish proudly. As a fan I will never ever root for my team to tank, and with the kind of talent they got I can see them start to turn things around with a 4-3 record to end the season and give this team some motivation for next year unless there's a lockout. That is unless they go 8 in a row, make the playoffs and an unpredictable season such as this one anything can happen.

Check in tomorrow from 12-1 PM on 95.7 KDRT or on for the Brett and Chuck Power Hour, the best hour in radio..history....period.

Early Week Notes

Some early week notes from the sports world:

-Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg has joined the Philadelphia Phillies organization and will manage their Triple-A affiliate team in 2011. We discussed Ryne Sandberg in one of our November 3 blogs, entitled "Adios Ryno," and how he had been passed over in the selection of the new manager of the Chicago Cubs. Now, he will be the head honcho of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Sandberg, a longtime Cubbie, was very disappointed after not being chosen to manage the Cubs in 2011 or manage another MLB team. ""I spent the four years in the minor leagues to manage at the major league level, and that's where my heart is and that's what my next step is. That's where I look next. So I'll take it a step at a time and see if there's another opportunity out there and go from there," he said last month when the Cubs hired Mike Quade.

Hopefully Sandberg will be able to score a Major League job in 2012, if not sooner. Midseason firings at the MLB level are rare, but do happen on occasion. Hard to see him going back to the Cubs though, my guess is his major league job would have to be elsewhere.

-The struggles for our local Sacramento Kings continue (sadface). After an exciting 3-1 start to this season's campaign, the team has now dropped five straight contests, including four at home. Elias Sports Buearu had an interesting note following Sunday's home loss to the Detroit Pistons;

The Kings' 100-94 defeat to the Pistons was Sacramento's fourth straight home loss. Since the start of the 2006-2007 season, the Kings have had 11 different home losing streaks of at least four games, most in the NBA over that span. In the previous eight seasons (1998-1999 through 2005-2006), Sacramento only lost four straight games at ARCO Arena once, in December 2005.

I miss the days when ARCO was such a tough place to win at! During the Kings "glory years" when I was just becoming a teen, it seemed every home game was practically a guaranteed Kings victory. Looking back at the 2002-2003 season, the Kings were an NBA best 35-6 at home. Unfortunately it is 2010, and those Kings already boast four home losses, and its only mid-November.

At some point soon I'd love to blog about the future of the Kings; whether it truly will be in Sacramento or not, and what it will take to turn around the franchise.

Blasphemy! I'm all for Deron Williams having a strong week (Jazz were 4-0, he averaged 23 points, 11.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds), but no way was he the Western Conference Player of the Week. No way!!!!! Not when the Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love averages 21.0 points and 20.3 rebounds. Granted the Timberwolves had a 2-2 week (beat Sacramento), Love still wrecked havoc on the boards all week, and for that, I grant him my Western Conference Player of the Week award, with Deron Williams as an honorable mention.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NFL Picks

A tad late, so the NFL picks won't be nearly as thorough as I dreamed. Alas, here they are....

Buffalo over Detroit: Yes, Bills fans, the victory bell finally rings and the home crowd goes wild.

Minnesota over Chicago: Brett Favre won't throw for 400+ yards, but he and A.P. will get a win on the road.

New York Jets over Cleveland: I wanted to pick the Browns, simply because of their effort last week beating New England, but I see the Jets getting things in order following a shutout loss at home last weekend. One thing is for sure, one Ryan brother will beat another.

Cincinnati over Indianapolis: This one isn't even an obligatory pick. I think the team we all thought Cincinnati could be finally puts together a game.

Tennessee over Miami: Chris Johnson runs wild in a strong Titans win.

Tampa Bay over Carolina: The Panthers cannot win without a quarterback.

Houston over Jacksonville: The Texans bounce back from a frustrating home loss to beat the up-and-down Jaguars.

Kansas City over Denver: D.J. Williams really put a damper on the Broncos' already shaky season.

New York Giants over Dallas: Eli makes sure the new era doesn't start well for the Cowboys.

Arizona ties Seattle: I think no one wins this game. Tie.

San Francisco over Seattle: A "bye" week gave the 49ers a chance to prepare to stop rookie Sam Bradford and the Rams.

Pittsburgh over New England: A great Sunday night matchup. The home team gains the edge.

Philadelphia over Washington: This Monday night affair is another retro Vick party.

Friday, November 12, 2010

College Football Primer

Big C

On our rugged Eastern foothills, stand our symbol clear and bold.

Big C means to fight and strive
and win for Blue and Gold.

Golden Bear is ever watching,
Day by day he prowls.

And when he hears the tread of lowly Stanford Red,
from his lair he fiercely growls!

(Yell: Gr-rr-rah, Gr-rr-rah,
Gr-r, r-r-r-, r-r-rah!)

Roll on, you Bears...........

Another awesome weekend in college football awaits us. Here are a few of the marquee games awaiting us on Saturday:

-Georgia at Auburn, kickoff scheduled for 3:30pm ET. Unfortunately a lot of questions surround Auburn QB and Heisman frontrunner Cam Newton, who is facing scandal left and right regarding possible cheating at Florida and money scandal at Mississippi State (or Auburn, or elsewhere, who knows?). Auburn is 8 point favorites at home, but still should beware of this SEC matchup with Georgia.

Our pick: Auburn 33, Georgia 24

-Virginia Tech at North Carolina, kickoff schedule for 3:30pm ET. Two teams match up who are both fighting for the top spot in the ACC Coastal Division. Virginia Tech leads with a 5-0 conference record, with North Carolina within reach at 3-2. Virginia Tech has looked sharp each week since its two opening season losses (Boise State, James Madison). North Carolina is a 4 point underdog at home, and is playing well despite having lost many of their top players to suspension.

Our pick: North Carolina 26, Virginia Tech 21

South Carolina at Florida, kickoff scheduled for 7:15pm ET. The stakes are high in this game as the winner will represent the SEC East in the conference title game. Florida suffered 3 tough losses to start October (Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State) but have bounced back well with two consecutive wins when they needed to. This matchup has had many classic battles, and look for this game to be no different. As mentioned before, the stakes are very high. (Florida is a 6.5 favorite)

Our pick: Florida 38, South Carolina 33

Oregon at Cal, kickoff schedule for 7:30pm ET. Plain and simple, it is an important game because Oregon is #1 and they have a game on the road against a team who's undefeated at home. Cal is a very different team at home, versus on the road, so the Bears are lucky to be hosting Oregon (but not lucky to be playing them, regardless of location). Anytime you're in the drivers seat to be in the National Title game as the Ducks are, you're under the watchful eye of the country each week. (Oregon is a 19.5 favorite)

Our pick: Oregon 48, Cal 27

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Disc Golf

So, if any of you readers check out our profile, linked on the left of main Brett and Chuck Power Blog page, you'll see our interests. Among most of the popular sports is another fantastic sports/recreation opportunity, DISC GOLF!

Disc golf is an awesome game in which players throw a flying disc into a basket or at a target. The idea is very similar to golf; to throw the disc the fewest number of times from the beginning to the end.

We love disc golf because it is a unique game that can encompass very intriguing competition. You don't necessarily have to be the quickest, strongest or most athletic athlete in order to win. Essentially, it is an even playing field until you can get down the fundamentals of the game.

We found out that there are approximately 3,000 disc golf courses established across the country, and 87% of them are free. Locally, Davis has its own disc golf course that we love. If you ever are interested in playing, head over to Oxford Circle Park to try out their course.

If any of our readers are interested in heading out to the course with us, let us know. We would love to show you our dominating ability at this game, or just simply teach you if you aren't familiar with the game.

We got our disc golfs from the Disc Golf Station, and it allows us to mean business when we head out to play. My beauty is the Elite-X Cyclone, which I found from the Disc Golf Station.

Check out their website, get yourself an awesome disc golf, then come out and try out some disc golf!

Thursday Night Debut

It is here!! The much anticipated, mixed review of Thursday night football. Its awesome, because its a primetime game and usually features a good matchup (This Thursday is a classic example, props to the NFL). However, its on the NFL Network, which means the audience is very limited.

Nonetheless, I'm excited for tonight's game (I get to watch! Thank you Comcast). The Baltimore Ravens travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. It is the first game since opening night that the NFL has on Thursday night, being broadcast nationally on NFL Network alongside Bob Papa, Matt Millen, Joe Theismann and sideline reporter Alex Flanagan.

Here are the facts to know heading into this game:

  • The Falcons are 6-2, and an undefeated 4-0 at home
  • They are riding a two-game winning streak (Cincinnati, Tampa Bay)
  • The Falcons offense is led by QB Matt Ryan, RB Michael Turner, WR Roddy White and TE Tony Gonzalez; the defense is led by LB Curtis Lofton, DE John Abraham, and S William Moore
  • Matt Ryan is 17-1 at home in his career
  • Roddy White is beat up, but is expected to play
  • Offensively, Atlanta is 5th in yards per game (370.1) and 10th in points per game (24.5)
  • Defensively, Atlanta is 21st in yards allowed per game (346.4), and 10th in points allowed per game (19.3)
  • The Ravens are 6-2, and 2-2 on the road
  • They are riding a two-game winning streak (Buffalo, Miami)
  • The Ravens offense is led by QB Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice, WR Anquan Boldin and TE Todd Heap; the defense is led by DE Terrell Suggs, LB Ray Lewis and S Ed Reed
  • The Ravens injury concerns are minimal
  • Offensively, Baltimore is 14th in yards per game (348.0) and 15th in points (21.9)
  • Defensively, Baltimore is 9th in yards allowed per game (310.8), and 6th in points allowed per game (17.4)
  • Kickoff is at 8:20pm ET.
  • Atlanta (-1) is favored over Baltimore (+1)
  • The over/under for the game is 43 1/2 points
We forecast a 23-17 victory for Atlanta tonight. Matt Ryan will win this one for the Falcons, because the Ravens have a strong rush defense. Roddy White will be his primary target against an up-and-down Ravens pass defense, but Tony Gonzalez will also be critical over the middle. If Joe Flacco can keep Ray Rice involved in both the rushing and passing game, the Ravens may have a chance at a road victory.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Midseason NFL Awards

Check out the blog by from my buddy, Will, handing out midseason NFL awards. His post, as team member of The SACK Lunch Blog, runs through what is essentially his "All-Pro Team." Great, great stuff.

Today's Show

Great show today, with special guest Dylan Davis of the Sack Lunch Blog. Enjoyed his insight on college football, and a bit of NFL football.

Enjoyed discussing the remaining four undefeated squads vying for the BCS Championship game, as well as running through each BCS conference to find our conference title contenders.

However, he severely damaged his credibility by being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Maybe someday he'll see the light and relinquish his loyalties. Nonetheless, many thanks to him joining us today.

If you missed the show, catch the replay on the KDRT website later tonight.

Monday, November 8, 2010

NFL Weekend in Review

Quick thoughts...
1. There is trouble in Cincinnati.
2. There is big trouble in Dallas.
3. There are many happy fans in Oakland.
4. There is minor encouragement in Minnesota.
5. Tampa Bay is for real.
6. Carolina stinks.
7. Seattle stinks.
8. Detroit doesn't stink.
9. The NFL is tremendously balanced.
10. It's November, and Buffalo has not won.

As for the Power Hour NFL picks, a 9-4 week is a welcoming site. Toss out the irrational but obligatory picks of Dallas and Cincinnati, and we're staring 9-2 (or 11-2?) in the face. It's encouraging, but we take that with a large grain of salt. Every favorite, save for Cleveland, won this weekend. The lone underdog I believed could win was Buffalo, but no luck there. The entire 2010 season has been filled with the underdogs pulling upsets, so natually picking a few more upsets would have been a popular choice. Detroit, Kansas City, Houston, Miami and Indianapolis were all underdogs who were popular picks to win. However, none did.

Case in point, picking the favorites and succeeding is enjoyable, but pass the salt before you hold your head too high. Check back next week for our attempt to repeat our successful performance, and our efforts to pick winners and throw out the obligatory picks.

ESPN Sunday Night Crew

In one of the most intriguing storylines of Monday (move over, Dallas), ESPN chose not to renew the contracts of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan, who have served as the voices of Sunday Night Baseball for the past 21 years.

I'm a bit surprised by this because these two have been a staple of Sunday evenings for such a long time. I'm curious to see what, if any, underlying pretenses may have caused these two not to be brought back. As a Giants fan, I'd love to hear Jon Miller on KNBR for all 162 games next season, but I'm still surprised they are moving in a different direction.

Who will be on the mic for Sunday Night Baseball in 2011? Brett and Chuck? (we wish...)

College Basketball Arrives

Early November each year always means many things:

1. The BCS race is heating up in college football.
2. The NASCAR Chase Cup is also down to its final races.
3. The World Series of Poker is in full gear. (WSOP yes!!!)
4. The Chargers are getting in gear.
5. The NBA season is still an afterthought.
6. MLB free agency speculation grows.
7. Softball season is exactly five months away.
8. It's time to go turkey hunting for my November 25th feast.
9. Boise State and other non-BCS schools are "getting the shaft."
10. .......


After waiting 7 long months (or 8 if your team did not go dancing) since Duke topped Butler in the National Championship game, the boys are back in town. College basketball season is here, and March Madness and its new 68-team tournament are only 4+ months away. Today marks the start of the season, with 5 games, including gems West Alabama at Troy and Seattle at Maryland. Don't forget games featuring ranked squads Pittsburgh, Illinois and Texas playing against cupcakes.

Exhibiting play is wrapping up, including a game on Saturday here in town featuring our local UC Davis Aggies. No offense, but the Aggies humiliated themselves in a 67-62 loss against the San Francisco Academy of Art Urban Knights. The who?!?!??? C'mon Ags, you are loaded with returning and new talent, and I have great expectations for you to compete for the Big West conference title, THIS SEASON. So please, get it in gear guys, my season tickets just arrived in the mail and I want to see some solid basketball.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NFL Predictions

Atlanta over Tampa Bay: Because it is in Atlanta, and Michael Turner is running very well.

Buffalo over Chicago: Why not? The Bills have played tough in two consecutive losses, and I think they finally get their due at home.

New England over Cleveland: Tom Brady leads the Pats over the Browns easily.

New York Jets over Detroit: Despite the Lions being at home, their defense wins the day.

Minnesota over Arizona: Arizona's QBs stink (even though I love Derek Anderson).

New Orleans over Carolina: Do I need to elaborate?

Baltimore over Miami: The Ravens host, and their defense slows Henne and the 'Fins

San Diego over Houston: Please tell me the Chargers are "getting it in gear," as usual this time of year

New York Giants over Seattle: The Giants front seven is fierce, and Matt Hassleback is unavailable

Oakland over Kansas City: The Raiders are playing decent football? Odd....I credit the team for getting rid of JaMarcus....

Philadelphia over Indianapolis: Just barely, but only because Indy RBs are beat up...(and Vick is back!!!) ((woof))

Dallas over Green Bay: Obligatory pick for CJ. Kitna scores enough to win.

Cincinnati over Pittsburgh: Bengals win at home!! Ochocinco finally has a game. Finally.