Monday, November 29, 2010
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
6. Ohio State
8. Michigan State
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
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
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.
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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:
Men's track and field*
Women's track and field*
* = Teams will compete several times, 1 point will be awarded to majority winner
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
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
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
Chicago Bears at Miami Dolphins
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.
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.
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
- 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
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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
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 beyond......in an unpredictable season such as this one anything can happen.
Check in tomorrow from 12-1 PM on 95.7 KDRT or on KDRT.org for the Brett and Chuck Power Hour, the best hour in radio..history....period.
-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
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
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 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!
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
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
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
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.
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...)
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."
AND COLLEGE BASKETBALL IS HERE!
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
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.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
For Missouri, it was that they would have a letdown after their first loss. I figured they'd go on the road and lose. Fortunately, they did. Texas Tech claimed a 24-17 win behind a strong second half defensive performance.
Next up, Texas A&M beat Oklahoma at home, 33-19. I just like the A&M offense a lot this year, but didn't expect them to do as well defensively as they did. For that, mad props.
Check back next week for more upsets picks, and game of the week. I'll work on solid reasoning for my picks.
My primary one was Missouri to lose at Texas Tech. Unfortunately, Missouri leads 17-3 midway through the second quarter. Still plenty of time left, no worries. Surprising to see the TT offense so bottled up, but the Mizzu defense has garnered tons of praise in 2010.
One of the two I listed as secondary was Washington State to beat Cal. The Bears came out of Pullman with a 20-13 victory. Washington State was impressive in the first half, but very mediocre in the second half, at best. Brock Mansion was pretty bad in his first star for Cal at quarterback, but Washington State's 194 total offensive yards led to their demise. Credit to Cal's defense for stepping up on a very unpredictable day for the Cal offense.
Next up was Texas A&M to beat Oklahoma. It appears for now that Texas A&M leads 19-10, but had been leading 19-0 after returning the second half kickoff for a touchdown. It appears the Sooners are finding their way now. Could/should be a great finish.
Wow. TCU dominated with its defense and offense in incredible fashion. A disappointing game in regard to the #3 vs. #5 matchup, but still very impressive for those who wanted to watch TCU make a statement.
No joy in Salt Lake City, tonight.
Barring a miracle comeback from the Utes, I'll likely take a break from this game. I anticipated something much closer, and am disappointed in Utah. Also tremendously impressed by TCU, but disappointed in the Utes performance at home.
TCU takes over on the Utah 36-yard line, 30-0.
UC Davis Football defeats North Dakota 35-16.
Quarterback Randy Wright paced the Aggie offense, throwing 4 touchdowns, 3 to reciever Sean Creadick. The Aggie defense was able to force 2 fumbles, 1 that was recovered for a touchdown, and 2 interceptions. UC Davis heads into two consecutive rivalry matchups, at Cal Poly and vs. Sacramento State.
Interception by the Horned Frogs gives TCU the ball, first and goal, at the Utah 6.
First play from scrimmage, touchdown TCU to extend the lead. Wow. 30-0 TCU.
An absolute swing and a miss on how I thought this game would turn out...
The Horned Frogs had 325 yards of total offense, versus the 76 yards of Utah. The Utes have been down from the start and haven't been able to have any chance to establish the run, as judged by their 5 rushing yards.
Lots to talk about in the Utah locker room. The TCU defense certainly looks as strong as advertised (came in #1 defense statistically).
Jordan Wynn is flushed from the pocket on a big 3rd down, and he has the ball knocked out by TCU, and the Horned Frogs take over on the Utah 28.
TOUCHDOWN, TCU. The Horned Frogs promptly lead 20-0. (missed extra point)
Out of the "wildcat" formation, WR Jeremy Kerley throws a 26-yard touchdown to Bart Johnson.
Early #'s from Andy Dalton: 7-8, 197 yards, 2 TDs
TCU leads 14-0 with 1:24 left in the first quarter
A 9 play, 80 yard drive gives TCU the early lead.
Game of the Day:
TCU at Utah
Why? Well, outside of Boise State, these are the top two non-BCS teams. Both are still undefeated. TCU is ranked #3 and Utah #5, with Boise State sandwiched in between. This one kicks off at 12:30 p.m. locally here in CA, and will decided which of these Mountain West teams will likely go to a BCS bowl.
There are star/impact players left and right in this game. TCU quarterback Andy Dalton, running back Ed Wesley, and wide receivers Josh Boyce and Jeremy Kerley will be critical to the Horned Frogs success offensively.
Defensively, TCU is as stout as can be, coming in as the best team in the country in terms of only allowing opponents to gain 217.3 yards per game. There are standout players all over the field. This is a well coach group that works tremendously well together.
For Utah, quarterback Jordan Wynn leads a stellar offensive attack that is statistically one of the best in the country. Running back duo Eddie Wide and Matt Asiata are key contributers running the ball. Wynn's two favorite targets are DeVonte Christopher and Jereme Brooks.
Defensively, the Utes rank sixth nationally in yards allowed at only 267.7. The pass defense is strong and will get an opportunity to shine and slow down the TCU offense.
Prediction: Utah wins 30-27. This game will come down to a defining special teams play, whether it be a kick return, special teams mistake (a.k.a. turnover) or a field goal.
My number one candidate for an upset loss is for #12 Missouri to lose at Texas Tech. I fear the Tigers may let down one week after their first loss of the season. On the road at Lubbock won't be easy.
Other potential upsets:
Texas A&M over #8 Oklahoma
Washington State over Cal
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Sandberg had been in the running in October to be hired as manager of the Cubs following the departure of Lou Piniella. On October 19, however, Sandberg was passed over for the job by Mike Quade. The move prompted Sandberg to relflect on his position within the organization, and ultimately led to his departure.
Quade filled in as the interim manager for the Cubs upon Piniella's departure from the team in August. The team finished 24-13 during his tenure, giving the organization reason to believe Quade could be the man in charge during 2011. Some critics of the move claimed the record should not be accounted for, as many teams the Cubs faced (i.e. Astros, Brewers, Pirates) had already thrown in the towel and the team's record was skewed.
Sandberg has long been known as a "franchise icon" since his playing days with the Cubs, and was considered to be the favorite for the job as well as being the one who many Cubs fans were eager to have lead the club in 2011 and beyond. Sandberg work his way up in the system, beginning in Class-A, culminating in 2010 at Triple-A Iowa. His Iowa Cubs squad posted a 82-62 record, with Sandberg awarded the Triple-A Manager of the Year award.
After learning news of the October 19 decision to hire Quade, Sandberg admitted to being "disappointed," needing time to "digest the news and way his options." It could put a snare in what had been a beautiful relationship between the organization and one of their famous franchise players, but some believe Ryno could eventually return to the organization.
"There's no good-bye. He's a Cub. He'll be a Cub for life," Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said Wednesday on "The Afternoon Saloon" on ESPN 1000. "If he would like to explore some options with other teams to pursue some other opportunities that doesn't really change anything with respect to what he has accomplished for the team or what he means to the team. If that's his decision then I wish him all the best, and he's a Cub forever."
For now, Sandberg will weigh his options for 2011, which he likely hopes will be in a position with a MLB team. His days in the minors are hopefully behind him. He has proven to be tremendously capable, a strong leader and ready for major league managing. The New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates appear to be the lone two teams with managerial openings remaining.
He was a feared wide receiver in the Patriots offense. Then he struggled to fit in for the underachieving Vikings offense. Then he yelled about some food. He was temporarily unemployed. Now, he's a member of the Tennessee Titans. What a year, what a week and what a day for Randy Moss. Commentary out of Moss' camp is that he'll immediately report to the Titans and beginning getting in the flow of things with quarterbacks Vince Young and Kerry Collins. Perhaps Moss will play with a chip on his shoulder after his thus far tumultuous season, or perhaps he will take a chip out out of the Tennesee Titans and bring them down. No speculation yet on how soon Moss will play in a game for Tennessee.
The San Francisco Giants held their parade today to celebrate winning the 2010 World Series. It was glamorous, it looked fun and it was loud. Willie McCovey and Willie Mays attended. Even outgoing governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was among the dignitaries in attendance. The parade was festive, to say the least, and the celebration at Civic Center Plaza afterward was electric. Go Giants!
Monday, November 1, 2010
2. If they are to compete to repeat in 2011, their pitching staff will anchor their success. That was the case throughout the regular season, and throughout the playoffs. Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain will be the 1-2 punch for the team. Madison Bumgarner continues to grow, with a sharp World Series performance under his belt. He's only 21, but the team has a world of belief that he'll be around for a long time. Jonathan Sanchez, put on the backburner because of a mediocre World Series performance, will hopefully continue to grow. He needs to work on his command, avoiding games of 5+ walks. He has nasty stuff to get strikeouts every night. Finally, Barry Zito, San Francisco's $126 million dollar man, will be back. They obviously cannot trade him. They would like to get confidence instilled in him again, take pressure off him to be a main component, and let him quietly do his work.
3. Which Giants "misfits" will return? Cody Ross, Pat Burrell and Jose Guillen all are question marks. In my opinion, bring back Ross, and leave the other two. Burrell's atrocious World Series performance (see 0-13, 11 Ks), may lead the team to believe he's running out of gas. They may not want to risk that happening again late in 2011. An outfield of Cody Ross, Andres Torres and Aaron Rowand/Nate Schierholtz is forseeable. Perhaps Travis Ishikawa will start at first and Aubrey Huff will see time in the outfield. Its safe to assume Uribe and Freddy Sanchez will anchor the middle of the infield. Pablo Sandoval may get another shot to reclaim his shot at 3B. World Series MVP Edgar Rentaria hinted at both retiring and not retiring, leaving all sorts of uncertainty with him in 2011. Buster Posey will, of course, start at catcher. Eli Whiteside may depart in search of more full-time duties. Free agency is certainly unpredictable, there is no saying what sort of misfits or strong players may join the club.
4. Brian Wilson will again be the man in the Giants' bullpen. I forsee most of those guys returning. Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt are critical lefties in relief. Sergio Romo has a bright future, as do Santiago Casilla and Ramon Ramirez. Guillermo Mota is a question mark.
5. Pitchers and catchers report in 13 weeks!
2. Cliff Lee was a stud for the Rangers, until the World Series. Even in Game 5, he just was damaged by one pitch too far inside, which Edgar Rentaria promptly deposited into the first rows of the left-center field bleachers. Now the issue is that he will not pitch in any other games for Texas. Instead, chances are highest that he'll probably end up pitching for the New York Yankees next season.
3. Darren Oliver and Vladimir Guerrero both may not return. Each have team options, so it will be interesting to see how those play out. Vlad's offense was solid during the regular season, but he can only be the Rangers' DH and he hurt them defensively in the World Series.
4. Colby Lewis and C.J. Wilson will still be studs at the front end of the rotation. Each is gaining more and more talent as they progress, and each had some very quality games in the postseason. The franchise has a boatload of confidence in these two entering 2011.
5. Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz will highlight the middle of the batting order next year. Elvis Andrew and Michael Young will lead the way at the front of the order. The team will still be strong offensively in 2011.
Kudos to World Series MVP Edgar Rentaria, whose 3-run home run fueled the Giants 3-1 victory in Game 5, to clinch the series for the Giants.
Brian Wilson finished it up.
Fear The Beard, baby.
Missouri (7-1), previously #6 in the nation, was run over by Nebraska (7-1) senior running back Roy Helu Jr., who rushed for 307 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Tigers now drop to #12 in the BCS Standings and need one Nebraska loss, combined with winning the remainder of their own games, in order to be in first place in the Big 12 North. Missouri will need to fight another letdown this weekend at Texas Tech, as well as face a tough road matchup with Iowa State on November 20. Nebraska, meanwhile, has only Big 12 lowlights Colorado and Kansas remaining, as well as a matchup on the road against Texas A&M.
Michigan State (8-1), previously #5 in the nation, was blasted 37-6 on the road against Iowa. The Spartans had escaped Northwestern with late road win the week before, and could not muster up much effort against Iowa. HUGE kudos to the Hawkeyes defense for intercepting three passes from Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins and shutting down the Spartans offense. Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi completed 11 of 15 passes for 190 yards and 3 touchdowns to pace the Hawkeyes offensive attack. "Did we come unprepared? I don't think so," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio told ESPN after the game. "Did things snowball on us? I guess they did." Dantonio was coaching from the sideline for only the second time since returning from a heart condition that kept him away from the team much of October. Michigan State, Iowa, Ohio State and Wisconsin now all lead the Big 10, with one loss each in conference play. Wisconsin and Michigan State each only have games remaining against teams lower in the confernce, while Iowa hosts Ohio State in a critical game on November 20. The winner of that game will keep themselves in the hunt for the Big 10 title, and a bid to the Rose Bowl, or better.
The remaining undefeated teams include Oregon, Auburn, TCU, Boise State and Utah, who are ranked in that order in the most recently released BCS Standings.
The Ducks remaining slate includes home games versus Washington and Arizona, and road contests at California and Oregon State. The top challenges will likely be the matchups to close out the season, starting November 26 with Arizona, followed by the annual Civil War in Corvallis on December 4. Both the Wildcats and Beavers have Rose Bowl aspirations of their own, which may only be plausible by beating the Ducks.
Auburn, 51-31 winners over the weekend against Ole Miss, still face Chattanoga and Georgia at home before closing out their regular season on November 26 at Alabama. The game against the Crimson Tide easily poses the biggest threat to the Tigers, and is also Alabama's best chance to return to the National Title converstation. Cam Newton continues to lead the Tigers with his arm and his legs, making him one of the leading Heisman Trophy Candidates.
TCU faces its toughest remaining test this weekend at #5 (and unbeaten) Utah. The Horned Frogs follow up this weekends matchup with games against San Diego State and New Mexico, in which TCU will be major favorite. As it stands, the Horned Frogs are 6-point favorites this weekend for the game in Salt Lake City, which will likely decide the Mountain West conference champion and be the factor in which teams earns a BCS bowl berth.
Boise State continues to suffer from the ease of its WAC conference slate, losing votes in the polls and points in the BCS standings. The 7-0 Broncos have home games remaining against Hawaii, Fresno State and Utah State, and road games at Idaho and Nevada. The November 26 game at Nevada poses the biggest threat to the Broncos undefeated season, but as long as TCU remains ahead of the Broncos (or Utah beats TCU and ergo jumps over Boise), even an undefeated season from Boise State would still leave uncertainity upon the announcement of the postseason bowl matchups. Only one non-BCS school (a MWC school or WAC school is among that category) is assured a spot in a BCS bowl, and all signs currently point to TCU or Utah finishing ahead of Boise.
Utah has been the team to most quietly navigate to its currently undefeated record, rising up from the edge of the polls to #5. The Utes are led by their offense, which is third in the nation at 45.3 points per game, but also feature a defense allowing only 14.1 points per game, good for sixth in the country. The Utes most challenging remaining game is clearly this weekend hosting #3 TCU, but the Utes must remain focused for road contests at Notre Dame and San Diego State, as well as the annual Holy War versus BYU to close out the year. A win over TCU would probably sway the voters to move Utah to #3, jumping TCU and Boise State.
Other notable notes from this past weekend include:
-UC Davis suffering a 55-24 loss at home to Southern Utah. The Thunderbirds concluded their Great West conference play, finishing 4-0 in conference, with a postseason birth likely on the horizon. The Aggies travel to North Dakota and Cal Poly over the two upcoming weekends, then finish their 2010 campaign at home in the annual Causeway Classic against Sacramento State on November 20.
-Miami suffered a 24-19 road loss at Virginia, severly damaging the Hurricanes hopes of competing with Virginia Tech for the ACC Coastal title. Losing quarterback Jacory Harris early in the game due to a concussion was a huge blow to Miami.
-Notre Dame lost 28-27 at home against Tulsa. The same Fighting Irish team who nearly beat Michigan State, the same Fighting Irish team who beat Big East leader Pittsburgh, and the same Fighting Irish who tragically lost football cameraman Declan Sullivan in an accident this past week. A very tumultuous and inexplicable season for Notre Dame.
-Texas lost at home for the second consecutive week, dropping the Longhorns to 4-4 overall. Baylor came into Austin and dealt Texas a 30-22, giving the Bears their first win over Texas since 1997. Baylor, now 7-2 and ranked #21 in the BCS Standings, is having a tremendous season.
-Florida bested Georgia 34-31 in overtime, keeping the Gators in second place in the SEC East behind South Carolina. The November 13 game at Florida against the Gamecocks will likely decide who will go to the SEC championship game.