Monthly Archives: September 2010

“What is a Journeyman”

The quintessential journeyman, Charlie Batch (pictured above), will start for the Steelers on Sunday against the Buccaneers.

A term that is often thrown around by experts and fans alike when talking sports is “Journeyman.”  Now what is a journeyman?  Is there an exact definition?  Well I do know one thing.  When I hear the word “Journeyman,” one name comes to mind.. 

Charlie Batch. 

I am assuming most sports fans know who this guy is.  And if you don’t, well you will after reading this.  Batch epitomizes in my eyes what a journeyman is.  He has been in the League for years. He has played for multiple teams.  He has never excelled. He is not necessarily well-known.  Yet he is continuing to play hard even though he never really rose to stardom. 

Batch is an NFL quarterback that is now 35 years old.  He has been on two teams during his 13 year career (Lions and Steelers).  He has only been a starter for 4 of those seasons (years in Detroit).  Never really put up impressive numbers, nor had success in leading a team to a successful season.  Yet he has kept the dream alive. 

His numbers over the course of his 13 year journey are as average as one could imagine.  He has thrown 57 career touchdowns and 44 interceptions.  Batch’s completion percentage is not the most ostentatious stat either at 57%. His quarterback rating is a modest 77.7.  Yet he is still on the roster even with guys like Ben Roethlisberger, Dennis Dixon, and Byron Leftwich on the team. 

Well this year, even amidst all the offseason fiascos the Steelers have had to deal with, Batch somehow remained on the roster as a 3rd string quarterback (then 4th with the addition of Leftwich).  Many figured Batch would be cut and his playing days were over.  Well the guy has continued to “journey” and will be starting for Pittsburgh on Sunday against the 2 and 0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

I may not be a Steeler’s fan.  But Charlie Batch is a feel good story no matter what team you like.  A guy that has lived the dream and continued on a magical journey for 13 years. 

I wish Charlie the best of luck in what could be his last action in the NFL on Sunday. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze. 

-TheSportsKraze 

Aside

 Well we know one team that will be a divisional champion as head into the final 10 games of the season .  Though many others are close to clinching, the Twins are the first team to solidify their place atop a division … Continue reading

Aside

MLB baseball has taken a backseat as of late.  Well at least in Cincinnati (ironically).  NFL Football and College Football have been at the forefront of the sporting scene.  In Cincinnati we feature the Cincinnati Bengals, one of the hottest … Continue reading

“Does 0 and 2 Spell Death?”

Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings are in desperate need of star receiver, Sidney Rice (pictured above).

The NFL is already off to an extremely exciting start.  And fans should be prepping for a year that appears to really be wide open (as usual).  And who would want it any other way? There are many major storylines already in my eyes, but one has really stood out to me.

Storyline :  Two Super Bowl favorites, the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings are 0 and 2.  Who would have thought this would be the case?  Both of theses teams were extremely common picks to not only win their respective divisions, but to win the entire NFC.  Which one of them in worse shape?  Do either still have a chance to make the playoffs?

Dallas Cowboys

Situation:

The Cowboys have lost to 2 teams that most did not have making any noise this season.  The Redskins and Bears are not exactly thought of as powerhouse teams (though the Bears sit at 2 and 0).  This Dallas team is as talented as ever.  This team is experienced.  Supposed to be solid on both sides of the ball.  Jerry Jones is not a happy man.  Dallas is 4th in yards in yards gained this year, and 11th in total D.  So they are doing okay both offensively and defensively.  So what is the problem?

Problem:

Well for one, they are not scoring enough points.  In their first two ball games, they have given up 40 total points while they have only scored 27.  This all stems from a continued Red Zone conversion problem in Dallas.  Experts talked about this problem all season last year, especially down the stretch.  And the preseason, nor these first two weeks have looked to ease any of these worries.  In addition, could the pressure be getting to guys like Romo?  The core of this team has been winning for a good few years now.  But they have not gotten over the hump like Emmit Smith and Troy Aikman were able to do in the mid 90s.  Romo has never been known as Mr. Clutch.  And yesterday, he demonstrated his lack of big game ability with 2 crucial INTs.  The other major problem for the Boys, a non-existent rushing attack.  This team ran for 36 yards yesterday.  I know the game is turning into a pass first style, but 36 rushing yards is unacceptable if you are expecting to win a game in the NFL.  Not to mention they only ran for 89 yards in Week 1 (they are 27th in the League in rushing yards).

Solution:

The Cowboys must learn how to convert consistently in the Red Zone with touchdowns.  They must also develop a reliable rushing attack.  If they can do these two things, they will definitely be able to still make a run at the playoffs.

Verdict:

The Cowboys have a very tough first place schedule.  A turnaround will not be easy.  Plus they head to Houston against a very tough Texans team next week.  Though it is possible, do not expect this team to be playing a “Home” Game in this year’s Super Bowl.  I would not count on them even making the playoffs either.  Too many egos.  Too many internal issues.  Expect the Cowboys to finish 8 and 8 or 9 and 7, just missing the playoffs.

Minnesota Vikings:

Situation:

The Vikings are currently sitting at 0 and 2, even with their “savior” Brett Favre.  At least they get to take the Lions on at home next week to put a mark in the win column right?

Problem:

This team has no offense so far.  Other than in the rushing category, this team is in the lower half of the League in every offensive statistical category, including 29th in points.  For all the talk of Brett Favre being possibly the “Greatest Quarterback of All Time,” he has looked extremely human through 2 games.  Now I realize this team has some major injuries hurting their receiving corps.  But the way the unit has played, has been unacceptable.  They have mustered up 19 total points against two teams, that do not feature great defenses (Saints and Dolphins).  The major problem for this squad has not been the defense.  In actuality, their defense ranks 8th overall in the League.  And it hasn’t been the rushing attack.  It’s been # 4’s gunslinger mentality.  Brett’s interceptions are a huge reason why this very talented team is sitting at 0 and 2.

Solution:

Run the ball more.  Continue to give Adrian 25 plus carries a game.  Until star receiver Sidney Rice returns, this team will have to live and die on the run.  Brett’s confidence is a bit down.  And if the team can put together a couple of wins, he will get his swagger back.  But the defense overall has been fine.  Adrian Peterson has been awesome.  But Favre must cut down on the turnovers.  Possibly give the man a simpler game plan if possible (just don’t let him know you are babying him).  Give him a lot of plays where he gets to utilize his tight ends.  The problem is, you do not want to mess Brett Favre’s ego.  So it is definitely a touchy area and easier said than done to fix this problem.

Verdict:

I feel this team is perfectly fine.  I still fully expect them to nab at least a Wild Card.  Though they have to play a first place schedule, just like Dallas, I feel like their division is not as deep.  Therefore they will have a few more games that are very winnable, and this will be the difference.  I also hate to say it, but I don’t see Brett missing the playoffs in his “final” season.

So neither of these teams are down and out yet.  I believe both of them will finish at least 8 and 8 due to the fact that they are far too talented not to win as many games as they lose.  But I will admit that I feel Dallas is in big trouble in their pursuance of a playoff spot.

So what are your thoughts?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Bengals vs Ravens In Game”

Mike Nugent (pictured above), the former Ohio State Buckeye star, came up big today for the Bengals with 5 field goals on the afternoon.

So today I have decided to try something a little different.  I am going to give you an “in-game” look at the marquee matchup of Week 2 in my eyes, the AFC North battle, between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals.  These are two teams that had very different types of opening games.  The Bengals got blown out by an upstart New England Patriot’s team.  While the Ravens came up with an outstanding defensive effort and took care of a business against a favored Jets team on the road. 

Marvin Lewis is 9 and 5 all time against his former team, the Baltimore Ravens.  And has a Bengals team, that went 6 and 0 against the rugged AFC North last season and is looking to win their 8th consecutive divisional matchup.  Can the Bengals rebound today?  Can Joe Flacco learn how to throw an accurate pass?  We will find out in less than 5 minutes, as the Ravens travel to Paul Brown Stadium to take on the Who Deys in Cincinnati.

Today I will also have some esteemed guests contributing with their in-game thoughts.  We will have “DC,” David Clark and  Mr. “Beezy,” Chris O’Brien.  Let the games begin.

1st Quarter:

The Bengals have looked solid overall in the first quarter.  Carson is looking more and more comfortable as his offensive line is giving him ample time to get the ball out to his receiving weapons.  Minus a few inaccurate throws to TO, he seems to be looking like a big time quarterback.  In addition, Cedric Benson and Jordan Shipley have looked very solid.  Benson has made some crucial 3rd down conversions and Shipley continues to catch everything thrown at him.  I just wish Chad could resist talking trash at his opponents.

Joe Flacco continues to struggle and the Ravens offense looks in shambles.  0 of 4 for 0 yards sums it up for the former Delaware star.  Their defense is still laying out the big hits, but are beginning to not get the push that they got last week.  Could the short week be hurting them?

Mr. Breezy:  “The offensive line (for the Bengals) is day and night compared to last week.”

DC:  “My biggest surprise of this game is Joe Flacco’s inability to pass.”

2nd Quarter:

The only way to describe this one so far is, “Ugly.” Both quarterbacks are under 100 yards passing. Both teams are under 150 total yards (the Ravens are under 80).  It has been a defensive struggle.  The Bengals have blown some key Red Zone opportunities and only go into the half up 6 to 0.  But I will state this 1st half has been night and day compared to last weeks for Cincinnati. 

The Who Deys must cut down on the penalties.  6 is entirely too many and will come back to bite them if it continues.  Palmer also continues to struggle with his accuracy, though he has not been nearly as bad as Joe Flacco.  Should be a down to the wire finish in the 2nd half though with these two bitter rivals.

Mr. Breezy: “The Bengals would be winning by a lot more if they didn’t shoot themselves in the foot with penalties.”

DC: “Ravens are lucky to only be down 6 to 0.  If the Bengals keep shooting themselves in the feet with penalties, then they cannot expect to win this game.”

3rd Quarter:

Joe Flacco has woken up folks (somewhat).  Not good news for the Bengals.  The Bengal’s offense has looked like they are struggling with communication.  This is a major problem especially against a team with a defense like the Ravens.  TO continues to struggle with the physicality of the AFC North.  Palmer is continuing to be inconsistent.  Plus the Bengals lucked out with a tripping penalty on Ray Lewis to save this crucial drive.  I have a hunch this game  will come down to the final drive.

Mr. Breezy:  “The Bengals are just far too inconsistent.”

DC: “Bengals need to capitalize on a Joe Flacco interception.  This drive at the end of the 3rd quarter will decide the outcome of the game.”

4th Quarter:

Really just a back and forth battle between two teams that really wanted this one.  Neither team could really muster up any offensive fluidity.  Possession and field goal kicking were the name of the game.  And the Bengals took care of the ball, and hit their field goal chances.

Mr. Breezy: “This was a big time win for the Bengals.  Though it was ugly, a win is a win.”

DC:  “I will take the W, but Bratkowski has to develop a new game plan offensively.

Post Game Recap:

So there you have it.  It was not pretty by any means.  But the Bengals continued to exude AFC North dominance with a major victory in Week 2 over the rival Ravens.  Mike Nugent and the Bengal’s defense are Co-MVP’s in this game in my eyes.  Really, Joe Flacco could be considered the LVP (Least Valuable Player). 

The man had 0 passing yards in the entire first quarter.  Threw 4 picks.  And had a quarterback rating of 23.8.  Could it be time to consider giving Marc Bulger a go under center?  And though the Bengals got the win, Carson completed just 16 of 35 passes, and missed open receivers time and time again.  Can Palmer still play like the guy that we saw in 2005?

Taking care of the difference in this one.  4 interceptions to 0 gave the Bengals a big time win today.

Hope you enjoyed the first annual “In game” analysis.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“NFL Week 2 Predictions”

It appears Michael Vick (pictured above), may be starting his first game since 2006 on Sunday. Does he still have the amazing athleticism that once made him the real "Human Highlight Reel?"

One week of the 17 week grind that is the NFL Regular Season has been completed.  Now we enter Week 2.  There is a little bit less mysteriousness to each squad.  There is a bit more familiarity and film to see what lays ahead.  But still, there are a ton of question marks.  A ton of teams looking to prove that Week 1 was a fluke, or for those teams that played well, that Week 1 was not a fluke.  Once again I go head to head with CV3 on picks.

Week 1 Results:  TheSportsKraze: 8             CV3:  9

TheSportsKraze Picks:

Steelers at Titans:  The Steelers proved me wrong last week.  But this week they are on the road with their young 3rd string quarterback in Dennis Dixon.  Not to mention they go up against the most dangerous running back in the NFL Chris Johnson.  Look for this to be a very competitive game, but expect CJ to be the game’s determining factor.  Titans by 3.

Dolphins at Vikings:  You think that Brett Favre and the Vikings like losing?  Now the Dolphins are a solid team, but you have to like Minnesota in their home opener.  The Vikings are a great all around team, that even though they played pretty awful in their opener, they were still in a position to beat the defending champs on the road.  Chad Henne, the former Wolverine, will struggle on the road against the outstanding pass rush of the very tough Viking’s defensive line.  Brandon Marshall, will have to make a couple of highlight reel plays to keep the boys from Miami in the game.  Though I think this game will be competitive most of the way, I got the Vikings by 10 at home.

Cardinals at Falcons:  Arizona is flying high after a big week one win at St. Louis.  Well not really.  They struggled against one of football’s worst teams and looked out of sorts for much of the game.  Other than a great 2nd quarter, and the phenomenal play of Steve Breaston, this team did not look like a team ready to make the playoffs for a 3rd consecutive year.  The Falcons on the other hand, nearly came away with a victory in Pittsburgh on Sunday.  And though their offense only mustered up 9 points, they were going against a whole different animal in the Steeler’s defense.  Look for Matt Ryan to connect with Roddy White early and often, and look for Michael Turner to have a big day on the ground.  I got the Falcons running away with this one by 13.

Ravens at Bengals:  This may be the marquee matchup of the weekend.  Two major AFC contenders and divisional rivals going head to head.  The Ravens surprised many with a major Monday Night win in New York.  While the Bengals shot their load in a bad loss to the New England Patriots.  This is a whole new week.  And expect to see a different Bengals defense, plus more of the offense you witnessed in the 2nd half of last week’s contest.  In the Marvin Lewis/Carson Palmer era, the Bengals are 9 and 5 against the Edgar Allen Poe Bad Boy Ravens.  I will state this though.  If the Bengals play like they did in the first half of last week’s game even for a quarter, the Ravens will throw the knockout punch early.  But I expect Mike Zimmer’s defense to play big time smash mouth defense, and Palmer’s offense to have a big day.  I got the Bengals by 3 in a nail biter.

Chiefs at Browns:  Can you say Jamaal Charles?  Teams have a history of big days on the ground versus the Browns over the years.  Well this game will be no different.  And though the Browns sport the best return man in football, Josh Cribbs, the Chiefs are not too shabby themselves with rookie Dexter McCluster.  The Chiefs were a team that I said would surprise people this year and sneak their way to a pretty solid season. They definitely turned some heads last week with a major upset victory over San Diego.  Look for the Chiefs to be 2 and 0 at the end of Sunday.  I got KC by 9 over Cleveland.

Bears at Cowboys:  Da Bears verse America’s team.  No big deal right?  Wrong.  Both of these teams have a lot to prove after weak performances in Week 1.  The Bears escaped against the Lions on a very controversial call.  I will state that I thought it was a completed pass to Calvin Johnson.  And the Cowboys helped the Redskins shock the world.  By beating themselves.  This week will be different.  Jerry Jones, will not let another team full of big time talent, choke away the season already.  Look for the Cowboys to come out with a vengeance and expect Miles Austin to have another big day.  Cowboys by 13 running away with this one.

Eagles at Lions:  Michael Vick to start again?  I feel like it is 2006 all over again.  Talk about a time warp.  Well both of these teams surprised many with their Week 1 performances.  Though the Lions have weapons with guys like Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best.  Without their former number 1 draft pick, quarterback Matt Stafford (injured), the Tryin Lions will not get to taste victory for the first time this season.  I got Michael Vick leading the Eagles to a 3 point victory in Detroit.

Bills at Packers:  Buffalo heads to Cheesehead Country.  Well it will not be a pleasant visit.  This is the game that I feel could end up with the most lopsided outcome of this week’s batch of contests.  The Bills are one of the worst teams in football in my eyes, while the Packers are perhaps the most well-rounded.  Look for Aaron Rodgers to make up for last week’s 2 interceptions with a 4 TD performance.  Green Bay get excited, as your boys begin the year 2 and 0.  I got Green Bay by 17. 

Buccaneers at Panthers:  Neither of these teams looked great in their openers.  Tampa escaped against a weak Cleveland team, while the Panthers were torched by the G Men.  This game will be close from the start, with two teams that are towards the bottom tier of the League.  At least we may get to see former Notre Dame big shot, Jimmy Clausen, start his first game in the NFL.  Believe me, it won’t matter.  Buccaneers by 6 in a matchup of two bottom feeders.

Seahawks at Broncos:  Seattle may have pulled off the biggest surprise of Week 1.  They absolutely killed the hot pick in the NFC West, the 49ers, relentlessly.  Matt Hassleback demonstrated great management skills at the QB position, while defensive back, Marcus Trufant, led the D to an outstanding performance.  The Broncos on the other hand, surprised many including myself, with a tough loss to the Jaguars.  2 key turnovers killed them last week, and could once again hurt them this week.  Kyle Orton threw for nearly 300 yards, going to Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royals with a great frequency.  Well the Seattle defense is much tougher than Jacksonville’s, or at least they looked like it last week.  I got the Seahawks continuing to surprise and moving to 2 and 0 with a 6 point victory in Denver.

Rams at Raiders:  This is a matchup that I could never tune into unless forced.  Two of the worst teams in the NFL going head to head.  There is really nothing appealing about this one in any way unless you are a Rams or Raiders fan.  I think the difference in this one will be Jason Campbell’s mediocre, yet steady play at quarterback.  I got the Raiders by 3 at home in a game that I do not recommend watching unless you are a fan of either squad.

Texans at Redskins:  Arian Foster, the story of Week 1, takes the Texan’s show to Washington.  The way Houston was able to run the ball last week, and the passing attack we know they posses could cause major problems for Washington (or anybody for that matter).  Though Washington pulled off perhaps the 2nd biggest upset of Week 1 over America’s team, the Texans destroyed a very tough Colts team.  Look for Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, and Andre Johnson to stay hot in this one.  Texans by 10 in D.C.

Patriots at Jets:  This is a great matchup.  The AFC East favorites locking horns already?  Can the Jets recover from last week’s embarrassing offensive performance on Monday Night?  Can the Patriots continue to play outstanding?  My brain is telling me to pick the Pats in this one, but I got the Jets.  Sanchez must wake up to give his team a chance though.  The Jets tenacious defense will force Randy Moss onto Revis Island, and the Jets will win this thriller by 1 point.

Jaguars at Chargers: Both of these teams surprised in Week 1.  The Jaguars surprised with a win, while the Chargers surprised with a loss.  Well, do not expect San Diego to fall to 0 and 2.  Especially since they are at home in this game.  Norv Turner has led this team to the playoffs every year he has been with them for a reason.  They have a tradition of starting slow, having started under 500 through their first 5 games for 3 straight years.  But they will take care of business this week.  I got SD by 7 at home.

Giants at Colts:  I feel bad for the G Men coming off a big time performance last week.  They are now facing an angry Colt’s team.  And you know what that means?  An angry and motivated Peyton Manning.  Not what you want to hear as an opponent.  Though the Giants are a very good team, good luck in going into Lucas Oil and knocking off Peyton’s Colts coming off of a loss.  I got the Colts by 10 in this one.

Saints at 49ers:  Two popular picks to bring home their respective divisions.  Though I believe the 49ers are much better than what they showed last week, they are playing the defending champs on Prime Time now.  Drew Brees, fresh off his debut appearance on the hit television show “Entourage” thrives on the big stage.  Sorry San Fran.  An 0 and 2 start will not be the end to your season in a weak NFC West by any means.  Saints by 9 in this one.

CV3’s Picks:

FALCONS over Cardinals by 6- Look for the Falcons offense to have a much better week after facing off with the Steelers. Both teams are playing at a similar level but the home field advantage and Falcon D should be enough to edge the Falcons over the Cardinals.

EAGLES  over Lions by 14- No Stafford, no win.

PACKERS over Bills by 10- Packers will roll at home with their offense, even without Ryan Grant. Look for the back-up Brandon Jackson to have a good day. Packers will be one of the teams with an early season winning streak.

Browns over Chiefs by 3- The Chiefs didn’t produce a whole lot when you look at the stats last week. The Browns can match the Chiefs on special teams and defense so I think the Browns have the edge if Delhomme plays. If not it is up in the air with two similar teams.

Cowboys over Bears by 10- The Boys should be embarrassed by their performance against the Skins last week. Jerry Jones will not let that happen in Jerry World. Look for the Cowboys to gel on offense and win a shootout against Jay Cutler and Mike Martz. 

Vikings over Dolphins by 6- Vikings are hungry for the W after a repeat loss to the Saints. They are playing at home and they will most likely stick to the run, as opposed to last week. AP should have a decent day with at least 2 TD’s in this one.

Titans over Steelers by 3- The Steeler’s D will not allow Chris Johnson to run all over them. I believe he will get to 100 yards but it will take about 25 carries. This should be another low scoring one with a good Steeler’s D and a stagnant Steeler’s offense. Unless for some reason DD comes alive the Titans offense will prevail.

Broncos over Seahawks by 8- The Broncos will have a good offensive showing in this one. Last week the Seahawks shut down a poor offense that has trouble throwing the ball. This week Orton will pick through their D with a lot of short “West-Coast” style passes. The Seahawks are on the rise but will take a loss in this one.

Panthers over Buccos by 6- I don’t believe either team will be close to the playoffs but I give the advantage to the Panthers in this one solely on the home field advantage. Last week the home teams won 75% of the games.

Raiders over Rams by 1- These two are pretty evenly matched but again I give it to the home team. I think Bradford will show flashes of a future star but he will fall short again in this one. The Raiders offense should get a boost if Michael Bush is able to play this week. He is a big bruiser that will open up the game for McFadden. Plus if the Raiders are going to win a few games this season you would think St. Louis would one of the few they will beat.

Patriots over Jets by 10- This one will not be very close. The Jets coaching staff showed that Mark Sanchez clearly isn’t ready for the big time game yet. They had no confidence in him and limited him to the short game. The short game is what the Patriots are best at. The Jets D has taken a big hit looking Jenkins and I don’t think they will be able to hang with the Patriot’s high-flying offense that resembles 2007 already.

Jags over Chargers by 3- Last week the Chargers showed that something is clearly off in their organization. I doubt it is a quick fix. The Jags just saw the mighty Colts go down and have some extra motivation now that they realize the Colts can be beat. Unless Rivers can rally his team, the Chargers will struggle again.

Texans over Redskins by 9- WOW… This Texans team is scary! I wouldn’t want to play ‘em.

Colts over Giants by 7- Big brother will show why he is still big brother in this one. Peyton is at home and they are angry. He will not miss a beat in this one. Look for a three or four touchdown performance by him in this one. Little Eli will have to wait another year before he gets to take down big bro.

Saints over 49ers by a lot- Hmm… the tough 49er’s D was not so tough against the Seahawks. I think we know what will happen in this one. The defending champs will show why they are the defending champs.

Bengals over Ravens by 5- I do not have much faith in Bratkowski but if he comes out flat (not using the no huddle) then he should be fired. He should have been gone a while ago but Mr. Brown won’t let that happen. If he cannot recognize how effective that offense was last week (in the no huddle) then he deserves no spot in the NFL. Everyone knows what the Raven’s D is capable of but their offense is not very productive. The Bengals are angry and ready to react (not think) on defense. Playing at home against a division rival, I’m taking the Bengals in this one.

Can I begin to catch up to CV3 this week?  Feel free to post your picks in the comments and see how you stack up.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Week 3: Dud Saturday”

Ricky Stanzi (pictured above), looks to lead Iowa to a big road victory over 24th ranked Arizona on Saturday, in a weekend full of lackluster matchups.

 After last week’s “Monster Saturday”, College Football has managed to put together a “Dud Saturday.”  I mean in all honesty, when looking at this coming weekend versus last, not sure exactly what happened, but it wasn’t good (for entertainment value that is).  People like to see ranked teams go head to head.  Preferably highly ranked ones at that.  It is human nature for fans to want to see good teams go to battle.  Well this weekend, there is only one match up between two ranked teams.  And one of them is ranked 24th (Arizona). 

So here is my inside look at a few of the main matchups in what I am proclaiming “Dud Saturday.” 

Arkansas at Georgia:  Ryan Mallett and the Razorbacks bring the offensive juggernaut that is Arkansas into Georgia for an SEC rumble.  Now Georgia did not look great in a loss to South Carolina last week, as freshman phenom Marcus Lattimore ran all over them.  And the Bulldogs will still be without star receiver AJ Green.  Georgia’s highly touted freshman quarterback, Aaron Murray, has shown glimpses of greatness in his first two games.  And definitely looks game to live up to the hype that has surrounded him since his early high school days.  But sadly for Mark Richt, he may be in deep trouble if this game turns into a track meet.  Ryan Mallett is arguably the best quarterback in the country, with great weapons and a plethora of experience at his disposal.  Could we be seeing the year of the Razorback in the SEC?  I got Arkansas winning this SEC duel by 10.  

Georgia Tech at North Carolina:  Two of the ACC’s best go to battle.  Or at least these are two of the ACC’s most hyped teams.  After the weekend of death for ACC football (last weekend), two of the League’s titans go to battle in what should be a great game.  Georgia Tech still boasts the old school triple option threat and is one of the few well-known teams in the country to really have no passing attack.  Their quarterback, senior Josh Nesbitt, has been a three starter, and knows the offensive scheme inside and out.  Sadly for GTech, Nesbitt has not only been their quarterback and leader offensively, he has become their whole offense.  This could be a major problem when facing the swarming type defense of a Butch Davis led Tar Heels team.  The Tar Hells almost pulled off the unthinkable upset against a pro LSU crowd in a primetime matchup in Atlanta.  Not to mention they had over 12 players suspended.  After 2 weeks rest and a little chance for the program to clear its head a little, look for the Tar Heels to come out and take care of business at home over the Yellow Jackets.  Hard to believe that GTech could come out and lose 2 of their first 3 games (after playing in the Orange Bowl last year). 

Iowa at Arizona:  In the only match up of two ranked foes on this dud of a weekend, the Big Ten and Pac 10 go to battle in the desert.  Iowa has looked solid in its first two powder puff games of the year.  They appear to have the look of a team ready to take that next step and compete with OSU for the Big Ten title (I don’t think they can beat OSU though).  Ricky Stanzi is one of the most poised, experienced, and battle tested quarterbacks in the country.  He is also yet to throw an interception yet this year, which has been his achilles heel in the past.  This team is one of the few teams in the country that is able to both run and pass the ball effectively.  This makes a team very hard to stop in today’s College Football stratosphere.  Arizona on the other hand has looked awesome both offensively and defensively so far.  Granted they have played Toledo and the Citadel.  Arizona started the year unranked, and is one of those schools that has always been a basketball first University.  Well times are changing as Sean Miller failed to take the Wildcats to the NCAA tournament last season.  Is this team, behind 2nd year starting quarterback, Nick Foles, the real deal?  Well they will be solid in a very weak Pac 10, but they will not be able to secure the victory this weekend even though they are at home.  I got Iowa by 7 stealing one on the road. 

It was a struggle to choose 3 intriguing matchups in this dud of a weekend.  “Monster Saturday” had 5 or 6 big time matchups and made me have to leave a major game or 2 out, because there were so many good ones.  Either way, football is football.  And I, along with the rest of America will watch.  

Also, there is always the NFL on Sunday.. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze. 

-TheSportsKraze