Monthly Archives: November 2010

Aside

O how the mighty have fallen.  MLB free agency is already heating up.  And as usual, the Yankees are in the thick of the conversation for any major player on the market.  One of the marquee names is one who … Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

Lebron James (pictured above) make his long awaited return to Cleveland on Thursday. Should the King be wearing a bullet proof vest?

Last week was crazy on all different levels.  The football was insane.  The eating was insane.  The basketball was insane.  And I could go on.  I will state that the normal Tiger Woods Thanksgiving drama was not missed.

Boise went down in flames.  Their kicker, senior Kyle Brotzman, is the Broncos Bill Buckner, and the most hated man in Idaho.  Auburn pulled off an epic 24 point comeback against a very tough Bama team on the road.  The Buckeyes laid the smackdown of all smackdowns on bitter rival Michigan.  And this was just in the College Game. 

In the NFL, Andre Johnson showed that he is not only a great receiver, but a brutal bruiser.  In the NBA, the Heat continue to struggle.  Every first place team in the NBA has at least 4 players averaging double digits points per game.  The Heat only have three.  This could be a major problem in South Beach.

But lets take a look at the big events forthcoming this week.

5.  The Cliff Lee negotiations are supposed to really take flight as the week progresses.  Will the amazing hurler end up in NYC?  Will the “Captain” remain a Yankee?  We should know a lot more regarding these two big time free agents by the end of the week.

4.  How will the BCS Bowl Games fill out?  We will find out come next Sunday.  Outside of an inevitable matchup between Oregon and Auburn (if they both win on Saturday), there is much indecision and confusion on how the other matchups will play out.  Will Michigan State be the odd man out in the Big Ten?  Will Arkansas receive the SEC’s 2nd BCS bid?  It will be very interesting to see what teams are smiling next Sunday and which teams are frowning.

3.  The NFL enters Week 13.  Divisional races and the playoff picture are finally beginning to take a little shape.  This Week’s spotlight will be shown brightly in New England though.  What a Monday Night Affair we have in store with the Jets heading to Foxborough to take on the Patriots.  Both of these teams currently sport the best records in the conference and sit tied atop the AFC East at 9 and 2.  What shenanigans will Rex Ryan pull during the course of the week is another critical question that one should ask as this epic duel nears.

2.  It is closing time in College Football (outside of the Army vs Navy matchup next week).  We enter Week 14 with a somewhat clear view on who will be participating in the BCS National Championship Game.  As long as both teams take care of business in their final games.  All eyes will be on two main games involving these top ranked teams.

-Oregon vs Oregon State:  Can the Ducks finish off a perfect regular season and secure a spot in the National Championship game?  The rival Beavers, though in the midst of their worst season in some time would like nothing more than to spoil their rival’s Title hopes.

-Auburn vs South Carolina:  Last year’s SEC Title game was a shocker as Alabama gave Tim Tebow the worst whooping of his life.  Can the Old Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier, shock the world and lead his Gamecocks to an elusive SEC Title?  South Carolina Freshman running back, Marcus Lattimore, will have to play the game of his life for Spurrier and the Cocks to pull the upset.

1.  The Return of the King.  Strap in folks.  The Almighty LBJ finally makes his long-awaited return to Cleveland on Thursday Night.  And boy should it be a wild show.  My main questions regarding the evening.

-Both teams sit in 3rd place in their respective divisions.  Will Miami finally begin to gel and show why Lebron took his talents to South Beach?

-Will anybody get shot during this grandiose evening?  This includes Lebron James himself.

-Will tears be shed by Lebron?

-How much ESPN Coverage will be donated solely to this storyline throughout the week?

So there you have a glimpse into the upcoming week.  This will be another week to remember in the wide world of sports. 

Really is there ever a week that is not worth remembering in the sporting realm?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Week 13: An Unbeaten D-Day?”

Can Auburn quarterback and leading Heisman candidate, Cam Newton (pictured above), keep the undefeated season alive in today's Iron Bowl?

The turkey has been eaten.  People have sat on their couches.  And though there is a full slate of NFL games set for Sunday, the next 2 days are all about the College Game.  The NCAA has provided America with a full slate of games for both Friday and Saturday.  And boy have they taken advantage of the extra day, putting 3 of the undefeateds in big time matchups on the Friday.

So please sit right back down on your couches folks.

Here is a look into some of the key matchups.

Auburn at Alabama:  The SEC Title Game has been decided.  Bama will miss out after playing in it 2 consecutive years.  So the Tide have underachieved.  Not all hope is lost in at least salvaging state supremacy.  In the 75th version of the Iron Bowl, both teams come in ranked for the first time in 5 years.  Also, this is the first time since 1994 that both teams are ranked in the top 10.  After the Tide dropped a heartbreaker at LSU on November 6th, the team set its sights solely on the Iron Bowl.  This is Bama’s chance to ruin their rival’s year.  You better believe that they are going to take advantage.  Newton has not faced a defense with the speed of the Alabama boys.  Finally, Cam will show he is human, as Alabama contains the Heisman hopeful and puts up just enough points to shock Auburn and ruin their undefeated season.  Alabama by 3 at home.

Arizona at Oregon:  The best offense in the land looks to continue to demonstrate they are worthy of a spot in the National Title Game with a big time matchup against PAC 10 power, Arizona.  Both teams play solid defense.  Sadly for Arizona, they will not be able to keep up with the offensive firepower of the Ducks.  LaMichael James and the Ducks will keep quacking towards a National Title spot.

Nevada at Boise State:  Can Nevada help save the BCS from the Boise Madness?  The NCAA and BCS are keeping a very keen eye on this WAC matchup.  And rightfully so.  Sadly for the BCS, the Broncos aren’t losing this one.  Kellen and the Big Blue Men have not taken on a ranked foe since September 25th.  After winning that game against Oregon State, people knew that this would be a key date.  This would be the next time that the Broncos could possibly lose.  Boise currently is scorring nearly 48 points a game and giving up 11.5.  Since the Oregon State game in September, no opponent has come within 29 points of the Broncos.  So the style points have been there.  Nevada has been no slouch offensively itself, scoring over 44 points a game.  Sadly though, Nevada has not played a ranked foe all year.  It will show today, as Kellen Moore, Titus Young, and Austin Pettis erupt.  Boise will still be in the National Championship talk after they defeat Nevada by 14 plus today.

LSU at Arkansas:  This game is a prime example of how outstanding the SEC West is.  Both of these teams are looking to play in a major BCS Bowl still.  LSU looks to remain in the BCS equation while Arkansas looks to fly into a BCS Bowl game.  The winner of this one will be a big time contender to find their way into major BCS Bowl.  Can Ryan Mallett and the great Arkansas offense shred LSU and their tenacious defense?  In the age old question, I got defense beating offense today.  Tigers by 1 on the road in a thriller.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State:  The Sooners have absolutely dominated this series winning 80 of the 104 matchups.  Oklahoma State has shocked the country with their first 10 win season in school history.  With a win over their in-state rival, they will get to play for the Big 12 Championship.  With a loss, the Sooners will head to the Big 12 Title Game for a change.  Okahoma State has scored over 45 points a game this season and have one of the most dangerous passing attacks in the country, led by 27 year old Brandon Weeden.  Oklahoma has not defended against the pass well this year, so logic points towards the Cowboys shredding the Sooners.  Sadly, its a  mindsight.  OK State does not have that winning mentality of Bob Stoops and the Sooners.  They feel that they are the underdogs.  And they will be the underdogs.  Sooners shock the Cowboys by 3 on the road.

So there you have it.  I got Auburn on upset alert.  I also got the Sooners continuing to own the state of Oklahoma.  What a 2 days of games we got ahead.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“NFL Week 12 Predictions”

It is Thanksgiving time and you all know what that means.  Time to watch gridiron battles, enjoy time with the family, and eat an absurd amount of food.  But the key to that statement is that it is time to watch some football.

Can Lion's star wide receiver, Calvin Johnson (pictured above), help end the Thanksgiving Day tradition of watching the Lions lose?

So the picks are coming out early this week to incorporate the three outstanding Thanksgiving Day Games.  Also due to the Holiday festivities, this version of the NFL picks will be a bit shortened from the normal prediction posts.

The pick’em scoreboard currently reads:

TheSportsKraze:    90                               CV3:  96

Can I finally make up some ground over the Turkey Day Holiday on CV3?

TheSportsKraze Picks:

Patriots at Lions: Patriots by 10

Saints at Cowboys:  Saints by 7

Bengals at Jets:  Jets by 3

Packers at Falcons:  Falcons by 1

Steelers at Bills:  Steelers by 14

Panthers at Browns:  Browns by 6

Jaguars at Giants:  Giants by 7

Vikings at Redskins:  Redskins by 3

Titans at Texans:  Texans by 3

Chiefs at Seahawks:  Chiefs by 3

Dolphins at Raiders:  Dolphins by 3

Rams at Broncos:  Broncos by 3

Eagles at Bears:  Eagles by 3

Buccaneers at Ravens:  Ravens by 10

Chargers at Colts:  Chargers by 1

49ers at Cardinals:  49ers by 6

CV3’s Picks:

Patriots over Lions by 10
Saints over Cowboys by 6
Jets over Bengals by 12 (Sorry Cincy)
Falcons over Packers by 3
Steelers over Bills by 14
Browns over Panthers by 21
Giants over Jaguars by 6
Redskins over VIkings by 12
Texans over Titans by 3
Raiders over Dolphins by 5
Chiefs over Seahawks by 10
Eagles over Bears by 1
Broncos over Rams by 6
Ravens over Bucs by 10
Colts over Chargers by 8
Cards over 49ers by 11

What a slate of games we have this week.  There are a couple of key games to note in the lineup.  One is the matchup in ATL between the 2 best teams in the NFC, the Falcons and Packers.  Can Matt Ryan continue to protect his home turf better than any QB in the League?  Then of course the Michael Vick train heading to the Windy City should be fun.  Can the Bears figure out how to stop the most dangerous player in the League?  Then finally the AFC Showdown between the perennial AFC powers (Colts and Chargers), should be a very fun game to watch.  Will Manning be able to outdo Rivers?

Enjoy the holiday and of course the football.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Chargers Hit Stride”

 

Though most outside of San Diego despise Charger's Quarterback Philip Rivers (pictured above), the guy is putting together a monster season and pushing the Chargers towards a 5th consecutive AFC West Title.

I said it the in preseason.  I said it a few weeks ago.  And now I am going to say it again.  The Chargers are a playoff team out of the AFC, and possibly a Super Bowl contender.  Though they started the year at 2 and 5, I never counted the Bolts out.

Here are 5 reasons why..

1.  Number 1, quarterback play. They have Philip Rivers behind center.  Rivers for all the trash talking he does and all the people he has pissed off over the years, has been a mar of consistency.  Whether you like the guy or not, he can really play.  He is currently sporting the 2nd highest QB Rating in the League (behind Michael Vick), he has thrown for the most yards in the League (3,177), and he has thrown the most TD passes in the League.  Give the guy credit where credit is due. 

2.  Number 2, the Chargers also have the best Tight End in the NFL.  Gates has 40 receptions and over 660 yards receiving this year.  Plus 9 touchdown catches.  And he has not even played the last two weeks.  Also he has an astounding 14 catches of 20 or more yards.  How many receivers have more than 14 of these?

3.  Number 3, as the age-old saying goes, “Defense Wins Championships.” The Chargers have the number 1 ranked defense in the entire NFL.  They give up just 271 yards a game.  The Steelers give up 302, the Ravens give up 312, the Colts give up 344, and the Patriots give up 398.  This team is great against both the pass and run.  They are 2nd in the AFC against the run at 86 yards allowed a game and first against the pass.

4.  Number 4, they are in the AFC West.  Lets be entirely real.  KC and Oakland are solid teams that have made big time improvements from last season, but do you really see either of these teams out doing SD down the stretch?  Kansas City has lost 2 of their last 3 and Oakland just got embarrassed by the Steelers on Sunday.  Also the Chargers get a another shot at both of these divisional opponents.

5.  Number 5, San Diego has a winning mentality. It is hard to bet against a team that has won the division 4 straight years.  Winning is contagious.  San Diego has traditionally been a slow starter during the past decade.  They always get hot down the stretch though.  Currently Rivers and the boys are on a 3 game winning streak and look to be getting stronger every week.

Stats do not lie.  Any team that is first in the NFL in both total offense and total defense will win ball games.  I know that at times stats are overanalyzed, but in this case, the stats are just too basic to overlook.

Expect the Chargers to bring hom the AFC West as nearly all predicted in the preseason.  Feel free to jump back on the San Diego Bandwagon.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Weekly Nickel”

Mark Ingram (pictured above) and Alabama look to show the country what could have been on Friday, and spoil their rival Auburn's hopes of a perfect season.

And the beat goes on..

Football is heating up.  Baseball’s awards are being dispersed.  The NBA has taken flight and is now coasting.  College Basketball is heating up as teams look to show that their conference is the best.  Plus baseball free agency continues.

There is so much going on that it would be impossible to follow it all.  Here is my top 5 for the week though.

5.  The Yankees continue to play “Lets Make a Deal” with the “Captain” and playoff stud, Cliff Lee.  Joey Votto awaits a possible MVP announcement at 2PM Eastern time today.  The games are done.  Now it is time for recognition.  All of Cincinnati anxiously awaits to hear the announcement of their star as the NL’s best.

4.  The NBA is coasting now with great games every night.  Basically every night this week has a big time matchup.

-Monday (Tonight):  The Magic head to the Alamo to take on the 11 and 1 Spurs.   Many thought that the Spurs were getting too old.  Many were wrong.  Tony Parker may be getting a divorce, but he is still playing at a very high level.  This should be a great game between two of the top teams in basketball.

-Tuesday:  The Bulls head to LA to take on the Lake Show.  Both of these teams lead their respective divisions for a reason.  This could be a major statement win for the Bulls if they could shock Kobe, Pau, and Co.

-Wednesday:  The Battle of Florida commences for Round 2.  Can the Magic redeem themselves after an embarrassing loss back on October 29th to their in-state rival?  Dwight Howard will need to expose the Heat’s lack of an interior presence and have a big night for the Magic to grab a W in this one.

-Thursday:  Really a rain check night with two lackluster matchups on Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving Day has always been about football anyways.

-Friday:  One of basketball’s best rivalries commences as the Mavericks head to the Alamo to take on the Spurs.  Can the Mavericks redeem themselves after their embarrassing playoff exit last season at the hands of their in-state rival?  This will be their first crack at Tim, Tony, and the boys since last April.

-Saturday:  Lebron and the traveling Miami Show head to Dallas to take on Mark Cuban’s Mavericks.  These are two of the top teams in the League.  Can Dirk lead the Dallas boys to a big time home victory?

3.  Dick Vitale is back, and more enthusiastic than ever.  A big slate of games all week highlighted by a ranked showdown between Kansas State and Gonzaga tonight.  Expect Frank Martin to occasionally yell during this one.  Continue to keep an eye on Ohio State and their stellar group of freshman.  Outside of Duke, the Buckeyes appear to be the team to beat.

2.  Did you think Week 12 of College Football was exciting? Wait until you get a look at Week 13.  What an amazing slate of games.  Plus we get 2 full days of games between Friday and Saturday.  So enjoy the NFL on Thanksgiving, but strap in for some College Football for the following two days. 

Should Friday be called, “The D-Day of the Undefeated Teams?”

Friday’s Major Matchups:

Auburn at Alabama-This should be yet another SEC slugfest.  Alabama would like nothing more than to spoil Auburn’s perfect season and show people that they are still talented enough to beat any team in the country. I am putting this game on a Major Upset Alert Watch.

Arizona at Oregon-Though Arizona has struggled lately losing their past 2 contests, they also have an opportunity like Bama to spoil a conference opponent’s perfect season.  I do not see the upset happening here, but Arizona may come out and shock the country with some very inspired football.

Boise State at Nevada-Boise faces their last test of the season.  Nevada has an opportunity to not only ruin Boise’s National Championship hopes, but also their outright WAC Championship hopes.  This could be a tragic day for Boise Football if Nevada could pull of the unthinkable.  But sadly for Nevada, I do not think they have the horses to pull this monumental upset off.

Saturday’s Major Matchups:

LSU at Arkansas-  Both of these teams are still looking to make it into BCS Bowls.  It will be stellar matchup of great offense versus great defense.  Does offense or defense reign supreme in this one?

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State- The winner of this Big 12 regular season finale looks to have a great  chance to head to the Big 12 Title Game.  Who will win the Battle of Oklahoma this year?

1.  The Turkey Bowl that is Thanksgiving Thursday.  People across the country will get to sit on the couch, eat lots of food, and watch the Lions take another Thanksgiving Day beating.  I will state that the other matchups though should be a bit more exciting.  As two playoff bound teams (Saints and Jets) take on two very talented, but underachieving opponents (Cowboys and Bengals). 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy this amazing week of sports.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“NFL Week 11 Predictions”

In the game of the week, Tom Brady (pictured above on the left) and Peyton Manning (pictured above on the right) go to battle in New England. Which super quarterback will lead his team to victory?

The NFL Season is nearing the final quarter of play.  No team has been a dominant force and most divisions are still up for grabs.  All of the insanity will begin to become clearer over the next couple of weeks.

The Bears continue to win behind an anemic offense.  The supposed best team in the NFC (the Giants), looks to redeem itself after getting smacked around by one of the NFC’s worst.  Michael Vick is playing like an MVP.  Plus the Oakland Raiders are tied for first place in the AFC West.  Wow is all I have to say.

Here is a look at the Pick’em Scoreboard.

TheSportskraze:    80                     CV3:  84

I still got a way to go to catch up with CV3’s expertise.

TheSportsKraze Picks:

Bills at Bengals:  Two of the AFC’s worst lock horns in Cincinnati.  Cincinnati is still kicking itself after another gut wrenching loss last Sunday.  The Bills are breathing a sigh of relief after finally joining the  one or more win club (not a very prestigious group).  Look for Cincinnati to demonstrate the potential that everyone envisioned this year with a brutal beating of Buffalo in front of the home crowd.  Also expect the Bengals to run all over Buffalo’s terrible run defense. Bengals by 13 at home.

Lions at Cowboys:  This is an intriguing game between a pair of 2 win teams.  The Lions have lost 5 games by 5 or fewer points this year.  They have shown big time potential and the Shaun Hill to Calvin Johnson connection is dangerous.  The Cowboys on the other hand played inspired football last Sunday under their new coach.  Look for more of the same this week as the Cowboys continue to show the League “What could have been.”  Cowboys by 9 at home.

Redskins at Titans:  Both of these teams are coming off getting whooped last week.  Both squads have been extremely inconsistent and hard to figure out.  Well the difficulty continues this week as I got to the Skins upsetting the Titans on the road by 3.  This will be one of the better games of the week, but expect Washington to stack the box and somewhat contain Chris Johnson.  Also expect Washington to  make the big play when they need it.  Skins by 1 on the road.

Cardinals at Chiefs:  The Cardinals are in the midst of a 4 game skid.  Well expect the streak to be at 5 after Sunday.  Arizona has been a mystery to me all season.  Sadly for the Cardinals, the Chiefs are coming off of two tough losses and plan on pounding the rock all afternoon against the Cardinal’s weak defensive unit.  Expect the Chiefs to run wild at Arrowhead on their way to a 8 point victory.

Packers at Vikings:  Before the season, this was definitely a date circled on most NFL fans’ calendars.  Another shot to watch two big time teams match up, with a plethora of underlying storylines.  Unfortunately, Minnesota has been an absolute circus this year and this game does not really hold a whole lot of meaning towards the playoffs.  Brett is struggling with injuries and the pass rush attack of Miss Jenn Sterger.  Expect the struggles to continue as the Cheeseheads complete the regular season sweep of the Vikes.  Packers by 6.

Texans at Jets:  These are two very quality teams.  Though the Texans do not have the most glamorous record, they are still a very dangerous team that will be in the playoff picture come Week 16 and 17.  The Jets are coming off a gut wrenching win in Cleveland where they had to pull out all the stops.  Good teams can win even when they do not play all that well.  The Jets are a very good team.  I expect their overall balance to be too much for Houston as the Texans stumble to 4 and 6.  Jets by 3 at home.

Raiders at Steelers:  Who would have foreseen this game in September involving two teams tied for first place in their divisions?  I will state that I definitely did not.  I would have expected to find the Raiders in the cellar and the Steelers clawing their way back into the AFC North race due to a rough start without their quarterback.  I was wrong.  These two teams are the real deal.  Oakland lives on running the ball with authority and doing a great job at defending against the pass.  The Steelers clog the run better than any team in the League and just flat-out win.  Well expect the Steelers to win this week by 6 at home.

Ravens at Panthers:  Baltimore heads to Carolina to take on perhaps the worst offensive unit in the League.  Well expect Carolina’s offensive woes to continue with Brian St. Pierre under center.  Who is Brian St. Pierre you ask?  Try a 30-year-old quarterback from Boston College, who has played in 2 total NFL games and attempted 5 passes.  Now I will state that 2 of these 5 passes were completions.  How is John Fox going to pass over Tony Pike to start this guy?!  Good luck playing with a stay at home dad against Ray Lewis and the Ravens.  I fully expect Baltimore to drill the Panthers in every facet of the game.  Ravens by 14 on the road.

Browns at Jaguars:  Cleveland has proven itself a team to be reckoned with over the past month.  Though they have only won 3 total games this season, they have beaten both the Saints and the Patriots.  Not to mention they had the Jets on the ropes last week.  Cleveland can play.  The victories will come behind their strong rushing attack.  Look for the Brownies to upset the Jags on the road by 3.

Buccaneers at 49ers:  The NFC’s “Best” team heads into San Francisco to take on the suddenly hot 49ers.  Tampa Bay is one of those teams that really does not do anything especially well.  They have just found ways to win.  And in all honesty, the W’s are the only stat that matters.  This week unfortunately, I do not see them finding a way to win.  San Francisco is finally beginning to gel like many thought they would, and will secure their first 3 game win streak of the season on Sunday.  49ers by 1 at home in a very exciting game.

Seahawks at Saints:  Seattle heads to NOLA to take on Drew Brees and the dangerous Saint’s aerial attack.  This is not an opportune time for Seattle to be heading to New Orleans.  The Saints look to be regaining their Super Bowl swagger from a year ago and are hungry to catch the division leading Falcons.  Expect Drew Brees to absolutely shred the Seahawks weak secondary on the way to a 10 point victory at home. 

Falcons at Rams:  Atlanta appears to be the NFC’s top team.  They have handled their business in a more consistent fashion than any other team in the conference.  Plus Roddy White has been absolutely exceptional.  Well expect that trend to continue against a much improved St. Louis team.  St. Louis normally is a great run stopping team, but sadly the Falcons also have a very strong passing attack.  Falcons by 6 on the road.

Colts at Patriots:  This is a matchup that I have anxiously been waiting to see for some time now.  Manning vs Brady.   You know you are in for a classic every time these two guys line up against each other.  This time will be absolutely no different as both look to make a statement to the rest of the AFC.  The difference in this one will be New England’s inability to defend against the pass.  Even though the Colts are beat up, I am giving them the nod over Brady and the boys by 3 on the road.

Giants at Eagles:  A big time NFC East battle in the Sunday Night Game.  Who will take sole possession of first place after this one?  Though the Eagles have looked much better in recent weeks, I got to go with the G Men.  New York was embarrassed last week in losing to the abysmal Cowboys.  Plus the Eagles  put on possibly the best offensive performance we have seen the entire season.  Vick will continue to play great, but after every high comes a low.  Look for the G Men to steal this one by 1 in the city of Brotherly Love.

Broncos at Chargers:  This is definitely not your typical Denver team.  They do not run the ball.  They do not defend against the run.  What is going on in Denver?  The Chargers on the other hand sport a very balanced offensive attack and also boast a very strong defensive resume.  Look for the Charger’s overall balance to be too much for Denver as Phillip Rivers leads San Diego to a 7 point win at home.

CV3 Picks:

Cowboys over Lions by 14 (New look Cowboys)
Titans over Redskins by 3
Chiefs over Cardinals by 10
Vikings over Packers by 3 (Home field Advantage)
Jets over Texans by 6
Steelers over Raiders by 4 (Slugfest)
Ravens over Panthers by 18
Browns over Jaguars by 4
Falcons over Rams by 1
Saints over Seahawks by 14
Bucs over 49ers by 6
Eagles over Giants by 3 (Michael Vick Experience)
Chargers over Broncos by 9
Bengals over Bills by 6 (Ugliest game of the week)
Patriots over Colts by 3 (Game of the week)

So there you have the picks for Week 11.  The week is highlighted by the outstanding quarterback duel in Foxborough between Brady and Manning, and  the Sunday Night Game matchup in Philadelphia.  This game should be an absolute thriller between the Giants and Eagles as they contend for NFC East supremacy.

Can I begin to catch CV3?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Week 12: Has it really been 3 months?”

Texas A&M quarterback, Ryan Tannehill (pictured above), has been absolutely stellar since taking over the quarterback reigns for the Aggies. Can he spoil Nebraska's final season in the Big 12?

 College Football is entering Week 12.  Yes, the season has already spanned 3 months.  Yes this season has had its fair share of drama.  Just ask Auburn, Gene Chizik, and Cam Newton.  But this year has also had its fair share of stellar play.

 
 

 

See Auburn, Oregon, TCU, and Boise State.  All of these teams look to be contenders to play in the National Championship game out in Arizona come January 10th. Here is a look at the marquee matchups:

Ohio State at Iowa:  Ohio State has won 5 straight Big Ten Titles.  Lose this game, and that reign ends.  Win this game.  And they put themselves in position to at least share the title with a win over rival Michigan in the regular season finale.  This Ohio State team has had almost unreasonable expectations placed on it since the preseason.  The majority of the country, including myself, were shocked when they went down in Camp Randall on October 16th.  Due to Michigan State going down to Iowa, the Buckeyes regained new life.  Now the Buckeyes look to show Iowa thanks by beating up on them in Iowa.  Senior Quarterback Ricky Stanzi has had a stellar career for the Hawkeyes.  Both of these teams really playgreat defense in every sense of the word.  The only difference is Ohio State also puts up 41.6 points a game.  Ohio State will have a little bit too much offensive firepower in the end as they grind out a hard fought victory on the road at Iowa by 3.

Virginia Tech at Miami (FL):  The top 2 teams from the ACC Coastal Division square off in South Beach in a game that always has huge implications regarding the ACC Champion.  VTech started out slow this year and suffered back to back losses to Boise State and James Madison to open up a year in which many had them as a big time National Title Contender.  Miami on the other hand has been a mar of inconsistency.  This team has not pulled together a 3 game win streak the entire season.  Could they put together their first this week?  I would have given the U a chance at home had Jacory Harris been available to play.  But sadly, Jacory, who is extremely inconsistent in his own write will be unavailable for the Canes on Saturday.  Frank Beamer has led to the Hokies to 10 or more wins 6 consecutive years, and 11 of the last 15 years.  The man flat out knows how to win.  Look for Beamer to ride a very balanced offensive and defensive attack to an ACC Coastal clinching victory over the U.  Hokies by 6 on the road.

Arkansas at Mississippi State:  So what if both of these two teams take up 2 of the bottom 3 spots in the SEC West.  This half of the SEC has been insanely good this year.  No Conference even touches the competitiveness and ability of the teams in this half of the SEC.  All of the teams have 7 or more wins for crying out loud.  Either way, both of these teams are still looking to place themselves into a solid Bowl Game.  The Razorbacks are currently riding a 4 game win streak in which they have scored 38 or more points in each contest (which is not surprising in that average 37.9 points a game on the year).  Mississippi State on the other hand was riding a 6 game win streak until they got “Rolled” by the Tide last weekend.  Though the Bulldogs have rode a solid defensive unit to a very successful season thus far, Greg McElroy exposed the Bulldogs secondary last week.  Expect Ryan Mallett to do the same with his 3rd ranked passing attack in the entire country.  Razorbacks by 3 on the road in a tough SEC battle.

Nebraska at Texas A&M:  Nebraska is looking to bring home a final Big 12 title before they depart for the Big Ten.  Though the rest of the conference may be bitter towards the Cornhuskers, they have not really done too much about it.  Nebraska currently sits atop the Big 12 North and is looking to clinch a spot in the Big 12 Championship game.  Minus a hiccup against Texas, this Nebraska team has been one of the country’s elite, riding a very strong rushing attack and an amazing defensive unit.  Texas A&M is also having a great season in their own right.  Since turning over the quarterback reigns to, Ryan Tannehill, the Aggies have really gelled and are currently riding a 4 game winning streak.  Will the new school pass first Aggies be able to take care of business against the old school running Cornhuskers?  Not on this day.  Look for Nebraska to punch their spot in the Big 12 Title Game with a tough 3 point win on the road.

So there you have my look at this week’s marquee games.  I will admit that I did not call too many upsets this week.  Though I did go with all road teams to come out victorious.  But I am sticking with my gut on these games.

Enjoy the great slate of College Football games this weekend.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

 

“Amazing Streaks”

UConn Women's Head Basketball Coach, Geno Auriemma (pictured above), has led the Lady Huskies to 80 consecutive victories. Is this one of the greatest streaks ever in sports?

After watching the UConn Lady Huskies, led by the legendary Geno Auriemma secure their 80th consecutive win over the number 2 ranked Baylor Bears, it got me thinking.  What is the greatest streak or record in sports history?

Here are my top 5 team streaks of all time:

5.  From 1991 to 2005, Bobby Cox, who is recently retired, led the Atlanta Braves to an unfathomable 14 consecutive divisional titles.  Plenty of teams go 15 years without even making the playoffs once.  Just ask the Reds about that.

4.  In 1979, the Philadelphia Flyers went an unthinkable 35 games without a loss.  The NHL is a brutal League where no teams has ever won more than 62 games during regular season play.  This team was able to go 35 without suffering 1 defeat.  It was a good time to sport a Flyer’s jersey.

3.UCLA’s 7 consecutive NCAA Men’s basketball titles.  During this amazing time of utter dominance by John Wooden and the Bruins, they also won 88 consecutive games!  Could you imagine a team doing something like this in this day and age.  The last Men’s team to sport a perfect season was the Indiana Hoosiers in 1976.

2. The Boston Celtic’s won 8 consecutive NBA Titles between the 1958-1959 season and the 1965-1966 season.  Will any team ever touch this?  I mean 3-peats are great, but that is not even half of an 8-peat.

1. California’s De La Salle’s High School Football won 151 straight games over a 12 year span.  This is not easy task at any level, especially the high school level, where the kids really change every couple of years due to graduation, etc.  The previous record was only 72.  This streak spanned from 1992 to 2004!

I know there are other major streaks out there.  So here are my honorable mention top team streaks of all time.  

–  Penn State Women’s Volleyball 109 match winning streak and the University of North Carolina Women’s Soccer 103 game win streak. 

– The LA Lakers scintillating 33 game win streak. 

– The Oklahoma Sooner Football 47 game winning streak between 1953 and 1957.

What are your top streaks?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Buckeye Nation Seeks Redemption”

Ohio State Super Freshman, Jared Sullinger (pictured above), will be scoring early and often in helping lead the Buckeyes deep into March Madness this year.

2007 was the year of the Gator in College sports.  And really it could have been called the year of the Buckeye.  Two dates that will forever live in infamy in the eyes of all related to the school that sports the “Best Band in the Land (Ohio State)” are as follows:

January 8th, 2007–  On this date, a heavily favored Ohio State team was downed by a Florida team that featured a lethal quarterback tandem in Chris Leak, and some freshman named Tim Tebow.  The Buckeyes were the best team in the country all year and fully expected to ride their horses, Ted Ginn Jr. and Troy Smith to their first National Championship since 2002.  Sadly for Brutus and the Buckeyes, Florida demonstrated the amazing speed of the SEC and dominated Tressel’s team 41 to 14.

April 2nd, 2007– A few months after the BCS National Championship massacre, Ohio State was led by 2 outstanding freshman in Mike Conley Jr. and the ultimate big man (who calls himself a chameleon on commercials), Greg Oden on the basketball court.  The Buckeyes were looking to redeem themselves from the embarrassment that Gator Nation had laid on them a few months before on the gridiron.  This was the Buckeye’s chance to reign on the Gator parade.  Florida was the defending National Champs that had returned all 5 starters and were the heavily favored squad.  Donovan’s team featuring the likes of Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, Lee Humphrey, Al Horford, and Taurean Green did not disappoint.  Ohio State once again suffered a defeat and was once again number 2.

Fast forward to 2010.  Both basketball programs appear to be back at the forefront of the College Basketball stratosphere.  Florida is ranked number 10 in the country and appears to be the favorite to bring home the SEC.  Ohio State is ranked 5th, and look to be a major contender to bring home the Big Ten title despite the loss of last year’s National Player of the  Year, Evan Turner.

I know it goes unspoken, but you better believe the Buckeyes are looking to extract some revenge on their Southern rival.  This is a rivalry that has really kind of flown under the radar.  Yes, I realize that Ohio State got a little redemption when they handily defeated the Gators in December of 2007, but neither team was ranked at the time.  Both teams were in the rebuilding phase.  Well now both teams are ranked again and looking to make a run at the Final Four.

This is the first major showdown of the season.  And boy should it be a doozy.  Florida features a squad led by Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker, and seniors Alex Tyus and Chandler Parsons.  This team is experienced.  This team has speed.  This team can shoot the rock.  And you better believe that Coach Billy Donovan has them ready to play on a night in and night out basis.  Plus Kentucky no longer is the super squad of a year ago.  Though they are tough, the SEC will now have to go through the Swamp.

Ohio State is a team that I have been saying for some time now will be one of the last team’s left dancing come March.  I will not stop talking about this squad any time soon in that they were a major pick that I spotted over a year ago.  They have the perfect mix of experience and talent.  They returned 3 senior starters and 1 junior starters.  Plus they brought in a phenomenal freshman class which features many players off of the same AAU team.  Freshman like Jared Sullinger, Deshaun Thomas, Aaron Craft, and Jordan Sibert are ready to make a major impact now.  And honestly, Sullinger and Thomas could easily be 1st team All Big Ten performers this year and be players of the one and done variety.  Thad has been to a championship game as mentioned earlier.  He is accustomed to winning and playing deep into the tournament.  Well expect this team to have a major shot at being the last one standing.

Look for Ohio State to Gator Chomp the Gators tonight in the first big time matchup of the season.  This Buckeye team is the real deal.  Could 2010/2011 be the year of the Buckeye?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze