Monthly Archives: January 2011

“Weekly Nickel”

Come next Saturday, Dick Vitale (pictured above) will be screaming at the top of his lungs with a plethora of big time matchups to cover. It should be "Totally Awesome Baby, with a capital A!"

I know there has been a brief hiatus from the typical “Weekly Nickel.”  But now it is back, and better than ever.  What a week of sports that we just had, and what a week we have ahead.  Lets jump right into the list. Continue reading

“NFL Divisional Playoff Roundup”

Can my Preseason Super Bowl Pick pull off the unthinkable and shock the Patriots in Foxborough? LaDainian Tomlinson (pictured above) will be a key to the Jet's success on Sunday.

Our very own Wesley Kaminsky has already given his predictions for this weekend’s slate of NFL games.  Now it is my turn.  Last week had some great football games, highlighted by the shocker in Seattle.  Marshawn Lynch’s run was arguably the greatest rushing attempt I have ever witnessed in my life.  After making a play like that, you had to believe that destiny was on Seattle’s side.

This week the matchups appear to be even better.  Lets take a closer look. Continue reading

“No Chance at Perfection”

The San Diego State Aztecs are currently 1 of 4 unbeaten teams in the nation. Can their star, Kawhi Leonard (pictured above), help the Aztecs run the table and secure a National Championship?

Somehow last evening, a mediocre Florida State Seminoles squad pulled off the unthinkable and defeated the number 1 ranked Duke Blue Devils.  They also accomplished this same feat in both 2002 and 2006.   I guess Duke was too reliant on the 3 Ball last evening heaving up 35 3-Point attempts?  I still do not get how they lost to a team that lost to Auburn. With Duke going down last night, does any team have a prayer at running the table?

Well there are currently 4 choices.

A. Ohio State

B. Kansas

C. Syracuse

D. San Diego State

Lets take a closer look at each of our 4 choices. Continue reading

“NFL Divisional Playoff Preview: Jets, Ravens, Packers, Bears Look For Revenge”

Wesley is a sports expert and journalist out of Philadelphia that writes for Bleacher Report.  You can check out all of his work at  http://bleacherreport.com/users/88810-wesley-kaminsky or follow his twitter @Wesley_Kaminsky

The common theme of the divisional playoffs this weekend is revenge. Every game this weekend features rematches from earlier this season, but will the results be different this time around?

Here are some questions to consider heading into the weekends games.

Can the Jets keep it close in New England?

Which defense plays better, the Steelers or Ravens?

Will the Seahawks win in Chicago for the second time this season?

Can the Packers win in Atlanta? Continue reading

“Food for Thought 1-11-11″

 

Former San Diego State and Ball State Coach, Brady Hoke (pictured above), is the new Head Coach at Michigan. Can he live up to the high expectations in Ann Arbor?

What a last 24 hours in the sporting world.  Major headlines galore.  It is a heck of a time to be a sporting fan.  And I pose the question to you.  When is it not a good time to be a sports fan in this day and age?

Here is a look at some of the main topics going on.

SEC Supremacy Continues

Most of you probably tuned in to  the BCS National Title game last evening.  From the record-setting TV ratings, it is very likely actually that you watched this game.  Well either way, you are aware that an SEC School brought home the title for an unprecedented 5th consecutive years. Though an entertaining game, it came nowhere near the 2006 National Title matchup between Vince Young’s Longhorns and the supposedly “unbeatable” (and cheating)” USC Trojans.  The game last night went somewhat as I expected.  The first quarter was a demonstration of both teams crapping their pants.  Neither team executed offensively the way they are capable of.  Consequently, neither team put up any points.  This is typical with the nerves that come from playing in a National Championship game.  Ultimately, the game came down to the wrist of Auburn’s Freshman Running Back, Michael Dyer.  What a game for the Freshman out of Little Rock.  But nobody wanted the game to come down to a call that is still very debatable in my eyes.  So it was a fun game to watch regardless of the sloppy play.  But here are some key takeaways.

-Number one, give me a playoff.  Neither of these teams had played a game in well over a month, and boy did it show.  That was not the Oregon offense that averaged over 49 points a game this season.  Now kudos to Mr. Fairley, and Auburn’s defense, which put together a stellar effort, but the time off hurt Oregon.  In addition, that was not the Cam Newton that we watched in the SEC Championship game against South Carolina.  Sure Newton played well, and did enough to win, but much of his momentum had been lost.

-Also, my apologies to TCU.  Sure they are acting like they do not care and are very happy with a year in which they got to win the prestigious Rose Bowl.  But you are going to tell me that they did not want or deserve some sort of shot at the title?

-I realize that the game was on the West Coast, but it went entirely too late.  Anybody who worked yesterday had to be struggling to stay awake for the 4th quarter. 

How does it feel to know that you were at best the 3rd choice for a job?

I will admit that statement above is a bit harsh, yet it is true.   Jim Harbaugh passed.  Les Miles passed (whether Michigan’s AD admits it or not).  And now Brady Hoke is the new coach in Ann Arbor.  Boy does he have a tall task ahead of him.  Yet, I have a good feeling about this guy for some reason.  Maybe it is the optimist in me, but the winningest program in NCAA history will eventually have to turn things around.  People will just have to be patient.  Former Wolverines like Charles Woodson, Tom Brady, and Lloyd Carr all rave about this guy.  Believe me, they are not being forced to hype this guy up.  They could always just give a “no comment” or an extremely generic answer.  These guys seem ecstatic to have this Hoke guy running things in the The Big House.  I just have one piece of advice for Mr. Hoke as he steps into his supposed “dream job.”  Make sure to put up an over 500 record in The Big House.  Or Hoke will be let out the back door inside of 3 years without questions asked.

The Closer Shuts the Door

It is hard to fathom, but the time has come.  Trevor Hoffman is finally hanging up the cleats.  Arguably the greatest closer of all time, Hoffman is calling it quits after 17 years.  He retires with 601 saves, the most in MLB history (41 ahead of Mariano Rivera).  Will the game ever see a closer hit 600 saves again? In an era where consistent relief pitchers are few and far between, Hoffman flourished over the better part of 2 decades.  The MLB will definitely miss this sure-fire Hall of Famer.  Cincinnati has to be kicking themselves for not keeping the kid that they drafted out of Arizona University in 1989. 

So I realize there are many other major headlines going on today.  Ron Rivera was hired as the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers.  Ed Reed has returned to his 2nd family, the Baltimore Ravens, after tending to some family business.  And the NHL has revealed their All Star Roster in full.

Please steer any questions or thoughts you have to the comments section or shoot me an email at contact@thesportskraze.com

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“National Championship Game Preview”

This year's Heisman Trophy Winner, Cam Newton (pictured above) has had a monster season both on and off the field. Expect him to make a final statement in willing his team to a victory over Oregon tomorrow night.

Tomorrow is finally the night of the big game.  It has taken a full 4+ months to get to this point, but the time has come.  34 Bowl Games down (after tonight’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl), 1 monumental one to go.  It is the matchup that everyone has wanted since mid way through the season.  It is the matchup that not only the entire College Football Fan base has wanted for a while now, but it is exactly what the BCS wanted.  Two teams that were not ranked in the preseason AP top 10 go head to head (this has never happened in the BCS era).   The BCS dodged some major bullets this year with how things worked out. 

Auburn could have easily taken an L in the Iron Bowl this year, when Alabama had them on the ropes.  What if Michigan State did not blunder at Iowa this year, or Ohio State at Wisconsin?  What if Boise State’s Kyle Brotzman does not have the worst game of his life versus Nevada?  There are a lot of “what ifs,” but there are only two teams left standing.  The two very best in College Football.

Grab your popcorn, because there are about to be some fireworks.

Now I am not going to ram the stats down your throats.  You have been forced to listen to the minutia and buildup to this game for well over a month now.  The fact of the matter regarding this National Title Game is simple.  The teams pitted really like to light up the scoreboard.  They both rank in the top 4 in the land for points scored a game.  The Ducks have been held under 35 points once the entire season and Auburn has scored over 50 on 6 different occasions.

The intriguing thing for both of these squads is that neither is pass happy.  Though football at nearly all levels has become a pass first game, both of these squads accomplish most of their damage via their rushing attacks (they can throw the ball with authority too)  Granted they both have two very mobile quarterbacks that can make plays with both their arm and their feet. 

I do not see this game being as high scoring as all analysts are predicting.  Many are calling for this one to have more points than the legendary National Title Game of 2006, when Vince Young propelled Texas over USC 41 to 38.  Generally the first quarter of National Title games feature offensive blunders, while each team shakes off major nerves.  Now I do think each team will put up points, but I do not see both teams scoring 40 plus.

The X Factor in this game will be Cam Newton and Auburn’s overall team speed.  Now I realize that Oregon has some players that have what I like to call the “burners.”  But they have not faced a team with the speed that Auburn features across their entire roster.  Many have been saying that the fact Oregon has a stronger defensive unit will be the differentiating factor that gives the Ducks the advantage.  Lets be real though.  The PAC 10 is a very good conference.  But it is nowhere near the caliber of the SEC.  Auburn’s defense played phenomenal competition all year and still held its own enough to give their offense a chance to win every game.

Look for a Vince Young like performance out of Cam Newton.  Just hopefully he does not pan out like Young in the NFL.  I got Auburn winning a very exciting game 34 to 31. I will admit that I said in my College Football Preview that this would be the year the SEC’s reign of National Championships ended.  I had no idea that Auburn and Cam Newton would come along back in September. Cam Newton and the Tiger’s overall team speed will give the SEC its 5th straight National Championship. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“NFL WildCard Weekend”

Perhaps the biggest snub from the Pro Bowl this year was Aaron Rodgers (pictured above). Look for Rodgers to make a statement in leading the Packers to a huge victory over the Eagles on the road.

The NFL playoffs start today.  Where did the regular season go?  For many it has been over for months, and for a chosen few, it still may have another month left to go.

Here is a look at the final Pick’em Scoreboard.

TheSportsKraze: 150

CV3: 149

I was down by 5 games heading into Week 17.  I finally caught the expert that is CV3 in the end though.  It was a very fun challenge.  More of you will have to get involved next year.

After already getting picks from our very own Wesley Kaminsky yesterday, I am now going to give some picks of my own.

Saturday

New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks

The defending champs head to the rainy city to take on an under 500 Seattle team.  Yes I said it, the Seahawks are under 500.  They won just 7 games this year, and they have home field in the first round of the playoffs?  Sorry New York and Tampa.  You got shafted.  Seattle is a typical 7 win team.  They really do not do anything especially well.  Get ready to watch Drew Brees run circles around the League’s 27th ranked secondary.  This one will not even be close.  Saints by 14 on the road as they look to keep their hopes of repeating alive.

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts

These two teams are polar opposites in every sense of the word.  They both are very good at their craft though.  The Jets will pound the ball on the ground at you all night, while the Colts will air it out with the best of them.  The difference in this one will be the Jets ability to defend against the pass. The Colt’s on the other hand are unable to stop the run.  I realize that Indy has home field advantage.  I realize that they are led by arguably the best quarterback of all time in Peyton Manning.  But it will not be enough on this day.  The Jets were my preseason pick to win the Super Bowl.  And I have them taking care of business.  Indy will get shocked at home today as the Jets exact some revenge from last year’s AFC Championship Game.  Jets by 3 in a great game.

Sunday

Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs

KC rides their two-headed rushing attack of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones every week.  They run the ball more effectively than any team in the League.  Baltimore on the other hand has had one of the League’s scariest defensive units for over a decade now.  Now I do realize that the Chiefs only dropped one home game all year.  The Ravens on the other hand finished 5 and 3 on the road.  Yet this team is just absolutely loaded in every sense of the word.  They have playmakers on both ides of the ball, that I do not see KC being able to keep up with.  It has been a great year for the Chiefs and they vastly exceeded expectations.  But the Ravens have won 4 games in a row, and do not appear ready to lose this week.  The difference will be the experience of the Raven linebackers and their ability to shut down KC’s lethal rushing attack. Baltimore by 3 in a very ugly physical game.

Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles

This may be the most intriguing and highly anticipated matchup of the entire weekend.  All year Michael Vick has been a “running” headline.  How do you contain the guy?  The Eagles are full of playmakers.  Jackson, Maclin, Celek, McCoy, and Vick are some of the League’s best and most exciting players at their respective positions.  But the Packers have some playmakers of their own.  Do not sleep on Charles Woodson anchoring the secondary and Clay Matthews reeking havoc all over the field.  Lastly, Aaron Rodgers has not gotten love this entire year.  Talk about a Pro Bowl snub.  Look for this guy to continue his hot streak and absolutely shred the Eagle’s mediocre secondary.  I love watching the Eagles play.  But the Packers were my preseason pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.  Well I got them winning this one.  Packers by 1 in the most exciting game of the weekend.

So there you have my picks.  Enjoy the two days of NFL games leading up to the NCAA Championship Game on Monday.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Kaminsky’s NFL Wildcard Preview”

Today we are in for a special treat.  Over the Holiday Break, “TheSportsKraze” added a new writer out of Philadelphia.  His name is Wesley Kaminsky.

Wesley is a sports expert and journalist out of Philadelphia that writes for Bleacher Report.  You can check out all of his work at  http://bleacherreport.com/users/88810-wesley-kaminsky or follow his twitter @Wesley_Kaminsky

The 2010 NFL regular season is in the books, and it was one of the most interesting, unpredictable seasons to date. In the NFC, there is no clear-cut favorite as to who will be heading to the Super Bowl, unlike the AFC, where the Patriots appear to be on a mission.

Here are some questions for every game this weekend.

Can the Seahawks keep it close against the Saints?

Will Mark Sanchez out-duel Peyton Manning?

Can the Chiefs’ running attack beat the Ravens?

Our very own, Wesley Kaminsky, has Mark Sanchez (pictured above) and the Jets taking care of business against the Indianpolis Colts this weekend.

Will the Packers prove they are as good as people think they are?

Game 1: New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks, 4:30 EST on NBC (Saturday)

The first game of the weekend features the 11-5 Saints traveling to Seattle to play the 7-9 Seahawks, who snuck into the playoffs thanks to their win over the Rams.

Yep, you are reading this correctly. A team with a losing record has made the playoffs, while the Giants and Buccaneers, both 10-6, are on the outside looking in.

Do the Seahawks have a chance in this game?

For the Seahawks to win this game, their defense will have to play its best game of the season, and either Matt Hasselbeck or Charlie Whitehurst will also have to play his best game of the season.

One big problem though: The Seahawks rank 27th in the league in total defense and 28th in the league in total offense.

It doesn’t matter which quarterback starts; the Seahawks will need a miracle to win this game.

As I’ve mentioned, the NFC is wide open, and the Saints have their sights set on a Super Bowl return. With an offense as explosive as theirs and a defense that forces turnovers, they have all the pieces to make a run to Dallas.

These two teams met in Week 11 in New Orleans with the Saints winning 34-19. It will be no different here—the Saints will cruise to victory.

Fearless Forecast: Saints 34, Seahawks 17

Game 2: New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts, 8:00 EST on NBC (Saturday)

The second game of the weekend is an AFC Championship Game rematch from last season between the Jets and the Colts. Last year, the Colts took down the Jets 30-17 on their way to the Super Bowl, but now it’s the Jets’ turn to get revenge.

Although the Colts won the AFC South, something just doesn’t seem right with them, and they are struggling to win games. They struggle in two major categories: running the ball and stopping the run. They rank 25th in the NFL in rush defense, giving up 127 yards a game, and 29th in the NFL in rushing, with just 92.7 yards a game.

Is that a cause for concern? Sure, it was in the regular season, but it’s a whole new season now, and remember 2006, when the Colts figured out how to stop the run on their way to a Super Bowl title?

From the offseason on, this season has been a circus for the New York Jets. Between Hard Knocks and Sal Alosi tripping Nolan Carroll, the Jets have become one of the most arrogant, hated teams in the whole league.

Are they good enough to win in Indianapolis? Sure they are. Just like they did last year in the playoffs to reach the AFC Championship Game, the Jets will pound the ball and try to wear you down with their defense. For them to win this game, though, Mark Sanchez is going to have to outplay Peyton Manning, and there are not too many people who believe he can.

I’ve been one of the biggest Jets haters all season long, and it pains me to say this, but I like the Jets’ chances in this one. The Jets win here and set up a rematch in New England with the Patriots.

Fearless Forecast: Jets 23, Colts 20

Game 3: Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs, 1:00 EST on CBS (Sunday)

To kick things off on Sunday, the Ravens’ scary defense will try to contain the Chiefs’ rushing attack of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones.

Do I think the Chiefs will win? No. They have a chance though, and I’ll tell you why.

To win in the playoffs, you need to have a good rushing attack, which the Chiefs do have. They led the league in rushing in the regular season, averaging 164.2 yards per game.

This is highlighted by Jamaal Charles’ ridiculous stat of 6.4 yards per carry. He is as explosive a player as we have in the league today, and as long as the Ravens can stop him, they will be in good shape. That’s easier said than done, however.

In addition to Charles, Matt Cassel will need to play his best football for the Chiefs to have any chance in this game. Cassel is coming off his worst game of the season, in which he went 11-of-33 for 115 yards and two interceptions. Don’t let that fool you into thinking Cassel isn’t capable of leading the Chiefs to a win, because he sure is. This season, he finished with 27 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, hooking up with Dwayne Bowe not once, not twice, but 15 times for a touchdown.

The Ravens won’t be taking the Chiefs lightly; they know this won’t be easy. Similar to the Chiefs, the Ravens have a nice rushing attack, led by Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, and a defense that is always scary. Would you want to be stared down by Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed? I didn’t think so.

The Chiefs may keep it close for a little bit, but I expect the Ravens to pull away and advance to the second round.

Fearless Forecast: Ravens 27, Chiefs 13

Game 4: Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles, 4:30 EST on Fox (Sunday)

The final game of the weekend is perhaps the one everyone is looking forward to. The Eagles and the Packers, two high-powered offenses, will square off in a rematch from Week 1. This time, though, things are a little different than the first time around.

When Kevin Kolb went down with a concussion thanks to a hit from Clay Matthews, the Eagles’ season was forever changed. Michael Vick came in, looking sharp and nearly bringing the Eagles back from a 27-10 deficit. That was enough for Andy Reid to see, and Vick was named the starting quarterback of the Eagles.

Now Vick gets his chance to do what the Eagles couldn’t do in Week 1: Beat the Packers in Philly.

The Packers come into this game having won their last two games and are being deemed the most dangerous team in the NFC. With Aaron Rodgers playing at a high level and a defense that ranks fifth in the league, this Packers team is scary. Vick has struggled to handle the blitz recently, and the Packers will try to swarm him like the Bears, Giants (for three quarters) and the Vikings did.

If the Eagles want to win this game, they will need to run the football more. The Eagles have strayed from the run, and it doesn’t make much sense why. LeSean McCoy is averaging 5.2 yards per carry but is getting just 13 rushes a game. To win in the playoffs you are going to need to run the ball, and the Eagles can do it, but don’t. Vick is hurting, and he won’t be able to do it all.

The Packers, since losing Ryan Grant in Week 1, have struggled to run the football as well; they rank 24th in the NFL with 100.4 yards per game.

The difference in this game, though, will be which defense can step up and make the big plays, and I think the Packers will do that.

It is tough for me to say this as an Eagles fan, but I think the Packers are simply the better team and will beat the Eagles for the second time this season.

Fearless Forecast: Packers 28, Eagles 24

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Outlook”

Boston College All American Linebacker Luke Kuechly (pictured above), will be the difference in helping BC pull off the upset over Nevada in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

Bowl Season is finally beginning to wind down.  What a few weeks it has been.  Sure there have been plenty of dud games, but there have also been plenty of classic battles.  TCU flexed their “undersized” muscles against a very good Wisconsin team out in Pasadena.  The Big Ten had possibly the worst New Year’s Day of all time going 0 for 5 on the day.  And Connecticut continued to add to the futility of the Big East, in getting pounded by Oklahoma.  Not to mention their coach left them the next day for Maryland.

In other College Football News, Andrew Luck has shocked the world and apparently is staying in Palo Alto.  It takes a committed kid to pass up that type of bankroll.  Could you imagine passing up on over 40 million dollars in guaranteed money (Bradford was guaranteed 41.7 million last year)? Also, the Jim Harbaugh sweepstakes continue.  People are now saying that he is heading to Miami.  You got to love the media.  And nobody knows who is going to fill the Rich Rod void in Ann Arbor.  But I digress.  Lets take a look at the remaining matchups other than the National Title Game.  I will hold off on that one for now.

AT&T Cotton Bowl

LSU vs Texas A&M

-This game is arguably the best Non-BCS matchup of the entire Bowl Season. Many thought the Capital One Bowl would steal the show as the best battle outside of the BCS games, but Alabama put an end to that thought real fast, laying an absolute whooping on the Spartans.  In this matchup however, a red-hot Aggies team plays what is somewhat of a home game against one of the best teams out of the rugged SEC.  These teams are very different in their styles of play.  LSU relies on a strong rushing attack and a very stout defensive unit.  Texas A&M likes to play a shootout style of football and relies heavily on their aerial attack.  The Aggies have won 6 straight games while the Tigers lost the last time they suited up, in a heartbreaker to Arkansas.  In my opinion though, the dominance of the SEC will be exhibited in this one.  Plus A&M has not beaten a team from College Football’s best conference since 1995.  Each of these teams went 6 and 2 in tough conferences.  Unfortunately for the Aggies, the Big 12 is just not nearly as tough as the brutal SEC.  The SEC reigns supreme in this one behind an outstanding defensive effort.  Tigers by 3 in a very competitive game.

BBVA Compass Bowl

Pittsburgh vs Kentucky

-This is actually a pretty decent matchup.  The Co-Champions of the Big East taking on a lower tier SEC team.  A team from the BCS’s best conference versus a team from the worst BCS conference.  Seems like a perfect fit.  Now I do not understand why this game is being played after New Years.  But there is a lot about the College Football Bowl System that does not make sense.  Either way, Pitt is going to have their hands full trying to stop UK’s two lethal playmakers, Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke.  Both of these kids are electric and can change a game on any given play.  Now Pitt has a pretty good playmaker themselves in Dion Lewis.  A guy that did not have as good of a sophomore campaign as many expected, but he has come on as of late, rushing for 261 yards and 4 TDs in the season finale versus Cincinnati.  Now if Pitt had not gone through all of the coaching turmoil that they have experienced over the past month, I would have picked them to win this game.  But unfortunately for them, their staff is in shambles and Kentucky is just another one of those speedy SEC teams.  Let the Big East disaster continue.  Wildcats by 7 even without starting QB Mike Hartline.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

Nevada vs Boston College

-The BCS is still thanking Nevada as we speak.  They are the team that saved the BCS from having both TCU and Boise go undefeated and causing a major dilemma.  Could you imagine if Stanford had missed out on playing in a BCS Bowl due to Boise and TCU getting into BCS games?  Stanford put on the best performance of this bowl season thus far.  But back to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Matchup.  Nevada sports one of the best rushing attacks in the country and has had an outstanding season.  Boston College, after a suffering an early season 5 game losing streak, has now ended the year on a 5 game winning streak.  Granted none of their foes during this winning streak were ranked teams.  Either way, I am liking Boston College’s stout defensive unit, that is number 1 in the country against the run, to slow down Nevada’s vaunted rushing attack.   The difference in this game will be Boston College’s outstanding linebacker group led by none other than sophomore, first team All American, Luke Kuechly.  Kuechly burst onto the scene last season setting a record for tackles in a season by a freshman.  This year, he picked up right where he left off recording 171 tackles to lead the nation.  I realize how dangerous of a duel threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick of Nevada is, but can he handle Luke Kuechly?  I do not think so.  BC in a shocker by 3. 

So there you have a look at the remaining Bowl Games other than the highly anticipated National Championship game.  It has been a heck of a bowl season as we all wait anxiously for the final showdown in Arizona on Monday.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Food for Thought 1-5-2011″

Marvin Lewis (pictured above) will remain the Head Coach of the Cincinnati Bengals after a woeful 4 and 12 season that began with very high hopes in Cincinnati. Was this a good decision to bring Lewis back?

I apologize for my recent hiatus from the blogging world.  Over the past week and a half I had the pleasure of serving on the Orange Bowl Junior Host Committee.  In this position, I had the opportunity to stay with the Stanford Football Team at the luxurious Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami and enjoy a week full of festivities and hard work with the team, their families, the coaches, and illustrious alumni.  It was truly a phenomenal experience and something that I will not soon forget.

Boy has the sporting world been busy over these past couple of days though.  Here are my thoughts on some of the major headlines taking the sporting world by storm.

It was fun while it lasted Rich..

-Okay that is a false statement.  It was not fun while it lasted.  Rich Rodriguez had one of the most tumultuous and lackluster tenures ever in the history of the storied program out of Ann Arbor.  Coach Rodriguez, after a highly successful stay in Morgantown brought his talents to Michigan 3 years ago.  Boy did things go downhill from there.  Rich went a combined 15 and 22 during his time on the Wolverine sidelines, sporting a record of 6 and 18 in Big Ten play.  The most eye-popping statistic of all is that he went just 11 and 11 at home, in the “Big House.”  How is this possible to go just 500 playing in a stadium that seats over 112,000 people?  In my eyes, there is no excuse to go just 500 leading arguably College Football’s most storied program in front of over 112,000 screaming fans on Saturdays.  So who will be the next man to take over this once coveted position?  Could it be Jim Harbaugh?  Could it be Les Miles?  Who knows.  All I do know is that whomver the next coach is better win more games than they lose at the Big House.  Or they will be leaving the House in a hurry.

Buckeye Troublemakers escape in NOLA

-Generally Bourbon Street is not the best place to go when you have a team that is full of guys that have broken the rules and have an uneasy future.  Surprisingly though, for Ohio State, Bourbon Street provided just the medicine that their “Bad Boys” were looking for.  All 5 of the “troublemakers” contributed significantly to Ohio State’s first ever win versus an SEC opponent in a Bowl Game.  Now I know many of you out there are thinking that none of the 5 guys who broke the rules should have been suited up for this one.  And I fully agree with you.  But I will state that the 5 game suspension for next year is unreasonable and should most definitely be reduced.  I understand that these guys broke the rules, but I feel that what they did in no way garners a 5 game suspension.  Believe me, Arkansas was happy that the 5 Ohio State stars were not suspended for this Sugar Bowl duel.  They wanted to take on a Ohio State team at full strength. Mallett and the Razorbacks nearly pulled off an improbable comeback too.  The main storyline from this game in my eyes other than the Buckeyes saving face for the Big Ten, in what has been a horrific Bowl Season, should be Jim Tressel’s conservativeness.  The man with the sweater vest is the most conservative coach I have ever watched.  And I understand that he is a football genius and has won a lot of ballgames while on the sidelines in Buckeye Nation.  But his lack of imagination and “play not to lose” mentality is sickening.  I in a way wish Arkansas would have completed the comeback in this game.  It would have demonstrated how ridiculous Tressel’s boring and risk free play truly is.  The first step in loosening up Coach Tressel could be altering his wardrobe.  It would be a start.

Wild Wild West?

-Mark Cuban is making headlines again.  This time though, it is not for jawing at the refs or working to bring a playoff system to College Football.  On this occasion, it pertains to a war of words with current Los Angeles Laker’s Head Coach Phil Jackson.  The Dallas Mavericks just took a heavy blow to their roster in losing Caron Butler for an extended period of time due to a knee injury.  Butler is the Maverick’s third leading scoring at 15 points a game, and a real spark plug for Dallas on both ends of the floor.  Phil Jackson when asked about the subject said that the loss of Butler could be a devastating loss for the Mavericks.  Cuban responded calling Jackson Jeanie Buss’ “Boy Toy.”  Who doesn’t love a war of words between two of the biggest names that are not players the League has to offer?  So it is a bit childish.  Either way it makes for some entertainment.  Could this lead to a heated rivalry between Dallas and LA?  We will have to wait and see.  In the meantime, Jackson has work to do with his LA squad.  Though they are in first place sitting at 24 and 11, they recently suffered a 3 game losing streak at the end of December, and then began the new year with an embarrassing loss to Memphis.  I smell playoff drama come April/May.

Why Marvin?

-The Bengals decided to rehire their head coach of the past 8 years, Marvin Lewis.  I will state that I feel this is a poor decision not only for the Bengals, but for Coach Lewis as well.  This team has never developed a consistency level or gotten over the hump.  0 playoff wins in 8 years means no job in my eyes.  Now sure, Marvin has taken the woeful Who Deys to 2 AFC North Titles in 8 years, which is highly impressive for a franchise that had not participated in postseason ball in 15 years.  But the NFL is a what have you done for me lately League.  And what he has done lately has not been impressive.  A 4 and 12 mark with a team that featured the talent and depth that Cincy had this year is unacceptable.  I also realize that not all the blame should be pinned on Coach Lewis.  But in the NFL, regardless of if it is the Coach’s fault or not, they are normally the first guy to exit when a team is not winning.  When I look at things from Marvin’s perspective.  I do not understand why he would return.  Maybe he saw no other jobs out there that were of interest to him (though there are plenty of jobs on the market)?  Mike Brown will never let him have the control that he, and any other coach in the NFL desires.  Until Mike Brown goes, no Coach will ever see sustained success in Cincinnati.  So I guess as a Bengal’s fan, whether Marvin is on the sideline or not does not make a major difference.

There are my thoughts on some of the major topics going on in the sporting world today.  I am also game to talk about Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven being voted into the Hall of Fame and the Jim Harbaugh sweepstakes.  Shoot me an email with your thoughts and questions at contact@thesportskraze.com or post a comment below.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze