Tag Archives: ACC

Weekly Nickel 9-17-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Brad Keselowski (pictured above) stole the show at Chicagoland Speedway yesterday and clinched his fourth win of the season.

By Josh Kramer

Saturday embodied exactly what college football is all about.  Hotly contested games with unpredictable finishes.  The NFL Week 2 was just as fun as Week 1 with an upset filled Sunday.  And the NHL lockout is on.  Talk about a shame.  Last week was fun, but this week will be good in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Brad Keselowski stole the show as the Chase officially began at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday.  It was Keselowski’s fourth win of the season, his seventh in the past two years, and a great start to the Chase for the man who drives the #2 car.  There are still nine more races to go and plenty left to be decided.  Next Sunday, New Hampshire Motor Speedway will be the place to be in NASCAR. Continue reading

College Football Preview: SEC too good for its own good

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Matt Barkley (pictured above) will have a special year in 2012 as he leads USC back to the pinnacle of college football and takes home the Heisman Trophy.

By Josh Kramer

Opening night for the 2012 edition of College Football is just a week away.  It seems like it was just yesterday that Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide were celebrating on Bourbon Street.  In actuality, it was 227 days ago when Alabama clinched the SEC’s sixth consecutive national championship.  Don’t expect that streak to reach seven though.

Here are my predictions for the season ahead.

ACC Champion: Florida State Seminoles

I along with most people around the country jumped the gun and proclaimed Florida State’s greatness last season.  Will this finally be the year that the Seminoles and their outstanding recruiting classes live up to the hype?  Jimbo Fisher along with the entire city of Tallahassee certainly hope so.  A loaded defense led by Brandon Jenkins, Bjoern Werner, and Xavier Rhodes are ready to roll.  As is their experienced senior quarterback EJ Manuel.  A September 22nd showdown with the reigning ACC Champs Clemson and a visit to Blacksburg for a Thursday night tussle (November 8th) with the always dangerous Virginia Tech Hokies are the two dates to keep in mind at this time.

Big 12 Champion:  Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners are a definite contender to not only win the conference crown, but to take home the whole thing after a very disappointing and injury-riddled 2011. This will be a team that has a chip on its shoulder from start to finish in 2012.  Unfortunately for the Sooners, their schedule does not get serious until their final three games, which features road contests against Big 12 newcomers West Virginia and TCU, and a showdown with in-state rival Oklahoma State.  Also, keep an eye on the Red River Rivalry Game against a dangerous Texas team on October 13th.  Senior quarterback Landry Jones may face more media pressure than any other player in the country not named Matt Barkley.  I have a feeling that the very experienced senior will welcome it as he finishes his Sooner career with a bang. Continue reading

Food for Thought 8-21-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Jake Locker (pictured above) will be the Tennessee Titans starting quarterback in the season opener against New England.

By Josh Kramer

Preseason NFL football has turned into “Quarterback Gossip Central.”  Where is the media attention for the cornerback competitions?  Or how about the many wide receiver battles?  I guess it makes sense though.  There is no position of more importance to a football team than the quarterback.  Plus, there can only be one starter per team.  Let’s go around the League and delve into a couple of the current “Quarterback Controversies.”

Titans:

Recently, it was announced that Jake Locker will be the starter in Tennessee for opening night against the New England Patriots.  Is anyone really surprised though?  Sure, Matt Hasselbeck has been in the League since 1999, but Jake Locker was a first-round draft pick.  When a quarterback is selected in the first-round, they are expected to start within two years of being drafted.  It’s the way it is.  Hasselbeck can still play, but he is far past his prime at the ripe age of 36.  Plus, Locker is 24-years-old and oozing with talent. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 4-30-2012

Photo courtesy of mutualuniversity.blogspot.com. People received a heavy dose of Todd McShay (left) and Mel Kiper (right) this weekend. There is still plenty more to come.

By Josh Kramer

How many times this weekend did you hear the following lines? “That’s a reach.”  “The sky is the limit for this guy.”  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am all NFL Drafted out.  It is a great event. But on to the next one.  What a great time in sports right now.  Major League Baseball is just getting going.  The NBA and NHL playoffs are in full swing.  Here are the events to keep an eye on this week.

5.  Have you had enough of the NFL Draft yet?  Well guess what, the coverage is not over.  Despite the insane amount of attention that the NFL’s marquee off-season event received, there is still plenty more to come as the experts try to tell you how good or bad your team did in the war room.  Here are a few interesting statistics in regards to the 2012 NFL Draft.

-55% of the drafted players (142 of 253) came out of the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12.

-Alabama has turned into the new NFL U (8 players selected).  Plus, the Crimson Tide became only the second school ever to have multiple underclassmen selected in the first round of the draft in three consecutive years (Miami is the other).

-Times are changing.  The Sunshine State was not smiling on Thursday night.  No players from Miami, Florida, or Florida State were selected in the first round for the first time since 1980.

-A new record of 19 early entrants were selected in round one (the previous record was 17 in 2010).

-Boise State had six players drafted this year.  Only Alabama, Oklahoma, and Georgia had more taken.  I am sure people will blame this on the “easy” schedule though. Continue reading

March Madness 2012 Preview

Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com. The Road to the Final Four begins tonight in Dayton. Here is a guide to help with your bracket.

By Josh Kramer

For the first time in a very long time, there will be no “Food for Thought” today (Tuesday).  A higher being has taken charge.  And that would be none other than March Madness.  Sure there are other things going on in sports, but what else do you really want to talk about?  Sorry Peyton.  You will be taking a back seat today.

The brackets are finally set.  And as usual, Joe Lunardi did a wonderful job with Bracketology, correctly guessing 67 of the 68 teams in the field.  The guy is unbelievable. But enough speculation.  Let’s talk about the actual tournament bracket.

South Region:  The Region of Prestige

Overall Analysis

-Many are proclaiming this the best region in the field.  I do not agree (I think the East is).  But without question, it is not short on “prestigious” programs such as Kentucky, Connecticut, Indiana, and Duke. In addition, three of last year’s Final Four participants reside in the South (Kentucky, Connecticut, and VCU).  But let’s be entirely realistic.  This region starts and ends with the Big Blue Nation.  If Kentucky comes to play, they won’t lose.

Winner

-Kentucky

Sleeper

-Connecticut

Upset Alert

-Xavier over Notre Dame

Fun Facts

-The Connecticut Huskies are praying that history does not repeat itself. Each time UConn has won the title under Jim Calhoun (1999, 2004) the following year has resulted in a second round exit from the tourney (would be third round this year).

-A number one overall seed has been revealed each of the past eight years.  The top seed has only reached the Final Four three times. The only number one overall seed during this year eight year stretch to win the title was Florida in 2007.  Kentucky is praying that they can accomplish what their SEC rival did five years ago. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 2-27-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tennis season is getting ready to heat up. Is it time for Andy Murray (pictured above) to break through?

By Josh Kramer

So the dunk contest was a joke.  Ryan Braun somehow defeated the system.  RGIII once again proved that he is fast.  And College Hoops did not disappoint (I mean when does it at this time of year).  Last week was jam-packed.  But the week ahead should be pretty good in its own right.

5. One of the best tournaments in tennis (outside of the 4 Grand Slams) is just one week away.  I am of course referring to the BNP Paribas Open at lovely Indian Wells.  But before the tour makes the anxiously awaited stop in California, the players have to take advantage of the two tune-ups provided this week. Djokovic, Federer, and Murray will all showcase their abilities at the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, while the ATP Abierto Mexicano Telcel will also be taking place in Acapulco, Mexico.  Though most will not hold their breath in regards to these two tournaments this week,  they should.  Just like in any sport, the hottest players are the ones that take home the big-time tournaments.  Winning a tune-up typically signifies a “Hot-Streak.”  Who will get hot this week? Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part I

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Even two years ago to the day, I was already jumping on the Harrison Barnes (pictured above) bandwagon.

By Josh Kramer

Many say, “You have to know the past to understand the present.”  Due to popular demand and in celebration of “TheSportsKraze” reaching over 800 posts, I am going to spend the next few Saturdays of each week looking back.  I will examine what I was discussing on the blog on this date one year ago, and two years ago.  Today happens to be that lucky day of that week.  Welcome to the first edition of “Throwback Saturday.”

Two years ago…

A Changing of the Guard

Here is a little snippet. 

In very peculiar fashion, both UNC and the Dukies took a loss in conference play on the same night.  Not to mention they both lost to unranked opponents!  Is there a changing of the guard occurring in the ACC?…

In my opinion, this is simply just a down year for both squads.  North Carolina has the top recruit in the country in Harrison Barnes coming next year and Duke has an outstanding recruiting class arriving as well.  Who are the coaches of these highly renowned programs?  Oh yeah, I forgot Coach K and Roy Williams.  Both have multiple National Titles and are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Duke still has a legitimate shot to do some damage this year though being led by Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer (To finish reading the post, click this link). Continue reading

College Football Bowl Picks Week 3

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The top matchup this week has to be the Stanford vs Oklahoma State Fiesta Bowl date. I have a feeling Andrew Luck (pictured above) will play a large part in the outcome.

By Josh Kramer

Please somebody explain to me why it is called “Capital One Bowl Week?”  We are now entering Week 3 of bowl season.  Why isn’t it “Capital One Bowl Month?”  I would love to hear the reasoning.  12 bowls down, and 23 to go.  19 games will be played between now and next Thursday.  Strap in, because the beat will not stop until January 9th as we start to hit the “real” bowl games.

Thursday:

Florida State vs Notre Dame (CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL)

-Fighting Irish by 3

Headline:  Brian Kelly brings home a second straight bowl game victory to South Bend.

-Let’s just call this the “Year Away Bowl.”  Both of these teams had lofty expectations to play in BCS Bowl games this year.  Neither was ready.  Notre Dame is slightly closer to being ready in my opinion though. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 11-28-2011

Photo courtesy of raleighdurham.about.com. Can North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams (pictured above) rally his team to a huge victory over Kentucky in Lexington Saturday?

By Josh Kramer

What a past week in sports.  Wild NFL action.  Rivalry weekend for College Football.  Big time College Basketball upsets.  A shocking out of thin air NBA Labor agreement.  And a return of the NHL’s biggest star.  It will definitely be tough for this upcoming week to top last week.

Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The Return of the Mack.  Hockey’s biggest star has returned to the ice, and appears ready to pick up right where he left off.  The hockey world got a momentous gift, when Sid “the Kid” Crosby took the ice for the first time in over 11 months.  With Ovechkin’s stardom waning, the NHL has been thirsting a star for the better part of six months.  That void appears to have been filled with the “Return of the Crosby.”  Talk about the strong getting stronger.  Pittsburgh already possessed the best record in hockey.  Now they just added the best player a quarter of the way into the season. Continue reading

Week 12 was swell

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Brandon Weeden (pictured above) and the magical run by the Oklahoma State Cowboys came to an end on Friday during what has been an extremely emotional week in Stillwater.

By Josh Kramer

Week 12 was predominantly filled with blowouts, with a few major upsets sprinkled in.  Now the top three teams in the country will come from the SEC.  More specifically, the amazing SEC West.  The season is starting to come to an end and the BCS picture continues to become clearer…just kidding.

Another one bites the dust

-Heading into this week there were three undefeated teams in all of the land.  Now we are down to just two.  In shocking fashion, Oklahoma State, who led by 17 points and were playing with heavy hearts, went down to a Iowa State team that is still under 500 in Big 12.  What are the chances?  Who really saw this coming?

-With Oklahoma State biting the dust, the BCS now finds itself with a major dilemma. Continue reading