Tag Archives: Arkansas

“College Football Week 10”

I fully expect TCU Quarterback, Andy Dalton (pictured above), to be the difference maker in the TCU vs Utah Showdown.

What a weekend of College Football lies ahead of us.  Undefeated teams are dropping like flies.  The BCS picture is still murky.  Boise, Utah, and TCU are all looking to rip the hearts out of the big BCS Conference Bad Boys and snag an invite to the very exclusive National Title Game party.  And we still got  a few more weeks of regular season play left.

Here is a look at some of the major matchups:

TCU at Utah:  Talk about a major game.  Two non BCS schools square off with the hope of sneaking into the National Championship party.  The winner of this game will truly have an inside track at sneaking into that Title game especially if only 1 team from a BCS Power Conference goes undefeated.  These are both outstanding teams that have been good for a while now.  TCU this year has the look of an old school smash mouth football team.  They have the number 1 ranked D in the country and also run the ball with authority on O.  This team has won all but one game this season by double digits.  Utah on the other hand is more of a surprise undefeated.  They shocked the entire country in Week 1 knocking off a highly touted Pitt team out of the “mighty” Big East in Overtime.  It has been smooth sailing ever since.  They have one of the nation’s most electric offenses and defenses.  But for some reason, I really like this TCU team on the road.  There is a reason why having an experienced quarterback like Andy Dalton pays major dividends.  Look for Dalton to lead a last-minute drive that clinches a 3 point victory for the Horned Frogs on the road. 

Alabama at LSU:  Two of the best one loss teams in the SEC go to battle down in Baton Rouge.  Slowly but surely, Bama is creeping back into the National Championship picture, while LSU is still mending the wounds from a heartbreaking loss at the hands of number 1, Auburn.  Both of these teams have outstanding defenses that can really get at the quarterback.  The difference in this one will be Alabama’s ability to both pass and throw the ball.  LSU has suffered mightily all year from having a 1 dimensional offense and the beautiful struggle will continue at home.  Look for Bama to snag a major road victory by 6.

Arkansas at South Carolina:  Another massive showdown in the SEC.  The nation’s best conference features big time matchups every week.  It is nothing new.  Ryan Mallett continues to guide the nation’s most dangerous passing attack for the Razorbacks, while South Carolina continues to rely heavily on arguably the best freshman in the country, Marcus Lattimore.  Both of these teams have been extremely Jekyll and Hyde and very hard to predict.  The Razorbacks have won 3 of the last 4 meetings versus the Gamecocks and South Carolina has been known to struggle down the stretch during the Spurrier era. Well expect more of the same as Mallett has a field day against the SEC’s worst passing defense.  Arkansas by 6 on the road.

Arizona at Stanford:  Never thought I would see the day where Arizona and Stanford were two of the top dawgs in the PAC 10 football picture.  Sure these are both traditional powerhouses in basketball, but football?  These teams are both the real deal.  For Arizona, you take away a couple of late game mishaps against Oregon State, they are still in the National Championship picture.  For Stanford, other than the smack down they received from Oregon, they have looked extremely sharp.  Andrew Luck is arguably the best quarterback in the entire country, or at least the most poised looking in the pocket.  These teams are somewhat different in that Stanford relies on a high-powered offense and the Wildcats rely on a stingy defensive unit.  So will offense or defense be victorious in this one?  My mind is telling me to go with Heisman hopefully Andrew Luck and the very fundamentally sound Cardinal team at home, but my gut is telling me to go with the Wildcats.  So to continue with my trend this week, I will pick yet another road team to win.  Arizona by 1 is the pick here.

As you can tell, the slate of College Football games this weekend is amazing.  There are big time matchups galore.  From the big conferences, to even the non BCS Power conferences.  For some reason I am going with all road teams to win in the above matchups.

I could either look genius or extremely inept with the picks this week.

Should I be feeling lucky?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Week 8, Can I get it Straight?”

I wanted to apologize to all of my fans.  My picks last weekend were absolutely horrific.  You could not pick much worse than I did.  So in Week 8, I look to redeem myself and show you all that this past weekend was just a fluke.

Start calling Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops (pictured above), "Big Game Bob" again folks.

Just know that this will be a weekend to remember for the Big 12.

So here is a look into a few of the marquee matchups.

LSU at Auburn:  Two very surprising teams sit atop the SEC with undefeated records.  Nobody saw this coming, but these squads are both tough.  And as the year continues, they both have continued to get stronger.  Auburn put on an amazing offensive outburst last weekend against a tough Arkansas team while LSU put up some numbers against a lesser foe.  Well Saturday, get ready to see a team make a major statement.  The winner of this game will place themselves in great position to play in the SEC Title Game and possibly the National Championship come January.  These teams have some contrasting styles.  Auburn relies on a dual threat quarterback, Cameron Newton.  Mine as well start calling this kid “CN” for “Championship Newton.”  He can do it all and leads one of the most feared offenses in all the land.  LSU on the other hand uses two quarterbacks for various situations.  Relying on an old school smash mouth rushing attack and a stellar defense.  Can their defense contain the mighty CN?  I think not.  Auburn will have too much offensive burst in this one and win a real battle 20 to 17.  Tigers by 3 at home.  The raucous Auburn Stadium will be the differentiating factor in this intense battle.

Wisconsin at Iowa:  Talk about a formidable Big Ten matchup.  You better believe the old school Big Ten is wide open again.  The Badgers did the entire country a favor in knocking off a very tough Ohio State team.  Sadly for them, there is no time to celebrate.  Instead they get to travel to Iowa to take on a very tough Hawkeyes team.  This will be the Badgers last real challenge of the entire season.  A win in this game could really put the Camp Randall boys back into the Big Ten race.  Though Michigan State looks tough at the top.  Iowa on the other hand has quietly gone about their business since a tough loss out on the West Coast to Arizona.  Ricky Stanzi continues to manage games with the best of them and finds ways to win.  Can Iowa ride their defense to a victory in this one?  I am thinking so.  Look for Wisconsin to suffer a major low after a major high last weekend.  I got Iowa gutting out a big win at home by 3.

Nebraska at Oklahoma State:  Can Nebraska recover after showing that Texas was their kryptonite last Saturday?  You better believe it folks.  OK State’s offense has been absolutely electric all year.  Junior Quarterback, Brandon Weeden, aka, Old Man River, has been stellar in every sense of the word thus far.  But he has not faced a defense like the one the Cornhuskers have yet.  This will be a wakeup call for the Cowboys.  It is a shame, because they have been great thus far.  But sadly, they will drop a tough one at home as their offense struggles to find any rhythm or continuity due to a lacking rushing attack against Bo Pelini’s boys.  I got Nebraska by 7 on the road.

Oklahoma at Missouri:  A second major battle in the Big 12 of unbeatens?  What a weekend it is in the last year of the Big 12 as we know it.  Stoops and the boys head to Missouri ready to continue to make some noise.  Missouri can no longer fly under the radar folks.  This is the big time.  Can Missouri’s stellar defense stop Oklahoma’s very balance offensive attack?  They probably will hold them in check for a couple of quarters.  Expect Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles, and Demarco Murray to go to work in the 2nd half though.  Start calling Stoops “Big Game Bob” again folks.  I see Oklahoma running away with this one by 13 on the road.

So there you have it.  A huge weekend for the Big 12.  A big weekend for the SEC.  And a big weekend for the Big Ten.  Can I get it straight this week?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Week 7: Still Loving It”

 

One of the major surprises this year has been Auburn, led by dual threat quarterback Cameron Newton (pictured above). Can he keep Auburn's SEC title hopes alive this weekend against a tough Arkansas squad?

College Football has entered Week 7.  It feels like just yesterday that the season was just starting.  Well now some of the contenders have been separating from the pretenders.  Alabama will not go undefeated.  There is a real possibility of an undefeated team coming out of the Big Ten, the Pac 10, and the Big 12.  Not to mention a real possibility of Boise State running the table and qualifying for the BCS Title Game.  This could be a year that really demonstrates all of the true flaws of the BCS System and could ultimately lead to the horrible system’s demise.

So when looking at this weeks’ matchups initially, not too many games really stand out.  There are not many hotly anticipated matchups of highly ranked teams.  But this is College Football.  And there are always great games and boat load of surprises.

Here is my look into some of the major matchups.

Texas at Nebraska:  So this game has lost some of the flare and mystique that many envisioned it having.  These are two teams heading in very different directions.  The Longhorns got this past week off after losing two consecutive games.  When can you remember a Mack Brown team losing two straight games?  Texas has sported a mediocre offense and a mediocre defense.  They have struggled running the ball and really are missing main stays off of last year’s National Runner up, like Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley.  Nebraska on the other hand.  There is only one word to describe this team.  WOW.  Everyone expected this team to have a solid defense.  Not sure with the departure of Ndamukong Suh they were expecting the defense to be scary.  This team defends better than any team I have seen in the country.  I do not care if they rank 4th in points given up.  Watch them and let me know what you think.  The real question mark on this team was would there be enough offense?  Well Freshman QB Taylor Martinez has been absolutely outstanding and looked like the new Eric Crouch (former Nebraska Heisman winner).  The kid has been extremely efficient passing the ball.  But he has been even better with his legs.  His amazing leadership as a freshman has helped Nebraska become the 2nd best rushing team in the entire country.  Sorry Texas.  Normally, coming off two losses I would pick a big time win.  But on the road against a team with a defense as scary as the one Bo Pelini has at Nebraska?  I got the Cornhuskers by 10 at home.

Arkansas at Auburn:  This is another one of those amazing and highly anticipated SEC Brawls.  The SEC is the best conference in the country for a reason.  And due to it’s amazing depth there will be outstanding matchups each and every week.  Normally multiple great games.  So in this one, we have a surprise undefeated taking on a team with perhaps the most highly hyped player in the country.  Can Ryan Mallett pick up his first signature victory and prove his critics wrong?  Well Arkansas has had an electric passing attack.  The problem has been converting in the Red Zone and running the ball effectively.  In the SEC it is impossible to be one-dimensional and win consistently.  Too much depth on all of these squads.  Auburn on the other hand has been a team that has lived on a very strong rushing attack led by dual threat QB Cameron Newton.  This Junior has been absolutely sensational in every sense of the word.  So all logic would point towards Auburn protecting their home turf in this one.  But I am going to go with my gut.  Ryan Mallett will finally bust out with the signature performance of his Razorback career thus far and clinch a major road victory for Arkansas.  Though Auburn is very good.  They have flown by the seat of their pants in 4 games this year.  Unfortunately in the SEC, there will always be a team waiting to convert in a close game the next week.  That team is Arkansas.  I got the Razorbacks by 3 in a major road upset.

Ohio State at Wisconsin:  Though Wisconsin has lost a conference game already, do not count this team out in making a run at the Conference Championship.  That quest starts Saturday in an old-fashioned  Big Ten Heavyweight battle in Madison.  Ohio State is the cream of the crop in the Big Ten, and possibly in the entire country.  They have won 5 straight conference titles and are looking to make it 6.  Wisconsin has a very dangerous rushing attack led by junior John Clay.  Ohio State has its usual outstanding defense.  Can Wisconsin control the tempo of the game through their devastating rushing attack?  I would have to say no.  Ohio State’s defense is too athletic and too deep.  Not to mention the offense continues to improve each week behind the steady growth of Heisman hopeful, Terrell Pryor.  I got the Buckeyes surviving a tough road contest by 7.

So there you have it.  Though there are not a ton of games pitting two ranked foes, there are some very quality games.  Games in the SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 will provide major indications towards this year’s conference champions and the at-large BCS bids.  It should be a fun weekend.  Hopefully my picks will be more on point this week in that I have struggled the past couple.  But I still love the unpredictability of the College Game.  It keeps all of us on our toes every week.  Make sure to tune in for the games.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Power Rankings”

Many have doubted the Buckeyes in recent years due to ther inability to keep up with the speed of the mighty SEC. Well this is their most talented team in a good few years and I have hunch that they will be bringing home a National Championship come January 10th, in Arizona.

 With everyone else putting out College Football power rankings, and with the season less than a month away.  I figured why not put out my own version. 

5 Teams Most Likely to Win a National Title

1.  Ohio State 

–  I know many are scratching their heads on putting this team ahead of the defending National Champs, Alabama.  But this team is very talented and returns a plethora of players off of last year’s Rose Bowl Champion.  Terrelle Pryor, in an outstanding Rose Bowl performance, finally looked ready to meet the heavy expectations that Buckeye Nation bestowed on him upon his arrival in Columbus. Without a weakness to be found, I have these guys as my number 1 at this point.  Also remember that though the Big Ten will be tough, it is not as rugged as the SEC. 

2.  Alabama 

– With the return of their quarterback, Heisman Trophy winning running back, outstanding backup running back, and top 2 receivers, you better believe that Nick Saban’s boys will be ready to play.  But the SEC is brutal and with question marks on defense, I have them sliding to number 2 on my power rankings. 

3. Virginia Tech 

– They have arguably the most dangerous backfield in America.  They play in the ACC.  And if they can manage to find a way to get by a very strong Boise State team in Week 1.  The Hokies should cruise until a late November date with the U.  This is the game that should make or break their National Championship or ACC Championship hopes for that matter. 

4. Florida 

– Urban Meyer is the best coach in the country.  And though he lost a ton of talent off of last year’s underachieving squad, the Gators will be chomping at the bit all year. Do not be surprised to see this team knock off the Tide on October 2nd at Alabama.  As the University of Cincinnati and so many other opponents of the Gators have learned over the past few years, speed truly does kill. 

5. Oklahoma 

– Bob Stoops claims he has a formidable squad ready to go and take care of business in the Big 12 this year.  And when Stoops speaks, people tend to listen.  They will have to overcome a big time early season challenge in Cincinnati on September 25th.  But do not be surprised to see the Sooners back in a BCS Bowl game or dare I say the National Championship.  

Very Probable BCS Bowl Game Participants (Best of the Rest)

Boise State 

– I would have these guys ranked in the top 5.  But I am not sure if they can beat Virginia Tech in Week 1.  I see this as probably their only loss on the year though.  With great power comes great responsibility. With great talent comes great expectations.  And with this being said, the expectations are at an all time high.  It is never easy to deal with big time expectations.  

Texas 

– The Longhorns will be tough again.  Minus the Oklahoma game, I only see them struggling at Nebraska.  Do not be surprised if this team under the great coaching of Mack Brown somehow sneaks past the Sooners for the Big 12 Title though. 

Iowa 

– This team is back and hungry after a BCS Bowl victory down in Miami.  Outside of Ohio State, this is the toughest team in the Big Ten.  The Hawkeyes will be one of America’s best in 2010.  And though many do not give this team much respect, they will make some noise this year with their accomplishments on the field. 

Miami 

– The U invented swagger.  This should be the best team Miami has had in some time.  September 11th will be an extremely tough game at Ohio State.  But if they can find a way to knock of the Hokies on November 20th, this team will be heading to a BCS Bowl for the first time in years. 

Pittsburgh

– The Dion Lewis led Panthers are hungry to atone for their heartbreaking loss to end the regular season against their rival Cincinnati last season.  They will not get rid of that bad taste until they clinch a Big East Championship, earning an automatic bid to a BCS Bowl game.  Behind a strong rushing attack and a great defense, this team is dangerous, and a force to be reckoned with.  Do not be too surprised though if the Bearcats shock the Panthers again in Cincinnati come December 4th to go to a BCS Bowl Game for a 3rd straight year.

Other Teams that Could Sneak Into BCS Bowls

 Cincinnati, TCU, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Arkansas 

College Football is always very unpredictable and fun.  I know many will question my pick of a non SEC team winning the National Title.  Realize that though the Big Ten will be tough this year, OSU will have an easier time going undefeated than if they played a brutal SEC Conference schedule.  The beautiful thing about College Football is its mysterious nature.  This year appears to be no different as teams enter their 3rd day of official practices. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze. 

-TheSportsKraze