Tag Archives: Big 12

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

Food for Thought 9-4-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Stephen Strasburg (pictured above) looked pretty sharp on Sunday against St. Louis. Sadly, his season will end on September 12th due to an innings limit placed on him by Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo.

By Josh Kramer

Operation Shutdown Strasburg” is an utter embarrassment.  Many MLB players go through an entire career and never make the playoffs once, much less contend for a playoff spot.  The Washington Nationals have failed to post a record better than .500 since making the move to the nation’s capital in 2005 (until yesterday).  There is only one way to describe Nationals GM Mike Rizzo’s September 12th expiration date on the Nationals star pitcher: A simple ego struggle.

That’s right, Washington is willing to risk a deep playoff run due to their General Manager’s ego.  I really have no other logical way to explain it.  Health concerns are are fine by me, but within reason.  There are always exceptions though.  Stephen Strasburg is a 24-year-old prized prospect who is in good health.  I realize that he had Tommy John surgery towards the end of the 2010 season.  But how many pitchers go through an entire career without a surgery such as Tommy John in this day and age?  Not many. 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

Conference realignment has potential to ruin mid-major hoops

Photo courtesy of thevictoryformation.com. Our very own Nick Craddock gives his thoughts on NCAA Conference Realignment.

By Nick Craddock

There are college football dudes and college basketball guys. I’m more of a college basketball guy. I suppose it’s part of my genetic makeup, like it was in my Canadian forefather, Dr. James Naismith. But now, conference realignment is becoming downright cumbersome as it seems to be forcing me to cater to college football at the cost of quality collegiate hoops from top to bottom of Division I.

I’m not naïve enough to think that the NCAA is not (at least in part) driven by making money and although I was unhappy with the first wave of conference realignment in the fall (i.e. the one where Boise State became a member of the Big East among other moves where the major conference poached teams from one another), the desire for BCS schools to ensure their BCS Conference auto-bid status, lock up lucrative bowl tie-ins, and find the best television markets and contracts was rational.

Rivalries were shattered, athletic departments’ future travel budgets soared, and conference monikers became incredibly stupid (of course, everyone knows 12 teams play in the Big Ten, but 10 teams play in the Big 12, that’s just good logic). But money was to be made so fans were supposed to embrace the change and start booking off work now for those cross-country drives to see the heated Rutgers-Boise State series in person. Continue reading

Food for Thought 3-27-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Not even "Slick" Rick Pitino (pictured above) can pull off this upset. It appears inevitable that UK will cut down the nets on April 2nd.

By Josh Kramer

The race for second place

13 National Championships.  49 Final Four berths.  Big East.  Big Ten.  Big 12.  SEC.  An elite rivalry.  Rick Pitino.  John Calipari.  Bill Self.  Thad Matta.  Three of this year’s five first team All Americans.  Cinderella teams are fun for the general public.  But they have never been major moneymakers.  Four very tradition filled programs with large followings will take over Bourbon Street for the next week.  It appears Bourbon Street has hit the jackpot with this year’s Final Four.

Wrong. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 2-20-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The New York Rangers currently possess the best record in the Eastern Conference. Much of the team's success is due in large part to goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (pictured above).

By Josh Kramer

The Garden was simply “Linsane” yesterday as Jeremy Lin led the Knicks to a huge home victory over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.  Michigan finally exacted some revenge on their bitter rival, Ohio State, handling Sullinger and Co. in Ann Arbor for the first time in a long time (previously had lost 7 straight to the Buckeyes).  And pitchers and catchers began reporting to warm and beautiful cities across the country.  This past week was absolutely wild, but the current week should be some fun too.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Is it 1994 all over again?  For the first time in a long time, both the Rangers and Knicks are contenders at the same time (granted the Knicks are only 500, but winners of 8 of 9).  The Rangers currently possess the best record in the East, while the Red Wings have been simply unbeatable as of late, winning six straight games, and 23 straight at home.  This week my attention is focused on a marquee matchup in Pittsburgh tomorrow night. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 2-6-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Kentucky super freshman Anthony Davis (pictured above) has quickly become the frontrunner for the Naismith National Player of the Year Award.

By Josh Kramer

For the first time since the beginning of September, there will be no organized football games to speak of.  America’s favorite sport will now go into hibernation until training camp and spring ball begins.  After last night’s “Super” spectacle in which Eli Manning outdid Tom Brady, watching the pigskin get tossed around every Saturday and Sunday will be sorely missed.  But on to the next one.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Despite much indecision and turmoil in the form of a 130 day lockout leading up to the 92nd NFL season, the 2011/2012 NFL season did not disappoint by any means.  If anything, the sport grew in popularity.  ESPN proclaimed this the “Year of the Quarterback.”  I think without question, next year should be the “Year of the Tight End.” Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 1-30-2012

Photo courtesy of theoldprincetonlanding.com. All eyes will be focused on Indianapolis this week as America gears up for the biggest sporting event of the year.

By Josh Kramer

Yes, this past weekend, no “real” football games (college or professional) were played for the first time since the beginning of September (and no the Pro Bowl is not a real game).  Tennis jumped to the forefront of the sporting stratosphere and rightfully so.  The Djokovic/Nadal 5 hour and 53 minute thriller was a match for the ages, that anybody who had a chance to bear witness will not soon forget.  In addition, the Men’s Australian Open final made up for a Women’s final that was perhaps the worst Grand Slam final of all time.  Last week was great, but you better believe this week will be pretty amazing in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 1-16-2012

Photo courtesy of latimesblogs.latimes.com. Kobe Bryant (pictured above) has shown no signs of aging after putting up 40+ points for a fourth consecutive game on Saturday. Can he lead the Lakers to a victory in Miami on Thursday?

By Josh Kramer

The clock finally struck midnight on “Tebow Time,” or at least for the time being, and the globe is still spinning.  “Lob City” staked their claim to Los Angeles.  And the 49ers won against an outstanding Saints team in a game that will go down as one of the all-time greats.  The past week, or even the past day for that matter, was classic.  This week should be pretty fun in its own right though.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Pitchers and catchers start reporting in 33 days (February 18th for a lot of teams).  MLB baseball is just around the corner.  And the Yankees finally broke their silence on Friday in a big way.  Who else is already very excited for the 2012 baseball season?  Keep an eye this week on what happens with marquee available players such as Prince Fielder, Rick Ankiel, and many more.  Will your favorite team pick up the piece they need to make a deep run in October?

4.  Kobe Bryant has now put up 40 or more points four straight games.  So much for the 33-year-old wearing now.  Any chance he will eclipse his nine-straight games of 40 or more points back in 2002/2003? Continue reading

College Football Bowl Picks Week 4

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Can Collin Klein shock the world one more time and lead Kansas State to their 11th victory of the season?

By Josh Kramer

31 bowl games down. Four to go.  There is no denying that this bowl season has been one for the ages.  Once again I will pose what should be a familiar question to all of you who avidly read this blog.  Why is it called “Capital One Bowl Week?” The first bowl game (Gildan New Mexico Bowl) was played on December 17th and the final hurrah will occur on Monday, January 9th.  This by no means is a week, but more like a month.  But I digress.  So who else is satisfied with the BCS games thus far?  Two overtime thrillers and a record number of points at the “Grandaddy of Them All?”  I would say the vast majority of the matchups have lived up to all of the hype and more.  Hopefully “The Game of the Century” part deux won’t disappoint.

Kansas State vs Arkansas (AT&T COTTON BOWL)

Razorbacks by 14

Headline:  Once again the Big 12 demonstrates its lack of defensive firepower, as another SEC team wins a major bowl game. Continue reading