Tag Archives: Big East

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

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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

Is it always about the U?

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Al Golden (pictured above) sweat a lot last season as the Hurricanes limped their way to a 6 and 6 record. With recent allegations servicing around the program, things may get a whole lot worse.

By Josh Kramer

Is it just me, or is it always about the U?  Sure Ohio State has had their moments over the past couple of years.  North Carolina had the spotlight for a short time as well.  A not so happy, “Happy Valley” has been the center of attention for some time now.  I digress though.

One would think that Al Golden learned from the “hurricane” that struck the U last off-season.  Apparently he didn’t.  I guess without a severe punishment, some will never learn.  Nevin Shapiro may be in prison, but his spirit is still looming large all over South Beach and the Miami Hurricane football program.  One of Shapiro’s good buddies , Mr. Sean “Pee Wee” Allen is a key culprit in the recent allegations.  Nobody is ever as they seem.  Joe Paterno obviously wasn’t the man we all thought he wasJim Tressel wasn’t exactly Mr. Perfect either.  Just add Al Golden to the growing list.   Golden was supposed to come in and clean up the program.  He has done just the opposite.  Go figure. Continue reading

College Basketball Transfer Rankings

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. According to our very own Jeremy Powers, Mark Lyons (pictured above) is one of the big transfers to keep an eye on in 2012/2013.

By Jeremy Powers

College basketball players are on the move now more than ever. Most programs are in need of that one spark plug to help the team get over that proverbial hump. Here are the top ten college basketball transfers that will help their teams improve this season.

10. Jabari Brown (Missouri) – Brown was a highly talented recruit, which was supposed to help rebuild a Oregon program that hasn’t made it to the NCAA tournament in recent years. After two games in Eugene, the shooter from California jumped ship and will help replace Kim English and Marcus Denmon.

9. Mark Lyons (Arizona) – A former Atlantic 10 standout while at Xavier, Lyons will bring back court depth and leadership to Arizona. Lyons will be making the transition to point guard for his former coach Sean Miller. Continue reading

South Bend Jinx?

Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com. If recent history in South Bend is any indication, Brian Kelly (pictured above) may get red in the face early and often this year.

By Josh Kramer

When people think of College Football, Notre Dame instantly comes to mind.  Despite not winning a national title since 1988, Notre Dame is still one of the blue bloods of College Football.  Every one of their games are nationally televised by NBC putting them in the public spotlight each and every Saturday.

The Fighting Irish are set to enter the third year of the Brian Kelly era.  Kelly was supposed to be the man to bring Notre Dame football back to the glory days.  He was the guy that was supposed to bring number 12 to South Bend (National Championship).  Luckily for the Irish faithful, Kelly has a history of getting the job done in year number three.  At Grand Valley State he went a very respectable 6-2-2.  Then at Central Michigan, he took home a MAC Championship.  And finally at Cincinnati, he led the Bearcats to their first Big East Football Championship and an appearance in the Orange Bowl.  With a past like that, it is safe to say that Brian Kelly knows a little something about winning.  Many have proclaimed the guy a miracle worker.   I like to think of him as one of the best offensive minds in football. But it appears recent history will be against the Fighting Irish Head Coach as he prepares his troops for the annual Blue-Gold Game on Saturday.  Could their be a year three jinx in South Bend?  The three Fighting Irish coaches that preceded Brian Kelly may have something to say in regards to the potential South Bend curse in year number three. Continue reading

Final Four Predictions

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Louisville has one edge on Kentucky heading into Saturday's showdown. That would be at the point guard position where Peyton Siva (pictured above) has played great as of late. Siva's heroics will not be enough for Louisville this time though.

By Josh Kramer

I have avoided it for the past few weeks.  I know it is a bad idea.  And when my bracket completely unraveled on the first Friday of the tournament by around 11PM, my desire to provide round by round predictions faded (thanks to Norfolk State and Lehigh largely).  But this the Final Four.  There is no bigger story in sports.  Plus, this year lacks a Cinderella and features two rematches of powerhouse programs.  Here are my predictions as the attention of an entire nation heads to Nawlins (New Orleans).

Matchup #1

Louisville vs Kentucky

The Skinny:  Round two in 2012 of one of College Basketball’s best rivalries.  There has probably never been a bigger sporting spectacle in the illustrious history of the Bluegrass State.  Come 9PM on Saturday, let’s hope that all cities in the state of Kentucky are still standing.  This is the 3rd straight year that the Big East Champion has made it to the Final Four.  Coincidentally, Calipari’s past two Kentucky teams have both seen the same fate in March: losses to the Big East Tournament Champion in the NCAA Tournament (West Virginia 2010, Connecticut 2011).  The third time will be the charm for the Wildcats though.  In my lifetime, I do not think there has ever been more of a heavy favorite heading into the Final Four.  This includes the 1991 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (who oddly enough lost) and the 2007 Florida Gators.  Kentucky is the best team College Basketball has seen in the past 15 years.  They have no noticeable weaknesses and are currently playing their best basketball.

Interesting Stats:  Calipari is 8 and 8 career versus John Calipari (11 and 11 if you include NBA days)  Though it should be noted that Calipari is a career 0 and 4 versus Pitino in postseason matchups.  Lastly, Calipari and Pitino are the only college basketball coaches ever to take three different programs to the Final Four.

Prediction:  Kentucky 80 Louisville 67 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