Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Adam Jones (pictured above) has been a main reason why the Baltimore Orioles are in contention for their first AL East title since 1997.
By Josh Kramer
Labor Day typically means two things other than a day off of work. First of all, the dog days of August are over. Secondly, America’s favorite sport is back. College football took over this weekend and guess what? The NFL is right around the corner. Last week was a whole lot of fun, but this week will be good in its own right. Here are the events to keep an eye on.
5. Richmond International Speedway will be the place to be next Saturday in terms of NASCAR. This is the final race before the Chase for the Cup begins at Chicagoland Speedway on the 16th. In other words, Richmond is for all of the marbles. Find a way into the top ten, or pray that you nab one of the two wild card spots. I am looking at you Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards.
4. The dog days are finally over. Players are smiling from ear to ear due to the dog days finally ending, the expanded rosters, and of course the home stretch to the regular season. We have learned a few things along the way. The Baltimore Orioles are the real deal. Crazy, I know. Much of this is thanks to their star center fielder Adam Jones. Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged Adam Jones, AL East, Alex Rodriguez, Andy Roddick, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Ravens, Big Ten, Boston Red Sox, Braxton Miller, Carl Edwards, Cincinnati Bearcats, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Felix Hernandez, Geno Smith, Georgia Bulldogs, Green Bay Packers, Jeff Gordon, Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas State Wildcats, Kyle Busch, Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Barkley, Michigan Wolverines, Missouri Tigers, NASCAR, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Yankees, NFL, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oregon State Beavers, PAC 12, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Richmond International Speedway, Sam Durley, San Francisco 49ers, SEC, Stephen Strasburg, Syracuse Orangemen, US Open, USC Trojans, Virginia Cavaliers, Wisconsin Badgers
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
Posted in NCAA Football
Tagged ACC, Alabama Crimson Tide, Andrew Luck, Arkansas Razorbacks, BCS, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Bjoern Werner, Boise State Broncos, Brady Hoke, Brandon Jenkins, Central Florida Knights, Charlie Strong, Chris Peterson, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, Curtis McNeal, Denard Robinson, Doug Martin, EJ Manuel, Florida State Seminoles, Geno Smith, Georgia Bulldogs, Jimbo Fisher, Kellen Moore, Landry Jones, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marcus Lattimore, Marqise Lee, Matt Barkley, Matt Leinart, Michigan Wolverines, Montee Ball, Nick Saban, Odell Beckham, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Oregon Ducks, PAC 12, Reggie Bush, Robert Woods, Rose Bowl, Russell Shepard, SEC, Silas Redd, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, TCU Horned Frogs, Teddy Bridgewater, Texas Longhorns, USC Trojans, Virginia Tech Hokies, West Virginia Mountaineers, Wisconsin Badgers, Xavier Rhodes, Zach Mettenberger
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Andrew Hendrix (pictured above) has real big game experience, but it does not appear he will get the start on September 1st.
By Josh Kramer
As always, despite their lackluster play over the past 20 years, Notre Dame is receiving probably more than their fair share of attention from the media. Year three of the Brian Kelly era kicks off on September 1st at 9AM in Ireland against Navy.
Similar questions have surrounded the 11-time national champions out of South Bend for nearly a decade now. Will this be the year the national championship drought ends? Will the Fighting Irish at least win a bowl game (lost 10 of their last 12 bowl games)? Is a top-20 finish in the rankings attainable (hasn’t happened in five years)? Lastly, will the coach running the show in the present still have his job next year?
This year, there is an additional question to add to the mix. Who will be the starting quarterback for Week 1? Continue reading
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Joey Votto (pictured above) is having a year for the ages. Is it the greatest Cincinnati has ever seen?
By Victor Kamesar
Victor Kamesar is a die-hard Cincinnatian who currently finds himself across the country. Despite being out in Cowboy Country (Norman, Oklahoma), Victor still finds time to follow his hometown Reds, Bengals, and Bearcats.
It didn’t hit me until a few weeks ago when I read a Jayson Stark headline proclaiming “Joey Votto hitting like the Bambino.” Cincinnati’s very own gold glove first baseman is having the best season in baseball since the Babe in some categories. Votto is on pace for 197 hits and a ridiculous 127 walks. As Stark pointed out, the only player ever to put up those types of walk numbers in a season in which they amassed 200 hits was “Babe Ruth, The Greaaat Bambino.” As a lifelong Cincinnati sports fanatic, I began to wonder, is Votto having the best season any athlete wearing Cincinnati threads has had since I’ve been alive (FYI I was born in 1990)? Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged Babe Ruth, Barry Larkin, Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bearcats, Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Reds, Conference USA, Dante Bichette, Joey Votto, Kenyon Martin, MVP, Peyton Manning, Shaun Alexander, Super Bowl, Victor Kamesar
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Rudy Gay (pictured above) is the main guy in Memphis these days. After suffering a heartbreaking loss on Sunday, the Grizzlies will rely heavily on Gay to help get Memphis back into the series.
By Josh Kramer
Today is a special day for “TheSportsKraze.” Back when I started this blog in September of 2009, I never could have imagined all that I would learn from this experience. Writing daily on this forum has truly been a blessing and helped me grow as both a writer and as a person. When my roommate convinced me to start “TheSportsKraze,” I figured it would be a nice little hobby that may get some looks from ten to twenty of my closest family and friends a day. These days, “TheSportsKraze” has become a major part of my daily routine and is read by hundreds of people from across the globe every day. Well today, we have hit the 900th post. Please take it in and enjoy.
Sleeping in Memphis?
All NBA fans had the Clippers/Grizzlies series circled as the one that would provide some fireworks in the opening round. Well the series opener did not disappoint by any means. I turned the game off after the third quarter. It was already kind of late, and the Grizzlies were absolutely making a mockery out of “Lob City.” Shame on me for not watching the full 48 minutes. The beauty of sports is no game is ever over until the final horn sounds or the final out is made. I learned this as a young child when Reggie Miller ripped the hearts out of the New York Knicks by scoring eight points in nine seconds on May 7, 1995.
I have been high on the Grizzlies all season. There is a reason why I picked them way back in December to play deep into the postseason. The Grizzlies shocked the Spurs last year. And this off-season, they only appeared to get better. Through three quarters on Sunday, they looked the part as a major contender in the West. Then the fourth quarter from hell struck. Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Bryce Harper, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cincinnati Bearcats, Cleveland Indians, Derrick Rose, Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Kenyon Martin, Lebron James, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA Playoffs, New York Knicks, Paul Silas, Reggie Miller, San Antonio Spurs, Tampa Bay Rays
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
Posted in NCAA Football
Tagged BCS, Big East, Bob Davie, Brian Kelly, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlie Weis, Cincinnati Bearcats, Grand Valley State Lakers, Lou Holtz, MAC, Michigan State Spartans, NCAA Football, New York Yankees, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Oklahoma Sooners, Orange Bowl, Tyrone Willingham, USC Trojans
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Kemba Walker (pictured above) was the face of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Who will be the face of the 2012 version of March Madness?
By Josh Kramer
Two and a half months later and “Throwback Saturdays” are still going strong. Welcome to edition ten of our weekly throwback day. What was happening on March 24, 2011? How about on March 24, 2010? I have a gut feeling that March Madness was discussed in some facet. Let’s take a look back and see what the major happenings were and how accurate I was with my analysis.
One year ago..
Sweet 16: Day 1 Predictions
Here is a snippet..
Connecticut vs San Diego State: Can you say Kemba? UConn has won 7 straight and are a perfect 10 and 0 in tournament play on the year heading into tomorrow’s showdown with a very talented and higher seeded San Diego Aztecs team. Now I realize that most of the national media has been grilling the Big East. I mean who wouldn’t. The conference began the tourney with 11 teams and only 2 still remain as we begin the Sweet 16. Let me state though, both of the teams still standing went 9 and 9 in conference play. Name me another team that is still standing in this bracket that went 500 in conference play. I will do one even better. Name me a team that did not finish in the top 4 of their conference that is still alive. But back to the topic at hand. San Diego State is also on a hot streak of their own having won 7 consecutive games. 43, 25, and 30 sums it up for me though when looking at this matchup (Jimmer’s point totals vs SDSU this year). Though the Aztecs play very solid defense and also have a very well-rounded scoring attack, they have failed to slow down teams with elite scorers all year. Good luck slowing down Kemba. At least one Big East team will find their way into the Elite Eight. And it will be the UConn Huskies as they gut out 3 point victory behind the Kemba Show.
BYU vs Florida: On paper, this game appears to favor the Cougars. They put up over 80 points a game. They have the edge on the boards. And I could go on. But not so fast. BYU has not been the same since the dismissal of starting center Brandon Davies for breaking University rules. Well this will be the first NCAA Tournament game where this vacancy in the paint really hurts. It will also be the first game in the tournament where BYU plays a team seeded higher than 11th. The Gators are very deep and talented, and will be the loan SEC team to nab a spot in the Elite Eight. The Jimmer Show has to end at some point. Plus Bobby Knight laid out how you stop Jimmer on SportsCenter. You better believe that Florida Coach Billy Donovan took notes on what the legend said. I am going to stick with my original pick in this one as well. Gators by 2 in a thriller (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged Arizona Wildcats, Big East, Billy Donovan, Bob Huggins, Bobby Knight, Brad Stevens, Brandon Davies, Butler Bulldogs, BYU Cougars, Cincinnati Bearcats, Connecticut Huskies, Darryl Bryant, Derrick Williams, Duke Blue Devils, Florida Gators, Jimmer Fredette, Joe Mazzulla, John Calipari, John Wall, Kemba Walker, Kentucky Wildcats, Kenyon Martin, NCAA Basketball, San Diego State Aztecs, Washington Huskies, West Virginia Mountaineers, Wisconin Badgers