Tag Archives: Florida State

Weekly Nickel 8-15-2011

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Ervin Santana (pictured above) and the Angels pitching staff need to come up big in a crucial series against the lethal Texas Rangers offense this week.

By Josh Kramer

Last week was another great week in the wide world of sports.  This week promises to be another good one too.

Here are the main items you should be keeping an eye on.

5.  We are in the midst of the continued Big 12 shakeup, or are we?  A&M appeared headed for the SEC but was rejected (at least for now).  False alarm I guess.  And there were also rumors about Missouri, Clemson, and Florida State heading to America’s best football conference as well.  Even with yesterday’s false alarm, it still appears that the landscape of college sports could be on the verge of a major makeover in the near future.  Continue reading

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“Sweet 16: Day 2 Predictions”

North Carolina super freshman Harrison Barnes (pictured above) continues to improve his draft stock as UNC will creep one step closer to the Final Four tonight.

As if last night’s games weren’t wild enough.  We get another full dosage this evening with 4 big time matchups.  The winners tonight will find themselves one game away from dancing to Houston.  A trip to the Final Four.  College Basketball’s ultimate dream. Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

Duke star Nolan Smith (pictured above) will play a major part in the Duke/UNC matchup on Wednesday. Will he be the X-Factor?

Good Monday to you all.  Want to know one of the best things about sports especially in the United States?  They never stop.  We just celebrated the biggest sporting holiday of the year with an outstanding Super Bowl 45.  And guess what, we have another stellar jam-packed week ahead.

Lets jump right into it. Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

Come Wednesday, College Basketball fans are in for a treat as they get to watch Jim Boeheim (left) and Jim Calhoun (right) lead their squads into another epic Big East battle. It should be a great one.

It is another Monday, and you all know what that means.  Lets get the week started with a look at the top events coming up in the sporting world throughout the next 7 days. Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

The Heat have now won 12 games in a row. The "Main Event" this week involves a matchup between the Heat and the Lakers on Christmas Day.

Its Monday.  And you all know what that means…

It is the start to another stellar week in the wide world of sports.  Lets take a look at the pulse of the action.

5.  Come Thursday, there should be a heavy focus on the NHL.  It should be no surprise to you why people should tune in to NHL Hockey.  Sure two of the top teams in the NHL are going head to head.  But it is the Kobe/Lebron matchup of the NHL.  Sid “the Kid” Crosby leads his Penguins to the nation’s capital to take on Alex Ovechkin.  Who you got?  Crosby or Ovechkin?

4.  College Football Bowl Madness continues.  3 of 35 are complete.  Lets keep them coming. 

Tuesday

Beef “O” Brady’s Bowl:  Southern Miss vs Louisville-America will get to see 1st year Louisville coach, Charlie Strong, lead his team into their first bowl game in 4 years.  Contrasting styles should make for a fun one in St. Petersburg.  Louisville has lived on its defense all year while Southern Miss has lived on its O.

Wednesday

MAACO Bowl:  Utah vs Boise State-This is hands down the best game of the week.  Two teams that were both ranked in the top 5 at different points during the course of this season.  Plus, this could be the last time we get to see Kellen Moore suit up in the Bronco Blue.  If you get to watch one College Football Game this week, watch this one.  You will not want to miss Titus Young and Austin Pettis play in their last game.  Outside of a kicking breakdown, Boise has played a near perfect season.

Thursday

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl:  Navy at San Diego State-Navy can straight pound the rock.  Not the most appealing game to watch.  But if you want to see some old school, smash mouth football, Navy is the team to watch.  San Diego State will provide some pass heavy offense, led by their QB, Ryan Lindley.

Friday

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl:  Hawaii vs Tulsa-Tulsa is one of the luckier teams in the country.  They first of all got to defeat Notre Dame in South Bend.  Now they get to head to Hawaii for a bowl game?  Not to shabby.  Both of these teams can really score.  Expect both offensive units to put up 35 plus in this one.  Hawaii has the most lethal passing attack in the country for a change and Tulsa is right up there as well.  The difference is that Tulsa can run the ball effectively too.  Take note of this fact when picking a winner for this one.

3.  Not the greatest week for College Hoops.  Christmas always is a time to spotlight the NBA.  But, there are some good matchups, especially on Wednesday.  Here is a look at the two marquee games on Wednesday.

Missouri vs Illinois:  One of the top dogs in the Big 12 takes on one of the better teams in the Big Ten.  Missouri plays basketball at a gut wrenching pace for all 40 minutes.  Welcome to the fastest 40 minutes in basketball.  Outside of Washington, not many teams play at this pace for the duration of games anymore.  Outside of a heartbreaking OT loss to Georgetown, a game they should have won, this team has looked pretty strong.  They will score points, averaging just under 86 a game.  Illinois on the other hand fell to the only other Big 12 foe they played this year (Texas), and are coming off of a shocking loss to Illinois-Chicago.  This team though also has beaten some very tough teams this season such as UNC and Gonzaga.  You will not want to miss this one.

Texas at Michigan State:  I applaud both of these squads for playing brutal non conference schedules.  They are already preparing their teams for March.  So what if they each have suffered multiple losses.  You cannot undervalue big game experience in November and December.  Please note though that all 3 of the Spartan’s losses are against current top 10 teams.  Texas did suffer a loss to an unranked foe in USC, but they have beaten some top-notch opponents such as Illinois and UNC.  This should just be a great all around game.  I will be very interested to see how Cory Joseph, the Longhorn’s freshman phenom, matches up with experienced Spartan guards such as Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, and Korie Lucious.  Should be a fun one to watch.

2.  I had to give Geno and his ladies some love.  Sure I realize that most are not as in to Women’s College Basketball as Men’s.  But this is history folks.  The great John Wooden’s record could fall.  Tomorrow (Tuesday) evening, Auriemma looks to make history.  The Lady Huskies go for their 89th consecutive win!  Yes I said 89th.  Can you imagine winning 89 straight games?  Can the Seminoles somehow stop this train?  Do not count on it.

1.  This week’s NBA slate will not disappoint.  Every night features a big time matchup.  Tonight, there are two great games.  The Magic bring their new look squad to the ATL to take on the always dangerous Hawks.  And the Mavs head to Miami to take on the red-hot Miami Heat.  Can the Mavericks cool off the South Beach All Stars?

On Tuesday, the Mavericks have to recover in a hurry as they head over to take on the new look Magic.  Come Wednesday, the Garden will get a taste of Kevin Durant.  Can he put on a big time performance against the overachieving Knicks?  Then Thursday, as Orlando continues on with their “hell week,” the Spurs come to town. 

Christmas is always an awesome day in the NBA though.  Boy did the League outdo themselves with the slate of games that they put together.

Chicago at New York:  Derrick Rose and the “Noahless” first place Bulls head to the Garden.  Big time players always put together memorable performances at MSG.  Plus it is Christmas.  Expect Derrick Rose to put up a triple double as he wows the New York crowd.  Now I will state, up until the 2nd half of the game vs the Heat on Friday, the Knicks had thoroughly impressed me.  They have played way above their talent level.  Amare looks like an MVP.  Gallineri is playing like an All Star and really has developed an all around offensive repertoire.  And Felton has rejuvenated his career.  So what if the New York guys are not quite at that Miami or Boston level.  They are good enough to make the playoffs this year.  Plus they have caught the attention of Melo.  You add Carmelo to this team, they are a contender in the East.  You add CP3, the Knicks are a title contender again.  Boy would that be fun.

Boston at Orlando:  The two teams that have owned the Eastern Conference the past 3 years link up in Disney World.  This is the final game of the Magic’s “Hell Week.”  Will Orlando have anything left in the tank for this one?  They will have already played the Hawks, the Mavericks, and the Spurs already before they even get to step on the floor with the C’s.  Boston is playing outstanding basketball.  Though they are missing Rondo, do not expect a huge drop off.  I am curious to see how the new look Magic match up with the Mean Green Fighting Machine.

Heat at Lakers:  Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Gasol, and Bosh on the same floor?  No this is not the All Star Game.  This is the primetime game of the day though.  And boy is it one that every basketball fan in the country has been waiting for. The Heat have gelled, winning 12 straight games.  There could not be better timing for this game.  All of the stars will be out (not just those on the floor).  Do not take away too much from this matchup though.  There is still a lot of basketball to be played.  But outside of Lebron’s return to Cleveland, this is the year’s most anticipated game up to this point. 

Also, there are two other games on Christmas.  It will be a Merry Basketball Day.

So there you have a look at this week’s main events.  And I did not even touch on the NFL’s Week 16.  You better believe that there is a ton going on.  Let me hear your thoughts.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Week 14: This is It”

Can South Carolina Head Football Coach Steve Spurrier (pictured above) shock the world and bring South Carolina their first ever SEC Football Championship?

Outside of the Army vs Navy game, this is it.  It is the final countdown.  After this weekend, we will know who will be playing for the National Championship.  We will know which teams are going to which bowl games.  All of the sudden the insanity that is College Football will start to make sense.  Or at least a little bit.

It is a weekend where dreams will be realized, and dreams will be crushed.  Its Championship Week baby, and you got to love it.

Here is a look at this week’s marquee matchups:

Oregon vs Oregon State:  The Ducks are looking to quack their way into the National Championship.  Sadly for them, they still have one last major hurdle to conquer.  They get the pleasure of heading to their in-state rival’s home in Corvallis, with everything to lose.  Oregon State is in the midst of their worst season in some time, but you better believe that Jacquizz wants to bring his older brother James a win in his final home game.  If James Rodgers was healthy and well, I would give the Beavers a chance.  Oregon just has too much offensive firepower though to lose to their rival.  Count on Oregon to stamp a ticket to the National Championship game with a 10 point victory on the road.

Auburn vs South Carolina:  In the wild SEC, it all comes down to this duel in Atlanta.  A rematch of one of the great games of the season.  The game that really vaulted Heisman favorite Cam Newton into the spotlight.  Even if I do not feel that Cam Newton should be eligible for this game, it is a mute subject because he is.  And you better believe Auburn is riding high coming off of their amazing comeback in the Iron Bowl, where they shocked Nick Saban and

Alabama.  What happens after every high though?  A low.  I think Auburn is a great team, but I have a hunch that Marcus Lattimore is going to dominate this game and South Carolina is going to play smart, turnover free football.  Call me crazy, but I am going out on a limb.  I see Auburn digging themselves an early whole as usual, and this time, coming up just short in pulling themselves out.  Look for Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks to be celebrating the biggest win in school history and their first ever SEC Football Championship.  I got the Gamecocks in a 1 point shocker at home.

Florida State vs Virginia Tech:  The ACC Title Game pits two teams with a lot on the line.  The winner of this game heads to the Orange Bowl.  The loser heads to a much less impressive bowl game.  These two programs each boast a very rich tradition.  Neither of these teams have played the most scintillating of schedules though.  FSU is 1 and 1 against ranked foes, and was embarrassed in their trip to Norman, Oklahoma.  VTech is 2 and 1 due to a heartbreaking loss to Boise State in the opener.  I just feel that the Hokies stellar offensive attack, led by Tyrod Taylor, Darren Evans, Ryan Williams, and Jarret Boykin will be too much for the Seminoles.  Both of these teams have very solid defensive units.  But the difference comes in the Hokies ability to rush the ball effectively against any and all opponents.  I got VTech by 6.

Oklahoma vs Nebraska:  Nebraska is playing in its final Big 12 game.  And you better believe that they would like to go out with a bang.  The Cornhuskers have not won a Big 12 title since 1999.   The program resurgence over the past couple of years has been awesome, but Oklahoma is not as impressed by the heartfelt climb back to the top for Nebraska.  Oklahoma is 6 and 1 all time in the Conference Title Game.  The Sooners electric offensive unit has only been held under 30 points twice this year.  On both of these occasions though, they scored at least 27 points.  These teams each have solid defensive units.  Offensively though, they are very different.  The Cornhuskers rely on a lethal rushing attack while the Sooners love to air it out to big targets like Ryan Broyles and Freshman phenom, Kenny Stills.  Normally in big games like this, the team that can run the ball most effectively is the favorite.  For some reason though, I see Landry Jones having a field day and Nebraska’s offense struggling due to an unhealthy Taylor Martinez.   Oklahoma does the rest of the Big 12 a favor and knocks off the Cornhuskers by 3.

So yes, I am calling a shocker in the SEC Title Game.  Would this mean that Oregon would play TCU in the National Championship if all played out as I am predicting here?  You better believe it.

Now I realize that the  majority of the country wants to see Oregon vs Auburn come January 10th.  And I cannot say that I am not in that majority.  Every year shockers happen during the last week.  I see a major surprise happening in Atlanta. 

I hope you all have enjoyed this College Football season thus far.  I know that I have.  This is it.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Week 6: Halfway There”

Look for last year's Heisman Trophy Winner, Mark Ingram (pictured above), to lead his Alabama team to yet another victory this weekend over the Gamecocks.

I will admit that Week 6 will not be able to compete with the matchups and firepower that the College Football Stratosphere put together in Week 5.  But these games will be pretty intense.

Here are my thoughts on the major matchups:

Alabama at South Carolina:  This will be a flat-out SEC brawl.  Two of College Football’s best and most respected coaches lock horns at the season’s midway point.  Saban’s defending National Champion Crimson Tide has been “rolling” along, and is feeling especially good after handing Florida a devastating thrashing.  South Carolina is no slouch though.  The Gamecocks finally showed some chinks in their armor last week in a very tough road loss to Auburn.  You better believe that South Carolina will be looking to redeem itself in a big way and shock the Tide.  Even with the best freshman in the country, Marcus Lattimore, it will not be enough as Alabama cruises to their 3rd consecutive win against a top 20 ranked opponent.  I will admit that I thought Bama would falter during this brutal 3 game stretch.  I was wrong.  Bama by 10 on the road.

Michigan State vs Michigan:  This is the first year in a while that both of these teams are major contenders in the Big Ten, and on the national scene.  These are both outstanding football teams that are looking to stay undefeated.  Well this is the game that will separate the boys from the men.  The pretenders from the contenders.  The whole state of Michigan should be into this one.  Michigan State is coming off of an outstanding performance against a very good Wisconin team in which they held Wisconsin star running back John Clay, out of the endzone.  Michigan on the other hand demonstrated their amazing offensive attack, along with their lackluster defensive attack. Can Michigan’s rushing attack run all over Greg Jones, and the outstanding Spartan defense?  Can Michigan get a stop or two against a solid Spartan offense?  Will Denard Robinson continue to show why he is towards the top of all the expert’s Heisman Lists at this point?  The difference in this game will be Michigan’s inability to stop the Spartan’s on crucial 3rd downs.  I got this one going down to the wire in a shootout fashion.  Look for the Spartans to come out of the Big House victorious by 3.

LSU at Florida:  These are two of the SEC’s most storied programs in recent memory.  Two teams that really hate each other for a plethora of reasons.  But on this night, all arguments will be settled on the field.  LSU comes in undefeated, but lacking much to desire offensively.  Florida is coming off a crushing defeat to Alabama in which they were embarrassed on national television.  Can LSU’s amazing swarming defense hold the Gators under 14 points?  If not, chalk this one up as a loss.  I got the Gators having just a little bit too much offense for the Tigers and taking this one at home by 7 in a very ugly game.  If this game were in Baton Rouge, I would be picking the Tigers.

Florida State at Miami:  Talk about one of the best and most historic rivalries in College Football.  These two programs do not like each other.  And for obvious reasons.  They fight year in and year out for 2nd place in the state of Florida (behind the Gators) and for numerous recruits.  The Seminoles have looked awesome this year except against their one big time opponent, Oklahoma.  Miami has looked very solid this year other than in the 2nd half against the Buckeyes a few weeks back.  These teams appear somewhat evenly matched on paper.  But my edge goes to Jacory Harris and the Hurricanes.  Jacory must find a way to cut down on his very unnecessary throws that end up being INTs.  But,  they are playing in front of a home crowd, and have one of the most athletic defenses in the entire country.  Ponder and the Seminoles will put up a fight, but will lose by 6 in the end on the road.

So there you have my Week 6 picks for College Football.  It should be a great weekend.  Make sure to get out and support your teams.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze