Tag Archives: LSU Tigers

College Football Week 2: Lace up the shoes

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Will the return of starting quarterback Caleb TerBush (pictured above) help propel Purdue to a huge victory over rival Notre Dame? Don’t count on it.

By Josh Kramer

Week 1 ended up providing a little fun.  As is typically the case though, it was littered with blowouts.  Even the “marquee” matchup (Alabama vs Michigan) ended up being a butt-whipping.  Unfortunately, Week 2 doesn’t get a whole lot better.  Blame the current BCS system (which will not be around that much longer) for turning non-conference play into mismatch play as teams look to pad their resumes with lopsided victories.

Here are the marquee matchups:

Purdue at Notre Dame:  Fighting Irish by 10

Headline:  Fighting Irish “outfight” Purdue for the Shillelagh Trophy. Continue reading

College Football Week 1: The fun has begun

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Joe Southwick (pictured above) will be the Boise State starting quarterback tomorrow night as the post-Kellen Moore era begins.

By Josh Kramer

Lights.  Camera. Action.  After a 234 day hiatus, the 2012 college football season kicks off tonight.  We are coming to the end of the BCS era as the first college football playoff creeps closer. Week 1 generates a major buzz every year, despite featuring very few “buzz-worthy” matchups.

Here are the marquee matchups:

Boise State at Michigan State: Spartans by 7

Headline:  The post-Kellen Moore era begins poorly with a Spartan smackdown.

The date was December 23, 2007.  Taylor Tharp was the quarterback for Boise State as they took on East Carolina in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.  Current Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson was the star player for the Pirates, leading them to a 41 to 38 upset victory over Boise State.  This night in Hawaii over four years ago happens to be the last game that Kellen Moore was not under center for the Boise State Broncos.  Tomorrow night, the Joe Southwick era officially takes flight,  as Southwick takes over the quarterback reigns for the great Kellen Moore. 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

Food for Thought 8-14-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Aroldis Chapman (pictured above) is looking to become the first relief pitcher to win a Cy Young since 2003 and perhaps the first Cincinnati Reds pitcher ever to win the prestigious award.

By Josh Kramer

The Reds may be the oldest team in professional baseball history (established in 1869), but there is one thing this proud franchise has never done.  No Cincinnati pitcher has ever claimed the Cy Young Award.  Just to put that into perspective, the Diamondbacks (established in 1998) have sported five winners of the prestigious award for the best pitcher in their respective League.  I know there is a still a month and a half left in the regular season, but a pair of serious Cy Young candidates currently reside in Cincinnati.  I will give you a hint.  One is a starter, while the other is a relief pitcher.  Despite the absence of star Joey Votto, the Reds have somehow managed to go a remarkable 19 and 8.  So much for staying afloat and playing .500 ball with the all-world Votto sidelined.

Sure plenty of players have stepped up in the absence of the MLB’s best all-around hitter (such as Ryan Ludwick and Brandon Phillips), but two players have been getting the job done all year.  Johnny Cueto has not only proven himself to be a formidable number one starter, but he has also proven to be arguably the best pitcher in the National League.  Cueto currently is tied for the NL lead with 15 wins and ranks third in ERA (2.45).  Make sure to note that the two pitchers with better ERA’s than Cueto in the present have 10 wins and 9 wins respectively (Vogelsong and Zimmermann)  Then there is the Cuban Missile.  Outside of one short-lived rough patch just before the All-Star break, Aroldis Chapman has been the most dominant pitcher in baseball. Chapman has been simply unhittable as of late going a remarkable 22 straight appearances without allowing a run.  Also, in 51.2 innings against National League foes, Chapman has surrendered one earned run.  Lastly he has given up just 25 hits.  Really think about those statistics.  Could we be on the verge of the first relief-pitcher to take home the Cy Young Award since Eric Gagne in 2003?  Or perhaps the first Reds Cy Young Award winner ever? Continue reading

Food for Thought 4-24-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. If I were running the show in Minnesota, I would take Justin Blackmon (pictured above) at number three on Thursday.

By Josh Kramer

Number three is for me.  The NFL Draft is just about here (finally).  After all of the analysis, sports science, and insane amounts of minutia, Thursday night, it all goes down.  253 players will learn much more about their future over the course of the three day extravaganza when their name is called.  We have a semblance of idea how the first fifteen minutes will play out.

“With the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select… Andrew Luck, quarterback, Stanford Cardinal.”

Followed by a huge smile and a very mild-mannered interview with Andrew Luck.

“With the second pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select…Robert Griffin III, quarterback, Baylor Bears.”

RGIII will be all smiles and of course we will get to see his goofy socks during the interview.

Then what happens?

The ball is in Minnesota’s court.  They have been on the clock for months in essence.  Everyone has known for well over two months now that Luck and Griffin would be the top two picks.  But who will go at number three?  Many have proclaimed Matt Kalil, from USC, as the guy.  Others are saying Morris Claiborne from LSU.  Some are even saying Justin Blackmon, the young clone of TO, out of Oklahoma State.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that Justin Blackmon is the Vikings man. Continue reading

Super Bowl XLVI Preview

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tom Brady (pictured above) was not a happy man four years ago as he exited the field following a loss in Super Bowl XLII. Do not expect the same outcome on Sunday.

By Josh Kramer

Coughlin vs. Belichick.  Manning (Eli) vs. Brady.  New York vs. Boston.  It does not get any better than the scenario that has been set up for Super Bowl XLVI.  There are millions of storylines floating around about America’s most anticipated sporting event of the year.  And 99.9% of the storylines will be moot come Sunday at 6:29PM, when the ball is kicked off in the “House that Peyton Built (Lucas Oil Stadium).”  Four years ago to the day, these two teams representing two of the biggest sports markets in the world met in Glendale, Arizona for rights to the Lombardi Trophy.  If Sunday’s rematch can be half as good as what America was able to witness four years ago, the game will be a memorable one.

For nearly two weeks, we have been well aware of the matchup on Sunday for football’s biggest prize.  And for two weeks, this game has been dissected and analyzed until I feel like there is nothing more to discuss.  It gets to the point every year where it is time to just play the game.  When the analysis and incite loses its luster.  I feel like we have hit that point.  Just like any big sporting event, this game will likely come down to one or two key plays.  Four years ago, “The Catch” was the play that in essence ended Brady, Moss, and New England’s remarkable attempt at football immortality.  Who will make the play this year that changes history? Continue reading

Super Early College Football Top Five

Photo courtesy of Louisianasportstalk.com. Les Miles (pictured above) did not prepare his team the way he should have for the National Championship Game. Expect his LSU Tigers to walk away with the National Championship in January of 2013.

By Josh Kramer

The late-great basketball coach Skip Prosser once told me, “If you can’t be on time, be early.”  Well in this case, I am going to be super early.  The big game, which unfortunately did not end up being “big” by any means, concluded the College Football season on Monday night.  And despite a very disappointing finish to what had been a magical season in Baton Rouge, good things are ahead for the Tigers.  Who really cares if the season just ended, Spring Ball is right around the corner as die-hard fans across the country pray their team will be “the” team in 2012 and early 2013.  Here is an early look ahead.

Top Five:

1.  LSU Tigers:  Do not let Monday’s game take away from what this team accomplished this past season.  Eight wins against ranked foes.  Five of those on the road.  Plus this team returns the majority of it’s vaunted defense, including the Honey Badger and Eric Reid.  In addition, find me a better stable of running backs.   LSU was the nation’s best team in 2011.  They just didn’t finish the job.  Also, next year, their schedule is much more favorable.  The Tide have to come to Baton Rouge and the non-conference slate is not exactly mind-boggling (N. Texas, Idaho, Washington, Towson). Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 1-9-2012

Photo courtesy of sportsblame.com. Tim Tebow (pictured above) has once again taken over the sporting world. Nobody understands it, but the whole "Tebow Phenomenon" is quite entertaining.

By Josh Kramer

Tebow Time” is back and bigger than ever.  The Twitter world and ESPN will be a Tebow fest for the next week as Tebow preps for Round 2 with Brady and the Patriots.  Sports are a funny thing.  But I have never been as perplexed as I am by the whole “Tebow Phenomenon.”  The whole thing seems ludicrous and almost fake, but it is real.  Though the sporting world will center its attention on Tim Tebow and the Broncos this week, there are plenty of other things going on.  Here are the events to keep an eye on. Continue reading

National Championship Game Preview

Photo courtesy of al.com. No player has been more exciting this season than LSU's Tyrann Mathieu (pictured above). Will he lead his team to a National Championship on Monday night?

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to the thunder dome.  All eyes will be on the mythical “Superdome” come Monday night as the National (SEC) Championship game transpires.  SEC West rumble.  Old coach versus new coach.  Honey Badger versus Richardson.  “Game of the Century Part Deux.”  Grab your popcorn, because this game is poised to be far better than any movie.

The majority of the country tuned in to the “Game of the Century Part 1” back on November 5th.  And unfortunately, many were disappointed by Round 1 of the heavily hyped game (I was not).  Well have no fear, the points will be here on Monday night.  With a month to prepare, despite phenomenal defenses, the O’s will at least put up one touchdown apiece (no touchdowns on November 5th). 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