Tag Archives: Oklahoma

“College Football Outlook”

Boston College All American Linebacker Luke Kuechly (pictured above), will be the difference in helping BC pull off the upset over Nevada in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

Bowl Season is finally beginning to wind down.  What a few weeks it has been.  Sure there have been plenty of dud games, but there have also been plenty of classic battles.  TCU flexed their “undersized” muscles against a very good Wisconsin team out in Pasadena.  The Big Ten had possibly the worst New Year’s Day of all time going 0 for 5 on the day.  And Connecticut continued to add to the futility of the Big East, in getting pounded by Oklahoma.  Not to mention their coach left them the next day for Maryland.

In other College Football News, Andrew Luck has shocked the world and apparently is staying in Palo Alto.  It takes a committed kid to pass up that type of bankroll.  Could you imagine passing up on over 40 million dollars in guaranteed money (Bradford was guaranteed 41.7 million last year)? Also, the Jim Harbaugh sweepstakes continue.  People are now saying that he is heading to Miami.  You got to love the media.  And nobody knows who is going to fill the Rich Rod void in Ann Arbor.  But I digress.  Lets take a look at the remaining matchups other than the National Title Game.  I will hold off on that one for now.

AT&T Cotton Bowl

LSU vs Texas A&M

-This game is arguably the best Non-BCS matchup of the entire Bowl Season. Many thought the Capital One Bowl would steal the show as the best battle outside of the BCS games, but Alabama put an end to that thought real fast, laying an absolute whooping on the Spartans.  In this matchup however, a red-hot Aggies team plays what is somewhat of a home game against one of the best teams out of the rugged SEC.  These teams are very different in their styles of play.  LSU relies on a strong rushing attack and a very stout defensive unit.  Texas A&M likes to play a shootout style of football and relies heavily on their aerial attack.  The Aggies have won 6 straight games while the Tigers lost the last time they suited up, in a heartbreaker to Arkansas.  In my opinion though, the dominance of the SEC will be exhibited in this one.  Plus A&M has not beaten a team from College Football’s best conference since 1995.  Each of these teams went 6 and 2 in tough conferences.  Unfortunately for the Aggies, the Big 12 is just not nearly as tough as the brutal SEC.  The SEC reigns supreme in this one behind an outstanding defensive effort.  Tigers by 3 in a very competitive game.

BBVA Compass Bowl

Pittsburgh vs Kentucky

-This is actually a pretty decent matchup.  The Co-Champions of the Big East taking on a lower tier SEC team.  A team from the BCS’s best conference versus a team from the worst BCS conference.  Seems like a perfect fit.  Now I do not understand why this game is being played after New Years.  But there is a lot about the College Football Bowl System that does not make sense.  Either way, Pitt is going to have their hands full trying to stop UK’s two lethal playmakers, Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke.  Both of these kids are electric and can change a game on any given play.  Now Pitt has a pretty good playmaker themselves in Dion Lewis.  A guy that did not have as good of a sophomore campaign as many expected, but he has come on as of late, rushing for 261 yards and 4 TDs in the season finale versus Cincinnati.  Now if Pitt had not gone through all of the coaching turmoil that they have experienced over the past month, I would have picked them to win this game.  But unfortunately for them, their staff is in shambles and Kentucky is just another one of those speedy SEC teams.  Let the Big East disaster continue.  Wildcats by 7 even without starting QB Mike Hartline.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

Nevada vs Boston College

-The BCS is still thanking Nevada as we speak.  They are the team that saved the BCS from having both TCU and Boise go undefeated and causing a major dilemma.  Could you imagine if Stanford had missed out on playing in a BCS Bowl due to Boise and TCU getting into BCS games?  Stanford put on the best performance of this bowl season thus far.  But back to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Matchup.  Nevada sports one of the best rushing attacks in the country and has had an outstanding season.  Boston College, after a suffering an early season 5 game losing streak, has now ended the year on a 5 game winning streak.  Granted none of their foes during this winning streak were ranked teams.  Either way, I am liking Boston College’s stout defensive unit, that is number 1 in the country against the run, to slow down Nevada’s vaunted rushing attack.   The difference in this game will be Boston College’s outstanding linebacker group led by none other than sophomore, first team All American, Luke Kuechly.  Kuechly burst onto the scene last season setting a record for tackles in a season by a freshman.  This year, he picked up right where he left off recording 171 tackles to lead the nation.  I realize how dangerous of a duel threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick of Nevada is, but can he handle Luke Kuechly?  I do not think so.  BC in a shocker by 3. 

So there you have a look at the remaining Bowl Games other than the highly anticipated National Championship game.  It has been a heck of a bowl season as we all wait anxiously for the final showdown in Arizona on Monday.

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 13: An Unbeaten D-Day?”

Can Auburn quarterback and leading Heisman candidate, Cam Newton (pictured above), keep the undefeated season alive in today's Iron Bowl?

The turkey has been eaten.  People have sat on their couches.  And though there is a full slate of NFL games set for Sunday, the next 2 days are all about the College Game.  The NCAA has provided America with a full slate of games for both Friday and Saturday.  And boy have they taken advantage of the extra day, putting 3 of the undefeateds in big time matchups on the Friday.

So please sit right back down on your couches folks.

Here is a look into some of the key matchups.

Auburn at Alabama:  The SEC Title Game has been decided.  Bama will miss out after playing in it 2 consecutive years.  So the Tide have underachieved.  Not all hope is lost in at least salvaging state supremacy.  In the 75th version of the Iron Bowl, both teams come in ranked for the first time in 5 years.  Also, this is the first time since 1994 that both teams are ranked in the top 10.  After the Tide dropped a heartbreaker at LSU on November 6th, the team set its sights solely on the Iron Bowl.  This is Bama’s chance to ruin their rival’s year.  You better believe that they are going to take advantage.  Newton has not faced a defense with the speed of the Alabama boys.  Finally, Cam will show he is human, as Alabama contains the Heisman hopeful and puts up just enough points to shock Auburn and ruin their undefeated season.  Alabama by 3 at home.

Arizona at Oregon:  The best offense in the land looks to continue to demonstrate they are worthy of a spot in the National Title Game with a big time matchup against PAC 10 power, Arizona.  Both teams play solid defense.  Sadly for Arizona, they will not be able to keep up with the offensive firepower of the Ducks.  LaMichael James and the Ducks will keep quacking towards a National Title spot.

Nevada at Boise State:  Can Nevada help save the BCS from the Boise Madness?  The NCAA and BCS are keeping a very keen eye on this WAC matchup.  And rightfully so.  Sadly for the BCS, the Broncos aren’t losing this one.  Kellen and the Big Blue Men have not taken on a ranked foe since September 25th.  After winning that game against Oregon State, people knew that this would be a key date.  This would be the next time that the Broncos could possibly lose.  Boise currently is scorring nearly 48 points a game and giving up 11.5.  Since the Oregon State game in September, no opponent has come within 29 points of the Broncos.  So the style points have been there.  Nevada has been no slouch offensively itself, scoring over 44 points a game.  Sadly though, Nevada has not played a ranked foe all year.  It will show today, as Kellen Moore, Titus Young, and Austin Pettis erupt.  Boise will still be in the National Championship talk after they defeat Nevada by 14 plus today.

LSU at Arkansas:  This game is a prime example of how outstanding the SEC West is.  Both of these teams are looking to play in a major BCS Bowl still.  LSU looks to remain in the BCS equation while Arkansas looks to fly into a BCS Bowl game.  The winner of this one will be a big time contender to find their way into major BCS Bowl.  Can Ryan Mallett and the great Arkansas offense shred LSU and their tenacious defense?  In the age old question, I got defense beating offense today.  Tigers by 1 on the road in a thriller.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State:  The Sooners have absolutely dominated this series winning 80 of the 104 matchups.  Oklahoma State has shocked the country with their first 10 win season in school history.  With a win over their in-state rival, they will get to play for the Big 12 Championship.  With a loss, the Sooners will head to the Big 12 Title Game for a change.  Okahoma State has scored over 45 points a game this season and have one of the most dangerous passing attacks in the country, led by 27 year old Brandon Weeden.  Oklahoma has not defended against the pass well this year, so logic points towards the Cowboys shredding the Sooners.  Sadly, its a  mindsight.  OK State does not have that winning mentality of Bob Stoops and the Sooners.  They feel that they are the underdogs.  And they will be the underdogs.  Sooners shock the Cowboys by 3 on the road.

So there you have it.  I got Auburn on upset alert.  I also got the Sooners continuing to own the state of Oklahoma.  What a 2 days of games we got ahead.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Weekly Nickel”

Mark Ingram (pictured above) and Alabama look to show the country what could have been on Friday, and spoil their rival Auburn's hopes of a perfect season.

And the beat goes on..

Football is heating up.  Baseball’s awards are being dispersed.  The NBA has taken flight and is now coasting.  College Basketball is heating up as teams look to show that their conference is the best.  Plus baseball free agency continues.

There is so much going on that it would be impossible to follow it all.  Here is my top 5 for the week though.

5.  The Yankees continue to play “Lets Make a Deal” with the “Captain” and playoff stud, Cliff Lee.  Joey Votto awaits a possible MVP announcement at 2PM Eastern time today.  The games are done.  Now it is time for recognition.  All of Cincinnati anxiously awaits to hear the announcement of their star as the NL’s best.

4.  The NBA is coasting now with great games every night.  Basically every night this week has a big time matchup.

-Monday (Tonight):  The Magic head to the Alamo to take on the 11 and 1 Spurs.   Many thought that the Spurs were getting too old.  Many were wrong.  Tony Parker may be getting a divorce, but he is still playing at a very high level.  This should be a great game between two of the top teams in basketball.

-Tuesday:  The Bulls head to LA to take on the Lake Show.  Both of these teams lead their respective divisions for a reason.  This could be a major statement win for the Bulls if they could shock Kobe, Pau, and Co.

-Wednesday:  The Battle of Florida commences for Round 2.  Can the Magic redeem themselves after an embarrassing loss back on October 29th to their in-state rival?  Dwight Howard will need to expose the Heat’s lack of an interior presence and have a big night for the Magic to grab a W in this one.

-Thursday:  Really a rain check night with two lackluster matchups on Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving Day has always been about football anyways.

-Friday:  One of basketball’s best rivalries commences as the Mavericks head to the Alamo to take on the Spurs.  Can the Mavericks redeem themselves after their embarrassing playoff exit last season at the hands of their in-state rival?  This will be their first crack at Tim, Tony, and the boys since last April.

-Saturday:  Lebron and the traveling Miami Show head to Dallas to take on Mark Cuban’s Mavericks.  These are two of the top teams in the League.  Can Dirk lead the Dallas boys to a big time home victory?

3.  Dick Vitale is back, and more enthusiastic than ever.  A big slate of games all week highlighted by a ranked showdown between Kansas State and Gonzaga tonight.  Expect Frank Martin to occasionally yell during this one.  Continue to keep an eye on Ohio State and their stellar group of freshman.  Outside of Duke, the Buckeyes appear to be the team to beat.

2.  Did you think Week 12 of College Football was exciting? Wait until you get a look at Week 13.  What an amazing slate of games.  Plus we get 2 full days of games between Friday and Saturday.  So enjoy the NFL on Thanksgiving, but strap in for some College Football for the following two days. 

Should Friday be called, “The D-Day of the Undefeated Teams?”

Friday’s Major Matchups:

Auburn at Alabama-This should be yet another SEC slugfest.  Alabama would like nothing more than to spoil Auburn’s perfect season and show people that they are still talented enough to beat any team in the country. I am putting this game on a Major Upset Alert Watch.

Arizona at Oregon-Though Arizona has struggled lately losing their past 2 contests, they also have an opportunity like Bama to spoil a conference opponent’s perfect season.  I do not see the upset happening here, but Arizona may come out and shock the country with some very inspired football.

Boise State at Nevada-Boise faces their last test of the season.  Nevada has an opportunity to not only ruin Boise’s National Championship hopes, but also their outright WAC Championship hopes.  This could be a tragic day for Boise Football if Nevada could pull of the unthinkable.  But sadly for Nevada, I do not think they have the horses to pull this monumental upset off.

Saturday’s Major Matchups:

LSU at Arkansas-  Both of these teams are still looking to make it into BCS Bowls.  It will be stellar matchup of great offense versus great defense.  Does offense or defense reign supreme in this one?

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State- The winner of this Big 12 regular season finale looks to have a great  chance to head to the Big 12 Title Game.  Who will win the Battle of Oklahoma this year?

1.  The Turkey Bowl that is Thanksgiving Thursday.  People across the country will get to sit on the couch, eat lots of food, and watch the Lions take another Thanksgiving Day beating.  I will state that the other matchups though should be a bit more exciting.  As two playoff bound teams (Saints and Jets) take on two very talented, but underachieving opponents (Cowboys and Bengals). 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy this amazing week of sports.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

College Football Week 11 is like Seven-Eleven?”

I fully expect USC Head Coach, Lane Kiffin (pictured above), to be running his mouth in a big way if his team can pull off the upset at Arizona this weekend.

We find ourselves already in the 11th week of the College Football season.  The games have added meaning now.  Conference titles are beginning to take shape.  The BCS picture is started to become a little less foggy (no way it could be as foggy as that Miami (OH) vs BGSU game last night).  But the one thing I will state.

College Football Week 11 is like Seven-Eleven.  It is always open.

Here is a look at some of the marquee matchups this weekend.

Kansas State at Missouri:  This is a colossal matchup in the Big 12.  Both of these teams have lost control of their destiny in making the Big 12 title game.  They will need to continue to win and receive a little help from others, but they do have a shot at making a big time non BCS Bowl game.  KState has struggled throwing the ball all year, but they do run the ball with ease.  The running game, led by senior Daniel Thomas has been a main reason why this team has had any success this year.  Missouri, on the other hand, has a very strong passing attack, and a phenomenal defense.  This was a team that was undefeated 3 weeks ago and had just knocked off the number 1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners.  Now they have lost 2 straight, and are looking to make a statement.  Expect a big day for Blaine Gabbert as Missouri finally gets back on track.  Tigers win by 10 at home.

Mississippi State at Alabama:  Both of these teams are very dangerous to any opponents.  Alabama still arguably has the most talented team in the country, even with 2 losses.  Mississippi State is riding a 6 game win streak and is looking to show the world that their win over Florida was no fluke.  Sadly for the Bulldogs, they are facing a Nick Saban Bama team that will be coming out with a vengeance in front of the home crowd.  Both of these teams run the ball with ease and really play lock down defense.  The only difference is, Bama has big play wide receives like Julio Jones and Marquis Maze that can change the game with one play at any time.  Look for the Tide to Roll to a 14 point victory at home.

South Carolina at Florida:  These two SEC powerhouses have been extremely unpredictable all season long and it will be interesting to see who comes to play this weekend.  Whichever team plays for keeps will be heading to the SEC Title Game.  Will Steve Spurrier be able to Gator Chomp his former team in the Swamp? In order for Spurrier and the Gamecocks to have a chance to celebrate, they will have to get a huge performance from freshman Marcus Lattimore.  Sadly for the Gamecocks, the Gators finally seem to be finding rhythm both offensively and defensively and you know that they are used to big game atmospheres.  If this game was in South Carolina, I would be picking the Gamecocks.  But it is in the Swamp.  Gators by 3 at home.

USC at Arizona:  This will be a big time matchup in the PAC 10 as old power takes on new power in the desert.  For some reason, I have lost confidence in this Wildcats squad.  Their performance last week against Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal was abysmal.  They looked to be feeling the pressure of being in a meaningful game in front of a national audience.  Well this week, ABC is featuring this nighttime duel.  Expect USC to come out loose and ready to go.  I mean, they do not get to participate in the postseason this year.  So what could be better than spoiling Arizona’s season in front of the entire country?  Expect USC to take care of business and win this one by 6 on the road.  Lane Kiffin will surely be running his mouth after this one.

So there you have it.  Week 11 appears to be wide open with some stellar matchups.  Expect some great battles and down to the wire finishes following last weekend’s massacre filled Saturday.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Week 9: We are Feeling Fine”

Randall Cobb (pictured above), may be the best player in the entire country that nobody is talking about. Well look for him to make a statement and lead Kentucky to a major SEC upset victory Saturday on the road.

The College Football stratosphere is really shaping up at this point.  Undefeated teams are dropping like flies.  Teams are taking control in their conference races.  Yet this is College Football.  The chaos will continue until well after New Years baby.  And you got to love it. 

There are not a ton of high-octane matchups between major ranked foes, but the games will still be exciting this weekend.  Here is a look at some of the major games.

Michigan State at Iowa:  What a Big Ten Showdown this will be.  Michigan State continues to shock the entire country with an undefeated 8 and 0 mark, while Iowa looks to redeem itself after a very tough loss to Wisconsin last week.  With better clock management, this game would be a showdown of teams undefeated in Big Ten play, but Iowa faltered down the stretch against the Badgers.  The Spartans are beginning to learn the difficulties of being the “hunted” vs the “hunter.”  They almost took what would have been a horrible loss last weekend to Northwestern.  Well expect the bus to continue rolling for the Spartans.  This game is really the only tough matchup between a Dantonio’s boys and a trip to the Rose Bowl, or dare I say the BCS National Championship game.  Look for the Spartans to gut out a very physical 3 point victory. 

Missouri at Nebraska:  Talk about a Big 12 Showdown.  Missouri shocked the sporting world by handling Stoops and the Oklahoma boys last Saturday.  For both of these teams, this is really the last matchup against a highly ranked opponent.  So the winner of this game, could cruise to the Big 12 Championship game.  You better believe this is going to be a defensive struggle.  These might honestly be the two very best defensive units in all the land.  And they get to lock horns on Saturday.  The difference will be Nebraska’s home field advantage and ability to run the ball effectively versus anyone.  Though both of these teams put up points last weekend, look for this game to be an old school bitter battle.  Edge goes to the Huskers at home by 3.

Syracuse at Cincinnati:  It is Homecoming in Cincinnati, and the Big East is up for grabs.  Syracuse shocked the world last weekend with a big time road victory over the Mountaineers in Morgantown.  Can they pull off the unthinkable and knock off the two-time defending Big East Champion Bearcats?  I don’t think so.  Once again I will state “It is Homecoming in Cincinnati.”  The Cats have a chip on their shoulder after suffering their first home loss at Nippert Stadium since November of 2007.  Look for an offensive flurry from the Bearcats, with or without their starting quarterback, Zach Collaros (he is questionable to play).  Isaiah Pead, DJ Woods, and Armon Binns will have a field day against a tough Syracuse D.  Pead, Woods, and Binns are 3 of the biggest offensive threats that many outside of Cincinnati have never heard of.  Well get to know them.  Look for the Bearcats to win an exciting one at home by 10.

Kentucky at Mississippi State:  Many of you are scratching your heads at why this is a marquee game this weekend.  Well it is.  Though Kentucky is just 1 and 4 in SEC play, they sport one of the nation’s most exciting and dangerous offenses.  When people think of Kentucky, they immediately think of John Calipari, John Wall, and big time basketball.  People in Lexington refer to it as “Big Blue Madness.”  Well what they should think of is Randall Cobb.  This guy is the real deal, and will be the difference maker in this game.  Look for Kentucky to pull off the unthinkable upset on the road behind a wild offensive show led by Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke.  I am by no means a Kentucky fan.  But the SEC has been wild this year.  Kentucky has already upset a top 10 foe in South Carolina, and nearly eclipsed number 1 ranked Auburn.  Look for that same magic this week, as Kentucky shocks Mississippi State by 3 on the road.

So there you have it.  Not as many marquee ranked matchups this weekend as one would like.  But definitely a plethora of quality games that will go down to the wire.  After a mild improvement on my picks last week from 2 weeks ago, I look to get back to my old self with a perfect weekend.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Weekly Nickel”

Texas Ranger's slugger Josh Hamilton (pictured above) has put the Arlington boys on his back all year. Can he lead them to the World Series title?

Welcome to the 2nd annual “Weekly Nickel.”  Last week, due to popular demand, I decided to provide a list of the top 5 sporting events to occur during the upcoming week.  So this week I will once again deliver on this requested subject matter.

Now my top 5, may not be the same as yours.  That is perfectly fine, but please let me hear your thoughts on what your version of the “Weekly Nickel” should be.

5.  NHL hockey is in full swing folks.  I know the sport is not as followed as the traditional Big 3, but games are still very exciting nonetheless.  Tune in and watch Sid the Kid or Alex Ovechkin continue to transform the sport as we know it. 

4.  The NFL rumbles and stumbles into Week 8.  There are two matchups that deserve extra mention in my eyes.  First of all the two teams I picked to play in the Super Bowl, go to battle in the Meadowlands.  The underachieving and injury riddled Cheeseheads head to New York to take on a very tough New York Jets team.  The other major game is the Monday Night matchup.  Can Peyton exact revenge on the outstanding offensive show that is the Houston Texans?  All eyes will be on Manning and the Colts as they look to show the world that their reign over the AFC South is not quite finished.

3.  College Football heads into Week 9 as conference play has fully struck for everyone.  Boy has this season been unpredictable, as the number 1 teams have struggled the past few weeks.  Can Auburn stop this trend as they sit atop the BCS Standings?  There are plenty of notable matchups.  First, there is a Big Ten battle in Iowa as the Spartans look to take care of business in their last major test of the season.  Also, Missouri looks to show the world that their amazing victory over former number 1 Oklahoma was no fluke.  This will be an intense battle of Missouri’s stellar offense vs Nebraska’s outstanding defense.

2.  The NBA tips off tomorrow night with a major Eastern Conference matchup between the highly touted Heat and the always tough Boston Celtics.  Will the amazing Miami trifecta live up to the hype and show the world that they are the team to beat in the East?

1.  The World Series starts Wednesday night in San Francisco.  Who would have guessed this matchup?  I know that I sure didn’t.  I had the Yankees taking down the Phillies since March in my MLB preview.  But what remarkable stories for both of these great teams.  You have to be happy for Josh Hamilton in his amazing comeback to the game of baseball.  Can Tim Lincecum and the Giants great defense hold the great Ranger’s offense in check?  Though this may not be the most highly touted World Series in recent memory, it should be very exciting as two pretty evenly matched teams go to battle.  Will Nolan Ryan come out of retirement to throw and inning for the Rangers?

So there you have this weeks version of the “Nickel.”

Let me hear your thoughts.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Week 8, Can I get it Straight?”

I wanted to apologize to all of my fans.  My picks last weekend were absolutely horrific.  You could not pick much worse than I did.  So in Week 8, I look to redeem myself and show you all that this past weekend was just a fluke.

Start calling Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops (pictured above), "Big Game Bob" again folks.

Just know that this will be a weekend to remember for the Big 12.

So here is a look into a few of the marquee matchups.

LSU at Auburn:  Two very surprising teams sit atop the SEC with undefeated records.  Nobody saw this coming, but these squads are both tough.  And as the year continues, they both have continued to get stronger.  Auburn put on an amazing offensive outburst last weekend against a tough Arkansas team while LSU put up some numbers against a lesser foe.  Well Saturday, get ready to see a team make a major statement.  The winner of this game will place themselves in great position to play in the SEC Title Game and possibly the National Championship come January.  These teams have some contrasting styles.  Auburn relies on a dual threat quarterback, Cameron Newton.  Mine as well start calling this kid “CN” for “Championship Newton.”  He can do it all and leads one of the most feared offenses in all the land.  LSU on the other hand uses two quarterbacks for various situations.  Relying on an old school smash mouth rushing attack and a stellar defense.  Can their defense contain the mighty CN?  I think not.  Auburn will have too much offensive burst in this one and win a real battle 20 to 17.  Tigers by 3 at home.  The raucous Auburn Stadium will be the differentiating factor in this intense battle.

Wisconsin at Iowa:  Talk about a formidable Big Ten matchup.  You better believe the old school Big Ten is wide open again.  The Badgers did the entire country a favor in knocking off a very tough Ohio State team.  Sadly for them, there is no time to celebrate.  Instead they get to travel to Iowa to take on a very tough Hawkeyes team.  This will be the Badgers last real challenge of the entire season.  A win in this game could really put the Camp Randall boys back into the Big Ten race.  Though Michigan State looks tough at the top.  Iowa on the other hand has quietly gone about their business since a tough loss out on the West Coast to Arizona.  Ricky Stanzi continues to manage games with the best of them and finds ways to win.  Can Iowa ride their defense to a victory in this one?  I am thinking so.  Look for Wisconsin to suffer a major low after a major high last weekend.  I got Iowa gutting out a big win at home by 3.

Nebraska at Oklahoma State:  Can Nebraska recover after showing that Texas was their kryptonite last Saturday?  You better believe it folks.  OK State’s offense has been absolutely electric all year.  Junior Quarterback, Brandon Weeden, aka, Old Man River, has been stellar in every sense of the word thus far.  But he has not faced a defense like the one the Cornhuskers have yet.  This will be a wakeup call for the Cowboys.  It is a shame, because they have been great thus far.  But sadly, they will drop a tough one at home as their offense struggles to find any rhythm or continuity due to a lacking rushing attack against Bo Pelini’s boys.  I got Nebraska by 7 on the road.

Oklahoma at Missouri:  A second major battle in the Big 12 of unbeatens?  What a weekend it is in the last year of the Big 12 as we know it.  Stoops and the boys head to Missouri ready to continue to make some noise.  Missouri can no longer fly under the radar folks.  This is the big time.  Can Missouri’s stellar defense stop Oklahoma’s very balance offensive attack?  They probably will hold them in check for a couple of quarters.  Expect Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles, and Demarco Murray to go to work in the 2nd half though.  Start calling Stoops “Big Game Bob” again folks.  I see Oklahoma running away with this one by 13 on the road.

So there you have it.  A huge weekend for the Big 12.  A big weekend for the SEC.  And a big weekend for the Big Ten.  Can I get it straight this week?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Weekly Nickel”

LSU Quarterback, Jordan Jefferson (pictured above), has played a major role in LSU's surprising 7 and 0 start. Can the Tigers keep rolling against fellow SEC undefeated foe Auburn next Saturday?

Most people love lists.  Our culture is one that thrives and tends to listen better to information that is put into lists.  It is just more visually appealing and easier to follow.  When people watch SportsCenter, the favorite part of the show tends to be the “Daily Top 10.”  Or sometimes, the “Not Top 10.”  So due to popular request and advice from our very own CV3,  I am going to try to post a Weekly Top 5 highlighting some events for the upcoming week every Monday.

So here is the first annual “TheSportsKraze” Weekly Nickel:

5.  NBA Preseason basketball continues.  The opener is drawing ever closer and set for Tuesday, October 26th.  Can the Lakers give Phil Jackson his 4th version of the mythical 3-peat (AKA the Phil Jackson Peat.)

4.  NCAA Basketball is nearing as most of the big schools have had some sort of version of their “Midnight Madness.”  Very sad story about Robbie Hummel going down with another ACL tear. Purdue will still be tought, but no longer is a National Title Contender. Steve Lavin continues to make big moves at St. Johns.  Can you say sleeper team?

3.  The NFL is entering Week 7.  Hard to believe, but who doesn’t love watching football on Sunday and Monday Night?  There are two marquee matchups.  First Brett Favre and the Vikings will head to Lambeau to take on a reeling Cheeseheads team.  Second, the Giants and Cowboys continue one of football’s best rivalries in front of the Monday Night Bright Lights.

2.  4 Major College Football Showdowns

Wisconsin vs Iowa, Nebraska vs Oklahoma State, Oklahoma vs Missouri, and LSU  vs Auburn.  Talk about games with National Championship implications.  The 2nd version of the BCS Rankings will come out Sunday.

1.  League Championship Series continue in the MLB.  As if there was any doubt on what the top event in town is.  Can the Yankees and Phillies make a rematch happen in the Fall Classic?  Seems to be the matchup that most of America would like to see.

So there you have the first edition of the “Weekly Nickel.”  Let me hear your thoughts.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Week 5: A Midseason Championship Week?”

Florida Freshman, Trey Burton (pictured above on the right) is bringing back memories of Gator legend, Tim Tebow (pictured above on the left). Could this stellar freshman be the difference maker against Alabama on Saturday?

Folks, major conference play is getting under way or right around the corner for most.  Now we are hitting October football.  This is where the games really heat up, even though the weather is beginning to cool down.  Injuries are taking its toll on teams, but the best teams will continue to find ways to win.

I will state this right now.  Week 5 will be live.

Texas vs Oklahoma:  The Red River Rivalry is one of the best games College Football has to offer year in and year out.  And let’s be honest, it is in essence, a midseason Big 12 Championship game (normally).  Though Nebraska has looked just as good or better than both of these formidable squads, this game will go a long way in determining who wins the mighty Big 12 in its last year as the normal Big 12.  Texas is coming off of a horrible home loss to a decent UCLA game.  This loss really shocked the country and showed Texas to have some big time holes this year.  I will admit though, Mack Brown demonstrating great sportsmanship and gave UCLA all the credit in the world, putting the blame on him and his team’s shoulders.  Got to respect that.  Oklahoma barely escaped in a game that they should have lost to Cincinnati, the best 1 and 3 team in the country.  Oklahoma has grinded out close games in 3 of their 4 victories this year.  This team is extremely talented and athletic, though they are lacking much to be desired in the discipline department.   I know the age-old rule is that actual talent can get thrown out the window when it comes to big time rivalry games, but this year, the talent will be the difference.  Oklahoma is head and shoulders better than Texas and will win this game by at least 14 points.  Oklahoma, in their only other game against a big time ranked opponent (FSU), looked like a juggernaut and ran the overmatched Seminoles off the field.  Expect more of the same on Saturday as the combination of Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles continues to shred opposing defenses.

Wisconsin vs Michigan State:  Welcome to a big time brawl in the Big Ten folks.  These two old rivals do not have the greatest of relationships.  Though it is heartwarming to hear that Coach Dantonio will still be able to play a role in the game from the booth for the mighty Spartans.  Michigan State has looked tough this year, though they could have easily been defeated by Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish.  Wisconsin, though they struggled vs Arizona State 2 weeks ago, put up a stunning 70 points last weekend.  This offense is lethal.  The defense is solid, and I think the vaunting Badger rushing attack will prove to be too much for the Spartans on this day.  Michigan State is close to breaking into the elite ranks of College Football, but Greg Jones and the defense will struggle stopping John Clay all day on the way to a tough loss.  I got the Badgers by 3 on the road in this one.

Florida at Alabama:  This is probably the best game of the entire weekend, and maybe even the entire year.  The two best coaches with the two best teams the SEC has to offer battling it out in front of a National Audience.  This game represents what College Football is all about.  Saban vs Meyer.  Talk about an amazing matchup of elite coaches.  Many feel that the Tide will “Roll” against the Gators as they did last year in this one.  And I say not so fast.  The Gators looked to be gaining back their offensive swagger last week against Kentucky and will surprise the Tide with their stellar freshman Trey Burton.  The kid reminded me of a young Tim Tebow last week, accounting for 6 TDs.  There is a reason why no team has ever repeated as BCS National Champions in the BCS era.  There are just too many good teams in College Football, especially in the SEC.  Look for the Gators to pull the unthinkable upset, shocking Nick Saban, Mark Ingram, and the Crimson Tide.  I got Florida shocking the country, with a  3 point victory.

Stanford at Oregon:  In essence, this is the makeshift Pac 10 Championship.  Two very good teams battling it out on National Television.  Sound familiar to what we have going on in both the Big 12 and the SEC?  Against a fairly difficult schedule so far, the Cardinal has looked outstanding both offensively and defensively ranking among the nation’s elite.  This team can flat-out play, and really stepped onto the National scene with an old-fashioned butt whipping of Notre Dame last week.  Oregon on the other hand, may be the only team in the country that has ranked even better than Stanford both offensively and defensively.  This team has looked nearly invincible, other than during a minor lull against ASU last week.  So conventional wisdom would say to pick the home team.  And that is what I am going to do.  These are both great teams.  But I feel the speed and athleticism of the Ducks, mixed in with the home crowd will give them the edge.  Look for the Ducks to upend the Cardinal by 3 in a great football game.  LaMichael James may find his way onto the short list for the Heisman Trophy after this one.

So there you have it folks.  Week 5 has arguably the most exciting slate of games we will get all year.  In essence, there is a makeshift Big 12 Championship game, SEC Championship Game, and Pac 10 Championship Game.  I am not sure if you can ask for more excitement.  And the amazing thing, there are other great matchups that I had to leave off of this post.

Week 5 appears to be a “Midseason Championship Week” for half of the major BCS Bowl Conferences.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze