Tag Archives: Pittsburgh Panthers

Weekly Nickel 9-3-2012

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

College Basketball Transfer Rankings

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

By Jeremy Powers

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

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

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

Weekly Nickel 1-30-2012

Photo courtesy of theoldprincetonlanding.com. All eyes will be focused on Indianapolis this week as America gears up for the biggest sporting event of the year.

By Josh Kramer

Yes, this past weekend, no “real” football games (college or professional) were played for the first time since the beginning of September (and no the Pro Bowl is not a real game).  Tennis jumped to the forefront of the sporting stratosphere and rightfully so.  The Djokovic/Nadal 5 hour and 53 minute thriller was a match for the ages, that anybody who had a chance to bear witness will not soon forget.  In addition, the Men’s Australian Open final made up for a Women’s final that was perhaps the worst Grand Slam final of all time.  Last week was great, but you better believe this week will be pretty amazing in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on. 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

A third week that was a charm

Photo courtesy of cleveland.com. Joe Bauserman (pictured above) and the Ohio State offensive attack proved to be extremely one dimensional yesterday. Can they straighten this issue out in time for a rugged Big Ten conference slate?

By Josh Kramer

All is right in the College Football world.  Notre Dame finally won a game.  On a Week 3 slate full of potential, many of the games failed to live up to the hype, while others exceeded expectations.  We are starting to get an inkling of an idea of who is who in the College Football landscape this year.  And I for one am very excited.  Here are the highlights from the Week 3 games.

Test one has been passed

-America’s preseason number one is still undefeated as we get ready for Week 4.  Many had the September 17th date circled on their calendars as the one where the Sooners would falter and once again prove that Bob Stoops and Co. were overhyped.  Well, they took care of business in a hostile Tallahassee atmosphere and appear to be on their way to a possible National Title Game appearance.  I know that I should slow my horses, but OU plays most of their major Big 12 tests at home, and we all know how the Sooners play at home, considering they are currently on a 37 game win streak at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

-Kenny Stills was a “Fabulous Freshman” last year.  Now he is none other than a “Sensational Sophomore.” Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

Joey Votto (left) and Albert Pujols (right) will go head to head in Cincinnati as the Reds look to gain ground on the division leading Cardinals this weekend.

It is time to start another week in the wide world of sports.  Last week was amazing, but it is behind us now.  Out with the old and in with the new.

Here are the big events ahead. Continue reading

“Madness Highlights Thus Far Part II”

Duke has been pronounced as the favorite with the return of super freshman Kyrie Irving (pictured above). Irving is an outstanding player but I am still not entirely sold on the Blue Devils.

The 2nd and 3rd rounds sure have lived up to the hype this year.  MoreheadState, Richmond, Butler and more.  The upsets have been galore, and many games have come down to the final seconds.  What more could you really ask for? Since my last update, here are my thoughts for the Saturday and Sunday games thus far. Continue reading

“Food for Thought 3-15-11”

I am not sure how Florida Coach Billy Donovan (pictured above) and the Gators received a number 2 seed. But you can count on the Southeast Region to be a wild one.

It is an extreme chore not to focus all of my attention on the NCAA Tournament.  And I will admit, the majority of my thought over the past 24 hours has been focused on the Madness.  How should I fill out my bracket?  Will it be an upset city marathon like last year?  Or will all the parity hype just be for not?  Well there is one thing I do know.  The Southeast Region will by far be the most unpredictable.  Since viewing the Selection Show on Sunday, I was utterly shocked at the way this region came out. Continue reading

“Steve Lavin: A Genius?”

Steve Lavin's arrival in New York appears to be a match made in heaven. Can he bring the St. John's program it's first National Championship?

St. John’s is at it again.  Another top ten team fell at the hands of the Red Storm today.  A Pittsburgh team that had seemed to have mastered the rigors and challenges of the Big East Conference was unable to handle the athleticism and toughness of St. John’s on this day.  And lets be entirely real, Pittsburgh is quite possibly the “baddest” team in the land.  No team can play the grind it out physical style that Pittsburgh plays.  They have mastered what the term “winning ugly” means during the Jamie Dixon tenure.  Watching Pitt play brings back memories of the Bob Huggin’s Bearcat “Bad” Boys of the 90s and early 2000s. Continue reading

“Food for Thought on 12-8-10”

Kansas Junior, Marcus Morris (pictured above), has turned into one of the most talented forwards in the country. Could he lead Kansas to a Big 12 Championship and a run to the Final Four?

Due to popular demand, I am going to bring back the “Food for Thought” concept and make this more of a weekly type of ordeal.  People want to hear my thoughts on the various topics going on in the always busy, wide world of sports, and this is a way for me to do that on a weekly basis.

So here are some of the main topics making headlines and my incite on them:

-The “Old School” Texas basketball squads are not looking so old.

Is anybody else amazed by the red-hot starts of both the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks?  Both of these teams that many called “too old” at the beginning of the season sport the League’s two best records.  The Spurs  are a formidable squad that has 5 players averaging 11 or more points a game.  This team is full of experience, deep, and led by one of the best coaches in the NBA.  And then you have the Mark Cuban squad out of Dallas.  The Mavs have now won 10 straight games and are just blowing away the competition.  Dallas also plays a great brand of team basketball and is being led by arguably the game’s greatest shooting 7 footer ever, in Dirk Nowitzki.  Nobody talked about either of these team’s as contenders in the Western Conference.  It appears the Wild Wild West will have to go through Texas come playoff time.

-“Pistol” Pete Sampras has lost his bling.

Pete Sampras was possibly the most consistent player ever to play on the men’s professional tennis tour and arguably the greatest of all time.  He was an amazing champion who sported the greatest 2nd serve of all time and had the innate ability to stay cool during even the most pressure filled situations.  Well this situation is something he is not accustomed too.  Between moving houses, he stored many of his tennis trophies and memorabilia at a Los Angeles Public Storage Facility.  Pete always was good at taking care of business on his own during his phenomenal career.  He was not only a great player on the court, but he was a great person off of it.  This incident demonstrates to Pete why he played an individual sport where he only needed to depend on himself.  It is hard to trust in others for anybody, but I am sure Sampras will have a very hard time after this unfortunate occurrence to trust anybody.  I really hope his trophies and various memorabilia are found in the near future.

-Dave Wannstedt bids adieu to Panther Nation.

Can anybody really say that they did not see this coming?  The man with maybe the best mustache in College Football spent 6 years in Panther Nation.  And nearly every year started with high expectations and ended with some sort of downer.  This was supposed to be the year for Pittsburgh.  The Big East was way down.  Their rival Cincinnati was going through a major coaching transition.  And  the Panthers were extremely talented with the likes of Dion Lewis, Jon Baldwin, and Greg Romeus.  Instead, Pitt opened up the year with a very disappointing loss to Utah. And never really got it all together, finishing at 7 and 5. Plus they failed to nab the Big East’s automatic BCS Bowl bid.  So although Pitt finally won a share of the Big East Championship this year, it was not good enough to get into the BCS Bowl.  Wannstedt seems like a good guy.  But boy does he struggle to win big games.  And in the highly competitive and intense atmosphere that is College Football, the difference between a good coach and a great coach is the ability to win big games.  Some guys have it.  Some guys do not.  Here is a final though on this topic.  Could anybody see Bengal’s current coach Marvin Lewis on the Pitt sidelines next September?  Weirder things have happened.

-It is Rock Chalk Time as the beat goes on in Lawrence.

And the beat goes on for the Jayhawks.  Sure this team started out the year ranked in the Top 10.  But last year was “the year” in Lawrence.  And with the departures of Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich, and Xavier Henry, nobody was expecting this team to be a Final Four Contender.   This team looks to have the potential to be the real deal.  Sure they have only played one real quality opponent.  Sure they struggled to victories over UCLA and Arizona.  But the Jayhawks are now 8 and 0, with a great opportunity to start conference play undefeated.  Plus they dominated a solid Memphis team on national television last evening.  This team plays phenomenally disciplined on the offensive end of the court.  They lead the country in assists per game and field goal percentage.  You know Bill Self has to be happy at the high percentage his team shoots from the floor and the way that they share the ball.  Marcus Morris has developed into one of the best forwards in the country and is extremely versatile.  The Morris twins remind me of the Lopez twins out of Stanford.  Could this team make some noise come March?  That is yet to be determined, but you better believe that these guys will contend with Kansas State for the Big 12 Title.

So there you have my “Food for Thought” on this Wednesday afternoon.  There is so much going on and I was only able to touch on a few things here.  If you want to hear my thoughts on anything else going on in the sporting world, please comment below and I will be sure to reply.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze