Tag Archives: TCU

Mediocre first Saturday

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Notre Dame Head Football Coach Brian Kelly (pictured above) got extra heated on an extremely hot first Saturday of the College Football season.

By Josh Kramer

The first Saturday of the long-awaited College Football season has come and gone.  Everyone is extremely excited to have College Football back in action.  And sure the TCU/Baylor game on Friday night was one for the ages that nobody will forget anytime soon.  But the first Saturday, you could not buy an upset outside of South Bend.

Some of the beatings were just brutal.  Even Appalachian State failed to provide any 2007 magic to the table, suffering an awful whooping at the hands of Frank Beamer’s Hokies.  Here are my main thoughts on what turned out to be a very mediocre first Saturday of what I still expect to be a highly entertaining College Football season. Continue reading

Advertisements

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

“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 12: Has it really been 3 months?”

Texas A&M quarterback, Ryan Tannehill (pictured above), has been absolutely stellar since taking over the quarterback reigns for the Aggies. Can he spoil Nebraska's final season in the Big 12?

 College Football is entering Week 12.  Yes, the season has already spanned 3 months.  Yes this season has had its fair share of drama.  Just ask Auburn, Gene Chizik, and Cam Newton.  But this year has also had its fair share of stellar play.

 
 

 

See Auburn, Oregon, TCU, and Boise State.  All of these teams look to be contenders to play in the National Championship game out in Arizona come January 10th. Here is a look at the marquee matchups:

Ohio State at Iowa:  Ohio State has won 5 straight Big Ten Titles.  Lose this game, and that reign ends.  Win this game.  And they put themselves in position to at least share the title with a win over rival Michigan in the regular season finale.  This Ohio State team has had almost unreasonable expectations placed on it since the preseason.  The majority of the country, including myself, were shocked when they went down in Camp Randall on October 16th.  Due to Michigan State going down to Iowa, the Buckeyes regained new life.  Now the Buckeyes look to show Iowa thanks by beating up on them in Iowa.  Senior Quarterback Ricky Stanzi has had a stellar career for the Hawkeyes.  Both of these teams really playgreat defense in every sense of the word.  The only difference is Ohio State also puts up 41.6 points a game.  Ohio State will have a little bit too much offensive firepower in the end as they grind out a hard fought victory on the road at Iowa by 3.

Virginia Tech at Miami (FL):  The top 2 teams from the ACC Coastal Division square off in South Beach in a game that always has huge implications regarding the ACC Champion.  VTech started out slow this year and suffered back to back losses to Boise State and James Madison to open up a year in which many had them as a big time National Title Contender.  Miami on the other hand has been a mar of inconsistency.  This team has not pulled together a 3 game win streak the entire season.  Could they put together their first this week?  I would have given the U a chance at home had Jacory Harris been available to play.  But sadly, Jacory, who is extremely inconsistent in his own write will be unavailable for the Canes on Saturday.  Frank Beamer has led to the Hokies to 10 or more wins 6 consecutive years, and 11 of the last 15 years.  The man flat out knows how to win.  Look for Beamer to ride a very balanced offensive and defensive attack to an ACC Coastal clinching victory over the U.  Hokies by 6 on the road.

Arkansas at Mississippi State:  So what if both of these two teams take up 2 of the bottom 3 spots in the SEC West.  This half of the SEC has been insanely good this year.  No Conference even touches the competitiveness and ability of the teams in this half of the SEC.  All of the teams have 7 or more wins for crying out loud.  Either way, both of these teams are still looking to place themselves into a solid Bowl Game.  The Razorbacks are currently riding a 4 game win streak in which they have scored 38 or more points in each contest (which is not surprising in that average 37.9 points a game on the year).  Mississippi State on the other hand was riding a 6 game win streak until they got “Rolled” by the Tide last weekend.  Though the Bulldogs have rode a solid defensive unit to a very successful season thus far, Greg McElroy exposed the Bulldogs secondary last week.  Expect Ryan Mallett to do the same with his 3rd ranked passing attack in the entire country.  Razorbacks by 3 on the road in a tough SEC battle.

Nebraska at Texas A&M:  Nebraska is looking to bring home a final Big 12 title before they depart for the Big Ten.  Though the rest of the conference may be bitter towards the Cornhuskers, they have not really done too much about it.  Nebraska currently sits atop the Big 12 North and is looking to clinch a spot in the Big 12 Championship game.  Minus a hiccup against Texas, this Nebraska team has been one of the country’s elite, riding a very strong rushing attack and an amazing defensive unit.  Texas A&M is also having a great season in their own right.  Since turning over the quarterback reigns to, Ryan Tannehill, the Aggies have really gelled and are currently riding a 4 game winning streak.  Will the new school pass first Aggies be able to take care of business against the old school running Cornhuskers?  Not on this day.  Look for Nebraska to punch their spot in the Big 12 Title Game with a tough 3 point win on the road.

So there you have my look at this week’s marquee games.  I will admit that I did not call too many upsets this week.  Though I did go with all road teams to come out victorious.  But I am sticking with my gut on these games.

Enjoy the great slate of College Football games this weekend.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

 

“College Football Week 10”

I fully expect TCU Quarterback, Andy Dalton (pictured above), to be the difference maker in the TCU vs Utah Showdown.

What a weekend of College Football lies ahead of us.  Undefeated teams are dropping like flies.  The BCS picture is still murky.  Boise, Utah, and TCU are all looking to rip the hearts out of the big BCS Conference Bad Boys and snag an invite to the very exclusive National Title Game party.  And we still got  a few more weeks of regular season play left.

Here is a look at some of the major matchups:

TCU at Utah:  Talk about a major game.  Two non BCS schools square off with the hope of sneaking into the National Championship party.  The winner of this game will truly have an inside track at sneaking into that Title game especially if only 1 team from a BCS Power Conference goes undefeated.  These are both outstanding teams that have been good for a while now.  TCU this year has the look of an old school smash mouth football team.  They have the number 1 ranked D in the country and also run the ball with authority on O.  This team has won all but one game this season by double digits.  Utah on the other hand is more of a surprise undefeated.  They shocked the entire country in Week 1 knocking off a highly touted Pitt team out of the “mighty” Big East in Overtime.  It has been smooth sailing ever since.  They have one of the nation’s most electric offenses and defenses.  But for some reason, I really like this TCU team on the road.  There is a reason why having an experienced quarterback like Andy Dalton pays major dividends.  Look for Dalton to lead a last-minute drive that clinches a 3 point victory for the Horned Frogs on the road. 

Alabama at LSU:  Two of the best one loss teams in the SEC go to battle down in Baton Rouge.  Slowly but surely, Bama is creeping back into the National Championship picture, while LSU is still mending the wounds from a heartbreaking loss at the hands of number 1, Auburn.  Both of these teams have outstanding defenses that can really get at the quarterback.  The difference in this one will be Alabama’s ability to both pass and throw the ball.  LSU has suffered mightily all year from having a 1 dimensional offense and the beautiful struggle will continue at home.  Look for Bama to snag a major road victory by 6.

Arkansas at South Carolina:  Another massive showdown in the SEC.  The nation’s best conference features big time matchups every week.  It is nothing new.  Ryan Mallett continues to guide the nation’s most dangerous passing attack for the Razorbacks, while South Carolina continues to rely heavily on arguably the best freshman in the country, Marcus Lattimore.  Both of these teams have been extremely Jekyll and Hyde and very hard to predict.  The Razorbacks have won 3 of the last 4 meetings versus the Gamecocks and South Carolina has been known to struggle down the stretch during the Spurrier era. Well expect more of the same as Mallett has a field day against the SEC’s worst passing defense.  Arkansas by 6 on the road.

Arizona at Stanford:  Never thought I would see the day where Arizona and Stanford were two of the top dawgs in the PAC 10 football picture.  Sure these are both traditional powerhouses in basketball, but football?  These teams are both the real deal.  For Arizona, you take away a couple of late game mishaps against Oregon State, they are still in the National Championship picture.  For Stanford, other than the smack down they received from Oregon, they have looked extremely sharp.  Andrew Luck is arguably the best quarterback in the entire country, or at least the most poised looking in the pocket.  These teams are somewhat different in that Stanford relies on a high-powered offense and the Wildcats rely on a stingy defensive unit.  So will offense or defense be victorious in this one?  My mind is telling me to go with Heisman hopefully Andrew Luck and the very fundamentally sound Cardinal team at home, but my gut is telling me to go with the Wildcats.  So to continue with my trend this week, I will pick yet another road team to win.  Arizona by 1 is the pick here.

As you can tell, the slate of College Football games this weekend is amazing.  There are big time matchups galore.  From the big conferences, to even the non BCS Power conferences.  For some reason I am going with all road teams to win in the above matchups.

I could either look genius or extremely inept with the picks this week.

Should I be feeling lucky?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Weekly Nickel”

The saying goes, "Perception is a reality." Well Bengal's Head Coach, Marvin Lewis (pictured above), is in desperate need of a big time Monday Night Football win against the rival Steelers.

The 3rd edition of the Weekly Nickel is here.  And boy do we have another exciting week ahead of us in the sporting stratosphere.  All the major sports are overlapping at this point, and you got to love it.  Next week at this time, the baseball season will be in the books.

5.  The NBA is already a few games in.  The Heat could possibly be forreal after giving an execution to the Magic this weekend.  But my best matchup of the week takes place tonight.  My two sleeper teams match up in what should be a great game between two of the League’s top young teams.  Portland heads to the windy city to take on a very talented Chicago Bulls team.  Who you got?

4.  The NFL flys into Week 9.  Hard to believe this season is already halfway finished.  The Chiefs continue to shock the entire league as they remain in first place in the AFC West.  Also do not forget about Dallas and San Francisco dwindling in the cellars of their divisions.  The NFL is the most parity filled professional sport we have.

3.  The 10th week of NCAA Football.  The BCS picture is starting to become a bit clearer (if that is possible).  And there are some major matchups this weekend.  Two top five opponents, TCU and Utah are set to rumble.  A major SEC duel between Alabama and LSU, possibly the two best 1 loss teams in the country.  Plus there are a couple of other matchups between ranked foes.  Saturday will be a Gameday to remember.

2.  Could San Francisco be bringing home a World Series?  This franchise has not won a world title since 1954.  And that was a Willie Mays led Giant’s team that played in New York.  Could history be made this week in the bay area?

1.  Fine I am a homer.  But the biggest sporting event coming up this week is the Bengals Monday Night Football Showdown with the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.  For most of America, this is just your typical Monday Night matchup, but for Cincinnati, this is a game that could make or break the season.  Sure the Who Deys have been highly disappointing and sit at just 2 and 5, but a win against the Steelers in front of a huge national audience could help save the season in a way.  It could also help save the job of Head Coach, Marvin Lewis.

So there you have the 3rd edition of the Weekly Nickel.  Let me hear your thoughts.  Do you agree with my top 5?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze