Tag Archives: Utah

“Food for Thought 2-15-11”

Jimmer Mania has taken the nation by storm. I will admit that I am finally jumping on the bandwagon. There are two key questions though. Is Fredette Adam Morrison Part II and can anyone "Teach Me How to Jimmer?"

I have been getting hungry all day and now it is time to quench that hunger with the typical Tuesday “Food for Thought.”  So much going on.  So much to talk about it.  Lets jump right into the main headlines.

Teach Me How to Jimmer

Jimmer Mania has taken the country by storm.  I will admit that I am about a month late.  But I am finally jumping on the Fredette bus.  Let Jimmer Mania reign.  Sue me for being a month behind the times.  I am not easily sold on guys like that this playing in the smaller conferences.  But after witnessing how Mr. Fredette “Put the team on his back” against Utah on Saturday, I am finally sold.

The real question though is Jimmer going to become Adam Morrison Part II?  The two have eerily similar numbers. 

Fredette:  27.3PPG, 4.3APG (assists), 3.4RPG (rebounds), 1.4SPG (steals per game)

Morrison (his junior year):  28.1PPG, 1.8APG (assists), 5.5RPG (rebounds), 1.1SPG (steals per game)

In addition, both guys take 19 shots per contest.  It is kind of scary honestly how similar their numbers are.  But I am going to go with my gut on this one.  Jimmer may not become a star in the League, but he will become a very solid player.  The kid is able to create his own shot much easier than Morrison could and he also D’s up at a much higher level.  If you are not sold on Mr. Fredette, check this video out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqX_b_Bu4hI  (Teach Me How to Jimmer)

Captain Cardinal Controversy

St. Louis Cardinal’s legendary manager Tony Larussa is at it again.  This time he is calling out the MLB Player’s Union.  He claims the Union is pressuring Cardinal star Albert Pujols to hold out for a record-setting contract.  Either way, could you really blame the guy?  Pujols is the unquestioned best player in the game.  It would be hard not to expect some sort of record pay-day.  But that is besides the point here.

I am not a fan of Tony Larussa.  I never have been.  I understand that the guy has won the World Series with a team in both Leagues.  I realize that he is the longest tenured Coach in any of the Big 4 sports (now that Sloan resigned).  And he has accomplished many other great things.  It does not mean I like the guy.

He took a blind eye to massive steroid usage on his Oakland Athletic’s teams in the late 80s, early 90s.  I am not saying he is the only one who turned a blind eye.  But it is blatantly obvious that he condoned this on his teams.  In addition, he is the biggest micromanager in all of baseball.  Let me repeat. 

Larussa=Micromanager

People wonder why the American public’s interest in Major League baseball has been steadily declining and moving towards the NFL over the past decade.  I give you exhibit A.  People hate long and boring games.  Micromanaging creates this type of ball game.  Just thank Mr. Larussa for being one of the main contributors to this problem in baseball today.  In addition, he had a DUI incident back in 2007.  Had a very controversial incident with Twitter in 2009.  And last summer, he ran his mouth, fueling the fire with NL Central rival, Cincinnati.  I never got to thank him for this.

Either way, Larussa needs to put a plug in his mouth.  I really hope Pujols does not sign tomorrow.  It would serve Larussa right having the future of Albert Pujols hanging over his head all season.  Maybe thinking about Albert Pujols would make him think twice about batting his pitcher in the 8 hole.  Since apparently he knows something that the rest of baseball doesn’t in batting his pitchers 8th.  Guy must be a genius.

Philly Tag Usage

Today was a big day for franchise and transition tagging across the board in the NFL.  No city was more active though than Philadelphia.  Michael Vick, coming off a phenomenal season, was franchised tagged.  And Pro Bowl Kicker, David Akers was transitioned tag.  Now this is all good and well.  We already knew Vick would be the Eagle’s QB next year.  But what team will Kevin Kolb be suiting up for next season?

Many see this guy starting somewhere.  I have never really understood what all the hype was regarding Mr. Kolb.  But I do know he will forever be a backup in Philly as long as Michael Vick is alive and well.  This guy must have some sort of ability though.  I mean, Kolb was the Eagle’s original starter last season until an injury gave Michael Vick the ability to flap his wings and fly away with the job. 

Now this is all hypothetical talk though in that he will not be going anywhere if a new collective bargaining agreement is not formed.  But say a new CBA passes.  Where will Kolb end up? 

The frontrunners are as follows:  Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, and Miami Dolphins.

The sleepers are as follows:  San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings

And my dark horse is none other than the Cincinnati Bengals.  Carson Palmer’s house is currently on the market.  The guy has stated that if Cincinnati does not trade him, he will retire.  And believe me, the Bengals are not planning on having Jordan Palmer be their starter come September.  So why not pick up Kevin Kolb?  It is just a thought.  I know it is a longshot, but I would not be utterly shocked if it happened.

Just some “Food for Thought.”

Let me hear your thoughts though.  Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at contact@thesportskraze.com.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

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“Weekly Nickel”

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

Its Monday.  And you all know what that means…

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

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

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

Tuesday

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

Wednesday

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

Thursday

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

Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“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

“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