Tag Archives: Wisconsin Badgers

Weekly Nickel 9-10-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Much will be expected from Mark Trumbo (left) and Albert Pujols (right) if the Angels want to make a playoff run.

By Josh Kramer

Football, football, and more football.  How nice was it to have a Saturday and Sunday jam-packed with football action?  Your weekends may be less productive, but more entertaining for the forseeable future.  Not to mention we are nearing the end of the MLB regular season and the Chase for the Cup is on.  Last week was fun, but you better believe that this week will be a good one in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The Chase is finally on.  After 31 races spanning over nearly seven months, the field has been whittled down to 12.  There are ten races left starting at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday.  Who will take it home?  We know that Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch won’t.

4.  Strasburg is doneTeixeira could be done.  The injury-bug has struck as the season nears the final twenty games.  It is September and teams are doing all they can to land a spot in the postseason.  The races of note are taking place in the AL East, the AL Central, and of course for the four wild card spots this year.  My matchup of the week takes place in the friendly confines at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles AngelsWho else envisioned the Angels participating in the Fall Classic this year?  I know I am not alone.  Well the clock is continuing to tick and currently, the Angels will miss the postseason entirely.  Fortunately for them, they open up a four-game set tonight against the team they are chasing.  Got to love how MLB scheduling works out at times.

It is make or break time for the Angels.  There is no better way to track down the team you are chasing than to handle business against them head to head.  The Angels appear to finally be clicking at the right time led by the terrific trio of Trout, Trumbo, and Pujols.  Look for the Angels to close the gap by nabbing three of four in front of a very supportive home crowd.  Also, expect the Angels to catch and pass Oakland when all is said and done.  The remainder of the A’s schedule includes the likes of the Orioles, the Tigers, the Yankees, and lots of Texas. Continue reading

College Football Week 2: Lace up the shoes

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

By Josh Kramer

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

Here are the marquee matchups:

Purdue at Notre Dame:  Fighting Irish by 10

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

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 Football Preview: SEC too good for its own good

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Matt Barkley (pictured above) will have a special year in 2012 as he leads USC back to the pinnacle of college football and takes home the Heisman Trophy.

By Josh Kramer

Opening night for the 2012 edition of College Football is just a week away.  It seems like it was just yesterday that Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide were celebrating on Bourbon Street.  In actuality, it was 227 days ago when Alabama clinched the SEC’s sixth consecutive national championship.  Don’t expect that streak to reach seven though.

Here are my predictions for the season ahead.

ACC Champion: Florida State Seminoles

I along with most people around the country jumped the gun and proclaimed Florida State’s greatness last season.  Will this finally be the year that the Seminoles and their outstanding recruiting classes live up to the hype?  Jimbo Fisher along with the entire city of Tallahassee certainly hope so.  A loaded defense led by Brandon Jenkins, Bjoern Werner, and Xavier Rhodes are ready to roll.  As is their experienced senior quarterback EJ Manuel.  A September 22nd showdown with the reigning ACC Champs Clemson and a visit to Blacksburg for a Thursday night tussle (November 8th) with the always dangerous Virginia Tech Hokies are the two dates to keep in mind at this time.

Big 12 Champion:  Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners are a definite contender to not only win the conference crown, but to take home the whole thing after a very disappointing and injury-riddled 2011. This will be a team that has a chip on its shoulder from start to finish in 2012.  Unfortunately for the Sooners, their schedule does not get serious until their final three games, which features road contests against Big 12 newcomers West Virginia and TCU, and a showdown with in-state rival Oklahoma State.  Also, keep an eye on the Red River Rivalry Game against a dangerous Texas team on October 13th.  Senior quarterback Landry Jones may face more media pressure than any other player in the country not named Matt Barkley.  I have a feeling that the very experienced senior will welcome it as he finishes his Sooner career with a bang. Continue reading

Food for Thought 8-21-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Jake Locker (pictured above) will be the Tennessee Titans starting quarterback in the season opener against New England.

By Josh Kramer

Preseason NFL football has turned into “Quarterback Gossip Central.”  Where is the media attention for the cornerback competitions?  Or how about the many wide receiver battles?  I guess it makes sense though.  There is no position of more importance to a football team than the quarterback.  Plus, there can only be one starter per team.  Let’s go around the League and delve into a couple of the current “Quarterback Controversies.”

Titans:

Recently, it was announced that Jake Locker will be the starter in Tennessee for opening night against the New England Patriots.  Is anyone really surprised though?  Sure, Matt Hasselbeck has been in the League since 1999, but Jake Locker was a first-round draft pick.  When a quarterback is selected in the first-round, they are expected to start within two years of being drafted.  It’s the way it is.  Hasselbeck can still play, but he is far past his prime at the ripe age of 36.  Plus, Locker is 24-years-old and oozing with talent. Continue reading

Tournament Reset #1

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The first weekend of March Madness lived up to all of the hype and more. Outside of the wild upsets, the Kendall Marshall (pictured above) wrist-injury was one of the main storylines.

By Matt Murray

If ever there was a year to regroup after the first weekend, this is it. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We’re going to forget the first fifty games that have already happened, and re-examine the field as it stands, with the 16 teams left standing.

Before we discuss, here is what the remaining field looks like.

South

#1 Kentucky vs #4 Indiana

#3 Baylor vs #10 Xavier

East 

#1 Michigan St. vs #4 Louisville

#3 Marquette vs #7 Florida

West

#1 Syracuse vs #4 Wisconsin

#6 Cincinnati vs #2 Ohio St

Midwest

#1 North Carolina vs #13 Ohio

#11 NC State vs #2 Kansas

Amidst all the madness of the first four days, it was easy to feel a little bit like the tournament had imploded upon itself; that blue bloods had given way to Cinderellas and that while shocks are good for the tournament, some of this madness had somehow done us a disservice. But now, with four days to breath, it becomes a little bit more apparent that order will likely be restored. The only No. 1 seed playing anything less than a 4-seed is North Carolina, who will strike midnight on this year’s Cinderella, Ohio University, with relative ease (with or without Kendall Marshall). Continue reading

Wittry’s March Madness Predictions

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. According to our guest blogger Andrew Wittry, John Calipari (pictured above) will be a happy man on the night of April 2nd as he finally gets the monkey off his back and brings home a national championship.

By Andrew Wittry

Andrew Wittry is a senior at St. Xavier High School who literally eats and sleeps sports.  He is looking forward to college and avidly pursuing a career in sports journalism.  Andrew has an already well- established blog called Sports.Eat.Sleep.Repeat., where he posts new content regarding both professional and collegiate sports a few times each week.

Which month would you give up to have more March? While Buffalo Wild Wings jokingly uses this phrase in their recent March Madness advertising campaign, in all seriousness, I would willingly give up a few days of each month to be able to have more of the NCAA Tournament.

After coming home on from practice the other night and looking at the bracket, I could not have been more pleased with the field. When the biggest complaint about a team being left out is Drexel, a team out of the Colonial Athletic Association, who did win nineteen of its final twenty games, but did not have a single quality win out of conference, the committee did an excellent job.  Though Drexel’s amazing late season surge in which they reeled off 19 wins in their last 20 games was highly impressive. I was very excited about how well the local teams fared as Xavier’s run in the A-10 Tournament earned the team a 10 seed and Cincinnati claimed a six spot.  UC’s six was due in large part to giving #2 Syracuse its second loss of the season.

Here are my initial reactions from Selection Sunday:

Is Kentucky’s road to the Final Four too tough? Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part VII

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Last year at this time, everyone expected Ohio State to be cutting down the nets when the "Madness" was done. Can Sullinger (left) and Kraft (right) shock the world and lead OSU to a title this time around?

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to the 7th edition of “Throwback Saturdays.”  What was going on in the wide world of sports on March 3, 2010?  How about March 3, 2011.  Ironically, on “TheSportsKraze,” the news centered around the Scarlet and Grey (Ohio State) both times.  Maybe we should just declare March 3rd a “Buckeye Day” on “TheSportsKraze?”

One year ago..

OSU/Wisconsin Preview

Here is a snippet from the end of the post..

Jared Sullinger made it clear to ESPN’s Dana O’Neil that he wants no part of splitting the Big Ten title. “It’s like sharing your girlfriend or your husband,’’ Sullinger said after OSU’s 82-61 win over Penn State Tuesday night. “You wouldn’t want to share your husband, would you? We don’t like to share.”

Furthermore, a win would further enhance coach Thad Matta’s squad chances of claiming the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

One would be hard pressed to say OSU isn’t the best in the country. The two teams to topple OSU this season, Wisconsin and Purdue, haven’t lost at home this season.

Kansas lost at home to Texas and got dump-trucked at Kansas State. Texas has six losses, including dropping three out of four. BYU also has two losses, but the Mountain West isn’t the Big Ten or Big East. Pitt would probably make for the best argument, but they’ve lost twice in the city of Pittsburgh. Duke isn’t a title threat without Kyrie Irving.

Come Sunday, it’s strictly business for OSU…with a personal touch (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 2-13-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Golf took a trip down memory lane this weekend with both Phil Mickelson (left) and Tiger Woods (right) in contention on Sunday. Mickelson ended up going home with the victory.

By Josh Kramer

“Linsanity” has hit a whole new level as the lowly New York Knicks have now won five straight games.  The little-known point guard out of Harvard whom nobody wanted is now both “known” and “wanted” by all.  Though it was weird having no professional or collegiate football games this past week, it still was a great week in the wide world of sports.  As I always like to say though.  On to the next one.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was without question a blast this past weekend.  It was quite refreshing to have some of the “Big” names in golf back around the top of the leaderboard (Mickelson, Woods).  For a short period, it felt as if golf was drifting back into the golden era of five years ago.  Mickelson came out victorious, while Tiger struggled to a 15th place finish (though he was in contention until the final round).  Well the tour does not start and end in Pebble Beach.  Next weekend, all eyes will be on the Riviera Country Club in California.  CBS will be heading up the coverage.  I have a distinct feeling that the Woods/Mickelson Show could return in the very near future. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 1-23-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Can Petra Kvitova (picturd above) rise to the top of Women's tennis by winning the Australian Open?

By Josh Kramer

After a “Monster Saturday” in College Hoops, NFL Championship Weekend, and the death of a legend, we head into what should be another great week in sports with heavy hearts.  Also, do not forget about a pretty big time tennis tournament occurring in Australia that is still going on despite the absence of any American men in the draw.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The biggest game in American sports is set.  A rematch of Super Bowl XLII (42), pitting two of the biggest sports markets in the country (Boston and New York) against one another.  And you all know what that means.  Let the media blitz begin.  Though many get sick and tired of all of the hoopla and overly done analysis regarding the ultimate game in football, at least it is still fresh and new today.  All eyes will be on Indianapolis over the next two weeks.  And no, people will not be watching Peyton Manning. We will be watching Eli in the house that Peyton built.. Continue reading