College Football: Week 5 Predictions

Thursday, 30 September 2010, 20:35 | Category : Football
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First off, Trevor began his NBA preview so scroll down to check that out as well. Since we do predictions every week we should post our respective records at this point. So here they are:

Karl 22-8 (7-3 last week)

Spencer 21-9 (7-3 last week)

Jimmy 24-6 (10-0 last week)

Trevor 20-10 (8-2 last week)

Speaking of predictions, now seems like a good time to mention that I nailed my US Open predictions (Nadal beating Djokovic in the men’s final, and Clijsters winning the women’s), although predicting Nadal to win anything doesn’t take much expertise. Before my head swells I should also mention that my wife, mother, and three sisters-in-law all destroyed me in my NCAA tournament bracket last March.

Okay on to football. We are four weeks into the college football season so it seems like a good time to look at how the BCS conferences are doing, and what teams were overrated/underrated at the beginning of the season.

ACC: They had a better week last week, but that may be because someone has to win the three games that you play against each other. They have had a pretty bad start to the season with their three best teams (Va Tech, Miami, and Florida State) failing to show up when the lights were the brightest. Va Tech getting beat by James Madison University at home is just inexcusable. The ACC did not get any signature victories in non-conference play. Rank: 5/6 among BCS conferences

How much water does that Tech victory hold now?

Overrated: I have to put the Hokies. It makes me sick that they still have as good a shot as they did before the season started at getting a BCS bowl game. That’s like getting voted “Most likely to succeed” in high school after getting rejected by every college in America. College football everybody!

Underrated: N.C State. They have a big game against Tech this Saturday that will show if they are for real (or at least as good as JMU). They had an impressive win over Ga Tech last week and Russell Wilson has been very impressive at quarterback.

Big XII: This is the hardest conference to evaluate because no one outside of Oklahoma has really played anyone. Their best non-Oklahoma win this season is probably Kansas beating Ga Tech. And Kansas lost to North Dakota St. the week before. Everyone else has won the games that they should have so that’s good. Nebraska looks pretty good despite barely showing up last week against South Dakota St (those Dakota teams are dangerous!). Rank: 4/6. They lose credit in my book for not scheduling anyone.

Overrated: Texas. I’ve been impressed with their young quarterback, but last week’s loss at home to UCLA was ugly. They have no run game whatsoever. They were way overrated to begin the year.

Underrated: I’ll say Oklahoma because no one else has done anything. Destroying Florida State was impressive. Barely beating Utah State, Air Force, and Cincinnati was not, but they all count as wins.

Big East: They don’t deserve an automatic BCS bid. Every team has a loss and their preseason favorites (Pitt) was completely overmatched at home against Miami last week. No one else has done anything worth writing about. Rank 6/6

Where would these guys rank in the SEC?

Overrated: Pitt. See above.

Underrated: hahaha

Big Ten: I’ve been impressed with this conference as far as style points go. All of the top teams have taken care of business except for maybe Iowa’s slip to a decent Arizona squad. Other than Ohio St. defeating Miami, no team has really beaten anyone good (but you don’t have to in the non-conference. College football everyone!). 6 ranked teams is impressive. Rank: 2/6

Overrated: Penn State. They barely beat Temple and were a no-show against an Ingram-less Alabama team. If anyone else were coaching this team they wouldn’t be ranked.

Underrated: I’ll put Michigan to make Trevor and Karl happy. I think putting QB Denard Robinson is more appropriate but whatever. His style of play makes me nervous about a possible injury. He takes a lot of shots.

Pac Ten: Major props to these schools for playing Boise St. Texas, TCU, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin. They may have lost most of those, but they were willing to play some tougher games. The PAC Ten is much better this year than in years past even though USC is not as good as they were. Rank: 3/6

Overrated: Washington. They are so bad they made BYU look like a top 25 team. And many (myself included) thought they could win the PAC Ten.

Underrated: Arizona. They weren’t on anyone’s radar until they beat Iowa a couple of weeks ago. I do think being ranked 14th is too high right now though.

SEC: The SEC is once again the best conference in the country. The offenses have looked better then the last couple of years too. They’ve played in conference more than the other five at this point, but they look good playing each other. Best non-conference wins are Bama over Penn St. and LSU over West Virginia. Nothing to drool over. Rank 1/6

Returning champs seem to get better every week

Overrated: Georgia. They were ranked 23rd to start the season and have lost three straight. All three losses were to SEC teams but still.

Underrated: South Carolina. They began the year unranked and played pretty well in a loss to Auburn last week. They have very good skill players.

And now for this week’s picks…

Matchup:                                           Karl                Trevor               Spencer           Jimmy

Florida at Alabama                         Bama                 Bama                    Bama                 Bama

Stanford at Oregon                          Ore                      Stan                      Ore                      Stan

Texas at Oklahoma                          OU                      OU                          OU                      OU

Wisconsin at Michigan St.            Wisc                     MSU                      Wisc                  Wisc

Penn St. at Iowa                               Iowa                    Iowa                       Iowa                   Iowa

Va Tech at N.C State                      NC St.                NC St.                   Tech                   Tech

Washington at USC                        USC                    Wash                       USC                   USC

Notre Dame at BC.                         ND                       ND                          BC                      BC

Arizona St. at Oregon St.             ASU                     OSU                         OSU                   OSU

Miami at Clemson                         Miami                Miami                     Clem                Miami

NBA Summer Review- Atlantic Division

Tuesday, 28 September 2010, 20:45 | Category : NBA
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Now that training camps are underway, I am going through each division in the NBA breaking down this summer’s player movement one team at a time.

Boston Celtics: The “Cs” used to be synonymous with chemistry, but it seems to have been replaced by “cranky old men.”  A second after Boston lost game 7 of the finals, the team was in a hurry to rebuild.  The team is getting old, and this may be the last shot at a championship run for its ever-aging nucleus.  Unfortunately, the luck of the Irish was not with them this summer.

Or maybe they'll get along better than I thought.

After losing Perkins to injury and forcing Sheed into retirement, the Decrepits needed young, athletic bigs to simultaneously plug the holes in their frontline and build for the future.  They decided to go with Jermaine and Shaquille O’Neill.  Good Irish name, so why not?  Jermaine is a bleeder and barley averaged 4 PPG and only pulled down 3.6 RPG in the playoffs on a team with only one talented player.  Shaq only had 5 RPG in conference semi-finals versus the Celtics.  Maybe the Celtics were too focused on where D-Wade and LeBron would take their talents to pay much attention to the fact that these bigs are washed up.  And is the Big Shamrock really going to be able to accept his role coming off the bench?

As if Shaq doesn’t shake up the chemistry enough, they decided to sign the always well behaved Delonte West.  Now that he’s been suspended 10 games this upcoming season, I’m sure he’ll be a great locker room presence.  At least he can play multiple positions and lighten some of the ball handling burden off of Rondo (the only legit ball handler the team has had on the roster in years).

Despite its aging issues, Boston proved last year that they can’t be counted out.  They still cause match-up problems for almost any team in the league.  They’ll be tough and may even make a surprise run in the playoff, but don’t expect them to return to the finals.

The bright spot of the summer for Boston is their rookies, Luke Harangody and Avery Bradley, who had promising summer camps.  Hopefully Luke (another dopey, redheaded big) brought some Irish luck from Notre Dame with him, because it appears the Celtics are at the end of the rainbow, and there’s no gold.

(1st-Atlantic Division, 4th East)

New Jersey Nets: New owner Mikhail Prokhorov has set high expectations on a young team barley beginning to rebuild.  Like so many teams this summer, the Nets went for the slam dunk of free agents but barley got the bottom of the net. (See how I used “net”?)  Note: if they score Melo, then everything I say here will no longer be accurate.

There was a lot of young talent on the roster the team had to build around (you wouldn’t know it by the way they underperformed), but they traded Douglas-Roberts (lots of promise) and Lee (a proven defender) for the likes of Troy Murphy’s expiring contract.  Yes, they may have some of what the team needs to improve this year, but are they going to be a long-term answer?  Probably not.

Farmar and Outlaw bring more youth and solid experience; however, they are probably just the beginning a many changes to come.  And I’m not just talking about relocation to Brooklyn.  Bringing in no non-sense Avery Johnson to coach this young team will help shape and give it the identity it lacks.

I’m actually okay with how the Nets handled this summer.  They may not have a top free agent, but they began adding the pieces to improve.  That’s much better than paying too much for a big name and limiting the organization to make better moves in the future.  New Jersey has the cap space and the trading pieces to make the right moves (even if it takes 2 other teams to make it happen) when they come along.  I’m interested to see where Prokhorov’s vision is going to land the Nets.

(3rd- Atlantic, 10th East)

The power in the East could be shifting to the Empire State.

New York Knicks: After years of clearing cap space, trading drafts picks, and suffering, the long awaited Summer of LeBron came and went.  After all of the anticipation, LeBron did not take his talents to Broadway.  For such a big letdown, New Yorkers (some of the hardest fans to please) were remarkably easily pacified by the acquisition of Amare Stoudemire, not as well known Raymond Felton, and a handful of bench players from the Warriors.

Maybe the prospect of getting its own version of the Big Three and competing for multiple championships was enough to keep New Yorkers on board for just a little longer.  However, if Carmelo agrees to sign a long term contract and is traded to cross-town rivals, it will all be for not.  Then we will see how patient Knicks fans can be.  If they still had any pieces worth trading, Melo could already be suiting up with the Big Stat in the Big Apple.

After the shot of signing another top free agent waved bye-bye, I don’t know why they didn’t sign Allen Iverson.  I know he’s had his issues, but I think it would’ve worked.  He would’ve had a starting position and the chance to shoot as much as he’d like in Dantoni’s system.  Not to mention, the C-Answer wouldn’t spread because they aren’t depending on their young, impressionable talent.  He could’ve held the place for the next big star and made the team exciting in the mean time.  I mean they were willing to give Isaiah Thomas another job after all they’d been through, but not Iverson?

It’ll be interesting to see if New York will ever get back to where it was.

(2nd- Atlantic, 8th- East)

Philadelphia 76ers: There’s no question about the talent on the Sixers’ roster, but they are in search of an identity.

New face of the franchise raises as many questions as he answers.

Coach Collins is the team’s third coach in as many seasons.  His track record says he’ll be able to turn this team around.  Finding an identity starts with having some consistency so the team can develop chemistry.  Going back to playing some defense wouldn’t hurt either.  They’ll probably need to make some major personnel moves.  Rebuilding around number 2 pick, Evan Turner, even if it means trading Andre Iguadola, should be the new plan of action.  Finding a true point guard to take the reins should also be high on the club’s to-do list.

(4th-Atlantic Division, 11th-East)

Toronto Raptors: There was some debate if LeBron was going to stay in Cleveland, but is anybody surprised that Bosh bolted?  I’m not sure why the Raptors didn’t plan for this. In hind sight, I’m sure the Mavericks, or some other team looking to compete with the size of the Lakers last year, would’ve paid big to sign the likes of Bosh.  Now they are left with committing big money to Amir Johnson (who I love, but does not deserve that much money) and other no-namers.  Now the team is left with no identity and no direction.  The big improvement this summer was dumping Hedo. Way to go, Toronto.

(5th-Atlantic Division, 15th-East)

Week 4 Predictions

Friday, 24 September 2010, 1:57 | Category : College, Football
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Matchup:                                           Karl                Trevor               Spencer           Jimmy

Miami (FL) at Pittsburgh                Mia                  Mia                        Mia                       Mia

Stanford at Notre Dame                  Stan                 Stan                       ND                        Stan

Alabama at Arkansas                       Bama              Bama                     Ark                      Bama

Wake Forest at Florida St.              FSU                 FSU                        FSU                      FSU

Nevada at BYU                                    BYU               BYU                       BYU                     Nev

Kentucky at Florida                          Kent               FLA                        FLA                     FLA

South Carolina at Auburn              SC                    SC                           Aub                      Aub

Oregon St. at Boise St.                      BSU                BSU                        BSU                      BSU

West Virginia at LSU                         LSU                LSU                        LSU                      LSU

Oregon at Arizona St.                       ORE                ORE                       ORE                      ORE

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