Wednesday, November 30, 2011

College Football Week 13 Review

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Tyrann Mathieu and the LSU Tigers defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks in a
blowout, 41-17. The Tigers now face Georgia in the SEC Title game.

This week, six teams in the Top 25 lost, but none of them were upsets. (3) Arkansas lost to (1) LSU, (17) Clemson lost to (12) South Carolina, (19) Penn State lost to (16) Wisconsin, (22) Notre Dame lost to (6) Stanford, (23) Georgia Tech lost to (13) Georgia, and (24) Auburn lost to (2) Alabama. The big news this week though, was that Urban Meyer was named the new coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Meyer left Florida just a year ago, stating he wanted to take time off to deal with health problems and to spend time with his family. Looks like 365 days was a long enough absence.

New BCS Top 10:
1. LSU Tigers
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys
4. Stanford Cardinal
5. Virginia Tech Hokies
6. Houston Cougars
7. Boise State Broncos
8. Arkansas Razorbacks
9. Oregon Ducks
10. Oklahoma Sooners

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Wisconsin RB Montee Ball- The Wisconsin Junior rushed for 164 yards and four touchdowns, leading Wisconsin to a 45-7 win over Penn State. With the win, Ball and the Badgers will take on Michigan State in the inaugural Big Ten Title game. Ball leads the nation in rushing touchdowns, and is also second in rushing yards.
2. Michigan QB Denard Robinson- D-Rob played his best game of the season when it mattered most. The Michigan QB threw for 167 yards and three touchdowns, without throwing any interceptions. He also rushed for 170 yards and a pair of touchdowns, combining for five touchdowns in the game. Robinson led the Wolverines to their first win over their rivals, the Ohio State Buckeyes, in eight yeras.
3. Baylor Bears' Offense- The Bears put up 66 points in a beating over Texas Tech. Before leaving the game with a concussion. Robert Griffin III threw for a touchdown, but also ran in two more touchdowns. His back up, Nick Florence, threw for 151 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also had a rushing touchdown. The Bears' running back Terrance Ganaway had the best game of the season, rushing for 246 yards and a pair of touchdowns. In total, the offense had more than 600 yards.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. Auburn Tigers- Not only did Auburn lose America's Game of the Week at home in a blowout, but their overall season was a failure. Just a year ago, the Tigers won the BCS National Championship game, but now are 7-5 and will play in a mediocre bowl.
2. BCS System- Thanks to LSU beating Arkansas, the BCS National Championship game will most likely be a rematch of LSU and Alabama. For all of you who forget, this game ended in a 9-6 OT win for LSU. America wants an exciting, high scoring national championship game, not two SEC teams duking it on for all the marbles.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes- On the bright side, they did sign Urban Meyer to coach their team for the seasons to come, but this season was a mess. The Buckeyes finished 6-6, lost to their rivals Michigan, and will play in a mediocre bowl. The funny thing is, they are projected to play in the Gator Bowl, against no other than Florida. How Ironic!

Game of the Week: Alabama vs Auburn

Although this game was the "Game of the Week", it was far from exciting. With the College Gameday crew, a stadium packed with fans, and a reputation to keep up, Auburn failed to keep it close with Alabama. Alabama finished the half leading 24-7 and never looked back. By the end it was 42-14. Trent Richardson had another great game, rushing for 203 yards and catching a ball for a touchdown. Auburn on the other hand, had under 75 passing yards. Hopefully next week's conference championship games will be more exciting as LSU takes on Georgia, Wisconsin takes on Michigan State, and Oregon takes on UCLA.


Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. Wisconsin vs. Michigan State- The two played earlier in one of the most intense games of the season, ending in a hail mary touchdown win for Sparty. Wisconsin will seek redemption, and try to advance to back to back Rose Bowls.
2. LSU vs. Georgia- Georgia started off the season 0-2 but hasn't lost since. If the Bulldogs can pull off one of the biggest upsets of the year and defeat LSU, they will wreak havoc in the BCS system, and possibly allow three teams from one conference to play. The rules and regulations to let this happen are so slim that it could never happen again.
3. Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State- The Cowboys have been the better Oklahoma team for most of the season, but the Sooners can take back control of the Big 12 and advance to a BCS Bowl with a win. Landry Jones vs. Brandon Weeden is an explosive quarterback matchup to watch. This one should be a high scoring duel.
4.  Virginia Tech vs. Clemson- The two leaders of the ACC face off in North Carolina to decide which team will get the BCS bid. Virginia Tech should win easily, but Tajh Boyd and Clemson could pull of the upset.
5. Southern Mississippi vs. Houston- the Conference USA title game is also this weekend. Case Keenum and the Cougars should win in a landslide, and get the right to get an at large bid to a BCS Bowl game.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

NBA Players, Owners Reach Tentative Deal To End Lockout

(Getty Images)
All smiles this morning as both sides agree on a tentative deal to end the lockout


That's right, basketball is back starting December 9th with free agency and training camps. The first games of the season will be on Christmas Day. The 149 day lockout can call it quits after the two sides reached a tentative agreement early Saturday morning.

The season will kick off with the Celtics and Knicks at Madison Square Garden, followed by an NBA finals rematch between the Heat and the Mavs. The triple header will be finished off when the reigning MVP, Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls take on Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Each team will play 66 regular season games, which is 16 games shorter than the regular 82 game season. The season is starting off two months late, so games will have to be squeezed in and teams will be forced to play about five games a week.

So who are the Winners and Losers with the lockout over?

Losers:

Wilson Chandler- Chandler, along with other players playing in China's CBA will be forced to stay in China for the remainder of the year. At least they will be able to play basketball and stay in shape.

Super Teams- It is likely that the new CBA will try to eliminate the possibility for three stars to play on the same team. That means teams like the Heat, Knicks, Lakers, and other high payroll teams lucked out and made their moves when they had the chance.

Hockey- With football mostly on the weekend, and basketball out of sight, the NHL was loving the fact that they had the weekdays all to themselves. Now with the NBA back, the NHL will likely shadow the NBA again and will lose popularity.

Cleveland Cavaliers- The Cavs could repeat as the worst team in the NBA this year. At least their rookies finally get to work with the team.

Winners:

Deron Williams- Dwill took advantage of the NBA lockout and played overseas in Turkey. Williams put up a 50 point game earlier this week and has stayed in shape. His contract, along with many other players in Europe, allow them to return to the NBA.

Rookies- Some of the rookies were unsure if leaving college and entering the NBA was the right move. Now, with the lockout over, the rookies will be able to show off their skills and finally start to make money.

Timberwolves- With Ricky Rubio finally coming to the NBA, the Timberwolves have a lot to show in 2011-2012. It will be interesting to see how Rubio plays along with rookie Derrick Williams, and all star Kevin Love. The Timberwolves have a bright future ahead.

Win Now Teams- The Lakers, Mavs, Spurs, Celtics and teams that aren't getting younger would be severely hurt by an NBA lockout. With Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Dirk Nowitzki all aging, these teams only have a few more years left to compete for an NBA title.

Miami Heat- After disappointing their fans last season, and not winning an NBA title with LeBron, Wade, and Bosh, the Heat will be able to redeem themselves this season and try to win it all.

MLB Awards Recap

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Justin Verlander took home the two biggest awards in the American League.
His incredible 2011 season won him the AL Cy Young and MVP.

AL Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon

Can't disagree with this pick. Maddon did a great job managing the Rays in the toughest division in baseball. The Rays started off the season ice cold, losing their first six games of the season, but slowly progressed as the season went on. The Rays also pulled off one of the greatest comebacks of the decade, by sneaking into the playoffs on the last night of the regular season. Going into September, the Rays were at least ten games back of the Red Sox, and had a .5% chance of making the playoffs, but Joe Maddon rallied his troops together as the Rays went on to win 17 out of their last 25, including a 6-1 record against Boston in September. Plus Maddon, is one of the most likable guys in baseball and has a great personality. Maddon was the right guy for this award.

NL Manager of the Year: Kirk Gibson

Again, the MLB did a great job of picking the right guy to win the Manger of the year. Gibson took a Diamondbacks team that only won 64 games just a year ago, turned them around, and won 94 games this year. Gibson also did this with one of the lowest payrolls in the MLB. The Diamondbacks competed in a fairly competitive NL West, and had to beat out the defending World Series champs, San Francisco Giants, to represent the NL West in the playoffs. One could make the case for Ron Roenicke as NL Manager of they year. Roenicke led the Brewers to their best record in franchise history, and won their first NL Central title ever. Then again, Roenicke did this with Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and a star studded pitching staff. Gibson won the NL West with Ian Kennedy and a lot of hard work.

AL Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson

Here is where I believe the MLB made their first error. Hellickson had a great year for the Rays, but Ivan Nova deserved this award. One could also argue that Mark Trumbo or Eric Hosmer could have also won the award, but the fact of the matter is that Hellickson wasn't even the best rookie pitcher. Hellickson posted a 13-10 record, with an ERA of 2.95 in 189 innings pitched. Nova posted a 16-4 record, with an ERA of 3.70 in 165.1 innings pitched. Nova clearly has the better record, and even though you might think Hellickson's ERA is way better, we are only talking about a one run differential here. Usually an ERA under four can win you a ball game. Nova also won 12 straight decisions throughout the course of the season. When the Yankees couldn't rely on AJ Burnett, Bartolo Colon, or Freddy Garcia, Nova pitched as the clear No. 2 behind Sabathia. Hellickson might have had the eight best ERA in the AL, but Nova had the fourth most wins in the AL, and wins is the most important statistic.

NL Rookie of the Year: Craig Kimbrel

No mistake here, Kimbrel was the best rookie in the National league. In fact, he was the best closer in the NL and arguably the whole MLB. Kimbrel led the NL in saves, with 46 on the season. He struck out 127 batters in only 77 innings, and had a WHIP of 1.04. Kimbrel was clearly dominant this season, and only blew eight saves. He was also the first pitcher to unanimously win the award. Does he need farther explanation to why he won the award? No.

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander

You'd have to be crazy to disagree with this pick. Verlander had one of the most impressive seasons on the mound of all-time. Verlander was 24-5 this season, and led the league in Strikeouts, Innings Pitched ERA, WHIP, and obviously wins. Verlander dominated this season, and could have been the most valuable player in the whole American League (hint!). Verlander was the first AL pitcher to win the pitching Triple Crown in over 10 years.

NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw

Another no brainer here with Kershaw winning the NL Cy Young. Like Verlander, CK also won the Triple Crown, leading the NL in Wins, ERA, and Strikeouts. The Dodgers were one of the most dysfunctional teams in baseball this season, playing amid ownership controversy that seemed like it would never end. Kershaw put the distractions on the side and just balled all year. His 21-5 record was the best in the NL. Kershaw did get some competition from Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Ian Kennedy, but he was clearly the best man for the award.

AL MVP: Justin Verlander

As hinted earlier, Verlander was also the AL MVP. I can't say I completely agree with this pick, but Verlander deserved it. It just seems strange that a pitcher can win the MVP if they play once every five games, impact the game in only half the innings, and have their own award. If you do look at the candidates, and see which one is most valuable to their team though, Verlander is the winner. Take out Robinson Cano, or Curtis Granderson and you still have a 90+ win Yankees team that has a ridiculous payroll. Take out Jacoby Ellsbury and you have the same deal with the Red Sox. Take Verlander away from the Tigers and you have a 70-80 win team that doesn't make the playoffs. Seems like the MLB got it right. Verlander joins a prestigious group of pitchers who have won the Cy Young and MVP. The last pitcher to win the award was A's closer Dennis Eckersley in 1992, but the last starter to win the award was Roger Clemens 25 years ago back in 1986.

NL MVP: Ryan Braun

It's great to see that the Hebrew Hammer, Ryan Braun, won the NL MVP but I have to say in all honesty that Matt Kemp deserved the award. Here are their stats head to head. Braun was sixth in the league in Homers with 33 while Kemp led the NL with 39. Braun was fourth in the NL with 111 RBI's while Kemp led the league with 126. Braun's .332 Batting Average was second best in the league while Kemp's .324 was third. Kemp also led the NL in Runs. Now ,let's look at the meaning of the most valuable player. Braun was on a high payroll Brewers team with Prince Fielder, Zack Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, and K-Rod. Kemp played on an underachieving Dodgers team with Andre Ethier, Kershaw, and Chad Billingsley. In Braun's defense though, he led the NL in SLG and OBP, which Kemp finished second in both. He also played on a historical Brewers team that made it to the postseason. Two reasons why Kemp was robbed from the NL MVP: his team had an 82-79 record and finished third in the division, and his teammate Clayton Kershaw also won a big award. Can't say that Kemp deserved the MVP hands down, but this pick is definitely raising eyebrows.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

NFL Week 12 Predictions

(Ninersnation.com)
The Harbaugh brothers will face off on Thursday night. Will it be
Jim and the Niners or John and the Ravens who make dad proud?


Last Week's Record: 10-4
Overall Record: 109-51

Packers vs. Lions: 35-27 Packers

All the Thanksgiving day games are tough matchups to pick, but in this game the Packers will come out on top. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' offense has been incredible this year. Their lowest scoring game all season was when they scored 24 against the Rams, but in the last four weeks they have scored at least 33 points in each game. The Lions will be the Packers toughest challenge so far this season, especially because the game will be played in Detroit, but the Packers will get the win.

Dolphins vs. Cowboys: 28-20 Cowboys

Both teams have won their last three games, but Dallas is still the better team. The Cowboys are tied for first place in the NFC East, and a win this week could give them the sole lead of the division. Tony Romo has played really well this year, even with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant out for extended periods of time.  The Dolphins could keep it close early in the game, but once Romo gets in his groove, the Cowboys will take over. Tony Romo is 4-0 on Thanksgiving day.

Niners vs. Ravens: 24-23 Ravens

The battle of the Harbaugh's will be one of the most intriguing matchups of the entire season. Jim has done a great job in his first year as 49'ers head coach, while John continues to be succesful in Baltimore. The Ravens will win this game in a close one, with the home field advantage being a key factor. The person who decides the outcome of the game is Joe Flacco. Flacco has had an up and down season, playing well in big games, but also playing terrible in games against the Titans, Jaguars, and Seahawks. If the Ravens' offense plays well Thursday night, they'll get the win.

Vikings vs. Falcons: 28-14 Falcons

With Adrian Peterson hurt, the Vikings are at a major disadvantage heading into this game. The Falcons have won four out of their last five games, and their offense is starting to click. The Falcons need another win to keep it close with the Saints who play the Giants on Monday Night.

Browns vs. Bengals: 27-10 Bengals

The Browns might have gotten a win last week, but then again they played the Jacksonville Jagaurs. The Bengals are a much better team than the Jaguars and will defeat the Browns. Andy Dalton has really stepped it up in his rookie season, leading the Bengals to a 6-4 record.

Bucs vs. Titans: 26-17 Bucs

Both teams are coming off tough losses last week. The Bucs put up a good fight against the Packers while the Titans lost to the Falcons. If Chris Johnson is going to play like the Chris Johnson of 2011, the Bucs win this one without a doubt. Josh Freeman hasn't been great this season, but he is improving with each game.

Panthers vs. Colts: 35-21 Panthers

The Colts will still be looking for their first win of the season when this game ends. The Panthers are coming off back to back tough losses to the Vikings and Lions, and are ready to finally finish a game. Cam Newton has cooled off, and is starting to throw more interceptions. If Cam can keep calm, and play like he did earlier this season, the Panthers will win this one easily.

Cardinals vs. Rams: 24-20 Cardinals

The Cardinals are coming off a rough loss last week to the Niners but will bounce back this week and defeat the Rams. The Rams offense has been terrible this season, ranking in the bottom half for rushing and passing yards. Whether it's John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, or Richard Bartel, the quarterback of the Cardinals needs to make sure they get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald. The team with the better quarterback will win this matchup.

Bills vs. Jets: 23-10 Jets

Both teams have struggled miserably the past few weeks, and are 5-5. The Jets will win this game, primarily because Bills' running back Fred Jackson is out for the remainder of the season. The Jets' offense as a whole has been disappointing this season, but they will snap their two game losing streak and beat the Bills.

Texans vs. Jaguars: 38-13 Texans

Matt Schaub might be out for the rest of the season, but the Texans are likely to get Andre Johnson back from a bad hamstring injury. Arian Foster has been spectacular this season, and should get a ton of carries on Sunday. The Jaguars offense isn't nearly as good enough to keep up with the Texans.

Bears vs. Raiders: 28-20 Raiders

If Jay Cutler didn't get hurt last week, the Bears would be the favor to win this game. Now that Cutler is out for the season, the Raiders are the favorites to win this week. Carson Palmer and Michael Bush have done great job replacing Jason Campbell and Darren McFadden this season. With another win, the Raiders will maintain their sole leadership in the AFC West.

Redskins vs. Seahawks: 23-17 Redskins

The Redskins could have, should have, would have beaten the Cowboys last week, if Graham Gano didn't miss two field goals. Good news for the Redskins is that the Seahawks are much worse than the Cowboys. If Rex Grossman can play well in back to back weeks, the Redskins should be able to get their first win in six weeks.

Patriots vs. Eagles: 28-20 Patriots

The Eagles' final hopes will come to an end Sunday when they lose to the Patriots at home. Tom Brady and the Patriots offense is way too much for the Eagles to handle. Even if Michael Vick plays, it won't be enough to beat the Patriots.

Broncos vs. Chargers: 28-23 Chargers

The Chargers will finally get their act together, and beat the red hot Broncos. The Chargers have lost their last five games, but the streak will end Sunday. The Chargers will figure out a way to stop Tim Tebow, as well as figure out how to get Philip Rivers to stop throwing interceptions. Even though the Broncos are 4-1 since starting Tebow, it's their defense that deserves all the credit. Besides scoring 38 points on the Raiders, the Broncos haven't scored more than 18 points with Tebow at quarterback.

Steelers vs. Chiefs: 28-6 Steelers

The NFL did a terrible job picking the prime-time games this year. Just a week after getting crushed by the Patriots on Monday night, the Chiefs will be embarrassed again when they play the Steelers on Sunday night. The Steelers are clearly the better team, and will win this game, unless the Chiefs pull of a miracle.

Giants vs. Saints: 27-20 Saints

The Giants are back to their normal selves, starting off the season hot, and then cooling off in the second half of the year. The Giants' schedule has been tough their last few games, playing the Patriots, Niners, Eagles, but hasn't eased up with the Saints and Packers as their next two opponents. Drew Brees has played phenomenal this season, and shouldn't have a problem against the Giants defense. The Giants are going to need Eli Manning to play like Peyton Manning in his prime to win this game.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NFL Week 11 Recap

(Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images)
Tim Tebow and the Broncos defeated the Jets 17-13 last Thursday.
Tebow and the Broncos are now 4-1 this season since he took over for Kyle Orton.
Jets vs. Broncos: 17-13 Broncos
Jets Player of the Week: Joe McKnight- 59 rush yards, 62 receiving yards
Broncos Player of the Week: Tim Tebow- 104 pass yards, 68 rush yards, touchdown

Tim Tebow's 20-yard touchdown run with under a minute left to play gave the Broncos their fourth win in five games. Tebow is now 4-1 this season as the starting quarterback for the Broncos and has kept them in the AFC West playoff race. The Jets, on the other hand are now 5-5 and are desperate to get some wins late in the season to save their playoff hopes.

Jaguars vs. Browns: 14-10 Browns
Jaguars Player of the Week: Maurice Jones-Drew- 87 rush yards, 31 receiving yards, touchdown
Browns Player of the Week: Chris Ogbonnaya- 115 rush yards, touchdown

The Browns snapped their three game losing streak with a win against the 3-7 Jagaurs. Chris Ogbonnaya  had a great game for the Browns, rushing for 115 yards on 21 carries. The Jaguars had a chance to win it with a minute left but failed twice to get into the endzone on just the one yard line.

Panthers vs. Lions: 49-35 Lions
Panthers Player of the Week: James Anderson- 10 tackles, interception
Lions Player of the Week: Kevin Smith- 140 rush yards, 61 receiving yards, 3 total touchdowns

The Lions got a much needed come from behind win when they beat the Panthers last Sunday. The Lions trailed by 17 points at one point in the game, but went on to score six more touchdowns, including five in the second half. With Jay Cutler out for the Bears, it is time for the Lions to get hot again  and make their first playoff appearance in over 10 years.

Bucs vs. Packers: 35-26 Packers
Bucs Player of the Week: LeGarrette Blount- 107 rush yards, touchdown
Packers Player of the Week: Jordy Nelson- 6 receptions, 123 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns

The Bucs put up a good fight, but Aaron Rodgers came through when it mattered and gave the Packers their tenth win of the season. The Packers have now won 16 straight games, dating back to last season.

Bills vs. Dolphins: 35-8 Dolphins
Bills Player of the Week: Scott Chandler- 5 receptions, 71 receiving yards
Dolphins Player of the Week: Matt Moore- 160 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 133.3 passer rating

The Dolphins have won their last three games, and might pass the Bills at this point for third place in the AFC East. Not only did the Dolphins blowout the Bills, but they also injured Fred Jackson, who is now out for the rest of the season. The Bills have lost three straight and play the Jets this week.

Raiders vs. Vikings: 27-21 Raiders
Raiders Player of the Week: Mike Bush- 109 rush yards, touchdown
Vikings Player of the Week: Percy Harvin- 6 receptions, 73 receiving yards, touchdown

The Raiders have won two straight games with Michael Bush filling in for Darren McFadden, and now lead the AFC West. Palmer and Bush have kept the Raiders season alive, even with injuries to McFadden and Jason Campbell. Adrian Peterson had a touchdown in the game but, went down with an ankle sprain and was forced to leave the game.

Cowboys vs. Redskins: 27-24 (OT) Cowboys
Cowboys Player of the Week: Tony Romo- 292 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 113.8 passer rating
Redskins Player of the Week: Jabar Gaffney- 7 receptions, 115 receiving yards, touchdown

Two missed field goals by Graham Gano allowed the Cowboys to defeat the Washington Redskins. Rex Grossman played well for the Redskins, who had multiple opportunities to close out the game. With the win, the Cowboys are now tied with the Giants for first place in the NFC East.

Bengals vs. Ravens: 31-24 Ravens
Bengals Player of the Week: Jerome Simpson- 8 receptions, 152 receiving yards
Ravens Player of the Week: Torrey Smith, 6 receptions, 164 receiving yards, touchdown

The Ravens bounced back from an ugly loss against Seattle to regain control of the AFC North. The Bengals had a chance to tie up the game but failed to protect Andy Dalton in the redzone, allowing him to get sacked on fourth and goal.

Seahawks vs. Rams: 24-7 Seahawks
Seahawks Player of the Week: Marshawn Lynch- 88 rush yards, touchdown
Rams Player of the Week: Brandon Lloyd-5 receptions, 67 receiving yards, touchdown

The Seahawks found another way to win on Sunday, advancing to 4-6 on the season. The Seahawks have won two straight games and face the Redskins next week. The Rams have had a miserable season and are now 2-8. Sam Bradford is not playing like the Offensive Rookie of the Year he was last year.

Cardinals vs. Niners
Cardinals Player of the Week: Larry Fitzgerald- 3 receptions, 41 receiving yards, touchdown
Niners Player of the Week: Michael Crabtree- 7 receptions, 120 receiving yards

The 49'ers advanced to 9-1 after defeating the Cardinals 23-7. Jim Harbaugh and the Niners are getting set to play his brother, John Harbaugh, and the Ravens on Thanksgiving day.

Titans vs. Falcons: 23-17 Falcons
Titans Player of the Week: Nate Washington- 9 receptions, 115 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Falcons Player of the Week: Roddy White- 7 receptions, 147 receiving yards

The Falcons got an important win, and are now 6-4 after defeating the Titans. Chris Johnson returned to his usual 2011 self, rushing for only 13 yards. The Falcons offense was pretty balanced on Sunday, with Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, and Roddy White all playing well.

Chargers vs. Bears: 31-20 Bears
Chargers Player of the Week: Vincent Jackson- 7 receptions, 165 receiving yards, touchdown
Bears Player of the Week: Jay Cutler- 286 pass yards, 3 touchdowns (1 rush), 97.0 passer rating

The Chargers have lost five straight games, and are now two games under .500 after playing the Bears Sunday. The red hot Bears got another win, but also lost Jay Cutler for the rest of the season, after he injured his thumb. The Bears are now going to have to rely on Matt Forte and the defense to lead them into postseason play.

Eagles vs. Giants: 17-10 Eagles
Eagles Player of the Week: Riley Cooper- 5 receptions, 75 receiving yards, touchdown
Giants Player of the Wek: Victor Cruz- 6 receptions, 128 receiving yards, touchdown

The Eagles pulled off another win in the Meadowlands against the Giants on Sunday Night, despite Michael Vick and Jeremy Maclin sidelined with injuries. Vince Young didn't play great, but led the Eagles on an 11 minute, 80 yard drive in the fourth quarter to give them the lead. Eli Manning and the Giants marched back down the field, but lost the game when Eli fumbled after being hit from behind.

Chiefs vs. Patriots: 34-3 Patriots
Chiefs Player of the Week: Dwayne Bowe- 7 receptions, 87 receiving yards
Patriots Player of the Week: Rob Gronkowski- 4 receptions, 96 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns

The Patriots crushed the Chiefs on Monday night, despite starting off the game flat. The Cassel-less Charles-less Chiefs failed to get into the endzone, but allowed the Patriots to score four touchdowns. The Patriots opened up their lead in the second half, scoring 17 points in the third quarter. New England also has a commanding two game lead in the AFC East and play the Eagles in Philadelphia next week.

College Football Week 12 Review

(Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Robert Griffin III and Baylor pulled off another upset win, defeating Oklahoma 45-32 on Saturday. 
This past week was the most entertaining week of college football all season long. Eight teams in the Top 25 lost, seven of which were upset. (2) Oklahoma State lost to Iowa State, (4) Oregon lost to USC, (5) Oklahoma lost to (22) Baylor, (7) Clemson lost to North Carolina State, (16) Nebraska lost to (18) Michigan, (20) Southern Miss. lost to UAB, (23) Texas lost to (13) Kansas State, and (25) Florida State lost to Virginia. Talk about chaos, the top three teams in the country are in the SEC West.

New BCS Top 10:
1. LSU Tigers
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Arkansas Razorbacks
4 Oklahoma State Cowboys
5. Virginia Tech Hokies
6. Stanford Cardinal
7. Boise State Broncos
8. Houston Cougars
9. Oklahoma Sooners
10. Oregon Ducks

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Baylor QB Robert Griffin III- RG3 threw for 479 yards, four touchdowns, and rushed for 72 yards in an upset win over Oklahoma. RG3 led Baylor on a game winning drive with under a minute to play, eventually throwing a touchdown with eight seconds left to give them the 42-35 win.
2. USC QB Matt Barkley- Barkley threw for 323 yards and four touchdowns in an upset win against the Oregon Ducks in Eugene. USC came close to upsetting Stanford just a few weeks ago, and without a bowl game this year, they have made the best of their biggest games of the year.
3. Wisconsin RB Montee Ball- The Badger running back rushed for 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns, as well as catching another touchdown in an important win for the Badgers. Ball scored his 30th touchdown of the season too, a major accomplishment for any collegiate running back. The fact that Trent Richardson is stealing all the spotlight, while Ball ranks ahead of Richardson in touchdowns and rushing yards is absurd.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. The BCS System- This one kind of fails the requirements, but it is necessary to bring up. The fact that the three highest ranked teams all play in one half of a conference is ridiculous. If we all have to watch another offensive-less SEC showdown in the National Championship Game, views will go down. The worst part, how the BCS doesn't give enough credit to the less popular teams, like Houston is one of two undefeated teams in the country left, but is only ranked eight.
2. Clemson Tigers- The Tigers have lost two out of their last three games (should have lost all three), and have another tough opponent next week in South Carolina. The Tigers have been quite overrated this season, due to some SEC bias and simply don't belong in the top ten anymore.
3. Stanford Cardinal- Yes, Stanford pulled out a win last week against Cal, but were not impressive at all. On top of that, Andrew Luck who has caused the most attention in college sports since Peyton Manning 14 years ago, has not been the guy we all thought he'd be this year. His stats do not stand out and his team does not stand out, so what is so impressive about him that is Heisman worthy?

Game of the Week. SMU vs. Houston

This past week, College Gameday decided to bring some attention to Houston, unlike the BCS, and make this week's Game of the Week SMU vs. Houston. Case Keenum did not have an amazing game for the Cougars, but still threw for 318 yards and a touchdown. Keenum did set another NCAA record for completions in the 37-7 win. In the win, the Cougars were also able to draw attention to their running game, rushing for almost 150 yards. This week, Houston moved up to eight in the BCS and can hopefully move up and get the ranking they deserve.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (1) LSU vs. (3) Arkansas- Will the Tigers hold onto their top ranking with only one more game to play before the conference championship, or will the Razorbacks get the win in honor of Garrett Uekman, Arizona's tight end,who died just a day after Arkansas' win
2. (16) Wisconsin vs. (19) Penn State- Winner of the game will play in the inaugural Big Ten title game. The Badgers haven't lost at home all season, while the Nittany Lions are fresh off a win against Ohio State
3. (2) Alabama vs. (24) Auburn- Can Auburn repeat this year with an Iron Bowl win and crush Alabama's BCS hopes?
4. (13) Georgia vs. (23) Georgia Tech- Will Georgia advance to the SEC title game, or does Tech have one more upset in them?
5. (12) South Carolina vs. (17) Clemson- South Carolina can overcome losing their running back and quarterback with a win against Clemson, and Georgia loss to Georgia Tech.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Coach K's Historic Win Puts Him In A Class Of His Own

(Getty Images)
Bobby Knight was in the crowd Tuesday when Coach K surpassed him for most Division I
wins all-time. Krzyzewski was an assistant under Knight at Indiana over 30 years ago, and now
Coach K has passed his longtime mentor and friend.

This past week, Mike Krzyzewski, longtime coach of the Duke Blue Devils, won his 903rd game as an NCAA head coach. Krzyzewski, also known as Coach K, has been the head coach of the Blue Devils since 1980. With the win, Krzyzewski passes his former coach, mentor, and friend, Bobby Knight, whose 902 wins used to be the most in men's basketball.

In his 32 years as head coach of the Blue Devils, Krzyzewski has won four national champions with Duke as well as 12 regular season ACC titles, and 13 ACC tournament championships. Coach K has also made it 11 Final Four's and is a three time winner of the Naismith College Coach of the Year. In addition, Coach K has been the head coach of the USA men's national team since 2006, and won the gold medal in the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, as well as the 2010 FIBA World Championships.

In his tenure with Duke, Krzyzewski has produced 23 first rounders in the NBA draft, including 11 top-ten picks which are tied for the most of any coach. There are 16 current players in the NBA who have played under Krzyzewski at Duke.

When Coach K finally calls it quits, he will be remembered as the greatest men's basketball coach of all time. The impact he has had to the University cannot even be measured. The lots outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium, where the Duke Blue Devils play their home games, is nicknamed Krzyzewskiville where students can camp out for big games.

Before arriving at Duke in 1980, Krzyzewski coached at Army, and before that was the assistant coach for Indiana under Bob Knight.

Something that makes Krzyzewski so special though, is his dedication to college basketball. Krzyzewski's name comes up every year when NBA teams have a head coach vacancy to fill, but not once has Krzyzewski thought about leaving Duke. Mike Krzyzewski is to Duke as Pat Summit is to Tennessee, or Dean Smith is to UNC.

Coach K might have this record for a very long time. The only two coaches close of catching Krzyzewski are Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun. Both coaches have 856 and 855 wins respectively, but have just as many years left as Coach K, if not less.

Coach K got his famous 903rd win against Michigan State earlier in the week at Madison Square Garden.  The Blue Devils beat the Spartans by a score of 74-69. The Blue Devils also beat Davidson tonight, giving Krzyzewski his 904th career win.

So when it's all said and done, Mike Krzyzewski will go down as the greatest man ever to coach men's college basketball. His loyalty to college basketball and Duke cannot be measured. Coach K's name will be associated with Duke and the NCAA for the rest of eternity.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NFL Week 11 Predictions

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Can Jay Cutler and the red-hot Bears make it five straight losses
for the Chargers when the two teams face off on Sunday?

Last Week's Record: 11-5
Overall Record: 99-47

Jets vs. Broncos: 24-10 Jets

The Broncos might have a winning record with Tim Tebow taking snaps, but the Jets are by far the better team in this matchup. The Jets defense will figure out a way to shut down Tebow, and therefore the Broncos offense. The Jets need a win to stay in playoff contention, and they can get an easy one when they travel to Denver on Thursday night.

Jaguars vs. Browns: 17-13 Jaguars

Two of the NFL's most boring teams face off on Sunday as the Jaguars visit Cleveland to take on the Browns. Both teams are 3-6 and have weak offenses, but the Jagaurs' defense is definitely an advantage. Plus, the Browns have only won one game since Peyton Hillis' injury, a game in which they won by a score of 6-3.

Panthers vs. Lions: 30-24 Lions

Talks have died down between both teams, as they have had bad starts to the month. Cam Newton and the Panthers were shut down last week by the Titans, while Matt Stafford and the Lions were embarrassed by the Bears in a blowout. The Lions should be able to regain some confidence, and jump back into playoff talk with a win vs. Carolina.

Bucs vs. Packers: 35-6 Packers

Until the Packers either lose a game, or play in a game decided by one possession, thy will need no further discussion on why they will win. Packers by a lot.

Bills vs. Dolphins: 27-17 Dolphins

Both teams were the talk of town a month ago, all for the wrong reasons. The Bills started off the season red hot, and are now 1-3 in their last four games (win against Washington). The Dolphins on the other hand, didn't get their first win until two weeks ago, and haven't lost since. If Miami try (key word tries) to win this game, they will.

Raiders vs. Vikings: 28-21 Raiders

Carson Palmer has adjusted to the Raiders' playbook, and has had back to back impressive games. Even without Darren McFadden, the Raiders should be able to beat the Vikings, who were crushed on Monday night by the Packers.

Cowboys vs. Redskins: 32-13 Cowboys

The Cowboys are back in the playoff hunt after winning three of their last four games. The Redskins on the other hand, haven't won since Week Four. I like the Cowboys big.

Bengals vs. Ravens: 27-20 Ravens

The Ravens have played inconsistent football this season, losing to some very bad teams, but beating some very good teams. The Ravens also haven't lost back to back games all season long. Following that trend, the Ravens should be able to pull off a victory at home against the Bengals.

Seahawks vs. Rams: 20-10 Rams

Don't be fooled people, the Seahawks are not a good football team, at all, despite beating Baltimore last week. The Seahawks have one of the most unproductive offenses in the entire league. The Rams haven't been much better this year, but have also had many players get hurt this season. With that being said, the Rams should be able to beat the Seahawks.

Cardinals vs. Niners: 27-10 Niners

The 49'ers have proved to the NFL that they aren't just leading the NFC West, but they are actually one of the best teams in the entire league. The Niners have an intimidating defense, and an offense that has been unexpectedly productive this season.

Titans vs. Falcons: 30-20 Falcons

The Titans are coming off of a big win against the Panthers, while the Falcons are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Saints in overtime. If the Falcons can make the right play calls, they should win this game because they are clearly the more talented team.

Chargers vs. Bears: 24-14 Bears

The Bears have snuck up on everyone, and are suddenly one of the best teams in the NFL. The Bears have protected Jake Cutler well this season, and have also had a great year defensively. The Chargers on the other hand are coming off of their fourth straight loss. The Bears will make it five straight losses for the Chargers, with a big win on Sunday.

Eagles vs. Giants: 28-24 Giants

Last season when the Eagles traveled to New Jersey to take on the Giants, they ended the Giants playoffs hopes with a famous comeback win. Hopefully for the Giants, there will be a different result this time, as the Giants are looking for a win with a challenging schedule up ahead. Michael Vick has a few broken ribs, so the Giants defense should be able to contain him this year.

Chiefs vs. Patriots: 35-13 Patriots

The Patriots are coming off of a big win on the road vs. the Jets. Riding on some first place momentum, the Patriots should be able to crush the Cassel-less Chiefs on Monday night. Tom Brady was perfect on Sunday night against the Jets, but even a sub-par Brady will deliver a win on Monday night.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NFL Week 10 Recap

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Alex Smith and the 49'ers are 8-1 after an impressive win
against the New York Giants on Sunday.

Raiders vs. Chargers: 24-17 Raiders
Raiders Player of the Week: Michael Bush- 157 rush yards, 85 receiving yards, touchdown
Chargers Player of the Week: Vincent Brown- 5 receptions, 97 receiving yards, touchdown

The Chargers lost their fourth consecutive game, and lead in the AFC West after losing to the Raiders on Thursday night. The Raiders were able to get the win without starting running back Darren McFadden, thanks to a big game by backup Michael Bush.

Saints vs. Falcons: 26-23 (OT)  Saints
Saints Player of the Week: Drew Brees- 322 pass yards, 2 pass touchdowns, 106.9 passer rating
Falcons Player of the Week: Harry Douglas- 8 receptions, 133 receiving yards

The Saints defeated the Falcons in the Georgia Dome, and now solely lead the NFC South. Drew Brees had a quality game, throwing two touchdowns and no interceptions. The Saints won the game on a game winning field goal in overtime, after Falcons' coach Mike Smith decided to go for it on 4th down on their own 29 yard line.

Steelers vs. Bengals: 24-17 Steelers
Steelers Player of the Week: 44 rush yards, 26 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Bengals Player of the Week: Cedric Benson- 57 rush yards

The Bengals kept close with the Steelers all game until the Steelers scored with under two minutes to play to take a seven-point lead. Bengals rookie wide receiver, AJ Green, left the game with an apparent leg injury after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter. With the win, the Steelers now lead the AFC North.

Bills vs. Cowboys: 44-7 Cowboys
Bills Player of the Week: Fred Jackson- 114 rush yards
Cowboys Player of the Week: Tony Romo- 270 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 148.4 passer rating

The Cowboys blew-out the Bills at home on Sunday, and are now just one game behind the New York Giants. The Cowboys had a great day overall, scoring four offensive touchdowns, and one defensive touchdown. The Cowboys also forced the Bills to turn the ball over four times in the game, intercepting Ryan Fitzpatrick three times, and forcing a rare fumble out of Fred Jackson.

Jaguars vs. Colts: 17-3 Jaguars
Jaguars Player of the Week: Maurice Jones-Drew- 114 rush yards, 23 receiving yards, touchdown
Colts Player of the Week: Jerraud Powers- 5 tackles, one tackle for a loss, interception

The Jaguars were able to defeat the Colts on the road, handing them their 10th loss of the season. The winless Colts are also two games behind the Dolphins, Rams, Vikings and Panthers and lead the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

Broncos vs. Chiefs: 17-10 Broncos
Broncos Player of the Week: Lance Ball- 96 rush yards
Chiefs Player of the Week: Dexter McCluster- 45 rush yards, 48 receiving yards

God must watch over Tim Tebow's games. Tebow started off the game 0-5 passing, and didn't complete his first pass of the game until late in the third quarter. Tebow was able to rush for 43 and a touchdown, as well as throwing for a mere 69 yards and a touchdown. The Broncos are 2-1 with Tebow starting, and are only one game behind first place in the AFC wild wild West.

Redskins vs. Dolphins: 20-9 Dolphins
Redskins Player of the Week: Leonard Hankerson- 8 receptions, 106 receiving yards
Dolphins Player of the Week: Reggie Bush- 47 rush yards, 2 touchdowns

The Dolphins have won two straight games, after realizing the Colts are by far the worst team in the league. The Dolphins' offense has been somewhat impressive over the last two games, but the defense has been phenomenal, giving up on average six points per game.

Cardinals vs. Eagles: 21-17 Cardinals
Cardinals Player of the Week: Larry Fitzgerald- 7 receptions, 146 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Eagles Player of the Week: LeSean McCoy- 81 rush yards, touchdown

Going into the season, the Eagles were one of the most feared teams in the league, and a definite title contender. Now, a little bit past the halfway point of the season, playoffs odds for the Eagles are slim to none. The 3-6 Eagles lost to the Cardinals, as backup quarterback John Skelton led his team to a game winning drive with less than two minutes on the clock.

Texans vs. Bucs- 37-9 Texans
Texans Player of the Week: Arian Foster- 84 rush yards, 102 receiving yards, 2 total touchdowns
Bucs Player of the Week: Preston Parker- 2 receptions, 17 receiving yards, touchdown

The Texans crushed the Bucs last week, but also lost quarterback Matt Schaub for the year after he hurt his foot in the game. The good news is that Andre Johnson should be returning from his injury, which should give Matt Leinart a little more help.

Titans vs. Panthers: 30-3 Titans
Titans Player of the Week: Chris Johnson- 130 rush yards, 44 receiving yards, touchdown
Panthers Player of the Week: Legedu Naanee- 8 receptions, 75 receiving yards

Not only did the Titans find a way to shut down Cam Newton and the Panthers, but they also found out how to get Chris Johnson to finally produce. Johnson had the best game of his season, rushing for over 100 yards for just the second time this season, and also rushing for his second touchdown of the season.

Ravens vs. Seahawks: 22-17 Seahawks
Ravens Player of the Week: Ed Dickson- 10 receptions, 79 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Seahawks Player of the Week: Marshawn Lynch- 109 rush yards, touchdown

What is wrong wit the Ravens! After sweeping the Steelers and taking over first place in the AFC North, the Ravens lost to the Seahawks  (not a typo). The Ravens have had the most embarrassing losses this season, to teams like the Jaguars, Titans, and now the Seahawks.

Lions vs. Bears: 37-13 Bears
Lions Player of the Week: Nate Burleson- 8 receptions, 83 receiving yards
Bears Player of the Week: Bears Defense- 2 sacks, 4 interceptions, 2 touchdowns, 2 fumble recoveries

The Bears demolished the Lions, thanks in part to a big performance from the defense. The defense and special teams combined for three touchdowns of their own, while only allowing one Lions touchdown. That being said, Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and Earl Bennett all could have sat out, and the Bears would have still won.

Giants vs. Niners: 27-20 Niners
Giants Player of the Week: Mario Manningham- 6 receptions, 77 receiving yards, touchdown
Niners Player of the Week: Vernon Davis- 3 receptions, 40 receiving yards, touchdown

The Niners defeated the Giants at home, extending their winning streak to seven games. The game started off in a kicking duel between David Akers and Lawrence Tynes, until Eli Manning connected with Mario Manningham for a touchdown. The Niners would answer back with two touchdowns to take a 14 point lead. The Giants would go onto score, and then have a chance to tie the game with a minute left. The Giants marched all the way down into the Niners endzone, but couldn't convert a third- fourth down attempt.

Patriots vs. Jets: 37-16 Patriots
Patriots Player of the Week: Tom Brady- 329 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 118.4 passer rating
Jets Player of the Week: Santonio Holmes- 6 receptions, 93 receiving yards

The Patriots completed a regular season sweep of the Jets after beating them on the road in New Jersey. Tom Brady had a flawless game, throwing for three touchdowns and no interceptions. With the loss, the Jets are now 5-4 and are most likely fighting for a wild card spot, with the AFC East out of reach.

Vikings vs. Packers: 45-7 Packers
Vikings Player of the Week: Adrian Peterson- 51 rush yards, touchdown
Packers Player of the Week:  Aaron Rodgers- 250 pass yards, 4 touchdowns, 140.3 passer rating

The Packers embarrassed the Vikings on Monday night, as Aaron Rodgers showcased his MVP talents. Rodgers and the Packers have yet to lose a a game this season, and are showing no signs of slowing down.

Monday, November 14, 2011

College Football Week 11 Review

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LaMichael James and the Oregon Ducks upset Stanford on Saturday, improving
their record to 9-1. James rushed for 146 and three touchdowns in the win.

This past week, six teams in the Top 25 lost, four of which were upsets. (4) Stanford lost to (7) Oregon, (5) Boise State lost to TCU, (12) Penn State lost to (19) Nebraska, (16) Texas lost to Missouri (20) Auburn lost to (15) Georgia, and (21) Georgia Tech lost to (10) Virginia Tech.

New BCS Top 10:
1. LSU Tigers
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys
3. Alabama Crimson Tide
4. Oregon Ducks
5. Oklahoma Sooners
6. Arkansas Razorbacks
7. Clemson Tigers
8. Virginia Tech Hokies
9. Stanford Cardinal
10. Boise State Broncos


Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Oregon Ducks- The Ducks upset Stanford last week, making it nine straight weeks since their Week One loss to LSU. The Ducks have taken control of the Pac-12 and could possibly rematch LSU in the National Championship Game if things play out their way. The Ducks overcame injuries from LaMichael James and Darron Thomas earlier and the season, and now with both of them back, are averaging close to 47 points per game, which is third best in the country.
2. TCU QB Casey Pachall- The sophomore slinger led his Horned Frogs on the road to an upset victory against Boise State. Pachall threw for 423 and five touchdowns, including the game winner (and the two-point conversion) with just a minute left. TCU is now 8-2 and leading the MWC after a slow start to the season.
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys- The Cowboys are surprisingly one of three undefeated teams left in the Top 25, and are ranked second in the nation. If Oklahoma State can beat their rivals, Oklahoma, in the last game of the season, they are National Championship bound. The Cowboys won last week 66-6, and are averaging over 51 points per game, which is second best in the country.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. Penn State Nittany Lions- This one should need no explanation. The focus this week wasn't on their loss at home to Nebraska, but was on the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Penn State also fired their head coach of 46 years, Joe Paterno, after he didn't inform the University about Sandusky years ago.
2. Boise State Broncos- The Broncos lost on another tragic missed field goal, ruining their National Championship hopes again. This time around it was freshman Dan Goodale who missed the game winning field goal as time expired.
3. Houston Cougars- The Cougars have been fantastic this season, this is more of a disappoint that the BCS has them ranked 11. Houston has the best offense in the nation, led by Case Keenum, who holds almost every NCAA record for quarterbacks. Houston needs to get some recognition now.

Game of the Week: Oregon vs. Stanford

This past week, two Pac-12 powerhouses faced off in Palo Alto to find out who was this real leader of the Pac-12. Oregon scored the only touchdown of the first quarter, and then successfully converted the 2-point conversion to take a 8-0 lead. Stanford struck back early in the second but failed to convert for two. Just minutes after the Stanford touchdown, LaMichael James broke out for a 58 yard touchdown run  that gave the Ducks a 15-6 lead. Stanford would go on to kick a field goal, only to allow Oregon to score another touchdown. Stanford scored with just 24 seconds left in the first half on an Andrew Luck 13 yard pass to Griff Whalen. The second half was all Ducks. Oregon started off the half with back to back touchdowns, giving Oregon a 20 point lead. The Ducks outran Stanford defenders all game, and ended up scoring 53 points. Andrew Luck had the worst game of his season, throwing for three touchdowns and 256, but also two interceptions, one which was returned for a touchdown. LaMichael James had a phenomenal game, rushing for 146 yards and three touchdowns. The Ducks are now back in the top five, and could rematch LSU in the National Championship game if everything plays out their way.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (4) Oregon vs. USC- USC won't be playing any bowl games, so this might as well be their biggest game of the season. The Trojans can still finish with a 10-2 record with an upset in Eugene.
2. (5) Oklahoma vs. (22) Baylor- Can RG3 and the Bears pull of one more upset, and bounce back in the rankings?
3. (16) Nebraska vs. (18) Michigan- Who will win the quarterback showdown between Denard Robinson and Taylor Martinez?
4. (13) Kansas State vs. (22) Texas- Will Kansas State prove that Texas is overrated, or will the Longhorns bounce back from an ugly loss to Missouri?
5. (9) Stanford vs. California- This game has been a classic ever since The Band ran onto the field over 20 years ago. Will Stanford come back and regain form?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NFL Week 10 Predictions

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Will Tom Brady and the Patriots bounce back and defeat the Jets or will they
lose two straight games, and lose their AFC East lead?

Raiders vs. Chargers: 35-27 Chargers

The first Thursday night game of the year kicks off tonight when the Raiders travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers. The Raiders are missing Darren McFadden and haven't been able to win since his injury. The Chargers lost in a barnburner last week to the undefeated Packers, and if they can produce as many points as last week, they should be able to get the win.

Saints vs. Falcons: 30-27 Saints

Both teams are coming off Week Nine wins, and are looking to take over the NFC South. Advantage goes to Drew Brees and the Saints, whose experience trumps Matt Ryan and the Falcons. The game should be close, but the Saints will pull out a victory.

Steelers vs. Bengals: 24-10 Steelers

The Steelers are upset after getting swept by the Ravens and will take out their anger on the Bengals. The Bengals have snuck their way to the top of the AFC North with the Ravens, but the Steelers need a win to jump back to the top.

Rams vs. Browns: 17-13 Rams

Both teams have been extremly disappointing this season. Peyton Hillis has been a bust this season, while Sam Bradford has been hurt, and hasn't won a game this season. With Bradford back in the lineup, the Rams should be able to win their second game of the season, and their first with Bradford playing.

Bills vs. Cowboys: 28-14 Cowboys

The Bills' luck has seem to come to an end, with the team now 5-3 and slipping from the standings. The Cowboys on the other hand, have seemed to turn it around as of lately, despite injuries. If Tony Romo can out-duel Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Cowboys should win this won easily.

Jaguars vs. Colts: 23-17 Jaguars

With the Dolphins winning last week, the Colts take the lead in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. If the Colts are seriously interested in Luck, they won't win a game this season. The Jaguars might be a bad team too, but not as bad as the winless Colts.

Broncos vs. Chiefs: 30-24 Broncos

The Chiefs are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Dolphins, while the Broncos are coming off a big win against the Raiders. If Tim Tebow can run the option flex successfully, then the Broncos will be successful too in defeating the Chiefs.

Redskins vs. Dolphins: 27-14 Dolphins

The Dolphins showed signs of actual skill last week when they crushed the Chiefs. The disoriented Redskins have been one of the coldest teams in football, and will continue their losing streak with a loss to the Dolphins.

Cardinals vs. Eagles: 35-14 Eagles

The Eagles can't afford another loss, it's as simple as that. The Cardinals are one of the worst teams in football this year, so good news for the Eagles is they shouldn't have to worry.

Texans vs. Bucs: 30-17 Texans

The Texans are playing like one of the best teams in the league, without star wide-receiver Andre Johnson. Whether or not Johnson returns, the Texans will get the win against Tampa Bay. Arian Foster has proved that he isn't a one year wonder, racking up 100 total yards in six straight games.

Titans vs. Panthers: 32-20 Panthers

Cam Newton and the Panthers are coming off of their bye week, ready to win their third game of the season. Just a week earlier, the Panthers let one slip away from them against the Vikings. Look for Newton to have 300 total yards and at least a pair of touchdowns.

Ravens vs. Seahawks: 28-13 Ravens

Joe Flacco has showed signs of life since putting on a hideous performance vs. the Jaguars. Flacco will only need to be decent on Sunday when the Ravens face off against the Seahawks.

Giants vs. Niners: 27-20 Giants

After last week's impressive comeback win vs. the Patriots, the Giants have all the momentum in the world. The fact that they won that game without their starting running back and wide receiver, makes it even more impressive. The Niners have one of the best defenses in the NFL, but Eli and the Giants will find a way to make it work.

Lions vs. Bears: 28-24 Bears

The Bears are red hot, coming off a big Monday night win vs. the Eagles. The Lions have been great this season, but their schedule is starting to get tough. If the Bears protect Cutler just as well as they did on Monday night, Cutler and the Bears will find success.

Patriots vs. Jets: 24-20 Patriots

Tom Brady and the Patriots can't believe they let that game slip right out of their hands. The Patriots will take it all out on their rivals, the Jets, when the two face off in the New Meadowlands. The Jets are coming off of a nice win vs. the Bills, but then again, this is the Patriots we are talking about, the team that has won three Super Bowls this past decade.

Vikings vs. Packers: 35-17 Packers

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are unstoppable. At worst, this team will lose one game in the regular season. They simply lost nobody over the offseason, and just got back injured players like Jermichael Finley. The Vikings might have the leading rusher in the NFL, and also one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, but that's about it. The Packers will win easily on Monday night.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NFL Week 9 Recap

(AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Reggie Bush and the Dolphins picked up their first win of the season
after blowing out the Chiefs 31-3.

This Week's Record: 8-6
Overall Record: 88-42

Jets vs. Bills: 27-11 Jets
Jets Player of the Week: Plaxico Burress- 5 receptions, 79 receiving yards
Bills Player of the Week: Fred Jackson- 82 rush yards, 38 receiving yards

The Jets are officially back in the playoff race after defeating the Bills, and improving their record to 5-3. Now the Jets, Patriots, and Bills are all 5-3 going into Week 10. The Jets defense stepped up big, allowing only 11 points, and intercepting Ryan Fitzpatrick twice. The Jets' biggest game of the season is next week when they face off against the Patriots at home.

Seahawks vs. Cowboys: 23-13 Cowboys
Seahawks Player of the Week: Marshawn Lynch- 135 rush yards, touchdown
Cowboys Player of the Week: Tony Romo- 279 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 112.2 passer rating

The Cowboys picked up another win Sunday and are now second in the NFC East with a 4-4 record. Tony Romo had a great game for the Cowboys, throwing two touchdowns and no interceptions. Bad news for the Cowboys is that Miles Austin hurt is hamstring and is reportedly out 2-4 weeks.

Falcons vs. Colts: 31-7 Falcons
Falcons Player of the Week: Julio Jones- 3 receptions, 131 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Colts Player of the Week: Jerraud Powers, 3 tackles, interception, touchdown

Shocker, the Colts lost against by a significant amount of points. Julio Jones had the best game of his young career, exploding for 131 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. Michael Turner also had a solid game, rushing for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: 31-3 Dolphins
Dolphins Player of the Week: Reggie Bush- 92 rush yards, 50 receiving yards, touchdown
Chiefs Player of the Week: Steve Breaston- 7 receptions, 115 receiving yards

Bad news for the Dolphins: They won. The Dolphins finally decided to stop "Sucking for Luck" and crushed the Chiefs who had won four straight, The Dolphins now have one more win than the Colts, who at this rate, are not close to winning a game this season. With the Colts in line for Luck, the Dolphins might need to "Suck for Landry Jones or Matt Barkley".

Bucs vs. Saints: 27-16 Saints
Bucs Player of the Week: Josh Freeman- 281 pass yards, touchdown, 103.5 passer rating
Saints Player of the Week: Darren Sproles- 42 rush yards, 57 receiving yards, touchdown

The Saints bounced back from an ugly loss to the Rams and defeated the Bucs 27-16. The Saints next three games though, are their toughest of the season as they face off against the Falcons, Giants, and Lions.

Niners vs. Redskins: 19-11 Niners
Niners Player of the Week: Frank Gore- 107 rush yards
Redskins Player of the Week: Roy Helu- 40 rush yards, 14 receptions, 105 receiving yards

Another impressive game for the 49'ers who are now 7-1. The Niners defense has proved that they are one of the best in the league, especially against the run. Alex Smith continues to play stable at quarterback, throwing for 200 yards and a touchdown.

Browns vs. Texans: 30-12 Texans
Browns Player of the Week: Josh Cribbs- 5 receptions, 50 receiving yards, touchdown
Texans Player of the Week: Arian Foster- 124 rush yards, touchdown

Another game without Andre Johnson, and another win for the Houston Texans. The Texans are now 6-3 and have a commanding lead over the weak AFC South. Arian Foster continues to do wonders for Houston ever since he returned from his injury in the beginning of the season. Cleveland on the other hand, is looking terrible ever since Peyton Hillis went down with an injury, and also declared he would test free agency next year. Madden Curse for the win!

Bengals vs. Titans: 24-17 Bengals
Bengals Player of the Week: Andy Dalton- 217 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 97.9 passer rating
Titans Player of the Week: Matt Hasselbeck- 272 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 94.7 passer rating

The Bengals won again this weekend are now surprisingly 6-2, and right atop the AFC North with Baltimore. The Andy Dalton to AJ Green connection has been incredible this season, and is helping this offense win games.

Broncos vs. Raiders: 38-24 Broncos
Broncos Player of the Week: Willis McGahee- 163 rush yards, 2 touchdowns
Raiders Player of the Week: Michael Bush- 96 rush yards, 33 receiving yards, touchdown

Tim Tebow and the Broncos scored 24 unanswered points and defeated the Raiders. Tebow threw for 124 and rushed for 118 in the win. The Raiders, Chiefs, and Chargers are all 4-4, while the Broncos are just a game behind at 3-5, creating a Wild Wild West scene in the AFC.

Giants vs. Patriots 24-20 Giants
Giants Player of the Week: Jake Ballard- 4 receptions, 67 receiving yards, touchdown
Patriots Player of the Week: Rob Gronkowski- 8 receptions, 101 receiving yards, touchdown

The Patriots had Déjà vu of the 2007 Super Bowl as the Eli Manning led the Giants on a game winning drive with under a minute left on the clock. Tom Brady, who threw two touchdowns, and the Patriots are now 5-3 and are tied with the Jets and the Bills for the division lead.

Rams vs. Cardinals: 19-13 (OT) Cardinals
Rams Player of the Week: Steven Jackson- 130 rush yards
Cardinals Player of the Week: Patrick Peterson- 3 tackles, interceptions, punt return for touchdown

Pat Pete is clearly the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year going into Week 10 of the NFL. Peterson has returned punts for touchdowns in back to back games, including one for the win in overtime this week against the Rams. The Cardinals also snapped a six game losing streak, and won their first game since Week One.

Packers vs. Chargers: 45-38 Packers
Packers Player of the Week: Aaron Rodgers- 247 pass yards, 4 touchdowns, 145.8 passer rating
Chargers Player of the Week: Vincent Jackson- 7 receptions, 141 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns

Aaron Rodgers is this year's MVP, no questions asked. Rodgers had another tremendous game for the Packers, throwing for four touchdowns and having an almost perfect passer rating. As for the Philip Rivers and the Chargers, their struggles only continue after falling to 4-4.

Ravens vs. Steelers: 23-20
Ravens Player of the Week: Joe Flacco- 300 pass yards, touchdown, 85.4 passer rating
Steelers Player of the Week: Antonio Brown- 5 receptions, 109 receiving yards

The Ravens have swept the Steelers this season in two meetings against their divisional rivals. Joe Flacco turned things around for the Ravens, throwing for 300 yards, and leading the team to a game winning drive, which finished when Flacco found Torrey Smith in the back of the endzone with just eight seconds left.

Bears vs. Eagles: 30-24 Bears
Bears Player of the Week: Matt Forte- 133 rush yards
Eagles Player of the Week: LeSean McCoy- 71 rush yards, 46 receiving yards, touchdown

The Bears stopped the Eagles on Monday Night and are now 5-3. The Bears protected Cutler well, not allowing him to be sacked all game. Cutler threw for 208 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions, in the win.

College Football Week 10 Review

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Trent Richardson and Alabama couldn't get the offense to produce last Saturday against
 top ranked LSU. The Crimson Tide lost to LSU 9-6 in OT
This past week in college football, seven teams in the Top 25 lost, but only three of the losses were upsets. (2) Alabama lost to (1) LSU, (9) South Carolina lost to (7) Arkansas, (10) Nebraska lost to Northwestern, (14) Kansas State lost to (3) Oklahoma State, (15) Michigan lost to Iowa, (19) Arizona State lost to UCLA, and (24) West Virginia lost to Louisville.

New BCS Top 10:
1. LSU Tigers
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys
3. Alabama Crimson Tide
4. Stanford Cardinal
5. Boise State Broncos
6. Oklahoma Sooners
7. Oregon Ducks
8. Arkansas Razorbacks
9. Clemson Tigers
10. Virginia Tech Hokies

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Georgia QB Aaron Murray- Murray threw for 238 passing yards and five touchdowns in a 63-16 blowout against New Mexico State. Murray and the Bulldogs were able to score 42 points in the second quarter alone, and are now 7-0 after starting the season off 0-2.
2. Wisconsin RB Montee Ball- Ball rushed for 235 yards and three touchdowns as Wisconsin defeated Purdue, snapping their two game losing streak. Ball's 21 rushing touchdowns are the most in the country.
3. USC QB Matt Barkley- The Trojan quarterback threw for 318 yards and six touchdowns in a big win last Friday against Colorado. Barkley and the Trojans bounced back after a heartbreaking loss to Stanford at home. USC won't be playing in a bowl this year, but the team is certainly looking strong.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. Alabama Kickers- The two place kickers for the Crimson Tide combined to kick 2/6 on field goal attempts. Even more disappointing is that Alabama lost at home 9-6 in OT to top ranked LSU. If just one of those field goals went in, it would have been a completely different game.
2. Denard Robinson- Robinson and Michigan lost last week to Iowa, as Shoelace threw for under 200 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. This year, Robinson has not created the spark that the nation was talking about all of last year. he dropped from the Heisman race early, and has not had success throwing the ball this season.
3. Big East Football-  In the most recent rankings, the Big East has only one ranked team, which entered the Top 25 this week, and is only ranked 23rd in the country. The conference is also losing a few teams in the year or so, and has decided to invite a few teams from the Mountain Time Zone. Time for a conference name change.

Game of the Week:

This week's "Game of the Week" was actually dubbed the "Game of the Century" by many media posts. The battle between LSU and Alabama was a defensive showdown as no touchdowns were scored. Both quarterback's struggled throwing the ball as Jordan Jefferson threw for 67 yards and  AJ McCarron only threw for 199 yards. The stat of the game has to be Alabama's 2/6 on field goal attempts which clearly lost them the game. Overall, the game was a letdown after the huge media hype. Trent Richardson didn't show off his Heisman hopeful abilities, and no star power really stood out. The BCS better not fail again, and allow these two teams to play in the Natinoal Championship Game.
Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (4) Stanford vs. (7) Oregon- If Oregon pulls off this "upset" it will make up for their Week One loss against LSU. Can Heisman frontrunner Andrew Luck lead his team to victory and possibly jump some teams in next week's rankings?
2. (5) Boise State vs. TCU- Well, if this game was played last year it would be huge headlines, but this season not so much. TCU is unranked but is 7-2 this season and looking to make a late season push. Boise doesn't get the chance much to play tough teams, so this is probably their last test of the regular season.
3. (12) Penn State vs. (19) Nebraska- With all the controversy going on at Penn State, it will be interesting to see how the Nittany Lions play, and how Joe Pa finishes out his last season as head coach.
4. (10) Virgina Tech vs. (21) Georgia Tech- The Hokies have slowly climbed their way into the Top 10 and now face their second ranked team of the season when they play Georgia Tech.
5. (15) Georgia vs. (20) Auburn- Georgia is on a roll since starting off the season 0-2. Can they keep their streak alive and knock of Auburn at home?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

NFL Week 9 Predictions

(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Can Mike Vick and the Eagles get another big prime time win to get back into playoff discussions?

Jets vs. Bills: 27-23 Jets

The Jets really need this win to boost their confidence and to jump back in the playoff race. The Jets can't afford another loss, especially to a team in the division. The Jets' defense needs to play great today in order to win this game.

Seahawks vs. Cowboys: 30-13

After an embarrassing loss last week, the Cowboys will bounce back and defeat the Seahawks. Look for Tony Romo to gain some confidence back with a big game

Falcons vs. Colts: 32-10 Falcons

This one should be no surprise. The Colts are the worst team in the league without Peyton Manning, while the Falcons are one of the best. The explosive Falcons offense should put up good numbers vs. the Colts this week.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: 27-20 Chiefs

Just when everyone thought the Chiefs had no hope and were one of the worst teams in the league, they won four straight games and are now 4-3. Even if the Dolphins take an early lead, we all know that they will blow the lead and lose another game in order to get Andrew Luck.

Bucs vs. Saints: 30-20 Saints

Although the Saints lost to the Bucs earlier in the season, they will get the better of them in their second meeting. The Saints are coming off an ugly loss to the Rams and want to prove to everyone that they are on the of best teams in the league. A big win against the Bucs can win back some confidence points.

Niners vs. Redskins: 27-6 Niners

The Redskins haven't won a game since they pulled Rex Grossman at quarterback. Either way the Niners will get the better of the Redskins whether Grossman or Beck plays. The 49'ers have one of the scariest defenses in the league and shut down the Redskins pretty well this week.

Browns vs. Texans: 28-10 Texans

The Texans have played great without Andre Johnson this season, thanks to big performances by Arian Foster. Expect another great game by Foster as the Texans run all over the Browns.

Bengals vs. Titans: 24-20 Titans

This matchup will be a close one as Andy Dalton and the Bengals face Matt Hasselbeck and the Titans. Cedric Benson is returning from his one game suspension which should give the Bengals some help. If Chris Johnson plays up to his contract, than the Titans should win this game, but with the way he has been playing lately, it is not looking so sure.

Broncos vs. Raiders: 28-13 Raiders

The Raiders are fresh off their bye week after an embarrassing loss two weeks ago against the Chiefs. Hopefully Carson Palmer has learned the offense by now. Either way it won't take much to defeat Tim Tebow and the Broncos who have struggled to put points on the scoreboard this season.

Giants vs. Patriots: 28-24 Patriots

The The Patriots are coming off a rough loss last week against the Steelers while the Giants are coming off a comeback win vs. the Dolphins. Jets fans will have a hard time rooting for a team because the Giants are the in state rivals but a win against the Patriots could affect their playoff scenario. This 2007 Super Bowl matchup will go the other way with Tom Brady and the Patriots winning in Foxborough.

Rams vs. Cardinals: 24-23 Rams

Both teams are without their starting quarterbacks in this Week Nine matchup. Advantage goes to the Rams who have Steven Jackson in their backfield opposed to Beanie Wells in the Cardinals backfield. Also, Steve Spagnuolo's defense should prevail in this won to give the Rams their second straight win of the season.

Packers vs. Chargers: 30-21 Packers

The Packers are very capable of running the table this season. Aaron Rodgers is playing like he's the bets quarterback in the league, while his supporting crew is playing just as well. The Chargers are coming off a weak loss on Monday Night and will drop in the AFC West standings.

Ravens vs. Steelers: 20-17 Steelers

The Steelers are one of the hottest teams in football and could be the best team in the AFC this year. The Steeles will get revenge from an embarrassing Week One loss to the Ravens, and beat them on their own turf. Big Ben will have another impressive game while Joe Flacco will continue to disappoint.

Bears vs. Eagles: 35-17 Eagles

As stated last week, Michael Vick comes up big in important games (regular season only). Vick and the Eagles need another win to bounce back from an ugly start to the season. LeSean McCoy and Matt Forte are playing like top running backs in the league. If the Eagles want to win this won though, they need a big performance from their defense, which has been disappointing this season.

Friday, November 4, 2011

NFL Week 8 Recap

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
Steven Jackson and the Rams were able to shock the Saints last
Sunday and win their first game of the season.

This Week's Record: 9-4
Overall Record: 80-36

Colts vs. Titans: 27-10 Titans
Colts Player of the Week: Dallas Clark- 6 receptions, 73 yards
Titans Player of the Week: Nate Washington- 4 receptions, 34 receiving yards, 3 rush yards, 2 touchdowns

Despite Chris Johnson's worst game of the season, the Titans were able to defeat the winless Colts. Matt Hasselbeck redeemed himself after an embarrassing loss to the Texans, and threw for 224 yards and a touchdown.

Saints vs. Rams: 31-21 Rams
Saints Player of the Week: Lance Moore- 7 receptions, 74 receiving yards, touchdown
Rams Player of the Week: Steven Jackson- 159 rush yards, touchdown

I said this game would get out of hand early, except it would get out of hand in favor of the Saints. The winless Rams (going into week 8) shocked the Saints, who were fresh off a 62-7 win over the Colts. Even more surprising, is that the Rams won without quarterback Sam Bradford, how do you like that?

Vikings vs. Panthers: 24-21 Vikings
Vikings Player of the Week: Adrian Peterson- 86 rush yards, 76 receiving yards, 2 total touchdowns
Panthers Player of the Week: Cam Newton- 290 pass yards, 59 rush yards, 3 touchdowns

Just when the Panthers looked like they could win two games in a row, and even start a somewhat long winning streak with an easy schedule approaching, the Vikings came back to crush their hopes. Even worse, the Panthers could have sent this game to overtime but kicker Olindo Mare botched a game tying field-goal with barely any time remaining.

Cardinals vs. Ravens: 30-27 Ravens
Cardinals Player of the Week: Beanie Wells- 83 rush yards, touchdown
Ravens Player of the Week: Ray Rice- 63 rush yards, 36 receiving yards, 3 rush touchdowns

The Cardinals jumped out to a very impressive lead early in the game, as the Joe Flacco woes continued.  Flacco still didn't play great, but thanks to Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin, and the famous Ravens defense, Baltimore was able to come out unscathed after this game.

Jagaurs vs. Texans: 24-14 Texans
Jaguars Player of the Week: Maurice Jones- Drew- 63 rush yards, touchdown
Texans Player of the Week: Arian Foster- 112 rush yards, touchdown

No Andre Johnson, no problem. The Texans have won their last two games, and will continue this streak when they face the Browns, Bucs, and Jaguars in their next three games. Andre Johnson can only help this team, who will finally make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

Dolphins vs. Giants: 20-17
Dolphins Player of the Week: Reggie Bush- 103 rush yards
Giants Player of the Week:  Eli Manning- 349 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, 106.6 passer rating

Good thing the Dolphins are "Sucking for Luck", because they easily could have won this game. Matt Moore surprisingly owned the Giants earlier in the game, with both his arm and his feet, but "suddenly"going into the fourth quarter with a seven-point lead he forgot how to play football again. Coincidence I think not.

Redskins vs. Bills: 23-0 Bills
Redskins Player of the Week: Fred Davis- 8 receptions, 94 receiving yards
Bills Player of the Week: Fred Jackson- 120 rush yards, 73 receiving yards

Remember when the Redskins were good and actually had a chance of making the playoffs? Remember when Rex Grossman was a starting quarterback in the NFL? The Redskins unsurprisingly have transformed into one of the worst teams in the league over the last five weeks, while the Bills have surprisingly become one of the top teams in the league.

Lions vs. Broncos: 45-10 Lions
Lions Player of the Week: Matt Stafford- 267 pass yards, 3 touchdowns, 130.8 passer rating
Broncos Player of the Week: Eric Decker- 6 receptions, 72 receiving yards, touchdown

I guess God forgot to watch this one, as Tim Tebow and the Broncos got crushed by the Lions. Highlight of the game though, was when Tim Tebow was sacked by Stephen Tulloch, who proceeded to "Tebow" in front of Tebow's face.

Patriots vs. Steelers: 25-17 Steelers
Patriots Player of the Week: Rob Gronkowski- 7 receptions, 94 receiving yards
Steelers Player of the Week: Ben Roethlisberger- 365 pass yards, 2 touchdowns, interception, 97.5 passer rating

The Steelers proved that they are the best team in the AFC after they defeated the Patriots in Pittsburgh. Big Ben had another impressive game throwing for 300+ and a pair of touchdowns. It's funny to say that this Steelers team was the same team that was called "old" and "slow" after a week one beating against the Ravens.

Browns vs. Niners: 20-10 Niners
Browns Player of the Week: Josh Cribbs- 2 receptions, 56 receiving yards, touchdown
Niners Player of the Week: Frank Gore- 134 rush yards, touchdown

The 49'ers are now 6-1 after defeating the Browns without Peyton Hillis. The Niners would have a bye going into the playoffs if the season ended today. Their defense is one of the best in the league, and with Frank Gore completely healthy, he is a top five running back in the league.

Bengals vs. Seahawks: 34-12 Bengals
Bengals Player of the Week: AJ Green- 4 receptions, 63 receiving yards, touchdown
Seahawks Player of the Week:  Sidney Rice-7 receptions, 102 receiving yards

The Bengals have been one of the most underrated surprising teams in the league last year. The Bengals were supposed to have one of the worst offenses in the leagues after losing Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco, but instead have found their new quarterback and wide receiver for years to come.

Cowboys vs. Eagles: 34-7 Eagles
Cowboys Player of the Week: Laurent Robinson- 5 receptions, 103 receiving yards, touchdown
Eagles Player of the Week: Mike Vick- 279 pass yards, 50 rush yards 2 touchdowns, 129.9 passer rating

Michael Vick showed that he steps up when he needs to, after an impressive performance on Sunday Night to lead the Eagles over the Cowboys. Vick and the Eagles are now 3-4 and are back to second place in the NFC East.

Chargers vs. Chiefs 23-20 Chiefs (OT)
Chargers Player of the Week: Malcom Floyd- 5 receptions, 107 receiving yards
Chiefs Player of the Week: Jon Baldwin- 5 receptions, 82 receiving yards, touchdown

The Chiefs surprised the Chargers with an upset win in Overtime on Halloween. Both kickers had great games, with Nick Novak kicking four field goals for San Deigo while Ryan Succop kicked three field goals, including the game winner. Struggles for Philip Rivers continued, as he threw two interceptions and no touchdowns.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

College Football Week 9 Review

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Andrew Luck and Stanford escaped Southern California with a win in 3OT
This past week, six teams in the BCS Top 25 lost, including five upsets. (5) Clemson lost to Georgia Tech, (8) Kansas State lost to (9) Oklahoma, (11) Michigan State lost to (14) Nebraska, (15) Texas A&M lost to Missouri, (15) Wisconsin lost to Ohio State, and (20) Texas Tech lost to Iowa State

New BCS Top 10:
1. LSU Tigers
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys
4. Stanford Cardinal
5. Boise State Broncos
6. Oklahoma Sooners
7. Arkansas Razorbacks
8. Oregon Ducks
9. South Carolina Gamecocks
10. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Houston QB Case Keenum-Keenum threw nine (not a typo) touchdowns against Rice last week, while also throwing for 534 yards. Keenum is the all time leading passer in NCAA history, and is leading Houston into the Top 25.
2. Oklahoma QB Landry Jones- Jones helped the Sooners upset Kansas State, thanks to his five touchdown passes. Jones also threw for 500 yards again, helping the Sooners move back in the BCS hunt.
3.  Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle- The sophomore running back rushed for 152 yards and four touchdowns, in a big victory vs. Baylor. Randle helped prove that the Cowboys can both pass and run the ball with success.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. Wisconsin Badgers- Two weeks ago, the Badgers were a top five team in the country and had an offense that scared defensive coordinators everywhere. Two heartbreaking, last second losses later, the Badgers are ranked 20th in the BCS.
2. Ole Miss- Houston Nutt was supposed to continue the Ole Miss football legacy. Now in his fourth year as head coach, Nutt and the Rebels are 2-6.
3. Florida Gators- The Gators lost again last week, matching just as many losses as wins this season. At 4-4, the Gators and first year coach Will Muschamp can kiss their BCS hopes or any big bowls goodbye

Game of the Week: Stanford vs. USC

This week's Game of the Week was a thriller in Southern California. Andrew Luck and undefeated Stanford traveled south to face Matt Barkley and the USC Trojans. The first half was very physical, with both teams' defenses playing great. Stanford led 10-6 at half. The third quarter was very close too, with Stanford building early leads, just to have them negated by two Curtis McNeal touchdown runs. At the end of the third quarter Stanford led 24-20. With the game tied at 27 with three minutes left, Andrew Luck threw an interception to Nickell Robey that was returned for a touchdown, to give USC a 33-27 lead. Luck and Stanford would march back down the field to tie the game with 38 seconds left.  USC was able to move the ball up and with one play left in regulation, Robert Woods caught a pass in the middle of the field and appeared to get out of bounds with a tenth of a second left. Woods and USC were in field goal range, and could have kicked a potential game winning field goal, but the play was reviewed and Woods was actually inbounds therefore allowing the clock to run out. After two overtime periods of matching touchdowns, Stanford scored a touchdown in the third OT. USC was unable to match, and Stanford pulled away with the victory. Andrew Luck threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran in a touchdown.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (1) LSU vs. (2) Alabama- They are calling this game, the game of the decade. Any further explanation?
2. (3) Oklahoma State vs. (14) Kansas State- Fresh off a loss to Oklahoma, can Kansas State rebound with a win, crushing OSU's BCS title hopes?
3. (7) Arkansas vs. (9) South Carolina- This will be the Gamecocks first challenge without both running back Marcus Lattimore and quarterback Stephen Garcia. Look for an Arkansas big win
4. (15) Michigan vs. Iowa- Can Iowa upset the Wolverines at home?
5. (6) Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M- Can Texas A&M upset Oklahoma after dropping out of the Top 25?