Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Halloween Party: Looking Ahead to College Football

Well, its Halloween and time for a spook-tacular preview of the college games involving the Top 25 teams.

Tonight (25) Arizona State vs Washington State

If the refs would have been on top of things in the Wisconsin-Arizona State game ASU would not be ranked and we would not be discussing this game. However, that does not take away from the fact that they are a team on the rise. Washington State is in the slow process of moving back towards respectability under coach Mike Leach and could be in line for a lower-tiered bowl. They may be improving but Arizona State likely wins in a rout

Arizona State 56 Washington State 31
Quality of Game Level: 3


(21) Northern Illinois vs  UMass

Northern Illinois is working towards running the table and in a middle of an arms race w/Fresno State to get the one non-BCS legaue BCS bid. While the rest of the MAC is going to give Northern Illinois their best to knock them down to earth, said best shot from UMass is not going to get this done

Northern Illinois 49 UMass 3
Quality of Game Level: 1

(4) Ohio State vs Purdue

In the last year of the BCS, we could have one more controversy for the road if Ohio State continues to run the table in a weakened Big Ten. If Ohio State does get upset, its not going to be to this team.

Ohio State 42 Purdue 10
Quality of Game Level: 2

(22) Wisconsin vs. Iowa

Wisconsin is the closest thing to an elite team amongst teams not named Ohio State. Even in the two games they've lost, they've been competitive. That being said, Iowa is good enough that this could be one of the better early games of the day. I still gotta pick Wisconsin to win but its going to be anything but easy

Wisconsin 35 Iowa 28
Quality of Game Level: 8

Mississippi State vs (14) South Carolina

Things may not have gone to plan for South Carolina this year but they are coming off a dramatic comeback victory and put a damper on Missouri's surprise season. I think MSU keeps the game close for the first half but I don't think they have the talent to keep up for 60 minutes

South Carolina 31 Mississippi State 17
Quality of Game Level: 5

(23) Michigan vs. (24) Michigan State

The first game between two ranked teams (albeit barely). They may have a combined 13-2 record but neither team is without their flaws. Michigan appears to have a dangerous thing for playing down to their level of competition (Akron..cough..cough) while Michigan State isn't exactly an offensive powerhouse. This ones a tossup but my gut says Michigan State.

Michigan State 17 Michigan 10
Quality of Game Level: 7

(9) Clemson vs. Virginia

While this may seem like the perfect week for another Clemson-ing after their no show against Florida State, that would also require them to be playing a team with more of a pulse. While I don't think Clemson wins in a blowout as they should, there's no way they lose this one.

Clemson 28 Virginia 20
Quality of Game Level: 6

(8) Auburn vs. Arkansas

I'm impressed with Auburn and their ability to quickly rebound from the end of the Gene Chizik era, while Arkansas has yet to recover from how the Bobby Petrino era ended.  However, with the way chaos has reigned in the SEC for all teams not named Alabama, I think this is where things start to go off script for the weekend.

Arkansas 35 Auburn 28
Quality of Game Level: 9

Tennessee vs. (10) Missouri

Tennessee is another team that seems to be on the rebound with the start of the Butch Jones era (despite the 4-4 record). Missouri has quickly moved from being an expected also-ran to a conference title contender. Their come from ahead loss against South Carolina is something that could potentially derail their season. I'm not sure that's the case but at the very least their losing streak goes to 2 games.

Tennessee 31 Missouri 20
Quality of Game Level: 7

Oklahoma State (18) vs. Texas Tech (15)

Off to the second game between ranked teams. Oklahoma State always seems to lose a couple games a year that it shouldn't and I think this is one of them. While Texas Tech fell short against Oklahoma, they played tough enough to prove that they are for real. I think they win this in a rout.

Texas Tech 56 Oklahoma State 24
Quality of Game Level: 4

Colorado vs. (17) UCLA

UCLA hung tough against a very tough Oregon team before they started doing Oregon type things (i.e. light up the scoreboard). Still, UCLA is a very good team and ready to take out their frustration on a bottom-feeding conference opponent.

UCLA 63 Colorado 3
Quality of Game Level: 1

(7) Miami (Fla.) vs. Florida State (3)

A lot of hype building up for this game, which I feel is going to fall short. Florida State is destroying everything in its path, even fellow top 10 teams (Clemson). While FSU is good enough to contend for a title, I don't think Miami is as good as their record or ranking. If you can barely beat Wake Forest, your not good enough to beat FSU.

Florida State 56 Miami (Fla). 17
Quality of Game Level: 2

UTEP vs. Texas A&M (12)

Johnny Football does his think, gets a chance to inflate states and heisman hopes against a team that will be outmatched in every way.

Texas A&M 70 UTEP 17
Quality of Game Level: 1

Nevada vs. Fresno State (16)

Granted, everyone is going to give Fresno State their best shot to prevent them from playing in a hier-tiered bowl game. However, Nevada's best shot is not good enough to get Fresno State into the loss column.

Fresno State 56 Nevada 21
Quality of Game Level: 2

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Thursday Broken Crystal Ball Dolphins-Bengals

Today was a good day, in addition to starting writing, I got a surprise visit from Heather and Zeplen at lunch today. We ended up having lunch at Orcutt Burger. With all apologies to In n Out, the flame-broiled goodness is what a burger should but is decreasingly about in this heat lamp world.

Its day one and its clear that my predictions are much less reliable than the burgers at Orcutt Burger. As I write this, the Red Sox have pulled away from the Cardinals and have themselves a 6-0 lead and win the award for the first team to figure out Michael Wacha.

With tomorrow being Thursday, we are one day away from the start of the NFL Week. The Thursday night matchup this week is the Bengals against the Dolphins.

This is a tale of two teams headed in opposite directions. The Bengals have gotten themselves into a rhythm and when all is said and done could have their best team in the last quarter-century. The Dolphins seem to be free fallin Tom Petty style since starting 3-0 and have gone from struggling to full on break down mode as lineman Jonathan Martin left the team over a practical joke gone wrong.

The Bengals are coming off an absolute thrashing over the one week competent next work a horrible joke Jets.

In one of the posts i'm in the middle of writing I discuss my experiences with my fantasy teams. For me, while this ain't exactly the game of the week, I have a moderate amount of interest as I recently picked WR Brian Hartline last week and am starting him despite an under-whelming performance on Sunday. Hopefully he can help improve my current position of 7th place and contribute towards sneaking into the playoffs.

Looking into the broken crystal ball, I think both of these trends continue into tomorrow night's game. The Bengals win this one, their fifth in a row and continue to extend their lead in the  AFC North.

Prediction: Bengals 30, Dolphins 14

On a scale of 1-10, expected quality/interest of game is a 4.

Today Is The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. This blog started with an idea. I was talking to my wife and that I had a pipe dream of writing about sports and sharing my ideas with the world and I was encouraged to start writing. I live in Nipomo, California with my beautiful wife Heather and our awesome five-week old son Zeplen. Now, on with the show.

Tonight, is game 6 of the World Series between the Red Sox and the Cardinals. The Red Sox have the 3 games to 2 lead and have the opportunity to put away the Cardinals. As a lifelong Brewers fan, i'm rooting against St. Louis as they've always seemed to have the upper hand on my favorite team. This especially holds true since  they put an end to the 2011 season which was the best Brewers team of my lifetime (as I was born about seven months after their 1982 world series appearance.

Even though I want the Cardinals to lose tonight's game to the Red Sox does not mean I think it will happen. While Red Sox starter John Lackey has had a nice bounce back from the disaster of the 2011 season, the chicken and beer in the clubhouse scandal and missing all of last year and in addition has been a productive pitcher in the playoffs, the way this series has gone it just has the feel of a 7-game series.

In addition, the Red Sox have to go up against Michael Wacha. To say that he has been unstoppable is an understatement, this kid has been straight up unhittable.

On September 24 (I can only recall this date because it was two days after Zeplen was born), he comes one out away from no-hitting the Nationals, the next thing the world knows he's making the starting line up of whatever team hes playing against look like a bunch of replacement-level players.

As much as I would like the Red Sox to completely dominate tonight, I just don't see it happening.

Prediction: Cardinals 3, Red Sox 1

Predicted POTG: Michael Wacha