Saturday, December 29, 2007

Counting Down 2007: Year End Awards

Here's TSF's Year End Awards for 2007.

Team of the Year:
San Antonio Spurs
4 titles in 9 years, 3 in 5... can you say dynasty?

Player of the Year: Kobe Bryant
Completely dominated in his 2007 NBA season

Play of the Year: Boise St. lateral vs. Oklahoma

Play Call of the Year: Appalachian St.'s upset over Michigan

Quote of the Year: Mike Gundy explodes

Bonehead of the Year: Chris Jessie
Mack Brown's step son, Chris Jessie, for some reason when on the field when the ball was fumbled last night vs. Arizona St. and it looked like he was gonna pick up the ball, but jumped away at the last second. First of all, I don't know what the hell this guy was thinking? The play was still live and it appeared he was going to pick it up, he may have touched it, it was a close call. Texas ended up recovering the fumble, but because of Mr. Jessie it gave the ball back to ASU and they scored a TD on the next play.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Counting down 2007: A year of Scandal

Here are my top 7 sports scandals in 2007 counted down from 7 to 1.

7. Marion Jones' Fall from Grace
In October, seven years after winning a record five Olympic track and field medals at the Sydney Games, and after years of passionately denying that she had ever taken performance-enhancing drugs, Marion Jones pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about her use of steroids. The spectacular fall from grace by the woman who was the golden girl of the Sydney Olympics culminated in the return of the five medals she won at those Games. Jones will be sentenced in Jan. 11.

6. Sean Taylor Murdered in His Home
Just as 2007 began with the grim news of an NFL player cut down in his prime (Darrent Williams), so did the year end. In early December, football mourned the loss of Washington Redskins standout safety Sean Taylor, who was shot and killed in his Miami home by armed intruders whose apparent motive was robbery. Taylor, the father of a baby girl, was only 24. This came as a shock to the league and a team who was/is in the heat of the playoff hunt. Taylor was winning the probowl race at his position and just this week was announced as the winner of the starting spot. He left a family and a game, and he had so much left to give to both.

5. Barry Bonds Indicted
Barry Bonds became baseball's all-time home run king on Aug. 7, when he passed Hank Aaron by hitting career home run number 756. The record is considered tainted by myself along with many in the game who believe Bonds used steroids. On Nov. 16 the slugger was indicted on perjury and obstruction of justice charges for allegedly lying to a federal jury about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Dec. 7 and remains the face of baseball's ongoing steroids investigation.

4. Mike Vick Goes Down for Dogfighting
In one of the ugliest episodes of a crime-ridden year for the NFL, Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was exposed for his role in a dogfighting operation. Vick pleaded guilty to federal felony dogfighting charges and started serving his sentence in November. Vick could also be tried in Virginia on state-level felony charges. His football career is definitely in jeopardy.

3. NBA Gambling Scandal
When NBA referee Tim Donaghy was exposed for betting on games and providing confidential information to others, league commissioner David Stern called the crisis the "worst situation" he'd experienced in basketball. Donaghy pleaded guilty in August to two felony charges. The whole situation was a well-publicized mess and gave sportsfans just another turnoff to the NBA.

2. Spygate
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was apparently breaking NFL rules by videotaping signals that New York Jets' coaches relayed to their players during a Sept. 9 showdown in the Meadowlands. The incident, dubbed "Spygate," led to the Patriots being stripped of a first-round draft pick and a $500,000 fine for Belichick. The Patriots are definately a dynasty, but is the team's reputation now tarnished? I say yes, but it depends on who you ask.

1. The Mitchell Report
Roger Clemens, Miguel Tejada,Andy Pettitte, and Eric Gagne, amongst many others, were named in the long-awaited Mitchell Report on Dec. 13, 2007. It was largely an All-Star roster linked to steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs that put a question mark, if not an asterisk, next to some of baseball's biggest players and moments. We have still yet to see or hear what reprecussions will come of the report. However, I personally feel it is a step in the right direction for upholding the integrity of the game.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Have a Very Merry Sports Flow Christmas!

All of us here on the Sports Flow team would like to wish all readers and passers-by a very merry Christmas from all of us. Enjoy your time with family and friends and tune in later in the week as we will continue to count down all our favorite and top teams, plays, games, and players of the year that was 2007.

Please come and stop by the NEW sports flow and sign up to talk sports at the community-based forum!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Top 5 Games of 2007

After doing some deep thinking, here's The Sports Flow's Top 5 game of 2007.

5. Ohio St. vs. Xavier- 2nd Round- NCAA Tournament
I specifically remember watching this game with some buddies and it was one hell of a game. It was back and forth, superstar playmaking game, with the the top players on each team stepping up big time. The best of the 2007 NCAA Tournament in my opinion and one of the best of 2007. It looked like Xavier was going to pull away late in the 2nd half, but Mike Conley Jr. and Ron Lewis had something else in mind...

Just ignore the first part, after about 20 seconds it will show the highlights.

4. Michigan vs. Appalachian St.
FCS Powerhouse Appalachian St. shocks the world with their upset over 5th ranked Michigan. This was a great Saturday in college football history and might be the biggest upset ever in college football.

3. Patriots vs. Colts- 2007 AFC Championship
Comeback for the Super Bowl champion Colts. Just a hard-fought, great all-around football game.

2. Oklahoma St. vs. Texas- College Basketball Game
One of the greatest game I have ever seen. 3 OT game, back and forth with clutch plays and shots. Sorry couldn't find any video highlights of this game. So here's an article from MSNBC Sports:

1. Boise St. vs. Oklahoma- 2007 Fiesta Bowl
Who would have thought otherwise? Undisputed number one game...

There you have it our Top 5 games of 2007. Thoughts? Did we miss any games?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Buy or Sell: NCAA ban/regulations on live blogging

It's been a while since I posted on an issue where I could let readers buy or sell. I'm bringing it back tonight.

I'm sure many of you remember back in June when University of Louisville reporter Brian Bennett was evicted from the press box in the fifth inning of Louisville's 20-2 victory for live blogging during the game. More recently the NCAA has adjusted their policy a bit this year to include regulations for live blogging all sports. In all their ridiculosity, here they are:

Fall Sports

Soccer: Five times per half; one at halftime
Field Hockey: Five times per half; one at halftime
Volleyball: Three per Competition; one in between Competitions
Football: Three per quarter; one at halftime
Cross Country: Ten per day/session
Men's Water Polo: Three per quarter; one at the halftime

Winter Sports
Ice Hockey: Three per period - one in between (includes overtime)
Basketball: Five times per half; one at halftime; two times per overtime period
Wrestling: Ten per session
Indoor Track and Field: Ten per day/session
Swimming and Diving: Ten per day/session
Bowling: Ten per day/session
Gymnastics: Ten per session

So besides being a little pissed about the NCAA inhibiting my passion for liveblogging bowling and water polo, I find these new restrictions meticulous,and pointless. I'm definitely selling the NCAA's regulations on liveblogging.

I understand that the NCAA is trying to protect the reserved rights of those that are paying to broadcast these events. Where is the line drawn here? Is the NCAA going to have officials coming around to notify me that I only have one post left for my Wrestling live blog until the session ends? Even with blogger you can blog from your cell phone which poses an interested facet to the problem also.

"It's a real question that we're being deprived our right to report within the first amendment from a public facility. Once a player hits a home run, that's a fact. It's on TV, everybody sees it. They (the NCAA) can't copyright that fact. The blog wasn't a simulcast or a recreation of the game. It was an analysis." - Jon Fleischaker, attorney for The Courier-Journal

So, what about fans in the stands mobile blogging with blackberries and cell phones? What about when I text my dad updates of UND hockey games from the Ralph Engelstad Arena? Where is the line drawn?

I understand the principle behind what the NCAA is trying to do. The NCAA claims ownership rights to any during-the-game information and that it can be distributed only through those outlets to which it has granted rights. They're trying to protect their assets. However, I think that the whole thing is insignificant and fruitless. What is the difference between constricting and inhibiting livebloggers at sporting events to those at home watching the game on ESPN? It's going to be virtually the same thing. And, regardless, how does the NCAA plan to enforce these regulations?

I definitely wouldn't put it past the NCAA to pick a fight with the media and the first amendment on this one because I, of course, can see first hand what happens when the NCAA wants to pick a fight. Also, maybe it's because I'm a blogger (though not a big live blogger), but I am going to sell the NCAA's new regulations on live blogging.

What are your feelings on the issue? Do you agree with me or disagree? Drop comments!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Simply put, Fred Taylor deserves to be in the Pro Bowl

Even though we just had our Pro Bowl Snubs post, I would like to specifically look at one of those snubs in Fred Taylor and break down his case as to why he should playing in Hawaii in February.

Is this 2007 or 1997? You would think it would be '97 with the way Fred Taylor is playing this season. Taylor has been very productive this season, especially the last 4 games.

Taylor has put up 1,091 yards rushing on 216 carries, with a 5.1 avg. His last 4 games have been phenomenal, 487 yards, 71 carries, 6.8 avg. Taylor also has the AFC's two longest TD runs of 80 and 76 yards.

Taylor is 6th in the league in rushing. Willie Parker has 104 more carries than Taylor but still only had 226 more yards. Joseph Addai has more carries and still less yards than Taylor. Taylor still had Maurice Jones-Drew on his team and Parker and Addai are by themselves.

Some can say what did Taylor do the first half of the season? But just look at Addai's last 6 games:

Last Six Games:
Taylor: 617 yards, 107 carries, 5.7 avg.
Addai: 315 yards, 102 carries, 3.0 avg.

Also, Taylor is 6th in the league in rushing, still has 35 less carries, and still has more yards rushing than Addai, and I would like to mention Maurice Jone-Drew once again.

Not to mention, Taylor is 31 and still putting up more productive numbers than the 24 year old Addai. Taylor deserves it more, over 10,000 yards in his career and no Pro Bowl? I think he'll never make a Pro Bowl and will be the first HOF to never make a Pro Bowl. Taylor's been there all year and is helping get this Jags team into the playoffs. Fred Taylor deserves to be in the Pro Bowl, simply put.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

2007 Pro Bowl Snub Hub

Back for it's second annual installment is my pro Bowl Snub hub. It's going to work much the same, however formatted differently. Rosters just came out and here's what they look like in case you missed it. Now, on to those who I felt deserved to go and weren't selected.


Sean Jones - CLE - Safety
Should get the spot over: Troy Polamalu
Should have been selected over Troy Polamalu. Polamalu hasn’t done much of anything this year due to injuries while Jones has quietly racked up 84 tackles (61 solo), 1 forced fumble, 10 passes defended, and 5 INTs. Probably overlooked due to the fact that he plays for the Browns (especially on defense), but he's quietly having a great year.

Fred Taylor - JAX - RB
Should get the spot over: Joseph Addai

Maybe Fred Taylor wasn't meant to ever go to the Pro Bowl or something. He has moved to 18th all-time in NFL history for rushing and he is the only one out of the top 43 on that list to never go to a pro bowl! That is astounding. While some will argue that he doesn’t deserve a roster spot because he only has four rushing touchdowns, Taylor’s 5.1 yards per rush average is tops in the AFC among starting running backs. Not only is his rush average higher than any other starter, he’s also doing all of this at the age of 31. If that isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is. Hopefully Taylor returns for at least one more season and gets the recognition he deserves. This reminds me a lot of the Westbrook snub from last season.

Nnamdi Asomugha - OAK - CB
Should get the spot over: Champ Bailey

So, the Raiders suck, but he’s been playing lights out for most of the year. Opposing quarterbacks don’t often throw his way. I can see where he could be overlooked here. However, I feel like he's deserving and Champ Bailey has been rather disappointing this year. Given the circumstances I think that Nnamdi deserves to go. He's exceeded expectations while Bailey hasn't quite measured up. Bailey has 3 INTs while Asomugha only has 1 INT, but their tackle totals (Bailey: 70 Asomugha: 32) gives you an idea of how teams have stayed away from Asomugha this season while targeting Bailey at times.

Kellen Winslow Jr. - CLE - TE
Should get the spot over: Tony Gonzalez
San Diego's Antonio Gates is a no-brainer at tight end in the AFC. Browns fans can blame Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez for keeping Kellen Winslow off the squad. Gonzalez has 82 receptions for 971 yards and five touchdowns. Winslow has 71 receptions for the same yardage and touchdown totals. That's pretty close. Winslow is playing for a potential playoff team. While I admire Gonzalez gutting it out on a team headed nowhere I feel like Winslow has meant more to his team. I don't have a huge problem with this one, like I do with others, I just would have liked to see Winslow go for the Browns.

Michael Boley - ATL - LB
Should get the spot over: Lance Briggs

107 tackles, 3 sacks… but he plays for the Falcons so I understand how he was overlooked. When Lance Briggs makes it over him with fewer tackles, sacks, INTs and forced fumbles I'd have to say that Briggs made it in off of his recognition more so than his performance and Boley deserved it.

Mario Williams - HOU - DE
Should get the spot over: Jason Taylor

Williams’ 13 sacks is second in the NFL behind only Seattle’s Patrick Kerney. How Jason Taylor beat out Williams for the spot is beyond me. The coaches, players and fans need to seriously asses how they’re voting.

Joe Thomas - CLE - OT
Should get the spot over: Jonathan Ogden
While Ogden is a perennial fixture for the Pro Bowl he's only played in 8 games this year and Thomas has performed very much like an established veteran in both pass protection and run-blocking all season. Without Thomas, the Browns would not have their explosive passing game, Jamal Lewis would not be experiencing a career revival, and Cleveland would not be in contention to reach the postseason for the first time since 2002

Greg Jennings - GB - WR
Should get the spot over: Donald Driver

I love both players to death but I really feel like Jennings is more deserving this season - and believe me, I've watched enough of both these guys this season. While Driver has outproduced Jennings in yards, Jennings has a much higher yards-per-catch average (17.6 to Driver's 13.0) and many more touchdowns (12 to Driver's two).

Marques Colston - NO - WR
Should get the spot over : Torry Holt

No doubt Hold is having a great year with 83 rec, 1,055 yds, and 7 TDS but But I'm surprised not to see the name of the Saints' Marques Colston. After all, he is second in the conference with 87 receptions for 1,092 yards and nine touchdowns. That's better than all of the receivers chosen (Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten is first with 88 catches).

There are many other great players who you can make cases for so let me know if you feel like I missed out on any big choices in your mind. Let me know what you think of my snubs and let me know some of yours.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

College Football Bowl Predictions

This is day 2 of our bowl predictions. Enjoy...

Humanitarian Bowl
Georgia Tech vs. Fresno St.

TSF's Take: Two words: Tashard Choice

Sun Bowl
South Florida vs. Oregon

TSF's Take: Oregon hasn't been the same since the loss of Dennis Dixon and the Bulls have some impressive recent wins.

Music City Bowl
Kentucky vs. Florida St.

TSF's Take: Kentucky can beat anyone, Andre Woodson will not let his college career end in a loss.

Insight Bowl
Indiana vs. Oklahoma St.

TSF's Take: This is pretty much a toss=up, so I'll take Big 12 over Big Ten almost anyday.

Chick-fil-a Bowl
Clemson vs. Auburn

TSF's Take: Auburn has too much fire power for Clemson

Outback Bowl
Wisconsin vs. Tennesse

TSF's Take:
Another SEC Sr. QB, Erik Ainge, won't let his college career end in a loss. Tennessee's young D has stepped up and come a long ways since the beginning of the season.

Cotton Bowl
Missouri vs. Arkansas

TSF's Take:
This is a tough pick for me, really, but something tells me Darren McFadden is gonna have a huge game, especially after finishing 2nd in the Heisman race.

Gator Bowl
Texas Tech vs. Virginia

TSF's Take: I like Tech's passing game and VA has had a tough time stopping the pass at times this season.

Captial One Bowl
Florida vs. Michigan

TSF's Take: Florida is the best non-BCS Bowl team, and this young team will be flying high into 2008...

Rose Bowl
USC vs. Illinois

TSF's Take: We're seeing the USC team we'd thought we'd see at the beginning of the year right now. USC just has too much experience, talent, and coaching for the Illini.

Sugar Bowl
Hawaii vs. Georgia

TSF's Take:
Hawaii, meet Knowshon Moreno...

Fiesta Bowl
West Virginia vs. Oklahoma

TSF's Take:
Who's been more impressive than OU lately? I like the Sooners.

Orange Bowl
Kansasvs. Virginia Tech

TSF's Take:
KU doesn't even belong in a BCS Bowl. V-Tech has too much talent and depth, special teams wins it for Beamer's Hokies.

International Bowl
Rutgers vs. Ball St.

TSF's Take:
Ball St.'s in a bowl game? Ray Rice and co. roll...

Bowling Green vs. Tulsa

TSF's Take:
Tulsa is a tough, physical team with a good offense and Bowling Green lost to Minnesota...

BCS National Championship
Ohio St. vs. LSU

TSF's Take:
We will have our preview and prediction for this game in January!

What are your thoughts on the bowl games?

Friday, December 14, 2007

College Football Bowl Predictions

This is day one of 2 for TSF's Bowl predictions. Being there are 32 bowl games, we'll divide them up with two posts.

Poinsettia Bowl
Utah vs. Navy

TSF's Take:
Navy has a stellar rushing game and Utah's Defense is vulnerable but Utah is far more athletic and I have a feeling Utah will play like they did in their 44-6 win over UCLA.

New Orleans Bowl
Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic

TSF's Take:
Memphis just has more depth and talent Bowl
Southern Miss vs. Cincinnati

TSF's Take:
Cincy has had some impressive wins and they have a high octane offense.

New Mexico Bowl
Nevada vs. New Mexico

TSF's Take:
I like Nevada's poise and physicality

Las Vegas Bowl

TSF's Take:
BYU is underrated. Their offense can put up points and their defense is stellar.

Hawaii Bowl
Boise St. vs. East Carolina

TSF's Take:
Boise has way too much talent and overall experience.

Motor City Bowl
Purdue vs. Central Michigan

TSF's Take: CMU has too soft of a defense and Purdue will be able to expose that.

Holiday Bowl
Arizona St. vs. Texas

TSF's Take:
ASU doesn't have many big wins and they've folded everytime vs. big-time teams.

Champ Sports Bowl
Boston College vs. Michigan St.

TSF's Take: Matt Ryan should be the difference.

Texas Bowl
TCU vs. Houston

TSF's Take:
I like TCU's overall talent and coaching better than Houston's.

Emerald Bowl
Maryland vs. Oregon St.

TSF's Take:
Oregon St. has been impressive lately and should take down the sub-average Terrapins.

Meineke Car Care Bowl
UConn vs. Wake Forest

TSF's Take:
Wake's Offense is too much for the overrated Huskies to handle.

Liberty Bowl
UCF vs. Mississippi St.

TSF's Take:
Mississippi St. doesn't have much of an offense and UCF nearly knocked of Texas.

Alamo Bowl
Penn St. vs. Texas A&M

TSF's Take:
Texas A&M has struggled in bowls in recent years, I can't even remember the last time PSU lost a bowl game...

Independence Bowl
Alabama vs. Colorado

TSF's Take:
Nick Saban cannot afford a loss here. Alabama wants it more.

Armed Forces Bowl
California vs. Air Force

TSF's Take:
Air Force will be more prepared. Cali has dropped off the map.

Come back tomorrow night for the other 16 bowl predictions.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Atleast I Can Blog When I Have the Wind Knocked Out of Me

I wonder if The Babe knew. Everytime he rubbed his face, he was stabbing the game that he (Ruth) loved and protected in the back.

A punch in the gut is the only way that I can describe my feeling for Roger Clemens association with steroids. I hate steroids and cheating and love the game of baseball. I was very excited for the Mitchell investigation to come out because I felt like it was a necessary step to protecting the integrity of the game that we all love.

I was expecting a lot of names to be mentioned. There were a handful of names that I, in fact, really wanted to be mentioned. Roger Clemens was definitely not one of them. There were also names that I wasn't expecting at all, like Chuck Knoblach. I guess this explains his inability to throw from 2nd to 1st, and is almost humorous.

I always liked Roger Clemens. The only thing I ever had against him was the fact that he played(S) for the Yankees. I always admired his talent and renown work-ethic. This changes everything. How sad is it that the best hitter and pitcher of our generation (who could both be argued as the best all-time respectively) have both been named as users of performance-enhancing drugs? I just can't get over it. I knew Bonds would be on there and all you readers know how I feel about him and his steroid use. Now, I assume these accusations and findings are going to have to be proved in court for anything significant to happen, but just the fact that Roger Clemens has 9 pages of the report dedicated to him, including personal testaments to injecting him.

Where can baseball and baseball fans go from here? Well as a fan this certainly changes my perspective on a lot of players out there, especially Mr. Clemens. I've always felt like a large part of the blame should be pinned on Mr. Selig and MLB officials who, in the 90's, knew this was happening, but let it slide. It is true that they harbored this mess but the players chose to cheat. Whether you are a Chuck Knoblach or a Roger Clemens, you chose to cheat and to associate yourself with cheating. As a fan I'm a little upset about Mitchell's findings but I'm also very anxious to see what Mr. Selig and MLB will do about this report.

I hope that this is what turns the game around. While I am shocked and disappointed I am, in a sense, a bit relieved. This was the right thing and this was what needed to happen to protect the integrity of the game. I hope that every move from here on out is a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

NBA Power Rankings

Here's TSF's NBA Power Rankings as of 12/11.

1. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have been impressive even without Tim Duncan. Manu Ginobli is looking to be the sixth man of the year as he scored 37 points twice in back to back wins over the Mavs and Jazz. The Spurs have been themselves lately, playing team basketball, winning, and holding opponents to 92.5 ppg, plus they're on a 5 game winning streak and have won 11 of their last 12.

2. Boston Celtics
The Celtics have just about dominated in all of their games. It seems Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen are always on their games and even if one or two of them are off, they still have the 3rd. Also, I should mention those 3 are all in the top 35 for points in the league.

3. Phoenix Suns
The Suns rank in the top 10 of the league in ppg (2), FG% (2), and spg (6). Steve Nash has been incredible once again with his 17.9 ppg and 12.3 apg.

4. Orlando Magic
Dwight Howard has been a monster and good thing he's on my fantasy team; He's 10th in the league in ppg (23.5), 2nd in FG% (.614), 1st in rpg (15.0), and 3rd in bpg (2.9). Four of the Magic's six losses are against the Pistons, Suns (2), and Spurs.

5. Utah Jazz
Utah has had no trouble scoring so far thanks to Carlos Boozer, who is averaging 25.1 ppg. Deron Williams is also an emerging top NBA PG. Big road games coming up against Phoenix and Portland.

6. Detroit Pistons
The Pistons have won 8 of the last 10 games and are shooting the ball pretty well lately. Rip Hamilton has finally found his shooting touch and this team looks like their same olf selves again. The defense has been pretty stout giving up only 91.9 ppg.

7. Dallas Mavericks
I don't really like the Mavs right now. I don't know, maybe it's because of personal reasons or maybe it's because they lack a defense... That's the question that's been barring Avery Johnson, can he get his team to play some D so they can win a title? Giving up 100.1 ppg and 45.7 FG% won't cut it in the west.

8. New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets have been a little bit of a surprise thus far. They don't give up a lot of points and they can shoot the ball pretty well. Also, I heard Chris Paul is pretty good (21.0 ppg and 9.8 apg)...

9. Los Angeles Lakers
I will give the Lakers the nod over the Nuggets because of their two wins over them. It seems Kobe's grievance for Andrew Bynum is over. As long as Kobe stays healthy, this team will be a playoff contender.

10. Denver Nuggets
Allen Iverson has been tough lately and has been scoring from all over (put up 51 on the Lakers). We all know this is a very good offensive team, but it's the defense they need to improve in order to get over the hump (102.1 PA/G).

Right around the corner...
Rockets, Warriors, and Raptors.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Finals Week

It's Sunday night and I don't want to leave you hanging but I must slave away for finals this week. I'll be done by Wed. but until then I can't promise anything. Stefan and I will do our best to get at you readers. I wish all students the best of luck and ask all other readers for their patience.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Eric Berry is one of the best DBs in the nation

Back in July I did a post on "Freshman of '07". I stated Eric Berry, freshman FS for Tennessee, as a freshman to watch; here is what I said in that article about him:

"With only one returning starter in the Vols secondary back, expect Eric Berry to start from day one. He is the best cover corner in this years class and could easily be one of the top DB's in the SEC by the end of the season. You heard it at "The Sports Flow" first."

Although, I did get one part wrong, he isn't starting at corner for Tennessee, he's starting at safety. And he isn't one of the best DBs in the SEC, he's one of the best in the nation. But from my observation, Eric Berry has been a huge reason as to why Tennessee's inexperienced defense was pretty successful this season.
He is a pure talent, he can read the QB so well, he is amazing back in coverage, and can even make the big hit. He just has a knack for the ball. Reminds me a lot of a Brian Dawkins in his prime.

Berry has been such a stud coming up with key interception after key interception in pretty big games. He's also held some good WRs in check when they come across the middle of the field. Thus far he's had 5 interceptions, including a 96 yard return for a TD vs. my Florida Gators.

I have just been so impressed with this kid, I mean it is unbelievable. He has a great future in-front of him. He is just a pure play maker and I am wondering how Florida and Georgia missed out on this kid (especially GA since he's from Fairburn, GA). This kid is one of the best DBs in the country and he's only a true freshman. I am glad I still have atleast two more years (or three) to watch this kid in College Football, but it's just too bad I have to watch him play against my Florida Gators. This kid is a true talent and I guarantee you will hear more from him in the near future.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Thanks for a Reason to Care

Last Monday's game between the Ravens and the Patriots was a great game. The Ravens did fall short (by about 2 yards) but they made me care. I'll be honest, aside from watching the Packers play every week I don't really care about the NFL regular season like I should. I just get sick of seeing the Patriots on every single Sunday and Monday night games, but if nothing else Monday's game made me care.

I found myself sitting on my futon rooting for the Ravens to win. Which was weird because I thought that I didn't care. I realized that I don't really want the Patriots to go undefeated. I'm not sure why, but I just don't. However, I do really believe that they will go undefeated, although their best shot at a loss is going to be at home against the Steelers this weekend.

As far as the game goes I admit, I only tuned in for the 4th quarter, but it was well worth my time. I was very impressed with Tom Brady. He was cool, calm, and collected and I really liked how he scrambled to pick up that pivotal first down late in the game. As far as the Jabar Gaffney's winning TD goes, it was a great pass but I don't think that he had complete control of the ball before going out of bounds. However, given that the call on the field was a TD I think the right thing to do was to have the play stand because there was NOT irrefutable visual evidence in support of it being incomplete.

The complaining about the officials was a bit too much for me to handle though. The holding call late in the game was legitimate, as was the timeout that Brian Billick called was legitimate too, although not timely. While the Gaffney call was debatable the defense on him wasn't very good anyways. People are failing to realize that even if that hail mary would have gone for a TD, Kevin Dyson was all over Patriot defenders throwing them aside, so it would have been pass interference anyways.

The Ravens played their hearts out, especially on defense. They just made too many mistakes. They were penalized far too much in the game and they just unraveled at the end (especially Bart Scott - fine pending).I thought ESPN's Monday Night Football announcers were annoying again, especially Tony Kornheuser, who openly rooted for his fantasy of a Baltimore redemption.

Overall it was a great game. The Patriots are still undefeated which makes for great drama down the road and best of all....I care again!

Sorry for the lackluster review of the game but I've got to go do some studying. Let me know what you thought of the game as well as the pivotal calls made down the stretch.

Searching for Answers: Sick of the Nickname Controversy

Earlier Grittysquirrels did a post on this. He is obviously for the nickname as he attends the University of North Dakota. Me? Well I was against it for numerous reasons, but recently I read a letter to the editor in the Bismarck Tribune about the issue; it shed some new light for me and now I am neutral on the whole issue of Native American Mascots.

I am getting really sick of this dispute between all of the schools and the NCAA. We're going to be hearing about this for a long, long time, even after UND has to change their name, that's if they do to say the least.

Here's the link to the letter written to the Trib:

The letter is written by Mr. Mato Iyotaka, a member of the Standing Rock Tribe in south central North Dakota.

He brings up some valid points and some interesting remarks:
"I am also proud to say that I am a Native American, but to hear so many people making this Fighting Sioux nickname an issue makes me wonder what's really going on. Is this issue really as life-altering as some of them make it, or something else? Maybe it's a political crutch, or a reason to drop out of school because their grades aren't up to par, or maybe they've been victimized by racism sometime in their life - what better way to get some revenge? Or maybe it's as simple as they don't even know why."

The comments right there says it all. Maybe the tribes just wanted some attention? Do they really offend these people? Well, I don't know, I am not a Native American so I couldn't tell you. But maybe it's just an excuse to get away from the problems that lie on the reservations. Maybe it's nothing at all, and they just feel like they want to be a part of something, so they want something in return from these universities in order to keep the name.

"A recent meeting on the topic at the UND campus attracted 40 natives, four of whom where Sioux, so how many of us are really offended by it? Six of eight districts on our reservation voted for UND to keep the name, but our chairman choose to ignore this fact, so what does this say about his opinion of people?"

Maybe someone should tell the NCAA about this? Looks like a we have some hypocrites here, people saying UND is greedy, when in fact they don't let the people speak for themselves.

All in all, the nickname issue is being overblown and I am sick and tired of it. Why can't everyone just move along with their lives. We have murderers, rapists, illegal immigrants, a war going on, and an energy crisis going in our country, but that doesn't have as many peoples attention as this nickname issue does. But this discussion is long over due and I think it's time we focus our attention on a new set of problems.

Monday, December 3, 2007

BCS Bowl Thoughts

The BCS Bowl Matchups were announced today and I would just like to give some insight and thoughts about it.

BCS National Title Game
The title game is LSU vs. Ohio St. This is who I predicted it was going to be after yesterdays games. Ohio St. is the most deserving, yes they don't have the toughest schedule out there but from watching them this year they are a great team. Their offense is pretty explosive and they have one of the best defenses in the country. I really think LSU deserves it as well, they played a very tough schedule and won their conference. They had big wins over Virginia Tech, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

This is a perfect opportunity for OSU to avenge their BCS Title loss to Florida last year. All they're going to hear from now till the game is how they won't be able to match up with LSU and their speed. I think because of their loss last year, the Buckeyes will be very prepared for LSU come January 7.

Hawaii vs. Georgia
First off, I am glad to see Georgia in this game, they didn't deserve to play in the title game. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you don't win your conference championship then you don't deserve to play for a national championship, and when you have a system like the BCS then that's how it should be. A second place team shouldn't be playing for first place ever, period.

As for Hawaii I am glad to see them in this game. Another opportunity to see a mid-major go against one of the BCS Boys in Georgia. Hopefully Hawaii can pull it out like Boise St. did last year.

Kansas or Missouri?
Another problem I have here is Kansas getting in over Missouri. First of all Mizzou beat the Jayhawks head to head. Yes, Kansas has one loss but their strength of schedule is 109th (119 total) and Missouri is 25th. Missouri lost only twice and both times to Oklahoma. I guess the BCS is praising wins over Florida International, SE Louisiana, and Toledo, compared to wins over Illinois, Ole Miss, and Western Michigan.
What are your thoughts on the BCS Bowl Matchups?

Friday, November 30, 2007

What an offseason

Hey TSF readers, I am back to lay some more baseball insight into this fine fine blog. Back in July I wrote a post judging the trade deadline deals, and I'm back to look at what has gone on this offseason so far, and what could potentially take place.

Santana Mania
We all know that the best pitcher to throw a baseball since Roger Clemens was in his prime is on the market, but where will Johan Santana end up? This whole situation is about to get very interesting, because not only are the Red Sox and Yankees the only realistic options out there, but no one knows if they're actually trying to trade for Johan or just jacking up the price for the other team.

I say that the Yankees and Sox are the only real contenders because unlike anyone else on the current trade market, Johan Santana controls his own destiny. He can veto a trade if the team the Twins agree to terms with doesn't give him the extension he wants (rumored at around 23-25 million per year for 5-6 years). This makes this trade difficult in two ways - sure the Angels and Dodgers have the prospects to get a deal done, but they then have to sign Johan to a long term deal. If I were to guess, the Yankees eventually cave in and give up Ian Kennedy AND Philip Hughes, with Melky Cabrera and another minor leaguer (possibly Eric Duncan?) and get Johan. Trading that many prospects is completely against Theo Epstein's and Brian Cashman's philosophy, but the difference will be that Cashman isn't running the show anymore, and Theo is.

WTF White Sox?
What in the world were the White Sox thinking in giving Scott Linebrink that ridiculous contract? No one knows, but what we do know is that it has skyrocketed the reliever's market, and that is shown by Francisco Cordero's contract with the Reds. My prediction: They work out for a year, and then the contracts become albatross's hanging around both team's necks for the remainder of them. Thanks for setting back baseball a few years Kenny Williams.

Twins get a bat, Rays get an arm
Yes the Twinkies finally got another bat to stick in the lineup I like to call M&M and 7 random guys. Morneau and Mauer power that offense now that the Angels overpaid for ANOTHER aging center fielder (let's not forget Gary Matthews Jr.'s ridiculous contract from last year) when they signed away Torii Hunter. The problem is, Mauer doesn't hit for power, and while Cuddyer has been solid, they stil found their offense to be anemic at times even with Hunter having a contract year. Delmon Young will be for real, and he will help the Twins for however long he can keep his head on.
I still give this trade to the Rays, however, because the shortstops traded in this trade dramatically favors the Rays, and the prospect the Rays got will eventually be a solid 10th or 11th arm in the bullpen. The two players the Twins got back are bench players at best. Matt Garza also isn't too shabby, and I think Garza and Kazmir will make a solid 1-2 punch for the Rays.

Really LAA?
I already mentioned my thoughts on this signing above, but I will say this: If Torii Hunter is worth 90 million over 5 years, I'm good for about 750,000 over 3, and I didn't even play baseball my senior year of high school.

Cabrera Sweepstakes
Not since the Clippers and the Lakers fought to sign Shaq have two L.A. teams fought for the right to complain about how overweight a player on their roster is. Eating habits aside, Cabrera is a STUD, and while the Dodgers and Angels are being leveraged against each other by the Marlins (ask the LA Angels' owner how he feels about that), I think the Angels come out on top. Another reason why the Angels don't get Johan - they will trade their prospects to get Cabrera.

With so much happening so far this offseason (I didn't even delve into the Yankees re-signings drama), this offseason has promised to be a great one. When was the last time we saw two teams trade top prospect for top prospect like the Rays and Twins did? And when was the last time THIS MUCH top pitching talent has been available (make the right offer, the A's will give you Joe Blanton and Cy Young runner-up Dan Haren). As a baseball enthusiast, I am loving this offseason, and with the Winter Meetings around the corner, it should just get even better.

Play of the Year?

Gateway High laterals it's way to force overtime vs. Central Catholic in the Pennsylvania AAAA Football Championship. Central Catholic ended up winning but this is still one heck of a play. Can you say play of the year?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

R.I.P Sean Taylor (1983-2007)

Today was going to be a "Happy Youtube Tuesday", however given the circumstances I feel it only right that I pay tribute to Sean Taylor.

Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor died Tuesday after he was shot in his home by an apparent intruder, leaving everybody, including myself in shock. The 24-year-old player died at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he had been airlifted after the shooting early Monday. Taylor, the fifth overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft following an All-American season at the University of Miami, was shot early Monday in the upper leg, damaging the key femoral artery and causing significant blood loss.

I would first like to send out my deepest condolences to the Taylor family, the Washington Redskins, and the Miami Hurricanes. Most people know Sean as the flamboyant, hard-hitting, fine-gathering player he was in his first 3 or 4 years in the league. What many people don't realize is that he is also a father of a 1 year old baby girl named Jackie, and a maturing man and emerging leader on and off the field (and his teammates and coaches noticed).

"It's hard to expect a man to grow up overnight, but ever since he had his child, it was like a new Sean, and everybody around here knew it. He was always smiling, always happy, always talking about his child." -Clinton Portis-

I can't imagine what it would be like to be 24 and have to leave your 1 year old daughter and girlfriend behind. As for the Redskins, who must somehow absorb the raw emotions from this tragedy and prepare to play two games during a critical five-day stretch next week, the reality is that an already-struggling team quickly must find a way to compensate for the loss of a Pro Bowl-caliber defender. And while dealing with replacing Taylor in the lineup won't be quite the same as confronting the specter of having lost the fourth-year veteran as a friend, it is still an imperative that must be addressed.

I loved watching Sean as a player. I never get sick of seeing his hard hits and amazing interceptions. He was really emerging in his pass coverage game this year as he had nine pass deflections and an NFC-best five interceptions in nine games before suffering a sprained knee that kept him out of the last two games. I really feel like Taylor was taking the next step to being an elite player and I was very excited to watch him and LaRon Landry play along side each other. i felt like they could have become the most prolific SS & FS duos in the NFL.

I had other ideas for a post today but keeping with the theme I would like to offer up some of my favorite YouTube videos of Sean Taylor - the fearless hitter that will forever be missed.

Forgot to tell Taylor it was the Pro Bowl?

Sticks and Picks

Taylor at Da U

Obviously this does Sean and the situation no justice. However, it's the best I can do on this day of mourning for the NFL and football fans everywhere.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Here comes Texas

The Texas Longhorns basketball team is picking up where it left off last season, without Kevin Durant.

Texas has started the 2007-2008 season strong and fast, rattling off 5 impressive wins thus far, with the most impressive win coming against the 7th ranked Tennessee Volunteers Saturday night, 97-78.

Their first win was against lowly Texas-San Antonio, but after that they've shown they're indeed a force to be reckoned with again in the Big XII. They then beat UC-Davis 73-42 with Jr. guard A.J. Abrams shooting 9-15 from the field and finishing with 21 points. Abrams decided to put on another show, putting up 30 on Arkansas-Monticello while going 8-12 from three point land. Then after going up against a decent New Mexico St. team, Abrams put down 31 and went 9-12 from behind the arc, while sophomore sensation D.J. Augustin piled up 25 of his own.

Yes, you can say those teams weren't very formidable opponents, but Texas shot over 54% in 3 of those games and their defense clamped down on these opponents all night long. But yes, it was still Texas-SA, Arkansas-Monticello, and UC-Davis.

Then came the Vol thrashing...

Four starters put up at least 21 points against Tennessee and this time it was Augustin who was on fire from behind the arc, going 4-8 and finishing with 23 points. Abrams went 3-8 from 3 point land and ended up with 21 of his own. And it's not these two doing all the work, Connor Atchley put up 22 and Justin Mason had 21 while the Longhorns cruised 97-78 over the Vols.

I was impressed, very impressed as they shot 64% from the field while holding Chris Lofton and Co. to 39% shooting.

They have another chance to show they're the real deal when they travel to play UCLA on December 2nd.

I was one of those who questioned in the pre-season whether Texas would be able to hang with the big boys without Kevin Durant, and they showed it after their win over Tennessee. They shouldn't slow down and will be there in not only the Big XII race, but the national race as well, till the end.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Turkeyday!

I would like to wish a happy thanksgiving and safe travels to all of our readers on behalf of The Sports Flow Team!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

FCS (1-AA) Playoff Predictions

With FCS being the highest division of College Football with a playoff system, it seems fitting to do some predictions; It's too bad my fellow 10-1 NDSU Bison can't be a part of this...

First Round
Northern Iowa 38
New Hampshire 24

Delaware 30
Delaware St. 20

Southern Illinois 31
Eastern Illinois 18

UMass 24
Fordham 16

McNeese St. 27
Eastern Washington 21

Appalachian St. 34
James Madison 24

Montana 34
Wofford 26

Richmond 32
E. Kentucky 30

Northern Iowa 27
Delaware 23

Southern Illinois 18
UMass 16

Appalachian St. 27
McNeese St. 24

Richmond 34
Montana 31

Southern Illinois 27
Northern Iowa 21

Appalachian St. 37
Richmond 32

FCS Final
Appalachian St. 26
Southern Illinois 23

Appalachian St. will win their 3rd straight FCS (Formerly 1-AA) Title. Half way through the season they struggled a bit, even after beating Michigan, and they were unhealthy as well with their QB Armanti Edwards being out. But now their team is fully healthy again and are looking to be a top FCS football once again.

Monday, November 19, 2007

TSF Heisman Watch

This has been anything but the standard Heisman Race. I'd like to weigh in quickly with what has become increasingly obvious to me over the last few weeks.

Coming into the week I really liked Dennis Dixon to win. I even watched this commercial profusely taking great entertainment from it:

With my top candidate Dennis Dixon out of contention, how many legitimate players are out there that can satisfy that general voter urge to choose a contender from a highly-ranked squad? Here's what I see:
I'm reluctant to say it but i see Time Tebow as the front-runner to win the Heisman right now...even with 3 losses! In the midst of a roller-coaster ride of a season I think voters are just starting to warm up to the idea of the underclassman winning it with 3 losses. Tebow is set to go down with Archie Griffin in Heisman lore. That's good for Tebow, good for the Heisman and good for college football. If he wins I don't think that automatically means that we'll start seeing underclassmen win it every year so i don't have a problem with it.

Look at the stats he is the first EVER 20/20 man in NCAA Football history and is on pace for over 3,000 passing yards and 850 rushing yards and a combined 50 touchdowns. Because of the sheer weight of his numbers, name recognition, team-profile, television exposure and personality, he is the overwhelming favorite for this year's Heisman right now.

In my opinion if anyone is going to beat him it will be Chase Daniel from Mizzou. Although he's an outside shot right now I feel like he is in the best position to make a run at the Heisman. Daniel is on pace for the following stats: 3,916 passing yards, 33 touchdown passes, 69 per cent completions, 10 interceptions, 300 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns. Here's what I see as necessary for him to win it:
1. Daniel has a big game and Missouri beats Kansas.
2. Daniel has a big game and Missouri beats Oklahoma.
3. Missouri wins berth in BCS title game.
4. Tebow flops as Florida loses to FSU would cement it.

If I had to pick a third candidate I would pick Darren McFadden.
Overall this is what I see:
1. Tim Tebow
2. Chase Daniel
3. Darren McFadden

What's your Heisman race look like right now?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Week 11 NFL QuickPicks

Sorry for no post yesterday. We had a TSF reunion up in Grand Forks between Ming and I. Now it's back to business. Here's what you should expect for tomorrow.

Eagles beat the Dolphins
Buccaneers beat the Falcons
Jaguars beat the Chargers
Browns beat the Ravens

Saints beat the Texans
Colts beat the Chiefs
Packers beat the Panthers
Vikings beat the Raiders
Steelers beat the Jets
Seahawks beat the Bears
Rams beat the 49ers
Cowboys beat the Redskins
Patriots beat the Bills
Cardinals beat the Bengals
Titans beat the Broncos

Closest Call
Giants beat the Lions

Naysayers? What are your picks?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Not the "BS" Standings this week

As I look at the current BCS Standings this week, I can't really disagree. It seems pretty accurate to me.

Here's the current standings Top Ten for this past week:
1. LSU
2. Oregon
3. Kansas
4. Oklahoma
5. Missouri
6. West Virginia
7. Ohio St.
8. Arizona St.
9. Georgia
10. Virginia Tech

In my eyes, LSU is the best team in the country, they are the most talented and have gone through their tough schedule nearly unblemished, with just one loss coming at a good Kentucky team.

As for Oregon they've played great as well and to me, are the 2nd best team in the land. The Ducks have had some pretty good wins as well in the 2nd best conference in the country (Pac 10) over USC, at Washington, and Arizona St. Their lone loss came against Cal and lost by about a foot.

As for Kansas, they are where they belong. I am not ready to put them in the top two, first of all when you play Central Michigan, SE Louisiana, Toledo, Florida International, and Baylor you're not going to get much props from me. Go out and schedule some formidable opponents. If Kansas beats Missouri and OU in the Big XII Title game, then I will give them the respect they deserve.

To me the rest of the standings seem pretty fair, except one minor change I would fix is switch around Missouri and West Virginia. Other then that it seems pretty fair and accurate. But with the way the season has gone, we may finish the year with a split national champion again and nobody wants that. There's going to be disaster again at the end of this season with the BCS and everybody knows it; which is another reason College Football needs a minor playoff and another reason why the BCS is still B.S.

(Want to talk some NCAA Football or the BCS? Well join us at the new Sports Flow Site and sign up for the Forum!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

MLB Free Agent Rankings and Speculation

Fire up the Hot Stove it's time to talk free agency in the world of Major League Baseball! I'm going to give you a list of top free agents ranked accordingly plus a small blurb on my thoughts on the player and where I think they'll wind up.

1. Alex Rodriguez - 3B
Who else did you think was going to be first? Expect to see a really high number wherever he lands as A-Rod's price tag reportedly starts at 10 years, $350 million.
Predicted Destination: Dodgers, Giants, Angels

2. Jorge Posada - C
Sure he's old, but the market for catchers is EXTREMELY thin this year. Word on the street is that the Yankees are offering 4 years at 52 million to wrap him up before he can even talk to other teams. That seems like a lot of money and a long period of time, but with Arod gone how else are the Yanks gunna spend their $$?!
Predicted Destination: Yankees

3. Torii Hunter - CF
Great on Defense and an underrated offensive player as well. He'd be a great addition to any team. If the Twins let Johan slip that would put them in a position to have enough moeny to resign Hunter - in which case would be in their best interest. However, he has the option to opt out.
Predicted Destination: Braves, Twins, Yankees

4. Mike Lowell - 3B
He followed up a nice 2006 season with a superb 2007 season and put himself in great position for the offseason. He hit .324 last year at age 34, but had never hit over .300 in any other season, and hitters typically do not add new skills at this late age. He is definately worth the money for a 2 year deal but I would shy away from anything more than that. Look for him to stay in Boston unless if someone offers him contract length that he can't resist.
Predicted Destination: Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies

5. Barry Bonds - OF/DH
Barry is a below-average outfielder but in the world of the DH he ranks highly in my opinion. He is definately looking for a 1-year contact right now and I see it happening somewhere where he can DH. When looking at his power, and plate discipline he looks like the next best pure hitter to Arod in this market.
Predicted Destination: A's, Padres

6. Francisco Cordero - RP
He owns the free-agent market as far as closers are concerned. Coming off of a 44 save season for the Brew Crew look for him to draw a healthy 4 year deal. Brewers GM Doug Melvin has verbalized resigning Cordero as his #1 objective for the offseason.
Predicted Destination: Brewers, Astros

7. Andy Petite - SP
Pettitte just completed his third straight season of at least 210 innings and 33 starts giving me every reason to believe that he can come back and be a middle of the rotation workhorse. He looks to me to be the best SP Available. He declined his option with the Yanks so don't expect him back in pinstripes.
Predicted Destination: Astros, Mets, Dodgers

8. Andruw Jones - CF
Could possibly still be classified as an "elite" CFer although he's coming off his worst season. The power is there and his defense is still good (although declining). Coming off such a poor 2007 season (40-point drop in average, 15 fewer homers and 35 fewer RBIs) makes me think that it would make sense for him to sign for 1 year somewhere and then try to hit the market again next season.
Predicted Destination: Dodgers, Rangers, Astros

9. Mariano Rivera - RP
He's aging but his control is still phenominal and his velocity is slipping minimally. He is still a good groundball pitcher who will still earn his fair share of strikeouts. He can still close games but due to his age I would expect nothing more than a 2year deal from someone.
Predicted Destination: Cubs, Yankees, Giants

10. Kosuke Fukudome - OF
While not incredibly well-known (I had to research him myself) Fukudome is probably the only impact player who'll be coming over from Japan this winter. His game has been compared to a current Bobby Abreau. I think you can look for him to attract a lot of attention and a 3 or 4 year deal without arbitration eligibility (this puts him back on the market at the age of 33 or 34).
Predicted Destination: Cardinals, Royals, Tigers

Monday, November 12, 2007

TSF College Basketball Predictions

Even though the College Hoops season has already started we would like to do a little preview of our Final Four Picks and such. Like Complete Sports, we never finished our conference predictions so we will scrap those as well, Sorry for the inconvenience.

Final Four Predictions

Stefan Ming's Picks:
North Carolina

2008 National Champion:
Memphis Tigers

Grittysquirrels Picks:


2008 National Champion:
Tennessee Vols

All-American Team:

Stefan Ming:
Tyler Hansbrough (UNC)
Chris Douglas-Roberts (Memphis)
Stephen Curry (Davidson)
Roy Hibbert (Georgetown)
Chris Lofton (Tennessee)

Player of the Year: Tyler Hansbrough (UNC)
Coach of the Year: Rick Pitino (Louisville)

Tyler Hansbrough (UNC)
Roy Hibbert (Georgetown)
Chris Lofton (Tennessee)
Darren Collison (UCLA)
O.J. Mayo (USC)

Player of the Year: Tyler Hansbrough (UNC)

Coach of the Year:
Bruce Pearl (Tennessee)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

NFL Quickpicks: Week 10

Sorry for the lack of postage lately, here's some NFL predictions for tomorrow. Also, tomorrow w will have TSF's Final Four Predictions.

Chiefs over Broncos
Bills over Dolphins
Packers over Vikings
Steelers over Browns
Saints over Rams
Jaguars over Titans
Eagles over Redskins
Panthers over Falcons
Bengals over Ravens
Bears over Raiders
Cardinals over Lions
Giants over Cowboys
Colts over Chargers

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

2007 College Basketball Conference Previews: SEC

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Predicted Order of Finish:

1. Tennesse Volunteers
I love Bruce Pearl and his painted chest. He's had this program on the rise for the last few years and this is their year to take it from the Gators. Vols return four starters and eight letter winners to a team poised to make a move. Pearl has experience and depth and the East is theirs to lose.

2. Vanderbilt Commadores
Vanderbilt finished a distant second with a decent record in the east and is looking to get a steady improvement this year. The commodores return three starters and seven letter winners from last year’s squad. Shan Foster will be back as the team leader in points but the Commodores will need the new youngsters to take a serious role if they expect to have a shot at being the team to beat in the East.

3. Florida Gators
Will they reload or rebuild? They lost 10 letter winners from last year losing five starters. Billy Donovan jumped to Orlando before coming right back to Florida may have hurt his recruiting. Marreese Speights will lead the list of newcomers trying to make a difference for the Gators. They'll be a good team but I think it's safe to say that they won't 3-peat.

4. Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky basketball can only hope to make the splash that the Kentucky football team has made this year. They have headed in the right directions with the recent changes starting with the head coach Billy Gillispie who brings experience and a winning attitude. They're going to need a better road record, which was the Achilles heel of this team last year as they posted a weak road record of 4-6. For the team to be successful they must avoid the injury bug that already has bitten this team. They return three starters and an injury to Joe Crawford is already an issue. If they stay healthy and win on the road Kentucky could return to prominence.

5. South Carolina Gamecocks
The only place to go is up for a South Carolina team that finished with just four victories in conference play. The news may just get worse as they lose their top three scorers from a year ago. The good news is that they do have some transfers that are eligible to play this season and that should help this team out, the bad news is it looks like another long season for the Game Cocks as they miss the post season again.

6. Georgia Bulldogs
The Georgia Bulldogs are off a horrible year where they went .500 in the SEC and managed to get ousted in the second round of the NIT. The good news is they return four starters from last year’s squad and this will bring some much needed experience to a team that needs to improve. The catch is that Georgia suspended three pivotal players for a big chunk of the season due to academic reasons. Georgia will have a lot of work to do to compete in an East division crowded with talent. Maybe next year....

1. Arkansas Razorbacks
John Pelphrey
starts his first year at the helm for the Razorbacks and so far his recruiting has been excellent. This team plays really good defense and they bring back all five starters from a year ago and nine top scorers and six of those nine scorers are seniors. The team made the big dance again and with the new coaching methodology and the youth mixed with experience the post season is a reality for the hogs. In fact the hogs are off back to back appearances at the big dance and 20 win seasons.

2. Auburn Tigers
Auburn Auburn remembers last year very well and how close they were to winning the west. In fact they were 40 seconds shy of winning the division. This year they return all five starters from a team that defeated five nationally ranked clubs and is ready to make a run at the dance. They return all eight starters so will have depth and five of those eight averaged a double-double. This team is stocked with experience as it carries three seniors and four juniors. Auburn will look to play an up tempo game and use their depth and experience to make a run at the dance.

3. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Mississippi St. played above most expectations last year by being Co-champions of the West and going to the semi finals in the NIT. This year they will have to work to improve on that with just two returning starters. The depth will be in place even though they lost some starters with seven letter men returning to this year’s squad. Jamont Gordon and the dogs will compete for the top spot in the West again

4. Ole Miss Rebels
They only have two returning starters and will look to replace Todd Abernethy who led the SEC in assist to turnover ratio. The Rebels had a huge turn around in last year’s campaign, but this year they have too much to overcome with the loss of great players and lack of experience. Don't expect anything more than a possible NIT bid.

5. LSU Tigers
LSU finished a woeful sixth in the West and only have three starters returning to the fold. The Tigers feel flat last year after only being two years removed from an unbelievable run in the big dance and are looking for redemption this year. With lack of experience to help them out look for them to shift the game plan and try to play to their strengths. Freshman Anthony Randolph has potential to crack the starting five out the gate. This team will have a shot of being a team in the big dance if the chemistry and patience is there but I'm not seeing it.

6. Alabama Red Tide
Alabama is off a very tough year and it does not look to get better this year at least not any time soon. They had troubles on the road last year finishing the season at 1-7 on the road in SEC games and the schedule makers were not kind to them this year making them play the last six out of nine games on the road. That schedule and lack of a point guard will keep them out of the post season altogether.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

2007 College Basketball Conference Previews: Big XII

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By Stefan Ming

Predicted Order of Finish:Brandon Rush

1. Kansas
KU is loaded with veteran players and are looking to get over the hump and reach the Final Four for the first time since 2003. Gone is versatile forward Julian Wright, who will be missed greatly, but the experience and ever-talented Jayhawks are still one of the top teams in the country. KU returns 4 starters in Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Russell Robinson, and Sasha Kaun. Sixth man Darrell Arthur will start for Wright and will be one of the top sophomores in the nation. Also, a rather deep bench should keep them atop the Big XII.

2. Kansas St.
KSU did lose 3 starters, but their in-coming recruiting class is their best ever. Clent Stewart and David Hoskins are the two returning starters, but Michael Beasley and Bill Walker will help fill in for the other losses. Beasley is a great talent and will most likely be one and done. Dominique Sutton is another recruit who will make some noise and can shoot the long ball as well.

3. Texas
It will be interesting to see how Texas does with Kevin Durant gone. They still have some good talent remaining and the other 4 starters are back. D.J. Augustin was very impressive as a freshman PG last season and should be one of the best in the Big XII. A.J. Abrams is also another guard who will be counted to lead the Longhorns. Justin Mason and Damion Jones are two young forwards with a lot of promise. They will hurt a bit downlow and it doesn't help that their top recruit, Gary Johnson (who is a PF), is out for the sCurtis Jerrellseason with a heart condition.

4. Texas A&M
Texas A&M lost one of the premier guards in the nation in Acie Law, but return 3 starters with plenty of talent and ability. Dominique Kirk is back at SG after averaging 7.2 PPG and will be heavily counted on to lead the backcourt. Forwards Josh Carter and Joseph Jones are back as well and will be a big part of the offense with Law gone. 7-0 recruit DeAndre Carter is supposedly the top recruit ever to sign with the Aggies. It will be interesting to see how the new PG, whoever it is, performs.

5. Missouri
Mizzou returns 4 starters from a team that barely missed the NIT. They would have 5 back but center Kalen Grimes was dismissed from the the team for assault charges. They have some issues down low with not much size, and it won't help either with Grimes gone. Stefhon Hannah was the Tigers' main guy last season averaging 15.4 PPG, but will need the other players to help him with more consistent play. Vanderbilt transfer DeMarre Carroll should provide immediate help inside.

6. Oklahoma
OU has 4 starters back and is a pretty balanced team. Their defense was pretty good last season and should only get better. 7-0 center Longar Longar impressed many last season and is one of the best big men in the conference. They should also have a very good backcourt with 3 solid guards/forwards in Tony Crocker, Austin Johnson, and Taylor Griffin.

7. Texas Tech
The Red Raiders lost some key players that included one of the best guards in the nation in Jerrius Jackson. One starter is back which could be a cause for a concern. Martin Zeno is the lone starter returning but he was one of their main threats averaging about 16 PPG. He will be their main guy and Tech will need to find some depth if they want to finish higher in the standings. But you can never count out a Bobby Knight coached team.

8. Baylor
Baylor is the most experienced team in the Big XII this season with their top 8 players back. The Bears looked better and better as the season went on last year, they should have some great guard play in Curtis Jerrells and Aaron Bruce.

9. Oklahoma St.
The Cowboys looked good at the beginning of the season but lost their way as the season went on. Gone is Mario Boggan, one of the top scorers in the conference and JamesOn Curry. But back is PG Byron Eaton, SG Terrel Harris and F Marcus Dove. Obi Muonelo is back from a broken leg after missing 18 games last season and should make an immediate impact.

10. Iowa St.
ISU will be loaded in the frontcourt with Rahshon Clark, Jiri Hubalek back, plus they added some good recruits in Craig Backins and Iowa transfer Alex Thompson. But a lot will depend on the backcourt with no clear-cut PG and an offense that ranked last in scoring and FG% in the Big XII last season.

11. Nebraska
The Huskers improved as the season went along last year and the 2nd year coach has the program looking pretty promising. 3 starters are back but they need to improve on defense more and find a little more depth.

12. Colorado
CU does have 4 starters back but they never won back to back conference games last season. The new coach from Air Force, Jeff Bzdelik is in for a long run and it should take a few years before he gets the program back on its feet.

Player of the Year: Brandon Rush, G- Kansas

Freshman of the Year: Michael Beasley, F- Kansas St.

Three Big Games: Kansas at USC- Dec. 2, Kansas at Kansas St.- Jan. 30, Texas at Texas A&M- Jan, 30