Friday, August 31, 2007

College Football: What I learned from Opening Night

As you can already tell I'm very excited that College Football is underway. I live and breath College Football and all of Labor Day Weekend I will sit back and relax and watch some games that I've been waiting for ever since March Madness ended. Here's a few things I learned from Thursday nights' games.

LSU's Defense is absolutely solid and arguably the fiercest defense in the country.
After watching LSU pick off Mississippi St. 6 times last night and their front seven making many tackles behind the line of scrimmage, I have come to the conclusion that LSU has one of the best defenses in the country. They made the Bull Dogs look like they were a D-2 team playing out there. The D-Line, lead by Glenn Dorsey, were clogging the holes and making stops behind the line of scrimmage all night. The LBs were filling the gaps and sacking Michael Henig constantly. The secondary was very impressive taking the WRs out of their routes and staying at home and attacking the ball very aggressively, forcing Henig to throw 6 INT. Overall, the defenses' physicality was stellar and took it to Mississippi St. I am definitely looking forward to their match up next week vs. Virginia Tech.

Louisville's Offense will be one of the most high-powered offenses in the country.
Granted they were playing Murray St., but Brian Brohm looked incredible last night and will produce great numbers under Steve Kragthorpes new offense. He threw for 375 yards and 5 touchdowns, two of them to Harry Douglas. Louisville rolled up 655 yards of total offense, and worked with stunning efficiency. The Cardinals averaged a touchdown once every four plays in the first half, and their longest scoring drive with the starters in took all of 2:58. Brohm will be putting up some impressive numbers this year.

Iowa St. is bad
Good thing I picked them to finish 6th in the Big XII North. Last night they lost to Kent St. 23-14. I thought Brett Meyer would have performed better with his athleticism and experience, but he was horrible last night throwing 2 INT. He was throwing the ball up for grabs and into coverage almost all night. ISU's offensive line needs to improve drastically too and Meyer needs to mature or else it will be a long season for the Cyclones.

Florida is already looking good for '08
Emmanuel Moody, former USC RB, enrolled at Florida Thursday. He will fit well in Urban Meyer's spread-option offense with his elusiveness and shiftiness as a runner. Florida doesn't have much at RB and come next year he will be one of the best RBs in the SEC. But who knows , maybe Kestahn Moore, Brandon James, or Chris Rainey will show me something this season...

National Title Prediction
Okay before the first Saturday begins I need to make a national title prediction. I have USC vs. West Virginia vying for the BCS Title but I have been unsure of who to pick for a long time. My heart says West Virginia but my head says USC. Now since Complete Sports copied my title prediction now it's time for me to return the favor; West Virginia will be your 2007 College Football National Champion. I love their explosiveness offensively lead by QB Pat White, RBs Steve Slaton and Noel Devine, and one of the best WRs in the Big East in Darius Reynaud. They have an easier schedule than most and their defense will be improved.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Little Pregaming: 8/30/07 - 9/03/07

I'm too excited for the 25 straight hours of college football that is nearly upon us to write about anything else. Therefore I'm going to get you ready for the season and this weekend's games in particular.

Other Stuff to Help You Get Ready

This Weekend's Picks
#16 Rutgers over Buffalo
#2 LSU over Mississippi St.
#10 Louisville over Murray State
#24 Boise State over Weber State
#9 Virginia Tech over East Carolina
#1 USC over Idaho
#3 West Virginia over Western Michigan
#7 Wisconsin over Washington State
#22 TCU over Baylor
#23 Hawaii over Northern Colorado
#6 Florida over Western Kentucky

Game of the Week
#12 California over #15 Tennessee

Games That Might Be Closer Than You'd Think
#5 Michigan over Appalachian State
#11 Ohio St. over Youngstown State

Upset Special (if it happens, obviously)
Appalachian State over #5 Michigan
-I know I just picked Michigan to win a close-ish contest above, however this Appalachian St. team is seriously good. They were the D1-AA (FCS) champs last year and this, to me, looks like a huge scheduling mistake by Michigan. They picked the worst D1-AA team to play and they honestly could lose this game if they don't come into it on their game. If they come out flat they could find themselves panicking down the stretch in the 2nd half. It's just a really dangerous game for them because if they lose their season is done before it even starts. -Keep an eye on appalachian State's studly QB Armanti Edwards -

Good, Close Games
#19 Florida State over Clemson
Georgia Tech over Notre Dame
Illinois over Missouri
UCF over NC St.
Georgia over Oklahoma State
Auburn over Kansas State
Boston College over Wake Forest

What do you think about the picks? What are some of yours? How pumped are you for this weekend?

My World In Sports: What I've Been Waiting For

I just got done studying and I wanted to quick come at you with what has me all excited in the world of sports right now.

I Am Ready For Some Football!
After a few pretty quiet weeks in the sports world (maybe minus the Little League WS?) I am definitely ready for some football. The College Football season will officially kick off on Thursday...even though it technically started for me last Thursday with a 59-0 smackdown of Humbolt State. It will be perfect because I don't have class on Thursdays so I can get my laundry and studying done during the day and then tune in to some football in the evening! Although the games aren't much to look at. However, I highly encourage all sports fans out there to tune in to the LSU vs. Miss St. game just to see how good the Tigers are going to be. Or, maybe rather how poor the Bulldogs will be. Also a game to tune into might be the Tulsa vs. Louisiana-Monroe game if you're looking for something a little closer. Mostly just enjoy watching the beautiful game on television again.

MLB is heating up Big Time
Most specifically, in my mind the NL Central. My Brewers are struggling hugely as the Cubs continue to meander there way to a first place lead and the Cardinals make an incredible surge. Something that also goes without mention is that I the Reds have gone from arguably the worst team in the NL to only 8 games back in the Central. They don't have a shot at winning the division but that is an amazing accomplishment in itself that has been ignored. It's also a great time for some awesome and relevant matchups in baseball! Top pivotal series' include MIL vs. CHC, SEA vs. LAA, BOS vs. NYY, ARI vs. SD. Check them out!

Things I Am Ready To Be Done With
I am ready to stop talking about the Vick case. I wish they could sentence him tomorrow and the media could move on. You readers know how I feel on the issue and I think that the media is starting to beat a dead horse at this point. I mean, when you have your own section on's article-ticker-thing for a good week or more that is enough. Also, I love the Little League World Series, but I'm a little glad it's over too. With a lack of good sports to watch over the last week or so I just got worn out with it. Basically I can't wait!

Is there anything you think I missed? How excited are you to watch some college football on TV? How sick of the Vick ordeal are you?

Monday, August 27, 2007

USA Basketball on a roll

The U.S. Mens Basketball team finally looks like a program once again, instead of a team just put together.

After three impressive wins, U.S. Basketball is starting to look like its old self again. Mike Krzyzewski has put together a team that knows how to play true fundamental basketball, which is the main reason why the U.S. has lost it's dominance in recent years, other than selfish, fancy basketball along with dunks and individual moves.

With a starting lineup composed of Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard there's no reason to believe the U.S. can't return to power like it did back in the 80's and 90's. Everybody on this team, at least during the FIBA America's Tournament at least, has shown they can share the ball, make the extra pass, and play hard-nosed defense. The team has held it's first three opponents to 30.9% shooting and have averaged 116 points per game thus far.

Over the past few seasons the American squad has not had its best players play. I would have loved to see Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady, Gilbert Arenas, or Tim Duncan play. Maybe we could have won with a few more of our best of the best in the NBA. But now Coach K has put together a team that will win the Tournament of Americas and no doubt in my mind should win the Olympics.

As a basketball fan, especially an American one, it has been frustrating how the U.S. has lost its prestige over the world. With a team composed of NBA players such as Kobe, Lebron, Carmelo, Howard, Kidd, Michael Redd, and Amare Stoudemire, there's no way this team should come up short of an Olympic Gold Medal next summer; it's now or never, because if the U.S. doesn't win this time around, they may never regain their power ever again.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

BCS Bowl Predictions

TSF's comprehensive 2007 NCAA Football Preview concludes with the BCS Bowl Predictions.

USC vs. West Virginia
USC should run the table even with a semi-tough schedule. WVA has a very good chance to finish undefeated even with games at Rutgers and South Florida, their offense will be too explosive.

Wisconsin vs. Florida
Wisconsin will be one of the best teams in the country and will finish 11-1 and and win the Big Ten. I see Florida finishing 10-3, but still earning a BCS Bowl bid with some impressive wins.

LSU vs. Michigan
LSU has a very good chance at finishing undefeated but something tells me they will lose to either V-Tech or Alabama, which will keep them out of the title game. Michigan will finish 2nd in the Big Ten and winds up in the Sugar Bowl with no fit in any of the others.

Virginia Tech vs. Louisville
Something tells me that V-Tech may just be playing in the BCS Title Game, but I can't make up my mind about their game at LSU. As of right now I see them finishing 12-1 with winning the ACC. Louisville has to play at WVA and S. FLA and should falter at least in one of those games.

Texas vs. Hawaii
I see Texas winning the Big 12 and Hawaii finishing undefeated with one of the easiest schedules in the country.

What are your BCS Bowl Predictions?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

TSF College Football Pre-season Top 20 Poll

As we continue TSF's comprehensive College Football preview, here is our pre-season Top 20 Poll.

1. USC- opens Sept. 1 vs. Idaho
Toughest game- Nov. 10 at California

2. West Virginia- opens Sept. 1 vs. W. Michigan
Toughest game- Oct. 27 at Rutgers

3. LSU- opens Aug. 30 at Mississippi St.
Toughest game- Sept. 8 vs. V-Tech

4. Virginia Tech- opens Sept. 1 vs. East Carolina
Toughest game- Sept. 8 at LSU

5. Florida- opens Sept. 1 vs. W. Kentucky
Toughest game- Oct. 6 at LSU

6. Wisconsin- opens Sept. 1 vs. Washington St.
Toughest game- Nov. 10 vs. Michigan

7. Michigan- opens Sept. 1 vs. Appalachian St.
Toughest game- Nov. 10 at Wisconsin

8. Louisville- opens Aug. 30 vs. Murray St.
Toughest game- Nov. 8 vs. Louisville

9. Texas- opens Sept. 1 vs. Arkansas St.
Toughest game- Oct. 6 vs. Oklahoma

10. Oklahoma- opens Sept. 1 vs. North Texas
Toughest game- Oct. 6 at Texas

11. California- opens Sept. 1 vs. Tennessee
Toughest game- Nov. 10 vs. USC

12. Arkansas- opens Sept. 1 vs. Troy
Toughest game- Nov. 23 at LSU

13. UCLA- opens Sept. 1 at Stanford
Toughest game- Dec. 1 at USC

14. Ohio St.- opens Sept 1. vs. Youngstown St.
Toughest game- Nov. 17 at Michigan

15. Rutgers- opens Aug. 30 vs. Buffalo
Toughest game- Oct. 27 vs. West Virginia

16. Penn St.- opens Sept. 1 vs. Florida International
Toughest game- Sept. 22 at Michigan

17. Tennessee- opens Sept. 1 at California
Toughest game- Sept. 15 at Florida

18. Nebraska- opens Sept. 1 vs. Nevada
Toughest game- Sept. 15 vs. USC

19. Auburn- opens Sept. 1 vs. Kansas St.
Toughest game- Oct. 20 at LSU

20. TCU- opens Sept. 1 vs. Baylor
Toughest game- Sept. 8 at Texas

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

College Football Odds and Ends

In continuing with TSF's 2007 NCAA Football season preview, I'm going to tie-in some randomish thoughts and ideas in list form that I have on the upcoming season to go along with all of Ming's Conference Previews that I'm sure you've all already read. If you haven't then do it and start getting excited for the upcoming season.

Preseason AP Poll Too-High's and Too-Low's
- #11 Ohio St. --> Too High
- #6 Florida --> Too High
- #8 Oklahoma --> Too High
- #7 Wisconsin --> Too Low
- #25 Texas A&M --> Too Low
- #12 California -->Too Low

Teams to Keep an Eye on (Possible Shockers)
-Boise State (not as under-the-radar as they once were)
-Oregon State
-Georgia Tech

Overrated Teams Who Will Fall
-Ohio St.

Players I'm Stoked to Watch
-DeSean Jackson, California
-Colt Brennan, Hawaii
-Ray Rice, Rutgers
-Ian Johnson, Boise State
-Patrick Turner, USC
-Andre' Woodson, Kentucky

D1-AA (FCS) Teams to Keep an Eye On
-North Dakota State
-Youngstown State
-Appalachian State
-Northern Iowa

D2 Teams Worth Watching
-Chadron State
-Grand Valley State
-North Dakota
-Northwest Missouri
-Nebraska Omaha

What are you College Football odds and ends? Any changes to mine?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Playing the Percentages with Mike Vick

I had a little something in regards to TSF's NCAA Football Preview planned for tonight but with the recent news announced in regards to the Falcon's QB today - I've gotta share my thoughts on the topic.

- % that Vick will go to jail = 100%

- % that Vick will serve 1+ year(s) in jail = 100%
-% that Vick spends atleast 3 years out of the NFL (Jail time + additional suspensions from Roger Goodell) = 95%
- % that Vick ever suits up as an Atlanta Falcon again = 0%
- % that Vick ever plays in the NFL Again = 5o%
- % of players who still respect Vick = 50%
- % of fans who still respect Vick = 5%
- % that Vick will ever be marketable again = 0%
- % that Vick will be anything like his old self (talent-wise) when/if he comes back = 0%
- % of Falcon's fans/players/coaches who would rather have LT = 100%
- % of Falcon's fans/players/coaches who would rather have Schaub left to start than Harrington = 100%
- % that the Falcons make the playoffs this season = 0%
- % that the Falcons win more than 4 games = 20%

Basically just playing the odds via personal opinion there. He's pleading guilty and he's going down. As you can probably tell by my %'s, I think there will be somebody that will take the chance on him when he can get back in the league. However, he is a mobile/running QB and by the time I foresee him coming back he will be 29 or 30 years old, and prison isn't the best place to refine your pocket passing. He will never be marketable for any team who chances on him, any sponsers, or the league. Basically whoever spurred the idea to trade up and take Vick over Tomlinson in '01 should feel like a complete ass right now. Also the idea of trading Matt Schuab seems completely retarded right now as everyone affiliated with the Falcons thinks of what could have been.

What do you think of my %'s. Lemme know changes you'd make and your thoughts on the situation!

Moving on up

I've once again been given the privilege of writing a blog post here at "The Sports Flow" about what's next for this blog. We have grown as a blog, a lot, in the past few months. Joe & Stefan have both agreed that it's time to move to the next best thing; a stand-alone website. Before jumping to conclusions about what this means for the blog, let me explain a few things. First of all, this won't be an instantaneous move. The plan is to slowly migrate you, the readers, over to the new website. Why would you want to move to the website you ask? The website will offer a much more interactive experience for everyone who visits the blog. For example, you will be able to have your own personal profile that you can customize to show off your favorite sports teams. I don't want to give off a lot of details yet as I just started construction on the site and there are some new features I think Stefan & Joe want to disclose to you themselves. Some features on the site I can assure you of include a forum, members database with customizable profiles, and a gallery of the hottest sports photos.

In terms of the blog itself, new posts by Joe & Stefan will be posted here at Blogger and at the new website. While you can continue to use this blog to read the latest sports buzz, it will be much more beneficial to register at the site and read them there. This is because of various features we plan to introduce that will allow users to better share their opinions about sports. The new site will help pull the people that frequent this blog into a sports enthusiast community.

Before I go, I want to invite you to offer up suggestions of features you would like to see implemented on the site. Your input will be crucial so that I can develop the site to best fit the community.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

College Football 2007 Conference Preview: SEC

The SEC is no doubt the best conference in the nation with some of the fiercest defenses and the defending national champion Florida Gators and another favorite for this year's title in LSU.

Predicted Order of Finish:
1. Florida
The Gators lose 9 starters on defense, which could be a problem if they want to defend their national title. But good thing they will have one of the most dynamic and explosive offense's in the country. Chris Leak is gone, but QB Tim Tebow is primed to be the next great Gator QB. The WRs will be very talented with Sr. Andre Caldwell, So. Percy Harvin, Jr. Louis Murphy, So. Jarred Fayson, and WR/TE Cornelius Ingram all back. Tebow will have all sorts of talented receivers to throw to. The RB situation still looks a little cloudy but former backup Kestahn Moore looks very promising, but they still can stick Harvin back there when needed. Now to the defense, this could determine the Gators fate. Only two starters are back (DE Derrick Harvey and SS Tony Joiner) and the rest of the positions are young. Urban Meyer said the young talent on the D looks very promising, but they need to improve quickly before their Sept. 15 meeting with Tennessee.

2. Tennessee
Nobody really knows how Tennessee will end up this season. They are sort of a mystery team. They could win the conference and end up playing in a BCS bowl game or everything could fall apart just like that. The O-Line and D-Line need to improve and find some depth in order for them to compete with Florida for the East Title. QB Erik Ainge is back but he must stay healthy, if he can do that the Vols should be a pretty good team. They still need to find a legitimate back to take over and the WR unit was hit very hard with the losses of Robert Meachem, Jayson Swain, and Bret Smith. The defense has 5 starters back and needs to find players to step up at LB and in the secondary.

3. Georgia
The Bulldogs lose 12 starters but have some great young talent to help make that up. So. QB Matthew Stafford should be improved and has some good WRs in Mohamed Massaquoi and Sean Bailey. RB Kregg Lumpkin is back and should be able to produce some good numbers along the way but watch out for redshirt freshman Knowshon Moreno. The D-Line needs to find more depth along with the LB crew. But the secondary will be a very solid unit with CBs Paul Oliver, Bryan Evans, and FS Kelin Johnson back.

4. South Carolina
SC could have a big year, they just need the offense to get things rolling. I mean 10 starters are back on defense, but if QB Blake Mitchell and the young WRs can step up, Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia could be in for a waking. The conference schedule is definitely favorable, so they could surprise some people.

5. Kentucky
I think Andre Woodson will be one of the best QBs in the nation and a darkhorse candidate for the Heisman, they just need to fill some holes on defense and hope it can improve along the way until they get to their conference schedule.

6. Vanderbilt
The offense will be experienced and good with the return of QB Chris Nickson and WR Earl Bennett. The running game needs to improve but Jeff Jennings is back after missing '06 with an injury, so that should help. But the defense needs to improve in order for Vanderbilt to move out of the cellar in the SEC East.

1. LSU
The offense could be a problem after losing QB JaMarcus Russell and WRs Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis. But Matt Flynn has plenty of experience on his hands and should fill in well for Russell. The WRs will be young but they still have the leadership and ability of Early Doucet. Sophomore RBs Keiland Williams and Charles Scott should put up some plausible numbers behind three returning linemen. The Defense, with 8 starters returning, should be one the best in the country and the defensive front, from my stand point, will be the best in the country, lead by DT Glenn Dorsey and Marlon Favorite and DE Tyson Jackson. The LBs will be dynamite as well with 3 starters back in Ali Highsmith (one of the best in the nation), Darry Beckwith, and Luke Sanders. The secondary should be talented and athletic even after losing 4 year starters LaRon Landry and Jessie Daniels, with CBs Jonathan Zenon and Chevis Jackson leading the way.

2. Arkansas
Arkansas will have the best RB duo in the country and QB Casey Dick as well as one of the best WRs in the SEC in Marcus Monk are back. Darren McFadden is one of those RBs and is the best back in the nation. He finished 2nd in the Heisman voting and rushed for 1, 647 yards last season. Felix Jones, the other RB, isn't far behind as he rushed for 1,168 yards. In order for Arkansas to win the West again they need QB Casey Dick to be more consistent and the defense to step up after losing 7 starters from last years team.

3. Auburn
The Tigers have a tough road conference schedule at Florida, Arkansas, LSU, and Georgia, which won't be enough to finish above third place in the west. The offensive line and RB positions could poise some problems early and often as Kenny Irons bolted for the NFL. QB Brandon Cox is back, which will help. DE Quentin Groves is back and one of the best pass rushers in the conference. The secondary still has some issues to sort out where they lost DB David Irons.

4. Alabama
The Tide has turned after Alabama signed new head coach Nick Saban. The Bama faithful are hoping for some progress and believe Saban could lead them to the promised land. But sorry Bama fans, this won't be your year. The passing game will be stellar with QB John Parker Wilson and WRs D.J. Hall and Keith Brown all back. The secondary will be decent with CB Simeon Castille back, but the front seven must improve.

5. Mississippi
The offense looked horrid in the spring and QB Brent Schaefer didn't look very good either. But I feel Schaefer has a ton of potential and could get some good wins for the Rebels. 6 defensive starters return but they need to replace LBs Patrick Willis and Rory Johnson.

6. Mississippi St.
Sylvester Croom is on the hot seat and must get some wins for the Bulldogs. The O-Line has good experience back and QB Michael Henig, RB Anthony Dixon, and WR Tony Burks are back. The defense needs to pick up the slack and fill in the voids for the losses of 4 of it's 5 best linemen and LB Quinton Culberson. DE Titus Brown will be one of the best in the country.

SEC Championship:
LSU over Florida

Offensive Player of the Year:
Darren McFadden, RB- Arkansas

Defensive Player of the Year:
Glenn Dorsey, DT- LSU

Freshman of the Year:
Eric Berry, CB- Tennessee

Coach of the Year:
Urban Meyer- Florida

Games to Watch:
Tennessee at Florida- Sept. 15

Florida at LSU- Oct. 6

Florida vs. Georgia- Oct. 27

Arkansas at Tennessee- Nov. 10

LSU at Alabama- Nov. 3

Arkansas at LSU- Nov. 24

Arkansas at Alabama- Sept. 15

Friday, August 17, 2007

College Football 2007 Preview: Big East

The Big East went through some growing pains losing some key teams to the ACC but has transitioned well and is now one of the top conferences once again.

Predicted Order of Finish

1. West Virginia
The Mountaineers return a solid offense with 8 starters that includes one of the top and most elusive QB's in the nation in Pat White. Also, RB Steve Slaton, who rushed for 1,744 yards and 16 touchdowns, one of the top WRs in the conference in Darius Reynaud, and 3 solid offensive linemen return. The offense will be one of the best in the country. The defense returns some key experience as well with 7 starters back. The secondary should be solid with plenty of experience there. If the LB and D-line can find some play makers to help fill in for some of the losses look for WVA to compete for a spot in that BCS National Title Game.

2. Louisville
L'Ville returns 21 starters and will be lead by the Heisman caliber arm of Brian Brohm, who passed for 3,049 yards and 16 touchdowns. They also return a top WR corps in Harry Douglas and Mario Urruita. The RB who filled in for Michael Bush, Kolby Smith, is back as well. They also have three starting linemen back but must replace the right side. The defense should be pretty good but wont have as much hype as the offense. The defensive line needs to find some more depth after losing Amobi Okye. They also need some more players to step up at LB and in the secondary after losing some key losses there as well.

3. Rutgers
The Scarlet Knights surprised everyone in the College Football world last season. This year they have some holes to fill but do return some solid players. QB Mike Teel is back and should be one of the best in conference and one of the best RBs returns in Ray Rice, who rushed for a school-record 1,794 yards. They need to find some WRs to step up but do return some good talent there. The defense should be good again with two key D-Linemen and reserves returning along with a solid LB in Brandon Renkart and three athletic DBs.

4. South Florida
The Bulls are a legitimate Big East Title contender. With 16 starters back and some great talent don't be surprised if they stun one of the Big 3. QB Mike Grothe is back along with 3 solid WRs in Amarri Jackson, Taurus Johnson, and Marcus Edwards. They didn't have a true TB last year, but freshman Mike Ford could turn some heads. The defense should be fine 8 starters returning.

5. Pittsburgh
Pitt loses some valuable players in QB Tyler Palko and LB H.B. Blades and they need to find some replacements quickly. The QB situation is still up in the air between Jr. Bill Stuhl and redshirt freshman Kevan Smith. The RB position should be solid with 3 very capable runners back but they need to find some depth at WR. The O-Line will be experienced with 4 starters back so that should help. But the defense needs to pick it up, where they have plenty of holes at LB and in the secondary.

6. Cincinnati
Cincy's offense returns plenty of experience but they still need to find a QB. The RB position is filled with experience and depth. They have plenty of work to do at WR with not much returning. The defense needs to be fixed up a bit with holes all over. The secondary will be the most experienced of all the defensive units.

7. Connecticut
They return 14 starters along with QB Tyler Lorenzen who has proved himself. RB Donald Brown is back too but UConn needs to find some WRs for Lorenzen to throw to. The defense won't be too bad with a pretty solid front along with some speedy DBs to go with it.

8. Syracuse
The Cuse has one of the toughest schedules in the country and they don't have much experience back. They return 10 starters but QB Andrew Robinson returns. They lost there top rusher and some key WRs too. But WR Tah Smith was granted a 6th year of eligibility still giving them some hope there. The D-Line will need to carry the defense with not much talent or experience behind them.

Offensive Player of the Year:
Brian Brohm, QB- Louisville

Defensive Player of the Year:
Eric Foster, DT- Rutgers

Freshman of the Year:
Mike Ford, RB- South Florida

Coach of the Year:
Rich Rodriguez- West Virginia

Games to Watch:
West Virginia at South Florida- Sept. 29

West Virginia at Rutgers- Oct. 27

Louisville at West Virginia- Nov. 8

Louisville at South Florida- Nov. 17

Rutgers at Louisville- Nov. 29

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

College Football 2007 Conference Preview: ACC

The ACC has been nothing special within the last few season. With so many average and mediocre teams, this conference will be one of the toughest to pick.

Predicted Order of Finish

1. Boston College
BC returns 16 starters including one of the best QBs in the conference in Matt Ryan. Two RBs return as well with plenty of experience, L.V. Whitworth and Andre Callender will be sharing the ball-carrying duties. They did lose some key players at WR but they do return some good steady talent there. The defense will be loaded with all 4 d-linemen back along with 4 other letter winners. LB will be it's strongest unit of the defense returning all 3 starters there as well, which includes Sr's Jolonn Dunbar, Tyrone Pruitt, and Brian Toal. The secondary should be good too with one of the top DB's in DeJuan Tribble and hard-hitting FS Jamie Silva back.

2. Florida St.
FSU struggled last year finishing 7-6. Bobby Bowden completely transformed his offensive coaching staff hiring 4 new assistants. They still need to figure out the QB situation between Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee. From my stand point, it looks like it will be Weatherford. The offense has plenty of talent to improve from '06. They return RB Antone Smith, who was injured last season, but should make a big impact. Stud WR Greg Carr returns as well.

3. Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons came out of nowhere last year to win the conference title. The offense will be pretty good again which is led by QB Riley Skinner along with a deep and very experienced o-line. The defense is where the Deacons have a lot of question marks and holes to fill. Only 5 starters are back on that side of the ball.

4. Clemson
It will be interesting to see how the Tigers perform this year. They lose some key important players but return some as well. The QB position is the main ingredient to where they will finish the season. Cullen Harper and freshman Willie Korn are battling for that QB spot, with Harper most likely getting the first look, but Korn has a lot of talent and could end up with the starting job as the season wears on. The Tigers return one of the nations best RB tandems in Jr. James Davis and So. C.J. Spiller. David accounted for 1,187 yards on the ground and 17 TDs, while Spiller gained 1,415 all-purpose yards and 12 TDs. The main WRs are gone but they have plenty of talent available. They have plenty of issues all over the defensive side which will also make a big impact on Clemson's fate this season.

5. Maryland
Maryland has 13 starters back after finishing 9-4 last season. They still need to find a QB but have three emerging stars battling for the position in Jordan Steffy, Josh Portis, and Chris Turner. One of them will need to get the ball to one of the top WRs in the nation in Darrius Heyward-Bey. The defense will experience some growing pains as the season wears on, but should get better game by game with a lot of young potential talent at just about every position.

6. NC St.
The Wolfpack struggled at the end of the season in '06 losing 7 straight games. They need to find a new QB which it looks like it will be Daniel Evans, who started some games last season. The offense should be alright with 8 returning, but the defense needs to improve drastically. They return 5 starters on that side of the ball and have major holes to fill, especially at LB.

1. Virginia Tech
The Hokies are definitely the clear-cut favorite to win the ACC. They return 16 starters, 8 on offense and 8 on defense. QB Sean Glennon returns along with one of the best RBs in the country in Branden Ore. They will also have some of the best WRs in the country with speedster Eddie Royal, Josh Morgan, Justin Harper, and Josh Hyman, all seniors, returning. V-Tech also bolsters one of the top, if not the top defense, in the country. There's tremendous defensive talent and depth all over the field; the d-line is very solid with 3 starters back from that unit which includes DE Chris Ellis. They also have two of the best LBs in the country in Xavier Adibi and Vince Hall. The secondary will be very talented as well with one of the best CBs in the nation as well in Brandon Flowers. Also, Victor Harris returns at CB along with D.J. Parker at FS. If V-Tech didn't have to visit LSU on Sept. 8, they would be one of my picks to play in the BCS National Title Game. But my mind could change very quickly...

2. Georgia Tech
They did lose elusive QB Reggie Ball and big-time play maker WR Calvin Johnson, but the Yellow Jackets still have plenty of experience and depth returning. RB Tashard Choice is back and could be a darkhorse candidate for the Heisman Trophy. The offensive line will be strong with plenty of veterans back and the defense should be pretty decent with 8 returnees back on that side of the ball.

3. Miami
Randy Shannon will be the new head coach for the Hurricanes replacing Larry Coker. The offense needs to improve in order for the Canes to be successful this season. QB Kyle Wright hasn't panned out like we expected but 2007 is a new year. The RB position has some young talent in Javarris James and Graig Cooper. They do return leading pass-catcher Lance Leggett, but a lot of their young talent sat out of the spring with injuries still leaving the rest of the WR positions wide open. The defense should be great returning 8 starters and one of the top DBs in the nation in Kenny Phillips.

4. Virginia
The Cavs were mediocre last year but have a lot of potential with 7 starters back on defense and the whole offensive line back as well. QB Jameel Steele returns, but they need people to step up at RB and WR.

5. North Carolina
Butch Davis is the new coach at UNC and has plenty of positions to fill. He needs to find a new QB, RB depth, and new offensive linemen. The defense must improve in order for the Tar Heels to improve at all. They have talent in the secondary but must find some play makers at LB.

6. Duke
Duke does return 11 starters on offense, but QB Thaddeus Lewis cannot do everything by himself. The defense was one of the worst in the country and they only return 5 starters there. Expect The Blue Devils to continue their 20-game losing streak.

ACC Championship:
Virginia Tech over Boston College

Offensive Player of the Year:
Tashard Choice, RB- Georgia Tech

Defensive Player of the Year:
Xavier Adibi, LB- Virginia Tech

Freshman of the Year:
Graig Cooper, RB- Miami

Coach of the Year:
Frank Beamer- Virginia Tech

Games to Watch:
Boston College at Virginia Tech- Oct. 25

Florida St. at Boston College-Nov. 3

Florida St. at Clemson- Sept. 3

Florida St. at Virginia Tech- Nov. 10

Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech- Nov. 1

Monday, August 13, 2007

College Football 2007 Conference Preview: Big Ten

The Big Ten has been very competitive in the BCS race and always produces some of the top tier teams in the country. Look for Wisconsin and Michigan to be the ones competing for a chance to play in the BCS National Championship game, with Ohio St., Penn St., Purdue, and Iowa not far behind.

Predicted Order of Finish
1. Wisconsin
The offense should be solid even after losing QB John Stocco and T Joe Thomas. Tyler Donovan is battling with KSU transfer Allan Evridge for the starting QB job but Donovan looks to have the upper hand. Donovan has some experience replacing Stocco while he was injured last season. Heisman Candidate PJ Hill returns at RB, he rushed for 1,569 yards and 15 touchdowns while he led the Big Ten in all-purpose yards. They also return a solid WR corps and one of the best TEs in the land in Travis Beckum. The defense should be rocking with 8 starters back that includes DE Matt Shaughnessy, CB Jack Ikegwuounu, and LBs Jon Casillas and DeAndre Levy.

2. Michigan
There is no question Michigan's offense will be able to score at will this year with QB Chad Henne, RB Mike Hart, WR Mario Manningham, and T Jake Long all returning. But the defense lost a lot and still has some question marks. On that side of the ball they lost DT Alan Branch and DE Lamar Woodley, two of the best defensive linemen in the country last season. DE Rondell Biggs is gone too along with two very good LBs in David Harris and Prescott Burgess. The secondary will be hurting as well after losing All-America CB Leon Hall and FS Willis Barringer. If they want to compete for that BCS National Championship again this season they'll need to find some play makers on the defensive side.

3. Ohio St.
The Buckeyes lost their top players in Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, WRs Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez, and RB Antonio Pittman. They will need to rely on the defense more as that seems to be their strength, returning LB James Laurinaitis, CB Malcom Jenkins, and DL Vernon Gholston. They have a fairly easier schedule this year, especially non-conference wise which should get them into a decent bowl game.

4. Penn St.
The Nittany Lions should be improved by a game or two this season. They return 15 starters and should have a solid offense. QB Anthony Morrelli returns after throwing for 2,424 yards and 11 TD. Morrelli struggled at times last season and will need to be more consistent if PSU wants to win the Big 10 Title at all. They return all of their WRs and should have one of the best WR corps in the land with Jr. Derrick Williams (How did Florida let him get away?), Jr. Jordan Norwood, Sr. Terrell Golden, and So. James McDonald all back. The offensive line returns 3 starters, but losing T Levi Brown will be a huge loss. Also, the defense returns some good players in LB Dan Connor, All-Big Ten Safety Anthony Scirrotto, and CBs Justin King and A.J. Wallace. But replacing Paul Posluszny is inevitable.

5. Purdue
With plenty of experience back and playing Iowa at home, I think that will get Purdue the 5th spot. They return 18 starters and have a favorable schedule not playing Wisconsin and getting Ohio St., Iowa, and Michigan St. at home. QB Curtis Painter is solid and one of the most underrated QBs in the conference. RBs Kory Sheets and Jaycen Taylor also return which will put a smile on many Purdue fans' faces. And WR Dorien Bryant returns, plus three offensive linemen return as well; pretty impressive for the offense. Now the defense does indeed return 9 starters, but they did give up some hefty point totals last season, if they can pick it up, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio St. Penn St., and Iowa will be in for a surprise.

6. Iowa
Iowa returns plenty of experience with 14 starters back and they have an easy home conference schedule. How the hell did they miss out on playing Michigan or Ohio St. this year? Lucky Hawkeye fans! They'll need to replace QB Drew Tate, but Jake Christensen looks like a decent replacement, plus he'll have a great WR tandem in Andy Brodell and Dominique Douglas. The defense is in good shape with 8 starters returning that includes LB Mike Klinkenborg and DE Bryan Mattison.

7. Minnesota
They have some voids to fill at QB and WR but every other position should be okay. The O-Line returns a lot of veterans with 4 starters back. The defense has 9 starters back and should be average. They have a new coach in Tim Brewster and he has a lot of work to do though. They do have an easy early non-conference schedule which could help them get back to a bowl game. But they will once again fold when their tough conference schedule comes around. (The Gophers will also play North Dakota St. again this season, I went to the game last season where they escaped with a 10-9 win. I will be attending the game again and it should be another hard fought battle.)

8. Michigan St.
The Spartans had a tough '06 season and finished tied for 10th in the conference. 13 starters return but new head coach Mark Dantonio has plenty of work to do. They'll need to replace QB Drew Stanton, who had a good career at MSU. Jr. Brian Hoyer looks to be his successor and was pretty impressive last season while filling in for Stanton when he was injured. One bright spot is at RB where Javon Ringer returns. Three key WR's are gone but they do return some experience back at that position. Dantonio has proclaimed that WR will be one of their strengths this season. The defense returns just 6 starters and has plenty of holes all over the field.

9. Illinois
Ron Zook has recruited well at Illinois, which should help the program continue to improve. He got one of the school's best recruiting classes ever landing WR Arrelious Benn and LB Martez Wilson. QB Juice Williams returns and should put up more respectable numbers. The defense has improved drastically over the last few seasons. With DT Chris Norwell, LBs J Leman and Antonio Steele, and CB Vontae David all returning, the Illini will have a very athletic defense.

10. Northwestern
15 starters return for the Wildcats. They'll need to find a QB once again, replace WR Shaun Herbert, and find some depth on the o-line. But one of the top RBs in the nation, Tyrell Sutton, returns. Sutton rushed for 1,000 yards last season. The defense returns 8 starters and no doubt has talent at every position. Northwestern has the potential to make some noise in the Big Ten and should not be taken lightly by anybody.

11. Indiana
IU's offense returns some good experience with QB Kellen Lewis, WR James Hardy, and 5 starting linemen all back. The defense was a mess last year and needs much improvement. Expect Indiana to finish last again in the Big Ten.

Offensive Player of the Year:
P.J. Hill, RB- Wisconsin

Defensive Player of the Year:
James Laurinaitis, LB- Ohio St.

Freshman of the Year:
Arrelious Benn, WR- Illinois

Coach of the Year:
Bret Bielema- Wisconsin

Games to Watch:
Penn St. at Michigan- Sept. 22

Michigan at Wisconsin- Nov. 10

Ohio St. at Michigan- Nov. 17

Iowa at Purdue- Oct. 20

Wisconsin at Ohio St.- Nov. 3

Wisconsin at Penn St.- Oct. 13

Saturday, August 11, 2007

College Football 2007 Conference Preview: Big XII

The Big XII has been down in recent years but still has it's perennial powers in Texas and Oklahoma, also Nebraska is starting to get back to its old self. The league may be down on talent but it is as competitive as any other conference in the land.

Predicted Order of Finish

1. Nebraska
The Huskers will face a tough non-conference schedule facing USC and Wake Forest and tough in-conference road games against Missouri and Texas. They do lose QB Zac Taylor but transfer Sam Keller should be a good replacement for him. Keller has great arm strength and should put up good numbers under Bill Callahan's offense. They only return 11 starters overall, 5 on the defensive side, but they have enough depth and talent to overcome that and win the weaker division of the conference.

2. Missouri
The Tigers' offense should be decent with 8 starters back that includes QB Chase Daniel, (who I believe is one of the best QB's in the Big 12), two great tight ends in Chase Coffman and Martin Rucker, and RB Tony Temple who rushed for 1,063 yards in '06 and is the top returning rusher in the Big 12. The defense will need some tweaking with just 5 starters returning from that unit.

3. Kansas St.
KSU does return QB Josh Freeman, but he must show that he can be a little more consistent this season in order for the Wildcats to make some noise. The Wildcats fate will most likely lie on his shoulders. The O-line must also find some consistency along with depth as well. They do return great pass-catchers in Jordy Nelson and Daniel Gonzalez, which will help. The Cats do return more than half of the defense but have some holes to fill at LB. But the defensive front returns stud DE's Ian Campbell and Rob Jackson. The secondary has the most experience back than any other unit with 5 significant players with starting experience.

4. Colorado
The Buffs do have some experience to work with, 16 return overall. The biggest need is at QB where it's between Cody Hawkins and transfer Nick Nelson. Hawkins looks to be the leading candidate being the coaches son. The defense was a lot better than the offense last season and with 7 starters back it's looking a little brighter for CU. They'll need players to step up on the defensive front, but they'll be pretty strong with some good experience back at LB. The secondary lost 3 starters but they still have All-Big 12 CB Terrence Wheatley who is back along with some other talent as well.

5. Kansas
KU does indeed have 14 starters back, but experience doesn't always guarantee anything. They need to find a QB after losing Adam Barmann to graduation. They also have big holes to fill on the offensive and defensive lines. They do have a stud corner returning in Aquib Talib. Don't be surprised if sees time at WR as well.

6. Iowa St.
ISU does return a very athletic and talented QB in Bret Meyers, one of the best QB's in the conference, but he was sacked an average of 3 times per game last season; which means they'll need to improve on the offensive line, especially after losing 4 starters from '06. The defense will need to improve as well after allowing more yards than any other Big 12 team in '06.

1. Texas
The Longhorns will have a very explosive offense with the return of QB Colt McCoy, WR's Limas Sweed and Billy Pittman, and RB Jamaal Charles. Charles is an explosive back and will see more carries this season. The defense should be solid again with tons of talent and depth all over the field. But the biggest concern will be the secondary with only S Marcus Griffin returning.

2. Oklahoma
I would probably have OU winning the south but they still need to find a QB to fill in for the loss of Paul Thompson. But then again this is Bob Stoops and his Oklahoma Sooners I am talking about. Joey Halzle looks to be the projected starter for the season opener vs. North Texas. Keith Nichol could also make a fight for the starting position as well, but Halzle looks to be the favorite. They also need to replace Adrian Peterson, but RB Allen Patrick returns and should be one of the premier backs in the conference. Despite losing defensive stud Rufus Alexander, OU's defense will once again be far from a let down. They return 6 starters from that side of the ball and have plenty of talent everywhere.

3. Texas A&M
The Aggies have a chance to compete with Texas and OU once again for the Big 12 South Title, but their semi-tough schedule could be holding them back. They will visit Miami (FLA.), rival Texas Tech, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Missouri and will play Oklahoma St., and Texas at home. They should have a pretty solid offense with 9 starters back including QB Stephen McGee, who was one of four QB's last season to pass for at least 2,000 yards and rush for at least 500. A&M also returns two stud RB's Jorvorkie Lane and Mike Goodson.

4. Oklahoma St.
They return 15 starters overall with several key players back in QB Bobby Reid, WR Adarius Bowman, and LB Chris Collins. The defense needs to improve in order to compete with Texas, OU, or even A&M, but they do return 7 starters on that side of the ball.

5. Texas Tech
The Red Raiders never have a problem scoring on offense, QB Graham Harrell returns who put up 4,555 yards and 38 TDs last season. The defense has some holes to fill, they gave up 23.8 ppg in '06. They can win shootouts with their defense, but it would make things a whole lot easier if their defense could make some stops.

6. Baylor
Baylor will struggle once again with many holes to fill on the offensive side. They do have a starting QB returning in Michael Machen. But they need to find some depth at RB where they struggled dramatically last season, ranking last in the nation in yards per game.

Big XII Championship:
Texas over Nebraska

Offensive Player of the Year:
Colt McCoy, QB- Texas

Defensive Player of the Year:
Frank Okam, DT- Texas

Freshman of the Year:
Tray Allan, G- Texas

Coach of the Year:
Bill Callahan- Nebraska

Games to Watch:
Nebraska at Texas- Oct. 27

Oklahoma vs. Texas at Dallas- Oct. 6

Oklahoma at Texas A&M- Nov. 3

Texas at Texas A&M- Nov. 23

Texas A&M at Nebraska- Oct. 20

Friday, August 10, 2007

College Football 2007 Conference Preview: Pac 10

College Football is just around the corner and today is Day 1 of The Sports Flow's big 2007 College Football preview. Today we are starting with conference previews. First up, the Pac 10.

Pac 10 Conference Preview:
This race will be a dog fight. The Pac 10, in my eyes, is the 2nd best conference in the country. 2nd place all the way down to 8th place is wide open with any other team being capable of finishing in either spot.

Predicted Order of Finish
1. USC
USC is the obvious favorite returning 17 starters. QB John David Booty returns and should only benefit with the experience back. Former WR's Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith won't be missed as much as expected with Jr. Patrick Turner and So. Vidal Hazelton back. Turner is very similar to Mike Williams and will be one of the top WR's in the conference. They can go 7 deep at RB and will have one of the best backfields in the nation. Also, the defense will be stellar returning 10 starters and should be the best LB corps with Keith Rivers, Rey Maualuga, and Brian Cushing. 2. California
Cali returns a solid offense and will compete with USC once again for the Pac 10 Title. The Golden Bears will be able to light up the scoreboard with QB Nate Longshore and arguably the best WRs in the nation De'Sean Jackson back. They did lose Marshawn Lynch, but Justin Forsett is a very capable back and will produce good numbers. The defense won't be bad but will need to step up in order to top USC on November 10.

UCLA returns 20 starters and should be improved from last season. The offense returns 10 starters and will be led by QB Ben Olson and RB Chris Markey. Markey rushed for 1,107 yards last season and will be one of the RB's to keep an eye on in the Pac 10. 10 starters are also back on the defensive side, which was much improved towards the end of last season.

4. Arizona St.
The Sun Devils return 16 starters which includes QB Rudy Carpenter who passed for 2,523 yards and 23 touchdowns. RB Ryan Torain is back as well who rushed for 1,229 yards in '06. The offense is loaded but they need the defense to step up in order to finish high in the conference standings. Luckily for them the majority of their big games are at home.

5. Oregon St.
The Beavers return 15 starters which is a great start after a big '06 season with a win over USC and a bowl win over Missouri. They do lose their QB in Matt Moore, but RB Yvenson Bernard is back to give them some stability in the backfield. WR Sam Stroughter is also back and is one of the most explosive players in the conference. The defense should be there with 8 starters back. Oregon St. is back and has proved it can contend for the conference title, they just need to find a proven QB.

6. Arizona
Zona will have one of the best defenses in the conference with 10 starters back including one of the best DB's in the nation in Antoine Cason. The offense shouldn't be bad with 9 starters back; they just need more consistent play from QB Willie Tuitama, if he can do that look for the Wildcats to pull an upset or two and possibly play in a bowl game this year.

7. Oregon
A lot of people may feel Oregon should be higher but they ended last season with 4 bad losses and QB's Dennis Dixon and Brady Leaf struggled dramatically in the spring. The defense needs to show they can stop the run or else the Ducks may be in for a long season.

8. Washington St.
It will be tough to replace standout WR Jason Hill, but QB Alex Brink returns. The Cougars have a tough schedule from the get go and will visit Wisconsin, USC, Arizona, Oregon, California, and rival Washington. Look for Washington St. to have about another .500 season after losing some key players.

9. Washington
I don't think Washington is that bad of a team but they have the toughest schedule in the country playing Boise St., Ohio St., USC, Oregon, Arizona, California, and rival Washington St. at home and traveling to Syracuse, UCLA, Arizona St., Oregon St., and Hawaii. Otherwise they would be a threat to make a bowl game this year. They just have too many holes to fill and too many inexperienced players.

10. Stanford
Stanford does have something to look forward too with 15 starters back, but that won't be enough to keep them out of the cellar in the Pac 10. Jim Harbaugh is a great choice to get the program back on it's feet, but it will be a few more years to get it jump started again.

Offensive Player of the Year:
De'Sean Jackson, WR- California

Defensive Player of the Year:
Rey Maualuga, LB- USC

Freshman of the Year:
Joe McKnight, ATH- USC

Coach of the Year:
Pete Carroll- USC

Games to Watch:
USC at Arizona St.
- Nov. 22

California at UCLA - Oct. 20

USC at California - Nov. 10

UCLA at Oregon St. - Sept. 29

UCLA at USC - Dec. 1

Who's Hot, Who's Not

Seattle Mariners
They continue to surprise a lot of people and make a nice push in both the AL Wildcard and in the AL West. The Angels better not get too comfortable!

Tiger Woods
In the final event before the final major of the year, Woods buried Rory Sabbatini and the rest of the field Sunday at the Bridgestone Invitational for an eight-shot victory, sending his confidence soaring Sunday as he left for Southern Hills and the PGA Championship.

Matt Murphy
Interesting story....So he's delayed in SF trying to travel from NY to Australia with some friends and he throws on his Mets jersey and heads out to AT&T Park and basically wins the lottery. Got his face scraped up a bit but I'm guessing it was totally worth it. Kind of interesting that of all the Giant fans at the game dreaming of the ball a kid in a Mets jersey catches the ball and will split the profits with his friend (who was at the game in an Arod jersey!). I'm interested to see what he ends up doing with the ball.

Arizona Cardinals
With Matt Leinert learning and improving everyday, the Edge in the best shape of his life, and the superstar Fitzgerald continuing to improve his route running the Cardinals look like they could make a serious run at making the playoffs this season. And with the great young core of superstar talent they have they should be around for a while....especially once the defense improves.

Milwaukee Brewers
Tough pill for me to swallow here but things have not been good. A four game losing streak puts the beermakers in first by a mere half game. On the bright side there is the Soriano injury!

Rory Sabattini
Made the whole, "Tiger's more beatable than ever" comment and then went ahead and squandered a 1 shot lead to lose by 8 and at one point was shaken to the point that he ordered a fan removed from the course by security for some relatively funny/ironic, yet completely harmless interjection made at the turn. He basically made himself look retarded.

Bud Selig
Selig made himself look like an idiot in the last week or so. He trudged around behind Bonds for 9 games and then what Bonds tied the record the commish stood with his hands deep in his pockets and looked very disgruntled. He then declined to be present when Bonds broke the record. Hate to break it to you Bud, but all eyes are on you right now and you're making yourself look like a fool!

Obafemi Ayanbadejo
He has a cool name but the NFL suspended him for the first four regular-season games without pay for violating the league's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances on Thursday. He claims to not have knowingly infringed upon the rules and will pursue civil action against the makers of the product Max LMG.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Congratulations To Barry Bonds

This is probably going to surprise a lot of people....hell I'm surprising myself right now. With Ming on vacation and unable to post I have no choice but to be the one to post on historic HR # 756 in the career of Barry Bonds.

Readers accustomed to my Bonds hating material brace yourself:
I would like to start off by saying congratulations to Barry Bonds. Regardless of all of the steroid talk and suspicions you have to be one hell of a player to hit 756 HRs and I hold him to be the best player in the last 50 years of the game to either use or not use steroids. Look, I don't particularly like him as a person or a player, but that doesn't matter because like him or not, legitimate or not, he is baseball's new home run king.

While Selig wasn't there (because he's a giant baby) Mays was and along with his family the whole ceremony deal was pretty nice. I love Hank Aaron's congratulations to Barry Bonds after the home run was hit. I believe it exemplifies the class of Hank Aaron, and no matter what Bonds did or didn't do regarding steroids, Aaron will forever be respected for his performance and class.

Does this bother a lot of baseball fans (myself included)? Yes, it does. Does Bonds' mark deserve an asterisk next to it? I don't really know. It would make a lot of fans who don't like Bonds happier. However, I feel like fans will surely keep debating which slugger they consider the true home run champion. Bonds fans will say Bonds. Some will continue to cling to Aaron while other, older rooters will always say it's Babe Ruth.

There are plenty of fans,myself included, already hoping for the day that Bonds' total (whatever it is) gets beat. Rodriguez may have the best chance, with his 500 home runs at age 32 far ahead of Bonds' pace. For now, however, Mr. Bonds will reign supreme in the world of the longball.

Congratulations....It's let's try to move on.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Buy or Sell: The Big Ten= The New Big Twelve?

There has been a bit of buzz surrounding the topic over the last year or so, especially on the blogosphere. Being the son of two University of Iowa grads and a lifelong Hawkeye fan I feel like chiming in with my thoughts. It really is a pretty interesting idea.

I am totally buying the idea of the Big Ten expanding to 12 teams. It seems to work wonderfully for other conferences. I think since the Big Ten doesn't even have 10 teams (adding Penn St. made it an 11-team conference) why not just add one more? Why make it an 11-team conference if you're not planning on jumping up to 12?

Some people talk about contraction. Some people are fools. On the surface, booting a team from the conference makes sense; after all, this is the Big Ten, and eleven minus one is ... hey! But who would go? So, without anyone to boot why not pick up a team and make it 12?! These days in college sports (especially in NCAA Football) money is huge. What could possibly be bigger money-wise than expanding the Big Ten?

If the Big Ten expanded to 12 teams they could eventually split into 2 6-team divisions and have a conference championship. That would bring in huge revenue and would avoid any co-champions and would make it probably a little more fair being as everyone doesn't play every team in the Big Ten already. Honestly, what TV representative wouldn't want to buy the rights to a game as big as the Big Ten championship?

However not everyone agrees:

"I've not met anybody in coaching that really enjoys it...There's a lot of downside to it, in my opinion." - U. of Iowa Football Coach Kirk Ferentz

The Big Ten has managed, one way or another, to tolerate co-champions when it needs to, and I think the largest fear in nay-sayers is the fear of losing a BCS bid by having a conference championship game.

I, however, am all for it and it makes great sense financially. Now lets quickly examine some potential candidates...The Big Ten has a history of on-field excellence as well as high academic standards for its institutions, so those factors must be weighed heavily when considering which team to add. The third major factor would be the addition of a large media market to the Big Ten stable. All factors considered here's what I think:

Notre Dame
Academically they are the best bet out of the group. They also are probably the most marketable and have the best history and one of the largest fan bases. Notre Dame is a no-brainer as a target for the Big-Ten. The problem is, it is also a no-brainer for Notre Dame to remain independent. They have that lucrative TV contract with NBC which also stands in the way a bit with the new Big Ten Network near birth.

Academically they are right on par with Notre Dame. They are a little less marketable being in Anapolis, MD, however they have a pretty decent fan base. Plus, the Big Ten would be inheriting the Army vs. Navy game which would be huge. They have had some recent success going to bowl games the last 4 seasons (while winning 2).

There academics are probably a B or B+ in comparison to Navy and Notre Dame. However, the present something that Navy and ND cannot: the addition of the New York/New Jersey media market to the Big Ten stable. Rutgers has more to offer in that regard than any other team. Historically they suck. However, they have had some recent success and are a program who are on the definite rise. However, they are VERY high risk/high reward. If last year was a fluke and this team isn't on the rise like I think they are then the Big Ten just inherits another doormat like Indiana.

Iowa State
They're academics are very good for a state school and they are in the bets location being so purely Midwestern. They would bring some definite positives to the table. The main reason Iowa State would be considered is so they can establish the in-state rivalry which could attract more fans to the Big Ten. If Iowa and Iowa State played late in season, it could possibly have conference championship implications, which would attract more ratings, and potentially more money for the conference. However, they would have to be extracted from the Big 12 and that spot would need to be filled to keep that conference at 12. So, while it sounds nice it would be quite the hassle.

Their program has fallen recently over the years, but their large budget mixed with Big Ten revenue sharing could bring the program back up. Syracuse would not only potentially help the depth of the conference, but also would make the academic record better. Like Rutgers, the Orange would bring in the New York area fan base and introduce them to Big Ten football.

Are you buying or selling the expansion? If you're a buyer who do you like as a joiner?

A Letter To: Bud Selig

Dear Bud,

I'm am writing to you to tell you that you are WEAK. Grow up and quit acting like a little kid. As HR # 755 sailed over the LF wall and the camera paned to you you stood there and dug your hands as deep as you possibly could into those pockets of yours while sporting your very best bitter beer face. You spent so much time deliberating over if you were going to show up to see the record go down and then you do this? Quit half-assing it! Did you really follow him around for 9 games just to stand there with your hands in your pockets like that? I'm not saying you should have screamed, jumped, or even smiled but a small congratulatory clap would have been most appropriate. You are the freaking commissioner! If you are going to show up then come and do more than just stand there and look visibly disgruntled. Accept this, that's what I (along with many other baseball fans) are trying to do. I'm ready to see him hit it. It is happening whether you like it or not so either go and recognize Bonds or don't come at all. I really hate Barry Bonds as a player and I feel like he has handled himself 300x better than you have in regards to the HR race. I feel like Bonds has handled it (all things considered) nearly perfectly while you continue to act like a little kid about it. Seeing you handle this in such a way really gives me a true appreciation for what David Stern, a real commisioner, can do when presented with a problem (think recent press conference in regards to Tim Donaghey). Grow up and do the right thing when Bonds hits it in the coming week or so. You helped harbor the steroids era in your sport now suck it up and let's get this thing over with; for your sake and for mine.

grittysquirrels - TSF

Thoughts? Write your own letter to Bud....

Sunday, August 5, 2007

My World In Sports: Big Night For Baseball as I Return Home

Now, back from vacation the sports world has given me plenty of lemons to make lemonade. So what else but "My World In Sports" to recap the last 24 hrs. Vacation was great but it's good to be back. Now lets get down to business.

Bonds is cheered in San Diego
Well most of you readers know where I stand on the subject. I'm sure you also all know that Bonds tied Hank Aaron as the all-time HR King last night. I was a little surprised that they cheered rather than booed in SD. But I'm happy for him I guess...Even though it may be hard to dispute that he didn't cheat. Even happier for the 33-year old plummer who caught the ball who probably will never have to fix a toilet ever again! Look,It's inevitably going to happen so I hope he can break this record as quick and painlessly as possible. Although I'm guessing that they'll wait and try to get him to do it in SF. We know Selig is going to be there now so I just hope he just hits it ASAP so we can kind of stop talking about it a little.

Arod Drops the Abomb
Just like Bonds tying Aaron....we knew it was coming. Arod became the youngest player to hit 500 career HRs. He hit 500 about a year sooner than Jimmie Fox in what turned out to be a HUGE night for baseball and in baseball history. I think it now probably becomes increasingly obvious to most baseball fans that Arod has the best chance to catch Bonds (wherever that may be) and how seriously good Arod really is. I personally think that Arod should crush Bonds' record someday...especially if he can continue to stay healthy and DH in the AL as he gets older. Also, a move out of the big apple probably wouldn't hurt him as a player either.

NFL Preseason Kicks Off Tonight

It will be pretty refreshing to see a little pigskin fly tonight (8 ET on NFL Network) with the Steelers playing the Saints in the HOF Game. The NFL Network is airing 52 Games in 29 days...which is pretty sweet because I get the NFL Network, so I'll be tuning in. Don't expect to see a lot of Brees, Bush, Roethlisberger, and Co., but it will be nice to just see some football on TV. To prepare you readers may want to check out some Fantasy Football Quicklooks!

That's what I have to say about the bigtime stories in sports in the last 24 hours. Any you think that I missed? What are your thoughts on the big HRs, and the exciting start of the NFL Preseason? Given the circumstances was this one of the biggest, if not THE biggest night, historically, in MLB history?

Friday, August 3, 2007

2007 Heisman Hopefuls

Sorry I haven't posted within the last few days but I've been busy with work and softball lately, plus grittysquirrels is on vacation.

With the College Football season less than a month away, TSF is excited and gearing up for it. Here are TSF's top Heisman hopefuls for the upcoming 2007 season. Enjoy...

In no particular order as of now:

Darren McFadden- Jr. - RB- Arkansas
After finishing 2nd in last years race, McFadden has to be the front-runner. For the season, he rushed for 1,647 yards and 14 TDs. The multi-threat RB should definitely be the favorite if Arkansas competes for the SEC Championship again, which they definitely will. Just think how much better his numbers would be if he didn't have to share the load with Felix Jones. Again, expect even bigger numbers from McFadden this season with a slightly easier schedule.

John David Booty- Sr.- QB- USC
Booty has a lot of advantages here with the Trojans the pre-season favorite. It should also help that 3 good offensive linemen return. Booty is coming off of a great 06' season in which he threw for 3,347 yards and 29 touchdowns. With talented pass-catchers in Patrick Turner and Vidal Hazelton on the field, expect Booty to have an even better Sr. season.

Steve Slaton- Jr.- RB- West Virginia
The speedy Slaton has had a great Heisman campaign with stellar freshman and sophomore seasons and placed 4th in the race last season. He rushed for 1,744 yards and 16 touchdowns in 06', but it would be tough for anyone to pick Slaton to win it with teammate Pat White at QB.

Colt Brennan- Sr.- QB- Hawaii
If you think Brennan couldn't have near the season he did last year, think again. Hawaii has a very easy schedule, plus they have three of the top WR's returning in the WAC. Mix all of those together and Colt Brennan may be on his way to holding the Heisman Trophy in December.

Mike Hart- Sr.- RB- Michigan
Seems like he's been playing forever, he's coming off a great Jr. season with 1,562 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is a steady runner and if he can stay healthy he'll be there fighting in the end.

Jamaal Charles- Jr.- RB- Texas
Charles only had 831 yards and seven touchdowns last year, but Selvin Young is now gone and he will be the main back. Look for big things from him this season.

DeSean Jackson- Jr.- WR- California
Arguably the best WR in the country, Jackson can do it all; as a sophomore, he had 59 catches for 1,060 yards and nine touchdowns and he led the nation in punt returns with an average of 18.2 per return.

Brian Brohm- Sr.- QB- Louisville
Brohm threw for 3,049 yards and 16 touchdowns last year and also the return of WR Harry Douglas will help quite a bit. Brohm has one of the strongest arms in the country and it will take him and the Cards a long ways once again.

Ray Rice- Jr.- RB- Rutgers
The one thing about Ray Rice is that he will give you consistent production. Last year he had 1,794 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns. I wouldn't consider Rice a real contender unless Rutgers has near the season they did last year.

Others Contenders:
Colt McCoy- Texas, Pat White- WVA, Tim Tebow- Florida, Chad Henne- Michigan, CJ Spiller- Clemson, Percy Harvin- Florida and Andre Woodson- Kentucky

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

2007 MLB Trade Deadline Reviews

Hey Sports Flow readers, I am taking on a different role tonight. I'm Bryan, a long time reader of this particular blog and a semi-frequent blogger. I was asked by the good people at TSF to do a post on the MLB non-waiver trade deadline, and I jumped at the chance. So, let's dive right in!

Kenny Lofton to the Indians

As a Tigers fan, I was not excited to read that this trade had went down. I think Kenny improves the Indians tremendously, especially because they didn't have a whole lot going on at the corner outfielder spots. Kenny will get on base for that terrific lineup and improve the speed and defense of the club as well.
As for the Rangers, they got a future MLB catcher in Max Ramirez whom they will probably trade within the next year or so. If anything, they just got another piece to trade for when they're relevant again. Can't complain too much there.

Dan Wheeler to the Astros for Ty Wigginton
One of the more bizarre trades of the de
adline, I'm not so sure that the Astros needed Wigginton. Sure, Morgan Ensberg hasn't been the same since his shoulder injury last year but I don't see Wigginton as much of an upgrade.
Wheeler helps shore up the worst bullpen in baseball, and it is a plus that they control him for another season after this one, but I was figuring they would move him for something else. My prediction here is they trade him this offseason or wait to rob someone next July.

Luis Castillo to the Mets
I don't see Castillo being the answer at 2B for the Mets, but it's another piece to try I suppose. The Twins were probably not going to re-sign him after this year and GM Terry Ryan got what he could for him (although he got 2 fringe future major leaguers). You gotta think that he could have gotten more, but all in all this probably ends in a wash unless Castillo's back improves once he gets off the Metrodome's turf (a possibility).

Kyle Lohse to the Phillies
Lohse was getting moved this deadline it was just a matter of to whom. The Reds are awful, and the Phillies need pitching help. Is Lohse the answer? Hell. No. But he's a serviceable arm and they didn't give up too much for him.

Mark Teixiera to the Braves

I like this trade a lot for both sides. The Braves gave up a LOT but they are getting a potential future Hall of Famer back. I'm actually not really high on Teixiera myself, but this was the best deal on the table for Texas and this was the time to deal Teixiera. Look for Teixiera to keep the Braves in the NL East race for many years to come (if they can convince him to re-sign... he's from the Atlanta area but it is Scott Boras...)
The steal for the Rangers were the 3 top-5 prospects they got from the Braves system. Any time you can clean that good of a farm system out like that, you did WELL. Jared Saltalamacchia is a future All Star catcher and get used to the man they call Salty because he is exactly that at the plate. The dude can flat out rake. I also liked the other players the Rangers got, especially INF Elvis Andrus.

Eric Gagne to the Red Sox
Well if there was any doubt where the best bullpen in baseball rested before today, there isn't anymore. The Red Sox get the top reliever on the market without giving up one of their top 3 prospects. Kudos Theo Epstein, and I would NOT be excited to play Boston this postseason.
As for the Rangers, again they took the best deal. Kason Gabbard has been pitching well and will probably be a good major leaguer, but the real prospect to watch in this deal is 17 year old Engle Beltre. HE will determine who won this deal down the road, not Gabbard.

Matt Morris to the Pirates
If I'm a Giants fan, I jump up and down at this. Pirates fans, I'm sorry. This deal makes NO SENSE for the Pirates. They are completely irrelevant and they take on $21 million in salary to pay a washed up pitcher. Someone needs to send the Pirates' GM a memo telling him that being the baseball version of the Knicks is NOT a good thing.
The Giants got.... who cares? They got rid of Morris' huge contract and got younger. EXACTLY what they needed to do. Three thumbs up Sabaen.

Octavio Dotel to the Braves
I like that the Braves are going all in for the next 2 years and aren't half assing it. They even traded for some more bullpen help with the Padres later on in the day by getting Royce Ring. Dotel allows Bobby Cox and Co. to give Rafael Soriano a much needed break and shores up a decent bullpen.
Mr. Dayton Moore, everything you have touched in Kansas City so far as been gold, but you could have gotten much much more for Dotel. I know you are familiar with the Braves system because you ran the whole thing last year, but Kyle Davies has over 200 innings of major league experience and guess what, the stats aren't good. I am giving you the benefit of the doubt right now, but this was a very very shaky move in my opinion.

Wilson Betemit to the Yankees
I like this trade for the Yankees, mostly because Joe Torre ran Scott Proctor to the ground last year and he was starting to show signs of that wear. The Yankees pick up one of the mest utility guys in the league (reports are he will start at 1B) and pick up some insurance in case A-Rod bolts town this offseason. In all honesty, I think the Yankees did this trade because they thought they were getting Gagne. They could use bullpen help and they just traded away an innings eater if nothing else.
The Dodgers needed bullpen help, and I don't hate Proctor, but I do think that the wear that Torre put on him the past season and a half is sending him fast to Irrelevantville.

Morgan Ensberg and Rob Mackowiak to the Padres
The Padres have been trying to shore up their bench for a while, and since Ensberg was irrelevant in Houston after the Wigginton deal and Mackowiak was a bench player for a bad White Sox team, they both came cheap. I like both trades for the Dads.

Well, it was a rather uneventful deadline but there were still a lot of moves made that could pay off this season or the next. What do YOU think about the deadline?