Thursday, September 30, 2010

NFL: Week 4 (A Donovan McNabb Reunion & The Battle of Ohio)

The fourth week of the NFL season commences on Sunday, with 12 great matchups on Sunday afternoon, a Sunday night game, and of course, a Monday night game. Four teams- the Dallas Cowboys (1-2), Minnesota Vikings (1-2), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1), and Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) are off this week, and will return to play next weekend.

Washington Redskins (1-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-1)- Sunday @ 4:15PM- Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia
To pay homage to Seth Meyers's Jay Leno/Conan O'Brien joke on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update, and giving it a Sports Corner spin: Let's say that you are married to the most gorgeous woman in town- she is so hot and you and your wife build a strong rapport with the neighbors, some of them have moved on to greener pastures. There are divorce rumors swirling around the 11th year of the marriage, because the critics think that you're unhappy in your marriage. However, you say, "That's all rubbish. I'm happy where you're at." Then, one night, a woman from a rival town decides to steal you away and make you her own. Then, you tell your wife, "Peace out, babycakes." Her alimony payment: some fourth-round draft pick, which turned out to be some lineman. And now, you and your new girlfriend are invited to a your old house, where your ex-wife still lives. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, meet Donovan McNabb. In the offseason, he was traded off from the Philadelphia Eagles (his home of 11 seasons) to division rivals Washington, in what many experts called a mistakenly dumb move on the part of the Eagles. This Sunday, McNabb returns to the city he called home for 11 seasons, but on the opposite side of the field. There is no turning back, as McNabb's replacement, Kevin Kolb got injured in the season opener, and now Michael Vick is the starting quarterback, and the explosive Vick will spoil McNabb's homecoming in the City of Brotherly Love.
Pick: Philadelphia 35-14

The Battle of Ohio, Part 74: Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-3)- Cleveland Browns Stadium/The Dawg Pound; Cleveland, OH- 1:00PM
All this energy is definitely calling me back to where it comes from, because baby, if you ever wondered, wondered whatever became of me, I'm watching the Battle of Ohio- Cleveland hosting Cincinnati.

A win over the Browns could be the elixir for Carson Palmer, who is starting to show signs of age as T.O. and Chad Ochocinco would love to make a leap into the Dawg Pound. The Bengals have won 10 of the last 14 meetings against these in-state rivals, and would love to make it 11 out of 15, as their defense forced eight turnovers against Baltimore and Carolina, respectively, including five interceptions.

The Browns love to play spoiler- such as preventing the Bengals from reaching the playoffs in 2003, a 51-45 shootout win in 2007, and blocking a point-after try to force overtime last year. However, Seneca Wallace is slated to start for the Browns, another bad sign for the Browns. This is probably Cleveland's best shot at a win, dare I say it, because the Brownies- if they lose, could be staring at the barrel of 0-9, because they have Atlanta, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, (a bye week), New England, and Eric Mangini's reunion with the NY Jets, in that order, following this game. It'll be a matter of time before Colt McCoy plays. The Bengals will get their offense started and their defense will create turnovers. It doesn't make a difference who's quarterbacking the Browns (Delhomme, Wallace, Josh Cribbs, Tim Couch, Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, Brian Sipe, Otto Graham), who's coaching (Eric Man "Genius", Romeo Crennel, Butch Davis, Bill Belichick, Marty Schottenheimer, Sam Rutigliano, Paul Brown), or even who's in charge (Holmgren, Lerner & Policy, Art Modell) in the front office- the Browns are screwed, plain and simple. Bonus points if a Browns QB throws a pick six.
Pick: Cincinnati 38-17

Other Early Sunday Afternoon Games-
New York Jets (2-1) at Buffalo Bills (0-3)- Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, NY- 1:00PM
Ryan Fitzpatrick is now the man for the Bills, and to make that official, the Bills pink slipped Trent Edwards this week. That won't mean **** for the J-E-T-S, Jets, who are looking for their third straight win this season over a division opponent.
Pick: New York J-E-T-S, Jets 31-14

Denver Broncos (1-2) at Tennessee Titans (2-1)- LP Field; Nashville, TN- 1:00PM
The Broncos are a polar opposite from the team that jumped off to a 6-0 start last year. They've been 3-10 ever since. Not a good time to travel to Music City to play the Titans.
Pick: Tennessee 30-15

Detroit Lions (0-3) at Green Bay Packers (2-1)- Lambeau Field; Green Bay, WI- 1:00PM
The new and improved Detroit should already have a win by now (stupid refs in Week 1). They probably won't get it in Lambeau, a place where they've lost 18 straight times.
Pick: Green Bay 41-7

San Francisco 49ers (0-3) at Atlanta Falcons (2-1)- Georgia Dome; Atlanta, GA- 1:00PM (or Singletary's Last Stand?)
Every week until either Mike Singletary gets the ax or the end of the season- whatever comes first, all 49ers games will be monikered, "Singletary's Last Stand?" With that said, it might be. But after the 49ers sent their Offensive Coordinator to the unemployment line on Monday, things might go on the up and up for the Niners.
Pick: Atlanta 28-17

Seattle Seahawks (2-1) at St. Louis Rams (1-2)- Edward Jones Dome; St. Louis, MO- 1:00PM
Last week, Seattle shocked San Diego, courtesy of two long kickoff returns by Leon Washington. The Rams got a rare win, as they upset Washington. However, Pete Carroll has taken Seattle on the up and up, and their defense, which came up huge in wins over San Francisco and San Diego, could put a thud to the Greatest Joke on Turf.
Pick: Seattle 37-10

Carolina Panthers (0-3) at New Orleans Saints (2-1)- Louisiana Superdome; New Orleans, LA- 1:00PM
Carolina can't get it together, just ask the Giants, Buccaneers, and Bengals. Yes, Matt Moore got benched, but last week, the Panthers lost three fumbles, and Jimmy Clausen threw a pick. The Saints are looking for a rebound win after a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Falcons.
Pick: New Orleans 28-6

Baltimore Ravens (2-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0)- Heinz Field; Pittsburgh, PA- 1:00PM
In Pittsburgh's fourth and final game without a quarterback, they get a bigger test as they host the rival Ravens. This will be a great Battle of the Defenses, as both teams have only two touchdowns each (Baltimore- 41 points allowed, 27 of them were from field goals; Pittsburgh- 30 points allowed). However, Flacco may look shaky against this defense, as Flacco threw four picks a couple weeks ago in Cincinnati.
Pick: Pittsburgh 27-14

Late Afternoon Games (minus the aforementioned McNabb reunion in Philly):
Indianapolis Colts (2-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)- EverBank Field; Jacksonville, FL- 4:05PM
Tic-tac-toe, three in a row...three losses for Jacksonville, that is.
Pick: Indianapolis 38-0

Houston Texans (2-1) at Oakland Raiders (1-2)- Oakland Coliseum; Oakland, CA- 4:05PM
Last week, Bruce Gradkowski gave Oakland a semblance of life (too bad kicker Sebastian Janikowski missed a game-winning field goal try). However, a hungry-for-postseason Houston has too many offensive weapons (Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, etc.) for Oakland's defense to contain.
Pick: Houston 27-24

Arizona Cardinals (2-1) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)- Qualcomm Stadium; San Diego, CA- 4:15PM
The Cardinals are lucky for their win last week (see my Oakland kicker comment above), and should thank Sebastian Janikowski for missing the field goal attempt near the end, because these birds might get fried by the San Diego Super Chargers, after the Chargers themselves were electrocuted on two kickoff returns for scores last week in Seattle.
Pick: San Diego 31-21

Chicago Bears (3-0) at New York Giants (1-2)- New Meadowlands Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ- 8:20PM
The Monsters of the Midway travel to the Big Apple to play the Giants, losers of two straight. This is a must-win for the Giants, because they travel to Houston next week.
Pick: NY Giants 24-20

New England Patriots (2-1) at Miami Dolphins (2-1)- Sun Life Stadium; Miami, FL- 8:30PM
The Patriots, fresh off a wild game against Buffalo, travel down to sunny Florida to play Miami, under the lights. Can the Pats stop the Wildcat?
Pick: New England 34-31

College Football: Week 5

The College Football Season moves into its second month of action this weekend with a lot of great games to rock in the month of ROCKtober.

The Red River Shootout- # 21 Texas Longhorns (3-1) vs. # 8 Oklahoma Sooners (4-0)- Cowboys Stadium, Arlington Texas
Last week, UCLA hooked those Horns on their own field. Now, they have to play Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout? Not good.
Pick: Oklahoma 41-24

# 7 Florida Gators (4-0) at # 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0)
The Crimson Tide are a marquee SEC matchup for the second week in a row. Last week, they came from 13 down to roll past Arkansas. This week, Florida comes to town looking for revenge after last year's game which sent Alabama to the BCS National Championship. CBS hasn't had an appointment-type program on Saturday night since the days of All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Carol Burnett Show.
Pick: Florida 30-27

# 22 Penn State Nittany Lions (3-1) at # 18 Iowa Hawkeyes (3-1)
Remember when Penn State knocked Iowa from the ranks of the unbeatens and vice versa? Just one of those nights, right? Can Rob Bolden knock off the Hawks in his second test? At Kinnick Stadium, it's just not gonna happen.
Pick: Iowa 28-12

# 9 Stanford Cardinal (4-0) at # 4 Oregon Ducks (4-0)
This is must-see TV for the Pac-10. Stanford, for the first time in almost a quarter of a century, is 4-0. Now, they have to play an Oregon team that is quacking over it's opponents. This will be either a blowout, or a shootout. Hopefully, the latter.
Pick: Oregon 44-40

# 11 Wisconsin Badgers (4-0) at # 24 Michigan State Spartans (4-0)
Last week, Wisconsin nailed and impeached the Governors from FCS school Austin Peay, while Michigan State (minus Head Coach Mark Dantonio) sent the Bears of Northern Colorado back into hibernation. This will be a great war of the unbeatens in East Lansing.
Pick: Wisconsin 42-35

Ohio Northern Polar Bears (3-0, 2-0) at Mount Union Purple Raiders (3-0, 2-0)
Ohio Northern sent Otterbein back into hibernation two weeks ago, and sent Muskingum there last week. Now, the Polar Bears want to go to Alliance and send the rulers of Division III football into hibernation? At Mount Union, Larry Kehres's boys live and breathe football. Mount Union has won 10 Division III National Championships in the last 16 years for one reason- the coaching system. Two years ago, Otterbein at 8-0 had a chance to dethrone the kings in Westerville, and they failed, and Ohio Northern, too will fail on Saturday.
Pick: Mount Union 64-6

# 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0) at Illinois Fighting Illini (?-?)- The IlliBuck Bowl
Last week, the Buckeyes set football back 60 years by scoring 73 points against Eastern Michigan. The Big Ten season begins on Saturday for the # 2 team in the nation at they travel to Champaign. Three years ago, the Buckeyes were 10-0 and looking to go win the National Championship. However, the Buckeyes defense ran out of juice in trying to stop Juice Williams. The Buckeyes could be bitten by the upset bug yet again, against the Illini. It might happen, but it probably won't, but a boy can dream, can't I?
Pick: Ohio State 33-28

# 19 Michigan Wolverines (4-0) at Indiana Hoosiers (3-0)
At press time, Michigan QB Denard Robinson's status is unknown. But he sat out for most of last week's win against Bowling Green, in which Tate Forcier and Devin Gardner helped Michigan score it's biggest point total in 24 years. This week, they go to Bloomington and play an Indiana team they almost lost to last year, with Quarterback Ben Chappell as their field general.
Pick: Michigan 34-30

# 16 Miami Hurricanes (3-1) at Clemson Tigers (2-1)
Clemson, lost to Auburn in a heartbreaking overtime thriller two weeks ago. After a bye week, the Tigers play a gracious Homecoming host to the Boys from the U. The Tigers might get swept away by this hurricane in what is a sold out game at Clemson Memorial Stadium.
Pick: Miami 41-20

Northwestern Wildcats (4-0) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (0-4)
Pick: Northwestern 48-6

Florida State Seminoles (3-1) at Virginia Cavaliers (2-1)
Pick: Florida State 52-7

# 5 TCU Horned Frogs (4-0) at Colorado State Rams (1-3)
Last week, Southern Methodist gave TCU a scare in Dallas last Friday night. Colorado State, off it's first win of the year, should prove to be an easier test for TCU.
Pick: TCU 44-7

Navy Midshipmen (2-1) at Air Force Falcons (3-1)
Pick: Navy 28-20

Tennessee Volunteers (2-2) at # 12 LSU Tigers (4-0)
Pick: LSU 31-13

Virginia Tech Hokies (2-2) at # 23 North Carolina State Wolfpack (4-0)
The last time that NC State was this good, some guy named Philip Rivers was their starting quarterback. Virginia Tech is still smarting from losses to Boise State and FCS team James Madison, and is looking to knock the Wolfpack from the pack of the unbeatens.
Pick: NC State 38-33

Arizona State Sun Devils (2-2) at Oregon State Beavers (2-2)
Pick: Arizona State 31-24

Washington State Cougars (1-3) at UCLA Bruins (2-2)
Two weeks ago, we were all thinking that UCLA was dead and gone. But after a Texas two-step, knocking off Houston (knocking out Heisman hopeful QB Case Keenum for the year) and Texas, the Bruins are even Steven at .500, looking to keep in going as the Bruins head into more Pac-10 play hosting Washington State in Westwood. The Bruins will make it three in a row.
Pick: UCLA 42-14

Wyoming Cowboys (1-3) at Toledo Rockets (3-1)
Last week, Toledo blasted over Purdue, for it's second Big Ten upset in three years. This week, the Wyoming Cowboys, out of the Mountain West Conference come to Toledo. Toledo will be ready for liftoff as they lasso Wyoming.
Pick: Toledo 27-16

Washington Huskies (1-2) at # 18 USC Trojans (4-0)
Really? Why pick this game- we all know the end result. However, after USC knocked off Ohio State in Columbus, Washington knocked the Trojan men off on a late field goal in Seattle last year. This game is not even going to be close at the Colisseum.
Pick: USC 55-0

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-3) at Boston College Eagles (2-1)- The Catholic/Jesuit Bowl
Last week, Wake Forest blanked BC, while Stanford sent Notre Dame to a third straight loss. This has been one of the great rivalries in recent history, too bad nobody wants to see it end. (Notre Dame will lose its fourth in a row)
Pick: BC 28-20

Georgia Tech Yellowjackets (2-2) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-1)
Pick: Wake Forest 41-31

(Ohio Athletic Conference)
John Carroll Blue Streaks (1-2, 1-1) at Otterbein Cardinals (2-1, 1-1)
The Blue Streaks, had dominated the rivalry, winning all but two games in the series, up until 2007. The last three games have been nailbiters between the two schools, including two of those games going into overtime (2007- John Carroll winning 35-33 in triple overtime; 2008- Otterbein winning 20-17 in overtime in rainy University Heights, sending Otterbein to its first, and so far, only playoff appearance), and last year's game almost went into overtime for the third year in a row, but didn't (Otterbein knocked down a game tying two-point conversion pass and recovered the ensuing onside kick to hold on for a 24-22 win in the season finale for both schools last year). John Carroll got its first win of the year, over a lowly Muskingum team, while Otterbein came from behind to beat Heidelberg in the Rhine River Cup for the seventh straight year. The forecast calls for rain Saturday afternoon in Westerville, and the last time these two teams met in the rain (in 2008), Otterbein went to the playoffs the following week. Will the same fate align for the 2010 Cards?
Pick: John Carroll 21-17

Heidelberg Student Princes (1-2, 0-2) at Capital Crusaders (1-2, 1-1)
Rumor has it that it's Homecoming for the Crusaders. The Student Princes are on a crusade to spoil that homecoming, after losing the Rhine River Cup to Otterbein for the seventh consecutive year last week. Capital is on the rebound after a loss to the Wolverines (Wesley College from Delaware, not the Boys from Ann Arbor). Capital has the talent, and I think that the Crusaders will not disappoint their alumni.
Pick: Capital 24-13

Wilmington Quakers (0-3, 0-2) at Muskingum Muskies (2-1, 1-1)
Muskingum at 3-1? Nobody saw this coming, but it's possible, considering Wilmington is struggling this year.
Pick: Muskingum 32-20

Marietta Pioneers (1-2, 0-2) at Baldwin-Wallace Yellow Jackets (3-0, 2-0)
The Pioneers are going to get stung really hard in Berea.
Pick: Baldwin-Wallace 27-0

(Division II)
Ohio Dominican Panthers (0-3, 0-3) at Michigan Tech Huskies (3-0, 3-0)
Ohio Dominican travels up to Michigan to play unbeaten Michigan Tech. The real problem for the Panthers is getting their offense in check, because their offense is falling apart, as they might go to 0-4, because I don't think that ODU will spoil Michigan Tech's homecoming.
Pick: Michigan Tech 31-10

(North Coast Athletic Conference)- select games
Wittenberg Tigers (4-0, 2-0) at Oberlin Yeomen (2-1, 1-1)
Wittenberg, after escaping a nail-biter at Allegheny, travels up to Oberlin to visit the house that Heisman built. The Tigers will be back on the winning edge by spoiling Oberlin's homecoming, by drowning the Yeomen in a sea of Wittenberg red.
Pick: Wittenberg 38-14

Wooster Fighting Scots (2-2, 1-1) at Denison Big Red (3-1, 1-0)
Denison got off to the great start, but Wooster has the history and prestige in Division III.
Pick: Wooster 28-23

Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops (0-4) at Chicago Maroons (2-2)
The Maroons are on a two-game losing streak after a 2-0 start, and no time would be better than the present, because Ohio Wesleyan might be the elixir that Chicago needs.
Pick: Chicago 30-14

Wabash Little Giants (3-0, 2-0) at Kenyon Lords (0-3, 0-2)
These Little Giants will stomp over Kenyon in the tiny little village of Gambier.
Pick: Wabash 37-16

Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-0) 38, Texas A&M Aggies (3-1) 35

Looking ahead to Next Week...
Sports Corner Games of the Week:
Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Wolverines- 3:30PM in the Big House (Ann Arbor)
LSU Tigers at Florida Gators- Time TBA in Gainesville
Alabama Crimson Tide at South Carolina Gamecocks- Time TBA in Columbia, SC
Florida State Seminoles at Miami Hurricanes- 8:00PM in Miami
USC Trojans at Stanford Cardinal- 8:00PM in Palo Alto

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Central Ohio High School Football- Week 6, Part 2

Now, are the Sports Corner picks of Week "Pick Six":

St. Charles Cardinals (5-0) at St. Francis DeSales Stallions (3-2)- St. Charles is # 1 in their Computer Region, and barring a meltdown (keep in mind, they have Youngstown Ursuline, some Canadian team, Watterson, and Jonathan Alder left), the Cards will make their fourth playoff appearance. Only problem is coming to Karl Road and winning at DeSales. The last time they beat DeSales? 1976. Jimmy Carter, a peanut farmer from Georgia was elected President, America turned 200, the first Rocky movie came out in theatres, the Pittsburgh Steelers were the defending Super Bowl Champs, and Happy Days was the top-rated show on television. Can St. Charles get it done, or will it be, tic-tac-toe, 34 in a row?
Pick: DeSales

Upper Arlington Golden Bears (4-1, 2-0) at Hilliard Darby Panthers (5-0, 2-0)- Three years ago, the Panthers made their lone playoff appearance so far. Darby had a tad tougher non-league schedule (thank you, Dublin Jerome) than Walnut Ridge and Briggs. This is Darby's first real test, as Upper Arlington comes to visit.
Pick: Upper Arlington

Olentangy Braves (3-2, 1-1) at Olentangy Liberty Patriots (3-2, 1-1)- Both teams were upset last week (Olentangy, by Marysville and Liberty, by Dublin Jerome), heading into the annual "Battle of Olentangy: Lewis Center vs. Powell" for these two schools. Both teams are looking to crack the coveted top eight in their region, and to win the Cardinal Division.
Pick: Olentangy...Liberty

Clarksville Clinton-Massie (5-0) at London Red Raiders (3-2)- This should be a great game in the South Central Ohio League, as London hosts Clinton-Massie. Which London team will show up is the question- the London that blanked (undefeated at the time) Greenfield McClain, or the London that got blown out last week by Jonathan Alder?
Pick: Clinton-Massie

Canal Winchester Indians (4-1, 2-0) at Amanda-Clearcreek Aces (4-1, 2-0)- Both teams bounced back after Week 1 losses to two Central Catholic League powerhouses, to win four straight. However, only one of these two will make it five.
Pick: Canal Winchester

Johnstown Johnnies (4-1, 2-0) at Fredericktown Freddies (4-1, 2-0)- Johnny, meet Freddy. The first to get to the end zone wins. Fredericktown is the toast of the Mid-Buckeye Conference, going 7-0 last year, and looking to prolong their winning streak, by the Johnnies have plans of their own.
Pick: Fredericktown

Granville Blue Aces (4-1, 2-0) at Licking Valley Panthers (3-2, 2-0)- This will be a great showdown in the little village of Hanover, as Licking Valley looks for their fourth straight win after an 0-2 start.
Pick: Licking Valley

Westerville South Wildcats (4-1, 2-0) at Dublin Jerome Celtics (3-2, 1-1)- Last week, Dublin Jerome shocked Olentangy Liberty. Can the Celtics make it two upsets in a row? The only problem is too much Westerville South ground game.
Pick: Westerville South

Columbus East Tigers (0-5, 0-2) at Whetstone Braves (also 0-5, 0-2)- last week, it was Westerville North and Central. This week, East and Whetstone. Someone will get their first win of 2010. The Braves have the edge, because they lost close games to Briggs and Brookhaven, while East allowed 50 points or more in three of their first four games. It will be a happy night in Clintonville, indeed.
Pick: Whetstone

Mount Vernon Rams (2-3, 1-1) at Franklin Heights Falcons (0-5, 0-2)- This is going to be a game full of pride for both schools, as both are in the shadow of the three eminent leaders in the Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division (Big Walnut, New Albany, Watkins Memorial). Franklin Heights should have won by now, but I think they might do so this Friday.
Pick: Franklin Heights

Dublin Scioto Irish (2-3, 0-2) at Westerville North Warriors (0-5, 0-2)- It has been two years since Westerville North has last won on the football field. Two years, and 20 losses later, the Warriors are starving for a win. Dublin Scioto is looking for their first Cardinal Division win, after back-to-back losses to Olentangy and Westerville South.
Pick: Westerville North- Upset Pick of the Week

Briggs Bruins (3-2, 0-2) at Independence 76ers (1-4, 1-1)- Briggs, on paper, has a chance, but in reality, could be a mismatch for the 76ers.
Pick: Independence

Brookhaven Bearcats (2-3, 2-0) at Linden McKinley Panthers (1-4, 0-2)- Brookhaven almost lost in their first two games of City League play, after scoring a paltry 19 points in their first three games. Linden McKinley could be the elixir that Brookhaven's offense needs.
Pick: Brookhaven

Centennial Stars (3-2, 2-0) at Northland Vikings (3-2, 1-1)- Centennial, after 34 straight losses, has a three-game winning streak, and is above .500 for the first time since ending the 2001 season. However, it may be short-lived, as they travel to play a Northland team looking to win the North Division.
Pick: Northland

Grove City Greyhounds (2-3, 2-0) at Lancaster Golden Gales (3-2, 1-1)- Grove City is on a roll, now that OCC Division play is in session. Last week, the Greyhounds came from 22 down to knock off previously unbeaten Groveport Madison. The outcome might not be golden at Fulton Field for Lancaster, as Grove City could make it to .500 for the first time this year.
Pick: Grove City

Whitehall-Yearling Rams (2-3, 1-1) at Heath Bulldogs (4-1, 1-1)- This is not a race, more like a bulldog attack on Whitehall.
Pick: Heath

Columbus Grove Bulldogs (3-2) at Bishop Hartley Hawks (4-1)- Last year, Columbus Grove, out of northwest Ohio (in Division VI) knocked the Hawks off in OT. This could be an interesting rematch, as the Bulldogs haven't beaten a team with a winning record so far, nor have they played a school higher than Division V.
Pick: Hartley

Walnut Ridge Scots (4-1, 1-1) at Columbus West Cowboys (3-2, 1-1)- Walnut Ridge's easy schedule caught up with them as Marion-Franklin exposed Ridge's shortcomings last week. Now, can West High's fast-flying offense lasso the Scots down to earth at Magley Field on Friday night, or will Walnut Ridge prove that they can beat a quality opponent?
Pick: Walnut Ridge

Gahanna Lincoln Lions (2-3, 1-1) at Pickerington Central Tigers (4-0, 2-0)- Remember when Pickerington Central was only one high school, and this was a huge rivalry? Throw out the fact that Pick Central is # 1 in Region 3 and Gahanna is improving.
Pick: Pickerington Central

Reynoldsburg Raiders (3-2, 1-1) at Pickerington North Panthers (2-3, 0-2)- Pickerington North's offense was non-existent last week against Pickerington Central, as the Tigers held the Panthers to only 50 yards of total offense. This week, they could get it back on track.
Pick: Pickerington North

Mifflin Punchers (3-2, 1-1) at Beechcroft Cougars (3-2, 2-0)- Mifflin got the shock of its life during Coach Gregg Miller's short tenure as they lost to a resurgent Centennial team last week. This week, they have to travel up north to play Beechcroft? Good luck with that as the Cougars mauled Linden McKinley last week.
Pick: Beechcroft

Watkins Memorial Warriors (3-2, 0-2) at Delaware Hayes Pacers (2-3, 1-1)- After a great 3-0 start, Watkins Memorial came crashing down with losses to Big Walnut and New Albany. This week, Watkins returns to Delaware County to play Hayes, who was outpaced by Mount Vernon last week.
Pick: Watkins Memorial

Bishop Ready Silver Knights (3-2) at Sidney Lehman Catholic Cavaliers (4-1)
Ready, after back-to-back losses, rebounded last week, with a win in a shootout against Covington (Kentucky) Holy Cross, and the Cavaliers have won four straight, looking to make it five, with a win over these perennial playoff teams, meeting for the first time in six years.
Pick: Sidney Lehman Catholic

Hamilton Township Rangers (4-1, 2-0) at Circleville Tigers (2-3, 0-2)
The Hamilton Township Rangers travel down US 23 to play Circleville in the "Pumpkin Capital of Ohio".
Pick: Hamilton Township

Olentangy Orange Pioneers (2-3, 1-1) at New Albany Eagles (5-0, 2-0)
New Albany is on a roll and there is no grounding of these birds, just yet.
Pick: New Albany

Columbus Academy Vikings (3-2, 1-1) at Newark Catholic Green Wave (4-1, 1-1)
The Academy running game goes on the road to Newark to play one of the most prestigious small schools in the area. Newark Catholic is coming off their first loss of the season, to Heath. Can Academy run past the Wave under the Saturday night lights at White Field?
Pick: Newark Catholic

...In Two Weeks, Rivalry Friday returns, a dozen Central Ohio High School Rivalries Will Be Chosen as the Sports Corner Games of the Week...

Central Ohio High School Football- Week 6, PART 1

The second half of the regular season of Ohio High School Football begins this week. Before I get to the week's predix, if the playoffs were to begin today throughout the State, here's what the pairings would be, starting in reverse order with Division VI and working my way up.

Region 24 (Division VI)
8) Middletown Christian at 1) Covington
7) Fort Loramie at 2) Springfield Catholic Central
6) Sidney Lehman Catholic at 3) Maria Stein Marion Local
5) Ansonia at 4) Lockland

Region 23 (Division VI)
8) Malvern at 1) Shadyside
7) Salineville Southern at 2) Fairfield Christian
6) Bridgeport at 3) Newark Catholic
5) Strasburg-Franklin at 4) Willow Wood Symmes Valley
OUT LOOKING IN: 11) Harvest Prep and 12) Danville

Region 22 (Division VI)
8) Arlington at 1) Delphos St. John
7) Sycamore Mohawk at 2) McComb
6) Fremont St. Joseph at 3) Edgerton
5) Leipsic at 4) Ada

Region 21 (Division VI)
8) Bascom Hopewell-Loudon at 1) Mogadore
7) Monroeville at 2) Berlin Center Western Reserve
6) Dalton at 3) Bucyrus Wynford
5) New Washington Buckeye Central at 4) Thompson Ledgemont

Region 20 (Division V)
8) Grandview Heights at 1) North Union
7) Cincinnati Hills Christian at 2) Cincinnati Summit Country Day
6) Cincinnati Clark Montessori at 3) West Jefferson
5) Coldwater at 4) Versailles

Region 19 (Division V)
8) Cardington-Lincoln at 1) Minford
7) Lucasville Valley at 2) Coal Grove Dawson-Bryant
6) Caldwell at 3) Fredericktown
5) West Lafayette Ridgewood at 4) Woodsfield Monroe Central

Region 18 (Division V)
8) Columbia Station Columbia at 1) Collins Western Reserve
7) Jeromesville Hillsdale at 2) Hamler Patrick Henry
6) Northwood at 3) Archbold
5) Lima Central Catholic at 4) Defiance Tinora

Region 17 (Division V)
8) Independence at 1) Kirtland
7) Cuyahoga Heights at 2) Youngstown Ursuline
6) Orwell Grand Valley at 3) Columbiana Crestview
5) North Lima South Range at 4) Creston Norwayne

Region 16 (Division IV)
8) Germantown Valleyview at 1) Franklin Bishop Fenwick
7) Kettering Archbishop Alter at 2) Cincinnati North College Hill
6) Kenton at 3) Carlisle
5) Jonathan Alder at 4) Clarksville Clinton-Massie **This would be a rematch of the Week 3 game in which Clinton-Massie won by a point, 28-27, as they blocked an Alder point after try that would have tied the game at 28 all**
OUT LOOKING IN: 12) London

Region 15 (Division IV)
8) Portsmouth at 1) Ironton
7) Coshocton at 2) Heath
6) Johnstown at 3) Bishop Hartley
5) Portsmouth West at 4) Amanda-Clearcreek
OUT LOOKING IN: 12) Westfall

Region 14 (Division IV)
8) Lorain Clearview at 1) Elyria Catholic
7) Wooster Triway at 2) Orrville
6) Ottawa-Glandorf at 3) Bellville Clear Fork
5) Milan Edison at 4) Genoa Area

Region 13 (Division IV)
8) Girard at 1) Akron Manchester
7) Cleveland Central Catholic at 2) St. Clairsville
6) Perry at 3) Chagrin Falls
5) Martin's Ferry at 4) Campbell MEmorial

Region 12 (Division III)
8) Cincinnati Archbishop McNicholas at 1) Cincinnati St. Bernard Roger Bacon
7) Springfield Shawnee at 2) Eaton
6) Cincinnati Wyoming at 3) Springfield Kenton Ridge
5) Washington Court House at 4) Gallipolis Gallia Academy

Region 11 (Division III)
8) Licking Valley at 1) Steubenville
7) Granville at 2) Minerva
6) Licking Heights at 3) Alliance Marlington
5) Thornville Sheridan at 4) East Liverpool

Region 10 (Division III)
8) Oak Harbor at 1) Clyde
7) Columbus St. Francis DeSales at 2) Tiffin Columbian
6) Celina at 3) Napoleon
5) Tipp City Tippecanoe at 4) Bishop Watterson
OUT LOOKING IN: 10) Eastmoor Academy

Region 9 (Division III)
8) Ravenna Southeast at 1) Mogadore Field
7) Youngstown Cardinal Mooney at 2) Parma Padua
6) Hubbard at 3) Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
5) Poland Seminary at 4) Akron Buchtel

Region 8 (Division II)
8) New Carlisle Tecumseh at 1) Harrison
7) Dayton Carroll at 2) Cincinnati Turpin
6) Hamilton Ross at 3) Kings Mills Kings
5) Cincinnati Winton Woods at 4) Wapakoneta

Region 7 (Division II)
8) Dublin Jerome at 1) St. Charles
7) Watkins Memorial at 2) Marion-Franklin
6) Canal Winchester at 3) New Albany
5) Uniontown Lake at 4) Big Walnut
**This region has more Columbus-area schools in the top eight than Region 3, as you will see below. Marion-Franklin is the only Columbus City League school in the top eight, and Eastmoor Academy is the only other City League school in the top ten. There have been as many as four teams from the City League in the playoffs in one year (1999- Brookhaven, Columbus East, Beechcroft, and Columbus Independence and 2009- Brookhaven, Marion-Franklin, Walnut Ridge, and Eastmoor Academy).**
OUT LOOKING IN: T-8) Hamilton Township and 12) Olentangy

Region 6 (Division II)
8) Westlake at 1) Avon
7) Cleveland JFK at 2) Avon Lake
6) Lexington at 3) Maple Heights
5) Maumee at 4) Toledo Central Catholic

Region 5 (Division II)
8) Wooster at 1) Chesterland West Geauga
7) Aurora at 2) Copley
6) Ashland at 3) Warren Howland
5) Mentor Lake Catholic at 4) Tallmadge

Region 4 (Division I)
8) Huber Heights Wayne at 1) Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller
7) Cincinnati Sycamore at 2) Middletown
6) Cincinnati St. Xavier at 3) Centerville
5) Cincinnati LaSalle at 4) Cincinnati Colerain

Region 3 (Division I)
8) Troy at 1) Pickerington Central
7) Dublin Coffman at 2) Springfield
6) Westerville South at 3) Hilliard Darby
5) Groveport Madison at 4) Hilliard Davidson
OUT LOOKING IN: 9) Upper Arlington, 10) Olentangy Liberty, 11) Marysville, and 12) Grove City

Region 2 (Division I)
8) Perrysburg at 1) Twinsburg
7) Toledo Whitmer at 2) Amherst Steele
6) Massillon Washington at 3) Massillon Perry
5) Sylvania Southview at 4) Medina

Region 1 (Division I)
8) Brecksville-Broadview Heights at 1) Cleveland Glenville
7) Warren G. Harding at 2) Austintown-Fitch
6) Youngstown Boardman at 3) Lakewood St. Edward
5) Willoughby South at 4) Solon

DJBC Sports Corner Top 25 (Week 6):
This is regardless of Division and Region, as always.

1) Hilliard Davidson Wildcats (5-0, 2-0, OCC Central)- Division I, Region 3
2) Marion-Franklin Red Devils (5-0, 2-0, City League North)- Division II, Region 7
T-3) Pickerington Central Tigers (4-0, 2-0, OCC Ohio)- Division I, Region 3
T-3) St. Charles Cardinals (5-0, 0-0, Central Catholic League Silver)- Division II, Region 7
5) Big Walnut Golden Eagles (5-0, 2-0, OCC Capital)- Division II, Region 7
6) New Albany Eagles (5-0, 2-0, OCC Capital)- Division II, Region 7
7) West Jefferson Roughriders (5-0, 2-0, Mid State League Cardinal)- Division V, Region 20
8) Fredericktown Freddies (5-0, 2-0, Mid Buckeye Conference)- Division V, Region 19
9) Bishop Hartley Hawks (4-1, 0-0, Central Catholic League Gold)- Division IV, Region 15
10) Westerville South Wildcats (4-1, 2-0, OCC Cardinal)- Division I, Region 3
11) Groveport Madison Cruisers (4-1, 1-1, OCC Ohio)- Division I, Region 3
12) Johnstown Johnnies (4-1, 2-0, Mid Buckeye Conference)- Division IV, Region 15
13) Upper Arlington Golden Bears (4-1, 2-0, OCC Central)- Division I, Region 3
14) Newark Catholic Green Wave (4-1, 1-1, Mid State League Ohio)- Division VI, Region 23
15) Jonathan Alder Pioneers (4-1, Independent)- Division IV, Region 16
16) Bishop Watterson Eagles (3-1, Central Catholic League Silver)- Division III, Region 10
17) Hamilton Township Rangers (4-1, 2-0, Mid State League Buckeye)- Division II, Region 7
18) Licking Valley Panthers (3-2, 2-0, Mid State League Ohio)- Division III, Region 11
19) Walnut Ridge Scots (4-1, 1-1, City League South)- Division II, Region 7
20) Hilliard Darby Panthers (5-0, 2-0, OCC Central)- Division I, Region 3
21) Dublin Coffman Shamrocks (4-1, 2-0, OCC Central)- Division I, Region 3
22) Centennial Stars (3-2, 2-0, City League North)- Division II, Region 7
23) Granville Blue Aces (4-1, 2-0, Mid State League Ohio)- Division III, Region 11
24) Richwood North Union Wildcats (5-0, 4-0, Mid Ohio Athletic Conference)- Division V, Region 20
25) St. Francis DeSales Stallions (3-2, 0-0, Central Catholic League Silver)- Division III, Region 10

To be continued with the "Pick Six" Picks of Week Six.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

NFL 2010: Week 3

The NFL is back for more action this Sunday as 16 NFL games take place this weekend, and this is the last weekend that all 32 teams will be playing until mid-November, as the anticipated, yet dreaded bye weeks begin next week.


(1PM Games)
Tennessee Titans (1-1) at New York Giants (1-1)- New Meadowlands Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ)
Last week, both teams got hammered by their opponents. However, only one team will get to turn it around, and the host Giants have the edge in this one.
Pick: New York Giants 28-13

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0)- Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, FL)- GAME OF THE WEEK # 1
Both teams are a surprising 2-0. Pittsburgh, without suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, is off to a surprising 2-0 start with a little help from their defense, and Tampa Bay is 2-0, courtesy of the heroics of quarterback Josh Freeman. Tampa would love to go 3-0 heading into their bye week, but I don't see it happening as methinks the Steel Curtain will shut down these Bucs.
Pick: Pittsburgh 31-20

Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) at Carolina Panthers (0-2)- Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, NC)
Last week, the Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens, despite only five field goals and zero touchdowns. The Bengals defense came up big in the second half last week, forcing four interceptions. The Panthers, despite their two-headed running back monster of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, are struggling, and it's because Matt Moore was inept at Quarterback. Now, young Jimmy Clausen will make his debut as the Panthers starting quarterback. Can he win in his debut? No.
Pick: Cincinnati 17-13

Cleveland Browns (0-2) at Baltimore Ravens (1-1)- M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore, MD)
The Browns, in their first two games, have blown big leads in both games. This week, they'll be even lucky to move the ball down the field against Baltimore's real tough defense.
Pick: Baltimore 30-0

Buffalo Bills (0-2) at New England Patriots (1-1)- Gillette Stadium (Foxboro, MA)
The Bills are the new Rams/Lions. Expect the Patriots to make these Bills extinct.
Pick: New England 27-0

Dallas Cowboys (0-2) at Houston Texans (2-0)- Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)- UPSET WATCH PICK OF THE WEEK/THE BATTLE OF TEXAS
In the third "Battle of Texas", the Texans are looking to build on their great start. However, America's team is struggling to survive, as a loss to their in-state rivals could send them to 0-3, heading into their bye week.
Pick: Houston 31-14

San Francisco 49ers (0-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)- Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, MO)
The 49ers at 0-2? Kansas City at 2-0? Is this the real NFL? Put down the Budweiser and wake up, because it is actually reality through the first two weeks of the 2010 season. Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis has indeed made his mark in KC as the Chiefs remain unbeaten going into their bye week.
Pick: Kansas City 24-23

Detroit Lions (0-2) at Minnesota Vikings (0-2)- Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (Minneapolis, MN)
The third time will be the charm for one of these teams full of talent. Detroit lost in Week 1 due to a controversial call, and was held off on a late rally last week. Minnesota was held off in both games. Can Minnesota take the next step with Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson, or will the Lions claw the Vikes, with rookie back Jahvid Best putting his best foot forward?
Pick: Minnesota 17-15

Atlanta Falcons (1-1) at New Orleans Saints (2-0)- Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans, LA)
This is going to be a great showdown between two NFC South rivals.
Pick: New Orleans 24-21

Washington Redskins (1-1) at St. Louis Rams (0-2)- Edward Jones Dome (St. Louis, MO)
The Redskins blew a 17-point lead and lost in overtime to Houston, at home. This week, they go to St. Louis, home of the "Greatest Joke on Turf".
Pick: Washington 27-14

Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)- EverBank Field (Jacksonville, FL)
It's official. Michael Vick is the starting quarterback in Philly. The bad news: Jacksonville has more questions than answers.
Pick: Philadelphia 38-20

Oakland Raiders (1-1) at Arizona Cardinals (1-1)- University of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, AZ)
Bruce Gradkowski will definitely give Oakland an offensive boost against a declining Arizona squad.
Pick: Oakland 19-6

San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1)- Qwest Field (Seattle, WA)
San....Diego....Super.....Chargers!!!! The Chargers will charge up their offense in Seattle, against a resurgent Seahawks team.
Pick: San Diego 42-14

Indianapolis Colts (1-1) at Denver Broncos (1-1)- Invesco Field at Mile High (Denver, CO)- The Battle of the Horses
Last Sunday night, the Colts galloped over the New York Giants in Manning Bowl II. This week in the battle of the horses, Peyton Manning will help the Colts gallop in Mile High.
Pick: Indianapolis 42-14
A side note. Sports Corner's thoughts and prayers go to the Broncos organization, and the family of second year wide receiver Kenny McKinley, who passed away early last week.

New York Jets (1-1) at Miami Dolphins (2-0)- Sun Life Stadium (Miami, FL)- GAME OF THE WEEK # 2
This rivalry has had great moments. Expect some on Sunday night, as the J-E-T-S, Jets visit sunny Miami and the unbeaten Dolphins. The Jets defense and Miami's wildcat offense will be a great matchup to watch.
Pick: New York Jets 23-13

Chicago Bears (2-0) at Green Bay Packers (2-0)- Lambeau Field (Green Bay, WI)- GAME OF THE WEEK # 3
The NFC North Division has been a very boring division to watch at times. The final NFL game of September, features two NFC North rivals, separated a couple of hours away on I-65. The Packers defense has dominated opponents to date, while the Bears have gotten by their opponents. But anything is possible with rivalry games, just like one of next weekend's games of the week- the Battle of Ohio (Cleveland and Cincinnati).
Pick: Green Bay 37-17

Next week's Marquee Game of the Week....the Eagles foolishly traded him, their quarterback for 11 seasons, to their division rival, the Washington Redskins, and now he returns to the City of Brotherly Love....Donovan McNabb's return to Philadelphia.

Sports Corner's other two picks for Game of the Week next week- the Monday night game between division rivals New England and Miami, and the Battle of Ohio, between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns...could it be another trap game for the Boys from the Jungle as they plan to bury Fido in the Dawg Pound?

The Cowboys, Chiefs, Vikings, and Buccaneers all have byes in Week 4.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

College Football Picks: Week 4

DJBC Sports Corner is back for another round of college football action this weekend.

(Ohio Athletic Conference/North Coast Athletic Conference)

Wesley Wolverines (3-0) at Capital Crusaders (1-1)
The Wesley Wolverines make a long trip from Delaware to Bernlohr Stadium to play the Capital Crusaders. I don't know much about these Wolverines, but Capital will have their hands full of them in Bexley on Saturday.
Pick: Wesley 35-13

Muskingum Muskies (2-0, 1-0) at Ohio Northern Polar Bears (2-0, 1-0)
The Muskingum Muskies are 2-0, but we all know that that will eventually change, as they travel up to Ada to play Ohio Northern, fresh off sending a red, hot Otterbein team back into hibernation last Saturday in Westerville.
Pick: Ohio Northern 41-0

Mount Union Purple Raiders (2-0, 1-0) at Wilmington Quakers (0-2, 0-1)
This one's not even close.
Pick: Mount Union 66-0

Otterbein Cardinals (1-1, 0-1) at Heidelberg Student Princes (1-1, 0-1)- The RHINE RIVER Cup
Last week, Otterbein's offensive game got shut down by a red, hot Ohio Northern team. This week, the Cards travel up to Tiffin to play the Student Princes of Heidelberg in the Rhine River cup. I think that the Rhine River cup will still reside in Westerville as the Cards get back on track and dethrone the Student Princes on Heidelberg's own kingdom.
Pick: Otterbein 28-18

Marietta Pioneers (1-1, 0-1) at John Carroll Blue Streaks (0-2, 0-1)
How is John Carroll 0-2? That makes no sense, but last week, they played Case Western and Mount Union. This week, they might win, against Marietta. However, Marietta upset Otterbein last year.
Pick: John Carroll 14-10

Kenyon Lords (2-1) at Carnegie Mellon Tartans (1-2)
Two of the most prestigious small schools in this region come together in Pittsburgh. Kenyon gave us Paul Newman and Allison Janney, while Carnegie Mellon gave us half of ATWT's Nuke- Van Hansis. The Tartans look to win in front of the home crowd after losing back-to-back games to Allegheny and Hobart.
Pick: Carnegie Mellon 21-17

Wittenberg Tigers (3-0) at Allegheny Gators (2-0)
The # 7 team in the country in Division III leaves their comfortable Springfield confines for the first time this year, as they head to Pennsylvania to go Gator hunting.
Pick: Wittenberg 42-30

Denison Big Red (3-0) at Case Western Reserve Spartans (2-0)
Denison is 3-0 for the first time in two decades, as they narrowly escaped Hiram in an overtime thriller last week. Now, after that emotional win, the Big Red travel up to Cleveland to play Case Western under the lights.
Pick: Case Western 21-14

Wooster Fighting Scots (1-2) at Ohio Wesleyan Bishops (0-3)
Wooster, fresh off it's first win of the year (against Oberlin) travels down to Delaware to play Ohio Wesleyan, who has been outplayed in all three of their games in all facets of the game. Can the Battling Bishops get it together? The answer: No.
Pick: Wooster 41-13

(Division I Football Bowl Subdivision Top 25 & Select Marquee Games)
SPORTS CORNER TOP GAME OF THE WEEK: # 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0) at # 10 Arkansas Razorbacks (3-0)- Saturday, 3:30PM on CBS
This is the game of the week as the # 1 College Team in the nation goes up to Fayetteville, Arkansas to play a red hot Razorbacks team. Can the Tide roll on, or will the Razorbacks ROLL over the Tide?
Pick: Alabama 20-17

THURSDAY NIGHT: # 19 Miami Hurricanes (2-1) at Pitt Panthers (1-1)
Pick: Miami 27-17

FRIDAY NIGHT: # 4 Texas Christian Horned Frogs (3-0) at Southern Methodist Mustangs (2-1)
Pick: TCU 47-0

Virginia Tech Hokies (1-2) at Boston College Eagles (2-0)
Virginia Tech, last week grabbed its first win of the season, after back-to-back losses to Boise State and FCS team James Madison. However, the Hokies will get hoked around in Chestnut Hill by an unbeaten BC team.
Pick: BC 28-13

North Carolina State Wolfpack (3-0) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-1)
This will be a great early day match up as unbeaten NC State visits Georgia Tech.
Pick: Georgia Tech 34-24

Ball State Cardinals (1-2) at # 18 Iowa Hawkeyes (2-1)
Pick: Iowa 44-0

Bowling Green Falcons (1-2) at # 21 Michigan Wolverines (3-0)
Unless Michigan's weak secondary has a meltdown, the Boys in Blue will ground these birds from taking flight in the Big House.
Pick: Michigan 42-0

Northern Colorado Bears (2-1) at # 25 Michigan State Spartans (3-0)
Last week in East Lansing, the Spartans jumped into the Top 25 with their Little Giants overtime win over Notre Dame. Shortly after the game, Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack and was released from the hospital on Tuesday. Offensive coordinator Don Treadwell is leading Michigan State in the meantime until Dantonio gets back on his feet again. However, this Saturday, it won't make a difference, because the Spartans host a Division II team (moving up to Division I next year)- Northern Colorado.
Pick: Michigan State 70-10

Central Michigan Chippewas (2-1) at Northwestern Wildcats (3-0)
Pick: Northwestern 28-25

Toledo Rockets (2-1) at Purdue Boilermakers (2-1)
The Boilermakers are a two-touchdown fave in this game, however the Rockets blasted away two years ago in the Big House, pulling off the second-greatest upset in the nation's largest football stadium.
Pick: Purdue 47-27

Austin Peay Governors at # 11 Wisconsin Badgers (3-0)
Why bother picking this game, because on paper, the Badgers will impeach these Governors out of Camp Randall.
Pick: Wisconsin 56-7

North Carolina Tar Heels (0-2) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-0)
Can the Tar Heels get it back together? Probably not in Jersey against the Scarlet Knights.
Pick: Rutgers 38-14

# 20 Southern Cal Trojans (3-0) at Washington State Cougars (1-2)
Pick: USC 41-7

# 16 Stanford Cardinal (3-0) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-2)
Can the Irish get it back together after back-to-back losses against Michigan and Michigan State? Can Stanford keep it going?
Pick: Stanford 41-7

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-1) at Florida State Seminoles (2-1)
The Seminoles after a blow-out loss in Oklahoma, got back on track last week. This week, they host Wake Forest, who lost for the first time last week, where Stanford hung over two-thirds of a hundred on the Demon Deacons.
Pick: Florida State 42-33

Eastern Michigan Eagles (0-3) at # 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0)
This game should have been scheduled for Noon, so that Eastern Michigan could get home sooner after getting beat in the Shoe. This will be the Buckeyes' last game before Big Ten play, which begins next week in Champaign against upset-hungry Illinois.
Pick: Ohio State 87-0

Temple Owls (3-0) at # 23 Penn State Nittany Lions (2-1)
Yes, Temple may be unbeaten, but that don't mean jack to their Eastern Pennsylvania neighbors to the west at these Owls fly/hop/skip over to State College.
Pick: Penn State 31-3

UCLA Bruins (1-2) at # 7 Texas Longhorns (3-0)
UCLA got their first win of the season over previously unbeaten and ranked Houston, who lost both their starting quarterback Case Keenum and their backup quarterback for the year. However, the Bruins will win a lot of games, just not this Saturday in Austin, as the Longhorns will hook UCLA.
Pick: Texas 49-7


# 8 Oklahoma Sooners at Cincinnati Bearcats (1-2)
This game was probably selected when Brian Kelly was still the Bearcats' Head Coach. Now that Kelly is in South Bend, this game will be far from competitive.
Pick: Oklahoma 55-8

Kentucky Wildcats (3-0) at # 9 Florida Gators (3-0)- A Red Lobster waitress dissed both Kentucky receiver Randall Cobb and the unbeaten Wildcats this week, asking "how many games will the Wildcats win before they get horrible again", mistaking Cobb for a Kentucky fan. That will be tough to prove as the Wildcats head down to Gainesville, to play a Florida team that still has not missed a beat since the departure of Tim Tebow. A Kentucky upset would prove huge in the Southeastern Conference, as the Wildcats are looking for respect now after the incident at Red Lobster.
Pick: Florida 41-21

Ohio Bobcats (1-2) at Marshall Thundering Herd (1-2)
Both of these teams in Green were left green with envy after getting whipped in Columbus this month. Will OU's spiral downward continue?
Pick: Marshall 20-14

South Dakota State Jackrabbits at # 6 Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-0)
On paper, this is no contest.
Pick: Nebraska 64-0

GAME OF THE WEEK: # 12 South Carolina Gamecocks (3-0) at # 17 Auburn Tigers (3-0)
# 24 Oregon State Beavers at # 3 Boise State Broncos (3-0)
In Corvallis, this week, the Oregon State football team painted their field blue in anticipation for this match-up. Clever idea, or epic fail? This has been the mantra for Boise State in the last four years, to quote the theme song to the 1987 movie Mannequin, "Nothing's gonna stop us now."
Pick: Boise State 33-10

San Jose State Spartans at # 13 Utah Utes (3-0)
Pick: Utah 47-6

# 22 West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0) at # 15 Louisiana State Tigers (3-0)
Pick: LSU 38-33

California Golden Bears (2-1) at # 14 Arizona Wildcats (3-0)
Pick: Arizona 31-29

# 5 Oregon Ducks (3-0) at Arizona State Sun Devils (2-1)
This late night matchup may be lop-sided at the Ducks have soared over the competition; while Arizona State is coming off their first loss of the season (at Wisconsin).
Pick: Oregon 52-14

Congratulations to the AAA Baseball National Champions, the Columbus Clippers, who defeated the Tacoma Rainiers 12-6 in the Championship game in Oklahoma City.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Halfway through the 2010 Ohio High School Football Season (Week 5)

We have reached the midway point of the Ohio High School Football Season, and the fifth week of the season takes place this weekend, and there are some great games in the Central Ohio area.

Marion-Franklin Red Devils (4-0, 1-0) at Walnut Ridge Scots (4-0, 1-0)
This is the battle of the unbeatens between the final two undefeated teams in the Columbus City League- Walnut Ridge does battle with the # 2 team in the state of Ohio in Division II football- Marion-Franklin. This will be another big test for the Red Devils, whose defense has already shut down Brookhaven, Dublin Scioto, and Ashland. The Scots have scored 51, 54, and 63 points against East, Linden McKinley, and South, respectively in the last three weeks, so something has got to give on Livingston Avenue this Friday.
Pick: Walnut Ridge

New Albany Eagles (4-0, 1-0) at Watkins Memorial Warriors (3-1, 0-1)
The red, hot New Albany teams soars to Pataskala to play the Watkins Memorial Warriors, fresh off a loss at Big Walnut. The Eagles have a deep threat at running back, while the Warriors have one at quarterback, so this will be a great matchup.
Pick: New Albany

Pickerington Central Tigers (3-0, 1-0) at Pickerington North Panthers (2-2, 0-1)
The Battle of Pickerington: Part IV. These two teams met twice last year, with Central winning both meetings, including the nailbiter during the first round of the playoffs last year. The fourth round of the Battle of Pickerington should live up to the hype, not just in Pickerington.
Pick: Pickerington Central

West Jefferson Roughriders (4-0, 1-0) at Grandview Heights Bobcats (3-1, 1-0)
This is a surprising matchup, as West Jefferson travels to play rival Grandview, winners of three straight. A Grandview win could turn tables not just in their Mid State League division, but in their Division V computer region as well. However, the Roughriders are just too strong.
Pick: West Jefferson

Westerville North Warriors (0-4, 0-1) at Westerville Central Warhawks (0-4, 0-1)
The Westerville North Warriors (and Westerville North High School) have been around for 35 years. Teams used to be afraid to play the Warriors during the 1980s and 1990s, because the Warriors had a strong football program. However, since their neighbors to the north (Westerville Central) opened over seven years ago, North has struggled, winning only two games in the last three and a half seasons, and losing 19 straight games. The last team that North beat was Westerville Central, the only win for either school in 2008. Where and who does Westerville North play this week? Westerville Central. After Centennial ended their streak of futility a few weeks ago, can the Warriors get it done? It's possible.
Pick: Westerville North

Independence 76ers (0-4, 0-1) at Columbus South Bulldogs (1-3, 0-1)
The Independence 76ers at 0-4? All four of the 76ers losses were to solid teams (Beechcroft, Mifflin, Bellville Clear Fork, and Marion-Franklin). Columbus South had goals of being 3-0 going into City League play with somewhat an easy non-league schedule, as they beat Oberlin in their season opener. However, the bottom fell out during South's last home game against Harvest Prep, followed by snapping Centennial's 34-game losing streak, and a blow out loss last week at Walnut Ridge. The 76ers are looking for their first win, and could might as well get it at the expense of the Bulldogs.
Pick: Independence

Sandusky Blue Streaks (3-1) at St. Charles Cardinals (4-0)
The St. Charles Cardinals are the last undefeated in the Central Catholic League, and they begin the hard part of their season against a good Sandusky team. The Cardinals are very good on defense, and very hungry for respect, because after this game, the Cards have to travel up to Karl Road to play a team (DeSales) they haven't beaten since Gerald Ford was President.
Pick: St. Charles

Harvest Prep Warriors (3-1, 1-0) at Licking Heights Hornets (3-1, 1-0)
On paper, this looks like a good game, with Licking Heights a "Battle of Broad Street" defeat from being 4-0, while Harvest Prep has won three straight. However, two of Harvest Prep's three wins were against really bad teams (Columbus South and Millersport), and that will not make an impression when it comes to computer rankings.
Pick: Licking Heights

Groveport Madison Cruisers (4-0, 1-0) at Grove City Greyhounds (1-3, 1-0)
Last week, the Grove City Greyhounds finally got their first win since returning to football this year. The Hounds return home to play an unbeaten Groveport team, who is 4-0 for the second straight year, winning four close games, and the Greyhounds may put the Cruisers in the "L" column for the first time.
Pick: Grove City

Granville Blue Aces (3-1, 1-0) at Bexley Lions (2-2, 0-1)
The Bexley Lions were upset last week by their neighbors to the east, Whitehall. This week, they have the undaunting task of hosting Granville. The Lions' slide might continue.
Pick: Granville

Licking Valley Panthers (2-2, 1-0) at Whitehall-Yearling Rams (2-2, 1-0)
Licking Valley is on a roll, after knocking Bishop Ready and Heath from the ranks of the unbeatens, and the Panthers take their show on the road to Whitehall, where they play a Whitehall team that has won more games this year, then they have in the last four years combined.
Pick: Licking Valley

Upper Arlington Golden Bears (3-1, 1-0) at Worthington Kilbourne Wolves (1-3, 0-1)
Last week, Upper Arlington shut down Thomas Worthington, and this week, the Golden Bears travel up State Route 315 to play Worthington's other high school, Kilbourne, who is riding a three-game losing streak (Kilbourne's only win was against Westerville North), and the Golden Bears will make it four by completing a season sweep of the Worthington schools.
Pick: Upper Arlington

Westerville South Wildcats (3-1, 1-0) at Dublin Scioto Irish (2-2, 0-1)
The Westerville South Wildcats have been the only Westerville high school to win (until this Friday), winning three straight, with a strong ground game. The Wildcats will more than likely win their fourth in a row as they will run all over the Irish.
Pick: Westerville South

Fredericktown Freddies (4-0, 1-0) at Danville Blue Devils (4-0, 1-0)
Pick: Fredericktown

Eastmoor Academy Warriors (1-2, 1-0) at Briggs Bruins (3-1, 0-1)
As I said before, Briggs had the third toughest schedule among the remaining 3-0 schools (behind St. Charles and Hilliard Darby). Last week, the Bruins lost to Africentric, and now a potentially dangerous on offense Eastmoor team comes to play. The Warriors will win this one.
Pick: Eastmoor Academy

Northland Vikings (2-2, 0-1) at Columbus East Tigers (0-4, 0-1)
After a surprising 2-0 start, Northland sees themselves having to fight to keep up with the Joneses in the City League north. Could East play spoiler for the Vikings, having done so before? Indication says no, considering the Tigers have given up 50 points in three of their four games so far.
Pick: Northland

Gahanna Lincoln Lions (2-2, 1-0) at Lancaster Golden Gales (2-2, 0-1)
Gahanna could play a spoiler in a possibly wide-open OCC Ohio if they win down in Lancaster on Friday night. After back-to-back losses to state and national powerhouse St. Ignatius and rivals Pickerington Central, the Golden Gales want to get back on the winning edge.
Pick: Gahanna

London Red Raiders (2-2) at Jonathan Alder Pioneers (3-1)
This will be a great Madison County battle, as Independent Jonathan Alder hosts London, who is fresh off a blow-out win over previously unbeaten Greenfield McClain, and is looking to shock the Pioneers on their home field.
Pick: Jonathan Alder

Olentangy Braves (3-1, 1-0) at Marysville Monarchs (2-2, 0-1)
The Monarchs lost a heartbreaker in overtime last week against Olentangy Liberty. This week, Olentangy comes to town, and with a win, the Braves will surpass their win total from last year, and that will more than likely happen.
Pick: Olentangy

Brookhaven Bearcats (1-3, 1-0) at Whetstone Braves (0-4, 0-1)
Both teams had tough non-league schedules (Brookhaven- Marion-Franklin, Hilliard Davidson, and Dublin Coffman; Whetstone- Briggs, Thomas Worthington, and Dayton Dunbar), and now that City League North play is underway, it's all about getting that Division title. The Bearcats got their first win last week in an ugly 3-0 defensive battle against Northland, and if their young team can get their offense started, they could be just as dangerous as past Brookhaven teams.
Pick: Brookhaven

Buckeye Valley Barons (1-3, 1-2) at Cardington-Lincoln Pirates (4-0, 3-0)
Pick: Cardington-Lincoln

Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph Vikings (2-2) at Bishop Hartley Hawks (3-1)
Pick: Hartley

Hilliard Darby Panthers (4-0, 1-0) at Central Crossing Comets (1-3, 0-1)
Hilliard Darby is still on a roll, and travels to Grove City to play a Central Crossing team that has never won more than two games in a season in their school history. Look for the Panthers to claw the Comets on both sides of the ball.
Pick: Hilliard Darby

Circleville Tigers (2-2, 0-1) at Amanda-Clearcreek Aces (3-1, 1-0)
Since their opening loss at Hartley, Amanda-Clearcreek has been acing over the competition, winning three straight games.
Pick: Amanda-Clearcreek

Logan Elm Braves (1-3, 0-1) at Hamilton Township Rangers (3-1, 1-0)
Pick: Hamilton Township

Olentangy Liberty Patriots (3-1, 1-0) at Dublin Jerome Celtics (2-2, 1-0)
Pick: Olentangy Liberty

Mount Gilead Indians (2-2, 2-1) at North Union Wildcats (4-0, 3-0)
Pick: North Union

Heath Bulldogs (3-1, 0-1) at Newark Catholic Green Wave (4-0, 1-0)
This was a last second Licking Valley field goal away from being a battle of the unbeatens, as Heath travels to Newark High's White Field to play small school powerhouse Newark Catholic. Will the Bulldogs survive this Green Wave?
Pick: Newark Catholic

SPORTS CORNER TOP TEN (through September 18):
1) Hilliard Davidson (4-0, I.3)- vs. Thomas Worthington (1-3, I.3); defeated Westland (1-3, I.3) 70-6 last week
2) Marion-Franklin (4-0, II.7)- at Walnut Ridge (4-0, II.7); defeated Independence (0-4, II.7) 35-14 last week
3) Groveport Madison (4-0, I.3)- at Grove City (1-3, I.3); defeated Pickerington North (2-2, I.3) 23-20 last week
4) Big Walnut (4-0, II.7)- ??; defeated Watkins Memorial (3-1, II.7) 28-21 last week
5) St. Charles (4-0, II.7)- vs. Sandusky (3-1); defeated Marion Harding (0-4, I.3) 49-28 last week
6) New Albany (4-0, II.7)- at Watkins Memoral (3-1, II.7); defeated Hilliard Bradley (1-3, II.7) 49-12 last week
7) Walnut Ridge (4-0, II.7)- vs. Marion-Franklin (4-0, II.7); defeated Columbus South (1-3, III.10) 63-26 last week
8) West Jefferson (4-0, V.20)- at Grandview Heights (3-1, V.20); defeated Berne Union (??, VI.23) 35-0 last week
9) Bishop Hartley (3-1, IV.15)- vs. Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph; lost to Elyria Catholic (4-0) 34-28 in overtime last week
10) Fredericktown (4-0, V.19)- at Danville (4-0, VI.23); defeated ?? last week

DROPPED OUT: Bishop Watterson (3-1, III.10)- lost to Cincinnati Winton Woods (4-0, II.8) 23-14; Briggs (3-1, II.7)- lost to Africentric (2-2, V.20) 26-22; Watkins Memorial (3-1, II.7)- lost to Big Walnut (4-0, II.7) 28-21

11) Newark Catholic (4-0, VI.23)
12) Bishop Watterson (3-1, III.10)
13) Westerville South (3-1, I.3)
14) Watkins Memorial (3-1, II.7)
15) Johnstown (3-1, IV.15)
16) DeSales (3-1, III.10)
17) Mifflin (3-1, II.7)
18) Upper Arlington (3-1, I.3)
19) Jonathan Alder (3-1, IV.16)
20) Olentangy (3-1, II.7)
21) Briggs (3-1, II.7)
22) Hamilton Township (3-1, III.10)
23) Olentangy Liberty (3-1, I.3)
24) Grandview Heights (3-1, V.20)
25) Licking Valley (2-2, III.11)

Friday, September 17, 2010

College Football: Week 3

Another Saturday of college football action will take place around college campuses across the country.

GAME OF THE WEEK: Ohio Northern Polar Bears (1-0) at Otterbein Cardinals (1-0)
The Cardinals have won back-to-back meetings against the Polar Bears, and would love to win three in a row. But the Polar Bears got picked to finish second ahead of the Cardinals (favored to place third), and would love to freeze Otterbein's potent offense, led by Colton Coy and Austin Schlosser. In last year's 38-36 Otterbein win, Ohio Northern fumbled the ball away in the final minute in the fourth quarter in a rainy game filled with turnovers at Smokey Ballenger Field at Otterbein's Memorial Stadium. I think that it is possible that the Polar Bears will spoil Otterbein's first home game as Otterbein University.
Pick: Find out Saturday, 1:30 at Smokey Ballenger Field at Memorial Stadium at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio (Otterbein)

Mount Union Purple Raiders (1-0) at John Carroll Blue Streaks (0-1)
When it comes to football, Mount Union = God
Pick: Mount Union 56-0

Baldwin-Wallace Yellowjackets (2-0, 1-0) at Heidelberg Student Princes (1-0)
The Yellowjackets stung Capital last week in the OAC opener for both schools. This week, the Yellowjackets will try to sting/dethrone the Student Princes.
Pick: Baldwin-Wallace 33-10

Capital Crusaders (0-1, 0-1) at Wilmington Quakers (1-0)
Capital got stung by Baldwin-Wallace last week, and this week, they go to Wilmington. Can the Crusaders get back on track, or will Capital fall through the cracks?
Pick: Wilmington 17-13

Washington (MO) Bears (1-1) at Wittenberg Tigers (2-0)
It will be a long ride back up I-70 to St. Louis for these bears as this one's not even close, as Wittenberg has allowed only six points in two games thus far, and will send these Bears back into hibernation by halftime.
Pick: Wittenberg 72-0

Denison Big Red (2-0) at Hiram Terriers (1-1)
Pick: Denison 37-6

Wabash Little Giants (1-0) at Ohio Wesleyan Bishops (0-2)
Last week, the Bishops got spanked and blanked in Springfield by Wittenberg. Tomorrow, they host Wabash in their home opener.
Pick: Wabash 28-13

Ferris State Bulldogs (1-1) at Ohio Dominican Panthers (0-1)
Last week, after 12-7 Ohio Dominican lead, the Panthers got outplayed by Northwood, who scored 21 unanswered points to pull away from Ohio Dominican. This week, Ferris State comes to town.
Pick: Ferris State 24-10

UPSET WATCH OF THE WEEK: Ohio Bobcats (1-1) at # 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0)
The last time an Ohio team beat the Buckeyes was Oberlin in 1921, coached by the namesake of the most prestigious college football trophy in all of college football, John Heisman. Two years ago, the Bobcats came close, with a 14-12 lead after three quarters, but the Buckeyes shut OU down in the fourth quarter. Could this be a repeat, or have the Buckeyes learned their lessons?
Pick: Ohio State 33-0

UPSET WATCH OF THE WEEK: Massachusetts Minutemen (2-0) at # 22 Michigan Wolverines (2-0)
The last time a I-AA/Football Championship Series school came to the Big House, they won. It was one of the biggest upsets in the history of sports. Also the moment in which Michigan jumped the shark. After Virginia Tech pulled an App State last week, do you think Michigan will pull another App State tomorrow? It's possible, considering how weak Michigan's secondary is, but Denard Robinson has almost 1,000 yards of total offense.
Pick: Michigan 31-20

# 12 Arkansas Razorbacks (2-0) at Georgia Bulldogs (1-1)
The Razorbacks travel down to Athens to play a Bulldogs team that got spayed by South Carolina last week.
Pick: Arkansas 24-14

Maryland Terrapins (2-0) at # 21 West Virginia Mountaineers (2-0)
On paper, the Terrapins are as slow as their mascot, too slow for the Mountaineers.
Pick: West Virginia 30-6

Georgia Tech Yellowjackets (1-1) at North Carolina Tar Heels (0-1)
Pick: North Carolina 34-27

# 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0) at Duke Blue Devils (1-1)
Pick: Alabama 55-0

# 8 Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-0) at Washington Huskies (1-1)
Pick: Nebraska 37-7

# 7 Florida Gators (2-0) at Tennessee Volunteers (1-1)
The Gators haven't missed a beat since Tim Tebow graduated for greener pastures.
Pick: Florida 38-10

Arizona State Sun Devils (2-0) at # 11 Wisconsin Badgers (2-0)
Pick: Wisconsin 27-23

# 18 Southern California Trojans (2-0) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (0-2)
Pick: USC 40-7

Brigham Young Cougars at Florida State Seminoles (1-1)
Pick: BYU 28-26

Baylor Bears at # 4 Texas Christian Horned Frogs (2-0)
Pick: TCU 67-0

Mississippi State Bulldogs at # 15 Louisiana State Tigers (2-0)
Pick: LSU 35-7

Clemson Tigers at # 16 Auburn Tigers
It will be interesting to see who will win this Battle of the Tigers. But, there is a 100 percent chance that the Tigers will win this game.
Pick: Auburn 20-17

# 3 Boise State Broncos (2-0) at Wyoming Cowboys
Pick: Boise State 31-0

# 6 Texas Cowboys (2-0) at Texas Tech Red Raiders
Pick: Texas 41-21

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-1) at Michigan State Spartans (2-0)
The Fighting Irish lost to Michigan in the last minute of last week's game, and they travel up to East Lansing under the lights. Sacrilege.
Pick: Michigan State 30-27

# 9 Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0) at # 24 Arizona Wildcats (2-0)
Pick: Arizona 28-24

# 23 Houston Cougars at UCLA Bruins (0-2)
Pick: Houston 45-7

Wake Forest Demon Deacons at # 19 Stanford Cardinal
Wake Forest hung over a half a hundred against Duke in a wild shootout last week, whilst Stanford blanked UCLA. Something's gotta give in Palo Alto.
Pick: Stanford 35-15

The NFL- Week 2

The NFL is back for another round of 16 games this weekend.

Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)- Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati- 1PM EDT
This is a statement game for the Bengals, to knock off the Ravens, as they did twice last year in two pretty tight games. The Bengals offense needs to step up, like they did in the third quarter last week in New England, for them to win this game, because the Ravens D isn't fooling around.
Pick: Baltimore 20-10

Chicago Bears (1-0) at Dallas Cowboys (0-1)- Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington- 1PM EDT
The Cowboys are an offensive holding call away from being 1-0. The Bears are an instant replay challenge away from being 0-1. Can the Cowboys get back on the winning track in their home opener? I think so.
Pick: Dallas 28-17

Arizona Cardinals (1-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-1)- Georgia Dome, Atlanta- 1PM EDT
Neither team looked convincing in the first week. The Falcons got outplayed in a tight field goal frenzy in Pittsburgh, and the Cardinals just got lucky in St. Louis. This week, the long flight may catch up with the Cards in this "Battle of the Birds".
Pick: Atlanta 31-7

Buffalo Bills (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (1-0)- Lambeau Field, Green Bay- 1PM EDT
You don't want to play in either of these teams' home fields in December, especially if you're a warm weather team. The Packers lost running back Ryan Grant for the year in last week's win over the Eagles. The Bills love to play spoiler threat, but Lambeau Field is neither the time nor place to do that.
Pick: Green Bay 30-6

Miami Dolphins (1-0) at Minnesota Vikings (0-1)- Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis- 1PM EDT
Another rematch of Super Bowl VIII. The Dolphins take their pet wildcat indoors to Minneapolis, where ageless QB Brett Favre, running back Adrian Peterson, and the rest of the Vikings are looking to get their first win.
Pick: Miami 21-17

Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-1)- Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland- 1PM EDT
Last year, the Chiefs won the shootout between these two teams. Last week, the Chiefs shut San Diego down on Monday night, courtesy of their Special Teams. In the meantime, the Browns fizzled by blowing a 14-3 lead, only to lose 17-14 in Tampa Bay. The same old Browns are back in Cleveland.
Pick: Kansas City 31-14

Philadelphia Eagles (0-1) at Detroit Lions (0-1)- Ford Field, Detroit- 1PM EDT
The Lions are that controversial call at the end of last week's game away from being 1-0, while the Eagles lost QB Kevin Kolb to a concussion in last week's loss to the Packers. Michael Vick brought energy to the Eagles team in a losing effort, and the Lions without Matthew Stafford sounds very scary.
Pick: Philadelphia 20-3

Tampa Bay Bucs (1-0) at Carolina Panthers (0-1)- Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte- 1PM EDT
The Buccaneers looked convincing last week for once. However, that was against a bad team. The Panthers are a mediocre, at best, team, that need to win, because Ochocinco y Ochouno come to town next weekend. They may no longer have Delhomme, but they have threats at running back and wide receiver.
Pick: Tampa Bay 17-13

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) at Tennessee Titans (1-0)- LP Field, Nashville- 1PM EDT
The last time these two teams played, the Steelers lost safety Troy Polamalu for most, if not all of last season. This time, the Steelers travel to Music City, where they play a Titans team that sunk Oakland last week.
Pick: Tennessee 27-20

St. Louis Rams (0-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-1)- Oakland- 4PM EDT
Just flip a coin, because nobody gives an iota who wins this "Battle of Los Angeles".
Pick: Oakland 13-6

Seattle Seahawks (1-0) at Denver Broncos (0-1)- Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver- 4PM EDT
The Seahawks looked very convincing in Pete Carroll's debut with the team. Now take the team up a notch (literally) to Mile High, where the Broncos are a team with issues after last week's loss in Jacksonville.
Pick: Seattle 21-10

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) at San Diego Chargers (0-1)- Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego- 4:15PM EDT
The Chargers got outplayed at Arrowhead last Monday night. On Sunday, you'll see the Chargers try to electrocute the Jags on both sides of the ball.
Pick: San Diego 27-16

Houston Texans (1-0) at Washington Redskins (1-0)- FedEx Field, Landover, MD- 4:15PM EDT
The Redskins got lucky last week, and have both the officiating crew and a certain Dallas offensive lineman to thank for their win last week, while the Texans, courtesy of Arian Foster's three rushing TD's, slapped Peyton Manning and the Colts around. This will be a great game.
Pick: Washington 24-21 (OT)

New England Patriots (1-0) at New York Jets (0-1)- New Giants Stadium at Meadowlands, East Rutherford, NJ- 4:15PM EDT
Spy Bowl VII. Note to Jets Tight End Dustin Keller: on fourth and long with less than a minute left in the 4th Quarter and your team's down by one point, and you catch the ball on an open side of the ball, GO PAST THE FIRST DOWN MARKER!!!! Don't stop before it. OK, moving on. The Patriots dominated the Bengals last week at home, while the Jets lost (see my comment above) to the Ravens on Monday night. Apparently, the Patriots are back with a vengeance.
Pick: New England 31-7

New York Giants (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1)/Manning Bowl II- Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis- 8:20PM EDT
Manning Bowl II takes place at Indy this Sunday, as brothers Eli and Peyton square off.
Pick: Indianapolis 31-20

New Orleans Saints (1-0) at San Francisco 49ers (0-1)- Monster Field at Candlestick Park, San Francisco- 8:30PM EDT
The Saints shut Minnesota down in the second half as they had 11 days to prepare for this game, as the 49ers got shut down in Seattle last week. Drew Brees and company will have a field day in the city by the bay.
Pick: New Orleans 31-3


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Central Ohio High School Football: Week 4

This week begins early with a couple of Thursday games.

Columbus Academy Vikings (2-1) at Granville Blue Aces (2-1)
Great matchup.
Pick: Columbus Academy

Whitehall-Yearling Rams (1-2) at Bexley Lions (2-1)
The Lions have won the last four "Battles of Main Street." After last week's blow-out loss to rival Hartley, the Lions will edge the Rams to claim their fifth straight "Battle of Main Street".
Pick: Bexley

Game of the Week:
Watkins Memorial Warriors (3-0) at Big Walnut Golden Eagles (3-0)
The unbeaten Watkins Warriors go up to Delaware County to play an unbeaten Big Walnut team fresh off an emotional game-winning drive against Olentangy. This will be a great matchup, and the Warriors could be another test for the Golden Eagles.
Pick: Big Walnut

Game of the Week:
Lancaster Golden Gales (2-1) at Pickerington Central Tigers (2-0)
After a bye following two out-of-state opponents, the Pick Central Tigers play their first Ohio opponent in their OCC Ohio opener against Fairfield County rival Lancaster, who is fresh off a defeat to perennial Cleveland powerhouse St. Ignatius. Look for Pick Central to get it done in front of their home crowd.
Pick: Pickerington Central

Upset Pick of the Week:
Northland Vikings (2-1) at Brookhaven Bearcats (0-3)
Three weeks ago, all of the sports pundits- professional and amateur in Central Ohio penciled the City League North automatically to one team- Brookhaven. In the three weeks of football since, the Bearcats are 0-3 and have scored an average of six points a game, while Northland got off to a surprising 2-0 start before getting outmanned by OCC Ohio's Pickerington North at home. Could the Vikings travel down Karl Road to outwit, outplay, and outlast the Bearcats and send them to 0-4? Say it isn't so?
Pick: Northland

Underdog Game of the Week:
Centennial Stars (1-2) at Linden McKinley Panthers (1-2)
The last time the Centennial football Stars won a game, George W. Bush was President, Bob Taft was Ohio's Governor, and the economy was not in a recession. Last week, the Centennial Stars won for the first time in four years, ending a 34-game losing skid by mauling the Columbus South Bulldogs. Could they win two in a row? It's possible, but remember, Linden did travel out to Galloway two weeks ago and beat Westland, so anything is possible.
Pick: Centennial

Other Select Games:
Columbus West Cowboys (2-1) at Eastmoor Academy Warriors (0-2)
Eastmoor, favored to make a deep run in the Division III playoffs, got off to a surprising 0-2 start after losses to Northland and St. Charles. After a bye week, the Warriors open City League South play against West, who got off to a 2-0 start before losing to Hamilton Township last week. The Warriors will get things done this week by lasso-ing the Cowboys.
Pick: Eastmoor

Grove City Greyhounds (0-3) at Reynoldsburg Raiders (2-1)
Grove City should not be 0-3 at this point, but they are after being outplayed by Hilliard Davidson, Canal Winchester, and Westerville South. Reynoldsburg outscored their last two opponents (Toledo Scott and Logan) 108-7, and the hungry (for a win) Greyhounds could prove to be a test for the host Raiders.
Pick: Reynoldsburg

Dublin Scioto Irish (2-1) at Olentangy Braves (2-1)
Last week, the Dublin Scioto Irish won the Battle of Hard Road, while Olentangy lost to Big Walnut on the final play. Sports Corner thinks that this week, the host Braves will be victorious in the OCC Cardinal opener for both schools.
Pick: Olentangy

Westerville Central Warhawks (0-3) at Westerville South Wildcats (2-1)
Westerville Central is still looking for their first win after losing a close one to Big Walnut, and getting blown out by New Albany and Canal Winchester. It's a bad time for the Warhawks to go to crosstown rivals South in this battle of Westerville, as the Westerville South Wildcats are on a roll, following back-to-back wins against traditional OCC football institutions Dublin Coffman and Grove City.
Pick: Westerville South

Worthington Kilbourne Wolves (1-2) at Hilliard Darby Panthers (3-0)
Hilliard Darby may be 3-0, but the toughest part of their schedule begins tonight as Worthington Kilbourne comes to town.
Pick: Worthington Kilbourne

Thomas Worthington Cardinals (1-2) at Upper Arlington Golden Bears (2-1)
Last year, a surprising Thomas Worthington team upset their rivals Upper Arlington, beating them for the first time since 1986. This year, the Golden Bears will see to it that last year's Thomas win was a fluke.
Pick: Upper Arlington

Pickerington North Panthers (2-1) at Groveport Madison Cruisers (3-0)
Groveport is off to another 3-0 start, but Pickerington North is a tough threat to be reckoned with, driven by their big offensive line.
Pick: Pickerington North

Licking Valley Panthers (1-2) at Heath Bulldogs (3-0)
This will be a great matchup between two Licking County teams. Licking Valley is better than their 1-2 record, after their first win last week over a solid Bishop Ready team.
Pick: Heath

Canal Winchester Indians (2-1) at Circleville Tigers (2-1)
This will be a great Mid State League Buckeye opener, as Circleville aims to steal Canal's thunder, and Canal Winchester wants to maintain their reign in the Mid State League Buckeye Division.
Pick: Canal Winchester

Grandview Bobcats (2-1) at Liberty Union Lions (2-1)
Question: Can Grandview get back on track with a win at Liberty Union?
Pick: Liberty Union

Bishop Hartley Hawks (3-0) at Elyria Catholic Panthers (3-0)
Hartley is ranked third in the state in Division IV, and Elyria Catholic not far behind. Given the prestige of Northeast Ohio Catholic schools, on paper, things might not look too good for the Hawks. But you don't play football on paper. "You play to win the game."- Herman Edwards
Pick: Elyria Catholic

Bishop Watterson Eagles (3-0) at Cincinnati Winton Woods Warriors (3-0)
Watterson travels down to Cincinnati to play defending Division II state champs Winton Woods. The Eagles can play with just about anyone. But Winton Woods can run up some points.
Pick: Winton Woods

Game of the Week:
Youngstown Cardinal Mooney Cardinals (3-0) at St. Francis DeSales Stallions (2-1)In this rematch of last year's Division III State Championship, DeSales is looking for revenge after last year's loss to Mooney. However, Mooney is on a roll, just like the Division I champs fro last year.
Pick: Mooney

Columbus East Tigers (0-3) at Mifflin Punchers (2-1)
The East Tigers are still looking for their first win, but it's not a good time to go up to play a surprising Mifflin.
Pick: Mifflin

3-0 Team with the Easiest Schedule:
1) Fredericktown
2) Marion-Franklin
3) Hilliard Davidson
4) Big Walnut
5) New Albany

3-0 Team with the Hardest Schedule:
1) Bishop Hartley
2) Bishop Watterson
3) St. Charles- final four games: DeSales, Zanesville, Watterson, Jonathan Alder
4) Briggs- five of last six games: Eastmoor Academy, Independence, Marion-Franklin, Walnut Ridge, West
T-5) Watkins Memorial- Big Walnut & New Albany on the horizon
T-5) Hilliard Darby- Worthington Kilbourne this week; Upper Arlington, Dublin Coffman, and Hilliard Davidson later

3-0 Teams Most Likely to Miss the Playoffs:
1) Briggs- after an easy game against Africentric, five of their last six games are against Eastmoor Academy, Independence, and the bottom could fall out in the last three weeks with Marion-Franklin, Walnut Ridge, and West, respectively
2) Hilliard Darby- plays Worthington Kilbourne this week; but has Upper Arlington, Dublin Coffman, and Hilliard Davidson down the road
3) Watkins Memorial- has a toughie in Sunbury at Big Walnut this week; then New Albany; 8-2 is possible, but as witnessed in the last two years, Region 7 is a toughie in which two 9-1 teams (New Philadelphia and Zanesville) missed the playoffs last year
4) St. Charles- the second half of their schedule is not kind to the Cards, beginning with DeSales (a team that they haven't beaten in 34 years), followed by Zanesville, a bye week, Watterson, and Jonathan Alder, all a combined 10-2 through the first three weeks
T-5) Bishop Hartley- last year the Hawks were 4-0, but missed out at 7-3; this week, the Hawks go up to the Cleveland area to play unbeaten Elyria Catholic
T-5) Groveport Madison- plays Pickerington North this week; but has Pick Central and Lancaster to play later, plus tough ones against Gahanna, Grove City, and Reynoldsburg

3-0 Teams That Will Likely Not Just Make the Playoffs, But Have a Deep Playoff Run:
1) Hilliard Davidson- haven't missed a beat since last year's run to the top
2) Bishop Watterson- if they can get past DeSales, their defense can turn tables on the field
3) Newark Catholic- steep tradition in Division VI, eight state titles
4) Marion-Franklin- after last year's surprise trip to the Final Four, they could go for an encore
5) Walnut Ridge- be very afraid to play them

Teams that are a surprising 0-3:
1) Brookhaven- lost to Marion-Franklin, Hilliard Davidson, and Dublin Coffman
2) Logan- lost to Lancaster, Pickerington North, and Reynoldsburg
3) Grove City- lost to Hilliard Davidson, Canal Winchester, and Westerville South
4) Westerville Central- lost to Big Walnut, New Albany, and Canal Winchester
T-5) Columbus East- lost to Columbus West, Walnut Ridge, and Briggs
T-5) Whetstone- lost to Briggs, Thomas Worthington, and Dayton Dunbar
*Eastmoor Academy is 0-2, but had a bye last week

Team with a surprising non-league start:
1) Mifflin (2-1)
2) Bexley (2-1)
3) Briggs (3-0)
4) Hilliard Darby (3-0)
5) St. Charles (3-0)
6) Watkins Memorial (3-0)
7) Eastmoor Academy (0-2)
8) Brookhaven (0-3)
9) Westerville Central (0-3)
10) Grove City (0-3)