Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NFL: Week 13 Picks

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry December in the NFL, as 16 games take place between Thursday and next Monday night. The AFC North and East Division crowns could be sewed up in our premiere picks of the week.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (both 8-3)- SUNDAY @ 8:20PM EST at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore (NBC)
New York Jets at New England Patriots (both 9-2)- MONDAY @ 8:30PM EST at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass. (ESPN)

Both of these games will determine the outcome of their respective divisions, as tiebreakers will determine the outcome not only in the Division races, but the Wildcard races as well. Baltimore beat Pittsburgh in Week 4, 17-14, while the Jets had a big second half in a 28-14 win over New England in Week 2. Wins by both the Ravens and Jets would put them in the drivers seats of their divisions, and pretty much, but certainly wrap up the division races (because of head-to-head sweeps). The Steelers and Patriots both have shots to win these games, because both teams are led by outstanding offensive players such as Hines Ward and Tom Brady. The Ravens have replaced the Cleveland Clowns as Pittsburgh's primary rivals, as each defense brings on the pain(t), and two years ago, both teams were in the AFC Championship game. Sunday and Monday night will both be great nights for football.

Houston Texans (5-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (7-4)- THURSDAY @ 8:20PM EST at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia (NFL Network)
The Texans, one year removed from their first-ever winning season (and almost playoff appearance) are moving backward, despite blanking the former Houston Oilers on Sunday, where Texans WR Andre Johnson and Titans CB Cortland Finnigan were both ejected for a fourth quarter brawl and fined $ 25,000 each. Michael Vick gets back on track after being blown away in the Windy City by beating his former backup, Matt Schaub in the battle of the ex-Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks.
Pick: Philadelphia 28-13

New Orleans Saints (8-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-9)- 1PM EST at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati (Fox)
Trivia questions: Cincinnati's only home win during their murky 2-14 2002 season was against what team? (1)
What team won Super Bowl XLIV last year? (2)
What team invented and perfected the paper bag masks? (3)
Which team failed to have a winning season in its first 20 seasons, and took almost 35 years to win its first playoff game?
Answers to all four question: The New Orleans Saints

The last time the Saints were in Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals were 1-13, and in danger of going 0-8 at home for the first time ever. The Bengals beat the Saints 20-13 to avoid that feat. The NFC South is the one of two NFC divisions in which Marvin Lewis has a losing record against, at 3-4 (NFC West is the other at 3-5), as the Bengals lost heartbreakers to Tampa Bay and Atlanta this year (and in 2006). The Saints last beat the Bengals in 1993, when the Bengals started 0-10. Marvin Lewis does well at home against NFC teams, at 11-3-1. Could this be the game in which the Bengals get off the schneid? No. Here's why: the Bengals don't have Drew Brees at Quarterback. The Bengals secondary is now a M*A*S*H unit, and Bob Bratkowski has overstayed his welcome as offensive coordinator. Both of these teams are playing after a 10-day layover from their first ever Thanksgiving Day games (Saints escaped 30-27 in Dallas after jumping out to a 17-0 1st quarter lead, Bengals lost 26-10 to NY Jets, having not won in New York since 1981, and giving up two plays to Brad "Bengal Slayer" Smith). Special Teams, Defense, and Turnovers will be all key points in who wins this game, as the Saints kicking unit has been spotty at best. The Bengals waived former Overrated State kicker Aaron Pettrey and replaced him with Clint Stitzer, who hasn't been in an NFL game, pretty much at all.

This time a year ago, the Bengals already wrapped up their AFC North schedule by going 6-0, and were in the drivers seat at 8-3. This year, the Bengals have lost eight straight after a promising 2-1 start, and have lost direction, both in coaching, and by the players themselves. Here is one thing: I don't think the Bengals will go 2-14 or get the # 1 pick (Carolina will get it). The Bengals will probably finish 3-13 or 4-12 (in 2008 at 1-11-1, the Bengals won their last three, and in 1999, at 1-10, the Bengals won three of their last five to finish 4-12, and in 2007, at 4-9, they finished a respectable 7-9), and still get a top five pick. The Saints will win in Cincinnati for the first time since 1990, as Drew Brees will have a field day against the second most inconsistent team in the NFL. Only 32 more days until the Bengals fire their entire coaching staff...and hire a Bill Cowher or a Jim Tressel, and hopefully a General Manager who can bring the Vince Lombardi Trophy to Ohio (because the only football title Cleveland will see will be Saturday night in Canton as Sports Corner predicts that Lakewood St. Ed's will pummel Huber Heights Wayne in the Division I State High School Football Championship).
Pick: New Orleans 30-13

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5) at Tennessee Titans (5-6)- 1PM EST at LP Field, Nashville (CBS)
The Jags get back on track as they beat the QB-less Titans.
Pick: Jacksonville 33-3

Chicago Bears (8-3) at Detroit Lions (2-9)- 1PM EST at Ford Field, Detroit (Fox)
Lovie Smith exceeded expectations this year as da Bears are in sole possession of first place in the NFC North.
Pick: Chicago 37-17

Buffalo Bills (2-9) at Minnesota Vikings (4-7)- 1PM EST at Mall of America Field, Minneapolis (CBS) (UPSET PICK OF THE WEEK)
The Bills showed grit and tenacity in losses to Chicago, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City (all playoff contenders), and topped weakerthans Detroit and Cincinnati. Look for Ryan Fitzpatrick and Steve Johnson to have big days in the Twin Cities.
Pick: Buffalo 24-22

Denver Broncos (3-8) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)- 1PM EST at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City (CBS)
Broncos owner Pat Bowlen insists that Josh McDaniels will not be fired. That's also what Jerry Jones and Zigi Wilf said about Wade Phillips and Brad Childress, respectively, and look where Phillips and Childress are right now.
Pick: Kansas City 23-21

San Francisco 49ers (4-7) at Green Bay Packers (7-4)- 1PM EST at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI (Fox)
The 49ers are still in it, because the NFC West is such a poor division. But the Niners will have to contend in the West without rusher Frank Gore, out for the year with a hip injury in Monday Night's win in Arizona.
Pick: Green Bay 38-3

Cleveland Browns (4-7) at Miami Dolphins (6-5)- 1PM EST at Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL (CBS)
Wildcat vs. Wildcat. Peyton Hillis vs. Ricky Williams. I give the Clowns the edge, despite the fact that Michigan man Chad Henne is back as Miami's QB after a 33-17 win in Oakland last week.
Pick: Cleveland 29-24

Washington Redskins (5-6) at New York Giants (7-4)- 1PM EST at New Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ (Fox)
It's not like Carson Palmer (or another fledling QB on the ropes) will be wearing maroon and gold next year as the Redskins will realize that signing a long-term deal for Donovan McNabb was a huge mistake.
Pick: NY Giants 31-14

Oakland Raiders (5-6) at San Diego Chargers (6-5)- 4:05PM EST at QualComm Stadium, San Diego (CBS)
The last time these two met, San Diego's not-so-Super Special Teams reared its ugly head as Oakland jumped out to a 12-0 lead, courtesy of two blocked punts- one for a safety, and the other recovered for a touchdown, as San Diego's 13-game winning streak against Oakland was snapped in a 35-23 Raiders win. Can Oakland make it two in a row?
Pick: San Diego 27-9

Dallas Cowboys (3-8) at Indianapolis Colts (6-5)- 4:15PM EST at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis (Fox)
When the NFL made the season schedule almost eight months ago, this had more clout and meaning. Now, not so much, although this is the only time for Fox's # 1 football analyst team (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, and Pam Oliver) to go to Indy (and Peyton Manning) this season (the Colts hosted Manning Bowl II on Sunday Night Football in Week 2). The Colts, for the first time since 2002, will win less than 12 regular season games, after a sloppy 36-14 loss to San Diego. This could be a good game for the Cowboys to ride Peyton Manning. Giddy-up, Jason Garrett!
Pick: Dallas 24-14 (UPSET PICK OF THE WEEK)

St. Louis Rams (5-6) at Arizona Cardinals (3-8)- 4:15PM EST at University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ (Fox)
The Browns should have kept Derek Anderson (1), and (2) Arizona's offense has been severely damaged by Kurt Warner's retirement.
Pick: St. Louis 27-13

Carolina Panthers (1-10) at Seattle Seahawks (5-6)- 4:15PM EST at Qwest Field, Seattle (Fox)
Don't worry, Panthers fans. You're still in the drivers seat for the # 1 overall NFL pick.
Pick: Seattle 16-13

Atlanta Falcons (9-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4)- 4:15PM EST at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa (Fox)
Separation Sunday in the NFC South? Tampa Bay needs a win to stay in the playoff race (stupid sucky NFC West stealing a spot for a <.500 team), and Atlanta wants to remain the NFC's best team.
Pick: Atlanta 27-17

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) at Baltimore Ravens (8-3)- 8:20PM EST at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore (NBC)
Pick: Baltimore 20-17

New York Jets (9-2) at New England Patriots (9-2)- 8:30PM EST at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA (ESPN)
Pick: New England 24-19


1) New England (9-2)- could drop with a loss on Monday night
T-2) Atlanta (9-2)- NFC's best team
T-2) NY Jets (9-2)- could be # 1 again with a win on Monday night
4) Chicago (8-3)- could move up
5) Baltimore (8-3)- could move up with a win on Sunday night
6) NY Giants (7-4)- controls destiny in NFC East
7) Green Bay (7-4)- controls destiny in playoff race
T-8) Pittsburgh (8-3)- I still hate the Steelers
T-8) Philadelphia (7-4)- Fly, Eagles Fly!

T-31) Carolina (1-10)- John Fox is done (put Carolina in the oven at 400 degrees)
T-31) Cincinnati (2-9)- Why does Bob Bratkowski still have his job?
30) Detroit (2-9)- With Matthew Stafford healthy soon, Detroit can improve
29) Buffalo (2-9)- In games close, but not close enough

Wade Phillips and Brad Childress were both fired already, who will be next on the NFL Chopping Block?
- John Fox (Carolina)
- Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati)
- Josh McDaniels (Denver)
- Mike Singletary (San Francisco)

Will the 2011 NFL Season happen at all? On Saturday, the NFL Players Union told players to "start saving their pay." If an agreement between the Players Union is not reached by March 3, then a lockout will commence on March 4.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The FINAL Countdown: Ohio H.S Football (Week 15) + OCC News

After 14 long Friday (and some Saturday) nights of high school football, the road to Stark County is now at an end as twelve Ohio high schools will play in the 39th Annual Ohio High School Athletic Association State Championship Games in Massillon (Paul Brown Tiger Stadium) and Canton (Fawcett Stadium) on Friday and Saturday. How did the final two in each Division get here?

(Division I)
Lakewood St. Edward (14-0) 23, Toledo Whitmer (12-2) 13
Huber Heights Wayne (11-3) 28, Hilliard Davidson (13-1) 14

(Division II)
Maple Heights (14-0) over Mentor Lake Catholic (12-2)
Trotwood-Madison (12-2) 34, Uniontown Lake (10-4) 27

(Division III)
Akron Buchtel (11-3) 52, Alliance Marlington (13-1) 8
Columbus Bishop Watterson (12-1) 20, Cincinnati Archbishop McNicholas (11-3) 7

(Division IV)
Chagrin Falls (13-1) 21, Orrville (10-4) 3
Columbus Bishop Hartley (12-2) 29, Kettering Archbishop Alter (11-3) 28

(Division V)
Youngstown Ursuline (14-0) 51, Lima Central Catholic (12-2) 36
Coldwater (11-3) 26, Fredericktown (13-1) 6

(Division VI)
Delphos St. John (14-0) 49, Sidney Lehman Catholic (12-2) 7
Shadyside (13-1) 28, Mogadore (13-1) 13

December 4, 2010 8PM at Canton Fawcett Stadium
Lakewood St. Edward Eagles (I.1.3; 14-0) vs. Huber Heights Wayne Warriors (I.4.8, 11-3)
There will be a new sheriff in Division I football as Huber Heights Wayne pulled off an upset over the defending state champs Hilliard Davidson 28-14 at Welcome Stadium on Saturday night. St. Ed continues its near-perfect run in the biggest stage in Ohio high school football. Can Wayne knock off another unbeaten in said stage?
Pick: Lakewood St. Edward (this is as close as Cuyahoga County will get to seeing a football championship at ANY level on a yearly basis)

DIVISION II- December 3, 2010 8PM at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
Maple Heights Mustangs (II.6.2; 14-0) vs. Trotwood-Madison Rams (II.8.4, 12-2)
The Dayton area is represented in the two biggest State title games as Trotwood-Madison trotted to the Big Game by knocking off last year's D-II champs Cincinnati Winton Woods along the way. The Rams will butt horns with last year's runner-up Maple Heights, who is hungry for a State Title. Can the Mustangs get over the hump and gallop away with the trophy, or will they be the groomsman for the second year in a row?
Pick: Trotwood-Madison

DIVISION III- December 4, 2010 11AM at Canton Fawcett Stadium
Akron Buchtel Griffins (III.9.4, 11-3) vs. Columbus Bishop Watterson Golden Eagles (III.10.1, 12-1)
Akron Buchtel could be the story of the year up in Summit County if they knock off the largest Catholic school in Columbus in the state title game. Watterson has been this far before four times (1972, 1999, 2001, and 2002), winning the State Championship game in their most recent appearance (2002). The Eagles have soared over their competition to prove that they are Columbus's most competitive team. However, Buchtel knocked off last year's D-III champ Mooney and last week, routed the top D-III team, Alliance Marlington (by a mere 52-8). This will be a good old fashioned public (Buchtel) vs. parochial (Watterson) matchup.
Pick: Akron Buchtel (Upset Pick of the Week)

DIVISION IV- December 3, 2010 11AM at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
Chagrin Falls Tigers (IV.13.2, 13-1) vs. Columbus Bishop Hartley Hawks (IV.15.3, 12-2)
The Tigers were here last year, losing to Kettering Alter. The Knights of the Dayton-area Catholic mini-power thought that they would face the Tigers in another rematch, but the Hartley Hawks had other plans as Hartley back Noah Key ran for a few scores, and the game-winning two-point try in a 29-28 Hartley win over Alter in Piqua last Friday night. The Hawks have been here before, but not since winning it all in 1986. The Hawks deep playoff run, fueled by wins over Heath, and rematch wins over Amanda-Clearcreek and top-seeded Ironton, sparked a revival of the Hartley football Hawks of old.
Pick: Hartley (this may be as close as Columbus gets to a State football title)

DIVISION V- December 4, 2010 3:30PM at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
Youngstown Ursuline Fighting Irish (V.17.1, 14-0) vs. Coldwater Cavaliers (V.20.3, 11-3)
...And so they meet again. Division V has a case of deja vu as Ursuline and Coldwater face off for the second straight year in the Division V state finals, which wasn't even close. This could be another case of deja vu.
Pick: Youngstown Ursuline

DIVISION VI- December 3, 2010 3:30PM at Canton Fawcett Stadium
Delphos St. John's Blue Jays (VI.22.1, 14-0) vs. Shadyside Tigers (VI.23.1, 13-1)
The Central Catholic League isn't the only league to have TWO State Finalists (Watterson and Hartley), as the Midwestern Athletic Conference also has 2 (Coldwater and Delphos St. John's). Can the Blue Jays be stopped? No.
Pick: Delphos St. John's

In other non-playoff news, the Ohio Capital Conference recently announced re-alignment of the divisions, based on school size and geographic proximity, effective in the 2012-13 school year.

Big Walnut Golden Eagles
Columbus Franklin Heights Falcons
Delaware Hayes Pacers
Hilliard Bradley Jaguars
Mount Vernon Rams
New Albany Eagles
Olentangy Orange Pioneers
Watkins Memorial Warriors

Dublin Jerome Celtics
Dublin Scioto Irish

Marysville Monarchs
Olentangy Braves
Olentangy Liberty Patriots
Westerville Central Warhawks
Westerville North Warriors
Westerville South Wildcats

Dublin Coffman Shamrocks
Galloway Westland Cougars
Grove City Central Crossing Comets
Hilliard Darby Panthers
Hilliard Davidson Wildcats
Thomas Worthington Cardinals
Upper Arlington Golden Bears
Worthington Kilbourne Wolves

Gahanna Lincoln Lions
Grove City Greyhounds
Groveport Madison Cruisers
Lancaster Golden Gales
Newark Wildcats
Pickerington Central Tigers
Pickerington North Panthers
Reynoldsburg Raiders

Stays the same...
Gahanna Lincoln Lions
Grove City Greyhounds
Groveport Madison Cruisers
Lancaster Golden Gales
Newark Wildcats
Pickerington Central Tigers
Pickerington North Panthers
Reynoldsburg Raiders

Central Crossing Comets
Dublin Coffman Shamrocks
Galloway Westland Cougars

Hilliard Davidson Wildcats
Marysville Monarchs
Powell Olentangy Liberty Patriots
Thomas Worthington Cardinals
Upper Arlington Golden Bears

Dublin Jerome Celtics
Dublin Scioto Irish
Hilliard Bradley Jaguars
Hilliard Darby Panthers
Westerville Central Warhawks
Westerville North Warriors
Westerville South Wildcats
Worthington Kilbourne Wolves

Big Walnut Golden Eagles
Columbus Franklin Heights Falcons
Delaware Hayes Pacers
Mount Vernon Rams
New Albany Eagles
Olentangy Braves
Olentangy Orange Pioneers
Watkins Memorial Warriors

Monday, November 22, 2010

College Football Picks- Week 13 (Thanksgiving Week)

Happy Thanksgiving!


Two things that go together like a ball and glove in the month of November, and those are football and Thanksgiving. You'll get helpings of football over the course of Thanksgiving weekend, beginning with a Thanksgiving Texas tradition (NOT the Cowboys) when rivals Texas and Texas A&M square off on Thursday night. The Longhorns, at a mere 5-6 are pretty much cooked, just like the Thanksgiving turkeys that we'll all be eating prior to kickoff (8PM EST) of said game. This could mean possibly the end of the Mack Brown era in Texas, in a year where Texas fell off the wagon, as they lost capable vets like Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley to greener pastures (i.e. the National Football League). Former Longhorn Shipley (and ex-Longhorn Cedric Benson) will be playing at the same time as this matchup, and the Longhorns wish they had the missing weapons from last year. But the Battle for the Lone Star Trophy is not the DJBC Sports Corner pick for the Game of the Week....


Michigan Wolverines (7-4, 3-4) at Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1, 6-1)- Saturday at High Noon EST, The Shoe (Columbus, OH)

I'm going all out with this one....you may want to sit down. If you're an Ohio State fan, it's time to get your panties into a bind.

The last time that the Boys in (Maize and) Blue came to Columbus, Terrelle Pryor and company carved up, dismantled, and flushed what was left of Michigan's offense and defense down the banks of the Olentangy River in a 42-7 Ohio State snoozefest (Ohio State would lose to Texas in the Fiesta Bowl seven weeks later). Last year, with Bowl Eligibility on the line for a 5-6 Michigan, they kept the Buckeyes close, but not close enough in a 21-10 Ohio State win in the Big House (Ohio State would go on to beat this year's presumed National Champs Oregon in the Rose Bowl). This year, Michigan got off to a 5-0 start, including close calls over rival Notre Dame, I-AA UMass, and lowly Indiana. Then the rug (and their defense) came up from under them against Michigan State, who kept the Paul Bunyan Trophy safe and sound in East Lansing, and then two more losses to Iowa and Penn State, before a triple overtime thriller over Illinois, the highest-scoring Big Ten game in Big Ten history, and the most points Michigan has allowed ever (Ohio State has allowed more points in school history than Michigan). Michigan then went to West Lafayette on a rainy Saturday and shut Purdue up (after last year's shocking loss to the Boilermakers). Last week, Michigan could not stop the bleeding caused by Monte Hall and James White's rushing for Wisconsin.

Ohio State has won a record six straight in this series (when they should have lost at least three of those six games, all of which were when Lloyd Carr was Michigan's coach), and it has been over 2,500 days since Ohio State last lost to Michigan. Ohio State is due to lose to Michigan, because teams like Kent State, Akron, Youngstown State, and OU DON'T PREPARE YOU to play teams like Wisconsin, USC (both Southern Cal and South Carolina- what's the difference, Tressel couldn't beat either), Florida (chomp-chomp), Texas, Alabama, LSU (if Les Miles were UM's coach instead of Rich Rodriguez, OSU wouldn't have beaten Michigan last year at all), Oklahoma, Nebraska (which the Bucks are projected by this blog to get pummeled in Lincoln next year), or even Navy (who Ohio State almost lost to in last year's 31-27 thriller), because all those teams can run the ball and cause turnovers, and Ohio State, while they can cause turnovers, their offense is centered around TP/# 2. Ohio State is a 20-point favorite this year, and they will probably win, because Michigan's defense has been real crappy since Rich Rodriguez came up to Ann Arbor from West Virginia (remember the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"? RichRod broke something that didn't need to be fixed.).

Now it's time for all the Michigan fans to close your browser (or scroll down to the Thanksgiving Picks), because if you don't, your panties will be in a bind as well.

This will be probably the most thrilling game of the year, as it always is. Whenever Ohio State had National Title (or Rose Bowl) hopes during the glory years of John Cooper, you could always count on Michigan to screw things up for the Buckeyes. Desmond Howard's Heisman pose. Tim Biakabutuka. Shawn Springs falling flat on his face while Tai Streets sees nothing but clear blue skies and the end zone. Charles Woodson's Heisman-winning performance. Tom Brady's comeback in '99. Ohio State always found new ways to lose to Michigan during the Cooper Years (and even the Earle Bruce era), and that's the one thing that has lacked in this rivalry since Jim Tressel came to Columbus ten years ago. A Michigan upset over a power-hungry Ohio State football team. Since the Sweater Vest came to Columbus, this has not been a rivalry like it was during the "Ten Years War" of Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler, but a one-sided butt pounding courtesy of the Scarlet and Grey.

I'll be watching the game on Saturday like 90 percent of Columbus and 90 percent of Ann Arbor, and it will come down to whether the Buckeyes play too soft and if Michigan's defense is still as bad as they've been the last three years. But, this will not be Michigan's final game, as it was the last two years. Michigan, at 7-4, is Bowl Eligible for the first time since 2007, and will have a late December Bowl date. Ohio State, with a win, will get their sixth consecutive Big Ten title (either shared or outright), matching a record set between 1972 to 1977. As I mentioned, Michigan's defense needs to "man up", and an appropriate time for Michigan's defense to man up needs to be this upcoming Saturday in the Shoe, as Terrelle Pryor has visions of Heisman dancing in his head. You know what? So does Michigan's quarterback, Denard Robinson, who became the first quarterback to rush for over 1,500 yards and pass for over 1,500 yards all in one season in Saturday's 48-28 loss to Wisconsin. Expect Robinson to have a big day if he doesn't get hit by a barrage of "Silver Bullets" (Ohio State's defense).

PICK: Call me crazy and call me a lunatic, but...........
Michigan 42-41 (you think I would pick the Buckeyes....almost, I was tempted to pick the Buckeyes, but don't be surprised if Ohio State shuts Michigan down, because Michigan hasn't had a defense since 2007)



# 17 Texas A&M Aggies (8-3, 5-2) at Texas Longhorns (5-6, 2-5)- 8PM EST at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin) on ESPN

As I mentioned before, Texas is pretty much out of it, when it comes to a Bowl game, but can become bowl eligible with an upset over the Aggies in this heated Thanksgiving rivalry. This is far from the Texas team, as mentioned before, that went 13-1 last year, losing to Alabama in the BCS National Championship ten and a half months ago (and then several key players to graduation and/or the NFL). It will take a Thanksgiving miracle for the Horns to hook the Aggies, so pretty much you might as well stuff the Longhorns in your Thanksgiving turkey and call me when the Turkey is ready.
Pick: Texas A&M 41-20


THE IRON BOWL (Alabama vs. Auburn):
# 2 Auburn Tigers (11-0, 7-0) at # 11 Alabama Crimson Tide (9-2, 5-2)- 2:30PM at Bryant-Denny Stadium (Tuscaloosa, AL) on CBS- UPSET PICK OF THE WEEK (other than Michigan-Ohio State)
I want to start off by saying that Cam Newton is guilty. Newton is guilty for trying to dupe the NCAA system. With that said, Alabama will bring the Tigers back down to earth (or Alabama) before the NCAA does, in an upset win.
Pick: Alabama 38-35

Colorado Buffaloes (5-6, 2-5) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-2, 5-2)- 2:30PM EST at Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, NE) on ABC
Believe it or not, Colorado has a chance to go to a Bowl with a win, as the Buffs are 2-0 under Interim Head Coach Brian Cabral (1), and (2) Taylor Martinez got knocked out in last Saturday's 9-6 Nebraska loss to Texas Tech. But, as we all know, this is the final regular season Big 12 game for both of these schools, and an end to this great rivalry, as both schools are headed to other conferences (Colorado to the newly renamed Pac-12 and Nebraska to the Big Ten, which will ironically have 12 schools, while the Big 12 will have only ten) after this season.
Pick: Nebraska 24-13

# 21 Arizona Wildcats (7-3, 4-3) at # 1 Oregon Ducks (10-0, 7-0)- 7PM EST at Autzen Stadium (Eugene, OR) on ESPN/ESPN3
Arizona wants to let Oregon's guard down before the Civil War next week...but that probably won't happen.
Pick: Oregon 34-19

# 4 Boise State Broncos (10-0, 6-0) at # 19 Nevada Wolf Pack (10-1, 5-1)- 10:15PM EST at Mackay Stadium (Reno, NV) on ESPN/ESPN3
Virginia Tech was supposed to be the toughest team that Boise State had on their schedule. I was sort-of wrong. Nevada climbed into the rankings for the first time since 1948, and have stayed there so far this season, and the Wolf Pack could give the Smurfies, em, Broncos, their toughest test to date.
Pick: Boise State 41-27

Ohio Bobcats (8-3, 6-1) at Kent State Golden Flashes (4-7, 3-4)- 11AM EST at Dix Stadium (Kent, OH)
Pick: OU Bobcats 37-13

Louisville Cardinals (5-6, 2-4) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-6, 1-4)- 11AM EST at Rutgers Stadium (Piscataway, NJ)
Pick: Louisville 27-14

West Virginia Mountaineers (7-3, 3-2) at Pitt Panthers (6-4, 4-1)- Noon EST at Heinz Field (Pittsburgh)
Pick: West Virginia 30-13

UCLA Bruins at Arizona State Sun Devils (both 4-6, 2-5)- 3:30PM EST at Sun Devil Stadium (Tempe, AZ)
Pick: Arizona State 23-17

Southern Miss Eagles at Tulsa Golden Hurricane (both 8-3, 5-2)- 6:30PM EST at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (Tulsa)
Pick: Tulsa 41-33

Southern Methodist Mustangs at East Carolina Pirates (both 6-5, 5-2)- 2PM EST at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (Greenville, NC)
Pick: SMU 26-20


Michigan Wolverines (7-4, 3-4) at Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1, 6-1)- Noon EST at Ohio Stadium (Columbus, OH)
Pick: Do I need to repeat myself? I thought so. Wisconsin goes to the Rose Bowl by pounding Northwestern, so this is a moot BCS point for a Buckeyes squad whose University President doesn't believe that TCU and Boise State deserve a shot in the title game. OK, enough rehashing.
(Consensus of Sports Pundits: Ohio State > Michigan)
(This Blog: Michigan > Ohio State)

Grambling State Tigers (8-2, 7-1) vs. Southern Jaguars (2-8, 1-7)- 2PM at the Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans) on NBC
This is the ONLY College Football game that NBC broadcasts that is NOT in South Bend. This is the most prominent African-American college football rivalry ever, as the Grambling State Tigers and Southern Jaguars take part in the 37th Annual State Farm Bayou Classic at the Louisiana Superdome. This year, one school's record is the reciprocal/mirror of the others. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's going to win this Bayou Classic of football?
Pick: Grambling 35-13

Cincinnati Bearcats (4-6, 2-3) at Connecticut Huskies (6-4, 3-2)- Noon EST at Rentschler Field(Storrs, CT)
Pick: UConn 27-17

Boston College Golden Eagles (6-5) at Syracuse Orangemen (7-4)- Noon EST at the Carrier Dome (Syracuse, NY)
These two old rivals face off as BC, once 2-5 this season, has reeled off four straight wins. The Eagles head up to Syracuse to play their former Big East rivals (BC used to be in the Big East before defecting to the ACC).
Pick: Syracuse 31-21

# 10 Michigan State Spartans (10-1, 6-1) at Penn State Nittany Lions (7-4, 4-3)- Noon EST at Beaver Stadium (College Park, PA)
It has not been a Happy Valley in Happy Valley for Michigan State, who is 0-8 all-time there against Penn State in this rivalry. Michigan State needs a win to get a share of the Big Ten title, and needs help to get to the Rose Bowl. Penn State could play spoiler.
Pick: Penn State 30-20

Virginia Cavaliers (4-7, 1-6) at Virginia Tech Hokies (9-2, 7-0)- Noon EST at (Blacksburg, VA)
Pick: Virginia Tech 44-0

South Florida Bulls (6-4) at Miami Hurricanes (7-4)- Noon EST at Sun Life Stadium (Miami Gardens, FL)
Pick: Miami 39-6

Indiana Hoosiers (4-7, 0-7) at Purdue Boilermakers (4-7, 2-5)- Noon EST at Ross-Ade Stadium (West Lafayette, IN) on the Big Ten Network
Consider this the "Toilet Bowl" of the Big Ten rivalries.
Pick: Purdue 20-16

Kentucky Wildcats (6-5, 2-5) at Tennessee Volunteers (5-6, 2-5)- 12:20PM EST at Neyland Stadium (Knoxville, TN) on ESPN3
The Vols need a win here for a shot at a Bowl Game, while Kentucky wants to finish the year above .500.
Pick: Tennessee 24-19

Kansas Jayhawks (3-8, 1-6) vs. # 14 Missouri Tigers (9-2, 5-2)- 12:30PM EST at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, MO)
Pick: Missouri 55-0

# 5 LSU Tigers (10-1, 6-1) at # 12 Arkansas Razorbacks (9-2, 5-2)- 3:30PM EST at Frank W. Reynolds Stadium (Fayetteville, AR)
This is going to be a great game as # 5 LSU escaped an upset in the "Magnolia Bowl" against Ole Miss, 43-36. Arkansas is going to take advantage of LSU's shortcomings (against Ole Miss) in any way possible.
Pick: Arkansas 37-31

Washington Huskies (4-6, 3-4) at California Golden Bears (5-6, 3-5)- 3:30PM EST at California Memorial Stadium (Berkeley, CA)
Last week, Cal got flat out embarrassed by Stanford, while Washington topped UCLA. This is a battle for a .500 season. If Cal wins, they will finish the season at .500. That probably will not happen, because I think that Jake Locker will have a decent game as the Huskies travel down I-5 for a win by the Bay.
Pick: Washington 24-21

Florida Gators (7-4) at # 22 Florida State Seminoles (8-3)- 3:30PM EST at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium (Tallahassee) on ABC/ESPN
This is the premiere rivalry of the Sunshine State, as two of Florida's three big college football programs face off. Florida, while it had issues of consistency in the wake of Tim Tebow's departure, is bowl eligible, and will be grateful for just that. Florida State, in Jimbo Fisher's first year as head coach, have exceeded (almost) expectations.
Pick: Florida State 38-13

# 23 North Carolina State Wolfpack (8-3, 5-2) at Maryland Terrapins (7-4, 4-3)- 3:30PM at Byrd Stadium (College Park, MD)
Pick: NC State 34-26

# 24 Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4, 4-3) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (2-9, 1-6)- 3:30PM at TCF Bank Stadium (Minneapolis)
After another heart-breaking loss to the Buckeyes, Iowa should take heart that they have Gophers for Thanksgiving leftovers.
Pick: Iowa 30-6

North Carolina Tar Heels (6-5, 4-3) at Duke Blue Devils (3-8, 1-6)- 3:30PM EST at Wallace Wade Stadium (Durham, NC)
Tailgating has been banned, and basketball season has arrived for these two Tobacco Road rivals as North Carolina will get a rare win over Duke, because Coach K's Blue Devils are 50 times better than the gridiron Blue Devils.
Pick: North Carolina 31-10

Brigham Young Cougars (6-5, 5-2) at # 20 Utah Utes (9-2, 6-1)- 3:30PM EST at Rice-Eccles Stadium (Salt Lake City)
Not even close in this Utah rivalry.
Pick: Utah 36-8

Northwestern Wildcats (7-4, 3-4) at # 7 Wisconsin Badgers (10-1, 6-1)- 3:30PM EST at Camp Randall Stadium (Madison, WI)
Last week, Northwestern got beat by Illinois on only one half of the football field (at Wrigley Field). This week, Wisconsin will beat them on both halves of the football field.
Pick: Wisconsin 49-7

# 3 TCU Horned Frogs (11-0, 7-0) at New Mexico Lobos (1-10, 1-6)- 4PM EST at University Stadium (Albuquerque)
Pick: TCU 70-0

# 25 Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-4, 3-4) at Ole Miss Rebels (4-7, 1-6)- 7PM EST at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (Oxford, MS)
Pick: Mississippi State 24-3

# 18 South Carolina Gamecocks (8-3) at Clemson Tigers (6-5)- 7PM EST at Memorial Stadium (Clemson, SC)
Pick: South Carolina 31-24

Oregon State Beavers (5-5, 4-3) at # 6 Stanford Cardinal (10-1, 7-1)- 7:30PM EST at Stanford Stadium (Stanford, CA)
Pick: Stanford 56-6

Georgia Tech Yellowjackets (6-5) at Georgia Bulldogs (5-6)- 7:45PM EST at Sanford Stadium (Athens, GA)
With rivalry games, there are often things on stake. This is no exception, as Bowl eligibility is at stake for the Bulldogs, and a winning mark for the Yellowjackets.
Pick: Georgia Tech 27-13

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-5) at USC Trojans (7-4)- 8PM EST at the Coliseum (Los Angeles)
Notre Dame has outscored its last two opponents 55-6 heading into this big rivalry showdown in the Coliseum against Bowl-ineligible USC (who is serving a Bowl ban this year).
Pick: Notre Dame 28-23

Houston Cougars (5-6) at Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-5)- 8PM EST at (Lubbock, TX)
Texas Tech wins this one easily, ending a disappointing season for the Cougars, which took a turn for the worse when they lost QB Case Keenum (for the season) earlier this year.
Pick: Texas Tech 35-0

# 13 Oklahoma Sooners (9-2, 5-2) at # 9 Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1, 6-1)- 8PM EST at Boone Pickens Stadium (Stillwater, OK)
This game has everything in this annual "Battle of the Sooner State", as the Cowboys are looking for the right to move on to the Big 12 Championship Game next weekend, while the Sooners would like to return there.
Pick: Oklahoma State 45-37

The Early Bird Special:
Temple Owls (8-3, 5-2) at Miami Redhawks (7-4, 6-1)- Tuesday 8PM at Yager Stadium (Oxford, OH)
This is a big game in the MAC, as the Owls of Temple (known mostly for their basketball prowess) visit Miami in a fight for the East Division title.
Pick: Miami 24-15

The Road to Stark County- Ohio H.S. Football (Week 14)

Three months, thirteen weeks, and scores of games later have now given us our final four...or 24. Twenty-four Ohio high schools in six divisions are fighting for six State Championships, which will be bestowed next weekend at Massillion Paul Brown Tiger Stadium and Fawcett Stadium.

Toledo Whitmer Panthers (10-3) vs. Lakewood St. Edward Eagles (13-0)- at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
Huber Heights Wayne Warriors (10-3) vs. Hilliard Davidson Wildcats (13-0)- at Dayton Welcome Stadium

Maple Heights (13-0) vs. Mentor Lake Catholic (12-1)- at Solon H.S.
Uniontown Lake Blue Streaks (10-3) vs. Trotwood-Madison Rams (11-2)- at Gahanna Lincoln H.S.

Akron Buchtel Griffins (10-3) vs. Alliance Marlington Dukes (13-0)- at Canton Fawcett Stadium
Cincinnati Archbishop McNicholas Rockets (11-2) vs. Columbus Bishop Watterson Golden Eagles (11-1)- at Clayton Northmont H.S.

Chagrin Falls Tigers (11-2) vs. Orrville Red Riders (10-3)- at Medina H.S.
Columbus Bishop Hartley Hawks (11-2) vs. Kettering Archbishop Alter Knights (11-2)- at Piqua H.S.

Youngstown Ursuline Fighting Irish (13-0) vs. Lima Central Catholic T-Birds (12-1)- at Ashland H.S.
Fredericktown Freddies (13-0) vs. Coldwater Cavaliers (10-3)- at Columbus St. Francis DeSales H.S.


Mogadore Wildcats (13-0) vs. Shadyside Tigers (12-1)- at Steubenville H.S.
Sidney Lehman Catholic Cavaliers (12-1) vs. Delphos St. John's Blue Jays (13-0)- at Wapakoneta H.S.

D-1: Lakewood St. Edward vs. Huber Heights Wayne
D-2: Maple Heights vs. Trotwood Madison
D-3: Bishop Watterson vs. Alliance Marlington
D-4: Kettering Alter vs. Chagrin Falls
D-5: Youngstown Ursuline vs. Coldwater
D-6: Delphos St. John's vs. Mogadore


Sunday, November 21, 2010

NFL: Gobble...gobble....Week 12....Gobble...Gobble...

Was this past Sunday Favre's Last Stand? Are the Bungles back for good? Is Jason Garrett the future in Big D? Is Brett Favre still the quarterback of the Vikings? These questions and many others will be answered in these Week 12 Predictions.

But first, BREAKING NEWS, as the Minnesota Vikings fired Head Coach Brad Childress on Monday morning after a 31-3 thrashng at home by the Green Bay Packers. Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will take over as Interim Head Coach for the remaining six games. Minnesota is 3-7 this year and presumably out of the playoff hunt. Childress is the second NFL coach to be fired this season as the Dallas Cowboys fired Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips two weeks ago. Phillips' replacement as Head Coach, Jason Garrett is 2-0 as the Cowboys Interim Coach. Is Marvin Lewis next in line to go?

Gobble, gobble...Thanksgiving Day Matchups

Since the game of football was first played in the 1870s, it has been part of the Americana autumn landscape. Since the NFL was born in the 1920s, it was more evident. For the past few generations, we have been used to seeing our favorite teams (or at least two teams in general) play on the fourth Thursday of November. Since 1934, the Detroit Lions have been a part of our Thanksgiving Day feast, for better or worse. For a team that has won only one postseason games in the last 53 years, that's not too shabby. Since 1966, the self-proclaimed "America's Team", the Dallas Cowboys have also been a part of our Thanksgiving Day feast, right up there with the fourth helping of candied yams. Since the birth of the NFL Network a few years back, we've gotten a third helping of NFL football on Turkey Day. However, this year's third Thanksgiving Day game will make some people want to vomit in their mouths (more on that when I pick the Bungles vs. the J-E-T-S). Our picks of the week, are the three games of the week, Thanksgiving Day greatness.

New England Patriots (8-2) at Detroit Lions (2-8)- 12:40PM EST at Ford Field (Detroit)
This is as tradition as an Ohio State student jumping into duck excrement infested Mirror Lake just before the Michigan game. Since 1934, the Detroit Lions have had a place on our homes, sandwiched in between the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and the midnight Black Friday shopping run. You think that they could steal one from the Pats, right? Um, no. Tom Brady will have a field day in his return to the state of Michigan.
Pick: New England 41-7

New Orleans Saints (7-3) at Dallas Cowboys (3-7)- 4:15PM EST at Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, TX)
America's Team gave the Saints their first loss of the season, just in time for Christmas. Can Jason Garrett go 3-0 as Cowboys Head Coach?
Pick: Dallas 28-27 (the Saints will screw up a PAT snap, just you wait)

The team formerly known as the Cincinnati Bengals (2-8) at New York J-E-T-S, Jets (8-2)- 8:20PM EST at The New Meadowlands Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ)
The Bungles were 0-11 in the OLD Meadowlands, and lost their last two games to the J-E-T-S, Jets by a combined score of 61-14 (37-0 in the NFL Regular Season finale, where the Bengals starters only played about a third of the game; 24-14 in the Wildcard game, where ex-Bengals kicked Shayne Graham missed two field goals). The Bengals laid an egg after halftime. As a person who tolerated the Bengals mishaps year-after-year, this is just plain inexcusable. I will no longer tolerate a team that has 53 crybabies on its roster. It's plain inexcusable for the National Football League. There needs to be housecleaning in the mistake by the Ohio River, and it needs to start with the management of the Bengals (and then the ENTIRE coaching staff, primadonna players, such as Chad Ochocinco). They NEED a GENERAL MANAGER. Not just any GM, a Competent GM. For the last 20 years, Mike Brown has ****ed up the Bengals, as they have lost over 200 games since Brown took over as Owner of the team. If you look at the dynasties in Pittsburgh, New England, Indy, and even the Bill Walsh era in San Francisco, you had 53 players all wanting to win. Currently in Cincinnati, you have 53 sissies who can't ****ing complete an entire game. If the Bengals were ANY OTHER TEAM in the NFL (i.e. Dallas or Minnesota), Marvin Lewis would be FIRED. You DON'T blow a 31-14 halftime lead to a team that has only ONE win, and then play dead and let them outplay you 35-0 in the second half. That is unacceptable. Just, plain unacceptable.

Now, moving on to the Jets. In miracle fashion, you thought that the J-E-T-S, Jets were playing dead, much like the aforementioned Bungles. Then, with less than 30 seconds left, Mark Sanchez finds Braylon Edwards, who stumbles out of bounds at the Houston 6-yard line with 16 seconds left and ZERO TIMEOUTS left. Then, Sanchez finds Santonio Holmes in the end zone on the next play for a 30-27 win over the slumping Houston Texans. The J-E-T-S will fly over the Bungles like Joe Namath over David Klingler.
Pick: J-E-T-S, Jets 73-0 (Bonus Predix: Marvin Lewis will either be fired or quit by Monday of next week after laying this egg)

(Fox has the doubleheader)
Green Bay Packers (7-3) at Atlanta Falcons (8-2)- Sunday @ 1PM EST at Georgia Dome (Atlanta) on Fox
If we didn't have Thanksgiving this weekend, this would have been the Game of the Week, believe me. The Green Bay defense is the master of their domain, having shut down teams such as the Bills, Jets, and Vikings. This is their toughest test to date, against one of the NFL's three best teams, and the NFC's best team, the Atlanta Falcons.
Pick: Green Bay 27-10

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) at Buffalo Bills (2-8)- Sunday @ 1PM EST at Ralph Wilson Stadium (Orchard Park, NY) on CBS
Last week, the Buffalo Bills embarrassed the Sissinnati Bungles in what few (and by a few, I mean ONLY a few) fans actually showed up to watch Ryan Fitzpatrick burn the depleted Bungles secondary in a 49-31 comeback win. Against Big Ben, a performance like that just won't happen.
Pick: Pittsburgh 35-7

Carolina Panthers (1-9) at Cleveland Browns (3-7)- Sunday @ 1PM EST at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Fox
The Clowns could actually win this one, as they went back to their old ways by blowing a 4th Quarter lead in last week's loss at Jacksonville.
Pick: Cleveland 27-3

Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Giants (both 6-4)-Sunday @ 1PM EST at The NEW Meadowlands Stadium on CBS
I don't expect Jaxson De Ville to go 3-0 against the Brothers Manning in '10.
Pick: NY Giants 35-14

Minnesota Vikings (3-7) at Washington Redskins (5-5)- Sunday @ 1PM EST at FedEx Field on Fox
Leslie Frazier makes his debut as the Vikings Interim Head Coach at the Vikes travel to our nation's capital to play the Redskins, fresh off an overtime win in Nashville.
Pick: Washington 20-7

Tennessee Titans (5-5) at Houston Texans (4-6)- Sunday @ 1PM EST at Reliant Stadium on CBS
Last week, we thought that the Houston Texans would finally get off the schneid, as they came from a 23-7 deficit against the Jets to take a 27-23 lead. Last week, Vince Young lost both his cool and his starting job as the Titans lost in overtime to the Redskins, and Young is now on Injured Reserve for breaking his thumb as well. Rusty Smith is not ready to be a starting quarterback. Houston gets off the schneid....finally.
Pick: Houston 17-0

Kansas City Chiefs (6-4) at Seattle Seahawks (5-5)- Sunday @ 4PM EST at Qwest Field on CBS
Pick: Kansas City 24-20

Miami Dolphins at Oakland Raiders (both 5-5)- Sunday @ 4PM EST at Oakland Coliseum on CBS
Pick: Oakland 27-0

St. Louis Rams (5-5) at Denver Broncos (3-7)- Sunday @ 4:15PM EST at Invesco Field at Mile High on Fox

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (both 7-3)- Sunday @ 4:15PM EST at Soldier Field on Fox
Michael Vick, meet the Monsters of the Midway. Monsters of the Midway, meet Michael Vick.
Pick: Philadelphia 23-20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Baltimore Ravens (both 7-3)- Sunday @ 4:15PM EST at M&T Bank Stadium on Fox
Josh Freeman is good, but Ray Lewis and Ed Reed will set Freeman back a couple of years, as both got touchdown passes from Carolina QB Brian St. Pierre in a 37-13 rout of the Panthers last week.
Pick: Baltimore 28-14

San Diego Chargers (5-5) at Indianapolis Colts (6-4)- Sunday @ 8:20PM EST at Lucas Oil Stadium on NBC
This could be a trap game. Indy has won at least 12 games or more in a 16-game season for the last seven. The Chargers, who get red hot at this time of year could snap that streak in Indy.
Pick: San Diego 35-27

San Francisco 49ers (3-7) at Arizona Cardinals (4-6)- Monday @ 8:30PM EST at University of Phoenix Stadium on ESPN
Troy Smith is the 49ers best QB in a while, but he's no Steve Young or Joe Montana. On the other side, neither is Derek Anderson. However, Ken Whisenhunt has what Mike Singletary doesn't. Job security.
Pick: Arizona 33-13

Best Performance by a Player-
Best Performance by a Team-
Biggest Headline- Vikings sack Childress
Biggest Embarrassment- The Bungles lay an egg in the second half against the Bills
Worst Performance by a Player- Vince Young
Worst Performance by a Team (TIE)- Bungles and Vikings- both teams are just ****ing unbearable and embarrassing to root for right now

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ohio High School Football: Week 13 (Regional Finals)

The Road to Canton/Massillon is getting shorter. And now there are only 48. Schools, that is. 48 Ohio High Schools vying for six State Championship trophies. Half of those teams will fall short of that dream on Friday and Saturday. Keep in mind when the State Semi-Finals are paired up on Sunday, they will be paired up based on geographic proximity, so an Akron or Cleveland-area school doesn't have to travel all the way to play a Dayton, Columbus, or Cincinnati-area school, or vice versa.

Region 1- (3) Lakewood St. Edward Eagles (12-0) vs. (1) Solon Comets (12-0)- at Parma H.S.
Region 2- (4) Toledo St. John Jesuit Titans (11-1) vs. (3) Toledo Whitmer Panthers (11-1)- at Bowling Green State University's Doyt Perry Stadium
Region 3- (2) Hilliard Davidson Panthers (12-0) vs. (1) Pickerington Central Tigers (11-0)- at Upper Arlington H.S.
Region 4- (8) Huber Heights Wayne Warriors (9-3) vs. (6) Cincinnati St. Xavier Blue Bombers (7-4)- at Dayton Welcome Stadium

(Region 1)- This is a tough game to pick, because you have to great teams. Solon, up near the corner of Ohio, playing Lakewood St. Ed's, who is the most perfect parochial power in the State of Ohio. Last week, St. Ed's knocked off last year's D-I runners-up Cleveland Glenville.
(Region 2)- In Week 5, Whitmer topped St. John 49-24 for St. John's only loss of the year.. This week, the winner of this game will most likely play the winner of St. Ed/Solon.
(Region 3)- This is most definitely the Game of the Year in Central Ohio football. The two most perfect programs in the Ohio Capital Conference fight for a spot in the State Semi-Finals, and most likely, the winner of St. X-Huber Heights Wayne. Pickerington Central's defense has been solid as a rock, allowing only four points a game during the regular season, and so far in the post-season. The Tigers play the defending State Champs, Hilliard Davidson, who are looking to end Pick Central's perfect streak.
(Region 4)- Is it Midnight yet in Cincinnati? St. X is the Cinderella of the Division I bracket, knocking off Cincinnati LaSalle in a Round 1 rematch, and then topping Colerain last week. Can they knock off Huber Heights Wayne? It is possible, because St. X's reward in the State Semis, is Central Ohio's most perfect team.
PICKS: St. Ed, Whitmer, Pickerington Central, and St. X (St. Ed vs. Whitmer, Pick Central vs. St. X)

(Region 5)- (4) Ashland Arrows (10-2) vs. (2) Mentor Lake Catholic Cougars (11-1)- at Brunswick H.S.
(Region 6)- (5) Maple Heights Mustangs (12-0) vs. (3) Olmsted Falls Bulldogs (9-3)- at Baldwin-Wallace University's Tressel Field
(Region 7)- (5) Big Walnut Golden Eagles (10-2) vs. (3) Uniontown Lake Blue Streaks (9-3)- at Ashland University's Miller Stadium
(Region 8)- (4) Trotwood-Madison Rams (10-2) vs. (2) Kings Mills Kings Knights (11-1)- at Cincinnati Princeton H.S.

(Region 5)- This game will be an interesting one, but the 2001 D-III State Champs will punch a ticket to the final four in 2010.
(Region 6)- Maple Heights made it all the way to the State Title Game last year, because they were hungry (and ended up getting devoured by Winton Woods). This game probably won't be even close.
(Region 7)- Both of these teams knocked off top-ranked Marion-Franklin in the playoffs. Uniontown Lake did it in 2006, while Big Walnut did it last week in a 24-12 rout, where the Red Devils were flagged 21 times by officials.
(Region 8)- Trotwood-Madison knocked off the defending D-II champs Winton Woods, while Kings escaped upset-minded Mount Healthy. This could be an interesting game to see if Trotwood-Madison can knock off Kings Mills Kings, and punch a ticket to the State Semis next weekend.
PICKS: Mentor Lake Catholic, Maple Heights, Big Walnut, and Trotwood-Madison (Mentor Lake Catholic vs. Maple Heights, Big Walnut vs. Trotwood-Madison)

(Region 9)- (6) Youngstown Cardinal Mooney Cardinals (7-4) vs. (4) Akron Buchtel Griffins (9-3)- at Ravenna H.S.
(Region 10)- (3) Tiffin Columbian Tornadoes (11-1) vs. (1) Bishop Watterson Golden Eagles (10-1)- at Ohio Wesleyan University's Selby Field
(Region 11)- (7) Dover Tornadoes (10-2) vs. (1) Alliance Marlington Dukes (12-0)- at Canton Fawcett Stadium
(Region 12)- (4) Eaton Eagles (12-0) vs. (2) Cincinnati Archbishop McNicholas Rockets (10-2)- at Mason H.S.

(Region 9)- The defending D-III state champs play Buchtel in a game that could be a mismatch, as opposed to Mooney's win over Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary last week.
(Region 10)- Watterson has played nearly perfect football, and could find another test in Columbian, who knocked off another Columbus school (Eastmoor Academy) in the first round.
(Region 11)- Marlington is too good. Last week, they snapped Licking Valley's nine-game winning streak, 48-21, and have advanced to play Dover, who knocked off previously unbeaten Thornville Sheridan, by courtmartialing the Generals out of the playoffs in a 34-28 overtime win. Can Dover blow away Marlington, or will the Dukes move on up to the State Semis?
(Region 12)- Who is Eaton? Could Eaton be the surprise of the year, if they knock off Cincinnati catholic power McNicholas?
PICKS: Cardinal Mooney, Bishop Watterson, Alliance Marlington, Archbishop McNicholas (Mooney vs. Marlington, Watterson vs. McNicholas in the State Semis)

(Region 13)- (2) Chagrin Falls Tigers (11-1) vs. (1) Akron Manchester Panthers (12-0)- at Macedonia Nordonia H.S.
(Region 14)- (4) Genoa Area Comets (12-0) vs. (3) Orrville Red Riders (9-3)- at Avon Lake H.S.
(Region 15)- (3) Bishop Hartley Hawks (10-2) vs. (1) Ironton Tigers (10-2)- at Logan H.S.
(Region 16)- (6) Kettering Archbishop Alter Knights (10-2) vs. (5) Kenton Wildcats (11-1)- at Wapakoneta H.S.

(Region 13)- Can Manchester be stopped?
(Region 14)- Look for the Comets in the sky....now on the football field.
(Region 15)- This is a rematch of the Oct. 8 game down in the tippy bottom of Ohio, when Ironton stopped Hartley's running game in a 37-16 Tiger clawing of the Hawks. Last week, Ironton spanked Sparta Highland, while Hartley survived a shootout with Heath.
(Region 16)- If # 1 played # 2, it would have been a rematch of a game on Sept. 10 when Clinton-Massie blocked an extra point attempt in preserving a 28-27 win over Jonathan Alder. Last week, both Clinton-Massie and Alder found brick walls. The shortcomings of Clinton-Massie exposed against Cincinnati Taft came back to haunt them as Kenton whupped the top-ranked team in D-IV, while last year's D-IV State Champions Kettering Alter knocked out Jonathan Alder. This could be a dog fight.
PICKS: Manchester, Genoa Area, Ironton, and Kettering Alter (Manchester vs. Genoa Area, Ironton vs. Kettering Alter in State Semis)

(Region 17)- (2) Kirtland Hornets (12-0) vs. (1) Youngstown Ursuline Fighting Irish (12-0)- at Aurora H.S.
(Region 18)- (7) Jeromesville Hillsdale Falcons (11-1) vs. (4) Lima Central Catholic Thunderbirds (11-1)- at Univ. of Findlay's Donnell Stadium
(Region 19)- (2) Fredericktown Freddies (12-0) vs. (1) Oak Hill Oaks (11-1)- at Columbus Hamilton Township H.S.
(Region 20)- (5) Coldwater Cavaliers (9-3) vs. (2) West Jefferson Roughriders (12-0)- at Clayton Northmont H.S.

(Region 17)- The Best Game in this Division, as the two-time defending State Champs play unbeaten Kirtland. Can the Hornets sting the Fighting Irish and advance to the final four?
(Region 18)- Both of these teams pulled off big upsets last week as the T-Birds knocked off unbeaten Archbold and Hillsdale knocked off both Collins Western Reserve (# 2) and Hamler Patrick Henry (# 3) in the playoffs. This will be a tough one to choose.
(Region 19)- Can Fredericktown get up the next rung and advance to the State Semis?
(Region 20)- Coldwater's experience and prestige in the Mid-Western Athletic Conference > West Jeff's long winning history and short domination in the Mid State League Cardinal Division
PICKS: Ursuline, Lima Central Catholic, Fredericktown, and Coldwater (Ursuline vs. Fredericktown, Lima Central Catholic vs. Coldwater, or Ursuline vs. Lima Central Catholic, Fredericktown vs. Coldwater)

(Region 21)- (5) McDonald Blue Devils (10-2) vs. (2) Mogadore Wildcats (12-0)- at Twinsburg H.S.
(Region 22)- (2) McComb Panthers (12-0) vs. (1) Delphos St. John's Blue Jays (12-0)- at University of Findlay's Donnell Stadium
(Region 23)- (2) Bridgeport Bulldogs (12-0) vs. (1) Shadyside Tigers (11-1)- at St. Clairsville H.S.
(Region 24)- (8) Minster Wildcats (7-5) vs. (2) Sidney Lehman Catholic Cavaliers (11-1)- at Piqua H.S.

(Region 21)- You deserve a break today...Mogadore sounds like a good name.
(Region 22)- Tweet...tweet...tweet...Delphos St. John's is the little Division VI engine that will and should.
(Region 23)- Bridgeport barely escaped the most-storied playoff team in Ohio history (Newark Catholic) last week, they're not going to make it far against Shadyside.
(Region 24)- Minster knocked off another biggie by upsetting past State Champ Maria Stein Marion Local. Minster's competition only builds up from here as they play Sidney Lehman Catholic.
PICKS: Mogadore, Delphos St. John's, Shadyside, and Sidney Lehman Catholic (Mogadore vs. Shadyside, Delphos St. John's vs. Sidney Lehman Catholic in the State Semi-Finals)

NEXT WEEK: The Final Four...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NFL (2010)- Week 11 Predictions

There are thirteen games that will fill our television screens on Sunday afternoon, as ALL 32 teams will be playing every week from here on out, plus a Thursday night matchup (Bears-Dolphins), a Sunday Night Game, and a Monday Night Game.

BEST PLAY OF WEEK 10: The Immaculate Deflection II: Hail Mary...Full of Grace (David Garrard to Mike Thomas)- You CAN'T script the NFL. Just can't. A 2011 Bryan Award early Frontrunner for Sports Play of the Year, perhaps, but David Garrard's miracle prayer deflected off the fingertips of one Jacksonville receiver, and into the hands of another as time expired in a 31-24 Jacksonville win (I don't know why they kicked the PAT. If this were high school or college and the clock hit 0:00 in the fourth quarter, game over) over the Houston Texans. This is similar to the Immaculate Deflection (this year's Bryan Award winner for Sports Moment of the Year) when Denver Broncos Quarterback Kyle Orton threw an 87-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Stokley with 11 seconds left in a 12-7 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. But a win is a win.

BLOWOUT OF WEEK 10: Monday Night Football- Philadelphia Eagles > Washington Redskins. The game was over pretty much midway through the first quarter. By the time the Redskins got their first, first down, they were already down 35-0 early in the second quarter. The tone of the game was set on the first play from scrimmage- an 88-yard touchdown pass from Eagles quarterback Michael Vick to receiver DeSean Jackson. That was only one of a mere six touchdowns for Vick (four through the air and two on the ground) in a 59-28 Eagles spanking. Philly led 45-14 at halftime, the most points in a first half in Eagles history.

GAME OF THE WEEK: probably the greatest rivalry of the 2000s- Indianapolis Colts (6-3) at New England Patriots (7-2)- Sunday @ 4:15PM EST at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA on CBS

Whenever Tom Brady and Peyton Manning get together, it's always a fun time on the football field. In last year's matchup, The Colts defense stopped the Patriots, when they decided to go for it on 4th down inside of their own 30-yard line ("4th & 2"). The defensive stop led to Peyton Manning scoring the game-winning touchdown in a 35-34 Colts win. This week is going to be a good one, as both teams are off big wins (Indy forcing 5 turnovers in a 23-17 win over 2-7 Cincinnati; New England off a 39-26 Sunday Night win in Pittsburgh). However, the injuries that have plagued the Colts will come back to haunt them, like they almost did last week against the Bengals.

Pick: New England 31-21

THURSDAY NIGHT GAME: Chicago Bears (6-3) at Miami Dolphins (5-4)- Thursday @ 8:20PM EST at SunLife Stadium in Opa Locka, FL on the NFL Network

Bad news for Miami as Chad Pennington was placed on injured reserve with a career-threatening shoulder injury in last week's win over the Titans. Third-stringer Tyler Thigpen is starting for the Fins as they host the Bears in the 25th anniversary of a Monday Night Football classic (the Dolphins handed the Bears their one and only loss in the 1985 season). The Monsters of the Midway will take care of the Wildcat...and then Thigpen, who was inept as a starter in Kansas City.

Pick: Chicago 33-7


(CBS has the Doubleheader this weekend)

Buffalo Bills (1-8) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-7)- The Terrell Owens-Ryan Fitzpatrick Toilet Bowl 2010*- Sunday @ 1:00PM EST at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati on CBS
Trivia question: When was the last time the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Buffalo Bills? Answer: January 8, 1989, when the Bengals (coached by Sam Wyche, and led by such players as Boomer Esiason, Cris Collinsworth, Anthony Munoz, and some dancing running back named Ickey that would make Chad Ochocinco look like an amateur) beat the Bills (coached by the legendary Marv Levy, and led by players like Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, and Bruce Smith) 21-10 for the right to lose to the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl for a second time. Since then, the Bills won the last nine meetings. Can the Bills make it ten? Here is my argument for the Bills: The Bills have shown that they can play close games, and last week's win over the Lions, Buffalo's first win this season, was living proof of that, as the Bills escaped a late Detroit rally in a 14-12 win. The Bengals can't win close games, having lost six straight by a total of 33 points**. The Bengals have had issues stopping the run and playmakers such as Peyton Hillis, Roddy White, and Ben Roethlisberger in this six-game losing streak, and while running back C.J. Spiller is out, rookie running back Fred Jackson is making plays in Spiller's absence. Here is my argument for the Bengals: The Bills plain out suck, and have sucked since The Music City Miracle in the 1999 AFC Wildcard Game (Buffalo's last playoff game). The Bills are 32nd in rush defense, allowing 167 yards on the ground per game and are 0-4 on the road this year to date, losing those four games by an average of approximately 10 points.
This is probably the Bengals' last shot at a real win, because the uphill battles the Bengals have left on their tough schedule are the Jets, Saints, Steelers, Clowns, Chargers, and Ravens, respectively. Look for Ryan Fitzpatrick to run into a brick wall, in the form of former Bengal teammates. It's ironic, but Fitz was the last great backup the Bengals had.
- It is highly possible the game will be blacked out in Cincinnati (and Dayton and Lexington, KY) if the game does not sell out by 1PM on Thursday, as this is the first time in Paul Brown Stadium history when the two teams playing have a combined three wins this late in the season (1998 was the last such home game in Bengal history, when 2-11 Cincinnati lost to 2-11 Indianapolis in Peyton Manning's rookie season).
*- Owens most recently played for the Bills, and is now with the Bengals. Ryan Fitzpatrick (a Harvard grad), was with the Bengals in 2007 and 2008, and the primary starter in 2008 when Carson Palmer was sidelined due to a shoulder injury. The Bengals finished a paltry 4-11-1, a half-game better than the last-place 4-12 Cleveland Clowns.
**- The Bengals lost 23-20 to the Cleveland Clowns, 24-21 to the Tampa Bay Bucs- allowing 10 points in the last 1:26 of the game, 39-32 to the Atlanta Falcons- after trailing 24-3 at halftime and roaring back to score 22 unanswered points in the third quarter, 22-14 to the Miami Dolphins, 27-21 to the Pittsburgh Steelers- almost coming back to win the game late, and 23-17 to the Indianapolis Colts- five turnovers were the Bengals undoing.
Pick: Cincinnati 24-20 (call me crazy...but Buffalo sucks)

Cleveland Browns (3-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4)- Sunday @ 1PM EST at EverBank Field, Jacksonville on CBS
Last week, Jacksonville won on the last play of the game, literally (see Play of Week 10 for more). This week, they host one of the rollercoaster stories of the year, the Cleveland Browns, whose three wins were all upset wins (over the Bengals, Saints, and Patriots). The Browns have proven that they are not the Cleveland Clowns of old, with rookie Colt McCoy and acquistion Peyton Hillis making big plays.
Pick: (I'm officially insane) Cleveland 24-17

Oakland Raiders (5-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)- Sunday @ 1PM EST at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh on CBS- UPSET PICK OF THE WEEK

The last time these two played (also at Heinz Field), the Raiders came from behind to knock off the then-defending Super Bowl champs 24-20, which put the Steelers on the schneid. The last time that the Oakland Raiders were above .500 this late, they went to the Super Bowl (in 2002). The Raiders (REH-dehrz) of old (i.e. John Madden era) could be slowly coming back, as they may knock Big Ben and the Steelers out...again.
Pick: Oakland 20-17

Houston Texans (4-5) at New York Jets (7-2)- Sunday @ 1PM EST at New Meadowland Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ on CBS
Pick: NY Jets 31-17

Baltimore Ravens (6-3) at Carolina Panthers (1-8)- Sunday @ 1PM EST at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC on CBS
There has only been one shutout through ten weeks of the NFL season. How about another shutout, because the Panthers are just ridiculous.
Pick: Baltimore 31-0

Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys (both 2-7)- The Battle of the NFL's Thanksgiving Hosts II*- Sunday @ 1PM EST at Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX on Fox
In the second battle of the NFL's Thanksgiving Day hosts this year, the two teams that have been the traditional hosts of the NFL's Turkey Day classic for years square off in the home of the late afternoon Thanksgiving Day matinee. The Cowboys shined in interim Head Coach Jason Garrett's debut, a 33-20 win over the Giants in the Meadowlands. Look for Garrett to be 2-0 before a Turkey Day showdown with the defending Super Bowl Champs, the Saints.
Pick: Dallas 37-7
*- The J-E-T-S, New York Jets beat the Lions 23-20 in Overtime in Week 9

Green Bay Packers (6-3) at Minnesota Vikings (3-6)- Favre Bowl IV- Sunday @ 1PM EST at Mall of America Field, Minneapolis on Fox
This could be the last game Brad Childress could coach for the Vikes. But anyway, the last time these two played, Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to a 28-24 victory over the Vikings. The Packers have just this physical aura on them this season in a wide-open NFL playoff derby.
Pick: Green Bay 27-20

Washington Redskins (4-5) at Tennessee Titans (5-4)- Sunday @ 1PM EST at LP Field, Nashville on Fox
Last Monday, Donovan McNabb followed the signing of a five-year, $ 78 Million contract extension with probably the worst performance in his 12 years in the NFL, a 59-28 blowout to his former team (hey, you Philly!) at home and on Monday Night Football, in a game that was over one-third of the way through the first quarter. However, the original headline for this game was Redskins disappointment Albert Haynesworth's return to Nashville. Vince Young is expected to start, and could be a problem for the Redskins defense.
Pick: Tennessee 36-25

Arizona Cardinals (3-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-4)- Sunday @ 1PM EST at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City on Fox
This week, the surprising Chiefs get back on track in a wide-open AFC West (after an embarrasing 49-29 loss in Denver), against Arizona, a team in a sharp decline, two years removed from their first Super Bowl appearance.
Pick: Kansas City 41-14

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) at San Francisco 49ers (3-6)- Sunday @ 4PM EST at Candlestick Park, San Francisco on Fox
Mike Singletary still believes that the 49ers will make the playoffs. That's probably not going to happen.
Pick: Tampa Bay 28-7

Seattle Seahawks (5-4) at New Orleans Saints (6-3)- Sunday @ 4PM EST at The Superdome, New Orleans on FoxSeattle is not the road warrior, despite their season sweep of the Arizona Cardinals.
Pick: New Orleans 38-10

Atlanta Falcons (7-2) at St. Louis Rams (4-5)- Sunday @ 4PM EST at Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis on Fox
Pick: Atlanta 29-19

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (both 6-3)- Sunday @ 8:20PM EST at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia on NBC
Michael Vick was on fire last Monday night, going 9/9 with 181 yards and three touchdowns, and that was just in the first quarter (most quarterbacks can't even do that in an entire game). Vick threw for four touchdowns and ran for two more as the Eagles soared over the Redskins 59-28. The Eagles host the Giants, fresh off a loss to the Dallas Cowboys at home. Michael Vick just beat Peyton Manning, and now he has a shot to beat Eli Manning as well this season.
Pick: Philadelphia 35-21

Denver Broncos (3-6) at San Diego Chargers (4-5)- Monday @ 8:30PM EST at Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego on ESPN
This is a tale of two once-great teams. Last year, Denver started out 6-0, and now they have been 5-14 since. The San Diego Chargers have won the AFC West the last four years, and are in an uphill battle with a resurgent Kansas City and a resurgent Oakland. This is a pivotal power battle in a wide-open AFC West.
Pick: San Diego 37-24

College Football: The Week XII

Time has sure flown by in the College Football season. The 12th Week of the College Football season takes place this week, and for some schools, it's the final game of the season. Last week was the final week of the regular season for our friends in Divisions II & III as those respective divisions commence with postseason play on Saturday.

GAME OF THE WEEK: Yale Bulldogs (7-2, 5-1) at Harvard Crimson (6-3, 4-2)- NOON EST
Thank the Big Ten for pushing the Ohio State-Michigan gloryfest to next week, otherwise that would have been the Game of the Week. However, 42 years ago, these two storied Ivy League institutions played to a 29-all draw in what was one of the most memorable games in the history of College Football, and it co-starred future Academy Award Nominee Tommy Lee Jones (Jones was a player for Harvard on the aforementioned 1968 team and in the aforementioned 1968 classic matchup). Since the Ivy League doesn't believe in postseason football play, this is as good as it gets for the most prestigious conference in all of college sports, as Yale and Harvard square off yet again.
Pick: Yale 16-13

UPSET PICK OF THE WEEK: (CENSORED) Mountaineers (9-1) at Florida Gators (6-4)- 12:30PM at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (Gainesville, FL)
Over 38 months ago, the (CENSORED) Mountaineers did the unthinkable. Fresh off the Division I-AA/FCS National Championship, the Mountaineers went up to Ann Arbor, Michigan and SHOCKED THE WORLD by beating then-# 5 Michigan, 34-32, the first ever FCS win over a ranked FBS school (earlier this year, James Madison knocked off Virginia Tech for the other occasion this happened; Michigan ALMOST lost to UMass, who coincidentally lost to um...yeah in the 2006 I-AA National Championship). Florida is missing one key player this year (# 15 for the Denver Broncos), and that's why (CENSORED) will do it again and SHOCK THE WORLD II.
Pick: (CENSORED) 29-21

UCLA Bruins (4-5, 2-4) at Washington Huskies (3-6, 2-4)- 8PM EST at Husky Stadium (Seattle)
Jake Locker is expected to return to action, after the Huskies bye week. For Washington to be Bowl Eligible, they need to win out.
Pick: Washington 20-17

Air Force Academy Falcons (7-4, 4-3) at University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) Rebels (2-8, 2-4)- 10PM EST at Sam Boyd Stadium (Las Vegas)
Pick: Air Force 37-10

Fresno State Bulldogs (6-3, 4-2) at Boise State Broncos (9-0, 5-0)- 9:30PM EST at Bronco Stadium (Boise, ID)
The Bulldogs were just this close of knocking off ranked Nevada down in Reno (Boise State plays Nevada next week). This week, Fresno State goes up to the field of Smurfs to play Kellen Moore and crew. While it may not be close like it was with Nevada, Fresno State will give Boise State a fight.
Pick: Boise State 34-27

# 6 Stanford Cardinal (9-1, 6-1) at California Golden Bears (5-5, 3-4)- 3:30PM EST
This game takes place 28 years to the day of one of the most controversial, one of the most insane, one of the most wacky, and one of the most unforgettable plays in all of football, maybe even all of sports. Of course, I'm talking about the "lateral" play (also known as "The Play"), which literally put the proclamation, "It ain't over 'til the marching band comes out", as the marching bands for both teams came out WHILE the play was still going on. Cal won 25-20, although Stanford claims it was 20-19, as the Cardinal kicked a field goal with only four seconds left. Stanford's quarterback would go on to have a 16-year NFL career with the Denver Broncos, being crowned Super Bowl XXXIII MVP in his final NFL game, and is now enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Of course, I'm talking about John Elway. Anyway, fast forward 28 years. Stanford is # 6 in the nation, and while they have a better record than Cal, stranger things have happened in rivalry games. Look for Cal to throw everything, including the kitchen stink, Grandma's pumpkin pie, and the waterboy at Stanford, but the Cardinal will come out on top.
Pick: Stanford 27-24

# 7 Wisconsin Badgers (9-1, 5-1) at Michigan Wolverines (7-3, 3-3)- NOON EST at THE BIG HOUSE (Ann Arbor, MI)
I remember that the Badgers had a two-headed running back (in the form of John Clay and James White). Since then, Clay got hurt. Last week, Wisconsin ran up 83 points against defenseless Indiana (scoring on EVERY SINGLE possession, plus a pick-six). This week, the Badgers go into the Big House, where while Michigan has slowly improved from the s**tfest of 2008 (an ALL-TIME LOW- 3-9) and 2009 (5-7), their defense still sucks. However, Michigan will invade a quiet little town called Columbus, next week. ;o)
Pick: Wisconsin 42-27

# 10 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-1, 5-1) at Kansas Jayhawks (3-7, 1-5)
Jayhawk fans don't really care about the gridiron Jayhawks, now that hoops season is underway in Manhattan.
Pick: Oklahoma State 45-6

Purdue Boilermakers (4-6, 2-4) at # 12 Michigan State Spartans (9-1, 5-1)- NOON EST at Spartan Stadium (East Lansing, MI)
Super Bowl MVPs Len Dawson, Bob Griese, and Drew Brees were all Boilermaker QBs once in their lives. Purdue wishes they had all three of them.
Pick: Michigan State 56-0

Penn State Nittany Lions (6-4, 3-3) vs. Indiana Hoosiers (4-6, 0-6)- NOON EST AT FedEx Field (Landover, MD)
I said last week that Joe Pa would get his 401st win in Columbus. I lied. He'll no doubt get it here as Penn State will be the second Pennsylvania football team to win at FedEx Field this week.
Pick: Penn State 41-14

North Carolina State Wolfpack (7-3, 4-2) at North Carolina Tar Heels (6-4, 3-3)- NOON EST at Kenan Football Center (Chapel Hill, NC)
Another rivalry hits the century mark at the Wolfpack and Tar Heels meet on the gridiron for the 100th time. NC State is to Ohio State as UNC is to Michigan in this rivalry as the Tar Heels have a 63-30-6 advantage in the series. However, both teams have been hit and miss this season, and whom ever makes the fewest mistakes wins. Here is the UNC's Official Page on the UNC-NC State Rivalry.
Pick: NC State 28-24

Virginia Cavaliers (4-6, 1-5) at Boston College Golden Eagles (5-5, 3-4)- NOON EST at Alumni Stadium (Chestnut Hill, MA)
Pick: BC 27-21

West Virginia Mountaineers (6-3, 2-2) at Louisville Cardinals (5-5, 2-3)- NOON EST at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (Louisville, KY)
Pick: West Virginia 35-14

Penn Quakers (8-1, 6-0) at Cornell Big Red (2-7, 1-5)- 12:30PM EST at Schoelkopff Field (Ithaca, NY)
Penn wins the Ivy League title with a win, and in a perfect world, an automatic FCS playoff bid. However, since the Ivy League doesn't believe in FCS National Titles, the Quakers will have to make do with being Ivy League champs.
Pick: Penn 26-0

UMass Minutemen (6-4, 4-3) at Rhode Island Rams (4-6, 3-4)- 12:30PM EST at Meade Stadium (Kingston, RI)
Pick: UMass 19-14

Dartmouth Big Green (5-4, 2-4) at Princeton Tigers (1-8, 0-6)- 1PM EST at Princeton Stadium (Princeton, NJ)
Pick: Dartmouth 27-13

Duke Blue Devils (3-7, 1-5) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-5, 3-4)- 1:30PM EST at Bobby Dodd Stadium (Atlanta)
Now that NCAA College Basketball season is here, Duke fans have other things to do with their time. The Yellow Jackets will sting the Blue Devils to become Bowl eligible.
Pick: Georgia Tech 53-8

Clemson Tigers (5-5, 3-4) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-8, 1-6)- 2PM EST at Groves Stadium (Winston-Salem, NC)
A Clemson win makes the Tigers Bowl Eligible, and the Tigers should have no problem clawing poor Wake Forest to their ninth straight loss.
Pick: Clemson 41-0

# 9 Ohio State Buckeyes (9-1, 5-1) at # 20 Iowa Hawkeyes (7-3, 4-2)- 3:30PM EST at Kinnick Stadium (Iowa City, IA)
The Buckeyes have won 11 of the last 12 meetings against Iowa, with the one loss coming at Kinnick Stadium (33-7 in 2004, a lackluster year for the Bucks). Last year, Iowa took the Bucks to OT, where Devin Barclay booted the game-winning field goal for Ohio State. This week, Ricky Stanzi is looking to give Iowa some respect and to knock off the co-Titans of the Big Ten. This could be the last time Ohio State wins this year, as they face the Big, Bad Wolverines next week. Look for the Buckeyes to shake the monkey (Kirky Stanentz) off their backs...again
Pick: Ohio State 27-14

# 16 Virginia Tech Hokies (8-2, 6-0) at # 24 Miami Hurricanes (7-3, 5-2)- 3:30PM EST at Sun Life Stadium (Opo Locka, FL)
"The ACC is a mess," declared Fox Sports College Football Analyst Petros Papadakis, citing Virginia Tech's scheduling of James Madison just FIVE DAYS after a game at Boise State (both were Virginia Tech's two losses so far this year). Miami is a Jekyll/Hyde team, because you never know what Miami team you'll get from week to week. Beamer and Boys get it done in South Beach.
Pick: Virginia Tech 34-21

Illinois Fighting Illini (5-5, 3-4) vs. Northwestern Wildcats (7-3, 3-3)- 3:30PM EST at Wrigley Field (Chicago)
Oh, no, they didn't!! Oh, yes, they did. OF course, I'm speaking about Northwestern's come-from-behind win over Iowa last week (for the second straight year, of course), and Illinois's shocking 38-34 loss to last-place Minnesota, the first win for Gophers interim Head Coach Jeff Horton. This is going to be a good game in the state that gave us Presidents Lincoln and Obama. BREAKING NEWS: Only ONE end zone will be used at Wrigley Field, according to NCAA and Big Ten Officials, citing safety concerns.
Pick: Northwestern 37-27

Army Black Knights (6-4) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-5)- 7PM EST at Yankee Stadium (The Bronx/New York City)- RIVALRY WEEK SPECIAL
The last time these two played at Yankee Stadium was 1969, the year that the "Miracle Mets" won the World Series, Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was the highest-grossing movie that year, and Ara Parseghian was coaching the Irish on the sidelines. This is the first football game at the brand new Yankee Stadium. The game brings back memories of the classic Army-Notre Dame meetups at the late, great Yankee Stadium of the 1930s and 1940s. The New York Times wrote a feature on the upcoming battle on Saturday Night. Back to the here and now. The last time that the Black Knights were bowl eligible (before this year) was 1996, when Bill Clinton was re-elected in a landslide, and Florida won its first National Championship. Notre Dame came off a huge 28-3 upset thumping of # 23 Utah. The Irish need this win (and a win over USC next week) to be Bowl Eligible.
Pick: Notre Dame 21-17

# 15 Missouri Tigers (8-2, 4-2) @ Iowa State Cyclones (5-6, 3-4)- 7PM EST at Jack Trice Stadium (Ames, IA)
This could be Iowa State's knockout punch after losing to Colorado in Colorado interim coach Brian Cabral's debut.
Pick: Mizzou 38-14

# 13 Arkansas Razorbacks (8-2, 4-2) at # 21 Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-3, 3-3)- 7PM EST at Davis-Wade Stadium (Starkville, MS)
Pick: Arkansas 35-24

# 8 Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-1, 5-1) at # 19 Texas A&M Aggies (7-3, 4-2)- 8PM EST at Kyle Field (College Station, TX)
Pick: Nebraska 24-16

# 14 Oklahoma Sooners (8-2, 4-2) at Baylor Bears (7-4, 4-3)- 8PM EST at Floyd Casey Stadium (Waco, TX)
Pick: Oklahoma 38-17

# 25 Florida State Seminoles (7-3, 5-2) at Maryland Terrapins (7-3, 4-2)- 8PM EST at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium (College Park, MD)
Pick: Florida State 41-10

USC Trojans (7-3, 4-3) at Oregon State Beavers (4-5, 3-3)- 8PM EST at Reser Stadium (Corvallis, OR)
This game means little-to-nothing to USC, whose season will end in two weeks against crosstown rival UCLA.
Pick: USC 43-13

# 23 Utah Utes (8-2, 5-1) at San Diego State Aztecs (7-3, 4-2)- 10PM EST at Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego)
Can the Utes get back on track after losing back-to-back spankings to TCU and Notre Dame? That's a problem, because San Diego State almost caused a bigger shakeup in the BCS as they almost upset TCU last week.
Pick: San Diego State 24-14

Division III Playoffs- (5) Wittenberg Tigers (10-0, regular season) at (4) Ohio Northern Polar Bears (9-1, regular season)
Wittenberg, yet again, the Champions of the North Coast Athletic Conference, travel up the road to little Ada to play Ohio Northern, runners-up in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Expect this to be a competitive game. Wittenberg, really has not been tested, except for a couple of times (Washington and Carnegie-Mellon), while Ohio Northern lost to Mount Union (which, oddly this year, got a third-seed). Ohio Northern is one of those schools that you don't want to mess with, and Wittenberg may have found a brick wall. The really bad news is, the winner may have an impending date with North Central next week.
Pick: Ohio Northern 28-25