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The Sports Flow

Welcome to "The Sports Flow", where two intriguing sports minds come together to share, express, and analyze on "hot" sports topics.

Updated: 2017-11-16T10:41:37.736-05:00


NCAA Tournament Predictions: South Region


Here's our picks and bracket breakdown of the South Region1st Round1. Kentucky vs. 16. Western KentuckyThe battle for Kentucky. I'm sure a lot of WKU fans like the Wildcats as well. WKU is below .500, the Cats have NBA talent all over the floor.The Pick: Kentucky8. Iowa St. vs. 9. UConnThe Clones love to shoot the 3 and do it well shooting at a 38% clip. They also have Royce White, who is a rebounding machine and a tough matchup inside. UConn has been inconsistent the whole season. Their defense is terrible and they turn it over quite a bit. UConn has some of the best talent in the country though, but we're still not believing some of their hype.The Pick Iowa State5. Wichita State vs 12. VCUWe all know VCU made the epic run last season.  They did so because they had athletes and size all over the court.  They also shot the 3 very well.  This season they only shoot 33% from long range. The Rams will win if they can force their tempo and cause turnovers.  The problem is, Wichita St. doesn't turn it over. They can play any style but they will try to force VCU into a half court game.  The play of 7-0 Center Garrett Stutz will  be a key factor as well.The Pick: Wichita State4. Indiana vs. 13. New Mexico StateIndiana plays very well as a team. Tom Crean has really turned this program around.  Cody Zeller and Christian Watford are beasts down low. NMSU relies on it's interior play. They're one of the best rebounding teams in the country.  Wendell McKines avg a double-double and 6'11 post Hamidu Rahman is a beast down low. These two can counter Zeller and Watford. The Hoosiers will be missing Verdell Jones III as well.The Pick: NMSU6. UNLV vs. 11. ColoradoUNLV is a transition team and all of their losses have come when the pace was slowed and they were forced to play a half court game. The Buffs like to get out and run as well. I think this will tend to favor UNLV; esp. with Mike Moser and Chase Stanback. Colorado could take this one but on a neutral floor I'll give the Rebs the edge.The Pick: UNLV 3. Baylor vs. 14 South Dakota StateBaylor has been inconsistent all season. They have the ability and tremendous athleticism and length, but they tend to take way too many jump shots instead of getting to the bucket in transition. Coach Scott Drew will utilize his zone to stop the shooters from SDSU. Nate Wolters is one of the best scorers in the country and Jordan Dykstra can stretch the defense for the Jacks.The Pick: Baylor7. Notre Dame vs. 10. XavierThis is a huge toss-up. Notre Dame plays ugly and when their guards aren't hitting shots they are dead in the water. Xavier has been inconsistent but guards Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons are great slashers that can cause problems.The Pick: Xavier2. Duke vs. 15. LehighRyan Kelly's status is still up in the air but it won't matter.The Pick: Duke2nd Round1. Kentucky vs. 8. Iowa State If ISU wants to pull off the upset they need to be hot from the outside. There's no way they'll be able to do that with Anthony Davis down low. Royce White will be their only chance and he must get Davis in foul trouble. The Cats have too much talent.The Pick: Kentucky5. Wichita St. vs. 13. New Mexico StateNMSU's size could give fits to WSU, but this is where I see the Shockers guards coming into play. NMSU is not known for their guard play.The Pick: Wichita State3. Baylor vs. 6. UNLVThis looks more like a Sweet 16 matchup. Baylor will try to slow it down a little bit to catch UNLV off guard. The size and length will be a huge problem for the Rebels.The Pick: Baylor2. Duke vs. 10. XavierHolloway and Lyons need to be on their A game going against Austin Rivers and Seth Curry. Duke will outwork you and likely out shoot you. I see the Musketeers inconsistent play coming back to bite them.The Pick: DukeSweet 161. Kentucky vs. 5. Wichita StateKentucky has so many pieces that WSU will need to account for. Stutz must stay out of foul trouble but they might use a lot of pick and rolls to keep Davis out of the lane. The athleticism and length bodes well for the Cats.The Pick: Kentu[...]

TSF Bracketology 2/20


Here's our projected bracket as of today.

Boston Region

1. Syracuse
16. Vermont/LIU-Brooklyn
8. Virginia
9. Harvard

5. Temple
12. Texas
4. Marquette
13. Drexel

6. New Mexico
3. Baylor
14. Nevada

7. St. Mary's
10. Alabama
2. Ohio St
15. Weber State

Phoenix Region

1. Kansas
16. Texas-Arlington
8. West Virginia
9. California

5. Indiana
12. Miami
4. Gonzaga
13. Oral Roberts

6. Notre Dame
11. Long Beach State
3. Michigan
14. Cleveland State

7. Vanderbilt
10. Kansas State
2. North Carolina
15. Davidson

St. Louis Region

1. Missouri
16. UNC-Asheville
8. Mississippi St.
9. Southern Mississippi

5. Florida St
12. Washington/Xavier
4. Louisville
13. Middle Tennessee

6. Wichita St.
14. Akron

7. San Diego St.
10. Connecticut
2. Michigan St.
15. Bucknell

Atlanta Region

1. Kentucky
16. Mississippi Valley St./Savannah St.
8. Memphis
9. Saint Louis

12. Seton Hall
4. Wisconsin
13. Arizona/NC State

6. Creighton
11. Purdue
14. Iona

7. Murray St.
10. Iowa State
2. Duke
15. Belmont

College BBall Talk 2/14


We're getting closer and closer to March. It's my favorite time of the year.  Nothing in sports is better than the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Lets talk Final Four and sleepers.

One thing people seem to over look in College Basketball is how teams are playing heading into March.  They remember the struggles of November and December, and even early January. That was a long time ago and teams change over the marathon that is college hoops.  Lets look at some sleepers.

They struggled in December losing to St. Johns, Notre Dame and Providence, but we also have to remember they lost to Kentucky, Georgetown, and now Syracuse.  They could have easily won that game tonight vs the Orange, but  I think the Cards have shown they can get back to their preseason hype.  They've won 6 of their last 7, their defense has improved, and they're starting to play better as a team.

Most people remember Vandy's loss to Cleveland State.  They were without one of the best posts in the SEC in Festus Ezeli until mid December.  They've lost 3 of their past 4 but those were to number one Kentucky, on the road to a tough Florida team, and Arkansas, who is 17-1 at home.  Vandy has two terrific guards in Jeff Taylor and John Jenkins who can both shoot it, and a tough post down low in Ezeli.

Mississippi St
 The Bulldogs started off the year winning 12 of 13.  They've been up and down lately but Arnett Moultrie is one of the best power fowards in the country.  Renardo Sidney has been playing better recently and guards Dee Bost and Rodney Hood are quality guards.  This team is talented and can matchup with many teams across the country.  They play solid defense and rarely turn it over.  Those factors bode well for the tournament.

Wichita State
This team manhandled Creighton on Saturday.  They have good size around their lineup and can shoot it from the outside.  Their defense ranks in the top 25 of the Ken Pom Adjusted Defensive Rankings.  The Shockers have won 12 of their last 13 and are playing great at the right time.  Don't forget this team took down UNLV earlier in the season.

We all saw what this team can do with the win over Duke.  And they did without their best post in Michael Eric.  Eric is a solid post, Ramone Moore is a good scoring guard avg. 19 ppg, and Juan Fernandez can shoot it from the outside.

We're Back!


After a long hiatus we're bringing TSF back to life! I know you all missed us but lets get this going...

College Hoops Power Rankings


Here's our first in-season power poll...

1. Ohio State
Clear cut number one right now.

2. Duke
Even without Kyrie Irving they are still very good.

3. Kansas
Despite the loss to Texas, Kansas is very dangerous.

4. Pittsburgh
No super stars but they're experienced.

5. Texas
A lot of talent.  Rick Barnes finally has them playing some D.

6. Syracuse
The Orange are deep and can beat anybody.

7. San Diego St.
Very athletic.  But not many impressive wins.

8. Washington
The Huskies are one of the most athletic and dangerous teams in the nation.

9. Villanova
This team has more options this season and is much tougher on D.

Young, but extremly athletic and talented team.

Never too early... for College Football Rankings


(image) Here's my EARLY College Football 2011 Top 5.  More to come later...

1. Oklahoma
OU could return the overwhelming majority of starters on both sides of the ball, plus plenty of backups with starting experience.  Landry Jones should be one of the best QB in the nation and a Heisman candidate.  It also doesn't hurt that WR Ryan Broyles has decided to come back.  RB DeMarco Murray is one of the few defections.

2. Alabama
Bama should return the majority of their starters as well.  They do lose QB Greg McElroy, DE Marcel Dareus, WR Julio Jones and RB Mark Ingram, but Trent Richardson is just as good.  4 OL starters, LB Dont'a Hightower and Mark Barron are good places to start.  QB seems to be one of the few question marks.

3. LSU
Les Miles decided to stay.  That should bode well for the Tigers, who have been the most consistent SEC team in the past decade.  18 starters are back.  There will plenty of QB competition to push Jordan Jefferson who played better down the stretch.

4. Oregon
The Ducks lose key starters on both sides of the ball.  Questions abound all over.  The defense will take a big it loses Casey Matthews, Brandon Bair and Talmadge Jackson III.  The offense is good enough to keep them in the top 5. QB Darron Thomas and RB LaMichael James return to lead another potent offense.

5. Oklahoma State
As of right now there won't be many great teams next season which should help the Cowboy.  The offense brings back 9 starters, including QB Brandon Weeden.  WR Justin Blackmon still could forgo the draft.  The defense loses the majority of it's players, but when has OSU ever had a defense?

College Hoops Extravaganza


Well, the College Hoops 24 hour marathon was a success. I stayed up for much of the night and early morning and watched the games.  Here's a few early and maybe obvious thoughts I have for the season.

Jared Sullinger is the real deal and Ohio State is easily one of the favorites to win it all.

San Diego State could possibly be the next Butler.

Florida is an improved team and will be dangerous in March.

Gonzaga looks like the same old team that will dominate the WCC, pull off some big wins but falter to more physical and talented teams.

Kansas State will be very good, but do they have the depth to be a premier team?

Duke needs more depth in the frontcourt.

Tennessee is overrated.

Delvon Roe will finally live up to his potential and help carry Michigan State to another Final Four run.

If you can't beat em, buy em


As we all know by now Yankees GM Brian Cashman flew to Arkansas to talk with Cliff Lee.  This is obviously not surprising at all as any MLB fan knew the Yankees would go after Lee during the offseason.

(image) It seems apparent that the Yankees will go after Lee hard.  Their pitching hasn't really worked out for them recently.  Javier Vasquez didn't pan out.  A.J. Burnett is a question mark after a terrible season.  Plus, Andy Pettite is getting old.

Lee is the obvious choice.  The Yankees pitching staff is basically the sole reason they didn't get by the Rangers in the ALCS.  There's really no one else they can go after.  Zach Greinke simply won't go to New York and the next two best choices are Jorge de la Rosa and Carl Pavano.  Who we know the Yanks won't touch.

Some think the Yankees wouldn't go after him because having two aces wouldn't make much sense.  I remind those people that it's the Yankees.  They will do whatever they can to win another World Series, and I don't blame them.

Lee throttled the Yankees.  As we've seen before, the Yankees absolutely hate being embarrassed.  They've brought in Yankee killers before (Tony Womack and Carl Pavano). It may not always work out, but Lee is arguably the best pitcher in the game right now.  It just makes too much sense.  As it seems like it always is for the Yankees, if you can't beat em, buy em.

Attack on Success


(image) Cam Newton has been in the news lately.  Not only has he lead his Auburn Tigers to an undefeated record thus far this season, but he's also passed for 1980 yards, 19 TD and rushed for 1146 yards.  But that's not the only reason.  Newton has been accused of cheating while he was enrolled at Florida two seasons ago.  He's also been accused of discussing a pay-for-play plan with Mississippi State recruiters.

But why is this news just coming out now?  If Auburn was currently 5-5 or 6-4 would this be out right now?  I doubt it.  It just goes to show that when you succeed and doing well, stuff in your past can come out to haunt you.  And people will do just about anything to bring you down.  It's sad really.

I'm not saying Newton is innocent and this stuff didn't happen.  But everybody is just assuming that he's guilty.  What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

Even if he did cheat at Florida, who cares?  What does that have to do with Auburn right now?  Would cheating at Florida affect his eligibility at Auburn?  No.  And it shouldn't either.

The more important thing should be whether or not the pay-for-play plan is true.  I'm not saying it didn't happen.  But if it's true, it will eventually come out.  It may be true, I'm just willing to give Newton the benefit of the doubt for now.  It just goes to show, if you succeed at something, there will always be people out there to get you and bring you down.

2010-2011 College Basketball Predictions


Final Four Predictions:

Stefan Ming's Picks:
Michigan State
(image) Duke
Ohio State

2011 National Champion:
Michigan State Spartans

Grittysquirrels Picks:
Ohio State
Michigan State

2011 National Champion: 
Duke Blue Devils

All-American Team:

Stefan Ming:
Jacob Pullen (Kansas St.)
Kalin Lucas (Michigan St.)
Jimmer Fredette (BYU)
Malcolm Delaney (Virginia Tech)
Harrison Barnes (UNC)

Player of the Year: Jacob Pullen (Kansas State)
Coach of the Year: Billy Donovan (Florida)

Kalin Lucas (Michigan St.)
Jacob Pullen (Kansas St.)
Kyle Singler (Duke)
Marcus Morris (Kansas)
JaJuan Johnson (Purdue)

Player of the Year: Jacob Pullen (Kansas St.)
Coach of the Year: Thad Matta (Ohio St.)

Hilarious meltdown by Florida Atlantic Color Commentator


This dude was so upset he was screaming out the pressbox and offered to fight anyone in the box who disagreed with him. It really doesn't get any better than that. Looks like this pretty much ruin Dave Lamont's chances of getting promoted to play-by-play at Florida International....oh well. Enjoy.

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2010 World Series Prediction


Ok I'm gonna make this a quick one.  Here's my World Series Preview:

We all know by now why the Giants and Rangers are facing off in this years World Series.  The Rangers Offense and the Giants pitching are those reasons.  The Giants face a tall task with Cliff Lee pitching two and maybe even three games if need be.  Good thing they have Tim Lincecum to counter.

(image) The Rangers have been great on the road in the playoffs but several factors will come into play.  AT&T Park is not a hitter friendly park.  Will
the huge McCovey Cove winds blowing in from left hurt Josh Hamilton?  You betcha.   Can Vladimir Guerrero cover the huge RF?  No he cannot.  The decisions of Ron Washington and Bruce Bochy and the way they play a back and forth chess match will be very intriguing.  Look for Bochy to utilize Javier Lopez when Hamilton/Cruz are up.  Both managers have made great decisions all the way, but only one will prevail in the end.

Another factor you cannot overlook is the Giants ability to win close games.  They have such great experience in these close, 1-2 run ball games.   The Rangers seem to struggle playing in close games and they only seem to do well when they're hitting and already up big.  That could be tough going against the best rotation they will face in the Giants.  The Giants have the advantage in the bullpen and with Brian Wilson yet to give up an earned run in the playoffs, this should make for a very compelling World Series.

Giants in 7

We should have seen this coming


(image) Why didn't anybody see this coming?  The reasons are clear why the San Francsico Giants and Texas Rangers are facing off in the World Series.  Sure, the Rangers have never been here before and the Giants haven't been in the playoffs since 2003, but it's pretty obvious.

The Rangers have the best offense in all of baseball right now.  They're deep, they get base runners and they have huge bats in the heart of their order.  The addition of Vladimir Guerrero and his stellar play (.300 avg, 29 HR, and 115 RBI) put a lot of pressure off of Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Michael Young.  Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler have been productive at the top, letting the big boppers drive them in.  This Ranger order is arguably the best in baseball.

I won't forget the pitching either.  Cliff Lee gave them an ace this team desperately lacked.  I always felt they were a couple of solid pitchers away from being a very dangerous team.  C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis are young guys who have also stepped up.

As for the Giants, it's clear their pitching is the reason they're still alive. They boast a phenomenal rotation and a very underrated bullpen.  Perhaps the best in all of baseball.  From September until the end of the season Brian Wilson converted 11/12 save opportunities.  Sergio Romo allowed 0 runs and 3 hits in 14 appearances.  Javier Lopez had a 1.59 ERA in 12 games.  Santiago Casilla and Ramon Ramirez combined for .36 ERA in 25 innings.

I also have to mention Cody Ross.  The Philly killer is another reason San Francisco is playing in the W.S.  The Giants also have the potential to hit one out of the park at any point in the game.  We saw Juan Uribe knock out the winning HR in Game 6 and he's their 8 hitter.  The offense may not be potent, but it can do it's fair share of damage.

As we know now, it's clear why these two ball clubs are playing in the World Series.  Texas's Offense and San Fran's pitching.  The only question that remains, is which aspect will prevail in the end.

Helmet hits a part of the game


The NFL decided to go tough on NFL players who commit "dangerous" or "flagrant" hits by suspending them.  Before this players were either fined or ejected for committing these hits.  More specifically it's about the recent helmet-to-helmet hits.
While I agree that players must be protected.  Helmet-to-helmet hits to defenseless players need to continue to be flagged and players fined as long as there was malicious intent.  But with that being said, it's just a huge gray area.  It's hard to tell if a player is maliciously hitting a player to hurt or injure them or if they're just doing their job.

These hits are a part of the game.  Just because you fine or suspend somebody doesn't mean they're going to suddenly stop.  Sure, you can protect players, which is important and a must, but these hits will continue to happen whether we want them to or not.

The NFL is a difficult and dangerous job.  In other words, it's a privilege to play in this league.  Players know the risks with strapping on that helmet.  A lot of people risk their lives with their jobs every single day.  Firefighters know they could die running into a house fire, power line operators know they could be electrocuted at any point.  Same goes with the NFL and taking a bone crushing hit.

What about baseball?  You could say pitchers should be suspended for hitting a batter in the head.  We don't know if they did it with intent or not.  The same goes with the NFL.

I do agree they should be illegal and something needs to be done.  But will suspending players make it stop?  It won't.  Helmet-to-helmet hits are a part of the game.  Players know the risks of playing in this league and taking excruciating hits.  Most players understand that.  The NFL needs to understand that too.

My Head Examination for the NFL


It seems like concussions have been occurring more than ever through the first 6 weeks of this NFL season. In fact, some sources count 46 known and diagnosed concussions thus far this season. The topic has been nearly unavoidable in the sports media the last few weeks and the NFL just announced that they are going to start suspending players for excessively violent hits to the head. Here is my free head examination for the NFL, its owners, and its players.I love football. In many cases what happens on Sunday sets the tone for my entire week. I agree that something must be done to protect the game's biggest assets (the players), however I don't believe that suspending players for helmet-to-helmet hits is the correct decision right now.The NFL is a violent game. It earned its popularity in America by being a violent game and has for many years treated it as a selling point with highlight reels and countdowns of huge hits backed by rock music. To have the first reaction of the league be to attempt to de-violence play on the field seems hypocritical to me, especially when it comes out that the league is selling photos of these violent hits. To try to de-violence the way the game is played is unnecessary at this point. The NFL profits from the violent nature of the league (literally). To me this looks like a panicking, knee-jerk decision by the NFL.This is a problem that could be taken care of differently by the commissioner, or even by the owners independently. If I were an NFL owner, I would make it mandatory that all my players wear the newer, lighter helmets that have scored the highest in the most recent league safety testing (the Schutt DNA Pro+ scored highest in the NFL's test). These helmets are stronger, have more padding, and are lighter, aka less of a weapon than other helmets. For this to be most effective it should be mandated league-wide so that everybody wears the same helmet.I would also require all players to wear mouth guards. Wearing a simple mouth guard is one of the best and easiest ways to protect yourself from concussions, yet many players do not wear them today. Along with the mandatory helmet changes, and mouth guards, I would also mandate all players buckle their chinstraps like the rules are written (the last time I remember the league even addressing the chinstrap rule/issue was 2007!). Don't get me wrong, I'm all for player safety and I think the NFL's intentions are good; they just aren't the right actions at this point. The league suspending players is unnecessary right now. It just creates more opportunities for judgement calls to be made by league officials that could significantly alter a team's season. The league needs to enforce the current rules it has in place, as well as proactively force owners to protect their players by issuing leaguewide safety regulations like the ones mentioned above. This would be a proactive way to react to the vicious spike in concussions the league has seen this season. Realistically the league shouldn't even have to mandate it. Any smart owner should be more than willing to protect their most valuable assets. The league should encourage owners to make these safety regulations and monitor the effects on the field. If the problem does not improve or worsens, then something additional may need to be done like suspending players for certain hits. For now, it is in the best interest of the league, its owners, and its players to address this issue at square 1. I believe this starts with somethings as simple as equipment and safety regulations.Players and owners are constantly referring to the NFL as a business. They are always expecting fans and players to understa[...]

NLCS Game 4 Live Blog


Join us on Wednesday as we'll be live blogging NLCS Game 4 at 6:30 CT between the Giants and Phillies. 

2010-2011 College Basketball Preseason Rankings 2.0


Here's our latest and up to date rankings.1. Michigan St.Key returnees:  Kalin Lucas, Korie Lucious, Draymond Green, Delvon RoeThe Spartans are loaded and experienced.  They're also coming off of back-to-back Final Fours.2. DukeKey returnees: Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler, Mason Plumlee, Miles Plumlee Duke should have one of the best backcourts in the nation.  With three starters back and the additions of recruit Kyrie Erving and transfer Seth Curry, the Devils have a good shot to repeat.3. PurdueKey returnees: Robbie Hummsel, Etwaun Moore, Jajuan Johnson, Lewis JacksonPurdue was in this same spot in last years preseason rankings. If Robbie Hummel stays healthy who knows how far they go. They may not have much depth, but there's plenty of talent around to make a Final Four run.4. PittsburghKey returnees: Gilbert Brown, Ashton Gibbs, Brad Wanamaker, Trayvonn Woodall6 of their top 7 scorers return.5. Ohio St.Key returnees: David Lighty, Jon Diebler, Willie Buford, Dallas LauderdaleAdd in recruits Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas with David Lighty, Jon Diebler, Willie Buford, and Dallas Lauderdale, and the Bucks could be just as good as last year.6. Kansas St.Key returnees: Jacob Pullen, Curtis Kelly, Jamar Samuels, Wally JudgeThe loss of Denis Clemente will hurt, but Jacob Pullen is good enough to have the Cats as the early Big XII favorite.7. VillanovaKey returnees: Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes, Antonio Pena, Maalik WaynsNova will once again have a solid backcourt lead by Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes.8. KansasKey returnees: Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris, Tyshawn Taylor, Brady MorningstarSherron Collins, Cole Aldrich, and Xavier Henry are impossible to replace. But the Jayhawks will still be a very deep team. They just need to find a consistent go-to scorer.9. FloridaKey returnees: Alex Tyus, Kenny Boynton, Vernon Macklin, Erving WalkerWatch out for Billy Donovan and his Gators. They return the whole squad. Look for Alex Tyus and Kenny Boynton to impress.10. North CarolinaKey returnees: John Henson, Tyler Zeller, Larry Drew, Dexter StricklandRegardless of what people might think UNC should be back again next season. Harrison Barnes is already regarded as the number one pick for 2011.  Depth could be an issue though.11. Baylor Key returnees: LaceDarius Dunn, Quincy Ace, Anthony Jones, A.J. WaltonEkpe Udoh and Tweety Carter will be big losses but recruit Perry Jones should help keep them as one of the best in the Big XII.12. MissouriKey returnees: Kim English, Marcus Denmon, Michael Dixon, Justin SaffordMike Anderson has people talking again in Columbia. They do lose 3 starters but return their top 3 scorers. Kim English is ready to break out; Tony Mitchell and Phil Pressey lead Zou's best class in several years.13. WashingtonKey returnees: Isiah Thomas, Venoy Overton, Justin Holiday, Matt Bryan-AmaningThe Huskies finally lived up to their potential in the postseason. They do lose Quincy Pondexter, but there's still plenty left in the stable.14. IllinoisKey returnees: Demetri McCamey, Mike Tisdale, Mike Davis, D.J. RichardsonThis will be a senior-laden team that has been scratching the surface waiting to break open. Next year will be that year.15. SyracuseKey returnees: Kris Joseph, Brandon Triche, Scoop Jardine, Rick JacksonThe loss of Wes Johnson, Arinze Onuaku, and Andy Rautins hurts, but frosh Fab Melo is ready to step up.  The starting five should be one of the best in the land.  16. GonzagaKey returnees: Steven Gray, Robert Sacre, Demetri Goodson, Elias HarrisWith a dominant front line and talented backcourt,  this could potentially be the Zags' best team[...]

2010 MLB Playoff Predictions: World Series


So here it is,  our World Series prediction.  Enjoy!
Phillies vs. Yankees

Here we go again.  Ever since last season ended I predicted the Yankees and Phillies would face off again.  And why not?  Both teams looked so dominant compared to everyone else.  The Phillies have arguably the best lineup in the bigs and now this season they have Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt complementing Cole Hamels.  Last season they had Cliff Lee.  But now they have two aces.  As for the Yankees,  I really couldn't see anybody overtaking them once again.  It really isn't that hard to predict.

As for the game,  I see this as another classic matchup.  The Phillies easily have the pitching edge with Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels.  The Yankees only have CC Sabathia.  If this series were to happen you better not miss game one with Halladay facing off vs. Sabathia.  My oh my.  Both offensive lineups are just stacked and I see them basically evening out.  As for the bullpen,  the Yankees have the advantage there with Mariano and Wood.  Look for another hell of a series if this happens.

Phillies in 7

2010 MLB Playoff Predictions: NL


Time for our NL Predictions!


Phillies vs. Reds
The Phillies are the heavy favorite to represent the NL in the World Series.  They have 3 very tough pitchers that will give them an advantage over almost every opponent.  The offense has been inconsistent but the past two seasons they've turned it on for the playoffs.  Keep an eye on Jimmy Rollins as he's not 100%.  As for the Reds, I can see them making this a good series.  They have capable pitching to matchup with Philly.  If Volquez, Cueto, and Arroyo get going Cincy can be very solid.  It remains to be seen whether the Reds' offense can put up enough runs after their up and down September/October.

Phillies in 4

Giants vs. Braves
This is a very intriguing matchup and the most compelling of the the divisional series IMO.  The key here will be how Atlanta plays in San Francisco.  If they sneak away with a split heading to ATL they will win this series.  The Braves finished with the best home record in all of baseball.  We all know about the Giants pitching, but it will come down to their off and on offense.  They are arguably the most inconsistent offense in the playoffs.   The pitching and defense will be there, but it will depend on how many runs the G men can put up consistently.  As for the Braves,  I am not sure if they have the pitching to match up.  But like I said, if they win in San Fran, anything can happen.

Giants in 5


Phillies vs. Giants
I think most people can say that this is the NL matchup they want to see.  The two best pitching staffs in all of baseball matching up in the NLCS.  You've got the two dominant rotations battling and two frivolous offenses squaring up.  Look for low scoring battles that will come down to who makes the least mistakes.

Phillies in 6

2010 MLB Playoff Predictions: AL


It's October folks so you know what that means, playoff baseball!  Here's our AL Playoff predictions.

Twins vs. Yankees
The Twins were looking  at a matchup with the Rangers.  Then the almost unthinkable happened.  The Yankees lost on Sunday so now the two best teams in the AL (IMO) are playing in the ALDS.  The Twins have struggled lately and their two best players have been hampered with injuries.  Their pitching will also need to be spot on.  Meanwhile, the Yankees are always ready in the playoffs and with CC Sabathia going game 1, they should have an edge despite not having home field advantage.  Twins absolutely need to sweep the first two games at home because I don't see them getting a win at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees in 4

Rays vs. Rangers
The Rangers have also been hit with injuries as well.  Josh Hamilton is not 100% and you cannot afford to have your big bat banged up.  I don't know if the Rangers pitching is good enough to advance.  Plus, Cliff Lee hasn't been his self lately.  The Rays have been very consistent in the past month and I see them continuing that trend especially with playing the first two games at home.

Rays in 4


Rays vs. Yankees
If any team wanted to take down the Yankees your best bet would have been to secure home field.  Well, the Rays have just that.  I see this as a great matchup and either team can win it all if they advance to the World Series.  I'm a little unsure about the Rays' bullpen in this, which is the most important unit when it comes to playoff baseball in my opinion.

Yankees in 6

2010 College Football Power Rankings: Week 4


Our first power rankings of the season.

(image) 1. Alabama
They deserve this spot until somebody knocks them off.  Big test this weekend @ Arkansas.  We'll see if they deserve this spot.

2. Ohio St.
Terrelle Pryor looks like a new man.  He has virtually been unstoppable and the defense has been unflappable.

3. Oregon
Best offense in the country.  This is a team that's being a little overlooked when it comes to the BCS National Title picture.

4. Boise St.
Another big test for them this weekend vs. Oregon State.  A win here and they will have a decent argument for a national title game berth.

5. Nebraska
This team looks that much better than last season.  The defense is still very stout and new QB Taylor Martinez has sparked the offense.

6. TCU
Defense looks good despite losing some big names.  Andy Dalton has the offense picking up where they left off in 2009.

7. Florida
Things looked a little bleak early but the offense is starting to click.  Now to stay healthy and keep their guys out of trouble.

8. Oklahoma
Schizophrenic team that can look dominant at times, other times far from that.

9. Texas
Defense still fairly good.  Gilbert looks to be continuing to improve.

10. Arkansas
I've said all along that this team was a big sleeper.  Ryan Mallet just may be the best QB in the country too.  They always seem to play number 1 teams tough.  Look out Bama.

11. Wisconsin
Looked a little iffy vs. Arizona St.  When running game is on they are tough.  We'll see how good they really are soon.

12. South Carolina
Is this the year Spurrier finishes top 2 in the SEC West?  Garcia has been solid at QB and the defense looks good as ever.

13. LSU
LSU is young and has speed.  They should continue to improve.

14. Arizona
Big win over Iowa puts them in this spot.

15. Iowa
Tough road loss to Zona.  They're still a very good team if they can overcome some injuries.

Not far from the pack:
Stanford, Miami, Michigan, Auburn, Utah

2010 College Football Preview: Pac-10


So at this point it's not exactly a preview but we'd still like to keep going with our predictions. I've got the Pac-10, Big XII and Big East so should have the other two up later this week, establishing at least a little credibility without the benefit of three weeks of scores to look at.

1. Oregon - Granted, one could look at the score of 72-0 over New Mexico and make a pretty strong case for their ability to challenge for the Pac-10 title. LaMichael James's return only strengthens a team that could contend for the national title if their offense clicks like it has been, even without Jeremiah Masoli.

2. Stanford - losing Heisman runner-up Toby Gerhart hurt, but QB Andrew Luck will be a first-round draft pick and has one of the better WR committees in the Pac-10.

3. USC - talent-wise USC is as good as ever, but their defense is young. Sophomore QB Matt Barkley should live up to the hype this year and into the next two seasons, if he stays in college football.

4. Oregon State - RB Jazquizz Rodgers is an early favorite for the Heisman, and if he can come on like he did late last season they could end up higher than 4th.

5. Arizona - They face a tough challenge in week three vs. Iowa. It should tell us a lot about where this team is at and if they could contend for a BCS bowl.

6. Arizona St. - they came on last season but still have some work to do, a tough matchup at #11 Wisconsin could be painful if they can't stop the run.

7. Washington - At this point, if Jake Locker can't live up to all the hype this team is in for a long season, playing three top 25 Pac-10 teams on the road.

8 . Washington State - A lack of playmakers doesn't give WSU much of a dynamic offense.

9 . California - Losing Jahvid Best gave them too much to make up

10. UCLA - A bad loss to Kansas State doesn't bode well for a down year at UCLA.

2010 College Football Preview: Big Ten


College Football is less than a week away, I'll do a quick preview of each conference.  Nothing to in-depth, but it's time to get back into the college football spirit.  Let's go!1. Ohio St.Terrelle Pryor is back and looking to continue his late season success.  Pryor will be in New York for the Heisman presentation and has a great chance to even win it.  The Buckeyes return 17 starters coming off a big Rose Bowl win over Oregon.  Brandon Saine and DeVier Posey are also back to help Pryor win a national title.2. IowaIowa surprised many last season.  They had a very stingy defense and return the majority of it.  The secondary will be arguably the best in the country.  Ricky Stanzi returns at QB, along with Adrian Clayborn at DE.  Look for the Hawkeyes to get back to a BCS Bowl.3. WisconsinWill UW finally live up to it's preseason hype?  I think so.  18 starters return in all.  RB John Clay is one of the best in the conference.  If the defense can hold it's own and fill some holes, they have a shot to win the Big Ten.4. Penn St.Penn St. returns a majority of it's players but they do lose QB Daryl Clark.  Evan Royster will be one of the best backs in the nation.  The defense should be decent again, but I don't think Joe Pa will get his 11 wins for the 4th time in the past 6 seasons.5. NorthwesternA team that was a sleeper last season and should be again in 2010.  They return a good nucleus of players that should make them very competitive again.  They do lose some key players including QB Mike Kafka and DE Corey Wootton, but look for the Cats to get a big surprise win again and play in another bowl game.6. MichiganI really see Michigan improving quite a bit this year.  They're older and more experienced and it took a bit to adjust to Rich Rodriguez's system.  Michigan is a about a year away from competing for the Big Ten title again, but they have a favorable conference schedule to finish in the top half.7.  Michigan St.MSU once again returns the majority of it's team but they never seem to live up to the preseason hype.  They will let Spartan nation down once again.  Their Big Ten schedule is fairly tough despite Ohio St. being left off.  Greg Jones leads a tough defense but I just don't see Sparty living up to the hype.8. PurdueLook for the Boilermakers to climb up the Big Ten latter again this season lead by WR Keith Smith and Miami QB transfer Robert Marve.9. IllinoisIllinois has some talent and Ron Zook always recruits well but he never seems to convert that into wins.10. MinnesotaGopher fans are starting to get frustrated with Tim Brewster.  He's recruited well the past few seasons, but look for Mini to have another miserable year.11. IndianaThe Hoosiers have a very talented WR core but that's it.Offensive Player of the Year: Terrelle Pryor, QB- OSUDefensive Player of the Year: Greg Jones, LB- MSUCoach of the Year: Rich Rodriguez- Michigan[...]

Howdy/Fantasy Talk


Howdy guys, I'm Kyle and was invited by Ming to share a few posts on this most prestigious blog. Looking forward to contributing.So after cracking open the first beer of the football season (if you count the preseason, that is) I got the usual head-rush of fantasy football. We all love it, we all hate the disappointment that comes when Maurice Jones-Drew costs you six points by kneeling on the one-yard line....or maybe that was just me. Anyway, fantasy football is almost as big a part of the excitement as the game itself, and I've put together a quick list of three players you need to draft in the next few weeks. Ryan Grant, RB Green Bay - Green Bay's biggest liability last year was their offensive line and to their staff's credit they addressed that mightily in the offseason by drafting Bryan Bulaga out of Iowa and Marshall Newhouse from TCU, two lineman who, in addition to signed free agents Nick McDonald (G) and Chris Campbell (OT), look to solidify what was a porous guard line that gave up the most sacks in the NFL. What this means for fantasy owners is that not only will the Packers' running fame be more protected (and let's not forget that Ryan Grant still had a 1,200-yard season), but that with the proclivity of a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers you have to expect teams to adopt a more pass-oriented defense scheme in preparation for a trip to Lambeau. That one-two punch should give Grant plenty of touches in a variety of situations and while I'm not ready to pull the trigger and make him a starter in most situations he'd be a great No. 2 or flex option. Beanie Wells, RB Arizona - Paul Allen called Wells a potential starter on his KFAN show Friday, and while I'm not buying it Wells does deserve a look as another fallback option at RB. With Kurt Warner's departure Arizona's passing game should wane as Matt Leinart adjusts to his newfound franchise representation, and that means more touches for the ground guys. Carries are mostly going to be split between Tim Hightower and Wells, but don't think the Arizona coaching staff is overlooking Wells' numbers from last season: 4.5 YPC with 7 TDs. Make him a 250-carry kind of guy and those numbers mean big fantasy points. Jermichael Finley, TE Green Bay - Yes, another Packer. The mojo of Brett Favre is going to hate me but with a guy like Finley you can't go wrong. The aforementioned O-Line addressing of the Packer coaching staff means more protection for QB Aaron Rodgers, and that's going to equate to more catches to every one of his passers, including one guy that came on late in the season - Jermichael Finley. He didn't start for the first half of the season so his impressive stats (55-676-5) are essentially half-season numbers which, combined with another year to adjust to the speed of the NFL should mean Finley could, potentially, be an NFC Pro Bowler TE. Another quick factoid - he missed three games in November due to a knee issue but still ranked 4th in red zone targets in the league.A short list, yes, but I'll have something else up later in the week. Again, looking forward to contributing here at TSF. [...]

World Cup Semifinal Predictions


Netherlands vs. Uruguay

(image) If somebody told you a month ago that these were two of the teams to meet in the semi's would you have believed them?  I wouldn't have.  Although I am not too surprised by Uruguay because of their lighter path, I am by the Netherlands. They're a very good squad but Brazil is so dominant.  I expect this to be a close match-up.  Netherlands hasn't really played well until their upset over the Brazilians.  I think Uruguay has some great talent as well and can send the cup back to South American soil.

Prediction: Uruguay 1-0 (Extra Time)

Spain vs. Germany

Two powerhouses clash.  Germany has been the more consistent team in this WC.  Spain has been just merely getting by.  I wouldn't be surprised to see Germany kinda stack their back line and force Spain to win it.  Spain needs to be on it's game from the get go because as Argentina saw, if you don't come out on top of your game right away they will blow you away.

Prediction: Germany 2-1