What To Watch For: College Football Week 6

Boy oh boy, this is going to be one crazy weekend, and as of Thursday night, it already has been insane.  We have not four, not five, but six games between ranked opponents.  We have SEC Conference match ups, heated out of conference rivalries, and other sneaky games.  In the Upset Alert part of the column, their will be no alerts on the ranked match ups.  Those picks will be in the first part, which is below.

Arizona vs. No.2 Oregon will be featured in Sucks To Be You

No.6 Texas A&M vs. No.12 Mississippi State

The first big game of the day takes place in one of the best conferences.  The Bulldogs, who are shockingly favored by -3, led by Dak Prescott, will have a huge home field advantage against the Aggies.  This game, with massively high powered offenses, should be high scoring.  This could easily be a 51-45 game, but both teams have tough defenses.  Mississippi State is a little overrated, and those holes will be exposed versus the Aggies.  Prediction: A&M-35 Mississippi State-25

No.4 Oklahoma vs. No.25 TCU

Another conference match up, one team will exit this game with a undefeated record no more.  The Horned Frogs are 3-0 heading into this game, which was good enough for them to earn a ranking.  Another situation where both teams can easily put up points, the Sooners should and will win this game, though TCU will put up a fight.  Prediction: Oklahoma-29 TCU-24

No.14 Stanford vs. No.9 Notre Dame

(Homerism possible)

Oh boy, this a fun one.  This is easily the Fighting Irish’s toughest opponent yet.  The Cardinal and Irish both have incredible defenses, and this great rivalry is pretty accustom to that.  Look, this is a simple equation for this game.  If the Irish turn the ball over, Stanford wins.  If the Irish play good, smart football, they win.  Don’t expect many points, at all.  Prediction: Notre Dame-12 Stanford-9

No.3 Alabama vs. No.11 Ole Miss

If your a Bulldogs (State) fan, you may not want to read this.

Ole Miss is totally underrated.  Totally.  I think their top 10, and better than Stanford and Notre Dame.  A good offense with a incredible defense usually means good things.  The Rebels have a very, very tough task ahead of them.  Alabama dropped to No.3, more due to a very scary Oregon team (which now, not so much).  They’re a great team, but this SEC schedule could display some problems for them, and it starts here.  Prediction: Ole Miss-24 Alabama-21

No.15 LSU vs. No.5 Auburn

ANOTHER SEC match up this weekend.  Can this get any better?  Anyways, the Tigers, wait, oh yea, there is to many Tigers in the SEC.

How I am going to write this without going crazy?

Okay.  I picked Auburn to win the SEC this year.  I like that squad, and so far, it looks pretty good.  They have a ridiculously hard schedule, but everyone in the SEC does.  This is the first test.  LSU has had a lot of problems so far, as expected for a young team.  The running game hasn’t showed up, which is still concerning me.  I don’t expect a lot of points, unless Auburn kills LSU.  That won’t happen, but the higher ranked Tigers will get it done.  Prediction: Auburn-28 LSU-17

No.19 Nebraska vs. No.10 Michigan State

A 5-0 Nebraska team and a 3-1 Michigan State team? What is happening?

Nebraska has pulled of some wild things so far, and it’s a little scary.  The BIG 10 isn’t good at all, and this may just be the best game this season within that conference.  I have doubts with both of these teams.  Neither will make the Playoff.

I’m trying not to just rip on this conference.  Let’s stay focused on the game.

Anyways, the Cornhuskers run the football, a lot.  The real match up is the Nebraska running game against the Michigan State defense.  If one can out do the other, that team wins.  Don’t expect a lot of points either.  My gut tells me Sparty, and I want to pick Nebraska, but I’m sticking with my gut.  Prediction: Michigan State-17 Nebraska-14

Other Interesting Games

Florida vs. Tennessee

All SEC match ups are great, though this is probably the worst this year.  Tennessee, 2-2, is favored and are located close to the bottom of the SEC East.  They almost pulled off a upset over Georgia last week.  I think they take this game.  The Gators have trouble throwing the football.  Tennessee could easily shut them down. Keyword: could.  See, the Gators without a passing game also have a running game, and it’s pretty good.  If the Vols can shut down the Gator offense completely, they win.  Prediction: Tennessee-28 Florida-17

Arizona State vs. No.16 USC

After getting stomped on by UCLA last week, ASU is looking to redeem themselves after it.  The problem is, they have to get past the Bruin’s crosstown rival, USC.  The Sun Devils will be without Taylor Kelly for the second game, which majorly contributed to the stomping last week.  USC has one incredible stat on their table: They are the only FBS team to not have given up a passing TD so far this year.  That’s a problem for the Devils.  It kills me to say they have no chance, but honestly, it isn’t looking great for Sparky and the crew.  Prediction: USC-42 ASU-28

Upset Alerts

No.20 Ohio State vs. Maryland

Hey look, another BIG 10 team finding themselves in this part of the column!

Ohio State has been better than I expected them to be after Braxton Miller was inured.  J.T. Barrett has been doing fine, but this week, the second Buckeye loss could occur.  I like Maryland.  They are interesting.  4-1 in the BIG 10 will get you somewhere this year.  They can score too!  The Terps have home field, which is huge against Ohio State.  I expect a lot of points, and this will end at the wire.




MLB NLDS Preview

Who would”ve thought that the Cardinals and Dodgers would be playing in the first round of the Postseason?  I didn’t.  I thought this could have been the NLCS, like last year.  I know the Cardinals play their best ball in late September and October, which leads into the preview of this series.

The NL has a better division series than the AL this year.  Giants-Nationals is sure to deliver, in which way?

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

This series is going to be incredible.  Both teams have good lineups and pitching staffs.  Questions surround the Cardinals, though.  Can they hit the ball well enough?  Is their pitching staff good enough?

Yes and no.

Their pitching staff is good.  Just good.  And that’s a problem against the Dodgers, who can destroy you if given the opportunity.  St. Louis has Adam Wainwright, who is obviously one the best in the game, Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller, and Lance Lynn.  And that’s not good enough? Really?

Most likely.  The Dodgers are just so good at everything, and they may be underrated.  That pains me to say.  I hate the Dodgers!  And I just touted them!  They’re probably going to win this series.

The Dodgers really have no problems.  I can see why their the favorite for the World Series.  This team is complete, and really, it would be a disappointment if they didn’t get there, for baseball, and for their fans.

Prediction: Los Angeles in 3

Washington Nationals vs. San Francisco Giants

(Homerism Possible)

The Giants shut out the Pirates at home in the NL Wild Card Game, ending the Pirates great season.  I had the Giants all the way, claiming that Madison Bumgarner would pitch well enough to get them past the Bucs.

He did more than that.  Ten strikeouts and complete game helped the Giants cruise to 8-0 win. It was a complete embarrassment for the Bucs.

The Giants find themselves playing the NL best Washington Nationals in the NLDS.  This should be a great series, and will deliver lots of pitching. These team played a three game series in the second half of the season, and that ended up the exact opposite of how I thought.

The Giants won the first game 10-3, then lost the next two, 6-2 and 14-6.  It was crazy how many runs each team scored in the series.  It could just be a overreaction, though this series could produce the same, based on what we saw before.  The Nats and Giants have better rotations than lineups.  I expect the series to be low scoring.  Both teams have pop, though.  It depends on who’s pitching for each team.

I love the Nats rotation, especially with Jordan Zimmerman coming off a no-hitter.  Both teams have a ton of momentum. This could be high-scoring, or could be a pitching duel.  I’m not sure what to think.  I do know, this will be a high competitive series, and will go five games.

Prediction: Giants in 5

Why Are All The Bad Hockey Teams In Canada?

This beats me. As I look at teams and start to predict them, a trend is very common. I hate talking about bad hockey teams.  It sucks, which is why this will be brief.

Canada has almost no good hockey teams. It’s unbelievable! The country where the sport was first played and invented has no good teams, at least in the NHL.

This is the same case with soccer in the USA. The best players don’t play in the MLS, because the best leagues and players are in Europe. That’s why America doesn’t play attention to it. The skill level isn’t there.  The sport of hockey is huge in Canada and northern area of the U.S. This is where players are developed at young ages.

Looking at the Eastern Conference, the Senators and Maple Leafs aren’t great, though Toronto is a interesting team,  but they aren’t certain a playoff bid. Obviously, the Canadians are stacked and should be considered contenders for the conference. But up in Ottawa, the closest team to hockey’s invention, the Senators are terrible. Expect to see them at the bottom of the conference.

Moving West, the Oilers, Jets, Flames, and Canucks are not great either. Those four teams finished in the bottom four of the Western Conference last year. The Jets could be interesting, but I’m not willing to take them yet. The Canucks are in total rebuild mode. They traded Ryan Kessler, one of their best players, to one of the best teams in the Conference in Anaheim.  Who else does that?

I’m also skeptical about the Oilers. They have a ton of young guys, and if they don’t step up, it could be trouble for their coach and front office. They haven’t done anything for years. There is hope, however.

Out of Canada, the Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabers are the bottom tier in the East.  The Sabers traded Ryan Miller to St.Louis and got back multiple prospects and picks.  There is really no hope this year.  It’s total rebuild mode.  The Panthers also have a similar fate.  They brought in some guys, which people have hope about, but not I’m ready to put them any higher yet.

Out West, the Nashville Predators are the only bad team not in Canada.  It’s to bad.  This squad  used to be a consistent and a sometimes scary team, though multiple bad decisions in front office and firing their coach over the past years has plagued them.  Don’t expect much this year.

This column is relativity short, mostly cause I don’t want to spend many words on bad teams.  I feel pretty confident these teams will be bad though.  Surprises could include Winnipeg and Toronto.

Sucks To Be You!

MLB ALDS Preview

The Wild Card games have concluded, and we are ready for the next round of the MLB Postseason, the Division Series.  Both match ups in the AL are super interesting, One I am totally sold on, one, I’m not.

The division series is a best-of-five series.  First one to win three game advances.

Baltimore Orioles vs. Detroit Tigers

I touched on the Orioles playoff hopes in the Chris Davis column.  I noted that injuries are killer to this team, and it will hurt them.  Well, guess what?  It still will.  The Tigers pitching staff is ridiculous, and the rotation they have slated for this series is scary.

Have fun with that, O’s lineup.

I really don’t care how good the O’s did in the regular season.  They play in a bad division, and had most of their injuries occured late.  Baltimore has a decent starting rotation.  It’s not great, but not bad.  Their advantage is the relieving side of pitching.  Compared to the Tigers relief pitching, the O’s kill them.

I’m not even going to talk about the Tigers relief pitching.  It is so bad.  The really humiliating thing is that these are names that should be doing well.  And their not.  If you ask a average baseball fan if they think Joe Nathan, Al Albuquerque, Jokaim Soria, and Jim Johnson are good pitchers, they would probably say yes, minus Jim Johnson, he’s got more of a notable name then game.

And what have they done?  Nothing. They’ve all been terrible.

And after all of that ranting, I’m still taking the Tigers.  If the starters can get past six innings for Detroit against a weak O’s lineup, they will be on to the ALCS.

Prediction: Tigers in 4

Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals

You got to give it to the Royals.  As much as I gave them a hard time in the Wild Card preview, I still pulling for them, and good lord, look at what they.

Now, it really bugs me.  I don’t know which way to go.  Going against them could cost me, and going for them could be embarrassing.  They are so tough to figure out, and really, the Royals match up better with the Angels then the A’s.

The Halo’s pitching staff isn’t stunning, but is pretty good.  Garrett Reynolds had a devastating and unfortunate injury covering 1st, and he was their best pitcher.  That, will hurt them.  Even though the Royals can’t score, they are sneaky.  They proved it in the Wild Card Game.  The KC offense can burst, but against this Angels rotation, it will be hard.  It’s different when you have to face three good pitchers in three pivotal games.  The Royals faced Jon Lester for 7.1 innings Tuesday.  It going to be tough.

The Angels have a really good lineup.  Obviously, Mike Trout is the best player in the Majors.    Josh Hamilton hasn’t been great this year, but can hit unexpectedly.  David Freese, Albert Pujols, and Howie Kendrick are also featured.  It’s a great lineup, overall.  The Royals pitchers have a tough task.

As I said up top, I have no idea where to go.  Whichever one I choose,  I will probably be wrong.  The Angels may blow us away, or the Royals could do something completely, and spectacularly, unexpected.

Prediction: Angels in 5