SportsTemps home

Sunday, November 29, 2009

NCAA Top 25 - Week 12

Rivalry week spoiled a few teams hopes and dreams. The showdown is set for Bama vs. FU...Gators are hot right now. I have to break my rules about how many spots you can fall when it's rivalry week.

1. Florida - Turns out, that Tebow guy is still pretty good. He's like a Tommy Frazier real NFL impact in my eyes.
2. Texas - A&M gave them a run most of the game, but McCoy and the Horns just didn't make many mistakes and the Aggies did.
3. Alabama - Hopefully, Ingram is healthy for the SEC Title game, otherwise the Tide will not roll.
4. Boise State - Nevada turned out to be no challenge, but other losses have all but guaranteed them their deserved BCS game.
5. TCU - Apparently they've beaten their spread 9 staight weeks before running into New Mexico. 44 points was just too much to cover as they sneaked out a 41 point win.
6. Cincinnati - Tony Pike returns to lead the Bearcats over an awful Illinois team. I still think Pitt has a shot to ruin their party.
7. Ohio State - bye week bliss
8. Oregon - Civil War for the Rose Bowl against OSU staring them down.
9. Virginia Tech - I guess timing is everything. Haven't lost in 4 weeks and now climb into my top 10 again.
10. Penn State - Despite losing to Iowa, the AP and Coach's Polls have them ahead of the Hawkeyes. So who gets the at-large bid?
11. BYU
12. USC
13. Georgia Tech
14. Utah
15. LSU
16. Iowa
17. Miami
18. Pitt
19. Nebraska
20. Cal
21. Oregon State
22. Stanford
23. Central Michigan
24. Arizona
25. Houston
(Just out: Oklahoma State, Ohio)

Special Upset BCS Bowl Projections
Championship - Alabama vs. TCU
Orange - Clemson vs. Texas
Fiesta - Nebraska vs. Boise State
Sugar - Florida vs. Pitt
Rose - Oregon State vs. Ohio State

2009-2010 Big Ten Preview

Another exciting season of NCAA Basketball is underway. As I did last year, I will again predict the Big Ten standings for the upcoming season. Here we go:

11. Iowa
Coach: 2009 proved to be even more difficult to stomach than anyone expected in Iowa City. Last year I wrote:

Lickliter's biggest challenge is getting good players. He's been the first to admit that it's a challenge to recruit Big Ten players and not just guys who fit his scheme.

This appears even more apparent this season after a mass exodus of last year's team. If the Hawkeyes don't improve upon their 15-17 record this could be it for Lickliter.
Lineup: G Matt Gatens, G Anthony Tucker, G Cully Payne, F Jarryd Cole, F Brennan Cougill
Bench: Eric May, Devan Bawinkel, Aaron Fuller, Andrew Brommer
Star: Matt Gatens is head and shoulders the best player on this team. With his versatility and high percentage shooting, he could go down as one of the best Hawkeyes ever.
Top Freshman: Cully Payne
NIT Bid: No

10. Indiana
Coach: Tom Crean has shown he is a master recruiter and a patient mentor. He inherited a Hoosier team bereft of all talent and only managed to win one conference game. This season, with the conference's top recruiting class and a few of last year's recruits on board, IU looks to make some noise as they attempt to move up the ranks. They're still a year away though.
Lineup: PG Verdell Jones III, G Maurice Creek, G Jeremiah Rivers, F Tom Pritchard, F/C Christian Watford
Bench: Derek Elston, Devan Dumes, Jordan Hulls, Bobby Capobianco
Star: Look for Verdell Jones to really improve now that he has some legitimate players around him.
Top Freshman: Christian Watford
NIT Bid: No

9. Penn St.
Coach: Last year may have been the most successful season in Nittany Lion history. Snubbed by the NCAA despite finishing 4th in the Big Ten and winning 23 games, this team went on to win the NIT championship proving its doubters wrong. Yet Ed DeChellis knows this season may be even tougher after the departure of three seniors. But as long as Talor Battle is around this team will scare people.
Lineup: G Talor Battle, G Jeff Brooks, F Andrew Jones, G Chris Babb, F David Jackson
Bench: Tim Frazier, Cammeron Woodyard, Adam Highberger
Star: Talor Battle was all Big Ten last year as a sophomore. This guy is a true game changer.
Top Freshman: Tim Frazier
NIT Bid: Yes

8. Illinois
Coach: Bruce Weber got his team back to the tournament last year. However the good news ends there. When Sr. guard Chester Frazier got went down late in the year, the Illini offense went with him. Putrid offensive showings vs. Purdue in the Big Ten tournament and in a blowout loss to 12th seeded Western Kentucky have left a bad taste in everyone's mouth. Unfortunately last year's team had several seniors so a minor step back may occur this season. For the first time in his tenure, Weber managed to bring in two of the top freshmen in the conference. If these two can contribute right away look for the Illini to return to the NCAA Tournament.
Lineup: G Demitri McCamey, G Brandon Paul, G DJ Richardson, F Mike Davis, C Mike Tisdale
Bench: Alex Legion, Bill Cole, Dominique Keller, Jeffrey Jordan
Star: Mike Davis exploded last year. Named to the Big Ten 2nd team, he averaged 11.3 pts/game and led the Big Ten in rebounding.
Top Freshman: DJ Richardson. Richardson's team went 33-0 and won the state title his senior year.
NIT Bid: Yes

7. Northwestern
Coach: Bill Carmody almost got his team where no Northwestern team had ever been: the NCAA Tournament. With a team loaded with seniors this looked to be the year, if ever, they would finally make it. Unfortunately a pre-season injury to the team's best player may prevent the Wildcats from reaching their full potential. Good teams tend to struggle against NWU as their 1-3-1 zone defense causes opponents fits. I'm not sure Carmody's job is on the line but if they don't make the tournament it will be another disappointing season in Evanston.
Lineup: G Michael Thompson, G Jeremy Nash, G/F Drew Crawford, F John Shurma, C Luka Mirkovic
Bench: Kyle Rowley, Alex Marcotullio, Ivan Peljusic
Star: With Kevin Coble out for the year, Michael Thompson assumes the reins of team superstar. Only 5'10", he's a strong rebounder and penetrator
Top Freshman: Drew Crawford
NCAA Bid: No

6. Wisconsin
Coach: Never count Bo Ryan out. I, for one, thought last season's team would be awful. Although they didn't dominate the way some Badger teams of the past have done, they still won 20 games and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. This season will be even more of a challenge after his top two players graduated. Expect more Wisconsin basketball: slow, grinding offense and an in-your-face defense focused on rebounding. I don't see a lot of talent on this squad but as I already said, don't count Bo Ryan out.
Lineup: PG Trevon Hughes, G Jason Bohannon, G/F Tim Jarmusz, F Keaton Nankivil, F Jon Leuer
Bench: Ryan Evans, Jordan Taylor, Mike Bruesewitz
Star: Trevon Hughes is lightning quick and one of the best defensive players in the country.
Top Freshman: Mike Bruesewitz
NCAA Bid: Yes

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NCAA Top 25 - Week 11

Many Championship games have now been set, including my beloved Skers facing the Horns on December 5. If Alex Henry keeps punting like he did against K-State, Texas will have some very long drives needed for points.

1. Florida - Arguably played a tougher opponent than Alabama, since FIU is at least Div-1, and beat them more convincingly.
2. Texas - Handled Mangini's Jayhawks and have a snoozer next week against A&M; Horns play down in big games...maybe Nebraska has a shot in the Title
3. Alabama - Mark Ingram or Dan LeFevour (Central Michigan) for Heisman?
4. Boise State - Another big win Friday night; hard to say who's better between Boise and TCU, but Nevada next Friday is no gimme for the Broncos...fortunately, it's on the blue turf
5. TCU - Wyoming was no test...neither will be New Mexico...I think they should play Alabama in the Sugar, but it sounds like Orange gets 1st pick?
6. Cincinnati - bye news is good news for Bearcats? Really only Pitt stands in their way.
7. Georgia Tech - Same as Cinci...both have big rivalries coming up that could spell disaster, and Bulldogs need redemption
8. Ohio State - The Maize and Blue made it interesting, but Buckeyes make it 6 straight, they're longest streak against the Wolverines ever.
9. Pitt - bye week also...watched UConn take down Notre Dame making 2 straight wins for Big East over Domers
10. Oregon - This was quite a game as I understand it...I only watched the 1st quarter, but the final score tells me it was a dogfight
11. Penn State
12. Oklahoma State
13. Utah
14. Virginia Tech
15. BYU
16. USC
17. Iowa
18. Clemson
19. Cal
20. LSU
21. Nebraska
22. Oregon State
23. Stanford
24. Temple
25. Central Michigan
(Just out: Ole Miss, Arizona)

BCS Bowl Projections
Championship - Texas vs. Florida
Orange - Georgia Tech vs. TCU
Fiesta - Penn State vs. Boise State
Sugar - Alabama vs. Cincinnati
Rose - Ohio State vs. Oregon

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NCAA Top 25 - Week 10

We need a new "logo" since Bill & Ted has apparently expired. I'm making my picks before the last game is over because, simply put, Oregon is on their way to winning big (31-7 at half).

1. Florida - Knew Spurrier would have something for his old crew, but as expected, it was not enough. Tebow becomes alone atop SEC TDs list.
2. Texas - Beat Baylor Bears beyond betting odds...had to go for as many consecutive B's as possible once I got started :)
3. Alabama - Slow start but they literally ran away with it in the 2nd half. I'm naming my kid Mark Ingram Taege because apparently that's a good name for future NFLers.
4. Boise State - Reminds Idaho that their surprising season does NOT mean they are a formidable opponent for their rival.
5. TCU - DESTROYS Utah!!! I watched the first half and was amazed at all aspects of this team. Too bad Texas will be playing Bama/Gators for the Title, cuz Boise vs. TCU would probably be more entertaining.
6. Cincinnati - Wins a battle vs. West Virginia. Another team that probably deserves title consideration...if they beat Pitt in the season finale. Nice to see the Big East title work itself out that way.
7. Georgia Tech - Locked themselves into the ACC title vs. BC or Clemson. I'd prefer BC since Clemson already had their shot...though Clemson holds the tie-break AND is playing good football right now AND has only 1 ACC game left vs. Virginia while BC still has to play the up-and-down Tar Heels and then Maryland.
8. Ohio State - Even without Stanzi, the Hawkeyes D kept it close and took OSU to overtime to earn their spot in the Rose Bowl.
9. Pitt - Seemed to be in control the whole game over ND, but Jimmy Clausen keeps his team in it. Did anyone predict the Panthers to be in this position? Pitt or Cinci in the Orange Bowl.
10. LSU - This is the worst 2-loss team imaginable. They haven't won an impressive game all year, but with everyone around them losing, they keep finding a way into my top-10.
11. Oregon
12. Penn State
13. Oklahoma State
14. Utah
15. Stanford
16. Virginia Tech
17. USC
18. BYU
19. Iowa
20. Wisconsin
21. Clemson
22. Cal
23. Nebraska
24. Arizona
25. Rutgers
(Just out: Temple, Central Michigan)

BCS Bowl Projections
BCS Title - Texas vs. Florida
Sugar Bowl - Bama vs. TCU
Orange Bowl - Ga Tech vs. Cincinnati
Fiesta Bowl - Penn State vs. Boise State
Rose Bowl - Ohio State vs. Oregon

Sunday, November 8, 2009

NCAA Top 25 - Week 9

Read this:

Doesn't speak well of my beloved 'Skers, especially after their outstanding defensive performance for the 3rd straight week. Although it's obviously not JUST Nebraska that looks scared of the Blue Broncos. I hope this article reaches the voters and gets Boise into the title game...if Florida, Texas, Alabama, TCU, and Cinci all lose.


1. Florida - Vandy proves to be no problem. Gators looking good for Pasadena.
2. Texas - See above...swap "UCF" in place of "Vandy" and "Horns" for "Gators".
3. Bama - Truth is, I wanted them to beat LSU, but it was kind of nice watching the Tide struggled for 3 quarters.
4. Boise - I'm singing a new song after the article above. I didn't realize Boise has tried to make a harder schedule and can't get an opponent. I'm hard-pressed to put a WAC team in the big game over and undefeated Big East or even MWC school.
5. TCU - next...
6. Cincinnati - Yikes! The offense is fine without Pike...the D needs to really step it up or Bearcats will lose to Noel Divine and West Va on Friday.
7. Georgia Tech - Wake gives top talent in ACC a real scare for the second week in a row. Meanwhile, 3 top-10s go down and Yellow Jackets move up!
8. Ohio State - This team WOULD beat USC now anyway.
9. USC - This USC team is not looking good. They started the year with impressive wins but have been about 3rd or 4th best in the Pac-10 for the past month.
10. Utah - Sets up a nice Saturday night battle of Top 10 teams from the Mountain West this week with their battle against TCU.
11. Pitt
12. LSU
13. Miami
14. Arizona
15. Houston
16. Penn State
17. Iowa
18. Oklahoma State
19. Oregon
20. BYU
21. Virginia Tech
22. Stanford
23. South Florida
24. Wisconsin
25. Troy
(Just out: Clemson, Nebraska)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NCAA Top 25 - Week 8

A few scares for some of the top 25, but not many resulted in true "upsets."

1. Florida - Defeated Georgia in the way they should have been playing all year long. Poised to finish this out and repeat as Champs?
2. Texas - Also back to their winning ways after recent scares again Oklahoma and Colorado.
3. Alabama - A good week for the bye, as they weren't going to move up anyway.
4. Boise State - Another blowout of a terrible WAC opponent. That Oregon win is all they've got to hang their blue-turf hats on.
5. TCU - Blowout city. Next week should be more of the same at SDSU. But look out for Utah in 2 weeks.
6. Cincinnati - Doing it with a backup QB...Connecticut next week hasn't really shown the kind of talent to stop the Bearcats.
7. Iowa - Definitely a 2nd half team. Trailed the Hoosiers going into the 4th before lighting up the scoreboard with 4 straight TDs.
8. Oregon - Excellent performance against USC, but they can't stop now with games at Stanford, at Arizona, and the Civil War against OSU.
9. LSU - I'm not a believer in the Bayou Bengals...beat Alabama next week and I'll believe.
10. Georgia Tech - Another top 10 team that struggled to get going...finally put Vandy away in the 4th.
11. Penn State
12. USC
13. Ohio State
14. Utah
15. Pitt
16. Houston
17. Miami
18. Arizona
19. Notre Dame
20. Cal
21. Oklahoma State
22. BYU
23. Virginia Tech
24. South Florida
25. Wisconsin
(Just out: Idaho, Troy)