Saturday, September 25, 2010

Week 3 Picks and a Ban of BCS Activity

Okay, I’m going to beat everyone to the punch this week. I’ve always had a tendency to do things early. I make Christmas lists in July and I start listening to Christmas music in October (but those are understandable because Christmas is awesome.) I pick NFL and NBA games the day the schedules come out and I plan almost everything ahead of time (but that’s acceptable because much like Christmas, NFL and NBA are awesome). It’s just a habit. So like usual, I’m going to make an argument way earlier than most will… You ready? The BCS is stupid and the fact that there is no post season tournament in college football is absolutely idiotic! There I said it, and I said it 7 weeks earlier than anyone else was going to say it. Why wait until Boise St and TCU are both 9-0 and are getting no consideration for a BCS Championship berth to start this argument? Give me one good reason why there shouldn’t be a college football postseason tournament… Don’t worry I’ll wait. Don’t bring up money either because common fans don’t care about the money that everyone involved in BCS is making. Don’t cry to me that the players will miss school. Like their school work matters that much anyways. And don’t say they will be playing too many games. A lot of these players will soon be playing a 16 game NFL season, so they could get used to it. Just like me, you probably want a College Football Tournament. I have figured out exactly how this will work, and I would love to share with you. Note to Readers: any potential/future conference changes are not going to be taken into account. I don't want to give myself a headache.

We are going to use the AP and Coaches polls to determine which teams we take into the end of the year tournament, which will appropriately be called “The Tournament Everybody Has Wanted for Years.” The winner of every former “BCS conference” will not get an automatic spot. If one conference doesn’t have one of the 16 best teams in the country, then they are not going to be in the tournament. We will take the top 16 teams from the combination of the AP and Coaches polls and make a 1-16 tournament bracket. That settles that.

My tournament will start on the 1st weekend in December and will conclude on New Years Day. The games in each round will be played at the following sites:
1st round- Holiday Bowl, Music City Bowl, Alamo Bowl, Outback Bowl, Insight Bowl, Independence Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Liberty Bowl
Quarterfinals- Capital One Bowl, Gator Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl
Semi-Finals- Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl
Championship- Rose Bowl

So why am I doing this? It’s the best way to prove who the best team is, it gives teams who wouldn’t have a shot at a title a shot, and it’s a hell of a lot more entertaining. Plus, we get the same amount of games, but the games are higher quality. The remaining bowl games that aren’t involved in the tournament will still be played with the same conference affiliations as usual, they will just be played with better teams. Better teams= more entertaining and watchable games= the Holiday Bowl getting a higher attendance and television draw than normal because it’s a first round game of a postseason tournament rather than the host of the third best team in the Pac-10 and fifth best team of the Big 12. So let’s take a look at what this would look like as of right now. And another note to the reader, from now on when I do bowl projections I will do it in this format. I am banning any type of BCS activity from this point on in my blog. For any teams that have the same combined ranking (ranks in the polls adds up to the same amount), their ranking will be decided by which team is currently of highest rank in their conference.

1st Round:
Holiday Bowl- 1. Alabama vs. 16. Auburn
Music City Bowl- 8. Florida vs. 9. Oklahoma
Alamo Bowl- 5. Oregon vs. 12. Utah
Outback Bowl- 4. TCU vs. 13. LSU
Insight Bowl- 6. Texas vs. 11. Wisconsin
Independence Bowl- 3. Boise St. vs. 14. South Carolina
Chick-Fil-A Bowl- 7. Nebraska vs. 10. Arkansas
Liberty Bowl- 2. Ohio St. vs. 15. Arizona

The Capital One Bowl will be the host of the 1/16 vs. 8/9 matchup. The Gator Bowl will be the host of the 5/12 vs. 4/13 matchup. The Cotton bowl will feature the winners of the 6/11 and 3/14 games. And the Fiesta Bowl will be the host of the 7/10 vs. 2/15 matchup. In the semi-finals, The Orange Bowl will feature the semi-final of the upper half of the bracket and The Sugar Bowl will feature the semi-final of the bottom half of the bracket. The Rose Bowl game will be the Championship.

I’m still waiting to hear why this isn’t the best idea that ever happened to college football. I’m pretty sure I will be waiting for quite a while.
Onto the picks, where last week I finished 7-3 picking college football and 10-6 picking NFL. Oddly enough, that’s the same overall record from week 1. So through two weeks, I am 15-5 picking college football, 19-13 picking NFL, which equals 34-18 overall. Something of note though, on Yahoo Sports I am 36-21 picking college games against the spread, which has landed me in the 98th percentile and 1,029th in the country. Yeah, that’s pretty good. Week 3 picks ladies and gentlemen:

College Football
Georgia Tech over NC State
Boston College over Virginia Tech
Alabama over Arkansas
Stanford over Notre Dame
Nevada over BYU
Mississippi St. over Georgia
Fresno St. over Ole Miss
South Carolina over Auburn
Boise St. over Oregon St.
LSU over West Virginia

Tennessee over New York Giants
Pittsburgh over Tampa Bay (Hell yea, Chuck Batch is going to pick up the win)
Cincinnati over Carolina
Baltimore over Cleveland
Houston over Dallas
Kansas City over San Francisco
Minnesota over Detroit
New England over Buffalo
New Orleans over Atlanta
Washington over St. Louis
Philadelphia over Jacksonville
Oakland over Arizona
San Diego over Seattle
Indianapolis over Denver
Miami over New York Jets
Chicago over Green Bay (I’ve got to support my Bears!)

Back in a week folks! Remember, no more BCS in my blog and rid the BCS of your life too!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week 2 Football Picks and The Great American Cinema

The captain is back for week 2 NFL predictions and week 3 College Football predictions! Plus, in this jammed packed blog entry, I added some bonus information on one of my favorite hobbies, The Great American Cinema. Hold your applause; it’s not necessary, especially after the ghastly performance in picking games last week. The Captain went a solid 8-2 in picking college football, but barely finished over .500 in NFL picks going 9-7. Overall that ends up being 17-9. Not too good by my standards. Its okay, last week will eventually prove to be valuable. I learned a few things:
1. Running Diaries are a fun idea, but take away greatly from actually watching games. My passion is writing, but I also like being able to watch the games without having to constantly monitor what is going on. From now on, any running diaries are going to be retro diaries. It’s settled.
2. Apparently not all Florida teams will win over Ohio teams this year. I took a shot with picking the upset of Miami over Ohio St, but it didn’t pay off. I understand why though. LeBron wanted the Buckeyes to win. He loves Ohio St, just hates the Cavaliers. And Cleveland. Remember, he is taking mental notes. He was aware that Terrelle Pryor had been supporting him. So LeBron got what he wanted, a Buckeyes win.
3. Denard Robinson is God. Enough said.
4. Picking NFL games isn’t simply going with the team that is supposed to win. 7 of the 12 playoff teams from last year lost on opening weekend. The Texans were ready, the Redskins were ready (or was it the Cowboys weren’t ready), and the Chiefs were ready. Could there be a changing of the guard? Not necessarily.
5. I love the Monday Night double header! I couldn’t enjoy that more and I absolutely love the idea of there being a Monday Night double header every week. Scrap that crappy Thursday night game and give me two Monday Night games every week. In November by the time we start having Thursday NFL night games, NBA is on TNT on Thursday nights. And I will be watching NBA, I could guarantee that.
6. First weekend of football + home for the weekend from college= good food. My god! The food schedule might have been better than the schedule of football games. Shrimp and pasta, Chicken Parmesan and Stuffed bread in consecutive nights. That is food heaven for the Captain.

Anyways, on to the picks. Remember, last week I was a combined 17-9, a winning percentage of only 65%. Time to get on track this week!

College Football
Arkansas over Georgia
North Carolina over Georgia Tech
West Virginia over Maryland
Nebraska over Washington
Florida State over BYU
Florida over Tennessee
Texas over Texas Tech
Iowa over Arizona
Houston over UCLA
Stanford over Wake Forest

Tennessee over Pittsburgh
Minnesota over Miami
Atlanta over Arizona
Baltimore over Cincinnati
Kansas City over Cleveland
Chicago over Dallas
Philadelphia over Detroit
Green Bay over Buffalo
Carolina over Tampa Bay
Seattle over Denver
Oakland over St. Louis
Houston over Washington
New England over New York Jets
San Diego over Jacksonville
Indianapolis over New York Giants
New Orleans over San Francisco

A final big thought that I should just turn into a separate column:
I just got back from Easy A. I really enjoyed that movie. Emma Stone was hilarious and very cute, and the story was original. I was very impressed, and even mentioned that in my Facebook status. The upcoming slate of movie releases intrigues me very much. From today, September 17th until just the end of October, I have 12 movies (Not counting Easy A) that I feel like as a pop culture guru I should watch. What are those movies you ask:

12-6 in order of release:
Catfish- Some type of creepy looking documentary, which states “The final forty minutes of the film will take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride that you won’t be able to shake for days, and “A shattering conclusion.” That excites me. Released on September 17.

Devil- This one is an M. Night Shyamalan film. Looks like it might be really good or really bad, no in between. Fact: I’ve never seen a movie that is associated with M. Night Shyamalan except the beginning of Lady in the Water. Released on September 17.

Buried- I don’t know if I can make myself see this because there is a good chance I will freak out during it. Ryan Reynolds stars in a thriller where he is buried alive and being taped. He has a cell phone, a lighter and 90 minutes of oxygen. And he needs one million dollars in order to get out. Good luck Van Wilder! Released on September 24.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps- Sequel to the 1987 film in which Michael Douglas won the Academy Award for Best Actor. This time, Shia LeBeouf co-stars with Douglas. Had I seen the original, this one may have cracked the top 5, but I’m going into this uninformed. Released on September 24.

Secretariat- The true story of the Triple Crown winning horse (Damn, sorry if I spoiled the ending of this movie for anyone.) Disney has a pretty good track record with sports movies (Remember the Titans and Miracle,) so I’m expecting the same in this one. Released on October 8.

Jackass 3D- The fact that it’s in 3D doesn’t excite me as much as the simple fact that there is another Jackass movie for our viewing pleasure. It has been so long since I’ve seen new Jackass hooligans. I had been going through withdrawal. Everything I’ve seen in the preview has looked hilarious. And FYI: if you are interested in watching any of the trailers, you can find them on You Tube. Released on October 15.

Paranormal Activity 2- The bad news: Is there any chance the sequel is half as good as the original? In a word, probably not. The storyline will be an exact replica of the first and it will feature the same kind of scares. The good news: Those scares scared the ever living hell out of me the first time around. So that probably means there will be a repeat performance. Released on October 22.

5. Conviction- Hillary Swank stars in the true story of an uneducated woman who goes back to high school, then to college in order to become a lawyer and defend her brother who was convicted of murder. She dedicated almost 2 decades of her life to try to prove her brothers supposed innocence. In case you couldn’t tell, this has “Academy Awards” written all over it. Released on October 15.

4. Stone- Two words: Ed Norton. And another THREE words: Robert De Niro. Norton stars as Stone, a convict who is attempting to get an early release from prison, but has to go through parole officer Mabry (De Niro.) In an attempt to increase his chances of getting out, Stone’s looks to his wife to try to convince Officer Mabry to approve his release. However, an affair arises between Stone’s wife and a much older Mabry. Uh oh! Who knows how this is going to end up. Released on October 8.

3. The Town- The Town is made by the same studio that brought us The Departed. If The Town is half as good as The Departed, this will be worth seeing. Ben Affleck stars as a bank robber who falls for a woman whom he and his bank robber friends kidnapped on one of their jobs. If you are asking yourself “Why the hell would she fall in love with a guy who kidnapped her?” it’s because they wear cool masks that make them look like goblins and nuns when they rob banks. I really hope this can live up to the hype, because I’m big on The Town. Released on September 17.

2. The Social Network- For some reason, this is my most anticipated movie of the next month (I know it says #2 for The Social Network, but you’ll see why in a minute.) It’s number one for a couple of reasons.
A. The idea of making a movie about the website that more people from teenage years on up use daily sounds awesome to me. I never realized that there was so much drama involved in a website that is all about causing drama. Facebook has been a key piece of the last decade. Perhaps no other website or media invention is as prevalent on a day to day basis as Facebook is.
B. The immortal Justin Timberlake is in The Social Network. He is ready to bring Sexy Back… again.
C. The TV spot for this movie is totally frickin’ awesome! They hype the absolute right things that need to be hyped and top it off with Kanye West’s song Power, which couldn’t fit more perfectly. Job well done by those who made that trailer. Released on October 1.

1. Saw 7- If you know me and you knew that Saw 7 was coming out on October 29, then you knew this was going to be number one. Regardless of the fact that other movies mentioned in this list will be much better than Saw 7, the final chapter of the Saw series is absolutely must see cinema, despite my displeasure with Saw 6. Nonetheless, my commitment to this series has been unparalleled. I have figured out the twist in 4 of the 6 movies, a track record that I feel is pretty damn impressive. I expect nothing less than a mind blowing “Holy crap I did not see that coming at all! I’m still shocked at how that shit ended!” And I don’t think I mentioned all of this blood and gore will be in 3D. That’s a visual orgasm. Whoa! An explanation of the Saw series has “separate column” written all over it. Released on October 29.

I know after reading my awesome previews you are as excited as me to see these movies. If I happen to see any of them, you will be the first to know how they were. I’m that kind of guy. Happy football weekend!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Monster Saturday Running Diary part 3

8:00: Welcome to part 3 of the Monster Saturday Running Diary. I’m running on fumes here, I’m going to try to give you some good information. First, some final scores from early: Miami 24 Ohio St 36, Florida St 17 Oklahoma 47 (Mark Stoops fix!), Iowa won, Air Force won, Utah won and California won. This late slate of television consists of Oregon at Tennessee, Penn St. at Alabama, LSU at Vanderbilt and the movie Hitch (it’s a good movie.)

8:15: Alabama has been in firm control of this game, not a surprise to me. Penn St. was close to bringing it to within a touchdown but then there was a crazy sequence of fumbles that is way to hard to explain so I’ll leave it at that. Meanwhile, Oregon and Tennessee are in a lightning delay. This is like the 3rd time I can remember this happening ever.

8:18: Trent Richardson is gashing this Penn St. defense. He will be a better pro than his teammate Mark Ingram.

8:21: This game features the oldest referee ever. He makes Lee Corso look young. Alabama is up 17-0. And what do you know, Tennessee and Oregon are still in a delay. So ESPN2 is kind enough to give us bonus coverage of LSU and Vanderbilt.

8:24: Upset watch! Wyoming has a 7-6 lead on Texas.

8:28: Strong run by Texas runningback Foswhitt Whittaker for the touchdown. Broke 4 tackles on his way there. Texas needed an answer and they got one.

8:34: Arkansas leads Louisiana-Monroe 7-0 at half. I expected Arkansas to be putting up a lot more points in this game. They have a pretty dynamic offense. I might need to flip to this one in the second half to check it out.

8:37: 17-0 Alabama leads at halftime. Erin Andrews is interviewing Joe Paterno. Has there ever been 2 people involved in an interview who look less alike? I don’t think so. Well, any Michael Jackson interview after 2000 is right up there.

8:42: Texas scores again and leads 20-7 at halftime. Mack Brown is sweaty. I figured you should know.

8:44: Hey! Oregon and Tennessee are playing again. Tennessee is up 6-3. Crowd is pretty riled up. I expect Oregon to eventually turn this one into a blow out.

8:54: Ummm, that blow out might not be the way it turns out. It turns out Oregon can’t stop the run. Tennessee scores and now leads 13-3. Time to check out Arkansas. Ryan Mallett is a dark horse Heisman Candidate. If Arkansas can put together a good season he could be in contention come November.

8:57: The Razorbacks had to punt on their first possession of the 2nd half. I’m very surprised.

9:00: Alabama kicking off to start the 2nd half. Penn St. absolutely needs a score on their opening drive to stay in this game.

9:09: Arkansas finally gets another touchdown, and Penn St. freshman quarterback Robbie Bolden threw a crucial interception. Tough situation for a freshman quarterback to be in.

9:18: Alabama can’t get anything going on offense. Penn St. NEEDS to capitalize. But they don’t. Dropped passes on 3rd downs are killers.

9:23: Oregon kicks another field goal, 13-6 Tennessee leads. I’m shocked with this score. Oregon’s offense was dynamite last week. Now it’s like a fire sparkler.

9:32: Alabama running some offense out of the Pistol. 5 years ago when I jumped on the Nevada bandwagon everyone thought I was crazy. Now every team uses the Pistol. It’s an innovative and effective formation. I knew this long before you did.

9:44: Oregon and Tennessee are tied at 13 going into half time. Things might be turning the ducks way.

9:52: Just so everyone knows, in my first 2 weeks of picking college football games with the spread on Yahoo Sports, I’m 16-13… Not sure if that is good or bad.

9:55: Penn St. is finally on the board with a field goal. 24-3 Alabama leads with under 10 to go. In more important news, the WNBA finals are starting tomorrow at 3 p.m. Very nice of ABC to put that crucial game on the same Sunday as the first week of NFL. I wonder how tough of a decision it was to take a Lost re-run out of that time slot.

10:05: Oregon and Tennessee are back to action. This game is going to be the one that carries the running diary down the home stretch.

10:14: Alabama wins easily 24-3. That was a dominant performance, which was to be expected.

10:20: Best run of the day so far. LaMichael James reverses his field, breaks a few tackles and out runs everyone. 72 yard touchdown run. Blow out is a potential outcome once again.

10:27: Tennessee is driving on Oregon. I don’t like Tennessee, but love the fight song. There is something about Rocky Top that appeals to me.

10:30: Yupp, I knew this was going to end up a blowout. Oregon pick six, Tennessee is crapping their pants.

10:37: I miss Jeremiah Massoli and LeGarrette Blount playing for Oregon. Had to be the worst role model backfield in recent college football history. That’s like if Mike Vick and Travis Henry ever played for the same team.

10:39: Another game is on, how weird. UCLA hosts Stanford. I would be much more interested in this game if Toby Gerhart was playing. If he would have been drafted by any team but Minnesota I would have pursued buying his jersey.

10:48: God! I just realized I missed all of Hitch on TBS! That bums me out. Such a good movie. On the bright side, we got Virginia visiting USC. However this game doesn’t matter considering everything USC does for this year will end up not really happening. You know, because they cheated? The Heisman should have belonged to Vince Young right from the start, then he proved it in the Rose Bowl, and now he should be rewarded for it. I just need to say, I love this concept that when a school does something wrong in the course of the season the NCAA decides it never happened. Technically, players like Reggie Bush and Derrick Rose never played college sports. Imagine if everything was like that. Would we even acknowledge that George W. Bush was President or would we just assume we mysteriously ended up trillions of dollars in debt?

10:55: Oregon touchdown, 21 point lead now. I never doubted this would be a blowout!

10:58: Yumm, I love the taste of Pink Ladies in my mouth… Apples you perverts!

11:02: Oregon punt return for touchdown. 41-13 the Quack Attack leads! Man was I right on with the blowout prediction.

Well since Oregon has this game in control, and the USC game is technically not happening, I’m going to call it a night. A few closing thoughts:

1. Boise St. is really going to end up getting the shaft. They are going to go 12-0 and miss out on a chance for a BCS title because Virginia Tech crapped the bed against James Madison today. They are going to go on to beat a BCS conference school in another BCS bowl, and the same story will occur next year. This team needs to get some respect. Frankly, I would take them over any team in the country.
2. The ACC is really struggling. I thought this would be a huge year for the ACC. I thought Miami, Florida St., Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Georgia Tech would all be ultra competitive this year. It turns out none of them have a winning record as of right now.
3. I saw a number of Heisman Trophy candidates today. Terrelle Pryor, DeMarco Murray, Trent Richardson, LaMichael James and the most impressive player of the day, Denard Robinson.
Overall, today was a successful day. But tomorrow is a new day, and I am even more excited for the start of NFL. No running diaries tomorrow. It’s all pleasure tomorrow. So I leave you with one question:

Monster Saturday Running Diary part 2

4:00: We are back for part two of the Monster Saturday Running Diary! A couple of final scores from part one. Duke 48 Wake Forest 54, USF 14 Florida 38 and Virginia Tech is trailing at home to former US President James Madison. We have 4 quality sporting events to watch during this diary.

1. Miami FL at Ohio St.- In my opinion this is the best game of the week. 2 Championship contenders with 2 Heisman candidates (Terrelle Pryor and Jacory Harris.) I’m hoping for a Miami win, and I think it will happen. Is there anyway a team from Ohio could beat a team from Florida in this sporting season? I don’t think so.
2. Michigan at Notre Dame- For some reason I am very intrigued by this game. I think it is because both teams are mysteries at this point. We don’t know how good either of these teams are. We’ll find out today.
3. Florida St. at Oklahoma- The Stoops Bowl! Oklahoma trying to come off an unimpressive win last week. Florida St. is trying to get a second win in the Jimbo Fisher era.
4. Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic- U.S. Open Semifinals matchup to see who faces Rafa Nadal in the championship. Federer has been my man for years. He finds his way into the Monster Saturday Rotation.

4:05: Awesome starts to all of these games. Miami leads 7-3, FSU and Oklahoma are tied at 7, and so are Michigan and Notre Dame. Virginia Tech just went down to James Madison. All I can say is Monster Saturday!

4:12: Oklahoma goes up 14-7 late in the first quarter. Are we sure that Mark Stoops isn’t really working for his brother?

4:15: If Florida St. and Miami both lose today, it has to be one of the worst days in ACC football history. Georgia Tech went down to Kansas, VT lost to James Madison. That would mean the projected top 4 teams in the conference all lost. Yikes.

4:21: Denard Robinson might be a dark horse Heisman Candidate. If Michigan gets a win today, then go on to make a splash in the Big Ten and he continues to play like he did last week, there is no reason why his name shouldn’t be mentioned.

4:25: Turkey 79 Serbia 77, with 58 seconds left. I should be a bookie. My lines so far today (U.S. -17 winning by 15, and Turkey -3) have been impressive to say the least.

4:28: WOW! The Turkey crowd is stunned! Excellent ball movement leads to Serbia taking the lead 82-81. Boy did I flip to this game at a good time. To lighten up this tense game, they just showed a Turkish fan crying. That was funny. And another WOW! On a broken play Turkey scores a layup with 0.5 seconds left. This is absolute madness. My god international basketball is crazy! Game isn’t over yet though.
4:33: Serbia goes for an alley-oop off the inbounds pass but it’s blocked. A foul could have probably been called, but the country of Turkey may have revolted if they lost in that fashion.

4:35: Ohio St. tied the game up at 10. Florida St. is trailing to the Stoops brothers 21-7, and Michigan leads Notre Dame 14-7. I smell Chicken Parmesan cooking. This excites the hell out of me. Be back after dinner.

5:05: God I love being Italian! Dinner was excellent, no surprise. Miami scores on special teams again, this time with a punt return and momentum has suddenly swung in Miami’s favor. They still trail 20-17. Jim Tressel and his sweater vest look on in disbelief.

5:10: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Denard Robinson is a legitimate Heisman Candidate. 87 yard touchdown run puts the Wolverines up 21-7. He will keep this play up all year.

5:12: Federer goes up 2 sets to 1. Breaks Djokovic in the 3rd set, wins it 7-5. He’s excited and so am I.

5:15: Nate Montana (Joe Montana’s son) is in the game for an injured Dane Crist. To no one’s surprise he isn’t as good as his dad. He throws the ball clear out of the endzone on the last play of the half.

5:22: So much for momentum being on Miami’s side. Ohio St. kicks a field goal to go up 23-17, and then on the first play of Miami’s drive Jacory Harris throws his third interception of the half. Leads to an Ohio St. field goal. It’s 26-17 going to halftime.

5:37: All 3 marquee games are at halftime. Federer is struggling in the 4th set. I do not like this one bit.

5:43: Federer and Djokovic going to the 5th set. This might be priority number one right now on the television despite the fact that the 2nd halves are going to be starting.

5:49: Michigan and Notre Dame is going to end up being the game to watch. Dane Crist returns and throws a touchdown pass. 21-14 Michigan lead. Denard Robinson is up next!

5:56: Federer up 2-1 in the 5th set and Notre Dame driving with the ball trailing 21-14. Monster Saturday!

6:02: Score updates: Michigan 21 Notre Dame 17, Miami 17 Ohio St. 33, Florida St. 7 Oklahoma 41 and Federer and Djokovic are tied 2-2 in the 5th set.

6:17: I think the U.S. Open uses grown men to be the ball boys. The guys running across the court to retrieve the balls don’t really look like “boys.” Federer cannot put Djokovic away to go up 4-3.

6:18: Finally! 4-3 Federer in the 5th.

6:24: Federer and Djokovic knotted at 4 in the 5th set, Michigan leads by 4 going into the 4th quarter. All we need is Gus Johnson calling both games from CBS Studios. Just imagine it:
Gus: “Federer serving… Djokovic returns. Ohhhh Federer slams it! HA HA HA! You just can’t beat the Maestro! CBS Sports, this is the US Open.”

6:28: I can’t stop drooling over how awesome it is to watch Denard Robinson. He just turned a designed run into a pass for a first down. If he learns how to throw like an actual quarterback he would be virtually unstoppable.

6:38: Djokovic ties it again at 5-5 in the 5th set. Notre Dame is trailing by 4 points. I am getting dizzy from changing the channel so much.

6:42: Djokovic breaks Federer, I might cry. Novak leads 6-5 with the serve in the 5th set. No joke, I might cry.

6:52: Federer loses. I need 15 minutes.
6:55: Okay I only took 3 because Notre Dame launched a 95 touchdown. Wow this game is cheering me up. Monster Saturday! Man up Sonny!

7:03: 4th and short for Michigan. Denard Robinson time!

7:03: 1st down Michigan! Is it weird that I have a Vince Young feeling about this kid? Like there is no way he is going to lose this game because he can beat you with his feet or his arm.

7:11: As Michigan at Notre Dame is at commercial, Penn St. at Alabama are about to kick off. I think that game has potential to get ugly in favor of the Tide.

7:13: I don’t think I need to say who scored the go ahead touchdown Michigan… But I will, Denard Robinson! Your future Heisman Trophy winner.

7:18: 6 seconds left, Notre Dame has about 30 yards to go. They are down 4 so they need a touchdown (I know this because our announce team has told us about 6 times since Notre Dame got the ball 4 minutes ago.)

7:19: What’s with these Notre Dame quarterbacks throwing the ball out of the endzone on the last plays of the half? Maybe the least dramatic Hail Mary attempt ever. Great game though. Michigan wins 28-24. Time to take a break. Be back for part 3 in a bit.

Monster Saturday Running Diary Part 1

Before we get into the Monster Saturday running diary, I first want to acknowledge that 9 years ago today was a true tragedy that changed the face of this nation, and the world. I still remember being told in the lunchroom by one of my classmates that “the twin towers fell over.” Thousands of innocent lives were lost on this day, and since then our troops have been doing whatever they can to keep us safe. I want to thank them for protecting us and giving us an opportunity to watch these athletic competitions.

Welcome to the Monster Saturday running diary part 1! This is being conducted live from the living room in my new Florida condo. I’m very excited that this is the first Saturday of college football that this living room and I are having together. It’s a good start to what will hopefully be a good relationship. Frankly, this is the best September weekend of football I can remember. An absolutely loaded slate of college football (not just quality, but quantity too as you will soon see) and then the first Sunday of NFL. As great as the Thursday night game is, I feel like NFL doesn’t really start until Sunday. I need Sunday NFL Countdown with CBS and FOX pregame shows as the sidekicks to begin my season. Needless to say, I couldn’t be more excited for tomorrow. However, it’s Monster Saturday! Get ready folks, because I’m going to be here for about 12 hours giving my take on everything I watch today. All games are viewed in High Definition.

A few thoughts on ESPN College Gameday:
1. Erin Andrews is pretty… Pretty hot!
2. There are 2 signs in the Alabama crowd that I find to be very funny. The first says, “Joe Pa fathered the cast members of Jersey Shore” and the second one says “Joe Pa has Bieber Fever.” Kudos to the Crimson Tide crowd. I think the last fever Joe Pa had was Typhoid Fever.
3. Lee Corso’s “Not so fast my friend!” has to be one of the most iconic sports quotes ever. It makes me laugh every time.

Noon: I have no idea where to start! Check out the early slate we have!
On channel 396 we have FAU at Michigan St…. 401-Georgia Tech at Kansas…. 403-San Jose St. at Wisconsin…. 404-Georgia at South Carolina…. 431-Duke at Wake Forest…. 433-U.S. Open Semifinals…. 436-South Florida at Florida….726-Lithuania vs. United States

12:02: Guess we’ll start with SEC Football. Georgia at South Carolina. Winner of this game establishes themselves as the main contender to Florida’s SEC East crown. Usually a close game between these 2 teams, I expect the same story today.

12:05: Quick flip already to USA vs. Lithuania… Love the green uniforms Lithuania is rocking. Not quite as good as VT the other night though. USA -17 is my imaginary line for this game by the way.

12:12: Over on channel 403 (that’s ESPN HD aka The Visual Orgasm) Wisconsin has taken a 7-0 lead on San Jose St.

12:15: South Carolina running back Brian Maddox makes himself look like a fool as he drops an open pass in the endzone. South Carolina punches it in 2 plays later. 7-0 South Carolina. Very good opening drive for the Gamecocks.

12:20: USA leads 23-12 at the end of the 1st quarter. I think the line I set may be too low. I didn’t factor in the fact that today is 9/11 and Lithuania’s best player is Linas Kleiza.

12:22: Flip to the kickoff of South Florida at Florida. Interesting to see if the snap problems between Mike Pouncey and Jonathan Brantley are fixed. There had to be at least 10 low snaps last week vs. Miami OH. Over/under on bad snap exchanges is 3.5. FYI: Michigan St. is up 10-0 over Florida Atlantic.

12:25: Whoops! Good snap, but Brantley fumbles it and throws the ball right at the refs head. That was high comedy.

12:26: My god South Florida fumbled the snap on their first play! This is stuff we learned how to do in Pop Warner.

12:45 : Quick run through of all scores- USA 42 Lithuania 27 (half time), USF 7 Florida 0 (Impressive 17 play 96 yard drive for USF), Georgia 3 South Carolina 7, Georgia Tech 7 Kansas 7, San Jose St. 0 Wisconsin 14, FAU 7 Michigan St. 10, Duke 7 Wake Forest 7, Nadal leads 3-1.

12:47: This European fella’ Youzhny is wearing shorts that are too short. I’ll go back to tennis when Federer steps on the court. Back to Georgia vs. South Carolina.

12:55: South Carolina kicker Spencer Lanning can’t convert on a 51 yard field goal. He was born to be a kicker with a name like Spencer Lanning.

1:00: Duke and Wake Forest are in a shoot-out. 14-14 early in the 2nd quarter. Quietly emerging as a potential “end of the early games” game to watch. Duke’s uniforms look very similar to the Colts uniforms. And their Quarterback is wearing number 19. Johnny Unitas is back ladies and gentlemen!

1:03: One of THE craziest interceptions I’ve ever seen. Off the hands of the Duke receiver, off the right hand of a Wake Forest linebacker as he is falling to his back, and scooped up right before the ball hits the ground by a Wake Forest defensive back. My words don’t do it justice. That’s bad ACC football for you.

1:07: Over to the Georgia Tech vs Kansas game. Also tied at 14. A bit of a surprise considering Kansas only scored 3 points on North Dakota St last week. I wish Turner Gill would have stayed at UB. I think he was turning Buffalo into a decent MAC contender. Plus I miss seeing all of Mark Mangino’s girth on the sideline. You know someone is large when you type their name into the Yahoo search and the first 2 results of their name is “Mark Mangino Weight” and “Mark Mangino Fat”. I’m not even making this up.

1:13: Text message from my roommate Weston: “WTH (what the hell for all of you who aren’t up on cool texting lingo) is happening?” Weston is a Gators fan, and he is frustrated with their play. That’s understandable. Their defense is young and relatively inexperienced and they have to replace one of the best college football quarterbacks of the last decade. But USF is having their way with UF. A 10 minute 96 yard drive in the Swamp is damn impressive.

1:20: I’m impressed by South Carolina freshman running back Marcus Lattimore. His first half stats: 21 Carries, 103 yards with 2 touchdowns. He’s running really hard, I like that.

1:25: Over to Lithuania vs. USA, where USA only leads by 11 with a little under 7 minutes left to play. They keep using an overhead camera that makes me feel like I’m watching the game from the worst seat in the arena. Note to ESPN Classic… Stop doing that. Thank you.

1:30: Wake Forest is absolutely lighting Duke up. 35-21, and it’s still in the 2nd quarter. Johnny U is going to need to rally the troops for a comeback. Meanwhile, Florida still hasn’t found the scoreboard. Missed field goal from a usually reliable Caleb Sturgis. Still 7-0 there.

1:36: And what do you know, Duke scored again! 35-28 Wake leads. Who would have thought this game would be the leading candidate for which game I’ll be watching in the 4th quarter.

1:45: Score update with most games at halftime- USA 89 Lithuania 74 (Final score. My line of -17 was terrific!), USF 7 Florida 7, Georgia 3 South Carolina 14, Georgia Tech 17 Kansas 14 , San Jose St. 0 Wisconsin 17, FAU 7 Michigan St. 20, Duke 35 Wake Forest 35, Nadal leads 6-2, 3-3. Be back in 30 minutes.

2:21: Six minutes late, my apologies. Decided taking a shower at some point this weekend would be a good idea. Georgia, trailing 14-6 was about to march in for a potential game tying touchdown and extra point until they fumble and South Carolina recovers and takes over. Another drive killing fumble in Gainesville. USF was pounding the ball down the field until a bad handoff exchange between Quarterback BJ Daniels and runningback Demetris Murray gives the ball to Florida.

2:32: Imaginary line for the Turkey vs. Serbia game, which is a very pro Turkey crowd considering they are in Turkey, is Turkey -3. Just in case anyone was wondering.

2:45: Scores and summaries: USF 7 UF 14 (I’m not counting out USF yet. They were really close to leading 14-7 rather than trailing.) Georgia 6 South Carolina 14 (Georgia’s offense can’t get anything going. I expect to see some more Marcus Lattimore despite the fact he has already carried 28 times.) Georgia Tech 17 Kansas 28 (Upset of the week potential. I’m very surprised with this score. Turner Gill is a good coach, but I still miss Mangino.) San Jose St. 7 Wisconsin 27 (No surprise here, haven’t watched much.) Michigan St. 30 FAU 14 (Same story as the Wisconsin game.) Duke 38 Wake Forest 41 (Lack of points in the 2nd half thus far makes me upset. I was really hoping for a 73-70 game.) Nadal wins 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 (thankfully short shorts Youzhny is off the court now.) Serbia 15 Turkey 15 (The Turkey crowd is literally singing. This is awesome.)

2:51: So much for USF still being in the game. Florida leads 28-7. If you discount the 1st half of each game, Florida hasn’t looked that bad.

2:55: Someday Marcus Lattimore is going to be a good NFL back. I’m convinced. He just refuses to go down. It’s awesome to watch him run.

3:02: I love the blue outfit that Roger Federer is wearing. Don't judge me. I’m just saying it looks cool. That’s it.

3:05: First 2 final scores of the day: Michigan St. 30 FAU 17 and Wisconsin 27 San Jose St. 14.

3:08: Backhand return from Federer on the first serve. Djokovic has no answer… Not up in here!

3:15: Did not expect the two games I would be watching in the 4th quarter to be Duke at Wake Forest (41-48) and Georgia Tech at Kansas (25-28). Georgia Tech has the ball with 4 minutes left. This is what Monster Saturday is all about!

3:21: Well that wasn’t very dramatic. Wake Forest scored with 3 minutes left to extend the lead to 14 and Georgia Tech couldn’t convert on 4th down at the 50. That concludes part one of the Monster Saturday Running Diary. Be back in a little bit for part two.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Monster Week Ahead

All I can say is wow. Let me say that again. WOW (that one was all caps). What a damn good week of college football we were blessed with. There were some awesome games (Pittsburgh vs. Utah, LSU vs. North Carolina, Oregon St. vs. TCU, Boise St. vs. Virginia Tech), some contenders looked really good (Alabama, Ohio St, Miami Fl, Oregon), other contenders didn't look so good (Oklahoma, Florida, Ole Miss) and some games didn't matter because one team is a cheater (USC vs. Hawaii). At the end of the day, the first week of college football was fantastic. If the first week is any indication of how this season plays out, we are in for a very entertaining one. Now we come to week 2, which is absolutely loaded with stellar games. But guess what, this Saturday slate of games isn't even the most important part of the weekend. No it's not the US Open. Although I am eager to see my man Roger Federer climb back to the top of the Tennis universe. NFL starts you fools! From Thursday to Monday, I will be watching a total of approximately 40 hours of football or football coverage. Typing that just now gave me butterflies in my stomach. A days worth of football is a slice of heaven. 40 hours is all of heaven, with all of the angels and saints included too. What kind of person would I be if I didn't pick the outcomes to a number of these games? One who doesn't care about sports, that's who. Also, I want to test my game picking ability. Hopefully I can establish myself as a stud in the field of picking games. If nothing else, I am "expert" #11,265 that is trying to get you to read their picks.

College Football
Auburn over Mississippi St.
Houston over UTEP
Florida over South Florida
South Carolina over Georgia
Florida St. over Oklahoma
Michigan over Notre Dame
Miami Fl over Ohio St. (Didn't a Miami team crush the title hopes of an Ohio team already this summer? I'm pretty sure it happened.)
Alabama over Penn St.
Oregon over Tennessee
Stanford over UCLA

New Orleans over Minnesota
New York Giants over Carolina
Atlanta over Pittsburgh
Tampa Bay over Cleveland
Denver over Jacksonville
Indianapolis over Houston
Miami over Buffalo
Chicago over Detroit
Tennessee over Oakland
New England over Cincinnati
Arizona over St. Louis
San Francisco over Seattle
Green Bay over Philadelphia
Dallas over Washington
New York Jets over Baltimore
San Diego over Kansas City

Let's hope I start the year off strong. I'm looking for a close to perfect week to give myself some momentum for the rest of the year. My goal is to correctly choose the winner of 75% of all games I pick. I've set the bar high. It's set high because I am the Captain! But this isn't about me, my picks or the stuffed bread I will be eating on Sunday (yummm). This is about the excitement that all of us are starting to feel. This is football season ladies and gentlemen. Enjoy!