Posted on: May 16, 2010 6:16 pm
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Post Spring Top 25

Spring practice is over and it's time to update my top 25. The top 25 will continue to change until my college football preview is posted in August. This is just a quick update so I only gave a description on the Top 5, in my final one all of the Top 25 teams will have them.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide
I've been flip-flopping the Tide and the Buckeyes lately at this spot but Alabama remains here for a bit. The defending champ's offense will be superb next year with reigning Heisman Winner Mark Ingram and speedster Trent Richardson taking the handoffs from QB Greg McElroy, who should be more efficient in his second year. Even with the loss of nine starters on defense the only place on that side of the ball where they are real young is the secondary. Expect Dre Kirkpatrick to have a breakout year, he has the speed and coverage skills to be as good Arenas and Jackson were.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes appeat to be the favorites in the Big Ten thanks to what should be one of the best defenses in the nation, led by DE Cameron Heyward and LBs Ross Homan and Brian Rolle. The offense should be more effecient next year with the return of both of the starting backs and QB Terrelle Pryor. A lot of the Buckeyes success on offense will depend on if Pryor can take that next step and build off his great Rose Bowl performance.

3. Virginia Tech Hokies
The Hokies defense will be strong as usual and should cause lots of problems for opposing offenses. However, the Hokie's backfield appears to be one of the few that are as good as Bama's solid 1-2 punch with Ryan Williams and Darren Evans returning. A huge X-factor will be the improvement of Tyrod Taylor. The Hokies will be able to win a bunch of their games with just their running game and defense, but if Taylor has even a somewhat solid year Virginia Tech will be even harder to beat.

4. Iowa Hawkeyes
A lot of people may think this is to high but I really like the Hawkeyes this year. I actually see them losing only one game this year (to Ohio State in November). They have a great defense and are extremely well coached which will win you games very often. The running game will be better without the number of injuries Iowa had at RB last year (too many too count), and Stanzi should be more effecient but still needs to cut down on some his mistakes.

5. Texas Longhorns
The good thing about new QB Garrett Gilbert playing in the BCS Championship Game was that he will never face that much pressure again for the rest of his career. He will make his mistakes but will be a solid QB as Texas will start to run more pro sets to establish a running game that has dissapeared since Jamaal Charles left. The defense will be solid and will have some youngs that will make their mistakes but should be solid. The Longhorns will lose at least 1 game this year but I still think them or Oklahoma will win the Big 12.

The rest of the Top 25:
6. TCU
7. Oklahoma
8. Arkansas
9. Southern California
10. Florida
11. Wisconsin
12. Nebraska
13. Boise State
14. Pittsburgh
15. Miami (FL)
16. Oregon State
17. Florida State
18. Oregon
19. LSU
20. Penn State
21. Georgia
22. North Carolina
23. Georgia Tech
24. Cincinnati
25. Stanford

Right on the Edge: Texas Tech, Clemson, Arizona, BYU, Auburn

Posted on: May 15, 2010 6:51 pm
 

Pre-Summer NFL Predictions

It's been a while since my last one so here's an updated list. A couple things to keep in mind:
1.) The Vikings stock could fall big depending on what happens with Favre
2.) In parentheses is the teams power ranking, *=playoff team
3.) These are not my final picks, there should be at least a few changes before my final one comes out right before Week 1

NFC East:
1. Dallas Cowboys (4)*
2. New York Giants (16)
3. Philadelphia Eagles (17)
4. Washington Redskins (20)

NFC North:
1. Minnesota Vikings (2)*
2. Green Bay Packers (9)* 
3. Chicago Bears (21)
4. Detroit Lions (28)

NFC South:
1. New Orleans Saints (5)*
2. Atlanta Falcons (8)*
3. Carolina Panthers (19)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (31)

NFC West:
1. San Francisco 49ers (18)*
2. Arizona Cardinals (22)
3. Seattle Seahawks (25)
4. St. Louis Rams (32)

AFC East:
1. New York Jets (3)*
2. New England Patriots (11)* 
3. Miami Dolphins (14)
4. Buffalo Bills (30)

AFC North:
1. Baltimore Ravens (6)*
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (12)
3. Cincinnati Bengals (15)
4. Cleveland Browns (29)

AFC South:
1. Indianapolis Colts (1)*
2. Houston Texans (10)*
3. Tennessee Titans (13)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (24)

AFC West:
1. San Diego Chargers (7)*
2. Denver Broncos (23)
3. Kansas City Chiefs (26)
4. Oakland Raiders (27)

Playoffs:

Wildcard Round
AFC:
3-Baltimore over 6-New England
4-San Diego over 5-Houston

NFC:
3-New Orleans over 6-Green Bay
5-Atlanta over 4-San Francisco

Divisional Round
AFC:
2-New York Jets over 3-Baltimore
1-Indianapolis over 4-San Diego

NFC:
2-Dallas over 3-New Orleans
1-Minnesota over 5-Atlanta

AFC Championship Game: Colts over Jets
NFC Championship Game: Vikings over Cowboys

Super Bowl XLV: Colts 38 Vikings 28
Posted on: May 15, 2010 5:45 pm
 

Conference Finals Predictions

I was dead wrong about the Suns-Spurs series, congrats to the Suns and their fans for an impressive showing. However I was pretty much dead on with all my other picks. I picked Boston in 6 (which was exactly right and picked the Lakers and Magic to win their series in 5. I usually don't pick sweeps unless it is a complete mismatch but the sweeps did not suprise me. Anyway here are my conference finals predictions:

Western Conference Finals: 1-Los Angeles Lakers vs. 3-Phoenix Suns
The Suns have been very impressive so far this postseason, mainly because of their imrpovemet on defense (credit Coach Gentry for that). The Lakers definitly have a size advantage and will win this series but Phoenix will give them a hard fought battle. I see the Lakers winning in 6, the Suns will get a couple of wins but in the end I like the Lakers size to be the difference (Paul Gasol is playing outstanding this postseason, he should be the main culprit).
Prediction: Lakers in 6

Eastern Conference Finals: 2-Orlando Magic vs. 4-Boston Celtics
Boston made my pick look brilliant and they have been great this postseason thanks a lot to the play of PG Rajon Rondo. However, the Magic are playing better, as they have not lost one game in the playoffs yet. Boston will be tough and Rondo shold have another strong series but I see the Magic pulling this one out in 6. They're the deepest team in the Eastern Conference and have just just as many viable socring options as Boston (something Cleveland did NOT have), which will be another difference maker as well. Nelson will be a big factor in how much success Orlando has, as long as he can match Rondo I like the Magic to move on.
Prediction: Magic in 6
Posted on: May 1, 2010 2:58 am
 

NBA Playoff Predictions: 2nd Round

I know the Hawks-Bucks series isn't over but the Cavs-Celtics series starts to tomorrow and I also think the Magic go to the ECF regardless if its the Bucks or Hawks, so I'll go ahead and start. Since there are a few changes to my predictions, I'll project the rest of the playoffs but with no breakdowns, just the basic predictions. Here it goes:

Western Conference:

1-Los Angeles Lakers vs. 5-Utah Jazz
When both rosters are fully healthy I think this a lot more of an intriguing. Without Okur I see the Jazz's thinner depth in the frontcourt as a big advantage for the Lakers as long as they utilize Gasol and Bynum like they should. I think Gasol is hitting his stride right now and I see the Lakers winning the first 2 at Staples, lose Game 3 at Salt Lake City, but win game 4 in SLC to gain momentum and finish of Utah in 5.
Prediction: Lakers in 5


3-Phoenix Suns vs. 7-San Antonio Spurs
If this series happened right after the end of the regular season, I would have picked the Suns for sure. But after watching the first round for both teams, I think the Spurs have really stepped up and the Suns have lightly regressed, the key word being lightly. I think their defense has been significantly better down the stretch this year than in the past, but I just think the Spurs are playing really well right now. The Suns take the first 2 games, the Spurs the next 2, and then in Game 5 the Spurs win a very close game in Phoenix and go home to win the series in Game 6. This is the least confident of my picks though as the Suns could very well win this series in 6 as well, but I'll go with my gut on this one.
Prediction: Spurs in 6


Eastern Conference:

1-Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 4-Boston Celtics
Going into the playoffs I felt that the Celtics would struggle in this series, but after watching the Heat series and the injury to James (I know it's minor but it could effect him, we'll see), I just have a gut feeling that Boston will shock the Cavs. They're a veteran team that's playing their best basketball, and the biggest key is that they are finally FULLY healthy. Boston will win the series because of bench production and Pierce havng a great series. If Ray Allen can get hot, it will be an even bigger challenge for the Cavs. I might be dead wrong but I'm going to go with my gut again...
Prediction: Celtics in 6

2-Orlando Magic vs. 3-Atlanta Hawks/6-Milwaukee Bucks
If the Magic get the Bucks, as long as they play solid perimeter defense I think Howard will be dominant especially with no Andrew Bogut, and the Magic take out the Bucks in 5. If the Magic play the Hawks, I see it being a little bit tougher for Orlando but the Magic still win in 5. The Hawks will keep a couple of the losses close but I think Orlando is playing as good as anybody right now after sweeping a good Charlotte team and are still my pick to win the East.
Prediction: Magic in 5 vs. both (maybe in 6 vs. the Hawks but probably not).

Western Conference Finals: Lakers in 6 over the Spurs
Eastern Conference Finals: Magic in 7 over the Celtics
NBA Finals: Lakers in 6 over the Magic

Feel free to comment............

Posted on: April 27, 2010 2:52 am
 

Top 10 NBA Postseason Moments of the Past Decade

Watching this year's playoffs makes me think of all the great moments of the past decade. Here is my list.

10. Boston Celtics Comebacks (vs. New Jersey 2002, vs. L.A. Lakers 2008)
Down 21 going into the fourth, Boston's hopes looked grim. But Pierce and the Celtics took over in the 4th and cam back to win and take a 2-1 series lead. The Nets would go on to win the last 3 games to move on to the finals, but it brought some of the Magic back from the glory days with Larry Bird at The Garden. 6 years later, with a 2-1 series lead on the Lakers, the C's fell behind by 21. But after furious third quarter charge brought the Celtics close, Pierce took over once again in the 4th and a huge 3 by Eddie House to give the C's the lead as Boston went on to take a 3-1 series lead. Most experts believe that was the game that won Boston the series.

9. Referee Controversies-
Pick one anyone. Heat-Mavs, Donaghy with game 6 of Kings-Lakers, Spurs-Suns in '07. No need to explain as these issues have been beat to a dead horse.

8. 2009 Celtics-Bulls 1st Round Series
One of the most competitive first round series we'd seen in a while, 4 games went into overtime and there were a total of 7 OT periods played in the series. Joakim Noah's fast-break dunk to win Game 6, Ray Allens 3-pointer to send that game into another OT with Bulls players draped on him, the weird leaning jumper by Ben Gordon and Paul Pierce's numerous clutch mid-range jumpers were just a few of the highlights of that series.

7. 2005 NBA Finals-Robert Horry sinks the Pistons
In a great 7 game series with two defnsive minded teams, Game 5 was pivitol for the Spurs quest to win title number 3. After 4 blowouts two by each team at home, the Spurs were in desperate need of an extra spark off the bench to win Game 5. Robert Horry had already had a reputation of hitting clutch shots in the playoffs throughout his career, but he came out of nowhere in the 4th to spark the Spurs. Scoring 19 of his 21 points in the 4th and OT and going 5 of 6 from behind the arc, none were bigger then the 3 he hit with under 10 seconds. With Detroit up 2 and the Spurs inbounding at half-court, Horry threw it into Ginobili, where Rasheed Wallace gambled and went to try and trap Ginobili in the corner. Sensing the double-team coming, Ginobili threw it back to Horry, and Big Shot Bob struck again with a 3 to give the Spurs a 96-95 game 5 win in Detroit.

6. 2004 NBA Finals-Pistons stun the Lakers in 5
Since the end of Jordan's run with the Bulls, the perception of the Eastern Conference was that it was miles behind the West. When the lakers advanced to their 4th NBA Finals in 5 years, nobody gave the Pistons a chance. With the exception of a great performance in Game 2 for Kobe, the Pistons dominated this series with defense, solid rebounding, and the sharp-shooting of Finals MVP Chauncey Billups. It started to change the perception of the East as the conference is slowly but surely catching up to the West.

5. Spurs vs. Suns- 2008 First Round Game 1
The defending NBA champions got off to a rough start in Game 1 against Phoenix falling behind by 15 in the 3rd. The Suns were in full control and looking sharp. But the Spurs slowly crept back into the Game and eventually cut the Suns lead to 3. Michael Finley would tie the game on a pull up 3-pointer to send the game to OT. The Suns took control of the OT and once again looked like they were going to prevail. But then, with the Spurs down 3 once again, Tim Duncan, never known for his outside shooting, was left wide-open and knocked down a 3 to send the game into double OT. The Spurs would gain control in the second overtime period, and would have a 3 point lead after Brent Berry missed a free throw giving the Suns an oppurtunity to tie it. Nash, who had been hitting shots all game, would hit a fall away 3 to tie it at 115. But it almost seemed as if the Spurs were destined to finish of the comeback, as Ginobili took it all the way for a game winning score in the lane. It was evident through the rest of the series that the Suns were deflated from the loss as they would be eiiminated in 5 games.

4. 2002 Western Conference Finals-Robert Horry sinks the Kings at the buzzer
The two-time defending champion Lakers had their hands full in this series with a Kings team that gave Los Angeles arguably their best series during their 3-peat. The Kings had a 2-1 lead in the series going into Game 4 and dominated the 1st half including 40 1st quarter points. Slowly but surely the Lakers crept back into the game and had cut the lead to 2 in the final minute. Down 2, the Lakers would have one more chance to try and tie the game and send it to OT. After Kobe missed a driving lay-up followed by a Shaq miss on a put back, Kings Center Vlade Divac would swat the ball away from the paint after Shaq's miss in hopes that the time would run out. But Horry was waiting at the top of the key, and he would catch the ball and shoot the game winner at the buzzer to win Game 4. The Staples Center went crazy mobbing Horry with Kings players in complete shock. The Lakers would go on to win in 7 on their way to sweeping the Nets in the NBA finals, as the shot proved to be the difference in the series. I still remember Marv Albert's call, "Horry, for the win.....YES!"

3. 2007 First Round-8th Seeded Golden State shocks the 67-win Mavs
Coming off a dissapointing Finals defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat in the previous season, the Mavericks looked like a team on a mission throughout the whole regular season in route to posting a league-best 67 wins. Their 1st round matchup would be against the Golden State Warriors, a team that barely made it into the playoffs and making their 1st appearence in the playoffs in 13 years. But Don Nelson, who had been the coach of the Mavs for a long time, figured out a way to expose the Mavs and give the Warrios an oppurtuinity to beat Dallas. They would take the series in 6 games, ending the series with a blowout win at home to ruin Dirk's MVP year and send a shocked Dallas team into the offseason. It is considered by many one of if not the biggest upset in playoff history.

2. 2007 Eastern Conference Finals Game 5-LeBron goes banannas on the Pistons
The top-seeded Pistons, who were in their 5th straight Eastern Conference Finals, were the clear cut favorite in the East when the playoffs. But they would have their problems in the first 4 games against an upstart young Cavs team led by rising star LeBron James. With the series tied at 2 going back to Detroit for pivitol Game 5, smart monet was on the playoff-experieced Pistons. But LeBron would prove to be unstoppable. James would score 48 points in double-overtime game, including his team's final 25 points and all 18 of their OT points. THE LAST 25 POINTS! He would cap off the amzing perfomance with a game winning-layup with 2 seconds left in the 2nd OT to give the Cavs a 109-107 win, shocking the Pistons faithful and silencing the Palace. It was one of the best indvidual playoff performances since Jordan.

1. 2004 Western Conference semifinals Game 5-Fisher's .4 shot sinks the Spurs
The two teams that had been responsible for winning the last 5 NBA Championships would duke it out in a sloppy Game 5 with one of the most shocking finishes in recent memory. With neither team getting much going offensively, shots were hard to come by in this game. A Kobe jump shot with 11 seconds left would give the Lakers a 72-71 lead. Tim Duncan would proceed to hit a fade-away jump shot to give the Spurs a 73-72 lead with only .4 seconds remaining. After a Laker's timeout, Los Angeles was able to inbound the ball at half-court for one last gasp. Gary Payton would inbound the ball to Derek Fisher who somehow caught and swished a mid-range jumper to give the Lakers the win. When I saw the play unfold, I at first thought that there was no way he got it off in time. But the more and more they showed the replay, the more and more it sank in that the shot was indeed good and had left Fisher's hands in time. I'd never seen a crowd go from extremely loud to dead silent in such a short period of time.

Feel free to comment or add a game you feel should be on there. Hope ya'll enjoyed it.

Category: NBA
Posted on: April 20, 2010 10:17 am
 

Final 2010 NFL Mock Draft


My final 2010 NFL Mock Draft, hope ya'll enjoy!


1. St. Louis Rams
-Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
2. Detroit Lions-Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
4. Washington Redskins-Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
5. Kansas City Chiefs-Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
6. Seattle Seahawks-Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
7. Cleveland Browns-Eric Berry, FS, Tennessee
8. Oakland Raiders-Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
9. Buffalo Bills-Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
10. Jacksonville Jaguars-Earl Thomas, CB, Texas
11. Denver Broncos-Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
12. Miami Dolphins-Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
13. San Francisco 49ers-Joe Haden, CB, Florida
14. Seattle Seahawks-C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
15. New York Giants- Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
16. Tennessee Titans-Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
17. San Francisco 49ers- Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
18. Pittsburgh Steelers-Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
19. Atlanta Falcons-Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
20. Houston Texans-Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
21. Cincinnati Bengals-Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
22. New England Patriots-Jared Odrick, DT/DE, Penn State
23. Green Bay Packers-Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU
24. Philadelphia Eagles-Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
25. Baltimore Ravens-Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan
26. Arizona Cardinals-Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
27. Dallas Cowboys-Taylor Mays, FS, Southern California
28. San Diego Chargers-Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State
29. New York Jets-Everson Griffen, DE, Southern California
30. Minnesota Vikings-Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
31. Indianapolis Colts-Charles Brown, OT, Southern California
32. New Orleans Saints-Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri
Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: April 17, 2010 3:48 am
 

NBA Playoff Predictions

Here my NBA playoff predictions. I will also do round by round predictions as well.

Western Conference:

1- Los Angeles Lakers vs. 8-Oklahoma City Thunder
Experience will be the factor in this series. OKC will be competitive, but Durant can only do so much. The Thunder gain valuable playoff experience for next year in this series as a positive.
Prediction: Lakers in 5

4-Denver Nuggets vs. 5-Utah Jazz
I see Denver stepping it up even without George Karl. Chauncey Billups will be key in this series if he is making his shots Denver will be hard to beat. Whoever rebounds the ball the best should win this series.
Prediction: Nuggets in 6

2-Dallas Mavericks vs. 7-San Antonio Spurs
I'm a Spurs homer no doubt, but I really think the Spurs can win this series. I could be very wrong, but I'm going to out on a limb and pick the Spurs in 7. Ginobili and Blair have huge series.
Prediction: Spurs in 7

3-Phoenix Suns vs. 6-Portland Trail Blazers
The Suns are playing as well as any team in the NBA right now. They've always been a great offensive team, but now they are stepping up their defense unlike past years. They take care of Brandon Roy-less Portland in 5 and move on.
Prediction: Phoenix in 5

Second Round

1-Los Angeles Lakers vs. 4-Denver Nuggets
A rematch of last year's conference finals, L.A. wins this series by taking care of business at home and making key plays late in the games on the road. The Lakers need to shoot the ball well in this series though.
Prediction: Lakers in 6

3-Phoenix Suns vs. 7-San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have had the Suns number lately in the playoffs, but I see the Suns breaking the trend at least for this year. They're playing exceptionally better on the defensive side and Stoudamire is hitting his stride right now. Suns win in 6 and move on.
Prediction: Suns in 6

Western Conference Finals:
1-Los Angeles Lakers vs. 3-Phoenix Suns
Phoenix will push the Lakers to the brink in this series, but L.A. holds on in 7 by some clutch performances by Kobe and something they will need to win this series: Solid post play by both Gasol and Bynum (if he plays).
Prediction: Lakers in 7


Eastern Conference:

1-Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 8-Chicago Bulls
Derek Rose will do well, but thats 's it. Cleveland breezes by the Bulls with a solid opening series by Lebron and moves on to the second round in a sweep.
Prediction: Cavs in 4

2-Orlando Magic vs. 7-Charlotte Bobcats
The Bobcats have been poor away from home but great in Charlotte. Too much size inside with Dwight Howard and by the time the Magic get to Charlotte for game 3, the 3-point shots should be falling. The Bobacts steal one at home though.
Prediction: Magic in 5

3-Atlanta Hawks vs. 6-Milwaukee Bucks
Losing Bogut will be a huge loss for the Bucks in this series. Expect Atlanta to expose the inside and then work it out. Jamal Crawford coming off the bench will be a difference too.
Prediction: Atlanta in 5

4-Boston Celtics vs. 5-Miami Heat
This will be the most interesting first round series in the East. On paper, the Celtics are without a doubt the better team, but when you have the best player in the series, which the Heat have in Wade, you will always have a shot. Miami scares Boston but the Celtics prevail. Rajon Rondo will be the key to Boston's success in this series.
Prediction: Celtics in 6

Second Round

1-Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 4-Boston Celtics
Boston's experience keeps this series close, but Lerbon in the Cavs eventually take care of business to move on in 6 games. An interesting x-factor in this series will be bench production.
Prediction: Cavs in 6

2-Orlando Magic vs. 3-Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks gave Orlando trouble during the regular season, but I see Van Gundy making the adjustments needed for the Magic to take down Atlanta. The Hawks in my opinion are still a year away with a lot of youth on their roster.
Prediction: Magic in 5

Eastern Conference Finals  

1-Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 2-Orlando Magic
A lot of people think this is the year Lebron gets it done. I say...not so fast my friend! Orlando's defense was key in last year's series, and I see that happening agin this series. Howard will be good again, but Vince Carter will break out in this series with a big game or 2. I could be very wrong, I just feel confident in Orlando's chance even more than last year.
Prediction: Magic in 6

NBA Finals

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic
The Magic have gotten a bit better since last year and feel confident in their chances. The Lakers win the first two at Staples, Orlando wins the next two at home, evening up the series at two. Unless their is a sweep, game 5 will decide this series in my opinion. Itt will be the most intense game of the series and I see Kobe making enoug clutch plays to lead Los Angeles to a close victory at Orlando in game five. The Lakers use the momentum gained off their game five victory and push their way to victory at home in game six. The Magic will fight, but will come up short once again as Kobe and Shag both win their 5th NBA titles.
Prediction: Lakers in 6

Finals MVP: Kobe Bryant
Category: NBA
Posted on: April 5, 2010 9:01 pm
 

Championship Game Pick (Duke-Butler)

I'll make this short and sweet. I'll be pulling hard for Butler, but I can't pick against Duke. Duke pulls away in the 2nd half with their ability to rebound the ball effectivly.
Duke 74 Butler 63

Category: NCAAB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com