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My BCS Solution December 3, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Football, Sports.
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For those of you tired of the BCS crap and ready for a playoff system….read this post on my new site (www.jdub217.com) to see how I would propose fixing the already ridiculous BCS system.

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2006-2007 NFL – Week 13 December 3, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Football, Sports.
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Go to the new site (www.jdub217.com) to see my Week 13 picks.

Illinois vs. Arizona December 2, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Basketball, Sports.
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Illinois is ahead by 3 with a little over 15 minutes to go. That in itself is surprising enough, considering the game is in Arizona, the Illini are without Brian Randle, and to this point in the game Arizona has 6 fouls, Illinois 19 fouls. That’s an amazing discrepancy in fouls called.

Hopefully the Illini can pull this one out.

2006-2007 College Football – Week 14 December 2, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Football, Sports.
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An abbreviated post on my picks this week:

Georgia Tech, USC, Arkansas, Rutgers and Oklahoma will be winners today

2006-2007 NFL – Week 12 November 26, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Football, Sports.
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Week 12 brings us the biggest challenge to date for the Chicago Bears. They face the Patriots of New England in Foxboro where the Patriots actually have a losing record this year (2-3). Which is unusual considering the Pats have been one of the best home teams in the league the past few years.

This is a HUGE test for Grossman. If he can “halfway” handle a bluffing, blitzing, and scheming Belichick defense; that bodes well for the Bears. If not, he can expect to encounter similar scenarios the rest of the season until he figures it out.

Here are the games I’m picking:

Pittsburgh at Baltimore
New Orleans at Atlanta
San Francisco at St. Louis
Chicago at New England
Philadelphia at Indianapolis

Monday Night Football:

Green Bay at Seattle

My Picks:

Baltimore, New Orleans, San Francisco, New England, Indianapolis, and Seattle

If the Pats can confuse Peyton Manning, they’ll confuse Grossman into a few mistakes. The Pats offense will dink and dunk the Bears defense into a few touchdowns, and the Pats D will hold on. I’m thinking 17-7 New England.

Illini 51 Miami (OH) 49 November 24, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Basketball, Sports.
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The Illini escape with a win while playing without Jamar Smith and Brian Randle.  You know it’s been a bad game when the coach says “I don’t think we deserved to win”, which is exactly what Weber said after the game.

In a game, dubbed as a “meat grinder” by the commentators, the Illini trailed all game; yet pulled out the victory.  Carter makes his first basket with less than a minute in the game and Fraser makes a tough left handed layup in traffic to seal the deal.  Fraser is tough player and is just a sophomore.  And boy is McBride terrible off the dribble.  I’ve never seen someone so one-dimensional on the Illini in a very long time.  He’s catch and shoot and that’s about it.

Oh well, they pulled off the win.  Their next two games are against ranked foes, and hopefully they’ll bring their A game.  The 28th they play #24 Maryland and on Dec 2nd they play at #15 Arizona.  These are what I’d call “statement games” for the Illini.  Even if Randle and Smith are still out, which I think they will be, the Illini have to show something in these two games.

2006-2007 College Football – Week 13 November 24, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Football, Sports.
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We are coming down to the wire in the College Football season.

This week should be the week which determines who will play Ohio State in the National Championship. If USC beats Notre Dame, and wins next week against UCLA; they’re in. They lose, they’re out, and it’s anybody’s guess who will be in; probably Michigan or Florida (if they win out).

Arkansas, Texas, and Boston College were all upset Friday. Arkansas lost to LSU, Texas lost to Texas A & M, and BC lost to Miami. Miami then proceeded to fire Larry Coker after a 6-6 season.

Games I’m picking this week:

#4 Florida at Florida State
Virginia at #17 Virginia Tech
South Carolina at #24 Clemson
#13 Oklahoma at Oklahoma State
#8 Louisville at Pittsburgh
#16 Georgia Tech at Georgia
#6 Notre Dame at #3 USC

My Picks:

Florida State, VT, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Louisville, Georgia, and USC

Upset Alert: Florida – in a rivalry game anything goes, and I’m picking the Seminoles. In case you can’t tell, I don’t care for Florida or Urban Meyer. I think they are the most overrated team in college football, and Meyer is the most overrated coach in college football.

Cubbies Going Hog Wild… November 20, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.
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Yes, thats right sports fans. The Cubs are spending money….and lots of it.

The question is, is it money well spent?

Here are the key transactions so far:

Alfonso Soriano (IF, OF) – 8 years, $136 million (5th largest deal in MLB history)

Mark DeRosa (IF, OF) – 3 years, $13 million

Re-signed Aramis Ramirez (3B) – 5 years, $75 million

Re-signed Kerry Wood (SP/RP) – 1 year, $1.75 million

Re-signed Wade Miller (SP) – 1 year, $1.5 million

Re-signed Henry Blanco (C) – 2 years, $5.25 million

Acquired (LHP/RP) Neal Cotts from the White Sox in exchange for RP David Aardsma and Minor-leaguer Carlos Vasquez

The Breakdown:

The re-signing of Ramirez, Wood, Miller, and Blanco is fine with me. I think Ramirez is slightly overpaid at $15 million per year. That’s more than Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Carlos Beltran, Eric Chavez, and a cast of other better players get paid. But hey, if they lose him, they’d really be hurting for power in their lineup; so I guess I can see the reasoning.

I also think they are overpaying DeRosa, a career utility man, a little much.

This Soriano move is going to mark the Cub franchise for years to come. Hopefully, for them, in a good way. With memories of Cub’s past, I won’t hold my breath just yet. I sure hope they can live with his AWFUL defense in return for 40 homers and 20-40 stolen bases. To me, offense has never been the Cub’s problem. Recently it’s been pitching and defense. These moves don’t seem to address any of these concerns so far, unless they just plan to win games by softball scores of 12-10, 16-14, etc.

Cotts was awesome in 2005, but in 2006 his ERA was worse than Aardsma’s.

Supposedly the Cubs are still looking to strengthen their rotation this off-season. However, I’m guessing they aren’t players in the big name free agent pitchers, hence the Soriano signing. Plus, all the really smart teams like the Mets, Yankees, and Redsox are gobbling up the pitching as fast as possible. They’ve got $25 million (1/4 of their 2006 payroll) already wrapped up in the first six players I just listed above. Unless they’re going to exceed the luxury tax limit, I don’t see a whole lot of pitching help coming their way. My bet is they can’t find enough starting pitching so Wood ends up back in the rotation; again. And we all know how that story goes.

I could talk about this until I’m blue in the face, but that wouldn’t be any fun; so why don’t you offer up some opinions…

2006-2007 NFL – Week 11 November 19, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Football, Sports.
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Games I’m picking this week:

St. Louis at Carolina
Cincinnati at New Orleans
Chicago at NY Jets
New England at Green Bay
Atlanta at Baltimore
Indianapolis at Dallas
San Diego at Denver

Monday Night Football:

NY Giants at Jacksonville

My Picks:

Carolina, New Orleans, Chicago, New England, Baltimore, Indianapolis, San Diego, and NY Giants

Well, after calling the Bears out last week, they made me pay. This week, I’ll pick em’. A couple of really good showdowns this week with Indy/Dallas, SD/Denver, and Atl/Baltimore. Should be a good week of NFL action.

2006-2007 College Football – Week 12 November 17, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Football, Sports.
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After last week’s BCS Shake-Up, this week brings up two pivotal games.  Those two games are Michigan at Ohio State, and Cal at USC.  Both games have major national title implications.  The Michigan/OSU game comes a day after Bo Schembechler, the Michigan/College Football coaching legend, passes away.  See the ESPN story here.

Games I’m pickin’:

#21 Maryland at #20 Boston College
Illinois at Northwestern
#5 Arkansas at Mississippi State
Army at #6 Notre Dame
#2 Michigan at #1 Ohio State
#15 Auburn at Alabama
#19 Virginia Tech at #14 Wake Forest
#17 California at #4 USC

My Picks:

Maryland, Illinois, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Michigan, Auburn, Virginia Tech, and USC.

Upset Alert: USC – Cal will be gunning for USC, but now that Cal’s title hopes are toast; USC will pull this one out.  I’d like to pick Miss. St. in an upset, but they are pretty bad.  I think Arkansas is ripe for an upset after beating Tennessee and having to play LSU next week.  This week is a definite trap game, but I don’t think Miss. St. has enough to pull it off.

Monday Night Football November 13, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Football, Sports.
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Does MNF even interest anybody these days?

I don’t think so.  I’m not sure if the ratings agree with me, but I think they might.

The network doesn’t matter, the broadcast team doesn’t matter, and I’m beginning to wonder if the teams playing the game even matter.

They switched things from ABC to ESPN this year, and I can honestly say I haven’t watched a complete MNF game so far this season.  Most of the games have sucked, but hopefully with the flex schedule coming up, they’ll get better.

Here are my possible reasons for the lack of interest:

  • The start time is too late – an 8PM start time in the midwest is way too late for a 3 hour football game.  This is obviously geared towards the eastern time zones, and that is a shame.
  • Football overload – Yes, I believe there is so much emphasis on College Football Saturday and NFL Sunday that Monday people want a break from football.
  • ESPN – Why stay up past your bedtime for a usually non-interesting, non-meaningful game when you can watch the 1 minute worth of highlights the next morning?

Why do you think MNF is such a non-factor these days?

MLB Hot Stove: Edition #1 November 13, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.
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Well, the Cubbies resigned Aramis Ramirez to a 5-yr deal worth $73 million and they also resigned Kerry Wood to a 1 year deal worth $1.75 million with bonuses that could make it worth $6 million.

Here’s the full article. 

Personally, I think Ramirez is one of the least clutch players in the NL.  He’s the A-Rod of the national league in my eyes.  He hits all sorts of home runs when it doesn’t matter, but strikes out when it does matter.  That said, the guy is a good player and I wouldn’t mind having him on my team.   Another thing that bothers me is that he can get real lazy at times.  I’m sure Pinella will like that.

Wood mystifies me.  I’m surprised the Cubs didn’t give him more of a base salary.  They’ve had Kerry Wood fever for so many years now, I’m surprised they didn’t pony up more money.  Even though I don’t like this signing, I think they should trade him while he’s got some value left, it might work out IF he stays healthy and IF he actually pitches out of the bullpen.  Good relievers are consistent and Kerry Wood is anything but that, so we’ll see how well he pans out in the bullpen.

Let me know what you think about these signings….

2006-2007 College Football – Week 11 November 9, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Football, Sports.
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Week 11 looks to be a very good weekend for college football.  The most interesting game could be the one played tonight.  That game features #3 Louisville at #15 Rutgers.

Here are the games I’m picking:

#3 Louisville at #15 Rutgers
#16 Wisconsin at Iowa
Purdue at Illinois
#1 Ohio State at Northwestern
#2 Michigan at Indiana
South Carolina at #6 Florida
#8 California at Arizona
Miami (FL) at #23 Maryland
Nebraska at #24 Texas A&M
#9 Notre Dame at Air Force
#13 Tennessee at #11 Arkansas
Texas Tech at #17 Oklahoma
Alabama at #12 LSU
#4 Texas at Kansas State
#18 Wake Forest at Florida State
#21 Oregon at #7 USC

My Picks:

Rutgers, Wisconsin, Illinois, OSU, Michigan, Florida, California, Miami (FL), Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Oklahoma, LSU, Texas, Florida State, and USC.

Upset Alert: Louisville – Rutgers is playing excellent bal, and I think they get it done at home.

2006-2007 NFL – Week 8 October 29, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Football, Sports.
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Games I’m picking this week:

San Francisco at Chicago
Atlanta at Cincinnati
Seattle at Kansas City
Baltimore at New Orleans
Jacksonville at Philadelphia
St. Louis at San Diego
Indianapolis at Denver
Dallas at Carolina
Monday Night Football

New England at Minnesota

My Picks:

Chicago, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Carolina,  and New England

College Basketball: Preseason Rankings October 28, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Basketball, Sports.
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Here is a link to the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll:
Our beloved Illini are not in the top 25.   See my previous post about the Illini to get the latest.

On another note, I almost gagged to death when I saw Bruce Pearl on the ESPN College Basketball homepage.  The article was about Pearl’s personality.  If you’d like to read it, go here. 

Post your thoughts about the upcoming college basketball season.

Friday Night Lights – Playoff Edition October 28, 2006

Posted by j-dub in H.S. Football, Sports.
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I missed the Friday games, but here are the saturday matchups I’ll pick (local teams 1A-6A):

#13 Carthage (6-3) at #4 Gibson City (G.C.-Melvin-Sibley) (8-1) – Sat., 2:00
#11 Arcola (7-2) at #6 Mt. Olive (8-1) – Sat., 1:30
#5 Elmwood [E.-Brimfield Coop] (6-3) at #4 Sidell (Jamaica) [Salt Fork Coop] (6-3) – Sat., 1:00 @ Catlin
#5 Paxton (P.-Buckley-Loda) (5-4) at #4 Spring Valley (Hall) (7-2) – Sat., 1:00
#5 Monticello (6-3) at #4 Decatur (St. Teresa) (8-1) – Sat., 1:00
#6 Pittsfield [P.-Griggsville-Perry Coop] (6-3) at #3 Tolono (Unity) (8-1) – Sat., 1:30
#12 Mahomet (M.-Seymour) (6-3) at #5 Breese (Mater Dei) (7-2) – Sat., 1:00
#16 Mattoon (5-4) at #1 Springfield (Sacred Heart-Griffin) (9-0) – Sat., 1:00 @ Memorial Stadium
#11 Normal (Community West) (6-3) at #6 Oak Forest (7-2) – Sat., 6:00

My picks:

GCMS, Arcola, Salt Fork, PBL, Decatur, Unity, Breese, Springfield, Oak Forest

WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS – 2006 ST. LOUIS CARDINALS October 27, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.
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The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals are the World Champions of baseball!!!

2006-2007 College Football – Week 9 October 26, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Football, Sports.
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Games I’m Picking this week:

#11 Notre Dame at Navy
Illinois at #17 Wisconsin
#19 Oklahoma at #23 Missouri
Georgia at #9 Florida
Miami (FL) at #21 Georgia Tech
#8 Tennessee at South Carolina

My Picks:

Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Missouri, Florida, Miami (FL), and South Carolina

Upset Alert #1: Florida – Georgia has an outstanding defense, but they don’t score a lot either so it’s a push. With this game in Gainesville, I’ll still give the edge to the Gators but I wouldn’t count out the Dogs.

Upset Alert #2: Tennessee – Spurrier has owned Tennesse in his career. This game is in SC, and the Gamecocks play outstanding defense. This should be a great game, especially with the way Tennessee lights it up. This game will match strength (SC Defense) vs strength (TN Offense). I’ll take defense in this battle.

Not an exciting week in college football, but a few intriguing games….hence the 2 upset alerts. There are a few games where there are good 2 loss teams (see the Miami/Georgia/SC games) playing ranked 1 or 2 loss teams. The Notre Dame/Navy game is a good game if you’re a die hard/traditional college football fan.

2006-2007 NFL – Week 7 October 22, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Football, Sports.
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Games I’m picking:

Carolina at Cincinnati
Pittsburgh at Atlanta
Washington at Indianapolis
Minnesota at Seattle
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
Monday Night Football:

NY Giants at Dallas

My picks:

Carolina, Pittsburgh, Indianoplis, Seattle, Philly, and the NY Giants

2006 World Series October 21, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.
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St Louis Cardinals vs Detroit Tigers

A third meeting of these teams in the world series (1934, 1968). The Cards won in 34′ and the Tigers in 68′.

I want the Cardinals to win the series, but they are banged up and I’m not sure if their outstanding pitching performance in the NLCS will carry over to the Series.

I also think Detroit is a team of destiny, two years removed from a 119 loss season (1 away from a MLB record), and with the way they played this year they reminded me of the Red Sox in 04′ and the White Sox of 05′. I’m not sure there is any team that can stop them.

My heart predicts the Cardinals in 6.

My brain predicts the Tigers in 6.

Sports will often tug at your heart, even when it comes to making picks, bets, predictions, etc.

This time, I’m going with my brain….and hoping my brain is wrong….

PS: In case you couldn’t tell; that IS a Tigers pick in 6, but deep down, I’m hoping I’m wrong….