Casual Friday 1/7

by Wally

Getting ready to head into a WONDERFUL weekend of BIG games …  college and NFL games that REALLY matter.   Okay, I’m including Monday night’s national title game, too … so an “extended weekend” if you will.   So here’s a few somewhat random thoughts on what we’re about to see.

Alright, this first game doesn’t REALLY matter, except to a few hundred thousand people in Texas and Louisiana … heck, maybe it’s a couple mill.   Anyway, we’ve got a great match-up tonight in the Cotton Bowl classic with #17 Texas A&M battling #11 LSU.    I like A&M in this one … and not because my second eldest daughter and money go there.    The Aggies have played consistently well on both sides of the ball practically all season and have won several tough contests in November to close with momentum … something they haven’t seen in College Station for quite some time.     Meanwhile, the Tigers are strong on defense but quite challenged on offense.   Without a good dependable passing attack, I see the very good A&M defense stacking the line to stop the run and won’t yield the big play.   Les Miles will have all kinds of trickeration up his sleave ready to use, but you can only run so many fake punts and FGs before they know it’s coming.   The Aggies will score just enough to hold on for a 20-17 win.
Texas A&M Aggies defensive end Von Miller (40) celebrates with teammates after he grabbed an interception near the Longhorns endzone stopping their drive late in the fourth quarter of the University of Texas-Texans A&M college football game at Texas Memorial Stadium, Nov. 25, 2010, in Ausitn, Texas. Texas A&M won the game 24-17.  (AP Photo/Karen Warren - Houston Chronicle )
Saints at Seahawks:   Call me crazy, but I’ve just got a feeling that the Seachickens homefield advantage will come to roost in this one.    It might be cold and nasty wet, plus Seattle boasts the most raucous outdoor venue and the Seachicken fans feel like this is a second Christmas.   Saints are a bit banged up, esp with the running game and not accustomed to playing in challenging outdoor conditions.    Seachickens win by a beak!

2010 Rewind - Music Mash Up

Jets at Colts:   Good thing for Indy they’ve got a home game here, otherwise I’d be going the other way.    I’d rather have Manning going against the Jets D at Peyton’s Place as opposed to Sanchez playing against Indy and their home crowd.    Jets may bottle up Indy a bit, but Sanchez will make a few key errors, one too many.    Colts advance 20-16.

  Peyton Manning #18 Of The Indianapolis Colts Looks

Ravens at Chiefs:   This feels like a close one to me … essentially a toss-up.   Wish I knew which Ravens defense will show up.    If it’s the dominant one, I’m clearly going with the Ravens, but if the “average” one shows up, this one becomes a nailbiter.    Still, although Flacco is pretty young, the Ravens are very much a veteran unit that’s played in big, tough games over last few years.    The Chiefs just seem happy to be here this year and looked like crap last week vs Oakland.   Baltimore takes it by 4.

Packers at Eagles:    I’m convinced the Packers are a better all-around team and they’ll win if they don’t beat themselves.    Vick presents some unique challenges, but a handful of teams this year displayed the recipe for keeping him contained and I think the Packers are capable of containing him as well.    Eagle teams really feel the pressure when they play at home … so I expect they’ll be a little tight.   The poor showing vs Minnesota when they needed to win is not encouraging.    As long as Aaron Rogers doesn’t pull a Favre at the end with an untimely INT, Green Bay wins 26-21.

Packers at Eagles
Hoops  #9 UConn at #12 Texas: Nice cross-sectional game in the middle of conference season.   The Longhorns have been hot for a full month, including an impressive dismantling of Michigan State at the Izzone, plus the annihilation of Arkansas a few days ago.   UConn is depressed after falling at ND.   Texas wins by 12.
Texas guard Cory Joseph (5) drives the lane against Arkansas guard Rotnei Clarke (15) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011, in Austin, Texas. Texas won 79-46. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)
****************** NATIONAL CHAN’SHIP *********************
Oregon vs Auburn:    Finally, a college football game that REALLY counts!   I think this is going to be a very good game with the outcome being decided over the last 5 minutes.    But this is where Auburn’s luck runs out.   Oregon presents a prolific dual threat attack … on the ground, in the air … that Auburn hasn’t seen much of this year, except maybe in practice with their own Scam Newton.   But it’s the “TEAM” threat that Auburn will face in Oregon, and they won’t stop it enough.  Oregon’s D isn’t too bad either … Tigers will get their points, but again, it won’t be enough.   I can’t help but think back to the game where Oregon fell far behind Stanford and then proceeded to kick their butts for 2 1/2 quarters to in by 21.   When you kick Stanford’s butt THIS YEAR, that says a lot about your team.    QUACK, QUACK … Ducks will take the title by a 35-31 margin!
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Have a great weekend and good luck if you have a rooting interest.   Please chime in with your views of the outcomes on these and any other games.
Will also be interesting to see how the PPP plays out. Tonight’s Cotton Bowl and Monday BCS Chan’ship carry huge points.   But there’s also a few “smaller” games in between that could influence.    Later.

14 Responses to "Casual Friday 1/7"

  1. Rey   January 7, 2011 at 8:49 am

    It was funny to listen to sports radio this morning as a North Carolina resident. Andrew Luck decides to stay at Stanford for various reasons. The Carolina Panthers have exactly 527 fans who care about them with about 50 of those being sports guys in or around their area. These guys were ripping him a new one for staying in school another year and turning down $50 million or so. How ridiculous is it to say that he made a terrible choice to finish his architectural degree? I’m pretty sure he will be fine financially in whatever he decides to do. But Panthers fans had already christened Luck the next Tom Brady. Hopefully Jimmy Clausen doesn’t listen to sports radio around NC.

    And speaking of QBs, what a difference a year makes. Luck pulls his name and I see on the ESPN scroll that the new #1 QB for this year’s draft is the Mizzou QB (I don’t even know his name). What the heck has happened to Jake Locker???

  2. Rey   January 7, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Oh – and good point about Oregon handling one of the more well rounded teams in the nation, Wally. I picked Auburn in the PPP, but in retrospect they had to have a lot bounce their way this year with the number of close games they’ve had, especially the Alabama game. The only “suspect” game for Oregon was Cal.

  3. Wally   January 7, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Luck’s decision to stay is interesting and I believe he’s really doing what he wants to do. Can’t fault him for that. He’s apparently a REAL smart kid and is pursuing an Architecture degree. That’s awesome. Sure … It’s possible he could get injured playing for Stanford next year, but he’s already established a GREAT track record/reputation among NFL scouts, so I bet he’d still get drafted very high in 2012 even if injured his last season … and i’m sure he’s gonna secure one of those Lloyd’s of London insurance policies to mitigate most of the financial risk he may be taking. I applaud him. He’ll be the Heisman front-runner going into 2011 season and Stanford may be a title contender … and maybe this causes Harbaugh to stay there, too. Stay tuned.

  4. Dan   January 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Remember Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford stayed in school and got injured. This did not affect his draft status as I believe he went #1 overall to the hapless Rams. So, even if Luck gets injured, he will still be a high pick, still most likely #1 overall by whatever team is a joke next year like this year’s Panthers and Bills. Bradford’s injury was even a throwing shoulder injury. There is no downside except he won’t get the money now. But what does he need money for? He comes from a well-to-do family already. He’s not from the streets and doesn’t need to buy his mom a house. He is already a big man on campus, but all of this hype from this decision and next year’s Heisman and national championship will make him a GOD nationally. Much like Tim Tebow over the last few years.
    While Tebow would never admit it, and I don’t think he’s the type of guy that looks backwards, don’t you think last year’s “encore” performance was one of the best year’s of his life. He was as famous as he’ll ever be.
    In summary, Luck is more than fine and if he’s as intelligent as everyone says he is, I’m sure he considered everything that I just said.

    as usual…just some thoughts…

  5. Crash   January 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    This just in…Harbaugh goes to 49ers !

  6. Wally   January 7, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Now what does Stanford do? They had a real nice Top 10 recruiting class shaping up … wonder if this will really upset that applecart.

    In case ya didn’t hear, Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern was contacted by Michigan, but I hear he’s staying put. He’s a “Northwestern Man”.

  7. Wally   January 8, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Geeez … I can’t even pick my nose right, let alone a football game :(. Where was A&M’s Wrecking Crew defense???? They made Jordan Jefferson look like Michael Vick and he’s not that. Oh well.

    Here are the latest PPP standings after the LSU win in Cotton Bowl. There are 3 bowl games remaining … two 3-pointers and the 10 pointer. I’ve posted which team each contestant picked for the title game winner, so you can get a feel if you have a chance.

    1 Smitty 86 Oregon
    2 Joe 80 Oregon
    3 AC (Pete) 79 Auburn
    4 ND Dad 77 Oregon
    5 Dan 74 Auburn
    6 Pete 72 Auburn
    7 Rey 71 Auburn
    8 Chas 69 Auburn
    9 Mark (Pete) 69 Auburn
    10 Crash 60 Auburn
    11 Casey 57 Oregon
    12 Wally 57 Oregon
    13 Bill 56 Oregon
    14 Wannabe 56 Oregon
    15 Pete Jr 52 Oregon

    Please let me know ASAP if you suspect I’ve made an error in your point total calculation. Good luck the rest of the way!

  8. Wally   January 9, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Uh … I did say “Seachickens win by a beak”. (see above). Of course, that’s the only game I’ve picked correctly in about a week and I’m actually sad to acknowledge it came to fruition. I like the Saints and don’t like Pete Carroll, but I just had a feeling that this set-up would not go well for NO. I used to root for the Seachickens while living in Alaska … they were our “home team” so to speak.

  9. Wally   January 9, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Here are the latest PPP standings after the Pitt win (3 pts). Now since everyone picked Nevada in tonight’s 3 pt game, the relative standings will be the same going into Monday’s Nat’l title game between Oregon and Auburn.

    1 Smitty 86 Oregon
    2 Joe 83 Oregon
    3 AC (Pete) 82 Auburn
    4 ND Dad 80 Oregon
    5 Dan 77 Auburn
    6 Pete 75 Auburn
    7 Rey 71 Auburn
    8 Chas 69 Auburn
    9 Mark (Pete) 69 Auburn
    10 Crash 60 Auburn
    11 Bill 59 Oregon
    12 Wannabe 59 Oregon
    13 Casey 57 Oregon
    14 Wally 57 Oregon
    15 Pete Jr 52 Oregon

    At least the PPP somewhat kept folks interested until we actually got to the one game that mattered on Monday. All I can say now is: “Thank God this is coming to a close!” Oh … and I’m really glad Pete Jr entered the contest. 🙂

  10. Rey   January 9, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    So it comes down to either Smitty or AC Pete.

  11. Wally   January 10, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Yes, Rey … for the Gold Helmet. Silver and Bronze helmets will also be awarded.

  12. Crossword Pete   January 11, 2011 at 12:13 am

    It wasn’t high scoring, and it wasn’t always pretty, but it was one heck of a game!

  13. Chas   January 11, 2011 at 9:18 am

    It looks like Smitty will have to settle for the Bronze. Of course, his redemption will be in the PGA PPP…he’ll definitely take the gold in that. 😉

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