Monday, December 28, 2009

Talking Points

Here is the link to my latest column for It's Just Sports on Please login to Mlive and leave me a comment, either positive or negative.

Talking Points: Dick Vitale defends Bob Knight and Michael Irvin would trade his Super Bowl rings for an unbeaten season

Thursday, December 24, 2009

NFL PICKS - Week 16

Week 15 NFL Results: 6-9
NFL Results Season to Date: 109-124-2

College Football Results Season to Date: 33-22

Week 15 Mark My Words Results: 1-1
Mark My Words Results Season to Date: 30-29

Week 16 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Friday Night Football

At Tennessee -3 San Diego (San Diego)

At Green Bay -14 Seattle (Seattle)
At Cleveland -3 Oakland (Oakland)
At Cincinnati -13.5 Kansas City (Kansas City)
At Atlanta -9 Buffalo (Atlanta)
At Miami -3 Houston (Miami)
At New York Giants -7 Carolina (Carolina)
At New Orleans -14 Tampa Bay (New Orleans)
At New England -8 Jacksonville (Jacksonville)
At Pittsburgh -3 Baltimore (Baltimore)
At Philadelphia -6.5 Denver (Philly)
At Arizona -14 St. Louis (Arizona)
At San Francisco -12 Detroit (San Francisco)
At Indianapolis -5 New York Jets (Indy)
Dallas -6 at Washington (Washington)

Monday Night Football

Minnesota -7 At Chicago (Chicago)

College Football:

Pittsburgh -2.5 North Carolina (North Carolina)
USC -7.5 B.C. (USC)
Clemson -7 Kentucky (Clemson)

Mark My Words:

Here are the pro and college lines that I would put money on, and why:

San Diego +3 over TENNESSEE - With Keith Bulluck out for Tennessee, I look for San Diego to be able to establish the run on the road. That should help set up the play action pass downfield to Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd for at least one deep ball, which could make the difference in this game. Chris Johnson could have a big day running between the tackles as opposed to outside against San Diego's depleted interior DL.

NEW ORLEANS -14 over Tampa Bay - New Orleans' secondary has been vulnerable of late in their defensive backfield and their pass protection. Tampa Bay has been unable to throw the ball downfield consistently, nor have they been able to rush the passer. I look for New Orleans to win in a blowout.

ARIZONA -14 over St. Louis - St. Louis is starting a third string quarterback against an aggressive Arizona secondary. Look for Arizona's offense to score at will on the St. Louis defense.

SAN FRANCISCO -12 over Detroit - Detroit is starting their third string quarterback against a strong 49'er defense. While Frank Gore should be able to run against Detroit's front 7, the key to this game will be Alex Smith exploiting Detroit's secondary, which has lacked talent all season, and is now even more depleted due to injury. If Smith can't pull this one off, he'll likely be out of a job.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

NFL PICKS - Week 15

Week 14 NFL Results: 8-8
NFL Results Season to Date: 103-115-2

College Football Results Season to Date: 33-22

Week 14 Mark My Words Results: 2-1
Mark My Words Results Season to Date: 29-28

Week 15 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Thursday Night Football

Indianapolis -3 At Jacksonville (Indianapolis)

Saturday Night Football

At New Orleans -7.5 Dallas (Dallas)

At Baltimore -11 Chicago (Chicago)
New England -7 At Buffalo (New England)
Arizona -12.5 At Detroit (Arizona)
At Kansas City -2 Cleveland (Kansas City)
At New York Jets -4.5 Atlanta (New York Jets)
At Philadelphia -7.5 San Fransisco (San Francisco)
Houston -13.5 St. Louis (Houston)
At Tennessee -4 Miami (Miami)
At Seattle -6.5 Tampa Bay (Seattle)
At Pittsburgh -2 Green Bay (Green Bay)
Denver -14 At Oakland (Oakland)
At San Diego -7 Cincinnati (Cincinnati)
Minnesota -9 at Carolina (Minnesota)

Monday Night Football

New York Giants -2.5 At Washington (Washington)

Mark My Words:

Here are the pro and college lines that I would put money on, and why:

Green Bay +2 over PITTSBURGH - Two reasons. First, Green Bay's offensive line is slowly improving. Second, the Steelers have quit on the season. They'll be lucky to win another game.

Arizona -12.5 over DETROIT- Detroit will be starting their backup running back and backup quarterback. Arizona's prolific passing attack goes against the worst secondary in possibly the history of the NFL. I've never been so sure of anything in my entire life.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Talking Points

Here is the link to my latest column for It's Just Sports on Please login to Mlive and leave me a comment, either positive or negative.

Talking Points: Matt Millen botches his own rule and Mark Ingram steals the show at the Heisman presentation

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Talking Points

Here is the link to my latest column for It's Just Sports on Please login to Mlive and leave me a comment, either positive or negative.

Talking Points: Remembering Jim Valvano and tiring of college football coaching searches

NFL PICKS - Week 14

Week 13 NFL Results: 5-10
NFL Results Season to Date: 95-107-2

Week 13 College Football Results: 4-0
College Football Results Season to Date: 33-22

Week 13 This Is Why Results: 1-3
This is Why Results Season to Date: 27-27

Week 13 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Thursday Night Football

Pittsburgh -13 At Cleveland (Pittsburgh)

At Indianapolis -7 Denver (Indianapolis)
At Minnesota -6.5 Cincinnati (Cincinnati)
New York Jets -3.5 At Tampa Bay (Tampa Bay)
At Kansas City even line Buffalo (Kansas City)
Green Bay -3 At Chicago (Green Bay)
New Orleans -10.5 At Atlanta (New Orleans)
At Baltimore -13.5 Detroit (Baltimore)
At Jacksonville -3 Miami (Miami)
At New England -13.5 Carolina (Carolina)
At Houston -6 Seattle (Seattle)
At Tennessee -13 St. Louis (Tennessee)
Washington -1 At Oakland (Oakland)
At Dallas -3 San Diego (San Diego)
At New York Giants -1 Philadelphia (Philadelphia)

Monday Night Football

Arizona -3.5 At San Francisco (Arizona)

This is Why

Here are the pro and college lines that I would put money on, and why:

Green Bay -3 over CHICAGO - While Green Bay's offensive line continues to heal and come together as a unit, Green Bay is protecting Aaron Rogers with more three step drops. Chicago's weak pass rush should by Rogers some additional time this week to get the ball deep to Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. Jay Cutler has been a turnover machine this season, and now faces Green Bay's top ranked defense. With Orlando Pace struggling at left tackle and Chris Williams undersized and out of place on the right side, don't look for the Bears running game to take any pressure off Cutler. In fact, he'll likely be forced to throw into an aggressive secondary.

San Diego +3 over DALLAS - San Diego is one of the hottest teams in the league right now, so I like the fact that they are getting 3 points in a stadium that is fairly friendly to visiting teams. Dallas will need to establish Marion Barber up the middle against San Diego's battered defensive tackles to have a shot in this game, and lately they've abandoned the power running game.

New Orleans -10.5 over ATLANTA - Drew Brees should have a field day with Atlanta's sub par secondary. With starting quarterback Matt Ryan out with injury, Atlanta's only hope of hanging with the Saints is to slow the game down and keep Brees and his explosive offense off the field. Unfortunately, star running back Michel "burner" Turner will likely miss the game with a high ankle sprain. Atlanta's starting left tackle Sam Baker has also been dinged up, so I don't see the Falcons being able to control the clock with their running game.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Talking Points

Here is the link to my latest column for It's Just Sports on

Talking Points: The Vitales prefer Miley Cyrus to Michigan State and ESPN loves to love Tom Brady

NFL PICKS - Week 13

Week 12 NFL Results: 8-7-1
NFL Results Season to Date: 90-97-2

Week 12 College Football Results: 1-3
College Football Results Season to Date: 29-22

Week 12 This Is Why Results: 1-3
This is Why Results Season to Date: 26-24

Week 13 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Thursday Night Football

New York Jets -3 At Buffalo to be played in Toronto (Jets)

At Pittsburgh -14.5 Oakland (Oakland)
At Jacksonville even line Houston (Houston)
At Indianapolis -6.5 Tennessee (Tennessee)
Philadelphia -5.5 At Atlanta (Atlanta)
At Cincinnati -12.5 Detroit (Cincinnati)
New Orleans -9.5 At Washington (New Orleans)
At Carlolina -6 Tampa Bay (Tampa Bay)
At Chicago -9.5 St. Louis (St. Louis)
San Diego -13 At Cleveland (San Diego)
At Seattle even line San Francisco (San Francisco)
Denver -4.5 At Kansas City (Denver)
Minnesota -4 At Arizona (Arizona)
Dallas -2.5 At New York Giants (Giants)
New England -4 At Miami (New England)

Monday Night Football

At Green Bay -3.5 Baltimore (Baltimore)

College Picks

At Oregon -9.5 Oregon State (Oregon State)
Central Michigan -13 Ohio (Ohio)
Cincinnati -2 At Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh)
Florida -5 Alabama (Alabama)

This is Why

Here are the pro and college lines that I would put money on, and why:

New York Jets -3 over BUFFALO - I like that the Jets get to play a road game against Buffalo in Toronto. I like that the Jets are simplifying things for Mark Sanchez, which tells me that they will try to establish the run. I am a bit worried about the Bills' offensive rejuvination under Perry Fewell, especially with his decisions to go with Ryan Fitzpatrick and quarterback and Fred Jackson at running back. If the the Bills can keep it rolling this week against one of the best points against defenses, then you can count me as a believer.

San Diego -13 over CLEVELAND - San Diego is hot right now. Despite missing Pro-Bowl defensive tackles Jamal Williams and Luis Castillo, the Chargers flat out took it to the Chiefs last week. Not only is Phil Rivers is a cool customer on the road, but the Chargers running attack should get a boost from recently signed offensive lineman, John Runyan. Furthermore, I can't see Brady Quinn moving the ball up field against San Diego's defense.

CINCINNATI -12.5 over Detroit - Detroit is going to make shutting down Cincinnati's running game their number one priority, thereby exposing a secondary that Bengals WR has described as "beautiful." Just because Cincinnati has relied upon their running game in recent weeks doesn't mean that QB Carson Palmer won't make the Lions' defense pay downfield when given the opportunity. On the other side of the ball, injuries at the G position all but force the Lions to give up on their running attack before the game even starts. Look for the Bengals to bracket Calvin "Megatron" Johnson in coverage. This will force rookie QB to beat them with an underneath passing game, which is not exactly his strong suit.

San Francisco even line over SEATTLE - While Seattle has a strong run defense, San Francisco is slowly changing to an "11" personel base offense. This will force teams to move their extra player out of the box in order to defend against a pass first offense featuring TE Vernon Davis and rookie WR Michael Crabtree. If Seattle decides to leave an extra defender in the box in attempts to shut down RB Frank Gore, Alex Smith is surprisingly showing the abililty to make defenses pay. While RB Justin Forsett has been a pleasant find for the Seahawks on offense, San Francisco's run defense should limit his impact to the passing game, rendering Seattle's offense one dimensional.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Big Ten - ACC Challenge Breakdown

In anticipation of this year's Big Ten - ACC Challenge, I decided to do a quick breakdown of each of the Challenge's eleven games. After looking at the lineup for 2009, I can say that this the first time since the inception of the Challenge that I can ever remember predicting that the Big Ten should definitely come out on top. Here's a list of all the games, my analysis of each, and my predicted winners in parentheses:

Penn State at Virginia: (Penn State) Penn State will be a surprise team this season with their guard play. Mark my words on this.

Wake Forest at Purdue: (Purdue) With the Final Four taking place this year in Indianapolis, Purdue and their talented junior class led by Robbie Hummel are one of my sleeper Final Four teams. Purdue will pounce on Wake Forest with a tough home court advantage in West Lafayette.

Northwestern at N.C. State: (Northwestern) The Wildcats are another one of my surprise teams for this season. Not only does their zone defense gives opponents fits, but they shoot the ball especially well from outside.

Maryland at Indiana: (Maryland) Indiana will improve this season with a heralded recruiting class, but even playing at Assembly Hall won't be enough to beat Maryland.

Michigan State at North Carolina: (Michigan State) Look for the Spartans avenge their lopsided losses to the Tar Heels last season at Ford Field in Detroit in both the Big Ten - ACC Challenge and the National Championship Game. MSU's depth and quickness should negate Carolina's stable of young big men.

Virginia Tech at Iowa: (Virginia) Another down season for the Hawkeyes. Okay, I don't have anything on either of these teams. This is just a miserable match-up.

Illinois at Clemson: (Illinois) This should be a good match-up where the ACC and Clemson could pull an upset. Illinois will need to show up on the road.

Minnesota at Miami: (Minnesota) Another pick 'em game. I like the toughness of Tubby Smith's Golden Gophers.

Boston College at Michigan: (Boston College) Manny Harris and company bring the Wolverines' high hopes for this year, I just don't think they are playing good enough man to man defense at this point in the season to feel confident in selecting them against B.C.

Duke at Wisconsin: (Duke) I see Wisconsin having their first "down" season in years. While you should never underestimate the Badgers at the Kohl Center, Duke is the type of school that is not intimidated by a hostile environment.

Florida State at Ohio State: (Ohio State) The Buckeyes are expected to be one of the elite teams in the Big Ten this season behind Evan Turner. I expect them to take care of business against Florida State at home.

Final Prediction:
Big Ten 7, ACC 4