Maddawg’s Sports Weekend Itinerary (October 14 – 16, 2011)

This weekend marks the release of the first BCS poll. The SEC West division will be well represented in the first BCS standings, with Alabama and LSU likely to be interchangeable candidates for the top spot. While there is always the potential for an upset on any given Saturday, look for LSU to be #1 and Alabama to be #2 in the first Bowl Championship Series standings.

Another big sports happening this weekend is the determination of the World Series match-up in Major League Baseball. (Although if there is a game 7 the NLCS will wrap up on Monday) The Rangers hope the second time is the charm, while Milwaukee hopes to have the chance to add a World Series Trophy with the Lombardi ones already on the crowded Wisconsin mantle.

In the NFL,The Atlanta Falcons host the Carolina Panthers in a pivotal NFC South battle. The Falcons have gone from a preseason Super Bowl contender to wondering if they can even make it back to the playoffs. Sunday afternoon is the first step required to save their season. Cam Newton has proven to be a worthy #1 overall pick so far. A game against the struggling Falcons defense must have the former Auburn Tiger on the prowl.



Last week I went 9-1, with the only blemish coming as a result of picking the Philadelphia Eagles. While there is not a game that jumps off the college football schedule in week seven, Saturday has the potential to be a great day of football. First up is South Carolina as they travel to Mississippi State. After what one Mississippi State player did between the hedges, Dan Mullen owes Georgia Bulldog Nation one. Elsewhere in the SEC, the #1 LSU tigers roar into Knoxville on Saturday afternoon, while the Dawgs walk into Nashville on Saturday Night.



College Football picks:

Mississippi State has a quarterback controversy in Starkville, while Steve Spurrier is going with Connor Shaw from here on out, following Stephen Garcia’s dismissal. It will be interesting to see how Shaw handles the transition from golden boy to whipping boy upon making his first mistake. I’m going with my heart instead of my head on this one.

Mississippi State 27, South Carolina 24

Robert Griffin III is amazing to watch. He has players around him on offense who are fantastic as well. However, Baylor’s defense leaves something to be desired. Texas A&M is coming off a track meet with Texas Tech that they won 45-40. This one will also be high scoring, but the Aggies will do just enough on defense to win.

Texas A&M 48, Baylor 45

Tennessee gets LSU at home. Don’t expect to hear many folks singing “Rocky Top” once this one is underway. Even the most faithful Volunteer fans will probably head for an early exit.

LSU 38, Tennessee 10.

Florida and Auburn meet at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday night. The Gators find themselves without starting quarterback Jeff Brantley for the second straight game. As a result, Auburn will find a way to win at home.

Auburn 24, Florida 17

Lastly, in the easiest pick of the week: Mark Richt will sic’ the Dawgs on Vanderbilt. Mr. Richt is a reasonable man, so he will call them off when it is necessary. Georgia goes into the bye week riding a five game win streak.

Georgia 34, Vanderbilt 10

NFL

The Atlanta Falcons do not have a lot to feel good about right now. If they start 2-4, with the way their schedule sets up from here on out, it may be too big of a hole to climb out of. Rise up, Falcons.



 

Falcons 21, Panthers 17

In the other NFC South battle, the Saints visit Tampa Bay. Drew Brees and company outscore the Bucs.

Saints 41, Buccaneers 31

Detroit is still undefeated. That won’t change on Sunday as the Lions go for their sixth win in a row.

Lions 31, 49ers 21

Bears over the Vikings on Sunday Night. Donovan McNabb left his heart in Philadelphia.

Bears 24, Vikings 21

On Monday Night Football, The Jets will beat the 0-4 Dolphins in a bore of a prime time match-up.

Jets 31, Dolphins 10.

Enjoy the weekend. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Maddawg’s Play of The Day – College Football Week 6 (October 8, 2011)

The Southeastern Conference picture is starting to come into focus after week six of the college football season. The Georgia Bulldogs finished the drill, scoring two 2nd half touchdowns in route to picking up a 20-12 victory at Neyland Stadium. The hungry Dawgs continue to build momentum and appear to be peaking at the right time as the Gators loom at the end of the month.

Unfortunately, the news is not all positive for Bulldog Nation. Malcolm Mitchell, who was beginning to answer the bell for who would replace AJ Green, had to leave the game late in the second half with what the ESPN broadcast deemed  a pulled hamstring. Georgia faces Vanderbilt before a bye-week which will afford Mitchell time to heal before Jacksonville.

Elsewhere in the SEC, it was a great day to be a Tiger…Depending upon how far south you are. The LSU Tigers mauled the Gators, (41-11) but the Auburn Tigers did not fare well as they received a dose of reality in losing to Arkansas. (38-14) In all likelihood the SEC West is going to come down to a shootout at the Tuscaloosa Corral between the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers on the fifth of November.

The Dawgs are no strangers to bad referees.

Maddawg’s Play of The Day for week 6 would like to take the opportunity to examine a growing problem in college football. Leaving excessive celebration penalties up to the discretion of officials is not a good thing. In fact, the rule has already had an effect on a classic Navy-Air Force game from last week that ended in overtime following a blocked extra point that was made much longer due to an excessive celebration penalty. Of course, Air Force took advantage of the situation and won after scoring a touchdown and making the PAT.

As for the Play of The Day: LSU called a fake punt that worked to perfection. However, punter Brad Wing was whistled for excessive celebration. While the celebration penalty did not effect the outcome of the game, it did put a damper on a great play. A referee must use common sense in these types of scenarios. If a player is not trying to call attention to himself there should not be a penalty.  If the rule is reviewed, changes will not take place until after the season. The thought of this ridiculous rule compromising the outcome of a conference championship game– or even worse, the BCS National Championship is horrifying. Officials should be implored to swallow their whistle unless the celebration really is inexcusable. Calls like the one in the video below take the fun out of the game.



Maddawg’s Sports Weekend Itinerary (October 7 – 9, 2011)

The second weekend in October brings about classic rivalries and intriguing games in college football. The cream is starting to rise to the top in college football as there seems to be a real separation between the top eight teams and everyone else. (For examples see: Oregon-LSU, Wisconsin-Nebraska, and Alabama-Florida.) All of these games were one-sided with the strong surviving.

Fast forward to this week: The Red River Rivalry takes center stage in Dallas, Texas at noon. Following that, the Florida Gators (without starting quarterback Jeff Brantley) must face the AP #1 LSU Tigers. Finally, in  the nightcap my beloved Georgia Bulldogs face a huge roadblock in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Baseball is also heating up with a pair of game 5′s Friday night.  It would be nice to see the Milwaukee Brewers make a deep post-season run since Prince Fielder has already said he is going to test the free agent market. It could have been fun to see the Yankees make it to the World Series only to lose, because I get a chuckle out of watching the Yankees debate the future of their skipper (Joe Girardi) after making it all the way to the World Series. Sorry Mr. Girardi, but the yearly evaluation of your future is underway much sooner than you would have hoped.

Getting back to America’s new pastime on the pro side, the Falcons have a put up or shut up game against the Packers in Week 5. The Dirty Birds gave up 319 yards through the air courtesy of Tarvaris Jackson while barely getting by Seattle last week. With Aaron Rodgers and the Super Bowl champion Packers coming to town it is critical that the Falcons defend the Dome.

Last week, I picked 8 winners and 2 losers. The NFL selections were stellar, (5-0) but the Saturday predictions were just above average (3-2.) Texas A&M needs to figure out how to hold a lead. As for the Clemson Tigers, I have been fooled two weeks in a row now. Shame on me.

College Football Picks



The Red River Rivalry defines Oklahoma and Texas during the regular season. Bragging rights are at stake in a feature match-up in the Big 12. The difference will be the quarterbacks. OU has Landry Jones and Texas is still trying to figure out who their main man under center is. That spells trouble for the Longhorns.

Oklahoma 41, Texas 24

Next up, Georgia Tech takes on the Terrapins of Maryland. Maryland has been an enigma, beating Miami on a Monday night, but then getting decimated by Temple. It will be close but the Jackets will keep on buzzing.

Georgia Tech 26 Maryland 21

The game between Florida and LSU has lost a lot of luster since Jeff Brantley is unable to play due to injury. The Gators do have other weapons, but with an inexperienced quarterback they are going to struggle against the Associated Press #1.

LSU 38 Florida 14

The fighting Bobby Petrinos got a reprieve from the Alabama loss after beating Texas A&M last week. They are already back in the Top 10 one game removed from being rolled by the Tide. Now, they host the Auburn Tigers who are fresh off a win against the Gamecocks. (Thank you Auburn) However, Bob-O and company win a close one at home.

Arkansas 38 Auburn 35

A hobnail boot encore:



Georgia and Tennessee renew their rivalry in an all-important SEC East clash in Knoxville Saturday night. The Dawgs are narrowly favored on the road and the line is likely to be even by kickoff.

Georgia 34 Tennessee 24

Onto the NFL.

Usually, I’m a homer, but I wouldn’t pick the Falcons this week– unless the Packers’ bus breaks down. Maybe Aaron Rodgers strains an oblique during warm ups. If he plays all 4 quarters he may throw for 500 yards.

Packers 42 Falcons 21

Philadelphia gets a much needed win against the Bills.

Eagles 30 Bills 23.

Patriots beat the Jets who are reeling from last week.

Patriots 41, Jets 20

The Bears won’t be able to tame the Detroit Lions.

Lions 38 Bears 14

Lastly, the Saints won’t march, but they will squeak by Cam Newton and the Panthers. New Orleans wins on the road.

Saints 34 Panthers 31.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Maddawg’s Play of The Day – College Football Week 5 (October 1, 2011)

Week 5 of the 2011 college football season was a learning experience for many of the teams involved. Wisconsin jumped around to a big win. On the other hand, Nebraska realized that they have a long way to go if they want to see the Badgers again.  The Badgers and Cornhuskers could meet in the Leaders-Legends Big Ten Title Game. (How ridiculous are those division names, anyway?)

In a conference with division names that actually make sense, the Georgia Bulldogs took a bite out of Mississippi State. The victory gives Georgia a sense of purpose going forward as the defense had one of their best performances ever under Todd Grantham. Georgia is now 2-1 in the SEC East.

UGA’s statement win over those other Bulldogs got even louder as the South Carolina Gamecocks lost at home to Auburn. One more SEC loss for South Carolina and Georgia will once again control their own destiny in the Southeastern Conference.

Putting wonderful news for Dawg fans aside, Maddawg’s Play of The Day must recognize Robert Griffin III. Up until his Baylor Bears lost at Kansas State today, Griffin III had more touchdowns (13) than incompletions. (12) While Baylor’s defeat at the hands of the Wildcats matters in the rankings it should not diminish his astonishing individual accomplishment that lasted nearly an entire month. Keep your head up, Mr. Griffin, for even in a loss you have got people talking about Baylor Bears football.



Maddawg’s Sports Weekend Itinerary (September 30 – October 2, 2011)

The first Saturday of October in college football is a time to “find out who we are” for many teams around the country. Furthermore, since the Braves completed their painful collapse, the focus of this weekend is firmly on football. Georgia faces a tough battle of the Bulldogs at noon in Athens, while other SEC teams have intriguing match-ups as well.

Alabama must travel to The Swamp where Florida is eager to show that their new coaching staff can handle the Tide of the Southeastern Conference. In other action, Arkansas faces a higher ranked opponent for the second week in a row as they play the Texas A&M Aggies in Arlington Texas.

The marquee game of the week in college football is #8 Nebraska squaring off against #7 Wisconsin in a Big Ten battle. The contest marks Nebraska’s first big challenge in a new conference as they look to make a statement in Camp Randall.

As for the pro game, the Falcons experienced one of their worst regular season performances in recent memory, losing to Tampa Bay last weekend following an inexcusable offsides penalty. They will have to rebound at Seattle to avoid a 1-3 start.

Picks: Last week I picked 7 winners and 3 losers. College football prognostication went well with a record of 4-1. The NFL predictions were much more pedestrian at a 3-2 clip.  Following a dance lesson from Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, this week should be even better.



College Football

Georgia must avenge their loss to those other Bulldogs from last season. However, with rumors swirling about coach Mark Richt’s future and Dan Mullen’s next job there is no doubt Mr. Mullen will pull out all the stops to get a win Between the Hedges.

Prediction: Georgia 31, Mississippi State 28

Wisconsin versus Nebraska will come down to which QB can make more plays. Russell Wilson gets it done.

Prediction: Wisconsin 41, Nebraska 24

Florida is good, but Alabama is better. The Tide will keep rolling to set up a showdown with LSU.

Prediction: Alabama 34, Florida 20

Arkansas takes on future SEC rival in Texas A&M. The future looks good as the Aggies rebound.

Prediction: Texas A&M 30 Arkansas 21

The Clemson Tigers finally go down this week as Beamer Ball causes trouble for Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd.



Prediction: Virginia Tech 21, Clemson 10

The NFL

The Falcons head to Seattle to take on the Seahawks. While each team is 1-2, losing to Pete Carroll at the NFL level would be flat out scary for an Atlanta team that needs to rise up.



Prediction: Falcons 41, Seahawks 7

Tom Brady will rebound this week. The Patriots will not lose to the Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders in consecutive games.

Prediction: Patriots 35, Raiders 14

The Jets face the Ravens. Mark Sanchez against the Baltimore defense. Ravens win a physical game.

Prediction: Ravens 17, Jets 14

The Detroit Lions beat the Cowboys and roar to 4-0. Matt Stafford throwing to Calvin Johnson is beautiful to watch.



Prediction: Lions 24, Cowboys 21

On Monday Night Football Tampa Bay takes on the Colts. With Kerry Collins out Indianopolis turns to Curtis Painter. Bucs win.

Prediction: Buccaneers 23, Colts 6.

Enjoy the weekend. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS!

 

Maddawg’s Sports Weekend Itinerary (September 23- 25, 2011)

The last weekend in September of 2011 looks like a fantastic time to be a sports fan. It offers up a buffet of events for every fan. College football collisions, (GO DAWGS!!!!!!!) UFC 135 is on Saturday night, headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between Jon “Bones” Jones and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Yes, I will be watching on Pay Per View because a friend invited me to do so.



If that is not enough, the Major League Baseball regular season is wrapping up as the Atlanta Braves are desperate to hold on to their slim NL wildcard lead., I will admit, I am afraid the Braves will not be able to hold on and make the post season.

The NFL enters Week 3 as the Atlanta Falcons travel to Tampa Bay to face their NFC South rival Buccaneers. If the Dirty Birds last trip  to Tampa was any indication this game will be a thriller.



Since it is such a great weekend to be a sports fan I will pick five NFL games of my choice, five college games, as well as the previously mentioned UFC title fight.

First up, my beloved Dawgs take on Ole Miss at 12:21 on the SEC Network.  Georgia avoids a potential trap game on the road. Dawgs-34 Rebels 10. 



The other college football team from the state of Georgia wins as well. Jackets 31 Tar- Heels 21.

In what may be one of the last top 10 match-ups to ever take place under the Big 12 banner, Oklahoma State will pull away in the fourth quarter, beating Texas A&M 38-24. Mike Gundy will have the cowboys fired up.



As much as I would like to pick Clemson to hand Florida State a second straight loss, Dabo Swinney was just too fired up after beating Auburn to get his own Tigers ready. FSU 24 Clemson 13.



With my final college football pick of the week I’ll take Alabama over Arkansas 23-7.

NFL:

Falcons Win at Tampa 26-23.

Matt Stafford and the Lions send the Vikings to 0-3.



I still miss #4.

I despise former Falcon DeAngelo Hall. So, I’ll take the Cowboys over the Redskins. 34-21 on Monday Night Football.

Tom Brady and the Patriots burst Buffalo’s bubble. Patriots 41 Bills 10.

In my easiest pick of the week, Steelers over the Colts as Indy contends for the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes.

Back to Rampage vs Jones. As much as I would like to see Rampage win, I have to go with the increasingly cocky Jon Jones to retain his belt. I look forward to gloating about my perfect picks on Monday,