Maddawg’s Sports Weekend Itinerary (December 9 – 11, 2011)

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Washington D.C. is the perfect location for Army-Navy.

College football has one regular season match-up left on the schedule this weekend, as Army-Navy takes center stage on Saturday afternoon in Washington, D.C. Many involved in the game of football could learn from the sportsmanship, pride, and passion that goes into the yearly rivalry between the two teams.

Both of these service academies have struggled to win football games in 2011. Navy has four victories this season, while Army is 3-8. Each team runs the triple option offense with an eye on ball control to keep the other team off the field. The Black Knights lead the NCAA in rushing but that has not translated to a lot of points. On defense Army has not been able to keep opposing teams out of the end-zone often enough. As for the Midshipmen of Navy, they rank fourth in the nation in rushing and have lost five games this season by a touchdown or less.

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“RG3″ deserves to win the 2011 Heisman Trophy.

The 2011 Heisman Trophy presentation is on Saturday night. The winner may very well come down to conference reputation versus most deserving in the eyes of the voters for the second straight weekend. Robert Griffin III should win the 2011 Heisman Trophy. This blog observed a few weeks ago that there is not a single athlete in college football who has done more with less than “RG3.” The other finalists have had great seasons but Robert Griffin III has made Baylor Bears football relevant. Continue reading

Maddawg’s Sports Weekend Itinerary (November 18 – 20, 2011)

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Georgia looks to end the 2011 season where it began

The third Saturday in November brings an opportunity for redemption for the Georgia Bulldogs. The Dawgs host the Kentucky Wildcats with a birth in the SEC Championship game hanging in the balance for Georgia. The Bulldogs have  everything to gain with a win, but plenty to lose if they overlook the Wildcats. Sanford Stadium will be packed for Georgia’s final home game of 2011, as the Bulldogs look to punch their ticket back to the Georgia Dome.

Elsewhere in the Southeastern Conference, the regular season is beginning to wind down. Teams such as LSU and Alabama are looking to bring the SEC a sixth straight BCS National Championship, while teams like Vanderbilt are trying to get bowl eligible. The Commodores travel to Neyland stadium to face their in-state rival Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee is 4-6 on the season, and in last place in the SEC East in year two under Derrick Dooley.  While the son of the Georgia coaching legend deserves more time to turn things around, the final two games of the Vols’ regular season could go a long way in determining how much longer Dooley Jr. gets.

In other parts of the country, teams are jockeying for position in the Bowl Championship Series standings. #4 Oregon hosts USC in Eugene, and Chip Kelly’s Ducks will be looking to win with style as they audition for the role of the best one loss team in college football. If Oklahoma State or LSU loses before bowl season, the best one loss team is likely to claim a spot in the national championship game.

Speaking of Oklahoma State, The Cowboys travel to Iowa State tonight to take on the Cyclones. The chances of a Cowboy loss tonight are slim at best, but stranger things have happened in college football. (Note: I have just learned of the tragic plane crash involving Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke, and his assistant Miranda Serna. My condolences to all affected by this terrible loss.)

As for the other team in Oklahoma, The Sooners visit Baylor on Saturday night. The game is Robert Griffin III’s best chance to get back in the Heisman race. “RG3″ has been spectacular this season. However, he does not have enough help to beat the Oklahoma Sooners. Boomer Sooner will eat the Bears.

As for the pro game, The Atlanta Falcons are coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss to their NFC South rival New Orleans Saints. Atlanta is just 1-2 against their division this season. In order to repeat as the NFC South champion the Falcons need to own their division down the stretch. Cue the “Rise up” video.



This week the Falcons host Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans. Atlanta is currently fourth in the NFL against the run, but that stat is misleading given the success that opposing teams have had through the air against the Dirty Birds. Atlanta faces an elite running back for the next two weeks. (Adrian Peterson next week) It is critical that the run defense lives up to their ranking, because it will be tested in the next few outings.

Other Sunday grid iron offerings include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers trying to beat the streak as they face the Packers at Lambeau Field. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers may be public enemy #1 for what he has done to Atlanta lately, but it is hard not to admire the astonishing numbers he is putting up this season. Green Bay is 9-0 and a strong candidate to repeat as super bowl champions.

Picks– College Football

USC travels to Eugene, Oregon to face the quack attack. The Ducks will pound the Trojans into submission. This one will be closer than the final score indicates. Oregon 38, USC 21

Arkansas beats Mississippi State, setting up a showdown with LSU next week. Arkansas 34, Mississippi State 13

Tennessee desperately needs to win at home to salvage some sort of pride in a season gone horribly wrong. The Volunteers are 0-6 in conference play. Conversely, things are looking up for the Commodores since Jordan Rodgers became the starter. Vanderbilt wins because they really want to go bowling. Vanderbilt 21, Tennessee 17

Oklahoma goes bear hunting at Baylor Saturday night. Robert Griffin is very talented and may have a future on Sundays. However, Baylor is giving up 36 points per game on defense. Oklahoma 64, Baylor 28

Georgia will clinch the SEC East with a win at home against Kentucky. The Wildcats have been tame, and Kentucky will need to find a quarterback in the off-season to be competitive in the SEC going forward. The Dawgs will win big and complete their road to redemption. Georgia 42, Kentucky 10

NFL Picks

The 5-4 Atlanta Falcons host the 5-4 Tennessee Titans in a rare 4:15 Georgia Dome kickoff.  Falling to 5-5 in front of a loud Atlanta crowd would be disastrous for the Dirty Birds. Falcons win to stay in the thick of the crowded NFC playoff race. Atlanta 28, Tennessee 17 

Tampa Bay Travels to Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers is playing quarterback better than anyone else I have ever seen right now.  The Packers will take their win streak to double digits. Let the quest for perfection begin. Green Bay 31, Tampa Bay 21

The Redskins and Cowboys renew their rivalry this week. “America’s team” is struggling to live up to high preseason expectations as they sit at 5-4. Tony Romo has to find a way to come up big if the Boys’ are going to make a playoff run. Cowboys beat the Redskins. Washington needs an actual quarterback. Dallas 35, Washington 17

The Giants face the Eagles Sunday Night. G-Men win. Giants 27, Eagles 20

Finally, Kansas City travels to New England on Monday night. Tom Brady’s bunch wins. New England 35, Kansas City 14

Maddawg’s Play of The Day – College Football Week 7 (October 15, 2011)

Week seven of the college football season is in the books. A quick summary–two ranked teams were definitively exposed as overrated, (Michigan and Georgia Tech) while Clemson continues to play to the level of their competition. Giving up 45 points to Maryland should alarm Clemson Tiger fans but, they continue to pile up victories. Clemson has a legitimate shot to finish the regular season unbeaten.

The top eight teams in the country remain undefeated and there seems to be a real gap between those teams and everyone else. The Bowl Championship Series standings come out tonight, as LSU and Alabama both have a strong case for #1. Luckily for college football fans, the debate between the two teams will be settled on the field November 5th. Let’s face it, not even Watson is a smart enough computer to predict this collision course. (more on this later)



As for the Georgia Bulldogs, they narrowly avoided a trip to the dog pound.  I am going to have nightmares about that blocked punt with 15 seconds to go. That was the single scariest moment I have ever experienced as a fan. One has to  wonder if Mark Richt’s Georgia tenure flashed before his eyes as the play unfolded. (Mark Richt is a great coach but a loss in that manner would have been earth shattering.)

Kudos to Jordan Rodgers, younger brother of reigning Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers, for one of the gutsiest efforts in Vanderbilt football history. While he only completed four passes out of 19, he carried the ball 11 times for 80 yards. The Commodores scored 21 second half points, and every time they needed a third down conversion he made a play  to get it. Vanderbilt has found their quarterback for the future and, while it was scary to watch Georgia struggle, it was fun to watch Jordan Rodgers play well.

Alabama and LSU meet in 20 days. Barring an unforeseen circumstance, both will be undefeated and a trip to the SEC championship game will be on the line. Each team has made highlight reel statements over the last few weeks as if they are sending a message to each other. Trent Richardson’s 76 yard touchdown run rang loud and clear. He has proven why Tide fans did not expect a drop off at the tailback position when Mark Ingram went to the NFL. SEC commissioner Mike Slive needs to see if Michael Buffer is available on the first weekend of November because LSU and Alabama will be ready to rumble.



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.