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Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

Sunday Blitz

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 18, 2011

I’m with The Wife and The Daughter visiting family this weekend, so please forgive me for a very abbreviated NFL picks column. We’ll give it a better effort next week. For now:

Picks in ALL CAPS

NEW ORLEANS (-6.5) v. Chicago
NY JETS (-9.5) v. Jacksonville
PITTSBURGH (-14.5) v. Seattle
OAKLAND (+4.5) at Buffalo
DETROIT (-8) v. Kansas City
WASHINGTON (-3.5) v. Arizona
TENNESSEE (+6) v. Baltimore
CAROLINA (+10.5) v. Green Bay
MINNESOTA (-3) v. Tampa Bay
CLEVELAND (-2) at Indianapolis
SAN FRANCISCO (+3) v. Dallas
HOUSTON (-3) at Miami
San Diego (+7) at New England
DENVER (-3.5) v. Cincinnati
PHILADELPHIA (-2) at Atlanta
ST. LOUIS (+6) at NY Giants

Last Week: 10-4-1
Season: 10-4-1

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One for the Road

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 16, 2011

Another week has flown by here at BlogHawgs.  It’s been a great week, and as always we are grateful that you chose to spend some of your time with us.  This is the calm before the storm.  Bama Week kicks off on Sunday, and we’ll be ready to roll.  We’ve got some excellent stuff in the works, so please be sure to check back next week.  You’ll be glad you did.

Here are a few of our most popular stories from the week:

BlogHawgs Razorback Rewind – Week 2

Spirit, Mullen Both Confused on Saturday

NFL – Evaluating Week 1

The Idiot Box – Emmy Preview

Should Texas Change from Burnt Orange to Yellow?

Arkansas Football Team to be Featured Next Month in ESPN TV Series

BlogHawgs Week 3 College Football Preview – Twitter Style

Free Money – Week 3

For this week’s One for the Road, we return to Grantland.com for an exceptional look at college football — but not the games we watch on Saturdays.  Chuck Klosterman looks at small schools and the games they play.  These teams operate in a completely different reality than the Division I fellas.  From facilities, to players, to schemes, it’s a night-and-day difference.  For example:

Last October, Maine Maritime Academy defeated Westfield State University, 42-21. That score was probably mentioned in a few newspapers, but that doesn’t make it news; this was a Division III game between two members of the New England Football Conference, hosted by a town with a population of 1,300 and a community aesthetic matching Cujo. But there’s one detail about this contest that made it unlike almost every other college football game from 2010: Maritime won by three touchdowns while passing for exactly 0 yards.

They rushed for 435, but they passed for none (they threw the ball just five times, and the only one that didn’t hit the ground was an interception). Even weirder, the Mariners managed to win without controlling the clock — Westfield had a greater time of possession. Yet as unorthodox and lopsided as those numbers seem, they were only slightly crazier than most of Maritime’s 2010 schedule: The Mariners went 6-1 in their conference, scored more than 46 points a contest, and somehow averaged 16 passing yards a game. The week after beating Westfield, Maritime defeated Framingham State 50-26, again throwing for 0 yards. The week after that, they knocked off Massachusetts Maritime by a single point — and here, again, they won without a single passing yard. They went 5-0 in October with 63 total passing yards (not 63 per game, but 63 for October). Half their team stats seem like misprints; last season, the Mariners’ starting quarterback appeared in 11 games and completed a total of 17 passes. But this is how the Mariners want it. This is the design. This is the most reactionary offense in America.

You can check out the rest of Klosterman’s piece here.  I encourage you to do so.  This is the type of story that reminds me why I love the game.

 

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Free Money – Week 3

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 15, 2011

Two winning weeks in a row means everyone should tread lightly this weekend.  Everyone but us, of course.  Adam and I both maxed out all 8 plays, our parlay, and our teaser options for Week 3.  I don’t see a lot of games I love, but I see a lot I’d sleep with.  This is a fun NFL week because we’ll begin to see which teams are real and which are really lucky (or really bad).  It makes the NFL a bit more difficult to handicap this week, but I see several winners on the board.

Once again, here is a quick recap of the rules:

  • Maximum of 8 single plays during the week
  • One option teaser and one optional parlay also allowed
  • Minimum of $50 wager
  • Players must include at least one CFB and at least one NFL game in the picks
  • Both started the season with a $1,000 bankroll but can buy back into the game if they go bust

For the first time this season, Adam and I are butting heads.  The funning thing is, we’re butting heads on a dog game that we neither one should probably be playing.  Kentucky has looked mediocre at best this season, stumbling to a 2-0 start.  Louisville has been even worse, losing at home to Florida International.  I think I’ll just check for that score on the Internet rather than actually watch the game.

 

Free Money!

Brett ($1,093)

  • Kentucky (-5) v. Louisville, $55 to win $50
  • Oklahoma St. (-13.5) at Tulsa, $55 to win $50
  • Arkansas (-22.5) v. Troy, $77 to win $70
  • Arkansas St. (+24.5) at Virginia Tech, $55 to win $50
  • Detroit (-9) v. Kansas City, $66 to win $60
  • NY Jets (-9) v. Jacksonville, $66 to win $60
  • New Orleans (-6.5) v. Chicago, $66 to win $60
  • Washington (-3.5) v. Arizona, $66 to win $60
  • Parlay: NY Jets (-9), New Orleans (-6.5), and Washington (-3.5), $50 to win $250
  • Teaser:  Navy (+23) v. South Carolina, New Orleans (-0.5)

 

  • Total Wagers:  $616
  • Max Win: $760

 

Adam ($1,210)

  • UNDER 50 – LSU/Mississippi State, $55 to win $50
  • Louisville (+5) at Kentucky, $55 to win $50
  • Wisconsin (-17) at Northern Illinois, $55 to win $50
  • Tennessee (+9.5) at Florida, $55 to win $50
  • Navy (+17) at South Carolina, $55 to win $50
  • Ohio St. (+2.5) at Miami (FL), $55 to win $50
  • Green Bay (-10) at Carolina, $55 to win $50
  • Dallas (-3) at San Francisco, $55 to win $50
  • Parlay:  Ohio St. (+2.5) & Arkansas (-22.5), $50 to win $125
  • Teaser:  Green Bay (-4) & Navy (+23), $60 to win $50

 

  • Total Wagers: $550
  • Max Win: $575

 

Wager accordingly. As usual, BlogHawgs.com is not responsible for missed mortgage payments or repossessed vehicles.

 

 

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

NFL – Evaluating Week 1

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 13, 2011

The NFL kicked off with a bang on Thursday, had plenty of entertaining games on Sunday, and ended with a record-tying FG and a Razorback running roughshod in Denver.  Welcome back, NFL.  We missed you.  I’m not sure the league could have scripted things much better.  Every game this season will be measured against the Thursday night opener, a game that proved to be as exciting as any game I can recall watching in recent memory.

The Good

  • Former Arkansas Razorback Darren McFadden thrashed the Broncos defense last night, picking up 150 yards on the ground.  While Run DMC did not find the endzone, McFadden looked every bit the part of a thoroughbred NFL running back.
  • Baltimore proved they can score on anyone, and the Ravens defense looked as good as ever.  Ray Rice may emerge as one of the premiere running backs in the NFL.
  • Does anyone look like he’s having more fun on the field than Aaron Rodgers?  The reigning Super Bowl MVP threw for 312 yards and 3 TDs on Thursday, only misfiring 8 times with no picks.  Who would you take ahead of Rodgers if you were starting an NFL franchise?

The Bad

  • The Pittsburgh defense looked slow and old, giving up 385 yards in their opener.  The offense looked inept, turning it over 7 times.  If the Steelers hope to repeat in the AFC – beating out a very strong field – they need to get things corrected immediately.  They did not look like a Super Bowl caliber team in any phase of the game.
  • You can’t blame the loss of Peyton Manning on the Indianapolis breakdowns on defense and special teams.  Houston gouged the Colts on the ground (without 2010 leading rusher Arian Foster) and Jacoby Jones knifed through the Colts punt coverage for a 79-yard TD return.  The Colts looks like a 4-win team after one week.
  • What the hell happened to Matt Ryan?  The Atlanta quarterback looked lost on Sunday, taking more than 40 yards in sacks including a fumble returned for a touchdown by Brian Urlacher.  Ryan did manage over 300 yards passing, but so did a dozen other quarterbacks.  What he did not manage to do was throw a TD pass.

The Ugly

  • Led by new-old quarterback Kerry Collins, the Indianapolis Colts managed only 236 yards of total offense in a 34-7 loss at Houston.
  • Kansas City suffered its worst ever opening game loss and biggest home loss in 35 years.  Those are both bad.  Losing 41-7 at home to Buffalo, though, is ugly.
  • Chris Johnson made one team look foolish on Sunday.  It was not the opposing Jacksonville Jaguars, though.  Johnson – who missed virtually all of training camp, holding out for a new deal that he ultimately received – “gashed” the Jags defense for 24 yards on 9 carries.  That new deal?  Tennessee handed Johnson a $53.5 million extension with $13 million fully guaranteed.

BK’s Picks – Week 1

It was a good week at the wagering window on Sunday.  I’ve got to figure out which of these games to put in my Free Money picks.  After a mediocre beginning, I ripped off four winners in the last five games of the weekend.  I expect Vegas to figure things out soon, but hopefully I can put together another solid week before that happens.

Week 1 Results — 10-4-1

2011 Season — 10-4-1

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Free Money…but Not Much

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 13, 2011

Better Than Losing

It was a grinder of a week for the Free Money this week.  Both Adam and I won more than we lost, but the payouts were hardly worth noting.  Two consecutive profitable weeks, though, is worth noting.  My NFL picks turned out pretty well, but I didn’t have enough of those winners in my Free Money picks this week.  Hopefully that can change starting this week.

Adam picked up winners on Saturday with TCU (-1) and Arkansas (-36) but suffered losses with Purdue (-1) losing at Rice and Memphis (+15) taking it on the chin against Arkansas State.  Memphis really tripped up AB this week, as their loss ruined his all-Arkansas teaser with the Hogs.  He bounced back on Sunday and Monday, most notably with a New England cover for $100.  The extra wager covered Adam’s losses this week, proving that it’s not how many games you win but how well  you wager.  Adam was smart to double up on New England.

I had a better Saturday than Sunday, a feat that is unlikely to duplicate itself too often.  I managed three wins with Wisconsin (-20.5), Florida (-23.5), and Army (+9) while losing my Penn State wager.  On Sunday I managed to push on two games (Tennessee +2, Carolina +7) and dropped the Tampa play.  My weekly teaser did hit, though, with Minnesota and Philadelphia each covering easily.

The net result?  I picked up $28 while Adam profited $20 on his plays.  To date we are both in the black.  My cash on hand stands at $1,093 – a $93 profit on the season after two weeks.  Adam is still slightly ahead with cash on hand of $1,210 – a $210 profit so far.

The third week of the college season and second week of the NFL promise better games and tighter lines.  That’s usually how it works.  By the middle of October you’ll see Vegas putting out ridiculously accurate lines, increasing the degree of difficulty for degenerate gamblers like us.

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Sunday Starter

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 11, 2011

Love Ya Blue

Fantasy Football.  Eliminator Pools.  Gambling.  The NFL means something different to everyone.  To me, it means all those things in addition to the flood of memories of childhood watching my Houston Oilers every Sunday afternoon.  The Oilers are gone, and the Texans have taken their place.  It will be a fun year watching Houston try to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.  I also look forward to winning both fantasy leagues, my eliminator pool, and – most importantly – lots of money.

You can check our Free Money column from this week to see the NFL plays I made early in the week.  On Sundays I’ll give you my picks for all the games of the week in addition to my Pick 5 parlay.  The Pick 5 are the games I’m tracking each Sunday in hopes of taking other people’s money.  I’ll note those games with an asterisk (*) in my overall picks for the weekend.

The Picks:

*CINCINNATI (+6.5) at Cleveland – One of the critical rules for wagering is this: Avoid the Obvious Game.  Vegas is begging you to take Cleveland.  Cincy is terrible, Cleveland is on the way up, and this is going to be played on the shores of Lake Erie.  The Bengals have a solid-enough running game and defense, though, to hang around in this rivalry game.  I’ll take the points. Brown 20, Bengals 14

*Detroit at TAMPA BAY (-1.5) – Almost every commentator says “Watch out for the Lions in 2011,” while simultaneously predicted a Tampa regression.  Both of those statements are true, but this smells like another Obvious Game.  Tamps is traditionally hard to beat at home, and Detroit is hardly Green Bay.  Give me the home team, please.  Buccaneers 21, Lions 17

*CAROLINA (+7.5) at Arizona – Let me be very clear:  I will not be rooting for Cam Newton.  I will be rooting for him to make me some money today, though.  The Panthers will probably be a tad better than most believe if for no other reason than a roster that has stayed largely intact.  Arizona is the better team and will probably win, but let’s not overstate their relative greatness.  It’s still Arizona.  Cardinals 31, Panthers 27

*MINNESOTA (+9.5) at San Diego – It’s like Vegas forgot three things when setting this line:  1) Norv Turner is still the head coach in San Diego, 2) The Chargers are notoriously slow starters, and 3) Adrian Peterson rushed for almost 300 yards the last time these two teams played.  Upset special: Vikings 41, Chargers 27

*Oakland at DENVER (-3.5) – Does anyone else feel like Denver is horribly undervalued this year?  I get the feeling Josh McDaniels may have been a worse coach than Mike Singletary.  Enter John Fox who took Carolina to a Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme as his quarterback.  Fox is a very good coach, and Denver is a tough place to play.  Also, Jason Campbell is the Oakland starting QB.  Hard to put my money there. Broncos 28, Raiders 20

Pittsburgh at BALTIMORE (-1) – I’ve heard so much about how great the Steelers will be in 2011 and how weak the Ravens will be (relative to 2010), I’m a bit nervous.  But this is a rivalry dominated by the home teams, and I’m sticking with my Ravens Super Bowl pick.  A loss this week all but guarantees the Ravens will play as a Wild Card team on the opening weekend of the playoffs.  Amazing statement for Week 1, but it’s probably true.  Ravens 27, Steelers 24

ATLANTA (-1) at Chicago – I struggled with this one, but ultimately it came down to Matt Ryan v. Jay Cuttler.  When faced with that choice, it became much easier.  Both teams benefited from great luck in 2010, but the Falcons are a superior team.  I’m looking forward to watching that offense. Falcons 31, Bears 23

Buffalo at KANSAS CITY (-5) – What an awful game.  It’s like the NFL actively hates Kansas City and Buffalo.  How can either franchise or fan base get excited about this game, even on opening weekend?  I’ll take the slightly less awful team.  (I do this knowing that I have guaranteed this to be the most exciting game of the day.) Chiefs 50, Bills 43

Indianapolis at HOUSTON (-9) – Without Payton Manning in the lineup, it is impossible to know exactly how the Colts will react.  What we do know is that Houston has a dynamic offense and an significantly upgraded defense.  It’s at home, and Houston is treating it like a playoff game.  I like it.  Texans 38, Colts 21

PHILADELPHIA (-3.5) at St. Louis – This line opened at Philly -5.5 and has moved two whole points.  That’s a remarkable shift.  I know NFL home dogs are usually free money, but let’s not overvalue an improved Rams team.  I like St. Louis and definitely give them a chance to win their weak division.  But Philadelphia is an excellent team.  If I were in Vegas today, I’d be sitting at the betting window right up to kickoff waiting to see if I could get a more favorable spread and moneyline.  Free money.  Eagles 35, Rams 17

TENNESSEE (+2) at Jacksonville – I have no faith in either team over the course of the season, but I do like the Tennessee running attack.  The Jags signaled that they are a team in transition this year with the release of their starting quarterback, David Garrard, just days before the season started.  Titans 17, Jaguars 14

NY Giants at WASHINGTON (+2.5) – I’m kicking myself for not putting this game into my Pick 5 or Free Money picks this week.  I know Washington is a team that will struggle, but the Giants have serious problems.  They lost FIVE players in preseason camp that were penciled in as starters or key backups, including their top draft choice (cornerback Prince Amukamara) and defensive anchor (end Osi Umenyiora).  The Skins may be ugly to watch, but they’re healthy.  Redskins 24, Giants 14

Seattle at SAN FRANCISCO (-5.5) – Both of these teams will struggle this year, but I like where San Francisco is headed.  Jim Harbaugh is going to be a very successful coach.  I’m worried about wagering on a team with Alex Smith as its quarterback; I’m less worried given that the opposing team is led by Tarvaris Jackson.  49ers 20, Seahawks 14

DALLAS (+6) at NY Jets – I was leaning Jets until I saw this line move two points in the past three days.  The Jets get overvalued because they play in New York and have dynamic personalities.  They have an amazing football team – and I love Rex Ryan – but Dallas has team that really impresses me this year.  Most impressive? You haven’t had many headlines coming out of north Texas this preseason.  Cowboys 27, Jets 20

NEW ENGLAND (-7) at Miami – The Patriots have struggled in early season Miami games historically, but the NFL did the Patriots a solid this season with the schedule.  It’s a night game.  The heat will be tempered some, which always helps a cold climate team in the early season.  I want to take Miami, but it seems like the Pats are the smart play.  Patriots 32, Dolphins 17

Late Fantasy Injury News:  Arian Foster is likely to sit this week against the Colts.  If you have Ben Tate, get him in your lineups this morning.

Late Fantasy Warning:  Marshawn Lynch (RB, Seattle) is owned in 100% of ESPN.com fantasy leagues.  He has never scored a TD against San Francisco, their opponent today.

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Free Money – Week 2

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 8, 2011

Week Two of our Free Money series introduces the NFL to the game.  Like most degenerate gamblers, we always appreciate more games than less.  With a full slate of NFL action beginning tonight, there is plenty to love this weekend.  Both Adam and I are coming off winning weeks, and we fully expect to keep that momentum going into Week Two.

Over the course of the season, a 55% winning clip is what we’re shooting to hit.  If we approach 60% it may be time to relocate to Las Vegas.  No one hits 80% or better on a week-in and week-out basis.  Don’t believe the touts you find on the Internet or late night television.  If it were easy, Vegas wouldn’t look so awesome.

A quick refresher on the rules:

  • Maximum of 8 single plays during the week
  • One option teaser and one optional parlay also allowed
  • Minimum of $50 wager
  • Players must include at least one CFB and at least one NFL game in the picks
  • Both started the season with a $1,000 bankroll but can buy back into the game if they go bust

I am making a total of 7 straight plays this week in addition to taking advantage of both the parlay and teaser options.  Adam will make all 8 straight plays and a teaser but will stay away from the parlay.  I am slightly less leveraged than Adam this week , who really likes New England to cover a TD at Miami on Monday night.  I think I’m going to regret not taking that one, too.  Predictably the NFL lines are pretty tight this week.  I considered Kansas City (-6.5) against Buffalo, but there’s no way I can force myself to watch two craptastic games on opening weekend.  And, yes, Chiefs fans.  Your team is going to be bad again this year.  Go ahead and get your minds right.

Free Money!

Brett ($1,065)

  • Wisconsin (-20.5) v. Oregon St, $66 to win $60
  • Penn St (+10) v. Alabama, $55 to win $50
  • Florida (-23.5) v. UAB, $55 to win $50
  • Army (+9.5) v. San Diego St., $55 to win $50
  • Carolina (+7) at Arizona, $55 to win $50
  • Tennessee (+2) at Jacksonville, $55 to win $50
  • Tampa Bay (-1.5) v. Detroit, $55 to win $50
  • Parlay: Over 36 – Pitt/Bal & Miss St (-6.5) at Auburn, $50 to win $125
  • Teaser: Minnesota (+14.5) and Philly (+2), $60 to win $50
  • Total Wagers:  $528
  • Max Win: $555

 

Adam ($1,190)

  • TCU (-1) at Air Force, $55 to win $50
  • Purdue (-1) at Rice, $55 to win $50
  • Arkansas (-36) v. New Mexico, $55 to win $50
  • Memphis (+15) at Arkansas State, $55 to win $50
  • Over 44 – Philadelphia/St. Louis, $55 to win $50
  • Cleveland (-6.5) v. Cincinnati, $55 to win $50
  • New England (-7) v. Miami, $110 to win $100
  • Over 40.5 – Dallas/NY Jets, $55 to win $50
  • Teaser: Arkansas (-30) v. New Mexico, Memphis (+21) at Arkansas State, $60 to win $50
  • Total Wagers: $555
  • Max Win: $500

Wager accordingly. As usual, BlogHawgs.com is not responsible for broken bones or busted kneecaps from Vinny.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

You Gotta Be Sh##ing Me

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 2, 2011

Jim Tressell is back in football. Not kidding

Caldwell says Tressel will serve primarily as a consultant on replays, which will allow the other coaches to focus on their individual jobs without having to worry about making decisions on replay reviews.

You’d think the Colts would be worried about Tressell reporting his decision on replays in a timely manner.

Also, shouldn’t Tressell face a five game suspension just like T Pryor?

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Madden Day 2012

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 30, 2011

Welcome to my Man Cave

Today is Madden Day 2011, and for the first time I took vacation time to enjoy it.  It’s been a couple of years since I picked up the Gen X male’s essential football game, so I really have no baseline to measure changes and advancements.  I just have to trust EA at their word when they say Madden 2012 is an improved product.

Two things that I immediately wanted to test were the Online Gaming and the Franchise Mode.  Advances in technology and broadband speeds make online gaming far more achievable than I ever imagined.  I played my friend Jermaine this morning, handing him a 17-7 defeat as the Houston Texans over the Carolina Panthers.  I think Jermaine took it easy on me, most obviously by taking Carolina.  Who would do that in their right minds?  It’s Carolina.  I wouldn’t take Carolina in an NCAA game.

Anyway, the gameplay was excellent.  I expected intermittent slow downs and jumps, but everything ran smoothly on my end.  Jermaine blamed a critical interception thrown by Scam Newton on an Internet hiccup, but I don’t know.  I mean, it’s Scam Newton.  The Virtual Cam Newton probably saw a check for $180,000 in the virtual stands and got distracted.

The setup for online play is a bit cumbersome.  Once I figure it out, though, I’m sure it will run much more smoothly.  I am completely incapable of explaining it to you since this was my first time to play any of these games online.  It involves more buttons than the average pair of Levi’s 501 jeans.  I think I could do it again, but I’m not certain.

As for the Franchise Mode, this shows promise.  I am a Texans fan, but I opted to run a franchise with Cleveland.  For some reason I feel like it’s bad juju to play a video game consistently with my favorite team.  If Virtual Matt Schaub separates his shoulder, I’m convinced real life Matt Schaub will certainly do the same.

Selecting the Cleveland Browns allows me the fun of running Peyton Hillis 40 times per game.  One of the first things I noticed about gameplay on Madden 2012 is that you can actually run the football.  The offensive line opens up real holes, creates cutback lanes, and the guards actually pull and make seal blocks on the edge.  That is a huge advancement from some of the earliest iterations of the franchise.

The passing is quick, and I like that.  You cannot sit in the pocket forever, shifting from side-to-side while your receivers get open.  Much like the NFL you only have a couple of seconds to decide where to put the ball.  Players that can read defenses and approach each play with a specific strategy will be rewarded.  If you haven’t put the ball in the air within 3 seconds, you’re toast.

Probably the most welcome change I noticed was the kicking interface.  The complicated timing system of the old version which required using the analog sticks has been trashed.  We’re back to the glory days of the triple-X hit.  Welcome home, old friend.  I missed you.

I’ve only played 3 games thus far, so I have tons to learn.  I can say that it appears to be a very advanced game.  Like many of you, I can easily remember playing Madden on Sega Genesis, then Super Nintendo, then the original PlayStation.  This new version for the PS3 includes features we never even considered back then.  If only it came with a device that made wives encourage their husbands to play the game.  Once we reach that level of sophistication, I think it’ll be time to call the Nobel folks.

Posted in Commentary, Sports | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Madden Day 2012

One for the Road

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 26, 2011

As we pack up and head for the weekend, here are links to a few of our most popular stories of the week.  We appreciate the fact that you choose to spend time here.  We’d be babbling on about these topics to ourselves no matter what.  It’s gratifying to know at least a few folks find it entertaining.

The War of Aggie SECcession

One Pheauxne Call

Ray Buchanan, Jr. Picks Arkansas over Mississippi

2011 NFL Preview – The NFC

2011 NFL Preview – The AFC

2011 NFL Preview – Playoffs

This week’s One for the Road comes from Grantland.com, the now essential site for sports fans looking for more than a game story.  It comes from John Brandon, the Grantland college football writer, who takes a refreshingly honest look at former Ohio St. University football coach Jim Tressel.  Rather than touting Tressel as a “good but flawed man” as so many other have, Brandon cuts right to the core of that flawed argument.  Tressel and coaches just like him all over college football chose the path of least resistance.

Coach, you did your job and did it well (until maybe at the culmination of each year, when you ran into a team of equal recruiting prowess and were handed your ass). But here’s the thing: If you’d had any interest in doing something that transcended your job description, something that might impress — rather than your choir of Buckeye faithful, someone like St. Peter, that something you could’ve done, particularly, would’ve been taking a kid whose head was ballooning and who was in dire need of tutelage concerning what it means to be a decent person and teammate and who before he ever attended a single college two-a-day was flashing signs of assholehood by ignoring the designated signing day all the other players abide by and waiting until every last ounce of attention was focused on him alone before bestowing the promise of his presence upon Columbus — taking that kid, Coach, and guiding him away from assholehood. That’s what you could have done.

It’s a great read.

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One More Week

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 26, 2011

How did this happen?  We are inside of one week until the college football season kicks off.  The first weekend of the CFB season extends to Labor Day night, meaning we only have 2 days to recover before the NFL season begins with a whale of game featuring New Orleans at Green Bay.  Buckle up, folks.  We’re about to jump on a rocket ride for the next 20+ weeks heading through the BCS and NFL playoffs.  In no time we’ll look back in December and say, “Doesn’t it feel like football season just started?”

For our readers, our goals is to keep you entertained and informed heading into the season.

Next week you can expect an SEC preview followed by a thorough breakdown of the Razorbacks.  Next week also marks the return of the BK v. AB college football pick ’em.  We’re adding a new wrinkle to our tout service this year with both college and professional football.  More on that next week, but I think you’ll enjoy it.

If you have tips, ideas, or thoughts about the upcoming season that you’d like to see BlogHawgs cover, please email us at bloghawgs@gmail.com.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on One More Week

Irene No Care-a

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 26, 2011

If Jim Cantore comes to your town, you need to leave.  Living by this rule will save your life one day.

Hurricane Irene is barreling towards the U.S. eastern seaboard after ripping through Bermuda the Bahamas earlier this week.  The force of the store – currently a Category 3 – is projected to inflict billions of dollars of damage from North Carolina to Massachusetts.  The sports world is not immune to the potential damage and certain disruption.

Both the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies have altered their home series this weekend, moving Sunday games to day-night doubleheaders on Saturday.  The Giants-Jets NFL preseason game has been moved from a 7:00pm start to a 2:00pm kickoff in order to give fans more time to get home safely before the bulk of the storm hits.

The U.S. Open – the final Grand Slam tennis event of the year – also has been forced to make contingency plans as it prepares to ramp up in Flushing Meadows, New York.  The MLS and PGA have their eyes on the sky this weekend, too.

For our fans in the eastern United States – I’m as surprised as you are to learn we have fans – get your hurricane survival kit ready.  Don’t ignore the lessons from Katrina & New Orleans.  You need plenty of drinking water, flashlights/lamps with batteries and backup bulbs, ready-to-eat foods like granola bars and fruit, and a fully charged cell phone with battery backup if possible.  Also, make sure you have a portable radio with multiple batteries.  You will almost certainly lose power at some point.

As for me… I’m off to buy stock in Energizer and Duracell’s parent companies.

Posted in News, Sports | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

NFL Playoff Predictions

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 25, 2011

Predicting the outcomes of an entire football season in the preseason is actually a pretty dumb idea.  So many things can happen that could make your predictions look foolish by Week Four.  Rarely does someone nail it.  Most of the time you’re lucky to bat .500 at the end of the season.

Luckily for you, I’m dumb enough to do it.

A few things before we get started:

I based much of my predictions on one major component: continuity.  With no OTAs during the off season and a very limited training camp, teams with minimal turnover that played well in 2010 have a greater likelihood to succeed this year relative to any other year.  I know that maxim typically holds true in any season, but I do believe it will be even more relevant this year.

There will be at least one surprise team to make the playoffs in each conference, and at least one team to horribly under perform.  I’ve tried to identify those teams, too.  This year looks to be one where traditional powers continue their rise while mediocre teams continue to struggle.  For traditionalists, this is the year for you.

NFC Picks

East – Philadelphia

North – Green Bay

South – New Orleans

West – Arizona

Wild Card – Atlanta

Wild Card – Dallas

The Eagles did the most to improve their position of any other team.  They’ve solidified their defense and special teams while reinforcing a potent offense.  I expect Michael Vick to contend for league MVP honors this year, too.  Green Bay should be just as powerful offensively this year, and it’s hard to imagine they’d run into as many injury problems in 2011 as they did in 2010.  I certainly think the Packers could be even better than their Super Bowl championship team from a year ago.

Arizona will be the cream of the west.  Let’s not forget that the Cardinals won the NFC just three years ago.  Defying all odds, Ken Whisenhunt has changed the culture in the desert.  New Orleans is loaded on offense, and they have one of the best defensive backfields in football.  They lose some electricity on special teams with the departure of Reggie Bush, but the addition of rookie Mark Ingram will strengthen an already potent running attack.

As the wild cards, they are just that: wild cards.  Atlanta seems like a safe pick here.  Matt Ryan has emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFC, and the addition of Julio Jones at wide receiver really opens that offense.  That leaves us with Dallas.  There isn’t much empirical evidence to suggest that the Cowboys can carve out a 9-10 win season, but all the context around that team leads me to believe it’s their year to return to post-season play.

Two teams stand out that could also challenge for the post-season:  Detroit and Tampa Bay.  The Buccaneers are a young team that really seems to love playing for their coach.  Unfortunately I don’t see enough playmakers on offense that a team needs to win the close games.  Detroit is very similar to Tampa in that regard, but the playmakers they do have are world class.  Calvin Johnson may be the most dynamic big receiver in the game, and their defensive front could be tops in the conference.  If Nick Fairley hadn’t been injured in camp – after getting no reps in the offseason – I may have given them the edge.

Wild Card Round

Atlanta at ARIZONA

Dallas at GREEN BAY

Divisional Round

Arizona at NEW ORLEANS

Green Bay at PHILADELPHIA

NFC Championship Game

NEW ORLEANS at Philadelphia

——-

AFC Picks

East – New England

North – Baltimore

South – Houston

West – Oakland

Wild Card – Pittsburgh

Wild Card – Indianapolis

New England has become the gold standard for regular season consistency.  Their division is weaker than most think – I truly believe the Jets are overvalued – and Bill Belicheck has veterans galore.  I expect Chad Johnson to turn in a Pro Bowl season.  Houston has never had a better chance than they do right now.  The rest of the division – including Indianapolis – has more questions than answers.  The Texans defense needs to only show marginal improvement in order to qualify for the post-season for the first time in franchise history.

Baltimore has the feeling of a very special team.  The offense has caught the defense in terms of productivity, and they may actually be better this year.  Joe Flacco has emerged as one of the league’s best at quarterback.  Oakland is a stretch here, but you’ve got to do that while making preseason predictions.  As noted in the AFC preview earlier this week, you simply cannot trust Norv Turner.  San Francisco is a year or two away from true viability, and Kansas City should crash back to earth this year.

Pittsburgh is a no-brainer to make the playoffs this year.  (Why do I fear that sentence will come back to haunt me in January?)  The Steelers may very well edge Baltimore for the division title this year, but for now I’m content to label them a Wild Card team.  Indianapolis was a tough choice here.  Looking at other options in the league, though, I cannot think of a reasonable replacement.  You know my feelings on Norv Turner at San Diego, Cleveland is close but plays in a ridiculously tough division, and the Jets are an overrated football team.  They will contend, but ultimately I’ll take old Peyton Manning and his bionic neck.

Wild Card Round

Indianapolis at HOUSTON

PITTSBURGH at Oakland

Divisional Round

Houston at NEW ENGLAND

Pittsburgh at BALTIMORE

AFC Championship

New England at BALTIMORE

———

I have a history of picking teams a year too early.  This applies all across the board, but mostly in the NFL.  Two years ago, I picked Green Bay to win the Super Bowl.  Obviously, they won last year.  Last season I picked Baltimore.  Playing the odds, I’m going back to the well this season.

Super Bowl XLVI

New Orleans v. BALTIMORE

There you go, folks.  Wager accordingly

Posted in Commentary | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

2011 NFL Preview – The AFC

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 24, 2011

I expect the AFC to once again show itself to be the superior conference from top-to-bottom, but that may not reflect in the records.  Given the parity in the AFC, I’ve sketched out a lot of 7-9, 8-8, and 9-7 records.  Even with that, I expect there to be at least 5 teams with double-digit wins in the AFC playoffs and potentially all six.  There do not appear to be any extraordinary teams this year, but I do see three teams that should separate themselves as the clear elite teams in the entire league – not just the AFC.

There are a lot of questions to be answered after the short offseason and training camps.  The conventional wisdom is that teams with minimal turnover and coaching continuity will be the best teams this year.  I contend that that is always the case.  Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and New England vie for the conference title each year.  Guess what they all have in common: minimal turnover & coaching continuity.  Oh..and All-Pro  caliber quarterbacks.  That helps, too.


Not a Chance

Cincinnati – The Bungles may be back.  Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco are our, Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are in.  If Cedric Benson is your veteran leader in the locker room, you have issues.

Tennessee – The Titans have players, but this is a team in transition.  Matt Hasselbeck has tons of experience, but he’s proven to be fragile over time.  Jake Locker could be the answer long term, but I have some questions about him.  Chris Johnson’s absence during an already abbreviated training camp makes me doubt hit ability to stay health all year.

Denver – If Jesus really wants Tim Tebow to be a star NFL quarterback, the Broncos will prove me wrong.  I think it’s a safe bet, though, to say Denver has no chance of making the Super Bowl this year.

Buffalo – The Bills have awesome uniforms.  That’s about all I can really say positive about the franchise right now.

Hard to Imagine

Miami – The Dolphins have a real chance to make big movement this year, and Tony Sporano better hope they get it done.  Expect wholesale changes in Miami if they don’t make the post-season.  Reggie Bush can add some flash, but the division and schedule are just too difficult.

Kansas City – The Chiefs were the AFC version of the Chicago Bears last season.  Everything broke their way, and it’s hard to imagine all the breaks falling that way for a second consecutive year.  I think the Chiefs will hang around, but they just aren’t quite championship material yet.

Jacksonville – The Jags seem to be completely dysfunctional, but they almost always manage to hang around all season.  Blaine Gabbard is not quite ready to take over fulltime, but he’s close.  Bold prediction:  David Garrard will not start a game in the final quarter of the season.

Meaningful December Games

San Diego – The AFC West looks about as mediocre as the NFC West.  Someone has to win that division, though, and the Chargers should be there in the end.  Phillip Rivers may be an asshole, but they guy is as good as they get at quarterback in the National Football League.  Currently listed as 10:1 odds to win the MVP award.

Cleveland – This team is close.  If the Browns were in the AFC West, they’d probably be favored to win the division.  Sadly for Browns fans, they play in a division with Baltimore and Pittsburgh.  They’ll scare the big boys, but I’m afraid Cleveland just won’t quite have enough juice to get over the hump.

NY Jets –   I really want to take the Jets here, and I’d love to be proven wrong.  But I’m afraid the breaks have been going their way for too many years.  They have proven to be dangerous in the past, and this is a crew that has now been playing together for a while…but I just cannot take them.  I think they finish 9-7 but on the outside looking in for the playoffs.  Interesting fact:  Mark Sanchez led the league in dropped interceptions against last year with 15.  You really want to ride that train?


Super Six

Oakland – Someone has to win that division, and the Raiders may just be that team.  The running game has depth, Jason Campbell is a seasoned NFL veteran at quarterback, and this is a team that seemed to be trending upwards as 2010 ended.  In a wide open division, that’s enough for me to take Oakland.

Indianapolis – Has the decline of Peyton Manning begun?  His neck injury could keep Manning out of the first game against Houston, which could very easily decide the division.  For the first time in quite a while, it looks like the Colts will be playing for their playoff lives late into the season.  I think the last playoff spot will come down to the Jets and the Colts.  They’ll make it one more time.

Houston – The Texans have been the NFL’s “Will they or won’t they?” team for the past two seasons.  They have looked solid in their first two preseason outings, with the hideous defense of 2010 quickly fading to nothing more than a memory.  Much like the 2010 Razorbacks, the 2011 Texans need the defense to rise to slightly better than average in order to make a playoff run.  The offense looks amazing.

New England – Once again, Bill Belichick has pieced together one of the best teams in the NFL.  They have a great schedule and a sense of urgency to get back to the Super Bowl.  I honestly think that team wants it even more just because the game is in Indianapolis this year.

Pittsburgh – Losing the Super Bowl last year has motivated all offseason.  Mike Tomlin is one of the best coaches in the business, and the Steelers have another veteran team.  Expect Pittsburgh to be there when the playoffs start.

Baltimore – The class of the AFC, Baltimore looks poised to make a deep run this year.  The defense has always been the focus, but the offense looks primed for another stellar year.  Both regular season Ravens-Steelers games constitute must-see-TV.  A third game in the AFC playoffs certainly looks possible.

—-

Come back tomorrow for the third and final installment of our NFL preview.  We’ll take a look at the divisional champs, playoffs, and tell you who to expect in Indianapolis and the Super Bowl this February. 

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

2011 NFL Preview – The NFC

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 23, 2011

In an effort to please our dozens of readers, we have decided to increase our coverage of THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE this season.  We have actually been asked at least 2 or 3 times over the past 2 years why we don’t follow the NFL more.  The answer has always been quite simple:  We’re very, very lazy.

This year, though, we are turning over a new leaf.  Given my continuous dissatisfaction with the NCAA and its ridiculous rule book, I’ve decided to focus more attention on pro ball.  While those guys may  not get paid as much as an Auburn starting quarterback or a University of Miami … well … just about anyone at The U, at least they get their money direct deposited and not under the table.

This is the first of a three-part NFL preview we’ll roll out this week.  Today I break down the NFC, placing the teams in categories fans can easily understand.  Tomorrow I’ll give the AFC the same treatment, then on Thursday we’ll look ahead to January and the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl in February.

I think you’ll enjoy some of the new NFL coverage we plan to give you this year.  In addition to the detailed and masterfully crafted football coverage you can only come to expect from BlogHawgs, we’ll take a look at each week from a fantasy football perspective.  And what’s NFL football without gambling?  Am I right?  Adam and I have already set up our “fake money accounts” so we can wager this year to finally prove who is the better tout.

Sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.  Football season is right around the corner.

————-

The NFC has been the weaker of the 2 conferences over the past 15 years, but the gap has narrowed. The Saints are just 2 seasons removed from their first Super Bowl title, and Green Bay took home the Lombardi Trophy last year.  Both teams look poised to make title runs this year, in addition to the (over ?) hyped Philadelphia Eagles.

Quarterback play once again will dictate the Haves and Have Nots of professional football.  The marquee names may be in the AFC, but Aaron Rogers and Drew Brees have quietly become 2 of the most talented and most reliable passers in the game.  New kid on the block Matt Ryan and the reformed Michael Vick round out the upper echelon of signal callers in the NFC.

The conference is top-heavy this year, and that could lead to a few teams posting gaudy records.  I’m not sure our eventual Super Bowl champion will come from the NFC, but there are several teams in the conference that make you hesitate before saying unequivocally that the NFL champion will come from the AFC.  The resurgence of traditional powers coupled with the steady growth of teams without much of a pedigree make this the more enjoyable of the 2 conferences in the NFL.

Not a Chance

Carolina – The Panthers have far too many issues to address in one offseason.  It starts in the front office, though, where the brain trust decided to spend first round picks in back-to-back seasons on quarterbacks.  Well…people who play the position at least.  It’s yet to be determined if they actually have a quarterback on the team.

Seattle – If Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst were your first two options at quarterback, would you feel good about your season?  Didn’t think so.  I refuse to believe in this team until it brings back the old school silver helmets.

Chicago – No team had better luck than the Bears last year.  The shortened training camp and non-existent offseason mean Chicago never solved their offensive line problems.  Throw in the loss of Daniel Manning and the fact Jay Cutler is still your quarterback, and you have the makings of a huge 2011 disaster.  It’s hard to believe this team made it to the NFC Championship Game last year.

Hard to Imagine

NY Giants – This franchise has set adrift ever since its Super Bowl XLII win.  A difficult schedule and a difficult division mean the question, “Is Eli Manning really an elite NFL quarterback?” could be the most oft-asked question on New York sports talk radio.

Minnesota – The Vikings could win 12 games or 4 games, and I’m not sure I’d be that surprised.  This is a team built for the long haul.  That said, it’s hard to imagine Minnesota making a run this year.  I’m not ruling it out, but I won’t be putting any money on the Minnesota McNabbs.

Washington – Welcome to the John Beck Era, Redskin fans.  Wait…what’s that you say?  Rex Grossman still believes he can win the job?  The Super Bowl drought looks to continue in the nation’s capitol.

Meaningful December Games

St. Louis – The Rams were one win shy of the postseason in 2011.  That same fate could befall St. Louis again this year thanks to a schedule that includes Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Green Bay, and New Orleans.  Winning 3 of those games would put St. Louis into the playoffs, but let’s not pack those bags just yet.

Tampa Bay – The Buccaneers have a favorable schedule and a team with a lot of young talent.  This is one of those teams that could catch fire like Kansas City last year and surprise folks with a playoff run.  Conference foes like Atlanta and New Orleans, though, will prevent the Bucs from a division title.

Detroit – The chic pick to make the playoffs, Detroit has a lot to prove before I’m willing to buy in.  This looks like a 7 to 9 win team, which is a huge step forward for a moribund franchise in a moribund city.

San Francisco – The Niners are not back, but they are heading in the right direction.  Quarterback concerns will keep San Francisco out of the playoffs, but a little luck along the way will give fans a reason to show up late into the season – although Kevlar vests are encouraged.

Super Six

Dallas – The Jason Garret Era could prove to be a good one.  The offense has talent and experience.  The defense is better than it has shown.  And the schedule creates plenty of opportunities to pick up at least nine wins.

Atlanta – Matt Ryan is a franchise quarterback, and the addition of Julio Jones provides another option on offense.  The schedule is very good, matching the Falcons up with the NFC North and the AFC South.  If the defense can hold things together, the dirty birds could make a run to Indianapolis.

Green Bay – The defending Super Bowl champs have the chops to pull off another title run.  Their division is weaker than years past, and Aaron Rogers has entered the prime of his career.  Hunger to repeat is always a critical element to watch for the defending champs.

Arizona – The Cardinals benefit from a soft schedule and a potentially wicked offense. More than twelve wins is not out of the question, but I think 11 or 12 is the most likely scenario.  Kevin Kolb gets the chance to prove just how good he is, and Larry Fitzgerald is primed to establish himself as clearly the #1 wide receiver in football.

Philadelphia – The Eagles bandwagon has a few more seats available after their poor showing last Thursday night.  That is a mistake.  Philly has always had a stingy defense, and they upgraded.  Michael Vick has matured into an elite quarterback who has options to play with on offense.  The Eagles will be excellent this year.

New Orleans – It is still hard to believe the Saints have become a perennial power in the NFC, but it’s true.  The offense could actually prove to be more consistent without Reggie Bush, giving meaningful carries to a runner like Mark Ingram who can do some damage between the tackles.  The defense needs only to avoid being awful for the Saints to make a run to Indianapolis.

——–

Check back tomorrow for a look at the AFC.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Match Made in Hell

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 22, 2011

If you could name one NFL team with whom you’d not want to see a gifted yet troubled player sign, that team would almost certainly be the Oakland Raiders.  The aura around the team suggests violence and chaos – off the field.  We heard last week how Michael Vick was advised that of all the teams in the NFL for him to start his come back, Oakland should be last on the list.

So it somehow seems fitting that Terrelle Pryor was selected by the Raiders today in the NFL’s supplemental draft.

In a move that was ridiculously predictable and (probably) predictably ridiculous, the Raiders have taken Terrelle Pryor in the third round of the NFL’s supplemental draft. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it was with the No. 18 pick.

According to NFL.com’s Albert Breer, Pryor immediately got on the phone with Raiders coach Hue Jackson and said, “I’ll be there, and I’ll be ready … I can’t wait.” Breer also quoted agent Drew Rosenhaus saying, “I’m optimistic we’ll get a deal done tonight.”

Oakland selected Pryor in the 3rd round, thereby forfeiting their third round pick in the April 2012 draft.  The suspended former Buckeye can workout with his new employers for the next few weeks but cannot associate with team personnel for five weeks once the season starts.

I can only hope Darren McFadden “accidentally” runs over Pryor a few times.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Today’s Money Tip

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 19, 2011

With the stock market going insane on us, sports gambling may be the most secure financial investment in 2011.  If you know what you’re doing, that is.  (And only in legal gambling zones, people.  We’re not encouraging illegal behavior, here.)  Our friends over at Grantland.com had yet another winning idea, and now have a writer living in Las Vegas for the coming year.  His name is Bill Barnwell, and he has a background in advanced statistical metrics.  He came to Grantland after a stint at Football Outsiders, one of the many SABR sites out there.

His goal is to 1) survive living in Las Vegas for a year and 2) write about everything that happens in Sin City.  He’s 27-years-old, single, and gets to live in and write about the one place in America where people are encouraged to lose their minds and throw out the rulebook to their own lives.  Simply put, he has the best job in the world.

Back to gambling…

Barnwell dissected the early NFL prop bets today, focusing on team over/under win totals.  For long-term investors, this is right up your alley.  The over/under prop is the gambling equivalent of a medium-risk bond, where as Sunday betting is like day trading for most gamblers.  There is less exposure, you aren’t exposed to fluke swings at the same rate as you are in a single game, and you can occasionally guarantee a payout if you hawk the odd movements each day.  You aren’t likely to hit a big score on one of these bets, but you could make sure to get some of your money back after the season’s over – after you lost your entire bankroll on Sundays during the season.

Today, Barnwell looks at the odds for the season win total over/under prop bets after Week 1 of the NFL preseason.  As you can see, the money is already shifting quite a bit.  Given all of their activity in the offseason, the Eagles are of course a team getting a lot of action.  My guess is after last night’s lackluster performance on national television, the numbers have shifted again this morning.

RISING

Philadelphia Eagles
OPENING LINE: 10 wins, Over -120, Under EVEN
NOW: 10.5 wins, Over -135, Under +115

This is one the whole family can figure out. As a reminder, the Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins, Ryan Harris, Ronnie Brown, and traded for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. As you might suspect, this boosted their odds while harshing the market for their NFC East rivals. The under on the Giants line of 9.5 wins started at -115 and has fallen to -140, while the Redskins went from being at even money to finish under 6.5 wins to -130 to finish under six wins.

Note that both the Eagles’ and Redskins’ lines have shifted by a half-win. That might not seem like a huge difference, but it can be enormous in a season that holds just 16 games. Before, a 10-win season for the Eagles would have been a push, returning the bettor his/her investment without any profit or loss. Now it’s a loss. Since the last strike season, in 1987, only 21.5 percent of teams have won 11 games or more. 11.4 percent of teams, more than half that total, have won exactly 10 games. A lot of things have to go right for a team — even as one as good as the Eagles — to win 11 or more games in a season. Having the ability to push on a 10-win total is an enormous advantage for the bettor. While the Eagles certainly look like world-beaters right now, this is a perfect example of the market falling in love with a series of moves. This is still a team with holes on defense and a weak offensive line, and there’s probably some value in betting against the consensus here. On the other hand, occasionally you try doing this and end up betting the under on the 2007 Patriots.

 

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Today’s Money Tip

Terrelle Pryor Draft Eligible

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 18, 2011

Running to the NFL

If an NFL team wants to risk a pick in the supplemental draft later this month, they can roll the dice with Terrelle Pryor.  According to Adam Schefter at ESPN.com, the NFL will allow the troubled former Buckeye star in the draft despite being suspended for half the college season because of rules violations.  Traditionally players are only allowed into the supplemental draft only if they are unable or ineligible to play in college during the upcoming season.

Pryor was one of 5 Buckeyes suspended for the first five games of the season after the NCAA penalized them and the school for repeated violations.  For Razorback fans, there really is no need to recount the whole story.  It’s ingrained in our memories for a lifetime.

From the NFL statement:

“(Terrelle) Pryor then applied to enter the NFL after the regular draft. Pryor had accepted at the end of the 2010 college football season a suspension for the first five games of the 2011 season for violating NCAA rules. Pryor will be ineligible to practice prior to or play in the first five games of the NFL regular season after he signs.”

I believe the NFL could have stood firm on this and kept Pryor from entering the draft.  They instead split the baby, essentially honoring the NCAA suspension.  I’ve only spent a few minutes considering this, but my initial reactions are mixed.

On one hand, rules are rules.  Since Pryor was indeed eligible to play at Ohio St. this season, he by rule is not eligible for the draft (at least according to the rules as they have been explained to me).  He COULD have entered the April draft but chose not to do so.  With all those QBs in the mix and his problems, Pryor may have been on the board well into the day on Sunday.

On the other hand, the NFL almost certainly would have been sued.  And they probably would have lost, resulting in a precedent being set by a third party rather than itself as a league.  Also, Pryor has zero chance of playing this year anyway.  He won’t be able to practice with the team for the first five weeks of the season, he’d be a rookie quarterback, and he is by no means a lock to ever take a snap in the NFL.

Also, there is no guarantee that a team will select him in the supplemental.  Any team that does take Pryor will have to forfeit a corresponding pick in the April 2012 draft.  Do you really want your team to take a chance on a kid like Pryor?

Reunited?

One thing to watch, though, is Cleveland.  Jim Tressel was recently knocking around Cleveland Browns camp.  While he has been quoted saying that he does not have any interest in coaching at the NFL level right now, one has to wonder what he was doing there.  Could he be paving the way for a reunion between he and Pryor in Ohio’s most celebrated football city?

Back to the NFL and the troubling precedent…

What about coaches?  Should Pete Carroll have been banned from post-season play for 2 years, matching the USC bowl ban?  If Cam Newton is ever exposed and Auburn faces sanctions as a result, should he be banned?  What about all 73 of the Miami Hurricane players identified in the recent Yahoo! Sports investigative report?

Clearly this ruling creates more questions than answers.

For Terrelle Pryor, it’s just another example of people sacrificing their (on in this case, their league’s) principles because of his raw talent.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

Hillis Experiencing Highs, Lows

Posted by Adam Butler on December 15, 2010

By now, most of you that care to know have heard that former Hog running back Peyton Hillis broke the 1,000 rushing yard mark for the season on Sunday, becoming the first white running back to do so since former Pony Expre$$ running back and ESPN college football analyst (and Mike Leach’s #1 fan) did it 25 years ago.

The Wamper (pronounced like "Whomp") and his finishing move.

But did you know “The Wamper” (a nickname I made up for Hillis as he was a Conway Wampus Cat in high school and he whomps people in THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE) (add “The Wamper” to the BlogHawgs Dictionary, please, Hagers) also leads the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE in fumbles and had a key one Sunday in a deflating loss to the Bills, along with several other key turnovers throughout the season? That’s no bueno.

Nonetheless, Hillis has had a breakthrough season and is becoming a household name…now if this nickname will just take hold.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Epic Peyton Hillis Highlight Video

Posted by Adam Butler on November 30, 2010

This was a great find on the You Tubes by BlogHawgs reader, Stave.

If Peyton isn’t having an All-Pro season, I don’t know who is at this point.

It’s fitting that the former Hog, Hillis, an emerging NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE cult hero has a pro wrasslin’-like “finishing move”/TD dance–a really tough one.

Posted in Commentary, Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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