Thursday, December 24, 2009

Right Now

Start the clip at exactly 8:24. I'm feelin' a lot like Sheryl Yoast right now...the part of the clip I'm asking you to watch ends at 9:04.

Again, and the last time I'll say it for a while since I'm taking a break from blogging...thanks for reading. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Future


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let's Go Bowling

Here's the rest of the picks for the...uh...third most wonderful time of the year? Let's see, March Madness, NFL's Divisional playoff weekend, and then college bowl season? That's about right, and that's amazing, because college bowl season is so, so wonderful. As usual, outside the BCS, there are plenty of bright spots (Champs Sports, Capital One, Sun Bowl) and many of those "Why?" games (Insight, International). Bowls are separated by days, and when games go final, green indicates a correct pick, and red tells you that I missed (sometimes badly)...


New Mexico: Fresno State (8-4) - 33; Wyoming (6-6) - 14
St. Petersburg: Rutgers (8-4) - 24; UCF (8-4) - 23

New Orleans: Southern Miss (7-5) - 34; Middle Tennessee (9-3) - 20

Las Vegas: #14 BYU (10-2) - 30; #18 Oregon State (8-4) - 24

Poinsettia: California (8-4) - 27; #23 Utah (9-3) - 23

Hawaii: SMU (7-5) - 17; Nevada (8-4) - 10

Little Caesars: Ohio (9-3) - 691; Marshall (6-6) - 6
Meineke Car Care: #17 Pittsburgh (9-3) - 27; UNC (8-4) - 13
Emerald: Boston College (8-4) - 27; #24 USC (8-4) - 17

Music City: Kentucky (7-5) - 24; Clemson (8-5) - 17

Independence: Georgia (7-5) - 24; Texas A&M (6-6) - 10

Eaglebank: UCLA (6-6) - 20; Temple (9-3) - 17
Champs Sports: #25 Wisconsin (9-3) - 27; #15 Miami (FL) (9-3) - 23

Humanitarian: Idaho (7-5) - 27; Bowling Green (7-5) - 23
Holiday: #22 Nebraska (9-4) - 17; #20 Arizona (8-4) - 13

Armed Forces: Houston (10-3) - 45; Air Force Academy (7-5) - 27
Sun: #21 Stanford (8-4) - 35; Oklahoma (7-5) - 23
Texas: Navy (9-4) - 23; Missouri (8-4) - 14
Insight: Iowa State (6-6) - 17; Minnesota (6-6) - 13
Chick-fil-A: Tennessee (7-5) - 20; #11 Virginia Tech (9-3) - 13

Outback: Auburn (7-5) - 34; Northwestern (8-4) - 27
Capital One: #12 LSU (9-3) - 27; #13 Penn State (10-2) - 24
Gator: Florida State (6-6) - 27; #16 West Virginia (9-3) - 14
Rose: #7 Oregon (10-2) - 20; #8 Ohio State (10-2) - 14
Sugar: #5 Florida (12-1) - 23; #3 Cincinnati (12-0) - 20

International: South Florida (7-5) - 23; Northern Illinois (7-5) - 14
Cotton: #19 Oklahoma State (9-3) - 27; Mississippi (8-4) - 20 Connecticut (7-5) - 27; South Carolina (7-5) - 20
Liberty: Arkansas (7-5) - 27; East Carolina (9-4) - 14
Alamo: Texas Tech (8-4) - 34; Michigan State (6-6) - 20

Fiesta: #4 TCU (12-0) - 27; #6 Boise State (13-0) - 24

Orange: #9 Georgia Tech (11-2) - 33; #10 Iowa (10-2) - 27

GMAC: Central Michigan (11-2) - 44; Troy (9-3) - 27

Nat'l Championship: #2 Texas (13-0) - 27; #1 Alabama (13-0) - 21

Overall: 19-15


It's the (third) mossssst wonderful timeeee of the year! Enjoy, and thanks for reading.

p.s. chips and salsa is a great snack to have handy when you're bowling.

College Football: A Look Back, A Look Forward

Preseason college football polls are awful. They always have been, and they make for mass confusion at the end of the season. But I finally know why they exist.
Preseason polls are created so the voters can see how their predictions held up at the end of the season.
I'm finding out that the best part of making predictions is going back at the end of the year and finding out just how good (or bad) you did. My first year of college football predictions actually went pretty well. Here's the look-back. (My preseason picks are in red (wrong) and green (correct))

Heisman Trophy Winner: Colt McCoy, Texas
Actual: Mark Ingram, Alabama

ACC Champion: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

I'm very proud of this one...GT had its' best season since the '50's and I rode the triple-option train all year long.

Big Ten Champion: Penn State Nittany Lions
Actual: Ohio State Buckeyes

It's quite funny, actually, if you know anything about the recent history of Ohio State football, it seems like the Buckeye fan base loses faith in the team after they perennially lose to USC. It was the same story this year. OSU loses to Southern Cal and to Purdue, the season is seemingly lost, and then they run the table to get to their first Rose Bowl in forever. It's about time the state of Ohio had a better-than-disappointing football team (the Bengals' great season coupled with Cincy's BCS berth gives Ohio THREE postseason the apocalypse coming?)

Big East Champion: South Florida Bulls
Actual: Cincinnati Bearcats

It may look like a horrible pick, but USF was crushed by injuries, and both Cincinnati and South Florida were talented and unranked at the start of the season (how ridiculous does THAT sound for Cincy?).

Big Twelve Champion: Texas Longhorns

There was never any doubt. This pick was really too easy.

Pac-10 Champion: Oregon Ducks

I'm most proud of my Oregon pick. For as much as I was on the GT train all year, I was driving the Oregon bandwagon from day one (yes, even after they got dismantled on the blue turf at Boise). UO's win over Arizona was one of my favorite games of the year, and, as always, Oregon's jerseys never disappointed.

SEC Champion: Florida Gators
Actual: Alabama Crimson Tide

Very glad this pick didn't come true. Alabama was clearly the better team in the SEC Championship game (and all year, for that matter), but if Florida would have won the SEC, Tebow would have been in serious talk for the Heisman, and as I've said before, that would have been a travesty.

MAC Champion: Central Michigan Chippewas
Mountain West Champion: TCU Horned Frogs
WAC Champion: Boise State Blue Fields

These three were no-brainers from the beginning.

Conference USA Champion: Houston Cougars
Actual: East Carolina Pirates

I'm legitimately upset about Houston not winning C-USA. ECU needed OT to upset the Cougs in the title game, and you probably didn't even think about reading about how it happened, because it's C-USA, right? You saw the headline and glanced over it to read about how Tiger had an affair with Joan Rivers or someone (too soon?), but I lost my mind when I heard. Case Keenum isn't a "Rick", but he was "Rick-diculous" in 2009, routinely throwing for over 500 yards in single games. East Carolina, prepare to enter my doghouse, effective immediately.

Sun Belt Champion: Florida International Golden Panthers
Actual: Troy Trojans

It was a shot in the dark, ok? I had no realistic chance at getting this one right.

Do they matter anymore?
Notre Dame: 7-5
Actual: 6-6

Michigan: 6-6
Actual: 5-7

BCS Bowl Predictions:
BCS National Championship Game: Tim Tebow's vs. Colt 45's
Rose Bowl (of course, presented by Citi): Oregon Ducks vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
Sugar Bowl: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Boise State Blue Fields
Orange Bowl: South Florida Bulls vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Fiesta Bowl: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Southern California Trojans
Missed on: TCU, Iowa, Cincinnati

Season picks: 48-25 (wow, not bad for a first year)
Now that we've recapped the season, complained about the BCS and watched Tebow get knocked out for the ump-teenth time (the song is the best part of that video), we can go bowling. I'll give you today's picks, and then get the rest of them out there in a day or two.

New Mexico: Fresno State - 33; Wyoming - 14
St. Petersburg: Rutgers - 24; UCF - 23

Thanks for reading.

p.s. I've gotten a bunch of inquiries about the Winter Olympics Competition, and my answer is still the same...I have no idea whether I won or not. Hopefully I'll be finding out in the next few days, but I can't say enough how much I appreciate the support I got from all of you. If you voted for me or told me you read my writing, even if I don't personally know you, I can't thank you enough. Even if I don't win, seeing all the support I got from everyone in my life will be the silver lining.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How Can You Not Laugh?

So simple, yet so hilarious. Even SportsCenter anchors are in awe of the Arnold Palmer.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Heisman Pick

     Can you think of a Heisman race that has ever been this wide-open? Seriously, the award could go to any of the five finalists, and I think that makes for great TV...anyway, I'm not even sure I have a guess as to who will win (I might by the time I finish this article, but my pick will change three times today).  So, let's break it down.

The Legacy
Tim Tebow, QB, Florida Gators
Passing: 182/279 (65%), 2,413 yds, 18 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: 203 rush, 859 yds, 13 TD

I'm not saying Tebow isn't a great football player, because he is.  But if he wins his second Trophy, it will be the travesty of all travesties. Honestly, he has been just a mediocre version of his 2007 - and even his 2008 - self, he just happens to be the best player on the formerly-best-team-in-the-country.  Side note: That argument for the Heisman winner is complete garbage.  Why should whether or not you're 12-0 or 11-1 make any difference whether you win the award? If his name wasn't Tim Tebow he wouldn't even be invited (enter, Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State).

The Star with No Shot
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska Huskers
87 tackles, 47 solo, 12 sacks, 12 quarterbacks who crapped their pants when playing him

That last stat is unofficial, of course.  Suh has been phenomenal all year, but no one outside of college football diehards and Nebraska fans really knew who he was.  Until last week, that is.  Good ol' Colt is one of those twelve QB's who need new pants.  Four sacks and much havoc reeked on a team who is playing for the National Championship.  We saw more ridiculous individual performances this year that we've ever seen before, and that was certainly one of them.

The Trendy Gunslinger
Colt McCoy, QB, Texas Longhorns
Passing: 330/468 (70%), 3,512 yds, 27 TD, 12 INT
Rushing: 128 rush, 327 yds, 3 TD

Ladies and gentlemen, a quarterback should not win the Heisman this year. Even though I picked Colt 45 to win it in the preseason, voters usually love quarterbacks from Nat'l Championship-caliber teams, and was hoping he'd have a Heisman-type game against Nebraska last week, we've already established that he did not (see: Suh, Ndamukong).  McCoy was another QB who didn't come close to his 2008 stats, and that (should) hurt him in the voting.  I would be extremely surprised if he wins the award, but then again I've been surprised before (hello, Jason White over Larry Fitzgerald).

The Sleeper
Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford Cardinal
Rushing: 311 rush, 1,736 yds, 26 TD
Receiving: 10 rec, 149 yds

I sure hope you saw Toby run wild over Notre Dame, because if you didn't, wow, you missed out on one of the finest performances of the year.  Just a little taste. Kid's an absolute beast, and he is absolutely deserving of winning tonight.  He leads the country in yards and touchdowns (and I'm told he's a stellar student at Stanford, of all places).  If you've never watched him play first-hand, you probably think he's a nobody. But let me tell you, he will be drafted higher than Tebow in the NFL draft next April, you can bet on it.

The Winner
Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Rushing: 249 rush, 1,542 yds, 15 TD
Receiving: 30 rec, 322 yds, 3 TD

I struggled with this pick, even as I wrote the Gerhart paragraph, and I know in an hour I'll change my mind.  Ingram has been more than incredible for 11 games, and, most importantly, was huge in the blowout of Florida which made Tebow cry and Urban Meyer dehydrate himself so he could feel more pain (I kid, I kid).  He, like Gerhart, is not flashy (like a Reggie Bush), but he is an extremely dangerous running back who will beat you up and knock you down whenever he wants to.

Want to know how close the top two are (and not just in my head)? On's "Heisman Watch," the panel of voters wound up giving Ingram and Gerhart 77 points each.  So, if it's a tie there, and it's basically a tie in my head too, can't we just have them suit up and run at each other full-speed?  I say the one who knocks the other one backward is the winner.

Good idea?

Thanks for reading, enjoy the night.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

(Follow-up) Three Hours of More Disappointment, Followed by 21 Yards of Pure Joy

     Last night, I was ecstatic.
     Tonight, I was franticly worried.
     All I needed was seven points from Ray Rice to get my fantasy football team into the playoffs. To put it into perspective, I'm talking about a running back who was averaging 20 per game.  Seven points is the equivalent to fifty total yards and two catches out of the backfield. It was just that easy.
     Well, after an opening-drive fumble by Rice (-2 pts.) and Ray completely disappearing as his team struggled on offense, my playoff hopes came down to a drive that, the scope of the NFL, did. not. matter.
     See, Rice was stuck on five points for the majority of the fourth quarter, and if that were to finish that way, Team B (and consequently me) would lose by two points.
     Baltimore was down 27-14 with less than two minutes to go.  Green Bay was going to win, there was no doubt.  All it would take was one catch for three or more yards (Rice had 17 yards receiving to that point) to make me postseason bound.  But Joe Flacco looked awful.  It looked like he'd never complete another pass.  And I had just about given up hope and turned the game off to catch up on Family Guy and Flashforward.  But then it happened.
     On first-and-15 and from the shotgun, Flacco handed the ball to Rice (!!!), and Rice found a hole in the line and exploded into the Packers secondary.  He got the first down.  I checked the box score.  He only needed 17 rushing yards to get two more fantasy points.

Mike: "a 21-yard run for Rice gives the Ravens a first-down and, oh, this just in, Grant Burkhardt's fantasy football has just secured the last spot in the playoffs! Listen to the crowd roar!"

(That's a loose translation of course, I wasn't able to hear what he was saying over the Lambeau Field crowd. I just figured that's what he said.)
     A side-note: I'm realizing that garbage-time drives are horrific for fantasy owners.  From Favre's TD pass to Harvin to Rice's 21-yard miracle, I've had enough football for a while.
     But the playoffs begin this weekend. And Team "Somewhere Over Dwayne Bowe" (say it fast for full effect) is going to be playing for the Championship.

Monday, December 7, 2009

What's Great About Sports

     In a game between two teams who had combined to win TWO games, Matthew Stafford made Detroit believe in the Lions.  Here's what the best game of the season sounded like from inside the helmet of the hero.

A Moment of Disappointment, Followed by One of Joy

     If you know me even a small amount, you probably know that I'm an avid fantasy sports player.  I've played everything from fantasy football to fantasy bass fishing.  Yes, I'm insane, I get that a lot actually.  But have you tried it? Fantasy sports are addicting. Ask my dad, who was in the room talking to me about fantasy sports when I explained my situation to him.
     One of my fantasy football teams was sitting on the outside of the playoff picture looking in coming into this week, the final week of the regular season.  I needed to beat a 9-3 division leader (a week after beating the then-top-ranked team in the league) and get help to grab the last spot in the postseason.  Highly unlikely.
     So, for the second straight week, my team played inspired (fantasy) football and beat a tough opponent (you'll find that I refer to my fantasy team as if it were a real football team) by a bunch.
     Now I needed help.  The team in front of me, Team A, HAD to lose or my streak of consecutive postseason appearances (six) would be over.  But, as of 8:00 p.m., it didn't look likely.  Team A had a twenty-five-point lead and Brett Favre left to play, whereas its' opponent, Team B, had the Vikings defense, Percy Harvin, and Baltimore's Ray Rice.  Definitely going to be close.
    As the Sunday night game goes along, it becomes apparent that Brett simply doesn't have it tonight, and I might have a chance to squeak into the playoffs.  My dad and I are talking about this possibility, and he says that as long as Favre, who my dad is playing against this week, doesn't throw a touchdown in the last two minutes, we're both making the playoffs in our respective leagues.
    Well, as Favre would do, he drove the Vikings down to the Cardinals 31-yard line.  I'll let Al Michaels take it from here.

Al: "Favre back to pass, steps aside the rush and slings it down the middle, and it's caught for the touchdown!"...

     Utter devastation. My head hits my comforter in pure disbelief, and my dad's slumps to his chest. No playoffs for us this year.

..."to Percy Harvin!"


     My room became a place of complete euphoria.
     Explanation: Because Brett's pass went to Harvin and not someone else, Team B got a point for the reception, three for the yardage, and six for the touchdown.  So instead of being down by 17 going into tomorrow's game, Team B is only down seven. And as long as Ray Rice doesn't get injured or have a horrid game, I'm going to make the playoffs. Incredible.
     Honestly, I know I'm a big proponent of sports. I love them, and they love me back.  I say this a lot, sure, but emotion like that only happens in sports. Even if they're fantasy sports.
     Oh, and my dad? Euphoria never hit my old man.  His postseason hopes were dashed by Favre's garbage-time touchdown.
     There's always next year, dad.
     (Fantasy) Sports can be cruel.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Anatomy of a Jersey Selection

It's December already? Wow. Christmas is quickly approaching, and you'd like Santa to get you a cool jersey.  But which one do you choose to put on your list?  The jersey-selection process is quite a science, trust me.  I've made every jersey faux pas known to sports fans, so I think I can help.  Here's how you should proceed.  Consider every option before you make a choice.

The Draft Pick:
You're stoked about your team's most recent first-rounder (or second rounder, in some cases), and the Cheese of the organization just gave Mr. Super-Athlete the big bucks, so you decide he's your guy.  He's a no-brainer.  He was incredible in college, maybe won the Heisman, and is going to be a stud in the pros, you have no doubt.

You promptly buy a Reggie Bush jersey. Ohno!

(Not to say Reggie isn't a good football player, but if you splurged and bought a Bush jersey (like I so desperately wanted to) you've seen a career of mediocrity, injury, and only a few flashes of brilliance - don't you wish you would have gone with the "Star" approach?)

I was with you on this approach for the longest time.  I loved when the Steelers would draft new players so I could ogle at the sight of new jerseys in all the stores.

Grant's previous choice:  Antwaan Randle-El, former wide-receiver/returner, Pittsburgh Steelers. 

So, I got overly-excited and asked for an Antwaan Randle-El jersey.  Ugh.  Horrible.  He ran back a few punts for touchdowns in his first year and I thought, "Alright, I made a great choice! Guy's electric!" But then I realized he couldn't play wide receiver if I was covering him, and El hit the road in free agency.  Jersey Gods - 1, Grant - 0.  Proceed with caution.

The Popular Role Guy:
I've been a fan of this one too, and the "Role Player" theory is one I fully endorse.  Go with a sure-handed tight end, a sixth man (Ben Gordon comes to mind), or a lock-down defenseman (Nicklas Lidstrom?).  But please, avoid kickers at all costs.  You'll just look like you're trying too hard. (Side note: The kicker part also applies to putting your own name on the back of the jersey...don't do it.  You'll just look dumb)

Grant's previous choice: Heath Miller, tight end, Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sure-handed, reliable, and has a long-term contract.  Bingo.

The Star Player:
To me, this is a rookie mistake.  You go to the local sporting goods store and you see "Peterson," "James," "Ovechkin," or "Manning" and you automatically pounce and say, "YES! I love jersey shopping. So fun and so convenient!"  Wrong.

Sure, the star has lasting power, and yes he's the best and most well-known of the players on the team, but how many people do you see in stadiums wearing the pin-striped #2? Way. Too. Many.  But ok, I can't fault you for wanting to go with the biggest and the best.

So go ahead, be cliché.  Creativity and imagination? Nah, not needed.  Psh, I remember MY first jersey (black-and-gold Jerome Bettis jersey)...haven't seen any of those before now have you?

Grant's previous choice(s): Roethlisberger, Polamalu, a blue Sidney Crosby jersey, 

The Collegiate Favorite:
This is close, but it's not quite what you want.  Main problem?  Slightly different from the "El" situation, college players have a permanent shelf life.  Then after that, you're subject to one of a few scenarios:

Scenario One:  Because most college jerseys don't have names attached, you get post-player-graduation questions like, "Whose jersey is that?" And you end up explaining who the player is, why you bought the jersey, and why the player was so, so good when he played.

Scenario Two:  Once again, because of the no-names thing, you get asked, "Is that (insert player who has taken your jersey's number)'s jersey? Good choice!"  You can either lie and say you recently bought the jersey because you like said player, or you can repeat the end of scenario one.

Grant's previous choice: Julius Page, number 1, former high-flying guard, Pittsburgh Panthers basketball.  

Page was my favorite player when I first started loving Pitt basketball.  I would have loved to see him in a dunk contest, but never got the chance.  In his sophomore and junior seasons, the kid could hit three's from literally everywhere.  He was fast, he was electric, and he was a joy to watch on the court.  Unfortunately Julius couldn't hit the Berlin Wall (before it got torn down, of course) in his senior year, but my love for JPage didn't end.

(Side note for scenario two: Keith Benjamin and Travon Woodall. The two players who wore Page's number after he graduated.  In my eyes, neither will ever be able to carry Julius' jock strap, but I am slightly biased)

The Team Jersey:
"But Grant, I don't want to fall victim to any of these problems, so I'm just gonna get a jersey that doesn't have a name or number on the back...solves all my problems."

Don't let a few bad relationships get you turned off from them altogether!  You have to take a chance!  Don't close your heart off forever! Wait, what am I talking about here?

Grant's previous choice(s): Assorted non-commitments

Something resembling a hockey jersey with PITTSBURGH spelled out diagonally across the front.  I guess my parents thought I could wear it to any sporting venue?

And, most recently, a Pittsburgh Pirates jersey.  Come on! You can't blame me for that! They trade EVERYONE, ALL THE TIME.  I'm a huge Pirates fan and I have to support my team, but it's just a bad investment!  Get off my back, please.

The Throwback:

The throwback is the no-risk, all-reward selection.  It's the Kevin Durant-as-the-first-pick choice, it's that eas--oh wait, Portland missed on that one. Ok, bad example, but you get the idea.  You can't lose with a throwback.

The majority of players available for purchase on a throwback are already either in the Hall of Fame or extremely close.  And as an added bonus, throwbacks are usually cool colors that show off how classy an individual you are.  Plus, you aren't obligated to pick a throwback of your own team, so if, say, you're a fan of the now-0-18 New Jersey Nets, you could go with a Shawn Kemp or a Shaq-circa-Orlando jersey.

Also, you have the option of something outside professional sports...may I suggest a Rizzo sweater?

Grant's future choice: Rod Woodson, former defensive back, Pittsburgh Steelers

Number 26 was my favorite Steeler when I was little, and one of my most vivid early memories is seeing RW intercept an Oakland Raiders pass and return it for a touchdown along the far sideline.  He was the best.

If you're in a bind, and in need of a jersey, I suggest you print this out and keep it with you while you shop.  I'm not saying my methods are foolproof, but if the saying "You have to lose before you can win" is true, then I think I've made enough bad jersey decisions to deem my current strategy at least "usable."

Have a great time, jersey shopping is simply good, old-fashioned, family fun. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Problem with the Tiger Saga

     My problem is not with the Enquirer's story.
     My problem is not with Tiger's silence.
     My problem is not even with the never ending coverage of what could turn out to be a "nothing" story just because it's about a God-man who can hit a 9-iron farther than I can shoot a gun.
     My problem is that no one seems to have any respect for Tiger's family.
     For example, every major media outlet has begun calling his wife (yes, they're still married) Elin Nordegren.  Don't see the mistake?  She got married.  Her name is Elin Woods.  Nothing changes with an article from the National Enquirer.  Have some respect, please.
     I'm not saying that I have an opinion on his speculated affair.  The most I'll say is that I sure hope it isn't true, but mostly because I like to take the "Brighter Look" (hence the name of my site) on things.  I'll be the first to tell you that I do not believe ANYTHING a tabloid says.  I mean, do you?
     When you see a tabloid at the checkout counter, isn't your first reaction to read the headline and laugh?  Because they're obviously making a huge deal out of absolutely nothing.  And if Brad and Angelina don't have to respond to malicious rumors just because they're so used to them, why does Tiger?
     Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Back to the Normal...for Now

     The Olympic contest voting period is over.  But, wow, it was a crazy ride.
     Thanks to everyone who voted for me, I reallyreallyreallyreally appreciate it.  Hopefully I'll be getting a call soon saying I made the Finals (top three), and if/when I do, I will let all of you know.
     And hopefully I'll get to see Apollo become the most decorated American winter Olympian ever.  That way I'd be able to say "Ohno!" every time there's a crash in any sport. Maybe that's only funny to me?
     In other news, I think I need to come up with a unique logo for my site...any ideas?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quickies on NFL Week 12

- How I still love CBS regional coverage. Everyone in Pittsburgh got to see the Brownies/Bungals snoozer instead of Peyton Manning displaying brilliance against the Texans.
- Speaking of Houston, wha-ha-happened to the Texans? Not just today in their seemingly inevitable collapse, but last week in a brutal loss to Vince Young and Tennessee. If they had beaten the Titans last week, they'd be 6-5 (even with this weeks' loss) and still in the playoff picture.
- Who's Chris Redman?
- Josh Freeman looks pretty good as a pro quarterback.
- There are quite a few bad teams in the league this year, and they seem to always play each other. Seattle/St. Louis was the headlining U.G.H. (Ugly. Gruesome. Horrible) game of the week. And it was just that, a bad game. In other news, I was playing Justin Forsett in two fantasy leagues this week, which is AWESOME.
- I'll be the first to tell you I wasn't pulling for Vince Young when he first came out of college. I just wasn't a fan, mostly because in his extremely mediocre rookie season he got all the credit for winning games (when in reality, Vince had a completion percentage around 50% and his defense single-handedly won a few games without the offense even scoring a TD). But now, I've whole-heartedly jumped on the VY bandwagon. He's learned the ways of NFL quarterbacks and is playing at a level we'd only seen from him while he was at Texas. His "Comeback Player of the Year" story peaked with a tremendous 99-yard drive to beat Arizona on the final play. Way to go, Vince.
- Are the Eagles good? Or are they bad? I have no idea. The same goes for you, San Francisco, and you, Jacksonville.
- Ricky Williams is back...seriously.
- Someone needs to make a t-shirt that says "Aaron Rodgers is My Homeboy."
- Still no reason to believe in Dallas, Denver, or Cincinnati.

Send Me to the Vancouver Winter Games!
On a side note, there are less than five hours remaining in the voting period of the Olympic blogging contest. YOU can help me go to Vancouver to blog about the Olympics! ends TONIGHT at 11:59 PST (2:59 EST). Thank you so much for your support. I love all of you.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

NCAA Big Game Pick 'Em - Week 12

I'm thankful for my great family, wonderful friends, Thursday football, college basketball, Allen Iverson and Tyronn Lue, Simply Orange, boxes of chocolate ice cream, turkey, tryptophan, Thanksgiving naps, Aaron Rodgers, Walrusmen, Jay Cutler's interceptions, waking up to a bunch of "Happy Thanksgiving!" text messages, the Jake Delhomme after-interception face, having people tell me they're "voting for you every day!", Tyler Thigpen circa 2008, Olympic curling, and whoever invented the Turkey Bowl.
After my personal bye week (due to finals and a lack of sleep), I'm back at the grind...let's start with some Turkey Day NFL picks and a few important college picks.

NFL (gobble, gobble):

Green Bay (-11.5) over Detroit

I hope they never change these games, no matter how bad the Lions get. Seriously, what other time during the season can's headline be about Detroit and no one thinks twice? Plus, you don't want to be watching a barnburner shortly after you've eaten six-to-eight pounds of turkey. A nice, easy, simple win by Green Bay will help your stomach digest all that Thanksgiving has to offer. On a side note: last week, as the Steelers were busy losing to the Chiefs, I got the pleasure of watching the Lions/Browns game (thank you very much, CBS regional coverage). And let me tell you, that game ended up being the best game I've seen all year, and it was made even better because we were watching with a Browns fan.

Oakland over Dallas (-13.5)

Probably a stupid pick, but after Dallas almost got goose-egged by the Redskins (of all teams), I think 13.5 might be a little bit on the high side. And now I suddenly remember why the Raiders are so, so bad. But I remember it conveniently after already making my pick. Great.

N.Y. Giants (-5) over Denver

I want the Broncos to win this game, I really do. And I can't believe I'm picking against The Winner. But I am, only because Eli and Company looked like they were semi-back last week, and because I don't want ANY team to gain an AFC Wild Card spot if my sleeper Texans aren't going to make it. Can't we take a year off from the W.C.?


Ohio Bobcats - 27 Temple Owls - 21 (OT)

First, if you're wondering "WHY THIS GAME?" I'll enlighten you. I'm a Bobcat, through and through (even if I've called for Frank Solich's old-fashioned style of football to be canned). And second, the ramifications are huge. The winner wins the MAC East and moves on to the MAC Championship game early next month. For Ohio, two wins in the next three (including a bowl game, assuming they're chosen) means a TEN win season, and that would be an incredible turnaround after the 4-8 stink-bomb they put up last year. O-H...I-O, in a great one.

Pittsburgh Panthers - 23 West Virginia Mountaineers - 20

WHOOPS! Forgot to pick this game, but I'm doing it now (three hours before game time, just so you know it's legitimate). I live in Pittsburgh, yes, but I'm not a huge Pitt football fan. However, when Shady McCoy and the Panthers ended West Virginia's national title hopes in 2007, I rejoiced alone in my basement. Now Pitt has a chance to get to a BCS game if they win the next two, so the Mountaineers have a chance at redemption. Does Pat White still play at WVU? No? Ok, I'll take Pitt, thank you very much.

South Carolina Gamecocks - 23 Clemson Tigers - 14

Simple: SEC > ACC. That's all. Although C.J. Spiller is a stud.

Oklahoma State Cowboys - 30 Oklahoma Sooners - 23

With the victory, Oklahoma State stays alive for a BCS at-large bid (which they don't deserve, even though I picked them to get there in the preseason - there's a chance the Pokes would get in over unbeaten Boise State, and that's just shenanigans). I really want Boise to get to the BCS, but I want my picks to be right. Oh, how torn I am. Tie, please?

BYU Cougars - 33 Utah Utes - 14

Too much offense for the Utes to handle, as Max Hall runs it up in the second half after Utah keeps it close in the first. Talk about your underachieving mid-majors, huh? Utah lost a lot of players after last season, so their drop-off is almost understandable, but BYU just TANKED after a program-defining win over the Sooners in week one. Ouchtown, population B.Y.(YOU)., bro.

Stanford Cardinal - 30 Notre Dame Fighting Irish - 27

Toby Gerhart, meet Swiss cheese (ND rush D). Toby likes Swiss Cheese. Toby eats Swiss cheese at all three meals. And on a side note, how hysterical was it that Jimmy Clausen got sucker-punched? I'll tell you. My decidedly anti-ND family and I will undoubtedly laugh about it over turkey in a few hours.

Have a marvelous holiday. Remember to vote for me for the Olympics!!! Thanks for readin'.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shower Thoughts - NBA Salvation

"Because whose mind doesn't work better in the shower?"

This is republished from a few months ago. Enjoy!

My summer has been full of great stories, wonderful walk-off moments, and loads of Pirates losses, but I couldn't help but remember one bay-side encounter that reinforced what I love about sports: for the most part, they are pure and full of emotion.
Even the NBA.
Now, even if you've only spent a few hours in my presence, I've probably ranted about how much I dislike the Association (yes, I talk about it that much). I've never seen the excitement in professional basketball and its' loose traveling rules, lackluster defense, and scores combining to equal 500. It has honestly never interested me. Ever. Until this past June, when a fateful cab ride brought ESPN's favorite sport and me together for the first time.
My family and I took a vacation to San Francisco a few months ago (the first time I've been anywhere near California), and I loved every minute of it. From the actual city to nearby Pebble Beach and Napa Valley, the trip was a total success. On our first day in the city, we got in a taxi with a driver named Shane. Shane was quite the character - diehard San Francisco Giants fan (claims to have denied Manny Ramirez and Orlando Hudson access to his cab because they were members of the Dodgers), extremely talkative, and outrageously hysterical. He explained to us how he makes a living outside of driving people around; he is a sports bookie for people around the city. And he sure does talk like (or maybe simply act like) he knows what he's doing.
He continues to explain his philosophy on that nights' huge NBA Finals game 5: the Lakers, up three games to one, were, according to Shane, going to intentionally lose the clinching game of the series in order to prolong the series.
Shane believed there was too much money to be made by having a game six for L.A. to win the title that night. He was convinced that Kobe Bryant was going to throw a game in the Finals. Can you process that? I could not, and still cannot. I was curious, so I asked, "How can you be so sure?"
Shane replied quickly, "It happens in every sport. Take baseball for example, all managers bet on their teams. You can always tell if they've bet on their team to lose or win depending on which reliever they put in the game. He puts his recent call-up right hander in to face Pujols with a lead? He's bet on his team to lose. Torre puts in Mo' in the 8th to pitch six outs for the save? He's bet on the Yanks to win. Simple as that."
That couldn't possibly be the way sports worked. I just shrugged it off and went about my business for the rest of the day. But it lingered. I was still horrified that sports may be inherently corrupt. "Nah, impossible."
"But what if he's right?"
There was only one way to find out, I had to (shudder) watch the Lakers/Magic game that night. Caring about an NBA game was a small price to pay for redeeming my hope in humanity.
Unfortunately, we were out being tourists for the day, so I had no way of knowing what the score was. We didn't get back to our hotel until later that night, and those questions had been bugging me so much all day that I raced into the lobby and asked the first person at the bar what happened in the Lakers game.
He replied, "Lakers won! 99-86! Kobe did it!"
Sporting integrity challenged, sporting integrity restored.
Thank you, Kobe.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


This story, about an incredible announcer from Parkersburg High School in West Virginia, has taken a TON of hours, but was absolutely worth every minute that it took. Take a look, the story is absolutely 'unbelievable'.

Thanks for reading watching.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vote to Send Me to the Olympics!

A couple weeks ago, I entered a contest, sponsored by Microsoft Office, to send one student blogger to the Olympic Games in Vancouver this February. A few days ago, I received a call from a lady named Ashley. Ashley told me that I had been selected as one of FIVE semi-finalists for the Vancouver trip. How cool is THAT?

The semi-finalists are listed at for fans to vote on. The top three vote-getters will be named Finalists, with one entry receiving an all-expenses paid trip to Vancouver to blog about the Olympics for a week.

The following is the essay I sent in to the contest.

I could write this essay about me. I could write this essay about the fact that I like sports. A lot. But instead, I’m going to write this essay about why I like sports.

A unique characteristic accompanies sports. Sports have the inherent ability to inspire people. From the 1980 United States Olympic hockey miracle to the Central Washington University softball heroes to Jason McElwain, wonderful sports moments make athletes and fans believe they can do what they otherwise wouldn’t even think to attempt.

Millions of people watch sporting events every day. Why? Sports are uplifting. Sports are genuine. In a world where seemingly every channel is showing another homicide, arson or car crash, sports give the average person hope.

Sports give me hope.

Sports give me hope in the goodness of mankind and the ability for people to inspire others to be better than they currently are.

The Olympics are the best illustration of the pure goodness of humanity. The Olympics are the quintessential example of sports because they bring humanity together. Sure, it’s only for a few weeks every few years, but the Olympics give the entire world a chance to believe in the same cause.

The Olympics give the world a chance to be united and be inspired together.

And that is magical.

The Day Ended With a Kiss

This post first ran this past summer, when I was an intern for FSN-Pittsburgh. Enjoy!

I can, unfortunately, count on one hand the number of adjectives that I use to explain events on a daily basis. "That was amazing/incredible/unbelievable/phenomenal" get the picture. But none of those worn-out and over-used descriptors can do justice to the experience I had on a Tuesday in June when I spent the day with the greatest trophy in sports - The Stanley Cup. So, what I usually do with one word (the closest I've gotten is "special," but even that doesn't come close), I'm going to try to accomplish in, say, a thousand.
I was sure I fully realized the magnitude of the day until I crossed the Fort Pitt Bridge into downtown Pittsburgh around 6:35 a.m. My heart was finishing Stage 7 of the Tour de France and was simultaneously telling me that I had underestimated this moment. I walked through the doors of FSN-Pittsburgh and into the studio, where I was told the Cup would be displayed. There was nothing there yet, so my boss gave me an editing assignment right away: I was to create an hour-long loop tape of the final 3:17 of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals so we could play it all day on the TV's in the studio for the visiting families to watch as they got their picture taken with the Cup. Talk about suspenseful - I was reliving the moments where my Penguins were winning the Stanley Cup just minutes before I would see it in person. I couldn't help but remember Pens radio commentator Mike Lange's words after the clock hit triple zero:"Oh, Lord Stanley, scratch their names on your fabled cup." My sports brain took my real brain back to watching now-USSR-red-clad Marian Hossa catch his breath while the Soviets celebrated on Lady Mellon Arena's ice, and then slowly moved through the roller coaster 2009 season - listening to the opener in Sweden, hitting rock bottom after six unanswered goals against the Leafs, hearing about a coaching change that unfortunately needed to happen, watching TSN online as news broke about huge Pens moves at the trade deadline, listening to Lange announce the first of five straight road wins for a Pens team stuck in 10th place, and finally exhaling after Marc-Andre Fleury's breakaway robbery of Alexander Ovechkin and Rob Scuderi's desperation saves in Game 6 of the Finals. As any sports fan can attest, you feel like you take the journey right alongside your favorite teams, not from a couch hundreds of miles away.
When the video was done and I had come-to, the rest of the interns had arrived and we went to the studio to be briefed on the day's happenings. A blue box had appeared on the studio floor, and it looked more like a rolling coffin or a "suspicious package" that would warrant airport security's time than the traveling sanctuary for Lord Stanley's Cup, but nonetheless, I was already in awe. The history of the Cup is unbelievable - it's the oldest trophy in sports (dating all the way back to 1893, the first year engraved on the cup) - and so are its traditions - each person involved with a Cup-winning team gets a day with the trophy, and if you aren't a person directly involved in the team's success, you don't lift the Cup above your head (I really hope that if someone were to try this, the Cup would either sprout arms and smack the person in the head, or go on the Janet Jackson diet and become too heavy to lift).
As we left the room, a man with a Hockey Hall of Fame crest on his jacket pocket passed us. The man, Mike, who I called the "Cup Bearer" for lack of a better title, is part of a special fraternity of people who are with the trophy threehundredandsixtyfive days a year. These men are to the Stanley Cup what the Secret Service is to the President (I was afraid to ask if he would take a bullet for it, but I think I already knew the answer), and they are about as intense as the First Family's bodyguards, too. When we returned to the room after receiving more instructions, I think I stopped breathing for about the time it took me to write this paragraph.
There it was, resting on the table, light seemingly hitting it from all the magnificent angles,The Stanley Cup. I couldn't say so before that moment, but I am now a believer in love at first sight.
I took my position on the floor, not anywhere mentally close to ready to greet people who would be arriving shortly, but I semi-snapped out of it as I, for the fourth time in an hour, saw Fleury make the save on Nicklas Lidstrom that ensured that 375,000 people would get the chance to participate in a parade on the streets of Pittsburgh. I saw that play almost twenty times in eight hours, and got chills every single time. I'm sure I can expect the same emotion each time I see it for the rest of my life.
Back to reality, once again, where a closer look at Mike found him fully equipped with a scowl and a pair of dark sunglasses, but also with a great knowledge of his commander-in-chief. A visitor was perusing the names on the Cup, when, without hesitation, Mike stood up, walked to the Cup, barely looked at it, pointed in two spots and said "Mario Lemieux, Mario Lemieux."
Unspoken question, answered.
The next seven hours were a huge blur for me, with 1,100 people coming in and out of the studio, each one wanting group/individual/semi-individual/half-group/double-baby/half-body/hugging/kissing pictures with it. We had to remind a group of guys that, sure, they could make out with it, but they should remember that they were kissing a bunch of guy's names. They proceeded anyway, and why wouldn't they? More famous lips have kissed that trophy than maybe any other thing in the world, except maybe Donald Trump's keester.
But after my work was done, and everyone was starting to physically (not mentally) leave, I got a chance to move closer and get my picture taken with Lord Stanley's Cup. Can you believe it? Yes, I realize nearly a billion pictures were taken with the Cup in a matter of hours, but I was trying my best to not ruin the moment. Every "epic failure" scene in a movie was rolling through my head at one time: I'd trip over the platform and knock over the Cup into the back window, the glass and the thirty-five pound metal trophy would somehow shatter and I'd go to jail for life after Mike punched me continually in the esophagus.
As I got within inches, I could see the famous flaws - besides the Cup itself being dented, there was the 1981 misspelling of "Islanders" as "Ilanders" and an uninvolved man's name crossed out with a series of X's, and the lack of a rhyme or reason to the engraving (in 1991 - M. Lemieux, Capt - and in 1992 - Mario Lemieux, Capt.), among many others.
I guess that's part of the lure of the Stanley Cup, it is as imperfect as you expect a hundred-plus year trophy to be and it truly is the player's trophy. The players spend the most time with it (the Cup has been everywhere from strip clubs to the bottoms of swimming pools to the tops of mountains - the most uttered phrase that day was "If the Cup could write a book..."), and it is available for human contact, whereas if you were to go to the Steeler complex, you would see six Lombardi trophies enclosed behind protective glass. The Stanley Cup doesn't have its own private jet or bulletproof glass, it gets wheeled onto the plane with Mike and its cover is a ventriloquist's trunk with a few "Fragile" stickers attached to it.
I got my picture with it quickly, and then contrary to what my history has been with girls, I went in for the kiss. Dry and cool, but still, the best kiss of my life. Quite the spectacular aura surrounds The Stanley Cup. Despite the imperfections, I'll be surprised if I ever think another trophy is as beautiful as this one, all factors included.
My boss reminded me to pick my jaw up off the floor so I didn't trip and basically had to push me out the door so he could go home, but I left the studio feeling upliftingly odd, like something inspiring had flown to my car with me. And as I sat in horrible rush hour traffic that I didn't even bother to notice, I often wondered if the reason for my excitement was that I had actually stolen the Cup and was still in its presence.
I left checking my rear view to make sure the beautiful casket wasn't residing in my back seat; every time I looked I genuinely wondered if it was there.
I left having had the experience of a lifetime, one I wish every hockey fan could get the chance to have, and feeling as though Lord Stanley had scratched his name on my memory forever, and that I'd probably never actually leave that moment.
I left knowing that I desperately needed to find a new adjective.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NFL Picks - Week 10

Last week could be summed up in one word...dismal. I had another awful week, and this weeks games aren't getting any easier to pick.

San Francisco (-3.5) over Chicago
One of many "U.G.H." (Ugly. Gruesome. Horrible.) games this week, including loads of talented, but mediocre NFL players. Leading that list are the two quarterbacks, Jay Cutler and Alex Smith. Cutler's been awful at times this season, to say the least. But both defenses are good and I think we'll see a battle of two up-and-coming tight ends: Vernon Davis and Greg Olsen. I think both will catch touchdowns.

Jacksonville over N.Y. Jets (-7)

I haven't even heard much of anything about the Jets recently, which means that Sanchez is playing poorly enough to get himself dropped out of the media spotlight. On the other hand, Maurice Jones-Drew is putting up crazy numbers, and is helping one of my fantasy teams immensely. Jags for the upset.

Denver (-3.5) over Washington

This would be another "U.G.H." game if Washington weren't so awful. I mean, if it weren't for the Browns, I'd say the Redskins were the worst team in football. But, fortunately for Washington, the Browns exist as an NFL franchise. Denver needs to get back on the right track. Playing a pushover game never hurt anyone.

Pittsburgh (-7) over Cincinnati

The Bengals are much improved, as I thought they'd be, but I still don't think they're on the level of a healthy Steelers team. I do see this game being quite competitive, and I probably shouldn't pick the Steelers with the line as high as it is, but I have faith in Ben and the offense. But it sure will be weird with a November game at Heinz Field being played in 70 degree weather.

Tennessee (-7) over Buffalo

I watch a lot of television, especially ESPN. So when T.O. got put in Buffalo, I rejoiced wholeheartedly. That meant I wouldn't have to hear his constant whining from the spotlight in Dallas or Philly. And doesn't that make the world a slightly better place? Sports feel less pure with all his complaining.

Detroit over Minnesota (-17)

Don't get me wrong, the Vikings are going to win, but I just don't think they'll win by more than 17. Maybe 16. Or 15. But not 17 or more.

New Orleans (-14) over St. Louis

Is it me or have the Saints been a little flat ever since the game at Miami a few weeks ago? They haven't won a game convincingly since then, but getting the Rams on the schedule is a sight for sore eyes. Another noteworthy item: Reggie Bush is finding the end zone all of a sudden? That's even more surprising with Pierre Thomas in the same backfield.

Atlanta (-1.5) over Carolina

I just refuse to take Jake Delhomme until he shows me any sign of him being an NFL quarterback. First, and best way to do that? Throw the ball to Steve Smith, please. But for now, the Falcons are going to ride Michael Turner's broad shoulders to another W.

Tampa Bay over Miami (-10)

A team with a rookie quarterback, a rookie coach, and coming off their first win of the season gets 10 points? That's easy money (if I was actually a gambler, which I'm not).

Kansas City over Oakland (-2)

The "U.G.H." Game of the Year! I don't. even. care.

Arizona (-8.5) over Seattle

To begin the year, I saw this match-up as the decider in the NFC West, but now, it's only a stepping stone for the Cards on their way to another division title. What happened to Seattle's defense? A few years ago, I could always rely on the 'Hawks D to score reliable amounts of fantasy points every week, but now they're just horrid. Larry Fitzgerald...Happy Early Thanksgiving!

Philadelphia over San Diego (-1)

This is a toss up. On one side, I like what I've seen from McNabb and all his receivers, but on the other side, I think the Chargers are about due for an offensively charged (pun totally intended) game. I just don't think it'll happen this week.

Dallas (-3) over Green Bay

Every once in a while, I go with the reverse psychology pick, and this is my once in a while. Green Bay was one of my Super Bowl teams, and I really want to see the Pack start to play well, especially on defense. So I'm going to take the Cowboys, which I really (really) (really) don't want to do, but if it gets Aaron Rodgers to stay upright in the pocket for the rest of the year, I'll bite the bullet.

Indy (-3) over New England

Hopefully, and most likely, this will be a wonderful game to watch. In this rivalry, it always is. I've got faith in Peyton in this thriller. Also, I'd like to give a shout-out to the most underrated receiver in the entire league, Reggie Wayne. Seriously, what is it with Colts receivers getting overlooked in the "Best WR" discussion? First, Marvin Harrison and now Wayne. The guy's a machine.

Baltimore (-11) over Cleveland
Here's the deal. This line isn't nearly close enough to reality. So I've set my own. Baltimore minus 23.5 sounds better. Baltimore 31, Cleveland 7. The seven points for the Brownies is generous, too.

Last week: 6-7
Overall: 72-56-1

Thanks for reading.

Friday, November 13, 2009

NCAA Big Game Pick 'Em - Week 10

What do you think? Can we please get some separation in college football? Can anyone win convincingly? On the brighter side (as is the title of my blog), I've been sneakily good picking the college game in 2009, and I'll keep it going in week 10.

#20 Wisconsin Badgers - 31 Michigan Wolverines - 23

I can't believe I'm picking against the Forcier's (I haven't done it all season), but RichRod's team is simply struggling, especially on the defensive side of the ball. And not to mention Wisconsin's nearly unbeatable at home.

#11 Ohio State Buckeyes - 23 Iowa Hawkeyes - 14

With Stanzi out, the Hawkeyes lose more than their quarterback. They lose their offensive leadership. From what I saw of Vandenburg against Northwestern in limited time, I can't see Iowa scoring with ease against a Buckeyes defense just hitting their stride.

#17 Arizona Wildcats - 27 California Golden Bears - 10

I guess there's potential for a "team that's extra motivated wins with pure heart" victory for Cal after Jahvid Best's injury, and I haven't seen much of the Wildcats, but I don't think Cal will be able to move the ball very well without Best helping to move the ball with his electric feet.

#4 TCU Horned Frogs - 30 #16 Utah Utes - 14

The biggest game of the week won't even be close. Utah isn't anywhere near where they've been in the past, and TCU isn't about to let the Utes beat them twice in a row. I'm tellin' you, TCU for the National Championship. And on another note...without a clear-cut number-one contender for the Heisman, I think Kellen Moore deserves more credit than he's getting. Sure, I still think Mark Ingram should win it, but Moore's been terrific in 2009 and he needs to get a ton of votes.

#8 Pittsburgh Panthers - 27 Notre Dame Fighting Irish - 14

Sure, I'm from Pittsburgh, but I've never been a die-hard Panthers football fan (I'm more of a basketball guy), but I've seen my fair share of Pitt games this year, and they seriously look good. I covered a bunch of Panthers when they played high school ball (Jonathan Baldwin, Anthony Taglianetti), and I know the kind of athletic talent they possess. Baldwin, especially, has tremendous speed and leaping ability. Pitt and Cincinnati for the Big East title? That has best game of the year in the Big East written all over it.

Georgia Bulldogs - 17 Auburn Tigers - 13

I always love picking these games. You know, the "two mediocre, but evenly matched teams playing in a semi-meaningless conference game." In this thriller, Georgia's defense prevails.

Last week: 3-3
Overall: 36-19

Enjoy the weekend. Thanks for reading.