NFL Season begins

Today the professional football season begins with New England facing off against Kansas City. Miami and Tampa Bay will have a bye week because of Irma heading towards Florida.

So New England will most likely go on and make the playoffs based on the previous several seasons as they try to win their ninth straight AFC East title.In the AFC North it will most likely end up between Pittsburgh, Baltimore or Cincinnati. The AFC South will be Houston with a slim chance for Indy. The AFC West is the biggest toss up for me right now It won’t be the new LA team for sure but Oakland, Kansas City and Denver might also be in the mix. So that’s 9 playoff teams for the AFC

NFC East will be won by some other team this year as no team has repeated as winner since 2004 perhaps the NY Giants will rise to the top this year, but it could be anyone but it should be anyone but Dallas. NFC North it seems like Green Bay is the safe choice but Minnesota and Detroit could have big seasons. NFC South has been the strongest division in the NFC producing the past two NFC Champions but both failed to win the Big Game will it be Atlanta or Carolina again or could Tampa Bay and New Orleans come up big. NFC West has been the Seattle show for the past couple of years but Arizona could have a shot as well.  So that would make 12 NFC teams. I’m good at this picking thing.

As for the professional prognosticators have these as the winners  AFC East: Patriots; AFC North: Pittsburgh; AFC South: Tennessee; AFC West: Oakland; NFC East: NY Giants; NFC North: Green Bay; NFC South: Atlanta; and in the NFC West: Seattle. For the Wild Cards it looks like Cincinnati and Kansas City in the AFC while in the NFC they have Dallas and four possible 9 win teams (Washington, Philly, Carolina and Tampa) that could claim the other spot. So they have the right number for the AFC but nine teams from the NFC.

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2017 College Football predictions

Well the season started last Saturday with a “Week Zero” of games consisting of Hawaii traveling across the country and beating UMass, the biggest game of this week was Stanford tearing apart Rice in Sydney, Australia in a “Sydney Cup” game if this is going to continue I haven’t a clue. This upcoming weekend is the official kickoff of the season will Alabama once again make it to the Championship game or can someone else make it instead. Today Ohio State is the first real big team to begin their season. There are several other big games this weekend they are Alabama/FSU, Michigan/Florida, NC State/South Carolina, BYU/LSU, Virginia Tech/West Virginia and Tennessee/Georgia Tech these are all neutral site games and they look like big ones.

Most people are saying that the Playoff teams are already in the top 10 and it is widely speculated that some of the same teams will make it once again this year. If I had to fill out a bracket I’d pen in Alabama for sure although it seems like the odds are against Bama from a National Championship this year and I’d pencil in Ohio State along with Florida State/Clemson the biggest question is the other team in this quartet. SEC, Big 10 and ACC are represented but will it be the Big 12 or Pac 12 joining this year?  The Big 12 now have a Championship game so there are better odds of them getting a team into the playoff discussion.

Predictions:
The SEC will be won by Alabama who will likely face Florida, Georgia or Tennessee in the SEC Championship game. I’ve got three teams from the East since who can tell from last year how this upcoming year will be everyone was big on Tennessee last year but they were hit with injuries and still played a decent season. Will Florida have an offense and is Georgia that good are still questions that need to be answered.

In the Big Ten experts are saying it’s a four team race with Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan leading the way. Wisconsin only has to play Michigan this year so they have the best odds to make it to the Big Ten Championship game against one of the others.

In the Big 12 it boils down to Bedlam whoever wins that game will most likely will the Big 12 Championship. However when Tom Herman, who takes over in Austin has done good things after taking over a team. So perhaps Texas could be in the mix.

The ACC will once again feature the rematch of Clemson and Florida State and the long awaited Virginia Tech and Miami rivalry means something once again. These two game will decide who plays in the ACC Championship game.

In the Pac 12 it seems everyone is all in on USC to do big things some even have them going all the way to the National Championship game and winning it. The other team the make the Pac-12 Championship game has to be Washington or Stanford.

No huge shockers as the previous couple of year these seem to be safe choices. However the SEC, Big Ten, ACC and either Big 12 but more likely Pac-12 will be the final four teams.

Football news

There are a couple stories around about the NFL. The biggest one is that the Raiders are moving to Vegas in 2019 or whenever their new stadium is built. If you call this a story congratulations, “asshat owner moves team to get new stadium”  is not a great story but it seems like the way the NFL works now as the Rams and Chargers also wanted new stadiums before the left for LA.  Keep an eye open Jacksonville fans as you may be the next to move.  If only they let the Raiders move back to LA and not the Chargers it would have made for a lot  less headaches.

Another story is that Tony Romo, the former Dallas QB has retired and will be replacing Phil Simms in the CBS booth. Now Former Dallas QB will be the top guys on both FOX and CBS, unfortunately NBC and ESPN do not have former Dallas QB as color commentators. If we could only get rid of Joe Buck.

The third story is that Amazon will be streaming Thursday Night Football this upcoming season. Amazon payed $50 million for the right to stream these games, which will also be broadcast on the NFL Network, CBS and NBC. Amazon will have this as an “exclusive” to Prime subscribers. Hopefully at some point Thursday night game turn out to be good as the previous couple of years they have been lacking especially with those monochromatic Color Rush uniforms, if it were like a throwback uniform instead I believe that more people would enjoy the games.

Super Bowl LI recap

The Patriots’s revenge tour is over. They won the Super Bowl, now if they can only shut up about how great Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are. Sure they play a relatively easy schedule this year and Brady played 4 less games so he was well rested I sure hope that someone other than New England in the AFC gets to the Super Bowl next year as they’ve been in 9 Super Bowl games since 2000 and have won five.  It almost looked like the Falcons were going to win but clearly the NFL wanted to make up to New England for the whole deflate-gate thing. Anyway you put it the Patriots have been labeled cheaters several times in the past and nothing can really change that to the general public, sure the folks in New England will adore them even more as most of them have forgotten or weren’t a fan during those year where they were a horrible team.  It will be interesting to see what happens to them when Brady or Belichick retire and they have to find a new QB/head coach  to take over.

The commercials were pretty weak this year, and Lady Gaga’s halftime show was fun. It was nice that it was only her as the previous years they’ve always had special guests showing up at some time during the performance.

Super Bowl LI

Yes, you read that right we are back to Roman Numerals for Super Bowl numbering. This year we have Tom Brady and the New England Patriots going into like their tenth (it’s only been seven) Super Bowl this century. This is the Patriots 9th Super Bowl and they have split their previous appearances last winning in 2014. Tom Brady is looking for Super Bowl ring number 5 and Super Bowl MVP number 4. On the other side of the field we have the Atlanta Falcons in their first Super
Bowl since XXXIII, when they lost to John Elway in his final game. I and most of America would love to see Atlanta win for their first time. Sure the odds are stacked against them, however the Patriots are only favored by 3 points. Atlanta has done a lot of scoring during the season and my only hope is that that game is competitive and not a blow out since that just make the game harder to watch. The game is on Sunday and Lady Gaga doing the Halftime show. It’s on FOX so we’ve got Joe Buck and Troy Aikman doing commentary.

NFC/AFC Championship games

This Sunday we have the big games the ones that matter and once again they are rematches from earlier in the season.

In the NFC we have the Packers traveling to Atlanta once again this time hoping to avenge an earlier loss where the Falcons squeaked by with a point win. This will be the last game ever played at the Georgia Dome as their new Stadium will open in July, so emotions will be high in Atlanta. The Falcons have the high powered offense, while the Packers have Aaron Rogers who seems to do just about anything. Over in the AFC we’ve got the Steelers traveling to New England now the week 7 game which the Patriots won was a long time ago and Big Ben wasn’t playing . This will only be the ninth meeting between Brady and Big Ben. This will be a challenge for New England as they face a team that has a chance to beat them, but also for Pittsburgh as they will need to score more than field goals to win.

It seems likely that both of these will be a good games whoever win. As for my picks it would be wonderful if Atlanta could make it to the Super Bowl for the second time and this time win, or the Packers and Aaron Rodgers taking home a second Super Bowl Title, or Pittsburgh bringing back another championship bringing their total to 7. In the NFC I’d call it a toss up as to who will win the game but over in the AFC since it’s a New England home game they have the slight advantage added to the fact they they been in every AFC Championship game since the 2011-12 season however they have only won two of those game so perhaps Pittsburgh should have the advantage. Vegas odd currently have Patriots by 5.5 and Atlanta by 4.

Divisional playoffs

This weekend the NFL reaches the Divisional round in the playoffs and all the teams who had a bye last week play this week. This year all these Divisional games are rematches from earlier in the season.

The weekend starts off with Seattle traveling to Atlanta where they will try to sneak by the Falcons once again. However, the set up is reversed Seattle will be traveling to Atlanta and Atlanta will be coming off a bye week. This was a close game during the regular season with Seattle falling behind only to come back and win by two. Saturday night we have New England who will beat the Texans again, this was a shutout in week 3 when New England was forced to use a third stringer QB, as Brady was out with his suspension, and his replacement was out with a concussion. Will the Texans has a shot to score any points or will it be another shutout?

Sunday begins with The Steelers going to Kansas City, now Kansas City hasn’t fared well in the playoffs as of late, sure they beat the Texans last year but the Texans were a mess at QB where they used three interchangeably. This seems like to be another year where the brand name teams will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Later that afternoon we will have the most compelling, exciting game of the weekend as Green Bay travels to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. During the regular season the Cowboys outplayed the Packers but Green Bay has been on a winning streak as of late and they are the hot team entering the game.

As it looks right now the Steelers and Patriots will be playing in the AFC Championship game, and the NFC is up in the air I am hoping that Green Bay and Seattle can will so there is a chance for some snow in during the Championship game.

NCAA Football National Championship games and Playoffs

This upcoming weekend is jam packed with football at both college and professional levels. As we have the FCS Championship game, four Wild Card games and then the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the FBS Championship game.

Saturday at Noon we have James Madison taking on Youngstown State, this seems to be an exciting game since North Dakota State, the five time reigning champions, will not be playing in the Championship game. JMU has blow out most of it’s competition this year in the playoffs while Youngstown has had several close games. If you have some spare time on Saturday this will be the game to watch as the NFL playoffs slate on Saturday afternoon doesn’t seem watchable. As we will have a rookie quarterback in Connor Cook and the Raiders taking on a Texans team who they faced in the regular season, a game in which the Raiders won. On the other side we have the Lions playing in Seattle as they sort of just fell into the playoffs this year and it’s doubtful if the visitors will get out of this round.

On Sunday we have a couple of better games the biggest is the Giants and Green Bay where while they are playing at the frozen tundra this was the same place where they beat the Packers on their way to win their most recent NFL Championships, although it seem it might not happen this year with the Packers being a hot team having won their past 6 games and the Giants haven’t scored 20 points since about that same time.  It will be the most compelling game on Sunday as it seems like Pittsburgh will easily beat the Dolphins .

Finally, on Monday the biggest college football game of the year will take place and we will watch the same two teams from last year battle it out for the Championship.  This year Alabama and Clemson are playing the game and I sure hope that Alabama will finally lose a Championship game and we will see them play in a close game for the first time this season since the Ole Miss game. Clemson will be playing for only it’s second football National title. It would be great for college football either way I guess. Nick Saban only needs another National championship to tie Bear Bryant for the most Championships by a coach. However, it’s getting to the point of the UConn women’s basketball team where we all know that they will be playing in the Championship game just because.

College Bowl Games

The big news this weekend was the end of the NCAA FBS (Division 1) college football season. Sure Army and Navy have a game on this upcoming Saturday but it’s not like the game means anything with Navy losing the American Conference Title this previous Saturday to Temple. The games that people are making a big deal about the “playoff” games which pit the top 4 teams against each other, Alabama will most likely beat Washington and Clemson and Ohio State will be a close game. Ohio State’s inclusion as one of these playoff teams has been met with a bit of confusion as they didn’t win their Conference title nor did they win their division. This is the first time that such a thing has happened. Will this lead to an expanded playoff system with like 8 teams going in playing at the beginning of the Bowl season and then around Christmas and finally in the Championship game that first week in January? Yet this could in turn lead to an at least 12-16 team playoffs where all conference champions get in as well as some at large bids.

There really isn’t a great solution of this system unless you have all 125 or so teams play against one another, how would the North Texas Mean Green fair against the Florida Gators. With 10 different conference and several Independent teams this wouldn’t be feasible to do in one season. Let alone the disparity between a team in the Big 10 and the Sun Belt. This isn’t like basketball where in March there could be some Cinderella teams that emerge and does something crazy. Sure Boise State did their thing against Oklahoma about a decade ago, but that’s the biggest upset in a bowl game.

Of the other almost forty games to be played several will be exciting to watch. Virginia Tech will be playing in their 24 consecutive bowl game, all three Service Academies will be in Bowl Games. So take some time and watch one of the “lesser” bowl games and you are bound to have more fun compared to the known results of the playoff games.

NFL Season begins

It is that time of the year again the National Football League begins a new season today with a rematch of last season’s Superbowl the Denver Broncos play the Carolina Panthers. This year we have a team in LA for the first time since 1994 as the Rams have moved back to Los Angeles. Over the post season we’ve had some big retirements as Peyton Manning, Marshawn Lynch and Calvin Johnson all hung up their pads. Tom Brady won’t be playing for the first four weeks of the season and it seems likely that this might be Brady’s last season as well.

On to the predictions:

AFC East: Patriots and Jets will still contend and the Bills and Dolphins will both try to make up ground. Although not sure what to think about Miami with a new head coach.

AFC North: As usual this will be a three team race between Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cincinnati. Cleveland with RGIII might be better but it is a very young team.

AFC South: Looks like it will be the Texans or Colts who will win the division with the Jaguars and Titans lagging behind.

AFC West: Here it is a big difficult to predict anything with the Broncos with a new QB and no one has seen much from him against actual competition. So the Chiefs might win the division and who knows what else will happen.

NFC West: With the Rams moved back to LA this division make sense again, but the move isn’t going to help the Rams win anymore neither did drafting a QB at number one. Look for Arizona and maybe Seattle to actually do something not sure what to make of Chip Kelly being hired by the 49ers.

NFC South: Carolina seems like the team to beat and the Saints look likely to rebound. It’s the last season for Atlanta in the Georgia Dome perhaps they will do better because of this and Tampa Bay still exists.

NFC North: Green Bay and Chicago look like the favorites to do anything as the Vikings have a fresh QB just joining the team as Bridgewater tore his ACL in the final preseason game. Perhaps the Lions will do something but it seems unlikely as they’ve lost their best wideout.

NFC East: This division has been the hardest to predict since no team has won back to back division titles since 2004. This season it seems even harder since there are new head coaches in New York and Philly, so either team could have a good season because of this. Washington seems to be able to compete for a division title. It looks like the Cowboys season is all but lost as Romo went out in the preseason with a back problem and is likely out for 6 -10 weeks.