2013 College Football Week 1 Picks

Hello everyone and welcome to another exciting season of college football.  This time again I will try to play “God” and predict which team will win each matchup.  Sometimes I’ll be right (hopefully most of the time), and other times I will be way, way off. 

The season kicked off today with #6 South Carolina spanking their rivals to the north, while it appears #24 ranked USC will do the same against Hawaii.  This weeks slate of matchups features a lot of cupcake games, so don’t expect me to pick a lot of underdogs this week.  Anyways without further ado here’s the first game.

Penn State at Syracuse

Syracuse

(0-0, 0-0 away)

Penn St

(0-0, 0-0 home)

So Syracuse isn’t really known for football, but Penn State is.  Syracuse is a program that may be on the rise, while Penn State is serving the second of a four year suspension for the Sandusky scandal.  Both programs will be fun to watch this year, but look for Penn State to carry over some momentum from last season’s 4-2 finish after an 0-2 start.

My Pick:  Penn State

#1 Alabama versus Virginia Tech

(1) Alabama

(0-0, 0-0 away)

Virginia Tech

(0-0, 0-0 home)

Virginia Tech returns quarterback Logan Thomas, so that’s a positive for them.  This is Alabama we’re talking about though…

My Pick:  Alabama

Washington State at Auburn

Washington St

(0-0, 0-0 away)

Auburn

(0-0, 0-0 home)

I will definitely be traveling to West Yellowstone to catch my alma mater take on the Auburn Tigers.  I’ve heard that the Tigers are supposed to be horrible this year, which is great news for Mike Leach and company since they need to go back home to Pullman in Week 2 to play #24 USC.  It should be a good one, but look for Leach to air it out and “win the victory”.

My Pick:  Washington State

#5 Georgia at #8 Clemson

(5) Georgia

(0-0, 0-0 away)

(8) Clemson

(0-0, 0-0 home)

This one should be great.  This would be a BCS bowl matchup if it happened later in the season.  Instead it will boost the resume of one program, while all but crushing the title hopes of another.  Georgia returns quarterback Aaron Murray while Clemson returns wild quarterback Tajh Boyd.  Georgia will try to replenish a defense that had 7 players taken in the 1st round, while Clemson will try to shore up their passing defense.  Expect Boyd to make some electric plays in this game (with quite a few of those to Sammy Watkins), but I think that the SEC will win this matchup.  It’s a cliche, but it works.

My Pick:  Georgia

By the way I almost got a Clemson and a Georgia fan to ride in the car together with me.  Do you realize how awkward that would have been?!

#12 LSU versus #20 TCU

(12) LSU

(0-0, 0-0 away)

(20) TCU

(0-0, 0-0 home)

For two teams that play defense well this could come down to quarterback play.  LSU lost a lot of stars on defense last season, but look for quarterback Zach Mettenberger to step it up in a strong 2013 debut.  TCU also returns quarterback Casey Pachall, but Devonte Fields, the 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, will be suspended for the first two games of the season.  That alone could be the difference.

My Pick:  LSU

#19 Boise State at Washington

(19) Boise St

(0-0, 0-0 away)

Washington

(0-0, 0-0 home)

Let’s make one thing clear.  The only time I put a UW game on here is to either mock them or give myself an easy win.  I should be getting one when Boise opens in the “newly renovated” Husky Stadium.  The Broncos won in glorious fashion in the Las Vegas Bowl 28-26 last year against UW, and they’ll be looking at doing the same again at the start of the season.  Expect them to do so again, although I will admit it could be a little tougher this time around.

My Pick:  Boise State

Yes my mom did go to UW, but like all things it passes.

#22 Northwestern at California

(22) Northwestern

(0-0, 0-0 away)

California

(0-0, 0-0 home)

Both teams have high expectations for this season.  Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald led his wildcats to their first bowl victory in 64 years, while Cal will begin the Sonny Dykes administration.  Both have good athletes, but Northwesterns wildcat duo of Trevor Siemian and Kain Colter will be too much for the Golden Bears.

My Pick:  Northwestern

That wraps up my Week 1 picks.  Let me know what you think in the comments below, and best of luck to all your teams this season.  Except if you’re a UW fan 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Gonzalez Shoots Down a Star; Santa Cruz Shines

Abner Mares v Jhonny GonzalezLast Saturday night featured the rise of a young star and the fall of a comet that was soaring.

Leo Santa Cruz (25-0-1 15KO) added a second title to his resume by stopping the WBC junior featherweight titleholder Victor Terrazas (37-3-1 21KO) in the third round.

The two pugilists stayed on the inside and traded savage punches but Santa Cruz proved he was the bigger puncher. Terrazas was getting pummeled and his swollen face showed it.

The end would come in the third round when Terrazas absorbed a vicious left hook that dropped him. He rose and tried to continue but Santa Cruz kept the pressure on and put the former champion down with a combination that ended to the body of Terrazas. Although he managed to rise again, the referee had seen enough and waved the fight off.

Victor Terrazas v Leo Santa Cruz - Weigh-InWhat is impressive about this victory for Santa Cruz is how quickly he was able to take out Terrazas. Many expected the Guadalajara native to push Santa Cruz to his limits and take him deep into the fight but the young two division titleholder made short work of him.

There was talk of Santa Cruz fighting Abner Mares at featherweight but that plan is on hiatus for more reasons than the obvious. Santa Cruz has stated that he would like to stay in the junior featherweight division for a few more fights in order to prove his dominance. Such a thing will be difficult to do with monsters such as Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux in the same division but this author hopes Santa Cruz does challenge himself and seek out the best opposition possible.

The obvious reason the Abner Mares vs. Leo Santa Cruz matchup can be made is due to a man by the name of Jhonny Gonzalez (55-8 47KO) and his devastating left hook.

Mares (26-1-1 13KO) was as high as a seven to one favorite going into this fight and was coming off impressive victories against the likes of Daniel Ponce De Leon, Anselmo Moreno, and Joseph Agbeko. Gonzalez was meant to be a challenging but flawed opponent who could give Mares an entertaining but winnable first defense of his featherweight title.

If Jhonny Gonzalez got that message, he must have punched it.

The fight started with both men being conservative on their attack. Both men showed excellent movement and technique but it seemed that Mares was more focused on his offense than Gonzalez was. However, Gonzalez was simply waiting for the opening he wanted.

He saw his chance towards the end of the first round and struck Mares with a powerful, compact left hook to the jaw of the champion and put him flat on his back. Mares rose and valiantly tried to fight back but it would have been wise to clinch or back away.

Instead, Gonzalez stayed on his opponent and finished him off with a series of blows that put Mares down for the second time. The referee had seen enough at that point and waved the fight off.

With this victory, Gonzalez regained the belt he lost to Ponce De Leon last year and reminded us boxing fans of a few truths

  1. Never count a puncher out
  2. Comparing two fighters based on a common opponent is ludicrous (Gonzalez struggled and lost against Ponce De Leon, who got knocked out by Mares, only for Gonzalez to knock him out, go figure.)
  3. This is the theatre of the unexpected.

Mares will have to do some recovery work but he is talented enough to bounce back from this loss. Since Gonzalez isn’t getting any younger, he should savor the victory and look for the most winnable/lucrative option out there for him

Rematch?

Fantasy Football Post #1: Meet the Players

Hello everyone and welcome to a new column I will be writing about my fantasy football team.  I just had my league’s fantasy draft last night, and I must say that I’m really excited about how my team is looking.  With football season just around the corner I think it’s time to focus on that as well as what other people are doing at this time of year.  Children are just getting back to school, rain is starting to settle in (which is always in the case in Washington), and 32 NFL franchises are hopeful that their team will reach the Super Bowl this year (with teams like the Jets, Bills, Jaguars, and Browns less hopeful than others).  Anyways without further ado onto my fantasy draft.

The name of the league I’m in is called “The Cougar Alumni Association”.  My team name is “GoinBedroom RouletteOnY’all”.  Sorry for the wierd spacing but ESPN has restrictions on how many characters can fit into team names. 

Suprisingly I had the #1 pick.  Can you guess who I picked up?

  

Not a bad start, but I couldn’t pick again until the 15th and 16th spots.  I really wanted Aaron Rodgers as my quarterback, but he got swooped up at 12 and I really needed a good strong elite quarterback.  I picked up Tom Brady with my 2nd pick, but I needed a good receiver as well.  So I got Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions as well. 

All of a sudden my team is a juggernut.  I couldn’t pick again until 32 and 33, so then I picked up my #2 running back and wide receiver.  I got Vincent Jackson and Frank Gore with my next pair of pickings.

By the way my league is 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex, 1 D/ST, and 1 K just so you know.

I then got Jason Witten with the 48th and Mike Wallace as my flex with my 49th pick.  Then with the 64th and 65th I got the Texans D/ST and Andrew Luck as a strong backup.  Maybe he could even start.

With the 80th pick I got Blair Walsh as my kicker to finish my starting lineup.  Now it was time to finish my bench.

No I didn’t pick up Tim Tebow, but it would’ve been hilarious if somebody did.

With the 81st pick I was trying to find a solid backup running back but DeAngelo Williams was the best one available.  Serves me right for waiting this long to fill my bench.  Then with the 96th and 97th I was able to get Jermichael Finley and Sidney Rice.  I wasn’t sure who a solid reciever would be at the 112th pick, so I picked up Martellus Bennett of the Chicago Bears instead at Tight end.  I may have left myself short at wideout, but I think I should be ok.  Anyways with the 113th I picked up the Broncos D/ST.  I picked last at 128 and picked up Rob Bironas as my backup kicker.

You never know what gems might spring up later, and certain players may get injured as the season goes on.  Nevertheless I am pretty confident in my team, and in Week 1 I go against a guy who picked up a kicker way too early.  1-0 already….we’ll see.

Anyways I hope you enjoyed this startup entry to my new column.  I wish all of you fantasy players the best of luck this season.

Stay tuned because I will be doing a cross-over between a certain sports league and a certain Sci-Fi franchise.

HOHOHO