Wednesday, November 27, 2013

College Football Rivalry Weekend Picks

This is the best weekend in college football I have seen in years. In addition to these 6 ranked vs ranked  match ups, this saturday is full of contests with plenty of conference and BCS implications. Sit back, grab some turkey and enjoy what promises to be an awesome weekend of college football.

#3 Ohio State (11-0) @ Michigan (7-4)
As much as I hate Ohio State, there is no way this Michigan team tops this Ohio State team. Note, this is the Buckeyes hardest road game they've played all season and their performance in this game could dictate their BCS future. A matchup with a Michigan State team that boasts the best defense in the country is on the horizon, meaning Braxton Miller and this Buckeyes offense need to ensure they work at peak efficiency in preparation for next week. I like the Buckeyes (38-24).

#21 Texas A&M (8-3) @ #5 Missouri (10-1)
Johnny Manziel has a combined 18 touchdowns in games after suffering a loss. He's never lost two games in a row. That being said, this is a damn good Missouri Tigers team. They are averaging close to 40 points per contest and are allowing a mere 19.7 points per game. If we are being completely honest, this Tigers team should be undefeated. With two games left in the season, the Tigers are still in the Title
hunt. If they can win this week, they will move up to at least #4 in the standings and will have a face off against either Bama or Auburn. Either Ohio State or FSU will most likely need to fall, and I know it might sound like a lot needs to happen, but it's college football, it's pure insanity. I think Missouri wins, but I never bet against Johnny Manziel, Aggies (47-41).

#6 Clemson (10-1) @ #10 South Carolina (9-2)
South Carolina can still go to the SEC championship game with a Missouri loss, so in terms of going to the conference championship this game has no meaning. But it's South Carolina Clemson, so it's kinda a big deal. The question is can the Gamecocks defense halt the high-powered Tigers offense, as Boyd and the Tigers are averaging 51.5 points per game in their last 4 contests. I got to see the Tigers play a few weeks ago and they are a completely different team since their loss to FSU, I like the Tigers to squeak out a (38-35) win.

#25 Notre Dame (8-3) @ #8 Stanford (9-2)
The Irish are going to get beat up by this Stanford front 7. I like Stanford (31-13).

#22 UCLA (8-3) @ #22 USC (9-3)
Despite the success of both these teams this season, ASU has already clinched the PAC-12 South and this one purely for pride. USC interim Coach Ed Orgeron has the opportunity to possibly remove the interim title from his position with a win here. Trojans QB Cody Kessler has been great as of late, and the chess match between Kessler and the talented core of linebackers the Bruins will be the matchup to watch. I like how the Trojans are playing as of late, and I think they snag a (24-19) victory.

#1 Alabama (11-0) @ #4 Auburn (11-1)
This might be the biggest Iron Bowl of all time. The SEC West crown, bragging rights, and most importantly a trip to the national title (in my opinion) for the winner. Say what you want about how good Alabama is on both sides of the ball, how well coached they are, how many questions we have about Nick Marshall at QB and his ability to pass the ball for the Tigers, but I said it after the Georgia game, the Tigers feel like a team of destiny. I don't know how or why, but I think we are in for another miracle at Jordan-Aire. Auburn (27-24).-Josh Neighbors
Photo credit:,, Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Barclays Premier League Week 10

Newcastle v Chelsea

After a grueling mid-week League Cup clash between Manchester City, the Newcastle supporters will be hoping for a point against a tough Chelsea squad. The venue is St. James Park, which will be Newcastle’s only hope against a team full of superstars. Chelsea, who are second in the league, just beat Manchester City last weekend 2-1. Some questions will be asked of Man City’s defense, but Fernando Torres is in red hot form. Torres has scored three goals in his last two games. The presence of Samuel Eto’o has forced Torres to be more clinical. This weekend he will get another chance against Newcastle.

Weekend Prediction: 3-0 Chelsea

Fulham v Man Utd
David Moyes has been under heavy criticism recently after shaky performances against Stoke and Sunderland. He has tried numerous combinations of players in the midfield which have excluded the 27.5 million pound man Marouane Fellaini. Fellaini has many critics and has not proved his worth for the United supporters, but he may have his chance against the Cottagers. Fulham have been on a decent run of form which has them lodged near the middle of the table. The Cottagers have struggled to put the ball in the back of the net against reputable opponents. The Fulham squad has promise and will hope to get past a difficult fixture with Manchester United this weekend.

Weekend Predictions: 1-1 Draw  

Hull v Sunderland
It’s been a surprising start to the new Premier League campaign for Hull City, who are proving themselves to be worthy opposition to other clubs. With all four of their losses coming from title contenders, Hull will fancy themselves against a struggling Sunderland side who are in the relegation zone. Although it’s early in the season, under new leadership in Gus Poyet, Sunderland must pick up some points this week.

Weekend Prediction: 2-0 Hull

Man City v Norwich
Questions have been rising about the strength of Manchester City’s defense that has diminished throughout poor performances. Joe Hart, who has been a consistent performer for England and City has been struggling this year. Most recently, he was the victim of his own howler at Stamford Bridge when Torres volleyed home into an empty net. Manuel Pellegrini has not revealed who the starting keeper will be for Saturday’s matchup with Norwich. Despite Man City’s problems in defense, Norwich have a struggle of their own: goalscoring. Only six goals have been scored for the Canaries, which will worry Chris Hughton after acquiring the likes of Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper this summer. It is unlikely we will see a repeat of the drama which unveiled during the last gameweek of the 2012-2013 Barclays Premier League season when Norwich were victorious.

Weekend Prediction: 4-0 Man City

Stoke v Southampton
The Saints will be marching into the Britannia Stadium on a fine run of form which have put them in a surprising 5th position. Southampton’s defensive record has been marvelous in their pursuit for attractive football. The have only conceded three goals all campaign, which puts them as the favorites against an average Stoke side. However, the Britannia is a tough place to go because of Stoke’s workrate. You should expect all ten players behind the ball for Stoke as they will attempt to lockdown the defense.

Weekend Prediction: 2-0 Southampton

West Brom v Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace will be looking to climb further up the table with three points this weekend. It is crucial that Palace find ways to get points out of the mid table sides because of their weak squad. With Ian Holloway recently leaving the club after mutual consent, they will be looking for a fresh start under a new manager. This will give the side some confidence because changes can sometimes motivate the players to prove themselves. However, West Brom will be no easy task for the rejuvenated Palace side. They will be looking for all three points to move into the top half of the table.

Weekend Prediction: 1-0 West Brom

West Ham v Aston Villa
After two surprising starts to the campaign, West Ham and Aston Villa have been on a disappointing run of form. Since the struggle to find the back of the net started for Christian Benteke, arguably one of Villa’s only attacking options, Villa have failed to produce the spark from the beginning of the season. This mid table clash could provide the viewer with a fairly even game decided by one moment of brilliance.

Weekend Prediction: 1-0 Aston Villa

Arsenal v Liverpool
Two of the leagues best this season will fight for a position at the top of the table this weekend. Arsenal’s squad could not be stronger with the return of Santi Cazorla into the deadly combination of Ozil, Ramsey, and Wilshere. The team has proved their worth and have produced some mouthwatering goals this season. With the red hot form of striker Olivier Giroud, Arsenal have been dangerous and clinical in front of goal. Meanwhile, the return of Luis Suarez into the starting eleven for Liverpool has added another threat. Alongside Daniel Sturridge, SAS make the most lethal and dangerous strikeforce in the Premier League. After a hatrick last week, Suarez will be keen to add to his goal tally against a strong opponent.

Weekend Prediction: 2-2 Draw

Everton v Spurs
This should be a smashing Sunday with another two of the leagues best going head to head at Goodison Park. With one point between them, this match could separate these two sides in the table. With Romelu Lukaku leading the line for Everton, and Ross Barkley tucking in behind him, Everton have tremendous goal scoring ability. The same goes for Spurs with top class players such as Roberto Soldado and Christian Eriksen. Overall, it will come down to the discipline of the defenses that will decide who wins this match. Right and left backs including Leighton Baines (Everton) and Kyle Walker (Spurs) provide attacking fortitute for their teams, but can also leave them exposed in critical situations.

Weekend Prediction: 0-0 Draw

Cardiff v Swansea
The Welsh rivalry will make this match very entertaining for supporters. With Cardiff and Swansea putting together decent starts to the season, it is hard to decide the outcome. Swansea is having success in the Europa League, but it is effecting their results in the Premier League. For an average team like Swansea this is detrimental to the team because they do not have the depth of a top four side. However, the likes of the new acquisition Wilfried Bony will be eager to smash home a goal or two to beat their rivals Cardiff this gameweek. Cardiff have had a rollercoaster debut in the Premier League so far and will look to add to an impressive victory over Manchester City.

Weekend Prediction: 2-1 Cardiff -Hugo Thaxter