Posts Tagged ‘Big Ten

23
Dec
10

BCS Bowl Fever!!

Happy Holidays Everyone!! 🙂 I hope everyone has a great holiday season and a happy new year. For me, there really isn’t a better time of year for sports–the NFL playoff puzzle is in full swing, college basketball has begun, bowl games are right around the corner, Sidney Crosby is dominating the NHL and I manage to catch a few Bulls games or two.

In the excitement of this time of year, we’ve included our second annual BCS Bowl Fever post–in which we lock in our choices for all the BCS (and one PSU) games.  Laur and I are in different time zones right now and prepping for the holiday season, so let’s hope Santa delivers her bowl picks before January 1st!

Outback Bowl-Florida vs. Penn State-January 1st- (1pm-ABC)

Shocker! I’m going to take the Nittany Lions on this one–well, because I have to. Factor in that it’s going to be Urban Meyer’s last game (or so he says) and the speculation of it possibly being JoePa’s last game (Gruden as a replacement? I LOVE this rumor!) and I give the edge to the Lions. McGloin has turned into a pretty decent quarterback (as long as those “moxie” sayings are NOT in the mix), Royster had a great second half of the season and the defense is fairly reliable. I think if the team knows this is JoePa’s last game then, for sure they can rally and put together 60 minutes of solid football to knock off the gators.

Joe Pa ❤

Cotton Bowl – Alabama vs. Michigan State-January 1st (1pm ESPN)

Gotta go with ‘Bama on this one. As much as I have formed a disdain for this team–(the “McElroy hasn’t lost since middle school stat was by far the most irritating of the year) ‘Bama is no push over. Couple that with the fact that Michigan State just isn’t that good of a team. They really aren’t–they stood out in a depleted Big Ten this year, but chalked up a loss to Iowa and didn’t have to play perrenial powerhouse Ohio State. I expect them to easily be overtaken by the former National Champ ‘Bama on this one.

Rose Bowl —TCU vs. Wisconsin–January 1st (5pm, ESPN)

I love that the BCS put TCU in this game–unlike the schlubbing from last year in which the BCS put two Cinderella darlings against each other–this is TCU’s chance to prove their worth on the second biggest stage of the bowl season. Wisconsin won’t go down without a fight–an impressive win at Ohio State and an eeked out victory over Iowa works in their favor leading their steady march to a Big Ten Championship. This should prove to be an exciting game and I think that TCU will excel on the big stage and notch a W which will prep them nicely for a transfer to The Big East in 2012.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl — UConn vs. Oklahoma— January 1st (8:30pm-ESPN)

I’m taking Oklahoma in what is the most lopsided BCS match-up of the year. Enough said.

Discover Orange Bowl –Stanford vs. Virginia Tech — January 3rd (8pm ESPN)

This should be a good match-up, but I’m going to have to take Stanford. Virginia Tech put together a nice little season after a really rough start to the year (JMU anyone?) but I think the PAC-10 offensive style of play will lead the charge here. Add in that Stanford is more than likely ridiculously salty about not being invited to the Rose Bowl and you have all the necessary ingredients for a Hokie beatdown.

Allstate Sugar Bowl –Ohio State vs. Arkansas–January 4 (8:30pm ESPN)

This is going to be a GOOD game–but I’m giving the edge to Arkansas. Ryan Mallet has been a great leader for the team and has matured into a solid quarterback since leaving an ineffective for his talents offense in Ann Arbor. Ohio State is no stranger to nationally televised bowl games–but has a history of choking. Both offenses can be explosive–so it’s all going to come down to defense but I think the Razorbacks are going to scratch out a win–the perfect way to end an almost storybook like season for the Arkansas program.

Tostitos BCS Championship Game–Oregon vs. Auburn–January 10th (8:30pm ESPN)

Before the analysis, I just want to say how thrilled I am that the usual suspect (Florida, Bama, OSU) are NOT a part of this game. I’m a huge fan of  BCS shake-ups..and while both of these teams have undoubtedly earned the right to play for the national championship I don’t think anyone would have placed these two in the title game back in September.

That being said..I’m REALLY looking forward to this game 🙂  This is going to be a shoot out folks, the game features 2 of the top 7 offenses in college football. Auburn has undoubtedly, had the more impressive road to its national championship appearance and Hesiman winner Cam Newton has had a ridiculously impressive season.. but I think the Duck’s 15th ranked scoring defense will be the deciding factor in this one. Look for an exciting game with the Ducks quacking their way to a BCS title.

Offensive Powerhouses

What are your predictions for the above games? You know we love a healthy debate here on Chicks Dig Sports…Let’s hear it! 🙂

Happy Holidays!

–Sam

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20
Sep
10

Tailgating: What’s College Without It?

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Columbus, OH for business.  Much like Sam, my favorite time during my job is when my two favorite things, sports and public relations combine. This “business” just happened to center around The Ohio State vs. Miami football game, a game that was being hailed throughout the previous week as THE game to watch. Did it turn out to be a great game? Not really. Unless a great game to you is watching one team dominate the other in all three arenas – offense, defense and special teams. And, I suppose if you’re an Ohio State fan, this is the type of game you like to watch.

Buckeye Stadium

The real impact made from my trip to campus had more to do with pre-game traditions. I went to a very small school and while I received a wonderful education, met solid people, developed solid friendships and good memories – I never tailgated. Can you believe it? I truly believe there is something missing from your college experience when you don’t. Maybe that is why I love college football so much now, in my mid-twenties. The tailgaters at The Ohio State seem to know how to do it right. Everyone from age 0-60 was dressed in red and white. They brought grills, boom boxes, games, magazines, padded chairs, you name it. And the best part– they offer every passerby to share in their tailgate. They try and welcome strangers in as family and I was offered several beers while perusing the various set ups. The air was slightly chilled that day, perfect for football and comradery. The spirit in the air and people yelling O-H-I-O as they walked into the stadium for kick off gave me goose bumps. And while I didn’t get to see the game, I was happy to be on campus to just get that special Big Ten tailgate feeling.

Tailgating at OSU

What is your best tailgating memory? Was your school big on it? Is it college football WITHOUT the tailgating?

Talk to us, we’d love to hear!

–Laura

01
Sep
10

Football is Upon Us! 2010 College Football Preview

As Laura alluded to yesterday, we here at Chicks Dig Sports are completely tickled that it’s fall. There are multiple reasons for this: we hate humidity, we love fall scents and we’re absolutely and totally crazy about football. It’s not that we don’t have exciting and fun summer flings with baseball, casually date basketball or have a committed relationship with hockey. But football? Well it’s our one true love. The one we’re absolutely crazy about and, if we had to choose, would hands down be the single sport we could watch the rest of our lives.

While we still have to wait a little over a week for the NFL to start, it is college football eve. We’re so excited (and you should be too!) Hell, I say we’d consider smacking a big smooch on Lee Corso. Below you’ll find our top pre-season college coaching stories and our predictions for the 2010 NCAA season. Don’t hold your breath folks, this is a long one! 🙂  

Coaching Carousel

Every off-season, the coaching carousel spins round and round and this year is no exception. These coaches are the ones to watch as they have the most to gain (and lose!) this season.

Lane Kiffin-as most of you know, I’m not a fan of the man, to put it lightly. I find him to be classless, arrogant and have no respect for the game. His inaugural rookie NCAA head coach season was lukewarm at best, how is he going to fair with a storied program like USC?  Well, it really doesn’t matter, to tell you the truth, because USC is ineligible for bowl games until 2013. So Kiffin can go undefeated, but if he doesn’t, and he fails like he’s pretty much done with every program he’s touched, it doesn’t matter, cause they aren’t eligible anyway. Consider me pissed he has an automatic two-year cushion.

Rich Rodriguez-Michigan is in the running for my least favorite team in the entire sporting world. I enjoy their losing almost as much as I enjoy watching Penn State win. That being said, Rich Rod is on thin ice, this season will be make or break for him. After two dismal seasons and a pathetic “I wasn’t aware of what was going on” excuse and the man is already on borrowed time.

Urban Meyer-He goes on an indefinite leave of absence, he’s back, he’s sick, he’s not, he’s coaching. I suppose if I was Urban Meyer, I’d go through a crisis with Tebow graduating, but his back and forth was completely unnecessary and absolutely absurd. Most coaches, when they lose their marquee player (which in a best case scenario happens every four years), regroups and devises a new plan of attack. Meyer throws a public hissy fit in front of the nation and, after assessing that his squad will be competitive enough to compete this season, comes back. Pressure’s on Urban, but only because YOU brought it by your silly antics.

Brian Kelly-First year Notre Dame Coach…do we need to say anything else?

Conference Predictions:

Big Ten

  • Sam’s Pick: Iowa. Fresh off an Orange Bowl win and with Stanzi back in charge, these corn-fed Iowa boys have been chomping at the bit to continue their success of recent seasons. Add in the fact that Pryor just can’t seem to get it together in the big game and the Hawkeyes should have a clear path to the Rose Bowl if they play smart.
  • Laura’s Pick: Terrell Pryor will come into his own this year. He’s athletic and a born leader, with all the practice he’s put in over the off-season his throw should be better now too. He may never be the total package, but he’ll come pretty close this season and lead Ohio State to win the conference.

Big 12 North

  • Sam’s Pick: Nebraska. Is there anyone else worth mentioning in this division? Plus they have one more chance to make their mark before jumping ship for the Big Ten next year.
  • Laura’s Pick: Nebraska. For reasons above.

Big 12 South

  • Sam’s Pick: Texas Tech. In a good position with dual QB’s Potts and Sheffield, Texas Tech is way better off than conference rivals Texas and Oklahoma who have extremely green QBs. (Obviously, Laura has more faith in Jones that I do.)
  • Laura’s Pick: Oklahoma. Landry Jones was forced into a leadership role before he was ready and onto the national stage when Sam Bradford went down. He’s gotten experience under his belt and coaches don’t come better than Bob Stoops, with him at the head of the program the Sooners are always, calm, cool, collected and all football, all the time. I do hope Oklahoma State give them a run for their money – I love that team, they play with so much heart and their coach, well, “He’s a man, he’s forty!”

PAC 10

  • Sam’s Pick: Oregon. Always a solid program, the Ducks have USC out of contention this year. Look for them to shine through a victory in the Civil War and secure a spot in the Rose Bowl.
  • Laura’s Pick: StanfordAndrew Luck is a stud, this potential Heisman candidate and badass (former Bear) Jim Harbagh have this division locked up.

Big East:

  • Sam’s Pick: Syracuse. Why the hell not? Cincinnati surely isn’t repeating.
  • Laura’s Pick: Pitt. Wandstadt is valuable sometimes right?…Right?

WAC

  • Sam’s Pick:  Boise State. Love everything about Boise State down to their blue field. Shame the BCS will never allow them to play for the national championship, even with consecutive undefeated seasons.
  • Laura’s Pick: Boise State. I just love this program, always the unsung hero of college football. These guys have great talent, coaching but often miss out on the national stage.

*Note the same reasoning for TCU to take it all in the Mountain West.

ACC

  • Sam’s Pick: Miami. This is Miami’s comeback year. They’ve been middling since the departure of Shockey, McGahee and *gasp* Dorsey in the early 00’s. This year, they’re poised to return to their glory days and be right where they belong at the top of the division.
  • Laura’s Pick: Virginia Tech. Always a solid program. With a weak division like the ACC, they should be able to easily play their way into a New Year’s Day bowl game.

SEC

  • Sam’s Pick: Alabama. Ingram’s knee trouble may be a factor, but Alabama led by veteran coach Nick Saban, has all the tools to make another title run. Factor in a Tebow-less Florida (Urban Meyer’s built-in excuse) and the hardest division in college football should be prime for the taking.
  • Laura’s Pick: Alabama. Nick Saban is the most no-nonsense coach in college ball and you’ve got to love his halftime interviews. With Ingram returning and a corral of running back studs and McElroy turning out not half bad performances most of the time, I would say they’re a lock. Sometimes it can be hard to repeat, as long as they don’t crumble underneath self-imposed pressure, they should lock things up.

BCS Championship Game

  • Sam’s Pick: Alabama vs. Ohio State. Not because they’re pre-season #1 and #2, but because they will have time to stumble early on (by both losing to PSU ;-)) and will have plenty of time to steady out to regain the #1 and #2 spots.
  • Laura’s Pick: Oklahoma vs. Ohio State.

That’s a wrap, folks! What are your thoughts?? We KNOW you have some, and we’re always up for discussion! What do you agree with? What are we totally off on? Which of the four coaches is on the thinnest of ice? Who are the sleepers?

In case you’ve been living under a rock, you can find the full pre-season AP list here.

As always, talk to us people…have we mentioned how much we love fall?  🙂

–The Chicks

02
Jan
10

Sports Digest

Happy New Year Everyone!

Today has been an awesome day for sports, so while my bowl breakdowns will come in tomorrow’s ‘New Years Day Hangover’ post, there are still plenty of great stories to keep up on…and one annoying habit that I found necessary to blog about.

  1. Lamar Woodley might be in the running as my favorite Steeler. See, Pittsburgh needs some help to get into the post season (and while I love them more than life itself, they do not deserve to go in the playoffs this year after losing to the browns, chiefs and raiders…even if Dave Coulier–I mean Ben Roethlisberger–threw for over 4,000 yards).  To get into the playoffs we need to win vs. the Miami Dolphins tomorrow (Sorry Big Brother, but you’re going down!) and then we need two of the following teams to lose: the Ravens, Jets and Texans. New York and Houston are playing two teams that are already in the playoffs: Cincinnati and New England respectively. Common sense says that both teams will pull their starters after a short amount of time tomorrow, as they aren’t playing for anything other than the #3 seed. (Er go, they will both have wild card match-ups next weekend regardless). Enter Lamar Woodley, who does the one thing that any man can do to ensure a solid competitive effort-question their manhood. Lamar says that both teams will not play their starters because both of them are scared of Pittsburgh in the playoffs. While I do not necessarily think that’s true, I think that it definitely lit a fire under some of these guys butts. Who wants to be called out for laying down? NO ONE. It goes against the basic rules of sportsmanship. So Lamar throws it out there and Cincinnati, offended as any athlete would be, replies–well OchoCinco does. Apparently they are planning on playing their starters… Great Job Lamar, your backwards psychology might just be our ticket to the playoffs….but you have to beat Miami first and nothing this season is a guaranteed win. Read more here: http://bit.ly/519p0w
  2. Mike Leach-This Mike Leach scenario is very sad for the reason that I do not think we will ever know what really happened. It seems that misconduct definitely occurred, but at what level, the stipulations and circumstances remain fuzzy at best. Add in that this player is the son of an ESPN analyst and you can’t help but wonder if Texas Tech pulled the trigger a little too quickly firing Leach before investigating all of the facts. Sally Jenkins, sports columnist for the Washington Post delves into this issue a little deeper in an awesome piece http://tinyurl.com/yacbc4o Side note: Didn’t Bobby Knight punch a student athlete at Texas Tech and NOT get fired? I’m just saying.
  3. Purdue Boilermakers- At a New Years day party today, I saw the  No.4 Purdue Boilermakers men’s college basketball team manhandle the No.6 West Virginia Mountaineers. Purdue is freaking good folks. They comfortably played 30 minutes of solid college basketball. They were never threatened, pressure was never applied and they swiftly added another notch to their belt of wins this season. (Sidenote: I’m never really sold that WVU is a GREAT collegiate basketball team…their #6 is solid, but I say that, as far as the BIG EAST goes, WVU is middle of the pack…not their fault the conference is stacked). I will say if Purdue keeps this up, I might get a little worried for my boys in orange.
  4. Syracuse Orange-speaking of my lovely No. 5 Syracuse Orange, they have a HUGE game coming up tomorrow at 12pm eastern against Pitt. This Orange team is ridiculously impressive. Many people are calling it better than Carmelo’s 2003 National Championship team. I have watched the Orange every chance I get and they are looking good. LIKE REALLY GOOD. With Devo, Flynn and Harris off the team, the team can operate and focus more like…a TEAM. No ball hogs, no off court shenanigans, just a team that wants to play basketball. Add in a dose of the lovely Andy ‘3 point machine’ Rautins and this team is doing great. Pitt is always a threat though and a perennial powerhouse even though they have two losses this year to Texas and  Indiana. BIG EAST play always brings out the best in teams so I think Syracuse has to play well, because Pitt will take advantage if they don’t (aka they can’t afford to start slow like they did against Seton Hall) The game is at home, as an alum, a 32 thousand plus crowd can make the difference. And Syracuse is awesome. The game will be broadcast on the BIG EAST network. Go Orange!
  5. The Australian Open-Keep your eyes open for the Australian Open beginning January 18th. Tennis’ first grand slam of the year is always fun to watch with the hard-court. It’s also easy to catch live if you’re a working bee like myself, since Australia is half-a-day ahead of us, matches show at night. I’m always partial to Andy Roddick but I will do a further breakdown when it gets closer to the date.
  6. Penn State Nittany Lions-Love ya lions! Sorry I ever doubted you…but that was a pretty ugly game. (side note, I love watching football players get down and play in the mud …it makes it so manly) Royster had a great game, you survived the monsoon, Clark cried tears of joy and JoePa notched his 24th bowl win…the most all time (Suck it Bowden) And YES, I owe Raffi $20 and a round of beer…but had we gone on the spread I still would have won. I should have had more faith in you lions and a Capital One Bowl win is a nice cap to a 12-2 season. Start prepping for Alabama tomorrow though. Seriously.

This brings me to my PET PEEVE:

I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why people decide to root for their conference in bowl games January 1st. I’m sorry, but I hate Ohio State and I hate Michigan. I will never root for them to win. Ever. I don’t understand how people can root AGAINST a team and say they dislike them for months and then say ‘well it’s the Big Ten, you got to want them to win’ Um. No I Don’t. At least not teams that I hate the rest of the year. I was rooting for Northwestern (rough loss!) and I will root for Iowa, because I don’t despise them. but I will never root for OSU or Michigan. They’re awful. Tressel’s sweater vest is ridiculous (I picture him having 3,000 of them lined up in his closet) I’m tired of hearing it will make the Big Ten look good. You know what will make the Big Ten look good? How about scheduling tough non-conference opponents?! PSU rose to #5 in the country this year after beating Akron and Syracuse and, just for good measure, they beat up on Northern Illinois. or was it Eastern Illinois? Doesn’t matter…easy picking. You know what ELSE would make the Big Ten look good? How about having one team that dominates? Purdue beat Rose Bowl Champion Ohio State. Purdue. Let me clarify, Purdue’s football team, not basketball team. You know who beat Purdue? Northwestern. You know who beat Northwestern? Penn State. You know who beat Penn State? Iowa. and Ohio State. How can you even begin to make sense out of this cluster-f?! Seriously. I’m sick of split championships. I’m sick of crappy play. I want the Big Ten to return as a football powerhouse, but that starts with team play IN the big ten. So I WILL NOT root for OSU OR Michigan (then again Michigan was in the Toilet Bowl this year which I enjoyed) because guess what? OSU winning the Rose Bowl, albeit handily, over the PAC-10 conference is NOT A BIG DEAL. It will not make people take the Big Ten more seriously because the Big Ten doesn’t take itself seriously.

*Side note: for those of you keeping track, I’m 0-2 on two very close bowls…hopefully the sugar bowl turns me around tonight*

What upcoming sports events are you looking forward to? Have I left any majors off the list? What’s your take on the bowl games?  Let me know people and Happy New Year 🙂




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