Saturday, October 2, 2010

Northwestern vs. Minnesota

With NU undefeated and the Golden Gophers reeling at 1-3, I thought I better post this so that we could all remember one of the greatest moments in recent Big Ten history. Ladies and gentlemen, Victory Right:

Also, has some more great Northwestern coverage.

Here's a link to the complete highlights of what was an unbelievable game.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Welcome to the Weekly Picks section. Last week I did alright



Bet: Oklahoma @ Cincinnati Over 52 points
Final: Oklahoma 31 Cincinnati 29
Total: 60 Points

Bet: Arkansas +7.5 vs Alabama
Final: Arkansas 20 Alabama 24
Line Adjusted Final (LAF): Arkansas 27.5 Alabama 24

Bet: Stanford -5 @ Notre Dame
Final: Stanford 37 Notre Dame 14
LAF: Stanford 32 Notre Dame 14


Bet: Tennessee +3 @ New York Giants
Final: Tennessee 29 New York Giants 10
LAF: Tennessee 32 New York Giants 10

Bet: Atlanta +4 @ New Orleans
Final: Atlanta 27 Saints 24
LAF: Atlanta 31 Saints 24



Bet: TCU -18 @ SMU
Final: TCU 41 SMU24
LAF: TCU 23 SMU 24

Bet: Eastern Michigan +44 @ Ohio State
Final: Eastern Michigan 20 Ohio State 73
LAF: Eastern Michigan 64 Ohio State 73

Record 5-2. The lesson, like I said before, stay away from huge lines. On to this week’s bets

A few notes about lines in general.

1. Lines are NOT what Vegas thinks is going to happen. The lines are what Vegas thinks will convince the public to bet on the game.
2. Vegas knows big name teams (think Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Yankees, Cowboys, Red Sox) will have more money bet on them because Joe Fan hears about these teams all the time and will adjust their lines accordingly.
3. Vegas is close to Los Angeles and has a lot of visitors from there. They know LA fans will bet on their teams and will adjust their lines accordingly.

Over/Under –A wager in which Vegas will predict a number for a statistic in a given game (usually the combined score of the two teams), and bettors wager that the actual number in the game will be either higher or lower than that number.

Money Line – Bet on one team with no line. Payouts are changed to keep betting equal.


-140: A bet of $140 is place in order to win $100
+140: A bet of $100 wins $140

A quick note, I will pick more college games because I think there is more potential to win money compared to NFL where Vegas only has to forecast 16 games and teams are very close talent wise. Normally I don’t like picking road teams, but I have a bunch this week.

Like last week, there was no trip to Vegas so no bets were actually placed.


Michigan @ Indiana Over 65 Points.

I know that is a very high line, but I still think the game will go higher. I posted this earlier in the week, but here is how ESPN’s Big Ten Blog starts off the preview of the game.

Fact No. 1: Michigan brings the nation's leading rusher and the nation's No. 2 rush offense to Bloomington to face an Indiana defense ranked 92nd nationally against the run.

Fact. No. 2: The Hoosiers counter with the nation's No. 11 pass offense against a Michigan team ranked 105th nationally in pass defense.

Good enough for me.

Northwestern -5.5 @ Minnesota

Northwestern is undefeated right? And Minnesota just lost at home to Northern Illinois? Yes to both. This line should be way higher, I see Northwestern’s offense putting it on cruise control for most of the second half.

Texas Tech -7 @ Iowa State

Texas Tech played well against Texas (maybe not as impressive now) and I see their defense completely shutting down Iowa State. I think Tech wins easily.

Iowa -7 Vs Penn State

Iowa has had Penn State’s number the past couple of years. A young QB heading into Kinnick for a night game on Home Coming weekend? Not a good combination, the fans will be loud and ready from a day of tailgating.


Baltimore +2 @ Pittsburgh

I am not a firm believer in Baltimore this year, but without Big Ben, they should beat the Steelers, regardless how good the D has been playing.

Chicago +3.5 @ New York Giants

I know this game has trap game written all over it for the Bears. Giants are in disarray and have to win. Bears are coming off a short week after an emotional win against their biggest rival for first place in the division. Yet, I’m still picking the Bears because I think they are better than the Giants and they are getting points. Actually you know what, I’m betting the money line on this.

Chicago +175 @ New York Giants

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ryder Cup 2010

The 2010 Ryder Cup starts tomorrow and Team USA will do it's best and try to retain the cup. For those of you who dont know much about the Ryder Cup here is some tidbits. First the Ryder Cup is a match play event that is played every two years between the best American golfers and the best European golfers. During the two year period players accumulate points based on how well they perform in tournaments. The top 8 golfers on both sides get automatic bids and the remaing 4 spots are picked by the team captain (who does not play). The site for the event switches between the United States and Europe every other time. This year it is Europe while next time it will be held here.

The first two days are the same in that there they have an alternate shot match and then a best ball match with one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Alternate shot is where team members will alternate taking shots and best ball is where each player plays their own ball but they take the lowest score. Team captains must pick eight players to play in each event making four pairs. The final day is played by all 12 team members in straight up match play. Each match is worth a point and if there is a tie then its a 1/2 point and the defending team (Team USA) must get 14 points to win while the Europeans need 14 1/2 points to win.

Now for those of you who are still reading this I would just like to say that I enjoy the Ryder Cup. Its a different type of tournament that is fun to watch in the way that its not the traditional you vs everyone. Its also fun to root for your country or in Europes case their continent. Since this year it is held in Europe I dont see the Americans fairing to well. For some reason American golfers dont fair well across the pond, but thats just my opinion. Anything can happen though and will be fun to see how this all plays out. This is Sergio's bread and butter so look for him to plays lights out.

Here are the pairings for Friday morning (US pair listed first):

Phil Mickleson & Dustin Johnson VS Lee Westwood & Martin Kaymer

Stewart Cink & Matt Kuchar VS Rory McIlroy & Graeme McDowell

Steve Stricker & Tiger Woods VS Ian Poulter & Ross Fisher

Bubba Watson & Jeff Overton (IU) VS Luke Donald (Northwestern) & Padraig Harrington (Big Ten battle)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Big Ten Blog Previews IU vs Michigan

ESPN's Big Ten Blog previews the IU vs Michigan game this weekend and it starts out this way.

Fact No. 1: Michigan brings the nation's leading rusher and the nation's No. 2 rush offense to Bloomington to face an Indiana defense ranked 92nd nationally against the run.

Fact. No. 2: The Hoosiers counter with the nation's No. 11 pass offense against a Michigan team ranked 105th nationally in pass defense.

I know this is the game I am most excited about for this year! GO HOOSIERS! O and bet the over

All I Want For Christmas...

I really loved those 1940's throwbacks from Monday Night. And we got a throwback of our own watching Devin Hester 'house that punt return.

In honor of the man who won me my fantasy matchup this week, I give you this:

Santa Claus, I hope you're paying attention!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Dipping Dots of Running Diaries (The Diary of the future....ooooohhh)

Originally the plan for my return to blogging was going to be a running diary of the Michigan/Indiana tussle this Saturday (2:30pm CT – ESPNU) to be posted next week. A high scoring game that is bound to have a bunch of lead changes is the perfect opportunity for something like that…then I thought about how much work it would be to try and re-watch the game and get every necessary detail into the diary. (At this point you are probably thinking to yourself “but Derek, isn’t a running diary supposed to be done live…like, while you are watching the game?”…and you would be right…my response to you would be, “first of all, shut the hell up, and secondably, there is no way that something like that would turn out well with the amount of beer that will be consumed during the game”). Having said all that, I will NOT be doing a running diary of the game on Saturday…but I can do you one better: What you may not know about me is that I am psychic and already have all the information that I need to give you an accurate look that game a whole 4 days prior to kick-off (that’s 96 hours!).

Game Info:

Game time – Coverage is set to begin at 2:30PM CT on ESPNU

Gambling info – Michigan opened as a 14 point favorite, however, due to some heavy early action in IU’s favor the line has shifted all the way to 10.5 points. The over/under opened at 65.5. (My advice would be to take Indiana and the points and parlay it with the over…and if you believe my psychic powers you may want to look into the money line and forget about those points.)

The Background:

Last year’s game was played up in that whore of town called Ann Arbor. Due to a late Tate Forcier TD pass and some “questionable” calls by the officials Michigan escaped with a hard fought 36-33 win. Indiana left Ann Arbor with their first loss and down a piece of gum. Going into this week’s game the Hoosiers are once again not getting any respect from the media (check out Charissa Thompson’s reaction in this video when Eddie George predicts an IU win on Saturday) and should have a chip on their shoulder.

Indiana comes into the game against Michigan with a 3-0 record and some impressive offensive production after playing a pretty pitiful out of conference schedule. The QB Ben Chappell has thrown for just under 900 yards with 9 TDs and 0 INTs for the year. At his disposal are a stable of talented pass catchers at WR (Tandon Doss, Damarlo Belcher, Terrance Turner, and Duwyce Wilson) and a new target at TE (Freshman Ted Bolser) who 3 games into his IU career has already tied the single season TD record for a tight end by hauling in 4 TD passes. The IU rushing attack has a talented RB (Darius Willis) who has had trouble getting going this year behind an offensive line that can pass block with the best of them but has issues generating the push necessary to run the ball consistently. The IU defense has had its fair share of struggles already and will be satisfied if they are able to hold Michigan to any point total under 35.

Michigan will stroll into beautiful Memorial Stadium with a 4-0 record with some equally, and arguably more, impressive numbers on the offensive side of the ball. They run the ball a ton better than Indiana with the bulk of their yardage coming from “Heisman Candidate” Denard Robinson (I don’t see how you can bring up that kind of Heisman talk already…the guy has played 4 games against less than stellar opponents). Robinson has been pretty impressive in the passing game as well having thrown only 1 INT on the year. As always the Michigan offense has talent at the remaining skill positions and offensive line – but based on last couple years we know that raw talent and recruiting stars don’t guarantee success in college. The Michigan defense is in a similar position to Indiana’s…in that there really hasn’t been one. If the Michigan defense can hold Chappell to fewer than 300 yards passing they will be ecstatic.

The overall match-up is shaping up to be one of the higher scoring games in recent memory (especially when you factor in that it is two Big Ten teams that are playing). The teams come in averaging an identical 41 points per game on offense (41.33 to 41.25 so I guess IU gets the slight edge) while giving up 19 ppg (IU) and 23 ppg (UM) on defense. Each team’s defensive weakness is the opposing team’s offensive strength which will lead to some huge plays.

Keys To The Game:

- Turnovers – With all the scoring in this game any turnover will be huge, especially if there are points scored off of them.

- Kicking – Michigan has had some early struggles in the kicking game. A missed field goal or two would swing momentum IU’s way.

- Hidden yardage – One often overlooked stat is the return yardage that teams are able to pile on. Keep an eye on Tandon Doss, Duwyce Wilson, and Nick Turner for the Hoosiers – the trio have combined to average 33.25 yards per kick-off return which is good for first in the Big Ten and second in the Nation. Michigan comes into the game averaging a measly 18.14 yards per return which is good for 10th in the Big Ten (and 107th in the country).

Now it’s time for what you’ve all been waiting for: A glimpse into the future…through the eyes of an actual (read – not actual) psychic…it’s time for...

"The 4 day early future running diary of the Indiana Hoosiers/Michigan Wolverines clash of 2010!" (All times in CT…you east and west coaster’s can shove it).

2:25pm – I wish I was in Bloomington for this game…early fall is B-town at its finest. The weather is warm, the beer is flowing, and there has not been nearly enough time for the freshman 15 to take hold. Earlier in the week the forecast called for 65 degrees and rainy but just as it always does Bloomington came through and we are looking at a balmy 72 degrees and sunny for kick-off.

2:32pm – The Wolverines have won the toss and elected to receive. With two high powered offenses this is clearly an attempt to grab the momentum early and dash Indiana’s hopes for an upset as soon as possible.

2:35pm – The teams are out on the field and things are ready to begin. The Hoosier’s Nick Freeland launches a kick-off that is fielded by Darryl Stonum at the 1 yard line. Stonum immediately fakes a hand-off to Martavious Odoms but the Hoosiers are not fooled and stop Stonum at the 23 yard line.

2:39pm – After two unsuccessful running plays the Michigan offense is looking at a 3rd and 6 from their own 27. This is not the start to the game they envisioned – a 3 and out to start the game would put momentum squarely in Indiana’s corner. Lined up with trips left and a RB next to him Denard Robinson gets the snap and takes a quick step back to sell the pass…he immediately darts right, behind his blocking TE and the QB draw works to perfection as “shoelace” picks up 19 yards and leaves a few IU defenders grasping at air.

2:46pm – Michigan’s fast paced offense makes it down to the IU 16 yard line before facing a long 4th and 8. They line up for the 33 yard field goal…and the kicker misses it! He pushed it right!! Rich-Rod reaches for his gun but thinks better of himself. IU takes over at their own 23 yard line for their first drive with 11:16 left in the quarter.

2:51pm – Willis gained 4 yards on first down and Chappell followed that up with three consecutive completions to Tandon Doss for 8, 11, and 17 yards. On first down from the Michigan 37 Willis bounces a run outside and gets 22 yards on his way to the 15 yard line.

2:53pm – After a 1 yard run by Willis to the 14 yard line Chappell finds Belcher on a fade route to get the Hoosiers on the board. 7-0 Indiana with 6:37 left in the quarter.

3:04pm – The Michigan offense responds quickly with a 6 play drive for a TD. A screen pass Stonum accounts for 33 of the yards and a 12 yard pass to Roy Roundtree finds the end zone. 7-7 with 4:01 left in the 1st.

3:06pm – Tandon Doss finds a seam and takes the kick-off back to the Michigan 48 yard line. He is a player.

3:09pm – Back to back 6 yard runs by Willis give the Hoosiers first down at the 36 yard line. Nick Turner gives Willis a blow and takes a short screen pass to the right side 23 yards to get the ball down to the Michigan 13.

3:11pm – After facing a 3rd and 7 at the Michigan 10 Chappell finds Terrance Turner at the 2 yard line setting up 1st and goal. Willis pounds the ball into the end zone on his 2nd attempt as the first quarter comes to an end with IU holding a 14-7 lead.

End of 1: 14-7 Indiana

The 2nd and 3rd quarters are going to be in fast forward…this is getting long. Time to jump into the Delorean and fire it up to 88 for a couple quarters.

2nd Quarter highlights:

Michigan opens the scoring with a 6 yard scoring run by Robinson – he got the drive going with a 44 yard run earlier. 14-14 after the first drive of the second quarter.

Indiana responds to the Michigan score with a field goal of their own on a methodical drive that was highlighted by a 24 yard pass from Chappell to Bolser. 17-14 Indiana.

Michigan moves down the field quickly once again on the next drive but an IU blitz causes a Robinson interception in the red zone. Indiana takes the ball from there and on the 3rd play from scrimmage Duwyce Wilson breaks loose in the secondary for a 76 yard score. 24-14 Indiana.

A Michigan field goal wraps up the scoring for the first half.

Halftime score: 24-17 Indiana

3rd quarter highlights:

Nick Turner fields the 3rd quarter kick-off at his own 4 yard line...and taking the ball up the right side he sees a cut-back lane and uses his 4.3 speed and darts 96 yards for the TD. Michigan looks like they are running in quick sand! 31-17 Indiana.

The ensuing drive for Michigan is an 11 play drive that is heavy on the running game. Robinson and Michael Shaw account for 68 rushing yards and Shaw caps the drive with a 4 yard scoring plunge. 31-24 Indiana.

Indiana moves the ball 30 yards before a short pass to Terrance Turner results in a fumble and Indiana’s first turnover of the game. Michigan takes over on their 46 yard line and immediately gets 20 yards on a screen pass to Shaw. The Wolverines end up settling for a 29 yard field goal that splits the uprights. 31-27 Indiana.

The final Indiana possession in the 3rd is a 71 yard scoring drive that takes 9 plays and 5:35 off the clock. A TD pass from Chappell to Tandon Doss covering 27 yards caps of the drive. Chappell finishes off the drive with 287 yards and 3 TDs for the game (if you’re counting at home that is 15 quarters on the year without an interception for Chappell). 38-27 Indiana.

Michigan takes possession of the ball with 2:08 left in the third. After 8 plays they are sitting at the Indiana 8 yard line and poised to score.

End of 3: 38-27 Indiana

Ok, let’s slow things down and get “Back to the Future (Diary)” –

4:54pm – From the Indiana 8 yard line Robinson runs a QB read option and hangs onto the ball for himself. He runs left and makes his way down to the IU 2 yard-line. He’s now got 182 yards for the game – he’s backing up reputation as a runner but with only 112 yards passing and the interception so far he still has a long way to go in that department.

4:55pm – Robinson takes the snap and gives Shaw the ball once again on a quick pitch who puts his head down and hits the end zone for the score. Michigan has gotten within 4 points and now trails Indiana 38-34.

4:59pm – After a commercial break, a stuffed run, a short pass, and an incompletion Indiana does the worst thing possible and has to punt the ball away (nothing like the 4th quarter for the first punt of the game). Chris Hagerup hits a booming 54 yard punt that Jeremy Gallon fields at his own 13 and returns to the 28.

5:20pm – The teams trade field goals after moving the ball pretty easily between the 20s but are both stifled in the red zone. 41-37 Indiana with 4:42 to go in the game.

5:26pm – Michigan gets into IU territory and down to the IU 47. After a short run by Shaw, Robinson takes the ball and roll-out to the right…after Chad Scherer tracks him down Robinson makes an ill-advised pass back across the field that Mitchell Evans sees coming from a mile away – Interception!! IU takes over at their own 38 poised to run out the clock with Michigan having two time-outs left and 2:03 left in the game.

5:31pm – Back to back 3 yard runs by Willis followed by Michigan time-outs give IU 3rd and 4 at their own 44 and 1:51 on the clock. Trey Burgess takes a hand-off 2 yards to the IU 46 which brings up 4th down (Terrible play call! 1:15 is too much time to give Michigan). Hagerup boots the ball to the Michigan 19 where Gallon calls for a fair catch. Indiana is up 41-37 and has to stop the Michigan offense from moving 81 yards in 1:09.

5:32pm – Blitz! Fumble! Just as quickly as the drive started Darius Johnson and Damon Sims converge on Denard Robinson as he tries to run another draw up the middle of the Hoosier defense. Larry Black Jr falls on the ball and IU has sealed it.

5:34pm – Queue the fight song and the celebration. After two kneel downs the crowd is storming the field!

Final Score: 41-37 Indiana

What an exciting game. Indiana is sitting at 4-0 and heading to Columbus to take on Ohio State. Too early to make any predictions there…it’s safe to say that after his game today (379 yards/3 TDs) that Ben Chappell is having a stellar season. The 104 rushing yards that Willis amassed were enough to give the threat of a run game and opened things up for Chappell early. Duwyce Wilson and Tandon Doss both had huge receiving days with 288 yards combined.

The keys to the game turned out to be spot-on. Michigan couldn’t escape Bloomington with a win after turning the ball over 3 times and missing a short field goal. The two big kick returns for IU caused huge shifts in momentum at the time.

Too early to predict Rose Bowl for IU…but 4-0 is a solid start.

Double Error By the Marlins

I've seen some awesomely dumb mistakes in sports in my life, think Gus Ferotte headbutting the wall celebrating a TD and giving himself a concussion, but this one might take the cake. Please watch this soon before MLB takes it away.

Monday, September 27, 2010


This will be played a lot tonight!!!!!!!


Bears-Packers, TONIGHT!

Oh Boy am I excited for this one. You have two un-beatens going head to head in a what is the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry of the NFL. Of course, don't tell ESPN that. They think that title belongs to anything on the East Coast or the Cowboys. On a quick side note, did you know that ESPN said that the biggest matchup this week was the Texans-Cowboys? What?

Well, the Packers-Bears game gets a little bigger now that there are no unbeatens in the NFC as of this moment, aside from the Bears and Packers. Meaning, who ever wins, leads the entire NFC. Who will that be? Well, perhaps we should break it down.


Thus far, the Packers have struggled running the ball as well as passing. I know Aaron Rodgers went off in the second half against Buffalo, but that doesn't change the fact that they struggled in the first half and versus the Eagles. Their running game has also been bad, and it only got worse once Ryan Grant went down for the season. Now, the only thing they can really rely on is their passing game. However, Aaron Rodgers is a good QB so he will likely be ready to go this week.

The Bears, on the other hand, have had a lot of success passing the ball, and almost no success on the ground. The Bears are going to be missing Chris Williams for this game, so we will see if they can establish the running game. The Packers run defense is the worst in the league, in regards to yards per rush.


The key to the Packers winning is their ability to run the ball with some consistency. It doesn't have to be a great rushing attack, and likely won't be with the talent the Bears have in their front 7. However, they cannot abandon the run and just throw the ball all game. Yes, Rodgers would get a lot of yards, but if this happens, they will end up with the L. They need to keep the Bears defense honest.

he key to the Bears winning is limiting their turnovers. Last year, Jay Cutler alone had 6 turnovers against the Packers. The Bears had a turnover margin of -4 in those two games and they lost by a combined 13 points. That's it. Less than two touchdowns and a -4 turnover ratio over two games. That means the Bears can't be more than -1 all game. Hopefully they are either at 0 or in the positives in the turnover margin this game. Another key to the Bears getting a victory is establish a good running attack to take the pressure off the WR and Jay Cutler against the Packers pass defense. This will also open up the passing game.


The Packers defense is one of the best in the league against the pass. Conversely, they are one of the worst in the league defending the run. They are allowing 5.3 ypc on the ground. But how much of that is inflated due to Michael Vick running all over them? The Packers also have Clay Matthews who has 6 sacks in two games.

The Bears defense is the best in the league against the run, and is nothing special against the pass. However, the Bears pass defense yardage may be inflated due to the Cowboys throwing 50+ times against them. The Bears are missing Major Wright for this game though. Lets also see if Charles Tillman can play corner today without falling down.


For the Packers they need to shut down the Bears running game early. This is so they can do what they do best, defend the pass. This way, they won't have to worry about Forte on a linebacker or safety, instead, they'll be able to bring in a corner to lineup on Forte, since the Bears running game will be non-existent.

For the Bears, they need to generate a good pass rush today. Julius Peppers needs to have his breakout game today as a Bear. Tommie Harris also has to show that he is the Tommie of old. Yes he was getting double teamed quite a bit last week against the Cowboys, but he used to be able to still get penetration. He wasn't able to do that last week. Perhaps this is the week for these two. If the pass rush is there, the Packers will have to rely on their run, which will not be a good thing with the Packers offensive line and matched up against the best linebacking trio in the NFL.


Bears 31-17. I thought it would be 31-20, but I did not know Ryan Grant was out for the season. I say the Bears open up fast and strong. They highlight the run as well as the pass as they dominate both sides of the game.



Jay Cutler 17/26 284 yards 2 TD 0 INT

Matt Forte 27 carries 143 yards 1 TD
Chester Taylor 10 carries 42 yards 1 TD

Devin Hester 4 catches 65 yards 1 Fumble
Johnny Knox 5 catches 112 yards 1 TD (long of 61 yards)
Greg Olsen 3 catches 42 yards 1 TD
Matt Forte 3 catches 33 yards
Devin Aromoshadu 1 catches 18 yards
Earl Bennett 1 catches 14 yards

Julius Peppers 5 tackles 2 sacks 1 FF
Brian Urlacher 10 tackles 1 sack 1 INT
Tommie Harris 4 tackles 1 sack
Mark Anderson 2 tackles 1 sack
Zack Bowman 4 tackles 1 INT
Anthony Adams 3 tackles 1 Fumble Recovery


Aaron Rodgers 21-38 265 yards 2 TDS 2 INTS 1 Fumble Lost

Brandon Jackson 10 carries 27 yards
John Kuhn 7 carries 23 yards
Aaron Rodgers 6 carries 25 yards

Greg Jennings 2 catches 34 yards
Donald Driver 6 catches 87 yards 1 TD
Jermichael Finley 4 catches 63 yards
Jordy Nelson 2 catches 21 yards 1 TD
Brandon Jackson 2 catches 12 yards
Donald Lee 3 catches 43 yards
John Kuhn 2 catches 5 yards


Clay Matthews 6 tackles 0 Sacks
BJ Raji 3 tackles
AJ Hawk 7 Tackles
Nick Barnett 6 Tackles 1 FF
Chuck Woodson 5 tackles 1 Fumble Recovery
Ryan Pickett 3 tackles 1 sack
Cullen Jenkins 3 tackles 1 sack
Brad Jones 8 tackles 1 sack

ESPN Page 2 Thoughts on Tonights Bears Packers Game