Thursday, December 13, 2012

Big Ten Wans your Help Picking the Divisions

I don't mind their suggestions, but I think the East would be better then the west. I think a North South split would be better. Even though it's more Like North West and South East


Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan and Michigan State


Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutger and Maryland


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shooting the Sh*t w/ Shark and Steve Email

We now have an e-mail address for you to send us your thoughts, questions, any funny youtube clips, etc.  The address is

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bill Barnwell Reverse Jinx

Okay, what the hell?  Longtime Bears hater, Grantland columnist, and living-in-his-mom's-basement enthusiast Bill Barnwell just released his week six NFL rankings...

"1. Chicago Bears (4-1)
Yes, that's right, the Bears. The same Bears who capitulated in Green Bay in Week 2 and briefly became a national punch line because Jay Cutler threw four interceptions. That's a rough loss, but it also came in a game where Matt Forte left with an injury during the opening drive of the second half. That forced the Bears to change their offense on the fly and integrate Michael Bush into the starting lineup without many practice reps. As you might expect, the Bears are significantly better with Forte around; he's averaged a full 4.7 yards per carry this year, well ahead of backups Bush (3.6 yards per pop) and Kahlil Bell (2.7). When Forte is around, there's nothing the Bears don't do well. They're proficient running the ball, adequate throwing it, and well above-average in all facets of defense and special teams. The emergence of Henry Melton and Shea McClellin as secondary pass rushers has freed up space for Julius Peppers, while Tim Jennings has had a career year in five games at cornerback: He's set or tied career highs in interceptions (four) and passes defended (10) with 11 games left to go.
And while everybody else has a close call or two on their résumé, the Bears have been dominant in their four wins this season. In their three wins against average-or-better competition — the Colts, Cowboys, and Rams — Chicago won by a minimum of 16 points. Their one game against a cream puff, the Jaguars, resulted in a 41-3 shellacking. Every other team on this list, besides perhaps the Texans, had at least one game in which a change on one play would turn their win into a loss. That hasn't been true for the Bears. They've had some luck in producing five defensive touchdowns in five games this year, but the defense would still be good and the margins of victory would still be impressive without the bonus touchdowns from the defense.
If you want to hop on the Bears bandwagon (a place where I admittedly have to hide, myself), now's the time. Over the next three weeks, Chicago is home for games against the Lions and Panthers before traveling to Tennessee. At that point, the Bears might very well be 7-1, but their schedule will become something resembling punishment: Their next six games include matchups against the Seahawks (thankfully, in Chicago), Texans, Packers, 49ers, and a home-and-home with the Vikings. They might not have the best record in football by the time they're through with that month and a half of hell, but if they can go 3-3 or 4-2 across that stretch, I wouldn't budge them from this spot.
Of course, it also probably says something about how flawed even the league's best teams are that the team I chose for the top spot on this list is the one that was out of sight and on a bye this week. The Bears could very well lose to the Lions next Monday night and create an AFC East–esque logjam in the NFC North, and we'll all have to revisit this whole conceit again. Until that upset happens, the best team in football resides in the Windy City."
Either the Apocalypse is coming, or Barnwell's just trying to jinx Da Bears.  Either way, I'm afraid.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ohio State Marching Band Does Video Game

I know Fodor didn't think OSU's band was any good, but I enjoyed this.

NFL QBs Twitter Account

This is a solid recap of what QBs say to each other on online. Trust me, click the link

Podcast coming soon, I promise.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dan's Week 3 Pick Em

I figured I should throw another post in here, so here goes my picks for week 3.

  • Chicago over St Louis
  • Dallas beating Tampa Bay 
  • Buffalo edging out Cleveland 
  • Detroit blowing out Tennessee 
  • Andrew Luck leading Indianapolis over Jacksonville
  • The Jets beating the Dolphins (look for a bigger role for Tebow this game) 
  • San Francisco destroying Minnesota 
  • New Orleans looks like nothing happened this week as they beat the Chiefs 
  • Washington beats Cincinnati 
  • Arizona beats Philly 
  • Atlanta beats San Diego 
  • Houston gets revenge on Peyton Manning by beating Denver soundly
  • Pittsburgh easily wins over Oakland 
  • Baltimore gets revenge for Cundiff's blunder last year and beats New England 
  • Green Bay has no problem beating the team with the best Monday night record the Seattle Seahawks.
  • And my not so bold prediction that overlaps all the games is that the officiating will continue to be flat out terrible.

Happy Week 3 Everybody!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cuban KOs Skip

We've all dreamed of doing this.  Only Mark Cuban could quite pull it off.  I think, if I could just watch Jay Mariotti get pistol-whipped and Steve Rosenbloom fall into a pit of hungry wild boars, my life would now be complete. Enjoy:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

SEC Still Sucks at Scheduling Out Of Conference

Everyone knows I hate SEC scheduling.  See here , well I just got some more ammo.

To everyone who says the SEC has finally stepped up their out of conference scheduling is still full of crap.

Georgia has left the south once in the past 3 decades to play Arizona State
Florida hasn't played an out of conference game outside the state of Florida since 1992

Now Alabama is too scared to do a home and home with Wisconsin

Alvarez, who handled scheduling when he coached the Badgers from 1990 to ’05, said Bielema countered with an offer to play a home-and-home series with the Crimson Tide — no specific years were discussed — but that Alabama coach Nick Saban declined.

If it keeps working for them, why change it. Bet this won't even change when playoff is around.
I am so glad IU Athletic director Glass called out the SEC for being a bunch of weaklings in his letter to Kentucky when they broke off IU's

Monday, June 25, 2012

Euro Cup Final 3

There are only four teams left, but only 3 competitors left in our little Euro Cup pool. With my string of bad luck continuing neither of my two teams advanced and offically ending this crappy event for me.

Fodor has two teams left (Portugal and Italy), but neither will be the favorite in their semifinal game on Wed/Thursday.

Of the 4 teams left, 3 of them were the first 3 taken (Germany, Spain and Portugal) while Italy was taken 6th behind my great picks of the dutch and France.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Euro 2012 Group Stage Final Standings

Shark who was stalking 1st place during the 2nd round of games had 3 victories worth 9 points in round three which propelled his team to the win. His choice of the Czech Republic over Ireland was the key to his victory, had he gone the other way, he would have lost.

Former leader Ryan got no points from teams not named Germany in round 3 which dropped him all the way to third despite having the highest scoring group stage team Germany. Germany had more points, 9, then his other 3 teams combined 7.

Fodor finished 2nd getting wins from his #1 and #2 teams in round 3 from Portugal and Italy.

I finished dead last, 12 points behind the leader thanks to my #1 pick, the Netherlands getting 0 (the only other team to not get a tie or win was last pick Ireland).

Here are the final standings

Team Rankings Points Back Tie Breaker
Shark 1
Fodor 2 -6 3
Ryan 3 -7 -5
Noffke 4 -12 -3

Points +/-
Noffke 11 -3
Netherlands 0 -3
France 4 0
Greece 4 0
Sweden 3 0

Shark 23 5
Spain 7 5
England 7 2
Denmark 3 -1
Czech Republic 6 -1

Fodor 17 3
Portugal 6 1
Italy 5 2
Croatia 4 1
Poland 2 -1

Ryan 16 -5
Germany 9 3
Russia 4 2
Ukraine 3 -2
Ireland 0 -8

Now we move on to the elimination round. Here are the teams each drafter has left. 


France vs Spain
Greece vs Germany


Spain vs France
England vs Italy
Czech Republic vs Portugal


Portugal vs Czech Republic
Italy vs England


Germany vs Greece

Friday, June 15, 2012

Euro 2012 Standings 06/14/12

After an exciting rounds of games yesterday, the leaderboard in the ACSS pool is starting to get tighter.

Italy went to a tie with Croatia which put's Fodor's number 2 pick in a tough situation. Assuming Croatia and Spain tie, Italy has to win by 3 or more goals to move on into the elimination stage. Lucky for them, they are playing Ireland who just let in 4 goals against defensive minded Spain.

Going into the tournament, I was pretty sure Czech Republic was the worst team, I think it's pretty clear that it's Ireland.

Fodor and Tim are tied again and even the tied with the +/- of goals scored. Each of them have now moved within 2 points of Ryan, who's only team, Ireland, lost yesterday. Tim has a slight advantage since he still has one team, England, to play their 2nd game of the tournament. Ryan can expand his lead today with Ukraine going.

I am still in dead last with 0 teams playing yesterday. I still only have 2 ties on my resume and 0 victories. My #1 pick is a dead man walking, Greece isn't that good, and Sweden missed it's best chance by blowing a 1-0 to Ukraine. Basically I have to cheer for France to do well, and who wants that.

Team Rankings Points Back Tie Breaker
Ryan 1
Fodor 2 -2 2
Shark 3 -2 2
Noffke 4 -11 -4

Points +/-
Noffke 2 -4
Netherlands 0 -2
France 1 0
Greece 1 -1
Sweden 0 -1

Shark 11 2
Spain 4 4
England 1 0
Denmark 3 0
Czech Republic 3 -2

Fodor 11 2
Portugal 3 0
Italy 2 0
Croatia 4 2
Poland 2 0

Ryan 13 0
Germany 6 2
Russia 4 3
Ukraine 3 1
Ireland 0 -6

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Euro 2012 Standing

Through 6 days of competition there has been a lot of twist and turns. Some teams have shined and others and flopped (Cough Netherlands Cough Cough. Honestly who drafted them. The race is still up in the air and I will update the blog daily with standings and Updates.

Even though some teams are very close to clinching, Germany Russia, every team still has a chance to advance.

Ryan has a comfortable lead with 13 point based on the strength of the Germans, #1 pick, and Russia.

 Fodor and Tim were tied after all teams with round 1 and had the lead over Fodor yesterday, but didn't get any points while Fodor's #1 pick Portugal scored a victory for him.

I am in deadlast 11 points back. None of my teams have won yet only having 2 ties. As I look at my roster, I don't know how I can come back and win the group stage.

Team Rankings Points Back Tie Breaker
Ryan 1
Fodor 2 -4 2
Shark 3 -5 -2
Noffke 4 -11 -4

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Euro 2012 Draft

Alright, since no one reads this anymore, the draft will run through here.

Rules are the same as the World Cup 2010.

  • Each drafter gets 4 teams
  • Two rounds, Group Stage and Tournament Winner. Group Stage winner is drafted team with the most points.
  • Long Draft. There is no time limit on when the pick will go through. All picks have to be done by first kick.

Alright, here's the 4 groups

Group A

  1. Poland
  2. Greece
  3. Russia
  4. Czech Republic
Group B

  1. Netherlands
  2. Denmark
  3. Germany
  4. Portugal
Group C

  1. Spain
  2. Italy
  3. Ireland
  4. Croatia
Group D

  1. Ukraine
  2. Sweden
  3. France
  4. England

Here's the draft order according to excel.

  1. Ryan
  2. Shark
  3. Fodor
  4. Noffke

Round 1

  1.  Ryan: Germany
  2.  Shark: Spain
  3.  Fodor: Portugal
  4.  Noffke: Netherlands
Round 2

  1. Noffke: France
  2. Fodor: Italy
  3. Shark: England
  4. Ryan: Russia
Round 3

  1. Ryan: Ukraine
  2. Shark: Denmark
  3. Fodor: Croatia
  4. Noffke: Greece
Round 4

  1. Noffke: Sweden
  2. Fodor: Poland
  3. Shark: Czech Republic
  4. Ryan: Ireland

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mandel Mailbag

For the 2nd time in my life, my question made it to Stewart Mandel's Mailbag. I received a prestigious honor of being the closing question.

If you listen to his podcast, I have had my questions read a handful of times on there too. Always fun to have your question answered.

I would recommend writing to Stewart, even when my questions don't make it into the mailbag, he has still spent time to personally write me back.

Armchair Superstar Soccer Pool

 As you all may recall, we did a draft and a pool for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. I know I had a lot fun with it and was planning on doing something similar this year for the 2012 Euro Cup which starts June 6th. I started doing some prep work on it and realized, there’s only 16 teams in the field, half the amount of the World Cup.

So this creates a problem. If we do a 8 man pool like we did for the World Cup, each person will only get two teams. Part of me likes this as you will throw your support behind these two teams then if you attention was split into 4 teams. However, this also increasing the likelihood of having ties in the group stage portion of the event.

 4 people picking 8 teams decrease the potential winning and the difficulty of winning. Of these two, I don’t know which I like better.

 Two other options I have considered is......

 Having each country able to be drafted twice. This way we can keep the pool at 8 people with 32 teams. However, this creates problems with splitting the Euro Cup Prize.

 Doing a draft, where each person can pick 1 team from the 4 pots of teams that qualified. This would only be for the group stage and not for the elimination stage. That part I don’t know what to do with.

As you can see, I don’t know what I want to do. Let me know your thoughts.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

2012 First Round NFL Mock Draft

Alright, (I would say ladies and gents, but lets be honest) Steve and Fodor, here is my 2012 First Round NFL Mock Draft.

1) Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck QB

I don't get how people write full paragraphs for this pick. It's a done deal. Everyone has known  he was going number one overall for like three years. He's a great college QB, we will see if that translates to the NFL.

2) Washington Redskins - Ryan Leaf err Robert Griffin III QB

He's nothing like Ryan Leaf. The only reason I said that is because it's two extraordinarily highly touted QB's getting drafted. Some say RGIII is better. He's got all the tools you'd ever want a QB to have. But, I do think he'll work a lot harder at his game and be more successful than Ryan Leaf ever dreamed of. But this is another obvious pick. Had to do something to create writing room.

3) Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil LT

Another obvious pick. It's going to happen. Get ready for it.

4) Cleveland Browns - Justin Blackmon WR

If you're the Browns who do you take? For me, if they are truly trying to make Colt McCoy better than they draft Justin Blackmon. Which is why I have them making that pick. But I could see them going another direction too.

5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Trent Richardson RB

It's occurred to me that this draft really has some strong statement players coming out. Trent Richardson is the best RB product since what? Ronnie Brown (I wrote that and started laughing out loud)? The Bucs did say at one point that they need better production from the RB position. If I'm the Bucs, I'd never consider taking a RB this early. But, some of these GM's are dumb. So, oh well.

6) St. Louis Rams - Morris Claiborne CB

I think he'll be a bust. But everyone is high on this kid. So, that is why I have him mocked here. For me, its hard to imagine, but it appears, right now at least, that for three consecutive years, LSU will have the top CB in the draft (Peterson, Claiborne, Honey Badger next year). But that can always change.

7)  Jacksonville Jaguars - Melvin Ingram DE

The Lions got made fun of for always selecting WR's. The Jags need to be made fun of for selecting defensive lineman. While it would be admirable, they seem to be blowing top 10 picks on bad players at quite the large clip. Melvin Ingram is a high risk high reward player if you ask me. Either his athleticism will take over and he will be great or he will bust out. I don't see an inbetween on this guy. There is no, he'll be a solid starter. For me, he'll either be great or horrible. The perfect player for the Jaguars. What happened to the days of Fred Taylor, Jimmy Smith, Kennan McKardell, and Mark Brunell. This team is bad. And they wasted a pick last year on the guy everyone knew was going to be a bust too: Blaine Gabbert. He was the JaMarcus Russell of last years draft.

8) Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill  QB

I'll give him props on his first name. This is a no brainer pick for the Dolphins. I think I'm going to root for this kid. Us Ryan's, we gotta stick together. There are only a few of us out there with that name in the US. By the way, did I mention that what I absolutely love about this kid is his name?

9) Carolina Panthers - Michael Floyd WR

The Panthers reach a bit in order to try to improve their offense. I don't know how I feel about Floyd, I think he can be a guy that can get you 1,000 yards receiving. But he won't be that guy every year. A solid number 2 receiver. Which, to me, means that he's being taken too early.

10) Buffalo Bills - Riley Reiff OT

It seems like they are going to let Bell go. Either that, or they will select Reiff to gain leverage on Reiff. Either way, I think they go with him here.

11) Kansas City Chiefs - Dontari Poe DT

Now that the genius behind the Chiefs drafting system has taken the GM job with another team, they draft another obvious bust. This kid flew up the charts because of his combine. Generally, that's a player that you don't take. Their NT is getting old. Will retire in a year or two. They desperately need a new one. And for whatever reason, they think this kid is going to be great. WRONG.

12) Seattle Seahawks - Kendall Wright WR

Luke Kuechly makes too much sense for them. That's why they select Kendall Wright. At this point we have the first monumental reach of the draft, and everyone is in disbelief. This is a Pete Carroll move. I do think they need help at WR though.

13) Arizona Cardinals - Fletcher Cox DT

He really should have been the first defensive lineman taken. However, for no reason other than poor drafting, he isn't drafted until he drops to the Cardinals. I'd be ecstatic if I were them. Congrats Arizona.

14) Dallas Cowboys - Luke Kuelchy

The Cowboys defense sucks, and like the Cardinals, they are just incredibly happy he dropped to them. After they make this pick, ESPN will be shouting Super Bowl Dallas! They have every position locked down now! THEY ARE GREAT! Except they won't be great. They may make the playoffs. But they won't be great.

15) Philadelphia Eagles - David DeCastro OG

Their offensive line was miserable last year. It caused Michael Vick to stay in the pocket and get sacked. Otherwise, he would roll out and sprint down the field, alas himself. I know they drafted a guard last year, but they go that position again. Especially since he is the top guard available.

16) New York Jets - Mark Barron SS

To me, this pick just makes too much sense. The Jets add more secondary help, ignoring the fact that their QB's suck. Really, you're going to put two shitty QB's on  the same team and think it makes you better. Thatt's like the Bears saying: Let's put Caleb Hanie and Todd Collins out there together. Because, while they both suck individually, they can do wonders together. In other words, Jets draft Mark Barron.

17) Cincinnati Bengals - Stephen Gilmore CB

The Bengals want to improve their defense, so they land Stephen Gilmore. A solid selection. Not the best CB available, but certainly their favorite CB. This is another position that I'm not too keen on drafting in the first round. There are just so many solid CBs taken in the later rounds. Same with guards and running backs. Unless you've got the ability to land a Champ Bailey, Adrian Peterson, or Stephen Hutchinson I just wouldn't draft these players this early. Late first round, fine, but not here.

18) San Diego Chargers - Courtney Upshaw -OLB/DE

He fits perfectly into their scheme and the Chargers desperately need a pass rusher. This pick just makes too much sense.

19) Chicago Bears - Quentin Coples DE

This just reeks of the Chicago Bears. I think he is the best DE in this class. For whatever reason, I think teams are being too harsh on this kid grading himself out at a C for his performance last year. Teams seem to be letting this, otherwise, top 5 pick plummet down their boards because he didn't give it his all last year. Here is what they are missing. He was answering HONESTLY when teams asked him to rate his performance. He was letting them know that there is still much more that he can do. And the C grade almost shows some regret for his performance over the past year.This kid is an elite prospect, in my mind. And he may end up being Julius Peppers 2.0. Except, this time, he lands on the Bears to start his career. I would be ecstatic if the Bears landed Coples. I'd also be ecstatic if the Bears got Stephen Hill, who I have a feeling will be Randy Moss 2.0 except without the attitude.

20) Tennessee Titans - Michael Brockers DT

The Titans land the best available defensive tackle. I wouldn't be surprised if they totally reached for a player. They showed last year that they don't care about where the kid is supposed to be taken, they will take who they want when they pick. So, I'm not too confident in this pick.

21) Cincinnati Bengals - Chandler Jones DE

They get the other player they were looking to draft at number 17. They improve their defense this year, so that they don't look quite as ridiculous in the playoffs.

22) Cleveland Browns - Jonathan Martin OT

The Browns continue to focus on helping Colt McCoy succeed. This year they land him a big name wide receiver and help protect his right side. This way, next year, when the Browns totally suck again, they can go ahead and draft another QB in the first round.

23) Detroit Lions - Mike Adams OT

The Lions focus their efforts in the first round this year to improve their protection. So that way, two of the best pass rushers in the league are slowed down a bit (Julius Peppers and Jared Allen). Yes, that was meant as a slight to the most overrated, steroid abusing, player in the NFL.

24) Pittsburgh Steelers - Cordy Glenn OG

The Steelers really need to protect Ben Roethlisberger. I was tempted to have them go with Donta Hightower. However, the Steelers really need to address their offensive line, and that is the way I think they go.

25) Denver Broncos - Stephen Hill WR

Ugh, I think the Broncos just got one of the best players in the draft. Like I said, I think Hill ends up being Randy Moss 2.0 minus the attitude problem and plus Peyton Manning. I think he is the best WR in this draft. With that said, watch him be a total bust.

26) Houston Texans - Mohamed Sanu WR

The Texans would like to add a compliment to Andre Johnson, so they reach just a bit and nab Sanu. I would mock Jefferey here, but I don't think he's done anything to help himself stay in the first round.

27) New England Patriorts - Whitney Mercillus DE

The Patriots try to improve their defense and pass rush. They could really use some help in that department and Mercillus could end up being a great defensive end. The Patriots are shocked he fell this far in the draft.

28) Green Bay Packers - Devon Still DT

The Packers desperately need interior defensive line help. Their lack of any sort of a pass rush was telling last year. It caused them to set records for being blown out in the playoffs. As it stands, they have absolutely no one who can effectively rush the passer. Last year, Matthews was getting manhandled by a single TE. He's so overrated it's unreal. I watched him on nearly every snap last year. He was nearly always getting single blocked and just manhandled. It was embarrassing.

29) Baltimore Ravens - Dont'a Hightower LB

Wow, the Ravens have yet another amazing pick. I think he's the best linebacker in the draft. The perfect future replacement for Ray Lewis.

30) San Francisco 49ers - Alshon Jefferey WR

The 49ers are in desperate need for a wide receiver. They need an offense, and for whatever reason, they are under the mistaken impression that Alex Smith can actually lead them somewhere. So, they go ahead and select Jefferey in the first.

31) New England Patriots - Dre Kirkpatrick CB

The Patriots not only land Mercillus, but they land the best CB in the draft in my opinion. I loved watching this kid fly around the field in the few Alabama games that I watched. It's shocking that he falls this far, but that happens to some people. This is a great selection for the Patriots.

32) New York Giants - Coby Fleener TE

The Giants add another weapon for Eli. They really haven't had all that much production out of the tight end position since Jeremy Shockey left. He's the perfect fit for the New York Giants, as they attempt to repeat as NFL Champions. But, we all know that won't happen. This will be the Bears pick next year.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

ESPN is totally not the Eastcoast Sports Propaganda Network

Anybody out there see what was on ESPN during primetime last night. Boston Celtics vs the Orlando Magic on ESPN and Boston Red Sox vs Texas Rangers. “

Don’t worry, we are biased, we are just showing two Boston games cause………”

I understand ESPN is in the Business of making money and these two Boston teams draw ratings, but come on. Thankfully Hockey was on my new favorite network, NBC Sports.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Trivia. NBA MVPs

Welcome back to Monday Trivia. As always, the answers will be up in the comments on Thursday.

Since 1990, 4 NBA teams have had 2 different players win the MVP award. Name the 4 teams and the 8 players who won the awards.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

MLB Preview and Predictions

Time to fire up the old Laptop and do some MLB predicting based on my extensive baseball knowledge.

Before we get into the predicting, let’s quickly discuss the biggest offseason news. The addition of a 2nd Wild Card team. I am not sure if I am a fan of this or not. I understand it keeps teams competitive longer, and can make for exciting races toward the end. But the MLB Playoffs already drag on so much which causes the games to be played differently than regular season. I think that adding additional games and days off will make this worse.

The story line that is being told over and over again is How the Blue Jays and Orioles now have a chance to make the playoffs since there’s two wild card spots! It’s impossible for the Yankees and Red Sox to take all three spots. First off, I don’t hear the Rays complaining about the old system. Even though they play in the same division as the Blue Jays and Orioles, they’ve still managed to make the playoffs 3 of the past 4 seasons. Secondly, Boston and New York have only both made the playoffs in the same season 1 time in the past 4 years. So just stop this stupid story line now.

As you know this is a very pro White Sox site and I believe we all predicted they would win the World Series last year. As amazing as this sounds, I am predicting the White Sox will have a losing season and finish 4th in the AL central.

There has been a lot of turnover on the south side with the departure of Ozzie, Mark Buehrle taking their talents to south beach, Carlos Quentin heading back to the NL among others. This season will be about whether there is any life left in Adam Dunn & Alex Rios and if the young guys, Viciedo and Flowers can become regulars in the lineup. I think Dunn has a bounce back year, not to his peak numbers but hits around 30 HR and that Viciedo becomes a ROY candidate.

The pitching staff will need Peavy to stay healthy as the White Sox really don’t have another pitcher ready to be an every day starter. Danks and Flloyd should have solid years and it should be interesting to see how Chris Sale works as an every day starter.

White Sox record: 74-88

The rest of the League with some commentary.

AL East: Tampa Bay Rays

Joe Madden just keeps his team going. How they got into the playoffs last year shows they will always keep fighting. Red Sox and Yankees will still have good seasons and will make it to the Wild Card game. I think the Blue Jays will have a good year as well, but ultimately finish somewhere around 500

AL Central: Detroit Tigers

Everyone is picking the Tigers to win the division. As Mike Greenberg said, “Is there a more overwhelming favorite then Detroit to win their division?” Because of this, part of me thinks something wacky might happen and the Twins will somehow find a way to win the Division. Maybe the Royals will be so excited by the All-Star game coming to KC that they’ll play awesome and win the Division. That’s only a half joke, the Royals have a lot of young talent, if that talent plays well and they mature early, they could make some noise this season.

AL West: Rangers

I think this race will be the best in baseball. The Angels made a lot of offseason moves included stealing CJ Wilson from the Rangers. This one will come down to the wire. Also, look for Josh Hamilton to have a monster year in a contract year.

Wild Card Game

Angels over Yankees


Angels over Tigers
Rangers over Rays


Rangers over Angels

MVP: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
Cy Young: Jered Weaver, Angels
ROY: Matt Moore, Rays

NL East: Marlins

There’s too much excitement in Miami for the Marlins not to have a good year. New stadium that everyone is raving about with Fish Tanks, and Nightclubs inside. They brought in a ton of free agents and of course the always colorful Ozzie.

NL Central: Brewers

The BeerMakers did lose Prince Fielder, but return much of their playoff team from last year. I look for Zack Grienke to have a good year.

NL West: Giants

Big Time Timmy Jim and co. should have another good year, but the team’s success will be based of whether they can score any runs. The Diamandbacks have a good year, but only make the wild card. Dodgers are in too much limbo with the ownership situation to compete,

Wild Card Game

Diamondbacks over Phillies


Marlins over Diamondbacks
Giants over Brewers


Marlins over Giants

MVP: Joey Votto, Reds
Cy Young: Tim Lincecum, Giants
ROY: Bryce Harpe, Nationals


World Series Champion…………….Texas Rangers

Monday, March 12, 2012

Big Ten Bracket Challenge Winner!

After a great weekend of basketball it’s time to declare a winner for Mine and Fodor’s bracket challenge. To the surprise to no one who saw Fodor pick Indiana over Northwestern in the championship, I rolled to victory. I double his score and won 12-6.

Here is the break down.

Round 1 2 3 4 Total
Noffke 2 6 4 0 12
Fodor 2 4 0 0 6

Amazingly, there was only 1 time a lower ranked team defeated the higher ranked team which was when Ohio State beat Michigan in the semi-finals. I picked this right and got the lone bonus point for the tourney. According to CBS’ broadcast, this was the first time in Big Ten Tourney history that the 4 top teams all made it to the semi-finals.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Indianapolis Day One

Dearest Readers,

I write to you as a (partially) broken man. The Northwestern Wildcats could have punched their ticket to the schools' FIRST EVER NCAA Tournament today by beating Minnesota. Granted, Minnesota had the advantage of missing Ralph Sampson III (secretly, that dude is terrible), and getting Julian Welch back from injury (secretly, that dude is good). But this was the game for John Shurna to make himself a legend. This was the goddamned game for Northwestern to make The Leap.

Of course, it didn't happen. To quote some of my own text messages, being a Wildcats basketball fan is like being in an abusive relationship; every time the thing goes wrong, you know it's coming, you expect it, and yet you keep coming back for one more shot. You think this time, the f'ing thing will go right, everything will be okay, you'll get over the hump...

Northwestern made ONE field goal in the last NINE minutes of this game, including overtime. I don't blame Dave Sobelewski for missing his runner at the buzzer that would have won the game. It was a decent shot. I can't even really blame John Shurna for looking absolutely exhausted for the last twelve to fifteen minutes, because the whole game was on his shoulders and Rodney Williams is an extremely athletic defender who did a great job on the Big Ten's leading scorer today.

I don't even know what to do or say with this team. The NU part of my heart is broken tonight. Lucky for me, I'm a duplicitous bastard, and there are several other heart-parts to report on. So, enough Cat angst for the moment. To quote another text message: "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck."

How 'bout them Hoosiers? I think the first and most important thing is Verdell Jones. VJ3 has been a touchy subject for a lot of IU fans, including myself. His tendency to turn it over has been well documented. But then again, so has his ability to be a calming influence on this young team. So has his tendency, down the stretch, to hit huge shots and salt away big games.

Tom Crean in tears says a lot. This is a big loss for Indiana and we all wish the best for Verdell. He deserves to experience the tournament. He's been a huge part of the rebuilding process.

That being said, Indiana played really well today. Huge games from Christian Watford and Cody Zeller, who combined for twenty rebounds and over thirty points. If they can do that with regularity, IU is going to go deep in both this conference tournament and the NCAA's.

Jordan Hulls absolutely carried IU through a bad dry spell in the first and matched Tim Frazier, who is first team All Big Ten, shot for shot. That's also awesome. Oh, and Vic played fine. And the bench played well.

Tomorrow's slate of games is looking good. We start out with Michigan State vs. Iowa at noon. I'm a huge Draymond Green fan, but I've also been impressed with Iowa's improvement over the course of the season. They lost to Campbell in November. Uh, who? Campbell? Northern Iowa beat Iowa by twenty in December. They're not even making the NIT.

Yet Iowa pulled themselves together down the stretch and beat Indiana and Wisconsin at home, adding to a win over Michigan. 8-10 isn't bad at all in the Big Ten. Ask Northwestern how hard it is to have that kind of record this year. I think MSU is going to win tomorrow, but I would not be shocked if Matt Gatens, Aaron White, and the Hawkeyes made things extremely interesting.

Indiana-Wisconsin is a matter of pacing. If Wisconsin dictates the pace, expect a boring game with Cody Zeller contained. If Indiana can do their thing, they absolutely outclass the Badgers at this point in the season. Better offense, better depth, almost a wash on D, and Indiana is way hotter. I'm obviously hoping for an Indiana win and will be doing my best to be just a small part of The Sixth Man. Go Hoosiers. This game will kind of make or break our Big Tens experience this year as fans.

Michigan-Minnesota shoulda been Michigan-NU Round III. Damn it. I don't even want to talk about this. I'll watch the game. These teams are well coached and have good players. Yeah.

Ohio State-Purdue will draw almost as big of a crowd as IU-Wisco. I expect Conseco to be rowdy for this one, with OSU also adding the advantage of a loud and possibly drunken IU fanbase rooting for them for once. We tried to will Nebraska to victory today. It was like adopting a crippled puppy. Bo Spencer made things cute, for a little bit. Ultimately it was hopeless.

I rather expect that Purdue will be in the hopeless puppy role tomorrow against a motivated Ohio State team. William Buford needs to act like a senior, because he IS a senior. Sullinger doesn't have a lot of challenges in the post against the Boilers.

Revised picks? MSU over Iowa in OT, Indiana over Wisconsin, Minnesota over Michigan (hell, why not?), and Ohio State over Purdue. Sorry for no pictures, thanks for reading. I love you all.

Signing off from Indianapolis,


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Cubs Win the World Series.....via PS3

Amazing how good CGI is, you can now make the Cubs look like a good team and actually believe it.

Big Ten Tourney Picks

Okay, I'm going to do this very quickly, because I haven't read the below article yet and I don't want it to influence my picks.


IOWA over Illinois
INDIANA over Penn State
NORTHWESTERN over Minnesota
NEBRASKA over Purdue


INDIANA over Wisconsin
NORTHWESTERN over Michigan
OHIO STATE over Nebraska


INDIANA over Michigan State
NORTHWESTERN over Ohio State


INDIANA over Northwestern.

...ya know, they say not to gamble on the teams you love, but screw it, it's the Big Ten Tournament! So there you have it. Hell, Snuffles, I was goanna buy a bottle for that weekend anyway.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Big Ten Tourny Bracket

I am finally making my glorious return to the Website. Why is that? It’s March Madness BABY! March is my 2nd favorite month of the year, mainly for the madness. I have already enjoyed some of the mid major brackets, 2 OT games last night and there’s a W. Kentucky blog sighting on ESPN2 right now. I am looking forward to Valparaiso Detriot tonight and pretty much any other action I can watch.

The main reason for this article though is, BIG TEN TOURNY!

Fodor and I are going head to head (If other ACSS writers want in cough Ryan cough cough Tim) we’d be down too.

Scoring is as follows.

Round 1: 1 Point
Round 2: 2 Points
Semi: 3 Points
Champions: 4 Points

1 Bonus point for correct upset picks.

Game 1.

#8 Iowa vs #9 Illinois

The Pick: Illinois

The Reason: I actually think Iowa will win this game, but I’m making this pick for 3 reasons.

1. The whole Leornard Meyers and his brother’s surprise story (
2. Illinois’ campus is actually pretty close to Indy, so they should have a decent showing of support
3. This game is kind of a tossup in my mind, so I’ll take the bonus point for picking the upset.

#5 Indiana vs #12 Penn State

The Pick: Indiana

The Reason: Hoosier biased pick here. Penn State could give the Hoosiers some headaches and it is really hard to beat 1 team in the same season 3 times. Saying that, this is practically a home game and Indiana is way better.

#7 Northwestern vs #10 Minnesota

The Pick: Northwestern

The Reason: Part of me really wants to pick Minnesota, but Northwestern needs a win or two in this tourney to get their first ever ticket punched. What more motivation then that.

#6 Purdue vs #11 Nebraska

The Reason: Practically a home game for Purdue, Hummel will be motivated after fouling out in his last Big Ten regular season game. Also does anyone in Nebraska even know their team is playing? Purdue wins big

Round 2

#1 Michigan State vs #9 Illinois

The Pick: Michigan State

The Reason: Day Day is the best player in this game and won’t let his team lose their opening round game. Izzo excels in the tournaments. Just don’t see how Illinois wins

#4 Wisconsin vs #5 Indiana

The Pick:

The Reason: I actually think Indiana is the better team even though they are the lower ranked team. Wisconsin did better in the Big Ten but Indiana has the better overall resume. Indiana did lose to Wisconsin earlier in the year in Madison. Bo Ryan does get his team to play very smart and make no mistakes, but I don’t see them winning this game.

#2 Michigan vs #7 Northwestern

The Pick: Michigan

The Reason: I do feel Northwestern is a tournament team, but Michigan is the better overall team. I love watching Novak and Hardway Jr play and think they take care of business here.

#3 Ohio State vs #6 Purude

The Pick Ohio State

The Reason: Jared Sullinger. Purdue doesn’t match up well against Ohio State. They have no one who can really guard Sulligner and aren’t nearly as deep as the Buckeyes.

Round 3

#1 Michigan State vs #5 Indiana

The Pick: Indiana

The Reason: I think Indiana is going to play MSU the same way they did the last time they played each other. They will let Day Day get his, but play lock down defense on every other Michigan State player. The Hooisers have been playing with a little bit of swager lately and will use the friend neutral court crowd to advance to the Big Ten Finals

#2 Michigan vs # 3 Ohio State

The Pick: Ohio State

The Reason: Despite the fact Ohio State lost the last game of the season and finished last in the 3 way tie for first, I still think they are the most complete team in the Big Ten and that is why I’m picking them to win this game and…..

#3 Ohio State vs #5 Indiana

The Pick: Ohio Sate

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday With the Ocho

Caught three good games online today, thanks to ESPN3 ("The Ocho"). West Virginia-Syracuse from the Carrier Dome, followed by Freddy Hoiberg's Iowa State Cyclones upsetting Kansas in Ames, and then back home to the Big Ten for Purdue-Northwestern. Here's a few thoughts on each before I preview the Indiana-Iowa matchup tomorrow and maybe write about some other stuff.

West Virginia - Syracuse

The ending of this game was extremely controversial, as officials missed what appeared to be a clear goaltending call that would have tied the score with five seconds to play. After further examination... yep, that was definitely a goaltend. 'Cuse escapes.

The Mountaineers have always been one of those programs that I have a random soft spot for, since the days of the legendary Kevin Pittsnogle, back when John Beilein was coaching there instead of at Michigan. This year's team looks pretty good.

Senior forward Kevin Jones is a beast and will be in the POY conversation for the entire country (Pomeroy has him ranked at #9 overall right now). Truck Bryant is a streaky but entertaining point guard. So I like those guys. I think West Virginia's Euro guy with the beard needs to learn how to pass the ball in the post.

Big win for 'Cuse at home. That's a deep team. Are they title contenders? Of course. Do I think they're goanna win? Not really. Too reliant on that 2-3 zone, and no superstar, though Dion Waiters comes close.

Iowa State - Kansas

Ames, Iowa is upset city! The kids stormed the court after the Cyclones beat Kansas today. Iowa State has been getting a lot of attention on recently, with profiles on Fred Hoiberg and his rebuilding job as well as a puff piece on Minnesota transfer Royce White (I shouldn't hate, it's actually a pretty good read if you can stand the cheese.)

White is a star, no doubt, and this team looks well coached and well balanced. They made some serious clutch plays today and solidified their tournament resume.

Kansas doesn't have a whole lot to worry about from the loss. Iowa State is a good team, and they were at home with a raucous crowd. Tyshawn Taylor and POY frontrunner Thomas Robinson are still enough for Kansas to make a deep tourney run.

Scouting report extra: I think one HUGE factor in this game was Kansas center Jeff Withey sitting with foul trouble late. Iowa State may have provided the rest of the Big 12 (uhhh.. Big... how many teams do they have now?) with something of a blueprint.

Purdue - Northwestern

Robbie Hummel hit a leaner with eight seconds left that provided the margin in a typical low-scoring Big Ten nailbiter. Huge shot for him. Isn't his back supposed to have blown out by this point in the season?

On the other end, Northwestern couldn't get a clean shot off as John Shurna bricked a three at the buzzer that was reminiscent of the Bracey Wright era at IU - thirty feet deep, off glass, nowhere close. Oops.

Northwestern desperately needs to start winning some conference games. Purdue, like West Virginia and Iowa State, looks to be in decent shape for an at-large bid. Northwestern needs more players. I'm pretty sure they're going with a seven-man rotation, and that's just not goanna get it done. Luka Mirkovic, Jer'shon Cobb, where are you guys?

Previewing Indiana-Iowa

Let's keep this short and sweet. Iowa has not sucked too badly this year. They have already beaten Wisconsin and Minnesota on the road, and Michigan at home. Indiana must not overlook this team.

The Hawkeyes' weakness is their defense. Indiana is at their best when they score the ball. They managed to score 70+ points on some of the best defenses in the nation in Kentucky and Ohio State earlier this season, so you know they have firepower. It's time to rediscover it.

Our team defense isn't bad, but this is an Indiana team that should be scoring a lot of points every single game. If Iowa's weak sauce D (Pomeroy has them rated 183rd in the country) causes the Hoosiers any trouble tomorrow, we're in for a looooong second half of the season in Bloomington. Just make some shots and run away from the Hawks.

Like the Penn State game last week, this is an absolute must win for Crean, Cody, and the rest of the Hoosiers.


The Bears hired a new GM in Phil Emery. He was the clubhouse favorite to get the job. I'm not covering the NFL until March Madness is over, dammit. Noffke?

The Bulls got a huge game out of Derrick Rose and beat Milwaukee to move to 17-5 on the season. This team is just grinding in a tough year for the entire NBA. The playoffs are going to be nuts. I'm expecting injuries to play a huge role in who goes deep - the favorites are the Bulls, Heat, and Thunder, but with games almost every day, staying healthy seems like a crapshoot.

Indiana-Wisconsin was decided, in my mind, by Cody Zeller's foul-plagued evening. It's too bad he didn't do better, because his brother Tyler put up 21pts/17rebs as UNC smacked NC State in the mouth Thursday. Woulda been cool to have a double Zeller showcase. T. Zeller and John Henson are a terrifying frontcourt if you're a smaller team. I'm pencilling them into the Elite Eight, at least.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Don't Call It a Comeback (Please)

I finally caved and bought a yearlong subscription to Ken Pomeroy's genius college basketball website, It's possible I may have mentioned this advanced stats site to some of you before.

So in order to make my $19.99 pay for itself, it's about damn time to get back to AMATEUR SPORTSWRITING! Wahoo! (You can call it a comeback when I manage to stick to a writing schedule for more than one day.)

It also helps that the Big Ten is having the most exciting men's college hoops season I can remember, and that Indiana is back in the mix. Here's the plan. I'm going to try to write an article at least once per off-day (Saturday, Monday, Thursday), focusing mostly on this incredibly awesome basketball season, and of course the Hoosiers, Northwestern Wildcats, the Big Ten, and maybe even the Bulls in particular.

Enough jibber jabber. I'm shakin' the rust off, baby. Indiana gets Wisconsin at the Kohl Center tonight at 9, which means it's Yogi's Time (gunning for a corporate sponsorship by March...). Here's a little preview. Inside the Hall does a better job of these things than me, by the way, and you can check them out at their FREE site. Take that, peegs.


1. Oladipo's defense on Jordan Taylor. Taylor killed us last year - courtesy ITH's Justin Albers, "the Wisconsin guard ruined two upset attempts by scoring a combined 67 points in two meetings last season." If he goes off again, we're in some trouble. However, Victor has had to guard Bo Spencer and Tim Frazier now in the last two games, who happen to be the conference's other undersized do-everything guards.

If he's learned anything from the last two games, and can hold Taylor to under or around twenty, that's huge. 'Dipo doesn't need to force a lot of turnovers, just contest every shot and not foul much.

2. Cody Zeller needs to get Jared Berggren in foul trouble. Jared who? Berggren was a godawful reserve last year (think Capobianco level bad) but has turned into a solid scorer and inside presence as a junior. He's also the Badgers' only player over 6'6 other than freshman Frank Kaminsky. (That, by the way, is a CLASSIC Wisconsin name right there.)

I don't really need to spell this out. Do like Dicky V says and get Cody the damn ball. Wisco plays good team defense, but Cody can score at will over just about anybody smaller than him, and I think he can own Flat Top Ryan Evans and/or Bruesewitz in the paint if Berggren goes out and leaves them shorthanded.

3. Wake up Christian Watford on offense. Wat's been rebounding well, but not scoring like he's capable of doing. I think IU needs to get to around seventy points to win this game, and we need Christian to get at least 12-14 to get there. Now would be a great time to break out of this little mini-slump and get your name headed toward's people's All-Big Ten lists, buddy. I would say that you can't live off the Kentucky shot forever, but.... well, you can totally live off that shot forever. Please don't.

This is a pretty good Wisconsin team but I think with our superior size and scoring punch we match up surprisingly well. The Badgers are allowing the lowest 3pt percentage of any B10 team and the fifth lowest in the country at 26.4% (thanks, Pomeroy!). Is it the Kohl Center rims? Because if it's not, we may just mess that stat up for them pretty badly tonight.

Indiana 72 - Wisco 66

Random Notes:

Michigan vs. Michigan State last week was one of the best games I've seen all year, thanks to ESPN3 for televising (computering?) it and a great job by the ESPN crew catching Denard Robinson in the student section partying his ass off and having a blast like the star quarterback at a major state university ought to be doing. Oh, and supporting his fellow student-athletes, of course.

Draymond Green is my favorite non-Indiana player in the Big Ten. I love his attitude, I love watching him play. His court demeanor reminds me of DJ White as a senior. This is a Very Good Thing. It's been cool watching him grow into a leader at Michigan State. By the way, that braces picture? That's the #1 image result for "Draymond Green" on Google. Hah.

Northwestern, at 12-7 and having gotten shellacked by Minnesota, is probably looking at the NIT now. Hey, as long as they go to the NIT Final Four, I'm happy. This is Not Such a Good Thing.

Kenpom has this cool thing now where you can see a player's profile year by year, and also guys that have had similar stats throughout the years the site has been up. Will Sheehey's #1 parallel? This year's edition of UNC's Harrison Barnes. I know Barnes hasn't been quite as good as hyped, but he's still been The Guy for the #8 team in the country. That's pretty cool.

By the way, UNC vs. NC State starts at 7, and I'm goanna go watch it. Zeller double feature! (I stole that line). Also an important game for Indiana's NC SOS (that's non-conference strength of schedule).

Matt Roth's #1 parallel, by the way? '11 Jon Diebler. That's almost as good as Sheehey's. It's great to see Roth playing well as a senior.

Thanks for reading and I hope to have a lot more for you as the year goes on. Much love. Go Hoosiers!