Wednesday, October 28, 2009
A lot of very good blogs I read have signature blogs to best display the writer's talents. Whether its a preview or review or opinion pieces I feel it is time for me to unveil my signature blog series. I hope these are a big picture of what you think of when you read Season Tickets.
Every week (around Wednesday) I will post a blog congratulating the top 3 in the past week of sports. This could be an individual player, unit on a team, coach or the team as a whole. They will have to come up big and impress me enough to make this list.
1. Penn State Nittany Lions: If you don't know what Nittany means, well you part of many people who haven't discovered Wikipedia. Not only did you snap a streak against the Wolverines, you thoroughly destroy the Maize n Blue and brought about more questions about the direction of the program. You made Tate "Tater Tot" Forcier look more like the freshman he is, not the savior everyone wants. Darryl Clark showed us how talented he really is, and how much success he has against any team that doesn't rhyme with Smiowa. Penn State still has a very good shot at winning the Big Ten. Michigan still has a very good shot at the Pizza Pizza! Bowl.
2. Alex Rodriguez: This guy has taken a lot of abuse and keeps coming back for more. He used steroids when he was "young" (I am younger than he was, and I know steroids are wrong, it doesn't take Peter Gammons throwing me softballs to explain that) and says hes clean. He cheated on his wife for Kate Hudson. He resigned with the Yankees instead of going to a less rabid market. New York has hated him up until recently when he has put together the best postseason stretch of his career, and will hate him again the next time he screws up or grounds out. But for this brief moment, he has carried a team with a lack of postseason success into the World Series against the defending champs.
3. Arizona Cardinals: Yeah, the Arizona F$%@#ng Cardinals! They went across the country and beat the most complete team in the NFL after the Giants were licking their wounds from that thrashing New Orleans handed them the week before. Kurt Warner looked great in the chilly weather, Beanie Wells finally didn't become a black hole on my Fantasy Football starting lineup and the Cardinals played well in prime time. With the Niners fading and relying on Alex Smith to resurrect his career and their season, the Cards could begin to put it together for another playoff run. Is New York as good as we thought they were or are they slipping a little? I love the NFL.
Monday, October 26, 2009
WMU vs Buffalo: Western played a great back and forth game on a raw cold day in October. Western's homecoming only brought out about 12,000+ fans but the Broncos played well enough to get a win. Right now all I care about are wins and losses. This game is probably the game that decides if we go 6-6 or 7-5. Right now it seems highly unlikely that WMU can upset MSU. Luckily the Broncos feature the cupcake MAC schedule of Kent St, Eastern Michigan and Ball State. Only one home game remains but the Broncos are playing much more to their potential. Tim Hiller continues to smash WMU and MAC records in the twilight of his great college career. We are showing much more depth and promise from their young players than in past seasons. They are a little banged up at wideout. A second straight bowl and third in four years (which is pretty impressive for a mid major team) looks to be very attainable for the Broncos, with a good core of young talent for the future.
Michigan vs Penn State: Penn State destroyed Michigan in ways we haven't seen since last year. RichRod is 3-9 in the Big Ten so far in his career (in a time when the Big Ten is very awful) and the teams looks to be regressing. Tate Forcier (who if you ask a Michigan backer is "always injured") looks to be playing worse than ever before. Given he is a freshman but he is not developing into anything more polished. The defense is still awful and their two best players are Carr recruits and leaving for the NFL next season. Teams like Wisconsin and Michigan State are going to love U of M's smaller front seven while they run all over it for the next few years. A bowl is still very likely but expecting more out the Wolverines is too much right now.
MSU vs Iowa: Michigan State played a great game, well enough to deserve a win. They made some great offensive plays and Kirk Cousins is developing into a hero as he led the team down the field to take the lead. But of course the Spartan secondary was the weak link and gave up the winning touchdown on fourth down with no time remaining. Pat Narduzzi is the much criticized defensive coordinator for the Spartans, but what do you expect to get from the fan base when after two fade routes to leave Chris L. Rucker on an island? Hes always getting picked on, for goodness sake give him some safety help. This is not SOS by any means, but MSU needs to start winning some big games. I still think Blair White is very awesome.
Notre Dame just survived a game against Boston College.
TCU beat BYU 38-7 on the road in prime time. They should be fifth in the nation, not one loss USC. If USC wants a trip back to the National Title game, then win all your games in the PAC-10. Stop losing a game early and then route everybody else. It's getting old.
Sam Bradford is going to get surgery and enter the NFL draft. This has been a season with nothing but disappointment for the Sooners.
The Crimson Tide barely hung on to beat Tennessee. Bama and Florida will be a playoff for the National Title.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Coloma celebrated Senior Night in spectacular style with a 35-0 win over Cassopolis. Coloma finished the year 5-4 (4-2 in the Lakeland Conference) and just missing out on a chance at the postseason. A game against River Valley usually would have given the Comets a chance to extend their season. A third place finish in the conference is pretty good considering they upset champion Berrien Springs on the road in convincing fashion. With a lot of young starters and a new offensive system, Coloma is laying the foundation to be a winner for years to come. Friday night Senior QB Sam Swihart threw two touchdown passes after the game was broken open by two Derrick Allred touchdown runs. Cassopolis never found a rhythm and were out gained four to one in yards. Cassopolis finished behind Coloma in the Lakeland standings but will probably continue on with their season. Coloma closes the season by winning 82-0 in their final two games.
With the season ending post I would like to thank team Statistician Scott Garrod for getting me all the stats of the games so quickly and making it able for me to cover the games with such detail. I would like to thank my family who helped me getting to games and joining me in enjoying Michigan High School Football. Great season Comets!
Packers over Browns
Chargers over Chiefs
Colts over Rams
Steelers over Vikings
Patriots over Buccaneers
Texans over 49ers
Panthers over Bills
Bears over Bengals
Falcons over Cowboys
Saints over Dolphins
*Upset Special* Raiders over Jets
Sunday Night Football: Giants over Cardinals
Monday Night Football: Eagles over Redskins
Friday, October 23, 2009
Coloma got a huge win last week against Bridgman 47-0 late in the Lakeland conference schedule. This sets up a must win for Coloma on Senior Night against Cassopolis. With a lot of help, Coloma has an outside shot at being tied for second in conference with a 4-2 record (5-4 overall). Coloma was clicking on all cylinders with a huge shutout win. QB Sam Swihart ran for two scores and added one in the air, Derrick Allred ran for 220 yards and four scores to lead the way on the Comet attack. Coloma did not turn the ball over once but forced 5 Bees turnovers. With over a 4 to 1 ratio in yards gained, Coloma completely dominated this game in every way from the beginning. The final regular season game of the year for Coloma is Friday October 23, at 7:30 PM.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Bengals over Texans
Packers over Lions
Ravens over Vikings
Saints over Giants
Steelers over Browns
Panthers over Buccaneers
Jaguars over Rams
Eagles over Raiders
Cardinals over Seahawks
Patriots over Titans
Jets over Bills
*Upset Special* Chiefs over Redskins
Sunday Night Football: Falcons over Bears
Monday Night Football: Broncos over Chargers
Friday, October 16, 2009
The Western-Central game is the top rivalry game in the MAC and is almost always a great game. The Broncos lead the series by 8 games but have only won 9 out of the last 20. Central has the upper hand even more recently, taking 2 straight against Tim Hiller and the Brown and Gold. Hiller vs LeFevour has been very underwhelming, with this going to be the second and final meeting. The pocket passer and the scrambler. The spread vs pro style. The Heisman hopeful and the steady vet. This should be another classic in the series. Waldo Stadium should be buzzing come Saturday.
How Western Can Win: Western can't let this game turn into a shootout. The Bronco defense has not been good enough to take over a game or even be steady throughout a game. They just have to bend a ton but not break. A vital turnover late in the game could make all the difference. Western will need to keep the scoring going after last week's 58-26 drubbing of a improved Toledo squad. Brandon West and Co. need to churn out yardage and keep LeFevour on the sidelines. The running game will be vital for both teams with colder than usual weather in breezy Waldo Stadium. Hiller will have to take care of the ball but also make big plays. They are going to have to gamble to beat a better team.
How Western Can Lose: There is a standard WMU losing pattern in the Cubit era. They get behind early with turnovers and stupid plays. WMU never looks like a winning team and the Broncos lose. It has happened multiple times in my experience as a Bronco. Ball State last year, Central last year, Indiana this year its all the same. If they fall into that trap, the game may be over before it really gets started. Turnovers and poor defensive play and bad third down conversion will doom the Broncos on Saturday.
How Central Can Win: Don't get behind early on the road. Putting up big offensive numbers will only increase your chances of winning. The defense needs a few big plays to take the Bronco attack out of rhythm. Stop the running game and make the Bronco passing attack beat you. Let LeFevour run and pass to keep the young Bronco defense off balance.
How Central Can Lose: Let the Broncos hang around all game. Then the Veteran Hiller can work his magic with the surprising Jordan White and deep threat Juan Nunez. Brandon West can not be allowed to put up 100+ yards to eat up clock. Don't let the weather or Waldo faithful keep you off rhythm. Rhythm is so crucial to a spread attack. You can win a shootout, so don't take your foot off the pedal.
The game will be on FSN Detroit+ at 3:30 PM on Saturday. This is the first Saturday Central game at Waldo since 2005. The game has already sold more tickets than any WMU game in over 3 years. Western will have to play very well against a better team and to stay in the MAC West hunt. I really hope the Broncos can pull off an upset. I was right in the MSU vs U of M game so here is my prediction:
WMU 35 CMU 31
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The Red Wings have had a rough start to the season. After going 0-2 in Sweden (a "home" team for many on the squad) to the resurgent Blues, the Wings put a nice game together against the loaded Blackhawks. Then, the wheels fall off and they lose Johan Franzen till at least March (maybe the season) and Osgood gets shelled against the Sabres. The offensive juggernaut the Sabres are, I began to realize we might be seeing a team in much more trouble then we think. A lot of people seem to have forgotten how poorly Osgood played last season. He got sent home to work with a goalie coach while Ty Conklin (now a Blue) carried the torch (as he did for Penguins in 07-08 when Fleury was out). Jimmy Howard obviously isn't the long term answer in net either as a backup or starter. If Osgood gets hurt, the Wings will be in a world of hurt. A veteran goaltender would be a solid pick up now that we know for sure Howard can't handle starting duties. If he turns it around, I'll be as happy as anyone, but now it sure does not look like it.
Johan Franzen's loss is extremely painful. With no real room under the cap to get another scorer (or keep the ones they already had last season)the offense could be hurting bad. Holmstrom is aging pretty quickly, Zetterberg and Datsyuk can only go so far and Betruzzi is not going to find any magic. Hes a solid inexpensive pickup that I like (especially on the Power Play) and it is nice to get some of our Griffins to play in the big leagues. Developing young players is going to be huge in the New NHL and the cap.
The Wing's biggest problem is probably going to be the penalty kill. They were 75% last year with a Hall of Famer playing most of the time. Lilja may be done for his career, which is sad because he finally made some strides last year. Jakub Kindl is not Babcock's kind of player and Ericsson has been surprisingly well. Still, that is not enough to carry any team into the Stanley Cup with less scoring and only can kill 3 out 4 PP.
The wheels are not falling off anything. The Wings are loaded with talent and can reload after almost any year. The hangover from losing the Cup in 7 games is tough and the injuries are pretty abundant for Detroit. Yet I still believe the team can go far in the playoffs, if they make the right moves. Maybe its lineup shuffling, maybe its a call up, maybe its a trade. Whatever the case, I just don't feel too confident in this version of the Red Wings, with a loaded Chicago, solid Columbus and St Louis and pesky Predators breathing down our neck more than ever.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Michigan vs Iowa: Iowa played worse and U of M played better than expected. For some reason, Tate Forcier was benched on the last two drives while Denard Robinson took over. When given time to run, Robinson can be good. But mark this down U OF M WILL NEVER WIN WITH ROBINSON GETTING MOST OF THE PLAYING TIME!. Robinson can not throw. Unless he does a total 180, he won't ever be a good QB. I can't understand why RichRod would work him out at RB and then throw him out there with the game (and possible Rose Bowl) on the line. U of M did play better, but bottom line, aren't there yet. Their defense is awful and they have some problems on offense with passing. Iowa is a real deal Big Ten contender now.
Florida beat LSU: The Tiger's offense is awful. Tim Tebow played decent returning from a scary concussion. Florida is in the driver seat to win the National title.
Jevan Snead is showing his true colors. He isn't playing well at all this season against any type of talent. He has dropped from first rounder to mid rounder this season. He will almost assuredly return his senior season since he is probably behind Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Jake Locker Jimmy Clausen (who looks to come out early) Dan LeFevour and possibly Tim Tebow. Tim Hiller's draft stock has also taken a hit, until he exploded Saturday with a blowout with against Toledo.
Coloma took a tough loss Friday night to Buchanan 27-6. The Coloma offense was backed up all night and could not find a rhythm. The one big offensive play was when QB Sam Swihart faked a handoff and took the ball 46 yards for a touchdown. Buchanan moved the ball well all night, amassing 329 yards total offense to Coloma's 158. On a cold and wet October night, both teams favored the running game over the passing attack, until the second quarter when both teams started airing it out. The second half only saw Buchanan score one more touchdown to finish out the scoring. Coloma has two more games this season, on the road against Bridgman and Senior Night against Cassopolis. Coloma has to win both games to have a shot at the playoffs this season. A 5-4 record is not a sure thing to keep playing into October, but with a tougher schedule and a few big wins the Comets could make their case.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Bills over Browns
Steelers over Lions
Cowboys over Chiefs
Vikings over Rams
Giants over Raiders
Eagles over Buccaneers
Panthers over Redskins
Ravens over Bengals
49ers over Falcons
Texans over Cardinals
Seahawks over Jaguars
*Upset Special* Broncos over Patriots
Sunday Night Football: Colts over Titans
Monday Night Football: Jets over Dolphins
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
We should give all the credit in the world to Minnesota. They do more with less every single year. They play in the Humpty Dump (not much longer) and lost Justin Morneau and most of their hope in September. Then they just started scrapping and winning and cutting into Detroit's lead. This sounds cliche, but they wanted it more.
Detroit has nobody to blame but themselves. I do not think Dombrowski should be fired. He has built a solid team (although he has some big busts, and has overpaid greatly on many players) and this collapse is not on him. Jim Leyland should be up for manager of the year. He had to go through a lot even to get here. The Tigers needs to evaluate their direction and cut waste this offseason. They need to look into the Miguel Cabrera drinking/domestic abuse incident(s) and determine where to go. This will be a tough loss, but the Tigers (and Detroit) will make a comeback. I promise.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Coloma lost a tough battle against Edwardsburg on the Eddie's Homecoming. Edwardsburg took a quick 14-0 lead on two Devin Bywaters runs. Coloma came storming back with a Swihart run and a long Swihart pass to Colin Saltzman for 60 yards and a score. A third Devin Bywaters run extended the Edwardsburg lead but before halftime Derrik Allred scampered for 63 yards and a score to make the score 21-20 Edwardsburg. All the first half offense fireworks was followed up by only 14 points combines in the second half. Colin Saltzman broke another run for 23 yards and a touchdown. Devin Bywaters ran for his 4th touchdown of the night and put Edwardsburg up for good 29-26. Coloma had a good game offensively but couldn't find an answer for Devin Bywaters who ran for 159 yards and 4 scores. The game was back and forth between two of the better teams in the Lakeland conference. Coloma had 206 yards rushing and 123 yards in the air in a balanced attack. Not being able to convert a extra point or a two point conversion hurt the Comets. Next week Coloma takes on Buchanan at home in Coloma's homecoming. The kickoff is set for 7 pm.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
When watching the MSU vs. U of M game this weekend I was surprised by a few things. State’s defense looked much better. The offense was as predictable as ever and only big plays from Cousin’s arm (and his feet, he must practice with Nichol on that) kept drives alive. The dumbest moment on the afternoon was U of M faking a punt on fourth and short on their own 17 yard line. And the announcers tried to make it sound like it was Mesko’s call. I know that Zoltan Mesko is one of the more popular players in Ann Arbor (why?) but that was a dumb play all around. I wouldn’t even call that in NCAA Football 2010.
How did MSU’s defense shut down Michigan’s offense at all? They made the “anointed” one Tate Forcier look like a freshman. They were pressuring him and forcing him to make bad decisions. I’m sure Michigan fans will say how hurt he is and all, but that’s no excuse. It’s like saying how Randy Moss didn’t block because his back was hurt, yet he was healthy enough to make ten catches.
Both teams were put in great situations but could not come away with points, which is odd. Both defenses are struggling this season and the weather was not bad enough to affect the offenses too much.
In the end MSU came through in Overtime in an instant classic. Freshman Larry Capers took a run to the house after a toss play lost 9 yards. This is a game that MSU used to lose. Good for Dantonio for getting his guys to play.
From the broadcast:
The announcers were awful. I know it was the Big Ten Network but still. All they did was talk about how much moxy Forcier has or how much of a warrior he is or how he lives for these moments. Then he throws an interception in the end zone in OT. Ooops. I hate how he always limps to the huddle or bends over in pain after every throw. Unless I find out Monday he has swine flu/broken back/broken leg/dislocated shoulder then I will have to label him a “diver” (there you go hockey fans). I get it, he’s pretty good. But he isn’t Tim Tebow. He takes dumb hits and struggles with accuracy. That is all I have to say about Forcier.
MSU has looked very Un-MSU like this season. They are very sloppy and took too many stupid penalties. They have not played to their potential all season and its upsetting. They did continue to play in the 4-3 almost exclusively and shuttle in QBs all day. It reminds me of playing in the sand lot and you would tell a guy, all right I’ll play QBs odds and you even. Nichol did not ruin any drives but did not add much. Kirk Cousins had some big runs (I know!) and made some great throws. The kid looks great sometimes. The running game was much better and continues to improve. If we can build off this success and learn to play defense and run the ball we may be all right.
Friday, October 2, 2009
This game is huge for the Lions. How will they respond after winning last week against the Redskins at home with only about 40,000 fans in attendance? Will they show how far behind other NFL teams in terms of talent, or will they surprise us all and pull a 2007 Ravens, Dolphins or Falcons?
I am not hopeful that the Lions are a playoff team. I mean, you can never really know in the NFL but I'm sure we have more rebuilding to do. And that is fine for now. We have seemed to assembled a nice collection of rookies to build on in the future (WMU grad Louis Delmas won defensive rookie of the month for September). Matthew Stafford has improved every week he has played in the NFL, against progressively tougher opponents. That trend can continue this week against a Chicago team without its defensive leader. It will be the first outdoor game for Stafford since the Capital One Bowl against Michigan State. Kevin Smith may not play and will be limited in practice if he is healthy at all. Bryant Johnson has been a pleasant surprise this season but we need to get the ball more to Calvin Johnson. He is the best player on the team and can take over a game. I am glad to see him getting involved in reverses but he needs more deep passes to take advantage of his height and jumping. Stafford will need to put more touch on his passes and display more accuracy (his biggest knock in college) and keep being aggressive. I am totally supportive of what him and Jim Schwartz are trying to do in Detroit. I already believe in him more than I ever did Marinelli, or Morningweg and I'm sure Schwartz's shovel is much sharper than Rod's ever was.
If the Lions come out and play well (and hopefully win) it would re-energize the fan base and maybe sell out a few more games. It will help the players buy into the new system and get confidence moving on in the season. The second half of the Lions season is much easier than the first half, and it could give hope of hunting for a playoff spot in December. To finish a season on a roll with help the Lions bring in free agents next year and get out of the top 5 in the draft and not spending a ton of money on more rookies. If the Lions lose, they are going to be labeled as a rebuilding team (which they are) and still playing for next season (which they are). It isn't wrong to hold out hope, and I do not believe we will win this weekend, but this is the most important game for us in a while. Can we continue to build on getting the 0-19 monkey off our back or will we show our true colors? It is tough to win win division games on the road in the NFL and this weekend could show how far the Lions have come.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Bears over Lions
Bengals over Browns
Colts over Seahawks
Giants over Chiefs
Ravens over Patriots
Redskins over Buccaneers
Titans over Jaguars
Texans over Raiders
Bills over Dolphins
Saints over Jets
Cowboys over Broncos
49ers over Rams
Sunday Night Football: Steelers over Chargers
Monday Night Football: *Upset Special* Packers over Vikings