Archive for September, 2009

New (CRAZY) BCS Bowl Game Predictions
September 25, 2009

My NEW Crazy BCS Predictions:

*BCS National Championship Game:

#1 Alabama (13-0) SEC Champ vs. #2 Miami (13-0) ACC Champ


WHY: Yeah, I’m jumping on the Miami band wagon.  If the ‘canes beat Va. Tech this weekend and then Oklahoma next weekend they should be ranked in the top three…maybe even #1. If Miami wins both of these games I can’t see them stumbling against UNC or any other team in the ACC.  Plus, Jeremy Shockey’s tweets during Miami games are priceless so I hope his team keeps winning.   

The SEC is without question footballs best league top to bottom…but in my opinion Alabama and Florida are the only two elite/national championship teams in the conference.  I can’t remember the last time I saw a college defense as good as ‘Bamas.  The Crimson Tide beats Florida in the SEC title game and earns a birth into the BCS national championship. 

*Rose Bowl

Oregon (Pac-10 Champ) vs.  Minnesota (Big Ten Champ)


WHY: Crazy pairing I know but I’ve been picking Oregon for years to upset USC and win the Pac-10 and the Ducks keep letting me down.  But I think this is the year.  Oregon beats Cal this weekend and USC next month and wins a trip to the Rose Bowl. 

I hate the Big Ten overall and have a real disdain for Ohio State….so I refuse to put the Buckeyes in this game.  I think OSU will stumble against Michigan and Minnesota…so I’m putting the Gophers in this game. I like their senior QB and their head coach and I think they are truly building something special in Minny…plus I think Iowa and Penn St. are overrated!  

*Sugar Bowl

Florida (at-large SEC #2) vs.  Texas (at-large Big XII #2) 


WHY:  Weren’t these teams supposed to be in the BCS title game?  I’m saying Florida gets beat by Alabama and in an absolute shocker UT gets upset by Kansas in the Big XII championship game.

The big winner here is the Sugar Bowl…which gets the two best players in college football (Tebow & McCoy)  closing their careers in the grudge match fans have been dying to see!

*Fiesta Bowl

 Kansas (Big XII Champ) vs. Houston (at-large C-USA Champ)


WHY:  I like Kansas and their senior QB Todd Reesing.  I know it’s super insane to believe that the Jayhawks could upset Texas but it’s early and I like underdogs.  Houston is as good an offensive team as you’ll find.  If the Cougars finish undefeated they’ll have wins against two Big XII South teams (Oklahoma St. & Texas Tech) an SEC team (Miss. St.) and a real solid C-USA team (Southern Miss.).  The Cougars get my nod over undefeated Boise State due to strength of schedule.         

*Orange Bowl

Pitt (Big East Champ) vs. Michigan (at-large Big Ten #2)


WHY: Pitt gets the automatic BCS bid after winning the terrible Big East Conference (truth be told; I’ve always had a real affinity for Pitt and find myself pulling for the Panthers on a regular basis…but I hate the Big East as a football conference).

Michigan jumps back into the national mix after Rich Rodriguez engineers one of the biggest turn-arounds in college football history. 

(And mark my words….the Wolverines will soon be the cream of the crop in the Big Ten)



My prediction:  After being upset by Washington the Trojans go on to lose to Cal and Oregon and finish with 3 losses!


*Liberty Bowl:

LSU (8-4) vs. Southern Mississippi (10-2)


The Tigers lose to Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Arkansas. 

The Razorbacks end up in the Cotton Bowl, Ole Miss gets the Outback Bowl, South Carolina lands in the Capitol One Bowl and Georgia stays at home to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl…meaning it’s off to Memphis and the Liberty Bowl for Les Miles and the gang.

USM loses to Kansas and Houston.


September 18, 2009


Reggie, Thornton & The Wave
September 17, 2009


First, I’ve asked this question for three seasons and I’ll keep asking it:


In college at USC Reggie was a tremendous threat as a kick…not just a punt….returner!


2003: Led Pac-10 in kickoff returns.

2004: 21 kickoffs for 537 yards (25.6 avg)

2005: 28 kickoffs for 493 yards (17.6 avg).



Coach Payton always says the reason Reggie does not return kickoffs is because players on the opposing team can build up too much speed and could possibly hurt Reggie when hitting him on kickoffs!


If Coach Payton is so concerned about a player getting hurt on kickoffs then why does he put Pierre Thomas back to return kicks?  Why put former 1st rounder Robert Meachem back as a return man?  Are Thomas and Meachem less valuable to the team in Payton’s opinion?

Plus, both of those guys admit they are very inexperienced as kick returners.

Also, with the emergence of Mike Bell it looks as if Reggie will be third string tailback behind Bell and Pierre Thomas.  So why not utilize Reggie in a role that may better fit his skill set?



I always compare Reggie to San Diego’s Darren Sproles….and Sproles is a solid kickoff guy.

So, Coach Payton, give in and let Reggie loose on kickoffs!


The Hornets are two weeks away from starting training camp and I can’t help but think of one thing: 


The answer to that question is simple:

HELL NO!!!!!

But maybe Thornton should be considered for the starting two guard position if he has a solid camp.  Thornton was a scoring machine in college and showed the ability to score at will in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League.  And make no mistake, scoring is what the Hornets need.  Barring their playoff disaster against Denver the Hornets played great team defense last season…they just could not score in certain games.  The Hornets need another solid scorer to go along with CP3 and West (Okafor is a great pick-up but not a big time scorer).



So I hope that Coach Byron Scott considers Thornton and gives him a fair chance to start.  I know Scott is not the best at dealing with young players…but maybe’s he’s changed!


Last month I was bombarded with e-mails from irate Tulane Green Wave fans because I predicted that the team would finish 3-9 overall.

Those e-mails have stopped rolling in.  One Tulane fan even called me and told me 3-9 would be the high water mark this season.

After horrible losses to Tulsa and BYU Bob Toledo’s team is at a tremendous low point.  I’d like to believe that the Wave will bounce back with a win against McNeese State on Saturday, September 26th but the Cowboys recently beat I-AA power Appalachian State so they won’t be total pushovers.

This week coach Bob Toledo also had a meltdown at practice and sent his entire team home because he felt the effort they were giving him was not up to par.  Not exactly a moment that makes me (or anyone else) believe this program is headed in the right direction. 

LSU Tulane Football


If Tulane loses to McNeese their is a very good chance the team will finish 0-12 or 1-11…and that might mean it’s time for Bob Toledo to go.

And if Toledo goes…I’ll be lobbying hard for Frank Wilson.

frank wilson


Just My Opinion
September 10, 2009

Darius Songaila:

Why more Hornets fans aren’t talking about this deal is beyond me! 

Not counting the blockbuster swap of Tyson Chandler for Emeka Okafor the Hornets acquiring Songaila is the best moved they’ve made all offseason.

Songaila is the answer as the back-up power forward.  A 6’9 player who’s tough and can score….Songaila is better than any of the Hornets back-up big men currently on the roster (Armstrong, Diogu & Marks).  A native of Lithuania who played college ball in the states at Wake Forest University, Songaila can be coutned on to score between 7-12 points nightly coming off the bench.

A second unit headlined by Collison, Posey and Songaila is pretty strong.   

Songaila is also a playoff tested veteran who was actually suspended a few years ago for throwing a punch at Lebron James. 



I know it’s only the second week of the college football regular season but if BYU runs the table and finishes 12-0 they should play in the BCS National Championship Game!

No questions asked! 

If BYU finishes 12-0 they’d have 4 quality wins against ranked opponents (the Cougars have already upset #3 Oklahoma.  They still have to get past Florida State, Utah and TCU).

In my opinion if BYU is undefeated an does not play for a national title then congress should intervene immediately and do everything in it’s power to destroy the BCS!  

I’ve never been to the state of Utah (except to change planes in Salt Lake City) and have no ties to the Mountain West Conference so take me seriously when I say the MWC is just as tough as the Big Ten.

Think about it…last weekend Ohio State barely held off Navy, Minnesota needed OT to beat a rebuilding Syracuse team, Iowa needed to block two FG’s at the end of regulation to hold off Northern Iowa and Illinois was embarrassed by Missouri. 

The four schools I named are four of the top five schools in the Big Ten.

This season…I’d take BYU, Utah and TCU over Ohio State, Penn State and Iowa any day of the week! 

I became a believer in the MWC last January when I saw Utah upset a very talented, physical Alabama team. 

So keep an eye on the Cougars and hope that if they run the table and finish perfect than the computers that spit out the BCS rankings are fair and place them in the National Championship.      



Chad Jones

Maybe I’m crazy but I thought LSU safety Chad Jones looked slow and sloppy against the University of Washington last weekend.

I know many are touting Jones as a potential 1st round pick in the NFL draft next April but last weekend he didn’t look like an SEC player let alone an NFL player!



In fact, after watching Jones at the College World Series last June I truly believe this gifted athlete will make his mark as a left handed pitcher in baseball.

Here’s how I think things will go for Jones for the rest of 2009 and into 2010.  I don’t think Jones will play well enough in football to be considered a 1st round NFL draft pick…therefore he’ll opt to stay in school and not enter the NFL draft early.  Staying in school means Jones goes back to play baseball for Paul Mainieri.  Jones is a batting practice warrior who hits balls into the lights during warm-up’s but who struggles in games against all lefties and most tough righties.  Mainieri made Jones a pitcher at the end of last season and this is where I believe Jones future is.  It’s not very often you get super athletic lefties who throw in the upper 80’s/low 90’s!

If Jones worked at his pitching he could easily be a weekend starter in the SEC and would be a very high pick (probably 1st round) in the Major League Draft next June.  

Jones and Anthony Ranaudo going one-two might even bring the Tigers back-to-back titles for the first time since ’96-’97.



Other Stuff:

I think LSU will struggle this Saturday against Vandy.

I think BYU will beat Tulane by at least 28 points this weekend.

I think the the Saints will beat Detroit by at least 14 points and the black and gold defense will force two turnovers and sack Matthew Stafford 4 times.          

I think the new WDSU 4pm news (starting Monday, Sept 14th) featuring Scott Walker & Randi Rousseau will be a big success…because lets be honest….news in our city is so much more interesting than a tired, boring little show named Oprah!!!! 

Stafford To Start Vs. Saints
September 7, 2009

Stafford gets the Week One start

Posted by Mike Florio on September 7, 2009 12:47 PM ETLions coach Jim Schwartz previously was coy regarding his plans for the quarterback position in Week One.

As of Monday, he’s coy no more.

Schwartz, per various media outlets, has announced that Matthew Stafford, the first overall pick in the 2009 draft, will start the game.

Stafford wins the assignment over Daunte Culpepper, whose shot at the job might have been derailed by the placement of eight stitches in his toe.

But we think this competition was rigged from the get-go.  A year after Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco led the Falcons and Ravens, respectively, to the playoffs as Week One starters, the Lions had to have realized upon making Stafford the first pick — and paying him more than $40 million guaranteed — that they had to use him sooner rather than later.

So why not create the impression that Stafford had to earn it?  The experience might have made him better prepared for the mental hurdles that will arise as he tries to end the 50-year curse that was placed on the team by Bobby Layne, who played football at the same high school Stafford attended.


Speed 6
September 3, 2009


Thanks for logging on to Offsides With Fletcher Mackel.  I hope you enjoyed this week’s Speed 6 Segment. In case you missed it, here is the Trivia Question:

“The opening scene to what movie was filmed at the Atlanta Motor Speedway?” 

The first person to post their correct answer on Fletcher’s Blog will be selected to be a guest on Speed 6 next week and help breakdown last weekend’s race and give us their race picks for Richmond.

Andy Cannatella

Looks Like Stafford vs. Saints
September 1, 2009

Daunte Culpepper needed eight stitches to repair a cut foot after he stubbed it on a carpet at home Saturday night. Drew Stanton needed an MRI after a knee swelled Sunday and Monday. That left the Lions with one healthy quarterback for practice Monday: rookie Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft who is competing with Culpepper for the starting job.


Detroit Free Press