Friday, December 31, 2010

Final 2010 Power Rankings

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-Digger's Daily-

Farewell 2010. Happy New Year and best wishes for a healthy and joyous 2011! All World All Sports' final blog post of 2010 features our end of the year power rankings.

1 - New England Patriots
2 - Pittsburgh Steelers
3 - New Orleans Saints
4 - Atlanta Falcons
5 - Baltimore Ravens
6 - Chicago Bears
7 - Philadelphia Eagles
8 - New York Jets
9 - Green Bay Packers
10- Kansas City Chiefs

1 - San Antonio Spurs
2 - Boston Celtics
3 - Dallas Mavericks
4 - Miami Heat
5 - Los Angeles Lakers
6 - Utah Jazz
7 - Orlando Magic
8 - Oklahoma City Thunder
9 - Chicago Bulls
10- Atlanta Hawks

1 - Pittsburgh Penguins
2 - Detroit Red Wings
3 - Vancouver Canucks
4 - Philadelphia Flyers
5 - Washington Capitals
6 - Boston Bruins
7 - Dallas Stars
8 - New York Rangers
9 - Los Angeles Kings
10- Tampa Bay Lightning

MLB (preseason)
1 - Philadelphia Phillies
2 - Boston Red Sox
3 - San Francisco Giants
4 - Chicago White Sox
5 - Texas Rangers
6 - Oakland A's
7 - New York Yankees
8 - Tampa Bay Rays
9 - Atlanta Braves
10- Minnesota Twins

NCAA Men's Basketball
1 - Duke
2 - Ohio State
3 - Kansas
4 - Syracuse
5 - Pittsburgh
6 - San Diego State
7 - Connecticut
8 - Villanova
9 - Missouri
10- Purdue

NCAA Women's Basketball
1 - Connecticut
2 - Baylor
3 - Duke
4 - West Virginia
5 - Tennessee
6 - North Carolina
7 - Texas A&M
8 - Kentucky
9 - Iowa
10- Stanford

1 - Jimmie Johnson
2 - Denny Hamlin
3 - Ken Harvick
4 - Carl Edwards
5 - Kyle Busch


Thursday, December 30, 2010

NFL Predictions: Final Regular Season Games (Week 17)

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-Digger's Daily-

NFL regular season ends this weekend. It's do or die for a few teams on the proverbial playoff bubble. NFC's final playoff spot is up to Green Bay. Win and they're in while Giants and Bucs ponder what could have been a season to remember. Indianapolis wraps up the final AFC playoff spot with a win on Sunday.

Fantasy coaches need to pay close attention to NFL roster moves. A handful of teams will either be resting starters for playoff action or giving rookies a shot to earn their stripes. Vick may rest. Favre is probably out. Sanchez isn't 100%. Giants, Colts and other squads facing game time injury decisions. Select your fantasy starters closely.

Week 16 picks took a step backwards after a strong second half. Only six correct drops the season total to 130-103. Here we go. NFL final weekend. (Note: all games played on Sunday. No Thursday, Saturday or Monday games).

WEEK 17 (home in CAPS)
FALCONS 30 Panthers 10
Steelers 27 BROWNS 14
LIONS 27 Vikings 20
CHIEFS 21 Raiders 20
PATRIOTS 30 Dolphins 3
SAINTS 34 Bucs 10
Bills 28 JETS 24
RAVENS 23 Bengals 14
TEXANS 31 Jaguars 23
Giants 27 REDSKINS 23
EAGLES 20 Cowboys 16
Cardinals 26 49ERS 21
PACKERS 27 Bears 23
COLTS 38 Titans 6
BRONCOS 27 Chargers 26
Rams 20 SEAHAWKS 17

End of 2010 regular season


Monday, December 27, 2010

Lost in Time: 1994 Montreal Expos

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-Digger's Daily-

1994 Montreal Expos. The team time forgot. One of the 1990's best teams had their dreams crushed by the '94-'95 players strike. Baseball's eighth work stoppage canceled the World Series for the first time since 1904. As a result, Montreal's place in history never was left incomplete. No one will ever know for certain how good these guys could have been.

Montreal's success led to a MLB best 74 victories in 114 games (74-40). The starting rotation was led by Ken Hill (16-5, finished 2nd in Cy Young) and a young Pedro Martinez (11-5). Jeff Fassero (8-6), Butch Henry (8-3) & Kurt Rueter (7-3) rounded out the staff. A flame throwing bullpen provided near lights out relief. John Wettleland (25 saves), Mel Rojas (16 saves), Jeff Shaw, Tim Scott and Gil Heredia were called on often to protect Expos leads. Expos pitchers posted NL best 3.56 ERA, fewest free passes (288) & top of the heap 1.214 WHIP.

Montreal took care of business on offense. 2nd in team average, 3rd in runs and hits. Larry Walker and Moises Alou swung big sticks in a lineup including Darrin Fletcher (C), Cliff Floyd (1B), Mike Lansing (2B), Wil Cordero (SS), Sean Berry (3B) & Marquis Grissom (CF). How many of those names are remembered out there? They weren't head turners but proved to have valuable careers nonetheless.

Manager extraordinaire Felipe Alou skills transformed a so-so club into a winning contender soon after taking the reigns midway through the 1992 season. After the strike ended, so did Expos success. Alou's top guns were either traded away or lost to free agency. Montreal's winning ways soon turned into struggling seasons before the franchise moved to Washington in 2005.

1994 Expos thrilled local fans while frustrating opponents. We'll never know how good they truly were. Or, if they could have held off division rival pitching rich Atlanta Braves for the NL East crown? Some may argue for or against their potential greatness. Baseball's strike of 1994 left many questions unanswered and prematurely ended the best season in Montreal Expos history.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

NFL Predictions: Week 16

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-Digger's Daily-

Every single game has playoff implications. Nearly all teams are technically alive in the playoff hunt. Some on life support. Some growing stronger. A few game of the week type matchups to watch. Jets @ Bears could be a Super Preview. It's going to be a hard hitting, bone bruising game. Banged up Indy travels to rejuvenated Oakland. Both in must win situations and defenses prone to giving up big plays. Giants @ Packers in frigid December conditions. Giants coming off embarrassing defeat at home to Vick's Eagles. Pack might be without Rodgers once again. Loser probably goes home. New Orleans @ Atlanta could be an NFC Championship game preview. Big test for the Falcons. Great Monday Night Football game for the fans.

And let me not forget to thank the NFL and NFL Network for dropping a Christmas Day lump of coal to viewers in New York. We're blacked out from watching thanks to NFL vs Cablevision dispute. We've never been offered games on NFL Network. Insulting the league would even contemplate a blackout anywhere on such a festive day! PENALTY! NFL - 15 YARDS UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT!

Time to pick the winners and losers. Nine correct thrown darts brings the season tally to 124-93.

WEEK 16 (home in CAPS)
STEELERS 36 Panthers 10

CHRISTMAS DAY Merry Christmas!
Cowboys 42 CARDS 24

JAGUARS 30 Redskins 21
DOLPHINS 23 Lions 20
49ers 24 RAMS 21
CHIEFS 21 Titans 20
BEARS 27 Jets 17
Patriots 33 BILLS 14
Ravens 27 BROWNS 7
Texans 28 BRONCOS 24
Chargers 24 BENGALS 16
RAIDERS 34 Colts 32
Giants 24 PACKERS 10
BUCS 21 Seahawks 17
EAGLES 45 Vikings 14

FALCONS 34 Saints 30


Monday, December 20, 2010

Power Rankings Shuffle

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-Digger's Daily-

Another wild weekend in the sports world has teams climbing and falling from upper echelon power rankings.

NFL Top 10
1 - New England
2 - Atlanta
3 - Pittsburgh
4 - Baltimore
5 - Philadelphia
6 - New Orleans
7 - Jets
8 - Chicago
9 - Giants
10- Kansas City

NBA Top 10
1 - San Antonio
2 - Boston
3 - Dallas
4 - Lakers
5 - Miami
6 - Oklahoma City
7 - Utah
8 - Chicago
9 - Orlando
10- Atlanta

NHL Top 10
1 - Philadelphia
2 - Detroit
3 - Pittsburgh
4 - Dallas
5 - Colorado
6 - Atlanta
7 - Washington
8 - Rangers
9 - Vancouver
10- Montreal

NCAA Top 10 (Men's)
1 - Duke
2 - Ohio State
3 - Kansas
4 - Connecticut
5 - Syracuse
6 - Pittsburgh
7 - San Diego State
8 - Villanova
9 - Georgetown
10- Missouri

NCAA Top 10 (Women's)
1 - Connecticut
2 - Duke
3 - Baylor
4 - Xavier
5 - West Virginia
6 - Tennessee
7 - Texas A&M
8 - UCLA
9 - North Carolina
10- Kentucky

MLB Top 10
1 - Philadelphia
2 - Boston
3 - San Francisco
4 - White Sox
5 - Texas
6 - Oakland
7 - Yankees
8 - Tampa Bay
9 - Atlanta
10- Minnesota


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Giants Fumble NFC East

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-Digger's Daily-

The New York Giants (9-5) played strong football for a little more than 3 and 1/2 quarters this afternoon against Michael Vick's Philadelphia Eagles. During the week Giants pass rusher Justin Tuck vowed the team would "finish" without any let downs. Today, New York led Philadelphia 31-10 with 8:17 to go. One mistake after another... after another... and yet, another... led to the final mistake and 38-31 loss as time expired. "The Miracle in the New Meadowlands" was pulled off again by Philadelphia.

Players, assistant coaches and head coach Coughin all contributed to the newest Giants meltdown vs the Eagles. At stake was the NFC East division title. A win would have put the Giants in control of their own destiny at 10-4. A potential to win a much desired first round playoff bye loomed in the picture. It wasn't to be and "The Miracle at the New Meadowlands was born"

For those of you old enough to remember November 19, 1978 ... it's remembered by Giants fans as "The Pisarcik Fumble" and by Eagles fans as "The Miracle in the Meadowlands". All the Giants had to do to secure victory was for QB Joe Pisarcik to take a knee and run out the game clock. Instead he tried a handoff, fumbled, Eagles recovered and ran it in for a game winning touchdown. Today's game ended very differently but the result was the same. Another giveaway by the Giants.

Michael Vick ran for over 100 yards during Philadelphia's final two drives. With Philadelphia down by 14 points, they tried an onside kick. Apparently, the only people in attendance who didn't it with just over 5 minutes remaining were Giants coaches and special teams players. Philly recovered the kick setting up another score. Giants gave the ball back to Vick after 3 weak plays. Eagles tied it with 1:16 remaining.

Ultimate buffoonery rests inside New York's punters brain as time was running out in regulation. He was told by everyone on the sidelines (coaches and players) to punt the football out of bounds. Doing so would let time expire setting up a sudden death overtime showdown. So what does their rookie punter do? He kicks it right down the middle of the field to Eagles returner DeSean Jackson. 65 yards later the game was over. Implosion completed. NFC East lost. Eagles celebrate. Giants remain in stunned disbelief.
“I’ve never been around anything like this in my life,’’ Tom Coughlin said afterward. “It’s about as empty as you get to feel in this business, right there.’’
How quickly things change. In a New York minute the Giants went from being in 1st place to now fighting for their playoff survival. The road to the Super Bowl just got a lot longer. Rebounding from a home loss with so much at stake will not be easy. New York papers and local sports radio quick to sack coach Coughlin's and team. Defensive schemes invited and set the stage for big plays by Eagles offense. Giants offense went to sleep and couldn't make essential first downs. Special teams failed to defend an onside kick and brain blip by punter who failed to kick out of bounds. Fans want heads on a platter.

To make matters worse, New York put their divisional arch rival Philadelphia Eagles in the driver's seat. Philly's now squarely focused on winning home field advantage. These guys have the firepower to go all the way. The battle for NFL supremacy is wide open. Giants fumbled away NFC East.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

NFL Predictions: Week 15

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-Digger's Daily-

Metrodome roof collapses. Brett Favre became the second iron man to have his streak broken in Detroit. So did Lou Gehrig. Week 14 was filled with highlight reel moments. Some better than others. Washington lost on a bad extra point snap. Oakland went to sleep after tying Jacksonville. Aaron Rodgers was KO'd by Detroit and Green Bay lost 7-3. Running backs ruled... Torain rumbled for 172 yards, Stewart 133, McFadden 128, Hightower 148, McCoy 149.

Playoff pressure intensifying week to week. Suddenly, the self proclaimed Super Bowl Jets can't score or win. Defense no longer making big plays and QB Sanchez is completely out of rhythm. Division foe New England is firing on all cylinders. Tom Brady is clearly the leagues player of the year. Over in the NFC it's possible a 10 win team will be sitting home when playoffs begin games on tv while a NFC West team wins their division with a losing record. It's been an anything can happen season.

11 correct picks last weekend. Season record improves to 115-86.

WEEK 15 (home in CAPS)
CHARGERS 34 49ers 14

Browns 23 BENGALS 20
COWBOYS 41 Redskins 17
Texans 33 TITANS 10
Jaguars 31 COLTS 27
Chiefs 17 RAMS 16
DOLPHINS 23 Bills 21
BUCS 24 Lions 20
PANTHERS 14 Cards 13
RAVENS 28 Saints 24
GIANTS 33 Eagles 30
Falcons 24 Seahawks 3
STEELERS 17 Jets 0
RAIDERS 34 Broncos 13
PATRIOTS 38 Packers 14

Bears 26 VIKINGS 17


In Case You Missed It...

Visit "All World All Sports"

-Digger's Daily-

Major League free agent news stole headlines this week. Philadelphia Phillies snatched up coveted starting pitcher Cliff Lee leaving fans in New York and Texas stunned. Yankees fans shouldn't be surprised. I don't think the Yanks ever had a shot at landing Lee. Instead, he probably used the millions offered by New York as leverage for a better deal elsewhere. Texas fans are feeling stiffed. Perhaps they were a bit naive by believing Lee was coming back if he declined Yankee millions. Hats off to the Phillies for sneaking in at the last minute. Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. All or relatively young. Phils have them all locked up for another 3 seasons. Phils clearly the NL's top team. At least on paper.

Dolphins vs Jets game produced queasy results for New York's Coach Ryan. QB Sanchez has been horrific of late after very positive results. He looks hesitant, lost and shaken after the Patriots destroyed team confidence during a 45-3 thrashing on MNF two weeks ago. Jets offense has been grounded. No touchdowns since November 25th. Next up Pittsburgh. Good luck. Jets have been under fire ever since their strength and conditioning coach, Sal Alosi, intentionally tripped Miami Dolphins special teams gunner Nolan Carroll. Replays clearly show Alosi sticking his knee in the path of Carroll who subsequently became injured. It's now been discovered, Alosi had instructed Jets players to stand toe to toe forming a human wall. There's nothing wrong with a wall unless someone intentionally interferes with game play. Alosi has been suspended and fined by the Jets. NFL officials may or may not take action. Considering the deliberate nature of this episode the NFL will be compelled to take action.

Brett Favre's final season has been anything but enjoyable for the future Hall of Fame quarterback. Team struggling, coach fired, turmoil and on Monday night.... Favre's NFL record 297 consecutive game starts ended due to injury. Favre's played injured most of 2010. However, a big time sack two weeks ago left his shoulder weakened and numb. It's doubtful Favre will play again this year unless it's simply to take a curtain call before hanging up his spikes forever. Favre joins a long list of retiring players who couldn't pull off one more magical season.

Minnesota's Metrodome will not be ready for play after caving from snow. Vikings will host next Monday's game in University of Minnesota's out door facility. Football outside in Minnesota. They way the game was meant to be played. Is anyone out there old enough to remember when the Vikings played all of their games in natural conditions during the Bud Grant era? Purple People Eaters? Tarkington to Rashad? Chuck Foreman? Those were the Vikings glory days.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Philadelphia Phillies: Dynasty in the Making?

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-Digger's Daily-

Roy Halladay. Roy Oswalt. Cole Hamels. Introducing returning fan favorite... Cliff Lee. Philadelphia Phillies fans get ready to watch great baseball for years to come. Barring any major physical setbacks, the 2011 Phillies starting rotation rivals some of the greatest ever.

Living up to hype is always difficult. Philadelphia management should be commended on pulling off this stunner of a move. All eyes were sharply focused on New York Yankees vs Texas Rangers as front line contenders to sign baseball's most coveted 2011 free agent. I'm not surprised at all by his decision to spurn New York after the vicious treatment bestowed upon his wife at Yankee Stadium during the ALCS. Texans staying up late Monday night were hit hardest. Rangers fans heard the news of Lee turning down the Yankees multi-year multi-million dollar offer and started celebrating prematurely. They were certain Lee was about to return for another season in Arlington. Moments later the news of Lee to Philadelphia hit the airwaves. Rangers fans are in a state of disbelief. Phillies fans will be celebrating for a long time to come.

Will the 2011 Philadelphia Phillies dominate baseball behind their star studded rotation? Next moves better be to settle a very erratic bullpen. Once accomplished, the Phillies will have a legitimate shot of four 20-game winners. 110+ wins seems well within reach. 115? 120? Don't forget about their potent lineup and solid all around defense.

Dynasties are created over years. Phillies have been NL East champs four years running. Two time NL champs. One World Series. They've just locked up the East for another 3 years in my book. Plenty of minor league talent on the rise. Trade-able players on the major league roster. These guys are clearly in the drivers seat able to maneuver through most hiccups teams normally encounter during a season.

It's Philadelphia's time. How will they be remembered in baseball history? As a dynasty of the early 2000's? Or, as what could have been if...?


Monday, December 13, 2010

Power Rankings: Week of December 12

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-Digger's Daily-

San Antonio (20-3) has the early season hot hand in the West. Dallas (19-4) is right on their trail. Its' been the Amare Stoudemire show on Broadway leading the Knicks (16-9) to 8 consecutive victories. Carmelo Anthony is pressing to become a Knick by disclosing intentions not to sign a lucrative $65M extension unless he's traded to New York. NBA has been action filled in 2010. Here's how they rank thru Sunday's games.

TOP 10
1 - San Antonio
2 - Boston
3 - Dallas
4 - Lakers
5 - Miami
6 - Oklahoma City
7 - Orlando
8 - Utah
9 - Atlanta
10- New York

NHL's worst team? Is there any doubt? No. New York Islanders (5-17-5) own this unfortunate distinction. New York lost out in a bid for a new arena. Front office is and has been one of the league's worst for years. As bad as things are for Islanders fans, Devils fans are perplexed to find their team only 3 points ahead of NY.

On the bright side. Pittsburgh (21-8-2) is the only 20 game winner so far after beginning the season 6-7-1. Sidney Crosby (Pit) leads all NHL point scorers (51) and goals (26).

TOP 10
1 - Pittsburgh
2 - Detroit
3 - Philadelphia
4 - Washington
5 - Montreal
6 - Boston
7 - Vancouver
8 - Dallas
9 - Phoenix
10- Los Angeles

It's official. Brett Favre's NFL record 297 consecutive game streak is over! It's been a miserable season in Minnesota. Coach fired, team struggling, players hurt and Vikings losing more than they win. Favre's final NFL is not quite what Minnesota fans wished for after their team came within a couple of plays of advancing to last year's Super Bowl.

Winter weather crippled the northwest over the weekend. Giants plane was diverted away from Minnesota due to a blinding blizzard. Making matters worse, the Metrodome roof caved in from immense weight of snow (video) The game was canceled and rescheduled for play tonight at 7:20 pm in Detroit.

The playoff picture is cloudy. Many teams are in the hunt with only three games to go. Huge divisional battles looming in upcoming games.

TOP 10
1 - New England
2 - Pittsburgh
3 - Atlanta
4 - New Orleans
5 - Philadelphia
6 - New York Giants
7 - Chicago
8 - New York Jets
9 - Baltimore
10- Green Bay


Friday, December 10, 2010

East Beast: Boston Red Sox Bulking Up!

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-Digger's Daily-

Baseball in Boston has quickly become a hot topic. GM Theo Epstein is one of the games best. He weaved a little magic and waived big bucks to bulk up the Red Sox with two of baseball's brightest stars. First, Boston traded for Padres first-baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Next up, take aim at Carl Crawford who recently spent time with Yankees GM Brian Cashman. A soon to be announced $140M contract instantly transforms Boston's lineup into a serious juggernaut. Cashman was even quoted as saying "Great move. Great player." The most important factor is Gonzalez (28) enters his prime baseball years. For the first time he now has solid lineup protection. Imagine the stats he'll register in AL East hitter friendly parks. Crawford is in his prime. Epstein locked up 2 premier players for years to come. Yanks are offering Lee a mega deal. It's anyone's guess where he'll pitch. If Boston stretches its' piggy bank???

There's one player not many are taking notice of due to the flurry of recent activity. In the midst of Dunn signing with White Sox, Pena now a Cub, Hardy traded to Baltimore, Uggla in Atlanta, Gonzalez, Crawford... here's a move which might shift AL East balance this year. Catcher Russell Martin. Boston let Martinez go to free up free agent cash. Varitek is a fan favorite but is relegated to backup duties and Jarrod Saltalamacchia isn't a producer. Martin is a perfect fit in Fenway. Boston would also handicap the Yankees. Yanks want to play it safe by landing Martin. Posada is the new DH and Girardi must be a bit nervous handing the catching duties to a rookie in '11. Martin is a good fit for the Yanks and others. Expect a Yankees vs Red Sox free agent war to erupt at any moment. Yanks desperately need pitching. What will they do if Lee spurns a mega deal to play for his favorite team? I'd bet he picks a team before Sunday.

Boston and New York aren't the only East teams getting busy. A chess match is in progress. Questions surround Tampa in my mind. A great club playing winning baseball could barely draw fans to home games until late last season. It's going to hurt their spending power as evidenced by Crawford's departure. Curious eye should pay attention to see how they respond to a significant divisional power shift. Baltimore is quietly solidifying their underachieving club. A healthy J.J. Hardy couldn't have landed in a better short porch division for putting up some nice power numbers. Brendan Harris was part of the deal too as the O's try plugging a few gaps. Toronto has a new manager. John Farrell takes over as Blue Jays skipper replacing everyone's favorite, Cito Gaston. Jays will probably spend wisely, not wildly.

AL East baseball is heating up in dead of winter!

Boston clear early winners acquiring rising stars. Yankees busy re-signing aging veterans. Tampa hoping pitching prevails. Baltimore and Toronto sharing Cinderella status. Stay tuned for breaking free agent announcements... it's going to be a busy few weeks of player signings. No one wants to get left out in the cold like last season. Plenty of careers came to screeching halts in the winter of 2009. Can you guess (remember) their names? Didn't think so.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NFL Predictions: Week 14

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-Digger's Daily-

45-3. So much for what was billed as the game of the year. Like I've preached thousands of times. Games are won and lost on the field of play, not by comparisons made on paper. Jets were dealt humble pie by the mighty Patriots. No game of the year match-ups this weekend. However, a select few games worth mentioning.

AFC South leading Jacksonville (7-5) hosts AFC West wannabee Oakland Raiders (6-6). It's a key game for both teams fighting for playoffs.

AFC West Kansas City (8-4) travels to San Diego (6-6). KC win puts a strangle hold on division lead. Loss by SD kisses playoff hopes goodbye.

Super preview? Patriots (10-2) head to the Windy City. Chicago (9-3) has won 5 straight.

Two other notables. Miami vs Jets and Philly vs Cowboys rivalries on tap this weekend.

WEEK 14 (home in CAPS)
Colts 33 TITANS 17

Browns 23 BILLS 21
STEELERS 34 Bengals 17
Packers 44 LIONS 7
Giants 31 VIKINGS 20
Bucs 20 REDSKINS 16
Falcons 27 PANTHERS 3
JAGUARS 38 Raiders 27
49ERS 17 Seahawks 15
SAINTS 48 Rams 21
JETS 24 Dolphins 10
Broncos 24 CARDS 17
Chiefs 21 CHARGERS 20
Patriots 24 BEARS 23
Eagles 35 COWBOYS 20

Ravens 27 TEXANS 16

Back to back weeks picking 11 correctly followed up by 12 this past weekend. Season total now stands at 104-81.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Football Power Rankings Shake Up

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-Digger's Daily-

It was billed as the NFL game of the year. A pair of 9-2 teams battling live on Monday Night Football. National audience. Two great teams. New York Jets coach Ryan has promised a Super Bowl. Promised a big night where his better Jets team would beat a better Patriots coach and QB. Yeah right. New England gave the Jets a firm Pat down. Bill Belichick, Tom Brady & Co. completely destroyed New York 45-3 and the game wasn't nearly as close as the score indicates. It looked more like a 100-0 shellacking.
So, here's the question. If the Jets aren't the best NFL team then who is? Atlanta (10-2)? New Orleans (9-3)? Patriots (10-2)? Pittsburgh (9-3)? Let's take a look as rankings take on a new look....

1 - New England Patriots
2 - Atlanta Falcons
3 - Pittsburgh Steelers
4 - New Orleans Saints
5 - Chicago Bears
6 - New York Jets
7 - Philadelphia Eagles
8 - New York Giants
9 - Green Bay Packers
10- Baltimore Ravens

Get ready for the BCS National Championship Game for all the marbles. Next month (January 10) Auburn and Oregon meet to determine the 2010 NCAA Football champion. Personally, I can't stand a one month layoff before a title game. It's simply ridiculous & without merit. Championship games used to be scheduled around New Year's Day. Then, thanks largely to Bowl and television revenues, the big game was moved back. My suggestion is either end the season later or move Bowl games to within two weeks of regular season completion.

My final regular season 2010 college rankings:

1 - Auburn
2 - Oregon
3 - TCU
4 - Wisconsin
5 - Stanford
6 - Ohio State
7 - Michigan State
8 - Boise State
9 - Oklahoma
10- Nevada
11- Arkansas
12- LSU
13- Virginia Tech
14- Missouri
15- Oklahoma State
16- Utak
17- Alabama
18- Texas A&M
19- Nebraska
20- West Virginia


Saturday, December 4, 2010

In Case You Missed It...

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-Digger's Daily-

Let's begin in the world of baseball. Curious question for general managers. Why isn't Adam Dunn one of the most sought after sluggers in the game? Here's a guy who averages 40 HR, .400 OBA year after year. His name is tossed around in trade rumor after trade rumor come deadline time and he's never gets dealt. All was relatively quiet during his free agent years too. Not many teams seemed openly interested in signing one of the games most consistent sluggers. Until now. The Chicago White Sox stepped up to the plate and signed a much needed offensive weapon. Perhaps his presence can wake up an underachieving batting order? Great move by the White Sox. If they re-sign Konerko then Chicago has a serious 1-2 power tandem heading into 2011.

Speaking of signings... there's a rumor Boston Red Sox made a serious run at signing Mariano Rivera. Yep, that's right. Boston made a move on Rivera. It wasn't to be as Rivera is about to re-sign in New York. Derek Jeter vs Yankees back and forth public negotiations, or should I say insults, have simmered. Latest rumors suggesting Jeter and Yanks found common ground somewhere in the 4 year $20M per season. Official numbers/years haven't been publicly released. Now, let's see how aggressive New York becomes chasing after Cliff Lee.

Here's an eye opening tidbit of trade rumors. Padres to send Adrian Gonzalez to Boston? Boston has been dangling top minor league prospects. Gonzalez shifting to a hitters park division with lineup protection for the first time ever will certainly a strong incentive for wanting a trade. Especially for a player just about ready to begin prime time playing years. Boston is coveting Jason Worth and Carl Crawford too. How quickly things can change. Now it's understandable how easy it was for Boston to part with Victor Martinez (signed by Detroit earlier this week). If Beltre doesn't come back then Boston has plenty of wheeling dealing cash to make serious bids at free agents and talented minor leaguers dangled as trade bait. Boston smells an opportunity. Tampa is cost cutting. Yanks pitching staff in shambles and ownership straddled with big deals on aging players. It's a ripe time for Sox brass to load up and run away with the East in '11.

Sad news this week. Legendary Chicago Cubs 3B Ron Santo (70) died this week. Without question, not only was Santo one of the biggest Cubs names in history, he was also their biggest fan. No person seems to have an intelligent answer as to why Ron Santo was never voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It's one of the most baffling non-selections in baseball history. What's even more shocking is the Veterans Committee never enshrined him either! What gives. Santo was a defensive gem, one of the highest 3B at getting on base, solid contributor year in and year out. Santo did it all while battling diabetes too. One of Santo's greatest dreams in life, same with millions of other fans from Chicago, was to watch the Cubs win the World Series. R.I.P. Mr Santo. One of baseball's good guys.

Shifting gears to NFL stuff. How about those Eagles and Michael Vick? Vick is well deserving of serious MVP consideration. Without any doubt Vick is the clear Comeback Player of the Year. How does one defense his skills? Lightning quick reflexes and instant ability to shift into high speed. Rocket arm. Every one can clearly see Philadelphia is a Super Bowl contender with Vick as starting QB.

Speaking of contenders. NFC has a few names and Vick's former team is one of them. Atlanta has been a solid team all season. Efficient and effective running, passing and defensive schemes earned the Falcons NFC's top record (9-2). They don't dominate any one area on the field but their team balance makes them a legitimate force.

Monday Night Football hosts the game of the year when two hated rivals strap it on in Foxboro. Jets (9-2) vs Patriots (9-2). Winner takes hold of the AFC East. New York won the first match-up back in game 2, 28-14. Jets defense lost signal calling SS Jim Leonhard for the year during Thursday's practice. Tom Brady might be licking his chops now anticipating an opportunity to carve up a stunned defensive unit. Coach Bilichek has been at his best in 2010. Monday night's game is sure to be a hard hitting, in your face, fight for every inch kind of contest. Let's hope the game lives up to its' hype!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NFL Predictions: Week 13

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-Digger's Daily-

What a wild and wacky ride its' been for NFL players and fans. NFC West teams all have losing records. Rams (5-6) & Seahawks (5-6) are tied in the leagues weakest division. Stumbling 49ers are only 1 game back. On the opposite end of the spectrum, New York Jets & New England Patriots remain tied for AFC East lead (9-2). They'll go toe to toe, hit for hit, this Monday night in Foxboro. Cincinnati was expected to challenge after a solid 2009. Instead, they're 2-9 tied for AFC's worst record.

Big hits, illegal hits, dropped punt attempts, bad field goal snaps, wild kicks, dropped passes, incredible runs, coaches fired, league fines, fights, suspensions, twitter's, text inquiries, spygates, hold outs, injuries, hot sideline reporters, last second victories. Have I missed anything? Get set. The final 5 weeks will be quite entertaining.

Time for Week 13 predictions. I've rebounded of late after a not so hot 1st half of picking. 11-5 last week increases season total W-L to 92-77. All teams facing must win weekend even if just to save face. Picking time (home team in CAPS).


EAGLES 33 Texans 30

GIANTS 27 Redskins 21
CHIEFS 23 Broncos 21
Jaguars 26  TITANS 20
PACKERS 45 49ers 7
DOLPHINS 17 Browns 16
Bills 27 VIKINGS 24
Bears 23 LIONS 20
Saints 30 BENGALS 20
CHARGERS 44 Raiders 10
SEAHAWKS 20 Panthers 13
Falcons 24 BUCS 14
Rams 28 CARDS 13
COLTS 33 Cowboys 24
Steelers 24 RAVENS 23

PATRIOTS 20 Jets 16