Thursday, December 29, 2011

Power Rankings Top 10's

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-Digger's Daily-

All World All Sports Power Rankings has changed gears by trimming our Power Rankings to Top 10 lists. Polls fluently change as does our unique rankings so we're shifting to short and sweet. We invite readers to tout their own rankings in our comments arenas.

Top 10's
1 - Green Bay Packers
2 - New Orleans Saints
3 - San Francisco 49ers
4 - New England Patriots
5 - Baltimore Ravens
6 - Pittsburgh Steelers
7 - Detroit Lions
8 - Cincinnati Bengals
9 - Houston Texans
10- Atlanta Falcons

1 - Oklahoma City Thunder
2 - Miami Heat
3 - Chicago Bulls
4 - San Antonio Spurs
5 - Los Angeles Clippers
6 - Dallas Mavericks
7 - Boston Celtics
8 - Los Angeles Lakers
9 - New York Knicks
10- Atlanta Hawks

1 - Boston Bruins
2 - New York Rangers
3 - Chicago Blackhawks
4 - Detroit Red Wings
5 - Vancouver Canucks
6 - Pittsburgh Penguins
7 - St Louis Blues
8 - Philadelphia Flyers
9 - San Jose Sharks
10- Minnesota Wild

1 - Syracuse
2 - Ohio State
3 - Kentucky
4 - Louisville
5 - Baylor
6 - Missouri
7 - Duke
8 - Connecticut
9 - Indiana
10- North Carolina

NCAA Women's BB
1 - Baylor
2 - Connecticut
3 - Notre Dame
4 - Stanford
5 - Maryland
6 - Kentucky
7 - Ohio State
8 - Texas Tech
9 - Duke
10- Texas A&M

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

NFL 2011 Predictions - Week 17

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-Digger's Daily-

This is it. The final games of our NFL 2011 season will be played New Year's Day. All eye's focused on teams battling for the final two playoff slots (one each in AFC/NFC). New York Giants will host the Dallas Cowboys in a winner take all for NFC East division honors after Big Blue knocked off stadium sharing rival Gang Green (NY Jets). The Jets loss all but ended their disappointing season - making a liar out of a Super Bowl Championship prediction by their head coach. Dallas is down after losing to Philadelphia. QB Tony Romo's status is uncertain after receiving a right hand contusion. In the AFC, Tebow gets one more chance to secure the AFC West. If Denver wins, they're in. Division winners are playing for first round bye's. Saints and 49ers tied at 12-3 (SF holds tie-break advantage). Pittsburgh (11-4) and Baltimore (11-4) trying to secure the AFC North and pass over New England (12-3) will become top seed.

Take nothing for granted this weekend. Green Bay is one of the few teams able to take advantage of resting starting players in preparation for the post-season.

Week 16 was kind as I nailed 12 of 16 upping the season total to 153-87 (63.8%).

Final regular season games of 2011.

Week 17 (home in CAPS)
NEW ORLEANS 38 Carolina 17
NEW ENGLAND 31 Buffalo 20
MINNESOTA 24 Chicago 20
MIAMI 34 Jets 23
San Francisco 24 ST LOUIS 14
GREEN BAY 28 Detroit 24
PHILADELPHIA 37 Washington 10
JACKSONVILLE 20 Indianapolis 17
HOUSTON 21 Tennessee 20
Seattle 24 ARIZONA 23
DENVER 28 Kansas City 21
ATLANTA 28 Tampa Bay 16
CINCINNATI 23 Baltimore 17
Pittsburgh 20 CLEVELAND 10
San Diego 35 OAKLAND 21
GIANTS 31 Dallas 20

End of regular season

Brees Sets Passing Record vs Whiny Falcons

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-Digger's Daily-

New Orleans Saints (12-3) star QB Drew Brees bested Dan Marino's NFL record for passing yards in a single season on Monday Night Football. Brees hit halfback Darren Sproles with a 9 yard strike to set the record with 2:51 remaining in a 45-16 romp over Atlanta.

New Orleans fans showered Brees with a long standing ovation as their quarterback celebrated and received congratulations from Saints teammates. Marino passed for 5,084 yards during a magical 1984 season. Brees needed just 15 games, finishing with 5,087. He'll raise the bar further in the final week of regular season action becoming the only player to surpass 5,100 yards.

Not everyone was celebrating. A beaten down Atlanta Falcons team wasn't happy New Orleans continued throwing late in the game. Get over it Falcons!!! What did you expect? A record within reach - during a home game - on Monday Night Football - why shouldn't New Orleans head coach give the green light. This is the NFL - Not For Lightweights. Stop whining and give Brees the respect he deserves - especially after picking apart Atlanta's defense. This wasn't about running up the score against a beaten team. It was all about letting their team leader achieve record status. If Atlanta didn't want him to break the record then their defense should have stepped up. They didn't. Drew Brees did.

Congratulations Drew! The Saints finish up the regular season against a very porous Carolina defense on New Year's Day. Let's predict a final season ending total of 5,415.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

NFL 2011 Predictions - Week 16

Check it out - "All World All Sports"

-Digger's Daily-

Happy Chanukah & Merry Christmas! 

A few upsets in Week 15 doomed pick selections. Kansas City pulled off the upset of the season handing Green Bay their first loss. Washington bumped off a lethargic Giants club for the 2nd time this year. Indianapolis stunned Tennessee for their first win of the year. San Diego took advantage of a banged up group of Ravens. Before it was over - Digger only nailed 7 of 16 correctly. Season total 141-83 (62.9%).

It's do or die this weekend for teams fighting for playoff positions.

Week 16 (home team in CAPS)
Houston 24 INDIANAPOLIS 13

Oakland 30 KANSAS CITY 23
TENNESSEE 28 Jacksonville 17
NEW ENGLAND 52 Miami 10
CINCINNATI 23 Arizona 21
Denver 25 BUFFALO 17
PITTSBURGH 21 St Louis 3
Giants 34 JETS 24
WASHINGTON 24 Minnesota 20
CAROLINA 28 Tampa Bay 24
BALTIMORE 27 Cleveland 10
San Diego 33 DETROIT 31
Philadelphia 38 DALLAS 21
San Francisco 19 SEATTLE 13

GREEN BAY 44 Chicago 14

NEW ORLEANS 30 Atlanta 24

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Battle for NFL Playoffs

Check it out - "All World All Sports"

-Digger's Daily-

2011 NFL enters the final two weeks of regular season action. Plenty of great stories. Green Bay's run at perfection ended last weekend. Drew Brees on pace to shatter Dan Marino's single season passing record. Tim Tebow in Denver. Coach of the Year candidate Jim Harbaugh returned San Francisco 49er football to winning ways (and a division title). Houston Texans surviving multiple injuries to post their franchise 2nd winning season and first division title. MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards still up for grabs. Also up for grabs, coveted final playoff slots. Who's going to win and get in?

New England's superior offense camouflages their porous defense. Patriots defense is tough to handicap since opponents play catch-up football - usually large deficits. Tom Brady is masterfully putting together a MVP-type season. No NFL coach is better at game planning and execution than Bill Belichick.

Baltimore Ravens are a Super Bowl caliber team. They're a bit banged up on defense but this team has it all when in synch. Defense is their best offense. Translation - superior defense gives Baltimore offense great field position for short drives.

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger's gimpy ankle needs to heal - quickly. Pittsburgh's playoff survival weakens considerably without a healthy and roaming Big Ben. Defense pounds but susceptible to big plays. Clock management has been surprisingly abysmal most of the year. Never count these guys out.

It's been the much publicized Tebow leading Denver. Defense and late game heroics have become the norm as Tebow's antics place him squarely in bulls-eye's of friends and foes alike. Denver's ground game is the key to success on offense. Red Zone attack needs to step it up a notch, especially when playoff football begins.

Playoff picture:
4 of 6 teams in. New England (11-3), Baltimore (10-4), Houston (10-4) & Pittsburgh (10-4) secured playoff slots.
Denver (8-6) wins the west with a victories at Buffalo and home closer vs Kansas City. Tebow's inspiring play and Broncos tenacious defense hope to rebound after New England showed why their AFC's #1 seed. Two wins (or combination of win/loss by Oak/SD) and the West belongs to Denver.
Oakland (7-7) remains in the hunt but needs help to catch Denver. Winning remaining games is their only option.
Remember when San Diego (7-7) began the season 4-1? Then lost 6 straight? Riding a 3 win streak, Chargers must win their final 2 games and hope for both Denver & Oakland to collapse. Good luck.
New York Jets (8-6) control their Wild Card destiny. Win two and they're in. They also own tie-breaker over Cincinnati. Big game vs stadium sharing playoff seeking New York Giants (7-7).
All sorts of implications/possibilities could trigger tie-breakers kicking in to determine eventual playoff teams. Playoff seeding also at stake. Patriots currently #1 followed by Baltimore. AFC North is still up for grabs (Baltimore owns tie-breaker).

Division winners: (1) Patriots, (2) Ravens, (3) Texans, (4) Broncos. Wild Card: (5) Steelers, (6) Jets.

Can you believe it? For much of the season Green Bay's 13 game winning streak took a backseat to Tebow fever. Packers offense plays nearly flawless football. Aaron Rodgers is one of football's greatest players. He's amassed 4,360 yards - 40 TD's and only 6 interceptions. It doesn't get much better than this folks. 13 wins in 14 games isn't too shabby either. Defending Champs fine tuning to defend their crown.

Has anyone been paying attention to San Francisco football outside of the NFC West? Better take notice. 49ers defense is making a name for themselves. They're getting stronger as confidence grows. This current 49ers teams reminds me of 80's style Giants football. Opportunistic team gains advantage while most focus on NFC's Packers & Saints.

Drew Brees might give himself a Christmas present this weekend - and - possibly giving Hall of Famer Dan Marino a lump of coal. Brees is on the verge of breaking Marino's single season passing record - a remarkable accomplishment. He needs just 305 yards to set a new record.

What is up with the New York Giants (7-7). Stunning losses to weaker teams leaves this group - and head coach - battling for their short and long term futures. Two losses to Washington, one to a Vick-less Eagles squad and Seattle cost them from clinching the NFC East. These were all ugly losses. Coughlin will be gone if Giants get eliminated. Big New York vs New York match-up this weekend. Loser's season in jeopardy.

Playoff picture:
Top seed Green Bay's (13-1, North) run at perfection ended last weekend. San Francisco (11-3, West) & New Orleans (10-4, South) won their division.
Dallas (8-6) currently leads the East over New York (7-7). East is there's if they beat Philly coupled with a Giants loss this weekend. Expect a final game showdown at MetLife to decide who wins. I'm betting Eagles and Giants win this weekend forcing a winner take all final game.
Atlanta (9-5) and Detroit (9-5) appear to have a lock on Wild Card status but it's not said and done until the final gun sounds.

Division winners: (1) Packers, (2) 49ers, (3) Saints, (4) Giants. Wild Card: (5) Lions, (6) Falcons.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All World All Sports NBA 2011-12 Preview

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-Digger's Daily-

Short season on the way. Players still changing teams, negotiating new contracts and shaking off the rust from an extended work stoppage. Many were plenty put off once Commissioner Stern began cancelling games weeks at a time. How will fans react once the new season begins? Will they return in droves - or - driven away? Time will tell.

Crystal ball time. All World All Sports 2011-12 NBA forecast...

Eastern Conference
Boston Celtics
New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers
New Jersey Nets
Toronto Raptors
Chicago Bulls
Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers
Milwaukee Bucks
Cleveland Cavs
Miami Heat
Orlando Magic
Atlanta Hawks
Charlotte Bobcats
Washington Wizards

Western Conference
Oklahoma City Thunder
Denver Nuggets
Portland Trailblazers
Utah Jazz
Minnesota Timberwolves
LA Lakers
LA Clippers
Phoenix Suns
Golden State Warriors
Sacramento Kings
Dallas Mavericks
San Antonio Spurs
Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets
New Orleans Hornets

Champions: Boston Celtics

Thursday, December 15, 2011

NFL 2011 Predictions - Week 15

Check it out - "All World All Sports"

-Digger's Daily-

Tick tock. Tick tock. Three regular season NFL weeks remain in the 2011 season. Division winners Green Bay (13-0), San Francisco (10-3) & Houston (10-3) will be fine tuning their games and battling for playoff seeding while somehow trying to remain healthy. Houston's season has been nothing short of remarkable. So many key players banged up - and - they're on quarterback number 3. Green Bay is heading towards history. Who will beat them?

New York Jets and Giants fans roller coaster emotions put to the test all season long. Giants (8-5) breathing new life after edging division rival Dallas. Sanchez finally looking good for Jets - perhaps pre-game boo's from home crowd snapped him to life?

Baltimore (10-3) owns tie-breakers vs AFC North division rival Pittsburgh (10-3) based on sweeping their season series. Roethlisberger banged up for a big game vs San Francisco this weekend.

Tim Tebow magic leading Denver (8-5) to the top of AFC West. Oakland (7-6) was blown out in back to back games needs a big victory this weekend to stay alive.

Digger correctly nails 13 of 16 in Week 14! Season total advances to 134-74 (64.4%).

Week 15 (home in CAPS)
ATLANTA 27 Jacksonville 10

DALLAS 38  Tampa Bay 14

HOUSTON 27 Carolina 23
GIANTS 34 Washington 20
BUFFALO 28 Miami 17
CHICAGO 12 Seattle 10
New Orleans 45 MINNESOTA 21
Cincinnati 28 ST LOUIS 3
Tennessee 30 INDIANAPOLIS 7
GREEN BAY 35 Kansas City 3
OAKLAND 24 Detroit 23
New England 33 DENVER 17
ARIZONA 24 Cleveland 13
Baltimore 24 SAN DIEGO 20

Pittsburgh 16 SAN FRANCISCO 13

Monday, December 12, 2011

Keep the Faith! Tebow Strikes Again!

Check it out - "All World All Sports"

-Digger's Daily-

Believe in your faith. Tim Tebow's religious beliefs guide his life on and off of football fields. He's been criticized heavily for public displays of deep devotion. Tebow's detractors openly and often criticize his throwing ability as much as Tebowing. Guess what? Denver Broncos starting quarterback Tim Tebow is now 7-1. The 7th victory was another thrilling late game come from behind victory - 4th in a row.

Yesterday's game caught most by surprise - again. Denver's offense wasn't clicking at all before the final three minutes in regulation during Sunday's overtime 13-10 victory against Chicago. The Bears defense shadowed Tebow all game long. Denver receivers dropped passes at key moments throughout. Eight consecutive Broncos drives ended in 5 plays or less until the hurry up offense went into effect.

Trailing 10-0, with just over 4 minutes remaining, Tebow went to work guiding Denver 7 plays for 63 yards culminated by a 10 yard strike to Demaryius Thomas with 2:08 to go. Denver nearly recovered a perfect onside kick almost (2 players collided, Chicago recovered). All the Bears had to do was run the ball and keep the clock moving to secure victory. This would have left approximately 13-15 seconds in regulation. Denver used up all of their timeouts leaving no way to stop the game clock. Trailing 10-7, Denver's 5 game win streak was coming to an end.
"If you believe," Tebow said, "then unbelievable things can sometimes be possible."
On Chicago's first play (2nd down) after the 2:00 minute warning Bears running back Marion Barber bounced a left tackle run to the outside - way outside - and was inexplicably knocked out of bounds stopping the clock at 1:55. All Barber had to do was fall down in bounds. Forty precious seconds would have ticked off the clock. Instead the clock froze at 1:55 with 3rd down on the way.

Television viewers, Broncos fans and anyone within ear shot knew this game was about to change. Change it did. After Chicago punted Tebow had 53 seconds left from his own 20 yard line in regulation to perform another football miracle. One quick strike after another set up a long shot field goal attempt for the tie. Broncos kicker Matt Prater blasted a Denver record 59 yard field goal in front of 76,487 delirious home town fans. Most of America was stunned at the sudden turn of events. 10-10 and headed to overtime.

Chicago won the coin toss and quickly drove down the field. A new sense of determination coming from Chicago coaches who were overly cautious during the 4th quarter. Chicago neared field goal position. On 3rd and 7 from the Denver 38 Barber ran towards a gaping hole. At first quick glance it seemed as though if Barber exploded through the hole he was going for a massive gain - or perhaps and touchdown. Barber hit the hole hard as did Broncos LB Wesley Woodyard. Barber was gone if he was able to avoid the ball jarring hit - FUMBLE! Broncos recover... Tebow time!

Watching events in this game at the end of regulation and overtime was surreal (in football sense). Tebow got the ball back. Seconds earlier most thought Chicago was about to line up for a game winning overtime field goal attempt. This is minutes after most thought Chicago was going to win in regulation. I'd like to read a stat of how many fans switched channels with the score 10-7 at the 2:00 minute warning. Bears fans had to return in stunned disbelief... while Denver fans returned to stunned exuberance.

Now here we are in overtime. Regulation goat Marion Barber became game goat Marion Barber after a devastating overtime fumble. Tebow and the Broncos went to work from his own 34. 8 plays later Denver was set up for a 51 yard field goal attempt... there was never any doubt. Prater nailed a 51 yard game winning kick at the 8:34 mark.

Tebow's antics, game play, come from behind victories, and now division leader (Denver 8-5) has probably been the most discussed in 2011 NFL action. Fans love him for many reasons. Reason #1 is winning. What I'll never understand is players & media attacking his faith. Why? Tebow is a devout faith believer. Good for him. It's his choice and should be respected. Tebow lives his life by a code - faith in his religion. Tebow is of strong moral character. A 5 tool competitor who plays football with belief in his ability, determination, guts, strength and heart. Results: 7-1 propelling Denver (8-5) into first place. Yet, relentless attacks by players and media for courage to show and discuss faith.

Question: how many times does a baseball player make the cross sign before stepping into the batters box? Kiss a cross after a crossing home plate with a winning run? On a home run? How about football players celebrating after touchdowns? Wins? How about when faith and thanks to faith are the first spoken words? Not a peep of discontent - and there shouldn't be - so why Tebow?

I will never understand the clear and present danger of accelerating disrespect displayed towards religion in the United States of America. From educators in schools to elected government officials to influential media outlets. Somehow the Ten Commandments have been eradicated from select public buildings. The Pledge of Allegiance banned. In God We Trust under attack. Public displays of Christmas or Channukah ornaments being outlawed. And now, sports figures public displays of faith scrutinized. Does this mean our national anthem will soon be outlawed? Or, 7th inning stretch God Bless America? Let's hope not.

Standing ovation for Tim Tebow's 7-1 record. He's done it all with people mocking his every move. Keep the faith!

NFL 2011 Predictions - Week 14

Check it out - "All World All Sports"

-Digger's Daily-

**Apologies to All World All Sports Blog readers - this was originally posted on our main web site but never copied onto eBlogger**

Week 13 treated us to thrilling games. Giants vs Green Bay was one of the years best. Tebow's prayers were answered again in another Denver come from behind victory. Five consecutive late game heroics has Denver tied for first place. Arizona scored a TKO of Dallas in OT after another Cowboys coaching error.

11 of 16 last weekend brings my season total to 121-71 (63%). All remaining games are must wins for teams seeking a shot at post-season play - especially teams on the outside looking in. Not too many must see type games on this weekends schedule. One standout game is Sunday night when the Giants travel to Dallas.

Week 14

PITTSBURGH 31 Cleveland 3

JETS 28 Kansas City 6
Tampa Bay 24 JACKSONVILLE 20
New England 48 WASHINGTON 14
Atlanta 30 CAROLINA 28
BALTIMORE 23 Indianapolis 3
Philadelphia 27  MIAMI 17
DETROIT 27 Minnesota 20
New Orleans 27 TENNESSEE 23
CINCINNATI 23 Houston 21
DENVER 24 Chicago 13
San Francisco 26 ARIZONA 20
SAN DIEGO 33 Buffalo 23
GREEN BAY 42 Oakland 21
Giants 38 DALLAS 27

SEATTLE 23 St Louis 16

Monday, December 5, 2011

Baseball's Winter Heating Up

Check it out - "All World All Sports"

-Digger's Daily-

Miami Marlins making early waves went out on a limb by signing Jose Reyes. Marlins have a new name - Miami. Soon to be new stadium - Sun Life Stadium. New uniforms. New attitude. New spending spree - a first in recent memory for Marlins teams.
A new generation of baseball is coming to Miami. Their organization is waving long term deals at key franchise-type players in a effort to solidify a solid, competitive Miami future. A generous deal by the City of Miami (now under investigation) affords Miami a long overdue opportunity to keep their star players and attract new ones. Just signed - NL batting champion Jose Reyes for 6 years, $106,000,000.00. Reyes is a great player with one major downside. Reyes has been sidelined extensively throughout his career in New York. If he stays healthy then count Miami as a serious NL East contender for years to come. Hanley Ramirez will shift from SS to 3B giving Miami an outstanding left side of the infield offensively and defensively.
Free agent closer Heath Bell was Miami's second major signing in two days (3 years, $27,000,000.00) and they're hot on Albert Pujols trail. Another name mentioned often is Mark Buerhle. Nobody should expect the Marlins to toss around Red Sox or Yankees kind of money. This is a team grooming very good talent and now adding a few select top veterans. Shrewd long range plans in the works. Marlins baseball will be a must watch when 2012 season begins.

Hall of Fame
It's about time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ron Santo ( is finally heading into the Hall. I will never understand how Santo wasn't voted in during the 15 year eligibility votes. Then comes the HOF Veterans Committee which basically has the power to elect players who never received enough votes. Here's the real injustice. Veterans Committee had 12 years - 12 - to right a wrong. Is it their inner guilt taking over? Ron Santo died one year ago. Now, he gets in? Why not when he was alive allowing him the feeling of being a Hall of Fame inductee? How utterly miserable. Bittersweet.

Free Agents
Albert Pujols is the big fish on the market. He can pick whichever team he wants. Plenty of speculation as to where he'll end up. Plenty of teams will make offers - unless Pujols seeks ARod money. Then again, one never knows what kind of crazy contract might come from fickle owners in bidding wars? Miami is a great place to live. Will be a great place to play in a brand new hitters friendly stadium. Star studded lineup. Solid pitchers? Theo Epstein's chasing hard after Pujols. Esptein helped remove one curse. Can he work magic for the Cubs? Time will tell. Giants need to step up after losing out on Reyes. Perhaps Albert's just testing the market for leverage in St. Louis?
Big question marks surrounding many teams. The usual characters - Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies and perhaps Braves - will keep throwing big bucks around. What has me wondering is strategy of low budget teams or teams in financial distress? LA Dodgers and NY Mets with cash flow problems. LA secured a new SS signing utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. Mets might be willing to sell off everything possible. David Wright should beg to get out of NY. Angels, Cardinals, Red Sox & White Sox would be great fits if Mets follow a path of quietly severing ties with big salaries to gain useful prospects.
Kansas City & Washington have me curious too. Their once young talent is maturing. They need pitching and veteran leadership. How will front office's respond? It isn't easy attracting star pitchers to KC or Washington just yet?
Believe it or not, I've been reading how the most coveted free agents might be utility type (multi-position) players. Adam Kennedy and Hairston off the board quickly with more to follow soon. Prince Fielder sweepstakes has been rather quiet.

Plenty of rumors and headlines soon to follow. Can't wait to see how the dust settles.