NFL Conference Championship Weekend Picks

January 18, 2013

One final step until it’s time for the two week-long break to build up the Super Bowl.  With only two games this week, there will be a little bit more analysis with the pick.

Last Week:  2-2 (.500)

Playoffs:  4-4 (.500)

Overall:  176-87-1 (.667)

NFC Championship:  San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Why could San Francisco win?  They keep the momentum rolling from last week’s win over Green Bay.  The 49ers’ offense is running on all cylinders once the reins were taken off QB Colin Kaepernick.  Plus, the 49ers’ defense isn’t that bad either.  If there is no let down, this could be an easy win.

Why could Atlanta win?  Atlanta could win based on the game being in the Georgia Dome, which brings a major home field advantage.  QB Matt Ryan is more consistent than Kaepernick, but does not bring the big play threat that Kaepernick does.  The Falcons also run the ball effectively to control the ball and wear down San Francisco’s defense.

The pick:  San Francisco wins by at least a touchdown.  What the 49ers did against Green Bay last week confirmed that Jim Harbaugh made the right choice in going to and sticking with Kaepernick.  Somewhat due to injuries, Atlanta’s defense just does not have enough to stop the 49ers.

AFC Championship:  Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots

Why could Baltimore win?  The Ravens buy into the whole ‘win one in Ray Lewis’ final season’ hype.  Baltimore’s offense does not abandon the run, like it seems they have the last few weeks.  Joe Flacco also continues his development after last week’s statement game for the young quarterback.  Ravens’ S Ed Reed makes several big plays to shut down Patriots’ QB Tom Brady.

Why could New England win?  Brady is just too good.  It is so hard to bet against him in playoff situations.  Flacco follows the path of his career, of a breakthrough game followed by a disappointment.  Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick is able to out-smart Baltimore, and dominates en route to another Super Bowl trip.

The pick:  New England wins in a game that is close for awhile, but Brady and Belichick are just too good.  The only difference is that this year’s game won’t come down to a field goal.  The Patriots’ win by at least four points, and Ravens’ fans are left wondering what is the last piece of the puzzle to get past this round of the playoffs again.


Top 5 Coaches in College Football Today

January 11, 2013

As Alabama head coach Nick Saban just took home his third BCS National Championship in four years, and fourth overall, it is a good time to look at who might be the top five coaches who are in college football today.

With Saban climbing up the ranks of the best coaches of all time, where does he rank among current college coaches.

#5 – Chip Kelly, Oregon

Kelly runs his offense and he runs it well.  His up-tempo, stretch the field offense just physically and mentally wears out the Ducks’ opponents.  Kelly continues to turn out phenomenal athletes in the college ranks; they don’t always work out in the NFL.

Kelly has been the most rumored to make the jump to the NFL, he recently announced he would remain at Oregon, at least for this year.  It would have to be an ideal situation, with the right athletes already in place, for Kelly’s system to work at the next level.

#4 – Les Miles, LSU

There is probably not a coach with more guts in college football right now than Miles.  He thrives on making calls that other coaches would never make.  His sustained success in the SEC at LSU is only overshadowed by one coach.

#3 – Chris Petersen, Boise State

Every year, college football fans wait for the year Boise State seriously stumbles.  Yet every year, Boise State is competing on the national stage, and often in the running to make a BCS game as an at-large bid (a.k.a. the same exact way Northern Illinois got in).

Boise State obviously is not going to draw in the big name recruits, but Petersen continues to coach the teams to top finishes every year.

#2 – Urban Meyer, Ohio State

It shows what type of coach Meyer is when he can lead and motivate the Buckeyes, a team banned from postseason play in 2012, to the only FBS team with an undefeated record.  His offenses at Florida, especially with Tim Tebow at quarterback, were magical, and Ohio State fans hope that success is duplicated with Braxton Miller.

While Meyer has had to deal with a number of off-the-field issues, there is no denying that he is one of the brilliant coaches in college football today.

This space indicates how far ahead the #1 coach on this list is ahead of the previous four and all of the other coaches in college football.

#1 – Nick Saban, Alabama

What Saban has been able to do at Alabama is just unbelievable.  The Crimson Tide were just better in all aspects of the game against Notre Dame.

There is not another coach in college football right now, that if there was one game to win, that I would want roaming the sidelines and preparing my team.

NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Picks

January 11, 2013

This could be considered Week 19 in the NFL, but it is more commonly known as the Divisional Round in the NFL Playoffs.

Last week’s picks saw a split, as the two upsets didn’t come through.

Last Week:  2-2 (.500)

Overall:  174-85-1 (.669)

Ravens vs. Broncos  (Going with the home, and better team.)

Packers vs. 49ers  (Playoff situation, even on the road, I trust Aaron Rodgers more.)

Seahawks vs. Falcons  (If Seattle can get past Atlanta, they might become the Super Bowl favorites out of the NFC.)

Texans vs. Patriots  (Just can’t go against Tom Brady in the playoffs.)

NFL Wild Card Weekend Picks

January 1, 2013

The NFL postseason is here at last.  Wild Card Weekend features a rematch from Week 17 and a battle of old and new.

The regular season finished on a high note, and the picks will keep coming.

Last Week:  12-4 (.750)

Overall:  172-83-1 (.672)

Bengals vs. Texans

Vikings vs. Packers  (What a great game last week, but with the game shifting to Lambeau Field, Green Bay gets the advantage.)

Colts vs. Ravens  (This year’s inspirational story continues.  Baltimore has been too inconsistent.)

Seahawks vs. Redskins  (Probably an upset pick, but Washington is hot, and Seattle struggles on the road.)