Saturday, August 25, 2007

NFL Projections, Part 1

I apologize for the delay between posts. I've been out of town for work, and had family in from out of town this week.

As promised, this blog will also project results for the National Football League. Picking a 16-game season in advance is a lot trickier than projecting college football results. There is a lot more parity in the NFL, and a horrible team one year can be a good team the next.

We will begin in the NFC. Today, this blog will project the NFC East and NFC Central.

In the East, the Philadelphia Eagles will once again be the team to beat, with quarterback Donovan McNabb and running back Brian Westbrook. But, right with them will be the Dallas Cowboys, with new head coach Wade Phillips. The New York Giants look to slip just a bit, while the Washington Redskins will be hapless as long as Daniel Snyder owns the team.

NFC East Projections:
Philadelphia 11-5
Dallas 11-5
NY Giants 7-9
Washington 5-11
(Philadelphia wins the division on a tiebreaker)

In the Central, the Chicago Bears return to defend their NFC championship. The Bears look to be good once again, in spite of quarterback Rex Grossman. Detroit will be much-improved, while the Green Bay Packers will be fair to mediocre. The Minnesota Vikings are projected to bring up the rear here.

NFC Central Projections:
Chicago 11-5
Detroit 7-9
Green Bay 7-9
Minnesota 6-10

Next: NFC South, NFC West

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Turning Thirty

Tonight, I got in the car and heard that the sad sack Rangers set a modern major league record by scoring 30 runs in one game against the Baltimore Orioles in the first game of a doubleheader. I'm in shock.

The Rangers only led 5-3 going into the top of the sixth inning, before going on an unprecedented tear. They scored nine runs in the sixth, 10 in the eighth, and six in the ninth. Wow. Texas won the game, 30-3.

I haven't seen any highlights or heard any comments. For the Baltimore bullpen, this is a meltdown of massive proportions.

The Rangers, even when they are horrible, never cease to be interesting. For Baltimore, this is yet another black mark on a once-proud franchise.

I'm in shock.

Monday, August 20, 2007

NCAA Projections-Bowls

A set of pre-season projections would be incomplete without predictions for post-season bowl games.

Bowl Championship Series:

BCS National Championship Game, New Orleans: USC vs. Oklahoma
USC should make it to this game, a rematch of the 2004-05 Orange Bowl in which the Trojans laid a beating on the Sooners. The Sooners make it here thanks to the Georgia Bulldogs, who take out previously unbeaten LSU in the SEC championship game. I look for USC to win the national championship.

Rose: Michigan (Big 10 champ) vs. LSU (at-large)
Fiesta: Texas (at-large) vs. Hawaii (at-large)
Orange: Virginia Tech (ACC champ) vs. Penn State (at-large)
Sugar: Georgia (SEC champ) vs. Rutgers (Big East champ)

The team that gets royally hosed in this scenario is West Virginia. They are projected to go 11-1, but are passed over in favor of Penn State, Texas and LSU for BCS bowls. The Big East allows their bowl partners to choose Notre Dame over a Big East team if available, and the Gator Bowl would do just that. This relegates 11-1 West Virginia to the Texas Bowl. It also sends 10-2 Louisville to the Bowl.

Non-BCS bowls:

Citrus: Ohio State vs. South Carolina
Outback: Wisconsin vs. Florida
Gator: Notre Dame vs. Florida State
Cotton: Missouri vs. Arkansas
Holiday: Nebraska vs. UCLA
Chick-fil-A: Clemson vs. Auburn
Insight: Iowa vs. Kansas
Sun: Cal vs. Texas Tech
Independence: Oregon State vs. South Florida (Neither the Big 12 nor the SEC will have enough bowl-eligible teams to fill these slots)
Alamo: Purdue vs. Texas A&M
Texas: West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State
Las Vegas: Arizona State vs. TCU
Emerald: Miami vs. Oregon
New Orleans: Troy vs. Houston
Liberty: Southern Miss vs. Alabama Louisville vs. Memphis
New Mexico: Utah vs. East Carolina (WAC will be unable to fill this slot)
Armed Forces: UTEP vs. Cincinnati (Mountain West will be unable to fill this slot)
Champs Sports: Indiana vs. Georgia Tech
Music City: Maryland vs. Tennessee
Meineke Car Care: Wake Forest vs. Pittsburgh
Poinsettia: Navy vs. BYU
GMAC: Tulsa vs. Northern Illinois
Hawaii: Arizona vs. Fresno State
Humanitarian: Boise State vs. Boston College
Motor City: Toledo vs. Northwestern
International: Pittsburgh vs. Ohio