Way Too Early Top Ten for the 2016 CFB Season

By: David Parks
Twitter: @_Parksie

This is the way too early preseason top ten.  Chances are I don’t like your team and obviously have them too low.  SPOILER:  No poll really matters until mid-October (Except this one).

Off we go…

The real reason Nick Saban is smiling? The #1 ranking in this poll obviously

The real reason Nick Saban is smiling? The #1 ranking in this poll obviously

1) Alabama

Yes Derrick Henry is gone. Yes they’re likely losing three defensive linemen to the first round along with their middle linebacker. Yes their defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach is leaving. But we’ve seen this script before, and when has it mattered? The Tide are stocked at every position on the field and until the head coach himself leaves, it won’t matter which of his assistants come and go. [Read more…]

Ducks vs Bucks: College Football National Championship Preview

By Andrew Canan
PSDC Contributor

And then there were two.

Oregon vs Ohio State.

college-football-championship

Had you asked 100 “experts” in Week 10, when the first College Football Playoff rankings were released, it is doubtful that you would have gotten one to tell you that this is the matchup we would have before us. After all, at that time, Oregon was ranked fifth and Ohio State? 16th. [Read more…]

Lock It Up – Week 5 College Football Picks

By David Parks
NCAA Sports Editor

Last week: 3-1

Season YTD: 18-11

The college football season marches onto Week 5 which features some sneaky good match-ups that will go along way in determining conference championship participants.

Last week’s slate of games didn’t look great on paper but man, I was glued to the couch from about 4 p.m. pacific till the end of Washington State/Oregon.  Of course the hot-button topic of the weekend and this week has been infamous Jameis and Florida State.  Not going to divulge into it too much as I’m already sick and tired of hearing about it, but IMO, Florida State deserves just as much if not more blame for this idiot’s actions than Jameis himself.  The way in which these universities shield these kids is just embarrassing.  I get they’re still young and immature (who wasn’t at 18/19), but at what point do you make these kids actually accountable for their actions?  And by accountable I mean putting them up there in front of the media to answer the tough questions about what they did.  You better believe if I’m 18 years old and am being grilled by the national media after doing something stupid, I’m gonna learn pretty quick that I don’t want to be in this position again.  And thus, I would actually LEARN from my actions, not be able to hide from them. [rant over]

Talk about someone who just doesn't "get it."

Talk about someone who just doesn’t “get it.”

To recap; 3-1 last week.  Georgia and Texas A&M took care of business like I thought they would, but was way off on the LSU/State game.  I thought State had a good chance to win but I didn’t expect them to take LSU to the woodshed at night in Death Valley.  Dak Prescott?  Baller – and at this point, he’s got as good a value as anyone in the Heisman race. [Read more…]

A Look Back at the Top 5 BCS Games

By Ryan Haidinger
PSDC Writer

As the BCS ends tonight, and we look forward to next year’s (sorta) playoff, let’s take a moment to look back on the best games of the BCS era.

5. Rose Bowl – Jan. 1, 2014 Michigan State 24 – Stanford 20

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The 100th Rose Bowl was a fitting tribute to Rose Bowls of the past. Two schools who have been members of their respective conferences for well over 50 years, which is refreshing in the days of realignment, brought old school football back to Pasadena. Michigan State’s dominate defense allowed a touchdown on the first drive of the game but kept the Cardinal out of the end zone for the final 55 minutes. In spite of the defensive effort, and because of a Stanford defensive touchdown, the Spartans trailed by 10 late in the second quarter. Michigan State roared back to score 17 straight points and take a 24-17 lead in the fourth quarter. Stanford pulled to within four with a field goal and then, with 1:46 to play, we got the games defining moment. In a scene straight out of “Rudy” former walk-on Kyler Elsworth, starting at middle linebacker in place of All-American Max Bullough, leapt over the line and met Stanford Fullback Ryan Hewitt in mid air. The fourth down conversion was marked just short, Michigan State’s second fourth down stop in the fourth quarter, and the Spartans won their first Rose Bowl since 1988. [Read more…]

Sweet 16 Game-By-Game Breakdowns

By David Parks
PSDC NCAA Specialist

And just like that, the best four-day stretch of the American sports calendar is gone. What a four days it was. From the shocking upsets to the amazing finishes, the first weekend of March Madness in unlike anything else in the sports world.

So how’s everyone doing in their bracket pools? If you had Harvard winning first round, give yourself a pat on the bat. If you had Florida Gulf Coast, La Salle and Wichita State in the Sweet 16 take a bo…nah, you’re lying. And that’s what makes March Madness so great. The fact that millions of people in the world fill out brackets and yet despite their bracket being completely soiled after four days, nobody cares because we were treated to some of the most amazing stories the tournament has produced this year.

Of course the stories start with a little-known school by the name of Florida Gulf Coast. Not only did the Eagles beat Georgetown, they looked like the better team against the Hoyas AND their second round opponent, San Diego State. It’s not just that they became the first 15-seed to advance to the round of 16, it’s how they did it. Against Georgetown and SDSU, they were getting out and running, throwing alley-oops and slamming home misses. They are, Cinderella.


Florida Gulf-Coast in the Sweet 16? It's what March Madness is all about.


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Bracket Breakdowns: The West

By David Parks
PSDC NCAA Specialist

WEST

Head Chief: Gonzaga

The labels “mid-major” and “Cinderella” should officially be put to sleep when referring to the Zags.  Call me crazy, but I wouldn’t exactly call the No. 1 team in the country a Cinderella. The Zags put together the greatest regular season in school history this year, losing only two games; one of which was on a buzzer-beater at the hands of giant-slayer Butler. [Read more…]

Let the Madness Begin – Conference Tourney Predictions

By David Parks
PSDC NCAA Specialist

It’s March eleventh which can mean only one thing:  It’s officially time for the Madness to begin.

Now that the regular season is in the rearview, teams will look forward to their conference tournaments with some hoping to lock up top seeds while others will be looking for that one key win that will get them off the dreaded “bubble.”  As a bettor, one of the elements that you have to take into account during conference tournament time and March in general is the teams that are in desperation mode.  Sure coaches and players will never admit it, but let’s face it; a team that’s squarely on the bubble is going to play with tons more urgency than a team that’s sitting comfortably in the Field of 68.  Another thing people need to take into focus is the team or teams that get hot.  Let me put this as simply as I can – NEVER, I mean never bet against a hot team.  If you don’t like the line, then stay away.  But in watching college basketball closely the past several years, you’re playing with fire if you’re betting against a team on a roll.

As for the conference tourneys themselves, we’ve gone ahead and laid out who we think the favorite is, along with the darkhorse and of course, our prediction.  With apologies to all the little guys out there who make March fun, this preview is limited to just the major conferences that will be sending multiple teams to the Dance.  So, without further adieu, let the Madness begin…..

A-10:

The Favorite:  Saint Louis

The Billikens got off to rough start in conference play, dropping two of their first three league games.  But things quickly changed for Jim Crews and his team as they rattled off 11 straight conference wins to claim the A-10 regular season title by a game over VCU. [Read more…]

Weekly Wrap: College Hoops

By David Parks
PSDC NCAA Specialist

The college basketball regular season is quickly coming to a close with the last week of regular season play across much of the country.  As early as Thursday, conference tournaments will start, and teams from across the nation will make their final pushes for the Big Dance.

In terms of the week that was, there were highs and they were lows, but without a doubt the biggest highlight of last week came when Minnesota knocked off No. 1 Indiana at home all but clinching a spot for the Gophers in the field of 68.  The Gophers likely would’ve been in the tournament regardless of how last Tuesday played out, but having a win against the No. 1 team in the nation can’t hurt your cause.

Elsewhere, read which player from a mid-major seized the POY race by the neck after his performance Saturday while the Pac 12 has a new leader at the top and it’s not who you might think.  Also, Gonzaga ISN’T No. 1 and two teams in the SEC suffered crippling losses in their bid for an NCAA Tournament bid.  For all that and more, we delve into this week’s edition of the Weekly Wrap.


The Golden Gophers stunned No. 1 Indiana on Tuesday


Player of the Week:  Doug McDermott, Creighton

If you follow college hoops, the name Doug McDermott is a familiar one.  The junior forward for Creighton was a consensus first-team All-American last season after averaging 22.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game and leading the Blue Jays to a Missouri Valley title. [Read more…]

Weekend Watch: College Hoops

We’re nearing the end of February which can only mean one thing:  March and selection Sunday are right around the corner.  This particular weekend is what ESPN has deemed “Bracket Buster Saturday.”  Each year on this specific weekend, the best of the mid-majors travel the country to take on one another.  For instance, this year we are treated to Creighton/St. Mary’s and Detroit/Wichita State.  It’s a good way for the selection committee to gage teams from different conferences late in the season and how they fare against similar teams from different conferences.

Behind the strong play of Victor Oladipo, Indiana is in position to earn the No. 1 overall seed

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Weekend Watch: College Hoops

By David Parks
PSDC NCAA Specialist

Another week, another No. 1 team bites the dust.  Last night in Champaign the Fighting Illini not only shocked the Hoosiers, but the entire country as they scored a layup as time expired off an inbounds play. That makes it five consecutive weeks the No. 1 team has gone down including both No. 1 and No. 2 going down this week.


The Illini shocked No. 1 ranked Indiana on Thursday night


Last weekend featured several big time matchups between ranked teams in power conferences. In the SEC, Florida continued their domination by throttling Ole Miss at home. Unfortunately for the Gators, their dominance came crashing to an end on Tuesday as they were run over at Arkansas. Elsewhere, the Hoosiers topped Michigan in what was the game of the week to reclaim the No. 1 ranking (even if it was only for a week). [Read more…]

Weekend Watch: College Hoops

By David Parks
PSDC NCAA Specialist

Conference play is now in full force and we’ve already had some exciting finishes and surprising upsets.  Last weekend conference play claimed the last two unbeatens Duke and Michigan. [Read more…]