Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2010 College Football Top 25: Week 4

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Last week may have been the best Saturday yet of the young College Football season. I was absolutely glued to the television, flipping between four games at one point in the afternoon. A few thoughts on the games I was watching simultaneously....

UCLA/Texas~ The Longhorns are who I thought they were, consistently ranking them way below where the national polls had them (most overrated team last week). The belief that Colt McCoy would pass the torch to Garrett Gilbert (G.G.) Allin with little dropoff was silly. They better be prepared for the Ultimate Eff-You Sendoff Game come October 16th in Lincoln. Oh yea, and Oklahoma before that. Wave goodbye to that streak of 189 consecutive weeks ranked in the USA Today Top 25.

Stanford/Notre Dame~ Finally, the country is hopping on the Dirkness-led Dancing Tree bandwagon. They've been my most underrated team in the country the last two weeks running (make that three). They destroyed the UCLA team (that just beat Texas) 35-squat in Los Angeles. Jim Harbaugh joins Bo Pelini and Chip Kelly (Oregon) as the next generation of great head coaches. Will he stay at Stansbury though?

Kansas St/Central Florida~ The Wildcats pulled out the victory but struggled with the read option play ran by the mobile Golden Knight quarterback all day. Why is this important? Because T-Mobile and Nebraska come to town a week from Thursday (a game Dirkness will be attending thanks to my main mane, Bill). However, Daniel Thomas might find some room to run on the Blackshirts too (they're potential weakness). Should prove to be an interesting matchup that has me a little scared, mostly because the game is on a Thursday night.

Arkansas/Alabama~ The game of the year to this point. The emotion, the pageantry, the wet mattress left on the field by Ryan Mallett, the shiite talking, the continuous domination of College Football by dorky, white quarterbacks, and the overall impressiveness of Mark Ingram. Still amazes me how teams can let off the gas with leads in these kinds of games.

On to the rankings....

Dirkness' Top 25:

1. Ohio St. (4-0)
2. Alabama (4-0)
3. Stanford (4-0)
4. Oregon (4-0)
5. Boise St. (3-0)
6. Nebraska (4-0)
7. TCU (4-0)
8. Oklahoma (4-0)
9. Florida (4-0)
10. Arizona (4-0)
11. Auburn (4-0)
12. Iowa (3-1)
13. LSU (4-0)
14. Miami (2-1)
15. Arkansas (3-1)
16. Wisconsin (4-0)
17. Michigan (4-0)
18. Nevada (4-0)
19. North Carolina St. (4-0)
20. Utah (4-0)
21. South Carolina (3-1)
22. Texas (3-1)
23. Missouri (4-0)
24. Penn St. (3-1)
25. Florida St. (3-1)


New to the rankings: North Carolina St, Missouri, Penn St, Florida St
Dropped from the rankings: Fresno St, Oregon St, Georgia Tech, Temple

Biggest Rise: North Carolina St~6+ spots (unranked to 19)
Biggest Fall: Texas~12 spots (11 to 22)

Most Overrated Team (Dirkness/USA Today): Utah (20th/12th)
Most Underrated Team: Stanford (3 in a row)~10 spots (13th/3rd)

Top 25: Week 3

Top 25: Week 2

Top 25: Week 1

Top 25: Preseason

His dirkness

Monday, September 27, 2010

Congratulations Chiefs Fans: 3-0

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"The End of the Dark Ages"

In the immortal words of Joe Namath on that painfully repeated NFL Network commercial, "We did it...We did it." Fans that stuck with the Chiefs through these last three seasons have paid their dues and can now sit back and enjoy relevancy once again. We have seen mountaintop (or maybe in this case, mountainbottom) and it was pretty bleak. Ten wins in three seasons (or more specifically. a 3-30 stretch from '07-'09) is enough to turn off even the most devoted of fans. I ask, though, does it not make it all the sweeter? Is success really that enjoyable without the proper context of what failure feels like? For example, ask a Colts fan how much fun the regular season is nowadays. It's more of a process and a waiting period for the playoffs for them. It's like preseason. So I'd like to personally (Dirkally) dedicate this 3-0 start to those fans that stayed loyal to the Chiefs, who gutted out the tenures of Eddie Drummond, Lance Long, Rocky Boiman, and Mike Goff and games like the 2007 13-10 OT loss to the Jets (maybe the worst played game ever), giving up 54 points to the (now unemployed) Trent Edwards led Bills in 2008, and last year's 44-13 home defeat to the hated Broncos (which I don't even remember). Enjoy everything all this week, all bye week, and all season because the Chiefs are back, and most likely here to stay for a while.

The great part about our situation is that the players have gone, and are going, through much of the same things that us, the fans, are. We have this young nucleus of talent that has all gone through the growing pains of the last three seasons together and are now growing up together. Together. And we have Scott Pioli to thank for a lot of that, but we also have to give a secondary thank you to Dr. Herman Edwards for that 2008 draft class (Dorsey, Albert, Flowers, Charles, Carr- Wowza). Combine that with the quickest impacting draft class I HAVE EVER SEEN (Berry, McCluster, Arenas, Moeaki, Lewis), and you might be looking at the most young talent on any team in the league. They seem to all like playing together and seem to feed off each other's energy, which is a unique quality that most great teams have. And it's all happened so unbelievably quickly, that it's hard to remember just how disjointed our team looked at times last year. We went from a faint resemblance of an NFL team to what will be one of three remaining undefeated teams after tonight (KC, Pitt, GB/Chi).

If anybody out there still doubts how important coaching in the NFL is, then they need to closely examine what the Chiefs have been doing this year. Todd Haley took his lumps last year, but he painted Mike Singletary's face white yesterday in the 31-3 victory (wait, they scored a TD?). He embarrassed Singletary by taking advantage of his old school beliefs with a little new age strategery. He played mind games with him on a 4th and 1 before, surprisingly, just going for it (get that man a Guinness!) and converting easily. His next move was a surprise onside kick that would've worked to perfection if not for an offsides penalty. Haley then capped it off with a Wildcat reverse flea-flicker executed beautifully. Checkmate! People have criticized him for his use of the JamaAL/Tom Jones duet this year, but I'd say the #1 rushing offense in the NFL is proof of proper management (he's clearly saving Charles so he can last the whole season while feeding the workhorse that is Jonesy). Haley has grown up as an NFL coach at the same rate as his young nucleus of players. Like a perfect storm.

That paragraph was supposed to include some Romeo Crennel love, but instead, he'll have to get his own, along with the rest of the defense, the most surprising phase of the 2010 Chiefs. Obviously, Colonel Crennel has been the biggest difference maker, but the defensive line has been the most improved aspect of the defense. Ball grabbin' Shaun Smith might be my new favorite player (Check this), and might be in the process of taking Tyson Jackson's job too (more about Smith than Jackson). Ron Edwards seems like a new player and is much improved. Wallace Gilberry is a quarterback pressure waiting to happen. And, Glenn Dorsey, well, he's the best player on the line (hopefully a few years away from Seymour territory). We absolutely owned the line against the 49ers on both sides of the ball (rushing yards 207-43 in KC's favor) against a team with a top 5 fantasy Running Back along with (what was) the #6 rushing defense. Oh yea, and Brandon Flowers is playing at a rate of one outstanding play per game (he is Pro Bowl bound). But, the ring leader is Crennel, who has formed this near identical personnel grouping into the #2 scoring defense in the NFL.

The only thing that hasn't gone our way so far this year is the positioning of the bye week. Why why why can we not get back on the field next week? Can we just challenge another team on a bye to a pickup game to keep our momentum going? The Chiefs face their two toughest games of the year once returning from the bye, at Indianapolis and then at Houston. Nobody will be picking the Chiefs in either contest. But, this just in, the Chiefs haven't been favored in any of their three victories yet this year! If they can come away with a split from those two games, they will be good to go with the next seven games (Jac, Buff, @Oak, @Den, Zona, @Sea, Den) all very winnable. Plus, what if what we saw yesterday was a better representation of what the Chiefs really are, and the first two games were just examples of them winning games while not playing their best (a sure sign of a good team)? Regardless, the Chiefs are relevant once again, and while that carries some value for the casual fans out there, it has an indescribable value to those of us that have stuck around through it all.

His Dirkness

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Quick NFL Picks ~ Week 3

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After studying my Power Rankings, it's becoming apparent to me that in order for the Chiefs to make the playoffs they'll need to win the AFC West (9 of my top 13 teams reside in the AFC). This means that the outcomes of the Chargers games are just as important as the outcomes of Chiefs games (this is under the somewhat dangerous assumption that neither the Broncos or Raiders will compete for the division crown). So, remember when rooting on the Chiefs during these Sundays that (thankfully!) are plenty meaningful, to cheer just as hard against a Whale's Vagina.

Week 1 Record: 9-7
Week 2 Record: 12-4
Total: 21-11

Week 3 picks....

KANSAS CITY over San Francisco-W
NEW ENGLAND over Buffalo-W
Atlanta over NEW ORLEANS-W
Pittsburgh over TAMPA BAY-W
Tennessee over NY GIANTS-W
MINNESOTA over Detroit-W
BALTIMORE over Cleveland-W
Cincinnati over CAROLINA-W
HOUSTON over Dallas-L
Washington over ST. LOUIS-L
Philadelphia over JACKSONVILLE-W
SEATTLE over San Diego-W
Oakland over ARIZONA-L
Indianapolis over DENVER-W
MIAMI over Ny Jets-L
Green Bay over CHICAGO-L

Dirk

Thursday, September 23, 2010

NFL Power Rankings: Week 3

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I intend to lay down some NFL power rankings every three weeks or so, because doing so each week would be redundant. With little else to say, lets just get to the rankings. I would appreciate any healthy debate in the comments of this post about where you think I'm mistaken. Giddy up....

Dirkness Power Rankings:

1. Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Green Bay Packers
3. New Orleans Saints
4. Houston Texans
5. Miami Dolphins
6. Indianapolis Colts
7. Atlanta Falcons
8. Tennessee Titans
9. New England Patriots
10. Cincinnati Bengals
11. Philadelphia Eagles
12. Baltimore Ravens
13. San Diego Chargers
14. Minnesota Vikings
15. Washington Redskins
16. New York Jets
17. San Francisco 49ers
18. New York Giants
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Kansas City Chiefs
21. Chicago Bears
22. Detroit Lions
23. Seattle Seahawks
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
25. Jacksonville Jaguars
26. Denver Broncos
27. Oakland Raiders
28. Arizona Cardinals
29. St. Louis Rams
30. Cleveland Browns
31. Carolina Panthas
32. Buffalo Bills

That's it, that's the list.

His Dirkness

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

2010 College Football Top 25: Week 3

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I must begin my weekly look at College Football by waxing poetic about Bo Pelini and his decision to start freshman speedster Taylor Martinez. I am on record of saying that Zac Lee had to be the choice at quarterback, given the expectations for this year, but I think that stance would be near impossible to keep in hindsight. T-Mart looks a little uncomfortable in straight drop back passing, but his pure running abilities make that a moot point. Running quarterbacks are taking the nation by storm, with T-Mobile joining Denard Robinson (The Nard Dog), Terrelle Pryor, and Jake Locker (Ha!) as early season stories. Seriously, Jake Locker? His numbers from Saturday deserve their own paragraph, here goes...

Locker: 4-20, 71 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT

It was reminiscent of the beating that Rufus put on Brutus earlier in the day....



Has a top flight quarterback ever gone 4 of 20 in a game before? Barring he was going up against an above average professional secondary in Nebraska (good luck finding open receivers facing the Blackshirts). Even before this game, I was baffled how he was so highly rated. He's not that good folks. I heard Mel Kiper on the radio immediately following the game with egg all over his face spitting out crow feathers (he had Locker rated as the best player for the 2011 NFL Draft).

Anyways, back to the waxing. It take some major cojones for Pelini to choose T-Mart over incumbent Zac Lee given the circumstances (high expectations, final year in Big 12, early test on the road). He knocked it out of the park though. Now we have four full years of this cat, with zero chance of him leaving school early. You're welcome Big 12 for sparing you three of those years. On to the rankings, gaining steam every week...

Dirkness' Top 25:

1. Ohio St. (3-0)
2. Oregon (3-0)
3. Alabama (3-0)
4. Nebraska (3-0)
5. Oklahoma (3-0)
6. Boise St. (2-0)
7. TCU (3-0)
8. Stanford (3-0)
9. Arkansas (3-0)
10. Arizona (3-0)
11. Texas (3-0)
12. Florida (3-0)
13. South Carolina (3-0)
14. Iowa (2-1)
15. Wisconsin (3-0)
16. Auburn (3-0)
17. LSU (3-0)
18. Michigan (3-0)
19. Miami (1-1)
20. Utah (3-0)
21. Nevada (3-0)
22. Fresno St. (3-0)
23. Oregon St. (1-1)
24. Georgia Tech (2-1)
25. Temple (3-0)


New to the rankings: Auburn, Nevada, Fresno St, Georgia Tech, Temple
Dropped from the rankings: Houston, Cal, Clemson, Texas A&M, Georgia

Biggest Rise: Arkansas~12 spots (21 to 9)
Biggest Fall: Iowa~8 spots (6 to 14)

Most Overrated Team (Dirkness to USA Today): Texas (11th/4th)/Utah (20th/13th)~7 spots
Most Underrated Team: Stanford (2 weeks in a row)~9 spots (17th/8th)

Top 25: Week 2

Top 25: Week 1

His Dirkness

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kansas City Chiefs: A Beautiful Game

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"A Tale of Two Coordinators"

I don't know what people are talking about, calling that 16-14 gem of a game things like "ugly" and a "setback for the game of football". To me there ain't nothing finer then gutting out a hard fought victory on the road (especially on a short week). Other people can have their 38-35 shootouts. Give me 13-10's all day. I'm a product of my environment, and that's how the 1990's Chiefs raised me. I want field position to be a vital part of the game. I like good plays made in punt coverage (or in this week's case, not so good plays). I want weather conditions to be a factor (check). I want to win games with defensive and special teams touchdowns (double check). Somehow, this brand of football has been brought back to our lives through the work of two coordinators, one doing a stand up job, and one with nothing but unanswered questions through two games.

Romeo 'Colonel' Crennel- The main reason we are 2-0 right now is the hiring of this man. We absolutely stifled the Cleveland Browns offense in the second half to the tune of 55 yards, 3 first downs (1 on a BOGUS penalty on Ken Lewis for hitting too hard), and most importantly, 0 points. The touchdowns we've given up so far this season look like this...

~San Diego: 9 plays, 60 yards, legit drive
~San Diego: 5 plays, 91 yards, 59 yard touchdown on broken coverage from a rookie safety
~Cleveland: 10 plays, 98 yards, would've been held to a field goal if not for an iffy illegal contact penalty on Mike Vrabel
~Cleveland: 3 plays, 74 yards, beautifully executed 3rd and 1 playaction with a perfect 65 yard touchdown pass that you have to tip your hat to

We are not getting driven down the field on very much. It's taking big plays to score on us (and people are being too harsh on the Error Bearer. These are the growing pains with a rookie safety). Somehow we are shutting down running games (we held Jerome Harrison to 253 less rushing yards than he had on us last year!), which seemed to be one of our biggest holes coming into this season. Some young talent is stepping up this year: Glenn Dorsey is becoming what we all hoped he would be, and might actually be better suited for the 3-4 (which people even said on Draft day). Brandon Flowers is heading to the Pro Bowl this year barring injury. Derrick Johnson is making plays after needing a year in timeout to get his head straight. These are the potential leaders of the defense for the present and the future, fortunately spread out over each position base. We did not see this kind of development before Romeo, oh Romeo.

Charlie 'General' Weis- The man who I thought had a greater chance of success with the Chiefs than Colonel Crennel has come across some tough sledding. For starters, let me declare that I had little problem with the way he handled the San Diego game given the conditions, the early lead, and the struggles of Matt Cassel. We dared them to score twice, and weren't going to assist them with a turnover of any kind.

The Cleveland game was another story. Obviously, the topic on everybody's mind is the (mis)usage of JamaAL Charles. One touch in the first quarter is simply not enough. I was in favor of running Tom Jones most of the second half, with a close, grind it out game in the works, but I offer no excuse for not running Charles early in the game. I'm not sure if this falls on Weis or Haley, but the power games over players from the old regime need to stop, especially if we expect to contend this year.

My biggest problem with Weis on Sunday was his playcalling on 3rd and short. He kept getting cute with them. He had me wanting to hurl my helmet into the crowd ala Brandon Jacobs. He ran a Charles sweep near the goalline on one. He ran an option with Tim Castille on another (a cool play that has no place occurring on a 3rd and 1). He called an all verticals on 3rd and 2 in the 4th quarter. He's got this weird obsession with Tim "The Wasted Down" Castille. And our go to guy has been Tony Moeaki, who's been pleasantly impressive. But, still, use our weapons: Charles, Tom Jones, Dwayne Bowe, and The Ole Missile, Dexter McCluster.

All in all, the game was won because of a ballsy call by our head(setless) coach (along with a few gratuitous official rulings- definitely not a fumble in the 1st, terrible roughing the passer call. Breaks we haven't seen in some time) to go for it on 4th and inches to cue the fade to black. Todd Haley set a tone for our team that "we play to win the game" via Herm Edwards, who rather ironically, often sacrificed game results in hopes for a better future (and we're finally seeing those results, thanks Herm!). I was very impressed with our Chiefs on Sunday, perhaps even more so than I was with our victory over the Chargers, given the circumstances. If we win enough of these toss up games against all the bad teams we play (and next week is another), we could very well find ourselves in the playoffs, which is what this game is all about.

Stat of the Week: The Chiefs have the same number of wins as Minnesota, Dallas, New England and Indianapolis combined.

His 2-0'ness

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quick NFL Picks ~ Week 2

Some real quick thoughts after rewatching the Monday Night game against the Chargers...

~I couldn't believe how aggressive and nasty the Chiefs defense (The Redshirts?) looked flying around to the ball all night. They played with a swagger that's necessary to dominate on that side of the ball. Not one player had a bad game no matter what the Error Bearer haters say. He may have blown a coverage, but those are the growing pains that come along with an infantile secondary. Also, getting beaten by Antonio Gates in 1-on-1 coverage in the end zone is not his fault (the coordinator's fault if anyone).

~The MVP of the night had to be Romeo Crennel (he'd share it with Mother Nature if he's smart). Aside from the first two drives, and one coverage mishap, they accomplished nothing on offense. Ryan Matthews went into a shell after his fumble. Philip Rivers was throwing hissy fits and temper tantrums towards anybody who would listen. Obscenities weren't difficult to hear from where I was sitting, especially from the drunkard to my left.

~JamaAL Charles has has HAS to touch the ball more. And that's not deragatory towards Thomas Jones, who ran the ball hard between the tackles. But, man, Charles could be the second most explosive player in the league. Carries need to be handed out in a 2-to-1 fashion, with Charles in Charge handling the load.

~Shoutouts to big games by the following players: Brandon Carr (always believed in him), Brandon Flowers (dominated the first half with tackles and breakups), Glenn Dorsey (I thought was our emotional leader), The Ole Missile (ballsy move by Haley to replace Javier), The Javier (got overshadowed by Dex's TD), Ron Edwards (blew up that run on the last sequence of plays), Jovan Belcher (threw his body around like a MLB should), Derrick Johnson (provided the big play we needed), and finally Andy Studebaker (for pancaking the flopping punter).


On to the picks....

FALCONS over Cardinals-W
BENGALS over Ravens-L
Chiefs over BROWNS-W
COWBOYS over Bears-L
Eagles over LIONS-W
PACKERS over Bills-W
Steelers over TITANS-W
Dolphins over VIKINGS-W
PANTHAS over Buccaneers-L
RAIDERS over Rams-W
Patriots over JETS-L
CHARGERS over Jaguars-W
Seahawks over BRONCOS-W
Texans over REDSKINS-W
COLTS over Giants-W
Saints over 49ERS-W

His Dirkness

Friday, September 17, 2010

2010 College Football ~ Upset Saturday

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Last week may have had more prestigious matchups, where traditionalists were rewarded with recognizable uniform clashes, but this week could prove to be much more significant. Their's only one bout involving two Dirkness ranked teams- (6) Iowa at (16)Arizona- in what seems like a passover Saturday. But, nah-unh, not so fast my friends! Many of the top teams have potential stumbling blocks (some more hidden than others). What do I see a chance for? Upset Saturday (not good for thy Huskers). So I'm gonna lay some of these out for all of you to see, and let you know which of them have the best chance of happening.

I'll be rating them in Not so Fast my Friends's! (This, of course, is in reference to Lee Corso, who became a Dirkness favorite after predicting Nebraska to win the National Championship). The more NsFmF's the greater chance I believe there is to be an upset, with 5 being the greatest. That's a 0-5 scale, low chance-high chance. With me? Let's boogie...

Games (teams ranked according to Dirkness Top 25):

11am- Kent St at Penn St- Hey, don't say I didn't warn you. The Golden Flashes are my surprise team out of the MAC so how could I turn my back on them now? This is more of a testament to how bad Penn St. might be this year (they were never in that game with Alabama). They lost too much from last year, so hopefully JoePoo can grunt out another year. 1.5 NsFmF's.


2:30- Air Force at (4)Oklahoma- Did this one slip by you when looking over this week? Don't let it. Air Force beat BYU who beat Washington who might beat Nebraska who almost beat Texas last year. Think about that. But, seriously, Air Force runs a difficult offense to prepare for and Oklahoma struggled with Utah St in the first game of the year. If they're ready, it won't be close, but if they aren't....3.5 NsFmF's.

2:30- USC at Minnesota- Wait, that's right, USC is no longer relevant. No further comment. 2 NsFmF's.

2:30- (9)Nebraska at Washington- Absolutely terrified of this game. If you noticed my Preseason Predictions I had them losing a non-conference game. It wasn't to Idaho. I can't shake a rainy game nightmare of getting behind 10-14 points on something like a punt return out of my head. Why won't it leave? I'm confident in our guys as long as we don't get behind two scores. That changes everything. What QB do we play? Stick with T-Mart (way better than T-Magic)? Incumbent Zac Lee appears to have no chance of playing this year. Cody Green was very erratic last year. We will have to deal with a deficit at some point this year. But, there is also the chance we beat the Starbucks out of the future first-round bust for the Arizona Cardinals, Jake Locker. I'm predicting Nebraska 21, Washington 20 in a comeback victory. 4 NsFmF's.

2:30- (3)Alabama at Duke- Maybe not, but it is the matchup of the past National Champions in football and basketball. Hopefully, Greg Paulus is playing. Maybe they should bowl to decide the ultimate college champion. Or play Flip Cup. 0 NsFmF's.

3:30- Baylor at (7)TCU- One of these games starting in the afternoon will see an upset on Saturday (or atleast a major scare), so you better find one you like. Upsets always seem to breed other upsets though. Baylor's QB Robert Lee Griffin III appears to be at full strength after missing all of last year. I'm expecting big things from Lil' Baylor this year, and for them to finally break their bowl-less streak This one goes into the 4th quarter. 2.5 NsFmF's.

7- (5)Boise St at Wyoming- I made mention of this at the end of my Article on Boise St. and I meant it. Wyoming gave Texas fits for a half last week. However, if I hear one other person on espn say this before Saturday, the deal is off. It needs privacy like airing it on Fox Sports Mountain Hills will give it. Keep an eye on SM West graduate (poppin' up all over these days) WR David Leonard, who leads them in receptions. 2 NsFmF's.

7- (14)Texas at Texas Tech- The Longhorns have turned in two subpar 1st half's this season. Lil' G.G. Allin (Garrett Gilbert) is the Kevin Kolb of College Football. Everyone assumed he would be a minimized step down from Colt McCoy (Kolb to McNabb), when there was every reason to think it would be a gigantic leap. You're replacing two all-timers. Meanwhile, the Bell Ringin' Red Raiders have averaged 43.5 points so far this season. Maybe Mike Leach's B.O. remained behind. Wait, that's Lubbock's natural smell? 4 NsFmF's.

9:30- (6)Iowa at (16)Arizona- The best game on paper of the weekend. The Hawkeyes beat Arizona 27-17 last year in Iowa City. This time they head to Tuscon. Arizona has a promptly spelled RB named Nic Grigsby. Iowa made my revised National Championship prediction (along with Oregon), which may be more of a kiss of doom than anything. 3 NsFmF's.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

2010 College Football Top 25: Week 2

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That monster Saturday turned into a bit of a dud, which wasn't too surprising, given that the better team was the home team in most of the big games. The biggest deal to come out of it was Virginia Tech losing to James Madison (cheer up KU fans!), thus killing any virtual shot that Boise St. had at reaching the National Championship game (computer numbers will be abysmal). The only way they get in now is if they can finish the regular season ranked #1 in the country (and even that might not be enough). I believe they only get to that top spot if all BCS (minus the Big East) conference teams lose two games, which seems highly unlikely.

As always, I do not even look at my last week's rankings when making each week's new rankings. They are completely their own which cause a bunch of movement in the rankings. Here we go, comin' at ya....

Dirkness' Top 25:

1. Ohio St. (2-0)
2. Oregon (2-0)
3. Alabama (2-0)
4. Oklahoma (2-0)
5. Boise St. (1-0)
6. Iowa (2-0)
7. TCU (2-0)
8. Stanford (2-0)
9. Nebraska (2-0)
10. South Carolina (2-0)
11. Texas (2-0)
12. Wisconsin (2-0)
13. Michigan (2-0)
14. Florida (2-0)
15. Miami (1-1)
16. Arizona (2-0)
17. Oregon St. (1-1)
18. Houston (2-0)
19. Cal (2-0)
20. LSU (2-0)
21. Arkansas (2-0)
22. Clemson (2-0)
23. Texas A&M (2-0)
24. Utah (2-0)
25. Georgia (1-1)

(Also Receiving Votes: Auburn, Florida St., Missouri, James Madison, North Dakota St.)

Biggest Rise: Stanford~11 spots (19 to 8)
Biggest Fall: Virginia Tech~15+ spots (10 to off the face of the earth)
Most Overrated Team (comparing Dirkness rankings to USA Today): Auburn~10+ spots (15th/NR)
Most Underrated Team: Stanford~11 spots (19th/8th)

Go Dancing Trees!

H'Dirkness

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kansas City Chiefs Game 1 Media Reactions

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Without much insight to share from the game last night, and with recovery still a few days away, I thought I'd share what the media (mostly national) has been saying about the big Chiefs victory over the San Diego Chargers last night, specifically about what I touched on prior to the game, the Arrowhead Stadium crowd. I wanted the nation to realize they'd been overlooking Kansas City for what it was the last few years (due to sucking), the best crowd in the NFL. And this may have been the best NFL game I've ever been to (with only the 2003 Chiefs-Broncos- Dante's return- game as competition).

I plan on rewatching the game on TV to see what many of you out there saw. When your in attendance at a game, individual plays and players take less precedence, with all emotion and brainpower put towards winning the game and what's about to happen next. On TV, you get replays and announcers telling you who did what. I'll be sure to share some thoughts after watching some film this week. For now, my thoughts don't extend past this.....




Michael Wilbon had this to say on Tuesday's Pardon the Interruption...
Last night (the crowd) lifted that team. As loud and appreciative a crowd as I've ever seen in pro football.
The Evil Empire's Sports Guy had this to say via Twitter...
Great job by the Chiefs fans tonight. Now that was a football crowd!
Tony Reali on Around the Horn intro'd the game like this...
The New Arrowhead Stadium, what'd you guys think? It was CRAZY LOUD! And they had plenty to cheer about.
Woody Paige on Around the Horn made this large statement...
They've (Chiefs) always had that great support. Give them a little bit of a team and they'll come out and be the best crowd in the NFL.
Former Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski busted this tweet out...
Even if it's only for a night, it's great to see Arrowhead alive and red and loud again.
Current KC Star columnist Sam Mellinger added this....
Chiefs crowd is rocking. Feel like I'm in a time machine.
Edit: Jim Rome did come through with this via twitter...
Man...been a few mins since I've seen Kansas City's house this ELECTRIC. That joint is bumping HARD. 

These were just the ones I came across in my favorite morning after Chiefs game in quite some time. Scott Van Pelt was also raving about the crowd from last night, but I didn't get a chance to record his show. The only person that didn't touch on the crowd at all was Jim Rome (edit), who spent his time raving about our young speedsters instead. I'll take it. More coming on the Chiefs this week when my head is no longer pounding.

His Dirkness

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kansas City Chiefs 2010 Season Predictions

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Game-by-game predictions on the Kansas City Chiefs 2010 season....

Week 1~vs San Diego: W 27-19

Week 2~@ Cleveland W 16-13

Week 3~vs San Francisco L 24-13

BYE~terrible bye week location

Week 5~@ Indianapolis L 38-13

Week 6~@ Houston L 33-18

Week 7~vs Jacksonville L 28-24

Week 8~vs Buffalo W 20-9

Week 9~@ Oakland W 21-17

Week 10~@ Denver L 27-20

Week 11~vs Arizona W 24-16

Week 12~@ Seattle L 17-16

Week 13~vs Denver W 24-6

Week 14~@ San Diego L 30-10

Week 15~@ St. Louis W 31-17

Week 16~vs Tennessee L 35-17

Week 17~vs Oakland W 23-20

Final Record: 8-8 (2nd in the AFC West)

Kansas City Chiefs ~ San Diego Chargers

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I usually try to fill up my blog with insight and analysis that would satisfy anybody from an average fan to an abusive sportsaholic. I aim to stay as objective as possible when talking about my favorite teams to give singleminded fans a broader perspective. I try to garner everyone's attention when talking specific topics by relating them to other happenings in the world, rather it be sports related or not, so that everybody can find atleast a little enjoyment from them.

Well...not today.

I write to you all today from a very ignorant (ig-nant) point of view offering zero insight on the game or logic towards who will emerge victorious (I know who's winning tonight), because that's not what tonight is about.

Tonight is about passion. And emotion. And about protecting this house. And the Ultimate Tailgating Experience. It's about a bratwurst in one hand and a lukewarm PBR tallboy in the other. It's about trying to sneak in a half pint of Old Grand Dad Whiskey (Bad Santa's choice) to avoid paying 10 bucks for a brew dog. It's about razzing any Chargers fan you see, then laughing it off to avoid being one of "those guys," but secretly wishing harm on them upon entering the stadium (only to last for the 3 1/2 hours). It's about yelling CHIEFS so loud at the end of the national anthem, that constitutionalists are offended all over the country. It's about developing that invincible sense of euphoria that there's no way the Chiefs can lose with so much emotion swarming the stadium (usually gained right before kickoff). It's about screaming all game loud, and not having a voice the next day (the entire city should be 3 octaves quieter come Tuesday). It's about the stadium being loud enough that the TV commentators break out the device to measure the decibel levels of the crowd.

It's about showing anyone that has forgotten, around the city or the country, what Arrowhead Stadium is, what it was, and what it shall be (T9). That being the best gameday experience/homefield advantage in the NFL.

There are some of us out there that truly live and die with Kansas City Chiefs football. Literally, the Chiefs' well-being affects their day-to-day happiness in life. Think about that. These are your peers. They've entered a dark, dark place these last few years, and they need to be awakened.

We have our chance to do just that, and we get it on Monday Night Freakin' Football?!? Look people, the nation has forgotten what Arrowhead Stadium used to be about. Tonight is our chance to change perceptions. We need our aura back. And each and every one of you attending tonight can quite literally have an effect on the outcome of the game. To all readers, you hold not only a personal responsibility to be ALAP (as loud as possible), but to make sure everyone around you is being ALAP.

I know for sure, that a certain five gents, occupying the very top row (section 323) will be giving everything they've got to ensure a Chiefs victory. Hopefully that spreads all the way down to the front row. I want this to be the loudest Chiefs game in history.


Tonight Arrowhead Stadium regains the mystique......GO CHIEFS

His dirkness

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quick NFL Picks ~ Week 1

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I plan on picking every NFL game this year and keeping a running total of my record. My goal for the year is 66% correct. If I reach this goal, I will be assisting in the labor negotiations currently in a struggle between the players and owners. If not, than a strike there shall be. Here they is...

NEW ORLEANS over Minnesota (already predicted)-W
Cleveland over TAMPA BAY-L
Miami over BUFFALO-W
Cincinnati over NEW ENGLAND-L
Indianapolis over HOUSTON-L
JACKSONVILLE over Denver-W
Atlanta over PITTSBURGH-L
TENNESSEE over Oakland-W
NY GIANTS over Carolina-W
Detroit over CHICAGO-L
ST. LOUIS over Arizona-L
Green Bay over PHILADELPHIA-W
San Francisco over SEATTLE-L
WASHINGTON over Dallas-W
Baltimore over NY JETS-W
KANSAS CITY over San Diego (gotta do it!)-W


Notes:
-Taking 9 of 16 road teams
-Taking 7 of 16 underdogs

I aim to keep track of my picks through a variety of designations, such as underdog picks, home/road picks, records for each team, etc. If you have any other interesting ideas on ways to keep track of my results, let me know please. I'm very open to ideas, and love statistical analysis.

Dirk Noss

Thursday, September 9, 2010

2010 NFL PREDICTIONS

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AFC East
Miami Dolphins 11-5
New England Patriots 8-8
New York Jets 7-9
Buffalo Bills 3-13

AFC North
Cincinnati Bengals 11-5
Baltimore Ravens 10-6 (WC)
Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
Cleveland Browns 5-11

AFC South
Indianapolis Colts 11-5
Houston Texans 10-6 (WC)
Tennessee Titans 8-8
Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11

AFC West
San Diego Chargers 10-6
Kansas City Chiefs 7-9
Oakland Raiders 6-10
Denver Broncos 5-11

NFC East
Dallas Cowboys 12-4
Washington Redskins 10-6 (WC)
New York Giants 8-8
Philadelphia Eagles 7-9

NFC North
Green Bay Packers 13-3
Minnesota Vikings 11-5 (WC)
Detroit Lions 9-7
Chicago Bears 6-10

NFC South
Atlanta Falcons 11-5
New Orleans Saints 10-6
Carolina Panthas 6-10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-13

NFC West
San Francisco 49ers 10-6
Seattle Seahawks 6-10
St. Louis Rams 5-11
Arizona Cardinals 3-13



~:~PLAYOFFS~:~

AFC

Wildcard Round
Bengals over Texans
Ravens over Chargers

Divisional Round
Bengals over Dolphins
Colts over Ravens

AFC Championship
Bengals over Colts


NFC

Wildcard Round
Vikings over 49ers
Falcons over Redskins

Divisional Round
Vikings over Packers (in Lambeau!)
Cowboys over Falcons

NFC Championship
Cowboys over Vikings


SUPER BOWL


Cowboys over Bengals (same as Tedy Bruschi)




~Awards~


MVP: Donovan McNabb, Wash (2nd- Matt Ryan- AtL)
Offensive Player of the Year: Aaron Rodgers, GB (2nd- Calvin Johnson, Det)
Defensive Player of the Year: Mario Williams, Hous (2nd- Patrick Willis, SF)
Most Improved Player: Felix Jones, Dal (2nd- Carson Palmer, Cin)
Offensive Rookie of the Year: C.J. Spiller, Buff (2nd- Dez Bryant, Dal)
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Ndamukong Suh, Det (2nd- Jerry Hughes, Ind)
Coach of the Year: Tony Sparano, Mia (2nd- Marvin Lewis, Cin)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

2010 College Football Top 25: Week 1

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To clue everybody in on my style of ranking teams, they don't operate like your average AP poll. Teams are in constant fluctuation based on who they played, how they looked, and how teams they've already played are doing. The strategy of not dropping teams for winning games is majorly flawed, putting way too much emphasis on preseason rankings, which are purely projections (in other words, nothing they accomplished in the year the rankings are trying to record). This is a far bigger problem in College Football than the much publicized absence of a tournament. I will expand on this thought throughout the season, but must get to the rankings. Here we roll...

Rankings every week will be accompanied with their last week's rankings in my poll (LW) as well as their ranking in the USA Today Coaches Poll (USA).


Dirkness' Top 25:      LW        USA


1. Ohio St (1-0) 1 2
2. Oregon (1-0) 4 8
3. Boise St (1-0) 3 3
4. Alabama (1-0) 2 1
5. Iowa (1-0) 7 9
6. TCU (1-0) 12 5
7. Miami, FL (1-0) 11 12
8. Nebraska (1-0) 9 7
9. Wisconsin (1-0) 10 11
10. Virginia Tech (0-1) 6   13
11. Oklahoma (1-0) 5 10
12. Florida St (1-0) 20 18
13. Florida (1-0) 8 6
14. Texas (1-0) 14 4
15. Georgia Tech (1-0) 13 17
16. Georgia (1-0) 21 19
17. Arkansas (1-0) 15 15
18. Houston (1-0) 19 (26)
19. Stanford (1-0) 22 (28)
20. South Carolina (1-0) NR 25
21. Michigan (1-0) NR (35)
22. Oregon St (0-1) 16 (30)
23. Auburn (1-0) 17 20
24. Clemson (1-0) 18 (33)
25. Arizona (1-0) NR 23

(Sorry for the poor formatting, its an issue that's being resolved)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

2010 College Football: Boise St-Virginia Tech

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Boise St 33, Virginia Tech 30.

That is what college football is all about baby.

What felt like an old school duel turned into a capitalistic shootout. What started as a Boise St. route became an assured Virginia Tech (the Ghetto Hokes in those uni's) comeback. Boise St. quarterback Kellen Moore evolved from softly coiling into fetal position (albeit after a Bradshaw clothesline) to cooler than a cucumber. Tyrod Taylor (Ty-Tay, Tay Day, Twyce) transformed from confused to fast to gunshy to downright dominant to Seneca Wallace to Barry Sanders and, finally, to Tyler Thigpen (not good in 4th quarters). Frank Beamer's special teams downgraded from a calling card to a liability. Chris Peterson went from pumping fists to, well, pumping fists. The game started with a flea flicker and finished with a game-losing breadbasket drop. And College Football just entered all of our dinner plates. Time to eat up.

I thought the game might have been over at 17-0 Boise St, but they hadn't really proved much by that point. They had scored their points on a fumbled snap, a blocked punt, and a roughing the punter call. I considered the Hokies the favorite entering the 2nd half only being down 20-14. Tech's biggest problem was that they got conservative once gaining the lead, while never gaining full power over the Boise St offense. There was no reason to think they would stop the Broncos on their final drive with plenty of time remaining. Despite thinking that Boise St was the lesser team through most of the game, their 2nd half play was very impressive. They stepped up when it mattered, and they earned that victory (didn't think they had 3 quarters through).

This being said, I don't believe they are deserving of a National Championship bid just yet (if at all). First off, we don't even know how good Virginia Tech will turn out to be. If they turn out to go 7-5, there's no chance. Secondly, respect in college football is gained through consistency and longevity. Bringing it week in and week out is what makes running the gauntlet so daunting. In other words, it would take special circumstance for me to choose Boise St over any one loss BCS team (Big East excluded).

If a one-loss Nebraska team misses out on a National Championship because of Boise St, today will have been a travesty.

Keep an eye on Boise St traveling to Wyoming next week, led by fellow Shawnee Mission West Viking, David Leonard. Animal Style In n' Out Sandwich game. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Regardless, College Football is back. And I don't mean that as in the season is starting. I mean it as in College Football is about to grab hold of the nation like a mini basketball. And I credit Nebraska for this, for effectively killing the spread.

Top 25 On its way through the printing press as we speak....

Dirkness

Saturday, September 4, 2010

2010 College Football Preview: Nebraska Cornhuskers

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Two years ago, Nebraska was considered almost irrelevant amongst the national College Football scene.

Two days ago, Lee Corso picked Nebraska to defeat Florida in the 2010 BCS National Championship.

The man that Big Red Nation can thank for this is Sir Bo Pelini (is anybody named Bo ever not great?). I stated last year that I would take Bo over any coach in the nation aside from Nick Saban, Pete Carroll, Urban Meyer, Jim Tressel, and Bob Stoops. After Meyer's health problems and uncertain future, Carroll's departure from college, and reconsidering Saban's nomadic ways, the list has been reduced to only Stoops and Tressel. And I wouldn't instantly make those trades either, believing that Pelini's upside could be higher. We really don't know how good he could eventually become. Just look how downhill LSU has gone since he left. And if you don't trust a biased Nebraska fan's opinion on the matter, then take a look at this stat:

Defense PPG Allowed:
2007 (Callahan's last year)- 37.9 PPG
2008 (Pelini's first year)- 28.5 PPG
2009- 10.4 PPG- #1 in the nation

While many expect the defense's dominance to continue, but are they underestimating the impact that Ndamukong the Great had? Not if you were to believe Pelini's history of developing Defensive Tackles. While you couldn't unanimously agree on the following matter at hand, few would take objection with the following statement: The three best Defensive Tackles in College Fooball of the last ten years were Ndamukong Suh, Glenn Dorsey (LSU), and Tommie Harris (Oklahoma). What did they all have in common? They were all coached by Pelini. Bo knows Defensive Tackles. Enter stage left, Jared Crick, who earns this quote from an opposing Big 12 assistant coach via Athlon Magazine:

Suh, that dude was a manchild (I love that band!). The scary thing is the guy who lined up next to him, Jared Crick, has a different skill set but definitely is as hard to block.
The rest of the defense is stacked at the Defensive Line and Cornerback positions, while questions exist at Linebacker and Safety. Injuries have become a bit of a problem, already losing LB Sean Fisher for the season, and the loss of other starting LB Will Compton for part of the season with a bum foot. Look for them to be replaced by Special Teams madman Eric Martin and Ft. Scott CC product, Lavonte David.

A majority of the Blackshirts' success on defense last year was their ability to shut down spread offenses, which had taken the Big 12 by storm. They did this with hybrid Cornerback/Safety players, Eric Hagg and Dejon 'Bones' Gomes, who excelled at stopping the run and the pass. Both players return. The secondary is captained by shutdown CB Prince Amukamara, who some 2011 NFL Draft rankings have rated as high as 3rd overall. Like 3rd overall pick. The highest drafted CB in the last ten years were Terrence Newman and Quentin Jammer, taken with the 5th overall pick. The secondary will be integral in continuing the Blackshirt Revivalist Party.

I have yet to touch on the most noteworthy aspect (biggest question) of the Cornhuskers, the QB position. All signs continue to point to a battle between incumbent Zac Lee, sophomore Cody Green, and redshirt frosh Taylor Martinez. I'm all for competition, but with hopes so high for this season, The Wildman (Lee) has got to get the call. There is too much to lose with an inexperienced QB. I would be shocked (and maybe somewhat disappointed) if he's not the signal caller at least until a game is lost. The argument on his side is that he had a hurt shoulder all last year, and thrived in the bowl game once he received time to rest it. I look for The Wildman to be much improved, and think this issue goes rather quietly into the night.

Lee's job should be made easier with the two-headed Roy-Rex monster in the backfield (Helu and Burkhead, respectively). Nebraska should field a run-first offense, with playaction passing mixed in at the right times. Defenses will be stretched by big play extraordinaire, Niles Paul (Holiday Bowl MVP). The offensive line returns 4 of 5 starters (but loses Mike Smith to season-ending injury). With little knowledge on the subject, my insider, John Clements, tells me to keep an eye on redshirt freshmen linemen Brent Qvale and Jeremiah Sirles, while undersized ass-kicker Mike Caputo will anchor the line at center. Now I must fulfill my Pat Summerall obligation with a big "Thanks Jaaaahn."

Expectations are higher for the 2010 season than I could've imagined and it has me a little scared. Pelini's teams have stumbled out of the gates in his two seasons, and an early season matchup at Washington could prove tricky if they're not ready. If Nebraska continues to win, they should be favored in every game of the season prior to their bowl game (unless Texas overly impresses or Oklahoma is similarly undefeated going into the Big 12 Championship). I'm not sure how many teams can say that. Another interesting factor of the season will be the mindsets of other teams (and fans) when playing Nebraska. Gameday atmospheres will be raucous in opposing Big 12 stadiums, with Nebraska pinpointed as the villain from the near crumbling of the conference, and fans out for blood. Fans will get their chances in Manhattan, Stillwater, Ames, and College Station. The rest of the conference's fans will have to settle for pouring their support behind any and every Husker opponent. Can Nebraska handle it?

Here's to hoping that Nebraska takes the last Big 12 title and never gives it back (and beats Texas in the process). Upside down hook em horns.

And if you're not ready, enjoy this...



Go Big Red,
His dirkness

Friday, September 3, 2010

2010 College Football Preview: PREDICTIONS

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It's prediction time baby. Time to separate the men from the boys. And me, I'm a man. I'm 24! My annual laundry list of predictions consist of records for every Big 12 team, the surprise team and champions of every conference (big or small), and the combatants and winners of the BCS Bowl Games. And if the heisman was still relevant, I'd predict that too (Ok, Jacquizz Rodgers). Lets light this candle...

Big 12~

North:
1. Nebraska 10-2 (7-1)
2. Missouri 9-3 (5-3)
3. Kansas St. 7-5 (4-4)
4. Iowa St. 5-7 (3-5)
5. Kansas 4-8 (2-6)
6. Colorado 3-9 (1-7)

South:
1. Oklahoma 10-2 (7-1)
2. Texas 10-2 (6-2)
3. Texas A&M 8-4 (5-3)
4. Baylor 8-4 (5-3)
5. Texas Tech 5-7 (2-6)
6. Oklahoma St. 5-7 (1-7)


Conference Champions:


ACC- Virginia Tech over Florida St.
Surprise- Georgia Tech

Big East- Pittsburgh
Surprise- UConn

Big 10- Ohio St.
Surprise- Michigan

Big 12- Oklahoma over Nebraska
Surprise- Baylor

Conference USA- Houston over Central Florida
Surprise- SMU

MAC- Northern Illinois over Temple
Surprise- Golden Flashes of Kent St.

Mountain West- TCU
Surprise- The Wyoming David Leonards

Pac-10- Oregon St.
Surprise- Arizona

SEC- Alabama over Florida
Surprise- Kentucky

Sun Belt- Middle Tennessee St.
Surprise- This conference still exists

WAC- Boise St.
Surprise- Nevada


BCS Bowl Games


Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma over Boise St.
Orange Bowl: Miami over Oregon
Rose Bowl: Iowa over Oregon St.
Sugar Bowl: Alabama over Pitt
National Championship: Ohio St. over Virginia Tech


These picks were made while under the influence and are all subject to change...

FOOTBALL!!!

His Dirkness

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Look Back At 2009 College Football Predictions

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As I mull over the infinite possibilities that we'll see in 2010, I'll give you a look back at what I predicted for last year...

ACC- Georgia Tech over NC State
actual- Georgia Tech over Clemson

Big East- South Florida
actual- Cincinnati

Big 10- Ohio St.
actual- Ohio St.

Big 12- Oklahoma St. over Nebraska
actual- Texas over Nebraska

Pac 10- Cal
actual- Oregon

SEC- Florida over Ole Miss (Ole Miss over 'Bama in the season-more on this later)
Alabama over Florida


Big 12 Standings:
NORTH
1. Nebraska 10-3 (6-2) Actual: 9-4
2. Kansas 9-3 (5-3) Actual: 5-7
3. Kansas St. 6-6 (3-5) Actual: 6-6
4. Missouri 6-6 (3-5) Actual: 8-4
5. Iowa St. 4-8 (1-7) Actual: 6-6
6. Colorado 4-8 (1-7) Actual: 3-9

SOUTH
1. Oklahoma St. 11-1 (7-1) Actual: 9-3
2. Texas 12-1 (7-1) Actual: 13-0
3. Oklahoma 9-3 (6-2) Actual: 7-5
4. Baylor 6-6 (3-5) Actual: 4-8
5. Texas Tech 7-5 (3-5) Actual: 8-4
6. Texas A&M 5-7 (2-6) Actual: 6-6

BCS Bowl Games
Fiesta: Texas over BYU (Boise St. over TCU)
Orange: Georgia Tech over South Florida (GT over Iowa)
Rose: Cal over Ohio St. (Ohio St over Oregon)
Sugar: Ole Miss over Oklahoma St. (Florida over Cincinnati)
National Championship Alabama over Florida (Alabama over Texas)

Hopefully this was entertaining for atleast one of you, but I find studying the history of the game to be extremely fascinating. Not only is it informative, but I'm somewhat time-warped into what I was thinking at the beginning of last season.

Best Pick: Alabama to win the National Championship and predicting that USC would finish the season with 4 losses.

Worst Pick: Ole Miss doing anything worth a damn.

2010 Predictions coming very soon!

His Dirkness
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