Monthly Archives: September 2013

Portland Trail Blazers 2013-14 Season Preview

The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off two lackluster seasons in which they did not make the NBA Playoffs. Last year the Trail Blazers went 33-49 and finished 4th in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference. This is now two consecutive seasons the Trail Blazers have a winning percentage that is below .430. If the Trail Blazers hope to get back to the NBA Playoffs this season they are going to have to rely on some young players and the development of head coach Terry Stotts. Fortunately, Stotts will be coaching the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard. If everything falls into place this should be a very fun team to watch.

Damian Lillard in 2013-14

In his first season in the NBA Damian Lillard averaged 19 points and 6.5 assists. Time and again we have seen that a point guard can completely change a franchise. When Chris Paul went to the Los Angeles Clippers they immediately became a contender in the Western Conference. If the Portland Trail Blazers can build around Lillard the future will be bright. That said, there needs to be some scoring production out of LaMarcus Aldridge and the front line. If the Trail Blazers get a little more balanced with their scoring there is a strong possibility they can make the NBA Playoffs next year.

Even though Lillard averaged 6.5 assists per game it was quite obvious that many teams only had to focus on one player. This year, coach Terry Stotts will need to find some other scorers. The two highest paid players on the team this year are LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum. These two players need to step up big to take some of the load off Lillard. It is important to note that most of the players on the Portland Trail Blazers are young as there is only one player over the age of 30. This should help them tremendously as they progress through the 82 game season. If they can avoid injuries those back to back games will not be as difficult as they would be on older teams like the Los Angeles Lakers.

Getting Into the Playoffs

If the Portland Trail Blazers want to make the playoffs in 2014 they will need to improve by about 10 games. Although most teams do not want to just barely get in the playoffs with the eighth seed this might be a step in the right direction for Portland. They finished last season at 33-49. If they can win 10 more games that would put them at 43 wins with just 39 losses. Over the last few years, an above .500 record has gotten teams into the playoffs. Although this may not seem like a huge difference, it really is. To win 10 more games in an NBA season can be quite difficult for a team with so many young players. Psychology will play a huge role in this season as the team needs to get off to a good start. Most young teams feed off winning or losing streaks. If the Trail Blazers come out and lose their first few games it might cause problems in the locker room.

Locker room issues often do not come up for older teams. The oldest player on the Portland Trail Blazers is 30 years old. The captains are both in their early to mid 20s. If there are a few off the court issues it may spill over to on the court issues. This is something that coach Terry Stotts is going to have to address as quickly as possible. There are some coaches that thrive off the adversity. There are others that completely fail. It looks as if coach Terry Stotts has this season to prove himself or he will be out the door. The Trail Blazers are not going to take another 50 loss season even though they are a young team. This is a team that was one of the most enjoyable teams to watch just a few year ago when they were running up and down the court scoring well over 100 points a game.

Being in the Western Conference often meant that a team had to go up and down the court at breakneck speeds to have any chance to win a game. That is no longer the case as the Western Conference is getting older and even a little slower. Teams like the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers are not running nearly as fast as they used to. There are still teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder that get up and down the court but not every team is running this style of offense heading into the 2013-14 season. This might give the Portland Trail Blazers a little bit of an advantage as we head into the All Star break. It is well known that older teams struggle after the All Star break as their legs get tired and injuries start to mount. If Portland can use their youth to get up and down the court there is a good chance they could improve immensely this season.

When making a prediction on the season it is hard to come up with an exact number on the wins. If the Trail Blazers can finish the season at .500 they will be doing well. I would imagine the Trail Blazers will finish the season better than they start. As with most young teams, it takes a few weeks to understand how to win games. If the Trail Blazers can stay above .500 prior to the All Star break I would think they will make the playoffs as the 7th or 8th seed. If the Trail Blazers are several games above .500 going into the All Star break they may end up getting a 4th or 5th seed just because they will have fresh legs later in the season. It will be fun to see how this one plays out. I will continue to come back to this article as we get deeper into the season.

Trail Blazers 2013-14 Season Updates

With the Portland Trail Blazers being one of the more interesting stories heading into this NBA season I am going to try to do a weekly column discussing some of the goings on in Portland. I will definitely do an article once every two weeks explaining what I see with the Portland Trail Blazers. Very rarely do we see a team this young in the NBA. If the coaching is above average it will be fun to watch this young team develop. I do feel as if they need one more scorer to really make a strong playoff push this year. They have a center and a point guard so now they need a shooting guard or a forward that can score. If they can get a 20 point scorer through a trade this will be a team that has a great shot at being outstanding this year.

If the front office is not willing to trade for a scorer it could be a challenging year. Last year we saw that Damian Lillard was a stud but he cannot do it all by himself. I would like to see him score about 22 points a game and two others average in the high teens. If this is possible it will be one of the best teams to watch on the West coast. Portland fans deserve a good team to watch as they have not had the best product on the court in the 2000s. The Trail Blazers have only made the playoffs three times since 2003 and there have been some horrible teams in the mid 2000s. Some fans may be fed up with it but if the young team starts to produce the attendance numbers will increase. If the city can get behind this team would could see a consistent contender in the very near future.

To stay up to date on the Portland Trail Blazers make sure to access the Barry’s Tickets blog. There will be some great articles available during the NBA season. If there is a particular team analysis you would like to see please feel free to comment below and we will address that concern. It will be a fun year for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers will likely struggle this year because they continue to get older. We can only wonder how many games Kobe has left. Even though Kobe Bryant is one of the best players in NBA history he is getting down to the final few years of his career. If the Lakers continue to milk Kobe for all he is worth it may be the case that the Lakers are not a great team when he does decide to retire. We will have to see what happens this year.

Three Things The Dodgers Have To Do

LA Dodgers pitchers Kershaw and Greinke

Kershaw and Greinke

The National League playoff are set and the Los Angeles Dodgers are headed east to take on the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS opening round series, starting Thursday at Turner Field in Atlanta. A late push by the St. Louis Cardinals gave the Redbirds the top overall seed and forced the Braves/Dodgers series. After Thursday and Friday games in Atlanta the series will head west to Los Angeles for games next Sunday and Monday at Dodger Stadium.

The Braves dominated the season series, winning five of seven games, although the majority of the games were played prior to the Dodgers epic run of strong play that vaulted them into first place. Here are the three biggest keys to victory for the Dodgers:

Kershaw and Greinke: The Dodgers have the best one-two starting combination of all the National League playoff teams. This season Clayton Kershaw but up numbers that a haven’t been accomplished by a Dodgers left-handed starter since Sandy Koufax. He’s the odds on favorite to win the Cy Young and will start the series opener in Atlanta. Due to quirks in the scheduling the Braves haven’t faced the Dodgers ace in three seasons, missing his turn in the rotation each of the past two seasons. The lack of familiarity that many of the Braves hitters have toward Kershaw is a potential big factor. Since the opening round series is only five games and opening game victory is vital for the Dodgers. If they can jump on Kris Medlen early and take the series lead they’ll be in good shape moving forward. The added benefit of having Zack Greinke go in the second game gives the Dodgers strong odds to wrest home field advantage away from the Braves. The Dodgers right-hander was as dominant as Kershaw after the All-Star break with a 1.85 ERA and an opponent’s batting average of .214.

Restrict the Long Ball: The Atlanta Braves lead the National League in home runs and have several players in the lineup capable to quickly impacting a close game. They don’t have a high team batting average but are adept at using the long ball to change games in an instant. The key for the Dodgers pitching staff is to keep the ball on the ground, do not walk anyone, and restrict the long ball. The first two games of the series shape up well with Kershaw and Greinke. The two starters gave up just 24 total home runs this season in 67 combined starts.

Don’t try to come from behind: The Braves, due to dominant closer Craig Kimbrel and a group of solid setup men, have the best bullpen ERA in all of baseball. Much like the great Mariano Rivera led Yankee teams the Braves rarely give up leads late, making it vitally important to get an early lead. Kimbrel notched just the 11th fifty save season in baseball history this year, doing so with an incredible 1.21 ERA. The closer blew just four saves and struck out 98 batters in just 67 innings pitched. He has good command and an array of devastating strikeout pitches.

The Dodgers first home game will be Sunday Oct 6th at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers Tickets are starting at $60.00 per ticket. By:Chris Michaels

Dodgers Vs Braves NL Divisional Series Preview

LA Dodgers face the Atlanta Braves

Dodgers Vs Braves

The National League playoff are set and the Los Angeles Dodgers are headed east to take on the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS opening round series, starting Thursday at Turner Field in Atlanta. A late push by the St. Louis Cardinals gave the Redbirds the top overall seed and forced the Braves/Dodgers series. After Thursday and Friday games in Atlanta the series will head west to Los Angeles for games next Sunday and Monday at Dodger Stadium.

The Braves dominated the season series between the two clubs, winning five of the seven games played included a three game sweep in Atlanta from May 17-19. The Braves strong play against the Dodgers was before the incredible Dodgers run that saw them go from last place to first place in the NL West in a six week span. Additionally the Braves did not face Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw this season, nor have they faced him in the previous two seasons. The one game started by Zack Greinke, the other Dodgers ace, was a Dodgers victory at home on June 7th behind a solid outing by Greinke. The two storied clubs haven’t met in the NL playoffs since 1996 when the Braves swept the Dodgers in a three game NLDS series. Prior to that the Dodgers and then Milwaukee Braves played a three game series to capture the NL pennant in 1959.

The Dodgers starting rotation will be rested and ready to take on the Braves when the series kicks off on Thursday. Ace Clayton Kershaw, the heavy favorite to win his second Cy Young Award, had an extra days rest prior to his final start of the season, where he pitched seven shutout innings to earn his 16th win of the season. Kershaw, perhaps the Dodgers best lefthander since Sandy Koufax, had a miniscule 1.83 ERA on the season. He’ll have five days rest prior to take the mound for the opening game of the series, as will Greinke. The veteran righty Greinke justified his big free agent contract by winning fifteen games versus just three losses. During the second half of the season he was nearly as dominant as Kershaw. The two ace starters will look to steal one or two games in Atlanta and give the Dodgers the opportunity to sweep or win the series when it returns back to Los Angeles. The Braves will start the series with fifteen game winner Kris Medlen, followed by lefty Mike Minor, winner of thirteen games on the season. The key for the Dodgers starting pitchers will be to restrict the long ball and jump out on the Braves early. The Braves led the National League in home runs this season and have several players capable of changing the game on just one swing. Additionally the Braves had the best bullpen in all of baseball behind dominant closer Craig Kimbrel. The big key for the Braves will be solving the riddle that is Clayton Kershaw and jumping out to a series lead. Behind Kershaw’s tremendous regular season the Dodgers had the best starting pitching ERA in all of baseball. Hyun-Jin Ryu will take the mound for the Dodgers in game three, facing Braves righty Julio Teheran. Pitching matchups for the subsequent games are yet to be determined, but the Dodgers are likely counter with Ricky Nolasco in game four, if a game four is needed.

The Dodgers first home game will be Sunday Oct 6th at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers Tickets are starting at $60.00 per ticket. By:Chris Michaels

Top 15 Most Expensive Sports Tickets

People love sports. If you don’t believe that, just walk in to a professional sporting competition and catch a glimpse of the borderline hysterical behavior. You may have even been guilty yourself, screaming your head off at the referee or razzing the opposing team’s outfielder in between innings. But no matter what we do when supporting our favorite athlete or team, the most accurate gauge of enthusiasm is in the price we’re willing to pay just to “be there” and experience it for ourselves.

In that spirit, check out this list we’ve put together of the Top 15 Most Expensive Sports Tickets from recent years. As you look over these ask yourself: how far you’d be willing to go to experience the action firsthand? Is a ticket to a 3-4 hr sporting event worth a mortgage payment or the price of a new car?

1. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Sport: F1 Racing

Formula 1 Racing is the most popular racing sport in the world, and while events such as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix can put a sting on your pocketbook, they’re not as expensive as some of the other sports you’re about to see. However, Abu Dhabi is considered the most expensive F1 event in the world, and to make sure you’re a part of it, you’ll have to lay down around $513 for a single ticket. Not too bad comparably, but if you’re an international fan, any savings you might get from the ticket will quickly be negated by travel expenses.

Image Source

2. The Masters 2013

Sport: PGA Golf

While Yahoo! Sports declared The Masters the most expensive event in all of sports, that really depends on how you want to qualify it. Prices fluctuate when you factor in third party sellers and the natural supply and demand for any sporting competition, so for now, we’ll hold off our endorsement. Still, the $4,486 four-day pass does make The Masters a big deal. What also makes it a big deal is the fact you’ll be literally brushing shoulders with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson, and other modern greats of the green, while filling up on $3 beers and $1.50 pimento cheese sandwiches.

Image Source

3. Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers

Sport: American Football

If you’re an American, then it’s almost guaranteed you know about the Super Bowl. In fact, of the ten most watched shows in television history, nine of them are Super Bowls. Even if you’re not a football fan, you probably tune in every year just to watch the commercials and the halftime show. But as game day draws near, you’ll need some really deep couch cushions if you’re going to attend in-person. Face value ticket prices for 2013 averaged about $1,210, according to NOLA.com, but third party ticket prices were listed as high as $316,000. Good luck footing that bill!

Image Source Continue reading

LSU vs Georgia 2013

On Saturday, September 28th, 2013 Athens, Georgia will hold the attention of millions of college football games. The Bayou Bengals from LSU will come to town to take on the Georgia Bulldogs between the hedges. This is a huge game for both teams as it matches up the #6 LSU Tigers vs the #9 Georgia Bulldogs. The winner of this game will be sitting pretty when it comes to a BCS spot come college football bowl season. One game, a season does not make, but this one game could break Georgia’s season. The Bulldogs lost to the Clemson Tigers to open the season and another loss might ruin their hopes of going to a BCS Bowl Game without an SEC conference championship. Here are a few things to watch for in this game.

The LSU Defensive Line

It is amazing to see the rotation of the LSU defensive line year in and year out. In 2013, LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis has a two deep that will challenge any offensive front in the country. This has been true for many years with LSU. I don’t know what they feed the kids down there in Louisiana but it is not what I ate as a child. Last year LSU had a defensive end that weighed 250 pounds and could run a 4.4 second 40 yard dash. Even though he graduated, LSU reloaded and still has some amazing talent along the defensive front. One thing that is unique with this LSU team is the defensive backfield is a little more experienced than the defensive front. This means that Georgia QB Aaron Murray might not be as big of a factor as the Georgia running backs. Listen for the name Todd Gurley during the CBS broadcast on Saturday afternoon.

If the LSU defensive line can get interior pressure during the game in Athens it will be interesting to see how Georgia reacts. Running the ball is necessary to win big games in the SEC but some teams have accepted they need to throw the ball to set up the run. I honestly don’t know if that will be possible against LSU. If there were ever a year in which teams could run the ball on first or second down this might be the year. If you want to throw on LSU good luck. LSU is currently giving up 136 rush yards a game which is a huge number for any LSU team. As stated earlier, the front seven is younger than usual so this team is sure to get better. How quickly they will improve might be determined this week at Georgia.

The Georgia Running Backs

With the LSU defensive line being a little bit young this might be the year that Georgia has a running back run for over 150 yards versus the Tigers. In the past decade not many teams have been able to run the ball down the throat of the LSU Tigers. In fact, the opposite was often true. The national championship LSU teams were known for getting the ball and methodically running a 15 to 20 play drive that just deflated the other team. If Georgia can do that on Saturday it will be interesting to see how the young LSU defensive line reacts. By putting more pressure on these young players the Georgia running backs could end up winning the game when all is said and done.

Anyone that is on scholarship to be a running back at Georgia has talent. Some end up doing better than others by their senior year but they are all very talented. Something very interesting in the SEC is running backs that have a few big games at a time. It is shocking to see how many running backs have a two or three game stretch in which they are amazing. As the season progresses a few things slow them down. Defensive coordinators get game tapes on their tendencies and the physical wear and tear on their bodies makes it difficult to keep up the pace. This is why the running backs that have an amazing full season in the SEC are often up for the Heisman Trophy.

The UGA Crowd

Home field advantage in the SEC is huge. It is hard to place into words how important it is to get the crowd involved in these types of Saturday games. One of the biggest advantages of the home team is getting off the ball. When LSU is on offense the crowd is going to be extremely loud. This makes it hard for the offensive lineman to hear the quarterback. Some teams will use a silent snap in which the quarterback simply lifts up his foot. Unfortunately, the defensive players can see this and they get a quick jump off the ball. There is no argument to be made that most of the big sack games for defensive players happen when they are at home. Not having to worry about anything but the quarterbacks foot is a huge advantage for any player coming off the ball. Watch for this on Saturday.

The home field advantage is usually worth about a field goal in a college football game. In the SEC it might be worth a little bit more than that. The crowd in Athens will be ready to go by 3:30 pm. The fact that this is the SEC game of the week on CBS means a large percentage of diehards will be out several hours before the game. Tailgating and the overall atmosphere is very special in the south. It will come as no surprise that some fans will start the tailgating process on Friday night. Getting geared up for a game for several hours means Sanford Stadium will be rocking at 3:30 pm est. If you have never been to an SEC football game on a Saturday afternoon it is definitely worth the experience. Fans know their football and they are willing to get very loud.

Aaron Murray

Over the past several years the quarterback of Georgia, Aaron Murray, has built up a reputation for losing the big game. Prior to beating South Carolina earlier this season Murray was thought of as the worst big game quarterback in the SEC. After that win the critics have pulled back a little bit, but they will be out again if LSU wins the game at Georgia. Against top 15 teams Aaron Murray is simply a different player. All the blame cannot be placed on him as football is a team sport. That said, after more than five or six losses some of the blame needs to go on the quarterback that has been there through all of those losses.

I have never been a huge fan of Aaron Murray. I have nothing against him as he has been a good kid while in college but he hasn’t been able to consistently win the big game. I am not sure if it is coaching or just the inability to deal with the pressure. During the LSU Tigers game on Saturday afternoon Murray will have many things in his favor. He will be at home and the LSU defensive front is not nearly as good as it was in past years. That said, the LSU secondary is unreal. This is one of the tallest and most physical secondaries I have seen in quite some time. I do not expect to see Aaron Murray throw for 300 yards versus LSU. In fact, he may not even need to throw for 200 yards. He needs to manage the game and not make the big mistake. This is sometimes difficult for a quarterback that has been known to make mistakes in the past.

I feel as if Aaron Murray can truly silence the critics if he can beat the LSU Tigers this weekend. He has already beaten South Carolina. A win versus LSU will put Georgia ahead of the pack in the SEC East to go to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. The schedule is not easy for Georgia so a win against the Bayou Bengals will go a very long way towards helping their argument for a BCS spot during the bowl season. All of this will be a moot point if Georgia can win out and win the SEC Championship game. If Georgia wins out and wins the SEC Championship game there is a very good chance they will be in the national championship game.

An SEC team that goes undefeated is guaranteed a spot in the BCS national championship game. A one loss SEC team has a great shot at the BCS national championship if the cards fall in the right way. I firmly believe a one loss SEC team is probably in a much better position to compete for a national title than an undefeated team in some of the other conferences. That will be the topic for tomorrow so check it out.

An Undefeated Oregon vs Ohio State

After four weeks of the college football season most fans feel as if an undefeated SEC team is a shoe in for the 2014 BCS National Championship game. This isn’t really up for debate as the SEC has won the last seven BCS titles. The bigger debate is who will play the SEC champion if several teams go undefeated. The major contenders right now include Oregon, Ohio State and Clemson. Clemson has a propensity to lose a game they should not so I will save that argument for last. The more interesting argument is Oregon vs Ohio State. If these two teams go undefeated who deserves to play an undefeated SEC champion in the title game this year?

The Argument for Oregon

Undefeated Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks


The Oregon Ducks have been a stellar program over the last five years. Even though they lost head coach Chip Kelly to the Philadelphia Eagles after last season the offense has not skipped a beat. Oregon has been known as having a new age offense that moves the ball up and down the field quickly. The “Quack Attack” has revolutionized the way some teams play college football. Instead of snapping the ball with less than 10 seconds on the play clock teams are trying to snap the ball as quickly as possible. The Oregon offense doesn’t even get into a huddle. This is much different from traditional football which is to huddle after every play and take time to work down the field. The traditional way to play college football usually keeps possessions at five to eight minutes. Oregon often scores in less than two minutes.

Oregon has played in a national championship game in the last five years. There is little argument that Oregon was the most competitive team to play an SEC team in the national championship game. In fact, Oregon had a very good chance to win the 2010 National Championship. Other teams like Texas and Notre Dame were blown out in the national championship game by SEC teams. This matters to voters because they want to see the best possible game in the Rose Bowl on January 6th, 2014. Last year the college football world was burned when Notre Dame was dominated by the Alabama Crimson Tide in the national championship game. A team from the midwest did not match up well with the dominate SEC champion. This is one of the reasons some diehard fans feel as if Ohio State should not get a chance in the BCS title game. Oregon has a much faster paced offense and they have competed well against SEC and southern teams in recent years.

Another argument for Oregon is the entertainment factor. The Nike creator, Phil Knight, graduated from Oregon and he has a field day creating their uniforms. You never know what you are going to get when Oregon runs on the field. From personal experience, watching an Oregon game has a lot to do with the uniforms and the off the field antics from the Duck mascot. Entertainment is now a very important part of college football. After a 2013 BCS National Championship game that was not entertaining at all voters will want to put in a team that will keep eyeballs glued to the TV. The ratings for the championship game last year were terrible because Alabama had it wrapped up by the middle of the second half.

Oregon may not be the second best team in the country by the end of the season but they might be the best choice to play Alabama, or any SEC champion, in the BCS national championship game for entertainment purposes alone. Even if Oregon goes does 14-0 or 21-0 you can almost guarantee they will continue tossing the ball all over the field as quickly as possible. If other teams get down by more than two touchdowns the game is all but over. Even though this did not matter in the past it does today. Advertisers want eyeballs on the game and one way to keep eyeballs on that particular channel is to put Oregon in the game knowing they will not slow down and never be out of it.

The Argument of Ohio State

Ohio State Buckeyes BCS

Ohio State Buckeyes


Ohio State has been in a national championship in the last decade and they were blown out by an SEC school. In 2006 the Ohio State Buckeyes went into the BCS National Championship game undefeated and heavy favorites versus the University of Florida. Interestingly, the current Buckeye head coach, Urban Meyer, was the Florida head coach in that national championship game. Some people may remember the game because Ted Ginn, Jr. returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown but ended up hurting himself on the play. After that play the game was all but over because Florida dominated. There was nothing Ohio State could do to compete with the speed of Florida. When all was said and done Florida defeated Ohio State 41-14.

The fact that the Florida speed dominated the Big 10 champions makes many people wonder if this will happen again. Well, that argument is not necessarily valid as Ohio State is now coached by Urban Meyer who runs the spread option. The spread option was perfected at Florida with Tim Tebow. Meyer ended up stepping down from the University of Florida for health reasons. He took over the Ohio State coaching position last year and led the Buckeyes to an undefeated season. This has changed everything in Columbus, Ohio. Meyer has proved to be one of the best coaches in college football when his heart is in it. At this point in his career it looks as if his heart is still in it at Ohio State.

When Urban Meyer has his types of players on the field he can compete with anyone in the country. This is the main argument for Ohio State being in the championship game if they run the table. The other side of that argument is the depth of Ohio State. Every year there will be injuries. The fact that this is Urban Meyer’s second year means that many of the backups are not his recruits. One of the biggest issues with B1G football is the lack of speed. Urban Meyer recruits speed but he only has two recruiting classes at Ohio State for the 2013 season. If a key linebacker or defensive end goes down he may have to insert someone that was not necessarily his recruit. The lack of depth and speed is a cause for concern when it comes to the backups.

If Ohio State can remain healthy they can compete with any team in the country. In the second week of the season we saw a major injury to the Ohio State Buckeyes roster. Braxton Miller, the starting quarterback, has been out the last two weeks due to an injury. If these injuries start to add up in Columbus I personally feel as if we would see a national championship game similar to 2006 if the Buckeyes play the SEC champion. Urban Meyer is definitely an SEC style coach but it takes several years to fill the roster with speed. Ohio State is still a year or two away from having the potential to go two deep with any team in the country. Their starters are very talented but it is the backups that I worry about.

The Argument for Clemson

Crimson Tide BCS

Crimson Tide


An interesting player in the 2014 BCS National Title race is the Clemson Tigers. Clemson has a huge advantage over Oregon and Ohio State because of their non conference schedule. If Clemson runs the table this year they will have beaten two of the top SEC teams – South Carolina and Georgia. If Clemson can go undefeated they have every right to be in the national championship game. They will have victories over South Carolina, UGA and Florida State this year. That is enough for me to say they are the second best team in the country behind any undefeated SEC team. No other team, outside of the SEC, will have beaten schools of this caliber.

That said, Clemson is known for losing games they should never lose. In past years they would beat the great teams and turn around and lose to Virginia or Wake Forest. Some people feel as if Clemson is over that hump but I will believe it when I see it. I really do hope that Clemson runs the table because I live in the heart of ACC country. It would be nice to see the ACC well represented in the national championship game. It has been too long since the ACC has had an appearance in a big time game. When they have appeared in a BCS game they often lay an egg and make the conference look bad. Let’s see how Clemson plays the rest of the year and we may address this conversation again. At this point, I have to see Clemson win the games they should to put them in the national title talk.

By Jesse Wojdylo

BCS National Championship Ends at the Rose Bowl

It is all too fitting that the final BCS National Championship game will take place at the Rose Bowl near Los Angeles, California. For several decades the Rose Bowl has been known as the “Granddaddy of Them All”. This phrase was coined years ago when the Rose Bowl game often determined the national championship. This was well before the BCS was part of the college football bowl system. This season the Rose Bowl will host the “Granddaddy of Them All” but it will take place five days after the Rose Bowl game. The Rose Bowl will take place on January 1st while the BCS National Championship will be played on Monday, January 6th, 2013. This is sure to be one of the most sought after tickets in BCS Championship history because it will be the final championship game in the current format.

How the BCS Works

In 1998, the Bowl Championship Series was formed to crown the NCAA college football champion. Prior to the BCS it was often the case that the top two teams in the country did not play for the championship at the end of the season. In the 1980s and 1990s there were several split national championships because bowl games had conference affiliations that did not allow the top two teams to play. In fact, as I child I can remember the #1 team playing the #11 or #12 team in a bowl game. It was not good for the fans nor the sport. This was the reason we have seen the BCS over the last fifteen years. As the college football landscape has evolved it has changed many things about the bowl system. One issue with the current BCS is the computer system that is involved. In the 1980s and 1990s computers did not factor into the ranking system. Today they are a very big part of the BCS ranking system.

Computers are used to gauge many factors related to college football teams. It would be impossible to explain all the metrics. In short, the computers will analyze a team based on the opponents they have played and, more importantly, the opponents they have defeated. Unfortunately, a team cannot determine what other teams do with their schedule. It is also true that college football programs create their schedule years in advance. If Texas schedules LSU in 2013 for the 2018 season they expect LSU to be a top 15 program as they are now. If LSU loses their coach and some of their recruiting classes are not stellar it may very well be that LSU is not a top 50 program when they play Texas five years from now. Is this the fault of the Texas athletic department? Absolutely not. The computers will not like the schedule simply because of circumstances Texas does not control.

Another issue with the current BCS system is the fact that three undefeated teams cannot play in one game. If Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State go undefeated in the 2013 season one of these teams will be left out of the BCS National Championship in January of 2014. This is a huge cause for concern as fans in different parts of the country will have their issues with who gets it. Is Oregon a better team than Ohio State because they play in the Pac-12? Is Alabama better than both Oregon and Ohio State because they have won three of the last four national championships? These are questions that will be answered much differently by different experts and fans.

The ultimate goal of the BCS was to place the #1 and #2 teams in the national championship game. No matter what fans may say about the current BCS there is no argument to be made that the #1 and #2 teams will play on January 6th, 2014. Whether or not these are the two best teams in the country is an argument for another time. In the future this argument will not be valid as there will be a college football playoff in which the top four teams will get in. It will be the first time in college football history that a playoff will be part of the championship process.

The Rose Bowl and the BCS have had a great relationship since 1998. The BCS currently has four bowl games before the BCS National Championship Game. These bowl games are the Rose Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the Sugar Bowl and the Orange Bowl. All four locations are in warm weather climates as this attracts fans from all over the country. Many fans from northern teams love to travel south for New Years. Some will even make it a long holiday and travel to Los Angeles, California for the Christmas holiday as well. There are very few bowl games, in general, that are played in cold weather climates as January in the United States is not enjoyable in some of the states that are in the northern part of the country.

Los Angeles and the Rose Bowl

The Rose Bowl Stadium is located in Pasadena, California but most people consider it in Los Angeles. It is in Los Angeles County and the University of California at Los Angeles plays their home games in this stadium. The first Rose Bowl game was played in Pasadena in 1923 and there has only been one Rose Bowl game played outside of the stadium. The 1942 Rose Bowl was played in Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. Even the most diehard college football fans do not know this tidbit of trivia.

When visiting Los Angeles for the Rose Bowl and/or BCS National Championship in January 2014 many fans will look in to some of the local attractions. The Parade or Roses will take place during the day on January 1st, 2014 and it is quite the event. If fans are taking the long vacation for both games it would be smart to plan ahead. Even though Los Angeles is one of the largest cities in the world it never hurts to come up with a plan instead of just winging it when you get there. Los Angeles County is huge and those from small towns in the south might be overwhelmed with all the options. Teams in the Southeastern Conference may be excited to go to Hollywood but it takes a little bit of preparation. Those in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Eugene, Oregon or Tuscaloosa, Alabama love the college town atmosphere but that is very much different than the bright lights of Hollywood.

With the advancements of smartphones, tablets and mobile Internet access it is much easier to navigate a large city. Google Now allows users to ask Google for suggestions. This service continues to get better over time as Google better understands the type of food one may or may not like. Apple has something very similar with Siri. Instead of wandering around Los Angeles aimlessly anyone with a smartphone can now get walking directions to the closest sushi bar or steakhouse. This was not possible just five years ago. One of the best ways to navigate the Rose Bowl area is to take advantage of the Google Maps and Yelp apps. These apps are priceless when it comes to dining and entertainment options. Even if you want to get in a quick round of golf you will be able to find options through these two apps.

Booking a hotel or a place to stay in Los Angeles is another tough decision for diehard college football fans. In small college towns it is not hard to drive a motorhome to the stadium and stay for a few nights. Some families have a parking spot right outside the stadium they have used for several decades. This is not going to be possible at major bowl games. It is definitely not possible at the Rose Bowl as the stadium staff will have to clean up the stadium after the Rose Bowl on January 1st for the BCS National Championship game that will take place on January 6th. It might be hard for some fans to fly to LAX, rent a car and book a hotel room. This is something they are not accustomed to when it comes to watching their favorite team play in a college football game. Anyone that has been to big time football in the southeast knows that fans have their way of life and they enjoy it just the way it is.

When these fan bases go to other major cities it is not easy to adjust. That said, they are willing to do anything to watch their favorite college football team play. If the team in the BCS title game is their alma mater they may have waited decades to watch them win a championship. This is not the case with Alabama as they have won three national championships in the last four years. Teams like Notre Dame, Oregon and Clemson have not won national championships in decades so their fans will be ready to roll into Pasadena and take over the Rose Bowl.

By Jesse Wojdylo

Who will the Dodgers Face In The Playoffs?

Los Angeles Dodgers

LA Dodgers

The five National League postseason teams are virtually set, with the only question is who represents the NL as the wild card team (as of now Dodgers Tickets for the first round home games start at $60.00 per ticket) and what clubs earn home field advantage in the first round. Two games currently separate the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers for top overall record. The Dodgers are two games behind Atlanta but would have to finish a game ahead since the Braves hold the tie-breaker. The Dodgers are a game behind the Cardinals but hold the tie-breaker on St. Louis and only have to pick up a game on St. Louis. If the Dodgers can finish strong and take the top overall record in the National League they’ll face the winner of the NL Wildcard game which will feature the Pittsburgh Pirates versus the Cincinnati Reds. The two teams are currently in a dead heat with identical 89-67 records. Here’s a look at a potential Dodgers matchup versus Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Braves or Cardinals.

Los Angeles Dodgers Vs Cincinnati Reds

Dodgers Vs Reds

Cincinnati Reds : The Dodgers are 3-4 versus Cincinnati this season, including a three game sweep at the hands of the Reds in Cincinnati in early September. The Reds won all three games by one run in a series that was a prelude to a playoff type atmosphere. It marked the beginning of a Dodgers uneven stretch of play after their epic run to take control of the division. In the second game of the series the Dodgers bullpen was unable to hold the lead after a solid start by Zack Greinke, losing in ten innings. In the series finale the Dodgers had yet another solid start by Clayton Kershaw, but couldn’t solve the Reds offensively, eventually losing in the ninth inning. If LA does play Cincinnati they’ll have home field advantage and the luxury of starting both Kershaw and Greinke at Dodgers Stadium. In July the two clubs played a four-game series at Dodgers Stadium with the Dodgers taking three of four behind solid starting pitching. Offensively the Reds feature one of the elite players in baseball in first baseman Joey Votto. The Reds star is an on base machine, but has seen his power and RBI numbers drop this season. His numbers have picked up of late with a solid September, helping thrust the Reds into a hot streak. The big story for Cincinnati of late has been rookie phenom Billy Hamilton. The speedy September call-up holds the minor league record for stolen bases in a season and has helped electrify the Reds as a pinch runner in many late game victories. Hamilton has only batted six times this season but is 12 for 12 in stolen bases, with the majority in late game situations. Hamilton and Votto aside the Reds are a deep and talented bunch, but don’t have the starting pitching the Dodgers feature. If the two clubs do match up the Dodgers should be able to overcome the Reds due to Kershaw and Greinke.

LA Dodgers Vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Dodgers Vs Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates : The Pirates have finally put together a winning season after twenty years of losing baseball and are poised to at least play in the wildcard game in the National League. The Pirates have ridden a strong starting rotation to become one of the NL’s top clubs. Francisco Liriano, who struggled in recent years with Minnesota, is once again proving to be an left-handed ace with sixteen wins and a dominant 2.88 ERA. Jeff Locke, AJ Burnett, Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton round out one of the top rotations in all of baseball. The Dodgers haven’t seen the Pirates for a while, with both series between the two teams taking place early in the season. In the first week of the year the Dodgers swept the Pirates behind solid starts from Kershaw and Greinke. Later on in May the Dodgers visited Pittsburgh and lost two of three, with Jeff Locke shutting out the Dodgers in the opening game. Offensively the Pirates are led by star outfielder Andrew McCutchen and the powerful Pedro Alvarez, who has thirty-four home runs on the season. They’re a team built for playoff baseball and would be a strong opponent for the Dodgers. The Dodgers would likely be the favorites though due to their overall pitching depth and increasingly healthy lineup.

LA Dodgers Vs St Louis Cardinals

Dodgers Vs Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals : The Cardinals are the most likely opening round series for the Dodgers. The Braves are likely to finish ahead of the Dodgers for the best overall record. Atlanta is two game up on the Dodgers as of Sunday and holds the tie breaker over Los Angeles due to the Braves winning the season series between the two clubs. The Dodgers are 4-3 versus the Cardinals this season, including winning three of four in St. Louis in early August. The Cardinals are built much like the Dodgers, with a deep and talented starting pitching staff and a group of timely hitters. Offensively the Cardinals don’t have any dominant power hitters like former star Albert Pujols, but instead boast a balanced lineups of consistent run producers led by second baseman Matt Carpenter, first baseman Allen Craig, outfielder Carlos Beltran and catcher Yadier Molina. The Cardinals offense is third in the NL in runs scored, fourth in batting average and third in on base percentage. Adam Wainwright is the Cardinals ace and leads a solid starting rotation, along with rookie Shelby Miller, and Lance Lynn. Edward Mujica has proven to be a dependable closer, filling in for injured stopper Jason Mott. A prospective Dodgers/Cardinals matchup should come down to the dual at the top of the rotation. Even with Wainwright the Dodgers have an edge with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. If the Dodgers two aces can establish themselves early the overall depth and superior bullpen of the Dodgers club should prevail.

LA Dodgers Vs Atlanta Braves

Dodgers Vs Braves

Atlanta Braves: The Cardinals are currently a game behind the Braves for best overall record. If either the Cardinals catch and surpass Atlanta the Dodgers will head to Atlanta for the opening round series. The Dodgers struggled versus Atlanta this season, going 2-5, although the majority of the season series was played early in the year prior to the Dodgers amazing streak of winning baseball. The Braves have a solid but not dominant starting rotation, led by Julio Teheran, Mike Minor and Kris Medlen. All three starters are largely consistent but not dominant. Like versus the Cardinals the Dodgers should have an advantage in the starting rotation. Where the Braves are strong and may have an advantage over LA is in the bullpen, with dominant closer Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel is virtually unhittable with 49 saves this season and a 1.27 ERA. He has 94 strikeouts in just 64 innings pitched. Offensively the Braves have a lineup capable of putting up big run numbers, but also capable of stretches of inconsistency. Although they don’t have a player with 30 or more home runs the Braves lineup goes six or seven deep with solid power, especially with the now healthy Brian McCann, Evan Gattis and Jason Heyward. Like versus St. Louis the Dodgers should have an advantage in their starting rotation. If the Dodgers do face the Braves it will likely be in Atlanta where the key will be a quick start and an opening game victory. Amazingly Clayton Kershaw has not faced the Atlanta Braves in two seasons, a huge potential advantage for the Dodgers ace. The lefty’s last start versus Atlanta was an early season game in 2011 where he pitched 8.2 innings, giving up three earned runs. Zack Greinke faced the Braves once this season, pitching seven shutout innings in a May victory. The combination of the two dominant starters at the top of the rotation should send the Dodgers back to LA in a solid position to take the series.By:Chris Michaels

Who is the favorite to go to the 2014 BCS Championship?

Crimson Tide Vs LSU Tigers

Tide Vs Tigers face off on Nov 9th.

Following their defeat of the Texas A & M Aggies in College Station the Alabama Crimson Tide are again odds on favorites to finish number one in the country and represent the SEC in the BCS title game in Pasadena on January 6th. A title game appearance by the Tide would be their fourth in five years. Under Nick Saban they are a perfect 3-0 in title games. Alabama’s remaining schedule is conducive to a potential undefeated season, but is not without pitfalls. Here’s a look at the three remaining matchups that could blemish Alabama’s potentially undefeated season.

Saturday, November 9th versus LSU: The Tigers and Crimson Tide have formed a tremendous rivalry over the past five years with the annual matchup typically deciding the SEC West. Les Miles and his staff have their typical roster full of future athletic players, with the offense again being the big question mark. Since LSU defeated Alabama 9-6 two years ago the Tigers have struggled offensively versus Alabama, including a whitewashing in the 2011 title game. Zach Mettenberger has been efficient and protected the football this season and the Tigers have a stud running back in Jeremy Hill. LSU will be entering a tough environment in Tuscaloosa, but if Mettenberger can limit his turnovers the Tigers defense should make it a close game.

Saturday, November 30th at Auburn: The annual Iron Bowl should be a closer contest this season with Gus Malzahn in at head coach of the Tigers. Auburn has their usual talented roster but had perhaps the worst head coach in all of college football the past few years in Gene Chizik. Malzahn is an elite offensive mind and the Tigers offense should continue to improve all season. The big question is the defense, a unit that has struggled in early season non-conference play at times. After falling behind quickly in a tough environment at LSU the Tigers rebounded and made the game respectable, showing a grit they lacked last season.

 SEC Championship Game

SEC Championship Trophy


SEC Championship Game: If the Tide can navigate the regular season undefeated they’ll face a tough opponent in the SEC championship game. The trio of Georgia, South Carolina and Florida all could stiff competition for Alabama, especially if Georgia wins the right to represent the SEC East in the title game in Atlanta. All three teams present unique challenges to the Crimson Tide. Under quarterback Andy Murray and running back Todd Gurley the Georgia Bulldogs have a high powered offense that put big numbers on the board versus Clemson and South Carolina and should be able to move the ball versus the Tide. The question mark for Georgia is their young defense, although they are a talented bunch that will have a full regular season behind them by the time they reach the SEC title game.

South Carolina is playing from behind after a loss to Georgia, but are a well coached and talented bunch that could very well run the rest of their schedule undefeated. They have a versatile dual threat quarterback in Connor Shaw and a game-breaking running back in Mike Davis. The defense is led by Jadeveon Clowney, the odds on number one overall pick in next spring’s NFL draft. If the Gamecocks can reach the SEC title game they may give the Crimson Tide their toughest opponent.

Due to their struggles at quarterback the Florida Gators may be a longshot to reach the SEC title game, but have a deep roster with an elite defense. If the offense can get sorted out in conference play the Gators have the depth of talent on defense to give the Bama offense fits. Unfortunately for the Gators their schedule is brutal with trips to LSU and South Carolina. They get the Georgia Bulldogs at home in their traditional rivalry game, aka “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”.

Alabama’s remaining schedule is highly favorable to an undefeated regular season and a return to the BCS Title game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. They’ll receive tough opposition from LSU on November 9th and in the SEC title game, but the odds are Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide will be back in the BCS Title game on January 6th. By:Chris Michaels

How To Save $25.00 On Kanye West Tickets For The Staples Center Concerts

Kanye West Live In Concert

Kanye West In Concert

Kanye West is preforming at the World Famous Los Angeles Staples Center on October 26th and 27th. You can save $25.00 on Kanye West Tickets by entering the discount code KAYNELA1 on all tickets marked with BV (Best Value)on them. The tickets that are marked with BV are specially selected seats that are all ready at a discount and now for a limited time we are offering them even cheaper. All Kanye West Tickets are 100% guaranteed to be authentic and also have no service charges.

About Kanye West:
Young, Energetic and a music power house Kanye Omari West is an American hip hop musician, songwriter, record producer, film director, and fashion designer who was born on the 8th of June 1977 in Atlanta Georgia. Kayne West showed close affinity to art at a young age of 5 when he started writing poetry and got involved in the cities hip hop and music scene at an early age. While visiting crude recording studio in Chicago West crossed paths with DJ No I.D. who is considered “The God Father of Chicago Hip Hop” and after seeing West’s commitment and talent he became Wests first mentor at a very young age.
West started his career as a producer and although this process was initiated in the mid-1990’s yet West got his first big break through in year 2000 when he started to produce for artists on Roc-A-Fella records. Despite having a successful stint as a producer West knew that his real aspiration was to be a rapper. Record companies consistently denied him a deal because he lacked the gangsta image. Eventually he signed off with Roc-A-Fella records which led to his first composition “Through the Wire” and his first album “College Dropout” came out in 2003-04. After that west has had a series of successful albums like Late Registration (2005-06), Graduation (2007-08), 808s & Heartbreaks (2008 -09), My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010-12)

West have appeared and performed in a number of concerts on home turf and abroad and a minor peak into West’s concert schedule shows that from October 2013 to December 2013 West will tentatively appear in 27 different concerts in USA and Canada which shows the extent of activity being generated by this super star and truly reflects the zeal and enthusiasm that Kayne West represents.

In his early career West often used pitched-up vocal samples, usually from soul songs in his production, along with his own drums and instruments and although with the passage of time the use of sampling has significantly lessened his productions still continues to showcase distinctive string arrangements. West states that this is due to him listening to different English hip hop groups including Portishead and West for a time was the only modern day pop star who would tour around with a full scale string selection. Additionally west is also a big fan of Indie culture and he frequently uses his website to promote indie rock bands and music by posting videos and mp3’s. West has been an active collaborator with indie artists as well.

All in all West is leaving a legacy and a prominent imprint on the world wide music scene. He throughout his career has been an outspoken person which has gotten him into trouble several times. He once accused George. W. Bush of “Not caring about black people” and his fashion sense has always attracted a lot of media attention and has helped him differentiate from the rest of the industry. West has served as a revolutionist to the music industry and effectively paved the way for artists has no interest to rap about drugs, violence or guns.By:Chris Michaels