Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Cowboys’

College Football vs. NFL

September 4, 2011 3 comments

By: Britton Norris

It’s finally here: the football season of 2011.  What a great time of year for sports.  Not only do we get the National Football League back in action, we have college football to sprinkle in as a treat.  And here’s where some may take sides.

Which is greater, college football or the National Football League?

Let me preface everything with the fact that I enjoy college football.  Well, I enjoy good college football.  Sometimes “good” is few and far between, but a classic fall matchup like this year’s Alabama at Auburn showdown in November or the Red River shootout between Texas and Oklahoma are competitive sports at their finest.  A fresh cool front in October on a Saturday is quite the atmosphere for football and the melodies of the Notre Dame Victory March are enough to get any red blooded sports fan wound up.  College football has an uncanny ability to gather the hard core stats fan and the grandma and have them both cheering equally as passionately for their team.  It’s tradition.  Who cares why Ohio State hates Michigan, but they are the bad guys and they’re going down!  College football is fun.  And when your team is ranked in a desirable spot in the top 25 and there’s a competitive game on the television, things are peachy.

Here’s where I want to make a point.  The NFL is better.  A lot better and here’s why I think so.

The NFL is about the game of football.  Contrary to what you’d think, college football is much more about big schools beating other big schools than about the actual game and individual contests.  Everyone talks about the rivalries; they talk about why Oregon’s athletic program is better than USC.  In the NFL, it’s about the game.  People care immensely how Drew Brees is going to fare against the Packers defense opening night.  Will Josh Freeman’s offensive line get bulldozed by Ndamukong Suh and the Lions? All I hear about on the college side of things is if LSU can hold on to their top 5 ranking and thoughts about Texas A&M moving to the SEC.  College football can’t see the trees for the forest.  The big picture is so important, the end goal so vivid that we lose the journey along the way.  To me, a true fan of football wants to study the individual players and compare the strengths and weaknesses of matchups.  The X’s and O’s of football are one of the main reasons it’s so delicious.  Listen, I know there’s some of this in college football.  I know some of you know exactly who’s lining up out there at left tackle and what he has to do to beat his opposition’s bull rush.  But that’s not the focus of college football.  A great example of this is how quickly fans move on.  A new freshman running back is tearing it up and last year’s Heisman trophy winner is old news.  It doesn’t matter the face or the name on the back of the jersey, the Sooners are going to win!  Sure, there’s loyalty in the NFL, loyalty at its finest, but when Steve Young retired, 49ers fans took a long introspective look at their fandom.  I’m not suggesting that fans would turn their backs on their teams just because certain players aren’t there any more, but it does make one pause in a moment of nostalgia.  After all, they’ve been watching these guys play for years.  In college, good players might have 2 or 3 years and they’re gone.  You just can’t get attached to guys in that short time frame.

The NFL is competitive.  The University of Texas is hosting Rice Saturday night and they are going to mop the field with those poor Rice athletes’ bodies.  We could see 72-7, folks!  You college football purists will be quick to suggest the argument of a great upset.  “It’s so exciting to think of a no name team beating a top 10 ranked powerhouse!”  No its not.  99% of the time the game is unwatchable and when the upset does happen, a perfectly good top-ranked college team has its season go down the tube because of a fluky early September loss.  I’ll tell you what’s exciting, the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the Baltimore Ravens on a Sunday night; the Houston Texans taking on Peyton Manning and the Colts, trying to make claim to the division.  If one loses, it’ll just make the storyline more intriguing when they face each other again in the latter part of the season. There will be some lopsided games in the NFL, but every single player on each team is collecting a salary.  Every single General Manager had drafts picks in April’s NFL draft.  Every single team has an equal salary cap.  This isn’t so in college football.  When Alabama plays Georgia Southern they’ll be playing a team that isn’t even in the same NCAA division level.  Is this a joke?  Is the NCAA really trying to sell me this crap?  Am I supposed to enjoy this competition?  Please give me the fall classic Dallas Cowboys vs. the Washington Redskins.

College football is corrupt.  I could write for hours on this, but I just want to hit a few main points.  I hear people tell me all the time, “The NFL is just a bunch of greedy owners and athletes, please give me amateur college football where everyone just loves the game”.  This is the biggest load of bologna I’ve ever heard.  The NFL is a professional game and admits as such.  Every single players salary is available to the public.  College football on the other hand hides behind amateurism while grabbing at cash behind everyone’s back.  The University of Miami has recently come under heavy fire about student athletes receiving money and benefits illegally.  Do you remember why they took Reggie Bush’s Heisman trophy?  And this is just the illegal part.  All of these college players are playing to be seen by NFL scouts and get drafted so they can have a pay day.  Is this intrinsically wrong? Of course not.  But don’t kid yourself, these aren’t sweet little football purists playing for your university.  You’ve all heard how the conference commissioners pull and position the schools in ways to funnel money into their own pockets.  Schools take BCS bids because of obligation even when they are losing money.   I’m sorry, I’ll take the NFL.

The NFL has playoffs and a glorious championship called the Super bowl.  College football has the BCS bowl games and a national championship.  It’s really as dumb as it sounds.  Computer’s rank the teams and choose the “best” two to play for a championship.  Others get to play in “important” bowl games for, well, I don’t know, nothing.  And somehow the BCS has convinced us this is great and for some of you better than the NFL.  You’re delusional.   I’ve heard the arguments, “every game in a college regular season is a must win game!”  No it’s not.  If you lose your first two games, everything else is meaningless.  We don’t really crown a champion every year.  We crown a bogus team that has a good record.  The computers calculate who gets to play for a championship.  So, what do the universities do?  They schedule games to win.  These super powerhouse teams love scheduling cream puffs.  They guarantee a win and give their team a much greater chance of an undefeated season.  It’s ridiculous and it should bring out wrath from all sports fans who respect competition and fairness.  I’ll take a 16 game schedule where the teams who are the best get to play each other in a playoff and the last team standing wins the championship.  The NFL does this the right way and keep the integrity of the sport intact.

So, as we welcome glorious football back to our lives here in the fall of 2011, let’s have a little treat on a Saturday afternoon, but the big boys meat and potatoes aren’t coming till Sunday.

Britton Norris is a loyal Texan. He and his wife live in Fort Worth, TX and enjoy traveling anywhere in the world. He’s a proud Dallas Baptist University alum and works as an oil and gas landman. It’s on his to-do list to observe a frigid Packers game at Lambeau Field and see a Yankees game at Yankee Stadium. During Dallas Cowboys games you’ll likely find him with a mug of strong cold beer and his serious football game face on. You’re welcome to follow him on twitter, although he does more reading of tweets than tweeting – @brittonnorris

Back On Top…

September 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Sports Smithy Staff 2011-12 NFL Season Picks

 

Aaron Booth:

MVP – Aaron Rodgers, QB Packers

ROY – Mark Ingram, RB Saints

 

Team predictions

AFC East

  1. New England Patriots
  2. New York Jets
  3. Miami Dolphins
  4. Buffalo Bills

AFC South

  1. Houston Texans
  2. Indianapolis Colts y
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars
  4. Tennessee Titans

AFC North

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers
  2. Baltimore Ravens  y
  3. Cleveland Browns
  4. Cincinnati Bengals

AFC West

  1. San Diego Chargers
  2. Kansas City Chiefs
  3. Denver Broncos
  4. Oakland Raiders

NFC East

  1. Philadelphia Eagles
  2. Dallas Cowboys y
  3. New York Giants
  4. Washington Redskins

NFC South

  1. Atlanta Falcons
  2. New Orleans Saints
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  4. Carolina Panthers

NFC North

  1. Green Bay Packers
  2. Chicago Bears
  3. Detroit Lions
  4. Minnesota Vikings

NFC West

  1. Arizona Cardinals
  2. St. Louis Rams
  3. San Francisco 49ers
  4. Seattle Seahawks

(y – wildcard playoff spot)

Playoff prediction

Byes – Packers, Eagles, Patriots, Steelers

Round 1 – Cowboys over Falcons, Saints over Cardinals, Colts over Chargers, Texans over Ravens

Round 2 – Cowboys over Eagles, Packers over Saints, Patriots over Colts, Steelers over Texans

Round 3 – Packers over Cowboys, Patriots over Steelers

Superbowl Prediction

Final:     Patriots over Packers

 

 

Aaron Watson:

MVP – Tom Brady, QB Patriots

Last years unanimous winner dominated teams with weapons like Deon Branch, Danny Woodhead and two rookie tight ends. This year the team adds Ochocinco, the rookies are a year older and more experienced and Danny Woodhead is back and raring to go. Oh, they also win a ton of games every year and look much improved on defense.

Runner up – Aaron Rodgers, QB Packers

OPOY – Darren McFadden, RB Raiders

The often injured burner finally showed what he is capable of last year, averaging 5.2 ypc and leading the league in rushes of forty yards or more. If he stays healthy (obviously a huge if), he could be primed for a monster season. He is explosive both between the tackles, on the perimeter and in the passing game.

Runner up – Arian Foster, RB Texans

DPOY – DeMarcus Ware, OLB Cowboys

The league is obsessed with sack totals, and Ware is one of the premier players at getting to the quarterback. Rob Ryan will move him all over the field to get him good matchups, so expect his numbers to be fantastic for a team that should be better on defense.

Runner up – Ndamukong Suh, DT Lions

OROY – Mark Ingram, RB Saints

High profile player on a high profile team, he will split carries but will look good doing so. He also will rack up great TD totals as he acts as the goal line back. His ability as a receiver and blocker will help him see the field than a lot of other rookies might.

Runner up – Cam Newton, QB Panthers

DROY – Von Miller, OLB Broncos

I know being the highest defensive player drafted almost assures he will not win this award (although Suh did it last year), I still think he has the talent to be a difference maker in his first season. Early reports have him dominating in practice and he appears to have a great feel for rushing the passer as well as dropping into coverage, especially for such a young player.

Runner up – Jimmy Smith, CB Ravens

Team predictions

AFC East

  1. New England Patriots – 13-3
  2. New York Jets – 10-6 y
  3. Buffalo Bills – 6-10
  4. Miami Dolphins – 3-13

AFC South

  1. Houston Texans – 10-6
  2. Indianapolis Colts – 9-7
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars – 6-10
  4. Tennessee Titans – 5-11

AFC North

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers – 12-4
  2. Baltimore Ravens – 11-5 y
  3. Cleveland Browns – 7-9
  4. Cincinnati Bengals – 2-14

AFC West

  1. San Diego Chargers – 12-4
  2. Oakland Raiders – 9-7
  3. Kansas City Chiefs – 8-8
  4. Denver Broncos – 4-12

NFC East

  1. Dallas Cowboys – 10-6
  2. Philadelphia Eagles – 10-6 y
  3. New York Giants – 8-8
  4. Washington Redskins – 5-11

NFC South

  1. New Orleans Saints – 11-5
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 10-6 y
  3. Atlanta Falcons – 10-6
  4. Carolina Panthers – 4-12

NFC North

  1. Green Bay Packers – 12-4
  2. Detroit Lions – 9-7
  3. Chicago Bears –  7-9
  4. Minnesota Vikings – 6-10

NFC West

  1. St. Louis Rams – 9-7
  2. Arizona Cardinals – 7-9
  3. San Francisco 49ers – 6-10
  4. Seattle Seahawks – 5-11

(y – wildcard playoff spot)

Playoff prediction

Byes – Chargers, Patriots, Saints, Packers

Round 1 – Bucs over Cowboys, Eagles over Rams, Jets over Texans, Ravens over Steelers

Round 2 – Packers over Bucs, Eagles over Saints, Patriots over Ravens, Chargers over Jets

Round 3 – Patriots over Chargers, Packers over Eagles

Superbowl Prediction

After defeating the Chargers in the Championship round, the Patriots will play the defending Champion Green Bay Packers in the Superbowl.

Final:     Green Bay – 24                  New England – 31

 

 

Britton Norris:

MVP – Tony Romo, QB Dallas

He’s in the prime of his prime.  He was an MVP candidate in 2009, but Peyton Manning was carrying the Colts on his shoulders.  Romo has matured.  Last year was a disaster and his season was cut far too short when Giants linebacker Michael Boley came charging through the line unblocked.  This year, Romo has the benefit of a head coach that has been his offensive coordinator the past four seasons.  While the concern will be the Dallas O-line and their inexperience, Tony Romo will have a field day throwing downfield to targets like Witten, Bryant, Austin and Murray.

Runner up – Drew Brees, QB New Orleans

OPOY – Andre Johnson, WR Houston

Johnson has a classy persona, but he’ll never back down from a fight – check out his beat-down of Cortland Finnegan a year ago if you want to see NFL attitude at its best. Johnson puts on a clinic every year.  He’s a big powerful receiver that wants to win.  In fact, he’s on record this year declaring that he’s tired of watching the NFL playoffs from his sofa and is determined to get the Texans into the postseason for the first time in franchise history.  A fantasy superstar every year, expect Andre Johnson to make a bid for OPOY.

Runner up – Ray Rice, RB Baltimore

DPOY – Ndamukong Suh, DT Detroit

This guy is a stud.  If I’m lining up as an offensive center or guard I’m shaking in my boots.  “There are two types of intimidation,” Suh said. “There is dirty intimidation, which people have accused me of. And there is the intimidation of always being in somebody’s face, doing the right thing, causing them problems, not allowing them to run their offense. I think that’s what I have consistently done. That’s what my job is. That’s what I want to do. We do that as a front four. Quarterbacks are aware at every single point, that all four or eight of us can come in and cause you a problem.”  Enough said Mr. Suh.

Runner up – Brian Orakpo, OLB Washington

OROY – Mark Ingram, RB Saints

The Saints already have an offensive machine and rookie running backs are notorious for picking up an NFL offense fast due to the position’s reliance on instincts.  This is one of those picks that seem to be pretty popular.  In Head Coach Sean Peyton’s mind, Ingram will be everything Reggie Bush wasn’t.  He has hefty expectations, but I can see him excelling in this offense.

Runner up – Julio Jones, WR Atlanta

DROY – J. J. Watt, DE Houston

This is a shot in the dark.  I do think that Houston will have a much improved defense with new coordinator Wade Phillips.  This defense has several high profile draft picks and just hasn’t gotten it done year after year.  The buzz about Watt is strong and he’s won the starting job… who knows.

Runner up – Patrick Peterson, CB Arizona

Team predictions

AFC East

  1. New England Patriots – 11-5
  2. New York Jets – 9-7
  3. Miami Dolphins – 6-10
  4. Buffalo Bills – 3-13

AFC South

  1. Houston Texans – 11-5
  2. Indianapolis Colts – 6-10
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars – 6-10
  4. Tennessee Titans – 4-12

AFC North

  1. Baltimore Ravens – 13-3
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers – 10-6 y
  3. Cleveland Browns – 5-11
  4. Cincinnati Bengals – 1-15

AFC West

  1. San Diego Chargers – 12-4
  2. Kansas City Chiefs – 9-7 y
  3. Denver Broncos – 7-9
  4. Oakland Raiders – 4-12

NFC East

  1. Dallas Cowboys – 11-5
  2. Philadelphia Eagles – 9-7
  3. New York Giants – 7-9
  4. Washington Redskins – 4-12

NFC South

  1. Atlanta Falcons – 12-4
  2. New Orleans Saints – 11-5 y
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 8-8
  4. Carolina Panthers – 4-12

NFC North

  1. Green Bay Packers – 12-4
  2. Detroit Lions – 10-6 y
  3. Chicago Bears –  5-11
  4. Minnesota Vikings – 5-11

NFC West

  1. Arizona Cardinals – 9-7
  2. St. Louis Rams – 8-8
  3. San Francisco 49ers – 4-12
  4. Seattle Seahawks – 3-13

(y – wildcard playoff spot)

Playoff prediction

Byes – Baltimore, San Diego, Green Bay, Atlanta

Round 1 – Dallas over Detroit, New Orleans over Arizona, Houston over Kansas City, Steelers over Patriots

Round 2 – Atlanta over New Orleans, Green Bay over Dallas, Baltimore over Pittsburgh, Houston over San Diego

Round 3 – Atlanta over Green Bay, Houston over Baltimore

Superbowl Prediction

Final:    Atlanta – 30          Houston – 28

 

 

By: Nate Douglas

MVP – Tom Brady, QB Patriots

I must concur with my colleague, Mr. Watson.  Brady made a gourmet meal of steak, potatoes, asparagus and a good cabernet out of a McDonald’s happy meal last year, and it’ll only get better this year.

Runner up – Aaron Rodgers, QB Packers

OPOY – Jamaal Charles, RB Chiefs

Last year’s leader in yards per carry will finally get the touches he deserves, and will run away with this award.

Runner up – Roddy White, WR Falcons

DPOY – Ndamukong Suh, DT Lions

Adding Nick Fairley to the mix will give opposing o-lines fits, and Suh will get even more opportunities this year to eat QB’s.

Runner up – Eric Berry, CB Chiefs

OROY – Julio Jones, WR Falcons

Julio will be targeted frequently, has good hands and great speed.  He will make an immediate impact at the WR position as Roddy White draws the tougher assignments.

Runner up – Mark Ingram, RB Saints

DROY – Patrick Peterson, CB Arizona

If you’re considered a part of the Heisman conversation as a cornerback, you’re good.   Peterson will rack up interceptions, many returned for TDs for the Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Runner up – Von Miller, LB Broncos

Team predictions

AFC East

  1. New England Patriots – 12-4
  2. New York Jets – 10-6 y
  3. Buffalo Bills – 4-12
  4. Miami Dolphins – 3-13

AFC South

  1. Houston Texans – 11-5
  2. Indianapolis Colts – 10-6 y
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars – 6-10
  4. Tennessee Titans – 5-11

AFC North

  1. Baltimore Ravens – 12-4
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers– 9-7
  3. Cleveland Browns – 7-9
  4. Cincinnati Bengals – 3-13

AFC West

  1. San Diego Chargers – 10-6
  2. Oakland Raiders – 9-7
  3. Kansas City Chiefs – 9-7
  4. Denver Broncos – 5-11

NFC East

  1. Philadelphia Eagles – 11-5
  2. New York Giants – 9-7
  3. Dallas Cowboys – 8-8
  4. Washington Redskins – 4-12

NFC South

  1. Atlanta Falcons – 11-5
  2. New Orlenas Saints  – 10-6 y
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 8-8
  4. Carolina Panthers – 4-12

NFC North

  1. Green Bay Packers – 13-3
  2. Detroit Lions – 9-7 y
  3. Chicago Bears –  6-10
  4. Minnesota Vikings – 4-12

NFC West

  1. St. Louis Rams – 9-7
  2. Arizona Cardinals –8-8
  3. San Francisco 49ers – 5-11
  4. Seattle Seahawks – 3-13

(y – wildcard playoff spot)

Playoff prediction

Byes – Patriots, Ravens, Falcons, Packers

Round 1 – Texans over Jets, Colts over Chargers, Eagles over Rams, Lions over Saints

Round 2 – Patriots over Texans, Ravens over Colts, Falcons over Eagles, Packers over Lions

Round 3 – Patriots over Ravens, Packers over Falcons

Superbowl Prediction

Final:     Green Bay – 35                  New England -21