Archive for August, 2016

2016 MAC Preview

Posted on August 31, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2016 MAC Preview

August 31, 2016

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
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You want diversity? You want a contrast in styles? You want a fascinating mix of superstar offensive talents mixed in with just enough solid defensive teams to keep things interesting? Well the MAC is all about that this year!

The conference always boasts the haves and have-nots, with a gaping disparity between the elite and not-so-elite, yet this time around, the conference should be a bit more even. The coaching is strong, there’s plenty of star power at quarterback, and the division races are as unpredictable as they’ve been in several years.

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Last year Bowling Green didn’t field a defense and still won a MAC championship by outbombing everyone. Head coach Dino Babers is now in Syracuse and quarterback Matt Johnson is gone, but the offense should still be dangerous enough to contend.

Contrast the Falcons with Akron, the breakthrough team of last year that dominated on defense. Kent State had absolutely no offense whatsoever, ruining a fantastic campaign for a phenomenal defense. Now the Zips have to rebuild and the Golden Flashes have to hope they have some way to move the ball to keep up with the other high-powered stars in the division.

The other day I heard the ‘MAC East is the kids’ table.’

They may have taken the championship last season, but the league’s four best teams are in the West – PERIOD. So I agree.

Western Michigan is about to be devastating. Quarterback Zach Terrell leads a potentially unstoppable offense that should be an automatic 30-point-per-game machine, while the defense gets seven starters back and should be good enough to get by.

AP Poll

Northern Illinois will have a healthy quarterback this season – something it didn’t field late last year when the team was ravaged by key injuries – and now the offense is back to its normal high level. It’ll have to be considering Toledo isn’t going anywhere despite the loss of head coach Matt Campbell to Iowa State. The rushing tandem of Kareem Hunt and Terry Swanson should be as productive as any in America.

Central Michigan has the high-rising quarterback in the NFL Draft world in Cooper Rush, and the defense that finished 16th in the nation welcomes back eight starters – this might be the most complete team in the MAC.

Ball State should be among the league’s most improved teams with Mike Neu taking over a veteran squad, while Eastern Michigan will try to keep the program afloat as the sixth-best team – by far – in a six-team division.

Besides the championship game, of course, we believe the MAC Football Game Of The Year will be Toledo at Northern Illinois (in Chicago at Guaranteed Rate Field aka U.S. Cellular Field) Nov. 9. As good as Toledo has been over the last several years, why hasn’t it been able to break through and become the star of the MAC? NIU has won six straight in the series.

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Here is our overall MAC Predictions….

EAST

WEST

1. Ohio

2. Bowling Green

3. Buffalo

4. Akron

5. Kent State

6. Miami University

1. Western Michigan

2. Northern Illinois

3. Toledo

4. Central Michigan

5. Ball State

6. Eastern Michigan

Western Michigan should be the star of the West, and it gets both Toledo and Northern Illinois at home making the showdown between the Rockets and Huskies in Chicago all but an elimination game.

As we have stated, the MAC West is the toughest to predict as the battle should come down to Western Michigan against Northern Illinois, and the battle will be decided October 8… winner of this contest should win the West. And since the Broncos nor the Huskies play Ohio, who should win the East… whew – should be an exciting game in Detroit December 2.

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2016 BIG Ten Preview

Posted on August 31, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2016 BIG Ten Preview

August 31, 2016

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
follow back at @PrezRo365

The Big Ten remains top heavy heading into this season but their best teams all reside in the same division so there will be some major collusions featuring Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. The winner of the East could very well be the champion of the Big Ten but I’m certain Iowa and Wisconsin will have something to say about that.

The Hawkeyes are currently the favorites to repeat as West but Wisconsin has restocked their roster as well as  Nebraska. The Big Ten may not be the deepest conference of the so-called Power 5, but its top teams should play significant roles when it comes to the national title picture that’s for sure.

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The conference had more players drafted in the first three rounds – the ones that matter – than the SEC, and everyone else. B1G joins the ACC as the only league to have two different teams in the first two years of the College Football Playoff, it had some high-profile moments this last bowl season – nothing to see here with the Rose, Sugar and Outback, though – and more than anything else, the conference’s programs are really, really, really rich, and getting richer.

Eight Big Ten schools – with newbies Maryland and Rutgers, along with Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern and Purdue just on the outside – are in the $100 million athletic department club in annual revenue generated, while the Big Ten Network is definitely printing money for the schools.

In short, all this means it’s easier to keep around the Harbaughs, and the Meyers, and the Franklins, and the Dantonios and it’s easier to attract the Lovies, and have the Schianos as assistants. And soon, it might be easier to attract more programs to expand even further. But that’s for another day.

On the field, the Big Ten is better when Michigan is one of college football’s elite programs. It’s back with Jim Harbaugh the most interesting man in the world, while Ohio State continues to be special, Michigan State not going anywhere, and a resurgent Penn State about to be a whole bunch better over the next few seasons.

AP Poll

Throw in the improved coaching situations at Maryland and Rutgers, and with Indiana no longer a speedbump, and the East is going to be fascinating.

Can Nebraska start to get the right breaks and be better and stronger under Mike Riley? Probably. Iowa has another great team returning, Wisconsin is going to have a running game again and be dangerous, Northwestern and Minnesota are still solid, Illinois should be far better in a hurry under Lovie Smith, and Purdue has its best team yet under Darrell Hazell.

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NOTE: Big Ten Game of the Year
Michigan at Ohio State, Nov. 26 – All due respect given to Michigan State, who gets the Wolverines and Buckeyes at home, but the rivalry of all sports rivalries will matter more than ever now. It might be for the Big Ten East – and, effectively, the Big Ten title – after the game not making a difference in the race last year, and while Jim Harbaugh can’t do any wrong, it’s not going to sit well if he’s 0-2 against Urban.

Here is our overall Big Ten Predictions….

EAST

WEST

ohiostate-helmet

michiganstate-helmet

michigan-helmet

pennstate-helmet

minnesota2014

indiana2014

rutgers2014

 wiscbadgers1

nebraska2014

iowa-helmet

minnesota-helmet

northwestern-helmet

illinois2014

purdue-helmet

“IF” all things go according to our prediction, Ohio State and Wisconsin will face off December 3 in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship with the Buckeyes winning it all going into the BCS Playoffs.

Even by the Big Ten Network poll, Ohio State was chosen to win it all – click here to read!

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2016 Chicago Classic Recap

Posted on August 29, 2016. Filed under: Football | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Chicago Classic Recap…

High School Football

August 28, 2016

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
follow back at @PrezRo365

What a way to cap off week 1 in high school football… six teams going at it at legendary Soldier Field. Things got started with the battle of the Saints… Rita vs. Patrick……

SoldierField2016

St. Patrick wins in a nail biter…

St. Patrick 47, St. Rita 44: Jake Zylman passed for 206 yards and four touchdowns — three to Tim Zaleski — but the Mustangs’ second-half rally fell short. Zylman also rushed 10 times for 83 yards and Shaun Rule had 18 carries for 89 yards and a TD for St. Rita, which trailed 33-14 at halftime.

St. Rita will play host to Rich Central Friday night (we will be onsite for this one); St. Patrick will face Glenbrook South.

statefarm1

 

 

 

Caravan roll in the opener….

MC

… knocking off Chicago Taft 49-7.

It was the Alek Thomas show as he made it to the end zone three (3) times in the season opener at legendary Soldier Field including an opening score for 49 yards on a screen. The other two were from 1 yard out on a wildcat QB keeper and from 26 yards out.

Taft did get on the board at the end of the game on a nice fade toss from sophomore Peter Fusek to senior Joshua Meyer.

Dan Trudeau went 3-for-4 for 112 yards and two TDs to finish the game. Jake Moriarty also put on a show in the contest adding 83 yards on nine carries for the Caravan.

Apparently the Caravan “embraced the suck!” coach Frank Lenti’s mantra for summer training.

Game highlights can be seen by clicking here via MaxPreps.

Mount Carmel plays Gary West Side next Friday night; Taft will face Chicago Uplift Saturday afternoon.

 

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Crusaders topple the RedHawks

Marist  BrRice

Two top-ranked teams, faced off at Soldier Field Sunday for the BATTLE of PULASKI! As a four-loss Marist team rolled to the Class 8A state title game last season and with many of those key players back this season. they were the favs… but Brother Rice dominated 3 1/2 quarters to seal the victory 31-7.

Offensively the Crusaders did it behind the play of senior quarterback Dino Borrelli and Ricky Smalling. The Illinois-recruit Smalling grabbed a 56-yard touchdown pass on the Crusaders’ first drive of the game and showed not only his ability to catch but he displayed his natural speed sprinting to the end zone.

“It’s just amazing,” Smalling said. “I’ve wanted to play at Soldier Field a long time and it’s special to come out here and get the win against Marist.”

Marist kept it close in the first half thanks to TJ Ivy’s 57-yard TD reception from junior quarterback Morgan Taylor, but the RedHawks trailed 14-7 at halftime, but couldn’t find much rhythm after that. Taylor did show his talents over all, finishing the game 14-of-19 passes for over 130 yards.

“When you look at this game, there were a lot of opportunities out there,” Marist coach Pat Dunne said. “This hurts all of us, but it’s Week 1 of the season. We’ve been in this position before.”

Borrelli, in his first start, finished the opener going 11-for-21 for 185 yards with two touchdown passes and a two-yard TD run after an interception from Aarion Lacy, giving the Crusaders a commanding 28-7 lead less than three minutes after Smalling’s second TD grab.

“Dino is a heck of a football player, he just needs to get some experience with us,” Brother Rice coach Brian Badke said. “Having his first start in this type of setting is pretty intimidating but he did a great job. He’s a good kid and a leader, I’m really proud of him.”

The Crusaders also got things going on the ground with running back Xavion Valladay, who ran for over 120 yards on 16 carries including a spectacular sprint for 71-yards and a score in the second quarter.

Now on the other side of the ball, Brother Rice defense was solid keeping them from scoring after first quarter.

In short, the Crusaders dominated the game and showed everyone that they should be taken seriously in the Chicago Catholic Blue conference.

Rice will host Crete-Monee next Friday night, while Marist host Simeon.

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2016 IHSA Week 1 recap

Posted on August 27, 2016. Filed under: Football | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

High School Football – Week 1

August 26, 2016

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compiled by Prez Ro
follow back at @PrezRo365

What a fantastic weekend for high school football! Perfect weather kicked things off Friday night across the Chicagoland area. A number of teams picked things off right where they left them, while others are trying to find their new identity. Let’s get things started……

RichCentral

Olympians put on an Olympic performance in the opener

Behind the offensive play of junior quarterback, Jyran Mitchell, Rich Central knock off Stagg 39-6. Yes, I did say Mitchell… this is the third son to come through the program. Shawn Jr. is now playing at Eastern Illinois  and Jeremiah is at Austin Peay. And next month, they play against each other for the first time since, whew… for-e-v-e-r!

Jyran Mitchell tossing a quick pass. Picture care of AmateurSports365.com

Jyran Mitchell tossing a quick pass. Picture care of AmateurSports365.com

But back to the game at hand, Mitchell had two TD runs and also threw a 19-yard scoring pass to Glen Abram to guide Rich Central (1-0) in the opener. The Olympians scored on their first four possessions and never looked back. On the other side of the ball, the defense was nasty… stingy… and it seemed as if every player swarmed to the ball on each and every play. This contest definitely sent a strong message to their future opponents that they are a force to be reckon with.

2016-RC-Stagg Stagg (0-1) got on the board late with a quick scamper by Mike Jennings.

The Olympians have a tough contest next week as they travel crosstown to St. Rita next Friday night. Should be a good one and we will be there!

statefarm1

 

 

 

Vikings picked up where they left off….

H-F

Homewood-Flossmoor’s Bryant Wright didn’t leave any questions unanswered as to his ability to take over the reins at quarterback for the Vikings as they dominated the game against Downers Grove South 56-6. He finished the contest going 8-for-13 for 206 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran four times for 57 yards and a TD.

Running back Tyler Nutall (8 carries, 105 yards) punctuated the Vikings’ second drive with a 23-yard TD.

Herbert Hughes, a transfer from Stagg, scored back-to-back TDs in the third quarter on runs of 55 and 8 yards.

To top it off, backup quarterback Kellyn Gerenstein also scored on a 94-yard run.

Rewatch the game by clicking the TheCube icon below…
TheCube

 

Crete knocks off TF South

CreteMonee

Crete-Monee running back Datuan Carter wanted to win this game for his coach John Konecki, who’s father, died Tuesday and the team attended his funeral earlier Friday.

“We had to win this one for coach,” Carter said. “He had a bad week. We saw that he was down and we had to pick him back up. It meant a lot to us to get this win.”

T.F. South took an early 7-0 lead in the second quarter on a 27-yard TD pass from Reis Padjen (16-of-21, 160 yards passing) to Bron Hill (7 catches, 107 yards).

But Carter, a junior, helped make sure it would happen, running for two touchdowns and catching another Friday as the host Warriors scored 35 unanswered points in the second half for a 42-7 win over T.F. South.

“It’s a very emotional time, as it is for any man with his father,” Konecki said. “My family knew I was going to come here, though. They wouldn’t expect anything less. It meant the world to me to look out at the funeral and see my team there. Your players become family members, and they were there for me.”

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Lemont squeaks’ passed Richards

Senior Steve Fleming made some crucial contributions Friday against Richards including a key 50 plus yard punt in the fourth quarter that pinned the Bulldogs deep in their own end which led to an Indians’ score for the victory, 13-7.

“I was thinking I needed to pin them deep,” Fleming said. “I was hoping that would give our defense a chance to get a big stop and lead to our offense getting good field position.”

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And in other games….

Rich East 46, North Lawndale 0: Here’s highlights from the contest care of MaxPrepsclickhere-football

Bloom 33, Andrew 12

Providence 3, East St. Louis 34

Marian Catholic 53, Urban Prep-Englewood 16: Christian Simmons (10 carries, 168 yards) scored on runs of 89 and 28 yards to lead Marian (1-0).

Franklin (Wis.) 24, Joliet Catholic 14: Clay Briscoe caught a 10-yard TD pass from Patrick Roth and Keenan Hailey added a 19-yard scoring run for JCA (0-1).

Hillcrest 32, Argo 0: Marcus Garrett’s 75-yard catch was among his three TDs for Hillcrest (1-0).

Lincoln-Way East 49, Adams (Ind.) 12: Jake Arthur threw two TD passes and Nigel Muhammad added a pair of scoring runs of 12 and 10 yards for East (1-0). Watch the CSN Chicago highlight video here: http://www.csnchicago.com/video/highlights-5-lincoln-way-east-49-south-bend-adams-12

Lockport 20, Downers Grove North 9: Ben Davis threw a pair of scoring passes for Lockport (1-0).

Reavis 51, Longwood 0: Devontta Wilson caught a 31-yard TD pass and also scored on a 40-yard run, both in the first half, to boost Reavis (1-0).

St. Laurence 31, Benet 21: Fayezon Smart’s 69-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter put St. Laurence (1-0) ahead for good. Kevin Williams tacked on two TD runs for the Vikings.

Shepard 38, T.F. North 18: Demetrius Harrison ran for 181 yards and a touchdown and also caught scoring passes of 53 and 28 yards to lead Shepard (1-0).

Thornwood 60, Phoenix 0: Jabari Howard contributed three first-half TDs, including a punt return, to spark Thornwood (1-0).

2016 Chicago Classic Recap…

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Madden 17

Posted on August 23, 2016. Filed under: Football, Sports Business | Tags: , , , |

Madden 2017 Team Ratings….

August 23, 2016

PrezRo
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It’s that time of year again… national holiday for all football game warriors – it’s MADDEN DAY!!!  More specific, it’s Madden ’17… what a powerful legacy from EASports.

Madden17

In July, EASports made everyone aware of the top players at each position and the best rookies in the initial player ratings and now, here all of the ratings for every team and player.

Here are the overall team rankings:
football_icon_small1New England Patriots 87
football_icon_small1Carolina Panthers 87
football_icon_small1Green Bay Packers 85
football_icon_small1Pittsburgh Steelers 85
football_icon_small1Seattle Seahawks 85
football_icon_small1Kansas City Chiefs 85
football_icon_small1Arizona Cardinals 84
football_icon_small1Cincinnati Bengals 84
football_icon_small1Oakland Raiders 84
football_icon_small1Dallas Cowboys 84
football_icon_small1Baltimore Ravens 83
football_icon_small1Denver Broncos 82
football_icon_small1Tennessee Titans 82
football_icon_small1Atlanta Falcons 81
football_icon_small1San Diego Chargers 81
football_icon_small1Buffalo Bills 81
football_icon_small1Houston Texans 81
football_icon_small1Minnesota Vikings 81
football_icon_small1New York Giants 80
football_icon_small1Detroit Lions 80
football_icon_small1Philadelphia Eagles 80
football_icon_small1New Orleans Saints 80
football_icon_small1Washington 79
football_icon_small1Tampa Bay Buccaneers 79
football_icon_small1Indianapolis Colts 78
football_icon_small1Los Angeles Rams 78
football_icon_small1Jacksonville Jaguars 78
football_icon_small1Miami Dolphins 77
football_icon_small1New York Jets 77
football_icon_small1San Francisco 49ers 75
football_icon_small1Chicago Bears 74
football_icon_small1Cleveland Browns 73

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One shock to me was the Super Bowl 50 winners, Denver Broncos, as they feel hard even with a dominant defense. But New England again at the top? Then Carolina? Hhhhmmmmm  Steelers & the Chiefs at 85 – really?

And being a born and raised Bear fan, I’m a little pissed off with my teams rating but at least we’re NOT last 🙂 right Cleveland!

Oh well… it’s almost game time as the march to Super bowl 51 in Houston begins September 8 featuring last years super bowl contest – Panthers at Broncos.

See ya from the skybox!

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