The Premiere League title has been put on hold for another week because of Tottenham vs. Chelsea in the FA Cup Semi Final in Chelsea. Both teams have not seen Wembly in some time. Tottenham has had its ups and down this season and is currently trying to revive its previous 11-game win streak that it lived in-mid season. Chelsea is trying to overcome its managerial uphevel under Roerto Di Mateo, to finish in the top four of the Premiere League standings. With Barcelona on the horizon, Chelsea’s exit from the champions league is inevitable, therefore the Champions Cup is Chelseas only chance of silverware for the FA cup this season.
With Tottenham out of this years title chase in the Premiere League, both teams put everything on the line in their semi-final cup clash.
Chelsea won 5-1 despite a neck-in-neck first half, Chelsea dug deep with Drogba, Lampard, Mata, and Ramirez goals to bring cup glory one step closer to the Blues. The final will prove to be a clash of the titans between sixth place Blues and eighth place Liverpool, trying to reclaim prior glory in England.
With draft day just around the corner, attention is already focusing on next seasons best teams. The reigning champ the New York Giants should be a formidable team next year, but a few others may surprise you. Let’s take a look forward to what August may hold.
1. Baltimore Ravens
Coming off a great year and returning most of their key players, the Ravens are a force to be reckoned with. Yes, the AFC North is the best division in all of football and yes, the Bengals and Steelers represent clear challenges for the sometimes sluggish Ravens offense, but the Ravens are the best defensive team in the country and will likely power their way to the top of an otherwise stacked division. Despite their offensive struggles last season, they still ranked in the top 20 in every major offensive indicator, and 10th in rushing yards. Combine this with their top 4 ranking in points allowed, pass yards allowed, and rush yards allowed and you set the stage for a team to make a deep run into the playoffs.
2. New England Patriots
In the last 10 years there has been no better quarterback to snap the ball than Tom Brady. His ability to get to the post season and win games is undoubted. Sure, he’s had a couple rough Super Bowls against the Giants, but this still doesn’t do his 3 Super Bowl rings justice. Despite a season in which many predicted New England to take a step back, they excelled in an offense riddled with new players. They finished 3rd in points, 2nd in pass yards, and 2nd in total yards. In addition to these stats they had a double threat at tight end that would make John Mackey and Kellen Winslow Sr. envious. If New England can secure a solid Halfback and a couple of players on defense(where they ranked 31st in yards allowed), they could make a serious push into the postseason.
3. Denver Broncos
I’m fully aware that I chose no teams from the NFC in my top three, but the truth is that no NFC team can match the Broncos ease of schedule. After signing Peyton Manning to a team that ranked 1st in rushing yards and dead last in passing, there is no doubt that Manning will secure the offensive passing game in Denver. Combine this with the divisional cakewalks of San Diego, Oakland, and Kansas City and you have set the stage for an offensive explosion. Denver’s defense is mediocre and they lack big, playmaking receivers but they are already in the process of acquiring the former in the draft and the latter through repetition with future hall of famer Manning. Regardless, the Broncos should finish the season in prime position to take a shot at the Lombardi trophy.
While the NFL season always brings many surprises to armchair quarterbacks around the world, look for the AFC to be the deciding factor in this years Super Bowl.
So this being our last blog of the semester on the most beautiful Sunday we have seen thus far, I would like to say that I am posting this on the rooftop of my house sipping an ice, cold beer enjoying life to the fullest. However, if I was an IU Men’s Basketball player, I would want to be where I am right now because their lives are about to take a turn for the best.
No, I am not saying they are going to make millions, but they are most definitely going to be the most hollywood-esque people on this campus come basketball season 2012-2013. And I must say, as a female, I can’t wait to see Watford, Olidipo, and Sheehey dominate the court as well as the Big 10 next year. Yes, we know the team’s expectations are much higher than previous years, but I truly believe that these Monstar’s will exceed expectations and follow through with #TheMovement.
I know I may be one of the few people in our class that notices Christian and appreciates and his athleticism, but that’s only because I see him as a future NBA star and can’t wait to see him truly succeed in the future.
So now, I am going to finish my beer on this beautiful Sunday and cheers to IU Men’s Basketball. From here on out, I am truly thankful for their dedication, hard work, and spirit. HOO HOO HOO HOOSIERS!!
Florida is almost a country of it’s own; when you past the boarder you can feel it in the sites you see. Florida has two NBA, MLB, three NFL and a NHL team. This a big time thing to have such venues in one state, where some states are desperate to have someone to cheer for. This can be real motivating if these teams start to pile up championship trophies; and the state is going to be happier if that was the case. Until then we all wait and enjoy. There is always a era for a certain city, state, county, and the people that support their teams through think and thin. We believe and support these teams buying gear and memorabilia of such long waiting the parade to celebrate.
With the NBA season coming to a close I figure it is about time to spitball some playoff predictions.
In the Eastern conference finals I have the Bulls beating the Heat in 6 games. A healthier Derrick Rose and the rest of the squad will outplay the Heat overall as a team. Bulls make it to their first finals since the Jordan era.
In the Western conference I have the OKC Thunder beating the Lakers in 7 games. The young and talented Thunder will be too much to handle in the end for Kobe’s Lakers. Thunder make it to their first finals ever.
That brings us to a showdown of the teams with the two best records in the league. The Chicago Bulls vs. The Oklahoma City Thunder. Two talented squads that are shaping up to be dominant for a long time. When and if this match-up happens, I feel it will be one for the ages. This series will go down to the wire with the Bulls taking game 7 in the United Center. Derrick Rose wins finals MVP, and Chicago is back at the top.
With the new college basketball season not set to start up until November, I figured now would be the prime time to release my pre-season Big Ten rankings for the upcoming season. These rankings are purely who I think are the most talented teams in the conference, not reflected where I think they will end up.
- Indiana- Several sports websites have said the Hoosiers will be ranked #1 in their pre-season rankings and you can’t blame them. With all the guys returning from last year’s Sweet Sixteen team with a consensus top-10 recruiting class, Indiana could be Final Four bound in 2013.
- Michigan- Trey Burke returning was huge for the Wolverines. They still would be a really good team but with Burke running the show along with a talented recruiting class makes this a potential top five caliber of team.
- Ohio State- The Buckeyes seem to always be competing for a conference championship and I don’t see next year being any different. My favorite player to watch, Aaron Craft, can disrupt any teams offense and with Deshaun Thomas, they have a elite-level scorer.
- Michigan State- They lose their Mr.DoItAll in Draymond Green, but Gary Harris and his classmates will help keep the Spartans near the top of the rankings all year.
- Wisconsin- There is not a team I despise watching more than the Badgers, but Bo Ryan’s system works. It seems every white guy they have is 7-foot tall and can shoot the three. Expect the Badgers to be in contention for a conference championship all year.
- Minnesota- They get Trevor Mbakwe back for his 15th year of eligibility and they try to build off their strong showing in the NIT. Minnesota probably won’t win the conference but they will be sure to piss a lot of other teams off with their play.
- Purdue- Thankfully, no more Robbie Hummel but this team has enough talent returning to go with a solid recruiting class, that they should be in the middle of the conference and make the Big Dance.
- Iowa- This team was better than I thought they would be last year and I can tell Fran McCaffery, although he acts crazy sometimes, has this program heading in the right direction.
- Northwestern- This is a mediocre team at best. They will have to rely on Drew Crawford an awful lot next year.
- Illinois- John Groce will try to take over for crybaby Bruce Weber’s team next season. There could be some growing pains in his first year but hey, at least he will be making a lot of money for it. I’m going to miss seeing Zeller outplay Meyers Leonard.
- Nebraska & Penn State- I am giving these two teams a tie for being equally sucky. Neither team will be able to run with the big boys in this conference. Just focus on football.
Fred Glass is excited for next season.
Joe Flacco, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, announced his intention to retire in a surprise move yesterday sending the league into pandemonium. Flacco made the decision while watching old game tape in preparation for his anticipated 2013 NFL MVP award speech. While watching the tapes he reportedly said, “I now realize, I’ve taken football as far as it can go.” The retirement announcement stunned the media. A source from ESPN reportedly tweeted,”@JoeFlacco retired today #Flacco4President2012″. It reportedly took NFL statistician Roy White 47 seconds to gather all of Flacco’s lifetime stats and mesh them into a montage tribute to the great one. Raven’s coach John Harbaugh told the media, “Joe was a real inspiration for our guys here. I guess we need to try and bring in (Tim) Tebow and hope God sends us another hail mary.”
Word also spread quickly throughout the league. Roger Goodell released a statement saying, “We have lost a true legend today. We’re pleased to announce that from this point forward the NFL will now be known as the National Flacco League.” Even Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger posted on his facebook wall about the event saying, “He really retired?!?! Maybe now I won’t have to sell my soul for a championship!”
But as with any major game changing announcement, some disagreed about Flacco’s contribution to the sport. “He’s an average quarterback at best.” said some asshat from the office who obviously doesn’t understand football. “Really the pieces are what made that team in Baltimore.” the moron continued. Whatever the case, Flacco has cemented his place in NFL history with his exceptional play and athleticism. He’s a sure lock for the newly renamed Flacco Hall of Fame in Canton.
Flacco appears in his last National Flacco League practice signing a ball for a fan.