CWS Championship Series, Florida vs. LSU

No.3 seed Florida (50-19) vs. No.4 seed LSU (52-18)

Best 2 out of 3 series

TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, Nebraska, 24,000

Game times: Tonight, 6 CT, Tuesday, 7 PM CT, Wednesday, (if necessary) 7 PM CT

Network: ESPN

Pitchers for tonight's game: Florida, RHP Brady Singer, 8-5, 3.18 ERA, LSU, RHP Russell Reynolds 1-1, 8.59. LSU has to start Reynolds because regular starter Eric Walker, 8-2, 3.49, was lost for the season with an arm injury last week. 

Tuesday's starters: Florida, RHP Tyler Dyson 3-0, 3.55 or RHP Michael Byrne, 4-5, 1.74, LSU LHP Jared Poche, 12-3, 3.39.

Wednesday, Florida, TBD vs. LSU RHP Alex Lange, 10-5, 2.97. 

Note: Florida may not be able to use No.1 starter, right hander Alex Faedo, 9-2, 2.26, a first round pick of the Detroit Tigers, on Wednesday because Faedo just beat TCU 3-0 on Saturday and he may not have sufficient rest between starts. That would be tough for coach Kevin O'Sullivan and the Gators to try and figure that out. LSU coach Paul Mainiera is in better shape with his pitching though tonight is questionable. 

LSU has won 6 national titles, 5 under Skip Bertman from 1991 to 2000; '91, '93, '96, '97, 2000, and 1 under Mainieri, 2009. Florida has won a national championship, but made it to the championship series in 2005, where they lost to Texas, and in 2011 where they lost to South Carolina. Both times under O'Sullivan.

Final decision

I like LSU's team better than Florida's. They hit it better, field better, and their pitching is set up much better than the Gators. I like the Gators to win tonight, but for the Bengal Tigers to take games 2 and 3 with, Poche, a 9th round pick by the Oakland A's, and their ace, Lange, a first round pick by the Cubs.

LSU in 3

MLB Postseason Predictions

American League Wild Card

Tonight, 7:00 CT/8 ET, TBS

Toronto 7, Baltimore 5

National League Wild Card

Tomorrow Night, 7 PM CT/8 ET, ESPN

Mets 3, Giants 2


Texas over Blue Jays in 4

Boston over Cleveland in 4


Cubs over Mets in 5

Nationals over Dodgers in 4



Boston over Texas in 6



Nats upset Cubs in 7


World Series

Big Papi will not be denied as he goes out a World Series champion for the fourth time in his Illustrious career as the Bosox add their fourth World Series title in 12 years adding to their titles in 2004, 2007 and 2013. right fielder Mookie Betts, the likely MVP of the American League, second baseman Dustin Pedroia, first baseman Hanley Ramirez, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and the rest of the Bosox hitting arsenal get it done along with good pitching against a really tough Nats squad. Boston starting pitching is led by Rick Porcello, who I like to get the Cy Young in the AL. Porcello was 22-4 this season.  David Price didn't have his best year ERA-wise as he finished with a 3.99 ERA, but he was 17-9. Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel, though he can make Red Sox fans nervous at times, are the leaders of a  good bullpen that give the Sox a slight edge over the Nats, though the Nats have the awesome Max Scherzer (20-7), most likely the Cy Young award winner in the National League, and superb closer Mark Melancon. 

Like the home field advantage for the Bosox as the AL beat the NL in the All Star game, and the winning team in the All-Star game gets the home field advantage in the Fall Classic. FOX will televise. Joe Buck and John Smoltz on the call. Should be a phenomenal baseball coming up. 

Red Sox over the Nats in 7

David Ortiz, Big Papi, retires with his fourth World Series ring. What a finish to his superb career. 

David Ortiz, Big Papi, retires with his fourth World Series ring. What a finish to his superb career. 



World Series Preview, Prediction

It'll be stellar starting pitching vs. stellar relief pitching as the Mets Jacob deGrom (above) and the Mets starters face stud closer Wade Davis (below) and the Royals bullpen  

Wade Davis

New York Mets vs. Kansas City Royals

 Mets (90-72 regular season)


Beat the Dodgers in five in NLDS in best of five series and beat the Cubs in four straight in NLCS in best four out of seven.

Royals (95-67)


Beat the Astros in five in ALDS in best three of five and beat the Blue Jays in the ALCS best four of seven.



Mets @ Royals (Kaufman Stadium, 37,903)

7:07 PM CT/8:07 PM ET


Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds, Tom Verducci, Ken Rosenthal, EA

Mets: Matt Harvey (13-8, 2.71, 37 walks, 188 K's, 18 homers given up, 1.02 WHIP–walks hits per innings pitched– good stat; postseason: 2-0, 2.84 ERA)

Royals: Edinson Volquez (13-9, 3.55, 72 walks, 155 K's, 16 homers, 1.31 WHIP;  postseason: 1-2, 4.32 ERA

Game 2


Mets @ Royals

7:07 PM CT/8:07 PM ET


Mets: Jacob deGrom (14-8, 2.54 ERA, 38 walks, 205 K's, 16 homers, o.98 WHIP, postseason: 3-0, 1.80)

Royals: Johnny Cueto (11-13, 3.44, 46 walks, 176 K's, 21 homers, 1.13 WHIP; postseason: 1-1, 7.88)

Game 3

Friday, Oct. 30th

Royals @ Mets

Citi Field, New Yawk, The City that never sleeps (45,000)

7:07 PM CT/8:07 PM ET


Royals: Yordano Ventura (13-8, 4.08, 58 walks, 156 K's, 14 Hrs, 1.30 WHIP, postseason: 0-1, 5.09)

Mets: Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.24, 31 walks, 166 K's, 19 homers, 1.05 WHIP, postseason: 1-1, 2.77)


Game 4

Saturday, Oct. 31st

Royals @ Mets

7:07 PM CT/8:07 PM ET


Royals: Chris Young (11-6, 3.06 ERA, 43 walks, 83 K's, 16 homers, 1.09 WHIP; postseason: 0-0, 3.12 in one start).

Mets: Steven Matz (4-0, 2.27, 10 walks 34 K's in six games started came back from injury later in the season. 34 homers, 1.23 WHIP; postseason: 0-1, 3.72)


Game 5

Royals @ Mets

Sunday, Nov. 1st

7:15 PM CT/8:15 PM ET


Volquez @ Harvey


Game 6

Mets @Royals

Tuesday, Nov. 3rd

7:07 PM CT/8:07 PM ET


deGrom @Cueto


Game 7

Mets @ Royals

7:07 PM CT/8:07 PM ET


Syndergaard @Ventura


Analysis and Prediction

This Royals team struck out the least of any team in baseball and hit the 95 MPH or better fastball at a .284 clip which is very good. Their bullpen is awesome with Ryan Madison, Kelvin Herrera and the awesome Wade Davis. They're almost unbeatable if they have a lead going into the seventh inning. But I love the Mets' young cannon-like arms, particularly Harvey, who's 26,, and the awesome deGrom, who's 27. Those two along with Syndergaard and Matz will bring the heat.

And second baseman Daniel Murphy has six consecutive  home runs in the postseason and seven overall. I expect left fielder Yoenis Cespedes to have a big series along with Murphy. And veteran third baseman David Wright, who has come back from almost a career ending back injury, should be huge with the bat, glove and his leadership as well. Should be an awesome series.

Mets in 7







Major League baseball playoffs, World Series predictions

Kind of making this short and succinct.

Tonight's matchup

American League Wild Card

Houston Astros (86-76) @ New York Yankees


Yankee Stadium (49,642)  The Bronx

7 PM CT/ 8 PM ET



Stros: LHP Dallas Keuchel: 20-8, 2.48 ERA, 51 walks, 216 K's, 17 long ones given up, 1.02 WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched)

Yanks: RHP Masahiro Tanaka: 12-7, 3.51, 27 walks, 139 K's, 25 homers given up. 0.99 WHIP


Like Keuchel and the Stros  get it done over the Yankees. Really trust Keuchel.

Astros 4, Yankees 3


Tomorrow night (Wednesday)

National League Wild Card game

Chicago Cubs (97-65) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (98-


PNC Park Pittsburgh (38,496)

7 PM CT/ 8 PM ET



Cubs: RHP Jake Arrieta: 22-6, 1.77 ERA, 48 walks, 236 K's, 10 homers given up, 0.86 WHIP

Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole: 19-8, 2.60 ERA, 44 walks, 202 K's, 11 homers coughed up, 1.09 WHIP

It's hard to pick against Arrieta. He's been so dominant the last two months of the season, and no Pirate has hit him very well. He's been a strikeout machine. But I'm going to go with the Bucs here because I think they'll hit enough and get good pitching from Cole, and their closer, Mark Melancon, is the best in the business. Melancon is as close to a sure thing as you're going to get out of your closer in baseball. He's saved 51 games in 53 opportunities, has a 2.23 ERA, and an 0.93 WHIP. He's a stud. Like the Bucs to get it done barely over the Cubs in a heckuva  game. These two teams, along with the Cardinals, which won the NL Central, have the best three records in baseball. The Cards finished the season 100-62. It's a shame these two teams only have one game to decide who advances. Makes me think they should re-format the playoffs and let the teams with the best records get byes and not have to play in the wild card game. If that were the case, the Mets and the Dodgers, two very good teams, would be playing the wild card game, which really is the most fair and accurate way to do it. But that's the system. Tough for both the Pirates and Cubs. But that's the way it is right now.

Pirates 3, Cubs 2


American League Division Series

KC Royals over the Astros in 4

Toronto Blue Jays over the Texas Rangers in 4


Mets over Dodgers in 5

Cardinals over Pirates in 5


American League Championship Series:

Blue Jays over KC in 6

National Leauge Championship Series

Cardinals over Mets in 6


World Series (starts October 27th at American League Park. with a 2-3-2 format; two at American, three at National and two at American).

FOX will telecast

The Cardinals have had an amazingly, consistently awesome season. They've got strong pitching. But look at this hitting trifecta for the Blue Jays: third baseman Josh Donaldson (who should win the AL MVP), 41 homers, 123 RBIs; right fielder Jose "Joey Bats" Bautista, 40 home runs, 114 Ribeyes; DH-first baseman (in NL park) Edwin Encarnacion,  39 bombs and 111 Ribeyes. That's something else. Combine those guys with super stud shortstop Troy "Tulo" Tulowitzki, and the other bats, and that is one potent hitting lineup. And the Blue Jays have pitching. David Price came over from Detroit right before the trade deadline, and has been superb. Price has gone 9-1 with the Blue Jays with a 2.30 ERA, he's issued 18 walks and struck out 87 and has a 1.01 WHIP. Overall, Price is 18-5  with a 2.45 ERA, 47 walks and 225 K's. He's a strike throwing machine and he's bringing it 95-96, along with an excellent split fingered fastball coming in at 90, a stellar 85 MPH change up and a pretty good curve he developed in the offseason. But his go to is his 96 MPH heater. And he's very good at getting batters out with that, usually on swings and misses or called strike threes. The Blue Jays have some other good starting arms and a solid bullpen. And the fans in Toronto are hungry for a championship. They haven't been to the playoffs since 1994 after winning consecutive World Series in 1992 and 93. That Rogers Centre, where they play, has been rockin' ever since Price and Tulowitzki came to Toronto in early August. It'll be like the Super Bowl there every playoff and series game in Toronto. It'll be a tremendous home field advantage.I love the Jays' bats. Donaldson, who played at Auburn, Joey Bats, Encarnacion, Tulo and Price get Toronto their first World Series championship in 22 years.

Blue Jays over Cardinals in 6

World Series Champions

The Toronto Blue Jays

Josh Donaldson (above) and David Price get it done for the Jays


david price





Couple of predictions: the NBA Finals and college baseball

 NBA Finals

I picked the Warriors over the Cavs in seven before the playoffs started and I'm sticking with that prediction. Like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut and the Warriors to get the franchise's first NBA title since 1975. The Oracle Arena home court, where the Warriors are 45-3 this year, will get the team over the top against LeBron and the Cavs. If the Cavs had the home court advantage, I would probably pick the Cavs, because they have a very strong  home court advantage at Quicken Loans Arena having won  26 of their last 28 there. But the Warriors earned it by having the best regular season record in the NBA, so I'm going with the Warriors in a classic series.


Warriors over Cavs in 7


College baseball

Like the Gators of Florida to win the national title. Their stud pitcher, A.J. Puk, throws it 97 and 98 MPH and is almost un-hittable. Puk is 8-3 with a 4.23 ERA, but that ERA is deceiving because he has been impossible to hit the last month of the season. He has 28 walks and 85 ring ups. Logan Shore (7-6, 2.79)  is the Gators' number one guy and he is pretty outstanding, too. They play excellent defense and hit it well. Every pitcher coming out of the bullpen seems to have an ERA under 3.00. They are loaded with arms and they hit it pretty well, too, and their defense, which has only committed 35 errors in 60 games for a .985 fielding percentage (No.1 nationally), is the best in the country. Catcher Mike Rivera had 302 chances this year and committed only one error. He also threw out 14 of 28 attempted base stealers, which is an amazing 50% rate. Third baseman Josh Tobias (116 chances) and center fielder Buddy Reed (132 chances) committed only one error apiece. Tobias, a switch hitter, is the Gators' leading hitter at .357. They hit 53  homers this season, 14 by DH J.J. Schwartz and 13 by left fielder Harrison Bader. They get the job done with the bats, and with their pitching and defense, they'll claim the national title, the Gators first in the program's history.  The Gators finished national runners-up in 2005 and 2011, and have appeared in eight previous College World Series.

Florida over LSU for the national title in 3



Stephen Curry and his Golden State Warriors teammates capture the NBA title


Hard throwing A.J. Puk leads his team to the national championship





SEC baseball tournament fun facts and prediction; U.S. Open golf thoughts

Arkansas center fielder Andrew Benintendi was named SEC player of the year. Benintendi led the conference in hitting at .415, which was good for sixth nationally. Kevin Kaczmarski of Evansville hit .478 to lead the nation. Benintendi hit 17 home runs, which led the conference and was fourth in the country (Kyle Martin of Eastern Kentucky and David Thompson of Miami led with 19) and knocked in 51 runs. His slugging percentage of .771 was tops not only in the conference, but also in the country.

Carson Fulmer of Vanderbilt was the pitcher of the year. Fulmer went 11-2 with a 1.51 ERA and 132 strikeouts. He took the triple crown of pitching in the conference with his wins, ERA and K's. He is the fourth pitcher in SEC history to do so joining Frank Montgomery of Mississippi State (1962), Ken Kurtz of Miss. State (1979) and Luke Hochevar of Tennessee (2005).

LSU freshman pitcher Alex Lange was named freshman of the year. Lange went 10-0 with a 2.11 ERA with 35 walks and 91 ring ups.

Paul Mainieri of LSU was named coach of the year and deservedly so. His team finished off the regular season 46-9 overall and 21-8 in the SEC  and won the regular season conference championship. They are also the number one team in the nation by all college baseball polls.

With that said, I love the way these Bengal Tigers hit the ball. The Hoover Met is usually a pitcher friendly park with deep dimensions to center (405) and in the power alleys (385 to left and right central; 340 to the foul poles), but with this new flat seamed ball instituted in college baseball this year, the hitters have gone off. The flat seamed ball travels 20 feet further than the higher seamed ball that has been used in college baseball up until this year. It's been huge for college baseball and will make this tournament and the NCAA tournament and CWS a lot more exciting. The Bayou Bengals hit .322 as a team this season, best in the league, they had the best ERA in the conference 2.91, and they are a good defensive team having only committed 52 errors versus their opponents 95. Shortstop Alex Bregman looks like the first pick in the draft in June if it's not Fulmer. The Arizona Diamondbacks hold the pick. If he's not picked first, he'll go second to the Houston Astros. Vandy shortstop Dansby Swanson will also be in that top 2-3 draft mix. Bregman is a slick shortstop who only committed seven errors in 299 chances for a .977 fielding percentage. LSU's team fielding percentage was .977. Bregman hit .329 with nine homers and 44 RBIs, he led the conference in doubles with 22, and led the conference in stolen bases with 29 out of 38 attempts (76%, pretty good). First baseman Chris Chinea is LSU's leading hitter at .374 with 11 homers and 53 Ribeyes. Catcher Kade Scivicque hit .363, center fielder Andrew Stevenson hit .360, and third baseman Conner Hale hit .353.

If you can hit, pitch and play defense like that, that's not only a good remedy for winning the SEC tournament championship, but also the national championship. Texas A&M .313 as a team this year, second best in the conference, and recorded a 3.09 ERA, good for third behind LSU and Vandy (2.94). So I like A&M to make it to Sunday. If Florida wasn't in the same bracket as LSU, I'd like the Gators to be playing on Sunday instead of A&M, but the Bengal Tigers are the best team in the conference and Florida can't beat them head to head in my opinion.

Like LSU to take the SEC tournament title, their 12th and third in a row, and to take it from there.

SEC Championship game on  Sunday on ESPN2@ 3:30 PM CT/4:30 PM ET

LSU 5, Texas A&M 3

Note: The SEC Network will have full coverage of the tournament throughout the week starting tomorrow with the 9:30 AM CT Ole  Miss/Alabama game. Bama has a good team, just not sure if they have enough to handle heavyweights LSU, Florida and A&M. The Ole Miss game should be a good game. Auburn plays Kentucky at 4:30 PM CT tomorrow in what should be a good game. The Tigers were having a really good year until being swept by Alabama two weekends ago. Auburn finished the season at 13-17 in the conference and 34-22 overall, while the Crimson Tide finished 12-18 in the conference and 29-26 overall. Auburn won the first game over Florida at Florida this past weekend, which is not bad. Alabama took the final game of their series with Vanderbilt this past weekend. AU and Bama may need to get to the championship game to make the NCAA's. Maybe winning two will do it for both of them, though I think 3 wins in the tournament would really help.

Shortstop Alex Bregman leads LSU to another SEC tournament title and a potential national title

One final thought:

I'm pretty surprised Rory is not playing in any PGA events until the U.S. Open. He's playing in some European Tour events before that, but he's skipping the Memorial Tournament, Jack Nicklaus's tournament, June 4th-7th. He played in it last year and was a disaster. The tournament commenced just after he broke off his engagement with women's tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, so maybe this tournament brings back some bad memories for him. Sill think it would be smart of him to play in Jack's tourney out of respect for Jack first of all,  and for his game as he heads into the Open. I don't like his chances at the Open now. He might be able, with his talent, to get in the mix, but Jordan Spieth is playing a lot up until the Open and so are a lot of other guys, so Rory is going to have his work cut out for him at Chambers Bay Golf Club in Washington state, June 18-21st. I don't like his chances at Chambers Bay since he won't play in any PGA event until then. You gotta play to win. Who knows what Tiger is up to. He;'ll play in the Memorial but that's about it until the Open. I don't like his chances at all. He may have used to have gotten away with not playing because he was so talented, but not any more.


Final Four predictions; MLB prognostications

Coach KTom IzzoCalipari Four heavyweights go at it in the Final Four at Indy. Clockwise from top left: Coach K, Izzo, Calipari and Bo Ryan

Quite an Elite Eight weekend last weekend. The Kentucky-Notre Dame game last Saturday Night was out the roof good with Karl Anthony Towns, Kentucky's stellar 6'11', 255 big man, going for 25 on 10-of-13 from the field. He was unstoppable, and the amazing thing was, Notre Dame didn't do enough to stop him. They never doubled down on Towns sending a guard to trap Towns down low when he had the ball in the paint. So Towns just dominated, but the Wildcats had to survive a heckuva battle with the Fighting Irish, 68-66, to advance to play Wisconsin, which went off from behind the arc against Arizona, as 6'6" small forward Sam Dekker finished five-of-six from trifecta with his high arching shot that didn't look like it would even touch the rim when the ball was in the air, but it swished right through the net almost every time. He was phenomenal in Wisconsin's 85-78 victory over 'Zona. Michigan State advanced to their seventh Final Four under Tom Izzo by outlasting Louisville, 76-70, in overtime, and Duke, behind Justice Winslow's and Matt Jones' 16 points, defeated Gonzaga, 66-52. Duke plays good offense, but they also get after it pretty well on D.

Here's a look at tomorrow's Final Four games at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Michigan State (27-11) vs. Duke (33-4)

6:09 PM ET/5:09 PM CT

Network: TBS

Tom Izzo and Coach K have combined for 19 Final Four appearances between them entering this Final Four game. That's outrageously good. Izzo has seven appearances and K has 12, tied with John Wooden for the most ever. Izzo has said through the course of this season that this is not the most talented team he's ever coached. He's said in the past that you need three NBA players in your rotation to win it all. I don't know if that's totally true, but a lot of times, it probably is true. And he's got three guys, Branden Dawson, Travis Trice and Denzel Valentine, who look like they'll play in the NBA. So he's got that part of the equation handled. But Duke has proven throughout the season that they are up to any challenge they face. They beat Wisconsin by 10 at Whiskey in November. They beat Louisville by nine at Louisville after they had lost two in a row and people were starting to write them off. They went to Virginia in early February when U.Va was the hottest team in the country, and knocked off the Cavaliers on some late stellar three point shooting. They have passed the mental toughness test. This will not be an easy game for them, but I like Winslow, point guard Tyus Jones and big man Jahlil Okafor to advance to the championship game as Coach K sets his sights on a fifth national championship and further cements his status as the one of the two greatest college basketball coaches ever along with John Wooden, who won 10 national titles in 12 years. Coach K's resume is not complete, so I don't want to judge him against the Wizard of Westwood until he finishes his career, which may be several years from now, at least I hope that's the case. Love him in the game.

Duke 69, Michigan State 60

Wisconsin (35-3) vs. Kentucky (38-0)

8:49 PM ET/7:49 PM CT


Wisconsin can really shoot it from trifecta and you have to do that to beat the Wildcats. Notre Dame played a great game against Kentucky, but didn't sink many threes. But their offensive game plan was good taking it right to the rim against the big fellas of the Wildcats. Still, you need to make at least six or seven threes in a game to beat them and, of course, shoot around 85% or better from the line if you get your free throw opportunities. Wisconsin can certainly shoot it, and they're  highly proficient from the line, and they'll need to be because it's going to be hard for Frank Kamisky, the Badgers'  7'0" big man, to get a lot done in the paint. He may surprise me, but it's going to be hard against five combined  6'11" and 7 footers. Wisconsin should give Kentucky a good game, but it's not going to be enough because of Kentucky's marked advantage inside, their ability to get boards and put backs and their ability to score in the paint. And guards Aaron Harrison and Devin Booker are pretty solid three point shooters. They seem to make the clutch three when it counts, particularly Harrison. Aaron's twin brother, Andrew, and Tyler Ulis are pretty good guards, too. I expect a close game, but I like the Wildcats to advance and get Cal to his third NCAA championship game if you're not counting against him for his 2008 championship game at Memphis that was expunged from his record due to NCAA violations. But who's counting? Cal's never let rules get in the way of winning.

Kentucky 74, Wisconsin 73

MLB predictions

American League Championship Series

Oakland over Detroit in 7


St. Louis over Washington in 7

World Series

Billy Beane has done an excellent job as general manager of the A's. He gets low priced, but high quality players and uses all kinds of statistical analysis to figure out if he can win with these players. And he does. Michael Lewis's book, Moneyball , chronicled Beane's methods which have led to pretty good success in a small market. The A's are usually in the bottom five of team salaries every year, but they make the playoffs most years. They haven't gotten over the hump and won a World Series yet, but they've put together a team this year, much in line with their teams of the past several years, to make a run in October. Oakland had the best team in the majors last year at the All-Star break, but Beane made the biggest mistake of his career before the trade deadline at the end of July by trading slugging left fielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox for Jon Lester, a stellar pitcher. Beane was going for pitching, but the loss of Cespedes from the lineup– he's a 25-30 home run and 90-100 RBI player–ruined the A's hitting chemistry. They didn't hit the rest of the season and lost out in the wild card game of the playoffs. It was a colossal blunder by Beane. But in typical Beane fashion, he traded away some key guys from last year and added some pieces, maybe some better bats as it turns out. The pitching is very good; Oakland always has good pitching. The A's have the best record in spring training at 22-9. They defeated the defending World Series champion Giants 8-2 last night. I'm going to go out on a limb and pick them over the most solid organization in baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals, which has a very good team and will upset the loaded Washington Nationals in the NLCS. A's get it done this year in October.

A's over the Cardinals in 7






The 96th PGA at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville; Major League Baseball October predictions

Valhalla Golf Club Jack Nicklaus design,

hosted PGA in 1996 won by Mark Brooks and 2000 won by Tiger Woods)

7,458 yards, Par 72

defending champion: Duf

Key stat: Greens in regulation are critical this week because it's really hard to get up and down at Valhalla. And, of course, you have to putt well.Driving distance with accuracy will also be critical.



I struggled with this because it's almost too good to be true for him to win again. He's a little arrogant right now, in my opinion, and that can cost you eventually, but you just can't deny his colossal play. Rory is 10th on the tour in greens in regulation. He's 37th in strokes gained putting, which is pretty good, but he can get on a hot streak and make everything in sight including all eight footers and in for par or birdie.

But I do have a another pick:

Sleeper pick:

J.B. Holmes:

A Kentucky native who dominated at the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla where he won all three matches he played in and was part of a young, hungry team (Holmes, then  25, along with Anthony Kim, then 23, and Hunter Mahan, then 25) coached by Paul Azinger that beat the Euros for once. J.B. is mentally tough. His game is not on the same level as Rory or Adam Scott, but I do like his Tiger-like approach to the game. He's overcome major brain surgery two years ago which was life threatening and could very well have ended his career, and battled back in an inspiring story. How he came back from serious brain surgery is enough to tall me that this guy can handle the pressure of a major. I really think J.B. can get this done if Rory doesn't. He's 169th in greens in regulation, but he won on a very long track at Quail Hollow (7,442 yards) in the Wells Fargo Championship this past May, so I think he can do the same thing here, despite his lack of proficiency in greens in reg. He was so good at the Ryder Cup in '08 and with his home crowd in attendance, he'll have a very solid showing with a shot at winning it.

Who' not going to win:

 Tiger Woods-

That's a 100 percent guarantee. That back injury looked bad last Sunday. How can he expect to come back from that and feel like he can win it? It looked to me like some sort of herniated or bulging disc flareup on the 9th  tee. I don't know why he's even considering this. He has no chance to win. Either he has a low threshold for pain if he comes back and can play (because it looked like he was really hurt), or he's just got too much pride (some might call it arrogance) and thinks with treatment he can still win this major. That's not going to happen. Will be pretty surprised if he plays.He's going to have to reinvent his swing, so he can protect his body from breaking down and somehow be competitive again.


Baseball predictions:

With the trades at the trade deadline my predictions have changed somewhat.


A's over Tigers in seven


Dodgers over Nationals

World Series:

A's over Dodgers in seven

World champions:

Oakland A's


The Tigers and A's are so similar with their excellent starting pitching. The Tigers actually have better hitting, but the A's play better defense. The clinching factor to me in picking the A's over the Tigers is A's manager Bob Melvin. He's experienced with division titles as a manager with  the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007 and the A's last year.He's just more experienced than Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, who is an impressive guy in his own right with a Dartmouth degree, and was a pretty good baseball career as a player. The pitching is a wash pretty much, but the A's defense and enough hitting will get them over the top on the Tigers. On my Vandy blog, I picked the Tigers last week, but with the fluidity of baseball and some more thought, I like this A's group. They've got that radical, charismatic, fun  personality that they had when they won three times in the 70's with Reggie Jackson and that cast of characters. They won three in a row from 1972-74 (that's outrageously good!), and they won again in 1989 with Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, who were both probably juiced up on steroids, but there was good personality on the team with some talented baseball players. And both teams of their eras had steady veteran managers. The 72-74 teams had the prickly, flamboyant Dick Williams. Williams, like his players, was an irreverent rebel, but a steady veteran who knew how to get the job done. In 1989, the A's manager wasTony LaRussa, who won the first of three series titles in 1989 as A' s head man. He won two more with St. Louis in 2006 and 2011.  Those guys were veterans and I like Melvin's veteran leadership to be the difference.

Bob Melvin and his players will bring Oakland their fifth world series title in franchise existence this October





Prediction for SEC Baseball tournament

Centerfielder Tanner English and Gamecocks get it done at Hoover in SEC tourney

South Carolina over Vanderbilt on Sunday.

Championship game @ 3:30 PM CT on ESPN2.

Sportsouth and CSS will cover the first three rounds with ESPN News covering the semis. First game tomorrow starts at 9 :30 AM CT with Vandy playing Tennessee (Sportsouth). Arkansas plays A&M after that about 1 PM CT (Sportsouth), then the Crimson Tide plays at 4: 3o against Kentucky on CSS and State-Georiga  finishes off the day with around an 8 PM CT start on CSS.  The winner of Vandy-UT plays LSU on Wednesday @ 9:30 AM CT on Sportsouth, the Arkansas-A&M winner plays Ole Miss around 1 PM Wednesday on Sportsouth, the Bama-Kentucky winner plays Florida on CSS at 4:30 PM CT and State-Georgia winner plays South Carolina in the late game Wednesday night on CSS.

The first round games are single elimination, after that it's double elimination till the semifinals, which is single elimination with the winners moving on to the championship game on Sunday.

After watching the Rays and the A's in game one of their season openers....

David Price leads a highly talented starting rotation that will help lead the Rays to their first Series title Like the Rays to beat the A's in the ALCS and win the World Series over the Cardinals in 7.Rays starting pitching is superb, defense is spectacular and hitting explosive. David Price and the potent starting staff gets it done for the A's this year and Evan Longoria and Wil Myers lead an explosive offense. Birmingham native Desmond Jennings set to have a big year in center. The bullpen headlined by setup man Joel Peralta and super closer Grant Belfour who came over from the A's in the offseason. Rays to win it all. Sorry for the change, just needed a game to solidify my opinion.

Basketball, baseball, golf happenings

Shabazz Napier is the ultimate warrior for UConn  

Andrew (above) and Aaron Harrison are prime time performers


Aaron Harrison

This is the best NCAA tournament I've ever seen. The games have been electric. The players have been electric. The drama has been riveting. Now we have four left after some phenomenal sweet 16 and Elite 8 games over the weekend. The Kentucky-Louisville and then Ky-Michigan games were tremendously exciting. The Harrison brothers for the Cats, Andrew and Aaron, are so incredibly clutch. When the Wildcats needed it Friday Night against Louisville, Aaron came through with a massively clutch trifecta. I also thought Pitino blew it by leaving his big man, Montrez Harrell, in the game late in the first half after Harrell committed his second foul. Harrell immediately picked up his third foul and fouled out in the final minutes of the game. Costly.

Then when they needed yesterday against Michigan in the closing seconds, twin brother Andrew came through. They are the epitome of clutch players. They just made themselves both nice contracts in the NBA for next year with their performances in the tournament. Julius Randle, the Wildcats star power forward, hasn't hurt his cause either. But more importantly in the present, they have a shot of winning a national championship, which would be Kentucky's ninth national championship of all time. The legendary Adolph Rupp won four. Cal is shooting for his second. Cal gets it done; without a doubt. He recruits better than anybody in the country and gets his young men to buy in as the season progresses, so by the end of the season, his freshmen laden teams are peaking. This group of freshmen he has this year, the Harrisons, Randle, Michael Young and Dakarri Johnson are peaking. What's interesting to me is Cal has recruited really good kids to come to Lexington the last three or four years. I thought his first class with DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall were a little reckless as individuals. But the group he had two years ago with the awesome Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, which won the national title, and the group he has this year, are solid, excellent kids. The chemistry is right. They are playing sensational basketball right now, especially on the offensive end, but they're also playing pretty solid defense. But I love their offense.

Florida is playing solid defense, but my question is, can they score enough points to get it done at the end? They're a little erratic on offense. I know defense wins championships in football, basketball and baseball (along with pitching and timely hitting), but you have to score enough to win as well. I really like Scotty Wilbekin, Florida's point guard, but he missed some key free throws at the end of the season. I'm not sure I totally trust him at the end. Florida is a low 60 percent free throw shooing team, and while they really get it done on defense and they rebound well and score OK, their free throw shooting concerns me. If they were to face UK in the finals it would be the fourth time they've played them. Florida has beaten Ky all three times they've played. It's proven that it is very hard to beat a team three times in a season. Beating a team four times, wow, that's almost unheard of if the teams are pretty comparable in talent. But with the Gators defense that gives them a chance to win it all. Wisconsin, which plays Kentucky at 8:49 PM ET/7:49 CT  on CBS Saturday night in the second game is an outstanding offensive and solid defensive team. They shoot it really well, they are unbelievable passers, they play really, really solid defense and their big 7 footer Frank Kaminsky is an absolute stud. Kaminsky can score low and he can drain trifectas. UK-Wisconsin should be a classic.

Florida faces the awesome Shabazz Napier and an excellent Connecticut team in the first game at 6:09 PM ET/5:09 CT on CBS. Napier is another guy who epitomizes clutchness. Actually, I've never seen anything like it. Napier is a senior and is a carbon copy of what Kemba Walker did at the point guard spot for UConn three years ago when they won it all  in 2011. He's a dominant player at point guard. If UConn needs a three, he'll get it; if UConn needs a drive to the rim basket, he'll get it; and if UConn needs clutch free throws, he will sink them.He was nine-for-nine from the stripe yesterday. He's an 86 percent free throw shooter. He got fouled shooting a three late in the game against a fantastic Michigan State team and drained all three of them. UConn was 21-of-22 from the line yesterday.  That's astounding. They are shooting 95 of 107 from the line in their last four games (89%). That's approximate but right on their percentage.

So Saturday sets up for a classic in the best NCAA tourney I've ever seen.

Predictions for the Final Four:

Florida vs .UConn

Cowboys Stadium, North Texas (Jerry loves this and I don't mean the Sugar Magnolia Jerry; I mean the Willie/Waylon Jerry-Jones).

6:09 PM ET/5:09 CT on CBS

Jim, Greg and Wolf (who else would be on the sidelines?)

I really like this UConn team. I love Napier. He is a game changer at point guard. Their other guard, Ryan Boatright, can light it up when he gets going, and DeAndre Daniels is a hoss inside and outside. He can score in the paint and he can drain threes. Niels Giffey is an excellent complimentary player to those three as he gets key rebounds, sinks key shots, and plays lock down defense. Florida is going to be shaky at the line in this one and I think that's going to cost them. I like Napier and the Huskies to get this done with their stellar defense and their incredibly clutch free throw shooting.

UConn 72, Florida 69

Kentucky vs. Wisconsin

8:49 PM ET/7:49 CT


Jerry's World also

I like the clutchness of this UK team. While I love what the Badgers are doing and think Bo Ryan is an all world coach, the Wildcats are hot, like UConn. The Harrison brothers will come through at crunch time. They're like having two Kobe Bryants out there with Julius Randle being the Shaq complimentary player. I see UK moving on and facing UConn in the finals. Should be an excellent game as well.

Kentucky 75, Wisconsin 73


PGA inside thoughts:

Not sure what to think of these so called "elite" players in the tour. First, Rory Mcilroy blows a three shot lead on the back nine at the Honda Classic a month ago, then Adam Scott blows an eight shot lead last week at the Arnie. Matt Kuchar, who's not on those two guys level but is a good player and somewhat elite, catches Stephen Bowdich at -9 yesterday at the Valero Open in San Antonio, but bogeys three of the next five holes to fall out of contention as Bowdich won the Valero. Excellent field this week for the Shell Houston as the players who want to win a green jacket have a solid tune up for Augusta. I like what Phil's doing; he's competing. He pulled a muscle in his stomach Saturday, so he's questionable for the Shell Houston, but a doctor on the Golf Channel said if Phil can do some intensive rehab, he can play this week. Phil prepares. I love that about him. He's got a shot at Augusta because he has relentlessly prepared for it. He's 43 and knows that time is running out for him to get another green jacket and win the only major he hasn't won, the U.S. Open, so he's doing everything he can to win his fourth Masters and first U.S. The U.S. Open is at Pinehurst No. 2 this year and that's where Phil lost on the 18th hole in 1999 to Payne Stewart, who sank a clutch 14 foot par putt to win. So Phil had an excellent showing at Pinehurst in '99. Phil did the smartest thing he could have done last year before the British Open when he played in the Scottish Open the week before. He won the Scottish and then won the British the next week. Just really smart thinking there. Hopefully, he's OK for this week's Shell Houston, which has an awesome field. Phil has won three Masters, one British and one PGA. He's hungry for more. Adam Scott and Brandt Snedeker are not playing this week. Really don't understand that thinking. This is a good course and has an incredible field with everybody playing except for Scott, Tiger, Snedeker and Jason Day. Day and Woods are injured, but Scott and Snedeker don't have any excuse not to play.  You need competition to get ready. Who knows what's going on with Tiger? His back is not good, his Masters status is up in the air, and even if he did play, he's not playing well enough  to win. He's got physical issues right now and mentally he's not getting it done either. Maybe the Nicklaus record is getting harder and harder to live up to. Can Rory or Scott get it done? Possibly, but I didn't like what I saw in the Honda and the Arnie respectively. Maybe young Jordan Spieth or a Georgian and an excellent young player like Harris English, who has won this year, can win it. If Jason Day gets healthy, he has a shot. Will have full Augusta preview next Wednesday (April 9th). In the meantime, excellent field this weekend at Houston. Will preview on Wednesday.

Baseball thoughts, predictions:

Can the Yankees and Dodgers buy their way to the World Series? They seem to think so, but I don't agree. I'm going with the more solid organizations that have put their teams together through some free agents, but more through their farm systems with their stellar young pitching, fantastic defense and timely, clutch hitting

I like the Oakland A's over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Championship series;

like the St. Louis Cardinals over the Washington Nationals in the NLCS.

World Series:

A's over the Cardinals in 7 in the World Series.

Moneyball gets it done. The ability to draft well, develop and

have stellar pitching gets it done this year for the Oakland A's.

The Yankees and Dodgers will make the playoffs but lose in the second week in October. The Yankees will lose in the second round to the Rays and the Dodgers in the second round to the Nationals.


AU with a spectacular victory; Bama looks primed for greatness again

Nick has become a prime time performer  

Kenyan Drake means business


Wow, that was fantastic on Saturday. What a Saturday throughout the conference, but I have to say, AU's 45-41 victory over A&M may have been the best game of the year so far. Where do you start with accolades? I'll start with two guys: Nick Marshall and Tre Mason. Nick was incredible completing 11-of-23 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns. He added 113 more yards on the ground and two more touchdowns. Just saw where he was voted SEC player of the week by the media. That is highly deserved. He's got Gus and Lashlee's offense down and he is soaring. Really proud of him. He's experienced adversity in his past, and has overcome it. What an amazing effort by the Auburn quarterback. I thought the pass to Sammy Coates deep in his end zone was perfect as we could all see. It was a gutsy move by Gus and I loved it. Sammy had it right in his hands in full stride and couldn't pull it in. He might not have scored, but AU could have scored there and definitely prevented A&M from scoring. Sammy did make up for it though with his 43 yard touchdown reception that was all him. He caught a pass a couple of yards beyond the line of scrimmage and streaked to the end zone in the third quarter to tie the game at 24 with 7:53 left in the quarter. That was awesome. Nick and Tre won it in the fourth quarter. Tre was superb. He ran for 178 hard earned yards. He is a stellar inside the tackle runner and he can break it with an open field. The AU running game is terrific. Cameron Artis Payne had a fourth quarter TD run from two yards out to put the Tigers up 38-34. CAP is a player. Corey Grant had 45 yards on five carries including a long of 32. He's exceptional too. Sammie had five catches for 104 yards and the TD.

I know A&M scored 41, but I thought AU's defense was excellent. A&M might do that against the Seahawks the way they play offense. They are really electric on offense with Johnny Football and the awesome Mike Evans. They just have a ton of playmakers. But the AU defense intercepted Manziel twice, one a beauty by Ryan White and another nice pick by Ryan Smith. Dee Ford with two huge sacks for a loss of 30 yards, particularly the last one on Manziel on fourth down. Dee would just not give up and brought the incredibly elusive Manziel down. It's almost a victory just getting to the guy. Tremendously clutch play by Dee. LaDarius Owens also had a sack and played well. Chris Davis led the team with nine tackles. Jonathan Mincy had seven. I thought Kris Frost played really well. It was beautiful when he chased down Johnny from behind. That was impressive. Just an impressive defensive game plan by Ellis Johnson. I know that sounds kind of funny because A&M scored 41, but I really liked the way the defense competed. Exceptional game for the Tigers. It was great to be one Saturday and it is today. Florida Atlantic this weekend then on the road at Arkansas and the following week at UT. Just gotta keep working hard. Auburn is there. They have a very good football team and look to be possibly special.


What's not to like about this 2013 team now. The o line has settled in and are playing great, physical football, T.J. and the awesome Kenyan Drake are the combination S and Nuss have been looking for, and A.J. just keeps on going strong. He gets better every game. He's awesome. Kenyan ran for 104 yards and two scores, one from one yard out and the other from 46 yards out. He's gotta be almost sub 4.4 speed. He is fast as a bullet out of a Smith and Wesson 38. I love that guy. T.J. was solid as usual. Eighty eight yards on the ground with a long of 27. Kenyan averaged 13 yards a carry and T.J,. 7.3. You get that kind of production out of your backs and you'll win most all of your games, which Bama always does. Defense looks terrific. I'll say this confidently, C.J. Mosley is the best of the three of him, Dont'a and Rolando. He just gets it done big time. Ten tackles on Saturday. Four tackles for loss in the game, one by Mosley, one by Denzell Devall, who also had a sack, one by Pagan, a 1/w by Brandon Ivory and a 1/2 by Trey DePriest. Ha Ha was back and made a beautiful interception. So did Cyrus Jones. Tough news on Vinnie Sunseri out for the season with a knee injury. Hate that for him. Seems like a great kid, he's a great player and a tremendous leader. Hopefully, Vinnie will be back next year ready to go. But Landon Collins can really play too. He and Ha Ha will be very good back there as well.

A couple of guys I don't want to forget. Freshman phenom running back Derrick Henry. Wow, is he going to be special. Six three, 240 pounds can run like a gazelle, and has power between the tackles. Man is he special. Had an 80 yard run in which he got through the line and turned on the after burners taking it to the house. I don't think S wanted to score that touchdown, but what do you do when your fourth string running back is a five-star player and could be one of the best 'Bama's ever had, which is saying a lot. Also, I love Dillon Lee. He's another guy like Kenyan Drake who just does something positive every time he's on the field. He's a stellar special teams player and will be a stellar linebacker when he gets his shot. There's just so much talent down there it's scary. An improved Tennessee team fresh off an upset of South Carolina–what's happened to them?– comes to T-town Saturday for a 2:3o PM CT kickoff on CBS. Verne, Gary and Wolf with the call.


What a wild weekend. Mizzou looks for real even with starting qb James Franklin on the shelf. Florida is terrible on offense, but Mizzou is tied for the lead in the country with 14 interceptions. They're tied with Oregon. They have a stout d line. Just a hard nosed defense. And their offense is loaded with playmakers. Running backs Henry Josey, Russell Hansborough and Marcus Murphy are stellar. Wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham has become the superb player he was expected to be when he was the number one player in the country out of high school two years ago. DGB is 6'6", 225. Just a beast out wide. 6'4", 205 wide out L'Damian Washington is also excellent. And quarterback Maty Mauk looks like he can ably hold down the fort until Franklin returns, maybe in two or three weeks. And Mizzou has an excellent offensive line. There's potential greatness there. South Carolina comes calling to Columbia this weekend, Saturday Night @7 PM ET/6 CT on ESPN2. Should be a classic.

Proud of my Vanderbilt Commodores knocking off Georgia. Great effort by the team, and while the Dawgs have been decimated by injuries, they've still got a lot of talent and Aaron Murray under center, which gives them a chance to win every game. VU held Murray to 114 yards passing and no touchdowns. And Vandy lost their starting quarterback, Austyn Carta-Samuels, in the second quarter to a knee injury that might knock him out of the season. But Patton Robinette came in and was exceptional. Patton was a commit to North Carolina two years ago and was about to enroll in classes when Vandy made a last minute push and got hi. Patton is 6"5", 225 pounds, he's got a great arm, great wheels, and scored a perfect 36 on the ACT along with carrying a 4.0 GPA in high school. Like the future at quarterback with redshirt freshman Robinette under center and talent behind him and coming in. Feel terrible for ACS, but hopefully he can make it back before the season is over.

UT beating South Carolina and Ole Miss beating LSU, wow. I could kinda see UT maybe knocking off SC, but Ole Miss came out of nowhere. Great win for the Vols and the Rebs and very tough losses for Gamecocks and Bengal Tigers.

Nationally, I saw the catch of the year in the Stanford-UCLA game on Saturday. Kodi Whitfield laid out in the end zone and pulled in a Kevin Hogan pass with one hand. If you look on Youtube you can probably find it. Incredible. Stanford took care of business with a 24-10 win over the previously undefeated Bruins. The Stanford-Oregon game, Thursday, Nov. 7th, @ 9 PM ET/8 CT on ESPN is setting up for a classic. Oregon plays amazing offense and quarterback Marcus Mariota is fantastic, but Stanford can really play some defense, so should be a war on the Farm at Palo Alto, Ca. That's two nights before LSU comes to 'Bama which will either be a 2:30 PM CT start or maybe, and more likely, a prime time 7 or 8 CT start. 'Bama number one in BCS and Florida State after their impressive dismantling of Clemson at Clemson, 51-14, is number two. Oregon is number three right now. Wow, Jameis Winston at FSU is totally stellar. Winston, Mariota and A.J., who is highly undervalued nationally, are my three guys right now for the Heisman. Can't forget Ohio State at number four or even Missouri at number five. Some incredible football ahead. Can't count out Baylor, Texas Tech or Auburn either right now. Three very capable programs. Baylor plays offense like I've never seen. Texas Tech is pretty good, but can't stop Baylor when they meet. Baylor is legit. Their question mark is their defense. You can say that about Oregon too. Oregon plays pretty good defense, but I don't think either them or Baylor plays defense like Alabama and Auburn. Not even close. That'll be interesting to see who emerges.


In the pros, my man Andrew Luck got it done over Peyton and the Broncos last night. I love Peyton, don't get me wrong, but I picked Luck and the Colts to win the Super Bowl, so I'm happy about the result. RGIIi looks like he's back. A lot of injuries yesterday. It's a war of attrition in the NFL. Just gotta hope you get lucky and avoid any catastrophic injuries to your quarterback if you're a playoff team and you need good backups. Injuries are just a major part of the game. I hate'em but they're inevitable.


Got the Sox in seven over the Cards in the World Series. First game is Wednesday Night at 8:07 ET/7:07 CT. Jon Lester of Sox vs Adam Wainwright of Cards. Should be some stellar pitching and some good bats. Ought to be an awesome series.

Baseball playoffs, NFL, FBS football observations mid week

Jacoby Ellsbury and the Red Sox will win the Series The Red Sox look unstoppable. Like the Sox over the Dodgers in six in the World Series. I picked the Tampa Bay Rays over the Nationals before the season started, but the Sox have combined a potent first four hitting lineup of the amazing hitter Jacoby Ellsbury, the speedy, electric Shane Victorino, the clutch, dangerous bat of Dustin Pedroia, and the ageless Big Papi, who seems to hit better with age, along with incredible defense, stellar starting pitching led by Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz and the best bullpen in baseball, led by the un-hittable Koji Uehara, to form the best team in baseball. Plus they've got the passion with the Boston strong attitude from the tragedy of the Boston Marathon. They're just an unstoppable force. Like the Red Sox to capture their third World Series title in 10 years. They also won it in 2004 and 2007.

I watched the Indianapolis Colts in the preseason and really liked their team. Watching them beat San Francisco on the road and Seattle at home has me convinced. I like Andrew Luck and the Colts, provided they can stay healthy–which is one of the main keys in football– to beat the Saints in the Super Bowl. Peyton is tremendous and he and Luck will have a showdown in Indy a week from Sunday Night (Oct. 20, 8:30 PM ET/7:30 CT on NBC), but with what I've seen this season, the Colts look like the team that will win at MetLife Stadium February 2  in Super Bowl 48 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. You never know with the injuries, but I like the Colts with the present team they have to win it all.Believe in Andrew Luck.

A couple of interesting games this weekend in college football. No.25 Missouri @ No.7 Georgia (Noon ET/11 AM CT, ESPN) looks like a stellar matchup. Missouri looks like the Texas A&M of 2013. Quarterback James Franklin and the Missouri offense are the real deal. They shredded a young, and not very good Vanderbilt defense last week for 523 yards, and are tied for second in the country in interceptions with Northwestern, Tulane and Tennessee with 11. Virginia Tech leads the country at 13. They aren't great on defense, but they turn the ball over, which is a good way to play defense against these high powered offenses now-days. Georgia is coming off  two wars; first the LSU game two weeks ago which was a classic, and the Tennessee game last week which turned out to be a major war as well. Georgia lost running back Keith Marshall and wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley for the season last week, and receiver Michael Bennett looks like he's on the shelf. That's after losing star wide out Malcolm Mitchell for the season in the opening game against Clemson. How many more brilliant performances can Aaron Murray have? I think he's got more in him, but the defense is questionable with a lot of young guys who haven't figured it out. The game is at UGA so that helps the Dawgs, but this is going to be tough for Georgia. Will have prediction tomorrow along with my other predictions.

The other game that is interesting is Oregon @ Washington (4 PM ET/3 CT on Fox Sports 1). Washington is coming off a tough loss @ Stanford in which honestly they got robbed from possibly winning the game @ The Farm. A Huskies pass that looked complete on fourth down was ruled incomplete on a drive that could have led to the winning score late in the game. It was ruled a catch by the ref on the field and TV replay showed no evidence that the officials could overturn the call. But they did. It was a travesty. Just like the Northwestern call that went against them on fourth and half yard in which the refs called the Wildcats' quarterback short on a sneak. That was a blown call as well and costly as Ohio State and Urb remained undefeated with a 10 point win. The Georgia-UT call with the running back for UT fumbling just before the end zone was the right call. Stanford won over Washington, 31-28. They just survived. Oregon hasn't been challenged this year, but this one could be more of a test. I wonder how Washington will respond after losing a tough one in which they poured everything they had into the game. Would like to see Oregon get tested, get into a pressure situation, and see how they respond. There look like three teams that can cause the Oregon offense some problems because they play good defense: 'Bama, Stanford and Florida State. Plus all three teams are good on offense. Clemson can score with them, but I don't think they can stop'em. LSU could give them a very good game, but LSU's defense is suspect as well. LSU's defense is young, so we'll see how they keep progressing. They've got a shot to go deep. They'll play one of the best defenses in the country in Florida this weekend in Baton Rouge (3:30 PM ET/2:30 CT on CBS), so that should be interesting. Florida's backup quarterback, Tyler Murphy, has done a better job than starter Jeff Driskel was doing. Driskel was lost for the season with a broken ankle in the Tennessee game. Florida has gotten better. So could be fairly interesting in Death Valley. The Gators' defense can keep them in it.

'Bama goes to Kentucky this Saturday (7 PM ET/6 CT, ESPN2), so they should be OK there. AU hosts Western Carolina, so they should be fine too. AU will be on ESPN 3 and ESPN Game Plan @ 2 PM ET/ 1 CT. Loved the way Auburn played against Ole Miss. AU looks like an eight or nine win team to me. They're 4-1 and I see them beating Western Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Arkansas and UT. A&M, Georgia and 'Bama will be tough.

The final thing I wanted to talk about was this Condoleezza Rice controversy; her selection on the committee to pick the four playoff teams in 2014. First of all, there are going to be too many people on the committee. Tweleve is a little much and 18 is ridiculous. You don't need 18 people to pick the top four teams. Eight to 10 is a better number. But back to Condi, she was national security advisor and Secretary of State under W. Her father was a football coach. She talks plays with Stanford coach David Shaw. She is very, very smart and highly capable of handling this. I think Condi can figure out who the best four teams in football are objectively just as well as Pat Dye or David Pollack can. Actually, I'd trust her more. It doesn't take a heart surgeon or an electrical engineer to figure out the best four teams in college football at the end of the season. Condi can handle it. Not worried about that.

By the way, my choice for Player of the Year in the PGA was not Tiger. It was Adam Scott. Tiger did nothing late in the year. Adam Scott won the Masters and the Barclays. His year winning a major was more significant than Tiger's five victories.

Baseball wallops Louisville

Tony Kemp is phenomenal The No.3 Dores (Baseball America) blasted No.12 Louisville 10-2 on Tuesday Night at Louisville. We pounded out 14 hits. Redshirt freshman Zander Weil and sophomore Vinnie Conde both went deep. Wiel hit a two-run shot, his third in three games, and Vinnie had a three-run shot. Freshman Walker Buehler went 5.1 innings giving up four hits, one run wtih two walks and no strikeouts. Not worried about the lack of strikeouts by Walker. He can bring it in the mid-90's. He'll strike out his fair share of hitters. Phillip Pfeifer, Carson Fulmer and Jared Miller finished it off on the mound for the Dores, who moved to 36-6 on the season.We are 16-2 in the conference and host Mississippi State this weekend for a three-game set. Friday Night's game is at 6:30 PM CT, Saturday's game is @ noon CT and will be televised by CSS, and Sunday's game is at 1 PM CT. Kevin Ziomekwill be on the hill Friday Night, Tyler Beede on Saturday and most likely, T.J. Pecoraro on Sunday. Would like to see our three starters have good weekends.

State is 33-1o overall. They lost two of three to LSU in Starkville in March, lost two of three to Kentucky in Lexington, lost two of three to Arkansas in Fayetteville. took two of three from Florida in Starkville, beat Ole Miss on April 9, 5-1, swept A&M at College Station, April 12-14, and took two of three from Auburn at State last weekend. They defeated Memphis Tuesday, 12-1. State is ranked No.16 by Baseball America. Right fielder Hunter Renfroe is knocking the cover off the ball hitting .410 with 14 homers and 45 RBIs. State hitting .298 as a team. Ross Mitchell is a long reliever out of the bullpen who is 8-0 with an 0.97 ERA. Luis Pollorena is their Friday guy. He's 6-1 with a 3.38 ERA. He has 24 walks and 41 Ks. Their closer is Jonathan Holder. Holder has 12 saves and a 1.61 ERA. He has walked only seven and K'd 52.

Tony Kemp is leading us in hitting @ .387. Tony has stolen 22 bases in 31 attempts. He has 63 hits in 42 games. Playing fantastic second base also. Made a beautiful catch Tuesday Night going into foul territory and a beautiful snare of a line drive Sunday against Georgia. Just an amazing player.  Connor Harrell's catch in right center Tuesday Night was Willie Mays-like. It was beautiful. We're playing awesome defense, found some good power with Zander Wiel, Connor (8 homers, 52 RBIs), Vinnie (six homers, 33 RBIs) Rhett Wiseman and Kyle Smith, who has been hurt ever since he collided with the wall a couple of weeks ago against Mizzou. But Kyle should be back, maybe this weekend. He suffered a bad cut on his chin (requiring something like 18 stitches), and suffered a concussion. So Kyle needs to take his time coming back. He'll be OK soon though. Yaz can hit it out, Spence Navin can hit it out and Conrad Gregor can show some power at times. That was the one area I thought we might be not as strong at, but we're fine in the power department. Tyler Beede is showing us why he was a first round draft pick out of high school in 2011. He is 10-0 with a 1.52 ERA. He has walked 38 and K'd 67. He's been awesome the last two games. Zo just needs to keep improving and T.J. would give us a big lift on Sundays if he can return to his 2011 form. Certainly has it in him. Looks like we're developing some fourth and fifth starters for the postseason as well.

Like where this team is at. I'm sure Corbs is pleased. Can't rest on our laurels though. Have a tough test coming into town this weekend. Need to be honed in for State. Always have to be focused for SEC series.

Dave Price lost a tough one to the Yankees Tuesday Night. Pitched against Phil Hughes of the Yanks, who pitched very well. Dave went eight, giving up eight hits, three earned runs, with no walks and five K's. Thought he battled hard. Went into the ninth tied at two, but gave up a single to Robinson Cano, maybe the best hitter in baseball, and Joe Maddon pulled him. Fernando Rodney couldn't hold'em, but had what looked like a strike three called a ball which really hurt him and the team, and allowed the Yankees to score two on a single by Ichiro. Dave now 0-2 with a 5.52 ERA. I'm a little concerned about him, but he threw a lot of strikes Tuesday Night. Dave threw 99 pitches, 71 for strikes. Hopefully he'll get it back in his next start Sunday against the ChiSox. Rays did take two out of three from Yanks in Tampa. Beat C.C. Sabathia on Monday Night, 5-1, and Andy Pettitte last night, 3-0. Rays now at 10-11 after a tough road trip that saw them go 2-7. Four back of BoSox, who are 14-7. Orioles are 12-9 and the Yankees are hanging tough without A Rod, Jeter, Tex and Granderson. They are 11-9. Rays hitting the road again for a pretty lengthy time starting tonight @ Chicago (White Sox) for a four-game set, followed by the KC Royals for three beginning next Tuesday and Colorado next weekend.

Mike Minor battled 20 degree weather in Denver and beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 on Tuesday. Mike went six, giving up five hits, three runs with two walks and five K's. Mike moved to 3-1 overall with a 1.80 ERA. His only loss came to the Royals last week, 1-0. Man is Justin Upton crushing the ball. Eleven deep ones on the season. He's leading the bigs. Braves playing great ball at 15-6 on the season though they lost to the Rockies in extras yesterday, 6-5. Rockies pretty good though. 14-7 on the season. Braves took two out of three from Rocks. Braves go to Detroit Tigers this weekend, starting tomorrow night, in what should be a classic series, then host the Nationals next week.