Friday, October 26, 2012

SEC Update: Week 9

By Keith Antigiovanni

Week 9 for the SEC begins tomorrow with plenty of good matchups. First the #1 team in the nation, Alabama (7-0, 4-0) faces another undefeated SEC team, Mississippi St. (7-0, 3-0). Alabama must continue to win while Mississippi St. is thinking upset all the way.

Florida (7-0, 4-0) and Georgia (6-1, 4-1) play in their annual "World's Largest Cocktail Party" in Jacksonville. If Florida wins they clinch the SEC East title for the 12th time since 1992 but if Georgia wins they have the inside track for a second straight division title.

Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2) tries to bounce back against struggling Auburn (1-6, 0-5).

Missouri (3-4) looks for its first SEC win against Kentucky (1-7, 0-5).

Tennessee (3-4, 0-4) is still trying to win its first SEC win this year against South Carolina (6-2, 4-2).

Ole Miss (4-3, 1-2) vs. Arkansas (3-4, 2-2).

In other news, the Champions Bowl pitting the Big-12 champion vs. the SEC champion is set for 2014 as an answer to the Rose Bowl which features the Pac-12 and Big Ten champions.

Friday, October 5, 2012

NL Wild Card

By Keith Antigiovanni

The National League Wild Card game between the St Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves is not only the first year for this postseason experiment but matches two great successful NL franchises that have forged a memorable postseason rivalry the past 30 years. The Cardinals are the most successful NL franchise ever while the Braves are the best NL team since 1991 and have future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones in his final playoff run after announcing it would be his final year.

In 1982 Whitey Herzog's led the Cardinals to the NL East title while Joe Torre led the Braves to the NL West title. St. Louis went on to sweep the Atlanta in the NLCS en route to the World Series title over the Brewers. Herzog would lead the Cardinals to two more WS appearances in 1985 and 1987 while Torre would be dismissed after the 1984 season.

In 1996 Tony LaRussa led the Cardinals to the NL Central title in his first year as manager for the Redbirds, made the NLCS and were leading the defending WS champion Braves 3-1 until Atlanta stormed back and won the final three games and get back to the World Series.

In 2011 the Braves led the Wild Card for most of the year until a late season collapse and a Cardinal late season run gave St. Louis the playoff berth en route to their 11th World Series title.

Its only fitting that the Braves face the team that nudged them out on the final day of the 2011 regular season and for the Cardinals to defend their title as a true Wild Card team after winning it all as a Wild Card team the previous year.