2017 Pac-12 Football Predictions: It’s USC, Washington, and everybody else

In honor of Pac-12 Football Media Days today and tomorrow, it’s time to break down how I believe the conference will shape up in 2017. Below I’ll project each team’s record (overall and in-conference) and give a bold prediction (at least I hope so) for each team.

South Division

1. USC Trojans (11-1, 8-1)
There might be an upset along the way but I’d still give the Trojans a 98% chance to win the South. They’re just too talented and the other five teams have too many questions. A definite National Championship contender especially if they play a semifinal game in the Rose Bowl.
Bold Prediction: QB Sam Darnold is among the Heisman Trophy finalists and gets selected #1 overall by the New York Jets in the 2018 NFL Draft.

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2. UCLA Bruins (7-5, 5-4)
Remember when Josh Rosen was touted as the next great college QB in 2015? After an injury-plagued sophomore season, the talented QB no longer has the hype compared to cross-town rival, Sam Darnold. I expect the Bruins to win enough for a bowl game but otherwise Bruins fans shouldn’t get their 2017 hopes up too high.
Bold Prediction: UCLA will replace Coach Jim Mora this offseason.

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Friday, 6/30 Quick Hitters

A round-about of what’s happening in the sports world + some 2nd half of 2017 predictions for you in today’s quick hitters:

-So the latest rumor in NBA circles is that the Suns will meet with free agents Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap this weekend. Griffin is the more flashy name but considering his injury history, I’m all for Phoenix bringing in the steady, yet under-appreciated Millsap instead.

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A four-year $130,000,000 contract for an injury-prone player like Blake Griffin? No thank you.

-Speaking of wacky NBA moves, Chris Paul to the Rockets? James Harden had an MVP-type season as the point guard so let’s bring in arguably the best ball distributor in the league? I don’t get it at all for Houston. This doesn’t make them closer to beating Golden State…let’s be honest.
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Mocking the NBA…Draft (Top 10)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…the best part of the NBA season is the draft. The regular season, with the exception of the occasional notable game is BORING and PREDICTABLE. The playoffs were thoroughly BORING and predictable.

But the offseason thus far is just the opposite. Crazy trades, rumors, and personnel departures have made Thursday’s draft a must watch.

For now here’s what I do know (yes, know not think):

  • Golden State will win the 2017-18 NBA Championship.
  • Boston or likely Cleveland will again face the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
  • Next Summer, LeBron James will leave Cleveland for a destination in Southern Califonia.
  • With David Griffin “resigning” as Cavs GM, LBJ now has an “excuse” to leave the city and blame it again on owner Dan Gilbert.
  • A top-15 player (or two) will be traded during the draft on Thursday night.
  • The Suns CAN’T screw this up.

On to the mock draft top 10 with plenty of projected trades included…

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My Live Sporting Event Superlatives

If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance that you’ve been to a bunch of sporting events like me.  The other day I was wondering…which ones were the most meaningful, exciting, and most fun?

I have always wanted to put together a similar list but never had the proper platform…until now.

Some of you know that I’m a loyal Arizona Wildcats football season ticket holder…I haven’t missed a UofA home game since 2007. I love college football so much so that my goal is to attend 500 games in my lifetime. Keep reading below and you’ll see how much longer I have to go.

There are still quite a few events and stadiums I have yet to attend…but for now, this is a pretty fun list!
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Friday, 5/12 Quick Hitters

-Someone please tell me how and why the Rockets lost by 39 points at home last night when the Spurs were playing without arguably two of their top 4 players?

-And no, James Harden didn’t quit on his team.  Don’t we all remember previous Mike D’Antoni teams collapsing in the playoffs? (Hint: think Suns – Nash and Amare era).

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-They should change the motto for the NBA playoffs to “Where the dramatic DOESN’T happen.”

-Either way, comparing the NBA playoffs overall excitement level to that of the NHL isn’t fair.  The NHL’s playoff product is so, SO much better.

-Oh yeah, GO DUCKS!  Conference Finals Predictions: Ducks in 7, Penguins in 5

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Arizona Wildcats Football: Pre-Pre-Season Game-By-Game Predictions

Some quick hitters before I get into my first UofA football breakdown of 2017:

  • Go Ducks tonight! (For what it’s worth, I’m also picking the Penguins to win their Game 7 in Washington).
  • Jake Arrieta, the 2015 Cy Young Winner, has a 5.35 ERA in 7 starts thus far this season.  It’s a contract year for him and I expect that he’ll command a 5 year, $125 million deal or thereabouts.  I advocated on Twitter this offseason that I hoped the Cubs would’ve traded him but to no avail.  If I was a GM, there’s no way I’d give Arrieta anywhere near that kind of money as he hasn’t been that sharp for the last year or so.  I would be shocked if Theo Epstein and company pays Arrieta that kind of monster contract, especially with the young hitters up for new deals in the coming years.  With John Lackey also a free agent in 2017, I’m thinking the Cubs 2018 rotation will look A LOT different than it does today.
  • Here are 5 sleepers to win the unofficial 5th major, THE PLAYERS this weekend:
    Justin Thomas (30-1), Brooks Koepka (36-1), Paul Casey (48-1), Martin Kaymer (68-1), Matt Kuchar (70-1)

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    How many times would it take me to hit the green on TPC Sawgrass’ 17th?  10?  Most intimidating hole in golf.

Now let’s talk about my favorite sport, college football, and the team I’ve seen play 115 times in person (yes I’ve counted), the Arizona Wildcats…

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Not a good sports weekend…

When I came up with the idea of this blog last Friday, I was hoping to kick it off with great news – i.e. a Cubs sweep of the Yankees and winning money on the Kentucky Derby. Not so much.  Below is a LONG recap of the weekend and what’s going through my head on this second Monday of May.

Cubs-Yankees:  I sat through 18 innings of baseball last night…only to watch my team score in only 2 of them. Give me a break! You’re the World Series champs and you can’t score in 16 of 18 innings…most of them against subpar pitching.  Add on to the fact that I needed the Cubs for a large parlay and it made the night all that much more disgusting.

For 8 innings on Friday, things were cruising.  Then Hector Rondon gave up a 3-run HR to Brett Gardner and the Cubs lost 3-2.  They were dead in the water in the 1st inning on Saturday and no need to further discuss last night’s marathon.  Swept…at home…by the freaking Yankees!

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The World Series champs are one game over .500 and are 7-9 at home, having been swept twice.  Last year they went 57-24 at Wrigley Field.  Think about that…they’re on pace to LOSE 46 games or so at Wrigley.  Do something Cubs management – you have most of the pieces to repeat in place…make some changes!  And no – Kyle Schwarber shouldn’t be hitting leadoff either.

I thought a repeat appearance to the World Series was a virtual lock at the start of the season. Right now, it’s looks to be in doubt…at best.  The worst case scenario as I see it isn’t THAT bad though – another NL Central Title.

Ducks-Oilers: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs – where the predictable is unpredictable.  I have never previously rooted for the Ducks except in the movies until I saw this year’s playoff bracket.  Then I saw their potentially easy road to the Finals IF Chicago lost – which happened in 4 games to Nashville.  Anaheim cruised to a first round sweep of Calgary…but honestly they’ve been thoroughly outplayed against Edmonton.

I have futures wagers on them to win this series (+450 when they were down 0-2), the Western Conference (+700), and the Finals (+1400)…so when they lose 7-1 in a potential elimination game, yes I’m seriously annoyed.  The Ducks stunning three goal comeback in the final few minutes on Friday night was amazing and stunning…yet the momentum clearly didn’t carry over as the Oilers scored five times in Sunday’s 1st period.

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I’m not wasting time writing about the NBA Playoffs because there’s nothing to say.  We know we’re getting a Warriors-Cavs Finals so let’s get on with it already.  The NHL is SO much more exciting and it doesn’t hurt that I stand to win some money if Anaheim succeeds.

I’m thinking with my heart and clearly not my head…but give me Anaheim 3-2 in OT on Wednesday night in what should be a dramatic Game 7.

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