Well sports fans and non-sports fans, this is the final sports agenda for 2011. So let’s go out in style as we look at the Heat’s final preseason game, the Dolphins’ tall task this weekend, and my BCS and bowl picks!
Miami Heat: (next game – 12/25/11 @Dallas Mavericks, 2:30 p.m.)
Okay, before everyone freaks out…it was a preseason game and no one of value was on the court with five minutes to go in the game.
The Heat’s starters and bench built a 23 point lead in the first half and took 40 free throws in the game.
Yeah they lost at the end, but a bunch of guys who won’t make the roster were on the court.
And when LeBron went to the post, he was flat out unstoppable.
People will say that Dwight Howard exposed the Heat’s lack of game at the center position.
I say, who cares. If that was a regular season or playoff game, the Heat would have won the game easily.
The more I see of Norris Cole, the more I think he needs to be the starting point guard. And I like Mario Chalmers, sometimes.
But Cole is a true point who also can attack the rim with reckless abandon.
Let’s also remember that the Heat were without Dexter Pittman, Mike Miller, Shane Battier, Eddy Curry, and Eddie House.
Bring Pittman and Curry in to bang on Howard and he won’t do as well.
Bring Battier in to hit open threes and shut down the other team’s offense and you’re golden.
Remember too that Chris Bosh had an off night, it happens. Ask Dwight Howard about his game on Sunday night!
I will go out on a limb here, but hey, it’s the last sports agenda of 2011.
I believe that the Heat, if most of the roster stays healthy, have the ability to win 50-55 games in this 66 game season.
Yup, I went there.
I have a lot of confidence heading into the season that the Heat will be much better than they were last year, of course that depends on their health too.
But if the Heat stay healthy, I don’t know of any team other than Chicago that can truly give them a good run for their money in either Conference.
Miami Dolphins: (next game – 12/24/11, @ New England, 1:00 p.m.)
The Fins go for another AFC East win in a special Saturday game this weekend.
So what do the Fins have to do pull off a win against New England?
Run Reggie Run.
Bush showed that he can carry the load in adverse conditions against Buffalo and while the Bills are a far cry from the Patriots, you can run on New England.
That said, I expect Belichick to stack the box and make Matt Moore beat them.
Moore may be without Brandon Marshall, which means “Danger Will Robinson.” (only you old fogies will get that one)
On the defensive side for the Dolphins, they have to find a way to slow down Tom Brady.
Yes, the same defense that was torched for more than 500 yards by Brady in the first game of the season now has to try to shut him down in Gilette Stadium.
Brady should have no problems carving up the Dolphins secondary because the Fins have little to no pass rush to make him throw the ball.
You play a zone against Brady and give him time and he’ll throw for at least 300 yards before you turn your head.
Ask the Dolphins!
If I had to guess a score for the Dolphins game this weekend, I’d go with Dolphins 17 – Patriots 35
A loss will be great for the Fins as it will keep them in good draft position. And the Patriots are playing for playoff home field advantage.
Plus, with the Jets having to play for their playoff lives next weekend, it could mean a second straight loss to end the season for the Fins with a 5-11 record.
At 5-11 the Fins should fall somewhere around 4-10 range in the Draft.
Sometimes you have to sacrifice now for success later!
College Football Bowl/BCS Picks:
I know you’ve been waiting for this one, so let’s get to the bowl picks for the big games this bowl season!
Missouri vs. North Carolina
I will pick Mizzou for obvious reasons, but UNC’s pro-style offense does make me nervous since Mizzou isn’t used to stopping that kind of offense.
That said, I have confidence that the two space eaters in the middle for Mizzou can shut down Giovanni Bernard
Mizzou 31 North Carolina 24
Champs Sports Bowl
Florida State vs. Notre Dame
You put butts in the seats with offense but you win with defense.
FSU 28 Notre Dame 13
Valero Alamo Bowl
Baylor vs. Washington
Watch it just to watch the Dolphins’ next quarterback, Robert Griffin III !!!
Baylor 41 Washington 24
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl ***best game of the bowl season***
Oklahoma State vs. Stanford
OSU has offense, Stanford can control the clock and score as well. OSU’s defense….yikes!
Stanford 38 Oklahoma State 33
Oregon vs. Wisconsin
Take the Ducks as I just don’t see Wisconsin having enough athletes to stop Oregon’s speed. (see Florida vs. Ohio State for an example)
Oregon 37 Wisconsin 27
Michigan vs. Virginia Tech
Hmm, 2012 Heisman contender vs. the always stout Va. Tech defense.
Michigan 23 Va. Tech 17
Clemson vs. West Virginia
It’s the worst bowl in the BCS this year, as usual.
Clemson 24 West Virginia 16
BCS National Championship Game
Alabama vs. LSU
Here’s the thing, I hate Nick Saban. I think he’s a scumbag and doesn’t deserve to be a head coach for the way he treats people.
That said, he’s a helluva head coach and had his team poised to beat LSU if they had a kicker who could kick it more than 30 yards.
I said this the night LSU beat Alabama, “I picked LSU today, but in a rematch I’m taking Saban”
Alabama 13 LSU 10