Sports Agenda For Thursday (2/2/12)

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(Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Miami Heat
Miami Dolphins

Big Story:
Honestly, my brain is fried after two straight days featuring a primary on Tuesday and National Signing Day on Wednesday. But, Heat fans fear the deer and the Panthers, they’re all alone in first place!
And my Super Bowl predicition!!!
When I faxed my letter of intent in, it asked for….more sports!

National Signing Day Wrapup:
It’s good to be the national champion, as Alabama found out yesterday, signing the number one class in the country.
Must be nice!
But don’t turn your nose up at the big Florida schools.
All of them finished in the top 10 across all ranking services.
Rivals had Florida’s class listed at third in the country, with FSU 8th, and UM ninth.
Scout had Florida five, Miami 8 and FSU 10th.
I really like FSU’s class though.
As Alabama proved last year, offense puts butts in the seats, but defense wins championships.
So what did FSU do?
They recruited the other half of their defensive line for the next three years in Eddie Goldman and Mario Edwards.
Combine them with Timmy Jernigan last year and no one in the ACC is running on them in the near future.
UF recruited a pair of bookend defensive ends, which is bad news for quarterbacks facing UF the next few years.
And UM signed everyone except me, though I think my offer just got lost in the mail.
All three schools had great days, even FIU signed the most 3-star recruits in team history.
Heck, even my Missouri Tigers had a good day, signing the number one overall player in the country, WR Dorial Green-Beckham.
Now comes the tougher part, transferring potential to the field.
We know Bama will be stacked, but I want to see more development out of Florida and more consistency from FSU.
The Noles appear poised to make a run at the national title the next few years, especially with their defense.
UF is on the rise and UM set themselves up nicely to weather any possible scholarship losses the next couple of years by bringing in such a big class this year.
It was a good day all around for the schools in the Sunshine State.
But they’re all still chasing Alabama!

Heat: (off Thursday)
FEAR THE DEER!!!!
For the second time in as many days, the Heat lost to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Of course that is sending Heat fans into a tizzy and has them thinking the Heat are the NBA’s equivalent of the Costa Concordia.
RELAX.
Look, Wade is still not himself and not fully back into the game.
The Heat took 20 three-pointers in the game, DANGER.
And LeBron had 40.
The biggest problem was Mario Chalmers had a bad Rio night and was taken to school throughout the night.
But that’s the chance you take with Chalmers as your starter…you’ll have good Mario some nights and bad RIO some nights.
Last night was bad RIO.
The Heat lost the turnover war too, giving up 17 turnovers.
Here’s the bigger worry, the Heat have lost four of their last five road games and February is loaded with road games.
Ruh-Roh.
Honestly, I’m not sure what’s going on with the Heat other than they’re not on the same page.
They can’t decide if they want scoring LeBron or distributing LeBron and until Wade is right, they’re going to struggle on the floor at the same time.
Still, it’s February people!!!!
The NBA’s regular season is as meaningful as the NFL preseason.
It’s all about getting to the playoffs, and we’re a long freaking way from the playoffs.
Next up for the Heat is a fast rising Philadelphia 76ers team….yikes.
The 76ers are arguably the hottest team in the league right now and the Heat need a victory to stem the tide of road losses.
The Heat played the 76ers on Jan 21 and stomped them 113-92, hopefully for Heat fans, it’ll be a repeat.
Otherwise, we’re going to see Burnie and the Xtreme Team trying to talk fans down from the top of the AmericanAirlines Arena.

Panthers: (Off Thursday)
Heading into the next to last full month of the regular season, the Panthers are all alone in first place thanks to a 4-2 victory over the Washington Capitals.
The Cats desperately needed that victory and need to continue to get healthy for the stretch run in February and March.
The Panthers play at home Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets and then head on the road for two against the Lightning and Capitals again.
Florida is only one point ahead of the Capitals, so every point is crucial from here on out.
The difference is slim too, if the Cats don’t get hot and lose the division, they’re likely on the outside looking in.
We’ll see what they have left, but February will be the toughest challenge for them yet.
They have 13 games including six more at home in February.
Break out the rats, it’s time to get out there and cheer on the Panthers.

Super Bowl Pick:
It’s a tough game to pick because you don’t like to go against Belichick, but the G-men have a ferocious pass rush to get after Tom Brady.
I’m a little more skeptical about the Giants secondary to contain Gronkowski and Welker.
But, Antrel Rolle may have something to say to Gronk throughout the game.
If it comes down to a quarterback battle, I think it’s a push because both are elite quarterbacks.
I like the Giants wide receivers better, but the Patriots tight ends better.
I like the Giants running game better, but the Patriots offensive line better.
Hmmm….like I said, this is a tough one.
Assuming everyone is healthy, I’m picking the Giants, 24-23.
Basically I’m going G-men for their pass rush. If they can get to Brady with just four guys and knock him down a few times, he’s rattled.
Once he’s rattled, he’s a different quarterback.
But, he’s going to counter that with quick dump offs to Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez to try and slow down the pass rush.
He’ll also try a few screens as well to get the linemen thinking.
It may come down to how well the Giants linebackers can keep things in front of them throughout the game.
But I still am going to pick Eli and the G-MEN to come out ahead, 24-23.

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