All posts by Micah Hixon

A die hard Sooner fan through and through. Micah transferred his allegiance to the Oklahoma City Thunder the year the Mavs won the title (go figure). He believes the Thunder and Sooners have many titles to come in the not too distant future. Most of his comments are not backed up by any sort of fact based reasoning, but you can trust him.

Kevin Durant: Oklahoma Hero or Villain?

Kevin Durant was the face of the franchise. He was the face of Oklahoma City and, by extension, the state of Oklahoma. This was his team. These were his guys. This was his time to bring a title to OKC. The cards were dealt and he was sitting in the drivers seat primed for a legit title run in 2017. Even Al Horford was ready to come join the Thunder train. All KD had to do was say "yes."

But he didn't. He took the coward's way out. Let's not drag this out until the end, ok? Kevin Durant is an Oklahoma villain for now and for all time. ALL. TIME.

Continue reading Kevin Durant: Oklahoma Hero or Villain?

"How is this any different than LeBron taking his talents to South Beach?" you say. Well, I didn't like that move either, but I at least understood it. I understood that the next best player on that Cavs team was Mo Williams. I understood that LeBron had taken that Cavs team as far as he could take them. I understood that LeBron wanted to go build something new in Miami with Wade and Bosh. Win a few rings then come back. Again, I didn't like it, but I could understand it.

This move by Kevin Durant I cannot understand. He had it all in Oklahoma City. He had what most would agree as another top five player already on the roster. He had a brand new coach brought in just for him who took them to within a game of the NBA finals. He had a general manager who was not content to sit on that very same lineup, but went out and finally got that reliable shooting guard they had so desperately been needing. Presti was yet still not content and went out recruiting Al Horford trying to put together a team that could have competed for NBA titles for years to come. All built around Kevin Durant and all he had to do was say yes.

Which is what makes this decision even more confusing to me. Saying yes, even if just for a one year deal, was the easy answer. No one would've killed him over it and he was already established and beloved in OKC. They had a stellar roster and a legit shot at an immediate NBA title. After all, these were his running mates. This was the franchise he'd helped build from the ground up. Golden State was the new hated rivals who just came between you and an NBA title. Why on earth would you want to run and jump into their arms? That's not what a superstar does. That's not what a true competitor does. A real competitor would have been furious at how the season ended and vowed to come back even stronger next season.

Make no mistake, this is not Kevin Durant running to California to form a brand new powerhouse. This is Kevin Durant running to California to join the very team who just set the all time regular season wins record. This is not Kevin Durant's team. He did not build this and they do not need him to win. This is the move of an end of the bench role player looking to jump on the bandwagon to try and get an easy ring. This is not the fierce competitor we were lead to believe. This is giving up on your team and city. This is throwing in the towel right on the threshold of something great. This is not a man deserving of our praise.

Kevin Durant took the easy way out. There were realistically only four teams with a legitimate shot an immediate NBA title. Durant leaving the Thunder shrunk that number down to three. And so what if he does go win a title or two out west? He didn't do it with his guys. He didn't even do it as the top dog on his own "team." What happened to that "I'm tired of being second" mantra? Last time I checked, Steph Curry was the two time reigning league MVP. Seems like you're good with being the second best player on your own team now.

Is this what the NBA has come to? Sacrifice everything you've built and sworn as your home just for a tiny bump in odds of winning a ring? If so, then it is shameful and Kevin Durant deserves every bit of backlash that has come his way. He knew this would not be a popular decision, yet he was still not deterred. The chance at an easy NBA title was too appealing. I mean, who would want to go into the offseason and work extra hard to come back and conquer your western conference foe when you could simply just go join them? That is the path of least resistance and that is why I no longer respect Kevin Durant.

Enjoy your time out in California, KD. You were on the verge of all time greatness then you went and blew it. Have fun being second.

Weekly Staff Pick ’em – Round 6

Here we are, round 6 of the weekly staff pick 'em. We will be examining the top games of the week across the NCAA and NFL. This week's special guest picker is occasional contributor Caleb Hixon. Here are the results from last week:

Micah: 6-4
Blake: 6-4
Jeffrey: 5-5

Micah: 31-19
Blake: 28-22
Guest: 28-22

We'll keep a running tally each week of the previous week's results as well as the overall numbers. Here are the picks for round 6:

Continue reading Weekly Staff Pick ’em – Round 6


#7 Arizona Wildcats (10-2) at #2 Oregon Ducks (11-1)
Micah's Pick: Ducks 42 – 28
Arizona has put together quite the season and now face the mighty Oregon Ducks in the PAC-12 championship game. I'd love to see the Wildcats throw a wrench in the Ducks' playoff plans, but I just don't see it happening.

Blake's Pick: Ducks 38 – 28
Arizona handed Oregon their only loss so far this season… in Eugene, too. The Wildcats can score in bunches, but so can Oregon. It seems as if Oregon’s defense has stepped up a little after being one of the worst bunches at the start of the season. Marcus Mariota won’t let Oregon lose to the same team twice. Oregon marches on to the playoff capturing the 2014 Pac 12 Championship.

Caleb's Pick: Ducks 35  31
One of the most interesting match ups of the weekend, Oregon tries to avenge their only loss of the season to the Wildcats of Arizona. This ought to be a great game pairing two of the hottest teams in college football. Oregon, since their week 6 game against UCLA, hasn’t had an opponent come within 18 points of them. And Arizona has faced back-to-back top 20 opponents and won. I’m predicting a close one here with the Ducks finding a way to win and Mariota stamping his Heisman trophy ticket. 


Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-6) at #20 Oklahoma Sooners (8-3)
Micah's Pick: Sooners 34 – 28
Bedlam has lost a bit of it's luster this time around as neither team is in contention for the Big 12 title and certainly not in contention for the inaugural playoffs. Records and rankings can be tossed out the window when Bedlam rolls around as both teams will be fired up for this rivalry. Give me the Sooners by a slight edge.

Blake's Pick: Sooners 42 – 21
Oklahoma State is not very good. They’ve stripped Mason Rudolph’s redshirt off and are swinging for the fences. OU, meanwhile, is hitting on all cylinders in the run game, which is what they should have been doing all year. With Trevor Knight out again, expect a HEAVY dose of Perine against a very average OSU defense. OSU’s OLine is awful, too. This could be worse than 42-21. OU finishes 9-3 and will go to a mediocre bowl to try to get the elusive 10th win. OSU misses a bowl.

Caleb's Pick: Sooners 38 – 27
Bedlam. I’d love to sit here and say, with confidence, that the Cowpokes will be no match for OU this year but I just can’t do it. Oklahoma State has a tendency to come up and bite the heel of OU in the most unsuspecting years. I don’t have any stats to back up my argument, but if I’ve learned anything from watching OU play this year, it’s hard to count on this team. Even still, though, I think the Sooners are the better team and will win for the eleventh out of the last twelve years against Oklahoma State. 


#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) at #16 Missouri Tigers (10-2)
Micah's Pick: Crimson Tide 24 – 10
This is a bit of a letdown SEC championship game for me. For some reason I was hoping for a Bama/Georgia showdown, but Mizzou is what we get. While I would again be delighted to see the underdog here pull off the impossible, I don't see much chance at all of that happening.

Blake's Pick: Crimson Tide 45 – 20
Alabama is just going to be too much for Missouri. The SEC East is not any good. It’s hard to believe Mizzou will make it, but not Miss. St, Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia, etc. This is David vs Goliath, and David doesn’t have any ammunition. May be over before it starts. Bama rolls into the playoff with ease.

Caleb's Pick: Crimson Tide 21 – 10
Man oh man would I love to see an upset here. I wanted so very badly to make this my upset pick of the week but I genuinely think Nick Saban and Crimson Tide will grind out a victory here. I don’t think they’re going to take any chances knowing that the playoffs are on the line. The Tide’s offense is starting to Roll behind the quarterback play of Blake Sims. It doesn’t hurt that he has the nations best wide receiver to throw to in Amari Cooper, but Sims has picked up his game as the seasons progressed. Look for a low scoring affair, Missouri’s D has held teams to an average of 19.7 points this season and the Tide is even better holding teams to 16.9 a game. Combine that with a conservative offensive philosophy from Alabama and I think we’ll see a good ole SEC defensive struggle. 


#4 Florida State Seminoles (12-0) at #11 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-2)
Micah's Pick: Seminoles 28 – 27
If I could pick the Seminoles to win by a closer margin then I would. I think my thoughts on them is well known by this point and whatever voodoo magic they have will grant them another late comeback win by the smallest of margins.

Blake's Pick: Seminoles 38 – 35
Where to begin with FSU? The committee is just waiting for them to stumble. There have been some MAJOR close calls with FSU, but somehow, someway, they figure it out in the end. 2014 has nothing to do with the 2013 title. I understand they’re undefeated, but I think 4th is about right for them. I think Baylor could beat them pretty handily, honestly. That being said, I’m not gambling against them. FSU wins in another squeaker.

Caleb's Pick: Seminoles 37 – 35
Here it is! This weeks upset pick, right?! Surely with the way Florida State has played this year they’re due for a slip up. And who better to do that then the team that just upset Georgia. Wrong! But why would I not pick Georgia Tech to upset? Simple answer: they’re playing Florida State. A team that all year has flirted with defeat but somehow gone unscathed through their schedule. It’s almost as if each game they get down they remember they’re FSU and decide to play in the last 10 minutes of the game. I’m not buying into the hype that Georgia Tech and their wishbone offense is primed to upset the Seminoles. Florida State still has Jameis Winston and they’ll find a way to win this one in typical FSU fashion. 


#13 Wisconsin Badgers (10-2) at #5 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1)
Micah's Pick: Badgers 31 – 28
The Buckeyes lost Braxton Miller in the preseason, but J.T. Barrett filled in and is widely considered an even better QB than his predecessor. After Barrett went down this past week with a season ending fractured ankle, so too did the hopes and dreams of Buckeye fans everywhere. Wisconsin puts the final nail in the coffin.

Blake's Pick: Badgers 31 – 24
Ohio State took a tough blow Saturday. Lost JT Barrett for the year, making him the 2nd starting QB to go down for Ohio State. They’re going to have a hard time slowing down Melvin Gordon and the rushing attack, and I’m just not sure Ohio State can produce enough points with another new QB in a Big 10 title game. I’m rolling with the Badgers.

Caleb's Pick: Badgers 42 – 28
Now this is an upset I can get behind. But I’m not sure I can honestly consider it a true upset given the injury to both starting quarterbacks of Ohio State this season. However, with their third string QB, Cardale Jones, in this week and I defense that refuses to stop the run, I don’t foresee the Buckeyes pulling this one out. The Badgers will hand the ball off to their stud running back, Melvin Gordon, and run all over this porous Ohio State rush defense.


#9 Kansas State Wildcats (9-2) at #6 Baylor Bears (10-1)
Micah's Pick: Bears 38 – 31
I want to pick the Wildcats here, but I just can't. While Baylor is likely on the outside looking in when it comes to the four team playoffs, a big time win here could sway the committee. A K-State win would settle the controversy, but I think Baylor pulls it out and cries foul for the next decade for being left out anyways.

Blake's Pick: Bears 41 – 28
I think Baylor is fixing to try to roll KSU. They have a chance to show the committee they belong in the top 4, which I think they do. Sure, it was a grease call, but they beat TCU head to head. It’s the ole Texas argument from 2008. "b…b…but we beat OU!" Anyway, I think Baylor does all they can to take KSU to the woodshed. Coach Snyder won’t let it be that bad, though. KSU hangs tough, but falls late. Baylor sits and waits for the selection show Dec 6. Baylor will be Big 12 Champs…and no playoff to show for it.

Caleb's Pick: Bears 63 – 42
Poor Baylor. They just can’t seem to get anyone on their side. Living in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex I have heard more than a few irate Baylor fans since the unveiling of the newest rankings with TCU ahead of them. And, honestly, can you blame them? Shouldn’t head-to-head match ups means something? Apparently not to the Playoff Selection Committee. Baylor’s going to come into this game with something to prove and remind everyone of their “video game” like offense. Kansas State’s defense is tough, and you can almost never count a Bill Snyder team out, except when Baylor’s fighting for their playoff lives. I think Art Briles is out to send a message, and Baylor’s not going to stop scoring points until the Selection Committee puts them into the playoffs.


Iowa State Cyclones (2-9) at #3 TCU Horned Frogs (10-1)
Micah's Pick: Horned Frogs 52 – 17
This will be a slaughtering. TCU already has the inside track to the playoffs and know they need to keep pilling on the style points.

Blake's Pick: Horned Frogs 52 – 17
TCU ends the regular season with a STATEMENT win over Iowa St. TCU likely goes to the playoff without a Big 12 title. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it is what it is. If TCU wins big, they’re in. Simple as that… and Gary Patterson knows that. 

Caleb's Pick: Horned Frogs 45 – 17
I know Iowa State has upset a few teams in their day. And yes you could make the argument that TCU will be looking ahead to the playoffs, but I’m not buying it. TCU is the most well coached team in the Big 12 and Gary Patterson will have his team prepared. No contest here. TCU…big! 



Indianapolis Colts (8-4) at Cleveland Browns (7-5)
Micah's Pick: Colts 28 – 12
The Browns looked to show a little bit of life finally bringing in Manziel last week to man the offense. Word is that the Browns are going to give Hoyer another shot this week which is quite perplexing. The Colts can score, the Browns cannot.

Blake's Pick: Colts 27 – 20
This game will be tough for Luck and company. Cleveland isn’t too bad. They’re actually really good defensively, especially in the secondary. Reports are out that Hoyer will start, which makes zero sense after he was benched Sunday. The Colts will try to establish a run early so Luck will have the field. I think a little too much "luck" for the Colts at the end of the day. Sorry, had to. 

Caleb's Pick: Colts 37 – 21
The Colts got off to a slow start this season but since dropping their first two games they’ve won 8 out of 10. The Browns, while a respectable 7-5, I have no confidence in. This game is going to come down to quarterback play, wanna take a guess who’s going to come out on top in that category? Yea, Andrew Luck.


Kansas City Chiefs (7-5) at Arizona Cardinals (9-3)
Micah's Pick: Chiefs 24 – 21
The Cardinals are falling apart. Stanton is not near the QB that Palmer was. With Ellington now banged up as well, I see the Chiefs going into the University of Phoenix Stadium and getting the W.

Blake's Pick: Cardinals 23 – 21
This game will be borderline boring. Both teams don’t have a ton of firepower. The Cardinals need a win BAD. The Seahawks and 49ers are primed to push for the NFC West, and the Cards can’t fall victim to a Chiefs team who has essentially 1 dangerous player (Charles). I think the home crowd will persevere and the Cardinals are a step closer to the NFC West crown.

Caleb's Pick: Chiefs 17 – 12
The Cardinals were one of the leagues best teams with Carson Palmer under center. But since being sidelined with a season ending injury they have lost their last 2 games. And I don’t see things turning around here either. The Chiefs are a solid team and will be able to lean on their running game to victory. Don’t expect much offense though because Arizona’s defense is still top notch.


Seattle Seahawks (8-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (9-3)
Micah's Pick: Eagles 31  21
The Eagles have a fast and relentless offensive attack and the Seahawks simply won't be able to keep up. Both of these teams can lose every game for the rest of the year as far as I'm concerned.

Blake's Pick: Eagles 28 – 24
This game will be fun with a contrast of two styles. Chip Kelly will try to score early and often, while Seattle pounds the ball and trusts it’s defense to win the game. The Eagles dismantled Dallas on Thanksgiving, and I think this team is for real. I think it’s really close, but I’m going with the home team here. 

Caleb's Pick: Seahawks 28 – 20
The leagues best defense verses the leagues fastest offense. This ought to be a good match up with plenty of playoff implications. Even though Mark Sanchez has faired decently in his few starts at quarterback this season for the Eagles, I don’t trust him against the Legion of Boom. I’m expecting at least 2 interceptions thrown by Sanchez and Russell Wilson to rush for over 100 yards. 

Weekly Staff Pick ’em – Round 5

Round 5 of the weekly staff pick 'em is here. We will be examining the top games of the week across the NCAA and NFL. This week's special guest picker is Jeffrey DeSpain. Here are the results from last week:

Micah: 8-2
Blake: 6-4
Fraze: 7-3

Micah: 25-15
Blake: 22-18
Guest: 23-17

We'll keep a running tally each week of the previous week's results as well as the overall numbers. Here are the picks for round 5:

Continue reading Weekly Staff Pick ’em – Round 5


#5 TCU Horned Frogs (9-1) at Texas Longhorns (6-5)
Micah's Pick: Horned Frogs 38 – 21
TCU is on the playoffs bubble. This is a bit of a trap game that looks like a cakewalk on paper, but the horns have been playing some decent ball lately. I think the Horned Frogs win it, but the Longhorns keep it close until late.

Blake's Pick: Horned Frogs 28 – 20
This sets up as a major trap game for TCU. Texas’ defense is really, really good, especially up front. The problem lies in Texas’ offense. They are inept through the air, and TCU has a capable defense. While Texas will try to control the game by ground and pound, TCU will be too explosive in the end. Lot closer game than most expect.

Jeffrey's Pick: Horned Frogs 21 – 17
The Lone Star state showdown between the Frog and the Horns will be all defenses. The Longhorn’s top 25 defense will give Trevone Boykin fits, but the Horned Frogs should be able to put up enough points to sneak by Texas in this one and have a legitimate shot at the 4 team playoff.


Stanford Cardinal (6-5) at #9 UCLA Bruins (9-2)
Micah's Pick: Bruins 31 – 17
UCLA has by and large flown a bit under the radar this season. They are a quality team who continues to win after a mid-season 2 game blip. Look for the Bruins to handle the struggling Cardinal.

Blake's Pick: Bruins 31 – 21
This has been a disappointing season for Stanford. People have come to expect BCS bowls or bust for the Cardinal. UCLA is pretty good. Not elite, to me, but really good. Brett Hundley is capable QB who will control this game when it matters most. 

Jeffrey's Pick: Bruins 28 – 14
The Bruins will win this in dominating fashion behind great quarterback play from Brett Hundley. The Bruins have too many playmakers for Stanford to keep up with. The Bruins coming off a Rose Bowl victory over USC, will pick up their fourth straight victory over the Cardinal.​


#13 Arizona State Sun Devils (9-2) at #15 Arizona Wildcats (9-2)
Micah's Pick: Wildcats 35 – 31
An in-state rivalry with lots of implications. Both teams have been a bit of a surprise this year at 9-2 a piece. I like the Wildcats to squeak it out.

Blake's Pick: Wildcats 38 – 35
The battle in the desert will be a fun, shootout. Both coaches are offensive geniuses. Todd Graham will throw the kitchen sink at the Cats, but the Cats are playing at home, and when all else fails, rely on the rowdy student section!

Jeffrey's Pick: Wildcats 35 – 31
What a great match up out in the desert. Arizona coming into today’s game with a ton of confidence beating Utah on the road last week in handily fashion. However, things will not be easy at home as the Arizona State Sun Devils are (4-1) against teams ranked in the top 25. It looks like a shootout in this one with the Wildcats outscoring the Sun Devils.​


#14 Auburn Tigers(8-3) at #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1)
Micah's Pick: Crimson Tide 24 – 14
The Tigers pulled off the impossible last year when they took down the Crimson Tide on a last second field goal return. The Tide remembers and the Tide will roll.

Blake's Pick: Crimson Tide 33 – 24
Think Saban and company are half mad about last year? I do… I think this game is over half way through the contest, and Auburn scores a meaningless TD or two at the end. Alabama won’t get beat at home again by Auburn. If they do? Mass riots. 

Jeffrey's Pick: Crimson Tide 24 – 7
The Tide are simply "rolling" over every in their path. Auburn catches the Tide on a 6 game winning streak with wins over Arkansas, Texas A&M, LSU and what was number one Mississippi State. The Auburn Tigers started this year off hot and as of late have faded. Bama’s top 5 defense is just too good in this year’s Iron Bowl and should win this one easily over the Tigers.​


#4 Mississippi State Bulldogs (9-1) at #8 Ole Miss Rebels (8-3)
Micah's Pick: Bulldogs 30 – 17
Another big time in-state rivalry that is arguably a bigger surprise. Who predicted these two Mississippi schools to be ranked in the top 10 nearing December? The Rebels would love to play spoiler, but the Bulldogs survive.

Blake's Pick: Bulldogs 40 – 21
I think Ole Miss is officially deflated. An embarrassing loss at Arkansas has took the wind out of its sails. They’ll come out fired up to play their cross state rivals, but too much Prescott and Mississippi State in the end. 

Jeffrey's Pick: Bulldogs 31 – 21
Just five weeks ago this matchup had the makings of a #1 vs #2 Egg Bowl showdown. Since then both teams have suffered loses, but Mississippi State still has a great chance of making to the 4 team playoff with a win over rival Ole Miss. The last time both teams were ranked coming into the game was 1999 when the Bulldogs won by 3. Quarterback play will be the difference in this in state rivalry as Dak Prescott will lead the Bulldogs with his ability to throw outside the pocket and scramble when needed. ​


Florida Gators (6-4) at #3 Florida State Seminoles (11-0)
Micah's Pick: Seminoles 28 – 27
I would love nothing more than to see the Gators pull off the upset and knock the Seminoles out of the playoffs race, but there's something unexplainable happening with FSU this year. They should've lost 3 or 4 times already, but yet keep pulling off comeback miracles somehow. I'm not betting against them anymore.

Blake's Pick: Seminoles 31 – 28
I’m done doubting the Seminoles. They have made me look like a fool 3 times this year. Florida will be playing for Muschamp. The players love him and they’ll do whatever it takes to beat their rivals for him. This FSU team is not as good as last year, but "all they do is win, win, win no matter what." It’s unbelievable.

Jeffrey's Pick: Seminoles 24 – 17
The Noles continue game in and game out to find ways to win late. Now in state rival Florida comes to Tallahassee to give FSU their last test of the season. It sounds like the Gators will be giving the start to the freshman QB Treon Harris who has been splitting reps with Driskel the latter part of the season. The freshman will have trouble in this one as the Noles defense will out man the Gators offense and the Heisman winner Jameis Winston will be able to put up enough points to come away with the victory.​


#18 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-2) at #10 Georgia Bulldogs (9-2)
Micah's Pick: Bulldogs 31 – 20
Had Georgia not slipped up against a down Florida team, they would be in the drivers seat right now for a playoff spot. While the Yellow Jackets have had a great year, I see Georgia taking care of business. The Bulldogs will then need some help from Arkansas to find their way into an SEC conference championship game.

Blake's Pick: Bulldogs 30 – 28
This comes down to the wire, I think. People are sleeping on Georgia Tech. They’re a sound football team. They control the clock and nickel and dime you to death. Nick Chubb has made it look easy in Todd Gurley’s absence. Now with Gurley out for the year, this is Chubb’s team. Don’t be shocked if the Jackets pull off the upset!

Jeffrey's Pick: Bulldogs 45 – 28
Two schools separated by 70 mile will continue this Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate rivalry Saturday in Athens. The Bulldogs schedule this year was extremely favorable to make it to the 4 team playoff until a loss to the like of Florida a few weeks ago. Since then the Bulldogs have won three straight and will continue to run wild with the two headed back field of Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb.  The SEC is just too much for the ACC in this one.​


#25 Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-3) at #16 Wisconsin Badgers (9-2)
Micah's Pick: Badgers 38 – 21
Wisconsin downs the Minnesota en route to the Big 10 title game. Gordon is a legit Heisman candidate and will run all over the poor Golden Gophers.

Blake's Pick: Badgers 34 – 33
Minnesota is a nice team. They had Ohio State on the ropes, and really could have won that game. They went to Nebraska and came back from a 14-point deficit. However, Wisconsin has this guy named Melvin Gordon… He’s only got 2,000+ yards and my choice to win the Heisman. Those Wisconsin RBs are something else. 

Jeffrey's Pick: Badgers 28 – 17
The Paul Bunyan Axe is on the line in a rivalry that dates back in 1980. Wisconsin, who is led by Heisman candidate Melvin Gordon who has rushed for 2109 yards and 25 touchdowns, will have no problem controlling this game on the ground against the Gophers. Look for the Badgers to take this one by a couple of scores.​



Philadelphia Eagles (8-3) at Dallas Cowboys (8-3)
Micah's Pick: Eagles 35 – 28
I have a bad feeling about the Eagles coming to Jerry World on Thanksgiving. I would love to see the Cowboys dominate the Eagles and take hold of the NFC East, but my gut doesn't have that same feeling. Dirty Sanchez somehow out-duels Romo.

Blake's Pick: Cowboys 35 – 34
What a game this will be. The winner of this one controls the NFC East and likely wins the division. Tony Romo is playing outstanding football. Mark Sanchez is not bad, but I don’t see him taking a game over, which is what will take. The Eagles will get theirs, but too much Romo, Dez, DeMarco and company.

Jeffrey's Pick: Cowboys 31 – 27
America's team pulled off a great win last week over the Giants. Now the Cowboys take on their divisional rivals in a battle of the top two teams in the NFC East. The Eagles behind play of backup QB Mark Sanchez will struggle on the road (2-3) and will not be able to run with the potent offense for the Cowboys.​


New England Patriots (9-2) at Green Bay Packers (8-3)
Micah's Pick: Patriots 42 – 34
Wow, what a match-up. Potentially the top two teams in the league squaring off in week 13. This is truly a toss-up game and while I'd prefer to Green Bay take down the Patriots, my gut once again says not to bet against Shady Brady.

Blake's Pick: Packers 40 – 31
Aaron Rodgers isn’t human. He’s got to be a robot of some sort. 30 TD and 3 INT. Are you kidding me? Meanwhile, Brady has his bunch rolling. Who knows who will get the carries in Lambeau, but whoever it is, I’m sure will kill it.  In the end, the robot wins. Discount DAHHHHHHBLE CHECK!

Jeffrey's Pick: Patriots 28 – 24
This one has the matchup to be a dandy. Tom Brady and the Pats are playing very well winning 7 in a row with wins over Denver, Indianapolis and Detroit. The Packers however are extremely hard to beat at Lambeau Field. This game should play out to be the best game week 13 has to offer. I give the nod to Brady and the Pats they are clicking from all cylinders right now.​

Weekly Staff Pick ’em – Round 4

Round 4 of the weekly staff pick 'em is underway. We will be examining the top games of the week across the NBA, NCAA, and NFL. This week's special guest picker is the one and only Fraze himself. Here are the results from last week:

Micah: 5-5
Blake: 5-5
Marcus: 4-6

Micah: 17-13
Blake: 16-14
Guest: 16-14

We'll keep a running tally each week of the previous week's results as well as the overall numbers. Here are the picks for round 4:

Continue reading Weekly Staff Pick ’em – Round 4


Oklahoma City Thunder (3-8) at Denver Nuggets (3-7)
Micah's Pick: Nuggets 97 – 90
The Thunder are the most depleted team in the league. It's a wonder they've even won 3 games with the lineup they're throwing out there right now. While this is a prime match-up to steal, the Nuggets just beat the Cavs on Monday night. Should be a walk in the park against the Thunder's D-League team.

Blake's Pick: Nuggets 93 – 88
The poor Thunder are so close to being like 10-1, even with all these injuries. This group needs figure out "how to win". I like Denver at home.

Fraze's Pick: Thunder 93 – 87
For a team that hands out Handicap parking passes to their players, the Thunder are still keeping themselves close in a lot of games. Rumble and his merry men stampede the Nugs.


Dallas Mavericks (8-3) at Washington Wizards (7-2)
Micah's Pick: Mavericks 112 – 98
The Mavs are actually a very solid bunch this year. They're getting the 2011 band back together and then some. Should be very interesting to see how they do in a loaded western conference this year, but I like them taking down this Wizards this week.

Blake's Pick: Wizards 101 – 99
This will be fun. The veteran bunch of Mavs vs the youth of the Wiz. Wall, Beal, Gortat, Pierce, Nene… Scary. I'll go Wiz.

Fraze's Pick: Mavericks 104 – 91
Both of these teams have surprised me a bit, the Wizards especially. However, I’ll take Dirty Dirk and the Fighting Cubans.



Kansas Jayhawks (3-7) at Oklahoma Sooners (7-3)
Micah's Pick: Sooners 34 – 13
The Jayhawks are coming off of their best performance of the season vs TCU. A game they maybe should have won, but let slip away late. The Sooners struggled against Tech last week until establishing the run game in the second half. What should be another easy match-up I'm sure will turn into a struggle again until late. 

Blake's Pick: Sooners 45 – 17
I know the Jayhawks are much improved. Kudos to them and their new coach. However, too much size and athleticism from OU. 

Fraze's Pick: Sooners 40 – 14
If it’s any surprise, the Jayhawks have been BETTER since firing Weis, including a dominate victory over ISU and a near upset of a very good TCU team. Fortunately for Big Jay, basketball season is tipping off so they won’t feel the hurt of this loss too badly. 


Kansas State Wildcats (7-2) at West Virginia Mountaineers (6-4)
Micah's Pick: Mountaineers 42 – 28
West Virginia is better than their 6-4 record shows. They have hung with or defeated every opponent on their schedule. Now they've lost two in a row and the last loss to Texas was a bad one, but I see a bounce back here for Holgorsen and crew.

Blake's Pick: Wildcats 33 – 27
This is a contrast of styles. KState will be sound and fundamental. WVU will be aggressive and flying around. Bill Snyder is the difference.

Fraze's Pick: Mountaineers 42 – 39
This is one of the tougher picks of the week for me. KSU has been good, but WVU has been really good in Morgantown.  Mountaineers make Wildcat–skin caps out of Snyder’s kittens but it’s a near death experience in a close one.


USC Trojans (7-3) at UCLA Bruins (8-2)
Micah's Pick: Bruins 31 – 28
Both teams have had good but not great years. Lots of talent on both sides of the ball, this should be a very close game that could easily go either way. I like the Bruins to win it in a close one.

Blake's Pick: Trojans 27 – 24
I don't know, and I really don't care…..

Fraze's Pick: Bruins 24 – 21
This is a game that will help decide the PAC 12 south and both of these teams are chomping at the bit for a shot against Oregon and their fancy uniforms. Bruins will win this on home field advantage.


Louisville Cardinals (7-3) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-3)
Micah's Pick: Cardinals 31 – 21
While it's hard to imagine the Irish losing a third straight, I just think the Cardinals are playing really well right now. This should be another close one, but Louisville goes into South Bend and gets the W.

Blake's Pick: Fighting Irish 34 – 31
What has happened to ND? Did the effects of losing that game to FSU end their season? Whatever the case, losing at home to Northwestern is crazy.

Fraze's Pick: Fighting Irish 28 – 24
I would love to say the Irish lose a 3rd straight, but Petrino still has some work to do to get the Cards in shape to win a big one like this. ND rolls, but Louisville keeps it close and Bobby P takes a scooter ride with an intern to relieve the sting of defeat.



Dallas Cowboys (7-3) at New York Giants (3-7)
Micah's Pick: Cowboys 35 – 17
This is a big game for the Cowboys. They need the division wins right now and the Giants are just playing spoiler at this point. Murray rushes for 100 yards and Eli throws a handful of picks.

Blake's Pick: Cowboys 28 – 17
Sounds crazy, but I think Dallas HAS to have this one. I think the bye was advantageous and Romo will be a lot better.

Fraze's Pick: Cowboys 28 – 7
Not sure anyone has ever had a bye week as successful as the Cowboys last week. Romo is a little more rehabbed and Eli seemed to be a tad color blind this past week.


Detroit Lions (7-3) at New England Patriots (8-2)
Micah's Pick: Patriots 37 – 28
Brady and the Patriots have been on a terror. The Lions have won a bunch of close games, but this one could get ugly if Stafford doesn't show up early.

Blake's Pick: Patriots 37 – 17
Lions are so grease lucky. They'll get their world handed to them vs New England.

Fraze's Pick: Patriots 45 – 20
Tom Brady has definitely shut the haters up from the first part of the season and Megatron has been more of a Mediocretron. Lions can’t do it in Foxboro.


Arizona Cardinals (9-1) at Seattle Seahawks (6-4)
Micah's Pick: Cardinals 27 – 21
I'm sure that as soon as I pick against the Seahawks they will finally win (jerks). The Seahawks are back at home where they've still been very dominant and this is probably as good of a time as any for the Cardinals to let one slip, but I'm rolling the dice. Arizona in another close one.

Blake's Pick: Seahawks 28 – 20
If Carson Palmer is healthy, I ride the Cards…. I just can't. I don't trust Stanton, especially on the road….especially in the hawks den.

Fraze's Pick: Seahawks 31 – 14
Zona didn’t miss a beat in their first week without Carson Palmer, but the second week wont be as good for them. The 11th man will have something to say about this in the battle of the bird teams. Seahawks make a meal of their smaller avian foe.


Miami Dolphins (6-4) at Denver Broncos (7-3)
Micah's Pick: Broncos 45 – 17
The Broncos somehow lost to the Rams last week and I sense Peyton coming out firing this week. Miami has a very solid defense, but when you make Peyton mad, bad things happen.

Blake's Pick: Dolphins 31 – 30
The Rams beat the Broncos? How? I don't understand that at all. I want to call this upset, so bad…You know what? I will. FINS NATION 31-30!!! (I don't feel good about this at all)

Fraze's Pick: Broncos 34 – 20
I would call this an upset if those pesky Rams wouldn’t have gotten Peyton so angry last week. Fins down in Mile High this week, Broncos buck em 34-20. Sorry, Mayor!!

Weekly Staff Pick ’em – Round 3

This is round 3 of the weekly staff pick 'em where the Crimson Slate staff along with a guest picker examine the top games of the week across the NBA, NCAA, and NFL. This week's special guest picker is our good friend Marcus Kent. Here are the results from last week:

Micah: 4-6
Blake: 6-4
Shawn: 6-4

Micah: 12-8
Blake: 11-9
Guest: 12-8

We'll keep a running tally each week of the previous week's results as well as the overall numbers. Here are the picks for round 3:

Continue reading Weekly Staff Pick ’em – Round 3


Chicago Bulls (6-2) at Toronto Raptors (6-1)
Micah's Pick: Bulls 92  85
Seeing as how my NBA picks were so spot on last week (not), I'm gonna take another stab at it this week and hope for the best. Admittedly I have not watched a ton of NBA games yet this season, but I like the core of the Bulls this season.

Blake's Pick: Raptors 101 – 94
A healthy Rose is good for Chicago. Championship good. The Raptors have it rolling in Toronto. They could very well be the 2 seed in the East behind these Bulls. The Raptors are at home and that’s a big thing in the NBA.

Marcus' Pick: Raptors 105 – 92
That team up north keeps on winning and keeps on getting no love from the national media despite having the best record in the East. I expect a statement win regardless of how well Rose plays.


San Antonio Spurs (3-3) at Golden State Warriors (5-1)
Micah's Pick: Warriors 111 – 103
Popovich is already resting his senior players just a few games into the season. We all know the Spurs don't take the regular season serious for some reason and they especially don't care about these games in the first month or two. The Warriors burned me last week, I won't doubt them this week.

Blake's Pick: Warriors 104 – 99
As my cohort in crime mentioned earlier… Pop is already resting the Big 3. The Spurs are 2-3 and I don’t think they even care. Pop may want to be the greatest 8 seed of all time. The Warriors are legit good. They may have the best 1-2 guards in the game on the same team.

Marcus' Pick: Warriors 102 – 99
Steve Kerr is proving why he was such a hot coaching commodity last summer as he has the Warriors looking in mid-season form.



Mississippi State Bulldogs (9-0) at Alabama Crimson Tide (8-1)
Micah's Pick: Crimson Tide 20 – 13
Bama always seems to find a way to win and I see them squeaking out yet another one at home. Miss St has impressed everyone this year, but an undefeated season, especially in the SEC, is just almost impossible these days.

Blake's Pick: Crimson Tide 28 – 20
This one is HUGE. I think whoever wins this game will have their spot stamped in the playoff. The SEC West will again dominate the east in the SEC title game, sending the West champ to the playoffs. Alabama is starting to click. Mississippi State is the darling. I go with the home crowd.

Marcus' Pick: Bulldogs 42 – 38
Mississippi St continues its run as they go deep into the Lion’s den and win a tough physical fight.


Florida State Seminoles (9-0) at Miami Hurricanes (6-3)
Micah's Pick: Hurricanes 31 – 30
Florida State has been flirting with disaster all year long. They have nearly been upset too many times and I'm thinking this is finally the week it happens. As I mentioned in the previous prediction, it is very hard to go undefeated in the current landscape of college football. Doing it back to back years? I just don't see it happening.

Blake's Pick: Hurricanes 30 – 27
The Canes are going to be AMPED about this one. Duke Johnson and crew will get some big yards. I’ve picked against Florida State twice, and I’ll do it again. UPSET CITY IN SOUTH FLORIDA!

Marcus' Pick: Seminoles 42 – 31
Florida State will struggle early as they always do, but rally in the 2nd half to win the game.


Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-1) at Wisconsin Badgers (7-2)
Micah's Pick: Cornhuskers 35 – 24
Nebraska is 8-1? Who knew. Big 10 football isn't the most entertaining thing to watch in the world, but give me the Cornhuskers to make a push for a conference title.

Blake's Pick: Cornhuskers 27 – 21
Major Big 10 title hopes come alive after the Spartans go down last week. Nebraska is quietly 8-1 with their sole coming in the hands of Michigan St, in East Lansing, by 5 points. Wisconsin seems to be rolling as well. I like Bo Pelini and Abdullah to win this one.

Marcus' Pick: Cornhuskers 24 – 21
Two of the top running backs in the country square off in what could be classic. I think whoever as the ball last will win the game and Nebraska will keep its playoffs hope alive as Ameer Abdullah carries Nebraska home.


Oklahoma Sooners (6-3) at Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-6)
Micah's Pick: Sooners 47 – 20
If the Sooners don't come out and absolutely obliterate the Red Raiders, well the season is nearing catastrophe levels already, let's just assume they take care of business the rest of the way out for all of our sanity.

Blake's Pick: Sooners 38 – 24
OU is out of the relevant goals this year. No chance at a National Title or Big 12 title. The only thing they have to look forward to is pride. Can they muster some mojo to finish they year. Tech is in shambles at the QB position. Their best two now play at Virginia Tech and waiting on the bench at OU. 

Marcus' Pick: Sooners 35 – 21
If the Oklahoma team and coaching staff that was in Norman last week travel to Lubbock and make Kliff Kingsbury look like Bill Belichick, expect a head coaching vacancy to open up on their way back. That won’t happen as the Sooners cruise past the Red Raiders.



Philadelphia Eagles (6-2) at Green Bay Packers (6-3)
Micah's Pick: Packers 41 – 28
Since starting off the season a bit sluggish, the Packers have been red hot behind Aaron Rodgers. You're telling me this high profile match-up is Rodgers vs Sanchez? Ha, give me the discount double check in a landslide.

Blake's Pick: Packers 31 – 20
The Eagles must resort to Mark Sanchez for a few weeks to guide the troops. The Packers are nearly unstoppable at the time. All I can think about is Sanchez’s butt fumble…

Marcus' Pick: Packers 35 – 27
I’m picking the Packers to win this game for two reasons: They are rolling since Aaron Rodgers said “Relax” and they are playing at home where they’re nearly unbeatable.


Detroit Lions (7-2) at Arizona Cardinals (8-1)
Micah's Pick: Lions 27 – 17
While the Cardinals have been on a terror and feature the league's best record, losing Carson Palmer will hurt. The Lions just got Megatron and Reggie Bush back from injuries, look for them to knock off the Cardinals.

Blake's Pick: Cardinals 24 – 20
The Cardinals took a MAJOR blow by losing Palmer for the year, again. They’re really sound on defense and I still think they’re okay with Stanton. The Lions are pretty good, but they’re not LEGIT.

Marcus' Pick: Lions 28 – 24
This game should be a barn burner as the two best teams nobody likes to talk about battle it out. Drew Stanton will look well, but the Lions will beat the Cardinals.


New England Patriots (7-2) at Indianapolis Colts (6-3)
Micah's Pick: Patriots 42 – 31
Speaking of red hot, the Patriots have been dismantling every team in their way recently. Tom Brady is on a mission to prove he is still elite and capable of carrying his team. Luck will get his, but Brady wins this battle.

Blake's Pick: Patriots 31 – 27
Tom Brady is on another magical run. The Colts are "fair" on defense. I like Brady in just about every matchup, but Luck will get his, too. In the end, it’s all about experience.

Marcus' Pick: Colts 31 – 27
I’m picking the Colts to win this game as they’re coming off their bye week.


Seattle Seahawks (6-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-3)
Micah's Pick: Seahawks 24 – 13
The Seahawks have not been very impressive this season. After dominating the super bowl last year, they came out a bit flat this go round. I don't feel great about this pick, but it's more of an indictment against the Chiefs than an endorsement for the Seahawks.

Blake's Pick: Seahawks 23 – 17
The Chiefs just seem to "find a way." The Seahawks are sorta wobbling. I think this is the Seahawks' last run, as my prediction of Beast Mode Era will end after this season. Little too much L.O.B. for Alex Smith

Marcus' Pick: Chiefs 21 – 17
Seattle’s new found run game will hit a brick wall as they get a taste of their medicine and experience just how loud it can get in Kansas City. Expect the Chiefs to win this grind out game.