Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Revenge of the Runway Challenge

Greetings from New Haven, home of La Liga Juvenil de Baseball, the most famous pickup youth baseball league in the world. I was here at the Register offices when Bill Cloutier, our assistant sports editor, was breaking the story of Jericho Scott -- the 9-year old told he couldn't pitch because he was "too good", according to league officials. Apparently, after the incident occurred last week, a gaggle of parents drove from the field straight to our building and set up shop outside to make their story public. Bill listened, made a few calls and followed up with a story the next day. No way I ever imagined it would churn a national debate. Everyone from ESPN to Mitch Albom to radio stations in California have been calling our sports department looking for interviews with reporters covering the saga. The whole thing is pretty sad, to be honest.

Of course, there are two sides to every story, and Register columnist Dave Solomon summarizes that nicely today in today's paper.

On to more pressing matters -- the Runway Challenge, year three. I make the picks, you're welcome to try and beat them. Again, I'll let the winner have free reign over the Runway blog for a day. You can post about UConn football, preview that Hollywood screenplay you're working on or use the forum to publicize your plan to overhaul the health care system. Fire away. I don't care. (As long as it won't get me fired). Oh yeah, any relatives of current UConn players are welcome to plaster the site with embarrassing childhood photos of said relative if they win (as I understand someone was hoping to do last fall).

The picks:

Game 1: CONNECTICUT (-28.5) over Hofstra: It's my understanding that Gio Carmazzi, Wayne Chrebet and Marques Colston will not be in uniform for Hofstra. Two quick points about Hofstra: First, I became a fan of Hofstra for a couple of seasons in the late 1990s, when their games were televised on MSG every week, mainly because of Carmazzi. True, I blindly root for Italians whenever flipping through channels and watching random sporting events. But Carmazzi was pretty unreal. Second, how could Hofstra have changed their name from the Flying Dutchmen to the Pride? They went from one of the great college nicknames to something even duller than the WNBA.

Game 2: Syracuse (+11.5) over NORTHWESTERN: The Big East doormat goes head-to-head with the Big 10's No. 10 team. On a positive note, both schools have killer communications programs. So maybe the players can aspire to one day report on good college football teams after graduation.

Game 3: PITTSBURGH (-13) over Bowling Green: Pitt has gotten plenty of mileage, including a national ranking in the AP poll, from beating a WVU team last December that was so tight they were turning lumps of coal into diamonds the hard way.

Game 4: VIRGINIA (+20) over Southern California: A battle of two coaches who were utter and complete failures in the NFL. Twenty points is too much for any team at Scott Stadium.

Game 5: Utah (+3.5) over MICHIGAN: I don't really think the Utes can pull it off, but the potential jubilation in West Virginia over seeing Rich Rodriguez fall on his face in his Maize and Blue debut has me giddy with anticipation.

Game 6: CLEMSON (-4.5) over Alabama: Nick Saban, the most powerful coach in all of sports (or so says Forbes magazine) led the Crimson Tide to a 7-6 record last season, including a loss to Louisiana-Monroe. He also went 15-17 in two years with the Miami Dolphins before deciding the NFL was too hard. Maybe he can take his next job with La Liga Juvenil de Baseball.

Game 7: MISSOURI (-9) over Illinois: Know this...Mizzou will bring the pain this season.

Game 8: Kentucky (+3.5) over LOUISVILLE: The Louisville administration, in anticipation of another humiliating season, is considering demoting Papa John's Stadium to It's Not Delivery, It's DiGiorno Frozen Pizza Stadium.

Game 9: Fresno State (+6) over RUTGERS: I won't lie, I don't know much about Fresno State. But they love offense in the WAC. If you can bet the over, bet the over.

Game 10: Tennessee (-7.5) over UCLA: UCLA took out a full page ad in the Los Angeles Times to proclaim, in large, bold letters, that "The Football Monopoly in Los Angeles is Over". Rick Neuheisel is betting on it.

Get your picks in by clicking the comments link below, then do a cut-and-paste with the template provided in there.

18 Comments:

Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Chip's picks
Game 1: CONNECTICUT (-28.5) over Hofstra
Game 2: Syracuse (+11.5) over NORTHWESTERN
Game 3: PITTSBURGH (-13) over Bowling Green
Game 4: VIRGINIA (+20) over Southern California
Game 5: Utah (+3.5) over MICHIGAN
Game 6: CLEMSON (-4.5) over Alabama
Game 7: MISSOURI (-9) over Illinois
Game 8: Kentucky (+3.5) over LOUISVILLE
Game 9: Fresno State (+6) over RUTGERS
Game 10: Tennessee (-7.5) over UCLA

August 27, 2008 11:55 AM 
Blogger strike it Rich! said...

Rich's picks
Game 1: CONNECTICUT over Hofstra
Game 2: NORTHWESTERN over Syracuse
Game 3: PITTSBURGH over Bowling Green
Game 4: Southern California over VIRGINIA
Game 5: MICHIGAN over Utah
Game 6: Alabama over CLEMSON
Game 7: MISSOURI over Illinois
Game 8: Kentucky over LOUISVILLE
Game 9: Fresno State over RUTGERS
Game 10: Tennessee over UCLA

August 27, 2008 12:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What, no BC-Kent State? That should be a fun battle for a spot in the bottom ten.

UConn
Northwestern
Pitt
USC
Utah
Clemson
Mizzou
Fresno State
Tennessee

August 27, 2008 1:55 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

I considered the BC-Kent game for a second, but there will be enough time to include (and bust on) the boys from Chestnut Hill. It's a long season.

Hey anonymous, can you include a nickname or alias so your picks can be distinguished for the standings?

Thanks.

August 27, 2008 2:03 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete's picks:
Game 1: Hofstra
Game 2: NORTHWESTERN
Game 3: PITTSBURGH
Game 4: Southern California
Game 5: MICHIGAN
Game 6: CLEMSON
Game 7: MISSOURI
Game 8: Kentucky
Game 9: RUTGERS
Game 10: Tennessee

August 27, 2008 2:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sammy's picks
Game 1: CONNECTICUT
Game 2: NORTHWESTERN
Game 3: PITTSBURGH
Game 4: Southern California
Game 5: MICHIGAN
Game 6: CLEMSON
Game 7: MISSOURI
Game 8: LOUISVILLE
Game 9: RUTGERS
Game 10: Tennessee

August 27, 2008 3:11 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wil's picks
Uconn
Cuse
Pitt <- Dark horse BE Champ
USC
Mich
Clemson (Eyes all over this game)Mizzu
L Ville
Fresno State, there goes Rutgers national championship hopes
Tenn

I would have liked to have picked Kent State as an upset also, whenever I see BC on a list, I'll go the other way, consider it a handicap.

August 27, 2008 4:11 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Den of Stupidity picks

Game 1: CONNECTICUT over Hofstra
Game 2: NORTHWESTERN over Syracuse
Game 3: PITTSBURGH over Bowling Green
Game 4: VIRGINIA over Southern California
Game 5: MICHIGAN over Utah
Game 6: CLEMSON over Alabama
Game 7: MISSOURI over Illinois
Game 8: LOUISVILLE over Kentucky
Game 9: Fresno State over RUTGERS
Game 10: Tennessee over UCLA

August 27, 2008 4:19 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JZ's Picks:

UConn
Northwestern
Pitt
USC
Michigan
Clemson
Missouri
L-ville
Fresno St
Tennessee

August 27, 2008 7:44 PM 
Blogger UConnHuskies86 said...

Conn -28.5
Syr +11.5
Pitt -13
USC -20
Utah +3.5
Alabama +4.5
Illinois +9
Louisville -3.5
Fresno +6
UCLA +7.5

August 28, 2008 12:42 AM 
Anonymous Ian said...

People can use the name/url feature and leave the url feature blank instead of being anonymous.

Game 1: CONNECTICUT
Game 2: Syracuse
Game 3: PITTSBURGH
Game 4: Southern California
Game 5: MICHIGAN
Game 6: CLEMSON
Game 7: MISSOURI
Game 8: Kentucky
Game 9: Fresno State
Game 10: Tennessee

August 28, 2008 1:18 AM 
Anonymous Dougo said...

Game 1: CONNECTICUT (-28.5) over Hofstra
Game 2: Northwestern over Syracuse
Game 3: PITTSBURGH (-13) over Bowling Green
Game 4: Southern Cal over UVA
Game 5: Utah (+3.5) over MICHIGAN
Game 6: CLEMSON (-4.5) over Alabama
Game 7: MISSOURI (-9) over Illinois
Game 8: L'ville over Kentucy
Game 9: Fresno State (+6) over RUTGERS
Game 10: Tennessee (-7.5) over UCLA

August 28, 2008 7:51 AM 
Anonymous caleb mandrake said...

Game 1: CONNECTICUT (-28.5)
Game 2: Syracuse
Game 3: PITTSBURGH
Game 4: VIRGINIA
Game 5: MICHIGAN
Game 6: Alabama
Game 7: MISSOURI
Game 8: LOUISVILLE
Game 9: RUTGERS
Game 10: UCLA
-- Caleb Mandrake

August 28, 2008 9:19 AM 
Anonymous Vinny from East Haven said...

Vinny's Picks:
1. Hofstra over UCONN (of course)
2. Northwestern over Syracuse
3. Bowling Green over Pitt
4. Southern Cal over Virginia
5. Michigan over Utah
6. Clemson over Alabama
7. Missouri over Illinois
8. Kentucky over Louisville
9. Rutgers over Fresno
10. UCLA over Tennessee

Yes, Vincenzo from East Haven is back and reay to pick against the lowly Huskies each week. Considering this team stole two wins last year and was perhaps the most overrated team in college football history last season, I am predicting BIG LOSSES this year. BIG LOSSES.

August 28, 2008 9:50 AM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Danoooos Picks!

Game 1: CONNECTICUT
Game 2: NORTHWESTERN:
Game 3: PITTSBURGH
Game 4: Southern California:
Game 5: MICHIGAN:
Game 6: CLEMSON .
Game 7: MISSOURI
Game 8: LOUISVILLE:
Game 9: RUTGERS: .
Game 10: UCLA

Dan O's computer wouldn't let him on the blog this morning, so he emailed me his picks. Here they are.

August 28, 2008 3:07 PM 
Anonymous Kevin said...

Obviously, I'm a little late on the UConn game, but hopefully the other 9 picks can count:

Game 2: Northwestern (-11.5) over Cuse

-Don't sleep on Northwestern this year. They're gonna be one of those 7-5/8-4 types who pull off one big upset and get crushed in the Sun Bowl.

Game 3: Pittsburgh (-13) over Bowling Green

-BGU's better than you think, too, but I believe in the 'Stache

Game 4: USC (-20) over Virginia

-Romp. I'd take a 30-point spread here.

Game 5: Michigan (-3.5) over Utah

Game 6: Clemson (-4.5) over Alabama

Game 7: Missouri (-9) over Illinois

Game 8: Louisville (-3.5) over Kentucky

Game 9: Fresno State (+6) over Rutgers

Game 10: UCLA (+7.5) over Tennessee

August 29, 2008 6:45 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Better late than never. You're in, Kevin.

August 29, 2008 8:48 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Week 1 results:

1. Rich 7-3
2. huskies86 6-4
dougo 6-4
vinny 6-4
stretch (the anonymous guy) 6-4
6. chip 5-5
JZ 5-5
ian 5-5
dan O 5-5
kevin 5-5
11. pete 4-6
sammy 4-6
wil 4-6
den of stupidity 4-6
caleb 4-6

week 2 picks should be available Thursday am

September 03, 2008 8:56 PM 

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