Kap's Corner

NCAA Archives

NCAA Bracket Picks

Okay, after a ton of research I have come to the realization that I need to just make my picks and hope for the best. Should there be an upset in Tuesday or Wednesday's first round games I will update any changes by late tomorrow night. I am considering Clemson over West Virginia should they get past UAB. Same goes for USC if they beat Virginia Commonwealth.

Good Luck!!!!

Second Round Winners

Ohio State

Villanova

Clemson

Kentucky

Marquette

Syracuse

Washington

North Carolina

Duke

Tennessee

Arizona

Texas

Cincinnati

Connecticut

Temple

SDSU

Kansas

Illinois

Vanderbilt

Louisville

Georgetown

Purdue

Florida State

Notre Dame

Pittsburgh

Old Dominion

Kansas State

Wisconsin

Gonzaga

BYU

Michigan State

Florida

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NCAA Bracket

I am working the phones for last minute information to make the best possible selections I can for the NCAA Tournament. I will have my picks up by tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. and I will update them after the 4 first round games are completed on Wednesday night as most pools are not using them in their brackets.

Thanks! Kap

WOW. Just, WOW.

If you haven't seen this video yet, this is one you'll show everyone you know.  Trust me.  This takes trick shots to an art form.

Enjoy.

Saturday's College Football Picks Against the Spread - October 23rd

I am off to call the Central Michigan at Northern Illinois football game on Comcast SportsNet so before I head to DeKalb let's get right to my picks for today's college football action.

**As always these picks are for entertainment purposes only**

Top Plays

Hawaii -3.5
Northwestern +6
Indiana +14
Indiana/Illinois OVER 54
Navy +6.5
TCU -18

Play of the Day

SMU -8




Sexscapades in Sports

With Brett Favre in the news for allegedly sending X-rated photos of himself to former Jets game day hostess Jenn Sterger I have received  number of e-mails from people who want me to look back at the most famous sex scandals in sports history. You ask and I deliver. Here you go....

Some of the Most Famous Recent Sex Scandals in Sports

TIGER WOODS

The world's greatest golfer admitted to having several affairs with strippers and porn stars while married. He eventually entered rehab for sex addiction and his wife Elin divorced him and walked away with in excess of 100 million dollars.

BRETT FAVRE

This scandal is just developing and was broken by the website Deadspin who released voice mails and X-Rated pictures they claim are from Favre to former Jets employee Jenn Sterger. Now Deadspin claims there may be more women coming forward to say that Favre may have inappropriately pursued them.

KOBE BRYANT

Bryant was accused of sexual assault by a hotel employee while he was in Colorado to have knee surgery. He denied any wrongdoing claiming that the sex was consensual. The alleged victim refused to testify and the case was dropped. Bryant reportedly settled a civil claim out of court.
 
RICK PITINO

The University of Louisville basketball coach had sex with the wife of his equipment manager in a restaurant one evening and the whole sordid affair became extremely public when she tried to extort him and claimed rape. She also reportedly had an affair with her lawyer during her trial and that story was also broken by Deadspin. She was convicted in the summer of 2010 and is awaiting sentencing.

STEVE MCNAIR

Straight from his Wikipedia:

On July 4, 2009, McNair was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds, along with the body of a young woman named Sahel Kazemi, in a condominium rented by McNair, at 105 Lea Avenue in downtown Nashville.[McNair had been shot twice in the body and twice in the head, with only one of the shots coming from closer than three feet. Kazemi had a single gunshot wound to the head, which was proved to have been fired from a gun that was held to her temple. McNair was believed to have been asleep on the couch when the shooting occurred. The bodies were discovered by McNair's friends Wayne Neely and Robert Gaddy, who called 911. The Nashville police declared McNair's death a murder-suicide, with Kazemi as the perpetrator and McNair as the victim. The 9-mm gun used was found under Kazemi's body and later tests revealed "trace evidence of (gunpowder) residue on her left hand." Kazemi had a worsening financial situation and also suspected that McNair was in another extramarital relationship. McNair, who was married at the time, had been dating the 20-year-old Kazemi in the months prior to their deaths. On July 6, police stated that the gun found at the scene of the crime under Kazemi's body had been purchased by her after her release from jail on the DUI charge. Kazemi purchased the gun from a convicted murderer she met while looking for a buyer for her Kia..


STEVE PHILLIPS ENTERS SEX REHAB

The former New York Mets General Manager entered a rehab center for sex addiction after he admitted to having an affair with a fellow ESPN employee. He was summarily fired from his high paying gig as a baseball analyst and has only recently begun to resurface in the baseball world.

KAREN OWEN AND HER DUKE THESIS

Well said by the Wall Street Journal: Karen Owen's now infamous PowerPoint "thesis" detailing the thirteen men she had relations with while an undergraduate student at Duke University has quickly become a social media cautionary tale.


Though Owen wrote her 42-page dossier, titled "An education beyond the classroom: excelling in the realm of horizontal academics" reportedly for a few select friends, nothing juicy stays a secret for long in today's Web world -- especially when said item is easily forward-able. After circulating amongst the Duke student body, the mock thesis went viral after it was published by several websites, including the Gawker-owned Jezebel and Deadspin.

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Saturday's College Football Picks

Here we go on a gorgeous football Saturday....

There are several games I like including the rivalry showdown between Michigan State and Michigan in Ann Arbor which will mark the return to coach from MSU coach Mark Dantonio who suffered a heart attack after the Spartans dramatic win over Notre Dame.

**As always these picks are for entertainment purposes only**

Solid Plays

Stanford -9 over USC
Iowa State +6 1/2 over Utah

Best Bets

Michigan -4 over Michigan State
Alabama -7 over South Carolina
Tulane -1 over Army

Also, here are the picks from my friend Mr. BCS (who just finished a book on the joke that is the BCS) and now would like to be known by the name BCS Buster :)

Tennessee +11 1/2 over Georgia
Michigan State + 4 1/2 over Michigan
Notre Dame -6 over Pittsburgh
Florida State +6 over Miami
USC +9 over Stanford 

Saturday - October 2nd College Football Picks

4-3 in college football last week after going 5-0 two weeks ago. Here are today's first round of plays. **(As always these are for entertainment purposes only)**

Solid Plays

Illinois +18 over Ohio State
Toledo +5 over Wyoming
Iowa -7 over Penn State
Northwestern -5 over Minnesota
Michigan State -1.5 over Wisconsin
Navy/Air Force OVER 48

Best Bets

Boise State at New Mexico State OVER 60
Boston College +4 over Notre Dame

More to come later. Good Luck!!

Saturday - September 25th College Football Picks

Here we go....Interesting card in college football today with some statement games on the schedule including Boise State trying to add to their resume with a win over Oregon State in Boise. Also, Notre Dame tries to rebound from an overtime loss at Michigan State when they take on undefeated Stanford in South Bend.

Here are my picks in college football and as always....**These are for entertainment purposes only.**

Last week's college football record: 5-0

Solid Plays:

Auburn -2.5 over South Carolina
West Virginia +10 over LSU
Boston College -4 over Virginia Tech
Marshall -5 over Ohio
Bowling Green +25.5 over Michigan
Northern Illinois +4.5 over Minnesota

Best Bet:

Stanford -5 1/2 over Notre Dame




Sunday September 19th in the NFL

Saturday was great day handicapping the college card as I went 5-0 against the spread. Our Lock of the Day was a winner with Indiana covering over Western Kentucky and our Best Bet saw Michigan State beat Notre Dame as the Spartans were a winner in overtime on a fake field goal. The spread on that game was 3-3.5 all day long and if you followed my advice I told you to pick MSU on the money line so that you wouldn't lose on the 3.5 point line. Imagine having MSU minus the points and losing because the extra point wasn't kicked in the OT.

Sunday's NFL slate is a tough one but there are a handful of games that are very interesting including the 1-0 Kansas City Chiefs who are on the road at the 0-1 Cleveland Browns. Also, the Bears are at Dallas in a game that has seen the line move from 9.5 all the way down to 7.

Without further adieu here are the picks for Sunday in the NFL. (As always these are for entertainment purposes only).

Solid Plays

Buffalo +13.5 over Green Bay
Tennessee -6
Jacksonville +7.5
New York Giants +6

Best Bet

Houston -4 over Washington
Kansas City +2 over Cleveland


September 18th - College Football Picks Against The Spread

Interesting slate of games in college football today with Notre Dame at Michigan State my favorite game on the board to watch as Brian Kelly takes his Irish on the road for the first time in his career at ND. I am a fan of Kelly as a coach but the team he currently has is not the team he will win big with when he has a chance to recruit for a couple of seasons. I look for Michigan State to play with emotion and to feed off of a huge home field advantage tonight.

(As always these are for entertainment purposes only)

Kap's Picks

Air Force +17.5 vs Oklahoma
Texas -3 over Texas Tech
Northwestern -6.5 over Rice

Top Play

Michigan State on the money line over Notre Dame. If this line drops below 3 then lay the points but 3.5 is questionable as the half point could beat you.

LOCK OF THE DAY

Indian -13.5 over Western Kentucky


Also, here are the picks from a very respected college football expert. A man I call Mr. BCS.

Arkansas +2 over Georgia
North Carolina - 1.5 over Georgia Tech
Florida -14 over Tennessee
Washington +3 over Nebraska
LSU -7.5 over Mississippi State 




Saturday's College Football Picks Against The Spread

Here are today's college football picks against the spread. As always these picks are for entertainment purposes only. Have fun! Kap

Solid Plays

Michigan +3 1/2 at Notre Dame
Alabama -12 1/2 vs Penn State
Vanderbilt +10 vs LSU
Stanford -6 at UCLA

Best Play of the Day

Wake Forest  -5 1/2 vs Duke



College Football Picks Against The Spread

Throughout the football season I will make my picks against the spread. Here are Saturday's best plays. Please check back frequently as I will update my picks throughout the day.

Illinois vs Missouri  OVER 53
Washington +1 over BYU
Purdue +11 over Notre Dame
Kansas State +1.5 over UCLA

Best Pick
Northwestern - 3.5 over Vanderbilt


I also have the picks listed below from one of my crew at CSN - A guy that I'll call Mr. BCS

Here are his best picks of the weekend:

K-State
Washington
Purdue
LSU
Missouri

Greatest Touchdown Ever

If you've never seen this video, you've got to check this out.  One of the most wild plays I've ever seen in football, without a doubt.  Enjoy and forward on to your friends.  I've seen this many times, and can't get enough.




**Breaking News** DePaul Has a New Head Coach

I have learned that DePaul has hired Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell and has agreed to a 7 year contract with him in excess of 15 million dollars when you add in the buyout of his Clemson contract. He was on campus today and and will be introduced in a press conference at 1:30 Tuesday on DePaul's campus.

Purnell has been the head coach at Clemson since 2003 and while he has made Clemson competitive and has taken them to the NCAA Tournament 3 times, he is 0-6 in his career in NCAA games. He has no ties to the Chicago area and the jury is out on whether or not he can recruit players from this area to rebuild a program that was 1-35 the past two seasons in Big East play.

His Clemson teams have won 20 or more games each of the past four seasons and if he can achieve that level of success in Lincoln Park then the Blue Demons program will become a hot ticket again in the Chicago sports world.

The Latest College Basketball Coaching Rumors

DePaul is continuing their search for Jerry Wainwright's replacement and has an extensive list of candidates that they are studying. Contrary to a TV report that ran in Chicago last week, Pitt coach Jamie Dixon was never a serious candidate for the job. He is a good friend of DePaul athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto and the two keep in touch but Dixon never was offered the job and he never seriously considered it. UCLA coach Ben Howland did consider the DePaul opening but decided on Tuesday to stay in Westwood where he feels his program is poised for a rebound season after a difficult 2009-10 campaign.

Other names that have surfaced in connection with the job include Kansas State coach Frank Martin, who signed a lucrative extension with K-State a few weeks ago and has a hefty buyout of his contract. Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery has been rumored to be on the DePaul short list but my sources tell me he is not in the upper tier of candidates for the job.

USC's Kevin O'Neill would be a tremendous choice and loves Chicago but he just completed his first season in LA and was named the Pac Ten Conference Coach of the Year by the Sporting News. He is not expected to leave USC. Another name that was on DePaul's list was UTEP's Tony Barbee but he was named the new coach at Auburn on Wednesday.

Iowa is also looking for a new coach after firing Todd Lickliter and appears to be looking for a lower priced alternative after paying big money to Lickliter in his settlement. Sources confirmed to me on Wednesday night that Iowa is talking to Dayton's Brian Gregory, Tulsa's Doug Wojcik, Utah's Jim Boylan, and Wright State's Brad Brownell. Three of the candidates (Gregory, Wojcik, and Boylan) all worked as assistants at Michigan State for Tom Izzo.

Stay tuned because I believe that DePaul will have a new coach named within 10 days but who that will be is still very much up in the air.

Without Further Adieu....My Bracket 2010 (Note: Updated Final Four)

After a full day of research crunching numbers and examining trends of the 65 teams in this year's NCAA Tournament I have come up with my picks for this year's edition of March Madness which begins on Tuesday night with the Play In game between Arkansas Pine Bluff and Winthrop.

The field is as wide open as I have seen in a long time with a number of high seeds ripe to be upset in the early rounds of the tournament. However, for all of the upset possibilities there aren't many teams that can put together 3 great weeks to cut down the nets in Indianapolis. Instead, I see a handful of teams that have the ingredients necessary to handle all of the challenges that will be thrown their way in the three week sprint to a title that is the NCAA Tournament.

So click on the pictures and reveal some of my thoughts. March Madness 2010 is here....

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A Look at The NCAA's (My Bracket to Follow)

I am sitting at my desk doing research on the 2010 NCAA Tournament and I keep coming up with reasons why the number of upsets will be more than we have seen in a long time. However, just as I get ready to pick several shockers I crunch the numbers and realize that the upper echelon teams are going to be very tough to beat.

So I am going to continue research the teams in hopes of giving you the best possible picks so you win your office pool. Below are some of the games that I am crunching the numbers on:

East Regional
Texas/Wake Forest
Temple/Cornell
Washington/Marquette
Clemson/Missouri

Midwest Regional
UNLV/Northern Iowa
Tennessee/San Diego State
Oklahoma State/Georgia Tech

West Regional
Butler/UTEP

South Regional
Texas A+M/Utah State
Purdue/Siena
Richmond/St. Mary's

I have a handful of teams that I can see making a deep tournament run but before I commit to taking them I have to crunch a few more numbers to bolster my argument for choosing them. For example, I love Kansas State and their outstanding coach Frank Martin. However, can K-State beat a very good Pittsburgh team should they meet in the Sweet Sixteen?

How about Ohio State going a long way in the tournament? The Buckeyes have perhaps the nation's best player in Evan Turner but they have no depth and in a tournament format that could catch up with them in a hurry. I am leaning towards having them exit in either Round Two or in the Sweet Sixteen.

Can Siena shock Big Ten Co-Champion Purdue? Siena is always a tough out in the tourney and Purdue is without their best player, Robbie Hummel. Hummel tore his ACL and is gone for the season so the Boilermakers do not have a true go to star to carry them through the tough times that always pop up in the NCAA's.

More to come tonight....  










NCAA Tournament Picks Coming Soon

I have seen a lot of college basketball over the years and this season has been no exception. I write the college basketball preview for Playboy magazine and I call games for ESPN so I get to see some of the best teams in the country up close and personal. I am staying up late Sunday night working the phones and crunching the numbers to bring you my best effort at a well thought out bracket for your NCAA pools.

I will have my completed bracket up on this sight by 4:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon so please tell your friends to check in. Either I will give you some great picks or you can have a laugh at my expense. I will also be Tweeting throughout the tournament with my picks against the point spread so please follow me @thekapman on Twitter and ask your friends to do the same if you want access to the inside info that I get.

Please check back on Monday afternoon. Thanks for reading the blog! Kap

The Latest on the DePaul Job

I am hearing that DePaul is ready to put up the money to land a big name head coach for their men's basketball program. In addition to a multi million dollar contract proposal for a new coach the school is also investigating a handful of locations that could be the right spot to build a new basketball arena near campus.

The Finkl Steel Company is relocating to the south side of Chicago and their current location at Clybourn and Cortland is within walking distance of DePaul's Lincoln Park campus. An 8,000-10,000 seat arena is something that the university higher ups are considering. Real estate experts that I contacted today told me that the Finkl property is intriguing because it may not be suitable for residential use due to In addition, a recent post in a Chicago real estate blog TheChicago77.com discussed the Finkl property as it relates to DePaul University. The site says: The Finkl & Sons site is located on the east bank of The Chicago River at Southport Ave, and Cortland Street within steps of DePaul's main campus and due to its heavy industrial use over the past 100 years the site is believed to be to contaminated for many real estate re adaptations. So it seems the current thinking is that instead of removing all the over-sized foundations so closely positioned by the rivers edge that it might be far simpler and safer to just remove all the top soil, pave over the site and any possible contamination.

"If DePaul builds an arena near campus it is over. They are the biggest sleeping giant in college basketball. A new arena will make that one of the best jobs in the country," said ESPN analyst and former Notre Dame coach Digger Phelps.

"That is the only job I ever wanted after I left Notre Dame. I spent 6 hours with DePaul's AD back in 1997 after Joey Meyer left and I had people in the city of Chicago who were ready to help me get the program back on track," Phelps told me. "Imagine an on campus arena packed with 8,000 fans and a great student section wearing DePaul blue shirts with a Demon on them and the pitchfork in bright red. We could call the student section Digger's Demons. I love Chicago and I know that program can be turned around."

Pictured below are the names that I am hearing are on DePaul's current shopping list. Keep in mind that once teams are eliminated from post season play more names could come into play as some coaches leave jobs while others move into new vacancies. This so called "domino effect" could put some big names on the market.

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The Latest on The Bears

NFL free agency is about to begin and NFL sources are reporting that safety Antrel Rolle, who was cut by the Arizona Cardinals this afternoon, has turned down a 5 year offer from the Miami Dolphins for less than the $8 million per season for which he's asking.  It appears now that Rolle will visit the New York Giants, and sources tell me tonight that they will meet his asking price. He could agree to a contract tomorrow.

Additionally, it appears that the Bears are going all in on free agent DE Julius Peppers and their contract offer could be the biggest contract in franchise history. Stay tuned!

The Best of the Decade in Chicago Sports

As the first decade in the 21st century comes to a close, let's take a moment to reminisce about the best and worst moments and athletes of the past ten years in Chicago Sports.

Best Team: 2005 Chicago White Sox

Only one Chicago team could call itself champions in the first decade of the 2000s, and that team plays at 35th and the Dan Ryan.  The White Sox magical run to a world championship in 2005 erased an 88-year drought of glory on the south side.  Everything went right for Ozzie Guillen's club that year, as his starting staff of Mark Buehrle, Jose Contreras, Jon Garland and Freddy Garcia each won 14 or more games in the regular season, leading the club to a 99 win campaign.  Playing "Ozzie Ball", the Palehose used speed and timely hitting to scratch across runs with Scott Podsednik changing the team's offensive strategy.  The White Sox stormed through the playoffs, going 11-1 in October, which included a sweep of the then-defending champion Red Sox, and the Astros in the World Series.  Their bullpen was rock solid all year, as Bobby Jenks burst onto the scene as a bona fide closer, and earned the save on October 26, 2005 to earn the Sox a ring.

Worst Team: 2000-2001 Chicago Bulls

After a historic run of six world championships in the previous decade with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, things went very bad and very fast for the Bulls after the nucleus of the team left the Windy City.  The team did have Elton Brand, who averaged 20 points per game, Ron Mercer, who could still contribute, and Ron Artest--who by his own admission--was drinking on the job.  The team went 15-67, bad enough for a miserable .183 winning percentage, and ranked dead last in the NBA in points per game (87.6).  Need any further proof this team was a disaster?  This team only had three players average double-digit scoring, and Ron Artest barely qualified in double-digits with just over 11 points per game.  Also, how about these names that contributed minutes to Tim Floyd's club that year:  Dragan Tarlac, Khalid El-Amin, Dalibor Bagaric, A.J. Guyton, Jake Voskuhl.  Need I say more?

Best Athlete: Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears

Say what you want about Urlacher's attitude, or problematic character at times.  It's no question this city could have embraced him far more than they did over this past decade.  But when it comes to the best athlete in Chicago sports over the last ten years, Urlacher takes the cake.  After being drafted in the first round out of New Mexico in 2000, Urlacher immediately emerged as a standout linebacker for the Bears and quickly vaulted to the top of the NFL.  He had more than 800 tackles in the decade, 37.5 sacks, and 17 interceptions.  He was one of the most feared defensive players in the league for the majority of the decade, and led his team to multiple playoff appearances including a Super Bowl berth in 2006.  Note: Honorable Mention goes to White Sox ace Mark Buehrle, for a consistent and successful decade.

Worst Athlete: Corey Patterson, Chicago Cubs

Corey Patterson had a three good months as a Chicago Cub.  That's it.  Otherwise, his career as a Cub could really only be described as a debacle.  The 3rd overall pick in the 1998 draft figured to solve the Cubs center field problem for the long haul.  All we read and heard about him coming up was that he had great speed, great power, and could be a five-tool superstar type player to anchor the Cubs outfield.  Instead, he was a free-swinging, undisciplined, stubborn liability for the Cubs for parts of five seasons.  Other than the 83 games in 2003 in which he hit .298 with 13 homers and 55 RBIs, he was detracting from the team's success.  (And funnily enough, when Patterson got hurt the Cubs acquired Kenny Lofton, who was a catalyst and a big reason why the Cubs nearly reached the world series that season.)  In 2004, he was a microcosm of the team's shortcomings, and his 2005 season was one of the worst statistical seasons put forth by an everyday player in history.  He's still toiling around baseball, last seen with the Brewers this past season.  The Cubs traded him to Baltimore before the 2006 year, and the Cubs have still not found a long term solution for center field.

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I Have Seen The Light....The Bowl System Has to Stay

I have been among the more vocal critics of the BCS since its inception because there have been several instances where an undefeated team has been left out of the national championship game because of the computers that determine BCS rankings.

I have tried to formulate a playoff proposal that would allow everyone in the country a shot at winning the national title, but after looking at several different scenarios from a "Plus One" to a 4, 8, and even a 16 team playoff, I have come to realize that such a system would do irreparable harm to the tradition-filled bowls season.

Let's look first at the college football regular season, which is without a doubt the most compelling of any regular season in American sport. Lose just one game, and your shot at a title could be gone. That means a team better be prepared to play each and every week. That also means that fans will be locked on every play of every game all season long knowing that one bad game can erase a season of outstanding play.

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What a Weekend in the Sports World

What a great weekend of intrigue if you are a sports fan, especially a sports fan in the Chicago area. With the Notre Dame job now officially open, the speculation is starting to intensify as to who will replace Charlie Weis.

Then you have our Chicago Bears, who were so completely dominated in every facet of yesterday's 36-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings that it is now painfully obvious that the entire front office of the team has to be cleaned out and overhauled. The same goes for the coaching staff, which has seen a Super Bowl team in 2006 slide into oblivion at astonishing speed.

Finally, the weekend's most bizarre story comes courtesy of Tiger Woods, who was involved in a one car accident as he was leaving his home in Florida. First reports indicated that his wife, Elin, had rescued him from the wreck by taking a golf club and smashing out the windows in Tiger's 2009 Cadillac Escalade. Then, we started to hear that perhaps his facial lacerations were not from the accident, but from the wrath of his wife after she reportedly found out about another woman in his life.

Here is the latest on the Woods story courtesy of the fine folks at TMZ.com. which just seems to keep getting stranger every day.  Tiger reportedly told a friend that he needs a "Kobe Special", which refers to the enormous ring that Kobe Bryant bought his wife Vanessa after his episode in Colorado a few years ago.

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Who Would You Put On A Chicago Sports Mt. Rushmore?

A great topic of debate is who are the best athletes in Chicago Sports history. But how do you ask that question? Is it the best athlete? Or is it the most individually dominant in terms of statistics? Or perhaps you ask is it the guy who has won the most championships?

So here is how I have decided to ask the question. If you had to carve a Mt. Rushmore of Chicago sports who would be the four men who would have their likenesses carved into your tribute to their greatness?

Below I have pictures of the players that I have nominated. Am I missing someone? Please post a comment with your nominees and your thoughts. Soon I will have a competition to crown the winners based on your voting. However, I have to make sure that the ballot is correctly done. And for that I need your help. So please weigh in. Thanks, Kap

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Chicago Sports Needs Some Personalities

While I consider Rick Morrissey a colleague and a friend, we usually disagree on most of the topics we discuss in the sports world. However, his column this morning in the Chicago Tribune was outstanding. For a world class city with the best sports fans in the world, we sure don't have much in the way of colorful personalities who are compelling enough for even the casual fan to pay attention. How big would Chad Ochocinco be on the national stage if he played in Chicago or New York? He would be a mega star.

Outside of Ozzie Guillen, name me one guy who you think really keeps it interesting, and is engaging not only with the media, but in the way he acts on the playing field. Let's examine the coaches and managers first, then we'll look at the players who call Chicago home.

Managers and Coaches

Ozzie Guillen

He may not be everybody's cup of tea, but I find him so entertaining to watch and to cover that he would probably the guy I'd hire if I owned a baseball team. Ozzie is honest to a fault, and he says what most fans are thinking even if his players don't like his frankness. His personality keeps the White Sox in the headlines even when his team may not be great. Plus, he has a World Series ring on his hand. So those who don't like him can't really argue much, because he accomplished something that no one else has done in this city in a very long time.
 
Lou Piniella

When Lou was hired by the Cubs, many fans and members of the media (myself included) expected a Mike Ditka-like presence in the Cubs dugout based on what we had seen of Sweet Lou during his time as the manager of the Seattle Mariners. However, with rare exception, we have seen a much more mellow Piniella, especially in 2009 when his lack of public anger frustrated many fans. When he shows his emotion, he is a colorful "Chicago type" personality. And that is what he needs to show in 2010.
 
Lovie Smith

While he may know his football, he is one of the most boring personalities we have seen on the Chicago sports scene in a long time. Smith is steady and unspectacular, but his lack of charisma drives fans who remember the days of Mike Ditka crazy, when every news conference and media moment was must-see TV. Smith is true to himself, but I believe that sometimes management forgets that professional sports are entertainment and you need to keep people watching even when you aren't going to the playoffs.

Joel Quenneville


Coach Q is very intense, and will flash a glimpse of his fiery personality from time to time behind the bench. But he does not usually show that side of himself away from game action. His news conferences are calm and informative, but he doesn't do much to garner attention.
 
Vinny Del Negro

Another of the modern day coaches who does not ever say anything to stir the pot. Del Negro is polished and concise in his comments, but like most of his Chicago counterparts he is not must-watch TV when he addresses the media.
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Weekend Football Picks

There aren't a ton of great match-ups this weekend in either college or the NFL but as I looked over the slate of games a few jumped out at me so here we go with my weekly picks against the spread.

**As always these are for entertainment purposes only**

College

BEST BET

Auburn -13 over Kentucky

Best of the Rest

Stanford +4 over Arizona
Indiana +3 over Illinois
Central Florida +14 over Miami, FL

NFL

Pittsburgh -14
Philadelphia -14
Atlanta -3
San Diego -3


Weekend Football Picks

As I do every weekend I pick the games that I like against the spread in both college and the NFL. This weekend's games are very intriguing and I found several that I like a lot because of the way the injuries are happening and the fact that a handful of teams have their backs against the wall.

**Enjoy and as always these picks are for entertainment purposes only.**

College

BEST BET

North Carolina at Georgia Tech (-3)

The Yellow Jackets were beaten by the Tar Heels a year ago 28-7 but this was a close game that was broken open in the 4th quarter by three Tech turnovers. North Carolina is a solid team but they are not spectacular and I don't expect them to go into Atlanta and beat Georgia Tech.

Other College Picks

Northwestern +1 over Minnesota
LSU -14 over Mississippi State
Kansas -13.5 over Southern Mississippi

NFL

Tennessee+3 over NY Jets
Houston -3 over Jacksonville
Oakland +1.5 over Denver
Arizona -2.5 over Indianapolis
Minnesota -7 over San Francisco

Best Bet is in Bold

Saturday's College Football Picks

Every week I will pick a number of college and NFL football games against the spread. So if you are in a college football pool please make sure you check in every week for my exclusive selections. Please feel free to re-tweet this out to the world!

Last week's results:

College: 2-4
NFL: 3-1  

**Please note: These selections are for entertainment purposes only**

Arkansas -2 over Georgia

This is the third tough game in three weeks for Georgia and the Razorbacks have had two weeks to prepare for this one. The environment will be loud and festive and in this statement game for Bobby Petrino's program the Razorbacks will get the job done.

BYU -8 over Florida State

The Seminoles will have their hands full dealing with a very good Cougar team that has experience and a standout QB in Max Hall. FSU has speed and athleticism but they don't have the depth to hang with BYU in Provo.

Auburn -7 over West Virginia

Auburn Coach Gene Chizik was booed when he got off the plane for his introductory news conference but he has turned the Tigers faithful around with a very exciting offense and and a deep and talented roster. Georgia has had two straight tough games and they are a bit banged up. Lay the points here as Auburn wins by 10.

Tennessee +30 over Florida

I know that everybody who covers college football is thinking that the bad blood between Florida coach Urban Meyer and Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin will lead Florida to run up the score and cover a huge line between two quality programs. In the end all Meyer really cares about is winning this game and keeping his guys healthy. I don't see them running it just to prove a point. Florida wins easy but the Vols cover

Nebraska +6 over Virginia Tech

The Huskers have had their struggles on the road and quarterback Zac Lee is a first year starter but I have a feeling that Nebraska will take full advantage of a great opportunity to make a statement away from Lincoln. Virginia Tech has to run the ball very well to control the game and against the Nebraska defense that won't be easy. Take the points and don't be surprised if Nebraska wins this game outright.

Stay Away Game of the Week

Michigan State +10 at Notre Dame

The Spartans have won 6 straight games at Notre Dame Stadium which is the longest streak in the history of that great venue. The pressure on Charlie Weis is huge and if his Fighting Irish don't get the job done it could be the beginning of the end for him as the ND coach. However, ND has a better QB, a deeper roster of talent, and they have the home crowd. The intangible is the pressure on the program to win this game. I would lean on MSU to cover but lose the game. Stay away!

My NFL picks will be up late tonight. Have a great day! Kap
 

My Weekly College and NFL Picks

Each week I will post my picks in college and the NFL. These picks are for entertainment purposes only! Have fun and post a comment with your picks of the week! Kap

College

Ohio State +7.5
Notre Dame -3  
Air Force +3.5    
Penn State -27
South Carolina +7
Buffalo +10.5

NFL 

Minnesota -4
Dallas -5.5
Atlanta -4
Houston -4

My thoughts on the Bears/Packers game is one of trepidation about the Bears chances at Lambeau Field. The Packers looked very solid in the pre season and they have a tremendous offense with an excellent quarterback going up against a very questionable Bears secondary. If the Bears cannot put excellent pressure on Aaron Rodgers then it could be a high scoring affair and a potentially tough night for the Bears. However, if the Bears can get to Rodgers then it should take some of the heat off of the defensive backfield and if they can run the ball fairly effectively then they should keep Rodgers off of the field and set up Cutler for a big night. Prediction: Green Bay 30-27 

The Latest on Derrick Rose

Here is the latest on the Derrick Rose scandal: The Associated Press with input from ESPN's Andy Katz reported this today:

Memphis says it should keep the victories from the 2007-08 season which ended in the national title game after an internal investigation turned up no proof that a former men's basketball player cheated on his SAT exam.

"Certainly, the University of Memphis should not suffer a financial penalty or vacation of records for the 2008 NCAA tournament as a result of this allegation," according to a report detailing the school's investigation into NCAA allegations.

The report, released to The Associated Press and other news outlets Tuesday under a public records request, details Memphis' internal probe into accusations that a former player -- widely reported to be Derrick Rose -- allowed a stand-in to take his SAT. The report also looked into charges of grade tampering on behalf of the player.

Here is the rest of the story from ESPN.com:

More to come as this story develops.

Also, listen to my interview with State Rep. Monique Davis on Derrick Rose.


Sir Charles is Out of His Mind!

I think that Charles Barkley is one of the best anaysts in sports but he is very lucky that he has understanding bosses at TNT after several screwups that would have most people in the media world looking for a job.

Earlier this season Barkley was arrested on a DUI charge and admitted to the arresting officer that he was headed to a rendezvous with a woman he was having an affair with. He was suspended by TNT and spent several weeks off of the air. Now this weekend he called broadcast partner Kenny Smith "numbnuts"  and then called his producer a "pussy" during a TNT studio show. 

TNT executives issued the following statement: "While Charles often makes jokes about his producer during our telecasts, he used poor judgment on Saturday during our NBA coverage. His comment was inappropriate and TNT apologizes to our viewers. We have spoken with Charles privately about it and will not have any further comment."

Barkley is hilarious but he better be careful because with several highly publicized problems there will come a time when TNT won't be able to overlook his colorful language. I truly enjoy his analysis and honesty so I hope that he doesn't go too far the next time.


The Latest in Chicago Sports

Let's see....where should I start? The Zambrano meltdown? The Blackhawks elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs? Derrick Rose's name being linked to an NCAA scandal at Memphis? The Jake Peavy rumors that continue to link both Chicago teams to the superstar pitcher?

Let's start with the Derrick Rose story that was broken by the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper.

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