Dec 27, 2008

Saints vs. Panthers

The Saints finish the regular season this week against the Carolina Panthers, and the game is all about Drew Brees and his attempt at breaking Dan Marino's passing yardage record. For the Panthers, the game means a bit more, as a win will give them the division title and a first round bye.

The Saints have been out of the playoff hunt for a couple of weeks now, but a winning record is still in their sights as well. A 9-7 finish will feel a whole lot better than 8-8, especially with how good the NFC South has been this year.

Injuries have killed the Saints this year and fans can't help but wonder how the year would have been different if everyone had stayed healthy. But that's the life of a football team, so you can't blame injuries. The good teams overcome them.

Prediction:
Saints 34
Panthers 32

Dec 21, 2008

Saints at Lions

The Saints were officially eliminated from the playoffs last week. Reggie Bush became the 17th player to be put on IR. Owner Tom Benson had surgery to remove a cancerous growth. In other words, it hasn't been a great week for the Saints. With two games left in the season, there's not much left to play for, except for maybe pride. But many Saints fans might say that the team hasn't played for pride so far, so why should they start now?

Well, the main pride factor is that they are playing the 0-14 Lions and don't want to be the first team to lose to them this year. In the 70s, the Saints bailed out the Tampa Bay Bucs to end their losing streak. The Saints don't want to be generous twice.

There also the incentive to finish the season with a winning record and 9-7 looks a whole lot better than 7-9. The Saints may also try to help Drew Brees to reach Dan Marino's passing record, but he needs to average more than 370 yards in the last two games to get that so it will be difficult.

Mainly, the Saints are playing out the stretch and young guys want to show that they belong in the lineup next year. Some players are playing for a contract next year or a free agent deal on the open market. It will be interesting to see how they approach the last two games and how the season ends. If they finish 9-7, they can feel good about the year and know that injuries and close games cost them the playoffs. A 7-9 or 8-8 would be more disappointing and would leave fans with another long offseason.

Prediction:
Saints 30
Lions 22

Dec 17, 2008

Joe Horn Visits the Giants

Former Saints fan favorite Joe Horn may soon be back in the NFL. He reportedly visited the NY Giants and could sign there for a playoff run.

When Plaxico Burress was suspended for his actions with a handgun, I wondered if Horn would get a call from the Giants. After their two-game losing streak, New York realizes that they need a veteran receiver for the playoffs.

I wish Horn nothing but the best with the Giants and hope that he completes his career by winning a ring with the team. Horn, while sometimes controversial, seemed to always have the fans in mind when he played. He entertained on the field and spoke his mind off it.

I know he'll be in the Saints Hall of Fame one day, as pretty much any player who had a decent Saints career gets in, but right now I'll be rooting for him and the Giants in the playoffs.

Upadte: Horn isn't signing with the Giants.

Dec 15, 2008

Clearing up the Saints, Giants/Jets Trades

This past offseason, the Saints made trades with both the Giants and Jets for Jeremy Shockey and Jonathan Vilma. Those deals could have involved some of the same draft picks, forcing New Orleans to give up their first round pick this year. Luckily, it looks like the Saints will be smart with this one and not force themselves to give up their number one pick.

If the Saints had resigned Vilma during the season, they would have to give their second round pick to the Jets. But they previously traded their second, along with a fifth rounder, to the Giants for Shockey. If the Jets got the second, then the Saints would ship their first to the G-Men. How dumb would the Saints have to be to trigger that to happen? They can easily talk to Vilma's agent and resign him the first day of free agency in March.

Now the Saints will be without second and third round picks in April, but they get back a fourth from the Jets in the deal, giving them two fourth round picks. Confused yet?

Dec 12, 2008

Heisman Trophy Race

This weekend, the Heisman Trophy will be given to one of three players: Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy. Many experts expect this to be one of the closest Heisman races in a long time.

If I had a vote, this is how my ballot would have looked:

1. Tim Tebow
2. Colt McCoy
3. Sam Bradford

While Bradford has the most "wow" stats at first glance, his numbers got inflated by Bob Stoops trying to run up the score each week. Also, his stats are comparable to Graham Herrell of Texas Tech, also from the Big 12. I like McCoy and feel he may get some "sympathy" votes due to the way Texas was left out of the Big 12 title game, but in the end, I have to go with Tebow.

Last week on a local radio station, they conducted a poll of callers asking if you could start a college football program with one current player, who would it be? I don't think anyone answered with someone other than Tebow. He's is one of, if not the best, college football players I'll ever get to watch.

Sure, its hard to root for someone playing for the rival Gators, but the way he leads his team to victory and won't settle for anything less than 100% from everyone is commendable. Off the field, much has been written about his beliefs and lifestyle and from what I can tell, it's all genuine. Most of the season, he wasn't putting up the buzz-worthy numbers that he did last year, but he still ended up with great stats: 2,515 yards passing, 28 TDs, 2 Ints wit 564 rushing yards and 12 TDs. And to think that he could be a two-time Heisman Trophy winner as a junior is unheard of.

No matter who wins this year, it will be hard to argue. Each finalist is deserving and all the quarterbacks led their teams to one-loss seasons. It will be an interesting night this Saturday.

Chick-fil-A Bowl: LSU vs. Georgia Tech

After a disappointing 7-5 season, LSU has accepted a bid to the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta. The bowl matchups were announced on Sunday, but Chick-fil-A bowl representatives made a trip to Baton Rouge yesterday to officially welcome the Tigers to play #14 Georgia Tech on Dec. 31.

LSU will have their hands full with Georgia Tech's rushing attack. Under Les Miles, the Tigers haven't lost a bowl game and an already agitated fan base would become unruly if LSU picks up their 5th loss of the season. LSU has a history of playing in the Atlanta game (formerly the Peach Bowl), where they recently defeated Miami in 2005.

Here's a look at the SEC Bowl games this year:

Independence Bowl (Dec. 28 on ESPN): Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech*

PapaJohns.com Bowl (Dec. 29 on ESPN): NC State vs. Rutgers*

Music City Bowl
(Dec. 31 on ESPN): Vanderbilt vs. Boston College

Chick-fil-A Bowl (Dec. 31 on ESPN): LSU vs. Georgia Tech

Outback Bowl (Jan. 1 on ESPN): South Carolina vs. Iowa

Capital One Bowl (Jan. 1 on ABC): Georgia vs. Michigan State

Cotton Bowl
(Jan. 2 on Fox): Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech

Liberty Bowl (Jan. 2 on ESPN): Kentucky vs. East Carolina

Sugar Bowl (Jan. 2 on Fox): Alabama vs. Utah

BCS National Championship (Jan. 8 on Fox): Florida vs. Oklahoma

*Not enough SEC teams bowl eligible

Dec 11, 2008

Saints at Bears

The Saints last two trips to Soldier Field in Chicago haven't been memorable for them the past two year. Both times, the Saints didn't play well and came home with a loss. If they lose tonight to the Bears, despite having two games left, there season will basically be over.

The weather is expected to be a major factor in the game. It will be the coldest game the Saints have played in since the NFC Championship two years ago. The Saints got back to basics last week and established a running game against the Falcons. They'll need more of that against the Bears, as the winds are expected to be in the 20 mph range, not ideal conditions for Sean Payton/Drew Brees' aerial attack.

The Saints defense has been playing better the past few weeks and they'll have their hands full stopping rookie RB Matt Forte. The Bears passing game shouldn't be great facing the same wind conditions as the Saints, so they'll try to get Forte going against New Orleans. Special teams could become a factor as the Bears specialists are used to kicking in the cold and the Saints specialist are mid-season pickup rookies.

Prediction:
Saints 20
Bears 17

Dec 10, 2008

A Look at the 2009 NFL Draft

The Saints are in the midst of the Wild Card chase after getting their record back over .500 with a victory over the Atlanta Falcons. They now have to travel to a windy and cold Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears on Thursday night. With all that said, this season is far from over ... but that doesn't mean its too early to look toward the 2009 NFL Draft.

The NFL Draft is one of my favorite sports weekends. It brings together college and pro football and fans get 18+ hours of football in the spring. What's not to love about "upside," "reaches," trades, and Mel Kiper's hair? Anyway, here's an early look at who a few draft sites have the Saints grabbing in the first round:

NFL Draft Countdown:
14th Pick: Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest

Walter Football:
15th Pick: Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest

NE Patriots Draft:
14th Pick: James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

NFL Draft Site:
14th Pick: Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi

New NFL Draft:
16th Pick: William Moore, S, Missouri

NFL Draft Dog:
14th Pick: Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech

Scout.com:
15th Pick: Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest

Football's Future:
16th Pick: Brian Cushing, LB, USC

NFL Draft Source:
14th Pick: Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida

Huddle Geeks:
11th Pick: Taylor Mays, FS, USC

Obsessed with Sports:
13th Pick: Taylor Mays, FS, USC

The NFL-Draft-Site:
10th Pick:
Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest

Dec 8, 2008

The Oceanic Six Hoax

Get ready for Season 5 of Lost. Could this play a part in next season or is it just to get fans excited about the upcoming premiere?



This video is apparently an extra on the Season 4 DVDs, released tomorrow. Here are a few more videos from the DVDs.

UPDATE: The video has been taken down, but you can still find it on youtube.

Morten Andersen hangs 'em up

One of the all-time great Saints, Morten Andersen, has announced his retirement after 25 years in the NFL. Andersen played for five teams during his career: New Orleans, Atlanta, Kansas City, New York Giants and Minnesota.

I remember when the Saints let Morten go in 1994. It was a sad day for many and became even sadder when he signed with the Saints hated rival, Atlanta. Coach Jim Mora thought he didn't have anything left in the tank and 14 years later, Andersen finally agrees with Mora.

There were rumors earlier this year that Andersen wanted to sign a contract with the Saints to come in and kick one extra point and officially finish as a Saint. With his knee problems and the Saints now reliable kicking game with rookie Garrett Harley, that unfortunately won't happen.

Andersen should go to the NFL Hall of Fame in a few years and having spent the most time with the Saints, Andersen can be considered a New Orleans Saint when he is inducted. Congratulations to the "Great Dane" on a great NFL career. The league and kicking won't be the same without you. Thank you for all the memories.

Dec 6, 2008

Saints vs. Falcons

The Saints post-season hopes are practically through, but they still have an outside shot if they run the table and get some help. To run the table, they must first get past the red-hot Falcons on Sunday.

Atlanta beat New Orleans 34-20 earlier this year, but the game wasn't as close as the score since the Saints got a "Hail Mary" TD at the end of the game. This week, the Saints look to get revenge for that loss and build on the positives from last week in Tampa when the defense played well.

The Saints received some good news this week when Deuce McAllister and Will Smith were allowed to play this weekend. Their suspensions are still likely to be upheld, along with Charles Grant, but at least fans get to see Deuce in the dome one more time.

Prediction:
Saints 24
Falcons 21

Dec 1, 2008

LSU Bowl Projections

Another week and another head scratching loss for the Tigers. LSU has finished the regular season with a disappointing 7-5 record. My how the mighty have fallen.

Many fans will place the blame for the poor season on the quarterback, or lack of a true starting QB, but that wouldn't be fair. Despite sometimes erratic play from the QB position, LSU's offense wasn't the reason they lost five games. The main problem was the defense and every LSU fan will be looking to Les Miles to see what he does about it in the offseason.

Already rumors are flying that LSU has hired Tennessee defensive coordinator John Chavis or that Ed Ogeron is bolting the Black and Gold for the Purple and Gold. Both of these moves would be an upgrade over the two-headed monster of co-coordinators that LSU employed this year.

But before LSU can make changes and evaluate the season, they must truely finish the season. So where will the Tigers end up bowling? Lucky for LSU, this is a down year in the SEC, with the conference not having enought six-win teams to fill out their bowl tie-ins. Also helping the Tigers' case is that both SEC Championship participants, Florida and Alabama, are likely to get BCS berths, leaving the rest of the top bowl scrambling to fill their spots with Georgia, Ole Miss and the 7-5/6-6 average teams like LSU.

Looking at LSU's likely bowl chances, the Tigers will probably be facing a familiar oppenent with teams like Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Iowa (all teams that LSU has faced recenlty in bowl or the regular season) in the bowl.

Here's where the experts project LSU to go bowling:

ESPN's Mark Schlabach:
Chick-fil-A:: LSU vs. Virginia Tech

ESPN's Bruce Feldman:
Outback: LSU vs. Iowa

CBS Sportsline:
Chick-fil-A:: LSU vs. Georgia Tech

NBC Sports:
Chick-fil-A: LSU vs. Georgia Tech

CollegeFootballNews.com:
Outback: LSU vs. Iowa

Sporting News:
Chick-fil-A: LSU vs. Georgia Tech

Stewart Mandel (SI.com)
:
Chick-fil-A:
LSU vs. Georgia Tech


Also, for the record, I think Texas got hosed in the Big 12 championship. Sure there was a three-way tie and based on their tie-breaker, Oklahoma rightfully goes to the game. But you have to look at head-to-head between the two teams. Having Texas Tech involved was a joke. Sure they beat Texas, but Texas dropped a game clinching interception at the end and loss on a last second play and the Red Raiders should have lost to Baylor, ending the entire three-way problem.

If the Big 12 had a rule similar to the SEC tie breaker, Texas would go to the championship game. The Harris Poll voters tried to do the right thing but with the stupid BCS system, the computers liked Oklahoma more. How dumb is that? It's not what you do on the playing field anymore that matters. The main thing is if the computers like you.

Nov 30, 2008

Don't pin this one on the defense

Saints fans had a glimmer of hope heading into the Tampa Bay game after two solid weeks of football from the Black and Gold. But fans were brought down to earth with the team's 23-20 defeat against the Bucs today.

The weather was nasty, there were questionable calls and things just didn't work out for the Saints. So who's to blame for the loss? It's not who you would think.

Anyone who has watch the Saints since Sean Payton arrived in New Orleans knows that the offense wins games and losses can usually be pinned on the defense. Well, not today. This loss can be placed squarely on the shoulders of two people: Drew Brees and Coach Payton.

Now, I'm not going to bash Brees. Without him, the Saints are a 3-4 win team at best and he is the main reason that the Saints have been competitive at all the past couple of years. But today, he was off. Whether it was the wind and rain, the Bucs pressure or dropped passes from Saints receivers, Brees didn't have his A game today. He made bad decisions, forced some throws and threw into double coverage too many times.

Don't get me wrong, he still had the Saints on the verge of pulling out the win after erasing a 10 point deficit in the 4th quarter, but he let his team down late in the game with his final two drive killing interceptions. So why was Brees struggling? I think the main reason is that too much has been placed on his shoulders. He carries the offense and is forced to be nearly perfect for the team to succeed. This is where the rest of the blame goes to Coach Payton.

In recent years, Payton seems to abandon the running game too soon or simply ignores it completely. The weather in Tampa was rainy all day with winds up to 20 mph, yet the Payton still had Brees throwing the ball 47 times. Deuce McAllister sat idle on the sidelines until the second half, while Payton forcefed the ball to the returning Reggie Bush. This was the type of game that the bruising McAllister used to take over, but he gets only three carries for 13 yards. I don't get it.

Payton is a great offensive mind, but he seems to outthink or overthink things too often. With Bush out of the lineup, the Saints went 3-1, their best stretch of the season. With Bush in the lineup, Payton seems to force plays to him. The offense doesn't flow as well and gets too creative for its own good.

So where do the Saints go from here? They still have an outside shot at a Wild Card berth. It's unlikely, but the team still has something to play for. If they win out, they will finish 10-6. They'll have to hope for some help and Saints fans can root against the Falcons, Panthers/Bucs (whoever doesn't win the NFC South), Cowboys, Redskins and Bears. That's a bunch of teams above the Saints in the standings, but there's still a quarter of the season to go so its too early to give up on 2008.

With Brees' pursuit of Dan Marino's passing record, it would be a shame to see that effort be wasted on a .500 team. The next step is a home game and a chance to get revenge on the Atlanta Falcons next week.

Nov 29, 2008

Saints at Bucs

The Saints travel to Tampa Bay this week for their second meeting with the rival Bucs. New Orleans won the season-opening first meeting in the Superdome.

After their dismantling of the Packers last Monday night, the Saints are back in the playoff picture. The Saints playoff chances are still slim and they pretty much have to win out to secure a berth, but crazier things have happened in the NFL.

New Orleans has their first two-game win streak of the season, and they have confidence having beat Tampa earlier this year. They also get Reggie Bush back this week, so the offense will be at full-strength for the first time in a long time.

Prediction:
Saints 35
Bucs 27

Nov 28, 2008

LSU at Arkansas

After an uninspired loss to Ole Miss, LSU travels to Arkansas this week to take on the Razorbacks in the annual Battle for the Boot. With four loses, LSU fans already see this season as a disappointment. A fifth loss would put a huge damper on all the goodwill Les Miles earned in Baton Rouge.

LSU is also playing for a better postseason bowl against Arkansas. A win and LSU can go to the Cotton, Outback or Chick Fil A Bowls. A loss and LSU would fall to the Liberty Bowl or a first-time trip to the Music City Bowl. One year after winning the National Championship, LSU fans did not think their team would be playing in the Music City Bowl.

While quarterback play has been erractic to say the least, the biggest disappointment has been the LSU defense. What was once the team's strength, the defense has let them down more times than not this season. Against Arkansas would be a good time to start redeeming themselves. Arkansas isn't playing for a postseason berth, so the Battle for the Boot is their "big game."

As for the quarterback, freshman Jordan Jefferson is expected to see the most snaps and has a chance to go into the postseason practices as the team's QB of the future. He played better against Ole Miss than he did against Troy, so hopefully this week of practice helped him further grasp the playbook.

Prediction:
LSU 21
Arkansas 13

Nov 26, 2008

Conratulations Deuce McAllister

A big congratulations to Deuce McAllister for becoming the Saints all time leader in TDs with 54, during the Saints blowout of the Packers on Monday night. It was an emotional moment with fans cheering, teammates running on the field to congratulate him and Coach Sean Payton embracing the running back as he walked to the bench carrying the milestone football.

Many fans are left to wonder what the future holds for one of the all time great Saints players. With a 4-game suspension looming, Monday night could have been McAllister's last home game in New Orleans at least for this season, maybe for good. With McAllister's salary and diminished role on the team, there will be decisions to make in the offseason. Fans would hate to see Deuce play for someone else, but at this stage he isn't more valuable than a Pierre Thomas to the Saints. Its sad, but that's the business of the NFL.

With Deuce's multiple knee surgeries, he isn't the same back that he once was. He does love to play the game, but retirement may also be an option for him. He is a smart businessman and has set himself up for life after football. He may be eager to get started on that life sooner rather than later.

No one knows how this season or the future will play out for Deuce, but one thing is certain, he should be the last player to wear the #26 for the Black and Gold.

Nov 24, 2008

LSU Bowl Projections

After another disappointing performance against Ole Miss, many LSU fans are just hoping that this season will come to an end. While the QB play has been subpar this year, the biggest disappointment has come from LSU's defense. That side of the ball was supposed to be the team's strength, but more times than not, they can't get off the field and are seen giving up big plays.

The most obvious scapegoat for the defensive debacle will be the co-defensive coordinator position. Many fans disliked the move at the time, and the coaches have shown nothing this season to prove that the move was a wise one. Coach Les Miles should out loyalty aside and hire a sole defensive coordinator in the offseason, one with collge coordinator experience.

With the loss to Ole Miss, LSU's top bowl chance looks to be the Chick-fil-A in Atlanta. Most Web sites project the Tigers to play there agianst the ACC #2 choice, which could be a variety of teams. One site still thinks the Cotton covets LSU, but it would be tough for them to choose the unranked Tigers over a ranked Ole Miss team. SI.com throws another curve ball and has the Tigers playing in the Outback. If LSU loses this week to Arkansas, they may fall even further to the Music City Bowl in Nashville.

The question becomes, will LSU fans travel to one of these "lesser" bowls? The bowls are around to make money and LSU has gained a reputation of traveling well, at least to big games like the Sugar, Capital One and Cotton Bowl in the past few years. How will a four-loss season affect fans travel plans to Atlanta or Nashville? It will be interesting to see.

Here's where LSU is projected to go bowling:

ESPN's Mark Schlabach:
Chick-fil-A:: LSU vs. Boston College

ESPN's Bruce Feldman:
Chick-fil-A: LSU vs. Boston College

CBS Sportsline:
Chick-fil-A:: LSU vs. Georgia Tech

NBC Sports:
Chick-fil-A: LSU vs. Boston College

Scout.com:
Chick-fil-A: LSU vs. Virginia Tech

Sporting News:
AT&T Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Texas Tech

Stewart Mandel (SI.com):
Outback: LSU vs. Michigan State

MNF: Packers at Saints

After what feels like ages, the Saints will finally play a home game again in the Superdome against the Green Bay Packers ... on MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL!

This game has a chance to be special in many ways. First, the Saints are going for their first back-to-back victories of the season. This year it has been one step forward, two steps back for the black and gold. Back at .500, the Saints are looking to get over the hump and position themselves for a Wild Card run to finish the season.

The game could also be special for one of the all time great Saints players, Deuce McAllister. Last week, McAllister tied Dalton Hilliard for the franchise record with 53 career TDs as a Saint. If Deuce scores tonight, he'll get that record to go with being the franchise's all time leading rusher. There's still the cloud of suspensions hanging over McAllister, Will Smith and Charles Grant, so this could be the last time fans see Deuce on the field for a while.

Prediction:
Packers 28
Saints 31

Nov 22, 2008

Magnolia Bowl I

VS.

A week after staging the largest comeback in program history (after being down 31-3 to Troy), LSU takes on rival Ole Miss in the first annual Magnolia Bowl. The student governments of the two schools got together to name this rivalry game, and Magnolia Bowl won.

There is a ton of history between LSU and Ole Miss and this year's game shouldn't disappoint. The word is that the winner of this matchup will be selected to go to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Jan. 2. That adds some stakes for the two schools who are already bowl eligible. LSU will be honoring its senior class and recognizing the 1958 National Championship team during the game.

Here's LSU's 2008 Senior Class

No. Name Pos. Hometown
2 Demetrius Byrd WR Miami, Fla.
5 Chad Moody DB Baton Rouge, La.
6 Colt David PK Grapevine, Texas
17 Josh Graham PK Covington, La.
27 Curtis Taylor S Franklinton, La.
38 Brady Dalfrey P Carencro, La.
40 Caleb Angelle TE Breaux Bridge, La.
45 Quinn Johnson FB Edgard, La.
47 Tremaine Johnson DE Galena Park, Texas
48 Darry Beckwith LB Baton Rouge, La.
49 Kirston Pittman DE Garyville, La.
50 Phillip Pigott FB Pearl River, La.
63 Ryan Miller C Lake Charles, La.
74 Brett Helms C Stuttgart, Ark.
79 Herman Johnson OG Olla, La.
91 Charles Alexander DT Breaux Bridge, La.
93 Tyson Jackson DE Edgard, La.
94 Donald Hains DL Diamondhead, Miss.
99 Marlon Favorite DT Harvey, La.

There are some good names on that list with some players who will be missed. The LSU fans want to send them off in style with a victory in Tiger Stadium.

Prediction:
LSU 27
Ole Miss 20

Nov 21, 2008

More Lost

The Fray's new music video features clips from Lost, including some from Season 5. Check it out decide what's going on:

Nov 20, 2008

Lost Season 5: Destiny Calls

How awesome is this?

Saints Load up at RB

Two more Saints regulars were placed on IR this week, TE Mark Campbell and RB Aaron Stecker. To fill their roster spots, the team signed RBs Mike Bell and Darian Barnes. These moves aren't really head scratching with the potential suspension of Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush still nursing an injured knee.

Bell had a good rookie year with Denver, but then he fell off the football map. He went to Houston, but never panned out there. Barnes is more of a full-back and will fill in until Mike Karney is healthy.

The team also added WR Chris Francies and RB Lavarus Giles. Making practice squad moves late in the season aren't uncommon. Many players who show up in training camp the following year were late practice squad additions. With a little luck, one of these players could become the next Lance Moore or Pierre Thomas. And with the way the Saints season has gone this year, they could use any break they can get.

Nov 19, 2008

Lost Creators End Radio Silence

The producers of Lost, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, go into "radio silence" after each season's finale. They don't talk about the season and halt their podcasts. They want the audience to interpret the finale for themselves. Well, Season 5 of Lost is just around the corner and the pair recently popped up at the Creative Screenwriting's 2008 Screenwriting Expo for a Q & A panel.

Here's a good wrap up with some Lost tidbits to get you ready for next season.

Nov 16, 2008

Saints at Chiefs

If the Saints lose to the 1-8 Chiefs, their season is over. Not much more to say.

Prediction:
Saints 31

Chiefs 20

Nov 15, 2008

LSU vs. Troy

VS.

After a heartbreaking loss to #1 Alabama, LSU looks to get back on track with a win against the Troy Trojans this weekend.

I'm not going to rant or bash LSU QB Jarrett Lee. There's been enough of that going on this year and especially this week in Baton Rouge. Sure, he played badly against Alabama and was a big factor in LSU coming up short against the Tide. But he's still a 19 year old and the best option LSU has at QB right now. Everyone knew LSU would have QB issues this year and save the inteceptions return for TDs, I think Lee has exceeded my expectations.

Troy is no slouch and LSU cannot overlook them. This is the game that was rescheduled because of Hurricane Gustav, so originally, this was a bye week for the Tigers. LSU cannot afford to drop another game this year, and if they do run the table against Troy, Ole Miss and Arkansas, they will likely be playing in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2.

Prediction:
LSU 38
Troy 16

Nov 14, 2008

Top Chef: New York

One of, if not the best reality shows returned to TV this week for their 5th season, Top Chef: New York. This is probably my favorite reality show and even though it was the first episode, you can't help but be drawn in by it.

There were 17 new chefs battling it out this year, but at the end of the episode, 15 remained. One chef was eliminated after the quickfire and another was gone after the elimination challenge. The early season challenges are always fun because the contestants are feeling each other out and trying to see who will be their stiffest competition.

Stefan looks to be an early favorite as he won both the Quick Fire and Elimination Challenges. His attitude isn't going to make him a fan favorite, but remember that both Marcel and Hung weren't the most loved contestants, and they both made it to the finals with Hung winning Season 3.

With this year's show being in New York, Top Chef promises to be bigger and better than ever. Seasons 3 & 4 were both the best of the series for me, so this year's competition has a lot to live up to, but they're off to a good start.

Nov 11, 2008

Midseason Awards

This past week the NFL teams officially started the second half of the season. In eight weeks, we'll have playoff football and from the looks of things, teams like the New Orleans Saints will be watching the postseason on television like the rest of us. But let's not dwell on the negatives, it's time to hand out the midseason awards:

Offensive Rookie of the Year:
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta
- It's been a great year for rookies with five legitimate ROY contenders: Ryan, Joe Flacco, Eddie Royal, Chris Johnson and Matt Forte. While the others are all worthy of consideration, Ryan stands a cut above. Peyton Manning's name gets thrown around quite a bit when talking about Ryan. That's about all you need to know about his game.

Defensive Rookie of the Year:
Jerod Mayo, LB, New England - Mayo currently leads the Pats in tackles and has transitioned well from the SEC to the NFL. Bill Belichick trusts him to play inside in his complicated defense and he has taken his role and run with it.

Coach of the Year:

Jeff Fisher, Tennessee - The Titans are the last remaining undefeated team in the league and Fisher is the man responsible. He has handled adversity this season with Vince Young's situation and reserrected Kerry Collins' career.

Comeback Player of the Year:
Kerry Collins, QB, Tennessee - Collins took over for injured Vince Young and never looked back. He's been managing games for the Titans, but this past week he threw the ball 41 times for 289 yards and 2 TDs. A nice day for the 14 year Pro.

Offensive Player of the Year:

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans - While the team's record is a disappointment, Brees continues to excell in Sean Payton's offense. He's on pace to break Dan Marino's passing yardage record and after nine games, he's thrown for 2,985 yards and 17 TDs, while completing 66.6 percent of his passes.

Defensive Player of the Year:

John Abraham, DE, Atlanta - Abraham leads the league with 11 sacks for the surprising Falcons. He is playing a more limited role for the team, but is being utilized better than he has his entire career. He moves around a bit from right and left DE and will drop back in coverage when needed. He gave Saints LT Jamaal Brown all he could handle this past week.

Most Valuable Player:

Kurt Warner, QB, Arizona - A few weeks ago, this looked to be Drew Brees' award to lose. Well, it looks like he lost it. While Brees is still putting up big numbers, Warner is leading his team to a division title. Warner has thrown for 2,760 yards and 19 TDs with a passer raiting of 106.4. More than that, he isn't turning the ball over as of late. He had a 3 interception day against the Jets earlier this year, but since then, he's only thrown two picks in five games. Warner's Cardinals are currently 6-3 and cruising to the NFC West Division title.

Nov 10, 2008

Lost Returns Jan. 21

ABC has finally announced that Lost will return on Wednesday, Jan. 21, with a 3-hour event. A clip show will air at 7 p.m. (central time), followed by the first two episodes of Season 5. The show will air in its new normal time slot at 8 p.m. central after that. This is a change from last season, when the show aired on Thursdays in order to avoid American Idol, but Lost is going back to Wednesdays, and I can't wait.

Nov 8, 2008

Saints at Falcons

The Saints begin the second half of the season this weekend against the surprising Atlanta Falcons, lead by Rookie of the Year favorite Matt Ryan. The Saints sit at 4-4 and are looking to make the climb out of the NFC South cellar.

The Saints still have a cloud hanging over their heads with the possible pending suspensions of Deuce McAllister, Will Smith and Charles Grant. The team also got some bad news this week when Grant was placed on IR, continuing a trend of key players going down with injuries.

Against the Falcons, the Saints will be without Reggie Bush once again, but most of Drew Brees' other weapons are finally getting healthy after the much-needed bye week. The injured on the defensive side also got a chance to heal up and lick their wounds. On special teams, the Saints will go with a new kicker and punter. Needless to say, this weekend's game will be interesting to watch, especially with the Falcons being the Saints biggest rival.

Prediction:
Saints 31
Falcons 20

Nov 7, 2008

LSU vs. Alabama

VS.

This is it. It's the game that LSU fans have been waiting almost two years for. It's Nick Saban's return to Tiger Stadium (actually his second return, but first versus LSU). LSU fans have been thinking of ways to get him back for leaving us and returning to the SEC at rival Alabama. But beneath all the hatred and the sideshows, there will be a game played on Saturday. And an important one at that.

Alabama brings its #1 ranking to Tiger Stadium, the first time a team comes into Baton Rouge ranked #1 since the Florida Gators were knocked off their throne in 1997. LSU has a ton to play for -- defensive respect after giving up 50+ points twice in losses, an outside shot at the SEC Championship Game, a New Year's Day Bowl, the chance to knock off the #1 team in the country and stick it to our former coach at the same time. This game will be huge.

College Game Day will broadcast live from LSU's campus and the college football world will tune in just to see what LSU fans do when Nick arrives on campus. There I go again, as much as LSU fans, players and coaches will say this game is about the 22 guys on the field, it's not. It's so much more for LSU. Everything that LSU fans have read and heard from the Crimson Tide faithful the past two seasons will boil over Saturday.

I personally still like Nick Saban. I know, you aren't supposed to say that around here, but I still have a picture of him on my desk when he was nice enough to pose with me and my future wife on our graduation day. I have a lot of respect for the man, even though he's been labled as a lier, money hungry, power hungry and the Nick-tator. But you have to hand it to the guy. He is great at what he does. While he may not stick around for long in one place, he can turn around a college program in no time flat. He can coach a defense and, while not everyone loves his style of coaching, he can get the best out of his players.

These are all the real reasons why LSU fans have been dissing and hating on Nick for the past couple of years. LSU fans know how good he is, and fear that the balance of power in the SEC West could be shifting. LSU has been the top team in the West for years now, playing in the SEC Championship game four times with two BCS champships under Saban and Les Miles. While fans have grown to love Les, no one wants a rival program to reach #1 status.

LSU and Les got the Crimson Tide last year at Alabama, but this weekend's game is much bigger. The entire LSU fan base has been anticipating this matchup and would love nothing more than to knock off the #1 Tide. With the way LSU has played this year, a win against Alabama would make the Tigers season (as long as they don't lose to Ole Miss or Arkansas later this year). Emotions will be high, Tiger Stadium will be rocking and and all eyes will be on the Alabama sidelines.

Prediction:
LSU 28
Alabama 21

A Summary on LSU Tailgating

This weekend's game may be the first time on campus for many Alabama fans. One blogger tried to paint a picture of LSU tailgating for the visitors. Not a bad summary, from an outsider's perspective.

Oh, and if you haven't heard, LSU fans don't really like Nick Saban anymore.

Nov 1, 2008

LSU vs. Tulane

VS.
After giving up more than 50 points for the second time this year, LSU is looking forward to playing Tulane this week. While you can't ever overlook and opponent, Tulane may be just what the doctor ordered to rebuild the Tigers' confidence heading into a huge game next week against Alabama.

It will be interesting to see the turnout for the Tulane game. LSU fans have been upset with the interceptions on offense, the two defensive coordinators, the lack of pressure from the front four and the overall play of the defense. The Tigers should win back a few fans with a dominating performance against the Green Wave.

Prediction:
Tulane 16
LSU 42

Oct 30, 2008

Doctor #11 Coming Soon

There's been a ton of speculation as to who would replace David Tennant as the Doctor on Doctor Who, almost as soon as Tennant took the role a few years ago. Now all the speculation as to when Tennant will actually leave the series can come to an end, as he himself has confirmed that the 2009 specials will be his last as the Doctor.

Rumors have been going strong over the past few weeks as to who will be Doctor #11, including Paterson Joseph, who would become the first black doctor. Fans are mixed as to who should be the replacement, but the same thing happened when each actor left the series.

I for one will be sad to see Tennant's tenure end. I didn't grow up watching Doctor Who but came to love the new series (and have since gone back and checked out the classics). As a lot of fans have said about the first doctor they watched, Tennant is my doctor. He has become a fan favorite, dispite a small bit of concern from the fan base when he took over for Christopher Eccleston.

It all depends on who you got into the series watching, and for me, it was Tennant. I can't wait for the 2009 specials to see how he finishes his time as the Doctor. He is a life-long fan of the show, so he will definitely go out in style.

So who do you think will be the next Doctor?

Hornets win season opener 108-103

The Hornets didn't play their "A" game, but they still did enough to get the opening night win over Golden State. Chris Paul continued to show why he's one, if not the, top point guards in the league with 21 points and 11 assists. David West added 24 points and Tyson Chandler was a force under the basket grabbing 16 rebounds and scoring 13.

The Hornets biggest offseason acquisition James Posey fit in nicely, playing 28 minutes (eight more than starter Mo Peterson, so this is something to watch) and finishing with 11 points leading the team with three made 3-pointers.

Coach Byron Scott should be pleased with his team pulling out the victory in a tough arena on the road. The Hornets will now travel to Phoenix to play the Suns in their home opener. The Hornets will finally get to play their opener at home on Saturday against Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Hack a Shaq

Some call the San Antonio Spurs one of the more bland teams in the league. Sure they win every year, but there's not much flair surrounding them. But their coach Greg Popovich showed that he does have a sense of humor:

Saints try to improve kicking game ... again

Olindo Mare, Martin Gramatica and now Taylor Mehlhaff. This is the list of players who have kicked, and kicked poorly, for the New Orleans Saints since the "hindsight is 20/20" silly move to cut John Carney two seasons ago.

After the rookie Mehlhaff missed an extra point in London, the Saints let him go and held open tryouts this week. Their conclusion is to go with another rookie kicker, Garrett Hartley of Oklahoma. Hartley will get an extended tryout this week, since the Saints are on a bye. The rookie was signed by Denver after the draft but was released before training camp. In his senior season at OU, he made 13 of 15 FG and 71 of 74 extra points.

The Saints have also gone through punters this year. After the Carolina game, the team waived Steve Weatherford and signed Ben Graham. This week, Graham was cut and Glenn Pakulak was brought in. Pakulak has never played in a regular season game, but had been with six teams throughout his NFL career. He also played in NFL Europe for the Amsterdam Admirals.

Oct 27, 2008

LSU's Bowl Projections

LSU's defense. It's the quarterback. It's the scheme. The wrong players are starting. Two defensive coordinators. Every Tiger fan has an opinion as to why LSU is sitting at 5-2 right now. After another blow out loss, this time at home, Tiger fans need to take a deep breath and realize where we are.

LSU is still the two-time BCS champion. No other school can say that right now. We are starging a red-shirt freshman quarterback who, while improving, still stares down receivers and throws interceptions. We've played two of our three biggest opponents already and Alabama is looming. There are some issues on defense, but its not the end of the world. There's still an opportunity to have a great season, and a win over Alabama would make it a great season. The SEC Championship might be hard to come by this year, but there will still be a good bowl game awaiting the Tigers at the end of the year.

Here's where LSU is projected to play in January:

ESPN's Mark Schlabach:
AT&T Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Oklahoma State

ESPN's Bruce Feldman:
Capital One Bowl: LSU vs. Minnesota

CBS Sportsline:
Outback Bowl: LSU vs. Minnesota

NBC Sports:
AT&T Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Oklahoma State

Scout.com:
AT&T Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Missouri

Sporting News:
AT&T Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Oklahoma

Oct 26, 2008

Saints vs. Chargers in London

The Saints take on the San Diego Chargers this weekend in London. It will be a home game for New Orleans and the stadium will be decked out with Black and Gold to make the Saints feel at "home."

This is an important game for both teams. The loser will go into their bye week at 3-5 and will basically be out of playoff contention. Both of these teams had playoff and Superbowl dreams before the season, so sitting at 3-4 right now was not the plan.

Earlier this week, the Saints trip to London was tainted with reports that Deuce McAllister, Will Smith and Charles Grant had violated the league's steroid policy. I'm not sure what to think of these reports and the fact that the players were taking water pills and not steroids.

These three players are leaders on the team and fan favorites, so its unfortunate for them to be involved in something like this. But ultimately, they are responsible for themselves and it looks like they made a major mistake that will cost them 4 games. All three will play this week, as will rookie Sedrick Ellis who is returning from a knee injury. Reggie Bush is out after having knee surgery, but the Saints offense did well without Bush last year and shouldn't miss a beat with him out now. As long as Drew Brees is able to spread the ball around, the Saints offense will be fine.

Prediction:
Chargers 23
Saints 28

Oct 24, 2008

LSU vs. Georgia

VS.

Both LSU and Georgia are facing basically a must-win situation to keep pace in their respective division in the SEC. LSU cannot afford a loss at this point with Alabama playing so well and Georgia needs the win, especially with their match-up with the Florida Gators coming up.

LSU has been struggling somewhat on both sides of the ball the past few weeks, but finally put together a strong half of football against South Carolina. The LSU defense held their own and played like fans had been expecting them to play all season.

LSU used a few more wrinkles on offense and worked in both quarterbacks nicely. They even let running QB Andrew Hatch throw the ball a few times, including a touchdown to TE Richard Dickson. If the two-QB system is to be effective, they need to mix it up and have Jarrett Lee run some and Hatch throw more. The other big wrinkle was having both Keiland Williams and Charles Scott on the field at the same time. Scott is one of the top runners in the conference, so having him line-up at fullback draws the defense's attention.

Georgia has fallen a bit since being preseason #1, but they are still one of the top teams in the conference. Knowshawn Moreno is probably the best running back in the league and Matthew Stafford is being discussed as the top QB prospect in the upcoming draft. LSU will have its hands full, and the Tiger Stadium crowd needs to live up to the tradition and hype to make Death Valley one of college footballs toughest venues, even with the 2:30 p.m. kickoff.

It's going to be a tough game for the Tigers, and they can't afford to make the same mistakes that have plagued this team this year. They'll need to play an almost perfect game to beat the talented Bulldogs. No special teams breakdowns, no Pick-6 interceptions, no lackadaisical first halves of football ... basically, they need to play like the team fans believe they are.

Prediction:
Georgia 24
LSU 25

Oct 23, 2008

Get ready for Lost Season 5

The Lost Season 5 promo hit the interwebs this week and it looks awesome.



A few Lost fan sites have been analyzing and talking about everything that happens in it, but the new footage goes by so quickly, its hard to tell what's happening. DarkUFO has posted all the screen shots, giving a frame-by-frame look at the promo.

I know a few people out there are aggravated with the show for the long hiatus, but I know this show will deliver. With only two seasons left, there's so many loose ends to tie up. We're going to start getting more answers and that's what we've been waiting 5 years to see.

Oct 20, 2008

Mark Wahlberg Rocks

Mark Wahlberg was gaining the reputation of being a jerk after he went on a few talk show's last week and bashed SNL and their skit "Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals":



Andy Samberg, who is responsible for the some great digital shorts, struck gold again with his Wahlberg impersonation and fans were wondering why Wahlberg didn't have a sense of humor and wasn't playing along.

Well, fast forward to this Saturday and the pay off for the feud:



Wahlberg and SNL played this one brilliantly and there was a tenseness when Marky Mark confronted Andy. SNL still isn't great, but they are capitalizing on the buzz surrounding the show leading into the upcoming election. Having Sarah Palin on the show created one of the highest rated episodes in a long time, but the highlight for me was the Wahlberg/Samberg confruntation ... oh and the fart face business meeting. Fart Face

Oct 18, 2008

Saints vs. Panthers

The Saints look to chip away at the NFC South Division this weekend as they travel to Carolina to take on the Panthers and former Saints Jake Delhomme. The Saints, who travel to London next week, would like to do so above .500 with a win over the Panthers.

On offense, Drew Brees has been playing the quarterback position better than anyone in the NFL the past few weeks and it looks like he'll be getting some of his weapons back on Sunday. Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey are both expected to be back in the lineup, which didn't miss a beat with them injured. Shockey should open up the middle of the field, and Colston is always a red zone threat. Reggie Bush will be looking to continue to silence his critics (don't even think about punting the ball to him), and RB Deuce McAllister is playing more and more like the Deuce of old.

The Saints defense has been steadily improving each week, and the past two weeks, they have been excellent against the run. The secondary is showing great strides, even with the batch of injuries they've face. Even Jason David has made some plays. They will all need to be at the top of their game against the Panthers' weapons like Steve Smith, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams.

These teams always play each other tight. These games are rarely decided until the 4th quarter and turnovers and special teams will be a key. With the Panthers losing 27-3 last week to Tampa Bay, they'll have extra motivation to stay atop the division by beating the Saints.

Prediction:
Saints 21

Panthers 20

Oct 17, 2008

LSU vs. South Carolina

VS.
LSU is on the road for the second week in a row as they travel to take on South Carolina. After being dismantled by Florida 51-21, LSU is hoping to get back on the right track against the SEC's top defense.

LSU Coach Les Miles has never lost back-to-back games since coming to Baton Rouge and a loss to South Carolina could doom the Tigers' season. The LSU defense has been under a lot of scrutiny this week, especially the duel defensive coordinators. South Carolina isn't a great offensive team, so LSU should be able to put some pressure on the QB and force some turnovers.

LSU's offense relies heavily on the running game, which they couldn't get going against Florida especially since they were in a 20 point hole almost the entire game. Charles Scott will look to get back on the national stage with a good rushing performance against one of the country's top defenses. If the running game gets going, that should open up passing lanes for Jarrett Lee. Andrew Hatch made his return last week and should get more chances to run the option on offense.

Prediction:
LSU 24
South Carolina 14

Oct 14, 2008

A Look at LSU's Bowl Projections

After LSU's crushing loss at Florida, many LSU fans are wondering what this season will bring for their Tigers. LSU still controls its own destiny in the Western Division. If they win out, they will be in Atlanta for a likely rematch with Florida. If they lose a game or two along the way, they'll need lots of help to get back to the SEC Championship.

Some fans are still talking BCS Championship, but I think this is an unreachable goal this year. Sure, LSU lost two games last year and still won the title, but look at those two losses ... both were in triple OT. This year, LSU got blasted by Florida by 30 points. If teams like LSU, USC, Ohio State and Oklahoma all finish with one loss, I don't think LSU gets the nod this year, not with a 30 point loss on their schedule.

So where will LSU end up playing in the postseason? Here is a look at where a few sports sites project the Tigers to go Bowling:

ESPN's Mark Schlabach:
AT&T Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Texas Tech

ESPN's Bruce Feldman:
Capital One Bowl: LSU vs. Penn State

CBS Sportsline:
Capital One Bowl: LSU vs. Michigan State

NBC Sports:
Capital One Bowl: LSU vs. Ohio State

Scout.com:
AT&T Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Missouri

Sporting News:
AT&T Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Oklahoma State

Oct 13, 2008

Voodoo No More

According to the Times Picayune, the New Orleans Voodoo have folded, and New Orleans will no longer have an Arena football team.

This is unfortunate news, but Tom Benson and the Saints brass are saying that the move has nothing to do with the New Orleans marketplace. Apparently there are some league issues, and fans may see more teams follow the Voodoo's lead and folding.

With the current U.S. economy and the success of the New Orleans Hornets (who play at the same time as the Voodoo), Benson probably saw the writing on the wall for his AFL team. The AFL may just be the beginning of big changes. There's talk that some major league (NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL) team could be on the move in the near future.

I've never attended a Voodoo game, but hear that they were really fun. I saw a few games on TV and followed the team, mostly during their first year. I know Tom Benson will take some heat for this move, but as long as he keeps the Saints in New Orleans, I don't care what he does with his other business ventures.