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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Because I like weekends: But I'm No Nostradamus

You could say I did get 3 of those predictions right and 2 half right last weekend. So I actually feel pretty good about my performance. The Rays are still 2 games back of the Red Sox. Cam Newton, though passing for an obscene amount of yards, threw three interceptions and did not earn a win. The Steelers didn't have as much trouble as I thought, but did win. Florida State was destroyed. The 'Canes beat OSU, but by a lot more than I thought they would.

So, needless to say, I'm still the smartest man alive. Well, not really, but I did ok.

Like I may have mentioned around the All-Star break, the A's season is still over. I keep hoping that I see some improvement from the younger players that will hopefully drive this team to contention next summer. I'm not seeing as much as I would hope. Michael Taylor hit his first home run last night, and it was a very welcome sight. Though Harden looked awful last night, we were at least able to see four shut out innings from Graham Godfrey and a nice ninth from Neil Wagner. Tonight the A's get Brandon McCarthy on the bump against Oakland Public Enemy Number One CJ Wilson. I really hope the A's come out firing and I get to boo him off the mound in style.

The worries: Brandon Allen has fallen off considerably, and is hitting only .175 in the last 30 days. Chris Carter still looks nothing short of terrible at the plate. Matsui has regressed back to futility after his midseason surge. Matsui I don't worry too much about, as he should be gone next year, but I think the A's need Allen or Carter to be a major leaguer come next April. Just like they need Anderson and Braden to be healthy, and they need Cahill and Bailey to figure out whatever it is that has mechanically failed them. But, the off-season is a long road, and we have plenty of time to see how the A's roster shakes out for 2012.

Otherwise, here are 5 reasons why this weekend might be better than the last one.

1. Cal faces its first real test of the season

Cal travels to Seattle to face the Washington Huskies for the opener of its Pac-12 schedule. Last week, UW held its own for a half on the road against a very good Nebraska team, but then gave up 17 unanswered points in the 3rd quarter on the way to their first loss. Still, they put up 420 yards of offense and 38 points against what is traditionally a very good Nebraska defense. Running back Chris Polk ran for 130 of those yards, and Cal fans might remember him from his last second touchdown that knocked Cal out of a bowl game last year. It's going to be a tough game, and Washington looks to have many advantages. However, Cal got to play what was essentially a warm up last week. They've already faced a hostile crowd at Colorado, and they are seeking revenge after last year's heartbreak. UW QB Keith Price threw 2 interceptions against Nebraska and only completed 21 of 37 passes. If the Bears can contain Polk and keep Price from being a hero, and if Zach Maynard finds his stud receivers early, Cal could leave Seattle with a huge victory.

2. The A's get to knock the Angels out of contention

The Angels are 5 games out of first place in the West. Even if the A's can beat the Rangers once out of the next two contests, the Angels number will be up over the weekend in Oakland when the A's take two of three from the Halos. I had wished that the A's would play the spoiler for the Rangers instead, but that appears to not be the case. The Angels simply did not have enough to compete with the reigning AL Champs, and the A's didn't do them any favors this season either. The A's are 5-12 against the Rangers this year, while sporting a 9-7 mark against the Angels. Sorry Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as much as even I wanted it to be, this isn't your year.

3. The Giants take on the Diamondbacks

For fear of upsetting the masses, I will not remark on how I see this one playing out. However, it will be exciting to see if the Giants can somehow pull one out of their butts. If they are able to win the next two against the Dodgers, sweep the Diamondbacks, then take at least two of three from the Rockies, they've got a shot. But they need help from the Pirates and Padres. Here's hoping. At least it will make for some exciting games over the weekend, right?

4. The Rays will pass the Red Sox for the Wild Card Lead

You heard it here first, I was right last weekend, and I'll be right again this weekend. The Rays are surging, the Sawks are sputtering. Watch the Rays win the next two against the Yankees and have an easy time with Baltimore, while the Yankees sweep the Red Sox over the weekend. It's a bad time to root for the Red Sox, and it's going to be an even worse winter once the Rays take them out.

5. Oregon State will get its first win at the expense of UCLA

I know you're supposed to give a head coach three years for his system to really take hold at any program. However, Rick Neu-weasel has done nothing but run the Bruins further into the ground. Nothing has worked. Texas gave them a laugher, and so did Houston. They'll travel up to Corvalis and the Beavers, losers to Sacramento State, will get their first win of the season. Hilarity will ensue. And I wouldn't be surprised to see UCLA with a new head coach before this season is over.

See the resemblance?

Song for you all to enjoy, because no matter how your team is doing, at least sports always remain a constant:

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