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LBS’ 2010 NFC Predictions

On Friday, we brought you our predictions for how the AFC will shake up throughout the 2010 season.  We gave you our picks to win the division, make the playoffs, and reach the Super Bowl.  Today, we bring you the same for the NFC, plus our 2010 Super Bowl champion and individual award winners.  Let’s get right to it.

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Marcus Lattimore Is the Real Deal

I don’t follow the college football recruiting scene too much, but from reading Sporting News Today on a regular basis, I constantly came across their Top 100 high school football players list. It was kind of funny to see the same list every day with no news to report, but every once in a while a player would commit to a school and the list was updated.

One of the players who was always at the top of the list was Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore is from Duncan, South Carolina and he was considering Auburn, Georgia, and South Carolina, amongst other high-profile schools. Lattimore chose his hometown South Carolina and has been impressive through two games.

In his Gamecocks debut, Lattimore ran for 54 yards and two touchdowns against Southern Miss. In his second game, Lattimore found the end zone the same amount of times but he did much more than that.

Lattimore ran for 182 yards on 37 carries and caught a pass for an additional 16 yards in a 17-6 win over Georgia. He was running physically and with a bruising style, carrying guys on his back as he churned out yards. If ever there was a “workhorse” back, Lattimore would be it. It’s hard to know what to expect from a freshman runner, but we know Steve Spurrier has found himself quite a weapon. Now the only question is whether or not Lattimore will be able to hold up over the long haul; 37 carries is a lot for anyone to endure.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

Hilarious Fake Press Release Rips Cubs

When reporters and writers arrived at Miller Park to take in the Brewers-Cubs game on Friday night, they were treated to some unexpected hilarity.  Hidden within the regular game day press notes was a fake press release making fun of the Cubs and G.M. Jim Hendry.  Here’s a picture of the sheet:

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Nick Saban Nails the Boise State Problem

One of the biggest debates in college football is whether or not Boise State deserves a spot in a national championship game should they go undefeated. My answer is no because their schedule is not challenging enough, regardless of their win over Virginia Tech and a potential win over Oregon State.

Boise State is a very good team and a fine program — I picked them to beat Virginia Tech — but I firmly believe they would lose a game or two if they played in a major conference. It’s one thing to get up for a big game once or twice a year but it’s a complete other to beat quality opponents every single week. That’s something Alabama has to face in the SEC but something Boise State does not have to in the WAC. Saban noted the difference on his Thursday night radio show, as relayed by The Wiz of Odds:

He noted that Alabama defeated Virginia Tech in its 2009 opener and defeated six other teams that were the caliber of Virginia Tech, or maybe better. And maybe more than that if you throw in Texas and Florida in the SEC Championship Game. …”

“It’s the full body of work. It’s not just that you can beat one team, but if you have to beat six or seven other teams and have to play with consistency to do it, I think that goes a long way in saying a lot about what kind of football team that you have. And that’s no disrespect that you have, because they may certainly be able to do the same thing if they were put in that circumstance.”

At least Boise State will be challenged more regularly when they move to the Mountain West but for now, the situation is as Saban describes it. It’s hard to tell a school before they’ve even played a game that no matter what you do, it won’t be good enough, but that’s the situation for Boise State. You cannot tell me with confidence that they would be undefeated if they had to play Florida, LSU, Auburn, and Arkansas, and that’s the issue at hand.

Sources:
Saban takes a shot at Boise State’s worthiness as a BCS title contender [The Birmingham News]

Players Are Uniting, Have Weapons to Fight Owners

Prior to the Saints/Vikings season opener on Thursday night, the players gathered on their respective sidelines and held a finger in the air to show a sign of solidarity in the face of a labor dispute. The goal was for the players to get the fans on their side as they prepare for a fight with the owners regarding a new CBA.

While most people feel like the owners have the upper hand in the situation, the players’ union has some weapons in mind to fight back. Mike Silver wrote up a tome about the situation for Yahoo! Sports if you’re so inclined. In his lengthy column, Silv mentioned a few tricks the players may have up their sleeves:

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. Always Stays Fly

It looks like police officers out in Las Vegas finally tracked down Floyd Mayweather Jr.  It also looks like he couldn’t care less that he’s been arrested.  The mother of Floyd’s children, Josie Harris, claimed Mayweather attacked her on Thursday.  After looking at the Floyd Mayweather Jr. mugshot, I’d say Pretty Boy is more concerned about looking fresh than he is about his police record.

Fresh shirt, fresh smile, fresh iPod, and an endless pit of money to spend on legal counsel.  Man, this guy’s a dink.

Photo Credit: TMZ

Pat Riley Calls Out Charles Barkley

Miami Heat President Pat Riley is sick and tired of people already bad-mouthing his dream team — especially Charles Barkley.  While Riley has remained quiet to this point and allowed fans, coaches, and analysts to call out the Heat and their new Big Three, it appears he may have reached the boiling point.  In an interview with the Sun-Sentinel on Friday, Riley called out Charles Barkley for saying LeBron James’ one-hour ESPN special was a “punk move.”

Charles Barkley, to me, went way over the top,” Riley said. “I think Charles is probably the only guy in the league that can get away with what he gets away with.

“Calling these guys a bunch of punks is a personal attack. LeBron isn’t that. Dwyane is not, and neither is Chris.”

Considering Barkley can say whatever he wants and flip off cameras and somehow keep his job, Riley has a point.  But that’s just Charles being Charles, and someone like Riley should be used to that by now.  He didn’t stop at Barkley, however.  The former Heat coach went on to call out another former Heat coach, Stan Van Gundy for saying he didn’t know why players want to become a “lap dog” to Dwyane Wade.

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