Saturday, September 10, 2005

Wolverines Pre-Game Report /Leafs Report

There are two great matchups I'm looking forward to today: #20 Notre Dame at #3 Michigan, and #2 Texas at #4 Ohio State. Who do you think is going is going to win these two exciting matchups?

Notre Dame's offense is supposedly much improved, and with Michigan's suspect defense, the game isn't going to be a walkover for Michigan. There is simply too much at stake for Michigan this year -- they have so much talent that I don't think they're going to allow a legitimate nation title run be spoiled so early in the year. I guess if I had to pick, I'd say Michigan will win it 35-28.

I have no idea who will win the Ohio State/Texas game. Cedric Benson graduated, but Texas' new freshman running back, Jamaal Charles, ran for 135 yards in his first game, and Texas put up big numbers in a 60-3 win. I almost want Ohio State to win, which would give Michigan a better chance at a National Title shot if they can run the table, but I'm guessing that Texas will come out on top, 41-38.

Some quick thoughts on the Leafs:

How do you like the Leaf's chances this year, after signing Mariusz Czerkawski, and inviting Mike Kean to training camp? :) I think they're going to do alright this year - sure, the lost a lot of talent, but adding Lindros, Allison, O'Niel, Kavanaugh, and Czerkawski should make up for it. I hear that Staffan Kronwall and Alexander Steen are both playing great at the rookie tournament this week, and I hope both of them make the big club this year. There are four rookies with a legitimate shot at making the Leafs this year: Colaiacovo, Steen, Wellwood, and Kronwall. I would rather see Kronwall on the big club this year, than Colaiacovo, who seems a little bit overrated, and Steen on offense. I think Colaiacovo will have more growing pains and rookie mistakes than Kronwall, for this season at least. I think Wellwood is going to eventually play a decent roll in the NHL, but I don't think he'll ever be a good match for the Leafs while Quinn is coach (I liken him to Sullivan and MacCauley, who's careers both took off after they left the Leafs)

I think they should play three of the above four mentioned rookies on the club this year, but likely only two will make it, because the Leafs have filled up valuable roster spots with the likes of Belak, Kilger, Wilm, Domi, and Perrot. I like Domi, but the rest of those guys are just filler, and there is just more upside with Wellwood, Steen, Kronwall and Colaiacovo.