Daily Archive: Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Euro 2012: Previewing Group B – 2nd Round of Games

It was called the “Group of Death” for a reason. The first round of games in Group B provided some surprising results. I picked the Netherlands to take down Denmark in the opener, like everyone else. But the Danes stunned the continent by defeating the Dutch 1-0. While I picked Denmark to lose and finish last in the group, I wasn’t totally shocked by the outcome. Denmark was ranked No. 9 in the world and has a solid team, I just expected the Dutch offense to convert more of its chances. The Netherlands had 28 shots, but just five on goal. They also had 11 corners and 53 percent of the possession. They’re one of the most-talented teams, and I picked them to advance, but I warned people about picking them to win the tournament. They’re in a dangerous position now. In the other game, Germany earned a 1-0 win over Portugal that was closer than expected. Mario Gomez’s header in the 72nd minute prevented a second straight stunning upset. The Germans played solid, holding 56 percent of the possession, but not spectacular, earning just two corners. The Portuguese had a solid effort despite not getting much out of Cristiano Ronaldo. Denmark’s upset has opened

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2012 Big 10 Previews: Wisconsin, Over/Under Props

(previous entries in this series include Jamie’s take on Northwestern. We’re just getting started and doing a different Big 10 each week) With the dusted-off JCB Prop Creating Machine spitting out some numbers to help predict Northwestern’s season last week, the gigantic, non-energy efficient piece of steel is taking a crack at the defending Big Ten Champion Wisconsin Badgers this week. Over the past decade the Badgers have quietly put themselves on a pedestal next to Michigan and Ohio State as Big Ten dynasties of sorts. While the Badgers’ run hasn’t exactly netted multiple national championships, let alone one title, you’d be surprised to see how Wisconsin has done in the past 8 years. Since 2004 Wisconsin has posted nine wins in seven of those seasons, with two years each at 10 and 11 wins, respectively, and a 12-1 season. Michigan’s similar span went from 1985-1992. The Wolverines tallied nine wins in seven of eight seasons while registering three 10-win years and an 11-2 season. A more recent comparison is Ohio State from 2002-2011. During those nine seasons, Ohio State had double-digit victories eight times, including the 14-0 NCAA National Championship campaign in 2002. The point is simple: Wisconsin is playing with some swagger these days

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