Conference Championships – Point Spreads and Breakdown

Well, we’re one week from the Super Bowl.  Four teams remain – three of which aren’t terribly surprising, and one that is downright shocking.

Let’s take a look at the first game:

Wausau @ Donelson (-4) – When these two teams met in the regular season, the team makeup was considerably different.  Both teams were playing with injuries and both teams have made significant moves since their first meeting.  Donelson escaped with a victory over Wausau in week 6, scoring the go ahead touchdown with 30 seconds left in the game.

That being said, Donelson is favored by 4.  Meaning, without homefield advantage, Donelson’s merely a 1 point favorite.  Translation?  These teams are pretty even.

In terms of rankings, Donelson has the 2nd best ranked offense with Wausau coming in at 3rd.  Donelson has the best defense in the league (by far) with Wausau coming in at 6th.  The key in this game?  Turnovers.  Wausau has averaged less than 1 turnover per game for the season, with Donelson averaging almost 1.5.  Both teams take care of the ball.  Odds are, the team that turns the ball over more often with lose.

Donelson’s offense versus Wausau’s defense – Advantage: Donelson – but not by much.  The key match up here is Donelson’s ability to run the ball versus Wausau.  Donelson is massive up front, while boasting one of the best fullbacks in football.  Donelson doesn’t have a marquee running back, but they haven’t needed one.  Wausau’s front 7 is good–not great.  If Wausau doesn’t want to get pushed around the entire game, they may need to resort to more aggressive play calling and/or bringing in extra run stoppers.  If this happens, look for Donelson to try and exploit some matchups in the secondary.

Wausau’s offense versus Donelson’s defense – Well, its tough to go against the best defense in the league (as a reminder, Donelson has allowed a league low 189 points this season.  Next closest?  Wausau at 215).

But, I’ll give it a shot.  Wausau has, by far, one of the most explosive offenses in the league.  Not only do they have one of the league’s best in Steven Jackson carrying the ball, but they’ve also got tremendous weapons in Hines Ward and Larry Fitzgerald.  Still not convinced?  Well, they’ve got Brett Favre commanding this offense (see: a 120 passer rating on the season – along with a 9:1 Touchdown to Interception ratio).  If there’s any offense that’s going to give this Donelson defense fits–its Wausau’s.

All that being said, Donelson still has one of the best defenses in the league.  They’ve got some of the league’s best on that side of the ball: Dwight Freeney, Jonathan Vilma, Charles Woodson, and Darren Sharper, just to name a few.  Donelson’s four starting defensive backs have 24 picks between them.  If there’s one secondary that could give Favre issues, its this one.

The first game was completely even, in terms of the boxscore.  Let’s hope we’re treated to another game just as close this go around.


Glendora @ Tillman (-4) – No disrespect to Glendora, but did anyone expect them to be here?   The team went 8-8 in the regular season, barely making the playoffs.  Since then, they’ve knocked off division foe Saint Gabriel and prohibitive conference favorite Buffalo.  Can they upset Tillman?

Perhaps.  But it won’t be easy.  Tillman visited Glendora midseason and pretty much dominated them, winning 24-10.  That being said, Tillman is missing some key players that could make the difference in this game.

Tillman’s offense vs. Glendora’s defense – Advantage: Tillman, but not by much.  Were Tillman healthy, I’d take Tillman all day in this category.  However, Tillman will be without RB Ronnie Brown and WR Dwayne Bowe (7 Rating).  Without Ronnie Brown, Tillman will struggle to run the ball with only Pierre Thomas.

Luckily, Tillman boasts one of the better offensive lines in the league.  That’s why I’ll give Tillman the advantage here.  They’ve got a playmaking running back with limited carries, and one above-average WR, along with one of the better TEs in football.  Their real advantage in their offensive line.  Glendora’s biggest issue on defense is the lack of a true pass rush.  Their only REAL threat to rush the passer is Trent Cole–beyond that, they’re fairly flat.

Glendora’s offense vs. Tillman’s defense – Advantage: Glendora.  Glendora doesn’t have a huge offensive line, but they do have a great running back (two, actually), two great WRs, a good TE, and a QB with a rating in the 90s.  A key to Glendora’s offensive attack could be whether or not Jermichael Finley returns from injury.  He’s listed as probably which means he’s likely to go — but we’ll have to wait and see.

Tillman is pretty stout against the run (owning a powerful group of linebackers)–but Glendora’s got one of the most explosive backs in the league.  Unfortunately for Tillman, they won’t have runstuffer Jamaal Williams in this game.  In addition, Tillman’s secondary leaves something to be desired.  Glendora’s WRs matchup well versus the Rangers’ DBs.  I’ll take Glendora’s offense in this matchup without much hesitation.

So, what’s that mean?  It means I don’t expect defense to win this game.  The team who wants to win is probably going to have to score some points.  I like Tillman here due to his coaching experience (especially in the playoffs), but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Glendora come away the victor based on matchups (and injuries).

There you have it.  Winners of these two games will go head-to-head for all the marbles.

Who do you think we’ll see in the Super Bowl?

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TTFBA Playoff Watch – Week 15

Well, after the previous playoff watch picture, things are much more clear.  Here’s the current breakdown:

Walter Payton Conference

1. Donelson Warriors - Donelson clinched the #1 seed and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory over Hermitage last week.  The road to the Super Bowl on this side goes through Donelson.

2. Wausau Blue Bombers – Wausau has already clinched the division–and can clinch the #2 seed with a victory over TP this week.

3. Coldspring Chiefs – Coldspring could earn a first round bye if Wausau loses out and they win out – this seems unlikely.  They play Minnesota this week and with a victory clinch the division and the 3rd spot in the playoffs.

4. San Pedro Corsairs – San Pedro has had an impressive turnaround after starting the season poorly.  Were it not in a division with Donelson, San Pedro would be competing for the #2 seed.  This spot is just about locked up for San Pedro.

5. Minnesota Lakers – Minnesota has also been playing well as of late.  They’ve played themselves into contention.  A victory over Coldspring this week could mean a division title.

6. Trois-Pistoles - As of right now, TP is in control of their own destiny for the playoffs, with a one game lead over Hermitage , Tennessee, and Knoxville.  However, they play a really competitive Wausau club this weekend and could drop into a 3 or 4 way tie for the final spot in the playoffs.

Still alive, need help: Hermitage, Tennessee, Knoxville, New England
OJ Simpson Conference
1. Buffalo Blitz – With two victories over Great Lakes and a head-to-head victory over Tillman, Buffalo has locked up the division and #1 overall seed in the OJ Simpson Conference.  Buffalo seems destined to meet either Donelson or Wausau in the Super Bowl (with significant victories over their top 2 opponents).

2. Tillman Rangers - Tillman has quietly put together a 10-win season (which could easily end up being 12).  A week 16 showdown with Montcalm could end up determining the #2 seed and the division crown.

3. Saint Gabriel - While not necessarily the most talented team in this division, it is the most well-coached.  Saint Gabriel has pulled away from a division that was stuck in a logjam a couple of weeks ago.  SG can clinch the division with a victory this week. (Real Charleston could still claim division title if SG loses out and RC wins out).

4. Great Lakes - Similar to San Pedro, were Great Lakes not in a division with Buffalo, this club would be fighting for the two seed.  Instead, they are looking like the first wildcard team.  Montcalm / Tillman could overtake them for this wildcard spot, but it seems unlikely as Great Lakes is all but assured victories the last two weeks of the season (see: games against Nashville and Bearden).

5. Montcalm / Tillman – the runner-up of that division likely lands here.

6. Real Charleston / Glendora / Bullard - At best, an 8-8 team will make the playoffs.  At worst, a 7-9 team will make the playoffs.

 

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2010 TTFBA Playoff Picture

As a reminder, 6 teams from each conference go to the playoffs.  The top three seeds are the three division winners, with the remaining three seeds being the wild cards.  The top two seeds from each conference receive a bye in week one of the playoffs.  The playoff tie-breaking procedure is as follows:

DIVISION TIES – Two Clubs

1 -Head-to-Head (best won-lost percentage in games between the clubs).
2 -Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
3 -Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games if applicable.
4 -Best net points in division games.
5 -Best net points in all games.
6 -Strength of schedule (strongest schedule wins tie).
7 -Best net TD’s in all games.
8 -Last team not to make the playoffs.
9 -Coin toss.

Three or More Clubs

Note : If two clubs remain tied after other clubs are eliminated during any step, tie-breaker
reverts to step #1 of two-club format.

1 -Head-to-Head (best won-lost percentage in games between the clubs).
2 -Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
3 -Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games if applicable.
4 -Best net points in division games.
5 -Best net points in all games.
6 -Strength of schedule (strongest schedule wins tie).
7 -Best net TD’s in all games.
8 -Last team not to make the playoffs.
9 -Coin toss.

WILD-CARD TIES

– If necessary to break ties to determine the four wild-card teams, the following steps will be
taken.

1 -If all tied clubs are from the same division, apply division tie-breaker
2 -If the tied clubs are from different divisions apply the steps below.
3 -When the first wild-card team has been identified, the procedure is repeated each time as
necessary to name the four wild-card teams. In situations where three teams from the same
division are involved in the procedure, the original seeding of the teams remains the same for
subsequent applications of the tie-breaker if the top-ranked team in that division qualifies for
a wild-card berth.

Two Clubs

1 -Head-to-Head, if applicable.
2 -Best W-L-T % in common games, 4 min.
3 -Best net points, all games.
4 -Strength of schedule.
5 -Best net TD’s all games.
6 -Last team not to make the playoffs.
7 -Coin toss.

Three or More Clubs

Note : Once two teams remain, revert to step #1 in Two Club tie-breaker.

1 -Apply division tie-breaker to eliminate all but highest-ranked club in each division prior to step #1.
The original seeding within a division upon application of the Division tie-breaker remains the
same for all subsequent applications of the procedure that are necessary to identify the four
wild-card teams.
2 -Head-to-Head sweep (only if one club has either defeated or lost to each of the others).
3 -Best net points, all games.
4 -Strength of schedule.
5 -Best net TD’s all games.
6 -Last team not to make the playoffs.
7 -Coin toss.

Without further ado, let’s look at some of the playoff scenarios currently in place.

Walter Payton Conference (If the season ended today):

1. Donelson Warriors (Division Winner)
2. Wausau Blue Bombers (By virtue of head-to-head tiebreak over Coldspring)
3. Coldspring Chiefs
4. San Pedro
5. Minnesota
6. Trois-Pistoles (By virtue of head-to-head tiebreak over Tennessee–TP also owns division record tiebreak over Tennessee)

OJ Simpson Conference (If the season ended today)

1. Buffalo (by virtue of head-to-head tiebreak over Great Lakes)
2. Tillman
3. Saint Gabriel
4. Great Lakes
5. Montcalm
6. Real Charleston (by virtue of having beaten every club in division)

Scenarios:

Walter Payton Conference

#1
Donelson could lose the #1 seed by losing out and Wausau winning out.  However, Donelson is a heavy favorite in all remaining games and its a longshot that Donelson will lose one, let alone 4 remaining games.

#2
Wausau / Coldspring battling for #2 seed – Wausau pretty much has its division locked up.  Vacant Coldspring has to hold off a surging Minnesota team for its division crown.  Wausau holds head-to-head over Coldspring, therefore Wausau would have to finish with a worse record than Coldspring to lose the #2 seed.  Edge to Wausau in this one.  Wausau’s 4 losses came early in the year and are not indicative of the current team.

#3
Coldspring / Minnesota battling for #3 seed.  Currently, Coldspring holds the head-to-head over Minnesota (with one matchup remaining between the two clubs) and the division lead over Minnesota (3-0 in division, compared to Minnesota’s 2-1).  Coldspring does have some tough games remaining, as does Minnesota.  Edge to Coldspring for this spot.

#4
San Pedro / Minnesota battling for #4 seed.  San Pedro has surged as of late , winning 8 of its last 9 games.  San Pedro C owns the head-to-head over Minnesota, meaning they virtually have a two game lead with 4 remaining.  San Pedro looks solid for this spot.

#5 / #6 Minnesota / Trois-Pistoles / Tennessee / Hermitage / Fort Worth / New England / Knoxville / Antelope
That’s right.  Every team in this conference still has an outside shot at the playoffs, with  Antelope’s looking the most bleak.

What looks realistic?  Minnesota looks to be fairly safe, but Tennessee and TP are nipping at Minnesota’s heels and could unseat them from the playoffs completely.  I’d look at Minnesota for the #5 seed and TP as a strong candidate for the #6.  Tennessee would need a strong finish within the division to unseat TP for the #6.  However, four 5-7 teams are sitting right behind should TP or TN falter the last few weeks of the season.  It is highly likely that a team at 8-8 will claim the final spot here.

OJ Simpson Conference

#1 Great Lakes / Buffalo – These two clubs, sitting atop the division, are also battling it out for the #1 seed.  It will be a hard fall for whomever doesn’t claim the division title here – they will tumble all the way to the #4 seed.  Currently, Buffalo is the favorite here.  On paper, they look to have a better squad and they’ve got the head-to-head over Great Lakes.  However, Great Lakes can make that disappear as they have one game against each other remaining (winner of that game likely wins the division).  Great Lakes must get past a surging San Pedro team this week to stay in contention for #1 seed.

#2 Tillman / Montcalm battling it out.  As it was last year, Montcalm and Tillman are battling for a division crown and first round bye.  Tillman is in control of this spot, currently sitting at 3-0 in the division with one victory over Montcalm.  It would take a Tillman skid and a Montcalm surge for Montcalm to unseat Tillman this year for the division.

#3 Saint Gabriel / Bullard / Real Charleston / Glendora – this is by far the tightest division race in the league.  Saint Gabriel controls its own destiny at 6-6, but the other three teams aren’t far behind, each team sitting at 5-7.  Despite being a game behind, Real Charleston looks to be the favorite for this spot – they currently own the head-to-head and division record over all three other clubs.  With three division games remaining, this race will go down to the wire.

#4 – Runner up in the West Division – no explanation needed.  See above.

#5 – Montcalm / Central Division – Montcalm looks to be pretty solid lock for this spot.  The winner of the central could end up being a 7-9 team.  As discussed earlier, it doesn’t look great for Montcalm to unseat Tillman, but it could happen.  Its also unlikely that any team in the central will unseat Montcalm here, especially considering Montcalm has two games remaining against two teams with a combined three wins.

#6 – Central Division runner up – whoever comes in 2nd in the central looks to be the likely candidate for this position.  Saint Gabriel has the edge, but any one of those teams could end up here.

No chance for the playoffs: Dayton, Death Valley, Bearden, Nashville (while not mathematically elminated, Nashville still has games remaining against Donelson, Buffalo, and Great Lakes).

 

Comments appreciated.

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TTFBA Week 8 Point Spreads

After a 3 week hiatus in point spreads (I did get married, after all) here we have this week’s spreads.  Enjoy!

(Favorite in Bold)

(-1) Buffalo @ San Pedro
Buffalo’s offense continues to look unstoppable.  The Blitz are second in the league in points scored and that has helped them find themselves in control of the conference with a 7-0 record.  San Pedro has been hot as of late, winning 4 straight after starting the season 0-3.

Buffalo gets it done in this one to move to 8-0, but it won’t be easy on the road.

(-17) Bearden @ Donelson
No in-depth write up needed here.  Donelson has won by an average of 22 points this season.  Spread is too small, and Bearden is no match.

(-8) Great Lakes @ Fort Worth
Great Lakes is looking to stay hot as head coach Mike Fafnis has guided his squad to a 6-1 record and is tied for 2nd place in the OJ Simpson conference.  Fort Worth has talent, but not enough to put up a substantial amount of points on the 2nd best defense in the league.  Great Lakes improves to 7-1 and keeps pressure on Buffalo and Tillman.

(PICK) Nashville @ Hermitage
Nashville has started looking towards next season as evidenced by some trades as of late (bidding adieu to Andre Carter, Fred Davis, Ryan Lilja and several other players through free agency).

Hermitage is without an owner and is giving up a bunch of points on defense.  Nashville’s offense is sputtering – so it looks to be Hermitage’s offense versus Nashville’s defense.  Nod goes to Hermitage.

(-7) New England @ Wausau
Both of these squads have played better as of late.  Wausau has added several key players and looks to continue their winning ways.

Head coach Greg Smith nearly outdueled the Donelson Warriors two weeks ago and knocked them out of the unbeaten ranks.  New England has played tough, but simply can’t put up enough points on offense to hang in this game.

Wausau moves to 4-4.

(PICK) Coldspring @ Knoxville

Knoxville has underachieved a bit this season.  Coldspring is suddenly without an owner, despite looking like a Super Bowl contender.  That being said, Coldspring is the superior team in this game.

The question is, who’s a better coach–the computer, or Jim Martin?  My money’s on Jim.  Look for Knoxville to win a close one.

(-1) Minnesota @ Tennessee
Thomas Cox’s rookie season as a head coach has been a tough one.  After an improbable opening week victory over Wausau, the Vigilantes have come crashing back down to earth and performed in a way more consistent with what I expected to begin the season (Tennessee averaged 6 wins person season in simulations).  Minnesota has been tough this season, with a stout defense and above average offense.

I’d look for this to be a close, low-scoring game with Minnesota emerging victorious.

(-9) Antelope @ Trois-Pistoles
Trois-Pistoles sits on top of the division right now and needs to win this one at home to keep a surging Wausau at bay.  Antelope has been dismal on offense this season, scoring a league-low 13 points per game.

I look for Antelope QB Joe Flacco to get out of his slump in this game and surprise Trois-Pistoles on the road.

(-2) Tillman @ Fresno
This should be one of the better games this week.  Fresno sits at 4-3, tied for the division lead while Tillman is 6-1, with the lone loss coming from undefeated Buffalo.  If Tillman plans to catch Buffalo, they are going to need some help — but also have to take care of their own business.

Fresno has been explosive on offense, but also paper-thin on defense.  Tillman sports one of the best defenses in the league, while scoring points with a methodical offense.  Fresno has a tough task ahead of them in this one.

Tillman probably comes out with a victory, but don’t be surprised if Fresno overpowers Tillman on offense.

(-8) Dayton @ Real Charleston

After starting off red hot, Real Charleston has cooled as of late.  However, Dayton has been one of the worst in the league.  Dayton will be without leading rusher Brandon Jacobs and will struggle to score points and keep up with one of the league’s best offenses.

Real Charleston rolls in this one.

(-11) DC @ Bullard
DC hasn’t been great in their rookie season, but that’s no fault of their own.  Young QB Matt Ryan simply doesn’t have the weapons he needs to succeed–yet.  This team is young and is capable of going places in the future.  That being said, Bullard has outplayed their 3-4 record and should score plenty of points on one of the league’s leakiest defenses.


 

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TTFBA 2010 – Week 4 Point Spreads

Week 4 Point Spreads

(Favorite in Bold)

(-17) New England @ Donelson – Donelson should continue to roll in this game.  Donelson has outscored its opponents by almost 100 points this year — and that’s in just three games.  New England finally scored some points in week 3 (helped out primarily by its defense) but they’ll struggle versus a very stout Donelson defense.  Donelson should roll and cover.

(-3) Coldspring @ Hermitage – Coldspring should cover in this one, helped by its stout defense and an absentee owner for Hermitage.  Coldspring has allowed a league-low 28 points this season.  Hermitage lacks weapons on offense, save Andre Johnson.  Look for Coldspring to roll over Hermitage, setting up a week 5 matchup of two powerhouses, Donelson and Coldspring – with a perfect record on the line.

(-2) Minnesota @ Fort Worth – Minnesota took one on the chin against Coldspring last week, but looks to rebound against a Fort Worth team that has struggled on defense this season.  Fort Worth has some play makers on offense, but lacks on the other side of the ball.  Minnesota should improve to 3-1.

(-2) Antelope @ San Pedro C – So far, San Pedro C is underachieving for the second consecutive year.  San Pedro was expected to win 12 games this year, as evidenced by the computer simulations, but has yet to win a game.  San Pedro’s defense has been woeful, giving up the 2nd most points in the league (despite having one of the better defenses in the league).  San Pedro’s offense hasn’t been much better, either.   However, Antelope has been dreadful on offense this season, having been eaten up by injuries early in the season.  Antelope has a shot in this game, but look for San Pedro C to finally notch one in the W column and take care of business.

(-2) Wausau @ Fresno – This is a tough game for Wausau.  Greg Smith’s squad has been involved in close games every week so far this season (losing by 3 to Tennessee, winning by 1 over Knoxville, and losing by 3, in OT, last week).   Fresno has been explosive on offense, but has been unable to keep up thanks in large part to its subpar defensive play.  Look for Wausau to win another tight one this week–but don’t be shocked if Fresno wins at home.

(-4) Knoxville @ Saint Gabriel – This game should be a close one.  The two teams match-up pretty well, but Knoxville has been very efficient on offense this season.  Saint Gabriel has weapons on offense, but is lacking a kicker this week – which could end up being the difference in this game.  Look for Knoxville to win a tight one.

(-12) Tennessee @ Real Charleston – RC is by far the most surprising team to be sitting at 3-0 headed into week 4.  Tennessee is one bad snap away from being 2-1 on the season (which, by most accounts, would be equally surprising).   RCG will be halfway to its preseason projection of 8 wins after week 4.  Chris Johnson has been unstoppable in the first three weeks and there’s no reason to expect him to slow down against an average front-7 in Tennessee.  RCG may not cover in this game, but they should win at home to improve to 4-0.

(-3) Trois-Pistoles @ Bullard - Trois-Pistoles has been another surprising team to this point in the season.  Sitting on top of the division at 2-1, TP looks to continue its winning ways on the road in Bullard.  Bullard has been tough this season on both sides of the ball, and looks to keep pace with RCG for the division.  This game should be one of the closer games of the week – but look for Bullard to win at home.

(-3) Tillman @ Buffalo – One thing is for certain–one of these teams will no longer be undefeated heading into week 5 (unless you don’t consider a tie a defeat).  Tillman, as always, boasts a highly competitive squad led by a superb coach.  Buffalo, however, has the weapons and looks to be the class of the O.J. Simpson conference.  Talent versus Talent, Buffalo wins – hands down.  Tillman will put up a fight, but Buffalo will improve to 4-0 (note: Tillman also lacks a kicker in this week’s game).

(-6) Montcalm @ Great Lakes – Great Lakes boasts one of the better squads it has had in year.  Were it not for Buffalo, Great Lakes would run away with the division.  That being said, Great Lakes must win games like this at home to keep pace in the division.  The spread in this one is higher than I thought it would be, with both teams boasting great offenses.  The difference in this game will be defense.  Great Lakes has one of the best secondaries in the league, allowing a league-low 140 passing yard per game.   Look for Great Lakes to improve to 3-1.

(-1) Dayton @ Bearden – One of these teams will win their first game of the season this week.  Dayton hasn’t been very good on offense, while Bearden has been downright bad (see: lowest points scored in the league).  Bearden has been better on defense than Dayton to this point in the season (helped out by a strong front 7).  This should be a low-scoring affair, but I look for Bearden to get its first win at home.

(EVEN) DC @ Nashville – By the numbers, this is the closest game of the week (see: only spread that is a pick).   The two teams match up pretty evenly, both teams sporting a strong running game and a subpar passing game.  Both defenses are pretty even, as well.  Nashville sports a better front 7 than DC, which should help its efforts to slow down the DC backfield and come away with a victory, thanks in large part to its defense.

Comments always appreciated.  :)

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TTFBA 2010 – Week 3 Point Spreads

Week 3 Point Spreads (Favorite in Bold)

(-8) Minnesota @ Coldspring
Both teams come into week 3 2-0, but it is unlikely Coldspring earns a victory this week, even at home.  Minnesota’s defense and efficient offense are too tough.

(-6) Antelope @ New England
New England has managed a league-low 9 points on offense this season (All of which came in week 1).  New England’s quarterback play makes it seem unlikely that they can pull of an upset.

(-15) Hermitage @ Fort Worth
Surprising spread in this game.  Both teams come into week 3 1-1.  Hermitage QB Matthew Stafford has played much better than expected so far this season – while Fort Worth QB Tom Brady has underachieved.  Look for this trend to flip and for Fort Worth to pull off an upset at home.

(-18) San Pedro C @ Donelson
This is the 2nd largest point spread of the week – and it should be.  Donelson leads the league with 86 points scored and is 3rd best in the league with points allowed at 28 (with 14 of those coming in garbage time with Donelson guarding a large lead).  Fun fact: Donelson has gone down 7-0 to start the game in each of its first two.  Donelson wins – and probably covers.

(-12) Knoxville @ Tennessee
New Tennessee owner Thomas Cox enjoyed an upset victory over Wausau in week 1, but came crashing back down to earth in week 2 (minus star QB Ben Roethlisberger).  Knoxville looks to bounce back after a very close loss to Wausau in week 2.  Look for this game to be a lot closer than the spread indicates.

(-2) Trois-Pistoles @ Wausau
Road teams seem to be garnering a lot of favoritism in week 3.  Wausau has underachieved this year so far.  On paper, it appears Wausau should have one of the most explosive offenses in the league, however, they have managed only 38 points in two weeks.  Look for Wausau’s offense to come alive against a good, but not great, Sea Lions defense.

(-2) Dayton @ Montcalm
Not a great matchup for Dayton.  Aside from All-World ILB Patrick Willis, Dayton has no real playmakers on defense.  Montcalm brings an offense led by stud QB Drew Brees – Montcalm wins easily.

(EVEN) DC @ Tillman
Tillman comes into this game 2-0, sporting an efficient offense and stifling defense.  DC Head Coach Randy has done well in his first two weeks in the TTFBA.  Head Coach Chris Erath is one of the better coaches in the league and gets it done against a rookie head coach at DC.

(-24) Great Lakes @ Bearden
Great Lakes lost a heartbreaker last week to Buffalo, or could easily be 2-0.  Great Lakes sports one of the more balanced teams in the league.  Bearden’s offense is woeful, due in large part to the dreadful play of its offensive line.  Great Lakes secondary is one of the best in the league and will keep Manning in check.  Not sure Great Lakes covers here, but they will come away with a W.  Bearden has a chance to go 0-16.

(-10) Nashville @ Buffalo
After being man-handled in week 1 by Great Lakes, Nashville took out its anger  in week 2 against Bearden.  Nashville does not matchup well with Buffalo  (See: Nashville’s secondary versus Buffalo’s passing arsenal).  Buffalo should head into week 4 undefeated after handling Nashville fairly easily at home.

(EVEN) Saint Gabriel @ Real Charleston
This game should be a tight one.  Saint Gabriel sports a lot of weapons on offense, but Real Charleston sports the league’s best weapon on offense.  RC RB Chris Johnson is a threat to go the distance anytime he touches the ball.  Both teams match up pretty well, but look for Real Charleston to take this one at home carried by RB Chris Johnson.

(-13) Bullard @ Fresno
I said this was the week of the road-warriors, didn’t I?  Fresno’s defense has been dreadful this season, but hasn’t been helped much by its offense (6 turnovers in 2 weeks).  Injuries may play a factor in this game for both teams, with each missing starts.  Fresno may pull off an upset in this one home – but either way, look for this game to be much closer than the spread indicates.

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Hosting / Joining an Internet Game

First of all, I will start off by saying that early in the season, everyone tends to have some problems hosting / connecting to a host.  Until we all get accustomed to the software, try to have patience in this regard.

There’s two key points that we must remember when hosting / connecting to games.

Firstly, port 32019 must be opened on your computer.  This is the port that the Action PC Software communicates through.  Luckily, DKSports has built in an easy way to open this port.  Within the ACTION PC software, simply navigate to the Internet menu at the top of the window, and find the Open Windows Firewall port 32019.  This will open the port for you.

The second issue most of us face when trying to host a game is that our router (if we connect to the internet through a router) is not configured to allow the software to communicate with another computer.  You MUST set up your router to forward the software to port 32019.  Luckily, there is a website set up to help us do this.

You will need to know the Brand / Model of your internet router.  After you have this information, proceed to PortForward.com.  From the PortForward homepage, located your router brand, then model number and click on it.  I have AT&T U-Verse, so my router is not listed.  If something happens and your router is not listed, you may need to use your router’s user manual (which can usually be downloaded from your router’s manufacturer’s website).  After locating your router on PortForward, click on it and proceed to your router’s page (Note: when you click on your router, PortForward usually takes you uto an advertisement page.  Simply click on “Click here to skip this advertisement” in the top right corner to proceed to your router page).

Before you proceed, you’ll need to ensure that your computer has a static IP Address.  For instructions on setting this up, please see this website: http://portforward.com/networking/staticip.htm

After you have setup a static IP Address, proceed to your router’s page on the Port Forward website and scroll down and click on the Action PC Football 2010.  Click on this link.  From there, the website will walk you through, step-by-step, with instructions on how to set up your router to forward the Action PC Software to Port 32019 on your computer.  From here, you are ready to Host/Join an internet game!

Now, how to host!  First of all, head to the website MyIPAddress.com and copy your IP Address.  Then, open up your Action PC Software, click on the internet menu at the top, and click “Host Game Session.”  Then, send your opponent your IP Address and have them connect to you.  Once they have connected, you will receive a pop-up that indicated you have an incoming call.  Accept the call.  Then, go to the play menu at the top of your Action! PC Software and click the appropriate option (for official season games, you will click on scheduled league game).  After selecting the game options (default options) click OK and another menu will pop up that will give you the option to choose which team your internet opponent will coach (obviously, this would be the team that isn’t yours).  Then, play ball!

Now, to join a game!  After your opponent lets you know they are ready, head to your in game menu and go to “Internet” at the top and click “Join Game Session.”  When your opponent gives you their IP Address, put it into the appropriate spot and type a Screen Name at the top of the window (I would recommend your Team Name).  Then click OK!

And that’s it!  Once you connect to your host, they’re responsible for everything from there.

Once an official league game has been played, it is the responsibility of the host team to email the game file to me.  Once your game is over, click Utilities, double-click on export games, select the appropriate game, and click ok.   The game file can then be located in your primary game folder (C:\Program Files\Action PC Football 2010) but you can choose a different export destination if you choose.  The game file will contain your team name and your opponents team name and will end in the .xbx extension.  Email that to me at brandon.curtis.cox@gmail.com and I will take it from there.

I think that’s about it!

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