Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at 2:10 PM
HERE'S THE WEEKEND UPDATE - WE'VE GOT NFL, MLB AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL GOODIES IN OUR JAM-PACKED LATE JULY COLUMN
The countdown to the start of the NFL Preseason '17 season is officially on - as we've been reminding y'all for quite some time there's gridiron goodies come Thursday night in Canton when the Dallas Cowboys battle the Arizona Cardinals in the annual Hall of Fame Game and then a full first week of preseason action follows August 10th thru-13th when there's some fun showdowns on the docket including Jacksonville at New England, Pittsburgh at the New York Giants and Dallas at the Los Angeles Rams.
This here-and-now Major-League Baseball season has been a real series of highlights for the likes of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros - and some in-the-know folks we know believe if we don't get a Dodgers vs. Astros showdown in this year's Fall Classic it'll be a major disappointment - but while we're continuing to shower these two superpowers with lots of love, just consider some of these over-the-top stats …
At last check, the Dodgers were + 180 in the runs differential category but the Astros are an even better + 183 in that department - wow!
Los Angeles is an amazing 35-11 in games against non-divisional National League foes while Houston is a more modest 27-19 versus non-divisional opponents in the American League;
And while Houston's a downright silly 37-12 on the road this year, the LA Dodgers are a rollicking 43-13 at home, so if/when the 'Stros and Dodgers collide come October/November than who wins those games in LA-LA land likely would decide who's he next world champ.
Now that would be a series you could sink your teeth into and - maybe, just maybe - every bit as good as last year's epic World Series between the Cubs and Indians.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are banging outs lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days when you check in either right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Plus, the Football Season isn't far off as NFL Preseason action swings into gear on Thursday, August 3rd with the NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys versus the Arizona Cardinals. And the College Football kids get serious beginning on Saturday, August 26th when there's three games on the big board including Hawaii-UMass, Portland State-BYU and Stanford-Rice ... so know that we're gearing up for loads of NFL and College Football winners soon enough!
COLLEGE FOOTBALL CONFERENCE REPORTS
The Atlantic Coast Conference produced college football's national champion last year as the Clemson Tigers wound up king of the hill (straight from the try, try again department, right?) and this year Florida State and Clemson are legit title hopefuls - though there's whispers that both Louisville starring Heisman Trophy winner QB Lamar Jackson (we'll mention him again shortly) and Virginia Tech could be movers-and-shakers to the top of the ACC standings and the polls.
Pin us down right at this very moment and we believe all four of these teams will be somewhere inside the top 15 and one of 'em will be playing in the College Football Playoffs come December. In fact, we'll go on record to say that as many as five ACC teams will be playing in CFP/early January bowls.
BEST TEAM - Clemson
Okay, so most experts believe Florida State's depth/speed/quarterbacking is superior to that of the Clemson Tigers this year but we'll expect Dabo Swinney's squad to improve by leaps and bounds by the time they play the Seminoles (the game is at Clemson) on the second Saturday in November.
BEST PLAYER - Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Not quite sure that this 'Ville superstar is gonna be the first repeat winner of the illustrious Heisman Trophy since the great Archie Griffin back in the early-to-mid 1970s but he's still clearly the best player in ACC-land though honorable mention does go out to Florida State S Derwin James.
BEST GAME OF THE YEAR - Florida State at Clemson, Nov. 11
Hey, what else could it be as the Sems look to avenge last year's wild and wacky 37-34 loss-but-cover in Tallahassee but we'll also be paying special attention to the Clemson at Louisville clash on Sept. 16 - that could be a wire-job special for sure.
HIDDEN STORY - There could be a real breakout story in Raleigh where the N.C. State Wolfpack have muddled about in recent years (the Pack's 32-32 SU the past five years) but this might be a special season and maybe even a high-profile New Year's Day-type bowl game. Defensive end Bradley Chubb collected 10.5 sacks and 22 tackles for losses last year and is a guy who could flip ACC offenses upside down this season.
ACC Championship Game Prediction: Clemson beats Miami
NOTE: Lots more Football coming in the next edition of Jim Sez.