Week 2 B1G Ten Picks

September 10th, 2011 at 10:39 am by under Sports

After a pretty solid week one for me, it’s onto week two of the Big Ten football season.  My only two misses last week were Indiana, who lost to Ball State and Middle Tennessee, who lost to Purdue, in my upset special.  Middle Tennessee was leading Purdue by 14 points in the 4th quarter but could not hold on.  That’s alright, 10-2 is a pretty solid start.  Some interesting games on the docket this week including what will likely be a barn-burner at the Big House between Michigan and Notre Dame.  Ready for my picks?

Iowa vs. Iowa State
Florida Atlantic vs. (17) Michigan State
Oregon State vs. (8) Wisconsin
S. Dakota State vs. Illinois
E. Illinois vs. Northwestern
New Mexico State vs. Minnesota
(3) Alabama vs. (23) Penn State
Purdue vs. Rice
Virginia vs. Indiana
Fresno State vs. (10) Nebraska

Upset Special:
Notre Dame vs. Michigan

Blowout Game:
Toledo vs. (15) Ohio State

Season Record: 19-5

Week 1 B1G Ten Picks

August 31st, 2011 at 4:39 pm by under Sports

Finally, college football is back and the season kicks-off Thursday night, including the defending B1G Ten co-champion Wisconsin Badgers. Throughout the season I will be making my picks for each and every B1G Ten game…(yeah, I know the logo is weird, but I went with it anyway).  Each week I will also include my “Upset Special” and “Blowout Game” of the week.  A wide-open B1G Ten should make for a very entertaining season.  So, without further ado…

New Big Ten Conference logo. (PRNewsFoto/Big Ten Conference)

UNLV vs. (11) Wisconsin

Youngstown State vs. (17) Michigan State

Northwestern vs. Boston College
Akron vs. (18) Ohio State
Indiana State vs. Penn State
Tennessee Tech vs. Iowa
Minnesota vs. USC
Western Michigan vs. Michigan
Arkansas State vs. Illinois
Ball State vs. Indiana

Upset Special:
Middle Tennessee vs. Purdue

Blowout Game:
Chattanooga vs. (10) Nebraska

Overall Season Record: 10-2

Paige Pearson says so long Wisconsin…

August 17th, 2011 at 8:01 pm by under Sports

FOX 11′s Paige Pearson is moving on in her career, but before she goes, she says goodbye

Seven years ago I knew very little about the Badger state. I had no clue how to pronounce Oconomowoc. I didn’t know “Get up, get outta here! Gone!” was a favorite saying. I had never tasted deer chislic or a cream puff. And, I had no idea that green and gold flowed through many natives’ veins.

During those seven years I grew to love the state of Wisconsin. There’s nothing like watching a Bo Ryan blowup at the Kohl Center or a Prince Fielder bomb that Miller Park can barely contain. There’s nothing like listening to Mike McCarthy talk about “passion” or Matt Bollant discuss the “Green Bay way”. There’s nothing like feeling the Brown County Arena floor shake with anticipation during a basketball sectional final or the reverberation from the Lambeau Field sound system after Aaron Rodgers darts into the endzone.

I have enjoyed each and every one of those moments and many others. I have enjoyed the people of Wisconsin even more. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to tell some of Wisconsin’s most terrific sports stories. Thank you for embracing this South Dakota girl who wanted nothing more than to do do a good job and be a credible source. To my colleagues, thank you for your friendship. I have learned so much from so many of you.

The next chapter of my life will be very different. I have accepted the PR Manager position with the Omaha Symphony. I am so very excited about this opportunity. Connecting with people is my passion and this is simply another avenue to engage in that.

With that, so long Wisconsin. You’ve been very good to me, and I hope I’ve been good to you.



P.S. I will continue to interact on Twitter (@PAIGER33) and sports will be a major point of emphasis.

Lunch Break: Wednesday’s sports headlines

July 6th, 2011 at 11:26 am by under Sports

Welcome to this Wednesday edition of the Lunch Break! Here are the latest headlines from around the sports world!

Brewers continue to struggle
The Milwaukee Brewers lost for the seventh time in eight games last night in falling to the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-3.  Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf gave up four runs in the top of the first and three more in the top of the third to put the game out of reach early.  The Brewers were still without All-Star slugger Ryan Braun who missed another game with a strained calf.  Braun’s status is still up in the air for today’s afternoon game in Milwaukee. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10pm.

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Clemens finally in court
Seven-time Cy Young award winner Roger Clemens was in court today for the start of his perjury trial.  Clemens is charged with lying about drug use after he told a House Committee under oath that he never used performance-enhancing drugs during his career.  The trial is expected to last into late August.  Here’s a look at the key figures in the case against Roger Clemens.

Lawyers back at it in New York
For the second consecutive day, lawyers for the NFL and players association were at work in the Big Apple sorting out paperwork that will hopefully expedite a resolution on a new collective bargaining agreement.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith are expected to return to negotiations tomorrow.

2018 Winter Olympics go to…
Pyeongchang, South Korea!  Pyeongchang defeated rivals Munich, Germany and Annecy, France. South Korea had failed in two previous attempts to get the winter games for both the 2010 and 2014 Olympics.

U.S. Women wrap up group play
The United States women’s soccer team wraps up group play against Sweden today.  A win or a draw secures Group C for the Americans, who have already clinched a spot in the quarterfinals.  Kickoff is set for 1:45pm.

Contador crashes in wild day at the Tour
Three-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador crashed during today’s 102-mile stage five ride across Brittany.  He was involved in one of of many crashes throughout the race that caused a few racers to drop out of the race.  Mark Cavendish of Britain won today’s Stage 5.

Tonight on FOX 11:

  • The Brewers look to get back on track against the Diamondbacks, we’ll have highlights and reaction.
  • We’ll take a look at roger Clemens’ first day in court.
  • We’ll bring you the latest from the NFL.
  • We’ll have highlights and reaction from the U.S. Women’s soccer game against Sweden.
  • Join Drew Smith and the rest of the FOX 11 Sports Team at 5:00pm and 9:00pm

Join us each day at Noon on for the “Lunch Break.”

Content from the Associated Press was used in this article

On Twitter: @josh_morgan


With the Capitol in the background, former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens arrives at federal court in Washington, Wednesday, July 6, 2011, for his trial on charges of lying to Congress in 2008 when he denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs during his 23-year career. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Lunch Break: Tuesday’s sports headlines

July 5th, 2011 at 11:08 am by under Sports

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Welcome to this post 4th of July edition of the Lunch Break!  Here are the latest headlines from around the sports world.

Brewers continue to struggle
Even at the friendly confines of Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers found a way to drop another game.  This one to the Arizona Diamondbacks.  After leading 6-1, the D’Backs scored seven unanswered to send the Brewers to their sixth loss in seven games. The crew have been without slugger Ryan Braun who is recovering from a calf injury. There is no word on whether Braun will suit up for tonight’s game two against Arizona.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm.

Pujols could be back tonight
St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols could be back in action as soon as tonight, returning from a fractured wrist he suffered on June 19th.  Pujols was initially expected to miss 4-6 weeks but a CT scan on Friday showed the injury was progressing rapidly.  The Cardinals lead the Brewers by one game in the National League Central.

NFL owners, players to resume talks Tuesday
Another day, another round of negotiations on the NFL labor front.  A day after a group of NFL retirees filed class action lawsuit against both the league and the union, to be included in the talks, the two sides are expected to meet again in New York.  The sides have met five times over the last few weeks but still no resolution appears imminent.  Sources within the NFL have said that July 14th is a “drop dead date” to have a deal done without affecting the start of training camp or the preseason.

Woods to miss British Open
Tiger Woods says he will not play in the British Open as he continues to recover from pain in his left knee and achilles.  Woods said on his website that he was advised by doctors not to play in the third major of the season.  Woods said last week that he would not return to competition until he was 100 percent recovered.  Tiger has dropped all the way to  17th in the latest World Golf Rankings.

Evans wins Stage Four, Hushovd leads
Cadel Evans of Australia won stage four of the Tour de France today, while Norway’s Thor Hushovd maintained his overall lead.  Defending champion Alberto Contador of Spain is in 69th place, and trails his main rival, Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, by 1 minute, 38 seconds.

Tonight on FOX 11:

  • We’ll hear from the Milwaukee Brewers as they get set for game two against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • We’ll have the latest from the NFL, as negotiations continue on a new collective bargaining agreement.
  • Another major missed for Tiger, we’ll have the latest on his continued fall from greatness.
  • The Tour de France is four stages in, how do they favorites stack up?  We’ll have an update.
  • Join Drew Smith and the rest of the FOX 11 Sports Team at 5:00pm and 9:00pm.

Join us each day at Noon on for the “Lunch Break.”

Content from the Associated Press was used in this article

On Twitter: @josh_morgan

Lunch break: Tuesday’s sports headlines

June 28th, 2011 at 11:24 am by under Sports

Welcome back to this Tuesday edition of the Lunch Break!  Here are the latest sports headlines from around the sports world.

(AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds)

Hopes are high in Madison
One day after the announcement that former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson would be transferring to Wisconsin, expectations have sky-rocketed.  With no QB on the current roster that had ever started a game, Wilson fills a hole that could make the Badgers the favorite in the Big Ten.  Badgers head coach Bret Bielema is expected to address the media today at noon.

World Cup run starts for the United States
The United States women’s soccer team began their quest in the World Cup today in Germany.  The Americans opened up with a 2-0 win over North Korea. In an earlier Group C match, Sweden topped Columbia 1-0.  The U.S. Is looking for their first World Cup title since 1999.

Women’s day at Wimbledon
Maria Sharapova has advanced in straight sets at Wimbledon after dominating Dominika Cibulkova, 6-1, 6-1, who upset world number one Caroline Wozniaki yesterday.  Sharapova advances to the semifinals.  The men are back in action tomorrow with quarterfinal play.

Labor talks likely in the NFL
According to the Associated Press, the negotiating teams for both the owners and the players are in Minneapolis today and are expected to get together for more labor talks.  The lockout is now in its fourth month, with most NFL training camps starting in about a month.  You can check out an interactive timeline of the labor talks here.

Brewers head to the Bronx
The Milwaukee Brewers look to extend their Central Division lead out East tonight as they travel to the Bronx for a three-game set against the Yankees.  New York holds the second-best record in the MLB at 45-31.  The Brewers have struggled on the road this season, only compiling 15 wins in 39 games.  Zack Grienke is on the hill for the Brewers and he will be opposed by Freddy Garcia.  Game time is 6:05pm.

College hoops legend passes away
The man who dunked home arguably the most historic shot in the history of college basketball, has died in a bus wreck in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Lorenzo Charles, who gave underdog N.C. State the national championship in 1983 was killed Monday when an empty bus he was driving crashed along the highway.  Charles was 47 years old.

Tonight on FOX 11:

  • We’ll hear from head coach Bret Bielema as the Badgers head coach talks about his newest QB.
  • We’ll have full highlights and reaction from the United States’ opening round match in the World Cup.
  • And we’ll have the latest from the NFL as labor talks continue just a month before training camps are set to open.
  • Join Drew Smith and the rest of the FOX 11 Sports Team at 5:00pm and 9:00pm!

Join us each day at Noon on for the “Lunch Break.”

Content from the Associated Press was used in this article

Lunch break: Monday’s sports headlines

June 27th, 2011 at 11:49 am by under Sports

Good Monday afternoon!  Here’s a look at the latest headlines from around the sports world.

Brewers break out the brooms
The Milwaukee Brewers now hold a three game lead in the National League Central following a sweep of their interleague rival Minnesota Twins. Combine that with the Cardinals dropping three straight to the Toronto Blue Jays and the Brewers hold their biggest lead of the season.  The crew is off today and will open a three-game set against the New York Yankees in the Bronx on Tuesday.

Wilson commits to Badgers
Former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson is coming to Madison. The QB was released from his scholarship so he could play his final season at a different school.  Badgers head coach Bret Bielema announced this morning that Wilson has committed to play for Wisconsin. Wilson is eligible to play this year because he graduated from N.C. State in three years.

Preble names Donart head coach
Green Bay Preble has a new head football coach. Just announced this morning, Paul Donart, a longtime assistant at Preble, will take over for the legendary Pat Prochnow.  Prochnow retired last week after 35 years in the program. Donart becomes only the third coach in school history since 1955.

Players talk with attorney’s; no owners present
In the NFL, a small group of players met with attorneys in Minneapolis this morning. According to an AP source, no owners were present at these meetings.  More negotiations between the players union and the owners are expected this week.  We are now about a month away from the start of most NFL training camps.

Serena, Venus, Wozniaki out at Wimbledon
Defending Wimbledon champion Serena Williams was upset in the 4th round today at the All England Club.  Williams was beat in straight sets by Marion Bartoli.  Sister Venus was also bounced from the tournament in straight sets by Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria.  Top-seeded Caroline Wozniaki was ousted in a three-set loss to Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.  Maria Sharapova did advance on the women’s side, while Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray all advanced in the men’s draw.

Dodgers file for bankruptcy protection
The Los Angeles Dodgers have officially filed for bankruptcy protection.  The move comes after Major League Baseball did not approve a multibillion-dollar TV deal last week.  Dodgers owner Frank McCourt made the move knowing the team would likely not be able to make payroll by June 30th without the TV contract.  Bankruptcy will allow the Dodgers time to seek a different media deal in hopes of stabilizing the franchise financially.

Tonight on FOX 11:

  • We will have much more on the new hire of Paul Donart at Green Bay Preble.  FOX 11 Prep Expert Doug Ritchay will join us with the latest.
  • We’ll take a closer look at the amazing home record of the Milwaukee Brewers, coming off that sweep of the Minnesota Twins.
  • We’ll look at the signing of Russell Wilson as the Badgers were facing a huge question at QB.
  • We’ll also announce this week’s Finish Line Challenge winner!
  • Join Drew Smith and the rest of the FOX 11 Sports team tonight at 5:00pm and 9:00pm!

Join us each day at Noon on for the “Lunch Break.”

Content from the Associated Press was used in this article

A U.S. Open to Remember

June 20th, 2011 at 12:03 pm by under Sports

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, poses with the trophy after winning the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, June 19, 2011. McIlroy won the U.S. Open for his first major with a record setting 16-under 268. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

So who came into Sunday thinking the U.S. Open wasn’t over quite yet?  Who thought Sunday in Bethesda might end up like Sunday at Augusta?  Who said “uh oh” after Lee Westwood birdied the first hole and looked poised to make a run at the unproven Northern Irishman?

My guess is that there was plenty of doubt in people’s minds when 22-year-old Rory McIlroy walked up to the first tee on Sunday, despite all that he had accomplished through 54 holes.

He never trailed.  He increased his lead each day.  His swing was silky smooth and his putter was rock solid.  But what about his nerves?  What about people’s doubts?  What about his doubts?  Was an eight stroke lead safe in the hands of a kid just two and half months removed from his 22nd birthday?

You better believe it.

It only took three shots to know that this major championship Sunday would be anything but a meltdown.  Rory McIlroy was simply magnificent.  His birdie on the first hole left no doubt that this U.S. Open was indeed over.  Sure, there was still a lot of golf to be played, but that birdie sent a message to the rest of the field saying, “don’t even think about it.”

He continued to hit great shots despite his big lead.  He didn’t want to cruise to victory, he wanted to dominate.  He may not have the demeanor of a Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus, but don’t think for a second that this kid doesn’t have a killer instinct.  He let his game do the talking.

Speaking of talking, how about some of the reaction from other tour players following his eight-shot win at Congressional.

“Nothing this kid does ever surprises me,” said 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell.  “He’s the best player I’ve ever seen.”

And this from Phil Mickelson. “You could tell that Rory’s had this type of talent in him for some time now and to see him putting it together is pretty neat to see.”

Even Tiger Woods couldn’t help but congratulate McIlroy after his dominating performance saying, “What a performance from start to finish. Enjoy the win. Well done.”

Now, I’m not going to start comparing Rory to Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus, or anyone for that matter, but this win can’t be overlooked.  What he was able to accomplish over the course of four days in what is widely known as the toughest test in golf, was nothing short of impressive.  And to think, had he hung on at Augusta, he would be heading to the British Open with the first two legs of the grand slam already under his belt.

His talent is undeniable, but so are the lessons he has learned.  Maybe he doesn’t win the U.S. Open had he won the Masters.  With all great golfers, we can always look back to one turning point in their career that catapulted them into stardom.  Some may say it was this past weekend’s U.S. Open.  I, however, will forever argue that it was the Masters.  It was that tournament when Rory McIlroy realized just how good he could be, but that talent alone isn’t enough to win.  You have to know how to finish.

That Sunday at Augusta was probably the longest round of golf he’s ever played.  But each and every tormenting minute made him a little bit stronger.  He felt the pain, frustration, and even embarrassment of a Sunday collapse in a major.  And that’s a feeling he never wanted to feel again.

After seeing him this weekend…I can’t imagine he ever will.

Content from the Associated Press was used in this article.

U.S. Open: 5 players to watch

June 13th, 2011 at 6:21 pm by under Sports

Matt Kuchar hits from the sand to the 18th green during the final round of the Memorial golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio Sunday, June 5, 2011. Kucher finished at 15-under par, tied for second with Brandt Jobe. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

The second major of the year tees off at Congressional this Thursday and the field is WIDE OPEN!  And no, it’s not just because Tiger Woods is out with a knee/achilles injury.

It’s been an exciting year on tour, highlighted by what seems to be a weekly playoff for either the tournament champ or the number one ranking in the world.

So who’s the favorite heading into the 111th U.S. Open?  Here are five players to watch when they tee it up on Thursday.

5. Adam Scott
Scott played very well in the year’s first major at Augusta and is itching to get that first major under his belt.  He will actually have Tiger Woods’ caddy Steve Williams on the bag (with Tiger’s permission of course), at a course that Williams is very familiar with.  Unfortunately for Scott, he’s got history working against him…no major champion has ever won with a long putter.  If he gets the ball rolling like he did at the Masters, look out.


4. Jason Day
I guess I like the Australians to play well, although I don’t plan on adding Geoff Ogilvy to this list.  Day can get on a roll like few others can on tour right now.  His consistency scares me a bit, but with the way others have backed into championships lately, I can see a run on Sunday getting Day into contention.  He’s has to avoid the blow-up though.  He’s still a young kid and a couple of bad holes could crush him  Bad holes are okay…really bad holes are not.

3. Lucas Glover
My long shot, if you will.  Picking from the American golfers is a chore right now but I like Glover’s toughness.  He has the resolve to get through four grueling days at the U.S. Open, as he did in 2009.  He won earlier this year and he seems to quietly find his way onto leaderboards in big tournaments.  Is he playing like he did in 2009?  Probably not.  But I think he’s as mentally tough on tour as anyone, something that can’t be overstated in golf’s toughest test.

2. K.J. Choi
Choi made a believer out of me at The Players Championship and gives me no reason to believe he couldn’t walk away with the U.S. Open.  So often K.J. just can’t seem to put four rounds together.  But his triumph at The Players not only proves to me, but to him as well, that he can play championship golf.  A level head and a straight hitter is never a poor choice at a U.S. Open.

1. Matt Kuchar
I think it’s finally his time.  Matt Kuchar took his time to make a name for himself on tour, but his arrival has been worth the wait.  He’ll make that arrival official Sunday evening.  He’s been so good over the last two years.  It’s almost been annoying seeing his name every Sunday near the top of the leaderboard.  He’s won a few times and he’s been close at the majors.  But that will change this week.  This guy deserves a U.S. Open and he’s got the game to back it up.  He’s long enough, consistent enough, and tough enough…and that’s enough for me.

Picking winners at the Belmont Stakes

June 9th, 2011 at 2:43 pm by under Sports

Shackleford, right, and Animal Kingdom, left battle through the stretch during 136th Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 21, 2011, in Baltimore. Shackleford won the Preakness by a 1/2 length. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

After a long two-week layoff, it’s finally time for the final leg of the Triple Crown!  Unfortunately, we don’t actually have a horse that has a chance at the coveted title, but we have a lot of good horses with a chance to win.  Should make for a great race this Saturday at Belmont Park!

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and Preakness winner Shackleford are both in the field and don’t be surprised if those two are up front once again.  But remember, the Belmont is the longest of the three Triple Crown races.  Animal Kingdom has looked strong at the end of both races, but I’m a little worried about a front-runner like Shackledford.

And don’t forget about Nehro, the runner-up to Animal Kingdom

in the Kentucky Derby.  He’s back after passing on the Preakness and will likely have the freshest legs of the top contenders.  He stands as the second favorite to Animal Kingdom, just ahead of Shackleford.

One other horse to watch is Brilliant Speed.  That’s all I’m gonna say about him…I’ll brag about him later!

Anyway, here’s a complete rundown of the post positions and who I think will win the final leg of the Triple Crown.  Good luck!

Belmont Stakes – Saturday, 5:30pm/central
1: Master of Hounds (G. Gomez, 10-1)                             Win: Nehro
2: Stay Thirsty (J. Castellano, 20-1)
3: Ruler on Ice (J. Valdivia, Jr., 20-1)                              Place: Animal Kingdom
4: Santiva (S. Bridgmohan, 15-1)
5: Brilliant Speed (J. Rosario, 15-1)                                 Show: Brilliant Speed
6: Nehro (C. Nakatani, 4-1)
7: Monzon (J. Lezcano, 30-1)
8: Prime Cut (E. Prado, 15-1)
9: Animal Kingdom (J. Velazquez, 2-1)
10: Mucho Macho Man (R. Dominguez, 10-1)
11: Isn’t He Perfect (R. Maragh, 30-1)
12: Shackleford (J. Castanon, 9-2)