"The Stack" 12-1-16

By ndstacken
Dec. 01, 2016

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer's status for tonight's game against the Dallas Cowboys is very much in doubt following emergency eye surgery Wednesday night. Zimmer has had issues with the eye throughout the season.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
The College Football Playoff teams will be announced on Sunday following championship Saturday. Will Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Washington stay as the four playoff teams or will chaos ensue and change everything up?
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Stack is back on this Thursday and my apologies for not having a blog post yesterday to discuss Oregon moving on from head football coach Mark Helfrich.  We’ll see where they go from here.  There are a number of different things we need to talk about today though so let’s get right to “the stack” for today, Thursday, December 1st (can you believe it is already the first of December?):

 

MLB, Player’s Association agree to new labor deal

 

With the threat that some executives from MLB teams would skip the upcoming winter meetings in Washington D.C. due to a lack of progress towards a new labor deal, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA decided to get to work and work they did.  The two sides agree to a five-year deal good through the 2021 season.  With the hugely successful season that MLB just came off of capped by a Chicago Cubs-Cleveland Indians World Series that resulted with the Cubs ended their century plus World Series drought, Major League Baseball could ill-afford any sort of work stoppage.  That will not happen now.  Luxury taxes will go up.  Teams that sign premium free agents won’t have to give up first round picks to the team that lost said player.  There will be changes to revenue sharing and to the domestic violence policy.  This is a good day for Major League Baseball and the two sides worked it out with very little fanfare from the national media.  Good job Major League Baseball!

 

College football weekend forecast

 

Can you believe (it’s December?) that college football has reached championship week already?  Unbelievable.  The college football playoff rankings came out as expected with Alabama at number followed by Ohio State, Clemson and Washington.  Michigan is at five, but they don’t play this week.  Wisconsin, Penn State and Colorado follow and then it’s Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.  There could be complete mayhem on Saturday and into Sunday when the College Football Playoff is announced.  Let’s look at all of the championship games:

 

  • #17 Western Michigan vs. Ohio (MAC Championship, 7 PM ET ESPN2 on Friday)…We’re “Rowing the Boat” to Detroit with a championship for the Broncos.

  • #8 Colorado vs. #4 Washington (Pac-12 Championship, 9 PM ET FOX on Friday)…Buffs are a nice story, but I think Washington dominates.

  • Temple vs. #19 Navy (AAC Championship, Noon ET ABC on Saturday)…Midshipmen just know how to win and they will do so again.

  • Louisiana Tech vs. Western Kentucky (Conference USA Championship, Noon ET ESPN on Saturday)…Don’t really care about this game, but I’ll take the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky.

  • #1 Alabama vs. #15 Florida (SEC Championship 4 PM ET CBS on Saturday)…Florida can’t score and Alabama is unstoppable.  Roll Tide.

  • San Diego State vs. Wyoming (MWC Championship 7:45 PM ET ESPN on Saturday)…Both teams were blown out last weekend, but I’ll take SDSU mainly because of running back Donnel Pumphrey.

  • #6 Wisconsin vs #7 Penn State (Big Ten Championship 8 PM ET FOX on Saturday)…Penn State in the Big Ten championship game?  Believe it.  But I believe that Wisconsin will win this one.

  •  #3 Clemson vs #23 Virginia Tech (ACC Championship 8 PM ET ABC on Saturday)…I love my Hokies, but Deshaun Watson and Clemson take care of business.

  • One non-championship game we should mention is #10 Oklahoma State @ #9 Oklahoma (12:30 PM ET FOX)  Go with the Boomer Sooners to win and then hope like hell crazy stuff happens the rest of the day.

 

Should be a great weekend of championship action and we will all find out what happens with the four playoff teams on Sunday at noon ET on ESPN.

 

Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings 8:25 PM ET NBC & NFL Network (Streaming live on Twitter)

 

These are two good teams.  The Cowboys are outstanding led by rookie sensations Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.  The Vikings have a great defense and if they weren’t plagued by so many injuries on offense, this would be a battle for first place in the NFC I feel.  As it is, the Vikings need a win desperately just to stay in the wild card discussion and put just enough pressure on the Detroit Lions for the NFC North division lead.  It sounds like wide receiver Stefon Diggs will play which would be huge, but as if things couldn’t get much worse for the Vikings, head coach Mike Zimmer might not be able to coach after having emergency eye surgery last night.  Just another hurdle for the Vikings.  They can’t overcome this.

 

Prediction: Cowboys 27 Vikings 20

 

Coming up Friday: Week 13 NFL preview and predictions


Listen to this week's "The Sports Block" podcast here.