Rand: Plenty to talk about, finally

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 28, 2012 - 6:44 AM

Baseball is winding down, but football has arrived to re-energize a slumbering sports scene.


Washington rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Photo: Alex Brandon, Associated Press - Ap

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After spending part of the weekend with a bevy of sports fans, these three questions emerged as talkers as we head down the home stretch of summer and head into fall:

1. Gophers vs. Vikings: Which football team will win more games this season?

• Why the Gophers: They should be improved in their second season under Jerry Kill, they have a soft early schedule and it's not crazy to think they could win six or even seven games.

• Why the Vikings: Well, they get 16 games to do it, more than the Gophers. And they, too, are improved and look to have some winnable games.

• Best guess: Let's go with the Vikings, even though we're reasonably optimistic about both teams. If both teams are at or around .500, the tie goes to the team that gets to play more.

2. Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck: Which rookie quarterback will have the most passing yards in 2012?

• Why RG3: The Redskins have been dreadful in recent years -- 15 victories in their past three seasons -- but much of it was due to poor QB play. With RG3 in the mix, a decent offensive nucleus will evolve.

• Why Luck: He's being called the best QB prospect since perhaps Peyton Manning, a once-per-decade kind of guy. Luck can make all of the throws, and he will do it plenty with the Colts trailing often.

• Best guess: We'll say RG3 based on not much more than a hunch. Both QBs have looked the part already in the preseason, but Griffin III should get more help.

3. Ben Revere vs. Joe Mauer: Which of these players, among the AL leaders, will finish 2012 with the higher batting average

• Why Revere: He broke out of a 3-for-20 slide with a 4-for-4 game Sunday, meaning a hot streak could be on the way. Plus, all those infield hits because of his speed -- 35 -- are a huge boost.

• Why Mauer: He's the proven horse, having won three batting titles already. He, too, could be due for a good streak after a cool August (.267).

• Best guess: Have to take Mauer here, but it will be a good battle. Neither one, though, is likely to win the overall crown.


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Atlanta 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Miami 5 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Nathan 6
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Cincinnati 13 FINAL
Cleveland 2
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
Chicago WSox 6
Kansas City 3 FINAL
Seattle 0
Seattle 1 FINAL
Milwaukee 15
San Diego 3 FINAL
Arizona 3
Washington 3
LA Angels 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
Texas 6
Oakland 6 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Indiana 107 FINAL
Milwaukee 111
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Carolina 5
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Washington 3
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 4 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL(OT)
Boston 2
Nashville 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
NY Rangers 5 FINAL
Ottawa 1
Florida 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
Montreal 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Colorado 4 FINAL
Vancouver 1
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Notre Dame 81
North Carolina 72 FINAL
Wisconsin 79
Evansville 89 FINAL
Louisiana 82
West Virginia 39 FINAL
Kentucky 78
Xavier 60 FINAL
Arizona 68
St Johns 55 FINAL
Villanova 63
NC State 79 FINAL
Temple 80
Missouri 55 FINAL
Michigan 65
Oral Roberts 64 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Duquesne 39 FINAL
West Virginia 60
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Middle Tennessee 82
Northern Colorado 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 77 FINAL
Sacramento St 69
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9




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