The Built Ford Tough Series returns to action in Memphis Friday and Saturday night, and the event should be as exciting as last weekend in Nashville. The bull pen is as strong or stronger, so there will be plenty of chances to see 90-point rides. I’ve put together eight key first-round match-ups, and as always, I’ll do my best to give a prediction. If you have any to add, please comment below or email me at: email@example.com. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the event!
Caleb Sanderson vs. RFD-TV
Caleb Sanderson has had his ups-and-downs in 2010, but he has maintained his spot on the BFTS the entire season and currently sits 26th in the standings. He is coming off a 1-for-3 performance and short-go appearance in Nashville. His first-round bull in Memphis is RFD-TV, a bull owned by Teague Bucking Bulls, LLC. In 11 BFTS outs this year, he has been ridden seven times for an average ride score of nearly 89.5 points. Sanderson could win the round on this bull, but RFD-TV will throw a rider off if he stubs his toe at all. If all else fails, I go with the animal athlete.
My Pick: RFD-TV
Chris Shivers vs. Stinger
Chris Shivers is currently 25th in the standings which is hard to believe, but he still shows signs of the old Shivers every once in awhile. He has drawn Stinger in the first round this weekend. Stinger, a bull owned by Folds/Strickland Bucking Bulls, is unridden in two outs this season with an average bull score of 43.25 points. This is a great draw, and it’s one Chris should take advantage of. It should put him somewhere near the top five in round one.
My Pick: Chris Shivers
Cord McCoy vs. Deja Blu
Cord McCoy returned to the BFTS last weekend for the first time in months, and fans will get to see him again in Memphis. Unfortunately for McCoy, he hasn’t really gotten anything going in 2010. He has drawn Deja Blu in round one, and that’s one of the best draws a rider could hope for. McCoy had this bull last weekend, and he warmed him up about half the ride. The bad thing with this match-up is the fact Deja Blu will probably go away from his hand, and the riding redhead has trouble in that area. This bull will probably be even better this weekend as well.
My Pick: Deja Blu
Guilherme Marchi vs. Cool Spot
Guilherme Marchi moved down to sixth in the standings after an 0-for-2 performance in Nashville last weekend. He actually looked off a couple bulls which was a surprise. His first-round bull this weekend will be Cool Spot, another bull owned by Folds/Strickland Bucking Bulls. Cool Spot was in the long round last weekend as well, but he bucked like a short-go bull (44.25 and could have been higher). Like I said last week, Marchi is still injured and it has shown in recent weeks. As hard as it is to pick against Guilherme again, this isn’t a bull that will do a rider any favors when battling injuries.
My Pick: Cool Spot
Reese Cates vs. Rusty Zipper
Reese Cates is coming off an 0-for-2 weekend in Nashville, and he currently sits 54th in the standings. He has a ton of talent, but he just hasn’t been very good since winning PBR Rookie of the Year honors in 2008. Things won’t start off any easier for him this weekend either, as he has drawn Rusty Zipper in the first round. This bull, owned by Robinson/Cappello/Teague, has been ridden three times in seven BFTS outs for an average ride score of 88 points. Those numbers are a little misleading because this bull has gotten better and better throughout 2010. He is a little out-of-line at times, and he will toss Cates pretty quickly.
My Pick: Rusty Zipper
Silvano Alves vs. Segs The Juice
Silvano Alves finished eighth last weekend, and he is currently 23rd in the standings. That’s pretty remarkable because he has only been to eight BFTS events and is riding over 65 percent of his bulls. His first-round draw in Memphis is Segs The Juice, a bull owned by Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls. In 19 BFTS outs in 2010, this bull has been ridden 11 times for an average ride score of 87.57 points. This is the easiest pick in the first round, and Alves will be near the top of the leaderboard after all is said and done.
My Pick: Silvano Alves
Valdiron de Oliveira vs. Despicable Me
With all the talk of Renato Nunes and Austin Meier, Valdiron de Oliveira just keeps on riding bulls and rolling along. He is currently third in the standings after a 10th-place finish in Nashville. In fact, he has finished in the top 10 in five consecutive BFTS events. His first-round draw is Despicable Me, a bull owned by Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls. In six outs this year, Despicable Me has been ridden once for an 86.5 ride score. This one isn’t quite the lay-up the match-up above is, but I’m not picking against Oliveira right now.
My Pick: Valdiron de Oliveira
Wiley Petersen vs. Midnight Charlie
Wiley Petersen hasn’t quite been as consistent as usual in 2010, but he is still 17th in the standings. His first-round draw in Memphis is Midnight Charlie, a bull owned by Lufkin Ranch & Rodeo. In four BFTS outs this season, Midnight Charlie has been ridden once for an 85.25 ride score. Judging how he bucked last week, however, he will be a lot better than that in Memphis. He was marked 44.5 points in Nashville and was one of the best long-round bulls out. This one is the toughest of my match-ups to call, but I’m taking Wiley. This is also my prediction to win the first round.
My Pick: Wiley Petersen