Tag Archives: Lamichael james

Higher Learning Week 7

This aint good for Oregon.

Not an exciting week in college football but Here’s what we learned last week:

  1. Oregon’s injuries are becoming a serious issue. First LaMichael James went down with an injury to his elbow and now Darron Thomas is questionable after a leg injury marred a 41-27 win over Arizona State. Oregon doesn’t have to worry about James or Thomas’s health this week at Boulder to face Colorado nor will they against Wazzu in two weeks. But with big games coming up against Stanford and Washington you have to wonder if the Ducks will be strong enough to handle the dark horse national title contenders in Palo Alto or the upstarts in Seattle.
  2. Georgia Tech certainly can disappoint can’t they. One minute they look like a clear cut ACC favorite, the next they’re losing to Virginia. Last week’s stinker comes at a bad time as the Jackets begin a stretch against Miami, Clemson and Virginia Tech and another loss could kiss their Orange Bowl hopes good-bye. One way that they can stop another swoon is passing the ball better. 2-8 and 2 picks is totally unacceptable even for the triple option.
  3. Michigan State might be for real after beating previously unbeaten Michigan 28-14 in East Lansing last weekend. Their defense continues to impress as one of the nation’s best as they shut down Denard Robinson in impressive style limiting him to 42 yards on the ground and forcing him into a 9-24 day and sacking him 7 times. If this Spartans team is truly for real then they will prove it against Wisconsin this week.
  4. The West is certainly best in the SEC. As Auburn, Alabama and LSU keep rolling SEC East powers South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee all continue to struggle. South Carolina looks like it’s safe to make it to the Georgia Dome for the SEC title game but a 14-12 win over disappointing Mississippi State gives us all reason as to why they won’t win against any of the 3 West powers. Connor Shaw came back down to earth and they lost Marcus Lattimore for the rest of the season. The Gamecocks should be safe against the Gators coming up but don’t expect much out of them after.
  5. Illinois disappoints… again. After a promising start they lost to the offensively inept Ohio State Buckeyes this week and looked  just as bad. The Illini turned the ball over three times and never got a good flow going. Losses like these are no wonder the Illini never can get over the hump in the Big Ten.

THE GOOD

That blur was Senquez Golson... ouch.

 

Ryan Tannehill took advantage of Baylor’s poor pass D to the tune of 415 yards and 6 td’s in a 55-28 in College Station.

THE BAD

The Big East was rejected by Army, Navy and the Air Force last weekend for admittance… they also contacted Boise State… yeah this won’t end well for the Big East.

THE UGLY

Sure Ohio State won this past weekend, but they had one completion… one. Even Tresselball wasn’t this conservative.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

The Brooklyn Buckeye man crush Kellen Moore: 26-30 for 338 yards and 4td’s in a 63-13 win for Boise over Colorado State.

EMBARASSMENT OF THE WEEK

Senquez Golson of Ole Miss… what Trent Richardson did to your ankles was horrible. YouTube that please.

TOP 5

  1. LSU
  2. Alabama
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Boise State
  5. Wisconsin

HEISMAN TOP 5

  1. Kellen Moore, Boise State
  2. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
  3. Trent Richardson, Alabama
  4. Landry Jones, Oklahoma
  5. Andrew Luck, Stanford

The best matchups this weekend includes #20 Auburn vs. #1 LSU,  #25 Washington vs. #8 Stanford and #6 Wisconsin vs. #16 Michigan State.


College Picks

20111014-024726.jpg

This weekend should be fun in Eugene.

College pick time:

YAWN:

(4) Wisconsin over Indiana

(16) Illinois over Ohio State

(12) Georgia Tech over Virginia

(1) LSU over Tennessee

(5) Boise State over Colorado State

(2) Alabama over Ole Miss

(8) Clemson over Maryland

(7) Stanford over Washington State

COULD BE INTERESTING

(24) Auburn over Florida

(15) South Carolina over Mississippi State

(21) Texas A&M over (20) Baylor

(6) Oklahoma State over (22) Texas

UPSET ALERT

Texas Tech over (17) Kansas State

Wake Forest over (19) Virginia Tech

BEAT DOWN SPECIAL

(3) Oklahoma over Kansas (don’t even watch just check the stats after… Trust me)

MUST SEE TV -GAMES OF THE WEEK

(23) Michigan State over (11) Michigan (defense prevails over offense in East Lansing)

(9) Oregon over (18) Arizona State
(even without the nations leading rusher LaMichael James the Ducks will still score at will)


Higher Learning Week 4

Things are all rosy in Baton Rouge.

So what did we learn in college football this week?

  1. Your top two teams in college football are from, dun dun dun…. The SEC. LSU’s late blowout of West Virginia and Alabama’s drubbing of Arkansas put both teams at numbers 1 & 2 in the coaches poll and have set up our first “playoff” scenario of the 2011 season. One of these two teams will be playing for the national title this year no doubt it and one can knock the other out of the race for the title on November 5th when they clash in Tuscaloosa. I’m not shocked by Alabama’s performance as much as I am LSU’s.  With so much controversy surrounding the Tigers at the beginning of the season with the incident involving Jordan Jefferson the Tigers have put it in the rearview and put together impressive victories against Oregon in Dallas and West Virginia in Morgantown. If there was an NCAA comeback player of the year award then it should go to Jarrett Lee. Lee was a one-time starter before the arrival of Jefferson. Ever since Jefferson was suspended for the season opener Lee got his job back and has a strangle hold on it. Also let’s give Les Miles some credit. We call him the ‘Mad Hatter” due to his questionable decision making on the sidelines but he has had his boys ready to play for a full 60 this year. they play their best ball late in games as well as the scored the last 20 points in the 4th quarter to put WVU away and 24 straight in the second half against Oregon.  LSU and Alabama play tough ones against Florida in the next month, but nothing should stop them from a possible 1 vs. 2 matchup in Saban Bowl 3. Mark your calendars folks.
  2. If Texas A&M can’t put away an Oklahoma State team that plays absolutely no defense then what will they accomplish in the SEC? after Saturday’s 30-29 loss to the Cowboys you have to wonder just what will happen to the Aggies once they begin SEC play. It’s been well documented that Oklahoma State plays no defense but that didn’t stop the Cowboys from shutting down the Aggies for almost 2 quarters as Oklahoma State score 27 unanswered after being down 20-3 in the third quarter on the road. Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon were stellar once again in leading the Cowboys back from the dead. However, the focus is on Texas A&M’s lackluster finish. if they couldn’t put away the Cowboys and were turnover prone against their defense what will happen next year when they face LSU, Auburn and Alabama? Mike Sherman’s bunch had an opportunity to make the Aggies last year in the Big 12 a memorable one; instead the Aggies are staring uncertainty in the face as they make their departure.
  3. Before all is said and done the Arizona State Sun Devils may have a say in the Pac-12 race. Their 43-22 win over USC featured a tremendous performance by their defense, which put Matt Barkley in bad positions all day forcing him into two interceptions and 4 turnovers overall for the Trojans. Running back Cameron Marshall finally got the running game going with a 3 touchdown, 141 yard performance to match Brock Oswilers passing proficiency. After a slipup in Champaign, Illinois last week the Sun Devils were able to right the ship in impressive fashion. The road for the Devils doesn’t get any easier with trips to Salt Lake City to face Utah and then they head to Eugene the next week to face the Ducks. They might not win the Pac-12 but they will be a team to watch.
  4. The Big Ten, like most conferences had its top tier, middle of the road and bottom feeder teams. That was more than on display this weekend as the upper echelons strived, the middle of the pack struggles and the bottom feeders looked bad. Wisconsin, Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa all rolled to victory, So did Ohio State but their passing game looked ineffective and Illinois had trouble putting Western Michigan away. Then there was Indiana and Indiana who lost to North Texas and North Dakota State… yep. As conference play begins this weekend it will be clear to see who belongs where in this conference.
  5. You should put Houston Nutt on the ax watch. Ole Miss is 1-3 with losses to BYU and Georgia at home and an embarrassing showing at Vanderbilt last week. Nutt was

    No Houston they're not walking you out of Oxford... yet.

    impressive in his first season leading the Rebels to a 10 win season and a Cotton Bowl win. Ever since then it has been one disappointment after another. If Ole Miss could fire a coach after a 10 win season (hi Ed Oregeron) how do you think they will treat Nutt?

THE GOOD

Florida’s run game. They have been a pass oriented program for the last few years but not against Kentucky last weekend. The Gators ran for over 400 yards including 157 from Jeff Demps and 105 from Chris Rainey in a 48-10 beat down.

THE BAD

Pittsburgh’s offensive line (I meant the school but after last night’s win in Indy you could include the Steelers too). They gave up 6 sacks to Notre Dame in a 15-12 defeat. Todd Sunseri had no time to throw and the Panthers suffered for it.

THE UGLY

This is usually reserved for the Maryland Terrapins uniforms (and they were hideous) but how about some hate for the actual game play. Falling behind 31-0 to Temple… TEMPLE!!!??? Yeah Pitt and Syracuse made a great decision in joining the ACC.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

LaMichael James, Oregon: 23 carries, 288 yards and 2 TD’s in Oregon’s 56-31 stomping of Arizona.

EMBARASSMENT OF THE WEEK

To the referees in the Toledo-Syracuse game… everyone saw that extra point for Syracuse sail wide left and you called it good even after replay confirmed that you were wrong? Even that call would’ve been made properly then Toledo would’ve had a win. Looks like the Big East officials are practicing ACC standards already.

TOP 5

After further review... it's still no good.

 

  1. LSU
  2. ALBAMA
  3. OKLAHOMA
  4. BOISE STATE
  5. OKLAHOMA STATE

HEISMAN TOP 5

  1. KELLEN MOORE, BOISE STATE
  2. ANDREW LUCK, STANFORD
  3. LANDRY JONES,  OKLAHOMA
  4. TRENT RICHARDSON, ALABAMA
  5. LAMICHAEL JAMES, OREGON

Next week has some interesting matchups on tap. Texas A&M takes on Arkansas in the TEXARKANA battle at Cowboys Stadium, Nevada travels to Boise as the Broncos look for revenge for last year’s BCS busting loss at Reno. Michigan State takes on Ohio State in the Big Ten opener for both. Clemson travels to Virginia Tech in a ACC battle. But the two big ones are Florida-Alabama and Nebraska-Wisconsin both at night.


Higher Learning Week 1 CFB

Yep... It's us again.

So to fully analyze the silliness that is college football I’ve decided to dedicate a weekly recap entitled “Higher Learning.” Get it? college? Learning? Education?… well it’s cool to me so deal with it. so let’s start it off shall we with five things I learned this weekend:

  1. As if we needed anymore proof that Boise State is a powerhouse program they gave us a new reason to be afraid of them… they beat an SEC team… in SEC country… and it wasn’t even close. Boise’s 35-21 beat down in the ATL was as impressive of a performance offensively and defensively as I’ve seen from them. They weren’t intimidated by the SEC name, the partisan crowd or the fact that they lost a ton of experience on both offense and defense. Fact is that as long as Kellen Moore is under center then it really doesn’t matter who’s there. Moore led a balanced attacked up and down the Georgia dome and the defense was stellar save for an 80 yard touchdown run by Brandon Boykin. Boise looks like they’re primed to make another BCS run and doesn’t look like it’ll be tested seriously until October 7th when they face up with Pat Hill’s always pesky Fresno State squad. Let the Boise hype begin.
  2. How about the Big 12 putting the Texas A&M controversy and the concerns about the future of the conference to the side and putting together a 10-0 weekend including Baylor’s 50-48 upset of then #14th ranked TCU . The conference flexed its offensive muscle as 7 of the 10 teams scored 42 points or more and looked unaffected by the constant banter surrounding the conference. It gets to flex more muscle this week as Oklahoma State faces a good Arizona team, Missouri takes on Arizona State, Texas faces BYU coming off of a win against Mississippi in Oxford and the battle for the Cy-Hawk trophy in Ames, Iowa between Iowa and Iowa State.
  3. LSU might be the team to beat in the SEC. Florida, Alabama and Auburn all won this weekend (Auburn barely) but LSU was the most impressive team this weekend. Jarrett Lee made Jordan Jefferson seem expendable with his performance against Oregon as he led the Tigers to 24 straight points in route to a 40-27 route at Cowboys Stadium. However, what was very impressive was the LSU front four that gave LaMichael James and the Ducks no room to run and stuffed them at every turn. If they can get by two tough road games against Mississippi State and West Virginia then we could be talking about LSU playing for the National Championship in New Orleans for the third straight time.
  4. I wouldn’t pencil in Alabama into the National Championship just yet. even after a sound 48-7 beating of Kent State you have to be very concerned of their QB situation. AJ McCarron and Phillip Sims threw two picks each and looked shaky at times. I can imagine how shaky they will be when facing 107,000 rabid Nittany Lions fans this weekend at Beaver Stadium. The Tide should roll to victory this weekend but not without some mistakes under center.
  5. The weather needs to calm down after this weekend. Lightning caused delays during games in Morgantown, South Bend and Ann Arbor and caused one fan serious injury in Morgantown. Hopefully mother nature will be on her best behavior going forward and people will be safe… and games can get finished in less than 8 hours.

THE GOOD

No comment.

Cincinnati beat up Austin Peay University 72-10 racking up 561 total yards and putting up the most points this weekend of any FBS team in the country.

THE BAD

TCU’s defense. Gary Patterson’s bunch has been a force on the defensive end in the last few seasons ranking in the top ten nationally. Against Baylor they resembled the Bad News Bears allowing 50 points, 564 total yards and giving Patterson an aneurysm.

THE UGLY

Maryland’s uniforms… yuck.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Kellen Moore: 28-34, 261 yards and 3 TD’s in a 35-21 beat down of Georgia.

EMBARRASSMENT OF THE WEEK

Notre Dame’s effort against South Florida. Dayne Crist could be permanently benched, the offense looked stagnant and Brian Kelly dropped about 30 F-Bombs on NBC… oops.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s best matchups Alabama faces Penn State at State College, and Notre Dame heads to Ann Arbor to play Michigan under the lights at The Big House.


Your Scandal-Free College Football Preview

Way to continue the trend Jordan.

You know why I started to watch sports as a kid? Because every time I watched the regular news all I saw was murder, poverty and scandal. After a while you get sick of looking at poor kids starving in Africa, someone shot in Brooklyn or some greedy CEO going to jail for screwing over his company.

In my head sports was simple and true. Just guys scoring goals, touchdowns and making shots. There was no greed in athletics, no horrible occurrences and no death. Was I naïve? Of course I was but I hadn’t hit 10 yet.

The harsh reality of sports hit me in 1992 when Mike Tyson went to jail for rape. I couldn’t really fathom how it happened and even today still can’t. How can an athlete do something wrong I thought? All he does is box. What does rape have to do with sports and who would do something like that?

Once Tyson went to jail Michael Irvin got caught with cocaine, Rae Carruth killed his baby mother and hid in his trunk and the steroid scandal began. Naivety went out of the window, sports is no different than any other thing in life. Athletes and institutions screw up just as much as the guy that robbed the 7-11 last night and looked into the camera, that’s just a reality.

The worst culprit of all I’ve come to realize is college sports in particular college football. As much as I love the pageantry and craziness of football on Saturdays it might be the most corrupt association in all of sports.

I’ve given the notion that no school is clean and everyone cheats. With all that’s at stake in job security, getting the best players and getting to a BCS game AD’s, boosters, coaches and players do what they can to make sure that they win whether it’s pay for play, turning the other cheek when your players commit crimes, taking benefits or whatever. You have to win, winning keeps you employed, winning makes recruits want to come there, then when they get there they have to be happy hence the benefits of cars, tattoos and free bar tabs.

I’ve come to accept this in the last ten years or so, but honestly after this year it is getting out of control.

Even without the guy on the right Luck has Stanford ready to compete.

How many scandals can the NCAA have in one year? dating back to October of 2010 Auburn has had a pay for play scandal with Cam Newton, Georgia and Florida have had issues with arrests, USC was sanctioned for the Reggie Bush scandal, Tennessee has had ongoing investigations due to violations under Lane Kiffin, Ohio State… (I won’t get into this any further 5 blogs on them is enough), Oregon suspended its top corner Cliff Harris after an arrest, North Carolina is still awaiting its punishment for its players receiving improper benefits, Miami’s scandal looks like an episode of Miami Vice and now LSU is in hot water after Jordan Jefferson and company got into a huge bar far in Baton Rouge and he’ll miss time including opening night versus Oregon…

AND THIS IS IN ONE YEAR!!!

College football is at its opening weekend and there is barely any talk of the games being played but the scandal that surrounds it. Big time matchups will not have marquee names, the eye of the NCAA is fixed everywhere and honestly, I’m watching ESPN everyday to see who slips up next.

This year could be a wide open year as far as the race for a national champion goes and you wouldn’t even know it. Florida State is back in the top 10, Nebraska is in the Big Ten, Utah is in the Pac-12, Texas A&M is acting like a spoiled child, Syracuse might be back, Oklahoma could run the table and it’s all about scandal.

Well I’m sick of it. let’s talk about the football people because that’s all that matters. this is a scandal-free college football preview where football is the only discussion. let’s talk about who’s number one, who can contend and who can take down the SEC (hopefully someone because I’m sick of the SEC.)

ACC

The conference is the worst of the big 6 (yes worse than the Big East), however it looks to get better this season.

Florida State is back in the top 5 coming off of a 10-3 season and has high hopes for a run at the national title behind QB E.J. Manuel. Once mainstays in title hunt the Seminoles have had it rough in the last ten few seasons but clearly have the edge in the conference this year.

One team to look out for is Maryland. Returning QB Danny O’ Brian is a beast under center and new head coach Randy Edsall should whip this defense into shape.

It’s still a weak conference (hi Wake Forest and Duke) but Florida State’s returning star power should give the conference something to hang its hat on

Non-conference game of the year: FSU-OKLAHOMA

Conference game of the year: Conf Champ. Game VT-FSU

Conference winner: FSU

Player of the Year: Danny O’ Brian

BIG EAST

You all know I’m overly geeked that Syracuse is good again (and you especially know this after they came back to beat Wake Forest last night) but the conference is on its way up again with TCU entering next season.

Yeah, I'm excited for SYracuse football too.

West Virginia returns QB Geno Smith, who is a dark horse candidate for the Heisman trophy and Louisville may finally have a defense that can keep up with its offense.

The key to the success of the conference this year lies in its top 4 though. West Virginia, Pittsburgh, South Florida and Syracuse have big non-conference games that can showcase whether or not this conference is truly worth being a BCS conference.

However… THE CUSE IS BACK!!!

Give me reason to have hope after a 8-5 season, a huge win last night and the possibility that Ryan Nassib can have some magic in that arm of his. In a conference that has been mired in mediocrity it needs Syracuse to be good again. The Orange may be neck and neck with West Virginia for best football history in the conference and it needs to rekindle its rivalries with WVU and Penn State. You have to cheer for the Cuse to come back the conference needs it.

Non conference game of the year: Syracuse-USC, South Florida-Notre Dame, West Virginia-LSU, Pitt-Iowa

Conference game of the year: Pitt-WVU

Conference winner: WVU

Best Player: Geno Smith

BIG 12

The best team in the country resides in Norman, Oklahoma; the best offense resides in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The team that could make noise more than any school is in College Station, Texas. Sure the conference cut two teams, but it made the conference better.

Oklahoma at number one followed by Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, combined with an underrated Missouri, a comeback year for Texas and a growing threat in Texas Tech makes this the second best conference in the country.

They have the best arms in the nation in Landry Jones and Brandon Weeden, a great hybrid QB in Robert Griffin and don’t forget about Kansas State getting Bryce Brown, who transferred from Tennessee.

The question is can anybody in the conference finally play some defense?

Texas A&M lost standout linebacker Von Miller, Oklahoma won’t have its leading tackler Travis Lewis for Florida State and the Cowboys (and every other team in the conference for that matter) can’t stop anyone.

Catch us if you can.

If the Big 12 wants to climb past the SEC and be the big dog on Saturdays then one of these teams has to allow less than 35 points a game and get physical up front. Until that happens, as much as I like this Oklahoma team, I can’t pick them to win the national title… but I can pick them to get there.

Non-conference game of the year: FSU-Oklahoma, Texas A&M-Arkansas

Conference game of the year: Texas A&M-Oklahoma

Conference winner: Oklahoma

Best player: Landry Jones

BIG 10

The Big Ten has been Ohio State’s personal punching bag for the last ten years… not anymore.

With Nebraska and monster defensive tackle Jared Crick coming to the conference it’s a new day in the Midwest. Nebraska comes off a disappointing finish to last year where it looked like the Cornhuskers were going to ride Taylor Martinez to the Fiesta Bowl. However, as with most freshmen QB’s he faded.

This year however he and the Huskers are reloaded and ready to contend for a national title… if they can get by Wisconsin.

After watching last night’s beat down of UNLV it looks like new QB Russell Wilson will fit right in at Madison. Behind a monster offensive line and Monte Ball in the backfield the Badgers, if they don’t make it to New Orleans, could still find themselves in Pasadena.

Watch out for Northwestern too (yes, Northwestern) they are primed to make a run to the top with Dan Persa returning from an Achilles injury. Also, Michigan might be making a comeback with new coach Brady Hoke at the helm. The days of a punch less Michigan defense might be over.

(Ok so I have to say a few words about Ohio State. This year is such a disappointment already even though there hasn’t been a game played yet. when Joe Bauserman was named the starter yesterday it hit me that this is what’s left at Ohio State.

The scandal has left the team spinning and it hasn’t stopped. Three more players were suspended for the opener against Akron for accepting improper benefits adding to the four suspended starters from the tattoo scandal and Terrelle Pryor going AWOL to the NFL. All that’s left is Carlos Hyde, Bauserman and Block O.

It’s been such an embarrassing turn of events leading into what was supposed to be a legendary new beginning to the Big Ten. The Buckeyes were supposed to collide head on with the Huskers for supremacy of the conference early on. It was supposed to be a new rivalry brewing that would decide the Big Ten for the next however many years. Now Ohio State is a non-factor., an afterthought, and it’s hard to swallow.

College scandals were way easier to deal with when it wasn’t the school that you went to.)

Non-conference game of the year: Penn State-Alabama

Conference game of the year: Wisconsin-Nebraska

Conference winner: Nebraska

Best player: Jared Crick

PAC-12

LaHeisman?

 

Welcome to the conference Colorado and Utah… now watch Oregon blow by all of you.

Much to the contrary belief that this is a two team race I highly disagree. Stanford is highly overrated thanks in part to Andrew Luck (though it is a good reason because Luck is a beast). Stanford lost a lot on both sides of the ball and they may need Luck to throw up 40 points a game to have a chance at winning 10 games…

And 40 won’t be enough to beat Oregon.

They only lose Jeff Maehl on the outside  and Casey Matthews on defense, however LaMichael James, Chip Kelly’s silly cards and the most high octane offense in the NCAA is all back. Getting through the Pac-12 will be a little bit of a problem, but just a little problem.

Non-conference game of the year: Oregon-LSU

Conference game of the year: Oregon-Stanford

Conference winner: Oregon

Best player: Andrew Luck

THE MIGHTY MIGHTY SEC

Were the 2 mighty’s necessary? Um… they’ve won the last five national titles so yes. I’ve finally given in and given the SEC its props and rightfully so. It’s the best conference in the country by a mile, no one recruits as good as them, is as fast them or as tough on defense as them.

Their top 6 teams year in and out could win any conference by a game or two, they routinely run over competition and make the best in another conference look bad (hi, Big 10 and Big 12) and they are bigger and faster than anyone in the nation.

However there are some concerns all over the conference. Besides the LSU hiccups there are issues in Georgia as they come off of their first losing season since the 80’s, Florida adjusts to a new coach in Will Muschamp and people in Gainesville are still skeptical of John  Brantley, Auburn and Alabama have to replace national champion QB’s and Tennessee is still trying to climb its way back to respectability.

However the news is all rosy in Starkville, Mississippi and Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Bulldogs are looking to build on a 9-4 season as Dan Mullen enters his third year as coach, and the Razorbacks are a dark horse national title pick. Bobby Petrino has to reload at QB after losing Ryan Mallett but Tyler Wilson should ease some concern for fans of the Hogs if his year mirrors his 332 yard 4 TD performance versus Auburn last year.

The wildcard here is South Carolina. Steve Spurrier after 6 years finally has the Gamecocks in position to win the SEC and make a claim as one of the best teams in the conference as well as the nation. Troubled QB Stephen Garcia looks like he’s getting his last shot at redemption and with the help of the best defense in the SEC (which gets better with the freakish Jadeveon Clowney coming to Columbia, SC) and Marcus Lattimore who is gaining buzz for a run at the Heisman.

If South Carolina can survive road tests “Between the Hedges” and at Arkansas then they should be dancing to Atlanta for the SEC title game and to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.

Non-conference game of the year: Arkansas-Texas A&M, LSU-Oregon, Florida-Florida State

Conference game of the year: LSU-Arkansas

Conference winner: South Carolina

Best player: Marcus Lattimore

South Carolina may finally be the cream of the SEC crop.

 

As for the Non-AQ schools it’s all about Boise State. TCU is in its last year in the Mountain West before runs through the Big East and Boise looks like the only challenger to a BCS bowl game. However, a number 5 ranking after losing Titus Young, Austin Pettis and half of your defense is tough. As much as I like the Broncos (and Kellen Moore especially) I don’t see them getting to the BCS this year even if they beat Georgia this Saturday. TCU even without Andy Dalton is still no slouch and they have to travel to Fresno to take on a always frisky Bulldog team. it looks like this will be the first year without a BCS buster in sometime.

So with all that said who plays in the national title game? Oregon and Oklahoma.

Yeah I know the SEC is the best conference and that they’ve won the last five titles but it’s got to end at some point. Last year while watching Oregon-Auburn I saw Oregon not only keep up with the Tigers but they beat them in certain areas. If that game were played a week or two after the end of the season then the Ducks would’ve been national champs.

I like the Sooners but I don’t know if they can stop anybody outside of their conference on defense. Landry Jones will have a huge year and look like a first round draft pick under center, but do they have the speed to keep up with a team from the SEC or Oregon? I don’t think so.

So there it is the Oregon Ducks will win the national title and Puddles the Duck will be doing celebratory pushups in New Orleans. Hopefully that’s what we’ll remember this season for is the action that takes place on the field and not the calamity and chaos that happens off of it.

ACC- FLORIDA STATE (DARK HORSE- MARYLAND)

BIG EAST- WEST VIRGINIA (SYRACUSE)

BIG 12- OKLAHOMA (OKLAHOMA STATE)

BIG 10- NEBRASKA (NORTHWESTERN)

PAC 12- OREGON (UTAH)

SEC- SOUTH CAROLINA (FLORIDA)

HEISMAN- LAMICHAEL JAMES

BCS CHAMP GAME- OREGON VS. OKLAHOMA

ROSE BOWL- NEBRASKA VS. STANFORD

SUGAR BOWL-  SOUTH CAROLINA VS. WEST VIRGINIA

ORANGE BOWL- FLORIDA STATE VS. WISCONSIN

FIESTA BOWL- TEXAS A&M VS. FLORIDA


Auburn Deserves Its Title, But The Game Deserves A Better Result

The BCS title game was settled, but who was really the nest team in the country?

I know you want some venom for the SEC especially after winning their 5th straight national championship in a 22-19 thrilling victory by Auburn over Oregon. Unfortunately I have none for you… well I do and I don’t.

I don’t because it was the designated BCS title game and Auburn and Oregon were fair participants in the game by winning all of the games on their schedule. I also hold no venom because I am happy that Cam Newton came out on top of all of the controversy and criticism that surrounded him and his father Cecil and the pay for play scandal.

Newton through it all stood tall and had great poise and presence in dealing with the media who were like vultures waiting for a new development in the story and for Newton to crack. Instead of cracking he responded with legendary performances like leading that second half comeback in Tuscaloosa to beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl to even have a shot in the title game.

Newton’s play on the field was more than worthy of his Heisman trophy win and the BCS national championship. While Oregon’s defense held him in check running the ball Newton won the game with his arm going 20-34 for 265 yards and two scores. While he wasn’t effective on the ground he got key first downs in the fourth quarter, which kept Oregon’s offense off of the field.

Even after his fumble that led to an Oregon score Newton came out and led the Tigers on their game-winning drive (aided nicely by freshman Michael Dyer who had a huge game and won the offensive MVP) without a sweat. Newton was not shaken by any obstacle thrown his way this entire season and deserved to win the title as compensation for his work.

In addition to Newton, how about the great play of Nick Fairley? Fairley was the defensive player of the game as he dominated Oregon’s offensive

Nick Fairley was a beast for Auburn.

line and held the Ducks running attack to under 100 rushing and LaMichael James to only 47. Fairley positioned himself as the possible number one overall pick in the draft with this performance and Carolina would be fools not to pick him.

The main reason Auburn won was not Fairley or Newton however, it was the fact that Oregon left points on the field o

n two possessions that will haunt Chip Kelly all offseason. The first was in the first quarter in the red zone when Darron Thomas was blitzed and threw an errant pass that was picked off by Demond Washington. It came when Oregon’s confusing offense was getting to Auburn and could’ve set the tone for the Ducks in a quarter when the Ducks defense was holding Newton and company in check.

The second came in the third quarter after a brilliant fake punt followed by a 30 yard completion from Thomas to Lavasier Tuinei. The Ducks had four tries inside the two yard line and came away with no points. Their inability to run the ball was evident Kenjon Barmer tried to run between the tackles and was stuffed for no gain as had been the case all night.

Those two possessions all but doomed the Ducks. They proved that they could run with the tigers but coming away empty handed two times in the red zone absolutely murdered them.

(Side note: why didn’t Chip Kelly try running outside the tackles? Oregon proved that it was just as fast as the Tigers yet Kelly never took advantage of his team’s speed and have Barmer or James try to hit the corners and take off. They played into the hands of Auburn’s defense by trying to get between the tackles and run. When that didn’t work they then put the game in Thomas’s hands who put up numbers but looked very shaky at times.)

So there you have it Auburn wins in a great title game that we should all be proud of and that was entertaining for everyone involved. Everyone’s happy end of story and close this puppy up… well…

Now here’s the part where you call me a hater, cry-baby and a punk, fair warning. There was a point in the third quarter where Auburn couldn’t get that extra push and put Oregon away though they were limiting their offense and moving the ball on their defense. At about the five minute mark of the quarter I looked at the guy next to me at the bar and said, “You think TCU is sitting at home going we could beat both of these teams?” He of course argued in the typical SEC, they’re the toughest, blah blah blah .Well that’s what I and many people across the country thought while watching a game that for the most part was dull and provided no secure closure for deciding who the national champ is, and that’s a problem.

Last year when Alabama beat Texas you knew from watching the game that Alabama was the best team in the country. The same thing goes for Florida in their 24-14 win over Oklahoma two years ago. I didn’t get that sense with Auburn. Did they win? Yes. However, I’m not satisfied with the result of them being the national champion because I don’t think they are the best team in the country.

I feel as though TCU, Wisconsin, Stanford, Alabama, Oklahoma and Boise State could all beat Auburn and I say that with a straight face. Auburn

After watching the title game TCU has a good case for being the best team in the country.

was not that impressive; they had various opportunities to put Oregon away and threw every opportunity away and let Oregon hang around. Good teams put their opponents to sleep and the Tigers were unable to do so.

Furthermore there is an undefeated team left in TCU who after beating a physical team in Wisconsin is sitting home undefeated and in my opinion deserves a fair shot at the national championship (you know where this is going.). If this game and result isn’t a clear indication that we need a playoff then I don’t know what is.

To me if Auburn couldn’t score on Oregon’s small and confusing defense then what would they do when faced with TCU’s faster and more physical defense? How would Nick Fairley fare against Wisconsin’s monstrous offensive line opening holes for all three of their running backs? Could they stop Oklahoma’s more sophisticated aerial assault? Or how about if Andrew Luck had time to throw on that weak secondary, what would happen? I think in every scenario they would get beat.

This was Auburn’s first game against an actual tough non-conference opponent (no Chattanooga and at home to a weak Clemson team doesn’t count) and they weren’t that impressive. I walked away from this game wanting more than what I got and I won’t have a chance to get it.

Unfortunately the BCS has too much money tied into the current system and they think the bowl system is what’s good for the tradition of the game (yes because there is so much tradition in the Kraft Fight Hunger bowl and the Little Caesar’s Bowl.) so it won’t happen anytime in the near future. That means that next year if Boise State, Oregon and Alabama all finish undefeated and Alabama beats Oregon 6-3 while Boise whips it up on Texas in the Fiesta Bowl guess what? Yep, more dissatisfaction.

This is the worst system in sports and will continue to be so unless we get a proper way of deciding a national champion that is satisfying to all involved. Once again a school is screwed and the viewer is not happy with the result but it is what it is.

The result is Auburn winning the national championship and they deserve it because they did what was asked of them. Cam Newton and company need to apologize to no one for their accomplishments on the field and should enjoy the fruits of their labor. On the flip side we’re still left wondering why there are still two undefeated teams left in college football and why everyone except the BCS thinks this is a bad thing. Could TCU beat Auburn? I don’t know, too bad we can’t find out and get the satisfaction the game needs and deserves.


Alabama And Oregon Make Statements

Who's next on Alabama's menu?

I don’t want to play Alabama… Or Oregon.

If Ohio State plays either one of those two teams in the national title game… If they should happen to make it that far… Then I’m not watching. Not after what I witnessed on Saturday.

Alabama and Oregon proved beyond a shadow of doubt that they are the two best teams in the country with their beatdowns of Florida and Stanford.

Alabama did it with their trademark no holds bard, strangling defense that sent John Brantley running for the sidelines. The gel Florida to six points on offense and made the passing game virtually an afterthought as Marcel Dareus and company pounded the Gators into submission and let the country know who was number one with a bullet.

Oregon on the other hand used their explosive offense to bludgeon Stanford. The Ducks seem to spot the Cardinal 21 points and fall behind as sort of a way of saying ” is that it?” once Darron Thomas and LaMichael James got going there was no stopping them. Thomas threw for three td’s and ran for another to compliment James’s huge game. James ran for 257 yards and three scores placing him in the top 3 on the mix for the Heisman race with Denard Robinson and Kellen Moore.

The Ducks and Tide right now have no competition to keep them from running away with their conference titles and potentially facing off in the national title game.

Can anyone in the pac-10 stop LaMichael James and company?

The Ducks still have to travel to Southern Cal for a matchup with the Trojans later this month and there’s always the do or die Civil War matchup with Oregon State in December. However neither of those teams have the defensive capability to come close to stopping the Ducks offensively.

Alabama you would think has a tougher road ahead in the mighty SEC, however the conference isn’t as strong as past years would implicate (ah-gem Georgia). There next possible tough opponent would be LSU in death valley next month. However, LSU is so flawed offensively that if Bama puts up 14 points that would be more than enough to put the Tigers to sleep. After that comes the Iron Bowl and the defenseless Auburn Tigers and a rematch possibly against Florida in the SEC title game. After Saturday I’m pretty sure Florida wants no part of the Tide for awhile.

No one should want any part of Alabama or Oregon for that matter. Both teams made statements showing the entire country that no one can hang with them outright. That goes for Boise state, TCU, Ohio State and anyone else that was watching and had doubts about them. We all know who number one and number two in the country is. Don’t believe me? Just ask Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh how good the Tide and Ducks are.

Others making statements this weekend:

– Michigan State proving that they are no slouches by taking out dark horse title contender Wisconsin.

– Denard Robinson with almost 500 yards of total offense and making the Heisman his for the taking.

– Baltimore going into Pittsburgh and beating the Steelers to claim the top spot in the AFC.

– The New York Giants defense bringing back memories of the Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson days with a ten sack dominating performance against the bears last night to put them in a three way tie atop the division

(shotout to the Giants fans for booing Tiki Barber as well for letting him know that he’s still a punk.)

– Lastly… The Rams may surprise people… Not saying they’ll make the playoffs but just watch them play. Coach Steve Spagnuolo has them on the right track.