Tag Archives: LSU tigers

Boycotting The BCS

20111205-143733.jpg

Five years ago I watched the number two team in the country, my Michigan Wolverines, lose one of the best 1 VS. 2 matchups of my lifetime to Ohio State. The 42-39 thriller had so much hype due to the fact that nor only was it #1 against #2, but also it was the fact that it was the biggest rivalry in college football.

The game was incredible. It was a seesaw battle where if one team made a mistake you knew they were screwed. That mistake belonged to Michigan as OSU held on for the victory and a shot in the title game.

OSU was the only undefeated team in the nation with USC, Florida and Michigan as the best one loss teams behind them. I thought Michigan should’ve been OSU’s opponent because the game was so closely played and because they were #1 & #2 all year long. OSU and Michigan were the best two teams in the nation and they proved it on the field. A rematch would’ve been fitting because Michigan would’ve gotten to avenge it’s only loss of the season, and because… Well… I’m a Michigan fan.

The logic was there. However, Michigan didn’t win the Big Ten. The end result? Florida played OSU and we haven’t seen a non SEC BCS Champ since. I was pretty salty because I always thought that Michigan should’ve played in that game despite the result. I thought that not winning it’s own conference shouldn’t have played a factor into the game.

5 years later the BCS suddenly has had a change of heart and it’s ticked me off to no end.

After watching last nights announcement of the BCS national title, which is a rematch of a sloppy 9-6 affair between LSU and Alabama I’ve had enough of the BCS.

I understand that the SEC is the see all end all of college football in most people’s eyes, but to give Alabama a rematch against LSU when Oklahoma State was more deserving is an insult to college football.

Bama and Oklahoma State were the viable options to face LSU in the title game as each team had one loss on it’s resume (so did Stanford but they didn’t win their conference… Wait a minute…) Bana lost a game they should’ve won to LSU, as did Oklahoma State to Iowa State only one day after the tragic death of it’s women’s basketball coach.

Oklahoma State beat 7 teams with .500 records or better and 4 in the top 25 including a comeback victory against Texas A&M, an overtime thriller over Kansas State (more on this later) and a royal beat down of preseason #1 Oklahoma.

Alabama beat an overrated Penn State, an offensively challenged Auburn, and Arkansas without it’s best defensive lineman. They played a weak schedule in a down year for the SEC and got the benefit of the doubt because of it’s conference affiliation.

Some say Oklahoma State should’ve won all of their games and this wouldn’t be an issue… well shouldn’t you say the same for Alabama?

Why does Alabama get a rematch when they lost their shot earlier in the season? Alabama had LSU on it’s home turf and lost in a turnover filled game where defensive brilliance over shadowed both teams offensive ineptitude. If you’re saying that Oklahoma State blew their chance in Iowa City well didn’t Alabama blow theirs at home?

Also remember this quote… “if you don’t win your conference championship then you have no business playing for the national championship.” That was Nick Saban in 2003 after Oklahoma was announced as the opponent for his LSU Tigers after losing their conference title game. So why not hold Saban to his word?

Here’s a few reasons why the BCS won’t: 1, the system to award the title game and BCS games is a joke. 2, the matchups are predetermined. 3, the notion that every game counts is BS.

Let’s move past the title game for a minute; the only sensical match-ups this year are Oregon-Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl & Stanford-Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl. For the second straight year the Big East gets a team in the BCS with more than 3 losses. West Virginia got crushed by LSU and Syracuse (yup 5-7) and they get the Orange Bowl? Michigan isn’t ranked in the top 10 but they get the Sugar Bowl? Virginia Tech got killed by Clemson by a combined 61-13 in two games and they get a BCS bowl game?

Meanwhile #7 Boise State gets the Las Vegas bowl? Didn’t they kill Georgia in SEC country this year?

If the BCS is truly about setting up the best matchups in the country then it truly is an epic failure.

#6 Arkansas, #7 Boise, #8 Kansas State & #9 South Carolina are all BCS no shows. If four top ten BCS teams don’t even make BCS bowl games then what is the point of the system?

I understand conference winners gets dibs on these games and that a conference can’t get more than two teams in but four BCS qualifiers are outside of the top ten and two conference winners are below the top 15. Hell WVU is behind, TCU, Houston and Southern Mississippi. How does any of this make sense?

How do you tell K-State after Virginia Techs thrashing that they deserve a BCS game ahead of you when you almost beat the #3 team in the NCAA and had the 10th hardest schedule nationally? How do you tell Boise after losing by one point to last year’s Rose Bowl Champs that Michigan or VA Tech are better than you? What’s the point of playing tough games out of conference when it doesn’t seem to matter?

Even worse if you’re Oklahoma State what’s the point of winning your conference when all you get is the second best team in the PAC-12 instead of playing for the national title?

The only solution for any of this is an abolishment of the bowl system and the creation of a playoff. Put the best teams in the nation up against each other and let them duke it out. It’s the only logical way if deciding these arguments. How would we know if Alabama is better than Oklahoma State if they don’t get a chance to play each other? What about Stanford? They didn’t win the PAC-12 but they only have one loss, why can’t they play for the title?

The BCS has proven year after year that is not a good way of determining a national champion and this year its proven to be ineffective in providing college football fans with sensical match-ups for its other big time bowl games. It’s time to be rid this system once and for all.

I’ve had enough. I won’t watch the BCS title game or any other BCS game this year. I’m over this system that has shown itself to be unfair and plays favorites instead of awarding teams for their play.

All I can think about is five years and the possibility of a Michigan-OSU rematch. Those were the best teams in the nation and they should’ve played each other again but didn’t due to BCS hypocrisy. What’s changed that makes it ok for non conference champs who lost to the #1 team in the nation to now play for the national title?

Give me a break, matter of fact, give me a playoff because this system sucks.


Defending Scott Wolf

20111101-151616.jpg

Ok, we all know about my love and admiration for Boise State University and my hatred for the SEC even though it’s the best conference in college football.

I think at this time of year it’s well documented that something I like to call Boise hopping begins. That’s when Boise who is a top five team and has taken care of business in a tough out of conference matchup already has to watch as every team with a similar record leapfrog them in the polls while they sit in the same position due to ” lack of competition” or “they aren’t good enough to play for the title.”

( that really means no one wants to be that team that gets beat by Boise State. It was made even worse this year thanks to their beatdown of Georgia in their own back yard. Teams say Boise can’t compete with them but they’ve seen what happens when they’re given a shot, and in the words of Jay-Z they don’t wanna be that next contestant on that screen.)

So it comes as no shock that on the eve of this years game of the century ESPN decided to publicly stone the one guy who has the stones to vote Boise State number one in his AP ballot.

Ladies and gentlemen I present Scott Wolf of the L.A. Daily News.

Wolf is the guy that has that 1 next to Boise’s name in the AP poll and the gentlemen on ESPN’s BCS show spared no venom when questioning his decision to put Boise at number one.

As Wolf gave his reasoning, like giving Boise it’s proper respect for beating Georgia in Atlanta on opening weekend you could sense Robert Smith and company writing him off as a mere joke.

Their reasoning that Wolf is silly is because of the SEC’s obvious dominance and the constant argument that Boise State doesn’t play anyone tough on their schedule. Even after the show ESPN’s Mark May and Lou Holtz said that Boise isn’t a BCS title contender for the same reasons and all parties are predicting an LSU-Alabama rematch in the BCS title game already.

I mean what’s the point of having a season if were all deciding the title game in our heads already?

First of all Wolf is entitled to his own opinion no matter what direction the popular vote is directed in. If he feels that the Broncos are worthy of the title game then so be it. Do I think Boise is better than both LSU and Alabama? No. But I do believe that they’re better than Oklahoma State and Stanford who are currently ahead of them.

I understand that everyone is obsessed with LSU, Alabama and the SEC as a whole and that everyone is sick of this Boise argument. Well the reason we have this argument is because everyone in these committees thinks like the ESPN talking heads.

We’ve seen Boise play in the last five years and be near the top of the rankings each year. They’ve won two Fiesta Bowls (including the cop out bowl against TCU), two “neutral-site” game versus Georgia and Virginia Tech and swept a home and hone versus Oregon. Who else can say that in the last five years?

Boise has been an elite program despite playing in a small conference and has proven it can run with the big boys. So why is it that Scott Wolf gets grilled for giving them props on national TV and believes that they deserve a title shot?

Not everyone wants to see two SEC teams in the final game no matter how good the conference is. To say that the loser of LSU-Bama in Saturday should still play for the title is disrespectful to Boise State and Stanford and Oklahoma State as well.

It makes no sense to put a one loss team in the final game if there are three undefeated teams left I don’t care how good your conference is.

(side note: ok I sound like a hater, but in the midst of all of this SEC love I always had one notion that one explored… Why is it that these SEC teams never want to go play other conferences top dogs in a home and home? The biggest one is why the SEC never had LSU or Florida go out to L.A. and play USC when Pete Carroll had them as the best team in the country year after year? I’ve seen the SEC win five straight titles but I’ve also seen Alabama lose to Utah, Arkansas lose to Ohio State and Auburn barely beat Oregon after 40 days if rest. So if anything I have reason to be as skeptical of The SEC as ESPN has reason to be skeptical of Scott Wolf.)

It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the polls as the undefeateds continue to fall. After this weekend we still have Oregon-Stanford and Oklahoma-Oklahoma State and if the Cowboys and Cardinal fall as well as either the Tide or Tigers then the BCS becomes even more interesting.

Should Boise be one of the last undefeated teams left will they get the title shot that they’ve earned over the years or will a one-loss team leapfrog them again in unfair fashion.

If ESPN had it’s way then we no where Boise State’s fate lies. That’s why I support Scott Wolf for being different and standing up for his decision to make them number one.

He might be wrong in the papers, but his reasoning and methods are right according to me.


Random Thoughts, Vol. 4

BYE BOSTON!!!

Guess what time it is… this random thoughts should be fun.

The Red Sox blew it… hahahahaahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahaahahahahaahahahah

So did Atlanta (on behalf of my buddy Brian Scully who’s a huge Phillies fan… hahahahaahahahahaahhaahahahaahahahahaha)

Two SEC teams atop the NCAA rankings… shocker

The Philadelphia Eagles are 1-3… hahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahah

(side note: I know I’m putting lots of bad karma on my side by making fun of my enemies but I don’t care because this is funny. Also a message to Steve Smith, how’s Philly treating you :-P?)

Matt Moore, Josh Collmenter, Ivan Nova and Max Sherzer are all rookies that have won playoff baseball games… Cliff Lee, Zach Greinke, and C.C. Sabathia haven’t, um….

Ohio Staters Dan Herron and Devier Posey were suspended for benefits… again… please fire Gene Smith I’m begging you.

Texas A&M has led their last two games by a combined 55-20 at the half, and lost both of them.

Jordan Jefferson wants his job back at LSU… Les Miles would be stupid to say anything other than kick rocks.

Tony Romo blew a fourth quarter lead in week 1, led the Cowboys to overtime win with a punctured lung in week 2, seemed like the only competent Cowboy in week 3, then threw away week 4… at this rate Jerry Jones will be in ICU by week 9 from all of these heart attacks.

Mark Sanchez is trash…

It hasnt been a good year in Indy

… so is his offensive line.

You think the Seahawks should’ve resigned Matt Hasselbeck?

The one team that can beat Boise State is Fresno State… the game’s in Fresno… I’ll be nervous all Friday night.

Albert Pujols better not leave St. Louis…

… same for Prince Fielder in Milwaukee

(think about it for a second, why go somewhere else to play for more money when, if your Pujols, you can stay in St. Louis and be greater than Stan Musial, or if you’re Prince, stay in Milwaukee and be the ring leader of the most fun clubhouse and atmosphere in baseball? They should both learn from Carl Crawford who took more money to play in Boston and had a miserable season there when he wanted to play for the Angels. Money isn’t everything, you have to enjoy where you play and I don’t see how Boston, New York, Washington, L.A., or anywhere can compare for either of these cats.)

Ryan Roberts has too many tattoos.

Why doesn’t the Big Ten add Toledo? They’re much better than Indiana.

Missouri in the SEC? TCU in the Big East? When did NCAA realignment become like the NFL?

All of these passing yards in the NFL are nice, wait until it gets cold and you have to run the ball more and we’ll really see who the best team in the NFL is.

Is it wrong that every time I see Calvin Johnson I do the Transformers transforming noise?

Donovan… it’s over.

South Carolina had to change their uni’s because the referee couldn’t make out the numbers because the camouflage blended in with the black… Under Armour is really failing at trying to be Nike.

Speaking of South Carolina, Steve Spurrier and Stephen Garcia = George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin?

Can't wait for Saturday.

David Stern is starting to cancel games… uh oh.

When did Jesse Palmer get so much clout on ESPN?

The Rangers demoted Sean Avery to the minors, so now what do we do with these Armani vanity glasses?

Rex Grossman has a better record than Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick and Matt Ryan… I need a drink.

The Colts are really bad without Peyton Manning.

(I always knew Manning was important to the Colts success, I just didn’t know he meant this much. I mean this team could beat Purdue. The fact that Manning means this much to the Colts is a mix of crazy and sad. Think about when Tom Brady went down with a torn ACL, the Pats went 11-5! Bill Belichick just plugged Matt Cassel in there and the Pats still won games. The Colts tried with Curtis Painter and Kerry Collins and it doesn’t matter it’s just not the same. If this doesn’t prove that Manning is the most important player in the league to his team then I don’t know what will.)

If Serena has one more unwarranted blowup I’m done.

Red river is this Saturday… I’ll be looking at the sidelines more than the game. Texas and Oklahoma girls… yessir!!!

You do realize that the Yankees threw the last game of the season so the Red Sox wouldn’t make it right?

Even still, that was the greatest ending to the regular season ever.

(how great was that ending? I couldn’t stop watching the Yanks-Rays or Sox-O’s at the same time. The single fact that Red Sox lost in the manner that they lost was pure poetry. To go 7-19 in September and have a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 9th on the last day of the season only to watch Jonathan Papelbon be as sketchy as ever as he gave it away to the last place team in the division and three minutes later watch Evan Longoria line a fastball over the left field wall to clinch a berth for the Rays was movie magic. You couldn’t ask for a better script or a better ending. The best Yankees loss ever: Red Sox lost the game, the Wild Card, Terry Francona wasn’t brought back as manager and Theo Epstein might skip town too. All I need is David Ortiz on steroids and it’ll be perfect… wait a minute.)

Last one: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Thomas Eberle might be the next Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier.

Crazy? Yes. But damn they look good already.

So happy hockey’s back.


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


Gee Gets It Wrong With TCU and Boise

President Gee's comments have sparked another BCS controversy

Going to Ohio State University in the last few years I’ve developed a little bit of an affinity for our school President E. Gordon Gee.

The little man with the bowtie, coke bottle glasses and satellite ears is 76 years old going on 23 it seems. When he comes to any event on campus it’s like that scene from Goodfellas when Robert De Niro’s character Jimmy Conway walked into that gambling hall with a young Henry Hill fetching him seven and seven’s, everyone goes nuts.

Kids stop partying and dancing to run over to him and shake his hand or take a picture or tell him they love him. He’s the biggest rock star on campus and we all admire him. I’ve even had the pleasure of waiting on him a few times at the restaurants I’ve worked at in Columbus and to watch even older people break their strides to talk the guy’s ear off while he’s eating a fish sandwich is hilarious.

He deserves it though. The guy runs a great university with great programs and one hell of an athletic department that features a perennial top ten program that fills up a 100,000 seat stadium every week. That program brings in a ton of revenue from its dealings with the Big Ten Network as well, which is one of the nation’s top three conferences with marquee matchups every week that catch the eye of the viewer.

So by being in an elite program in the Big Ten, as well as serving as President at Vanderbilt in the SEC, Gee decided to let his opinion be known about the possibility of an undefeated TCU or Boise State playing for the national title. Let’s just say the folks down in Dallas or Boise won’t be rushing to shake the man’s hand anytime soon.

Gee said that he doesn’t believe the Frogs or Broncos should play in the BCS title game because they lack the elite schedule and competitive balance that an Ohio State has to become a title contender.

He feels that since the Buckeyes don’t play “little sisters of the poor” as he so eloquently put it, like the Frogs or Broncos (OOOOOHHH SNAP!), that schools such as his and the other elite programs in the country regularly have the edge when it comes to having an inside track on the national title game.

Pretty much all Gee did was something that every BCS conference coach and president wanted to say about the little guys from the little conferences that are getting all of the attention. They don’t want the little guys to take the spotlight from the 80,000 seat stadiums with the million dollar facilities that teams like OSU and Oklahoma, and more importantly take their money. The BCS games hand out 18 million dollars to each participant who adds little more to the pot for spending on their facilities and coaches and bowties.

What Gee forgets to think about and mention is this… if everyone doesn’t think that TCU and Boise State play tough enough non-conference schedules and that they should schedule tougher competition… then why not play them? Oh wait, because everyone is scared too, including Ohio State.

Virginia Tech brought Boise east and couldn't keep up.

Boise and TCU can’t get a fair shake at playing a better non-conference schedule because every time they try to play someone in a neutral site game every big school says no unless it’s at their house. TCU and Boise were only able to get Oregon State to come to their houses this year and look what happened, they got beat up. Then there was the Virginia Tech game for Boise which was technically a neutral site in Washington D.C…. that was 2 hours from Tech’s campus, and a ten hour flight from Boise.

But the result is what scares teams. Boise flew half way across the country and beat up the Hokies and won the game late 33-30. The first half was all Boise in every aspect of the game. Games like that one, the TCU upset of Oklahoma at Norman three years ago and Utah’s thrashing of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl are the dirty little secret that the big boys are scared to talk about when they criticize the schedules of the smaller schools. Deep down they know that these schools on any given day have just as much talent, just as good a coaching and can beat the Texas’s, Alabama’s and others in an instant.

That’s why you’ll never see Boise versus Ohio State in Cincinnati, because the Buckeyes don’t want a loss on national TV to a small program like Boise even if it is in their own backyard.

Another point… has Mr. Gee seen Ohio State’s non-conference schedule lately?

They never left Columbus this year to face mighty Marshall, Ohio and Eastern Michigan. Oooohhh!!!

It’s not just the Buckeyes either. No.2 Auburn had hard fought matchups against Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette and Chattanooga, no.7 Stanford scheduled powerhouses Sacramento State and Wake Forest and no.1 Oregon squeaked by New Mexico and Portland State by a combined 141-0. By the way all of these games were at home.

Then when the so-called elite played neutral site games or road games against competition that couldn’t touch the Frogs or Broncos on the field, look what happened. Oklahoma almost to a rebuilding Cincinnati team at Paul Brown Stadium, LSU barely escaped North Carolina and even Iowa got blitzed by an upstart Arizona. So just imagine if any of those teams dared to face TCU or Boise on a neutral field… trouble, trouble, trouble.

What Gee doesn’t understand is that the big boys schedule worse competition than Boise plays on a weekly basis in the WAC. I mean can Minnesota beat Fresno State or Nevada? Because Illinois or Wisconsin couldn’t, I don’t think Mississippi State could go to Salt Lake City and come out with a win, and you know how pitiful the Pac-10 is against the Mountain West. So if San Jose State and Hawaii are the little sisters of the poor then what do we call Indiana, Vanderbilt and Kansas? Distant cousins?

As much as I love Gordon Gee the person, I think the president misspoke about the level of competition at TCU and at Boise State. I’ve watched the Buckeyes, Horned Frogs and Broncos if the Buckeyes got to play these guys in the Rose Bowl or wherever, it wouldn’t be a good outcome for the Bucks.

Boise’s speed and quickness with Kellen Moore’s precision passing would eat up the Ohio State secondary, and TCU’s defense would eat up OSU’s running game and force Terrelle Pryor to win the game for the Bucks.

(By the way: if we had a quiz of quarterbacks and I gave you no names just a description of play who would you choose? The QB with only 6 interceptions in the last two seasons that is a precise passer who makes few mistakes, the Nation’s leading QB in wins in the last four years with 40 wins to 4 losses, or the 6 foot 6 QB with great skill but who routinely makes mistakes and wilts under pressure? Now guess the QB and the school that they play at. Here’s a hint: the first two play for Boise and TCU.)

You understand where Gee comes from in a business sense, but on the field it makes no sense. TCU and Boise deserve just as much of a shot as Ohio State, Auburn or Oregon at playing for the national title. If you complain about who they play, man up and knock them down it’s that simple. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes they don’t have room for the Broncos pr the Horned Frogs, they have big time matchups versus Akron, Toledo, Miami (Ohio), Colorado and UAB all at home in the next two years. I guess the little sisters of the poor weren’t available.