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Boycotting The BCS

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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.

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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 2

Michigan's late magic against Notre Dame brought back some old memories for Wolverine fans.

So what did we learn this weekend?

  1. Call this premature, but Michigan might be back. Sure there secondary is horrendous and their defense has issues upfront, but after that 35-31 thriller under the lights for the first time in the Big House it looks like Michigan might have it bearings underneath them to make a run at the Big Ten crown. Watching Denard Robinson lead Michigan to two go ahead leads in under two minutes showed that Michigan had its fight back after 3 punchless years under Rich Rodriguez. It reminded me of teams from Michigan’s past that fought until the end and never let any disadvantage seem to large. Credit first year head coach Brady Hoke who has instilled a toughness in Michigan that it hasn’t seen since the Lloyd Carr days. Hoke’s demeanor and teaching has Michigan looking good at 2-0 especially after Ohio State struggles against Toledo and Nebraska against Fresno State. If they can fix the problems in the secondary then Michigan could be a legitimate Big Ten contender and could make a run for the roses.
  2. Big teams are continuing to underestimate the little guy. Pittsburgh barely beat Maine, Ohio State had all sorts of trouble with Toledo, Kentucky didn’t put Central Michigan away until late, Clemson struggled versus Wofford, and West Virginia trailed Norfolk State at the half before blowing them out. I thought these early games were to be scrimmages for the big boys to get them ready for tough tests down the road. Big conferences are sleeping on their foes and it will catch up to them if they don’t start taking care of business. How can I take these guys seriously if they’re having trouble putting away teams with less talent than them?
  3. Oklahoma State should be watched and carefully. Their defense is suspect but the combination of Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon is just too much for teams to compete with. After their beat down of Arizona it’s clear that not many teams can stop them on the offensive end as they are just too potent to be contained and they are getting better. Weeden threw 3 interceptions in week one but against better competition he contained his mistakes kept the Cowboys wheels turning. We find out just how good the Cowboys are in two weeks as they head to College Station, Texas to face Texas A&M. that should be a shootout and give us a gauge as to where Oklahoma State is on the totem pole.
  4. Wisconsin is looking like the team to beat in the Big Ten. The transfer of Russell Wilson has changed the makeup of this team dramatically as they now have a good passing game to go with their dominant run game. Their competition hasn’t been too fierce in the early part of the season but they have taken care of business with ease. UNLV and Oregon State have been mere appetizers for the upcoming main courses that they will face at Ohio State and Michigan State. If they can keep the consistency in those games like they have in the past two then the Badgers might make a run for the roses in January.

    Justin Blackmon and the Cowboys are looking good.

  5. The Big East had by far the most disappointing weekend of any conference. Syracuse and Pittsburgh struggled to beat FCS schools and before West Virginia blew out Norfolk State they were down 12-10 at the  half. Also Cincinnati got destroyed by Tennessee and Louis lost to FIU at home. This week doesn’t get any easier as Syracuse travels to L.A. to face USC, Louisville travels to Lexington for the Bluegrass Battle versus Kentucky, Pittsburgh goes on the road to face Iowa and WVU heads to Maryland to face a tough Maryland team. if they go into those games like they did this weekend then it’s not going to be pretty.

 

THE GOOD

Oregon bounced back from their loss to LSU with a 69-20 romp over Nevada where the offense go back to business racking up 603 yards of offense including 376 total yards by Darron Thomas and 7 touchdowns.

THE BAD

Oregon State’s start to the season has been miserable. A loss to FCS Sacramento State was followed by a massacre at Madison courtesy of Wisconsin this past Saturday. Their next 3 are against Arizona State, Arizona and BYU. It looks like wins will be hard to come by in Corvallis this year.

THE UGLY

Tommy Rees’s fourth quarter fumble that prevented Notre Dame from taking a commanding 10 point lead at Michigan. That was so Bad News Bearish.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Trent Richardson, Alabama: 26 carries, 111 yards and 2 touchdowns in Alabama’s 27-11 win at Penn State.

EMBARRASSMENT OF THE WEEK

Matt McGloin's had better days.

 

Penn State’s passing game: 12-39 144 yards and 1 interception including Matt McGloin’s 1-10 stinker with 0 yards.

MY TOP 5

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

HEISMAN TOP 5

  1. 1.       Kellen Moore, BSU
  2. 2.       Landry Jones,  Oklahoma
  3. 3.       Trent Richardson, Alabama
  4. 4.       Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
  5. 5.       Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State

On tap for next week are a couple of big ones in the top five including LSU versus Mississippi State, and the game of the week featuring Oklahoma taking on Florida State. Also Michigan State can add to Notre Dame’s misery in South Bend and keep an eye on the Boise State-Toledo matchup. The Rockets gave Ohio State fits last weekend and the Broncos shouldn’t sleep on them.


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