Tag Archives: West virginia mountaineers

The Powerless ACC

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So this is why Pittsburgh and Syracuse are throwing away their basketball allegiances?

This is the reason that the Big East is going through a hideous makeover?

After watching Virginia Tech and Clemson the last two nights in BCS bowl games I can’t help but wonder what the hell Syracuse and Pitt were thinking?

The move by both schools was supposed to bolster it’s football programs, but after watching Virginia Tech lose another big game and Clemson just get drilled you have to wonder if it was really a smart move on their parts.

The Hokies had every opportunity to beat a weaker Michigan team but couldn’t convert inside the red zone all night and settled for field goals. In the end their offensive ineptitude caught up with them and Michigan continued it’s recent resurgence with a 23-20 win on overtime. The loss dropped Virginia Tech to 1-5 in BCS games all time (more on that later), this is supposedly the class of the ACC in football but every time they reach the big stage they just can’t get over the hump.

However, at least they put up a fight… What the hell Clemson?

In their first BCS game and biggest bowl game since their 1980 national title Clemson just got murdered. How does a supposed top 15 team and conference champion allow 49 first half points and 70 total? Clemson look far less skilled than their opponents from the Big East as Tavon Austin and Geno Smith looked like they were playing on All-Madden while Clemson was stuck on rookie. The funny thing about it is before the game every analyst picked West Virginia to get killed. They must’ve forgot that the Mountaineers take BCS games very seriously as seen by their previous convincing wins over Oklahoma and Georgia.

West Virginia has now won 3 BCS bowls… The ACC has 2 total. The ACC is 2-13 lifetime in BCS bowl games… 2-13!!! Boise State has the same amount of wins in two games (yet had to watch Va. Tech go to the Sugar Bowl over them). The Big East is 7-7 in BCS bowls with one less BCS bowl win than the Big 12, and people want to revoke the Big East’s automatic bid?

The ACC has been one of the weaker power conferences for years now and this just proves it.

The ACC has no business being considered a power football conference. Their mediocrity has been exposed by everyone from Florida, to Iowa and even Kansas (yup, the Jayhawks beat the Hokies in the Orange bowl a few years ago). The fact that teams would jettison their conference to join this circus for football reasons is laughable. After the last two nights the hilarity should be at it’s highest level ever.

After watching the Sugar and Orange Bowls I hope Syracuse and Pitt are happy with their decisions.

You thought that aligning yourselves with the ACC would mean stiffer competition and a better brand to recruit with. Instead you just joined the laughing stock of the BCS and forced West virginia’s hand in leaving behind a crumbling conference that they made respectable.

Nice job guys. Good luck wallowing in even more mediocrity than what you began with.


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.


The Ultimate Tim Tebow Breakdown

Tebow just keeps on winning.

In hip-hop culture one of the first things that is embedded in your brain is that haters never prosper. No one likes a hater, haters are despised. Hating on the status and appearance of others is a sin in the bible of hip-hop, and if you are marked as a hater it tarnishes your reputation wherever you go and with whatever you do.

The problem with that is that there is a long standing tradition in hip-hop of what’s known as keeping it real. Being real with yourself and your feelings at all times is a must and most rappers and followers of the culture try their best to follow  suit without looking like fools… or haters.

Rapper Common said it best in his song “The 6th Sense,” “if I don’t like it, I don’t like it, that don’t mean that I’m hating.” Sometimes the lines of keeping it real and being a hater are so paper thin that the wrong interpretation of a topic can lead you in either direction. There’s no such thing as debatable arguments in hip-hop either you’re a hater or you’re not. When you say what’s on your mind at all times you risk crossing that line of hater/ truth teller and leave yourself open to criticism.

With that in mind, I present to you Tim Tebow.

I’m sick of Tim Tebow. I think Tim Tebow is one of the worst NFL QB’s that has ever graced the planes of any stadium. He’s the most overrated, overhyped player in my lifetime that gets too much attention, gets too many passes for being mediocre and is a product of a machine that wants to make him the next big thing even though Stevie Wonder can see that he isn’t a good QB…

But he wins games.

I've been sick of Tebow since he was at Florida.

And that right there is the most frustrating part about any argument that has ever involved in Tebow, he just wins.

Scouts know that he’s bad, his own coach John Fox came out this week and said his team would be “screwed” if they ran a regular offense. But somehow in this shotgun option style offense (keep in mind the option is a college based offense that has never worked until this month somehow) Tebow has a better record than Josh Freeman, Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford, Mike Vick, Philip Rivers and Cam Newton.

But if you were starting an NFL franchise and needed a QB and those were the guys available, Tebow would be the last guy taken right? This is why every Tebow result is so frustrating for anyone to argue.

Take last night’s game for example. Tebow before the last drive had 68 passing yards and was 6-15 for the game. He consistently overthrew receivers, took too long with his decisions and couldn’t lead a lobster into a pot of boiling water… then all of a sudden he leads the Broncos on a 95 yard game-winning drive where he scampers into the end zone on a 20 yard touchdown and beats the Jets. His finishing line was 9-20, 108 yards, 68 yards rushing and a TD. Those are not good stats… but he won.

So now when you’re on Twitter, and watching ESPN and listening to First Take with the biggest Tebow slopper of them all Skip Bayless you have to sit back and take all of the Tebow loving because he won again, even though 95% of the league would take Kyle Orton as a starting QB over Tebow.

There are so many reasons as to why I loathe the topic of Tim Tebow and it’s a combination of football, perception and media hype.

First off is the football aspect. To me Tim Tebow gets way too much credit for his passion, and leadership ability. Yeah he wins, but it aint all him by any means. At Florida the defense lead by Brandon Spikes deserved a lot of credit for shutting down SEC offenses and putting fear in to most QB’s eyes. Yet all you saw was Tebow’s manic behavior of screaming at his teammates, running into huddles and jumping up and down waving his arms in the air and urging the crowd behind to get fired up.

The guy next to Tebow is the better QB.

It’s as if Tebow was the measuring stick for every QB at the time in college football. So leadership is based on hollering and screaming until your face is red. I don’t think that works for most leaders, ask John Wooden who was a stoic, calm figure that was a bigger winner than Tebow ever will be. Too far back? How about the QB that came before him Chris Leak?

Leak was just as talented and as good of a leader as Tebow was but never gets any credit for his skill. People always say that Tebow led Florida to two national championships at Florida… um, he was a part of two titles, Leak led Florida to the first one, Tebow just did a jump pass or two. Yet there is never discussion of how Leak led Florida to the beginning of the SEC’s dominant national title run, never talk of how he overcame massive pressure from Florida fans and the media to win offensive MVP against Ohio State in the 2007 title game, it all goes back to Tebow.

As a football fan what incenses me is how Tebow has gotten to the NFL and stayed while just as accomplished QB’s who have won just has much weren’t even given a chance to make it as quarterbacks. I loved Pat White at West Virginia, he ran a similar offense at WVU as Tebow did at Florida but was more accurate, had a better arm and better skills as a QB. But when it came time to get to the league he was only a ‘wildcat” QB and wasn’t given a proper chance to show his skill and is now out of the league.

I think you know where this leads to now when I just name dropped two accomplished black QB’s as opposed to a white one. If you don’t think race has anything to do with this than you need to find Jesus (and no his name isn’t Tebow though some Broncos would like to think differently).

Tim Tebow is the all-American, boy next door, wholesome kid that people have been waiting on for years. I’m not knocking Tebow on his faith, his way of life or him as a person; I’m sure that he’s a great person to meet and talk to and get to know. But it’s as if Tebow is the only religious, god fearing, humble guy on the planet.

There was never talk of how religious A.C. Green was during his time in the NBA. Green was a devout Christian who was notorious for being a virgin long into his NBA career and in his 30’s. We never celebrated him in the way we do Tebow now. Or how about Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers? Polamalu is a great family man who his very religious, hell two weeks ago the guy got fined by the NFL for calling his wife on the sidelines to let her know that he was ok after getting a concussion because he knew she was worried about him.

In case you were wondering he led Florida to the title 5 years ago, not Tebow.

But we don’t celebrate their pledge to being great family men and close with God. To the eye Tim Tebow is God. Tebow and his faith and the way he is constantly gets shoved into our face as if to say that we should be like Tebow. Unfortunately Tebow’s style of religious behavior isn’t for everyone. Some, such as myself, like to keep our faith to ourselves and be mindful of others as to not offend them. There is Lenten passage that we read every year at my church from Matthew 6:5:

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

In other words let Tebow be boastful of his faith, the rest of us will do it in our own corners. Lots of pro athletes are super religious and follow their faith to the full extent of the word of God. However, it’s not all out to be put on display for the world to see and they like it like that. Todd Heap is a former Baltimore Raven and a Mormon and he is a strict Mormon. I waited on the guy several times during my days of waiting tables at PF Changs he doesn’t drink, is faithful to his wife and is a good guy. However, you never hear anything from him about his faith because that’s how he chooses to be.

Truth is that we should probably live more like Tebow, but there is this thing called free will where we want to live how we want to. That’s life, we have different opinions of how things should be done and for a lot of us, myself included Tebow’s way aint for me.

But to be fair to Tebow this isn’t exactly all of his doing. There was a point in college where me and some buddies invented the “Tebow Drinking Game,” it goes like this: watch College Gameday or a Florida game and whenever anyone says Tebow or Jesus, drink (how catholic of me I know). Let’s just say we got drunk long before Lee Corso put on the head gear or Florida started the second half.

More than anything the Media is the reason that Tebow is as big of a machine as he is. ESPN, writers, corporate America push this guy on us so much that after a while you can’t help but either love or hate the guy.

Why do you think Broncos fans were booing Kyle Orton so badly even though the misfortunes of their franchise weren’t his fault? Orton got such a raw deal in all of this because truthfully Orton is the best QB on that team. He’s more accurate, better at handling an offense and it shows in the numbers. However, once Tebow got into the last three games of last year it was over. Tebow wasn’t impressive at all except for in spurts but Broncos fans caught Gator fever and soon began calling his name and the media followed.

During the preseason there were more media members at Tebow’s locker than at Orton’s and Orton was named the starter. Fans cheered every move Tebow made and became driven to make him their QB. Fans were planning on buying a billboard urging Coach John Fox to bench Orton and start Tebow. Thanks ESPN thanks a lot.

Tebow is a flavor of the month that has last 6 years and now has endorsements. The guy appeared in three games last year and before the season started had a Nike deal and a Jockey contract, really?

Even sponsors love Tim Tebow.

This is just how it goes, advertisers and media members find someone to gravitate towards and when they find him they put him on a pedestal and when they do they shove him down your throat until you can’t take it and begin to make fun of him.

They did it with Peyton Manning awhile ago. There wasn’t a time where you could turn on your TV and not see Manning at any time of the day. He was in every commercial possible selling TV’s, phones, Direct TV, anything. The difference between Manning and Tebow is that Manning has that charisma for it all so seeing him so much didn’t really matter because he was a cool guy. With Tebow there has been a history of hearing about him so much that even though we don’t see him as much as Manning when we do its nauseating.

A month ago against the Lions a Denver newspaper billed the game as Good vs. Evil, guess who was the good? Afterwards Ndamukong Suh said tongue in cheek “evil won.” That’s why people hate Tebow. The city of Detroit has gone through more hardship than any other city in the U.S., the Lions are good once again and a great story to rally around, but they play Tebow its good vs. Evil… gimme a break.

I think that is where my disdain for Tebow mostly comes from. The media has built him up so much that his personality and the way that he is has overshadowed one very important thing when it comes to his actual job on the field…

HE’S A TERRIBLE QUARTERBACK!!!

Never mind that the guy is completing less than 50% of his passes, never mind that he can’t run a professional offense and that his coach has owned up to that, never mind that the reason that Denver is back in the AFC West race is because of a rejuvenated defense led by Von Miller who owned that Jets game last night, never mind all of that, it’s all about the good of Tim Tebow.

Tim Tebow can get away with going 2-8 in an NFL and winning, he can get away with getting hammered 45-10 by a much better team in the Lions, he will get a pass from Bayless because he doesn’t have the proper weapons around him to throw the ball or hasn’t been given a chance to show his stuff. Pat White wasn’t given a chance, Jimmy Clausen didn’t have any weapons around him last year, we’ve seen Tebow for 8 games in full action and he is trash.

Mechanically he is a mess. He looks uncomfortable in the pocket, can’t run plays properly, takes too long on his delivery and is pathetically inaccurate…

But… he… wins… football… games.

As bad as he is Tebow has that clutch gene. We can say the Miami win was given to him because Miami played prevent defense in the last 5 minutes, but he won. We can say that Kansas City isn’t fully healthy and didn’t have the guys on the field they needed to win, but he won. We can say the Jets are trash (which, they really are and there might be some need to reconsider Mark Sanchez as an NFL QB), but he won.

After last night who would you rather have as your QB?

So until he losses and losses consistently we will have to hear about him more than Cam Newton who is having an amazing season or Andy Dalton who has exceeded all expectations of him or Christian Ponder who looks like the real deal at QB because Tim Tebow is winning more than all of them.

Ever since Tebow was inserted as the Denver Broncos starting QB they have gone from a 1-4 lottery team to a 5-5 team with a shot at winning the AFC West and making the playoffs. Most of the credit should go to the defense or the running game but instead it falls into the hands of Tim Tebow. If they make the playoffs the credit will go to Tebow even though we know he is the lowest rated QB in the league that cant complete a pass.

But he’s a winner and that stat shines brighter than any other on his resume.

Being a hater and keeping it real is a hard line to toe, with Tim Tebow the line is microscopic.

I hate the Tebow coverage, I hate the Tebow machine, I hate the fact that I’ll have to hear about him for a few more weeks, I hate the fact that he’s a bad QB that somehow wins games. But I cant hate the guy for being who he is and getting the job done on the field. I can’t be any more real than that.


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.


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


Rich Rod Had It Coming

Rich Rod's stay in Ann Anbor was a little less successful than his run in Morgantown.

Rich Rodriguez had it all. A great coaching job, a grip on the conference where his team resided, great recruiting and a nation of followers all backing him along the way showing him love.

He slated Georgia in Georgia when no one gave him a shot, he put another team in the Fiesta Bowl that took down Oklahoma in impressive fashion.

He was a king in his own domain at his Alma mater, then he got greedy.

He let his spat with the athletic director at West Virginia and lack of trust for the department cloud his judgement. He betrayed his legion of followers and skipped town to a school with similar colors and higher expectations.

He left behind a mess; lawsuits, hate, bitterness, all for a big pay day on a grander scale… and in the end Coach Rich Rod got what he deserved.

Rich Rod was fired by Michigan after three years of unheard-of disappointment at an institution that has only known success. He had a 15-22 record In three season in Ann Arbor. His best record was a 7-6 campaign this year, his best Big Ten record? 3-5 his year as well. His spread offense never brought the conference into the future like it was supposed to, but his defense set the school back decades.

He never beat Ohio State or Michigan State, his one bowl game appearance was a slaughter in the Gator Bowl at the hands of Mississippi State this year. He never was able to get the recruits to run his offense and therefore never had right tools to succeed.

In the end Rich Rod and the maize and blue looked like fools.

Once Michigan lost out on Les Miles who stayed at LSU after being coveted by the university in 2007 they tries to pluck every big name coach away in hopes of finding the right one. They got Rodriguez who was highly impressive at WVU and was the first choice at Alabama a year earlier (think they’re happy that they got Saban instead?).

They marveled at how he was able to find guys like Pat White, Steve Slaton and others to fit into his scheme. They saw the Sugar Bowl upset of Georgia, the fact that he had WVU in the national championship hunt late in that 2007 season and thought that he was the perfect hire to replace the much maligned Lloyd Carr who had disappointed the Michigan faithful so often.

Denard Robinson was one of the few bright spots during Rich Rod's tenure.

(it’s funny but looking back on it, maybe Michigan should never have been so pressed to force out a guy that won them a national championship, had them in the running for the Big Ten title every year, owned their rival Ohio State in he 90’s and always recruited well. They overreacted to the whole Appalachian State loss, which granted was bad but not apocalyptic like we thought it was, and decided to listen to the critics and fans instead of themselves. How many programs a Lloyd Carr as their coach? You get a guaranteed 8-10 wins a year, a New Years Day bowl game and you’re a contender for your conference crown every year. However this is Michigan, who now is suffering from Notre Dame syndrome where they feel that they are still a national power and that their tradition puts them in a position to feel snooty. So in turn they paid for being greedy as well. Wouldn’t you love to see a sign on your way into Ann Arbor that read “BET YOU DON’T HATE ME NOW!… LOVE LLOYD CARR”
and have it about 50 feet long on the highway?)

So now Michigan has to correct it’s error and it should start with a Michigan guy. Jim Harbaugh is the perfect candidate for the job because of his background and the job he’s done resurrecting Stanford. Also talks of Brady Hoke at San Diego State have come to fruition.

One guy that would love a call from Michigan is Les Miles. With all the heat he’s been taking at LSU he would jump at the chance chance to get out of dodge and back to the place of his playing days.

One thing is for sure is they have to wash away the stench of the Rich Rod regime. Rich Rod brought down Michigan and himself and has no one to blame but himself.

His inability to stop the opposing teams offense and kick start his own was his undoing. Would I hire Rich Rod? Not anytime soon. His poor judgement at WVU and disgraceful years at Michigan should have him blacklisted from most decent coaching jobs in the NCAA.

It’s a roughy lesson but Rich Rod had it coming for a long time. He had it all at WVU and he threw it away because he got greedy. Hopefully other coaches will learn from Rodriguez and won’t make the same mistake.