Here we are, mid-October, when everything starts getting pumpkin flavored for better or worse. So, you’ve got two choices for soundtracks this week, via the “full albums” on Youtube- Something October-ish, or something more Pumpkiny. Salud.
Ah, Texas… where dreams go to die. Three of the most interesting storylines this week came Deep In The Heart Of, so let’s travel to Lubbock to get things started. Really, there’s no other reason to head there.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m an idiot. Well, when I get the chance… which was this weekend when the team I’d most like to see play Oregon in a bowl game ended up falling victim to the same Achillies Heel that Oregon has in the past- defensive line pressure. The Red Raiders’ ability to disrupt the Mountaineer passing game by owning their backfield was something that the rest of the B12 will certainly pay attention to; Geno Smith is much better in the pocket with his timing not hampered by large persons seeking to do him bodily harm of some sort. Not that this should disrupt his Heisman candidacy; I know a number of quarterbacks who would love to go 29-55 for 275 yards, although West Virginia’s inability to score has got to be troubling with games against more stout defenses looming. What really led to the 49-14 win, though, was the Mountaineer Defense’s inability to stop anything that Tuberville’s Raiders were dialing up… we saw that the the defense was suspect against Baylor and Texas, it finally caught up to them in a way that the offense couldn’t counter. /reads last sentence, looks at tOSU-v-Indiana box score, calls therapist.
If Smith’s Heisman candidacy was bumped at all on Saturday, it might open up the door for Texas A&M’s “Johnny Football”, quarterback Manziel managed 395 yards and 3 TDs through the air, and another 181 and 3 scores on the ground against a very game Louisiana Tech team that went toe to toe with the Aggies. We talked about Tech before; their offensive gameplan is quite unique and very high powered/up-tempo- very similar to what we’re seeing across the country. Don’t be surprised if their coach isn’t in the SEC or B12 in a year or two, given some of the frustrations that the “traditional” programs are having with their current administrations.
Which brings us to the Red River Shootout, a celebration of football and fried food from the Texas State Fairgrounds in Dallas. Over the past several years, though, the “shootout” has been more like shooting fish in a barrel, as the Sooners have absolutely owned the Longhorns on the scoreboard. For many ‘Horns fans, though, the 36-2 halftime score meant that they could head out to the midway to enjoy the Fair rather than watching their team continue to fall apart. The RRSO brings us our first candidate for “hit of the week”, although, given how Texas played, it’s not surprising that the shot in question resulted in a penalty, and wasn’t even in the field of play: Read More
Midweek review of all things Buckeye and from across college sports, including thoughts on the newest in controversial rule changes.
Sure, there’s games on Monday, but the weekend has been so amazing that we just couldn’t wait to get back in the saddle for our reflections on the games of note. Plus, are we really all that excited about a game that’s all technical and stuff? I thought not. Obvious choice for this week’s soundtrack… happy Labor Day.
Whew… I’ve got to admit, I should have been working out with Coach Mick during the offseason. Saturday found me trying to knock the rust off of my college football regimen, although I can definitely say that I was well hydrated. I’m guessing that’s what happened during the livechat- I hadn’t prepared enough, and brought the jinxation. You can breathe a sigh of relief, though- when I caught the replay on Sunday, my presence made no difference in the outcome… Baby steps, right?
From the looks of things, a number of teams were still in “preseason” form, and didn’t have their moves down pat just yet. For instance, while I’m sure that Dabo Swinney’s mom is sure proud of him for leading his fellers to victory over North Carolina State, she certainly couldn’t have been too excited that his first steps leading the team onto the turf ended up in a faceplant. That, combined with this excellent display of exuberance are enough to remind Volunteer fans that their team still has some work to do. Which is good… no one likes to peak during the first weekend of games- well, no one outside of the B1G, that is (more later).
Some of the butterflies were even evident in the Southern Idaho State University trip to East Lansing. Sure, the B1G represented well, as Michigan State showed many why they are a favorite for the conference title… but the game turned out to be “off-script” for both teams. For instance, no matter how hard they tried, Rob Harley’s new squadron couldn’t “Sparty” the game away. Shocker. Oh, and SISU broke their streak of beating out of conference teams when they have a ridiculously long time to prepare… effectively ending their bid at a BCS bowl until they join a legitimate BCS conference in the Big Eas…. I’m sorry. I just couldn’t bring myself to type that. The game also gave us a pretty amazing interception- as always, Tim Burke has ALL the great screencaps and stuff from the weekend’s events.
Saturday’s festivities kicked off with Notre Dame pounding the living stuffing out of Navy in their game in the Emerald Isle… Brian Kelly, why you no like America? And then, your boys let this happen?
Man, back in my day, we fought revolutions for less <adjusts tricorner cap>. Read More
So here’s the thing.
The story of the day yesterday was the first episode of All Access, a behind the scenes look at the Buckeye program under the new regime.
But… in a moment of weakness, I DVR’d it And watched it.
And loved ever second.
How can you hate quotes like “Abso-smurfly”, “Bozo the freakin’ clown”, “I’m glad you’re a Buckeye, bro…”, “I like coaching you…” and other admonitions to play “hungry” and “angry”.
And the precision of the offensive staff’s work, the pride that Coach Mariotti puts into his time with the team, and the focus and plan that Coach Meyer is instilling into the team… it’s a really good piece. If you missed it and don’t mind the spoilers, the gang at LGHL have a really good review with picture pages and everything.
I’d be really excited about this, to be honest, if all things were equal. Given the bad PR that my favorite program received over the past few years for numerous self inflicted wounds, it’s great to get excited about OSU football again- and to see a national response (including Southern Cal and Clemson recruits commenting on it) that was pretty positive.
But, I’ll be honest- It’s still hard for me to not be wary about this series. You kick a dog and reach to pet him, he’ll wince and cower even if he lets you stroke his head again. Given what we know about ESPN’s agenda (Entertainment Sports Programming Network), it safe to see that they are interested in a narrative of redemption up until the point that they bang the drums marking a fall from grace.
Just watch the history- 2002 upset their narrative, and then the 2003 Clarett story was a bottom. The 2006 season’s coverage was the apex of good vibes, and then this past year seems to be yet another trough in their coverage- again, a story that Ohio State wrote for itself, but one that got presented over and over and over again on the largest stage while others were way way off Broadway in Coral Gables and Columbia and Chapel Hill.
So- we’ll watch (yup) and see. And, if nothing else, this will give us the chance to celebrate the splendor and power of an Ohio State team on a very particular mission.
Buckle Buckeye up.
A bit of a damper on the July 4th celebration, as Andy Griffith passed away on Tuesday. Since he represented a slice of America for so many folks, it only makes sense that he’d leave us this close to America’s birthday.
It’s Wednesday, halfway to what’s sure to be another glorious June weekend. Big thanks to “Darth Grant” for finding the inspiration for this week’s title and lead photo- Eric may have some more on this story a bit later in the summer, but for now, here’s one of the men behind that amazing flying machine.
So as we stare down the coming 2012 college football season, a billowing cloud of fury and excitement just now beginning to peak over the late-June horizon, it becomes apparent that no matter how bad things got in Columbus last year, that the Buckeyes were merely down on the mat for a short time. The cartoon birds flew in quick circles as Ohio State shook its head and looked up at the rest of the Big Ten standing over it grinning. But the birds have gone away and the Buckeyes are back on their feet.
Back again with another preview, this for the bowl FKA the Peach Bowl.
The Basics: Saturday, December 31st from
Orlando Florida Atlanta Georgia at 7:30 PM EST. The game will be televised on ESPN. Auburn (7-5 4-4 SEC) and Virginia (8-4 5-3 ACC).
History: The SEC and ACC have been playing in this game in the Georgia Dome since 1992. Originally known as the Peach bowl and then the Chick Fil A Peach bowl and now just the Chick Fil A game. Must be a hatred for the Peach because they have kept the Orange Bowl? The game goes all the way back to 1968.
Auburn: Following their national championship season from a year ago Auburn went 7-5. And they come into this game with their #1 offensive threat Michael Dyer suspended due to team rules. I am still trying to figure out what it takes to get suspended at Auburn. Auburn obviously went up against the gauntlet in the SEC West, which may prepare them some for this game, but don’t look for a good display of offense in this one from Auburn. Expect their defense to try and carry them to a victory. Obviously all of us here at the blog are expecting a victory but don’t be surprised to see Virginia nab this one.
Virginia: The Cavs made a huge turnaround this year in the ACC going from 4-8 to 8-4. Coach Mike London won coach of the year honors for the turnaround. Virginia is just a balanced team with their best player being all-america guard Austin Pasztor who leads the way for an offense quarterbacked by Michael Rocco who threw for 2359 and 11 tds on the season. Not a lot but enough to get the job done. The Cavs will also try and pound the ball with their two headed attack Perry Jones and Kevin Parks. Who combined for 1500 yds and 13 tds on the year.
Fun Fact: Did you know that this game has sold out for 14 straight seasons? And that the sponsor has a funny song?
Who we got?
Today, we join with racing fans in mourning the loss of Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon. As such, this week’s soundtrack has a bit of a somber tone. We give ESPN/ABC a lot of criticism, but they got this one right- Thoughts and prayers with his family and friends.
This week was very very special across the college sports landscape, as special teams highlights and gaffes were the order of the day across the nation. First, the “Woah! Did that just happen?” moments…
When Clemson and Maryland met, the undefeated Tigers should have known that something was swirling that could have put a blemish on their dream season. For starters, the Terrapins chose a uniform that didn’t look like a condiment tray this week, choosing instead the “Fancy Hot Sauce” look. Maryland opened up an eighteen point lead in the second quarter on the Tigers, and nothing in the Michelle Obama playbook was working at all. Then, Sammy Watkins happened, all 345 total yards of his offense, including a special teams play that turned the tide for good.
However amazing his individual performance was for the night, the special teams highlights for the day happened in the “Battle Of The Oil Money”, where T. Boone Pickens University traveled to Austin and found themselves in a shootout with the Longhorns. It was one of those games where you were certain that the last team with a series of possession would win… unless there was time for a kickoff or two: Read More