Hope you’re not too hungover from Homecoming… Not that there’d be anything wrong with that. This weeks’ TWTW is being composed with this concert in the background- say goodbye to your Pandora station for the next hour and 45 minutes.
This has been identified as the first “Shakedown Saturday” of the season, and we knew early on that this would be a heck of a week for college football. While #1 Alabama sat idle, the rest of the top 10 was involved in contests amongst themselves… where commentators chose to ignore the fact that this was destined to happen when you put all the teams in one conference in the top ten because they’re in that conference. But I digress..
Let’s start with the state of Florida, which went 1-2 on the weekend, and saw two “they’re back!!!” programs fall by the wayside. The exception to this, of course, are those poor souls in Gainesville, which were gutted and pillaged by the Evil Urban Meyer on his way to the greener pastures in Columbus. A miracle, then, that they managed to host the number four team in the nation and managed to pull together a 14-6 win, in spite of the fact that LSU is one of the greatest teams of all time and forever (note, applies to SEC teams but especially ones from the SEC West). It seems as if the Mad Hatter finally had the injuries that have plagued his team catch up with them… although, like many people, I wasn’t sure that they were ranked properly with a number of “close” calls and a “quality” win over Washington bolstering their resume. Hear me correctly- I think Coach Muschamp is doing solid things at Florida, in spite of the fact that Urban burned down every building and shot all the coaching staff on his way out… I just am not all that impressed with a win over an LSU team that might have more issues than their SECW status would allow anyone to talk about. Ah well.
In Chicago, we were given the chance to witness a game that would have been really interesting in the late 80′s… although, this version had a bit of intrigue as well. A resurgent Notre Dame team chose to play in Soldier Field in front of it’s biggest alumni base and revisit the good times that were the “Catholics -vs- Criminals” matchups that created must see TV when I was in high school and college. Even though it was a neutral site game, you’ve got to know that Miami felt daunted playing a) this far north and b) in front of more fans than they’d seen all season (and that’s just on the Loop driving into the game). The 41-3 Irish win came in spite of the fact that Notre Dame’s quarterback began the game on the bench for a violation of “team rules”. Huh. Perhaps he was found to be responsible for the horrible helmet design that they chose to wear this week. Again, I think that Coach Golden is doing good things in Coral Gables, and haven’t yet figured out how Urban Meyer is at fault for his struggles. But I will persevere on the case… be assured the truth is out there.
In our biggest upset of the week, third ranked Florida State (anointed by this very author as a solid candidate to play for the pretend championship) fell to a North Carolina State team that’s struggled to get out of their own way for the most part of this season, and who lost to ‘Da U just last week. It took a late touchdown to achieve the glorious victory for the Wolfpack, but it certainly was exciting enough that this young person chose to disregard what his parents taught him and rejoice in the moment.
While Notre Dame’s “wardrobe malfunctions” were the highlight of the week, no conversation about crazy outfits is complete without mention of the latest in the “Duck You” line from the good folks in Eugene. This week, in the blowout win against Washington, we saw a return of their “John Deer” look- a throwback of sorts to their green and yellow heritage, with a twist. In addition to the mirrored ball helmet wings that we’ve seen before, they decided to add a yellow and chrome facemask to the the ensemble, giving them sort of a “Bane Of The Northwest” appearance. As always, the Ducks are rolling up huge chunks of yardage and points, but have yet to face a defense with the size and speed up front to disrupt their schemes… and, looking across the PAC12, I don’t see that kind of challenge coming anytime soon. Read More
And now, it gets real. Conference season. No more cupcakes… although, that hasn’t worked out all that well for a lot of teams. Today’s soundtrack is from this week’s release, and was chosen just to make our friend Bacon happy.
Let’s start out west this week, which gives me a chance to do two of my favorite things in the world. The first is to enjoy this moment: Oh, Rich Rod face, how I’ve missed your sublime poignancy. The second is to post a great FanShot, sent to us from pretty choice seats in Eugene… lots of people making their “O” face in that game, for sure. As a reminder, if you go to a game this year, send us a photo and we’ll run it on Monday mornings.
So, let’s talk about the Ducks. The wife and I watched the game… at least until Arizona threw a 4th and goal interception in the third quarter. After that, the fate of the Wildcats was sealed and we headed onto other things (Food Network, Ahoy!). ‘Cause here’s the fact- Oregon may take some time to warm up, but once they find weakness they will attack and attack and attack… and the next thing you know, you lose 49-0. Well, until they play a team with a defensive front, that is.
While the Ducks are still doing what they do, I’ve got to tip my hat a bit to Arizona- it was fun to watch the Rodriguez offense again and only have a little bit of hatred for the passes to the slot receivers and so forth. He’ll do well in Tuscon, particularly given that the transition won’t be as drastic as it was heading from Morgantown to Ann Arbor… and he probably doesn’t have alumni and former coaches trying to sabotage him as well.
In fact, I’d love to see RRod’s former team play the one he just faced- What WVa is doing offensively is probably the only thing that can match with the speed and scoring ability that we’re seeing in Eugene. Granted, they only managed 31 against a pretty bad Maryland team, but the potential is there. A bowl game between Chip Kelly and Dana Holgorsen would certainly surpass the UW/Baylor game from last year, and would feature some of the most unique
costumes uniforms in college sports.
I don’t know which is worse- that the play was allowed to continue, or that the official seems to be enjoying the spectacle. A little help here: Was the player that removed the helmet ejected, as per the rules? Read More
Continuing our look around the nation, Tim takes a quick look at the winner of the last eleventy BCS championships. If you’re a fan of one of these programs, be sure to have someone read this for you (note: does not apply to Vanderbilt).
How does the conference fall in the national rankings? How likely are they to have a team in the title game?
I’ve come to learn in sports, there are no “sure things.” Recently, though, an SEC team playing for (and winning) the National Championship in college football is about as close to a sure thing as there is. Last year, we even saw something nobody ever thought we would—two teams from the same conference playing for it all.
I was one that supported the rematch between LSU and Alabama. They were the two best teams in college football last year, no question. And, with no other team going undefeated and no playoff system, I want to see the two best teams play for the title. Do I think that will happen again this year? Both teams are loaded again, but the answer to that question is no.
The SEC has produced the last six National Champions, and big favorites to make that lucky number seven this season. They currently have five teams in the top ten of the coaches’ poll and seven ranked overall. If I were a betting man, I would put big money on an SEC team playing for the title.
Who’s the best team in the conference? Who will play for the conference title game?
I’ve gone back and forth on this a dozen times. LSU and Alabama are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the coaches’ poll. But, with the recent news of the dismissal of LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, I’m going to pick the Crimson Tide as the best team in the SEC, and thus be the winners of the SEC West.
Another tough choice in the SEC East between Georgia and South Carolina, but I’m going with the Bulldogs. Georgia was routed by LSU in the 2011 SEC Championship game, but quarterback Aaron Murray is back to lead the boys from Athens yet again. I look for a Alabama-Georgia SEC Championship Game with the Crimson Tide bringing home the victory.
Who are the worst teams in the conference? Read More
Midweek madness in March… be sure to stick with us after the break to get insight into the personalities and ideologies of some of the new Ohio State coaching staff
But the number that best explains his sophomore season is the dramatic decline in free throw attempts from his freshman year. He’s getting fouled about 20 percent less often this season than last, although he is most certainly being challenged by defenders in greater numbers and it would appear he is being contacted more. He is attempting and making roughly the same number of shots as last season, but he is getting fewer calls.
More contact, but fewer calls? That right there is all you need to know about the state of B1G officiating this season, just in case the conference player of the year possibly fouling out of a huge game and not being removed by the officials wasn’t enlightening enough.
Q: Who would star as you (in the movie adaptation of the book)?
A: We had that question asked at Ohio State. We had to do the profile thing during timeouts (at games), where they asked you who would play you in a movie. All my teammates said Denzel Washington. That wouldn’t work for me, though.
How about Zac Efron? We could turn it into a musical.
All I needed to read, though, was Greg Oden’s blurb for the cover-
“Mark Titus knows a lot of personal secrets of mine. If he revealed any of them in this book, I will kick him right in the testicles. I’m not joking.”
When you buy it, be sure to do so from Amazon- gives a little love to your favorite corner of the interwebs.
With the “off season” (or as Urban calls it- “Hunting Season”) upon us, SBP takes a bit of a different twist. Usually focused on news and updates from OSU press conferences and weekly preparation, during the off season, we’ll use this spot to affirm my ADD and help you stay on top of news from the national scene. In other words- things that you might have missed or will want to print to read during those boring meetings or your “consulting” trips to the washroom. I read it so you don’t have to.
Bowl championship Series
But because the agreement between cable network and bowl series has to make you wonder where the relationship between ESPN and the football it pretends to cover begins and ends. Are they partners? Is this a legitimate subject-reporter situation? Once ESPN buys access to an event don’t they then turn from journalist to promoter?
Everyone already knows.
When ESPN selectively covers stories, as it does during a college football season, and attempts to dictate what is news and what is not to the public, how can any of us not be left wondering if they’re really reporting the news or simply protecting their bowl-week product? After all, they’re in this thing together now. When they’re slow to break a story, can we be sure why?
It’s the eve of the most mythical of mythical national championship matchups. The game that no-one outside of the bible belt actually wanted to see again after the ugly 9-6 OT finish in the middle of the season. The matchup that brought to light questions as to why, exactly, Michigan was not allowed a rematch in the 2007 mythical national championship game.
Amusingly, while everyone was busy clamoring that they would refuse to watch the championship game this year, a number of major College Football analysts and writers claimed that fans would watch anyway. “It’s college football at it’s best,” they breathlessly exclaimed, “You can’t help but watch it in the end.”
Well, I have repeatedly argued that I would not, could not, watch that travesty of a championship. To that end, I will not preview the game either. Instead, I provide you with a channel-by-channel listing of everything else you could be watching instead of torturing your ocular nerves with that field full of pathetic SEC suck. Enjoy!
I’m choosing the 8pm showtime start, so that you’re not even tempted to finish the ridiculous preview show. Also, I’m not endorsing any of the shows or channels on the list (especially none of the political/news programs), merely providing you a public service so you know what’s available rather than having to scramble at the last minute.
Heck, better yet, go watch something on Netflix, or on your DVR, or go read a book. You could even go get a tooth canal if you can find a dentist willing to do it that late. Whatever floats your boat.
Just don’t give the Championship even a minute of your time. It’s really, honestly, not worth it.
Updating an earlier post…
Well, here we are, on the cusp of the “Hyperbole Bowl!!!1!1!!”. Alabama -vs- LSU; the game so great it had to be played twice.
Granted, both LSU and Alabama are amazing teams, and deserve their top rankings. Each program is led by a coach that has won a national championship; with Coach Saban doing it at both schools. Both come from the tradition and experience laden SEC, winners of the last five national titles.
So, in many ways the extreme coverage is warranted. Given that both teams have had a significant time to prepare, and that their conference has exclusive coverage from the network that creates news stories, I’m actually surprised at how understated the buildup to this game has been. But no, I won’t be watching.
It’s not simply because I’ve already seen this game and believe that another team should have been given a chance… others have covered that already. It’s also not due to the fact that this proves nothing new- an Alabama win only evens the series… when’s the rubber match?
No, the main reason I’m not interested in tuning in to the four letter network is that their coverage of this game has been woefully incomplete (go figure). In addition to the fact that both teams are on NCAA probation (who knew?), there’s another shadow over this “epic clash”. For all the talk about strategies and “SEC Speed” and Heisman Finalists, one key reason that these two teams are so successful is being completely overlooked and under-reported in the build up; again, surprising given all the time dedicated to previewing this match.
Look, I’m on record as being very “anti-human interest angle” pre Super Bowl, and my perspective here is why I refuse to watch the Olympics. However, there are student athletes who have been forgotten and cast aside here, not just by the media coverage, but by the programs themselves.
I’m referring, of course, to those players who have ‘left’ the active rosters of each team for what might be considered questionable reasons.
This article has gone through two separate iterations in its lifetime already. This most recent version finalizes the condition of Ohio State by analyzing their final Public Infractions Reports, and looking at the final penalties handed down by the NCAA. I also add one more school, Michigan, as yet another example of the NCAA’s methods and mentalities. You’ll still find the original article here if you so desire.
This article will continue to be updated as a few more investigations pan out. We’re still waiting on the North Carolina Public Infractions Report, which should be out soon. LSU may have another Notice of Allegations coming, and we’re just waiting on Oregon’s NOA before adding them to the mix.
There’s also the possibility that Penn State will get an NOA up here considering the letter sent them by the NCAA after the Sandusky issue dropped. As unfortunate of a situation as that is, it would also be essentially unprecedented in NCAA history, and absolutely worthy of a spot on this list.
Update: H/T 11Ws. Thanks!
This is the article you have all been waiting for. Rather than just looking at all of the allegations leveled at Ohio State like I did a couple weeks ago, I now list every single allegation leveled by the NCAA at several different schools.
This article is a public service for anyone who is interested in the details of the allegations for a number of different schools including: Southern California, North Carolina, Tennessee, Boise State and Ohio State. Each table of allegations is a faithful representation of the allegation posed against the institution along with the response provided by the University for each. I hope that everyone who reads this will find it an informative and useful resource for discussing the NCAA, amateurism and the recent string of investigations that have swept the nation.
This is not a short article, so you may want to take it in slowly and in pieces. Reading it in one sitting may cause any number of complications that we hold no responsibility for including, but not limited to; excessive optimism, finger pointing, extreme laughter and glassy-eye dazes.
I also point out that what is included in each table is entirely factual information based off the documents provided by either the NCAA or the university in question. So too with the “results” of the investigation at the end of the discussion for each school. The discussions themselves are entirely a matter of writer’s opinion and should be taken as such.
For an in depth look at each allegation and the violations therein,