Well, it’s the day that I’m certain you have all been anxiously awaiting, leading us to only one choice for today’s soundtrack. Well, Ok… two, and anything from these guys would also suffice.
provide viewers a unique look into his life away from the sidelines. Urban offers insight into why he came back to coach, the passion he has to coach college athletes and what it truly means to “get away.” The episode is about more than just fishing as a sport; it captures how the spirit of the outdoors brings families closer as Urban and his son Nate tackle shark, barracuda, black jack, grouper and tarpon.
Not to be left out, Coach Hoke will head over to Long John Silvers’ for their “Whitefish Wednesdays”. Hushpuppies, beware.
Coach Meyer’s episode will air on Saturday, July 12th at 7:00 PM ET on the Outdoor Channel. Consult your local blah blah blah
As you’re reading this, I’m somewhere above you making the phrase “flyover states” a reality, and heading back to the left coast. As such, this week’s review will be a bit shorter than previous ones, but know that I’ve only got one song on my mind as I write it
And now, we know the form of our destructor. Notre Dame has finished the season undefeated, and will play for the National Title, most likely against an SEC team of some semblance. Who knew that the Holy See was so closely connected with Tikal? We said early on that it would be an amazing accomplishment for the Irish to finish the year undefeated- and yet, here we are. Granted, they faced a down Southern Cal, a “choke-prone” Oklahoma, and struggled against Purdue and Pitt, but they stand atop the polls as our nation’s finest team. So, let the “Oh, I’ve totally been a Notre Dame fan forevah” crap begin- they’ve deserved it.
And, in an eerie way, they’re similar to a team that we just honored on Saturday in The ‘Shoe- unranked, under the radar, winning with great defense/limited mistakes/a lot of luck. The expectation is that they’ll get clown stomped in their bowl match up, but who’s to know? Any one, any where, any time… isn’t that what our flawed “single elimination Bowl Championship Series” has taught us?
One of the more controversial aspects of the Irish resurgence has been the Heisman candidacy of linebacker Manti Te’o, seen here getting really excited about seconds of sweet potato pie on Thursday. His statistics are pretty similar to Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier, who may not win B1G first team honors, minus the fact that Notre Dame’s scheme has allowed Te’o to achieve seven interceptions this season.
From all that I’ve read, Te’o is an incredible human being and strong leader for his top ranked team; the Heisman trophy would not be dishonored by his name on it (unlike certain other Trojany folks we might mention). That being said, there’s still a lot of controversy on whether he should be a finalist for the award, and I can see arguments either way.
The fact of the matter is that, in addition to his play on the field, Te’o is benefiting from the National Broadcasting Corporation. By this, I’m not only referring to NBC’s deal to broadcast as many Notre Dame games are are possible, I’m also eluding to the Peacock’s impact on sports coverage as a whole. NBC, as you may know, has television rights to the Olympics, and has chosen to shape their telecasts of those events in a way that tries to reach the broadest audience possible. So, they’re less concerned with the actual results and scores and game achievements and more interested in establishing narratives and storylines for the “casual” fan to connect with and appreciate. As if being the world’s best was somehow not interesting enough.
This isn’t limited to NBC by any means, ESPN’s continual decision to push narrative over fact has significantly impacted their coverage of sports for the negative, as most Buckeye fans can relate to. However, NBC was, along with ABC’s “Wild World Of Sports”, one of the first to mainstream this philosophy- being great is not as intriguing as being great AND having a powerful “story”.
Which brings me back to Te’o: As you may know, he’s overcome some incredible tragedies in his life recently, including the loss of his grandmother and girlfriend just this season. These are horrible events, and it’s remarkable that he’s been able to perform at a championship level in the face of them; I’d probably be up to my ears in a bucket of Cracklin’ Oat Bran in a similar set of circumstances. But the question remains: Does “Solid numbers on a great team with a powerful personal narrative” override “Amazing numbers on a good team that totally relies on you“, particularly when the award has been acculturated to represent the “best” college football player in the nation (who’s most often an offensive skill player)?
I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Read More
Oh, college football… How I love you!!
Well, that happened.
While a lot of people were saying that Alabama was ripe for a loss against a Texas A&M team that’s been playing really well over the past few weeks, most of this felt like lip service. You know, the kind of things that ESPN makes one person say on the Gameday set in order to appear unbiased.
And then- “Johnny Football”.
There are a lot of reasons why Alabama lost- coming off of an emotional win on the road in Death Valley, LSU’s offense showed a lot of people the issues that the Tide have in their secondary, Saban’s fear of the high speed offense is based on his knowledge of his team’s weaknesses; but the fact of the matter is that the Aggies outplayed Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, in several key areas of the game.
The Crimson Tide defensive front was stifled, for the most part, by the aTm offensive tackles. Combined with concerns about a quarterback’s mobility, the Tide were not able to mount the type of disruptive pressure that they are so used to.
Alabama’s offense made key mistakes and turnovers, and seemed out of rhythm all night long. The three turnovers didn’t help, particularly when the Tide defense couldn’t get any of their own… and the mental errors were even more egregious. On the final interception, it seems to me that the receiver on the end of the line of scrimmage did a poor job getting depth in the end zone, making it easy for defenders to cover both him and the primary target. In addition, with Bama’s defense stiffening and forcing a punt, to have a member of their punt return/block team create a neutral zone infraction for an automatic first down is an aggressive penalty, but one that is terrible to have happen in that circumstance. Again, the intensity was there for the student in question, but the lack of focus eventually cost them a final chance at victory.
But we can’t miss the point here- this game was won by Johnny Manziel’s continual ability to make plays and put the Tide defense on their heels.
After the third week in a row with this type of performance (Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State), the redshirt freshman has lifted himself into Heisman candidacy- and for good reason. Given the lack of a clear “star” this year, given Matt Barkley’s struggles, the game this weekend was his “Flutie to Phelan” moment; outstanding performance in high profile opportunity. I’ll leave the debate to others, but will certainly enjoy watching the electricity that all of these candidates provide.
Even if he doesn’t win this year, you’ve got to think that next year’s Heisman race is going to be something spectacular- Braxton Miller, Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater, Everett Gholston, Tahj Boyd, DeAnthony Thomas… and those are just the ones I’ve got off the top of my head.
(And since I’m on the topic, I think that Marquis Lee needs to be included in this year’s debate. But that’s just me).
Does this loss end the run of SEC titles in the final year of the BCS? Well, not exactly… more on this in a bit.
As we get closer and closer to kickoff, we’ll be looking across the nation at other (read ‘inferior’) conferences. This way, you’ll have just enough information to justify watching every single game that comes across the telly. First up- the fellers on the Left Coast.
Where does the conference fall in the national rankings- how likely are they to have a team in the Title game?
This is a tough one to assess… the conference is pretty top-heavy, but that top looks really really good. Feel free to make a “Los Angeles plastic surgery” joke right about here.
In terms of conference strength, I’d say that the PAC is about average: Overall not better than the SEC, certainly better than the Big lEast and ACC. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if their best team this season, the Southern Cal Trojans, didn’t lock down one of the slots in the national title game. Pending, that is, an all too familiar letdown against Oregon State or something.
Who’s the best team in the conference? Who will play for in the conference title game (if there is one)?
Well, I’ve already tipped my hand on this one- the Trojans are back. I have no idea how they managed to come through sanctions AND are starting their tenure of reduced scholarships and still remaining national contenders, but that’s certainly the case. Having Matt Barkley return did wonders, to be sure… although it’s yet to be seen if his return will be similar to Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow in effectiveness.
Oh, wait- I do know how they’re back… They are the only program of note in one of the most talent laded areas of the country. Right.
Representing the North Division will be the Oregon Ducks, in my opinion; and this will be a heck of a championship game. The North will be significantly more competitive than the South, as Washington is on the rise and Stanford will be looking to maintain excellence without much Luck (see what I did there?).
Who’s the worst team(s) in the conference? Read More
Just a friendly warning that there are only four more days to borrow money from your pops so you can buy him a gift. If you’re looking for ideas, check our friends at The Buckeye Room… And now, the news.
We Hardly New Ye- Well, it wasn’t news to us, as we’d heard for a while that Brian Bobek was looking to transfer, but earlier this week the University made it official. Potential landing spots could be the University of West By God Virginia, and a B1G program yet to be named. Brian’s got family across the conference, so we wish him luck in all of his games except one. A bit of a sad note, since he was supposed to be “next up” after Brewster graduated; however he was jumped on the depth chart in the spring, including being passed up by the latest in the Boren Legacy (just an incoming freshman). Again, godspeed!
May’s second midweek madness gets existential. The big story of the day was the “discussion” about the future of our favorite sport- more on that after the jump.
But one thing is for sure – Urban Meyer will bring hardware back to Columbus with him before all is said and done. Gold pants, B1G titles and crystal footballs. For everyone who has piled on over the last twelve months – from those in Ann Arbor, Madison, and SEC country to those posted up at the headquarters of ESPN, Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News – there’s simply no way around it. Urban Meyer wins, and he wins big.
The benefactor? THE Ohio State University.
It’s hump day, which means the mid-week linkage and notes from around the world of college sports.
It’s been an interesting week in Bristol Connecticut, way out on the edge of the prairie of reason and rational thought… Let’s talk a little about what’s happened since the last time we chatted.
“There was never any suspension or any other form of disciplinary action. We took the time to review his upcoming work assignments in light of the book to which he contributed and will manage any conflicts or other issues as needed. Bruce has resumed his assignments.”
It’s interesting that he could “resume” something that hasn’t been suspended, and that this major media source would choose to not allow comments on their statement. Brooks goes on to point out that Feldman has not tweeted or written since this issue (something he was prolific at), and that not only was his future with the network threatened, but the ripples were even felt among student athletes, at least one of whom was afraid to comment and risk ESPN jeopardizing their draft status.
As usual, Gerd’s perspective on this was dead on, both before the “statement” and afterwards