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
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t just the scores that was tripping me up. I at least finished this past week at a paltry 3-4 which brings my overall straight up picks to 15 and 18.
Big shout out to Buffalo Buckeye who leads tBBC Pick Em contest at the halfway mark but is closely followed by a large group of contestants which includes Ludwigs Losers and KenKoz who are just one point behind! Keep it up guys, still several people in the hunt. Strangely enough I am right in the middle…
Here’s last weeks results!
Michigan St. @ Indiana. Prediction: Sparty 41 to 13; RIGHT MSU 31 to 27
N.western @ Penn State. Prediction: Nerds 31 to 27; WRONG PSU 39 to 28
Illinois at Wisconsin. Prediction: Wiscy 17 to 10; RIGHT Wiscy 31 to 14
TTUN @ Purdue. Prediction: Purdue 21 to 20; WRONG TTUN 44 to 13
#21 Nebraska @ #12 Ohio State. Prediction:Buckeyes all the way; How little did I know RIGHT Ohio State 63 to 38
Georgia @ South Carolina . Prediction:Georgia 23 to 17; WRONG USC 35 to 7
WVU @ Texas. Prediction: Texas 34 to 28; WRONG WVU 48 to 45
It’s really going to tick a lot of people off but the top team in the Leaders Division is starting to walk away with the conference having won their first two tough games within the B1G. There’s still plenty of football left and the Buckeyes can still have a special season. Lets get to this weeks picks. 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
We continue the journey across the nation to get you ready for kickoff in less than two weeks. Today, Gary weighs in on the newest incarnation of the Big 12 conference.
With all the Conference re-aligning going on it has been tough to keep track of what team is going where. Many conferences are taking on small changes while many are undergoing complete makeovers. Today, we take a look at the Big 12 conference, which has changed drastically over the last couple of years.
2011 Record 10-3
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Head coach Art Briles has his work cut out for him after losing all three of his stars from last year’s offense. QB Robert Griffin III, WR Kendall Wright, and RB Terrance Ganaway all lead the Bears at their respective positions and have all left for the NFL. The Baylor offense still returns three talented wide receivers in Terrance Williams, Lanear Sampson, and Tevin Reese. All three had 1000+ yards last year. The question is can incoming QB Nick Florence get them the ball. Only time will tell if he can and that is why they will start this season outside of the Top 25 until that question is answered.
Iowa State Cyclones
2011 Record 6-7
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Last year was a very difficult season for the Cyclones as they struggled in every aspect of their game. The lone bright spot was the unexpected upset of the Oklahoma State Cowboys (their lone loss on the season). Head coach Paul Rhodes has very few things going for him in 2012 with a QB battle between Senior Steele Jantz and Sophomore Jared Barnett brewing which we all know is never a good thing this close to the season. Rhodes also lost his offensive coordinator Tom Herman to Ohio State. One things that is going for is the return of linebackers Jake Knott and A.J. Klein to lead their defense. Look for the Cyclones to struggle against a very strong conference and be towards the bottom of the standings again in 2012. Read More
Here’s your mid-week morning menudo of links and love
In their past six games, they are nearly 10 percent off that while not relying that much more on the three over the two. No coincidence, probably, that in five of those games, they faced teams that rank among the top five in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense: Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. In the other game, they shot 52 percent and scored 87 points against Purdue, which ranks dead last in the conference in field goal percentage defense.
Jim Davidson – Jim is a professional photographer who is credentialed for the O-Zone, an internet-based fan site. We became aware of Jim selling photos of current athletes in 2009, and met with both him and the O-Zone editor, John Porentus to explain our policies and gain their cooperation. Jim also sold photos to football parents, and we had a follow-up meeting with John about this issue in 2010 when we heard he had continued to sell to parents after our mandate to stop.
History: We’ve previewed this bowl twice already, with last year’s having a much more comprehensive discussion. This game as been the destination of Big Ten teams for the last 6 seasons, with only Indiana in 1991 participating before the current run.
Iowa: Kirk Ferentz’s team was a middle-of-the-road squad that went .500 in the Big Ten by beating Michigan but falling to MSU, PSU, and Nebraska. They’re not a quality team by any stretch of the imagination, but they can make things happen. They look primarily to junior quarterback James Vandenberg to do that as he completed 214 passes for 2806 yards and 23 touchdowns. RB Marcus Coker will also be looked on for production, with no solid second answer behind him.
Oklahoma: There’s no question that this is a mismatch. Oklahoma was at one point the #1 team in the country before succumbing to Texas Tech. They later fell to Baylor, and got crushed by Oklahoma State, likely dropping them from consideration for a better bowl spot. Sooner’s QB Landry Jones has thrown for an amazing 4302 yards and 28 touchdowns this season. Not surprisingly, that was at the expense of the running game which, while good, is not up to Oklahoma’s standards.
Fun Fact: Pop Quiz – what famous NFL quarterback was named MVP of the Copper Bowl (the original name of the Insight Bowl) in 1992? Try Drew Bledsoe, Washington State quarterback in a 31-28 victory over Utah.
Who we got?
After home wins against a ranked LSU team and a very good Florida State squad, 17th ranked Ohio State continued their amazingly difficult stretch of games by traveling to number 18 Oklahoma as part of the Big Ten-Big 12 Challenge, which is now really amusing name wise due to conference realignment. This was the first road game of the year for the Buckeyes and promised to be a tough test for a young Buckeye squad.
Ohio State won the opening tip and quickly got the ball to Tayler Hill in the corner who hit an open three-pointer to start the game. The Buckeyes scored the first seven points of the game but then the Sooners got their offense going and the two teams started to trade baskets, resulting in a 13-6 OSU lead at the first media time-out. Coming out of the time-out, Samantha Prahalis hit a three-pointer and got fouled in the process, hitting the free-throw for the rare four-point-play. The two teams went back to trading baskets and the Buckeyes led 23-12 with twelve minutes remaining in the half. After the entrance of some subs into the game the Buckeyes suddenly went cold in terms of shooting and committed a couple turnovers as the Sooners went on an 8 to 2 run to cut the Buckeye lead to 25-20 at the eight minute mark. Amber Stokes and Ashley Adams returned to the game and provided an immediate spark to the Ohio State offense which scored four in a row before Oklahoma hit a three to start the teams once again trading baskets. With Ohio State leading 29-23, Kalpana Beach took an elbow to the face and had to leave the game. Emilee Harmon, who had not seen much playing time on the season, came in to take Beach’s free-throws and drained them both. The teams resumed trading baskets for the rest of the half and Ohio State went into the locker room with a 41-33 lead.
After yesterday’s slate of games, the soundtrack for this episode should be pretty obvious. Onward!
Ain’t chaos beautiful? While the end result may be less than desirable, you’ve got to be amazed at the ways that each week is different, each week has the possibility for the unexpected and amazing. And this week was proof positive that the football gods have both a sense of humor AND a mischievous side.
We start on Friday, with a shout out and hat tip to our BFF’s from Ames who saw their mighty Cyclones upset the #2 ranked Cowboys of T. Boone Pickens U. It was a perfect “storm” of sorts- ISU’s freshman quarterback played the game of his life, while Gundy’s squad seemed incapable of being able to hang onto the ball and put points on the board. Somehow, a team that managed to shut out Texas Tech at home couldn’t cover a basic wheel route; a Cyclone TD and a senior citizen moment from Weeden ended any hopes that Oklahoma State had at playing for the national championship… at least, so it would seem (more later).
Congrats to Coach Paul Rhodes and his staff for getting his team prepared to square off against the ‘Pokes, and for having Iowa State bowl eligible once again.
So- we had early warnings that something was astir in this week’s slate of games, but “The Oracle” was able to solidify our beliefs that it was going to be an unforgettable experience. I’ll just link to Lee Corso’s commentary, since it’s not all that family friendly; let’s remember a) he had a stroke a while back and b) he spoke the truest college preview that’s ever been spoken. Read More