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
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
I have decided to remove whether I got the score right or not and am going straight up with my picks. I will continue to include a guess of the score in most cases but it will just be a guide! The reason for this is the fact that I was an amazing five and one based on team picks and the score would have ruined the joy I felt! Here are the results from last week’s picks!!
Why bother. Minnesota @ Iowa. Iowa 21 to 16; Right Iowa 31 to 13
On Campus Recruiting Bowl. Penn St. @ Illinois. Illini 23 to 10; Wrong PSU 35 to 7
Hoosiers v. Nerds. Duh. Northwestern 35 to 10; Right Northwestern 44 to 29
Lumps are Us. Wisconsin @ Nebraska. Nebraska 21 to 13; Right Nebraska 30-27
Best of the Week. #14 Ohio State @ #20 Michigan State. Ohio State in a romp; Right OSU 17 to 16
Battered and Bruised week off. Purdue v. Marshall. Boilermakers 28 to 13; Right 51 to 41
I have finally found the right format as well, in sticking with what I know best, I am going with all of the B1G games and will pick a national best game. Hope you’re doing well in your pick-em contest and enjoy the week! Read More
It’s the sports dead season again and, as is rapidly becoming a tradition around these parts, we find ourselves updating the table of violations for a school on our Compare and Contrast board. This edition’s winners are the South Carolina Gamecocks and the rather surprising conclusion to a two year investigation into improper benefits for the football team.
On April 27th, the NCAA Committee on Infractions released the dreaded Public Infractions Report (PIR). As you may know from our previous work, the Public Infractions Report is the document outlining the final decisions of the Committee and the ultimate penalties resulting from their violations. The document is particularly helpful in giving a window into the inner workings of the investigation. Sometimes that can be more interesting even than the penalties leveled at the institution.
Obviously, we’re still waiting on several other NCAA documents. That wait could stretch on for as long as a couple years, particularly for Miami and Oregon. We’ll include those documents when we can.
Until then, you can find our previous update here. That includes the full information available on all of the other investigations.
Ah, the joys of a new server to bring you the midweek morass that is SBP. Thanks to everyone’s patience as we had a bit of a sabbatical earlier this week to upgrade the hamsters in the wheel.
Before we get into the usual links and fun-making, I wanted to talk a bit about fan expectations.
Over the past few days, Buckeye Nation has seen both sides of the loyalty of young adults, and hopefully our amazingly rabid fan base can gain a bit of perspective.
First, we watched in shock as Ohio State Senior (and tBBC favorite) Michael Brewster went undrafted in the NFL selection process. Even more shocking was that several centers from inferior programs did not suffer the same fate- Western Oregon? Michigan? C’mon…
While there are surely lots of reasons that this happened, including, as our friend Jeremy Birmingham pointed out, really REALLY poor coaching during his college career, it’s difficult to pinpoint one specific instance that led to Michael falling from a first rounder as a junior to an afterthought as a senior. It could be some of the season’s struggles- Michigan State and Florida both indicated that they could get a jump on their rush due to his rhythm (Might also explain Shugarts’ issues); at times his shotgun was a bit off target as well. It could have also been the “post-season”; reports that he had some challenges at the senior events, rumors of a rift that led to a last minute change of agent. Or, like many members of last year’s team, perhaps all of the off field drama and change caught up with him all at once.
But for Buckeye fans, our feelings of empathy and sympathy for Mr. Brewster were also tempered with another realization- this happened, in part, because he is a Buckeye. No, I’m not insinuating that the NFL is intentionally snubbing Ohio State players- the data proves that to be less than accurate. Instead, I believe the Michael cost himself lots of money because his loyalty to the program and to the coaches wouldn’t let him cut and run in the middle of the chaos.
Granted, we don’t know what went on behind the scenes other than this- of the members of the “Block O/Brew Crew”, Michael was the highest profile recruit and player to not find himself in the papers on a regular basis for off field issues, particularly during the past 13 months. To the contrary, as his friends and teammates (some of whom he helped bring to Columbus) continued to make decisions that led to last season’s issues and were over and over again sanctioned in ways that hurt the team, Brew was the anchor that sought to keep things together. During a time when it would have been easy to jump to the next stage in his career- first round projections, programmatic instability, loss of friends and coaches, Michael chose to stay in the Scarlet and Gray.
And that decision, in part, cost him on draft day 2012.
Let me be clear- Michael Brewster doesn’t need me to be an apologist for him. He’s landed with his home-town team (although Kansas City would have been nice for family reasons), and is bringing the positive attitude and hard work mentality to his current situation in the same fashion that he showed in Columbus. Tuesday’s Dispatch has a great article on where he’s currently at, including this great quote-
Just more people that I get to prove wrong. I think it’s an exciting challenge.
But you’ve got to wonder- if you took off your Ohio State glasses for a minute, and imagined that he was your son or grandson or family friend; If you knew in January 2011 how the season would end up for the Buckeyes, what would you tell him to do? Would you ask him to be loyal to his alma mater, or pursue his dreams in “The League” even if that made Ohio State weaker in a key position?
You’d hopefully choose the career option in your advice- particularly if you had the wisdom of hindsight. And yet, as fans, we often want young adults to think not of their own needs and dreams, but to have the same needs and dreams that we do- to be enthralled with Carmen Ohio no matter the cost.
And that brings us to Lewis Neal. Read More
Time for the hump day look around the world of college sports, with a soundtrack from a reunited legend. We look at playoffs, SEC controversy, NCAA hypocrisy, and other items this week.
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,