Where to start, where to start.
Alabama got revenge, Michigan almost got upset by Akron, Texas still can’t play defense and Nebraska, well, Bo Pelini better have his resume updated.
But we must start with the odd finish to the Wisconsin-Arizona State game in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
The Sun Devils led 32-30 in the waning moments. The Badgers had executed the 2-minute drive to near perfection and were in position to attempt a game-winning field goal.
Yawn, yawn. Sounds like a typical game. OK, here’s where it got weird.
Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave did something that resembled a stumble, kneel down or plopping down of the ball.
Perhaps his knee touched, perhaps there was a whistle. Arizona State players saw a loose ball and hopped on it, and stayed on it.
The officials eventually decided it was still Wisconsin’s ball, but time ran out before the Badgers could get the field goal unit ready.
Problem is, according to the rule book, the officials should have been flagged for illegal procedure because they gaffed big time.
Worse than Leon Lett in the Super Bowl. Worse than Ray Finkle and the laces facing the wrong way (thanks Marino). Worse than Marty Mornhinweg electing to kick after winning the OT coin toss.
According to an excerpt from rule 4-1-3-o “A live ball becomes dead and an official shall sound his whistle or declare it dead: When a ball carrier simulates placing his knee on the ground.”
Stave was attempting to take a knee. This much we know. So he was down and either ASU should have been hit with a delay of game or the crew should have stopped the clock to sort it all out.
Oops. Read More
This could quite possibly be the last SBP of… well… forever. The Mayans have spoken… or the Aztecs, I always get them confused. So, of course there’s only one soundtrack for the moment… it’s been a good ride.
As a part of this, though, the University is requiring students to have “open” bank accounts- to allow the University to better monitor incoming funds to avoid no-show jobs and booster “gifts”. 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.
No need to revisit the results of two weeks ago as we are in the home stretch! I will begin to cover the national race for the BCS as well as our B1G match-ups. The Buckeyes are resting this week so lets get started-
Legends Race. Nebraska 7-2 (4-1); TTUN 6-3 (4-1);Northwestern 7-2 (3-2). Cornhuskers control their own destiny because of the win over TTUN. Northwestern can help themselves alot this week with their game against TTUN.
Leaders Race. Ohio State 10-0 (6-0);Penn State 6-3(4-1); Wisky 6-3 (3-2). A Penn State loss to Nebraska this weekend clinches a share of the Leaders title for the Buckeyes but there is still work to be done in the coming weeks. Penn State loses and it opens the door for Wisky to step in and go to back-to-back B1G title games.
#24 Northwestern @ TTUN. The Wolverines need to keep pace with the cornhuskers and hope for some help from Penn State this week. TTUN got healthy and may have already decided to look forward a couple weeks and could get tripped up here. Nerds 21 to 17
Purdue @ Iowa. Purdue needs to win out just to be bowl eligible and Iowa has been streaky all season. Could be one of the better games of the weekend. Having said that, Iam sure it will be a low scoring affair. Iowa 16 to 10
Minnesota @ Illinois. Two of the reasons the nation believes the B1G is very weak are primarily due to these two teams. The Illini are beat up bad after their tussle with the Buckeyes in Columbus and the Gophers probably do not know which end is up. This is a toss up even though Minny has played better over all. Talent wins in this one. Illinois 31 to 14
Wiscy @ Indiana. We all know better than anyone that Indiana is a much improved team under my candidate for B1G COTY Kevin Wilson. They worked a great game plan to almost perfection when the Buckeyes were in town and Wiscy will be looking ahead to their match-up that could decide their season hosting the Buckeyes next week. Going with the upset here. Hoosiers 21 to 20 Read More
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
Another Wednesday, another mainstream media member making less than accurately informed statements about issues they think they understand…
This week’s soundtrack is colorful, but has a bit of a different taste to it: trust me, it makes total sense in the grand scheme of things. Enjoy… language warning.
There’s no denying it… one group of conference-mates had an incredibly difficult Saturday.
Positioned for excellence, and featured in a number of nationally significant matchups, the on the field results just did not help dissuade the critics who argue that they have lost their prestige, and are rightfully scorned by college fans across the country. Once seen as powerful contenders for titles, it seems as if the results on Saturday have shown that the game may have passed them by.
Yup, it was a terrible day for the Big 12 expats. Who did you think I was talking about?
Texas A&M, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska all dropped matches on Saturday, with two of these being significant “upsets” in terms of rankings and so forth. The Aggies, after a week full of bravado regarding their new allegiance to the “we can spell three letter words” conference, saw the early lead against Florida disappear in the waning moments of the game, and couldn’t count on Kyle Field to help carry the day. You’ve got to wonder if the different understanding of the word “cheerleader” might have had something to do with it. Ah well, you know they’ll just say that they won later… it’s the SEC way.
Missouri also opened SEC play by welcoming Georgia to play between the… uh… rocks in Columbia. The Bulldawgs emerged victorious, but you’re right in realizing that Mizzou is excited to be in a new home. There were too many Longhorns in the last one, and the B1G never returned their phone calls, so you can’t blame them for being OK with a loss in their prestigious opener. So excited about the new opportunities were they, that they broke out their new school clothes… or someone else’s old school clothes from when they were in the Arena League. As goofy as they looked, though, they didn’t win our “awkward haberdashery of the week award”… more later.
Ah, CoLOLorado… See, here’s how it works. You schedule a FCS opponent in the pre-season, you get them at home, you beat them and build up your alumni/student confidence in your program = profit. But, the Buffs are constricted by no man’s social norms, and instead chose to allow the mighty Hornets of Sacramento State to kick a field goal with time expiring and upset the Buffs in Boulder. I’m sure the fans will have to find some way to console their grief.
Which brings us to Nebraska. Read More
After week one I am way down the list and am rethinking my position as an “expert” picker for this pool! Anyhow, as it is I do not have a choice because I drew the short straw in our last office meeting and the current status of our picketing union has caused me more work. My pay has been doubled by Mali, but my work has been increased three-fold… go figure!
Week one saw me going 2 and 3 as I grade things- here are the results for my picks. Keep in mind that I expect my picks to be spot on with regards to score, competitive level and who won!
As we move forward I have decided to format my choices into five titles, hope you enjoy it and if you have any suggestions of things you’d like to see just let me know. Here we go with the even weaker week two! Read More