Given the rain delay in the BYU /UT game this week and the deluge of rushing that befell the Longhorns after kickoff, there’s only one option for this week’s soundtrack.
See, this is why there should be no polls before the first weekend in October.
Once again, we see a number of teams that got votes due to their “name recognition” shown up early in the season, and others who are rising to the occasion still find themselves with a long way to go until November.
Cases in point: Texas, Notre Dame, Florida, and Southern Cal; all of whom lost on the same Saturday for the first time since September 11, 1976.
For the Longhorns, it’s been a slide into mediocrity for a while now. I’m not sure that people really understand the significance of the Mack Brown era… As the flagship school in of the top three recruiting hotbeds in the country, Brown’s teams have historically underwhelmed with the exception of two “lightening in a bottle” moments- Vince Young and Colt McCoy. Outside of their leadership behind center, the program has struggled; and it can be argued that some of this is due to poor coaching (see the Major Applewhite -vs- Chris Sims debacle) or poor recruiting (Texas recruited the last two Heisman winners as defensive backs, and didn’t reach out to Jamies Winston- this year’s new hotness).
While those things may be true, Mack seems to think that the issue is defense; as evidenced by the 550 yards rushing that they gave up to BYU on Saturday, the majority of which happened in the first three quarters. In response, Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz was fired on Sunday. Before you get excited, Austinites- his replacement is none other than Greg “GERG” Robinson, who’s amazing Michigan defenses gave up over 100 points in two games against Illinois. I’m sure he’ll get the team motivated to return to the lofty status that UT should assume.
But you’ve also got to think that this is merely shuffling chairs on the Titanic- when your team plays so poorly that Shaggy Bevo’s servers go down as they did on Sunday, then you’ve got yourself a problem. Read More
If you’re following us on the book of face, you know that I made it back from my trip to Mt. Whitney last week- when you’d usually be reading SBP, I was at 14,508 ft, as the picture to the right can attest. It’s Buckeye Nation everywhere, people.
To celebrate, today’s soundtrack is a personal favorite… And I’ll include a few more photos/notes from the trip at the end of this post.
Bowl History: The Franklin American Mortgage Company Music City Bowl began in 1998. The bowl was created to stimulate the economy in Nashville and also so that Nashville could show off it’s beauty to tourists. ESPN has shown the bowl annually ever since its inception and more 760,000 fans have attened the bowl in person. While the bowl has played host to many conferences, it is exclusively an ACC-SEC matchup though 2014. The game has featured many big players such as Jason Campbell, Marion Barber, and C.J. Spiller.
N.C. State Scouting Report: Offensively, the Wolfpack rely on QB Mike Glennon and WR Tobias Palmer. Glennon threw for 30 touchdowns and averaged 304 yards/game. Palmer may not have led the team in yards and TD’s (670 yards this season and 6 touchdowns), he has been Glennon’s favorite target in big games. CB David Amerson leads the team defensively after breaking the ACC interception record last season. He will probably face off against Vanderbilt’s WR Jordan Matthews.
We’re going to do things just a little bit differently this week, given all of the amazing news and events that happened this past weekend. So, this will be part Silver Bullet Points, part Monday Morning Commentary, and the usual chunk of random observations from Saturday’s events in the world of college football. Here’s something to listen to while you’re fighting the urge to tl;dr- we’ve certainly got a lot to be Thankful for.
In this year’s edition of the Battle For Los Angeles, the upstart UCLA Bruins jumped out to a quick lead and held on to “upset” the Trojans by ten points on a gray day in Pasadena. While the Bruins obviously have been playing much better football this year, you’ve also got to wonder if the trajectories of the programs have now crossed, particularly given some of the issues that continue to swirl at Southern Cal.
As the team that was picked by many to contend for the national title, the frustration for many SC fans has been swirling since the loss to what we now know is a pretty good Stanford team. That game highlighted the Trojans’ issues with depth; injuries since then have continued to create problems and have certainly didn’t help in their back to back losses to Arizona and Oregon. The defeat by the Ducks made things even more problematic, since SC’s defense was a point of strength for them under current coordinator Monte Kiffin; their being gashed turned up the heat on the current coaching administration. And now, to lose to “little brother” has many wondering if it’s not time to make a change.
Coach Kiffin’s actions certainly haven’t helped this season- cutting media opportunities short, banning reporters outright… it certainly makes sense that he’d not want to leave the Rose Bowl via the obvious entrance on Saturday night. Other controversy swirls around Lane as well; while possibly not related, it’s definitely not helping matters at all. You may remember “inflation-gate” and the termination of a student manager following the revelation that game balls for kickers were under-inflated against Oregon. For those not infatuated with special teams- a “flatter” pigskin has a much larger “sweet spot”; as a great Buckeye Planet poster pointed out, the Trojan’s kicking game has not been anywhere near as efficient ever since they were penalized for this “mistake”.
In addition, earlier this week Tennessee was dinged for recruiting issues that occurred under Kiffin’s one year tenure in Knoxville- issues that involved Chip Kelly’s favorite videographer, Willie Lyles. Given the length of the investigation into Oregon’s program and this new decision at UT involving Lyles, you’ve got to think that there’s more than a few million good reasons for Kelly to take the Pete Carroll route and jump to the NFL ASAP.
What does this mean for Kiffin? At this time, it’s difficult to say, but losing Matt Barkley for the matchup against Notre Dame this weekend, combined with the continuing scholarship losses for the next couple of years would certainly be reason to wonder how warm his office chair will be getting this winter.
Interestingly enough, the other two programs involved in “affair du Lyles” also had difficult weekends. Derek Dooley’s Volunteers lost to cross-state foe Vanderbilt, and it wasn’t even close. The win ensures that UT will have a losing season for the third time in as many years, and was only the second victory for the Commodores in 35 years. Following the game, the inevitable happened… Dooley was fired, effective immediately. If you’re an Ohio State fan, you’ve got to wonder if this might have an impact on current recruits looking at both programs… Vonn Bell is the name that pops up, but there may be others in the 2014 class. This year’s season ending clash between the Vols and ‘Kats will feature both coaches in either interim or lame duck status… it’s going to be a fun coaching carousel for the SEC this season.
Lyle’s third “partner” in all of this felt the sting of their first loss on Saturday, at home, to a Stanford team that should be in the conversation about the top programs in the nation. Remember, they’re a botched call from extending overtime in South Bend and possibly ending the Irish Nightmare that we are currently facing. I was most impressed with The Cardinal’s defense on Saturday- disciplined, aggressive, and never seemed to give up the big play to an offense that most often looks like throwing kerosene on a bonfire… one blink, and it’s over. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. Ahem.
The loss can easily be attributed to a lot of things- Oregon being too confident, and this being the Duck’s annual brain fart game; Questionable officiating, A “trap” game, with the resurgent Beavers looming Thanksgiving week… But all of these would not do a service to the great work that the coaches at Stanford, starting with Jim Harbaugh, have done in building a program that can certainly play with anyone in the country. It’s also why I think that Alabama, if given the usual bowl prep to face Oregon, would beat them- I believe that the Tide’s defense is more athletic and much more disruptive than Stanford’s… and the template we’ve seen in the Ducks’ losses over the past four years is now pretty well known. You just need to have the horses to pull it off; Stanford did on Saturday, and now control their PAC12 destiny. They’ll need to beat UCLA twice in two weeks to do so, but doing so may have the Oregon Ducks on the outside of the BCS championship game AND the automatic Rose Bowl berth… along with USC. It’s been that kind of year.
Oh, and on Saturday Northwestern, Stanford, and Vanderbilt all won. Nerds, y’all.
Commentary: Polls and Playoffs 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
The madness continues here at the Buckeye Battle Cry! This has to be one of our favorite times of the year (really, who doesn’t feel that way?) and we love to celebrate by talking about as many teams, games, and players as we can! Joe Dexter was kind enough to get the whole thing kicked off this morning with a preview of the West Region. Now it’s my turn to take a look at the home-favorite East Region. Tomorrow, WVaBuckeye and MaliBuckeye will take a look at the two remaining regions, so that you can have plenty of time to read and peruse your way to what is hopefully a winning bracket!
Make sure you join the BBN’s Bracket Challenge this year! Bragging rights abound!
Favorites: The East region is graced with a few powerful teams that could be poised to make a deep run. The Syracuse Orange obviously stand in the best position of everyone in the region. The Orange hold a 32-2 season record, including non-conference wins over fellow tournament teams Florida and NC State. Seven-footer Fab Melo, a Sophomore out of Brazil, anchors Syracuse in the paint and is assisted by senior forward Kris Joseph, who leads the team in scoring at just under 14 per game, and senior guard Scoop Jardine, who seems to have been at Syracuse for 50 years. The ‘Cuse lost in the semi-finals of the Big East tournament to fellow East Region member Cincinnati, but looks to bounce back in the Big Dance.
I’ll be honest… it’s been so great to relive the huge Buckeye win over Wisconsin, I’ve had to dig a bit to find motivation to even think about the other games from this week. However, my search for a soundtrack that would be appropriate for Halloween Weekend, I found this gem that helped me keep my focus…
The story this week was big upsets, both with teams falling from the ranks of the undefeated and teams rising to the occasion against expectations. So let’s start in that vein, and with a little “howdy do” to our newest BFFs from the Iowa State contingency, who turned the tables on a Texas Tech team coming off a huge upset on their own. And it wasn’t just a “win” against the #20 Red Raiders, but a 41-7 demolition of Tommy Tuberville’s squadron… must have been a bit presumptuous to start the “Mike Leach Who?” talk, huh? No wonder the folks in Lubbock were chippy.
But the Cyclone satisfaction didn’t stop there, as cross state rivals Iowa also fell in a surprising factor, to a Minnesota team that’s been disappointing both for their coach and for their conference. But, in a week where the new guy got a huge “Vote Of Confidence“, his Gophers responded with a one point victory in Iowa City to the perennial B1G Coach Of The Year. They get Floyd back in Minneapolis, which is always a good thing. Yup, just another week of pride for the folks at ISU… enjoy your moment. Read More
Updated below with Friday’s comments from Board Members-
This week is the annual Ohio State Board of Trustee meetings, and we’ve known their schedule for a while now.
However, given the “story” that is Ohio State Sports, and given whispers that members of the Board were influential in helping Jim Tressel choose to resign, all eyes and ears have been tuned to these usually dry proceedings to find any hints as to the state of OSU Athletics (including current staffing stability).
And, when you look for a story, you often find or create one to justify your perspective. On Wednesday, it was reported by 10TV that yet another scandal was brewing, this one at the highest levels. Seems that Wednesday’s “closed door meetings”, was such that folks were concerned that their very nature was a potential violation of Ohio’s Open Meetings Laws ; surely there must be something that “they” are trying to hide.
That someone would deign to break one of the ‘Sunshine Laws’ seems simultaneously ridiculous (especially with current media scrutiny) and just plain adorable. President Gee said that these were not “meetings”, but “dialogue”; as such, they weren’t subject to open meeting guidelines.
And you know what? I believe him. This “scandal” is not the most interesting thing to happen thus far in the BOT “dialogues”.
That happened today, when trustee Robert H. Schottenstein spoke to the media about a number of topics, including the the current concerns with the Athletic Department. His comments were actually quite refreshing-
There has never been any attempt to act with concealment or with indifference towards the NCAA, and I can’t emphasize that enough.
We believe we have very sound processes and protocols, many of them have been validated by third parties as being at or near best in class. Still as I said, we believe we can get better.
especially if you’re Gene Smith or Doug Archie, both of whom have every reason to have the air conditioner turned up around their desk chairs in order to mitigate the heat they’re under.
However, later comments would push those feelings of confidence back into the pit of a professional’s stomach; Read More