Sunday, December 30, 2007
Not too shabby, I think.
On with the preview;
Florida State vs. Kentucky
Music City Bowl
Monday, December 31st - 4pm
Florida State cheats, and they lost 35 players to suspension.
This will be my second-shortest preview.
Florida State 21
Oklahoma State vs. Indiana
Monday, December 31st - 530pm
If you follow college football more on a historical level, you would pick Oklahoma State in this game. The Cowboys always have a pretty decent squad while Indiana is known as a basketball school - and nothing more.
However, if you actually FOLLOW college football, and have paid attention for the past 12 months, you probably should take the Hoosiers. These kids are hungry, and they have a universe full of motivation on their side. Since their head coach Terry Hoeppner passed away, Indiana is on a mission. Bill Lynch took the helm and rallied his boys around Hoeppner's death, and the result has been nothing short of remarkable.
They have still struggled with the Big Ten elite, but pulled off a fantastic upset of Purdue on the final play of the regular season to get their bowl eligibility. I have no reason to believe they will waste this opportunity.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma State has not been much to write home about. They give up a LOT of points, and their only quality wins have been against Texas Tech and Florida Atlantic...and when a Big 12 school has to pimp a win over FAU, they're not very good. Blowout losses to Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, and Troy (yeah, Troy) show that they are likely to get their door kicked in by a quality opponent. Indianaisn't quality yet, but they are ready to take that next step. It'll be a close win for the Hoosiers.
Oklahoma State 28
Clemson vs. Auburn
Monday, December 31st - 730pm
A good quality game, and the bowl representatives should be proud of the matchup they have put together.
Both teams are capable of pulling off a big upset and both teams have good defenses. The difference might be Clemson's ability to score.
Clemson has a winner in QB Cullen Harper. The kid's thrown for nearly 3,000 yards and has 27 TDs on the season. Add in a pair of RBs who combined for over 1,600 yards and you have your difference in the game...at least on paper.
Auburn dismantled Florida's offense, winning 20-17 in the Swamp. They also held Darren McFadden to 43 yards rushing, and had a lead on LSU until the final offensive play of the game.
Like I said, this one is a tough game to pick, so I'm going with the Tigers. If you're laughing right now, then you know your mascots.
Tennessee vs. Wisconsin
Tuesday, January 1st - 11am
The biggest question in this game will be "which Wisconsin team will show up?" Will it be the team that got embarrassed by Ohio State and Penn State, or the team that crushed Michigan?
We already know what team Tennessee will show up with....an understaffed one. Several players have been suspended for academic ineligibility, and the defense will be reshuffled for the game.
This could be huge for a team with strong players like P.J. Hill and Travis Beckum. Hill ran for over 1,000 yards in an injury-shortened season, and Beckum caught just under 1,000 yards worth of passes (and the kid has great hands).
I'm going to go with history on this one...Wisconsin has had great recent success in January against SEC teams. I think it'll continue on Tuesday.
I'm going to the Browns game today!
First time I've tailgated for a Browns game in about 5 years. The tailgating starts at 6am for the group of people I'm headed up with and we leave at 4:45. We've got a keg of Dortmunder, a pot of sauerkraut kielbasa, and a full log of prime rib. If the teevee catches a shot of me today, I'll post it (I've got front-row seats on the 5-yard-line by the visiting team tunnel).
I'll be shocked if I survive the day, so upon my imminent demise, I hereby bequeath the Buckeye Battle Cry to be divided up evenly between the proprietors of Eleven Warriors, Men Of The Scarlet And Grey, and Halftime Adjustments.
Go Browns....and go Colts, too!
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Sunday, December 30th - 8pm
Who gives a shit?
The BBC - 11-4
Air Force vs. California
Armed Forces Bowl
Monday, December 31st - 1230pm
Can anybody actually believe that Cal was once ranked #2 in the nation? Not only that, but they were #2 heading into a game in which #1 had already lost earlier in the day?
That was a long time ago, and somewhere along the way, California decided to stop trying. That loss to Oregon State ruined the Bears, who have lost 6 of their last 7 games. The only win during that stretch was a squeaker over 5-7 Washington State. Cal probably doesn't deserve a bowl, and they are only eligible for one thanks to an Oregon fumble.
Meanwhile, Air Force has themselves a good offense that can put up some points. And they get their biggest chunks on the ground. Their best running back has only 8 yards fewer than their top passer....how many teams can make that claim?
The Falcons need to get off to a good start and put some early points on the board. Cal packed it in long before the season was complete, and they might have regained some confidence with time off. If Air Force jumps out early, Cal will fold.
Air Force 41
Air Force 36
The BBC - 11-5
Georgia Tech vs. Fresno State
Monday, December 31st - 2pm
The Smurf Bowl! If you watch this game, do not attempt to adjust the tint on your TV. That turf is actually blue. It took me two or three years before I got used to it. You'll be OK.
Bowl games are supposed to be a reward for having a good season. If you played football in Georgia or California, would you consider going to Idaho a "reward"? Yeah, me neither.
I'm not incredibly impressed by either team...both are good, but there's no major difference to highlight. Fresno State's defense is more suspect, and it seems when they lose, they give up a LOT of points (they have allowed 43 points per game in their 4 losses). If Georgia Tech opens up the playbook, they'll have some success on the scoreboard.
I expect a high-scoring game, and Fresno State loses those ones.
Georgia Tech 52
Fresno State 48
Fresno State 40
Georgia Tech 28
The BBC - 11-6
South Florida vs. Oregon
Monday, December 31st - 2pm
Ah, what could have been. Oregon might be playing for the National Championship if not for a knee injury to Denis Dixon. Hell, we could have had a Heisman Trophy for the kid too. They fell apart without him, and he won't be playing in the bowl game either. When Dixon played, the Ducks offense was high-flying and scored a LOT of points. Without him, they got shut out by UCLA in the middle of a 3-game losing streak.
South Florida started off strong, then let the hype get into their heads. After going 6-0 and rising to #2 in the nation, they actually began to believe they were going to win a national championship, a Heisman Trophy, and the Nobel Peace Prize. But they weren't ready for prime time just yet and they dropped three straight and fell right out of the BCS rankings altogether.
Since then, three straight wins have them at 9-3 and they are believing in themselves again...only this time, they have a more realistic view of their own importance. But now they have to re-convince the nation that they are worthy again. Oregon will give them that chance.
South Florida's offense puts up big numbers and that should continue in Texas on Monday
South Florida 37
S. Florida 21
The BBC - 11-7
Mississippi State vs. Central Florida
Saturday, December 29th - 430pm
Mississippi State wasn't supposed to play in a bowl game. They had too tough of a schedule and they weren't going to get enough wins to be eligible. Then, late in the season, they knocked off Kentucky and Alabama - both were ranked at the time. They surprised a few teams in the SEC, and they earned their spot in the Liberty Bowl.
Central Florida has won 7 in a row and ran away with the Conference USA Championship, beating 9-4 Tulsa along the way twice. Their best game, one which they will brag about, was a loss. Facing #6 Texas, they had the ball with a chance to win late before falling 35-32. Central Florida is no cupcake.
The difference in this game will be the best running back in college football, Kevin Smith. The guy has over 2,200 yards....THIS YEAR. He'll be huge.
Central Florida 37
Mississippi State 31
Miss State 10
C. Florida 3
The BBC - 10-3
Texas A&M vs. Penn State
Saturday, December 29th - 8pm
The battle of the two schools filled with the biggest assholes on the planet. From PSUs students whipping full beer cans at people's heads (and celebrating it online) to students dressing up like dead Virginia Tech students (and celebrating it online) to A&M cheerleaders referring to Joe Paterno going home "in a coffin", how the hell do you cheer for either school here?
A&M slipped into this bowl by NOT losing their last four games. After allowing the three best Big 12 schools beat them in weeks 9, 10, and 11, they managed to squeak by Texas in week 12. Plus, these guys lost to Miami. I'm literally laughing out loud at this moment.
Penn State started out strong and has some quality wins, but they couldn't handle the top of the Big Ten, losing to Ohio State, Illinois, and Michigan. MSU put them down in the finale in the waning moments.
I think the intangibles will be huge in this game, and that's all about Paterno. He's coaching his 500th game, and I'm calling the upset.
Penn State 31
Texas A&M 30
Penn State 24
Texas A&M 17
The BBC - 11-3
Friday, December 28, 2007
Well, here's the next installment. And by the way, if you happen to be on the sidelines for any upcoming bowl games, try not to run out onto the field to grab a live ball.
Connecticut vs. Wake Forest
Meineke Car Care Bowl
Saturday, December 29th - 1pm
A pair of teams that started the season with very little fanfare will get to prove a LOT about themselves in a late December bowl game, and it could go either way.
Nobody expected Connecticut to battle for the Big East title back in early September, but it wasn't long before the Huskies forced a lot of people to pay attention. They started off at 5-0 (but it was against weak competition). However, knocking off Rutgers and South Florida en route to an 8-1 record moved them from pretenders to contenders in a hurry. Soon after, they fell back to earth, getting outscored 93-24 in a pair of losses to Cincinnati and West Virginia.
Meanwhile, Wake Forest has played a bear of a schedule and did quite well with it. After opening up at 0-2, the Deacons ran off six wins in a row (including wins against Florida State, Maryland, and North Carolina). They finished up at 8-4 with all four losses to teams that have seen their names in the rankings this season.
For Wake Forest to win this game, they must have a great game from QB Riley Skinner. He's got an incredible completion percentage but that's due to a lot of short dump-offs. Skinner has only had two passes all season go for more than 40 yards. WF will use a lot of ball-control in this game.
UConn will have to rely on their defense. Wake Forest is not a dominating team, but they can put up points. The Huskies have shown some serious weakness down the stretch and have to overcome their late-season collapse. When their D is playing well, they can shut down an offense. Those losses to UC and WVU marked the only two games all season that an opponent scored more than 19 points. Even the high-flying Louisville Cardinals only put up 17.
End result? I trust the weekly competition of the ACC more than the Big East. Wake Forest wins.
Wake Forest 27
Wake Forest 24
The BBC - 10-2
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Houston vs. Texas Christian
Friday, December 28th - 8pm
This will be (by FAR) the least-watched bowl game of the 2007 campaign. I guarantee it. For starters, you have two teams that do not really have a wide fan base. Second, a game with two better teams starts 30 minutes after this one kicks off. Then, for some unknown reason, the game is being shown on the NFL Network (which NOBODY has in their home anyway).
Add it all up and you've got a stinker of a bowl game.
These two teams are actually pretty evenly matched in my opinion.
Both teams have had similar schedules....a handful of cupcakes sprinkled with a handful of teams that made bowl games. Both teams beat the teams they should have, and both squads lost to the teams that made bowls. This is one of those previews in which I will flip a coin in my head and select a winner.
I choose TCU to win this game. I base my choice on two reasons.
1) Houston had a chance to win the Conference USA West Division when they played Tulsa. A win would have clinched it....they lost 56-7. They wet the bed in a BIG way.
2) Karma is still kicking Houston's ass for intentionally running up the scores back in the mid-80s. They would try to put up 80, 90, 100 points on cupcakes regularly and they gloat about it. Karma is a bitch, boys. You haven't been in the spotlight since then for a reason.
Texas Christian 90
(not really, but TCU will win)
The BBC - 8-2
Oregon State vs. Maryland
Friday, December 28th - 830pm
Now THIS is a bowl game I am looking forward to. Two teams from BCS conferences, both of whom have knocked off big teams, both with something to prove. I like it!
You may remember Oregon State as the team that catapulted Ohio State into the #1 slot back on October 13th. Earlier in the day, #1 LSU lost to Kentucky, and Oregon State went into California and finished off the #2 Bears to put us in the top spot. The Beavers did us a HUGE favor that day, but as we later found out...Cal would have choked on about 4 other teams as the season went along. Oregon State also knocked off Utah and Oregon, although they beat the Ducks without Dennis Dixon...and the Dixon-less Oregon squad still put up 31 points. Yikes.
Meanwhile, Maryland has a resume that includes defeating two Top 10 teams, Rutgers and Boston College. Five years ago, everybody beat those two teams. Even Notre Dame. But times have changed, and that feat is now quite impressive. I don't know how the Terrapins finished 6-6. ESPN calls it "split personality". I say they suck. But enough about ESPN, let's talk about Maryland again.
Both teams have a balanced attack, and neither has a quarterback that will light up the sky. Both teams have two running backs that have combined for 1,500 yards. Expect this game to stay close and be won in the trenches. I'm thinking it'll be Oregon State in a close one. They've already been to California once and played their best game of the year. I think they'll do it again.
Oregon State 24
Oregon State 21
The BBC - 9-2
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Sorry I've been away....but let's get back to the bowl previews.
By the way, I'm 5-1 so far in bowl selections...Boise State totally blew the first half, or I'd be 6-0. They haven't called or written to apologize yet.
Arizona State vs. Texas
Thursday, December 27th - 8pm
This is a tough game to call. In this season of upsets where many teams are mediocre, some average teams are going to get ranked, and some undeserving teams are going to get ranked even higher. We may have a game which involves two such teams.
Texas is the mediocre team in this scenario. They have a bad defense and an offense that scores barely enough points to beat bad teams. For example, a 28-25 win over Nebraska. That same Nebraska team allowed 172 points over their final THREE games (yes, that's 57 points per game).
ASU is the undeserving team that got a high ranking. The Sun Devils started out 8-0 and climbed the rankings like an undefeated team should. But on further reflection, the 8 teams that Arizona State beat early on......only one of them (Oregon State) ended up with a winning record. Add another little tidbit to that....the fact that ASU went 2-2 down the stretch, losing badly to Oregon and USC, while barely beating bad teams like Arizona (3 points) and UCLA (4 points).
So we have a couple of overachievers battling it out, and that could lead to a good game. But I will make my selection based on two key factors;
- Arizona State's QB Rudy Carpenter has thrown for over 3,000 yards this season, and has a 149.5 quarterback rating. Texas' pass defense is ranked 109th in the nation, allowing over 275 yards per game.
- The aforementioned girlfriend went to Arizona State. She's going to be pulling for the Buckeyes, and I will be pulling for the Sun Devils.
Arizona State 37
Arizona State 34
The BBC - 6-2
Boston College vs. Michigan State
Champs Sports Bowl
Friday, December 28th - 5pm
Matt Ryan is a good quarterback and probably could have gotten a LOT more exposure at a different university...maybe even a Heisman. Michigan State is about to discover that.
I was fully prepared to take BC in a close game, with a hint of doubt, based on knowing that Mark Dantonio is a hell of a coach in Spartyville.
Not anymore. Yesterday, Michigan State announced that 5 players would be suspended for the bowl game, based on academic reasons. Jonal Saint-Dic and SirDarean Adams (I know, the names sound made-up, don't they?) are the main components of Michigan State's defense, and without them, it might get ugly.
Take the Eagles in a big way.
Boston College 31
Michigan State 21
Boston College 24
Michigan State 21
The BBC - 7-2
Friday, December 21, 2007
On with the bowl preview;
Purdue vs. Central Michigan
Motor City Bowl
Wednesday, December 26th - 730pm
Rematch! With the same results, probably.
These two teams met back in mid-September, with the Boilermakers crushing the Chippewas 45-22. Both teams have seen their fortune change since that game, with Central Michigan winning 7 of their last 9 and Purdue losing 5 of 7. But take a look at the schedules and the scores...you'll soon agree with me that Purdue will most likely win in another walk.
It's true, Purdue may be fat on cupcakes. The only bowl team they beat was Central Michigan. But the Boilermakers have discovered that they could get REALLY fat on those cupcakes....they average 42 points per game in their 7 wins.
Meanwhile, the Chippewas have allowed 31+ points in 10 of their 13 games this season. And when you give up 48 points to Eastern Michigan and 44 points to North Dakota State, maybe bowl games are not something you should be playing in. Add to that the 70 they surrendered to Clemson and the 52 that Kansas scored, and you're looking at The Blowout City Bowl.
Purdue's probably feeling a bit low after their last-second loss to Indiana, and that kind of doldrums could affect the Boilers...but Joe Tiller doesn't allow those kind of memories to sink in too much. He'll have the team ready. Make it a high-confidence choice.
Central Michigan 21
Central Michigan 48
The BBC - 6-1
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Boise State vs. East Carolina
Sunday, December 23rd - 8pm
I'm thinking that this game might be a huge mismatch. Boise State still has a large nucleus of players that beat Oklahoma a little over 11 months ago, and they finished this season 10-2. Only an early loss to Washington (back before Jake Locker had the holy bejeezus scared out of him by Little Animal) and a late-season loss at Hawaii prevented the Broncos from consecutive unbeaten seasons.
Meanwhile, East Carolina is lucky to be in bowl game. They ended up 7-5, and have some rather embarrassing defeats on their resume this season. They lost by 41 points to West Virginia, but that is not their most embarrassing Saturday of the year. So what was that loss that was worse than the WVA one?
They lost to Marshall by 19 points....Marshall went 3-9 this year. Yes, I said 19 points.
East Carolina has no business being in a bowl game, and unless Boise State overlooks the Pirates, you should have full confidence in the Broncos winning this one.
But Boise State knows plenty about being overlooked....I doubt it'll happen to them.
Boise State 47
East Carolina 21
East Carolina 41
Boise State 38
The BBC - 5-1
That takes us through Christmas. We'll pick up again with the Motor City Bowl next time.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
At Northwestern (the marching band and the loudspeaker cat couldn't even drown us out)....
And of course...at Michigan.....
Show those to anybody who says Ohio State fans don't travel well.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Just posted at Rivals.com;
And in case you're wondering if Pamon and his crew called any of your favorite team's games....if you're a Buckeye, he called a pretty big game for us.
A Big Ten football officiating team that came under scrutiny for its performance in two conference games last month was led by a crew chief with a history of bankruptcy, casino gambling, child abuse and allegations of sexual harassment, a Yahoo! Sports investigation has revealed.
The revelations about the Big Ten referee, Stephen Pamon, come four months after an NBA referee pleaded guilty to felony charges stemming from allegations he bet on NBA games in which he officiated and provided inside information to high-stakes gamblers.
Pamon's crew was responsible for the Illinois game, the same game with the blown fumble call in the first minute of the game. That horrible non-call gave Illinois a TD and sent Ohio State to a 7-point loss.
Fortunately for the Buckeyes, it did not irreparably harm OSU's National Championship hunt. But imagine the implications if it had.
So what the hell was the Big Ten thinking by letting a guy with that much of a checkered past officiate a game, let alone LEAD a frigging crew? The child abuse and sex charges are alone disgusting....but you let a guy with a GAMBLING problem be in charge of an officiating crew?
Hello, fox. Here's your henhouse. Guard it well, OK?
Jim Delaney has a lot to answer for.
On with Part 3;
New Mexico vs. Nevada
New Mexico Bowl
Saturday, December 22nd - 430pm
Ah, the benefits of having a bowl game played at home. Gee, what are the odds that the New Mexico Bowl would pick New Mexico to play?
Anyway, as much as I hate to see a team win a bowl that was pretty much created for them, New Mexico's going to win this one. Take the Lobos and the points.
I've watched Nevada play three times this year, including a 3-point loss to Hawaii, a 69-67 thrilling loss to Boise State, and a 5-point early loss to Northwestern. They were all great games, but they were all losses. Plus, Nevada is 6-6 and they got their bowl eligibility by beating Nicholls State, Louisiana Tech, and Idaho. I can't respect that.
New Mexico's schedule wasn't much easier, having lost to some pretty weak teams. But if you ever get asked "who's the only team besides Oklahoma to knock off Missouri", you can proudly proclaim that you know the answer and that it was New Mexico.
It's the weakest bowl game of the season, and probably the only one I'll have absolutely no interest in watching. How the hell a 6-6 team gets to play a 6-5 team during bowl season, I'll never know. But it is what it is.
New Mexico 28
New Mexico 23
The BBC - 4-0
BYU vs. UCLA
Las Vegas Bowl
Saturday, December 22nd - 8pm
Our first rematch of the bowl season, and a pretty good game actually. UCLA knocked off the Cougars in the second week of the season, 27-17. But since then, BYU won nine straight games, and UCLA lost to Notre Dame.
I think the only edge for the Bruins will be their strength of schedule. They went 2-2 against ranked teams...but one of those wins turned out to be against a fraud of a Cal team and the other was against a Dennis Dixon-less Oregon. They have also lost four of their last five games and practically limped into their bowl selection.
Meanwhile, BYU plays in the much weaker MWC, but they blew through it at an 8-0 clip. They beat Air Force and Utah, but were fortunate enough to have both games at home.
It could be a tough game to call, but I'm going to have to go with the missionaries on this one. BYU didn't play as many tough teams, but they knocked off the ones they had to down the stretch.
The BBC - 5-0
Monday, December 17, 2007
Florida Atlantic vs. Memphis
New Orleans Bowl
Friday, December 21st - 8pm
I'll be honest...I don't know much about either of these teams, so I took a long look at what each team has accomplished this season, mainly how they fared against good teams vs. their fate when they challenged poor teams.
That was enough for me. I'm going to call this game for Howard Schnellenberger and Florida Atlantic. Here's what I saw inside the schedules that gave me this call;
Memphis has not played a single team that was ranked at any time this season. The two best teams on their schedule were Mississippi and Central Florida. Both teams are below average (in the grand scheme) at best. Meanwhile, FAU played Oklahoma State, Kentucky, South Florida, and Florida.
Both teams finished at 7-5 on the year, but FAU earned their five losses against teams that SHOULD have sent them to defeat. How Memphis made a bowl game losing to five bad teams, I'll never know.
One last point - Memphis lost to Middle Tennessee and Arkansas State. Both those teams show up on FAU's schedule too....but FAU beat them both.
Florida Atlantic 38
The BBC - 2-0
Cincinnati vs. Southern Miss
Saturday, December 22nd - 1pm
I think this game might be a big mismatch. Cincinnati has a powerful offense when they are on, and their schedule has prepared them enough to play a MUCH better challenge than the one Southern Miss will pose.
The Bearcats played four ranked teams this year, and went 3-1 in those games. They also were only 5 points away from knocking off West Virginia. And now that Michigan has found their head coach, Cincinnati can relax a little more and focus on their bowl game. Brian Kelly will end up coaching somewhere more prestigious someday soon, but it's not today.
Check out the Conference-USA standings, by the way. Southern Miss finished below Memphis, and you just read what I think about them. Yeah, I think I'm done talking about this game.
Southern Miss 14
Southern Miss 21
The BBC - 3-0
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Michigan's got their new head coach. Rich Rodriguez is making the jump from West Virginia, and will be taking over at TTUN. It's not official yet, but it's "official"....RR told his team already that he'd be leaving.
Just think about it....if West Virginia had beat Pitt, WVA would have been in the National Championship against Ohio State. Rodriguez would have become Jim Tressel's bitch for one night only. Now, he gets that honor once a year.
Cleveland Browns/AFC North
Three months ago, they were "the worst team in the NFL". Now their Magic Number to get into the playoffs stands at one. One Browns win (against either 5-9 Cincinnati or 4-10 San Francisco) or one Tennessee loss (against either the 3-11 New York Jets or 12-2 Indianapolis Colts) and the Browns are in.
But that's not enough, and the prospects are potentially better than a mere playoff berth.
Cleveland is now tied atop the AFC North with the Pittsburgh Steelers at 9-5. The Steelers hold the tiebreaker, so the Browns need to win it outright. Pittsburgh has a somewhat easy schedule too (at 3-11 St. Louis and at 4-10 Baltimore), but I wouldn't count anything out yet. Aside from a brief spurt in the 4th quarter today, Pittsburgh has not looked good for a few weeks. Plus, their last two games are both on the road....the Steelers are 4-2 away from home (including losses to other non-playoff teams like Arizona, Denver and the Jets).
Two weeks ago, the Steelers had a 2-game lead (and the tiebreaker) with 4 games to play. They began printing "AFC North Champiopns" t-shirts. Tonight, the suicide hotline in western PA has a busy signal.
If the Steelers end up losing the division to the Browns, it will be the biggest embarrassment to their franchise in a long, long time. Even making the playoffs will not cover that stench.
And I'm loving every minute of it.
I hate the Ravens, and I don't want to see them win much. But they're going to win more and more now that they have found their new QB.
With two minutes to play in the game, Smith started his first potential game-winning drive at his own 40 yard line. Three beautiful passes later, he had Baltimore at the Miami 21. With 8 seconds left, Smith had Baltimore at the half-yard line, facing a fourth-and-goal. Brian Billick then turned into a giant pussy and sent in the kicking team. The Ravens tied the game, then blew it in OT.
Seriously, you've got a mobile QB and a great RB in Willis McGahee. You're 18 inches away from a touchdown against the worst team in the NFL. You're not going to the playoffs. Why the hell would you go for a tie?
Rather than show some balls, the Ravens did what they do best this year...they found a way to lose. Billick led the way by lacking any courage whatsoever, and the Ravens defense followed suit, allowing a long TD pass in OT to give the Fins their first win, and officially turn the Ravens into the NFL's laughingstock.
Troy Smith deserves better than you, Billick.
I came close to scoring tickets to see the National Championship. But no, I will not be in Louisiana for that event. Instead, I'll be running the show at Damon's Grill in Canton, Ohio. It's actually pretty cool to be the event coordinator at a restaurant with multiple 10-foot screens on a night like that....and getting paid to do it.
If you'll be near Canton, come on in. We've got a live radio broadcast before the game, a sporting goods store coming in to give away prizes, and a beer vendor setting up shop with some good specials. Before the game (3pm-7pm) we'll have beer and appetizers at half-price.
Prior to that night, I'll be all over the place. Two weeks from today, I'll be front-row in the end zone at the Browns/Niners game. Three days later, I'm off to Vegas, baby, Vegas! Heading out there for a little vaca with the girlfriend. Tix were pretty cheap, and I'll get to add a few thousand SkyMiles points.
In the meantime, the blogging will continue on a daily basis again. Part two of the bowl preview is tomorrow morning!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
And as much as we'd like to preview the bigger and better games right away, it's best if we do our capsules of each game in the order they will be played. Thus, the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl must come first. And yes, that's the actual name of the bowl.
Utah vs. Navy
Thursday, Dec. 20 - 9 p.m.
We may be starting the bowl season off with a VERY good game. The Poinsettia Bowl might have picked a pretty good matchup here.
Navy uses a triple-option rushing attack that is very hard to defend. The Midshipmen lead the nation in rushing yards. You should expect them to score a lot of points......but, you should also expect them to give up a lot of points. Keep in mind, this is the same Navy defense that allowed Notre Dame to score 44 points. Yes, they still beat ND, but so did a LOT of other teams....but nobody else allowed that horrific Irish offense to cross the goal line as much as Navy did.
Here's a quick look at how many points below-average teams have scored against Navy this year;
- Duke scored 43 points
- Pittsburgh scored 45 points
- Wake Forest scored 44 points
- Notre Dame scored 44 points
- Delaware scored 59 points. Delaware's not "below-average", but they ARE "below-Division 1-A"
- North Texas scored 62 points
All that defense, and Navy still went 4-2 in those games. Yeah, we might have a shootout.
Utah's not a team that many would fear, but they do have a lot of talent. They were on a big roll, having won 7 straight games before falling to BYU in their big in-state rivalry, 17-10. They're looking to get the bad taste of losing to Mormons out of their mouths*, and I think they'll be successful.
Finally, I feel that Utah will get the win because of the intangibles - specifically, experience and coaching. Navy will play without their Head Coach, Paul Johnson. Johnson has accepted the job at Georgia Tech and will not be on the sidelines for the SDCCU Poinsettia Bowl. As for experience, no player on the Utah squad has ever lost a bowl game. They are 4-0 since 2003, having reached a bowl game in every season.
The BBC - 1-0
* - Yes, I know that BYU doesn't have a monopoly on Mormons in the state of Utah. But how many chances will I ever get to write the phrase "Mormons out of their mouths"?
Friday, December 14, 2007
Now the Browns have an excellent chance to prove their worth, as they now control their path to the playoffs.
Earlier tonight, the Denver Broncos fell to the Houston Texans, clearing the path for the Browns to get into the postseason for only the second time since the team returned to Cleveland.
Currently the North Coast boys own sole possession of sixth place in the AFC, enough to gain the coveted final wild-card spot. The four division leaders....New England (13-0), Indianapolis (11-2), Pittsburgh (9-4), and San Diego (8-5) .....and Jacksonville (9-4) all sit ahead of us. We're right behind at 8-5.
Two wins in their final three games will get Cleveland in, but one of those wins must come this Sunday at home against Buffalo (7-6). Beating the Bills will eliminate Buffalo, and will put Denver (7-7) out of the playoffs at the same time. A win on Sunday against Buffalo will keep us one game ahead of Tennessee with two to play, and Cleveland holds the tiebreaker.
Even better, a win against the Bills, and a Tennessee loss to Kansas City on Sunday afternoon will clinch the wild-card spot immediately.
It's a little muddied, but it is right in front of us. However, if you're not into the whole "if this happens and that happens and this happens" scenarios, just look at it this way. If the Browns win, they're in. Nobody else can stop us as long as we keep winning.
But if you want to look ahead a little bit, how about this....Pittsburgh is reeling from their curbstomping at the hands of New England last week, and they face off against Jacksonville this week. Then it's a road game against a pretty bad St. Louis team before finishing up on the road against Baltimore.
If Pittsburgh manages to lose two of their last three games, and the Browns win all three of their contests (7-6 Buffalo, 5-8 Cincinnati, and 3-10 San Francisco), Cleveland is the champion of the AFC North.
It's not favorable for Browns fans, but St. Louis has re-emerged from their 0-7 start to win 3 out of their last 5.....and if you think Baltimore isn't licking their chops at the chance to fuck up the Steelers' division hopes, you'd better call a shrink.
It probably won't happen, but I'm still looking at it as a possibility. And I still am the guy who said Ohio State would go from #7 to the BCS Championship Game hours after we lost to Illinois.
As for that Buffalo Bills game, don't let their 7-6 record get you too worried. They're not a very good team.
Their wins? Baltimore (4-9), Cincinnati (5-8), Washington (6-7), NY Jets (3-10), NY Jets (3-10), Miami (0-13), and Miami (0-13).
They've only had a 100-yard rusher 3 times all year and two of those came last week....against Miami.
Their QB has thrown for LESS than 200 yards in 9 of their 13 games. Twice, the leading QB threw for LESS than 100 yards. By the way, of the four times they had more than 200 passing yards...once was against Miami, another against the Jets.
Yeah, I'm not impressed either.
However, they're hungry. But hell, so are we. The team cannot underestimate them, and I certainly hope we don't overlook them like I just did.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Anyway, I'm a few days behind on my bowl preview, as promised. We'll start fresh tomorrow.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
So go ahead and mock my 19-13 record if you want, but see if you can guess who wrote this sentence?
I want to take Oklahoma. I really do. But I'm going to be the guy who likes storybook endings today. Just like I did with Rutgers, I'm taking the team that nobody knows over a Big 12 school. Boise State in a squeakerYeah, that's right bitches. Bow down to superiority.
Starting on Monday, I will be giving a short preview of every bowl game and predicting a winner. So far this season, I've been the king of the mountain among the Big Ten Bloggers, winning the regular season Pick'Em amongst some of the best college football bloggers. Let's see if the magic carries over.
Here's the games we will be previewing;
Utah vs. Navy
Dec. 20, 9 p.m.
Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic
New Orleans Bowl
Dec. 21, 8 p.m.
Southern Miss vs. Cincinnati
Dec. 22, 1 p.m.
Nevada vs. New Mexico
New Mexico Bowl
Dec. 22, 4:30 p.m.
UCLA vs. BYU
Las Vegas Bowl
Dec. 22, 8 p.m.
Boise State vs. East Carolina
Dec. 23, 8 p.m.
Purdue vs. Central Michigan
Motor City Bowl
Dec. 26, 7:30 p.m.
Arizona State vs. Texas
Dec. 27, 8 p.m.
Boston College vs. Michigan State
Champs Sports Bowl
Dec. 28, 5 p.m.
TCU vs. Houston
Dec. 28, 8 p.m.
Maryland vs. Oregon State
Dec. 28, 8:30 p.m.
UConn vs. Wake Forest
Meineke Car Care Bowl
Dec. 29, 1 p.m.
UCF vs. Mississippi State
Dec. 29, 4:30 p.m.
Penn State vs. Texas A&M
Dec. 29, 8 p.m.
Alabama vs. Colorado
Dec. 30, 8 p.m.
California vs. Air Force
Armed Forces Bowl
Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m.
Georgia Tech vs. Fresno State
Dec. 31, 2 p.m.
South Florida vs. Oregon
Dec. 31, 2 p.m.
Kentucky vs. Florida State
Music City Bowl
Dec. 31, 4 p.m.
Indiana vs. Oklahoma State
Dec. 31, 6 p.m.
Clemson vs. Auburn
Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m.
Wisconsin vs. Tennessee
Jan. 1, 2008, 11 a.m.
Missouri vs. Arkansas
Jan. 1, 2008, 11:30 a.m.
Texas Tech vs. Virginia
Jan. 1, 2008, 1 p.m.
Michigan vs. Florida
Capital One Bowl
Jan. 1, 2008, 1 p.m.
Illinois vs. USC
Jan. 1, 2008, 4:30 p.m.
Hawaii vs. Georgia
Jan. 1, 2008, 8:30 p.m.
Oklahoma vs. West Virginia
Jan. 2, 2008, 8 p.m.
Virginia Tech vs. Kansas
Jan. 3, 2008, 8 p.m.
Rutgers vs. Ball State
Jan. 5, 2008, Noon
Bowling Green vs. Tulsa
Jan. 6, 2008, 8 p.m.
LSU vs. Ohio State
BCS Championship Game
January 7, 2008, 8 p.m.
It details Division 1 schools, what they pay their head coaches, and what they paid per win in 2007.
Lemme give you the Big Ten results;
School-------------Coach-------salary----------paid per win
Penn State was not included, as they do not officially release Paterno's salary (despite what you read last week). Same thing goes for Northwestern.
Indiana has themselves a sweetheart deal with Lynch. And I know that a lot of that was based on emotional performances in honor of Indiana's fallen coach Terry Hoeppner. But Lynch deserves a ton of credit for turning that heart=break and that pain into a winning team. He will add tradition to IU, and will give that school their $41,900 worth.
The whole list can be found here.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Her response was no.......but.......
She just told me that she is entering the student lottery, and promised to sell the tickets AT FACE VALUE to me if she wins. Plus, she's asking her friends to enter for me too!
I have a few chances to go to the game for 185 bucks a ticket. Oh, hell yes!
Cross your fingers.
UPDATE - For those of you who have e-mailed me saying that the tickets might need to be picked up at the venue with a student ID.....that scared me, until I remembered that my friend is in the marching band and will be at the game too! So if whe wins, she can get the tickets for me in NOLA!
Notice some of the unbelievable rankings some of these morons give.
-Bobby Bowden had Oklahoma at #10, while putting Missouri at #6 and Kansas at #7
-Mario Cristobal (FAU) had Ohio State at #6
-Bob Stoops had the following - #1 Oklahoma, #2 Ohio State, #3 Missouri, #4 Kansas
Ah, I'm too pissed off. Look for yourselves and report the atrocities.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
"It's On" - Eleven Warriors (What's on? Oh, I forgot. It's Robot Chicken night!)
"Bowl selections announced" - Around The Oval
"It's official - Ohio State vs. LSU" - Buckeye Commentary
"Don’t let ESPN convince you the BCS is at fault" - MotSaG
Hey, wait a minute....there seems to be a pattern here. Am I missing something?
Oh, and I changed the blog back too!
Tonight, Oklahoma did what I honestly believed they would do. They manhandled a team that doesn't know how to handle success. they've never been there before and they blew it on the big stage.
But West Virginia....wow, did they choke on the big fat one or what? They let lowly Pittsburgh destroy them on their HOME FIELD! That mighty offense that literally ran up the score last week against UConn couldn't cross the end zone more than one time against Pitt? You knew when they missed two early chip-shot FGs that it was going to be a weird night....but there's no denying it. West Virginia does not belong with the big boys, and they proved it by failing BIG TIME. Win and they're in, and they choked. That defines failure in so many ways.
So here we are, headed for New Orleans. Ohio State versus somebody else. Who? We don't know yet. I'll bet it's Georgia, but it won't shock me to see LSU leapfrog two teams to get in. Personally, I think a 1-loss Kansas has more of a claim to it than LSU, who lost to two unranked teams. At least Kansas lost to the team that became #1.
Anyway, a Michigan blog owes me an apology. Six days before the Michigan game, I detailed how Ohio State could get to the BCS National Championship game, and UM Tailgate linked to it, calling it "the definition of grasping at straws".
UM Tailgate, you owe me an apology.
UPDATE - It took UM Tailgate a mere few hours to post a thread on the topic. That is a classy thing to do. I'm impressed by that, and I'm impressed by the blog too....you deserve a lot of recognition for some fine work.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Today is the day we learn our fate.
The two most important games (as far as Buckeye fans are concerned) take place after sundown. West Virginia plays Pitt at 745pm, and Oklahoma plays Missouri at 8pm.
All I've gotta say is GO OKLAHOMA!!!!
Eleven Warriors has listed five reasons the Sooners will get it done. Me likey.