Monday, December 31, 2007

The Rest of the Bowl Games

Now I'm 11-4 thanks to the Colorado vs Alabama game. In the Independence Bowl, the Tide jumped out to a 27-0 lead after picking off Buffs QB Cody Hawkins on the first offensive play. Tide qb John Parker Wilson threw three touchdown passes in this time. Hawkins got CU on the board before the half with two scores to make it 27-14. The Buffs made it interesting in the second half getting a field goal in the third and another tochdown in the fourth but couldn't get over the hump as the Tide held on to win 30-24.

The New Years Eve Slate is full with six games today.

Armed Forces Bowl

Cal (6-6) vs Air Force (6-6)

There was a point in the season when Cal was being mentioned as a national title contender. They blew out Tennesse to open the season and even beat Oregon at Oregon. Then the wheels came off the bus. Cal receiver DeSean Jackson came into the season a Heisman Candidate but disappeared in too many games and qb Nate Longshore has not been consistent. Air Force is in their first bowl game since 2002 and doesn't mind spending New Years Eve at a lower bowl. Cal is just ready for the season to be over. As much as I want to pick Air Force and their triple option attack, Cal has too much talent. I hope it shows up and Cal wins.

Sun Bowl

USF (9-3) vs Oregon (8-4)

USF has had their most successful season in their short history while Oregon looked well on its way to playing for the title until losing Dennis Dixon. Take three weeks away from the Bulls season and they may be playing in the title game as well. I expect this game to be a thriller and whoever gets the run game working will get the win. Even though the Ducks have Jonathan Stewart I think the Bulls get it done in another close game.

Humanitarian Bowl

Fresno St. (8-4) vs Georgia Tech (7-5)

This is another tale of which team shows up to play. Fresno St. will be pumped to have the chance to knock off a BCS opponent while Georgia Tech will be coached by defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta. I think Fresno comes out pumped to play and takes the win after withstanding the GT emotional push at the beginning of the game.

Music City Bowl

What's left of Florida State (7-5) vs Kentucky (7-5)

So by now we have all heard that FSU suspended a third of their team. FSU has two options: they can use the suspensions as an excuse, or use them as motivation to win after being counted out. Kentucky is making a return trip to Nashville after beating Clemson last year. Andre Woodson will put on a show in his last auditon for the NFL scouts and as much as it pains me to say it, lead his team to victory.

Insight Bowl

Indiana (7-5) vs Oklahoma St. (6-6)

Former coach Terry Hoppener made it his team's goal to play "13" meaning they would make it to a bowl game. The Hoosiers made their late coach proud and did more than just squeak by winning their last game. OSU's biggest headline is coach Mike Gundy screaming at a reporter. IU wins by riding an emotional wave for the entire game.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl

Auburn (8-4) vs Clemson (9-3)

The commentators may get confused when talking about these Tigers. Finally Clemson didn't have their late season swoon while Auburn fired offensive coordinator Al Borges and replaced him with Tony Franklin. Franklin is from Troy and well versed in the spread but I don't know if Auburn's terrible offense can figure it out in time to beat Clemson. Clemson wins.

The last of the picks will come later.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bowl Recap and the Last of the Picks

The Bowl picks started off really well but currently I'm 11-3 in getting them right. While I picking the finals right I'm not getting to many of the score predictions right. Utah pulled out a victory against Navy and FAU continued its USF like rise with a win over Memphis. The Tigers defense let them down again giving up five touchdown passes to Owl quarterback Rusty Smith. I see FAU using this as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

Southern Miss coach Jeff Bowers hung around to coach the bowl but his players didn't get up to give him a proper send off as they lost to Cincinnati. The Bearcats acutally lost the turnover battle but Ben Mauk threw four touchdown passes in the 31-21 win.

The New Mexico Bowl is the first game I got wrong. I thought Nevada would have too much offense for the Lobos but New Mexico shut them out and completely dominated. I was way off.

BYU made me right by blocking a last second field goal. After UCLA had driven right down the field for what looked like the winning drive, Eathyn Manumaleuna got a hand on the kick. The Cougars escaped with a one point win and revenge on the Bruins.

I also thought Boise State would wear East Carolina out. I didn't bargain for Ian Johnson not playing or for ECU running back Chris Johnson having a record day in producing 408 all-purpose yards. Chris Johnson picked a bad time to have his first fumble of the season late in the game, but kicker Ben Hartman nailed a 34 yarder as time expired to finish the upset.

Purdue and Central Michigan's rematch in the Motor City Bowl looked a lot like their first matchup this season with the Boilermakers having their way. Purdue opened up a 34-13 halftime lead thanks to two Curtis Painter touchdowns passes and two more Kory Sheets runs. The Chippewas roared back with a 28 point third quarter riding the arm and legs of Dan LeFevour and tied the game a 41. The teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Purdue was able to pull out the win with Chris Summers 34-yard field goal to make the score 51-48. Painter set a school record 546 passing yards in the game and LeFevour with 292 yards passing and four touchdowns to go with 119 rushing and two more.

Arizona State is used to playing from behind but they had not done it against a team as talented as Texas who won the Holiday Bowl 52-34. The game looked over after Texas recovered a lateral by the Sun Devils but one of the sideline people for Texas "touched" the ball. This gave the ball back to ASU who scored to make the score 21-7. The game was never really close at all as the Sun Devils never had an answer for Jamaal Charles who finished with 161 yards and two touchdowns.

I thought BC would roll Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl but the Eagles probobly didn't want to be there and MSU was happy to be in the game. Matt Ryan came up with three touchdown passes in his last college game but MSU was able to keep the rushing game in check.

TCU's defense won the battle of Texas, Oregon St. defeated Maryland, Wake Forest shut out UConn in the second half to win, Mississippi St. kept Kevin Smith from breaking the rushing record and beat UCF, and Penn St. move Joe Pa closer to Bobby Bowden by beating Texas A&M.

I'll pick the rest of the games next post.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bowl Picks and Last Night's Hoops

First things first, I hope Bobby Bowden's wins don't get taken away. That would be the beginning of the end of one of the best coaching careers in sports. As it stands, Coach Bowden is two games ahead of Joe Paterno. Many people are calling for Coach Bowden to step down but let the man decide when he wants to leave. The Program may be in a rut of mediocrity and having academic troubles, but all things in sports are cyclical. Bobby bought FSU to where it is and spoiled the very people that want him out but let him leave on his own terms.

Now that that is off my chest:

I got the first game right in picking Utah to defeat Navy in the Poinsietta Bowl (excuse that) its the San Diego County Poinsietta Bowl. My girlfriend reminded me that companies pay a lot of money to sponsor these things so I should use the names. To be honest I got nervous in the third quarter after Navy fullback Eric Kattani had a 38 yard touchdown run but the Utes bounced right back with two scores of their own. Ute quarterback Brian Johnson ran the spread efficiently finishing the game with 226 yards passing and a score to go with 69 yards rushing and another touchdown. I wouldn't feel bad for Navy and first time coach Ken Muiatalo who took over after Paul Johnson left for Georgia Tech, he seems to have picked up right were Johnson left off and all that spells is more Commander-in-Chief Trophies.

If anyone missed the Duke-Pitt game last night from Madison Square Garden I hope you have ESPN Classic. Pitt defeated the Blue Devils 65-64 in overtime when Levance Fields, a junior from Brooklyn, hit a three with 4.7 seconds left. Duke guard Jon Schyer missed a three at the other end and a putback attempt to end the game. Fields finished with 21 points. It looked like the Blue Devils were going to run the Panthers off the floor in the first half taking a 16-point lead. Duke was still up double digits in the second half before a scoring drought allowed Pitt to close the gap and take the lead. Freshman DeJuan Blair was a force all night and exploited Duke's inside weakness to the tune of 15 points and 20 rebounds. I forgot to mention him in the freshmen to watch and there will be more to come. The night wasn't all roses for Pitt, forward Mike Cook hurt his knee and may have taken the Panthers chances of winning the Big East down a notch.

I've been looking forward all season to the Duke vs North Carolina matchups but if Duke gets killed on the boards like they did last night, Hasnborough and Co. are going to manhandle them inside. Why is it that Duke can find guards and shooters all over the place but can't find a stud big man?

Oklahoma pulled out a "neutral" court win in Oklahoma City against number 18 Gonzaga last night as well. Not as exciting as the Pitt-Duke game but it came down to three Sooners players hitting one of two free throws at the end of the game to put away. Jeff Capel has things going in the right direction and once he gets out from under the Kelvin Sampson sacntions the Sooners will be back in the talk of conference championships.

Don't forget all of the games tomorrow. It starts at noon and continues all day.

On with the rest of the bowl picks:

Motor City Bowl

Purdue vs Central Michigan

Another rematch game from eariler in the season. I thought the bowls were going to give us interesting matchups we don't normally get to see. Purdue won the first game in September 45-22 and I don't think Central Michigan is going to be 23 points better the day after Christmas but they do have a little homefield advantage. One good thing is we get to see Chippewa quarterback Dan LeFevour who had 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing this season like Tim Tebow.

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl

Texas vs Arizona St.

I don't know how they do it but the Holiday Bowl always ends up with what looks a good matchup on paper. I say looks like becausue of Cal's thrashing of Texas A&M last year. This year game should be a lot better with Arizona State playing Texas. Both looked poised to make the BCS until some late seaons losses. ASU has been the comeback kids of the season after coming from behind in many of their wins. However, I wouldn't want to fall behind the Longhorns and have to stop Jamal Charles in the second half. Texas wins going away.

Champs Sports Bowl

Boston College vs Michigan State

In Orlando's first bowl game Matt Ryan leads Boston College against Michigan State. I don't understand how a 10-win team plays a team that barely made a bowl to begin with. Boston College wins big.

Texas Bowl

Houston vs TCU

If you're gonna name a bowl after the state you might as well as have two teams from the state. The question of the game is can TCU's defense stop Houston's offense? I'll go with defense on this one and then pose another question, when coaching jobs come up whey does Gary Patterson of TCU never get mention when he churns out good defenses every year?

Emerald Bowl

Maryland vs Oregon State

Maryland takes on Oregon State in a bowl dear to my heart, the last time we had to watch Jeff Bowden run our offense. Oregon State wins on the legs of running back Yvenson Bernard before he leaves to be a poor man's Stephen Jackson in the NFL.

Meineke Car Care Bowl

UConn vs Wake Forest

UConn looked like a legit contender for the Big East Title after beating USF and Louisville until West Virginia ran them off the field. The UConn defense gives up a lot of yards but holds their opponents to 19 points a game. This is a virtual home game for Wake Forest as the game takes place in Charlotte. Wake doesn't put up great numbers but there has to be a reason Jim Grobe stayed around. Wake will make enough plays with their gimmick offense to get the win.

Liberty Bowl

UCF vs Mississippi St.

UCF offers up running back Kevin Smith and his quest to rush for 2600 yards. MSU goes to their first bowl game in some time behind Sylvester Croom and with their 30th ranked defense may have enough to stop Smith from breaking Barry Sanders' rushing record. MSU may do that but they won't win the game. UCF still wins.

Alamo Bowl

Texas A&M vs Penn St.

Dennis Franchione is long gone out of Aggieland and a lot richer for it. Mike Sherman hasn't totally taken over and the Aggies are in a sort of limbo. I think the Nittany Lions are relishing the opportunity to put JoePa closer to Bobby in the wins column for next season. At this point, they all count and the Lions beat an Aggie team with nothing to play for.

Independence Bowl

Colorado vs Alabama

They might as well call this We Ran Out of Teams to Invite and Your Fan Bases Travel Bowl. Both teams finished 6-6 and both teams lost to Florida State. Nick Saban hasn't exaclty been the savior that Tide fans expected but if they win he already improved the team by a game. Dan Hawkins is getting all kinds of praise in Boulder for bringing the back. The project continues and his son Cody leads the Buffs to a win.

December 31 games next time.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Coach Parcells/Bowl Picks/NBA

Bill Parcells is back in football as the V.P. of Football Operations for the Miami Dolphins. Just yesterday it was being reported that Parcells would be taking the same job with the Falcons but apparently that fell through and Parcells took the Dolphins job. I feel bad for Arthur Blank and the Falcon fans. Blank loses his coach, his team gets crushed on Sunday by the Bucs, and now he can't get the right guy to come run his football team. The man wants to win so badly but can't even find someone to run his team. Gotta applaud the effort. As for Cam Cameron, he's as good as gone.

Of all the games I talked about before I forgot to mention that there were two great NBA games last night. Boston matched up with Detroit and Dallas played Phoenix. Boston and Detroit battled down to the wire as both teams made spurts throughout the second half. You've probobly heard that Chauncey Billups hit two free throws to win the game and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see this game as a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals. No one else on that side of the conference has a chance to get even close to either one of these teams. The series will go seven games but I'm not sure who will win, that pick will come later.

The Phoenix/Dallas game looked as if it was going to be a blowout until Steve Nash and Amare Stoudamire took over in the second half and brought the Suns back before they lost a close game. Last night's game is the type Phoenix needs to win if they want to get to the NBA Finals. They won a game in San Antonio on Monday night but the Spurs played without Tony Parker. They have to prove they can win on the road. With Shawn Marion on the way out this may be the last chance the Suns have at winning a championship with this team. Basically, the road to the Finals travels through Texas.

Bowl Picks that are a long time coming:

Poinsietta Bowl
Navy has a contract to get the automatic bid to this bowl as long as they win eight games. Navy won another Commander-In-Chief Trophy and finally ended their 43-game losing streak to Notre Dame. I don't see them beating Utah who is on a roll and has won 7-of-8.

New Orleans Bowl
Howard Schnellenberger is working his magic again in South Florida this time with Florida Atlantic. The Owls play Memphis who fired defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn and got worse on defense. Memphis can score points like their hoops team but they can't stop anyone. FAU wins.

Papa Johns Bowl
Southern Miss for some reason decided to fire their long time coach Jeff Bowers earlier this year even though he posted another winning season. Cincinatti some how figured out a way to keep coach Brian Kelly from leaving for another job. The Bearcats have feasted on teams by creating turnovers and setting Ben Mauk and the boys for easy scores. Expect more of that as they win big.

New Mexico Bowl
New Mexico gets a de facto home game against Nevada but it won't matter. Nevada almost beat BCS Cinderella Hawaii and played Boise State well. New Mexico keeps getting to bowl games but doesn't win them. That won't change this year.

Las Vegas Bowl
BYU had a 10 win season but earlier this year lost a 27-17 game to the UCLA. UCLA is coming off another up and down season and is playing witihout a coach after Karl Dorrell was fired. The Cougars pull out a close one the second time around.

Hawaii Bowl
So Boise State loses the WAC and as a consolation gets to go back to Hawaii and get paid for it. Skip Holtz (yes Lou's son) led East Carolina to a 7-5 record. Boise State will want to put on another good showing on national television and a pep talk from Skip's dad won't help as Boise cruises.

After Christmas Bowls come in the next psot.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mitchell Report, Minnesota and More College Hoops

Everyone is still reeling from the Mitchell Report but I remembered what I love most about this time of year is that THERE IS NO BASEBALL. But I will mention a couple of things: First, Mark McGwire's name never came up in the Report. A lot of people that came up we knew about but I was suprised McGwire's name wasn't on the list. I don't think it validates him but it will make the people who kept him out of the Hall for this reason think twice the next time.

Also, why is it such an excuse for other players to use the "I only used it once or twice excuse,"? That's not an excuse and doesn't validate cheating.

College hoops season is making its last few runs through non-conference season and the rest of this week offers some great matchups before the big time kicks off:

Wednesday - Bradley at Butler - whoever wins will have another notch in their belt come tourney time

Memphis at Cincinatti - an old C-USA rivlary

UNC Ashville at Tennessee - Ashville could suprise them

Arizona at UNLV - With Kevin O'Neill at the helm the Cats are finally playing some D. Also watch for freshman Jerryd Bayless from Arizona, he's battling O.J. Mayo for Pac-10 freshman of the year.

USF makes a return trip to Wake Forest.

And just for watching: UNC plays tonight and so does Michigan State and Texas A&M.

Thursday - The big one tonight is when Duke travels to Pitt. Its the first big road game of many for the Blue Devils. In the nightcap Gonzaga plays Oklahoma.

Friday - Clemson and DePaul play in Puerto Rico. Friday is soft but that because that's the NBA's big night and Saturday has a lot of good matches.

Satruday - Georgetown at Memphis - The winner of this game may have a shot at being the number 1 team next week. Also, there will be a lot of talent on the floor with Roy Hibbert, DaJuan Summers, Jesse Sapp and Jonathan Wallace of GT and Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joey Dorsey of Memphis. There will be three stud freshmen logging major minutes in Austin Freeman, Chris Wright and Derrick Rose.

UCLA at Michigan - UCLA will win but and it will be a great time to finally watch the Bruins at full strength.

Texas and Michigan State in Detroit. Great time to watch the Longhorns D.J. Augustin matchup with MSU's Drew Neitzel. Kevin Durant got all of the pub but Augustin has had Texas cruising through this season. Texas may not have Durant but may be a better team now and Augustin is a big part of that.

Tennessee at Xavier - Great battle of two uptempo teams with solid guards.

Lastly, I've said it once and I'll say it again, Minnesota will be a rough matchup in the playoffs. I will also add Jacksonville to that list. A cold weather built team that plays in Florida. If they can run like that they can beat anybody.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Mitchell Report

After 20 months and $20 million, former Sen. George Mitchell finally released his report. Thanks to my boss sending it to me I got an hour to pour over it at work. Many people are praising him for naming 80 players as users of steroids or HGH during their careers. Some of the players we knew (the BALCO boys, Ken Caminiti, Jose Canseco) some of them were a suprise (Kevin Brown, David Justice and Nook Logan). I'm not sure what we're supposed to get out of the players being named. Nothing will happen to them as most will deny all of it, retired, or made their transgressions before the MLB had a steroid policy. The only things to come out of this are one: baseball fans can find more players to hate; two, the Hall of Fame credentials of some of these players will be questioned; and three, maybe MLB will now allow an outside agency to conduct their testing. Not sure how much if any of these will take place but I can say that my years of baseball that I enjoyed so much growing up don't mean much of anything anymore.

For those ten people across the country that do have NFL Network, they saw former No. 1 pick Mario Williams have his best game of the season. Williams talled 3 1/2 sacks in the Texans 31-13 win over the Broncos. Williams had this to say after the game, "This was our first big game on television and everyone was watching. We were the only ones on."

I hate to rain on your parade but only a fraction of the people that enjoy NFL Football so much on Sunday got to see the biggest game of your career to this point. Hopefully in the near future, meaning before the Giants make a last ditch attempt to stop the Pats from running the table, the cable companies and the NFL will get it all figured out.

Not sure how many people saw T.J. Ford crash to the floor the other night and get taken off on a strecher but I think his playing days are numbered. Ford missed the entire 2004-05 season after severly injuring his spine. That's what made the fall that much more nervewracking for the team and the fans. Ford is one of my favorite players ever since his days at Texas. I hope he figures out a way to come back and play but if he doesn't it will be another career cut too short.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

After Finals Edtion

Another long delay but sometimes finals will do that to you. I have been out of the loop all weekend b/c of my devotion to not find out the result of the Mayweather/Hatton fight. I wasn't able to watch it on pay-per-view so I'm waiting to watch it this Saturday on the replay. Here are the few things I have been able to keep up with as I've boycotted every sports newspaper and website where I could find out what happened.

Tebow won the Heisman and will be back next year for a shot at it again. I think he has a legit chance to win it again but if his numbers dip any some may consider it a down year.

FSU finally announced that Bobby Bowden got a contract extension, whatever that means. Why don't FSU and Penn State just put in Coach Bowden's and Coach Paterno's contracts that they can coach until the other one dies. They won't fire either one of them, and even though both coaches say the wins record doesn't matter to them, they continue to let the programs they built into powerhouses reside in mediocrity for the sake of their legacy. I hope FSU took a step in the right direction by making Jimbo Fisher the coach-to-be, but their offense this year was still 82 in the country. Now it was these players first year in the offense and the coaches are getting their own players, but if Coach Bowden retires in three years and the offense still doesn't get any better, is making Coach Fisher the next Head Coach the right idea?

Some quick hits from football on Sunday:

After dispatching the Steelers, the Pats are going 19-0. They blow people out and always figure out a way to win the close ones when they need to. Brady and Moss are having the greatest year ever at their positions and this team won't be stopped in the playoffs. The guy that makes the busts in Canton can go ahead and get started on these two.

The Eagles keep finding ways to lose. After A.J. Feeley gave two games away with picks, Donovan McNabb couldn't drive the offense down the field after Brandon Jacobs gave them another shot. I've said it before and I'm saying it again, I've given up on the Eagles season.

I don't think anyone will want to play Minnesota in the playoffs. The way they can run the ball and stop the run, they would be a bad matchup for anyone.

The Bucs may win that division but they won't do anything in the playoffs. They were beaten by the Texans and stud qb Sage Rosenfels. Granted Jeff Garcia didn't play, but the entire defense was there.

I had no problems with LT giving Phillip Rivers the cold shoulder on the sidelines during the Titans/Chargers game. LT has carried that team for a long time and with Rivers playing poorly LT showed how upset he was. He could have pulled a T.O. and screamed at him on the sideline but he chose just walk away and win the game with a big run in overtime. The defense finally decided to play as well. As a side note, Albert Haynesworth is going to make a lot of loot in free agency this year. With him in the lineup LT had trouble going anywhere in the beginning of the game.

If Ryan Grant keeps running the way he does the Pack can get to the Super Bowl.

The Cowboys won another squeaker barely beating the Lions. Jon Kitna's preseason declaration of ten wins is wrong now and the Lions are still reeling after their fifth straight loss.

What made Waynen Huizenga think that Cam Cameron could coach an NFL team? He tanked at Indiana University and had never been much of a head coach. This once proud franchise has hit rock bottom and will take some time bouncing back.

The Cardinals are always a sheik pick to make the playoffs, myself included, but never seem to beat anyone they're not supposed to and feast on bad teams.

Derek Anderson and the Browns are the suprise of the season. Now what does Romeo and Phil Savage do with Brady Quinn?

For those who think the Colts will just get crushed by the Pats in New England in January better think twice. Yes the Colts are playing without Marvin Harrison but something tells me Coach Dungy and Peyton will have their team ready to play.

Something interesting as I'm reading Tony Dungy's book Quiet Strength, he ran a similar offense as the quarterback at Minnesota as the Colts are running now. His offensive coordinator both times: Tom Moore. As for the book, I'm enjoying it so far and I'll have more to say after I get through the first 50 pages.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Heisman Trophy

I have been trying to avoid talking about football at all but with all the uproar about the Bowls I guess I should at least give my take.

First, Tim Tebow is going win the Heisman and if he doesn't then the voters are stupid. Five guys will probobly be in New York: Tebow, Colt Brennan, Darren McFadden, Chase Daniel and Pat White but none of them is as derserving as Tebow.

I'm not a Gator by any means but Tebow has had the best season with the 51 touchdowns. The only knock on him that anyone has been able to use this season is that he is a sophomore, or that his team lost three games and isn't in the title picture.

Colt Brennan has the out of this world numbers, 4100 passing yards and 38 touchdowns and his team is undefeated. However, they struggled to beat San Jose State and Nevada, two below average teams. He also spent some of the season hurt and his replacement Tyler Graunke put up crazy numbers as well. For June Jones to call Tebow a system qb is like the midget calling the dwarf short. Timmy Chang put up huge numbers in the run-and-shoot and Brennan came in and did it too. Just like Texas Tech qb's put up crazy numbers, Hawaii qb's do to.

Darren McFadden will most likely finish second. He had a few games where he fell off, mainly the 43 yard Auburn game, 66 yards against FIU, and the 88 yard game against Miss State. What puts McFadden in second is teh last game people remember seeing the LSU game where he was amazing, and his record setting performance against South Carolina. While I have no doubts that McFadden is the best player in college football, he won't win the Heisman because he didn't show up every week. I hope not winning puts a large chip on his shoulder and he puts on a show in the Cotton Bowl as a nice swan song out of college football.

I'm really sick of hearing about Pat White's Heisman candidacy. He puts up huge numbers in certain games but most of the time his team is up by a lot when he does. My friend Jason put it best by saying Pat White is a baller but not a gamer. A baller because he has all the talent and puts up, but a gamer comes up in the times his team needs him to. White got hurt in both of the games West Virginia lost. A thigh bruise kept him out at USF, and against Pitt with a chance to play for the national title, he let a banged up thumb keep him out of the game. If he was good enough to come back in when his team needed him most, he should have continued playing in such a big game.

Chase Daniel picked a bad time to play a terrible game. With his team number 1 and all eyes on him in the Big 12 Championship, Daniel threw for 219 yards with no touchdowns. He did run for one touchdown but Mizzou still lost by 21 points in a game that didn't seem that close. The prevailing wisdom was that Daniel could take the Heisman with a big performance, he just didn't have one.

So these are the five guys that will probobly be in New York on Saturday, but when the time comes Tebow will make history again becoming the first sophomore to win.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Talk About Being Wrong

The season continues to be crazy. Again the number 1 and number 2 ranked teams both lost on the same weekend to baffle the BCS computers and leave everyone wondering what they're going to spit out tonight. Last season the Big 11 ended early and cost Michigan a chance in the title game, this season the two week layoff is the best thing to happen to the Bucks. Ohio State was able to sit around for two weeks and watch all of the teams ahead of them fall by the wayside. Now we have to wait and see who they will play from a gamut of teams: LSU, Georgia, Virginia Tech, USC, Arizona State, Oklahoma and Kansas.

I think I shouldn't pick any games anymore. I wasn't just wrong yesterday, I think I got only one or two games correct.

I started off great in the beginning day with Navy crushing Army 38-3. That was an easy one to pick as Army hasn't challenged Navy in some time now. The game looked competitive early but after Navy's Reggie Campbell ran a kick return back 98 yards for a touchdown to make the score 14-3. After that the Midshipmen did whatever they wanted.

UCF running back Kevin Smith had a huge day racking up 284 yards and four touchdowns. The Knights beat Tulsa going away 44-25. The first half was a shoot out as expected with each team trading scores. UCF went into the locker room up 31-23 but the second half was a different story as Tulsa quarterback Paul Smith was picked off twice near the endzone. The only points Tulsa could muster were a safety in the fourth quarter. With the win UCF earned a berth in the Liberty Bowl and a chance to face a not yet determined SEC opponent.

Here's where I go down the tubes with my picks:

Virginia Tech beat Boston College 30-16. The game was closer than the score shows as VT returned a late INT for a touchdown. I thought Matt Ryan could pull out a victory like he did before in Blacksburg. Ryan threw for 305 yards but also had two costly interceptions, one that was returned for a touchdown. I figured BC's offense would have a better showing in a game where the weather was much better. VT used the two quarterback system to perfection. Sean Glennon passed for three touchdowns and Tyrod Taylor provided the change of pace that wasn't available the first time these two teams met. With all of the rest of the chaos that ensued Saturday VT has an outside shot of getting into the BCS Championship but will most likely meet West Virginia in the Orange Bowl. Normally the second place ACC team goes back to Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl but with all of the empty seats on the BC side I'm not so sure the Gator Bowl people will want that to happen again.

Les Miles had a great press conference about an hour before LSU took the field. He was visibly pissed that word leaked out that he was leaving to go to Michigan. He didn't lose his cool like Mike Gundy but he was stern with the reporters and really pissed off about the misinformation which I also posted yesterday:

What's even better is the look on the LSU higher ups faces as Miles leaves the room.

In the game Tennesse unveiled there hideous all orange uniforms and Erik Ainge played well enough to win. Ainge threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns but also threw two INTs. The second won cost UT the game as Jonathan Zenon took it back for the winning points in a 21-14 LSU win. The UT defense, which was one of the worst in the conference, played up to the task but ultimately their offense did them in. Ryan Perriloux was better than I expected him to be. He came out of high school with all of the hype but this was the first big game he started and he performed. He threw for 243 yards and a score. If LSU does get a shot at Ohio State regular quarterback Matt Flynn will be back but Les Miles should get back to the dual quarterback system that was so successful in the beginning of the season.

The Pac-10 was true to form on Saturday as USC captured their sixth straight conference title. Arizona St. got a 20-17 victory in a touch rivalry game to give themselves a shot at an at-large berth in the BCS. The Oregon and Cal games I was way off. Now let's see what the computers will spit out on Sunday.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Championship Saturday

I vowed to stop talking about college football last week but it makes up so much of the news right now. With the NBA not on television enough and college hoops not yet into conference season football is still the king. Especially this weekend.

This game hasn't gottne a lot of pub but Army/Navy is still one of the best shows in sports. To see the Midshipmen and the Cadets enter the stadium is a great scene. The game hasn't been much of a rivalry lately, Army hasn't won since 2001 when my high school teammate Ardell Daniels was the player of the game. Even worse, the games haven't even been that close. It would be good for the rivalry if the Cadets won but I don't see it happening. Navy will beat them by at least ten.

UCF opened their new stadium Bright House Networks Field this year and after a 9-3 season they get to host the C-USA Championship Game against Tulsa. Kevin Smith is still running wild for the Knights and today he will need to keep doing so to keep the ball from offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn's powerful offense. Malzahn, the former OC at Arkansas has engineered Tulsa to the number one total offense in the country. The only problem is their defense is also 112th. Smith already has over 2000 yards and will run the Knights to victory.

Virginia Tech and Boston College have a rematch in Jacksonville to decide the ACC Championship. BC won the first time in the much watched Thursday night game as Matt Ryan brought BC back at the end to win 14-10. It rained in Blacksburg the last time but at a neutral site with better weather I expect Matty Ice to lead BC to another victory and this time by a larger margin.

Tennssee and LSU mixed it up in the SEC Championship Game and the question of the day is will LSU be prepared enough to win? Les Miles has been reported to be leaving for Michigan and D-Coordinator Bo Pelini has been rumored to Nebraska. I thought LSU was the most talented team this season but injuries and two triple overtime losses have kept them from being in a spot to go to the BCS Championship Game. LSU is even starting Ryan Perriloux at quarterback. If an upset happens today this is the game where it will happen. LSU has too many distractions and not enough to play for and UT will beat LSU without overtime.

In the Pac-10, instead of having a championship game they have their teams play an extra conference game. Today all of their big rivalries take place with the Civil War (Oregon-Oregon St.), the Big Game (Cal-Stanford), USC vs UCLA, and Arizona vs Arizona St. Oregon is playing their third and fourth string quarterbacks today as both Dennis Dixon and Brady Leaf are both injured. That being said the game is being played at Oregon and with the emotions of a rivalry I think Oregon will pull off the win. It's been 25 years since the band ran on the field but Cal won't need to lateral the ball at all today and will beat Stanford by at least two touchdowns. As hard to believe as it is UCLA still has a chance to get to the Rose Bowl. With a win today and an Arizona St. loss, UCLA will make the Rose Bowl. However, USC is playing like one of the top teams in the country again and with the game played in the Coliseum UCLA won't upset the Trojans like last year. As far as Arizona St. and Arizona go, the Sun Devils still have a chance to make the Rose Bowl with a loss by USC. The Sun Devils will get a win but as I said before USC won't lose. ASU can still get an at large berth into the BCS with a win.

If you want to stay up until 2 this morning Hawaii continues their quest to crash the BCS against Washington. With quarterback Jake Locker still hurt the Huskies are going to have to hope they can score with the Warriors all game. Colt Brennan and his teammates are ready to contiune the WAC tradtion of getting to the BCS and the Huskies don't have a chance.

Lastly the Big 12 championship. Oklahoma won the last time in a game that they blew open in the fourth quarter. Last time the game was played in Norman and this time it will be played in San Antoinio with about a 50-50 crowd. Chase Daniel has a last chance to impress the Heisman voters tonight with a big game. Since losing to OU the first time Mizzou has been lights out. Daniel has thrown 17 touchdowns with only three picks since the last game. Freshman Jeremy Maclin could be the X-factor with a big special teams play on a return. All that being said, I'm still picking OU for one major reason - COVER JINX.