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28-17 overall

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Week 6: Return to Glory

Just as the Tennessee Volunteers have returned, so I return. And without further delay, here are my picks for Week6.

I Know College Football Game of the Week

For those uninitiated, this is the best game in terms of entertainment value.

This week's Game of the Week is Michigan at Michigan State.

Now I'm sure you're wondering how a game pitting a visting 2-2 Michigan team that has stuttered, no, collapsed offensively against a Michigan State team with a stellar offense featuring Heisman candidate Drew Stanton can be called the Game of the Week. Rest assured, this game will be entertaining (unless you cheer for big blue, you guys turn it off). Since when is it not entertaining to watch a offensive behemoth terrify their opponents? I have to be honest here, I want Michigan to win, just because I feel so bad for their fans (I know what it's like).

If Michigan wants a piece of this game, and believe me, they do, then they'll have to start early. Their offense will have to miraculously be firing on all cylinders. The only way Michigan wins is to keep up with MSU's score and hope to have the ball last. I doubt it will happen though. MSU wins this one.

I Know College Football Marquis Matchups

USC at Arizona State

It is this week that USC meets what I would call their greatest challenge yet.,and probably the best Passing team they'll face this season as well. They also meet their match, in terms of school colors that is.

But who are we kidding? ASU might be those things, but it doesn't matter. USC is still a better passing team than the best passing team they'll face. USC could win this one even if they didn't have a defense, but they do. So they'll win easily and my hopes for USC getting knocked off their throne will be one more game less of having a chance.

Florida at Alabama

If you asked me which team had the best chance of being upset this week: Michigan State, USC, Virginia Tech, or Florida, then I would have to answer Florida. If for no other reason, this is the SEC. Okay, okay, I'll give you better reasons.

The defensive backfield for Alabama is one of the better in the nation and 7th in overall defense (though that number may lie a bit since they gave up 237 yards to Arkansas). Anthony Madison is going to be in Chad Jackson's face all night and that might be enough to slow him down. They have to since he's had 401 yards and six touchdowns in this season so far, but I believe they can.

Alabama is trying to make their case for being back in college football's elite. A 4-0 program this year needs this win to do that, and they players know it, and that is going to put them on their top game, which I belive is enough to beat Florida.

Virginia Tech at West Virginia

Let me start by telling you that this is not going to be like anything like Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech. Fortunately for West Virginia they're at home. Unfortunately for West Virginia, Marcus Vick is on the other team. This will be a close game, but Vick will be the difference.

Minnesota at Penn State

In this third week 6 game of Maroon/Crimson/etc. against a team in a shade of blue, we have two things. Penn State is everything you think it is, a mediocre team that is only undefeated because they have yet to play a real opponent. Minnesota is also what you think it is, a good team that due to little preseason hype is fighting its way up the rankings, and doing so with big wins. Minnesota is going to win this just because Penn State likes to give the ball away on offense (4 times last week), and that won't work against these Golden Gophers.

Notre Dame at Purdue

One thing is obvious to me here. Notre Dame wins. 6th passing defense in the nation against 61st passing team who relies on passing as their MO to win. Though if I were really two people. and one of those two people was more like Corso, then I might say,"Not so fast my...self?" Whatever, the point is Notre Dame gave up good yardage against Washington, though they managed to stop the scores. Purdue is a better offense than Washington (though the overtime may demonstrate that they can't done when it matters, but I'd say Minnesota is just a better team). And ND had defensive success against Michigan, but Michigan's offense ain't so hot, as was previously thought. So, that said, we may be looking at a shootout, but only if Purdue's quarterback Brandon Kirsh can be accurate and the recievers don't drop balls. History says that doesn't happen, so I'm going to go with Notre Dame.

I Know College Football Upset Roll Call

Florida at Alabama

Alabama wins. See Marquis Matchups above.

LSU at Mississippi State

You're thinkin' "Yeah Right," but hear me out. LSU is coming off a short week, they are emotionally drained, flat, and it's road game, and MSU gave Georgia trouble. Oh yeah, this is the SEC where being "tough" on top of all that can tip the balance in your favor, but will Les Miles let his team go in unprepared? No. LSU wins.

Florida Atlantic at Louisville

After last week, I had to put this here, but Louisville hates non-major Florida teams so much at this point, they'll actually slaughter Fla Atlantic.

I Know College Football Done Deals

Ole Miss at Tennessee

Tennessee is a 22 point favorite, but I'm saying by 30.

Ball State at Boston College

Boston College has been waiting for a easy one.

Iowa State at Nebraska

Haha, as a Tennessee fan, I find this hilarious.

Florida State at Syracuse

Poor Orangemen.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Blogpoll Roundtable #8

1. We are now 1/3 of the way through the season and things are starting to shake out. With that in mind, who are your picks to win each of the BCS conferences, as well as your choice for an at-large berth from a non-BCS league (none is an option)?

ACC: Va Tech
Big 12: Texas
Big 10: Minnesota
Big East: West Virginia
Pac 10: USC
SEC: Tennessee (call me a homer, t3h Biased, but with Clausen at the helm things will change)
There Won't be an at-large

2. What team currently out of the Top 10 (AP or Coach's, doesn't really matter), has the best chance of ending up in the title game?


3. When you're watching a game, what type of fan can you absolutely not tolerate being around?

Pessimistic type and/or drunken "morans". At Tennessee alcohol is banned from the stadium, but afterwards it looks like an an airplaine-load of airplane bottles has been dropped on the stadium seats. When I work consessions I get so many requests for Large cokes with a little off the top. Most from people whose breath could get a fly drunk. Pessimists just piss me off for their inability to take a awesome win for what it is.

Bonus: A sizable portion of Michigan fandom is in full meltdown mode (myself especially). Some have chosen to sequester themselves for this weekend's game against MSU to avoid scaring children, causing long-term psychological damage to those in the near vicinity, and most especially to avoid jail (I'm not saying this is me per se). Anyways, we need some help. Give us some ideas for replacements for LLLyd Carr (3 L's for the number of losses per year, and no O this year either). Assistant coaches, head coaches elsewhere, etc. Please, give us something to look forward to.

Would you be willing to hire Saban after he eventually jumps the shark in the NFL?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Week 5 Blogpoll Ballot

Take notice: 11 teams changed spots by 5 or more, and 3 teams previously unranked (PUR). So this has been a major reorganization of my top 25 in some ways. Pretty normal in others (4 teams unchanged). Sorry I have been gone for so long. I had no will to work on this site after the Florida game. I did submit a week 4 ballot though it was unpublished here. If you want to see it, it is here.

1. Southern Cal - Facing a tougher test Saturday (+/- 0)
2. Texas - no game (+/- 0)
3. Virginia Tech - Ya know...awesome! (+/- 0)
4. Florida - Chris Leak against UK = Sandblasting a soup cracker (+1)
5. Michigan State - Offensive Juggernaught (+10)
6. Minnesota - Good Job against Purdue (+8)
7. Tennessee - beat a (formerly) top 5 team; Killer D; Fulmer opens his eyes to the Quarterback reality (+2)
8. Ohio State - Beat a ranked opponent! (+/- 0)
9. Florida State - no game (+4)
10. Arizona State - Currently the biggest challenge to USC (+9)
11. Georiga - Should have beat Mississippi State like sandblasting a soup cracker. (-7)
12. Cal - Ayoob aka Boo ya! is the man. (+8)
13. Wisconsin - Sittin' pretty at 4-0 after knockin' off what appears to be an overrated but still good Michigan team. (PUR)
14. LSU - How rarely do you see such a implosion of a team. (-8)
15. Notre Dame - Irish show the love for their former coach (+6)
16. Alabama - The stuff to beat Arkansas 24-13 probably isn't the stuff to beat Florida. (+1)
17. Boston College - They cameback agaisnt clemson who is now a 2 loss team. (+1)
18. UCLA - No game, but I couldn't rank them lower than GT or Purdue. (+7)
19. Miami - Yawner; win a big one. (+3)
20. Georgia Tech - They are still a good team. Just a good team who lost to a better team. (-8)
21. Purdue - Lost one in overtime that was close all day. They are also still a good team. (-11)
22. Iowa State - Iowa appears to be less of a big deal now and they have close one with Army(!?). (-6)
23. Texas Tech - Beat someone that means something please. (+/- 0)
24. Virginia - I'm running out of teams! (PUR)
25. Texas A&M - McNeal makes this team ranked but where was the defense Thursday night? (PUR)

Dropped: Michigan (#7), Louisville (#11), Iowa (#24)

Games I saw: Bits of Miami vs Colorado (my ABC station had this instead of USC), Notre Dame at Washington, Alabama vs Arkansas. Last Quarter of Minnesota vs Purdue. All of Virginia Tech vs Georgia Tech, Tennessee vs LSU.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Quarterback Controversy Part Deux

So I was wrong. Tennessee has (probably had at this point) a quarterback situation, but I am glad to see Fulmer pick one. Now in the game looks like Fulmer is coming to the realization that Ainge might not have been the best pick. Too bad he didn't know it before the game. Looks like they'll have to chalk a loss up to figuring out who your quarterback is.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Right now my will to continue this weblog is seriously diminished. I may or may not, which doesn't matter since no one is reading this.

Oregon State and Lousiville

Just after the first half, it looks like I may be wrong about this game. Lousiville has shout down Oregon State's offense...of course, it wasn't until the second half that Kentucky got things going against Louisville.

We'll see, but right now things don't look good for my prediction.

John Chavis: The Norm Chow of Defense?

Most of the focus by the media leading up to the Tennessee-Florida game has been one thing. Can the Urban Ledgend's pread-offense work in the SEC? I don't know. Maybe, but it might not work against Tennessee.

"We've got some new stuff in our scheme that we're running," Simon said. "We've got a really good defensive plan. Hats off to coach [John] Chavis. He really did his homework on this one, getting the scheme to where we can play our best ball. But the magic's not going to be in the scheme. The magic is going to be in the players."

Chris Low, ESPN "SEC Notebook" (Insider Article)

John Chavis, defensive coordinator at Tennessee has already turned down some head coaching offers. Lucky for Tennessee as Chavis is defensive genius. I think Chavis loves defense too much to go to head coaching.

But back to my question. Is John Chavis the Norm Chow of defense? Well you can certainly make a case for it. He is known for a sophisticated style of defensive packages that make opponents' offensive cooridinators scratch their heads. In 2001, Tennessee was headed to a late season Florida game (because of September 11th). All season long the defense had been playing a package from Chavis called the "Mustang". Against Florida, Tennessee pulled out a package no one had seen called the "Prowler". It confused Spurrier, the offensive coordinator, and the quarterback. They didn't know what to call. They didn't know who was blitzing and who was rushing. They didn't know what plays to check out of or to check into. All thanks to the brilliant scheming of Chavis.

Is John Chavis the Norm Chow of defense? I don't know, but I do know that Chavis is the author of more than a few great schemes for defense. It sounds like he might even be ready for Florida. I don't see why he couldn't have designed something that might work against the spread offense.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

X Plays and Talent

Ivan Maisel writes about an interesting stat tracked at Ole Miss (click on Hidden Stat). They call them X Plays. They include all passes for more than 16 yards and all runs for more than 9. Supposedly the team who had more wins 90 percent of the time. I would add blocked and returned kicks that result in touchdowns to that as well. After all General Neyland said in his 7 game maxims:

Press the kicking game. Here is where the breaks are made.

Also, in his viewer's guide, (click "next game" to Notre Dame-Michigan State) Jim Donnan says besides USC, Michigan State is as talented an offense as Notre Dame will face this year. He must have forgotten or never heard that Tennessee will travel to South Bend, Indiana this year, and Tennesse, though they may not have looked it against UAB, is certainly more talented than the Sparties.

TCU - Utah Liveblog

Welcome to my live blog of the game. It's still pregame right now so there's not much to talk about. They did talk to the Utah coach and they said the night before he made his decision 40 football players came to his home.

They're talking about big games around the nation right now and Mark May (whom I like much) made the point that Tennessee has receivers over 6 feet tall against 5'8'' and 5'11'' Florida corners. Just another reason Tennessee will win that game.

Well I thought this would start at 8, but I was wrong. Just saw two spread option plays by the Utes that neither netted many ways. TCU seems to know how to defend it. We'll see though.

TCU tried option too but the pitch man was surrounded by 5 Utah.

Just watch Utah's tailback deliver a awesome block. He can pick up the blitz like no one's business.

Utah completes a great pass and the Utes' QB shows us an arm followed by a power run by the tailback to stretch out for the TD. Great stuff.

Sorry if my comments are spaced out and iffy. It's tough to do this and work on my picks at the same time

TCU is playing some good defense. They are getting into the backfield and disrupting plays and even defending the pass well. Now that I just type that with 3:45 left in the game they gave up a big play by leaving a zone open for Utah to convert a 3rd down with a complete pass.

Utah may be trying to use the sophisticated spread-option but has some work to do so they can master it. They almost lost it on an option pitch. Now they did lose it on a pass to a receiver who was already at the end of his route and got covered by the safety and a CB.

TCU spread the defense with a four receiver set and a sweep-screen to the weak side. Results in a first down. Now another first down on a hand off. Now eight yards.

Another option pitch for a first down by TCU that was 2-3 yards short of a touchdown because the runner tripped on his own feet. They close that out with a handoff to tie it at 7 to start the second quarter.

I love commercials. "We don't get French benefits?"

TCU needs a kickoff man, and Castille (phonetic spelling...will fix when I see his name) had a great return to near midfield.

Ah Brown, who tripped, tripped because the field had become soft from a storm and the ground was saturated.

Utah has the right QB for this type of offense because he can run, but they just tried a misdirection reverse and it had little gain.

Blatently open receiver and the QB didn't even see him before the play started so he took it as planned for a option-keeper that was short, but they go on 4th and get it with the sneaker.

Haha, the thursday game crew must have some pull because they got Coach Urban Meyer on the phone on a whim.

Another great commercial: "Wendy's gives you all white-meat chicken nuggets...not some unidentified frying object."

Sorry I'm absent so long...I got distracted by a call.

Wow, two bad calls by the crew. First on the incomplete call and then on the review that let the call stand. He clearly had control of that ball before he hit the ground. How unfortunate that TCU can't convert after that and has to punt.


They're showing a Urban Meyer focus as he prepares for Tennessee. Said he has heard about how big a game it is but hasn't really changed his prep.

The Florida players say (not exact quote) "Tennessee doesn't try to hide what they're doing. You know what they're doing and they just dare you to stop it."

Ah, the bad call wasn't a catch. The book says "Loss of the ball simlutaneous to hitting the ground is not a catch, interception, or recovery."

Wow, I haven't been paying attention since I've been working on my picks, but so far it seems like a defensive battle.

Since Utah has gotten the ball they have put together a long drive with passing 7/10 for 6 first downs, and they're on the 3 and the quarterback went on a option, but reversed it right to score! Nice perception of the defensive slide.

Big play for TCU with the screen to Arron Brown for 49 yards down to the 5. TCU can keep the game alive but they need to score on this series to stay in it.

And they do with a sweep by the tailback. Nice block by number 47.

Ooh. It would have been big if Utah lost it there. Close, but not close enough!

Wow. Johnson, the Utah quarterback took a hit and the hitter went down but Johnson was still up.

I would have thought Utah would score, but they have to punt and make a stupid mistake of hitting the fair catch.

The fair catch was technically invalid as the rule book says "one hand only"

TCU is having success with the option because of all the man defense being played by Utah. They've also hinted at a spread flavored offense that they haven't used yet this year.

Tie game with a field goal

Crazy possesion changes. Utah is lucky TCU dropped the ball on that same play got a new first down. Too bad they wasted it with a sack.

TCU wasted their opportunity and Utah is moving the ball 12 yards for a first down.

TCU's defense is giving Utah fits, but the reverse is true too. Will somebody's offense do something?

What was TCU doing? They were willing to try and draw utah offsides but not run the play and so you waste a timeout? Bungle...could be an expensive one.

Utah looks like they're settling down to get the job of putting TCU away with a score done. Yes its still a tie, but TCU only has one more score left and if Utah scores then TCU would have to get a touchdown and a 2 point conversion. I don't think they can.

3rd and 3 and they can't get it with the option. Credit to TCU's defensive speed to the outside.

3rd and 11 for TCU and if they have to punt Utah will have the ball at midfield. They didn't get it but they got enough yards to punt the ball far enough so Utah wouldn't be able to go the distance for a fieldgoal.

Nope, punt downed at the 50.

Utah may not be able to get within fieldgoal range anyway. An underthrow and a run for no gain bring up 3rd down.

4th down and Utah will be punting. I bet TCU will go 3 and out before time runs out and utah might do the same before TCU runs the clock out and we go to overtime.

As soon as I posted the above, TCU had a big play by Aaron Brown to midfield. I can't believe he's a feshman.

4th down from 45 with 1:17 to go. Utah has all their timeouts. This is working out to be a good game.

1:07 left. Wow, Aaron brown has had 17 carries for 187 yards!

If you want to move the ball downfield, don't throw for 4 yards.

Looks like a clock bungle. The receiver was definately out of bounds, he was never on the ground. Bad job. Utah had to waste a timeout and lost lots of time anyway.

Oops. Can't take a sack. They had to waste a timeout again instead of getting the first down with just a yard rush. Late stopping the clock so finally Utah finally gets...2 seconds? The refs give them just 2 seconds after all that mess?!

TCU takes a time out to try and block a punt. If they don't do any thing with this, its overtime. And they caught the ball?! So they have to take a knee. Overtime!

Utah is neutralized on their first overtime attempt. TCU gets a chance.

Herbie made an interesting point. Why not change the rules to start from the 40 or midfield so that a team has to move the ball some to get in fieldgoal range? This might cut down on the really really long over times (some going for 5 or 6 "innings")

TCU is at the 7! First and goal TCU! They could end Utah's streak here.

3rd and goal. Can they do it?

Ugh, I just finished my picks.

TCU wins with a touchdown pass! The streak is over! Great game. Unbelievable. I'm glad I tuned in for this one.

TCU: giant killers? Comment and let me know.

Week 3: Florida Week

If you don't about Florida Week, that's okay,. We're not all Tennessee fans. In a Tennessee fan's life there are three seasons per year: 1) Offseason, no football is being played. 2) Football season, Tennessee's football team is active against teams not from Gainsville. 3) Florida Week, time from the sunday preceeding to the end of the Florida Game.

After a great week 2 (10-1) to counterbalance a dismal week 1 (3-7) I'm here to deliver up week 3's picks for you to consume.

I Know College Football Game of the Week

For those uninitiated, this is the best game in terms of entertainment value.

This week's Game of the Week is Tennessee at Florida.

This is the most meaningful game in the strongest conference around, but you already knew that. You want to know who wins. Tennessee. Now before you surf away muttering "Stupid Tennessee fan..." let me explain. First of all. Tennessee is a stellar road team having lost only 2 road games in the past 4 years to quality teams Auburn ('03) and Georgia ('02) by 7 and 6 points respectively. That means the past 2 trips to the Swamp have been victories. Two years ago Tennessee was in a similar situation after a close home game against Marshall. They dominated at Florida 24-10.

Fast Foward to now. Tennessee is coming off of a 2-week-old close victory to a UAB team that blew out their next game against the Trojans (albeit the Trojans from Troy). Florida is coming off of a destruction of a cream-puff program paid to travel to their funeral. Neither Florida nor Tennessee really showing much of their playbooks just because of this game.

Tennesse has to keep up the pressure on Chris Leak forcing him to throw earlier than he'd like against cornerbacks like Jason Allen. Tennessee's front four is more than capable of doing this and they are more than capable of stopping the running game. They held UAB to only 53 yards on 23 carries. Florida has shown anyone with a defense can stop their running game after being held to 91 yards by Wyoming. Florida's best chance is to play Portis since he is more attuned to the spread offense. If they do this, they may when the rushing game, which in the past 13 out of 15 games determines the winner.

Tennessee, on the hand will have Riggs run for over 150 yards and lose if they don't. If last week is any reference though, 25 carries won't be enough at 4.8 yards per carry. If Tennessee gives another rusher more than 6 carries, they need to combine for 165 yards. If they do that and Riggs has less than 28, then they should combine for 190 yards to win. Florida did hold Wyoming to 72 yards (and LA-Tech to less), but The Vols should be able to pull this off with Richie Gandy healthy and taking back his starting center position. This will also let Rob Smith, Tennessee's best guard move back into his left guard spot, where Tennessee found particular weakness on opening week. Riggs should have at least one TD.

Finally, Rick Clausen, is getting the start for this game, and though Fulmer says both will play, when Clausen scores on Tennessee's first two posessions his exit won't be quick. He'll get a good majority of the snaps and show us why he should. At least two TDs on his arm.

I Know College Football Marquis Matchups

Michigan State at Notre Dame

I like Notre Dame to show us they are the real deal in this game. Charlie Weis will be sainted before Pope John Paul II afterwards.

Brady Quinn looks better than ever after throwing 2 touchdowns against Michigan and no interceptions. I like Brady for two more in this game. I also like Darius Walker for at least one.

Notre Dame with flawless Red Zone performance last week (2 trips for 2 touchdowns) knows how to place the short field. Unfortunately they didn't get there very often against Michigan. Fortunately Michigan State has given up 674 yards combined to two mediocre teams, so ND should have more success on offense than last week. Michigan state has to limit the effectiveness of Brady Quinn if they want to have a chance. Offense alone will not do it against Notre Dame, though MSU does have plenty of that.

Florida State at Boston College

I think BC is actually the better team in this matchup, and I do have them ranked higher. FSU has no offense against a good team so far. BC has shown us that they are good against the middle (BYU) and lower (Army) tier teams like a good team should (20-3, 44-7 respectively). I believe BC is the second best team in the ACC (Virginia Tech is the first) and they'll show it against the 'Noles.

Miami at Clemson

Miami's offense looked horrid against FSU and I wouldn't be surprised if their woes continue. I expect Clemson to upset them again. Miami's only chance to turnaround on offense is to limit turnovers. Kyle Wright had 16/28 for 232 yards, a touchdown, but also 2 interceptions. Add that to a fumble and you can rack up all the yards you want but you're not scoring because you will get down the field and give the ball up. Unfortunately Clemson's has an excellent quarterback in Charlie Whitehurst who has completed 32/44 for 491 yards and 2 touchdowns.

I expect Clemson will win this one by at least two touchdowns, especially if Miami is giving up the ball. Miami will win if they limit turnovers to one, but I don't think they will with as young a quarterback as Wright who will make a lot of mistakes.

Oklahoma at UCLA

This is going to be an upset on UCLA's part outright. I just do not like Oklahoma's performance so far and Peterson alone cannot save them from a balanced attacked from UCLA (483 pass ing, 444 rushing on the season so far) that has had no turnovers yet complimented by dark horse Heisman candidate Maurice Drew. UCLA is going to need to step up the defense though. They'll be good enough to upset Oklahoma.

I Know College Football Upset Roll Call

Tennessee at Florida

Tennessee wins. See "Game of the Week"

Florida State at Boston College

Boston College wins. See "Marquis Matchups"

Miami at Clemson

Clemson wins. See "Marquis Matchups"

Oklahoma at UCLA

UCLA wins. See "Marquis Matchups"

I just realized that all but one game picked in Game of the Week and Marquis match ups are upsets.

Oregon State at Louisville

Oregon State has a killer passing attack that has gone 55-84 for 681 yards (8.1 avg) 5 touchdowns, but their running numbers are dismal for 56 carries, avg 2.9/carry, 160 total on the season so far. Their defense though has given up 782 (390/game) yards on the year and 41 points (20.5 game). This isn't too far from Louisville who in one game has given up 325 yards and 24 points. Expect this one to be a shoot out. I pick oregon state because they had a good game against a good team against visiting Boise State might even call it an upset.

Fresno State at Oregon

Oregon will win this game if they get in the endzone. Relying on field goals (11 so far after two games) will not do it against Fresno State's physical attack. I don't think Oregon has what it takes to win this game and will succumb to Fresno State.

Alabama at South Carolina

South Carolina, as we saw last week, is known for giving its eastern division opponents fits but losing in the end. Well I don't see any reason for this game to be any different. Expect this one to be close but go Alabama's way in the end.

I Know College Football Done Deals

Eastern Michigan at Michigan

This is a no brainer. Michigan may have looked bad enough for their own fans to be down on them but they won't lose to Eastern.

Louisiana Monroe at Georgia

D.J. Shockley will have a banner day picking the Monroe defense apart with his arm and his legs. Georgia Wins.

Ohio at Virginia Tech

Ohio may have beaten Pitt. Virginia is definately not Pitt. Virginia Tech Wins.

San Diego State at Ohio State

I can see the Sunday paper headlines now: San Diego State team victim of enraged Buckeyes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Quarterback Controversy?

As you might have noticed, a lot of entries here are based on things in the college football media that irk me to end. I mean that's why I started this blog. I thought I could do a better job writing about college football than most publications out there. The trend of where I'm coming from on my entries will continue until further notice.

What I currently cannot stand about the college football media is their portrayal of the quarterback "situation" (which is more like a lack thereof). The college football writer I respect the most, Bruce Feldman, described the "situation" as QB woes ("..but if Tenn doesn't fix their QB woes, maybe not" (Insider)). How irresponsible of him. He even went on to devote an entire article in his blog (also insider; scroll to "QB watch: Vols-Gators") to the subject

As I told him, Tennessee doesn't have quarterback woes. They have 2 great quarterbacks. Choosing between Ainge and Clausen is like choosing between white or yellow gold on your championship ring. Right now, Clausen has a little more luster to him and Fulmer has acknowledged that by giving him the start, and I expect, though it's purely speculation, Fulmer won't pull Clausen if he gets two scores on his first two series (or even just one TD if he's moving the ball well).

The QB "situation" couldn't be more rosey, well, unless they still had Schaffer, but then Fulmer would be looking at the situation like Jim Tressel who has to decide which quarterback fits the scheme better. A drop-back-passer has always fit Tennessee better though.

What the media says about this is moot anyway, Tennessee is going to win their big games. Stay tuned for my pics with detailed analysis of the Tennessee-Florida game and others this week.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Lookin' Good

How's that for a recovery? After going 3-7 in my week one picks, I turnaround with a 10-1 week 2! Coincidance or skill? I'll make a case with a game by game breakdown of right and wrong

Texas-Ohio State: My pick turned out wrong here resulting in my only loss. But there were some things about how the game was played that I was dead on about. I told you that Ohio State's run defense featuring A.J. Hawk would limit all runners on Texas' offense to under 7 yards-per-carry (YPC). Vince Young had a meager 3.8 YPC. That stable-of-four running backs that share time for Texas? Not one had YPC higher that 2.6, and as a team Texas racked up only 112 yards total. So I was right there. You might think what I was wrong about was when being forced to throw, Young wouldn't throw as comfortably and this would neutralize their passing offense as well. Yet, as late as the third quarter this was true as Young threw interceptions in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. I was even right about Ohio State getting good field position on kick returns though I was wrong that the man who would provide would be Ginn, when it was really Holmes. This was even true in Ohio's passing game where Holmes racked up 4 catches for 73 yards and a touchdown. Ginn? 2 for 9 yards. My most grevious of errors though was in predicting the Ohio State receiving corps to have a banner night and rack up lots of yards and points. In fact, as you saw, Ohio State couldn't take to the house after doing so early in the game. The defense might have won it for them too if the offense's inability to score hadn't kept the defense on the field so long that it grew tired. Tired enough for Young to throw on. So as you see, I came pretty close to having this game called right. But we all know where close counts. It ain't here.

Notre Dame-Michigan: Well my pick here was right. But my game thoughts were wrong as both teams brought the defense and neither offense scored like I thought they would. What in the world? The teams probably swapped places with teams from a parallel universe. I don't know how else to explain that game.

LSU-Arizona State: I picked right here, but it also looked like I was right to pick cautiously. I expressed my doubt about picking LSU since we had yet to see them play, and the game was pretty much just as iffy.

South-Carolina: This was an easy pick for me and it was correct, but I gave South Carolina no chance, which was wrong. Do I chalk it up to Steve Spurrier? Nah, South Carolina always gives Georgia fits.

Virginia Tech-Duke: This was an easy pick, and rightfully so. Vick had a great game just as I said he would. But like I said, this was easy.

Georgia Tech-North Carolina: I put this game in upset watch but said that Georgia Tech would win. Was I right or what? North Carolina made a game of it and pushed the upset, but Georgia Tech won like I said.

Tulsa-Oklahoma: I put this under upset watch just because of how embarrasing Oklahoma looked against TCU. I feel like I was right about this too because Oklahoma still looked bad except when it was in Adrian Peterson's hands.

Army-Boston College; Louisiana Tech-Florida; The Citadel-Florida: These were under "Done Deals" and of course that's exactly what they were.

So what a week eh? I told you. I know college football!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

My Submitted Week 3 Blogpoll Ballot

1. USC: I actually expect this'll change for me before the season is over. (+/- 0)
2. Texas: Won a big' un (+5)
3. Tennessee: Bye week, default move-up, will beat Florida (+1)
4. Georgia: Weak showing against South Carolina (-2)
5. Virginia Tech: Vick shows us his arm. (+2)
6. Florida: Leak looks great. (+6)
7. Notre Dame: Great showing against Michigan. This program is serious. (+2)
8. LSU: Wins a shootout but only with offensive touchdowns in 1st quarter and in desperation in 4th quarter and a defense that was taken for a ride by ASU's offense. (+/- 0)
9. Ohio State: I think the OSU offense can't even remember what taking it to the house feels like as they didn't do it after the first quarter. (-4)
10. Michigan: Offense choked, even though the defense gave them what they needed. (-7)
11. Purdue: Impressive offense against cream-puff Akron. (+/- 0)
12. Boston College: Second in Acc only to Virginia Tech (+ 6)
13. Louiville: Bye week, default move-up (+1)
14. Georgia Tech: Showed us they are the real deal. (+6)
15. Florida State: Offense gets it legs against The Citadel (+1)
16. Minnesota: Great offense (+3)
17. Iowa State: Who thought a team that struggled against a DIIA team would beat a team that owned a DIA team? (PUR)
18. Alabama: Beat a nice Southern Miss team (+4)
19. Arizona State: Offense and Defense, good. Special Teams, not so good (-6)
20. Fresno State: Beat Webster handily. (-1)
21. California: Who knew Ayoob could dismantle secondaries like that? (+3)
22. Texas Tech: Great offense as usual, get a schedule. (-1)
23. Miami: Bye, Default (+/- 0)
24. Iowa: Caught looking ahead. (-14)
25. Clemson: Two Close calls, Two wins (PUR)

Dropped out: TCU, Oklahoma

Games I saw: Clemson/Maryland (less that a whole quarter in restaurant bar as I check bottom line for Michigan/ND updates), Georgia/South Carolina, North Carolina/Georgia Tech (last quarter), Boise State/Oregon State (less than a quarter), Texas/Ohio State, ASU/LSU (second half)

This ballot has been submitted. If you still want to complain about something you can't change now, feel free to comment.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Current Thoughts on the Day: Half Time at the Horseshoe

I missed Michigan-ND. I've only seen highlights so I won't say much until I watch my tape. I can say I'm glad to see replay being used to correct errors.

Congrats to Iowa State for showing us that judging a team by it's opening game is often a mistake.

Vick has demonstrated that he might be a better passer than his older brother against duke. He did a great job throwing the ball. with a nice touch on a deep endzone pass that was placed perfectly.

I listened to the first quarter and a half of Georgia-South Carolina, and watched the rest on TV when I got home. Great game. I can't believe USC gave Georgia a run for their money. They improved in both places I noticed as a weakness against Florida Atlantic. Their secondary picked Shockley twice (and the Dawgs returned the favor) and their offensive line gave Blake Mitchell time to throw inside a nice pocket. The defense limited Shockley's effectiveness as well Unfortunately USC had a poor rushing game and couldn't convert for 2 points when they needed to.

Right now it's half time in "The Horseshoe" where the game is turning out to be as good as advertised with a 16-13 OSU lead, and I can't help but feel this game is going exactly as I said it would. After Texas jumped out to a 10-0 lead with great moves by Young on the ground and in the air, Ohio State came in and calmed things down with defensive prowess by A.J. Hawk. OSU is limiting the effectiveness of TU's running game, with A.J. Hawk recovering one fumble, and that is leading to a shakey passing performance of Young who also threw a foolish interception to A.J. Hawk while trying to avoid a sack.

During the half time, I'm trying to get a glimpse of LSU at ASU, and so far they look sharp, but haven't gotten any points on the board with 12:40 to go in the second quarter. ASU is making some stops on the line, so maybe a team with a great front four can slow LSU (Tennessee featuring J. Mahelona). Ooh, ASU continues to give LSU fits, causing and recovering a fumble to kill a 12:00 drive.

Finding Recruits

ESPN has a story highlighting the efforts of recruiters to keep up with players who were displaced by Kitrina.

I want to know, if a recruiter finds someone that noone can find, and he's a great recruit, does that recruiter let other rival recruiters know where the player is, or keep the recruit to himself?

It's Official

Notre Dame's victory over Pitt means a lot less than it did before Pitt lost to Ohio. Pitt lost two passes that were run back for touchdowns against Ohio.

Not to completely discount Notre Dame though. They wouldn't have done as well against Pitt if they weren't good.

Does Pitt's loss change my pick from ND to Michigan? No, it doesn't.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Michigan and Tennessee can Identify

Just reading Maisel's peice on the wolverines makes me feel closer to them.

To quote frosh offensive lineman David Moosman, "Some people have mascots, big elaborate places. We have a great fight song, along with a great stadium."

That's the way it is for Tennessee fans. We have a fight song (Rocky Top) and a great stadium (Neyland Stadium). Those are probably two of the greatest traditions Tennessee has, and nothing is closer to the hearts of many Tennessee fans than a chorus of 104,000+ fans belting that fight song after a big play by the Vols.

I'm not trying to pick a fight here about who has the better traditions or anything of that sort, but celebrate the commonality, and know that on certain saturdays in the fall there's a fan wearing blue who is feeling a certain way that I know about in my love of the orange.

College Football is the greatest sport ever.

Week 2: W is for Withdraw

It's that time again! Time for the I Know College Football Week 2 picks.

Now I know what you're thinking. "How, after a 3-7 week one record, can this guy continue to pick ball games, and why should I care what he picks?" Well, 1) its my website, and 2) how should I know? And please, if I seem a little crazy with my picks (when don't I?) then remember that I am under severe mental duress as I am in the process of withdrawing from my beloved University of Tennessee. Painful as it is, I realize that I am just far too much of a homebody to be here. Enough of that, let's get on with the picks!

I Know College Football Game of The Week

For those uninitiated this is the best game in terms of entertainment value.

This week's Game of The Week is Texas at Ohio State.

This is a game that many have been looking forward to since the end of last football season. Two top-5 power houses are meeting to seperate the contenders from the pretenders. The field will be covered in talent, but Ohio State will edge out Texas. Why? Simple. Ohio State can slow down Texas' stable of rushers with a good run defense featuring homing missle, A.J. Hawk. They took Miami (of Ohio)'s Brandon Murphy who averaged 5.2 yards-per-carry last year and reduced that to 1.8. They will have the same effect on Vince Young and the top 4 running backs at Texas whose lowest YPC in game one was 7 by Young. The 4 other backs had 8 or more each (though all this was against lowly LA-Lafayette). They won't likely be held to 2 YPC but it will be lower than 7. Without a killer running game, Texas will be forced to rely more on the arm of Young, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Being forced to throw, however, won't be as comfortable and will result in a less than great performance by Young due in part also to A.J. Hawk's excellent coverage and pass rush. Ohio State doesn't need to make Young have a bad day in order to win, just a less than great day. The other area where Ohio will come out on top is field position. This will be due to Ted Ginn Jr.'s kick returns. Pair that with downfield targets like Ginn and Santanio Holmes (who will see a lot of one on one coverage), and we're looking at a lot of yards and probably points by OSU. Texas needs to play the soft zone to keep OSU's recievers from getting behind them. Look for Ginn to have a good receiving game and for Holmes to do so as well, since the safeties will be rolling Ginn's way most of the evening. Texas just better hope it doesn't come down to a fieldgoal to win it. Their kicker missed 3 extra points last week! I love Ohio State to win this one.

I Know College Football Marquis Matchups

Notre Dame at Michigan

This game wasn't really a big deal until Notre Dame came through against Pitt with the unexpected slaughter of the Panther defense. Can Notre Dame pull the upset? I believe they can. Michigan's defense wasn't exactly hot stuff allowing NIU to pass for 200 yards and rush for over 210 yards. NIU's problem was that they couldn't hold on to the ball to score. They also had red zone problems getting only one touchdown out of 3 trips, the other two being a field goal and a blocked field goal. The problem for Michigan this week is that Notre Dame is coming into this game without greased hands (no fumbles against Pitt) and as regular red zone operators, having scored touchdowns in four out of five trips to the red zone against Pitt, and they probably would have scored on the 5th trip if the game wasn't ending. Notre Dame had 504 yards against Pitt which is bad news for Michigan who allowed 411 to a less respectable NIU team. The good news for Michigan is that Notre Dame's defense may not be up to the task of stopping them. Chris Henne will have a big day against a ND secondary that gave up 220 yards to Pitt. Receiver Jason Avant will have a lot of yards because of his ability to catch the ball, even in traffic. I'm looking for this game to be a points race with Notre Dame coming out on top.

Louisiana State at Arizona State

Finally we will have a chance to gauge LSU and it will be against a worthy opponent. Unfortunately for LSU this game was relocated to Tempe. If it had been played in Baton Rouge, I would not have given ASU the chance it now has. I may be discounting ASU a little too much though because they did look dominant against Temple with 63 points and over 550 yards offense. They showed a weak side though with 3 turnovers (2 picks thrown by ADU QB Sam Keller) and 11 penalties (compared to Temple's 0 penalties). Keller will have to keep an eye on LSU safety LaRon Landry and avoid throwing in his direction while exploiting one-on-one matchups with LSU's weaker CBs such as Ronnie Prude. It is hard for me to call this one just because I haven't seen LSU, but they have talent in more positions than most schools in the nation. I don't think LSU will be upset.

South Carolina at Georgia

The phenomenon of Steve Spurrier does not ever leave, I'm afraid. Just what is it? It causes people to think that a team has a chance, just because that team is being coached by Steve Spurrier. I'm sorry, but South Carolina winning this game is a long shot. After watching what the QB for UCF was able to do against the Gamecock defense, I have no doubt that Georgia QB D.J. Shockley is going to make it known that he owns USC's defense. Georgia will win this easily.

Virginia Tech at Duke

Did I tell you Vick would do it for Virgina Tech last week or what? And he looked good. Expect more of the same here. It is highly unlikely that Duke should pull anything on VT.

I Know College Football Upset Roll Call

Texas at Ohio State

Ohio State upsets number 2 in the nation, see Marquis Matchups.

Notre Dame at Michigan

Notre Dame takes out this top 5 opponent, see Marquis Matchups.

North Carolina at Georgia Tech

The truth about Georgia Tech is they looked good against Auburn, but I'm not convinced they're a true top 25 contender. I want to see if they can handle this game like a top 25 team before I would call this one for them. More likely than not, they'll win.

California at Washington

Washington could chance it out if the get to California RB Marshawn Lynch off his game. California edges out a game closer than many expect.

Tulsa at Oklahoma

Oklahoma has to prove to some people that they aren't completely gone, but I already believe them, despite how many major media people jump off their bandwagon. One loss to TCU doesn't mean you suck. Unfortunately, Tulsa has been listening to Oklahoma's naysayers and probably won't be prepared to do what is needed to upset Oklahoma. Oklahoma will win.

I Know College Football Done Deals

(Note, I changed this from "Sure Things" because it sounds better)

Army at Boston College

Boston College will win this one. They are shaping up to be one of three of the top teams in the ACC, could beat Florida State.

Louisiana Tech at Florida

Florida gets to wrap up their "preseason" before their season begins in earnest when Tennessee comes a'callin'.

The Citadel as Florida State

Some people think Citadel has a chance. Some people have to live in rooms with mattresses on the walls, floor, and ceiling. Florida State wins.

Just to show how ADD I am, I started this entry at 11:14 AM and it's now 3:12 PM.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Oklahoma State at Florida Atlantic: Live Blogging

Starting early in the second half: Oklahoma State 13, Florida Atlantic 3

Oklahoma State just tried a triple option and the QB shovel pass went to a fumble. Did he have possesion? Apparently this play was one from the Urban Ledgend.

FAU just had to punt after a big sack on 3rd down. Great return! Flags have canceled so many great runbacks. They get this one too. Careless mistakes take away a 45 yard a return.

Oklahoma State is moving the ball well both ways. Wow, the QB just paid for trying to run with a big hit. FAU forces the punt and almost gets a hand on it with 9 minutes to go.

They just show offensive yardage for both teams and FAU is matching OSU for passing yards but more than 90 yards behind on running yards with -15.

Oops...FAU fumbles. Good thing their defense has been able to stop OSU's offense.

OSU sends out a different quarterback, are they comfortable with a 10 point lead? Now the first quarterback is catching passes from the new one. Ah, OSU is running a two QB system.

Kirk Hirbstreit has no love for a two QB system, he always has something bad to say about it.

Touchdown OSU. The FAU defense has no presence upfront.

FAU comes out running the ball now. They had a couple of good runs but OSU's box is just shutting down the line. FAU QB just ran a great bootleg for a first down and then some.

FAU can't hold on to the football with a fumble making turnover #4.

Embick, the FAU quarterback is an athlete who can scramble and run, maybe better than their running back. Ooh, great run to close the quarter. OSU's defense can't rest for a bit, or FAU will get a score in.

FAU can make this look respectable with a score, and they look like they might. Nevermind, they get stopped.

Sorry I didn't finish...that game got boring and I 'm still setting up my computer after installing Windows XP Pro x64 bit edition.

Thanks HP, I can't believe I was writing Oregon State. How embarrassing!

Up to here

That's exactly where I've had it with this idea about certain teams and their so called "Sophistication" and the people who have this idea and push it at the expense of the "non-sophisticated" team's football intelect.

The Big XII is suddenly "fairly incompetent" because they couldn't stop Oklahoma who couldn't stop USC because they weren't "sophisticated" in their offense.

Ohio State's stellar offense is a "pile of mush, held together by a few fine athletes. Same thing with Penn State."

These irresponsible statements are just some of the few rediculous spouts of ignorant football commentary coming from the author of the link at the top of this entry.

To call the Big XII incompetent is just crazy. They know what they're doing. They know how to play football and they do it well on a consistent basis. You don't do that if you're incompetent.

A pile of mush doesn't put up 37 points against anyone, not even division IIA teams.

He says that "Georgia went out and designed an offense" What? Throwing to the tight-end? Amazing. He says Boise State lost that game because they didn't stick to their scheme. Wrong. Boise State lost that game because they didn't play good football and their talent didn't measure up to Georgia.

These excellent teams don't win because they play with a scheme. They win because they play good football with players who are equally or more talented than the other team. A scheme is a plan, and guess what, all teams have plans. It comes down to talent. The "scheme teams" or the the "gang of six" don't win because their scheme lets them play better than teams that have more talent. The only time a lesser talented team wins is a fluke or maybe the talent of the players on the "scheme teams" is just being underestimated!

Teams that aren't there aren't "cavemen." They aren't playing rudimentary football. They aren't incompetent. They aren't ignorant. They aren't piles of mush held together by athletes.

This sickening insulting of the common Div-1A football playing student athlete is really really unnecessary and pretty childish. Plus the arguement you use it in is wrong. So what's the point?

Do we really need this?

I'm going to publish my top 25. What's the point. Nobody reads this except for you. But in the world of blogging, if you publish, they will come.

1. USC - Why shouldn't they be...they'll let us know later.
2. Georgia - Shockley. Points. Win in (what probably shouldn't have been a) highlight game.
3. Michigan - I'm being nice. Defense better show up against ND.
4. Tennsessee - I think UAB will prove to be a better team than anyone thought. Will Beat FLA.
5. Ohio State - They look stellar with the offense.
6. Texas - Definately not as good as everyone thinks. Will lose to Ohio State.
7. Virginia Tech - Vick is going to take this team somewhere. Top in ACC right now.
8. LSU - I need to see play. Might drop ASU game.
9. Notre Dame - Best looking game most unexpected (Except maybe Georgia).
10. Iowa - Did they even need to show up?
11. Purdue - I need to see these guys play.
12. Florida - Looked unimpressive for the hype, will dive after loss to Tennessee.
13. Arizona State - No complaints.
14. Louisville - Weak against Kentucky.
15. TCU - Way to stick it to the Sooners.
16. Florida State - Winning week 1 was like winning the special olympics.
17. Oklahoma - This is probably too high a ranking for them, but I'm a nice guy.
18. Boston College - New life in the ACC.
19. Fresno State - Default Move up (from previously unpublished (read: in my head) polls).
19. Minnesota - Pretty running game. Keep it up.
20. Georgia Tech - Getcha some of those big boys.
21. Texas Tech - Waiting on action.
22. Alabama
23. Miami - Overrated by most.
24. California - Also overrated (esp. by AP and Coaches).
25. Texas A&M - here most likely because of poor coaching decision.

Stay Tuned for week 2 picks.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Was I right or was I wrong?

Well, things ain't so pretty for me after week 1. Let's look at the record.


What?! I did that bad? I guess it didn't help with my saturday morning jump onto the Boise State bandwagon. I may have picked many games the wrong way, but I picked the game right. I know you're thinking, "Whaddaya mean?" Let me explain.

I picked Texas A&M over Clemson, yes it was wrong there, but didn't I tell you all it would be a great game to watch because it would be a shootout. Who had ya there? What was more exciting then that last second fieldgoal kick? Nothing. I don't care how many your kicker has made in a row, those babies can be anywhere, and they always have you biting your nails to shreds.

I picked Miami over Florida State. Wrong again, but I knew it would be the offensive struggle it was. Both first time starter quarterbacks couldn't get their offense going to save their lives and it was a snooze fest.

I called Virginia Tech over North Carolina. I was so right about Vick.

I was wrong about Auburn over Georgia tech, but being wrong there helped my overall thesis about these teams. Again, neither will play a lead role in the Big Picture. Auburn doesn't because they got beat by Georgia Tech, and Georgia Tech doesn't because they can't run the table and there's no hype there anyway.

I was crazy to switch from Georgia to Boise State. I did this saturday morning which should have been my first sign to me that I am indeed nuts. I don't care how much scheme a team like Boise State has, you have to execute it. Once Shockley and his boys rattled Boise's cage a little, they cowered like the small fries they are. Why didn't I stick with my original pick!? Sorry, folks, I was all wrong here.

I called UCLA-San Diego State even, and it wasn't an upset, so I was wrong on that account.

Louiville-Kentucky wasn't as close as the score made it look so I had this one.

Tennessee-UAB was closer than anyone thought it would be, so maybe I had a little premonition when I placed this game in the upset watch.

Bowling Green was far from a sure thing once Wisconsin had thier running game rolling. All wrong here.

And West Virginia beat Syracuse. I picked that one out of left field anyway and used a rhyme to rationalize my pick. I should of known better.

But as you can see, despite my horrid 3-7 start for week 1, I do know some things about this grand ball game that is College Football. Sorry this is my first post since Saturday, I've been kinda busy lately. Stay tuned Folks.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Happy Saturday

Hey everybody, it's been a long time coming but Happy first Saturday. This is the day so many have been waiting for. On college campuses across the nation so many teams have been preparing for this day. The day they take their game on the field and show everyone why they have a chance.

Whether you're cooking up a storm and preparing to plop down in front of the TV or you're packing up the truck with your tailgating gear and headed to the stadium to see the big game live, I know you're going to have a great day. Why? Because you're a college football fan and I am too, and I know exactly how it has been waiting for your favorite team to start the season. All I can say is we're here!

As for me, I'll be taking in UAB at Tennessee at 12:30 pm at Neyland Stadium

Please see the I Know College Football Picks. I've made them for you, and I have revised my Boise State at Georgia pick.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Spurrier, get some line, secondary

The much overrated return of the Ol' Ball Coach to college football has finally been shown for what it is: a sham.

Spurrier just isn't the coach he used to be, and he doesn't have near the talent that he used to have under him at Florida. Will he ever? No.

South Carolina's offensive line got tired quick have the first quarter and half, and then they started getting pushed around by UCF's defense. South Carolina's secondary was also a crock, though their line came through, when it had to.

Spurrier will never lift this program to where he used to take the Gators. Never.

Week 1: Saturday is the Real Labor Day

It's that time: Time for the I Know College Football Week 1 Picks!

I Know College Football Game of the Week.

Let me first familiarize you with how I pick the game of the week. It's simple. The game of the week is the game that is going to be most exciting and entertaining to watch.

This week's Game of the Week is Texas A&M at Clemson University.

We're looking at a real shootout here. Clemson is going to try to show that turnabout is fair play, after they were defeated last year to get knocked out of the top 25. Texas A&M is going to try to show that they deserve to stay there this year. Senior quarterbacks Reggie McNeal and Charlie Whitehurst are both going to have their respective offenses firing on all cylinders. There are going to be plenty of points on both sides, but I believe Texas A&M is truly a top 10 team and they're going to show it here.

I Know College Football Marquis Matchups

First we have Miami University at Florida State University.

This game is exactly opposite the game of the week (which is why it's not the game of the week) in that this game is going to be highly defensive. Both quarterbacks are making their first collegiate starts. Florida State's quarterback is a freshman while Miami's is a sophomore. I believe this pays because Florida State's quarterback will lose his poise in the "Big Game" atmosphere. Because of this, and because of Miami's far supurior defense, Miami has this game by late 3rd quarter.

Virginia Tech will be paying a visit to North Carolina State.

There's a lot of hype around this game because of one thing. The starting quarterback for Virgina Tech shares the last name and the genes of one very style-defining QB, but you didn't need me to tell you that. This game is on the upset watch because while Marcus can run, NC State has one of the top defensive lines in the country. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Vick wins this one for Tech anyway. He will turn heads come gameday.

Georgia Tech at Auburn

A lot of people think this game means something in the Big Picture, but they're wrong. Neither team will be a contender this year. That being said, the obvious will happen. Auburn walks away a winner by far.

Boise State at Georgia

I know I already picked this game if you read this article earlier but I'm going to change my mind and go the other way.

I now believe that Boise State will defeat Georgia. After reading up on Boise State my mind has shifted. Now I know I'm always downing the worship of "scheme teams" (as perpitrated by Heisman Pundit, but I believe Boise State has something. How could you not pick them after reading the ESPN story on their preparations for the Dawgs. Add this baby to the I Know College Football Upset Roll Call.

I Know College Football Upset Roll Call

Boise State at Georgia

Boise State goes to Georgia and returns a winner.

UCLA at San Diego State

Interesting chance for UCLA to lose one here and the home team (and crowd) knows it. This one is the best chance for upset this week. San Diego will take a shot with Lynell Hampton who is making a return after being redshirted over a broken ankle from late two seasons ago. Could go either way.

Louiville at Kentucky

Kentucky's battle cry here is "Remeber 2002!" While onthe Upset Roll Call, don't expect anything.

UAB at Tennessee

This should probably be part of Sure Things, but there's been a lot of talk about UAB's awesome quarterback and Tennessee's dismal secondary and how none of the cornerbacks scare away a pass from Darrell Hackney. Sorry to burst bubbles but this is even less likely than Kentucky beating Louiville.

I Know College Football Sure Things

Bowling Green at Wisconsin

You may or may not have expected this one here, but I'm calling Bowling Green a sure thing. BCS busters have to make their victims some where and Wisconsin is prime pray as a very stagnate program.

West Virginia at Syracuse

What can I say? The Orangemen in their home dome will own the Mountaineers. (sorry)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Forde Can't Find #2, but He's Much Lower

I can't stand to go to ESPN.com for my college football coverage these days. It seems that above all else, their writers are concerned about making their articles "cute" (not quite the word I'm looking for).

Let's look at Pat Forde's latest. He's trying to decide who is the best team in the country that doesn't have Reggie Bush playing along side a Heisman winner. Which is a good cause, but like most college football writers his article is rubish because he doesn't draw a conclusion and he's way too cutesy.

He tells you the good and the bad for each possible team. Then he has a cute little way to say "not them" after (check it out for yourself, I suck at explaining).

But not only is he cracking wise about each team. Some of his positives and negatives for each team aren't really valid points, but there are a couple I agree with, such as:

Texas: "Can it really lose the heart of its running game (Cedric Benson) and the soul of its defense (Derrick Johnson) and be better than last year?"

Michigan: "were explosive with a freshman quarterback (Chad Henne) and freshman running back (Michael Hart), so they should be borderline unstoppable as sophomores." (Tennessee is trying to use reasoning this with Ainge and their sophomore secondary)

"Since a defense that suffered serial breakdowns at the end of last year is trying to replace two All-American defensive backs, can it take a major step forward?"

Florida: "There are questions about the running game. Questions about how the spread-option offense will fare in a league that is far faster and more physical than the Mountain West or Mid-American."

Virginia Tech: "Rookie starting quarterback makes his debut on the road against North Carolina State, which only had the No. 1 defense in the nation in 2004."

LSU: "Can his team still be a run-game juggernaut after 2004 leading rusher Alley Broussard blew a knee? Can he find a quarterback amid the talented but thus far unestablished trio of JaMarcus Russell, Matt Flynn and freshman Ryan Perrilloux?"

Tennessee: "The defense was smoked for a combined 64 points by Vanderbilt and Kentucky at season's end."

You get the idea. But then there are points that are utter balogna! See:

Texas A&M: "Any team that lost to Baylor the previous year cannot be considered for the No. 2 ranking in America. That's nonnegotiable."

I'm sorry, but there is such a thing as a fluke! That and things can change a lot in a year. That's the only point he had for A&M.

Michigan: "Was Henne that good, or did No. 3 overall draft pick Braylon Edwards (97 catches, 15 touchdowns) make him look that good?"

No matter how good a receiver is he has to have someone to throw to him.

"Can you really trust a team that has lost 10 times in the last five years as a favorite?"

Average of 2 losses a year over the past 5 years isn't bad.

Florida: "Chris Leak is poised to thrive in Meyer offense. The receiving corps is rife with big-play ability."

Anyone can be poised. The point is, can he do it or not?

Tennessee: "The choice of sophomore Eric Ainge over senior Rick Clausen at quarterback, after Clausen put up better stats in August scrimmages, might fracture the locker room."

Okay, this is just stupid, anyone who has watched Tennessee closely and/or has seen interviews with the players knows that the two quarterbacks are honset and are not going to get in a huff about who's "starting" which at Tennessee doesn't mean much. They'll both see plenty of play.

"Can a team that lost at home to 6-6 Notre Dame really be that great?"

Do I even have to explain this one?

LSU: "Can Miles walk in from the Oklahoma plains and command the respect that Saban had?"

Who does he need respect with? The players? He's got it. No team is going to function without this vital aspect.

Anyway, it gets pretty rediculous. And as far as college football writers go, we can rank Forde pretty low, lower than 2 by far.

Who is my number two? I like Michigan, Texas, and A&M is a weak pick. Tennessee could be in there, but I'll have to see how they hand UAB first. I'll be more specific after this weekend.