Monthly Archives: September 2011

Handicapping Week 5

We begin this week with a search for a sandwich.

Last year, at a Georgia Tech football game, a female Yellow Jackets fan was subjected to a full strip search, by the stadium security.

It’s seems their mission, was the pursuit, and arrest, of a Chick-fil-A sandwich, that they somehow suspected, she was smuggling into Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Nothing was found, by this bunch of “cluckers”, and needless to say, a civil suit has been filed.  We think the case should be entitled: The People vs. Bluckkers!

This weekend, let’s see which teams dine on the opposition, and which look, as if they are; chicken.

No. 8 Nebraska at No. 7 Wisconsin (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) The Big Red Lincoln is driving into the Mad-Town (Madison) cauldron, for its Big Ten football baptism. 

The last time these red-cladded squads met (1974), Gerry Ford was occupying the oval office.  It could also be called an Eveready game, as both teams employ an old school power style of football.

The Husker’s King of the Corn, is its starry running (7TDs, over 6 yds. a carry), sophomore QB, Taylor Martinez, whose legs are much more dangerous, than his oft-erratic, throwing ability.

The rest of the Huskers ground assault is assisted by another speedster Rex Burkhead (7 TDs, over 6 yds. a carry), and if he can accurately can deliver him the ball, wideout Brandon Kinnie is a dangerous target.

The Blackshirt D has more of a charcoal tint, as it sits a pedestrian 52nd overall, while allowing 22 points a game.  These pretenders are anchored by All-America backer Lavonte David, his companion Cameron Meredith, and backstopped by All-America corner, Alfonzo Dennard.  [Good news for the Lincoln faithful – All-America tackle Jared Crick will play.]

Christmas came early in Madison, in the form of former UNC QB Russell Wilson.

The new cheese-head fav, is the nation’s second most efficient passer (11 touchdown passes – 1 interception), and has completed a jaw-dropping 75 percent of his passes.

In addition to its starry commander, Wiscy, the country’s sixth highest scoring eleven (48 pts. a game), motors with its signature ground attack, on the legs of tailbacks, Montee Ball and James White, who have combined for 12 TDs, and are nicely protected by its Himalayan offensive line.

When Wilson takes to the air, he has a pair of quality targets, Nick Toon (son of former NFLer Al), and former walk-on, Jared Abbrederis.

The Badgers D, the nation’s third stingiest group (less than 9 points a game), is equally disruptive against the run and the pass.  It ranks seventh overall, and is backboned by backers Chris Borland, Mike Taylor and tackle David Gilbert.

We equate Bo Pelini’s Huskers to Mike Tyson.

Nebraska tries to bully teams, and if that doesn’t initially work, and it won’t against a physically imposing bunch of Badgers, they quickly run out of solutions, and we don’t think they’ll have enough answers in Madison on Saturday Night.

No. 3 Alabama at No. 12 Florida (Ch. 7, 8 p.m.) The Tide continues to roll in.

It is easier to defeat a Soviet President, than score a touchdown on these Tuscaloosan tacklers, and no tailback has reached 100 yards, in a DiMaggio-like, 51 games.

The country’s second stingiest D, (8 points a game), and steeled by backers; Don’t’a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw, and All-America safety Mark Barron, stones runners and swats passers , with the disdain of a millionaire, toward Barak Obama.

The offense (38 points a game) is nicely managed by QB A.J. McCarron (4 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions) who is completing 60 percent of his throws.

The signal caller leans heavily on his All-America tailback, Trent Richardson (110 yds. a game – 8 touchdowns), backfield mate Eddie Lacy, and a chain moving wideout; Marquis Maze.

A new day has dawned in Gainesville, as Charlie Weis, and his magical play sheet, has rejuvenated the Gators offense.

The nation’s fifteenth highest scoring eleven (40), is directed by QB John Brantley, with assists from a trio of speed-dust twins, Jeffrey Demps, Chris Rainey, and Trey Burton, who also play a big role in its passing game.

The nation’s fourth stingiest D, (9 points a game), featuring backers; Jon Bostic, Michael Taylor and tackle Jaye Howard, is as quick as a squirrel, scooting across the road.

Despite the fact that the game is in the Swamp, we think it will be the Sons of Joe Namath, who set the trap with Gator bait.  Sorry, Charlie.

No. 13 Clemson at No. 11 Virginia Tech (ESPN2, 6 p.m.) Clemson takes it show into a Bermuda Triangle, also known as; Lane Stadium, where the Hokies are 100-17 in the last eighteen years.

This test will show the Clemson’s title parched faithful, whether Dabo Swinney’s Tigers have some bite, or, as usual, are simply a bunch of orange clad pretenders.

The country’s top twenty-five (37 pts.) scoring eleven, is directed by its gunslinging sophomore, QB Tajh Boyd (13 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions, 66 percent completions), with assists from a trio of quality targets: tight end Dwayne Allen, and wideouts DeAndre Hopkins, and freshman sensation Sammy Watkins, who has six touchdown receptions.

When Clemson takes to the ground, tailback Andre Ellington is a very capable motorman.

The D, featuring end Andre Branch, and tackle Rennie Moore, ranks 90th overall, (surrendering 25 points a game), and has at times, displayed more holes than the ceiling in a Big Dig Tunnel. 

The Boys from Blacksburg are on track for its eight consecutive, double digit win season.

After opening the year with a less than murderer’s row schedule of opponents, coach Frank Beamer, who is coaching his 300th game with Tech, is getting his first real measure of his team.

Prudential-sized, (6-6, 245), dual threat QB, Logan Thomas (4 touchdown passes- 4 interceptions) directs the attack, with help from tailbacks; David Wilson, Josh Oglesby, and a trio of quality receivers; Jarrett Boykin, D.J. Coles and Danny Coale.

The nation’s sixth stingiest D, (10 points a game), swallows runners behind end J.R. Collins, backer Tarig Edwards, and All-America corner Jayron Hosley.

This is a very difficult game to get a handle on, but we’ll go with the Triangle, and better coach; Hokies.

No. 14 Texas A&M vs. No. 18 Arkansas at Jerry’s World – Dallas (ESPN, Noon) In 2012, this will be a regularly scheduled SEC matchup, as the Aggies say goodbye to the Big Twelve, but more importantly for them, goodbye to the large shadow of  University of Texas.

A&M’s attacks with a top-twenty aerial show, directed by its starry QB Ryan Tannehill (6 touchdown passes – 4 interceptions), and assisted by a dynamic wideout tandem; Ryan Swope and Jeff Feller.

The College Station ground assault is also of quality stock, and featuring All-America; Cyrus Gray, and backfield mate, Christine Michael.

The D, behind backer Sean Porter, and end Tony Jerod-Eddie, stones runners, but sits 11th from the bottom defending the pass.

The Hogs are also slopping around for its first quality win.

Bobby Petrino’s Razorbacks also snort with an aerial raid that is commanded by QB Tyler Wilson (7 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions), with assists from the best receiving threesome in the land; Joe Adams, Jarvis Wright, and Cobi Hamilton.

Unfortunately, the Arkansas ground game, featuring Ronnie Wingo, sits is a sausage-like 79th in the nation.

The D, led by backers Alonzo Hightower and Jerry Franklin, has some fissures defending the pass, but overall, is much improved from last season.

In another very close rebound game for both teams, we’ll go with the Jerry’s alma-mater: Arkansas.

No. 15 Baylor at Kansas State (Ch.5, 3:30 p.m.) The disparity between the approaches of these elevens is like comparing; Twiggy with Rosie.

The Baylor Bears, the third highest scoring team in the land (51 pts. a game), ignite on the arm of its Heisman Trophy contending QB; Robert Griffin III, or RG3, (13 touchdown passes – 0 interceptions), who has incomprehensibly, thrown one more touchdown pass, than incompletion.

The rest of his supporting cast includes tailback Terrance Ganaway, and wideout Kendall Wright.

The D, featuring backer Elliot Coffey, guard Nicholas Jean-Baptiste and corner Mike Hicks, allows 26 points a game, and causes a lot of sleepless night, not only for coach Art Briles but for the entire nation of Waco faithful.

KState coach Bill Synder, the architect of the greatest turnaround in the history of college football, is enjoying his redux at Manhattan, Kansas.

The Wildcats identity is the nation’s seventh stingiest D (10 pts. a game), led by backer Arthur Brown, and end Meshale Williams, who are equally disruptive against both the run and the pass.

The offense (6th from the bottom in passing) is about as one dimensional as a founding member of the Tea Party.

KSU’s dual-threat QB Coltin Klien, who does more damage with his legs, is assisted by tailback John Hubert and wideout Chris Harper. 

Message to Baylor; make sure you have the lead at the half, because the Wildcats under Synder are a jaw dropping; 145-5, when leading at break.

We have a hunch that old man Synder, in the Bill Synder-Family Stadium, finds a way to win.

 

Last week: 3-2                                                        Season record: 13-7

Be sure to read our recap which will be up and running Sunday by noon.

Recap Week 4

With one-third of the season printed in the books, a couple of things became clearer on the football field Saturday: Alabama and LSU are the two best teams in America.

In Tuscaloosa, it was Classic Nick Saban, as Alabama won its 20th consecutive SEC opener, in a 38-14 bludgeoning of another pretender, the Razorbacks of Arkansas.

The Tide’s D was on full boil, scoring a touchdown, while holding, what was supposed to be a vaunted Arkansas offense to 17 yards rushing.  Yikes!

It was also Heisman Trophy contender Trent Richardson’s 2011 coming out party, as the big man rushed for 120 yards, hauled in a 61 yard TD pass, accounting for a combined; 211 yards of offense.

Alabama also found its QB of the future, as sophomore A.J. McCarron (15-20, 2 TDs – 200 yards), was Namath cool.

In Morgantown, it was man against boys, as the “Mad-Hatter,” coach Les Miles’ Tigers toyed with another pretender, humbling the Mountaineers of West Virginia; 47-21.  The game can be summarized in three letters, and three words: SEC, speed and defense.

LSU has also found its triggerman in the rejuvenated senior Jarrett Lee, who is now as comfortable running the offense, as its head coach, wearing his hat.  It was also The Bayou Bengals 36th consecutive non-conference victory!!

In Ann-Arbor it was another “ho-hum,” 200 yard (21 carries) rushing performance by Michigan QB Denard Robinson, (over 700 yards – 4 games), as Brady Hoke’s undefeated Wolverines (4-0) defeated his old team, San Diego State; 28-7. 

Robinson accumulated 157 of those yards in the first half, while rushing for 3 touchdowns, but he remains one dimensional, as his 8-17, 2 picks, 93 yards would indicate. 

One of coach Brady Hoke’s stated preseason goals is to make Michigan a more balanced attack, so far it hasn’t played out, but a 4-0 record is a nice caveat.  Just ask the Maize and Blue faithful.

Holy Toledo!!  In Syracuse, Toledo was robbed!!

With 2:07 remaining on the clock, Syracuse kicker Ross Krautman kicked an extra point to put the Orangemen (3-1) up 30-27.

 The Rockets coaches challenged the kick, claiming that it hit the upright, but never went over the cross bar.

The television replay clearly indicated that was the case, but the reviewer in the booth ruled otherwise, calling the kick good, and the score remained: 30-27.

 Maybe he had dough on Syracuse, a minus 2.5 favorite!!

On the ensuing kickoff, Toledo marched to the Cuse three yard line, and then kicked what should have been the game ending, winning field goal, but because of that bogus ruling, it was simply a kick to send the game into overtime.

Well, you guessed it; the Rockets lost 33-30 in overtime, on a wining Syracuse field goal, and more importantly, covered the spread!!  AMAZING!!

After the game, Big East coordinator of officials Terry McAulay released a statement, admitting that the replay officials made the wrong call on the PAT attempt. Really!!

How about the fighting Owls of Temple. 

The Temple of Doom, on the road, destroyed former UConn coach Randy Edsall’s Maryland Terrapins, 38-7, as starry Temple tailback Bernard Pierce, ran for 149 yards, and a school record five touchdowns, in the dismantling, as the Owls are now nesting at 3-1.

While the boos rained down on a partially filled Byrd Stadium, signaling an official end to the Edsall honeymoon, the Owls flew off to a 31-0 half-time lead, and controlled the ball for an astounding; 41 minutes.

The Maryland faithful may rue the day the Administration jettisoned its former winning (75 wins – 10 years) coach Ralph Friedgen, last season’s the ACC, Coach of the Year.  Maybe instead of focusing on its ridiculous uniforms, Edsall’s Terrapins should place it focus on tackling, otherwise its going to get very ugly at College Park.

In Aggie land, in its last season in the Big 12, A&M jumped to a 20-3 halftime lead, only to see Oklahoma State come roaring back with 27 unanswered points, 21 in a dominating third quarter, holding on for a signature 30 -29 victory. 

It ended A&M’s hopes for a storybook final season, and puts Oklahoma on notice, that the Boys from Stillwater are for real.

The Cowboys old man QB, (28 years) Brandon Weeden, threw for a school record 438 yards, and wideouts Justin Blackmon, and Josh Cooper, combined for 244 yards receiving yards.

In the; “you get what you wish for department”: if A&M has trouble in the Big 12, what do they think is in store once they arrive in the SEC?!!

Clemson, for only the second time in 25 years, has defeated back to back ranked teams.

 Dabo Swinney’s Tigers, 4-0 for the first time since 2007, staggered Jimbo Fisher’s Seminoles 35-30, setting up next week’s showdown in Blacksburg, against Virginia Tech. 

It was the Rajh Boyd aerial show, as the Clemson gunslinger had has second consecutive 300 plus yard performance, the first Clemson QB to achieve that feat since 2003. 

He received a nice assist from freshman sensation, wideout Sammy Watkins, who had a pair of TD catches, and now has a half-dozen for the season.

In Atlanta, coach Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets, had its triple option nightmare in fifth gear, as Tech dismantled a very good North Carolina defense; 35-28. 

GT still has some issues on defense, but you’ve got to love a coach who calls the plays on the fly, with no notes, or scripted plays, but makes the calls as the game evolves.

 Tech is a very dangerous foe, and is 4-0, for the first time, since it captured a share of the National Championship, in 1990.

In Miami, maybe Al Golden should have stayed at Temple, as his Hurricanes lost a heartbreaker to Kansas State (3-0), 28-24.

The Hurricanes had a first and goal from the 2 as time was running down, but after four cracks, the last, initially ruled a touchdown, but upon replay, (another replay – at least they got it right), it was ruled that Miami’s QB Harris was down, and with 49 ticks left on the clock, Bill Synder’s Wildcats, who outplayed the Canes, escaped Miami with he miracle victory.

In Oxford, Mississippi the death watch is on for Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, who after losing to Georgia 27-14, has now slipped to 1-3, 0-2 in the SEC, with little hope of a winning season, and little hope of retaining his employment.

Meanwhile in Durham, North Carolina, Ole Miss’s former coach, David Cutcliff has his Dukies 2-2, after his second consecutive victory, over a bad, Tulane team.  Congrats to the smart kids.

In the old Friends Category: Charlie Weis, the Gators offense coordinator, has rejuvenated the Florida offense, while over in Cambridge, Timmy Murphy of Harvard (Silver Lake Regional High), won his Ivy League opener. 

Unfortunately, another Silver Lake alum, Dartmouth’s Buddy Teevens, lost a shocker to Sacred Heart; 24-21.

And one of the Saturday Football’s favs – Illinois coach Ron Zook, has the Illini 4-0 for the first time since; Give ‘Em Hell Harry – Truman occupied the White House in 1951.

Although it wasn’t pretty, Steve Spurrier has his South Carolina Gamecocks 4-0, for the first time since some guy name Lou Holtz roamed its sideline a decade ago.

And finally, where’s Pete Carroll when you need him.  USC driving for the go-ahead touchdown saw its QB Matt Barkley fumble which lead to an Arizona State TD, and then on the next possession threw a pick 6 for the lopsided 43-22 loss to the Sun Devils.

But the most damning comments came from sideline reporter, former coach Bob Davie who said, “I was on the USC sideline the last time they came to Sun Devil Stadium.  And nothing against USC coach Lane Kiffin, but when Pete Carroll was here, the sideline was alive, and everyone was jumping around and into the game, unlike now, where it is very quiet.”  Ouch!

Oh, yeah, Notre Dame is 2-2, after another mistake filled lack-luster, 15-12 victory over Pitt.

That’s it from cyber-space, make sure to read our week five handicap report, which will be up and running Wednesday night.   Until then, Peace.  PK

Handicapping Week 4

We begin this week, with the Pete Seeger, Lee Hayes classic; “If I Had A Hammer.”

Last spring, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy hired carpenter Brent Loveland, and his crew, to perform some remodeling work at his home, a seemingly uneventful task.

Loveland and his assistants were unloading their equipment, when the coach flew into a rage after spotting, what he determined was, Loveland’s “offensive” t-shirt.  It read in red block letters; “Oklahoma Baseball.”  Oh the humanity!

To Gundy, it was like waving a red cape in front of a bull, or cash in front of Sal DiMasi.

“How dare you come into my home and offend my wife,” he bellowed at the crew, in a profanity laced tirade. “You’re a stupid idiot for wearing that tee shirt on OSU soil.”  It is now in court.

It’s good to know that while the world seems ready to fall into the abyss, and millions of Americans remain unemployed, Gundy, a football coach, who is paid millions, has in priorities in proper order.  Hence; go A&M!

This weekend, let’s see which teams lay the lumber, and put the hammer down, and which appear to be in need of a major rebuilding project. 

No.2 LSU at No.16 West Virginia (Ch.5, 8:00 p.m.) On Saturday night, the Big Dog comes strutting into the wilds of Morgantown.

Les Miles’ Tigers are more intimidating than a Mother Superior handing out grammar school report cards. 

Its Kryptonite D, led by tackles Bennie Logan, Michael Brockers, and backstopped by All-America corner Morris Claiborne, attacks with the speed, and ferocity, of an MMA champion.

The offense, directed by senior QB Jarrett Lee, with assists from the tailback tandem; Spencer Ware and Michael Ford, wideouts Rueben Randle, and freshman Odell Beckham, won’t overwhelm, but can strike with cobra speed, and more importantly, plays mistake free.

Dana Holgorsen’s Mountaineers continue to search for a consistent identity.

It was expected that the new coach’s high-flying, no-huddle attack, under the command of Heisman Trophy candidate, QB Geno Smith, would light the Mountaineer sky, faster than one of its students sets fire to a couch, but so far it’s been as consistent as Afghan President, Hamid Karzai.

The starry signal caller has plenty of arrows in his quiver; tailbacks Vernard Roberts, Andrew Buie, and a trio of chain moving wideouts; Tavon Austin, Ivan McCarthy, and Stedman Bailey, can all be difference makers.

The D, anchored by All-America end Bruce Irvin, and assisted by backers Najee Goode, and Terence Garvin, shows some susceptibility defending the pass.

On Saturday night, we think it will be the Sons of Billy Cannon, who leave Mountaineer Field with the Best in Show award, and edge another step closer to its November showdown with Alabama.

No.7 Oklahoma State at No. 8 Texas A&M (Ch.5, 3:30 p.m.) In what has potential to be a Usain Bolt style track meet, the operator of the College Station scoreboard may need the assistance of a NASA rocket scientist, to keep track of the score.

The Cowboys, (to paraphrase Steve Spurrier), who are laying a half-a-hundred on its opponents (52 a game), sling it behind one of the nation’s best sharp-shooters, senior QB Brandon Weeden. 

The QB has the luxury of targeting last year’s Biletnikoff Award winner, All-America Justin Blackmon, while the running attack, propelled by an experienced offensive line, is shared by Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith.

The D, featuring end Jamie Blatnick, backer Shaun Lewis, and All-America end Markelle Martin, shows vulnerability against the run, which is not a good recipe against the Aggies.

A&M attacks with the aerial assault of its All-America caliber QB, Ryan Tannehill, and a pair of field stretching wideouts; Jeff Fuller and Ryan Swope.  While the running game marches on the legs of its All-America tailback Cyrus Gray.

 It is an impressive display of firepower, even for a school with a large ROTC Program.

The D, behind backer Sean Porter, end Tony Jerod-Eddie, and nose Eddie Brown, stones runners, and disrupts the pass, with equal dexterity.

In what should be a very close affair, with points as prevalent as sausages at a tailgate, we think the Aggies “Twelfth Man” will propel Mike Sherman’s future SEC program, to a signature victory.

No.14 Arkansas at No. 2 Alabama (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) The Hogs slop into Tuscaloosa intent on slicing into the Tide’s bacon.

QB Tyler Wilson (nearly 70% completions) directs Bobby Petrino’s talented group, with help from tailback Ronnie Wingo, and a threesome of big-play wideouts; All-America Joe Adams, Cobi Hamilton and Jarius Wright, who may be the best trio in America.

The D, anchored by backers Jerry Franklin, and Alonzo Highsmith, won’t overwhelm, but is vastly improved, much quicker, and is solid in all phases.

Once again, Saint Nick (Saban) has a title contender.  And once again, Alabama’s calling card is it’s his ferocious D.

Arguably, the nation’s best unit, swat opponents like a bear snatching a salmon, and attacks behind its All-America safety Mark Barron, and backers Dont’a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw.

The offense is much more pedestrian.  But it does incorporate a ground attack, featuring All-America tailback Trent Richardson, and fellow runner Eddie Lacy, which would bring a smile to The Syrian Butcher, President Bashar al-Assad.

The field general duties are under the steady command of QB A. J. McCarron, who has the luxury of targeting starry wideout Marquis Maze, and tight end Brad Smelly.

In a game of contrasting styles, we’ll go with Saint Nick’s D to deliver one more “Roll-Tide,” gift to the Tuscaloosa faithful, who after last summer’s tornado, is deserving of all the feel-good moments it can handle.

No.11 Florida State at No.21 Clemson (ESPN, 3:30 p.m.) Jimbo Fisher’s Noles may indeed be back.

Its D, which can squeeze the life out of an offense better than Albert DeSalvo, is anchored by a pair of disruptive All-Americas; end Brandon Jenkins and backer Nigel Brade.

The offense will be altered if dual-threat QB E.J. Manuel (shoulder – doubtful) can’t go, but talented freshman Clint Trickett, is a capable, yet inexperienced replacement.

 Both signal callers are nicely supported by the running of James Wilder, and due to injuries, what was a trio of standout wideouts; Kenny Shaw, Rodney Smith, and Jarred Haggins, has been reduced to Smith.

It’s a similar scenario in Clemson.  The Tigers, after years of performances as underwhelming as a Barry Manilow concert, may have finally found its stride, and none too soon for coach Dabo Swinney.

These Death Valley intimidators are directed by its starry QB Tajh Boyd (10 touchdown passes – 1 interception, 67% completions), with big assists from tailback Andre Ellington, and a trio of receivers; Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins and tight end Dwayne Allen.

The D fires behind end Andre Branch, and nose Brandon Thompson, but shows some vulnerability stopping the run.

Despite the injuries, and fully aware that after last week, the Noles, my suffer a emotional letdown, and also fully aware that FSU has not won on Clemson soil since the first year of W’s Administration (2001), we think the Titans from Tallahassee show the country, and the ACC, that they are, indeed, back.

Missouri at No. 1 Oklahoma (FX, 8 p.m.) The “Show Me State,” will really show the country, if it can pull the upset.

Dual-threat QB James Franklin, protected by an experienced offensive line, leads Gary Pinkel’s attack, with assists from tailback Henry Josey and receivers T.J. Moe, Wes Kemp and All-America tight end Michael Egnew.

The D, featuring backers Andrew Wilson, Luke Lambert and end Brad Madison isn’t dynamic, but is solid in all phases.

Oklahoma is waving the No. 1 banner for a record 101st time, in its storied history.

OU’s weaponry is the envy of the Pentagon, and the depth and breadth of the Sooners on both sides of the ball, is wider than the backside of Oprah Winfrey.

The offensive commander is its All-America, Heisman Trophy contending QB, Landry Jones, with assists from the tailback tandem; Dominique Whaley (a walk-on) and Brennan Clay.  The dynamic leader also has a pair of premier targets; All-America Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills, who are open more often, than the wallet of a Washington lobbyist.

The D, featuring ends Ronnell Lewis, and Frank Alexander, plays with a seething disdain, that would certainly win the approval of that ever-inept, former Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.

In Norman, the Sooners have won 37 straight, and for his career, coach Bob Stoops is a jaw-dropping 73-2 at Memorial Stadium.  Case closed; Oklahoma.

 

Last week’s record: 4-1.                                        Season record: 10-5.

 

Be sure to read our weekend recap, which will be up and running by noon Sunday.

Until then, Peace.  PK

Recap week 3

CLANGGGGGGG!!

That’s the sound that is reverberating around the college football landscape.

We’ll begin in Chestnut Hill, where in the closing seconds BC clanged a game wining chip shot (23 yards) field goal off the left upright, in its 20-19 loss to the Blue Devils of Duke.

It is now official; the BC football team is in a death spiral. 

It’s difficult to see where the Eagles find more than two wins on its remaining schedule, and thanks to its genius Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo, who hired that fraud Jeff Jagodzinski, who not only couldn’t coach, he used BC as a stepping stone, and left the cupboard bare for good guy coach Frank Spaziani.

It is also the sound that is bouncing off the walls of the Big East Offices in Providence, Rhode Island, as Syracuse and Pittsburgh have officially petitioned the ACC to join its conference. 

It is a potential death blow to the Big East Conference, and will likely alter TCU’s plans, to join the league next season.  YIKES!!

We also had three brutal coach clanging losses in Los Angeles, Tempe, and Nashville.

In LA, the Rick Neuheisel era (16-24 record) at UCLA is mercifully gasping to a close, after his Bruins suffered a 49-20, beat-down to the Horns of Texas.

In Nashville, little Vandy aka Vanderbilt, embarrassed Houston Nutt’s Ole Miss Rebels 30-7, which should end any speculation as to the future of its embattled coach.

While in Tempe, Mike Stoops, now in his eight year (41-47) had his Wildcats exposed as imposters for the second straight week, this time by the Stanford Cardinal 37-10, which doesn’t bode well for his future employment in the desert.

Speaking of Stanford, the Cardinal now own the nation’s longest winning streak 11, and  the last time the Boys from the Farm won that many in a row, a guy with the initials of; FDR was occupying the Oval Office.

Is there a more appropriate name than Death Valley for the country’s longest winning streak to come to an end? 

That’s what happened yesterday in Clemson, as Auburn, after jumping out to a 14 -0 and 21-7 lead, lost to an inspired Clemson squad 38-24, ending its 17 game streak.

To paraphrase Casey Stengel, “Can’t anyone play defense here!” as the Tigers surrendered 624 yards of offense!!  YIKES!

There was a thriller in Iowa City as the Hawkeyes engineered its largest comeback in its history, down 24-3 with 3 minutes left in the third quarter, and 17 with 12 minutes left in the game, came roaring back for a scintillating 31-27 victory over Pitt. 

The previous record occurred in 1949, when Iowa rallied from 18 down.

Iowa also found its quarterback in junior James Vandenberg, who was magnificent, especially in the fourth quarter (3 touchdown passes- 162 yards) as he passed for the second most yards 399, in Hawkeye history.

In Happy Valley; it’s time. 

After struggling to eek (14-10) out a victory over a good Temple team, (the 29th straight victory over the Owls) it’s time for JoPa to retire after this season. 

The Nits look stale, and very ordinary, and new life needs to be infused into its program.

On the bright side, we have a new MOO, otherwise known as; Master of the Obvious.

Our previous captain was Bob Griese, who used to say things like: “Well, if they pick up the one yard here on third down, they’ll have the first down, otherwise there going to have to punt it back to Purdue.”  Really!!

Griese, mercifully retired from the broadcast booth, but fear not, we have our new man; Mike Bellotti, the former head coach at Oregon.

Yesterday, with less than 2 minutes left in the Iowa comeback victory, Pitt had the ball on its own 22 and Bellotti said, “Now in this situation, Pitt is in four down territory.” REALLY!!

Somewhere, Bob Griese was smiling.

With old friend Charlie Weis calling the plays, Florida in its 33-23 victory over an improving Tennessee team, looks like it’s on the road back. 

But it has to clean up its act, as the Gators were flagged for 15 penalties, which won’t hold up against better SEC competition.

Best sign in the Florida stands: Today’s forecast; Rainey.  It is a nod to the Gator’s great back; Chris Rainey.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

In Austin, Texas has found its QB and his name is McCoy. 

That’s right; Case, is the younger brother of the Horns legendary signal caller Colt. 

And in the; you can’t make it up department, in Colt’s first start, he threw a touchdown on his second pass.  Well, you guessed it, on Case’s second attempt, he threw a touchdown pass.  Amazing!!

ACC ineptitude:  the conference has now lost a Larry Bird, 33 straight to non-conference top 5 opponents, as witnessed by Oklahoma’s hard fought 23-13 victory over Florida State.

Hail Army, as the Cadets knocked off Northwestern 21-14 at West Point; it was a nice marching victory, for the Long Grey Line.

Navy came up just short, but put a scare into Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks; 24-21, and held the lead late in the game.

The Beast of the Big Ten is; Wisconsin, as the Badgers manhandled a decent Northern Illinois team; 49-7.  Why did old friend Tom O’Brien ever let QB Russell Wilson move on?!

The U, under our man, coach Al Golden, you gotta love a coach who wears a white shirt and a tie on the sideline, has Miami headed in the right direction after its 24-6 dismantling of Ohio State.

In comparison, the Buckeyes looked slow and almost uninterested, especially on offense. Yikes!!

Speaking of wardrobe, another coaching favorite, Derek (son of Vince) Dooley of Tennessee displayed a pair of orange trousers, in a wardrobe expression that would win the approval of Bud Collins.

The material came from England, and had to be died three times to achieve just the right hue to satisfy the Rocky Top faithful.  Somewhere, a professor at UT, who is trying to secure tenure, is shaking his head.

In Atlanta, it was shades of Navy, as coach Paul Johnson, he of the Navy option, set a GT record by rolling up a jaw dropping 768 yards of offense, running for 604 yards (12 yards a carry, NCAA record) in its rout 66 – 24 destruction of hapless Kansas.

Nice win for the Zooker, coach Ron Zook of Illinois, as the Illini knocked off No.22 Arizona State 17-14, and proved to the nation, that maybe there is some bubbly in Champaign.

In Lubbock, TT QB Seth Doege completed a jaw dropping record breaking 40-44 passes in its 59-13 demolition of New Mexico.

Finally, congrats to old friend Buddy Teevens (Silver Lake High School) as Dartmouth opened its 130th season with a 37-20 victory over Colgate.

 

That’s it from cyber space.  We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 4 Wednesday night.  Until then, Peace.  PK

Handicapping Week 3

We begin this week with a case of the blues.

No not in the classic sense of “Boom, Boom,” by John Lee Hooker, but the much more mundane, namely; the color of the football field at Boise State, Idaho.

BSU coach Chris Petersen, wasn’t very happy, when the Mountain West Conference (Boise State’s new address) informed the coach that his Broncos, couldn’t wear its blue uniforms on its blue home field.  It gave Petersen the blues.

“We don’t even think twice about the color of the field.  Maybe because we’re around it so much, but it doesn’t even look strange to us,” said the coach singing the blues.

This weekend, let’s see which teams send its faithful home with a “booming” victory, and which leave its fans blue, cursing a blue streak, over another, off color performance.

No.1 Oklahoma at No.5 Florida State (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) The question remains for the Conquerors from Norman, who reached a milestone this week, becoming the first team to be ranked No.1 for the 100th time, is its D of championship caliber?

There are no such concerns for the offense, as All-America, and Heisman Trophy contender, QB Landry Jones, is the commander of a group, which operates at “Ludicrous” speed, (a nod to Mel Brooks’ movie, Spaceballs) and has more weapons, than Whitey Bulger’s California apartment.

The Prairie Punching quarterback has a glue fingered, All-America target, Ryan Broyles, his partner Kenny Stills, and when the Sooners dial up a run, tailback Dominique Whaley, who became the first Oklahoma walk-on to rush for 100 yards in 36 years, gets the first call.

Despite some concerns, the D has plenty of disrupters featuring; All-America backer Corey Nelson, and a pair of ends, Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis, who attack from all angles, and play with a smoldering anger, that would Serena Williams proud.

The last time Florida State was ranked (2005) in the top 5, America’s unemployment rate was less than six percent.  And with 18 returning starters, the faithful have visions of a return to the full employment “gold standard” era of its retired, iconic coach, Bobby Bowden.

But before the band strikes up a rendition of; “Happy Days Are Here Again,” Jimbo Fisher’s Seminoles are facing a Himalayan measuring stick, which will give them an indication of exactly, how far down that road, it has traveled.

The offensive catalyst is junior QB E.J. Emanuel, with assists from tailbacks Chris Thompson, and Devonta Freeman, while the catching ability of Bert Reed and Rodney Smith, will move the chains.

The ferocious D, led by All-Americas; end Brandon Jenkins and backer Nigel Bradham, does bear a close resemblance to the golden days of Bowden.

For the Seminoles, this is the ultimate payback game, and with visions of a national championship depending on the outcome, we think FSU is a year away, and it’s the Sooners, who go whistling back to the Plains with the W.

No. 17 Ohio State at Miami (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.) After the resignation of its Columbus-Colossus, Jim Tressel, new coach Luke Fickell, and the entire Sacrlet and Grey nation, remain in a state of transition.

The sputtering offense, partially a result of NCAA imposed suspensions, is directed by senior QB Joe Bauserman, with assists from a target threesome; Devin Smith, Verlon Reed, and tight end Jake Stoneburner, while tailbacks Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith will handle the pedestrian ground game.

The D, behind backers Andrew Sweat, Etienne Sabino, and tackle Jonathan Hawkins, as is the norm in the Horseshoe, is almost as relentless as a Tea Party zealot spewing venom against the President.

Coach Al Golden is the perfect candidate to finally fix the morass of corruption that is inbred in the culture of Miami football.

After serving a one game suspension, quarterback Jacory Harris gets the start, while tailbacks Lamar Miller, Mike James and receivers Allen Horns, Tommy Streeter, and Travis Benjamin provide plenty of support.

The D, anchored by backers; Sean Spence, Ramon Buchanan and lineman Adewale Ojomo, can run, but shows some susceptibility defending the pass.

In what will be a very close game, we think the Hurricanes get the signature win, for it’s classy, head man.

Tennessee at No. 16 Florida (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.)  There are signs of an awakening occurring in a deeply parched  Rocky Top nation.

Coach Derek (son of Vince) Dooley’s Volunteers are marching forward, directed by its starry QB Tyler Bray (7 touchdowns – 0 interceptions), with assists from down hill runner Taureen Poole, and wideouts; Justin Hunter and Da’Rick Rogers.

The D, which still has issues in the secondary, is led by end Jacques Smith and backer Austin Johnson.

The Gators are also attempting to recapture its dominating Swamp swagger, and “The Florida Way,” as mandated by its newly minted coach, Will Muschamp.

QB John Brantley, who is now under the tutelage of old friend Charlie Weis is the anointed director, to lead that revival.

He is assisted by tailbacks Jeffrey Demps, and Chris Rainey, who possess Daytona type speed, and the QB has a chain moving target; receiver Deonte Thompson.

The D led by backers Jon Bostic and Leventee McCray, is vintage Gator, and will chomp any offense.

If this wasn’t in the “Swamp,” we might lean toward the Vols, but in Gainesville, the Gators do some poll climbing.

No. 6 Stanford at Arizona (ESPN, 10:45 p.m.) With two of America’s best gunslingers squaring off, this will be a better aerial show than a Wallendas family retrospective.

It will also be the first real exam for the Sat excelling Boys from the Farm.

The Cardinal, commanded by its All-World, and Heisman Trophy contender, QB, Andrew Luck, is assisted by tailback Stepfan Taylor, and a pair of Linus-blanket receivers, Chris Owusu and tight end Coby Fleener.

The spine of the D is its linebacking corps, led by Shayne Skov and Chase Thomas, and backstopped by All-America safety, Delano Howell.

This season could mark the end of the desert run for Cats coach Mike Stoops.

His fate will rest on the cannon right arm, of his All-America caliber quarterback, Nick Foles.

The starry QB also hopes to have his All-America target, Juron Criner back in the lineup (appendectomy),if not, wideouts Dan Buckner and David Roberts, are quality alternatives. 

Forget about the run, with a brand new offensive line, Arizona is one of the nation’s bottom feeders and currently last in the conference.

The D attacks behind end C. J. Parish and tackle Justin Washington, but the secondary struggles defending the pass, which is not a good recipe against the Cardinal.

We think the smart kids from Palo Alto, surfing a ten game winning streak, ace its first stern test, and serve notice, that Stanford is once again, the real deal.

No. 21 Auburn at Clemson (Ch.5, Noon) The Houdini act continues its remarkable run on the Plains, as Auburn, riding the nation’s longest winning streak (17), has seemingly done it with smoke and mirrors.

The Tigers new leader is QB Barrett Trotter (70 % completions), who is assisted by the dynamic tailback tandem; Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb, and a big play (20 yds. a catch) wideout; Emory Blake.

The D, featuring backers Jake Holland, Daren Bates, and nose Nosa Equae, has, for the most part, been shredded, and nationally, sits ninth from the bottom.

Sherlock Holmes in his prime, wouldn’t be able to figure out the puzzle of Clemson football.

It never lives up to expectations, and its last ACC title occurred when George H.W. Bush (1991) occupied the White House.

The talent is there, but the question becoming increasing louder, is coach Dabo Swinney the right guy to “coach it up.”

QB Tajh Boyd runs the show, with assists from tailback Andre Ellington, and wideouts; DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins.

The D featuring end Andre Branch, nose Brandon Thompson, and backer Corico Hawkins, shows serious susceptibility, in stopping the run.

In a squeaker, we think it’s more smoke and mirrors, as the Houdini act gets booked for at least one more week, and War Eagle flies out of Clemson with its 18th notch in a row.

 

Last week: 3-2                                                         Season record: 6-4.

 

That’s it from cyber space, be sure to read our recap, which will be up and running by noon on Sunday.  Until then, Peace.  pk

Recap week 2

Wow!!!  You could watch a zillion pro-football games, and not come close to the thrills that occurred Saturday; in Auburn, Athens, Ann Arbor, Austin, Columbus, and Houston.  That’s the beauty of college football.

We’ll begin in Ann Arbor, where, in the first night game ever played at the Big House, and in front of the largest crowd, 114,000, (many of whom may still be in the stands), to ever witness a college football game, Michigan stunned Notre Dame, in an improbable 35-31 comeback victory, in which 3 touchdowns were scored in the final 72 seconds.

It is also the first time the Maize and Blue have won three straight against the Irish since Teddy Roosevelt (1908) occupied the White House.

First the Good.

 It was truly Mr. Robinson’s neighborhood in the fourth quarter. 

After being bottled up through most of the game, the electrifying QB, (11-24, 338, 4 TD’s – 108 rushing), completing the winning score with 2 seconds left on the clock, driving Michigan 80 yards in less than 30 seconds.

Now the bad.  Defense, we don’t need no stinking defense! 

That unfortunately appears, to once again, be the manta in South Bend, as the Irish imploded on the UM’s final desperation drive, in a game where at one point they were leading; 24-7. YIKES!!

The other thing that seems apparent is that Notre Dame’s favorite dessert is a turnover. 

The Blue and Gold turned the ball over four more times, once inside the ten, where points would have probably iced the game. 

ND now has 9, count them, 9 turnovers, in its first two games, and with a 0-2 start to its season, coach Kelly’s stated goal of a BCS invite is out the window, as the Irish continue to search for its first 2011 win.  AMAZING!!

Another spine tingler took place between the hedges, in Athens, Georgia.

 Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks stuck a dagger into the heart of the Bulldogs, and possibly into the future employment of Georgia coach Mark Richt, as the Cocks won a wild 45-42 SEC classic.

It was games that saw the lead change hands seven times, and tie once.  It also saw a pair of freshman, Georgia tailback Isiah Crowell, and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, become impact players.

It also featured senior defensive end Melvin Ingram, who scored two touchdowns, one on a fake punt snap in which he rumbled 68 yards, with sprinters speed, while carrying his weight of 276 pounds!!  Amazing!

Georgia falls to 0-2 for the first time since 1996, and there may be a list being compiled to find Richt replacement.

The embattled coach is now 14-14 in his last 28, while losing 9 of his last 10 against ranked opponents, and 7 of his last 10 against SEC opponents.  Can you say; Century 21.

An even more ominous sign for the Administration was the snaking line of fans leaving late in the fourth quarter with the game still very much in doubt, but showing little faith in its coach to orchestrate a comeback.  DOUBLE YIKES!

In Auburn, I want whatever the Tigers coach Gene Chizik is drinking.

In a game, that, according to the experts War Eagle had no business in winning, it somehow pulled out a 41-34 victory, stopping Mississippi State on the goal line on the game’s final play.  Auburn miraculously continues on with the nation’s longest winning streak, now resting at 17.

How far have things fallen in West Lafayette?  Well the Boilermakers fell to Rice, when the Owls blocked a game ending 31 yard field goal defeating Purdue 24-22.

It was the Rice’s first victory over a BCS qualifying team in a decade.  Where’s Joe Tiller when you need him???!!!!!!!

In Austin, Texas, like Diogenes, continues to search for some offense, as it pulled out a 17-16 comeback victory over BYU. 

It was also Deja-vu.  Mack Brown pulled ineffective starting quarterback Garrett Gilbert, and inserted David Ash and Case McCoy (Colt’s younger brother), who completed a huge fourth quarter pass to Jaxon Shipley, who made a phenomenal catch, much like his UT grad, All-America brother.

In Chestnut Hill things are getting bleaker, as BC is 0-2 for the first time since the bad old days of Dan Henning.  YIKES!!!  

The Eagle’s offense is absolutely horrid, and the defense isn’t much better once again allowing over 200 yards on the ground, at an average clip of 5.2 yards a carry.  Yikes!!

The ability of QB Chase Rettig, (10-23 – 70 yds. – 2 interceptions), to lead a Division 1 football team, once again must be called into question.

Finally in Wake Forest, old friend Tom O’Brien lost his ACC opener to 34-27, not a good sign for the coach who has had only 1 winning season since come to Raleigh four plus years ago.

That’s it from cyber-space we’ll be up and running with our week 3 analyses on Wednesday night.

Handicapping Week 2

We begin this week with the significance of a cowbell.

Late last fall, Mississippi State football player, 20 year old Nick Bell, passed away from his battle with a rare from of cancer.

The Bulldogs rabid faithful have a tradition, which traces back to the late 30’s, of clanging cowbells as way of disrupting the opponent’s offense. 

It also helped his mother say a final goodbye at her son’s funeral.  Just as the casket was about to close, Mrs. Bell stood over the casket, and rang a cowbell.

“When his mom stands at his funeral, over his coffin, and rings a cowbell, you have a new perspective of what it means,” said a moved coach Dan Mullen.

 “I understand the tradition of the thing.  Traditions are what make college football different from every other sport out there.”

This weekend, let’s see which teams “ring them bells,” signaling another victory for the home team, and which clang around, looking, as if it lost, its clapper.

No. 3 Alabama at No. 23 Penn State (Ch.5, 3:30 p.m.) Where’s Joe Willie when you need him?

Despite the uncertainty at quarterback (A.J. McCarron or Phillip Sims) St. Nick’s Tuscaloosan Titans are of national championship caliber.

While waiting for a starting signal caller to emerge, the Tide will roll on the legs of its All-America tailback, and Heisman Trophy candidate, Trent Richardson.  This show-pony gallops behind a dominating offensive line that features All-America guard Barrett Jones, while wide receiver Marquis Maze will move the chains.

The Kryptonite D, which returns ten starters, operates with more aggression than the paparazzi darting after Angelina Jolie.

It stones runners and disrupts QB’s will the efficiency of a Navy seal, led by a trio of backers; Courtney Upshaw, Don’t’a Hightower, and Nico Johnson, while being backstopped by All-America safety Mark Barron.

After JoePa’s Happy Valley warriors gorged on a dessert sweeter than anything sold at Mike’s Pastry, the Nits will now try to digest a main course.

And the last time the Lions defeated a top 5 team, Bill Clinton (1999) was in the last year of his presidency, and the 84 year old coach was a spry 72.

Like its Deep-South counterpart, Penn State’s quarterback position (Rob Bolden, Matt McGloin) remains on a time share plan.

Until it is settled, tailbacks Silas Redd and Stepfhon Green will serve as offensive igniters, and if the QB’s can get him the ball, wideout Derek Moye is a big-play threat.

As one would expect at Linebacker U, a trio of backers, Nate Stupar, Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges, will backbone the D.

We think the Sons of Bear Bryant will be too dominant on defense, and the “white-out” wearing crowd at Happy Valley will be going home feeling blue.

Notre Dame at Michigan (ESPN, 8 p.m.) The Irish, like its coach Brain Kelly, seem more tightly wound, than that stock pushing, charlatan screamer, Jim Cramer.

The Dayne Crist experiment lasted all of one half, and the QB reins have been handed to Tommy Rees.  The running game displays down hill power behind tailbacks, Cierre Wood and Jonas Gray, while wideout Michael Floyd is of All-America caliber.

The D, featuring backers Manti Te’o, Carlo Calabrese and Darius Fleming, appear,            and we emphasize the word appear, to have solidified into a solid cohesive unit.

“In Hoke we trust,” is the phrase that is reverberating throughout Wolverine Nation, as a “Michigan Man,” Brady Hoke, is once again leading the Ram Helmet Brigade.

The newly installed pro-set offense is directed by one of the nation’s most dynamic signal callers; Denard Robinson, who won’t be as magical with his legs as last season.

The dual-threat commander has a trio of chain-moving receivers, Roy Roundtree, Darryl Stonum and Junior Hemingway, while tailbacks Fitzgerald Toussaint, Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw are solid contributors.

It’s the Blue and Maize D, featuring nose Mike Martin, end Craig Roh, and backer Kenny Demens, which can cause the faithful more agita, than a grand jury investigation.

Newly minted coordinator Greg Mattison has been charged with the unenviable task of trying to resurrect a group, which ranked overall, tenth from the bottom last year.  It might be easier to fix the Big Dig tunnels.

In the 39th meeting, in what will be a spectacular scene, the first game ever be played under the lights, at Ann Arbor, we think the ‘good ship’ Kelly squeaks out the win, and keeps the Domer Nation from driving to the Tobin.

BYU at No. 24 Texas (ESPN2, 7 p.m.) BYU wins the prize.

As a newly christened independent, the Cougars get to travel to Oxford, and Austin, to open its season.  That torturous schedule is analogous to driving across country with Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid as your passengers.

The Cougs offense is directed by its starry sophomore QB Jake Heaps, with assists from freshman receiver Ross Apo, and a pair of quality backs, dual-threat J. J. DiLuigi and Bryan Kariya.

The D’s strength is in its linebacking threesome, featuring: Kyle Van Noy, Jordan Pendleton and Uona Kaveinga.

The Lone Star State has been experiencing record heat, and now wild fires, but nowhere is it any hotter, or smokier, than Darrel Royal Memorial Stadium.  Last season the Horns were all hat and no cattle, as Texas did the two-step backwards, forcing Coach Mack Brown to make wholesale staff changes.

And of all the five-star recruits signed, the best signing may have been defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, who ventured over from Mississippi State.

The Burnt Orange is led by quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who is on a very short leash, with Case McCoy (Colt’s brother) waiting in the wings.  His primary target is wideout Mike Davis.

On the good news front, Texas may have found it’s tailback of the future, in freshman Malcolm Brown, while his counterparts, Fuzzy Whittaker and D.J, Monroe can be dangerous.  

The D is anchored by backer Emmanuel Acho, corner Carrington Byndom, and tackle Keeston Randall, is much improved, and can be disruptive.

We think the metaphorical ride with McConnell and Reid proves to be too much for BYU as Texas starts its season with a pair of victories.

No. 12 South Carolina at Georgia (ESPN, 4:30 p.m.) All preseason the Ol’ Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier, has been tossing out one liners faster than Henny Youngman.  Translation: that chirpiness means the former Heisman winner thinks his Gamecocks are pretty good.

The Cocks are led by its prodigal son (5 suspensions during his tenure), QB Stephen Garcia, whose leadership and grittiness are unquestioned.

The signal caller, who is tougher than a longshoreman, is assisted by a trio of All Americas; offensive tackle Rokevious Watkins, Heisman Trophy candidate, tailback Marcus Lattimore, and a Store 24 (open all the time) receiver in Alshon Jeffrey.

The D, featuring All-America tackle Travian Robertson, corner Stephon Gilmore, backer Antonio Allen, and freshman sensation Jadeveon Clowney, hits from all angles with the power of a Joe Frazier left hook. 

The Mark Richt era is shakier than a Bank of America mortgage loan.  His coaching chair is now hotter than a street paving crew in Dallas, and a 0-2 start to the season, might prompt some stealth for sale sign to appear on his front lawn.

The Bulldogs attack is led by its starry QB Aaron Murray, with assists from promising tailback Isaiah Crowell, tight end Orson Charles and wideout Malcolm Mitchell.

The D, led by its Herculean nose Kwame Geathers (6-6, 350), his partner John Jenkins, and backers Jarvis Jones and Christian Robinson swallow runners, and is solid in all phases.

We think Mr. Richt needs to make an appointment with Century 21, as the Ball Coach and his Gamecocks, continues to carve out a large presence in the SEC.

No. 16 Mississippi State at Auburn (ESPN3, 12:20 p.m.) In Starkville, these are bright days for the Bulldog faithful.

Coach Dan Mullen has resurrected this once moribund program into a top 25 agitator.

QB Chris Relf is the offensive leader, with big assists from his underrated, speedster tailback, Vick Ballard, and a pair of chain moving receivers, Chad Bumphis and Jameon Lewis.

The D, behind backer Deontae Skinner, and tackles Forlando Bohanna and Trevor Stigers, can be ferocious, but shows some susceptibility in the secondary.

The nation’s longest winning streak (16) needs a defibrillator.

Coaches say that a team makes its biggest improvement jump between week 1 and 2.  Gene Chizik’s Tigers need a jump of Bob Beamon proportions, to have any chance against the visitors from Starkville.

The offense is directed by talented junior QB Barrett Trotter, with assists from a pair of big-play backs; Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb, along with wideout Travante Stallworth.

The D, behind backer Jake Holland and tackle Ken Carter might have more holes than a levee designed by the Army Corps of Engineers, which is not a good recipe against Mississippi State.

In what will be a very close game, we think it will be the Boys from Starkville, who make the leap and in Jordan-Hare, snuff out the nation’s longest winning streak.

 

Last week’s record:  3-2                                              Season record:  3-2.

Don’t forget to read our weekend wrap up which is up and running by noon on Sunday.   PK