Monthly Archives: December 2011

Handicapping Week 15

We begin Army/Navy weekend, played by the best that our country has to offer, with a bogus story that was sailed around some years ago, by the Naval Academy.

It reads as follows:

West Point (NY) – Army football practice was delayed two hours yesterday, after a player reported finding an unknown powdery white substance on the practice field.  New head coach, John Mumford (interim – 2003), immediately suspended practice, while police and federal investigators were called to investigate.

After a complete analysis by both the FBI, and Army Intelligence, forensic experts determined, the powdery white substance, unknown to players was; the goal line.

Practice was resumed, after special agents decided; the team was unlikely to encounter the substance again.

It was signed: Go NAVY!!! 

On the official close of the 2011 college football season, let’s see which team is comforted, by scoring often, and which should be investigated, for impersonating a football team.

Army vs. Navy (Ch.4, 2:30 p.m. – FedEx Field) This is the 112th meeting between these ancient military rivals, and the first to be played inside the beltway of Washington, D.C.

It’s been a long, dry spell, for the Black Knights of the Hudson, who have lost nine in a row to the Midshipmen, (outscored 322-91), which is the longest losing streak in the rivalry’s history.

It has also been a disappointing losing season for both teams, as indicated by their combined 7-15 records; and particularly unexpected by the Naval Academy, who had made eight consecutive bowl appearances.

In this game, both teams will run more than the kids in a Kenyan village, but pass about as often, as Lindsay Lohan draws a sober breath.

The Cadets, who lead the nation in rushing (350 yds. a game), motor on the legs of its triple option leader, field general Max Jenkins, (injured starter Trent Steelman –will try to play) with assists from tailback Raymond Maples, and Malcolm Brown.

When the QB can get him the ball (19% completion percentage), the Black Knights are last in the country in passing (48 yds. a game), David Brooks with a total of eight catches, is the “principal” target.

The D featuring backers; Steven Erzinger, and Andrew Rodriguez, (92nd  – allowing 185 a game) has been run over more than Wile E Coyote, and surrenders an average of; 28 points a game.

Despite its prowess on the water, Navy gets its sailing wind from the country’s fourth best rushing (313 yds. a game) attack.

The Middies are led by its triple option wizard, QB Kriss Proctor, who along with tailback Alexander Teich, have combined for a medal worthy; 1607 yards, and 15 touchdowns.

When the Sailors take to the air, (Navy is second worst in passing), Brandon Turner, who averages 21 yards a reception, is the primary target.

The Naval D, led by end Jabaree Tuani (12 Tfls. – 5.5 sacks), and backer Matt Warrick, is as vulnerable as Joe Frazier’s chin, to a George Foreman right hand, surrendering an average of; 29 points a game.

In arguably the last pure amateur sporting event left in America, the Boys from the Hudson may, at one point, have the lead, but ultimately, Navy has more size, and fire power, and anchors aweigh, with its tenth straight victory over its rival.

 

Last week’s record: 3-2                                                 Season record: 47 – 23.

 

Thanks to all our “loyal” readers – God Speed – and like the song says; “See you in September.”         Until then; Peace.   Pk

 

PS – my Heisman ballot read;   Richardson – Barkley – Luck

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Recap of Week 14

It was statement weekend, with one question.

Was the Ok State Cowboys 44-10 dismantling of “Big Game Bob,” Stoops Oklahoma Sooners,  impressive enough to move them into the national championship game?

Probably not; but you can believe a lot of novenas are being said, Sunday morning in Groucho’s favorite town; Tuscaloosa.

The theme song for the Pokes Coach, Mike Gundy is; “Money Makes the World Go Around…,” as the victory, and Big 12 Championship, fattened his bank account by $564,000!!  That breaks down to $141,000 a quarter!!   What a country!!

In Houston, a familiar phrase rang true for the Cougars: “Houston, we have a problem!”

In its 49-28 drubbing by Southern Miss, out went any Heisman Trophy chances for QB Case Keenum, out went its perfect season, out went the Conference USA Championship, and out went $13 million dollar payday for the league, for a BCS appearance.

The entire day fizzled like a misfiring rocket!!  OUCH!!

Of course in Ann Arbor, the Michigan faithful were popping Champaign, because with that Houston loss, the Wolverines are all but guaranteed a spot in the BCS as an at large team.  Money truly does make the world go around!!

On Friday in Detroit, in the MAC Championship Game, Northern Illinois, down 20-0 at the half, looked like it was going to be the bridesmaid once again.

But instead of watching the wedding, the Huskies walked down the aisle, storming all the way back; 23-20, to capture its first MAC Title in 28 years!!  Good for them.

In the Little Apple, Manhattan, Kansas, KState (10-2) hung on, led by one of our favs – QB Collin Klein, to defeat a feisty bunch of Iowa State Cyclones; 30-23.

In doing so, the Wildcats (10-2) won its 10th game of the season!!  Old Man River, 72 year old Bill Snyder, should (and will), win the Coach of the Year Award.

Fraud Alert!! 

The “Mighty” Horns of Texas were throttled by Baylor (9-3); 48-24, and RGIII – QB Robert Griffin, who made his Heisman case,  dropping Texas to a ho-hum 7-5!!  Yikes!!

The Baylor Bears finished its best regular season in a quarter of a century, and are the envy of the Boys from Austin. 

It was the first time UT has lost two in a row to Baylor since 1991-92.  Congrats to Coach Art Briles.

In Atlanta, it wasn’t artistic, and for a time, worrisome, but LSU did what it always does, never panics, and simply grinds down a team, capturing the SEC Title against Georgia; 42-10.

At one point it was 10-0 Dawgs, but turnovers, and special teams, led the way for the Tigers, who scored 42 unanswered, sending the Sons of Billy Cannon into the national championship game.

In Charlotte, after sleep walking for over a month, the fighting Dabo’s, also known as the Clemson Tigers ended its Rip Van Winkle snooze, and crushed the frauds from Blacksburg, otherwise known as Virginia Tech; 38-10.

In doing so, Clemson, which rang-up 28 unanswered points, captured it first ACC Title since the GHW Bush Administration – 1991. 

For the Clemson, its orange wearing faithful, will fit right in at the Orange Bowl.

In the inaugural Big Ten Championship, played indoors in Indianapolis, (why isn’t this game outdoors, in Soldiers Field in Chicago?), Wisconsin hung on, in a wild affair; 42-39 over Michigan State, and stamped its ticket to play the Ducks of Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

The Pasadena scoreboard operator had better consult with the MIT Math Department, as points in this game, will be as prevalent as the girl friends of Herman Cain.

Finally, is there a better name in college football than; Munchie Legaux, the QB of the Cincinnati Bearcats??!!

Be sure to read our last analysis; the Army/Navy game, which is the official capper to the 2011 season.  It will be up and running on Wednesday night.

 

Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.

Handicapping Week 14

We begin our last full slate of Saturday Football, with a subject near, and dear, to the hearts of our “faithful” readers: Alcohol.

Jere Longman, a sports reporter for the New York Times, and alum of LSU, recalled a childhood memory from a game at Death Valley.

“When I was in elementary school, I remember a friend, and I, were drinking soda from a thermos,” he said.

“It was the same kind of thermos from which our fathers were drinking bourbon.

A fan, who had obviously been sipping from his for quite some time said, ‘You shouldn’t be giving alcohol to kids.’

“My father looked at us, dressed in coats, ties, and hats with brims, and said, ‘These are not kids, these are midgets.’  He then proceeded to lecture the man, who never caught on, about the ills of discrimination.”

This weekend let’s see which teams are deserving of a toast, and which seem stunted, and in need of more development, while stumbling around after another loss.

No 11 Michigan State vs. No. 15 Wisconsin (Fox, 8 p.m.) For the first time in school history, Coach Mark Dantonio’s Spartans, are celebrating consecutive 10 win seasons.

Sparty’s identity is a defense, which vacuums opponents better than Hoover.

The nation’s third ranked overall unit (16-interceptions), featuring backers; Max Bullough, Denicos Allen (13 tfls – 7 sacks), tackle Jerel Worthy, and end William Gholston, allows 15 points a game, and plays with the anger of a Japanese Parliament member, or Barney Frank on his victorious election night.

MSU’s steady and measured offense, is commanded by QB Kirk Cousins (21 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions), with assists from tailbacks; Le’Veon Bell and Edwin Baker, and wideouts; B.J. Cunningham (9 TDs), and Keshawn Martin.

Wiscy has secured its third consecutive double digit victory season, and possesses more stars than the Milky Way.

The Badgers also run like they have Kenyan bloodlines.

The nation’s tenth best rushing attack (235 yds. a game), features Heisman contending tailback, Montee Ball (34 TDs; the nation’s second leading rusher) and his backfield mate James White, who have combined for a jaw dropping: 2305 yards, and 35 touchdowns.

The conductor of this Camp Randall exhibition; dual-threat, Heisman worthy QB, Russell Wilson (28 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions- the pass efficiency leader), is assisted by a pair of chain moving receivers: Nick Toon, and Jared Abbrederis.

The D is led by a pair of swarming backers; Chris Borland (16.5 tfls.), and Mike Taylor, allows a miniscule 15 points a game, and plays with a Sinatra like swagger.

In the high stakes rematch, with the Big Ten Championship, and a Rose Bowl birth to the winner, we think the peaking Badgers, have too much firepower.

No. 1 LSU vs. No. 12 Georgia (Ch.4, 4 p.m.) Win or lose, because of its Oxford worthy credentials, these Sons of Billy Cannon, will likely play in the national championship game.

The Bayou Bengals grinding, downhill tailback trio; Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, and Alfred Blue, who have combined for 1853 yards and 21 TDs, are the Death Valley tone setters.

From his director’s chair, Coach Les Miles has reinstated his Prodigal Son, dual-threat QB Jordan Jefferson as starter, and the speedy field general has the luxury of targeting a pair of big play receivers: Rueben Randle and Odell Beckham.

The Tigers D, featuring end Sam Montgomery, and corner Tyrann Mathieu, is Pentagon worthy; second overall, second stingiest (10 pts.), and leads the country with a plus 19 turnover margin.

What a difference a few months make.

After starting 0-2, there was a long list of volunteers ready to drive the Mark Richt moving van out of Athens. 

But with Dawgs having gnawed off ten in a row, that same crowd can’t wait to buy the coach a drink.

The Bulldogs are directed by its starry QB, Aaron Murray (32 touchdown passes – 10 interceptions), with assists from freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell (ankle), and a twosome of quality receivers; tight end Orson Charles, and wideout Tavarres King.

The D, led by All-America backer Jarvis Jones (19.5 tfls. – 13.5 sacks) and his partner Michael Gilliard, is equally disruptive against the run and pass, and has been the season savior for the Boys from Athens.

It may be close for awhile, but LSU remains perfect, as the Tigers slowly grind down the Dawgs, the same way UGA IX, grinds down a bone.

No.5 Virginia Tech vs. No. 21 Clemson (ESPN, 8 p.m.) In addition to death, taxes, and a lousy Jennifer Aniston movie review, one of the constants in life remains: a double digit victory season (8th) for VaTech.

The Boys from Blacksburg are directed by its dual-threat, Himalayan sized (6-6, 245 pounds) QB, Logan Thomas (18 touchdown passes – 7 interceptions – 10 rushing), whose learning curve looks like the upward graph of the women accusing Herman Cain of a sexual indiscretion.

The Hokies field general leans heavily on his offensive catalyst; All-America tailback David Wilson (3rd in nation in rushing yards – 10 100+ games), and a pair of glue fingered targets; Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale.

Tech’s core as always, is Bud Foster’s defense, led by a pair of enveloping ends; J.R. Collins and James Gayle, who have combined for 20 Tfls, and 13 sacks.

Clemson is deserving of the lead role in the remake of: “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

The “furball” Tigers, who at one time stood a gaudy 8-0, have lost three of four, and come limping into Charlotte, attempting to capture its first ACC Title, since the G.H.W. Bush Administration in 1991.

Unfortunately, Clemson’s high flying aerial circus is as deflated as a Macy’s Day Parade balloon, the day after Thanksgiving.

QB Tajh Boyd (28 touchdown passes – 10 interceptions), is the Tigers tamer, with assists from tailback Andre Ellington, and a pair of game breaker wideouts: freshman sensation Sammy Watkins, and DeAndre Hopkins.

But the D, led by end Andre Branch (16 Tfls – 10.5 sacks) and tackle Brandon Thompson, stops the run about as often as the national media mentions Rick Santorum, which is not the best recipe against Tech.

Clemson is always dangerous, but we think: Hokie, Hokie, Hoki, Hi, Rae, Ri, old V.P.I., as VaTech punches its ticket to the Orange Bowl.

No. 13 Oklahoma at No.3 Oklahoma State (Ch. 5, 8 p.m.)   

Bedlam!  The word perfectly captures the intensity of this rivalry.

If OkState is to have any case for an entry ticket into the national championship game; it must blow out its hated rival.

The commander of the high scoring (43 pts) Norman invaders, is QB Landry Jones (28 touchdown passes – 12 interceptions), with assists from tailback Roy Finch, and a pair of future Sunday receivers: Kenny Stills, and Jaz Reynolds.

OU’s pedestrian D, led by ends; Ronnell Lewis, Frank Alexander, and backer Travis Lewis, has been as shaky as, a Sooner State earthquake, especially defending the pass.

The Cowboys, the nation’s second highest scoring eleven (49), have more offensive weapons than the basement of an American Jihadist.

The Sons of Boone Pickens are led by its gunslinging QB, Brandon Weeden (34 touchdown passes – 12 interceptions – 73% completions) and the aerial maestro targets, arguably, the country’s best wideout; All-America Justin Blackmon, who has posted better numbers (103 catches – 1200 yards – 15 TDs), than Cheryl Tiegs in her prime.

When the Pokes want to gallop, 1000 yard tailback Joe Randle, and his 21 touchdowns, lead the way.

The D, featuring end Jamie Blatnick (10.5 Tfls – 7 sacks), has caused more agita in Stillwater than a dry oil well, but has been saved by its 21 interceptions, and a second best; plus 16 turnover margin.

We think the Pokes, at home, have too much fire power, and send “Big Game,” Bob (Stoops) back to Norman, with his third loss of the season.

No. 24 Southern Miss at No. 7 Houston (Ch.5, Noon) Southern Miss has better balance than Nadia Comaneci.

The nation’s 15th best scoring attack (36 pts.) has soared on the arm of QB Austin Davis (24 touchdown passes – 10 interceptions), with assists from tailback Desmond Johnson, and receivers; Kelvin Bolden and Ryan Balentine.

The high caliber D, led by backer Jamie Collins (17.5 tfls – 5.5 sacks) and end Cordarro Law (15 tfls – 6.5 sacks) stones runners, while surrendering a manageable average of; 20 points a game.

This is a final Heisman Trophy curtain call for QB Case Keenum (43 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions – 73% completions), the NCAA’s leader, in every major passing category.

The Cougs chartbuster is assisted by a trio of pass catchers: Tyron Carrier, Patrick Edwards (18 TDs), and Justin Johnson, who have combined for a jaw dropping: 220 receptions and 32 touchdowns.

When the top scoring Cougs (52) do run, tailbacks Chris Sims, and Michael Hays, are more than capable of gashing a defense.

The D, led by backers; Sammy Brown (26 Tfls – 12.5 sacks), and Marcus McGraw, will never dominate, but has shown great improvement as the season has unfolded.

Once again, Case Keenum states his case, as Houston has no problem in punching its way into a BCS invitation.

 

Last week: 5-0.                                                  Season record: 44-21.

 

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