Monthly Archives: September 2012

Conference play begins;

We begin this week with that classic American summer treat: the Popsicle.

When Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez arrived in Tucson this year, one of the first things he did was to change the type of Popsicle that his players were receiving after practice.

He felt it was another way of changing the losing culture of Arizona football.

“I don’t want to give out average Popsicles,” Rodriguez animatedly said.  “We give out them bomb Popsicles.  You know, the ones as a kid you love to have.”

“These things are the mac-daddy of Popsicles.  We’re giving out BCS-level playoff-bound rocket Popsicles.  And if they come out with a better one, we’re going to get a better Popsicle,” said the head man.  Hey, whatever works!

This weekend, let’s see which teams, by its touchdown explosion, are worthy of a rocket, and which, simply melt away, from the heat of the opposition.

 

No.12 Texas at Oklahoma State (FOX, 7:50 p.m.) Texas Coach Mack Brown is rejuvenated, and so apparently, are the “Burnt Orange” from Austin.

These Sons of Darrell Royal, who have been searching for a QB since the graduation of Colt McCoy (2009), have finally settled on David Ash.

The dual threat sophomore, (7 touchdown passes – 0 interceptions, 76% completions), rides herd on the nation’s seventh highest scorning eleven (49 points a game), with assists from its top twenty, ground, and pound, rushing attack, featuring; Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron.

When the Horns air it out, the gunslinger focuses on a pair of chain moving targets; Mike Davis and Johnathan Gray.

The attacking D, behind ends; Jackson Jeffcoat, and Alex Okafor, has surrendered some big plays, but overall is considered elite, and may carry Mack’s Men to a special season.

In Stillwater, Oklahoma State, also known as Boone Pickens University, is attempting to defend its Big 12 Title.

Once again, Coach Mike Gundy, is the maestro of the Cowboys aerial circus, which leads the nation in scoring (62 points a game), as well as in total offense.

(Those numbers are as deceiving as a desert mirage; or Sarah Palin reading War and Peace; as OkState opened its season with an 84-0 cupcake skewing payday, against Savannah State.)

The new foreman of this drilling operation is; QB J.W. Walsh (6 touchdown passes – 1 interception), who is filling in admirably for another freshman signal caller; (injured-knee) Wes Hunt.

The nation’s second rated passing attack relies on the receiving trio; Josh Stewart, Blake Jackson, and Tracy Moore.

The Cowboys balanced attack is boosted by the nation’s fifteenth best runner; Joseph Randle, who scoots at a sizzling clip of 6 yards a carry.

The pedestrian D, led by backers; Alex Elkins and Caleb Lavey, is surrendering 27 points a game, and Mr. Ash, may leave them, in ashes.

In a very close game, we’re not entirely sold on the UT D; but we do think the Horns, its running game and ultimately its D, lasso the Cowboys in Stillwater.

No.25 Baylor at No.9 West Virginia (FX, Noon) This game should have more scoring than the Grotto at Hefner’s Playboy Mansion.

The Bears claw into Morgantown, with the nation’s fifth most proficient scoring attack, averaging over a half a hundred (51) points per contest.

The conductor of this Waco point-a-thon is Baylor’s unflappable, and unheralded, senior QB, Nick (11 touchdowns – 4 interceptions – 64%) Florence.

The QB’s trio of field-stretching targets; Lanear Sampson, Terrance Williams and Kevin Reese, have combined for a high cotton 9 touchdowns. 

And when the Bears grind it, tailback Jarred Salubi is the principle carrier, cocooned by a veteran offensive line.

But as the Baylor faithful are painfully aware, the D, featuring backer Bryce Hager, and end Terrance Lloyd, is drier than a Texas cornfield, with more holes than a moth munched sweater.

These Swiss cheese protégées sit 87th stopping the run, and 7th from the bottom defending the pass, while allowing 29 points a game.

These are finger licking numbers for West Virginia’s rocket fueled attack.

If the Mountaineers, the nation’s tenth highest scoring eleven (47 pts. a game), are to climb to the summit, they will be guided by its Heisman Trophy candidate, QB Geno Smith, who possesses better numbers than Elle McPherson.

The Mountain State dart thrower is the nation’s second most efficient passer.  He has yet to throw a pick, against a dozen touchdown passes, and is completing a jaw-dropping; 81% of his passes.

The gifted dual-threat leader also has more targets, than a Syrian sniper.  In fact his two principle wideouts; Tavon Austin, and Stedman Bailey, rank first, and second, in receptions per game.

When the Boys from Morgantown hit the ground, tailbacks Shawne Alston, and Andre Bui, provide a nice change of pace.

The D, led by backers; Terence Garvin, and Josh Francis is solid against the run, but 17th from the bottom defending the pass, which is the wrong recipe against the Bears from Baylor.

In a very close game, which should have more offensive fireworks than a Chinese New Year celebration, we think the Mountaineers, at home, christen its inaugural Big Twelve game, with the W.

Tennessee at No. 5 Georgia (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) This is the first of a four game cauldron for the Volunteers. 

It is also the only home game, which Vince Dooley, the legendary former Bulldog Coach, will not attend. 

It is out of respect for his son Derek; in a blood is thicker than water scenario, who is patrolling the UT sideline as its head man.

The Vols leader, is its laser armed, junior QB, Tyler Bray (12 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions), who has the luxury of being protected by a seasoned offensive line.

The Rocky Top rifle-man, who directs the country’s eighth best passing attack, has a pair of touchdown making targets; Justin Hunter, and Cordarrelle Paterson, while Rajion Neal leads a pedestrian ground attack.

The D, led by backers A.J. Johnson, and Curt Maggitt, isn’t stellar, and lists in the bottom third of the rankings in both defending the run, and the pass, which is a concern facing Georgia’s firepower.

Coach Mark Richt, and his Georgia Bulldogs, reminds one of a stealth assassin from a Frederick Forsyth novel.

Despite its elite ranking, the Dawgs, who have scored over 40 points in four consecutive games for the first time in school history, are always overlooked, but are very deadly.

The national focus slithers to the newest kid on the block, but once that fatuation fades, all off a sudden, the Athletes from Athens, are in national title contention.

The chief sniper, is its All-America caliber QB, and Heisman candidate; Aaron (10 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions – 66%) Murray.

The starry gunslinger is assisted by a trio of receivers; Michael Bennett, Marlon Brown and Tavarres King, while freshmen tailback sensations; Todd Gurley (9.2 yards a carry) and Keith Marshall, had been road chewing marvels.

The D hasn’t been vintage Bulldog, but the expected return from suspension of; backer Alec Ogletree, and All-America safety Bacarri Rambo, should infuse iron and vitality into any deficiencies.

It’s a good thing that Daddy Vince stayed at home, as the Dawgs easily handles his kid’s team.

No.18 Oregon State at Arizona (Pac12 network, 10 p.m.) The Beavers are intent on damming its third consecutive dangerous opponent, as it surprisingly continues to flood into the national rankings.

Coach Mike Riley’s Corvallis crew is directed by the nation’s eleventh most efficient passer, QB Sean Mannion, who operates the 12th best passing attack with the precision of a brain surgeon.

The Beavers dam builder, has a pair of glue fingered targets; Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks, while its bottom feeding (10th worst) ground attack, utilizes the legs of Storm Woods.

The D, which surrenders less than 19 points a game, is led by backer Michael Doctor, and end Scott Crichton.

This eleven stones runners (less than 3 yds. a carry) but shows some vulnerability defending the pass,

Coach Rich$$$ Rod’s Tucson Titans, are facing its second consecutive team from the state of Oregon.

Dual-threat senior QB, Matt Scott (7 touchdown passes – 4 interceptions), directs the Cat’s balanced attack, with assists from tailback Ka’Deem Carey, and wideouts; Dan Buckner and Austin Hill.

The D, led by backer Jake Fischer, and safety, Tra’Mayne Bondurant, struggles stopping the run, but is elite defending the pass.

In a game that could determine the Pac12 direction for both teams, we think the Rich$$ Rod’s Cats at home, somehow claws its way to victory.

No. 14 Ohio State at No. 20 Michigan State (Ch.5, 3:30 p.m.) In Columbus, the Urban renewal project has laid a solid foundation.

Urban Meyer, who has lost a total of 23 games in eleven-plus season, has also found his prototype, spread attack QB, in sophomore Braxton Miller (7 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions).

This dual-threat, 210 pound speedster, is sixteenth in the nation in rushing, and rolls at a defense, with the same smashing intent, as a ball, speeding down a waxed ten-pin alley. 

This Columbus colossus is assisted by the tailback tandem; Carlos Hyde (back after injury) and Jordan Hall.  And when the QB does air it out (the Bucks are 96th in passing), Devin Smith, and Corey Brown are solid targets.

The Bucks D, featuring backers Ryan Shazier, and Etienne Sabino, is solid against the run, but sixteenth from the bottom defending the pass, which fortunately for the Buckeyes, shouldn’t be a huge problem against the MSU passing attack.

The East Lansing faithful, who have already witnessed its national championship hopes dashed against the Irish, are now ringing the bell for a Rose Bowl invitation.

 

Those hopes rest on the legs of its battering ram, junior tailback Le’Veon Bell (6-2, 238 pounds), who ranks third in rushing, averaging a Heisman-like 152 yards a game.

Unfortunately, the Spartan offense has been hamstrung by its first time starter, QB Andrew Maxwell (3 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions), who has yet to prove that he is ready for prime time.

Which leaves Sparty’s one dimensional attack, a Davy Jones like 102nd in scoring; as it averages a Charlie Weis Kansas-like; 21 points a game.

If those New Year’s Pasadena reservations are indeed going to be booked, it will be the Spartans sixth stingiest (11 pts. a game) D, led by backer Max Bullough, and the All-America pairing; corner Johnny Adams, and end William Gholston, which will provide the strong arm muscle.

In a very close, and classic, Big Ten game, in our mind a case can be made for each side, we think the Le’Veon Bell and Sparty’s D ring in the victory, and say “Good-bye Columbus” to its visitor from Columbus.

Last week’s record:   4-1                                                     Season record:   14-6

Our weekend recap will be up and running by noon on Sunday.  Until then Peace, and listen to the music!   PK        

Recap week 4

The Fraud-Alert siren is echoing in Norman, Oklahoma, Las Angeles, California, and Tucson, Arizona, as Oklahoma, UCLA, and Arizona, were all exposed.

We’ll start in Norman, where Coach Bob “Big Game” Stoops, who, hasn’t won a big game in; forever, watched, as Oklahoma was schooled by his former mentor, Kansas State Coach, Bill Snyder.

Stoops was 78-3 at home since taking over the reins at Oklahoma, make that 78-4; as the Purple Wildcats shocked the sixth ranked Sooners; 24-19.

Once again, OU quarterback Landry Jones, was ineffective, and on this night, the Sooner faithful, verbally expressed its collective displeasure of its once highly touted QB.

As a side note, barring injury, KState QB, Collin Klein, whose grittiness, and leadership would bring a smile to General Patton, is deserving of remaining in every Heisman discussion.

In LA, everyone was all atwitter over the early season fireworks that were being exploded by the UCLA Bruins.

But a closer examination of those victories would have shown, that they were cashed, at the expense of three of the most defective defenses in college football.

Into the Rose Bowl marched, Mike Riley, and his Oregon State Beavers, whose pedigree defense diffused the Bruins attack; 27-20.

Beavers QB Sean Mannion torched UCLA for 379 yards, and held the nation’s leading rusher, Johnathan Franklin to a pedestrian 45 yards.  Bye-bye Heisman.

The Beavers second consecutive win against a ranked opponent, tied Riley, who came into the season with a very warm coaching seat, for the most victories 74, in the history of Oregon State Football.  Good for him.

In his 12th season as the head man, Riley now shares the record with former Beaver Coach Lon Stiner 1933-48.

In Eugene, it was slow starting, but the Oregon Ducks, have now established itself as the only challenger to the SEC supremacy, as it whitewashed the Coach Rich$$ Rod’s bumbling visitors from Arizona; 49-0.

In this game, the Mean from Eugene displayed, what many feel is the best defense Chip Kelly has had, since he brought his ludicrous speed attack to Autzen Stadium.  Yikes!!

Wake up the Echoes!

It was ugly, but a win is a win, especially in South Bend, where Notre Dame is making national waves.

 In a turnover fest, Notre Dame defeated its nemesis; Michigan (who turned it over 6 times) 13-6, to remain undefeated, and off to its best start since the days of Tyrone Willingham, nearly a decade ago.

Coach Brian Kelly once again called in his relief pitcher; QB Tommy Rees, who came in for an ineffective Everett Golson, and managed the Irish to the victory.

But it was the ND defense, who led the way.

For the second consecutive week, this ferocious bunch has held its opponent to zero touchdowns, making a statement, that this might be, a surprising season in South Bend.

Once again, to paraphrase Chief Brody from Jaws, “We’re going to need a bigger wagon,” in order to accommodate all the “faithful” jumping back onto the Notre Dame Football wagon.

In our; Old Friend Department: 

Congrats to Silver Lake Regional alums, Coaches Buddy Teevens of Dartmouth, and Tim Murphy of Harvard, who are off to 2-0 starts, while Oregon Assistant AD, Jeff Hawkins watched, as his Ducks cruised to a 49-0 demolition over Arizona.

The Big Green of Dartmouth has now won 5 in a row, its longest streak in 15 years.

One last old friend: Charlie Weis watched as his Kansas Jayhawks (1-3) fell to Northern Illinois 30-23.  Sorry Charlie!

My country for some defense!

The Achilles heel of Clemson Tigers once again inflamed the faithful, as Dabo’s Dynamos, who stormed to a 14 point lead, could only watch as Florida State rolled all over the hapless Tigers D; 49-37.

It was the signature victory for Noles QB EJ Manuel, who threw for a career-high 380 yards, and ran for another 102. 

And its last two biggest games; the Clemson D has surrendered a jaw-dropping total of; 119 points.  Double Yikes!!

To paraphrase the late, great, Yankee manager Casey Stengel, who was then managing the Mets; “Can’t anyone here play defense.”

If a legitimate one ever appeared in Clemson, the Tigers would challenge for the national title.

Hail the smart kids; as Duke, Stanford, and Northwestern are all sporting winning records!

In Columbia, South Carolina, the “Ol Ball Coach”, Steve Spurrier, notched his 202nd career victory, as the Cocks cruised to a 31-10 victory over Missouri.

The Gamecocks, have allowed a total of 3 touchdowns all season, and are 4-0 for only the 9th time in the 119 seasons of football in Columbia.

Missouri proved once again, that the Boys from the “Show Me State,” have yet to show, that they belong, in the SEC.

In this game, South Carolina QB Connor Shaw, missed his first pass, and then completed 20 consecutive in leading the USC to the victory.  WOW!

In one of the wackier games: defensively challenged Georgia Tech, fell behind 19-0 to Miami, then scored the 36 unanswered, only to lose in overtime as Miami overcame the deficit by scoring the final 23 points in the game to capture the 42-36 victory.

In Morgantown, West Virginia was exposed as Maryland, with its freshmen QB, and tailback; Perry Hills and Stefon Diggs pushed the Mountaineers before falling; 31-21.

Finally, in the days wackiest; Old Dominion score 23 points in the fourth quarter to knock of UNH 64-61.

In this game, Old Dominion QB passed for a record 730 yards on 55-79 and five TD passes.  The Monarchs also set a Div. 1AA record of 824 yards and the teams combined for a record; 1,549 yards of total offense.  Amazing!

 

That’s it from cyber space, be sure to read our week 5 analysis which will be up and running Wednesday night, until then; Peace and listen to the music.  PK

Week 4 analysis

We begin this week with a “Michigan Man,” and another overdose of political correctness.

In Oklahoma at the beginning of the school year, 5 year old Cooper Barton decided to show his support for his favorite college football team; the Michigan Wolverines.

The tyke wore a tee-shirt, with the word Michigan, emblazoned across his tiny chest.

When the kid showed up at school, you guessed it; the shirt caused a kerfuffle of epic proportions.

The school that Cooper attends, doesn’t allow the wearing of t-shirts with team logos (must be a gang related thing), so this “dangerous” 5 year old, was told by the principal, to turn the “offending” shirt inside out. 

A 5 year old mind you!

The word spread, and Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon, got wind of the kid’s plight, instantly realized that a “Michigan Man,” albeit a 5 year old one, was being done wrong, and took immediate corrective action.

The AD reached out to Cooper, and his family, sending them double sided tee-shirts.

He then followed up that gesture with a phone call, and an invitation to attend last week’s Wolverine-UMass game, as guests of the university.

At half time, the 100,000 Ann Arbor faithful rose as one, in recognition that this 5 year old kid from Oklahoma was indeed, an honorary member of the tribe of; Maize and Blue.

This weekend, let’s see which teams leave its alumni proudly waving its victorious colors, and which, perform so poorly, its alums, quietly file out of the stadium, covering any, and all, signs of school allegiance.

No. 10 Clemson at No. 4 Florida State (Ch.5, 8 p.m.)  Dabo’s Dynamos may need dynamite to crack through the defensive wall of Florida State.

But make no mistake.

Clemson’s Fab-Four; QB Tajh Boyd, tailback Andre Ellington, and wideouts, All-America Sammy Watkins, and his partner DeAndre Hopkins, produce more firepower than the cache stashed at the “butcher” Assad’s family bunker.

It’s the D, which brings shudders to the Tigers faithful.

So far, newly minted coordinator, Brent Veneables, imported from Oklahoma, has help to patch some of the holes from this sieve challenged bunch.

Clemson’s defensive eleven, featuring ends Malliciah Goodman, Corey Crawford, and backer Stephone Anthony, will ultimately determine, the course of Clemson’s season.

After embarking on a three week, dessert sampling buffet, the Seminoles will finally slice into a well aged entrée.

FSU, is directed by its dual-threat, Suburban-sized (6-5, 238) QB, E.J. Manuel, who is still searching for that elusive signature victory.

The big man is assisted by a trio of fuel injected tailbacks; Devonta Freeman, James Wilder jr., and Chris Thompson, who gobble yardage better than the Road Runner.                    

And when this Seminole igniter takes to the air, Kenny Shaw, and Kelvin Benjamin, are his field stretching targets.

In Tallahassee, the only towns with a better defensive pedigree are located to the west, in Tuscaloosa, and Baton Rouge.

This ferocious Iron Curtain bunch, led by ends Cornellius Carradine and Bjoern Werner, has surrounded an eye popping total of 3 points, and is capable of pitching more shutouts than Sandy Koufax.

In a classic chess match, with the victor taking control of the ACC Atlantic, we think the Sons of Bobby Bowden; are finally back in the national discussion.

No. 18 Michigan at No. 11 Notre Dame (Ch. 7, 7:30 p.m.) The Denard Robinson Show comes rolling into South Bend.

Big Blue’s electric, All-America, Magic Man, who leads the team in rushing, is assisted by tailback Fitz Toussaint, and wideouts Devin Gardner and Jeremy Gallon.

But the Wolverine Faithful are painfully aware of the formula, so goes Robinson, so goes Michigan.  And in big games, and in tight situations, it has often been bumpier, than Mitt Romney, on the campaign trail.

The D, led by backer Jake Ryan, has also at times, been shakier, than the Golden Gate Bridge after a Richter scale blowout.

Wake up the echoes.

Or to paraphrase Chief Brody from “Jaws,” “We’re going to need a bigger wagon,” in reference to all the “faithful” jumping “back” onto the Irish bandwagon.

Dual-threat QB Everett Golson, has been given the keys to the Cadillac, but does remain somewhat of a question.

Domer Coach Brian Kelly is comforted by the fact, that veteran Tommy Rees, is available, in a moments notice. (That brings a smile to my man Tom Price.)

The kid is assisted by a threesome of downhill runners; Cierre Wood, Theo Riddick, and George Atkinson III, and has the luxury of an All-America target, in tight end, Tyler Eifert.

The D, led by its attacking All-America backer Manti Te’o, and end Stephon Tuitt,                               is so far; much improved, but will be truly tested by the attack of Michigan, who has won the last three matchups.

In a game that should be a classic, and with huge implications for both programs, we think the Irish, at home, somehow find a way to remain unblemished.

No. 15 Kansas State at No. 6 Oklahoma (FOX, 7:30 p.m.) The only place with more blood, than the uniform of KState QB, Collin Klein, is the donor room of the Red Cross.

The Cats fiery, dual-threat, Heisman contender, may not be the most talented gunslinger in the nation, but to our eye, he’s the most valuable.

This Manhattan “Mauler,” is assisted by a talented tailback John Hubert, and receivers; Tramaine Thompson and Chris Harper.

The D, led by backer Arthur Brown, end Adam Davis, and corner Allen Chapman, stones runners, and plays with a cranky, mean disposition, mirroring the personality of its legendary septuagenarian Coach, Bill Synder, who for the second time in his career, has resurrected the moribund Wildcats, into a national power.

After a two week sojourn munching on diabetes inducing treats, the Conquerors from Norman, are facing its first real threat.

These Sons of Bud Wilkerson, who seem to be playing with a chip on its shoulder, are commanded by its All-America caliber QB, Landry Jones.

The Sooner dart thrower has the luxury of being able to dial up a tsunami of tailbacks, led by Damien Williams, and Dominique Whaley.

The entire operation is cocooned by a seasoned offensive line, which is anchored by All-America guard, Gabe Ikard.

When OU goes aerial, Kenny Stills, Trey Metoyer, and Justin Brown are all field stretching targets.

The Sooner’s D, featuring backer Tom Wort, and end Chuka Ndulue, will attack from all angles, and has been reworked by the return of another Stoops; brother Mike.

Since taking over the coaching reigns in Norman, Bob Stoops is jaw dropping 77-3 at home, and with a week off to prepare, OU is intent on improving that Wilkerson-esque winning percentage.

No. 22 Arizona at No. 3 Oregon (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.) Since his arrival in Tucson, Coach Rich$ Rod, has preached a mantra of: “Return to Relevance.”

An upset win in Eugene would create more of a sensation, than the mammary photos of Kate M.

Dual threat QB Matt Scott (7 touchdown passes – 1 interception, 70% completions) runs the spread option attack, with the slight of hand perfection of Houdini.

The Cats second leading rusher is assisted by tailback Ka’Deem Carey, and a pair of telephone sized wideouts; Nan Buckner and Austin Hill.

The D behind backer Jake Fischer, and safety Marquis Flowers, is pedestrian, and vulnerable defending the pass, which is the wrong recipe against Oregon.

To quote from the Mel Brooks movie spoof; “Spaceballs,” Oregon moves at, “ludicrous speed.”

The Green from Eugene, who is searching for its fourth consecutive Pac-12 conference championship, can score points, faster, than an Apple salesman sells another iPhone 5.

The Ducks, point-a-minute offense, is commanded by red-shirt freshman Marcus Mariota (8 touchdown passes – 1 interception) with assists from roadrunners; Kenjun Barner, and wideout/tailback extraordinaire, De’Anthony Thomas.

The D, featuring backer Michael Clay, end Dion Jordan, and tackle Taylor Hart, plays with equal abandon, and overall, may be the best since in the Chip Kelly era began.

IBM’s “Big Blue” might be called into service, to assist the Autzen Stadium scoreboard operator as points will be as prevalent as the desert night stars, as the Ducks continue to impress.

Missouri at No. 7 South Carolina (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) The Boys from the “Show Me,” state go on the road, and get another crack to prove to the nation, that they are indeed a worthy SEC partner.

Missou’s QB James Franklin is probable (shoulder), but if he can’t go, Corbin Berkstresser is a capable replacement.

The Tigers’ QB’s are assisted by a gritty senior tailback, Kendial Lawrence, and a pair of chain moving receivers; T.J. Moe, and Marcus Lucas.

The D, featuring backers; Andrew Wilson, Will Ebner, and tackle Sheldon Richardson, stifles the run, but is susceptible against an air raid attack.

Since his arrival in Columbia, the offensive wizard, “Hung a half-of-hundred on em,” the Ball Coach; Steve Spurrier, has morphed into a defensive guru.

It reminds one of he play; “Damn Yankees,” except Spurrier is playing the role of Joe Hardy, and has sold his offensive soul, for defense, in order to capture one more SEC Championship.

The lynchpin of the Gamecocks attack is its power running game, featuring its All-America stud, Marcus Lattimore.

Dual threat QB Connor Shaw (shoulder – questionable), and his quality backup, Dylan Thompson, are the directors, with assists from an improving pair of receivers; Ace Sanders, and Bruce Ellington.

The Cocks swarming, punishing D, which has more stars than the lapel of a four star general, is led by All-America caliber end Jadeveon Clowney, and backer Shaq Wilson.

It has surrendered a miniscule Bama-like total of; 29 points, while crushing ball carriers, allowing 1.6 yards a carry.

In Columbia, we think that this game will be close, but the Gamecocks “defensive” genius captures victory 201, as South Carolina continues on its collision course toward Georgia.

 

Last week: 2-3                                                       Season record: 10-5.

Be sure to read our recap, which will be up and running by noon on Sunday, until then, peace, and listen to the music.           pk

Alabama in Rout, USC Loses, ND wins, and Pitt Shocks!

The Sunday morning, pavement hitting thud, that is echoing in Fayetteville, and Las Angeles, is the sound of the “faithful,” jumping off the Razorback, and Trojan band wagon.

 In the Hogs stadium, it was a pig roast of monumental proportions; a 52-0 embarrassment.

It was the largest shutout by a SEC opponent since the Truman Administration; 1948, and Arkansas’ first home white wash; since LBJ, in 1966.  Double Yikes!!

The early game downpour was also symbolic of the precipitous spiral this former contender (1-2) has been on, since its former coach; “Take the money, and run,” Bobby Petrino, crashed his hog, while riding with his secret paramour.

Interim coach, John L. Smith said it best, “I really don’t know what to say,” while the Razorbacks were held to a puny total of; 137 total offensive yards by the ferocious Bama D.

“It’s kind of hard to say anything at this point.” 

Well said!

In Palo Alto two things happened.

USC kissed its national title hopes goodbye, and senior QB Matt Barkley, kissed his Heisman Trophy hopes goodbye, as the smart Kids, the Cardinal of Stanford, knocked off the “Mighty” Trojans 21 – 14.

In fact Stanford’s first year starter, QB Josh Nunes outplayed the All-America counterpart, who will finish his career 0-4, against his neighbors to the south.

And in the fourth quarter, when it matters most, the Cardinal was more physical than USC.

Amazing!

In South Bend, to paraphrase actor Roy Scheider, aka Chief Brody in Jaws, the Irish are going to need a bigger band wagon.

In defeating Michigan State, the Golden Domers snapped a six game losing streak against ranked teams, and defeated a top ten opponent for the first time in seven years.

ND hadn’t won in Spartan Stadium since Lou Holtz was storming its sideline, in 1994.

The upset victory also ended MSU’s fifteen game home winning streak.

This has been the MO of Irish Coach Brian Kelly.

In every coaching stop he’s had, in the third year of his tenure, his teams climb to new heights. 

We shall see.  

But there’s a chance, come late October, that Notre Dame could go marching into Norman, Oklahoma undefeated!!

Kudos to our pals; Silver Lake Alums; Tim Murphy of Harvard, and Buddy Teevens of Dartmouth, who opened their seasons with victories.

It’s no wonder the UMass football program is called the; Minutemen.

That is about the number of points it surrendered in the Big House in Ann Arbor yesterday; as Michigan, a 45 point favorite, laid the lumber on our lads; 63-13.

There are two ways to look at this game.

It was the most points UMass has scored in a game so far; 0,6,13.

Or it’s the most it has surrendered; 34, 46, 63.

Coach Charley Molnar said it best; “Michigan in one of the most talented teams in the country, and we area probably one of the least.”

Again, well said.

Up at the Heights, the coaching seat for good guy, Coach Frank Spaziani, is hotter than a stolen Rembrandt.

BC, whose defense couldn’t get off the field, fell to 1-2, and job-killing 5-10 in its last 15, as Northwestern beat the Eagles; 22-13.

The Wildcats held the ball for 35 minutes, converted 12 of 19 third down conversions, and had over 230 yards more in total offense.  Yikes!

In College Park, it was sweet revenge for the seniors of UConn.

In a game dubbed as the Edsall bowl, the Connecticut Huskies defeated the Maryland Terps; 24-21.

As you may remember, former UConn Coach Randy Edsall, abandoned his team two years ago, after taking them to a BCS game.

After the game, “his” team boarded its plane back to Storrs, while Mr. Spineless, boarded another plane to take him to College Park, where he signed to be the next coach for the Maryland Terrapins.

He never addressed his team about his decision, and did what many of his backbone challenged brethren do nowadays: TEXTED his team about his decision. 

What a guy!

I don’t care how many games he wins at Maryland, and so far it’s not many, he will be always remembered for that cowardly deed.

And for our purposes, he can’t lose enough. 

A leader of men; PLEASE!!

Fraud alert!

 

In another shocker: the Pitt Panthers, who up until yesterday were as woeful as anyone in the country, defeated the Hokies of Virginia Tech in a rout; 35-17. 

It was the first victory for new Pitt Coach Paul Chryst, and maybe a sign of good things to come for the Panthers.

In Knoxville, it was more of the same, as the Gators of Florida marched into Neyland Stadium, in a highly anticipated SEC battle, and emerged with an impressive 37-20 victory.

It was the seventh consecutive victory for the Gainesville eleven over the Boys from Rocky Top, and established Florida as a threat in the SEC.

Finally, in the home of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Oxford, Mississippi, it was rout 66, as the Longhorns of Austin came a calling, and hoofed it out of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with a 66-31 destruction of the Rebels of Ole Miss.

It was the most points surrendered by Mississippi since the Administration of Woodrow Wilson; 1917. Hook-em Horns!!

That’s it from cyber space, we’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 4 Wednesday night, until then, Peace, and listen to the music.   pk

Saturday Football week 3

We begin this week, with an excess, from Texas.

In Allen, Texas, the local high school football team, recently christened the opening of its brand new football palace; a $59.6 million sunken-bowl stadium shrine. 

This cathedral to the “god of pigskin” covers 72 acres, and includes a high-definition video screen, free Wi-Fi, and seating for 18,000.

To put that absurd price tag into perspective; the lovable old dump in Foxboro, formerly known as Sullivan Stadium, the place where the plumbing was always a “crap” shoot, and the home of the then, Boston Patriots, was built for $10 million!

It is another amazing, and ridiculous example of priorities gone amuck, especially when one considers that there are 23 million Americans, either out of work, or under-employed.  Amazing!

This weekend let’s see which teams celebrate with excessive exuberance over its big victory, and which appear bankrupt, on its way to another, chapter eleven season, and placing its coach’s job, in jeopardy.

 

No. 1 Alabama at Arkansas (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) [Note: If Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson is out (likely), the marquee aspect of this game is relegated to Off-Off-Broadway status.  If he can go, game on!]

The Tide is one of the three beasts in the 2012 college football season; along with LSU and Oregon, everyone else, and that includes USC, is paying tribute.

“St. Nick”, Coach Nick Saban, who is a Belichickian clone, has Alabama laser focused on trying to become the first consensus, repeat national champion, since the: 1994 – 95 Nebraska Cornhuskers.

(USC won back to back in; 2003, 04, but not consensus, split.)

These Tuscaloosan Titans, are directed by its Clark Kent commander, junior QB A.J. McCarron, who already wears a national championship ring.

The unassuming leader, is assisted by a true freshman slasher tailback, T.J. Yeldon, and his equal billing partner; Eddie Lacy.

The young receiving corps, led by Kenny Bell, and Kevin Norwood, possesses more speed, than an underground meth-lab.

The foundation of the entire operation is under the protection of the country’s best offensive line, anchored by a pair of All-Americas; guard Chance Warmack, and center Barrett Jones.

The Tide’s D led by All-America safety Robert Lester, and nose Jessee Williams, attacks with the ferocity of V.P. candidate Paul Ryan’s pen, when he eviscerates a budget plan presented by the democrats.

In Fayetteville, instead of a high end chop entrée, the Hogs, without Tyler Wilson, are looking like some bad sausage.

If the SEC’s best QB can’t go, freshman Brandon Allen will be given the controls.

The rest of the top-shelf quality control offense includes the rushing tandem; Knile Davis, and Dennis Johnson, and a pair of quality receivers; tight end Chris Gragg, and wideout Cobi Hamilton.

The Hogs pedestrian D, led by tackle Robert Thomas, and a trio of backers featuring; Alonzo Highsmith and Tenarius Wright, won’t cause many sleepless nights for offensive coordinators.

Regardless of who’s under center, it will be yells of; Roll Tide! on the plane ride back to Tuscaloosa.

No. 18 Florida at No. 23 Tennessee (ESPN, 6 p.m.) The Gators elite D, featuring safety Josh Evans, end Sharrif Floyd, and backer Jonathan Bostic, possesses Daytona speed, and suffocates the opposition with the precision of the original strangler; Boston’s Albert DeSalvo.

[Note; starting backers; Jelani Jenkins and Ronald Powell are out.]

The Gator’s D will keep the Swamp, from draining down, and determine the success of Florida’s season.

On the other side of the ball, this isn’t your father’s, or Steve Spurrier’s, offense.

Central command has been given to dual-threat QB Jeff Driskel, with a huge assist from starry tailback Mike Gillislee, and primary target, tight end Jordan Reed.

In Knoxville, there is a feeling of football revival in the Smokey Mountains; the Checkerboard Faithful is well aware, that this game will be the Vols first true measuring stick, of just how far their up the mountain, they have climbed.

It also may go a long way in deciding the future employment of Tennessee’s embattled Coach, Derek Dooley.

The Boys from Rocky Top are directed by its rocket armed QB Tyler Bray, who has the luxury of focusing on a pair of dynamic field stretching targets; Justin Hunter, and Cordarrelle Patterson.

But the rushing attack, featuring tailbacks; Rajion Neal, and Martin Lane, doesn’t measure to SEC standards.

Dooley’s best off season move was the hiring of D-coordinator Sal Sunseri who was imported from a certain team that resides in; Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Backers Curt Maggitt and A.J. Johnson are the backbone of the Vols D which will not be intimidated by its southern visitors.

This has potential to be another SEC classic, and we think it’s the Vols, at home, who secure the W, and climb another notch up the mountain.

No. 20 Notre Dame at No. 10 Michigan State (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) In this game, the Irish will taste its first real entrée of the season.

Brian Kelly’s eleven is directed by its athletic dual-threat, learning curve QB, Everett Golson, with a seasoned reliever, Tommy Rees, only a finger point away.

The QB’s primary targets; All-America tight end Tyler Eifert, and wideout DeVaris Daniels, can be explosive.

The down hill running attack, features the tailback trio; Theo Riddick, George Atkinson III, and Cierre Wood, who are a combination of speed, and power.

The improving D, although the corners remain a mystery, is anchored by its All-America backer Manti Te’o, with assists from his partner Dan Fox, and end Stephon Tuitt.

The East Lansing faithful are looking for payback.

The Spartan’s tensile strength is its kryptonite defense, which has yet to allow an offensive touchdown, and has limited the opposition ball carriers to less than 3 yards a carry.

These intimidating, and marauding, Sons of Duffy Daugherty, who lasso the opposition better than Will Rogers, are book ended by a pair of All-Americas; end William Gholston and corner Johnny Adams, with a huge assist from its linebacker threesome; accentuated by Max Bullough.

MSU’s offensive igniter, is its Gibraltar sized cannon ball (6-2, 238) Le’Veon Bell, who sets the tone for State’s attack.

Sparty’s newbie QB, Andrew Maxwell (2 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions) is still searching for his comfort zone.

We think in Spartan Stadium, its payback time, indeed, as Duffy’s Boys leave the Irish, feeling green.

No. 2 USC at No. 21 Stanford (Fox, 7:30 p.m.) The Cardinal is the only Pac -12 team that All-World QB, and Heisman Trophy leader, Matt Barkley (10 touchdown passes – 1 interception – 67% completions) has yet to notch a W.

The Glamour Boys from LA are intent on erasing that blemish in Palo-Alto.

In addition to its golden boy QB, the Trojans rumble behind Penn State transfer, tailback Silas Reed, his talented partner Curtis McNeal, and the best receiving tandem in the nation, All-America Robert Woods, and equally dynamic, Marqise Lee.

The D, also known as the Magnificent 7, attacks behind All-America safety T. J. McDonald, corner Nickell Robey, and backer Dion Baily.

These are not your father’s Cardinal.

To paraphrase an old friend, the “snake oil salesman,” Rick Pitino, “Andrew Luck is not walking through that door.”

John Nunes has been given the keys to the car, and so far, he has yet to open it up to full throttle.

The QB leans heavily on his bell-cow tailback Stepfan Taylor, and a Linus-blanket, pass catching threesome; tight end Zach Ertz, and wideouts Ty Montgomery, and Drew Terrell.

The D behind All-America backer Chase Thomas, and his talented partner Shayne Skov, is susceptible to the pass, which is not a good recipe against the mighty Trojans.

You know what they say about paybacks; and USC marches out of Stanford Stadium with “Fight On!” blaring in the background.

Wake Forest at No. 5 Florida State (ACC Network, 12:30 p.m.) Before the Wizard of Winston-Salem, Deac’s Coach Jim Grobe (70-67-11 plus years) stepped foot on the Wake Forest campus, his five previous coaching predecessors were a Red Sox woeful: 96-202!  Yikes!!

One of the keys to Grobe’s success, in a school where class attendance is mandatory, is his philosophy of; red-shirting almost every incoming freshmen class.

The Demon Deacons are led by its three Amigos; QB Tanner Price, tailback Josh Harris, and glue fingered wideout, Michael Campanaro, but are somewhat hamstrung by an inexperienced offensive line.

The D’s strength is its front seven, featuring nose Nikita Whitlock, end Zach Thompson, and backer Justin Jackson.

In Tallahassee, the patience of the faithful is being tested, as it thirsts for a return to; the days of glory under Bobby Bowden.

In its first two games, Jimbo Fisher’s boys expanded its waistline, by munching a pair of cupcakes, but now, the business of playing real football, is finally commencing in Doak Campbell Stadium.

The Noles leader is its erratic, but talented, dual-threat QB, E.J. Manuel, who is assisted by the tailback tandem; Devonta Freeman, and James Wilder, while receivers Kenny Shaw, and Kelvin Benjamin, are field stretching dynamos.

It remains to be seen, if this offensive eleven can show extended consistency.

On the other side of the ball, Florida State’s D, is as sure of a thing, as Secretariat running at Belmont.

These bare knuckle battlers, featuring All-America end Brandon Jenkins, his partner Bjoern Werner, and backer Vince Williams, are tougher than a UFC Champion, and are intent, in once again, making FSU relevant on the national scene.

In a game, that will be a lot closer than the experts believe, Wake will battle hard, but ultimately it’s the Noles D, who scalps to the victory.

Last week’s record:    3-2                                               Season record: 8-2.

 

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

Until then, smile, and listen to the music.  pk

Stunning Upsets, and Debut Duds Mark Week 2

                            Stunning Upsets, and Debut Duds, Mark Week 2

“It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To …..” the 1963 Lesley Gore hit single, is the theme song this morning, in Madison, Wisconsin and Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The “Mighty” Badgers journeyed to Corvallis, Oregon and not only lost the Beavers of Oregon State, 10-7, but were held to a single touchdown!!

It was the first time a team from the Big Ten has journeyed to the distant land in over four decades, and it may be a century before it happens again.

Wiscy, who had its 33 game non-conference winning streak snapped, also saw its Heisman Trophy candidate tailback, Montee Ball, held to 61 yards rushing, and scoreless for the first time in 21 games!!  Double Yikes!

In Little Rock, the Razorbacks held a 28-7 lead midway through the third quarter, only to see it evaporate to a better team in Louisiana-Monroe, a 30 point underdog.

LA-Monroe dominated the SEC pretenders; defeating them in overtime; 34-31.

The Warhawks out gained the Hogs 550 yards to 377, and this morning’s bacon in Razorback country, is burnt around edges.

And just think, Alabama comes a calling this weekend!   Double Yikes!!

In the BBFL, (Big Boy Football League) also known as the SEC, the two newbie’s; Missouri, and Texas A&M, are also listening to Lesley Gore’s lyrics.

Both A&M, and Missou, had its debuts dashed by a pair of traditional powers.

In College Station, Texas, the Aggies for the first half looked as if they were veteran league members, as they outplayed, and out hit, the Gators taking a; 17-10 lead into halftime.

It his two year tenure, this was Coach Will Muschamp’s finest victory, as the Gators D asserted itself in the second half, holding A&M to a total of 65 offensive yards, in a hard fought, and impressive; 20-17 victory.

In Columbia, Missouri, the Tigers had a 17-9 lead in the third quarter, only to see the Dawgs methodically grind away to a; 41-20 win.

Mark Richt’s Bulldogs, who operate with the efficcency of a professional assassin, are a dark horse candidate to win the SEC. 

And the victory was even more impressive without four defensive starters, including a pair of All-Americas.

Out in LA LA land, first year UCLA Coach Jim Mora is building a team that may be a lot more impressive than people realize.

Led by an implacable dual-threat red-shirt freshman QB, Brett Hundley, and a senior All-America caliber tailback Johnathan Franklin, and an All-America caliber tight end Joseph Fauria, the UCLANS could be a surprise threat in the PAC 12.

But the Bruins D remains as shaky as the Greek economy.

Old friend, Charlie Weis, the “offensive guru” couldn’t muster more than 24 points against defensive challenged Rice, in its 25-24 loss to the Owls.

It was the smart kids first ever victory against a school from the Big 12, but it was the last sequence of plays, that for me, was most enjoyable.

With 8 seconds remaining, field goal kicker Chris Boswell lined up for a 45 yard game winning attempt.

Just before the snap, Weis called his final time out in an attempt to freeze the kid.  Boswell followed through, and it sailed dead center, but didn’t count.

After watching that, Rice Coach David Bailiff did one better.

He told his QB to take a knee, and then with 3 seconds remaining, the coach called his final timeout, which left no time on the clock, for a kickoff, if the field goal was good.

Boswell made good on his second attempt, and Rice had its big victory.  Sorry, Charlie!!

Fraud alert: highly touted NC State QB Mike Glennon, who suffered six sacks, could only muster a single TD in a 10-7 win against UConn. 

Ugly, Ugly, Ugly, and Tom O’Brien’s NC State Wolfpack may be one of this year’s most overrated eleven!!

Our fav, KState QB Collin Klein, crushed the frauds from Coral Gables, the U of Miami 52-13.

As Mark May said on the air, Collin Klein may not be the best player in college football, but he is the most valuable.  We heartily agree.

Hail the smart kids again, as Wake Forest, and their underrated Coach Jim Grobe, knocked off North Carolina 28-27, to start its season 2-0, 1-0 in the ACC. 

Good for the kids who have to go to class.

In Pittsburg, there is an All Points Bulletin for former coach Dave Wannstedt.

It reads: Please return.  All is forgiven.

Wanny a former player, and coach, was the epitome of Pitt football. 

He had pedigree, didn’t want to go anywhere else, was a great recruiter, and all he did was take Pitt to bowl games.

But the “Geniuses” in the Administration didn’t feel that 7, 8, or 9 wins was sufficient enough, and now the Panthers a woeful 0-2, appear to be in total disarray.

Believe me.  The Administration would take him back, faster than Mitt Romney says the word; economy.

Nice victory for Skip Holtz, and his South Florida Bulls, who journeyed out to Reno, Nevada, and after trailing by 11 in the fourth quarter, came home with a 32-31 victory against a very good Wolf Pack squad.

In the Ugly category, we give you the Buffaloes of Colorado.

The once proud Buffs are 0-2, after falling to Division 1AA Sacramento State 30 -28!!  Where’s Gary Barnett when you need him?!!

Finally kudos to one of our favs:  Northwestern, another school where the kids must go to class, in knocking off an SEC foe Vanderbilt; 23-13.  And they did it with defense.

Pat Fitzgerald is a tremendous coach, and if Spaz fails to get it done at the Heights, in addition to asking Tim Murphy of Harvard, Fitzy would be my second call.

Although he would probably never leave the Wildcats, he really belongs at Notre Dame, the real heir to Ara Parseghian, who was a former Northwestern head man.

Finally, in 2012, after the first two weeks have been completed, it is apparent that there are three legitimate beasts: Alabama, LSU, and Oregon, the rest are merely paying rent!

That’s it from cyber space.  We’ll be up and running with our week three analysis on Wednesday night.  Until then, smile, and listen to the music.  pk

Aside

                 Missouri and A&M Make SEC Debuts We begin this week with some rarified air. A Nebraska football tradition, which traces back to the 1940’s, may be in jeopardy, due to; are you ready for this: a nationwide helium shortage! Outside … Continue reading