Aside

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                 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 of investment banker’s bonuses, is there anything in America that isn’t in shortage?

The tradition is as follows; when the Big Red of Lincoln scores its first touchdown, upwards of 5000 red balloons are released in celebration into the air over Memorial Stadium.

It is one of the cool traditions in college football.

It’s too bad the Nebraska faithful couldn’t package the hot air emanating from the Republican, and Democrat conventions.  That would be enough to float a million balloons over Memorial Stadium, for the next century.

This weekend, let’s see which teams seem to float over the opposition, and which get deflated, crashing to earth, under the weight, of another loss.

 

No. 7 Georgia vs. Missouri (ESPN2, 7:45 p.m.) The Boys from the other Athens of America, (without Alabama, or LSU, on its schedule), have legitimate aspirations on the SEC Title, and a distant shot at the national championship prize.

The Dawgs first in show is its starry junior QB Aaron Murray, with assists from several other pedigree breeds; his high octane tailback Todd Gurley, and a passel of quality targets featuring Tavarres King, and Michael Bennett.

The Bulldogs highly touted D is anchored with a pair of All-Americas; backer Jarvis Jones, and safety Bacarri Rambo – (suspended – may play, but what a great name for a football player), and overall this eleven  belongs in the same conversation with the Boys from Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge.

In Columbia, the Boys from the “Show Me State,” will be getting its first taste of what life is like in the SEC.

The Tigers up-tempo, spread attack, is commanded by its elusive, dual threat, dart-throwing junior QB, James Franklin, with assists from a chain moving wideout; T.J. Moe, and a solid tailback; Kendial Lawrence.

The D returns five starters, led by backer Will Ebner, end Brad Madsion, and corner E.J. Gaines.

In its introduction to BBF, “Big Boy Football”, we think Missou will acquit itself very well, but we’ll give the edge, to the athletes, from Athens.

[If Georgia needed any extra incentive it was given to them by Missouri D-tackle Sheldon Richardson who, when asked if he watched last week’s Georgia/Buffalo game –a 45-23 sluggish Bulldog win – said, “I watched that game.  I turned it off, too…

 It’s like watching Big Ten football.  It’s old man football.  If we execute, nobody in this league can touch us. Period.”  WOW!!]

No. 16 Nebraska at UCLA (Fox, 7:50 p.m.) A good comparison between the differences in throwing mechanics for the Huskers QB Taylor Martinez, this season, as opposed to last, might be the physical appearance Cher then and now.  It is that drastic.

But the question in Lincoln lingers.  When “magic-man” is pressured, will he revert to his mechanic-challenged old ways?

But all is not joyous in Lincoln.

Big Red’s yardage shredding, clock controlling tailback, Rex Burkhead, has a strained MCL (may play). 

If he can’t go, Mr. Dependable, is being replaced, at least temporarily, by another skilled runner; Ameer Abdullah.

Martinez has the luxury of focusing on a passel of quality targets, featuring tight end Ben Cotton, and wideouts Kenny Bell and Jamal Turner.

The Cornhusker’s D, led by end Cameron Meredith, and tackle Baker Steinkhuler, has as many questions as a congressman grilling an oil company executive at a Capitol Hill hearing.

Coach Jim Mora is the new sheriff in Westwood, and with him, comes a feeling of a football reawakening for the Bruins and its faithful.

It also appears as if UCLA has found its long sought after next great QB, in dual-threat red-shirt freshman; Brett Hundley.

The young gunslinger, will lean heavily on one of the nation’s best tailbacks; Johnathan Franklin.

When he takes to the air, the big armed QB, has a Prudential-sized tight end; (6-7, 258) Joseph Fauria, and wideout Shaquell Evans, as dependable targets.

The Bruins D, which returns eight starters, featuring ends Datone Jones, and Cassius Marsh, but remains as much of an unknown as the size of Mitt Romney’s off shore bank accounts.

In LaLa land, we think reality strikes, and it’s the farm boys from the heartland, who hang ten on the surfer dudes from the coast.

No. 24 Florida at Texas A&M (ESPM, 3:30 p.m.) The offense of the once mighty Gators looks as bumbling as Barack Obama without a teleprompter, or Clint Eastwood, at the podium of the Republican National Convention.

In the last few years, the Gainesville signal callers, once a feared staple of the college football landscape, have performed with the expertise of the US Postal Service, bankrupt, and barely serviceable.

While the faithful wait for the next Tebow, the QB duties have been ordained to Jeff Driskel, who does more damage with his legs.

The lone bright spot in the Gator offense is its starry tailback; Mike Gillislee.

The Gators D led by tackle Dominique Easley, end Shariff Floyd, and backer Jonathan Bostic, may determine the length of employ for Coach Will Muschamp.

The Aggies come into this contest slightly hamstrung, after its season opening game against Louisiana Tech was postponed by Hurricane Isaac.

But the College Station eleven will quickly be comforted, by the deafening roar of support from Aggieland’s 12th Man.

A&M’s new Coach, and offensive guru, Kevin Sumlin can deploy more offensive weapons than the Iranian Army.

It begins with five returnees on the offensive line, anchored by its All-America left tackle Luke Joeckel.

First year starter, sophomore QB Jameill Showers, will rely on tailback Christine Michael, and a pair of field stretching receivers; Ryan Swope and Uzoma Nwachukwu to ease him into the spotlight of the SEC.

The D has some questions on the line, but there is talent, led by end Damontre Moore, and Steven Jenkins.

This isn’t your father’s A&M.  And despite the fact that it will be making its BBFL (Big Boy Football League – SEC) debut, we like the firepower of the Aggies to notch its first SEC victory.

PS.  [A&M has one of the greatest fight songs in the land, if you get a chance you-tube it, it’s a spine tingling anthem.  I guarantee you’ll play it more than once.]

Washington at No.3 LSU (ESPN, 7 p.m.) In scheduling a game against the Beasts of Baton Rouge, UDub Coach, Steve Sarkisian must still think he’s at USC with old friend Pete Carroll, who used to showcase the Trojans anywhere and everywhere.

The Huskies mush behind its dual-threat QB, Keith Price, who has a pair of ladder climbing receivers; Kasen Williams, and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins as beacons of comfort.

The running attack is by committee, featuring Steve Callier, and Bishop Sankey, sharing the load.

Newly minted D-coordinator Justin Wilcox was imported from Tennessee to plug Washington’s porous D, and his main cogs are end Josh Shirley, tackle Danny Shelton, and corner Desmond Trufant.

The Tigers, who were one win away from a national championship, return a baker’s dozen of starters, many of whom fit into the All-America category.

It begins with a pair of such decorated players on the offensive line; Chris Faulk and Alex Hurst.

First time starter, quarterback Zach Mettenberger has been given the keys to the kingdom, and luckily he has a pair of dependable Velcro handed targets; Odell Beckham and Russell Shepard. 

The staple of any Les Miles football diet is a pounding ground attack and this team features a trio of tailbacks; Michael Ford, Kenny Hilliard, and Spencer Ware, all of whom would be the feature runner on most teams in America.

The D which is harder to crack than the Gardner Museum art theft case features a threesome of All-Americas; ends Sam Montgomery, Barkevious Mingo, and safety Eric Reid.

This eleven guards it goal line, better than the armed forces around the Fort call Knox.

And when LSU is backed up, the Tigers simply trot out another weapon; All-America punter Brad Wing, who’s booming punts seem to leave the state of Louisiana.

After feeling the Tiger’s wrath for 60 minutes, it will be indeed be; “Sleepless in Seattle” for the Huskies of Washington.

Miami at No. 21 Kansas State (FX, Noon) On the national landscape, the once omnipotent Miami football program, has slipped to the relevancy of; Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor, Tim Murray.

And with additional NCAA sanctions looming, Coach Al Golden will be given all the time he needs to try and alter the football fortunes in Coral Gables. 

It might prove to be a Herculean task.

The Canes are directed by its talented but inconsistent junior QB Stephen Morris, and a jet-fueled star in the making; true freshman tailback; Duke Johnson. 

The receiving corps featuring Allen Hurns and freshman Malcolm Lewis won’t cause any sleepless nights for defensive coordinators.

The D, led by end Anthony Chickillo, and backer Denzel Perryman can be as porous as a gold miners sieve in the Lost River in New Hampshire.

KState is commanded by its senior, dual-threat, Heisman Trophy candidate, QB Collin Klein, who is tougher than a $10 steak. 

This Manhattan Mauler never finishes a game without pieces of his uniform hanging in shreds, and blood oozing from some appendage.

The Purple Cats “Mr. Everything,” is assisted by a pair of glue fingered wideouts; Chris Harper, and Tyler Lockett, while junior tailback John Hubert, is a 1000 yard caliber runner.

The mean-spirited D is reflective of its cranky septuagenarian Coach, Bill Snyder, and attacks behind a trio of backers, featuring; Arthur Boren, and Tre Walker.

In Bill Snyder Family Stadium, its old school (Snyder) vs. old school (Golden, white shirt and orange tie), but in the “Little Apple,” Manhattan, Kansas, it’s the color of purple that rules for the Cats.

 

Last week’s record: 5-0                                                    Season record:  5-0

 

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

Until then, Peace, and listen to the music!  pk

 

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