Monthly Archives: November 2012

Analysis Week 14

We begin this week with at tribute to a coaching legend.

His name is John Gagliardi, and this 86 year old northern icon, just retired, after 60 years as the head man of St. John’s, a Division III school in Minnesota.

He is America’s all-time winningiest college football coach: 489-139-11, eclipsing Grambling’s Eddie Robinson. 

He is also the first active coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame – 2006.

Here are some of his fanciful and eccentric coaching techniques:

No practicing if there are too many gnats. (Sounds reasonable to me.)

He also had his famous list of; “No Rules.”

He did not allowing tackling during practice. He had no team captains, or cheerleaders.

He never used a whistle, and players had strict orders to call him John, instead of coach.

“I eliminate the unnecessary, and I think almost everything is unnecessary,” he said.

He was 26 years old when his hired at St. John’s.  The outgoing coach, Johnny “Blood” McNally, left with these parting words for the 4-time championship coach;

“Nobody could ever win at St. John’s.”  He obviously didn’t know John Gagliardi.

On this final weekend of college football, let’s see which teams need some more practice tackling, and which, swarm the opposition, like a bunch of voracious gnats.

No. 2 Alabama vs. No. Georgia SEC Championship – (Ch.4, 4 p.m.) Atlanta, Georgia 

In the South, the stakes of this de-facto semi-final are almost as important as a NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The winner, punches its ticket into the National Championship Game against Notre Dame, and will give the SEC the opportunity to capture its seventh consecutive national title.

The Tide is directed by its Heisman contending QB, A.J. McCarron (25 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions), who operates with the precision of a Syrian bomb detonator.

The nation’s second most efficient passer leans heavily on a pair of road-runners: Eddie Lacy, and T.J. Yeldon, who have combined for; 1867 yards and 24 TDs.

When this dart thrower goes aerial, wideouts; Amari Cooper, and Kevin Norwood, are big play chain movers.

It is also a good idea to strike first against the Tide.

Alabama has out scored opponents by a jaw dropping first-half seasonal total of; 320-54.

But it has been the play of the D, which sends shivers down the spine of offensive coordinators.

St. Nick’s (Saban) Houndstooth Hatters defends its territory, better than the Israeli Army.

These top rated Tuscaloosan Titans, led by backers C.J. Mosley, and Trey Depriest, are the nation’s stingiest eleven (9 pts.), and have allowed a Scrooge-like total of; 111 points.

Or, about the amount of points West Virginia gives up in a game and a half!

In Athens, the Dawgs have shown so well, they should be invited to the Westminster Show in Madison Square.

These Sons of Vince Dooley, mush with its lead dog, All-America caliber QB Aaron (30 touchdown passes – 7 interceptions) Murray, the nation’s pass efficiency leader.

He wideouts Malcolm Mitchell and Tavarres King are as consistently reliable as hearing; “Happy Holidays,” at the local mall.

The starry QB also has the luxury of mixing in a pair of scintillating freshman tailbacks; Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, who have combined for over 1800 yards, and 22 TDs.

The solid D, fires behind its All-America backer Jarvis Jones (19.5 tfls – 10.5 sacks), and his partner Alec Ogletree, but will need to be almost perfect against Bama.

In a game that will have more hits than a Beatles Catalogue, or a Paris Hilton video, we think Saban, rolls the Tide on a path toward its second consecutive championship.

No.17 UCLA at No. 8 Stanford (Fri. FOX, 8 p.m.) – Pac-12 Championship

In January of 1832, New York Senator William Learned Marcy, stood on the floor of the US Senate and uttered this memorable phrase: “To the victor, belong the spoils.”

In this championship tussle, the victor earns a spot in the “Granddaddy of them all,” the Rose Bowl, while spoiling the season for the other.

And in the “bizzaro” world of college football, these teams will be meeting for the second time in six days, just at a different campus stadium location.

UCLA Coach Jim Mora has brought a long missing discipline to the Westwood campus, and in doing so, has made Bruins football, once again relevant, in the City of Angels.

The director of this renaissance, is r-shirt freshman QB, Brett Hundley (26 touchdown passes – 10 interceptions-8 rushing), who has played with a surfer’s coolness.

The talented kid is assisted by the nation’s ninth leading rusher, Jonathan Franklin, and his All-America tight end sky scraper (6-7, 258), Joseph Fauria, has hauled in 11 TDs.

The D, led by its bone crushing end Anthony Barr (19 tfls – 12 sacks), and backer Eric Kendricks, shows occasional flashes, but still struggles mightily defending the pass.

For the first time in its history, the Cardinal has won at least 10 games in three consecutive seasons.

Coach David Shaw changed the entire team dynamic, three weeks ago, when he made a QB change, handing the keys to Kevin Hogan.

The young maestro (8 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions), is assisted by his bruising tailback, Stepfan Taylor (over 1300 yds. 11 TDs), and an All-America caliber tight end; Zach Ertz.

But the bedrock of the Boys on the Farm has been a defense that is tougher to penetrate than the posse surrounding Justin Bieber.

The nation’s 11th stingiest (16 pts.) is spearheaded by a trio of disrupting backers: Shayne Skov, Chase Thomas, and Trent Murphy.

This group leads the nation in stoning runners (2.5 yds. a carry), and sacking the quarterback, averaging over 4 QB captures a game.

In the rematch, we thing the spoils are awarded to the Cardinal, who earn a primo spot in the Rose Bowl parade.

No. 19 Northern Illinois vs. No. 18 Kent State – MAC Championship – (Fri. ESPN2, 7 p.m.) Detroit

The winner may earn a spot in a BCS game.

And don’t be surprised if both coaches; NI’s Dave Doeren, and KS’s Darrell Hazel are leading other teams next season.

The Huskies, who have won eleven in a row, are directed by the best player no one knows.

In fact he may be more anonymous than our pal the SRD, also known as; John “Rothstein” Collins.

His name is Jordan Lynch, and this Heisman worthy QB, the nation’s fifth leading rusher, and 12th most efficient passer, has accounted for 39 touchdowns.

The conductor of the nation’s twelfth highest scoring eleven (40), is assisted by tailback Akeem Daniels, and a 1000 yard, 11 TD receiver; Martel Moore.

The country’s fifteenth stingiest (17pts) D, led by disruptors, end Alan Baxter (10.5 tfls-9 sacks), and backer Tyrone Clark, isn’t spectacular, but solid in all phases.

The Golden Flashers have been golden.

Kent State winners of ten straight, are having the finest football season in its 90 year history.

A victory gives the; “Little Engine that could,” its first MAC Title since George McGovern was at the top of the national Democrat ticket in; 1972.

[McGovern conjures up the image of the famous bumper sticker: Nixon 49, America 1]

The Flashers one dimensional attack – Kent State is 111th in passing- relies on the legs of a pair of free flowing tailbacks.

Dri Archer (9.6 yds. a carry) and his partner, Trayion Durhan, have combined for a jaw-dropping 2513 yards and 28 touchdowns.

When QB Spencer Keith (11 touchdown passes – 7 interceptions) goes aerial, the aforementioned Archer, Josh Boyle and Matt Hurdle are principle targets.

Archer is also a hidden yardage assassin, leading the nation in kickoff returns, averaging close to 40 yards a touch.

The D, featuring tackle Roosevelt Nix (14 tfls – 5.5 sacks), and backer Luke Batton, struggles defending the pass (111th) which is not a good recipe against the Huskies.

Unlike McGovern in ’72, we think the Huskies flash the victory sign to the Flashers.

No. 14 Nebraska vs. Wisconsin – BIG Ten Championship – (FOX, 8p.m.) Indianapolis To Paraphrase the Allman Brothers classic; “One Way Out,” Wisconsin “back doored” into this game.

The Badgers finished third in the Leaders Division, but won this lottery courtesy of the bowl bans directed at Penn State and Ohio State.

The Wiscy attack revolves around its All-America tailback Montee Ball, the all-time NCAA touchdown maker (79), and his partner James White.

This Mad-Town duo, has accounted for over; 2200 yards, 26 touchdowns, and can batter a defense, like Sandy, battered the Jersey Shore.

Senior QB Curt Phillips (4 touchdown passes -1 interception) is the third Wisconsin signal caller, and when he connects, wideout Jared Abbrederis (head injury – will play), can be a glue fingered acrobat.

The nation’s 17th stingiest D, led by backers Chris Borland (hamstring – will play) and Mike Taylor (14 tfls), force teams to work for every yard.

After being pummeled by Ohio State in the first weekend in October, Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini issued his team a challenge; “WIN OUT!”

And win out they have, as the Huskers riding a six game winning streak, are trying to win its first conference championship since Bill Clinton was sneaking White House desserts; 1999.

Dual-threat QB Taylor Martinez (21 touchdown passes – 8 interceptions – 8 rushing), and 1000 yard tailback Ameer Abdullah, are the diesels behind the eight best rushing attack.

[Note: tailback Rex Burkhead (knee) will also see playing time.]

When the scrambler takes to the sky, wideouts Kenny Bell, and Quincy Enunwa, are comforting ports in the storm.

The D behind disrupting end Eric Martin (16 tfls – 8.5 sacks), and backer Will Compton, aren’t vintage Black Shirt, but have become much more cohesive during the streak.

We like the Huskers, by a nose,  to capture its first conference championship.

Pitt at South Florida (ESPN2, 7 p.m.) We selected this game instead of the woeful ACC Championship Game; (6-6 Georgia Tech versus Florida State), because we think this is a better story.

Pitt started the season 0-2, including a loss to a Division 1AA team, and literally looked like one of the worst teams in the country.

But since then, newly minted Coach Paul Chryst has given the faithful a glimpse of what the future may look like.

If Pitt wins its final regular season game in the Big East, it will go bowling.

If that should happen, it would be a great sendoff to a pair of classy seniors; QB Tino Sunseri, and tailback Ray Graham, who have battled through injuries, and unnecessary, and absurd, coaching changes.

These kids are the epitome of Pitt toughness, and perseverance, and are deserving of wearing the Panther uniform for one more game before graduation.

The improving offense is directed by Sunseri (18 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions) who is riding the nation’s longest streak of 245 passes, without a pick.

The talented Graham, 52 yards shy of 1000, and his sidekick, freshman tailback Rushel Shell, are the pistons in the Panther attack.

When Pitt’s field general airs it, wideouts; Mike Shanahan, and Devin Smith are capable of making Ringling Brothers worthy catches.

The D led by tackle Aaron Donald (14.5 tfls-4.5 sacks), and backer Shane Gordon, is in the top 25 in almost every category, allowing 21 points a game.

Unlike his dad, the Bulls faithful will not be erecting a statue to Coach Skip Holtz anytime soon.

In fact, Skip may be forced to skip town, when the USF debacle of a season comes to a merciful end on Saturday evening.

South Florida is a bottom feeding 98th in scoring (22 pts), and third from the bottom in turnover margin; minus-15, a statistic that will not win you many games.

QB Matt Floyd (0 touchdowns – 2 interceptions) is filling in for injured starter B.J. Daniels.

The newbie leans heavily on tailback Demetri Murray, and when he connects, wideout Andre Davis is a comforting sight.

The D led by tackle Cory Grissom and backer Sam Barrington is equally inefficient, particularly defending against the pass.

In Pitt’s Big East Last Hurrah, it’s a toast to Sunseri, and Graham, as the Panthers go bowling on.

 

Last week’s record: 5-0                                      Season record: 47-18.

 

PS:  This is the last full report of the season.

We’ll be back next week with my favorite; Army/Navy, and how I voted in the Heisman.

Thanks to all for reading, and commenting.  As always, it was a blast for me. 

Until we meet next year, stay well, Peace, and listen to the music.  PK

Finally, dare I say; “Merry Christmas!!”

Recap Week 13

In South Bend, Touchdown Jesus has his hands stretched a little higher.

A Golden Age, long thought past, has returned to the Golden Dome campus, as the Irish punched its ticket into the National Championship Game with its: 22-13 win over USC.

It is also the fifth time that a third year Notre Dame Coach will play for the title: Frank Leahy in ’47, Ara Parseghian ’66, Dan Devine ’77, Lou Holtz ’88, and now Brian Kelly, the previous four all returned home champions.

It has been a remarkable odyssey for this gritty bunch of Domers, led by its inspirational backer, and Heisman contender; Manti Te’o.

Before the start of the season, ND was a 90-1 shot to make it to Miami, and most experts felt, with its daunting schedule, that an 8-4 record would be cause for celebration.

Now nothing short of a national title will fully satisfy the Notre Dame Faithful. 

Who knew?!

In Aggie-land, Home of the Twelfth Man, it was once again the “Johnny Football” show.

QB Johnny Manziel, led Texas A&M to its tenth win in its boffo SEC (6-2) debut.

No freshman has ever won the award, but no sophomore had ever won it until Tim Tebow did it in 2007, and the kid is definitely Heisman worthy.

Freshman/smeshman, his SEC numbers: 4600 yards of offense, over 3300 yards passing, over 1000 yards rushing, and 43 TDs; screams; Most Outstanding Player in America. Period!

In Raleigh, North Carolina, it was the tale of Boston College coaches, and the predictable result, was another loss for the Eagles.

BC closed out its woeful (2-10), 2012 campaign, its worst since 1978, with its fourth straight loss; a 27-10 defeat to Tom O’Brien’s (7-5) Wolfpack, who also had a disappointing season.

It is expected, that this was the last game in the Frank Spaziani era, and it may well have been the last game for Tom O’Brien who is rumored to be on the chopping block.

As we have written many times; all BC has to do is look toward Cambridge, and the Football Offices of Harvard Coach Tim Murphy, for its next head man.

He has won everything there is to win in the Ivy League. 

Before Harvard, he was the youngest Division 1 coach in America, leading Cincinnati to an 8-3 record before coming to H some 19 years ago.

He understands the blending of academics and athletics, has an innovative offensive mind, recruits nationally, will win, and most importantly, won’t use the job as a stepping stone, as so many have previously done.

But you have to ask yourself, outside of hiring Jerry York, when does BC ever do the right thing?

In the bizarre world of college football, Stanford defeated UCLA 35-17, and next Friday the same two will face off, this time in Palo Alto for the Pac-12 Championship and a spot in the Rose Bowl.

In Columbus, the Urban renewal project finished way ahead of schedule.

Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes closed out its undefeated season in style; as a 26-21 victory over its arch-rival Michigan.

In this classic rivalry, arguably the nation’s best, the college football world said goodbye to one of the country’s most scintillating players; senior QB/TB Denard Robinson.

The kid walks away with a movie full of and jaw dropping highlights, and the best part; he did it with the utmost class.

Finally some WAC and the MAC love.

In Logan, Utah, Coach Gary Anderson’s Utah State Aggies, won a school record 10th game, and captured its first outright WAC title since FDR was playing poker in the White House in 1936.  Good for them!!!

In Kent, Ohio, the Golden Flashers of Kent State won its 10th in a row, finishing its best season since the days of Warren Harding, making Coach Darrell Hazell a very hot commodity.

Don’t be surprised if Hazell gets a call from new BC Athletic Director Brad Bates.

And finally, some Hiesman love to Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch, who has led the Huskies to 11 straight victories.

The dual-threat QB has rushed for over 1600 yards, and 16 TDs, while throwing for 23 touchdowns, as the Boys from DeKalb have won a remarkable 16 consecutive MAC games.

Coach Dave Doeren should be another guy the Boston College must call list.

That’s it from cyber space, we’ll be up and running with our final analysis Wednesday night.  Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.  PK

Analysis week 13

We begin this drum stick weekend, the last full card of the season, with a turkey.

No, it’s not what is about to follow, but about former Coach Lee Corso of ESPN fame, who once used a live bird to pluck an opponent.

On Thanksgiving Day in 1969, 3 months after Woodstock, Corso took his Louisville Cardinal football team to Tulsa, to face the heavily favored Golden Hurricanes.

“The team needed a mascot to rally around,” said the coach.

So Corso put a turkey on a leash.

“Everybody had to pat it at the pregame meal,” recalled ESPN’s Tom Jackson, a Cardinal defensive star.

The turkey charged out on the field with the team, and that’s when Corso told the team about the bet.

If Louisville lost, the Tulsa coaches would get to eat the new mascot.

Late in the game, and nursing a lead, Corso called a time out to remind his defense that a life was at stake. 

“We’ll hold them,” shouted the D, and they did, carrying Corso, and the turkey, off the field in celebration.

This weekend let’s see which teams deserve the bird for its poor play, and which utilize the wishbone, and stuffs itself by gobbling up another victory.

No. 1 Notre Dame at No. USC (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) Not even Touchdown Jesus saw this coming.

Before the start of the season, the odds, that the Irish, on the last week of the season, would be ranked at the top, were longer, than spotting Mitt Romney sitting at the bar at the Eire Pub, munching on a pastrami sandwich.

Coach Brian Kelly has performed this minor miracle, utilizing a D, which is tougher than Hilary Clinton, or the Israeli secret police.

This bunch, ranked sixth overall, stones runners, and overall, has more impressive numbers than the size of Tom Menino’s hospital bill.

ND is tied with Alabama for the fewest points surrendered (10) per game, and tops in the nation in fewest touchdowns (11) allowed, proving it can play against anyone.

The soul of the team, is its attacking front seven, led by All-America, and Heisman contending backer, Manti Te’o, with a strong assist by end Stephon Tuitt (12.5 sacks).

The improving offense (27 pts.), is directed by QB Everett Golson (11 touchdown passes – 5 interceptions), with assists from tailbacks; Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood.

When the dual threat QB goes aerial, tight end Tyler Eifert, and wideout T.J. Jones, are comforting targets.

USC is a mess.

But for the Men of Troy, who have playmakers all over the field, this is its Super Bowl, and a chance, for a season salvation victory.

Coach Lane “Violation” Kiffin has also been given the kiss of death, verbal support by AD Pat Hayden, but next season the Trojan head man is definitely on the clock.

Without its All-America QB Matt Barkley (shoulder), the tall task of trying to ruin the Irish dream season, will fall on the arm of its talented r-shirt freshman QB; Max Witter.

Fortunately, the kid has the luxury of focusing on a pair of future Sunday wideouts; in game-breakers; All-America Marquise Lee, and his partner Robert Woods.

The nation’s best pairing, has put up Bond-like box office numbers; combining for a jaw-dropping; 173 receptions; 2326 yards, and 24 TDs. 

USC can also move it on the ground with Penn State transfer tailback Silas Redd, and his backfield mate Curtis McNeal.

It’s the D, which has caused a season of agita for the Sons of John McKay.

This group, behind end Morgan Breslin (11.5 sacks), and backer Dion Bailey has been dented more often than the cars of Mass. Hwy. Safety Director: Sheila Burgess.

As we move toward the “everlasting” Christmas season, in the biggest Notre Dame Football game since 1993, we think, the Luck of the Irish continues to shine on the Domers.

[For what it’s worth, Notre Dame is on the cover of this week’s SI.]

No.6 Florida at No. 10 Florida State (Ch.5, 3:30 p.m.) “W” had just been elected (2000), the last time this rivalry game carried such importance.

That was also the last time, both teams, were ranked tenth or higher.

And this year, the intra-state clash, showcases a pair of 10-1 teams, both with suffocating defenses.

The Gators need mucho help, but remain alive for a “long-shot” opportunity to play in the National Championship Game.

The Men of the Swamp have sucked down opponents behind the nation’s fourth rated overall D.

This group, featuring end Sharrif Floyd (10 tfls), backer Jon Bostic, and safety Josh Evans, allows a miniscule 11 points per game, and defends the pass, and run, with equal panache.

On offense, these are not your father’s Spurrier Fun’n Gun Gainesville Flyers.

Florida welcomes the return of its dual-threat QB Jeff Driskel (ankle), which should open up some lanes for its talented pile driving tailback; Mike Gillislee.

Otherwise, the Gators, 79th in scoring, and a swamp-like, sixth from the bottom, spinning the pigskin, have snoozed out its scoreboard operator by averaging; 25 pts. a game.

The last time the Seminoles had such a formidable season; Bobby Bowden was sporting his oversized straw hat, and spewing “dadgums” on the sideline.

The balanced Tallahassee eleven, averaging 42 points a game, are directed by the country’s seventh most efficient passer, dual-threat E.J. (21 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions) Manuel.

The Galapagos tortoise sized QB (6-5, 238), is assisted by tailbacks; Devonta Freeman, James Wilder jr., and wideout Rashad Greene.

The nation’s top ranked overall D, led by end Cornellius Carradine (10.5 sacks), and backer Telvin Smith, is tops in stopping the run, playing like a vintage Bowden squad.

In a very tough game to get a handle on, SEC vs. ACC, we’ll select, despite the home field advantage, the better league, as the Gators stake its claim for national prominence.

No. 5 Oregon at No. 16 Oregon State (Pac-12, 3 p.m.) The Civil War has seldom been bigger, and that includes Gettysburg.

If the Ducks win, and Stanford loses to UClA, Oregon, with a lot of help, remains alive for a national title shot. 

But a loss here, and it’s simply dead Ducks.

The nation’s second highest scoring team (51pts.) revolves around a pair of Heisman sniffers; tailback Kenjon Barner (over 1400 yards – 19TDs), and dual threat QB Marcus (29 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions) Mariotta.

This lightening duo, along with all-purpose wr/rb De’Anthony Thomas, can score faster than Derek Sanderson in his prime, on and off the ice.

Unfortunately, for the Duck faithful, the D, featuring backers; Kiko Alonso (11tfls), and Michael Clay, has more injuries than a professional rodeo bull rider.

In Corvallis, Beavers Coach Mike Riley has gone from updating his resume, to a certain extension, and a strong; Coach of the Year candidate.

Unlike its counterpart, OSU isn’t flashy, but has won with a solid defense and steady, mistake free play.

Co-QB’s; Sean Mannion, and Cody Vaz, have led the way, with assists from tailbacks Storm Woods, and Terron Ward.

When the signal callers take to the skies, quality big play wideouts; Markus Wheaton, and Brandon Cooks, are primary targets.

The D, led by backer Michael Doctor, and safety Ryan Murphy, stones runners, while surrendering a respectable 21 points a game.

In a hard fought game, it’s not called the Civil War for nothing; the Ducks remain alive, and bounce back with a title clinging win in Corvallis.

No. 11 Stanford at No. 15 UCLA (FOX, 6:30 p.m.) UCLA has already punched its ticket into the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game, and should Stanford win, it will do the same.

Two weeks ago Stanford Coach David Shaw made a QB change to Kevin Hogan (7 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions), and it has sprouted the Cardinal new wings.

The offensive igniter leans heavily on his starry tailback Stepfan Taylor (over 1200 yds.), and an All-America caliber tight end Zach Ertz.

But it’s the smart kids D, the nation’s 10th stingiest, which has given Stanford its identity, and is the foundation of the teams success.

The Farm boys attack features a trio of speedy backers: Trent Murphy (15.5 tfls – 8.5 sacks) Chase Thomas (10 tfls), and Shayne Skove.

These guys are never out of position, swarm to the ball, crush runners, and cause more intestinal discomfort, than an undercooked turkey.

In Westwood, newly minted Coach Jim Mora has made Bruins football relevant once again.

The best decision by the Coach of the Year candidate, was to make r-shirt dual-threat freshman QB Brett Hundley (25 touchdown passes – 9 interceptions) the starter.

Mr. California Cool has played with the poise of a senior, with assists from one of the nation’s finest tailbacks Jonathan Franklin (over 1400 yds) and a Himalayan sized (6-7, 258) All-America tight end, Joseph Fauria, who has hauled in 10 touchdowns.

The D, despite the excellence of backer Anthony Barr (18 tfls – 12 sacks), and end Datone Jones (13.5 tfls), remains a work in progress.

In a game that is closer than a Presidential election, we’ll take the Farm Boys to earn the right to face off against UCLA next week for the Pac – 12 Championship.

No. 20 Michigan at No. 4 Ohio State (Ch.5, Noon) Wearing a Ram helmet for his final regular season game, Denard Robinson, and Big Blue, would love nothing better, than to spoil Ohio State’s perfect season.

But it won’t be as a quarterback for the senior legend.

Instead, the nation’s fifteenth best runner, will be weaving, and slicing, from the tailback position.

Two weeks ago, due to an arm injury, Wolverine Coach Brady Hoke was forced to go to backup Devin Gardner, and that move rejuvenated the pedestrian Ann Arbor offense.

It also gave a surge of energy to UM’s field-stretching wideouts; Jeremy Gallon, and Roy Roundtree, who saw their catching numbers exponentially grow.

The bedrock of the Big House eleven is the country’s seventeenth (18 pts.) stingiest D, which is led by a pair of swarming backers; Jake Ryan and Kenny Demens.

In Columbus, the Urban renewal project is way ahead of schedule.

 But thanks to Tatoo-gate, the Buckeyes, despite the possibility of finishing with a perfect season, will not be going bowling.

The Sons of Woody Hayes are directed by its Heisman contending dual-threat QB Braxton Miller, (14 touchdown passes – 6 ints. – 13 rushing) with assists from tailback Carlos Hyde and receivers; Corey Brown, and Devin Smith.

The improving D features a pair of sledge hammer backers; Ryan Shazier and John Simon, who have combined for 30 tfls, and 13 sacks.

In a game that will be tighter than Park Street Station at rush hour, we can make a case for either side, but never underestimate Meyer in a big game; the Buckyes dot the I.

Last week: 2-3                                                                 Season record: 42-18

We will be up and running with our recap on Sunday by noon, until then, Peace, and listen to the music.                   pk

Recap week 12

Wow!!

To paraphrase from the poem; “Casey at the Bat,”

‘When the dust had lifted, we saw what had occurred,

Oregon, and Kansas State, had fallen,

And Notre Dame, yes Notre Dame, was at the head of the herd!’

The Whooping in Waco, a 52-28 beat down by the Baylor Bears over previously undefeated Kansas State.

And the stunning 17 -14 victory by 21 point underdog Stanford in Eugene, over the nation’s highest scoring team Oregon, readmits the SEC into the national title picture.

If Notre Dame can get by a wounded USC team, the Irish will play the winner of the SEC Championship Game between Georgia and Alabama, for the national title.

AMAZING!!!

Its days like Saturday, which reinforce the reasons of why, we think, the college football season is the best of them all.

The results also dramatically shook up the fluid Heisman Trophy race.

The consensus now is that’ it has come down to a two person race: Johnny “Football” Manziel, quarterback of Texas A&M, and Manti-Te’o, linebacker of Notre Dame.

This Saturday night, with maybe the biggest prime-time national television college football audience of all time, it may be Te’o’s to lose.

In LA the king is dead, long live the king!

Led by its newly minted coach Jim Mora, UCLA, in the Rose Bowl, ended five years of frustration, as the Bruins stomped its cross-town rivals 38-28, giving the preseason No, 1 team in the land its 4th loss.  YIKES!

It gives new relevance to the rivalry, and UCLA football.

And it’s nice to see a class act winning football games in Los Angeles.

And despite its 4 losses, USC Athletic Director Pat Hayden reiterated that Trojan Coach; Lane “Violation” Kiffin, would return next season.

Up at the Heights it was; “deja-vu all over again,” as the Eagles lost in overtime to Virginia Tech; 30-23 dropping them to a last place 2-9.

The game also marked the final home appearance for Coach Frank Spaziani, who most certainly will not return next season. 

God-speed Spaz.

In the Old Friend Department; it was another good day for the teammates from Silver Lake Regional.

Harvard’s Coach, Tim Murphy defeated Yale for a record sixth consecutive time; 34-24,  while Dartmouth took care of its rival Princeton 35-21.

In the wilds of Clemson, Tom O’Brien (formerly at BC) was shellacked by the Tigers 62-48, which dropped the once promising Wolfpack to an unacceptable; 6-5, 3-4.

It puts O’Brien on a coaching seat that is starting to heat up.

In Lawrence, Kansas Charlie Weis stood by helplessly, as he watched his Jayhawks hammered by a mediocre (6-5) Iowa State team 51-13.

It was KU’s (1-10), 20th consecutive Big-12 loss and the 36th loss in the last 42 by the woeful Jayhawks, under three different coaches.  Double Yikes!!

Weis who offered to pay the $3 student ticket fee to send the seniors out on a positive note for their last home game, had only a few hundred kids take him up on his offer.

But that is what pathetic coaching, and losing football begets!!

Ohio State went into Madison undefeated, and left the same way knocking of Wisconsin in overtime; 21-14.

But it was a fumble on the goal line by Wiscy’s All-America tailback Montee Ball, only his second in 907 career touches that kept him from owning the all time NCAA touchdown record of 79.

He should capture the record next week.

To one of the nation’s most scintillating players; Michigan’s QB; Denard Robinson, a Big House farewell was in order.

Robby went out in style in his final home game, by playing tailback, and rushing for 98 yards, averaging 7.5 yards per carry, as Meechigan crushed Iowa 42-17.

Robinson is everything that is good about college athletics, and often carried the Wolverines to victory.

That’s it from cyber space, we’ll be up and running with our week 13 analysis Wednesday night, until then, Peace, and listen to the music.     PK

Analysis of Week 12

We begin this Harvard/Yale week; also known as the 129 playing of “The Game,” with a dog.

He goes by the moniker of Handsome Dan.  He is the Yale bulldog, a mascot that traces back to 1889.  And is the first animal mascot in college football history.

The first dog was purchased by a local blacksmith, Andrew Graves for the sum of $5.

His taxidermied body remains on permanent display in the lobby of the Payne Whitney Gymnasium.

Legend has it, according to the Philadelphia press that; “Dan would bark ferociously, and work himself into physical contortions of rage, never before dreamed of by a dog once the command ‘Speak to Harvard’ was given.”

The present Dan and the one who will be in attendance at the Stadium Saturday is; XVII.

This weekend let’s see which teams perform handsomely, and which play so poorly, they are treated like dogs.

Yale at Harvard – The Game (NBCSN, Noon) Over the last decade, “The Game,” has been dominated by the Crimson.

Harvard has won 10 of the last 11, and is currently entertaining a five game winning streak.

This year the rivalry also carries an added intriguing twist.

Newly minted Yale Coach Tony Reno was hired from the Harvard staff last year, making him the first head coach in Bulldog history to go from H to Y.

He also took with him, several of Harvard’s assistants, which didn’t sit very well with Crimson Coach Tim Murphy.

The Johns are a balanced offensive juggernaut; fourth in the FCS, (40 points) in scoring, while passing for over 200 yards, and rushing for over 200 yards per contest.

These Sons of Joe Restic, are directed by senior dual-threat QB, Colton Chapple (22 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions), with assists from tailback Treavor Scales, and wideout Ricky Zorn.

The FCS’s 8th stingiest D (16 pts.) led by tackle Nnamdi Obukwelu and backer Joshua Boyd, stones runners, but struggles defending the pass.

All one needs to know about the Yale season, is that the “Elis,” due to injuries, are starting its fourth quarterback.

The Bulldogs are now directed, out of necessity, by recent wideout, Henry Forman.

That is the main reason that the Sons of Carm Cozza, are averaging a shocking “single wing” sized total of; 14 points a game.

The converted QB is assisted by tailback Mordecai Cargill, and when he makes a connection, wideout Cameron Sandquist is a primary target.

The 93rd ranked D featuring backer Ryan Falbo, and safety Collin Bibb, has almost as many issues, as General David Patreaus had late night visits, from his “biographer.”

With the added incentive mixed in, Harvard will take no prisoners, as the football fighting Cantabrigians extends it streak of domination to an even half-dozen.

No.14 Stanford at No.1 Oregon (Ch.5, 8 p.m.)  After last week’s comeback victory, Stanford Coach David Shaw described, “Almost Shakespearean, to a certain degree.”

(Other than the Farm, and maybe Duke, Shakespeare’s name is seldom mentioned when referring to a football game!)

Unfortunately, it could be a Shakespearean Tragedy, when the Cardinal journey’s to Eugene.

The Smart Kids are directed by newly installed QB Kevin Hogan (6 touchdown passes – 2 interceptions), with assists from his 1000 yard senior tailback; Stepfan Taylor.

When the energizing commander goes aerial, All-America tight end Zach Ertz, and wideout Drew Terrell, are chain moving beacons of a pedestrian (29 pts) offense.

The nation’s 12th stingiest D (17 pts.) led by backers; Chase Thomas, Shayne Skov, and Trent Murphy, is tops stopping the run, but a bottom feeding 99th against the pass.

The Ducks, who lead the country in scoring (54 pts.) move swifter than a rat at Castle Island, or a group of Kenyans running the marathon.

In fact, these speed of light disciples, have outscored first half opponents by the jaw-dropping aggregate of: 348-90, effectively darkening the hopes of any challengers.

The Sons of Terry Baker are directed by freshman QB, Marcus Mariota (28 touchdown passes – 5 interceptions), who operates with surgical precision, while leading the nation in passing efficiency.

The Eugene dart thrower leans heavily on his Heisman contending tailback, Kenjon Barner, who has rumbled for over 1300 yards and 19 TDs, mostly, in first half duty.

Multi-purpose receiver De’Anthony Thomas, and wideout Bralon Addison, are the primary targets in the equally explosive passing attack.

The D, which has a lot of players in the Mash Unit, leads the nation (19) in interceptions. It is led by tackle Taylor Hart, and backer Michael Clay, and although not considered stellar, it is the best unit in the Kelly regime.

Every student at Stanford knows, there is no chance of slowing something, which moves at the speed of light.

There is no chance to catch the Ducks, who move, to paraphrase Mel Brooks at; “Ludicrous speed.”

No.6 Ohio State at Wisconsin (Ch. 5, 3:30 p.m.) The Buckeyes decision to accept its bowl ban this year, as opposed to last, has cost the Columbus Colossus millions.

In addition, the animosity over recruiting between Wiscy’s Coach, Bret Bielema, and Urban Meyer, makes the Ray Flynn – Tom Menino frost-a-thon, look like a love-in.

The Sons of Hopalong Cassady, are ignited by its Heisman contending QB, Braxton Miller (14 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions -13 rushing), who does his best work with his legs, over 1000 yards.

The leader of nation’s 8th best ground attack, is assisted by tailback Carlos Hyde, while wideouts Corey Brown, and Devin Smith, are favorite targets.

The D led by backer Ryan Shazier, and end John Simon, stone runners, but is ranked a woeful 97,defending against the pass.

The Badgers have already punched its ticket to the BIG Ten Championship game.

The Boys from Madison may have the best running tandem since the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.

The twosome of Montee Ball and James White, have rumbled for over 1800 yards and 24 TDs.

(Note: Ball needs two more touchdowns to eclipse the all-time NCAA record of 78.)

The QB duties have been given to senior Curt Phillips (1 touchdown pass – 0 interceptions), the third signal caller to start under center this season for the Badgers.

The country’s 12th stingiest D (17 pts.) led by backers Mike Taylor, and Chris Borland (hamstring) is solid in all phases.

It’s never easy to go against Wiscy in Mad-Town, but with a better coach, and more dynamic QB, we think the Buckeyes say; “Good-bye Columbus,” to the cheese heads.

No.21 USC at No.17 UCLA (FOX, 3 p.m.) The winner, in this battle for LA, punches its ticket into the inaugural Pac-12 title game.

Overall, it’s been a disappointing, and turmoil filled season, for the Men of Troy, who were once considered national championship timber.

But it seems, wherever Lane “Violation” Kiffin is, trouble follows closely.

The deflated footballs incident blamed on the team manager, is like Claude Rains being “shocked” that gambling was taking place at Ricks Café.  Please!!

Next thing you tell me is that Jesse Jackson Jr., is a crook!!

It’s also been a disappointing season for QB Matt Barkely (33 touchdown passes – 13 interceptions), who was the preseason Heisman front runner.

The Golden Boy has the luxury of focusing on a pair of future Sunday performers; the best wideout pairing in America; All-America Marquise Lee and Robert Woods.

These glue fingered whippets, are open more than Store 24, and have combined for an eye-popping 159 receptions, and 23 touchdowns.

The ground attack is also top shelf, featuring Penn State transfer Silas Redd, and his backfield mate Curtis McNeal, who have combined for over1200 punishing yards.

But the real Trojan Horse has been the USC defense.

This crew, led by sack master Morgan Breslin (9.5), and backer Dion Bailey have displayed more holes than a Big Dig tunnel.

UCLA football is once again relevant in the City of Angels.

The man responsible for that turnaround, is newly minted Coach Jim Mora, who has brought discipline and, more importantly, an infusion of enthusiasm onto the Westwood campus.

The Bruins are led by its future, r-shirt freshman QB Brett Hundley (24 touchdown passes – 9 interceptions), whose is as cool as Steve McQueen on a motorcycle.

The kid leans heavily on the nation’s 6th best runner Jonathan Franklin, and wideout Shaquelle Evans and Prudential-sized (6-7, 258) tight end Joseph Fauria to move the chains.

The D featuring backers Anthony Barr (11 sacks), and Eric Kendricks ranks 75th overall, and a dismal103rd defending the pass, the wrong recipe against USC.

UCLA is improving, but we think, in a close game, that the Trojan Horse remains more battle tested, and ultimately forces the Bruins surrender.

No. 25 Kent State at Bowling Green (ESPN3, Noon) The Golden Flashers have been golden.

Kent State, riding an eight game winning streak, is playing its biggest football game, since Richard Nixon was calling plays for George Allen’s Redskins; 1972.

(Note the irony of Kent State with Nixon – “Four Dead in Ohio.”)

A Kent victory clinches the MAC East title, propels them into the MAC Championship Game, and guarantees a bowl invite for the first time in four decades.

The nation’s 15th best ground attack features a bull and hare combo; Trayion Durham, and Dri Archer, who have scampered for over 2000 yards and 25 TDs.

Archer is one of the country’s most dynamic players; leading the nation in kickoff returns – 40 yards – and is sixth in scoring, averaging 11 points a game.

The supervisor of these yardage churners is QB Spencer Keith (9 touchdown passes – 5 interceptions), who utilizes Archer, and Josh Boyle for his aerial attacks.

The D, behind tackle Roosevelt Nix, and backer Luke Batton, is about as stout as the head of a badly poured Guinness.

The Falcons are flying, having won 6 straight, and with a victory, will be in control of its own destiny.

But unlike the Flashers, Bowling Green strength is suffocating defense, deadlier than a rap concert at the Strand Theatre.

The country’s sixth ranked D, and 9th stingiest (15 pts.), is led by its sack maestro tackle Chris Jones (11.5), who has also rung-up 17 tackles for losses.

The offense commanded by QB Matt Schilz (10 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions), tailback Anthon Samuel, and receiver Chris Gallon, does just enough (23 pts.)to give its D a breather.

We think the curse of Milhous catches up with the Flashers, as the Falcons of Bowling Green, in a close one, finds a way to win.

(Don’t be surprised if both of these coaches; Kent State’s Darrell Hazell, and BG’s Dave Clawson, get interviewed for the BC job.)

 

Last week: 4-1                                                            Season record: 40-15

Be sure to read our recap which will be up and running Sunday at noon, until then Peace, and listen to the music.             PK

Recap week 11

WOW!

To paraphrase the late great Howard Cosell; “Down goes Alabama.”

The sound that quaked from Tuscaloosa Saturday afternoon was the seismic shifting of the college football landscape, as Texas A&M shocked Alabama; 29-24.

The nation’s “numero uno,” was undone by the SEC newbies, led by the newest college football legend, known by the cool James Dean moniker of; “Johnny Football.”

His real name is Johnny Manziel, and the r-shirt freshman QB, ran, and passed his way through the Tide’s defense, with the panache of an Archie Manning, and Joe Namath.

When the season started everyone questioned the logic of the Aggies joining the toughest conference in the land – not anymore!

The Sons of John David Crow, under its new Coach of the Year candidate Kevin Sumlin, are 8-2, have a Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback, and belong on the big stage.

It was an amazing, stunning, and absolutely phenomenal performance by the visitors from College Station, and probably ended the SEC’s six year reign as BCS champions.

The loss propels Kansas State, who could have predicted this, to the top spot in the polls, and moves Oregon, and the Notre Dame, up one notch, to the second and third position.

But write that in pencil, there is a lot of football left to play.

It has happened, (remember Auburn 2004), but it would be highly unusual to have a season end with three undefeated teams.

So a word of caution to the alums of those remaining unblemished schools; Do not make any championship reservations.

Anything could, and probably will happen.

That’s why we love the game of college football, its unpredictability.

In the Old Friend Department it was a mixed bag.

Silver Lake high school teammates; Tim Murphy of Harvard, and Buddy Teevens of Dartmouth were both on the shot end of the stick.

The loss by Harvard was particularly devastating.

The Crimson lost control of its Ivy League fate, and will now need a loss by Penn, and beat its arch-rival Yale next Saturday, in the Stadium, to earn a share of the Ancient Eight title.

Up at the Heights, it was more of the same, as the Eagles of BC (2-8), played tough against the Irish (21-6), but the result was predictable, as the Spaziani era tortuously draws to a close.

As we say every week, BC need look no further than the Football Offices of Harvard and Timmy Murphy for its next coach.

He’s a proven winner, coached at the Division 1 level, and knows how to recruit; the starting QB in Buffalo is a Harvard grad.

Coaching at Harvard, he also understands the priority of academics, and is an innovative football mind, with a like minded staff.

But most importantly, because he is from the area, and in his early 50’s, Murphy will not use, as so many previous coaches have the BC job as a stepping stone.

He has nothing left to prove at Harvard, and this would be the cherry topper to a tremendous coaching career.

But the best part, he would consistently win at the Heights, while infusing the program with an enthusiasm, that has been seriously lacking in the last few years.

It truly is a no brainer.

But you have to ask yourself; outside of hiring Jerry York, when was the last time BC did the right thing regarding its coaching hires?

In Raleigh, North Carolina, Tom O’Brien’s Wolfpack (6-4) bounced back, after last week’s desultory performance against Virginia, defeating Wake Forest 37-6, and in doing so became bowl eligible.

It’s been a roller coaster season for the Pack, but O’Brien’s Boys still have a chance to finish strong.

In Lubbock, Texas Charlie Weis’s Jayhawks (1-9, 0-7) played as well as possible before falling in double overtime; 41-34.

In the dénouement of his career, Tennessee coach Derek Dooley and his Vols were serenaded with a chorus of boos, as the Volunteers lost in 4ot’s to Missouri; 51-48.

It was UT’s 13 loss in its last 14 SEC games, and the Knoxville faithful will demand a change on the Volunteer sideline for next season.

Where’s Phil Fulmer when you need him?!

With only three week’s remaining the Heisman race shapes up with the following:

Collin Klein – KState – Kenyon Barner – Oregon -Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M.

Finally in the ridiculous nature the game is taking; i.e. Georgia Tech 68, North Carolina 50, the best line of the day belonged to ESPN college football guru Reese Davis.

Upon showing highlights of a game that resembled tag-rush with pads: Davis said, “The first team to make a tackle wins the game.”  Perfectly said!!

That’s it from cyber space, we’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 12 Wednesday night, until then, Peace, and listen to the music.

Analysis Week 11

We begin this post election week with; “The Eyes of Texas,” and a tribute to a college football legend.

Mr. Texas Football, UT’s iconic Coach, Darrell K. Royal, passed away Wednesday at the age of 88. 

He suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

Here are some of the highlights of the coach’s career:

In 1956, at the age of 32, Royal became the head Coach of Longhorns, a position he would hold for the next 23 years, while capturing 3 national championships.

He also created the Texas Longhorn symbol which is recognizable all over the country.

But his biggest creation came in 1968.

That was the year the Hall of Fame coach created the wishbone offense.

It was an attack that led to a 30 game winning streak, and six straight Southwest Conference Championships.

It also changed the way the game of football was played.

Royal never had a losing season, compiled a pair of undefeated seasons, won 10 Cotton Bowl Championships, and the Austin stadium bears his name

He truly was; Mr. Texas.  God-speed; coach.

This weekend, let’s see which teams are hoping to “eyeball” a victory, and which simply “wish,” done to its “bones,” that it was half the opponent at the Horns.

No. 15 Texas A&M at No.1 Alabama (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) In College Station, the legend of “Johnny Football” continues to nurture.

His given name in Johnny Manziel, and the freshman QB, is the best thing to appear on the Texas A&M campus since; John David Crow, or Lyle Lovett.

The dual-threat dynamo has passed for 16 touchdowns, rushed for 15, and has compiled better numbers, than the retirement package, of a Citigroup CEO.

The fuel injected commander of the nation’s fourth highest scoring (44 pts) eleven, is assisted by tailback, Ben Malena, and wideouts; Mike Evans, and Ryan Swope.

This group, which strikes faster than a Navy Seal, has outscored opponents by an aggregate second quarter total; 151-47.

The D, featuring sack master end Damontre Moore (11.5 sacks), and backer Jonathan Stewart, doesn’t conjure images of the “Wrecking Crew,” but has been a pleasant surprise.

In Tuscaloosa, the mask of invincibility shrouding the Alabama defense was peeled back last week, and the underpinnings exposed some shocking vulnerabilities.

But it remains to be seen, if A&M has the ability to fully infiltrate those fissures.

Coach Saint Nick’s D, behind backers; C.J. Mosley, Nico Johnson, and Trey Depriest, ranks second overall, and hits harder than a Joe Frazier left hook.

These punishers have surrendered a seasonal total of; 10 TDs.

The offense is directed by its flawless QB, A.J. McCarron, who operates as the country’s third most efficient passer.

The Heisman contending dart thrower (19 touchdown passes – 0 interceptions), is assisted by one of the best tailback pairings in America; T.J. Yeldon and Eddie Lacy.

These plow horses have combined for 1404 yards, and 15 TDs.

To put it another way, that’s about one- half’s worth of running by the Oregon Ducks.

When Mr. Perfect takes to the air, wideouts; Amari Cooper, and Kevin Norwood, are comforting targets.

In a game of contrasting styles, we think, even with the spirit of A&M’s 12th Man, there is still too much to overcome against the Titans of Tuscaloosa, for the SEC newbie’s.

No. 13 Oregon State at No. 16 Stanford (Fox, 3 p.m.) The Beavers are the Rodney Dangerfield of the college football world.

Everyone keeps waiting for Mike Riley’s team to implode, like Rick Perry’s Presidential campaign, but the gritty guys from Palouse, just keep piling up the wins.

The pedestrian, one dimensional offense (76th in scoring – 26 pts), is now officially under the direction of junior QB Cody (7 touchdown passes – 1 interception) Vaz.

When OSU does try to run (105th) tailback Terron Ward gets the call, but wideouts Brandon Cooks, and Markus Wheaton, are quality chain moving weapons.

The nation’s 19th stingiest D (18 pts.) stones runners behind backer Michael Doctor, and end Scott Crichton, but struggles defending the pass.

In Palo-Alto, the Sons of John Elway have also installed a new commander.

Coach David Shaw needed an offensive spark, and has given the keys to r-shirt, dual-threat freshman QB; Kevin (3 touchdown passes – 0 interceptions) Hogan.

The kid gets great assists from his hard charging tailback Stepfan Taylor, and a pair of big-play receivers; tight end Zach Ertz, and wideout Drew Terrell.

The nation’s 12th stingiest eleven (16 pts.) is tops stopping the run, and attacks behind a trio of bone rattling backers, Trent Murphy, Chase Thomas, and Shane Skov.

We think, at home on The Farm, the Cardinal dams the Beavers.

No. 22 Mississippi State at No. 9 LSU (ESPN, 7 p.m.) The Bulldogs have lost its early season bite.

Coach Dan Mullen’s Bullies are in need of a GPS, but a trip to Death Valley is hardly the best direction to try and rectify the ills of the Starkville visitors.

MSU is directed by its talented junior QB, 6-4, 220 pound Tyler (16 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions) Russell, with an assist from tailback LaDarius Perkins.

And when the big armed signal caller takes to the air, receivers Chad Bumphis and Chris Smith are comforting touchdown makers.

The D, led by backers Benardrick McKinney, and Cameron Lawrence, is a plus 13 in turnover margin, but struggles slowing the run, which is the wrong formula against LSU.

The Bayou Bengals still have an outside shot to play in the Sugar Bowl.

And, for at least one week, the criticism sprayed towards QB Zach (8 touchdown passes – 4 interceptions) Mettenberger, has been bottled.

In fact, last week’s performance conjured up visions of LSU immortal; Bert Jones.

But to a skeptical Baton Rouge fan base, it remains to been seen, if his virtuoso show was real; or Memorex.

The Tigers real comfort zone comes from a yardage churning ground assault, featuring true freshman Jeremy Hill, while receivers; Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham are explosive, and acrobatic.

The country’s 10th stingiest D (15 pts.) featuring All-America end Sam Montgomery and backer Kevin Minter, plays with the seething anger of a New Yorker towards Con-Edison.

But for the Sons of Billy Cannon, it’s the defensive eleven, who remain its foundation, and ultimately will determine the success of LSU’s season.

In Death Valley, there may be an early hangover effect, but ultimately, the Bulldogs GPS remains in disrepair.

Penn State at No.18 Nebraska (Ch.5, 3:30 p.m.)    JoPa who?

This is now Billy O’Brien’s team.

The Coach of the Year candidate, has deftly moved from the shadow of Penn State’s disgraced legendary coach, and stamped his identity onto the 2012 Nittany Lions.

It begins with his reclamation project, of senior QB Matt McGloin (18 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions), who before O’Brien’s arrival, was permanently chained in Paterno’s doghouse.

The BIG Ten’s leading QB, is assisted by tailback Zach Zwinak, and a pair of dynamic receivers; wideout Allen Robinson (8 TDs), and tight end Kyle Carter.

The country’s 14th tightest D (17 pts.) flies around, behind a pair of disrupting backers; All-America caliber Michael Manti, and his partner, Gerard Hodges.

In Lincoln, the Huskers have been better escape artists than; Houdini.

The maestro behind those late game heroics is junior QB Taylor Martinez (18 touchdown passes – 8 interceptions), whose rocket propelled legs do more damage than his arm.

But as the Nebraska faithful are well aware, its magic-man induces more frustration, and heartache, than cornfield in the middle of a summer drought.

The nation’s 6th best running attack leans on tailback Ameer Abdulah, and when Martinez goes aerial, wideouts Kenny Bell and Quincy Enunwa are primary targets.

The D behind backer Will Compton, and end Eric Martin, has at times been as defenseless as a microphone, in the hand of, Bill Clinton.

If this game was in Happy Valley, we’d take the Nits, but in the sea of red in Lincoln, we think that the Sons of Bob Devaney will prevail.

No. 5 Georgia at Auburn (ESPN, 7 p.m.) In the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry,” a Bulldog victory gains entrance into the SEC Championship Game, for the second consecutive season.

But the Dawgs, who have more talent than a Victoria Secret Runway Show, have yet to play a game with every piston properly firing.

Georgia is directed by its senior QB, Aaron Murray (21 touchdowns – 7 interceptions), with assists from a pair of scintillating freshman tailbacks; Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.

This duo has combined for over 1200 yards and 15 TDs.

When the Athens field general is firing; wideouts Tavarres King and Malcolm Mitchell are comforting, sure handed targets.

The performance of its talent laden D, featuring All-America backer Jarvis Jones (15 tfls – 8.5 sacks), and his partner Amarlo Herrera, has been as puzzling as a Donald Trump tweet #lunatic!

The last time Auburn started this poorly, (2-7, 0-6 SEC) Dwight D. Eisenhower was occupying the Oval Office.

In fact, Coach Gene Chizik, who finds himself just two years removed from the Cam Newton championship team, is in serious jeopardy of losing his gig.

War Eagle, who has been outscored by an average; 27-19, and sits a bottom feeding 109th in scoring (19), has decided on freshman QB Jonathan Wallace to try and save the sinking ship.

The kid will heavily rely on the assistance of tailbacks; Tre Mason and Onterio McCalebb, while big play wideout Emory Blake will snatch passes.

The Tigers D, behind backers Corey Lemonier and Daren Bates is woeful slowing the run, which is the wrong recipe against the Boys from Athens.

The Dawgs have no intention of letting its arch-rival derail its Atlanta travel plans as the Bulldogs strut into the SEC Championship Game.

 

Last week: 5-0                                                            Season record: 36-14

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