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Thoughts on a football Saturday

Posted on: September 20, 2009 6:55 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2009 7:10 pm

The B.S. meter was off the charts this week. Let’s sweep away the pretenders …

 Please, no more “Is Nebraska back?” talk it actually beats someone.  Saturday’s 16-15 loss at Virginia Tech makes it 16 losses in a row on the road to top 20 teams. I don’t care if it was one point. I’m sure Bo Pelini isn’t reveling in the closeness of the final score.

You don’t let scatter-armed Tyrod Taylor loose long enough to complete an 80-yard pass that Dan Marino shouldn’t have been able to complete. It’s called situational defense, ‘Skers. You secondary lines up so it can’t be beaten over the top.

Check with us later Huskers, if you happen to win the Big 12 North. As for me, I’m checking out for now.

 B.S. also on BYU. How in the name of LaVell Edwards do the Cougars not show up in one of their biggest home games in years? It was the home opener, for gosh sakes, against a Florida State team that looked outmanned.

BYU just played itself out of the BCS championship and into the Las Vegas Bowl. Even if the Cougars run the table from here on in, voters would have to think long and hard about making this a BCS bowl team.

I mean, 54-28? Five turnovers. C’mon!

 B.S. on West Virginia which blew a 27-20 lead to Auburn, losing 41-30. Jarrett Brown threw four of the Mountaineer’s five interceptions. West Virginia committed four of their six turnovers in the fourth quarter.

 I’m also calling B.S. on Texas Tech which lost another road game to a ranked opponent.  The 34-24 loss to Texas came on the heels of last year’s blowout in Norman and the embarrassment in the Cotton Bowl.

Is it me or does The Pirate’s offense just not travel well?

 B.S., finally, on Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins. I know he’s an amateur and he’s just a kid and doesn’t deserve the abuse but …

Dude, that throw against Notre Dame? Only the 7-11 is open more than teammate Larry Caper was in the end zone. Cousins air-mailed a potential game-winning touchdown pass over Caper’s head. On the next play, Cousins tossed an interception at the Notre Dame 4 when all his team needed was a field goal.

The Spartans had won six in a row in South Bend. Now they’ve lost consecutive games by a combined five points.

Observation deck

Why do I get the feeling that Jimmy Clausen is going to make a heck of a run at the Heisman? He’s a gunslinger to begin with. With Notre Dame’s defense sure to give up points, Clausen and the offense are going to have to outscore just about every team they play.

The Michigan Miracle overshadowed a good game by Clausen. Against the Spartans he completed his first 10 in a row and threw for 300 yards. Clausen is second in the nation in pass efficiency having thrown nine touchdowns against no interceptions. That’s the best ratio in the country.

 Speaking of ratios, North Carolina State’s Russell Wilson now has thrown 329 consecutive passes without an interception, an ongoing record. In his career, the sophomore had thrown 25 touchdown passes and one interception.

 Georgia could join the WAC. It has given up a combined 78 points the last two weeks and won both games. Joe Cox made his own statement throwing for five touchdowns in a 52-41 win at Arkansas.

The result overshadowed school records from Arkie’s Ryan Mallett in yards (408) and touchdowns (five). Mallett leads the country in pass efficiency.

 Texas’ Colt McCoy threw only eight interceptions all last season. He has four through three games in '09. In the first six games of last season McCoy threw only 34 incompletions. He has 35 already (75 of 110) through three games.

 This is what the ACC wanted: Miami and Florida State both at the top of the conference. It hasn’t happened quite yet but it looks like it’s coming This is about the branding of a conference. The ACC needs the Hurricanes and Noles in the polls battling for a championship and BCS bowl.

 Florida now has the nation’s longest winning streak at 13. Ole Miss and Southern Miss are tied for second, each with an eight-game streak.
--After taking in the national scene Saturday in one big bite I get the feeling that the team lurking in the grass is Alabama. Texas gave up 420 yards passing. Florida struggled with Tennessee. USC lost.

Bama keeps getting steadily better. It opens the SEC schedule this week against Arkansas. The Tide know how to beat Florida. Monte Kiffin did them a favor offering somewhat of a blueprint on Saturday.  Bama hasn’t played its best football yet.

 The other team that has to feel good about itself? Penn State just played three dogs to start the season, is ranked fourth in the coaches’ poll and has its toughest remaining game at home (against Ohio State on Nov. 7).

Can you imagine Joe Paterno in the BCS title game? Moses might do the coin toss as a special favor to an old friend.

 The right-now, no-hype, no-b.s., not-what-they-did last year Heisman rankings for this week.

1. Tim Tebow, Florida: The Gators don’t beat Tennessee unless Superman churns for 76 well-earned yards on 24 grinding carries.

Key stat of the game: Florida converted on nine of 14 third- and fourth downs. Guess who was responsible most of the time?
“I probably said it three times on the headset, ‘Is the guy ever going to wear out?’ Lane Kiffin said. “He’s not human.”

2. Jacory Harris, Miami.  We are witnessing the evolution of the next great 'Canes quarterback.

3. Eric Berry, Tennessee. If Tebow is the best offensive player in America, Berry is the best defensive player.

Eleven tackles, an interception and one head-to-head mash up with Tebow made Berry the second-most dominant player on the field.

I wrote a story in July suggesting Tennessee use him 50 snaps a game at quarterback. If Kiffin would have tried it on Saturday, the Vols would have won.

4. Jahvid Best, Cal: A school-record five touchdowns against Minnesota. The Bears needed every one of them. Best could earn a trip to New York in a couple of weeks with a big game against USC.

5. Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame: See above.

Honorable mention: Landry Jones, Oklahoma: I don’t care if it’s against air, six touchdown passes is pretty impressive. Jones set the school record against Tulsa making me think that the Sooners might be OK until Sam Bradford returns.

Check back, though, in two weeks when the OU plays at Miami.

 Finally, for those needing motivation to beat Florida. Check out Breakaway Vacations. There were a stack of flyers from Breakaway at the front desk of the Gainesville Courtyard advertising travel packages for Florida fans to both the SEC championship game and national championship game.

BCS Packages Available Now!

There is a refund if “your team” doesn’t make it.

Good Lord, it’s only September.


Since: Sep 17, 2009
Posted on: October 1, 2009 9:46 am

Thoughts on a football Saturday

Mr. B.S. Meter,

I realize that I did not see this until after another week of games (and upsets) so my comments come from having more recent information, but your B.S. meter is just that!!

Virginia Tech was picked to be the cream of the crop in the ACC prior to the season and only after losing to Alabama did the Hokies drop out of the Top Ten.  Nebraska's trip to Blacksburg did result in a loss, but the Huskers outplayed Va. Tech. all day long.  Tyrod Taylor was made out to be a hero in the end, but it took having a receiver running down the sideline all by himself to give him the opportunity to make a "big play".  What about his performance for the previous 58 minutes.

As for your comment about checking out for now, I think Husker fans are glad you did.  Your insight is deplorable.

BYU's performance against Florida State was a combination of being a little flat after a big win and facing an opponent that was fighting mad after a very poor performance.  BYU is not a BCS caliber team and only was thrust into the limelight because OU could not get in sync with their back-up QB until the next game.  Let's see BYU face OU again this week and see what would happen.

Calling B.S. on West Virginia and Texas Tech would mean that both were expected to win their respective games against Auburn and Texas.  Gene Chizek has actually found a program that fits him at Auburn and there is no way West Virginia had any chance in that game.  Meanwhile at Texas Tech, Coach Flake, I mean Leach, has yet to put together any consistency from year to year other than throwing the football for lots of yards.

I am rather surprised by your last B.S. call against Krik Cousins, based on your obvious lean towards Notre Dame.  Cousins did not throw a good pass, but maybe a different call on the interception play would have been in order.  (Also, possibly Cousin's fault.)

From the Observation Deck,  Jimmy Clausen is nothing more than a decent QB.  His mention as a Heisman candidate is stupid.  He may be the best of the Clausen brothers, but best in the nation?  I do not think so.  Charlie Weiss is lucky to have him, since he is the only thing that Weiss has to keep his job.  I read one sportswriter talk about how Notre Dame is one play from being 4-0, but at the same time they are what, two plays from being 1-3.  The Fighting Irish is the biggest pretender right now.

About the only comments you make that I tend to agree with is the statement that Alabama may be the team to watch.  I am not a big Nick Saban fan, but the Tide is in a very good position.  Florida now has a question mark with the concussion suffered by Tim Tebow, while USC has been proven to be just another decent team and California was overwhelmed by Oregon.  The Ducks may be another team to keep an eye on.

Again, with the additional week I have the on-the-field results to back my coments, but Penn State was a pretender in wiating and now the proof is in the pudding.  Iowa sits atop the Big Ten, but there is still a lot of football to be played.  A team that needed two blocked field goal attempts in the final seconds to beat a fair Northern Iowa team is not my idea of a juggernaut in the conference battle.

As for your no-hype Heisman rankings, anyone with Tim Tebow at the top of the list is not looking only at on-the-field performance this season.  Now with his concussion it will remain to be seen if his play will suffer.  As for Jacory Harris and Eric Berry, they do not even belong on the list.  Jahvid Best is a contender, but after the debacle against the Ducks, his candidacy has taken a hit.  He will need to shine on the big stage against USC to move back into contention.

Jimmy Clausen is another that does not belong on the list.  He is a good QB on a pretender of a team, but since that team is Notre Dame, he will get a lot of headlines in the media.  Colt McCoy may not be having the season that he had last year, but he may be the best QB in the land this year.  He is a leader and a winner.  As for putting Landry Jones into you honorable mention category, what a joke.  

On the QB front, Tony Pike at Cinncinati may be the best in the country.  I do not expect Taylor Potts at Texas Tech to get a lot of consideration, but he has put up some impressive numbers.  He does nearly every game what Landry Jones has done once.

On the RB front, Toby Gerhart at Stanford has quietly moced to the top of the PAC10 in rushing and also happens to be a pretty good baseball player.  It will be interseting to see how he continues in league play.

As for defensive players, Nebraska's Ndamakong Suh should receive some consideration.  He has received extra focus from each team faced this season and yet has performed outstanding.  He is knocking down passes right and left, tackling running backs for losses frequently and givning opposing QB's headaches all day long.  He has not had the intercpetions this season like last year (two returned for touchdowns) but he has had just as much of an impact on opponents passing game as their running game. 

Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: September 22, 2009 4:28 pm

Thoughts on a football Saturday

Locker is the best QB and possible the best college football player in the nation!

Jake Locker 6'3" 230 4.37 Drafted in the 10th round with the Angels.

He needs some support?

He is the best QB in the Pac-10.  I believe in the top 5 QB's in D-1 football. Great football background his Gramp was a local Seattle HS football star, his uncle was the 32nd player in the history of College football to rush for 4000+ yards, his cousin is a Frosh at WSU on a full ride football scholli..... USC coach Pete Carroll on Monday called UW quarterback Jake Locker the best he's faced in his time with the Trojans in a column by T.J. Simers of the LA Times. Here's the exact quote from Carroll: "That's the best quarterback we've played in nine years here. Jake Locker has ridiculous talent, and had he remained healthy last year, Tyrone [Willingham] would still be coaching there."

USC coach Pete Carroll also had a few interesting thoughts on the Huskies and Saturday's game. Some highlights:

--- He reiterated his comment that Jake Locker was the best QB USC has played in his nine years there and said that what he saw Saturday only "reinforced'' that thought. "What you saw of him was when the game was on the line, he figured out a way to win, which is how I pictured him. I haven't just said that since ou game but since he came into our conference years ago. He's such a fantastic athlete and such a great competitor and has such great tools.''

--- He also reiterated that he thinks UW would have done much better last year had Locker not gotten hurt. "When they didn't have him, the program sunk and with him they can win and that's where they are right now and they've got a chance to be a really good team. ... Last year when he wasn't there they lost all those games. It was a lot to put on the guy but he if he was there they would have won games.''


Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: September 22, 2009 2:22 pm

Thoughts on a football Saturday

"We'll see," said the Zen master.

Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: September 22, 2009 12:43 pm

Thoughts on a football Saturday

 This is what the ACC wanted: Miami and Florida State both at the top of the conference. It hasn’t happened quite yet but it looks like it’s coming This is about the branding of a conference. The ACC needs the Hurricanes and Noles in the polls battling for a championship and BCS bowl.

Excuse me?  The ACC wanted?  Don't you mean the sportswriters and talking heads at ESPN? 

Yes, of course the ACC admin, all the other ACC schools, all the other ACC coaches amd players, and all the other ACC schools' fans are rooting for FSU and Miami to re-emerge to their past glory so that the ACC can emulate the Big 10 as having only two powerhouses in an otherwise mediocre conference just so that they win every conference game BIG and the broadcasters etc can gush about their storied history so as to "brand the conference" and therefore be worthy to be picked in the top 10 pre-season EVERY YEAR REGARDLESS OF HOW GOOD THEY ACTUALLY ARE same as Ohio State -- Penn State, Texas -- Oklahoma, USC --- UCLA(...? well, Notre Dame then...)regardless of weither or not they had their ASSES HANDED TO THEM in the prior year's BCS bowl game, or not.  This is the same closed mentality that (before the current BCS BS) placed a 10-1, #4 & #6-ranked UNC team into the then, lesser stature Gator Bowl rather than a "big" bowl back in 1997 and likely contributed to Mac Brown skipping to Texas. 

Yeah --- I know I'M looking forward to that day.  Funny --- you' don't seem to think this way during BB season. 

Go write for ESPN.

Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: September 22, 2009 10:14 am

Thoughts on a football Saturday

Love the consistency with your writing Dodd--Landry Jones received honorable mention for six TD's on Sat.    "I don’t care if it’s against air, six touchdown passes is pretty impressive"

Where was the love for Taylor Potts last week with 7 TD passes?!?!?!

Keep up the fantastic work, you freaking moron!

Since: Aug 16, 2009
Posted on: September 22, 2009 12:23 am

Thoughts on a football Saturday

You're right, Deb, FSU ran up and down the field like they were at home against a MAC team.  Over 50 points and over 500 yards of offense, Ponder throws no interceptions, heck, I think FSU's only weakness was too many penalties!!!  And, of course, the traditional missed field goal.  I thought this would have been a close game, tho figured FSU to win.
WVU-Auburn was a good game until the 4th, and Washington, VaTech and Cinci all had big wins in close games.   That said, looks like the ACC with VaTech, FSU and the U may have 3 teams in the top 15 for the rest of the season.

Since: Sep 21, 2009
Posted on: September 21, 2009 11:12 pm

USC is losing the games they shouldn't... really?


USC may or may not be at its end run; the Cal and Notre Dame games should determine that. If the end is near, I'd like to set the record straight: The legacy of this USC dynasty is winning consistently, not a few disappointing losses. Every major media outlet has forwarded the meme that USC & Pete Carroll always lose a game that they shouldn't, and pretty much everybody laughs along.

Only, its just not true.

At least not in an unbiased, even handed analysis of the on-field results. Here's a look at all losses of the SEC, Big XII & Pac10 champs over the last five years (2004-2008). Why these three leagues? Well, they've produced the last 5 BCS champions, and 8 of the last 10 BCS title participants; for that, they are generally considered the top three conferences in college football. Rankings reflect end of season results, not the biased, unreliable crap used to pump up mid-season TV ratings. There is no mention of OT, partly to cloak the identities, but mostly because a loss is a loss. What isn't disguised is where the losses occurred.

If you're a college football fan, the striking similarity between these leagues may give you pause, because it doesn't fall in line with the conventional wisdom. These facts bear a very simple truth: USC doesn't lose the little games any more than any other conference champ.

Conference A Champs: 2004: no losses 2005:no losses 2006: lost to NR*, 33-34 on the road; lost to #13, 10-28 2007: lost to NR, 24-27 on the road; lost to #22, 27-34 on the road 2008: lost to #4, 35-45 Bottom Line: Lost 5 games, total margin 39 points, 2 losses at neutral sites, 2 opponents finished unranked (*only non-conference loss between these 15 teams)

Conference B Champs:2004: no losses2005: no losses 2006: lost to #21, 31-33 on the road; lost to NR, 9-13 on the road2007: lost to NR, 23-24 at home; lost to #23, 17-24 on the road2008: lost to #18, 21-27 on the road Bottom Line: Lost 5 games, total margin 17 points, 1 loss at home, 2 opponents finished unranked

Conference C Champs: 2004: no losses 2005: lost to #12, 10-14 at home; lost to #15, 30-31 at home 2006: lost to #9, 17-27 on the road 2007: lost to NR, 37-43 on the road; lost to NR, 48-50 at home 2008: lost to #18, 30-31 at home Bottom Line: Lost 6 games, total margin 24 points, 4 losses at home, 2 opponents finished unranked

Why spend the time to break all this down? Because the difference between losing by 6 to #18 on the road, is indistinguishable from losing to #14 by 1 at home, unless a melodramatic speech and a whole lot of media dollars say so. Bottom Line results indicate that each champion (whether invited to the BCS or not) stubbed their toe. Each league lost a total of 2 games to teams that finished unranked in five years; meh. Each loss was by an average of about 6 points; how unremarkable. The only thing that sets these conferences apart are the losses at home; what is stunning there is the media's ability to simultaneously trumpet home-field advantage and disregard it all-together when it runs contrary to another favorite meme: SEC superiority. 

Further examination might suggest, that USC which won its conference in each of these seasons, while other teams rotated atop their conference, lose the little game in less dramatic fashion then other media darlings (i.e. Florida, which in only 4 years under Urban Meyer, has lost 7 games, total margin 66 points, 5 losses at home, 1 opponent finished unranked).

The real curiosity shouldn't be "Why does USC continually lose the game it shouldn't?" but rather "Why do we continually reward teams that lose at home?" But I don't expect to see that in print anytime soon, because it just wouldn't sell in the south, no matter how true.

Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: September 21, 2009 7:42 pm

The Tebow Hype Continues

The Ridiculous Hype Continues:  

Tim Tebow, Florida:
The Gators don’t beat Tennessee unless Superman churns for 76 well-earned yards on 24 grinding carries.

Dodds and others of his ilk have become parodies of sports journalism ... how idiots like these are employed and published, just to appeal to the masses, while many others who actually have substance are laid-off is exactly what is worng with our society

Dodds ... grow a pair!

Since: Sep 21, 2009
Posted on: September 21, 2009 4:31 pm

Thoughts on a football Saturday

I got 2 things to throw out there.  
1.  How come no one is talking about how weak of a non-conference schedule Texas plays this year.  Only Penn St. is even close.  Texas' toughest non-conference opponent is Central Florida, talk about a joke.  You have to schedule at least one BCS out of conference game.  That should be a determining factor for them in my book when the national championship game is decided.  Oklahoma plays Miami and BYU, how can Texas justify that weak schedule and why is no one talking about it.  At least Florida plays Fl. St.  No other big time school plays a weaker schedule in my opinion and that should hurt them if they are a one loss team or if there are 2 other undefeated teams at the end.
2.  Dodd, how in the world can you justify Ohio St. at number 5 in your top 25 poll.  What is that possibly based on?  Their only decent win is Navy, who just lost handily to Pittsburgh, and the Bucks barely pulled that one out.  How is USC 10 spots behind the Bucks in your mind when they beat them on the road.  How is Ohio St in the top 10.  A down USC team beat them on their home field.  So I guess in your mind if they win out the Buckeyes should play in the title game assuming there aren't 2 undefeated teams left at the end.  I simply don't see your logic here based on what has happened on the field. Beating up on Toledo does not garner a whole lot of respect in my book, I guess you must have been really impressed with a blowout of a mid-level mac school who got pasted by a mid-level Big 10 school in Purdue who lost to Northern Illinois at home.  Most unjustified poll position I've seen in quite some time.  Did you rank them there just to piss us off or do you really think they deserve a #5 ranking?

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: September 21, 2009 3:04 pm

Thoughts on a football Saturday

Quick Fact Check....The LSU-Washington game was at Washington.

But I do agree with most of the rest....

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