Posted on: November 6, 2010 7:41 pm
Edited on: November 6, 2010 8:19 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The near-universal consensus was that if any one-loss team could leapfrog TCU and Boise State no matter how many points the non-AQ powers piled up on the weak sisters of the Mountain West and WAC (noting that that description does not apply to their overwhelmed victims this afternoon), it was Alabama , the FBS's most-recognized gold standard, lurking dangerously at one loss with several potential computer-friendly victims ahead.
The problem: the first victim on the list wasn't interested in the Tide's own-destiny-controlled narrative. LSU rebounded from a sluggish, wasteful first half to punish the vaunted Alabama defense in the second half, recording 20 points, a whopping 338 total yards, and an all-important game-clinching 3rd-and-13 conversion to win 24-21 . Take your pick as the bigger surprise: that behind an offensive line that blasted open hole after hole in the 'Bama front seven, the LSU ground game churned out 225 yards on 5 yards a carry; or that much-derided LSU quarterbacks Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee emerged as the players of the game, combining to go an efficient 14-of-20 for 204 yards, a touchdown, and -- most importantly given the hay LSU was making on the ground -- no interceptions. Lee's throw to Rueben Randle on the icing conversion was as clutch as delivery as you'll see this year.
But maybe more surprising than either of those developments is that after two full seasons with the Tide as an undefeated, implacable, omnipresent presence in the thick of the national championship discussion, the Tide will not have a say this year, except as a possible spoiler for their rivals at Auburn . Even the clout of the SEC will not push a two-loss champion into the BCS title game, not with the Horned Frogs and Broncos running rampant (and looking unlikely to do anything different down the home stretch). Both the Tide and Bayou Bengals stay alive for the SEC West championship (though both will need an upset win from Georgia on their trip to Auburn next week, among other results in 'Bama's case), and LSU can continue to harbor longshot BCS hopes, but a Sugar Bowl date is now the best-case scenario for the Tide ... leaving an unmistakable crimson-shaded hole in the national title race.
Les Miles ... your thoughts?
Posted on: November 6, 2010 2:31 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Hello there, football fans.
I'll be hosting a live chat over on our Facebook page during CBS' broadcast of LSU and Alabama this afternoon, so why not head over there and join me? We can make fun of Les Miles , talk about Nick Saban's hair helmet, or just comment on the game.
Whatever you want!
After all, this is a pretty important game in the grand scheme of things in the SEC West. Win and you're still alive to get to the SEC Championship. Lose and get ready for the Capital One Bowl. So come on over and marvel at Jordan Jefferson's ability to overthrow any receiver he sets his sights on. it'll be fun.
Just remember that in order to partake in the discussion, you have to like us on Facebook . Please, help our self esteem!
Posted on: October 24, 2010 1:01 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
1. Cam Newton is the greatest thing to happen to college football since Denard Robinson. So this isn't exactly breaking news, but OMG CAM NEWTON IS FREAKING AWESOME. I knew going into Saturday's game that the only way LSU could beat Auburn would be if they stopped Cam Newton, but I also knew that stopping Cam Newton is like trying to stop the Earth from spinning. Unless Les Miles had control over a meteor -- and he might -- it just wasn't going to happen. We're only 8 weeks into the season and Newton has already set the single-season rushing mark for a quarterback in the SEC with 1,077 yards. If he keeps playing like this he should be allowed to take any laptop he wants. Hell, he can have mine.
2. Nick Fairley is pretty special too. I said it during the game on Saturday, and I'll say it again here. Nick Fairley just isn't going to stop until he has the head of every quarterback in the SEC mounted on his wall. As great as Newton played on Saturday, the reason Auburn won was because every time LSU dropped back to pass, Nick Fairley was in the back field flinging people around like bean bags.
3. LSU only has so much "luck." I knew it was going to be hard for LSU to survive the entire season without a loss with a passing attack that works more like a retreat, and it came to a head on Saturday in Auburn. Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson were only able to complete 15-of-28 passes for 89 yards. That's 3.2 yards per attempt. Against an Auburn secondary that was absolutely torched by Kentucky and Arkansas over the last two weeks.
4. South Carolina really needs Marcus Lattimore. We saw South Carolina struggle without Marcus Lattimore last week, succumbing to Kentucky and blowing an 18-point lead in the second half, and the Gamecocks struggled again against Vanderbilt without Lattimore this week. Yes, South Carolina won the game, but it had a lot harder time handling Vandy than it should have. The Gamecocks were only able to manage 2.9 yards per carry, and had to rely on Stephen Garcia. That may work against Vanderbilt, but trust me, having to rely on Stephen Garcia to win games is rarely a good idea.
5. Georgia may just win the SEC East. It's hard to believe that the Bulldogs are still alive, but they are, and they're dangerous. They hung 40 points on an SEC opponent for the third straight week and thanks to four Kentucky turnovers, only needed 290 yards of offense to do it. Oh, and if Washaun Ealey scores five touchdowns in every game, Georgia is going to be tough to beat.
Posted on: October 23, 2010 5:23 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2010 5:27 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Through one half, the LSU defense has lived up to its reputation ... and unfortunately for the visiting Tigers, so has their offense. Gus Malzahn 's dynamic Auburn offense was held to just 10 points and 177 yards in the first half, well below their season averages. While Cam Newton ran for 78 yards and a touchdown, he also threw for only 32 total yards and looked uncomfortable in the pocket against LSU's (arguably) SEC-best secondary.
But those 10 points were good enough for a 10-3 lead until the final 15 seconds of the half, when Jordan Jefferson escaped a Daren Bates tackle at the 10 and sprinted in to tie the game. The play capped a huge 14-play, 78-yard, momentum-changing drive for LSU following a missed field goal by the usually-reliable Wes Byrum , the miss wasting Auburn's own 13-play march. Both teams will kick themselves for missed opportunities; LSU took the ball across midfield on their first three possessions and scored just one 48-yard Josh Jasper field goal.
So who's got the upper hand? LSU will take the second-half kickoff, a big deal in what's shaping up as an extremely low-possession game, but LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee suffered a wrist injury just before the half; Les Miles just said he would play in the second half, but if he can't, can Jefferson throw well enough to keep LSU moving? Can Auburn use their big home crowd to propel themselves into a big second half, as they did against Clemson and South Carolina ? But what if Nick Fairley really has a head injury and has to miss the second half himself?
The Lee injury might tilt the odds slightly in Auburn's favor, but after 30 minutes, things are way too close to call.
Don't forget to stop by Tom Fornelli's live Facebook chat during the second half and have your say.
Posted on: October 22, 2010 5:49 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet. Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.
BreakfastMain Course - Northwestern vs. #8 Michigan State - Noon - ESPN
Michigan State leads the way for breakfast for the second straight week, which is what happens when you're the only undefeated team left in the Big Ten. Be forewarned, though, just because this matchup doesn't seem all that appealing, it...ok, it isn't really. It's just that the morning slate is light again because that's just the way things work in this television dominated world.
Still, the Spartans shouldn't take Northwestern all that lightly. First of all, no road game is easy, even if it's being played in a stadium with 35 people in it. Yes, Northwestern inexplicably dropped a game to Purdue last week, but that's Northwestern's style. It has a tendency to play to its opponents. So there's a chance that the Wildcats could hand MSU it's first "Sparty, no!" of the season.
Side Orders: Ohio State hosts Purdue, and this game may be interesting for a few reasons. First of all, it's our first chance to see how the Buckeyes will respond following a loss, and they'll also be looking for revenge for last season's loss in West Lafayette. Speaking of revenge, I'm sure Notre Dame wouldn't mind beating Navy and starting a new trend there as well. Or you can just watch Texas, West Virginia and Virginia Tech romp over some conference foes.
LunchMain Course - #5 Auburn vs. #6 LSU - 3:30pm - CBS
Two undefeated Tigers roll into Jordan-Hare on Saturday, and only one will emerge. Who is it going to be? Well, there are going to be two different games being played in this one. There's the game between each team's strength -- Auburn's offense and LSU's defense -- and their weakness -- Auburn's defense and LSU's offense.
Odds are that whichever team's weakness best resembles a strength is going to emerge victorious, and have a much easier path to the SEC title and possibly a BCS game. If you're wondering which way I'm leaning, well, I'll just say that one team has Cam Newton at quarterback and the other has some indecipherable combination of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee.
Also, I'll be doing a live-chat during this game over at our Facebook page, so stop on by and make fun of Les Miles for four hours with me, won't you?
Side Orders: The afternoon is packed with some big games this week. If for some reason two undefeated teams battling it out isn't good enough for you, you can always go with Iowa and Wisconsin or the also undefeated Oklahoma State taking on previously undefeated Nebraska.
Main Course - #18 Missouri vs. #3 Oklahoma - 8pm - ABC
Personally, I've been waiting to dig in to this one for a while. I've seen Missouri play a few times this season, and as I've said here before, I'm just not sure what to make of them. The Tigers are a good team, but are they really 11th in the BCS good? Is that what a couple of victories over some 3-3 BCS teams and nobody else gets you these days?
Whatever the case, we'll find out on Saturday night. If the Tigers can knock off the team that sits atop the current BCS standings, then I guess we have to take them seriously.
Though, I feel I should point this out as well, just so Missouri fans can hate me a little less, I think Oklahoma is a bit overrated as well. Still, I think the Sooners will prove to be better on Saturday night.
Side Orders: Bit of an light night on the menu this week. There really aren't any other marquee matchups being played on Saturday night. Kentucky and Georgia could be interesting seeing as how both teams are still alive in the SEC East, but other than that the only game that even catches my eye is TCU and Air Force. Though, if you hate yourself, you could always tune in to Texas A&M and Kansas.
Late Night SnackThe Washington Huskies have found a home as a late-night snack here. I've featured them here twice in the last few weeks, and they're undefeated in those games. Can they run the streak to three on the road against an Arizona team that is without Nick Foles?
Tags: Air Force, Arizona, Auburn, Cam Newton, Georgia, Iowa, Jarrett Lee, Jordan Jefferson, Kansas, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan State, Missouri, Navy, Nebraska, Nick Foles, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Saturday Meal Plan, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Posted on: October 22, 2010 4:08 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2010 4:17 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the 1995 title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that South Carolina would fail to score a point in the second half against Kentucky a week after knocking off the Tide? Nobody... until now. We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week. Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.
Jordan Jefferson's utter distaste for the Auburn Tigers is fully revealed with a historic performance on Saturday. Last season, Jefferson entered the contest with the Tigers having thrown interceptions in three out of the last four games. He went on to stun the Auburn defense, throwing for 242 yards and two touchdowns. Jefferson adds to his record against the Tigers by throwing (gasp) a perfect game as a quarterback. Jefferson completes 30 of 30 passes for 324 yards and four touchdowns with ZERO interceptions to lead LSU in the 35-31 victory in Auburn. Cam Newton has a chance to win the game in the last minute but Les Miles' spies apprehend him with a planted laptop in his flack jacket. TIGERGATE!
Tennessee trots out the young Tyler Bray for some snaps against the Tide, and the freshman explodes for 297 yards and a pair of touchdowns in two quarters of action. Trailing 28-27 with four seconds left on the clock, Volunteers kicker Michael Palardy lines up a 34-yard field goal searching for some sweet redemption for the Tennessee faithful. A rocking Neyland Stadium drops to silence as Marcel Dareus charges up the A-gap and extends his arm to pull off his best Terrence Cody impression. History repeats itself and Dareus deflects the kick, celebration ensues on the Crimson Tide sideline. But there is a flag on the play. Twelve men on the field is called because Greg McElroy is standing on field, trying to sign language his cell phone number to a Tennessee cheerleader. Palardy drills the second attempt to seal the upset, and Nick Saban sets McElroy's 'Bama Bangs ablaze with his eyes.
While sitting out in a duck blind, former Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster texts in every play call to his interim replacement/offensive coordinator Jeff Horton. Interestingly enough, Brewster calling plays with no knowledge of down or distance is more effective than having him on the sideline. The Golden Gophers succeed in knocking off Penn State 28-10, picking up their first conference win of the season. Coach Joe Paterno tries to get some offensive spark by inserting freshman Kevin Newsome in a wildcat package. Paterno paces his feeble fibulas up and down the Nittany Lions sideline but can't find Newsome anywhere. He is back in University Park in Music Building 1, tickling the ivories.
Posted on: October 21, 2010 1:34 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2010 1:35 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
LSU fans have long wondered why Les Miles has been so loyal to his quarterback Jordan Jefferson even though Jefferson has struggled so much on the field. Many theories have evolved over time, though none of them get to the truth. That truth being that Les Miles is the craziest genius to ever walk the sidelines of a college football field.
Or it could just be the naked photos Jefferson has of Miles. But no need to worry about those any more, coach. According to one LSU fan who called into a local radio show with the LSU coach, those photos have been confiscated.
Yes, that is Les Miles laughing at the joke. Even if the host, LSU play-by-play man Jim Hawthorne, doesn't find it all that funny, Miles knows a good joke when he hears it. Even if he doesn't have a chance to hear the whole thing.
Had the caller had a chance to explain how he came upon the photos, he'd likely have explained that Jefferson was trying to pass them on to a teammate when he intercepted them.
Hat tip: Deadspin
Posted on: October 15, 2010 8:15 pm
Posted by the College Football Blog Staff
Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the 1995 title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that Les Miles would look like the endgame genius against Urban Meyer and Florida? Nobody... until now. We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week. Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.
Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore sprains his knee when he trips while running onto the field during pregame ceremonies, and all of a sudden, the Broncos must face San Jose State with a brand new quarterback. Boise coach Chris Peterson blames San Jose State and their groundskeeping for the mishap, and feeling untold amounts of shame, SJSU coach Mike MacIntyre forfeits the game. Moore recovers fully for the Broncos' next game, and Boise's march to a 12-0 regular season continues unabated. -- Adam Jacobi
As the closing seconds count down on the scoreboard at Ross-Ade Stadium, Tim Brewster looks up at it to see the final score: Purdue 37, Minnesota 13. Knowing that these are probably the last few seconds that he'll spend on a sideline COMPETING and FIGHTING with the Gophers, his emotions get the best of him. Danny Hope begins to make his way to midfield to meet the coach, but instead Brewster bursts into tears and sprints off the field. He then hides in a supply room deep within the bowels of the stadium, refusing to come out until eventually Minnesota AD Joel Maturi lures him out by promising he's not going to fire him. Brewster then opens the door and comes out, his face red and blotchy, covered in tears. "Really?" he asks Maturi. "No, you're totally fired," says Maturi before kicking him in the groin. -- Tom Fornelli
Arizona's slide continues after falling to Oregon State despite getting some help from the replay officials. This time, facing Washington State, the home officials give the Wildcats a taste of their own medicine and refuse to replay a game-winning touchdown that was actually an incomplete pass. Mike Stoops has no timeouts, and the Cougars quickly kick the extra point to pick up that elusive first conference win. It is later revealed that the replay official was Washington State alumnus Drew Bledsoe, who emerges from the booth in full Wazzu regalia and facepaint. The Pac-10 finds no fault in this. -- Chip Patterson
With Texas trailing Nebraska 24-7 just before halftime, Mack Brown makes his way over to Colt McCoy who is watching the game from the sidelines. "Listen, I need you to come to the locker room at halftime. Give these boys a pep talk." McCoy agrees, but Brown was lying. Instead Brown locks Garrett Gilbert in a shed -- hey, it's popular in Texas -- and convinces McCoy to put on Gilbert's uniform. McCoy then goes out and leads Texas to a comeback victory, finding James Kirkendoll for the game-winning touchdown with, you guessed it, one second left on the clock. -- Tom Fornelli
Michigan's defense pitches a shut out against Iowa. The Big House rocks as Denard Robinson totals 600 total yards of offense and the Wolverines bounce back from the loss to "Little Brother" with a performance for the ages as the Wolverines reclaim a spot in the Top 25 with a 48-0 win over the Hawkeyes. Adrian Clayborn, struck with grief, eats 400 cheeseburgers on the ride home and gives up on the NFL for a career in the lawn and garden industry. Turns out Clayborn is quite the green thumb. -- Chip Patterson
The Kansas football team shows up to an empty Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. Head coach Turner Gill and his Jayhawks were under the impression that their game would be played on Saturday, and thanks to various elaborate pranks by Kansas State fans, they had no idea that they had been scheduled to play on Thursday night. KSU coaches, upon finding out that Kansas had not appeared for the game, dressed their scout team in KU colors and had them put up token opposition. Somehow, they also had a scout team Turner Gill. The garbage-time touchdown Kansas State allowed to its double agents was a sublime touch. -- Adam Jacobi
McNeese State trots into Death Valley on Saturday night and shines under the lights. LSU quarterbacks Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson combine for an NCAA-record 11 interceptions, five of which are returned for touchdowns. The other six picks are hideous arm-punts that prevent the Tigers from finding the end zone once. Patrick Peterson returns 4 kick offs for touchdowns, but LSU falls 35-28. -- Chip Patterson
Emboldened by reports that he was coaching with his job on the line, Tim Brewster leads his team to an emotional 35-34 victory over a frisky Purdue squad... then rips off five more wins to finish the season, culminating in a 55-0 revenge win over Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota's 7-5 (6-2) record and a host of other conference losses among the rest of the Big Ten vault the Gophers into the Rose Bowl, making them the first five-loss team to earn a trip to Pasadena. A month before the game, Brewster announces that he's leaving the Gophers to coach his beloved Texas Longhorns; Mack Brown has retired, as expected, but the program was stunned when defensive coordinator (and presumptive next head coach) Will Muschamp pulled a simultaneous "sympathy retirement." The Gophers hire Mike Leach on the spot, and the new Pirate Gophers stun Oregon on January 1st, 45-31. -- Adam Jacobi
There's nothing out of the ordinary taking place in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night. It's early in the fourth quarter and the Alabama Crimson Tide have a healthy 24-6 lead over the Rebels, but then suddenly a bright, white light can be seen in the sky. Those who notice it assume that it's a comet or meteor passing by the planet, but it keeps getting bigger and bigger before everyone suddenly realizes it's coming right for them. As it gets closer, it becomes clear that it is some kind of UFO, in fact, the space ship actually looks like a piece of fried calamari. It lands at the 50-yard line, and out comes Admiral Ackbar. Knowing immediately what's taking place, the new Ole Miss mascot makes a break for it before he is apprehended by members of the Rebel Alliance. The Rebel Alliance then holds a trial on the field, determining whether or not the Bear shall live. This does not please Nick Saban. After a few minutes Saban walks briskly up to Admiral Ackbar, takes his gun, and executes the Bear himself before saying, "There. NOW GET THE HELL OFF OF MY FIELD." Ackbar and his soldiers sheepishly retreat to their ship and take off. Not even the Rebel Alliance wants to mess with Nick Saban. -- Tom Fornelli
Tags: Admiral Ackbar, Adrian Clayborn, Alabama, Alien Invasions, Arizona, Boise State, Chris Peterson, Colt McCoy, Danny Hope, Denard Robinson, Drew Bledsoe, Garrett Gilbert, Insane Predictions, Iowa, Iowa, James Kirkendoll, Jarrett Lee, Joel Maturi, Jordan Jefferson, Kansas, Kansas State, Kellen Moore, Kirk Ferentz, Les Miles, LSU, Mack Brown, McNeese State, Michigan, Mike Leach, Mike MacIntyre, Mike Stoops, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nick Saban, Ole Miss, Ole Miss Mascot, Oregon, Oregon State, Patrick Peterson, Purdue, San Jose State, Texas, Tim Brewster, Turner Gill, Urban Meyer, Washington State, Will Muschamp