Tag:Nebraska
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:50 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 3:50 pm
 

The Doddcast: Midseason Review

Posted by Chip Patterson

In coordination with his midseason report, CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd sits down with Adam Aizer to deliver his midseason superlatives. Best game, biggest surprise/disappointment, offensive AND defensive Heisman, and much more. Also, Adam explains why he thinks the Honeybadger Tyrann Mathieu is NOT the premiere defensive player in college football. Check out all that, plus the Top Five teams in the land and a Auburn-LSU preview on this week's Doddcast.

Remember, all of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcasts can be downloaded for FREE from the iTunes Store.

You can listen to the Doddcast in the player below, pop out a player to keep browsing, or download the MP3 right to your computer.



Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 17, 2011 2:34 pm
 

The Poll Attacks: Week 7

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The latest college football polls are out and now it's time to rip them to shreds. Senior college basketball writer Gary Parrish has been calling out voters in the major hoops polls for thinking a little bit too far outside of the box when it comes to their AP ballots every week.

With the football season starting, I thought I'd steal take the baton on the idea from my colleague and keep all of the writers across the country who vote honest. I've come to know a good number of these people through time and twitter but relationships do not matter, bad votes do.

AP Poll           Coaches Poll           Harris Poll           BCS

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com)

Poll reactions: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC

Rodney Dangerfield "No respect" team of the week: Michigan State

  Smash-mouth, hard-hitting defense and a solid (but certainly not spectacular) offense but Sparty just can't get much respect. They beat Michigan and held Denard Robinson and his explosive offense to just 250 total yards and 14 points. Edwin Baker, the touchdown maker, ran for 167 yards against an improved Wolverines defense too. We'll really see what they're made of this week but they should be higher than 15th in the AP and Harris Polls after their performance last week. They've proven more than Nebraska or South Carolina and probably should be in the 11-13 range.

Overrated: South Carolina

  The Gamecocks are ranked 14th in the AP, 12th in the Coaches and 13th in the Harris Poll. First off, let's say that they lost their quarterback, top offensive player and running back Marcus Lattimore and struggled to beat Mississippi State 14-12. They really haven't beaten anybody convincingly outside of Kentucky before the injuries so it's safe to assume they're probably going to struggle in the near future. Is this a one-loss top 25 team? Sure. Top 15? Ehh...

California Craziness

A trio of voters from California (CSN Bay Area/CBSSports.com's Ray Ratto, San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner, LA Daily News' Scott Wolf) are an interesting voting block. Some would call them progressive, others would call them extreme and just about everybody else will call them crazy given their fluctuations in their ballots each week. All three are consistently in Pollspeak's group of "extreme voters" so we'll highlight the most baffling decision(s) out of each.

  Welcome back Jon, it's been a while since you found yourself in this space. We've got several issues with the ballot you turned in, starting with putting Clemson 3rd. In case you didn't watch (and you probably didn't), the Tigers needed a late 4th quarter rally from 18 down to beat Maryland. The Terps also rolled up 468 yards and 45 points on the defense, not exactly top three caliber. It's also concerning to see Stanford ranked behind Oregon and Arkansas at 10th, two spots ahead of a way to highly ranked Auburn team. Wilner doesn't respect Kansas State much either, putting them 20th behind 11 teams with at least one loss. Oh yeah, Texas is still ranked too, as is USC.

What were you thinking? Craig James

  Is there a more maligned broadcaster than James? Judging by Twitter, I'd say no. Either way, he's also an AP voter despite the issue of having an active lawsuit against him by a former coach. Perhaps that was what was weighing on his mind when he turned in his AP ballot this week. It's not terrible but there are a few interesting choices. Of course he has SMU ranked 25th but that looks good considering he put Wake Forest 23rd overall. Yes, the Demon Deacons have had a nice season but they lost to Virginia Tech 38-17 this weekend and their other loss is to Syracuse. Not a top 25 resume at all. James also has Oregon 7th, higher than anybody and higher than undefeated Wisconsin.

Posted on: October 17, 2011 1:21 am
 

Big Ten poll reactions, Week 7

Posted by Adam Jacobi

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Big Ten fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.

(AP/Coaches) 

4/4. Wisconsin

Once again, Wisconsin is ranked fourth in the nation, and I'm not entirely sure the Badgers are ever going to move higher. The winner of Oklahoma-Oklahoma State will likely deserve a spot in the Top 3, and really, there's no stone-cold guarantee that the loser of LSU-Alabama will drop to 4th or lower if the game is close. Fortunately, Wisconsin's resume will get a much-needed boost in the coming weeks as the Big Ten slate kicks into high gear.

13/11. Nebraska

I continue to believe that Nebraska is playing with house money at this point, and Jared Crick's season-ending injury will probably hasten the Huskers' impending fall down the polls. At the same time, though, if they keep up this first-half pace and go 10-2 on the season, sure, this would be a fine ranking -- maybe even too low. Alas, however, there are no more Wyomings, Fresnos State or Chattanoogae on the schedule, only Big Ten opponents. So it'll be fun to see how Nebraska adapts to the grind of the conference slog.   

15/13. Michigan State

Michigan State shouldn't get too comfortable here, because a home date with Wisconsin looms this Saturday, and there's probably going to be substantial movement one way or another afterward. At any rate, though, I think the Spartans proved that they belonged somewhere around here on Saturday with that convincing victory over the Wolverines. Also, it'll be nice to see the Badgers provided with an opponent who can keep the game within 31 points. MSU will stay within 31 of Wisconsin, right? Right???

18/17. Michigan

I've been trying to tell you guys all year long that the second half of the season portended doom for Michigan. Heed my words! This is a good ranking for the Wolverines, though, and they'll have opportunities to earn their way higher in the polls (where basically everybody after No. 10 is eminently beatable). I'm at least going to back off on my fears that Michigan will go 1-5 down the stretch, MSU loss be damned; the Wolverines are good enough to beat Iowa at Kinnick, and I can't imagine that both Nebraska and Ohio State will be able to come to Ann Arbor and leave victors.

Still, though, if anyone was curious how to beat Michigan this year, MSU just put together a fantastic blueprint on how, and there'll be a lot of defensive coordinators watching that tape for the rest of the year.

23/21. Illinois

No getting around it: that was a brutal loss for Illinois to take on Saturday. Everything that people hate about Ron Zook-coached teams came out, from the silly play-calling to the back-breaking errors to the fact that OSU literally ran over 90% of the time and Zook still wasn't putting 10 people in the box on every snap. 23rd best team? Sounds about right.

NR/22. Penn State

Okay, fine. Penn State is 6-1, so we should acknowledge that fact right alongside the eye-gouging badness of Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden. That defense is legit, and Silas Redd is starting to come into his own after a slow start to the year. The schedule from here on out is brutal, though, with Saturday's night date at Northwestern being the easiest of the bunch. So here's the lousy part for PSU: being that the Nittany Lions are currently 26th or 22nd (I choose 26th because to hell with the coaches poll), if they go 2-3 from here on out, they're not going to be anywhere near the Top 25. And yet, they'll have finally earned it. That's win-go-up, lose-go-down polling for you, State fans! Enjoy!

Also receiving votes: Penn State (130 AP votes), Everybody Else In The Conference (not one single vote, not even from the blasted coaches poll, and that is okay with me)

Posted on: October 14, 2011 4:19 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 5:00 pm
 

Bielema to students: No more potty-mouth, please

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

No one any younger than Joe Paterno (and not even JoePa himself) will be surprised to learn that the student sections at major college football stadiums are not the place to be if one wants to hear clean, polite, sportsmanlike King's English. But the language at Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium has now become so foul that no less an authority than Badger head coach Bret Bielema himself has stepped in to try and clean it up.

Bielema and Badger athletic director Barry Alvarez co-signed a letter sent to student ticket holders Thursday "asking you to end the vulgar chants at our home football games." While praising the students for helping create the loud, intimidating atmosphere that contributed to the Badgers' 48-17 throttling of Nebraska, the letter -- available in its entirety here -- also shares a number of written complaints (from both Badger and Husker fans) sent to the Wisconsin athletics office:
"During the course of the game, the student body was led in a very obscene cheer consisting of echoing 'Eat [bleep]' and '[bleep] you'. I was pretty appalled considering that not all the spectators were 18 years or older. It was not the sort of thing children should be hearing."

“I recorded the game at home. You can hear the students chant 'You [bleep]ed up' when another player commits a penalty. I can’t imagine that’s the image we want for UW.”

“I was absolutely appalled by your students. I have been to about 15 other campuses, and I have never experienced worse students than I did at Wisconsin. In all of the venues I’ve been to, I’ve never dealt with students with less class than I did at your school.”
Bielema discussed the problems further at his Thursday meeting with reporters, saying that visiting recruits and their families have been moved away from the student section in order to distance them from the stream of profanities.

“If you come into the stadium for the first time and you've never heard it, it's kind of shocking,” Bielema said, adding that "the ones that get me are when it's a parent who has a small child that now has to explain what's being said or try not to explain what's being said."

Nebraska legend (and athletic director) Tom Osborne also weighed in on the Wisconsin students on his radio call-in show this week, saying they fell short of being "decent." And by way of explanation, Osborne sent a not-so-subtle shot across the bow at the Badgers' historical fortunes vis a vis his Huskers' (emphasis added):

"I was on a golf cart with three folks who were over 90 years old," Osborne said. "We were trying to get them up to some seats. We had some rather unpleasant names called."

Osborne said he hopes Nebraska fans set the bar higher.

"I think there are probably some venues in the Big Ten that will treat people pretty well, and there are some we've been to before, and it isn't necessarily going to be that way," he said ... "I think, usually, schools with good tradition, that have won a lot in the past, are fairly tolerant. The ones that have won just lately sometimes don't know how to handle it very well."

But of course, those Wisconsin students aren't going to give the first [bleep] what Osborne thinks. Could it be different with Bielema? Will hearing directly from the man who -- after a Rose Bowl season and dominating 5-0 start -- is likely now more hero than coach in that Camp Randall student section actually bring about change?

Knowing these are 18-22 year-old college students we're talking about here: [bleep] no.


Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 3:40 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 7

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. 

This week we're offering a menu that is a bit low on carbs. It's not that we don't have plenty of interesting choices to offer you this weekend, but there isn't exactly a must-have on the list. Which I suppose is a good thing considering all the big meals we've all been ingesting the last few weeks and the pounds they've packed on, we could all afford to eat a bit more salad this weekend.

BREAKFAST

#23 Michigan State vs. #11 Michigan - ESPN 12pm ET

This game has it all: rivalry, firepower, and consequence. Michigan State is looking to continue its reign in this series, having won the last 3 in the series. Michigan will need to get Heisman candidate Denard Robinson rolling and light up the scoreboard; that hasn't been much of a problem for UM this year. At stake is probably the best shot at challenging Nebraska for the Legends Division crown; the loser, meanwhile, will need a lot of help in the race. - Adam Jacobi

#21 Texas A&M vs. #20 Baylor - FX 12pm ET

Robert Griffin is appointment television no matter who Baylor is playing, but considering that Texas A&M is statistically the worst passing defense in the country, this one could be really fun. Of course, Texas A&M isn't exactly a slouch either, as Ryan Tannehill, Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael have done a good job of covering up that secondary's mistakes on offense. This one could be a pretty nice shootout to start your day with. - Tom Fornelli

Mississippi State vs. #15 South Carolina - SEC Network 12:21pm ET

Is Connor Shaw for real or not? The Gamecocks' now-unquestioned starting quarterback looked the part against Kentucky, but a veteran Bulldog secondary playing at home in Starkville is a much tougher test. And if Tyler Russell's breakout second half against UAB was more than illusion, State could have put some of their offensive woes behind them as well. Whichever quarterback proves last week's performance wasn't a fluke should come away with the victory. - Jerry Hinnen

LUNCH

Tennessee vs. #1 LSU - CBS 3:30pm ET

For the second week in a row, the Tiger defense gets to face a backup quarterback making his first start of the season. The Vols' Matt Simms has a lot of advantages Florida's Jacoby Brissett didn't, though: he'll be at home; he's a senior who started eight games for Tennessee in 2010; and he saw the LSU defense up close and personal playing against them last year. Too bad the Vols don't have the running game to keep the Tigers from teeing off on Simms all the same. - JH

#22 Texas vs. #6 Oklahoma State - ABC/ESPN 3:30pm ET

Did you know that Mack Brown's Texas teams have never lost a game following the Red River Shootout? That record is likely going to be in serious jeopardy with the Oklahoma State offense coming to town, but if the Longhorns can manage to keep Brandon Weeden in check and pull off a win, it'd be a very large step in returning the program to where it once stood. Or you should watch just to see if Oklahoma State can finally hit the century mark. - TF

Virginia vs. #12 Georgia Tech - ESPNU 3:30pm ET

The last time Virginia took the field, they needed overtime to steal a 21-20 victory over Idaho.  With an off week to get healthy and prepare for the Yellow Jackets' option attack, the Cavs defense will try to live up to their 311.8 yards allowed per game (ranked third in the ACC).  Tech coach Paul Johnson criticized the decision making of quarterback Tevin Washington in last week's 21-16 win over Maryland, and cited a lack of "continuity" as a reason for their uncharacteristically low score.  Look for Georgia Tech to try and use this game to get their methodical attack back on track. It might be more than a young Virginia defense can handle, even with a week to prepare. - Chip Patterson

#16 Illinois vs. Ohio State - ABC/ESPN 3:30pm ET

The Illini look to continue their tear through a stunned and unsuspecting slate of opponents and run their record to 7-0. In Illinois' way is mighty Ohio State, who's got the talent to win the battle up front on both sides of the ball. If OSU doesn't have Braxton Miller at 100% after last week's ankle injury, though, can the vaunted Buckeye rushing attack pick up the slack and turn drives into touchdowns? - AJ

DINNER

Maryland vs. #8 Clemson - ESPNU 6:30pm ET

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd wasn't wearing hip pads for "swag reasons."  Now he has to shed his hip fashion style in order to protect his strained hip against Maryland.  Boyd may have been carted off the field last week against Boston College, but he'll be lining up under center on Saturday night in Byrd Stadium.  Maryland, on the other hand, won't make a decision regarding their starting quarterback until game time.  Starter Danny O'Brien was benched in the 21-16 loss to Georgia Tech in favor of freshman C.J. Brown, who ran for 124 yards in just one half of action against the Yellow Jackets.  But Brown struggled throwing the ball, so it will be interesting to see what head coach Randy Edsall decides to do.  The last time Maryland played a primetime game at home, they wrapped themselves in the state flag and pulled out a victory.  Tune in to see what fashion statement they make this week. - CP 

#24 Auburn vs. Florida - ESPN 7pm ET

In a matchup of teams with passing games that will be lucky to reach "mediocre" -- the Gators thanks to John Brantley's injury, the Tigers due to Barrett Trotter's ongoing struggles -- the winner should prove to be whichever team can get their pair of star tailbacks on track. With Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey on one side and Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb on the other, backfield head-to-heads don't get a whole lot better than this. - JH

Washington State vs. #7 Stanford - FX 7:30pm ET

The Cardinal have the country's best quarterback in Andrew Luck and the conference's toughest defense (just 10.6 points per game allowed) so this should be a relatively easy road trip for the Cardinal. Head coach David Shaw will likely want to establish the running game this week after tilting heavily in favor of the pass last week against Colorado. The question probably isn't if Stanford will win, but by how much. Washington State showed they've got some fight in them last week before coming up short against UCLA. - Bryan Fischer

Kansas vs. #3 Oklahoma - ESPN 2 9:15pm ET

This is a pretty late start for a game that's being played in Kansas, but I have to believe it's some kind of strategy. Maybe the Jayhawks are hoping that by starting the game later, nobody will be watching the Sooners offense destroy a Kansas defense that has been shredded by everybody it's faced this season. This one likely won't be competitive for very long, but who knows? - TF

LATE NIGHT SNACK

#9 Oregon vs. #18 Arizona State - ESPN 10:15pm ET

They're still the conference king until knocked off their perch but Arizona State will present a stiff test for Oregon this weekend. The Ducks are not as good as they were last year on defense and will be missing star running back LaMichael James but Kenjon Barner and freshman DeAnthony Thomas are able replacements for him on offense. The atmosphere at Autzen at night should be a big advantage but expect a tough Sun Devils defense to force a few turnovers and make things interesting. - BF
Posted on: October 12, 2011 5:09 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Ohio State at Illinois

Posted by Adam Jacobi

OHIO STATE WILL WIN IF: It wins the battle of the trenches. Illinois can move the ball pretty well, and its defensive front seven pretty much ripped Brock Osweiler to shreds when Arizona State came to Champaign in September. That said, Ohio State is supposed to be able to win these types of battles, especially with all-conference linemen like Mike Brewster and Mike Adams up front on offense. So if the OSU rushing attack can push the point of attack 1-2 yards forward on a consistent basis, the stable of Buckeye tailbacks should be able to generate yardage, drives, and points.

ILLINOIS WILL WIN IF: The offense can get A.J. Jenkins free early and often. Ohio State is going to present the toughest challenge the Illinois offense has faced to date, and the running lanes the Illini have gotten thus far in the year won't be quite as wide open on Saturday. Thus, it's going to be imperative that the Illinois downfield passing game gets going, and in case you hadn't noticed, A.J. Jenkins is basically Illinois' entire downfield passing game. That singularity of talent has hardly been a detriment thus far, as Jenkins has an obscene 450 yards receiving in his two Big Ten games this year, but if he gets bottled up Illinois is probably in for a long afternoon. 

X-FACTOR: This is more like the Brax-Factor (actually, let's not call him that ever), as Braxton Miller's ankle is undoubtedly still sore from the injury that took him out of last week's loss at Nebraska. Miller's primary strength is his ability to run the ball, both on designed runs and on scrambles, so if his mobility is limited and he's primarily a pocket passer, that bodes extremely well for the Illini.

Miller's young enough that his read progression is basically Primary Receiver, then Scramble, and maybe a Secondary Receiver between the two if Bo Pelini's feeling optimistic. That's usually not a bad thing, because Miller on the move is generally a net positive for the Buckeye offense, but if he can't get moving as easily, then we're looking at a situation not unlike Nebraska's struggles in 2010 when Taylor Martinez was hampered by lingering ankle problems and was forced to rely on his arm more often. There lay pain for the Huskers, and if Miller's hobbled, there lies trouble for OSU on Sunday.
Posted on: October 12, 2011 3:52 pm
 

Jared Crick out for season with torn pectoral

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Nebraska defense took a major hit on Wednesday, as senior defensive tackle and All-American candidate Jared Crick was ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. Crick had been All-Big 12 over the last two seasons, and was named the Big Ten preseason defensive player of the year by league media. The unfortunate announcement was made by coach Bo Pelini in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

“I feel extremely bad for Jared,” Pelini said. “He is a young man who has represented this program in a first-class manner throughout his career.”

The loss hits Nebraska especially hard, as Crick had been a bright spot on an otherwise underachieving defensive line. As a whole, the Nebraska defensive line had registered just 7.5 tackles for loss on the entire year, with Crick contributing 2.5 of TFLs. As a whole, the Nebraska defense is currently ranked 80th nationwide in rushing defense, an effort that begins with the line. Without Crick, those numbers could continue to suffer.

What's especially shocking is that Nebraska wasn't just supposed to have a good defense this year, it was supposed to have the best defense in the Big Ten. That hasn't been the case by any stretch even with a completely healthy front four, so unless Crick's injury forces the rest of the defense to elevate its collective game in response (a plea that DC Carl Pelini has undoubtedly already made to his players), the Husker defense looks extremely vulnerable for the rest of the season.

Crick is likely to be replaced in the starting lineup by senior Terrence Moore, though sophomore Thaddeus Randle and freshman Chase Rome are also now in line to see increased snaps.
Posted on: October 10, 2011 5:55 pm
 

The Poll Attacks: Week 6

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The latest college football polls are out and now it's time to rip them to shreds. Senior college basketball writer Gary Parrish has been calling out voters in the major hoops polls for thinking a little bit too far outside of the box when it comes to their AP ballots every week.

With the football season starting, I thought I'd steal take the baton on the idea from my colleague and keep all of the writers across the country who vote honest. I've come to know a good number of these people through time and twitter but relationships do not matter, bad votes do.

AP Poll           Coaches Poll           Harris Poll

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com)

Poll reactions: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC

Rodney Dangerfield "No respect" team of the week: Kansas State

  You would think that the coaches (or sports information directors) that vote in the Coaches Poll would appreciate what Bill Snyder has done at Kansas State this year. The Wildcats are undefeated so far this season with wins at Miami and against Baylor and Missouri. They don't have much of a passing game (115th in the country) but do have a good ground game, even without the services of former former five-star running back Bryce Brown. Not sure then why the coaches have Kansas State 18th then, one spot below where they are underrated in the AP Poll. They're below South Carolina and Nebraska, both of whom are one-loss teams that have more issues. This is the ultimate "don't get no respect" program but Snyder has them playing hard and playing tough this season.

Overrated: Auburn

  First of all, no one expected Auburn to be sitting 3rd in the SEC West with only two total loses approaching the halfway mark in the season. They're one of only two teams to play three teams that are currently ranked in the top 25. They are, however, not supposed to be one of them. The Tigers are just barely in the top 25, ranked 24th in the AP Poll and unranked in the Coaches. Once again, some kudos for the latter for keeping them out. Gene Chizik's group has gotten lucky in most of their wins - they're 80th in total offense and 105th in total defense - and really only the South Carolina one is notable. That's why it's funny to see Jon Wilner put them 12th and Andy Staples to rank them 17th. Too high gentlemen, act more like Brett McMurphy who has Auburn unranked.

California Craziness

A trio of voters from California (CSN Bay Area/CBSSports.com's Ray Ratto, San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner, LA Daily News' Scott Wolf) are an interesting voting block. Some would call them progressive, others would call them extreme and just about everybody else will call them crazy given their fluctuations in their ballots each week. All three are consistently in Pollspeak's group of "extreme voters" so we'll highlight the most baffling decision(s) out of each.

  Three in a row for Wolf! He pulls into the lead in the race to the top/bottom of the California Craziness derby. Wisconsin is 8th, lowest on any ballot in the country, while West Virginia is right behind them ranked 9th, highest on any ballot. Florida is still a top 15 team according to Wolf, despite quarterbacks that were born in the 1990's who have barely taken any snaps. Undefeated Illinois is 22nd, behind two-loss Notre Dame, while Auburn is 17th. Undefeated Kansas State is 24th (see above) and SMU is on the ballot at 25th. Yeah...

What were you thinking? Ron Higgins, Memphis Commercial Appeal

Ron, I feel for you. You probably have to watch Memphis Tigers football closely and have to do so more often than anyone. That's rough but you still have to vote in the AP Poll. You didn't turn in a ballot this week, causing some angst back in the office for those that coordinate and release the thing we have to rip to shreds every Monday on CBSSports.com. Remember, every vote counts and, unlike the state of Florida, we know how to count them. Thanks! (P.S. if you want me to email a reminder, I'll do so!)

Team bias

Our tech team at CBSSports.com is pretty awesome and came up with this neat tool to take a look at team and region bias in the AP Poll. Check it out below, it's a fun thing to play around with.





 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com