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Tag:LaMichael James
Posted on: December 9, 2010 8:45 am
Edited on: December 9, 2010 9:51 am
 

James on Newton: 'I'd vote for him twice'

Posted by Chip Patterson

Sometime around the middle of the season, it became pretty widely accepted that the Heisman Trophy had been narrowed down to a two-man race.  Oregon running back LaMichael James has looked unstoppable at times, leading the nation's most dominant offense to an undefeated season and now a spot in the BCS Championship Game.  Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, well, he's just been doing those Cam Newton things.

There were no surprises when the finalists were announced.  On Saturday, James and Newton will be joined by Stanford's Andrew Luck and Boise State's Kellen Moore in Times Square for the addition of one more player to the storied history of the Heisman Trophy.  Newton is considered to be the favorite, despite the controversy that has swirled since word of alleged solicitation by Cecil Newton came to light.  With several writers being very vocal about leaving Newton off the ballot, what does the competition think?

"I don't care what happens off the field. Whatever that situation was, to me he's still the best player in the country,'' LaMichael James said Wednesday at the College Football Awards media session. "I would vote for him twice.''

James does not have a vote, much less two, but the point comes through loud and clear.  The counter-argument to the Newton-hate is just that: he is the best player in the country.  James has been phenomenal in Oregon's offense, but much of his success is a credit to that team.  There have been times this season where Newton has just simply put the Tigers on his back and taken over a game.  Without Newton, Auburn would not be in their current position.

Or perhaps James is hoping for a repeat of 2005.  After Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy in New York he met his runner-up, Vince Young, in the National Championship.  Bush got the Heisman, but Young led Texas to a thrilling last minute victory to win the title.  Let Newton get the glory on Saturday, then James can get his revenge on January 10.
Posted on: December 6, 2010 6:38 pm
 

Heisman finalists announced

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Heisman Trophy will be handed this Saturday in New York, and while there really isn't all that much suspense surrounding who is likely going to be taking home the hardware, until now there was some question as to which players would be making the trip.  Well, that suspense is over.

The four finalists for the Heisman were announced on Monday, and they are as follows:
  • Cam Newton - QB - Auburn
  • LaMichael James - RB - Oregon
  • Andrew Luck - QB - Stanford
  • Kellen Moore - QB - Boise State
I am snubbed once again.

Now, if the votes were based solely on performance on the field this season, then there wouldn't be much doubt that Cam Newton was going to be walking out of New York with the trophy in his hands.  Still, who knows for sure how the voters are going to vote considering everything that has taken place with Newton this season, and the fact that Reggie Bush just gave up his Heisman a few months ago.

Nobody wants to see that happen again, and according to some voters I've seen on Twitter, there are some voters who left Newton off of their ballot. Which means that there is a chance that somebody other than Newton will win the award, though I wouldn't bet on it.
Posted on: December 2, 2010 4:02 pm
 

ESPN chooses interesting timing for documentary

Posted by Chip Patterson

On Saturday December 11, the Heisman Trophy winner will be announced and presented with the iconic statue in the heart of New York City.  He will be greeted with fanfare and praise for his selection to join the ranks of college football's greatest players. 

Popular belief says that player will be Auburn's Cam Newton.

Which of course means that we will follow the announcement (if he does win) with hours upon hours and pages upon pages debating whether a player tied so closely to amateur improprieties should be given the game's top award.  In the post-Reggie Bush era, there is a segment of the population that would offer a resounding "NO."

No matter which side of the discussion you fall, it will be discussed.  Who better to exploit on the trends of sports media than the WWL?  

ESPN will broadcast the presentation of the Heisman Trophy, and following the program they will debut their newest film in the 30 for 30 documentary series.  Interestingly enough, the film revolves around the Southern Methodist University football program in the 1980's.

The film, cleverly titled Pony Excess, will likely have promos flooded through the commercial breaks of the Heisman broadcast.  For those that stick around and watch the film, they will quickly draw ill-timed comparisons between the new Heisman Trophy winner and the stars of the Mustang teams from that era.  Cam Newton may emerge from the "pay-to-play" allegations as a Heisman Winner and National Champion, but ESPN is not doing him any favors with their choice of scheduling.

Of course this could have been booked for months, or LaMichael James could win the trophy.  If he does, and ESPN does a last minute switch to a documentary on domestic violence, I'll know this is all part of their wicked scheme.



H/T: Friends of the Program
Posted on: December 2, 2010 1:27 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2010 2:00 pm
 

Can Beavers pull off the shocker of the season?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

There's basically two candidates for the upset of the 2010 college football season: James Madison taking out Virginia Tech , just the second-ever victory for an FCS team over a ranked opponent, and Nevada ruining Boise State 's dream season with their wild overtime victory.

But neither of those would hold a candle to a hypothetical Oregon State victory over the top-ranked Oregon juggernaut the Beavers will host in Corvallis this Saturday, in the 114th edition of the Civil War. The Ducks are, of course, a perfect 11-0, boast the top-ranked offense in the country, and one hiccup at Cal aside have won their other 11 games by an average of 32 points. Oregon State, meanwhile, is a disppointing 5-6 and is coming off a 38-0 humiliation at the hands of Stanford .

But the Civil War has some history of chaos , particularly when one team or the other is on the cusp of a championship. Could the Beavers make it happen? It won't be easy, but it won't be impossible, either. Here's what they'll have to do:

Shorten the game with Rodgers. It's mostly beside the point to say the Beavers need to "control the clock"; Chip Kelly 's hyperdrive offense scores so quickly that even gaining more yards than any other attack in the country, the Ducks still rank 103rd in the FBS in time-of-possession. But OSU will have to hog even more of the ball than the Ducks normally concede, because the more possessions Oregon can pack into the game, the more cracks they get at the Beaver end zone, the more fatigued the OSU defense will get as the game wears on, and the greater the toll the Ducks' superior talent will take. OSU needs to approach the game the way a Princeton-offense basketball team would a first-round NCAA Tournament game; the fewer possessions there are, the greater impact one or two fortunate bounces and big plays could have in the underdogs' favor.

So how do the Beavers do that? The heaviest dose possible of Jacquizz Rodgers . The Beavers' dynamo has been at his best in big games in the past, and will have to be again to keep the chains moving, the clock running, and the Duck offense off the field.

Rattle the Ducks on the road. Oregon has been incredible just about everywhere, but they've been far more vulnerable on the road than at home in their virtually-impregnable Autzen Stadium fortress. They allowed more than 600 yards to Arizona State in Tempe in their worst defensive performance of the season, winning largely on the strength of a cavalcade of Sun Devile errors that led to six turnovers; the Ducks' worst offensive performance came in Berkeley, where they managed just one offensive touchdown and anaverage of 3.8 yards per-play, nearly two yards lower than their next-worst performance.

The Beavers haven't been particularly good at home -- their decisive loss in Corvallis to Washington State is probably the single worst performance in Pac-10 play this season -- but if they can play with enough emotion and energy early to keep the crowd well in it, the Ducks have shown they might not respond all that well.

Win the special teams battle. This is much easier said than done with All-American Duck returner Cliff Harris around, but special teams have typically been a Mike Riley strength -- they kept the Beavers competitive in their meeting with Boise almost singlehandedly -- and they simply can't afford to lose this phase of the game when they have such an uphill climb on first-through-third down. Preventing a big Oregon special teams play and making one or two of their own would go a long, long way towards evening the scales.

Sell out against the run. With an offense as powerful as Oregon's, there's no good way to defend it; packing the box means that Darron Thomas will have more opportunities to hit a backbreaking pass downfield. But the only time Oregon's been halfway contained -- in the aformentioned trips to Cal and Arizona State -- it's started with limiting LaMichael James and the Duck running game, which averaged just 3.47 yards an attempt vs. the Sun Devils and an ugly 2.95 vs. the Bears. The Beavers' star defensive tackle Stephen Paea will need to play the game of his life.

Don't turn the ball over. A team like OSU simply won't beat a team like Oregon wasting possessions and helping the Duck offense with turnovers. There's not much else to say there.

Even if Oregon State does all of the above, they're still not likely to actually emerge with more than a moral victory; Oregon is just that good. But they'll at least have a fighting chance, and if they catch a couple of breaks with the officials and in the turnover department, who knows? There could be one more shocker left in the college football season after all.


Posted on: December 1, 2010 3:00 pm
 

Walter Camp Award finalists announced

Posted by Tom Fornelli

One of the questions I have following the revelation that Cam Newton has been declared eligible by the NCAA is how will Heisman voters look at him now.  Yes, he's been cleared, but the fact remains that his father did solicit money in an attempt to sell his son's commitment to the highest bidder. Personally, if I had a vote, Newton would still be getting mine, and he'd be eligible for any postseason awards, but I have no idea how others will view it.

Though I now have an idea of how awards like the Walter Camp Award, which is given annually to the player deemed the best in college football by a group of coaches and SIDs, see it.  The award announced its three finalists today, and Newton is one of them.  Stanford's Andrew Luck and Oregon's LaMichael James are the other two.

Newton has accounted for 3,590 total yards and 42 touchdowns for Auburn this season.  James leads the nation in rushing, averaging nearly 155 yards a game for Oregon, while Luck has thrown for 3,051 yards and 28 touchdowns for Stanford.  All three players are deserving of the award, though I have to think that Newton is going to win it.

Those are video game numbers he's posted this season.

We'll have to wait until December 9th to find out who wins.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 11:53 am
Edited on: November 29, 2010 11:54 am
 

James headlines 2010 Coaches' All-America Team

Posted by Chip Patterson

As many schools have wound down their regular season, the time has come for 2010's series of accolades and awards.  There will be predictable nods, deserving players snubbed, and a guarantee of AT LEAST one slightly irrational fan base being furious by the omission of their star player.  The first notable All-America team was released on Monday morning, the AFCA FBS Coaches' All-America Team.  

It is the only All-America team that is voted on exclusively by the coaches, and it was not surprising to see the team headlined by Oregon's LaMichael James and Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers.  Auburn fans, don't worry, your boy made the cut.

Check out all of the coaches' selections below:

  

A few notes on the list:

- Despite constant criticism for a "down year," the ACC has as much representation on the list (4) as the SEC and Big 12.  Only the Big Ten (6) produced more players on the 2010 team.  

- As Bryan Fischer pointed out, there were four Texas natives selected to the All-America team.  Outside of TCU's Tank Carder, none of them even play for a school in Texas.  How should that reflect on the in-state universities, particularly Texas head coach Mack Brown?  I know that the 2010 Longhorns would have benefited significantly from a Kendall Hunter or LaMichael James in the backfield.

- There was little turnover from last year's squad, with Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones being the only repeat selection from 2009.  However, the same could be true for next year's list.  Only ten players on the list could return for 2011, and there is no guarantee that they all will.  


Posted on: November 28, 2010 1:57 am
 

What I Learned from the Pac-10 (Nov. 27)

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

1. The Ducks are who we thought they were. It's just not accurate to say we learned anything new about Oregon in their 48-29 Friday night win over Arizona . We knew already they were as dominant a second-half team as any in the country (save maybe their likely BCS title game foils at Auburn ), and that's how they played. We knew already with weapons like LaMichael James, Darron Thomas and even the ever-more-terrifying Josh Huff , the Ducks could put up nearly 50 points without even being particularly sharp in the first half, and that's what they did. We knew that playing in the comfort zone of Autzen Stadium, they were going to win and win comfortably when all was said and done, and in the end the Wildcats feel by nearly three touchdowns. (We also knew their defense could have the occasional

In short, we knew that Oregon was the 2010 Pac-10 champion and almost certainly on their way to the BCS championship game, and that's what we still know. If there was anything surprising about their dismantling of the Wildcats, it was the realization that by this point of the season, Oregon's championship-caliber excellence isn't even surprising any more.

2. And yeah, you can forget about them choking away that title berth in the Civil War. Mike Riley will almost certainly have his Oregon State team ready to play a competitive game against their archrivals at home in Corvallis, but it's hard to imagine that he has the horses to actually finish off the hypothetical shocker of the season, not when two of the Beavers' previous three results are a home loss to Washington State and today's hideous 38-0 whitewashing at the hands of Stanford . The Cardinal are legitimately playing as well as any team in the country right now, but still; fewer than 300 total yards an zero points doesn't exactly portend the kind of offensive explosion that will be necessary to stay with the Ducks.

3. USC is ready for its season to be over. The Oregon State result sandwiched between the aforementioned losses to Wazzu and Stanford? An inexplicable-looking 36-7 demolition of the Trojans that this space immediately chalked up to USC's longtime tendency to break into football hives upon crossing the Oregon border. But after watching USC's listless, often yawn-inducing performance in a 20-16 loss to a Notre Dame team that at times seemed determined to give the game away -- Irish quarterback Tommy Rees threw three interceptions, more than one of the highly charitable variety -- it may be time to wonder if Lane Kiffin is still able to get through to a team with nothing to play for other than pride.

Now, true, the Trojans still would have pulled out the victory if Ronald Johnson hadn't dropped a certain game-winning reception late, and the absence of Matt Barkley (coupled with a shaky-looking first start from Mitch Mustain , who averaged less than 5 yards an attempt and failed to throw a touchdown pass) no doubt didn't help USC's cause in the least, either. But for a team playing its oldest and arguably biggest rival, the spark needed to really get the Trojan blood pumping (and the crowd involved) seemed curiously absent. Maybe it was the rain. But maybe it's just Week 12 of a season whose self-described bowl game took place a month ago.

4. The end to one team's bowl streak is just the start of someone else's.  Or so it would appear after Washington edged Cal 16-13 to pull within a game of bowl eligibility at 5-6, with only the feeble specter of Washington State (surely not due for two major upsets this season) standing in the way of the Huskies' first postseason appearance since 2002. Steve Sarkisian 's second season in charge hasn't always lived up to the outsized expectations of the preseason, but at least he can point towards some concrete progress.

Unfortunately for Jeff Tedford , unless you count the upcoming long-since-overdue renovations to the Bears' Memorial Stadium, "concrete progress" seems further away than ever. Kevin Riley 's career-ending injury a few weeks back appears to have been a fatal dagger for Cal's bowl hopes, which finally dissolved in the loss and resulting final record of 5-7. The record is the worst of Tedford's nine-year Cal tenure, with the Bears missing the postseason for the first time since -- whaddya know -- 2002. Tedford's not in any kind of trouble just yet (don't forget that Cal was hands-down the worst program in the Pac-10 when he took over), but the heady mid-aughts days when the Bears were serious Rose Bowl and BCS contenders have never seemed further away than they did on Saturday.

5. Rick Neuheisel had better have something more up his sleeve this offseason than just canning Norm Chow. Because when you give up 55 points to Arizona State 's backup quarterback , your offensive coordinator is pretty obviously not the only thing wrong with your football team. 
Posted on: November 28, 2010 1:06 am
 

What I learned from the SEC (Nov 27)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. Cam Newton is your Heisman Trophy winner.  Seriously, just give him the trophy now.  Don't even invite anybody else to New York because there isn't a point. After leading Auburn to that comeback win against Alabama, after falling behind 24-0 on the road, LaMichael James -- or any other contender -- would literally have to score 80 touchdowns in a game while saving a group of children from a burning building to take the Heisman away from him.  I'm not even sure I care if he did take money at this point. 

2. Hogs can smell sugar.  And they really seem to like it.  Arkansas took care of LSU on Saturday in Little Rock, and because of it, the Hogs still have a chance to go to the Sugar Bowl.  All they need is for Auburn to beat South Carolina next week and move on to the title game.  That would free the Sugar Bowl up to select an SEC team, and you have to think Arkansas would get a look.

3. Florida's nightmare season can get worse.  Go ahead, ask any Gators fan if they feel any better about 2010 after seeing the Gators get knocked around by Florida State on Saturday.  Honestly, I don't see how Urban Meyer can consider bringing Steve Addazio back next season unless his ultimate plan is to have Gainesville burn to the ground.

4. Georgia is going bowling after all.  It took longer than any Georgia fan was probably hoping for, but after beating Georgia Tech on Saturday night, the Bulldogs now have six wins and can get an extra two weeks of practice.  Considering how the season started, it's a small miracle.

5. Kentucky may never beat Tennessee.  Seriously, if there was ever going to be a season in which the Wildcats would finally knock off the Vols, this would have been the one, right?  Sorry, not the case.  Tennessee took care of the 'Cats and like Georgia, is now bowl eligible.  Which is an even bigger miracle than the one Georgia pulled off.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com