Posted on: November 8, 2011 9:46 am
Edited on: November 8, 2011 10:07 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Every week the CBSSports.com college football staff offers our picks straight up and against the spread in the Expert Picks. But we aren't the only ones who get to offer our opinions on the outcome of the weekend's best games. In our weekly "Who Do You Like" Picks, we give you - the readers - a chance to weigh in on how you think the upcoming slate of games will play out.
You can see the results of the voting every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on Inside College Football, airing on the CBS Sports Network.
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
Tags: ACC, Adam Jacobi, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Bryan Fischer, CBS Sports Network, CBSSports.com Predictions, Chip Patterson, College Football Picks, College Football Predictions, Inside College Football, Jerry Hinnen, Non-BCS, Pac-12, SEC, Tom Fornelli, Week 11 Picks, Week 11 Predictions, Who Do You Like
Posted on: November 7, 2011 4:56 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Notre Dame faces Maryland this weekend in what they're calling the "Shamrock Series Game," and it appears the Irish don't want the Terps to be the only team on the field with a, shall we say, "creative" helmet. Behold, via the Notre Dame Equipment twitter feed, the Irish helmets for this weekend:
That? That doesn't look like a football helmet. It looks like a St. Patrick's Day crafts project -- and not a particularly good or tasteful one.
What I don't understand about the Notre Dame alternate helmets so frequently using the shamrock is this: Notre Dame has its own set of iconography for its football team, and it's just about the most recognizable in the nation. There's the interlocking "ND" logo, the "boxing leprechaun" logo, and to a lesser extent Touchdown Jesus*. But anyway, missing from all of those highly recognizable images is the shamrock. It's just not part of the look, and hasn't been since the Irish scrapped a three-year project with the helmet shamrock back in 1962.
So when the Irish players slap a shamrock on their hats for the "sort of throwback but not really" game against Michigan this year, then do it again for the upcoming Maryland contest, it feels like an aggressive rebranding initiative by a program and school that have, in all other aspects, staked their reputation on sticking to tradition at all costs. It just doesn't make sense.
*Also, one might wryly add, the NBC peacock. But we're not here to judge Notre Dame for having their own network; all college football programs should aspire to be so high-profile one day.
Posted on: November 7, 2011 3:00 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
So, was LSU-Alabama boring or exciting? Is Oklahoma State's defense good enough? Does Boise State need to start winning more convincingly? Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst recap the weekend and answer the biggest questions. Big wins for Cincinnati, Louisville, Baylor, UCLA and more. What happened to Michigan, Texas A&M and Nebraska? How much will the loss of Ryan Broyles affect Oklahoma?
Your emails could be read on the next edition of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast, so send them in to podcast[at]cbsinteractive [dot] com.
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Posted on: November 7, 2011 2:58 am
Edited on: November 7, 2011 11:15 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
CBSSports.com: Curley, Schultz step down amid investigation
Penn State announced that athletic director Tim Curley and VP/treasurer Gary Schultz have asked to be put on administrative leave as they are investigated for charges of perjury and failure to report. Curley and Schultz are being charged for not alerting authorities to reports they got from Penn State football staff about alleged sex crimes involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and a minor.
PSU.edu: Trustees announce 2 officials to step down while case is investigated
Here is Penn State's official statement on Curley and Schultz stepping down. Senior Associate Athletic Director Mark Sherburne will serve as interim athletic director until Curley’s legal situation is resolved.
PennLive.com: Sen. Piccola wants probe of Penn State University officials' alleged inaction
State Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, the chairman of the state Senate Education Committee, suggests university trustees should be just as disturbed as he is about the accusations levied against Jerry Sandusky and conduct their own investigation into the university’s response.
PennLive.com: Report: Former coach Jerry Sandusky used charity to molest kids
Current Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary was identified as the then-graduate assistant who told Penn State staff about discovering Sandusky performing sex acts on a young boy in a university shower in 2002. The grand jury has found McQueary to be a credible witness in their investigation.
CBSSports.com: Paterno releases statement on Sandusky case
In a statement released Sunday, Joe Paterno said he was not made aware of the specific allegations by McQueary in 2002 and said, "if this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers."
Philly.com: Accused coach founded youth home
According to the grand jury presentment, a 1998 report involving Sandusky and a boy in the football shower area was reviewed by University Police and Child Protective Services with the knowledge of then-university counsel Wendell Courtney, who was (and remains) counsel for Sandusky's charity, The Second Mile.
Posted on: November 7, 2011 2:24 am
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Posted on: November 6, 2011 9:11 pm
Posted by Eye On College Football
On Sunday night the new BCS standings were released. LSU is now an unquestioned number one, but now the huge story is Alabama falling from No. 2... all the way to No. 3, ahead of not only Boise State but also Stanford. That might not hold up for more than a week, but it's the situation right now.
You can check out a rundown of the Top 10 below, with some thoughts from our College Football Bloggers. For a full breakdown of the Top 25 teams in the BCS formula, you can check out the comprehensive standings.
1. LSU: LSU is number one, no questions asked, and only a loss could possibly keep the Tigers out of BCS contention -- and even then, LSU would be a major contender for the BCS Title. That's not to say that it doesn't matter if LSU beats Arkansas or not, obviously, but it does demonstrate just how powerful LSU's perch is here atop the BCS standings with three weeks and the conference championships still yet to play out. - Adam Jacobi
2. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys are right where they want to be. It's going to be impossible to pass LSU at this point barring a loss, but whether the #1 or #2 is next to your name in the BCS standings, all that matters is your in line to play for a BCS championship. Still, Oklahoma State has a long way to go with games left against Texas Tech and Iowa State on the road, not to mention Bedlam. - Tom Fornelli
3. Alabama: Losing to the top-ranked team in the nation in overtime might be devastating for fans, but it sure has a nice effect on a team's strength of schedule, which is why we see Alabama staying so high in the polls. Now, this designation of Alabama over Stanford isn't nearly as important as what the BCS decides next week, after Stanford potentially has a win over Oregon on its resume. Then and only then will we get a good sense of how close we are to a Bama-LSU rematch. - AJ
4. Stanford: The Cardinal went up to Oregon State and took care of business but suffered two big blows with the loss of wide receiver Chris Owusu (concussion) and tight end Levine Toilolo (upper body). That could be a big factor this week as Oregon comes to Palo Alto in what is the game of the year West of the Rockies. Stanford still has the best player in college football in Andrew Luck and are looking to solidify their hold on the #2 spot with a win. - Bryan Fischer
5. Boise State: Well, it looks like the Broncos will have to resign themselves to another possible unbeaten season ending in the wrong BCS bowl game. In order for Boise State to reach the top two it needs a lot of teams ahead of it to fall, and considering that Alabama has already lost and is STILL (italicize) two spots ahead of it in the standings, that's not a good sign for the Broncos. The possible good news is that with Georgia now being the favorite in the SEC East and TCU beginning to climb into the rankings, there's a chance Boise's schedule strength could give them a bump. - TF
6. Oklahoma: Some bad news for Oklahoma if they were hoping to be a one-loss team qualifying for the BCS title game: Alabama has a loss and only fell to third. Which means that if Oklahoma wins out it's probably going to need Stanford and maybe Boise State to fall, along with another loss from Alabama. Worse yet, the ACL injury to Ryan Broyles makes beating Oklahoma State at Bedlam even tougher. - TF
7. Oregon: Though they're not the highest ranked one-loss team, that could change with a win on Saturday against Stanford. LaMichael James put together a solid game against Washington as he continues to return from injury but the encouraging sign for Ducks fans had to be the play of the defense. The team hasn't really been tested since the opener but that will change this week in a game that essentially determines the Pac-12 champion. - BF
8: Arkansas: Want to see chaos befall the SEC and BCS system? Watch to see what happens if Arkansas somehow goes into Death Valley and upsets LSU. We'd be at a three-way tie in the SEC West (assuming everybody wins out), and each of the three teams would have a legitimate argument to make for getting to the SEC Championship -- and then, potentially, the BCS Championship. Yes, Arkansas at No. 8 means the Razorbacks would need a lot of help from pollsters ascending this ladder, but again, we're talking about if they win at LSU; voters would certainly take notice. - AJ
9. Clemson: While the Tigers' BCS title hopes were crushed in the loss against Georgia Tech, Clemson still has plenty to play for in the ACC Atlantic Division. Winning out in conference play would lock up the division and give them a shot to claim their first conference championship since 1991. For a team that plays 20+ redshirt or true freshman per game, that would not be a bad building block for the next few seasons. - Chip Patterson
10. Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech is lucky to still be collecting votes after their 14-10 squeaker against Duke two weeks ago. But the off week has given the Hokies a chance to hit the reset button before arguably their biggest game of the season. Virginia Tech will travel to Atlanta on a Thursday, and try to avoid the same trap that caught Clemson. A win should give Virginia Tech control of the ACC Coastal Division, a loss and the Yellow Jackets become part of the picture. - CP
Tags: ACC, Adam Jacobi, Alabama, Andrew Luck, Arkansas, BCS, BCS Rankings, BCS Reactions, BCS Standings, Big 12, Big Ten, Boise State, Bryan Fischer, Chip Patterson, Chris Owusu, Clemson, Duke, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, LaMichael James, Levine Toilolo, LSU, Mountain West, MWC, Non-BCS, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, Pac-12, Ryan Broyles, SEC, SEC Tiebreaker, Stanford, TCU, Texas Tech, Tom Fornelli, Virginia Tech
Posted on: November 6, 2011 2:48 pm
During its bye week, Penn State ascended to the highest spot of any Big Ten team in either poll -- mainly by dint of the Huskers' shocking upset. Meanwhile, the football program, athletic department, and school administration are embroiled in a scandal of potentially nightmarish proportion. So yeah, there isn't a ton of interest in poll rankings at Penn State right now -- nor ought there be.
13/13. Michigan State
It's a little difficult to differentiate between two-loss Big Ten teams this season; there's plenty of them. But there's a strong case to be made for Michigan State to be atop them all; the Spartans have navigated a brutal schedule this season, and it's only just now beginning to lighten. Oh, and Iowa hosts the Spartans this week. A win at Kinnick would justify a ranking around here, but another lackluster road performance from the Spartan offense will probably lead to loss number three -- and a general evaporation of the notion that MSU is anything better than the 20th best team in the nation or so.
Wisconsin is starting its climb back up the rankings after two straight last-minute losses to Michigan State and Ohio State sent them from No. 4 to No. 19 in the AP, a not-at-all-hyperbolic, totally reasonable reaction from pollsters. Unfortunately, road games with Minnesota and Illinois coming up aren't going to do much for the Badgers' standing in voters' eyes unless there's a bevy of losses in front of them. Fortunately, everybody outside the Top 7 or so right now is capable of losing on any given week, so we may yet see the Badgers come close to the Top 10 before bowl season.
This is Nebraska's lowest ranking of the season, and it's extremely hard to justify anything better than this after dropping a 28-25 contest to Northwestern on Saturday. Yes, the Huskers demolished Michigan State a week prior, so we're not going to call them a paper tiger or anything. Nebraska just needs to start playing at a high level consistently, and it needs to start now; Nebraska travels to Penn State this week, followed by a game at Michigan and the season finale against Iowa. Anything from 10-2 to 7-5 is possible; it's time to remove any doubt at long last whether Nebraska is a Top 20 team this year.
Another road game against a Big Ten team with a pulse, another loss for Michigan. Fortunately for the Wolverines, this week's contest at Illinois is the last away from the Big House for the rest of the year. This ranking seems too low for a two-loss Big Ten team, but Michigan's second-best win is, what, San Diego State? Western Michigan? Northwestern? Michigan needs a Big Ten win against a team with a winning record at some point, otherwise it'll be just another disappointing year in Ann Arbor.
Also receiving votes:
Ohio State (50 AP votes, 22 coaches votes), Iowa (4 AP votes, 8 coaches votes)
Posted on: November 6, 2011 4:15 am
Edited on: November 6, 2011 12:04 pm
A handy recap of who really won and who really lost that you won't find in the box score.
B1G B1G B1G WINNER: Chaos
How much wilder is the Big Ten after this 10th week of play than before? Consider, now, that four of the six Legends Division teams are still in plausible contention for that crown, or that Penn State could still find itself at 6-2 (or worse) in the conference, setting off a similar scramble in the Leaders Division. This year, Minnesota has beaten Iowa, Purdue has beaten Illinois, and now Northwestern has beaten Nebraska in Lincoln. Did you see that one coming? Yes? Liar.
Sure, some might note that the ACC already tried having everybody in the conference go 6-2 or worse, and the result is a shambolic title race -- and a sham BCS bowl participant. And yes, generally, it's better to have a conference champion in the BCS' Top 12, where they'd be eligible to participate in a BCS bowl even without the conference title, but still: a little madness never hurt anybody, and what better way to demonstrate to the Big Ten faithful how much drama a division race can add to a season?
LOSER: Penn State
This was supposed to be a peaceful week off for Joe Paterno and Penn State, who would be watching gleefully as losses by Nebraska and Michigan would leave PSU as the only one-loss team in the conference. Instead, nobody in State College is talking football today; instead, it's the litany of serious crimes facing Jerry Sandusky -- and what role PSU brass may have played in keeping Sandusky's alleged crimes under wraps.
We're not going to comment on Sandusky's charges; we trust our readers to form their own opinions at this point. We'll just say that it's beyond depressing that Penn State is 8-1 (5-0), Joe Paterno is the Division I's winningest coach of all time, and the Penn State president still needs to be issuing statements assuring people that his athletic director and treasurer didn't try to cover up a serial child molester in violation of Pennsylvania state law. But alas: here it is, and here we are. Ugh; back to football.
WINNER: Michigan State's division title hopes
On its face, Michigan State's performance today was, if anything, lackluster; the Spartans let lowly Minnesota take a lead into the fourth quarter in a game in East Lansing, and MSU only won by 7 points after letting Minnesota drive into Spartan territory in the game's final seconds. And yet, Michigan State still won, and that gives the Spartans sole possession of first place in the Legends Division after Michigan and Nebraska both dropped contests Saturday. Unlike every other contender in the conference, MSU has no games against ranked opponents left; there are, however, road tests at Iowa and Northwestern looming, so it's not exactly time to start booking hotel rooms in Pasadena quite yet. Still, this is as commanding a position as anybody's held in this division thus far.
LOSER: Michigan's division title hopes
It's getting to be difficult to imagine a scenario in which Michigan plays for the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis this December. The Wolverines dropped to 3-2 in the league, and while that's still just a game off the lead with three games yet to play, it's to whom Michigan has lost that should prove most problematic for the Wolverines. Iowa and Michigan State both hold head-to-head tiebreakers over Michigan and a non-division loss, so really, the only way Michigan takes this division is by winning it outright. There is a plausible path to that: MSU loses to Iowa and Northwestern, Iowa loses to Nebraska, and Nebraska loses to Michigan. But that's about it.
WINNER: Iowa's offensive stars
Iowa's numbers on offense weren't spectacular in the Hawkeyes' 24-16 win over Michigan; 302 total yards and 15 first downs were all the Hawkeyes managed in 56 offensive plays. Not bad, no, but not spectacular. Nonetheless, there were some very familiar faces responsible for the lion's share of that production -- Marcus Coker had 132 yards and two scores, James Vandenberg was 14-21 for 171 yards and a score, and Marvin McNutt (seen at right, divorcing J.T. Floyd from his helmet) caught nine passes, a career high, for 101 yards. Overall, that's a pattern that has put several Hawkeyes among the league leaders with three games left in the regular season.
Coker leads all Big Ten rushers with 1101 yards on the season; Montee Ball is a close second with 1076. In receiving, McNutt trails only A.J. Jenkins (1030 yards) with 959 yards, and his nine receiving touchdowns lead the league. Meanwhile, Vandenberg is third in the Big Ten in passing efficiency, with a 154.83 rating and 18 touchdowns to only four interceptions. Officially, Vandenberg is second only to I-A leader Russell Wilson in the NCAA's eyes, as Dan Persa hasn't played in 75% of Northwestern's games yet, but that doesn't seem totally fair to Persa, who meets the other qualification of 15 pass attempts per game even counting the games he missed. We see you, Dan.
LOSER: Any notion of Rex Burkhead as a Heisman candidate
For a little while, Rex Burkhead was starting to gain steam as a potential darkhorse candidate -- not a potential winner, but certainly someone that might at least score a free trip to New York in December. Nebraska would have to win out as a one-loss Big Ten champion, though, and Burkhead would have to keep coming up as big as he has all season long. Do all that, and it might be good enough to get some major national attention.
Well, that clearly didn't happen. Nebraska's rushing attack was bottled up by Northwestern, of all defenses; the Wildcats had been ranked 95th nationwide coming into Saturday's contest, ceding 194 rushing yards per game. And yet, Nebraska managed only 122 yards on the ground in the 28-25 loss, and Burkhead was particularly ineffective: 22 rushes, 69 yards, one score, and one costly fumble inside Northwestern's 5-yard line. Worse, only three of those 22 rushes gained first downs, while Burkhead converted for a score or first down on only two of six rushes on 3rd and 4th down. That? That's not good.
WINNER: Kain Colter
Say this about Pat Fitzgerald: he doesn't much care for traditional labels on players. How else to explain Kain Colter, who for the last four weeks has averaged 55 yards rushing, 55 yards passing, and 71 yards receiving per game in a QB/WR hybrid role in support of Dan Persa? This week, Colter's versatility was especially useful, as Persa would leave the game at the half after sustaining a shoulder injury; Colter responded by scoring three touchdowns in the second half of Northwestern's upset victory.
LOSER: Denard Robinson's legs
Last year, in the Gator Bowl blowout that would seal Rich Rodriguez's fate with Michigan, the Wolverines tried to go for it on five fourth downs. In each one, a pass play was called for Denard Robinson; in each one, Michigan failed to convert, as the pass fell harmlessly incomplete on each attempt. This week, Robinson had led Michigan to Iowa's 3-yard line with under 20 seconds to play and a first and goal. This time around, Brady Hoke called four straight passes for Robinson; in each one, Michigan failed to score, as the pass fell harmlessly incomplete on each attempt.
This is not to argue that Robinson should never pass or anything of that sort. It's just that Robinson is at his most dangerous on the move, and when a drive or a game's on the line, by and large, it's not smart to have him stand still and look to pass. Junior Hemingway came awfully close to making a great catch on 2nd down and Roy Roundtree may have had a legitimate gripe for pass interference on 4th down (though it was far less obvious in real time), but still: Denard Robinson is the most dynamic runner in the Big Ten; why not try a run-pass option? With deep apologies to ZZ Top, Robinson has legs, and he knows how to use them. Give him a chance to do that!
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, ACC, Adam Jacobi, Big Ten, Brady Hoke, Dan Persa, Dan Persa, Denard Robinson, Illinois, Iowa, J.T. Floyd, James Vandenberg, Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, Junior Hemingway, Kain Colter, Marcus Coker, Marvin McNutt, Michigan, Michigan State, Mike Kafka, Minnesota, Montee Ball, Nebraska, Northwestern, Pat Fitzgerald, Penn State, Purdue, Rex Burkhead, Rich Rodriguez, Roy Roundtree, Russell Wilson, Week 10, What I Learned, Winners and Losers