Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:16 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 3:17 pm
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Posted on: October 13, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 6:36 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Man vs. Woman vs. Machine is a feature that runs every Thursday afternoon. It is here that Tom Fornelli fights against the rising tide of female empowerment and technology to ensure that men everywhere can at least claim that college football is still theirs. He does this by picking a set of games against the spread against his girlfriend, Lynn, and his Playstation 3.
I've made a huge mistake.
The last few weeks, as I was clawing my way back into the race and approaching Woman, ready to pass her, I got overconfident. Sometimes the problem with being Man and being awesome is that it gets hard to control the ego once in a while. I did a terrible job of this last week, and because of it, I'm back in second place. I've now dropped a game behind Woman in the race, but it's okay. All I have to do is spew some cliches and I figure I'll be right back in this.
You know, going to take this competition one game at a time. Give them all 110%. So let's get to it for this week.
Michigan State (-3 1/2) vs Michigan - Saturday, 12pm (All times Eastern)Man - This is a tough one to call. Michigan has played really well so far this season, but since 2008, Michigan State has had the Wolverines number. Combine that with the fact that the game is being played in East Lansing, and it makes me lean towards Sparty. And as I'm leaning, I remember that the Michigan defense has improved a lot stronger than any of us expected, and I remember how Michigan State's offense looked against Notre Dame. So I'm taking the points and saying that Michigan takes the state back on Saturday. Pick: Michigan
Woman - "Thank goodness, life at Michigan is back to normal, more Bo and Lloyd than Rich and Rod. But that doesn't mean no bumps in the road. Today's game is that bump. Spartans will win. Not as certain they'll cover." Pick: Michigan
Machine - It's a clean sweep as The Machine sees Michigan pulling off what looks to be quite the thriller. Fitzgerald Toussaint scores a touchdown in the final minutes to tie the game, and then scores a couple more touchdowns as Michigan wins 41-37 in double overtime. Pick: Michigan
Texas A&M (-9 1/2) vs. Baylor - Saturday, 12pmMan - This one seems so simple to me that I'm actually a bit scared of it. Like Vegas knows something that the rest of us don't. Baylor and Robert Griffin have been lighting secondaries up all season long, and Texas A&M's secondary has been lit up all season long. I don't know if Baylor wins, but I have to think it covers that spread. Pick: Baylor
Woman - "Baylor will exact revenge on the field as well as off for the Aggies SEC defection. (Based on this secret video of the last Big 12 meeting between the schools' attorneys, it's gonna get real, y'all.)" Pick: Baylor
Machine - The Machine sees Texas A&M putting together its most complete game of the season as the Aggies take care of Baylor 38-21. Pick: Texas A&M
Mississippi State vs. South Carolina (-3 1/2) - Saturday, 12:21pmMan - Sure, Connor Shaw isn't playing Kentucky this week, so life may not be as easy for him replacing Stephen Garcia this time around, but he still has Marcus Lattimore to turn around and give the ball to. Combine that with the fact that Mississippi State's offense has looked anything but potent this year, and I have to go with the Gamecocks. Pick: South Carolina
Woman - "Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier dumps his troubled QB mid-season, then bans a reporter for not towing the party line. What the Gamecocks got is failure to communicate." Pick: Mississippi State
Machine - Bring back Stephen Garcia! The Bulldogs roll 37-13. Pick: Mississippi State
Tennessee vs. LSU (-15 1/2) - Saturday, 3:30pmMan - Tennessee doesn't have Tyler Bray and it has to face the LSU defense? My prediction here is that Phil Simms is going to be really mad at Gary Danielson on Sunday. Pick: LSU
Woman - "Still riding Miles' Magical Mystery Tour. (Vols' loss at home last week to Georgia makes the ride easier.)" Pick: LSU
Machine - The Machine seems to have more faith in Matt Simms than either Woman and I do, but it's still not enough as LSU wins 28-17. Pick: Tennessee
Texas vs. Oklahoma State (-7 1/2) - Saturday, 3:30pmMan - Texas was a bit exposed against Oklahoma last week, and I'm pretty sure that Oklahoma State noticed how well Landry Jones performed against that Longhorns defense. I see no reason why Brandon Weeden can't do the same this week, and although I feel that Texas will have more success on offense, it won't be able to keep up with the Cowboys. Pick: Oklahoma State
Woman - "Here's a stat from Burnt Orange Nation: In thirteen years at Texas, Mack Brown has never lost the game after the Red River Shootout. Between that and points..." Pick: Texas
Machine - The Machine sees a lot of angry Texas fans in the future. Oklahoma State tears Austin apart, winning 48-20. Pick: Oklahoma State
Illinois (-3 1/2) vs. Ohio State - Saturday, 3:30pmMan - Is there an Option C? I mean, I either have to rely on an Ohio State offense that has looked terrible for most of the season to finally put together a complete game, or I have to give up points with a team that is coached by Ron Zook. Illinois has only beaten Ohio State once under Zook, but that was the year the team ended up in the Rose Bowl. Well, Illinois isn't going to the Rose Bowl this year. Pick: Ohio State
Woman - "Illinois is 6-0 with 2 division wins. Ohio State is .500 with two division losses. So this should be easy. But I'm just waiting for that fateful day when Illinois pops a Zook. Like, this Saturday." Pick: Ohio State
Machine - Well it looks like Illinois' unbeaten season is coming to an end this weekend, as The Machine has Ohio State winning as well, 31-17. Pick: Ohio State
Wake Forest vs. Virginia Tech (-7 1/2) - Saturday, 6:30pmMan - I haven't seen a whole lot of Wake Forest this season, but I have seen enough from Virginia Tech to be a bit leery about giving up over a touchdown on the road. I'm not sure if the Deacons knock off another ACC favorite this weekend, but I think they can keep it close. Pick: Wake Forest
Woman - "Wake Forest has quietly laid down four impressive wins in a row, and is 3-0 in the ACC. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech,1-1 in the ACC, was last seen playing for its life against NFL farm club the Hurricanes. Upset alert: The Hokies aren't going to see Wake Forest coming. (For the sake of illustration, let's say Virginia Tech is the TV news producer and Wake Forest is the turkey.)" Pick: Wake Forest
Machine - Sorry, Wake Forest, but The Machine does not believe in Cinderella. Virginia Tech 48-10. Pick: Virginia Tech
Texas Tech (-3 1/2) vs. Kansas State - Saturday, 7pmMan - As I said last week, I've become a firm believer in Bill Snyder and what the Wildcats are doing. Until they let me down, I'm not picking against them, especially if I'm getting points. Throw in the fact that Texas Tech has lost Eric Stephens for the season, and it only makes me more confident in this pick. Pick: Kansas State
Woman - "Texas Tech's at home and out to avenge a painful loss to the Aggies last week. Kansas State has yet to experience the agony of defeat this season. You're about to land in a tangled heap at the bottom of a ski slope, Wildcats." Pick: Texas Tech
Machine - The Machine sees Kansas State's unbeaten season coming to an end this weekend, but it has no knowledge of the Kansas State bus being covered in anything. Texas Tech wins 31-17. Pick: Texas Tech
Auburn (-1 1/2) vs. Florida - Saturday, 7pmMan - I'm not comfortable at all with this pick, as neither team has done much to instill any confidence the last few weeks. Yes, Florida wasn't exactly facing the easiest competition in the world, but I'm not sure either quarterback is capable of taking full advantage of the Auburn secondary. That being said, I don't have much faith in the Auburn offense either. So I guess I'm just going with homefield advantage. Pick: Auburn
Woman - "I looked for something trending in either of these teams and none of it's very good. The one thing that stands out is how Florida couldn't put more than one touchdown on the board either of the last two weeks. That doesn't speak too well for its QB-by-committee approach and I can't see how that'll change in a hostile Jordan-Hare." Pick: Auburn
Machine - Chris Rainey saves the day for Florida with a 73-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give the Gators a 27-21 win. Pick: Florida
Oregon (-15 1/2) vs. Arizona State - Saturday 10:15pmMan - This game would normally be easy for me to pick because, aside from Stanford, I just don't think there's anybody else in the Pac-12 that can hang with the Ducks. The problem is that Arizona State kept things close enough against Oregon last season, but that game was played in Tempe, and Autzen Stadium is a different beast entirely. I also worry about the absence of LaMichael James, but the Ducks have enough weapons on offense and know how to use all of them that James' absence may not be a major problem. So I'm going with the Ducks, even if I had to think about it a little. Pick: Oregon
Woman - "Forget football, who's going to win the Style Bowl? Two fashion dynamos go padded shoulder to shoulder this weekend and like everyone knows, in football, as in fashion, one week you're in and the next, you're OUT. Oregon has shown an ability to transform even basic black into something original, and last week's eye-popping green with the retro duck made everything old seem new again. ASU, on the other hand, is stuck with a hopelessly dated color palette and when they tried doing something different with black? Well, auf wiedersehen, ASU. But before you air kiss Heidi, I'll take the points." Pick: Arizona State
Machine - There are going to be a lot of points scored in Eugene on Saturday night, but The Machine sees the Ducks getting the majority of them. Oregon wins 55-38. Pick: Oregon
StandingsSeason Record (Last Week)
1. Woman 41-24 (7-3)
2. Man 40-25 (6-4)
3. Machine 34-31 (5-5)
Tags: ACC, Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, Big 12, Big Ten, Bill Snyder, Bo Schembechler, Brandon Weeden, Chris Rainey, Chris Simms, Connor Shaw, Eric Stephens, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Florida, Gary Danielson, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas State, LaMichael James, Landry Jones, Lloyd Carr, LSU, Mack Brown, Man vs Woman vs Machine, Marcus Lattimore, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pac-12, Phil Simms, Rich Rodriguez, Robert Griffin, Ron Zook, SEC, South Carolina, Stanford, Stephen Garcia, Steve Spurrier, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tom Fornelli, Tyler Bray, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Posted on: October 12, 2011 5:22 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 5:38 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
It appears the Cam Newton Saga at Auburn has finally come to an end. The NCAA announced on Wednesday that it had found no major rules violations in Auburn's signing of Newton. The NCAA also announced that it had concluded an investigation into the claims of four former Auburn players on HBO's Real Sports that Auburn had provided the players with extra benefits, and again, the NCAA found no wrongdoing by anybody at Auburn.
"We appreciate the NCAA and thank them for their professionalism and thoroughness during this exhaustive investigation. We are pleased to put this matter behind us," said Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs.
As for the Newton case, the NCAA said it interviewed more than 50 people to find out if Auburn had provided Newton or any members of his family with improper benefits, and that there was no reason to keep the investigation open because the NCAA's findings did not meet a "burden of proof" that Auburn had done anything wrong.
If you don't recall, Newton came under scrutiny last season when it was alleged that his father Cecil Newton attempted to collect $180,000 from Mississippi State to get his son to transfer there from Blinn College, where Cam had transferred to after being kicked off the team at Florida. Auburn always maintained that Newton never asked for money from the school, nor did the school ever pay him anything to attend Auburn.
So, good news, Auburn fans. That national championship is not going to be taken away.
Click here to read the letter the NCAA sent Auburn
Posted on: October 12, 2011 4:10 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 4:27 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
There's a story we've seen many times before that goes 1. player gets arrested 2. player is suspended and/or sees reduced playing time 3. rumors swirl that player is looking to transfer. And almost inevitably, that story ends with 4. player transfers.
That's the narrative that's played out once again with Florida linebacker Dee Finley, who Will Muschamp said Tuesday had not come to any final decision about his future as a Gator. But Muschamp and Florida issued a statement Wednesday that Finley has now elected to continue his college football career elsewhere.
"Dee has decided that he would like to pursue other opportunities," Muschamp said. "We wish him the best of luck and we appreciate his time at Florida."
Per the release, Finley plans on remaining enrolled at Florida through the end of the semester.
The announcement comes as something far, far less than surprising after reports surfaced that Finley was considering (or had already decided on) a transfer. A four-star recruit out of Auburn, Ala., Finley saw plenty of playing time as a freshman in 2009, but a broken collarbone ended his 2010 season prematurely. After a September arrest on traffic charges and resisting arrest, Finley remained firmly on the Gators' second string and had seen little on-field action during the 2011 season.
Where the Gators are concerned, Finley's departure thins the linebacking depth a bit but likely won't have much of an impact unless the unit suffers a wave of injuries. With any luck on Finley's choice of a new school, this story could still have a happy ending for all involved.
Posted on: October 12, 2011 2:14 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Running down everything you need to know from the current news in the SEC, courtesy of our CBSSports.com RapidReporters (and others).
AUBURN. Despite a miserable 6-for-19, 81-yard, 2-INT performance against Arkansas, Tiger quarterback Barrett Trotter will still be the starter in Saturday's showdown with Florida. "He's our quarterback today; he'll be our quarterback Saturday," Gene Chizik said. Many Tiger fans have been clamoring for a greater role for true freshman Kiehl Frazier, but Chizik reiterated that Frazier would remain a "changeup."
For their part, both offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and Frazier himself agreed that the freshman isn't ready to take on the full-time quarterbacking responsibility. Auburn will have to face Florida without starting senior guard Jared Cooper, out with an ankle injury. He'll likely be replaced by redshirt freshman Chad Slade.
FLORIDA. Meanwhile, Auburn's Saturday opponents have their own worries at quarterback with John Brantley out. But freshman backup Jeff Driskel has returned from his ankle injury and split reps during Tuesday's practice with fellow freshman (and starter vs. LSU) Jacoby Brissett. Though the two are now locked in close competition to be the starter at Auburn, Will Muschamp said he doesn't plan on keeping his decision a secret once it's made ... though he has also hinted at leaning in either Brissett's or Driskel's direction.
Despite reports suggesting his Gator career was over, sophomore linebacker Dee Finley has not yet made a final decision on whether to transfer out of the program or not, Muschamp said.
VANDERBILT. More QB drama: for the first time this season, the Commodore depth chart at quarterback has an "or" between starter Larry Smith and backup Jordan Rodgers, younger brother of Aaron Rodgers. Head coach James Franklin said the team would "kind of have a competition" at the position and whichever quarterback performs better in practice this week would get the nod against Georgia. Rodgers came on in relief of Smith vs. Alabama and completed 11 of 18 passes, but with two interceptions.
LSU. The No. 1 Bayou Bengals' Nov. 5 trip to Alabama is already being marked on many college football fans' calendars as the Game of the Year--including LSU's, who chanted "We Want 'Bama" at the end of their team's beatdown of Florida. But don't tell that to Les Miles. "I hear the talk," he said. "But I promise you that talk doesn't exist in our building. That's fan chat or a media buzz. That buzz doesn't take place in our building."
With Miles stressing ball security, LSU has now gone three games without a turnover. At +11, the Tigers rank fourth in the nation in turnover margin. With the Auburn game a week from Saturday set for a 2:30 CT kickoff (on CBS), LSU will go an entire season without playing an SEC night game for the first time since 1935.
ELSEWHERE: The already-struggling Tennessee running game could be without starting tailback Tauren Poole, day-to-day with a hamstring injury ... new/old starting quarterback Matt Simms is happy to return to the starter's role against LSU, the team he nearly defeated last season ... Arkansas's bye week comes at a good time for quarterback Tyler Wilson, who needs the extra time to recover his lost voice ...
Don't expect to beat Alabama on the Tide's mistakes: they're committing the second-fewest penalties in the nation and AJ McCarron hasn't thrown an interception in 127 pass attempts ... Good news and bad news on the injury front for Georgia, who should see inside linebacker Alec Ogletree back on the field as scheduled come the Bulldogs' Oct. 29 meeting with Florida, but will miss receiver Malcolm Mitchell for this week's trip to Vanderbilt ...
Amidst the higher-profile stories breaking in Columbia Tuesday, Andrew Clifford and Dylan Thompson are battling to be this week's backup quarterback against Mississippi State. Steve Spurrier said picking one or the other could be a game-time decision ... Ole Miss will stick with Randall Mackey as the starter at quarterback against Alabama Saturday, but there's no set backup there, either ... But at least the Gamecocks and Rebels have a starter. Dan Mullen has said he won't name Mississippi State's until kickoff, if then. Chris Relf is attempting to fend off a challenge from Tyler Russell, who sparked the offense to three second-half touchdowns against UAB.
Tags: Aaron Rodgers, AJ McCarron, Alabama, Alec Ogletree, Andrew Clifford, Arkansas, Auburn, Barrett Trotter, Chad Slade, Chris Relf, Dan Mullen, Dee Finley, Dylan Thompson, Florida, Gene Chizik, Georgia, Gus Malzahn, Jacoby Brissett, James Franklin, James Franklin the Vanderbilt coach not the Missouri quarterback, Jared Cooper, Jeff Driskel, Jerry Hinnen, John Brantley, Jordan Rodgers, Kiehl Frazier, Larry Smith, Les Miles, LSU, Malcolm Mitchell, Matt Simms, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Randall Mackey, SEC, South Carolina, Steve Spurrier, Tauren Poole, Tennessee, Tyler Russell, Tyler Wilson, Vanderbilt, Will Muschamp
Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:42 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 1:43 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Former Florida head coach Urban Meyer seems to be enjoying his time away from the sidelines, but given his age and accomplishments, the fact is that the subject of him returning to the coaching ranks is one that's just never going to go away. As soon as Jim Tressel stepped down at Ohio State, Meyer's name popped up as a possible replacement. Last week there were reports that Penn State had been in contact with Meyer about succeeding the legendary Joe Paterno.
What's Meyer actually thinking? Well, while appearing at an Outback Bowl luncheon on Wednesday, Meyer talked to the St. Petersburg Times about his time at Florida and a possible return to coaching. He also addressed the rumors about both Ohio State and Penn State.
"I have to show respect for coaches that have jobs," Meyer said. "Most of those programs have coaches. When rumors are out there — last week, a guy hit me with something, 'Did you meet with so and so?' Of course not. I don't know how those things get printed, just, 'Source says.' Who's your source? A guy walking down the street? Those things bother me, but it comes with the job, I guess."
Meyer also talked about balancing his life and his job if he ever went back into coaching, saying that he went off the "deep end" while at Florida.
"If I ever went back, I'd have to get back a little bit of balance I used to have. I don't know if I'm there yet. I went off the deep end. When I first went to Florida, my first Tennessee game, first SEC game, my son was playing that (Friday) night, was going to pitch. I'm in a hotel. I looked at the police officers: 'I can't take this. Will you get in a car and drive me to go watch my son pitch?' Everybody thought I was nuts. I'm not going to let a job consume me. I think it did. I would have never done that at the end. I was so consumed about perfection. We created a monster. If I ever did get back, I would not let that control my life."
As for whether or not Meyer ever actually does take a coaching job again, I don't know. He seems serious about needing to get away from it all, and with the health problems that he reportedly suffered due to the stress of the job, I tend to believe him when he says he's happy where he is right now. At the same time, you'll also notice how he didn't come out and say no to the possibility either. Which leads me to think that the same passion that caused him to go off the "deep end" while at Florida could eventually lead him right back to the job.
Posted on: October 11, 2011 2:13 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 5:12 pm
Posted by Eye on College Football staff
Tags: ACC, Adam Jacobi, Alabama, Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, Big 12, Big Ten, Bryan Fischer, Chip Patterson, Clemson, Florida, Indiana, Jerry Hinnen, Kansas, Keys to the Game, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Pac-12, SEC, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Tom Fornelli, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Washington State, Week 7, Wisconsin
Posted on: October 11, 2011 12:55 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2011 1:45 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
FLORIDA WILL WIN IF: their young secondary can continue to make Auburn's suddenly woebegone passing game as inefficient as it's been the past few weeks. The Tigers ran for 290 yards against Arkansas and it still didn't keep them within three touchdowns of the Razorbacks, thanks to a passing game that completed just 9-of-25 attempts and threw three interceptions without a touchdown. But Barrett Trotter has been much more comfortable at home than on the road -- his QB rating of 160.71 at Jordan-Hare Stadium dwarfs his 88.88 rating elsewhere, albeit against substantially lesser competition -- and the Gators didn't respond well to their first road test last week, allowing LSU quarterbacks to complete 10 of 14 passes for a whopping 15.4 yards an attempt and two scores. Despite starting a true freshman at both corner and safety (and a true sophomore, Matt Elam, at the other safety position), the Gator secondary showed in effective performances against Tennessee and Alabama that they have the potential to keep Trotter and Co. on continued lockdown--if they bounce back from their outing in Baton Rouge and do, Auburn will have a difficult time putting points on the board no matter how well they run.
AUBURN WILL WIN IF: they can keep Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey under wraps. Easier said than done, of course, and as Joe Adams' 93-yard touchdown run for Arkansas showed, the Tigers remain highly vulnerable to giving up the big play on the ground to quick, elusive runners ... like, say, Demps and Rainey. But after some early-season difficulties, the Tiger run defense has improved to the point of adequacy the past two weeks; remove Adams' 93 yards from the equation, and Auburn allowed a combined 3.59 yards per-carry against the Razorbacks and South Carolina. Numbers anything close to that mark will mean Auburn will have shifted a big chunk of the offensive burden
to Jacoby Brissett (or, possibly, Jeff Driskel); judging by the LSU game, that's a burden Brissett isn't yet ready to carry.
THE X-FACTOR: Night games against Florida -- a traditional rival of the Tigers, who thanks to the divisional split now visits only rarely -- have been known to bring out the best (read: loudest, rowdiest) in the Jordan-Hare crowd, as evidenced by the Gators' last visit: 2006, when the cauldron of noise helped Tommy Tuberville engineer an upset of the then No. 1 team in the nation (and the only defeat suffered that season by Urban Meyer's eventual national champions). If a hot Auburn start can get its fans past last week's disappointment and back into the full voice of that 2006 victory, it remains to be seen how the inexperienced Gators will react.