Tag:Tom Fornelli
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:47 pm
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When getting it right goes wrong



Posted by Tom Fornelli


Given the debacle that was Monday night's BCS Championship Game, and the ratings that accompanied it, there are no doubt a lot of people outside the southeastern United States who woke up on Tuesday morning wishing they had been given the chance to watch any game but the one they were given in the Superdome. Personally, as a fan of great defensive football, I was looking forward to the game even after already seeing the first meeting.

"The offenses can't play as poorly again the second time around," I thought to myself.

Well, at least one couldn't. Then there was LSU and Jordan Jefferson. Around what was roughly Jordan Jefferson's 89th attempt at running the speed option to the right, only to be swallowed whole by Alabama linebackers, I began to feel as though I were the victim of Chinese Water Torture. One more attempt and I would start spilling my darkest secrets to whoever wanted to hear them just so that LSU would try something different. Anything different. Like maybe gaining four yards.

Instead what we saw was years of work and research by Ivan Pavlov and his classical conditioning theory thrown out the window. Turns out his dogs were smarter than anybody running the LSU offense.

It was also around this point that I began thinking to myself that I'd rather have seen someone like Oklahoma State getting a chance. And while I've done my fair share of trying to prove Oklahoma State's credentials during the regular season on this blog, even then I was always under the impression that Alabama and LSU were the two best teams in the country.

I would just like to have seen what an offense like Oklahoma State's could do against a defense like LSU's, a defense that wasn't exactly stellar on Monday night if you weren't paying attention.

Which is a view point that Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy also shared following last night's game.

"I will say this," Gundy told the USA Today. "I bet you there'll be a lot of people wish they'd given us a shot to see a different kind of game.

"We'd have thrown it 50 times. You like to think Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon could have put together some touchdowns. Get the ball thrown down the field and open some things up. Try to make it exciting, and see what happens."

Surely the Cowboys, with Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon, could have put just as many points on the board against LSU as Alabama did. Combine that with Oklahoma State's defense, which was never terrible as the numbers lead one to believe, and maybe even the Tigers could have dented the scoreboard as well.

Of course, this is where you start to hear the "we've already seen what an offense like Oklahoma State can do against LSU, just ask Oregon and West Virginia" response. A response that completely ignores the fact that, while high-scoring, Oregon's offense is entirely different from Oklahoma State's, and that West Virginia's is in its infancy.

It's also an argument that conveniently omits that we'd already seen what happens between LSU and Alabama going into last night's death march as well.

Instead what we get is an Alabama team that, despite how talented and dominating it was during the season, couldn't even win its own division being crowned national champion. An idea that even when it's correct -- and it is correct -- makes absolutely no sense in a sport where every game is supposed to count.

Sometimes getting it right can go wrong.

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Posted on: January 10, 2012 2:34 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 6:30 pm
 

Alabama won 'the game that counted'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The one thing that the BCS has made sure to cram down our throats every chance it gets when it comes to defending the BCS and the bowl system is that "every game counts" during college football's regular season. A stance that was proven wrong on Monday night when Alabama beat LSU in New Orleans to become the national champion and therefore confirm that LSU's win over Alabama during the regular season didn't count at all.

There's no word if the BCS plans to change its mantra to "every game counts except for the ones that sometimes don't."

Either way, Alabama fans are happy with how things turned out, and to commemorate their joy over another national championship for the Crimson Tide, they now have a shirt to remind them and everyone else which game actually counts.



Now we just it around and wait for the Oklahoma States and Boise States of the world to release a shirt that says "we won 12 games that didn't count and lost one that did." 

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Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:23 pm
 

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Did you watch Alabama beat LSU 21-0 to win the BCS Championship last night? If not, you weren't alone in finding your television entertainment elsewhere.

The overnight ratings for the BCS National Championship Game show that last night's rematch between Alabama and LSU was the lowest-rated title game in the 14-year history of the BCS, bringing in a 13.8 overnight rating, a 14% drop from last year's game between Auburn and Oregon. The previous low had been set in 2002 when Miami played Nebraska for the title and the game brought a 14.3 rating.

There are a few factors that were no doubt in play here. First of all, it seems many college football fans were serious when they said they didn't want to watch a rematch of a game they'd already seen, particularly one that ended 9-6 the first time and didn't exactly provide a lot of excitement. Another factor to consider is that the game was broadcast on ESPN, which is available on cable packages and previous BCS games had always been broadcast on national networks.

The low ratings for the title game followed the trend of the other four BCS bowls as well, as the average rating of all BCS games dropped 10% from the 2010 season and 21% from the 2009 season. Again, this is likely a combination of the games now being broadcast on cable and college football fans who are tiring of the bowl system.

The good news is that with all the momentum that already seems to be in place for the BCS to add a plus-one system in the coming years, the drop in ratings may provide an additional kick in the pants. 

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. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.  
Posted on: January 10, 2012 12:58 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 12:59 pm
 

Big 12 Recruiting Reset

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that the 2011 season has come to an end it's time to move on to the next phase of the college football year: recruiting. With the Big 12 Recruiting Reset we fill you in on what you may have missed in the Big 12 and what you should expect to see between now and signing day.

TOP THREE CLASSES

1. Texas - Texas always has one of the best recruiting classes in the country and the Big 12, but lately it hasn't done much for the Longhorns on the field. Though that could change with players like running back Johnathan Gray and wide receiver Cayleb Jones to help a struggling offense, and defensive tackle Malcom Brown to keep things rolling on defense. Of course, with Texas right now, you can't look past quarterback Connor Brewer who may actually see time in the 2012 season as the Longhorns continue to look for their quarterback.

2. Oklahoma - The Sooners have Landry Jones returning in 2012, but are losing his favorite target in Ryan Broyles. Not to worry, though, as the Sooners have added a few top receivers in their 2012 recruiting class. Players like Trey Metoyer, Derrick Woods, and Durron Neal may all see time on the field for Oklahoma next season. Though considering the problems the Sooners have had at running back and the transfer of Brandon Williams, you do have to wonder if Oklahoma would be better off adding another running back to its class to join the impressive Alex Ross

3. TCU - TCU will join the Big 12 next season, and it seems that the Horned Frogs have already got the recruiting aspect that they'll need to compete down. There aren't a lot of headliners in the current class, but it's deep. Quarterback Tyler Matthews could be the heir apparent to Casey Pachall, and players like defensive back Edward Pope, running back Daje Johnson and defensive end Devonte Fields will all make their presence known in the coming seasons. 

TOP PLAYERS AVAILABLE

1. Dorial Green-Beckham - At 6'6 and 225 pounds, when people compare this wide receiver to Randy Moss, they aren't blowing smoke. He's the top player in the 2012 class and he has offers from just about every school on the planet, including both Texas and Oklahoma. 

2. Stefon Diggs - Diggs is the best receiver not named Dorial Green-Beckham that is yet to commit to anybody, and it seems he's down to about eight schools right now, including Oklahoma.

WORK TO DO

1. Kansas - Considering how Kansas has looked on the field the last few years, it's not surprising to see the Jayhawks have one of the weaker recruiting classes in the Big 12. Which also may explain why the school hired Charlie Weis, who recruited well at Notre Dame. Weis has some work to do before signing day to add to a class that currently consists of only 9 players.

2. Kansas State - Kansas State's has 12 commitments for its 2012 class, and while Bill Snyder seems to have magical powers, he may need to use them to add a few more names to that list before February gets here.

Keep up to date with all the latest recruiting news leading up to National Signing Day with our Eye On Recruiting Blog with Bryan Fischer. 

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. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page. 
Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:43 am
Edited on: January 10, 2012 10:44 am
 

No split title, Alabama No. 1 in AP Poll



Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you had been wondering whether or not the AP Poll would recognize Alabama as this year's national champion or make a statement by keeping LSU ranked at No. 1, well, the answer is right up there for you. 

Alabama is on top with LSU right behind them with Oklahoma State, Oregon and Arkansas rounding out the top five.

Also, what's really interesting about the poll aside from Alabama being on top is that Alabama got every first place vote but five. Of those five ballots that didn't put Alabama at the top, only one listed LSU. The other four had Oklahoma State.

The one voter who kept LSU at the top spot was Erik Gee, from KNML in Albuquerque, N.M.. Gee told CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd in December that it would take "like a 63-0 pasting" by Alabama for the 39-year old radio host to change his vote after the BCS National Championship Game. He believes LSU won the right to the top spot with their performance prior to Monday's 21-0 loss to Alabama, and his final AP Poll vote reflected his firm stance on the issue.

Check out the final AP Poll of the 2011 season below:

1. Alabama (55)
2. LSU (1)
3. Oklahoma State (4)
4. Oregon
5. Arkansas
6. USC
7. Stanford
8. Boise State
9. South Carolina
10. Wisconsin
11. Michigan State
12. Michigan
13. Baylor
14. TCU
15. Kansas State
16. Oklahoma
17. West Virginia
18. Houston
19. Georgia
20. Southern Miss
21. Virginia Tech
22. Clemson
23. Florida State
24. Nebraska
25. Cincinnati


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. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.
Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:14 am
 

PODCAST: National Championship recap

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The confetti has hardly finished falling in the Superdome down in New Orleans, and the Alabama Crimson Tide aren't quite done celebrating just yet, but it's never too early to break down what we saw on Monday night. So in the latest episode of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast, the Eye On College Football blog's Jerry Hinnen joins Adam Aizer to talk about Alabama's 21-0 victory.

Adam and Jerry talk about which team is better, and whether or not LSU should still be ranked #1 in the AP Poll after this one. They also discuss Oklahoma State's place in all of this, along with whether or not Les Miles and LSU were outcoached in this game. And, of course, we couldn't get through the podcast without talking about one of the greatest defenses we've ever seen in college football: the 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide.

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


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

Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:40 am
Edited on: January 9, 2012 12:09 pm
 

Texas A&M going after the Denver Broncos

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Sunday the Denver Broncos, and Tim Tebow in particular, were blowing the minds of football fans across the country while beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the NFL playoffs. It was pretty much a wonderful day to be a Broncos fan, but it was also a day that may find the team in court soon.

That's because after the Broncos beat the Steelers in overtime there was this tweet from Texas A&M's Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Jason Cook.



Yes, before the game a man parachuted into the stadium waving a flag that said "12th man" and the flag was waved during the game. Which seems completely harmless and pretty much commonplace, but Texas A&M owns the trademark for it and is planning on getting its money.

It's not the first time that the school has gotten involved in something like this, as it filed a lawsuit against the Seattle Seahawks in 2006 for the same thing. Now any Seahawks broadcasts that mention the crowd as "the 12th man" also has to mention Texas A&M's trademark.

Seems pretty stupid, right? Yeah, that's because it is, though there's also an easy solution. Instead of referring to your home crowd as "the 12th man" just start referring to them as "the 12th player." Then Texas A&M will have to find a whole new way to waste everybody's time.

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 1:07 am
 

QUICK HITS: N. Illinois 38 Arkansas State 20



Posted by Tom Fornelli


NORTHERN ILLINOIS WON. Things looked to be going Arkansas State's way early after the Red Wolves jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter, but it was all Northern Illinois from that point on. The Huskies scored 31 consecutive points after that and cruised to victory in the GoDaddy.com Bowl to finish the season 11-3.

Chandler Harnish finished a strong career with the Huskies by throwing for 280 yards and 2 touchdowns, and receiver Martel Moore was easily his favorite target on the night. Moore finished the game with 8 receptions for 225 yards and a touchdown. For Arkansas State, quarterback Ryan Aplin had a tough night, throwing for 352 yards, but also throwing 3 interceptions.

WHY NORTHERN ILLINOIS WON. Simply put, after falling down 13-0 in the first quarter, the Northern Illinois defense just put the Arkansas State offense on lockdown. The Huskies outscored the Red Wolves 38-7 from then on. Mix in 3 interceptions by Ryan Aplin and 5 turnovers from Arkansas State, and you get a relatively easy victory for Northern Illinois

WHEN NORTHERN ILLINOIS WON. Arkansas State showed signs of life in the fourth quarter with a touchdown to cut NIU's lead to 31-20, but with 8:19 to play Aplin threw his third interception of the game and Dechane Durante took it 36 yards to the house to make it 38-20. Everything from that point on was just cosmetic.

WHAT NORTHERN ILLINOIS WON. The Huskies put a nice cap on a season that saw the school win its first MAC title, and also a nice end to a great career from quarterback Chandler Harnish. The Huskies also showed that they didn't lose a step under Dave Doeren took over for Jerry Kill following last season, and Northern Illinois looks like a school that will be a force in the MAC for the next few seasons.

WHAT ARKANSAS STATE LOST. This was a very good season for Arkansas State, going 8-0 in the Sun Belt to win the conference, but this wasn't the way the Red Wolves wanted the season to end. Still, with Gus Malzahn coming from Auburn to take over for Hugh Freeze -- and possibly bringing Michael Dyer with him -- the future still looks bright for the Red Wolves.

THAT WAS CRAZY. Giving your right arm for Gus Malzahn.



BOWL GRADE: C. I had high hopes for this one, as two fast-paced, high-scoring offenses were going to battle in Mobile, but there was never much doubt in the outcome. After Northern Illinois erased a 13-0 deficit with 31 straight points, even when Arkansas State got back into it in the fourth quarter, you never really got the sense that the Red Wolves would climb all the way back. So because of that lack of drama, it's hard to justify giving this one anything higher than a "C." 

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