Posted on: September 12, 2011 3:29 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2011 3:43 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
The second weekend of college football provided high-octane thrills, last second finishes, and one historic evening to remember in Ann Arbor. Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst get together to break it all down in the Week 2 Review College Football Podcast. Tune in to hear them question the potential issues at Ohio State, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia, as well as some interesting coaching decisions any Mississippi State's Dan Mullen and Missouri's Gary Pinkel.
You can listen to all this and more in the player below, or you can click here for the pop out player to continue browsing, or download the MP3.
You can find every episode of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast by subscribing on iTunes.
Posted on: September 11, 2011 7:40 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2011 1:38 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
This week's polls have been released. Here's how the ACC fared, from the top of the polls to its bottom, and what it means.
Florida State (AP: 5/Coaches: 5) - No real change in the polls after taking care of business against Charleston Southern, putting away the Buccaneers early on the war to a 62-10 route. until proven otherwise I'd say many would agree Florida state to the best team in the "second tier" of title contenders. The Seminoles first real test in 2011 is also their greatest opportunity to move up in the polls. The eyes of the nation will be on Tallahassee on Saturday, when the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners come to town for a showdown under the lights.
Virginia Tech (AP: 13/Coaches: 12) - An expected dip here after being ranked at No. 11 heading into the weekend. The Hokies' offense struggled through three quarters to move the ball through the air against East Carolina's defense, which was somewhat alarming to Virginia Tech fans. Logan Thomas did prove to me much more of a rushing threat, but the Hokies showed some vulnerability in the 17-10 victory.
Other Receiving Votes - Despite an off weekend, Maryland picked up some points from voters. They've got a date with No. 18 West Virginia on Saturday in Byrd Stadium, and a victory should be enough to get them into the poll. Georgia Tech, who once again put up surprisingly high numbers with their passing game, also collected some votes from both polls. North Carolina and Clemson received votes in the coaches poll, once again proving that most coaches (or the ones responsible for their votes) do not get much time (or care) to survey the day's action before voting.
Posted on: September 11, 2011 3:55 pm
Edited on: September 11, 2011 4:16 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
This week's polls have been released. Here's how the SEC fared, from the top of the polls to its bottom, and what it means.
ALABAMA/LSU. Entering this week, there was some expectation that a comprehensive performance from the Crimson Tide in Happy Valley might allow Alabama to retake the No. 2 slot in the media poll and consolidate their lead on the Bayou Bengals -- scheduled for what was little more than a light scrimmage against Northwestern State -- in the Coaches.
Thanks to getting that comprehensive performance, the Crimson Tide did indeed leapfrog the Tigers into No. 2 in both polls--but their margin for error in either balloting remains thinner than Nick Saban's patience for unforced mistakes. In the AP, Alabama has eight fewer first-place votes but a miniscule six-point lead all the same (1,422 to 1,416); in the Coaches, the margin is 38 points, less than half the gap between LSU and fourth-place Boise State.
Frankly, this is how it should be; both teams have decisive victories over quality opponents (though Oregon does look a good bit stronger than the Lions at the moment), both have overpowering defenses and a few offensive questions, and both spent one week dallying against lesser competition. If it looks like the pollsters are pslitting hairs at the moment, that's because those hairs ought to be split.
SOUTH CAROLINA. Interestingly, the team just ahead of the Gamecocks in each poll -- Virginia Tech -- happened to face the same team in Week 2 -- East Carolina -- Carolina had faced in Week 1. So between the Gamecocks' road victory over a desperate Georgia team and Tech's weaker performance against the Pirates, it's only fair that Steve Spurrier's team jumped the Hokies in both polls, going from No. 12 to No. 11. The Gamecocks are even within striking distance of the top 10 in the AP, sitting only five points back from Nebraska.
Too bad the Gamecocks won't have much of a chance to make an impression the next two weeks--they take on Navy and Vanderbilt.
ARKANSAS. The Hogs blasted New Mexico, but given that the Lobos may not be much better than Arkansas's Week 1 FCS opponent Missouri State, there can't be any complaints out of Fayetteville about staying at No. 13 in the Coaches and No. 14 in the AP.
FLORIDA. The Gators blew past overmatched UAB in a second straight tune-up, but thanks to Mississippi State's loss and Ohio State's ineffective performance against Toledo, the Gators moved up anyway to No. 17 in the Coaches and No. 18 in the AP. That's a jump of four spots from the Gators preseason rank in each poll, just for beating the hapless Blazers and even-more-hapless FAU--sometimes scheduling cupcakes pays, apparently.
AUBURN. Weclome back to the AP poll, Tigers; Auburn's win over previous No. 16 Mississippi State has the defending national champions re-included at No. 21 in the AP and up three spots to No. 19 in the Coaches.
It's not a bad reward, but there's an argument to be made that the AP could do even more for the Tigers, though, and are still overreacting to the Week 1 escape against Utah State. After all, look at Florida--the media started the season with Auburn just one spot behind the Gators. Since then, Auburn has beaten two teams better than either of Florida's opponents--and now sit five spots behind the Gators.
MISSISSIPPI STATE. The Bulldogs can thank their New Year's Day Gator Bowl pounding of Michigan for just remaining in both polls this week, clinging to the No. 25 rung; without that emphatic victory, there's no doubt MSU doesn't enter this past week at No. 16/17, and (in turn) even less doubt they lose that top-25 spot. At this point, it's not like beating Memphis (47-3 losers to Arkansas State) should be worth anything in the voters' minds.
TENNESSEE. It's time for the voters to pay more attention to the Vols. After throttling a likely bowl team in Cincinnati, Tennessee has accomplished more in the win column and looked more impressive in doing so than, say, West Virginia, which beat Marshall in Week 1 and somehow trailed middle-of-the-road FCS program Norfolk State at halftime in Week 2. But the Mountaineers are ranked 20th in the Coaches and 18th in the AP, while the Vols limp along deep in the "Also Receiving Votes" category.
That's not to say the two teams should necessarily be switched; the young Vols still have a lot to prove. But there's no way the gap should be that wide given the results on the field.
Tags: Alabama, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Auburn, Boise State, Cincinnati, East Carolina, FAU, Florida, Gator Bowl, Jerry Hinnen, LSU, Marshall, Memphis, Michigan, Missouri State, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nick Saban, Norfolk State, Northwestern State, Oregon, Poll Reactions, SEC, South Carolina, Steve Spurrier, Tennessee, Toledo, UAB, Utah State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Posted on: September 11, 2011 1:10 am
Edited on: September 11, 2011 1:23 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
1. Time to re-rank the ACC Atlantic. Two weeks into the season, and my projected order of finish for the division in the ACC Preview already looks way off. I'm trying to be careful not to jump to any conclusions, but I think it's safe to say my predictions (below) will not be very similar to the final standings.
1. Florida State
3. NC State
3. Boston College
6. Wake Forest
See what I mean? No chance. So based on what we've learned from the last two weeks, here is how I would re-rank them. Consider it a "power ranking" of sorts.
1. Florida State (2-0) - No real surprise or change here. Who we thought they were.
2. Maryland (1-0) - The Terps made our jaw drops twice on Labor Day. Once when they ran out of the tunnel in those uniforms, and again when they completed the 32-24 defeat of Miami.
3. Wake Forest (1-1) - Tanner Price has been one of the most impressive quarterbacks in the ACC so far this season, and if the Deacs can learn how to hold a lead they could end up giving a lot of teams trouble this year.
4. NC State (1-1) - Quarterback Mike Glennon put together a great second half on Saturday, helping the Wolfpack fight back from a 27-6 third quarter deficit and nearly steal a win from Wake Forest. 315 yards passing and three second half touchdowns will help the first-year starter build some confidence moving forward.
5. Clemson (2-0) - The Tigers have more talent on paper than many teams in the ACC, but they also have more talent than both of their opponents this season. Unfortunately things are still a work in progress for this young team, and their showing against Troy and Wofford have been less than impressive. Can be better, should be better, just not putting it together right now.
6. Boston College (0-2) - That defense can only do so much when the offense struggles like they have been this season. From Montel Harris to losing their top receiver for the season, injuries will unfortunately be the story of the 2011 Eagles.
2. North Carolina/Bryn Renner not so flawless anymore. I opened last week's What I Learned with a glowing review of North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner. Well the sophomore faced a new challenge on Saturday with the Rutgers defense, and his performance did not match his 22-for-23 debut. Renner did complete 20 of 26 passes for 273 yards, but half of those incompletions were once again thrown to the other team. But Renner's mistakes were hardly the only frustrations for interim head coach Everett Withers. The Tar Heels were penalized 9 times for 94 yards, and finished the game with five turnovers in their narrow 24-22 win over Rutgers. After looking so sharp a week ago, the Tar Heels will have some work to do this week before kicking off the conference schedule against Virginia in Chapel Hill next Saturday.
3. Virginia Tech's greatest opponent is Virginia Tech. The Hokies have one of the most favorable schedules in the ACC, and it has been a reason that many people have penciled them in to repeat as Coastal Division champs. Virginia Tech's mental mistakes and inability to get a passing game going nearly cost them a game on Saturday in their 17-10 victory over ECU. The Hokies were penalized 12 times and turned the ball over twice, while quarterback Logan Thomas completed only 8 of 20 passes for 91 yards and no touchdowns. The defense was doing their part, holding the high-powered ECU offense to just 112 total yards. But there were too many mistakes that almost cost the No. 11 Hokies an early loss that would have crushed their potential bowl resume.
4. Duke's "breakthrough" will not occur until they fix red zone woes. Preseason All-ACC kicker Will Snyderwine shocked us when he missed a 28-yard field goal against Richmond that could have won the game. But on Saturday the streak continued with two more field goal misses in Duke's 44-14 loss to Stanford. Those missed field goals complimented a turnover on downs from the Stanford 14 yard line to equal a day of red zone troubles for the Blue Devils. Sean Renfree, Conner Vernon, and the Blue Devils offense entered this season with a lot of hype, but the inability to finish will keep the Duke in the ACC cellar in 2011 unless something changes.
5. No more coach speak, let's talk Oklahoma. All through training camp and the first two weeks of the season, the media has been frowned upon when asking questions about the early-season showdown between Oklahoma and Florida State in Tallahassee. With the Seminoles' 62-10 win over Charleston Southern, "Oklahoma Week" has officially begun for the FSU fan base.
The defense looks as ready as they could be for the Sooners' potent offense, after only allowing one touchdown in eight quarters of play. On Saturday the Seminoles' defense did not even let the Buccaneers get a first down until the third quarter, and this week they will get Greg Reid and Telvin Smith back from one-game suspensions. Head coach Jimbo Fisher admitted the Seminoles "didn't play perfect," but he was able to use the big lead to get extra quality snaps for his offensive line and running backs as they work to advance a rushing game that hasn't hit 2010's production yet.
Tags: ACC, Boston College, Bryn Renner, Charleston Southern, Chip Patterson, Clemson, Conner Vernon, David Wilson, Duke, Everett Withers, Florida State, Greg Reid, Jimbo Fisher, Logan Thomas, Maryland, Mike Glennon, Montel Harris, N.C. State, NC State, North Carolina, Sean Renfree, Tanner Price, Telvin Smith, Tom O'Brien, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Week 2, What I Learned, Will Snyderwine
Posted on: September 10, 2011 7:12 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2011 7:17 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
VIRGINIA TECH WON. Head coach Frank Beamer picked up his 200th victory as the Hokies' head coach as Virginia Tech held off a tough East Carolina team in Greenville, scoring the only fourth quarter touchdown and winning 17-10.
WHY VIRGINIA TECH WON: The Hokies overcame 12 penalties and a pair of turnovers with a punishing ground game and stout defense. David Wilson ran for 138 yards, quarterback Logan Thomas added 66, and Josh Oglesby did the finishing with 43 yards and two touchdowns. The Hokies passing game struggled, with Thomas completing less than half of his attempts for less yards (91) than they picked up with the 12 penalties (92).
WHEN VIRGINIA TECH WON: With both offenses sputtering for the entire third quarter, the Hokies pieced together their best drive of the game to open up the final period of play. Thomas, Wilson, and Oglesby ran the ball on 11 of the 13 plays that chewed up 89 yards and nearly seven minutes of game clock. The drive was pounding and methodical, and the Pirates were noticeably fatigued by the time Oglesby punched in the winning score.
WHAT VIRGINIA TECH WON: Beamer admitted after the game that his team was unprepared for the Pirates. Some coaches try and "learn from losses," but any coach would prefer to learn from a bad win. There are ways the Hokies can improve on the offensive line and in the passing game, and now they have 60 minutes of tape to identify the specific weaknesses and try to get them fixed.
WHAT EAST CAROLINA LOST The Pirates scratched and clawed for every advantage all afternoon. They will have a week off before starting the conference schedule against UAB on Sept. 24. Ruffin McNeill's team has played two ranked teams (South Carolina and Virginia Tech) close, and if they can use these games as building blocks they should have a shot at winning the conference.
THAT WAS CRAZY. With 2:10 remaining, ECU quarterback Dominique Davis hit Michael Bowman on a 10 yard out route near the sideline. Hokies CB Kyle Fuller made an aggressive play on the ball and missed. Bowman bobbled the pass near the sideline as he tried to turn upfield, dropping it for an incomplete pass. Because of Fuller's play, if Bowman holds on to the ball he has nothing but green down the sideline and a shot to tie the game at 17. The Pirates didn't exactly make the most of their next two attempts either, but in a game that was played so close it will be hard to look back at that near catch and run
Posted on: September 10, 2011 11:51 am
Edited on: September 10, 2011 11:51 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Here's the rundown on the weather for all of today's big games (all times Eastern). It can't be any worse than last Saturday, but it does look as though we'll get a good bit more sunshine:
Toledo at No. 15 Ohio State, 12:00, Columbus, OH: Mid-to-low 70s, scattered thunderstorms
Oregon State at No. 8 Wisconsin, 12:00, Madison WI: Sunny, high of 80
No. 16 Mississippi State at Auburn, 12:20, Auburn AL: Sunny, mid-to-low 80s
No. 11 Virginia Tech at East Carolina, 3:30, Greenville, NC: Sunny, high of 84
No. 3 Alabama at No. 23 Penn State, 3:30, State College, PA: Scattered thunderstorms and showers, low 70s
Nevada at No. 13 Oregon, 3:30, Eugene OR: Sunny, hot. High of 93
No. 12 South Carolina at Georgia, 4:30, Athens GA: Sunny, mid-to-low 80s
UAB at No. 18 Florida, 7:00, Gainesville FL: Isolated thunderstorms, chance of rain 30 percent. 70s.
Fresno State at No. 10 Nebraska, 7:00, Lincoln NE: Mostly clear. Low of 58
BYU at No. 24 Texas, 7:00, Austin TX: Clear. 70s.
Utah at USC, 7:30, Los Angeles CA: Partly cloudy, 20 percent chance of rain. 60s.
Notre Dame at Michigan, 8:00, Ann Arbor MI: Showers throughout day, thinning out during evening. 60s.
Posted on: September 7, 2011 2:44 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 2:51 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Baylor's last-ditch legal effort to save the Big 12 is cute and all, but let's be realistic: Texas A&M to the SEC is something that A&M wants, the SEC wants, and even the Big 12 seems to want in an effort to put the Aggies behind them. Baylor, being Baylor, is not going to be able to hold back a tide that strong for very long. (For a visual representation of the effectiveness of the Bears' efforts, click here.*)
Which means, yes, A&M is going to become SEC school No. 13 and yes, before long the SEC is going to add school No. 14. No. 14 may not be able to join the Aggies in their new digs as soon as 2012 (it's possible -- arguably even likely at this late stage -- the SEC goes one season with an unbalanced divisional setup), but there's no way Mike Slive and Co. will stay at 13 one day longer than they have to.
So who's got next in the SEC expansion race? Breaking down the candidates in no particular order (and reminding you that a "gentleman's agreement" is in place that will prevent any expansion into states where the SEC already has a school):
Pros: Excellent academics is a major plus for SEC presidents. Ties to both St. Louis and Kansas City television markets. Could be a candidate for Big Ten expansion as well. Well-supported basketball program.
Cons: Despite recent successes, not a traditionally nationally-relevent football program. Zero competitive history with any current SEC member and not even much with A&M. Little to gain in SEC recruiting by expanding to Missouri. Debatable how much impact in those major markets Mizzou actually has. Trickier to add team to West than East; would either require ignoring geography or moving current West team (Auburn?**) to the East.
Pros: Rabidly supported, traditionally strong football program with plenty of success vs. SEC. Hoops program would give SEC a boost, too. Adding school for East division would bring geographic balance opposite A&M.
Cons: Not connected to any major market and expanding into West Virginia does nothing for SEC recruiting. Presidents sensitive to SEC's reputation may not want a university not considered a strong academic school.
Pros: Access to Raleigh TV market and fertile North Carolina recruiting grounds. More geographically accessible than other candidates. "Sleeper" football program enjoys high level of financial/fan support. Would join the East.
Cons: Despite that support, school has rarely fielded championship-level teams and won't move national needle. Academics aren't a minus, but may not be a Mizzou-style plus, either.
Pros: Most powerful, recognizable football program among potential/likely candidates; would hypthetically compete for East championships from moment of arrival. Sizable (if not national) following in Virginia and along Eastern seaboard. Could offer potential inroads in Virginia recruiting. Would join the East.
Cons: Swears up and down school is loyal to ACC. No real history with any SEC school.
Pros: Just hear out the scenario here: with the Sooners poised to force Texas's hand by jumping to the Pac-12 -- taking Oklahoma State with them and destroying the Big 12 in the process -- Mike Slive makes a preemptive strike against the potential Longhorn/Sooner Pac-16 by inviting the Sooners, Cowboys, and a third Big 12 castoff (Mizzou?) to form a 16-team SEC. Auburn and Alabama both move East and leaving the new SEC West looking like this: Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Missouri. The blockbuster move secures the SEC a gigantic new TV rights deal, keeps the Sooners and Aggies out from under the Longhorns' thumb, and even approaches competitive divisional balance.
Cons: This is exceedingly unlikely.
But if Texas really is planning to join the Sooners in the Pac-12, that may be Slive's best option. With all due respect to the other four teams mentioned here, not one is a slam-dunk choice to justify its addition as a 14th team, much less a 15th or 16th if Larry Scott's new league redefines the college landscape. When all is said and done, the guess here is that either Missouri (or possibly N.C. State) gets the invite ... and then the SEC stops to catch its breath to figure out if 16 is a luxury or a necessity.
*Via CBSSports.com's own Will Brinson.
**The Tigers are the easternmost West team and most of their traditional rivalries -- Georgia, Tennessee, Florida -- are in the East. The issue would be what to do with the Iron Bowl with Auburn and Alabama in separate divisions; would the league risk having the Tigers and Tide play each other on consecutive weeks?
Posted on: September 6, 2011 11:15 pm
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
(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: Baylor
Really coaches? Excuse me, really sports information directors voting for the coaches? I understand you might have a few concerns about Baylor after letting TCU back into the game but that's no excuse for keeping the Horned Frogs in the poll (#25) while leaving the Bears out (#26). Would hate to have something to compare the two teams in some way... like say their head-to-head match up last week.
Overrated: Auburn, Texas, Florida
All three won this past weekend but the competition each faced was mediocre and Auburn barely managed to get a win. Each team is in the coaches poll but at least the AP voters got things right and dropped the defending national champs out. Well, some did that is. Fox-1370 Radio's Rob Long and Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo both put the Tigers at 16th, which makes me want to pull what little hair I have out. 25? Sure. 16? No. And shame on WATE-TV's Jim Wogan who had the Gators as a borderline top 10 team and ahead of Texas A&M and Nebraska.
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.
Week one and we're going to look at Wilner with an eyebrow raised. First off, Jon is very nice and has been on top of the recent realignment rumors from the Pac-12 angle. But he's got a ballot that is way out there. First off, Virginia Tech and Arkansas are unranked, he has West Virginia, BYU, Georgia, Air Force and Hawaii ranked higher than anyone. No argument with having Texas A&M at #4 but Northwestern at #18 might be a stretch too.
What were you thinking? USF
Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette is a funny guy on twitter (@Hlas) but perhaps he needs to adjust his voting habits. USF was fifth despite Notre Dame doubling their yardage and the win coming by three in a rain-shortened game. And don't forget that the team you ranked sixth, Baylor, allowed 48 points and were flagged 11 times for 116 yards worth of penalties.
#1 in your heart: Boise State
Just four teams received #1 votes this week, Oklahoma, LSU, Alabama and Boise State. Can't attack anybody for that given each's performance this week but it still might be a stretch to put the Broncos on top. Wolf and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Tom Murphy were the two who were championing the team from the blue turf.
Come on man: Boise State
At the same time we're on some for having Boise State too high, my colleague over at SI.com Andy Staples has State ranked lower than anybody at 12th. You get points back for comparing the Broncos to the fantastic TV show Freaks and Geeks but get on the bus with everybody else Andy! You can probably discuss why the team should be where you ranked them better than anybody in the country but that doesn't mean you won't land on this list for putting the team as low as you did. Perhaps we'll run into each other and can discuss over some barbecue or Chick-Fil-A
Tags: ACC, Air Force, Alabama, Andy Staples, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Boise State, Bryan Fischer, BYU, Florida, Gary Parrish, Georgia, Hawaii, Jim Wogan, Jon Wilner, Kyle Ringo, LSU, Mike Hlas, Nebraska, Non-BCS, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Pac-12, Ray Ratto, Rob Long, Scott Wolf, SEC, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, The Poll Attacks, Tom Murphy, USF, Virginia Tech, West Virginia