Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:03 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
LSU WILL WIN IF: It can manage not to suffer one of the greatest letdown games of all time. There's a chance, albeit an incredibly small chance, that after beating Alabama last week that the Tigers will overlook this game against Western Kentucky so much that they actually suffer one of the greatest upsets in history. The more likely scenario is that LSU gets off to a slow start on Saturday before realizing it has to play this game and then turns things on and begins playing like it always has.
WESTERN KENTUCKY WILL WIN IF: LSU not only overlooks this game, but completely forgets to even show up to the stadium and play. I don't mean that as an insult to Western Kentucky, but let's be honest, there probably aren't many players on the Hilltoppers roster that are expecting to win this game. Yes, Western Kentucky is 5-1 in the Sun Belt and very much in the running for the conference title, but outside of the Sun Belt this is a Western Kentucky team that's 0-3 and lost those games by an average score of 33-11. That also includes a 44-16 loss at home against Indiana State.
X-FACTOR: Bobby Rainey. Rainey is Western Kentucky's running back, and he has 1,169 yards and 9 touchdowns on the season, failing to top the century mark in rushing yards in only one game this season. In order for this game to have any outcome other than the one we're all expecting, Rainey is going to have to have the game of his life. That shouldn't be hard against the second-best run defense in the country, right?
Posted on: September 3, 2011 12:42 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2011 12:43 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Penn State is in the opening minutes of its first game of the year, taking on Indiana State, but it's doing so without its most familiar face on the sidelines. An on-field collision in August left venerable head coach Joe Paterno with fractures in his shoulder and pelvis, and because of that, something as simple as standing on the sideline for three hours is now an unwelcome task; instead, as Penn State RapidReporter Jim Rodenbush reports, Paterno is coaching from the press box today.
While coaching from the press box is unusual, it's not inherently bad; there's a reason why coordinators usually find themselves up there. It provides a far better angle for watching plays unfold and noticing breakdowns than on the sideline, where views of the far side of the field are easily obscured. With modern communication systems being what they are, Paterno is hardly disadvantaged when it comes to most of his coaching duties.
That all said, what Paterno gives up is the ability to communicate with his players on an effective or efficient basis. Unless all 85 players have headsets to put on -- which can't possibly be legal -- Paterno's going to need someone on the sideline to relay his messages to the players, and in a game where seconds between plays are precious, that's an inefficiency that the Nittany Lions don't need.
Unfortunately, Penn State had better get used to this system, because while Paterno's not going to be incapacitated forever by his injuries, he's also not recovering from a broken pelvis enough to be standing and walking for three hours at a time anytime soon.
The situation isn't affecting Penn State so far, though; the Nittany Lions lead 14-0 late in the first quarter.
Posted on: July 30, 2011 12:08 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 12:08 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Big Ten has always been big on tradition, but now that the league has added a twelfth school in Nebraska and a championship game, the conference seems to be moving in a more "modern" direction. Further changes for the league could be on the horizon, and according to Teddy Greenstein in the Chicago Tribune, one of those changes could be the league holding conference games earlier in the season.
Currently the Big Ten does not begin conference play until after the first four weeks of the season, but there are at least three coaches in the conference who wouldn't be opposed to seeing that change. Wisconsin's Bret Bielema thinks it would be a good move for the conference to schedule one conference game a week for the first four weeks, saying it would be "a great way to showcase those schools."
Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald and Illinois' Ron Zook are also in favor of the idea.
While I haven't asked every single one of them, I'd have to think that Big Ten fans might enjoy it too. Considering the beginning of the Big Ten schedule is normally filled with games like Penn State versus Indiana State, any conference game would be more appealing. You have to think that the television networks that broadcast the Big Ten games would be in favor of such a move as well.
It's something that the SEC has been doing for years, and this year the SEC will have two conference games in the second week of the season. In the ACC both Miami and Maryland will start their seasons against each other as well.