Posted on: January 3, 2012 12:25 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2012 12:57 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The four teams in action in the first BCS bowl games combined to score 162 points on the first college football day of 2012. But despite all the offense on display, the outcome of each game has been one score or less and determined by big plays on defense and in special teams.
Whether it was Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederis dropping the ball just inches from the sideline, or Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson unable to hit a potential game-winning field goal from 35-yards out; the plays that have determined the first BCS bowl games have come in unexpected ways.
"You can't relax, however many plays are in the game, 160, plus your special teams, you've got to play every play like it's the play that's going to determine the outcome of the game," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney explained on Tuesday. "That's the mentality you have to have, because when you look back, that's what you see. It's usually four, five, six plays that changed momentum, created opportunity and so forth."
In fact, neither of these teams would be in South Beach this week if it wasn't for a few key plays that led to wins earlier this season. Clemson's hot 8-0 start included huge comeback wins against Maryland, Florida State, and Auburn. West Virginia overcame a fourth-quarter deficit in each of their final four wins in the regular season. If Monday's BCS games were any indication of the way the Orange Bowl will play out, both of these squads should be ready to face the challenge.
"It's a three-sided game, and that's the one thing that we learned about a month and a half ago when we lost to Louisville," said West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen. "Our team came together, and on all three sides of the ball we figured out that if all three sides of the ball don't play together and pick each other up to try to be fighting for the same goal, then you're probably not going to win very many games. That's the one thing we did over the course of the last three games was play together."
More highlights from Dabo Swinney and Dana Holgorsen on Tuesday:
- While there are many upsides for the extra preparation time given to BCS bowl participants, Holgorsen did offer one interesting take on a downside. As coaches try to to do the best to prepare for the contest, the West Virginia head coach pointed out it is important not to over prepare.
"Yeah, you've got to be careful with time on your hands," Holgorsen said. "Coaches have a tendency to outsmart themselves at times, so you've got to figure out what your team does well, which we've had a lot of time here in the last four months to figure out what our team does well, and we've just got to put them in those positions to be successful."
- Dwayne Allen is clearly a focus of this game. He is a key weapon that needs to get going for Clemson, and one of the primary concerns for West Virginia's defense. Dabo Swinney, ever the salesman for his program, gave his glowing explanation of why Allen is the best tight end in the country.
"Well, Dwayne is 6'4", about 255. He runs like a wide out. He blocks like a tackle and has really improved in other parts of his game as far as running with the ball after the catch, his flexibility, and he's got great ball skills, and he's got a high football IQ. So you put those things together, you're going to get a very, very good football player. He's tough and aggressive, likes to play. The moment is never too big for him. And he practices hard, studies and prepares."
- There was plenty of discussion on both sides about the opportunity to showcase and promote their program around South Florida this week. Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey, and Ivan McCartney all hail from nearby Mirmar, and Swinney mentioned a Monday night visit from the family of wide receiver Jacoby Ford, now with the Oakland Raiders. With the recruiting potential in the area - not to mention the competition to land those recruits - the opportunity to play in South Florida as the only bowl game of the night is one that any program would hope to seize.
- Both teams spent Monday night attending the Miami Heat's game against the Atlanta Hawks in American Airlines Arena. The experience of watching LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and the rest of the defending Eastern Conference Champs in person was a huge deal to the players.
Also? A huge deal to Dabo Swinney. When asked about the most fun part of the week, Clemson's head coach quickly and enthusiastically mentioned Monday night's activity.
"Lebron James, man! Even thought I didn't get to meet him, I love basketball. That was pretty neat to get to go down to the Heat game. What a great arena that is. I really enjoyed that."
For all the latest on Clemson and West Virginia up until kickoff, check out the Orange Bowl Pregame
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, Andre Branch, Andre Ellington, Big East, Brandon Thompson, Bruce Irvin, CBS Sports Orange Bowl, Chip Patterson, Chip Patterson, Clemson, Coty Sensabaugh, Dabo Swinney, Dana Holgorsen, DeAndre Hopkins, Devon Brown, Discover Orange Bowl, Dwayne Allen, Geno Smith, Ivan McCartney, LeBron James, Miami Heat, Najee Good, Orange Bowl, Orange Bowl Keys, Orange Bowl Predictions, Orange Bowl Preview, Orange Bowl Projections, Sammy Watkins, Stedman Bailey, Tajh Boyd, Tavon Austin, Tyler Urban, West Virginia
Posted on: November 20, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: November 20, 2011 12:08 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
A handy recap of who really won and who really lost that you won't find in the box score.
It's hard to get more maligned than the Trojans were. They had their legs chopped off by the NCAA. There were plenty of doubters after back-to-back "down" years. There was no bowl at the end of the season and, to many outside of Heritage Hall, no hope. This team was loaded with enough highly recruited players that coach after coach kept calling USC the most talented team in the Pac-12 however. Still they sat at the lowest ranking in school history with an 8-2 record and couldn't even move up a spot in the polls despite teams losing ahead of them and a blow out win against Washington. It was like Rodney Dangerfield was the athletic director and Lane Kiffin was the head coach.
But this team, young and inexperienced in key spots, took the school's 'Fight On' motto and ran with it. Their losses were self-inflicted (turnovers against both Arizona State and Stanford did them in) but the wins and numbers put up were impressive. The offense is one of the best in the country led by Matt Barkley, Robert Woods and emerging star Marqise Lee. The defense is passable but improving. Yet they were a two touchdown underdog for the first time since 1998. The Trojans shocked the college football world Saturday night in Eugene, no doubt about it. Amid the chaos of a crazy week 12, USC emerged victorious and the players in cardinal and gold told everybody that their brief hiatus away from the top was over. The Trojans may not be conference champs and will sit at home with no bowl game to go to but they appear to be back, even if some insist they never left. Fight on indeed.
LOSER: Larry Scott
There was a chance the Pac-12 was in the BCS re-match discussion come Sunday morning but that ended as soon as it looked like Oregon's slow start would be too much to overcome. Thanks to Arizona State's loss to lowly Arizona, the Pac-12 South is rivaling the SEC East and ACC for mediocrity with USC ineligible. Two-loss Oregon will likely head to the Rose Bowl while one-loss Stanford's BCS chances (and millions of dollars for the conference coffers) will likely boil down to luck and some bowl committee betting on Andrew Luck. The team that can't go to a bowl has inflicted losses that hurt more than one team's perception. Then again, Scott isn't too much of a loser considering the cash that will soon flow to the league with the new media deals he deftly negotiated.
WINNER: The SEC
Let's face it, the fans on the West Coast are not best buddies with those in the Southeast section of the country. The SEC fans think the Pac-12 folks have no earthly idea what defense is while those with an ocean view think those with a gulf view have no idea what offense is. Oregon's loss ended any talk of an LSU rematch and shut the conference out of the title game discussion and partially out of the national picture. On the bright side, they're not the ACC, Big East or Big Ten.
LOSER: Oregon's swagger
The Pac-12 has been Oregon's playground the past few years. Back-to-back league titles (of the Pac-10 variety), a 19 game win streak in the conference, a trip to the Rose Bowl and national championship game. USC's dynasty was cool with the celebrities on the sidelines but the Ducks, they had a different kind of spotlight and a different kind of swagger. Uniforms? Most, um... unique in college football. The recruits love them. Offense? Check and check. If you were playing Oregon, better bring your A-game and you just might hang with them for the first half. The video production team was top-notch too, how could anyone not get pumped up after watching something like this:
The swagger that every Oregon player, every Duck fan, carried around with them after Saturday is still there. There is, without a doubt, a significant part of the luster taken off of the program after the loss to USC however. Boise State, Auburn and LSU proved they were beatable but the Trojans proved they were no longer to be feared afer going into Autzen and smacking the Ducks around for three quarters and holding on in the fourth. Another conference title and Rose Bowl berth likely await the men in green/yellow/black/silver/etc. come January but the recent loss meant a significant hit to Oregon's swagger.
WINNER: Pistol Rick
UCLA's final home game of the season was a must win for Rick Neuheisel if he was to show enough progress to keep his job. Not only did the Bruins get bowl eligble, but they kept their improbable run to a division title alive with a 45-6 win over Colorado. Style points helped too, outgaining the Buffaloes 553-229 and help run off three wins in four games. After last week's loss to Utah, who really knows if the program has turned the corner but for Neuheisel, who wants to win at his alma matter more than anyone else, a big win at the Rose Bowl will certainly go a long ways after the season.
LOSER: Jon Embree
Embree is a Colorado alum and desperately wanted to end the Buffs' 23 game road losing streak. Family bragging rights were up for grabs too as Embree's son, Taylor, was a wide receiver at UCLA and said the game meant "eternal bragging rights" earlier in the week. The younger Embree had just two catches for 13 yards but can always call out scoreboard whenever family arguments break out. Given the way Colorado played - putting a solid claim on being the conference bottom-dweller - there weren't many positive things the elder Embree could take home Saturday.
LOSER: LeBron James
One of several NBA All-Stars at Autzen for the USC-Oregon Game, James and his fellow jobless companions watched most of the game from the Ducks sidelines. With a reputation for failing to close out games, naturally LeBron was a frequent (i.e. easy) target to make fun of on various social media platforms following the loss to the Trojans. It seems as though the man who took his talents to South Beach just can't win so he kind of has to be made a loser this weekend.
WINNER: West Coast Heisman hopes
Andrew Luck lost his grip on the lead for the Heisman Trophy last week but looked much sharper against Cal to help his stock rebound some. The big mover was Matt Barkley, who has the numbers to get to New York and now has the signature win to piggyback on. After this weekend, it seems like both signal-callers will at least make the trip East to lay their claim on college football's most prestigious award.
WINNER: Snow games
Utah has been welcomed to the Pac-12 with open arms and gone from the desert heat of Arizona to the perfect weather of Southern California to - this week against Washington State - the snowy conditions of the Pacific Northwest. The Utes came out with a close, 30-27 overtime win in a Palouse snow storm. The victory gave the Utes hope of making an appearance in the Pac-12 title game and it was fun to see a few photos from so that has to put snow games in the winners column.
LOSER: Pac-12 athletic directors
There's an opening at Arizona and Dennis Erickson's loss to the Wildcats likely means he's headed out of Tempe. Neuheisel's status is still TBD after the season and though there's progress on the Palouse, it's doubtful Paul Wulff keeps his job. That means the athletic directors around the Pac-12, flush with some new media deal cash, will have to go make some important hires. Already the rumor mill has placed Mike Bellotti, Rich Rodriguez and Mike Leach at a school out West and speculation is only bound to heat up more as the regular season winds down. There's going to be plenty of pressure to make the right hire and just as importantly for some ADs, go out on a limb and let a coach go. Going to be an interesting, stress-filled weeks for a few well paid people heading Pac-12 athletic departments.
Tags: ACC, Andrew Luck, Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, BCS, Big East, Big Ten, Boise State, Bryan Fischer, Cal, California, Colorado, Dennis Erickson, Heisman Trophy, Heritage Hall, Jon Embree, Lane Kiffin, Lane Kiffin, Larry Scott, LeBron James, LSU, Marqise Lee, Matt Barkley, Mike Bellotti, Mike Leach, NBA, NCAA, Oregon, Pac-10, Pac-12, Paul Wulff, Rich Rodriguez, Rick Neuheisel, Robert Woods, Rodney Dangerfield, Rose Bowl, SEC, Stanford, Taylor Embree, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State, Week 12 Winners and Losers, Winners and Losers, Winners and Losers Week 12
Posted on: November 20, 2011 12:07 am
Edited on: November 20, 2011 12:31 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WINS. On probation and disrespected, USC was going up to Eugene with nothing but house money to play with. Obviously they were talented - Matt Barkley, Robert Woods and the dynamic newcomer Marqise Lee especially - but they were significant underdogs against an Oregon team that had blown them out their previous two meetings. The Trojans hadn't won in the state of Oregon since 2005* and taken two brutal losses this year to the other top teams in the Pac-12.
USC jumped out to a big lead and held on late as Oregon rallied to within three but pulled off a monumental upset with far-reaching implications after Alejandro Maldonado missed a field goal of 37 yards to preserve a 38-35 win. Two streaks - 21 straight home wins and 19 straight conference victories - were snapped for the Ducks, as were their slim hopes of getting back to the national championship game.
WHY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WON. Marqise Lee had the best game a Trojan has had in years, finishing with eight catches for 187 yards and a touchdown and made play after play after play when the team needed it. Barkley was big as well, throwing for 323 yards and four touchdowns to get a signature win to hold his hat on in what could be his final year wearing the cardinal and gold. Monte Kiffin's defense also played its part, forcing two fumbles to prevent scores, blocking a punt and containing the Oregon speedsters all night to limit big plays.
WHEN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WON. Coming out of the second half, Oregon went three and out, had their punt blocked and set USC up with a 1st and goal. But the Ducks' defense held the Trojans to just a field goal on the drive - and nearly picked off Barkley - then got a big return from De'Anthony Thomas on the ensuing kick return for a touchdown. It seemed like the momentum had completely flipped at that point, with the Autzen crowd coming alive and LaMichael James capped off a four play drive with a touchdown.
USC came back with an impressive answer on a five play, 76 yard drive in just over two minutes to keep the lead where it was. Monte Kiffin's defense got a stop and it was upset alert with a silent crowd up in Eugene after Barkley found Randal Telfer for a touchdown on the next series to give Oregon their biggest deficit since 2008. The Ducks came roaring back however, scoring 21 straight. It looked like things were headed for overtime with Oregon marching down the field after Barkley fumbled handing off to running back Marc Tyler. Some curious clock management by Chip Kelly left Maldonado with a 37 yard field goal and he missed it to preserve a 38-35 win.
WHAT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WON. With just one more game left as they serve out their final year of a bowl ban, the Trojans didn't have much more than pride to play for Saturday night. They felt disrespected - the lowest ranking in school history with a 8-2 record - and determined to get back in the national conscious in a big way with their first win in the state of Oregon since 2005. Lane Kiffin's squad jumped out to the early lead and hung on just like so many others haven't. Everybody came into this game saying it was USC's bowl game (their third this season after Notre Dame and Stanford) and they won it to show quite a few people around the country what they're made of.
WHAT OREGON LOST. Given Kelly's persona and his continuous focus on the task at hand, you wonder if he got Phil Knight to pony up some cash to fly in Jim Mora to shout, "Rematch? You're talking about a rematch? You kidding me? Rematch? I just hope we win a game," over and over. That's all everybody was thinking about after beating Stanford, not USC but LSU. Despite an Oklahoma State loss that made a game against the Tigers more likely, Oregon couldn't put the game at hand away and now have to beat rival Oregon State to secure the Pac-12 championship game that looked like a lock at the beginning of the day.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Team Nike filled the sidelines as NBA All-Stars LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul all made their way down to Eugene to check out the football game. LeBron was even throwing the ball around during pre-game warm ups until politely being told by security to move back behind the lines. What's a jobless guy have to do to get some respect? Ducks fans might just be glad he wasn't suited up to play the 4th quarter. Or maybe he was.
Tags: Alejandro Maldonado, Bryan Fischer, Carmelo Anthony, Chip Kelly, Chris Bosh, De'Anthony Thomas, Dwayne Wade, Jim Mora, LaMichael James, LeBron James, LSU, Marc Tyler, Marqise Lee, Matt Barkley, Monte Kiffin, NBA, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, Pac-12, Phil Knight, Quick Hits, Quick Hits Week 12, Randal Telfer, Robert Woods, Stanford, USC, Week 12
Posted on: November 19, 2011 8:55 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Say this about Oregon: the athletic department's not shy about, well, anything. We're talking about Nike's playground here, and if Nike does anything, it does it big. Witness, if you will, this very special guest on the sidelines for Saturday's game against USC.
Now, LeBron James is just there visiting; it's not like he's in pads. Oh man, what if he was in pads, though? What if he was going to play for Oregon? He was throwing passes, so... what if he was going to play quarterback? WHAT IF LEBRON JAMES WERE OREGON'S STARTING QUARTERBACK RIGHT NOW? LET'S TALK ABOUT THIS.
PROS: The most athletic athlete ever.
CONS: What, are you serious? He can't be their quarterback. This is insane.
PROS: Never went to college so he's probably eligible.
CONS: No he's not! He's a professional athlete.
PROS: NBA's locked out. He has a ton of time.
CONS: He has a ton of endorsements, too. Is he just going to give all those up?
PROS: Can you imagine, LeBron James in the same backfield as LaMichael James. LBJ and LMJ.
CONS: OK, how about this: he's not a student at Oregon so how could he possibly be a student-athlete for Oregon?
PROS: Do you think LeBron and LaMichael are related? I bet they are. Makes sense.
CONS: THEY'RE NOT RELATED ARE YOU KIDDING ME
PROS: Has the physical frame of a Byron Leftwich, with the height to see over the line and not get "lost in the trees."
CONS: Has never played quarterback in his life? Hello?
PROS: Probably knows a ton of celebrities.
CONS: SO WHAT????
PROS: It would be so cool to see a 6'8", 260 guy run a read option, admit it.
CONS: But he can't possibly know how to run a read option. That's the thing.
PROS: Can't possibly be worse at making the right reads than Darron Thomas was in the BCS Championship.
CONS: Well, that's ridic... rid... actually, that's a good point.
PROS: Wouldn't it be awesome to see him do the "dunk on the goal posts" move after a touchdown?
CONS: OK, yeah, it would. It would be really awesome.
PROS: WHOA WAIT WHAT IF YOU DID THAT BUT WITH AN ALLEY-OOP?
PROS: LEBRON JAMES FOR OREGON STARTING QUARTERBACK RIGHT NOW
Posted on: June 1, 2011 5:44 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Since seemingly the entire college football world is talking about Jim Tressel's decision to step down at Ohio State amid the program's growing improper benefits scandal, it's no surprise that his contemporaries across the FBS are, too.
Perhaps most solidly in Tressel's corner is Texas's Mack Brown, who had this to say:
“He’s done a lot of great things in college football,” Brown told the [Austin] American-Statesman, “and I know he’ll be a hall-of-famer at some point.”Tressel's rival at Michigan, Brady Hoke, was similarly supportive ... if not so supportive as to abandon his habit of not actually naming the school from which Tressel resigned:
“I have great respect for Jim Tressel and what he has accomplished during his coaching career. We enjoy competing in ‘The Game’ and have great respect for our rivals in Ohio. Our program looks forward to the last weekend of November.”At the SEC spring meetings, Bobby Petrino wasn't quite as sympathetic, saying he "felt" for Tressel but also questioning why the "Buckeye Five" had been eligible for his Razorbacks' Sugar Bowl defeat to OSU. (A discussion of his demands that his players tell the truth also seemed to be a rebuke of Tressel's cover-up attempts.) Nick Saban, though, used a military metaphorto express his reaction (emphasis added):
"I guess if you were in the military, we would say we lost a fine comrade in this whole thing," Saban said Tuesday at the Southeastern Conference spring meetings. "He's a good friend. He's been somebody that I've had a tremendous amount of respect for for a very, very good number of years. We kind of grew up together in coaching. I'm from the Big Ten - Ohio and Michigan are places I've spent time in coaching, and we crossed paths quite a bit. I always had a tremendous amount of respect for Jim Tressel as a person and professionally - the way he sort of handled his business with a lot of class and character."While we're talking about Ohio, though, we may as well mention the reaction of one of the state's most famous sons ... and most hated villains. Via our sister Eye on Basketball blog, LeBron James:
"He's done some great things for that university. It's unfortunate all the allegations and things that have come out in the past year," James said."Everyone in Columbus and Ohio knows how important, how great he was for the team and university ... "I wish him the best, and the organization. Hopefully the university will come back. It's one of the best universities we have in America."That's a very nice thing for LeBron to say. The guess here is that he's still not allowed inside the state's borders.
Posted on: November 24, 2010 4:31 pm
Edited on: November 24, 2010 4:31 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Does making fun of LeBron James ever get tiring? No, of course not. Especially if you're from the state of Ohio and had your heart ripped out by him when he decided to take his talents down to South Beach to join a .500 basketball team. Still, as awesome as making fun of LeBron James can be, there are ways to make it better.
Which is what Ohio State wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher figured out a way to do. Not only does he openly mock James' latest Nike commercial, but his version isn't designed to get you to forgive him or buy shoes. No, Sanzenbacher wants you to become an organ donor.
I'm not sure Woody Hayes was ever an organ donor. Something tells me that while he wouldn't be averse to the idea on the surface, fear that a Michigan fan would end up with his kidney probably kept him from committing.
Hat tip: Dr. Saturday
Posted on: September 8, 2010 9:24 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 9:28 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
This might come as a bit of a shock, but LeBron James is not the most well-liked man in the state of Ohio these days. Sure, he's still doing the occasional fundraiser here or there up in his home state, but once the NBA season comes, Ohioans would much rather he just go down to Miami and stay there--probably on penalty of things being thrown at him and/or his car. Messy breakups: they happen.
So when word came last week that LeBron was planning to come to the Shoe for the Ohio State-Miami game this Saturday, Cavs-loyal OSU fans were understandably perturbed. LeBron's announcement that he was cheering for the Buckeyes only muddled the issue further; how can Ohio's Greatest Monster be a Buckeye fan? Should they boo him anyway and exile him from the scarlet and grey, just to be safe?
Terrelle Pryor has the answer for these fans: please no booing LBJ; he's with me:
Pryor said he has exchanged text messages with James this week and hopes to see him at Saturday's home game against the Miami Hurricanes, believing James plans to attend. If he does, Pryor has a message for fans.
"If LeBron does come, just treat him with respect and respect his decision," Pryor said. "Please, no name calling or booing or anything like that. Please. That's my mentor, and I've got a lot of respect for him and a lot of love for him."
That's all fine and good, and perhaps OSU fans can learn to keep the NBA stuff to the NBA and enjoy the company of a very famous fellow Buckeye fan. Perhaps.
But at the same time, Pryor did call LeBron his "mentor," and if that statement's to be believed, watch out; OSU fans should at least steel themselves for the possibility that the Buckeyes lose to the 'Canes... at which point Pryor transfers--or, excuse me, "takes his talents" to Miami. Hey, what are mentors for?
Posted on: September 2, 2010 4:58 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2010 5:00 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Newest Miami Heat forward LeBron James openly states that if he had gone to college, one of his top choices would have been Ohio State. King James has continued to be a Buckeye fan and has supported them publicly on many different occasions. So why not chime in on college football on the day Ohio State kicks off their 2010 campaign?
James even went as far to dismiss tonight's showdown with Marshall and look ahead to next week's showdown with No. 13 Miami on his Twitter account.
LeBron, let me tell you something, you've already pissed off most of Ohio and a majority of the NBA fan base. Nothing that you tweet about the Buckeyes will reverse that. Additionally, I would bet that a large percentage of your current die-hard fans are located in Miami, so why would you openly pick against them more than a week before the game?
Of course, it should also be noted that most Miami Heat fans probably care very little for the Miami Hurricanes, and most die-hard Miami Hurricanes fans would probably be just fine without the Heat. But still, it was an interesting move for a new Miami resident to make such a proclamation to his 718,000+ followers.
In far more important news, keep it here at the College Football Blog all throughout this first (and each) weekend for up to the minute updates, news, and analysis. Follow us on our newly launched Twitter @CBSSportsNCAAF or Subscribe to our RSS