Posted on: November 20, 2010 7:51 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Maybe it's fitting that Les Miles ' best job of clock management in ages -- maybe ever -- came against Ole Miss today in his Tigers' 43-36 win . After all, it was the spike-with-one-second fiasco against the Rebels last season that took the "Miles can't manage the clock" meme from the ravings of embittered LSU fans to an accepted mainstream fact.
But not today. Today it was Miles whose team took over on their own 49 with 4:57 to play, down 36-35, and cooly drove the ball into the endzone and -- just as importantly in a game that at times resembled a ping-pong match as much as football -- the clock under 35 seconds as the Rebels watched helplessly. Why helplessly? Because Houston Nutt 's charges had wasted two timeouts comiong out of the huddle slowly earlier in the half. Combine that with some hard running from Jordan Jefferson , Michael Ford , and Stevan Ridley , and the outcome of the drive (and the game) was a foregone conclusion from the minute LSU crossed the Rebel 20.
Yes, advancing that far was made a much more manageable goal by the questionable unsportsmanlike flag on the Rebels' Markeith Summers , who had been penalized for somersaulting into the end zone despite the fact he was being pursued by an LSU defender. (How exactly it's Summers responsibility to know precisely how far behind him the defender was, we're not sure.) But the flag only hastened the inevitable; the way the game had been going and as tired as the Rebels' defense had to have been, LSU was putting points on the board there.
Those points keep LSU in the dead middle of the hunt for a Sugar Bowl berth, one they'll all but clinch if Arkansas lose to Mississippi State tonight. But even if it comes down to Razorbacks vs. Tigers next week, LSU can sleep a little better knowing their coach has started to put some of his biggest past mistakes behind him.
Posted on: November 19, 2010 6:24 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet. Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.
We're less than a week away from Thanksgiving, and apparently the NCAA has taken that into consideration with this week's schedule. It seems they're kind enough not to give us anything too heavy this weekend so that we're able to gorge ourselves to death on Thursday.
The NCAA: always concerned about the fan and their digestive limitations.
Main Course - Michigan vs. #6 Wisconsin - Noon - ESPNListen, people, if Bret Bielema can put up 83 points on Indiana, then surely he can do the same against a Michigan defense that has been the polar-opposite of stout this season. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Badgers shoot for 100 this weekend.
First of all, they need a win a win to keep their Big Ten title hopes alive, and second of all, the Badgers have some BCS computers to impress. What's more impressive than 100 points?
There's also the fact that Bielema has already gotten Tim Brewster fired this season, and may have added Bill Lynch to his tally last week as well. Why wouldn't he take a shot at Rich Rodriguez?
Side Orders: Not much else of importance on Saturday morning, but there are options. Oklahoma State goes to Kansas looking to stay atop the Big 12 South division, and West Virginia will try to keep its slim BCS hopes alive on the road against Louisville. There's also the battle of North Carolina when the Tar Heels take on N.C. State. Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Michigan State looks to maintain its spot on top of the Big Ten hosting Purdue.
Main Course - #21 Iowa vs. #8 Ohio State - 3:30pm - ABCWe have a couple of games featuring ranked teams during the afternoon, but in my opinion, this one should grab top-billing. Iowa saw its chances at winning the Big Ten ruined by Northwestern last week, so what could be better for the Hawkeyes than to ruin Ohio State's chances?
After all, it was Ohio State that beat the Hawkeyes last season and ended their hopes of going to the Rose Bowl, so why not return the favor?
If nothing else, it's just another chance for Ricky Stanzi to spread the message of loving America and hating hippies throughout the country.
Side Orders: The other ranked game this afternoon features Miami and Virginia Tech. Miami has a very slim chance to win the ACC Coastal division, but in order to keep those hopes alive, they have to knock off a Hokies team that's won eight straight since dropping that game to James Madison. There's also some Les Miles fun on the mothership when LSU hosts Ole Miss, and seriously, after all that's gone on surrounding the game, how can you not tune in to Illinois and Northwestern at Wrigley Field? I'll be at that game witnessing the insanity from the press box.
Main Course - Maryland vs. Florida State - 8pm - ABCThe game that would decide the ACC Atlantic!
Who saw this one coming? Essentially, the winner of this game will be going to the ACC Championship Game in a few weeks. Now, while seeing Florida State in this position doesn't come as much of a shock, the fact that Maryland is here is rather surprising.
Though that's just the way the ACC rolls these days. One minute you're terrible, and then the next you still aren't very good, but you're good enough. Seriously the ACC should adopt the motto of "Hey, at least we aren't the Big East!"
Side Orders: If ranked teams are more your thing, then you can check out Texas A&M and Nebraska, as the Cornhuskers look to hold on to their ticket to Dallas while the Aggies -- who have done a 180 this season -- still want a chance to buy one. Mississippi State and Arkansas will be going at it in Starkville as well. Also, if you're into football games being played in baseball stadiums that use two end zones, Notre Dame and Army continue their annual rivalry on Saturday night, but this time from Yankee Stadium. Show up and chant Derek Jeter's name for no reason!
Late Night SnackUtah has not had a good November. One week its getting pasted by TCU at home, and the next it's getting beat up on the road by a mediocre Notre Dame team missing half of its offense. Now they get to take on a San Diego State team that played TCU much better than the Utes did.
Tags: Arkansas, Army, Bill Lynch, Bret Bielema, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, James Madison, Kansas, Les Miles, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, NC State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Purdue, Rich Rodriguez, Ricky Stanzi, San Diego State, Saturday Meal Plan, TCU, Texas A&M, Tim Brewster, Utah, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Posted on: November 19, 2010 11:02 am
Edited on: November 19, 2010 11:04 am
Posted by College Football Blog
As you may or may not know, each week five of us here at CBSSports.com make our Expert Picks for the weekend in college football. Two of good-looking bros here at the College Football Blog are among that cast of experts. Adam Jacobi and Chip Patterson have been holding their own in the season-long competition, and sit down to discuss a few of the bigger games on the schedule for Saturday.
Click here to see all of the Expert Picks for Week 12, then check out the podcast below.
Note: For reasons unbeknownst to me (Chip), there was some delay issue and it sounds like my voice has been masked for anonymity. Thankfully audio editing technology allows us to make chicken salad out of chicken sh-, well, you get the idea. I've taken the old head set and tossed it into the street. Probably because it was from Radio Shack. Dweebs.
Posted on: November 17, 2010 10:48 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2010 10:49 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
According to a report on TMZ, the FBI's probe of the Cam Newton investigation has expanded to include dog track owner Milton McGregor, a prominent Auburn booster -- and recent bribery arrestee.
Obviously, McGregor's not terribly thrilled about being connected to the investigation and the FBI in any way, so his attorney has just released a statement on McGregor's behalf to WSFA 12 in Montgomery. Here's the statement in full:
"Contrary to postings on celebrity and sports blogs, Milton McGregor has never had any contact direct or indirect with Cam Newton, Cecil Newton - Cam's father, Kenny Rogers or anyone purporting to represent Cam Newton. Mr. McGregor has never been asked to provide money for any recruitment or compensation of any current or prospective student athlete including Cam Newton at Auburn or any other school, and has never provided any type of compensation in that regard period no exceptions. As a proud supporter of Auburn University Mr. McGregor wants it known that he does cheer loudly for Cam Newton and thinks he is the best athlete in college football."
It's worth pointing out that the only allegations made by TMZ are that the FBI is investigating McGregor, not that he necessarily had any role in the Newton recruitment, so his denial is something between "misleading" and "flat-out incorrect." Still, this is the first time McGregor's been connected to this investigation at all, so there's a lot more information that's going to need to come out before any worthwhile analysis of the McGregor situation can occur.
Photo via al.com
Posted on: November 17, 2010 1:30 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
If the NCAA investigation into Cam Newton concludes (or concludes in the somewhat near future, anyway) with the Heisman front-runner ruled ineligible for the 2010 season, it's likely going to cost Newton a lot: his Heisman chances, his team's shot at a BCS title, possibly his chance to play in an SEC championship game, various other sundry awards and honors that are surely on their way.
If there's any silver lining to a possible NCAA-dictated suspension, it's that eligible or not, Newton will be free to play in the NFL as soon as he leaves Auburn. But that's where the scandal has already cost him something: the benefit of the doubt with NFL scouts :
One director of scouting for an AFC team said Tuesday that Newton will be a first-round pick should he decide to skip his senior season but added that not every franchise will be interested because of his off-the-field issues.
Of course, the scout makes clear that things can only get so bad for Newton from an NFL standpoint; even if "not every franchise" will want to take a flyer on a prospect with Newton's off-field baggage, if the scout is correct that Newton won't slip out of the first round, even going 32nd overall isn't a bad consolation prize by any means. The scout describes Newton as a "big ball of clay" with an "NFL body" whose ability to shed tacklers and deliver throws could make him a "matchup nightmare" in the "right system." Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the scout's comments is that between his first-round stock and the inevitable eligibility questions that will dog him, it appears highly unlikely that Newton will want to spend another season under the microscope at Auburn .
The scout does, however, also worry that Newton could fall in with "the wrong crowd" or be overly influenced by his father Cecil Newton , who (as you know) has been accused as negotiating Newton's enrollment at Mississippi State in exchange for money. Nothing other than acing his eventual pre-draft interviews will make those question marks go away, and for that, Newton has the investigation to thank. That much damage, it appears, has already been done.
Posted on: November 17, 2010 9:47 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Arkansas' has not had any trouble continuing to put up big numbers even without leading receiver Greg Childs, out for the season with a patellar tendon injury. Since Childs was injured in the fourth quarter against Vanderbilt, the Razorbacks scored 41 on South Carolina in Columbia, then dropped 58 on the helpless UTEP Miners. But heading into a crucial two-game stretch to finish the season, quarterback Ryan Mallett will need as many healthy weapons as he can get. After leaving UTEP game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury, there was some question as to the health of tight end D.J. Williams.
Head coach Bobby Petrino said Williams' status is probable for Saturday's game at Mississippi State. Williams is second on the team in receptions behind the injured Childs, so having the senior tight end on the field is a big boost for the Mallett and the Arkansas offense. After Mississippi State, the Razorbacks host LSU for their regular season finale. Their chances for the SEC Championship Game have come and gone, but the Razorbacks are high enough in the BCS Standings to make a case for the Sugar Bowl should they win out. Granted, taking down Mississippi State in Starkville and LSU is a tall order for this Razorbacks squad. But considering their only losses have come against Auburn and Alabama, there is no reason to think that it is not out of their reach.
Posted on: November 16, 2010 4:05 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
College football fans (not to mention poll voters, BCS administrators, exhausted reporters, etc.) hoping for some movement forward on the Cam Newton investigation appear to be getting their wish today based on a series of reports out of the South. Two of those are recapped here , namely:
-- Former Mississippi State quarterback and Bulldog supporter John Bond met with the FBI today, according to Bond's attorney; Bond was the player (allegedly) originally approached as a possible source of funds by ...
-- Kenny Rogers , another former State player and agent who has claimed Cecil Newton asked him to arrange payment for his son's services; according to a Dallas radio host, Rogers is speaking to NCAA investigators as we type.
But that's not all. Notorious Alabama radio personality Paul Finebaum has added a new name into the mix of potential Newton informants and NCAA interviewees: Jody Wright , currently an Alabama graduate assistant and formerly a State director of football operations, who Finebaum reported was interviewed yesterday.
Obviously, the NCAA isn't going to confirm or comment on any of this. But to disregard all of these reports (not to mention the ones out of Birmingham that Auburn met with NCAA officials before the Georgia game) would be trying too hard. Whispers from the Auburn-colored corners of the Internet are even suggesting that a ruling could come as early as this week .
Since that would be a decision-making process of nearly unprecedented speed for an organization universally panned for its methodical approach, it seems unlikely the NCAA will make a move quite that soon. But clearly, the NCAA is on the case and moving with what appears to be all possible haste. Early estimates that placed a conclusion to the Newton case early next year -- following a BCS championship game which may or may not include Auburn, depending on their performance in the Iron Bowl grudge match with Alabama -- look at this moment to be on the pessimistic side.
Considering how much is at stake -- not only for Auburn but for all of college football, should its biggest individual award and national championship be awarded to a player later found to be ineligible -- that may not be surprising, even for the NCAA.
Posted on: November 16, 2010 10:55 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Alabama running back Trent Richardson hasn't played since scoring a touchdown during the Tide's loss to LSU nearly a week and a half ago, thanks to a knee injury he suffered on the play. Which means that Alabama's two-headed monster at running back was just a one-headed Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram against Mississippi State last Saturday. Which didn't really seem to hurt Alabama all that much during its 30-10 win.
The Tide now have a short week, as they're going to be hosting Georgia State on Thursday night, and Richardson's status for the game is still up in the air. Though Nick Saban did sound optimistic that Richardson could play in the game.
"He actually wanted to play in the last game, but we didn't feel like he'd practiced enough or he was ready enough," Saban told the AL.com. "I still think we have to evaluate that day-to-day. It will be interesting. He really didn't do anything on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, so he's had three recovery days as well as rehab days to see where he is today, and that will determine a lot as to how ready he will be to play in this game and what contribution he'll be able to make."
Which is good to hear if you're Richardson, but seriously, what exactly would be the point of playing Richardson against Georgia State if you're Alabama? You aren't going to need him to win this game, as the rest of the starters will probably be out of the game before the end of the third quarter. So why risk having Richardson aggravate the knee injury in a game he isn't needed when there's that whole Iron Bowl looming on the horizon?
Last I checked, that game means more.