Posted on: December 4, 2010 8:30 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
We asked at halftime if the Hail Mary from Cam Newton to Darvin Adams had done enough to erase the cavalcade of mistakes from Auburn in the second quarter, mistakes that had seemed to hand momentum back to South Carolina and undone a dominant first quarter from the Tigers.
The answer over the second 30 minutes appeared to be a resounding "Oh goodness yes," as Auburn cruised to an overwhelming 56-17 victory in the SEC Championship Game. Spencer Lanning missed a 42-yard field goal on Carolina's first drive of the half, wasting a 10-play, 50-yard march, and from there it was nothing but Auburn. Newton scored on a one-yard plunge to cap a 75-yard drive on Auburn's ensuing possession, and the rout was on, starting with this T'Sharvan Bell pick-six of Stephen Garcia:
That put Auburn up 42-14, and from there the only question was what kind of stats Newton might finish with to put the finishing touches on his Heisman campaign, which by every indication will result in his becoming the third Auburn Tiger to win the award. The answer: 17-of-28, 335 yards, and 4 touchdowns in the air, 14 carries for 73 yards and 2 scores on the ground. In the process, he became the No. 1 quarterback in the country in pass efficiency and just the second player ever to both run and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season. (Tim Tebow , of course, was the first; just a little while later, Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick becaee the third.) While the discussions about Newton's now NCAA-approved eligibility and his father's transgressions will no doubt continue apace, the discussion of who has been college football's most dominant player this season is over.
Up next for the Tigers: the BCS National Championship Game against Oregon, where they will seek to become the fifth consecutive SEC team to lift the crystal football. The game promises to become the highest-scoring national title game -- by a wide margin-- in the BCS's history, as even in victory (one that featured another stout second-half performance defensively), Auburn's 20 first downs and 5.2 yards-per-carry allowed likely didn't do that much to convince viewers they'll be able to slow down the Ducks.
But after today -- and the 56 points and 589 total yards -- it's also worth wondering at this point if anyone, much less Oregon, can stop Newton and the Gus Malzahn machine now that the NCAA has not. When even your Hail Mary's are working, it's safe to say every last cylinder is hitting. When the BCS title game kicks off Jan. 10, we strongly suggest we all buckle up.
Posted on: November 23, 2010 9:22 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
In the 2010 college football season, we have been fortunate to see exhilarating quarterback play all across the nation. There has been Mallett and Newton in the SEC, and the big arms of Luck and Moore on out west. Unfortunately none of those players are seniors, and do not quality for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. As opposed to the Davey O'Brien award, given to the nation's most outstanding quarterback; the Unitas Golden Arm Award is saved for the nation's top senior quarterback. So without further ado, here are the finalists who will be receiving coupons to Country Kitchen Buffet.
Andy Dalton, TCU
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
Christian Ponder, Florida State
Ricky Stanzi, Iowa
Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin
Obviously all these quarterbacks have had great seasons, and should not be overlooked just because of their age. In fact, many of the names on that list were favorites for the Davey O'Brien coming into the season. However, winning the Unitas Golden Arm Award could be a good omen of things to come at the next level. Recent award winners include Colt McCoy (2009), Matt Ryan (2007), Eli Manning (2003), Carson Palmer (2002), and Peyton Manning (1997). Not a bad crew to be associated with if you ask me.
The 2010 winner will be presented with the Golden Arm Award in a ceremony on December 10 in Downtown Baltimore. Many of Unitas' Baltimore Colts teammates will be on hand, including Unitas' center and current Georgia State football coach, Bill Curry.
Posted on: November 12, 2010 4:47 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.
I know you couldn't tell if you have been following the news in college football this week, but there are actually games to be played on Saturday. I know, I didn't believe it either, but it's true. There's more to college football than just off the field issues concerning agents, players asking for money, and the NCAA possibly punishing those players because the only people allowed to make money from this sport are the NCAA, not those punk kids who make it for them.
But I promise you, there are games ON the field as well. Here are some of the best ones for you to watch on Saturday in between updates on what Cam Newton may or may not have done.
Main Course - Northwestern vs. #13 Iowa - Noon - ESPNLooking at this game on the surface, it doesn't seem all the impressive. Northwestern is currently in eighth place in the Big Ten, and has lost three of its last four games. What's the big deal?
Well, Iowa isn't out of the Big Ten title hunt. This game means a lot to the Hawkeyes for both their BCS aspirations and it provides therapeutic value. You see, Northwestern has been a thorn in Iowa's side for years now, as Northwestern has won four of the last five meetings. That includes last season when the Wildcats knocked Ricky Stanzi out for the last three games of the regular season, and handed Iowa its first loss. Which eventually led to Stanzi missing the Ohio State game and a chance to win the Big Ten.
Side Orders: Not a lot of great choices this morning, but not as terrible as it has been in recent weeks. There's Missouri and Kansas State who both have a remote chance to win the Big 12 North, but a loss in this game would kill either's chance. There's also Miami taking on Georgia Tech, and the 'Canes can't afford to lose if they want a chance to play for the ACC title. If those don't do it for you, I guess you could watch West Virginia and Cincinnati in the latest installment of "The Big East Presents: Something That Is Supposed to Resemble Football."
Main Course - #2 Auburn vs. Georgia - 3:30pm - CBSListen, you've spent all week hearing about Cam Newton anyway, so why wouldn't you want to actually watch him play this week against Georgia? I mean, when you think about it, you can't really be sure how many more chances you'll get to see Newton play at Auburn, so you should probably take advantage while you still can.
Oh, and there's also the fact that Auburn is still alive for a national championship, and with a win against Georgia, the Tigers would wrap up the SEC West and a trip to Atlanta.
As for Georgia, hard as it is to believe given the way it started the season, is only one win shy of being bowl eligible. What a better way to do it than by knocking off the top team in the conference and destroying any chance they have to play for a national title?
Side Orders: There are some other quality non-Cam Newton related games going on during the afternoon as well. Ohio State hosts Penn State, looking to keep hopes alive for a Big Ten title and trip to the Rose Bowl. Oklahoma looks to right the ship at home against Texas Tech, and Virginia Tech can just about wrap up the ACC Coastal with a win at North Carolina.
Main Course - #24 Florida vs. #22 South Carolina - 7:15pm - ESPNThe SEC East has been wide open all season long, but finally, it all comes down to one game on Saturday night in Gainesville.
Even though it's been a down season for Florida compared to recent standards, the Gators still have a chance to get to Atlanta and win another SEC title should they get past the Gamecocks. On the flip side, Steve Spurrier still has a chance to win the SEC East and the SEC for the first time as head coach at South Carolina.
South Carolina hasn't played well since knocking off Alabama last month, but it still has a chance to salvage the season if it can knock off the Gators.
Side Orders: Plenty of other good games going on Saturday night if you prefer to look elsewhere. Alabama can shake off the disappointment of last week's loss against LSU by knocking Mississippi State down a peg, and speaking of disappointment, Texas can boost its morale with a win over Oklahoma State as well. There's also Oregon looking to stay undefeated at Cal, Arizona hosting USC and Stanford rolling in to Arizona State in the Pac-10.
Late Night SnackListen, I've developed a slight infatuation with Colin Kaepernick this season. It's just every time I see him running down the field I can't help but think of an ostrich, and this amuses me to no end. Why? I don't know, it just does. Tune in to see Kaepernick and Nevada take on Fresno State on Saturday night and find out if you see it too.
Tags: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Cal, Cam Newton, Cincinnati, Colin Kaepernick, Florida, Fresno State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Kansas State, LSU, Miami, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, Ricky Stanzi, Saturday Meal Plan, South Carolina, Stanford, Steve Spurrier, Texas, Texas Tech, USC, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:25 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
There has been one good piece of news to come out over the past 24 hours for Cam Newton : the Maxwell Football Club named him one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award , the organization's honor for the best player in college football. And though Newton has accumulated the stats and highlight reels of an All-American running back this season, it's perhaps for the best for him he doesn't actually play the position. That's the way it looks from the complete list of semifinalists:
WR Justin Blackmon , Oklahoma State, So.
WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma, Jr.
QB Andy Dalton , TCU, Sr.
QB Robert Griffin III , Baylor, So.
RB Kendall Hunter , Oklahoma State, Sr.
RB LaMichael James , Oregon, So.
QB Colin Kaepernick , Nevada, Sr.
QB Andrew Luck , Stanford, So.
QB Ryan Mallett , Arkansas, Jr.
QB Taylor Martinez , Nebraska, Fr.
QB Kellen Moore , Boise State, Jr.
QB Cam Newton , Auburn, Jr.
QB Terrelle Pryor , Ohio State, Jr.
QB Denard Robinson , Michigan, So.
QB Ricky Stanzi , Iowa, Sr.
QB Tyrod Taylor , Virginia Tech, Sr.
All right, so it's also a little odd that none of the top 16 players in the nation by the Maxwell's estimation happen to play defense. But it's nothing unusual for defenders to get snubbed in the national Player of the Year talk, and since the Maxwell Club also hands out the Bednarik Award to the nation's best defensive player, the Maxwell itself appears to be a de facto offensive players-only honor; even the great Ndamokung Suh didn't crack the semifinalists list last season .
So the much bigger surprise is that among a list of the nation's top 16 offensive players, only two running backs, Hunter and James, make the cut next to two wide receivers and a whopping 12 quarterbacks. Since when has the the second-most high-profile position on the football field been this devoid of stars?
Since 2010, apparently. Last year's Maxwell semifinalist list included seven tailbacks, including a pair of Heisman finalists in Toby Gerhart and Mark Ingram and several who returned to college football for this 2010 season: Ingram, Noel Devine , Jacquizz Rodgers , Dion Lewis . Unfortunately for those four players, the season hasn't played out as expected for any of them; not one currently ranks among even the top 30 rushers in the nation at present, with Rodgers' 803 yards (good for 33rd) the best year to-date of the bunch.
Why the sudden downturn in the fortunes of the nation's top tailbacks? Some of it is probably a simple fluke. But some of it is the continuing rise of the spread offense, which revolves around the all-purpose quarterback at the expense of pounding along with the traditional bruising tailback. Auburn , Nevada , Michigan , TCU , Baylor -- these are all some of the most explosive offenses in the country, and all five begin with a mobile QB. It's no wonder all five placed their quarterbacks on the list above despite the presence of top rushers like Nevada's Vai Taua , Baylor's Jay Finley , and TCU's Ed Wesley . This year's top pro-style attacks, meanwhile, are all quarterback-dominated as well: Stanford and Luck, Arkansas and Mallett, Boise and Moore. Offenses like the 2009 Cardinal and Tide attacks that turned Gerhart and Ingram into superstars just aren't out there this year.
They'll probably be back next year. But that doesn't mean they'll be back in the same numbers we've seen in the past; as long as the spread remains as in vogue as it is today, the kind of bludgeoning workhorse tailback that makes award lists is going to stay an increasingly endangered species.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Bednarik Award, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Denard Robinson, Dion Lewis, Ed Wesley, Iowa, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jay Finley, Justin Blackmon, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Mark Ingram, Maxwell Award, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Noel Devine, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State. Ryan Broyles, Oregon, Ricky Stanzi, Robert Griffin, Ryan Mallett, Stanford, Taylor Martinez, TCU, Terrelle Pryor, Tyrod Taylor, Vai Taua, Virginia Tech
Posted on: November 5, 2010 5:08 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2010 5:17 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Earlier today, the semifinalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the top senior quarterback in the nation, were announced. Sure, the list is going to pale in comparison to the Davey O'Brien Award, which is allowed to nominate the likes of Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Kellen Moore, Denard Robinson, et cetera, but the senior class is still pretty strong this season.
To that end, we celebrate these eight quarterbacks who were nominated by the Unitas committee:
All worthy honorees, these; of the eight listed, the top six seniors in passing efficiency are represented, and the other two (Ponder, Locker) are high-level pro prospects. It's likely that neither makes the list of five finalists, but they both deserve some credit for their long, eventful college careers.
But wait -- five finalists? Out of eight semifinalists? Oh, no no; here's the rub. There are actually 10 semifinalists. It's just that the last two are so inexplicable that we couldn't in good conscience discuss them in the same context as the first eight. The other two semifinalists, who you wouldn't have guessed given 10 tries, are Idaho's Nathan Enderle and Delaware's Pat Devlin. Yeah, exactly.
Enderle is currently 61st among FBS quarterbacks in passing efficiency, and he's tied for fourth in most interceptions thrown with 12. Yes, he's 11th in passing yards per game, but that just makes him the Jerrod Johnson of the WAC. Enderle's not exactly a dual threat, either; he has no rushing touchdowns on the season and rushes for about -18 yards a game once sacks are factored in. Enderle also likely holds the ignominious honor of the worst yards per reception rate in the NCAA, as he was credited for one catch for -13 yards against Hawaii last week. We hope that's the worst in the NCAA, anyway, because woe is anyone worse than that.
But for as odd as Enderle's selection is, Devlin's is downright mystifying; the Penn State transfer is currently helming the Delaware Blue Hens, who are No. 4 in the FCS, but that's about as far as Devlin's accomplishments go. He's accounted for six touchdowns on the entire year, and half of those came against D-II West Chester to begin the season. In other words, Devlin has thrown three touchdowns against FCS competition all season long. GET THAT MAN ON A SEMIFINALISTS LIST, STAT.
As with Ponder and Locker, it's extremely unlikely that these two guys make the final cut, and it's also unikely that any of the quarterback that got snubbed (FCS No. 3 Villanova's Chris Whitney, Texas Tech's Taylor Potts, and Fresno State's Ryan Colburn , to name a few) would have made the top five either. Still, any of those three would have been better choices than either Enderle or Devlin, and we're at a loss for trying to figure out why either of those two quarterbacks made the list of 10 semifinalists.
Tags: Alabama, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Chris Whitney, Christian Ponder, Colin Kaepernick, Delaware, Denard Robinson, Florida State, Fresno State, Greg McElroy, Idaho, Iowa, Jake Locker, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Kellen Moore, Nathan Enderle, Nevada, Pat Devlin, Ricky Stanzi, Ryan Colburn, Scott Tolzien, Taylor Potts, TCU, Texas Tech, Tyrod Taylor, Unitas Award, Unitas Semifinalists, Villanova, Virginia Tech, Washington, Wisconsin
Posted on: October 25, 2010 6:57 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:11 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Davey O'Brien Award, given annually to the nation's top quarterback, announced its 16 semifinalists for the award today. The list is as follows, in alphabetical order:
All in all, this is a pretty thorough list of the quarterbacks who might end up being the top quarterback in the nation once December rolls around, but it certainly does seem as if there was one glaring omission: Northwestern sophomore Dan Persa . Persa currently leads the nation in completion percentage, is eighth in passing efficiency and is fifth in total offense . Oh, and Persa also leads his team in rushing yards (341) and rushing touchdowns (six) -- each by pretty substantial margins over the nearest teammate.
Of course, it certainly merits mention that Northwestern is currently on a two-game losing streak, and that the Wildcats hadn't really beaten anyone of merit before the streak either. But in the Wildcats' losses to Michigan State and Purdue -- neither of whom have lost a Big Ten game yet, for what it's worth -- Persa was hardly "at fault" for the losses; he averaged 281 yards of total offense in the two games and scored four touchdowns to just one turnover.
It's hard to say who should be bumped for Persa's sake, though; every one of the top 16 semifinalists has a legitimate claim to deserving some sort of accolade. It's also worth pointing out, however, that until Missouri and Oklahoma faced each other this past weekend, Dalton, Gabbert, and Jones were all quarterbacking undefeated teams, and that's probably the only reason they're on the list; Jones and Gabbert, in particular, aren't even close to the top 16 of passing efficiency in the nation (34th and 39th, respectively). None of the three are terribly gifted runners, either, while Persa's been forced to anchor the woeful Northwestern ground game.
Of course, the O'Brien Award probably wants to avoid the embarrassment of not being able to even nominate a title contender's quarterback as a finalist, and with two conference losses, it's extremely unlikely that Northwestern will represent the Big Ten in Pasadena, much less make a run at a spot in the Top 10. Persa and his Wildcats aren't high-profile, and that's enough to leave him off this list. Inclusion's academic either way, since this is clearly Cam Newton's to lose, but it'd be nice to see a quarterback like Persa rewarded for putting together one hell of a season so far even when he doesn't have the supporting cast to win 11 games in a season.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Big 12, Big Ten, Blaine Gabbert, Boise State, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Dan Persa, Darron, Davey O'Brien Semifinalists, Denard Robinson, Iowa, Kellen Moore, Kirk Cousins, Landry Jones, Matt Barkley, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Mountain West, Nebraska, Nevada, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pac-10, Purdue, Ricky Stanzi, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Mallett, SEC, Stanford, Taylor Martinez, TCU, Terrelle Pryor, USC, WAC
Posted on: October 18, 2010 4:35 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
As pointed out yesterday by esteemed CBS College Football Blog colleague Adam Jacobi, Boise State is already behind the proverbial eight-ball when it comes to the BCS standings. In front of them are a pair of teams in Oregon and Oklahoma they cannot pass without them suffering upset losses, and behind them are several teams -- Auburn, LSU, TCU, Michigan St. -- who either will or at least could leapfrog the Broncos if they continue to win. Boise will need all the help they can get from their schedule, both in the human polls and the BCS computers.
Nevada did nothing to provide that help late Saturday night, losing to Hawaii 27-21 on the islands, dropping out of the top 25, and depriving Boise of what could have been an undefeated, must-watch, winner-take-all showdown in Reno later this season. That game could have even been billed as a head-to-head matchup of Heisman candidates in the Broncos' Kellen Moore And Wolf Pack pistol master Colin Kaepernick . According to Kaepernick, there was only one person responsible for Nevada's flop in Honolulu, and that person is ... Colin Kaepernick :
"In my eyes, I single-handedly lost this football game tonight," Kaepernick said Saturday ...Believe it or not, that description's being generous; Kapernick's loose-limbed fumble on his own 22 also set up Hawaii's first touchdown of the game, and his final 14-of-26 line through the air doesn't convey how badly off-target many of his passes were. (The regression from Kaepernick's poised, confident performance against Cal in Week 3 was staggering.) College football players frequently say that they deserve singular responsibility for losing a game, but this is the rare case where that player's not exaggerating. Kaepernick -- usually one of college football's most unique and productive players -- did more-or-less personally sabotage the Wolf Pack's chances of getting out of Hawaii with their pefect record intact.
And in the strange new age of the BCS, he did more than that. With no ranked opponents left on the Bronco schedule and no way to move the needle of hype aside from increasingly gaudy margins-of-victory, Kaepernick also may have helped personally sabotage Boise's chances of reaching Glendale with a national championship berth on the line.
HT: Andrea Adelson .
Posted on: October 1, 2010 3:49 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 Saturday in the bathroom.
Main Course - Clemson vs. #16 Miami - Noon - ESPN2
Okay, so once again breakfast has a lot of weak sauce in it this week, but we promise you that lunch and dinner are going to be a lot better. Just remember what your mom used to tell you: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So eat this up because you're going to need it to help prepare you for the rest of the day.
Just beware that while the Miami looks good using too much Jacory Harris in it can cause indigestion.
Side Orders: This morning we offer some sides that should fill you up, but will probably leave you hating yourself for eating it later. There's Ohio State steamrolling Illinois, and our "Ninth Place in the SEC" special, Mississippi and Kentucky. If you already hate yourself, try some of the Minnesota and Northwestern.
Main Course - #8 Oklahoma vs. #21 Texas - 3:30pm - ABC
Now that you've choked down your breakfast we can reward you with the real food for the day. We're offering our Red River Rivalry this afternoon which is chock full of red meat deliciousness. Just remember that the Longhorn can be somewhat tough and inconsistent.
Texas has a lot on their plate this week, as they are coming off a rather embarrassing loss at home to UCLA last week, and a similar performance against Oklahoma this weekend could destroy the rest of their season.
Side Orders: If you're not sure you can handle all the beef in our main course we do offer plenty of other options this afternoon. There's Michigan State hosting Wisconsin in a game that will give us a better idea of what either team is really about this season. There's also North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, or if offenses that set the game of football back 80 years are more your style, there's always LSU and Tennessee. My advice is to just watch Patrick Peterson in that game.
Main Course - #1 Alabama vs. #7 Florida - 8pm - CBS
We didn't lead you astray with our Alabama and Arkansas last week, and we promise you that this week's Florabama won't disappoint either. Alabama has already faced it's first real test of the season, but this week they are the test. Florida is 4-0 but didn't wow any of the critics until last week's Trey Burton-centric dismantling of Kentucky.
If the Gators can manage to get past the Tide they'll officially be back in the national championship picture.
Side Orders: It's not a bad night when your second choice features another two top ten teams. If fowl is more your taste, then try the Oregon and Stanford. The Pac-10 doesn't have a championship game, yet, but this game basically is just that. Two high-scoring offenses finally get to test two defenses that have proven sturdy thus far. If you prefer something a bit more old-fashioned we're also offering Iowa and Penn State.
Late Night Snacks
Nevada and Colin Kaepernick are two things you'll probably be hearing about quite a bit in the coming weeks, as they're essentially the last thing standing between Boise State and an undefeated season. So why not check them out when they travel to Vegas to take on UNLV?
Tags: Alabama, Arkansas, Clemson, Colin Kaepernick, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Jacory Harris, Kentucky, LSU, Miami, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Patrick Peterson, Penn State, Saturday Meal Plan, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Trey Burton, UCLA, UNLV, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin