Posted on: October 2, 2010 7:04 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2010 7:13 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
After Scott Tolzien connected with Jacob Pederson for a touchdown that brought Wisconsin within a field goal of Michigan State, the Spartans needed a strong drive keep their opponents at bay. Kirk Cousins answered the call with a 15 play, 84 yard drive that ended with a B.J. Cunningham touchdown reception on a gutsy 4th and Goal conversion.
For the second time in the game, the Spartans converted a fourth down near the end of the quarter and completely broke the spirit of the Wisconsin Badgers. Cousins got the Wisconsin defense to bite on a play action while Cunningham snuck behind the linebackers, standing wide open in the back of the end zone. By the time the Badgers got the ball back, there was not enough time to string together the two scores needed to avoid upset.
Michigan State believes that they can be Big Ten title contenders, and after Saturday's upset of the No. 11 Badgers, the rest of the conference will start to believe it as well.
Posted on: October 2, 2010 5:33 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2010 5:34 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Michigan State was trying pretty hard to give away the first half of the game against No. 11 Wisconsin in East Lansing. A Keith Nichol fumble and two Kirk Cousins interceptions set up 10 first half points for the Badgers. Michigan State was hanging on thanks to a pair of field goals and a Keshawn Martin punt return touchdown barely leading 13-10 until the last minutes of the second quarter. Cousins orchestrated a nine play, 69 yard drive that ended in a Mark Dell touchdown reception with just 23 seconds remaining on the clock.
While Wisconsin was able to capitilize off the Sparatans' mistakes, the momentum swung on a 4th and 1 in the final scoring drive. The Badger defense bit on a fake dive halfback pitch that Le'Veon Bell took for 23 yards. The fourth-down conversion took the wind out of the Wisconsin defense, and set the tone for the rest of the drive.
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
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:33 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Michigan State tight end Dion Sims has pled guilty to charges stemming from his arrest after being involved in a computer theft ring. To refresh your memory, Sims, along with others, were stealing computers and laptops from Detroit public schools to sell them. Some criminals like to steal from the rich to give to the poor, Sims and his buddies like to take from kids and keep the money for themselves.
The charges Sims faced were considered a five-year felony, but thanks to his cooperation and lack of a criminal record, his conviction could be expunged from the record.
"He did not buy the computers or sell them," said Sims' lawyer, Steve Fishman. "He pled guilty to being the middleman."
Sims is not expected to return to the Spartans this season, but the possibility that he may return to the team next year remains. Provided he doesn't find some kindergartners with iPods he can sell before then.
Posted on: September 27, 2010 8:00 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 11:53 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Big Ten Conference play begins this weekend*, and the race for the conference title is either already over (Ohio State) or wide open (the six other teams seemingly capable of winning the conference). We'll quickly find out whether many of the presumptive challengers to the Buckeyes' supremacy have what it takes to put together a great season. Considering the questions surrounding so many of them, the answer seems to be "maybe, but it's unlikely." In no particular order ...
Michigan (4-0): On one hand, Denard Robinson is a near-lock for Heisman candidacy this December; his stat lines are other-worldly, and there are few defenses in the conference that seem capable of containing this Michigan offense. But that defense. Ye gods, the defense. Michigan allowed 37 points to FCS stalwart UMass, and has given up more points thus far than every Big Ten team except Minnesota. Can Robinson and his teammates outscore enough conference opponents to justify the team's No. 19 ranking? They'll find out soon enough against Indiana this weekend; the Hoosiers have scored more than 40 points a game this season and have talent everywhere on offense.
Iowa (3-1): The good news: the Iowa Hawkeyes look materially better than last season, as wins that were close last year are blowouts now. Ricky Stanzi is far more efficient as a passer, and the only interception he's thrown all season came on a deflection. The bad news: the Hawkeyes have three kickers, which is to say they have none, and their cornerbacks are still rather suspect. And good heavens, that Arizona game. Iowa committed mistake after mistake in the first half, found themselves down 20 points at the break, then imploded on the offensive line with the game on the line. So what's there to make of the Arizona game? Was it an aberration, or is Iowa merely a bully of plainly inferior competition? Penn State comes to town this weekend, and intends to find out exactly how good the Hawkeyes actually are.
Wisconsin (4-0): No undefeated Big Ten team is more of an enigma than Wisconsin, who looks like it should be a Rose Bowl contender on paper -- and may very well be so -- but has underwhelmed against FBS competition. The Badgers needed a blocked extra point and a miraculous tackle at the 1-yard line at the end of the first half to help preserve a 20-19 win against Arizona State, and only beat an unimpressive San Jose State team 27-14. Yes, they won 70-3 over Austin Peay. Whatever. Wisconsin has the hogs up front and the stable of running backs (led by All-American candidate John Clay) to run over just about anybody in the conference, and Scott Tolzein is having another impressive and efficient season. Their defense isn't a weakness, and they get Ohio State (whom they've usually given fits) in Madison. But lo and behold, they face Michigan State in East Lansing this week, and it's basically a toss-up. Which Wisconsin will show up this Saturday -- and this season?
Penn State (3-1): Joe Paterno made waves when he installed true freshman Rob Bolden at quarterback to begin the season, and for the most part, the decision has worked out; Bolden hasn't looked great, but he's playing with a maturity beyond his years, and he's certainly not a weak link in the offense. That weak link, however, would be the offensive line; Penn State hasn't blown anyone off the ball with any regularity yet this season, and that includes the likes of Youngstown State and Temple. That Penn State is still ranked after its somewhat underwhelming non-conference schedule demonstrates the deep level of trust voters have in JoePa to field a competitive team, and that's a trust that's rarely betrayed. Still, the Nittany Lions had better start playing like a quality team very soon, or they could find themselves in line for something like the Texas Bowl.
Northwestern (4-0): The Cardiac 'Cats have the inside track to a 6-0 record right now; they're two-thirds of the way there at 4-0, and their next two opponents are absolute doormats Minnesota and Purdue. Quarterback Dan Persa is one of the highest rated passers in the NCAA, and he's also Northwestern's leading rusher. That's sort of a bad thing. In fact, Persa and his stable of running backs all average less than 4 yards per carry, and they haven't even faced great rush defenses: of their three FBS opponents, only Central Michigan is in the top half of the nation's rush defenses. Let's face it: if you can't run on Vanderbilt (143 yards on 46 carries most certainly does not qualify), you can't run on most of the Big Ten. Can Persa keep up his efficient passing in the conference season, or is that 6-0 start going to turn into 8-4 and a mediocre December bowl bid?
Michigan State (4-0): Here's what's scary: The relatively underhyped, unheralded Michigan State squad could end up being better than all the teams mentioned above. Kirk Cousins is 17th in passing efficiency in the FBS. True freshman Le'Veon Bell is a dynamo in the Spartans' backfield (and pancaked two defenders at once on MSU's game-winning fake field goal). Also, unlike Michigan, MSU doesn't have a giant honking RED ALERT attached to its defense. Oh, and the Spartans miss Ohio State on this year's schedule. Ten wins or more for Sparty? It's happened all of once (1999) since the NCAA went to 11-game regular seasons, but it could easily happen this year. Or MSU could revert to its usual self and drop four or five games in the conference. We'll start finding out when the Spartans and Badgers lock horns -- if, y'know, ancient Greek warriors and badgers had horns -- this Saturday.
So who's legit and who's not? To be honest, right now, nobody really knows. That's why this weekend's going to be vitally important for all the teams mentioned above. No more excuses, no hiding behind cupcake schedules; it's Big Ten season now.
*It's worth pointing out that the Big Ten is still something of a dinosaur in this respect; it's the only conference with an eight-game schedule that has yet to begin conference play. Sure, thanks to bye weeks, Indiana and Illinois each still have a non-con to squeeze in during the conference slate, but that's it; for the rest, it's the tried and true formula of out-of-conference, in-conference, bowl. A bit stale, to be sure, but it's somewhat nice to not have your conference title hopes completely ruined before it's even October; Georgia, after all, has already gone 0-3 in the SEC. Hopeless in September. That's no way for a fan to be, is it?
Tags: Arizona, Arizona State, Austin Peay, Big Ten, Central Michigan, Denard Robinson, Georgia, Iowa, John Clay, Kirk Cousins, Le'Veon Bell, Massachusetts, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue, Ricky Stanzi, Robert Bolden, San Jose State, Scott Tolzein, Temple, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Youngstown State
Posted on: September 24, 2010 5:22 pm
Posted by the College Football Blog staff
Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that Mike Pouncey would screw up a baker's dozen worth of snaps in one game? Nobody... until now. We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week. Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.
The Michigan State Spartans lose Kirk Cousins to an injury during the first quarter of their game against Northern Colorado. His replacement, freshman Andrew Maxwell is dealt the same fate early in the second quarter and the Spartans go into the half trailing 21-10. After quarterback-turned-WR-turned-back-i
Temple upsets Penn State in Happy Valley. There's really no excuse for this happening; even with Temple starting out 3-0 and PSU looking average with true freshman Robert Bolden at QB, Penn State is still highly favored in this contest. But the Temple front seven (led by returning MAC Defensive Player of the Year DE Adrian Robinson) gives the Nittany Lions' enough fits that Temple goes into halftime leading by 10, Bolden gets benched, Kevin Newsome performs worse in relief, and the Owls shock Happy Valley, 27-20. -- Adam Jacobi
Marcus Lattimore is held to less than 70 yards rushing by the Auburn defense. Lattimore only ran for 57 yards against Southern Miss, but when the Gamecocks have really needed yards this season, they turn to number 21. He will likely get at least 18 carries, and the Tigers did give up 140 yards to Clemson's Andre Ellington, but look for the defensive line to step up and shut down Lattimore at home in primetime. -- Chip Patterson
Mike Leach makes it through the entire broadcast of the Houston - Tulane game without some reference to "symptoms of concussion" followed by awkward silence that lasts as long as an equipment shed is wide. -- Chip Patterson
With his team trailing 24-21 late in the fourth quarter against Arkansas, Nick Saban calls a timeout as his team is marching down the field looking for the go-ahead touchdown. "I've had an epiphany, gentleman. I'm not here to win football games, I'm here to make you all better men and better human beings. Sometimes being the bigger man means letting the other man have his moment in the spotlight." Saban then forces Greg McElroy to kneel four straight times to end the game. -- Tom Fornelli
Boise State sets the post-WW2 single-game record for most team yardage (pre-WW2 may be a touch out of reach) in their victory over Oregon State, 94-0. Kellen Moore and the rest of the Broncos' starters play every snap, even after Oregon State puts in their second stringers in the 4th quarter. Following the game, Chris Peterson then throws his headset at the press box and yells, "Are you not entertained?!" Boise does not budge in the polls. --Adam Jacobi
During the third quarter of a listless win at Washington State, USC head coach Lane Kiffin will disappear from the sideline for several minutes, and television cameras will catch him talking on his cell phone. He will claim to have been speaking with old college friends since the game was "boring," but anonymous sources with knowledge of Kiffin's cell phone records will later tell reporters that Kiffin was trying to negotiate a deal to rejoin Pete Carroll in Seattle as an assistant with the Seattle Seahawks. The deal falls through when Kiffin asks for $17.5 million a year. -- Adam Jacobi
Oregon State takes Boise State to overtime on the legendary Smurf Turf. In overtime, Chris Peterson calls a trick play that finishes with Kellen Moore crossing into the end zone to win the game. Upon crossing the goal line, Moore rushes over to the cheerleaders and drops to one knee... where he proposes to Buster Bronco. The horse says "neigh." -- Chip Patterson
With the USC Trojans up 14-0 on Washington State in the first quarter, Matt Barkley finds Ronald Johnson for a 67-yard touchdown to make the score 20-0. Lane Kiffin then decides to just kick the extra point. -- Tom Fornelli
Tags: Aaron Bates, Adrian Robinson, Alabama, Andre Ellington, Andrew Maxwell, Auburn, Auburn, Boise State, Chris Peterson, Clemson, Don Treadwill, Greg McElroy, Houston, Insane Predictions, Keith Nichol, Kellen Moore, Kevin Newsome, Kirk Cousins, Lane Kiffin, Marcus Lattimore, Matt Barkley, Michigan State, Mike Leach, Mike Pouncey, Nick Saban, Northern Colorado, Oregon State, Penn State, Pete Carroll, Robert Bolden, Ronald Johnson, South Carolina, Temple, Tulane, USC, Washington State
Posted on: September 21, 2010 3:18 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2010 3:23 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
There's insane news from the land of Sparta today, as Michigan State tight end Dion Sims is one of 10 people implicated in a theft ring involving over 100 laptops stolen from -- of all places -- the Detroit Public School System :
Mark Dantonio has yet to issue a comment, mainly because he's recovering from a postgame heart attack . But wait a second: what if Dantonio's heart attack wasn't the result of anything that happened during the game at all, but just receiving word about the scope and scale of the investigation against his sophomore tight end? Hey, we don't know.
But regardless of how long it takes MSU to comment on the situation, if the allegations are even partly true, Sims has got to be gone, gone, gone. There's messed up, very messed up, and "stealing over 100 laptops from schools" messed up.
Posted on: September 20, 2010 11:39 am
Edited on: September 20, 2010 11:40 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Over the last few years under Charlie Weis Notre Dame fans have become pretty used to suffering some punches to the gut late in games. Still, there probably weren't many more that hurt worse than the loss to Michigan State on Saturday night in East Lansing. Of couse, as fan bases are wont to do following a heart-breaking loss, Irish fans began looking for someone to blame afterward.
As is usually the case, the blame in this game landed at the feet of the officials. A lot of people claimed that the Spartans had not gotten the snap off on their fake field goal attempt in time to beat the play clock. Brian Kelly heard all these complaints, and guess what?
He doesn't care.
Irish coach Brian Kelly didn't share the outrage over the non-call preceding a game-winning fake field goal for a touchdown.
"We're splitting hairs on what happened at the end of the game," Kelly said Sunday. "Could there have been zero on (the clock) before it was snapped? Yeah, there's that possibility. But I haven't spent much time thinking or complaining about that as much as, we gotta defend the play."
Did the play start on time? No. You can check the video evidence for yourself if you like.
A fifth of a second.
So, yes, the snap didn't get off in time, but think about how long a fifth of a second is for, well, a second. If an official is keeping his eyes on the play clock, once that thing hits zero by the time his eyes move from the clock to the action on the field that ball has not only been snapped, it's in the holder's hands.
Which leaves bitter Notre Dame fans with two options here. They can either build some kind of super officiating robot, with eyes faster than time itself, or they can do what the video suggests.
Deal with it.