Posted on: November 16, 2010 5:01 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Linemen, defenders, running backs, and quarterbacks have all had their day in the "award announces smaller list of potential winners from larger list" sun, so now it's time for the guys that catch the ball. First, the 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award , given to the nation's outstanding wide receiver:
Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
Randall Cobb, Kentucky
Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M
A.J. Green, Georgia
Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
Julio Jones, Alabama
Aldrick Robinson, SMU
Greg Salas, Hawaii
Jordan White, Western Michigan
And the eight semifinalists for the Mackey Award , due the nation's top tight end:
George Bryan (Jr., North Carolina State)
Michael Egnew (Jr., Missouri)
Ladarius Green (Jr., Louisiana)
Daniel Hardy (Sr., Idaho)
Lance Kendricks (Sr., Wisconsin)
Allen Reisner (Sr., Iowa)
Luke Stocker (Sr., Tennessee)
D.J. Williams (Sr., Arkansas)
What's interesting about contrasting the two lists in how many names pop off the firts list and don't pop off the second one. Of course, of course, the first is wide receivers and the second is tight ends. But whereas Green, Jefferey, and Jones are all universally considered first-round talents and players like Blackmon, Broyles, Salas, and White are all putting together flatly ridiculous statistical seasons (oh, and Cobb is only leading the nation in all-purpose yardage, and incredible talents like Michael Floyd and Jeff Maehl didn't make it), the tight ends are ... well, they're around. The No. 1 TE in receiving yardage is Egnew, followed by Green, and neither is exactly a household name. The early draft projections don't feature any of the tight ends listed above ... or any at all.
It's probably a one-year fluke. But as with the lack of workhorse running backs among the nation's top offensive skill players , it also speaks to how dominant the spread offense has become in college football. There just aren't as many traditional tight ends playing college football ... and it appears to be having an impact on the quality of the position overall.
Tags: A.J. Green, Alabama, Aldrick Robinson, Allen Reisner, Alshon Jeffery, Arkansas, Biletnikoff Award, D.J. Williams, Daniel Hardy, George Bryan, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Jeff Fuller, Jordan White, Julio Jones, Justin Blackmon, Kentucky, Ladarius Green, Lance Kendricks, Louisiana, Luke Stocker, Mackey Award, Michael Egnew, Missouri, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Randall Cobb, Ryan Broyles, SMU. Greg Salas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Western Michigan, Wisconsin
Posted on: November 13, 2010 11:06 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
1. South Carolina and Auburn will battle for the SEC title in Atlanta. It's official, even though the game is three weeks away, we know that no matter what happens from here on out, South Carolina and Auburn are headed to Atlanta to square off for the SEC Championship. It'll be the first time since 2004 that the game didn't feature Florida, Alabama or LSU. Coincidentally, that's also the last time Auburn played in the game, beating Tennessee 38-28.
2. Sources tell me Cam Newton is still awesome. Distractions? What the hell is a distraction? Cam Newton sure didn't play like a kid who spent the last week dealing with the media circus surrounding his NCAA investigation. Newton finished the day with 299 total yards and four touchdowns during Auburn's 49-31 win over Georgia.
3. I worry about Marcus Lattimore's future. Listen, I totally understand why Steve Spurrier and South Carolina choose to ride Lattimore's back. The kid is a beast, and he completely changes the Gamecocks offense. Still, when I see him get 41 carries on Saturday night -- along with 38 against Georgia earlier this season -- I do worry that he'll be worn out by the end of his college career. We've all seen in the past at places like Wisconsin what happens to running backs who carry the ball hundreds of times in their college career when they get to the NFL. I just hope Lattimore doesn't suffer the same fate.
4. The Cam Newton Saga seemed to have a bigger effect on Mississippi State. Newton played like Cam Newton against Georgia, but Mississippi State played like a team that should have coughed up the dough on Saturday night. Sure, Alabama -- a ticked off Alabama team at that -- had a lot to do with it, but the Bulldogs didn't look very good in their 30-10 loss.
5. Tennessee has its quarterback. Who would have thought back in September or early October that Tennessee would have a chance to go bowling this season? I certainly didn't, but thanks to the continued rise of Tyler Bray and his back tattoo, the Vols have played incredibly well the last few weeks. Bray threw for 323 yards and 3 touchdowns as Tennessee destroyed Ole Miss 52-14. Now, if the Vols can manage to win their last two games against Vanderbilt and Kentucky -- which isn't all that crazy -- they'll finish the season 6-6 and be bowl eligible.
6. Florida's offense is still terrible. Listen, you may have been fooled by seeing Florida score 41 points against Vanderbilt last week, and some pollsters might have been as well, but I wasn't. An offense that has struggled all season did so again on Saturday night, managing a paltry 226 yards and 14 points against a Gamecocks defense that gave up 24 points to Tennessee, and 31 to Kentucky. If Steve Addazzio survives this season, then somebody is going to burn Gainesville to the ground.
Posted on: November 13, 2010 8:57 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
When looking at the score at halftime in Gainesville. you'd see South Carolina is up 15-7 on Florida and think that it's a tight, evenly-contested game. You'd be wrong. It may be one of the most misleading scores of the season, as South Carolina has just about dominated this one from the 14:46 mark of the first quarter on.
Things started out as well as Florida can hope, with Andre DeBose taking the opening kick back 99 yards for a touchdown. The problem is, Florida's offense has only been able to manage 51 yards of its own since. Three-and-out after three-and-out has been the offensive gameplan for Florida, and it's drawn some boos from the home crowd already.
The good news for Florida is that, although South Carolina has put up 209 yards of offense, it's only managed to score one touchdown and three field goals. Still, the Gamecocks have dominated time of possession, holding on to the ball for nearly 22 of the game's first 30 minutes. Marcus Lattimore has already carried the ball 21 times for 89 yards and a touchdown.
Which means that Florida better figure out a way to stop him, or just hope he dies of exhaustion at some point in the fourth quarter.
Posted on: November 13, 2010 12:22 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. It's definitely fall these days, and the wind will be whipping across the heartland. All times are Eastern.
No. 13 Iowa at Northwestern , 12:00, Evanston, IL: Mid 50s, scattered showers
Indiana at No. 6 Wisconsin , 12:00, Madison, WI: Low 50s, scattered showers
Kansas State at No. 20 Missouri , 12:30, Columbia, MO: Mid 40s, cloudy, windy
No. 15 Utah at Notre Dame, 2:30 , South Bend, IN: Low 60s, scattered thunderstorms
No. 16 Virginia Tech at North Carolina , 3:30, Chapel Hill, NC: Mid 60s, clear
Penn State at No. 8 Ohio State , 3:30, Columbus, OH: Upper 60s, partly cloudy
Georgia at No. 2 Auburn , 3:30, Auburn, AL: Low 70s, clear
Texas Tech at No. 19 Oklahoma , 3:30, Norman, OK: Mid 50s, partly cloudy, windy
San Diego State at No. 3 TCU , 4:00, Ft. Worth, TX: Mid 50s, partly cloudy, windy
No. 23 Texas A&M at Baylor , 7:00, Waco, TX: Upper 40s, clear, breezy
No. 22 South Carolina at No. 24 Florida , 7:15, Gainesville, FL: Upper 50s, clear
No. 17 Mississippi State at No. 11 Alabama , 7:15, Tuscaloosa, AL: Upper 50s, scattered showers
USC at No. 18 Arizona , 8:00, Tucson, AZ: Upper 60s, clear
Late night kickoffs
No. 21 Nevada at Fresno State , 10:15, Fresno, CA: Mid 50s, clear, breezy
Tags: Alabama, Arizona, Auburn, Baylor, Big 12, Big Ten, Florida, Fresno State, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Kickoff Weather, Mississippi State, Missouri, MWC, Nevada, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Pac-10, Penn State, San Diego State, SEC, South Carolina, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, WAC, Wisconsin
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 10, 2010 2:28 pm
Photo by Jerry Hinnen
One of the consistent knocks about Steve Spurrier 's coaching, going all the way back to his days rotating Noah Brindise and Doug Johnson on every snap at Florida , is that he's never made much of an effort to build the confidence of his quarterbacks. In fact, he's often seemed to make more of an effort to undermine that confidence, yanking them after minor errors and telling the press -- repeatedly -- that they could be benched at any time.
But at least he's limited that undermining to football-related matters. He'd never stoop to saying his quarterbacks off-field opinions were substandard, right? He'd never tell the world that, say, the statements of current South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia should simply be ignored as the ravings of an idiot?
He might :
Later, a reporter asked Spurrier if it was true – as quarterback Stephen Garcia said – that this game was the biggest in South Carolina history.So it's OK to listen to him ... some of the time? Or when he's not speaking?
What's really funny is that it's the opinion of this blogger that Garcia is correct, or very close to it. The Gamecocks don't have the most sterling football history (it was 1995 before they won their first bowl game) and in the 18 years since they left independence behind for the SEC , they've never had a better opportunity to finally earn a trip to the league championship game or a conference title. If winning this year's SEC East would be the biggest accomplishment in the football program's history -- and George Rogers ' Heisman and a 1969 ACC title seem to be just about the only serious contenders for that title -- then isn't this week's Florida tilt the biggest game in program history, almost by definition? If it's not, it's certainly on the shortlist.
It's understandable that Spurrier doesn't want to drive up the stakes for what loosk to be a difficult road win any further than he has to. But when it comes to getting an accurate portrayal of how much this game means to his program, listening to his quarterback looks like the right move.
HT: GTP .
Posted on: November 9, 2010 12:53 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
In yet another edition of the Cam Newton saga, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs has released a statement regarding the ongoing drama surrounding the Tigers' star quarterback.
“In the past 24 hours, a lot of allegations have surfaced that date back two years ago and further. These allegations and rumors about Cam Newton are unfortunate and sad because they seem intent on tearing down the reputation of a young man who has done everything we’ve asked him to do. Cam has been and continues to be completely honest with us.
"Cam is, by all accounts, a great kid. Any discussion of academic records is a clear violation of federal privacy laws. We will not go down that path or stoop to that level as others have apparently done. We will, however, emphatically say that Cam is eligible to play football at Auburn University both academically and athletically. I am proud of this young man and the progress he has made to be a better football player and a better man. We are truly blessed that Cam is a part of the Auburn family, and we support him 100 percent.”
And we thought the mud-slinging would be done in early November. Cam being honest with Auburn is the news-worthy piece of the statement. We all learned in the dealing with Dez Bryant and Deion Sanders that the "powers that be" in college football dislike nothing more than dishonesty during investigations. If Newton has come forward to Auburn with all the facts (that he knows), than he cannot be expected to do any more for the university. Well, that is not completely true. He could continue to boost the program's worth by making the first-strings in "the best defensive conference in the nation" look like scout teams, and any hardware he collects wouldn't hurt either.
The comments in the second paragraph about "violation of federal privacy laws" and "stoop to that level as others have apparently done" provide some tasty material in the war of words between Auburn and Florida. Clearly Jacobs is referencing the allegations that the source of the Newton leak have come from within Florida's camp, specifically tied to head coach Urban Meyer. With South Carolina's loss to Arkansas on Saturday, Florida has moved into a tie for first-place in the SEC East. The Gators could likely see Newton and the Tigers in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. After all this controversy, we can only hope it comes to that. Right?
Posted on: November 8, 2010 1:27 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
In any other year, having a 4-3 record in the SEC would have you bound for the Chik-Fil-A or Gator Bowl, but not this year. No, in 2010, thanks to an SEC East division gone ham, 4-3 is good enough to have you playing for a division title. Which is exactly where Florida finds itself this week, as its game against South Carolina in The Swamp this weekend is for a trip to Atlanta and the SEC Championship.
The Swamp hasn't been as kind to the Gators this season, as Florida is only 3-2 at home, and 1-2 against SEC opponents. So in other words, there's just something missing from The Swamp's ecosystem, and Urban Meyer has figured out what that is. The Swamp NEEDS MORE BLUE.
"I've never really done this, but I want to make this the most intense stadium in the history of Florida football this Saturday," said the coach on his weekly television show. "This is for the SEC Championship.
"Get there early. I want everybody to wear blue — head to toe — including our players."
Yes, we all saw how well the Black Out at Rice-Eccles Stadium worked for Utah against TCU, so surely this is exactly what the Gators need to take care of the Gamecocks and get to Atlanta. I would think that a better option for the Gators would be to kidnap Marcus Lattimore, or have a few cases of Icehouse delivered to Stephen Garcia on Friday night.
Or, if that goes against Urban's moral compass, I guess he could call the New York Times and tell them that Steve Spurrier paid $200,000 for Lattimore.