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: October 1, 2010 2:42 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
It's been generally accepted fact since the revelations about North Carolina assistant John Blake and his monetary involvement with agents that Butch Davis is, in all likelihood, the most fired man in college football. Fired-er than Tim Brewster. Fired-er than Dan Hawkins*. FI. YERD.
All of that is apparently news to Davis' employers, however, who reiterated their support for Davis in an interview with the Daily Tarheel:
This type of talk goes far above the usual type of rhetoric involved in votes of confidence; Baddour and Winston are unequivocally handing the job to Davis, no more questions asked, for 2011 and beyond. There's no other way to interpret their quotes without assuming the administrators are being so deliberately misleading that a new football coach would have no reason to want to work for them.
So if Davis' job really is safe, in retrospect, it shouldn't be all that surprising; the LSU brass who came thisclose to hiring Davis twice over the last 11 years still talk fondly about him, even knowing what turmoil the UNC program was in at the time. So if Davis has this essentially universal support among administrators who've had the opportunity to interact with him, it stands to reason that he's got one more chance, and UNC wants him to have that chance in Chapel Hill. But man, if he (or any single one of his assistant coaches) messes up again, man...
*Doesn't "Brewster Davis Hawkins" sound like a competing ad agency to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce? Is that just me? Fine.
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:22 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2010 5:24 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
A few weeks ago, LSU head coach Les Miles had no plans of using cornerback Patrick Peterson anywhere other than on defense and to return kicks. After watching him fly up and down the field on special teams, Miles admitted that using him on offense would certainly be worth a consideration.
Now after seeing an arguably impotent offense limp off the field to a sea of boo's from the home crowd in Tiger Stadium, Miles is starting to reconsider the possibilities of using the athletic junior. All this week in practice Peterson has been taking snaps with the first team offense from a variety of different positions.
"Patrick Peterson has gotten some snaps on offense," Miles revealed Wednesday night after practice. "I don't know when he'll be ready, but there are some thought processes for him on offense."
Peterson ran a 4.3 40-yard dash in the spring, and has already returned nine punts for 253 yards and a pair of touchdowns, good for second best in the nation. The Shreveport Times also pointed out that the LSU has their own version of the Wildcat (Wild Tiger), and suggested that might be one place to utilize Peterson.
Regardless, if you have seen Peterson fly across the field this season you realize this is good news for football fans. He is an phenomenal talent and a thrill to watch. He carries that Devin Hester-type excitement where every time he touches the ball, you know there is a chance he could take it to the house.
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Posted on: September 28, 2010 11:05 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
As things currently stand LSU is tied with Auburn atop the SEC West with a conference record of 2-0, and Alabama sits behind both teams at 1-0. That doesn't mean that LSU doesn't have it's share of problems, though. First of all, LSU was 4-0 last season with a 2-0 start in conference as well before stumbling to the finish line with a 5-3 record in the SEC.
The problem last year was the offense, particularly the passing game, and not much has changed in 2010. The Tigers rank last in the SEC in both passing and passing efficiency, and are ranked 102 in total offense nationally. In their win against West Virginia on Saturday night seven of the team's 20 points came on a punt return. Another seven came on a touchdown after a WVU fumble left LSU with the ball at the Mountaineers 7-yard line. The Tigers also got a field goal after another West Virginia turnover left them with a short field.
In other words, LSU's best offense is its defense.
So after Les Miles put Jarrett Lee in for Jordan Jefferson for a series in the fourth quarter -- after Jefferson heard a fair share of boos from the home crowd -- people started wondering if a quarterback change might be in the Baton Rouge air.
Well there will be no change. Miles was asked if Jefferson would start against Tennessee this weekend and said "yeah."
"I have had quarterbacks not nearly as talented as either one of these two guys. ... It's an offensive issue. It's one that we need to make sure we correct collectively. ... I've had quarterback's that have not played well ... but they seemed to get better and I suspect this will happen again."
It is an offensive issue, and one that's directly tied to the quarterback. It's very hard for receivers to make plays when their quarterback is overthrowing them by ten yards on a regular basis, or just throwing the ball directly to the opposition. Jefferson finished the West Virginia game 10-of-22 for 75 yards and two interceptions.
So, yes, LSU does have offensive issues. They're called Jordan Jefferson.
Posted on: September 27, 2010 5:53 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 5:57 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
For the last four years, the winner of the SEC Championship game has gone on to compete and win the National Championship. With the conference play heating up and a rematch of Florida-Alabama ahead in Week 5, here is a breakdown of the division races in the SEC.
SEC EAST -- CONTENDERS
Florida Gators (4-0, 2-0)
So far...: The Gators got a slow start with a lot of questions after uninspiring victories over Miami and South Florida, but the last two games have shown a relentless defense and an offense that is beginning to find an identity. That identity is looking like it includes the multi-talented freshman quarterback Trey Burton, who scored six times (5 times rushing, once receiving) against Kentucky.
Toughest challenges ahead: October 2 - at Alabama; October 9 - vs. LSU; November 13 - vs. South Carolina
Outlook: The biggest game of the season for the Gators will be their visit to Tuscaloosa on Saturday. The rematch of the last two SEC Championship games has huge implications for both division races. If the Gators fall to the Tide, they will likely need to win the rest of their division games to ensure a trip back to Atlanta for the title game. An upset win over Alabama puts the Gators in the drivers seat for the title game, and likely would bring the Gators back into the national title discussion.
South Carolina Gamecocks (3-1, 1-1)
So far...: The Gamecocks burst on the scene with impressive victories and an improved offense that had Ol' Ball Coach running his mouth around the conference once again. Freshman running back Marcus Lattimore has proven to be a game-changing back already, and until the 35-27 loss to Auburn, quarterback Stephen Garcia finally looked ready for a true breakout season. Now the Gamecocks have a quarterback controversy on their hands, and their toughest challenges of the year left on the schedule.
Toughest challenges ahead: October 9 - vs. Alabama; November 6 - vs. Arkansas; November 13 - at Florida
Outlook: If they had been able to knock off Auburn on Saturday night, South Carolina would have been a frontrunner to knock Florida off its throne atop the SEC East. Unfortunately, the loss has put them in a can't-lose scenario if they want to get reach their first SEC Championship Game in school history. Looming dates against Alabama, Arkansas, and Florida in the Swamp will make it difficult to keep the loss column thin. If they can get pull off an upset or two and get some help from, they could enter the Florida game with a chance to steal the division.
Pretenders: Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia
SEC WEST -- CONTENDERS
Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0, 1-0)
So far...: Alabama left very little doubt on Saturday who is the best team in the nation. Being pushed up against the ropes on the road by a very talented Arkansas team, the defending champs battled back into the game and escaped Fayetteville with a victory. After being down 17-7 at halftime, the Alabama defense (which had not allowed a TD all season until that game) tormented Ryan Mallett and the Arkansas offense in the second half. Mallet was picked off three times and the Tide defense only allowed three points after halftime while Mark Ingram led the charge for Alabama to reclaim the lead and a win.
Toughest challenges ahead: October 2 - vs. Florida; October 9 - at South Carolina; November 6 - at LSU; November 26 - vs. Auburn
Outlook: The tests are far from done for Alabama, but thankfully the two most threatening opponents remaining on the schedule (Florida and Auburn) both have to travel to Tuscaloosa. After watching their performance on Saturday, it is hard to imagine many situations that don't involve Alabama back in the SEC Championship game. However, South Carolina and LSU are both talented teams playing in hostile territory and those games should not be taken lightly. If Auburn and Alabama don't slip, they could enter the Iron Bowl with the division title on the line.
Auburn Tigers (4-0, 2-0)
So far...: The Tigers are quickly becoming one of the darlings of the SEC. For the third week in a row, Auburn has been locked in a nationally televised nail-biter and emerged victorious. The 17-14 win over Mississippi State was not impressive by any means, but the overtime victory against Clemson and Saturday's upset of South Carolina have bumped the Tigers to No. 10 in the nation and now a relevant part of the SEC Championship discussion.
Toughest challenges ahead: October 16 - vs. Arkansas; October 23 - vs. LSU; November 26 - at Alabama
Outlook: Cam Newton has officially arrived as one of the premiere quarterbacks in college football this season, and as long as the 6-6 250 pound signal-caller is scoring five total touchdowns like he did against South Carolina, Auburn will always have a chance. The Tigers have the benefit of getting Arkansas and LSU at home, but this team cannot afford another performance like Mississippi State and expect to win. If they play to their potential, Auburn could find themselves heading into the Iron Bowl with a shot to return to the SEC title game for the first time since 2004.
LSU Tigers (4-0, 2-0)
So far...: LSU's defense has proven to be one of the best units in the nation. Their offense, on the other hand, is about as productive as a late Friday afternoon. With no good option at quarterback (Jarrett Lee is not a "good" option, just not as a bad) the Tigers have relied on their defense and return game to spring them out to an early No. 12 national ranking.
Toughest challenges ahead: October 9 - at Florida; October 23 - at Auburn; November 6 - vs. Alabama; November 27 - at Arkansas
Outlook: If the Bayou Bengals are for real, they will get a chance to prove it in October in their road games against Florida and Auburn. If LSU can take care of business away from Death Valley, they will make the November 6 show down with with Alabama a lot more interesting. It is hard to support a team with no offense as a conference title contender, but they have at least earned the right to be in the discussion.
Arkansas Razorbacks (3-1, 1-1)
So far...: Until halftime of Saturday's game against Alabama, Ryan Mallet looked like the best pro quarterback in college football, and the Razorbacks looked ready to have one of the most successful seasons in the programs history. Unfortunately, the second half unraveling has temporarily overshadowed Arkansas' impressive start.
Toughest challenges ahead: October 16 - at Auburn; November 6 - at South Carolina; November 27 - vs. LSU
Outlook: Arkansas had not played a truly challenging team before Alabama, so there is a lot left for this team to prove. The defense looked fired up and strong in the first half against the Tide, but it is unknown if they will be able to repeat the same performance on the road against a team like Auburn or South Carolina. The Razorbacks made for a good story, but it is hard to believe that Alabama's comeback did not break their spirits a little. Difficult to imagine that they will be able to reach that level of energy the rest of the season.
Pretenders: Mississippi State, Ole Miss
Posted on: September 26, 2010 12:35 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
LSU was able to move to 4-0 on the season with a 20-14 win over West Virginia on Saturday night in Baton Rouge, but they may have also picked up a quarterback controversy in the process. Make no mistake about it, LSU did not win because of anything Jordan Jefferson or the offense did, but more in spite of them.
The Tigers offense finished the game with only 229 yards of offense, with 125 of them coming via Stevan Ridley' s legs. Other than Ridley, there was a bit left to be desired.
Particularly with Jefferson, who finished the night 10 of 22 with 76 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. There were also a couple more passes that should have been picked off, and Jefferson heard plenty of boos from the home crowd before the game was over. In fact, in a key drive late in the fourth quarter, Les Miles put backup Jarrett Lee in for Jefferson.
A move Miles may want to consider making for the remainder of the 2010 season.
Saturday night marked the third consecutive game in which Jefferson did not throw a touchdown and he didn't inspire much confidence in the rest of his team. If it wasn't for a very strong LSU defense and the punt return stylings of one Patrick Peterson, this game would have turned out a bit differently.
LSU has a defense strong enough to win the SEC, it's just that with Jefferson starting at quarterback it's clear the offense isn't good enough to carry its share of the load. Giving Lee a shot next week -- at the very least a share of the snaps -- against Tennessee couldn't hurt.
Posted on: September 25, 2010 11:55 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. Conditions look ideal everywhere but Auburn and LSU. All times are Eastern.
Georgia Tech at North Carolina State, 12:00, Raleigh, NC: Lower 90s, partly cloudy
No. 16 Stanford at Notre Dame, 3:30, South Bend, IN: Lower 60s, partly cloudy, breezy
No. 1 Alabama at No. 10 Arkansas, 3:30, Little Rock, AR: Lower 80s, partly cloudy
No. 8 Oklahoma at Cincinnati, 6:00, Cincinnati, OH: Upper 60s, clear
No. 12 South Carolina at No. 17 Auburn, 7:45, Auburn, AL: Lower 80s/Upper 70s, scattered thunderstorms
No. 24 Oregon State at No. 3 Boise State, 8:00, Boise, ID: Mid 80s at kickoff, lower 70s by halftime, clear
No. 22 West Virginia at No. 15 LSU, 9:00, Baton Rouge, LA: Upper 70s, chance of thunderstorms
California at No. 14 Arizona, 10:00, Tucson, AZ: Mid 80s, clear
No. 5 Oregon at Arizona State, 10:30, Tempe, AZ: Lower 90s, clear
Posted on: September 20, 2010 7:26 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Big East is an automatic BCS-qualifying conference, and as one of the six "power" conference, they are afforded a certain amount of respect. Thus, we owe it to the conference and its members to begin this entry with a compliment. So here it goes: The Big East is three games over .500 against all competition this year.
And that's about it. Because even that lackluster 12-9 record among the eight Big East teams is misleading. For one, every single team is 1-0 against FCS competition. So, good news, Big East: if the conference as a whole were to be relegated tomorrow (unlikely as that may be), they'd be very good all of a sudden. Against the FBS, though, not so much; the Big East is 4-9 overall, which includes a 3-3 record against teams that aren't even in automatic-qualifier conferences. For example, Connecticut lost to Temple last week. By 14 points.
That brings us to the meat of the Big East's resume, and that's play against quality competition. It almost couldn't possibly be worse. The conference is 1-8 against BCS conference teams. Only West Virginia -- who beat a truly miserable Maryland team last Saturday -- has such a win under its belt. That, friends, is poor performance nonpareil.
If that's all going to change in the Big East's favor at all this season, it's going to have to be this weekend; Miami visits Pitt on Thursday, Oklahoma travels to Cincinnati, West Virginia is at LSU, and Rutgers hosts North Carolina. Four difficult -- but winnable -- games against high-profile competition. Among the four listed games, WhatIfSports.com only gives Pitt better than even odds to come away with a victory, so don't be terribly surprised if the conference can't break even against its "real" competition this weekend.
If there's one saving grace to all of this, it's that a conference is usually judged by its highest achievers. The SEC has always been able to rest its laurels on the members who would run through the conference undefeated, for example, because those teams almost always win their national championship games that await. Nobody would demean a conference that could produce a 14-0 Alabama team if that Crimson Tide runs through 14-0 Texas as happened last year, after all. So, West Virginia now has a similar opportunity. While we're not positive that even an undefeated Mountaineers team is guaranteed a BCS Championship berth, they will certainly face high competition during bowl season when that time comes (even if they drop a game between now and then). Win that matchup, and people will pay less and less attention to the cupcakes littering the Mountaineers' conference path.