Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Jim Harbaugh
Posted on: November 5, 2010 8:45 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2010 8:51 pm
 

Insane Predictions, Week 10

Posted by 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 1995 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 Baylor would ride a huge performance by Robert Griffin to upset Texas OH WAIT JERRY HINNEN NAILED THAT. 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. As you can tell.

Highly Unlikely

Missouri finds itself in some trouble during the second half of their game against Texas Tech.  It seems Tommy Tuberville finally has things working on both offense and defense as the Red Raiders hold a 10-6 lead midway through the third quarter.  It's Missouri ball when Blaine Gabbert finally has the Missouri offense moving for the first time all day.  Then, facing a first and 10 at the Tech 17-yard line, a blitzing linebacker comes free on Gabbert's blindside and levels him. Gabbert coughs up the ball, it's scooped up by the Raiders, and taken back for a touchdown.  Gabbert gets happy feet for the rest of the game, short-arms every pass at his receivers' feet, and Mizzou never recovers.  Texas Tech goes on to win 20-13. -- Tom Fornelli

Severely Unlikely

Hawaii, feeling unusually frisky after beating Army and thumping Fresno State and Utah State all on the mainland, comes out for their game at Boise State wearing black leather Mad Max-inspired "(Road) Warriors" uniforms, complete with body armor and small spikes on their helmets. As a result, their pregame haka comes across as even more threatening and unnerving than usual, and the rattled Broncos wind up mostly standing around and watching as Bryant Moniz and Greg Salas connect for four first-half touchdowns and a 28-10 (Road) Warrior lead. Unfortunately, at halftime the officials convene and after a close perusal of the rulebook, declare Hawaii's uniforms totally illegal. The (Road) Warriors are told to either change uniforms or forfeit the game. They opt to simply go without uniforms, taking the field in pads, shirts, shorts, and cleats. The Broncos, unfortunately (for them), are nearly as unnerved by this as the Mad Max look, and fall behind 42-13 before a furious rally falls short, 42-41, handing Boise their first loss on the blue turf since, somewhat ironically, the last year Mel Gibson was considered cool. -- Jerry Hinnen

Well That's Just Absurd

Illinois storms into the Big House and Ron Zook continues his Zooker Redemption Tour with a 45-10 shellacking of the Michigan Wolverines. A wearied Rich Rodriguez answers a few questions at his post-game news conference before a familiar face stands up to ask a question. Why, it's Michigan athletic director David Brandon! Much to the annoyance of the collected media personnel, Brandon lobs a softball by asking Rodriguez to comment on his recent exoneration by the NCAA, which RichRod dutifully answers with the usual vague but positive coachspeak. At that point, Brandon responds that he doesn't actually care about the report, and that Rodriguez is fired, effective as of five minutes ago. RichRod exhales for the first time in three years. Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson is installed as interim head coach, but only so Brandon can have the pleasure of firing a coach and his successor in the same day; Robinson's tenure at Michigan ends seconds after it begins. Brandon then announces Jim Harbaugh as the next Michigan football head coach ... which comes as a total surprise to Harbaugh, who must then face the awkward task of declining the offer on account of his Stanford team's season not being even close to over. USC coach Lane Kiffin volunteers for the job instead, surprising nobody, and promises at his hiring the next day to "stay in North Arbor for years. That's what the 'N' in 'N. Arbor' means, right? North?" Michigan fans strain to avoid crying in public. -- Adam Jacobi

Posted on: November 5, 2010 4:25 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 10

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.

Breakfast

Main Course - #19 Oklahoma State vs. #22 Baylor - 12:30pm - FSN

I don't believe it.  After weeks of barren morning slate after barren morning slate, we actually get a matchup of two ranked teams this Saturday morning.  Surely my complaints have finally been heard and answered by the college football gods.

Granted, a game between Baylor and Oklahoma State doesn't usually carry such cache, but this should turn out to be a very fun way to start your Saturday, and chock full of calories otherwise known as points.  Just do the math.

Both teams have high-powered offenses ranked in the top ten nationally, and both teams have defenses ranked in the lower third of the country.  Which means it's going to look like a tennis match watching Robert Griffin and Brandon Weeden lead their teams back-and-forth down the field.  If the prospect of possibly seeing 100 points scored doesn't do it for you, then I just don't know what I can do for you.

Side Orders:
There's quite a bit of mediocre Big Ten fare on Saturday morning as the conference's power teams beat up on the nerds and goth kids, but one Big Ten game that may deserve your attention is Michigan and Illinois.   The Illini are one of those teams that is a lot better than you think they are, as they're 5-3 and all three of those losses have been close contests against teams currently ranked in the top 15.  Though I suppose you might want to tune in to see Florida destroy Vanderbilt, or see how much money Chattanooga offers Cam Newton to stop running over them.

Lunch

Main Course -#6 Utah vs. #4 TCU - 3:30pm - CBS College Sports

For years, many a college football fan has clamored for a playoff to determine the national championship.  We're not exactly close to getting one, but if ever there was a game that may as well be considered a playoff game, this is it.  Oh, and it also features two teams who happen to be ranked in the top 5 in the BCS right now.

Those games don't come along very often in the regular season.

Whichever team wins this game basically assures itself a BCS bid, and strengthens its case to play for the title once the year is over.  Plus, considering that Utah is bound for the Pac-12 and TCU may be heading east, this may be the last time we get to see these "mid-majors" square off during the regular season.

So take the time on Saturday to figure out where CBS College Sports is on your cable system and enjoy this one.

Side Orders: Now you all have CBS, so if you're not into that whole Mountain West thing, you could always turn to the mothership and watch Alabama take on LSU.   The winner remains alive for the SEC title, and the loser is done.  Oh, and you can watch the game while chatting with yours truly over on our Facebook page.   Football and Tom Fornelli making smart-assed remarks to your honest questions?  What gets better than that?  Certainly not Oregon disemboweling a Jake Locker-less Washington team, or Penn State and Northwestern duking it out for fourth place in the Big Ten.

Dinner

Main Course - #10 Stanford vs. #13 Arizona - 8pm - ABC

Stanford's chances to win the Pac-10 are somewhat slim at this point considering its already a game behind Oregon, and that its sole conference loss is to Oregon, but hopes are not dead yet.  However, if they lose to Arizona on Saturday night they are.  The same can be said for the Wildcats, who trail Oregon by a game as well but still get to travel to Eugene at the end of the month. 

If Arizona loses this one, it's in the same boat as Stanford, and we may as well crown the Ducks champions on Sunday morning.

The good news for Arizona is that it won't need to rely on its backup quarterback as Nick Foles is expected to return, which means we get a matchup of two of the best quarterbacks in the Pac-10 as Foles squares off with Andrew "Jim Harbaugh's Other Wife" Luck.

Side Orders: There are some other nice choices on Saturday night if you prefer to try something else.  South Carolina looks to keep its lead in the SEC East against the cannon of Ryan Mallett and Arkansas.   Missouri will also look to keep its BCS hopes alive when it travels to Texas Tech, and I suppose you could tune in to see if Texas can lose yet again against Kansas State.

Late Night Snack

Not much to dine on late this week, though if you're desperate for more football at the end of the night, you can tune in to see if Lane Kiffin can distract Matt Barkley a few more times against Arizona State.   If nothing else, you might get some awesome Ace of Base action, and who doesn't want more Ace of Base in their beautiful life?
Posted on: November 3, 2010 2:05 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:06 pm
 

Minnesota is shooting for the stars

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Halloween was four days ago, but it seems that Minnesota refuses to take off it's costume.  It decided to dress up as a big-time football program this year, and go from coach's door to coach's door offering each one the opportunity to take over for Tim Brewster.

So far in the Minnesota coaching search we've heard some big names.  Guys like Tony Dungy, Mike Leach and Phillip Fulmer have all been mentioned as possible targets for the Gophers.  Well, while it is somewhat delusional for Minnesota to think that it's the type of school that a coach would view as a step forward in their career, the Gophers want you to know that we've only seen the beginning of their delusions.

According to a report in the Pioneer Press, the Gophers have three other targets atop their list.

At least the University of Minnesota is shooting high in its quest for a new football coach.

A little birdie says the Gophers have targeted, in order of priority, Boise State's Chris Petersen, Stanford's Jim Harbaugh and Texas Christian's Gary Patterson to replace the fired Tim Brewster.

It seems unlikely any of the trio would leave what he has built for a gigantic rebuilding challenge at Minnesota.
Look, everyone!  Minnesota thinks it's people!

Seriously, while I admire Minnesota shooting for the stars in its search for a new coach, who exactly is it trying to kid here?  Chris Petersen is at a program like Boise State that doesn't seem to have much in its way to a BCS bowl game every season, and if he chose to leave Idaho, he'd have his choice of just about any program in the country with an opening.

Why would he choose Minnesota?

Then you have Jim Harbaugh, who might be looking to leave Stanford for a job in the Big Ten, but that job is in Ann Arbor, not Minneapolis.

Gary Patterson is in much the same boat as Peterson, but it's possible that TCU could be moving to the Big East in the future, which would basically be a guaranteed trip to a BCS game every season as well.  Plus, Minnesota considered Patterson before hiring Brewster, and he wasn't all that interested then, so why would he be now?

I get why Minnesota is going this route.  First of all, you never really know.  If they drive up to one of these coaches homes with a Brinks truck full of cash, someone might just say yes.  It also looks good to the fan base that the school can say they tried to land the big name coach.

But it's not going to happen.

Posted on: October 22, 2010 5:51 pm
 

Jacobi's Insane Predictions, Week 8

Posted by Adam Jacobi

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 1995 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 South Carolina would fail to score a point in the second half against Kentucky a week after knocking off the Tide? 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.

Highly Unlikely

Washington State, a team that's deceptively frisky even at 1-6, picks off an unsuspecting Stanford team after Andrew Luck blows his knee out in the first half. Despondent at the loss of the game and their quarterback, Stanford drops its last five games and stays home for bowl season. Wazzu, on the other hand, uh ... OK, the Cougars lose the rest of their games too. They're still not very good. After the Cardinal finishes off its six-game losing streak with a loss to Oregon State, head coach Jim Harbaugh tells reporters, "Eh. No big deal. It's just, we win or we lose, whatever. Winning is pretty overrated."

Severely Unlikely

Iowa State blows the doors off the Texas Longhorns in the first half, racing out to a 28-0 lead before hanging on for a 28-27 victory in Austin. In the ISU locker room, head coach Paul Rhoads tells his charges, "I AM SO PROUD TO BE YOUR FOOTBALL COACH," before quarterback Austen Arnaud reminds Rhoads, "Yes, we know. You told us that last year." Which Rhoads did, in fact, after the Cyclones' 9-7 win at Nebraska. Rhoads attempts the save with a "I'm still proud to be your coach," but even he knows the moment's pretty much over. The rest of the day is a pretty subdued affair for the Cyclones. Also, DKR is burned to the ground by rioting Texas fans.

Completely Preposterous

Oregon loses its game against UCLA. By forfeit. Yes, that would be confusing, since the two teams already played on Thursday and Oregon dropped 60 on the poor Bruins' defense. However, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly commits the fatal error of "filling out his scorecard incorrectly" after Rick Neuheisel claims the zero in 60 looks like another six. With Phil Mickelson acting as guest commissioner of the Pac-10 , Oregon has no choice but to forfeit the entire game. Really, the main point here is that golf is stupid. Never watch golf. The end.

Posted on: October 20, 2010 12:11 pm
 

Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck sitting in a tree

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There isn't much question that Jim Harbaugh has been a great head coach for Stanford, helping turn the program into a legitimate contender in the Pac-10.  The coach, who dreams of being Jack Bauer from time to time, also is very quick to praise his players.  In the past he's said members of his team were the kind of guy he'd want his daughter to marry.

Which is a nice thing to say, but there's another level of praise he saves for his best players.  Guys like Andrew Luck, who might be good enough to marry his daughter, but from the sounds of it, Harbaugh would rather have Luck marry him.

“I was thinking just the other night about this,” Harbaugh told reporters during the Pac-10 coaches' conference call on Tuesday . “Two people in my life, my wife and our quarterback, Andrew Luck, have a lot in common.

“They are just both perfect.  With most people you say, ‘If they only didn’t do that or do this,’ or you wish they could do this or do that. But I don’t do that with my wife Sarah or with Andrew Luck. They are both just absolutely perfect the way they are.

“For a football coach that’s pretty great, to have a great wife and a great quarterback.”

Which is an awfully nice thing of Harbaugh to say about both his wife and his quarterback, though I'm sure Luck will hear about this from teammates at some point.  I'm also pretty sure Sarah will have some words for Jim about comparing her to his quarterback.
Posted on: October 18, 2010 10:40 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 4:37 am
 

Midseason Report: Pac-10

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The Midseason Report separates the contenders from the pretenders in each conference race, and in the Pac-10, that means cleanly separating its top half from its bottom half ... and wondering if anyone can catch Oregon. Here's what's happened so far and what might happen down the stretch.

1. Oregon (6-0, 3-0) - Jeremiwho Masoli? The Ducks missed the memo that the offseason dismissal of their starting quarterback spelled the end of any national title hopes, blazing to six straight wins by an average margin of 38 points. That’s been good enough to make them the consensus No. 1 team in the polls entering the second half of the season, and for Chip Kelly to confirm (again) that no one has a better offensive mind or more talent for coaching dual-threat quarterbacks. First-year starter Darron Thomas has racked up more than 1,400 total yards in leading the Ducks to the current No. 1 ranking in total offense. But even Thomas can go overlooked next to tailback and Heisman candidate LaMichael James , the nation’s No. 1 rusher at 170 yards per-game. The Duck onslaught has overwhelmed every team unlucky enough to face it so far, including previously undefeated Stanford , who gave up 49 points in the final three quarters and lost by three full scores at Autzen. Don’t pencil the Ducks in for a national title bout just yet, though; they were outgained by 226 yards in their only serious road test to date, at Arizona State , and still have to visit three dangerous teams in USC , Cal , and Oregon State . Where the Pac-10 title is concerned, however, it’ll be a shocker if it winds up anywhere but Eugene.

2. Stanford (5-1, 2-1) - Not many coaches can claim to have done a better job over the past few seasons than Kelly, but Jim Harbaugh might be one of them. His stunning reclamation project in Palo Alto has only picked up speed in 2010 as behind potential No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck (1,538 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, 65.7 completion percentage), the Cardinal haven’t missed a beat without departed Heisman runner-up Toby Gerhart. UCLA was embarrassed 35-0, Notre Dame bludgeoned 37-14. and USC out-shot 37-35. The 73rd-ranked rush defense could stand to find more consistency, but with Arizona and Oregon State both coming to Stanford Stadium, the Cardinal could nonetheless be favored in their final six games. 10 or even 11 wins are within reach ... though with Oregon holding the head-to-head tiebreaker, it'll take some major help to reach Pasadena.

3. Arizona (5-1, 2-1)
- The Pac-10 has the Wildcats to thank for the conference’s most impressive non-league win to-date, the wire-to-wire 34-27 win over otherwise-undefeated No. 13 Iowa . But Arizona hasn’t been nearly as impressive in conference play, escaping Cal 10-9 on a last-minute touchdown, losing at home to Oregon State 29-27, and sleepwalking past hapless Washington State 24-7. Quarterback Nick Foles has been outstanding, completing better than 75 percent of his passes and averaging 267 yards a game. But now Foles is due to miss three weeks with a knee injury, and the ‘Cats haven’t been able to get key senior running back Nic Grigsby (340 yards this season) on track. With road trips to Stanford and Oregon still to come, Mike Stoops will have to recapture the magic of the Iowa game in a hurry to keep the Wildcats a factor in the Pac-10 race.

4. Oregon State (3-3, 2-1) - Give the Beavers this: no one in the country has played a more difficult schedule. There’s no shame in losing competitive games on the road at top-5 outfits like TCU and Boise State, and not a whole lot in being a two-point conversion away from a thrilling win at Washington . But there’s not that much respect in being only .500, either, even with a big road win at Arizona. And with James Rodgers out for the season, it’s worth asking if the Beavers have enough offensive firepower to hang with anyone in their brutal USC-Stanford-Oregon closing stretch. Still, Mike Riley 's teams usually improve as the season progresses, and quarterback Ryan Katz has shown flashes of brilliance (most notably in the 390 yard upset in Tucson). The Beavers will still have their say in how the Pac-10 ultimately plays out. They always do.

5. USC (5-2, 2-2) - Maybe we should include Washington in this space. After all, the Huskies both beat the Trojans at the Coliseum and stand a half-game ahead of USC in the Pac-10 standings. But it’s hard to take a team that’s lost to a flatly terrible BYU squad and Arizona State (at home!) all that seriously. The Trojans, on the other hand, are two field goals -- one Washington’s, one Stanford’s, both on the final play of the game -- away from being undefeated. And the way Matt Barkley is throwing the ball these days (742 yards, 8 touchdowns, no interceptions the last two weeks) and freshman Robert Woods is catching it (19 receptions, 340 yards, 5 touchdowns those same two weeks), it’s safe to call Lane Kiffin ’s team the one in the Pac-10 that no one would want to play. Just ask Cal. Then again: how dangerous can the Trojans really be if Monte Kiffin ’s 90th-ranked defense doesn’t stop allowing the occasional 500-yard game? USC could upset Oregon in L.A. and enter the final week of the season in contention for a championship, or they could be mathematically eliminated in another two weeks. Anything is possible here.

Prediction: Sorry, Ducks fans: the guess here is that Oregon won't become the first Pac-10 team other than USC to advance to the BCS championship game. Even the best offenses can have off-games on the road, and that defense -- which was gouged for 600 yards in Tempe and another 518 against Stanford -- isn't going to be able to take up the slack. Whether at Los Angeles, Berkeley, or Corvallis, Oregon is due to trip up somewhere.

But they won't trip up twice, which means that they'll still be able to settle for a second straight Pac-10 championship and Rose Bowl berth. Stanford will crack double-digit wins, but it won't be enough, and perhaps maybe not even enough to push the race into the season's final week.

Everyone else? Three conference losses at the minimum, though USC will end the season with a ton of momentum and the consensus honor of being the league's third-best team.



Posted on: September 25, 2010 7:26 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 7:29 pm
 

Stanford keeps on rolling under Harbaugh

Posted by Tom Fornelli

For the first time in the school's history the Stanford Cardinal beat Notre Dame for the second consecutive year, ending their seven-game losing streak in South Bend in the process.  Stanford didn't have much trouble in their 37-14 thumping of the Irish on Saturday, in fact, the Cardinal were their own worst enemy at times.

Andrew Luck didn't have his best game of the season, completing only 59% of his passes for 238 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, but he did help lead the Cardinal to 404 yards of total offense.  Considering the three turnovers and lack of execution at times inside Notre Dame territory, the 37 points Stanford managed to put on the board were quite impressive.

Had they played mistake free football they could have easily maintained the 51.7 points per game average they had heading into the contest.

Also the fact that Stanford can look this good even when not playing at its best is a testament to the type of team Jim Harbaugh has put together in Palo Alto.  With the way this Stanford team has played in all facets of the game through four weeks there is no reason not to consider them a legitimate threat to win the Pac-10 this year.

Yes, Oregon and USC still remain in the way -- in fact, they're Stanford's next two opponents -- but neither of those teams will be taking Stanford lightly when they face the Cardinal.  This 2010 team is likely the best one Harbaugh has had since taking over the program.  He has another bonafide Heisman candidate in Luck, and though he has a tendency to do things that get under his opponents' skin, you can't argue with the results he's had so far.

Results he'll be looking to improve on the next two weeks.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 22, 2010 4:25 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2010 4:26 pm
 

Harbaugh playing coy on Whalen's status

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Jim Harbaugh and the Stanford Cardinal are off to an impressive start to their season, winning their first three games by a combined score of 155-41 and have the third-highest scoring average (51.7 points per game for those of you too lazy to do the math) in the country.  The Cardinal have a good chance to start the season 4-0 as they get ready to head to South Bend to take on Notre Dame this Saturday.

Though they may be without wide receiver Ryan Whalen, who has led the team in receiving the last two years.  Whalen dislocated his elbow during Saturday night's complete dismantling of Wake Forest and his coach certainly doesn't plan on telling us whether or not Whalen will play against the Irish.
"As soon as I tell you you're going to tell Notre Dame," Harbaugh said at his weekly news conference.

Why does it matter?


"I'd want to know about the status of every player on their team, what percent they are, how many plays they are going to play. That's valuable information," Harbaugh said.
Well Harbaugh may not want to tell Notre Dame what Whalen's status is, but nobody is forcing me to keep my mouth shut.  The kid dislocated his elbow.   I've never had the honor of doing that myself, but I'm guessing it's not the type of injury one can just come back from in a matter of days.  He's not going to play.

There.  Now Notre Dame knows.  Sorry, coach.

The truth is that even if Whalen is somehow ready to play on Saturday, there isn't that much reason to play him.  Going into Notre Dame Stadium and coming away with a victory is never easy, but Stanford can -- and should -- win without Whalen.  They still have Andrew Luck, and he has other targets to throw to in Doug Baldwin and Stepfan Taylor.

Giving Whalen a week off to recover is the best route to take with a trip to Autzen Stadium to face Oregon looming after Notre Dame.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com