Posted on: October 5, 2009 1:17 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2009 2:16 pm 120 -- Boston College

Before the season started, things didn't look too promising for Boston College.

First-year coach Frank Spaziani was taking over a program that had just lost another ACC Championship and the Music City Bowl to Vanderbilt.

Things got worse in a hurry. The Eagles got news in May that All-American linebacker Mark Herzlich was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Then in June, Dominique Davis, who was expected to be the starter at quarterback, was placed on academic probation and ended up transferring to Fort Scott Community College.

But after one month into the season, the Eagles are a surprising 4-1, including victories over Wake Forest and Florida State. They are inching closer to the Top 25, moving up to No. 35 in this week's 120 rankings.

One of the biggest surprises is the new man under center, freshman Dave Shinskie.

Before you can say "Who?" … that would be 25-year-old freshman Dave Shinskie, the same guy who was recruited by Indiana, Iowa and Michigan State ... in 2003.

Shinskie decided to play pro baseball out of high school after being drafted by the Minnesota Twins. He never made it past Double-A, with his best season coming with the Class A Beloit Snappers in 2006. He went 6-7 with a 2.13 ERA and 11 saves.

After being released by the Blue Jays, Shinskie was ready to give college football a shot.

After Justin Tuggle's 4-for-20, three interception performance against Clemson, Shinskie got his chance to start against Wake Forest. He ended up throwing for 228 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.

Boston College had found their new quarterback.

"He confirmed a lot of the stuff we knew about him. We knew he had athletic ability. We knew he could make plays. We knew when we got into trouble he could get us out of it because of his athletic skills," said Spaziani after the game. "He didn't look like he was away from football for seven years."

Shinskie did it again against Florida State, throwing for 203 yards and two touchdowns in the 28-21 victory.

"He's progressing just like a freshman would. He's making some progress, but in no means is he a polished, accomplished signal caller and field general. There's just not enough experience," said head coach Frank Spaziani to the Boston Herald. "But once again, he's getting better every week, he's learning and we see improvement there. We need to see a lot more."

Shinskie will need to follow coach's orders quickly as the Eagles face Virginia Tech this weekend. This might end up being a preview of the potential ACC Championship game in December.

One player that has high regards for his new inexperienced quarterback is wide receiver Justin Jarvis.

"In the huddle I can feel a different presence," said Jarvis. "It's a little similar to what I felt with Matt Ryan and Chris Crane. It's leadership. ... He's demanding a lot out of us and demanding a lot out of himself too."

Idaho, Part II

With another upset victory, the Idaho Vandals find themselves at No. 50 in this week's rankings. Idaho, who was ranked No. 105 two weeks ago, is sitting at 4-1.

The had a Q/A with head coach Robb Akey after the team's hot start. Could Idaho fans be thinking bowl game?

"I could see the room when we were at the WAC (media) meetings and I started throwing out the word 'bowl,' it was like 'what the hell is he talking about?' But we started talking about that a long time ago with this team and encouraged them to pay attention to us," said Akey. "We kind of hammered it home 'this is where we're headed guys and the sooner you believe in it, we can make it happen.' I do believe it's attainable, and compete for a WAC championship? That's our job. Every team in the conference should be feeling that way right now. My concern is that our guys feel that way. We're getting closer."


The Wildcats might not be making alot of noise, but they sit at 3-1, ranked No. 37 in this week's rankings. Arizona is also No. 35 in both AP and Coaches poll, while checking it at No. 37 in the Harris Poll.

Arizona's strength of schedule is No. 2, mostly because it hasn't played a team with a losing record yet (minus FCS team Northern Arizona). It beat Central Michigan, Oregon State and lost to Iowa. The Wildcats get their first team under .500 this week as they play at Washington.

Fresno State's SOS is No. 1. Not counting FCS team UC-Davis, the Bulldogs have lost to Wisconsin, Boise State and Cincinnati. All three teams are undefeated.


... Michigan State jumped up from No. 61 to No. 44 after beating Michigan. The Spartans are 2-3 and play at Illinois this week.

... North Carolina took a tumble to No. 55 after being ranked No. 33 the previous week. The Tar Heels lost to Virginia 16-3 and are 0-2 in the ACC.

... Somebody will get a W: No. 114 Florida International (0-4) takes on No. 120 Western Kentucky (0-4) this week. The Golden Panthers won last year 27-3.

... Good news for the blog lead feature? Auburn and Wisconsin were both featured in the blog the two previous weeks and soon after jumped into the Top 25.


Posted on: September 28, 2009 1:40 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2009 1:44 pm 120 -- Wisconsin moving up

The folks in Madison are getting excited.

That's because Wisconsin is one of three Big Ten teams off to a 4-0 start (Iowa and Michigan being the other) after beating Michigan State 38-30 on Saturday.

The Badgers moved up from No. 41 to No. 31 in the latest 120, one of the largest jumps of the week.

Garrett Graham scored two touchdowns against Michigan State. (Getty)For a team that was projected to finish fifth or sixth in the conference, the Badgers are enjoying their early season success.

"I'm not worried about rankings," coach Bret Bielema said to the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel. "I'm just worried about getting better ... If it gets us ranked, it gets us ranked. If not, we'll just go on and do our business."

And doing business is exactly what they are doing.

One of the biggest reasons for the team's early success is quarterback Scott Tolzien.

The junior, who never started a game before this season and threw only eight passes in college, is ranked 13th in the nation in passing efficiency. To put it in perspective, Kansas' Todd Reesing is 27th, Texas' Colt McCoy is 29th, Penn State's Daryll Clark is 54th and Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor is 57th.

Tolzien is 66-of-99 for 884 yards with eight touchdowns and only two interceptions. He has spread the ball around too as three players have at least 200 yards receiving.

"I love how smart he is, he's making the right decisions, the right looks and knows when to throw it away when he has too," said offensive lineman Peter Konz. "It's really comforting knowing as an offensive lineman that you're not going to have to go chase anybody down for an interception or he's going to scramble, and you might let up a sack."

Wisconsin is playing close games, but this season is winning them. Three of their four wins have been decided by eight points or less. It opened the season beating Northern Illinois 28-20 and beat Fresno State 34-31 in overtime.

Last year the Badgers lost three key conference games by three points or less.

"This is not the same team from a year ago," Bielema said. "There's more accountability among the players. They've done things differently."

Things get real tough for Wisconsin the next three games as it plays at Minnesota (Oct. 3); at Ohio State (Oct. 10); and Iowa (Oct. 17).


The Vandals usually find themselves down in the 100-rankings, but have started the season at 3-1. Idaho jumped up from No. 105 to No. 83 this week after beating Northern Illinois.

Idaho has also beaten New Mexico State and San Diego State. Its only loss was to Washington. If the Vandals can keep it going, it might make grab one of the WAC's bowl bids. Idaho hasn't played in a bowl since 1998, when it beat Southern Miss in the Humanitarian Bowl.


Four non-BCS teams are ranked in the Top 25 with Boise State leading the way at No. 4. TCU is No. 9, Houston is No. 11 and BYU is No. 23. Utah just missed at No. 29. Central Michigan is 3-1 and at No. 46.

Nevada remains the highest-ranked team without a win, checking in at No. 89. The Wolf Pack has had a tough schedule, losing to Notre Dame, Colorado State and Missouri. Those three teams are combined for a 10-2 record.

Washington fell nine spots after jumping up to No. 36. After beating USC, the Huskies moved from No. 80 to No. 36, but fell back to No. 45 after losing to Stanford.

The lowest-ranked undefeated team is Texas A&M at No. 59. Despite going 3-0, the Aggies have the 118th-rated strength of schedule. They have beaten New Mexico (No. 106 and 0-4), Utah State (No. 114, 1-2) and UAB (No. 112, 1-3).

Posted on: September 21, 2009 12:53 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2009 3:26 pm 120 -- Auburn's improvement

While Miami (Fla.) and Michigan are grabbing headlines with their return to the Top 25 another team is quietly moving up the ranks.

With its 41-30 victory over West Virginia, Auburn improved to 3-0 and vaulted up the 120 rankings from No. 44 to No. 23.

"I think it is huge. No. 1 this was a really, really good football team," said Auburn coach Gene Chizik after the West Virginia game. "I wasn't sure exactly where we were at to be honest with you."

Ben Tate and Auburn are 3-0

The biggest reason for Auburn's success has been on offense.

The offense is ranked eighth in the nation in total yards and 11th in the nation, averaging 42.3 points per game. Quite a turnaround for a team that was 105th in total offense in 2008.

For the diehard fans of college football it should come as no surprise as offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is calling the plays. At Tulsa last year, Malzahn's offense was No. 1 in the NCAA. Even during his one-year stint at Arkansas, the Razorbacks won the SEC West, finishing at 10-4.

Quarterback Chris Todd has seen an immediate change under Malzahn. He has already thrown six touchdown passes in three games. Last year, he had five touchdowns and six interceptions while sharing time with Kodi Burns.

"When everyone buys in, it makes a huge difference," said running back Ben Tate. "We didn't have that last year. If you sit back and look at it, it's pretty much the same team from last year. We just have a different philosophy this year. Everybody believes in what we're doing. The coaches believe in us, and they're pushing us a lot harder."

It's still unsure how Auburn's new offense will work against the rest of the conference, but the Tigers will get their first test at Tennessee on Oct. 3.

But for now, sit back and enjoy the Malzahn show.

Colorado State

The Rams have also stormed up the rankings, sitting at No. 42 right now after being ranked No. 72 last week. The Rams are 3-0 for the first time in 15 years, beating Colorado, Weber State and Nevada.

A big reason is the defense. Last season the team was last in the nation in sacks and had just 22 turnovers. So far this season, Colorado State has seven sacks and 10 turnovers. Against Nevada, the Rams forced five.

"When you have confidence, you can go play fast and hard," defensive coordinator Larry Kerr said after the game. "What we added today was we played smart. We didn’t make dumb mistakes. We kept ourselves in the right position against a very talented offense."

Things do start to get tougher for Colorado State as the Rams play at BYU this weekend.


Six SEC teams are ranked in the Top 25, including four in the Top 8 (No. 1 -- Florida; No. 3 -- Alabama; No. 6 -- Mississippi; No. 8 -- LSU). The second-most is the ACC -- (No. 11 Miami; No. 14 Virginia Tech; No. 22 North Carolina and No. 25 Florida State).


... Washington had the biggest leap, moving from No. 80 to No. 36 after beating Southern California.

... Nevada had the biggest fall, falling to 0-2 after losing to Colorado State. The Wolf Pack fell from No. 50 to No. 74. Northwestern had the second-biggest fall, dropping from No. 52 to No. 71 after losing to Syracuse.

... First win of the season? Three winless teams get to play FCS teams this week. No. 115 Utah State faces Southern Utah; No. 114 Tulane plays McNeese State and No. 107 San Jose State takes on Cal-Poly. If any of those teams lose, they will be on "going winless" watch for the rest of the season. Speaking of playing FCS teams, No. 120 Western Kentucky lost to Central Arkansas 28-7.

... Miami's strength of schedule is ranked No. 1 according to It shouldn't come as any surprise as the Hurricanes have played Florida State and Georgia Tech the first two games. It also has Virginia Tech this weekend and Oklahoma next weekend.

... South Florida's SOS is ranked No. 120. The Bulls have played FCS teams Wofford, Charleston Southern and Sun Belt member Western Kentucky, which is easily the worst schedule in the nation. Things to get tougher as the Bulls play at Florida State this weekend.

Posted on: September 14, 2009 1:21 pm -- Colorado's fall

"10 wins and no excuses."

That was the prediction from Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins at the beginning of the season.

My how things have changed in just two games.

Colorado, which lost to Toledo this week to drop to 0-2, has fallen all the way down to No. 101 in the 120 rankings.

"It's great people want us to win. All I can do is what I can do. We're going to have supporters. We're going to have detractors," said Hawkins, who is in his fourth season at Colorado. "I can't control what people think, nor am I willing. I know this: Inside our program we're doing things right."

Can things get any worse?

You bet.

The Buffaloes host Wyoming this week, but then have back-to-back road trips at West Virginia and Texas. They still have to play Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma State this year too.

"We're frustrated, Dan's frustrated and our fans our frustrated as well," Colorado Athletic Director Mike Bohn said to the New York Times on Saturday. "Again, I think that's why the competitive resolve of our entire constituency base is going to be important for us to battle through this."

Hawkins owns a 13-26 record now at Colorado and only one bowl appearance. His best season was in 2007 when the Buffaloes went 6-7, losing to Alabama in the Independence Bowl.

But Hawkins might not be going anywhere. reported the school's total liability could approach $3 million under the terms of the deal if any partial year was prorated in a buyout.

And the athletic department remains in debt with the majority of an $8 million loan from the campus in 2006 still to be paid off. Part of that debt was caused when Gary Barnett was fired at the end of the 2005 season and the school hired Hawkins.

"It's after the second game of the season and right now we're focused on creating an environment to get this turned around, and it starts with Wyoming," Bohn told the website following the Toledo game.

Colorado isn't the only big-name program struggling. Virginia is also 0-2 and ranked No. 102 in the 120. Syracuse is ranked No. 105 after losing to Minnesota and Penn State to start the year.

Virginia opened the season with a loss to William & Mary and then fell to TCU 30-14. The Horned Frogs sacked Virginia QB Jameel Sewell eight times, the most sacks the Cavaliers have given up since 1997.

"What do you think my thoughts are? It's disappointing. I definitely expected our offense to be further along than this," said senior offensive tackle Will Barker. "We've gotten off to a pretty slow start."

Jumping Up

While some teams were dropping down the rankings, some are moving up. Houston jumped 10 spots from No. 27 to No. 17 after beating Oklahoma State. The Cougars are 2-0, while Oklahoma State is 1-1, but for some reason, the Cougars are still behind the Cowboys in the AP and Coaches Polls. Houston isn't even ranked in the Coaches Poll.

Michigan also took a big leap, moving up from No. 50 to No. 22 after beating Notre Dame to improve to 2-0.


... The MAC has three schools ranked in the bottom four. Ball State is No. 117, Miami (Ohio) is No. 118 and Eastern Michigan is No. 119.

... The lowest-ranked undefeated team is SMU at No. 100. The Mustangs two wins are against Stephen F. Austin and UAB. The highest-ranked winless team is Nevada at No. 50. The Wolf Pack lost to Notre Dame in the opener, but was off this week. They play at Colorado State this weekend.

Posted on: September 2, 2009 12:07 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2009 12:20 pm

Pizza, Pizza !

So long Motor City Bowl, hello Pizza Bowl!

Bowl officials announced what had been a rumor for a few weeks now -- the Motor City Bowl will now be known as the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.

The bowl was looking for a new sponsor, considering old sponsors General Motors and Chrysler have reorganized under bankruptcy protection. So with Little Caesars' headquarters being in Detroit and the fourth-largest pizza chain marking their 50th anniversary, it was a natural fit.

"I’m a life-long sports fan," said Michael Ilitch, co-founder and chairman, Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. "This bowl is a great opportunity to provide a fun experience for families and college football fans, while supporting college athletics. And what food goes better with football than Little Caesars pizza?”

Everything else remains the same, the game is on Dec. 26 at 1 p.m. at Ford Field and will feature the MAC Champion vs. a team from the Big Ten.


Posted on: August 3, 2009 4:41 pm

A few surprises on O'Brien nominees list

The Davey O'Brien Foundation released its preseason list of 33 quarterbacks and it's no surprise that Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, Texas' Colt McCoy and Florida's Tim Tebow were among the nominees.

What I did find shocking though was the names of a few quarterbacks who are here based on potential. USC's Aaron Corp was 2 for 4 for 14 yards last season but is a nominee. Being the quarterbacks of the USC Trojans definitely has its privileges. So does being the Texas Tech quarterback. Taylor Potts finished last season 23-of-36, but the fact that he could end up throwing for 5,000 yards, he lands on this list.

According to the press release, the list focuses on a select group of quarterbacks who have demonstrated what members of the Selection Committee have recognized as tremendous preseason talent. The award focuses on accomplishments both on and off the field.

Where's East Carolina's Patrick Pinkney? He had a pretty good year last season and the Pirates are a favorite in C-USA. How about Arkansas State's Corey Leonard? He was preseason Sun Belt quarterback.
Semifinalists will be announced Oct. 26, finalist will be named Nov. 23 and the winner on Dec. 10. The O'Brien Selection Committee is asked to evaluate each candidate on the criteria of quarterback skills and athletic ability, academics, reputation as a team player, character, leadership and sportsmanship.
Here is the list:

Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, Jr.; Jarrett Brown, West Virginia, Sr.; Daryll Clark, Penn State, Sr.; Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame, Jr.; Aaron Corp, USC, Soph.; Robert Griffin, Baylor, Soph.; Matt Grothe, South Florida, Sr.; Max Hall, BYU., Sr.; Tim Hiller, Western Michigan, Sr.; Jordan Jefferson, LSU, Soph.; Colin Kaepernick, Nevada, Jr.; Case Keenum, Houston, Jr.; Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan, Sr.; Jake Locker, Washington, Jr.; Ryan Mallett, Arkansas, Soph.; Jeremiah Masoli, Oregon, Jr..

Colt McCoy, Texas, Sr.; Kellen Moore, Boise State, Soph.; Josh Nesbitt, Georgia Tech, Jr.; Tony Pike, Cincinnati, Sr.; Taylor Potts, Texas Tech, Jr.; Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State, Soph.; Todd Reesing, Kansas, Sr.; Kevin Riley, California, Jr.; Zac Robinson, Oklahoma State, Sr.; Riley Skinner, Wake Forest, Sr.; Rusty Smith, Florida Atlantic, Sr.; Jevan Snead, Ole Miss, Jr.; Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech, Jr.; Tim Tebow, Florida, Sr.; Adam Weber, Minnesota, Jr.; Juice Williams, Illinois, Sr.; Russell Wilson, North Carolina State, Soph.

Posted on: June 24, 2009 3:47 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2009 4:26 pm

Oregon's new uniforms -- Wings!

Here we go again ...

More new football uniforms from Oregon. I believe this is the 39th time Oregon has updated or changed their uniforms in the past decade. It's getting a little out of control.

The press release states:

Nike designers have made advancements from Oregon's last update in 2006, which featured uniforms that were more durable and 28-percent lighter than the previous generation. The latest editions have improved ergonomics and ventilation characteristics, and feature laminate numbering that does not soak up any moisture and has an 85-percent weight differential compared to traditional tackle twill.

Laminate anti-abrasion shoulder reinforcement, in the form of wings, takes the place of "diamond plate" on the current jersey, a 200-percent savings in weight differential between materials.

Translation -- No more tire tracks on the shoulders. The jerseys now have wings. (Get it, Ducks have wings.)

But my favorite part is Oregon now has 80 different combinations (jersey/pants/helmet) at their disposal. That's insane.

With most of the Oregon uniform changes, I think they are awful. Here are the pics for 2009. What do you think? 

Personally, I liked these uniforms back in the day.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Oregon
Posted on: April 29, 2009 6:36 pm
Edited on: May 1, 2009 2:45 pm

T-backs for Tebow

As if the ladies needed another reason to worship Tim Tebow ...

Fellas, time to order your girlfriend some Teebows. That's right, ladies can now wear underwear honored for Tim Tebow.

The thongs can be purchased in blue, orange or even half and half! You can get them at the official site -- for a small price of $6.00.

Beware of the girl supposedly modeling them on the site, because she doesn't look like she is wearing them!

Ok Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy fans, you're up. What do you have to stay in this race for most popular quarterback in college?

Bradford Bras?

Colt's Costumes?

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