Tag:LSU
Posted on: October 6, 2009 3:29 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2009 3:45 pm
 

National notes

Don’t believe that excessive celebrations are going away.

Secretary-editor of the NCAA rules committee Rodgers Redding told me Tuesday that he will continue to push for a rule that would penalize players for excessive celebrations on their way to a touchdown. That’s right, points could be taken off the board if, say, a player shows a defender the ball on his way to the end zone.

“I’m assuming it’s going to come up,” Redding said of February’s next rules committee meeting. “If not, I’ll bring it up.”

The possibility of such a rule came up last February when the rules committee released a statement on sportsmanship. I’ve been asked several times this week if officials will go lighter in such situations after A.J. Green’s gestures were misinterpreted on Saturday in the Georgia-LSU game.

The statement should tell you all you need to know. The flags are going to keep flying on these judgment calls.

The good news is that beginning this year, rules are changed only in two-year cycles. The earliest we could see a score be “voided”, as the rules committee puts it, is 2011.

Redding is also the SEC supervisor of officials who said Monday that the penalty against Green should not have been called.

 What tragic, tragic news that Juice Williams is being benched this week at Illinois.

This is a guy who led the Illini to the Rose Bowl two years ago. He has never been the same since. Blame it on losing his offensive coordinator (Mike Locksley, now at New Mexico). Blame it on Ron Zook. It’s clear something has happened to one of the more likeable kids in college sports. Now the pressure is on Zook whose team is out of the Big Ten race. 

“He never was a very good passer,” one former coach said of Williams. “Even when he throws it to the right guy it’s not in good body position. The receiver is reaching behind him.

When Illinois went to the Rose Bowl the same coach said, “they had Rashard Mendenhall who could run the ball. Juice Williams could run the ball, but he was only an average passer.” Now without a legitimate running threat, it was easier for defenses to concentrate on Williams.

The senior will be on the bench when the Illini, 1-3, host Michigan State, ending a streak of 38 consecutive starts. Williams holds the school record for career total yardage.

 Things don't look good for Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli who missed practice on Monday and Tuesday because of a right knee injury.

Masoli got hurt in the second quarter  of what was a glorified scrimmage against Washington State. Now squarely in the Pac-10 race, coach Chip Kelly might have to turn to backup Nate Costa or sophomore Darron Thomas. Not good news with a trip to UCLA coming. The Bruins are expected to get back quarterback Kevin Prince from a broken jaw.

Masoli has been wearing a knee brace and is listed as day-to-day.

Posted on: October 5, 2009 11:19 am
 

Heisman Watch

The right-now, no-hype, no-b.s., not-what-they-did last year Heisman rankings for this week ...

1. Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame:
The Irish's magic man just keeps winning games (except for Michigan). Magic? Irish? Yes, those two words have linked in the past. The nation's most efficient passer (12 tds, two picks) gets two weeks to get ready for USC.

2. Jacory Harris, Miami: All the sudden there is national championship talk because of Jacory's right arm.

3. Tony Pike, Cincinnati: The Bearcats have a defense too!

4. Tim Tebow, Florida: Can the Gators win without him at LSU?

5. Chad Jones, LSU: Twenty-three tackles, two picks and a threat as a punt returner.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 4, 2009 9:42 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2009 9:43 pm
 

Thoughts on a football Saturday

It’s becoming apparent that Notre Dame has to beat USC in two weeks to go to a BCS bowl. I told you in Sunday’s story how lowly regarded ND is in the polls.

Here’s why: It has plenty of competition. Notre Dame is currently one of 30 one-loss teams in Division I-A. Twenty-three of the other 29 teams are from BCS leagues. Ten of the 29 are ranked. Six of those 10 have a victory over a ranked team. That's something Notre Dame doesn't have.

That means ND is one of 20 one-loss teams in I-A that are unranked. it is in a group with the likes of Boston College, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Baylor, Texas A&M, Michigan, Pittsburgh, UConn, Rutgers, West Virginia, Stanford and UCLA. Four of those teams are left on ND’s schedule – BC, Pittsburgh, UConn and Stanford.

Given that the Irish play only one more team that is currently ranked (USC), the Oct. 17 game becomes make-or-break for a BCS bowl the way I see it. It’s 11-1 or bust. The pollsters and computers simply won’t get ND high enough at 10-2 because of the quality of the remaining schedule.

 Oklahoma has lost a pair of games by a point in the same season twice. Both have come in the last four years – 2006 and 2009 following Saturday's 21-20 loss to Miami. That followed a 14-13 opening-night loss to BYU.

In 2006, OU lost to both Oregon and Boise State by a point. In its history, OU has lost 299 games. Only 18 have come by a single point. That’s a one-point loss for every 16 losses. Since Sept. 16, 2006, four of the Sooners’ last 10 losses have come by one point.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops had lost 26 games. Four have been by one point and two have been by two points.

  Which way LSU? All we can say is the that Tigers are still undefeated after sneaking out of Athens with a 20-13 victory over Georgia. Charles Scott’s game-winning 33-yard run with 46 seconds left was set up by A.J. Green’s excessive celebration penalty. You’ll read more about that from Tony Barnhart on Tuesday. My take? That kind of penalty should never decide a game. This one did.

“It was a want-to run,” said Scott who had been struggling this season. “I ran mad.”

He better run madder with Florida coming to town. I’ve trotted this out a bunch of times, but the winner of LSU-Florida has won the national championship in the last three seasons.

 All that stuff about USC slipping in the Pac-10? Maybe not. The 30-3 win at Cal re-positions the Trojans for BCS bowl No. 8 in a row.

 Anyone want to take a stab at the Florida State mess? One of the most trusted and knowledgeable beat writers in the South says it’s time for Bobby to go. For most of the BC game, it looked like Bobby Bowden had lost his team. Down 21-6, the Seminoles rallied to tie, only to lose late 28-21. That marks FSU’s first 0-2 start in the ACC. It is 2-3 for the first time since 1976.

--In the battle of point guards, Syracuse’s Greg Paulus had more turnovers (five interceptions) than South Florida’s B.J. Daniels. The former Duke guard lost to the current South Florida guard (they’re both quarterbacks, by the way) 34-20.

 Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor threw for a career-high 327 yards against Duke. Yes, you read that right.

 Stanford, 4-1, is off to its best start since 1995.

 Minnesota mascot Goldy Gopher stuck it to Wisconsin fans by wearing a Brett Favre jersey during the Badgers’ 31-28 victory in Minneapolis. Let’s hope Goldy is not on scholarship because that would be a waste of good polyester.

 

Posted on: October 3, 2009 7:57 pm
 

The luck of the Irish and other storylines...

Someone please tell me I didn't see Robert Hughes' knee touch on that Notre Dame two-point conversion.

Someone please tell me the replay officials didn't even think to review it.

Someone please tell me that wasn't the difference in the game aka, the luck of the Irish in South Bend.

If you haven't seen it, you will. Hughes is the Notre Dame running back who "scored" on a two-point conversion run to make it 30-27 Irish over Washington with 1:20 left. Washington then drove down and kicked what should have been the game-winning field goal with 11 seconds left. Because of the supposed officiating glitch, the field goal only tied it.

Notre Dame won in overtime 37-30 to keep its season alive.

Hughes scored on a straight run up the middle. It was one of those deals where he kept churning his feet and the mob moved toward the goal line. But the replays seem to show Hughes' knee touching before he crosses the goal line.

Washington can make as big a deal as it wants out of this. ND is either the luckiest team in the country or destined for greatness. It has no defense to speak of. Jake Locker was great most of the game, but had one dropped in overtime that would have given the Huskies a first down on third and 19 from the ND 34.

Notre Dame (4-1) is either a last-second loss at Michigan from being undefeated or a three plays from being 1-4. Remember Michigan State and Purdue?

In other action today the top of the Big Ten looks strange with both Wisconsin and Iowa undefeated. Yes, that suddenly is a huge game two weeks from now -- Hawkeyes at Badgers. But first, Iowa goes to Ohio State and Michigan goes to Iowa next week.

Wow, it's suddenly fun to follow the Big Ten again.

Stanford is the first 3-0 team in the Pac-10 (4-1 overall) after beating UCLA.

LSU set up its showdown with Florida by squeaking out a 20-13 win at Georgia. Dawg fans no doubt will be all over the coordinators again but I don't know if Georgia could have played any harder. Charles Scott came out of a season-long funk to score the game winner on a long run.

Nice Oct. 10 looming. Alabama at Ole Miss while LSU is at Florida in a, gulp, night game. The last time the teams played in Baton Rouge, there were 50,000 people outside Tiger Stadium without tickets whooping it up. I'm going to have to leave on Tuesday to get to B.R. on time.

Watch for me on CBS College Sports next Saturday from Tiger Town.

Now it's on to Oklahoma-Miami.

Posted on: September 30, 2009 11:14 am
Edited on: September 30, 2009 8:10 pm
 

National notes 1/4 of the way through the season

The best of September

Who would have thought by the end of the month …: USC would lose to Washington a week after a heart-stopping, game-winning drive at Ohio State? [Ok, maybe by now there are a few of you.] … Unranked the preseason, the Big East would have two marquee teams – Cincinnati and South Florida … Houston would have the best Big 12 record [2-0 after beating Oklahoma State and Texas Tech] … Two Heisman winners would be knocked out of games … NC State’s Russell Wilson would have a career touchdown-to-interception ratio of 29-1 … Auburn’s Chris Todd would lead the SEC in touchdown passes [11] … Not that the SEC would have three teams in the top 10 in total defense but the Pac-10 would have two … The only three teams yet to allow a touchdown pass would be winless Eastern Michigan, undefeated South Florida and USC [3-1].

Coach of the month: Oregon’s Chip Kelly. On the night of September 3, his world was falling apart. LeGarrette Blount threw a punch and almost started a riot after Oregon looked punchless losing its season opener to Boise State.

Almost four weeks later, the Ducks might be the team to beat in the Pac-10. They have won three in a row, two over ranked teams and have a new lean-on tailback in redshirt freshman LaMichael James.

Team of the month: Miami. Playing September schedule in the country, the Hurricanes beat two ranked teams [Florida State, Georgia Tech] and showed signs of being its old self. Losing to Oklahoma this week wouldn’t be a disgrace. Coming out its death march 2-2 could be a jumping off point for an ACC title.

Also considered: Texas A&M, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Florida, Stanford, UCLA, Idaho.

Player of the month: [tie] You’re gagging on this by now but Florida would not not undefeated with Tim Tebow. His 24 rushes for 76 yards against Tennessee on Sept. 19 were the difference.

LSU safety Chad Jones is this season’s Charles Woodson. Against Mississippi State on Saturday, he single-handedly stopped Tyson Lee on back-to-back plays inches from the goal line. He also provided the eventual game-winning 93-yard punt return for a touchdown.

Worst conference: Based on previous accomplishments, it’s the MAC. The nation’s largest conference [13 teams] has only one team with a winning record coming out of September. [Central Michigan, 3-1]. The league is 13-29 in the non-conference, 7-27 against I-A competition and 3-19 against BCS conferences.

Best conference: SEC by a hair. The Big 12 has six ranked teams vs. the SEC’s four. But the SEC is 23-2 in the non-conference, a national best 6-2 against BCS conferences.

If you think the SEC has padded its schedule with I-AA teams, actually only the Sun Belt and Pac-10 have played fewer games against “inferior” competition. The SEC is 5-0 against I-AAs. The Big 12 is 9-0. Almost a third of its non-cons have come against I-AAs.

Best trend: Smaller offensive linemen. Boise has been doing it for a while but the Broncos are soaring toward a BCS berth with a line that averages 285 pounds. Remember those hog mollies at Michigan? They weigh in at a svelte average of 295 under Rich Rod who likes ‘em lighter and lively.

Worst trend: This month it had to be the coaches’ poll. It went into the season not exactly on the same page with the BCS commissioners. As long as the coaches are going to go completely  underground [hiding all their ballots] beginning in 2010, the possibility exists that the poll will be jettisoned from the BCS process next year.

As for now …

Steve Spurrier gave us a glimpse of his voting habits in July when he admitted that his football ops guy had filled out his preason all-SEC ballot. That caused a huge stir when Spurrier/ops guy didn’t make Tebow a unanimous choice. Spurrier/ops guy picked Ole Miss’ Jevan Snead but was allowed to change to Tebow after it became an issue.

Following convincing wins by No. 3 Alabama and No. 2 Texas on Sept. 19, Florida got all the first-place votes [55] for the first time this season after struggling to beat unranked Tennessee.

Then, there was this week. What a mess. 

No. 12 Oklahoma State is ranked three spots ahead of Houston, which beat the Cowboys by 10.

Cal, which just lost to Oregon by 39, is ranked seven spots ahead of the Ducks.

Penn State had beaten doggies Syracuse, Akron and Temple. After losing at home to Iowa it is No. 13, four spots ahead of the unbeaten Hawkeyes.

Keep it coming, fellas, can’t wait to see how this effects the BCS standings.

Team schizo: Florida State. Do you have to have it explained?

Say goodbye to:  BYU [in the BCS], Al Groh, Ralph Friedgen, Steve Kragthorpe.

Posted on: September 27, 2009 7:06 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2009 7:07 pm
 

Thoughts on a football Saturday

That was a heck of a Heisman race wasn’t it?

Sam Bradford trying to go back-to-back. Tim Tebow trying to win his second stiff-arm. Now what? The only thing that links them at the moment is the memory of splitting headaches. The Heisman race is not over with damage suffered by both superstars, the race will have concussions as a subtext.

Bradford suffered his a couple of years ago against Texas Tech. It was more than painful. The subsequent loss to the Red Raiders knocked OU out of the national championship race.

Florida was able to survive Saturday against Kentucky, 41-7, but it lost its leader and most inspirational player to a concussion.

These things never go away meaning that once you suffer a concussion you are incrementally more likely to get another, and another, and another. Ask Troy Aikman who had to retire because of them.

Superman finally showed he is vulnerable. We never thought we’d see it. The thing is, the college football season is still linked to Bradford and Tebow. If Tebow hurts his head again, it’s curtains for the Gators. Their offense already is reduced with the loss of Louis Murphy and Percy Harvin. Oklahoma may get Bradford back this week from his separated shoulder.

Only Texas’ Colt McCoy remains fully healthy from the preseason Three Amigos storyline. Bradford hopes to return against Miami, which would be a good sign. He absolutely has to be ready by Oct. 17. Despite the loss to BYU, everything is still on the line with the Texas game looming that day.

Tebow spent part of the night throwing up into a trash bag. His, and the Gators’ future, a bit cloudier.

 Kentucky’s Rich Brooks on Taylor Wyndham, the kid who hit Tebow:

“I just told him that these things happen in football and you can’t feel responsible. What you did is make a clean football play. I don’t feel any better about it myself.”

Brooks knows a little bit about concussions and quarterbacks. In 1995 he was head coach of the St. Louis Rams. The team got off to a hot start but quarterback Chris Miller suffered a concussion. The Rams finished 7-9.

“That,” Brooks said, “was the beginning of the end.”

Dick Vermeil took over in 1997.

 Chip Kelly clinched the coach of the year award – for September.

OK, that doesn’t quite make sense but remember where Oregon was at the beginning of this month? LeGarrette Blount was punching out the opposition and teammates. The public and media were screaming for his head.

They got it, but which way were the Ducks headed? Up, it turns out. In Saturday’s 42-3 victory over pretender Cal, Oregon set itself up as the next-best team in the Pac-10. A challenger, maybe, to USC’s death grip on the conference.

But back to Kelly. He somehow held the team together after it lost its best running back, then pointed the Ducks back on the field. They followed the Boise State – which doesn’t look that bad by the way – with wins over Purdue, Utah and Cal. The last two teams were ranked.

The Ducks now have a personality – and it’s a good one. Nick Aliotti’s defense held Heisman pretender/contender Jahvid Best to 55 yards on 16 carries. Jeremiah Masoli, slammed by fans recently, completed 21 of 25. Blount even contributed playing Best last week on the scout team.

For once Oregon’s throwback jerseys didn’t make you throw up. They were kind of cool. So is Kelly who has Oregon in the thick of the conference race four games into his head coaching career. The intense little coach is a mix of schemes and desire.

Asked before the game how his team could possibly knock off powerful Cal, he responded:

"They've got to knock us off.”

 It’s 1967 and counting for Indiana. A soul-crushing 36-33 loss to Michigan means the Hoosiers haven’t won in The Big House since Sgt. Peppers.

• What are we to make of Ralph Friedgen? His time at Maryland is coming to an agonizing end. The thing is, coach-in-waiting James Franklin doesn’t exactly look like the answer. Fear the Future. Rutgers stomped the Terps 34-13. Maryland now has more turnovers [13] than touchdowns [11] this season.

 Fire up fireronzook.com. Ohio State destroyed Illinois 30-0 in a rematch of the Illini’s epic 2007 upset at The Shoe. This one was epic only in the way Illinois has slumped since then. The Buckeyes churned to a 13-0 halftime lead Saturday without completing a pass.

Preseason All-American receiver Arrelious Benn of Illinois has one receiving touchdown in his last 11 games, none this season.
 
“It’s like a nightmare,” Illini quarterback Juice Williams said, “a nightmare from which you can’t ever wake up.”

 Auburn quarterbacks combined for 1,985 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Through four games this season, Chris Todd alone has 1,012 yards passing and 11 touchdowns.

 The right-now, no-hype, no-b.s., not-what-they-did last year Heisman rankings for this week:

1. Chad Jones, LSU: I told you Saturday it’s time they establish a new award in this kid’s name [The Chad]. All the Tigers safety did was stop Mississippi State twice from the one-inch line with the game on the line. Oh, and did I mention the College World Series star also scored the eventual game-winning touchdown on a 93-yard punt return?

2. Tim Tebow, Florida: Superman finally blinked. After almost four years of pounding, it seems that Tebow’s body wore down just a little bit with what seems to be a concussion. Still, he piled up more than 220 yards in total offense in less than three quarters.

3. Colt McCoy, Texas: It was only Texas-El Paso, but McCoy stayed red hot throwing for three touchdowns.

4. Tony Pike, Cincinnati: The shining reason why the Big East matters this year. Cincinnati is unbeaten because Pike has developed into a top flight quarterback.

5. Case Keenum, Houston: 38 of 58 and the game-winning touchdown [rushing] vs. Texas Tech. What can’t this kid do?

 

Posted on: September 26, 2009 11:59 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2009 8:19 am
 

The latest on Tebow from his father

Tim Tebow is "Ok" according to a text sent to CBSSports.com by his father late Saturday.

Bob Tebow texted, "He is OK," after repeated requests about his son's condition. Tebow was taken to a local hospital after being hit Saturday night during a 41-7 victory at Kentucky. Earlier a source told CBSSports.com that Tebow as "laughing and joking" and should be OK after showing concussion-like symptoms.

Tim Tebow was being held overnight for observation. Further reports stated that a CT scan showed no bleeding on the brain and that Tebow had suffered what was termed "a bad concussion."

Coach Urban Meyer intimated after the game that his star had a concussion after being hit by defensive end Taylor Wyndham. The back of Tebow's head then bounded off a teammate's knee. Tebow was seen on camera vomiting into a bag while being taken off the field, possibly a sign of a concussion.

It is known that after after an initial concussion, victims are more susceptible to concussions thereafter. Tebow has been one of the most resilient players in the country. In the last two games alone, Tebow has carried a combined 40 times.

The concern now is for Tebow's future. He, along with three teammates, flew late to Lexington because was what was described as a respiratory condition. Tebow didn't play like he was sick accounting for 226 yards in total offense before leaving.

Tebow will not have to be ready until Oct. 10 when Florida travels to LSU. The Gators have a bye week on Oct. 3.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Florida, Kentucky, LSU
 
Posted on: September 26, 2009 4:58 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2009 5:05 pm
 

The Chad and FSU

The Chad. That’s what you have to call it. Sounds cooler than Heisman.

That’s the name of the new award named after the LSU defensive back. You won’t read it anywhere but here. There has to be some piece of hardware named after him, after what Chad Jones did Saturday in Starkville, Miss.

If you missed it, the story didn’t start on Saturday. Jones is a modern-day Jim Thorpe. He was leading LSU in hitting [as in baseball] when spring practice beckoned. When Jones returned, he switched from outfield to reliever becoming a situational lefthander on what was eventually LSU’s national championship team.

Football? Preseason all-SEC. Some thought All-American. Both of those labels should be attached after Saturday. Jones, a junior, made the three biggest plays of LSU’s 30-26 victory over Mississippi State. On third and goal from the LSU 1, he knocked down Tyson Lee’s pass to a wide-open receiver. On fourth-and-1, he came in and cleaned up on Lee, stopping the quarterback just inches from the goal line.

While the Tigers were exposed defensively all day by the Bulldogs, they survived. Oh, and did I mention that Jones also had the eventual game-winning 93-yard punt return. For now, he shoots to the top of my Heisman list.

Or make that, The Chad list.

 Elsewhere, how schizo is Florida State?

It beats a top 10 team one week [BYU], then it loses to a Matt Grothe-less South Florida at home. The Bulls made just enough plays to win 17-7 with replacement quarterback B.J. Daniels.

What hurts more, losing recruiting mojo to in-state South Florida or getting punked by a home boy? Daniels, from Tallahassee, was lightly recruited by the Noles. On Saturday, he became the first opposing quarterback to run for more than 100 yards against the Seminoles in 13 years.
 
Get back to us FSU when you decide what you want to be. Two-and-two coming out of September is definitely not it.

As one Warchant.com message boarder put it: This is one of those days when I'm just going to sit outside and fish and drink myself stupid, only some cold Coors Lights will help me out today...
 

 

 

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