Tag:Florida
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 10:44 pm
 

Tebow's condition

The college football season hangs in the balance.

If you don't think so then you didn't see Tim Tebow throwing up on national television. You didn't see him lying motionless on the floor of Commonwealth Stadium.

Urban Meyer said he thought Tebow might have a concussion after being being hit by Kentucky defensive end Taylor Wyndham and then having his head whiplash off a teammate's leg. The only saving grace is that Florida has a bye next week prior to the Oct. 10 game at LSU.

But if this is a concussion, who knows about lasting effects. I warned about running Tebow too much in last week's Tennessee column. I understand he wasn't running on the play he got injured on. Still, is this the way you want the season to turn, Superman getting injured? Tebow arrived on a different plane with Joe Haden and Major Wright after becoming sick prior to the game. I was surprised he was so effective and how bad Florida beat Kentucky.

The question every Gator has to start asking is: Can Florida win at LSU with Jonathan Brantley?

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Florida, Kentucky
 
Posted on: September 26, 2009 1:58 pm
 

Sick Gators

I don't want to say I told you so, but I told you so.

Wednesday's story suggested that the flu, while not an epidemic, could have a significant affect on the college football season. Florida will play Saturday night's game at Kentucky with at least three sick players who have flown in late. One of them is Tim Tebow.

If there is a position where the Gators can afford to lose a starter it's quarterback. Sounds weird but Jonathan Brantley is more than ready to start against the Wildcats. He has a beter arm than Tebow and as a pocket passer might actually cross up Kentucky defensively. You better believe the Cats have been game planning Tebow's runs all week.

I'd be more concerned with Major Wright and Joe Haden being under the weather. That's half of the best secondary in the country.

We're about to find out if half a Tebow is good enough to win.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Florida, Kentucky
 
Posted on: September 25, 2009 9:57 am
Edited on: September 25, 2009 11:57 am
 

Son of Weekend Watch List

There are different ways to "brand" a program. Lane Kiffin prefers to lob incendiary bombs from the podium. UCLA's Rick Neuheisel prefers to chip away at USC's stranglehold on Los Angeles with a ... helicopter. With its starting quarterback on the sidelines with a broken jaw, the Bruins are 3-0 during a bye week.

 The issue keeps coming up so we’ll just report this without comment:

Once again Boise State was accused of dirty hits, this time by Fresno State following Friday’s victory over the Bulldogs.

Fresno claimed hits by Boise State linebacker Aaron Tevis and nickel back Winston Venable crossed the line. WAC commissioner Karl Benson said that Venable’s hit on Fresno quarterback Ryan Colburn deserved a flag but that neither player would be disciplined by the league.

Check out this link where one unidentified Bronco says, “It’s not even a conference without us.” The growing feeling around the WAC is that Boise is getting special treatment because it is the league’s postseason cash cow.

“I know we’re not [dirty],” said Boise coach Chris Petersen whose team travels to Bowling Green. “I know these guys are just playing hard and I think anybody who has played football know how things can happen in a split second.”

 In digging for quotes and anecdotes we did find out that Houston's Case Keenum is frequently called “Chase”.

“I usually get that a lot,” he said before this week's game against Texas Tech. “But I figure if it’s going to go on paper you might as well get it right.”

Really, do you know any other people with the first name of Case? That’s short for Casey.

 “I guess like second grade there was another Casey in one of my classes. Instead of being called by my last name my mom said, ‘Why don’t you go by Case?’ I respond to both. It’s my formal name so it pops up every now and then.”

Chase is OK too, by the way. It’s the name of one of his best friends, former Rice quarterback Chase Clement who is now out of football. In their last meeting, each man threw for five touchdowns in Rice’s 56-42 victory. 

 Florida is understandably nervous about Tim Tebow.

The player is fine. People trying to make money off the player, not so much. The school recently sent a cease and desist letter to popular Gainesville restaurant Ballyhoo Grill.

For several months locals gossiped about “Treebow” an eight-foot tall oak sculpture outside Ballyhoo in the likeness of Tebow carrying the Heisman and wearing a Superman cape.

What made it a potential violation of NCAA amateur status rules is that Treebow wore No. 15. If it ever came to it, and it didn’t, the NCAA could rule that Ballyhoo was using Treebow to bring in business.

Folks, I was there a week ago and let’s just say Ballyhoo doesn’t need a shaven down oak tree to draw customers. The restaurant did comply, though, and changed Treebow’s number to seven.

Yes, that’s the number of former Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel but it’s also the number of current junior receiver Justin Williams. Guess it depends on how many Heismans you’ve won whether or not it’s an NCAA violation.

Posted on: September 23, 2009 5:30 pm
 

More reasons why the SEC is real, real good

The last time a major conference had three of the top four teams in the AP poll mutton chops and bell buttons were huge. And I mean that in the sense of size, not cool. I couldn't grow mutton chops back then but, anyway ...

That was in 1971 and the conference was the Big Eight. Nebraska was No. 1, followed by Oklahoma and Colorado. I had an old bumper stick that I kept for years from back then that read, "1 + 2 + 3=Big Eight" Get it?

Anyway, the SEC this week has No. 1 Florida, No. 3 Alabama and No. 4 Mississippi.

The SEC also leads the country in points per game (35) and rushing yards per game (204.5).
Posted on: September 20, 2009 6:55 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2009 7:10 pm
 

Thoughts on a football Saturday

The B.S. meter was off the charts this week. Let’s sweep away the pretenders …

 Please, no more “Is Nebraska back?” talk it actually beats someone.  Saturday’s 16-15 loss at Virginia Tech makes it 16 losses in a row on the road to top 20 teams. I don’t care if it was one point. I’m sure Bo Pelini isn’t reveling in the closeness of the final score.

You don’t let scatter-armed Tyrod Taylor loose long enough to complete an 80-yard pass that Dan Marino shouldn’t have been able to complete. It’s called situational defense, ‘Skers. You secondary lines up so it can’t be beaten over the top.

Check with us later Huskers, if you happen to win the Big 12 North. As for me, I’m checking out for now.

 B.S. also on BYU. How in the name of LaVell Edwards do the Cougars not show up in one of their biggest home games in years? It was the home opener, for gosh sakes, against a Florida State team that looked outmanned.

BYU just played itself out of the BCS championship and into the Las Vegas Bowl. Even if the Cougars run the table from here on in, voters would have to think long and hard about making this a BCS bowl team.

I mean, 54-28? Five turnovers. C’mon!

 B.S. on West Virginia which blew a 27-20 lead to Auburn, losing 41-30. Jarrett Brown threw four of the Mountaineer’s five interceptions. West Virginia committed four of their six turnovers in the fourth quarter.

 I’m also calling B.S. on Texas Tech which lost another road game to a ranked opponent.  The 34-24 loss to Texas came on the heels of last year’s blowout in Norman and the embarrassment in the Cotton Bowl.

Is it me or does The Pirate’s offense just not travel well?

 B.S., finally, on Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins. I know he’s an amateur and he’s just a kid and doesn’t deserve the abuse but …

Dude, that throw against Notre Dame? Only the 7-11 is open more than teammate Larry Caper was in the end zone. Cousins air-mailed a potential game-winning touchdown pass over Caper’s head. On the next play, Cousins tossed an interception at the Notre Dame 4 when all his team needed was a field goal.

The Spartans had won six in a row in South Bend. Now they’ve lost consecutive games by a combined five points.


Observation deck

Why do I get the feeling that Jimmy Clausen is going to make a heck of a run at the Heisman? He’s a gunslinger to begin with. With Notre Dame’s defense sure to give up points, Clausen and the offense are going to have to outscore just about every team they play.

The Michigan Miracle overshadowed a good game by Clausen. Against the Spartans he completed his first 10 in a row and threw for 300 yards. Clausen is second in the nation in pass efficiency having thrown nine touchdowns against no interceptions. That’s the best ratio in the country.

 Speaking of ratios, North Carolina State’s Russell Wilson now has thrown 329 consecutive passes without an interception, an ongoing record. In his career, the sophomore had thrown 25 touchdown passes and one interception.

 Georgia could join the WAC. It has given up a combined 78 points the last two weeks and won both games. Joe Cox made his own statement throwing for five touchdowns in a 52-41 win at Arkansas.

The result overshadowed school records from Arkie’s Ryan Mallett in yards (408) and touchdowns (five). Mallett leads the country in pass efficiency.

 Texas’ Colt McCoy threw only eight interceptions all last season. He has four through three games in '09. In the first six games of last season McCoy threw only 34 incompletions. He has 35 already (75 of 110) through three games.

 This is what the ACC wanted: Miami and Florida State both at the top of the conference. It hasn’t happened quite yet but it looks like it’s coming This is about the branding of a conference. The ACC needs the Hurricanes and Noles in the polls battling for a championship and BCS bowl.

 Florida now has the nation’s longest winning streak at 13. Ole Miss and Southern Miss are tied for second, each with an eight-game streak.
 
--After taking in the national scene Saturday in one big bite I get the feeling that the team lurking in the grass is Alabama. Texas gave up 420 yards passing. Florida struggled with Tennessee. USC lost.

Bama keeps getting steadily better. It opens the SEC schedule this week against Arkansas. The Tide know how to beat Florida. Monte Kiffin did them a favor offering somewhat of a blueprint on Saturday.  Bama hasn’t played its best football yet.

 The other team that has to feel good about itself? Penn State just played three dogs to start the season, is ranked fourth in the coaches’ poll and has its toughest remaining game at home (against Ohio State on Nov. 7).

Can you imagine Joe Paterno in the BCS title game? Moses might do the coin toss as a special favor to an old friend.

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

1. Tim Tebow, Florida: The Gators don’t beat Tennessee unless Superman churns for 76 well-earned yards on 24 grinding carries.

Key stat of the game: Florida converted on nine of 14 third- and fourth downs. Guess who was responsible most of the time?
“I probably said it three times on the headset, ‘Is the guy ever going to wear out?’ Lane Kiffin said. “He’s not human.”

2. Jacory Harris, Miami.  We are witnessing the evolution of the next great 'Canes quarterback.

3. Eric Berry, Tennessee. If Tebow is the best offensive player in America, Berry is the best defensive player.

Eleven tackles, an interception and one head-to-head mash up with Tebow made Berry the second-most dominant player on the field.

I wrote a story in July suggesting Tennessee use him 50 snaps a game at quarterback. If Kiffin would have tried it on Saturday, the Vols would have won.

4. Jahvid Best, Cal: A school-record five touchdowns against Minnesota. The Bears needed every one of them. Best could earn a trip to New York in a couple of weeks with a big game against USC.

5. Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame: See above.

Honorable mention: Landry Jones, Oklahoma: I don’t care if it’s against air, six touchdown passes is pretty impressive. Jones set the school record against Tulsa making me think that the Sooners might be OK until Sam Bradford returns.

Check back, though, in two weeks when the OU plays at Miami.

 Finally, for those needing motivation to beat Florida. Check out Breakaway Vacations. There were a stack of flyers from Breakaway at the front desk of the Gainesville Courtyard advertising travel packages for Florida fans to both the SEC championship game and national championship game.

BCS Packages Available Now!

There is a refund if “your team” doesn’t make it.

Good Lord, it’s only September.

Posted on: September 15, 2009 11:19 pm
 

Kiffin pulls a Mike Gundy

The last thing I thought Lane Kiffin would do this is muzzle his quarterback. After a three-interception game against UCLA, Kiffin made his fifth-year guy Jonathan Crompton off limits to the media during Florida week.

A freshman? Maybe. If Crompton is old enough to vote and go to war, he can answer a few questions about playing a bad football game. Let's hope that JC is emotionally healed enough to lose 35-3 at Florida. (That, by the way, is a compliment. All this 63-10 stuff is crap. Tennessee's defense is too strong.)

"It blows me away sometimes how much hatred there is toward him ... " Kiffin said of Crompton.

"I'm not going to pull a Mike Gundy but the kid is in college. He's a college kid, he's a great student and I feel bad for him. Make sure you understand, there ain't a guy in the country trying harder than him. That's preparing harder or doing more to try and do things right. He's going to do well for us."

 

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