Tag:Florida
Posted on: September 14, 2009 4:34 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2009 9:54 am
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Breaking down the polls and Heisman race

USC walks into the belly of the beast, slays Ohio State with a dramatic game-winning drive and picks up two first-place votes in the coaches’ poll. One in AP.

Obviously, Florida is still the overwhelming No. 1 in both polls but I’m already starting to wonder what it would take to pass the Gators if they keep winning. The two teams below them are from different conferences (Texas, USC) and don’t play each other. No. 4 Alabama doesn’t play Florida in the regular season.

At first glance, Florida looks safe. It has 56 of the 60 first-place votes in the AP poll and 56 of the 59 votes on the coaches’ poll. Those numbers didn't change after the Gators mopped The Swamp with Troy, 56-6. 

The other teams getting first-place votes are Texas (one in AP), USC (a combined four) and Alabama (two in AP).

The rest of the way Florida plays only two teams that are currently ranked (LSU and Georgia). Same for Alabama (Ole Miss, LSU). Texas faces five ranked teams (Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Kansas). USC plays one (Cal, Oregon State).

Alabama had a similar lead at No. 1 before it lost to Florida in last year’s SEC title game. The Tide had 58 of the 61 first-place votes going in. After Bama lost and Oklahoma and Florida won their championship games, the final regular-season coaches’ poll was the closest in the BCS era.

Oklahoma (31 first-place votes, 1,482 points) ended up one point ahead of Florida (26 first-place votes, 1,481 points). Third-place Texas had four and 1,408.

Just for grins, I figured up the top six final regular-season first-place vote getters since 2004:

1. USC, 90 1/3 points
2. Ohio State, 62
3.  Oklahoma, 49 1/3
4. Florida, 26
5. LSU, Texas, 11
6. Auburn, 9 1/3

 One of the better poll results Saturday was Florida State beating Jacksonville State. I know, I know, FSU has looked shaky and isn’t ranked.

But this is about BYU. The Cougs need FSU to win as often as possible, aside from this week when the Noles go to Provo. If FSU somehow gets back into the polls, BYU could make a more solid case for playing for the national championship. If it goes undefeated, it would have beaten four ranked teams (Oklahoma, Florida State, TCU and Utah). 

If you’re wondering where this going consider that total would be more than Florida, LSU or USC.

 If the BCS championship game were played today, it would be USC vs. Alabama according to our old friend Jerry Palm. Check out the most accurate BCS projections and collegebcs.com.

 Live by the pass, die by the pass: SMU’s nine interceptions lead the country but it has thrown four interceptions which ties for third-most nationally ... Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen has thrown the most passes this season without an interception, 76 ... Purdue is  home of the leading rusher (Ralph Bolden) and the quarterback who is tied for No. 1 in interceptions. Joey Elliott is tied Tennessee's Jonathan Crompton. Each have six.


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

Case Keenum, Houston: When he lost his coach (Art Briles who went to Baylor) everyone thought Keenum would go in the tank, or transfer. He bonded immediately with second-year coach Kevin Sumlin who might make him a Heisman finalist. Keenum threw for 366 yards against Oklahoma State as the Cougars beat a top-five team for the first time in 25 years.

Tim Tebow, Florida: Four passing touchdowns and one rushing in the rain against Troy add to the legend.

Colt McCoy, Texas: Three passing touchdowns against Wyoming in Texas’ 15th consecutive non-conference win. That ties a school record.

Max Hall, BYU: A week after beating Oklahoma, Hall gets a rocking-chair game against Tulane. Led the Cougars to scores in seven of eight possessions.

Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh: A workhorse freshman who is averaging 7.4 yards per carry.

 

 

Posted on: September 14, 2009 4:34 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2009 9:54 am
 

Breaking down the polls and Heisman race

USC walks into the belly of the beast, slays Ohio State with a dramatic game-winning drive and picks up two first-place votes in the coaches’ poll. One in AP.

Obviously, Florida is still the overwhelming No. 1 in both polls but I’m already starting to wonder what it would take to pass the Gators if they keep winning. The two teams below them are from different conferences (Texas, USC) and don’t play each other. No. 4 Alabama doesn’t play Florida in the regular season.

At first glance, Florida looks safe. It has 56 of the 60 first-place votes in the AP poll and 56 of the 59 votes on the coaches’ poll. Those numbers didn't change after the Gators mopped The Swamp with Troy, 56-6. 

The other teams getting first-place votes are Texas (one in AP), USC (a combined four) and Alabama (two in AP).

The rest of the way Florida plays only two teams that are currently ranked (LSU and Georgia). Same for Alabama (Ole Miss, LSU). Texas faces five ranked teams (Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Kansas). USC plays one (Cal, Oregon State).

Alabama had a similar lead at No. 1 before it lost to Florida in last year’s SEC title game. The Tide had 58 of the 61 first-place votes going in. After Bama lost and Oklahoma and Florida won their championship games, the final regular-season coaches’ poll was the closest in the BCS era.

Oklahoma (31 first-place votes, 1,482 points) ended up one point ahead of Florida (26 first-place votes, 1,481 points). Third-place Texas had four and 1,408.

Just for grins, I figured up the top six final regular-season first-place vote getters since 2004:

1. USC, 90 1/3 points
2. Ohio State, 62
3.  Oklahoma, 49 1/3
4. Florida, 26
5. LSU, Texas, 11
6. Auburn, 9 1/3

 One of the better poll results Saturday was Florida State beating Jacksonville State. I know, I know, FSU has looked shaky and isn’t ranked.

But this is about BYU. The Cougs need FSU to win as often as possible, aside from this week when the Noles go to Provo. If FSU somehow gets back into the polls, BYU could make a more solid case for playing for the national championship. If it goes undefeated, it would have beaten four ranked teams (Oklahoma, Florida State, TCU and Utah). 

If you’re wondering where this going consider that total would be more than Florida, LSU or USC.

 If the BCS championship game were played today, it would be USC vs. Alabama according to our old friend Jerry Palm. Check out the most accurate BCS projections and collegebcs.com.

 Live by the pass, die by the pass: SMU’s nine interceptions lead the country but it has thrown four interceptions which ties for third-most nationally ... Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen has thrown the most passes this season without an interception, 76 ... Purdue is  home of the leading rusher (Ralph Bolden) and the quarterback who is tied for No. 1 in interceptions. Joey Elliott is tied Tennessee's Jonathan Crompton. Each have six.


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

Case Keenum, Houston: When he lost his coach (Art Briles who went to Baylor) everyone thought Keenum would go in the tank, or transfer. He bonded immediately with second-year coach Kevin Sumlin who might make him a Heisman finalist. Keenum threw for 366 yards against Oklahoma State as the Cougars beat a top-five team for the first time in 25 years.

Tim Tebow, Florida: Four passing touchdowns and one rushing in the rain against Troy add to the legend.

Colt McCoy, Texas: Three passing touchdowns against Wyoming in Texas’ 15th consecutive non-conference win. That ties a school record.

Max Hall, BYU: A week after beating Oklahoma, Hall gets a rocking-chair game against Tulane. Led the Cougars to scores in seven of eight possessions.

Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh: A workhorse freshman who is averaging 7.4 yards per carry.

 

 

Posted on: September 11, 2009 12:59 pm
 

Son of Weekend Watch List

The last time USC visited Ohio State, John Cooper gave up.

No, really. He gave up.

I was there and saw it at The Horseshoe. It was 1990 and the teams were ranked 18 and 12 or something like that. It wasn’t a huge game but it turned out being one of the weirdest in Ohio State history. It certainly didn’t help Coops standing with Bucknuts.

USC ran for 331 yards and would have had more – if the game was completed. The second-half was played in a dangerous lightning storm. After USC recovered an onside kick with 2:36 left the game was stopped. Too risky, the officials deemed.

USC won 35-26. Sure, the game was out of reach but you never know, right? One report stated that Cooper told officials that if the onside kick didn’t work, that was it.

The way I remember it after a lengthy delay, the skies cleared somewhat and officials came to Cooper and asked if he wanted to continue. Nah, we’re good, Coop said. Game over.

"We had some momentum," Ohio State quarterback Greg Frey told the Associated Press last year. "I had been down this road before. I'm thinking, 'We've got a ton of time.' "


I distinctly remember Ohio State president Gordon Gee (during his first term at the school) muttering some sort of disparaging remark as I passed him on the stairs to the interview room.

The situation certainly didn’t help Cooper with Ohio State fans. He would go on to bang his head against the wall against Michigan.

  You missed a lot Thursday if you weren’t on a CBS conference call previewing the network’s SEC package.

The participants were Philip Fulmer, Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Spencer Tillman and Tim Brando. Some of these comments are bombastic – and great.

Danielson on Tim Tebow: “He does have a ways to go to be a professional quarterback. I’m one of those people who believe that’s his only position in the NFL.

"I don’t think he’s a tight end. I don’t think he’s a fullback. I don’t think he’s fast enough … He does need to learn to be more of a pro-style quarterback."

Fulmer on Lane Kiffin: “If you’re going to be brash you better be able to back it up.”

Brando on Kiffin: “What Lane Kiffin has done is energize the base. It’s what Sarah Palin did to the Republican Party. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to be successful but he energized the base.”

Danielson on Florida’s invincibility: “There were two unbeatable teams in the modern BCS. The Miami team of 2002. It had 14 first-round draft choices on it, eventually. It lost to an Ohio State team that kicked field goals all year.

“That USC team (in 2005), out of their 12 games they scored more than 50 points seven times and they lost the championship game. Florida can easily lose a game (and still be champions).”

Danielson on LSU: "I felt that Les Miles lost his team last year by sticking too long with his quarterback (Jarrett Lee) … He benched everybody else but he failed to bench his quarterback. I thought he lost his team the second half of the season.”

Brando on prize LSU freshman Russell Shepard: “According to people I’ve talked to, his (off-field) abilities are Tebow-esque … On the field what he can do is similar to Percy Harvin.”

Danielson on Shepard: “If Russell Shepard is the leader of this team, they are not going to be a good football. If Florida would have hung it on Tebow, Florida would not have been good the first year either.”

Tillman on Shepard: “His talent is literally off the charts. This kid is more gifted than Vince Young was at this point in time.”

Fulmer on LSU defensive coordinator John “Chief” Chavis:
“I hired him when nobody knew him at all … On a very poor football team offensively; I think we had the third or fourth-ranked defense in the country." (Tennessee was No. 3 last season.)

Danielson on Chavis: “He will not approach is stats last year at Tennessee. People who played Tennessee knew they didn’t have to score many points. People who play LSU know they are going to have to score points.”

Fulmer on Tim Tebow: “There’s nobody who is all of that. Well, Tim Tebow is all of that He put that team on his shoulders after the loss and won the championship … I’m sitting in the box (at the SEC championship game) and he puts the team on his shoulders again in the fourth quarter and goes on to win the national championship."

Lundquist on Tebow: “I’ve never seen anybody quite like him. There’s this danger we all have of going overboard. He walks the walk as the old phrase goes. He is remarkable.”

Danielson on Sam Bradford: “I personally wish … that Bob Stoops would have said to Sam Bradford, ‘I’m sorry I can’t let you play for my team this year. I can’t risk $70 million knowing some guard could turn a linebacker loose and blow your arm and your knee.’ I thought Sam should have been in the NFL.”

Brando on the Heisman race: “There is a backlash that Tim (Tebow) faces this year because he can’t be all that. There was a clear media backlash against Peyton Manning in his last year at Tennessee.”

Fulmer: "Don’t get me going on that subject."

Brando on BYU: It's really going to incense the SEC fan base more than any. It could come to an unbeaten BYU against a one-loss SEC team. Who do you take (for the BCS title game)? If BYU runs the table from this point forward. They have the schedule to give them the credibility that no other non-BCS team has had.

"You talk about shaking the rafters. If BYU is there and are denied, Sen. Orrin Hatch is going to have some fun ..."

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 8, 2009 4:22 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2009 4:32 pm
 

Analyzing the polls

Thoughts on the first regular-season polls of the season:

If the BCS bowls started today (based on compilation of the polls and Jerry Palm’s collegebcs.com)

BCS title game: Alabama vs. USC
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Cal
Fiesta Bowl: Texas vs. BYU
Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Oklahoma State
Orange Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech

Top 10 in the BCS (Only a few of the computers are available so this is very preliminary but still interesting. These are Palm's standings from collegebcs.com.)

1. USC
2. Alabama
3. Florida
4. Texas
5. Oklahoma State
6. Ohio State
7. BYU
8. Boise State
9. Penn State
10.  LSU


Strange

Florida lost two first-place votes in the AP poll (from 58 to 56) and gained three votes in the coaches poll (53 to 56).


Biggest gainers, most slippage

Brigham Young, up 12 spots in coaches (from No. 24 to No. 12)
Oklahoma down 11 spots in coaches (from No. 3 to No. 14)


Game of the week

No. 3 USC and No. 8/7 Ohio State remains a top 10 game. Ohio State has lost its last five against top five teams. That’s the second-longest streak in school history.


The penalty for playing Charleston Southern

Florida’s first-place margin shrank in both polls  -- from 74 points to 69 in AP and from 80 to 65 points in coaches.


Barely Out

Oregon State No. 26 in AP. Michigan State No. 26 in coaches

New to the AP: Missouri, Cincinnati, Miami. New to coaches: Kansas, Cincinnati, Miami.



Another take

SI's Andy Staples weighs in

Posted on: September 6, 2009 2:53 am
Edited on: September 7, 2009 10:39 am
 

Thoughts on a football Saturday

And you thought the Big Ten had a bad day?

At least Ohio State and Iowa, won – clumsily -- but they got out alive on college football’s first Saturday.

ACC doesn’t stand for All Crap Conference but it sure feels good writing it.
 
How about 1-4 for the ACC against I-A competition on Saturday? That’s before getting into embarrassing losses to Richmond (by Duke) and William & Mary (by Virginia)?

At this point, No. 3 Oklahoma is probably hoping for a Holiday Bowl invitation. No. 7 Virginia Tech is now 0-21 against top five competition away from Blacksburg.

Can you say, Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Low?

All this translates to a shocking opening week. Two top 10 teams went down Saturday night, changing everything. Florida and Texas can breathe a little easier, for now, atop the polls. The Sooners lost their Heisman winning quarterback Sam Bradford and then the season-opener to BYU, 14-13.


It’s hard to tell what hurt Oklahoma more – the loss Bradford or the game itself. Enduring both together was a body blow to the Sooners lost their season opener for only the second time since 1998.

Both losses have come in the last five years. TCU upset the Sooners to kick off 2005.

Bradford suffered a sprained right shoulder in the second quarter against BYU and returned to the sidelines in the second half with the arm in a sling. He could be out two to four weeks.

Another Heisman might be out of reach. Considering the mounting losses (tight end Jermaine Gresham missed the game), so might be Texas.

 --Coach of the day: Baylor's Art Briles who is making his sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin III into a star. Briles' call of an option pass (coming from an inside receiver, mind you) helped seal the deal against Wake Forest. The huggable Bears needed this one to keep alive hope of a bowl for the first time since 1994.

--Michigan had 31 points in the second quarter against Western Michigan. it scored 30 points once all last season.

--"We should have won this thing hands dwn." That comes from a Northern Iowa player after a 17-16 loss to Iowa. Ya think? Iowa blocked two field goal attempts in the last 10 seconds to preserve the win.

--It feels like football again: Michigan-Notre Dame means something.

Posted on: August 24, 2009 12:29 pm
 

Illinois-Florida not on the schedule, until now

Urban Meyer disparages Ron Zook. Then Zook fires back.

There's something about Florida's head man. He tends to say things, sometimes, without thinking. Remember, the whole Notre Dame controversy? That came from him, last December, on a radio show. Now this with a pimp slap to Zook.

Strange.

Little bit of cabin fever, fellas? Let's play some football. 

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Florida, Illinois
 
Posted on: August 18, 2009 11:06 am
Edited on: August 18, 2009 2:33 pm
 

Florida favored to beat Charleston Southern

OK, that you knew. But you didn't know that the Gators were favored by 73 in their opener.

That's news because you won't -- in fact, you can't -- find a line on the game in Vegas. That's because sports books don't list lines involving I-AA opponents.

"Charleston not a board team, not one of the 120 I-A teams," explained a spokesman for Las Vegas Sports Consultants, the company that largely sets the lines for some of the bigger sports books. "You might able to find it (a line) offshore somewhere."

The line comes from USA Today's Danny Sheridan who I think would post favorites in cockroach fights (or the odds of Rick Pitino impregnating someone within the last six years). Not to cast blame here. We are talking about the gaming industry, where there really are no heroes.

Anyway, my guy at LVSC says if there was a legit line on the game, Florida would be a 50-55 point favorite. Theoretically.

"It's against gaming regulations to post odds on a non-board team," he said.

Thank God, there is some purity left in Las Vegas.  
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 7, 2009 1:06 pm
Edited on: August 7, 2009 1:21 pm
 

Reaction to the first coaches' poll

The first People’s Republic of Coaches secret ballot is out. What we're supposed to learn from it:

1. SEC fan must be throwing himself off various barbeque shacks in the South after learning the crushing news: The world’s best conference has only five teams in the first poll. Condolences, the world is gaining on you SEC. The Big 12, ACC and Pac-10 are tied for second with four teams each.

2. First you have to be ranked. That’s another way of saying Boise State is the early favorite to grab its second BCS bowl. The Broncos go in as the highest-ranked non-BCS school (No. 16) followed by No. 17 TCU, No. 18 Utah and No. 24 BYU.

There is hope. Utah was unranked at the beginning of 2008 before going undefeated.

3. The Big East got skunked. Not only did the Big East not have a ranked team, you have to look all the way down to the team with the 29th-most votes to find the league. Cincinnati is followed, in order, by Pittsburgh (30), West Virginia (31) and Rutgers (32).

How embarrassing is this? In the last three years, the Big East has had a team ranked in the top 10 in the preseason. West Virginia started there in 2006 (No. 7), 2007 (No. 6) and 2008 (No. 8). Two teams were ranked last season (South Florida and West Virginia) and three teams were ranked in 2007 (West Virginia, Louisville and Rutgers).

4. The SEC West is strong. Ole Miss is No. 10 which means, according to the poll, it is only the third-best team in the West. Alabama is No. 4 and LSU is No. 9.

5. I’m a little bit surprised that Kansas isn’t ranked.  The Jayhawks are favored by many to win the Big 12 North. The Jayhawks get No. 22 Nebraska at home and return the best pair of returning receivers in the country – Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier. KU started just out of the top 25 with the 26th-most votes.

6. Only in the coaches’ poll. Voters can vote for themselves No. 1 before they’ve played a game, but they can’t (or are encouraged not to) vote for their teams No. 1 in the final poll unless their team wins the BCS title game.

7. It’s murkier and more secret next year. In 2010, coaches will go back to keeping secret their final ballots. As I’ve written, BCS commissioners are going to try to convince the coaches to change their stance – or possibly be kicked out of the BCS.

Would love to know who didn't vote Florida No. 1 (the Gators got 53 of the 59 first-place votes), but it's a secret. 

 

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