Tag:Oklahoma
Posted on: September 17, 2009 10:59 pm
 

That looked a lot like Miami ...

... the old Miami. The program that had Luke Campbell as a mascot, the team that slapped around opponents then made them like it.

While watching the Canes cane Georgia Tech Thursday night I had a funny, tingly feeling deep down inside. [I've been through puberty so no wise-ass remarks.] Miami is really, really close to being back.

That was a smackdown job on Tech. Jacory Harris established himself as one of the nation's best young quarterbacks. The Florida State game was no fluke. I know the defense is rounding into form -- 1987 form -- when a late Miami interception was negated by a roughing the passer penalty.

Somewhere Jerome Brown was smiling.

I'll wait until watching Virgina Tech-Nebraska, but right now Miami looks like the best team in the ACC. Georgia Tech was revealed as one-dimensional. I mean, you have to be able throw a little bit. Josh Nesbitt doesn't scare the broad side of many barns.

South Florida will spend the next 10 days going a little bit nuts, and it should. It's been a while since Miami looked this good, this confident.

Suddenly, that death march of a schedule doesn't look so daunting. The U already proved it could win on the road. Who knows what will happen next week in Blacksburg? After that comes Oklahoma with a Heisman Trophy quarterback who may or may not play.

It's cool to be around the Canes when they're rolling, when it's all about the U.
Posted on: September 16, 2009 12:28 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2009 8:09 pm
 

National notes leading with Russell Shepard

Is  Russell Shepard being hidden?

LSU’s freshman has Tigers fans’ mouths watering, but didn’t play in the opener at Washington. He played handful of snaps last week against Vanderbilt showing how good he can be and how young he is.

Operating in the Wildcat on LSU’s eighth offensive play, Shepard ran around left end for 13 yards. On the next play he caught an eight-yard pass from Jordan Jefferson, then immediately fumbled. Later, Shepard ran for eight yards on the option keeper.

“We’ve have to get him some more touches and some more experience,” Les Miles said. “The second time with the ball in his hands, he coughs it up. He didn’t understand how important it is to get the yards and go down. Going down is OK as long as you have the ball.”

Shepard has been compared to everyone from Tim Tebow to Percy Harvin. Miles still hasn’t been clear on how his prize  eventually will be used. There is still time to tinker against Louisiana-Lafayette this week before the SEC schedule starts against Mississippi State.

So is Shepard being hidden? More like getting used to hot water. LSU ran only 48 plays against Washington so there were few opportunities for him to get in. Against Vandy, he had three touches for 29 yards which was a tease for those who can't wait for more.
 
“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,” said CBS network analyst Tim Brando.

CBS game day analyst Gary Danielson said it would be a mistake to throw Shepard in at quarterback for any legnth of time: “If Russell Shepard is the leader of this team, they are not going to be a good football team. If Florida would have hung it on Tebow, Florida would not have been good the first year either.”

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

Shepard has some of those Tebow qualities, agreeing to a magazine cover shoot in high school but not without teammates. After committing to LSU in June 2008, he then began recruiting other players for the Tigers. One was five-star safety Craig Loston, a cousin.

This is probably not the week to be raising Terrelle Pryor’s name but Shepard has been compared favorably to Ohio State’s quarterback.

“I admire the way Tim Tebow handles himself off the field,” Shepard told the New Orleans Times Picayune . “I took a liking to that. He says, ‘God bless you,’ after every interview. He’s amazing … I want to be known like that.”

You can read more about Shepard here .

 USC might have the best quarterback situation in the country if Matt Barkley doesn’t go on Saturday. It still has its most experienced quarterback on the bench. If Aaron Corp starts for USC against Washington, that puts the forgotten Mitch Mustain a tweaked ankle away from being under center. Mustain might the most talented No. 3 quarterback in the country. He was 8-0 as a freshman starter at Arkansas in 2006. Don't forget that Corp won the job coming out of spring.

 Loved this anecdote from the Michigan press box. Announcing Central Michigan’s upset win over Michigan State, the press box announcer at Michigan Stadium said, “No cheering in the press box, but we will make an exception right now.”

  Joe Paterno his team being ranked fifth in both polls: “Are we No. 5? I take the paper and go to the bathroom. I scan it. First, I see who died.”

 After two weeks, the Pac-10 has the best record (4-2) against the Big Six major conferences and Notre Dame. Not surprisingly, the Sun Belt has the worst mark (1-8). The MAC has played the most games against the major conferences, 14, and gone 2-12.

 If SMU beats Washington State this week it will be 3-0 for the first time since pre-death penalty days in 1984.

 Tulsa has allowed one defensive touchdown in its first two games. Get ready for that to change. The Golden Hurricane travel to Oklahoma.
 
 Just warning all those BCS lovers out there: Florida is 11th in the Sagarin Ratings. That’s not the worst of it. The Colley Matrix  has Florida No. 35 and USC No. 13. Wes Colley’s top five – 1. Pittsburgh, 2. LSU, 3. Wisconsin, 4. Texas, 5. UCLA.

You shouldn’t have to be reminded that those are two of the six computer indexes used in the BCS standings.

 


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 8, 2009 4:56 pm
 

Five months or a few weeks for Jermaine Gresham

We're starting to get an idea about OU going forward. The news is not good.

It was revealed Tuesday afternoon that tight end Jermaine Gresham will undergo surgery to determine if he has a cartilage tear in his injured knee or a floating piece of cartilage. The surgery could be a season-ending thing considering it could keep him out up to five months. Even without surgery Gresham would be out a few weeks.

Folks, OU is in trouble. It is without its most dangerous receiver and effective blocker. As I mentioned before, the biggest problem right now is fixing an offensive line that looked disorganized against BYU. If Gresham doesn't return soon, the Sooners will have huge issues with Miami on Oct. 3 and/or Texas on Oct. 17.

Trying to find a person who thinks OU is going to win the rest of its games right now is like trying to find some accountability in Boise.
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 7, 2009 11:24 am
Edited on: September 7, 2009 11:35 am
 

Bradford has Grade 2 or 3 shoulder sprain

Sam Bradford has a Grade 2 or 3 shoulder sprain and evaluation of the injury could be "fairly long process, probably a week or two," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said on Monday's Big 12 conference call.

One medical web site describes a Grade 2 spain as "partial tearing of ligament and capsular tissue" with mild instability in the joint. Grade 3 is described as, "severe or complete tearing of ligament and capsular tissue," with significant instability of the joint.

"A lot depends on how he heals," Stoops added. "It's going to be a while before we know what the plan will be."

Treatment options include rest, icing of the injured area, followed by rehab. The web site stated that surgery is "rarely needed" in such cases. Stoops' revelation is the most detailed description of Bradford's injury since he went down Saturday night against BYU.

Oklahoma is also expected to be missing tight end Jermaine Gresham who was out Saturday because of a knee injury. Gresham is reportedly considering surgery as an option.

"Same kind of thing," Stoops said. "We'll have an idea hopefully in a few days, what the doctors say and what Jermaine feels is best to do."
 

Category: NCAAF
Tags: BYU, Oklahoma
 
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: September 3, 2009 12:06 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2009 12:07 pm
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