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Tag:Navy
Posted on: September 5, 2009 6:19 pm
 

6 p.m. ET update on the day's action

Big day for the Big 12. Baylor and Missouri have double-digit leads. Oklahoma State leads Georgia 17-10. All three are playing BCS conference opponents. Stayed tuned.

 You got enough Tennessee? Nice debut by Lane Kiffin, even though it was a body-bag game against Western Kentucky.

 As inspiring as Navy’s effort was against Ohio State, that was a horrible call on the two-point conversion. Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs took a three-step drop and threw into three Buckeyes. The ball was picked off and returned for a two-pointer.

At that point, Dobbs was the star of the game because of his arm and his feet. Navy’s electric qb should have been allowed to roll out and have a run/pass option.

 Ohio State showed absolutely nothing scheme-wise in getting ready for USC. Nor should it. Obviously, the playbook is being saved for the Trojans.

 Jim Tressel almost blew it by not going for the field goal on fourth-and-2 from Navy’s 15 with 6:30 left. in Navy territory. The Middies held. On the next play, Dobbs, my new favorite quarterback, threw an 85-yard touchdown pass.

Yes you read that right: A Navy receiver beat two Ohio State defenders down the middle for 85 yards.

This was almost a disaster for Tressel who was trying to vanilla his way into next week. 

 Someone will have to explain to me why, when you’re developing Terrelle Pryor, that backup Joe Bauserman gets a series. I know Bauserman is a hard worker, good athlete and former walk-on who earned a scholarship but those are valuable snaps, especially during the two-minute drill, that Pryor could use.

Can you condemn a guy for his eye black? It looked like Pryor was wearing those stickers below his eyes that read “Mike” and “Vick”.
Posted on: June 9, 2009 9:19 am
Edited on: June 9, 2009 4:21 pm
 

Picking the independents

When senior citizens complain, they tend to whine about wanting their juice, maybe turning up the heat, or, for gosh sakes, somebody find the remote. Jeopardy's on. 

Joe Paterno is one of those senior citizens. He also tends to whine. Recently he chose the Big Ten as his target. Late in life other 82-year-olds want their favorite chair, pillow or blanket. The Penn State coach prefers Big Ten expansion. Syracuse, Rutgers and Pittsburgh are his favorites. Pretty much anyone but Notre Dame.

The fact that no one of consequence even commented on JoePa's ramblings confirmed that they were just that -- ramblings. Paterno might want it his way but he's got it all wrong.

The only way Big Ten expansion works is if Notre Dame is the pick. Ten years ago, the conference (Big 11, really) walked down the aisle hand-in-hand with ND. A marriage seemed imminent. Then the engagement was abruptly broken off when the Notre Dame's board of trustees reiterated its preference to stay independent.

Since then, the former lovers' prospects have dimmed. Big Ten football has regressed recently. Despite two BCS bowls this decade, Notre Dame has seen some of its darkest days since its last appearance in 2006. Coach Charlie Weis' job hangs by a thread. He is the program's fifth coach since '96. The last national championship was 21 years ago.

Still, ND retains favored status in the BCS. The public at large didn't know about ND's almost special dispensation when it came to the BCS. It had arguably the easiest entry into a major bowl -- basically win nine and finish in the top 12.

 Notre Dame also happened to keep all the bowl money itself (minus expenses, of course). Why join a conference? It gets $4.5 million for playing in a BCS bowl. Even in years when ND doesn't go to the BCS bowl, it receives a $1.4 million check just for participating in the system. The deal with NBC pays it another $8 million per year. At least. 

That's why Notre Dame is the only school that makes sense for Big Ten expansion. The conference could use the money. Notre Dame is a ratings winner whether it is 7-1 or 1-7. People watch the same way they watch dogs fighting in the middle of the street.

It interests us.

It's easy to see why the trustees want to stay independent. Why split all that money 12 ways? Of course, if Notre Dame joined the Big Ten it could dictate some favorable terms. For example, it is assumed the school wouldn't be sharing any of that NBC money.

You can also see why Notre Dame expansion makes sense to the Big Ten. Adding the Irish would boost the Big Ten's TV ratings, its bowl coffers (at some point) and its profile. Think how the fledgling Big Ten Network could benefit. There would be a central location to catch up on everything Notre Dame.

Big Ten expansion into South Bend would be easier on both ends to recruiters. For existing Big Ten coaches who could tell prospects, "Come play against Notre Dame," and for Notre Dame which could tell prospects, "Come win the Big Ten."

None of this is going to happen soon. Commissioner Jim Delany recently called Big Ten expansion a "back burner issue." While the conference's football prospects might be down, things are always cyclical in college football. Notre Dame, as you will read below, is expected by some to get back to a BCS bowl this season.

For now, a 12-team Big Ten with Notre Dame is a conversation piece. It might never happen. The economy might worsen and it might be inevitable. There is one thing conclusion when it comes to the subject:

Please don't listen to JoePa.

Picking the independents...

1. Notre Dame -- It's all in place -- the schedule, the front-line talent, the network, the hype. Forget all that. ND goes nowhere this season unless Jimmy Clausen makes the next logical step in his progression. The junior improved last season adding 18 pounds and throwing for 25 touchdowns. It all came together in the bowl game when his only four incompletions against Hawaii were drops. With better protection, a better running game, better receivers and a better outlook, Clausen should begin to fulfill the promise he brought to South Bend three years ago. Whether it's enough to save Charlie Weis' job is another issue. It's BCS bowl or bust for The Big Guy. Weis will ride as far as Clausen can take him. The kid will benefit from the return of four starters on the offensive line. Experts have fallen in love with receivers Michael Floyd and Golden Tate. The running game (No. 100 nationally) has to get better with the arrival of freshman Cierre Wood. Clausen can give Wood a few pointers on how to approach that freshman season. The quarterback had his ego knocked back to The Stone Age in 2007-2008. But, seemingly, Clausen has lived and learned. With his body still intact from all those sacks, Clausen should thrive. But will it be enough to win at least nine games?

2. Navy -- It was hard to place Navy second behind ND. If everything goes right for the Middies, they could be the best of the independents. They won one more than Notre Dame last season. The last two seasons they've been competitive with Notre Dame which is important after four decades of losses. The prospects are bright for '09. In his first full season as head coach, Ken Niumatalolo won eight games, a sixth consecutive Commander-In-Chief's Trophy and got Navy to a bowl. The best thing to happen to Navy, in a weird way, might have been an injury to dangerous quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada. That allowed budding talent Ricky Dobbs to start four games in '08. Dobbs wants to be president someday (after his Navy commitment, of course). His moves could make the triple option even more dangerous. The front seven is the strength of the defense. Remember that you read it here first -- in June: Look out Ohio State and Pittsburgh. Navy visits both in the first three weeks of the season. Dobbs and the option are coming.

3. Army -- Good things are being said and written about new coach Rich Ellerson. If he can transfer his magic to this run-down program, then ... well let's wait and see. There have been 12 consecutive losing seasons. The Army brass has made bad decision after bad decision. There is no reason that the Black Knights shouldn't at least be on a par with Air Force and Navy, but somehow Army has sunk to the depths of Division I-A. Ellerson comes from I-AA Cal Poly bringing the triple option on offense and double-eagle flex formation on defense (think Arizona's "Desert Swarm"). Army won't go to a bowl but it needs to build enough momentum to give Navy a game on Dec. 12.

 


Posted on: April 24, 2009 1:20 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 1:34 pm
 

No downside to cheating to win a BCS title

Leftovers from this week's West Coast swing ...

BCS commissioners might soon have to consider penalizing one of its own. One of the issues that emerged from the recent consolidation of the two USC cases, is a possible lack of institution control violation. Both former basketball star O.J. Mayo and former Heisman winner Reggie Bush are alleged to have taken improper benefits.

The combining of the cases streamlines things and makes it more likely that one or both of the programs could be forced to forfeit or "vacate" games. In the case of USC football, that could include a pair of Pac-10 championships in 2004 and 2005 as well as the 2004 national championship.

That could put the BCS commissioners in the uncomfortable spot of having to remove that national title. Because the NCAA doesn't stage a championship in I-A football, a forfeit would affect Pete Carroll's victory total, Pac-10 titles, the NCAA football records book and the USC media guide. It would be up to the commissioners to actually take away the title.

That isn't going to happen. The commissioners don't want to get into the business of penalizing their own. But it does raise another question: Because a BCS title is essentially immune from NCAA sanctions, does that ratchet up the incentive to cheat to get one?

It's looking more and more like Bush acted on his own. But if a booster (or group of boosters) or even a school decided to cheat its way to a title, really, what are the disincentives? Florida State has its panties in a bunch because it wants to protect Bobby Bowden's victory total. Other than that, the biggest drawback to forfeits/vacates is embarrassment.

Especially when the upside is a possible national championship that can't be taken away.

 Incoming Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott made an appearance at the BCS meetings in Pasadena. One of the subjects being tossed around in the rumor mill is a network that would be a joint venture between the ACC and Pac-10.

While those are two disparate conferences at opposite ends of the country, they do share some of the same problems -- lack of exposure in football. Scott has poo-pooed nothing so far. It will be interested to see how far Pac-10 presidents want to go in terms of expansion and television.

The Ocean Network (Pacific/Atlantic, get it?) could feature early ACC games at 11:30 a.m. ET (beating the Big Ten by half an hour for the first major-college games of the day) followed by a featured Pac-10 game at 3:30 p.m. ET. (12:30 p.m. PT).

Don't worry so much about game quality. Some of those early Big Ten games are dogs but they get good ratings because fans just want to see football as soon as possible on Saturday. A Wake Forest-Maryland game at 11:30 a.m. wouldn't be as distasteful as you might think.

As for that 3:30 p.m. window? The Pac-10 has to do something to get its games out of Saturday late night. While USC gathers most of the attention and ratings for the conference, you better believe that other conference members would welcome an afternoon time slot.

 Couldn't resist thinking of this while in L.A.: One school (USC) was staging a quarterback battle, while across town they're having a pillow fight (UCLA).

The spring opened with coach Rick Neuheisel opening the competition to replace/challenge Kevin Craft who threw 20 interceptions last year. Redshirt freshman Kevin Prince is the clear leader going into Saturday's spring game. Craft has fallen to third.

That brings us to the curious case of Chris Forcier. Sensing his future in Westwood wasn't assured, the brother of Michigan's Tate Forcier sought his release to transfer. One problem, once given his release, Forcier found no takers for him to play quarterback.

He did what any red-blooded disgruntled signal-caller would do, he stayed and switched to receiver. His prospects, if there are any left, are even worse at that position. To say that he is buried on the depth chart would be an insult to cemetery residents.

"Certainly you take your hat off [to him] for being willing to do things to help the team," Neuheisel told the Los Angeles Times. "But you can't just reward the great effort and slow down the team to create playing time, if it is not merited."

 How good is Washington's Steve Sarkisian? It seems that he was Nick Saban's first choice to be Alabama's offensive coordinator a couple of years ago.

 Ohio State fans will do anything to get close to their Buckeyes for the spring game.

 My new favorite quarterback, Navy's Ricky Dobbs, weighs in with his latest blog.

Ramblin' Ricky is upset after the spring game, talks about his dance moves and signs for the president -- five times.

 BCS coordinator John Swofford when he was quoted in an AP story that the commissioners would consider using a human committee to select teams in the future. Not true, according to a BCS official. Swofford was asked if he would consider parts of the Mountain West Conference eight-playoff proposal. He said, yes, using the human committee as an example.

I can't imagine the commissioners would come close to using a human committee. If you thought the polls and computers had flaws, think of the inherent biases that would come with humans picking the teams. Anyway, the point is that you can't unring the bell. Media are latching onto Swofford's comment ...

Jay Drew
Salt Lake Tribune
23 April 2009

The Mountain West Conference is far from claiming victory after its proposal for sweeping changes to the current system of choosing a college football champion was pretty much swept under the rug at the Bowl Championship Series meetings in Pasadena, Calif., earlier this week.

But the league that is not one of the automatic qualifying conferences in the BCS did get in some jabs -- about 90 minutes' worth -- on Tuesday.

BCS coordinator John Swofford, in return, threw a bone to the conference that includes Utah and BYU.

The Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner said the BCS could adopt parts of the MWC's playoff plan. Specifically, he told The Associated Press that although the group is not likely to do away with its present system, the MWC's idea of forming a committee to pick the qualifying teams, rather than relying on computers and human polls, seemed to have some merit.

"A selection committee? Yes," Swofford said after the meetings concluded on Wednesday.

Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson flew back to league offices in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Thursday but was not granting interview requests, a league spokesperson said.

Thompson had to be upbeat, however, seeing as how he spoke before the meetings about his wish of just getting the proposal on the table for discussion, which happened. Thompson is well aware that change won't happen soon.

The issue now moves to presidents of universities, Swofford said, noting that BCS commissioners will meet again in June (in Colorado Springs, coincidentally) to discuss the matter further.

But the pressure has been turned up, and not just by the conference itself and other conferences that feel left out of the most lucrative bowls.

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff of Utah has launched an investigation into whether the BCS violates federal antitrust laws and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah has pushed for the BCS situation to be on the agenda of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.

Swofford said after the meetings that BCS commissioners did not feel they were on shaky legal ground.

Utah's football team went undefeated last season, but was not chosen to play in the BCS title game that featured a pair of teams with at least one loss.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: April 16, 2009 4:25 pm
 

Notes on the biggest weekend of the spring ...

More than 50 schools will be playing spring games this weekend. Enjoy this pupu platter of cfb appetizers ...  

 You know things are going good for the national champions when the biggest news to come out of the spring involves a plaque.

Tim Tebow's words following last season's Ole Miss loss have been immortalized near the football offices.

 With Lane Kiffin on the eve of his first spring game at Tennessee, the next on-field hurdle is for the new coach to find out what it's like between the lines in the SEC.

" Yeah I do (understand how tough it is)," Kiffin said.  "It is so competitive. But being in the NFL, how can someone tell me that the NFL not competitive? That's the highest level. People are fighting for their jobs, for their paychecks, for their families. Is it different than the Pac-10? Sure it is. There's more balance. Top to bottom it's better. But go be a head coach in the NFL. That's as cut throat as it gets up there."

 Houston receiver Patrick Edwards might sue Marshall after suffering a compound fracture in a game last season in Huntington, W.V.

Edwards was injured when he ran supply cart in the back of the end zone chasing a pass. Amazingly, Edwards has participated enough to take part in non-contact drills during the spring.

 Ohio State assistant Dick Tressel probably wasn't thinking when he evaluated option offenses recently.

"The evolution of this quarterback-off-the-line-of-scrimma
ge kind of football, where backs are running laterally and they're reading things, and [the quarterback is figuring out] when to give it to him and when not to, the defenses have caught up to that, bottom line," Ohio State's running backs coach told the <em>Cleveland Plain Dealer<.en>. "They know where you're going just like that."

Does Tressel even know the Buckeyes open with Navy which has led the country in rushing four consecutive years?

 Navy will be led by one Ricky Dobbs, a mercurial quarterback who wants to become president by 2040.

Dobbs is only 6-feet-1 but has the "it" factor when it comes to being a leader -- a huge factor at a place like Navy. Dobbs ran for 224 yards and four touchdowns last year in a spot start against SMU. In his spare time he ran for vice president of his class.

He was known for calling the Douglasville (Ga.) High School administration even after he got to Navy. The ebullient Dobbs is known for having a unique handshake for teammates and friends. In his first career start last fall, he led the Mids to a 16-0 victory over Northern Illinois becoming he sixth Navy quarterback to rush for 100 yards in his debut.

 How does San Jose State impact the entire bowl structure? If there is even one school penalized by the NCAA for not achieving a 925 APR (basically a 60 percent graduation rate) it could mean a bit of chaos. If there aren't enough bowl eligible teams, a bowl could be forced to petition the NCAA to take a team with a losing record.

San Jose State is reportedly among a few schools who could receive a postseason ban from the NCAA in May. The school could receive waiver but you better believe the NCAA football issues committee is watching. With 68 slots to be filled among 34 bowls, there isn't much margin of error.

The last three years there have been 72, 72 and 71 bowl eligible teams. That means an average of 3.6 bowl-eligible teams did not get invites. The school could receive a postseason ban from the NCAA for underperforming in the APR (basically achieving a 60 percent graduation rate).

 OK, these spring games are officially getting ridiculous. Southern Miss is holding a pep rally before Saturday's game.

 Alabama is slipping. Saturday's spring game is expected to draw 70,000-75,000. That's down 20,000 from the Nick Saban lovefest two years ago.

 It's SEC spring day on Saturday. Eight of the 12 teams, including all six teams in the SEC West, will stage spring games.

Posted on: October 2, 2008 11:15 pm
 

Way to go, Wanny

You want to root for Dave Wannstedt. The Pittsburgh coach just hasn't been able to get it done at Pittsburgh. That season-opening loss to Bowling Green was wince worthy.

Then Wanny went back to his Pennsylvania roots and just worked, methodically beating Buffalo, Iowa and Syracuse before Thursday.  It finally paid off with a 26-21 victory over No. 10 South Florida.

"We needed this one so bad," Wannstedt said.

This might be the program-changing win that Wannstedt so desperately needed. He came into the game bowless in three seasons. The high from the West Virginia win quickly wore off at the beginning of this season. But the Panthers are 4-1 and on top of the Big East, ready to jump back into the polls.

There's some personality to these inconsistent Panthers. LeSean McCoy has now surpassed 100 yards for the second consecutive game and Phil Bennett's defense is showing some grit.

Nothing is ever easy for Pittsburgh but with Navy and Rutgers up next, the Panthers could go into the Nov. 1 game at Notre Dame, 6-1. For Wanny's sake let's hope it happens. He deserves the love.

 

Posted on: September 28, 2008 6:09 pm
 

Deep thoughts on a football Saturday

Before we proceed, today's blog is dedicated to the memory Paul Newman, one of the two coolest guys ever. He and 
Steve McQueen were the male ideal throughout their lives, professional and personal. They taught us it's not about 
having a drink or a cigar or driving a hot car or chatting up a beautiful woman. It's about doing it in style.

The great Newman passed away Friday with a body of work that will be unmatched: Hud, The Hustler, Butch Cassidy and 
the Sundance Kid, Absence of Malice, The Color of Money, just to name a few. I will make it a must that young Jack 
add Cool Hand Luke to his movie collection immediately. This is an anti-hero, Jack, showing grace, style and guts 
under pressure. Sure, it's only a story but it's an American story, an American male story.

Newman will be remembered not only as an action icon but also for his charity work, racing and making a heck of a 
salad dressing later in life. Thoughts and prayers, Joanne. Your husband is a legend.

 Gutty Little Tar Heels: Down to backup quarterbacks, down 17-7 at Miami and just plain down after blowing a 
two-touchdown lead against Virginia Tech last week, North Carolina beat the Canes 28-24. Other than that it wasn't a 
good day for the Carolinas. Wake Forest, East Carolina and Clemson all lost to unranked teams.

 Duke broke a 25-game ACC losing streak with a 31-3 victory over Virginia. Can't remember where this came from but 
the headline was perfect: Duke and North Carolina win. Is it basketball season?

 Two conferences without an undefeated team: ACC and Pac-10. Elsewhere, there are 13 undefeated teams among the six 
major conferences, five of them are in the Big 12 (Missouri, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State). Four of 
those are in one division, Big 12 South.

 Bad timing: East Carolina announced Saturday that coach Skip Holtz had received an extension through 2013 hours 
before the former BCS busters got blown out at home by Houston.

 After watching Connecticut's Donald Brown on two consecutive Fridays, it's obvious this guy is the real deal. The 
nation's leading rusher has amazing feet and cutting ability. Playing in the East in the Big East and being on 
national television several times, I can see Brown getting a Heisman invite if he keeps it up.

 If Tennessee and Clemson do make moves on their coaches, they're going to be expensive ones. It could cost 
Tennessee upwards of $6 million to get rid of Phil Fulmer, not to mention the cost of hiring a new staff. Clemson 
would have to start by scratching a check for $4 million. That's the amount of Tommy Bowden's buyout. Both coaches 
got raises/extensions in the offseason. Their teams are a combined 4-5.


 If Notre Dame keeps this up they're going to get ranked and go to a BCS bowl while Jimmy Clausen gets some Heisman 
mention, as far-fetched as that sounds. ND, 3-1, matched its 2007 victory total with a 38-21 victory over Purdue.

Clausen seems to be turning some kind of corner after completing 20 of 35 for 275 yards and three touchdowns.

"I know I'm capable of doing stuff like that," Clausen said. "It was just a matter of time and practice preparation 
to get to this point."

 Rice's Chase Clement hooked up three more times with receiver Jarrett Dillard setting an NCAA record for career 
scoring passes between teammates (41). North Texas (0-4) was the victim, 77-20.

Let the debate begin about the worst I-A team. Washington State (1-4 after a 63-14 loss to Oregon) or North Texas.


 Northwestern is 5-0 for the first time in 46 years after beating Iowa 22-17.

 Utah kicker Louie Sakoda chipped in 13 points during the Utes' 37-21 victory over Weber State becoming the 
school's all-time leading scorer. Funny, all along I thought it was Andre Miller.

 Penn State's Derrick Williams scored touchdowns rushing, catching and returning against Illinois.

 Weird play of the day: Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell threw an apparent 97-yard touchdown pass to Terrance 
Turner against Michigan State. Instead, it was called back. Indiana was called for holding in the end zone and the 
Spartans were awarded a safety.

 Did anyone else notice that Dolphin Stadium was half full, at best, for Miami's game against North Carolina? The 
announced attendance was 35,830.

 Navy beat its first ranked team in 23 years, 24-17 over Wake Forest.

 

 

 

 

Posted on: August 5, 2008 12:16 pm
 

Five things you should know about the Sun Belt

1. Is it possible to be at the top your game at age 74? Howard Schnellenberger is doing it again, having led Florida Atlantic to the conference's first win over a Big Ten team (Minnesota) the Sun Belt title and New Orleans Bowl victory. It's the same formula Schnellie used at Miami, scour the state for fast Florida talent. Why not extend him through 2010?

2. Better times ahead. The Sun Belt is usually whipped with a belt by I-A powers in gurantee game. But for the second consecutive year at least three of the league's eight teams finished .500 or better.

3. The best program is ... Troy. Coach Larry Blakeney is entering his 18th year with the Trojans. Troy is competing for bowl games and producing NFL talent on a regular basis. Blakeney has won eight each of the last two years and has one losing season since 2002.

4. Bouncing back from the Alabama hangover. In a season of upsets the Louisiana-Monroe's stunning win at Alabama was one of the biggest. Journeyman coach Charlie Weatherbie was in charge of a team that had lost its first four games by 18, 23, 40 and 17 points. The 24-point underdogs hung in against an uninterested Crimson Tide and perhaps turned around the program.

5. The Sun Belt is the home of the best spread option offense in the country. Unfortunately, North Texas coach Todd Dodge ran it in high school. The transition of the offense to I-A was not pretty as the Mean Green finished 2-10 allowing 45 points per game. Something is wrong when you score 62 -- and lost by 12 to Navy. Better days are ahead for Dodge but the conference is getting tougher too.

 

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