Saturday, November 28, 2009


The game recap for the BYU-Utah game is now posted at


Let's get it going. Today should be a great day. Rivalries are already making things interesting. Pitt just lost to rival West Virginia last night, while Alabama and Texas were taken to the wire against their rivals. What will happen today? This is must see TV.


The game preview for BYU vs. Utah is posted on Check it out to see what I will be watching for and what other story lines have caught my interest If you have not been to that sight lately, take a good look at the other posts. I have made several this week.

Let me address some specific questions from you who follow the blog that I was unable to work into the post on isportsweb. No, Utah does not have the right personnel to stretch BYU to the breaking point. I think BYU is in complete control whether they win this game and by how much. That isn't to say that Utah does not have talented player who will put up a fight, but if BYU executes well then BYU will get their points and the Utah offense will struggle with an inexperienced quarterback, whether it is Terrence Cain or Jordan Wynn. I don't consider the Utah passing game aggressive. They rely on a solid run game and use the pass to keep teams honest, and with this year's quarterbacks, the run definitely comes first with Utah. Yes, I think BYU will excute well enough to win, and I just might get what we have not had yet this century, a big BYU win. All four of our wins have been fourth quarter comebacks, while Utah has had two blowouts this decade.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

PERSPECTIVE: BCS list of teams still under consideration

NOTE: A similar post can be found at on the BYU Football page.

The BCS released earlier this week a list of 20 teams still under consideration for the nine remaining BCS bowl positions. Ohio State has already secured a Rose Bowl spot as the Big 10 Champion. The list included the following teams:

Clemson, Georgia Tech, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Nebraska, Texas, Oregon, Oregon State, Florida, Alabama, Boise State, BYU, Iowa, LSU, Miami (FL), Oklahoma State, Penn State, USC, TCU, and Virginia Tech.

The first 10 teams are obvious since they can gain an automatic berth by winning their conference championship. It is the second 10 that is perplexing. TCU and Boise State are givens to be on this list, since they are in the top 6 and undefeated. Iowa, Penn State, and Oklahoma State are understandable; they are the next best teams from conferences that have an automatic berth for their champions. However, the rational and common sense starts to get fuzzy with LSU, Miami (FL), USC, and Virginia Tech. Each school has three losses, and no team with three losses, except for Illinois in 2007 as Ohio State's replacement in the Rose Bowl, has ever played in a BCS bowl game. The BCS could really get itself into trouble if one of these three loss teams is invited while an undefeated Boise State is not. I don't know what could be better evidence that the BCS is unfair and that money comes first in the BCS.

The final team on the list is BYU. This is the one that puzzles me the most. Why is BYU on the list? Yes, the Cougars can still meet the minimum requirements to qualify for a BCS bowl invite, that is nine wins and a top 14 ranking in the BCS standings, but with TCU and Boise State well ahead of BYU in the standings, why would a third member of a non-automatic qualifying conference still be under consideration? Was it that opening day win against Oklahoma? Furthermore, if 9-2 BYU is still BCS worthy, why not BYU's opponent this week, 9-2 Utah. Utah, just like BYU, has a loss to TCU, number 4 in the BCS. The only other loss for Utah came on the road at Oregon, another team on the verge of clinching a BCS bowl bid. Utah did, after all, win the Sugar Bowl just last year. Haven't the Utes established themselves as a BCS worthy program with a 2-0 record in BCS bowls?

The first explanation I can offer is that this is all politics. For the BCS to appear equitable it needs to show that schools from conferences without automatic bids for their champion have the same chance to get a BCS invite as any non-champion from those conferences with an automatic bid for their champion. This reminds me of 1996 when then BYU head coach LaVell Edwards was invited to the selection show for the Bowl Alliance, the precursor to the BCS. In 1996, BYU was the third highest ranked team available for the six alliance bowl spots, and the highest ranked team that was not guaranteed a spot as a conference champion. BYU was not invited to play in one of the Bowl Alliance games and having Edwards present was merely a gesture to make the Alliance appear to be an equitable system. In reality, BYU will not be invited to play in a BCS bowl, even if every team with two or three losses loses again and Boise State and one of the undefeated SEC teams lose their two remaining games. The BCS just won't let it happen. My second explanation is that BYU is the next highest rated team after TCU and Boise State from a conference that does not have an automatic bid for its conference champion. In their effort to appear fair, the BCS just did the simplest thing. That is why it was BYU and not Utah. My third explanation is that BYU was the second team from the Mountain West Conference on the list. The BCS bylaws prohibit a conference from having more than two participants in BCS bowls. Maybe if Utah was in the Western Athletic Conference or some other conference the Utes would have made the list, but since they are below BYU in the standings and in the same conference as BYU and TCU, Utah was left off.

In the end, I find one other question more pertinent than all others. Why does the BCS put out this list? There is still a lot of football left to play. The changes that can occur, and have occurred in the past, in the BCS standings can propel a team to the forefront of discussion that is out of the picture now. Why open yourself up for more criticism and controversy? Just let the games be played and tabulate the final BCS standings and make the selections from those results.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The pack is thinning. This week I am cutting Ryan Matthews and Dion Lewis from the list. Lewis is having a phenomenal freshman season, but I don't feel he is playing at the same level as the other running backs. The concussion that Matthews sustained last week kept him out of action this week, and that is hurting him. For him to really have had a chance, he needed to play very well in every game. As for the remaining three candidates, they are all neck and neck. Toby Gerhart has turned into a touchdown machine with seven in the last two weeks, but Stanford's loss to Cal does hurt him slightly. Case Keenum rebounded beautifully from last week's loss. Mark Ingram is doing the best he can with the limited number of touches that he is getting. He could be the clear cut leader if he could get his hands on the ball more often. No one can afford to slip up now.

Case Keenum, Houston, 29 completions, 39 attempts, 405 yards, 5TD (387-553, 4599, 36 TD, 6 INT, 3 rush TD)

Toby Gerhart, Stanford, 20-136, 4 TD (282-1531, 23 TD)

Mark Ingram, Alabama, 11-102, 2 TD (205-1399, 12 TD, 3 rec TD)

Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh, DID NOT PLAY--BYE (203-1291, 13 TD, 1 rec TD)--WILL NOT CONTINUE TO TRACK

Ryan Matthews, Fresno State, DID NOT PLAY--INJURED (213-1491, 14 TD)--WILL NOT CONTINUE TO TRACK

Monday, November 23, 2009


As a special feature for, each day this week I will highlight a game from the BYU-Utah series. Today is 1989, 20 years ago. Don't miss it.


You were right with the poll this week. LSU vs. Ole Miss received 57 percent of the vote, and sure enough, Ole Miss pulled off the upset. Oregon vs. Arizona received 28 percent, and that game nearly ended in an upset, too. An Oregon touchdown with less than 30 seconds left to force overtime game Oregon the extra time it needed to beat a tough Arizona team. Don't forget to vote in this week's poll: Which rivalry do you enjoy the most?


My reaction to BYU's spot in the rankings is posted at Check it out and see if you agree.

TOP 25, WEEK 12

After rewarding Rutgers and Stanford with significant jumps in the rankings last week, they showed me they did not care for my respect as they lost their respective games. Rutgers was pummelled by Syracuse, and Stanford lost to its rival. Both fell from the rankings. They may make it back into the final rankings, but at this point they are on the outside looking in. Everyone in the top 12 either won or was idle, so no changes there. I was poised to move Temple up significantly to number 14, but after I saw the results of Rutgers and Stanford following their big leaps, I kept them at a more modest 17 (the lowest ranked 2 loss team). I have joined the Temple bandwagon and want to see them keep winning, so I did not want to jinx them with an 8-3 Ohio team on the schedule this week for a chance to play Central Michigan in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championship game. Therefore, Central Michigan and Temple swapped spots. I have to say my favorite part of doing the rankings this week was dropping LSU out following its loss to Ole Miss. I think I am getting too much gratification over LSU's misfortunes, but I don't think unranked status is too harsh of a punishment. There are many other quality three-loss teams. With rivalries getting into full swing next week, we may see more major shake ups in the rankings. Stay tuned.

1. TCU (11-0)

2. Cincinnati (10-0)

3. Alabama (11-0)

3. Texas (11-0)

5. Florida (11-0)

6. Boise State (11-0)

7. Georgia Tech (10-1)

8. Pittsburgh (9-1)

9. Oregon (9-2)

10. Ohio State (10-2)

11. Houston (9-2)

12. Iowa (10-2)

13. Penn State (10-2)

14. Central Michigan (9-2)

15. Oklahoma State (9-2)

16. Utah (9-2)

17. Temple (9-2)

18. Clemson (8-3)

19. North Carolina (8-3)

20. Wisconsin (8-3)

21. Navy (8-3)

22. Nevada (8-3)

23. Nebraska (8-3)

24. Oregon State (8-3)

25. Ole Miss (8-3)

OTHERS TO WATCH: Troy, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami (FL), USC, Boston College, LSU, Rutgers, Stanford

Sunday, November 22, 2009

GAME RECAP: BYU vs. Air Force

You can view the game recap for the BYU vs. Air Force game at: Be sure to visit regularly next week as I will make a special post each day in honor of the BYU vs. Utah rivalry with flashbacks for some of the rivalries greatest games.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


It is Rivalry Week, part 1. Michigan vs. Ohio State highlights this week's rivalries. We also have games that will decide or clear up the races for conference titles. Oregon vs. Arizona and Stanford vs. Cal can go a long ways to decide who represents the Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl. Nebraska vs. Kansas State is for the Big 12 North Division title. What other games do you have your eye on?

Friday, November 20, 2009


The game preview for BYU vs. Air Force has been posted on Check it out and leave some additional things to watch for in this game.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I think it is time to let go of Jimmy Clausen. He made great improvements this year and is a fine quarterback, but he is not on the Heisman Trophy level. Case Keenum was my front runner going into the weekend, but he was less than outstanding in the loss to Central Florida. Toby Gerhart has surged to the front now. He has amassed 401 yards and 6 touchdowns the last two weeks against Oregon and USC. Ryan Matthews suffered a concussion and missed most of his game this week against Nevada. He expects to play this week. If he can't bounce back with huge games the last two weeks, he may be dropped, despite leading the nation in rushing.

Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame, 27 completions, 42 attempts, 283 yards, 1TD, 1 INT, 1 rush TD (236-350, 3053, 21 TD, 4 INT, 2 rush TD)-WILL NOT CONTINUE TO TRACK

Case Keenum, Houston, 33-56, 377, 3 TD, 1 INT (358-514, 4194, 31 TD, 6 INT, 3 rush TD)

Toby Gerhart, Stanford, 29-178, 3 TD (262-1395, 19 TD)

Mark Ingram, Alabama, 19-149, 2 TD (175-1297, 10 TD, 3 rec TD)

Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh, 21-152, 1 TD (203-1291, 13 TD, 1 rec TD)

Ryan Matthews, Fresno State, 8-32 (213-1491, 14 TD)

Monday, November 16, 2009


The second poll has closed, and Oregon was voted as the best 2 loss team, with 50 percent of the vote. Thanks to all who participated. Don't forget to vote in this week's poll question: Which ranked team is most likely to lose this weekend?


Don't forget to go to to read my latest post on the new rankings and where BYU is at and how the Cougars were treated compared to other teams that won/lost.

TOP 25, WEEK 11

And the upsets keep rolling in. For the second straight week, seven teams on my list lost. To their credit, however, Iowa, USC, South Florida, and Utah all played other ranked teams, but Utah was the only one to lose to a higher ranked team. Let's stop to reflect on the top 6. Number 1, TCU, has won every game by more than 15 points except for two. Those were both road games. One was against a very talented Clemson squad that is one win away from playing in the ACC title game. The other was a conference game in a snow storm against a traditionally strong Air Force club that has 7 wins and has not lost by more than 7 points (two losses were in overtime). Furthermore, TCU has played the 16th ranked team (by the major polls) twice this year and has won both games by a score of 93-35. No team in the country, let alone the other 5 undefeated teams has dominated its top ranked opponents like TCU has. The Horned Frogs have a potent offense to match their traditionally elite defense. Cincinnati is number 2 because they continue to exceed expectations. They opened the season with a 47-15 win at Rutgers who is now 7-2 (the only other loss was a 7 point decision against #8 Pittsburgh) and coming of a 31-0 beat down of South Florida (who was ranked at the time). Starting quarterback Tony Pike was injured a month ago, but the offense has not skipped a beat. Cincinnati might not have the name recognition that some of the other schools in the rankings, but with their performance on the field they have proven they are legit. Brian Kelly has to be one of the top 5 coaches in college football, and I like his team's chances against anyone. Alabama, like TCU and everyone else, had a conference foe give them a scare (Tennessee, 12-10), but three other games were solid, not dominant, wins. Although the Crimson Tide has a stout defense, I think they lack the offensive firepower necessary to beat the two teams ahead of it. I have moved Texas into a tie with Alabama at number 3. (Yes, I know they shut down the Arkansas offense, but the Razorbacks are really at least a year away from being the high octane Bobby Petrino offensive attacks that we saw at Louisville.) After struggling at times, the Longhorns offense appears to be hitting on all cylinders, while the defense has not allowed more than 14 points since week 3. I cannot justify ranking Texas higher because the rankings intend to represent the season long performance of a team, and the top two have played more consistently all year. Florida has lost a lot of offensive fireworks from last year, but their defense and the it factor that Tim Tebow has is getting it done. However, after Louisiana Tech played LSU so close, I like Boise State's chances against the Gators. Boise State is inching closer to that number 5 spot, and I think a Boise State vs. Florida match up in a bowl game would be intriguing. Would the Bronco defense shut down Florida's offense like it did Oregon, and would the high execution of Boise State on offense be enough to put points up against Florida's suffocating defense? I like Boise State, but the close games against Louisiana Tech and Tulsa, as well as the unimpressive win against UC Davis make me unable to rank the Broncos higher than any of the others. As for the rest of the field, LSU continued to be unimpressive. They are the most overrated two loss team in the country. Oregon edged out Ohio State as the top two loss team by virtue of its win over USC, whereas Ohio State lost to USC. Rutgers made a big jump from 23 to 15, for the reasons cited above. Stanford made the biggest jump--nine spots from 25 to 16. Stanford is an exception to the rule. If you go back and read my initial Top 25 rankings, I explained that my philosophy was that teams with a better overall win-loss record would be ranked higher than teams with a worse record, and only on very rare occasions would this philosophy not be followed. Stanford has been so impressive the last two weeks beating Oregon and USC that the Cardinals merit being ranked above some two loss teams. Anyone care to argue? Although Iowa lost its second straight, the Hawkeyes only fell two spots, since they have head-to-head wins over Wisconsin and Penn State.

1. TCU (10-0)

2. Cincinnati (10-0)

3. Alabama (10-0)

3. Texas (10-0)

5. Florida (10-0)

6. Boise State (10-0)

7. Georgia Tech (10-1)

8. Pittsburgh (9-1)

9. Oregon (8-2)

10. Ohio State (9-2)

11. Houston (8-2)

12. Iowa (9-2)

13. Wisconsin (8-2)

14. Penn State (9-2)

15. Rutgers (7-2)

16. Stanford (7-3)

17. Oklahoma State (8-2)

18. Utah (8-2)

19. LSU (8-2)

20. Temple (8-2)

21. Central Michigan (8-2)

22. Clemson (7-3)

23. North Carolina (7-3)

24. Navy (8-3)

25. Nevada (7-3)

OTHERS TO WATCH: Troy, West Virginia, Oregon State, Virginia Tech, Miami (FL), USC, Boston College, Nebraska, Mississippi

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Saturday is upon us once more. Again, the weekend has gotten off to a great start with the early games. Rutgers ambushed South Florida 31-0 on Thursday, and Cincinnati held on to beat West Virginia 24-21 yesterday. Today features Utah vs. TCU, Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh, Ohio State vs. Iowa, and Stanford vs. USC. Florida vs. South Carolina is always worth keeping an eye on with Steve Spurrier on the SC sideline. Idaho and Boise State in the WAC will give us a true measuring stick of how good Idaho really is. The upset alert is on Penn State vs. Indiana. Indiana has played almost everyone close this year, and Penn State could suffer a let down after their disappointing game against Ohio State last week. Don't be shy. Fill the comments section with your thoughts and reactions to today's games.


Don't forget to checkout for my game preview of BYU vs. New Mexico. Following the game, a game recap will be posted.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Have you ever noticed a large gate in a farm fence? As you open it or close it there appears to be very little movement at the hinge. But there is great movement at the perimeter (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Small Acts Lead to Great Consequences,” Ensign, May 1984, 81).

This quote from a great world leader and friend of college football goes a long way to explaining a lot of the surprising game scores that we see almost weekly in college football. How many times have we sat down to watch a highly anticipated match up between two evenly matched teams only to have the outcome determined long before the final whistle blew? The 2005 Orange Bowl comes to mind (USC 55 Oklahoma 19). Although the scoreboard reflects a significant difference between the two teams, reality is that the two teams are evenly matched. The big win is the outcome of a few little plays going in favor of one team. Two, three, or four plays in a game made up of 150 plays can seem like the "very little movement at the hinge"; however, when the game ends it is clear that those couple of plays caused a "great movement at the perimeter." Let's look at the two BYU losses this year to better understand this sports phenomena.
September 19, 2009, BYU was favored to beat Florida State. The game ended in a 54-28 victory for Florida State. Although BYU lost by almost 4 touchdowns, it was essentially 2 plays that caused this drastic outcome. Play one was O'Neill Chamber's first quarter fumble. BYU had driven from its own 20 yard line to the FSU 18. Max Hall dropped back and connected with Chambers on a short pass when he fumbled at the 13. FSU recovered ending BYU's scoring threat. This was not just a fumble. It was a turnover that ended a scoring threat that we have no reason to doubt would have ended in a touchdown to tie the game at 7. Instead, FSU took over and scored another touchdown to push the lead to 14 Play two was another O'Neill Chambers fumble, this time in the second quarter. FSU scored with 23 seconds before halftime to go up 28-14. On the ensuing kickoff, Chambers fumbled at the BYU 30 yard line. This put FSU in position to tack on three more points with a successful field goal. What could have been a 28-21 game at the half, with BYU receiving the ball to start the second half, was a 30-14 FSU lead instead. Those two fumbles resulted in a 10 point difference, and completely changed BYU's play calling in the second half and the way FSU could defend the BYU offense. I am not saying that BYU would have won, but the game would have been much more competitive.
October 24, 2009, BYU had a conference showdown with the TCU Horned Frogs. BYU started the second half trailing 21-7. On the Cougars' first possession, however, they were moving the ball effectively and poised to score a touchdown and make the score 21-14. That would have been BYU's second consecutive scoring drive, and the game still up for grabs. However, a Max Hall pass was tipped by the intended receiver and intercepted by TCU. TCU subsequently kicked a field goal to push the lead to 24-7, another 10 point swing that was the real difference in the game.
Three plays in two games have given the nation the perception that BYU's 7-2 record is the result of BYU beating 6 bad teams, losing 2 ugly games, and getting a lucky injury against Oklahoma. The reality is that those three plays were the hinge that was magnified over the course of those two games and leaving an impression of BYU that overshadows its other accomplishments this year.
In sports we have another word for hinge: momentum. Momentum is the 12th man in football. Sometimes Mo switches his jersey throughout the game. Other times, he jumps on the swinging fence and rides it until the hinge opens fully.


With the temperatures sinking across the country, this is the time of year that the heat is turning up on some college football coaches. Memphis (2-7) and Western Kentucky (0-9) have already fired their coaches. Who else can we expect to join the unemployment ranks within the next month?

  1. Charlie Weis, Notre Dame: He barely survived last year. Supposedly he has the talent on the roster that should have resulted in a BCS birth. Now, the Fighting Irish have three losses and no hope for the BCS.
  2. Steve Kragthorpe, Louisville: When he took over Louisville had just entered elite territory with an Orange Bowl win. The last three years Louisville has won a total of 14 games. Rumor is that his relationship off the field with school administration is not any better.
  3. Mike Locksley, New Mexico: The Lobos are win less and to make matters worse he has some anger management issues. It does not matter that it is his first year, the program cannot maintain dignity by retaining Locksley for another year.
  4. Dan Hawkins, Colorado: He predicted 10 wins at the beginning of the year. For most of the year they have been the laughing stock of the Big 12. He hasn’t helped himself by having his son start at quarterback. The tricky part of this one is that the Colorado Athletic Department is so strapped for cash right now that it might be impossible to buy out Hawkins’ contract, so he might have a job for one more year.
  5. Al Groh, Virginia: Virginia has wallowed in mediocrity for the last five years, with the exception of 2007. The embarrassing start to this year coupled with the current three game losing streak have made this firing almost a foregone conclusion.
  6. Paul Wulff, Washington State: Has any team in college football been as bad as Washington State over the last two years? The Cougars only won two games last year against win less Washington and FCS Portland State. This year a lone overtime win is the only time Washington State has walked of the field victorious. I don’t see any signs that this program is ready to make a turn in the right direction.
  7. Rich Rodriguez, Michigan: Although the Wolverines have already improved their win total from 3 to 5 with two games to go. The problem is that Michigan does not stand much of a chance to win those games, and that all 5 of Michigan’s losses this year have come to Big 10 teams. In Ann Arbor the faithful expect to be the best in the Big 10 and Michigan isn’t winning conference games.

Hopefully, the coach of your favorite team is not listed above. Who else do you think should be on the list?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


With three weeks left, we see some candidates trying to separate themselves. Case Keenum has passed for 1,000 yards the last two weeks. Toby Gerhart and Mark Ingram came up big in big games to stand out a little from the pack of running backs. However, with three games to go, and looking at their total rushing yards, I am wondering if either of them will surpass 1,500. How comfortable are we with a Heisman Trophy being awarded to a running back with less than 1,500 yards rushing. That has not happened in over 25 years. Maybe if one of them had a 9 yard per carry average and over 20 touchdowns, but with the 12 game schedule (13 for Ingram), 1,500 yards is the minimum for "outstanding" running back play. As I said for quarterbacks, a game manager is not an outstanding quarterback. A running back with less than 1,500 rushing yards is nothing more than a game manager. Dropping from the list after this week will be Noel Devine and Jaquizz Rodgers. Devine has had less than 100 total yards rushing the last two weeks. Rodgers was a tough call. I know he is capable of exploding in the last few weeks of the year, and he has all those touchdowns, but in the end I think he is just too far behind to catch up. Jimmy Clausen is hanging on by a thread. He put up respectable numbers in a loss to a respectable Navy team, but he let himself get sacked for a safety late in the fourth quarter that proved to be the winning score. Notre Dame, though, finishes the year with two pretty big games (Pittsburgh and Stanford) and he has chances to redeem himself.

Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame, 37 completions, 51 attempts, 452 yards, 2TD, 1 INT (209-308, 2770, 20 TD, 3 INT, 1 rush TD)

Case Keenum, Houston, 40-60, 522, 3 TD (325-458, 3815, 28 TD, 5 INT, 3 rush TD)

Noel Devine, West Virginia, 13 carries, 56 yards (167-1010, 10 TD)-WILL NOT CONTINUE TO TRACK

Toby Gerhart, Stanford, 38-223, 3 TD (233-1217, 16 TD)

Mark Ingram, Alabama, 22-144, (175-1148, 8 TD, 3 rec TD)

Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh, 18-110, 1 TD (203-1139, 12 TD, 1 rec TD)

Jaquizz Rodgers, Oregon State, 25-67, 1 TD (197-989, 15 TD, 1 rec TD, 1 TD pass)-WILL NOT CONTINUE TO TRACK

Ryan Matthews, Fresno State, 26-143, 3 TD (205-1459, 14 TD)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reaction to Rankings

Don't forget that Mondays I post an in depth analysis of the rankings from a BYU perspective on Go there and join the discussion. I make some bold assertions and would like to get your feedback on them.

Poll Results: TCU vs. Boise State

The poll for TCU or Boise State in the BCS has closed, and TCU ran away with 88 percent of the vote. Thank you to all who participated. Don't forget to vote this week: Who is the best two-loss team?

TOP 25, WEEK 10

All those upsets in the Top 25 is a sure sign that it is November. Seven teams on my list lost. TCU solidified its position at number 1 by putting up 55 points in 3 quarters, while Cincinnati squeaked out a win against UConn. Cincinnati will prove its self in the couple of games with West Virginia and Pitt coming up. I feel more and more confident in the order of numbers 3 through 6, too. I did not penalize Iowa too much for its close loss to Northwestern. The injury bug bit the team's top offensive player, plus Iowa started the game by jumping out to a 10-0 lead. The loss has to be attributed to this injury, not to Iowa digging itself an insurmountable hole. The two-loss teams took some time to sort out. Oregon just crushed USC, so the Ducks had to stay above the Trojans, and USC beat Ohio State back in September, who just beat Penn State last weekend. LSU also joined the two-loss club, and, despite those losses being to the number three and five ranked teams, I took this opportunity to significantly drop the Tigers. The have failed to impress me all year long, so I am not going to give them an inflated ranking; however, I did keep them above some other two-loss teams. Stanford is the only three-loss team, by virtue of their upset of Oregon. For those keeping track, I have stuck to my resolve to boycott BYU from the rankings, even though they played the textbook definition of a complete game in its 52-0 win against Wyoming.

1. TCU (9-0)

2. Cincinnati (9-0)

3. Alabama (9-0)

4. Texas (9-0)

5. Florida (9-0)

6. Boise State (8-0)

7. Georgia Tech (9-1)

8. Pittsburgh (8-1)

9. Houston (8-1)

10. Iowa (9-1)

11. Utah (8-1)

12. Oregon (7-2)

13. Wisconsin (7-2)

14. USC (7-2)

15. Ohio State (8-2)

16. Penn State (8-2)

17. Oklahoma State (7-2)

18. LSU (7-2)

19. South Florida (6-2)

20. Miami (FL) (7-2)

21. Temple (7-2)

22. Arizona (6-2)

23. Rutgers (6-2)

24. Central Michigan (7-2)

25. Stanford (6-3)

OTHERS TO WATCH: Troy, West Virginia, Navy, Notre Dame, Nevada, Auburn, Texas Tech, Oregon State, Virginia Tech, Clemson

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Let's hear it. Sorry this is coming a little late, and we already have so much to talk about. Undefeated Iowa has gone down. The injury bug bit starting QB Ricky Stanzi. BYU is off to a phenomenal start--offense and defense--to essentially put the game out of reach minutes into the third quarter. What are you watching? What has impressed you?

Friday, November 6, 2009


I am up and running as the BYU team correspondent for isportsweb. Go to and check out my first posts and some of the other great material on that site.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Case Keenum's performance impressed me. I think his 80+ percent completion percentage and over 550 yards of passing has given him a slight lead in this race. Last week I had Jaquizz Rodgers on the list only because of his 15 total touchdowns. This week he added a touchdown pass to his resume. Noel Devine had a bad outing against South Florida, but I can't justify taking him off the list yet, since he has more rushing yards than Jaquizz Rodgers and more rushing touchdowns than Mark Ingram. No Tim Tebow is not reappearing on my list. It is going to take more than one 4 TD performance to get back on the list, even if he did set the SEC career rushing touchdown record.

Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame, 22 completions, 27 attempts, 268 yards, 2TD (172-257, 2318, 18 TD, 2 INT, 1 rush TD)

Case Keenum, Houston, 44-54, 559, 5 TD, 1 INT (285-398, 3293, 25 TD, 5 INT, 3 rush TD)

Noel Devine, West Virginia, 17 carries, 42 yards (154-954, 10 TD)

Toby Gerhart, Stanford, DID NOT PLAY (195-994, 13 TD)

Mark Ingram, Alabama, DID NOT PLAY (153-1004, 8 TD, 3 rec TD)

Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh, DID NOT PLAY (158-1029, 11 TD, 1 rec TD)

Jaquizz Rodgers, Oregon State, 24-112, 1 TD pass (172-922, 14 TD, 1 rec TD, 1 TD pass)

Ryan Matthews, Fresno State, 23-185, 2 TD (179-1316, 11 TD)

Monday, November 2, 2009


Over the weekend, I assumed a new position as the BYU Team Correspondent for
" is a cutting edge variation of sports information on the web. We will provide fresh, in-depth coverage from a local perspective on as many sports teams nationwide, college or professional, as possible."

This will be the new source for my BYU related work. I will make a minimum of three posts per week on this site. So what are you waiting for? Go check it out. Now!

TOP 25, WEEK 9

Notwithstanding my gut feeling about Georgia upseting Florida being wrong, I will not put Florida back on top for beating a team that I did not even rank in my preseason top 25. What I will do is take comfort in knowing that I accurately assessed how Georgia would perform this year while most other people had Georgia somewhere in the top 15, or close to it. I would lkie to move Boise State up after Oregon threw USC back down to earth. However, no one in the top 5 did anything to hurt their positions (Iowa was already behind Boise State). Only one spot in the bottom 11 stayed the same (Miami at 21). I hesitated last week to show some love to teams like Temple and Idaho, but they showed me that they could win on a weekend when other two-loss teams and one-loss teams could not win against foes with worse records. As I said last week, I love this time of year: November is crunch time. Most of these teams will prove they are top material or they will fall as every team is playing its best ball.

1. TCU (8-0)

2. Cincinnati (8-0)

3. Alabama (8-0)

4. Texas (8-0)

5. Florida (8-0)

6. Boise State (7-0)

7. Iowa (9-0)

8. Oregon (7-1)

9. Penn State (8-1)

10. Georgia Tech (8-1)

11. LSU (7-1)

12. Houston (7-1)

13. Pittsburg (7-1)

14. Utah (7-1)

15. USC (6-2)

16. Ohio State (7-2)

17. Notre Dame (6-2)

18. Wisconsin (6-2)

19. South Florida (5-2)

20. Oklahoma State (6-2)

21. Miami (FL) (6-2)

22. Cal (6-2)

23. Idaho (7-2)

24. Temple (6-2)

25. Central Michigan (7-2)

OTHERS TO WATCH: Troy, West Virginia, Rutgers

Saturday, October 31, 2009


This might be the biggest weekend in college football this year. The slate of games includes: Florida vs. Georgia, USC at Oregon, and Texas at Oklahoma State. If the Thursday and Friday games are any indication of how this week will go all three of these games are must see. North Carolina shocked Virginia Tech 20-17, and South Florida upended West Virginia 30-19 last night. I don't know why, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Georgia is going to beat Florida. It is sort of a trap game for Florida. Although it is a rivalry game, Georgia is down this year, so the Gators might be looking past the Bulldogs or just have a false sense of security. Florida has not been playing up to par most of this year. Georgia has nothing to lose, and Florida has a lot to lose. Oregon and USC is intriguing to me because win or lose, Oregon still has a viable shot at playing in the BCS. Whereas Boise State could go undefeated, yet be on the outside looking in, even though they toppled Oregon for the second straight year. The last time these two teams met at Oregon, Oregon beat USC with redshirt sophomore quarterback Marc Sanchez. Now, USC has a true freshman at quarterback. What impact will that have? Oklahoma State is without star receiver Dez Bryant and star running back Kendall Hunter, but they have not seemed to miss a beat. The Cowboys have made it a habit to jump out to big leads early against the Longhorns, but let them stage furious comebacks and win. Maybe this year Oklahoma State will get over the hump and protect a lead. Any way you slice it, this Saturday looks to have everything we have come to expect from this great sport. Go ahead, jump into the mix by posting your comments on what you hope to see today and your reaction to it as it happens.


I have officially made it big. ESPN has found my questions important enough to include them as part of the weekly podcast with Ivan Maisel and Beano Cook. For those who don't know, Beano Cook is a walking encyclopedia regarding college football. He is from Pittsburgh, PA, and he worked many years with the University of Pittsburgh athletic department. That gave me the idea to ask through email that he justify Pitts' number 3 ranking to start the 1984 college football season, which would further validate BYU's national title that year. Well, his response was disappointing. I thought he would pull out some great facts like how many players from that team went on to play in the NFL, or that they finished 1983 really strong (similar to the way Ole Miss finished 2008 and was ranked in the top 5 earlier this year), or that a star player was injured. You can listen to it yourself to hear what he said. It is the ESPNU College Football (CFB)Podcast for 10/28. It starts at the 17:44 mark of the podcast. You can find it under the "MEDIA" section on the ESPN College Football Home page, or go to: and look for ESPNU CFB 10/28.

PERSPECTIVE: TCU or Boise State--Who should go BCS bowling?

Whether we want to admit it or not, both TCU and Boise State probably won't go to a BCS bowl game. I will be the first to say they both deserve to go if they finish undefeated, but the reality of the system is that only one will go. Ironically, Oregon could end up going as an at-large team while Boise State plays, yet again, in a lesser bowl. Therefore, the question becomes, who should go BCS bowling if both TCU and Boise State finish the year undefeated?
The answer: TCU, and it isn't even close. Consider the following facts:
  1. TCU beat Boise State last year in the Poinsettia Bowl, thus showing TCU was the better team last year, and in the absence of a head-to-head contest this year this is the best barometer of who is better this year.
  2. Boise State has had three perfect regular seasons this decade (2004, 2006, and 2008). In 2004 and 2008, Boise State did not play in BCS games. Not only did they not play in BCS games, but they LOST their bowl games (Liberty Bowl in 2004 to Louisville, 44-40, and the aforementioned Poinsettia Bowl, 17-16). These losses completely legitimized the BCS snubbing Boise State those years. They also legitimize the BCS selecting another team from a non-automatic qualifying conference instead of Boise State, even if the Broncos are undefeated.

This debate is as simple as that. We don't need to get into points per game, who beat who, etc. The two teams played each other in the last game of the year last year and TCU showed it was better then, and there is no compelling evidence that things have changed. Boise State has not proven in the past that a perfect regular season record against their schedule is a very accurate measuring stick for their ability to compete against elite competition.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


While it is still October and the month that he was born, let's go back in time to honor one of the greatest college football coaches: LaVell Edwards. LaVell Edwards coached at BYU from 1972 to 2000, and by any measure should be included in any legitimate conversation about the top college football coaches. Without him, we would have no BCS controversy today. Without him, and this is no overstatement, the states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho would not exist in the football world. From 1972 to 2000 he won 257 games (far more than BYU had won since the inception of football at the school). He won 10 consecutive conference championships from 1976 to 1985. He brought a National Championship to the Inter mountain region before Florida and Florida State won their first National Championships. He brought a Heisman Trophy to the region. According to Wikipedia, Edwards "is considered the founder of the spread formation passing attack, and one of the most influential and innovative minds in college football history." He raised the level of competition to the point that his teams were regularly beating highly ranked opponents, which naturally raised the recruiting and the level of play among all the teams in the region. Edwards was well liked and respected by virtually everyone in the game.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Just as with the Top 25, it is time to narrow down this list to those who are seriously the "most outstanding players." What makes this difficult is that "outstanding" play has been rare this year. Tim Tebow is definately out. Colt McCoy, too. What I am looking at first and foremost is stats. My belief is that the Heisman Trophy winner should have gaudy statistics. However, statistics alone don't make a player "outstanding." Outstanding players make their team better, so I do consider the team's win-loss record. The year in school has no factor at all, nor does how well or poor a player has played in previous seasons. Quarterback play has not been that great this year, as indicated by only two quarterbacks on my list. (Being a good "game manager" is not "outstanding.") Running backs are having a pretty good year, but no one is on pace for the magical 2,000 yard mark. For running backs, I considered touchdowns and yards per carry, and not just the number of yards.

Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame, 26 completions 39 attempts, 246 yards, 2 TD, (150-230, 2050, 16 TD, 2 INT, 1 rush TD)

Case Keenum, Houston, 25-36, 233, 1 TD (241-344, 2734, 20 TD, 4 INT, 3 rush TD)

Noel Devine, West Virginia, 23 rush, 178 yards, 1 TD (137-912, 10 TD, 1 rec TD)

Toby Gerhart, Stanford, 27-125, 1 TD (195-994, 13 TD)

Mark Ingram, Alabama, 18-99 (153-1004, 8 TD, 3 rec TD)

Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh, 23-111, 2 TD (158-1029, 11 TD, 1 rec TD)

Jaquizz Rodgers, Oregon State, 20-113, 1 TD (1 rec TD), (148-810, 14 TD, 1 rec TD)

Ryan Matthews, Fresno State, 25-157, 2 TD (156-1131, 9 TD)

Monday, October 26, 2009

TOP 25, WEEK 8

DISCLAIMER: I am going to start with a rant about BYU’s ranking before making a synopsis of the rankings and revealing them, so if you have no interest in BYU you can skip to the next paragraph. Is anyone else as frustrated as I am about BYU right now? Will BYU ever turn the corner and earn a BCS bowl spot? Athletic Director Tom Holmoe needs to make a dominate defense the top priority in Provo. For 30 years we have had an elite offense and done quite well with it, but we never consistently have had good, solid defenses (to say nothing about great or dominate). It is time for the university that wants to help students on their “quest for perfection” to set the example in every endeavor it undertakes. A perfect football team must have both an elite offense and a dominate defense. BYU is on the verge of getting the Ohio State treatment. In 2008: blowout loss to TCU, blowout loss to Utah—the two best teams on the schedule. Now, in 2009, blowout loss to Florida State, blowout loss to TCU, and all the good that was accomplished in 2006 and 2007 has pretty much been eliminated. The Oklahoma win, although very impressive and memorable, is very much overshadowed by the two losses this year. My prediction for 2010 and beyond is that BYU will not be taken seriously by the poll voters and the national media until season’s end and only if they won the big games. A 10-2 or 11-1 record will mean little if BYU lost big or lost, even by a little, to TCU, Utah, or a marquee non-conference opponent. As for my rankings, I am boycotting ranking BYU until my final poll after bowl season. Yes, I think BYU is one of the top 20 teams in the nation, but my ire is so great right now that I am expressing it every civil way that I can.
I was going to wait for the first weekend in November to seriously rethink my rankings and revamp them to correct any pre-season bias and to account for real on the field results from a large sample size. However, with my long injury time out, now is as good a time as any. This week’s results are exactly what make this my favorite time of year in college football. We see one of two things because teams are gelling and hitting full stride: 1) unexpected blowouts as teams separate from the rest of the pack, and 2) unexpected upsets/squeakers as stakes are raised and bulls-eyes get bigger on the teams on top. Alabama has to block two field goals to beat Tennessee, Iowa State beat Nebraska, Penn State blasted Michigan, and Texas A&M went on the road and pasted Texas Tech. This is when we must be ready for the unexpected 100% of the time.
I honestly feel I have not included any bias by moving TCU to the top of the rankings. Based on the performance of every other team in the country, I feel that TCU can and would win in a match up against anyone. This is not based on fancy formulas or sophisticated statistical manipulation. I base it on performance on the field. Alabama struggled against South Carolina and Tennessee the last two weeks. Texas looked bad against Louisiana-Monroe, Wyoming, Colorado, and Oklahoma. Florida was vulnerable against Mississippi State, LSU, and Tennessee. Boise State barely escaped with a win against Tulsa and was not impressive against UC Davis. Iowa plays with fire almost every week. Cincinnati is the only team you cannot complain about, and their cause is boosted since they have continued to play well the last two games without their starting quarterback. In the end it was a judgment call between TCU and Cincinnati and my verdict was in favor of TCU.

1. TCU (7-0)

2. Cincinnati (7-0)

3. Alabama (8-0)

4. Texas (7-0)

5. Florida (7-0)

6. Boise State (6-0)

7. Iowa (8-0)

8. USC (6-1)

9. Oregon (6-1)

10. Penn State (7-1)

11. Georgia Tech (7-1)

12. LSU (6-1)

13. Houston (6-1)

14. Pittsburg (7-1)

15. Utah (6-1)

16. Oklahoma State (6-1)

17. West Virginia (6-1)

18. Central Michigan (7-1)

19. Virginia Tech (5-2)

20. Ohio State (6-2)

21. Miami (FL) (5-2)

22. South Carolina (6-2)

23. Navy (6-2)

24. Notre Dame (5-2)

25. Cal (5-2)

OTHERS TO WATCH: Arizona, Kansas, Texas A&M, Wisconsin, Ole Miss

Saturday, October 24, 2009


What a weekend this is. Miami (FL) fans are also BYU fans today, but BYU fans are Clemson fans today. Miami plays Clemson, who lost to TCU in September. BYU plays TCU, who is ranked above Miami. If Miami is to move into contention for the title game, TCU must lose. If BYU beats TCU, then BYU needs TCU's opponents to appear as good as possible to strengthen its cause. Isn't college football great!!! Go ahead and comment on what you desire about this weekend, what happens during the games today, and how you feel about the outcomes.


This game has been circled for months; now it is time to play ball. BYU vs. TCU is starting to become a nice Mountain West Conference (MWC) rivalry. Hopefully these two teams continue to play around this same time of year, and maybe one day this match-up will be considered on the same plane as the Oklahoma-Texas Red River Rivalry. The absense of other marquee match-ups this week has allowed this year's game to receive substantial national attention. I don't want to dwell on the basic discussion points that are all over the internet. I want to offer my original viewpoints. BYU should roll out Max Hall often to avoid the rush. He is an excellent thrower on the run and TCU will wear down chasing after him all game long. BYU should use the no huddle a lot. The no huddle and the roll outs will make it easier for Harvey Unga to run and have a big day. The defense needs to get the adrenaline flowing and play the way they did against Oklahoma. As they showed against the Sooners, they can be physical in the middle and have enough quickness to prevent teams from getting around the corner. Having lost so bad last year should help the Cougars, and might even cause this game to mirror the shock that TCU gave the nation last year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


The University of Miami (FL) won the national championship in 2001 with a perfect record. They nearly repeated the championship and the perfect record in 2002. Their only loss was due to a controversial call in the national championship game against Ohio State. As the 2003 season opened, all the prognosticators were still gushing about how good Miami was and that they were legitimate national championship game material. Miami played Louisiana Tech in the first game of the season, and won 48-9. I watched this game and heard the TV analysts repeat what they were saying before the game: "Miami is going to challenge for the national championship." I sat there and wondered if they had just watched the same game that I had watched. I knew right then and there that Miami was not going to be in the national championship discussion at the end of the year. Sure enough, Miami lost two consecutive games November 1 and 8, and was barely ranked in the top 10 heading into bowl season.
What did I see that those TV analysts and the other "experts" did not see? I saw the "True Score" of the Miami-Louisiana Tech game. Twenty-one of Miami's 48 points came from a punt return for a touchdown, a defensive fumble return for a touchdown, and an interception return for a touchdown. That means that the Miami offense accounted for 27 points. The "True Score" for this game was 27-9. Legitimate national championship contenders score 60+ points against a team like Louisiana Tech when they have a special teams and two defensive touchdowns. On the surface, 48-9 looked impressive, but the "True Score" revealed that the Miami offense had some major issues that were later exposed when they lost 31-7 to Virginia Tech, and 10-6 to Tennessee.
Texas is a team this year that does not fair well with the "True Score" test. They beat Colorado 38-14 two weeks ago. On the surface, a 24 point win over a conference foe is admirable. However, Texas was only winning 17-14 with 5 minutes left in the third quarter when the defense returned an interception 92 yards for a touchdown. Subsequently, Texas scored on a punt return with 12:29 to play in the fourth quarter. Factor out these two scores and Texas won by a "True Score" of only 24-14. I know I am not unique in saying this, but keep your eyes open; Texas will be lucky to go undefeated this year.
To clarify, the "True Score" works by taking out scores that occur a low percentage of the time. Defensive and special teams scores are rare. Hail Mary and other long pass plays, as well as scores off of trick plays, also qualify for elimination from the score when calculating the "True Score." This does not mean that the points that teams get from these scores are illegitimate. Points are points no matter how they come, and wins still are wins if you beat the other team with one of these plays. The purpose of the "True Score" is to help you properly evaluate a teams performance and predict results over the course of a year. As I said, these are scoring plays that do not happen often. You can't count on a touchdown off of a kick return every game. The offense has to be able to sustain drives down the field and score touchdowns on a regular basis if you expect to have a high winning percentage or to go undefeated.


I am finally coming off the injured reserve list. (Not a bad weekend to do it--BYU vs. TCU.) Hopefully I make a better come back than Sam Bradford did for Oklahoma. I imagine I should. I have actually delayed my come back for that very purpose. I nearly came back a couple of times already, but exercised restraint waiting till I really felt 100%. I will stick with the past schedule, with hopes of throwing in some "bonus" posts to make up for the lost time. The Thursday "Perspective" post will be coming soon.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I know that consistent, quality posts are important to each of you when you visit this site. That is why I greatly regret that I am calling a time out. My wife gave birth to our fourth child last Monday, and although the baby is doing well and the delivery had no complications, my wife's hospital stay has been prolonged for precautionary measures. Not to worry, I have full confidence that she will be fine and leave very soon. However, I am unable to provide my usual Coaching post for today, and going forward, I am on day-to-day status. Don't let this stop you from discussing amongst yourselves the important issues and current events in college football through the comments section below. You can comment on the injuries of Tim Tebow or USC running back Stafon Johnson and how they might impact this season. What about Boise State moving higher in the polls and getting a shot at the national championship. One month is in the books, so what are the surprises and disappointments for you?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Two quarterbacks will be gone after this week: Max Hall (too many interceptions) and Jevan Snead (his play is too average this year). Daryll Clark could be next. Jimmy Clausen leading the winning drive after sitting out most of the second half for his turf toe keeps him high on the list even if his numbers were not spectacular. I imagine that Tim Tebow's injury will not impact his playing time and, therefore, will not imact his circle. I am still not adding anyone, but I am still keeping my eyes open for new candidates. One final note for clarification, on quarterbacks the first TD number is the touchdown passes and the second in parentheses is rushing touchdowns in addition to the passing touchdowns, so 2 TD (2 rush TD) means the quarterback accounted for 4 touchdowns.

Tim Tebow, Florida, 5 completions 10 attempts, 103 yards, 1 TD (16 rush, 123 yards, 2 rush TD), (44-68, 643, 6 TD, 1 INT, 5 rush TD)

Colt McCoy, Texas, 28-35, 286, 3 TD, 1 INT (103-145, 1145, 9 TD, 5 INT, 1 rush TD)

Max Hall, BYU, 18-29, 241, 2 TD, 2 INT, (88-130, 1185, 8 TD, 8 INT)--will not continue to track

Jevan Snead, Ole Miss, 7-21, 107, 1 TD (35-71, 491, 6 TD, 2 INT)--will not continue to track

Jahvid Best, Cal, 16-55 (69-467, 8 TD, 1 TD catch)

Daryll Clark, Penn State, 12-32, 198, 1 TD, 3 INT (77-129, 958, 9 TD, 6 INT)

Jaquizz Rodgers, Oregon State, 16-85, 2 TD (78-427, 7 TD)

Kellen Moore, Boise State, 17-21, 247, 2 TD, (70-101, 932, 10 TD, 1 INT)

Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame, 15-26, 171, 1 TD, 1 INT (77-117, 1122, 10 TD, 1 INT)

Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State, DID NOT RECORD STATS (17-323, 4 TD, 1 punt TD)

Monday, September 28, 2009

BCS: Oklahoma--The Original Ohio State

In recent years, I have been surprised by how the college football world has turned on Ohio State and placed them in a catagory of their own. After the first national championship game loss to Florida following the 2006 season, Ohio State was only put in the same game the next year against another SEC team because no one else in the automatic qualifying conferences had one loss. After LSU beat Ohio State that year Ohio State was black listed and cries were being made that even an undefeated Ohio State should not be considered for the national championship game implying they had lost the privilege. The next year came, 2008, and Ohio State was overwhelmingly beat by USC early in the year (no one seemed to care that Chris Wells, Ohio State's star running back was injured) and the Buckeye's were further tarnished, as well as completely eliminated from the national championship, even if they won the rest of their games. As I witnessed all of this happening, I wondered why Ohio State was judged so harshly, even when they were not the first to disappoint in BCS championship games, and had a better historical record in BCS games than another team: Oklahoma. Oklahoma has been some what of a teflon team. Consider the following results:

  1. 2003--Oklahoma was obliterated by Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship game 35-7, yet somehow, they remained in the top 2 of the BCS rankings. USC was number 1 in both the AP poll and the USA Today (Coaches) poll, but they did not play for the national championship. Oklahoma went on to lose to LSU in the national championship game.
  2. 2004--Oklahoma was one of three undefeated teams (USC and Auburn were the others) from the "Big Six" conferences. Again, Oklahoma qualified to play in the national championship game. This year, Oklahoma lost 55-19 in the national championship game leaving everyone wishing undefeated Auburn had gotten the chance to play USC instead.
  3. 2006--Oklahoma was playing Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. This marked the first time that a team from outside the "Big Six" conferences was playing a recognized national power in a BCS bowl game. (Utah's opponent in the 2004 Fiesta Bowl--Pittsburgh--was no where near elite status.) The BCS now had its chance to legitimize its witholding automatic qualification to conference champions outside the "Big Six" conferences. Rather than carrying the BCS banner proudly, Oklahoma lost to Boise State.
  4. 2007--Playing a West Virginia team that did not have its head coach (Rich Rodriguez had already left to start coaching Michigan) and that had lost embarassingly to Pittsburgh in the last game of the season, Oklahoma played its way to a 20 point loss.
  5. 2008--Oklahoma lost to Texas in the regular season. At the end of the year, despite identical win-loss records, Oklahoma held a higher BCS ranking and qualified for the Big 12 Championship game, which they won, and that win propelled Oklahoma into the BCS championship game over the team that had beaten them, as well as a slew of other one-loss teams that could argue they deserved to play in the championship game. Continuing their trend, Oklahoma lost to Florida.
  6. 2009--Now to start this year, Oklahoma became the first team ranked in the top 5 to lose to a team outside the "Big Six" conferences when it lost to BYU.

Does it seem fair to anyone that Oklahoma's failures have not blighted their perception, whereas Ohio State's failures have? The worst part of it all is that Oklahoma usually has been surrounded by controversy as to whether it should be in these games. Nevertheless, they could not win to silence their detractors. Ohio State on the other hand, was undefeated and had beated two teams during the season that were ranked number 2 when they played in 2006, and, as previously noted, Ohio State had the best record in the nation in 2007. In 2008, when most teams were being criticized for scheduling weak non-conference opponents, Ohio State went on the road against a top 5 team, without the heart and soul of their offense. To clarify, my point is that if we want to be so harsh on Ohio State (I don't disagree that Ohio State should be handicapped for their recent blunders) we have to be just as harsh, or harsher on Oklahoma. Furthermore, teams outside the "Big Six" conferences are expected to go undefeated just to play in a BCS bowl; the BCS championship game isn't even an option. Judging by past performance, everyone needs to seriously question: does an undefeated Oklahoma deserves to be in the national title game? In my judgment, Oklahoma should be disqualified from playing in the BCS championship game, and Oklahoma should have to go undefeated to play in one of the other BCS bowl games. Under that condition, Oklahoma can restore the privilege of playing in the national championship game by posting a winning record in its next 5 BCS bowl games. The point is, if the College Football world is going to establish a judgment system for the BCS and its National Championship game then the whole College Football world needs to be put through the same judgment process.

TOP 25, WEEK 4

Can you say upset? Four of my top 10 teams lost. I didn't see that coming. Four other ranked teams lost (Florida State, Washington, Oregon State, and North Carolina) and I have dropped them from the rankings. While last week was difficult with some teams dropping significantly due to head-to-head results and identical records, this weeks results have given a better picture of teams' true stature. (Just as I predicted last week: "Any unfairness that you may feel this has caused will sort itself out by the end of the year.") After its opening week loss to Boise St., Oregon appears to have righted the ship, so they jump back into the rankings all the way at 12. Numbers 12 through 16 were difficult to order and are only separated by razon thin margins. South Carolina is the only one-loss team to enter the rankings (they beat Cal); all the other new comers are from the ranks of the remaining unbeatens. South Florida earned the last spot over Texas A&M and Wisconsin by virture of its win over formerly ranked Florida State, on the road, and without their 4-year starting quarterback. Since a top 5 team and multiple other ranked teams have lost every week, who do you predict will fall this week?

1. Florida (4-0)

2. Texas (4-0)

3. Iowa (4-0)

4. Boise St. (4-0)

5. TCU (3-0)

6. Alabama (4-0)

7. Cincinnati (4-0)

8. Houston (3-0)

9. Michigan (4-0)

10. LSU (4-0)

11. Virginia Tech (3-1)

12. Oregon (3-1)

13. USC (3-1)

14. BYU (3-1)

15. Penn St. (3-1)

16. Miami (FL) (3-1)

17. Ohio St. (3-1)

18. Oklahoma (2-1)

19. South Carolina (3-1)

20. Cal (3-1)

21. Auburn (4-0)

22. Georgia Tech (3-1)

23. Kansas (4-0)

24. Missouri (4-0)

25. South Florida (4-0)

OTHERS TO WATCH: Texas A&M, Wisconsin, Florida State, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Oregon State, North Carolina, Arkansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Georgia, Florida St., Texas Tech

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Let's light up the comments section with our thoughts on the day's action. What surprised you, what excited you, what disappointed you? How will what is happening on the field effect the rankings? Who looks like a Heisman hero or a Heisman dud? Thursday's game started stirring the pot--South Carolina beat Ole Miss. Things will only get better today.

Friday, September 25, 2009


BYU is looking to bounce back from last weeks embarassing loss to Florida State. Meanwhile, Colorado State is looking to validate its 3-0 record. Wins over Colorado and Weber State have not been too impressive (Colorado does not look like they belong in the top 100, and the Weber State game was a squeeker). Then again, Florida State's win against Jacksonville State was a squeeker. Colorado State is coached by a "sophomore" coach who is seeing great dividends in his second year. The Rams have not been very competitive in recent years, except last year BYU had to pull out a thrilling 45-42 win with a last minute touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta. Colorado State feels they have improved and can come out and win this game. This should be a good measuring stick for both teams as they start conference play.


For those of you who are watching your first football games this year, tell me if this sounds familiar. A player on team A has the ball and runs 20 to 30 yards down the field, perhaps he even scores a touchdown. You are excited and cheering the good accomplishment, and then the next thing you know team A is lining up for the next play further back then where they started the last play. Confusing, right? Well, what you missed between the plays was a penalty committed by team A. Penalties are infractions of the rules. The officials (the ones wearing black and white stripped shirts) throw a yellow cloth called a flag when one team commits an infraction for which they are then penalized. Not all penalties are equal. They can range from 5 yards, 10 yards, and 15 yards. A few penalties are marked at the spot on the field that they occur. Most of the time when a penalty is assessed, the team with the ball get to repeat the down, however, the more severe infractions are penalized by a loss of down. If the penalty is against team A, team B has the option of accepting or rejecting the penalty. If it is strategically better for team B to accept the outcome of the play (such as an incomplete pass on third down), then the penalty against team A does not turn into a penalty for team B, too. The following list cites the name of common penalties, explains what the infraction is, and the yards penalized for that infraction.
  • DELAY OF GAME--the team on offense does not snap the ball before the 40 second play clock counts down to zero. Distance: 5 yards and repeat the down.
  • FALSE START--a player on the team on offense moves laterally before the the center snaps the ball. Distance: 5 yards and repeat the down.
  • OFF SIDES--a player on the defense crosses onto the offense's side before the center snaps the ball. Distance: 5 yards and repeat the down.
  • ILLEGAL PARTICIPATION--a team has more than 11 players on the field. Distance: 5 yards.
  • FACE MASK--a player grabs or puts his hand on another player's face mask. Distance: 15 yards and an automatic first down for the offense (repeat the down if an offensive player does it to a defensive player).
  • HOLDING--a player grabs and holds another player to stop him from making a tackle or from getting away from him. Distance: 10 yards if against the offense and repeat the down, 5 yards if against the defense and an automatic first down.
  • PASS INTERFERENCE--a player touches another player that is trying to catch a pass. Distance: 15 yards if against the defense and an automatic first down, 5 yards and repeat the down if against the offense.
  • ROUGHING THE PASSER--a defensive player hits the quarterback well after he has thrown the ball. Distance: 15 yards and an automatic first down.
  • INTENTIONAL GROUNDING--a quarterback throws the ball away to avoid getting sacked by a defensive player (no receiver can be close to where the quarterback threw the ball). Distance: ball is marked where the quarterback was standing when he threw the ball, and the offense loses one down.
  • ILLEGAL FORWARD PASS--a player can only throw the ball forward if he is behind the line of scrimmage (the yard line that the center snapped the ball to start the play). Distance: 5 yards and loss of a down.
  • PERSONAL FOUL--a hit after a play was over or unsportsmanlike conduct during a play. Distance: 15 yards and an automatic first down.
  • RUNNING INTO THE KICKER--lightly contacting the kicker after he kicked ball (unless the player blocked the kick). Distance: 5 yards and repeat the down.
  • ROUGHING THE KICKER--heavy contact with the kicker after he kicked the ball, usually presently a serious safety risk to the kicker. Distance: 15 yards and an automatic first down.
  • EXCESSIVE CELEBRATION--there are many forms of this penalty and it is most always a judgement call by the official. Distance: 15 yards.

This list can go on and on, but this is a good start for you. It is important to understand penalties are judgment calls by human officials while a play is going full speed. Therefore, they do miss some and this is just another aspect of the game that can cause controversy. Hopefully it never costs your favorite team the win.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


As much as I love BYU and as much as I like to present the up side of issues for BYU, I am seriously concerned that BYU will never go undefeated again. It is not a talent thing; it’s not a schedule thing. It’s a BYU thing. Florida State, yes THE Florida State, came to town last week, and the BYU defense was no where to be found. Maybe I am crazy, but I don’t understand how you don’t come ready to play. Consider the following:

  • If you beat Florida State you have beaten one of the upper echelon programs in all of college football.
  • Florida State is coached by the legendary Bobby Bowden. How impressed will your children and grandchildren be to know that you beat a Bobby Bowden coached team?
  • This is the first home game of the season when you can reward your fan base who has been supporting you by showing up at the airport in the middle of the night when you come home from your road trips.
  • If you win much of the college football world is willing to consider you as a legitimate national championship contender.
  • If you don’t win, the BCS is a very long shot.

Many people want to blame the loss on BYU being slower than Florida State. That is not true. Yes, Florida State has more speed than BYU, on both sides of the ball. If speed was the issue, why could the offense move the ball at will on the Florida State defense? If speed was the issue, why could the BYU defense stop the Oklahoma running backs from getting to the corner and limit Oklahoma to 265 total yards? Florida State’s speed isn’t that much faster than Oklahoma’s speed is it? It’s not a speed thing; it’s a BYU thing.

Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall further convinced me that it is a BYU thing when he explained BYU’s lost due to “27 simple assignment errors.” Let me say it again this way: How do you have “27 simple assignment errors” in a game that had so much on the line? It’s a BYU thing. As a life long BYU fan, and a BYU graduate, I cannot deny that BYU is a special institution with a divine purpose and mission. I even believe that this special and divine aspect reaches into all university endeavors—including football. The BYU football team feels the same way. All this is fine and dandy. There are certain things about you that you cannot change, so there is no sense in ignoring your identity. The problem for BYU comes when the players start to have an attitude of entitlement.

I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up (Doctrine and Covenants 84:88).

Players with an attitude of entitlement read the above citation and they start to think they don’t need to work as hard, they start to think all they have to do is show up and success will fall into their laps, they start to become mediocre. This is the BYU thing. We stop after we hear about our greatness and the promises for being chosen for a special purpose, and we neglect to fulfill our duty.

For of him unto whom much is given much is required; ... I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise (D&C 82:3, 10).

Therefore, after a season opening upset against Oklahoma and a way to easy blowout of Tulane, the entitlement attitude set in, the players took a mediocre approach to preparing for the next game, and the undefeated season that could have been was lost because the players “do not what I say.” Go back to 2008. By the time BYU completed its non-conference schedule unbeaten, the entitlement attitude proved costly as TCU showed BYU was not entitled to a third consecutive undefeated conference record. Go back to 1996. BYU was 2-0 and flying up the rankings. They took their show on the road to Washington and thought they should worry more about the socks they would wear than the actual game. Sixty minutes later perfection was out of the question as Washington won 29-17. That was the team's only loss that year. Unless BYU can change the prevailing attitude I am fear that I will never see BYU go a whole year without losing a game.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Are college football coaches paid too much money? That was a hot topic during the off season. Nothing drastically changed about their salaries, however, most coaches are employees of schools funded largely by state governments. As we all know, the countrywide economic recession has caused tax revenues to drop significantly and caused budget crises that led to detailed examinations of all government spending. The outcry grew louder when it was discovered that most of these coaches were earning more than the university presidents. Nick Saban, Alabama, Urban Meyer, Florida, and Pete Carroll, USC, are the most popular targets. They are all paid approximately $4 million a year. Yes, that seems like way too much money for someone who teaches 18 to 23 year old young men how to play a game, especially when you consider that the job comes with several all expenses paid trips around the country. As much as we might complain about it, there is nothing we can do about the coaches’ salaries. The salaries are a product of simple economics.
  1. A good coach that wins lots of games increases the revenues for the school. Game attendance, team apparel sales, team sponsors, donor contributions all go up. Attendance at USC home games has increase by 17,000 since Pete Carroll became the coach. This produces an extra $10 million per year for USC. In attendance at home football games alone, Pete Carroll has justified his big pay check (in reality he justifies being paid at least 2.5 times more). Now throw in all the other increased revenue streams, and a couple million dollars a year is a steal. Studies also show that applications for admissions to universities spike up when sports programs are successful, so the coach is even helps on the academic side.
  2. College football has to compete with the NFL for coaches. A year after Nick Saban won a national championship with LSU, the Miami Dolphins hired him away from college to the professional ranks. After two disappointing years in the NFL, he was not willing to leave until Alabama made an offer he could not refuse—a super fat pay check. My point is, if the NFL teams are going to pay their coaches millions of dollars annually, then the best college football coaches will bolt for the NFL. College needs to compete to keep the sport interesting and the only way to do that is to comparably compensate coaches.
  3. Time is money. College football coaches don’t have to go to classes, as do the players, so most coaches work over 12 hours a day. Factor into the equation that they travel for recruiting purposes, and their salary is similar, if not below, to the pay given to top executives who put in similar hours, who are required to spend significant time traveling away from home, and who work for companies that rake in tens of millions of dollars annually.

While society may not be reflected in the best light by college football coaches becoming multi-millionaires, it is hard to expect their pay to be any different. If it really bothers us enough, then we can always boycott the sport until changes are made.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


No one was eliminated from the list after week 3, however, Jevan Snead may be cut next week if he doesn't put up better numbers. Jimmy Clausen solidified himself as number 2 in my mind, while Jahvid Best pulled further in front of everyone else with his 5 touchdowns. The overall quarterback play is down this year, which gives Case Keenum a better chance to be added to the list in a few more weeks. He did not play this week, so his status did not change. Tate Forcier looked more like a freshman and will need some pretty impressive games to ever be added to the list, but Jacory Harris, Miami (FL), has gotten off to a good start and could be on the list next month. One final note for clarification, on quarterbacks the first TD number is the touchdown passes and the second in parentheses is rushing touchdowns in addition to the passing touchdowns, so 2 TD (2 rush TD) means the quarterback accounted for 4 touchdowns.

Tim Tebow, Florida, 14 completions 19 attempts, 115 yards, 1 INT (1 rush TD),(39-58, 540, 5 TD, 1 INT, 3 rush TD)

Colt McCoy, Texas, 24-34, 205, 1 TD, 2 INT (75-110, 859, 6 TD, 4 INT, 1 rush TD)

Max Hall, BYU, 20-31, 306, 2 TD, 3 INT, (70-101, 944, 6 TD, 6 INT)

Jevan Snead, Ole Miss, 16-28, 209, 3 TD (28-50, 384, 5 TD, 2 INT)

Jahvid Best, Cal, 26-131, 5 TD (53-412, 8 TD, 1 TD catch)

Daryl Clark, Penn State, 16-26, 167, 2 TD, 1 INT (65-97, 760, 8 TD, 3 INT)

Jaquizz Rodgers, Oregon State, 20-73, 1 TD (62-342, 5 TD)

Kellen Moore, Boise State, 18-26, 181, 3 TD, (53-81, 685, 8 TD, 1 INT)

Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame, 22-31, 300, 2 TD (62-91, 951, 9 TD)

Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State, 9 receptions 161 yards, 2 TD (17-323, 4 TD, 1 punt TD)

Monday, September 21, 2009

TOP 25, WEEK 3

This week has caused a major shake up in the rankings. The losses by BYU and USC has a bigger effect than imaginable because of who they lost to and who those teams either beat or lost to. To review, when teams have identical records I use head-to-head match ups as first determination of who to rank above another. Therefore, Washington and Florida State had to enter the rankings somewhere above BYU and USC (the teams they beat who now have identical records as them). However, BYU beat Oklahoma and USC beat Ohio State and all four have identical reocrds now, so I had to adjust the rankings for Oklahoma and Ohio State as well, even though I don't like to drop a team after a victory. To further complicate things, LSU beat Washington in week one, so even though I think LSU has not played well all year, I had to move them up significantly since, technically, they are still 3-0. Any unfairness that you may feel this has caused will sort itself out by the end of the year. Remember this is only week 3, one fourth of the season. Although rankings are fun, early in the year they can be complicated with such little data to use. Other movement of note, Miami and Michigan made major leaps into the top 10. Why don't you tell me what you think?

1. Florida (3-0)

2. Texas (3-0)

3. Penn St. (3-0)

4. Ole Miss (2-0)

5. Boise St. (3-0)

6. TCU (2-0)

7. Alabama (3-0)

8. Cal (3-0)

9. Miami (FL) (2-0)

10. Michigan (3-0)

11. Cincinnati (3-0)

12. Houston (2-0)

13. LSU (3-0)

14. Virginia Tech (2-1)

15. Iowa (3-0)

16. Florida St. (2-1)

17. Washington (2-1)

18. USC (2-1)

19. BYU (2-1)

20. Ohio St. (2-1)

21. Oklahoma (2-1)

22. Georgia Tech (2-1)

23. Oregon St. (2-1)

24. Nebraska (2-1)

25. North Carolina (3-0)

OTHERS TO WATCH: Auburn, Arkansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Notre Dame, Georgia, Florida St., Kansas, Texas Tech