Saturday, November 28, 2009
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
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 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
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
OTHERS TO WATCH: Troy, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami (FL), USC, Boston College, LSU, Rutgers, Stanford
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)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
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
OTHERS TO WATCH: Troy, West Virginia, Oregon State, Virginia Tech, Miami (FL), USC, Boston College, Nebraska, Mississippi
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)
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
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.
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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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
OTHERS TO WATCH: Troy, West Virginia, Navy, Notre Dame, Nevada, Auburn, Texas Tech, Oregon State, Virginia Tech, Clemson
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)
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
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
"isportsweb.com 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!
OTHERS TO WATCH: Troy, West Virginia, Rutgers
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)
Saturday, October 31, 2009
The answer: TCU, and it isn't even close. Consider the following facts:
- 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.
- 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
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
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.
OTHERS TO WATCH: Arizona, Kansas, Texas A&M, Wisconsin, Ole Miss
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)
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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)
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
OTHERS TO WATCH: Auburn, Arkansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Notre Dame, Georgia, Florida St., Kansas, Texas Tech
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)