Category Archives: college football

My Apology to Ohio State – and the B1G

big10-11-nav-logoThroughout the 2014-2015 college football season, I have been a member of the “Big Ten Conference Sucks” club.  I was not a believer all season until the bowl season kicked off.  It was then when I realized I had a lot of crow to consume.

Before I state my mea culpa, let me count the ways where I had sniped at the B1G from afar.

First, I questioned the conference’s strength vs. the rest of the Power Five conferences.  The notable losses were Michigan St vs. Oregon and the biggest being Ohio State losing to Virginia Tech (Virginia Tech???).  Second, I questioned the conference’s strength against the Mid Atlantic Conference, aka #MACtion.  Bowling Green, Central Michigan and Northern Illinois had a big say in that.  And finally, I didn’t believe that a team who lost to Virginia Tech should participate in the College Football Playoff.  Not over TCU and certainly not over Baylor.

Now that Ohio State and the rest of the B1G (a 6-5 record during the bowl season, which was better than the ACC and Big 12) made me look like an idiot for such assertions, I have crafted an apology to the Buckeyes and conference in the form of an open letter.  Here it goes:

Dear Ohio State,

I have doubted you and your conference this entire season. 

I scoffed at your conference’s struggles against the “mighty” MAC.  I didn’t think your conference measured up against the other Power Five conferencesYou gotta admit, y’all didn’t look too hot against the likes of Oregon, TCU, Washington, Notre Dame, and Virginia Tech. 

And speaking of Virginia Tech, what was that Ohio State?  Maybe it was the case of you not bringing you A-game.  Whatever the case, you didn’t have the look of a contender – let alone a future national champion – after that game.

I held that Virginia Tech loss against you, especially since the Hokies were a shade better than mediocre this past season. 

I will say that you impressed me after that Virginia Tech loss, especially in the way you handled Michigan State at their place.  The icing on the cake proved to be in your curb-stomping of Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship, with a third-string QB.

I agreed that there was no way the College Football Playoff selection committee could leave you out of the playoff, no matter how well TCU and Baylor looked the last week of the season.

And if the blowout of Wisconsin was not impressive enough, you beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl – a virtual home game for the Crimson Tide.  And that championship game beat-down you laid on Oregon was not only impressive, it was friggin’ awesome.

It was a great showing all around for the Big Ten, as you guys won more than half of your bowl games – all of which you and your fellow Big Ten members were decided underdogs.

I must admit, I was wrong about your team and the Big Ten conference.  Please find it in your heart to forgive me.

Humbly yours’,
Klownboy

P.S. Jim Delaney, I still hate your pompous ass.  That shit will never change…

2015 College Football National Championship Game Preview

CFB-Playoff-Vertical Signature_RGBThis has been perhaps the most exciting year of college football in recent memory, if ever.

We all can thank the powers that be in college football for finally coming around and constructing a playoff.  In spite of what the critics said in the past, the playoff did not diminish the regular season in any way.  In fact, fans pining for weekly playoff rankings after the middle of the season made it even MORE exciting.

In the name of full-disclosure, I was one of those knuckleheads who favored the old BCS system.  In an act of stubbornness mired in stupidity, I always thought that it would weaken the impact of the regular season.

I am happy to say that I could not have been more wrong.

With that in mind, here is my two cents on how tonight’s national championship game will shape out.  Let’s go…

Oregon Ducks vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

As a fan of college football, I love this matchup.  This game features two of the best offenses in the country: Oregon’s fast break offense led by Marcus Mariota and Ohio State’s physical big-play offense led by third string QB-turned star Cardale Jones.

This game will hinge on two things: defense and coaching. Both defenses are like ‘meh’ coming into tonight’s game.  However, both defenses do a great job of forcing turnovers and capitalizing off of them.  If you don’t believe me, I could just point to what happened in to Florida State and Alabama last week.  Turnovers played a part in both of those beat-downs administered by Oregon and Ohio State, respectively.

The Buckeyes have a HUGE advantage in coaching thanks to Urban Meyer. While I am no fan of the man off the field, he can flat-out coach.  How else can one explain how Meyer has been able to win with both a second- AND third-string QB this season?  And while the Ducks’ Mark Helfrich is a good coach in his own right (not to mention a decent dude off the field), he had been given the keys to a Chip Kelly-bought Ferrari and has yet to seriously out-coach an opposing big-name counterpart.

Now Helfrich gets his chance to do so against Meyer in tonight’s National Championship game, and recent history suggests he will not do well in that department.  One cannot count out Meyer in a big game with a lot at stake.

Combine that with the fact that Oregon will be down TWO starting wide receivers and the odds that Oregon will prevail have grown much steeper.  As a result, this will be the first game that Mariota may have to throw into tighter windows. He struggled against the Seminoles in the first half of the Rose Bowl, and I do not think he will have too good of a game against the Buckeyes.

As much as I hate the Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney, he will finally have some shit to talk after tonight’s game.  Buckeyes 37, Ducks 31.

49ers Are Idiots for Letting Harbaugh Go

san-francisco-49ers-logoThe University of Michigan should give the San Francisco 49ers gift baskets every Christmas from now to infinity.

Due to the 49ers’ front office coming down with the most severe case of brain cramping, Jim Harbaugh left the Niners and became the new head coach of the Wolverines.

It’s almost as if the Niners forgot what life was like before Harbaugh arrived.  The Niners had losing records between the 20o3 and 2010 seasons.  In fact, they sported a 46-82 record.  Ouch!

After Mike Singletary when 6-10 in 2010, Harbaugh led San Francisco to a 13-3 record in his first year WITH THE SAME PERSONNEL.

Here’s more.  Since Harbaugh’s arrival, San Francisco made three straight trips to the NFC championship game and a runner-up Super Bowl finish after the 2012 season.  To sum it up, the Niners were 49–22–1 under Harbaugh, which includes a 5-3 record in the postseason.

Good luck duplicating that success with the next head coach.

I know what y’all are thinking, why in the hell did San Francisco part ways with Harbaugh?  It’s simple: ego.

Owner/CEO Jed York and general manager Brent Baalke did not get along at all with Harbaugh.  It became a power struggle among the three men to the point where it was hard for all to coexist.  It was so bad that it trickled down to the locker room and affect the Niners play all season, injuries notwithstanding.

And y’all know what they say about power struggles: no matter how good you are at your job, if you cannot get along with your boss (or in Harbaugh’s case, BOSSES), your ass will not have that job for long.  It’s an unfortunate fact of life, but it is what it is.

Getting back to Michigan, you think the Maize and Blue Nation is happy over Harbaugh coming back to coach his alma mater?  Given his track record at Univ. of San Diego and Stanford, I think Michigan will contend almost immediately.

I know one thing, those future Michigan-Ohio State clashes with Harbaugh and Urban Meyer will be epic.  And the Big Ten Conference will be forever grateful.

College Football Playoff Committee Got it Right

CFB-Playoff-Vertical Signature_RGBFor the last few weeks, I have been peppering the College Football Playoff Selection Committee with questions.

Why is the lone unbeaten team among the Power Five conferences – and in all of college football – not ranked #1?  Why did it keep putting one-loss teams in front of said undefeated team?  Even worse, why put TCU in front of Florida State???

However, upon seeing the last CFP rankings I have to say something – and I can’t believe I am about to type this.

The committee got it right.

First of all, I will not debate the merits of Alabama and Oregon.  Yes they did sustain one loss each, but let’s not kid ourselves.  Those are the best two teams in college football – period.

So let’s turn to the following teams: Florida State, Ohio State, TCU, and Baylor.  The committee would have been stuck on stupid if it had left the undefeated defending national champion Seminoles out of the playoffs.  Sure, FSU had been shitted on despite their perfect record all season long.  I mean if it wasn’t them not maintaining “game control” (whatever the fuck that means), it was being clowned for their schedule (despite playing the most Power 5 conference teams in the country).  However 13-0 is 13-0, and FSU was not going to be denied.

As for Ohio State, any time a team curb-stomps what I thought was a good team for the Big Ten championship with its THIRD-STRING QB, it is more than deserving.  59-0 over Wisconsin?  No question with the Buckeyes’ selection either.

Which brings us to TCU and Baylor.  Look, both squads had AMAZING seasons.  Both finished 11-1 and are co-champions of the Big 12.  Herein lies the problem: the “co-champions” part.  The committee was not going to be picking ANY co-champion.

I could go on and say that Baylor needs to schedule better out-of-conference opponents.  I could also say that TCU should not choked against Baylor in the final quarter earlier this season.

The fact of the matter is the committee has punished the Big 12 for not having a conference championship game.  I thought the Big-12 was trying to get off easy and back-door its way into the playoff by not doing so.

Here is some unsolicited advice: grab two more teams (Cincinnati and BYU) and have a conference championship game like everyone else.  Oh, and schedule better too…

 

Nebraska Was Wrong in Firing Bo Pelini

NebraskaNow that we all have time to digest the University of Nebraska relieving Bo Pelini of his head coaching duties yesterday morning, let’s take a step (or two) back and examine what led the university to this point.

Let’s first look at Pelini’s record in Lincoln.  He went 67-27 during his seven years as head coach.  He averaged over nine wins per season.  Hell, this NC State alum would KILL for a a coach who could produce nine wins a season.

However, people who were not down with Pelini would point out that 67-27 record includes the following:

  • Going 8-17 vs. AP-ranked teams (3-9 on road)
  • No BCS Bowl appearances
  • 3-3 overall in bowls
  • No conference titles (lost in 2012 Big Ten title game, 70-31)

It also bears noting that when Nebraska loses conference games in the B1G, it loses BIG (no pun intended).  Along with the aforementioned ass-kicking it took in the B1G title game, Nebraska also lost big to Wisconsin 59-34.  In addition to blowing a lead to Minnesota at home, it had to come from behind against Iowa (Iowa?!) last week to get back to the usual nine-win plateau.

In other words, that is not considered good enough for a school to reach the “next level”.

That said, I will say this: how many coaches could consistently pull off season of at least nine wins?  Not many.

How many coaches could do it in present-day Lincoln?  Again, not many.

I hate to break this to you Shawn Eichorst (Nebraska’s athletic director) and members of Husker Nation, but times have changed – especially when it comes to recruiting.

There was a time where Nebraska was among the few “haves” in college football.  Legendary coach Dr. Tom Osborne consistently had his pick of the litter when it came to bringing in blue-chip talent.

Now there are schools like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan State and even Iowa that have been successfully competing with Nebraska for recruits.  Even traditional powerhouses such as Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio State have consistently beaten the Huskers to the recruiting punch.

As a result, the Huskers are no more than a very good team in a so-so football conference.

So here is a couple of questions for Mr. Eichorst and the Husker brain-trust: who the hell are you going to bring in to take Nebraska to that next level?  The candidate obviously have to be an experienced head coach, so are they going to pry the likes of Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney, Jimbo Fisher, and Urban Meyer from their present posh posts?

And sure, Pelini seemed to be a prick off the field and to the media.  And I do not like the way he turns beet-red and curses out his players on the sidelines.  But is Nebraska REALLY sure that the new hire would Pelini’s production at a school whose time has long passed?

Good luck with pulling that shit off.

Jameis Winston Needs an Intervention

florida stateI’m starting to wonder about Jameis Winston.

The Florida State quarterback has been suspended for the first half of Saturday’s game against Clemson after he was seen shouting an obscene sexual phrase on campus Tuesday, which is the latest incident in which his off-field behavior has created problems for the team.  The obscene sexual phrase in question was “fuck her right in the pussy!”.

Those who are social media-savvy know that phrase has been used in countless videos.  Here’s a compilation of sorts that will get the blood flowing:

Yeah, that’s not juvenile right?

I have one question: what in the hell is up with Winston?

First of all, he was involved with the alleged sexual assault case last year.  Then he decided to steal some crab legs from a grocery store, while claiming not knowing how those crab legs ended up in his pockets.  And now this.

Let’s get one thing clear: this kid doesn’t get it.  I mean sure, most college kids have done stupid shit at least once on or off campus.  Hell Lord knows I’ve done more than my share of stupid shit.

However, with Winston it is different because he is held to a higher standard.  He is the starting quarterback on the defending national champion Seminoles.  He is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.  He is also a potential top overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft!

Winston had been suspended for the first half of the big ACC showdown against Clemson this weekend.  I think that’s a rather light punishment considering what all he has gotten away with.

Even with this “punishment”, it’s not as if Florida State officials have done much to curb his questionable behavior.  Whenever Winston ran afoul of the law in the past, FSU officials essentially shrugged their shoulders and waved it off as Jameis being Jameis.

After Winston was caught taking the crab legs and crawfish without paying, he was ordered to complete 20 hours of community service and was suspended from playing in a three-game baseball series against Minnesota.  But FSU football coach Jimbo Fisher didn’t discipline him for the incident.

One of these days Winston’s time will run out and he will be “Law and Order”ed somewhere on Rikers Island.  Besides, doesn’t he realize he is costing himself potential $$$ in his NFL future?  He needs to act like he has some sense fast, quick, and in a hurry.

The sad part is that history has shown that Winston STILL will not get it.  Maybe an intervention (or exorcism) would help?

B1G Is One Sorry-Ass Football Conference

big10-11-nav-logoIt has been quite an interesting last two weekends for the Big Ten conference.  And by interesting I mean losing big out of conference games and lowering its standing in the so-called “Power 5″ conferences.

Let us count the ways…

Last weekend the B1G’s three brand-name schools Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State all lost BIG (no pun intended).  The Spartans ran out of gas and therefore got run out of town in the second half  in Oregon.  Michigan was shut out in what may be the last regular season meeting vs. Notre Dame.  And in what was the biggest shocker of all, Ohio State lost by two touchdowns to Virginia Tech – at home.

The B1G went 3-5 in seven non-conference games, the only three wins being Ohio State’s demolition of Kent State, Michigan getting by Miami (Ohio), and Nebraska’s curb-stomping Fresno State.  Minnesota and Illinois were blown out. Purdue fought hard but was ultimately over-matched. A shootout slipped away from Maryland. It’s probably best not to mention what happened to Iowa at all.

And after Saturday the Big Ten finds itself with a 1-10 record against Power 5 opponents.  Hell, the B1G also lost three games against Mid American Conference schools this season (Indiana losing to Bowling Green, Central Michigan curb-stomping Purdue, Northwestern losing to No. Illinois).

The B1G has nobody else it can blame for the lack of respect nationally when it keeps coming up short in its biggest opportunities to earn it around the nation. There may still be a College Football Playoff contender or two at the top of the league, but if there’s a logjam for the third and fourth spots in December, the B1G’s best may look back at September games it wasn’t even involved in as the reason it gets left out of the playoff field.

Hell you know it’s bad if fans of the conference of my youth, the Atlantic Coast Conference, are clowning another conference’s perceived weak “little brother” standing among the other “Power 5″ conferences.

Now the B1G could correct this problem next weekend by simply doing the following: win all of its non-conference games.  Nebraska needs to beat Miami at home, Maryland needs to win at Syracuse, Iowa needs to win at Pitt, Indiana needs to a Missouri, and Michigan needs to beat Utah at home.  It’s daunting, but doable.

Otherwise the Mid American Cnference will be looking to pile on the B1G misery.  #MACtion indeed…

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