Category Archives: college football

2015 College Football Preview: B1G

big10-11-nav-logoOne season it is considered arguably the weakest conference in college football.  The next season it has a team that bagged a national championship – the first in the College Football Playoff era – and the perception changes a little bit.

What a difference a year makes!

With the addition of Jim Harbaugh to Michigan, along with Urban Meyer bringing back a loaded Buckeye team, this will make for an interesting season.

Without further ado…

East (not “Legends”) Division

  1. Ohio State
  2. Michigan State
  3. Penn State
  4. Michigan
  5. Rutgers
  6. Maryland
  7. Indiana

Analysis:  No need for major analysis here.  Ohio State is not only the best team in the country headed into this season, it is by far the best team in the Big Ten.

Sure Michigan State and its nasty defense could give the Buckeyes fits.  James Franklin has Penn State in the right direction.  And last but not least, Jim Harbaugh will turn Michigan around sooner rather than later.  But let’s be real about one thing: the East Division – and B1G – is Ohio State’s world and everyone else is living in it.

West (not “Leaders”) Division

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Nebraska
  3. Minnesota
  4. Iowa
  5. Northwestern
  6. Purdue
  7. Illinois

Analysis:  This division may be the red-headed stepchild of the conference, but at least it’s not as top-heavy as the East.  This division should be a three-team race between Wisconsin, Nebraska and Minnesota.  Nebraska should do well under coach Mike Riley, but I think Wisconsin is just too talented to relinquish the West.

The biggest question for the Badgers is will they actually show up in the B1G Championship game against the Buckeyes this time around?

2015 B1G Champion: Ohio State (what, were you expecting anyone else?)

2015 College Football Preview: Big 12

Big 12This conference has gone from one that is steeped in tradition and prestige to one big-ass punch line.

Who’s looking to stay in this conference?  Who wants to join?  Why would they want to join?  Would Texas allow them to join?

Why doesn’t Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby just move the Big 12 headquarters to Austin, especially since the Longhorns are running things anyway?

Oh and about that “one true champion” thing, looks like Bowlsby got some egg on his face while trying to stump for TWO teams (TCU and Baylor) for the College Football Playoff.  Memo to Bowlsby: try mixing in a conference championship game and a bit of expansion (Cincinnati and BYU, c’mon down!).

What a joke this conference has become.  It’s going to be fascinating to see what will happen to this conference 5-10 years from now.

Alas, this conference still has two powerhouses in TCU and Baylor.  The problem is those squads are not named Oklahoma and Texas.

Uh, at any rate…

  1. TCU
  2. Baylor
  3. Oklahoma State
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Texas
  6. Kansas State
  7. West Virginia
  8. Texas Tech
  9. Iowa State
  10. Kansas

Analysis:  TCU and Baylor are still running things in the Big 12.  And while both of those squads are fabulous, they do not carry a prestige of Texas and Oklahoma.

Let’s be real about something, if either TCU or Baylor were named Texas and Oklahoma, do you REALLY think Ohio State would have jumped them in the final College Football Playoff poll?  I didn’t think so.

Speaking of Oklahoma and Texas, the Big 12 would look even better if those two schools mattered again.  Oklahoma had a decent season, but got their asses kicked by Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl.  Meanwhile Texas was mediocre at best, culminating in getting curb-stomped by Arkansas in their bowl game.

Back to TCU and Baylor.  Baylor has to go to Fort Worth to play TCU, and I like the Horned Frogs chances at exacting revenge.  Thankfully Bowlsby and Co. got smart and moved the game to near the end of the season when EVERYONE would tune in.

In the meantime, memo to Baylor coach Art Briles: try scheduling REAL teams outside of your conference.  SMU, Rice and the immortal Lamar will not impress the Selection Committee, bro…

Premature congrats go to the TCU Horned Frogs in winning the Big 12!

2015 College Football Preview: ACC

Boz7c-KIIAA0D7nThe 2015 college football season is almost here.  Only 26 days away from the Thursday night games on September 3rd.

WHOO-HOO!

I haven’t been blogging much lately, largely due to the fact that baseball has dominated the sports landscaped (that sport is too damn long by the way).  Now that the good Lord is going to bless us with football a few weeks from now (along with basketball later in the year), this dude will be back blogging like one bad, crazy mo-fo.

I will give an in-depth preview all of the “Power 5” conferences.  Not so much for the “Group of 5” conferences because, quite frankly, no one gives a damn about them – and neither will I.  Those conferences will be included in my “overall” college football preview.

So without further ado, the conference of my youth: the Atlantic Coast Conference (can this conference get ANY respect?)…

Atlantic Division

  1. Florida State
  2. Louisville
  3. Clemson
  4. North Carolina State
  5. Boston College
  6. Wake Forest
  7. Syracuse

Analysis:  A lot of pundits are picking Clemson to win the division and the conference.  A lot.  However, the Tigers have the only a handful of players coming back.  And there is that constant question about QB Deshaun Watson’s health.  If he stays healthy, Clemson will light it up on offense.  Otherwise, say hello to 8-4.

I still think this is FSU’s division to lose.  Sure the Seminoles lost a lot of talent to the NFL, but they have more going for them.  They still have a boatload of talent.  They are still coached by Jimbo Fisher.  QB Everette Golson will be more than serviceable this season.  And FSU’s out of conference schedule is light.  Until Clemson is man enough to take FSU out, this division (and conference) is still owned by the Seminoles.

As for the rest of the division, keep an eye on Louisville.  If the Cardinals can upset Auburn in Week 1, look the hell out.  Only a road game at FSU may prevent the Cards from possibly running the table.  Besides, any team coached by Bobby Petrino is a team to watch.

Coastal Division

  1. Virginia Tech
  2. Georgia Tech
  3. North Carolina
  4. Miami
  5. Pittsburgh
  6. Duke
  7. Virginia

Analysis:  This division is such a fucking crapshoot, it’s not even funny.  You could put all of these teams’ names in a hat (outside Virginia), and any team picked would have a compelling case to win the Coastal.

That said, I think both Techs will run the division this season.  What gives Virginia Tech the edge are two things: 1) the Hokies have almost everyone on defense coming back, and any defensive unit coached by Bob Foster should be feared; 2) Georgia Tech not only lost some offensive weapons, it has a harder schedule.

Not only do the Yellow Jackets have to play both Clemson and FSU in conference this season, they have to play Notre Dame and of course Georgia out of conference.  If Georgia Tech finish with only one loss with that schedule, they would be playoff worthy.

However, Virginia Tech has only Ohio State to worry about in terms of out of conference schedule.  The Hokies get them at home Week 1 on a Monday night, which will be HUGE.  And while East Carolina is no slouch, it is not Notre Dame nor Georgia.

Advantage, Virginia Tech.

2015 ACC Champion: Florida State Seminoles

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…

 

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