Time for 8 Team Expansion

Posted on December 18, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Sports Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

How to Expand the College Football Playoff

December 11, 2016

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
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As the subject states… it’s time to expand the College Football Playoff (CFP) from 4-teams to 8 like immediately!

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It’s the third College Football Playoff season rankings and Bill Hancock, the CFP’s executive director, reiterated that the system is working. “We are confident,” Hancock said Sunday, “that four is the right number.”

Is it? The Big Ten Champion is out of the playoffs… Big 12 leader is out… Undefeated Western Michigan is out…. but it’s working?

He went on to say “I don’t anticipate any discussion about expansion.” In a word, INTERESTING!!!!

So, wouldn’t you say eight teams would be much more solid as well as fun for the students! And it seems that the majority of fans want the playoff to expand! And every playoff in every major American sport has eventually grown bigger!

NOTE: FCS, Division-I, has been doing this for years

Speaking December 7th at the Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, Emmert said he prefers an eight-team format that includes automatic bids for champions of each Power Five conference.

And in case you didn’t know, NCAA Commissioner, Mark Emmert, doesn’t have control over the College Football Playoff format — the NCAA doesn’t run the Football Bowl Subdivision postseason and they always remind you of that — but “if” he did, he’d expand it to eight teams in a heartbeat.

However, as Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany noted on Wednesday, the field selection this year did not provide any movement toward an eight-team playoff. In so many words he shared ‘the tires have been kicked on an eight-team playoff, casually or otherwise, even before major college football had a four-team playoff. With the three-year-old postseason format paying out hefty sums of money, one can venture to guess expansion is coming at some point in the future.’

Why eight teams? Many believe, including the staff at Amateur Sports, eight is the sweet spot for the college football playoff: more national representation but not too much, and only one more round of competition. Even further…. win your conference (Big Ten, SEC, ACC, MAC, Big 12, PAC12, *AAC or *Sun Belt) and you are in – PERIOD!!! With one spot for a solid wildcard (highest ranked teams remaining including independent teams like Navy and Notre Dame, etc).

* best overall record between these two conference determines who’s in…

The case for expansion…

For the first two years of the playoff, one thing looked abundantly clear: winning your conference championship was important and all eight playoff teams in those two years were conference champs. But this year, Penn State messed things up by winning the Big Ten championship. Suddenly, the qualifying statements perpetuated by the “CYA” mission of selecting the “four best teams” began pouring in. Then came along the dialogue about the resumes between Penn State and Ohio State, which were not close but they won when they had to based on their schedule.

To be clear, this isn’t to say those statements are wrong. In many ways they’re right. But can anyone remember this much dismissing of conference titles last year? How about the year before? Funny how it emerges when it’s the team no one expects winning the conference.

And let’s not forget the efforts of Western Michigan who went undefeated including winning the MAC championship, and they are out too.

Additionally, two things fans love about March Madness take effect. There’s the Cinderella story, which would have been Western Michigan this year, and the team with the hot hand. No one denies that early-season losses by Oklahoma and USC matter, but it’s also true they aren’t the same teams now as they were in September. Expanding to eight at least allows for greater consideration of this.

The macro point here is that the first three seasons of the playoff have been filled with inconsistencies. Fans see this on a week-to-week basis with the mock rankings selection show. “Body clocks” is a pass one week and “game control” is a criterion the next. Flexibility is the beauty of having a human committee. It’s also what makes it extraordinarily frustrating. Having the Power Five conference champions as automatic bids absolutely takes away the drama, but it also takes away a lot of the frustration.

What would an eight-team playoff look like this season? This exercise is part reality and part subjectivity.

To acknowledge the selection committee members, we will use their top four: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Washington.

Now, the fun part: we pick the next four!

They are as follows: No. 5 Penn State, No. 6 Western Michigan, No. 7 Michigan and No. 8 Oklahoma. Despite a 39-point loss at Michigan Stadium, Penn State is ahead of the Wolverines because of its overall profile (wins over Ohio State, Wisconsin, Temple and Iowa) and conference championship.

Unfortunately, the first four out would be USC, Wisconsin, Florida State, and Colorado. USC is very close to Oklahoma to us even though they didn’t win their conference or division but has two better wins — Washington and Colorado — than anything on Oklahoma’s résumé. Plus, outside of Alabama, USC is the team no one wants to play.

Here’s how our hypothetical eight-team playoff would look this year.

https://i1.wp.com/www.amateursports365.com/images/RobinsonRibs-MAIN.jpg

NOTE: With the team with the higher ranking “host” to game on their home field.

No. 1 Alabama (13-0) vs. No. 8 Oklahoma (10-2)

No. 2 Clemson (12-1) vs. No. 7 Michigan (10-2)

No. 3 Ohio State (11-1) vs. No. 6 Western Michigan (13-0)

No. 4 Washington (12-1) vs. No. 5 Penn State (11-2)

college-bracket-2016

NOTE: Losers are then slotted to the “already” predetermined bowl games ~click here for details on that. Notice in the column of team selection how it states conference and place in the standings.

CONCLUSION
Now to be fair, there is a case against expansion expanding…

What do you want to reward? The best team in tournament play at the time of the tournament, or the best team in the land?

In the modern era of college football, championships have been won by teams with superior talent and excellent coaching. Each year, you could make an argument that only about 13-16 teams in the country will fit that description at the beginning of the year, and many of those teams will fall from title contention because of injuries or ill-timed poor play. If the playoff is expanded, you gain the element of postseason drama but risk losing a worthy champion because of a bad break. Often you hear let’s leave the “Cinderella story” to college basketball and let college football crown its king with the four best teams in the country.

I also think expanding the playoffs would require increasing the scholarship limit or cutting back on the number of regular-season games. Expanding the playoff would decrease the urgency for conference championship weekend for teams that were “locks,” like Ohio State was heading into Selection Sunday this season.

I’m not great at math, but scholarships cost money, cutting regular season or conference title games means less money, and there isn’t enough impetus for this current crop of conference commissioners to go through the headache or reworking the letter of the law without knowing more regarding the future of finances (media rights) in college football.

Regardless of the “so-called” obstacles, isn’t it about the “student-athlete” and their efforts on the field? And these athletes can only play who’s on the schedule and in front of them. We also believe the NCAA should “own” one floating week on ALL D1 schedules each year, which they can force teams to play a real, out of conference competitor, but that’s in an upcoming article – Stay tune. We digress…

In the end, we’re going to watch and debate, but respectively speaking, it’s time to reward overall achievement not what we think will happen.

For fun, here is a 16-team playoff by our friends at SEC country  – whew!… click here!

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2015 NCAA Championship Weekend

Posted on December 6, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Championship Weekend is here…

December 5, 2015

It was a Saturday filled with conference championships, and Buckeye fans were hoping that a few minor miracles would help Urban Meyer make his way into the College Football Playoff yet again.

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Michigan State 16, Iowa 13

The Spartans and Hawkeyes engaged in a typical Big Ten battle Saturday night in Indy. With only nine points scored in the first half, both teams were able to find paydirt in the fourth quarter, but it was a familiar Ohioan who gave Michigan State the conference crown.

The true freshman rushed for 73 yards and the game-winner that capped of a 22-play, 82-yard drive that consumed nine minutes of the fourth quarter. Scott carried the ball fourteen times on Sparty’s final drive. Connor Cook completed 16 of 32 passes for 191 yards and one interception. The senior missed a few open wide receivers and still didn’t look anywhere near 100%.

The Hawkeye ground game struggled throughout the night, managing just 55 yards with no scores. Quarterback C.J. Beathard connected on 18 of 26 passes for 216 yards with a touchdown and an interception. On the first play of the third quarter—on a 2nd down and 20—the junior tossed one of the prettier passes of the season, connecting with Tevaun Smith for an 85-yard touchdown that put the Hawkeyes on top 13-9.

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Alabama 29, Florida 15

Florida only having lost one conference game in the regular season probably tells you everything you need to know about the SEC this year. I guess the positive for the Gators may be that high school quarterbacks have to see that early playing time is a real possibility in 2016.

The Gator offense was tough to watch on Saturday. The running game ended with 15 yards on 21 carries. They actually had negative yards rushing until quarterback Treon Harris scrambled for 23 yards late in the fourth quarter. Speaking of Harris, it wasn’t pretty for the 5-foot-11 sophomore. He ended the day 9 of 24 for 165 yards with one score and an interception. Jordan Kronkrite and Kelvin Taylor led the way on the ground as both finished with a whopping eight yards.

Derrick Henry all but secured the Heisman Trophy, rushing for 189 yards and a touchdown on 44 carries. He now holds the SEC record for rushing yards in a season (1,986) and his touchdown tied the SEC single-season record (23). Jake Coker threw for 204 yards and a pair of scores. True freshman wideout Calvin Ridley made a few ridiculous plays while hauling in 8 passes for 102 yards.

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Clemson 45, North Carolina 37

Lately, poor officiating has been a hot topic at both the college and professional levels. That trend continued Saturday in Charlotte, and for Larry Fedora and the Tar Heels, it may have cost them a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. With a little over a minute left in the game, UNC recovered an onside kick near the 50-yard line, but the officials flagged the Heels for supposedly being offsides.

Deshaun Watson had himself a day for the Tigers. The sophomore signal-caller accounted for over 400 yards and scored five total touchdowns. Tailback Wayne Gallman rushed for 187 yards and a score as the Clemson ground game tallied 319 yards on the day. Artavis Scott led all receivers with seven receptions for 96 yards and a score. Gallman added 68 yards receiving and a touchdown reception.

Quarterback Marquise Williams once again led the way for the Heels. The senior threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns while adding another 81 and a score on the ground. Elijah Hood rushed for 65 yards and a score. North Carolina put up 382 yards of total offense while Clemson managed just over 600.

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Stanford 41, Southern California 22

If Derrick Henry all but solidified his Heisman status on Saturday, then I’m not sure what Christian McCaffrey did. The Reggie Bush comparisons have been out there throughout the season, but Stanford’s do-it-all sophomore truly did just about everything for the Cardinal.

McCaffrey tossed a touchdown pass, rushed for a score, and was on the receiving end of a touchdown from quarterback Kevin Hogan. He ended the day with 207 yards rushing, 105 yard receiving, 149 return yards, and the 11-yard touchdown pass. McCaffrey broke Barry Sanders’ single-season all-purpose yards record as the Trojans simply had no answer.

For the Trojans, Cody Kessler threw for 187 yards and a score. JuJu Smith-Schuster hauled in 11 passes for 87 yards while junior tailback Justin Davis added 99 yards on the ground. The Trojans fought back from a 13-0 second-quarter deficit and actually had the lead with five minutes left in the third quarter. The turning point came late in the third when Cardinal defensive lineman—and former Ohio State target—Solomon Thomas scooped up a Kessler fumble and returned it 34 yards for a score.

maxprep

 

 

 

Houston 24, Temple 13

Tom Herman is good at coaching football, and for the second straight season, he is a conference champion. The Cougars got off to a 17-0 first-half lead and their ground game and defense were able to hold off the Owls after the half.

Houston’s running game accounted for 233 of its 339 total yards. Junior quarterback Greg Ward led the way with 148 rushing yards and two scores. Ward chipped in another 88 yards through the air. Brandon Wilson added 70 yards rushing while sophomore Javin Webb was also able to find the endzone.

Temple quarterback P.J. Walker threw for 287 yards and a score. Senior wideout Robby Anderson was his favorite target on the day, hauling in 12 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown.

On Friday, Herman signed a 5-year extension with the Cougs; spurning a number of larger programs, including Georgia and South Carolina.

So things definitely did not go as we had hoped. Florida provided Buckeye fans about a quarter’s worth of hope as their defense kept them in the game early on. Stanford is simply a better team than the Trojans. And North Carolina had no answer for Deshaun Watson.

Obviously we don’t know if UNC would have scored and converted the two-point conversion to tie the game, but I have no idea what the officials were looking at to make that offsides call. Targeting calls are constantly being reviewed, so it seems a little strange that something so important is not a reviewable call. Perhaps there will be another rule change? Who knows.

It will be interesting to see where the Buckeyes end up. Personally, I will be content—or at least as content a possible without going to the CFP—with playing Stanford in the Rose Bowl or Notre Dame in the Fiesta. But will the committee have Iowa ranked higher than Ohio State? The Rose Bowl management committee suggested that the “strong presumption” is that they take the next highest-rated team.

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We shall learn our fate Sunday afternoon as the College Football Playoff show will reveal the final rankings between 12PM and 4PM EST on ESPN.

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BIG Ten Week 1 Recap

Posted on September 8, 2015. Filed under: Football | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten week 1… improvements!

September 6, 2015

The Big Ten football season kicked off this weekend, and there were a lot of improvements, but it’s difficult to ignore the conference’s struggles from the 2014 campaign. While a 7-5 record may not sound especially awful, you have to consider the quality of the opponents. Let’s take a look at how things transpired…

UTAH 24, MICHIGAN 17

Things got started Thursday in Salt Lake City as head coach Jim Harbaugh made his highly-anticipated Michigan coaching debut on FoxSports1. As expected this was going to be a tough test for the Wolverines but despite the final score, they were able to keep it reasonable. Now on the other side of the ball, UM’s D was pretty tough as they held running back Devontae Booker to just 69 yards on 22 carries.

ALABAMA 35, WISCONSIN 17

The Badgers were able to hang around early against the Crimson Tide, but the Bama was just too much especially on the ground. Derrick Henry ran for 147 yards and three scores while averaging over eleven yards per carry. Kenyan Drake added another 77 rushing yards and a touchdown of his own. Robert Foster led the way for the Bama receivers, hauling in four passes for 50 yards and a score.

Joel Stave was a bright spot for Wisconsin as he threw for 228 yards, two touchdowns, and a late-game interception. The biggest issue for the Badgers was their lack of a running game.

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NORTHWESTERN 16, STANFORD 6

Upset? Sure according to the analysis but the Wildcats are forreal. And their defense came to play on Saturday, holding the Cardinal offense to 240 yards and forcing two turnovers. The Northwestern offense was led by redshirt freshman quarterback Clayton Thorson and sophomore tailback Justin Jackson. While Thorson didn’t put up huge numbers – 105 yards passing and 68 rushing – he ran for a 42-yard touchdown in the second quarter and, most importantly, didn’t turn the ball over. Jackson added 134 yards on 28 carries.

TCU 23, MINNESOTA 17

The Gophers were looking to avenge last season’s loss to the Horned Frogs, but two costly first-half fumbles ruined that. Quarterback Mitch Leidner fumbled the ball on the Gophs’ second possession which would ultimately lead to a Trevone Boykin touchdown run. After a promising second-quarter drive, Minnesota running back Rodrick Williams Jr. fumbled at the TCU one-yard line; the Horned Frogs recovered in the endzone for a touchback.

BYU 33, NEBRASKA 28

The most heartbreaking loss of week one undoubtedly took place in Lincoln as Mike Riley’s Nebraska debut was spoiled by a BYU hail mary.

MICHIGAN STATE 37, WESTERN MICHIGAN 24

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IOWA 31, ILLINOIS STATE 14

The Hawkeyes kicked things off against a highly ranked FCS team and defending runner-up Illinois State Redbirds. Iowa’s defense shut down the Redbirds’ rushing attack, allowing a mere 35 yards on the ground. The Hawkeye offense was led by quarterback CJ Beathard and running back LeShun Daniels Jr. Beathard threw for 211 yards and one score while also adding two touchdowns on the ground. Daniels Jr., a Warren, OH native, rushed for 123 yards.

ILLINOIS 52, KENT STATE 3

After Friday night’s scheduled showdown was postponed due to lightning, the Illini faithful had to wait a day to dominated the Golden Flashes. The start of the Bill Cubit era featured a much-improved, opportunistic defense that forced four turnovers while holding the Kent State offense to just 59 yards rushing.

On the other side of the ball, Junior quarterback Wes Lunt tossed four touchdown passes and senior tailback Josh Ferguson rushed for 76 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns. When the game got out of hand and some of the younger players began to see the field, true freshman running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn added 43 yards on the ground and a touchdown of his own.

INDIANA 48, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 47

After suspending nine players for the season opener, the Hoosiers were barely able to fend off the Salukis of Southern Illinois – surviving only after a failed two-point conversion attempt. The Indiana defense gave up a whopping 659 yards as the Hoosiers found themselves down 32-21 at the half.

Offensively, the Hoosiers looked to be in mid-season form. Senior quarterback Nate Sudfeld threw for 351 yards and a score. Running back Jordan Howard, a transfer from UAB, rushed for 145 yards and three scores in his Hoosier debut. While the suspensions definitely played a part in their performance, head coach Kevin Wilson has a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball.

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TEMPLE 27, PENN STATE 10

MARYLAND 50, RICHMOND 21

RUTGERS 63, NORFOLK STATE 13

Bottom line? The Big Ten needs to perform better, especially in its more prominent non-conference matchups. There is still a lot of football left – things worked out pretty well after last season’s rough start, wouldn’t you say?

 

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Our 2013 BCS Picks

Posted on September 18, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Who will play for the final BCS championship?

Since everyone has played at least one game, and we do NOT believe in pre-season polls too much, here is our Bowl Matchup predictions.

2014-BCS Bama-helmet vs. oregeon-helmet

rosebowlohiostate-helmet vs. stanford-helmet

sugarbowl   SoCarolina-helmet vs. floridaSt

fiestabowl boisestate vs. oklahomastate

orangebowl clemson-helmet vs. louisville-helmet

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Ranking NCAA Football Conferences 2013

Posted on September 16, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Who’s the TOP College football conference?

August 28, 2013

10sunbelt

Who? Okay…. we needed a 10th conference…

9 confUSA

Louisiana Tech is fun to watch… next

8Mid-American

Northern Illinois dominates this conference every year and this year will NOT be any different but the rest of the teams struggle.

7MountainWest

There’s Boise State and a bunch of other teams… Next!

6AmericanConf

Louisville, Cincy and Rutgers are all gonna battle and that makes this conference tough.

5  acc

It’s all about Clemson and Florida State, but still nothing to sneeze at here.

4BigTen-Logo

Right night, it’s hard to imagine any team long-term outperforming The Ohio State this year, even though Wisconsin will try their best to keep things close since they are in the same conference (Leaders). On the other side of the division, Michigan, Nebraska and Northwestern will fight and scratch to the end in order to play the Buckeyes in the championship game December 7 in Indianapolis.

3Big12

This 10-team league is wide-open with contenders like Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Baylor and Kansas State at the top. Who will prevail? See ya in December…

2  Pac12

Right away, when you think Pac-12 you think Stanford and Oregon, which is absolutely correct but don’t sleep on Arizona State and UCLA this season.

1SEC

As much as we would love to put another conference on top, the reality of it all is we can’t. Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Texas A&M, etc… would dominate any conference listed below – hands down. Thus, SEC again is the top football conference – PERIOD!

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NCAA Top 10 College Football Poll

Posted on August 15, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2013 College Football pre-season TOP 10

August 15, 2013

Bcs_logo_2010

Seven months removed from the National Championship, and well, it’s that time again… who will win it all?

statefarm1

1.Bama-helmet

 

2. ohiostate-helmet

3. oregeon-helmet

4. stanford-helmet

5. georgia-helmet

6. texasAM

7. SoCarolina-helmet

8. clemson-helmet

9. louisville-helmet

10. florida-helmet

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Look out for… Notre Dame, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma State, Texas, Michigan, Nebraska

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2012 Bowl Season overview

Posted on December 19, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Bowl Season overview…

December 19, 2012

And now the best regular season in sports gives way to the worst postseason in sports.   Bowl season is upon us. And it is a mess of unprecedented proportion.

Bcs_logo_2010

Mark Richt and the Bulldogs are headed to the Capital One Bowl to face Nebraska. (AP) Yeah, the BCS championship game is awesome. Notre Dame vs. Alabama is a sports fan’s dream. And a sports writer’s dream. And a TV executive’s dream, too. The ratings will be absurd.

The Fiesta Bowl is great, too. If not for the night of Nov. 17, Oregon-Kansas State might have been the national championship game.   But after that? It’s a joke.

Bowl season is always a mess because the bowl system is a ridiculous, unsatisfying conclusion to the college football season. Bad matchups, long layoffs, too many 6-6 teams, coaching turnover and decisions designed to make money, not sense, shortchange the fans.

Three teams in BCS bowls that aren’t ranked in the AP top 15. Take a bow, Northern Illinois (16th), Louisville (22nd) and Wisconsin (unranked). You don’t have to apologize for appearing in marquee bowls like the Orange, Sugar and Rose – but we don’t have to pretend we’re happy you’re there, either.   Who is excited for Florida State-Northern Illinois in the Orange? I mean, other than nobody? NIU must take 17,500 tickets for the game, but its season average attendance is 15,670. Enjoy that vat of red ink you’re diving into, Huskies.

Making that game even more enticing is the fact that NIU coach Dave Doeren left the school faster than Kim Kardashian left Kris Humphries. He went from winning the Mid-American Conference championship game Friday night to being announced as the new coach at North Carolina State Saturday afternoon. He won’t be around for the Orange Bowl, with the Huskies promoting offensive coordinator Rod Carey to head coach.

The Florida-Louisville matchup in the Sugar Bowl might yet feature an interim coach of the Cardinals. Charlie Strong reportedly has interviewed for both the Auburn and Tennessee jobs, although he has denied both reports. Even if he’s still coaching Louisville, his team is far less impressive than some that were kicked to the BCS curb – namely Oklahoma.

Then there’s the mockery that the Big Ten has perpetrated all season, culminating with the 8-5 Badgers showing up in the Rose Bowl.

Are you setting the DVR for East Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl? How about canceling all plans with the significant other because you just can’t miss Rice and Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl? Won’t sit down to Christmas Eve dinner until the Hawaii Bowl between SMU and Fresno State is over? Well, we’re with you.   Here are all 35 bowls, ranked from absolute must-see TV to must-see-a-psychiatrist if it’s on your TV:

1. BCS Championship Game (Jan. 7, Miami): Notre Dame (12-0) vs. Alabama (12-1)  We’re not going to lie: There’s a good chance this isn’t a shootout. But this should be a great game between two hard-nosed teams with great defenses, and there’s a heck of a lot of history among the two programs, too.

2. Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 3, Glendale, Ariz.): Oregon (11-1) vs. Kansas State (11-1)  This is a game of old-school football vs. new-school football. Kansas State will try to pound the ball with quarterback Collin Klein while Oregon will use a bunch of different weapons to keep the Wildcats on their toes.

3. Cotton Bowl (Jan. 4, Arlington, Texas): Texas A&M (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (10-2)  It’s not A&M and Texas, but it’s a matchup of former Big 12 rivals. In terms of quarterbacks, one team had a potential Heisman candidate and the other has this year’s probable winner.   ]

4. Chick-fil-A (Dec. 31, Atlanta): LSU (10-2) vs. Clemson (10-2)  These are two teams that could have been in BCS bowls were it not for ill-timed losses. Even though it’s not a BCS bowl, it’s still one of the best games on the docket. Clemson brings the offense while LSU brings the defense. This one should be fun.

5. Sugar Bowl (Jan. 2, New Orleans): Florida (11-1) vs. Louisville (10-2)  This could be a great matchup of agile quarterbacks, but if Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater isn’t healthy, this game could be a blowout.

6. Rose Bowl (Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.): Stanford (11-2) vs. Wisconsin (8-5)  If you’re a traditionalist, this game between the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions is gold. Wisconsin comes in after thrashing Nebraska in the Big Ten championship game, while Stanford has been consistently strong all season.   [Related: Oregon vs. Kansas State in Fiesta Bowl is intriguing]

7. Holiday (Dec. 27, San Diego): UCLA (9-4) vs. Baylor (7-5)  Pac-12 runner-up UCLA should have nice crowd support for this bowl, and it may be a wild game against a Baylor team that ranks first in FBS in total offense and 119th in total defense.

8. Alamo (Dec. 29, San Antonio): Texas (8-4) vs. Oregon State (9-3)  Oregon State had one of the best turnarounds in the country going from 3-9 to 9-3 and has been one of the most entertaining teams to watch this season. As for Texas, you never know what you’re going to get or who’s going to be quarterbacking it. Still, this could end up being a great, tightly contested game.

9. Capital One (Jan. 1, Orlando): Georgia (11-2) vs. Nebraska (10-3)  This game had the potential to be one of the best of the bowl season, but Nebraska’s lackluster performance against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship might have ruined it. Georgia expended a lot of energy in the SEC title game against Alabama and despite a fantastic season, has no BCS bowl to show for it. This is a poor substitute.   (US Presswire)

10. Outback (Jan. 1, Tampa): South Carolina (10-2) vs. Michigan (8-4)  Both teams had preseason Heisman Trophy candidates and neither worked out, but both programs remained solid despite adversity. Michigan’s Denard Robinson is one of the more exciting players on the field this bowl season.

11. Orange Bowl (Jan. 1, Miami): Florida State (11-2) vs. Northern Illinois (12-1)  Many don’t think NIU deserved a BCS bowl berth and they’re probably right, but the Huskies might be more motivated to play the game than Florida State. Both teams will be missing a coach in this game — NIU head coach Dave Doeren took the N.C. State job while FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops took the head-coaching job at Kentucky.

12. Gator (Jan. 1, Jacksonville, Fla.): Northwestern (9-3) vs. Mississippi State (8-4)  Northwestern is having an exceptional season while Mississippi State is trying to end on a high note. The Wildcats exceeded expectations and have a chance to win 10 games for the first time since 1995. Mississippi State started 7-0, but won just one game down the stretch.

13. Las Vegas (Dec. 22, Las Vegas): Boise State (10-2) vs. Washington (7-5)  Boise State, having narrowly missed out on a BCS bid, is going for a Las Vegas Bowl win for the third straight season against a Washington team that has wins against Stanford and Oregon State.

14. Idaho Potato (Dec. 15, Boise, Idaho): Utah State (10-2) vs. Toledo (9-3)  Utah State is a balanced, solid team that does just about everything well. Its only two losses came at Wisconsin and at BYU by five combined points. USU will face a Toledo team that lost two of its last three but is still potent.

15. Military (Dec. 27, Washington, D.C.): San Jose State (10-2) vs. Bowling Green (8-4)  San Jose State took Stanford to the wire in a three-point loss, a sign of things to come for the Spartans, and they get a tough test against Bowling Green, which ranks in the top 10 nationally in yards allowed and points allowed.

16. GoDaddy.com (Jan. 6. Mobile, Ala.): Kent State (11-2) vs. Arkansas State (9-3)  This is actually a good game if you like offense. Both of these teams can put points on the board early and often, and if you like running backs, Kent State’s Dri Archer is one of the best.

17. Buffalo Wild Wings (Dec. 29, Tempe, Ariz.): TCU (7-5) vs. Michigan State (6-6)  TCU fared well for its first season in the Big 12 while Michigan State was a disappointment. Both of these teams had their worst seasons since 2007 and ’09 respectively.

18. New Mexico (Dec. 15, Albuquerque, N.M.): Nevada (7-5) vs. Arizona (7-5)  The first matchup of the bowl season should be entertaining. Nevada is 105th in total defense in FBS, but that’s still better than Arizona, which is 116th. Points will be plentiful.

19. Poinsettia (Dec. 20, San Diego): BYU (7-5) vs. San Diego State (9-3)  The meeting between a pair of old Mountain West rivals pits a BYU team that rode its strong defense to seven wins against an Aztecs team that won its last seven games.

20. Music City (Dec. 31, Nashville): N.C. State (7-5) vs. Vanderbilt (8-4)  Vanderbilt overachieved while N.C. State underachieved and ultimately fired its coach. A win would give Vandy nine wins for the first time since 1982.

21. Pinstripe (Dec. 29, Bronx, N.Y.): Syracuse (7-5) vs. West Virginia (7-5)  Both of these teams are among the best passing programs in the country and both play little defense. That should make for a high-scoring and highly entertaining game.

22. Liberty (Dec. 31, Memphis): Tulsa (10-3) vs. Iowa State (6-6)  These two teams played in the season opener and Iowa State came away with a 38-23 win. Tulsa should give the Cyclones a better game this time around.

23. Russell Athletic (Dec. 28, Orlando, Fla.): Rutgers (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6)  The Scarlet Knights are probably disappointed to land here after blowing a chance for a BCS game in the season finale, and Virginia Tech’s whole season has been a disappointment with just six wins.

24. Kraft Fight Hunger (Dec. 29, San Francisco): Navy (7-4) vs. Arizona State (7-5)  These programs are moving in two different directions. ASU had a rough second half of the season while Navy thrived after a rough start. Arizona State will need the month to prepare for Navy’s option.

25. Independence (Dec. 28, Shreveport, La.): Louisiana-Monroe (8-4) vs. Ohio (8-4)  Lousiana-Monroe, whose upset of Arkansas was a great story early this season, will play in a bowl for the first time in program history. It will face an Ohio team that was ranked for the first time since 1968 at midseason but lost its last three games, all by double digits.

26. Compass (Jan. 5, Birmingham, Ala.): Pittsburgh (6-6) vs. Ole Miss (6-6)  Both of these teams came on late to make a push to get to six wins and both will be eager to finish with a winning season in the first year for both Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst and Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze.

27. Belk (Dec. 27, Charlotte, N.C.): Duke (6-6) vs. Cincinnati (9-3)  The Blue Devils are back in a bowl for the first time since 1994, but come in on a four-game losing streak and face a Bearcats team that is 12th in the nation in scoring defense.

28. Beef ‘O’ Brady’s (Dec. 21, St. Petersburg, Fla.): Ball State (9-3) vs. UCF (9-4)  Ball State was 3-3 before an overtime win sparked a six-game winning streak, and it will face a UCF team that lost a shot at the C-USA title in a heartbreaking overtime loss to Tulsa on Saturday.

29. Hawaii (Dec. 24, Honolulu): SMU (6-6) vs. Fresno State (9-3)  Coach Tim DeRuyter’s first season with the Bulldogs resulted in a share of the Mountain West title, and Fresno State will go against an SMU team that got a win in its season finale against Tulsa to get eligible.

30. Sun (Dec. 31, El Paso, Texas): USC (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech (6-7)  This is not where anyone expected USC to be at the end of the season and playing a team with a losing record is almost insult to injury. USC was supposed to be playing for the national title while Georgia Tech lost in its conference championship game and needed an exemption waiver by the NCAA.

31. Heart of Dallas (Jan. 1, Dallas): Purdue (6-6) vs. Oklahoma State (7-5)  Oklahoma State is unlike any team Purdue has faced this season with its up-tempo style and ability to put points on the board quickly. Purdue will be without its head coach Danny Hope, which might leave the Boilermakers uninspired.

32. Meineke Car Care of Texas (Dec. 28, Houston): Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)  Texas Tech is second in the nation in passing offense, but its defense slipped after a great start to the season. Minnesota fattened up its record before conference play, then got bowl eligible despite going 2-6 in Big Ten play.

33. New Orleans (Dec. 22, New Orleans): East Carolina (8-4) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4)  East Carolina won five of its last six games, and will be going against a Louisiana-Lafayette team that beat San Diego State in last year’s New Orleans Bowl on a field goal as time expired.

34. Armed Forces (Dec. 29, Fort Worth, Texas): Rice (6-6) vs. Air Force (6-6)  Air Force knows this bowl well, as it is the Falcons’ fourth appearance in the game in six years, while Rice is in just its third bowl game since 1961. It’s just hard to get too excited for a game between a pair of .500 teams.

35. Little Caesars Pizza (Dec. 26, Detroit): Western Kentucky (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (6-6)  Central Michigan was like the final at-large team to get into the NCAA tournament, with a 6-6 record after a 3-6 start. Western Kentucky was barely in the field, too, losing three straight before a one-point win against North Texas in the finale.

2012-13 College Football Bowl TV Schedule

Note: All times Eastern Time (ET). All games except for the Hyundai Sun Bowl and AT&T Cotton Bowl are also available at WatchESPN.

Gildan New Mexico – Nevada vs. Arizona, University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico Saturday, December 15, 1:00 p.m., ESPN

Famous Idaho Potato – Toledo vs. Utah State, Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho, Saturday, December 15, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia – BYU vs. San Diego State, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California, Thursday, December 20, 8:00 p.m., ESPN

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg – UCF vs. Ball State, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida, Friday, December 21, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

R+L Carriers New Orleans – East Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, Saturday, December 22, 12:00 p.m., ESPN

MAACO Las Vegas – Washington vs. Boise State, Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada, Saturday, December 22, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Sheraton Hawaii – Fresno State vs. SMU, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii, Monday, December 24, 8:00 p.m., ESPN

Little Caesars Pizza – Western Kentucky vs. Central Michigan, Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan, Wednesday, December 26, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman – San Jose State vs. Bowling Green, RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C., Thursday, December 27, 3:00 p.m., ESPN

Belk – Cincinnati vs. Duke, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina, Thursday, December 27, 6:30 p.m., ESPN

Bridgepoint Education Holiday – Baylor vs. UCLA, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California, Thursday, December 27, 9:45 p.m., ESPN

AdvoCare V100 Independence – Ohio vs. Louisiana-Monroe, Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana, Friday, December 28, 2:00 p.m., ESPN

Russell Athletic – Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech, Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida, Friday, December 28, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

Meineke Car Care of Texas – Minnesota vs. Texas Tech, Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas, Friday, December 28, 9:00 p.m., ESPN

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces – Rice vs. Air Force, Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, December 29, 11:45 a.m., ESPN

New Era Pinstripe – West Virginia vs. Syracuse, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, Saturday, December 29, 3:15 p.m., ESPN

Kraft Fight Hunger – Navy vs. Arizona State, AT&T Park, San Francisco, California, Saturday, December 29, 4:00 p.m., ESPN2

Valero Alamo – Texas vs. Oregon State, Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, Saturday, December 29, 6:45 p.m., ESPN

Buffalo Wild Wings – TCU vs. Michigan State, Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona, Saturday, December 29, 10:15 p.m., ESPN

Franklin American Mortgage Music City – North Carolina State vs. Vanderbilt, LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee, Monday, December 31, 12:00 p.m., ESPN

Hyundai Sun – USC vs. Georgia Tech, Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas, Monday, December 31, 2:00 p.m., CBS

AutoZone Liberty – Iowa State vs. Tulsa, Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tennessee, Monday, December 31, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Chick-fil-A – LSU vs. Clemson, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia, Monday, December 31, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

TaxSlayer.com Gator – Mississippi State vs. Northwestern, Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 12:00 p.m., ESPN2

Heart of Dallas – Purdue vs. Oklahoma State, Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas, Tuesday, January 1, 12:00 p.m., ESPNU

Outback – South Carolina vs. Michigan, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 1:00 p.m., ESPN

Capital One – Georgia vs. Nebraska, Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 1:00 p.m., ABC

Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio – Wisconsin vs. Stanford, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California, Tuesday, January 1, 5:00 p.m., ESPN

Discover Orange – Northern Illinois vs. Florida State, Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Allstate Sugar – Louisville vs. Florida, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, Wednesday, January 2, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Tostitos Fiesta – Oregon vs. Kansas State, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona, Thursday, January 3, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

AT&T Cotton – Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma, Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas, Friday, January 4, 8:00 p.m., FOX

BBVA Compass – Pittsburgh vs. Ole Miss, Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama, Saturday, January 5, 1:00 p.m., ESPN

GoDaddy.com – Kent State vs. Arkansas State, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama, Sunday, January 6, 9:00 p.m., ESPN

Discover BCS National Championship – Notre Dame vs. Alabama, Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida, Monday, January 7, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

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2012-13 College Football Bowl Projections

Posted on November 18, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Sports Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Who will play for the National Championship?

November 18, 2012

As the season winds down, we thought it would be a perfect time to take a look at bowl projections. There are 35 bowls that need 70 teams this season. Remember, these are early, early estimations but it’s always fun to speculate just where some of these team will land at the end of the season.

NOTE: we will modify these projections as need be with the latest results over the next two weeks.

BOWL

LOCATION

TV

MATCH-UP

Rose Pasadena, Calif. ESPN Stanford vs. Nebraska
Orange Miami ESPN FSU vs. Louisville
Sugar New Orleans ESPN Texas A&M vs. Clemson
Fiesta Glendale, Ariz. ESPN Oregon vs. Kansas State
BCS Championship Miami ESPN Notre Dame vs. Alabama

For our entire Bowl Projection list, click here.

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2012 NCAA Football – Week 9

Posted on October 29, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Upset week… or just good football?

October 28, 2012

Week 9 action around the Big Ten -let’s recount all that happens…

INDIANA 31, ILLINOIS 17
This was out NCAA Game of the Week… For our game summary, click here.

MINNESOTA 44, PURDUE 28
Minnesota owned the Boilermakers in the game, scoring 44 straight points from the middle of the first quarter to the middle of the third quarter. Oh, and this was also the Gopher’s first Big Ten win this year.

MICHIGAN STATE 16, WISCONSIN 13 (OT)
With the loss, Wisconsin’s road to the Leaders division spot in the Big Ten title game goes through Indiana, who is the only team who can prevent the Badgers from going to Indianapolis.

NEBRASKA 23, MICHIGAN 9
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson was knocked out with a second quarter elbow injury, and Nebraska’s defense took over from there, holding the Wolverines to a season-low 188 total yards, intercepting backup quarterback Russell Bellomy three times and keeping Michigan out of the end zone for the second consecutive week. Nebraska has defeated its two main rivals for the Legends crown in back-to-back weeks with victories over Northwestern and Michigan and now is sitting pretty in first place in their division. During the game, Nebraska celebrated the 50th anniversary of the beginning of its NCAA-record sellout streak, currently at 323 games in a row and counting.

NORTHWESTERN 28, IOWA 17
Northwestern ran for 349 rushing yards on Iowa and was in control throughout the entire game. Iowa looks average and their record would agree as they are 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten.

OHIO STATE 35, PENN STATE 23
This game was coined the “IneligiBowl” which went in favor of Ohio State who remains one of six unbeaten teams. Ohio State isn’t allowed to win many things, but Braxton Miller can still win the Heisman and he is definitely one of the favorites. The sophomore rushed for 134 yards and scored three total touchdowns. Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin, who leads the Big Ten in passing, threw for a career-high 327 yards and two touchdowns but threw a costly third-quarter interception that was returned for a touchdown. With the win, Ohio State will most likely now win the Leader Division but will be removed from the Big Ten title game like a bad tattoo.

NOTE: Ohio State has now won three consecutive games at Beaver Stadium for the first time in the history of this rivalry.

In additional games during week 9, four Top Ten teams fell this week and five ranked teams suffered their first losses of the season. Meanwhile, Collin Klein and Manti T’eo boosted their Heisman chances while Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame continued to make their case for a shot in the national title game.   Here are all highlights from a wild week in college football.

#1 ALABAMA 38, #13 MISSISSIPPI STATE 7
If Alabama was already looking ahead to next week’s matchup with LSU, you wouldn’t know it from their play. The Crimson Tide rolled up 38 unanswered points before finally surrendering a touchdown in the game’s final minutes. Once again, the Alabama defense was dominant, holding the Bulldogs to just 256 total yards, forcing three turnovers and holding LaDarius Perkins, the SEC’s leading rusher, to just 38 yards on the ground. Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron, who threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns, has now gone eight straight weeks without throwing an interception.

#2 OREGON 70, COLORADO 14
Colorado came into the game ranked next-to-last in scoring defense, and that stat isn’t likely to improve after the Ducks rolled up a season-high 70 points and 617 yards. Oregon led 56-0 at halftime, and most of the Ducks starters were pulled midway through the second quarter. Oregon running back Kenjon Barner rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns while DeAnthony Thomas added a 73-yard punt return touchdown to go along with 97 rushing yards and a score. Colorado has given up at least 50 points in each of the last three weeks.

#12 GEORGIA 17, #3 FLORIDA 9 – UPSET!!!!
Georgia’s defense had given up 300+ yards in every game and at least 20 in all but one this season. But they picked a great week to turn things around have their best game of the season, holding the Gators to just 266 yards and forcing six turnovers. Freshman running back Todd Gurley ran for 118 yards and a touchdown to provide most of Georgia’s offense against a Florida defense that had another solid game (held the Bulldogs to just 273 yards and intercepted quarterback Aaron Murray three times) but was unable to overcome the Gators’ offensive miscues. This is just the fifth time Georgia has won in their last 23 games against the Gators.

#4 KANSAS STATE 55, #15 TEXAS TECH 24
Collin Klein threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more to keep himself squarely in the Heisman mix and the Wildcats in the national title hunt. The Wildcats got off to a slow start (just 19 yards on their first three drives) against a Texas Tech defense that came into the game ranked seventh in the nation, but exploded to score on eight straight possessions. Red Raider quarterback Seth Doege threw 15 touchdown passes in his previous two games, but was held in check this week, throwing for 331 yards and two touchdowns, but also a pick-six interception. This is Kansas State’s first 8-0 start since 1999.

#5 NOTRE DAME 30, #8 OKLAHOMA 13
Are the Irish forreal? Notre Dame running backs Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick each ran for 74 yards and a touchdown as the Fighting Irish became just the second ranked team to beat a Bob Stoops-coached team in Norman. And while Notre Dame had decent success running the ball, the Fighting Irish defense made sure Oklahoma couldn’t do the same, holding the Sooners to just 15 yards on 24 carries. Linebacker Manti T’eo continued his stellar season with 11 tackles (two for loss), one sack and an interception. After missing last week’s game with a concussion, Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson threw for 177 yards and rushed for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame is the only team in the nation with four wins over Top 25 teams. This was just the second time in their last 35 games that the Sooners were held to 17 or fewer points.

#6 LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY BYE LSU had a very well-timed bye to prepare for next week’s big showdown with #1 Alabama. R&R weekend….

WASHINGTON 20, #7 OREGON STATE 17 – UPSET
Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion’s return from an early-season knee injury didn’t go well, as the sophomore threw a career-high four interceptions before being pulled midway through the fourth quarter in favor of backup Cody Vaz. The Beavers outgained Washington 427-293, but Mannion’s interceptions twice ended drives in Washington territory and set up the Huskies’ go-ahead touchdown. Washington is one of the most difficult teams in the country to figure out—they have now beaten two Top Ten opponents, but hey have also lost three games by 30 or more points.

ARIZONA 39, #10 SOUTHERN CAL 36 – UPSET
Arizona quarterback Matt Scott accounted for 469 total yards and four touchdowns, leading the Wildcats back from a 15-point deficit late in the third quarter to upset the Trojans. USC led 28-13 with four minutes left in the third quarter before Arizona rallied to score 26 unanswered points in the next 14 minutes. USC receiver Marqise Lee caught 16 passes for a PAC-12 record 345 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Arizona’s win snaps a four-game losing streak to the Trojans.

#11 FLORIDA STATE 48, DUKE 7
Despite losing star running back Chris Thompson with a knee injury last week, Florida State’s offense showed little sign of slowing down, rolling up 560 yards and 48 points. Seminoles quarterback E.J. Manuel threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns while Thompson’s replacement, sophomore Devonta Freeman rushed for 104 yards and two scores. Florida State’s defense and special teams were equally impressive in the win, holding the ACC’s second-best passing attack to just 129 passing yards, forcing four turnovers and getting a 75-yard punt return touchdown. The Seminoles are now 18-0 all-time versus Duke.

#14 CLEMSON 42, WAKE FOREST 13
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for a school-record 428 yards and five touchdowns, including one to receiver Sammy Watkins, who caught eight passes for a school-record 202 yards. After managing just 16 yards on its first two drives, the Tigers’ offense erupted to find the end zone on its next five possessions, jumping out to a 35-0 lead in the second quarter. The Tigers have now won four in a row in this series.

#16 LOUISVILLE 34, CINCINNATI 31 (OT)
Louisville outgained the Bearcats 524-353 but needed a field goal and an interception in overtime to keep its undefeated season alive. Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw for 416 and two touchdowns, twice rallying Louisville from 10-point deficits. Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legeaux threw three interceptions, including one that ended the Bearcats’ only possession in overtime. On Louisville’s field goal attempt in overtime, the snap was fumbled. But Cincinnati had called timeout to ice the kicker just before the snap, giving Louisville’s John Wallace another attempt at the 30-yarder that he made for the win.  The win snaps a four-game losing streak for the Cardinals in this series.

#17 SOUTH CAROLINA 38, TENNESSEE 35
South Carolina held off a late Volunteers rally to secure the win, but the Gamecocks may have bigger concerns this week as star running back Marcus Lattimore had to be carted off the field after suffering a gruesome knee injury. Even though coach Steve Spurrier declined on Sunday to discuss specifics of his horrific injury suffered in the second quarter of Saturday’s 38-35 victory over Tennessee, he confirmed the junior running back had a dislocated knee, the same injury incurred by freshman defensive back T.J. Gurley earlier this season.

“The knee sort of pops out of place, a dislocation,” Spurrier said. “They got it back in place pretty quickly, though. Dr. (Jeffrey) Guy said it was back in quickly.”

But Spurrier added it “remains to be seen” how long Lattimore’s rehab from his second major knee injury will take, and didn’t rule out the possibility of his recovery extending into 2014.

“Dr. Guy said there could be a chance (of a 2013 return), but there could be a chance that it could be two years down the road,” Spurrier said. “It could be a full year of recovery. We’ll have to wait and see, that’s what he said. We’ll take it one day at a time and allow the doctors and Marcus and a lot of prayers to do their work.”

Since Lattimore didn’t redshirt as a freshman in 2010, he has two years of eligibility left to play his final season, or he could opt for the NFL.

“It’s going to take a while, obviously, to recover and rehab this,” Spurrier said. “But Marcus has a good attitude today. We saw him and talked with him. He knows what the road ahead is. We’re all hoping and praying he will be back.”

South Carolina rolled up 510 yards of offense en route to their highest scoring game since late September. Quarterback Connor Shaw threw for 356 yards and tallied four total touchdowns for the win.

In the short term, the ball-carrying responsibilities fall to Kenny Miles (149 yards) and Mike Davis (157), while the plans to redshirt Brandon Wilds could be scrapped. Miles, a fifth-year senior, ascends to the No. 1 running back slot for the Arkansas game on Nov. 10 at Williams-Brice Stadium.  The Gamecocks will have to dig deep without Lattimore moving forward.

KENT STATE 35, #18 RUTGERS 23 – UPSET
Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova threw six interceptions that set up 21 Kent State points, ending the Scarlet Knights hopes for an undefeated season. Rutgers came into the game ranked third in the nation in rush defense, but allowed the Golden Flashes to roll up 224 yards on the ground. This is Kent State’s first-ever win over a ranked team (0-22 prior to this weekend) and the victory gives the Golden Flashes their first six-game winning streak since 1940.

#19 STANFORD 24, WASHINGTON STATE 17
Stanford’s defense was the story of this game, holding the Cougars to minus-sixteen yards rushing, sacking quarterback Jeff Tuel ten times and forcing one costly interception that was returned for a fourth-quarter touchdown that put the Cardinal up by two scores. This is the third time this season the Cougars have been held to negative rushing yards. By comparison, the rest of the FBS combined has just five such games. Washington State has lost 19 straight games to ranked teams, a streak dating back to 2006, while Stanford has now won 14 straight road games against unranked foes.

#21 BOISE STATE 45, WYOMING 14
Boise State overcame a slow start and put up 31 unanswered points to move to 7-0 all-time against Wyoming. The Broncos defense was once again dominant, holding the Cowboys to just 270 yards of offense (54 rushing) and returning a third-quarter fumble for a touchdown. Broncos running back D.J. Harper rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Wyoming was playing without head coach Dave Christensen, who was suspended for one game following an obscenity-filled tirade at Air Force coaches after their Oct. 13 game. The Broncos have won 48 straight games in the month of October, a streak dating back to 2001.

#22 TEXAS A&M 63, AUBURN 21
The stats really speak for themselves: at halftime, A&M had outgained the Tigers 464-91. The Aggies had 28 points on the board before Auburn ever made a first down. The Aggies scored on seven of their first eight possessions and jumped out to a 49-7 lead before the starters were pulled early in the third quarter. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel accounted for 350 total yards and four touchdowns in just over two quarters of play. Auburn is off to its first 1-7 start since 1952.

MIAMI (OH) 23, #23 OHIO 20 – UPSET
Ohio’s dreams of busting the BCS came to a dramatic end Saturday, as the Miami (OH) RedHawks took the lead with just 1:24 to go and then sealed the victory when Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton took a sack rather than throwing the ball away with just seconds on the clock. Miami receiver Nick Harwell caught eight passes for 138 yards and a touchdown in the upset win.

#24 LOUISIANA TECH 28, NEW MEXICO STATE 14
Louisiana Tech quarterback Colby Cameron threw for 292 yards and a touchdown while rushing for another score to lead the Bulldogs to their first-ever win as a ranked team. Louisiana Tech missed three field goals, but the Lobos were unable to capitalize, turning the ball over three times. This was New Mexico State’s seventh-straight loss.

#25 WEST VIRGINIA BYE
After back-to-back blowout losses, the Mountaineers got a much-needed week off to stop the bleeding and prepare for next week’s contest against fellow Big 12 newcomer TCU.

Our TOP 10

1. Alabama

2. Oregon

3. Kansas State

4. Notre Dame

5. LSU

6. Georgia

7. Florida State

8. Louisville

9. Clemson

10. Florida

Don’t discount… Oregon State, Texas A&M, USC, Boise State, Stanford. For a complete list of the BCS Standings, visit http://www.bcsfootball.org/

Our original, pre-season Top 10 can be found by clicking here.

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2012 NCAA Football – Week 8

Posted on October 22, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Heart pounding finishes in several contest…

October 2012

Big Ten football isn’t always pretty, but one thing is for sure lack of separation between most of the teams means close, hard-hitting games every week. Week 8 was no different – three games came down to the last or almost last snap: Michigan’s 12-10 win over Michigan State, Nebraska’s 29-28 squeaker over Northwestern, and Ohio State’s improbable 29-22 overtime comeback victory over Purdue. Indiana even went down to the wire in a 31-30 loss to Navy.

Ohio State 29 Purdue 22 OT

Ohio State pulled one out in a game that they should have lost.  Braxton Miller was injured on the late in the third quarter and was taken to the hospital.  Purdue led 22-14 when Ohio State drove 51 yards to tie the game after the two point conversion.  Kenny Guiton came in to relieve Miller and threw a two yard TD pass to tie the game.  The loss over-shadowed a good defensive effort by the Purdue defense led by DT Kawann Short. Short is one of the best DT in the country and has now had two good games against good competition.  Earlier this year Short had a monster game in a loss to Notre Dame.

Up Next: Ohio State at Penn State, Purdue at Minnesota

Michigan 12 Michigan State 10  

Somewhere up above Fielding Yost and Bo Schembechler are smiling as Michigan football recorded their 900th victory. The Wolverines are on a roll after early season losses to Alabama and Notre Dame.  This one wasn’t pretty as it was a defensive struggle most of the way.  Michigan was down 10-9 with two minutes to play when Denard Robinson drove the ball 36 yards to set-up a Brendan Gibbons 38 yard field goal to win the game.  Robinson had 259 yards of offense on the day. The Spartans are reeling offensively when Le’Veon Bell can’t get off running.  Bell was held to 68 yards on 28 carries.

Up Next: Michigan at Nebraska, Michigan State at Wisconsin

Nebraska 29, Northwestern 28

There isn’t really anything funny I can say about this matchup as it was actually a great game. Both Nebraska and Northwestern look like teams that will earn above-average bowl games.  Nebraska now has an important tie-breaking win that will factor in the much more interesting chase for the Legends Division crown. Up next: Michigan at Nebraska, Iowa at Northwestern

Wisconsin 38, Minnesota 13

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 Leaders Division winner Wisconsin Badgers! I know it’s only half way through the Big Ten schedule but seriously, Wisconsin (3-1 in Big Ten play) is the default winner of this division. Ohio State and Penn State are ineligible, Indiana can’t close out games, Purdue is mediocre and Illinois is terrible. Enjoy the trip to Indy, Wisconsin, you are the least terrible!

Up Next: Purdue at Minnesota, Michigan State at Wisconsin

Penn State 38, Iowa 14

Penn State continues to impress despite coming into the year following one of, if not the most, disastrous off-field distractions in sports history. Iowa wasn’t the strongest opponent but the Nittany Lions handled the Hawkeyes fairly easily, almost doubling them up in total offensive yards.

Navy 31, Indiana 30

For weeks it seemed that if Indiana’s defense could contain opponents, the Hoosiers could start winning games. Turns out what’s really keeping the Hoosiers from winning is their inability to finish games. For the third time during their current five game losing streak, the Hoosiers have blown fourth quarter leads, each one in a different way. The Ball State game was a double last-second comeback for both teams that ended in the Cardinals favor. The Michigan State game was controlled by the Hoosiers early, but gradually lost, resulting in a go-ahead score for the Spartans halfway through the fourth quarter. Now the Hoosiers blow a two-score lead in the final six minutes to Navy. The Hoosiers may lose almost every game, but at least they keep us guessing how they will lose it. The only way this team can truly get its confidence back is to beat up on a terrible team. Hello Illinois!

Illinois gets an extra week of practice before they play what looks like their only chance for a Big Ten win this season when it hosts Indiana. I researched, and yes, one of them will leave that weekend having won a Big Ten game, and we’ll be there LIVE.

FINAL OBSERVATION OF THE BIG TEN…

Big Ten football can almost expect these types of games over the final month and a half of the season, with unpredictable results and an exciting league race, especially in the Legends Division. They might not be as sexy or thrilling as watching a national championship contest, or most SEC games, but they will certainly keep Big Ten fans’ hearts pounding. Thus, a specific collision courses are all set for October. 27 in BIG Ten: Michigan and Nebraska! Both teams show grit to survive difficult tests, making their meeting in Lincoln a crucial one for the Legends Division race. With Iowa and Northwestern both losing, the Wolverines and Huskers stand as the top two teams in the division, and they have an intriguing game on tap. Nebraska’s high-scoring offense, which is even more potent at home, will try to top Michigan’s rapidly improving defense. Denard Robinson versus Taylor Martinez is a marquee matchup. In addition, Penn State – Ohio State!!!! Neither can make it to the Big Ten title game, due to sanctions, but they can have the best record in the Leaders conference and might just be the best two teams in the league, not just the division too. They will square off in State College in what should be a highly charged atmosphere. Add in the renewal of the recent rivalry between Wisconsin and Michigan State and a do-or-die Legends game between Northwestern and Iowa, and you can see why the Saturday before Halloween should be scary good.

NOTE: We will be LIVE in Champaign, Illinois for the Indiana – Illinois game!

Tune in next week for our recap!

****OTHER CONTEST ON OUR RADAR****
Notre Dame 17 BYU 14

A battle of great LB’s in this one with Notre Dame’s Manti T’eo and BYU’s Kyle Van Noy. T’eo is a Mormon by faith and spurned going to BYU which still doesn’t sit well in Provo.  Both Van Noy and T’eo answered the bell and had interceptions in the game.  Notre Dame’s defense is first class but this team isn’t national championship material with this offense.  Tyler Eifert is their only passing weapon and it seems they target him on every play. Notre Dame did rush for 279 yards on the ground.

NORTHERN 37, Akron 7

AKRON, Ohio (AP) – Jordan Lynch threw two touchdowns and rushed for two more as Northen Illinois routed Akron 37-7 Saturday in Mid-American Conference action. Lynch finished with 223 yards on 20 of 33 passing and threw touchdown passes of nine and four yards. Northern Illinois (7-1, 4-1) held a 13-7 lead before Lynch’s 15-yard touchdown run gave the Huskies a 20-7 advantage at halftime. After Lynch’s second touchdown pass pushed the lead to 30-7, his second touchdown run, this time a 35-yarder, created the final margin. Lynch, who finished with 131 yards on the ground, has rushed for 100-plus yards in each of the Huskies’ last six games. Akron (1-7, 0-4) struggled to move the ball, gaining just 194 yards on 65 plays from scrimmage.

Northern Illinois has won 16 of its last 17 games. Its last lost was by one point to Iowa in the 2012 season opener.

WEEK 8 FUN FACTS

 Interceptions this season of Alabama QB AJ McCarron. He ran his streak of attempts without an interception to 239 in the 44-13 win at Tennessee, extending his school record. He and Louisiana Tech’s Colby Cameron are the only QBs (minimum 15 attempts a game) in FBS not to be intercepted this season.

 There are only two unbeatens left in FCS… Cal Poly moved to 7-0 with a 37-25 Big Sky win against Portland State, and Lehigh moved to 8-0 with a 42-19 homecoming win against Bucknell.

 Southern Illinois has scored on three consecutive games on a blocked punt in a 38-21 win against Youngstown State. The Salukis, who also scored on a fumble recovery and interception, have won all three of those games.

 Savannah State has thirteen (13) consecutive losses and it’s the longest active streak in FCS, before outlasting Edward Waters (Fla.) of the NAIA 42-35. The Tigers had 51 points in their first six games this season.

 Harvard had fourteen (14) consecutive wins, longest active streak in all of Division I, before a 39-34 loss at Princeton. The Tigers had 29 points in the fourth quarter, including Quinn Epperly’s 36-yard touchdown pass to Roman Wilson with 13 seconds left.

 Southern Methodist scored a school record of 72-points  in their 72-42 win against Houston. The Mustangs had nine takeaways, tying a school record for most against an FBS team, converting four into touchdowns.

 USC’s Matt Barkley tossed a career record 102 touchdown passes, setting school and Pac-12 records. He had six TD tosses in all Saturday in a 50-6 win against Colorado. Four of them went to Robert Woods, who also set a school record for career receptions and now has 220.

Our TOP 10
1. Alabama (7-0)

2. Oregon (7-0)

3. Kansas State (7-0)

4. Florida (7-0)

5. Notre Dame (7-0)

6. LSU (7-1)

7. Oregon State (6-0)

8. Oklahoma (5-1)

9. USC (6-1)

10. Georgia (6-1)

Don’t discount… Florida State, South Carolina, Rutgers, Louisville. For a complete list of the BCS Standings, visit http://www.bcsfootball.org/

Our original, pre-season Top 10 can be found by clicking here.

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