Category Archives: College Football

Washington Tops #3 USC

It happened. USC lost. It seems like every year, when USC loses, “______ Shocks The Football World” is all over the headlines. So, how did Washington fill in the blank and beat the 3rd ranked team in the nation? They made USC one sided, forced turnovers, and played efficiently.33294_usc_washington_football_large

We all know that USC can run the ball. Running backs Stefon Johnson and Joe McKnight have been electric this year. The question for the Trojans is the quarterback. True freshman Matt Barkley has been okay in the first two games, but not spectacular. Saturday’s game against Washington was the breaking point for Trojan QBs.

Barkley has been pestered by a sore shoulder as of late, so Junior quarterback Aaron Corp got the start against the Huskies. There is a reason Corp was a back up. The man put up pedestrian numbers against a team that didn’t win a game last year. Any time a defense can shut down either a run game or a passing game completely, they have a good chance of winning.

The Huskies defense allowed 250 yards on the ground, but because they held Corp to 13-22 passing for 110 yards and an interception, they were the victors of the game. It wasn’t like Washington played spectacular. They just fucked up less than USC, yknow? In addition to Corp’s one interception, USC fumbled twice. The Huskies did not turn the ball over once.

The Huskies aren’t a better team, but they played the better game. That’s all that matters. Efficiency trumped talent.

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College Football Week 1 – Big 12 can play defense?

Even though I am a student at a Big 12 school, even I will admit that our defense is… lacking. However, after a solid week one, a few Big 12 teams impressed me with their defensive performances.

Nebraska and Kansas allowed 3 points each and forced 3 and 2 turnovers respectively. A&M held New Mexico to 6 points and forced 2 turnovers. My own school, Missouri, held a high powered (or so we thought) Illinois offense to 9 points and 2 turnovers. Oklahoma’s defense was impressive even in the loss. The Sooners held the 20th ranked BYU Cougars to 14 points and forced 4 turnovers. The most impressive performance,57896.89Georgia-Oklahoma-St-Football.sff however, was Oklahoma State’s D that held the 13th ranked Georgia Bulldogs to only 10 points while forcing 3 turnovers.

The Cowboy’s defense stuffed the Bulldog rushing attack, allowing only 95 yards on a 30 carries. The timing of OSU’s defense was just as impressive. Normally, when a Big 12 defense plays well in the first 3 quarters, they tend to slack off during the 4th. The Cowboys allowed only 59 yards on three drives and forced 2 of their turnovers in the 4th quarter alone.

I know, I know, it is only week one. But, if the Big 12 can play at least a little defense – say, holding an opponent to under 30 points – their offenses can handle the rest. A couple more Big 12 defenses will be tested next weekend. Iowa State plays no. 22 Iowa at home, Baylor plays UConn, and Oklahoma State plays a high flyin’ Houston offense that put up 55 points in week one. Keep your eyes on Big 12 D.

-Pierce

Mark Sanchez to Enter the 2009 NFL Draft

   A couple days ago, USC quarterback Mark Sanchez decided to forgo a fifth season at USC to enter the 2009 NFL draft. In the same press conference, USC head coach Pete Carroll criticized Sanchez for coming out, saying that he was, “Going against the grain,” and that he and Sanchez did not see eye to eye on this271-cfoot0116art_g0f9h8e91sanchezmugembeddedprod_affiliate138 decision. Pete Carroll: what the hell, man? Sanchez busted his ass for you for four seasons, he played outstanding this year, and now you are going to stab him in the back like that? As Carroll walked off the stage, he barely even acknowledged Sanchez, giving him a quick handshake before rushing away.

   Sanchez graduates from USC this spring and made a very smart and economically sound decision to go to the NFL. Earlier this month, Sanchez sent in his credentials to the NFL to see where he could possibly go in the NFL draft. The NFL projected Sanchez as a first round pick, some even see Sanchez going as high as number 1 or number 3 overall. I agree with Sanchez’z decision, he is getting a degree from an outstanding school so he isn’t coming out early academically and after the fantastic season he had, his stock is higher than ever. Carroll should not only support his former quarterback, but respect his decision in his future. Not every USC quarterback can be like golden boy Matt Leinart and stay elligable for college football by taking a ballroom dancing course.

   Sportswriter Woody Paige said it best about Carroll on Around the Horn today: “Carroll showed his true colors at that press conference.” Even if you don’t agree with what he did, Carroll, he’s a 22-year-old man, not your son, so respect his decision. I wish Sanchez the best of luck and support him in his decision to enter the NFL draft.

Pierce’s 2008 College Football Awards

Player of the Year: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida

   He didn’t win the Heisman, but he beat the man that did to win the national championship. One of the most humble and respected players in the nation, Tebow improved as a quarterback and a leader this season. At the very least, Tebow proved why he deserves a shot at quarterback in the NFL. There isn’t much debate about who the player of the year is after the bowl games.

Offensive Player of the Year: Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa

   In the pre-season, everyone was talking about Knowshon Moreno and Beanie Wells. Now, everyone isOutback Bowl Footballtalking about this young fella out of Iowa. The Hawkeye’s rode Greene’s 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns to 9 wins and a win in the Outback bowl. Like Tebow to Florida, Greene was essential to Iowa’s success this season.

Defensive Player of the Year: Taylor Mays (S) and Rey Maualuga (LB), USC

   This award goes to the two most dominating players on the most dominating defense. The USC defense was number 1 in scoring defense and held opponents to under 7 points in 8 games. Mays and Maualuga brought something more than tackles and talent to the USC defense: they brought intimidation. Look for them to scare offense’s on sunday next season.

Biggest Surprises: Utah, Iowa, Ole Miss, and Oklahoma State:

   Nobody thought Utah would go undefeated again. Nobody thought Kirk Ferentz and Iowa would win 9 games and beat an undefeated Penn State. Nobody thought Ole Miss could compete in the mighty big SEC and beat Texas Tech. Nobody thought Oklahoma State could grab attention in a state ruled by Sooners.

Biggest Disappointments: Auburn and Michigan:

   Two traditional powerhouses fell from grace this year. Michigan did it with a new coach and a new system. Auburn did it with an old coach and an old system. Both teams did not play in a bowl game. Look on the bright side Tigers and Wolverines: it can only get better from here. Right? …Right?

Game of the Year: Texas @ Texas Tech, 11/1/08

   The game of the year also had the play of the year. With 8 seconds left in the game Tech quarterback Graham Harrell found wide receiver Michael Crabtree for a 28 yard touchdown. It was one of the few games (that didn’t involve the Packers or Mizzou) I was jumping up and down and yelling. More importantly, this game set off the “Big 12 Southgate” and the debate over who should be in the Big 12 championship game and, consequentially, the national championship game. For those of you who didn’t see it, I included a the clip in this post. Enjoy and see you next season folks!

   

Reaction to the National Championship Game

   In a hard fought game, the Florida Gators defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 24-14 to win their 3rd national championship. Everyone predicted an offensive blow out, but the game was relatively low scoring until late in the 3rd quarter.

   The first half was won by Oklahoma, but they could not finish. Off two Florida quarterback Tim Tebow interceptions, the Sooners could not capitalize. Two red zone trips were also stopped by Florida’s stingy defense, once by a goal line stand and once by an unlikely interception by Sooner quarterback Sam Bradford. On that goal line stand, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops must have been too stubborn to use his Heisman winning quarterback because he ran the ball 4 times and turned the ball over. YOU HAVE THE HEISMAN WINNING QUARTERBACK, USE HIM! On the interception in the red zone, the ball was tipped by the wide receiver at the goal line and bobbled until it fell into the hands of a Florida defender. In fact, both interceptions were not the fault of Bradford’s but the fault of the receivers for not being able to hold on. 

   The Gators were very lucky to be in a 7-7 tie with the Sooners at half-time because the score should have been at least 13-7, if not worse.

   The second half started similarly with defense. Hats off to the Oklahoma defense, who no one gave a shotap_us_florida_football_champions_ncaa_09jan09_190 to stop any offense thrown at them. They forced two turnovers and held Florida’s offense, including Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin, in check most of the game. This game was won on one play, however. On a 3rd and 10 mid-way through the 3rd quarter, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow scrambled 13 yards for a first down. Upon getting the first down, Tebow popped up from the tackle, yelling, and fist pumping. This spurt of emotion woke up the dormant crowd and pumped up his teammates and proved why Tebow may be the best leader in college football. From that play on, Florida possessed a confidence that looked like they would never lose. And they didn’t. They didn’t even lose the lead from that point on.

   This game showcased some of the nation’s best talent. A lot of sunday players played outstanding, including losing quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford is a top-10 pick if he comes out, Florida players Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes are also first round picks, assuming they come out. As for that Tim Tebow guy? I think he’ll stay another year. He’s having too much fun in college to leave for the NFL. He is one of the best players in the league and Florida is the best team. What more could you ask for? Congrats Florida and Oklahoma on great seasons. See you next year, boys

Reaction to the Sugar Bowl

   The University of Utah Utes were huge underdogs going into the Sugar Bowl against University of Alabama. Utah dominated the Crimson Tide 31-17. Most critics, including me, picked Alabama in this game. I didn’t watch this game so I can’t analyze the game as much as I can analyze the impact of it. No matter the outcome of the National Championship game next Thursday, the University of Utah will be screaming for a chance at either Oklahoma or Florida.ncf_g_sylvester2_300

   This game once again proves the need for a playoff system or at least a plus one system in college football. Even USC’s dismantling of Penn State shows how badly we need some different system to prove the real National Champion.

   I love Bowl games, I really do. I think they make a lot of money, they have great match-ups, and they let great teams prove their conference’s dominance. So, let’s keep the bowl games, but make the BCS games a playoff system. In a playoff system, take the top 8 teams in the rankings at the end of the year and let them play it out in a single elimination tournament. The plus one system would re-shuffle the rankings after the bowl games were played and pick the top two teams to play in a National Championship game. Either system would at least be a little less debate on who deserves the National Champion title.

   If we have learned anything from this year’s Sugar Bowl it’s that the BCS system is a piece of shit and doesn’t work and that BCS conference’s are overrated. What Utah did was amazing and hats off to beating one of the best team’s in the nation. Hopefully, the big boys in the NCAA management will take notice and finally give the fans and the teams what they deserve: a system that proves a real national championship.

-Pierce

BCS Championship Prediction

   sam-bradfordOklahoma. Yep, Boomer Sooner will win this game. Both teams are red hot coming into this game and just dominating opponents. Both have strong defenses and even stronger offenses. Both are powerhouses in college football that have won a combined 9 national titles and 1,409 games. But, Oklahoma has the edge in the most important position in football: quarterback. There is no doubt about it, Florida QB Tim Tebow is an outstanding player, however Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford is something else. 2008 Heisman winner Bradford threw for 48 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. Bradford is a much more pure quarterback than Tebow. But we aren’t comparing draft value, we are talking about the Championship game. Bradford is very calm and collected at quarterback and this game will be close all the way through, so that will be to his advantage. Oklahoma also has incredible balance on offense, being able to run and pass the ball effectively. The Sooners had two 1000 yard rushers this season in DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown. Murray will not be playing in the game because of a hamstring injury. Florida does not have that consistent run game, which could hurt Florida later in the game. Undoubtably, the Gators defense is scary defense that is better than Oklahoma’s. However, Oklahoma’s defense has played many better offenses than Florida, including Texas Tech. The Oklahoma Sooner defense and offense will be tested by the mighty Florida Gators, but the Sooners will win under the leadership of Sam Bradford. Oh and Bradford will be the number one overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft after winning this game.

Oklahoma: 38 Florida: 31