Just Another Week in The West

10 10 2014

Source:zimbio.com

Game of the Week

(2) Auburn Vs (3) Mississippi State

The State of Mississippi for the second straight week the epicenter of college football. This time Starkville the location as State tries to keep this unreal momentum going against the defending SEC Champion Auburn Tigers.

 

The Skinny

The Bulldogs have racked up at least 500 yards of offense in each of their games this season. Their Heisman trophy front runner (right now) Dak Prescott has thrown for 200 yards and rushed for another 100 in two of his last three games. Alabama native De’Runnya Wilson has become one of the young studs in the SEC. They have a veteran offensive line, and a sledgehammer of a running back in Josh Robinson along with a little lighting in running back/athlete Josh Holloway.

As for Auburn, the SEC Champs have played like it whether people want to give them credit or not. They’ve went on the road to play a tough Kansas State team, along with wins over what now seems like a dangerous Arkansas team. The blowout win over LSU also looks great considering how well the defense played. And oh yeah, Nick Marshall is rounding into the Nick Marshall of 2013.

 

The Bad for Mississippi State

As great as the offense looked last week against Texas A&M, the defense has a few issues. Of course you give credit to turning the Aggies over three times, but was that more of Kenny Hill making some bad throws, or was it really the State unit causing the issues? The Bulldogs have what may be the best defensive line and/or front seven in the league, but from watching the game last week, that front seven for the most part was neutralized. The costly turnovers by Texas A&M (or Kenny Hill) brought momentum in State’s favor. Are they a good team? No question. Are they a great team? We all will know by the end of this month, not by just this game.

 

The Bad for Auburn

They blew out LSU. Held the Bayou Bengals to just 7 points. True freshman Brandon Harris had just 58 yards passing (did ANYONE expect anything else from a true freshman on the road who was playing High School football a year ago?) LSU did have moments (very few) last week that showed a dual threat QB, that can

A) run, but make plays out of the pocket by

B) throwing, and throwing receivers open (circa State vs LSU this season)

can give the Tigers some issues.

 

 

What will Happen

The Cowbells will be ringing, ESPN’s college Gameday will have the State faithful in a good lather leading up to kickoff. A great atmosphere for sure, none of that will determine the game. Auburn is the better team. State obviously can change that after four quarters Saturday, but the Tigers are a spread team that’s balanced. Auburn will commit to the run, all while State will have to deal with Nick Marshall that can break off a touchdown from anywhere on the field with his legs. And guess what? *gasp* He can throw! (Wow! who knew?)

As good as the Bulldogs front seven is, the Tigers have too many play makers in the backfield, and on the perimeter. Sammie Coates, D’haquille Williams, CJ Uzomah among others will continue to make plays in this devastating run first spread attack that has a running back that’s not getting enough credit nationally (Cameron Artis-Payne). The Defense will show that it just wasn’t LSU the reason for their dominance. they’re just a dang good unit, that’s only getting better in the second year of Ellis Johnson’s 4-2-5 scheme. The talk has been around the state of Mississippi all week, Auburn will head to Starkville to make a statement, that they may very well be the best team in college football.

Auburn 35, Mississippi State 17

 

Quick Hitters

—Ole Miss was outstanding last week against Alabama, they are about to run into a buzz saw Saturday in College Station. I like the Aggies to win, with Kenny Hill getting back to his “Kenny Trill” moniker Saturday night. I cant wait to watch that Rebels secondary Vs the Aggies WR’s… Hugh Freeze has some play makers in that secondary (even with Trae Eslon out for a half).

—It’s supposed to be in the 50’s with rain in Fayetteville… just like Hogs like it right? More than many other season under Nick Saban, I’m more intrigued than ever with how this Alabama team responds after a loss, against what looks like as VERY dangerous Arkansas group. My head says pick Alabama, while my gut says this will come down to the wire at Razorbacks Stadium.

—Florida State is number 1 everyone. That shouldn’t change if they continue to win.

— TCU has always had my respect under Gary Patterson. Win Saturday against Baylor, you officially get in the CFB Playoff discussion.

— Love Rich Rod and Arizona. NO ONE should be surprised if they lose to SC Saturday.

—Shout out to Paul Johnson. Option anyone? No? OK, the Wramblin Wreck will take their 5-0 record just fine thank you.

— Want to get crazy tonight? Tune in to Washington State and UCLA. Connor Halliday make throw a little bit for Mike Leach.

 

Have a great weekend!

 





The Wild Wild West..

3 10 2014

Source:blacksportsonline.com

A Hell of a Weekend.

You were upset with the first month of the year and lack of marquee matchups? Saturday Octiober 4th will give you all you want and then some. Tons of games that will go a long way for conference standings (SEC), and quality wins for the new College Football Playoff.

Games. Big Games.

(3) Alabama Vs (11) Ole Miss

The boys in the desert have this game as Bama a 7 point favorite, which tells us historically that this game will be tight late. No matter who you root for, both teams have deficnies that make you belive they could be in trouble. For Alabama, how will Blake Sims deal with the best defense hes faced this season on the road? Ole Miss arguably is as aggressive in the defensive scheme as anyone in the SEC. How will Blake handle it? And how will the Bama Secondary deal with the Rebels weapons on the perimeter. As good as Amari Cooper is, The Rebels have an grown man in Laquan Treadwell that’s a future first rounder in his own right.

How will Bo Wallace handle the big stage. Sure he’s the most veteran QB in the league, but Wallace has 6 picks already this season. And lets not act like the Rebles have been blowing out their first four opponents also. I will be shocked if Alabama blows Ole Miss out Saturday, but are teh Rebels ready for the national spotlight? They have elite talent, and if omens are good, go check out Hugh Freeze’s coaching resume…. each year his teams have at least doubled their wins… could this be his signature win in Oxford?

 

(6) Texas A&M Vs (12) Mississippi State

I Love Dan Mullen and what’s he done at State. I Love Kevin Sumlin and what he’s done in College Station. The Bulldogs have arguably the best front seven in the SEC. Texas A&M arguably has the best offense in the SEC. Two programs who, with a win, puts themselves in a position to become a player  for a trip to Atlanta. Yes it’s early, and all the “contenders” play each other in the month of October, but this is a game that both need in a big way

My Hunch: Kenny Hill or Kenny “Trill” didn’t have the best three quarters against Arkansas last week, but can we give credit to the Hogs? They are the best 3-2 team in the country, and a about 6 plays away from 4-1 or 5-0. I love Mississippi State and the home crowd could carry the day along with Dak Prescott.. I think that the Aggies remain undefeated, and Kenny Hill has a career day behind one of if not the best O line in the league.

 

(15) LSU vs (5) Auburn

If I’m Les Miles, Brandon Harris is my starter no matter what this season. He would never admit it, but whatever happens this season with this youthful and talented bunch is a springboard for 2015 and beyond. the Tigers will be a top 7 team next season and loaded for the next three seasons. I just find it hard to believe, a trued freshman will go on the road, at Jordan-Hare Stadium, at night and lead his team to a win.

As for Auburn, I believe Gus Malzahn will have his team play their best, most complete game of the season Saturday in front of their home crowd. Auburn remains undefeated in the first of what is murderers row in October.

 

Odds and Ends

—I have a feeling the Kentucky Wildcats beat Spurrier and the Gamecocks Saturday.

— Is it OK for me to believe that Butch Jones and the Tennessee Vols are in a must win game more then the Will Muschamp and the Gators? UT even in their losses have been ascending, while Florida’s offense looks sooo lost. If UF comes out and hangs 28-35… the Vols momentum starts back at one moving forward, AND we’re possibly talking an other bowl less year on Rocky Top.

—I know we all love to find those upsets. That wont be the case in Fort Worth Texas Saturday.

—Florida State may hang 60 against the Demon Deacons….

—-Shout out to Rich Rodriguez and Arizona… 5-0 in his third year in Tucson… He can coach football… who knew?

 

Enjoy the games guys and gals!





Five Downs

19 09 2014

Source:sbnation.com

 

1st Down

Can We Give Auburn Credit?

College Football fans should. Yes I know that we will hear the “Auburn was fortunate, they were lucky to win in Manhattan” moniker for the next two or three days. That may be good fodder to talk about, but it’s not Auburn’s fault that Kansas State was so inept in the kicking game, and couldn’t take advantage of their opportunities in the red zone.

We could also say this game would have been over had Duke Williams caught a for sure TD in the first half. He made it count in the second half with a big score, and a 3rd and 9 conversion to ice the game 20-14. And about Nick Marshall not being able to throw? Big time conversions late in this game including that deciding 3rd down throw to Duke. Auburn  is for real. K State had won 42 of their last 44 at home. Let’s give the Tigers credit for a few days. Then we can look at the gauntlet of SEC games starting October 4th.

 

2nd Down

Does Florida have a Chance?

No clue on that Saturday against 3rd ranked Alabama. The Gators Defense will be as elite as they’ve been under WIll Muschamp. We all know what the elephant in the room is. Jeff Driskel. This offense just seems lost at times, and inconsistent. I thought before the season that if the Gators could just score 21-24 points they win at least 9 games. They needed 36 points to beat a ryoung and talented Kentucky team in 3 OT’s last week.

 

3rd Down

 

As for Alabama….

Can I just say that I just want to see Amari Cooper and Vernon Hargreaves III go at it? Excited to see that. As for the Tide, we will see how much the offense has improved over a quality opponent. Blake Sims is the starter, with Jacob Coker on the sidelines. Florida will try to confuse Sims as we all know, will be interesting to see if Lane Kiffin stays with the bubble screen left, bubble screen right, handoff to running back A philosophy or will the offense continue to grow in game. Alot of question marks still for both teams as we head to kickoff.

 

4th Down

Is Mississippi State ready to make the jump?

Dan Mullen’s bunch head to Death Valley where as my guy Les Miles says dreams come to die. He also does things like this which makes EVERYONE love him even more. It’s the gift that keeps on giving:

 

As for the game Saturday, The LSU offense is still finding it’s way after a few games, while we really don’t know much about the Bulldogs (wins over  So Miss, UAB, South Alabama). Business picks up this week, I just think the Baton Rouge faithful and those 22 guys on the field in Purple and Yellow will be a little too much for State. The best thing for State, is if LSU’s offense starts slow in this one, if that happens, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Bayou Bengals find themselves in trouble.

 

 5th Down

Jameis

Yes he’s 20. yes he’s been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Would I scream what he screamed in my college student union… nah, but I’ve done my fair share of REALLY, REALLY, stupid things in college. Do I have any clue on if this is a concern for Winston moving forward. Honestly no. I could be wrong, and wouldn’t have an issue in saying so in the future. Whether it was a quarter or a half, Winston got football taken away from him this week. That’s never happened. I think it would do wonders for him, realizing that he has an opportunity to play a kids game, and enjoy the rewards that surround it.

I literally laughed when I heard some of the national talking heads suggest that Winston’s draft stock would fall. Yeah right. He will be the first or second QB taken and one of the first ten players taken in the draft if he decides to leave. For all those that want to cast stones to any collegiate athletes regardless of sport. Just remember. There are far worse things going on with athletes and college students that we just don’t hear or see about.

 

Quick Hitter

The NFL.

I don’t even know where to start with the league. It would take me hours to go through it all. We all know the environment that the league is in right now. The biggest thing I hope comes from all these issues, is that it brings awareness to domestic violence. So many women are in trouble each and everyday in the world and in this great country. I hope the common sports fan understands that this goes beyond the white lines on Sunday’s. There are people in trouble, and I hope the awareness is raised even more with all the recent issues with the NFL.

 

Enjoy the weekend!

 





What did we learn in Week 1? Not a dang thing.

5 09 2014

Source: saturdaydownsouth.com

You Think You Know…..

1. Hope everyone had a awesome Labor Day. I ate enough that would make any serious food eater proud… besides the guy below.

 

Back to ball talk. I know every college fan and general  football fans (besides those who love the NFL and had to wait a week) were excited to see competitive football on TV. We watch the games and every elite team that didn’t win by 3,542 points is in SERIOUS trouble. Lets all breathe. The same thing you knew before the start of the season, is exactly what you know heading into week 2. Besides Vanderbilt. No answers for ya there.

 

OMG! (people say that still?) Whats wrong with Bama? FSU!?!?!?!

Simple answer. nothing. So West Virginia was supposed to lose by 20 plus. All we found out is that Dana Holgerson is one hell of a play caller, and that the Mountaineers have talent on offense. Are they as talented as Bama? No, but Holgerson called a solid game, and put the ball into his play makers hands to, well, make plays.

That leads us to Alabama. This team is a work in progress. Everyone (including myself) just assumed that Jacob Coker had the job simply by transferring over in late spring and early summer. He doesn’t have a grasp of the offense the way like Nick Saban would like. Can that change? Sure, it’s very possible. Lets give Blake Sims some credit. Yeah, did he wing it everywhere on the turf  last week? No. Was he inconsistent, and had some “rattled” like moments? Yeah. But the guy is a fifth year senior who two years ago was playing running back, who made his first start for not just any program, but a program where the QB position is heavily scrutinized. Memo to Tide fans. BREATHE.  This team is a work in progress, that basically went through a successful workshop a week ago, and will now prepare for a take home test this week against the Owls of Florida Atlantic. We will know alot more after four quarters of play September 20th.

 

The Noles are OVERRATED!!!

That’s what I heard this week. Once again. Overreaction. Florida State literally showed up, and played just good enough to pull out the win. It felt like when going back and watching the replay of the game this week, that:

A) Mike Gundy can call plays, and call them very well.

B) The Cowboys talent level is good, the Noles talent level. Off. The. Charts.

C) Yes fans, It’s  true that teams that are super talented can literally show up, go through the motions and win against most teams. Maybe not against elite of the elite, but how many teams are that?

Give credit to Oklahoma State, but in my opinion  there wasn’t a time when I thought FSU would lose. Not one. There was some moments late where there could have been some issues, Oklahoma State trimmed the lead down to 3. Then the Noles Groza Award watchlist kicker put three up, followed by Jameis connecting with Rashad Greene, and that was that. Basically, Jimbo Fisher will have his guys attention after game one. Not that it will really matter. The Noles will be 5-0 before Notre Dame comes to town October 18th

 

Gurley, Hill the truth.

Kenny Hill didn’t surprise me. The only thing that surprised me was the 511 through the air. If you said 300, OK, but 511? Beast stuff. Thought the Aggies would win if the defense played average against South Carolina, and that unit did. If they keep playing average. They win 8-9 at least moving forward. Back to A&M’s first year starter, he wants to be called “Kenny Trill” moving forward. The nickname in reference to Houston rap great Bun B (you ARE allowed to nod your head to the beat if you are at work reading this, heck it’s Friday):

 

 

As for that Todd Gurley dude. No need to say a word. Just enjoy this animal below:

 

 

Quick Hits

–Remember Larry Coker. He won a National Title at Miami in 2001, and is now trying to do work at UTSA. They played Rich Rod and Arizona Thursday, and came away with a tough 26-23 loss inside the Alamodome. Didn’t see it, besides the highlights and the tough INT by the UTSA QB Tucker Carter. A win’s a win, and a quick look at Rich Rod’s Wildcats schedule could have the ‘Zona 4-0 heading to Autzen Stadium to face Oregon October 2nd (Cal could be tricky the week before).

 

–Texas A&M Commerce 98, East Texas Baptist 20. Thursday night in Division II. A&M commerce had 986 total yards of offense.

 

–There’s this:

 

 

–And this word you need to type in. Ickeyfy. Watch Everything on Youtube after the search.

 

 

–McDonald’s. 20 piece nuggets. $5. Your life depends on it.

 

–I watch a ton of absolutely awful TV. No denying it. The worse this week. Love and Hip Hop. Basically the WWE’s version of Survivor Series on VH1, with their reunion part II. And yes there’s another part upcoming. Don’t judge me.

–Gypsy sisters as well. Once again. Don’t. Judge.

 

– Imagine if Gael Monfils actually won ANYTHING. He would be a mega star.

 

I’m back next week… I’ll talk more crazy stuff, and College football, including thoughts on the notable games of week two

 

Till next week yall.

 





Hello College Football, nice to see ya again…

27 08 2014

Source:usatoday.com

Hello. Yeah this blog known as Carl’s Clipboard was basically extinct for..EVER. Do you blame me? The last blog post I wrote had to do with some game in Auburn, Alabama in November..

The reactions across the country…. not bad either…

Still hard to believe that an winless Tigers team a year ago in the SEC went on to win the league and then played a hell of a game against the very best team in College Football all year (yep I said all year) in Florida State. That game in Pasadena not bad either…

Since that night… alot of things have changed in the College Football World… We have a new format to determine a National Champion (CFB Playoff), and a nice trophy (As you see above). From The Power Five Conferences nearing autonomy, to Ed O’ Bannon (among others) fighting for collegiate athletes in court, there’s been plenty to talk about from January to this very Wednesday.

But now we are on the eve of another College Football year, fans (like myself) everywhere wont have to have another weekend without this great game until January, where it all comes to an end at Jerry’s Playground in Arlington January 12, 2015.

For those  6-7 people that read this blog last year, you know that I will talk CFB, along with all things pop culture and anything else that comes to mind (As you will see with some of the titles of topics relating to songs and movies I love)

So with this being  the first of many blogs for the season… Let’s talk a little “ball” shall we?

 

 

THE YEAR OF JOE KANE

There are just a few dudes that can run it and throw it. I like em all. Mariota, Marshall,  Hundley,  Golson, Winston, Petty.. and so on. Since 2000, Only two players have won the award that weren’t quarterbacks (name the two players on Twitter for me if you know who they were… @CarlPratherWAFF)

Which means the guy that throws the pill will once again be college football’s most outstanding player. The trophy has only had one repeat winner in history, could Jameis make it two?

 

I’M NOT A STAR

At SEC Media Days in Hoover, a lot of new faces representing teams. Only Georgia’s Todd Gurley was the most known guy there for the casual fan. Gone are all the QB’s that fans of the league came to love, It’s now time for some new faces to make some new history. Could that start Thursday night with A&M’s Kenny Hill leading the way for the Aggies against South Carolina?

 

WHO COULD IT BE NOW ?

Under the Radar guys that could have some big years:

Myles Jack (LB/RB, UCLA)- Beast.  The CFB world knows about him, but he can be even better this season. All this guy did was win the Pac-12 freshman Offensive and Defensive Player of The Year. The Bruins cookin up something potentially special in Westwood.

Chuckie Keeton (QB, Utah State)- He played six games last year before getting injured, but is expected to pick back up where he left off in Aggies land. Tennessee (ahem) don’t sleep this weekend.

Matt Johnson (QB, Bowling Green)- If you get a chance to catch one of those mid week MAC games… go watch the Falcons and Johnson. He leads an attack that can put up points in a hurry.

Jonathan Williams (RB, Arkansas)- There will be a ton of other backs in the country that are elite, Williams may not even be the best  back on his team (Alex Collins). But the combination of toughness, size, and speed could help the Hogs get back to respectability this season… maybe.

 

WHO CAN BE THE ESU TIMBERWOVLES? (Sorry had to make another reference… Loved that movie)

Florida- It was a dumpster fire in Gainesville in 2013. It was bad. Georgia Southern at home bad. Will Muschamp had 25 guys… 25! that missed a combined total of 126 games, 13 guys lost for the season.. They had a guy lost for the year after falling off a scooter. It. Cant. Get. Much. Worse. Got a feeling it will be happy times again in the Swamp, with just maybe a trip to Atlanta in early December.

Georgia- Speaking of snake bit, Georgia had to deal with a rash of injuries as well. Only 3 starters returned in ’13, so youth wont be served as much heading into this season. I have NO clue about Hutson Mason at QB,but that Gurley dude along with some freshman (Nick Chubb, Sony Michel) can help matters. If Mason is steady, look out.

USC- You better get this team now. The sanctions are over, and the elite talent will be back, depth wise in a hurry. Steve Sarkisian knows the program, and understands what it takes to win at the level Trojans fans are accustomed to. Their first teamers are as good as anyone in the country, with a sure fire top 5-10 pick in the ’15 NFL Draft (Leonard Williams). Not saying they go to the CFB Playoff, but a big year in ’14 could pave the way for a ton of expectations in ’15.

 

PREDICTIONS…. WHY NOT?

I have no clue about who will make the 4 team playoff. But I love to ALWAYS make a prediction, no matter how far off (which is 100% of the time) I am.  And it goes a little something like this:

Florida State- If you think they are losing to anyone, you’re crazy. Well, I’ll give you a pass if you say they lose once.  This team was a year ahead of schedule by winning it all a year ago. Even if they didn’t win it last season, They more than likely would have been the preseason favorite anyway. They are loaded. Everywhere. Pick a spot where they have a weakness. There isn’t one. The only weakness potentially is complacency. That’s it. They even have the best kicker in college football returning. They may win all their games by at least 21. For real.

Auburn- Yea. I know their schedule is brutal. But IMO, they have the least amount of questions of any team in the entire SEC. Some of my media pals (along with fans) wonder about their defense. I actually think it will be worlds better with a second year in Ellis Johnson’s 4-2-5 scheme.  And the offense. I think will set records this season. Think the West Virginia days of Pat White, Steve Slaton, and company. Back to the schedule. Kansas St, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia, Auburn, yes, I know tough. I think the Tigers will be up to the challenge.  A loss along the way? Maybe. But it will still be good enough to head to the CFB Playoff.

Oregon- I HAVE to eventually get this team right!  Stanford has been the land mine for the last couple of seasons… I think they beat the Cardinal this year (I’ve said this for the past few years). The problem? Hosting Michigan State, and possible playing UCLA twice this season, with the latter (Pac 12 title game) for a ticket to the CFB Playoff. I think Marcus Mariota stays healthy all season, and the front seven will FINALLY hold up to get them to the Final Four.

Oklahoma- No team this preseason has gotten the “overrated” moniker more than the fighting Jim Rosses (Look him up). The Sugar Bowl win a year ago was great, which of course jump started the preseason hype two months after… But is Trevor Knight the answer? He was average throughout last season with Blake Bell, but caught fire against Alabama. The schedule sets up great, outside of the matchup with Texas (where they were smacked around a year ago). Baylor and Kansas State could be landmines, but I expect Boomer Sooner to survive.

AND THE WINNER IS…..

Florida State. Too much talent across the board, along with the best QB in college football, along with this guy…

Source:reddit.com

Will be  too much… the Noles go back to back.

If you like the picks, let me know on Twitter:@CarlPratherWAFF

OR

hit my Facebook fan page :CarlPratherWAFF

**Email me for my Clipboard mailbag that I will start next week. Ask anything. Food. Music. Sports. Pop Culture. Life. Whatever. I’ll pick a few and answer…cprather@waff.com**

 

Hope you were bored enough to read while pretending to work. Enjoy the season.





I Came, I Saw, I Iron Bowled. Thoughts from The best game in History

2 12 2013

Source: Auburntigers.com

What The Hell Did I Watch?

I thought that this game would be a classic, I thought that Alabama would win the game. That didn’t happen. This did instead:

To be able to watch that first hand, and seeing Chris Davis run toward yours truly to win the game. Epic. It’s not only the best iron Bowl in history, It’s the greatest ending in the history of college football. Incredible. Just incredible.

So without further ado,  my take on the game that I was honored to be at:

Auburn ran the football when they wanted to early and often.

296 yards on the ground. Tre Mason, 164 yards. Nick Marshall 99 yards. Many believed Alabama would stop what many said prior to the game that was a basic read option. Prior to the game, Auburn players said that they believed they would have success on The Tide front seven. Did they ever. The Tigers literally ran it when they wanted to, and dominated the lines of scrimmage.

Nick Saban believed his offense could get 1 yard on 4th and 1.

You have the right to believe that Alabama should have attempted a field goal up 7 on 4th and 1 late in fourth quarter. They didn’t. Why? because he felt that his team., his Alabama team, with his offensive line, his running backs could get one yard and ice the game. Auburn stuffed it. Could Alabama kicked the field goal and ultimately ended the game? Sure. But Nick Saban believed that his team could get one yard. Auburn had other plans.

Ellis Johnson should get a TON of credit.

Is The Tigers 4-2-5 scheme ready from a personnel standpoint for first year coordinator Ellis Johnson moving forward?. No. But he has 9-10 guys on the defensive line that are as good as anyone in the SEC. Give credit to the likes of Gabe Wright, Nosa Eugae, Dee Ford, Eljah Daniel, Carl Lawson, etc for not sacking AJ McCarron, but getting him off his “spot” making his night very uncomfortable. Alabama could go deep, (was looking more from the Tide going vertical) but for one reason or another that didn’t happen.

Alabama didn’t control the lines of scrimmage.

Many thought that the Tide offensive and defensive lines had improved over the course of the season. They have. They just played a better Offensive and Defensive line on Saturday. The Tide were good enough to win no question (T.J. Yeldon  141 yards, 1 TD), but for four quarters, Auburn controlled the lines of scrimmage.

Amari Cooper is unstoppable

When Healthy, I’m taking #9 over any wide out in the country. He’s a beast. Elite speed, and an elite route runner. He couldn’t be covered all night, that 99 yarder tells you everything. 6 rec, 178 yards, 1 TD. Pretty darn good.

I have even more respect for AJ McCarron

36-3 as a starter. 3 National Championships. 90 plus percent winning percentage. McCarron has been special at Alabama, and over the years he has continued to gain more respect from me. Well done #10 on a great career.

Missed opportunities for Alabama

If Cade Foster makes a field goal or two, the game is over. End of story. But give credit to Auburn, and the Jordan-Hare Stadium electric crowd as well. They influenced a kicker that has been spot on all season.

The Final Play

Adam Griffith kicked that 57 yarder as good as anyone could have kicked it. With wind behind him. It looked good. What did Auburn do? put Chris Davis who three weeks earlier returned a punt against Tennessee in the back of the end zone just in case. Not only did he get a running start when the kick was short, but he got GREAT blocking by his teammates initially on the return,  with Gus Malzahn and his staff understanding that  Alabama had there field goal blockers or as they say “big guys” on the field. They took advantage, and the rest is history.

Quick Hitters:

—If Florida State and Ohio State win their conference title games, They play for the BCS National Title. End of Story. Never in the history of the BCS has  two remaining teams in power conferences NOT played for the National Championship, with everyone else having one loss. Yes Auburn’s resume is better than Florida State and Ohio State, but they do have one loss. If both the Noles and Buckeyes win, the SEC streak of title appearances will be over.

—Who in the world will win the Heisman?

—A special job well done to former Alabama A&M Head Coach Anthony Jones. The University fired Jones Sunday after just his  third losing season in 12 years. Jones won at A&M with sub par resources and graduated his players. It’s safe to say he won’t be out of a head coaching job anytime soon, wouldn’t be surprised if he lands another coaching gig right in the SWAC if he wants it. A good man, that deserves to be recognized for what he did on “The Hill” considering some terrible circumstances during his tenure.

A conference championship preview later this week…

And I leave you with something pretty cool and fun on the Iron Bowl….

Have a great week everyone!





Iron Bowl 2013… and Other Turkey Notes

29 11 2013

Source: collegefootballsi.com

What The State Of Alabama Has Been Waiting for

First off, sorry for the delay of a new blog post on Carl’s Clipboard. I know only three people read it, but for those three folks… my apologies… now moving on…

Can this Iron Bowl get anymore hype? Thank goodness it’s Friday and we can see kickoff right in front of us at Jordan-Hare Stadium. #4 Auburn hosting #1 Alabama for a TON of high stakes. The winner heads to Atlanta and the SEC Championship game and the inside track of playing in Pasadena for the BCS National Title game.

For the Auburn Tigers, it’s been a miraculous turn around in Gus Malzahn’s first year as Head Coach. winless in the SEC, and now 10-1 with a chance to win the West in the regular season finale? Couldn’t ask for anything more than that. They’ve ran the football with ease this season, the best rushing offense in the league.

As for Alabama, it’s been business as usual for what is currently the best college football program in the country. 11-0, only two serious threats this season (Texas A&M, LSU), both games they won, and now Nick Saban and company get to travel on the road in what will be a rocking atmosphere to try and keep their hopes of a third straight National Title in the picture.

Keys to the game in yours truly’s eyes for Auburn

You better be able to run.  Gus Malzahn has made no bones about it, he will dance with the offense that brought him to this point. Tre Mason and Nick Marhsall have been devastating with the read option this season. Add in speedster Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne and you have a run game that hasn’t been stopped but for two quarters this season (at LSU).

Marshall has shown that he can throw the football, and has nice touch on the deep ball. Sammie Coates and Ricardo Louis have been fantastic this season..  Louis especially for this..

along with CJ Uzomah and Jay Prosch doing their job as far as run blocking. Let’s not forget about that offensive line. Remember before Gene Chizik was fired, he brought in a trio of top 5 recruiting classes, most of those prospects on the offensive line. The big fellas up front have been just as dominant.

Keys to the game for Alabama

DO WHAT YOU DO. The defense has continued to develop with each snap, each quarter, and each game. the front seven has sniffed out anything and everything that has attempted to run the football this season (Oustide the beasts known as Texas A&M’s offense). The secondary has had their issues throughout the year, but many teams haven’t been able to expose those issues consistently (beside A&M). It will be the front seven against the backfield and O-line of Auburn that could tell us all we need to know in the first quarter of the game.

Key Matchups

CJ Mosley Vs Nick Marshall, Tre Mason, Cameron Artis Payne, Corey Grant

Oustide of UCLA’s Anthony Barr, CJ Mosley has been the best linebacker in the country in my opinion. He will once again be needed to try and take away what Auburn wants to do. He makes all the checks at the line, he does all the adjustments in  game for that front seven…. He will be called upon again Saturday.

Brian Vogler, O.J. Howard, Bama Running Backs  Vs. Auburn Linebackers

Auburn runs a great 4-2-5 scheme by Ellis Johnson, who’s done a masterful job of implementing his system this season. It doesn’t hurt that he can get quality minutes from 9-10 Defensive lineman in the scheme. the most important part of the scheme.. the linebackers. they are called to do a ton in space, run support, and against the pass. Very interested to see if the Auburn linebackers will be able to cover O.J. Howard, Vogler, and Tide running backs in the flats Saturday.

Prediction for Iron Bowl 2013

Let’s just wait till later… why not?

Quick Hitters

— I still think that Johnny Manziel should win the Heisman. It’s for the best player in college football. Did he play poorly against LSU? yep, he has the past two seasons. But if he goes nuts against Missouri, those that jumped off the Manziel train, will be looking for another ticket at the A&M depot.

—-My top five invited to New York (on Friday Nov 23rd),  IF they bring five: Manziel, Derek Carr, Jordan Lynch, Jameis Winston, AJ McCarron

—I have NO clue about the Winston saga, nor do I want to speculate when dealing with such a serious matter. The only issue I have is the length of a decision. If you have all the facts, or what you need, why wait till two weeks from now when the teams focus will be on a bowl game and/or Heisman talk? I want justice to be served either way, I just don’t want grandstanding by judges and officials because of current football circumstances.

—Missouri has the better defense, which means you should give them the win over A&M this week. One problem. I can’t bet against Mr.  Manziel. I don’t know how, but A&M will come away with the win, sending South Carolina to the SEC Title game.

—Just watching throughout the season in the SEC, defenses will reign supreme again.. in 2014.  LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss,  Mississippi St, and Auburn come to mind. Overall defenses will be far better, including Texas A&M… but how much worse can they get?

—Kevin Sumlin stays in College Station and contends for a BCS bowl or better next season, with or without Manziel, James Franklin leaves if it’s USC or Texas calling. Look Vandy fans, you are having more success than you have ever had in the history of your program. and YOU STILL CAN’T FILL YOUR STADIUM. That’s a problem. I admire Jordan Matthews (know him and his family, great people), but my goodness what else can Franklin do with this program? If you loose him Vandy fans, It’s your fault. End of story.

—Will Muschamp loses to Georgia Southern last week, Gators AD Jeremy Foley, and president Bernie Machen say he’s safe. Does that change if they lose by 45 plus against the Noles?

—No disrespect to Michigan. But if Ohio State loses to the Maize and Blue Saturday, they will not shake the overrated moniker EVER until they win a National Title. You win Saturday and you lose to Michigan State, it wont be as bad. Still bad, but not as bad as losing to an average Michigan team.

—Michigan State has the best defense in the country.  But Minnesota has a solid group… Gophers Vs Spartans should be one of the better games of the day Saturday.

—Not even gonna lie about it. I’m rooting for David Cutcliff and Duke against the Tar heels. One of the nicest men in the game hands down.

–Also rooting for my Alma mater. the fighting Bobby Petrino’s.. big game at home.

PREDICTION TIME FOR IRON BOWL

I have went back and forth on this game. Is there something magical happening at Auburn? Is Alabama too much Saturday? Can Auburn run against that D? Can Auburn’s D stop Bama run and total offense? I have the same questions and thoughts as I’m sure most do whether you’re a Tide or Tiger fan.

I keep thinking this game will be close, with Auburn making some plays throughout. I want to think because the Tigers are at home, playing in what will be an electric atmosphere, on Senior Day, the  emotions will carry them a ton. I think Nick Marshall will play well. Can he make THE play on offense in the game when his team needs it the most? Can Auburn’s defense stonewall the Tide O?

I have to be real with myself, and as I do believe Auburn can win this game (last 24 years..12 wins for Auburn, 12 for Alabama), and wouldn’t be shocked if they won… They will have to show me first hand if they can beat the champs.

Alabama 31, Auburn 27.

I hope that everyone has a great Holiday weekend, enjoy your health, family, and friends, and have fun watching the game and the rest of college football this weekend. I’ll be back for sure typing away next week as we get ready for the SEC Championship in Atlanta.

PEACE!








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