The Game Of The Century (For this year) and other tidbits

(Source:blogun.com)

The Game

(1) Alabama Vs (6) Texas A&M

What’s at stake

Well, haven’t we talked about this game for what seems like 10 years? It’s the Aggies and Tide in College Station. The winner with a leg up in the SEC West and the National Title Chase, the loser, upset for a week, but with a TON of football left to get back in the hunt.

Alabama wins if…

They show up and play like Alabama. Look, for all the issues with the offensive line, and the lack of production from the offense in their 25 POINT WIN over Virginia Tech, it was one game. You couldn’t have expected for the O-line to lose three NFL draft picks on arguably one of the best lines in the history of college football, and not have some growing pains. The Hokies in week one did a lot of stunts and movement along the line that caused some of those new faces on the line to have some problems. The line then correlates with the running game or lack thereof, AJ McCarron not being comfortable as well.

If Alabama lines up and from the start establishes the run, It’s safe to say they could be on their way to victory that’s because their opponent….

Texas A&M wins if…

MUST STOP THE RUN. In the Aggies first two games of the season (Rice, Sam Houston St) they’ve given up 546 yards on the ground. Not good. In the Aggies defense they have been without their first team starters (injuries, suspensions). Still, 546 yards, is 546 yards, Not good when you have Alabama coming to town, where the Tide want to Establish the run.

X Factor for Alabama

Offensive Line. Yes I just said earlier that the line had some growing pains and dealt with a stout unit from Virginia Tech. But you can’t overlook that the line had issues. If they can’t block, it will be a long day, as in a blowout ling day.

X Factor for Texas A&M

The Aggies Defense. If the Aggies want to remain undefeated they will have to get stops, and 3 and outs. Johnny Manziel wont be the reason the Aggies lose the game (and this time next week he throws 4 picks in the game). In order for Manziel to put points on the board and take a lead and beyond, the defense has to keep the Tide at bay, meaning not allowing them to control the clock and dictate the pace of the game.

What will happen

Before the season, I was emphatic with picking Texas A&M over Alabama. Fast forward to suspensions on defense with the Aggies, and how the team has played in run defense.. it gave me a major cause for concern. One thing is for certain, if A&M leads 21-0 to start the game much like last years meeting in Tuscaloosa, Alabama has no chance at Kyle Field.  Alabama did respond in the second half of that game, and took over at times, BUT the best player on the field made the plays down the stretch that gave the Aggies the win.  I think that Manziel will be sensational, would be shocked if he didn’t make a ton of plays, but as I keep going back to… the defense. I haven’t seen anything on D that makes me believe they will be able to get stops consistently. Will that be good enough? Just depends on if the issues we all saw with Alabama are more than that week one win. The Tide are favorite in this game, and Vegas seems to always be right (or at least cover)…

Alabama over Texas A&M

***WARNING***

I wont be shocked if the Aggies win or they win big on the road either, just for the record… So YES. I’m hedging my pick, and I’m on the fence… sort of.

College Football tidbits

—There are some very ROUGE agents in the professional sports world. the Yahoo sports article released Wednesday shows just that. Instead of the ol’ under the table extra benefits, agents re now trying to find players to be intermediaries for prospective athletes. Sadly, there is nothing that will or can be truly done about this, besides the future pro athlete staying away. Agents will continue to go the route of players and teammates close to someone to make illegal things happen.

— And NO, Nick Saban isn’t at fault. It’s like a parent that teaches and guides a child the right way through life, and then they do something wrong. Is it the parent’s fault?

–Oklahoma St should go about its business as usual in Stillwater. I could care less about 30 players, 27 of them that didn’t even finish school saying there was drug use. I always feel it’s the proverbial “ax to grind”

—I heard some Tennessee Vols fans saying they will give Oregon a great game at Autzen Stadium. Oregon may score 60.

—Teddy Bridgewater will throw 6 TD’s over UK in a Cards win

—I’m a HUGE boxing fan, and think that Floyd Mayweather will have some tough moments early on against Canelo Alverez, but will do a masterful job down the stretch to remain undefeated.

FUNNY OF THE WEEK

So… the phenomenon known as “twerking” has become popular in pop culture… alot of that has to do with the person below:

(Source:eonline.com)

What was even funnier… when twerking goes wrong, that went viral

What’s even funnier… my co workers telling me that was a prank, put on by none other than funny man Jimmy Kimmel.

Well done, Mr Kimmel, well done… I was duped.

Everyone enjoy the weekend and the games!

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And It’s Back!! College Football Talk and other quick Hitters

(Source:nydailynews.com)

Yep, We’ve waited and waited, and now It’s here… I feel like I should play this song before each season..

So now it’s on to tonight the start of the college football season, some great games to get us started before the full slate begins on Saturday… Here’s what we saw a ton of during the off season….

That video above never, NEVER gets old… What about this guy? He came out of nowhere, right?

And then it was Manziel mania…. Oh yeah, I forgot, Bama wins AGAIN.

So enough about last year.. time to talk this year and time to talk big games starting on Thursday night:

North Carolina Vs (6) South Carolina

The skinny:  The college football world has talked Jadaveon Clowney and that hit (and rightfully so) a ton, now the Gamecocks and Steve Spurrier have one of the most talented rosters in history, and hope to make a run to a BCS game or possibly more, North Carolina on the other hand wants to shock the football world early with a win tonight on the road.

What will happen: This game could go either way. Lost in all the Clowney talk, is that the Gamecocks lost some experienced play makers on defense, and will be breaking in some new linebackers tonight.. not a good recipe for the Tar Heels potent offense led by senior Brynn Renner. I think the Tar Heels will scare the Gamecocks throughout, and could play well late into this game, before the Gamecocks makes a play of two, on Defense to get the win at home.

North Carolina 17  South Carolina 28

Ole Miss Vs Vanderbilt

The Skinny: This game is HUGE for both teams moving forward. After tonight’s game, Ole Miss has a layup against South East Missouri and then  will play at Texas, Alabama, Auburn, and then at home against Texas A&M. Vandy on the other hand will have a layup against Austin Peay, but then a big one with South Carolina after that… meaning that either team could gain some serious momentum with a win tonight.

What will happen: Vanderbilt will have a new QB at the helm in Wyoming transfer Austyn Carta-Samuels.  A Source that watched a ton of Fall Camp at Vandy  told me that he’s struggled and been inconsistent throughout fall camp, which could mean trouble for wideout Jordan Matthews tonight early on. I think Samuels has talent, but this is not the type of game you want to get your feet wet in. Hugh Freeze and the Rebels will score, in bunches and two step out of Nashville with a win.

OIe Miss 35   Vanderbilt 17

Saturday Games

1 Alabama Vs Virginia Tech

The Skinny: Alabama is number one, what else is new? The Tide come into their game in Atlanta a heavy favorite to blow out the Hokies. Heck, even longtime Hokies coach Frank Beamer has said this is the best Alabama team he has ever faced (cue the no one believes we can win inside the Tech locker room prior to the game talk). The Tide have to replace three parts to an all time great offensive line, but returns the best skill position talent in the history of the program.

What will happen: Three months ago, I would have said that this game would be close, and that Alabama would win a close one. But Tech has lost some key parts on defense including top corner back Antone Exumm, and a few other players on what would have been a salty and stingy D. So now that  means the Tide don’t win close, but big, as September 14th becomes more of a a reality.

Alabama 49  Virgina Tech 13

Washington State VS Auburn

The Skinny: It’s the Gus Malzahn era at Auburn, he brings his offense back to the Plains that was responsible for that 2010 BCS National Title.  Like Auburn, Washington State was terrible a year ago in Mike Leach’s first year. Two offenses that like to go fast, what defense will get the job done is the key.

What will happen: Mike Leach’s group will get hit early by Tigers newcomer Nick Marshall at QB who’s as athletic as they come under center (Marshall a former DB at Georgia… Bulldogs starter Aaron Murray said he’s the best athlete he’s ever seen), will make some highlight plays early on to excite the night crowd at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Cougars will show signs of improvement from a year ago, but the 4-2-5 of Ellis Johnson will get some pressure on the Cougars to force some turnovers.

Washington State 13  Auburn 31

5 Georgia Vs 8 Clemson

The Skinny: The game of the weekend. the Bulldogs head to Death Valley to face a Clemson team that’s thinking National Title.  Clemson is everyone’s “hot” team heading into the season, while Mark Richt’s group has questions on Defense, but his best offense ever in Athens.

What will happen: I’ve went back and forth.. and back again on this game. In the end, I have to stick to my first thoughts. Aaron Murray will shine on Saturday night with a really, really good offense, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall will have success running the football. The problem is that it’s hard for me to think that a young and very talented Bulldogs D can withstand blow after blow by Clemson and their offense. Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and that hurry up implemented by offensive Coordinator Chad Morris is a lot to handle already. Add in National TV, at night, at Death Valley, and it becomes that much tougher. One things for certain. Clemson needs this game more than Georgia does. Clemson loses this game, It could spell disaster for the rest of the season. Georgia wins this game, they’re playing with house money with South Carolina coming between the hedges next week.

Georgia 17 Clemson 24

Quick Picks for Week 1:

USC over Hawaii

LSU over TCU

Utah St over Utah

Fresno St over Rutgers

Western KY over Kentucky

Oklahoma St over Mississippi St

Washington over Boise St

The other two Louisiana schools

Would it be a shock if three Louisiana programs go 3-0 after week 1? I picked LSU to beat TCU… But what about UL- Monroe over Oklahoma, and UL-Lafayette over Arkansas? I’m not sayin, but just sayin…. keep an eye out for those two games.

Quick Hitters:

–Did anyone really think Johnny Manziel would get “hammered” by the NCAA? I was shocked he got even a half game suspension.

–You want to see a really good QB and RB? tune in to Utah State against Utah and check out Chuckie Keeton and Joe Hill. the Aggies have a ton of starters returning from an 11-2 team a year ago. Auburn fans remember Keeton and Hill who almost pulled off the upset in 2011.

–Another QB you haven’t heard of? Fresno State’s Derrick Carr. He threw 37 TD passes a year ago, and is poised for an even bigger year through the air (4,104 yards in ’12) this season. Fresno State could be this year’s “BCS buster”.

–Im ready to see this guy. I miss you, good sir.

HAPPY COLLEGE FOOTBALL EVERYONE!!! ENJOY WEEK ONE!!!!!!

The Top 25, Manziel, and 28 Days Till Kickoff

Source: trackingsi.com

The Top 25 Is FINALLY HERE!!

Please you over the top, enthusiastic college football fan. DO NOT act like you didn’t get excited that the first USA Today Top 25 came out Thursday. Ok… maybe it was just me, but still…

Seriously, whatever some may think, polls have always been a  staple with college football. They make things fun throughout the season, and of course mean a lot when we get toward the latter part of the year with titles on the line. So let’s Look at the list, and yours truly will try to give a few words on each team in the poll:

1. Alabama- Can they Three-peat? That will be the talk all during fall camp. Alot has to do with that one game on September 14th, against the team at number 6.

2. Ohio State- They were the only undefeated last season, now with the pressure of having a chance to play for it all, can Urban Meyer lead the Buckeyes to Pasadena? They need Carlos Hyde, and the D to help out Braxton Miller.

3. Stanford- David Shaw has taken over nicely for Jim Harbaugh and in my opinion, elevated the program even more. Can they take the next step of being a BCS title contender?

4. Oregon- They dodged NCAA sanctions, and now the Ducks are poised to finally get back to the title game. They will be as explosive as anyone in the country on offense with DeAnthony Thomas, Marcus Mariota, and a much improved D ran by Nick Aliotti.

5. Georgia- The Best offense in Mark Richt’s tenure at Georgia. Can they reload on D, without Alec Ogletree, Bacari Rambo, and Jarvis Jones, among others. They get tested right out the gate in Death Calley against Clemson.

6. Texas A&M- I hope we can talk about the best quarterback in the SEC (yes Tide fans, I said BEST) and football instead of Manziel and his college hi jinks (that I, and you should care less about..more on him later). Are they a National Title team? We will know when they host the team ranked #1 September 14th.

7. South Carolina- Steve Spurrier’s best team in Columbia. Dylan Thompson may be the for sure answer at QB, but Connor Shaw hasn’t done anything to keep himself out of the lineup. Number 7 on D will be in Beast Mode all year, along with his uber talented teammates on that side of the ball.

8. Clemson- Does Clemson and offensive Coordinator Chad Morris have the best offense in the country? Hard to argue with Tahj Boyd, Sammie Watkins and company. Can the Defense take another step under Brent Venables?

9. Louisville- They have a soft schedule, BUT I can hold that against Charlie Strong and his program. Why? They had Texas A&M scheduled, and the Aggies..OPTED OUT. Not the Cards fault that they tried to boost the resume and they couldn’t get anyone to play them. Manziel may be the best QB in the SEC, Teddy Bridgewater is the best QB in the COUNTRY.

10. Florida- Will Muschamp must retool that dominant D, but he’s trying to build his program the way Saban does it in Tuscaloosa. The D should be fine, Can Jeff Driskel continue his progression as a vertical threat at QB?

11. Notre Dame- Yep.. the last time we saw the Irish, they were bludgeoned to death by Alabama in Miami. Everett Golson is out after being expelled from school (Should be back in ’14), in his place Tommy Rees, who MUST take care of the football. Notre Dame’s D will be dominant again, Rees will be the difference in a 10-2 year or another trip to a BCS National Title appearance.

12. Florida State- There are rumblings in Tallahassee that Charlie Ward 2.0 will lead the Noles to a BCS bowl game and possibly much more. Jameis Winston hasn’t thrown a meaningful pass in his career on the gridiron, but has shown Jimbo Fisher and his teammates that he’s poised to make the quarterback position deadly. If he’s Ward 2.0, the Noles could be on their way to starting a championship dynasty Bobby Bowden could be proud of.

13. LSU- shhh… no one is talking about the Mad Hatter and his Bayou Bengals. Les Miles may like it that way. Jeremy Hill is needed to take the running game to a different level (hopefully he can get past legal issues). Zach Metennberger has some weapons to throw to in Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. Even losing 11 underclassmen wont keep the Tigers from playing in some high stakes games late in the season.

14. Oklahoma State- T Boone Pickens keeps forking over the money, Mike Gundy keeps building the Cowboys into a consistent winner. The Cowboys should win the Big 12, if they do that, they could be in the hunt for a surprise trip to Pasadena. If that’s the case, T Boone may pay for the entire state to go.

15. Texas- A make or break year for Mack Brown? I think that if the Longhorns struggle, Brown will retire. It could all go bad with a early visit from the Ole Miss Rebels. Or, we could have a possible rematch of the 2009 BCS Tile game… It’s either peak or valley for Brown on the 40 acres in 2013. Nothing in between in my opinion.

16. Oklahoma- Bob Stoops will hope  that Blake Bell is the answer at QB. If he’s not, the Sooners could not even make a New Year’s Day game. a lot of question marks with this group.

17. Michigan- Brady Hoke is slowly building something special in Ann Arbor (as his verbal commitments in ’14 and ’15 show). Most of his players are being acclimated to his system and we could see more of his pro set principles this season. Watch for super freshman Derrick Green at RB.

18. Nebraska- It was a disaster in that Big 10 title game a year ago against Wisconsin. Bo Pelini has Taylor Martinez at QB (who has been in Lincoln since Tom Osborne was on the sidelines it seems), and his best offense since during his tenure. Martinez must become a more efficient passer, to score points and help bring along a young defense.

19. Boise State- Remember the Broncos? They have seem to become an afterthought, since Kellen Moore and crew left. With that talent, it’s easy to see it may have taken some time to get back to that elite level. The Broncos may have to hold off a team (Utah St) to win the Mountain West.

20. TCU- Gotta give credit to Gary Patterson. Year in and year out he plays some of the best non conference schedules in the country. This year no different with LSU in Arlington at Jerry World (or Cowboys Stadium, whichever you prefer). His group wins that game, another BCS bowl berth could be in the works.

21. UCLA- Jim Mora has some pieces to work with on offense (Brett Hundley, Shaquille Evans) and on defense (Anthony Barr future 1st round pick in ’14 NFL Draft). He will miss James Franklin at running back, who was super reliable. Can Mora take this group to the next step of vying for the top of the Pac-12 standings?

22. Northwestern- Could we have a Stanford of the Midwest soon? Pat Fitzgerald is showing that you can win with high academic standards in Evanston, Illinois. Could the Wildcats shock the world and pull the upset this season against Ohio St? Do that and the program could be smelling roses for the first time since 1994, when Fitzgerald was in uniform.

23. Wisconsin- This program has big fellas up front, and will always run the football. Brett Bielema is in the SEC, in comes Gary Anderson from Utah State, who like Bielema will ground and pound. Can they develop more of a vertical threat? That will be the difference for the team to have staying power under his watch.

24. USC- #1 last year in the preseason, now at #24.. and that’s being generous. Lane Kiffin’s heat is up to 250 Degrees, but a 7-8 win season with reduced scholarships would make a happy AD in Pat Haden. The Trojans have weapons, and blue chippers all across the roster, just not as many in number as Kiffin would like. If  Max Wittek shows promise, man child Marquise Lee continues to destroy opposing corners, and the defense can bend and not break, the groundwork could be laid for an ever better 2014 season.

25. Oregon State- Mike Riley had Corvallis rocking to start the first half of the 2013 with that 6-0 start. The Wheels fell off after, but still Riley managed a 9-4 record to close things out.  Some experienced guys return on offense (Sean Mannon, Cody Vaz, Brandon Cooks), and the defense will hope to keep scoring points and forcing turnovers.

Source:espn.com

Mr Manziel

So, the college football off season has centered around the Heisman trophy winner. Johnny Manziel has, partied while in college, left the Manning Passing camp in Thibedoux, La early (AJ McCarron was his roommate and apparently couldn’t wake him up), two articles have come out about Manziel and his family, (by Wright Thompson and Andy Staples which are great reads), along with countless other opinions on sports talk radio, about the downward spiral of Manziel.

My take: I don’t care. Whether people want to believe it or not, EVERYTHING that has happened to Manziel (which I’m still trying to figure out that’s broke the law, outside of drinking underage), we have all either known someone in our college/youthful years that have did it, or done them ourselves.

Does Manziel have a different life comparable to other college students in the country, of course. He’s a Heisman trophy quarterback, that electrified the football world last season. I ask this. If he were the third string QB at Joe University, none of this would be an issue. It would be a non news story. He’s been the center of attention during what I call the “silly season” in college football (the time when there is nothing to talk about, because no games are being played and we’re thirsty for any news), for as number of reasons:

1. He beat Alabama, mostly single handily- 99.9% of Alabama fans give him props for what he did on that day last season. the problem like EVERY fan base in the country, is that it’s hard for one to believe this kid came out of nowhere and beat your team. It happen. Can’t change it. Get over it.

2. He Can do a ton of cool things that others can’t- You mean to tell me that if you had the chance to go to a NBA Finals game, hang out with Drake (or your favorite musician), throw out a few opening pitches at Major League baseball games, you wouldn’t? Stop lying to yourself.

3. Like Tebow, He will never win- So what happens if A&M and his team gets blown out against Alabama September 14th? You will hear so many “I told ya so’s” everywhere. But here’s a thought. What happens if the Aggies beat The Tide again? What happens if this team wins the league? Like Tim Tebow, no matter what he does on and off the playing field, people will have something to say. Tebow was everything you wanted in a “model football citizen”, and he was lambasted to this day. And he’s never even had any controversy like Manziel. It’s just this simple. Both have had a ton of success in their football careers, and people just don’t like it. If there’s another reason, I would love to know.

4. What were you doing at 20?- If you are his age, and have all this celebrity coming at you 220 mph, could you handle it? Some could, that doesn’t mean he’s a bad person because of this. His father in the ESPN article earlier this week said that, “Yeah, it could come unraveled. And when it does, it’s gonna be bad. Real bad.”  How many parents don’t worry about their kids while in college or in high school when going to parties, hanging out with friends, much less when you are the face of an entire University, and you can go and come as you please? My take, Johnny Manziel will have peaks and valleys in his life, even on the football field, all while trying to find his way as a young man in a world where his every waking move is out in public on display.

5. He deals with Social Media-  If we didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, Smartphones, would this even be an issue? Yes he was arrested (misdemeanor) for a fake ID. If There were none of the social media outlets that dominate our world today, would this be an issue? What if Twitter and Facebook were around in the 60’s, 70’s 80’s? Johnny Manziel would be a saint compared to the craziness that went  on. Heck, ask Riley Cooper if he wished no one had a Smartphone to record video.

I’ll be back next week for another post as we get close to kickoff of the college football season… Have a great weekend!