Five Downs

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!

 

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Weekly rumblings with a side of Bangerz (And yes it is who you think it is)

(Source: usatoday.com)

Your rumblings heading into the weekend:

— OMG! (that’s what kids are saying in texts right?) Louisville only beat Rutgers 24-10 last night! What gives? I told you they were underrated!!!

Signed,

College football fan that doesn’t believe Louisville is any good because of their schedule

OK. I get that Louisville’s schedule is putrid at best. Unfortunately folks these schedules are put in place way before just this year. I do know (and believe it’s common knowledge that Louisville tried to set a game up with Texas A&M… in which the Aggies and Cards couldn’t get worked out. They even tried to find a neutral game against Alabama or Wisconsin to start the year. You think the Tide or Badgers wanted to take that risk to play Louisville to start the year? I’ll let you answer that.

Look, I’m all for teams on the rise having to play a tougher schedule, but these teams also have to have the help from the power leagues to do so. This will all change starting next season and beyond when strength of schedule becomes a factor in determining the four teams in the College Football Playoff.

— Speaking of the start of next year’s playoff, Next Wednesday in Dallas, the 13 member committee selecting the four teams will be announced. According to the Associated Press and ESPN, the members are expected to be as follows:

Barry Alvarez, Mike Gould, Pat Haden, Tom Jernstedt, Jeff Long, Oliver Luck, Archie Manning, Tom Osborne, Dan Radakovich, Condoleezza Rice, Mike Tranghese, Steve Wieberg and Tyrone Willingham.

The members will also be responsible as well as ranking and placing at-large teams in the non contract New Year’s Day bowls (Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-fil-A).

Everyone saying that Condolezza Rice doesn’t belong on the committee need to relax. Do I believe Ms Rice watched college football all day Saturday in years past? No. But do I think that she will be very diligent in watching now. Yes. Listen, We could take 15 women, and make them watch the top ten teams games on a weekly basis, and I believe they could pick the top four teams. The ol’ eyeball test, and who you’ve played will tell you all you need to know. Not as difficult as folks are making it out to be. Just my two cents.

—I LOVE ED ORGERON!! I love his passion and how players love being around him (And Bruce Feldman’s book, Meat Market on Coach O and his former team Ole Miss is a classic, must read).  USC just looked like they were having fun last night at the Coliseum in their win over Arizona.

Here’s the reality. The Trojans are razor thin depth wise, and can’t really afford any injuries down the stretch. Do I think Coach O should be in consideration for the job, yes. I think he’s a tireless recruiter, and would have all the resources he needs to win at USC (better than what he had to deal with at Ole Miss).  I just don’t think AD Pat Haden will go that route, and will try to “stamp” the program from his point of view with a hire of his own.

—Mark Richt should just open up MASH units all across his football facilities in Athens. Banged up is the understatement of the year for Georgia.

—And no I’m not picking Missouri to win Saturday. Prove it Tigers, and my ears will perk up mid day Saturday.

—With or without D’Anthony Thomas, Oregon wins on the road against Washington. Although I think the Huskies are rising under Steve Sarkisian. Bishop Sankey is serious in the Huskies backfield.

—As great as Florida’s Defense is, I’m rolling with LSU Saturday. The Gators D will keep them in it early, but the Gators offense (although better with Tyler Murphy at QB) will sputter just enough for LSU to not go score for score with the Gators.

LSU 35  Florida 13

—The Red River Rivalry will be closer than we think Saturday. If it’s not, that Mack Brown hot seat, will be white hot after four quarters.

If There’s an Upset Saturday:

Arkansas over South Carolina.

Can we honestly just say that Arkansas have played as hard as anyone in the SEC this season? The Hogs led 24-7 over Rutgers before losing on the road, and loss to the greatest show on earth in Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. The running game is beastly with Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams. And Brandon Allen has the makings of a future standout in the league moving forward. The defense aren’t world beaters, but they are good enough to pull of the upset, especially if the Gamecocks start slow (see UCF two weeks ago).

Funny Times since the last time I posted:

I was sent this actually three weeks ago. I didn’t laugh. Everyone around me did at the office when I watched it. In hindsight, It is… well…

This is funny in the sense that I can’t understand how in the world the defense can’t tackle, and how this kids just Thunder punches, and goes all beast mode on the would be tacklers.

 And Without Further Ado:

(Source:billboard.com)

Shhh… I like it. Well done Miley. Well done.

P.S, don’t judge me.

Enjoy the weekend!

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? THOUGHTS ON THE FIRST MONTH OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL

(Source:college-football.si.com)

Happy Thursday all! Been awhile since I’ve posted, But with such a great week of college football in the rear view mirror, It’s time to talk the rest of the year and the past month of the season.

GENO SMITH. BEAST MODE

I barely remember Andre Ware and that high flying offense at Houston,  I do remember Ty Detmer and Tommy Chang and the numbers they threw up at BYU and Hawaii respectively, But Geno Smith out in Morgantown is shall I say.. off THA chain (that mean’s good for all you post 90’s folks). The numbers… 1,996 yards, 20 TD’s.. O INTERCEPTIONS. His team passed a minor test against Baylor where he threw for 8 TD’s at home, and then went on the road and beat Texas in Austin, not an easy place to play. He is the front runner for the Heisman, and it’s not even close. It’s up to him to close the show the rest of the way.

(Source: naplesnews.com)

PUMP THE BRAKES ON ONE LOSS TEAMS, AND THE UNDEFEATED’S.
Nine teams in last week’s AP Top 25 loss football games last Saturday, one of those teams, LSU. Yes the offense hasn’t looked great, and yes the penalties have racked up this season. BUT, the only difference between last years one loss team and this year’s one loss team. TURNOVERS. What would fans be saying if Odell Beckham would have held onto that deep ball late in the second half? It would have been a score (or at least a Field Goal) and the game would have been tight till the end.

What about Georgia. Jump off the bandwagon all you want, But the Bulldogs, the Gamecocks and Florida all have elite qualities to them, with Tennessee, Yes Tennessee not too far behind (more on the Vols later) If you were to play the Georgia/South Carolina game 10 times, the outcome would be split, with maybe one or two blowouts like last Saturday’s score. As elite as Steve Spurrier has his program right now,  they do travel to Death Valley this Saturday to face some P-oed Bayou Bengals. We will know more about some undefeated teams (outside of #1 Alabama) and those one loss teams after the day on Saturday.

(Source:bleacherreport.com)

Some BIG ONES ON SATURDAY

(3) South Carolina (6-0) Vs (9) LSU (5-1)

Two of the Very best teams in America set to battle in Baton Rouge. Fans can say what they want about the Tigers, they are elite.  The Gamecocks have shown every bit of being top shelf as well. I think being at home, with so much emotion, and the most sound they may play all year will be the difference for LSU. I like the Tigers in this one, and I wouldn’t be shocked if they win by a pair of TD’s.

Tennessee (3-2) Vs (19) Mississippi St (5-0)

I like Dan Mullen, but I like Tyler Bray and that offense a little better. The match up between the Bulldogs secondary and the Vols receiving corps will be fun to watch. Should be an exciting game in Starkville Saturday night. and if you haven’t visited Starkville for a game, below is what you’ll hear..CONSTANTLY.

UPSET ALERT

BYU over Oregon ST- The Beavers without Sean Mannon at QB, spells doom for Mike Riley’s bunch. If they win, who’s laughing at that #10 AP ranking now?

(Source: al.com)

SHOUT OUT TO SOME BULLDOGS AND LIONS!

Gotta send some love to two local programs I cover here in Huntsville… Alabama A&M is 6-0 heading into their Homecoming game with Alcorn State, and The UNA Lions are 5-1 on the season as they host Valdosta State. Head coach Anthony Jones and UNA head man Bobby Wallace are working toward some special seasons in the North Alabama area.

YOU MAY BE WONDERING…

Why I haven’t said anything about those Auburn Tigers and that 1-4 start to the season. Trust me, I will, just want to see the program travel to face Ole Miss in Oxford before I chat about the program in next week’s blog.  Stay tuned

(Source:gradedstakes.com)

LETS TAKE A TRIP

So I had the chance to head back to  my home state of Kentucky last weekend to watch a day at the races at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. Along with my wife, and a bunch of close friends we ate, drank, and were very merry, (OK so I drank the most bourbon and gin, and ate the most food, but who’s counting)..

It was also the second straight year that we enjoyed a cocktail hour with Garden and Gun Magazine before the races:To check their publication out on everything Southern, copy and paste the link below..

http://gardenandgun.com/

Also met Barbara Bing Vice President and Publisher of Garden and Gun, who was gracious and a very cool lady to talk to about the magazine, and the great state of Kentucky and Alabama. Just a great weekend to meet some fantastic people in the Bluegrass State. Thanks again for everything Barbara!

REALITY TV

There are no words for what the Real Housewives Reunions of New Jersey have done to me. They are can’t look away TV. I love Reality shows, as crazy as they are, and the ladies on that cast have had my mouth open from start to finish. and after two parts, they have a third part of their season reunion left! The New York Housewives have been drama filled in their own right as well…

FALL TV LINEUPS

I like: Modern Family, Chicago Fire, Boardwalk Empire, 666 Park Avenue, Nashville, among others.. More to come as I clean out the DVR.
Everyone enjoy the weekend, Enjoy the games, and TV.. See ya next week!

THOUGHTS ON HUMP DAY

In honor of Wednesday, AKA… Hump Day…

So What did college football fans learn from Last Weekends games?
OKLAHOMA SHOULD HAVE LOST TO UTEP ALONG WITH  K-STATE:

(Source:crimsonandcreammachine.com)

Yep, when I saw Bob Stoops and Company on that late Saturday night in week one against UTEP, I just knew this could be a shaky year. UTEP had plenty of chances to win that game, Landry Jones looked like he was making his 2nd career start and the defense looked lost without Brent Venables at the helm.  That all came true this past Saturday as the ageless one Bill Synder worked his magic in Norman coming away with the 24-19 win. Look, a top program will lose a game here or there, but that just doesn’t happen to a Stoops program at home. Landry Jones had issues, Blake Bell fumbled some TD’s away, Sooner land just doesn’t look right. And at 2-1, Can you totally believe that they will win games against Texas, West Virginia, or Notre Dame? Gonna be interesting. Oh, almost forgot, The Mask has to get some love:

ARE THE GOLDEN DOMERS BACK?

(Source:Toledoblade.com)

I have no clue if Notre Dame will even win another game this season. What I do know after 4 games is that this program is different. No not just one thing, but rather, from top to bottom. From Jack Swarbrick, to Brain Kelly, to his coaching staff, to his players on the field. It’s just different. Anyone that has watched their games thus far can see it. And any objective Notre Dame fan can see that this process has been going on the day Brain Kelly made his way to South Bend. Go check his resume. He’s won everywhere he’s been. Look at what he’s done in his third year and beyond at each of his coaching stops. He’s been smart enough to realize that in order for the Irish to one day compete at the BCS Title level they should be at, YOU MUST GET GREAT PLAY FROM BOTH LINES OF SCRIMMAGE. The Irish have recruited and secured a pretty solid defense (with some youngsters in the secondary) that will only get better as each game passes by. And once Devonte Neal gets some room on a punt return, he will be as electrfying as any player in the country  down the line. Once again, alot of work still to be done, which includes the maturation of Everett Golson (who will be a star), and the offense, but you have to like what you see from the Irish as a team after 4 games.

IT WAS ALL ABOUT LSU, NOT AUBURN:

(Source:espn.com)

Before this game even kicked off, many may have thought that the LSU/Auburn game would be a complete blowout. And Honestly I have no problems with that. Auburn had look putrid to that point, limping into their home opener 1-2, LSU had punched each team they had faced thus far in the mouth (albeit against inferior opponents). But to me from the get go, This was all about LSU. Zach Mettenberger is an upgrade at QB for the Tigers. Still, he has never started a road game in the SEC. You add a division game, on the road, that’s at night, at Jordan-Hare Stadium, a hell of a place to play, with a team that has nothing to lose, and everything to gain, and Suprise! You have a tougher game then expected. Remember LSU had a chance to go up 7-0 before a fumble at the 1 in the 1st Quarter, resulted in a safety by the Tigers later in the game. Yes Auburn had their chances to come away with the upset, but like I had thought, Mettenberger needed to get his feet wet in a hostile environment, and did as he played his best late (which included that Spencer Ware completion late in the 4th). He will be better for it down the line.

THOSE NOLES LOOKED GOOD, BE AFRAID COLLEGE FOOTBALL WORLD:

(Source:sports.yahoo.com)

This entire season could turn upside down on it’s head by the time we reach November, but to me there are only about 8-9 teams that I can see winning a National Title. Florida State is one of them. I think any college football fan can see that after the big win over Clemson Saturday night. It’s like everything has finally come together for this team. They have a sudden explosive offense (EJ Manuel-482 yds of offense, 4 TD’s, Chris Thompson, James Wilder Jr, Greg Dent, Rodney Smith) and we knew about that grown man of a defense. NOW… there should be no let downs whatsoever between now and a big game in Blacksburg against Va. Tech November 8th, and Florida to close the regular season. From what the country has seen thus far, The Noles are legit… and legit teams don’t lose games they should win in blowouts, PERIOD.

REALITY SHOW RUMBLINGS:

Anyone that follows this blog knows that I watch Reality TV, especially any and all of the Real Housewives shows on Bravo. the RHONY (Real Housewives of New York for those that aren’t down with the lingo) episode that aired Monday, was like a freestyle rap battle from start to finish. You Had Aviva going hard in the paint at Ramona at a restaurant… literally everything came out between the ladies, and I was all in. Yep 29 year old married man, all in on Monday night with this barrage of insults and comebacks between two ladies that I don’t know on Bravo. Good stuff… and I CANT WAIT for part one of the RHONJ (Figure those initials out on your own) reunion show this Sunday. Even with watching some reality shows Monday, You better believe I didn’t miss what the heck happen up in the Pacific Northwest:


No words. And the problem I have honestly besides the obvious of Green Bay getting jobbed out of a game, is that the NFL thinks that the common fan, much less anyone that covers or watches the NFL is ignorant to the fact that we can’t see blatant mistakes being made across the league since Week 1. I was one that thought for the most part the replacement refs were doing an OK job, but the last two weeks of the season, has just been sickening bad. Nothing else to really say. Just terrible that this is happening, and now we are seeing calls, horrendous calls influencing wins and losses that could ultimately cost a team a Wild Card or playoff berth. Man, man, man.

Will be back Friday for a CFB Week 5 preview!