Hello College Football, nice to see ya again…

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.

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!