The latest “Game of the Century” came and went this past Saturday and again, Alabama flexed its muscle. Despite Johnny Football putting up over 500 yards of total offense against a Nick Saban defense, the Tide proved they can win a shootout if need be. Whether or not Bama actually showed some chinks in its armor will remain to be seen as they get deeper into their SEC schedule, but even if that’s the case, A.J. McCarron has shown enough at QB that the Tide should be fine.
1) Eric LeGrand, former player, Rutgers: In an emotional setting in Piscataway on Saturday, Big E had his number #52 retired at halftime this past Saturday. LeGrand continues to be an inspiration and motivational individual and with the set up of the new TeamLeGrand, he will now champion his cause for a cure for spinal cord injuries by seeking out donations. Something tells me he’s going to raise a lot of money.
2) Pac 12 conference: In a showcase Saturday against the Big Ten conference, the Pac 12 went 3-1, which included a very impressive UCLA team storming back from 21-3 down at Nebraska to win going away 41-21. Often viewed as a finesse conference, the Pac 12 is making a rather large argument that they are the second best conference in the country behind the SEC.
3) Blake Bortles, QB Central Florida: Bortles and the Golden Knights went into Happy Valley on Saturday and came out with a gritty 34-31 win over a talented, but depth shy Penn State team. Bortles announced himself as potentially the second best QB in the AAC behind Heisman contender Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, but more so, Bortles and the Knights look like they could be a true player in its first year in the AAC to capture the league’s last automatic bid to the BCS. A QB and team to be reckoned with.
1) Nebraska Cornhuskers: When you’re up 21-3 at home and call yourselves the “Blackshirts defense” and have a “Blackout” game as well, you’ve got to put the game away and win. The Huskers had no answers for UCLA QB Brett Hundley on Saturday and in a down conference like the Big Ten, this is the type of defensive play that will prevent the Huskers from challenging for a Rose Bowl bid. When Bo Pelini took this team over, there were defensive concerns from the previous regime. In Bo’s tenure there, he’s done nothing to ease those concerns. And that’s a concern to Husker fans.
2) Refs in the Arizona St.-Wisconsin game: As mentioned, the Pac 12 went 3-1 against the Big 10 this weekend, but it should’ve been 2-2 as the refs completely botched a last second drive by Wisconsin to try a potentially game winning FG. If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure it’s on YouTube, but these refs need to be suspended immediately and indefinitely. Egregious error by that crew.
3) Charlie Weis, coach Kansas Jayhawks: KU put in another pathetic performance Saturday, losing to CUSA team Rice. Weis owns 1 win in 1 plus seasons so far at Kansas and the future does not look great. The one win last year was not even against a 1-A opponent, meaning his next win at Kansas will be his first 1-A win. Given the ineptitude of the Jayhawks, that may not come until 2014.
This week’s Top 25 (last week’s ranking in parentheses)
1) Alabama Crimson Tide (1)
2) Stanford Cardinal (2)
3) Oregon Ducks (3)
4) Florida State Seminoles (5)
5) Ohio State Buckeyes (4)
6) Clemson Tigers (6)
7) Louisiana State Tigers (7)
8) Georgia Bulldogs (8)
9) South Carolina Gamecocks (9)
10) Louisville Cardinals (11)
11) Texas A&M Aggies (8)
12) Oklahoma State Cowboys (13)
13) Oklahoma Sooners (14)
14) Michigan Wolverines (12)
15) Arizona State Sun Devils (15)
16) UCLA Bruins (20)
17) Baylor Bears (19)
18) Miami Hurricanes (21)
19) Washington Huskies (22)
20) Northwestern Wildcats (23)
21) Ole Miss Rebels (NR)
22) Florida Gators (18)
23) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (25)
24) Michigan State Spartans (NR)
25) Wisconsin Badgers (16)
Others receiving consideration (in order): Arizona Wildcats, Central Florida Golden Knights, Northern Illinois Huskies, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Southern California Trojans, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Boise State Broncos, North Carolina Tar Heels, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Brigham Young Cougars, Virginia Tech Hokies, Auburn Tigers, Arkansas Razorbacks
2 weeks in the books, some surprising outcomes this past Saturday, but as we turn the page, all eyes this week will descend upon College Station, Texas for the rematch of Alabama-Texas A&M and Johnny Football. It will be interesting to see how that Nick Saban defense makes the adjustments to the things Johnny Manziel was able to do in last year’s upset at Alabama. Before that though, a quick recap of this past weekend’s games in our 3 Up 3 Down segment and our rankings for this week:
1) Miami Hurricanes: Welcome back to the U. A big time win over Florida on Saturday (thanks to the help of some horrendous QB play by Florida signal caller Jeff Driskell and coaching by Will Muschamp), Al Golden’s crew suddenly becomes a player in the ACC along with Clemson and Florida State. But we’ve seen this before with the Canes..get a big win early and falter down the stretch. That said, and prefaced by saying I’ve never been a fan of Al Golden, I like where the Canes are heading.
2) Georgia Bulldogs: In a game they absolutely had to have, Aaron Murray, Todd Gurley and the Dawgs showed up Saturday. A loss would’ve shot down every goal they had coming into the season in just two weeks time. Now, the SEC East, the SEC Championship and fringe BCS Title Game hopes are all still alive. It also saves my personal Heisman prediction in Murray.
3) Paul James, Rutgers RB: Granted, it was Norfolk St., but scored the first 3 TD’s of his career on Saturday. Why is this mentioned here? Because James is a former walk on player who is now currently ahead of the biggest offensive recruit Rutgers has ever landed in Savon Huggins and is also 7th in the nation in rushing after two weeks.
1) Mack Brown, coach, Texas Longhorns: After two weeks, one half of my National Title Prediction is already done, thanks to the Longhorns. An infamous school record was set this past weekend at BYU as the Horns allowed 550 yards rushing, the most ever. Brown might as well be sitting on the sun that’s how hot his seat just got. If the Horns should lose to Oklahoma this year, consider Mack gone and let the Saban rumors commence.
2) Lane Kiffin, coach, USC Trojans: Another coach that just saw his hot seat setting skyrocket, Kiffin’s bunch could only manage a single TD against defensively challenged Washington St. Kiffin needed a good season to get the detractors off his back, but now, after a loss at home to Wazzu, you have to think that athletic director Pat Haden is already contemplating who his next coach is going to be.
3) Jadaveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: Ok, maybe it’s nitpicking. But the presumed #1 pick in this year’s NFL draft has played like anything but in the first two weeks. Maybe he’s dinged up a little as he claims, but big time players make big time plays (according to former U WR Santana Moss) and we have not seen that these first two weeks by Clowney. He clearly needs to get into better condition, which should happen as the season progresses. But if South Carolina wants to keep alive their hopes in the SEC much like Georgia just did, they will need Clowney to be the playmaker he has been his first two years in college.
This week’s Top 25 (last week’s ranking in parentheses):
1) Alabama Crimson Tide (1)
2) Stanford Cardinal (2)
3) Oregon Ducks (3)
4) Ohio State Buckeyes (4)
5) Florida State Seminoles (6)
6) Clemson Tigers (8)
7) Louisiana State Tigers (9)
8) Texas A&M Aggies (10)
9) Georgia Bulldogs (11)
10) South Carolina Gamecocks (5)
11) Louisville Cardinals (13)
12) Michigan Wolverines (14)
13) Oklahoma State Cowboys (15)
14) Oklahoma Sooners (17)
15) Arizona State Sun Devils (18)
16) Wisconsin Badgers (19)
17) Nebraska Cornhuskers (20)
18) Florida Gators (7)
19) Baylor Bears (21)
20) UCLA Bruins (23)
21) Miami Hurricanes (NR)
22) Washington Huskies (24)
23) Northwestern Wildcats (25)
24) TCU Horned Frogs (NR)
25) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (16)
Others under consideration (in order): Texas Longhorns, Ole Miss Rebels, Michigan State Spartans, Arizona Wildcats, Northern Illinois Huskies, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Southern California Trojans, Central Florida Golden Knights, Virginia Tech Hokies, North Carolina Tar Heels, Boise State Broncos, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Penn State Nittany Lions, Brigham Young Cougars
First week is in the books and there were definitely some surprises and tons of excitement generated. Not surprising was the way in which Alabama rolled over Virginia Tech…and the Tide didn’t even play their “A” game. A few things for Coach Saban to iron out, but they still look like the best team in all the land.
1) Clemson Tigers: For so long, we’ve been wondering if Clemson can win a game like they did in the regular season like the one they won Saturday night over Georgia. If they can keep from pulling a “Clemson” at some point this season, all that stands between them and a potential National Championship bid is a home game vs. Florida State and the season finale at heated rival, South Carolina.
2) Washington Huskies: Very impressive blowout of perennial overachiever and media darling Boise State. It may be one week, and for all we know, Boise may not be the team they have been the past decade, but Sark’s team, behind QB Keith Price, just may be a contender in the Pac 12 North.
3) Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville Cardinals: If he can stay healthy (a concern last year), he just may win the Heisman going away. The most accurate pocket passer in college football, Bridgewater has the WR’s and the schedule to seemingly have the Cardinals poised for an undefeated season, and some major hype will be going Teddy’s way.
1) The 8 1-A teams that lost to 1-AA teams this week: UCONN, South Florida, Iowa State, Kansas State and Oregon State all need to re-evaluate their programs after embarrassing losses. (The other 3 teams were 1-A newcomers South Alabama and Georgia State, in addition to MWC team San Diego St.) For some (Paul Pasquolini at UCONN), it may signal the beginning of the end for a coaching tenure. For another (Willie Taggart’s debut at South Florida), it may be hard to get the players to “buy in” to the new regimes. It just goes to show that “Any Given Saturday”…however, a lot of these losses are inexcusable.
2) Johnny Manziel (Johnny Football/Johnny Halftime): Personally, I love his douchery. It’s entertaining, it draws fans to televisions and message boards and it’s fun to talk about it. However, is there really a place for some of his antics in college football? Absolutely not. Coach Kevin Sumlin needs to reel this kid in and get him to tone it down before he implodes what could be a great Texas A&M season, beginning with Alabama calling on September 14th.
3) The Big Ten Conference: Picking up where they left off last year, much of the conference was not impressive with their wins on Saturday and some (Iowa losing to Northern Illinois, Illinois looking uninspired in a struggling win vs. Southern Illinois, and Purdue getting destroyed at Cincinnati) had games they’d like to forget. I’ll give Ohio State a bit of a pass as they seemed bored after they broke out to a big lead vs. Buffalo, and while Michigan was probably the most impressive team in the conference, Nebraska allowing 34 points to a Wyoming team and allowing them a last possession where they could’ve had a game tying FG or worse leads me to believe the perception that this being a great conference is currently a farce. They need to start winning some marquee games against big name opponents, or at least look impressive in beating up the cupcakes they schedule.
This week’s top 25 (previous ranking in parentheses):
1) Alabama Crimson Tide (1)
2) Stanford Cardinal (2)
3) Oregon Ducks (3)
4) Ohio State Buckeyes (4)
5) South Carolina Gamecocks (6)
6) Florida State Seminoles (7)
7) Florida Gators (8)
8) Clemson Tigers (9)
9) Louisiana State Tigers (11)
10) Texas A&M Aggies (10)
11) Georgia Bulldogs (5)
12) Texas Longhorns (12)
13) Louisville Cardinals (13)
14) Michigan Wolverines (14)
15) Oklahoma State Cowboys (15)
16) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (16)
17) Oklahoma Sooners (17)
18) Arizona State Sun Devils (20)
19) Wisconsin Badgers (21)
20) Nebraska Cornhuskers (18)
21) Baylor Bears (23)
22) Southern California Trojans (24)
23) UCLA Bruins (25)
24) Washington Huskies (NR)
25) Northwestern Wildcats (NR)
Others receiving consideration (in order): Texas Christian Horned Frogs, Miami Hurricanes, Michigan State Spartans, Ole Miss Rebels, Arizona Wildcats, Northern Illinois Huskies, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Cincinnati Bearcats, Central Florida Golden Knights, Virginia Tech Hokies, North Carolina Tar Heels, Boise State Broncos, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Penn State Nittany Lions
It’s that time of the year again. 10 days from today we will have college football and I’m ready for the madness. The USA Today/Coaches and AP polls are out, so, after reading my Phil Steele football magazine, it’s time for me to unveil my preseason top 25, as well as my predictions for every conference, for every BCS bowl game and my predicted National Champion.
Last year, admittedly, was an off year for me as my predicted championship game of LSU vs. USC did not even come close to happening. I will try and remedy that mistake this season, which means I could be looking at some chalk as my champion. However, it may surprise you who one of the teams I’ve predicted will be. (You’ll have to keep reading, not giving away my surprises just yet). Ideally, when I look at predicting games, I often take into account schedule, returning talent, obviously coaching and conference. It doesn’t always go as planned (with Notre Dame’s schedule last season and how difficult it was, I don’t recall a single prognasticator outside of South Bend choosing the Irish as a BCS Championship Game participant but that’s precisely what happened).
But with no games having been played yet, it’s not quite the time to ramble. So please enjoy my projections for this upcoming season and as always, debate and comments are always welcome.
Preseason Top 25:
1) Alabama Crimson Tide-Saban just reloads his roster again after another title and heavy losses to the NFL Draft. The cream of college football resides in Tuscaloosa, and will for as long as Saban wants to be there.
2) Stanford Cardinal-David Shaw has picked up right where Jim Harbaugh left off. Found his signal caller in Kevin Hogan the second half of last year and big things are expected of him.
3) Oregon Ducks-Ranked slightly below Stanford for two reasons. One, Chip Kelly is gone and those are enormous shoes to fill. And two, Pac 12-North game likely to be decided on The Farm at Stanford.
4) Ohio State Buckeyes-Buckeye schedule sets up nicely for a second consecutive unbeaten season for Urban Meyer. However, last game is at Michigan and could also see a rematch a week later in the Big Ten Championship game.
5) Georgia Bulldogs-Most explosive offense in the SEC is driven by Sr. QB Aaron Murray and talented duo of RB’s Gurley and Marshall. Nearly upset Bama in the SEC Championship Game. I like their chances to get back, but can they unseat the Tide finally?
6) South Carolina Gamecocks-defense will be insanely good with Clowney back for his final year. If Spurrier could ever get QB play like he had at Florida, Gamecocks could win it all.
7) Florida State Seminoles-Winning the Orange Bowl last year was good to take some heat off Jimbo Fisher, but fans want National Championships, not just ACC Championships. Jameis Winston steps in at QB for long time QB E.J. Manuel. Has all the tools to be the next great Nole quarterback.
8) Florida Gators-Third SEC East team ranked in the top 8 amazingly. Season will likely come down to what it always does…Cocktail Party in October vs. Georgia.
9) Clemson Tigers-Much like Florida’s game vs. Georgia will go a long way to deciding it’s fate, Clemson’s home game vs. Florida State could likely decide ACC Champion and pave the way for a BCS run.
10) Texas A&M Aggies-Might be ranked higher, but given the fluidity of the Johnny Manziel situation and the distractions this team could be faced with as the season progresses, have to think the Aggies lose one or two they shouldn’t this year.
11) Louisiana State Tigers-could a team be in for a down year and still be ranked 11th?! That’s the SEC for you. Don’t ever count out Les Miles, but the schedule’s very tough with games at Georgia and Bama and neutral site vs. TCU.
12) Texas Longhorns-In a wide open Big XII, I like the Longhorns with their RB tandem of Gray and Brown and improving QB David Ash. Mack also seems more determined than he has in years past. Darkhorse title team.
13) Louisville Cardinals-most everyone has them ranked higher, due to their schedule, QB Teddy Bridgewater, and upset win of Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Talent wise, this is where they should be. One play away from losing Bridgewater at any time and becoming just a mediocre team.
14) Michigan Wolverines-With offensive weapon Denard Robinson off to the NFL, Brady Hoke can finally implement more of his offense. Devin Gardner has seen time at QB already and Wolverines look like they’re back to their old Lloyd Carr type teams.
15) Oklahoma State Cowboys-can always expect a lot of offense and points from Mike Gundy’s offense, but in a league that plays no defense in the Big XII, will they stop anyone when it matters most?
16) Notre Dame Fighting Irish-Tommy Rees steps in for the temporarily departed Everett Golson at QB. Rees has seen a lot of time the past few years already. Lost their leader on defense in Te’o. Were Irish exposed vs. Bama in the title game last year or was Bama just that much better?
17) Oklahoma Sooners-Sooners have some QB concerns, but Bob Stoops always finds a way. Red River Rivalry once again could decide Big XII title.
18) Nebraska Cornhuskers-Taylor Martinez is as dynamic as he is frustrating at QB for coach Bo Pelini. If Martinez can find some consistency and the Blackshirt defense can return, Huskers could be Rose Bowl bound.
19) Texas Christian Horned Frogs-return of QB Casey Pachall should make a huge difference this year for Coach Patterson. Might be the best defense in the Big XII and if so, could sneak out some games you’d expect them to be out gunned in.
20) Arizona State Sun Devils-I’m very high on the Sun Devils this year. Pac 12 South is wide open and the Sun Devils schedule along with an explosive offense has me thinking this team can make some major noise this year.
21) Wisconsin Badgers-new coach in Brent Guy to replace Bret Bielema, who left for Arkansas. I’m skeptical to see how this works out as I don’t think it’s an ideal fit, but as always, Badgers will have a strong running game and big OL.
22) Boise State Broncos-with the Mountain West breaking into divisions, might not be so easy for Chris Petersen’s boys to run away with a conference title this year. Still though, this is Boise and they should win yet another conference title.
23) Baylor Bears-RGIII’s alma mater has been built pretty nice under coach Art Briles. Can score with anyone in the Big XII and could be a darkhorse conference contender.
24) Southern California Trojans-potentially a make or break year for coach Lane Kiffin. Scholarship restrictions hurt the team last year as injuries severely tested the depth on the team. Max Wittek has the reigns all to himself at QB this year and the little taste he got last year will be very beneficial.
25) UCLA Bruins-very nice season in Year One for Jim Mora and with QB Brett Hundley, UCLA will have a chance in every game. In a wide open Pac 12 South, that’s all you need.
Other teams receiving consideration (in order): Virginia Tech Hokies, Oregon State Beavers, Miami Hurricanes, Northwestern Wildcats, Michigan State Spartans, North Carolina Tar Heels, Ole Miss Rebels, Kansas State Wildcats, Arizona Wildcats, Vanderbilt Commodores, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Northern Illinois Huskies, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Cincinnati Bearcats.
SEC East: Georgia Bulldogs
SEC West: Alabama Crimson Tide
SEC Champion: Alabama Crimson Tide
Big Ten Conference:
Big Ten Legends: Michigan Wolverines
Big Ten Leaders: Ohio State Buckeyes
Big Ten Champion: Michigan Wolverines
Big XII Conference:
Champion: Texas Longhorns
Pacific Twelve Conference:
Pac 12 North: Stanford Cardinal
Pac 12 South: Arizona State Sun Devils
Pac 12 Champion: Stanford Cardinal
Atlantic Coast Conference:
ACC Coastal:Virginia Tech Hokies
ACC Atlantic: Florida State Seminoles
ACC Champion: Florida State Seminoles
American Athletic Conference:
Champion: Louisville Cardinals
Mountain West Conference:
MW West: Fresno State Bulldogs
MW Mountain: Boise State Broncos
Mountain West Champion: Boise State Broncos
CUSA East: East Carolina Pirates
CUSA West: Tulsa Golden Hurricane
CUSA Champion: Tulsa Golden Hurricane
MAC East: Bowling Green Falcons
MAC West: Northern Illinois Huskies
MAC Champion: Northern Illinois Huskies
Sun Belt Conference:
Champion: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
BCS Game Projections:
BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Texas Longhorns (Champion-Alabama)
Rose Bowl: Stanford Cardinal vs. Michigan Wolverines
Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Oregon Ducks
Sugar Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Orange Bowl: Florida State Seminoles vs. Louisville Cardinals
Heisman Award Winner: Aaron Murray, QB Georgia Bulldogs
This is Victoria Soto, and although I didn’t know her, she is my hero. I don’t know too much about her. Victoria was a Stratford high graduate and only 27. She was killed after she hid her first graders in closets and cabinets and told the shooter they were in the gym. He killed her and not one of her children were harmed. God bless Victoria, her family and friends, and all of those who were involved in anyway. Victoria is a true hero.
Reblog as a sign of respect for those innocent lives that were lost.
I don’t care what kind of blog you have, no excuse for not reblogging this.
This is so great.
SHE WAS MY FRIENDS COUSIN ://