Thursday, March 26, 2009
Founder—College Football Crack House
Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com
To borrow a line from Around The Horn host Tony Reali, "So that happened!"
The University of Florida decided it was a good idea to create a wall memorial in tribute to Tim Tebow for his speech after the Florida home loss to Ole Miss last season.
I mean seriously—could this Tim Tebow love-fest get any more ridiculous?
I already know at least three things that people who disagree with me and have no problem with this are going to say...
1. You're just a jealous Ohio State "Suckeye" fan (Which most likely will include a 41-14 reference).
2. SEC SEC SEC SEC (The annoying conference piggy-backing chant those of us who actually pick one team instead of the entire conference have to hear most every Saturday whenever an SEC game is on TV).
3. He deserves it. He led the Gators to the title after he promised he wouldn't let them lose again! (Of course he did--look at the overrated "good" teams and doormats they played the rest of the season).
I'm sure he's a decent person, but nobody is ever as perfect as they are made out to be.
This kid has been crowned God of Florida and the sports media, specifically ESPN, have fanned the flames of this total nonsense.
In my humble opinion, a program taking this sort of action should reserve it for an all-time great a few years after they graduate.
If Florida wanted to do this, why not wait until 2011 or 2012?
Right now, if I am any of the other 21 starters from the Gator team from last season, I'm wondering where's my individual monument? Where's my individual tribute?
Yes, Tebow is the face of the Florida team, as generally a QB is, but he didn't win those eight games and eventual BCS Championship on his own.
The biggest issues I have with this is he's still in school, he's quite possibly the most over-hyped college football player of all-time, and he's getting all the individual accolades like's he 's the next coming.
All this for making a speech that really meant next to nothing without the support of the rest of his teammates. I reiterate, he didn't do it all alone post-speech!
He might not even have much of an NFL career, especially as a QB, so that should be a red flag that screams out most logical people (in addition to myself) outside of the biased media, the state of Florida, and Gator fans, aren't buying into this!
Whenever you talk about Tebow, don't forget to use two o's—he's good, but he's not God!
Not even in Florida...
I don’t know everything there is to know about all the teams in the conference. Who they lose and how good the back ups were are all things I just have no clue about. Here is a look at the Pac-10 though, and I did my best to talk about as much as I could.
First order of business for the Wildcats is to find a replacement for QB Willie Tuitama. Tuitama has been the starter since midway through his freshman year. No matter who they get will be hard pressed to fill his shoes easily.
Making the task harder is the loss of WR Mike Thomas, the new Pac-10 leader in receptions. Making it easier is the return of TE Rob Gronkowski, who, after Thomas, was Arizona’s leading receiver.
Defense is looking good starting on the ends where Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore are back. The Two combined for 15 sacks last season.
The secondary is held down by Cam Nelson at safety and corner Devin Ross. The other corner will be open for competition in the spring while Robert Golden moves from corner to the other safety spot.
The schedule is a bit tougher than in 2008. The 2008 non-conference schedule was Idaho, Toledo and New Mexico. Iowa alone on the 2009 schedule makes it twice as hard. Central Michigan is there too which is a step up from Toledo in terms of MAC schools.
Arizona must travel to Oregon State, Cal, and USC, three of the top four projected teams for the conference.
I think another bowl would be a good season, but I don’t think it will be one of the top bowls.
Arizona State Sun Devils
Four-year starter quarterback Rudy Carpenter is gone. Senior Danny Sullivan has is the most experience but sophomore Samson Szakacsy, sophomore Chasen Stangel and freshman Brock Osweiler will all compete for the spot.
Who ever is throwing will have the advantage of Chris McGaha there to catch the ball.
At running back, senior Keegan Herring is also gone. He wasn’t the leading rusher in '08 anyway. Dimitri Nance led the team but I wouldn’t be surprised if he shares carries with Ryan Bass and Shaun DeWitty.
The offensive line only losses one so this could be a strength for the Sun Devils.
Another weapon for the Sun Devils is kicker Thomas Weber, the '07 Groza Award winner.
The defense only appears to be losing one player from each level, a defensive end, inside linebacker and a safety. The defense will be leaned on while the offense establishes itself.
The schedule only has five away games this season. The higher number of home games could help them get back to a bowl.
They travel to Georgia before entering Pac-10 play. Of the five Pac-10 bowl teams from 08, they only have to travel to Oregon.
California Golden Bears
Now that Nate Longshore is gone it seems only logical that Kevin Riley will be the quarterback. The two went back and forth until finally Longshore was in and Riley was benched.
Tailback Jahvid Best returns and many are calling him a dark horse for the Heisman. Best had two surgeries this offseason.
The main concern on defense will be the loss of the defensive end Rulon Davis, all the starting linebackers and safety Bernard Hicks.
Cal will take on two teams from other BCS conferences that both went to bowls in their non-conference schedule. They host Maryland to open the season then travel to Minnesota two weeks later.
Of the Pac-10 projected top teams, they only travel to Oregon, where they won the last time they played there.
The way the schedule sets up, Cal could be in the hunt for the Pac-10 title.
With sudden news about head coach Mike Bellotti stepping down as head coach and moving to athletic director and offensive coordinator Chip Kelly will become the head coach. This could throw a new wrinkle into the whole season.
Jeremiah Masoli separated himself from the rest of Oregon’s quarterbacks by the end of the season in '08. At this point I think everyone else is playing for the backup position. Among them are former starter Justin Roper, and Nate Costa, who was named starter but never played due to injury.
Behind Masoli should be 1,000-yard rusher LeGarrette Blount. I say should be because of some trouble he had this winter. Oregon tends to run with more than one back though. Highly touted redshirt freshman LaMichael James is possibly going to be that other back but Andre Crenshaw and Remene Alston will all see time.
Offensive line is the question most people have. The line loses four starters but they return four players with starting experience so I don’t see this being as big a problem as wide receiver.
The defense is also looking to fill in the line. Junior college players were brought in to fill the positions. Defensive end Nick Reed is gone. Reed led the Pac-10 in sacks two years in a row. The other end, Will Tukuafu was no slouch with 7.5 sacks in '08.
Oregon’s run defense was actually the strength of the D, so the linebackers returning should help hold that down.
That’s good because the pass defense was non existent and the loss of Patrick Chung and Jarius Byrd isn’t going to help that situation. TJ Ward and Walter Thurmond are back to help improve this part of the defense.
Oregon has a highly favorable schedule. That is after the season opener at Boise State. They draw Utah, Cal, USC, and rival Oregon State all at home in Eugene. The toughest road games appear to be Arizona and Stanford.
Oregon should make a bowl again and with a favorable home schedule could take a run at the Pac-10 title.
Oregon State Beavers
Oregon State has two senior quarterbacks with starting experience in Lyle Moevao and Sean Canfield.
Running back Jacquizz Rodgers and his brother, wide receiver James Rodgers, accounted for a mass amount of the offense last season. This was never more evident until the Civil War and the Sun Bowl when they did not play and the offense struggled.
The defense in '07 was one of the better defenses in the Pac-10 and they lost a lot of starters. People questioned if they would be successful on that side of the ball in '08.
I don’t think they matched what they did in '07, but the defense was still stout only giving up 30 point four times. Unfortunately all four were losses.
The defense again has quite a few holes to fill. If the past is an indication of what they are capable of, I wouldn’t be to worried.
Oregon State tends to start slow and finish well. They have also had trouble when they have gone east. Good news is they don’t have to go east this season and the early schedule doesn’t look overly challenging.
Cincinnati is coming to Corvallis and they did win the Big East last season, but Oregon State is usually better at home. This is especially true with USC. Oregon State has beat the Trojans the last two times they have played at home but lost down in LA.
The Civil War with Oregon was a home team’s dream for over 10 years but the last two have been wins for the visiting team. This year’s game is at Oregon.
Oregon State hopes to make another run at the Rose Bowl and the Pac-10 title. With trips to USC, Cal, and Oregon I am not sure if this is the season for it.
I think I am going to keep this quick and simple.
USC is known for simply reloading and they should do so again.
Quarterbacks Mitch Mustain, Aaron Corp, Garrett Green, and incoming freshman Matt Barkley will battle for the vacated spot left by Mark Sanchez.
The run game was by committee, I don’t expect that to change.
The defense was among the best in the nation and takes a hit losing a lot of starters. Like I said before though, they reload time and time again. Don’t be surprised if they are stacked again.
USC is tough at home or on the road. Everyone is looking forward to the early trip to Ohio State. They also play at Cal and Oregon, two of the teams most believe will challenge for the Pac-10 title.
Three tough games that everyone expects. The problem for the Trojans is that most of the games they have lost the last few years, no one saw coming.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh has improved Stanford each of his two seasons. The next step is getting to a bowl.
Having starting quarterback Tavita Pritchard and running back Toby Gerhart returning is a great start.
The offensive line has to replace two including the center Alex Fletcher, who received second team all Pac-10 honors.
From what I know, Stanford is only losing a couple players from the defense. The defense didn’t have a lot of stars on it but did have a couple of players make the Pac-10 honorable mention. They are back for next season.
The Cardinal were one win short of making a bowl in '08. Three of the losses were by seven or less and all three of those were on the road.
Actually all but one loss, USC, was on the road. If they can convert just one of those losses to a win they could be bowling again for the first time in nine years.
Last season, UCLA went into the season with a bunch of injuries hanging over the quarterback position. I would guess the job is Kevin Craft’s to lose at this point.
The passing game should be a strong point since the top five receivers are back. Having an experienced line, losing only one, will help give Craft time to throw. Kai Forbath is back and is one of the conferences best kickers.
The defense is returning a majority of its players. There will be a new defensive coordinator this season and I don’t know what kind of scheme they will be using.
Honestly I don’t remember hearing much about the defense last season, so I don’t know much about it for next season.
UCLA pulled off the upset of Tennessee last season at home. For the 2009 season UCLA will have to try and do it again on the road. They draw Oregon at home followed by trips to Arizona and Oregon State in consecutive weekends. Those were four of the five bowl teams from '08.
Then, of course, there is that season closer with at USC.
I think UCLA would be cutting it close to make it to a bowl in '09.
New coach Steve Sarkisian's inherit’s a team that went 0-12 in '08. He has managed to get the players, boosters, and alumni excited about University of Washington football again.
Quarterback Jake Locker has pretty much carried the team since he came in as a freshman. The switch to a pro style will be interesting to see.
The skill positions weren’t much to talk about, but I will say keep an eye on Terrance Daily and Chris Polk.
The offensive line will be rebuilding and filling in the center position for Juan Garcia will be the biggest hole to try and fill.
I can really only point out one bright spot on each level of the defense.
On the defensive line it is Daniel Teo'nesheim. He was the teams sack leader in '08.
The linebackers return EJ Savannah. He had a great 2007 season but then missed '08 for various reasons. Time will tell if this was a good move or not.
The secondary has been less than stellar but did have safety, Nate Williams earn Pac-10 honorable mention honors.
The Huskies continue to schedule some of the toughest competition but at least they put on a game that should give them a win this season too. They are opening at home with LSU followed by Idaho.
They get USC, Oregon, and Cal at home but I don’t know if home field will really be an advantage.
I would be surprised if Washington got more than four wins.
Washington State Cougars
The quarterback battle was down to Kevin Lopina and Marshall Lobbestael, but Lobbestael's recent arrest for being drunk in public and suspension from the team changes things.
Washington State was among the worst in the nation in offense last season. They are still trying to rebuild under second year head coach Paul Wulff.
The good news is leading rusher Dwight Tardy is back. The bad news it leading receiver Brandon Gibson is not.
The defense wasn’t much better than the offense and also rated among the worst in the nation.
I am not sure they lose a lot and if that is a good thing or a bad thing. On one hand you have experience coming back. On the other hand, is that a good thing when the defense wasn’t that good?
Hawaii and SMU are on the schedule, both for home dates. I would have to think these games are manageable. They play '08’s top four Pac-10 teams in a five week span which includes trips to USC and Oregon in back-to-back weekends.
I would think they will at least match their two wins from '08, but I still don’t see a bowl for the Cougars.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
When Rich Rodriguez abruptly abandoned WVU in December of 2007, he left a relatively intact program.
Patrick White, perhaps the countries most prolific QB of our time was still at the helm and even with the departure of Steve Slayton and Darius Reynaud, fans were confident that Bill Stewart could continue the winning tradition that Rich Rod had just began to enjoy.
The season didn't go quite as planned and Mountaineer fans had to settle for a Meineke Car Care bowl victory over UNC.
The 2009-10 season, the first without Pat White, will be head Coach Bill Stewart's true test under fire season.
The class of 2009 and its' importance to WVU cannot be overstated.
On Feb 4 2009, WVU signed 24 prospects to National Letters of Intent. This is a make or break class for Bill Stewart. On paper, this is WVU's best recruiting class in school history. Scout.com ranked this class 23rd nationally. In the last seven years, Scouts.com had ranked WVU from the 53rd in 2004, 18th in 2007 and 36th in 2008.
The class of 2007 (which was ranked 18th by Scouts.com) started with 26 signees but is already down 15 due to attrition.
This 2009 group has to live up to expectations and remain intact. If it can do that, Stewart's program will become successful. If this class fails, the Bill Stewart era will be short lived.
Key staff hires of the Bill Stewart era such as recruiting guru Doc Holliday are proving to be perfect matches for the new face of a beloved program.
Signing five offensive line players was crucial and Holliday is pleased with all of the recruits coming in. Geno Smith is going to become a well recognized name in the Big East along with Coley White, Bradley Starks and Jarrett Brown.
Running back recruits such as Shawne Alston, Daquan Hargett and fullback Chris Snook, along with receivers Deon Long, Tavin Austin, Stedman Bailey, Logan Heastie and Terrance Moore will be key to offense success.
Defensively, Tevita Finau, Dominik Davenport and Curtis Feigt will strengthen what was already a strong defensive line in 2008.
The 2009-10 will be the first full recruiting class for Coach Bill Stewart.
Lets hope it is as good on the field as it looks on paper.
The players are in camp, we're getting ready for Saturday afternoon tailgating, and our minds are turning to online betting!
That's right. It's time to put your money where your mouth is, and maybe win a little cash.
Let's hope it is as good on the field as it looks on paper!
Doesn't that make you want to bet online?
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Article originally written by John McCurdy on the BleacherReport.com
Star quarterback, running back, and cornerback all defecting for the NFL? Questions abound concerning your young offensive line? Coordinators' choices second-guessed after tough losses?
If you're perennial SEC powerhouse Georgia, these things don't concern you, hope is already here. They play well each year, so they recruit well each year, so they play well again the next year. Success is self-perpetuating in college sports.
As such, the roster is still stacked, despite certain departures, and it only got better on signing day. Without further ado, I'll cough up the names of those Dawgs who'll step into the spotlight this year:
C Ben Jones
Considering he was forced into a starting role as a frosh last season because of injuries to other offensive linemen, we've already seen a decent amount of this rock. So we know he's difficult to move and technically sound.
What we may not yet know is how great of a leader this kid can be. The experience he gained last season snapping the ball to a seasoned Matt Stafford is invaluable, and with the O-line still devoid of seniors, he can be just as much the brains of the operation as anyone.
He's the anchor in the middle. Look for him to solidify the line even more in '09 and hopefully help the big fellas tone down the penalties.
FB Fred Munzenmaier
This redshirt sophomore has a whole two rushing attempts to his name, but now that the steam engine that was Brannan Southerland has graduated, he'll see plenty of burn as he spells Shaun Chapas.
He's not quite as big as Southerland, but Munzenmaier still measures an impressive 6'2", 232 lbs. And the really good news is that his hands might be even better than his predecessors. Having played some quarterback in high school, he definitely has a feel for the pigskin.
Southerland was used in short-yardage situations and was adept at picking up three or four on the ground and at snatching a lob over the top for a score. Munzenmaier can do both of these things as well, and will quickly learn to block as he practices against his defensive teammates. The Dawgs won't skip a beat at the fullback spot.
WR Marlon Brown
In case you haven't read my piece on this freshly inked Dawg, I'll sum it up for you right here: I love him. A better complement for freak wideout A.J. Green, Brown will compose half of the most dreaded receiving duo in the SEC.
I made the Julio Jones comparison before, so I won't simply regurgitate here, but it does make a lot of sense. Marlon comes down with balls he absolutely should not come down with, and he makes the impossible possible with scary athleticism and ridiculously strong hands.
Kris Durham and Mike Moore are both ahead of him on the depth chart, and probably should be, but don't be surprised at all if Marlon is involved in nearly every three-wide set from the start of the season.
OT Austin Long
One barely need look past his vitals of 6'6", 270 lbs. Just those little numbers next to his name on the roster are imposing.
Long is known as an ultra-aggressive lineman, a vicious mauler who breaks through to the second level with little hesitation and, several times in his high school career, left gigantic defensive linemen on their backs in his wake.
Whether or not his style fits with a penalty-prone O-line, Long provides a massive (yet skilled) body to a position that suffered severe attrition last season. And as I already told you, he's got dudes to learn from (see Jones above) in his area.
QB Joe Cox
You didn't think I'd leave the most important position out the discussion, now did you?
So many are worried about drop off at the quarterback position, but if there's one thing for sure with Cox, it's that he's going to keep things steady. He has proven, even in his limited playing time, that he handles pressure remarkably well (perhaps better than Stafford) and rises to the occasion. Anyone recall the Colorado game of 2006?
No, Joe does not have the pure quarterback skills that Matt does. He will not be a first-round pick in the NFL in a year. He isn't an elusive, double threat like Logan Gray. And he does not have the upside of signee Aaron Murray.
But he does have a cool head, a strong arm, and the sort of demeanor one wants in their quarterback. With Joe, it's going to be less of a roller coaster (with all the highs and lows of Stafford's play) and more of a solid, smooth ride in a Cadillac.
There's a reason Georgia is such a heavily followed team. It's the same reason the Bulldogs garner such attention and anticipation every off-season. The studs just keep coming.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
#9 PENN STATE
#7 VIRGINIA TECH
#5 OHIO STATE
The floor is now open for debate...
You can post your own top 10, or even your top 25 or just agree or disagree with mine and tell me why!
I definitely want to know what you think so please post your thoughts!
You can always get your fix here at the:
COLLEGE FOOTBALL CRACKHOUSE
The Ole Miss Rebels; Yes the Rebels, could be a victim of their own success.
It is a little over five months until the 2009 college football season begins, and they still don't have an opponent for their Sept. 12 home game.
Now I understand the politics involved in scheduling non-conference opponents. Some teams want a home and home. Some require a big payday.
But in the past, mid-majors, like the MAC, Conference USA, WAC, and so on, would be champing at the bit for a chance to take out an SEC school.
Now, after a 9-4 season which included beating the national champ to be Florida Gators and a convincing win in the Cotton Bowl over the big 12 power Texas Tech, the Rebs are having a hard time even buying an opponent.
They thought it was a lock with TCU just to have them back out to play Clemson, a rebuilding ACC team. For bowl eligibility reasons, you can only schedule one FCS school and they already have that.
You really don't want another BCS power house to start your year off when you know you have to play the SEC schedule. So what does that leave you? A bunch of mid-majors.
Now don't get me wrong, mid majors are no longer teams you can just run over. A prime example is the way Utah destroyed Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. On the other side of the equation is the fact that mid majors don't want to start their year off with a loss.
They know they have to go undefeated to get a chance at the BCS. I mean the Rebels are pretty hot right now. So I ask you, would Ole Miss still be having this problem if they had went 4-8?
Probably not, but I bet you can ask any Rebel fan if they mind. I bet they would take the year they had last year any day of the week. I guess sometimes being a victim really isn't that bad after all.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
The Virginia Tech Hokies should be between No. 7 and No. 10 in the nation for the college football preseason rankings. Tyrod Taylor is 13-2 as a starter and only Michael Vick has a better record as a starter under Coach Frank Beamer.
With the solid defense and special teams and with Taylor, Ryan Williams, and Derren Evans on offense, the Hokies should be able to contend for there third straight ACC title, and we could be talking BSC title game if the stars align and we run the table in the ACC and last year proved that you could drop a game early in the season but not later.
With Taylor you have a guy who can make plays when other plays breakdown but he also had to many sacks last season this will also be Taylors first season as the solo starting quarterback.
We could be seeing the next "Untouchables" in Williams and Evans and Tech can get back to the option and a lot of wins. I predicted Tech to go 11-2 in a story earlier; only time will tell, but there are big expectations for the Hokies.
Bud Foster always has his defense ready, so, even after losing Macho Harris and Brett Warren to the NFL Draft, he should still have a solid defensive game.
Mistakes and misfortune were last year's downfalls.
The Hokies should be able to rebound well and have a great season.
Certainly, the Big Sky, has wept and bid farewell, and pondered many times, these past eight years, why? Frankly there was and still is no simple answer.
The Boise State Broncos have that look about them, a bunch of two and three star athletes from Potato Junction, Idaho and certainly they should not mount that much game?
Then, Fresno State and the WAC opened up their doors in 2001 to the former Big Sky champs and by 2002 and constantly there after, the Broncos have dominated their conference.
That’s right, Fresno State's conference it is no more. It is Boise States conference. All of the WAC belongs to BSU, and Boise State loves them dearly, and is in no hurry to leave.
The Bronco fans and haters question is “who’s gonna fill them shoes, who’s gonna walk that tall?” Goodbye Z, Vinny, and Ian, and a list to long to unveil.
The Broncos are looking solid again, all the way past the bench and to the red shirts of 2010. Indeed, Boise State superiority is eminent. BSU no longer rebuilds (as in former times), they merely reload.
It gets amusing the BSU fan base stresses over playing Ball State in the Humanitarian or jumping to the Mountain West Conference. Oh yes, the MW had some good years, but they do not want Boise State to join.
Even though and according to sources, the Mountain West were the ones that wanted the Broncos to begin with. Then they changed their mind. Well who can blame them? It’s tough battling for second.
Albeit, the Mountain West is not where the Broncos belong anyway. Who said the WAC was a lesser conference? The only thing wrong with the rest of the “WAC PAC” is they just don’t want it bad enough. Want what? Second place!
Well, the Pack is doing things to rectify the problem. This year's recruiting was great. Boise’s was better, but the WAC PAC did well.
Especially, Utah State, them Aggies in two years (maybe three) are going to be a pretty decent team (Just as soon as the unrelated Manning comes back from his Mormon mission, that is).
But Bronco Nation is gracious, they do not want the new Manning on the block to get abducted by aliens or swallowed by gators (no pun intended). Do they?
However, whether its Borel or later to be Manning and the Aggies, or Fresno State, Hawaii, or the pistol running wolf pack of Reno etc, the battle is still for second place.
But “Katy bar the door” for all of the rest of those conferences (BCS or not) who are about to play the WAC, the joking is over.
Still, Boise State will continue to dominate until they leave for BCS placing in some conference to be mentioned later.
Then the WAC PAC will weep and bid farewell and within a couple of years ponder the former situation and ask themselves why?
Founder—College Football Crack House
Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com
I just had to post this in the article after last nights game:
I bet Andre Ware (former QB for Houston) was bragging them up but shouldn't he instead have been ripping them for not taking a knee (as he did the Buckeyes) - game's over - right Andre???
A fake punt with nearly nine minutes left in the Northwestern game, followed by an ensuing 34-yard touchdown pass the very next play and a late touchdown gallop by backup running back Boom Herron with only seconds left in the game, have resonated in a surprising and somewhat confusing backlash for the Ohio State Buckeyes over the last few days.
Andre Ware ripped the Buckeyes the second Tressel called for the fake punt. He said Ohio State should have punted since, in his opinion, the game was not in doubt. His partner in the booth suggested the Buckeyes were trying to keep possession and kill the clock.
At the time, OSU held a 31-10 lead—comfortable, perhaps, but surely not insurmountable. The next play, Terrelle Pryor threw a touchdown pass. Ware's reaction? "Are they still trying to run out the clock now?"
This is the same Andre Ware who led his Houston team of the late 1980s and early 1990s to some of the most lopsided victories in college football history.
Here are a few examples (thanks to Baby Tate for providing these scores!).
Houston 69 UNLV 0
Houston 65 Temple 7
Houston 66 Baylor 10
Houston 55 TCU 10
Houston 47 Texas 9
Houston 64 Rice 0
Houston 95 SMU 21
Please remind me again, Andre: How exactly do you of all people classify 45-10 as "running it up"?
Ware is employed by the same network (ESPN) that posted the following headlines on their college football homepage a few weeks back.
"Buckeyes edge Purdue 16-3" and "Georgia rolls over Tennessee 26-14."
Unless I'm crazy, it sure seems like Ohio State was being slighted for ONLY beating (2-3) Purdue by 13 points with a freshman QB still learning the ropes I might add, but Georgia was being praised for a 12-point victory over a Tennessee team that was also (2-3) at that time and had been waxed by UCLA, who themselves, had been waxed by BYU.
In addition, ESPN Page 2 writer Tim Keown wrote a critical article about the Buckeyes' "garbage-time scoring," and that is the main reason I am now writing this article.
You can read his original story by clicking here, and then you'll know why I'm so fired up!
In the Buckeyes' victory over greatly improved Minnesota, Ohio State was leading 34-6 when they took their foot off the gas, so to speak, and replaced the starters. The final score of the game ended up 34-21.
The poll voters responded by moving the Bucks up from No. 12 to No. 11 while moving up teams like Florida, USC, and Georgia up at least three slots each after they ran up the score in their games that same week.
After losing to unranked Ole Miss in Week Four, Florida dropped to No. 13. Since then, they have won five straight games, all in blowout fashion, and are now ranked third. While LSU and Georgia were both ranked in the top 25, both also were obviously overrated because of the SEC love-fest ESPN has created.
The headlines when Florida, USC, or Texas Tech scores 50+ points usually include the words dominating performance or blowout. These teams have received high praise for their high-powered offense and have made no apologies, nor been asked to, for scoring and scoring often.
So why now are the Buckeyes being criticized for scoring two touchdowns in the last nine minutes in a 45-10 win?
Where's the praise for them? Northwestern (7-3) was ranked No. 24, and they do have a decent team, so why do other teams get put on a pedestal while Ohio State gets the red-headed step-child treatment?
Did anyone else notice that No. 13 Georgia struggled to a four-point win over unranked Kentucky while No. 12 Ohio State thumped No. 24 Northwestern by five scores, yet when the new polls were released, Georgia jumped ahead of the Buckeyes to No. 10 and Ohio State barely moved up to No. 11?
Please explain that to me!
That really gets me worked up. It won't matter in terms of a possible BCS Bowl bid since only two teams max can be invited from any one conference, but it's just the whole principle of how Ohio State is disrespected by the media as a whole, even when they win convincingly.
But I now digress.
If you know anything about Jim Tressel, you know he doesn't run up the score. He's a class guy, win or lose.
Just last year in Ohio State's 14-3 win over hated archrival Michigan, Tressel had the offense take a knee inside the Michigan five-yard line with just a few seconds remaining.
Woody Hayes rolled over in his grave, but that's the difference between Hayes and Tressel, and quite honestly the one reason some have been critical of Tressel. He lacks the killer instinct and utter disdain for the opposition (especially The School Up North, or TSUN as Woody called them) that Hayes had.
Tressel even winced as if he were passing a large kidney stone when Herron broke no less than five tackles on his way to the end zone as the clock ran down.
You can't blame a backup RB for wanting to score and giving it his all either. Every single person reading this would have done the exact same thing if they could have.
Isn't a game 60 minutes long and not 50 or 58?
Aren't fans that sometimes pay ridiculous ticket prices deserving of seeing football for an entire 60 minutes?
Sure, Tressel could have just had 3rd-string QB Joe Bauserman take a knee, but Northwestern should have tackled the guy, period. The touchdown was a fluke, and I know Tressel felt bad about it, but since when did this become the official sport of the "Mercy Rule" anyway?
The bottom line here is that, unfortunately, style points weigh freshly on the voters' minds each week, and whether or not Ohio State intentionally "ran up the score" on the Wildcats, it's the nature of the beast. Like the old cliché says:
"If you don't like it, stop them!"
And to ESPN:
If it's OK for USC and Florida, etc., it's OK for everyone!
When in Rome...
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This story was also previously featured on www.BlockONation.com
Former OSU QB Kirk Herbstreit is sadly the ESPN ringleader of slurping the SEC...just watch!
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