Week 10 is all about the little guys … and a couple of big ones
Today is a big day for TCU and Utah, as they get to prove themselves to a national audience in a huge game between top five teams.
Oh. Wait. This game is somehow not on any kind of normal television. I keep hearing CBS College Sports Network, which does nothing for me because I have a digital basic package. I figured Versus was going to bail me out, but nope. Versus is showing us the very important and very sought after Princeton vs. Penn game. I’d rather watch those two schools square off in quiz bowl. OK, that’s a lie. I don’t want to see that either.
Luckily for TCU and Utah, there’s a lot of hype around the game, meaning the winner will get some preferential treatment in the polls just by the final score. Not to mention the fact that TCU is being listed at No. 3 (its BCS ranking) and Boise at No. 4, while the Broncos are actually No. 3 in the coaches poll and TCU is No. 4. A win by the Horned Frogs just may push them past Boise, if for no other reason than the coaches might have just figured they already were. Don’t you love the BCS? Read the rest of this entry »
Oregon is USC’s title game, and other Week 9 college football picks
With the prospect of a bowl game or a Pac-10 championship taken away from it before the season even began, USC’s football program has had to look elsewhere for motivation.
After a lackluster showing in early-season matchups against Hawaii, Virginia and Minnesota, and a loss at home to Washington, many wondered if the Trojans really even cared. A last-second loss at Stanford and a blowout of California, however, has shown that not only do the Trojans care, but they’re still a pretty darn good football team.
There was attrition at the school this offseason when the NCAA instituted a two-year bowl ban and a reduction in scholarships, but it’s still USC. It’s still the same team that has been bringing in top five recruiting classes year after year, and putting more five stars on the bench than many teams have seeing the field.
So now nobody’s thinking of the Trojans, as they cannot be a part of the title discussion themselves. They can severely alter the landscape today, though, and I’d imagine they’ll be real excited to try and take advantage of that opportunity. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in: College Football
Tags: Auburn Tigers, Baylor Bears, Iowa Hawkeyes, Michigan State Spartans, Mississippi Rebels, Missouri Tigers, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Oregon Ducks, Texas Longhorns, USC Trojans, Week 9 College Football Picks
2010 Big 12 College Football Preview: Oklahoma reclaims top spot
Here’s a quick and dirty look at how I see things playing out in the Big 12 this season:
In Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy, Trent Williams, Jermaine Gresham, Keenan Clayton, Brody Eldridge and Dominique Franks, there’s no doubt that the Sooners lost a ton of talent from last year. However, this season is all about two names: Landry Jones and DeMarco Murray. Jones filled in admirably when Bradford went down last season, throwing 26 touchdown passes and gaining valuable experience throughout the year. Murray’s health history is a major concern, but if he can stay upright he’s scary good. He’s more versatile than Adrian Peterson was in that he can catch the ball out of the backfield or beat teams as a rusher. He’s big, he’s fast and he can get north and south in a hurry. He’s also going to get a ton of opportunities to shine this year as both a runner and a pass-catcher and again, if he can stay healthy he has the ability to be one of the best backs in college football. Defensively, Bob Stoops’ team has good depth and while the loss of McCoy hurts, don’t forget that Jeremy Beal was fifth on the team in tackles last season and first in sacks with 11. The linebacker corps has a chance to be special thanks to redshirt freshman Tom Wort and sophomore Ronnell Lewis. I know many pundits still like Texas in the South, but with Landry, Murray and nine starters returning on offense, I think Oklahoma reclaims the conference this season.
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Posted in: College Football
Tags: 2010 Big 12 Preview, 2010 College Football Preview, Aldon Smith, Alexander Robinson, Austen Arnaud, Baylor Bears, Big 12, Blaine Gabbert, Bo Pelini, Bob Stoops, Brandon Weeden, Christine Michael, Colorado Buffaloes, Dan Hawkins, Daniel Thomas, DeMarco Murray, fire Dan Hawkins, Garrett Gilbert, Iowa State Cyclones, Jerrod Johnson, Kansas State Wildcats, Kendall Hunter, Landry Jones, Mack Brown, Missouri Tigers, Nebraska Cornuskers, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Robert Griffin, Rodney Stewart, Roy Helu, Scotty McKnight, taylor potts, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas Tech, Tommy Tuberville, Zac Lee
Duke outlasts Baylor, 78-71, for first Final Four since ’04
Talk about a pressure-packed game. Neither team led by more than seven points until the 1:36 mark when Lance Thomas followed up a Kyle Singler missed with a dunk and a foul to increase Duke’s lead from five to eight. The follow-up punctuated what was the difference in the game — Duke’s ability to hit the offensive glass. Thomas had eight of the Blue Devils’ 22 offensive rebounds. (Baylor had 16, so the disparity doesn’t seem so big, but five came in the final minute when the Bears were in full catch-up mode.)
Nolan Smith (29 points) and Jon Scheyer (20 points) carried Duke offensively on a night when Singler simply couldn’t buy a bucket. He went 0-10 from the field and turned the ball over four times. In fact, Scheyer scored all of his points from the three-point line (5-10) and the free throw line (5-5). Smith and Scheyer hit back-to-back threes down the stretch to give the Blue Devils a six-point lead with 2:37 to play. (I’m really looking forward to seeing what Smith can do as a full-time point guard next season.)
Duke shot 48% from 3PT, but just 11-38 (29%) from 2PT. This was a result of Baylor’s zone forcing Duke to take open yet uncomfortable shots from inside the arc. Duke was successful offensively when they hit a post player with a pass at the free throw line and that player (usually Mason Plumlee or Brian Zoubek) found the open three-point shooter.
LaceDarius Dunn led the Bears with 22 points, but had just six in the second half before a made three with 0:10 to play. This was something of a coming out party for Ekpe Udoh, who posted 18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and five blocks. Baylor hasn’t played on national television all that much so Udoh made the most of the opportunity.
In West Virginia, Duke will face a very similar team at the Final Four. The Mountaineers also like to play at a slow pace and have a pretty good 1-3-1 zone that will limit Duke’s playbook. One thing that this Duke team has that the last few teams have lacked is depth on the front line. In Zoubek, Thomas, and the Plumlee brothers, Duke has plenty of beef up front to battle down low. It should be a great game.
Photo from fOTOGLIF