Bowls turn into track meets
All of this scoring can be fun, but after a while it’s just not as impressive when it seems like everyone is doing it. After West Virginia dismantled Clemson 70-33 last night, the whole bowl system looks even more ridiculous. Perhaps if these games meant something we’d see some more defense.
I think it’s a joke that Alabama gets a rematch with LSU in the National Championship game, but at least those teams know something about how to play defense.
Posted in: College Football
Tags: Alabama, BCS, BCS controversy, BCS corrupt, BCS corruption, BCS defenders, BCS flaws, BCS mockery, BCS money, BCS reforms, BCS scenarios, BCS unfair, busting the BCS, Clemson, college football defense, college football playoff system, college football scoring, idiotic BCS, LSU, NCAA football playoffs, reforming the BCS, West Virginia
SEC has a day only the SEC could survive
An annual tradition in the south is the second-to-last week of the regular season, where many SEC teams get another filling of cupcakes. Why this happens, I’m not sure. But it does, and since the SEC conference slate is so challenging, nobody ever says anything about it.
The fact that the SEC teams usually romp their foes also helps in keeping any national attention off of them. Today, however, wasn’t the SEC’s finest day. Even though none of their teams were upset, none looked all that great against teams you normally only hear about in the first two weeks of September.
Florida defeated Furman 54-32, but needed a 17-0 fourth quarter to do so. Alabama and its vaunted defense gave up more points than it had all season (21) to Georgia Southern, and had a 24-14 halftime lead. Auburn clung to a 14-10 halftime lead against Samford before winning 35-16.
These results shouldn’t be considered high crimes, as every team should be afforded a bad day throughout the season as long as it can hold on and win. But one has to wonder what the national conversation would be if any of the other automatic qualifier conferences would have had a similar day. My guess is there would have been plenty of bashing.
It certainly would have hurt the case for any of those leagues to possibly have two teams in the national championship game. Not the SEC, however, which will come out of this completely unscathed.
And while we’re here, the idea of a rematch for the national title is absurd for several reasons. First off, Alabama’s loss to LSU will essentially mean nothing. The Crimson Tide can get to the title game despite not winning their division, having a loss at home, and possibly owning a single win against a ranked opponent (Arkansas) if Penn State can’t remain in the top 25.
Do I think Alabama and LSU are the country’s top two teams? Yes, actually, I do. But I — and a lot of others — thought Ohio State and Michigan were the top two teams in 2006, and that didn’t turn out so well. The point is, we’ll never know thanks to the absence of a playoff and weak schedules (outside of LSU) that don’t give us an idea how the conferences stack up against each other.
Rueben Randle helps LSU torch Auburn
Watch Rueben run. That’s basically what the Auburn defense did best today, as Rueben Randle caught 5 passes for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns in top-ranked LSU’s 45-10 thrashing of Auburn. Randle caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Lee and a 42-yard scoring pass from Jordan Jefferson.
LSU has had mini-scandals all season with players getting suspended for games, but the Tigers keep brushing off these distractions. For this game against Auburn, LSU was without stud corner Tyrann Mathieu, leading rusher Spencer Ware and defensive back Tharold Simon. The defense didn’t miss a beat as they held Auburn to only ten points.
Now LSU gets a bye week next week and then they’ll face Alabama for one of the biggest games of the year on November 5th.
Posted in: College Football, News
Tags: Auburn, college football mess, college football scandals, Jarrett Lee, Jordan Jefferson, LSU, LSU scandals, LSU suspensions, LSU vs Auburn, NCAA, NCAA absurdity, NCAA football mess, NCAA sanctions, NCAA scandals, Rueben Randle, Spencer Ware, Tharold Simon, Tyrann Mathieu
Who needs offense? LSU crushes Oregon
LSU may have come into tonight’s game with Oregon missing its starting quarterback and wide receiver because of suspensions, but that didn’t matter. The LSU defense and special teams were more than enough in LSU’s 40-27 win.
It’s a real nice victory for LSU and the SEC (again). It’s a tough loss for Oregon, which is about to get the Ohio State label draped on it when it comes to big games. The Ducks, as it turns out, aren’t that difficult to defend if you have some time to prepare for them.
In their last three big-time nonconference games — Ohio State, Auburn and LSU — the Ducks offense hasn’t been anywhere near the explosive unit that it is during the season. People that are smarter than I am on Twitter claim it’s because what Oregon does is actually pretty simple, and when you have the athletes to match up with it, all you have to do is play assignment football.
That being said, shutting down Oregon is quite an accomplishment, and LSU’s defense won’t face many offenses that are more explosive. They’ll face different and more balanced offenses (Darron Thomas is woefully inadequate in the passing game), but not many that can do what the Ducks can.
It plays in the SEC West, so LSU has a hell of a lot of work to do in order to play for the title this year, but this was a huge hurdle, especially considering the suspensions. It was an even bigger hurdle for the SEC, which may have just guaranteed itself a spot in the title game again.
Les Miles very nearly sealed his own fate and other Saturday thoughts
There have been rumblings in Louisiana that Les Miles has worn out his welcome as coach at LSU. Some have written this off as ridiculous — “He won a national title in 2007!” — but Saturday night was a harsh reminder of why the LSU faithful have lost a lot of, um, faith, in Miles.
The Tigers survived Saturday night in a 30-24 win against half of North Carolina’s team. And it really wasn’t even the good half. Worse still is that LSU very nearly blew a 30-10 lead in the fourth quarter to do it.
Give a lot of credit to the North Carolina players who know the NCAA rules. They played with a lot of heart down the stretch and were two dropped passes and a probably-missed pass interference call away from winning a game nobody gave them a chance in.
But the story here is Miles and the Tigers nearly blowing the game. The Tigers failed to put the game away, and star defensive back Patrick Peterson’s postgame quote said a ton. When asked why he wasn’t on the field for a 97-yard touchdown pass that gave North Carolina life, Peterson responded, “I guess he thought we had a comfortable lead.”
The “he” in that sentence is defensive backs coach Ron Cooper, but how does that decision not go through Miles? If it doesn’t, it should. The head coach doesn’t need to micro-manage his assistants, but he does need to make sure his best players are on the field while the game is still in any kind of doubt. Miles needs to at the very least contend for an SEC title this year, or it could be his last.
Now some other thoughts on the first Saturday of college football. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in: College Football
Tags: Brian Kelly, Florida Gators, Garrett Gilbert, Jacksonville State, John Brantley, Les Miles, Les Miles nearly blows it, LSU, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Texas Longhorns