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Thursday, December 16, 2010

College Football Re-alignment for 2011

Yup, it's that time of year again. 

It's time to look at what happened and what could/should/never will be.  I have once again, put together my regions.  I then looked at their records, giving weight to regional games and games against opponents in the "major" divisions and applied a promotion/demotion system.

There are a few changes from last  year..

1.  I added weight to wins against "major" opponents.  This would encourage, and does reward, games against good teams.  I was concerned that it may skew the numbers in favor of the AQ schools, but with a good number of At-Large teams in the "major" conferences, it does not appear to have thrown off the balance.

2. I adjusted the promotion system so that any team with a top 3 score regionally is promoted.  This did affect a few regions.  I feel that if a team can run off a 9 or 10 win season, they should have a chance to prove that they belong regardless of their region.  An example is the Southeast Region where these 8 teams were involved with the promotion.  As noted, the top 2 lines would have been the old system.

Promotion/Demotion
Auburn/Georgia Tech
Florida State/Clemson
South Carolina/South Mississippi
Central Florida/Georgia

I don't think there is anyone out there who would challenge those, with the exception of some Georgia fans.  However, I will take a conference champ against a midling bowl team anytime.  That is also an example of how the game weights did not skew in the favor of AQ's.

3. The biggest change I made was eliminated the need for a team to be in the "major" divisions to play in the tournament.  The Major/Minor distinction is still significant because it is where the strength of schedule comes into play.  With the added weight given to those games, it rewards teams for playing other teams who have solid programs.  However, looking at this year, if we blocked out the teams who were not in "major" divisions, several of the top teams would have been left out.  Among these are the following seeds in the tournament: 1, 5, 6, 10, 17, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, and 30.  That is 11 of the 32 who finished in the top half of their regions.  My earlier logic was a bit flawed, and the process has been adjusted to correct for it.

The final standings for this year show as

NORTHEAST
1ST: TEMPLE
2ND: CONNECTICUT
3RD: PENN STATE
4TH: SYRACUSE
SOUTHEAST
1ST: AUBURN
2ND: FLORIDA STATE
3RD: SOUTH CAROLINA
4TH: MIAMI
PACIFIC
1ST: OREGON
2ND: NEVADA
3RD: STANFORD
4TH: BOISE STATE
MOUNTAIN
1ST: TEXAS TECH
2ND: UTAH
3RD: ARIZONA STATE
4TH: UTEP
SOUTH CENTRAL
1ST: TCU
2ND: LSU
3RD: OKLAHOMA
4: HOUSTON
EASTERN
1ST: VIRGINIA TECH
2ND: NORTH CAROLINA STATE
3RD: ALABAMA
4TH; NORTH CAROLINA
CENTRAL
1ST: NEBRASKA
2ND: MISSISSIPPI STATE
3RD: NORTHERN ILLINOIS
4TH: MISSOURI
GREAT LAKES
1ST: MICHIGAN STATE
2ND: WISCONSIN
3RD: OHIO STATE
4TH: MIAMI, (OH)

These left us with the following match ups for the first round.



Result of games were obtained throuhg use of of WhatIFSports simulation engine.

ROUND 1

1. Auburn
vs.
32. North Carolina

This North Carolina team would be just the kind of team that would have a chance to ruin the Cam Newton victory lap, if it were whole.  As it is, it would be a good match up, if Cam weren't playing. This would be very similar to the SEC games that Auburn played in.  Carolina would score, Auburn would score last.  With Auburn's questionable secondary, this could have been a nice, national display for T.J. Yates to get himself in the draft conversation.  He had some rough times last year, but he has carried this team to a bowl after a number of his more ballyhooed teammates made drastic mistakes that cost the team dearly.  Auburn by 3.
8. Stanford
vs.
25. Boise State

Stanford may be the higher ranked team, but they would be in for the fight in this one.  I am not sure they are the more talented team, not that they have the best leader at QB.  Andrew Luck has a bit more talent than Kellen Moore, but he is no more accurate, nor gutsy than the lefty for Boise.  I see Stanford having to control the clock to have a chance because I don't think there is a secondary in the country that can cover the myriad of talented receivers the Broncos put out there.  I think Boise wins this one.  WhatIf agrees.  Boise by 10.

9. Oklahoma
vs.
24. Mississippi State

Mississippi State has had a fine season and coach Mullen has a great scheme that will work.  That said, they don't have the playmakers in that scheme yet for them to score with Sooners.  They would run the ball and try to keep it out of Landry's Jones' hands, but he would get it enough.  OU wins this one by 10+.

16. Temple
vs.
17. South Carolina

Temple has its best football team in its entire history right now.  What they don't have is the pair of playmakers that the Gamecocks do in Alshon Jeffries and Marcus Lattimore.  Temple would be game, but South Carolina wins by double digits.


13. Ohio State
vs.
20. Houston

Houston needs to make the jump to a major conference.  The Big 12 is sitting there with half of the old SWC just waiting for them to come play.  Until they do that, they will not be able to recruit the players that will let them hang with a team as loaded as Ohio State.  That is in a normal year, but you toss in Terrelle Pryor and an Buckeye team that feels like it has been overlooked nationally.  This is one where I and the simulator differed.  I have OSU winning big, but WhatIf has this as a statistical tossup with Houston having a slight edge.  Houston wins.

12. North Carolina State
vs.
21. Miami (OH)

This game is a bit tougher.  North Carolina State choked its way out of the ACC championship game after Florida State handed it to them on platter.  Miami (OH) backed its way into the MAC championship and pulled off a big upset against a more talented Northern Illinois team.  I expect that the Wolfpack will come out attacking and angry at themselves in this game.  WhatIF has Thomas Meriweather running wild against the WolfPack though with the Redhawks advancing.
5. Michigan State
vs.
28. Northern Illinois

This is odd to say, but I think that Northern Illinois may be faster than the Spartans.  That said, they are still the team that lost to Iowa State and Illinois.  Sparty will just run the ball right down their throats in this one.

4. TCU
vs.
29. Missouri

Now this would be a fun game.  Strength against strength with Missouri potent offense that sliced through their schedule against TCU's defense that shut down nearly everyone they played.  We do have one good measuring stick to use.  San Diego State.  Missouri played them early and won by 3, TCU played them late and won by 5.  I really want to go with Missouri here, but I think TCU is too balanced.

3. Oregon
vs.
30. Arizona State

For the uninformed, this looks like it would be a blow-out.  For those who take the time to do a wee bit of research, this game might just be fun.  The last time these 2 played it was a back forth for a good chunk with the Sun Devils moving the ball at will as Steven Threet threw for 387 yards.  However, the Ducks caused 7 turnovers, and you really can't give that offense extra chances.  The problem with that theory is, that game was pretty early in the season and Darron Thomas and Oregon's defense are both better now.  ASU would be hard pressed to stay within 11 again.

6. LSU
vs.
27. Syracuse

This is another of those games where the names on the Jerseys really stand out and beg for a prediction, but before you throw the OrangeMen under the bus, I want to point their game on October 23rd.  They beat West Virginia 19-14.  Now turn to LSU schedule and look at September 25th where they beat that same West Virginia team 20-14.  LSU was at home, Syracuse on the road.  That said, Syracuse is well coached, and tough.  They do not make mistakes, and they have blown away the expectations that were laid on them at the beginning of the year. BUT, they have trouble with teams who are committed to running the ball.  I would give them a puncher's chance, especially with LSU's relatively weak passing attack, but look for LSU to win by 7 or so in a bloody, smash-mouth game.

11. Wisconsin
vs.
22. Connecticut

This would be a great game for the football traditionalists out there.  These are physical teams that are built from the trenches out.  Both have Offensive Lines that dominated their conferences.  However the comparison of the 2 lines says a lot about these teams.  UConn is good, Wisconsin's is better with the Lombardi trophy winning Gabe Carimi leading the way.  Wisonsin is better at every position, and will load up against a UConn team with a negligible passing attack.  This one is ugly and over early.

14. Alabama
vs.
19. Utah

Utah is usually one of my favorite teams of the mid-majors.  They recruit well and have won enough that the PAC-10 came calling.  This is not one of their better teams though, and Bama is finishing this season mad after choking against rival Auburn.  Bama wins this one big and gets a little revenge.

15. Nebraska
vs.
18. Texas Tech

For some reason, the Cornhuskers and their faithful nation of red-clad followers feel that the Big 12 has given them a reason to be offended.  They are angry, and after losing to OU, they are embarrassed.  That is not good for the Red Raiders who were in trouble in this match up regardless.  I like what Tommy Tuberville is doing in Lubbock, but he just doesn't have the horses to run with Bo Pelini's blackshirts.

10. Florida State
vs.
23. Penn State

Bobby Bowden would love this game.  He would love this game because his Noles are starting to look like themselves again.  They were this close to an 11 win season and finished with 9 and wins against Miami and Florida.  They have big time speed, a veteran QB and the best pass rush in the country with talented, young corners behind it.  They are not perfect, but they will shred the Nittany Lions who have been inconsistent on offense all year long.  The last thing you want against a team that can pressure with 4 like the Noles can with ball hawking DB's behind it is to come at them without a veteran QB.  I have the Noles winning this by 2 TD's minimum. WhatIf disagrees on the spread, having it at just over a field goal.

7. Nevada
vs.
26. Miami

Nevada is a bit of a darling this year for the media aren't they?  They upset Boise and saved the BCS.  They have the best rushing tandem in the history of college football, a good coach, and a veteran defense, and there is no chance in hell that they can run with the Miami Hurricanes.  The Canes should have been better than they were this year.  Their only real weakness is a young offensive line, but Nevada is not Florida State, nor are they Virginia Tech.  Leonard Hankerson is one of the more productive receivers to ever play for the Canes, and Nevada has no one who can cover him.  You toss in a solid rushing attack that won't have safeties in the box helping, and the Canes will score at will on Nevada.  And they won't get tired in the second half.  I have the Canes winning by plenty.  What If Disagress, having the Pack win in OT

2. Virginia Tech
vs.
31. UTEP

This is the hottest team in a bowl against the coldest team in a bowl.  UTEP is a nice story, and probably can be considered and up-and-coming team, but this is an ugly matchup.  Tyrod Taylor is playing assistant OC by the time the 4th quarter starts.


ROUND 2

1. Auburn
vs.
25 Boise State

I know that there are lot of people out there who don't think that Boise is any good, but the people I know who really pay attention say the same thing.  The only thing Boise doesn't have is the experience and consistency of having played in the better conferences.  They are at least as talented as anyone else in the country, and WhatIF agrees.  Boise by 2 TD's in a shocker, as Kellen Moore exposes the Auburn secondary.

9. Oklahoma
vs.
17. South Carolina

South Carolina has some very nice players, but OU is an elite team when it comes to the talent they put on the field.  The only reason that they were a bit down over the past year or so, was the sudden, forced, transition to Landry Jones.  Well, Landry Jones is playing much more consistently, and the Sooner blow the Gamecocks on the field in this one.

20. Houston
vs.
21. Miami, OH

Houston is a team that should be chasing a spot in an AQ conference.  They were an SWC member who got left out in the cold, but they are still much better than the Redhawks.  Cougars by 2 TD's.

5. Michigan State
vs.
4. TCU

The Spartans are very game bunch, but TCU has the #1 defense in the country.  They show it, holding the Spartans down and winning by double digits.

3. Oregon
vs.
6. LSU

LSU hung around in the hunt for the BCS title game for a long time on the strength of their defense.  The problem is, no matter who they are playing, they can't score.  Oregon puts the biggest beatdown of the tournament so far on the Bayou Bengals.  Ducks by 27.

11. Wisconsin
vs.
14. Alabama

Wisconsin opened some eyes late in the year as they put up 70+ points twice in Big 10 play.  Well, Alabama is not a Big 10 bottom dweller as they go toe to toe with the Badgers.  This is one of the great games of the second round, with Bama winning on a late field goal.

15. Nebraska
vs.
10. Florida State

It had been awhile since these two schools had gotten together, and the stakes are always high when they do.  Both of these teams have young coaches who are on the way up, and coincidentally, they were on the LSU coaching staff together from 2005-2007.  Jimbo Fisher as OC and Bo Pelini as DC, and the talent and familiarity show in this game with the Huskers winning by a field goal in OT.

7. Nevada
vs.
2. Virginia Tech

Boy, what a week of football this would be.  Another field goal win in OT as Nevada is doing their damndest to prove that their upset of Boise should not have been such a shock.  In a smash mouth game, their veteran backfield leads the way to another OT win over a highly ranked opponent.  Nevada by 3 in overtime.



ROUND 3

25. Boise State
vs.
9. Oklahoma

Ok, now you find me a college football fan who wouldn't be intrigued by this matchup, and I'll find you a Commie Bastard.   Ok, so maybe that's a bit harsh, but a rematch of the epic overtime thriller that Boise won on a statue of liberty a few years back?  Now, that is a game worth seeing.  These are 2 of the most dynamic offenses in the country, and the lowest score by either offense in any of the simulations was 19.  OU is a nice team, but they are actually a hair behind the Broncos talent-wise.  Boise won 75% of the simulations and they win by a Touchdown over the Sooners.

20. Houston
vs.
4. TCU

In a matchup of 2 old Southwest conference rivals, two of the teams that got left out of the conference re-alignments show up to say that they still know how to play.  They do, but Houston reached its limit in this one.  TCU's defense kept their offense playing on a short field, and TCU dominated time of posession, keeping the electric Houston offense off the field.  TCU wins by 14.

3. Oregon
vs.
14. Alabama

Now, this is a great matchup.  The incredible speed and relentlessness of the Oregon attack against the punishing, physical Alabama Crimson Tide.  Both of these teams think they should be playing for a national title, and joy of joys, they get to earn their way by playing each other.  This is one of those games, that if it had been the matchup for the title game, noone would have complained one bit.   As for the actual, simulated, game.....Well Oregon basically makes you chase them until you get tired, and their defense does juts enough.  Well, Alabama is so stacked with talent they aren't going to get tired, and they have one of the top offenses themselves.  Bama by 8.

15. Nebraska
vs.
7. Nevada

This is a game is like David and Goliath, execpt they are both holding slings.  Both teams are run heavy, with star quarterbacks who can hit the home run.  Nebraska's D is much better than Nevada's, but that's not where the difference lies.  The key, like he has been to most of Nebraska's season, is Taylor Martinez.  If he plays, Nebraska wins by 22.  If he doesn't, they lose by a field goal.  Without him, their offense is just not as dynamic. With him on the field, they are always making positive plays.  As far as I know he is healthy, and I am going to say that the chance at a national title fixes what ails the Huskers internally.  Huskers win in a walk.



ROUND 4 (FINAL FOUR)

25. Boise State
vs.
4. TCU

Usually, I am up in arms when these 2 teams are faced off in a Bowl game.  Then again, usually, that is doneto protect the AQ teams from being exposed/learning the truth about these "mid-majors".  This one is for a birth in the national title game, and the team getting exposed is TCU.  Kellen Moore chewed them up, and the Boise State did the same to Andy Dalton.  Boise State follows Kellen's 300+ yard passing game to a 3 touchdown victory and a birth in the Title Game.

14. Alabama
vs.
15. Nebraska

Taylor Martinez is fast, but you can't just outrun the Alabama defense.  Greg McElroy makes a nice showing for himself as he steps out of the shadows of Greg Ingram a bit and throws for 350+ yards against the vaunted "Blackshirts" defense.  The Tide wins going away by 23.


Friday, December 10, 2010

2010 Bowl Predictions

IT'S FINALLY HERE!!!!

My favorite season of the year, full of family, friends, and banquets of Delicious, coma-inducing, food. 

Bowl Season.

It has gotten so huge that it raises the ire of non-fans.  It has gotten so huge that the NCAA's argument against the playoff system becomes more and more ludicrous.  It's gotten so huge that my DVR cannot hold it, and I could not be happier.

But regardless of happiness, let's see if I know as much as I think I do.

Here are my Bowl Predictions for the 2010 football season.

NEW MEXICO BOWL -  December 18th
BYU vs. UTEP

Why do we have a bowl game that the average football fan wouldn't even watch if they stumbled across it?  Both of these teams were barely bowl eligible out of conferences that were weak relative ot most of the country.    BYU lost 4 games by a combined 127 to 53 before getting into their Mountain West schedule.  And, on paper, they are the good team in this match up.  UTEP had a losing record in conference USA.  BYU did finish fairly strong but the only quality wins they have this year are home wins against Washington to start the season and a close win against San Diego State.  UTEP is 70th in scoring and 58th in scoring defense.  They should just cancel this one now.  That said, BYU should win this game.

HUMANITARIAN BOWL - December 18th
Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State

The Huskies were the class of the MAC until they lost in the championship game.  They are very good statistically, but one can't help but wonder how good they really are in a down year for the MAC.  They can score the ball though.  Fresno is in a down year, but managed a bowl game and a decent record including a win against Illinois to end the year, the same Illinois team that beat the Huskies earlier this year.  Look for a lot of points out of this match up with Fresno following Robbie Rouse to a bowl victory.

NEW ORLEANS BOWL - December 18th
Troy vs. Ohio

My good lord, but it is hard to give a crap about this game?  Ok, what can I come up with?  Well, Troy can score and always seems to out-recruit the other mid-major level teams.  Ohio only played one good team team all year and got drilled by Ohio State, but have only lost 1 game since struggling through the first month of the season.  I am thinking Troy, but that's more about the players they have had recently than anything this year because, frankly there was no reason to watch either of these teams this year.  Why are they in a bowl again?


ST. PETERSBURG BOWL - December 21st
Louisville vs. Southern Mississippi

Charlie Strong is one of the up-and-coming rockstars of the coaching profession after leaving the Gators to become head coach at Louisville.  He has them running the ball and playing good defense, but they need one of their two QB's to get healthy in time to be 100%.  Southern Miss is the better team, and if they can carry over their hot play as of late, this could be a comfortable win for them.


LAS VEGAS BOWL - December 22nd
Utah vs. Boise State

This is crap.  Everyone in the country wants to see how Boise State matches up against an AQ team, and Utah is not that team yet.  Boise will win this game going away with their defense coming out motivated after costing them a shot at the BCS by caving against Nevada.

POINSETTIA BOWL - December 23rd
San Diego State vs. Navy

I am really excited to see this game.  San Diego State is an up-and-coming team with an explosive offense, and Navy is a really solid football team with a dynamic veteran QB.  Look for Ricky Dobbs and Navy to do their damndest to keep the Aztecs off the field.  This should be a tight, tight game.  I give The Aztecs about a touchdown edge with this basically being a home team.


HAWAII BOWL - December 24th
Tulsa vs. Hawaii

This is going to be the longest game of the season.  Neither of these teams likes to run, they will throw it all over the field.  Over under is probably 70+.

I can't wait, and I give the Warriors the edge.


LITTLE CAESAR'S BOWL - December 26th
Toledo vs. Florida International

Why?  Why do we have to suffer through these crappy games.  I wouldn't watch this game if it was during the regular season.  Why on earth would anyone watch it now?

INDEPENDENCE BOWL - December 27th
Georgia Tech vs. Air Force

This is going to be the shortest game of the bowl season.  This could legitimately be a game without 25 passing attempts.  If you love old school, option football, you are going to love this game.  These are 2 well-coached teams who live an die with option football.

I give Air Force the edge, but that may change if Josh Nesbitt gets back in time to play in this game and is healthy enough to have his normal impact.


CHAMP SPORTS BOWL - December 28th
North Carolina State vs. West Virginia

This game is going to come down to whether the West Virginia defense can continue their ball-hawking ways against Russell Wilson.  If Wilson can protect the ball, I think the Mountaineers are going to be in trouble.  But the Pack is going to need every possession to count because the Mountaineers can score in bunches.  Jock Wilson is a big time athlete on the outside for West Virginia. 

I think the Mountaineers have the edge, but it's close.


INSIGHT BOWL - December 28th
Iowa vs. Missouri

Iowa is a mess right now.  This has been a disappointing season and they just lost their best receiver to drug charges.  Missouri is too good to play against short-staffed.  The Tigers need to run away with this one to take that next step in national recognition.

I think they will do just that.


EAGLEBANK BOWL - December 29
Maryland vs. East Carolina

I really love the East Carolina offense.  The problem is, everyone else loves their defense.  They gave up 70 points to Navy and are in a bowl game.  There is something seriously wrong with that.  Maryland finished strong, and will continue that momentum against the Pirates.

TEXAS BOWL - December 29th
Illinois vs. Baylor

This is a really intriguing game as both of these teams played a ton of bowl teams this year, with Illinois going 4-3 and Baylor going 2-5 you might think that Illinois has the advantage.  I disagree.  They are going to be hard pressed to deal with Robert Griffin.  The Bears had a letdown after becoming bowl-eligible, but that game is here now, and they are going to be ready to go.  Look for them to put up a big number.

ALAMO BOWL - December 29th
Oklahoma State vs. Arizona

This is going to be one of most fun games of the year.  These are 2 of the best passing attacks in the country with the Bilentnikoff winner on one side and one of the best QB's in the country on the other.  Arizona is going to have to break 40 to win, which they won't do.  It is going to be a fun one though.


ARMED FORCES BOWL -  December 30th
SMU vs. Army

Talk about dichotomy in a football game.  June Jones against Army's airless attack.  Army needs to keep their offense on the field to have a chance.

They won't.


PINSTRIPE BOWL -  December 30th
Syracuse vs. Kansas State

This game is about 2 teams who are on the way back.  They over-achieved by playing solid defense and running the ball.  The difference will come down to who is further along in their recruiting.  K-State can't throw it much, but they are stacked when it comes to running the ball.  Look for Collin Klein and Daniel Thomas to wear the Orange out and give Bill Snyder another bowl win.


MUSIC CITY BOWL - December 30th
North Carolina vs. Tennessee

Tennessee just backed out of a series with the Tar Heels, and there is a reason.  The Heels have shown the quality of Butch Davis' recruiting this year, and the Vols have not restocked yet.

Look for Carolina to play SEC style football and stomp Tennessee.


HOLIDAY BOWL - December 30th
Washington vs. Nebraska

Really?  Why are we doing this again?  Huskers by 25.

MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL - December 31st
Clemson vs. South Florida

As talented as these teams are, I didn't even know their were bowl eligible.  Uhm, Clemson?  I guess.  They have to put it together at some point this year.
SUN BOWL -  December 31st
Notre Dame vs. Miami

Man, this just looks rights to see these names on the marquee.  The Canes are more talented, but it will be interesting to see how they respond to Randy Shannon getting fired.  That said, I expect their pride to show through.  Canes by 11.

LIBERTY BOWL - December 31st
Central Florida vs. Georgia

This is an intriguing game.  These 2 teams will go as far as their young QB's can take them.  Godfrey is still a relative unknown in most college football circles, but he is a serious dual-threat talent.  Aaron Murray is more of a pure passer, but is a fine athlete in his own right.  Since getting AJ Green back, the Dawgs have been awfully good, and they will have him for this game.

I don't think the Knights can cover him.


PEACH BOWL - December 31st
Florida State vs. South Carolina

Though they are disappointed to be here, this is a really exciting game for both of these teams.  They get the chance to win a big time game which will really launch them into the new year and the upcoming recruiting battles.  I think it comes down to this, if the Noles D-Line can get to Stephen Garcia, the Noles win.  The Cocks are going to try to set up play action, but the Noles pressure with 4, which makes them less susceptible.  You can look at the Miami game to see what they want to do.  If you can hit Garcia, he falls apart.  If you don't hit him, he will kill you throwing the ball to Alshon Jeffry.

The Noles need to rediscover the explosive running attack that carried them earlier this year as well.

I am biased for my Noles, so I am going to abstain on a prediction, but I am really looking forward to this match up.


DALLAS FOOTBALL CLASSIC - January 1st
Northwestern vs. Texas Tech

Texas Tech is going to drill Northwestern.

OUTBACK BOWL - January 1st
Penn State vs. Florida

Uhm....yuck.

The Gators in a bad place, but they are so much more athletic than the Nittany Lions.  Look for the defenses to dominate this game, and the Gators' D is better.


CAPITAL ONE BOWL - January 1st\
Michigan State vs. Alabama

Michigan State is well coached and tough, but this is Bama guys.  The Crimson Tide is proud, and didn't reach their goals this year.  Look for them to take it out on Sparty.

GATOR BOWL - January 1st
Michigan vs. Mississippi State

This is going to be a meeting of 2 of the best minds coaching the Spread offense that you are going to see.  I think Mullen and MSU has the advantage everywhere except QB.  I like the Bulldogs in a shootout.


ROSE BOWL - January 1st
Wisconsin vs. TCU

I really want TCU to win this, but Wisconsin has probably been the best team in the country the last 2 months.  That said, if there is a D that can deal with their red-hot offense, it's TCU.  Look for the Horned Frogs to come out mad and for Andy Dalton to have a career game.  I am not sure why, but I have a feeling.

FIESTA BOWL - January 1st
Oklahoma vs. Connecticut

Really?  Stoops is going to grind his boot into Randy Edsall's team.  UConn is tough and well coached, and they can really run the ball.  However, there aren't many teams who can run like the Sooners can, and Landry Jones has been really good the last half of the year, against better teams than the Huskies.

ORANGE BOWL - January 3rd
Virginia Tech vs. Stanford

This is a game that I am really looking forward to.  Both of these teams are very well coached, with great QB's at the helm.  I think that Va. Tech is more talented top to bottom, but Andrew Luck has that offense clicking.  Look for Va. Tech's running attack to be the deciding factor.  If they can run the ball on Stanford, there is no way the Cardinal will slow down Tyrod Taylor.  If they can't, the Cardinal will slowly wear the Hokie defense down.  That said, since week 2, no one has been as consistently good as Va. Tech outside of those guys headed to Glendale.


SUGAR BOWL - January 4th
Arkansas vs. Ohio State

You think Ryan Mallett is looking forward to this after starting his career at Michigan?  I am really high on Arkansas, but Ohio State is just loaded with talent from top to bottom.  I think the difference is Bobby Petrino.  He is willing to take the risks that give his players room to make plays.  Look for Mallett to bring Arkansas through in a tough game.

GODADDY.COM BOWL - January 6th
Miami (Ohio) vs. Middle Tennessee State

Why is MTSU in a bowl game?  As much as I love watching Dasher play ball, he is not good this year, and neither is his team.

COTTON BOWL -  January 7th
Texas A&M vs. LSU

LSU is much more talented, but they do not play as well as a team.  I love this game as an old rivalry match up and will be rooting for the Aggies.  That said, the Tigers are going to be ready.  Les Miles knows how to coach up for a big game.

BIRMINGHAM BOWL - January 8th
Pittsburgh vs. Kentucky

This is a mess.  Wannstedt is fired, Hartline is arrested.  Look for Dion Lewis to carry Pitt in a pride game.  After all, how else are we going to get overly-excited about them for next year if they lose?

FIGHT HUNGER BOWL - January 9th
Boston College vs. Nevada

Nevada by 20.  This match up is crap.  BC is tough, and played their way in after a tough start, but Nevada was a 15 team with a record setting backfield and a gutsy defense.  They just had the best year in their program's history and they are playing against BC in the Fight Hunger Bowl. I just threw up in my mouth a little.



BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME -  January 10th
Auburn Tigers      vs.    Oregon Ducks

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cam Newton ruled eligible

The NCAA ruled Cam Newton eligible today.

They did this after confirming that his father had shopped his services.  I am not surprised that they were able to confirm that he was doing it.  The evidence was mounting and hell, who can blame him?

This kid's talent is worth millions of dollars to the school that gets him, especially a team like Mississippi State which proved itself to be a second level bowl team which would have had a shot a big step forward.

I have a few questions about what happened here and will happen.

1. Do people really think that Auburn didn't pay this kid?  It's not like they aren't known for stretching the rules to the breaking point.  They have had several infractions over the years, including some so serious that they were without scholarships and bowl eligibility for a couple years not that long ago.

I have it from a good source that when Rudi Johnson transferred to Auburn, he showed up in a new Navigator with coolers of Corona's to pay the local boys who had befriended him at Butler County Community College.  Rudi was a nice player, but nothing like Cam Newton.  If he's worth a 50k SUV 10 years ago, Cam Newton is worth a couple hundred thousand.

2. Is the NCAA thinking that they can come back later and take wins away like what happened with Reggie Bush?  You should just declared the kid eligible after proving that violations occurred in his recruiting.  It's over for this year.  If you come back later, you are going to prove yourself to be dastardly hypocrites.  Course, that's not really new.