BCS National Title Game '11

BCS National Title Game '11
BCS National Championship 1/10/11 Oregon vs Auburn

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

College Football: Week 5 matchups to watch

Not a big slate of games this weekend, but you just never know who will pull the big upset this weekend. The big games of the weekend happen to be in the Big Ten. The more important Big Ten game happens to be #14 Ohio State at #20 Michigan State. The Ohio State Buckeyes are looking to get revenge on the road after losing last year at home 10-7. The other Big Ten game is Wisconsin traveling to Lincoln to take on #22 Nebraska. Other games include a Thursday night showdown between #8 Stanford and Washington and one of only two top 25 matchups this weekend between #25 Baylor and #9 West Virginia.

This week of College Football will be a real treat for me. I will be up in Seattle to see two games in three days at CenturyLink Field. On Thursday night, I will watch #8 Stanford take on Washington. This game could be very interesting. The Cardinal are coming off a bye week after their big win over USC. Washington is also coming off a bye week. We will see if the Huskies can pull off the upset. On Saturday night, it will be my #2 Oregon Ducks taking on Mike Leach and his Washington State Cougars. The Ducks are coming off a big home win over Arizona 49-0. Washington State comes in limping after being upset in the last few seconds of the game to Colorado. The Ducks look explosive as ever right now, and this game could get brutal for the Cougars.

#8 Stanford @ Washington  9:00 PM ET ESPN
#2 Oregon @ Washington State  10:30 PM ET ESPN2  

ESPN College GameDay will be live from East Lansing, MI (Live at 10:00 AM ET)

matchup: #14 Ohio State @ #20 Michigan State  

Thursday, Sept. 27th

1. #8 Stanford @ Washington  9:00 PM ET ESPN

- Stanford has had time to rest with a bye week after upsetting the Trojans two weeks ago 21-14. Washington is also coming off a bye week and looks to knock off the Cardinal for the first since 2007. Husky quarterback Keith Price has been consistent this season. He hasn't been flashy with 186.6 yards passing per game, four touchdowns, and one interception, but will improve as the season continues. Stanford's defense will play tough, but it is going to be interesting seeing Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes in his first road game as a starter. I'm not sold on running back Stepfan Taylor and the Cardinal offense yet. I think this is going to be closer than most people think and I feel Washington plays Stanford really tough. I smell upset on Thursday night in Seattle.

Pick: Washington 

Saturday, Sept. 29th

2. #25 Baylor @ #9 West Virginia  12:00 PM ET FX

- West Virginia is coming off a surprisingly tough 31-21 win over Maryland. Baylor beat the new Cinderella team of this season Louisiana-Monroe 47-42. This game is going to be a shootout. The mountaineers are currently third in the nation in passing yards per game and tenth in points per game. Quarterback Geno Smith has looked phenomenal along with his receiving core consisting of Tavon Austin, who had 13 receptions for 179 yards and three touchdowns against Maryland. The Bears on the other hand, rank fifth in passing yards per game and in points per game. Bear quarterback Nick Florence has played well this season after replacing Robert Griffin III. Florence has passed for about 335 passing yards per game and has thrown 11 touchdown passes. Expect a good game in Morgantown this Saturday.

Pick: West Virginia 

3. Minnesota @ Iowa  12:00 PM ET ESPN2

I can't believe I'm even saying this...the Golden Gophers are 4-0! The Minnesota Golden Gophers are off to their best start since 2008. If they can take down a weak Iowa Hawkeye team this weekend, it will be the first time they have won their first five games of the season since 2004. Minnesota will most likely still not have their star quarterback MarQueis Gray back for this game, which could hurt their chances of winning. The Hawkeyes have been struggling this whole season to win ball games and the offense has looked atrocious. The loss this past weekend to Central Michigan put Head Coach Kirk Ferentz and his Hawkeyes in complete panic mode. Iowa desperately needs to win this game.

Pick: Iowa 

4. NC State @ Miami (FL)  12:00 PM ET ESPNU

- The U had a huge come from behind victory last weekend against Georgia Tech. NC State was challenged by a subpar UConn team in Week 2, and have played FCS teams these past two weeks. NC State quarterback Mike Glennon has looked solid since the Tennessee game in Week 1 and the defense has been only giving up 15.8 points per game. Miami has found new weapons on their offense, especially running back Mike James, who had four touchdowns against Georgia Tech. The explosiveness of running back Duke Johnson and wide receivers Phillip Dorsett and Davon Johnson will give the Wolfpack defense problems.

Pick: Miami (FL) 

5. Tennessee @ #5 Georgia  3:30 PM ET CBS

- Georgia looked tough last weekend beating Vanderbilt 48-3. Tennessee had a tough loss against the Florida Gators two weeks ago and struggled against MAC foe Akron until scoring a touchdown with 9:02 left in the fourth quarter. The Volunteers ended up winning the game 47-26. This is going to be an uphill battle for the Volunteers, as the Bulldog's offense and defense have been clicking on all cylinders since their big win at Missouri in Week 2. Tennessee's defense will need to play tough the whole game and not give up big plays like they did against Florida and Akron. Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray will need to be collected in the pocket and need to be able make good decisions when throwing the football. The Volunteers absolutely cannot make mistakes and turn the ball over to this tough Bulldog team.

Pick: Georgia

6. #14 Ohio State @ #20 Michigan State  3:30 PM ET ABC

- The Spartans went into Columbus last season and shutout out the Buckeyes until they scored a touchdown with ten seconds remaining in the game. The Spartans won 10-7. It will be a lot different this season with head coach Urban Meyer at the helm. The Buckeyes and Spartans both struggled this past weekend with Eastern Michigan and UAB, but eventually pulled away late in the fourth quarter. Both defenses have played well for the most part this season, and it will come down to the offenses in this game. The Spartans running game is good with physical runner Le'Veon Bell, but I give Ohio State the advantage on offense because of quarterback Braxton Miller. I can see this being a close game and the Buckeyes winning by six points.

Pick: Ohio State 

7. #12 Texas @ Oklahoma State  7:50 PM ET FOX

- Let's see if Texas becomes the next highly ranked team to be upset on FOX. The Longhorns have not looked this good in three years. The Longhorns rank 13th in the nation in rushing yards and seventh in points per game. Longhorn quarterback David Ash has established himself as the starter by passing for seven touchdowns and no interceptions. The Longhorn defense has only given up an average of 16 points per game. The Cowboys were upset by Arizona in Week 2 59-38, but they bounced back against Louisiana-Lafayette 65-24. The Cowboys are ranked in the top six in passing yards, rushing yards, and points per game. We'll see how explosive the Cowboys offense can be as they play one of the best defenses in the Big 12.

Pick: Texas 

8. Wisconsin @ #22 Nebraska  8:00 PM ET ABC

- Last season, Wisconsin obliterated Nebraska in Madison 48-17. This season, the Cornhuskers have the upper hand with an improved quarterback in Taylor Martinez and a solid running back in Rex Burkhead. Burkhead returned from his injury against Idaho State and had eight carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns. The Husker defense is not as talented this season, but they should be just fine against a Badger offense that has looked bad in all four of their games. Wisconsin running back Montee Ball's status is unknown. The Badgers will also have inexperienced freshman quarterback Joel Stave starting in a hostile Memorial Stadium. The Huskers are going to take control of the game in the second half and win convincingly.

Pick: Nebraska

9. #18 Oregon State @ Arizona  10:00 PM ET Pac-12 Network

- The Beavers are 2-0 and both were big wins for the program. The Wildcats were dismantled this past weekend against Oregon 49-0. The Beaver's defense has been good and have shutdown two of the elite running backs in the country Montee Ball and Johnathan Franklin. The Beaver offense has speed and this is going to cause problems for a thin Arizona defense. We'll also see if Wildcat quarterback Matt Scott can bounce back after throwing three interceptions against Oregon. This will be a close call in the desert on Saturday night.

Pick: Oregon State

10. #2 Oregon @ Washington State (Seattle, WA) 10:30 PM ET ESPN2

- Washington State lost to a bad Colorado team this past weekend in the remaining seconds of the game. Oregon is coming off a big 49-0 victory over Arizona. The Ducks are so much faster and physically stronger than the Cougars. If the Cougars want a chance to even stay in this game they must prevent big Oregon plays. Trying to contain QB Marcus Mariota, RB Kenjon Barner, WR De'Anthony Thomas, and TE/RB Colt Lyerla is going to be a big task for a defense this has given up an average of 28 points per game this season. The Ducks win big in this one.

Pick: Oregon 

Monday, September 24, 2012

College Football Week 4 Recap

My Overall Record: 25-15
My record in Week 4: 6-4   losses: Oregon State over UCLA, Rutgers over Arkansas,
                                                       Notre Dame over Michigan, Kansas State over Oklahoma

Best Game from Week 4: Miami (FL) 42, Georgia Tech 36 (OT)

I want to first start out by saying that I originally picked Kansas State to beat Oklahoma, but felt that was way to risky of a pick. Turns out I was wrong, and FOX had their third upset in three weeks. Texas better watch out for Oklahoma State this upcoming weekend, because the FOX network is dangerous for highly ranked teams. Kansas State is officially in the national picture now and Collin Klein has officially entered into the Heisman discussion. Notre Dame's fierce defense converted five interceptions, four of which were passes by Denard Robinson. The Irish finally beat the Wolverines after four years 13-6. #2 LSU was in a barnburner with a 1-2 Auburn team and had to win it on the last play of the game. LSU won 12-10. The #4 Florida State Seminoles won in a high scoring affair with the #10 Clemson Tigers 49-37. The #3 Oregon Ducks put on one of their best defensive performances in years, as they held the #22 Arizona Wildcats out of the end zone six times when they were in the redzone and won 49-0. It was the first time the Ducks had shutout the Wildcats since 1964. Lastly, SEC East Division teams Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina won convincingly over Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Missouri.

What we learned from Week 3: 

The Big Ten may have a team with four losses in the Rose Bowl this season.

- The Big Ten is so weak this season, and I can't even imagine what is going to happen when conference play begins this upcoming weekend. Michigan looked terrible against Notre Dame this past weekend giving up six turnovers. Iowa lost to Central Michigan in dramatic fashion by giving up nine points in a matter of 42 seconds. The Chippewas kicked a 42 yard field goal with three seconds remaining to upset the Hawkeyes 32-31. Louisiana Tech went into Champaign and put a licking on the Fighting Illini 52-24. Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State all struggled to beat non-automatic qualifier teams. What does this tell us about the Big Ten? The conference is completely up for grabs. There is a possibility that everyone will beat up on each other as the season goes on.

Don't overlook the Oregon State Beavers.

- The Beavers have only played two games, but have defeated two ranked teams. Wisconsin and UCLA may not be some of the best teams in the country, but this is huge for a team that wasn't projected to do anything this season. The Beaver defense has looked tough in both games. The defense held UCLA's Johnathan Franklin to just 45 rushing yards this past weekend. The offense consisting of quarterback Sean Mannion and wide receivers Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks has been good too. Mannion passed for 379 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception against the Bruins. Wheaton had nine receptions for 150 yards and one touchdown. Cook's speed also killed the Bruins, as he had six receptions for 175 yards and one touchdown. Beware of the Beavers this season. Oregon State will travel to Tucson this upcoming weekend to take on Arizona.

Arkansas's season is officially over.

- Arkansas was playing well and was up 10-0 after the first quarter, then it fell apart. Quarterback Tyler Wilson passed for an impressive 419 yards and three touchdown receptions, but threw two interceptions. Between losing three games and interim head coach John L. Smith's off the field issues with his $25.6 million debt, the season has turned into a nightmare for the Razorbacks. Arkansas now begins SEC play and will travel to take on old Southwest Conference rival Texas A&M this Saturday. The Razorbacks could potentially lose their last five of eight games this season.

The Oregon Duck's defense showed what it can do.

- The Ducks dismantled Arizona 49-0 Saturday night. The Duck defense looked shaky at times this season, as they gave up a combined 73 points to Arkansas State, Fresno State, and Tennessee Tech. The defense looked great against Arizona as they held the Wildcats to no points in all six of their  redzone possessions. They also had four interceptions with two resulting in touchdowns. Sophomore cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu had two of the interceptions with one going for a touchdown and senior linebacker Kiko Alonso had one interception and nine total tackles. This is the first time the Ducks have had a conference game shutout since 2003.

An SEC East Division is going to contend for the conference title.

- Everyone was downplaying the talent level of the SEC East Division and simply focused on the always difficult West Division. The SEC East looks stronger then ever after this past weekend with South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia winning big over SEC opponents. The team that has impressed me the most are the Florida Gators. Their defense has been solid all season long and now the offense is starting to click. The Gators have joined the Bulldogs and Gamecocks for the SEC East Division title run.

Florida State is for real.

- The Seminoles won a very important game this past weekend against Clemson 49-37. Seminole quarterback EJ Manuel was impressive passing for 380 yards and two touchdowns. Manuel also rushed for 102 yards. One of the breakout players this season has been senior running back Chris Thompson. Thompson had 15 carries for 150 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday night. The Noles should be in good shape to win the ACC now. Their only other difficult conference game is at Virginia Tech on November 8th. The Noles do play their last game of the season at home against in-state rival Florida, and that could be important for national title implications.

Kansas State is officially in the hunt for the Big 12 title.

- Kansas State proved that they are in it to win it this season. Kansas State upset Oklahoma on the road 24-19. The Wildcats don't play exciting football , but they know how to win ball games. Quarterback Collin Klein is so valuable to his team and is taking this team to a new level. Running back John Hubert was a force to be reckoned with on Saturday night as he rushed for 130 yards and the game winning touchdown. The passing game is also improved as Klein was 13 of 20 for 149 yards. The Wildcat defense held Oklahoma to just 88 rushing yards and forced three turnovers with one resulting in a touchdown. What makes Kansas State such a dangerous team is that they don't give the ball away and are able to control the tempo of the ballgame. In four games this season, the Wildcats have only turned the ball over three times, none of which were against Oklahoma on Saturday night.

Last Thought: 

- I know Notre Dame fans are not going to like to hear this, but the Irish are not as talented as everyone is making them out to be. They were given six turnovers against Michigan and only put up 13 total points. Yes, Manti Te'o and the defense are good, but the offense is not very talented. Quarterback Tommy Rees looks to be back at the helm and we will find out in the next few weeks if he can keep his team in the top ten. The Irish's next four games are against Miami (FL), Stanford, BYU, and Oklahoma. We will find out if this Irish team is for real after this slate of games.

Friday, September 21, 2012

College Football: Week 4 matchups to watch

This weekend will be headlined by #10 Clemson at #4 Florida State and #18 Michigan at #11 Notre Dame. Clemson will try to prove that they are indeed ACC contenders again this season and Notre Dame will try prove that they have it in themselves to finally take down Denard Robinson and the Michigan Wolverines. Another game that could be important this weekend is #15 Kansas State at
#6 Oklahoma. Heisman Trophy contender QB Collin Klein will look to give Kansas State their first win in Norman since 1997. Other games that could provide entertainment on Saturday include Missouri's first SEC road game at #7 South Carolina and Rich Rodriguez, in his first Pac-12 game, bringing in his #22 Arizona Wildcats to a hostile Autzen Stadium to take on the #3 Oregon Ducks.

This weekend I will be at the Arizona-Oregon game in Eugene. Originally, this game was not supposed to be that hyped up, because most people figured Arizona would be 2-1 after losing to Oklahoma State. Arizona pulled the upset against Oklahoma State and now we have two undefeated teams ready to battle it out in their first Pac-12 game of the season. I have been to two Arizona-Oregon games in Eugene. Oregon beat the Cats 55-45 in 2008 and 48-29 in 2010. This should be another fun night game in the Autzen Zoo!

#22 Arizona @ #3 Oregon  10:30 PM ET ESPN

ESPN College GameDay will be live from Tallahassee, FL (Live at 10:00 AM ET)

matchup: #10 Clemson @ #4 Florida State 

Friday, Sept. 21st

1. Baylor @ Louisiana-Monroe  8:00 PM ET ESPN

- UL-Monroe came out of the gates swinging this season. The Warhawks are 1-1 and have played two solid games at SEC opponents Arkansas and Auburn. UL-Monroe had their biggest win in school history at Arkansas and made it to overtime, but lost to Auburn. The Warhawks get their first home game of the season against Baylor. The Bears are off to a 2-0 start this season and are currently ranked ninth in the country in passing yards and sixth in points for. The Warhawks are currently eleventh in the country in passing yards. This could turn into a pass heavy game and into another exciting game under the lights on a Friday night.

Pick: Baylor   

Saturday, Sept. 22nd

2.  Missouri @ #7 South Carolina   3:30 PM ET CBS

- Missouri will get their first road test this Saturday, as they take on a tough South Carolina team. The Tigers are coming off a big home win against Arizona State and will most likely have QB James Franklin back in action. The Gamecocks have had their share of quarterback problems due to injuries too. In both of the games Connor Shaw has played in, he has injured his shoulder in both of them. The Gamecocks will rely on star running back Marcus Lattimore to breakdown the Tiger defense. I feel this game could turn into a defensive battle and that the Tigers will give the Gamecocks a run for their money.  

Pick: South Carolina

3. Oregon State @ #19 UCLA  3:30 PM ET ABC/ESPN2

-Both teams were supposed to be 2-1 at this point of the season. The Beavers are 1-0 after upsetting Wisconsin at home two weeks ago. The Beavers have also had two bye weeks because the Nicholles State game was cancelled and no game was scheduled for last weekend. The mighty Bruins are off to a 3-0 start and are ranked 19th in the country. If the Bruins can pull this win out at home against the Beavers, it will be their best start since 2005. Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley has emerged this  season and Johnathan Franklin has looked great, leading the Bruins to the fifth best rushing attack in the country. No one really knows what exactly the Beavers are capable of doing yet, because they have only played one game. The Bruins will expose the weaknesses of the Beaver defense and win this game by a good margin.

Pick: UCLA

4. Cal @ #13 USC  6:00 PM ET Pac-12 Network

-The Trojans were exposed against a tough Stanford team last week, but come on! The Golden Bears  have not beat USC at the Coliseum since 1998. The Golden Bears are just 1-9 in their last ten meetings with the Trojans. Senior QB Matt Barkley and the offense will be ready to go this weekend and will be determined to get a win. The Golden Bears almost won at Ohio State last weekend, but this game shouldn't even be close. The Trojan defense will put heavy pressure on Cal QB Zach Maynard all night and cause him to make bad decisions.

Pick: USC

5. Rutgers @ Arkansas  7:00 PM ET ESPNU

- Rutgers is coming off a big win at South Florida, but this game really depends on Razorback QB Tyler Wilson playing and if the last two weekends can be forgotten. It's only game four of the season, and this team is still a very talented team when Tyler Wilson is playing. The UL-Monroe game was a fluke and Alabama will make just about any team look bad. Look for Arkansas to bounce back against a mediocre Rutgers team.

Pick: Arkansas 

6. #18 Michigan @ #11 Notre Dame  7:30 PM ET NBC

- Here we go again! It's another "Under the Lights" showdown between Michigan and Notre Dame. The Wolverines have won the last three meetings on last minute drives by four points. Wolverine QB Denard Robinson has given the Irish defense problems with his speed and improved passing. Robinson has proven to be a cold-blooded killer when facing the Irish. The Wolverine defense has not appeared to be strong this season, but should be able to be clutch in crucial situations like last season. The Irish defense is much improved this season, and looked great last weekend at Michigan State. If the Irish can find a way to play 60 minutes of football, they have a shot to finally beat Robinson and the Wolverines.

Pick: Michigan  

7. #15 Kansas State @ #6 Oklahoma  7:50 PM ET FOX

- Kansas State has not won in Norman since 1997 and have not beaten the Sooners since the 2003 Big XII Championship game. The Wildcats were manhandled by the Sooners at home last season 58-17. The great thing about Kansas State this season is that they know what team they have to be in order to beat better teams. They play down to their competition like they did last weekend against North Texas, but can put up large amounts of points against good teams. This is a big game for Wildcat QB Collin Klein. This game could play a major factor in his Heisman candidacy. This could also be a big game for Sooner QB Landry Jones. Jones has received negative feedback for his sometimes weak quarterback play, and this could help him and his Sooners prove that they are National Title contenders. Expect this game to be a lot closer than last year's blowout.

Pick: Oklahoma 

8. #10 Clemson @ #4 Florida State  8:00 PM ET ABC

- Last season, Clemson proved in this match-up that they were the team to beat in the ACC. The Tigers upset the Seminoles 35-30 in Death Valley. This year, EJ Manuel will be playing for the Seminoles and hopes he can be an impact player. Senior running back Chris Thompson will also play a key role as he recorded 197 yards and two touchdowns last week against Wake Forest. Clemson will have explosive wide receiver Sammy Watkins back for his second game of the season and quarterback Tajh Boyd. The real question will be is if Clemson's offense can make big plays against a Florida State defense that is giving up an average of one point a game.

Pick: Florida State 

9.  Utah @ Arizona State  10:00 PM ET Pac-12 Network

- Arizona State is coming off a tough loss at Missouri and Utah is coming off a crazy win against BYU. Two weeks ago, these teams were in completely opposite situations. Arizona State took down Big Ten foe Illinois and Utah was upset at home by Utah State. These teams appear to be very even in talent,  and this game could launch the winner into the Pac-12 South Division race with USC. This game could turn into a scoring spree and come down to the last few minutes for a winner to be decided.

Pick: Arizona State 

10. #22 Arizona @ #3 Oregon  10:30 PM ET ESPN 

- The Ducks have won the last eight of ten games against the Wildcats. The Ducks will get their first real test of the season against a Rich Rodriguez team that already has one big win against Oklahoma State. This should be a very offensive oriented game. It all depends on who can't keep up offensively in the end. I can't see the Wildcat defense being able to keep up with Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner the entire game. The Ducks will pull away in the second half and win by at least twenty points.

Pick: Oregon 

Monday, September 17, 2012

College Football Week 3 Recap

My Overall Record: 19-11
My Record in Week 3: 5-5   losses: Iowa over Northern Iowa, Florida over Tennessee, Stanford over  
                                                         USC, Notre Dame over Michigan State, Utah over BYU

Best Game from Week 3: Stanford 21, USC 14

It happened again! The upset bug found new victims this past weekend. The most recognizable victim was the USC Trojans losing at Stanford. The Trojans lost their fourth straight game to the Cardinal and Matt Barkley will never be able to say he defeated the Cardinal while at USC. So much for Barkley's unfinished business this season. This loss may have taken them out of the National Title Game. Another game resulting in a big upset, was a non-conference game between Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh came into the game with an 0-2 record with losses to FCS Youngstown State and Cincinnati. The Panthers rolled over the #13 Hokies 35-17 at home. Two other games that the nation figured to be potential upset games were UL-Monroe-Auburn and Utah State-Wisconsin. Auburn escaped in overtime 31-28 and Wisconsin won on a Utah State missed field goal with seconds remaining in the game 16-14. There was also a crazy game that ended football Saturday between in-state rivals Brigham Young and Utah. Brigham Young made their way down the field to get into field goal position to tie the game. Utah thought they had won the game twice. A booth review showed that an incomplete pass had hit the ground with one second remaining. Brigham Young then tried a 51-yard field goal and it was blocked, but the Utah players and students ran on the field prior to the end of the play, so Utah was penalized fifteen yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. BYU then had a chance to tie it on a 36-yard field and hit it off the upright. Utah ended up winning one of the craziest games in recent memory.

What we learned from Week 3:

The Trojans are not invincible.

- The team many people picked to go the BCS National Title this season, including me, thought the Trojans would definitely be undefeated when facing the Ducks in November. Stanford proved that their physical defense could hold the Trojans to just 280 total yards. Matt Barkley had no touchdown passes and two interceptions. We found out that this Trojan team can be beat by being physical and putting a lot of pressure on Matt Barkley. The Trojans also showed their vulnerability upfront as starting center Khaled Holmes did not play in the second half, because of an injury that he suffered against Syracuse a week before. This offense can be contained and the Trojans will need to bounce back this upcoming weekend at home against Cal, who played tough at Ohio State this past weekend.

Stanford proved they are a contender in the Pac-12.

- Stanford looked awful in Week 1 and could hardly beat San Jose State. In just a few weeks, the quarterback play of Josh Nunes has improved tremendously and the play of running back Stepfan Taylor has proven to the nation why he is one of the elite rushers. The Cardinal defense has played great too and looks to be just as good as they were the past two seasons. The nation thought that the Cardinal would be an average team without Andrew Luck, but a win over the Trojans has put them back in the race for the Pac-12 North title with Oregon. If Stanford only loses one conference game before November 17th. A meeting in Eugene against the Ducks could decide who wins the Pac-12 North Division title.

The Gators proved they are a competitor in the SEC East.

The road warrior Gators have proven themselves these past two weekends. The Gators went into a hostile Kyle Field two weeks ago and beat Texas A&M 20-17. This past weekend, the Gators played Tennessee in a very crucial game and won convincingly 37-20. The Gators also showed that they can pass the ball too. Jeff Driskel had a solid game passing for 219 yards and two touchdowns. The Gator rushing attack will be even more solid with Mike Gillislee and Trey Burton, who had his coming out party against Tennessee by having three rushing attempts for 91 yards and two touchdowns. The Gators could be a lot better then we all thought they would be this year.

Notre Dame made big strides on Saturday night.

The Fighting Irish made a big statement in East Lansing by defensively destroying the Spartans and winning 20-3. Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell had 77 yards rushing, but had nothing to show for it. The Notre Dame defense led by linebacker Manti Te'o, who lost his grandmother and girlfriend this past week, had 12 total tackles and helped lead the Irish to a big win. The QB position is looking better and better with Everett Golson too, as he passed for 178 yards, one touchdown pass, and no interceptions. The Irish will now try to make it to the next step by beating Michigan next weekend at home. The Irish have lost the last three meetings to Michigan by four points. We will see if this tough Irish defense can contain Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.

The nation was let down by Tennessee and Michigan State.

Tennessee and Michigan State went into this past weekend with hopes of beating Florida and Notre Dame. Both hung close for awhile, but did not have enough to hold on in the fourth quarter. Tennessee coach Derek Dooley desperately needed this game against Florida and his team simply ran out of gas. Michigan State could not do anything offensively and RB Le'Veon Bell may be out of the Heisman picture now. Michigan State was also thought of as the best team in the Big Ten too, but did not live up to expectations on Saturday night.

Arkansas's season is possibly over.

After experiencing one of the biggest upsets in Arkansas football history to UL-Monroe two weeks ago, the Razorbacks were manhandled by Bama this past weekend 52-0. It was the first time Arkansas had been shutout at home since 1966. What made this loss even worse though, was after the game when star quarterback Tyler Wilson, who did not play against Bama, called out his teammates in a post-game interview. John L. Smith has possibly lost some of his players confidence and who knows how they will fare the rest of the season. If Tyler Wilson cannot play again, I'm not even sure if they will be able to beat Rutgers this upcoming weekend.

Last thought: 

- The Pac-12 continues to be the second best conference in the country. For the second straight week, Oregon, Stanford, USC, UCLA, and Arizona are all ranked. The Pac-12 may even be competitive this season.

- The Big Ten continues to struggle in non-conference play. This is continuing to make the conference look worse and worse. Michigan State looked awful against Notre Dame, Wisconsin had to win on a missed field goal attempt against Utah State, Ohio State barely beat Cal at home, and Indiana lost to Ball State. Two good things did happen this past weekend though, Penn State won their first game of the Bill O'Brien era over Navy 34-7. Northwestern also took down Boston College in a close ballgame 22-13 The Wildcats have now defeated a Big East, SEC, and ACC opponent this season. Michigan desperately needs to beat Notre Dame this upcoming weekend in South Bend to help revitalize the image of the Big Ten.

- I cannot say enough about quarterback Geno Smith of West Virginia. West Virginia has not faced any quality opponents yet, but he has been unstoppable. Smith currently has a completion percentage of 88.0 and nine touchdown passes. In just two games, Smith has passed for a combined 734 yards. Smith is definitely in the Heisman picture right now. West Virginia will not get their first real challenge of the season until October 6th though, when they travel to Austin to play Texas.

Friday, September 14, 2012

College Football: Week 3 matchups to watch

We have some rather interesting matchups that could make or break teams. For the first time since the early 2000s, we have a Florida-Tennessee game that really matters. Two other big matchups include #1 Alabama at Arkansas and #20 Notre Dame at #10 Michigan State. There are also five other matchups that could provide us with big upsets this weekend. They include Wake Forest at #5 Florida State, UL-Monroe at Auburn, FCS Northern Iowa at Iowa, and Utah State at Wisconsin. This weekend might not be as crazy as last weekend, but who knows? This is College Football and anything can happen.

This weekend I will return to Eugene, OR, to watch Tennessee Tech at Oregon. This will be the first time I have ever seen a team from the FCS Subdivision play. Oregon is off to a solid 2-0 start, but recently lost safety John Boyett and guard Carson York to season injuries. This game will hopefully help the defense get their confidence up and provide the new starters at the safety and guard positions with a lot of reps. The Ducks will start Pac-12 play the following week at home against #24 Arizona.

Tennessee Tech @ #4 Oregon  3:00 ET Pac-12 Network

ESPN College GameDay will be live from Knoxville,TN (Live at 10 AM ET)

matchup: #18 Florida @ #23 Tennessee 

Saturday, Sept.15th

1. Wake Forest @ #5 Florida State  12:00 PM ET ESPN

- Florida State may be the fifth ranked team in the country, but this game may not be as easy as it appears. Last season, The Demon Deacons upset the Noles 35-30 at home. Wake Forest appeared to come into the season weak, but last weekend beat a good North Carolina team 28-27. The Noles will have their first real contest of the season this weekend and it will be interesting to see if the Demon Deacons can keep it close again and pull the unthinkable. 

Pick: Florida State 

2. #1 Alabama @ Arkansas  3:30 PM ET CBS

- Last season, this game turned into a blood bath in Tuscaloosa, as Alabama rolled Arkansas 38-14. This year, the game looked to be closer one with the game being played in Fayetteville and an explosive Razorback offense. Unfortunately, the Razorbacks come into this game limping from a huge upset last weekend against Louisiana-Monroe. They also do not have QB Tyler Wilson. This is going to be tough for Arkansas to contend with an Alabama team that may be better than they were last season. Look for the Crimson Tide rushing attack to dismantle the Razorback defense.

Pick: Alabama

3. Virginia @ Georgia Tech 3:30 PM ET ESPNU

- Virginia won a tough game at home against Penn State last weekend. We will see if the Cavalier defense can hold the Yellow Jacket triple option attack again this Saturday. Virginia beat Georgia Tech last season 24-21. This could be one of the closer games this weekend, and will be important for both teams as they contend for the ACC Coastal Division. Virginia desperately needs this game going forward in the ACC Conference, and needs it as motivation for next week when they travel to TCU.

Pick: Georgia Tech

4. Northern Iowa @ Iowa  3:30 PM ET Big Ten Network

- This is one of those games that will fly under the radar this week. The Hawkeyes are on upset alert this weekend as a they take on a tough FCS Northern Iowa team that played Wisconsin close two weeks ago. Iowa was upset at home against in-state rival Iowa State this past weekend 9-6. Hawkeye QB James Vandenberg has yet to throw one touchdown pass this season and has two interceptions. The Hawkeye rushing attack also failed to hit 70 yards against Iowa State. Northern Iowa QB Sawyer Kollmorgen has been stellar this season throwing for three touchdowns in each of his first two games. This is going to be a low scoring affair between these two teams, and will come down to the last few minutes of the game. Iowa has given me know reason to pick them. I am going out on a limb and picking the UNI Panthers to upset Iowa at Kinnick.

Pick: Northern Iowa 

5. #18 Florida @ #23 Tennessee 6:00 PM ET ESPN

- Finally, a Florida-Tennessee game that actually means something. It means so much this season that ESPN College GameDay will be in Knoxville on Saturday. Both teams are rather even this season, and both teams have each had one good win this season. It was Tennessee taking down NC State in Week 1 35-21, and Florida coming from behind at Texas A&M last weekend 20-17. Florida QB Jeff Driskel has not proven himself yet, but the Gator running game with Mike Gillislee has been solid. It will be the Gator rushing attack that will be important in getting by Tennessee on Saturday. The Volunteers will rely on QB Tyler Bray, who has passed for more than 300 yards in both games this season and six touchdown passes. This is going to be a very close game with both teams using different offensive methods to win. I have to go with Rocky Top in this game. Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley desperately needs this game.

Pick: Tennessee 

6. Arizona State @ Missouri  7:00 PM ET ESPN2 

- Last season, this matchup went down to the very end as Arizona State beat Missouri in overtime 37-30. This will be a good game again this season. The Tigers are coming off a tough home loss to Georgia. The Tigers were up 20-17 late in the third quarter, but were blown out in the fourth. The Sun Devils are coming off an impressive win over Illinois 45-14. The Sun Devil offense has looked impressive, especially the QB Taylor Kelly-WR Chris Coyle tandem. This will be the Sun Devils first road game this season, and it will be a rather tough one to win. There will not be a lot of defense in this game and will turn into an offensive shootout.

Pick: Missouri     

7. #2 USC @ #21 Stanford  7:30 PM ET FOX

- The Trojans have lost their last three meetings to the Cardinal. This is going to be a completely different game this season without the Cardinal having QB Andrew Luck. This season it's all about USC QB Matt Barkley and the Trojans. The Cardinal won convincingly over Duke last weekend 50-13. The Trojans were surprisingly challenged by a below average Syracuse team, but pulled away to win 42-29. It will be interesting to see how long the Cardinal can stay in the game against a much more talented Trojan team.

Pick: USC

8. #20 Notre Dame @ #10 Michigan State  8:00 PM ET ABC

- This game is always a good one, with the last nine of twelve meetings being won by seven points or less. Notre Dame is coming off a close win against Purdue. We will see if the Irish have it in themselves to go into East Lansing and take down one of the toughest defenses in the country. A big matchup in this game will be Spartan RB Le'Veon Bell and Irish MLB Manti Te'o. It will be a physical battle with the ground attacks leading the way. Notre Dame isn't as solid at the quarterback position, but will be able to match the physicality of the Spartan defense on the offensive line. This should give the Irish a chance to win. This game will for sure come down to the very end.

Pick: Michigan State 

9. Utah State @ Wisconsin  8:00 PM ET Big Ten Network 

- Before last weekend, I wouldn't have even considered putting this as a game to watch. Utah State is coming off an all-time high, after they upset in-state rival Utah for the first time since 1997. On the other hand, the Badgers come off a tough loss at Oregon State, where they lost in an ugly game 10-7. The Wisconsin defense appears to be fine, but the offense is going to be a mystery going into this game. The Utah State Aggies are a scrappy team with QB Chuckie Keeton leading the way. Keeton rushed for 86 yards last Friday against Utah. The Badger offense has to improve and put up points, especially RB Montee Ball, if they want to win this ballgame. This is by far the toughest game I had to pick this week.

Pick: Wisconsin

10. #23 Brigham Young @ Utah  10:00 PM ET ESPN2

- This is always a good matchup. Most of the time these two teams come down to the very end, except for last season when BYU annihilated Utah 52-21. Brigham Young has looked tough so far this season beating Washington State and Weber State. Utah appeared to be in good hands this season with QB Jordan Wynn returning, but Wynn injured his shoulder again last week against Utah State. Wynn officially quit the team this week due to all of the injuries he has suffered over the years. With the combination of losing last weekend to in-state rival Utah State and losing their starting quarterback, the Cougars will have a clear advantage in this game. Cougar QB Riley Nelson has looked great so far this season and the defense is only giving up an average of 9.5 points per game.

Pick: Brigham Young

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

College Football Week 2 Recap

My Overall Record: 14-6 
My Record in Week 2: 6-4   losses: Virginia over Penn State, Florida over Texas A&M, 
                                                          Iowa State over Iowa, & Arizona State over Illinois

Best Game from Week 2: UCLA 36, Nebraska 30 

I thought this would be one of the least intriguing weekends of the College Football season. Boy was I ever wrong! This weekend was anything but boring. Last weekend, the Pac-12 Conference looked disappointing as they combined for a non-conference record of 7-5. Three of those wins were really close games with mid-major conference teams. This weekend, the Pac-12 proved me to be very wrong. The Wisconsin-Oregon State, Washington-LSU, Nebraska-UCLA, and Oklahoma State-Arizona games looked to be for sure losses for the Pac-12. Out of the four teams, Washington was the only team of those that lost. Then Arizona State crushed Illinois in the desert. The only team that really disappointed was Colorado losing to FCS Sacramento State, who beat Oregon State last season. The Pac-12 finished with an impressive 9-3 record this past weekend. It turns out that the Pac-12 may not be as weak as everyone thought, and that the Big Ten might be the new weakling. The Big Ten was completely embarrassed on Saturday, finishing with a 6-6 record. In one of the wins, Michigan had to fight off a pesky Air Force team until the final drive of the game and won 31-25. Then there was one of the biggest upsets of Saturday. #8 Arkansas lost QB Tyler Wilson to an injury, and was upset in overtime by UL-Monroe. Just when I thought I knew what I was talking about after Week 1, I was left dazed and confused after this past weekend.

What we possibly learned from this weekend: 

The Pac-12 might be better then expected. 

-The Pac-12 went 3-0 against the Big Ten. Oregon State was projected to be awful this season and beat Wisconsin 10-7 in Corvallis. Just when we thought Taylor Martinez and Nebraska were going to be on a role, new UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora and his Bruins stunned the Huskers at the Rose Bowl 36-30. Arizona State also obliterated Illinois in Tempe by winning 45-14. Other conference games included Oklahoma State-Arizona. Arizona almost lost to MAC opponent Toledo in week 1 and Oklahoma State beat Savannah State 84-0. New Arizona Head Coach Rich Rodriguez and his Cats lit up the Cowboys in Tucson 59-38. Lastly, USC and Oregon seemed to struggle with Syracuse and Fresno State, but still won by double digits. The only three teams that suffered losses this weekend was Utah, who had not lost to Utah State since 1997, Colorado to FCS Sacramento State, and Washington to LSU. 

 The Big Ten could be down this year. 

- The Big Ten went 6-6 this weekend in non-conference games. Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Illinois all traveled west to Pac-12 schools and lost. Iowa looked awful again this past weekend, and lost to Iowa State at home 9-6. Penn State couldn't make a field goal kick to save their lives and lost at Virginia 17-16. Then Purdue lost in South Bend on a Notre Dame 27 yard field goal with seven seconds left in the game. Lastly, Michigan won, but was tested by Air Force throughout the entire game. The Big Ten might be up for grabs this season. As of now, Michigan State looks to be the best team in the conference. Ohio State is in that category too, but they are ineligible for the postseason.  

Florida and Georgia proved themselves this weekend.

- Florida was down 17-7 against new conference member Texas A&M at a hostile Kyle Field. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, RB Mike Gillislee rushed for a 12 yard td run and put the Gators up for good 20-17. The Gators proved to get through adversity in a game many people picked against them, including myself. Georgia also travel to new conference member Missouri. The Dawgs were down 20-17 in the third quarter, and then exploded in the fourth quarter. The Dawgs scored three touchdowns and won convincingly 41-20. 

What is wrong with Wisconsin? 

- The nation figured there would be a little bit of a drop off at the quarterback position without Russell Wilson, but what in the world is going on? Montee Ball's touchdown streak was ended at 21 games and the offense was held to 35 rushing yards against the Oregon State Beavers. A team that was almost guaranteed to win the Leaders Division, aka the Liars Division, this season with Ohio State and Penn State being ineligible, could now be in a dog fight with Illinois and Purdue. The Badgers almost lost to FCS opponent Northern Iowa in Week 1 and couldn't improve in Week 2, as they were upset by the Beavers. The Badgers will now host a good Utah State team on Saturday. Utah State upset Utah on Friday night. Will the Badgers make improvements? Or fall flat on their faces again? 

God listened to Savannah State's prayers

- Savannah State, who was humiliated by Oklahoma State in Week 1 84-0, had to travel to Florida State this past weekend. Savannah State, who was a 67 point underdog against Oklahoma State, was a 70 point underdog to the Noles. Fortunately, weather delayed the game and eventually ended the game  with 8:59 remaining in the third quarter. Savannah State ended up only losing the game 55-0. That's a win in Savannah State's book. 

Tyler Wilson is what holds the Razorbacks together.

- #8 Arkansas was upset by UL-Monroe of the Sun Belt Conference on Saturday night. QB Tyler Wilson, who might be one of the best quarterbacks in the country, took a beating and was injured in the first half of the game. The Razorbacks were up 28-7 with 9:42 left in the third quarter and blew the lead with 47 seconds remaining in the game. The game went into overtime, and the rest is history. The Arkansas offense was shut down to just seven points in the second half without Tyler Wilson. If Wilson cannot play against Alabama this upcoming weekend, look for Alabama to annihilate the Razorbacks. 

Don't ever underestimate Bill Snyder and his Kansas State Wildcats.

- The nation thought that for sure this past weekend's game between Kansas State and Miami would be close. Think again! The Wildcats manhandled the Hurricanes at home by throttling them 52-13. QB and Heisman contender Collin Klein passed for 210 yards and one touchdown, and also ran for 71 yards and three touchdowns. The Cats might be just as talented as they were last season, if not better. The Cats know their identity this season though, which could make them even more dangerous. We will find out how good they are in two weeks when they travel to Norman for a date with Oklahoma. 

Last thought: 

-The Big Ten schedule has not even started, and the only teams I see contending for the Conference Championship are Michigan, Michigan State, and Nebraska. All of which are associated with the Legends Division. 

- Iowa has a very good chance of losing at home to FCS opponent Northern Iowa this upcoming weekend. In Week 1, Northern Iowa traveled to Madison and gave Wisconsin all they could handle. The Badgers hung on to win though 26-21. 

-If Tennessee beats Florida this weekend in Knoxville, they will be a strong contender to win the SEC East Division. 

-Notre Dame is in must win situations these next two weekends. This weekend they must travel to East Lansing to take on Michigan State. If Notre Dame wins this tough game, it will be a great confidence booster the following week when they host Michigan. Notre Dame just came off a close victory against Purdue, where they won the game 20-17 on a 27 yard field goal with seven seconds remaining. Notre Dame tends to flatten if they lose to Michigan State. This is a must win for the Irish on Saturday night.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

College Football: Week 2 matchups to watch

The second week of the season might not be as intriguing as the first week, but there will still be some interesting games to watch. The biggest story of this upcoming weekend will be Missouri's and Texas A&M's first SEC Conference games. Georgia will travel to Missouri and Florida will play at Texas A&M in an important game for both teams.

Today, I will head east to Ann Arbor for the Michigan-Air Force game on Saturday. This will be my first time attending "The Big House" since they renovated and expanded the stadium. Last time I attended a game in Ann Arbor was in 2007 against Ohio State. The Wolverines lost 14-3 for a trip to the Rose Bowl.
   Air Force @ #19 Michigan 3:30 PM ET ABC/ESPN 2

ESPN College GameDay will be live from College Station, TX  ( Live at 10 AM ET on ESPN)

Matchup: #24 Florida @ Texas A&M

Saturday, Sept. 8th

1. Miami (FL) @ #21 Kansas State  12:00 PM ET FX

- Last season, this match-up went down to the last play. The Kansas State defense stopped Miami on the goal line as time expired, and won 28-24. Kansas State started out slow this past weekend against Missouri State, but Collin Klein and the offense surged in the fourth quarter and put up 35 points to win 51-9. Not much was expected from Miami, and many thought they would lose against Boston College. RB Duke Johnson killed the Eagle defense though, by having seven carries for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Miami won 41-32. This is going to be a tough fought football game and should be close for the whole game with both teams being led by their rushing attacks.

Pick: Kansas State  

2. Penn State @ Virginia   12:00 PM ET ABC

- The O'Brien era started off to a rough start with an upset loss at home against Ohio. Penn State will travel to play a Virginia team that won this past weekend 43-19 over FCS Richmond. Virginia QB Michael Rocco led his team by throwing for 311 yards and one touchdown against the Spider defense. The Nittany Lions are going to need to come out hungry and be more offensively sound the entire game. If the Nittany Lions cannot put up points, look for Penn State to start off the season 0-2.

Pick: Penn State 

3. East Carolina @ #9 South Carolina   12:21 PM ET SEC Network

- South Carolina was tested last season against East Carolina, until they pulled away in the fourth quarter. This could be an interesting game again this season. Starting South Carolina QB Connor Shaw injured his right shoulder on Thursday night and it could play a crucial part in Saturday's game. The Gamecocks may have to rely on their defense and star running back Marcus Lattimore again to get victory number two this season.

Pick: South Carolina 

4. Air Force @ #19 Michigan    3:30 PM ET ABC/ESPN 2

- Michigan will look to rebound, after they were absolutely dismantled by Alabama 41-14. Air Force dropped 49 on Idaho State this past weekend, but lost many of their playmakers from last season. Air Force depends heavily on its running game and currently is ranked number one in the nation in rushing yards with 484. Denard Robinson will look to get the offense back on track, specifically the rushing attack, which was nonexistent against Alabama. The Michigan defense simply needs to stop Air Force's rushing attack to win this game.

Pick: Michigan 

5. #24 Florida @ Texas A&M   3:30 PM ET ESPN

- After Texas A&M's season opener was cancelled against Louisiana Tech, the Aggies will finally get their season on the way this weekend. Texas A&M will start their season off with their first SEC Conference game against Florida. This will be a huge game for both teams as they try to get their season off on the right foot. The Gators still have quarterback problems, even though they just named Jeff Driskel as the starter. The Gators struggled to beat a Bowling Green team this past weekend at home. The Gators finally pulled away in the fourth and won 27-14. Head Coach Kevin Sumlin will look to get a big win in his debut at Texas A&M and Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp will try to prove that his team is capable of winning in a hostile Kyle Field environment. This is going to be a very even game for the most part.

Pick: Texas A&M

6. Purdue @ #22 Notre Dame   3:30 PM ET NBC

- This game could potentially be closer than everyone thinks. Notre Dame put up 50 points on Navy this past weekend in Dublin and Purdue dropped 48 on Eastern Kentucky. The Irish cannot underestimate Purdue, because the Boilermakers are a very much improved team this season. QB Robert Marve will try to pick apart the Notre Dame defense with a passing attack. Irish QB Everett Golson could potentially be tested this game, and will need to rely on RB Theo Riddick and the rushing attack. Purdue will play close with Notre Dame for most of the game, but I feel the Irish will eventually make a statement in the second half and get the win.

Pick: Notre Dame

7. Iowa State @ Iowa   3:30 PM ET Big Ten Network

- The Iowa Hawkeyes had to grind it out and won ugly against Northern Illinois. The Iowa State Cyclones struggled with Tulsa in the first half, but pulled away in the fourth quarter. Last season, Iowa State beat Iowa in an overtime thriller in Ames 44-41. The Cyclones have a shot to knock of the Hawkeyes again if the Hawkeye offense cannot be more consistent. The running game is still not there for the Hawkeyes, and the passing game was inconsistent against Northern Illinois. If this game was played in Ames, I may consider picking the Cyclones. The Cyclones have not won in Iowa City in ten years though. I feel the Hawkeyes have the edge in this game, because of the Kinnick factor. The Hawkeyes will grind it out again and rely on their defense to take down the Cyclones.

Pick: Iowa

8. #7 Georgia @ Missouri   7:45 PM ET ESPN 2

- Missouri will have a warm welcome to the SEC as they will host the heavy favorite to win the SEC East Division. The Dawgs defense dealt with suspensions against Buffalo last weekend, and gave up 23 points against the Bulls. This could give Mizzou QB James Franklin and company a chance to upset the Dawgs at home. The Tigers will have to keep QB Aaron Murray and an explosive offensive out of the end zone though. This game could potentially turn into an old-fashioned shootout.

Pick: Georgia 

9. Vanderbilt @ Northwestern   8:00 PM ET Big Ten Network

- This may not be the most glamorous match-up, but this could showcase two teams that could surprise the nation this season. Vanderbilt played a highly ranked South Carolina team strong the whole game, and may have simply lost due to an uncalled pass interference call. Northwestern played in one of the craziest games this past weekend against Syracuse. The Wildcats pulled off a one point victory in the final minute of the game. Both teams have good quarterbacks in Vanderbilt's Jordan Rodgers, Aaron Rodgers younger brother, and Northwestern's Kain Colter. This could be one of the weekend's best finishes.

Pick: Northwestern 

10. Illinois @ Arizona State   10:30 PM ET ESPN

- This was a barnburner last season as Illinois won 17-14. This is a huge game for both new head coaches Tim Beckman of Illinois and Todd Graham of Arizona State. These teams were two of the biggest disappointments from last season. Arizona State had high expectations and lost their last four games of the season to end the season 6-6. Illinois was out to a surprising 6-0 start, then lost their last six games of the season. This late night showdown in the desert is a must win game for both programs.

Pick: Illinois 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

College Football: Week 1 Recap

Thank you everyone who voted!

1. The winner for stadium you would most like to attend was Michigan Stadium
2. The winner for best moment from the 2011 College Football season was Michigan beating Notre Dame on a Denard Robinson TD pass with 2 seconds remaining in the game.


My Record: 8-2   losses: Clemson over Auburn & Ohio over Penn State

Best Game from Week 1: Northwestern 42, Syracuse 41

What a way to end the first weekend of College Football with an overtime thriller between Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. There is a lot to talk about after the first weekend of the College Football season. Penn State struggled in the second half and was upset by a solid Ohio team 24-14. Alabama dismantled Denard Robinson and Michigan from the start of the game. The game was over by halftime as the Crimson Tide led 31-7. There was also some phenomenal play at the quarterback position this weekend. Geno Smith of West Virginia threw for an impressive 323 yards and four touchdowns in route of Marshall 69-34. Matt Barkley passed for for 377 yards and four touchdowns, as they manhandled Hawaii 49-10 in the LA Coliseum.  The debut of Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota couldn't have been any better, as he went 18 of 22, passed for 200 yards, and had three touchdown passes. Mariota's night was finished at the beginning of the second quarter as the Ducks were already up to a commanding 43-3 lead. There was also great play at the running back position as well. Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell helped Sparty beat Boise State 17-13, as he had 44 carries for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Clemson's Andre Ellington was key in his team's win over Auburn, as he had 26 carries for 231 yards. Lastly, Alabama found a new star in the making in true freshman T.J. Yeldon, as he had 11 carries for 111 yards and one touchdown.


-Tennessee is going to be a much improved team this season and could contend in the SEC East Division. Tyler Bray threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns in their win over NC State Friday night in Atlanta 35-21.

- Boise State is clearly not as talented this season and will not be a BCS contender, as they lost to Michigan State 17-13.

- Alabama may be just as good, if not better, then they were last season. Alabama held Michigan to 69 rushing yards and didn't let Denard Robinson run for more than nine yards on a single play. The Crimson Tide offense looked solid with QB AJ McCarron and true freshman RB T.J. Yeldon. The offensive and defensive lines played very physical Saturday night, and will be very good again this season.

- Oklahoma State could be a contender in the Big 12 again this season. It was only FCS Savannah State, but the Cowboys won 84-0 and covered a 67 point spread. This Cowboy team has the chance to be as dynamic as they were the last two seasons.

- Nebraska's Taylor Martinez improved as a passer in the off-season. We won't be able to see how far he has come as a passer until the Big Ten season begins, but he passed for an impressive 354 yards and five touchdowns. The Huskers ended up beating the Southern Miss Golden Eagles 49-20.

- Oregon's Marcus Mariota may potentially be the best quarterback to ever run Chip Kelly's offense. It's not many times you see a quarterback come into this system and play lights out in their first game. It also helps to have RB Kenjon Barner and explosive WR De'Anthony Thomas, who caught two touchdowns from Mariota.

- The MAC Conference is continuing to be more and more talented every year. Arizona, Florida, Iowa, and Penn State may not be that talented, but they sure were tested. Rich Rodriguez, with a disappointed look on his face as always, looked to have his first win in regulation. Then Arizona missed an easy 25-yard field goal and had to find a way to beat Toledo in overtime  24-17. Florida struggled to score against Bowling Green, and were only up 17-14 after the third quarter. In the fourth, the Gators finally pulled away and won 27-14. Like I predicted, Iowa was going to find a way to win the game in the last few minutes. Iowa was down almost the whole game, but ran a touchdown in with 2:15 left in the game to beat Northern Illinois 18-17. Lastly, it was Ohio, who actually did pull off the upset against Penn State. Head Coach Frank Solich and his squad blanked the Nittany Lions in the second half and ruined Bill O'Brien's coaching debut.


There are three teams that we are really going to need to pay attention to. The first team, South Carolina, struggled to beat Vanderbilt on Thursday night. The Gamecocks had to rely heavily on RB Marcus Lattimore to help them win 17-13. The nation is unsure if they are even worthy of a number nine ranking. The second team, Michigan State, could be even more dangerous then we thought. The Spartan's rushing attack will be lethal with Le'Veon Bell and the defense will be solid as well. The Spartan defense held Boise State on Friday night to just 37 rushing yards. Lastly, West Virginia will be a heavy contender in their first season in the Big 12 Conference. QB Geno Smith was unstoppable against Marshall, and will have RB Shawne Alston and WR Stedman Bailey to assist him this season.