Posted tagged ‘Big Ten’

Big Ten = The Little Sisters of the Poor

January 1, 2011

That’s right…I said it!

Gordon Gee, how do you like your Big Ten now? What’s that? Was the Big Ten 0-5 today?

At least the Wisconsin Badgers showed up for their game. Hopefully you’re Ohio State Buckeyes show up for the Sugar Bowl…instead of getting stuck at the tattoo parlor!

Congrats to the TCU Horned Frogs on winning the 2011 Rose Bowl! Now, can we get a playoff system in place???

Say What You Will About Boise State…

September 6, 2010

…the team from the Pacific Northwest who plays on the “Smurf Turf” can play with the big boys!

Tonight, the Boise State Broncos went on the road to a “neutral” site game, jumped out to an early lead, fell behind in the second half, but came back to defeat Virginia Tech, a top ten team from a BCS conference. Did I mention that this “neutral” site game was played less than 300 miles from the Virginia Tech campus? Say what you will about Boise State…they aren’t going away anytime soon.

Yes, some will say that the referee’s handed Boise State the game (I disagree) but the game was entertaining and wasn’t decided until the final minute. It most definitely lived up to the hype that has surrounded it over the past couple of weeks.

I’ve heard people say that they’re sick of Boise State. That if they played a “real” schedule, they would go 8-4 every year. That they are bad for college football. In the end, I have to disagree with these people. Other than three games a year, Boise State is mandated to play the schedule they do during the season. yes, they don’t play the schedule that a team in the SEC, Big 10, Big 12 or Pac 10 play. But, when they play in big games, they’ve won, beating Oklahoma, Oregon, TCU and Virginia Tech.

Are they bad for college football? I don’t think so. They have come out of obscurity to become a team that has consistently gone to bowl games, and even BCS bowl games. Yes, compared to other top teams out there such as Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, Texas and more, they may not be able to compete week in and week out with the pure talent of these teams. But, they’re playing the hand their dealt and you have to respect the job that the team and especially the coaching staff has done to build this successful program.

Who knows. This is only the first game of the season and they COULD lose a game, dropping them right out of the National Championship picture. Only time will tell. That’s why they play the game, right?

Feel free to chime in with your comments. I’m sure that Boise State will be discussed quite often between now and January.

Big 10 Officials Vs. SEC Officials. Whose Worse?

October 31, 2009

Until this morning, I would have favored the SEC in the battle. But after witnessing the Iowa Hawkeyes vs. the Indiana Hoosier this morning, I’m not so sure anymore.

I’m not a fan of either school, but this has been the most pathetically officiated game I have had the opportunity to witness in recent memory. The job done by this crew is downright embarassing. It the SEC suspended their crew for a couple of games, then this crew should take the rest of the season off!

There have been at least three calls that have gone against the Hoosiers, most recently a touchdown that was overturned after further review. Remember, you must have CONCLUSIVE evidence that a call is incorrect to have the play overturned. This has been reiterated numerous times during the game. An earlier TD was taken away from the Hoosiers which should have been overturned in favor of a touchdown. Now, a touchdown that was called good, only to be overturned. I’m at a complete loss for words.

Has anybody else been able to catch this game on ESPN? Is it obvious that every call is going the direction of the #4 Hawkeyes? Am I just crazy? :)

And…don’t get me started on the TERRIBLE calls that have been made throughout the MLB playoffs. At least they have been consistently bad for all teams in those games!

Referees Give #1 Florida Gators a 23-20 Win

October 17, 2009

UPDATE: Virginia Tech knocked off by Georgia Tech! Check out my BCS predictions here.

UPDATE 2: Good story on the BS that is the BCS.

Arkansas played well.

Florida played awful.

The referees were the worst. *A close second goes to the two missed kicks by the Arkansas kicker who could have won the game for them*

I’m not a Razorbacks fan, or a Gators fan, just a college football fan. This was embarrassing to watch. Usually, you see one or two bad calls in a game. But in this game, there was bad call after bad call including two on a 4th quarter drive that got Florida back in the game and eventually the win with a 29 yard field goal with only 9 seconds left to play.

Nice attempt at the hook and lateral on the kickoff, though, by Arkansas.

So Florida hangs on. Texas hangs on. Alabama and Virginia Tech still to play. Who’s number one?

I’m not going to downplay how good the SEC is. They are the best conference in all of college football. But they ONLY PLAY EACH OTHER.

Most of the teams play patsy schedules, outside of their own conference. I saw during the game today that the announcers were talking about the BCS Championship game and how if all the teams end up with one or even two losses, that an SEC team should automatically play a Big 12 team. Honestly, that would probably be a GREAT game. But it should not be automatic because the teams play in the Big 12 and SEC.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: WE NEED A PLAYOFF! That’s all I can say. Whether it be an 8 or 16 team playoff. It’s necessary. Look at a couple years ago when Boise State upset Oklahoma. Last year when Utah routed Alabama. Just because teams play in conferences that are considered “weaker” than others, they get no respect. I would love to see the teams play it out on the field, and not amongst voters and computers.

Just my opinion. What’s yours?

Syracuse Upsets UConn in 6 OT

March 13, 2009

I can safely say that last night, i saw one of the greatest games in NCAA Basketball history. The Big East Tournament showdown between Syracuse and UConn is no doubt an instant classic that people will be talking about for years to come!

March Madness may “officially” kick off next Sunday on “Selection Sunday” (although, I’ve always believed that March Madness begins with the Conference Tournaments), but it was Madness in New York last night, that’s for sure!

It’s hard to imagine that Syracuse won the game, after not holding a single lead in any of the first 5 OT. Yet, the Orangmen were able to come out and start the sixth OT with an 8-0 run that sealed a victory.

I was speechless last night, and, for the most part, I’m still speechless this morning. Did anyone else watch? What are your thoughts?

From USA Today:

The tumult of March goes on this weekend, and there is too much happening to stop and savor a single college basketball game. But this one, we must.

A classic — a true classic, not one just to fill a slot on ESPN — deserves special notice, before it is placed to stay in the inner sanctum of great games.

They played for 3 hours and 46 minutes and six overtimes in the last quarterfinal of the Big East tournament, neither Connecticut nor Syracuse willing to give, as Thursday turned to Friday in Madison Square Garden. But at 1:22 a.m., Syracuse finally won 127-117, mostly because somebody eventually had to.

“I’ve got no words to describe it,” Orange coach Jim Boeheim would later say. “I can’t imagine being involved in a better basketball game.

“I’m more proud of this team tonight than any team I’ve ever coached. We had nothing (left).”

By 1:22 a.m., who did?

Sheer numbers only say so much, but we can begin there.

There were 209 shots taken — 26 of them blocked.

And 93 free throws put up.

Syracuse guard Jonny Flynn scored 34 points, but that wasn’t the remarkable part. He played 67 minutes. “I can’t feel my legs right now,” he said afterward.

The game was tied 22 times. Syracuse never led in any of the first five overtimes.

Eight players fouled out, four on each team.

What that meant is that in the sixth overtime, Syracuse had to turn to a walk-on guard named Justin Thomas, who had played 18 minutes all year. When he grabbed a rebound, it was his first of the season.

By the sixth overtime, the Orange had to call on 6-4 Harris for the center jump. All the big guys were gone. It was the only jump ball Syracuse won all night.

The game ran so long, when Boeheim tried to recall one of the strategic moves, he finally had to admit, “I forget when that was.”

The irony? The whole issue was a millisecond from being settled in regulation. That would have been on a nice, routine buzzer-beating jump shot by Eric Devendorf, which appeared to give Syracuse a 73-71 win. The celebration went on long enough for Devendorf to leap onto the press table and lead the fans in a chant.

Low Tide in New Orleans…Utah Stuns Alabama

January 2, 2009

Well, at least I had the 31 right! (I picked Utah to defeat Alabama 31-27).

The Utah Utes will finish the season as the nation’s only undefeated team. Utah stunned Alabama early and often tonight, winning the Sugar Bowl 31-17 to cap off a perfect 13-0 season.

From ESPN:

Utah is the best of the BCS busters.

Brian Johnson threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns, and the No. 6 Utes upset fourth-ranked Alabama 31-17 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Friday night to finish 13-0.

With the victory, Utah became the first team from a non-BCS conference to win two BCS bowls. The Utes beat Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl under coach Urban Meyer, going for his second BCS national title with Florida when his Gators play Oklahoma on Thursday in Miami.

Johnson’s pinpoint passing led Utah to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and the Utes refused to wilt when Alabama pulled to 21-17 early in the second half.

Utah’s defense was equally impressive, intercepting John Parker Wilson twice and sacking him eight times, with the seventh sack forcing a fumble that sent crimson-clad Alabama fans streaming for the exits with just more than five minutes to go.

After surging to No. 1 in the rankings with a 12-0 regular season, Alabama closed the season with two consecutive losses, the first against Florida in the Southeastern Conference championship game.

Alabama could have used suspended All-America left tackle Andre Smith, but even he might not have been enough to stop a Utah defense that played with speed, ferocity and discipline.

The Utes’ front seven was significantly outweighed by Alabama’s offensive line, but refused to give ground to the Tide’s normally powerful running game that averaged 196.5 yards per game coming into the Sugar Bowl. Glen Coffee was held to 36 yards on 13 carries, while Mark Ingram rushed eight times for only 26 yards.

The Utes’ array of stunts and blitzes appeared to upset Wilson’s rhythm. He overthrew a couple of open receivers downfield and finished 18-of-30 for 177 yards and a touchdown

Utah didn’t seem very interested in running the ball, and who could blame them the way Johnson adeptly spread the ball around to seven receivers? He hit Freddie Brown 12 times for 125 yards.

From the Associated Press:

Utah is the best of the BCS busters. Brian Johnson threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns, and the No. 7 Utes upset fourth-ranked Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl on Friday night to finish 13-0.

With the victory, Utah became the first team from a non-BCS conference to win two BCS bowls.

Johnson’s pinpoint passing led Utah to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and the Utes refused to wilt when Alabama pulled to 21-17 early in the second half.

Utah’s defense was equally impressive, intercepting John Parker Wilson twice and sacking him eight times, with the seventh sack forcing a fumble that sent crimson-clad Alabama fans streaming for the exits with just more than five minutes to go.

After surging to No. 1 in the rankings with a 12-0 regular season, Alabama closed the season with two consecutive losses, the first against Florida in the Southeastern Conference championship game.

USC Topples Penn State in Rose Bowl

January 2, 2009

USC quarterback Mark Sanchez passed for 413 yards and four touchdowns, USC dominated on defense and the No. 5 Trojans beat up No. 6 Penn State 38-24 yesterday in the Rose Bowl.

After this performance, the Pac 10 is now 5-0 in bowl games this year. I’d have to say that they had the best postseason of any conference!

From the Associated Press:

Penn State coach Joe Paterno watched from the press box, where he’s been for most of the season because of hip problems. He couldn’t have liked what he saw— at one point in the first half, the TV camera caught him shaking his head as USC (12-1) rolled to a 31-7 lead.

But even before the game, the 82-year-old coach said several times he thought USC was at least as good as any team in the country, perhaps better.

It doesn’t matter.

Out of the BCS championship mix, the Trojans can only wonder what might have been had they not lost at Oregon State 27-21 on Sept. 25.

What was thought to be a weak Pac-10 hurt the Trojans’ chances to reach the national championship game in Miami—where Florida and Oklahoma will play next week. But the Pac-10 finished the postseason 5-0.

“With all due respect, those are two great programs, I don’t think anybody can beat the Trojans,” USC coach Pete Carroll said. “I just think we can beat anyone we played. That’s happened a lot to us late in the season. This is a terrific finishing program. There are so many things we can do. We’re just hard to beat right now.

“I just wish we could keep playing. Unfortunately, we don’t get to. Maybe someday there will be a chance, but not now.”

And not soon, either. There’s no playoff in sight for major college football.

USC scored four touchdowns and a field goal on five consecutive first-half possessions for a 24-point halftime lead against a team that allowed only 12.4 points per game during the regular season.

With the No. 1 defense in the nation, there was no way the Trojans would blow that kind of lead.

The Nittany Lions (11-2) scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to make the final score respectable, yet fell far short of their 40.2-point average.

Paterno, who has won 383 games, including 23 bowls—both records—thought the Trojans were every bit as good as advertised. USC won 10 straight after losing to Oregon State, outscoring the opposition 380-80.

Oregon State Knocks Off Pittsburgh 3-0

January 1, 2009

The Pac Ten domination continues! First Arizona, then Cal, Oregon and now Oregon State. Make that 4 wins and 0 losses for the Pac Ten.

In the lowest-scoring major bowl game in a half-century, No. 24 Oregon State shut down No. 18 Pittsburgh 3-0 in the Sun Bowl on Justin Kahut’s 44-yard field goal late in the first half Wednesday.

From the Associated Press:

The defensive struggle included 20 punts and nine sacks. Pitt kicker Connor Lee tried a 58-yard field goal in the closing minutes but the ball, helped by a steady wind, dropped just short of the crossbar.

Not since Air Force and TCU played to 0-0 standoff in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1, 1959, had a bowl produced so few points.

The Beavers (9-4) improved to 5-0 in bowls since coach Mike Riley began his second stint as their coach in 2003. Pitt (9-4) managed just 178 total yards.

It was the lowest-scoring Sun Bowl since a scoreless tie in 1940 between Catholic and Arizona State.

Pitt, making its first bowl appearance since the 2004 season and the first under coach Dave Wanndstedt, led the Big East in scoring this season, averaging 29.3 points per game.

But there was no sign of offense this time, not with standout tailback LeSean McCoy held to 85 yards rushing. Quarterback Bill Stull was 7-for-24 for 52 yards with one interception.

The Beavers played without their spectacular brothers, tailback Jacquizz Rodgers and receiver James Rodgers, both out with shoulder injuries.

Reserve tailback Jeremy Francis had 76 yards rushing and Lyle Moevao was 21-for-42 for 193 yards passing with two interceptions. The Beavers finished with 273 total yards and rebounded from 65-38 loss to rival Oregon that denied them a Rose Bowl berth.

The Panthers finally got a spark early in the fourth quarter when T.J. Porter returned a punt 36 yards to Oregon State’s 42.

But three plays later, the big return was wasted because Oregon State’s Victor Butler, who had four sacks, stripped Stull and recovered the fumble.

Oregon State led 3-0 after Kahut connected on his field goal with 2:18 remaining before halftime. He later missed a 37-yard attempt midway through the third period.

The Beavers came up empty on the best touchdown opportunity by either team. Officials ruled tight end John Reese was out of bounds on an apparent 9-yard TD reception 10 seconds before the break.

The call was upheld after a replay review, and on the next play, Pitt linebacker Scott McKillop—the Big East defensive player of the year— intercepted Moevao’s pass in the end zone.

Joe Paterno Signs Three Year Extension with Penn State

December 17, 2008

The 82 year old coaching legend will never retire! :)

Penn State coach Joe Paterno has a new three-year contract extension to go along with his new hip.

From the Associated Press:

The Hall of Famer and winningest coach in major college football history has agreed to a new deal with the university, the athletic department said Tuesday in a statement.

The agreement will provide “for the opportunity of Coach Joe Paterno leading the football program through the 2011 season,” the statement said. JoePa turns 82 on Sunday.

“It was also agreed that the parties might reevaluate their circumstances and alter the arrangement by either shortening or extending its length as necessary,” the statement said.

The agreement ends months of speculation about Paterno’s future since his current deal had expired following this season. University president Graham Spanier and Paterno had announced in the spring that Paterno didn’t need something in writing to stay on a job he’s had a record 43 years.

Yet contract questions still dogged both sides until Nov. 22, when Paterno said after the Big Ten title-clinching win over Michigan State that he planned to return in 2009.

Ball State…What Are You Thinking?

December 5, 2008

Yes, you are currently 12-0, one of just a few undefeated teams left in college football. You are having a great season. So, why in the world would you turn down the opportunity to play Boise State in the Humanitarian Bowl? Yes, the game will be played on Boise State’s home field, the so called “Smurf Turf”, but you are missing out on a GREAT opportunity! Not just for your school, but for all of College Football!

Jason King had a great posting on Yahoo! Sports discussing this very topic. I’ve posted some of it below. Does anybody have any thoughts on this decision by Ball State?

From Yahoo! Sports:

A few days after Ball State finished the regular season with a 12-0 record, folks around the Mid-American Conference began referring to the Cardinals as one of the best teams in league history.

Hogwash.

Elite programs don’t cower in corners when faced with a challenge, which is exactly what Ball State did Wednesday when it declined an invitation to play Boise State in the Humanitarian Bowl.

The game would’ve been one of most intriguing matchups of the postseason. Both 12-0, the Broncos and Cardinals are the only two undefeated teams in college football that won’t be playing in a BCS Bowl.

Yes, the Humanitarian Bowl is played on the Broncos’ home field in Boise, but that shouldn’t matter. The stadium would’ve been packed, television ratings would’ve been huge. Win or lose, the Cardinals would’ve received a level of exposure their program has never known.

Unfortunately, though, the game will never happen.

The Cardinals were too scared.

In some ways it wasn’t difficult to understand Ball State’s position. Coach Brady Hoke had plenty of legitimate reasons for wanting to steer clear of the Humanitarian Bowl.

With the economy in such turmoil, Hoke realizes that many Ball State fans would not make the 1,900-mile trek from Indiana to see the Cardinals play Boise State, which is just two years removed from its upset of Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.

Even more daunting was that the Broncos are 35-3 in three seasons under Chris Peterson. Over the last 10 years they tout the best winning percentage in all of college football.

Simply playing Boise State is tough enough. Doing so on its home turf would’ve been an even taller task.

Still, the challenge – the opportunity – is one that most up-and-coming programs would welcome. Pat Hill’s “any-time-any-place” approach helped Fresno State earn a reputation as one of top non-BCS programs in college football. Even in their down years, the Bulldogs are admired for being fearless. People respect them.

Right now, not too many people respect Ball State.

Yes, the Cardinals are 12-0, and it’s true Ball State has one of the top three or four quarterbacks in college football in Nate Davis. But take a look at its schedule.

The Cardinals’ 12 opponents are a collective 54-88. Only three of them finished with a winning record. Ask any Ball State diehard, and they’ll tell you the team’s marquee victory came against in-state rival Indiana, which went 3-9.

The bottom line is that people still want to see if Ball State is for real. All season long, fans and notable alums have complained that media-types and voters haven’t given the Cardinals their due, but it’s tough to shower too much praise upon a program that displays such cowardice the one time they have a chance to face a quality opponent.

In trying to save face by avoiding a potential butt-kicking in Boise, Ball State actually made itself look worse. Humanitarian Bowl executive director Kevin McDonald called the situation “unfortunate for college football.”

Unfortunate? Try embarrassing. Not just for Ball State, but for the Mid-American Conference, too.

MAC Commissioner Rick Chryst should’ve done everything in his power to convince Ball State to accept the H-Bowl’s invitation. His failure to do so makes his league look small-time in comparison to non-BCS conferences such as Conference USA, the Western Athletic Conference and the Mountain West.


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