Tag Archives: Florida State

Quick thoughts from week two

Lane Kiffin won’t be the head coach at USC next year. He won’t ever be the head coach anywhere again. He’s a joke.

Michigan State is a really good team with really bad quarterback play. No way they can best out the likes of Nebraska, Michigan, and Northwestern in what is a very good division.

Jeff Driskel is bad. Real bad. Florida has to have a better option on that roster.

Miami and Florida State have easy schedules the rest of the way. A couple double digit win seasons from these two could help shift the balance of power in Florida.

It’s not just the two Florida schools though. Clemson and Virginia have also produced impressive non conference wins. The ACC may not be the joke it’s been lately, Logan Thomas not withstanding.

Texas, really? The other contenders on the Big XII have all shown dramatic defensive improvement. Without massive improvement, and quickly, Texas could struggle to reach .500. Saturday against Ole Miss is a must win.

Tennessee has looked good against lesser competition. Reality check this week.

Louisville isn’t playing around. The competition hadn’t been tough, but they’ve handled it like a contender should.

Indiana blew a chance for a strong start to their season by losing to Navy.

Raheem Cato and Marshall can score some points, lots of them. Watch them when you can.

Southern Miss has gone from 12-2 to one of three worst teams in the nation in the blink of an eye. It’s astonishing.

I’ve tried telling people that Ohio is overrated and Bowling Green will win that division. Maybe they’ll start listening now.

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Your College Football Viewing Guide

Early Games

1. Oklahoma vs Texas 12:00 ABC

This is THE game this weekend, per many of the national media experts and pundits. Personally, I’m not sure I’m drinking the kool-aid. I don’t particularly find Texas a very impressive football team. Perhaps they’ll prove me wrong this Saturday afternoon, but I would actually be very surprised if they were able to play with Oklahoma for four quarters.

That said, it’s still the Red River Shootout, it’s still a rivalry game, and it’s still two of the nations most polarizing programs. So it clearly takes the cake as the early game to watch on Saturday.

Who knows, the Texas pass defense has been outstanding this year, will it be enough to slow down the prolific Oklahoma passing attack led by Landry Jones? It’s going to have to be. Otherwise Oklahoma will win this one going away.

2. Maryland at Georgia Tech 12:00 ESPNU

Maryland has one of the weaker run defenses in college football, while Georgia Tech possesses one of the most dynamic ground attacks in recent memory. You put the two together and we should see quite a few points put up by the Yellow Jackets.

The question will be how many will they allow Maryland? Since their season opening victory over Miami the Terps have been anything but impressive. They scored a mere 7 points against Temple, and only 28 against the mighty Towson Tigers. They will certainly need far more than that to keep pace with the Yellow Jackets. Don’t count on it. Expect Tech to creep closer to the top ten this week.

3. Florida State at Wake Forest 12:30 ACC Network

The Florida State national title campaign is no longer in play, but the Seminoles still are hoping to contend for the ACC. Granted, Clemson getting past Virginia Tech puts Florida State in a very unenviable position in still needing two more Clemson losses.

First things first though, Florida State needs to take care of a Wake Forest team who is an overtime loss to Syracuse away from being unbeaten themselves. The Demon Deacons have shown an ability to fling the football all over the field, throwing for 316 yards per game. Having seen what Clemson’s attack did to Florida State’s defense, Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price has to like his chances to put up some points.

E.J. Manuel though will be back at the helm for Florida State, and that might be the difference that elevates Florida State past Wake Forest. However, a loss, which is possible on the road, would leave the ‘Noles below .500, and leave fans realizing Florida State may still be a lot further away from being “back” than they thought when the season began.

Kentucky at South Carolina 12:00 SEC Network

Connor Shaw takes over for the beleaguered Stephen Garcia at quarterback for South Carolina, but it really shouldn’t make much of a difference. Kentucky is a really bad football team who faces serious offensive challenges. Yes, the Gamecocks might still be suffering a late down from blowing their 4th quarter lead against Auburn last week, but it shouldn’t keep them from easily disposing of a bad Kentucky team.

Louisville at North Carolina 12:00 ESPN2

The Tar Heels will look to move to 5-1 by taking on a Louisville team that has losses to Florida International and Marshall. The Cardinals are one of the worst offenses in the country, and going up against North Carolina’s front seven doesn’t figure to cure what ails Louisville. Expect the Heels to roll, and possibly make an appearance in the top 25 next Monday.

Afternoon Games

1. Florida at LSU 3:30 CBS

This one tops the list for reasons similar to Oklahoma and Texas being the must see game of the early games. It’s simply put, two huge programs going at each other. The problem is, it’s not two equal teams.

With Jeff Brantley out, the LSU defense is absolutely salivating at the thought of welcoming a young freshmen quarterback who looked completely lost and out of place at home last weekend against Alabama. Jeff Driskell should be better than he was a week ago, but that won’t be enough.

The Tiger defense is downright nasty, and Tiger Stadium isn’t the place for a freshmen to make his first start. The Gators will be lucky to make this a competitive game in the 2nd half, and a loss here will leave their SEC title hopes on life support, as they still have to play Georgia and South Carolina.

For LSU it seems more and more like theirs is a one game season, the Alabama game. This tilt with the Gators should not be anything more than a small speed bump on their way to an epic showdown with the Tide.

2. Miami at Virginia Tech 3:30 ABC

The Miami Hurricanes season quite possibly hangs in the balance in this matchup with Virginia Tech. The Hokies were the chic pick to win the ACC, but have been less than impressive thus far in 2011. The loss to Clemson last week seemed to bring to light the fears Hokies fans may have had about their team.

Offensively they could do nothing right, and while they weren’t bad defensively, they weren’t good enough to keep their team in the game.

The key will be which Jacory Harris shows up. If it’s the good Jacory Harris, Miami has a real chance to steal an upset victory and re-enter the ACC title race, despite their early season troubles.

However, if Harris doesn’t play well and the Miami offense can’t get them a lead early, the lack of confidence permeating throughout the Miami program and team could spell trouble for the Hurricanes, and Miami could find itself at the very bottom of the ACC before the second week of October gets here.

3. Air Force at Notre Dame 3:30 NBC

Notre Dame is arguably a far better football team than their 3-2 record would indicate. Turnovers are killer, and nobody knows this quite like Brian Kelly’s Irish squad.

Defensively Notre Dame has held their last three opponents to 13 points or fewer, so the defense has begun to turn things around lately as well.

However, if there’s one thing the Irish are susceptible to it’s a lack of discipline. And a lack of discipline can get you hurt badly by an option offense such as the one Air Force runs. If Notre Dame can avoid defensive lapses, and protect the football, the Irish should win, and win easily.

But that’s a couple large ifs, ifs I’m not sure Notre Dame is ready to consistently answer to.

Arizona State at Utah 3:30 FSN

The Sun Devils have separated themselves from the rest of the Pac-12 south crowd, however, if there’s one serious hurdle for them to clear, it’s likely going to be the Utes of Utah.

Utah gave USC all they could handle in a losing effort, but the Utes are still 0-2 and seeking their first conference win. Playing at home could be a huge benefit for the Utes, so don’t expect Arizona State to just march through them like they aren’t there. However, do expect the Sun Devils to move to 3-0 and further elevate themselves in the Pac-12 race.

Iowa at Penn State 3:30 ESPN

With home games looming against Northwestern and Indiana, followed by a road trip to Minnesota, this game is exceptionally huge for Iowa. A win here, and it’s extremely likely they will enter the Michigan game at 7-1 with an unblemished Big Ten mark and find themselves squarely in place to contend for a division title.

Penn State owns one of the best defenses in all of college football and they know they need all the early season wins they can get. They close the season with the likes of Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin. The possibility exists, that despite the greatness of their defense, the Nittany Lions could lose their final four games. Having already been beaten by Alabama, a loss to Iowa could leave Penn State staring down the barrel of a .500 season.

Night Games

1. Auburn at Arkansas 7:00 ESPN

Auburn’s surprising victory over South Carolina last week in Columbia enabled the Tigers to serve notice they’re still going to have something to say about who wins the SEC West. That said, the task this weekend may be even tougher.

Auburn’s defensive shortcomings are no secret, and only the ineptitude of South Carolina’s offense was able to mask them last week. Arkansas does not suffer from a lack of offense and will force the Tigers to try and keep up in what should be a high scoring affair.

Arkansas thrashing at the hands of Alabama may have made them the forgotten team in the SEC West race, but a victory over Auburn would enable them to keep hope alive. A home loss though to the Tigers and Arkansas’s season will be off the tracks before the weather turns cold.

2. Georgia at Tennessee 7:00 ESPN2

The Auburn victory over South Carolina coupled with the Alabama throttling of Florida was the perfect medicine for Georgia. Georgia now enters the rest of their SEC slate in a great position to still win the SEC East.

However, losing in Knoxville would end those dreams just as quickly as they flared back up. Georgia is still a young team, and playing on the road in Knoxville will not be an easy task for a team that is remarkably inconsistent from quarter to quarter.

The Georgia defense has shown great improvement under Todd Grantham, and will almost surely make Tennessee one dimensional. If Georgia can get out to an early lead they will be able to unleash the pass rush on the Volunteers and ultimately pull away.

However, if Georgia’s forced to try to use their offense to play catch up at any point to Tennessee, that may be a task too daunting.

3. Ohio State at Nebraska 8:00 ABC

The Buckeyes are quickly becoming a major dumpster fire, and it will likely get worse this week on the road against Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are one ticked off bunch after the egg they laid against Wisconsin. They know their Big Ten championship hopes can ill afford another loss, so expect a fired up Nebraska squad to come out to the “Sea of Red”.

As for Ohio State, their season has already begun to see the wheels fall of, and it figures to get worse. The mess that has become their athletic department has certainly trickled down to the on field product as well. With Illinois on the road, and Wisconsin to follow, the Buckeyes mess may just be beginning.

Texas A&M at Texas Tech 7:00 FX

The Aggies desperately want to get back in the win column, suffering consecutive close losses to Oklahoma State and Arkansas. Both are fine teams in their own right, and there is no shame in losing to either team. However, for A&M, the fear of a hangover from two tough losses is very real, and it’s amplified by the fact that they are on the road in a conference game.

Texas Tech is a quiet 4-0, perhaps it’s because they weren’t exactly impressive in their wins over Nevada and Kansas, but 4-0 is still 4-0, and the offense is still averaging over 47 points per game. They’re probably going to need all 47 to hang with Texas A&M, but a victory over the Aggies would be a huge boost for Tommy Tubberville’s team.

TCU at San Diego State 10:30 CBS College Network

The Aztecs don’t just have goals of making a bowl this season, they firmly expect to compete for a conference title. TCU’s loss to SMU further illustrated that these Horned Frogs aren’t the same ones of years past, and aside from Boise State, leaves an open space at the top of the Mountain West conference.

With Boise positioned for a BCS bowl bid, the number two team in the Mountain West could be primed to slide into their place in the bowl pecking order. A win at home over TCU would point San Diego State in the right direction and serve notice to Boise that there fiercest competition might just be from southern California.

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NCAA Tournament Quick Thoughts

  • Yes,  I know the Big East only saw two of eleven teams advance into the Sweet Sixteen, however seven did advance to the round of 32, which is over 1/5 of the field.
  • Arguments are made that the only reason two Big East teams made the Sweet 16 is because they were able to beat other Big East teams. On the other side of that coin, it also means that perhaps two of the five teams to lose in the round of 32 lost simply because they played Big East teams.
  • Watching Butler run their offense is a treat. The difference in the movement off the ball for the Bulldogs compared to Pittsburgh was night and day. Bradley Stevens is absolutely one of the elite coaches in America.
  • Jimmer is the truth. Period. I didn’t see BYU surviving the opening weekend without Davies. Not only did they, they did so rather impressively.
  • Michigan basketball is on the way back.
  • Which team benefited most from the pod system, and from the court they got to play on during the opening weekend? I think it’s safe to say Duke and North Carolina share that, as both squeaked out of the round of 32 with close victories in Charlotte. It makes you wonder what would have happened had they been on a truly neutral court.
  • The fact that Xavier and Michigan State both have made the Sweet 16 for the straight years prior to this tournament was, and still is, irrelevant to this years tournament. The squad that started that run for each bears very little resemblance to the ones that were ousted in the opening round.
  • For the first time since Los Angeles did it in 2007, a city has two teams in the Sweet 16. The city? Richmond.
  • Seth Greenberg, please shut-up now. You aren’t even the second best team in your state, you absolutely have done nothing to show why your Virginia Tech Hokies belonged in the tournament more than the VCU Rams. All the Rams have done is shown they belong with the big boys, while your Hokies can’t get out of round two in the Not Important Tournament.
  • Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, please return to Athens. If you do, the 2012 NCAA Tournament run could be special for the folks in Athens.
  • Have you ever seen a dumber foul than the one Sheldon Mack committed at the end of the Pittsburgh/Butler game? The answer is no. Well, except for the fact that Pittsburgh committed an even more egregious foul on the other end.
  • Picking upsets isn’t the way to win a bracket pool, but it’s a way to make watching the opening round much more fun, and feel some vindication when you nail one.
  • I did pretty well with the upset picks. Richmond, George Mason, and Gonzaga delivered. Utah State, Old Dominion and Georgia took their opponent down to the bitter end while Clemson just tired down the stretch in a game they were in throughout. Belmont was the only one who kinda make me look silly.
  • Speaking of Clemson, the scheduling of this tournament screwed them pretty royally. No way they should have been playing in the first game of the tournament after playing in the First Four, especially considering they didn’t even get in ’till about 5 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Pretty inexcusable if you ask me.
  • Was there any game more exciting to watch throughout its entirety than Arizona against Memphis. Neither possession seemed to last more than 12 seconds, and the game was played at break-neck pace. It also had plenty of drama down the stretch. Two very, very athletic teams. Memphis could be very good next year.
  • Florida State just plays ridiculous defense, period. They are an extremely tough out, reminds me of some of those old Wisconsin teams that seemed to regularly crash the party.
  • On the note of the Badgers, things have shaped up rather nicely for them. Butler’s offense won’t catch them as off guard and out of position as it did Pittsburgh. Watching Taylor go head to head with Mack is going to be a real treat.
  • Missed free throws make the end of college basketball games in March the most exciting thing in sports.
  • At this point, I don’t see how anyone can pick against Ohio State. Everyone else has looked extremely vulnerable, with Kansas perhaps being the second strongest. Right now, Ohio State though is playing head and shoulders better than anyone else.

 

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