Friday, September 29, 2006

OLN's New College Football Look

Remember the Outdoor Life Network? Who brought us the Tour de France when Lance Armstrong was dominating year after year (Only Lance Network)? The same channel that is more obscurely known for airing shows like 'L.L. Bean's Guide to the Outdoors' and 'World of Beretta?' Would it surprise you to learn that they've started airing live college football games?

Me too. And it surprised me even more that this weekend, they're airing the Utah game against my beloved Boise State Broncos on Saturday. Hip hip hooray.

Apparently, if the following commerical is any indication, OLN's getting in on the college football action in a deal with the Mountain West Conference and making it hip with an edgy new nom de plume to appeal to the collegiate crowd, Versus. (They even have a whole new section on their website devoted to bulls.) Since I will now be watching the Boise State game, it works for me. OLN, er, Versus, you've earned a viewer.

Chat Transcript: Football Overload

nastyb: is iowa/osu on abc?

switters: yeep
it's the saturday night game
what's your take on iowa/osu

nastyb: rad
i think osu is going to win

switters: i think we're going to roll
honestly i usually don't feel like this
if they've given up points to terrible terrible teams
like Syracuse we can surely score a bunch

nastyb: yeah
but weird shit happens at kinnick stadium
that's the only thing to watch out for
plus tate's the best QB in the history of the universe
he wasn't there when iowa eeked it out over syracuse
the terrible power of his glare gives the defense strength

switters: right
after stanton

nastyb: he's number two, in the universe

switters: you forgot about stanton

nastyb: that's who i was talking about
tate #1
stanton #2
god #3
jesus christ #4 (tied)
brady quinn #4 (tied)
that's the universal ranking of QBs
stanton beats god because he's a good scrambler
while god is more a of pro-style, pocket passer

switters: so what's the deal with scouts
you know they do the advantages thing
for each position
for this game
they give "coach" to iowa

nastyb: ferentz is the best coach in the universe

switters: right
how exactly is ferentz a better coach than tressel?

nastyb: well, since he's smarter than any human being that has ever lived, and tressel is smarter than all but one human being that ever lived, ferentz is the better coach.

switters: hahaha
i guess that makes sense
thanks for sorting that out for me

nastyb: iowa makes sense
and they try hard
but ohio state's going to win
isn't the line like 7?

switters: yes

nastyb: crazy
that's too close for my taste

switters: easily cover

nastyb: you think?

switters: yes
we haven't won by less than 17
Sent at 10:53 AM on Friday

switters: iowa gave up 13 to syracuse and 17 to iowa stat
not sure how that plays out but our offensive attack is so balanced
Sent at 10:57 AM on Friday

nastyb: what do you think of vanderbilt -34 over temple

switters: that's a crazy line

nastyb: i'm betting on Boise State +5 at Utah because i know they're going to win that game

switters: +5 at utah???

nastyb: yeah
boise state's the underdog
i don't get it

switters: when is that game
this weekend
Sent at 12:01 PM on Friday

nastyb: noon tomorrow
TCU lost last night to BYU, which clears the road for Boise State as the lurking mid-major with BCS prospects

switters: nice

nastyb: read it: 'team of destiny.'

switters: boise state is tough

nastyb: that's why utah is doomed.

switters: well
i feel the same about my team to be honest

nastyb: well that's too bad because i feel that way about my other team too
and we all know there can only be one team of destiny in the big ten

switters: pretty much all your teams are on a destiny thing huh

nastyb: when it's on its pretty hard to deny it
and i'm zeroed in on the destiny waves

switters: i agree

nastyb: i said it about texas before last year

switters: beating the defending national champion in their stadium is a great start
i'm glad we're on the same page

nastyb: ???

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Chat Transcript: Eating Crow on the Big East

looks like i was wrong about rutgers

Sent at 10:09 AM on Thursday

true dat
and the Big East in general
they're much better than the ACC

except for Temple
wait, Temple's independent aren't they

dang, i guess i was just so used to equating
inferiority with the new Big East

Sent at 10:44 AM on Thursday

A Thoughtful Addendum:

With both Louisville and West Virginia at convincing 4-0 starts, Pittsburgh and South Florida at 3-1, UConn on the rise as a school seemingly committed to its football program, and Syracuse registering a pulse for the first time since Donovan McNabb graduated, you've got to admit the Big East so far is making a better showing than the ACC.

But Rutgers at 4-0 has got to be the biggest surprise so far, cracking the AP Top 25 for the first time since Jesus died.

I've witnessed the Garden State's mad obsession with high school football first hand and have always wondered why the state school in New Jersey couldn't field a better team.

It comes down to recruiting of course, and Jersey has been historically raped and pillaged of its star prospects like a feudal fiefdom each recruiting season by the ACC, SEC, Big 10, Notre Dame and other Big East schools. I think even the Ivy League steals a recruit or two from Rutgers.

But with a winning season in sight (they're legitimately a 3 loss team, with luck even better), and a Bowl Bid in the offing, the recruiting should pick up and we might see a good thing going in Jersey as well as the Big East.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Top 10 Plays of The Week

Compiled and finished in grainy, historical black and white by

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ohio State's Defense is TOUGH

I try to limit my Ohio State rants on this blog, but this is something I just can't deal with anymore.

Here's a gem from an ESPN "expert" chat THIS week, after Ohio State gave up 2 field goals to Penn State.

Seattle, WA: What's your prediction on the Ohio State - Iowa game?

SportsNation Mark Schlabach: I'll tell you what, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Iowa won the football game. Drew Tate is very good. It's his third year in the system and he is very smart. Ohio State's run defense is still suspect, so Albert Young could run for some heavy yardage. Ohio State has more speed on offense, but the game is in Iowa City. Kirk Ferentz could really shake things up this weekend.

Hmm. If ZERO rushing touchdowns given up in 4 games and an average of 115 yards allowed on the ground is suspect, then I'd like to have a suspect defense all season.

I hate to get statistical on you on a Tuesday, but let's take a look at what the Ohio State defense has done in 4 games:

*Allowed an average of 8 points
*16 sacks
*38 tackles for loss
*8 interceptions, 2 for touchdowns

And James Laurinaitis, the SOPHOMORE linebacker who had the potentially thankless job of following AJ Hawk as linebacker, has the following statistics:

36 tackles, 3 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles

This is not the defense of 2005, but this defense has the intensity, the speed, and the desire to carry this team when need be. Oh, and Mark Schlabach, you're an idiot.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Week 4: Everything According to Plan

Ohio State ground it out against a suprisingly tough Penn State defense. Anyone watched the game will know the final score doesn't reflect how close the contest really was, since Anthony 'Meat For Brains' Morelli threw a couple of ill-advised pick-sixes when Penn State was in their two-minute drill that let Ohio State pad their lead and cover the spread. Basically, blown coverage reads. But, give the Buckeyes some serious credit, they kept the lions out of the endzone and have allowed just 3 touchdowns all season. As Switters keeps asking, where are the questions about the inexperienced defense now?

Also, anyone notice Joe Pa scampering off the field with a sudden need attributed to flu about 8 minutes before halftime? Looked more like diarrhea, cha cha cha.

Up by 16 with 9 minutes to go in the fourth quarter seems pretty safe. Unless you happen to be the Michigan State Spartans. In which case you become totally ineffective in the 4th quarter, as if awaiting the inevitable late-game collapse. Unbelievable game and I can't decided what to make of it. Was it really a classic Sparty meltdown? Or is Notre Dame a good team? (Judging by their remaining schedule, I think they're looking like a two-loss team.)

All of the above, of course, begs another interesting question. Since Notre Dame was manhandled by Michigan, but handled Penn State, who made things tough for Ohio State, how good is Michigan? A little sloppy on offense against Wisconsin, their defense was sensational holding Wisconsin, a power running team, to 12 total yards on the ground. November 18 looms larger and larger.

Quick Shot Heisman Contenders:

*Mario Manningham: (aka 'The New Math') 137 yards on 4 catches for 3 touchdowns against Notre Dame, 113 yards on 7 catches for 2 touchdowns against Wisconsin. He's official.

*Troy Smith - despite two picks, the lasting memory of what was in actuality a pretty ugly, Tressel-ball type win, was Smith's dancing pants 50 yard touchdown bomb after eluding the entire Penn State D on a crazy, broken play.

*Brady Quinn? - I can't tell what to make of this guy. One weekend he sucks like a prom date, the next he's tossing off 5 touchdowns in an amazing come from behind win in the rain. He'll probably continue to put up big numbers against the soft, creamy center of the remaining Notre Dame schedule before they lose their season finale at USC. Figuring to be a two-loss team, Notre Dame will get a BCS Bowl in a season hauntingly familiar to last year. Ultimately it won't be enough to get Quinn a bronze trophy.

Quick Shots:

*Boise State won in an absolute shoot-out against Hawai'i with 75 points and almost 1,000 yards of total offense between the two teams. And this in the year Boise State's defense was supposed to pave the way.

*Clemson smoked North Carolina 52-7 and looked sharp as shit coming off a big win over FSU last weekend. BC lost to a bad NC State team, confirming my suspicion that they've been living on borrowed time, and so I'm sticking with the Tigers in the ACC. Look out for the big match up with Virginia Tech on October 26.

*Poor Dan Hawkins and the Colorado Buffalos. After some truly bad losses, the big win which they could almost taste against Georgia would have been the sweetest kind of redemption. Still a good a performance and something to build on going forward. I think they finally get a win next weekend against Missouri as the Hawk starts to turn things around in Boulder.

Anyone who's made it this deep in the post deserves the infinite reward behind link #4. Thanks for reading.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Chat Transcript: I Can't Stand the Rain

switters: i love football season

nastyb: yeah
me too
Sent at 10:19 AM on Friday

nastyb: what's got you so excited?

switters: i just love watching troy smith play
Sent at 10:25 AM on Friday

switters: it's supposed to be really rainy in columbus on saturday
Sent at 10:28 AM on Friday

nastyb: yuh oh
heavy rain's kind of an equalizer
remember the fsu louisville game from a few years back?
Sent at 10:31 AM on Friday

switters: hmm
not sure
Sent at 10:35 AM on Friday

nastyb: louisville beat one of those really good offensive fsu teams
because it was raining cats and dogs
and that really slowed down the fsu offense
Sent at 10:37 AM on Friday

switters: yeah
too bad we have such a great running back

nastyb: it always makes things interesting
Sent at 10:40 AM on Friday

switters: psyched
big ten season rules
Sent at 10:43 AM on Friday

switters: BJ (Cincinnati): With the forecast calling for rain in Columbus this weekend, do you see this helping Penn St. slow down OSU's offense?

SportsNation Bruce Feldman: maybe a little, but the beauty of this OSU offense is that it has the power combination too so I don't see that changing the winner in my mind: OSU by at least 2 TDs

nastyb: word

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Whoa, Oklahoma!

Take it easy David Boren.

We’ve been over this before, bad calls are for better or worse a part of the game. Since any team will be both the beneficiary and the victim of bad calls at some point it behooves us all, coaches, players and fans, to bite our tongues and accept the fact that sometimes life gives you lemons. You take your lumps and move on.

The stoic reaction to life’s random, mean or cruel bullshit has been a traditional American value. And nowhere in America was that value more ingrained, apparently, than the heartland of which Oklahoma is a part.

So why, in a country where innocent people are incarcerated and or sentenced to death with alarming frequency, is the President of the University of Oklahoma, David Boren, raising such hell about a bad call in a football game? Shouldn’t he have more important things to do like run a school of 30,000 students?

Before any Sooners fans get bent out of sorts, let me say that I agree that the call was total crap. That it affected the outcome of the game is regrettable. But bad calls are unavoidable, and the Pac-10 has eaten crow on this. They have apologized as a conference and suspended the guilty referees and review officials.

What else can you expect them to do?

President Boren has called for the game to be stricken from the records, erased as history and has brought this sly-political request to the Commissioner of the Big 12 Conference. Furthermore, the Big 12 is threatening to cancel next year’s Oklahoma @ Washington game if the Pac 10 does not capitulate to Oklahoma demands that the Pac 10 change its rule requiring league officials to be used at its home stadiums. I really hope this doesn't happen. It sets a bad precedent.

I've seen other deserving teams lose by bad calls. It always sucks. But most, in the wake of such a loss have had the grace and the sense to realize that life, even football, isn't fair. Is that a reason to give up? Or throw a tantrum until you get your way?

Sadly Boren and Stoops and some of Sooner Nation have decided to play the part of the sore loser and cry foul like none before. I hope that the college football community, starting with the Big 12 and Pac 10, can ignore their cries (a little tough love, if you will) and move on because to entertain their whining would be bad for the Sooners and bad for college football.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Week 3: I Hate To Say I Told You So...

I'll echo Switters sentiments on Michigan and say that Saturday was indeed an affirmative experience. As far as takeaway for the future, methinks The Game in Columbus may be the biggest since 1997 with both teams having realistic National Championship aspirations. I don't want to jinx it just yet, so of course we'll have to wait and see. In the Big 10 any team can be problematic and we don't know how good Wisconsin, Iowa or Sparty really are. But it's going to be a good motherfucking season.


Now, I won't fight ESPN's inclination to branding each college football weekend, especially since "Separation Saturday" completely lived up to the hype and made the National Championship picture a bit more clear. With history being our guide, we can safely scratch Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee and LSU from the title hunt. Additionally, we've got good bets as to the SEC's future. Auburn looks like the team to beat in the West, while Florida appears to be the beast in the East. Fortunately for fans, the SEC divisional champs will have to play each other before one (or both) can emerge into the BCS.

Taking a cue from this Separation Saturday's action, CFN updated its BCS bowl projections as follows:


Rose Bowl
Pasadena, CA
Bowl Projection: Michigan vs. Boise State

Fiesta Bowl
Glendale, AZ
Bowl Projection: Texas vs. Notre Dame

Orange Bowl
Miami, FL
Bowl Projection: Clemson vs. Florida

Sugar Bowl
New Orleans, LA
Bowl Projection: Auburn vs. Louisville

BCS Championship Game
Glendale, AZ
Bowl Projection: USC vs. Ohio State

And, jigga what? Boise State vs. Michigan in the Rose Bowl? Notre Dame survives to earn a BCS berth? Clemson wins the ACC?

Insane? Wacky? Interesting no doubt; and at times difficult to understand, seeing as CFN spearheaded the Notre Dame is overrated train of thought, but CFN lays it out for college football to play it out.

Quick Shots
*It's fuzzy now, though I think we said something to the contrary earlier, but so far I'm liking the Big East way more than the ACC, which appears to be anyone's conference as a clusterfuck of mediocrity. I'm picking Clemson to eek it out over Virgina Tech now that FSU and Miami are sunk. So here, yes, I agree with CFN. Clemson goes BCS Bowling.

*Louisville's lost two stars in Michael Bush and Brian Brohm. That really sucks for a Cardinals team that was fixing to do some damage this year. However, they've continued to roll despite the loss of both stars. Let's see if they can continue to surge closing in on their showdown with West Virginia. (If CFN's BCS Bowl projections are to be trusted, they believe in Louisville as much as anyone.)

*Lucky Ducks - Oregon pulled off a fast one on Saturday night, drawing on a combination of luck, skill, nifty uniforms and (wink wink) "homefield advantage" to down Adrian Peterson (*more on him later), or the 2006 Oklahoma Sooners, 34-33 on a last minute field goal block. BUT, that should never have happened. Oregon, you got away with one and you know it. We all saw it. Your guy touched the onsides kick first. Belloti, you've got a good team, but you're officially living on borrowed time. (And, this just in, maybe the world is catching on.)

*Peterson's rushing for crazy yards so far (515 yards on 90 carries), but Oklahoma has been reduced to a one-trick pony without Bomar and thus despite Peterson's Herculean efforts, without a decent supporting cast he's an outsider in the Heisman race.

*Boise State, apparently hungover after last week's romp over Oregon State, grinds out the tough road win over Wyoming 17-10. Even so, they break into the AP Poll at #25. Even good teams have to win ugly at times. But the Broncos better not make a habit out of it if they plan to live up to CFN's BCS projections and beat out TCU for the mid-major BCS slot in the Rose Bowl against Michigan??

Crazy times we live in these.

Bravo, Wolverines

Man. I thought I knew a lot about college football until this weekend. I can win 4-team parlays by betting on SWC and MAC teams, but apparently I have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to my arch-rival.

This game was over before it started, and Michigan dominated in every single aspect of the game. I was rooting for the Wolvernies for the sake of my beloved Big Ten, but I was hoping that there would at least be a facet of competition to the game so that I could be entertained (which I'm sure my counterpart did not experience). But there was nothing, it was done, and here's how the BCS is shaping up:

Brady Quinn = Done
Notre Dame = Done
Charlie Weis = NOT a genius

But now it's time to focus on real football, the Big Ten season. This weekend will be a huge test for all the Big Ten teams, because it's an entirely different game when you're playing in the Big Ten.

I don't want to rain on Michigan's parade, but I think Michigan still has a lot to prove. A friendly Michigan fan told me yesterday that Michigan's win over Notre Dame is far more impressive than Ohio State's win over Texas. We won't know about any of this until the end of the season.

Early lines for Saturday:

Penn State @ Ohio State (-17)
Wisconsin @ Michigan (-14)

Let's do this.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why Brady Quinn Will Not Win The Heisman

It was only out of deference to my recently quiet colleague Switters that I let that last post lead the blog as long as I did. Because I'm polite and because I respect Switters, I tolerated the cloying look on Quinn's face, his insouciant grin taunting me from the homepage of my own blog, even though he irritates me so much it's making my scalp itch.

Now, meet the Michigan defensive line, a quartet of pipe-hitting brothers without a douche bag among them. On Saturday, led by 6'2" 268 lb. ball of man rage, LaMarr Woodley, they will expose Brady Quinn for the mincing gaylord that he is while defeating Notre Dame. (Take Michigan at +7 if you can find that line.)

Sure, Quinn looked impressive last weekend picking apart a Penn State defense that dropped 7 guys into coverage and telegraphed their occassional linebacker blitz. It's clear now that Brady Quinn can make a good pass when he's got time for tea in the pocket before going through his progression.

So by the other side of the sword it's also clear that the way to beat Notre Dame is put the squeeze on Quinn and pressure the shit out of him. Once's he got the happy feet and is scampering scared under pressure his effectiveness as a quarterback is diminished. Smardizjizdijsa doesn't score anymore balleterrific touchdowns. Michigan wins the game.

And Michigan can apply pressure with a defensive line that is drawing early and apt shock and awe as a force of nature. Woodley already has 4 sacks and 5 TFLs on the season and his supporting cast are, just like him: big, fast and angry and backing it up with 3 sacks and an additional 6 TFLs of their own (most of that in Biggs). But just look at the arms on Woodley and you will know the fear that Brady Quinn will feel come Saturday.

This defensive line is the reason Brady Quinn will not win the Heisman (or at lest go undefeated long enough to meet the Buckeyes in Switter's concocted fantasy BCS Championship matchup). Quinn will be exposed by this defensive line, who will draft the blueprint by which other teams with strong D lines will similarly solve the mighty Irish offense.

I'm prepared to eat crow on this pronouncement should the Irish win out over this defense because that will mean the Irish are that good and worthy of the hype. But I do not believe that will happen since Michigan is due for a big win.

Why Brady Quinn Will Win The Heisman

This is probably the last place you'd expect to see a prediction that Brady Quinn will win The Heisman Trophy for 2006.

With that photo, Quinn is lucky that "douchebaggery" is not a category that would take votes away in the Heisman, because he would have huge points in this category. But really, it comes down to the coaching style.

With no disrespect to my Michigan cohort, I'm working under the assumption that both Notre Dame and Ohio State will be undefeated and playing for the national championship on January 8. Obviously if Ohio State or Notre Dame loses, this scenario completely changes. But for the sake of argument let's say that they both are undefeated.

So as of the end of November, the race is between the mobile, efficient, deadly Troy Smith and the versatile, long throwing, douchey Brady Quinn. projections say that Brady Quinn will pass for 3198 yards in 2006, and Troy Smith will throw for 3396 yards. But those numbers alone won't be enough to put Troy ahead. And like I said, it's all about coaching.

Charlie Weis does not let up on his opponents. He's willing to score touchdowns until the end of the 4th quarter, and even when Notre Dame is ahead by 3 touchdowns, Quinn will continue to score and pad his statistics.

Jim Tressel does not operate that way. As we saw in Week One against Northern Illinois, once the Buckeyes were up 28-0, Tressel put his foot on the brakes. And although Smith could be brilliant in 12 games leading to the bowl season, the nature of Ohio State and Jim Tressel's game plans does not lend well to Troy Smith coming up with dazzling plays and overwhelming heroics.

Tressel's theory of gaining a lead in the air and controlling the rest of the game (and the clock) on the ground will work well for us all season. He's a great coach with a great sense for what is needed to win, although not overwhelmingly.

There's also the small issue of the blossoming, almost completely mature love between Notre Dame and the media. Every Notre Dame game is nationally televised, they have the biggest fan base in the nation, and they have a charismatic coach who's not afraid to take chances on gutsy plays when it matters most. Weis is willing to let the spotlight continue on his quarterback, even when the game is in hand.

While looking ahead to ND vs. OSU on January 8, this is just another reason why the Heisman should not be awarded until after the bowl season.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Chat Transcript: Planning the Perfect Week(end) 3

switters: wow
you see the mack brown article today?

nastyb: no i didn't catch it

switters: oh jesus

here's the headline
Ticked off: Brown faults clock rule in loss to OSU

nastyb: that's some good spin

switters: so ridiculous

nastyb: creative at least
but ducking the issue

switters: apparently they would have scored 3 touchdowns in 5 minutes with the old rules
what with their potent offense

switters: so has a poll
for the beginning of the NFL season
it says "are you ready for some football?"
i answered "no"
only 13% of us are not ready for some football

nastyb: just bucking the trend for the heck of it?

switters: i've savored this time without the NFL
it's been nice

switters: so
let's make sure we make some plans for saturday
are we watching ND/UM ?
usc/nebraska could be interesting
in theory
Sent at 9:24 AM on Tuesday

nastyb: yes
i was thinking we watch the first two rounds of games
what do you think about an afternoon round of golf?
like 9 holes or something...

switters: hmmm, that's a good plan
well watching osu at 9am
and then um/nd at 12:30
then golf?

nastyb: yeah
then dinner and evening games
like florida/tennessee

switters: and usc/nebraska

nastyb: that's it
a pretty full day

switters: well i'll have to watch buckeyes at home
because it's only on gameplan
unless i go to a bar at 8:30 am

nastyb: that's pretty agro

switters: yeah i can't do that

nastyb: me neither
i can't commit to 18 and drinking all day with college football

switters: right

nastyb: we can try 9 this weekend and if we feel great go to 18 some other time
Sent at 9:40 AM on Tuesday

nastyb: is gameplan showing the boise state/wyoming game?

switters: i'm sure
when is it?

nastyb: 12:30 on sat.

switters: i'm sure
i'm sure it is

nastyb: could be a good jump game during michigan/nd
how good do you think nd is?

switters: i mean
Sent at 9:46 AM on Tuesday

switters: it's tough to tell
it looks like PSU is bad
lloyd has had a buttoned-up offense
maybe he's waiting to unleash the fury
Sent at 9:51 AM on Tuesday

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Week 2: Conclusions

Was anyone else surprised at how completely Ohio State dominated Texas in Austin? Unless you're a Buckeye fan, the game did not live up to the hype since Texas wasn't making it much of a contest. Methinks Colt McCoy's christening as "The Real" was a bit premature. He looked like a baby on Saturday night and in the end wasn't man enough to match Troy Smith who decided he wanted the game and took it like a goddamned barbarian as McCoy watched helplessly from those doe eyes of his.

Still got to hand it to Ohio State then for a solid, solid win.

I'm still not convinced of Notre Dame. I think we can assign most of this Saturday's victory to Penn State's offense not giving their a defense a chance to catch it's breath. Critical mistakes at critical times, killed a number of drives and before long the Penn State defense was tired. So it's hard to know, still, how good the Irish are. Fans will see all the affirmation they need in this victory, but I've still got my doubts.

Other Stuff

*ESPN News ran some programming that was new to me at least, called College Football Overdrive and which I found to be an excellent jump channel to supplement whatever happens to be your game of interest.

On CFO, which ran saturday from 3pm-8pm EST (and will do so again this Saturday) the ESPN programmers interrupted the normally panaceaic ESPN News coverage to jump exclusively between other relevant college football games, many of which may not be showing regionally (or only on Gameplan). Using this as my jump channel on Saturday, I was able to focus on my contests and let CFO bring me up to speed on the crucial plays in other compelling games such as Akron/NC State, Iowa/Syracuse and BC/Clemson.

I think this is an excellent application of the otherwise informative, if monotonous, ESPN News outlet, and highly recommend it as a jump channel for anyone else hoping to keep up to speed this coming Saturday.

*1 out of 3 ain't bad for the WAC, especially since that 1 was Boise State's domination of Oregon State and a good portent for a Bronco team that won't be satisfied with anything less than BCS. Fresno State lost close to a good Oregon team, while Nevada got whooped. San Jose State came out of nowhere to upset Stanford, so will call it a wash for the WAC-Pac 10 intersectionals.

*Dan Hawkins lost his second game as CU head coach managing again to score just 10 points against Colorado State who scored 13 and beat them. Still I can't imagine its all his fault when the best guy on the team is the kicker (who nailed one from like 60 yards out only to have it called back as CSU called a dubious timeout right at the snap). It's hard to imagine Hawkins can do much with the Neuheisel/Barnett waste and only half his own recruiting class of freshmen. But so far more disappointing than anyone would have anticipated.

*The only thing we know about Michigan so far is that they're much better on defense and they appear to be able to run the ball with Hart et al. But Henne, the passing game and the play calling have remained enigmatic. The word on the street is that this is all smoke and mirrors bland playcalling (pretty much off tackles with a 10-15% margin for play action passing) and that the real offense, the 'we've revamped everything after years of predictablity' offense, will be unleashed before a shocked world this saturday at Notre Dame.

*Trent Green was my Fantasy Football QB until he got murdered on the field today. At 36 I had a feeling he could be broken at any moment, but I took my chances and rolled the dice. Still it sucks to see prophesy come to fruition like that. Concern for my Fantasy Football team aside, I hope Trent's okay.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Boise Statement

Ian Johnson ripped the Oregon State defense last night to the tune of 240 yards on the ground and 5 touchdowns.

As my mother, who was watching the game live at Bronco Stadium, texted me "BSU [showed] the Beavers which way the river flows."

It was a phenomenal game for the Broncos, the coming out of their feature back, and threw down the gauntlet to everyone remaining on the BSU schedule, including Utah, Nevada and Fresno State.

It appears now that the Broncos have a very real shot of going undefeated if they can keep up this level of play. So Boise State is the master of its own destiny in the quest to become the second-ever Mid Major to earn a BCS Bowl berth.

According to game callers Chris Fowler and Kirk "Homo" Herbstreit they'll likely vie with TCU for the honorary big-bowl invite tossed out to the Mid Major of the year.

We'll see. Go Broncos!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Big Week For The WAC

A big, non-conference week for the WAC starts tonight with Boise State taking on Oregon State at home on ESPN at 7:30 PM EST.

On Saturday, Fresno State draws Oregon at home, and Nevada will travel to Tempe to play a mortal Arizona State after a shaky victory at Norther Arizona (Go Lumberbacks!).

Essentially, these three games will prove or disprove my earlier thesis that the WAC is the most relevant Mid Major conference. All three games are eminently winnable for the WAC and will demonstrate that the WAC can contend with middle to upper tier Pac-10 schools.

A Stupid Post With Football YTMND's

Remember this guy? So does YTMND. If you love their stylish combination of unforgettable media and College Football then you'll love the following classic lifted from last year's Texas Tech/Navy showdown:

I also found this on YTMND's popular list and if you can forgive the Fox NFL Sunday music, it's pretty good until it gets strange and political and a little over my head toward the end.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Week 1: What We've Learned

First, Ohio State is good at offense, scoring 21 in the first quarter alone before calling off the hounds to cruise to a comfy 35-12 victory over Northern Illinois. We still have questions about the defense after Garret Wolfe ran his own punt, pass and kick contest for 285 all-purpose yards (171 on the ground and 114 through the air) and NIU's lone touchdown. Wolfe's one man scamper-a-thon, while not enough to beat the Buckeyes this weekend, may come back to haunt them next weekend by giving Texas a blueprint to exploit their D.

Which leads us to Texas, whom we also learned can score points. They looked very good breaking in new QB Colt McCoy against North Texas. I'm already salivating over what figures to be an epic shootout this weekend, but I'll leave most of the hype and coverage to Switters who will be in attendance like a Scarlet and Grey life raft in a sea of Burnt Orange.

We also saw the early expose of Notre Dame as a bunch of charlatans with a fat coach living on borrowed time in the Top Ten. Here's a team whose offense was touted as the best in the land barely posting a two-touchdown performance to eek out the win at unranked (maybe undeservedly so) Georgia Tech. With the Big Ten section of Notre Dame's schedule looming (Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State) I think we'll see them struggle.

Miami and Florida State both suck. What looked like (and may actually be) good defense was actually terrible, terrible offense by both teams. Pat Forde said that Miami lacked a plan and seemed less organized than a Kindergarten fire drill on offense. I would tend to agree and so I think we're looking at an ACC up for grabs with Clemson, Georgia Tech and maybe even BC looming large since neither of these conference powers looks plugged in.

Now, was it Cal that sucked or Tennessee that rocked? One Cal Bear that made the journey to Knoxville said he'd never seen a Tedford team so flat. They just didn't show up. And Rocky Top's a tough place to play. But this was the most deflating loss for the Pac 10 in quite some time and seems to position USC for its perennial conference domination (after blasting Arkansas 50-14 in, essentially, two quarters of football).

Except for one thing, Oregon. They looked sharp in their new unis tearing up Stanford 48-10. We'll find out what they're really made of against Fresno State and Oklahoma in the next two weeks, but I'm picking them in both games now especially since we've seen that Brett Bomar's small-time criminality has left Oklahoma a one-trick pony after their scarce victory over UAB.

Quick Shots:
*Bad debut for Dan Hawkins. The former point-scoring madman at Boise State debuted in Colorado by putting up just 10 points in a home loss to I-AA Montana State which earned the humble Big Sky conference school a cool $275K (Go Bobcats!). Not a pretty showing for the Buffs and hopefully for the Hawk not a portent for the future. For now we'll chalk it up to the lingering cancer of Rick Neuheisel's tenure and Gary Barnett's subsequent mismanagement.

*In other former Boise State coach news, Houston Nutt better be worried about his after laying another rotten egg in Arkansas. How much time does he get? Can Mitch Mustain save Nutt's butt for the rest of the season?