Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Random trivia that will surely change throughout the season.

Did you know that after 3 games in three weeks of play, the Oregon Ducks are:
  • 1st in Scoring Offense (scored most points per game)
  • 1st in Total Offense (most offensive yards per game)
  • 1st in Scoring Defense (least points allowed per game)
  • 1st in Total Defense (least yards allowed per game)
I had no clue! I mean... I assumed the offensive categories... but defense too! They've outscored opponents 189-13.

Good luck on Saturday Sun Devils...   :-\

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mike's Top 25

I get very absorbed in the ranking system with college football. Every Sunday I get home from church and go straight to the laptop to see what the writers and the coaches think about who's still great and who impressed this weekend and who took a step back, etc...

Now, there have been 206 games played so far this college football season, which is plenty of football, as far as I'm concerned, to be able to get a feel for who's hot and who's not. I haven't seen quite all those games, but thanks to my friend ESPN3, I've seen a mighty lot of them (now if I could just talk my wife into letting me get cable and dvr). Watching all the games I've watched, I've come up with my own opinions, my own take on who should be at the top. For instance, after checking out this week's rankings, I was disappointed that Florida is still as high up as they are.

Anyways, we're gonna move on...

Here's this week's Top 25 as decided by Mike:

1. Alabama
2. Ohio State
3. Oregon
4. Boise State
5. TCU
6. Nebraska
7. Arkansas
8. Texas
9. Oklahoma
10. Stanford
11. South Carolina
12. Arizona
13. Wisconsin
14. Auburn
15. Utah
16. Miami (FL)
17. LSU
18. Iowa
19. Florida
20. West Virginia
21. Michigan
22. Penn State
23. Oklahoma State
24. Oregon State
25. Nevada

So there you have it. If you got beef with that, let's hear it... and then I'll defend my answers. But right now, I'm tired and don't feel like explaining some of my picks.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Games I'm Excited For This Week


California at Nevada - Friday, 10:00pm ET -

The Coaches Poll has Cal ranked 24th right now after two high scoring, impressive showings against non-conference opponents UC Davis and Colorado. And Cal's quarterback Kevin Riley is ranked 3rd in the nation right now with a qb rating of 205.3! He's already thrown for 7 touchdowns against 0 interceptions. But Nevada's QB Colin Kaepernick isn't far behind in the QB ratings, coming in at 19th. Kaepernick was a big part of Nevada's dominant rushing game that finished 6th in the nation last year. He was the second leading rusher on a squad that had not one or two, but three players finish the season with over 1000 yards rushing. This year's team brings back two of those three, and has a decent replacement for the third. I remember watching Nevada play Boise State the last game of the season last year, and Kaepernick game the Broncos a lot of trouble. As far as athletic quarterbacks that are a double threat to defenses go, Kaepernick's in my top 5 or so this year. He just goes unnoticed because he's in the WAC. Should be a fun game to watch.

(12) Arkansas at Georgia - Saturday, 12:00pm ET -

Georgia's already lost on conference game and is now staring at what could be their second conference loss in only the third week of football. Arkansas though is coming off of two solid performances by Heisman hopeful Ryan Mallett (look for a post soon about Mallett - I love this kid) and looks to keep rolling and prove that they're a contender for that SEC championship this year. Arkansas winning this game would set the stage for a huge conference clash next week when SEC favorite (heck, BCS champion favorite) Alabama comes to town. It seems like every game in the SEC is a must win for every team... this one sure is.


Arizona State at (11) Wisconsin - Saturday, 3:30pm ET -

This game won't really have the eyes of the nation or anything on it, but they are my home team, so I'm hoping they put up a good fight. ASU is facing a situation much like they did last year, where, after facing (and beating rather handily) two lesser teams, they traveled to face the then 21st ranked Georgia. Burfect and the rest of the Sun Devil Defense kept us in that game and we lost on a blocked field goal in the final seconds. This year, after again beating two smaller teams, we're headed to #11 Wisconsin. The Badgers haven't exactly been stingy on defense, giving up 21 and 14 points in their first two game, respectively. But they're a very tough team that gets a lot of offense from their running game. Fortunately for us, ASU has a very strong run defense. I think it should be a great match-up.

(9) Iowa at (24) Arizona - Saturday, 10:30pm ET -

Both of these teams have looked solid in their first couple games, though neither have been tested. And this game looks to be another quarterback showdown. Iowa's Ricky Stanzi is rated 9th in the nation, two spots ahead of Arizona's Nick Foles who comes in at 11th. I remember Stanzi from watching him last season (though I've yet to see him this year). The two are pretty similar to watch - neither is really much of a running threat, but both are smart team leaders who throw the ball great. Both offenses can put up points, but Iowa has a better defense. So I'm leaning toward the Hawkeyes getting the W.  Did I mention this game is the only game this week that matches up two ranked teams? Should be exciting.

Thoughts? Comments? What are your picks for these games?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Player Highlights: LaMichael James

My wife and I are pregnant with a baby boy. My wife thinks we should name him Michael, after his namesake (me). I keep trying to talk her into naming him LaMichael. It would be so much cooler. But maybe just to me. Maybe just because I really like LaMichael James - runningback for Oregon.

James was suspended for Oregon's first game two weeks ago, but came out last week and did alright for most of the game. But I was wowed by one play. Watch it (about 45 seconds into the highlight video):


Amazing! He broke so many tackles. And did you see the block his quarterback made for him?

That's all for now.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Denard Robinson

After 2 weeks of college football play, Michigan's Denard Robinson leads the league in rushing yards...

...He's their quarterback.

Now, I'm not gonna say the H-word yet (Heisman), because we're only 2 weeks in, but I just wanted to highlight the fact that this guy is amazing. Last week he broke the school record for all-purpose yards for a QB in one game. He had 258 rushing and 244 passing for a grand total of 502 yards... most teams don't even put up that much offense in a game. Did Tim Tebow ever put up that kind of a game? No, actually, he never did... I checked.

So... on second thought, I am gonna say it. This guy's my [early] favorite for Heisman. Michigan is 2-0, and if they (he) keep this up, he's a shoe in for the trophy.

Go Blue!

Monday, September 13, 2010

We Are Marshall (spoiler!)

Alright, this post isn't actually about the movie. In fact, I've never even seen the movie. After Friday night's game though, I really want to.

This post is about (23) West Virginia vs. Marshall. If you missed this game (and can stand watching a game even if you already know how it ends - 'cause I'm gonna tell you how it ends) go watch it on ESPN3. It was a classic.

Only 9 times, dating back to 1911, have these two Universities met before. And while some call this game an in-state rivalry, Marshall has yet to win. So there's some history to this game.

In addition, Doc Holiday (yes, that's his real name), the head coach for Marshall, was an assistant coach at West Virginia just last year. He said coaching at Marshall has been a dream job of his since he was young, so when he got the call, he jumped on it.

Further, it was 40 years ago this year since the Marshall tragedy - when the plane carrying the entire Marshall football team, coaching staff and all, crashed on the way home from a game, killing all 75 aboard. What really brought that to remembrance though, was the fact that Molly Jane Tolley, the wife of the then Head Coach who died in that plane crash, was attending Friday's game - the first football game she's attended since that night 40 years ago. She was standing at center field for the coin toss at the start of the game. This game meant something to the Marshall faithful.

Now on to the game...

Marshall surprisingly came out very strong, scoring on their first drive, only using up 2:13 from the clock. They continued to play well, leading 14-6 after 3 quarters. I'd forgotten that Noel Devine opted to stay at W. Virg. and play college football. And I forgot how fast he is. At the same time, Marshall actually has a few future NFLers on their defense. It really was a great game to watch, especially with 40,000 people looking for an upset.

Now, to me, it seemed like it was perhaps a conditioning issue, but the Marshall defense was starting to look tired in the 4th. After Marshall scored early in the 4th, going up 21-6, they started giving up major yardage to the Hokies, letting them get in the endzone twice more, getting the 2-point conversion on the second score to tie the game with 0:20 left on the clock. In overtime, West Virginia scored first on a field goal. Marshall, who had been leading the game all night, got in a 4th and 7 situation and lined up for a 30 yd field goal... and missed. West Virginia 24, Marshall 21.

I'm not gonna lie, I felt for the kicker, for the team, for their fans, and for Mrs. Tolley. This game meant a lot on Friday night, and as the game went on and Marshall could smell the upset, it meant even more. Add the fact that it went into overtime, and this game really was a classic.

See the highlights here.

And don't forget to vote on my survey up there. I want to know what you think.

What the Pros (and the humans) know... Boise State Edition

Have you checked the rankings after this weekend's games? Who's still up there at #3?

Boise State!

I'm still high on the Broncos. I was even planning a road trip to Las Cruces, NM to see them play New Mexico State on Oct. 2nd (until I remembered I have prior obligations). That's the closest they'll come to the my hometown this season, unless of course they make it to the National Championship game in Glendale (but even then, tickets are expensssive). Anyways, so I've yet to watch a Broncos game in person.

Moving on...

I was so counting on Virginia Tech to make an impressive run at the ACC Conference Title and completely vindicate my belief (not to mentions countless others around the country) that Boise State is legit. Instead, Tech loses to some school, whose name no one would remember if they hadn't just upset the #13 team in the country, and now all the headlines (besides the ones in Harrisonburg, Virginia - Home of the James Madison University somethings) are talking about how big of a hit this is to the Boise State Broncos.

Yet somehow, the AP Poll (hereafter referred to as the writers) and the USA Today Poll (the coaches poll) both still rank Boise State as #3. That's because they've seen the Broncos play. A lot of people are talking about how Boise State is all of a sudden not good, because they team they beat lost to a FCS school. To those saying such things I ask: But did you watch the game? Who cares who loses to who after they lose to Boise State. Did you watch Boise State play? They were impressive. Their Defense pressured the QB and flew to the ball. They've got great talent at the skill positions, and Kelen Moore is solid. And the writers and the coaches across the country know this. That's why they still voted Boise State #3 in the country (granted they did lose 6 or 7 of their #1 votes). Just keep watching and they'll make you a believer too.

The problem now will come when the BCS rankings come out in 6 weeks. The BCS rankings, in addition to coaches' and other real people's votes, includes the computers' calculations. This, unfortunatley, is where so-and-so losing to so-and-so after losing to Boise State does matter. Fortunately, there's still a lot of football left to go this season. Virginia Tech still looks poised to make a run at a conference championship. Boise State still has a few tough games against teams that matter (i.e. Oregon State), and the humans that get to vote on the BCS rankings them play still have 12 games left to be impressed.

Admittedly, chances of getting into the top game are all but gone. But I still see Boise State at the top, playing in another BCS bowl game in January.

Thanks for reading.

I want to buy this for my office:

Friday, September 10, 2010

(21) Aurburn vs. Mississippi State

Just watched the game. Auburn's QB is big and tough and really tore apart Mississippi State on the ground, but he's not the best passer

Mississippi State's quarterback is just lousy. But also, they're receivers are kinda lousy too. Not impressed. It's too bad too, because their defense was really pretty good. If their defense wasn't so solid, it would've been a blowout.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Welcome Back College Football

Leading up to the season, I didn't think I would be much into to it this year. But the day before the first games, the memories of how much i love college football came flooding back. Much to my chagrin, I spent most of the weekend working in the yard instead of watching football though. I did catch a few games though. And I have a few thoughts from the games I did manage to watch.

Things I learned from week 1 of college football:

Miami (13) - I thought Jacory Harris was great last year, and... I still think he's great. Yeah, they played Florida A&M, but they showed they have everything they need to get up there this year. Lots of offensive power, and a tough defense that allowed how many points to Fl. A&M? Zero. I'd call them a sleeper team, but they did start the season ranked 13th. Miami has one of the toughest schedules of anybody, as the ACC is pretty stacked this year. Half of their games are against ranked opponents! I didn't see Ohio State play this week, but Miami and Ohio St. match up this coming Saturday, and I'm picking Miami.

USC (14) - Not sure if they're worth talking about since they're not eligible to go bowling, no matter how well they do this season, but they half impressed me on Thursday night. Matt Barkley is a stud. I've never been a USC fan at all, but i do like Matt Barkley. He's one of a handfull of very good quartebacks in the Pac10 this year. USC receiver and return man Ronald Johnson impressed as well. That kid can flat out play! But here's the thing, maybe Hawaii is better than a lot of people expected... but Hawaii put up 36 points (and 588 total yards) against a team that's supposed to be ranked 14th? The defense sure looked vulnerable. And really, USC looked very beatable - a good sign for the rest of the pac10.

Hawaii - I only mention them because I was sure impressed with the quarterback play from Moniz. He looked great out there. Their relevance to me comes from the fact that they're going to play Boise State (who I'll get to in a bit) later in the season. A lot of people are saying that now that Boise State has beaten Va. Tech, that they're just going to walk over the rest of their schedule... I kinda think Hawaii may give them a tough time.

Arizona - As much as i hate to say it, Arizona looked great on Friday night. The Pac10 really does have some great quarterbacks this year, and Nick Foles is one of them. Arizona was one win away from going to the Rose Bowl last year, and I have to imagine they are remembering that coming into this season.

Florida (4) - Someone please bump these guys way down the list. What are they doing at #4? I pretty enjoyed watching this game. Guess I'm not as big of a Florida fan as i thought. Or maybe I never thought I was. Anyways, Florida looked lousy against Miami (OH) on Saturday morning. Maimi was a huge underdog who finished near the very bottom of the country last year in both defense and scoring. And the Gators only beat them by 22 points? At Florida?! It was a closer game than the score indicates too. Miami's 12 points came on 4 field goals. On each of those scores, Miami marched down the field impressively, and it seemed to take Miami getting into scoring position to wake up Florida's defense. Finally when Miami was pushing for the endzone, the Florida D would get a few stops and make them settle for field goals. But these were short field goals, from deep in the redzone. A few more yards on these posessions and they would have been touchdowns. Four touchdowns instead of 4 fieldgoald? That's 28 points! I wasn't impressed with the Gators play on either side of ball really - not against a team as weak as Miami (OH).

Man I wish I could have seen more of the games this week. Moving on though:

Alabama (1) - They did just what they were supposed to, and looked very much like a team that's ranked #1.

TCU (6) - TCU looked strong against Oregon St. Maybe it's just me, but I was rooting hard for the Beavers. I don't know what I have against TCU, but i like those Rogers brothers up in Oregon. TCU's quarterback played great though, and surprised me with his toughness and play making ability. TCU should sweep the rest of their season in a weak-ish Mountain West.

Arizona State - I was at this game. Maybe it was the intense heat that night coupled with the fact that I had gotten sunburned during the day, but I thought this game was boring. We left at half-time. Actually though, it probably was just the heat and my sunburn, becuase looking back, it was a great game for the Sun Devils. I realize that it was only Portland State, but the defense looked good, the running game was working (great to see for the Devils) and Threet looked very composed out there leading the team. I think Coach Erickson made the right call choosing him as the starter.

And Finally,

Boise State (3) - Boise State is ranked 3rd in the AP poll, and 5th in the Coaches Poll. I think the AP poll is closer. Kellen Moore showed that he really does have ice running through his veins in that final, game-winning, drive. The Broncos really came out attacking the Hokies on defense. They shook them good and it took Virginia Tech the whole first quarter to get settled down. And that's where the game was won, really. It was back and forth the rest of the gamem but Boise State owned that first quarter. Tyrod Taylor IS as great of quaterback as everyone says, and he gave the Broncos a lot of struggles in this game. But Boise State's depth - at both receiver and the running back position - gave them the firepower they needed to win the game. It's only one game, and I haven't yet seen enough of other teams to give my pick for a national champion yet, but I certainly want to leave Boise State up there in the rankings. They're the real deal.