Posts Tagged ‘Nebraska Cornhuskers’

2009 CBS Sports BlogPoll Top 25 Ballot: Week 15: End of the Regular Season

Here’s my ballot for this week’s CBS Sports BlogPoll Top 25 hosted by — as you might imagine — CBS Sports.

Week 15

Through 6 December 2009

Ahhh, 2009 college football regular season, we barely knew ye.  Yes friend and neighbors, here we are at the end of the regular season.  Thus, here is my final ballot for the 2009 regular season, the last ballot until after the completion of bowl season.  While I am sure some will disagree with some of my rankings, they are what they are: little more than my subjective assessment on the powers of college football.  Most of these should be fairly obvious.  Either way, here is is:

My Ballot for the Week

Rank Team Delta
1 Alabama
2 Cincinnati 3
3 Texas
4 TCU
5 Ohio State 1
6 Boise State 1
7 Penn State 1
8 Oregon 1
9 Brigham Young 1
10 Virginia Tech 1
11 Georgia Tech 4
12 LSU
13 Florida 11
14 Miami (Florida) 3
15 Wisconsin 4
16 Oklahoma State 4
17 Nebraska 4
18 Iowa 3
19 Stanford 4
20 Utah 4
21 Pittsburgh 5
22 Central Michigan NR
23 West Virginia NR
24 Houston 6
25 East Carolina NR
Last week’s ballot
Dropped Out: Southern Cal (#14), California (#22), Clemson (#25).

Explanations after the jump…

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2009 CBS Sports BlogPoll Top 25 Ballot: Week 14

Here’s my ballot for this week’s CBS Sports BlogPoll Top 25 hosted by — as you might imagine — CBS Sports.

Week 14

Through 29 November 2009

Ahh, Championship Week.  How quickly the 2009 regular season has passed us by.  Still, even this late in the game there were still a few surprises this past week in the world of college football.  Thus, here’s in my BlogPoll Top 25 ballot for week 14.  Most of these should be fairly obvious.  Either way, here is is:

My Ballot for the Week

Rank Team Delta
1 Alabama
2 Florida 1
3 Texas 1
4 TCU
5 Cincinnati
6 Ohio State
7 Boise State 2
8 Penn State 2
9 Oregon 2
10 Brigham Young 3
11 Virginia Tech 3
12 LSU 5
13 Nebraska 8
14 Southern Cal 4
15 Georgia Tech 8
16 Pittsburgh 8
17 Miami (Florida) 2
18 Houston 2
19 Wisconsin 3
20 Oklahoma State 8
21 Iowa 3
22 California NR
23 Stanford NR
24 Utah 9
25 Clemson 9
Last week’s ballot
Dropped Out: Navy (#23), Mississippi (#25).

Explanations after the jump…

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On Remote: Slim Pickings…

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

And Last Week Was So Good Too…

Last week had everything that makes college football great: big-time matchups, conference rivalry games, upsets, and close games. As we enter the first week in October (already?!?), things slow down a bit before a big weekend next Saturday.

Simply put, when ESPN’s College GameDay is heading to Nashville, you know things aren’t so good elsewhere. Seriously, what is the world coming to??

September has been weird. Florida, USC, and Georgia – the summer media darlings – have lost already. Alabama is up to #-freakin’-2.  Five non-BCS teams – BYU, Utah, Boise State, Ball State, and Tulsa – are undefeated. Also unbeaten: Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Kentucky. Duke is 3-1.

Oh, and our beloved Vols are 1-3 with the Dawgs and Tide coming up in the next month…

This weekend lacks the big name games, but like I’ve said before weeks like this one in the past, it’s still college football. There’s always possibilities for upsets and anything can happen any given weekend.

Plenty enough reason for me to pay attention…


SEC Football | Gate 21
SEC Games

Florida at Arkansas (12:00, RayCom): Oops, Gators. You fail. Stunned at home by previously 0-9 in-their-last-nine-SEC-games Ole Miss last Saturday, the Gates pick up the pieces and head to Fayetteville to face easily the worst team in the league. For all the love Urban Meyer has been getting, he’s 6-4 in his last 10 SEC games. With Tim Tebow. With Percy Harvin. And I’m positive he still hasn’t thanked Ron Zook for that defensive line he was given to win the ’06 Title…

Gators = FAIL

The Gators still are the favorites to win the East by default (seriously, Vandy won’t last, Georgia’s banged-up something fierce with that schedule, and Tennessee, well…), so I seriously doubt Arkansas gets them.

South Carolina at Ole Miss (2:00): Believe it or not, this game is not on TV – at least that I can find. OK, Houston Nutt, you beat Florida in the Swamp. Be careful, Carolina’s capable of beating you in a slugfest. This should be the best front the Rebels have seen, so how effective will their “Wild Rebel” or whatever-it’s-called formation be? Still, with the issues on the Gamecock offensive line and with whoever the QB is (Smelley? Beecher? Garcia?), I think the Ole Miss D-line with Peria Jerry and Greg Hardy wreaks havoc. Two even teams, but I like Ole Miss.

Careful, Houston: a loss to struggling South Carolina would all but negate that win at Florida last Saturday

Kentucky at Alabama (3:30, CBS): Prepare to meet reality, Wildcats. You’re 4-0, but you’ve beaten two Sun Belt teams (including MTSU literally by a yard), a JV League team that lost to UConn, and Norfolk State. Safe to say, Tuscaloosa is a step-up, especially with the lack of an offense UK will bring. Kentucky’s defense could keep them in it because John Parker Wilson is always good for a bad game every now and then, but that still may not be enough.

Tide fans hope they get past UK to their bye week, where they will all be in burnt orange to cheer for Texas to beat Oklahoma so the Tide can move up to #1…VOMIT…

Auburn at Vanderbilt (6:00, ESPN2) Auburn could easily be 1-3 in the SEC, but their defense (and Jonathan Crompton) have bailed them out. Vanderbilt has been winning with defense and not making mistakes (novel concept, eh?). I still can’t believe GameDay is going to this game. Not only is it Vanderbilt, but it should the first to 14 points wins, which could still take til Sunday. Hello, low-scoring, defensive struggle…

I’m not sure who wins this game. I wanna say Vandy because Auburn’s offense straight-up sucks. I wanna say Auburn because Vandy is still Vandy. Both have been good in close games this year. Vandy’s playing at “home,” but I guess I’ll go with Auburn, though Vandy’s gonna get two wins elsewhere…

Northern Illinois at Tennessee (7:00): For a team trying out a new QB (or at least I hope and pray that’s what we’re doing), this game sets up well before the three-week gauntlet that lies ahead. Most fans want to see Nick Stephens start and B.J. Coleman. Most fans don’t care who starts, they just want Jonathan Crompton on the bench with a clipboard. Many fans don’t even care enough to show up. Other than Stephens, what I’m most interested to see? The attendance. Me? I’ll be there in Neyland Stadium Saturday night. Abandoning one’s team is cowardly. I’m a student, I’m supposed to go to football games. This certainly doesn’t hurt…

Front row at Neyland Stadium is still front row at Neyland Stadium...

Those of you forking out the $$ to watch it on PPV, look for me! I’ll be in orange. Seriously though, this NIU team isn’t UAB. The Huskies got beat at Minnesota by a TD with 22 seconds left, lost by three at Western Michigan (ask Iowa about the Broncos), and have scored 85 points their last two games behind a pretty strong rushing attack. Just sayin’…


ELSEWHERE:

Tonight: Screw that JV League clash between Pitt and USF, the game to keep your eye on is Oregon State at Utah. The Utes try to keep their BCS hopes alive by hosting the team that beat USC last week. Methinks Utah wins…

The NEW Weekly Duke Update: Oh, what the hell. Duke is 3-1. Go Devils! Something positive for Vol fans: a former coach who’s done a great deal of things for Tennessee, gets his second head coaching chance at Duke, and has already having success (three wins at Duke = success). Why not pay attention? Coach Cut and Company play at Georgia Tech Saturday.

If you like Big Ten football: I feel sorry for you, er, I mean you can watch Illinois at Michigan (3:30, ABC) and later Ohio State at Wisconsin. Please Badgers, get the Buckeyes completely out of the picture…

You Pac-10 types: Arizona State is at Cal, USC tries their luck at home against Oregon’s other team (Go Ducks!), Stanford plays at Notre Dame, and UCLA might actually win another game – they play Washington State, who’s given up 66 and 63 points in their two league losses…

A pair of Big 12 games to eye: Texas Tech finally starts their season when they travel to play at Kansas State, who sucks because they lost to a JV League team (Louisville). Oklahoma State’s still undefeated, and they host Texas A&M. And Saturday night, Bo Pelini and Nebraska gets chance #2 at winning a big home game, when Missouri visits. My friends hate on me because I’m fully on the Tigers’ bandwagon (hey, I almost went there), but they’re really good. Chase Daniel is really good. Nebraska won’t stop that offense. Mizzou rolls.

ENJOY!


Images Courtesy of: Phil Sandlin / AP (Daylife) John Raoux / AP (Daylife)

On Remote: More of the Same

Welcome This “New” Feature to Gate 21

After a few warmup weeks and people actually reading these weekend previews, we have souped it up a little bit, giving it a neat little banner (thanks again to Lawvol for the excellent work) and it’s own special title: “On Remote,” or what football you can look forward to this weekend.

Also, this post will normally be on Thursdays, like in the past. It’s just that lawvol’s Open Letter yesterday was such a great work that I felt it should stay up for a day. And that’s about the only difference you’re going to see in the post. We’re still focusing mainly on the SEC, and the couple big national games this weekend as well.

More big SEC games on this weekend, and hopefully they are as quality as the LSU-Auburn game was last weekend as opposed to what I witnessed in Neyland Stadium last Saturday afternoon.

Also, I’d like to offer a quick thanks to the Oregon State Beavers for beating “mighty” USC. All that talent, and they can’t go through the Pac-10 unbeaten. Seriously, to have the run of talent they’ve had, to have just one national title? Granted they’re still in it because it’s September, but last night didn’t help them in the eyes of us down here in God’s Country…

What’s on my remote this weekend? Well, last Saturday night there a double feature with the aforementioned “Tiger Bowl” and Georgia’s physical whipping of Arizona State (yes, we pulled out an extra TV in our apartment to watch the game. This weekend I’ll be in Auburn, so who knows how much other football I’ll be watching.

That doesn’t mean I can’t help you all out – here’s my attempt…


SEC Football | Gate 21
SEC Games

Ole Miss at Florida (11:30, RayCom): An intriguing matchup to start the day off in the SEC. The Rebels won their last visit to the Swamp, but Jevan Snead is no Eli Manning. It should be interesting to see how the Rebels respond after losing to Vanderbilt in a game they probably should have won (statistically they dominated minus the turnovers).

The Gators face Ole Miss and Arkansas before they host LSU in two weeks. I still think the Gators are the team to beat in the East, and while Auburn won in the Swamp this time last year, Ole Miss isn’t good enough to pull it out. They’ll stick around and put up a fight, but the Gators are the better team and at home.

Tennessee at Auburn (3:30, CBS): Amidst the sad state of the football program, the Vols – and myself in a couple hours – head down to Auburn to face a good team coming off a physically tough, late home loss to LSU. The Auburn defense showed again the ability to score, but LSU’s big offensive line and Charles Scott wore them down late, so there’s something to think about. Offensively, the Tigers showed signs of improvements from the Mississippi State debacle.

And you thought the Florida defense was really good...

Honestly, I have no idea how Tennessee is going to score on Auburn. And don’t think for a moment that Auburn will come out flat, as they are occasionally prone to do at home to inferior teams (see Mississippi State last year and Georgia 2006) – Tennessee’s not very good, but we’re still Tennessee. I’ll be there cheering on my Vols during these dark days, but let me be honest: I’m not expecting a win. Who knows, maybe Phil and the boys pull something out of their you-know-whats and Tennessee beats Auburn.

Arkansas at Texas (3:30, ABC): After getting steamrolled by Alabama, Arkansas travels to Texas. Not good news, and the Hogs are probably going to get pounded. I don’t think many would argue against saying Arkansas might be the worst team in the SEC this year (some Tennessee fans might say otherwise…). Arkansas is going to become a player under Bobby Petrino – just not this year.

Western Kentucky at Kentucky (7:00): We all know what happened the last time UK hosted a Sun Belt team – they won by a yard – literally. While MTSU is probably better than the Toppers, I just don’t see UK having the offense to blow people out. After Saturday night, both Kentucky and Vanderbilt are going to be 4-0…what?!?

UAB at South Carolina (7:00): Another tuneup for the Gamecocks, who struggled against Wofford last weekend. The Chickens go to Ole Miss and Kentucky the next two weeks. Does Carolina score more on UAB’s horrid defense than Tennessee?

Mississippi State at LSU (7:30, ESPN2): See, I told you people LSU was the West’s best team. That talent is sick, and once Jarrett Lee calmed down, looked pretty good. Like I said, simply adequate QB play and watch out for these Tigers. That’s what happens when you have the best offensive and defensive lines in the SEC. I have pledged never to call Les Miles “dumb” or “stupid” ever again after the guts he showed last week. LSU wins by a bunch – maybe a shutout?

Alabama at Georgia (7:45, ESPN): This is the Daddy of Saturday’s games. I’ve accepted the fact that Alabama is really good this year, and Georgia looked really good at Arizona State last week. What have I noticed with these two teams? They are both really physical football teams. Physical football teams playing each other = quality game for football fans (see LSU-Auburn).

Alabama can win this game, but they’re really gonna have to play well. UGA decided they weren’t going to need the blackout antics to beat Tennessee, so they decided on using their little ploy this week. J.P. Wilson will have to play a very good game to beat UGA. I think Georgia is better in the passing game and just slightly better on defense and they’re at home, I think they get the win.


OTHERS TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON:

Virginia at Duke (12:00, ESPNU): I miss the discipline of David Cutcliffe’s offense. This is one of Duke’s very winnable games, as UVA lost their starting QB. Potentially after Saturday: Duke 3-1, Tennessee 1-3…

Duke could be 3-1 with a win at home over Virginia Saturday

Fresno State at UCLA (3:30, ABC): This is going to once again show us how inexcusably bad that loss to UCLA was when Fresno pounds the Bruins – Arizona Arizona ARIZONA beat UCLA by 3 TDs last week…

Colorado vs. Florida State in Jacksonville (3:30, ABC): I said Lawvol was foolish for ranking the Buffaloes in his Top 25. Guess I was wrong. I know it was just a JV League team in WVU the Buffs beat, but this should tell us more about Colorado – and the depth of the Big 12. FSU had 4 more turnovers than points – at home – against Wake Forest last week.

TCU at Oklahoma (7:00, FSN?): Remember, TCU beat OU in Norman in 2005, and the Frogs are pretty good this year. The top of the MWC – BYU, Utah, and TCU – is very, very strong. TCU played Texas hard for three quarters last year, but they’re better this year, and they can give the Sooners a test. But at home, and the mere fact it’s in the regular season and not a BCS Bowl has me liking OU’s chances…

Virginia Tech at Nebraska (8:00, ABC): Another chance for a big non-conference win for the Big 12. For the Huskers, it’s a two-week stretch of home games against VT and next week Mighty Mizzou (my second favorite team…) comes visiting. Personally, I think Nebraska pounds VT, who just hasn’t been very good offensively this year, even with the redshirt coming off Tyrod Taylor. They scored 24 points on Furman for goodness sakes.

The first big games of the Bo Pelini era at Nebraska are Saturday against Virginia Tech and next week against Missouri - both in Lincoln

Northern Games: Only if you’re into that sort of thing. A couple of Big Ten showdowns – Wisconsin at Michigan (3:30, ABC) and Illinois at Penn State (8:00, ABC) – and “mighty” Notre Dame hosts Pur-don’t (win big games…EVER). Don’t sleep on 4-0 Minnesota beating the struggling Buckeyes either…

Enjoy it while you can, because it’s flying by!


Images Courtesy of: xx • xx • xx

Flashback: The Great Games — The 1996 Citrus Bowl

Flashback

The Great Games | Gate21.net

1995-96 CompUSA Citrus Bowl

(1 January 1996)

Tennessee Football vs. FB-OhioState[1]

Tennessee 20 Ohio State 14

Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium

Continuing on with 1995, after beating Bama soundly and ending the 10-year drought against the Crimson Tide, the Tennessee Volunteers finished out their regular season at 10-1. Their only loss coming at the hands of the Florida Gators in a 62-37 drubbing which tarnishes the 1995 team’s otherwise exemplary record. Tennessee finished the season ranked 4th, but in the days of the so-called Bowl Alliance, the “premier” bowls were reserved only for conference champions, thus, Tennessee received a bid to the “first outside the money” CompUSA Florida Citrus Bowl to take on the similarly situated Ohio State Buckeyes, who lost their last game of the season against arch-rival Michigan, and with it the Big 11 10 title, and ended the seasons ranked … uhh … 4th also.

1996 Florida Citrus Bowl

Cover from the Official 1996 Citrus Bowl Program. Ohio State later sued the bowl committee for omitting “THE” (in all caps and 72 pt font) from their name — the matter was ultimately resolved in a settlement whereby Ohio State received a case of oranges and an autographed photo of Mickey Mouse.

The fact of the matter remains, no matter what either school would claim publicly, neither Tennessee nor Ohio State wanted to be in Orlando on New Year’s Day. Both had completed 1-loss seasons, and both came within a half of playing for the National Championship or, at a minimum, playing in one of the top-tier Alliance Bowls. Ohio State wanted to be in Pasadena and Tennessee in New Orleans or Tempe. Regardless of what they wanted, they were set to play one another in a game which — in my book — ranks as one of the best bowl games I’ve ever watched in person or on television.

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