Posts Tagged ‘Notre Dame Fighting Irish’
A solemn remembrance of the coaches that are no longer with us after the 2009 football season from the inimitable LSUFreek Colchicine For Sale, .
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Through 29 November 2009
Buy Seroquel Without Prescription, 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
|Last week's ballot|
Explanations after the jump...
Comments, Explanations, and Excuses
Here are the high-points of the week's changes:
A Flip-Flop at the Top:
Yeah, yeah, I know some folks will think I am an SEC homer for advancing the Florida Gators (2) ahead of the Texas Longhorns (3), but that could not be farther from the truth. I loathe the Gators with a white-hot fervor that is as irrational as it is juvenile, but they are a damn-good football team. Their complete annihilation of the Florida State Seminoles (NR) was both impressive and efficient, much more so than the hap-hazard victory by the Longhorns over the Texas A&M Aggies (NR). Thus, Florida gets the nod this week to the number 2 spot.
Take heart, Texas fans, either the Gators or the Alabama Crimson Tide (1) have to lose this week in the SEC Championship Game (for what it is worth, my money is on Bama taking home the hardware), thus this drop is sure to be short-lived. That is, unless Texas loses to the Nebraska Cornhuskers (13) in the Big XII Championship Game, which I think is quite possible, in fact, it might even be likely. Who knows?
Returners & First Timers:
After one week outside my poll ballot, the Stanford Cardinal (23) return to this week’s poll along with in-again-out-again Pac-10 comrades the California Golden Bears (22). Stanford picked up a nice win against Notre Dame (NR), likely sending Charlie Weis on his way. Cal, on the other hand, didn’t do a damn thing this weekend, except watch Stanford—whom they soundly beat the week before—play the Irish.
Nice, to jump back into the rankings without having to do a thing…
In the event that you don’t grasp the concept of rankings, everyone else who moved this week either lost (thus dropping) or were ranked near someone that did (thus rising). It’s all very simple and orderly, don’t you think?
Having taken the time to consider my feeble attempt at ranking the powers in college football, feel free to try and convince me that I am wrong -- which is part of the way the BlogPoll is supposed to work. I promise that I will consider all
You can view the final results of this week's poll over at CBS Sports later this week and check out an analysis of how the collective blogging brain-trust arrived at this week's result. If you're craving even more BlogPoll goodness, order Seroquel from mexican pharmacy, Buy cheap Seroquel, you can also check out how other bloggers voted and see how your team fared across the Blogosphere.
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1. Urban Meyer's buyout clause is only $500,000. Notre Dame sneezes at that kind of money when it comes to buying championships coaches, after Avodart. Avodart pharmacy, 2. Urban may have suggested, by implication, Avodart without prescription, Buy Avodart online no prescription, that Notre Dame is his dream job. That comes from a guy who says "I'm not leaving X for anywhere" and actually means "The movers came last weekend and my house is empty." He wants that job.
3. Urban Meyer>Bob Stoops. Do you really want to debate this one? Fine. Talk to the Honorable Corrine Brown.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2gIsUCDDfI[/youtube]
4. $50, herbal Avodart, Buy Avodart without a prescription, 000,000 over 10 years or $25, australia, uk, us, usa, Ordering Avodart online, 000,000 over 5 years. Yeah, Avodart for sale, Avodart australia, uk, us, usa, that's a five million a year base salary. Plus, a Nike Contract, Avodart coupon, Avodart images, three "projects" (read: JUCO players), and $1.2 m for a national championship. Urban's current base salary: $4m. [Editor's note: states secrets privilege invoked, order Avodart from mexican pharmacy, Low dose Avodart, information redacted]
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1. I will be in Neyland next year for the Florida game. Florida - Tebow and Meyer= Ole Miss. Year Two of the Reign of Kiffin at home against my generation's most hated rival? I'm bringing my Florida fans with me. I may even buy their tickets for this one, Avodart duration. Order Avodart online c.o.d, 2. Bob Stoops is going to have some 'splaining to do. It's like when you try to upgrade your dating profile at your fiancee's expense. You usually end up on the couch. You may end up single.
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Through 26 September 2009
This was one screwed-up week for my ballot. I suppose this is my proverbial "adjustment week” Levaquin For Sale, wherein I re-align everything now that I’ve had a chance to actually see how teams are going to play. That said, some the weeks changes are the result of nothing other than the unexpected highs and lows for the teams across the country. Lots of movement this week in my BlogPoll Top 25 ballot. Most of these should be fairly obvious. Either way, here’s my ballot:
My Ballot for the Week
|Last week's ballot|
Explanations after the jump...
Comments, Explanations, and Excuses
Here are the high-points of the week's changes:
Into the ground like a dart:
The 42-3 implosion experienced by the California Golden Bears (23) this weekend against the Oregon Ducks (NR) is the stuff of legend. I personally cannot remember a team in my top 5 having ever been so obliterated by an unranked opponent. As a result, Cal’s 18 position drop this week represents the single largest drop that I have ever had in my ballot over the last two years. Some might say that this is wholly unfair—they lost a single game. The fact of the matter is that they did not just lose a single game. They were absolutely obliterated by an opponent that, while tough, never should have ridden over them like roadkill.
Think of it this way. Cal received the opening kickoff and, with 14 minutes remaining on the clock in the first quarter, score a 47 yard field goal. From that point—the next 59 game minutes—Cal allowed 42 unanswered points. Mind you this occurred despite the fact that Oregon lost three fumbles and had 120 yards in penalties.
Last week, I was singing the Golden Bears’ praises—talking about how they might have a real chance to win the Pac-10. I was wrong…
None of this is to say that Cal is not a solid football team—because they are—it merely means that they proved that they do not belong anywhere close to the top 10. Thus, while I do think that they are a top 25 team, they are definitely near the bottom of that list at present.
An Adjustment of Sorts:
Over the weekend I came to the conclusion that I had seriously under-ranked two teams: the Virginia Tech Hokies (12) and the Houston Cougars (18), thus I have corrected this by giving both substantial boosts this week. Virginia Tech rises from number 19 last week, while Houston makes its first appearance in my ballot, rocketing from the depths of the unranked and passing seven teams along the way. All I can say on each of these is that I think their rank in this week’s ballot better reflects their merits. Given the fact that the early season ballots are based only on little more than guessing, these sorts of things do occur. Thus, I wanted to fix them this week.
That Uncomfortable Feeling:
No, I am not talking about the feeling resulting from having a breakfast consisting of a half-gallon of chili and a quart of cheap gin…
There are number of teams in this week’s ballot that I don’t feel comfortable with. Actually, there are a lot of them. The problem is that I really cannot justify not ranking the following teams as I have: the LSU Tigers (4), the Boise State Broncos (5), the Georgia Bulldogs (15), the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (17), and the Miami Hurricanes (19). My gut, tells me that Miami (and probably next door neighbor Houston as well) should probably be a little higher and that the rest should be lower. I cannot, however justify making those changes at this point in time. Thus, I guess I am simply hoping for the remaining games of the season to help sort these things out. In the meantime, I feel uneasy about all of these teams’ current rankings.
"Now Departing at Gate 21...":
As a result of the Florida State Seminoles’ (NR) upset at the hands of the South Florida Bulls (NR), FSU makes a hasty departure from my ballot this week. Not much to say about that except that it is never a good idea to lose to an intra-state directional school when you are supposed to be a juggernaut.
Having taken the time to consider my feeble attempt at ranking the powers in college football, feel free to try and convince me that I am wrong -- which is part of the way the BlogPoll is supposed to work. I promise that I will consider all
You can view the final results of this week's poll over at CBS Sports later this week and check out an analysis of how the collective blogging brain-trust arrived at this week's result. If you're craving even more BlogPoll goodness, herbal Levaquin, Real brand Levaquin online, you can also check out how other bloggers voted and see how your team fared across the Blogosphere.
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Note: This post is essentially a comment responding to a post by Hooper over at RTT regarding the Brian Butler Saga. I considered posting some of this as a comment on that venerable site Atarax For Sale, , but opted instead to post my thoughts in an actual article. Thus, I would encourage anyone reading this post to give the original post by Hooper a look.
For a detailed account of Brian Butler's exploits in the world of college football recruiting you should check out an excellent article written by The New York Times' Thayer Evans and Pete Thamel entitled "College Recruiting's Thin Gray Line," upon which the author of this post also relied.
Brian Butler has been called many things by many people, not all of them are nice.
Butler is a former rapper and call-center manager, and a seemingly respectable football trainer based out of Wichita, Kansas. At present, Butler is the principal and operator of the Potential Players recruiting service through which he serves as a self-styled, come-lately, “recruiting adviser” to high school football standouts across the country. A “gifted” self-promoter, he is also the subject of a recently announced investigation by the NCAA.
There are many questions being asked about Butler by many people, especially those recruiting high school standout Bryce Brown (which includes Tennessee). The fundamental question, however, centers on whether he is essentially seeking to act as a sports agent for players being recruited by college football programs.
For now, at least, there is no definitive answer to this query.
The reason that this is an issue is that Butler has widely taken the position that the only way that college recruiters can speak with high-schoolers that he is “advising” is by going through him. To many, this appears—at least outwardly—that Butler is serving as an “agent” rather than simply as an “adviser.”
Again, why does anyone care? Under NCAA bylaws, current and potential student athletes are prohibited from retaining agents, and requires that all prospective athletes undergo an amateurism certification process, which includes, among other things, certifying that the athlete has not agreed to be represented by an agent. On the issue of agents, NCAA Bylaw 12.3 states that:
An individual shall be ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if he or she ever has agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation in that sport. Further, Buying Atarax online over the counter, an agency contract not specifically limited in writing to a sport or particular sports shall be deemed applicable to all sports, and the individual shall be ineligible to participate in any sport.
• See NCAA Operational Bylaw 12.3.1 (PDF )
The NCAA’s website offers additional guidance stating that:
…a student-athlete (any individual who currently participates in or who may be eligible in the future to participate in intercollegiate sport) may not agree verbally or in writing to be represented by an athlete agent in the present or in the future for the purpose of marketing the student-athlete's ability or reputation. If the student-athlete enters into such an agreement, is Atarax safe, the student-athlete is ineligible for intercollegiate competition.
Also, Online buy Atarax without a prescription, a student-athlete may not accept transportation or other benefits from an athlete agent. This prohibition applies to the student-athlete and his or her relatives or friends.
The term "agent" includes actual agents, runners (individuals who befriend student-athletes and frequently distribute impermissible benefits) and financial advisors.
It is not a violation of NCAA rules if a student-athlete merely talks to an agent (as long as an agreement for agent representation is not established) or socializes with an agent.
Thus, low dose Atarax, Butler acting as the only means of communication with a recruit could be troubling and potentially a violation of NCAA rules, Ordering Atarax online, hence the NCAA investigation.
This raises a particularly thorny set of issues for high school athletes and their families, college athletic departments, high school coaches, Atarax pharmacy, college boosters, Atarax gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, the NCAA, and State Legislators. That’s right, I said State Legislators.
For these reasons, Atarax description, I am personally of the opinion that someone—whether it be Butler, Buy generic Atarax, athletes, college institutions, or otherwise—will end up paying for what amounts to an infraction that lies in the proverbial “gray area” of the NCAA’s rules. A violation in spirit, Atarax pics, if not in the letter. The problem is, Atarax alternatives, however, that whether Butler’s conduct violates many rules or none all depends on the perspective applied to the facts, and for the record, effects of Atarax, I make no assertion that I know or understand all of the facts.
Still, Atarax treatment, let’s use a hypothetical to illustrate the complexity of the situation.
Meet Johnny Rocket
Let’s assume we have a hypothetical 17 year-old high school running back from Bugtussle, Tennessee, named Johnny Rocket. Our boy Johnny has had a stellar career and is now looking at the possibility of playing at any number of schools across the country—all the recruiting sites have him tabbed as a 5-star recruit and the coaches across the country are salivating at the thought of having him suit up for them in the future. Let’s also assume that no one in Johnny’s family ever played for any school and that they are simple working-class folks who really do not understand the mechanics of the recruiting process.
Using our hypothetical, Atarax trusted pharmacy reviews, let's assume that Johnny Rocket’s father ("Jackson") decides that his son is going to play for Tennessee, Atarax dosage, because that’s Jackson’s favorite team, he’s regularly gone with a friend to watch the Vols play for years, and “that’s just how it’s gonna be.” Since Knoxville called and told Jackson that that they’d love to have Johnny wearing an orange shirt, about Atarax, Jackson has bought every single piece of orange clothing he can find and has filled Johnny’s closet. He took Jackson to every home game in Neyland Stadium last season, No prescription Atarax online, and talked a friend’s son who is a UT student into letting Johnny spend the weekend with him so he could see what college life in Knoxville is like. Jackson has also let it be known that no coaches anywhere from any school can do anything to talk to his son without first coming through him, but since Jackson’s mind’s made up, unless you know Lane Kiffin or Ed Orgeron you’re not getting in the door. Case closed.
While this might seem a closed-minded and unfair way for the recruiting process to work, Atarax coupon, there is no violation of any rule of any kind whatsoever in this circumstance. You see, Atarax duration, young Johnny—like most recruits—is a minor and his parents’ have the ability to completely control the situation. That’s because the law recognizes their parental rights to make decisions for their minor son, regardless of whether they are reasonable or not.
The Family Adviser…
Let’s say, however, purchase Atarax online no prescription, that instead of Jackson making the decision that he turns to the assistance of a family friend whom he’s known and trusted for years: Lawius T. Buy Atarax from canada, Vawlius, Esq. (known to his friends simply as “Lawvol” and not to be confused with the author). Jackson trusts Lawvol because he is a dear family friend, and because he is—of all things—an attorney, has known Johnny since he was a kid, and knows all about the law, about going to college, and about “life, the universe, and the bounce of the ball,” Jackson trusts Lawvol. Oh, and since Lawvol thinks the world of Johnny and his family, Lawvol is glad to help as a friend—for free—and not as an attorney.
Still, despite being an attorney by profession, there is no prohibition on family friends and advisers helping out in the recruiting process. It matters little whether that friend is an attorney, a coach (who probably played or went to a coaching camp somewhere), a priest (although I suppose the Notre Dame or Boston College pull might be a bit sketchy), or a former college player. A friend giving free advice is just that—usually.
Here’s the catch. Our hypothetical friend Lawvol is a donor to Tennessee’s VASF and has been a season ticket holder for years now. Thus, Lawvol is a “booster” in the eyes of the NCAA. As a result, there are limits on what Lawvol can say about Tennessee and how much he can encourage Johnny to play for the Big Orange.
Were Lawvol, in accompanying Johnny to all the programs across the country, to decide that his best choice would be to go to THE Ohio State University, with whom Lawvol has no affiliation, then Lawvol can engage in all the arm-twisting, lawerly-double-talk, and encouraging he wants—he’s not a booster and no amount of the “Come to Jesus” talk is too much. Lawvol, as a family outsider, can talk with recruiters at Ohio State till he’s blue-in-the-face, can make endless trips with Johnny to Columbus, he can even help Johnny pick out a sweatshirt or two on Short North near campus after visiting the Horseshoe. Lawvol could even tell coaches—as the appointed family friend and adviser—that they cannot talk to Johnny unless he approves it.
When it comes to talking-up Lawvol’s beloved Tennessee Volunteers, however, things would be much different and could result in something fairly similar to the Albert Means scenario if he went too far. Other than that, however, everything here is perfectly within the rules.
Someone Call the Butler…
Once again, let’s say that Jackson wants help and he calls Brian Butler. Now the dynamic changes—or does it?
Butler has made it clear that he’s willing to do much of what our preceding two advisers did, but on some points he is less willing. First, no purchases of clothing or free trips. Second, no prohibitions on any specific schools, just a general requirement that he be the contact for communicating with Johnny. These are important because they could be no-no’s.
Here is what Butler offers to do for our Johnny, and any other player out there who needs a little advice on the recruiting process:
To assist student-athletes in making positive decisions by recognizing the impact their lives have in our world; while preparing them physically and spiritually to overcome the challenges of life.
What Potential Players Provides
- Academic College Tours
- Career Development Seminars
- Golf and BBQ Charity Event
- Host Nike Sparq Camps and Combines
- Speed, Agility and Football Skill Training
- Academic and Athletic Assessment
- Academic Enhancement
- ACT, SAT Preparation
- Player Highlight Films
- Player Recruiting Assistance
- Attending Fall College Games
- Weekly Film Study
- Attending Winter and Summer Combines and Camps
- Host Seminars and Coaching Clinics
Oh, but there is the small fact that Brian Butler—unlike Jackson and Lawvol—is getting paid for his help. He gets paid a nominal fee by Johnny’s parents and gets paid infinitely more by those sponsoring his events, courting him to gain his favor, and others “interested” in college recruiting.
Thoughts from the Bully Pulpit
In the end, you can see where the lines between one type of adviser and another are blurry and whether they are different in form as opposed to substance is really a matter of perspective. In reality, the most troubling one would likely be my fictitious “Lawvol” dealing with a recruit who wanted to attend Tennessee. So is what Brian Butler is doing troubling?
For me, it is.
The reason I have problems with what Butler is doing is because, at the end of the day, it is all about making money for Butler off of the talent of high school kids and their families. Sure, he is providing advice to those who probably need it and don’t have anywhere to obtain it. Good for him. The difference between him and everyone else is that he is operating as if he were a sports agent and is banking the benefits. Is he making anything approaching what some of the major sports agents make? Probably not. Still, I’m sure he’s making a comfortable living off of the endeavor.
Yes, I realize that college athletic programs also make money off of the student-athletes they field, but that is a little different in my mind. The benefits that a school gets from its players are substantial, but so are the benefits provided to the student athlete—namely an education and a chance to compete. Furthermore, most college athletics programs are in a constant state of hemorrhaging cash, only a select few (Tennessee being one of the few) actually make any money at the end of the season. They are simply a creature of tradition which are designed to self-perpetuate as best they can. Most athletic departments are constantly chasing dollars because they pour out as fast as they come in. The few programs that manage to achieve solvency in a traditional business sense—like Tennessee—typically disgorge their profit back to their parent institution. Thus, though it is a money game, it’s not the typical profit and loss system that is seen in other areas of sport. I am, however, biased in favor of college athletics.
So what, if anything, can or should be done about it?
One of the questions that Hooper raised in his article was what exactly can the NCAA do to police Butler if they want to impose their will upon him? The simple answer is, by itself, not much. Butler is not a player and is not a sanctioned institution. Thus, he can’t be given a penalty for an infraction.
Could a player be sanctioned or declared ineligible for using Butler, Atarax For Sale. Potentially, buy cheap Atarax no rx, but I doubt that the NCAA would be quite that draconian on a high school kid who simply wants to do the best for himself and unwittingly trusted Butler.
Could the NCAA sanction schools for using Butler. Order Atarax online c.o.d, That seems doubtful considering that the programs are not the ones controlling the contacts and recruiting process—they are essentially beholden to Butler and simply along for the ride on the rollercoaster that Butler has created. The one exception that might lead to a school getting sanctioned would be if a program provided any sort of financial incentive to Butler (a/k/a “bribes”) in return for a recruit’s ear or commitment. That would most certainly lead to sanctions, but really is not any different than the aforementioned Albert Means scenario.
It is entirely possible that the NCAA has additional weapons in its legal arsenal of which I am simply not aware, in fact it is likely. I am not an expert in the area of NCAA compliance, japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, rules, Generic Atarax, and regulations. At first blush, however, Butler does appear to be operating outside the existing regulatory framework—at least in a traditional sense.
So, Atarax maximum dosage, if the NCAA has no control over Butler, Order Atarax online overnight delivery no prescription, is that it. No.
The fact of the matter is that the NCAA does not have to exercise its authority to reign Butler in—that’s where those State Legislators I mentioned earlier, and a little thing called the Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAAA) come into play.
In the fall of 2000, where can i order Atarax without prescription, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL)—a blue-ribbon panel of lawyers, Atarax steet value, judges, state legislators and law professors appointed at the state level—released the Uniform Athlete Agents Act which was intended to “provide a uniform system for regulating athlete agents.” This Model Act was drafted by a taskforce at the NCAA’s request. Upon release, it was submitted to all of the state legislatures across the country. In some form or fashion, Atarax online cod, 43 states and territories have enacted the provisions of the UAAA, Atarax samples, are in the process of enacting it, or have a similar act already in place. Tennessee is one of the states which enacted the UAAA verbatim (See TCA § 49-7-2122 — § 49-7-2141 ).
The UAAA imposes strict requirements on Agents in terms of how, when, Atarax over the counter, and where they do business. It also requires that they register with state officials as athlete agents. Violations of the provisions of the UAAA can lead to civil and criminal liabilities. In the case of civil suits, Order Atarax from United States pharmacy, any award is trebled (multiplied by a factor of three), state officials can impose administrative fines up to $25,000 per violation of the Act, online buying Atarax hcl, and criminal penalties—which in Tennessee are a class E felony—can result in up to six years in prison. (See id. )
Whether Butler’s actions fall within the reach of the UAAA is a question which would be open to debate. That said, Comprar en línea Atarax, comprar Atarax baratos, if the NCAA were concerned enough, there is no reason that the UAAA could not be revised to include activities of precisely the sort in which Butler is engaged. Thus, while it might not be possible for the NCAA to stop Butler at present, where can i buy cheapest Atarax online, there is no reason that they could not potentially stop him at some point down the road though the use of the NCAA’s considerable power in the various legislatures of states far and wide.
But is all of that really worth it?
Whether or not Brian Butler is deserving of some sort of censure is open for debate. Undoubtedly, Atarax dose, the NCAA will let the world know its thoughts when its investigation is concluded. Until then, it is all speculation.
If the NCAA determines that Butler is in violation of its rules, buy Atarax no prescription, then likely as not, Order Atarax no prescription, there will be a furor to follow. What impact that might have on Bryce Brown’s recruitment is beyond me. Still, until then all eyes in the recruiting world will be focused squarely on the exploits of Brian Butler and the considerable weight of the NCAA investigatory lens bearing down upon him.
Butler asserts that his service is legitimate and that he is simply helping players maximize that potential. Helping someone maximize their potential is hardly a moral offense. Violating the rules of the NCAA, while hardly laudable, Atarax schedule, is sometimes understandable given their massive breadth and scope (PDF ). Sometimes, rules get broken with the best of intentions out of no true fault on the part of the offender. In my opinion that is not what is going on in the case of Brian Butler.
Though perhaps un-sanctionable for now, however, the use of high school athletes—their families, their hopes, their dreams, their desire to excel—to propel yourself to national prominence and wealth, in my opinion, is hardly reputable and should not be condoned. While Butler may not have violated any rules or regulations which can be enforced, his shameless self-promotion paired with his willingness to interject himself into the recruitment of athletes in unprecented ways, makes me seriously question his motives. I cannot say that Butler is dirty—I am not privy to those facts. It does, however, appear to this author that he is.
Whether the NCAA agrees remains to be seen…
Portions of this post relied upon information published by: The New York Times • Rocky Top Talk • Dr. Saturday • The Quad Blog | Image(s) Courtesy of: The New York Times / Brandi Simmons.
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Last week? Weak. This week? Matchup-wise, it's the opposite. I have yet to hear to cliche that ESPN has dubbed this coming week. "Separation Saturday" sounds typical enough...
That's really what this weekend is, particularly in the SEC East and the Big
XII XI. In the East, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee all face "must-wins" according to CBS analyst Gary Danielson. The Vols and Dawgs go at it head-to-head, while Florida hosts LSU in their yearly grudge match.
In the Big XI (inspiration from Pat Forde on ESPN), you of course have the Texas-Oklahoma Cotton Bowl showdown, but also Missouri plays host to the surprisingly unbeaten, chest-bumping Oklahoma State Cowboys.
These three games form quite the nice triple-header for your viewing pleasure. There's some other quality football on, and as always that's where I come in. I should say now that this will be the longest "On Remote" preview to this point. Don't worry, it's alllllllllllll worth it!
South Carolina at Kentucky (12:30, RayCom): I was wrong on South Carolina last week, as Chris Smelley threw all over Ole Miss' defense in the Chickens' 31-24 win in Oxford. The question is can a Carolina QB put together two straight consistent weeks? Kentucky has a better D than Ole Miss, and the Cats' strength is their front seven.
Despite coming off their first loss of the year, Kentucky should have gained confidence from last week's game at Alabama. If the Cats offense improves a little, or even limits its mistakes, this team could be dangerous down the road this year. These two always seem to play pretty close games, and Kentucky shot themselves in the foot both last week and in Columbia last year. Still I think Carolina's QB inconsistency will be the difference in a Kentucky win.
Vanderbilt at Mississippi State (2:30, ESPN GamePlan): So I was wrong on Vandy too. A win in Starkville would put the Dores at 6-0 for the first time since 1928. Yes, 1928. It's that kind of year. Last year, State was the Alabama State Champions. They have a chance to claim Tennessee the next two weeks.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="190" caption="Bobby Johnson has Vandy on the verge of bowl eligibility"][/caption]
As fundamentally strong as Vanderbilt is and as bad as Mississippi State's offense is (ie, worse than Auburn's), Vandy should SHOULD continue their historic year. Oh yeah, a sixth win would mean the Dores' first non-losing season since 1982.
Tennessee at Georgia (3:30, CBS): Last time we saw Georgia, they were getting smacked at home by Alabama. The Vols are trying to avoid an 0-3 start in the SEC. Basically, it's an SEC East elimination game, but isn't every week?
As everyone knows, Tennessee has won three of the last four, the last two in Athens, and the last two years by a combined 86-47. The revenge factor comes into play, but Georgia's banged up and the Vols have no offense. How healthy is Knowshon Moreno? The Dawg defense took a hit with the loss of Dannell Ellerbe, and appears to have a weakness along the offensive line. Tennessee just plain likes to shoot their toes off in the most frustrating of ways I won't go into. Nick Stephens, meet the fire.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="325" caption="Yet another reason to miss Mr. Ainge: he was 3-0 against Georgia"][/caption]
I have low expectations. Very low. Tennessee seemingly matches up pretty well, but most reasonable Dawg fans (an oxymoron, I know) will remind you of David Cutcliffe's absence. Coach Fulmer has struggled - mightily - against Mark Richt without Cut (two wins against UGA without Cut: '99 and '04). He doesn't have Cut anymore. T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Not just this week, but this entire season for the Vols.
Tennessee's defense keeps it close, but I just don't see Tennessee getting enough offense to win Saturday. Think Auburn. I'm expecting another frustrating Saturday...
Arkansas at Auburn (5:00, ESPN GamePlan): So much for the Spread Eagle. Probably using the fan's vote, Auburn fired Tony Franklin Wednesday, probably meaning the beginning of the Kodi Burns era and Chris Todd and the bench and headphones/clipboard becoming best of friends. Playing Arkansas should also help, as the Hogs are bad enough that even Tennessee could score on them (I think). Though they are bad, they played Florida much, much tougher than the 38-7 final showed, and I expect Petrino to get an upset at some point...
LSU at Florida (8:00, CBS): Personally, this is one of my favorite SEC games each year. The athletic ability on the field between these two is ridiculous. The coaches (and their egos) are a great match-up. And it's always a game Florida could very well lose - and I could watch Florida lose every day.
That said, I like LSU in this game, and here's why: I've said it before and I'll say it again - LSU has the SEC's best lines (Bammer is a close second). Florida's lines? Probably their weakest aspect, due to the athletes everywhere else. While LSU has some questions in the secondary, they should be able to keep it close and be able to wear down Florida with Craig Scott and that offensive line, much like they did at Auburn. If you haven't figured it out yet, I really like this LSU team - as in I think they're the best in the SEC.
OH THERE'S MORE!
Tonight's game has some intrigue. For Vols fans, fellow underachiever/coach-on-the-hot-seat Clemson/Tommy Bowden travel to Wake Forest in an important game in the ACC Atlantic, where Florida State is also in the mix (the Noles are off this week after beating Miami).
The NEW Weekly Duke Update: After being shutout by Georgia Tech last week, Duke has granted Cut a one-week release to be Tennessee's offensive coordinator for the Georgia game. UGA is screwed and there are rumors of a forfeit. Yeah, WE WISH. Duke hosts Miami next week. Meanwhile, Lawvol's Tar Heels, fresh into the rankings, host Notre Dame. C'mon, UNC...
Throwing conference affiliations aside, here are the other great games in chronological order...[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="100" caption="Colt McCoy"][/caption] [caption id="" align="alignright" width="90" caption="Sam Bradford"][/caption]
Texas vs. Oklahoma in Dallas (12:00, ABC): Ah yes, the battle of the two outstanding QBs who look like they are still in middle school - Texas' Colt McCoy and OU's Sam Bradford. My deal with Texas is that they are generally underachieving. They are in Texas. They have recruits fall into their lap from Texas, and Louisiana, where LSU is the only competition. Yet Mack Brown hasn't won much without Vince Young. OU has the edge defensively, and the Texas secondary is ripe for Bradford and his seemingly countless receiving targets.
And Bob Stoops has Mack's number. While the QB matchup is essentially a push and the athletes on the field are also at a high level like the LSU-Florida matchup, I like OU. Also, why is this game being played at 11am local time? I know they have the Texas State Fair, but that's too early for such a big football game....
Michigan State at Northwestern (3:30, ESPN2): Don't laugh. MSU is ranked and Northwestern is unbeaten. Both have zero Big Ten losses. A State win puts them firmly into the mix heading into mid-October. A Wildcat win continues the "Revenge of the Nerds" theme dominating the season's first six weeks. I like Sparty...[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="101" caption="Mmm...53.4 ppg"][/caption]
Oklahoma State at Missouri (8:00, ESPN2): Quietly, Okie State is 5-0. Missouri is just sick on offense. The 'Boys aren't too shabby on offense either, so first to 60 wins. That would be Mizzou. Missouri is second in the nation in points. Oklahoma State is third. Hello fireworks...
I've been all "over" the Tigers these past weeks, and as you know by now I almost went there. Obviously the offense is unstoppable with Jeremy Maclin, Chase Coffman, and runnings back are always productive (Tony Temple last year, Derrick Washington this year). Defense was the issue, but there was improvement as the Tigers held Nebraska, who scored 30 on Virginia Tech, to just 10 measly points. Not gonna be much chest-bumping on the OSU sidelines Saturday...
Penn State at Wisconsin (8:00, ESPN): Is Penn State the best team in the Big Ten? So far, it's almost a certainty. Big Test #1 is Saturday night in Madison, where band-less Wisconsin is coming off a heart-breaking late loss to Ohio State. I like the Lions to continue their roll, though I'm not very confident in Wisky losing two straight home games after a two-pus year streak of never losing. The Lions are in Columbus the 25th.
Whew! That was quite a bit. College football = awesome.
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...
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.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="And you thought the Florida defense was really good..."][/caption]
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...[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="201" caption="Duke could be 3-1 with a win at home over Virginia Saturday"][/caption]
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.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="The first big games of the Bo Pelini era at Nebraska are Saturday against Virginia Tech and next week against Missouri - both in Lincoln"][/caption]
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!