Posts Tagged ‘Ohio State Buckeyes’

2009 CBS Sports BlogPoll Top 25 Ballot: Week 11

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

Week 11

Through 8 November 2009

This past weekend’s slate of college football games were—for the most part—supposed to be dull and boring.  There were very few “key” matchups on the schedule and most thought it might be a snoozer.  Well, that simply did not turn out to be the case.   Thus, there are a number of shake-ups in my BlogPoll Top 25 ballot for this week.  Most of these should be fairly obvious.  Either way, here is is:

My Ballot for the Week

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

Explanations after the jump…

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2009 CBS Sports BlogPoll Top 25 Ballot: Week 10

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

Week 10

Through 01 November 2009

Well, it appears that silly season has begun as there were multiple losses among the Top 25, some near the top.  As a result, there are a few substantial changes in my BlogPoll Top 25 ballot after the past week in the world of college football.  Most of these should be fairly obvious.  Either way, here it is:

My Ballot for the Week

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

Explanations after the jump…

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2009 CBS BlogPoll Top 25 Ballot: Preseason

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

Preseason Prognostications

Through 20 August 2009

College Football on Gate21.net

Well, it’s been almost nine months since last I posted a BlogPoll ballot, and let me tell you that it feels mighty good to be back in the saddle again.  This does not, however, mean that I have suddenly gained any sense or am any more reliable.

As a general rule, I consider preseason ballots to be dubious at best.  They are based upon little more than rumor and innuendo.  There is little to no basis for selecting one team over the other.  Thus, as Hooper has pointed out, this is little more than a turkey shoot.  That said, here’s my preseason Top 25 for everyone to attack:

My Ballot for the Week


Rank Team
1 Florida
2 Oklahoma
3 Southern Cal
4 Texas
5 Penn State
6 Ole Miss
7 Alabama
8 California
9 Ohio State
10 Notre Dame
11 Georgia
12 LSU
13 Oklahoma State
14 Boise State
15 TCU
16 Virginia Tech
17 Illinois
18 Rutgers
19 Miami (Florida)
20 Nebraska
21 Iowa
22 Brigham Young
23 Pittsburgh
24 Clemson
25 UCLA

Explanations after the jump…

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The Cruelty of March

Cornell won the Ivy League for a second straight year - and got blown out in the first round both NCAA trips

The Other Side to March’s “Madness”

It’s been raining all day today (Friday) here in Knoxville, so I think it’s perfect time to do this post, one I’ve been conjuring up for the past week. A couple of disclaimers: first, it has little or nothing to do with anything Tennessee-related; secondly, overall it just isn’t going to be a happy post in any sense.

The NCAA Tournament is undoubtedly one of the greatest sporting events in the world. It’s my favorite time of the year, along with the fall of course. We all know why it’s so great – a champion being determined on the court, players rising to the occasion, teams playing their best basketball, schools you’ve never heard of putting a scare into a traditional power – so on and so forth. The office pool phenomenon is second to Super Bowl parties in sports-related hooplas. Everybody loves it and says that’s what makes college basketball so much fun to watch.

However, there’s a bad side to just about everything, and the NCAA Tournament/March Madness. And it’s one I’ve come to realize this past March more than ever before.

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So, did the Butler do it?

No Pass Out Checks | Gate 21

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.

Brian Butler working a recruit (NY Times / Simmons)

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, 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, the student-athlete is ineligible for intercollegiate competition.

Also, 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.

• via: Overview of NCAA Bylaws Governing Athlete Agents | NCAA.org

Thus, Butler acting as the only means of communication with a recruit could be troubling and potentially a violation of NCAA rules, 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, college boosters, the NCAA, and State Legislators.  That’s right, I said State Legislators.

For these reasons, I am personally of the opinion that someone—whether it be Butler, 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, if not in the letter.  The problem is, however, that whether Butler’s conduct violates many rules or none all depends on the perspective applied to the facts, and for the record, I make no assertion that I know or understand all of the facts.

Still, let’s use a hypothetical to illustrate the complexity of the situation.

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On Remote: Just Past Halfway…

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

Last week offered some great in-conference matchups and a couple turned out to be more lopsided than many thought. The great conference games continue this week, as the races begin to take shape.

Indeed, the conference races will continue to take shape as the temperatures drop around the country (it was 86 in Knoxville yesterday) and leaves start falling everywhere. Yes, I’m avoiding mentioning Tennessee’s now meaningless season by discussing the weather…

Another larger storyline that’s been discussed already this week is the Big 12′s apparent attempt to claim itself as the best conference. While the league is pretty good at the top, I still think the SEC has better depth, even with the struggles of Tennessee and Auburn.

Anyways, here’s the games to watch, and hopefully this time I’ll do a better job picking them – I picked LSU, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and they all lost…


SEC Football | Gate 21
SEC Games

Vanderbilt at Georgia (12:00, RayCom): So much for that little run. Vandy just missed out on a huge opportunity to get to 6 or more wins. There’s still chances with games against Kentucky, Tennessee and Duke, but beating Florida, Georgia and Wake Forest may be a tough order. Vandy’s offensive struggles were exposed last week against Mississippi State, and Georgia’s not the best team to face with an iffy offense…

The questions with Georgia: they left plenty of points to be gotten last week against the Vols, with two picks and kicking four field goals. They better not overlook Vandy, as trips to LSU and the showdown with Jacksonville come in the next two weeks.

Ole Miss at Alabama (3:30, CBS): Alabama comes off the bye looking to continue the momentum from hammering Georgia and edging Kentucky two weeks ago. Ole Miss has been better, yet horribly inconsistent, beating Florida on the road but falling to Vandy and South Carolina at home.

I don’t expect Ole Miss to win, but they should keep it close. I’m still expecting Alabama to lose a game, but it won’t be Saturday. The matchup to watch is the Tide’s offensive line against the Rebels’ defensive front. The only way Ole Miss can win is limiting the turnovers that hurt them in their two home SEC losses.

Arkansas at Kentucky (7:00, ESPNU): Give me some credit, last week I didn’t explicitly pick Arkansas to upset Auburn, but I did say the Hogs were gonna get somebody at some point this year and they did. Can they follow it up? Kentucky’s offense is still struggling, so Arkansas can certainly keep it close. This is a big game for UK’s bowl hopes, as they sit at four wins on the year.

This 63-yard TD run by Michael Smith led Arkansas to the upset over Auburn. Can they Hogs get UK this week?

Mississippi State at Tennessee (7:00, PPV): Ugh. Good thing this game is on pay-per-view…who wants to watch these offenses?

Uh oh...Mississippi State held Vanderbilt to 107 yards of total offense...

Obviously I do, because I’ll be there in the fourth row. I’m expecting an ugly game with points few and far between. Tennessee can’t really lose at home to Mississippi State, can they? State has played decently the past two games, and no doubt have some momentum coming into Knoxville. How does Tennessee show up with nothing but pride to play for? Is Phil Fulmer the next coach to be Croomed like Ron Zook and Mike Shula?

LSU at South Carolina (8:00, ESPN): Ouch. Didn’t see that coming. LSU got crushed by Florida, and now they travel over to Columbia to a Carolina offense that’s gained some confidence with SEC road wins in Oxford and Lexington. Whoever’s been playing QB for the Gamecocks – Chris Smelley and/or Stephen Garcia – have actually done pretty well.

LSU’s defense isn’t what it was last year – they’re 9th in the league in total defense. Carolina’s defense is going up against an inexperienced QB and an offense that got beat physically by Florida last week. How do they respond?

Honestly, I want to say Carolina will win. But this is historically one of those “almost” wins for the South Carolina program. “Almost” as in they “almost” win a huge home game over a better opponent. That said, I think LSU bounces back, setting up that showdown with Georgia next weekend.

Florida is off this week, but I want to give a little shout-out to Brandon Spikes. Now I hate the Gators and hope they fail at everything, but when something’s funny, it’s funny. Here’s Brandon Spikes’ attempt at a punt into the stands after a pick-six…

YouTube Preview Image


OTHER CONFERENCES

Some Mountain West love: big game tonight for unbeaten BYU, as they travel to TCU tonight. The unbeaten Cougars essentially have two tests between them and a BCS Bowl: tonight and the season finale at fellow unbeaten Utah. Keep an eye on this game…

The Weekly Duke Update:After a bye week, the 3-2 Blue Devils are back in action with a big game, at home against young Miami. Just 4.5-point dogs, Duke looks for the upset. This game is on ESPNU at 3:30, so if Alabama starts killing Ole Miss (and you actually have ESPNU), switch on over and see if the missed Coach Cut can lead Duke to the upset. The emptiness of Duke’s stadium won’t have any adverse effects on the Canes – they’re used to it…

Big XII

Kansas at Oklahoma (3:30, ABC): Oklahoma and Bob Stoops is going to be pissed off. Poor, poor Kansas. They avoided OU and Texas last year. Er, not this year. How Kansas stops OU I have no clue. Then again, the Sooner defense got worn down watching Texas go up-and-down the field on them in Dallas. Kansas keeps it close – for a half.

Missouri at Texas (8:00, ABC): So much for Missouri beating Oklahoma State by three TDs. The Tigers essentially gave the game away, and now face a make-or-break game at #1 Texas. I say make-or-break because Missouri’s schedule is pretty clear sailing after this game, and they obviously have to win to stay relevant in the title race.

Can Texas return to earth after beating their hated rival last week? This should be a pretty high-scoring game (duh, it’s the Big XII new Pac 10…), and entertaining. I think Texas wins the game in the fourth quarter.

Javon Ringer faces a tough Ohio State defense Saturday afternoon

Big Ten

Ohio State at Michigan State (3:30, ABC):
Yes, people, Michigan State is very much in the Big Ten race. Of course they have to beat Ohio State to stay there. The Spartans are led by HB Javon Ringer, but the Ohio State defense is tough up front.

Ohio State has been overly impressive on offense. They have actually been kinda bad. If Michigan State doesn’t give up a special teams or defensive TD to the Buckeyes, I like their chances to keep Ohio State’s offense in check. The winner would become the biggest challenger to the dominance Penn State has shown this year.

Michigan at Penn State (4:30, ESPN): I know, I know, Michigan sucks and Penn State is really good. Thought losing to Toledo is bad? The Wolverines better be ready to get blasted Saturday. Penn State is a legit team. Keep in mind two things: (1) Penn State hasn’t beaten Michigan since 1996 and (2) they are at Ohio State next weekend.

Outside of these games, there isn’t much else. We all know USC will win the Pac 10 and whoever wins the Big East doesn’t matter. As it is, enjoy this weekend…


Images Courtesy of: Dave Martin / AP (Daylife)Rogelio V. Solis / AP (Daylife)Nam Y. Huh / AP (Daylife)

2008 CBS Sports BlogPoll Ballot: Week 7

Here’s my ballot for this week’s CBS Sports College Football BlogPoll which is now—surprise, surprise—hosted by CBS Sports.

Week 7

Through 12 October 2008

Man, oh man, what a weekend of craziness this was!  After all the shake-ups this weekend in the world of college football, there are major changes at the top in my BlogPoll ballot for this week.  Most of these should be fairly obvious.  Either way, here’s my ballot:

My Ballot for the Week

Rank
Team Delta
1
Alabama 1
2
Texas 4
3
Penn State 2
4
Oklahoma 3
5
Southern Cal 2
6
Texas Tech 2
7
Georgia 2
8
Florida 3
9
Missouri 6
10
Ohio State
11
LSU 7
12
Utah 1
13
Oklahoma State 4
14
Kansas 1
15
Brigham Young 1
16
Boise State
17
Wake Forest 1
18
North Carolina 2
19
California
20
Vanderbilt 8
21
Michigan State 4
22
Virginia Tech 1
23
Ball State 3
24
Minnesota 2
25
Oregon 1

Dropped Out: Northwestern (#21), Auburn (#22), Wisconsin (#24).

Explanations after the jump…

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