Tuesday, September 28, 2010


It's about to get good, real good.

1) As always, I will start with Wisconsin...the Badgers finally did what they were supposed to do and obliterated an inferior opponent. While many think that nothing can be gained from such a game, I believe the Badgers benefited from a few very key aspects. First, they played a mistake-free, clean game, which should give them the confidence to do this in the Big Ten season. Second, they got some back-ups playing time. Back-ups who may be called upon due to injury or who may earn a bigger role in the conference games. Finally, it allowed them to rest Nick Toon for one more week, keep John Clay a bit fresher and establish the presence of James White.

2) Now, for those season-ticker holders who complain about the product that was on display Saturday...I realize your ticker says $42. What you must realize is that is the average price of the 7 home game tickets. Yes, this might have been a $9 game, or even a $4 value, but the Ohio State game is easily worth $75, if not triple digits. Yes, this was by far the worst FCS school to ever bless Camp Randall, but keep things in context.

3) Let's hit up Boise next...Boise State had a fairly workmen like victory over Oregon State Saturday, leaving them with what would appear to be only Nevada in the way of an unbeaten regular season. Boise State looks very good, but as long as 2 BCS schools remain undefeated, I don't believe they should play for a National Championship.

4) Biggest disappointments through 4 weeks - Georgia (1-3), Pittsburgh (1-2), Notre Dame (1-3) and North Carolina (1-2).

5) Biggest surprises through 4 weeks - NC State (4-0), Michigan (4-0) and Michigan State (4-0).

6) Mark Ingram - its going to be tough, but welcome back to the Heisman Race.

7) This week's Top 5 - 1) Alabama 2) Ohio State 3) Oregon 4) Nebraska 5) Stanford

8) Big games all over the map this week...the Big Ten has #11 Wisconsin at #24 Michigan State and #22 Penn State at #17 Iowa. The SEC brings us #7 Florida at #1 Alabama. The Big 12 - its #21 Texas at #8 Oklahoma. Virginia Tech plays at #23 NC State in the ACC. My Game of the Week - #9 Stanford at #4 Oregon. The scoreboard operator should be very busy, and the winner is the early favorite to win the PAC-10.

Monday, September 20, 2010


My weekly look at the week that was and the week that will be on the amateur gridiron.

1) I was in attendance for the Arizona State/Wisconsin game on Saturday and that large sigh you heard was the relief on my part. While the Badger Special Teams was a nightmare, the defense held their own and Scott Tolzein had a sneaky good game. John Clay still looks a step slow, but James White and Lance Kendricks are definite playmakers. If they can get Nick Toon back for the Big Ten, there should be enough weapons to compete. Props to Louis Nzegwu for a breakout game on defense. Thru three games, it still looks like an Outback Bowl type team more than a BCS team.

2) Mark Dantonio showed a lot of guts with his fake FG in OT - its too bad so many coaches play it safe - its a lot more exciting this way.

3) Oregon looks really, really, really good.

4) So does Nebraska.

5) Speaking of which, Jake Locker does not (more on him later).

6) At least Arizona/Iowa lived up to its Game of the Week status. With USC on probation, the Pac-10 seems fortunate this year with really strong teams in Oregon, Arizona and Stanford.

7) My Current Top 5 - 1) Alabama 2) Ohio State 3) Oregon 4) Nebraska 5) TCU/Boise State

8) This weeks Heisman Watch - two more eliminations - the first by injury as Case Keenum is done for the year in Houston. And then there is of course, Jake Locker. Some might want to change the name of this blog to the Locker-Basher, but the results don't match the supposed tools. Good luck to the team who takes him with a high draft pick. Although Mark Ingram had an impressive return, I will leave him on the eliminated list along with Dion Lewis and now Case Keenum and Jake Locker.

9) Week 4 is much more intriguing than the past week for match-ups. The first one I am keeping an eye on is #1 Alabama's trip to #10 Arkansas. I don't expect Alabama to trip up here, as this game is probably too big for Arkansas. I am more interested in how easy Alabama wins. With Florida and LSU not quite as strong, Alabama can separate themselves alone atop the nation's top conference. Staying in the SEC, #12 South Carolina travels to #17 Auburn. This is a huge game for South Carolina as Spurrier tries to finally make a championship contender out of the Gamecocks. I will be interested in the #5 Oregon at Arizona State for a couple reasons. How good is Oregon really, as they get their first test. And the same for ASU, which will tell me how good or bad the Badger loss was this last Saturday. #25 Oregon State visits the blue turf and #3 Boise State in the last true test for Boise by most observers, although I would not sleep on Nevada. Finally, Stanford can send Notre Dame to 1-3 and start the "Charlie was not so bad" chants around South Bend. OK, maybe not, but you never want to start that way at Notre Dame.

10) I too, want to take down Brutus the Buckeye!!

Monday, September 13, 2010


The College Football Weekend is behind us once again. Here is a look back at what I learned and a peek at Week 3.

1) I will start out with the hometown Badgers who did a sleepwalk through San Jose State in their home-opener. Wisconsin had been touted as a sleeper team to watch, but after two games, despite my heart, I am just not buying it. First, they need to get healthy. They do not have as many playmakers as the teams ranked ahead of them, and having Nick Toon and Chris Borland sidelined does not help matters. Second, they need to create more explosive offensive plays. Getting 6 yards at a time will get you some first downs, but eventually it makes it harder to score. Finally, the defense needs to tackle better and get more pressure on opposing QB's. Borland was out this week, but the DB's aren't special where they can cover for long periods.

2) I wouldn't be surprised if Boise State tried to get James Madison to come to the "Blue Turf" in a future year so they can pay them back for costing them their National Title hopes.

3) I want to sign-up for Denard Robinson's off-season program.

4) Oregon looks really, really good.

5) The ACC Coastal does not.

6) Tim Brewster, it was nice knowing you.

7) Anybody looking for a freshman of the year candidate - check out Marcus Lattimore. He could set the "Ol' Ball Coach" up for a SEC East title showdown (Nov. 13 at Florida) against coaches former team.

8) The Big 12 has some young QB's and maybe not quite the dominant team or teams as it has had in recent years. The conference also might have more depth than first thought beyond Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. That is why I will go on record that there will be no undefeated team from this conference in 2010.

9) Besides Mr. Robinson's quick rise into the Heisman race, I will again go with another deletion - Dion Lewis of Pitt. For those keeping score at home, after two weeks, Mark Ingram and Dion Lewis have been eliminated from my Heisman race.

10) Kind of a ho-hum schedule for Week 3. Iowa's trip to Arizona is only one of two match-ups of ranked teams (Arkansas at Georgia is the other). Iowa has been impressive thus far, but this will be a definite test. The Hawkeyes will pass the Sun Devils in the air as Arizona State visits Wisconsin. This should give us a true picture of what the Cardinal and Red really are this year (Are they who we thought they were?). Other games of note: Jake Locker tries to become less over-rated as Washington hosts Nebraska. A solid Air Force team will test Oklahoma in Norman. Clemson visits Auburn in a battle of Tigers, or is it Tigers vs War Eagles? Auburn confuses me sometimes. This weeks upset alert - Texas at Texas Tech in Lubbock.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Let's talk some College Football!!! The first full week of College Football is in the books. For those salivating for real football after a month of watching professional third-stringers, we finally got our taste this past weekend. Here are my thoughts and observations, with of course some added Badger flavor:

1) I wish that the NCAA could figure out a way to encourage more big-time match-ups in the non-conference season (coughs, PLAYOFF). The current format where you can not afford to lose unless you are Florida, Alabama or Texas discourages these match-ups and provides us with less of the Boise State-Virginia Tech's and more of the Alabama-San Jose State's. I don't remember it always being this way.

2) John Clay's thighs are bigger than my waist.

3) Three cheers for the Mountain West!! TCU, Utah, and BYU secured three of the most impressive wins this week for schools not named Boise State, who joins the Mountain West next year. Hype up Jake Locker all you want, but 17 points against BYU just doesn't seem to be Heisman material.

4) It would be very easy to just ram the ball down UNLV, San Jose State and Austin Peay's throats and make the passing game an afterthought. But the Badgers need Scott Tolzein to win in the Big 10, so I am ok with a few mistakes in the passing game in order to get it sharp by October. And I am also fine if they let Lance Kendricks lay in the weeds until then.

5) Virginia Tech's fans now range from Blacksburg to Boise. If Tech goes 8-4, will Monday's win seem as big for Boise State?

6) Chris Borland has the motor of a 4 year old. He must sleep very well at night.

7) It is way too early to talk Heisman favorites, but it appears we will not have a repeat winner.

8) I am pretty sure Mississippi got what they deserved. Your team is obviously in trouble if you need to controversially sign a QB to start for your team in mid-summer. Conversely, I think Oregon did pretty well for themselves with their 72-0 stinker over New Mexico.

9) Kansas lost 6-3 to North Dakota State, who of course is a Bowl Subdivision team. The Big 12 went 11-1 on the weekend, the only conference with just one loser. I am pretty sure they should have been 12-0.

10) Michigan or Notre Dame will be 2-0 after this week and will be the front-runners for bounce-back team of the year. I have to give kudos to Michigan who surprised me by easily handling Connecticut.

11) Other big games this weekend: Penn State tries to beat Alabama with a freshman QB. South Carolina and Georgia tussle in an early season SEC game for the right to play in the Outback Bowl. Florida State heads to Norman, where the Sooners need to prove they are worthy of their Top 10 status. Finally, Ohio State and Miami hook-up in the game of the week at the Horseshoe.


Monday, September 6, 2010


Final predictions for the 2010 NFL Season.

1. New York Jets (11-5)
2. New England Patriots (10-6)

3. Miami Dolphins (9-7)
4. Buffalo Bills (4-12)

1. Baltimore Ravens (12-4)
2. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
4. Cleveland Browns (2-14)

1. Indianapolis Colts (13-3)
2. Tennessee Titans (10-6)
3. Houston Texans (9-7)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)

1. San Diego Chargers (12-4)
2. Oakland Raiders (7-9)
3. Kansas City Chiefs (5-11)
4. Denver Broncos (4-12)

1. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
2. New York Giants (10-6)
3. Philadelphis Eagles (9-7)
4. Washington Redskins (7-9)

1. Green Bay Packers (11-5)
2. Minnesota Vikings (10-6)
3. Chicago Bears (5-11)
3. Detroit Lions (5-11)

1. New Orleans Saints(12-4)
2. Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
3. Carolina Panthers (8-8)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-13)

1. San Francisco 49ers (10-6)
2. Seattle Seahawks (5-11)
2. Arizona Cardinals (5-11)
2. St. Louis Rams (5-11)

New York Jets over New England Patriots
Baltimore Ravens over Tennessee Titans

Dallas Cowboys over Minnesota Vikings
Atlanta Falcons over San Francisco 49ers

New York Jets over Indianapolis Colts
San Diego Chargers over Baltimore Ravens

Green Bay Packers over Dallas Cowboys
New Orleans Saints over Atlanta Falcons

San Diego Chargers over New York Jets

New Orleans Saints over Green Bay Packers

San Diego Chargers over New Orleans Saints