Week 8 College football results — What did we learn?

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wilson football

This week I went 5-1 in top game calls losing only the Texas/Baylor debacle. That puts the total to 22-10 for a 69% correct.

In the pros I went 3-2 which puts the against the spread at 14-8 which is 64% correct.

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College Football

#1 Auburn 51 Mississippi 31 – The Auburn D struggled to control the Rebel O and that is going to be a problem. They will be safe with all but the Iron Bowl where Alabama looks like the winner at this point.

#2 Oregon 53 USC 32 – This was the biggest threat that the Ducks had faced all season. They have two more tough games against #15 Arizona and at Oregon State to close the regular season. They should win both and be in the BcS Championship game.

#18 Iowa 37 #5 Michigan State 6 – After a home loss against Wisconsin, the Iowa D was back in a big way and stuffed the Spartan O completely. Ohio State had better watch out when they visit the Hawkeyes.

#14 Nebraska 31 #6 Missouri 17 – The Tiger O could not match the speed of the Nebraska D. Nebraska is the best team in the 10-15 range and will give the Big 12 South winner nightmares in the league title game.

#8 Utah 28 Air Force 23 – The Utah D struggled to control the running game of the Air Force but few teams run the ball as well as they do. This was a tough game and next week Utah gets a visit from #3 TCU an easy win over UNLV. One of those non-BCS teams will be eliminated from the race. They also have to play @ Notre Dame and finish the season against BYU.

#9 Oklahoma, #11 Ohio State, and #13 Stanford all had easy wins against inferior competition. But all three face some tough games coming up. A big game in the Big 10+1 will be the OSU Iowa game on Nov. 13th. But they face an up and down Penn State team next week that could be a trap game.

#15 Arizona 29 UCLA 21 – The Arizona D was pushed around a little by a very inconsistent UCLA O. The Wildcats have a tough finishing schedule including @ Stanford next week followed by a home game vs. USC, a visit to #1 Oregon and a home game against rival Arizona State. They will not survive that gauntlet and will lose 2 of the 4.

The NFL

Colts 30 Texans 17 – The Colts now have the O running on 5 of 6 cylinders and were able to control the game against the upstart Texans. This team is starting to look like a playoff tough out.

Pats 28 Vikings 18 – The Pats looked good and the Vikes are dead man walking. Farve is not the only Vike that will not make it to 2011. Check out my comments on both the release of WR Moss and the Vike situation on my News, Notes and Rumors page on NFLDraftDog.com.

Packers 9 Jets 0 – The loss caused the Jets to fall out of my Top spot. The problem is the O that could not run when the passing game failed to produce. A loss to the NFC is not as costly as one to another AFC team in positioning for the playoffs. Still, the Jets need to get their O back on track. The Pack stays alive in a very winnable NFC North. All the other teams in that division are imploding.

Jaguars 35 Cowgirls 17 – The Girls looked pathetic against one of the weakest teams in the league. The Girls are in serious trouble. One draft guru has them picking 8th and selecting a QB with that pick. The Jags are struggling in every aspect of the game including selling tickets. This will help but Vince Lombardi couldn’t win regularly with this roster.

Dolphins 22 Bengals 14 – While everything fell the Bengals way in 09 it is falling apart in 2010. The O has been a major disappointment. The passing game has not produced anything close to what was expected. The Dolphins survived in a game where they did not play particularly well.

The Raiders, Lions and Rams all won and are getting much better.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org.

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Who SHOULD the Browns draft?

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Browns

The first round of the Draft is Thursday so it is time for my “fearless” predictions of what the Browns won’t do in the draft.

Round 1: No. 7 overall There has been some talk about the Browns trading with the 49ers for their 13th & 17th picks. The value of this pick is 1500. The 13+17 equal 2100. To do the deal the Browns would have to give their 2nd pick (#38 520) and their last pick in the 3rd (#92 132). They would likely get an early 5th round back as part of the deal. In short, I doubt this deal gets made.

Another rumor is that they would trade up to 5 and give the Chiefs 7 and #72 in the third round. I don’t like this deal because I don’t see that much difference between Berry and Thomas. I would take Thomas and save the 3rd round choice.

S Earl Thomas Texas The Browns need a FS badly. It is looking like KC will take Berry or Thomas at 5 and if they pass on him the Seahawks might grab one or the other at 6. If Berry is there, they would take him. However on many draft boards, Thomas has moved over Berry. I prefer Berry as a player by the thinnest of margins due to his greater experience. But Thomas at FS is a better fit for the Browns and has a higher up side. He has better cover skills, is a more consistent tackler and can be as good a center fielder. They will not pick him but they should.

Round 2: No. 38 overall DT/3-4 DE Brian Price UCLA There is a better than average chance that Rogers will be the guest of the Federal Government in 2010. The team needs another NT badly. Price is 4th on my DT list but is not quite big enough yet to be a NT but he will grow into it. He is young and athletic enough to play DE in the 3-4 as well. He is a trouble maker for the O with a great motor and quickness to get into the backfield. He forces fumbles and interceptions. Watch him vs USC.

Backup plan: Cam Thomas DT North Carolina Thomas has the size and the athleticism. I question his motor but that is not unusual for big men. He can rush the passer and is a rock in the middle of the line against the run.

Backup plan: DT Lamarr Houston Texas He is rising as more people watch tape. He can be disruptive but is not as consistent as Price. If you can get into his head he has everything to become a very good pro.

Backup plan: NT Terrence Cody Alabama Cody is the last resort because he looks disinterested despite his physical abilities. I am concerned about Cody’s dedication to football but if anyone can handle him it is DC Ryan. There is a real risk of him eating his way out of the league.

Round 3: No. 71 overall QB Dan LeFevour Central Michigan The team needs a QB that can throw the ball through the winds of Cleveland in December and hopefully someday in January. Almost every mock has them taking McCoy in the 2nd round. I believe NT is a much more pressing need than QB. Lefevour has above average arm strength and size. They might be able to wait to pick 85 to take him but to be sure they need to take him here.

Backup plan: QB Tony Pike Cincinnati I like Pike almost as much as LeFevour but Pike is a little less constant.

Backup plan: ILB Navorro Bowman Penn State Bowman is rising fast. He is a solid run stopper in the mold of Dan Connor from PS now with the Panthers.

Round 3: No. 85 overall CHANGE: WR Carlton Mitchell South Florida This is a tough pick because it is just below the end of the second level of players. If they could trade this pick for a 2nd next year that would be a good move. However, if not Mitchell has deep speed and can stretch the field. He has great instincts and has fallen a little in 09 because he lost his Senior QB at USF to injury.  He needs work on running patterns but which WR doesn’t.

Backup plan: TE Anthony McCoy USC McCoy is the best available here that also fits a need. McCoy is a good receiver and willing blocker. He is one of the top combo TEs in the draft.

Round 3: No. 92 overall LB Jason Worilds Virginia Tech Worilds is a DE that will transition to OB in the 3-4. He has the speed to attack the QB and enough quicks to cover when needed. He is solid against the run and has the instincts to attack it. He could play IB or OB.

Backup plan: Javier Arenas CB Alabama Arenas is rising again. Originally he was the guy and Jackson was the “other” corner for the Tide. But his speed in the 40 drove his draft potential down. He got a lot of action because Bama was ahead so often and has good instincts. His 4.6 40 has pushed him into the 3rd round.

Round 5: No. 134 overall SS Larry Asante Nebraska Asante is a solid player against both the run and the pass. If the Browns pick FS Thomas, Asante could be the perfect compliment at SS. He is a great special teams player with the kind of up side that suggests that he could step in to start in 2011. The team has only 1 S on the roster with any experience.

Backup plan: Riley Cooper WR Florida Coop is not fast but gets open and catches everything.

Backup plan: Greg Hardy DE Mississippi He led the SEC in sacks in 08 and is big enough and quick enough to play DE in the 3-4. He needs to work on lower body strength and use his hands better. He has a history of injury which is why he may be available in the 5th.

Round 5: No. 146 overall OT Ed Wang Virginia Tech Wang his a value here but should still be on the board. He is a RT that can drive block with the best of them but is needs to improve his technique on pass protection. He has good awareness and the ability to get to the second level blocking. He can play G as well as RT. He is a natural knee bender with real pop at the point of attack.

Backup plan: Eric Olsen C/G Notre Dame Olsen is a perfect backup interior lineman. He is technically sound with the feet to pull from either G or C and block on the edge. He is also a knee bender and uses leverage effectively.

Round 5: No. 160 overall WR Armanti Edwards Appalachian State The former AS quarterback is the guy that let the upset Michigan in 07 as a Soph. He understands routes and runs a 4.41 40. He is an outstanding smart athlete and the team can use all of those they can get.

Backup plan: Andrew Quarless TE Penn State He has decent speed and great upside. If the team hasn’t gotten a TE he would be a great value here.

Backup plan: ILB Phillip Dillard Nebraska Phillips is one of the top IB prospects but is lower ranked due to a history of injury. He is a downhill player with good instincts and had 11 tackles for loss in a tough Nebraska D.

Round 6: No. 177 overall LB O’Brien Schofield Wisconsin Schofield probably won’t be able to play in 2010 due to a knee injury in the Senior Bowl practices but he has outstanding instincts and a non-stop motor. He is quick enough to blitz and is a knee bender. He could become an all pro in the future. At the EW Shrine game he was outstanding at OB after just a couple of practices at the position. If he was healthy he would have been a late 2nd or early 3rd round pick.

Backup plan: OB Arthur Moats James Madison Moats is another transition with a great motor but very green. At this point, teams are looking for a player with one above average skill. Moats’ skill is the ability to rush the passer but he is a year or 2 away.

Backup plan: A.J. Edds OB Iowa or OB Kavell Conner Clemson Both of these guys
are run stuffers with enough speed to rush the QB.

Round 6: No. 186 overall OB Keenan Clayton Oklahoma Clayton is listed by almost every expert as undraftable. But when you watch him play he is outstanding. He can cover the TE down the field with quick hands to knock the ball away but then stuff the run after taking out the blockers. He has great instincts. Take a look at the OU Texas game and you will see what I do.

Priority Undrafted Rookies:

Jacob Hickman C Nebraska He is not a great athlete but at C he doesn’t have to be. He is a very hard worker with above average technique and a mean streak. He gets to the LB and runs hard to get blocks down field on runs.

Brandon Minor RB Michigan He is a tough guy that can move the pile up the gut. He has outstanding vision and balance even when hit.

Cordarrow Thompson DT Virginia Tech He is athletic with a good motor. He is not as instinctive but gets through double teams to put pressure on the QB and collapse the pocket.

Jevan Snead QB Mississippi I am not sure he will be undrafted but if he is he deserves a look. He had a very bad 09 but coming into that year he was considered one of the top 3 QBs. He had an outstanding 08 and is much better than he showed in 09.

Doug Worthington DT Ohio State He is a rotational player that can make some plays in both the pass and the run. He can play DE in the 3-4 as well. I believe in football or basketball, you never have enough good big guys. If the coaching staff can keep him focused and his motor going, he can help a team.

Donovan Waren CB Michigan He is able to cover man to man effectively. He has decent speed and fluid hips. He handles multiple moves effectively without losing contact with the receiver. He has quick hands and is effective at knocking the ball away. He plays his best in big games.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Draft,Mock draft,nfl team needs,Browns,Berry,Tennessee,Thomas,Texas,Price,UCLA,North Carolina,Houston,Cody,Alabama,LeFevour,Central Michigan,Mitchell,South Florida,USF,Worilds,Virginia Tech,Arenas,Asante,Nebraska,Cooper,Florida,Hardy,Mississippi,Wang,Olsen,Notre Dame,Edwards,Appalachian State,Quarless,Penn State,Dillard,Schofield,Wisconsin,Moats,James Madison,Conner,Clemson,Edds,Iowa,Clayton,Oklahoma
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Who stood out at the East West Shrine game?

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s

For this article I ignored the potential draft position of the players and rated their performance on the field on game day. Let me say up front that I do not agree with the “experts” that watch the practices and leave on game day. In my years of coaching, I have seen a lot of guys that looked like Tarzan in practice but when the pressure was on in a game they played like Jane.

Blair White WR Michigan State 14 points (4th round)

Blair gets open, has very good hands, and can adjust to bad balls (because he has had so much experience with bad QBs). He was a 4th or 5th projection before the EW game but with a very solid game he has moved into the 4th. The one question about him is speed. He is projected to run a 4.52. At 6-1 200 lbs, that is just OK. If he gets under 4.5 he could get into the 3rd.

Rahim Alem DE Louisiana State 13 pts (3rd)

Alem is 6-3 and 262. That is too light for a starting DE in the pros. He doesn’t really look like he can put on another 30 pounds and keep his speed. He is expected to run a 4.7 40 and depends on that speed to be effective. He could be a pass rush specialist at the next level. He had 2 hurries and caused an interception in the game. He needs work to develop something other than a one move outside rush.

Freddie Barnes WR Bowling Green State 13 pts (5th)

Barnes is one of my favorite value picks. He is only 6′ and 206 and runs a slow 4.58. But he is the prototype slot receiver. Ask Tom Brady how valuable WR Welker is to his offense! Barnes is a high motor guy that will block for the run, get open on short routes, catch the ball in a crowd and will be a pain to any D trying to cover him. He was one of the few weapons at BG and still drove Ds nuts.

James Ruffin DE Northern Iowa 13 pts (5th)

Ruffin is another too light DE. But at 6-4 he has the ability to add bulk and be a starting DE. He played really well and got a hurry and a sack. He also caused a penalty and got a couple of other pass rushes. He is not good at anchoring against the run but more bulk will help. He could be a value pick in the 5th and could go higher if he puts on some good weight and still runs a 4.75-4.8 40.

O’Brien Schofield OB Wisconsin 10 pts (3rd prior to injury)

Schofield reportedly tore his ACL which is a real shame. He had never played LB until the EW game but picked up the position very quickly. He got an interception, had the speed to get wide to stretch out the run, and covered receivers well. Given the injury, he will fall to the 7th round or may not be drafted. He will be an outstanding value for someone but not until 2011.

Andrew Quarless TE Penn State 9pts (6th)

This is a very deep TE draft. As a result, Quarless may drop to the 6th. He is a decent blocker but a good receiver. He gets open, and had 3 nice catches in the game including a TD. He is 6-5 248 and should be able to run a 4.7 40. He will be a nice 2nd TE and does well on special teams.

Doug Worthington DT Ohio State 9pts (7th)

Worthington was a mainstay of the Buckeye D. He had a solid EW game as well. He was doubled a number of times, got half a sack in my grading, and was solid in rushing the passer. He is decent against the run but at 275 could add some weight to get better.

Lindsey Witten DE Connecticut 8pts (4th)

Witten was one of the higher rated players at the EW game. But he is another of the underweight DEs in college. At 264 he needs weight to be a potential starter. But he uses his speed (4.7) to get to the QB. He may not be able to add the weight and keep the speed. At 6-4 he could be a LB conversion as well.

Jamar Wall CB Texas Tech 8pts (5th)

Wall will give you a great play then screw up badly. He scored 14 points with 3 excellent pass breakups but lost points with bad coverage and a penalty. At 5-10 with 4.5 speed, he is going to have to improve his coverage skills to make a team. He will contribute on special teams but will be a risk to draft even in the 5th round.

Reggie Carter IB UCLA 8pts (5th/6th)

Carter is a high motor guy with good instincts and the ability to stop the run. At 243 he will likely end up outside and should be OK there if he runs the 4.7 that he is expected to do at the Combine. He covers receivers fairly well and can contribute on special teams.

Alric Arnett WR West Virginia 8pts (6th)

Drafting a WR from a running team is always a little risky. But Arnett may be the exception. He has decent speed (4.49) good hands and can catch the bad pass. The question is can he get open regularly? He looked good in the game.

Greg Hardy DE Mississippi 8pts (1st or 2nd)

Hardy led the SEC in sacks and came into the game with a low 1st early 2nd round evaluation. I was not that impressed in this game. He played a lot better against Florida and Georgia. He got a sack, and had 2 other nice plays but allowed himself to get caught up in the wash too often against the run. He is an outstanding athlete but didn’t make enough plays in the game. He is going to have to add some weight to be a regular. But that could hurt his speed. At an expected 4.58 in the 40, he need his speed. He too may be a LB conversion prospect but taking a conversion that high is a huge risk.

Stevenson Sylvester OB Utah 8pts (FA)

Sylvester really popped early then disappeared. He attacks the run with great instincts, but he is too small and too slow but showed a great motor early. I have not yet decided how I feel about him but I will let you know when I get deeper into player evaluation.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday morning at 11. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: nfl draft,projected draft choices,East West Shrine Game,All star game,College Football,Michigan State,Louisiana State,Bowling Green,Northern Iowa,Wisconsin,Penn State,Ohio State,UConn,Texas Tech,UCLA,West Virginia,Mississippi,Utah
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What to look for in the Saturday January 2nd bowl games.

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football

PAPAJOHNS.com BOWL South Carolina 7-5 Connecticut 7-5

Despite losing a key player to tragedy and being out-manned regularly, UConn has played a handful of ranked teams close only to lose heartbreaking game after game. Starting CB Jasper Howard was murdered on Oct. 18th. The team carries his memory and his jersey as a rally flag. The heart and hard work was rewarded with an overtime win over Notre Dame followed by a couple of wins to end the season.

UConn’s O scores 31 points per game and is fairly balanced between the run and the pass. The running tandem of Todman and Dixon provide a good ground attack despite not having even an average O line. QB Endres took over half way through the year and has done fairly well completing 64% with 6 TDs and 4 picks. His favorite target is WR Easley (5th round). The D has gotten better over the year but still is young. It is led by DE Witten (4th) and FS Vaughn (5th).

The Ol’ Ball Coach Spurrier still throws the ball all over the place. “Running backs, we don’t need no stinkin’ running backs” seems to be the game plan for SC. QB Garcia has a rating of 124.5 with 2733 yards and 17 TDs. He has had 394 attempts while the top 2 running backs had a total of 211 carries.

The SC D has been very erratic. They allowed 41 points to a bad Georgia O and then held a highly rated offense of #4 Mississippi to just 10. The D is led by OB Norwood (late 2nd) and SS Stewart (6th).

While UConn has won 3 straight, SC has lost 3 of their last 4. SC is a 5 point favorite but I doubt they will win that big. This could be another upset.

COTTON BOWL #19 Oklahoma St. 9-3 Mississippi 8-4

Ole Miss QB Snead needs to have a good game to impress NFL scouts. He came into the season as a top QB draft prospect but has fallen to the point he would be better off to stay for his senior year. He has completed only 54% with 20 TDs and 17 picks. RB McCluster (3rd) is just 5-7 169 and will have to play WR in the NFL. WR Hodge (6th) and G Jerry (5th) are also prospects on the Rebel O.

The Rebel D has been inconsistent. They held the high powered O of Arkansas to 17 then let a below average O of Miss St. score 41. DE Hardy (1st or high 2nd) is the highest rated player on the team but FS Lewis should be a late round pick.

Oklahoma St. had a disappointing season as well. They were expected to compete for the Big 12 South title but lost to Houston in the pre-league schedule then had lopsided losses to Texas and Oklahoma. QB Robinson is a 3 year starter but had a less than expected senior year. He had a passer rating of 135 but that was down from 149 in 07 and 167 in 08. He is a late round prospect. The O line is led by top OT prospect Okung (early 1st) and G Lewis (6th). RB Tolson (6th) averaged 5.4 with 11 TDs.

The OSU D features CB Cox (2nd) and safeties Sexton and Antoine who are marginal prospects in the 7th round.

Mississippi is a 3 point favorite but expect OSU to win in an upset.

LIBERTY BOWL East Carolina 9-4 Arkansas 7-5

Hog QB Mallett led the team to the 10th best passing game in division 1. He threw for 3425 with 29 TDs and just 7 picks. His top receiver Childs had only 45 catches. Mallett spreads the ball around. G Petrus (4th) heads up his protection.

The Hog D is horrible. It allowed 33 points to LSU in their overtime loss. Only DT Sheppard has a chance to be drafted from that group.

EC’s D will challenge Mallett. It is led by DE Wilson (3rd), DT Ross (7th) and S Eskridge (6th). The D has played very well this year and seem to be getting better each week. The O is led by RB Lindsey. Most experts don’t believe he is a pro prospect but at 5-10 200 he is big enough. Behind an average line he averaged 5 per carry. I like his toughness.

The line is Hogs by 8 but I don’t think so. Take the points and EC may win outright.

ALAMO BOWL Michigan State 6-6 Texas Tech 8-4

This game will be ugly quickly. MSU had a horrible pass D even before the suspensions of several starters on D. TT G Carter (5th) and T Winn (fa) will protect QB Potts. He will be throwing the ball without concern for the MSU d. TT is an 8 point favorite. MSU will be very lucky to keep it that close.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: Bowl games,NCAA Football,NFL Draft,PAPAJOHNS BOWL,South Carolina,Connecticut,COTTON BOWL,Oklahoma St.,Mississippi,LIBERTY BOWL,East Carolina,Arkansas,Mallett,ALAMO BOWL,Michigan State,Texas Tech,suspensions
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  • Published: Nov 18th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What did we learn this weekend?

What did we learn this weekend?

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football

College football:

TCU is REALLY good.

#4 TCU played #16 Utah and blew them out 55-28. Everybody expected the TCU O to be outstanding but their speed on D is as good as any team in the country. They have everything they need to beat Texas and probably Florida as well. Alabama is the one team above them that could give them real trouble. The power running game of Bama combined with the very big O line might be able to win the game.

TCU goes to Wyoming (5-5) then gets winless New Mexico at home. Neither will provide much competition.

#1 Florida and #2 Alabama set the date.

The stage is set for the top 2 teams in the BcS to play for the right to go to the big game. The winner of the SEC Championship game on Dec. 5th will get the bid. The loser will likely be named an at large BcS bowl game team. Both come in a little banged up from nice wins last week.

Florida won a tough game at South Carolina 24-14. They will take on Florida State after an easier game this weekend against Florida International.

Bama beat Mississippi St. last week 31-3. It has a date at Auburn on 11/27. Auburn has lost 4 games but only 1 at home.

BcS’s worst nightmare

If either SEC team loses their rivalry game then win the SEC Championship it would open the door for TCU who hangs like an unwelcome buzzard over a wounded animal.

Texas looks good for a ticket to the BcS big game.

The Horns beat a badly over matched Baylor team 47-14. They have to play Kansas at home before traveling to Texas A&M next weekend. Kansas was 5-0 after winning their Big12 opener against Iowa St. but then have lost 5 games in a row. They still can be dangerous for any team that over looks them.

TAM is 4-1 at home and can also be dangerous in the season ending rivalry game.

Ohio State wins a ticket to the Rose Bowl.

The Bucks are playing as well as they have any time in the last 2 years. QB Pryor seems to be more comfortable in the offense that is more aligned to his abilities that it was earlier in the year. The D seems to have found its pass rush which was missing in action at Purdue.

Around the NFL:

Indy is the lone AFC Undefeated

The Colts came back after a major gaff by Belichick to win by a single point over New England. Indy is not a perfect team. Given the injuries on D, they will be at risk of upset by a passing team with some running game like Cincy, the Pats or San Diego. But they now have the inside track to home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs which is critical to their success. They are not a team that is built to play in the cold winds of the North East in January.

The Bengals take 1 giant step toward the playoffs.

By sweeping the Steelers and Ravens the Bengals need only another win over 1-8 Browns to be perfect in the AFC North. They will make the playoffs and should have a home game in round 1.

The Bills fire coach Jauron.

Dick Jauron is one of the great D Coordinators in the history of the league. He just has not been able to equal that success at the head coach level. The Bills are going after the usual suspects including Shanahan and Holmgren.

The Cleveland Tans formerly known as the Browns are REALLY BAD!!!!

Will the person that stole Mangenous’ crystal ball please return it—no questions asked. Several sources are predicting that if Mangini loses to the lowly Lions this week, he is history. That would be a good think. Owner Lerner wants to bring in a “football guy” to oversee the operation and has leaked Holmgren as his top pick for that spot. He had better hurry if that is the guy he wants.

What the Browns should do about a coach.

Personally, I don’t get Holmgren as the GM/VP Operations. Mike was stripped of his GM duties in Seattle after a less than stellar series of drafts. I would fire Mangini now and have him take OC Daboll with him. They should name DC Ryan as interim head coach and grab Jauron as the DC. Then QB coach Smith would become OC and former QB now consultant Kosar should work with the QBs.

That would give the team time to find a permanent coach if Ryan doesn’t work out. I do believe that the locker room would get a lot better with Ryan as the HC. The D has played hard for him even with the miserable work of the O.

Al Davis FINALLY benches QB Russell.

The Raiders announced that Gradkowski will start over Russell. It’s about time!!!

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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What to look for in College football Week 11

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football

#25 West Virginia @ #5 Cincinnati tonight

Cincy faces a very good challenge tonight. But they also have to play at #12 Pitt in the last game of the season. They have QB Pike fairly healthy but his replacement Collaros has a passer rating of 210. This is a great strength. They will start Collaros tonight. The 2 headed running game of Pead and Ramsey has been outstanding. The real key to the team though is the D. It has stifled some really good offenses around the league.

WV has lost 2 games. They have played well but struggle on D against really good Os. The key will be if WV can stop the run and make Cincy pass when they have to rather than when they would like.

Cincy wins in a closer than expected game.

#1 Florida @ South Carolina

SC has been in and out of the top 25 all year. But losing 3 of their last 4 put them out for good. The team was badly beaten up in the loss to Alabama. They face a Florida team that is playing about as well as it has all year.

Florida has had some struggles but against Georgia seemed to find the O that led it to 2 titles in 3 years. This game will be a closer game than expected because former Gator coach Spurrier always gets his guys up to play his old team.

#2 Alabama @ Mississippi State

3 of MS’s losses have been to ranked teams and each time they played close games against better teams. Their D has fought hard but the O has been the problem. QB Lee has just 4 TDs and 11 picks. Those mistakes have put the D in a lot of bad spots. The running game is OK but will struggle against Bama. MS is tougher at home than on the road.

Bama has the ticket to the SEC Title game in their pocket but need to keep winning to have a shot at the Big game. They will easily and get some of their reserves game experience.

#16 Utah @ #4 TCU

TCU needs to keep winning and this is the biggest game still on their schedule. A big win here will give them a shot at the Big game IF two of the three teams in front of them lose. That is the only way they get into the game and that is a shame. TCU has one of the best D’s in the league. It also has a hard to defend offense that puts incredible pressure on the opponent. QB Dalton has 16 TDs and 3 picks with a yards per attempt of over 9. The running game is an after thought but RB Turner is OK with an average of 5.1.

Utah has only one loss to Oregon and can end the dream of TCU which has knocked them out of the undefeated status in previous years. They still can win the league and get a very good bowl game with a win here and another against #22 BYU. Utah is a good team but it won’t get either win. TCU will drill Utah.

#10 Iowa @ #11 Ohio State

The Buckeyes are wearing rose colored glasses since the win at Penn St. They only need to beat the Hawkeyes to go to the Rose Bowl. They have revised their offense but will not be able to run the ball very well against Iowa early in the game using the backs. They will have to depend on the arm and legs of QB Pryor to move the ball. The real key to the game will be the Buckeye D which totally crushed the PS O.

Iowa had problems moving the ball prior to the injury to QB Stanzi. But Stanzi was not having that good a year. He had 15 TDs with 14 picks. His replacement looked like road kill against Northwestern after the injury last week.

Offense will be in short supply in this game but the Buckeye D should generate enough points to win but maybe not to cover the 17 point spread.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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