Things to look for this week in College and Pro football.

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FOOTball

The Big East is a fraud. Despite the pollsters doing their best to get a BE team into the top 25, the league stinks this year. Several teams have crept into the top 25 only to lose and fall back out the next week. The current top team is Syracuse (6-2) who is tied for 28th in the AP. The league is recruiting BcS #3 TCU to join the league. TCU would love to get into an automatic qualifying conference. The BE desperately needs a team–any team– that can get into the top 25 and stay there. It also would love to have a TV presents in the Dallas market. The only problem is the BE basketball is 16 teams already and TCU does not have a strong basketball tradition.

#3 TCU @ #5 Utah – The loser is out of the Championship picture. The TCU D is #1 in most college stats and the O is 9th in scoring and 9th in rushing. The Utah D is 6th in points allowed and their O is 3rd in scoring. The key may be the difference in opponents. The only big time opponent that Utah has played was a badly over rated #15 Pit team in game 1 of the season. TCU beat a good Oregon State team ranked at the time and Baylor who was not ranked then but is #21 now. TCU wins due to more experience on D and at QB.

#6 Alabama @ #10 LSU – Watch out for Bama. They lost on the road @ South Carolina in their 3rd straight game against a ranked team that had a bye the previous week. I think LSU is W A Y over rated. Bama wins easily on the road.

#15 Arizona @ #13 Stanford – All the talk about this game is about the Stanford #5 scoring O against the Zona #7 points against D. But this game will be decided by the Arizona O vs the Stanford D. Zona is 12th in passing but struggles to put points on the board (#32). The Stanford D will struggle to stop the air attack of the Zona and Arizona wins on the road.

#21 Baylor @ #17 Oklahoma St. – Both passing games are outstanding. Soph QB Griffin has led the Bears to their first bowl eligibility in years and is ranked 10th in passing yards. OKSt has a bad D that is susceptible to the passing game but has the 3rd ranked passing game themselves. The key should be the running game of the Bears and the visitors should walk away with the win.

#18 Arkansas @ #19 South Carolina – Hog QB Mallett leads the 2nd ranked passing game into SC against the Gamecocks 24th ranked D. But Mallett’s passing stats are misleading. He has failed against the top teams (#1 Alabama and #4 Auburn) he has played and needs this game to prove to the scouts that he is a worthy top pick whenever he comes out. SC beat Alabama but lost in their only other game against a top team. They also stumbled against Kentucky. SC plays much better at home and wins this game.

NFL this week:

Chiefs (5-2) @ Raiders (4-4) -2.5 – This game is critical to the Raiders if they want a chance at the playoffs. The Chiefs bring in the top rushing game against the 26th ranked rush D of the Raiders. The secret for KC is not to have to depend on the arm of QB Cassel because he is not reliable. They have played only 2 good teams (Colts and Texans) and lost to both. The Raiders are coming back. The O has scored 92 points in the last 2 games. They win and cover.

Colts (5-2) @ Eagles (4-3) -3 – With the benching of QB Kolb the Eagles are taking a big gamble on keeping the locker room together. QB Vick is solid but will have some rust coming off an injury. I think the Colts cover and should win.

Buccaneers (5-2) @ Falcons (5-2) -8.5 – Buc HC Morris thinks he has the best team in the league. He doesn’t. The Bucs are 30th against the run and that is what the Falcons do best. Atlanta wins but 8.5 is a BIG number I would not touch.

Dolphins (4-3) @ Ravens (5-2) -6 – The Ravens struggled defensively against the Bills last week. Even so, the team is solid. The Dolphins won ugly against the Bengals last week. QB Henne is not having a great season and the Dolphin O line will struggle against the Raven D. The Ravens win and should cover.

Best Bet: Giants +5.5 vs Seahawks.

Is 2011 really the year of the QB? Probably not. Most mock drafts show 3 QBs going in the first round of the 2011 draft. There is no question that a lot of NFL teams need QBs but it is not at all clear that the under class guys like Mallett in Arkansas and Luck at Stanford, or even Wilson at NC State will come out. The key is going to be the Collective Bargaining Agreement. DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA and the owners need to get a deal done by declaration day in mid January 2011. There is no chance that the deal will be done by that time. I don’t see any of the under class men coming out without a deal signed prior to the declaration date. QB Locker (Washington) will go in the 1st round but that is it. Florida State QB Ponder will go in round 2, with Delaware QB Devlin and Nevada QB Kaepernick being wild cards. Their draft position will depend on the all star games and the combine.

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 .

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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 .

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"Welcome to Big 40 College Football"

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football

It isn’t that bad yet but nothing is out of the question. What we seem to have is a Conference game of musical chairs. Every NCAA team wants to be sure it gets a seat in a better conference (and of course the money that goes with it). Every NCAA Conference seems to be wooing schools in other conferences to come join them.

* The Big 10 may not be able to count (there are 11 teams) but now they want to go to 12 or maybe 14 or 16.

*The PAC 10 (they can count) is looking to move to 12 or maybe 14.

*The Big 12 is just trying to hold on to their teams but would like to take in 2 more as well.

*The Big East and ACC are hiding under a blanket hoping other conferences won’t find them there.

The Big 10

According to the rumors floating around, the league has invited Missouri, Nebraska, and Rutgers to join the league. They have been courting Notre Dame for years but the Irish have their own TV deal with NBC and think they are too good to become a member. Nebraska is not likely to leave their rivalry with Oklahoma but both Missouri and Rutgers are likely to join.

But that leaves an odd number of teams at 13. If those two join look for the league to recruit either UConn, West Virginia, Pittsburgh or Syracuse to get to 14.

The Big 12

If Missouri leaves the league will be 1 short. TCU would be the most likely candidate to replace the Tigers. But if the Big 10 goes to 14, the Big 12 will want to follow. That would bring TCU, SMU, and either Rice or Houston to the fold. TCU, SMU and Rice were all part of the Southwest Conference that got raided by the Big 12.

SEC

If both the Big 10 and Big 12 got to 14 teams, the SEC will be forced to follow. There are rumors that the SEC is trying to lure Florida State and Miami out of the ACC to join their league. That would gut the football aspects of the ACC and force them to steal teams from the Big East or Conference USA.

Pac 10

The Pac 10 will want to expand as well to keep up with the other leagues. The most likely to join it are Utah and BYU. If they decide to go to 14 they would look at Utah State and either Wyoming or Colorado State.

That leaves a number of leagues with not enough teams and would undoubtedly lead to more raiding. The Big East would probably disappear unless they can raid Conference USA for teams like Memphis and Marshall. The ACC would go after South Florida (Big East) and UCF (USA).

The bottom line is that no league is safe as long as the big 3 are sniffing around for more teams. It will change the landscape of college sports and not for the better. Bigger conferences will lead to more bowl games. After all, the NCAA was thinking about having 96 team in the Basketball Championship Tournament. So what is wrong with having 48 bowl 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 .

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What to look for this weekend in College Football

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football

#6 Bosie St. @ Utah St. Friday night

This is not a game. It is a celebration of a 11-0 season for BS.

Watch for #1 Florida and #2 Alabama to get fat on cupcakes.

The leaders in the BcS play Florida International and Chattanooga respectively. Come on, you can’t schedule out of league teams tougher than that?

#4 TCU @ Wyoming

TCU pads its stats against a decent Wyoming team that is 5-5 overall. They try hard but are totally outclassed in this game.

#8 LSU @ Ole Miss

This is the best game in the SEC this week. Miss started the season at #4 and despite a bad season is still dangerous at home. LSU is looking to make style points to try to overtake the loser of the SEC Championship game. Rebel QB Sneed has fallen in the eyes of the scouts due to 17 TDs and 14 picks. The biggest problem he has had is the O line protection. He will be running for his life again against LSU. The Tigers win but it shouldn’t be too lopsided.

#10 Ohio State @ Michigan

This game has lost a lot of its importance because of Michigan’s problems in the last several years. Ohio State seems to have gotten better on O in the two big wins over Penn St and Iowa. It might seem like an easy win for the Bucks but the three times that OSU had clinched the Rose Bowl before the game the Blue has won.

#11 Oregon @ Arizona

The Beavers have the inside track to the Rose Bowl but have a tough game at Arizona. Arizona also has a chance but needs to beat the Ducks and get some help in other games. Oregon will win despite some key injuries. The key to the game will be the strong running game of the Ducks vs. the outstanding run D of the Wildcats. Duck RB James is just fun to watch. He is extremely elusive and has the best jump-step in the college game.

Pac10 game of the year (again) #25 Cal @ #17 Stanford.

Both Cal and Stanford have designs on the Rose Bowl but will need the Cats to stun the Ducks among other things to happen. Stanford is one of the hottest teams in the country having had back to back wins over #8 Oregon and then #9 USC. The Cardinal is much tougher at home and seem to have finally smoothed out their O. They have scored over 100 points against those two foes. Cal has lost their star running back Best. Stanford should win at home.

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: Bosie St.,Utah St.,Florida,Alabama,TCU,Wyoming,LSU,Ole Miss,Ohio State,Michigan,Oregon,Arizona,California,Stanford,USC
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  • Published: Nov 18th, 2009
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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 .

Technorati Tags: NFL Football,nfl draft dog,college football,ncaa football,BCS,BCS Rankings,TCU,Utah,Wyoming,New Mexico,Florida,Alabama,Auburn,South Carolina,Florida State,Texas. Texas A&M,Kansas,Iowa St,Ohio State,Rose Bowl,BcS Bowl,Colts,Patroits,Bengals,Chargers,Steelers,Bills,Holmgren,Shanahan,Browns,Kosar,Mangini,Russell,Davis,Raiders
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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 .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,point spreads,BcS Rankings,BcS championship,Cincinnati,West Virginia,Florida,South Carolina,Alabama,Mississippi State,Utah St.,TCU,BYU,Iowa,Ohio State,Rose Bowl,Penn State,Northwestern,bowl game
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