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  • Published: Sep 24th, 2013
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News, Notes & Rumors for week 3

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nfl

 

News:

There is trouble in 49er land.  The passing game has gone south because the O line can’t protect Colin Kaepernick and the receivers can’t catch, the running game has disappeared and the D can’t get off the field.  Now LB Aldon Smith’s locker has been cleaned out and the team reports he has been given a leave of absence indefinitely while he goes to a rehab facility.

 

The Giants and Redskins are equally miserable.  Both are 0-3 but for different reasons.  The Giants can’t run the ball and QB Eli Manning throws as many to the other team as he does to his own.    The Redskins are waiting for Robert Griffin III to get back to where he was last year.  He is getting better every week but needs his receivers to catch the ball.  The Redskin defense stinks.  Neither team is getting into the post season but the Skins have hope.  The Giants do not.

 

The Browns traded RB Trent Richardson who was the third pick overall in 2012 to the Colts for a 2014 1st round pick.  For my thoughts on the  trade check out my editorial The Browns’ 2013 season has just been “Bannered” right here on FryingpanSports.com.

 

Notes:

Bengals 34 Packers 30 – Bengals founder Paul Brown once said “I would rather be lucky than good.  Goot teams lose.”  While the Cincy D played great, the offense did its best to give the game away.  In the 2nd quarter alone QB Andy Dalton and the Bengals gave the ball away four straight times inside their 40 yard line.  The Pack took a 30-14 lead in the 3rd quarter but Dalton led them back to the win with some help from Packers’ turnovers.  While the Bengals are 2-1 they are not that good.  The Pack was driving for the clinching TD when rookie RB Johnathan Franklin fumbled and DB Terence Newman returned it 58 yards for the winning TD.  QB Aaron Rodgers drove the Pack down to the Bengal 20 but the 4th down pass was deflected.  The Pack at 1-2 needs to watch out for the Bears 3-0.  But the Pack O will be OK in the long run as long as they can protect Rodgers.  Their D is a serious issue.

 

Bears 40 Steelers 23 – In the second half the Steeler offense started to gel but they were too far behind to finish the comeback.  The Bears D scored two TDs off of pressure on Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger.  The O line is a disaster and there is no running game.  The D still plays hard but do not get the turnovers they did in previous years.  The Bears are doing OK on O but depend too much on scores from the D.  QB Jay Cutler is spreading the ball around more than last year and is having a good season.  But he has O line issues too that have not yet cost the team.

 

Colts 27 49ers 7 – Kaepernick had a bad game but so did the O line and the defense.  Kaepernick does not have his TE.  The opponents are doubling WR Anquan Boldin and the other WRs were not getting open.  The running game with Frank Gore looks old and slow.  With no running game the play action was ineffective.  The WRs are not getting off press coverage.  In game 1 vs. the Packers, they used the bunch formation and used a lot of motion.  They did not in the last two losses.  I wonder why?

 

The D could not get off the field on 3rd down and Smith did not have a sack.  The 49ers are no longer as physical as they were last year on both the O and D lines.  Part of that is the poor season Gore is having.  But Kaepernick is not running effectively either.  Defenses have solved the read option to some degree.  When the up the gut running does not work, the read option will fail as well. The Colts played well but the win came from the poor play of the 49ers.  QB Andrew Luck is outstanding. The 49ers will get better and so will the Colts.

 

Panthers 38 Giants 0 – Manning was punished by the Panthers D line with 7 sacks and a bunch of hits.  The O line is struggling badly and the running game has disappeared.  They are -9 in turnover ratio.  The team is in disarray.  I doubt Coughlin can get it turned around any time soon.  The Panthers are OK but not outstanding.  QB Cam Newton has had an up and down season so far but the Giants D made him look great.  He led the team to their first win.

 

Browns 31 Vikings 27 – The Vikes were so bad the city has traded them to London.  The team will play the winless Steelers there next week and that will be a LONG flight.  Check out my Live game notes right here on http://fryingpansports.com/.

 

 

Rumors:

There are rumbles that the Giants management is not at all happy with Coach Coughlin.  HC Tom Coughlin is in serious trouble.  It looks to me like the team has tuned out the coaching staff.  The pass rush is missing in inaction and the O line is a mess.  There is no running game and Manning is getting pounded.  The front office is in part to blame for the issues.  They have allowed key players to walk away in free agency.  If someone becomes the fall guy it could be the coach and the GM.  That is something to watch.

 

Mike Florio of NBC Sports reports that the NFL is quietly pushing the NFLPA for the 18 game regular season.  Most stadium leases require at least 10 games.  The league would not cut the preseason to 2 games without the agreement of the union to go to 18 regular season games.

 

Could the Vikings be tanking to get a QB in the 2014 draft?  There is little doubt that the one thing holding the team back is the poor play of QB Christian Ponder.  The team needs to fix the situation quickly because the key players on the defense are near the end of their careers.

 

The Steelers are in deep trouble and there is no help in sight.  The O has struggled because of injuries but also because the team has drafted poorly.  QB Roethlisberger has been beaten often and has no running game to fall back on.  He also misses Mike Wallace’s speed to stretch the D vertically.  The D has struggled badly as well.  It has gotten old and fragile.  It no longer forces turnovers.  The team is in freefall and there is no quick fix to their issues.  Again the front office has to take a lot of the blame for the team’s fall.

 

The Browns are reportedly taking offers for WR Josh Gordon.  That is not because they don’t want him on the team.  The team is worried about another off the field issue that could cause the league to suspend him for a year.  While that is a risk with a player in the drug program, the team needs to spend more time helping him stay clean.

 

 

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 edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.  Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts.  You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.  

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.  

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

 

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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 26th, 2013
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News, Notes & Rumors Week 3 of the preseason

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nfl

News

Later this week I will post the AFC and NFC projections for the league.

When asked which team might be a surprising team, Chris Mortensen of ESPN suggested the Browns will “make it very interesting in the AFC North.”  He mentioned the improvement of QB Brandon Weeden in the new offense and the additions on the defensive line.  Needless to say that was before the Browns choked at Indy.

The Steelers traded to get RB Felix Jones from the Eagles.  Steelers’ 2nd round pick RB Le’Veon Bell has a lisfranc injury in his foot.  It is not a good idea to draft a back that has carried the ball as much as Bell did at Michigan State.  His injury could not have been a surprise.  Look for Jones to be a significant factor this year for the Steelers but the running game will struggle.

“DANGER—DANGER”  The first team of the Pats turned the ball over on 4 of their first 5 possessions against the Lions Friday night.  QB Tom Brady has been harassed consistently in the first 3 preseason games.  Brady looked disgusted with the play of his team.  Those are not good signs for the Pats.  The good news is the Pats are in the AFC Least with no real competition for the division title and the playoff spot.

Several major injuries marred week 3 of preseason.  The Cards lost OG Jonathan Cooper for the year with a broken leg.  The Jets saw QB Mark Sanchez go down with an injury to his throwing shoulder.  It does not look to be significant.  The Giants lost S Stevie Brown for the year with an ACL. That is a big injury for the G Men because he had 8 picks last year.  OLB Jarvis Jones (PT) was hospitalized after an undisclosed lung injury.  It sounds similar to what OLB Barkevious Mingo (CL) experienced.

Former Browns QB Colt McCoy has won the backup spot for the 49ers.

Colt McCoy

Colt McCoy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Notes:

The Raiders cannot start QB Matt Flynn if they expect to have a decent season.  He has looked miserable in the last two preseason games.  There is a reason he was a very late round draft choice coming out of LSU.  Against the Bears in game 3 he threw two picks and generated 0 points in almost a half under center.  Former Buckeye Terrelle Pryor seems to be the only QB that can survive behind a very offensive O line.  In four drives Pryor generated 20 points with the 2nd team O of the Raiders.  While Pryor was moving the team to scores, Flynn was sulking on the sideline and not even wearing his head piece to listen to the play calls.

The Seahawks O line issues continued in week 3.  QB Russell Wilson did throw a pick but had another because the O line did not keep the D line’s hands down.  The O of the Hawks can be explosive ONLY if they can solve the O line issues.  The D looks fine.

Chiefs’ QB Alex Smith has not targeted WR Dwayne Bowe yet this preseason.  It could be that by the time Smith makes his drop and turns around Bowe is out of range of his arm.  Don’t expect Smith to throw much down field.  That is not what he does best.  The team has also struggled to protect Smith. He needs good protection to be successful.

Rumors:

Lion head coach Jim Schwartz has to get his team back into the playoffs to save his job.  The Lions commit way too many penalties and Schwartz seems to be unable to correct that.

Bills’ QB Kevin Kolb’s concussion could end his career.  The Bills signed Matt Leinart and traded for Thaddeus Lewis for insurance.

The 49ers are trying to trade QB Colt McCoy.  So far there are no takers.  That is no surprise to Browns fans.

Jet HC Rex Ryan is taking a lot of heat from the NY Media over his decision to put QB Sanchez into a preseason game after QB Geno Smith threw 3 picks.  Sanchez got hurt.  As usual, Ryan is giving as good as he gets.  But this is the beginning of the end for Ryan in NY.  He is a nice guy but like so many others is a much better coordinator than HC.

QB Terrelle Pryor is getting first team reps with the Raiders because the Matt Flynn experiment is not going well.  Flynn will “rest” his elbow this week and Pryor will start.  Look for Pryor to end up as the #1 soon.  Flynn has proven he is not a starter in the NFL.

The Packers like what they see in QB Vince Young.  Look for him to be the #2 in Green Bay.

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

You can listen to the podcasts at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

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

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/

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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 12th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
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News, Notes & Rumors after Week 1 of the preseason

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Brett Favre in Confessions Of An NFL QB Drama ...

Brett Favre in Confessions Of An NFL QB Drama Queen (Photo credit: DavidErickson)

News, Notes & Rumors after Week 1 of the preseason

News
The injury bug seems to be alive and well despite a reduced uniformed practice schedule this season.  The injury de jure seems to be the dreaded torn ACL.  There were no ACL injuries on the first week of games.  All of them occurred during practice.
The NFL is still trying to get the 18 game season into the minds of the fans.  While preseason games are not popular, there will be a lot of player pressure against the move.  The NFL is even reducing the ticket cost of preseason games.  One thing that has not been talked about is the effect that 2 preseason games will have on the ability of undrafted players to make a team.  With the much more restricted practice schedule, the only real opportunity an undrafted player has is in preseason games.  Two less games will give the new guys only one game to show they belong.  The first preseason game will be used to prepare the starters for the season.
Browns color guy Bernie Kosar has been widely crushed for his opinions about the play of Rams players.  First, there is no Constitutional Guarantee for freedom from being insulted.  Second, if a color guy cannot express his opinion, why have one?   Rams Coach Jeff Fisher needs to get a lot thinker skin.  Jeff, shut up and pick better players.
 
Notes
Starting QBs that could be replaced–Josh Freeman TB looked very shaky against the Ravens.  He did not have his starting OGs and was not productive.  He is in the last year of his rookie deal and will be gone unless he shows he is a franchise QB.
Mark Sanchez NJ should not have been an early 1st round pick.  He has not developed and is now in a QB duel.  He will be remembered forever in NFL circles for the Butt Fumble.  His best chance of keeping the job might be the ankle injury to Geno Smith but that is reported to be minor.
Blaine Gabbert JK has not developed and some of that is on the coaches.  The Jags just need to find someone that can move the ball.  Gabbert has regressed in his time there and needs to find his game to keep the job.
Christan Ponder MN is not developing.  The best thing he has going for him is that the backup is Matt Cassel and he has already proven he is not a quality starter.
Payton Manning DV—Just kidding although the Broncos did run 3 plays out of the pistol while he was in.  Don’t expect Payton to run the ball any time soon.
 
Many teams need backup QBs – The backup is much more critical this season than ever before.  Due to a rule change if a player suffers a possible head hit he must be taken into the locker room to get tested for a concussion.  That could mean a starting QB could be out as much as a quarter and a half even if he is not injured just for the test.
The Pack had Graham Harrell at QB2 last year.  If Aaron Rodgers gets hurt the season is over unless the team finds a better 2.  Harrell turns the ball over way too much.  The Pack is close to SB quality unless he has to play QB for any extended time.  Good news for Harrell is that the expected challenger is Vince Young who couldn’t make the Bills roster last year.
According to Kosar, the Rams could use a better backup than Kellen Clemens.  I agree with Kosar.
The 49ers traded for Colt McCoy.  In his first game for the team he did what he does best—get hurt.  Colt will likely be out for the year and the team needs a QB2 as well.  So far neither Scott Tolzien nor B.J. Daniels look like they can play at this level.
The Falcons are searching for a backup.  Dominique Davis is the current backup but he has yet to prove he can handle the job.  He has never thrown a pass in a game and is backed up by two rookie QBs.
Players that caught my eye—RG2 Lane Taylor GB The undrafted RFA did very well on the run and the pass.  He is someone to watch given the issues and age of the OL.
FS2 Tyrann Mathieu AZ had a standout game and should unseat Rashad Johnson very soon.  Mathieu just makes plays.  That is exactly what the Cards need at FS IF he can stay away from trouble.
FB2 Zack Line MN not only can block but is a receiver as well.  I talked about him on my show before the draft and in his first game looked like a player.
J.D. Woods PT really showed his ability to catch.  He had to try to catch balls thrown by John Parker Wilson.  Woods’ first catch was well over his head.  The second one was thrown out of bounds but he caught it and got both feet down.
Sloppy games of the Week—Bucs/Ravens game had more flags than the UN does.  Both teams looked shaky on O and shot themselves in the foot on a regular basis with penalties and turnovers.
Steelers/Giants was a turnover fest that included muffed punts, RBs running into the QB in their own endzone and missed passes, fumbles, and blocked punts.  The final was 18-13 with most of the points coming off mistakes.
 
Rumors
While Chip Kelly offense looked pretty common, the D did not.  Kelly has prohibited tackling to the ground at Eagle practices.  It looked like the Bird D forgot it is legal to tackle during a game.  There were more whiffs than you see at most Cleveland Indian games.  Look for the tackle rules to change at practice.
The Packers CBs got burned a lot and things will not get better until they get the starting CBs back.  Given the issues with the 2nd unit, look for the Pack to be watching the cut lists very carefully.
Before the draft I talked about WR Kenny Stills as a late round value.  The Saints took him in the 5th round.  Although there were some glitches in his first preseason outing, the Saints think a lot of him.  He could win the 3rd WR spot this year.
The Rams rookie WR Tavon Austin was very quiet in the game vs. the Browns.  Coach Jeff Fisher said the team had to get Austin more involved in the O.  While he can return kicks, getting him more involved in the passing game will be harder.  There is no question about his speed but he is very short.  The key to getting him more involved will be getting him down the sideline from the slot. That would match him against shorter DBs.  It would help if there was any other receiver that could threaten the D.  So far there have been more drops than catches by the Rams group.
Undrafted QB Matt McGloin (Raiders) has moved ahead of 4th round pick Tyler Wilson for the #3 QB spot according to the San Francisco Chronicle.  But don’t trust McGloin to make the team.  He has serious flaws as a passer.  He improved a lot at Penn State in his senior year but Wilson is a quality prospect.  A lot of NFL teams would love a shot at Wilson as a key backup.
The Seahawks are looking for a solid backup to RB Marshawn Lynch.  They may have found one in ex Texas A&M back Christine Michael.  He had 89 yards in 16 carries for a 5.6 yards per carry average.  He blocks well and can play FB or HB and even a little TE.
The sudden retirement of Cowboy OG Brandon Moore has the team scrambling for a vet.  ESPN reports that they are after former Pats’ OG Brian Waters who retired in 2012.
Don’t bet on Bills QB Kevin Kolb to be the starter.  E.J. Manuel is coming on strong and Kolb cannot stand that type of pressure.
Fantasy Football comments:
Look for SF QB Colin Kaepernick to explode this year.  In the months leading up to the 2011 draft I talked a lot about him.  He has had an entire off season as the starter unlike last year when he was getting backup reps.  He said he is faster than last year which should scare NFC Ds to death.  Don’t worry about him losing WR Michael Crabtree or about him getting hurt running the ball.  He has a lot of weapons and is a very solid guy that never seems to take a big hit.
Don’t draft any KC receivers unless you are in a PPR league.  QB Alex Smith does not have a strong arm.  The vast majority of his throws will fly less than 8 yards under the WCO of Coach Andy Reed.
KC RB Charles will also be a risk.  Reed likes to pass a lot.  He passed a league high 61% of the time last season in Philly.  While Charles may get some short TDs, he will not get enough carries to get a bunch of yards.  He will catch a bunch of passes however.
Eagle RB McCoy is going in picks 9 or 10 in most draft leagues.  Remember that at Oregon Kelly ran the ball over 60% of the time.  If he stays healthy McCoy should get a lot of carries and catch some passes as well.
That is what I think.  Tell me what you think.
You can listen to the NNR podcasts at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro football teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Nov 9th, 2012
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Golden 5 +1 for this week

Golden 5 +1 for this week

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Miami RedHawks athletic logo

Miami RedHawks athletic logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Golden 5 +1 for this week

Miami+1 @Virginia

Kent State-5 @Miami (Ohio)

UNLV-2 @Colorado State

San Jose State-20.5 @New Mexico State

Air Force @San Diego State -7

Kansas @Texas Tech -24

Since the beginning of the season I am 37-20 for a 64.9 % against the spread. Good luck and make some money.

 

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 edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. He edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

 

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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 http://fryingpanpolitics.org.

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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 http://fryingpanpolitics.org.

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