What did we learn from this week in college football?

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football

Goodbye Notre Dame? Not so fast my friend.

The fans are ready to move on to a new coach. It even looks like the team is ready for a new leader but neither of them matter. The only people that matter are in the administration of the school.

Far too often pinhead administrators want to prove to the fans who is the boss. The Ohio State Athletic Director was hearing demands for Coach John Cooper to be fired in part because he was beaten like a nail by hammer Michigan. Instead, he gave Cooper a significant extension. The following year both the AD and Cooper were history. But the Buckeyes still had to pay off the contract. It was the gift that keeps on giving.

Don’t bet the house that coach Weis is gone. ND doesn’t like paying ex-coaches. There is no question that the team needs a new direction and that needs to be more than just a change in the coaching staff.

The two previous ND coaches won 58% of their games. Prior to the loss Saturday, Weiss had a winning percentage of 58. That can not be a coincidence. Based on the Sporting News top 25 recruits ND has a commitment from 1 and shot at 3 others. That will help but not much. ND is not going to be a BcS candidate for the big game any time soon.

The problem is a fan base that has the expectation of a national championship run every year for a team that will at best be moderately reliant a couple of times a decade. There are other teams in the north that are now in the second tier of college powers. Unless Global Warming makes the deep south unbearable, colleges north of the Mason-Dixon line will be second class citizens for the foreseeable future.

Michigan not Rodriguez friendly. Rodriguez is not very Michigan friendly either.

Coach Rich Rodriguez has not made many friends at Michigan. He got off on the wrong foot by not committing the Blue history to memory. He further irritated Blue fans by turning his back on Michigan stars of the past. He also brought a new system that 2007 QB of the future Ryan Mallett wanted no part of. As a result, Mallett left the team for new digs in Arkansas.

If you are winning Big 10 titles and BcS bowl games you can get away with more than a little arrogance. When you struggling to win enough games to get an invitation to the Tidy Bowl in Michawalka Minnesota you had better be sucking up to the power brokers.

Rodriguez faced an extra challenge bringing his wide open O and 3-3-5 D to the ultra conservative Michigan program. He needed a run and shoot type QB similar to White that he had in WV. He also needed lighter more athletic O and D linemen. The cupboard was bare when he got there and there wasn’t any of the things that fit his system. But again due to arrogance, he refused to change his system and implemented it with what he had. When the Michigan HC is advertising for walk-ons it is not going to be a good year.

After a 3-9 result in 2008 a 5-7 2009 is not good enough. The fans are screaming for his firing. But for the fans there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that the AD has said that Rodriguez will be back next year. The good news is that the AD will not be around then because he is retiring.

I doubt that he will be fired this off season. But with a new AD coming in, it is not out of the question. He has tried to smooth things over with the key donors to the program but kissing up to contributors is not his style. He may last another year but will be gone for sure after that and may not be part of a trip to OSU next November.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: Notre Dame,NCAA Football,BCS,BCS CHAmpionship,BCS Bowl,Weis,Rodriguez,Michigan,Ohio State,Cooper

What to look for in College football (a day late)

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football

Some people live in the sticks. I live in the leaf stems. One of the disadvantages of living next to a lake is that you always seem to need work around the house. Three days ago while workers were doing something for us, they cut the phone line. Thanks to a great job by my favorite workers ATT I got back my Internet but was out of town all day yesterday.

Note I will put up Niblets for October next week.

The Big East needs to be suspended from BcS games for 5 years for fraud.

The BE should be stripped of any chance to get a team in the top 100. Two years ago West Virginia was in a position to play for a national championship with a win over a badly injured Pitt team. The officials were clearly doing everything they could to make that happen. The calls were horrendous and every bad call went against Pitt and for WV. But the game Pitt team won despite the help from blind deaf and dumb officials. The calls were so bad that the BE should have been laughed out of the BcS.

Last night we saw another ranked WV team on the road get every break the zebras could give them to win. Again it didn’t help and Southern Florida without their star QB Grothe beat WV 30-19.

Cincinnati is currently ranked highly in the BcS and we will be watching to see how much help they get. The key reason that a conference wants their teams to be in the big games is MONEY. I will be keeping an eye on the Cincy games to see if the officials cheat their opponents again. THIS HAS TO STOP or the BE will be seen as a total joke.

Georgia v 1 Florida at Jacksonville

The last 3 years Georgia was highly over rated with Stafford at QB. He is gone and so is the belief in the Dogs as a top power. This season Georgia is 4-3 coming off a bad loss 45-19 to Tennessee. After 3 disappointing seasons, there are rumblings of discontent in Athens.

Not everything is roses and sunshine in Floridaville either. The team has been inconsistent and all everything Tebow has been hurt but is now back. He has not had the kind of success that enjoyed last year. The team just got by Arkansas 23-20 then looked lethargic last week against Miss St. in a 29-19 win. Florida will get back on track and win easily.

3 Texas @ 14 Oklahoma St.

This is the game of the day. The Horns have just 2 tough road games between them and a Big12 Championship game. This is the first of those. Texas is coming off a very impressive win over Missouri. The Horn O is vulnerable to really good Ds and OK St. has a good one.

This is the first game that Texas will face really wide open O because Oklahoma did not have their QB for most of that contest. OkS will take some chances because they want to knock off #3 but it won’t work. I think Texas has a handle on the spread and will win easily.

Indiana @ 4 Iowa

Iowa has a huge game on tap in 2 weeks at Ohio State. They will not look past Indiana and will win but look for them to pull the starters before they build up a big win.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,NFL Draft,Big East,West Virginia,BcS,BCS Rankings,Florida,Georgia,Texas,Oklahoma State,Indiana,Iowa,Ohio State,Big 12
  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 26th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
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What did we learn from the College football weekend for 10/26/09?

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football

The top 3 teams have separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Texas looks to be the first to get its ticket punched by virtue of an easier schedule if they get by #14 Oklahoma State this Saturday. That will not be an easy game because the Cowboys are playing very well now since they stubbed their toe against Houston.

Texas has only a home game against Kansas and a rivalry game at Texas A&M left as a challenge after OK St. I think that Texas will go undefeated and get to the big game.

Both top SEC teams have big games this weekend. Florida takes on Georgia and Alabama hosts #9 LSU. If that game were at LSU, I would think it would be a tossup. At home, Alabama should win and probably get the top spot in all the polls based on a win over a top 10 team only if the voters forget the less than impressive 12-10 win over Tennessee at home last week. Alabama came within a fingernail of losing the game when NT Cody blocked his second FG attempt in the 4th quarter of the game.

The Vols were the sandwich game between #22 South Carolina and #9 LSU. Every national champ has a close call or 2 on their way to the title. Bama played down to the Vols level on O. The Vols D refused to let QB McElroy throw down field and Bama averaged just 4.1 per pass attempt. Bama also struggled in the red zone. They failed on 2 trips there having to kick short FGs rather than scoring TDs. They led the entire game holding the Vols to just 3 points until the 4th when the Vols had 3 drives including a TD and the 2 blocked FG attempts.

After a close call against Arkansas at home, Florida had a solid if not impressive win at Mississippi State. The most significant hurdles the Gators face to get to the SEC Title game are against Georgia, at South Carolina and their rivalry game at home against an always dangerous Florida State. Neither of those should provide an upset which of course means the Gators may lose one of them.

Of the two schedules, I believe that LSU represents more of a challenge than the group that Florida will face.

#4 in the BcS Iowa represents the biggest threat to the top 3 because the computers love them and because they still have a game on the road @ #17 Ohio State. The Hawks have to hope that the Buckeyes continue to win until that game. Given the way the OSU offense has failed to move the ball, that is not a sure thing at all. However, the Hawks overcame the crowd, and the odds makers in winning on the last play of the game. They only way they get into the big game is to be undefeated and have 2 of the top 3 lose at least one each. The voters have Iowa ranked 8th and that hurts them in the BcS.

#5 USC should jump over Iowa if they win at #10 Oregon Saturday. They also have a game against #20 Arizona on December 5 but it is very doubtful that the Wildcats will still be ranked by then because they have games against #10 Oregon and at # 24 California. So USC has to win at Oregon big to have a shot then hope that 2 of the big 3 lose a game.

#6 TCU is undefeated and is the best chance of the non-BcS league reps to get into the big game but there are a lot of chips that have to fall in their favor to do so. The computers like them as well ranking them 4th. The Frogs were outstanding in a 38-7 win at then #16 BYU. They still have a game against now #16 Utah in a couple of weeks. TCU is an outstanding team and deserves better than they will get. The Frogs will get a nice BcS bowl but have 0 chance to get to the big game.

#7 Boise State has 6 games on its schedule but no ranked teams. Their only statement win was in week 1 over Oregon. They are 5th in the polls but the computer has them 8th. They are playing well but can never get any big schools to go there and play a home and home. That hurts the teams chances to break the glass ceiling of the “BcS” leagues.

#8 Cincinnati is also perfect and has 2 games against ranked teams. They will face #21 West Virginia and # 15 Pittsburgh. Their chances were long to start with and are longer now because they have lost their QB Pike for awhile. Without him they have little chance of completing the year perfect and no chances of getting more than a crumb off the BcS table.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: Florida,Georgia,Alabama,LSU,Tennessee,Texas,Oklahoma State,Kansas,Texas A&M,South Carolina,Arkansas,Mississippi State,Iowa,Ohio State,Oregon,Arizona,California,USC,TCU,Boise State,BYU,Cincinnati,West Virginia,Pittsburgh,NCAA FOOTBALL,BCS,BCS Rankings
  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 19th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
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What did we learn from the College weekend 7?

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Ohio State is struggling badly on offense. The problem is 65% the O line or absence of one and 35% QB Pryor. The O line has been a problem for the last 5 years. The lack of pass protection has been a major contributor to Pryor regressing this season. He loses his mechanics because he is running for his life even against a 1-5 Purdue team. The lack of run blocking has put much more pressure on the passing game. The 5 man blocking sled is pushed up against the wall of the OSU practice facility. It’s way past time that it gets used a lot. If the Bucks could generate any kind of running game, the pass rush would be slowed and Pryor would become more accurate.

Alabama looked a lot more impressive than Florida this weekend. Florida struggled with a hot but unranked Arkansas team and most of their problems were self inflicted. Bama rolled over 22 South Carolina 20-6 but the game was not that close. Alabama is good but I wonder if they can get over the hurdle of beating Florida in the SEC Championship game.

20 Oklahoma v 3 Texas was everything we hoped it would be. But as I said before the draft this year QB Bradford made a mistake by not going pro. Unfortunately he was hurt again in the game. Every injury costs him millions of dollars in guaranteed money because the NFL will be less and less comfortable with his injury status. The two injuries that the scouts worry about the most are concussions and injuries to the passing arm/shoulder/elbow of a QB. A perfect example of this is Pennington. His 3rd shoulder injury may well end his career. Each operation has reduced his already below average arm strength. The shoulder capsule injury is difficult to judge and any doubt will hurt Bradford’s draft status.

Texas looks OK on D as does Oklahoma. The game was a defensive struggle all day. Texas QB McCoy averaged only 3.3 yards per throw with 21-39 for just 127 yards. In addition the running game averaged 3.6 per attempt. That is not enough O to win against either of the SEC teams. The Sooners hung in the game very well but did not have enough O with QB Jones at the helm to win.

4 Virginia Tech let 22 Georgia Tech jump out to a 14-3 lead. When they can continue to run the ball and pass when they want to, the Jackets are very hard to stop. VTk fell to the Jackets and are out of the Championship game race with 2 losses.

5 Boise St. has not impressed me much. They have one really nice win over Oregon at home. That is all. They do not have any other big game on the schedule. Frankly even if they do win out, I would take a 1 loss SEC or Big 12 team over an undefeated Boise club.

6 USC seems to play down to the level of their competition. They let the 25 Notre Dame hang around way too long and almost let them come back to win. Early in the 4th USC was up 34-14 but let ND score twice and threaten a 3rd time. That did not impress me. The USC D is over rated and the win over Ohio State is looking less and less impressive. Both QBs looked OK but the difference was the USC running game. But the USC D let ND QB Clausen march the ball into the red zone at the end of the game.

I do like 8 Cincinnati, 9 Miami (FL) and 11 Iowa. All three look good and have chances to improve their position with big game coming up. Iowa really needed Ohio State to win until they play to get the maximum advantage from a schedule against the weak Big 10.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: Ohio State,Pryor,Purdue,Alabama,Florida,Oklahoma,Texas,Bradford,McCoy,Jones,Virginia Tech,Georgia Tech,Boise State. Oregon,USC,Notre Dame,Cincinnati,Miami,Iowa,Clausen
  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 17th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
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What to look for this weekend in College Football.

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Arkansas @ 1 Florida

The Gator D shut the LSU O down last week to 3 points and less than 100 yards passing. This week Arkansas brings in another very hot offense led by former Michigan QB Mallett. The Hogs beat Auburn last week but this team plays much better at home. Look for Gator QB Tebow to look more comfortable and do more passing. The Hog D is playing better but is no match for Tebow et. al. The Gators win comfortably.

22 So. Carolina @ 2 Alabama

Alabama went to Mississippi and pummeled the Rebs 22-3. The score should have been a lot worse except for the inefficient passing game. Bama QB McElroy was only 15-35. But next to the over hyped Reb QB Snead he looked great. Snead was 11-34 with 4 interceptions. The Bama D is outstanding.

SC is much better at home where it beat then #4 Mississippi 16-10. They do not play well on the road but have a solid O led by QB Garcia (134 qb rating) and 3 good RBs. They are going to have a tough time moving against the Bama D. SC squeaked out a win last week at home against Kentucky but they will not leave Bama with one. Alabama wins.

20 Oklahoma VS. 3 Texas

This is the game of the week. The key will be how well Sooner QB Bradford really is. He was not tested too much last week against a very weak Baylor team. He will get a lot more pressure from the Texas D front 7. The Sooner running game is supposed to be outstanding but so far has not produced as advertised. Instead, they have depended on the passing game. Bradford was hurt against BYU but came back last week and looked good (27/49 389yds 1TD 0 int). That was Baylor but this is Texas.

Texas has looked steady but not spectacular against only 1 good team. They were asleep last week against Colorado until the second half. That will get them beaten badly this week. But this game is “THE” game for both teams. The Texas running game is not as good as expected either. The Oklahoma O line and the young WRs are the weak points. They won’t run the ball well and Texas wins in a tough game.

4 Virginia Tech @ 18 Georgia Tech

Since the opening loss to Alabama, no team has looked better than VTk. They beat 2 ranked teams back to back and are playing outstanding D. QB Taylor looks better each week and is making good decisions with the ball. He has a passer rating of 159.

GTk has to get out to a quick start to have any shot. They have a great running game but VTk will load the D line to take the running game away. The it will be up to GTk QB Nesbitt to move the ball in the air. He has a passer rating of 160 but is completing only 50.7 percent of his throws. Most of the TDs have been long runs after the catch because the opponent is playing the run. Nesbitt will have to complete some passes early in the game and on 1st and 2nd down because he will be blitzed heavily on 3rd and long. He will not be able to complete enough to score against VTk. VTk wins easily.

6 USC @ 25 Notre Dame

The difference in the game will be the USC D. It will stymie the ND O and harass QB Clausen. He will have to get rid of the ball very quickly which means that his WRs will have to get open. WR Rudolph has big shoes to fill due to the injury of Floyd. RB Allen is OK but the O line is no match for the USC D front 7. ND struggled to beat Washington last week.

USC has had 2 weeks to prepare for the game and QB Barkley is back. That gives USC a lift. The D has played very well despite losing a number of players last year. Forget all the talk around ND that “this is THE year.” It is not and USC will win.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,NFL Draft,Rankings,College Football,Arkansas,Florida,South Carolina,Alabama,Oklahoma,Texas,Bradford,Snead,Kentucky,Baylor,Virginia Tech,Georgia Tech,Nesbitt,USC,Notre Dame
  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 5th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What did we learn about College ball this week?

What did we learn about College ball this week?

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football

There are only 3 top teams in the NCAA—Florida, Texas and Alabama. And there is a better than average chance that none of them will make it undefeated through the 09 season.

#3 Alabama had more trouble with Kentucky than they should have. Based on Florida coming into tobacco land and wining 41-7, the Bama win of 38-20 was not too impressive. Kentucky scored TDs in the 3rd and 4th quarter but against a mostly 2nd unit team. Florida also had a second unit on the field in the second half. The Gators won’t face Bama except possibly in the SEC Championship game.

#4 LSU got a quality win over #18 Georgia between the Hedges. Any SEC win on the road against a ranked team is impressive. Georgia scored a go ahead TD with 1:09 left. The LSU drive for the winning TD was impressive. They still have to be concerned about the inability to get TDs in the red zone. They were forced to kick 2 field goals in the first half because they couldn’t get to the endzone.

#6 Virginia Tech struggled to beat Duke. That isn’t a surprise because the Duke game was a sandwich road game between then #9 Miami and BC. We will get a lot better idea of how good VT is next week.

#7 USC showed #24 Cal to be a paper bear. The 30-3 win on the road against a ranked (or over ranked) team indicates that USC is done with the OSU hangover and is ready to take care of business in the PAC-10. What had been supposed to be a strong Cal O was able to get just one field goal in garbage time against the USC D.

#17 Miami is a lot tougher at home than on the road. What was particularly impressive was that Miami got 7.2 yards per pass attempt and 4.4 per rush. The Sooners averaged 6.3 and 3.6 respectively. # 8 Oklahoma just has not been able to overcome the injuries. They lost a couple of their key players in this game which will make the Texas game much more difficult if they are not able to play by then.

Both #9 Ohio State and #10 Cincinnati were solid in league wins on the road. OSU will face Wisconsin in the Shoe next Saturday which will be a much better gage of where they are than Indiana was.

#13 Iowa suffered a major letdown after winning at Penn St last week. They struggled to win at home against Arkansas St. which just became a 1A level team a couple of seasons ago. They get Michigan at night next week then travel to Wisconsin after that. They are going to have to get their feet back on the ground if they want to be a factor in the Big 10 race.

#15 Penn St. was slow getting started but looked good overall against a pretty good Illinois team. Their only shot at getting back to the top 10 will come when they welcome Ohio St. They need to play better than they did last week against Iowa to have the OSU game mean anything.

The Board of Trustees want Florida State coach Bowden to retire.  They have no power in that decision.  It should be Bobby’s decision and no one else.  Let him coach as long as he wants because the FSU program was a shipwreck before he took it over.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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