B I G News in football!

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Big12X

College football:

As the Big 12 sinks slowly in the west and sun pulls away from the shore we say goodbye to another college conference.

If you want to know where college football is going–follow the money! Nebraska will sign with the Big 10 Friday. That will allow the league to become the Big 12 because the majority of other teams in the conference formerly known as the Big 12 are deserting like rats from a sinking ship. Colorado has already gone to the PAC 10. It is expected to be followed by the Texas and Oklahoma teams soon. The PAC 10 will become the first “Super” conference with 16 teams.

The question is why is all this change going on? The answer is money. Nothing is more greedy than the college presidents around the country. That is why not only do they regularly demand more money from the state legislature but college fees to students have increased at 10 times the rate of inflation over the last 25 years.

The Big 10 gets 88 cents for every subscriber to the conference TV network. With the addition of a big name football school like Nebraska, look for that fee to go up. The viewers in Nebraska are out of the “primary” market so the conference will get only 8 cents for each subscriber there. However, the Big 10+2 will likely vote the newcomer a full share of the booty.

The Big 12 had a lousy TV contract. The teams that are leaving to go to the PAC 10+6 believe that conference will get a REALLY good TV deal under the new configuration.

Look for the ACC to bring Miami into their league plus someone else.  That would help them be less likely to be savaged by another league.  The funny thing is that had Notre Dame agreed to be the 12th Big 10 team, none of this might have happened.

The one thing you won’t see ANYWHERE else.

When the Big 10+2 becomes 16 and the PAC 10+6 get together, they will be able to put a great deal of pressure on the NCAA.  Most media people are complaining about the demise of the Big 12.  This change could well get us closer to the NCAA BcS Playoff that we all want.  The super conferences are going to be in a much more powerful position to push the NCAA into making changes to help the game.

USC gets its comeuppance!

The NCAA has hit the USC football program with a 30 scholarship reduction and a 2 year ban on bowl games as a result of the 5 year study into their lack of institutional control. When you lose 10 scholarships each year for 3 years, it will greatly impact your program.  This will really take USC out of the running for the top athletes for the next 2 years because a top 100 kid would not want to be banned from a shot at a bowl.

The USC basketball program was excluded from the NCAA tournament for a single year.  That was served last year by the team with a self-imposed penalty.

The NFLPA sues the NFL over the TV deal in 2011.

This is another “I told you so.” Over 6 months ago, I predicted that the NFLPA and DeMaurice Smith would sue over the TV deal that will pay the league even if there is no football in 2011. I will keep an eye on this for you but you can bet the farm that it will not move the league and the union any closer to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

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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"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 https://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 did we learn in the College football last weekend?

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football

Both Weis and Bowden are fired.

Weis used the players recruited by Tyrone Willingham for his early success. The experience at ND proved that as head coach, Weis was one step beyond his level of competence. ND will likely never again be a regular contender for a national title. It may wander close from time to time but no matter who is the next coach, the team will not regain the status that both the administration and the fan base assume is their natural right.

Bowden is an entirely different story. Florida State was a joke prior to him becoming head coach. The “what have you done for me lately” group of FSU fans don’t seem to remember that. He had 14 straight top 5 finishes, 2 national championships, 12 conference championships, a bowl record of 21-10-1 and the second most wins in division 1 college football history. He is still loved by both his current and former players and the parents of those players. Now he has decided to retire the way that former USSR heads of state did—by threat of force. That is not the way that a great coach should end his career. FSU will have some problems getting a better coach. That is a hard act to follow.

The BcS is busted.

This season there are 6 undefeated teams going into the last week of the regular season. Either Florida or Alabama will drop from that list next week. Even so, it is clear to anyone that has watched TCU and Cincy are capable of playing with anyone. But until the pinhead college presidents get a kick in the butt from major donors that will suspend their gifts until Mr. Pinhead votes for a playoff, nothing will change. The fans are being cheated by a system that takes all meaning out of the regular season.

The big boys struggle with lessor competitors

#2 Alabama struggles to beat rival Auburn 26-21.

The Tide didn’t roll in the annual Iron Bowl. They looked sluggish and incapable of taking advantage of an Auburn D that was depleted by injury. They did show good fortitude coming back to win with less than 2 minutes left. But some cracks were obvious. The Tide managed only 73 yards rushing. RB Ingram who was considered a top Heisman prospect looked very average with 16 carries for 30 yards. They will have to play better than that to beat Florida.

#3 Texas D allows 39 by Texas A&M.

The strength of the Texas team was supposed to be the D beside QB McCoy. But TAM QB Johnson threw for 342 yards against the Texas D while McCoy could manage only 175. TAM WR Fuller ran through the Texas D so wide open it was like he was contagious with the H1N1. Something that should concern all Horn fans is that TAM lost to Oklahoma 65-10 and Colorado 35-34 in the last couple of weeks. Texas did not look good on either side of the ball.

#6 Boise State almost gets Kaepernicked.

Boise went into the game against Nevada with one thought—stop QB Kaepernick. They jumped out to a 20 point lead in the first quarter. Even so, they were forced to score in the 4th quarter to win over a team with one threat—Big K. Kaepernick is a great runner and a better passer than most think. As always, he put the team on his back and almost pulled off the upset of decade for his school. The Boise D was so focused on K that they allowed a much less talented team to get back in the game.

#7 Georgia Tech gets lost in the hedges.

As I have said for several weeks, the way to beat GTk is to get in front quickly and then hold on for dear life. Georgia found its running game and used it to keep the GTk O off the field. Tech scored 17 points in the 2nd half but fell short 30-24.

#9 Pitt gets upset by West Virginia.

Pitt had to score 10 points in the last 8 minutes just to get the game into overtime. They were in a position to challenge for a BcS bowl but not now. WV took revenge for Pitt knocking them out of a potential BcS Championship game a couple of years ago.

#12 Oklahoma State looked inept against an angry Sooner team.

Perhaps the biggest turkey of the weekend was OkS that looked totally outclassed by a wounded and angry Oklahoma team. OkS was shown to be a pretender not a contender.

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,BCS,BCS Championship,Flroida State,Notre Dame,Weis,Bowden,Alabama,Auburn,Texas,Texas A&M,Boise State,Nevada,Georgia Tech,Georgia,Pitt,West Virginia,Oklahoma State,Oklahoma
  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 17th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What to look for this weekend in College Football.

What to look for this weekend in College Football.

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football

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 12th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What did we learn from the College Football Weekend #7?

What did we learn from the College Football Weekend #7?

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football

1 Florida is clearly the best of the top 3 teams. It went to LSU at night and dominated what had been an explosive offense. LSU’s QB Jefferson was 11-17 but only got 96 yards. That was just not enough. The LSU running game was also contained by the Gator D.

Gator QB Tebow looked just OK coming back from the concussion. The Florida O was limited by the LSU defense. LSU showed it deserved to be in the top 10 but was not a contender for the national championship.

As I suggested last week, 2 Texas wasn’t mentally into the game against Colorado in the first half. The team was down 14-10 at the half. But in the second half the O woke up and put another 28 points on the board. However, there are some problems with the Texas team. They can not run the ball. They averaged only 2.2 yards per attempt against a very average Colorado D. That is not going to bode well for them against Oklahoma let alone a Florida or Alabama D.

3 Alabama took the (former #4) #20 Mississippi team apart and reassembled them incorrectly. The Bama D made Ole Miss QB Snead to be a fraud as a top NFL QB prospect. He just doesn’t read coverages well or perform under duress. Snead threw 4 interceptions and there could have been a couple more. It was not his best game. But so far against a mix of decent and not so good teams Snead has 9 TDs and 9 picks. He has lost his shot at a 1st round pick in the draft.

Mississippi has no more games against ranked teams. The losses against Alabama and South Carolina have proven that the team is not a contender but a pretender.

News flash—5 Virginia Tech is really good. They did what I said they would and crushed BC. The Tech D cause 3 turnovers and did not allow a score by BC until the 4th quarter when the game was in the bag. They have now beaten 2 ranked teams after a close loss at Alabama. If they can beat Georgia Tech next week on the road, they should be able to run the table and be in the conversation for the National Championship game. But as good as they are, they won’t be able to handle Florida.

There are problems on both sides of the ball for 9 Ohio State. They never should have beaten Wisconsin. The O generated 1 drive at the end of the 1st half for a touchdown. That was all that the O did on its own. The problem is QB Pryor’s inability to be consistently accurate and the O line’s inability to protect him. The line breaks down regularly on pass protection and fails to push a good D line off the ball in the running game. The report from OSU is that Pryor asked to throw more from the pocket in a pro style O to improve his pro prospects. It isn’t working. A 5 for 13 game for 87 yards is not going to win many games.

The new WR corps is below the quality of that last year but the fact is that Pryor has not progressed. In some ways like staring down the receiver he has regressed. If OSU is going to win against Iowa and Penn State, he is going to have to get better in a hurry.

The D can’t stop a solid running game on 3rd down. The Badgers didn’t run all over the Buckeye D but they converted key 3rd and 4th downs to keep drives going. It was only when they threw the ball that the Wisconsin O ran into trouble. The OSU D is going to have to do a better job stopping the run.

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,NCAA Football,National Championship chase,LSU,Tebow,Texas,Colorado,Oklahoma,Alabama,NCAA Rankings,Mississippi,Snead,Virginia Tech,Boston College,Ohio State,Wisconsin,Pryor

What to look for in the College Games this week.

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football

1 Florida @ 4 LSU

QB Tim Tebow is reportedly going to start the game Saturday. In the first couple of series watch to see if he is running the ball and if he is using his head rather than risking it by sliding or going out of bounds before he takes a monster hit. The risk is once you have had a concussion you are more susceptible to them in the future. He has hurt his draft status because of the injury. A broken arm or knee would not have done as much damage as a concussion to his ranking in the draft.

The Florida running game beside Tebow is going to have to pick up the slack better than it did after the injury against Kentucky. Despite Tebow going out in the middle of the 3rd quarter, he still was the leading rusher in the game. No other back got 100 yards or more than 12 carries. Tebow got 16 in a little over a half of football.

The other aspect of the Florida game will be how effective will Tebow be in passing. He has yet to prove to most scouts that he is an NFL quality QB prospect in part because of questioned arm strength and partly because he has to change from a pure spread to an NFL style offense. That is not an easy transition. QB Brantley is a talented backup but does not offer the leadership that Tebow offers. If Tebow can’t go or has to come out, look for the Gators to run more and depend on Brantley to throw less to try not to lose the game. The game plan will become a lot more conservative.

LSU has its own concerns on offense. They are home and playing at night which is one of the best venues in college football. But the team ranks 80th in the nation in scoring TDs in the red zone. FGs are not going to beat Florida. They are going to have to score TDs.

QB Jefferson is 19 and the youngest QB starting in the SEC. He needs some help from the play caller if he is going to do better against the veteran Florida D than he has against the likes of Vanderbilt or Louisiana-Lafayette. They need him to do less reading and more rolling out. That should also help reduce the rush from the Gator front 7. He seems more comfortable reading half the field in a roll out than trying to read the entire field from the pocket.

Another problem LSU has in scoring inside the red zone is that they have not proven that they can run the ball into the endzone. That results in the D playing the pass exclusively inside the 20.

If Tebow plays the Gators win. If not, they lose.

Colorado @ 2 Texas

This is a trap game for Texas. They get Oklahoma next week. Traditionally Texas wins the game before the Red River Rivalry but not by much. Colorado is not a good team. It has lost to both Colorado State and Toledo. Look for a closer than expected game with the Horns winning.

3 Alabama @ 20 Mississippi

This game would have carried a lot more hype had not Ole Miss lost to South Carolina. Alabama is an outstanding team with a crushing D. This is QB Snead’s chance to prove he is a top NFL prospect. So far he has show the potential but not the production in big games. In what most people think was his highpoint in the defeat of Florida last year he was 9 for 20 for 185 and 2 TDs with 1 int. Not what he needs to prove his value.

Alabama can not look past Ole Miss because it has #25 SC, a road game at Tennessee and home against LSU in the next 3 weeks. This is put up or shut up time for the Tide. They need a big win here to prove their worthiness for the #3 spot. They will win but not by enough to satisfy the home folks.

Boston College @ 4 Virginia Tech

BC has had Tech’s number the last few years. But this year should be different. VT wins comfortably.

Wisconsin @ 9 Ohio State

The key to this game will be the ability of Wisconsin to run the ball with their outstanding O line against the D line of OSU. The Badgers are still trying to find out exactly who they are. They better find out before 3:30 on Saturday or it will be a long day. OSU wins but struggles as it always does.

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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