"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 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

What to look for in College football for week 8.

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football

1 Florida @ Miss St.

The Gators will face a pretty good O in the Bulldogs. QB Lee has a passer rating of 112.3 and RB Dixon averages 5.2 per run. The Dogs have struggled on D against good teams. In losses to Auburn, 7 LSU and 13 Georgia Tech they gave up a total of 121 points. They will give up quite a few against Florida as well. Florida this year seems to loose concentration in games against lessor teams. That is particularly true when a tough game is next up. The Gators will play Georgia next which is a big rival. Florida will win but it could be closer than it should be.

Tennessee @ 2 Alabama

Bama has taken over the top spot in some of the rankings and that is well deserved. It has outplayed Florida against better competition. Bama has beaten 3 ranked teams and won the games easily. Their D is playing outstanding ball giving up just 9 points in the last 2 games against ranked teams. The Bama O has played well with QB McElroy having a 137.6 passing rating and 2 RBs averaging over 5 per carry.

Tennessee had a nice win last week over Georgia but faces 2 ranked teams in the next 2 weeks. The D has played well but the O is inconsistent. QB Crompton has been streaky but is completing less than 58% with 13 TDs and 9 picks. He has a set of good receivers as well. He has racked up a lot of the numbers against 2 teams. RB Hardesty averages 5.4 per carry. The O has struggled against good defenses. They will struggle badly against Bama. Bama wins.

3 Texas @ Missouri

The Horns tend to play with less energy after the Oklahoma game. But they have way too much for the Tigers. Missouri lost a lot in graduation or the draft and is not a physical team. They will be pushed all over the field by Texas and the Horns win.

4 Boise State @ Hawaii

Boise is 4th but has no chance of playing for the national championship. I don’t want to hear any crying from State fans because if they want to play for a title they need to schedule more than 1 tough opponent. The only ranked team they played was Oregon. The rest of their schedule is too weak to get the spot over a 1 loss SEC or Big 12 team. They will win at Hawaii and get a nice tan at the same time.

Louisville @ 5 Cincinnati

Cincy may have lost their QB Pike in the game against South Florida. Pike has led the team to 244 points in 6 games. His replacement is Collaros is an untested sophomore. Pike’s status is unknown. The Cincy D has played well and should have no problem with the Cards or next week against Syracuse. However, they have 4 tough games to end the season and will need Pike if they want to win out.

6 Iowa @ Michigan St.

Iowa has 2 tough road games left on its schedule and this is one of them. Iowa has a shot at the big game if it ends the season undefeated. Either Alabama or Florida will lose at least 1 game when they meet in the SEC Championship game. That leaves only Texas as the other candidate. The Hawk O is inconsistent but seems to show up in big games. If Iowa gets by MSU their only other road game is at Ohio State.

The MSU D is very tough with 12 sacks in the last 3 games. They stopped last year star RB Green on 4th and 1 to preserve a win over Iowa. The game is at night and it is MSU’s best shot to get to a New Years Day Bowl. The Spartans may be more dangerous than the Buckeyes to Iowa’s hopes. Iowa will win in a close game.

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,College football,Florida,Mississippi St.,Tennessee,Alabama,McElroy,Crompton,Hardesty,Texas,Missouri,Boise State,Hawaii,Oregon,Louisviiie,Cincinnati,Pike,Collaros,Iowa,Michigan State,Ohio State

Tuesday morning QB. Analysis: Sanchez has all the tools except experience in the NFL.

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New York Jets 2009 Football Headshots

Note: I am considering making this a regular feature during the NFL season. Let me know what you think.

When the first all out blitz came from the Ravens, Jet QB Mark Sanchez put the ball up for grabs. Ray Lewis came in untouched and caused the Int. The Raven D linemen Haloti Ngata caught it and ran it 25 yards for a TD. I was thinking about John Madden. As he said in the movie The Replacements, he loved to see a big guy score.

There was almost a second interception when IB Lewis caught Sanchez staring down his receiver. In part because he had been so rattled by the blitzes he never took his eyes off his intended target. Again, the ball never got there because it ended up in Lewis’ hands. Lewis dropped it or it would have been the second D TD for the Ravens. At that point, Sanchez was probably wondering where the red no tackle jersey was.

The problem is in part the same increase in speed that every rookie QB goes through coming into the NFL from college. But with Sanchez there is another issue at work as well—He just doesn’t have enough experience playing QB. Sanchez sat for a year behind Matt Leinart then 2 years behind John David Booty. Leinart was a 1st round pick but Booty was a 5th round after thought of the Vikings.

The history of QBs in the NFL is littered with those that played only one year. The most obvious was the 1999 3rd overall choice by Cincinnati of Akili Smith of Oregon. Smith started only one year for the Ducks and went from undrafted rookie camp invitee to the 3rd pick in the first round. He never worked out in part because he didn’t have the experience or patents to learn the offense. The one thing we can say about Sanchez is that he has patents. He waited for 3 years as USC.

Sanchez has improved a little in his 4 months as a pro. He looked good against the Rams in his first action of the preseason. But the Rams D is bad and he was going against their 2nd and 3rd team guys. Most of those guys will be learning key phrases for their future profession like “would you like fries with that?”

A couple of things that Sanchez is doing now he was not doing as a USC starter. Perhaps the most important is that he is holding the ball much higher as he drops to find a receiver. That is critical because it reduces the time between him finding a potential target and getting rid of the ball. His release has been improved by better mechanics.

He is accurate on the move when he finds someone to throw to. As Sanchez was being chased to the sideline he found a WR open and got the ball to former Missouri QB Brad Smith. The completion was called back for Smith interfering with the DB.

The lack of experience shows the most in his inability to make quick reads of the coverage. There are a lot of blitzes and combinations of man and zone coverage he has not seen before. All young QBs are easily confused. One that has only one year of starting in college is particularly behind. He goes down in part because he is watching the blitz rather than looking down field for a receiver.

I do like the improvement in his footwork. Like all young QBs, at USC, Sanchez tended to have happy feet. He would not set his feet before he threw the ball. He is doing better with the Jets. He showed a couple of happy feet dances when the rush was coming close. But on a TD throw under some pressure, he set his feet and drilled the ball to Washington for the score.

OVERALL: Sanchez is going to be OK. I am not sure he will ever become a dominant QB that would justify the 4th overall pick. He has a lot to learn. The entire organization is new and has some time to turn the fortunes of the Jets around. We all are sure that the other QBs on the Jets can not lead them to a Super Bowl. Because the Jets have a good O line, I would put Sanchez in and let him learn on the job. I have never been a big fan of how much better a QB gets holding the clipboard. Whether he starts or not, the Jets will take a step back in overall record. But they will be better off in the long run. The Colts didn’t win much when Payton Manning was a rookie starter either but that has worked out pretty well.

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: NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football,Jets,Ravens,Sanchez,Ngata,Vikings,Cardinals,Smith,Bengals,Leinart,Booty,Madden,USC,Oregon,Manningham,Colts
  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 20th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on QB Ryan has the Falcons' Offense flying high but the D keeps the team grounded.

QB Ryan has the Falcons' Offense flying high but the D keeps the team grounded.

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Rookie QB Matt Ryan had a storybook season last year. He stepped into a team that desperately needed leadership and provided it. He seems to have all the physical and mental traits that a team needs to be more than effective offensively. The one area of development is the ability to know what the D is doing and anticipate it. That will come with experience. But right now he is good enough to win the NFC South again this year. He had better stay healthy because there is nothing of NFL quality behind him.  He is a fantasy star.

RB Michael Turner has become a force in the running game. He answered any questions about his ability to start last season gaining over 1,700 yards. He has power and speed which is a combination in short supply around the league. Jerious Norwood is a solid starting quality back and young Thomas Brown is green and needs snaps to develop. FB Ovie Mughelli is a force and is not too far from pro bowl performance.

WR Roddy White and Michael Jenkins looked a great deal better with Ryan at QB. Funny how that works. White is already at all pro level and Jenkins is getting there. Brian Finneran is the only vet talent on the bench after the season ending injury to Harry Douglas. Because both Turner and Norwood are adequate receivers out of the backfield, that should be enough given their new TE. The future Hall of Fame Tony Gonzalez will become Ryan’s new safety valve. Gonzalez isn’t as fast as he was once but he is still among the most reliable TEs in the league. The team will use 2 TEs at times and Ben Hartsock is the blocking half of the duo.

The O line is mostly non-brand name guys but are adequate and got some additional depth in 09. The line is transitioning from lighter quicker linemen to big run blocking guys that move the pile. LT Sam Baker, LG Justin Blalock, C Todd McClure, RG Harvey Dahl, RT Tyson Clabo figure to be the starters with Brett Romberg, Jeremy Newberry and Will Svitek providing starting experience in the past. The young but injury prone C/G Ben Wilkerson has talent but has not been able to stay healthy enough to win a starting job.

The D line is a weak point of the team. RDE John Abraham is the leader and provides the most pass rush but has had injury problems over the last few years. The other 3 starting spots are question marks. Pressure is on both rookie DT Peria Jerry and 07 first round pick E Jamaal Anderson. They must be effective if the team is to get very far in the playoffs. Up to now Anderson has been a disappointment. T Jonathan Babineaux shows flashes of being a quality starter but is inconsistent. There is not much quality depth behind them.

The linebacker group has been totally reworked. MB Curtis Lofton is the only holdover. WB Michael Peterson was signed from Jacksonville and should be an improvement. SB Stephen Nicholas has the inside track to the starting spot. Coy Wire provides about the only experience on the bench.

FS Erik Coleman is the only sure thing in the D backfield. He is solid but not special. S Thomas DeCoud and one of my sleeper picks rookie William Moore from Missouri will battle for the SS spot. Brent Grimes and Chris Owens will battle for the CB spot opposite Chris Houston. Houston improved last year but needs to keep developing.

OVERALL: The team will need to play keep away by continuing to run the ball to win. The D as a whole is the weaker side of the team. The Falcons will have to fend off the Saints to win the division but will not advance in the playoffs unless the D comes around. The D won’t and the Falcons will be one and done again.

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: NFL,NFL Draft,Falcons,Jaguars,Fantasy Football,Ryan,Turner,Norwood,White House,Jenkins,Blalock,Clabo,Newberry,Abraham,Anderson,Jerry,Lofton,Coleman,Houston

Niblets from around the net for 5/2/09

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nib

By Bill Smith

Best comment of the week:

From ReverseCellPhones on AFC Draft winners and losers:

Great material Bill. I am a little worried about the Bengals picks. They have had character issues with players in the past but still continue to draft those players on the fringe of being trouble.

Everything I read about the Bengals 1st pick Andre Smith (OT Alabama) isn’t a bad kid but just VERY immature. A couple of “expert’s” final projections showed Michael Johnson (DE Georgia Tech) taken in the first round. He has never matched the hype he had coming into college let alone at the beginning of this season. But in the 3rd round, he was a great pick. I loved the picks of Rey Maualuga (ILB USC 2nd round) Chase Coffman (TE Missouri 3th round) Jonathan Luigs (OC Arkansas 4th round). All are outstanding values where they were picked. MAYBE, just maybe, the Bengals are turning things around.

Updates on previous columns:

A few names in the draft you won’t recognize but should know.

QB Stephen McGee Texas A&M—Dallas 4th round pick 101

RB Gartrell Johnson Colorado State—San Diego 4th round pick 134

RB Ian Johnson Boise State—URFA signed by Jacksonville

FB Jorvorskie Lane Texas A&M

WR Mike Thomas Arizona—Jacksonville 4th round pick 107

WR Jarett Dillard Rice—Jacksonville 5th round pick 144

TE Bear Pascoe Fresno State—SF 6th round pick 146

OL Seth Olsen Iowa—Denver 4th round pick 132

OL Sebastion Vollmer Houston—New England 2nd round pick 58

Defensive sleepers in the 2009 NFL draft

DL Ty Steinkuhler Nebraska—URFA Jets

DL Stryker Sulak Missouri—Oakland 6th round pick 199

DL Matt Shaughnessy Wisconsin–Oakland 3rd round pick 71

DL Nick Reed Oregon—Seattle 7th round pick 247

DL Myron Pryor Kentucky—New England 6th round pick 207

LB Lawrence Sidbury Richmond—Atlanta 4th round pick 125

LB Scott McKillop Pittsburgh—SF 5th round pick 146

LB Marcus Freeman Ohio StateChicago 5th round pick 154

S Tony Clark Georgia Tech

CB Morgan Trent Michigan—Cincinnati 6th round pick 179

Boston Vs. Chicago—Tackle basketball is back!

As predicted, the NBA chose not to suspend Celtic Rajon Rondo. There is nothing wrong with a hard foul attempting to block a shot. However, when a player acts only to attempt to injure an opponent, that must be punished.

Niblets fresh off the cob:

The Yankees have cut the price of their premium seats in half. That would be a class move if the price wasn’t $500 up AFTER the reduction. The Yanks have their heads …

Cleveland was not able to get a 1st and 3rd round pick for WR Braylon Edwards prior to the draft.

Given his near terminal case of dropsy and his contract demands for an extension, that is not a surprise. According to reports, the best offer the Browns got was a 2nd this year and a 3rd to 5th next year depending on catches (and probably drops as well).

Arizona Cardinals released RB Edgerrin James

James was scheduled to earn 5 million dollars this year. Much of that money will be used to try to rework the contract of WR Anquan Boldin. The team was not able to get enough prior to the draft to tempt them to trade their outstanding WR.

As I predicted:

The Bulls have pushed the Celtics to a 7th game.

Despite nearly every “expert” talking about a sure first round pick, both James Laurinaitis (ILB Ohio State) and Rey Maualuga (ILB USC) went early in the second round. They will both be very solid starters in the league for a long time. But ILBs just don’t go in the first round normally.

Columbus Ohio is still without a NHL playoff ready hockey team. We would like to thank the Blue Jackets for participating. Be sure to pick up your parting gift—a home version of our game—on your way out.

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 .

My email is [email protected]

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