The BCS and NFL Playoffs are becoming clear.

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Wilson Football

In college games I went 8-1 bringing the season total to 31-15.

In pro games against the spread I went 1-4 bringing the total to 20-12.

College football:

#1 Oregon 15 California 13 – The Ducks ducked a close call to continue on the road to the BcS game. They survived to play #22 Arizona at home this week and at Oregon State next.

#2 Auburn 49 Georgia 31 – Tiger QB Newton played very well accounting for 4 scores. The Auburn D is a problem particularly in a possible game against a O like Oregon’s. Auburn will play #11 Alabama next week and #17 South Carolina in the SEC Championship game.

#3 TCU 40 San Diego St. 35 – TCU lost some ground against Boise with a close game against a good SDS team. They have no chance to recover that ground with only the 1 win New Mexico State team left on the schedule.

#4 Boise St. 52 Idaho 14 – Boise is in the best shape to sneak into the Big game if one of the top 2 fall. They have 6-3 Fresno State, #18 Nevada, and 4-6 Utah State.

#5 LSU 51 La. Monroe 0 – LSU has Mississippi and #13 Arkansas on the schedule.

#6 Stanford 17 Arizona St. 13 – Stanford will face Cal and Oregon St. If they play the way they did against a 2-6 Arizona St. team they will lose at Cal next week.

Pro football:

Vick looked great against the Redskins Monday night. They will move up in the FPS Top team list.

Stick a fork in the turkey known as the Vikings. They are done. This team is self-destructing and will be totally reworked next year.

The Browns have found their QB of the present and maybe of the future in McCoy. Check out what I had to say about him in the NFLDraftDog.com Browns team page.

The Colts are banged up and not blowing out anyone. Even so, they have climbed back on top of the AFC South and will be a tough playoff out because they still have Manning.

The Dolphins have lost both QB Henne and Pennington. This team is done for the year but has gotten younger. They will be a force next year.

The 49ers have found their QB for the present and it is Smith–Troy Smith the FA from Baltimore not Alex Smith the 1st round pick a couple of years ago. Troy threw for 356 yards and a TD without a pick last week against the Rams.

The Redskins signed QB McNabb to a 5 year extension. This is more about keeping control of his services in 2011 than anything else. He got 10M guaranteed and 78-88M over the contract with incentives which he probably won’t be able to meet. The Redskins want to keep him because he would get a big offer in free agency next season because so many teams need QBs.

Top 5

1. Patriots – The win over the Steelers was a statement game and got them the top spot despite a loss last week against the Browns.

2. Jets – They got lucky against the Browns to win in overtime. But I still don’t think this team is as good as the Pats.

3. Steelers – The AFC North is a tough division. The Steelers lost to the Pats this week but this is still a good team. They need to shore up the O line and DBs.

4. Falcons – The Birds beat the Ravens with a great comeback. This team is on the rise and QB Ryan is outstanding.

5. Ravens – This team is still very solid and will move up soon.

Dropped out: Giants – They got crushed by the Eagles and QB Vick.

Just out of the top 5: Eagles – If Vick stays healthy and the D continues to play this well, they could make the NFC Championship game.

Bottom 5

28. Cowgirls – One win with a new coach is nice but you have to prove it over the rest of the season.

29. Broncos – The win over the Chiefs was one fraud beating another.

30. Cardinals – “QB? QB? We don’t need no stinking QB!”

31. Panthers – That is what you get for drafting a QB out of Notre Dame.

32. Bills – They finally won a game but it could be the last one for a while.

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 http://NFLDraftDog.com and edits https://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits .

Around the NFL for 11/21/09

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nfl

Miami 24 Carolina 17

The Fish won without Ronnie Brown who is out for the year. Ricky Williams played both parts in leading the team to a critical win against the Panthers scoring 3 TDs. CR QB Delhomme was back to his normal production completing less than 50% of his passes and throwing as many TDs as picks.

Fish QB Henne did just enough to keep the ball moving to get the win.

Indy @ Baltimore

The Colts are playing well but Raven QB Flacco is more than capable of taking advantage of the injuries in the D backfield of the Colts. The Colts D has never been great at stopping the run and may end up struggling IF the Ravens can get their ground game going again. That depends on the health of both RBs Rice and McGahee. I would not be surprised if Baltimore will pull off the upset.

Atlanta @ NY Giants

Both of these teams need a win to stay in the NFC wild card race. The Falcons are in the worst shape being 4+ games behind the undefeated Saints. They have no chance to win the division and must win conference games to stay in the WC race. Right now they are tied with the Packers for the second WC spot. Both of their RBs are hurt but key reserve Norwood should be able to go. He and Snelling will share the running duties.

The Giants have injury problems of their own. QB Manning and RB Bradshaw both are hurting but will play. Manning has not been as effective since the injury to his foot. RB Jacobs seems to be a step slower than he was last year. There is no report of an injury but he is averaging only 4.1 per attempt which is much lower than his career average.

Manning’s problems have been as much the injury as his young inexperienced WRs. There have been a lot of drops which are drive killers. The O line has also failed to protect him and drive defenders to make room for the running game. As a unit they played much better last year.

The Giants D is still playing at a high level and they should win at home.

San Diego @ Denver

At one time Denver had a 3 game lead over the Chargers but after losing the last 3 games, they are now tied in the loss column. The Chargers need to beat the Broncos to clime out of 6th place in the second WC spot and into the division lead. They play KC and Cleveland in the next two games which should be 2 wins. The Chargers need to get their running game going because they need O balance. QB Rivers has done a lot with very little help. The D needs to put pressure on the Denver QB.

Denver isn’t sure if QB Orton will be able to play because of an ankle injury. If not, they will certainly lose with QB Simms at the helm.

This should be one of the best games of the week and I see the Chargers winning regardless of the Bronco QB.

NY Jets @ New England

Spygate II is always fun to watch. The Jets have fallen and they can’t get up. Pats win easily.

Philly @ Chicago

The Eagles need the win to stay in the 1st WC spot in the NFC. They were in the lead in the division until they lost to the Cowboys and the Chargers in the last two weeks. QB McNabb has fallen into bad habits as the O line has failed to protect him. He has also lost RB Westbrook for at least several weeks. That makes the Eagle O totally one dimensional.

The Bears have fallen out of the playoff picture for now. QB Cutler has been frustrated by the lack of playmakers he has to throw to. The running game with RB McCoy has struggled. The D has played well but can’t overcome the shut down of the D.

Even a loss to the Lions will not get Mangini fired.

There is a lot of chatter but Owner Lerner doesn’t have the stones to fire Mangini. He will let whoever he hires to oversee the team do it. The Lions win.

Nothing will come of the Cable ruckus.

Raider coach Cable will not be suspended for either his history of possible wife abuse nor the confrontation with Hansen.

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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  • Author:
  • Published: Nov 18th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What did we learn this weekend?

What did we learn this weekend?

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football

College football:

TCU is REALLY good.

#4 TCU played #16 Utah and blew them out 55-28. Everybody expected the TCU O to be outstanding but their speed on D is as good as any team in the country. They have everything they need to beat Texas and probably Florida as well. Alabama is the one team above them that could give them real trouble. The power running game of Bama combined with the very big O line might be able to win the game.

TCU goes to Wyoming (5-5) then gets winless New Mexico at home. Neither will provide much competition.

#1 Florida and #2 Alabama set the date.

The stage is set for the top 2 teams in the BcS to play for the right to go to the big game. The winner of the SEC Championship game on Dec. 5th will get the bid. The loser will likely be named an at large BcS bowl game team. Both come in a little banged up from nice wins last week.

Florida won a tough game at South Carolina 24-14. They will take on Florida State after an easier game this weekend against Florida International.

Bama beat Mississippi St. last week 31-3. It has a date at Auburn on 11/27. Auburn has lost 4 games but only 1 at home.

BcS’s worst nightmare

If either SEC team loses their rivalry game then win the SEC Championship it would open the door for TCU who hangs like an unwelcome buzzard over a wounded animal.

Texas looks good for a ticket to the BcS big game.

The Horns beat a badly over matched Baylor team 47-14. They have to play Kansas at home before traveling to Texas A&M next weekend. Kansas was 5-0 after winning their Big12 opener against Iowa St. but then have lost 5 games in a row. They still can be dangerous for any team that over looks them.

TAM is 4-1 at home and can also be dangerous in the season ending rivalry game.

Ohio State wins a ticket to the Rose Bowl.

The Bucks are playing as well as they have any time in the last 2 years. QB Pryor seems to be more comfortable in the offense that is more aligned to his abilities that it was earlier in the year. The D seems to have found its pass rush which was missing in action at Purdue.

Around the NFL:

Indy is the lone AFC Undefeated

The Colts came back after a major gaff by Belichick to win by a single point over New England. Indy is not a perfect team. Given the injuries on D, they will be at risk of upset by a passing team with some running game like Cincy, the Pats or San Diego. But they now have the inside track to home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs which is critical to their success. They are not a team that is built to play in the cold winds of the North East in January.

The Bengals take 1 giant step toward the playoffs.

By sweeping the Steelers and Ravens the Bengals need only another win over 1-8 Browns to be perfect in the AFC North. They will make the playoffs and should have a home game in round 1.

The Bills fire coach Jauron.

Dick Jauron is one of the great D Coordinators in the history of the league. He just has not been able to equal that success at the head coach level. The Bills are going after the usual suspects including Shanahan and Holmgren.

The Cleveland Tans formerly known as the Browns are REALLY BAD!!!!

Will the person that stole Mangenous’ crystal ball please return it—no questions asked. Several sources are predicting that if Mangini loses to the lowly Lions this week, he is history. That would be a good think. Owner Lerner wants to bring in a “football guy” to oversee the operation and has leaked Holmgren as his top pick for that spot. He had better hurry if that is the guy he wants.

What the Browns should do about a coach.

Personally, I don’t get Holmgren as the GM/VP Operations. Mike was stripped of his GM duties in Seattle after a less than stellar series of drafts. I would fire Mangini now and have him take OC Daboll with him. They should name DC Ryan as interim head coach and grab Jauron as the DC. Then QB coach Smith would become OC and former QB now consultant Kosar should work with the QBs.

That would give the team time to find a permanent coach if Ryan doesn’t work out. I do believe that the locker room would get a lot better with Ryan as the HC. The D has played hard for him even with the miserable work of the O.

Al Davis FINALLY benches QB Russell.

The Raiders announced that Gradkowski will start over Russell. It’s about time!!!

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

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 27th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The Cards' season will depend on how the D plays.

The Cards' season will depend on how the D plays.

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t

The Cardinals remarkable run in the 08 playoffs had little to do with the offense. It was the much improved play of the D that made the run possible. The only way the team makes the playoffs in 09 will be if the D continues to improve. So far in the preseason, that is not happening.

Kurt Warner is one of the great stories in football over the last few years. He continues to play at a very high level even though he is 38 years old. He has to stay healthy for the team to have any chance at a winning record. The protection he has gotten for the last 4 season in Arizona has been poor to average. If he is healthy, he will have another pro bowl year and is a great pick in the fantasy draft. Matt Leinart has had a good preseason and looks like he is finally able to read D and use his obvious physical abilities. He has clinched the backup position. The 3rd QB will be between Brian St. Pierre and undrafted Tyler Palko. That will depend on which has looked better in camp. St.Pierre was given a chance to challenge for #2 but failed totally.

WRs Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are the best combo in the league. 3rd WR Steve Breaston came on strong last year in both the return game and catching passes. But he is hurt with a knee and PCL injury but should be fine for game 1. Jerheme Urban and Early Doucet are very talented and need only more experience to become starting quality. TEs have a lot of potential but little production. Leonard Pope is projected as the starter with Stephen Spach and Ben Patrick as the backups. Pope is a big target but is too tall to be an effective blocker. Spach is coming off a major injury and Patrick is suspended for the first 4 games. Vet Anthony Becht should make the team and is a better blocker then any of the others. How long he stays will depend on how the others develop.

The running back situation is also a little clouded. Last year rookie Tim Hightower was celebrated by some as the Cards’ answer at RB. But in 143 attempts he averaged 2.8 yards per carry. That is more than a yard under what is considered average around the league. He can catch and block a little but is not the plow horse that the team needs to carry 250 times a year. The team realized that and drafted Beanie Wells (Ohio St.). Wells has the ability to be a starting back with power and break away speed but has a history of injury. He has yet to play in the preseason but is expected to see action this week. There is no viable bench strength.

The O line had an up and down year in 08. They were up during the playoffs but down the last half of the regular season. LG Reggie Wells is not well known but is very good. T s Mike Gandy and Levi Brown are average but Brown is young and should develop. C Lyle Sendlein is coming back from injury last year. G Deuce Lutui needs to keep focused. He is very inconsistent. The bench is barely OK. G Elton Brown and C Donovan Raiola have some starting experience. The staff thinks T Herman Johnson potential but I don’t see it.

The D line seemed to turn their top effort on and off like the light in a refrigerator. It was on in the playoffs and they looked outstanding. It has been off so far this preseason. The starters in the 3-4 are LE Darnell Dockett, NT Gabe Watson, RE Calais Campbell. Dockett is the only dependable player there. Watson has a history of injury putting him out for long periods of time. There is no reliable backup at NT. Campbell is the new guy replacing UFA Antonio Smith. We have seen a few flashes from Campbell but he is going to have to work harder every snap. Bryan Robinson has experience at E and NT but the team would prefer to play him at E if Campbell fails. NTs Alan Branch and Rodney Leisle have two things in common. They have the weight to play the position but have not had much production.

At LB, the best part is inside. IBs Karlos Dansby and Gerald Hayes are very good. Dansby can do it all including cover receivers and Hayes is an outstanding run stuffer. OLB Chike Okeafor is a fair blitzer but he and Clark Haggans are getting old. The team drafted both OLBs Cody Brown and Will Davis to replace them in the future.

The D backfield has the potential to be outstanding. Starting CBs Bryant McFadden and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are both potential stars. McFadden came from Pittsburgh and is starting quality with upside. Rodgers added the Cromartie to his name just before the draft to remind everyone he is the cousin of start CB Antonio Cromartie of San Diego. Rodgers is not quite to his cousin’s level but is coming fast. Safeties Adrian Wilson and Antrel Rolle are very good as well. Wilson is all pro and plays like it. Rolle was a very good CB who is a better FS. The nickel back is CB Ralph Brown and rookie Greg Toler has looked good in camp.

OVERALL: The Cards O is fine IF Warner is healthy. The D will determine how far the team can go this year. If it plays like it did during the playoffs, the team should make the playoffs in 09 and do some damage there. If not, it will be a huge disappoint to the Cardinal fans that expect the team to be back in the Super Bowl. That isn’t going to happen but they are in a weak division and have a good shot at the division title.

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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