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  • Published: Oct 12th, 2009
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What did we learn from the College Football Weekend #7?

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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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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 .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,Florida,LSU,Colorado,Texas,Alabama,Mississippi,Boston College,Virginia Tech,Colorado State,Toledo,Wisconsin,Ohio State,RATINGS,RANKING

What did we learn about College ball this week?

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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 .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,College Football,Top 25,Florida,Texas,Alabama,Kentucky,Georgia,LSU,Virginia Tech,Miami,Boston College,USC,Cal,Oklahoma,Ohio State,Cincinnati,Iowa,Wisconsin,Arkansas St. Michigan,Penn St.,Illinois,Florida State

What to look for this weekend in College games.

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Tonight Utah St. @ 20 BYU The Cougars should have no problem with Utah St. This game should be over by half time but probably won’t be. BYU has a habit of playing down to the competition even at home.

Tonight Pitt @ Louisville Pitt was stunned by NC State last week. They have looked good until that game but State controlled the ball over 37 minutes. The Pitt D could not get off the field. Louisville was thought by some to be a top 25 team before the season. They are not. Pitt wins easily.

#4 LSU @ #18 Georgia LSU is 4th by default. They are not that good. Their win over Washington looked a lot better than it was after the upset of USC. The team is struggling on O. They just got by a very weak Mississippi St. team last week 30-26. QB Jefferson has good passing stats against weak DBs and the Tigers can’t run the ball. Georgia is a better team and is getting 3 points at home. LSU plays better at night at home and neither is the case here. Take the Bulldogs and give the 3.

#7 USC @ #24 Cal USC will be without both QB Barkley and RB Johnson this week. The problem with the USC O is the O line. It just has not come around as quickly as everyone thought it would. Cal has problems of its own after a 42-3 loss last week to Oregon. Cal is over rated and it showed last week. USC wins by more than the 5 point spread.

#8 Oklahoma @ #17 Miami This is a very young Miami team playing a very young Sooner QB. Miami looks like a bunch of freshmen and sophomores playing great against both Florida St. and Georgia Tech then looking outclasses by Virginia Tech on the road. Which Miami will show up is anyone’s guess. But the Oklahoma D will show up. I would not touch this game with a 50 pole but I usually go with the best D. Oklahoma should cover 7.5 point spread despite a couple of interceptions thrown by QB Jones.

#22 Michigan @ Michigan St. Big Blue has a very slow defensive backfield. That will be a problem against a set of very good WRs from MSU. Of course there is always an issue of QB Cousins getting the ball to them. He looked OK last week in a 36-30 loss at Wisconsin but was replaced by Nichol who averaged 16 yards per attempt vs. Cousins 5.6 per throw. Regardless who plays QB, Big Blue wins.

Florida St @ Boston College FSU has looked great one week and horrible the next. They went to BYU and looked like world beaters then were drubbed by a back up QB for South Florida at home last week. BC is struggling on O against Clemson then looked better against Wake Forest last week. But WF is over rated and the athleticism of FSU will carry the day.

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: Utah St.,BYU,Pitt,Louisviiie,LSU,Georgia,USC,Cal,Oklahoma,Miami,Michigan State,Michigan,Florida State,Boston College,NCAA Football,College Football

Tuesday Morning QB for 9/29/09

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College football

As I said last week, Mississippi was rated based on a 1 point win over Florida in 08. A lot of the ranking is based on the projection of QB Jevan Snead being a top player. So far he has been much less than advertised. He has great arm strength but that does not make a great QB. It really helps if you have some idea of where the pass is going. A completion rate under 50% is not good enough. He lacks decision making skills to be a top draft choice in 2010. We will see how he develops.

The Alabama defense is better than advertised. We saw the Arkansas offense run wild on Georgia but it was totally controlled by the Bama D line. Alabama is the team to beat in the SEC West. Given the struggles of the Florida O, the SEC Championship game should be better than last year.

Penn State’s loss to Iowa was not surprising. PS has been over rated along with most of the Big 10 for several years. But their loss hurt Ohio State badly. OSU’s chance to get back into the top 2 or 3 in the rankings depended on PS going undefeated then beating them in Not so Happy Valley. Now that PS has a loss and has dropped to 13 or 15 depending on the poll, OSU will not get much bump from beating PS. The only chance the Bucks have to get to the top 5 is to win out and hope a few top teams lose.

Cal was over rated as well. They should have been able to win at Oregon but got squashed by the Ducks. Cal will not challenge USC as many thought or hoped they would. Oregon’s wins over #6 Cal and #18 Utah makes the win by Boise State look a lot better.

Miami had worked itself up to 9th with wins over #18 Florida St. and #14 Georgia Tech. They were in a position to get a lock on the Coastal division with a win over Virginia Tech. They not only lost but were blown out 31-7. VTk is a team that will blow an opponent out when it gets a hot start but get crushed if they get off to a slow one.

#14 Cincinnati and #15 TCU both struggled to win over unranked but talented teams. Cincy is good despite losing a lot of defensive talent. TCU looked good in a 30-14 win over Virginia but was just able to beat a below average Clemson team. TCU has a rough road ahead including Air Force, BYU, and Utah. Cincy should get to the Big East championship game.

South Florida lost star QB Grothe but freshman QB Daniels played really well in the win over #18 Florida St. FSU continues to consistently inconsistent.

Georgia Tech regained some credibility with a win over #22 North Carolina. GT is another team that has to get ahead early to win. When they get the blocking to get their speed runners outside, they can score in bunches. But to win consistently, QB Josh Nesbitt is going to have to prove he can pass to keep the D from stacking up against the run.

#23 Michigan had to score 15 in the 4th quarter to beat a bad Indiana team. #24 Washington got its 15 minutes of fame from the upset of USC and lost to Stanford. The let down from a single big effort was just too much to overcome. Washington is not nearly as good as they looked against USC but not as bad as they looked last week on the road. It is a very young team that will get better this year and be tough next.

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,Mississippi,Snead,Alabama,Arkansas,Penn St.,Iowa,Cal,Oregon,Utah,Boise State,Florida State,Georgia Tech,Virginia Tech,Miami,TCU,Cincinnati,Clemson,Air Force,South Florida,Grothe,Danials,North Carolina,Nesbitt,Michigan,Indiana,Washington

What to look for this weekend.

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College football

#1 Florida @ Kentucky The Wildcats have played well winning last week against Louisville. But they are not a threat to the Gators. Florida works on the O but the D is fine. The Gators win easily.

Arkansas @ #3 Alabama The Tide looks to be the class of the SEC West. Arkansas lost a tough game against Georgia last week in an offensive shootout. The Bama D will keep the Hog O under control and Alabama wins.

Iowa @ #5 Penn St. PS is in a position to play for the national title if they can run the table. The one problem for them is the inconsistent running game. If they can run the ball against a solid run D of Iowa, they will win and should be able to win the Big 10 with a win over Ohio State at home. This will be a really good test of their running game. Penn St. wins but it will be closer than most think.

#6 California @ Oregon Any trip to Oregon is difficult and this trip could be particularly hard. Cal had a nice win last week against Minnesota. Oregon lost to #14 Boise St. but beat #18 Utah last week. They are playing very well despite significant losses from last years team. Duck QB Masoli is going to have to prove he can complete more than 45% of his throws or Cal will shut the run down. He won’t and Cal wins.

#9 Miami @ #11 Virginia Tech Miami is one of the hottest teams in the country. They opened with a big win over Florida St. then beat Georgia Tech. They can win the Coastal division with a win over VT. In addition, a win this week is critical if the game next week at Oklahoma is going to be significant.

VT has redeemed itself in part from a opening loss to Alabama with a lucky 1 point win over underdog Nebraska last week. I think Miami wins on the road.


TN @ Jets The Titans come in 0-2. They can not afford to go 0-3. The Jets are 2-0 and will have a letdown after a big win against the hated Pats last week. Tennessee finds a way to win in a tough and close game.

SF @ MN The 49ers are 2-0 but have yet to face a top team. This will be their first loss. Minnesota is too tough on D to allow RB Gore to run wild. This game will be close because SF plays much better than its talent would indicate it could.

MI @ SD The Dolphins are 0-2 and need a win desperately. The wildcat has lost its luster to some degree but the fish face an injured Charger team. The key to the game will be how much pressure the Fish can put on QB Rivers. The Charger line is banged up and LT is in the garage. The pass D of the Fish give up a couple of big plays and the Chargers win.

IN @ AZ The Colts are 2-0 but have struggled on offense. The Cards looked horrible in their first game and unbeatable in game 2. They are somewhere in between those extremes. But the Cards have their WRs back and if they can give QB Warner any time at all, they should be able to win.

AT @ NE This should be the best game of the weekend. The Falcons are really good but the Pats are really mad after the loss last week. I like ATL but the Pats won’t lose 2 in a row. Pats win close.

Tomorrow we will have September Niblets.

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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