Tuesday, December 9, 2008

All Eyes on the Heisman

After many fun-filled weekends of college football, the regular season has finally ended. With the regular season ending, many of the individual awards will be handed out to many deserving individuals. The second Saturday of December always brings about the biggest of these awards. This weekend the spotlight won't be on any college football stadium, but rather New York City. The 74th annual Heisman Memorial Trophy will be given out to one lucky young man. Like every other year there are always outstanding candidates for the award, but only one can bring the trophy home. This year is no different. This is the year of the Big 12 quarterbacks in the Heisman race, plus the reigning Heisman Memorial Trophy winner.

After many weeks of speculation, this year's winner will be chosen Saturday night. The candidates for the 2008 Heisman Memorial Trophy are: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma; Colt McCoy, QB, Texas; Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech; and Tim Tebow, QB, Florida. This is a stellar class with any of these players being a great winner of the award. Sam Bradford has led his Oklahoma Sooners to the National Championship, while leading the nation in touchdown passes (48), and only throwing six interceptions. Colt McCoy is the leader of the Texas Longhorns football program. Let's just say that without McCoy, the Longhorns wouldn't be 11-1. McCoy leads his team in passing and rushing and has accounted for a total of 42 touchdowns, while closing in on the all-time record for completion percentage. Graham Harrell is key that starts the Cotton Bowl bound Texas Tech Red Raiders. Harrell is second in the nation in passing yards and has thrown 41 touchdowns compared to only 7 interceptions. Harrell has the defining moment of the season with his last second touchdown to Michael Crabtree to beat the Texas Longhorns. How can you count out our last guy, Tim Tebow (pictured above). He is once again near the top of the Heisman race. Tebow has thrown 28 touchdowns to only 2 picks and has rushed for 12 touchdowns. Sure, its not close to the numbers he put up last year as the Heisman Memorial Trophy winner, but he has led the Florida Gators to their second national title game in three years and is arguably the best leader in college football. As of right now I would say that the favorites are Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy, with Tim Tebow lurking. This should be a great race, and I can't wait to see who brings home the hardware.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Florida Vs. Oklahoma: Take "OFFENSE"

The time that we have all been waiting for is finally here. The BCS is final and it has shown its' true colors. The BCS has been criticized many times in the past for not choosing the correct teams to play in the BCS National Championship game. For example last season the BCS chose overrated Ohio State and a two-loss LSU Tigers team to play in the title game. This was heavily scrutinized as many felt the two best teams in the country at the time were Georgia and USC, as they were both dominating their opponents. It's the same this year, but arguably the two hottest teams are playing for the BCS National Championship.

On January 8th, 2009 the number one ranked Florida Gators will take on the number two ranked Oklahoma Sooners for the BCS National Championship in Miami. By the way the last time the Sooners were in Miami they played the USC Trojans for the BCS National Championship and got it handed to them, 55-19. This game is not without argument though. The Texas Longhorns feel that they, not the Oklahoma Sooners, should be playing Florida in the National Championship game. Texas beat Oklahoma 45-35 in their head to head match-up, but the BCS chose the hotter team at time. I'm sure that this will continued to be argued, but there is nothing you can do about it. The BCS National Championship should be a dream match-up for many as it will more than likely be a high scoring game with two of the best offensive teams in the nation. This will be very exciting to watch. As for the other BCS bowl games. Texas will play the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl. Alabama will battle the undefeated Utah Utes in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Virginia Tech will take on Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl. Not to be outdone the USC Trojans will play in their record setting 33rd Rose Bowl against Joe Paterno and the Penn State Nittany Lions. This should be a very intriguing bowl game with two of the best college football programs in America playing. Not to mention the fact that the two head coaches may be two of the best we have ever seen. This should be a great bowl season and let's go bowling!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's That Time

This past weekend in college football proved to be very crucial, as predicted, to the BCS. Championship weekend was all it was cracked up to be and more. There was a huge upset amongst one of the undefeated teams, a blowout by another top team, and a come from behind win by a team in Hawaii. All in all the BCS may actually get it right and choose the correct teams to respresent college football in the BCS National Championship.

On Friday night the undefeated, regular season MAC champ; Ball State Cardinals battled the 7-5 Buffalo Bulls. David Letterman's Cardinals were the favorite coming in and didn't disappoint for much of the game, and then it was like the Bulls saw "red" and turned it on. The Bulls forced two fumbles and consecutive drives. Did I fail to mention that they returned each of these fumbles for touchdowns? Buffalo's defense took on the challenge and defeated Ball State 42-24. This win put the Bulls in position for their first ever bowl game. Saturday proved to be a very exciting day in college football. Let's first start off in Tampa Bay. The Virginia Tech Hokies beat the Boston College Eagles for the second straight year in the ACC Championship game, sending the Hokies to the Orange Bowl. This win marked the first time any team had won two ACC Championships. The SEC Championship between Alabama and Florida proved to be a very exciting game. Alabama led 20-17, in the Georgia Dome, going into the fourth quarter. That's when Tim Tebow stepped up and proved why he was the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. Tebow had never beaten an opponent when trailing in the second half (0-5), but all of those misfortunes changed on Saturday. The Gators tallied 14 points in the final quarter and held Alabama to no points in the final quarter, winning 31-20. Saturday night proved to be very exciting as well. The Oklahoma Sooners made a statement against the Missouri Tigers by posting 62 on the board for the fifth straight game. The Sooners dominated the Tigers from start to finish and it was never close, 62-21. The nightcap took place in Hawaii. The BCS bound Cincinnati Bearcats traveled to Hawaii to take on the Rainbow Warriors. Hawaii led for a majority of the game and late into the fourth quarter until Dustin Grutza hooked up with Marshwan Gilyard for a 69-touchdown pass, sealing a 29-24 victory.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Championship Weekend

This upcoming weekend is full of big-time conference championship games, plus a few rivalries. The first weekend of December is host to some of the most intense rivalries in college football. UCLA battles USC in the Rose Bowl in which interestingly enough USC will wear its red home jerseys, even though they will be charged a timeout for it. Maybe the most intense rivalry in college football involves two of our armed forces. The United States Army and United States Naval Academy meet once in again for bragging rights. The most intriguing part of this weekend has to be the conference championship games.

This weekend alone we will four conference championship games. First of all we will start off with the least talked about championship games. On Friday night you can catch the undefeated, 12th ranked Ball State Cardinals battle Buffalo for the MAC title. I'm sure that David Letterman will be all smiles while watching his alma mater try to win the MAC title. Once again this year's Dr. Pepper ACC championship game be something of the norm as the Boston College Eagles take on the Virginia Tech Hokies, a rematch of last year's title game (Virginia Tech won 30-16). With the ACC being down this year, this game isn't generating quite the hype it has in the past. Whoever wins automatically has a trip to the Orange Bowl, so their is an incentive behind it. The two headlining games this weekend include three of the top four teams in the nation. Saturday night Oklahoma will battle the Missouri Tigers for a rematch of last years Big 12 title game, in which the Sooners won. The Sooners are a heavy favorite once again in this game and if they win, National Title game here we come. Last, but not least the number one ranked, undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide take on one of the hottest teams in the nation in the Florida Gators. These two teams have met in the SEC championship game five previous times, and this years winner will go to the National Title game. The Big 12 championship and SEC championship are basically previews for the National Title game. Looks like come January you will likely either see Oklahoma and Alabama or Oklahoma and Florida. Whatever happens, I can't wait to see what happens this weekend.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Coaching Carousel

College football coaches are on a continuous carousel. In this day in age coaches come and go. It's not like in the old days when a coach could coach for years at the same school and know that his job was secure. Things sure have changed. Today, if coaches have one bad year they are put onto the hot seat and have alumni breathing down their neck. Sometimes coaches don't even have the ability to get a full recruiting class through before they are kicked to the curb. This year is no different as there has already been a lot of coaching changes thus far.

A few weeks ago I wrote about Phillip Fulmer being asked to step down as Tennessee head coach. He roamed the sidelines at Tennessee for 17 seasons and only had three losing seasons. Fulmer won a National Championship in 1998 and recruited Peyton Manning, but that wasn't even enough to keep his job. A few weeks later we are out with the old and in with the new. This past week Tennessee hired Lane Kiffin to be their new head coach and lead them in the right direction. Kiffin, the former Oakland Raiders head coach, received a six year contract that will pay him an average of 2.375 million per year. Kiffin, 33, will be the youngest head coach in division one college football. Kiffin has been given the reigns to one of the most prestigious college football programs in America. He has been told that he can hire his own staff and is very interested in hiring his father Monty Kiffin, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordination, to his staff. Slyvester Croom just recently stepped down as the Mississippi State head coach, leaving just three black active head coaches in division one football. Everyone is speculating the situation developing in South Bend. Notre Dame's Charlie Weis is on the hot seat after being hired just a few seasons ago. It will be interesting to see what happens with that situation.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Letter To the BCS: Come On Man!

What a week! This past weekend provided us with a variety of blowouts, an upset, and BCS game-changers. Thanksgiving weekend is always a critical weekend in the college football season. This season was no different. We had the prime-time match-ups between Alabama and Auburn, Florida and Florida State, and Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. These games proved to be everything other than close. The Crimson Tide rolled over the Auburn Tigers 38-0, and Auburn had beaten Alabama six straight times! Florida beat Florida State 45-15 in a game that was played literally in a "swamp." The Saturday night prime-time game played between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State proved to be a game full of offense as Oklahoma State put up 41 points, but it still wasn't enough as Oklahoma beat the Cowboys by twenty, meaning that the Sam Bradford led Oklahoma Sooners had scored 60 or more points for the fourth straight game! There was also an upset this weekend as the Oregon Ducks beat the former Rose Bowl bound Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis on Saturday. This loss ended the Beavers hope for a Rose Bowl title. There were also BCS game-changers as the Cincinnati Bearcats sealed up a spot in either the Orange Bowl or Sugar Bowl. The biggest of these games came from Oklahoma.

As the Oklahoma Sooners beat the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday night, many wondered how the BCS standings would be affected. On Sunday night we all found out. Last week the Oklahoma Sooners were sitting at number three in the BCS standings behind the Texas Longhorns and Alabama. This week was different. The Oklahoma Sooners jumped the Texas Longhorns and gained the second spot in the BCS standings. This means that the Sooners will play the Missouri Tigers in the Big 12 championship game, even though there was a three way tie in the Big 12 South. This is ironic though. Even though Texas beat Oklahoma head to head on a neutral field, Oklahoma was ranked ahead of them. It doesn't make sense to me how computers can choose the teams that will play in the National Championship game. The computers can't hear teams cry for their reasons, but rather all they know is that Oklahoma was putting up astounding numbers and were the better team at the time. The BCS needs a change, but will it ever happen?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's Official the BCS is a Mess

After Oklahoma's big win over Texas Tech this past Saturday, many people were very interested in how this would shape the BCS. Well the latest BCS polls are out and of course not without controversy. The top 10 teams in the BCS go in this order: Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, USC, Utah, Texas Tech, Penn State, Boise State, and Ohio State. The first team is right, but from their it is a mess. Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida all have legitimate cases for that spot. What really doesn't make since is how Florida is ranked number two in the Associated Press poll, but ranked fourth in the BCS poll. Texas is ranked number two in the BCS, but fourth in the latest AP poll. I don't understand the BCS, but really who does?

The real problem with the BCS is about to shine through in the Big 12 South. If Oklahoma can beat Oklahoma State this weekend, there will be a three way tie atop the Big 12 South standings between Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech with all three beating each other. This is where the mess starts. The BCS will have to rank one above the other and that is going to cause a feud. Each team has a case why they should be ranked above the other. Texas beat Oklahoma, Texas Tech beat Texas, and Oklahoma destroyed Texas Tech. Each has their case, but I feel that it will come down between Texas and Oklahoma. Ultimately, even though Texas beat Oklahoma, I feel Oklahoma will be in the Big 12 Championship. This is based all on "style points." Oklahoma would have had bigger wins as of late and they have been playing the best football. So there's your mess. Could we get a play-off anyone?

Games to watch this Thanksgiving weekend: Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State, Florida vs. Florida State, and Alabama vs. Auburn.