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  1. 2011 Dec 04

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: The Huskers' 2011 Bowl Possibilities

    3,513 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    By James Stevenson

    Since Nebraska sat out the Big Ten title game, Husker fans’ attention has turned to dreams of a sunny Florida getaway in January. Nebraska is hoping to be selected for their first New Year’s Day bowl game since 2009.

    It’s not safe to book plane tickets just yet as the Huskers have three or four realistic bowl destinations. While three are in Florida, the worst-case scenario could send you to get a bit of dry heat.

    The top five Big Ten Bowl tie-ins are:

    1. Rose Bowl (Big Ten Champion)
    2. Capital One Bowl
    3. Outback Bowl
    4. Gator Bowl
    5. Insight Bowl

    Some ground rules to understand in terms of Big Ten Bowl Selection: The loser of the conference championship game cannot fall past the Gator Bowl. This prevents things like Nebraska’s Big 12 office-aided rematch with Washington last year. Secondly, the Capital One and Outback Bowl cannot take any team if there is a team that has two fewer losses available. In other words, you can’t take a 6-6 Ohio State team over a 9-3 Penn State squad.

    A quick look at the current Big Ten standings and BCS rankings:

    13. Michigan State (10-2)
    15. Wisconsin (10-2)
    16. Michigan (10-2)
    19. Nebraska (9-3)
    21. Penn State (9-3)
    Iowa (7-5)
    Northwestern (6-6)
    Purdue (6-6)
    Ohio State (6-6)
    Illinois (6-6)

    Stunningly, the Big Ten has 10 eligible teams, but only eight bowl bids. Fortunately for the conference (and maybe Illinois), Michigan is looking to crash the BCS party, which should move everyone up a notch. If the Wolverines can crack the BCS Top 14 (which should happen as they pass Michigan State due to their loss and Georgia since they tanked in the SEC Championship game), the Wolverines are almost a lock for an at-large BCS berth in the Sugar or Fiesta Bowl. This is very important.

    Best Case Scenario: Capital One Bowl – Jan 2 – Orlando, Florida (ESPN)

    Nebraska vs. Arkansas

    Assuming Alabama and LSU play a rematch in the national title game and Michigan gets into the BCS, the Huskers would face the 10-2 Razorbacks here. This would be a tough match-up, though Nebraska’s improving secondary play would give them a legitimate shot.

    Bo Pelini’s defenses seem to play exceedingly well with a long time to prepare, but the Razorback defense has become quite stingy. Hopefully the Huskers could pick on former Nebraska commit cornerback Tevin Mitchell who defected to Arkansas.

    Second Best Option: Outback Bowl – Jan 2 – Tampa, Florida (ABC)

    Nebraska vs. South Carolina
    (Expected: Michigan State vs. South Carolina)


    It’s not a guarantee that Michigan makes the BCS. Baylor could leapfrog the Maize and Blue thanks to their win over Texas. Regardless, if for some reason Michigan doesn’t crack the BCS Top 14, the Capital One Bowl would select them over Nebraska.

    This would be good news for anyone who likes Bloomin’ Onions though, as the Outback Steakhouse-sponsored bowl would happily bring the Huskers to Tampa. Look for another SEC matchup against another great defense, one that will test Tim Beck and the Huskers offense.

    Near-Worst Case Scenario: Gator Bowl – Jan 2 – Tampa, Florida (ESPN2)

    Nebraska vs. Florida/Auburn
    (Expected: Ohio State vs. Florida/Auburn)


    This is probably the easiest SEC match-up the Huskers could hope for. There’s almost no way this scenario would happen, though. Michigan State would’ve had to win the B1G Championship, Michigan would have to be absent from the BCS, and the Outback Bowl would need to decide that the Badgers' Russell Wilson and Montee Ball will sell more seats and garner more TV ratings than the Huskers.

    It’s a possibility, but given how poorly Wisconsin fans travelled to the Big Ten Championship game, one would think that the Gator Bowl is resigned to taking the Big Ten title game loser if Michigan doesn’t make the BCS and otherwise will reach to grab the Buckeyes and their re-energized fanbase.

    All Hell Breaks Loose Scenario: Insight Bowl – Dec 30 – Tempe, Arizona (ESPN)

    Nebraska vs. Texas A&M
    (Expected: Penn State vs. Texas A&M)


    It’s hard to imagine how this scenario could play out. Maybe Bo Pelini finds another job, or a scandal breaks for Nebraska. Michigan misses the BCS, and Urban Meyer decides to actually coach the Ohio State Bowl game.

    This is unlikely to happen, but despite Sun Devil Stadium being a house of Husker horror, the storyline of a “rematch” with Texas A&M would somewhat entertaining (as long as they didn’t use Big XII officials). It’s more likely that Penn State plays here in a contest surrounded by terribly disappointed fans.

    All in all, it looks like the Huskers will be heading to Florida to take on an SEC opponent, and likely a good one. The Big Ten Bowl possibilities are pretty amazing after coming from the Big 12, so it’s exciting to look forward to what should be such a high-quality opponent and bowl game looming on the Husker schedule.

    The best news: any of these cities is within decent driving distance from each other. Most importantly, you can go see Mickey and the gang at Disneyworld.

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    Tags: big ten, rose bowl, capital one bowl, outback bowl, gator bowl, insight bowl, michigan state, wisconsin, michigan, penn state, arkansas, south carolina, auburn, florida, texas a, m

  2. 2011 Nov 18

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Twelve feat. T-Pain

    1,613 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    Week 12 has arrived and you know what that means. Only three more weeks of the college football regular season. Sad pandas we all are. Title games are being decided and bowl bids are on the line, not to mention certain jobs. The peaks and valley’s of last week include -

    Winners:

    Clemson: The Tigers are ACC Championship Game-bound again. Now, how to win one of those things...

    Oregon: The Ducks win the Pac-12 North and will host the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game. Run the table, get lucky, and the Quack Attack may be facing LSU again for all the marbles.

    Missouri: A good win against a Texas team that had an offense firing on all cylinders. Emphasis on "had."

    Virginia Tech: The Hokies are setting up their showdown with Clemson.

    Losers:

    Boise State: An inexcusable loss against TCU essentially ends the height of the Kellen Moore era. This is rather sad, because if Moore was at any AQ school, he’d be winning his second Heisman this year. Moore's a winner and will keep notching victories in the NFL. That doesn’t take away that the sting of Boise losing two crucial games by field goals during the past two seasons.

    Texas: Losing in Columbia and hearing SEC chants was bad. Losing running back Fozzy Whitaker for the year is even worse.

    Arizona State: If a team can’t show up for a game against the worst team in the Pac-12, they don’t deserve to go to the title game. The problem is that no one else in the Pac-12 South deserves to go either.

    Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets played Virginia Tech tough, but had the rug yanked out from underneath them at the end.

    Stanford: For the second year in a row, Oregon slugged the Cardinal in the mouth and they couldn’t answer. This Stanford team shouldn't have been ran out of their own home.

    Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Maryland, Syracuse and Tennessee...normally you all would deserve a special something, but one team in particular gets that honor.

    Auburn:



    To preface this, there isn’t a fantastic slate games this week to display the usual total feature on. Since this week is essentially an appetizer, we'll go through the games of main interest. Those include:

    The Good (Watch or stream these games):

    No. 5 Oklahoma at No. 22 Baylor: Can Bob Stoops and company dodge a bullet into Bedlam for a shot at the Big 12 title?

    No. 13 Kansas State at No. 22 Texas: No Fozzy and a shaky scoring could doom the Longhorns against an above average offensive output from the Wildcats.

    No. 21 Penn State at Ohio State: This'll be an interesting environment as the Lions head to Columbus thick with rumors of Urban Meyer taking the reins. This isn't even taking into account the Buckeye seniors who have been tainted from Tat-gate leaving the program.

    SMU at No. 11 Houston: If there is an offensive coordinator that won't mind going blow for blow with Kevin Sumlin, it’s SMU's June Jones. That being said, does Jones have the ponies to stay with Case Keenum?

    USC at No. 4 Oregon: Chip Kelly will have none of Kiffin's shenanigans. Kelly may hang 90 on the Trojans if Lane acts up.

    The Mediocre (keep an eye on these scores):

    Iowa at Purdue: Iowa is reeling and Purdue is riding a wave of momentum after the upset against Ohio State last week. Who will underachieve most?!

    Virginia at No. 25 Florida State: The Seminoles should roll, but the Cavaliers do give others fits.

    Miami at South Florida: Two teams that are fighting to claim the ranking of No. 3 in the state. South Florida has the better quarterback, Miami has the hyped one.

    Colorado State at No. 19 TCU: It'll be interesting to see how the Horned Frogs handle the emotional after effects of the win over Boise State.

    Kentucky at No. 14 Georgia: The Bulldogs are playing to secure an SEC title game bid while Kentucky may be playing for Joker Phillips' empoyment.

    The Ugly (You are watching cause you’re family, lost a bet, or took the line and are profusely sweating about it):

    No. 2 Oklahoma State at Iowa State: Mike Gundy's Cowboys will come firing and secure their No. 2 national ranking.

    Kansas at Texas A&M: At least we know there will be scoring in the second half.

    No. 1 LSU at Ole Miss: This would have been a game ranked higher until Houston Nutt showed his true colors. You would think Nutt would come out guns blazing, however the more analysis this game is given, the more obvious it is that the Rebels are headed for slaughter.

    No. 10 Boise State at San Diego State: Kellen Moore is mad and he’s gonna take it out on Brady Hoke's former team.

    Arizona at Arizona State: Two schools that are fighting for the Northern Nogales Chamber of Commerce seal of approval.

    Vanderbilt at Tennessee: ...I've got nothing.

    Coaches cooking in the Crock Pot this week are:

    Rick Neuheisel, UCLA: Sneaking into the Pac-12 title game could save you. That being said, beating USC likely will save you.

    Turner Gill, Kansas: You're provided a perfect opportunity to get people to call off the dogs on Senior Day. Unfortunately, your defense couldn’t stop a cold much less RG3. With Pinkel's issues, would beating Mizzou help much?

    Paul Wulff, Washington State: The Arizona State win helped your cause. Beat Washington and you may get a pass.

    Steve Fairchild, Colorado State: Four years in with barely a 33 percent winning percentage. Not good, although Colorado's Embree is indirectly helping.

    Randy Edsall, Maryland: Less worrying about uniform combinations and more about winning. Ralph Friedgen got fired for this freak show?

    Mike Sherman, Texas A&M: From where this team started 2011 to a must-win game against Texas to be bowl eligible. How far have you fallen? Then again, beat the Longhorns, have the crowd chant SEC as Thanksgiving night ends, and General Dog may be lenient.

    Tom O’Brien, NC State: His team has scored as many points as his team they've. Not the type of balance a football team is looking for.

    David Cutcliffe, Duke: Getting paid $1.6M at a basketball school doesn’t cut it when you have consecutive three-win seasons.

    Mike Riley, Oregon State: The school in Eugene is getting the talent and the attention. Not good.

    Follow Brian on Twitter: @btbowling
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    Tags: clemson, oregon, missouri, virginia tech, boise state, texas, arizona state, georgia tech, stanford, texas tech, texas a, m, maryland, syracuse, tennessee, auburn, rick neuheisel, turner gill, paul wulff, steve fairchild, randy edsall, mike sherman, tom o, brien, david cutcliffe, mike riley

  3. 2011 Nov 11

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Eleven

    3,755 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    Week 11 has that feeling of a season soon coming to a close. Outside of the proceedings in State College, there are some very good games out there, as well as a few more coaches on the hot seat, not to mention one burned to a full crisp. As always before we look to the future, we must pull a Marty McFly and go back in time. Last week’s ups and downs were as follows -

    Winners:

    Houston: The Cougars has quietly gone undefeated and quarterback Case Keenum has made his case for the Heisman. Look for more attention to come their way if they keep winning.

    Arkansas: The Razorbacks took on South Carolina in a game that was anticipated to be rough and made their way through to set their sights on a hard-hitting matchup with LSU.

    LSU: Went 15-plus rounds in a slugfest with Alabama and came out on top. Sometimes you’d rather be lucky than good. The Tigers were both on Saturday night thanks to the Crimson Tide’s fantastic special teams.

    Oklahoma State: Also a survivor of a surprising belt-to-bell bout. It’s hard to not wonder if they can stay focused enough to get all the way to Bedlam without a loss. If they do, their chances at a national title bid get significantly better.

    UCLA: The Bruins notched an unexpected win against Arizona State. The prize is an outside chance to attend the Pac-12 title game and save Rick Neuheisel’s job.

    Losers:

    Alabama: Defense played very well, but too many blown opportunities doomed the Tide. Now there’s more than likely no chance to go to Atlanta to represent the SEC West.

    Arizona State: Such a bad game played last week. Now the Sun Devils need hope the Pac-12 South title isn’t out of reach. Assuming they don’t keep dropping games, of course.

    Michigan: Had the Legends division by the you-know-what’s, and now... welp...

    Missouri, Arizona State, Pittsburgh:



    On to this week’s festivities! All are times are Central:

    No. 20 Auburn at No. 15 Georgia – (2:30 PM, CBS)

    This week’s nationally-televised afternoon SEC battle has Gene Chizik’s gang heading between the hedges to take on the revitalized Bulldogs who are looking to punch their meal ticket to Atlanta.

    For Auburn, a sloppy passing attack and the inability to win outside Alabama makes this game difficult. Georgia’s offense has been good this year, but their defense has performed surprisingly well, giving up less than 20 points per game.

    Bulldog quarterback Aaron Murray has shown the ability to dissect any defense that comes into the Dawgs’ house. Considering how Auburn has played on the road this year on the road, look for the Bulldogs to cruise and set up a game with Kentucky. The game would be a mere formality between Georgia and the SEC West title.

    No. 7 Oregon at No. 4 Stanford - (7:00 PM, ABC)

    "Game of the Week" status hovers over Northern California again, as Chip Kelly’s Ducks fly into Palo Alto to take on the steamrolling Cardinal. While Stanford has gone unblemished, Oregon has been grinding through their schedule ever since the debacle in Arlington against the No. 1 LSU Tigers.

    This game features two of the top five scoring offenses in America, with players on both sidelines that are top-notch. You know about Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and the Oregon Duck duo of quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James for the Ducks. The Cardinal defensive is only giving up 11 points per game, while Oregon is No. 26 nationally giving up almost 20 per game.

    With the game at home, Stanford looks like the more comfortable team. However, Oregon’s ability to control the tempo of a game so quickly and efficiently, this Pac-12 fight is a tossup. It seems that Stanford has the edge, but with the way that Oregon shut down Stanford last year in the second half, it’s a tough call.

    Other games of note include:

    No. 17 Michigan State at Iowa – If the Spartans wins against the Hawkeyes, it looks like they can punch their ticket to Indianapolis.

    No. 16 Texas at Missouri – A measuring stick for the Longhorns. Texas has looked comfortable lately, but going to Columbia will test that comfort level.

    TCU at No. 5 Boise State – The Broncos’ last true test to pass with flying colors to get into the national title picture.

    Miami at Florida State – Remember when this game appeared to be a treat at the beginning of the season?

    Maryland at Notre Dame – Come for the uniforms, stay to see if the Irish stay on course. Try not to go blind.

    Arizona State at Washington State – A huge game for the Devils’ conference title hopes.

    Now for some of the coaches that have pants which could defrost an iced-over pond:

    Houston Nutt, Ole Miss – Finally! Be gone! Nutt isn’t going to be retained by the university after this year. While there are some who aren’t fans of that, it’s refreshing to see that the Rebels athletic administration finally got sick of Nutt after losing 10 SEC games in a row.

    Houston wants you to think that his oversigning is the true problem and the lack of quarterback maturation isn’t. Someone will trust Nutt with their program. Here’s hoping they realize what they are getting.

    Paul Wulff, Washington State – Had a great start to this year, but the wheels have come off. Beating Arizona State would be help his cause, but parting ways with the Cougars may be a foregone conclusion.

    Turner Gill, Kansas – Held Iowa State to 13, but couldn’t do more than that? Baylor is going to pummel you hardcore at home. Then again, it’s the last home game in Lawrence this year. Hopefully the Jayhawks can finally say “goodbye”.

    Randy Edsall, Maryland – They fired Ralph Friedgen for you? The uniform combinations are what you’re known for at this point.

    Jon Embree, Colorado – The Buffs fired Hawkins for this?

    Follow Brian on Twitter: @btbowling
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    Tags: houston, lsu, alabama, arkansas, oklahoma state, arizona state, auburn, georgia, oregon, stanford, houston nutt, paul wulff, turner gill, randy edsall, jon embree michigan, missouri, pittsburgh

  4. 2011 Oct 27

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Nine

    1,448 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    It’s week nine, ya’ll! There are only a few marquee games this week as the push to the finish line kicks into high gear. Last week’s thrills and spills include -

    Winners:

    Texas Tech: An impressive start and great win in Norman, especially after the weather delay. Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege had his coming out party and the whole team played fantastically from top to bottom.

    Southern California: A great win in South Bend. Even though the Trojans have nothing to fight for at the end of the year, they’re still showing up week in and out.

    Arkansas: A tremendous comeback from the depths of Hades against Ole Miss to win (Don’t worry, the statement on Houston Nutt is worthwhile this week)

    Syracuse: Coming back from the depths of the Greg Robinson mistake, the Orange impressed a national crowd with a win against West Virginia.

    Michigan State: We called it here last week. Sparty wins conference games that shouldn’t be close with heart-stopping theatrics.

    Losers:

    Oklahoma: What was that, Sooners? A letdown game? There’s no excuse for that.

    Illinois: A few people called it (including our editor-in-chief and newbie James Stevenson). We all got Zooked.

    Missouri: Not only could the Tigers not come close to matching Oklahoma State’s offense, but the Missouri faithful couldn’t sell out a game featuring the No. 4 team in the country.

    Kansas, Auburn, Georgia Tech and SMU:



    On to our Pre-Halloween fun (All times Central):

    Baylor at No. 3 Oklahoma State (2:30 PM ABC Regional)

    The Art Briles Bears head north up I-35 to take on a white-hot Cowboys team. Mike Gundy’s crew is still undefeated, headed towards a possible Big 12 title and national championship bid. For Baylor, it always starts and ends with Robert Griffin III at the helm throwing to wide receiver Kendell Wright.

    Last week, Baylor had a bye week after their pasting from Texas A&M while the Cowboys took care of business in Columbia against Missouri. The defenses will be tested well in this ballgame, with Baylor ranked No. 101 in points allowed.

    Oklahoma State is a more pedestrian No. 65. This is a game that should scare OSU coach Mike Gundy, as RG3 has been slowed down, but never completely stopped.

    However, the Cowboys' money combo of quarterback Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon is just too much, especially when in the friendly confines of Boone Pickens Stadium.

    No. 9 Oklahoma at No. 8 Kansas State (2:30 PM, ESPN)

    This becomes a do-or-die game for Bob Stoops against a surprising Kansas State team. Bill Snyder has his team playing hard with a fierce running game and a defense playing far better than expected allowing just less than 20 points per game.

    Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and running back John Hubert have rushed for over 600 yards each already, and the defense has been good enough to hold up their end of the bargain. Oklahoma looked lethargic on offense and even less inspired on defense against Texas Tech, especially in the secondary.

    Stoops shut off media access to his team this week. He’s angry, as he well should be. A pissed off Sooners team is not a welcome sight. Look for a close game, but Oklahoma will prevail.

    No. 22 Georgia at Florida (2:30 PM, CBS at EverBank Stadium – Jacksonville, FL)

    Shine up your stirrers! The World Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party attendees renew their love in north Florida when the Bulldogs and the Gators meet in their annual tilt. Georgia has become the front runner for the SEC East title after starting their season fighting for Mark Richt’s job. Florida, on the other hand, has played hard but have a three-game losing streak thanks in large part to injuries.

    The Gators have said that John Brantley will start at quarterback, although there are whispers that he’s not ready to get back under center. Regardless, Georgia is the better team right now and can help their case for a division title with a win.

    They are out of the SEC Championship Game for now unless South Carolina loses (a likely prospect). Georgia takes this game as Florida is just not playing well right now, especially on offense.

    No. 6 Stanford at Southern California – (7:00 PM, ABC)

    The final featured game of the week pits Andrew Luck against Matt Barkley and Lane Kiffin’s de facto Pac-12 title game due to postseason ineligibility.

    The Trojans made a statement last week against Notre Dame, while Stanford rolled Washington at home. The defenses are going to be tested like they will be in Stillwater, however there is much more at stake for Stanford than there is for USC.

    If the Cardinal wins this one in Los Angeles, they set up a big game for the North division against Oregon in Palo Alto. That becomes a revenge game for last year’s whooping in Eugene. Coach Kiffykins and his quarterback have their hands full going against a defense that only gives up 12 points per game, No. 5 overall.

    Luck has to live up to his billing over the next few weeks for Stanford being taken seriously in case teams slip and a spot in the national title chase opens up. Expect a good game and for Stanford to squeak by.

    Other games of note across the 48 states of the Union include:

    No. 25 West Virginia at Rutgers – WVU’s Big East title hopes are on life support. They need this win badly.

    Ole Miss at No. 24 Auburn – A regeneration game for Auburn. Let’s see how much they can improve.

    Kansas at No. 24 Texas – This should be a tune-up for Texas. For the 38 of you that can actually watch it, let us know how it goes.

    No. 5 Clemson at Georgia Tech – *MAJOR UPSET ALERT* Georgia Tech is angry, at home, and Clemson is due to have a bad game on the road.

    No. 15 Wisconsin at Ohio State – Wisconsin will play better against the Buckeyes, but expect Ohio State to come out guns blazing.

    Coaches that have a Three Mile Island burn going on the back of their pants include:

    Turner Gill, Kansas: People are now realizing that Turner is in over his head at a school that should have never hired him. Remember when there were rumors that Auburn wanted Gill? Who knew that Gene Chizik would have been the better option?

    At least there will only be (how many people have the Longhorn Network again? Oh, right.) 38 people watching th Jayhawks get stomped.

    Rick Neuheisel, UCLA: You got stomped by an Arizona team that has been a train wreck all season long. How does that treat you? At least Cal will only beat you at home in front of a third’s capacity.

    Kevin Wilson, Indiana: Mr. Wilson is now included on this list for the simple reason that he’s not very impressive right now. Furthermore, the loss of one of the country's top recruits (quarterback Gunner Kiel) doesn’t help matters. I like Wilson, but he needs to get his team back to basics. Fundamentals win ballgames, kids.

    Jerry Kill, Minnesota: Only this school would give a contract extension with a decent sized buyout to a guy that admits he’s over his head. Bravo. Maybe the FireJerryKill.com guy isn’t so off the mark after all, eh?

    Houston Nutt, Mississippi: I’m saving the final bullet for you.



    This is video of Houston Nutt’s post-game press conference last week when his no talent Rebels gave up 29 unanswered points to Arkansas snagging defeat from the jaws of victory. 30 seconds into this video, he goes after Ole Miss’ Rivals.com writer Neal McCready for his prediction that Ole Miss would lose 49-10 to the Razorbacks.

    Obviously, if you cover the spread, it’s a victory in Houston's eyes. Moral victories don’t count in the win-loss column, Nutt! This is your team, your staff, your fourth year!

    Let me guess, if McCready didn’t write that piece, it wouldn’t be as satisfying to lose by only 12 points in your 10th consecutive conference loss, would it?

    Let’s review your tiresome crusade to justifying over-signing: Throwing others under the bus when you lose such as your offensive coordinator, the NCAA for putting recruiting restrictions in place, and the kids you wanted until you realized during summer conditioning that they weren’t as good as you thought.

    Not to mention the upperclassmen that you dump on the side of the road because you have a freshman that you don’t want to redshirt. It’s all their fault, isn’t it Houston? Anyone but you.

    You are the poster child for everything wrong with college football. When things go wrong, it’s someone else’s issue, except when you win. I despise Bobby Petrino with a passion, but thank goodness that Arkansas hired him and not you.

    I hope you lose out and Pete Boone fires you in the tunnel after Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen embarrasses you. Then, I’d like to see you try to get another FBS job and pull these stunts, because fans across the nation will come after you wherever you may roam.

    There might a spot opening up in Lawrence after this year, so why not be the joke in the Big 12? You’d do a fine job taking the place of Colorado as the conference’s laughing stock.

    Then again, the thought of you being on the field with Gary Pinkel with both of you trying to outwit the other…that’s how black holes are made, isn’t it?

    Rant over.

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    Tags: texas tech, usc, syracuse, michigan state, oklahoma, illinois, missouri, kansas, auburn, georgia tech, smu, oklahoma state, kansas state, florida, stanford, turner gill, rick neuheisel, kevin wilson, jerry kill, houston nutt

  5. 2011 Oct 21

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Eight

    1,266 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    Week eight has arrived with the Halloween season (and Christmas decorations BAH HUMBUG), and everyone’s conference season is in full tilt. The BCS standings are out, and bowl bids are starting to be sized up. Lets take a look at the ups and downs from last week -

    Winners:

    Michigan State: A nice little upset at home versus the Wolverines. Can’t say that anyone needed to be punched, though.

    Oklahoma State: Did a good job taking care of business against Texas. Keep working towards Bedlam.

    Clemson: What a comeback against Maryland! The Tigers can’t afford to live on luck every game, though.

    Oregon: No LaMichael James and a hurting Darron Thomas? No problem! However, the quicker they can get healthier, the better.

    Losers:

    Indiana: A bad loss to Wisconsin, and just a hint of advice: Don’t kick punts into the butt of your personal protector.

    Michigan: Live by Denard, die by Denard. The defense lived up to expectation, but the offense…meh!

    Georgia Tech: a loss to Virginia? Really?

    Kansas: Congratulations, you covered the spread! A moral victory!

    Texas, Maryland, Iowa State, Arizona State and Florida:



    And now here’s something we think you’ll really like (all times Central):

    No. 20 Auburn at No. 1 LSU – (2:30 PM Saturday, CBS)

    The LSU/CBS network carries the Battle in the Bayou between Gene Chizik’s Tigers against Les Miles and his Ragin’ Cajun Tigers. As for Auburn, they earned a well-fought victory against Florida last week, while LSU decapitated Tennessee in Knoxville.

    The main focus of this game is the suspension of three LSU players, most notably starting Safety Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu. Even with one of their better safeties out, the Bayou Bengals shouldn’t have an issue with the anemic Auburn offense. Look for Les’ group to have the most fun between the two Tiger teams on Saturday afternoon.

    No. 6 Wisconsin at No. 16 Michigan State (7:00 PM Saturday, ESPN)

    Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson and the high octane Badger offense (that’s odd to type, to be honest with you) roll into East Lansing for a primetime night game. They’ll face the best defense on their schedule thus far as Sparty tries to ride a wave of momentum after defeating Michigan.

    This is the first time all season that Wilson will be tested outside the friendly confines of Camp Randall. He has to pass this test to get people to believe in both the Badgers as true national title contenders and himself as a legitimate Heisman contender. Something has to give between the FBS’ highest scoring offense and the No. 4 scoring defense.

    Don’t forget that the team which plays the most complete game usually wins these high-profile affairs. Michigan State can’t score enough points to outdistance Wisconsin, but don’t be surprised if the final score is much closer than you think. Over The last few years, Michigan State has made a living by winning nighttime Big Ten games at home that most think they shouldn’t

    No. 25 Washington at No. 8 Stanford – (7:00 PM Saturday, ABC)

    It’s "Sark Week" in Northern California as the Huskies go down to Napa Valley to take on Andrew Luck and the undefeated Cardinal. Luck has been rolling along this year, while Keith Price has been a pleasant surprise as Jake Locker’s replacement for Washington. The only loss of their season was in Lincoln earlier this year.

    Stanford is the most complete team in the Pac-12 right now with both the offense and defense ranking No. 5th in the FBS, a model of efficiency. Washington has been good on offense, but they give up 28 points per game. That’s not what you to throw at Andrew Luck. Stanford takes this one in a high-scoring bout.

    Other games to keep an eye for this week include:

    No. 4 Oklahoma State at Missouri – A big time upset alert. That said, Mizzou can’t even sell this game out?

    No. 9 Arkansas at Ole Miss – Bobby Petrino’s gang wants more blood and the Rebels are hemorrhaging it.

    No. 22 Georgia Tech at Miami (FL) – The Yellow Jackets were embarrassed by Virginia. They’ll be going against a Miami squad that can fall asleep at times.

    No. 10 Oregon at Colorado – How will the Ducks fair in the altitude minus both LaMichael James and maybe Derron Thomas?

    Tennessee at No. 2 Alabama – The Crimson Tide needs to find consistent some offense before LSU, and if you don’t think so, Saban could give…well, he doesn’t care.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat:

    Bob Toledo, Tulane - WHOOPSIE. Apparently when you’re 15-40 over your career with the Green Wave, it’s time to call it a legacy (if you can). It’s hard not to feel for Tulane.

    With the effects of Hurricane Katrina still taking their toll on the school’s athletic department, there’s not much that can be done. Barely getting 10,000 people per game in the Superdome and having LSU/Louisiana-Lafayette winning doesn’t help either.

    Turner Gill, Kansas and Houston Nutt, Ole Miss – We put these two together not because they are joined at any coaching hip, nor do we think that either school will win this week.

    We're putting them together because no matter how many losses Houston or Turner will end up with this year, there is a good possibility that both coaches will not be fired at the end of the year.

    Both have buyouts that are pretty hefty and it will take a lot of money being ponied up to get them to hit the road. For Gill, this saves him for another year. Kansas has shown time and time again they don’t know how to run a football program. However, for Ole Miss, there’s a far better chance that some wealthy booster can put up the money necessary.

    Nutt only has one year left on his deal after this season, though. For the Rebels’ program, it’s simply a question of if they want to pay the penalty as opposed to lose one more season to a guy that has shown he has no clue.

    Jeff Tedford, Cal – Utah is pretty similar to the Golden Bears and has the same record. That does mean Cal can beat them...right?

    Rick Neuheisel, UCLA – A two game stretch against Arizona and Cal. Welp, good luck against the Golden Bears.

    Tom O’Brien, North Carolina State - Good luck against Virginia, a team that should be easier than you thought after the euphoric win over Central Michigan last week.

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    Tags: michigan state, oklahoma state, clemson, oregon, indiana, michigan, georgia tech, kansas, texas, maryland, iowa state, arizona state, florida, auburn, lsu, wisconsin, stanford, bob toledo, turner gill, houston nutt, jeff tedford, rick heuheisel

  6. 2011 Oct 16

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Knee-Jerk Reactions – Bye Week

    5,428 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    - The original defensive game plan thrown at Wisconsin may work well against Michigan. Robinson’s a great runner, but is an incredibly inaccurate passer.

    - Michigan State’s going to be a tough bunch to beat. Kirk Cousins and Edwin Baker are a cut above what Ohio State brought to town

    - Still not sure if Penn State’s home-field simply doesn’t offer that big of an advantage or if fans have been that apathetic this season.

    - Without running back Mike Trumpy, it’s hard to think that Northwestern has the talent necessary to outlast the Cornhuskers.

    - Did the outcome of yesterday’s slate of games seem just plain weird to anyone else?

    - Florida and Auburn should both be ashamed of yesterday's display.

    - Who had Kansas State sitting at 6-0 halfway through the season in their pool?

    - Usually bye weeks are somewhat refreshing, but this one felt odd. Oh well, back to action as Nebraska takes on a Golden Gopher squad in a game that provides three levels of entertainment: The game, the final score, Jerry Kill’s post-game quotes.

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    Tags: michigan, michigan state, minnesota, jerry kill, kansas state, florida, auburn, edwin baker, denard robinson, penn state, mike trumpy, northwestern

  7. 2011 Oct 06

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Six

    1,123 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    Week six of the 2011 campaign has arrived. By the first week of October, there’s a pretty clear cut list of contenders and the pretenders. As always, you can’t look forward until you look back. Last week’s highs and low’s include but are not limited to -

    Winners:

    Arkansas - For being down so much, the Hogs showed some great resiliency and came back for their third straight win in Arlington over Texas A&M

    SMU – Headed across the DFW metro, they started fast, and hung on to earn a good program-building win against TCU.

    Kansas State – Played exceptionally well at home taking care of Baylor and officially being put on sleeper watch for the Big 12 title.

    Auburn – Needed the win against South Carolina to keep their fledgling SEC West hopes alive and got it.

    Losers:

    Texas A&M – Two weeks in a row they had a large cushion at halftime, two weeks in a row they lose the game by less than a score. Where’s the Wrecking Crew?

    Mississippi State – Another SEC loss against a team they should have taken care of at home (Georgia). Again, wake us up when the Bulldogs want to play some football.

    Virginia Tech - A field goal at home against Clemson? That is all the Hokies could do?

    Florida – Losing against Alabama wasn’t terrible, however the loss of quarterback John Brantley isn’t what they needed, then or now.

    Minnesota, Kansas, South Carolina, Purdue…welp:


    Now, on to this week’s shows! All times are central.

    No. 3 Oklahoma vs No. 11 Texas – (11:00 AM Saturday, ABC)

    Get your Fletcher’s Corny Dogs, Fried…whatever you want and your sweet tea, kids! Time to head on down to the Texas State Fair and catch up on this year’s version of the Red River Rivalry. For the first time in a while, both teams are ranked fairly high in the polls. You know about Oklahoma and their playmakers on offense (quarterback Landry Jones and wide receiver Ryan Broyles), but many people have not seen Texas on a national level yet.

    Texas has gotten better, primarily by using a two quarterback system with Chase McCoy and David Ash, however McCoy has been the one truly shining lately. With wide receiver Jaxon Shipley catching McCoy’s passes, it reminds Longhorn fans of the glory days they lived a few years back.

    Defensively, Texas has been better with Manny Diaz at the controls, but this will be their biggest test of the year to date. Mack and the Longhorns need this game to prove to the fan base that the program has pulled a 180 from last year’s 5-7 debacle. However, there is just enough of a talent gap that Oklahoma should be able to quiet the Texas offense enough to get the victory.

    No. 17 Florida at No. 1 LSU – (2:30 PM Saturday, CBS)

    This game has lost some of the luster that it would have had thanks to Florida quarterback John Brantley’s leg injury. In his place, highly touted freshman Jeff Driskel starts his very first game…at Death Valley in front of a national audience.

    While the Gators played well at times against Alabama last week, the game showed that Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis still have work to do, and this game will show it even more. LSU just keeps plodding along, with Jarrett Lee at the helm of the offense and a defense that hasn’t given up much to anyone other than West Virginia. Look for LSU to win this one, but Florida will give it their all.

    Miami at No. 21 Virginia Tech – (2:30 PM Saturday, ABC Regional)

    Al Golden takes a neatly-pressed dress shirt and tie along with his Hurricanes into Blacksburg to face a Hokies squad that is not pleased with their performance against Clemson. Last week, Miami played tee ball against Bethune-Cookman, so they will be looking to gain some momentum against Virginia Tech. As Jacory Harris goes, so goes Miami.

    While Harris wasn’t great against Ohio State, he has played fairly well in the last couple of games. For the Hokies, running back David Wilson has been their rock, but quarterback Logan Thomas still hasn’t shown all that he can do yet. Tech needs him to take his play to another level for the Hokies to avoid a two game losing streak, excuses be damned.

    Miami can’t be trusted on the road, especially in conference play. Furthermore, Frank Beamer has to get his team realizing that a second conference loss in a row could be disaster for a once-promising season. Take the Hokies at home in this one.

    No. 15 Auburn at No. 10 Arkansas – (6 PM Saturday, ESPN)

    Auburn is the road underdog once again this week as they travel to Fayetteville to take on a Razorback team hoping to capitalize on the momentum gained from their come-from-behind win against Texas A&M.

    Last week, Auburn silenced the crowd at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia and took care of a very inconsistent South Carolina team. Auburn is not a squad that scores points easily, and doesn’t shut down the opposition very well either.

    One team that is superior to them in putting up points is these very Arkansas Razorbacks. For some reason, Auburn will stick around in this game until the end because that’s just what they have done this year. Arkansas’ chances are favorable, specifically since it’s a home game. However, do not be shocked if Auburn can keep it close and possibly squeak out a win.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat:

    Frank Spazani, Boston College – Things are not good for you right now, sir. Sitting at 1-4 and going to play Clemson doesn’t help. Scoring less than 21 points per game isn’t an encouraging statistic, either.

    Robb Akey, Idaho – You had a chance to shock the world with a defeat of Virginia in overtime last week. Being ranked somewhere in the 90s when it comes to scoring offense and defense doesn’t help. Louisiana Tech comes calling for you this week.

    Dan Mullen (Mississippi State), Neil Callaway (UAB) – Both teams are underperforming, so both teams naturally have to beat up on each other. Neither team can afford the loss, either.

    Mike Stoops, Arizona – You mange to score 41 against Southern California and it doesn’t matter come the end of the game. Absolutely shocking. You do have a chance for a win, this week, against...

    Mike Riley, Oregon State – Another ball game for the families. This game’s winner isn’t winning much, one would believe.

    Larry Porter, Memphis – The Tigers are currently running through an absolute gauntlet of a schedule with last week’s toughie against Middle Tennesee State and this week’s bout against the monsters known as the Rice Owls.

    Danny Hope, Purdue – What Notre Dame did to you last Saturday was rated “M.” Whether “M” was for mature or moronic, who knows?

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    Tags: arkansas, smu, auburn, texas am, mississippi state, virginia tech, florida, minnesota, kansas, south carolina, purdue, oklahoma, texas, lsu, miami, frank spazani, robb akey, dan mullen, mike stoops, mike riley, neil callaway, larry porter, danny hope

  8. 2011 Sep 21

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Four

    2,049 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    As the season officially turns to fall, time once again to take a look at last week’s winners and losers, and a look forward to this week’s games.

    To start us off again, the biggest gains and losses from last week

    WINNERS:

    Oklahoma – Went into a tough environment against a gritty team and found a way to win. Time to focus on running the Big 12 as it currently exists.

    Notre Dame – They needed a big game versus Michigan State and got it.

    Clemson – Things came together for the Dabo gang versus Auburn. Don’t celebrate too long though Tigers (the ones that won), as things don’t get easier.

    Miami (FL) – Very impressive how the Canes took control of that game against Ohio State.

    LOSERS:

    Arizona – Another big game for the Cats under Mike Stoops, another egg laid. Stanford ran them out of their own house.

    Michigan State - What? Why? Where did you go, D’Antonio?

    Mississippi State - That’s the best the Bulldogs can do on offense? Dan Mullen, you didn’t even give your team a chance. Let us all know when you think you can be relevant without ducking out on the big stage again.

    Ole Miss, Kansas, Pittsburgh, and Auburn - May I introduce napalm to erase those bad memories?



    To this week’s watch list! All times Central:

    No. 14 Arkansas at No. 3 Alabama – (2:30 PM Saturday, CBS)

    Another week in the life of head coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, another ranked SEC opponent coming into Bryant-Denny Stadium for their enjoyment. The Arkansas Razorbacks come to Tuscaloosa for a afternoon meet and greet. Head coach Bobby Petrino brings in an offense that is ranked No. 8 in the FBS in both passing and points per game. The most surprising stat is that Arkansas ranks No. 17 in points allowed, giving up a hair over 12 per game.

    Granted, their games haven’t been against teams better than Missouri State and Troy, so take those numbers for what they’re worth. The Tide is ranked No. 2 in scoring defense, allowing less than a touchdown per game, so this should be a great matchup for both teams. The fact that Petrino has junior quarterback Tyler Wilson and not All-SEC Ryan Mallet will be the difference here.

    Mallett was adept at making necessary passes, and Wilson won’t have seen a defense this good all year. Saban lives for these high-pressure home games, and Petrino tends to field a team that folds like a cheap tent when away from War Memorial Stadium. This contest shouldn’t be too high scoring, but Alabama will win comfortably. If Arkansas does lose, they can’t hang their heads for long, as a battle with Texas A&M looms the next week.

    No. 7 Oklahoma St. at No. 8 Texas A&M – (2:30 PM Saturday, ABC)

    This game will crown the main challenger for Oklahoma’s Big 12 championship bid. The Cowboys had a very late, interesting game against Tulsa last week, while the Aggies wore out Idaho at home. Two of the top three passers in both the conference and FBS will be on display, as Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden goes will be looking for All-American wide out Justin Blackmon. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be taking center stage for the Aggies.

    While both offenses are stellar, the Aggies’ defense is doing their part, only giving up 10 points per contest, although they’re just two games into the season. The difference will be a Cowboy defense that looked shaky at times against Louisiana-Lafayette and Tulsa.

    Head coach Mike Gundy’s team doesn’t fear anyone, and they seem to play well with an “us against the world” mentality. This game will be close no matter what, and it’s very tough to call a winner. Regardless, the loser is not out of the conference race, but they’ll need help.

    No. 11 Florida State at No. 21 Clemson (2:30 PM Saturday, ESPN, ESPN3, etc.)

    The ACC conference slate kicks off for both teams with a visit to Death Valley for the Seminoles. Last week, Clemson played a very tough game versus Auburn, while Florida State gave Oklahoma all they could handle. FSU Quarterback E.J. Manuel has a bruised shoulder, and is questionable at best. His dual-threat abilities gave the Sooners fits, but if he isn’t ready to go, expect Clint Trickett to air it out, as the Noles proved their running game is far from effective.

    Clemson doesn’t really impress on the stat sheet, but they’ve played very well as a unit. Quarterback Tajh Boyd and running back Andre Ellington have been impressive at times for the Tigers, but in order to win this game and grab a hold of the sit at the head of the ACC Atlantic’s table, Clemson has to prove they can stop the pass. Look for the Tigers to come away with a somewhat ugly, yet convincing win, and for Florida State to go back to the drawing board.

    No. 2 LSU at No. 16 West Virginia (7:00 PM Saturday, ABC)

    The final game of the night will be live from Morgantown, when the Bayou Bengals travel to the Smoky Mountains. LSU comes into the game with their #2 ranking, but they haven’t been truly tested by anyone yet. Quarterback Jarrett Lee has managed the offense well enough to let the defense do their thing against teams like Oregon and Mississippi State.

    West Virginia comes into the game with the high-flying Dana Holgorson offense that has been more misses than hits through the season so far. While the Mountaineers’ offense, led by quarterback Geno Smith has been good, but not as great as it can be, the defense has been a tad tepid and that’s being kind. Don’t forget, this is the same team that had Maryland driving for the go ahead score late in the game last week.

    While this should be the biggest test for the LSU defense to date by far, the offense should be able to put points on the board, again without Lee doing much. West Virginia will score, but they won’t be able to be effective enough. LSU should prevail once again, but the score should be closer than people may give the Mountaineers credit for.

    Either way, it will be the most festive in-game atmosphere you may ever see, as the allowance of alcohol sales inside the stadium should bode well for the both Tiger and Mountaineer fans who likes to enjoy the occasional adult beverage…or three.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat

    Turner Gill, Kansas – That was bad, Turner. Georgia Tech just destroyed your charges. Texas Tech arrives in two weeks, and your Jayhawks had better be ready.

    Houston Nutt, Ole Miss – Vanderbilt ran you off the train tracks, sir! That’s right, Vanderbilt! I’d expect to see you bomb this week yet again, but you get to go against..

    Mark Richt, Georgia - Georgia vs. Ole Miss this week in Oxford. At least if Richt loses, he may not be fired in the tunnel going back to the locker room after the game. Houston Nutt on the other hand...

    Rick Neuheisel - UCLA, Mike Riley - Oregon State – UCLA vs. Oregon State. The winner gets to live. For how long, who knows? At least the players’ families will be watching.

    Mike Stoops, Arizona – This is getting old, sir. Your team wasn’t prepared and you were outcoached..again. Oregon comes to town this week, so I recommend drafting excuses right now.

    BONUS: Dan Beebe - Big 12 Commissioner (for now) – It was really your fault after all, wasn’t it Dan?

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    Tags: oklahoma, florida state, miami, ohio state, notre dame, arizona, michigan state, mississippi state, ole miss, kansas, pittsburgh, auburn, arkansas, alabama, oklahoma state, texas a, m, clemson, lsu, west virginia, turner gill, houston nutt, mark richt, mike riley, dan beebe

  9. 2011 Sep 07

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Two

    2,344 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    What a great week to start off the season!. Before we move on to week two, let’s review last week’s winners and losers.

    Winners:

    Boise State – The Broncos went to Atlanta and throttled the Georgia Bulldogs. For a team that isn’t supposed to be able to hang with the worst of the SEC because of the conference’s supposed superiority, their performance was pretty impressive.

    LSU – Their performance against Oregon wasn’t fantastic, but they took advantage of several Oregon errors and managed the game well enough to make the final score look like a blowout.

    BYU – Starting the season in unfriendly confines for the second time in three years and winning a slugfest speaks volumes about the Cougs.

    Baylor- Robert Griffin III is the real deal.

    Losers:

    Auburn – The Tigers needed an onside kick and what appeared to be favorable clock operation to beat a team from the WAC? Really? Aim for the Independence Bowl, Auburn, because it’s the best you can hope for. A special round of applause goes to Tiger fans who decided to rush to the gates.

    Congratulations on leaving your team lying in the lurch before clapping and celebrating a win on your way out. Apparently the national championship shirts are getting difficult to wear from swelling heads.

    Notre Dame – The weather delays were a sign. You’re doing it wrong.

    Georgia and Ole Miss – A picture’s worth a thousand words, right? -



    Here are your week two dandies. All times listed are in CST.

    Arizona at No. 9 Oklahoma State (7 PM Thursday, ESPN)

    The fantastic duo of Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon take on the Wildcats in a Thursday night tilt in Stillwater. Arizona comes into town following a beat down of Northern Arizona while Okie State took care of business against Louisiana-Lafayette. Arizona quarterback Nick Foles returns for what seems to be a ninth season, and has a talented receiver to go to in Juron Criner.

    The Wildcats did shut out Northern Arizona while Oklahoma State had some issues stopping the Raging Cajuns and Weeden did throw a pick-six. However, Weeden also threw for 388 yards. Blackmon helped pick up 144 of those. OSU sophomore Joseph Randle ran for 129 yards at 5-plus yards per carry, too.

    Boone Pickens Stadium has provided solid home field advantage for Mike Gundy, and with the knowledge that a Mike Stoops team doesn’t play well on the road, look for the Cowboys to roll to a win.

    No. 21 Missouri at Arizona State – (9:30 PM Friday, ESPN)

    Gary Pinkel takes his Tigers back to the site of the 2010 Insight Bowl debacle as Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson and linebacker Vontaze Burfict welcome them into the desert heat. Mizzou didn’t impress anyone last week with a lackluster win over Miami of Ohio. Quarterback James Franklin didn’t look remotely as poised as his predecessors Blaine Gabbert and Chase Daniel did.

    For the Sun Devils, quarterback Brock Osweiler did well against UC-Davis until a cramp sidelined him in the third quarter. This game will depend on Franklin’s ability to improve. Defeating a MAC team at home is one thing. Going against defenders like Burfict on the road is a completely different task. Arizona State wins barely because they can run the ball better. If it’s up to Osweiler to save the day, expect struggles by both teams.

    No. 3 Alabama at No. 23 Penn State – (2:30 PM Saturday, Regional)

    Alabama played very well last week versus Kent State. Sophomore quarterback AJ McCarron will more than likely getting the starting nod again. While Nick Saban’s offense was merely efficient, the defense is back to their ball-hawking selves. Penn State didn’t get a proper test from the Indiana State Sycamores as Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin split time at quarterback.

    Joe Paterno has a difficult decision with those two. Bolden is a great talent, but McGloin seems to be the more efficient choice. Regardless, Alabama won’t be scared of Beaver Stadium. The game may be close early, but the mental toughness that Saban instills will be a huge benefit. The Crimson Tide pulls away at the end.

    No. 16 Mississippi State at Auburn – (11:21 AM Saturday, SEC Network (JP)/ESPN3.com)

    Hopefully Gene Chizik realizes that the Bulldogs are legitimate and are far from a WAC team. Dan Mullen brings his boys into Jordan Hare Stadium hoping to get a jump on the SEC West race. Mullen has quarterback Chris Reif and running back Vick Ballard, two seniors with live game time against SEC opposition.

    If freshman wide receiver Jameon Lewis can replicate the numbers he did against Memphis, Mississippi State could be dangerous. Auburn, on the other hand, played down to their competition and looked lost on both sides of the ball. Unless the Tigers improved dramatically in the span of six days, expect the Bulldogs to do well and stake their claim as legitimate SEC competition.

    BYU at No. 24 Texas – (6 PM Saturday, ESPN2)

    The final preview takes us to Austin where the Mighty Mormons invade to take on the Longhorns. Bronco Mendenhall takes super sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps into a second-straight brutal environment. On paper, the Cougars and Longhorns appear to be equals. Texas didn’t look great early on against Rice, but looked far more polished in the second half.

    The locals were not impressed and know that BYU is a very dangerous team to test quarterback Garrett Gilbert and wide receiver Mike Davis against. With running back Malcolm Brown toting the rock, the Longhorns are talented, but young on offense. Jake Heaps is very raw but incredibly talented, and will likely outperform Gilbert. Don’t be shocked if BYU wins, possibly by more than a score.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat:

    Houston Nutt, Mississippi: Well done, coach. You apparently didn’t take another home opener seriously, and BYU made you look silly. The pick-six thrown on 3rd and 23 cemented that. Your game against Southern Illinois is a must win.

    Mark Richt, Georgia: Fans across the nation knew you might be in trouble against Boise, but Aaron Murray should give you hope. That said, starting the season 0-2 by losing to South Carolina would be near-fatal.

    Rick Neuheisel, UCLA: San Jose State is a welcome sight at the Rose Bowl. You’d better beat them so that people might forget how good you made Case Keenum look last week.

    Mike Riley, Oregon State: Sacramento State? You lost a lot, but come on, man. Wisconsin is going to destroy you this week.

    Mike Locksley, New Mexico: The good news is that you kept Colorado State to 14 points. The bad news is that you could only muster 10. Bobby Petrino can easily hang 70 on your nose.

    Bonus Conference Official – Dan Beebe, Big 12 Commissioner: It’s not your fault that Texas A&M, Nebraska, and Colorado left you or that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State want new partners. Repeat that while staring into the mirror and it just might be believable.

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    Tags: college football, boise state, lsu, georgia, ole miss, auburn, notre dame, brandon weeden, justin blackmon, nick foles, joseph randle, mike gundy, mike stoops, gary pinkel, missouri, arizona state, brock osweiler, james franklin, chase daniel, blaine gabbert, vontaze burfict, miami of ohio, alabama, penn state, aj mccarron, nick saban, rob bolden, matt mcgloin, indiana state, joe paterno, gene chizik, mississippi state, texas, byu, houston nutt, mark richt, rick neuheisel, mike locksley, dan beebe, big 12

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