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  1. 2011 Nov 18

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

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    By HuskerLocker

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    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

  2. 2011 Oct 27

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Nine

    1,447 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    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.

    Follow Brian on Twitter: @btbowling
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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

  3. 2011 Oct 21

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Eight

    1,265 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    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.

    Follow Brian on Twitter: @btbowling
    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    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

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