Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sweetest College Football Satur-(Day)

Sweetest College Football Satur-(Day)
By: Jonathan Hood

I live for Saturday’s.

I love college football because each week, there is always something to look forward to.

My college football Sweetest Day began after co-hosting Talkin’ Baseball with Bruce Levine.

# 20-Oklahoma vs. #3-Texas in the Red River Shootout

It wasn’t a great game, but I’m sure that Texas Coach Mack Brown will take the victory in one of college football’s oldest rivarly’s.

I was looking forward to a great QB matchup between The Longhorn’s Colt McCoy and Heisman Trophy winner Sooners QB Sam Bradford. Instead we saw Bradford knocked out of the game in the 1st Quarter. The Longhorns Aaron Williams sacked Bradford and he had to leave the game after re-aggravating his left shoulder. The same shoulder he injured in Oklahoma’s- BYU game in September.

As of Sunday, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said he didn’t know when or if Bradford will return.

Sooners Backup QB Landry Jones will need some seasoning as the true freshman was intercepted twice in the fourth quarter.

McCoy was good enough to help Texas win 16-13 even though he wasn’t sharp. (21 of 39(127 yards 1 TD and 1 INT.)

Oklahoma had five turnovers, there most since 2006 and was held to –16 rushing yards. With or without Bradford, the Sooners are an average team in the Big 12.

And what about Texas? They weren’t stellar against Oklahoma in a high profile game.

What does that do for the (6-0) Longhorns in the polls?

In the BCS standings, Texas is #3. Is Mack Brown’s team really the 3rd best team in college football? After watching them Saturday, it makes me wonder if they can win in convincing fashion on the road against Missouri (4-2) and #15 Oklahoma State (5-1) in back-to-back weeks?

# 6-USC 34 vs. #25-Notre Dame 27
I knew that Notre Dame was going to lose the game, I just couldn’t determine how many points. USC is a track team. The Trojans are so swift that I thought Notre Dame would grow the grass longer on their field to slow them down.
USC head coach Pete Carroll is one of the best leaders of men in college football. I really appreciate his youthful enthusiasm that he has for each game.

I thought if the Irish had any chance to win the game against the Trojans, Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen would have to exploit the USC secondary. In the second half, Clausen proved why he should be in New York City and be in the running for the Heisman Trophy. Clausen was 24/43 good for 260 yards and 2 TD’s. Clausen’s helped ND come from a 34-14 deficit with a 2 yard TD run and a 15 yard pass to Wide Receiver Golden Tate to make it 33- 27 with 7:28 remaining in the game. The game was very interesting throughout, especially at the end. Clausen had a chance to tie the game with 0:00 left on the clock when the pass fell incomplete.

Trojan’s QB’s Matt Barkley really impressed me. He set a career high with 380 yards passing and two touchdowns. Barkley, a true freshman is learning on the job, but he really could yet another cornerstone QB for USC. The next Mark Sanchez? The next Carson Palmer? I look forward to seeing more from Barkley in the next seven games.

#1-Florida 23-Arkansas 20

My third game that I saw was #1 Florida (6-0) against Arkansas. I wanted to know if the Gators were as mediocre as they played against LSU several weeks ago or would they come out with a superior offense against the Razorbacks.

Florida is good, but they are more survivor’s than warriors on the gridiron.

After a scoreless opening quarter, I’m thinking, ‘Oh no, not another low scoring, grind-it-out-Gators game!’ I lived that nightmare two weeks ago and was hoping for some sizzle from the #1 team in college football.

When you look at the statistics in this game, there are some similarities.

Total yards-Arkansas 357-Florida 391
Passing- Arkansas 224-Florida 255
Rushing- Arkansas 133-Florida 136

But there are two reasons why Arkansas is unranked and now (3-3) this season.

The Razorbacks couldn’t capitalize on the Gators four turnovers and they don’t have a special QB like Florida’s Tim Tebow. He rushed for 69 yards on 27 carries and the Arkansas defense looked lost. I was thinking, he’s either going to run right or run left, why couldn’t LSU or Arkansas do anything about it? Tebow and Florida coach Urban Meyer are just that good . . .so far.

I saw some weaknesses on Florida’s team that could be exposed if a team would take advantage of them. Arkansas defense is the worst in the SEC, yet they stopped Florida’s running game holding Running Back Jeff Demps to (9 carries for 54 yards, 1 TD) and their defense, at times made some big plays, but in the end Caleb Sturgis’ 27 yard field goal gave Florida there 6th win of the season.

I’m an SEC fan, so I enjoy watching two teams from the conference play, but after watching the game it made me wonder if Florida will be able to maintain their #1 spot? They appear to be a heavyweight fighter that is in round 9 of a 12 round fight and weakening.

#2- Alabama 20- #22-South Carolina 6

Nick Saban, in my view, has the number 1 team in college football right now. I know the polls don’t say that, but I’m very impressed with the Crimson Tide (7-0) so far this season.
To date, Alabama defeated 3 ranked teams convincingly.

No. 7- Virginia Tech- 34-24
No. 20- Mississippi- 22-3
No. 22- South Carolina- 20-6

The only hiccup on their schedule could be LSU on November 7th, otherwise, Alabama could run the table to a BCS National Championship game. We’ll see.

Bama’s tailback Mark Ingram had a career high 246 yards on 24 carries and 1 TD. (3rd best in Alabama history). Ingram was the only reason to watch that game last Saturday. He was awesome!

Ingram has a motor as he has rushed for 568 yards in 3 games against ranked teams.

This game didn’t have great QB play. South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia was lackluster. His first pass was an interception. Alabama’s Greg McElroy either had to get out of Ingram’s way because of the wildcat offense or just handed the ball to an electric Ingram who had some jaw dropping runs.

I saw four games that I thoroughly enjoyed. I can’t wait to see if next Saturday’s college slate will be as sweet as Sweetest Day.

Tim Tebow Love him or hate him, has made it!

Tim Tebow Love him or hate him, has made it!
By: Jonathan Hood

When I watch Florida QB Tim Tebow, I see the New York Yankees.

I see Duke Basketball.
I see Notre Dame Football.

What does Tebow have in common with all of those teams?


Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t have the emotional energy to rip college athletes, but some do. Some of you would be amazed at the negativity around Tebow and his success with the Florida Gators.

Never mind that Tebow has a plethora of awards and accolades that he’s achieved since playing football including the Davey O’Brien award, AP Player of the Year award, 2 time Maxwell Award as well as a Heisman Trophy winner in 2007.

There are some people that I know that are college football fans that strongly dislike Tim Tebow.

His parents, Bob and Pam Tebow were Christian missionaries and he continues in his parents footsteps as he spent the last three summers before enrolling at the University of Florida in the Philippines, assisting with his father’s orphanage and missionary work.

I would ask those who don’t like Tebow: What’s so wrong with that?

I believe if he doesn’t win another game at Florida or doesn’t win the National Championship for Florida this season, he’s made it. He’s a success! When message boards and talk show hosts belittle Tebow and college football shows that I hear denigrate Tebow that means that he’s already successful before he’s officially finished in college.

Why do some fans hate successful people/teams?

The Yankees are in the number 1 market in MLB. No fandom puts more pressure on the players and management to win like Yankees fans. The Yankees over the years have been very successful. They annually have the highest payroll in MLB. They have the ultimate team leader in Derek Jeter. And they are the richest franchise in baseball. Because of their success, they are known by some as The Evil Empire.
They are also known as successful.

Duke Basketball- Head coach Mike Krzyzewski leads one the most hated teams nationally in college basketball. Coach K has a 760-215 record with the Blue Devils. Nobody has won more games in the NCAA Tournament than his teams. (71)
Yet, fans dislike him or his team because of the success they have enjoyed.

Notre Dame Football- The Irish have fallen on hard times as of late. The history of Notre Dame football cannot be disputed. ND have won 11 NCAA football championships, over 800 all time wins and 7 Heisman Trophy winners. Why do people dislike Notre Dame? It’s because of their rich tradition of winning football in the not to distant past.

I don’t know why fans take time out to hate an athlete or a team. Tebow and Florida is a compelling story. I root for interesting.

I believe Tebow is good for college football. He is a leader on his team and from afar he seems like a leader to help people.

Congratulations Tim, some people root against you! You’re a success!

USC getting little credit for tough schedule

USC getting little credit for tough schedule
By: Jonathan Hood

One question.

How much are road wins against Ohio State, California and Notre Dame worth these days?

I’m sure that’s what USC coach Pete Carroll is wondering after the first edition of the BCS rankings came out Sunday and was ranked as the 7th best team in college football.

If nothing else they should be #4.

USC’s only loss was to the Washington Huskies 16-13. An emotional game for Carroll as he faced his former offensive coordinator, now Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian. No excuses, USC should have defeated that team and came up short.

The biggest question in my mind is, does the loss to Washington supersede the quality wins on the road?

There is no way that everyone’s favorite Boise State deserves a #4 ranking in the BCS. I respect Boise State’s program. I believe head coach Chris Petersen has done a terrific job with this team. However, I ask you, who have they played and who have they beaten? That is my question every college football season since Boise State’s incredible victory over Oklahoma in Glendale, Arizona in 2007 at the Fiesta Bowl.

Does Boise State deserve the #4 spot in the rankings based on their quality wins against UC Davis, Fresno State, Oregon, Bowling Green, Tulsa and Miami of Ohio?

And before you tell me, that they can’t help the fact that the rest of the WAC conference is substandard, I say they have to earn their respect against a highly ranked team, just once. I won’t even use the TCU loss on December 23, 2008, as an example of Boise State’s inability to play against an above average team. I mean I want Boise State to be unafraid to play BCS caliber opponents-even on the road during the regular season.

More than likely, Alabama, Florida, Texas, maybe even USC would be afraid to play on Boise State’s blue turf, but it is good to see Virginia Tech taking the challenge in 2010.

To earn respect you have to play the big boys and get away from the soft comfy Western Athletic Conference.
USC deserves Boise State’s slot as it stands today. It’s good to see some programs in college football are willing to risk their season by testing their team on the road.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Will the Big Ten stand up in 2009?

Will the Big Ten stand up in 2009?
by: Jonathan Hood-ESPNCHICAGO.COM

1-6 in the 2008 post season.

The Big Ten has to turn it around in 2009 for recruiting and for the good of their conference. Every year, Big Ten fan tells me how strong their conference is and if the bowl games were played in cold weather, the fortunes of the Big Ten in the post season would be different.

I say, if you are an excellent team, no matter where you play, you show up and you thump the other team.

Just look at the carnage in the 2008 bowl games:

Champs Sports Bowl- Florida State 42- Wisconsin 13.
Mediocre season for the Badgers at 7-6. Had instability at QB.

Alamo Bowl- Missouri 30-Northwestern 23
Good game, looking forward to the Cats improving on their 9-4 record.

Insight Bowl- Kansas 42-Minnesota 21
The Gophers limped into the bowl game after playing the little sisters of the poor in non-conference and getting whipped against NU, Mich, Iowa and losing a heart breaker vs.Wisc.

Outback Bowl- Iowa 31- South Carolina 10- (win)
I really like Hawkeyes QB Ricky Stanzi managing each game; had solid games against Penn State, Purdue and Minnesota and rolled the Gamecocks for the only Big 10 win in the post season.

Capital One Bowl- Georgia 24-Michigan State 12
RB Javon Ringer and QB Brian Hoyer led the Spartans to their bowl game with a 9-4 record. Did they lose confidence by losing to Penn State 49-18 in their last game going into their meeting against the Bulldogs?

Rose Bowl- USC 38- Penn State 24
The Nittany Lions record of 11-2 is impressive. But they didn't play anyone on their 2008 schedule the caliber of USC. Have you seen their 2009 schedule?

Fiesta Bowl- Texas 24- Ohio State 21
Jim Tressel losing a big game? Noooo! Their beatdown at the hands of USC should have been an indicator that they weren't going to win their bowl game.

Why does the Big Ten fall apart during Bowl season?

"When you look at the defensive line and linebackers in the SEC, they're trimmer and faster," said Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN college football expert. "I'm not saying that the SEC is fast and the Big Ten is slow. I'm saying the Big Ten can run equal to the SEC when it comes to skill. In the trenches is where I see a noticeable difference."

I think conferences like the SEC, the Pac-10 and even the Big 12 have surpassed the Big 10 as far as roster depth and overall talent over the past few years.

For example: as good as QB Troy Smith was for Ohio State in 2006 against the Big Ten, when he faced Florida it was an entirely different story.

Last season, Florida's defense held the high octane offense of Oklahoma to 14 points in the BCS title game.

It's not even close.

Is the Big 10, the Big Sky conference? No. However, I'm wondering which Big Ten team is going to step up this year and carry the banner for the conference? For those of you that watch your favorite Big Ten team at 11:00 am cdt, I suggest you keep the television on at 2:30 pm and then again at 7:00pm and compare your favorite Big Ten team to other conferences and then ask yourself, why does the Big Ten fall short in big bowl games each year.

One last thing, if you are a high school standout defensive lineman/tackle in the Midwest and you are recruited by teams in the Big 10, SEC, Big 12 or Pac 10 which conference would you choose? Obviously, if you play college ball, you hope to be drafted by an NFL team or put yourself in a position to ready yourself for the real world.

Minnesota Gophers head coach Tim Brewster told Lindy Sports, "the hardest thing to to recruit in defensive tackles. They are the hardest to find in college and the hardest to get in the NFL."

LSU, USC and Texas combined to have 7 defensive lineman in the 2009 NFL Draft. 5 were drafted from the entire Big Ten.

Since 2004, 16 defensive tackles have taken been taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. None from the Big Ten.

The last DT to be taken in the first round was Jimmy Kennedy in 2003 from Penn State.

The Big Ten coaches and recruiters have some work to do.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Conference Rankings: Is the Big XII really Elite?

It seems that everyone out of the southeast region of this country feels the need to tell everyone that the Big XII has taken over as the class conference of college football in 2009. Obviously future games will be what determines the best conference in the 2009 season but where exactly does anyone get off thinking that the Big XII has surpassed the SEC? Unless I missed something people really are living in a haze.
Those who feel that the Big XII is better than the SEC at this point feel so because Oklahoma, Texas, and Oklahoma State should all be rated in the top ten of the national polls when they are first released before week one of the season. That's great, three teams in the top ten overall, it couldn't possibly get any better, right?
Wrong. Florida will be your preseason number one and they still reside in the Southeastern Conference. After the Gators, Alabama is nearly a shoe-in to be in the top ten despite losing the majority of their offense from a year ago. Ole Miss has an excellent chance to be the third SEC team ranked in the top ten to start the season which would match the three that the Big XII is able to offer.
Oklahoma and Texas are pegged as teams that just need to get by each other in order to reach the BCS National Championship Game while people see Alabama or Ole Miss as an upset or two away from being able to. I won't argue that I think that both Oklahoma and Texas are better than Alabama or the Rebels but with Florida being #1 in everyone's eyes at this point the Sooners and Longhorns get canceled out.
Both conferences will have three teams in the preseason top-10 in all likelihood. With that said, Nebraska will probably be the only other member of the Big XII in the top-25. A case can be made for Kansas but it will be a close call. The SEC will see Georgia and LSU without a doubt in the top 25 giving them one more in the first set of rankings than the Big XII.
So many people want to come out and say that the Big XII is the elite conference this season when in turn they are actually closer to being on par with the Pac-10 (who will have USC, Cal, and Oregon in the preseason top 15) than they are the SEC just yet.

We'll get this one out of the way early...

Rather than waiting till week 5 for the obvious to happen and for me to say the following, I'm gonna say something I did in my first blog: Tim Tebow is by far the greatest college football player I have ever seen. I didn't see the Wheaton Iceman singlehandedly destroy the Wolverines in a matter of minutes. I didn't experience Jim Brown as an Orangeman at the 'Cuse. I didn't see Herschel Walker run all over the SEC. Hell I barely saw Barry Sanders run rampant at Oklahoma State...I have seen Reggie Bush put up 500+ yards in a game and Vince Young dominate not one but two BCS Bowl games, and I can still say: Tim Tebow is the greatest football player to ever step foot on turf, grass, or any surface you can think of.

A lot has been made of the Christian Crusader turned superstar athlete in the past few weeks. It seems you can't walk by a newstand without having to endure the glare and/or smile of the blue and orange #15. Then people spend hours aimlessly on the web trying to find a flaw. Whether it's Mel Kiper saying Tebow can't play QB in the NFL or a message board catching a glimpse of a busty and beautiful brunette under Tebow's arm with cries of "CHRISTIAN?!?! he's definitely slept with that hottie." people can't just accept Tebow for the talent. According to the recent SEC media day, that cute girl with brown hair and large not a notch on a imagined list of Gainesville gals that Tim has taken to bed. But the digression onto Tebow's personal llife is not a necessary one.

I'm here to talk about Tebow the player. The prisoner saving, secondary enslaving, touchdown rushing, linebacker crushing quarterback for the University of Florida Football team. A man who is perhaps the greatest player to ever pick up a pigskin at the collegiate level. Can anyone else in the history of the game claim two national titles, a heisman trophy, one of the greatest motivating speeches in sports history, and oh yeah...he's still got a year to go. Doubt the man all you want, but barring injury, the '09-'10 season won't have anything to do with a Sam or a Colt, but it will revolve solely around what the savior of Gator Nation can or can't do.

First let's start with what he can do:

-Win a second Heisman trophy

-Win a third national title

-Make his mark as the greatest college football player ever also while having a completely crazy off the field schedule as a missionary and a beacon of light in an otherwise jaded pop culture society where MTV has shows called 'Sixteen and Pregnant' and True Life: I'm a dirty dirty whore and don't care (okay so the last one was a little exaggerated, but you get the point.)

Now let's continue to what Timothy Tebow can't do:




There's yet to be a throw he hasn't been able to make, a tackle he couldn't break, a defender he couldn't shake. And if all goes as planned this year, Tim Tebow will have a chance to make Red Grange, Barry Sanders, Reggie Bush, Earl Campbell, or any other number of college football players that people consider the greatest, look like a bunch of mortals hoping to be said in the same sentence as #15 for the Gators, Timothy Richard Tebow: THE Greatest College Football player to ever play the game.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

College Gameday 2009: Coming to Your City?

A year ago I wrote my most viewed article to date, an article previewing where the ESPN College Gameday crew would broadcast in 2008. I started the season by correctly picking six of the first eight locations but struggled down the stretch, ending with only 8 of 14 Gameday sites correctly picked. This year brings another season and another chance for me to improve where these guys will be headed, so lets get started...

September 5th:
Only two real contenders here, both being early out of conference matchups. Georgia travels west to play Oklahoma State while Alabama meets VaTech in the Georgia Dome, the second year in a row the Tide start the year versus the ACC in Atlanta. OKState has a couple chances to be included on the show as they host Texas and travel to Oklahoma. Don't forget the potential of playing in the Big XII Championship. This may be the one of only two chances all year for ESPN to feature a game with Alabama or Virginia Tech. With both teams likely being ranked in front of OK State and Georgia, I have to guess Gameday starts in Atlanta for a second straight season.

Pick: Virginia Tech vs. Alabama in Atlanta, GA

September 12th:
There isn't a whole lot of question to this one so why waste all the suspense? Sure Ohio State has layed an egg on the big-stage over the past three seasons but having and OSU/USC matchup is still a match up made in heaven for all parties involved. This will be a prime time game in Columbus and you better believe the Gameday crew will be there that morning.

Pick: USC at Ohio State

September 19th:
The first week of the season there isn't a real clear cut first or second choice for the four letter network. The biggest games of the day include Florida traveling to take on Lane Kiffin and the Vols at Neyland and Texas playing host to Texas Tech. I understand that Kiffin has given the Gators plenty of reason to develop dislike for the lighter shade of orange in the SEC East but Tennessee lacks talent this year, much like Texas Tech. The Vols aren't the draw in 2009 that they normally are, Texas Tech should be 2-0 against the 2-0 Longhorns at this point and ESPN wouldn't skip a chance to go to Austin, especially after how this one ended a year ago.

Pick: Texas Tech at Texas

September 26th:
There are certain weeks that lack an extremely "sexy" match up and as of right now, this weekend is one of those weekends. Ohio State hosting Illinois will be a great game that could go a long way in deciding the Big Ten but if OSU gets blown out by USC there is no way the Boo-Yah's are back in Columbus two weeks later. I fully expect USC to beat the Buckeyes again so throw this one out. Other match ups feature Penn State hosting Iowa and VaTech hosting Miami (FL). Since I feel that VaTech will be taken care of in week one I'll bet that ESPN heads to Happy Valley for this one.

Pick: Iowa at Penn State

October 3rd:
A month in and the season is starting to take shape. A couple upsets will have taken place and some teams thought of as contenders just weeks ago are now battling for a chance to even make a January bowl game. What does today bring? Once again I feel there are two main parties that could host Gameday this morning. Once again, I feel that the Fighting Illini of Illinois will be passed over. I feel Illinois will have a great chance to go to a BCS game this season but this early in the year the hype won't be around the Fightin's as much as it needs to be to host Gameday. Instead an undefeated match up with Cal hosting USC out west will take the cake, even if the Nittany Lions and Fighting Illini are both unbeaten at this point.

Pick: USC at Cal

October 10th:
This is one of those weekends that guns are a blazing in the SEC. Alabama at Ole Miss, Florida at LSU, Georgia at Tennessee? Also be weary of Florida State hosting Georgia Tech as both seem primed for runs at the ACC crown. If LSU gets by Georgia the week before the Tigers and Gators should both be unbeaten on October 10th when they meet in Death Valley which would be impossible for ESPN to pass up.

Pick: Florida at LSU

October 17th:
The last week of the year with multiple unbeatens battling for positioning in the BCS Standings? Not a certainty but a strong possibility. The odds on favorite for this is the Red River Shootout in Dallas as both Oklahoma and Texas should be ranked in the top five. If either is to fall early then my money would be on Notre Dame hosting USC as both could very likely be undefeated at this point. Until the Irish beat USC they will lack the hype and I doubt the Longhorns or Sooners fall before this date.

Pick: Oklahoma vs. Texas in Dallas, TX

October 24th:
If you are going to miss a weekend of college football then this may be the weekend to step away and catch your breath. Looking ahead I can almost guarantee I predict this week incorrectly. As of now I do not see any two top 25 teams playing each other this week which will make picking a "Game of the Week" nearly impossible. Because I have to pick one I'll say Kansas hosting Oklahoma could feature teams who could very well both be unbeaten or only have one loss between the two. If the Sooners win the Shootout the week before this almost a guarantee...

Pick: Oklahoma at Kansas

October 31st:
Happy Halloween, what is the treat for today? These aren't the dead weeks but there is no doubt this is a stretch of the season that really does lack a true "marquee game". Depending how Georgia holds up early on their match up with Florida may be picked as the choice. I don't expect the Bulldogs to have a great season which will take eyes away from this game, I instead have this week staying in Big XII country.

Pick: Texas at Oklahoma State

November 7th:
Finally we are back on track with getting a huge game in the Midwest occurring this evening. The SEC lacks a killer match up and ESPN will want to get out of the Big XII after spending almost a month straight there. I have Penn State hosting Ohio State this week as the game that decides the Big Ten champ with a strong likelihood that at least one of the two is undefeated at this point.

Pick: Ohio State at Penn State

November 14th:
I'm conceding already, this week is nearly impossible to find a stellar match up in. This will be a week that a lesser major conference is put on display. Cal at Arizona could be a big game but it has the equal chance to have one team in it who has been a major disappointment to this point. Auburn and Georgia seems like the biggest SEC game, don't expect the coverage to be happening there. Instead, this week will go outside the BCS conferences with a couple of teams who look to crash the BCS party later in the season.

Pick: Utah at TCU

November 21st:
It's starting to come to an end as we only have two weeks of regular season action left. Penn State could clinch the Big Ten this week on the road in East Lansing. Oregon and Arizona has the potential to be a meaningless game as well while Florida is playing FIU so count the Swamp out of this one. My bet will be for this week to be in East Lansing as the last two times Joe Paterno won the Big Ten, ESPN has been done Gameday from the game's location.

Pick: Penn State at Michigan State

November 28th:
The final regular season weekend of the year and there are multiple places we could end up. Oklahoma/Oklahoma State could decide who represents the Big XII South in its conference title but the biggest game of the day will be an out of conference battle in the Southeast. No, I'm not talking about UGA/GTech, I'm talking about Florida/Florida State. I expect the Noles to have more of a "Bobby Bowden type year" and be in contention for a BCS game at this point. Unless major injuries I see Florida being unbeaten as well, a game that Gameday would not miss if its of this magnitude.

Pick: Florida State at Florida

There you are, my picks as to where College Gameday will be broadcast from each of the Saturday's this fall. I struggled the first time I did this, going only 8 for 14 in regular season games, hopefully I improve this year. Agree or disagree with my predictions? Feel free to comment away!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Introduction Part Deaux

Ryan Sudol...Jersey born, Chicago bred...Not exactly the hot beds for college football, but that does not make me exempt from loving my Saturdays for one reason and one reason only: College Football. We'll start with a simple list of ten things that contribute to the way I watch and feel about college football.

1. I like underdogs...The first college campus I ever set foot on was Rutgers, and that's where my love of teams that shouldn't have a chance started. There's nothing that gets my adrenaline rushing more than seeing the upset alert flash across my ESPN ticker.

2. I hate USC...I hate everything that the University of Spoiled Children stands for. Kind of tying in with my love for the underdog, I hate the idea that a team in college can reload it's talent because of ridiculous amounts of money, and some very loyal boosters.

3. The BCS works...I used to be a huge advocate for a playoff in the FBS, but after further review, the BCS has really only failed once (the 13-0 Auburn Tigers), but aside from that, it has been a successful system for getting the best possible matchup year in and year out.

4. Fans like this guy...

Make Saturdays in a college town some of the most entertaining times you can possibly have.

5. Tim Tebow is the greatest college football player I have ever seen...PERIOD. You can try to argue all you'd like, but Reggie Bush is a very distant second place in my lifetime.

6. The teams I pay closest attention to for my own personal and selfish reasons: Scarlet Knights, Gators, Golden Gophers, Nittany Lions. I'm sure I'll get into more of why later in the season, but we're just getting started.

7. The Swamp will always be the toughest place to play. Until you've been able to stand on the field while nobody else is in the stadium and feel the chill of knowing you are in one of the greatest sporting arenas EVER...You will not be able to understand why. Michigan Stadium is the most unintimidating group of 100,000 boosters and old people sitting on their hands, so Blue fans, GET OFF MY BACK.

8. I am one of the few people that neither loves nor hates Notre Dame...As long as they show up to play and entertain me, I am not a Golden Dome hater.

9. Whenever I find a video like this one:

I'm gonna post it for your enjoyment

10. Did I mention Tim Tebow is the greatest football player in the world?

Either way, that's just a brief list of things to keep in mind when reading UnProfessional Football. There will also be various other writers contributing to this blog that have very different thoughts and feelings on the greatest sport in the world, but for the most part, I consider them very knowledgeable and entertaining in their thoughts on the sport.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Let me Introduce Myself...

I don't worry about what a young man is bound to do in the NFL while watching him on Saturday's. Instead I simply enjoy the game that is college football and love to react to games, comments, and just about everything else that has to do with the game. Maybe the product isn't as great as that in the NFL and that's fine with me because college football has the most intense regular season of any sport around.

I grew up a Notre Dame fan and still follow the Fighting Irish as if they are my sibling. If you're an Irish fan check out as I am also a writer there but to tell more about myself, I watch more than just Notre Dame on Saturday's. I'm not going to tell you how great Knute Rockne and Bear Bryant were in their days, instead I am going to talk about the game today. During the season I'll preview/review games as well as tell you what I agree with when it comes to game decisions that were made the past week or I'll tell you how I would try to attack certain teams in upcoming games.

I currently live in Chicago which is far from the Mecca of the sport, I understand that. I work in sports-media here in the city currently and have a background in radio. In the future I would love to be able to at least make a podcast to be able to share things quicker with everyone but for now blogging will do.

In order for you to get to know me a bit I filled out a poll I found in an old ESPN Football Encyclopedia and gave my answers. Agree or disagree, here's my favorite all-time in each category:

All Time Favorite Players to Watch:
QB - Brady Quinn, Notre Dame
RB - Ricky Williams, Texas
WR - Larry Fitzgerald, Pitt
TE - Kellen Winslow, Jr., Miami (FL)
OL - Chris Samuels, Alabama
DL - Warren Sapp, Miami (FL)
LB - Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
DB - Champ Bailey, Georgia

All Time Favorite Bowl Game:
2006 Rose Bowl/National Title - Texas 41 USC 38
-On the biggest stage you saw a field full of stars shine. This game had everything, two heavyweights, star power, and double-digit defiect of a comeback, and an upset to boot in the title game. Games get no better.

All Time Regular Season Game:
October 15, 2005 - USC 34 Notre Dame 31
Perhaps it was because I was there but I have honestly never witnessed a more exciting regular season game. USC, #1 at the time and the defending champs was on the ropes after Brady Quinn gave the Irish a late lead. A 4th and 9 conversion later and a heads-up save by Reggie Bush gave the Trojans a win and allowed them to play for the title later that year.

Favorite All Time Head Coach:
Joe Paterno, Penn State University
Say what you want about ole' JoePa. I understand he doesn't have as active as roll as he once did for the Nittany Lions but its tough to find a coach who has done as much for an entire university, not only their football team. The all-time D1 wins leader and a class act to boot. They don't make them like Joe Paterno very often.

Greatest Team I Have Seen Play:
Its tough to beat the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers but I can't honestly say I understood how great they were at the time. To me, the 2001 Miami Hurricanes did steam rolled nearly everyone with such ease and had the swagger to boot. Ken Dorsey, Clinton Portis, Ed Reed, Andre Johnson, Kellen Winslow, Bryant I have to continue? Okay, Jerome McDougle, Jonathan Vilma, and Frank Gore. I'll stop there. I'll take my chances with this set of players against any, ever.

So welcome to "Unprofessional Football" and enjoy in the coming weeks. There are a few diehard college football fans that will be writing here that feel pretty close to the same way about how passionate they are about the sport of college football. Welcome and enjoy.

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