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.