Friday, November 30, 2007

Russian Literature and American Football: Together At Last

Just came across this post and enjoyed it immensely. Big Cat Country has done an exceptional write-up which compares teams in AFC South to characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky's existential classic The Brothers Karamazov

Saturday, November 24, 2007

College Football's Top Teams and Heisman Hopefuls: Week #13

"McFadden has a chance to throw a wrench into both BCS and Heisman races with a huge game at #1 LSU next week."

Run-DMc did not disappoint, leading the Arkansas Razorbacks to a thrilling 3-OT victory over #1 Louisiana State. Running the Wild Hog formation for most of the game McFadden's team gashed the Tigers defense for 385 yards on the ground. With LSU now out of the national championship picture West Virginia emerges at the #2 team in the country. They hosted a very good Connecticut team on Saturday and blew it out of the water. As good as the Mountaineers have been all season they won't be #1 when the polls are released tomorrow.

Missouri jumped to an early lead against Kansas in the annual Border War and held on for the win in a titanic battle between top five teams.

Should either the Tigers or Mountaineers slip next week look for Ohio State, already in the gate with a 11-1 and Big Ten title, to play in its second straight championship game. If both Missouri and West Virginia should both fall it would only be fitting for a such a ridiculous year. In that case Georgia, despite not being eligible for the SEC championship, would likely play in New Orleans.

Looking ahead to the final week of the regular season... West Virginia needs to defeat Pittsburgh. A win and the Mountaineers advance to the BCS title game. Oklahoma and Missouri meet up in San Antonio to determine the Big 12 crown. The Sooners handed the Tigers their own lone loss this season. If Missouri wins it's in the title game. LSU and Tennessee hook up in Atlanta to determine the SEC championship. On the other end of the country Hawaii hosts Washington. The Rainbow Warriors seek to finish the year undefeated and earn a BCS bowl berth. Staying in the west USC looks to avenge last year's loss against crosstown rival UCLA. Also in the Pac-10 California and Stanford will play The Big Game.

Top Ten Teams
College Last Week
1) Missouri
4
2) West Virginia
3
3) Ohio State
5
4) Georgia
6
5) Kansas
2
6) Louisiana State
1
7) Southern California
-
8) Oklahoma
9
9) Florida
10
10) Virginia Tech
-

Dropped out: #7 Oregon, #8 Arizona State


Darren McFadden's stats from Friday: 32 carries, 206 yards, 3 TD and a touchdown pass. Simply put it was a game for the ages, on the road, against the best team in the country, in front of a national audience. Tim Tebow, Chase Daniel and Pat White also had excellent individual efforts in leading their teams to victory. Tebow, despite his gaudy numbers, failed to register a marquee win this season. Daniels has a chance to be remembered with a great performance and a win in the Big 12 championship against powerhouse Oklahoma. White plays a decent Pittsburgh team. No matter how well he performs the game will likely lack the magnitude to thrust him into the Heisman lead.

Heisman Hopefuls

Name Position Year College
Darren McFadden
RB
Jr.
Arkansas
Chase Daniel
QBJr.Missouri
Tim Tebow
QBSo.Florida
Pat White
QB
Jr.West Virginia
Chris Wells
RB
So. Ohio State

Dropped out: none

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Treat

I notice a lot of people come here looking for the clip of Carl Lewis singing the national anthem followed by Charley Steiner laughing hysterically. I posted a video of it over a year ago but it's no longer available.

Luckily someone has posted another video of the infamous incident. It isn't the whole clip, but hell, I'll take it!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

College Football's Top Teams and Heisman Hopefuls: Week #12

One buckling knee collapses Oregon's entire season. Dennis Dixon's ACL injury dooms the Ducks at Arizona. Before Thursday night Oregon was on course to play in the BCS title game. Now it might not even win its own conference.

Another title contender, Oklahoma, falls tonight in Lubbock to Mike Leach's high-powered Texas Tech offense. Sooner QB Sam Bradford was knocked out early in the game and OU never recovered.

LSU and Kansas control their own destiny but the journey to New Orleans won't be easy (as college football fans have witnessed all season long). Missouri, West Virginia, Ohio State and Arizona State still cling to BCS championship hopes. Out of those teams Missouri has the best shot of leapfrogging either the Tigers or Jayhawks. Mizzou finishes the regular season against Kansas. If they win that contest and the Big 12 title game Missouri's resume will likely be impressive enough to rank either #1 or #2.

Looking ahead to Week 13... a Thanksgiving meeting between USC and Arizona State in the desert will go a long way toward clearing the Pac-10 picture. On Black Friday Arkansas hopes to leave the LSU Tigers black and blue and pull off the huge upset. The marquee matchup of the week is between Big 12 teams, as Kansas and Missouri hope to earn a berth to the conference championship -- and perhaps the BCS title game. Meanwhile Virginia vs. Virginia Tech is a battle between top-15 teams. Also Tennessee vs. Kentucky will determine the winner of the SEC East. Staying in the south, first-year Alabama coach Nick Saban hopes to lead the Crimson Tide to a victory over Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

Top Ten Teams
College Last Week
1) Louisiana State
1
2) Kansas
5
3) Missouri
4
4) West Virginia
6
5) Ohio State
7
6) Georgia
8
7) Oregon
2
8) Arizona State
9
9) Oklahoma
3
10) Florida
10

Dropped out: none


Dennis Dixon's unfortunate season-ending knee injury dashes his hopes of winning the Heisman. Tim Tebow, the first QB in Division I history to throw and run for 20 TD in the same year, has solidified his position atop player of the year rankings. Chase Daniel had another excellent afternoon tossing the pigskin. He threw for 284 yards and four touchdowns, leading Missouri to a comfortable win and setting up a huge showdown against Kansas next week. Chris Wells has quietly had an excellent season for Ohio State. In today's contest against arch-rival Michigan, the one nicknamed "Beanie" rumbled for 222 yards and two scores. For the season Wells has 1463 rushing yards and 14 scores. This week Darren McFadden was shut down on the ground by a stout Mississippi State defense (28 carries, 88 yards). He did, however, make a 57-yard TD catch. McFadden has a chance to throw a wrench into both BCS and Heisman races with a huge game at #1 LSU next week.

Heisman Hopefuls

Name Position Year College
Tim Tebow
QB
So.
Florida
Chase Daniel
QBJr.Missouri
Darren McFadden
RBJr.Arkansas
Chris Wells
RB
So.Ohio State
Pat White
QB
Jr. West Virginia

Dropped out: Dennis Dixon, Matt Ryan

Saturday, November 10, 2007

College Football's Top Teams and Heisman Hopefuls: Week #11

I take a few weeks off from writing about college football and the sport goes insane. Illinois -- of all teams -- sends the BCS Championship into disarray by upsetting top-ranked Ohio State in Columbus.

What a wacky year it's been. The Big 12, considered a lowly conference coming into 2007, is home to three of the five-best teams in the nation. One of them, Kansas, remains the only program in a major conference to remain undefeated.

LSU and Oregon, if they run the table, are expected to play for the championship. However, if a Big 12 team earns a big win in the conference championship game it's possible that extenuating circumstances will push the Ducks down to #3. Remember in 2001 the Ducks were ranked 2nd in both polls but 4th in the BCS. The computers (and human voters) could make it happen again.

Looking ahead to Week 12... Oregon visits Arizona in a collision of two high-powered offenses. Also Ohio State and Michigan engage in their annual showdown. Finally, Georgia looks to keep pace in the SEC East against Kentucky.

Top Ten Teams
College Last Month
1) Louisiana State
4
2) Oregon
5
3) Oklahoma
2
4) Missouri
-
5) Kansas
-
6) West Virginia
6
7) Ohio State
1
8) Georgia
-
9) Arizona State
-
10) Florida
-

Dropped out: #3 South Florida, #7 Boston College, #8 South Carolina, #9 Kentucky, #10 California

This is clearly a three-man race and with each passing week it appears Tebow and Dixon further separate themselves from the pack. That has as much to do with their excellent play as it does with the other contenders playing for losing teams. Dixon had a bye this week. All Tebowo did was account for seven TD in a blowout against South Carolina. McFadden had a decent game but Arkansas got blown out by Tennessee. Matt Ryan threw for three TD and 400+ yards but Boston College's defense couldn't stop Maryland. Daniel had himself a huge outing against Texas A&M. Two weeks from now his Missouri squad plays at Kansas. That could be the game that determines the Heisman.

Heisman Hopefuls

Name Position Year College
Tim Tebow
QB
So.
Florida
Dennis Dixon
QBSr.Oregon
Darren McFadden
RBJr.Arkansas
Chase Daniel
QB
Jr.Missouri
Matt Ryan
QB
Sr. Boston College

Dropped out: Andre' Woodson, Graham Harrell, Michael Hart