Here We Go…

January 7, 2008

BCS Championship Time!  And I’m going to go out on a limb here…I’m taking the Buckeyes over LSU, 24-17.  From a pure athletic/talent standpoint, LSU has the advantage but I’m liking OSU for the intangibles:  The OSU players still have that bitter taste in their mouth from a year ago and the media is barely giving them a second glance, choosing instead to talk about the “southern speed” of the SEC and how LSU are the “Masters of the College Football Universe.”

les-miles-he-man.jpg
Don’t be fooled:  Les Miles does NOT have the power

As for Les Miles and his ballsy playcalling that he’s been known for this season:  Don’t think for a moment that Jim Tressel doesn’t have any trickeration up his own sleeve because deep down he’s probably “Incredible Hulk”-pissed about last year’s debacle.

Trust me, you won’t like Ol’ Sweatervest when he’s angry…

Advertisements

Yep, Those Are Mohawk Tears.

January 3, 2008

If you saw last night’s post-game interview during the Fiesta Bowl, you saw West Virginia’s mohawk-sporting badass of a fullback Owen Schmitt get emotional after his team unexpectedly beat Oklahoma like a rented “Sooner Schooner.”

Part of me thinks those tears were shed over the fact that Schmitt still can’t fathom how they managed to lose to a Pitt team coached by Dave Wannstedt.  The trauma sustained from such an embarrassing defeat leaves permanent scars in one’s mind, never to be forgotten, especially in times like these…


Time To Bust A Recap In This Place

January 2, 2008

I hope you all had a pleasant New Year’s celebration. Nothing big happened with me, just ended up hanging out with some old high school friends at the Phyrst, which usually turns into one giant, unofficial, State College High School reunion when PSU is on break.

Anywho, here’s some quick and belated thoughts on the Alamo Bowl:

  • Offensively, I was highly impressed with the O-line’s ability to create holes for our ball carriers, it allowed Rodney Kinlaw to rush for nearly 150 yards and also allowed both Evan Royster and Darryl Clark to scamper to the end zone. Speaking of Clark, I was glad to see him in on several possession at QB, even if it meant putting Anthony Morelli at wideout (which is almost like playing 10 on 11 at this point). It was a great way to throw off Texas A&M’s defense as they looked absolutely unprepared for such a scenario. Hopefully, Clark can actually showcase some passing ability next season or we may be in trouble yet again at the QB position…
  • Oh, and speaking of Morelli: Words cannot describe how glad I am that his campaign is over. Once again, I saw the same old crappy decision-making (i.e. Nearly throwing a pick-six while being chased out of the pocket instead of smartly throwing the ball away, staring down receivers caught in double coverage while another receiver is wide open) that time and again, had cost us in games that truly mattered. Even his lone TD pass of the game was ugly: Deon Butler had to make an improbable diving catch in the end zone to bail his ass out. Had the pass fallen incomplete, Texas A&M would have taken over on downs with a 14-0 lead and with all the momentum.
  • When it comes to the defense, I’ve got three words for ya: MO FREAKIN’ EVANS. 2 forced fumbles, both of which were recovered by us, including one which set up a critical game-tying TD early in the 2nd quarter. Sean Lee led all tacklers with 14, followed by 9 from Dan Connor in a solid “last hurrah” before he becomes a Top 15 NFL draft pick. As a team, the defense also held A&M below their average number of rushing yards per game, a


Mo Evans will eat your children…

  • The highlight of the game perhaps, was A&M’s 275-pound behemoth of a tailback, Jorvorskie Lane, crying on the sidelines after not being in the game on a critical 4th down situation at PSU’s 2 yard line midway through the 4th quarter when A&M failed to convert the first down after QB Stephen McGee slipped on an option play. He had the priceless look on his face of someone who just found out that he ate chili made with pieces of his dead parents

jorvorskie-lane-crying.jpg
HHV wanted to taste Jorvorskie Lane’s tears

  • I’m also not that thrilled about next season due to the fact that: A. Our QB’s lack of big-game experience, particularly when it comes to throwing the damn ball. Are they going to be able to help rally us from behind in the 4th quarter like Morelli failed to do a countless number of times? B. The schedule is going to be a doozy, particularly in October when we have to play 3 of our 4 games on the road (including a three-game stretch against Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio State, respectively), C. We still have the same core group of the most inept part of our coaching staff returning. Sadly, I’m thinking we go 8-4 again next year, and it’s going to take a lot for that prediction to change.


HHV’s Bowl Extravaganza! (Part II)

December 30, 2007

Alright, these next several bowl previews are going to come in bits, because I’m just feeling absolutely lazy at this point and don’t feel like doing a whole bunch of games in a row like I did in Part I.

I’ll have a little write-up on the Alamo Bowl as well, whenever I get to it.

Independence Bowl 12/30, 8 PM ET ESPN

Alabama (6-6) v. Colorado (6-6)

Reason To Watch:  To see if the $4 million dollar man Nick Saban can get the Tide above .500 to finish the season which was the exact reason he was paid $4 million dollars to begin with.  It’s hard to believe the Tide have lost four in a row since their 6-2 start, including a loss to lowly UL-Monroe and Mississippi St. (one of the reasons for Bama’s firing of Mike Shula).

Colorado is no slouch though, despite their record.  These guys managed to upset Oklahoma and Texas Tech earlier this season but also suffered some beatings of their own by the likes of Missouri, Kansas State, and Florida State.  A win against their arch-rivals Nebraska, in a basketball-on-grass-contest helped propel them into a bowl game.  Win or lose this bowl game, the Buffaloes’ season should be considered a surprisingly successful one, as second year coach Dan Hawkins was expected to suffer through another rough losing campaign.

Plus, you know you want to see Eric Cartman go over CU’s starting lineups again.

Bama 41, CU 38

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl 12/31, 12:30 ET ESPN

Air Force (9-3) v. Cal (6-6)

Reason To Watch:  To see if Cal, who at one time were ranked #2 in the country before losing 6 of their last 7 games, can complete the collapse and finish under .500.   It’s certainly possible, Air Force’s program has been kick-started by new coach Troy Calhoun, who ditched the long-standing triple option offense and installed his own schemes.  This is the Falcons’ first bowl appearance in five years and I wouldn’t look for them to be merely satisfied with just being in the postseason, look for their offense to shred up Cal’s stereotypical Pac-10 defense.

Air Force 38, Cal 28


HHV’s Bowl Extravaganza! (Part I)

December 20, 2007

 

With college bowl season about to kickoff tomorrow night, I figured I’d be super-creative(sarcasm) and slop together my own thoughts and predictions regarding this year’s 64 lucky teams (out of 120, which means more than half of the teams in college football are participating in the post-season, all hail mediocrity!) who made it to one of 32 bowl games. Part One includes all the games leading up to the Alamo Bowl. I’ll have the rest of the bowl games up eventually.

I also apologize if the spacing is all fucked up as WordPress apparently doesn’t do a very good job of translating stuff that I’ve pasted from Microsoft Word…

 

 

Poinsettia Bowl, 12/20, 9 PM ET ESPN

 

Utah (8-4) v. Navy (8-4)

Reason to Watch: Seeing one of the nation’s best rushing offenses in the country in Navy go up against the nation’s best scoring defenses in Utah. Something’s gotta give…

 

Navy 35, Utah 34

 

New Orleans Bowl 12/21, 8 PM ET ESPN2

Florida Atlantic (7-5) v. Memphis (7-5)

 

Reason to Watch: There is no valid reason to watch this game. Get drunk and watch one of your favorite Christmas specials instead. If you’re a Communist who doesn’t like X-mas specials, just watch something else. I’m sure TBS has something good on for its Friday night “Dinner and Movie” show. Oh wait, they’re showing “Diary Of A Mad Black Woman”, scratch that idea…Neither team has eye-popping statistics but I’m gonna go with Florida Atlantic because they’re coached by Howard Schenllenberger, the same guy who saved Miami’s football program from dropping out of Division I-A and led them to their first ever national title nearly 25 years ago. Plus, Schnellenberger smokes from a pipe, you don’t ever want to fuck with somebody who still does that.

 

Florida Atlantic 21, Memphis 20

Howard Schnellenberger: One of the few productive senior citizens in the state of Florida

 

 

 

 

Papajohns.com Bowl 12/22, 1 PM ET ESPN2

Southern Miss (7-5) v. #22 Cincinnati (9-3)

 

Reason to Watch: Cincy is one of those up-and-coming programs led by an up-and-coming coach in Brian Kelly. They run a spread offense that averages 37 ppg and was 2nd in scoring in the Big East. Southern Miss meanwhile, will be trying to send outgoing coach Jeff Bower out with a win.

 

Cincy 38, Southern Miss 21

 

New Mexico Bowl 12/22, 4:30 PM ET ESPN

Nevada (6-6) v. New Mexico (8-4)

Reason to Watch: Seeing a New Mexico team that had a bowl game specially created to reward them for their own mediocrity potentially get beat by a Nevada team struggling to finish above .500. This game is another perfect example of why the bowl season has become so diluted. If it were up to me, this would be one of several bowl games that would be contracted.

With that being said however, Nevada appears to have a dangerous offense ranked 8th in the nation thanks to freshman QB Colin Kaepernick, who despite taking over mid-season, has thrown for over 2000 yards and 19 TDs with only 3 picks, and tailback Luke Lippincott (1380 yards, 15 TDs, and a cool-sounding last name). New Mexico’s greatest asset is its ACL-less kicker, John Sullivan, who is 26-for-29 on the year in field goal attempts but they also feature a 1000+ yard rusher (Rodney Ferguson) and a 1000+ yard receiver (Marcus Smith). Did I forget to mention “home field advantage” for New Mexico in this one?

 

New Mexico 31, Nevada 28

 

 

 

Las Vegas Bowl 12/22, 8 PM ET ESPN

#17 BYU (10-2) v. UCLA (6-6)

 

Reason to Watch: If you’re a fan of grudge matches: These two teams met earlier this season with UCLA winning 27-17. Fast forward to today, UCLA’s head coaching position is vacant, though it appears Rick Neuheisel may be the front-runner at the moment (despite the fact Neuheisel was rumored to be at Penn State and taking classes there while playing the mouth bow in Graham Spanier’s band at the Phyrst on Saturday nights, all while waiting to succeed Galen Hall as offensive coordinator) and BYU is riding a 9-game winning streak led by QB Max Hall( 3617 yards passing for 24 TDs) who will have himself better acquainted with the nation at this game’s end.

 

BYU 24, UCLA 17

 

Hawaii Bowl 12/23, 8 PM ET ESPN

#24 Boise St. (10-2) v. East Carolina (7-5)

 

Reason to Watch: Because the game’s in beautiful, sunny, Hawaii…Oh, and it’s also a rare chance to see Boise State tailback Ian Johnson, who famously proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend right after scoring the winning 2 point conversion in OT last year in the Fiesta Bowl.

 

Boise 38, East Carolina 35

What kind of crazy post-game celebration will Ian Johnson come up with next?

 

Motor City Bowl 12/26, 7:30 PM ET ESPN

Purdue (7-5) v. Central Michigan (8-5)

 

Reason To Watch: Another grudge match game here: Purdue walloped Central Michigan 45-22 in the regular season but both teams are headed in opposite directions coming into this one with Purdue having lost three straight while CMU’s won four of its last five, winning the MAC conference thanks to improved play from dual-threat QB Dan LeFevour who has surpassed 3000 yards passing and 1000 yards rushing this season. As tempted as I might be to pick the upset here, I’m gonna have to go with Purdue. As bad as the Boilers have been lately, they would still go unbeaten in the MAC.

 

Purdue 45, Central Mich 42

 

Holiday Bowl 12/27, 8 PM ET ESPN

#11 Arizona St (10-2) v. #19 Texas (9-3)

 

Reason To Watch: This bowl game usually produces very fun high-scoring shootouts between the Pac-10 and Big 12 teams that get invited to this game. This year should be no different, Arizona State in its first year under coaching vagabond Dennis Erickson, features a high-flying passing attack led by Rudy Carpenter (3015 yards, 23 TDs). Considering the Longhorns’ struggles stopping the pass(275.5 yards given up per game), Carpenter has got to be licking his chops. For Texas, Jamaal Charles and his 1458 yards rushing will be the lifeblood of the offensive attack. QB Colt McCoy, despite throwing for over 3000 yards himself, has struggled mightily with his accuracy, throwing 18 INTs to accompany his 21 TDs.

 

Texas 35, ASU 31

 

Champs Sports Bowl 12/28, 5 PM ET ESPN

#14 Boston College (10-3) v. Michigan St. (7-5)

 

Reason To Watch: To see whether Sparty can feed off of its improbable comeback against PSU (which is the only reason they’re in a bowl game, by the way) and upset a BC team that not too long ago was thinking BCS Championship. Heisman-trophy candidate Matt Ryan (4258 yards, 28 TDs) leads BC’s offensive attack while Michigan St. will be led by its dynamic duo of a backfield in Jehuu Caulcrick and Javon Ringer, and its Brian Hoyer-to-Devin Thomas connection which ate up PSU’s secondary.

 

BC 28, MSU 21

Texas Bowl 12/28, 8 PM ET NFL Network

TCU (7-5) v. Houston (8-4)

 

Reason to Watch: If you’re one of the few people out there who gets the NFL Network, just so you can brag to your friends that you get the NFL Network and are watching this game just because you can.

 

Houston 42, TCU 38

Emerald Bowl 12/28, 8:30 PM ET ESPN

Maryland (6-6) v. Oregon St. (8-4)

Reason to Watch: If you’re a PSU fan like me, then this is a good chance to scout our opponent in Oregon State before we play them less than nine months from now. The Beavers’ tailback Yvenson Bernard’s 1000+ yards rushing seem to carry the offense because both of their QB’s have put up downright atrocious stats (more INTs than TDs). Maryland seems to be the same way, relying on Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball as their one-two ground attack. I’m going to give the advantage to Oregon St. though because it’s on the West Coast and the Terps have been a real “Me, Myself, and Irene” team this year

Oregon St. 24, Maryland 17

 

Meineke Car Bowl 12/29, 1 PM ET ESPN

#25 UConn (9-3) v. Wake Forest (8-4)

Reason To Watch: Another yawner of a contest here between two teams that are about as thrilling to watch as the Lord of the Rings trilogy (In case you couldn’t tell, I’m not a fan of LOTR). I’m gonna go with Wake since they’re a little more battle-tested in the ACC, and I hate the Big East and the constant over-hyping it gets.

Wake 24, UConn 17

 

Liberty Bowl 12/29, 4:30 PM ET, ESPN

Miss. State (7-5) v. UCF (10-3)

Reason to Watch: Sylvester Croom in his fourth year as head coach of a program still ridding itself of the NCAA violations courtesy of its previous coach Jackie Sherrill has finally managed to get Miss. State into its first bowl game since the Bulldogs’ memorable OT win in blizzard-like conditions in the 2000 Independence Bowl. UCF meanwhile, sports the nation’s leading rusher in Kevin Smith, who has rushed for nearly 2500 yards. Look for the highly underappreciated Smith, who recently announced he’s coming back for his senior season, to jumpstart his Heisman campaign for 2008.

UCF 21, MSU 14

Much like the actor/director, UCF’s Kevin Smith is highly talented but not getting nearly as much deserved attention

Alamo Bowl 12/29, 8 PM ET ESPN

Texas A&M (7-5) v. Penn St. (8-4)

Reason To Watch: A chance to see an epic battle between two teams that are both talented, but under-coached (at least at A&M however, coaches are held accountable for their performances). It’s also the most maligned QB in PSU history, Anthony Morelli’s swan song. Will Morelli go out with a bang (and by “bang”, I mean no WTF mistakes)? Will “Rodan Kinster” (That’s Rodney Kinlaw and Evan Royster’s names combined, for you newcomers) put up one last dyn-o-mite performance on the ground? (the “Rod” and “Kin” have used up their eligibility). What about that struggling, non-existent PSU secondary that single-handedly blew a 17-point lead against Michigan State? Will they get their act together for this one? Could this be Justin King’s final game in a PSU uniform? A&M meanwhile, features a solid running game led by its QB Stephen McGee, 265-pound behemoth Jorvorskie Lane, and a little speedster named Mike Goodson. It’ll be interesting to see how Dan Connor and the linebacking corps handles these guys. Not to mention the fact, I expect a nail-biter of a contest here…

PSU 27, A&M 24

Will Anthony Morelli make it an Alamo to remember?