Archive for November, 2010

New BCS Projections: SEC, Big Ten get two teams in

 

It’s Tuesday, we’re tired of talking about Cam Newton,  and the new BCS  standings are out. So let’s update our projections.

BCS Championship:  No. 1 Oregon vs. No. 2 Auburn.

Update: Just about every team that plays for the BCS national championship dodges at least one bullet along the way. For Oregon that was last Saturday night against California. Cal missed a 29-yard field goal that would have given the Bears the lead. Auburn (11-0) still has to win at Alabama and has to beat South Carolina for the second time this season when they meet in the SEC championship game on Dec. 4.

Rose: Wisconsin vs. Boise State.

Update: If Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Michigan State all finish at 11-1 the tiebreaker will go to the highest ranked team in the BCS Standings. That will be Wisconsin after the Badgers hung 83 on Indiana last Saturday. Boise State (9-0) still has three games left (Fresno State, Nevada, Utah State) but if the Broncos win out I beleive they will jump over TCU (which …

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It’s going to be a long 11 days until the Iron Bowl

It’s Monday. There are three more Saturdays left in the regular season. So what have we learned?

1. It’s going to be a long 11 days until the Iron Bowl. After one of the more bizarre weeks I have seen, Cameron Newton played and played very well in beating Georgia 49-31 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The kid is just a great football player and, in a perfect world, would be a lock for the Heisman Trophy.  Newton is the best player in college football and right now it really isn’t close. Newton remained eligible to play on Saturday and he should. Right now there is no concrete evidence to sit him. But between now and the Auburn-Alabama game on Nov. 26 a lot can happen. The FBI is going to be talking to some of the principals in this case. Reporters are going to be asking questions. There will be digging. And leaking. This story moves so fast. I predict Newton will play against Alabama because Auburn, absent any hard evidence, really has to be all in on the kid. Stay tuned.

2. Auburn …

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Cameron Newton story reaching critical mass

It was my hope this morning to take a break from the ongoing, sordid saga that as become the Cameron Newton story and write about what is going to be another great football weekend:

We have the No. 2 team in the nation (Auburn) trying to stay alive in the race for the national championship against a traditional rival (Georgia) which needs a signature win to save its season.

We have the drama of a winner take all game at Florida where Steve Spurrier, the former Gator coach, has a chance to take South Carolina to its first-ever SEC championship game.

But the Cameron Newton story has sucked all of the oxygen out of this college football season. It’s sad. But you can’t ignore it even if you want to.

So for the second straight week we will not do our Fearless Friday Forecast.  Here, based on a very long Thursday, is where I believe we are on the Cameron Newton Story:

We are quickly reaching critical mass. Two big events happened yesterday that make me feel this way.

 Remember that …

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Mississippi State did what it was supposed to do

 I’m not sure why, but a big deal was made yesterday when Mississippi State released a statement saying that it contacted the SEC office in January 2010 with information it had about the recruiting of Cameron Newton. Some thoughts here:

No. 1: Mississippi State was following the rules established by the Southeastern Conference. Any member school with information that NCAA rules may have been broken–by its institution or another institution–has the obligation to turn that information over to the conference office. Failure to do so is in itself a violation of SEC rules. So if it had sat on the information and not turned it in, Mississippi State would have had a problem.

No. 2: When Mississippi State first contacted the SEC the information was very general and lacked specifics. My understanding is that the initial contact between Mississippi State and the SEC on this matter was a very informal one. It was along the lines of “Hey, this happened and we thought you should know about …

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It may be time for Slive put his foot down again

In the South, we call it a ”Come to Jesus” meeting. That’s when the man (or woman) in charge of an organization calls everybody into a room and lays down the law. Any deviation from this path, the boss says, will result in serious consequences. You fail to heed this warning at your own peril, the boss emphasizes. Now go back out there and behave.

In May of 2009 SEC Commissioner Mike Slive had a “Come to Jesus” meeting with his coaches at the annual Spring Meetings in Destin. The Commish had had enough back biting between Florida coach Urban Meyer and the Boy Wonder at Tennessee, Lane Kiffin. Even Steve Spurrier had thrown in a little jab when asked.

Slive got all of the coaches into a room at the Sandestin Hilton and, in a lawyerly fashion (he is a former district court judge), read them the riot act. Any more of this public food fight and somebody, he warned, was going to get taken to the woodshed.

In the wake of the storm now engulfing the SEC concerning Auburn quarterback …

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Our first BCS Projections. What are yours?

We are less than a month from Selection Sunday so it is not too early to make our BCS Projections. These projections are based on the major players involved winning out . W e know that won’t happen but  if it does, I want to give you an idea of how the process is going to work.

 
BCS championship: Oregon vs. Auburn. Oregon still has to win on the road at California and on the road at Oregon State. Auburn has two tough SEC games with Georgia at home and Alabama on the road. If this is the matchup, don’t think we’ll have a lot of complaints except from the precincts in Fort Worth and Boise who may go undefeated and not get a shot. This would be a good year for a four-team playoff, don’t you think?

 

Here are the rest of the projected  BCS Bowls:

Rose: Wisconsin vs. TCU

Sugar: LSU vs. Boise State

Orange: Virginia Tech vs. Ohio State

Fiesta: Nebraska vs. Pittsburgh

Here is how we get there.
 
The two bowls who lose their designated champions to the BCS title game get the first two …

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It’s going to be a big week for the Head Ball Coach

The late Jim Valvano used to tell us that the NCAA Basketball Tournament was really about two things: “Suvive and Advance.” In basketball, it’s March. In football, it’s November.  You win, you move closer to a championship. You lose, you are pretty much done. So what did we learn in the first week of November?

1. This is going to be a pretty big week for the Head Ball Coach: Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina football team was pretty lousy in getting beat 41-20 by Arkansas Saturday night. The Gamecocks looked disinterested against an Arkansas team that has two losses (Alabama, Auburn) to teams that were ranked No. 1 at the time of the games. But South Carolina and Spurrier have a chance to go where no other Gamecock team has gone before if they can find a way to beat Florida in the Swamp on Saturday. The winner advances to the SEC championship game on Dec. 4 where they will probably play Auburn (Auburn needs to win one of its last two games with Georgia or Alabama to get to …

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Will mere allegations cost Newton the Heisman Trophy?

We’re not going to spend any time on the Fearless Friday Forecast because the news events are so much more important. But here is my question to you this morning: Will the accusations, whether they are true or not, that someone solicited money on behalf of Cameron Newton cost the Auburn quarterback his shot at the Heisman Trophy?

It was a blockbuster story reported by ESPN.com on Thursday. When you strip away all the clutter, here are the basics:  Somebody who said they represented Newton and his family was, according to the story, shopping the junior college quarterback around and looking for the highest bidder. Newton’s father, Cecil, denied that anybody represented his family in any such discussion. An investigation is underway.

Obviously, two things have to happen. First, the NCAA and/or SEC must prove that such conversations took place. Then the dots must be connected between those conversations and the Newton family. That takes time.

Now a very dark cloud has been put …

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Can Georgia Tech even slow down Tyrod Taylor?

Five burning questions as we head into the weekend:

1. Can Georgia Tech even slow down Tyrod Taylor? Cameron Newton is the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy, but if you’re looking for someone to challenge the Auburn quarterback for the prize, look no further than Virginia Tech’s Tyrod Taylor. This guy is having an incredible season. He is second in the ACC in total offense behind N.C. State’s Russell Wilson (2,129 yards) but he leads the conference by averaging 8.48 yards per play. He is the most efficient passer in the ACC (and No. 4 nationally) with 15 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. He is responsible for 112 points, second only to Wilson. This is the guy Georgia Tech has to at least contain tonight in order to have a shot in Blacksburg.

2. How many running plays will be called for Cameron Newton on Saturday? No. 2 Auburn (9-0) faces Chattanooga at home where the No. 1 goal has to be fine tuning and getting ready for next week’s visit by Georgia. All I …

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Grantham should be suspended and fined–now

The University of Georgia, led by President Michael Adams, should run the school’s football program the way it sees best. Dr. Adams delegates that task to his athletics director, Greg McGarity, and his head football coach, Mark Richt.

But if I’m in charge at Georgia, three things would happen today:

 **–Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will be informed that he’ll be watching Saturday’s game with Idaho State from somewhere other than Sanford Stadium.

**–His wallet will also be considerably lighter because I’m taking a sizable chunk of his $750,000 salary.

**–He would know, in no uncertain terms, that if he ever repeated the behavior in question again and it could be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, he would be fired on the spot.

It took a couple of days to sort out but the facts are no longer in dispute. Grantham, Georgia’s first-year defensive coordinator, did something in the Georgia-Florida game that is so far over the line that it can’t even be debated. He gave a …

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