Tag Archives: Orange Bowl

College Football Week 1: The fun has begun

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Joe Southwick (pictured above) will be the Boise State starting quarterback tomorrow night as the post-Kellen Moore era begins.

By Josh Kramer

Lights.  Camera. Action.  After a 234 day hiatus, the 2012 college football season kicks off tonight.  We are coming to the end of the BCS era as the first college football playoff creeps closer. Week 1 generates a major buzz every year, despite featuring very few “buzz-worthy” matchups.

Here are the marquee matchups:

Boise State at Michigan State: Spartans by 7

Headline:  The post-Kellen Moore era begins poorly with a Spartan smackdown.

The date was December 23, 2007.  Taylor Tharp was the quarterback for Boise State as they took on East Carolina in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.  Current Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson was the star player for the Pirates, leading them to a 41 to 38 upset victory over Boise State.  This night in Hawaii over four years ago happens to be the last game that Kellen Moore was not under center for the Boise State Broncos.  Tomorrow night, the Joe Southwick era officially takes flight,  as Southwick takes over the quarterback reigns for the great Kellen Moore. Continue reading

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South Bend Jinx?

Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com. If recent history in South Bend is any indication, Brian Kelly (pictured above) may get red in the face early and often this year.

By Josh Kramer

When people think of College Football, Notre Dame instantly comes to mind.  Despite not winning a national title since 1988, Notre Dame is still one of the blue bloods of College Football.  Every one of their games are nationally televised by NBC putting them in the public spotlight each and every Saturday.

The Fighting Irish are set to enter the third year of the Brian Kelly era.  Kelly was supposed to be the man to bring Notre Dame football back to the glory days.  He was the guy that was supposed to bring number 12 to South Bend (National Championship).  Luckily for the Irish faithful, Kelly has a history of getting the job done in year number three.  At Grand Valley State he went a very respectable 6-2-2.  Then at Central Michigan, he took home a MAC Championship.  And finally at Cincinnati, he led the Bearcats to their first Big East Football Championship and an appearance in the Orange Bowl.  With a past like that, it is safe to say that Brian Kelly knows a little something about winning.  Many have proclaimed the guy a miracle worker.   I like to think of him as one of the best offensive minds in football. But it appears recent history will be against the Fighting Irish Head Coach as he prepares his troops for the annual Blue-Gold Game on Saturday.  Could their be a year three jinx in South Bend?  The three Fighting Irish coaches that preceded Brian Kelly may have something to say in regards to the potential South Bend curse in year number three. Continue reading

Week 8 NFL Power Rankings

Photo courtesy of somuchsports.com. There are currently three winless teams left in the NFL. Which will come out on top in the "Andrew Luck Sweepstakes?"

By Wesley Kaminsky

Last season, the most prized draft pick heading into the 2011 NFL Draft was Stanford quarterback, Andrew Luck. After an outstanding 2010 season in which he led the Cardinal to an Orange Bowl title, Luck was guaranteed to be the number one pick. The only problem with that though was that he stayed in school, determined to win a National Championship. Now, a season later, things haven’t changed, and Luck is still the hands down number one pick, and a good bet to win the Heisman Trophy. He’s got Stanford ranked #6 in the BCS at 7-0, and wants a shot at the National Championship.

Do you think his focus is on the NFL right now? Luck has already come out and said he doesn’t want to go to a team that’s going to lose on purpose just to get him, and you better believe him when he says that. After all, Luck still has another year of eligibility, and wouldn’t it ruin the dreams of the Dolphins, Colts, or whomever landed the number one pick in the draft if he decided to stay in school?

Out of every week so far this season, Week 7 was the most clear in showing which teams need Luck the most. The Dolphins saw a 15-0 lead disappear with three minutes left, while the Colts got embarrassed 62-7 in New Orleans on Sunday Night Football. Both teams are winless, and both teams are desperate. The only difference with the Colts is that they still have Peyton Manning.  Would the Colts look into trading #18 if they were able to draft Luck? Even Tony Dungy, the Colts former head coach suggested this as a possibility. Continue reading

College Football Week 8: Should be great

Photo courtesy of blog.seattlepi.com. Can Matt Barkley (pictured above) help USC avenge last year's tough loss to Notre Dame?

By Josh Kramer

We have entered the second half of regular season play.  It is no secret who the contenders are.  In addition, the Heisman frontrunners have moved up the totum pole at a blistering pace.  Clemson continues to roll in the ACC.  Stanford seems to be in great shape behind their star quarterback Andrew Luck.  Wisconsin continues to score at a blistering pace with Russell Wilson running the show.  And the SEC seems like it is going to come down to a date in Tuscaloosa November 5th.  Lots to look forward to.  But lets take a look at Week 8.

Here are the marquee matchups.

Auburn at LSU:  Tigers by 17

Headline:  LSU wins the battle of the Tigers as they continue to prep for the November 5th duel in Tuscaloosa. Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

The Under Armour Senior Bowl is set for Saturday. Derrick Locke (pictured above) is one of many players looking to wow the NFL scouts before the combine.

After the weekend “that was,” we are now heading full steam into another amazing week in the wide world of sports that “will be.”  Saturday was arguably the best day of College Basketball we have had since last March and Sunday was just an outstanding day of NFL Football.

So whats in store for this week?  Here is a closer look. Continue reading

“Food for Thought 1-5-2011”

Marvin Lewis (pictured above) will remain the Head Coach of the Cincinnati Bengals after a woeful 4 and 12 season that began with very high hopes in Cincinnati. Was this a good decision to bring Lewis back?

I apologize for my recent hiatus from the blogging world.  Over the past week and a half I had the pleasure of serving on the Orange Bowl Junior Host Committee.  In this position, I had the opportunity to stay with the Stanford Football Team at the luxurious Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami and enjoy a week full of festivities and hard work with the team, their families, the coaches, and illustrious alumni.  It was truly a phenomenal experience and something that I will not soon forget.

Boy has the sporting world been busy over these past couple of days though.  Here are my thoughts on some of the major headlines taking the sporting world by storm.

It was fun while it lasted Rich..

-Okay that is a false statement.  It was not fun while it lasted.  Rich Rodriguez had one of the most tumultuous and lackluster tenures ever in the history of the storied program out of Ann Arbor.  Coach Rodriguez, after a highly successful stay in Morgantown brought his talents to Michigan 3 years ago.  Boy did things go downhill from there.  Rich went a combined 15 and 22 during his time on the Wolverine sidelines, sporting a record of 6 and 18 in Big Ten play.  The most eye-popping statistic of all is that he went just 11 and 11 at home, in the “Big House.”  How is this possible to go just 500 playing in a stadium that seats over 112,000 people?  In my eyes, there is no excuse to go just 500 leading arguably College Football’s most storied program in front of over 112,000 screaming fans on Saturdays.  So who will be the next man to take over this once coveted position?  Could it be Jim Harbaugh?  Could it be Les Miles?  Who knows.  All I do know is that whomver the next coach is better win more games than they lose at the Big House.  Or they will be leaving the House in a hurry.

Buckeye Troublemakers escape in NOLA

-Generally Bourbon Street is not the best place to go when you have a team that is full of guys that have broken the rules and have an uneasy future.  Surprisingly though, for Ohio State, Bourbon Street provided just the medicine that their “Bad Boys” were looking for.  All 5 of the “troublemakers” contributed significantly to Ohio State’s first ever win versus an SEC opponent in a Bowl Game.  Now I know many of you out there are thinking that none of the 5 guys who broke the rules should have been suited up for this one.  And I fully agree with you.  But I will state that the 5 game suspension for next year is unreasonable and should most definitely be reduced.  I understand that these guys broke the rules, but I feel that what they did in no way garners a 5 game suspension.  Believe me, Arkansas was happy that the 5 Ohio State stars were not suspended for this Sugar Bowl duel.  They wanted to take on a Ohio State team at full strength. Mallett and the Razorbacks nearly pulled off an improbable comeback too.  The main storyline from this game in my eyes other than the Buckeyes saving face for the Big Ten, in what has been a horrific Bowl Season, should be Jim Tressel’s conservativeness.  The man with the sweater vest is the most conservative coach I have ever watched.  And I understand that he is a football genius and has won a lot of ballgames while on the sidelines in Buckeye Nation.  But his lack of imagination and “play not to lose” mentality is sickening.  I in a way wish Arkansas would have completed the comeback in this game.  It would have demonstrated how ridiculous Tressel’s boring and risk free play truly is.  The first step in loosening up Coach Tressel could be altering his wardrobe.  It would be a start.

Wild Wild West?

-Mark Cuban is making headlines again.  This time though, it is not for jawing at the refs or working to bring a playoff system to College Football.  On this occasion, it pertains to a war of words with current Los Angeles Laker’s Head Coach Phil Jackson.  The Dallas Mavericks just took a heavy blow to their roster in losing Caron Butler for an extended period of time due to a knee injury.  Butler is the Maverick’s third leading scoring at 15 points a game, and a real spark plug for Dallas on both ends of the floor.  Phil Jackson when asked about the subject said that the loss of Butler could be a devastating loss for the Mavericks.  Cuban responded calling Jackson Jeanie Buss’ “Boy Toy.”  Who doesn’t love a war of words between two of the biggest names that are not players the League has to offer?  So it is a bit childish.  Either way it makes for some entertainment.  Could this lead to a heated rivalry between Dallas and LA?  We will have to wait and see.  In the meantime, Jackson has work to do with his LA squad.  Though they are in first place sitting at 24 and 11, they recently suffered a 3 game losing streak at the end of December, and then began the new year with an embarrassing loss to Memphis.  I smell playoff drama come April/May.

Why Marvin?

-The Bengals decided to rehire their head coach of the past 8 years, Marvin Lewis.  I will state that I feel this is a poor decision not only for the Bengals, but for Coach Lewis as well.  This team has never developed a consistency level or gotten over the hump.  0 playoff wins in 8 years means no job in my eyes.  Now sure, Marvin has taken the woeful Who Deys to 2 AFC North Titles in 8 years, which is highly impressive for a franchise that had not participated in postseason ball in 15 years.  But the NFL is a what have you done for me lately League.  And what he has done lately has not been impressive.  A 4 and 12 mark with a team that featured the talent and depth that Cincy had this year is unacceptable.  I also realize that not all the blame should be pinned on Coach Lewis.  But in the NFL, regardless of if it is the Coach’s fault or not, they are normally the first guy to exit when a team is not winning.  When I look at things from Marvin’s perspective.  I do not understand why he would return.  Maybe he saw no other jobs out there that were of interest to him (though there are plenty of jobs on the market)?  Mike Brown will never let him have the control that he, and any other coach in the NFL desires.  Until Mike Brown goes, no Coach will ever see sustained success in Cincinnati.  So I guess as a Bengal’s fan, whether Marvin is on the sideline or not does not make a major difference.

There are my thoughts on some of the major topics going on in the sporting world today.  I am also game to talk about Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven being voted into the Hall of Fame and the Jim Harbaugh sweepstakes.  Shoot me an email with your thoughts and questions at contact@thesportskraze.com or post a comment below.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Week 14: This is It”

Can South Carolina Head Football Coach Steve Spurrier (pictured above) shock the world and bring South Carolina their first ever SEC Football Championship?

Outside of the Army vs Navy game, this is it.  It is the final countdown.  After this weekend, we will know who will be playing for the National Championship.  We will know which teams are going to which bowl games.  All of the sudden the insanity that is College Football will start to make sense.  Or at least a little bit.

It is a weekend where dreams will be realized, and dreams will be crushed.  Its Championship Week baby, and you got to love it.

Here is a look at this week’s marquee matchups:

Oregon vs Oregon State:  The Ducks are looking to quack their way into the National Championship.  Sadly for them, they still have one last major hurdle to conquer.  They get the pleasure of heading to their in-state rival’s home in Corvallis, with everything to lose.  Oregon State is in the midst of their worst season in some time, but you better believe that Jacquizz wants to bring his older brother James a win in his final home game.  If James Rodgers was healthy and well, I would give the Beavers a chance.  Oregon just has too much offensive firepower though to lose to their rival.  Count on Oregon to stamp a ticket to the National Championship game with a 10 point victory on the road.

Auburn vs South Carolina:  In the wild SEC, it all comes down to this duel in Atlanta.  A rematch of one of the great games of the season.  The game that really vaulted Heisman favorite Cam Newton into the spotlight.  Even if I do not feel that Cam Newton should be eligible for this game, it is a mute subject because he is.  And you better believe Auburn is riding high coming off of their amazing comeback in the Iron Bowl, where they shocked Nick Saban and

Alabama.  What happens after every high though?  A low.  I think Auburn is a great team, but I have a hunch that Marcus Lattimore is going to dominate this game and South Carolina is going to play smart, turnover free football.  Call me crazy, but I am going out on a limb.  I see Auburn digging themselves an early whole as usual, and this time, coming up just short in pulling themselves out.  Look for Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks to be celebrating the biggest win in school history and their first ever SEC Football Championship.  I got the Gamecocks in a 1 point shocker at home.

Florida State vs Virginia Tech:  The ACC Title Game pits two teams with a lot on the line.  The winner of this game heads to the Orange Bowl.  The loser heads to a much less impressive bowl game.  These two programs each boast a very rich tradition.  Neither of these teams have played the most scintillating of schedules though.  FSU is 1 and 1 against ranked foes, and was embarrassed in their trip to Norman, Oklahoma.  VTech is 2 and 1 due to a heartbreaking loss to Boise State in the opener.  I just feel that the Hokies stellar offensive attack, led by Tyrod Taylor, Darren Evans, Ryan Williams, and Jarret Boykin will be too much for the Seminoles.  Both of these teams have very solid defensive units.  But the difference comes in the Hokies ability to rush the ball effectively against any and all opponents.  I got VTech by 6.

Oklahoma vs Nebraska:  Nebraska is playing in its final Big 12 game.  And you better believe that they would like to go out with a bang.  The Cornhuskers have not won a Big 12 title since 1999.   The program resurgence over the past couple of years has been awesome, but Oklahoma is not as impressed by the heartfelt climb back to the top for Nebraska.  Oklahoma is 6 and 1 all time in the Conference Title Game.  The Sooners electric offensive unit has only been held under 30 points twice this year.  On both of these occasions though, they scored at least 27 points.  These teams each have solid defensive units.  Offensively though, they are very different.  The Cornhuskers rely on a lethal rushing attack while the Sooners love to air it out to big targets like Ryan Broyles and Freshman phenom, Kenny Stills.  Normally in big games like this, the team that can run the ball most effectively is the favorite.  For some reason though, I see Landry Jones having a field day and Nebraska’s offense struggling due to an unhealthy Taylor Martinez.   Oklahoma does the rest of the Big 12 a favor and knocks off the Cornhuskers by 3.

So yes, I am calling a shocker in the SEC Title Game.  Would this mean that Oregon would play TCU in the National Championship if all played out as I am predicting here?  You better believe it.

Now I realize that the  majority of the country wants to see Oregon vs Auburn come January 10th.  And I cannot say that I am not in that majority.  Every year shockers happen during the last week.  I see a major surprise happening in Atlanta. 

I hope you all have enjoyed this College Football season thus far.  I know that I have.  This is it.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze