Tag Archives: Pac 10

“College Football Week 7: Still Loving It”

 

One of the major surprises this year has been Auburn, led by dual threat quarterback Cameron Newton (pictured above). Can he keep Auburn's SEC title hopes alive this weekend against a tough Arkansas squad?

College Football has entered Week 7.  It feels like just yesterday that the season was just starting.  Well now some of the contenders have been separating from the pretenders.  Alabama will not go undefeated.  There is a real possibility of an undefeated team coming out of the Big Ten, the Pac 10, and the Big 12.  Not to mention a real possibility of Boise State running the table and qualifying for the BCS Title Game.  This could be a year that really demonstrates all of the true flaws of the BCS System and could ultimately lead to the horrible system’s demise.

So when looking at this weeks’ matchups initially, not too many games really stand out.  There are not many hotly anticipated matchups of highly ranked teams.  But this is College Football.  And there are always great games and boat load of surprises.

Here is my look into some of the major matchups.

Texas at Nebraska:  So this game has lost some of the flare and mystique that many envisioned it having.  These are two teams heading in very different directions.  The Longhorns got this past week off after losing two consecutive games.  When can you remember a Mack Brown team losing two straight games?  Texas has sported a mediocre offense and a mediocre defense.  They have struggled running the ball and really are missing main stays off of last year’s National Runner up, like Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley.  Nebraska on the other hand.  There is only one word to describe this team.  WOW.  Everyone expected this team to have a solid defense.  Not sure with the departure of Ndamukong Suh they were expecting the defense to be scary.  This team defends better than any team I have seen in the country.  I do not care if they rank 4th in points given up.  Watch them and let me know what you think.  The real question mark on this team was would there be enough offense?  Well Freshman QB Taylor Martinez has been absolutely outstanding and looked like the new Eric Crouch (former Nebraska Heisman winner).  The kid has been extremely efficient passing the ball.  But he has been even better with his legs.  His amazing leadership as a freshman has helped Nebraska become the 2nd best rushing team in the entire country.  Sorry Texas.  Normally, coming off two losses I would pick a big time win.  But on the road against a team with a defense as scary as the one Bo Pelini has at Nebraska?  I got the Cornhuskers by 10 at home.

Arkansas at Auburn:  This is another one of those amazing and highly anticipated SEC Brawls.  The SEC is the best conference in the country for a reason.  And due to it’s amazing depth there will be outstanding matchups each and every week.  Normally multiple great games.  So in this one, we have a surprise undefeated taking on a team with perhaps the most highly hyped player in the country.  Can Ryan Mallett pick up his first signature victory and prove his critics wrong?  Well Arkansas has had an electric passing attack.  The problem has been converting in the Red Zone and running the ball effectively.  In the SEC it is impossible to be one-dimensional and win consistently.  Too much depth on all of these squads.  Auburn on the other hand has been a team that has lived on a very strong rushing attack led by dual threat QB Cameron Newton.  This Junior has been absolutely sensational in every sense of the word.  So all logic would point towards Auburn protecting their home turf in this one.  But I am going to go with my gut.  Ryan Mallett will finally bust out with the signature performance of his Razorback career thus far and clinch a major road victory for Arkansas.  Though Auburn is very good.  They have flown by the seat of their pants in 4 games this year.  Unfortunately in the SEC, there will always be a team waiting to convert in a close game the next week.  That team is Arkansas.  I got the Razorbacks by 3 in a major road upset.

Ohio State at Wisconsin:  Though Wisconsin has lost a conference game already, do not count this team out in making a run at the Conference Championship.  That quest starts Saturday in an old-fashioned  Big Ten Heavyweight battle in Madison.  Ohio State is the cream of the crop in the Big Ten, and possibly in the entire country.  They have won 5 straight conference titles and are looking to make it 6.  Wisconsin has a very dangerous rushing attack led by junior John Clay.  Ohio State has its usual outstanding defense.  Can Wisconsin control the tempo of the game through their devastating rushing attack?  I would have to say no.  Ohio State’s defense is too athletic and too deep.  Not to mention the offense continues to improve each week behind the steady growth of Heisman hopeful, Terrell Pryor.  I got the Buckeyes surviving a tough road contest by 7.

So there you have it.  Though there are not a ton of games pitting two ranked foes, there are some very quality games.  Games in the SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 will provide major indications towards this year’s conference champions and the at-large BCS bids.  It should be a fun weekend.  Hopefully my picks will be more on point this week in that I have struggled the past couple.  But I still love the unpredictability of the College Game.  It keeps all of us on our toes every week.  Make sure to tune in for the games.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Week 5: A Midseason Championship Week?”

Florida Freshman, Trey Burton (pictured above on the right) is bringing back memories of Gator legend, Tim Tebow (pictured above on the left). Could this stellar freshman be the difference maker against Alabama on Saturday?

Folks, major conference play is getting under way or right around the corner for most.  Now we are hitting October football.  This is where the games really heat up, even though the weather is beginning to cool down.  Injuries are taking its toll on teams, but the best teams will continue to find ways to win.

I will state this right now.  Week 5 will be live.

Texas vs Oklahoma:  The Red River Rivalry is one of the best games College Football has to offer year in and year out.  And let’s be honest, it is in essence, a midseason Big 12 Championship game (normally).  Though Nebraska has looked just as good or better than both of these formidable squads, this game will go a long way in determining who wins the mighty Big 12 in its last year as the normal Big 12.  Texas is coming off of a horrible home loss to a decent UCLA game.  This loss really shocked the country and showed Texas to have some big time holes this year.  I will admit though, Mack Brown demonstrating great sportsmanship and gave UCLA all the credit in the world, putting the blame on him and his team’s shoulders.  Got to respect that.  Oklahoma barely escaped in a game that they should have lost to Cincinnati, the best 1 and 3 team in the country.  Oklahoma has grinded out close games in 3 of their 4 victories this year.  This team is extremely talented and athletic, though they are lacking much to be desired in the discipline department.   I know the age-old rule is that actual talent can get thrown out the window when it comes to big time rivalry games, but this year, the talent will be the difference.  Oklahoma is head and shoulders better than Texas and will win this game by at least 14 points.  Oklahoma, in their only other game against a big time ranked opponent (FSU), looked like a juggernaut and ran the overmatched Seminoles off the field.  Expect more of the same on Saturday as the combination of Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles continues to shred opposing defenses.

Wisconsin vs Michigan State:  Welcome to a big time brawl in the Big Ten folks.  These two old rivals do not have the greatest of relationships.  Though it is heartwarming to hear that Coach Dantonio will still be able to play a role in the game from the booth for the mighty Spartans.  Michigan State has looked tough this year, though they could have easily been defeated by Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish.  Wisconsin, though they struggled vs Arizona State 2 weeks ago, put up a stunning 70 points last weekend.  This offense is lethal.  The defense is solid, and I think the vaunting Badger rushing attack will prove to be too much for the Spartans on this day.  Michigan State is close to breaking into the elite ranks of College Football, but Greg Jones and the defense will struggle stopping John Clay all day on the way to a tough loss.  I got the Badgers by 3 on the road in this one.

Florida at Alabama:  This is probably the best game of the entire weekend, and maybe even the entire year.  The two best coaches with the two best teams the SEC has to offer battling it out in front of a National Audience.  This game represents what College Football is all about.  Saban vs Meyer.  Talk about an amazing matchup of elite coaches.  Many feel that the Tide will “Roll” against the Gators as they did last year in this one.  And I say not so fast.  The Gators looked to be gaining back their offensive swagger last week against Kentucky and will surprise the Tide with their stellar freshman Trey Burton.  The kid reminded me of a young Tim Tebow last week, accounting for 6 TDs.  There is a reason why no team has ever repeated as BCS National Champions in the BCS era.  There are just too many good teams in College Football, especially in the SEC.  Look for the Gators to pull the unthinkable upset, shocking Nick Saban, Mark Ingram, and the Crimson Tide.  I got Florida shocking the country, with a  3 point victory.

Stanford at Oregon:  In essence, this is the makeshift Pac 10 Championship.  Two very good teams battling it out on National Television.  Sound familiar to what we have going on in both the Big 12 and the SEC?  Against a fairly difficult schedule so far, the Cardinal has looked outstanding both offensively and defensively ranking among the nation’s elite.  This team can flat-out play, and really stepped onto the National scene with an old-fashioned butt whipping of Notre Dame last week.  Oregon on the other hand, may be the only team in the country that has ranked even better than Stanford both offensively and defensively.  This team has looked nearly invincible, other than during a minor lull against ASU last week.  So conventional wisdom would say to pick the home team.  And that is what I am going to do.  These are both great teams.  But I feel the speed and athleticism of the Ducks, mixed in with the home crowd will give them the edge.  Look for the Ducks to upend the Cardinal by 3 in a great football game.  LaMichael James may find his way onto the short list for the Heisman Trophy after this one.

So there you have it folks.  Week 5 has arguably the most exciting slate of games we will get all year.  In essence, there is a makeshift Big 12 Championship game, SEC Championship Game, and Pac 10 Championship Game.  I am not sure if you can ask for more excitement.  And the amazing thing, there are other great matchups that I had to leave off of this post.

Week 5 appears to be a “Midseason Championship Week” for half of the major BCS Bowl Conferences.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Week 3: Dud Saturday”

Ricky Stanzi (pictured above), looks to lead Iowa to a big road victory over 24th ranked Arizona on Saturday, in a weekend full of lackluster matchups.

 After last week’s “Monster Saturday”, College Football has managed to put together a “Dud Saturday.”  I mean in all honesty, when looking at this coming weekend versus last, not sure exactly what happened, but it wasn’t good (for entertainment value that is).  People like to see ranked teams go head to head.  Preferably highly ranked ones at that.  It is human nature for fans to want to see good teams go to battle.  Well this weekend, there is only one match up between two ranked teams.  And one of them is ranked 24th (Arizona). 

So here is my inside look at a few of the main matchups in what I am proclaiming “Dud Saturday.” 

Arkansas at Georgia:  Ryan Mallett and the Razorbacks bring the offensive juggernaut that is Arkansas into Georgia for an SEC rumble.  Now Georgia did not look great in a loss to South Carolina last week, as freshman phenom Marcus Lattimore ran all over them.  And the Bulldogs will still be without star receiver AJ Green.  Georgia’s highly touted freshman quarterback, Aaron Murray, has shown glimpses of greatness in his first two games.  And definitely looks game to live up to the hype that has surrounded him since his early high school days.  But sadly for Mark Richt, he may be in deep trouble if this game turns into a track meet.  Ryan Mallett is arguably the best quarterback in the country, with great weapons and a plethora of experience at his disposal.  Could we be seeing the year of the Razorback in the SEC?  I got Arkansas winning this SEC duel by 10.  

Georgia Tech at North Carolina:  Two of the ACC’s best go to battle.  Or at least these are two of the ACC’s most hyped teams.  After the weekend of death for ACC football (last weekend), two of the League’s titans go to battle in what should be a great game.  Georgia Tech still boasts the old school triple option threat and is one of the few well-known teams in the country to really have no passing attack.  Their quarterback, senior Josh Nesbitt, has been a three starter, and knows the offensive scheme inside and out.  Sadly for GTech, Nesbitt has not only been their quarterback and leader offensively, he has become their whole offense.  This could be a major problem when facing the swarming type defense of a Butch Davis led Tar Heels team.  The Tar Hells almost pulled off the unthinkable upset against a pro LSU crowd in a primetime matchup in Atlanta.  Not to mention they had over 12 players suspended.  After 2 weeks rest and a little chance for the program to clear its head a little, look for the Tar Heels to come out and take care of business at home over the Yellow Jackets.  Hard to believe that GTech could come out and lose 2 of their first 3 games (after playing in the Orange Bowl last year). 

Iowa at Arizona:  In the only match up of two ranked foes on this dud of a weekend, the Big Ten and Pac 10 go to battle in the desert.  Iowa has looked solid in its first two powder puff games of the year.  They appear to have the look of a team ready to take that next step and compete with OSU for the Big Ten title (I don’t think they can beat OSU though).  Ricky Stanzi is one of the most poised, experienced, and battle tested quarterbacks in the country.  He is also yet to throw an interception yet this year, which has been his achilles heel in the past.  This team is one of the few teams in the country that is able to both run and pass the ball effectively.  This makes a team very hard to stop in today’s College Football stratosphere.  Arizona on the other hand has looked awesome both offensively and defensively so far.  Granted they have played Toledo and the Citadel.  Arizona started the year unranked, and is one of those schools that has always been a basketball first University.  Well times are changing as Sean Miller failed to take the Wildcats to the NCAA tournament last season.  Is this team, behind 2nd year starting quarterback, Nick Foles, the real deal?  Well they will be solid in a very weak Pac 10, but they will not be able to secure the victory this weekend even though they are at home.  I got Iowa by 7 stealing one on the road. 

It was a struggle to choose 3 intriguing matchups in this dud of a weekend.  “Monster Saturday” had 5 or 6 big time matchups and made me have to leave a major game or 2 out, because there were so many good ones.  Either way, football is football.  And I, along with the rest of America will watch.  

Also, there is always the NFL on Sunday.. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze. 

-TheSportsKraze