Tag Archives: Rich Rodriguez

“College Football Outlook”

Boston College All American Linebacker Luke Kuechly (pictured above), will be the difference in helping BC pull off the upset over Nevada in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

Bowl Season is finally beginning to wind down.  What a few weeks it has been.  Sure there have been plenty of dud games, but there have also been plenty of classic battles.  TCU flexed their “undersized” muscles against a very good Wisconsin team out in Pasadena.  The Big Ten had possibly the worst New Year’s Day of all time going 0 for 5 on the day.  And Connecticut continued to add to the futility of the Big East, in getting pounded by Oklahoma.  Not to mention their coach left them the next day for Maryland.

In other College Football News, Andrew Luck has shocked the world and apparently is staying in Palo Alto.  It takes a committed kid to pass up that type of bankroll.  Could you imagine passing up on over 40 million dollars in guaranteed money (Bradford was guaranteed 41.7 million last year)? Also, the Jim Harbaugh sweepstakes continue.  People are now saying that he is heading to Miami.  You got to love the media.  And nobody knows who is going to fill the Rich Rod void in Ann Arbor.  But I digress.  Lets take a look at the remaining matchups other than the National Title Game.  I will hold off on that one for now.

AT&T Cotton Bowl

LSU vs Texas A&M

-This game is arguably the best Non-BCS matchup of the entire Bowl Season. Many thought the Capital One Bowl would steal the show as the best battle outside of the BCS games, but Alabama put an end to that thought real fast, laying an absolute whooping on the Spartans.  In this matchup however, a red-hot Aggies team plays what is somewhat of a home game against one of the best teams out of the rugged SEC.  These teams are very different in their styles of play.  LSU relies on a strong rushing attack and a very stout defensive unit.  Texas A&M likes to play a shootout style of football and relies heavily on their aerial attack.  The Aggies have won 6 straight games while the Tigers lost the last time they suited up, in a heartbreaker to Arkansas.  In my opinion though, the dominance of the SEC will be exhibited in this one.  Plus A&M has not beaten a team from College Football’s best conference since 1995.  Each of these teams went 6 and 2 in tough conferences.  Unfortunately for the Aggies, the Big 12 is just not nearly as tough as the brutal SEC.  The SEC reigns supreme in this one behind an outstanding defensive effort.  Tigers by 3 in a very competitive game.

BBVA Compass Bowl

Pittsburgh vs Kentucky

-This is actually a pretty decent matchup.  The Co-Champions of the Big East taking on a lower tier SEC team.  A team from the BCS’s best conference versus a team from the worst BCS conference.  Seems like a perfect fit.  Now I do not understand why this game is being played after New Years.  But there is a lot about the College Football Bowl System that does not make sense.  Either way, Pitt is going to have their hands full trying to stop UK’s two lethal playmakers, Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke.  Both of these kids are electric and can change a game on any given play.  Now Pitt has a pretty good playmaker themselves in Dion Lewis.  A guy that did not have as good of a sophomore campaign as many expected, but he has come on as of late, rushing for 261 yards and 4 TDs in the season finale versus Cincinnati.  Now if Pitt had not gone through all of the coaching turmoil that they have experienced over the past month, I would have picked them to win this game.  But unfortunately for them, their staff is in shambles and Kentucky is just another one of those speedy SEC teams.  Let the Big East disaster continue.  Wildcats by 7 even without starting QB Mike Hartline.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

Nevada vs Boston College

-The BCS is still thanking Nevada as we speak.  They are the team that saved the BCS from having both TCU and Boise go undefeated and causing a major dilemma.  Could you imagine if Stanford had missed out on playing in a BCS Bowl due to Boise and TCU getting into BCS games?  Stanford put on the best performance of this bowl season thus far.  But back to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Matchup.  Nevada sports one of the best rushing attacks in the country and has had an outstanding season.  Boston College, after a suffering an early season 5 game losing streak, has now ended the year on a 5 game winning streak.  Granted none of their foes during this winning streak were ranked teams.  Either way, I am liking Boston College’s stout defensive unit, that is number 1 in the country against the run, to slow down Nevada’s vaunted rushing attack.   The difference in this game will be Boston College’s outstanding linebacker group led by none other than sophomore, first team All American, Luke Kuechly.  Kuechly burst onto the scene last season setting a record for tackles in a season by a freshman.  This year, he picked up right where he left off recording 171 tackles to lead the nation.  I realize how dangerous of a duel threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick of Nevada is, but can he handle Luke Kuechly?  I do not think so.  BC in a shocker by 3. 

So there you have a look at the remaining Bowl Games other than the highly anticipated National Championship game.  It has been a heck of a bowl season as we all wait anxiously for the final showdown in Arizona on Monday.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“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 2: Monster Saturday”

The last time the Hurricanes and Buckeyes matched up was in the legendary 2002 National Championship Game. Could Miami get revenge in Columbus on Saturday?

  Though the NFL is underway, College Football is already heating up with a big time Week 2.  People are calling it “Monster Saturday.”  And it is sure to be a day that fans will remember in this young season.  Each week I am going to pick 3 to 5 of the marquee matchups, give you my predicted winner, and some brief thoughts.  

So the matchups of Week 2’s “Monster Saturday” are as follows:  

Georgia at South Carolina:  This is big time SEC matchup with two of the best coaches in the country going head to head.  My gut has been saying all week that Georgia can come in and take care of business in Gamecockville.  But my mind is saying to go with the home team.  And that is what I am going to do.  Both of these teams looked great against powder puff opponents in Week 1 (typical SEC move).  But the lack of AJ Green will hurt the Bulldogs.  Steve Spurrier is going to ride freshman phenom Marcus Lattimore to a major early season conference victory.  Look for this game to go down to the wire, but expect the Gamecocks to pull it out.  

Florida State at Oklahoma:  What a non conference matchup this is.  Talk about two teams showing balls and taking a risk playing a big time non conference foe.  You got to love it.  Christian Ponder looks outstanding and extremely poised in the pocket.  I guess that is what 3 years as a starter does for you.  Also do not sleep on Greg Reid returning punts.  Special teams always have a large effect on the outcome of big time games.  Florida State is starting to trek towards resembling the Seminoles of old.  But Oklahoma is no slouch either.  Now I know they looked pitiful in their opener.  But maybe it was a good thing to play a close football game already (not really)?  But DeMarco Murray is the most explosive player on the field when healthy.  Ryan Broyles is ready to break out and be considered with the best wide receivers in the country.  And Landry Jones, well, he will get better.  Though I feel Florida State is a very solid team that could make some noise in the ACC, I got the Sooners running away with this one at home.  Look for DeMarco Murray to make his presence felt and launch himself into the Heisman discussion (if he wasn’t already)   

Miami at Ohio State:  This is the game the whole country has been waiting for.  A rematch of the 2002 hotly debated National Championship game.  An instant classic.  Jacory Harris and the U looked like they had the swagger of the old U last weekend.  Ohio State did not look to shabby themselves.  But this is a whole new ball game.  The athleticism on both sides of the ball will be amazing in this one.  Also, this game matches up two of the most athletic quarterbacks in the country (though their styles in the past have been contrasting). Jacory has tended to stay in the pocket though, while Terrelle has always been big on using his legs to gain first downs.  Pryor appears to be transforming in front of our eyes though and is utilizing his intelligence and arm, rather than his legs now.  It has been an amazing transformation.  If this game was being played in Miami, I would give the Hurricanes a chance.  But it is no easy task to come into the Horseshoe and win a ball game.  Even Lebron James will be there, “staying true to his roots” and rooting for the Buckeyes.  I got Ohio State in a very entertaining affair.  

Michigan at Notre Dame:  Talk about history right?  These are your number 1 and 2 ranked programs all time in winning percentage.  Plus they are number 1 and 3 in all time wins.  This rivalry began in 1887 with some Wolverine dominance.  Eventually Notre Dame caught on to the game that people call football.  There have been two major hiatus in this rivalry, but this will be match up number 38.  Anyways, this game finally has some meaning for the first time since probably 2006.  Both teams looked very impressive in their first games and look to be on track towards having solid seasons.  There is one major newcomer to this rivalry though.  And that is Brian Kelly.  This coach has brought with him a whole plethora of tricks and winning knowledge.  Not to mention an excitement that South Bend has been lacking for the past few years.  Look for Notre Dame to have too much offense in this one, and win a tough game against the rival Wolverines.  South Bend will already be praising BK’s name at the end of this one.  I will state though, a victory for Rich Rodriguez in this clash would go a long way towards taking him off the hot seat in Ann Arbor. 

Penn State at Alabama:  Big Ten vs SEC.  Same old story right?  Sadly, in this case yes.  Even if Mark Ingram does not play, Alabama will prove to be too much for an overrated Penn State team.  I guess having Richardson is a plus for Coach Nick Saban.  Outside of Evan Royster and the emerging senior Brett Brackett at receiver, this Penn State team will be vastly overmatched.  Going into Bama with a Freshman quarterback?  Can you say “Roll Tide Roll?”  I do not care if Alabama has some question marks on defense, they are still mighty fast.  Sadly, I see this game being a blowout, but maybe Penn State will hang around for a while.  

So there you have “Monster Saturday.”  You got to love the Fall.  

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.  

-TheSportsKraze