Tag Archives: SEC

College Football Week 8 Review

By: Will Johnson

This week was truly insane. Five Top 10 teams lost and eight in the Top 25. One team even refused to play! Let’s check out this week’s headlines.

 

Grambling St. Players Refuse to Play

The turmoil surrounding the Grambling State University football program has reached new heights this week. After firing their head coach earlier in the year and starting the season 0-7, the entire team refused to play their next game against Jackson St. As a result of these actions, Grambling St. will forfeit the game to Jackson St. and will have to pay a $20,000 fine. It seems as if the team was unsatisfied with the job interim head coach, George Ragsdale has done. Today, the team sent a letter to the athletic director, which outlined their complaints of the program. This letter included criticisms of the athletic complexes and the jerseys, both of which are stated to be detrimental to the player’s health. In fact, it seems as if the jerseys have caused multiple incidents of Staph Infection. This incident is a disgrace for both the program and the university. The NCAA needs to seriously punish Grambling State for putting their players’ health in jeopardy. Hopefully, Grambling St. and the NCAA can work together to clean this problem up as quickly as possible.

Game of the Week

Boy I was wrong. Florida St. hammered Clemson yesterday (51-14) and showed the country that it deserves to be in the BCS National Championship Game discussion. Jameis Winston had by far his best game of his season throwing for 444 yards and 3 TDs, if not for his one interception in the second quarter, his night would have been flawless. Explosive playmakers, Tahj Boyd  (156 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs) and Sammy Watkins (68 yards and 1 TD), were unable to counter to Winston’s coming out performance. The game started badly enough for Clemson when, after a 22 yard touchdown pass from Winston to sophomore wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and a 28 yard field goal by Roberto Aguayo, Boyd was sacked and fumbled the ball leading to a 37 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by defensive lineman, Mario Edwards. The Tigers responded with a 3 yard touchdown grab by Sammy Watkins, but by halftime the game was 27-7 and too far out of reach for the boys from South Carolina. Last night’s outstanding performance puts famous Jameis and his million dollar smile right in the thick of Heisman Trophy hunt and Florida St. marching towards their first title game appearance since 2000.

Famous Jameis had his coming out party against a #3 seeded Clemson
Courtesy of Bleacher Report

 

Upsets Show Depth in SEC

Five Top 25 SEC teams lost yesterday (LSU 24-27 to Ole Miss, Texas A&M 41-45 to Auburn, South Carolina 21-23 to Tennessee, Georgia 27-31 to Vanderbilt, Florida 17-36 to Missouri), and four of whom were heavy favorites going into the game (Florida was not). While this does hurt the chances of the SEC repeating as BCS National Champions for the eighth straight time, it does show the depth of the conference. When you are playing tough games week in and week out, you are going to lose eventually. It now looks as if there is only one “easy win” within the conference, Kentucky, and under the leadership of Mark Stoops, they have been putting together a monster class headlined by Drew Barker (a four-star QB out of Hebron, Kentucky) and Denzel Ware (a four-star DE out of Crestview, Florida) and are ranked #16 in ESPN’s Recruiting Polls. Soon, there will be no more pushovers within the SEC. And while this week proved that Alabama is the only title-contender within the conference (I need to see more from Missouri’s new starting quarterback, Maty Mauk), the SEC showed that it truly is the most powerful conference in the nation.

QB Maty Mauk has clear potential Courtesy of Fox Sports
QB Maty Mauk has clear potential
Courtesy of Fox Sports

Rest of the Top 25

Alabama 

Alabama (#1) won 52-0 over Arkansas – Kenyan Drake (104 yards and 2 TDs) and Derrick Henry (111 yards and 1 TD) led the Alabama offense that rushed for 350 yards. Alabama’s defense held Arkansas to only 256 yards and caused 3 turnovers.

Oregon

Oregon (#2) won 62- 38 over Washington St. – Marcus Mariota improved his case for the Heisman Trophy with almost 400 yards of total offense and 3 total touchdowns. Oregon had over 600 for the third straight game as it gets ready for UCLA next week. Connor Hallaway threw for 557 yards and 4 touchdowns (as well as 4 interceptions) in a losing effort.

Ohio State

Ohio St. (#4) won 34 – 24 over Iowa – Ohio St. scored 24 second half points to overcome a 17-10 halftime deficit. Carlos Hyde ran for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the one that put the Buckeyes ahead for good. Damon Bullock had 300 all-purpose yards and 3 touchdowns as Iowa dropped to 4-3 on the season.

LSU

LSU (#6) lost 24-27 to Ole Miss – Zach Mettenburger threw 3 first half interceptions leading LSU to a very poor offensive  performance. The LSU defense was unable to stop Ole Miss quarterback, Bo Wallace, who threw for 346 yards.

Texas A&M

Texas A&M (#7) lost 41-45 to Auburn (#24) – Despite Johnny Manziel’s 5 touchdowns and 500 all-purpose yard day, Texas A&M was unable to overcome Auburn. The Texas A&M defense could not stop Auburn’s rushing attack led by Tre Mason (178 yards and 1 TD) and Nick Marshall (100 yards and 2 TDs)

Louisville

Louisville (#8) lost 35-38 to UCF – UCF pulled off a stunner when sophomore quarterback, Blake Bortles, threw his second touchdown of the night to Jeff Godfrey with 16 seconds left. Despite the fact that Teddy Bridgewater threw for 341 yards and 2 touchdowns, his quest for the Heisman trophy came to an end today.

UCLA

UCLA (#9) lost 10-24 to Stanford (#13) – Stanford used the old ground and pound yesterday to physically dominate UCLA, as Tyler Gaffney ran for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns. Stanford’s defense stifled Brett Hundley (2 INTs) and the UCLA offense (266 total yards).

Miami

Miami (#10) won 27-23 over North Carolina – I talked about this in my preview for this week

South Carolina

South Carolina (#11) lost 21-23 to Tennessee – In a defensive battle (both teams held under 350 total yards), Tennessee needed Michael Palardy’s 19 yard field goal (third of the day) to upset South Carolina. Michael Davis (137 yards and 1 TD) carried South Carolina’s offense.

Baylor

Baylor (#12) won 71-7 over Iowa St. – The Baylor Bear’s scored over 69 points for the fifth time this season as they dominated a severely under-matched Cyclones team. Heisman candidate, Lache Seastruck, had his fifth 100-yard game and added two touchdowns for the Bears.

Mizzou

Missouri (#14) won 36-17 over Florida (#22) – In Matty Mauk’s first game as a starter, he threw for 295 yards and a touchdown to help the Tigers preserve their undefeated season. The Gator offense was unable to do anything against the Missouri defense as they only had 151 yards of total offense.

Georgia

Georgia (#15) lost 24-27 to Vanderbilt – Georgia was upset for the second straight week as Vanderbilt scored 17 points in the 4th quarter to erase a 14-point deficit. Preseason Heisman candidate, Aaron Murray, had his worst game of the season throwing for only 114 yards and an interception. Georgia’s rushing game also was hurting with the injury to sophomore sensation, Todd Gurley.

Texas Tech

Texas Tech (#16) won 37-27 over West Virginia – The Red Raiders scored the last 21 points to overcome the Mountaineers. Freshman quarterback, Davis Webb, threw for 462 yards and 2 touchdowns to keep Texas Tech undefeated. Next week Texas Tech will have a showdown against Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma.

Fresno State

Fresno St. (#17) won 38-14 over UNLV – David Carr had another great game throwing for 412 yards and 4 touchdowns. UNLV was in striking distance until Carr threw for a touchdown to Davante Adams (221 yards and 4 TDs) with 9 minutes remaining. With the win Fresno St. kept its quest for a BCS Bowl alive.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma (#18) won 34-19 over Kansas – Oklahoma rebounded from last weeks trouncing from Texas with a convincing victory. The Sooners kept the Kansas offense to only 201 yards and just 16 yards passing.

Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech (#19) was off this week, they play Duke next week.

Washington

Washington (#20) lost 24-53 to Arizona St. – The Sun Devils moved into first place in the PAC-12 South by completely shutting down Keith Price (217 yards passing) and the Husky offense. Washington was only able to make 12 first downs and had a 24 percent 3rd Down conversion rate. Senior running back, Marion Grice, led the way for Arizona State with 195 yards of total offense and 3 touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 receiving).

Oklahoma State

Oklahoma St. (#21) won 24-10 over TCU – The Cowboys overcame their worst offensive performance of the season by shutting down the TCU offense. They caused four turnovers and held TCU to only 325 yards of offense. John Stewart had a 95-yard punt return to get the Oklahoma St. festivities rolling.

Northern Illinois

N. Illinois (#23) won 38-17 over C. Michigan – N. Illinois continued its streak of 19 straight regular season victories going with a commanding win over the Chippewas. Jordan had 316 yards rushing (as well as 155 yards passing) and 4 total touchdowns in the win.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin (#25) won 56-32 over Illinois – Wisconsin used their punishing rushing offense, led by Melvin Gordon (142 yards and 3 TDs) and James White (98 yards and 2 TDs) to overpower the Fighting Illinois. Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 249 yard in a losing effort.

QB Marcus Mariota leads the pack in Hesiman Hopefuls after this week Courtesy of Zimbio
QB Marcus Mariota leads the pack in Heisman Hopefuls after this week
Courtesy of Zimbio

 

Heisman Power Rankings

In the thick of the season the Heisman Hopefuls show themselves and this week the men were separated from the boys.

1) Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon – has been spectacular every Saturday, and this week was no different accounting for almost 400 yards of total offense and 3 touchdowns.

Season Stats: 2051 passing yards and 19 TDs with 493 yards rushing and 9 TDs

2) Jameis Winston, QB, Florida St. – had his coming out this week against Clemson throwing for 444 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Season Stats: 1885 yards and 20 TDs

3) Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M – he was injured for almost a quarter and still put up gigantic numbers (454 yards passing and 4 TDs plus 48 yards rushing and 1 TD)

Season Stats: 2289 yards passing and 18 TDs with 486 yards rushing and 6 TDs

4) Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon St. – with the loss to E. Washington to start the season people have not been paying attention to Oregon St., but Sean Mannion leads the nation in passing and had another great week yesterday against Cal (481 yards and 4 TDs)

Season Stats: 2992 yards and 29 TDs

5) Derek Carr, QB, Fresno St. – kind of reminds me of Case Keenum from a few years ago. Being in a non-BCS conference hurts him, but always puts up big numbers, like last week against UNLV (412 yards and 4 TDs)

Season Stats: 2276 yards and 23 TDs

What a performance QB Jordan Lynch turned in Courtesy of Sports Illustrated
What a performance QB Jordan Lynch turned in
Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

 

Player of the Week

Jordan Lynch, QB, NIU 316 yards rushing and 3 TDs with 155 yards passing and 1 TD

 

Conclusion

What a crazy week in college football. I expect next week will be a lot different, but watch out for Oregon against UCLA.

Alabama’s path to the title and how a three peat would affect Nick Saban

By: Jon

SEC media days occurred this week and Alabama was the team at the center of attention. Alabama is the heavy favorite to repeat as SEC champion. However, the predicted champion has only won the SEC 4 times in the last 21 years. As Saban portrayed, if his record was 4-17, he wold not be working at Alabama. Alabama is a great team because they have depth, skill, and speed. Although Saban lost many of his starters to the NFL draft, he is great at recruiting and replacing his lost talent. Although Alabama lost Eddie Lacy, Nick Saban has a reputation of replacing running backs. The Crimson Tide offense will be more dynamic than ever because they have AJ McCarron at quarterback, TJ Yeldon at running back, and Amari Cooper at wide receiver. However, the heart of the Alabama Crimson Tide has always been their defense. The defense will be lead by CJ Mosley, one of the best linebackers in college.

Nick Saban
Nick Saban

The Alabama Crimson Tide will be the number one team in the land and should remain undefeated throughout the regular season. Although they do not have an incredibly difficult schedule like other SEC teams, they will play enough quality teams to reach the first BCS Final Four and eventually win their third straight BCS National Championship. The defending champions will open their season against Virginia Tech at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Although Virginia Tech has been an ACC power over the last decade, last year they were average, finishing with a 7-6 record. The Hokies will need a huge game from quarterback Logan Thomas if they are going to have a chance to score points against the vaunted Alabama defense. After a win against the Hokies, the Crimson Tide will play their most difficult opponent, Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggies will be led by the defending Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel. Although the Aggies have a lot of talent, they have a lot of distractions because of Manziel’s problems and actions. The Crimson Tide will remember last season’s loss to the Aggies at Tuscaloosa, which almost cost them a chance to play in the BCS title game. AJ McCarron and Nick Saban will motivate their players to win the game. After a huge win against Johnny Football, Alabama will be playing the easier part of their schedule. Before their November 9th match with LSU, the Crimson Tide will play Colorado St., Ole Miss, Georgia St., Kentucky, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Alabama has been one of the most consistent teams over the last six years. The last time Alabama lost to a team ranked outside the top 20 was in 2007 against Auburn. With the skill and mental toughness on the roster, Alabama will not be losing to any of these teams. On November 9th, LSU will be entering Tuscaloosa in an attempt to upset the number one team in the land. However, this is not the same LSU team as in the past. After losing great players to the draft, the last two years, LSU may have a “down” season this year. Unless Zach Mettenberger has a huge game and the defense plays at its true potential against Alabama, Alabama will rollover LSU because they have more talent and experience. Alabama’s last three games before the SEC championship game will be against Mississippi St, Chattanooga, and Auburn. Although Mississippi St. has a decent team, they and the other teams will have little chance of knocking off Alabama. In the SEC championship game at the Georgia Dome, Alabama probably will play the winner of the game against Georgia and South Carolina on September 7. South Carolina has been unable to get over the hump the last few years and become a National Championship contender under Steve Spurrier. Although Georgia played great football at the end of last season, Alabama defeated them in the SEC Championship game. Similar to South Carolina, Georgia has been known to underperform and lose big games against LSU, Florida, or Alabama, when they had a chance to enter the National Championship picture. After the winning the SEC Championship Game, the Alabama Crimson will walk into the Final Four as the first overall seed. During bowl games, Nick Saban has experienced great success. The Crimson Tide have won their last four bowl games, including three national titles. The SEC has been dominant during bowl games because its teams are better than other conference’s teams. Alabama has one of the best defense, coach, and quarterback in the country, which is a dynamic combination. Alabama’s defense is stronger or faster than their non-conference opponents. This physicality stops teams from scoring, while their offense dominates the ball. Alabama’s offense, this season, will have the ability to run and throw because of their talent at the skill positions and in the trenches.

One of the best Schemers of All-Time
One of the best Schemers of All-Time

If the Alabama Crimson Tide win another National title, Nick Saban would become one of the best coaches in College Football history. Saban started his head coaching career with Toledo in 1990. After coaching for a year, Saban went to the NFL as the Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator. In 1995, Nick went back to college and became the head coach of the Michigan St. Spartans. At Michigan St., he turned the program into a winner for the first time since 1990 and achieved its highest ranking since 1966. During the 1999, Saban left the Michigan St. sidelines to become the head coach of the LSU Tigers. After Saban entered Baton Rogue, LSU became a title contender after the first season. In 2003, Nick Saban won a share of his first National Championship. The Tigers defeated the Oklahoma Sooners and became the number one team according to the USA Today Poll. LSU shared the award with USC, who finished first in the BCS. After a disappointing 2004 season, Saban left Baton Rogue and became the coach for the Miami Dolphins. After two forgettable seasons with the Dolphins, Saban returned to the college ranks and became the coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide. After a bad first season, Alabama had a great 2008 season. The Crimson Tide won their first twelve games before losing to the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship Game and Utah in the Sugar Bowl. Saban carried the momentum over to the next season. Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide won the 2009 National Championship Game against Texas. He became the first coach to win a BCS National Championship with two different teams. In 2010, Saban led Alabama to another 10 win season and a victory in the Capital One Bowl Game. In 2011 and 2012, Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide won back-back titles for the first time since the 2003-2004 USC Trojans. If the Tide roll to another championship, Saban would have won the second most championships at Alabama. Saban would have just one less titles than the great Bear Bryant. Saban would have the second most championships since the AP started deciding the National Championship in 1936. Alabama would become the first team since 1936 to win three straight titles. Nick Saban would become one of the greatest coaches of all-time. Alabama’s previous five years would be thought of as one of the most dominant runs in college football history.

Pics and Stats from ESPN.com