Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bucs Need More Than FG To Beat Giants

The Buccaneers have exceeded expectations this year and will host a playoff game, but if they expect to get out of the first round they will need to get more than field goals out of their drives. The Bucs have won games with great defensive efforts and getting points from the kicking game if they could not get in the end zone, but in the playoffs you need to score touchdowns with your drives and not just field goals. The Bucs have struggled to score touchdowns in the red zone, and if they are not able to reverse the trend they will not make it past the wild card round.

The Buccaneers need only to look at Saturdays game against the Patriots to see an example of why you need touchdowns. The Giants almost ended the Patriots dreams of a perfect season because they were able to score touchdowns while the Pats were kicking field goals. At one point in the game the Giants had a 28 to 16 lead because they were able to score touchdowns on 4 drives, while New England was forced to kick field goals.

Yes, the Giants lost last week even though they scored touchdowns, but the Bucs are not the Patriots. You knew watching that game that the Patriots would score the touchdowns they needed to win, but the same cannot be said of the Bucs. Many fans have overlooked the Giants and worried about who the Bucs would play in he second round. Hopefully the fans watched Saturdays game and understand that the Giants team is for real and if we continue on our field goal offense we will lose.

The Bucs were able to score in the red zone a couple times today, but still struggled. Yes, they played their second team, and yes it did not matter, but they need to make sure they score touchdowns when they have the ball, because if they don't, it will be a short playoff run for the Bucs.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bruins Hire Rick Neuheisel

UCLA just named Rick Neuheisel as their head coach. Neuheisel played quarterback for UCLA in the early 80's before going on to be a successful coach in college. He has a 66-30 career record in college and took Washington to a Pac-10 Title and Rose Bowl win in 2000.

Neuheisel got in trouble in 2002 when he was involved in a NCAA March Madness pool. Washington fired him for violating the NCAA rules, which he sued Washington and the NCAA over. He got over a 4 million settlement and has been coaching in the NFL since. Last year he was the quarterbacks coach for the Baltimore Ravens and this season he was promoted to offensive coordinator.

Neuheisel is a guy who knows how to win and has done so already in the Pac-10. He does have a history of indiscretions not only at Washington, but at Colorado also. His problem is that the NCAA will be watching him closely, especially after he sued them and won. I think he will be fine and this was a great hire for UCLA. Neuheisel is a great offensive mind and is a great recruiter. It may take him some time, but he will get the players he needs and UCLA will once again be a force in the Pac 10.

Welcome New Contributors

Many of you may have seen that I have been posting a bit less. I recently started a new job and have been working more hours and found it difficult to keep up with the writing. Well I have done two things, 1) decided I will find more time for writing because I like doing it, and 2) I have recruited some more people to help contribute.

Please welcome Sandrock and b_stokes to the blog. Sandrock is from Oregon and went to Oregon State University. He will bring us a divergent view as he is from the opposite coast I am. Stokes, better known to me as statsman88 at the football cafe, is from Big 10 football country. He does like his SEC football teams, which immediately makes him a great guy in my book. He already has posted one article with the BCS. These guys know what they are talking about and are going to be some great help to me.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

College Football Playoff Final 4


What started with eight is now down to two. With the BCS leaving something to be desired as usual we created a playoff. The top 6 seeds were the BCS conference leaders, with the last two at large bids going to the next two highest rated teams. Our top 8 again:

(1) LSU
(2) Oklahoma
(3) Ohio State
(4) USC
(5) Virginia Tech
(6) WVU
(7) Georgia
(8) Missouri

We used the BCS bowl games and the top bowl games played on January 1. The four teams to advance were (Votes in Paranthesis):

LSU (13) over Missouri (6)

Oklahoma (14) over Georgia (7)

Ohio State (10) over WVU (9)

USC (16) over Virginia Tech (2)

Personally I voted for all of the winners except for OSU. I felt that WVU would have spread them out and won, but it was not what happened in our playoff. With the top four moving on, our next match ups were as follows:

LSU v. USC in the Sugar Bowl

Oklahoma v. Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl

Very good match up between LSU and USC in my opinion. I voted for LSU thinking they could take USC, but the votes ended up 10-10. With the votes tied after a full week of open voting, it came down to a coin flip and USC moved on. The Oklahoma game would not be close in my opinion and the voting reflected that. Oklahoma rolled the Buckeyes with a vote of 14-2.

Our National Championship Game:

#2 Oklahoma v. #4 USC in the Sugar Bowl.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

College Bowl Game Predictions


Its almost that time of year again! I'm sure we have all done our yearly "I hate the BCS" complaints to neighbors and friends and probably mentioned that a playoff system would be better to our co-workers. But the time to watch college football once again is fast approaching so lets take a look at whats coming up:

BCS Bowl Games:

National Championship-LSU vs. OSU
Once both Mizzou and WV lost their season finales, Ohio St. was declared a lock to be in the championship game. But does anyone think they will win? I don't. It almost seems to be a repeat of last year- OSU is a lock for the championship and a controversial SEC team gets in to face them. In last years championship, Florida blew OSU off the field. While I'm not sure it will be as bad as last years game, I do expect LSU to win handily. LSU has a defense that is recovering from some nagging injuries, and when healthy is most likely the best D in the nation. I do not think they will have trouble stopping a mediocre Buckeye offense. The other factor that plays a big role is LSU's quaterbacks. LSU has a two-man system with Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux. Flynn is more of a pocket passer while Perrilloux is more of the athletic-running type. OSU's only loss of the season came against Illinois and their athletic QB Juice Williams who exploited the OSU defense. Perrilloux has a very similar style to Williams and I would expect LSU to study what Illinois did and use Perrilloux a lot in the game.

Final Prediction-LSU 38 OSU 17

Fiesta Bowl-West Virginia vs Oklahoma
This matchup sparks alot of interest between two of the bigger names in college football and pre-season favorites. For me, I think this will be a great test not only for WV, but for the Big East as a conference. The Big East has been widely regarded as a weak conference, but a win for WV against powerhouse Oklahoma would undoubtedly give some respect to the Big East. WV has been bi-polar this season. At times they can put up 40-50 points and totally dominate, or turn the ball over alot and look very sloppy. Oklahoma has beaten Missouri twice and also beat Texas, but inexplicably lost to two very mediocre teams in Texas Tech and Colorado. Oklahoma looked very good though in the Big 12 championship against West Virginia. My opinion is that the Big East is a weak conference, WV has played weak competition, and they will not be able to keep up with Oklahoma.

Final Prediction-OK 34 WV 24

Rose Bowl-Illinois vs. USC

Now I like Illinois and what they've done to bring their football program back from the dead, but I don't like this matchup. Sure they beat OSU, but I don't see them hanging with USC in this one. John David Booty is now healthy and had the Trojans rolling at the end of the season. I don't see Illinois' defense being able to even touch the USC offense.

Final Prediction-USC 48 Illini-21

Orange Bowl- Kansas vs. Virginia Tech

I can't recall there ever being a more un-interesting BCS bowl game. Kansas played a very weak schedule that avoided them playing Texas and Oklahoma. We all saw that Kansas just wasn't as good as Missouri when they played in the season finale. Now Kansas is a decent team, but they should not have gotten a BCS bid over Missouri. Virginia Tech started out their season getting wiped off the field against LSU 49-7, but then lost only once more the rest of the season. The question is, did they really get that much better, or was their ACC schedule just that inferior to that of a SEC schedule? IMO, these are two teams that are overrated and I really could care less what happens. Hopefully it is an even matchup however and is a good game

Final Crapshoot- Kansas 28 Virginia Tech 27

Sugar Bowl- Georgia vs. Hawaii

This one should be interesting, everyone wants to see how legit Colt Brennan and Hawaii is after going undefeated but playing the weakest schedule possible. I give Hawaii credit, they wanted to play a big-time out of conference schedule, but no one wanted to play them. After last year's incredible Boise St. upset of Oklahoma, could Hawaii do the same to Georgia? Not likely in my opinion. Hawaii has had some close calls against some pretty weak teams (Louisiana Tech game comes to mind) and struggled against the only power conference team they played-Washington. Georgia, led by their Freshman phenom running back Knowshon Moreno, was the hottest team in the country the last half of the season, when they won 6 straight that included wins over Florida, Auburn, Kentucky, and mid-major power Troy. I think Georgia will be Hawaii's first and only loss this season, but it will be a big one. I see Georgia running through the holes of that Hawaii Swiss Cheese Defense and putting a hurt on Colt Brennan and the Rainbows.

Final Prediction- Georgia 55 Hawaii 21

Hate the BCS? We Created a Playoff!!


Most College Football fans hate the BCS and how they try to determine the top two teams in the country. The BCS sometimes lucks out and gets the top 2 teams right, but that is mainly because the season was full of dominating teams or there just happens to be 2 undefeated teams. Fans have been screaming for a playoff, but it is most likely never going to happen. With that in mind, some rabid college football fans and I decided to make that playoff a reality. We created an eight team playoff with the 6 BCS conferences getting automatic bids, with the remaining 2 at-large bids going to the next two highest ranked teams. We used the team ranks that we had come up with after the final week and had the games played in the major bowls that happen on January 1st and in the BCS. The higher seeded team got to play in a bowl that was closer to home. Here is how the seeding ended up:

(1) LSU v. (8) Missouri --- Capital One Bowl

(4) USC v. (5 ) Virgina Tech -- Rose Bowl

(3) OSU v. (6) West Virginia -- Gator Bowl

(2) Oklahoma v. (7) Georgia -- Cotton Bowl

The voting is going on here. So far LSU, USC, and Oklahoma have commanding leads. OSU and WVU are tied at the moment. The voting ends this Wednesday at 11:59 PM and we will move into the final four. If you want your vote counted then go to the cafe and vote!! All results will be posted here with a write up.

My Votes:

LSU
USC
WVU
Oklahoma

Saturday, December 15, 2007

UPDATE and FORMAT CHANGE!!!!!


This is my first post in a week due to the fact that I just got a new job working in the legal field and my time has become a bit more limited. I will be posting more as I figure out how to manage my time a bit more efficiently, which will be very soon. As far as the format change. As I said in a previous post I am now a part of the crew at The Stat Pack. With being a part of that and still keeping up here I have decided to post all my baseball content over at The Stat Pack as well as some of the Football articles that I write here. This Blog is now going to focus solely on Football, but it will expand the content in that area. I have some help coming aboard that will increase the posts and knowledge of the blog. We are going to delve into all College and Pro Football, no matter the team or conference. I will obviously still be posting more about USF, Florida,FSU, and the Bucs than any other team, but we will not focus solely on them. I hope you enjoy the format change and to keep up with my baseball takes, just head over to The Stat Pack.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Congratulations To Tim Tebow

The Heisman voters finally read what the award is supposed to measure.Tebow became the first Sophomore to be named the Heisman Trophy winner and only the third quarterback to win it when his team had three 3 losses or more. The award is supposed to measure the best player in college football and not the best senior on the best football team. Tebow deserved the award and the voters got it right this year.

The race for Heisman came down to two players this season: Tebow and Darren McFadden. While McFadden had a good season and a great game against LSU, he did not show up in a couple games this season when his team needed him the most. Meanwhile, the Gators lost 3 games this season, but none of that was due to bad play by Tebow. Tebow showed up every game he played and put up great numbers, they just were not good enough to overcome a bad defense in certain games. McFadden is a great talent and should be the first overall draft pick, but was not the best college player this season.

Critics have come out and said that voters only voted for Tebow because he is the only member of the 20-20 club in the history of college football. They also said that his numbers were a direct result of not having a viable running back in the offense. Further, they have said that Tebow calls his own number in the twenty so he can score and jack up his numbers. These people all have valid points and while some of it may be true, it doesn't diminish what Tebow did this past season.

Voters may have been persuaded by the fact that Tebow is the only member of the 20-20 club. The fact is that they should be. No one in the history of football have ever thrown and run for over 20 TD in the same season. While he had 20-20, it is not like he barely made it. Tebow threw 29 touchdowns and ran for 22. Also, of those 22 rushing touchdowns 7 were from 6 yards or further out, while 6 of McFadden's 15 rushing TD's came from 6 yards or farther. Tebow's numbers are not inflated b/c of Qb sneaks from the 1 yard line and he should not be punished because he is able to run over, around, and through people.

The Gators may not have had a viable running back per se, but Meyer rotated players into the position that put up yards that any program would love to have. In one game Percy Harvin had over 100 rushing and receiving as a wide receiver. The Gators did not have a running back designated, but they had talent that Meyer put into the backfield that could take it all the way at any time. Tebow may have gotten less touchdowns if they had a full time bruising running back, but we will never know that. Finally, if everyone knew he was the only running threat, why didn't they stop him?

Fact is that Tebow not only ran all over people because he could, but he had the second highest pass efficiency rating in the country as a passer. He averaged almost 10 yards a pass and completed almost 70% of his passes. He was criticized before the year with not being able to throw the ball and when he showed everyone he could they criticized him for not doing it more over running. People are going to hate him because he is talented and has had success from the moment he stepped on the field. They will make things up because as you saw in the ceremony he does not have much to be critical of. He is a guy who is not only great at football, but is a great role model for everyone. He deserved the award and gator fans are lucky to have him.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tebow Wins Maxwell and O'Brien Awards

Tim Tebow had a good night at the College Football awards in Orlando. He was up for 3 awards (Maxwell, Camp, and O'Brien) and ended up taking home 2 of them, with Darren McFadden of Arkansas taking home the other.

Tebow won both the Maxwell and O'Brien awards. The Maxwell award is given to the nations most outstanding player, while the O'Brien award is given out to the best quarterback in the nation. Last season's winners of the awards were Brady Quinn (Maxwell) and Troy Smith (O'Brien).

Darren McFadden walked away with the Walter Camp award, which is given to the player of the year. Interestingly enough and maybe a bad sign for Tebow, the last 3 years the Heisman winner was also the Camp award winner, while the Maxwell award winner has been the runner up to the Heisman. Hopefully Tebow will break that streak this year because he is the best player in the country and should be the Heisman award winner. It will be intersting to see how the Heisman plays out on Saturday because although Tebow should win it, the voters have something against giving it to an underclassman and a wave of Tebow haters have made their way to the air waves in the past week.

For the third year in a row a Penn State linebacker won the Bednarik award, which is given to the best defensive player in the nation. Freshman Michael Crabtree won the Biletnikoff award for the best wide receiver in the nation and Matt Ryan beat out Colt Brennan for best senior QB in the country. Most of the award winners were exactly as I had them a few weeks ago. Here is the list of all the award winners : ESPN.

Kiffin To Oakland At Season's End?

Monte Kiffin's contract runs out at the end of the season and rumors are popping up that he may not want a new contact, but instead go to Oakland. This rumor has been around since his son, Lane Kiffin, took over as head coach of the Raiders this season. Normally I would not give much credence to a rumor about Monte leaving the Bucs, but this one actually makes sense.

Kiffin has been the mainstay on the Bucs for years now. They have had coaching changes every where on the team except for the defensive coordinator. His name has always come up for different jobs around college and the NFL, but he has always turned them down to stay with the Buccaneers and the defense he has created. Monte does not have the desire to be a head coach anymore and is happy with the Bucs as the defensive coordinator, but if there ever was a job opportunity that may be too good to pass up it may be to go to Oakland at the seasons end. The job is not open at the moment, but the Oakland defense has been bad all year long, especially against the run and many people believe that the coordinator will be gone and the spot will be open.

If he were to make the move there really would be nothing the Bucs could do to keep him in my mind. He would not be leaving because of money, power, or a desire to be somewhere else, but because it would offer him the chance to be with his son. How many coaches in the NFL actually would have the chance to coach side by side with their son? How many people in everyday life would love that opportunity, let alone in a job like the Kiffin's have. This would be the opportunity of a lifetime for a guy who is all about his family. As much as it would be terrible to lose him, you would have to understand his desire and respect him for it.

While not desirable at all to lose Kiffin, they would have a replacement they could go to in house. The Bucs have a history of assistants that have gone on to be great defensive coordinators and head coaches. They have never had the need for those guys to stay and be defensive coordinator for the Bucs because Monte is here, but if he left the spot could easily and should go to Raheem Morris. Morris is in the secondary coach right now and every Buc fan knows the reason that the secondary has been so much better this year is because Raheem came back. The Bucs made it no secret that they wanted him back and knew they needed him, as is obvious by how much they gave him in a contract. Morris is a young and fiery guy, who in my mind would be able to step right in like Mike Tomlin was able to and be the coordinator. Maybe the Bucs know Monte is planning on leaving after his contract is over and that is why they made such an effort to get Raheem back. If Monte goes he will be sorely missed, but I think the Bucs will be in good hands.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

June Jones Needs to Shut His Mouth Because He Sounds Like a Moron

With national spotlight finally on June Jones team because they made it to a BCS game, Jones decided to use it to sound like a moron. Jones told the media that his quarterback, Colt Brennan, was not a system quarterback, but Florida QB Tim Tebow is. You can see where he has a point, I mean no quarterback has ever been accused of putting up great numbers just because they were in the Run and Shoot offense *Cough* Timmy Chang *Cough*.

Jones commented that his QB is the best passer in College history and that Tebow's numbers come off of Fades and Dives that he would not be doing in the pros. First, The Heisman is not about which player will be the best pro player, it is the award given to the best college player in the nation for that year. Second, his quarterback is the best passer based on what, his numbers? His numbers are a direct reflection of not only the system he runs that allows him to throw the ball 472 times this season and over 500 each of the last two seasons. Finally, I guess the Gator games are on too early for Jones to watch because if he did see them he would know that his statement about where Tebow's numbers are coming from is completely wrong. If his 20 rushing TD's came off of 100 or 200 yards in a season, than maybe he has a case, but Tebow has run for over 900 yards. Hey June, go watch the film and you will see him run up and down the field and not just dive forward. In that film Jones will also see the arm strength and accuracy that Tebow has not only on fades, but on slants and his deep ball.

Jones wants you to believe that Brennan is the better passer and not just player, which is what the award is for. Fine I will play your game Jones, lets look at there stats from the past season.

Brennan : 166.3 QB Rating 71.4 % Passing 4,174 Yards 8.8 Yards Per Attempt 38 TD 14 INT

Tebow : 177.9 QB Rating 68.5% Passing 3,132 Yards 9.9 Yards Per Attempt 29 TD 6 INT

Who is the best passer? Well if you go by an all around body of work it would be....Tebow. If you give the amount of attempts to Tebow that Brennan had he would have 43 TD and only 9 INT. He would also have 4,673 yards. Tebow was ripped before the season for not being a passer and running to much, but he has the highest pass efficiency rating in the country and if he were in Jones system he would have decimated Brennan's numbers.

One last thing there June; your schedule. Brennan put up these numbers and looked like a great quarterback against the 119 strength of schedule in the NCAA. That is 119th out of 119. On second thought, man Brennan did do a great job, I mean how could he do that much against those vaunted defenses of Nevada, Louisiana Tech, Idaho, and San Jose St. Meanwhile, Tebow put up his numbers against such bad defenses like LSU, South Carolina, Auburn, and Georgia. If you can't tell, that is sarcasm June, I only tell you because you are obviously blind. Brennan is a good quarterback and I am not taking anything away from him, but for you to say that Tebow is a system guy and Brennan us the best passer in the history of football makes you sound like a moron.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Final College Football Rankings


The BCS uses all sorts of formulas with computers and people rankings as well. Many people think the BCS is wrong and also believe that the voters do not get it right. With this in mind I have got together knowledgeable football fans from across the country with representation of each conference in the polls. The fans come from members of the Fantasy Football Cafe College Sports Forum. These fans watch more football than most of the voters and are extremely knowledgeable. They are allowed to vote however they want, just like if they were a Harris or AP voter. Some vote based on based performance, some on future, some on a combination of those, while others vote based on which team would win on a neutral field. They send me their top 35 and I calculate it to come up with the top 25 and we compare it to the BCS. I have included the averages for the top teams to show just how close they are packed together. Here is the final BCS standings and than our final standings:

BCS

1. Ohio State 11-1
2. LSU 11-2
3. Virginia Tech 11-2
4. Oklahoma 11-2
5. Georgia 10-2
6. Missouri 11-2
7. USC 10-2
8. Kansas 11-1
9. West Virginia 10-2
10. Hawaii 12-0
11. Arizona State 10-2
12. Florida 9-3
13. Illinois 9-3
14. Boston College 10-3
15. Clemson 9-3
16. Tennessee 9-4
17. BYU 10-2
18. Wisconsin 9-3
19. Texas 9-3
20. Virginia 9-3
21. South Florida 9-3
22. Cincinnati 9-3
23. Auburn 8-4
24. Boise State 10-2
25. UConn 9-3

Rankings

1. LSU 1.7 (6)
2. Oklahoma 3.1
3. Ohio State 3.5 (2)
4. Georgia 3.6 (1)
5. USC 5 (1)
6. Missouri
7. Virginia Tech
8. Kansas
9. Florida
10. West Virginia
11. Arizona State
12. Illinois
13.Clemson
14.Boston College
15. Tennessee
16. Auburn
17. Hawaii
18. Texas
19. Wisconsin
20. Cincinnati
21. Virginia
22. USF
23. Texas Tech
24. BYU
25. Arkansas

Obviously the major difference in the rankings is the top 2 teams. Both rankings include LSU, but the fans think it should be Oklahoma playing against LSU and not Ohio State. Just to remind everyone, these fans are representative of every conference across the country so there is no SEC or other conference bias. OSU has played a soft schedule and the only team they played with a decent offense, Illinois, beat them. Oklahoma beat the number 1 team last week for the second time this year and there second loss came when their starting quarterback was out. I think Oklahoma v. LSU would be a better game and would be the right matchup.

The other major difference that would have an effect is Hawaii. They did not make the top 16 in the fan poll, which means they do not get the at large bid to a BCS bowl game. That would allow one of the other conferences that does have 2 teams in it already to get another team in, which in this case most likely would have been Missouri, who got shafted in the real BCS bowl games.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bucs Find Something With McCown

Last week the Bucs lost Jeff Garcia on the first series and with him went the offense. The Bucs were not able to move the ball with Bruce Gradkowski at the helm and managed just 16 yards of total offense in the second half. With Garcia sidelined for the game against the Saints, Gruden decided to turn to Luke McCown instead of Gradkowski, and the result could not have been any better.

Last week the Redskins stacked the box with eight guys and dared Gradkowski to throw the ball, knowing full well that he does not have the arm or the accuracy to stretch the field. With no threat of the deep ball the 'Skins ate the Bucs up on offense and almost took the game. The Saints learned very quickly that McCown is not Gradkowski and he will take your are and make you pay. McCown threw one of the nicest deep balls to Galloway I have seen all year as he started the game going 15-15. He did make some bad decisions at times that almost cost the Bucs the game, but he shook those off and redeemed himself with the game winning touchdown pass on a greatly engineered drive.

The Bucs have never had a good young quarterback on the roster that seemed like he could run Gruden's offense and Gruden has been criticized for that. It was only one game, but McCown showed he has the physical talent and the head to be a quarterback in the NFL. He made some bad rookie mistakes, but those will go away with game experience. What McCown did show though was a knack for finding the open receiver in the pattern, keeping the play alive when it seemed to break down, and he can throw a great deep ball. McCown has been in this offense for a couple years now and seems like the type of QB that Gruden likes. He is mobile, strong arm, and makes good decisions with the football. Garcia is the QB now, but he is getting older and Buc fans know they will need a guy to replace him when he goes. McCown looks like he could be that guy to replace him and gives the Bucs some hope for the future after Garcia leaves the team.

Gators Have A Date With Michigan In The Capital One Bowl

The Gators officially accepted their bid to the Capital One Bowl game in Orlando today. Many thought that their opponent would be Illinois and Ron Zook would get a crack at his former team, but with Ohio State headed to the National Championship game, Illinois is headed to the Rose Bowl and Florida has a date with Michigan.

This will be only the second time the two programs have ever played each other. The first time these two teams met was in 2003 at the Outback bowl with Michigan coming away with a 38-30 win. Michigan comes into the game with an 8-4 record, while the Gators are 9-3. This has been a disappointing year for both programs, but a win in the Bowl game would be a nice consolation.

This will be the third straight season that the Gators will play a Big 10 school in their Bowl game. In the past the Gators did not play well in Bowl games and have an overall record of 16-18, but that has all changed with the arrival of Urban Meyer. Meyer is one of the best coaches when given time to game plan for a team. He has a record of 22-2 when he has an extra week or more to prepare for a team, including a perfect 4-0 record as a head coach in Bowl Games. The Bowl games are a part of the teams schedule for Meyer and not just a consolation for winning during your season. Michigan has struggled this year against the spread offense, and no one runs it as well as the Gators. Meyer will have them ready to go and send Lloyd Carr out on a loss.

National Championship Game Should Include LSU

The BCS was once again thrown into turmoil yesterday when the number one and two teams in the country, West Virginia and Missouri, both managed to lose there games. Missouri I expected to lose, but West Virgina's loss to Pittsburgh shocked me and proved that they should not have been in the discussion for top team in the country. With that said, now the BCS will have it's final poll come out soon and Ohio State is sure to be the number 1 team in that poll because they only have one loss and were 3rd in the last poll. The question then becomes who should be number 2 and play them in the national championship game. There are a couple of two loss teams that will try to make a case, and I will go through them, but LSU is the team that should be there.

Georgia 10-2 Previous BCS Rank #4

Georgia will say that they were number 4 so they should move up just like OSU did and be in the national championship game. They were number 4 before this week, two people lost, so they should be two. Georgia has put a string of games together and has been dominant in a tough SEC schedule ever since the Florida game. They have beaten 4 teams that were ranked in the top 25 when they played them, but only two of them remain in the top 25 now. Georgia lost early and that always helps when you are talking about these polls. Georgia is a good team, but the problem I have is that not only did they not win their conference, they didn't even win their half of the conference and get into the title game. Georgia was beaten at home by an average South Carolina team, who then went on to be beaten soundly by LSU, and they were trounced by Tennessee, who just lost to LSU in the conference title game. If you can't win your conference you should be in line for a national championship.

Kansas 11-1 Previous BCS Rank #5

Kansas only has one loss so they should jump these two loss teams right? Wrong. Kansas beat up on terrible teams all year long and everyone bought into the hype, but when the time came to play a decent team, they folded like a lawn chair. Missouri out matched Kansas in every phase of the game and showed what a fraud Kansas really was. They are a decent football team, but they are not good and again just like Georgia they did not even win their half of the Big 12 conference. Kansas fans will yell that they have only one loss, but when you don't play anyone that is an easy way to only have one loss, and if you don't win your conference, you don't deserve a NC bid.

Virginia Tech 11-2 Previous BCS Rank #6

Virginia Tech is the next highest ranked team and they won their conference so they should go right? Wrong again. Virginia Tech did win their conference and has some quality wins over 4 top 25 teams on the year, with 3 of those being in the ACC. Tech has improved over the course of the season and they have a great defense, but the ACC is not a strong conference and when they stepped out of conference to play LSU they were thrashed and were never even in that game. VT deserves to play in a BCS game because they won their conference, but that conference was down this year and when they stepped out they were exposed as being the best team in a weakened conference.

USC 10-2 Previous BCS Rank #8

USC is one of the best teams in the country right now and they actually make a very string case. USC won their conference, which was very tough. Many people on the East coast do not watch the Pac 10 much and don't think it is very good outside of USC. I can tell you that this was true in years past, but this year the conference was very tough in the top of it. USC had two losses on the season, with one being a devastating loss to one of the worst teams in the country, Stanford. USC was banged up in the Stanford game and in the Oregon loss as well. John David Booty was injured the whole Stanford game and was not able to play against Oregon. Now that the Trojans are all healthy they have steamrolled ASU and UCLA on their way to a Pac-10 championship. While I think they make a great case, I still would put LSU over them.

Oklahoma 11-2 Previous BCS Rank #9

Oklahoma is another team that looks to be deserving in this crazy year. Oklahoma beat Missouri twice this year, including in the Big 12 Title game. They have two losses, but in the Texas Tech loss they had to play without quarterback Sam Bradford, who has had a great season and has been there leader. They have shown that when Bradford is in the game they are able to beat pretty much anyone and beat them soundly. There other loss to Colorado was a big loss because they had a huge lead going into the second half and basically became anemic on offense and gave up big plays on defense to an average Colorado game. The Big 12 was not great this year so there strength of schedule makes it hard for me to place them above USC or LSU.

LSU 11-2 Previous BCS Rank #7

LSU has the most talent in the country on their team. They do have two losses, but both losses were in long overt time games, one at Kentucky and the other at home. LSU has played the toughest schedule by far of the teams that are vying for a birth in the BCS National Championship game. They played 7 teams that were in the Top 25 when they played and two of those are still in the Top 10 now, Florida and Virginia Tech. LSU's struggles came in a stretch where they played some of the toughest teams in the SEC without a break. LSU played Tennessee for the SEC championship without there starting quarterback and still managed to beat them, something that USC was unable to do without there starter as was Oklahoma. LSU played a tougher schedule, had closer losses, and is the better team than the teams that are vying for the number 2 spot. The only thing LSU did bad, was lose late. LSU is the better team and they should be in the National Championship game against OSU.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

College Football Rankings Week 7



The BCS uses all sorts of formulas with computers and people rankings as well. Many people think the BCS is wrong and also believe that the voters do not get it right. With this in mind I have got together knowledgeable football fans from across the country with representation of each conference in the polls. The fans come from members of the Fantasy Football Cafe College Sports Forum. These fans watch more football than most of the voters and are extremely knowledgeable. They are allowed to vote however they want, just like if they were a Harris or AP voter. Some vote based on based performance, some on future, some on a combination of those, while others vote based on which team would win on a neutral field. They send me their top 35 and I calculate it to come up with the top 25 and we compare it to the BCS. I have included the averages for the top teams to show just how close they are packed together. Here is the BCS week 7 and our Week 7:

BCS

1. Missouri
2. West Virginia
3. Ohio State
4. Georgia
5. Kansas
6. Virginia Tech
7. LSU
8. USC
9. Oklahoma
10. Florida
11. Boston College
12. Hawaii
13. Arizona State
14. Tennessee
15. Illinois
16. Clemson
17. Oregon
18. Wisconsin
19. Brigham Young
20. Texas
21. South Florida
22. Virginia
23. Cincinnati
24. Auburn
25. Boise State

Rankings
1. Missouri (4) 2.75
2. WVU (2) 2.88
3. Georgia 4.13
4. LSU (2) 4.37
5. Ohio State 5.25
6. USC
7. Oklahoma
8. Florida
9. Kansas
10. Virginia Tech
11. Arizona State
12. Boston College
13. Tennessee
14. Illinois
15. Clemson
16. Auburn
17. Hawaii
18. Texas
19. Cincinnati
20. Oregon
21. Virginia
22. Wisconsin
23. Texas Tech
24. USF
25. Arkansas

As you can see the top two teams are the same, which makes sense in my mind. Those two should be the top two in this case, but I don't believe they are the best two teams in the country right now. A big difference in the rankings that would effect teams trying to get into that BCS title game is the case for the 3-5 teams. The BCS has OSU at 3 and all the OSU fans are just waiting for one of the top two to fall so they can jump in. In our rankings UGA and LSU are ahead and OSU most likely would not jump them because their season is already over. Strength of schedule seems to have come into play here and the teams that played the tougher schedule are getting the benefit of the doubt over a one loss OSU team that did not play a very tough schedule. Also, Hawaii is not in the top 16 and thus would not be headed to a BCS bowl game like they would in the BCS standings. I think this is how it should be because Hawaii is dead last in SOS in all of the NCAA. Hawaii has played no one all year and at times struggled against terrible opponents.

A Look at the Young for Garza Trade

If the old adage is true that pitching wins championships, the Rays moved in the right direction on Wednesday. The Rays added a very talented pitcher in Matt Garza, who has the potential to be a good number 2 starter in this league, a good stop gap shortstop in Jason Bartlett, and maybe their future closer in Eduardo Morlan. It is always difficult to have to part with a player that has the potential that Delmon Young has, but the opportunity to upgrade the team in three different areas was too much to pass up.

Read the Rest at The Stat Pack!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gator Transfer Looking at USF?

Lost in the transfer of Jarred Fayson was that former Jefferson stand out Tight End, Trent Pupello, was also granted a release from his scholarship. Pupello was a two way star at Jefferson and a four star recruit coming out of high school. Pupello was not used much in his two seasons at Florida and with the emergence of Cornelius Ingram and Aaron Hernandez at TE he knew he was the odd man out.

Unlike Fayson, Pupello was not restricted in the schools he could transfer to and he has said he is looking at USF. Pupello grew up in the Tampa Bay area and his family still lives here and when you combine that with the fact that USF is an up and coming program in need of someone to catch the ball it makes perfect sense for him to come to USF.

Pupello would be a great fit in the USF offense and would give Matt Groethe a dependable target that he could go to not only in the red zone, but all over the field. Pupello has played on special teams at Florida and also some on defense, but he wants to get back to tight end and making plays. The Gators do not need him on offense and USF would be a great place for him to land to showcase his abilities.

Don't Tug On Superman's Cape


Even Superman knows Tebow should be the Heisman

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Start McCown if Garcia Can't Go

The Bucs will most likely be without starting quarterback Jeff Garcia this weekend when they go to New Orleans. Garcia injured his back on the first drive of Sundays win over the Washington Redskins. Today on 620 WDAE's Ron and Ian Show, Garcia said that at the moment he isn't even thinking about picking up a football and throwing it. He was on his way to One Buc Place to have treatment done and you could tell by his tone that he is in a lot of pain. Since the Bucs season would be over if they were to be without Garcia for an extended period of time, they would be smart to let him get healthy.

If Garcia can't play on Sunday than Jon Gruden will have to decide on who the Bucs starting QB will be against the Saints. On a normal team the choice should be the back up, but it is not that easy for the Bucs. Bruce Gradkowski has been the backup to Garcia all year and came in for Garcia last week when he was knocked out of the game, but he is more backup by default rather than skill level. Gruden admitted to the media that due to the fact that Jeff Garcia gets over 90% of the snaps during practice they made Gradkowski the backup due to the fact that he has more game experience than McCown. They now have time to give McCown the snaps in practice and should due so.

The game against the Redskins was deja vu of last season. The Bucs could not move the ball when Garcia went out of the game and it got progressively worse as the game went on. The Bucs gained 16 yards of offense in the second half with Gradkowski leading the way. We had to sit through the bad offense for most of last season until Gruden finally put veteran Tim Rattay into the lineup and the offense finally got going. Gradkowski is not an NFL quarterback and no matter what Jon Gruden wants to believe, he never will be. He simply does not have the arm strength to make the throws that are needed down the field and cannot read a defense to save his life.

Although Gradkowski has more game experience, it is not like McCown is a rookie quarterback. This is McCowns 4th season in the NFL and he did get some starts when he was with the Cleveland Browns. McCown has been around Gruden's offense longer than Gradkowski has and he is physically more talented. McCown can make the throws down the field that is needed for the Bucs to move the ball and has the mobility that Gruden likes in a quarterback. He was the number 2 QB all through training camp and the pre season because he showed that he was the better quarterback between he and Bruce.

We all know what we have with Bruce Gradkowski, an offense that cannot run the ball because the defense stacks 8 men in the box and no passing game because the QB cannot get the ball to the receivers. McCown offers better mobility, a stronger arm, and more knowledge of the play book. I for one cannot stand to watch an offense like we saw last year and last Sunday again, and if Bruce is in the game that is exactly what will happen.

If the Bucs lose to the Saints on Sunday they will only be one game up on New Orleans and will no longer own the tie breaker. The game is pretty important to their playoff hopes and they are going to need an offense to win the game. The Saints are vulnerable to the passing game, especially the deep ball. In order to exploit that vulnerability the Bucs need to have a quarterback that can make those throws and Gradkowski just can't. We all know what we have with Bruce, lets see what Luke can do.

Fayson Set to Transfer

Sophomore wide receiver Jarred Fayson has asked the University to let him out of his scholarship so that he can transfer to another school and the University of Florida has agreed. Fayson, who has been active in every game for the last two years, was not happy in his role in the Gator offense. n his 11 games this season Fayson rushed for 96 yards and caught 12 balls for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns.

As part of the agreement to let him out of his scholarship, Fayson is not allowed to transfer to any University in the state of Florida. While the stipulation about non-Florida schools could be because the Gators play Miami, FSU, and USF in 2009 when Fayson would be eligible to play, it was directed more to USF in my opinion. Fayson played his high school football in Tampa, originally committed to USF before coming to UF, and the Bulls have a great need for a dependable wide receiver. Wherever Fayson decides to go he won't be there for long because he will only have a year of eligibility left.

I understand where Fayson is coming from, but this is a mistake. He does not like his role in the offense right now, but next year Bubba Caldwell will be gone and he could have worked hard and showcased himself as the number 2 wide out in one of the best offenses in the country. Instead, Fayson will sit out a year and have only one year to play in another offense that likely will not be as good. The loss of Fayson to the Gator offense is not a big one. The Gators still have their number one target in Percy Harvin and with Louis Murphy and Riley Cooper showing they can be a good set of wide outs the Gators are in good shape.

Tim Tebow for Heisman

I cam across this video on Youtube. A great clip of Tebow highlights set to the tune of 3 Doors Down. Watching the video you cannot come away unimpressed by what he has been able to do. Keep the hype going.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Heisman Top 5 -- Week 14

My disclaimer as always: The Heisman trophy is given to the best player in the country and that is how I look at the award. The best player may not be on the best team in the country. There are many things that go into being the best player including stats, leadership, and what you mean to your team. Here is my Top 5 this week:

Tim Tebow - Quarterback - Florida

Stats - 12 Games 177.9 Rating 68.5 % 3,132 Yards 29 TD 6 INT 838 Rush Yards 22 TD
Last Week: 19-28 262 Yards 3 TD 89 Yards Rushing 2 TD
Tebow had another dominating effort last week against the Seminoles. Tebow has the award won in my mind no matter what any other player does in the coming week. Tebow has shown that not only does he have the talent and statistics to win the award, but also the fact that he never had a bad game all season. Tebow was in the spotlight and teams knew that he was going to be the Gator offense all season, yet he was able to compile unheard of statistics in the toughest conference in the season. It does not matter that he is a Sophomore or that the Gators have 3 losses, he is the best player in college football this season.

Dennis Dixon - Quarterback - Oregon
Stats: 10 Games 161.2 Rating 67.7% Passing 2,136 Yards 20 TD 4 INT 583 Rush Yards 9 TD
Last Week: DNP Injured for Season
Dixon?? Isn't he done for the year? Dixon is done for the year and I said last week that I took him out for a healthy player, but the fact remains that this is where he belongs. The Oregon v. UCLA game illustrated exactly how important Dixon was to the Ducks. As I was told, "The Ducks went from a National Champion Contender, to being shut out by UCLA," all due to the fact that they lost Dixon. Dixon was not only the Duck offense, but also the heart and soul of the entire team. Dixon's stats were great before he was injured and he may be the most important player to his team in the country. The only person who belongs in the talk with Tebow is Dixon.

Pat White - Quarterback - West Virginia
Stats: 11 Games 153.2 Rating 69% 1,498 12 TD 4 INT 1,144 Rush Yards 14 TD
Last Week: 9-13 107 Yards 1 TD 1 INT 186 Rush Yards 2 TD
White and the Mountaineers are set up to play for the National Championship after demolishing UConn last week. White is more of a runner than Tebow and Dixon and less of a passer, but his importance to the team is about the same. WVU has only lost one time this season and that was when White was out for most of the game against USF. WVU loves to run the ball and Steve Slaton is a great weapon, but if they were to lose him they could still win, but if White misses a game the Mountaineers are done. White is a great athlete and has his team in line for a National Championship, but as great as he is, he is still behind Dixon and Tebow.

Chase Daniel - Quarterback - Missouri
Stats: 12 Games 155.9 Rating 70.5 % 3,951 Yards 33 TD 9 INT 258 Rush Yards 3 TD
Last Week: 40-49 361 Yards 3 TD
Daniel had a great game against Kansas last week and has Missouri in line for a shot at the National Championship if he can get them past Oklahoma this week. He struggled last time they played Oklahoma, which is there only loss on the season, and this game will be tough for them once again. Daniel is a great quarterback and has good numbers, but he has not played the same tough schedule as some of the above players. Daniel is a great story and what he is doing for Missouri is great, but he is not the best player in college football.

Darren McFadden - Running Back - Arkansas
Stats: 12 G 1,725 Rush Yards 15 TD 6-11 Passing 4 TD 164 Receiving Yards 1 TD
Last Week: 32 Rush 206 Yards 3 TD 3-6 Passing 34 Yards 1 TD
Face it, the guy is the most talented player in college football. He has scored a touchdown by running, passing, and receiving. The Wild Cat formation that the Razorbacks run contribute to some of his success and the fact that he has Felix Jones on the field with him at times definitely help him at times, but this guy still does it all. Everyone on defense knows that McFadden is the guy to stop if you want to beat Arkansas, but he still manages to get his stats. The problem with McFadden is that he went missing for a couple games this season and Heisman winners do not do that. His numbers against similar opponents to Tebow's are not even close with Tebow having much better numbers. McFadden should be the number 1 pick overall in the draft, but that is not what the Heisman is supposed to measure.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Vacation


Happy Thanksgiving to all of the TBSF readers out there!!! I am on vacation with my wife until Monday, so posting will be limited until I get back home and have some time to post my new articles. Everyone have a great Turkey Day and check out DRaysBay or the StatPak to get your blogging fix!!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

College Football Rankings Week 6


The BCS uses all sorts of formulas with computers and people rankings as well. Many people think the BCS is wrong and also believe that the voters do not get it right. With this in mind I have got together knowledgeable football fans from across the country with representation of each conference in the polls. The fans come from members of the Fantasy Football Cafe College Sports Forum. These fans watch more football than most of the voters and are extremely knowledgeable. They are allowed to vote however they want, just like if they were a Harris or AP voter. Some vote based on based performance, some on future, some on a combination of those, while others vote based on which team would win on a neutral field. They send me their top 35 and I calculate it to come up with the top 25 and we compare it to the BCS. I have included the averages for the top teams to show just how close they are packed together. To me it looks like you can interchange the 2-4 spots. Here is the BCS week 6 and our Week 6:
BCS

1. LSU 10-1
2. Kansas 11-0
3. West Virginia 9-1
4. Missouri 10-1
5. Ohio State 11-1
6. Arizona State 9-1
7. Georgia 9-2
8. Virginia Tech 9-2
9. Oregon 8-2
10. Oklahoma 9-2
11. USC 8-2
12. Florida 8-3
13. Texas 9-2
14. Boston College 9-2
15. Hawaii 10-0
16. Virginia 9-2
17. Illinois 9-3
18. Tennessee 8-3
19. Boise State 10-1
20. Connecticut 9-2
21. Wisconsin 9-3
22. Clemson 8-3
23. South Florida 8-3
24. Cincinnati 8-3
25. BYU 8-2

Rankings

1. LSU (9) 1.1
2. Kansas (1) 4.2
3. WVU 4.6
4. Missouri 4.7
5. Georgia 5.1
6. Ohio State 5.4
7. Arizona State
8. Oklahoma
9. USC
10. Virginia Tech
11. Florida
12. Oregon
13. Texas
14. Boston College
15. Virginia
16. Illinois
17. Tennessee
18. Wisconsin
19. Clemson
20. Uconn
21. Auburn
22. Hawaii
23. Boise State
24. Cincinnati
25. USF

Again the top four are the same as the BCS, but the difference is how close they are in this cote than in the BCS. The difference between Missouri and Kansas is a lot further in the BCS than in our rankings. The Kansas and Missouri game will put an end to that and I think if Missouri wins they will jump WVU. Georgia is higher in our rankings than in the BCS and I think that is due to the fact that the voters in our poll take SOS into account while they are determining the selection. Once again Hawaii is much lower than the BCS. I can tell you that many left them very far down on there list or off of it all together. In my opinion it will all be a moot point after this weekend because I believe Boise State will beat Hawaii.

Gators Get Harvin Back, but Defense Up in the Air

The Gators biggest play maker not named Tim Tebow returned to practice this week. Percy Harvin has missed the last two weeks with migraine headaches that have been so bad he had to be sent to the hospital for treatment. Harvin is back at practice this week and says he will play this week against rival FSU. Although the gators offense has scored without him, they have still missed his home run presence in the game. Percy is a guy that is a threat to take it to the house anytime he touches the ball and defenses have to account for where he is on the field every down. With Harvin back it will open up the field even more for Andre Caldwell, Cornelius Ingram, Jarred Fayson, and others. This is great news for the Gators.

The Gators are going to need Harvin in the game against FSU because with the injuries in the secondary they may need to score every time they have the ball to win the game. The Gators starting corner Joe Haden is doubtful with an ankle injury and his backup Markihe Anderson still has a sore knee and even if he does play he will not be as effective as he should be. If Haden were not to play that means that freshman Jacque Rickerson will have to start and play extended minutes, something he has not done this year. The Gators secondary has been it's Achilles heel all year long and these injuries combined with going against the duo of DeCody Fagg and Greg Carr does not look good for the Gators. They will need some of the younger secondary players to step up and play a great game with Haden out of the game.

With the secondary still hurting the Gators will need the front four to step up and try to get pressure on the Seminoles. The Gators got good news on both sides of their lines when they learned that both of the Pouncey twins will be able to play. Mike Pouncey has been big up the middle plugging up holes and making it difficult to run. Pouncey also gets double team sometimes because of his size, which leads to the ends coming free for sacks. Maurkice Pouncey's return to the offensive line will help in protection of Tebow and running the ball with Harvin, Fayson, and Moore.

Boras


I am now a contributing writer on The Stat Pack. My first article is a piece on Scott Boras and if he has lost his effect with teams. The Stat Pack focuses more on baseball, but still has articles from all walks of sports. The writers over there are quality writers and have some great insight and connections to great interviews. My Articles at The Stat Pack will be different from the ones here and have different content. I will have an interview from the Pittsburgh Pirates 1B/OF Steven Pearce over there very soon. Be sure to go check it out!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Heisman Top 5 -- Week 13

My disclaimer as always: The Heisman trophy is given to the best player in the country and that is how I look at the award. The best player may not be on the best team in the country. There are many things that go into being the best player including stats, leadership, and what you mean to your team. Dennis Dixon went down last week and although he is still on my list because of how great his year was and how much he meant, I left him off of this list and have 5 healthy players. Here is my Top 5 starting this week:

Tim Tebow - Quarterback - Florida
Stats - 11 Games 177.5 Rating 68.5 % 2,870 Yards 26 TD 6 INT 749 Rush Yards 20 TD
Last Week: 25-34 338 Yards 3 TD 1 INT 31 Yards Rushing 1 TD
The Gators were expected to blow out FAU and maybe give Tebow some time off, but the defense did not step up until later in the game and Tebow had to stay in and lead the offense. He set a career mark in passing with 338 yards and became the first player in FBS history to have 20 passing and 20 rushing touchdowns in the same season. We all saw what happened to Oregon when Dixon went down, and I believe the same would happen to the Gators if Tebow were to go down. Much like Dixon, Tebow is the emotional leader of the team and pumps up both the offense and defense. If there was ever a sophomore deserving to win the award it is Tebow.

Chase Daniel - Quarterback - Missouri
Stats: 11 Games 155.1 Rating 69.3 % 3,590 Yards 30 TD 9 INT 252 Rush Yards 3 TD
Last Week: 28-41 284 Yards 4 TD
Daniel moved up because of another great performance last week, but also due to Dixon's injury and Mike Hart's terrible day against OSU. Daniel has had a great season and has Missouri with a chance to go to the National Championship game. He has carried this team when they need it and seems to help them respond offensively when other teams score on them. This week will be a big test for them as they play Kansas and could do wonders for his Heisman chances.

Pat White - Quarterback - West Virginia
Stats: 10 Games 153.5 Rating 69% 1,391 11 TD 3 INT 958 Rush Yards 12 TD
Last Week: 13-19 120 Yards 1 INT155 Rush Yards 2 TD
The Mountaineers played a game with huge Big East implications on Saturday against Cincinnati. Cincy was a team that many thought would upset the Mountaineers because of how good Cincy's defense is and style that they run. I watched the entire game and what I came away with was that White may be just as important to his team as Dennis Dixon was to Oregon. Cincy was playing great defense and was able to stop Slaton and the wide outs. The game was close until WVU just let Pat White do his thing. White was able to make the reads and run all over Cincy, but also had the vision to make the pitches to get more yards. WVU has one loss this season and that was the game that White only played a quarter of.

Darren McFadden - Running Back - Arkansas
Stats: 11 G 1,519 Rush Yards 12 TD 3-5 Passing 3 TD 164 Receiving Yards 1 TD
Last Week: 28 Rush 88 Yards 1-1 Passing 1 TD 4 Receptions 50 Yards 1 TD
Face it, the guy is the most talented player in college football. He has scored a touchdown by running, passing, and receiving. The Wild Cat formation that the Razorbacks run contribute to some of his success and the fact that he has Felix Jones on the field with him at times definitely help him at times, but this guy still does it all. Everyone on defense knows that McFadden is the guy to stop if you want to beat Arkansas, but he still manages to get his stats.

Glenn Dorsey - Defensive Tackle - LSU
Stats: 11 Games 55 Total Tackles 11.5 Tackles for Loss 6 Sacks 4 Passes Defensed
Last Week: 1 Tackle
Defensive players do not win the Heisman, but Dorsey makes an argument. He is the heart and soul of the LSU defense and when he is in the game teams cannot run the ball up the middle. His stats are pretty good for a defensive tackle, but more than his stats is just him being on the field. His presence totally changes the game for the LSU defense and they can focus more on the passing game knowing that Dorsey is a big man clogging up the middle. He won't win the award because he is on the defense, but he deserves some talk.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Gators Set records, but Get Eliminated From SEC Race

Tim Tebow and Andre Caldwell both set records in a dominating victory over FAU at home on Saturday. Caldwell broke former Gator wide receiver, Carlos Alvarez's, Florida career reception mark. Caldwell had a big game and compiled 13 receptions, which had him 3 short of breaking another one of Alvarez's records, most receptions in a game. Tebow set a career high in passing yards on the day, but he set a bigger record when he rushed for a touchdown in the first half. Tebow's rushing touchdown game him 20 on the the year, which made him the only player in NCAA FBS history to throw and run for 20 touchdowns in a single season. The 20 touchdowns also set an SEC record for a quarterback. The Gators dominated FAU on both sides of the ball and seemed to score at will because of Caldwell and Tebow.

The individual accomplishments were great, but they were overshadowed later when the Gators learned they had been eliminated from the SEC East race. The Gators needed Kentucky to beat Georgia and Tennessee to lose to either Vandy or Kentucky next week. It looked good for a while, but the Kentucky ended up choking the game away and Georgia ended any chance the Gators had to make it to Atlanta and represent the SEC East. The Gators now have only the rivalry game against FSU and a bowl game left on their schedule. At the moment it looks like the Gators will be headed down here to Tampa to take on Ron Zook and Illinois in the Outback Bowl. Next week is tje big game against the Seminoles, who have looked better as of late. The Gators have a 3 game winning streak against the Seminoles and Urban will look to extend that.

The Gators did have some injuries in the game that may effect them next week. Both starting corners, Joe Haden and Wandy Pierre-Louis, were both injured during the game and their status has not been updated yet. Also, Percy Harvin missed another game with migraine headaches. Hopefully all three of them will be healthy this Saturday for the rivalry game, but we will have to wait.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Closer Found?

Towards the end of last season the Rays finally cut their ties with Jorge Cantu and shipped him to Cincinnati and in return the Rays received Calvin Medlock and Brian Shackelford. The Rays were just trying to get something for Cantu, but they may have got their future closer in the deal.

Medlock has had good numbers since being drafted by the Reds. He has a career 3.24 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. What is most impressive has been his ability to adapt and get better as he goes through the minors. Medlock seems to struggle when he is first moved up in the minors, but later adjusts and puts up good numbers. He was having a tough season last year when the Rays traded for him, he had a 5.63 ERA for AAA Louisville in 16 innings. After the trade though, Medlock pitched 15.2 innings and had an ERA of 3.45. Maybe he adjusted or maybe pitching coach Xavier Hernandez helped him work through whatever his struggles are. Whatever it was that was fixed has only made him better.

The Rays sent Medlock to the Arizona Fall League to gain experience this off season. If what he did there is any indication of what he can for the Rays, than they robbed the Reds in the that trade. Medlock gave up 3 earned runs in his first 4 innings in Arizona, but fixed that and did not give up an earned run in the last 12.2 innings he was there. With the Fall League rapping up Medlock will most likely finish with a 1.62 ERA and 9.5 K/BB ratio. While in Arizona batters had an average of .127 against him and he had a .56 WHIP.

Medlock has all the makings of closer. He does not walk many, gives up few hits, and has the pitches to get the strikeouts when necessary. The Rays are in need of help in the bullpen, but they may not have to go out and get too much help. He is not ready to close just yet, but he will only get better as he gains major league experience. The Rays need to give him a real shot in Spring Training to see what he can do.

Will Rays Pursue Izturis?

Rotoworld is reporting that the Pirates have declined their 5.45 million option on Cesar Izturis today. With have Jack Wilson and his big salary on the team, plus Freddy Sanchez in the mix there was no need to spend that much money on a utility infielder. With the Rays need for a defensive shortstop will they pursue Izturis?

The members over at DRaysBay came up with a wish list of players they wanted to see on the Rays and Izturis was a name that popped up. Izturis was a gold glove shortstop in 2004 for the Dodgers, which was the last time he played a full season, and made the all-star team the next season. He was traded to the Cubs in 2006 for Greg Maddux and recently traded to the Pirates. Since he left the Dodgers he has not really been a full-time shortstop, but he is still young and has the potential to be a gold glove shortstop again.

Izturis is not much of a threat with the bat. He has a lifetime average of .259 and an on base percentage of .295, but the Rays do not need him for his bat. Izturis is very good defensively and has a lifetime fielding percentage of .979. Izturis has great range and does not make very many errors. The Rays need a veteran defensive shortstop to come in and be the stop gap at the position until Reid Brignac is ready to take over. The Rays defense was horrible last season and adding Izturis would help that immensely. Izturis is not worth what he was getting paid and many teams will want him to be a utility player for them and not the full time shortstop. The Rays may be the only team that can offer him a starting and full time spot, which may allow them to sign him for a lesser price.

Harvin Out, Pouncey to Play

Its official, the Gators will be without star wide out/running back Percy Harvin for the second straight game. Harvin, who missed last week with a severe sinus infection and migraine headaches, has not gotten any better this week and actually had to be hospitalized. Other Gators had to step up last week to make up for the loss of Harvin and will have to do so again this week. Hopefully Harvin will get better and be able to play next week at FSU. The Gators may not need him to beat FAU this week, but he would be a huge loss for the FSU game.

The Gators did get some good news on the injury front though. Freshman offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey was cleared to play this week after being carted from last weeks game with a sprained ankle. Urban Meyer said he had a good couple days of practice and he is a fats healer. It will be good to have Pouncey back in the game, but like Tebow he needs to be pulled later in the game if the Gators are up big.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cam to Play Extended Time ??

The Gators are expected to win big this week as FAU comes into the swamp. The odds makers have Florida as a 35 point favorite at the moment, and many people think it may not be that close. The Gators seem to have gotten on track defensively, especially at home and the offense seems to be scoring at will. If the Gators are to get up big early the question will be whether or not they should leave Tim Tebow in the game. Urban Meyer addressed this earlier this week and said that Cameron Newton has had two good weeks of practice and could see time in the game.

On one hand you do not want to chance Tebow going down on a fluke play and have him miss the FSU game, but on the other Tebow is a Heisman candidate and may need the stats to win the award. My feeling is that if the Gators have a comfortable lead they need to turn it over to Cam and let him run the offense.

If the Gators are up enough to let Cam into the game that means that Tebow has done already gotten his stats and their is no reason to risk him getting hurt. Further, the team needs him healthy to win against FSU and the bowl game so there is no need risk him getting injured just for stats. Also, I would like to see Cam get some game time and see what he can do. He has gotten some minor work and looked good in that action, but it would be good to see what he can do in extended action. Cam is a true Freshman and will be the Gators quarterback after Tebow leaves. He is actually bigger and faster than Tebow is and should be fun to watch in a few years.

Harvin Doubtful

The Gators are most likely going to be without their biggest running and receiving threat again this weekend. Percy Harvin, who missed the South Carolina game with a sinus infection and migraine headaches, came back to practice this week, but after a working for a bit got sick again. The Gators had to take Percy to the hospital and Urban Meyer visited him when he had an IV going and said that Percy was not looking good. It seems that Percy is sicker than they once thought and the Gators will most likely be without him this weekend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rays Moves

The Rays made a couple of roster moves today. They have exercised their option on closer Al Reyes and declined the option on 1B/DH Greg Norton. The Rays also reinstated outfielder Rocco Baldelli, shortstop Ben Zobrist, and catcher Sean Riggans. The Rays had until Thursday to pick up or decline the options on Reyes and Norton, but wasted no time.

Reyes was a fantastic gamble by the Rays during the off season last year and keeping him was an obvious choice. Reyes will still be the Rays closer at the moment, but they may make some moves in the off season, which would move him to the set up role he excelled in when he was with St. Louis. Reyes did struggle at the end of the season after being lights out in the first half, which could be a concern for the Rays, but those struggles could be due to not getting consistent pitching time, his injury, or because he had missed the previous year with an injury. Whatever the struggles were from, picking up his option was a no brainer.

Releasing Norton cam as no surprise either. The team is full of young talent that can play the DH position and Norton was not playing well when he did get a chance. The best thing he did as a Ray was get hurt in last Spring training, which allowed Carlos Pena to have the first base job. Thank You Norty.

The other moves were just to put guys back on the roster. Zobrist could be cut and let go in my opinion. he was terrible with the bat and is not a great defensive shortstop. Baldelli says he is healthy and the Rays will hope that is true once again. With the Rays releasing Josh Paul earlier, Sean Riggans becomes the back up catcher for the Rays.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Crawford to the Cubs?

ESPN 1000 in Chicago is reporting that the Rays and Cubs are are talking and maybe close to a deal that would send Carl Crawford to the Cubs for Rich Hill/Carlos Marmol/Ronny Cedeno. It was floated out earlier today and the guys over at DRaysBay picked it up and speculated that this could be the deal and ESPN 1000 has just confirmed the names.

The bad press has already started over this on local radio. Many fans are going to be upset if the Rays let go of Crawford, but they are not getting "no names" in return that many think they are. Rich Hill is a young starter who has tremendous upside, would be a great addition to the rotation, and the Rays would have control of him for a while at a the minimum. Carlos Marmol is a great you closer who could come in and immediately be the guy the Rays can go to and shut the door at the end of the games. Adding Marmol would allow the Rays to move Reyes to the 8th and be the set up guy like he was in St. Louis for a while. Cedeno is the least talented player, but he is still a very good defensive short stop that can come in and improve the Rays infield defense and hold down the fort until Reid Brignac can get up.

No one wants to see Crawford leave the Rays, but this trade would bring the Rays viable players in return that can help them win. All 3 players address needs that the Rays have, including the 2 major ones in another good starter and bullpen help. You would like to see maybe one more player added into the deal since Crawford is so talented, but they would be getting value.

EDIT - From what I have heard the Rays are not going to do this deal, but it was offered to the Rays. While I think the Rays could get more for Crawford, it was not a bad offer and could have helped the Rays in the long run.

College Football Rankings Week 5


The BCS uses all sorts of formulas with computers and people rankings as well. Many people think the BCS is wrong and also believe that the voters do not get it right. With this in mind I have got together knowledgeable football fans from across the country with representation of each conference in the polls. The fans come from members of the Fantasy Football Cafe College Sports Forum. These fans watch more football than most of the voters and are extremely knowledgeable. They are allowed to vote however they want, just like if they were a Harris or AP voter. Some vote based on based performance, some on future, some on a combination of those, while others vote based on which team would win on a neutral field. They send me their top 35 and I calculate it to come up with the top 25 and we compare it to the BCS. Here is the BCS week 5 and our Week 5:

BCS

1. LSU
2. Oregon
3. Kansas
4. Oklahoma
5. Missouri
6. West Virginia
7. Ohio State
8. Arizona State
9. Georgia
10. Virginia Tech
11. USC
12. Florida
13. Texas
14. Virginia
15. Clemson
16. Hawaii
17. Boston College
18. Boise State
19. Illinois
20. Tennessee
21. Michigan
22. Cincinnati
23. Kentucky
24. UConn
25. Wisconsin

Rankings

1. LSU
2. Oregon
3. Oklahoma
4. Kansas
5. Missouri
6. West Virginia
7. Georgia
8. Ohio State
9. Arizona State
10. USC
11. Florida
12. Virginia Tech
13. Texas
14. Clemson
15. Virginia
16. Tennessee
17. Boston College
18. Illinois
19. Cincinnati
20. Kentucky
21. Michigan
22. Hawaii
23. Auburn
24. Boise State
25. Wisconsin

This is by far the closest the rankings have been to the BCS this season. With the more games being played the rankings have become a little more a like because the basics seem to be obvious, but there are some minor differences that would be important to the Bowls and National Championship. The difference between Kansas and Oregon in the BCS is not very much and many believe if Kansas wins out they will definitely jump Oregon in the BCS, while that may not happen in these rankings. Kansas does have it's biggest tests coming up and if they can go undefeated I think they will be number 2 in the country.

The other major thing with Bowl implications is Hawaii and Boise States rank. To get into a BCS bowl the Hawaii or BSU would need to get into the top 12 or in the top 16 and is ahead of one of the BCS conference champions. The BCS rankings would most likely have Hawaii in a BCS game if they win out, but by these rankings Hawaii would not see a BCS bowl game. I personally would love to see Hawaii in a bowl game because they would get run off the field by these other teams and it would put in end to their complaining about getting no respect.

Monday, November 12, 2007

This Offseason Very Important for Rays

The Rays have finally unveiled all of their new changes with the uniforms and name change. The Rays front office is hoping to not only change the design of the uniforms, but also the design of the team and the Rays fan base. With all the hype surrounding the new team and the Rays front office wanting a new stadium, this is the most important off season for the Rays franchise.

The Rays showed great offensive promise all of the 2007 campaign and the pitching seemed to get better as the year went on. The Rays had fans excited at the end of the year and it showed at the unveiling of the new uniforms and team name. They had 7,000 people show up in the middle of football season at a park in St. Petersburg to watch a fashion show of Rays players. A couple years ago they may have gotten 700 for something like that.

With all of the changes it has come out in the newspapers that the Rays front office wants to build a new stadium where Al Lang field is now located. The Rays confirmed the report a couple nights ago that they are looking at a $450 million dollar ball park, but will only need about $60 million from the city to have it built. In order for the Rays to get the 60 million needed they will need the voters to turn out and vote for a tax raise to get the stadium built. The Rays stated in the paper today that they want the referendum voted on in November 2008. If the Rays want people to come out and vote, they need to give the fans a reason to be excited and want to vote for the stadium to be built.

For the Rays to get the fans to come out and vote they will need to get people excited and have a reason to want to get a new ball park built. This is the reason that this off season is so important for the Rays. Right now they have the momentum and excitement of the fan base, but if they do not address certain areas of the team and go into next season with the same basic team and do not spend money there will be problems. While fans really need to act like this is only the third year of the franchise they have lumped this organization in with the last and are tired of seeing losing baseball. Fans in the bay are long for a team that is .500 and at least a little competitive. If the Rays organization can make some moves and get this team to .500 by the end of next season I can guarantee that fans will come out and vote yeas for a new stadium. If they do nothing and the team continues the way it has the fans will just believe that it is the same old thing and leave the vote alone.

The Rays know what spots on this team they need to address for the team to be competitive; the bullpen and the starting rotation. There are some key free agents that are available to the Rays that can help both if these areas. The Rays can also address the areas in trade and have some offers out there. Whatever the Rays do they need to make sure they show the fans they are committed and if they do the fans will return the favor come November 2008.

Bucs Sign Keiwan Ratliff, Release Chas Gessner

With Michael Clayton healthy and able to play this weekend against the Falcons, the Bucs cut wide out Chas Gessner from the roster. They Bucs then signed corner back Keiwan Ratliff to the roster to take Gessner's spot. The move makes sense for the Bucs because they lost Torrie Cox for the season last week and had only 4 corners on the roster. Gessner was a special teams contributer and nothing more, so it made sense to add another corner with Clayton returning to the lineup.

Gator fans will remember Ratliff from his time at the University of Florida. Ratliff was the SEC player of the year two times in his career and was an All-American his senior season. He owns the records for most punt return yards (860), and interceptions in a game (3). Ratliff was a second round draft pick for the Bengals in 2004, but was released earlier this year.

Ratliff has played 51 games in his 4 year career and has 102 career tackles, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. He had a nice first year returning punts averaging 12.2 yards per return, but struggled in his next two seasons as he was in and out of the position.

Ratliff offers the Bucs some insurance in the secondary position with Brian Kelly and Phillip Buchanon's history of getting injuries. He has played in the league for 4 years so he has game experience. He also gives them a guy who can return punts, which will allow them not to chance Hilliard, Galloway, or Buchanon getting hurt on a punt return. This reminds me of the move the Bucs made last year when they acquired Buchanon off of waivers after he was released for being soft. Buchanon has been a great find for the Bucs and maybe Ratliff needed to be in a cover 2 type of system to succeed like Buchanon.