Category Archives: National Football

Harsh toke AP, Coaches

Nebraska Virginia Tech Football

The weekend is over, and the nation’s observers have weighed in with their opinions. By that I mean the release of this week’s Top 25 lists.

Obviously the top 3 schools are going to be Florida, Texas and Alabama right now. From there, it’s debatable for every other position. However, there is a debate that didn’t seem to take place at all.

When I looked at the Top 25 lists, I was caught off guard and surprised by the fall that Nebraska took. Entering the weekend, Nebraska was ranked 19th in the AP poll and 18th in the Coaches poll. After losing 16-15 in Blacksburg, Va., to Virginia Tech, the Huskers fell to 25th in the AP and 24th in the Coaches.

At the same time the Hokies moved up from 13th and 14th respectably, to 11th and 12th.

This just raises a question for me. How do you justify dropping the Huskers that far after going on the road and nearly beating the Hokies? Yes, they deserve to fall from their spot at the beginning of the weekend. However, falling to 24th and 25th isn’t justified.

The Huskers instead should have been ranked around 22nd. If the loss would have come to Florida Atlantic or Arkansas State, then yes drop them as far as you want. However, on the road against a good — not great but good — Va. Tech team doesn’t seem the justification for a 6-place drop.

All in all, that was a harsh toke from both the AP and the Coaches.

Advertisements

Nebraska falls to Virginia Tech in heartbreaker

Nebraska Virginia Tech Football

Virginia Tech flanker Danny Coale (19) looks back as races down sideline 80 yards before getting stopped on the three-yard line by Nebraska late in the second half of an NCAA college football game at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Va., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009. The play set up the Hokies winning score in their 16-15 win. (AP)

Heartbreak.

There is no other word to describe what Nebraska Cornhusker fans were feeling after their 16-15 loss at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.

The Hokies were thoroughly outplayed by the Huskers on both sides of the ball, however the story of the day for the Huskers was mistakes — such as penalties while near the goal line  and blown coverage late in the fourth quarter.

The Huskers were dominant on defense — allowing only 194 total yards until 2 minutes left in the game — with the exception of the final drive. On offense, the team moved the chains — playing especially efficiently in the run game (207 yards) — but couldn’t turn that movement into touchdowns. Continue reading

Would a college football playoff work…

bowl-season-logoHere is a guest column from my friend and co-blogger for Kicks Soccer blog, Alex Haueter. He’s quite knowledgable, and he approached me about a post National Championship Game post/column. So here are his words.

When Sam Bradford’s pass fell incomplete on fourth-and-four with about two-and-a-half minutes remaining in Thursday’s BCS National Championship Game, pens hit paper and fingers struck keyboards throughout the country as sports writers began an annual ritual.

The summary of a title game between two good teams?

Don’t be so naive.

Instead, American sportswriters have come to prefer bashing the BCS instead of writing about it. Even in the Associated Press’ summary of the game, the writer includes an obligatory reference to a college playoff system. Florida’s win got it the silverware, but fans of Texas, USC and Utah are hardly willing to acknowledge the Gators as national champions.

Do these other teams have an argument? Of course, they do. Utah did all that was asked of it, winning its games by an average of almost 20 points with an early season win at Michigan and victories over (at the time) 12th-ranked Texas Christian, 14th-ranked Brigham Young and fourth-ranked Alabama, a team that spent much of the season atop the polls. Texas was a missed tackle away from a perfect season, and beat Oklahoma on a neutral field by the same spread as Florida. USC’s stifling defense held its opposition to barely more than a touchdown per game, and probably would have done so against Penn State in the Rose Bowl had the game not been out of hand by halftime.

At the end of the season, the BCS is not the right way to find a national champion. Anything involving computers and algorithms that the average fan can’t understand isn’t. The system it replaced wasn’t perfect, either, but there was room for compromise through split national titles. Those, of course, caused plenty of debate, too. Remember the 1997 season? At the end of the year, Nebraska and Michigan shared the honor, despite the feeling of most pundits that the Cornhuskers would have easily handled the Wolverines had they played at year’s end. Continue reading

Bowl predictions

bowl-season-logoHey all, it’s that time of the year again. Yup, bowl season.

This year brings with it a host of interesting games, and in this post I’ll let you know my thoughts about who will win each of them and put a spread on it. Feel free to post your picks and we’ll see who does best in this friendly little competition.

I will also let you know which are the games to watch. So without further ado,  here are the bowl picks: Continue reading

And that’s that …

University at Buffalo President John Simpson and UB Athletic Director Warde Manuel named Turner Gill the 23rd head football coach at University at Buffalo on Dec. 16, 2005. Gill signed a contract extention to continue being the head coach at Buffalo on Dec. 16, 2008. (File photo by Paul Hokanson)

University at Buffalo President John Simpson and UB Athletic Director Warde Manuel named Turner Gill the 23rd head football coach at University at Buffalo on Dec. 16, 2005. Gill signed a contract extension to continue being the head coach at Buffalo on Dec. 16, 2008. (File photo by Paul Hokanson)

Three years, to the day, that Turner Gill was announced as head coach at University at Buffalo, he signed a contract extension to continue coaching the Bulls.

Today the school and Gill announced that Gill would stay on as head coach for the Bulls with a contract extension that will go through the 2013 season.

Gill will receive a pay raise — as will his assistants — which will make him one of the highest paid coaches in the Mid-American Conference.

“On the day I came here to be the head coach I told my team that one day we would be successful here at the University at Buffalo,” Gill said in a statement.

“Now, more than ever, I have never been more proud to be the head coach of this program at this great academic institution. This program has proven it can win now and it is built to continue to win in the future. I am grateful to president John Simpson and athletic director Warde Manuel for their continued support and faith in me as a football coach and leader of young men.”

Gill has been mentioned for job openings at Syracuse, Auburn and Iowa State. He has a record of 15-22 in three years coaching the Bulls — a team that had won a total of 10 games in the seven years prior to Gill taking over. Continue reading

Was race the issue?

Buffalo head football coach Turner Gill is doused at the end of their 42-24 victory over Ball State in the Mid-American Conference NCAA championship football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Friday, Dec. 5, 2008. (AP)

Buffalo head football coach Turner Gill is doused at the end of their 42-24 victory over Ball State in the Mid-American Conference NCAA championship football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Friday, Dec. 5, 2008. (AP)

Charles Barkley was very adamant in who he wanted to take over his Auburn Tigers when on TNT for NBA coverage last week. And with Auburn’s decision, Barkley is screaming foul.

Barkley called for Auburn to hire ex-Nebraska coach and quarterback Turner Gill — now head coach at Buffalo University. Barkley sited Gill’s wonderful job at Buffalo and his ability to turn a once laughing stock of Division I football into a conference champion in just three years.

However, Auburn decided to hire Iowa State head coach Gene Chizik instead.

Barkley came out after the official announcement of Chizik and claimed the only reason the Tigers didn’t hire Gill was because Gill happens to be an African-American.

“I think race was the No. 1 factor,” said Barkley, who played basketball for Auburn before a long NBA career. “You can say it’s not about race, but you can’t compare the two resumes and say [Chizik] deserved the job. Out of all the coaches they interviewed, Chizik probably had the worst resume.”

And you know what? Barkley has a point. Continue reading

Bradford wins Heisman

Oklahoma football player Sam Bradford, right, speaks after he won the Heisman Trophy during a ceremony Saturday, Dec. 13, 1008 in New York.  (AP)

Oklahoma football player Sam Bradford, right, speaks after he won the Heisman Trophy during a ceremony Saturday, Dec. 13, 1008 in New York. (AP)

In what was an anticlimactic ceremony, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford came away from the Downtown Athletic Club of New York carrying the Heisman Trophy.

Bradford beat out Texas’ Colt McCoy and the reigning Heisman winner, Florida’s Tim Tebow, for the honor. Bradford becomes only the second sophomore ever — Tebow was a sophomore last season when he won — to win the Heisman.

This announcement came as no surprise to me — as I had predicted it early in the day — but I was somewhat disappointed by the result.

After seeing the voting totals, however, I thought it was a supremely interesting Heisman race. I mean all one needs to see is the final votes to see how interesting the race truly was.

Bradford received 300 first-place votes, McCoy 266 and Tebow 309. Not since 1956 — Tommy McDonald of Oklahoma — had a player drawn the most first-place votes and finished third. Continue reading