-The Red River Shootout finally lived up to it's motto on Saturday. Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy exchanged blows for four quarters and "The Real McCoy" came out on top with a performance that should keep him at the top of the Heisman talk for this week at least. It looked like Oklahoma was going to run away with the game in the first half but you have to credit the Longhorns for making some adjustments on defense and stopping Bradford and company in the second half. With the loss Oklahoma still has a chance of reaching the BCS Title game if they can win out and hope somebody knocks off Texas. Texas has a Dexter Morgan's schedule lineup ahead with Mizzou visiting this week who will be looking to take out some frustrations coming off a big loss at home. Then they get an undefeated Oklahoma State the following week and then travel to Lubbock to face a potentially undefeated Texas Tech team. If they win all those which I have serious doubts then they deserve to be the #1 rated team in the country. The Longhorns should enjoy this week at #1 in both the writer's and coaches poll and I'm sure Mack Brown has them ready for Missouri but you can't help but think that Mizzou had their letdown game last week in looking ahead to Texas while the Longhorns will have their letdown game this week in Austin after a hard fought victory in Dallas. Either way I'm looking forward to watching the Missouri-Texas game because it will be high scoring and who ever wins is the favorite to win the Big 12 in my opinion.
-Tough loss for Notre Dame in Chapel Hill. It's one of the first games since the Navy game last year that I thought Notre Dame should have won it and essentially they beat themselves. The 5 turnovers killed them especially the pick 6 Jimmy Clausen threw to start off the second half. Their offense is clicking with nearly 500 yards of total offense but you have to give North Carolina a ton of credit by forcing key turnovers. Things are bright though for Notre Dame with Clausen getting better every week and proving he is light years ahead of Brady Quinn in his development as a sophomore and playmakers like Golden Tate(should touch the ball at least 10 times a game, if not more), Michael Floyd, Armando Allen, Duval Kamara, and Kyle Rudolph all stepping up as underclassmen. If Notre Dame wants to get back to BCS football then they are going to need to ramp up their recruiting on the defensive line. Too many times this season they are undermanned and lack of talent and strength is getting exposed on the defensive line. Pat Kuntz has played his heart out and appears to have replaced Trevor Laws as the leader on the line but other than him nobody has exceeded or even met expectations. Ian Williams is a talented sophomore but he is getting pushed around and I've seen him miss a ton of tackles this season. Sophomore slump I guess you could call it or the lack of Laws to take away blockers. The Irish will need to add at least 3-5 players a year on the defensive line because half of the guys won't pan out till their junior or senior season and some just won't at all. The great programs have depth at d-line and while ND has been loading up on offense and defensive secondary in terms of talent they still have been lacking with the front 7 on defense. Losing out on guys like Gerald McCoy, Justin Trattou, and Omar Hunter has made the difference in my opinion in what could be an undefeated Irish team at this point in the season with a legitimate shot at a BCS Bowl victory. Hopefully the Irish can start landing these guys instead of losing them at the last minute.
-I was completely wrong about Florida. The Gators looked great in primetime against LSU and their offense is now clicking like I thought it would all season. How does a guy like Percy Harvin not get more talk for the Heisman? It seems like he is an automatic first down every time he touches the ball and you get a sense he will score almost every time he breaks huddle. I don't think Florida fans will ever realize how lucky they are to have Tim Tebow and Harvin much like when USC had Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. The Gators control their destiny if they win out because if they do they deserve to play for a BCS Title with only one loss in the SEC unlike USC who plays in a shitty conference and doesn't have to play a conference championship.
Image HT: EDSBS
Monday, October 13, 2008
We all knew it was only a matter of time before Tommy Bowden was shown the door but it appears Clemson officials finally woke up and kicked his ass out. Look, Tommy Bowden for all intended purposes should have won a rather pathetic ACC crown at least once during his 12 seasons in Death Valley. But he could never even get Clemson close to winning one despite programs like Florida State and Miami struggling these past few seasons. This season their offense has looked lost despite having a senior QB, two future NFL runningbacks who are explosive, and two receivers capable of playing in the NFL also. There is no excuse to lose to Maryland at home. Listen, both of my parents went to Maryland and they would be the first to say Clemson should never lose to Maryland especially on their home field.
With his firing it opens the door on their current recruiting class which features a lot of talented football players who should waiver in their commitment to Clemson. Headlined by 5 star safety Craig Loston, 4 star safety Devonte Holloman, and 4 star defensive end Malliciah Goodman it is only a manner of seconds before coaching staffs like Texas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC, LSU, and many others will now be calling in to check how committed some of these prospects are to a program with no current head coach. Personally I would love to see Notre Dame snag Devonte Holloman who was being recruited rather heavily by Corwin Brown. The Fighting Irish don't have a safety in their class currently and Holloman would be the perfect piece. Mack Brown and his coaching staff are coming off an impressive win over Oklahoma and I wouldn't be surprised if they swayed Texas native Loston into Austin to pay another visit. While it is true that Texas has two freshmen playing safety right now we all know injuries happen and Loston could be starting a year from now.
So who should Clemson look to get to replace Bowden? Dabo Swinney is the new interim head coach and it appears that Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips has encouraged all of the Clemson assistants to stay and rally around and support Swinney for the rest of the season. I'm not real familiar with the Clemson staff but as an outsider I think this is a mistake. Clemson needs to bring in somebody with head coaching experience and would benefit much more if they could bring in a big name like Bill Cowher before the season is over in my honest opinion. Clemson students, alumni, and fans deserve a proven winner and not just another assistant who is part of the problem on hand.
Posted by Matt Fairchild (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 9:27 AM
You know things have hit rock bottom when you lose at The Big House to a team by the name of Toledo. A team which came in with a 1-4 record. There is never an excuse to lose to fucking Toledo. I stated when Michigan hired DickRod as their coach that I couldn't imagine him lasting more than 3 seasons in Ann Arbor. Michigan football basically put all of it's eggs in to thinking Rodriguez could bring a spread offense into the Big Ten and it would succeed but the problem is he needs the recruits to run it and right now he doesn't have it. It will be interesting to see how much patience Wolverine fans have for Rodriguez. Remember they haven't experienced a losing season in 40 years and they ran out Lloyd Carr because he couldn't beat Jim Tressel. I can't see Rodriguez beating Tressel anytime soon especially with Terrelle Pryor(who DickRod was banking on getting when he accepted the Michigan job) being the starting QB in Columbus for the next 3-4 seasons. It's not all bad for Michigan though. They now have a song dedicated to them by Ryan Parker...
They travel to Happy Valley this weekend and follow it up with Michigan State, Purdue, Minnesota, Northwestern, and Ohio State. There is a good chance they might win just once more the rest of the season. 2-10 or a 3-9 season is hard to swallow and the whole honeymoon phase of Rodriguez could be up for an annulment before he ever gets a chance to settle in.
Posted by Matt Fairchild (email@example.com) at 8:57 AM