SportsCrack Blog

Monday, November 19, 2018

Colin Cowherd says sources have told him Urban Meyer is done coaching

Fox Sport's Colin Cowherd started his annual "shake the coaching carousel tree" segment today on "The Herd" by stating two sources have told him Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is going to retire from football this year.  This would not be shocking at all.  In fact we made a SportsCrack shirt in honor of Urban Meyer before the season even kicked off because we kind of figured he had run his course in Columbus.

The coaches agents of course tell this information to Cowherd to get their clients substantial pay raises.  If you run the fear of a coach like Brian Kelly leaving Notre Dame for the NFL during a resurgence in their program then presumably ND would have to open up their checkbooks to give him and his assistants pay raises to stay.  This is the same thing Charlie Weis' agent did in 2005 to get him that huge buyout.  That obviously bit ND in the ass.  

What I found interesting is Cowherd's mention of Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh as Kelly's eventual replacement.  I've actually heard in the past Harbaugh was interested in the Notre Dame job around two years ago when the Fighting Irish struggled to a 4-8 record in Kelly's 7th season in South Bend.  Obviously Kelly kept his job and Harbaugh is still in Baltimore but I wouldn't doubt for a second John would jump all over the ND job if it came open this offseason.  His daughter will be going to Notre Dame in 2019 on a lacrosse scholarship and John being the devout Catholic he is has always had an infinity for Notre Dame.  Notre Dame travels to Ann Arbor next October to take on brother Jim.  Could we be looking at Harbaugh Bowl 2.0?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Notre Dame Icon Video vs Florida State is Must See

This was the first game I've ever attended where I couldn't stand the cold but more than happy to be at Notre Dame Stadium.  I knew the brisk temperatures would work in Notre Dame's favor as soon as I saw the ND players shirtless warming up.  Granted FSU is currently an awful 4-6 team but I could see as soon as they got off the bus to walk into Notre Dame stadium that they wanted no part of the mid 20's weather.  Notre Dame, even with starter Ian Book out,  was led by senior Brandon Wimbush and helped lead a dominating performance from start to finish on Senior Night.

Notre Dame currently stands at 10-0 and will more than likely be at #3 in the College Football Playoff Rankings Show tonight on ESPN after the impressive 42-13 win over FSU.  Seniors like Jerry Tillery, Drue Tranquill and Te'von Coney went out in style on Saturday and deserve recognition for making the hard but ultimately right decisions to not leave early for the NFL and return for their final season.  All 3 have been dynamite this season for first year defensive coordinator Clark Lea's defense.

On offense you have to give props to of course Wimbush, Dexter Williams and Alize Mack for all battling through various obstacles and staying with ND.  All 3 seniors balled out on offense with FreeDex going for over 200 yards against a stingy FSU defense and Mack catching two spectacular TDs toward the back of the endzone.  And what about Wimbush who despite being benched for Book earlier this season kept his head up, didn't transfer or pout, and remained an engaged and encouraging teammate.  It shows the class and character of Wimbush who went on to throw for 3 TDs Saturday night.

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Up next for the Irish are the #12 Syracuse Orangemen.  Cuse comes in hot with a top 7 scoring offense.  This game is part of the Shamrock Series and will be played at Yankees Stadium.  ND has to win out this week and next week at USC in order to make the college football playoffs for the first time in program history.  

Monday, November 05, 2018

Elizabeth Hurley's Instagram wants you to know she still has it

I didn't want to HAVE to post about this Instagram post from Elizabeth Hurley today but I got multiple heads up texts from friends about this IG post.  So it is my civic and moral duty to appease to the masses and tell you that Elizabeth Hurley at the ripe age of 53 still has her fastball.  In fact from the looks of it she never actually lost it.  Now I've been told her son takes all of her Instagram pictures and videos which doesn't seem weird at all.  Go check them out just to make sure.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Mike Leach's Thoughts on Halloween

God I love the Pirate.  Not only is Mike Leach the most underrated college football coach (Washington State Cougs #8) in the nation but he's a national treasure with his press conferences.  This Halloween one is another gold star for Leach.  From stripper costumes to stealing your kid's Halloween candy Mike Leach is the college football gift that keeps on giving because he does not give a fuck.  It's a damn shame what Texas Tech did to him and it's ludicrous that Maryland refused to hire him but still keep a coach who basically killed one of his players on staff.

Mike Leach for President!

Initial Thoughts on the First College Football Playoff Rankings

The first two spots with Alabama and Clemson are no surprise to anybody.  With the exception of close calls for Clemson vs Texas A&M and Syracuse earlier this season Alabama and the Tigers have throttled everybody.  Both programs have a proven track record of not only making the playoffs but also winning them since it started in 2014.

Alabama is an absolute college football juggernaut right now.  They have the best offense in the nation led by the best QB, Tua Tagovailoa, in the nation who will more than likely run away with the Heisman Trophy in December.  Bama also has the best coach in the nation, the best talent in the nation, and their defense is at least top 5.  They are the best in the nation and really it's not even close to who's 2nd.  Yeah their schedule hasn't been great so far but they have been putting up nearly 50 points in the first half before turning to Jalen Hurts in the 2nd half just to run the clock and get home to bang coeds and collect booster envelopes.

What is a surprise is LSU being ranked over ND at #3.  LSU has a loss.  Notre Dame doesn't.  LSU's most impressive win is over #6 Georgia.  Notre Dame's most impressive win is over #5 Michigan.  There is obviously some SEC bias here in this ranking but it doesn't matter because LSU plays Bama this week.  LSU will get their asses kicked.  Notre Dame goes on the road vs a surging Northwestern team but they should win.  If Notre Dame takes care of business like they should in Chicago they will jump to either #3 or #2 depending on how the committee views the win and of course subsequent LSU loss.

Michigan, Georgia, and Oklahoma all come in right about where I thought they would.  While they are not in the top 4 they all can still reach the playoffs if they win out the regular season and win their conference championship game.  A one-loss Power 5 conference champ named Michigan, UGA and Oklahoma get in over an one-loss Alabama, an one-loss Clemson and an one-loss Notre Dame in my opinion because it's better to lose early than late in college football.

With that being said the only other team I can see reaching the playoffs is Ohio State.  Forget about Washington State, Kentucky, and West Virginia.  While those programs are playing great with only one loss on their resumes they will all suffer at least one loss if not multiple with their November schedules.  No two-loss Power 5 team is getting in over a one-loss Power 5 team or Notre Dame.  It's not happening.  But if Ohio State who sits at #10 gets their shit together and wins out which they have shown in the past they are capable of doing they will make the playoffs as an one-loss Big Ten Champion.

So essentially if you are a fan of Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan, Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State you will make the playoffs if you win out.  All of those programs are legitimate playoff contenders.  Unfortunately I'm not so sure it matters who makes the playoffs as long as big swinging dick Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide are mushroom tipping everybody else in the bathroom stall.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Mike Gundy's Rant on Twitter Talk is Classic Gundy

Gotta love what the power mullet said here.  Gundy basically said fuck those losers on Twitter with their "outside criticism" of Taylor Cornelius and the Oklahoma State Cowboys.  The Cowboys just finished their "upset" at home of the previously #6 ranked Texas Longhorns and Gundy wasn't gonna have any of this bull shit Twitter conversations.  And I couldn't agree with Gundy more.

Power Mullet: 1
Twitter losers: 0

Thursday, October 25, 2018

SportsCrack CFB Top 10 Week 8

1) Alabama - The Crimson Tide made it look easy again with an absolute throttling of Tennessee 58-21.  Alabama is so good in the first halves they don't even play Tua Tongue-a-violen after half time otherwise they would be putting 100 spots on the board.  They get a bye week to rest up for LSU next week in Baton Rouge.  If the spread is anything below 21 points you damn well better load up on Bama.

2) Clemson -  NC State entered Clemson Saturday undefeated thinking they could give the Tigers a run for their money.  They left with an ass whooping instead 41-7.  Travis Etienne had another 3 rushing TDs while Trevor Lawrence was as silky smooth as his feminine haircut.  The Tigers defense shutdown QB Ryan Finley and look to be on a collision course with the playoffs if they can survive Tallahassee and the Criminoles this weekend.  Clemson jumps ND for the #2 spot.

3) Notre Dame - ND enjoyed a much deserved bye week before hitting the road this week to travel to San Diego to play Navy.  Navy's pesky triple option will have a hard time getting much going against ND's Lea-gion of Doom with Navy transfer/option shutdown safety Alohi Gilman on seek and destroy missions with the sea men.

4) LSU - While it wasn't the prettiest performance it was still a convincing win over another top 25 opponent for LSU beating Miss State 19-3.  LSU gets an off week to prepare their anuses for the big veiny Crimson elephant dick coming in to destroy them in Baton Rouge next week.

5) Michigan - Michigan finally beat up on little brother despite the rain delay in East Lansing winning 21-7 in convincing fashion.  The Wolverines defense continues to suffocate the opposition and will get a bye week to get ready for another Big Ten "Top 25" opponent in Penn State visiting the world's largest toilet bowl.

6) Florida - Gators had a bye week to get ready for the World's Largest Cocktail Party.  This will be the first time both teams are in the top 15 since 2012 and College Game Day will be there for the first time since 2005.

7) Georgia - Dawgs had a bye week too to get ready for Florida.  There have been a lot of QB controversy rumblings coming out of Athens this week following Jake Fromm's less than stellar performance vs LSU and Justin Field's lack of playing time.  I got a feeling Fromm comes out and lights it up vs Florida to quiet the naysayers.

8) Texas - The Longhorns were off last week to get ready for the Mike Gundy Power Mullets of T. Boone Pickens University.  The Cowboys stink this year but I can see them upsetting Texas in a primetime night game on ABC just like what Purdue did to Ohio State last week.

9) UCF - In their nation's leading 20th consecutive win UCF forced 5 turnovers and dominated a bad East Carolina team 37-10.  The Knights get an off week of sun and fun this week and hope some other teams in front of them lose so they can inch closer to a potential playoff spot.

10) Oklahoma - Kyler Murray threw for another 4 TDs in a convincing road win at TCU winning 52-27.  It was a good test for Oklahoma after a bye week to rest up after the Red River Shootout lost to Texas.  Oklahoma can still make the playoffs if they run the table and with Murray at the controls it wouldn't shock anybody in Norman. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

2018 Notre Dame Roster Top 25 Players Midseason Edition

I did a preseason edition of the top 25 players on the Notre Dame roster back in August.  Not much has changed two months later at the midseason mark for the Fighting Irish especially in the top 3.

1. Julian Love, CB - Love is on everybody's midseason All-American team after leading the nation in pass breakups with 12.  He's been the most consistent defender and even has a returned strip sack for a TD.

2. Jerry Tillery, DT - 7.5 sacks.  Constant double teams freeing up the LBs and DEs to pressure the QB and make tackles in the backfield. Tillery has been everything we expected if not more.

3. Te'von Coney, LB - 56 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss.  Coney's return for his senior season has been huge for ND and like Tillery both are playing themselves into first round NFL money.

4. Khalid Kareem, DE - I had Kareem at #15 on my preseason list so this is a big jump but not completely unexpected.  The junior has been a terror off the edge all season both against the run and the pass.

5. Ian Book, QB - Book wasn't on my preseason list because Brandon Wimbush was the starter.  Now one could make an argument Book is the most important player on this list after his stellar four game performance while leading the nation in completion percentage.

6. Drue Tranquill, LB - The senior captain is the steady soundboard for Clark Lea's defense.  He makes every tackle and is a great example of knowing his role and excelling at it.

7. Julian Okwara, DE - I said before the season if ND was gonna have a great defense they needed guys like Okwara, Kareem and Hayes to step it up going into their junior seasons.  Okwara like Kareem has done it.  He's got 24 pressures and was unstoppable vs Pitt on the edge.

8. Miles Boykin, WR - Boykin was basically non existent with Wimbush at QB the first 3 games after his breakout performance in the bowl game vs LSU last year.  With Book in there Boykin has become his favorite target and he's exploded for 32 catches for 512 yards and 4 TDs.

9. Alohi Gilman, S - The Navy transfer has been tremendous.  He's let a few balls slip through his hands but he's gonna be a turnover, tackling machine in the 2nd half.  The sky is the limit with Gilman.

10. Dexter Williams, RB - FREE DEX, FREE DEX, FREE DEX!  After standing on the sidelines for the first 4 games because of a "suspension" Dexter finally got starting reps at tailback and has averaged over 100 yards per game with over 7 yards per carry.  He's even picking up blocks now.  It's great to have him back.

11. Robert Hainsey, OT
12. Chris Finke, WR
13. Troy Pride, CB
14. Chase Claypool, WR
15. Jalen Elliott, S
16. Daelin Hayes, DE
17. Sam Mustipher, OC
18. Asmar Bilal, LB
19. Tony Jones Jr., RB
20. Liam Eichenberg, OT
21. Justin Yoon, K
22. Brandon Wimbush, QB
23. Jafar Armstrong, RB
24. Alize Mack, TE
25. Tommy Kraemer, OG

Please note that Alex Bars didn't make the list because he's out for the season with his knee injury.  If Bars was still playing he would be in the top 5 easy.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

According to Reddit and the Notre Dame Bookstore Website ND could be wearing Green Jerseys vs FSU

Take some deep breaths ND Nation.  This is just a rumor.  I repeat it's only a rumor and has not been confirmed by anybody in the Notre Dame athletic department.  But according to a poster on Reddit who claims inside information Notre Dame will come out in green jerseys (pictured above) for the FSU game on November 10th.

"I was told before the season started by a friend of mine who is close to the team that ND has green jerseys in their possession and that they were very similar to the men's green basketball jersey's in color scheme. He said BK let the team decide whether to wear them for the Michigan or FSU game. He told me they were the normal home/away ND jersey template just with green on it and the picture above matches that description perfectly. I'm not sure if this picture was posted to the website by accident, but they may have leaked something they didn't mean to."

I will admit this worries me because I too am a ND fan.  I know the recent history of ND coming out in green jerseys and it's not pretty.  I'll never be able to burn away the images of Ryan Grant and Pat Dillingham fumbling away an undefeated season in 2002 vs Boston College in the green jerseys at home during the Ty Willingham era.

I'll never forget the green jerseys worn at home vs USC in the Bush Push game and then in the disastrous 2007 season with Evan Sharpley at QB that both resulted in losses, the later a 38-0 drubbing.  Also sprinkle in some Michigan "Under the Lights" games where the Irish came out on the losing end and it doesn't leave a happy, good luck irish green feeling among ND fans.

On the bright side Dan Devine loved the color green for ND when he was head coach in the late 70's and even won a Natty with Joe Montana sporting the famous green #3 jersey.  But since the Devine era when ND went back to their traditional blue and gold jerseys the Fighting Irish are 7-6 when sporting green jerseys.  The good news is they beat Maryland in the 2011 Shamrock Series and Boston College in the 2015 Shamrock Series games while wearing green jerseys but both were ugly wins.

Just reading the tea leaves I think ND will come out in green jerseys vs FSU to mark the silver anniversary of the "Game of the Century."  The #7 green jersey pictured above aka Brandon Wimbush green jersey is currently a hot seller at the ND bookstore and he's not even starting anymore with Ian Book leading the nation in completion percentage while going 4-0 this season as the starter.  

There were rumors ND was gonna wear green vs Michigan in the season opener of the #IrishWearGreen campaign to turn ND stadium into a "green out" but it didn't happen so now what do you do with all these green jerseys that Under Armour made?

You wear them vs FSU.  Just go ahead and book it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Heisman Trophy Watch Midseason

We have officially hit midseason in the 2018 Heisman Trophy race otherwise known as the Tua sweepstakes.  Let's take a look at who are the early contenders for the most famous individual trophy in American sports.

1) Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama - Despite the sprained right knee he re aggravated vs Mizzou and some of the open receivers he actually missed for the first time all season Tua still holds a comfortable midseason lead on the Heisman.  For the season he's completing over 71% of his passes while accounting for 23 TDs and zero INTs.  He's basically been damn near perfect.  Tua's right knee will be the only obstacle he has from hoisting the Heisman in NYC.

2) Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State - If there was no Tua in Tuscaloosa everybody would be talking about what an incredible job Haskins is doing as a first year starter in Columbus.  The Maryland native has led the Buckeyes to a perfect 7-0 record while completing over 72% of his passes with 29 TDs and only 4 INTs.  While a distant 2nd to Tua at the time Haskins might get the chance to play catch up this weekend if Tua elects to sit out vs Tennessee because of the knee injury and Haskins is his normal Superman self in primetime vs Purdue.

3) Darrell Henderson, Memphis - While Memphis has 3 losses on their resume it still shouldn't hurt Henderson's Heisman candidacy if he continues to put up the EA Sports video game numbers he's accomplished so far.  In the loss last week vs undefeated UCF Henderson rushed for 199 yards.  For the season he is averaging 10.3 yards per carry!  Basically every time he touches the ball in the backfield he gets a first down.  These are Barry Sanders at Oklahoma State type numbers Henderson is putting up.  And it's not a fluke either.  Last year he rushed for over 1000 yards while averaging 8.9 ypc.  Henderson will get the chance to make more Heisman noise this week vs Missouri.

4) Kyler Murray, Oklahoma - Murray and the Sooners were off last week and gave them time to lick their wounds after a heart breaking loss to rival Texas.  Murray like his QB counterparts Tua and Haskins is putting up damn near identical stats.  71% completion percentage with 21 TDs and only 3 INTs.  What makes him different though is his running ability.  Murray has rushed for almost 400 yards and another 5 TDs.  If Oklahoma had a defense (thanks for nothing Mike Stoops!) Murray would be neck-and-neck with the undefeated Tua and Haskins at top.

5) Travis Etienne, Clemson - Rushing wise Etienne got off to a slow start to the season with less than a hundred yards per game vs Furman and Texas A&M but has since exploded as he's getting more of the workload.  Rushing performances of 162, 122, 203 and 167 followed and he's averaging over 9 yards per carry.  Etienne also has 12 TDs on the season and if he can duplicate his first half you are looking at 1600 yard season with 24 TDs.  Those kind of numbers will at least get you an invite to NYC.

Just missed the cut - Justin Herbert, Oregon; Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin; McKenzie Milton, UCF  


FreeDEX T-Shirts Now Available to order!

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After "missing" the first third of the season Dexter Williams has been released into the wild and has absolutely, positively run over the competition for the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Celebrate Dexter's freedom with our new FREEDEX shirt available exclusively at

Our New Ian "Just Book It" Shirts Have Me Even More Excited For The 2nd Half of the Season

I know the agony of a bye week can be excruciating for fans to wait especially of one undefeated Notre Dame (7-0) team so I figured I would drop these new JUST BOOK IT t-shirts!

Available in #IRISHWEARGREEN...
 Just Book It Irish Green Shirt

Also available in traditional #BLUEANDGOLD...
 Just Book It Ian Book shirt

You know Ian Book, the nation's leading completion percentage passer, is the real deal when infamous ND hater Dennis Dodd is giving him props on the Jim Rome Show...


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

SportsCrack CFB Top 10 Week 7

1) Alabama - The Crimson Tide had what appeared to be another snoozer vs Mizzou till Tua Tagovailoa did this gingerly slide and OMG he knee just fell off...

All kidding aside Tua has a sprained right knee and might not play this week vs Tennessee.  Nick Saban might want to hold off Tua and start Jalen Hurts this week because they have a bye week before the huge tussle with LSU in early November.  Better to be safe than sorry with Tua who needs to be healthy going in to a rough environment in Baton Rouge.

The other controversy from the Mizzou game was DL Raekwon Davis playing speed bag with an offensive lineman.

Luckily Saban has already come out and said Davis will be handed discipline internally.  In other words he might miss a series vs Citadel.

2) Ohio State -  It wasn't the prettiest performance at home vs the Golden Gophers but the Buckeyes did enough to survive the upset bid winning 30-14 on a college football day full of upsets.  QB Dwayne Haskins was his normal brilliant self and with Tua possible out this week he could move himself into the frontrunner position with a big performance vs Purdue on Saturday night in West Lafayette.  Purdue will not be a pushover as they come in hot riding a 3-game winning streak.  It would not be shocking at all to see this game come down to a final drive for the win.

3) Notre Dame - The Fighting Irish with Ian Book got their first come-from-behind victory of the season vs the pesky Pitt Panthers 19-14.  Thanks to two special teams gaffes the Panthers were gifted 14 points but the Notre Dame defense led by DC Clark Lea had another brilliant performance holding Pitt scoreless with just over 200 total yards.  Book completed over 80% of his passes but did have his first turnover (2 INTs) of the season thanks to a Pitt defense that game planned really well with corner blitzes.  ND could never muster up much of a running game and will be looking to get their offensive line gelling going into the bye week.

4) Clemson - The Tigers jump up a couple of spots in my poll by having a bye week and watching college football carnage from their couches.  This week they have to prepare for an underrated NC State team that comes into Death Valley undefeated.  Clemson and Trevor Lawrence will need to play better if they want to come out with the W as the Wolfpack will be stacking 7-8 guys in the box trying to stop Travis Etienne.

5) LSU - Wow now that was an ass kicking I did not see coming on Saturday.  LSU completely dismantled UGA 36-16 in Baton Rouge.  They ran all over the suspect UGA run defense for 275 yards and knocked Jake Fromm around enough to watch him have a career worst performance.  After losing a heartbreaker to Florida last week this was a huge bounce back for Ed Orgeron and his team.  LSU probably has the best resume of any one loss team and now sit just outside of the playoff but in the drivers seat if they can beat Bama in a couple of weeks.

6) Florida - The Gators rallied from 21-3 down in Vanderbilt in what looked like a classic trap game coming off the emotional win vs LSU the week before to win 37-27.  The one loss Gators are off this week before going to Jacksonville for the World's Largest Cocktail Party in a game vs UGA that will help determine who wins the SEC East and stays in contention for the playoffs.

7) Georgia - For the first time since the Auburn game last season Kirby Smart and his UGA team had no chance to win in their first game vs a winning team this season in LSU 36-16.  Jake Fromm had an awful game and there are some whispers in Athens that freshman Justin Fields needs to be given more of an opportunity to play some series in two weeks vs Florida.  We will see but it won't matter who's playing QB unless UGA tightens up both lines of the scrimmage during their bye week.

8) Michigan - The Wolverines make their first appearance in the top 10 after a resounding win vs Wisconsin 38-13.  Besides the close game vs Northwestern a couple of weeks ago Michigan has been steamrolling their opponents not named Notre Dame.  QB Shea Patterson appears to be getting more comfortable in the offense and will need to play at the top of his game this week as they travel to East Lansing to take on Sparty.

9) UCF - McKenzie Milton threw for nearly 300 yards as UCF came storming back from a double digit deficit to beat Memphis 31-30 and extend the nation's longest winning streak to 19 games.  This week they get a down East Carolina team before playing a tough November schedule which could include 3 ranked teams.

10) Oregon - Oregon is one kneel down from being undefeated and probably in the top 5.  While they completely choked away the Stanford game a few weeks ago they have rebounded by posting back-to-back top 25 wins vs Cal and Washington.  This week they travel to Pullman to face another top 25 team in the first ever ESPN College Game Day visit there.  If Justin Herbert can lead the Ducks to a win Oregon could win out the PAC 12 and make the playoffs.  

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Notre Dame Icon: Stanford

I rewatched the Notre Dame - Stanford game last night and can agree with head coach Brian Kelly.  This was good old-fashioned Notre Dame football.

Notre Dame dominated both lines of scrimmage.  That's good old-fashioned ND football.  The offensive line opened up holes for Dexter Williams and the running game to run through for over 270 yards.  The defensive line led by Jerry Tillery's 4 sacks held Stanford and the great Bryce Love to only 55 yards rushing while battering and bruising QB K.J. Costello and holding Stanford to only 32 total yards in the 2nd half.

While controlling both lines of scrimmage was the most important aspect of the game one can not ignore how great of a game QB Ian Book had in his first home start under the lights in primetime vs a top 10 team.  Book has a quiet confidence in his game.  You can just tell the way he breaks the huddle and talks with his teammates that he knows he can lead this offense to the promise land while showing the moxie of a dare I say "Baker Mayfield."  I know some people will gasp when they hear the comparison of a redshirt sophomore in Book only making his 3rd start (3-0 by the way) to a Heisman Trophy legend in Mayfield who led the Sooners to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons but the similarities in their games are clearly there.

First off Book doesn't get enough credit for his elusiveness and his pocket awareness when facing the defensive rush.  Like Mayfield Book has shown he can spin, jump, slide step and even shovel pass his way to avoiding a loss behind the line of scrimmage and make huge plays.  Mayfield was an incredibly accurate passer who led his receivers by hitting them in stride at Oklahoma.  Book is doing the same exact thing by completing nearly 75% of his passes vs quality power 5 opponents.  Huge targets like WR Miles Boykin, WR Chase Claypool and TE's Alize Mack, Cole Kmet and Nick Weishar are now being taken advantage of because Book is giving them a chance to make big plays.  Book is going through his progressions and delivering seeds to his teammates.

In all honesty it's fun offensive football to watch.  Finally.  The first 3 games offensively were boring.  Too many 3-and-outs and guys running open not being seen were becoming the norm.  The entrance of Book to the offense has really opened up offensive coordinator Chip Long's playbook.  With Book at QB the sky appears to be the limit in terms of offensive production.  It was a lot more cloudy before Book was behind center.

Monday, October 01, 2018

SportsCrack CFB Top 10 Week 5

1) Alabama - You knew it was gonna be a blood bath this week with the Ragin Cajuns coming to Tuscaloosa and at the half it was already 49-0 before Nick Saban called off the dogs.  QB Tua Tagovailoa continued his remarkable season with a perfect 8-for-8 performance with 2 TD's before letting Jalen Hurts come in the 2nd quarter.  A road trip to Arkansas this week should again be a snoozefest for the clear cut #1 team in the country.

2) Georgia -  The Bulldogs move up a spot in my rankings because they dismantled Tennessee at home like they were suppose to.  So far UGA is the only team in the country yet to trail in a game.  Even when Jake Fromm was off a little bit on Saturday head coach Kirby Smart knew he could bring in freshman Justin Fields and the Dawgs would move the ball without skipping a beat.  What was more important for UGA was the defensive performance.  They stopped the Vols run game (66 yards rushing) and just barely gave up 200 total yards.  This week they get a warmup game with Vandy coming to town for homecoming before embarking on a daunting 3-game road trip in LSU, Florida and Kentucky.

3) Ohio State - It wasn't a pretty first half performance from the Buckeyes in Happy Valley (out gained 293 yards to 93 yards) but they went into the locker room only down by 6.  The Buckeyes stormed back in the 2nd half down 12 with 8 minutes to go to squeeze out a 27-26 win thanks to some questionable at best coaching decisions from Penn State's James Franklin.  Gotta give credit to the Buckeyes though as they now have road wins vs two top 15 opponents (TCU and Penn State) on their resume.  The Buckeyes travel to Indiana this week for their homecoming in what could be a classic trap game coming off the emotional win in Happy Valley.

4) Notre Dame - I'll be the first to admit I didn't see the complete dismantling of the Stanford Cardinal coming from Notre Dame this Saturday.  I thought it would be another classic nail biter but Notre Dame came out and out muscled and out executed Stanford 38-17 in a score that could have been much worse.  Ian Book played near perfection again this week and has proved head coach Brian Kelly made the correct decision to bench starter Brandon Wimbush and roll with Book.  Dexter Williams fresh off suspension rushed for 161 yards and the LEA GION OF DOOM defense held Stanford to only 32 total yards in the 2nd half.  Notre Dame travels to Blacksburg this week for a primetime matchup with the Virginia Tech Hokies.  This will be only the 2nd time these two programs have faced off with the first being 2016 in a Va Tech win at Notre Dame.

5) LSU - Every week I've underestimated Ed Orgeron and his LSU Tigers.  I thought their division rival Ole Miss could give them a game and boy was I wrong.  LSU dominated throughout led by Ohio State transfer QB Joe Burrow in a convincing 45-16 win.  The Tigers travel to Gainesville this week and if they can win it sets up a top 5 matchup with UGA the following week.

6) Clemson - Yes I dropped Clemson 4 spots this week despite coming from behind to beat Syracuse in a thriller 27-23.  The Tigers suddenly have a major QB problem.  Trevor Lawrence suffered what appeared to be a concussion in the 2nd quarter and thanks to Kelly Bryant ditching his team and university to transfer midseason Clemson had to rely on redshirt freshman Chase Brice to come back from a double digit half time deficit.  Brice played decent but he's no Lawrence so Tigers fans better hope and pray his concussion isn't lingering going into Wake Forest this Saturday.

7) Oklahoma - QB Kyler Murray put up some Heisman worthy numbers (432 yards passing with 7 TDs total) in a Baylor beat down 66-33.  Offensively the Sooners have been clicking all season and haven't skipped a beat with Murray replacing Baker Mayfield.  The problem is the Sooners still don't play a whole lot of defense and their pass defense gives up a ton of big plays.  This week they get top 25 rival Texas in the Red River Shootout in what should be a tight game.

8) West Virginia - The Mountaineers came out guns blazing in Texas Tech and had a huge lead before hanging on to win 42-34.  This was your typical Big 12 shootout with Will Grier again putting up Heisman Trophy numbers with 370 yards and 3 TDs.  They should have little issues with Kansas this week.

9) Auburn - In a game delayed over 3 hours Auburn beat Southern Miss 24-13.  The weather may have contributed but it still seems like Auburn is struggling to get the ball into the endzone despite Jarrett Stidham playing well.  The issue is the Auburn running game just isn't that good.  Only 96 yards rushing on 36 carries vs a non Power 5 team just isn't cutting it.  They will look to get the offense rolling vs a reeling Mississippi State team.

10) UCF - I'm gonna give UCF some respect and put them in my top 10.  They got the nation's longest winning streak at 17 games and absolutely destroyed Pitt 45-14.  QB McKenzie Milton accounted for 6 TDs and will now deservedly get some Heisman recognition.  

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Heisman Trophy Watch Week 4

We are now 4 weeks into the college football season so it's time to take a look at the early Heisman Trophy contenders aka September Heismans.  As we have seen in the past it's not always good to be a September Heisman.  Examples include Geno Smith or even Sam Darnold last season.  Usually the beginning of the season represents padding your stats against inferior opponents before embarking on conference games.  This all changes this week as most conference games are in effect.

1) Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama - 2018 has quickly turned into Tua's Heisman to lose.  When you are the quarterback of the #1 team you already have an advantage.  But when you have the talent, numbers, and storybook young career of Tua on full display all year in front of national eyes it makes it a lot more difficult for anyone else to catch up.  So far Tua has been damn near flawless and for the first time in a long time the Bama offense is really fun to watch.

2) Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State - After watching Haskins complete over 75% of his passes with a 16 TD-to-1 INT ratio so far this season it makes me wonder if Urban Meyer screwed up last season not starting him over JT Barrett.  This week he gets to prove to the nation he's a worthy contender with a primetime game at Penn State.

3) Will Grier, West Virginia - It seems like Grier has been playing college football as long as it took Tommy Boy to graduate.  The Florida transfer is completing 75% of his passes with a 14 TD-to-3 INT ratio in 3 games.  This week he faces top 25 Texas Tech who feature their own gunslinger in true freshman Alan Bowman.

4) Benny Snell Jr, Kentucky - The only non QB in the top 5 list is one of the most underrated players in the game.  Snell has helped lead the surging Wildcats to a 4-0 start with excellent performances vs Florida (175 yards) and Mississippi State (165 yards) in upset specials.  If Snell can help lead Kentucky to a win this week vs South Carolina he's gonna be on everybody's ballot.

5) Kyler Murray, Oklahoma - While Oklahoma struggled to win vs Army in OT last week it wasn't a Murray issue.  Murray was great completing 11-of-15 passes for 3 TDs.  For the season he's accounted for 14 TDs and the Sooners haven't skipped a beat offensively despite losing Heisman winner Baker Mayfield to the NFL.

Just missed the cut - Justin Herbert, Oregon; Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin; Darrell Henderson, Memphis