Friday, December 30, 2011

Go Figure?!?!

Indianapolis Colts defensive end Robert Mathis can claim that it is all about winning this week, but he isn't fooling us. There lies bigger things at stake in Jacksonville this weekend than a 3-13 finish for the Colts. A #1 selection, the future of the franchise, and even possibly a package that could give Manning another legitimate shot at a Super Bowl trophy. Only one question remains for both the Colts and everyone involved . . . is Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck the next Peyton Manning?!?

Big arm, cerebral upstairs, charisma to lead, he's got everything which Manning has and then some. The Texas native has done everything you can ask for from a top football prospect, especially one who lives under center. For three seasons in Palo Alto, 6'4" quarterback Andrew Luck has been simply dominating. Seven losses in three years? That's very good. Eighty touchdowns, well that's just real official! Here's a player who has put Stanford on the map, made all the throws, taken every snap, and already played a couple seasons under an NFL head coach in current 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. If that isn't worth taking a shot at the top of the draft, then I don't know what is.

As for Peyton Manning, he's 35 years old and will be 36 by the time he gets back to the NFL in 2012. Maxium, that gives him 3 to 4 seasons, maxium. A very questionable neck injury which kept him out an entire season at 35-years old, is it far fetched to think he hangs it up in two seasons?!? And then where are you?!? Vice chairman Bill Polian is an older executive who most likely is nearing the end of his career in the front office, meaning someone is going to need to take that job, someone who would want to make a name for himself, what better way to do that than with a young super star quarterback. And owner Jim Irsay, ask yourself what the Colts are?!? Can they become a perennial winner or is there franchise directly tied to and solely tied to Peyton Manning?!? Bill Belichick and Bob Kraft didn't stick with Brady post-season ending injury in 2008 because they owed it to him, they stuck with him because he was the best player for the job and not Matt Cassel, despite his 11-5 record that season.

Manning's got value, believe me. The Jets would be interested in fielding offers, the Cowboys would be rumoured, the Dolphins would be in the game, the Broncos and or the Chiefs? Think about it, how many teams took a shot on McNabb and Favre nearing the ends of their careers?!? Washington?!?

Map it out here Indianapolis. With a win in Jacksonville, you are costing yourself much more than you can imagine. Part ways with both Reggie Wayne and Peyton Manning, get as much as you can for Manning, draft Andrew Luck and plan for the future. No, you didn't think you'd be here at any point over the last two years, but you are and it is time to adjust for the next ten years of this franchise!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Weekly Draft Profile; Week 1

We aren't going to let college football play out here, we're going to usher out sixty-players in six weeks from Andrew Luck to Vontaze Burfict and everyone in between . .

Get After It!

Landry Jones, quarterback Oklahoma He was LynchyRightNow's pre-season Heisman pick, that didn't work out as planned. However, in three seasons as a starter in Norman, Jones has accumulated 29 victories, a BCS Bowl win in last year's Fiesta Bowl, all while passing for over 12,000 career yards. Not a bad career I'd say. Landry is a 6'4" prototypical quarterback, he's got a big frame, big arm, and played on some of the games biggest stages. Actually, that is where the problem lies. In Oklahoma's three losses this season, certainly not entirely his fault, Jones was intercepted four times and coughed up fumbles a couple more. For our money, you can bet Jones is either the third or fourth quarterback selected in the 2012 NFL Draft. Each year there is a team who drafts a quarterback higher than he should be selected because they are terrified they won't have the ammunition to move back and get him where he should fall; see 2011 - Vikings take Christian Ponder twelfth overall. With this weeks news that USC junior quarterback Matt Barkley is returning to SoCal for his senior season, Landry Jones has moved into the top ten. Projection: Cleveland, Washington, or Miami

Jonathan Martin, offensive tackle Stanford Martin is one of the larger reasons Andrew Luck has enjoyed so much success in the passing game while in Palo Alto. The 300 lb. tackle is an extremely talented pass blocking and rush blocking force on Stanford's offensive line. When we stick to value while evaluating top offensive lineman, Martin has all the tools. Quick off the ball, strong in pass protection, and a very intelligent player. Projection: Miami, St. Louis, and Minnesota

Lamar Miller, running back Miami It took twenty-eight picks for a running back to come off the board in 2011. Nine picks in 2010. Twelve picks in 2009. My point?!? In today's NFL running backs aren't a necessity, however Miami's Lamar Miller needs to be taken seriously. The sophomore back, despite having off season shoulder surgery should be able to contribute right away on a number of NFL teams. He's a speed running running back who can catch the ball out of the backfield nicely. Miller fits a two-back system, a player who won't have to carry the load but can wear out defenses early. In his first three games this season, a stretch which included Ohio State and Kansas State, Miller posted three-straight 100-yard rushing games averaging 6.5 yards a carry. Next to Alabama running back Trent Richardson, who brings entirely different skills to the game, Lamar Miller is one of the top running backs in the draft. For us it was his 166-yard performance against Virginia Tech that did it. The Hurricanes leaned on Miller as he posted close to ten-yards per carry that night in a 3-point road loss in Blacksburg, VA. Projection: Denver, New York (Giants), or New England Cause I'm sure that you knew what the Patriots were doing in the draft, right?!?

Jerel Worthy, defensive lineman Michigan State We've loved the way Worthy plays since we saw him in back-to-back weeks against Michigan and Wisconsin, both Michigan State victories by the way. Obviously at this point, the rest of the country has caught on as Worthy took home 1st team AP All-American honors this season. At the next level defensive coordinators would love to have the quick on his feet Worthy knowing he can get off the ball super fast and put pressure on the quarterback. At 6'3", 310 lbs. we believe Worthy to be first-round eligible and would work great with defenses already intact at the end of the 1st. Projection: New England, Dallas, and Denver

Janoris Jenkins, corner back Northern Alabama Who hasn't smoked a "marijuana filled cigar?" Or as Ron Paul calls it, a blunt. Dismissed from the University of Florida upon his second marijuana offense in less than three months, Jenkins tooks his talents from Gainesville, Florida to Florence, Alabama and the University of Northern Alabama for his senior season. Still we'll focus on his time at Florida where he was better than 2010 #7 overall selection, teammate Joe Haden. After Haden's departure from Florida, Jenkins turned it on in 2010. Breaking up eight passes all while recording 3 INT's and 44 tackles from his corner spot on the Florida defense. More so, Jenkins started as a true freshman at Florida as a part of their 2008 National Championship team. This season at Northern Alabama he showcased his return game in which Jenkins returned almost twenty punts for close to 400 total yards. We love Jenkins talents and so long as he prove to scouts and team ownership that his off-the-field activities are behind him, he's an elite talent. If not for being slightly undersized we'd declare him a better cover corner than LSU's Mo Claiborne. Projection: Cincinnati, Dallas, or Tampa Bay

Andrew Luck, quarterback Stanford What hasn't been said already? We can clear this up for both Indianapolis and St. Louis right now; Barring injury, Andrew Luck will be the next big thing in the NFL and is worth every bit of hype surrounding him. He's got the NFL size - 6'4", just like Patriot signal caller Tom Brady. He's very intelligent - just like Colts current quarterback Peyton Manning. He can move outside of the pocket - just like Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. What else do you need to say?!? We just compared him to three quarterbacks wearing big rings! Projection: Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Arizona (probably a reach)

Matt Kalil, offensive tackle USC Here's a dirty little secret for you, Kalil might actually be the best player in the 2012 NFL Draft. As the anchor of the USC offensive line, Kalil didn't allow a single-sack all season long while front lining a line that allowed the fewest sacks in the country. At 6'7", Kalil is big and athletic enough to be an offensive tackle at the next level, and by all accounts will be the first offensive lineman to come off the board in this springs draft. Matt Kalil is a dominant 3-year starter at USC that NFL teams have had on their big board since last year and a perfect fit for a number of teams. In a passing league, Kalil's talents in the pass blocking schemes will be a great asset for any team with a young quarterback and developing skill players around him. Projection: St. Louis and Minnesota

David DeCastro, offensive guard Stanford At 6'5" and 312 lbs., Stanford guard David DeCastro is a mammoth of a man. Along with Jonathan Martin, the Cardinal standout tackle, DeCastro has been protecting Andrew Luck for a while now. DeCastro is the best guard in the draft and is going to make a ton of noise early on with teams jockeying for position to draft one of the most elite interior lineman to come out in recent years. Look for a team with a solid ground game and young quarterback to make a move for DeCastro, his intelligent play and size have teams buzzing for an in-between the tackles rushing game. Projection: San Diego, Tennessee, & Miami

Justin Blackmon, wide receiver Oklahoma State While Luck might be the most elite and Kalil might be the most talented, our guy is Justin Blackmon and has been for two years. He's a rare talent at the receiver position, similar to NFL stars Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson. Too soon to say that? We don't think so. Thirty-seven touchdowns, two-hundred and forty-four catches, and a mind dropping 3,378 receiving yards, all to go along with his back-to-back Biletnikoff Awards as the nations top pass catcher. The twenty-one year old receiver has had a very great college football career highlighted this season with his team reaching a BCS bowl game in the Fiesta Bowl, a game in which you can bet Blackmon will be a major factor. His best feature may not even be his hand of which are exceptional but his ability to make plays after the catch, an important attribute to have for an NFL receiver. Blackmon has the ability to go get passes and make plays down the field after the catch, better than any receiver in the draft. Joining Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and SoCal offensive lineman Matt Kalil, Blackmon is a can't miss. Projection: St. Louis, Minnesota, and Jacksonville

Whitney Mercilus, defensive tackle / defensive end Illinois A finalist this past season for the Bronko Nagurski Award, Mercilus was standout all season long at Illinois. With that, his stock couldn't be higher. Amongst the countries leaders in sacks, Mercilus is making NFL scouts perk up to catch a glimpse of a future edge rusher at the next level. As teams pass more and more in the NFL, a multi-tool pass rusher with Mercilus' ability becomes all the more valuable. Projection: New England, Buffalo, and Dallas

Next week, Robert Griffin III, Devon Still, and more!
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Coming Down To The Wire

Hey now, the NFL is just getting exciting and at the perfect time! With two weeks remaining in the regular season, and a slate of Christmas Eve games to make us salivate, The League is doing the damn thing!

Let's get after it!

Running back Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks will need some help, but I would hate to be looking down the barrel of that running game in January. Over the next two weeks the Seahawks get San Francisco coming in on a short week for the 49ers and then travel to Arizona for the season finale. Lynch has peeled off a handful of dominant rushing performances against quality defenses this season; 111 yards vs. Washington, 109 yards vs. Baltimore, and 135 yards vs. Dallas. If the Seahawks are going to pull off a shocking Wild Card, they'll need to get help and ride the back of that215 lb. mauling running back.

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Someone explain to me how the once 4-8 Philadelphia Eagles still have a shot at the NFC East and the postseason?!? Oh right, because neither the Giants or Cowboys have taken care of business! After Dallas' failed beat the Giants two weeks ago, despite a 12-point late 4th quarter lead, the Cowboys found themselves behind the eight ball yet again. As for the 'G-Men', they had the division sewn up with three games remaining then they came out flat against Washington. Three (3) Eli Manning interceptions and over 120-rushing yards from the 'Skins ground attack later, and the Giants were back in a fight for the division. Enter the Eagles and their back-to-back victories against the Dolphins and Jets. Now, a team flattened in Seattle on December 1st can win out, get some help, and somehow wind up with the NFC East Divison Championship, go figure huh?!

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Tom Brady and the Patriots are in the proverbial driver's seat in the AFC. Recovering from their back-to-back losses in late October the Pats have clinched the AFC East, and then put a cushion between themselves and the Steelers for home field throughout. That being said, I don't buy it! The season-ending injury to defensive-end Andre Carter is very costly to a defense that is already ranked dead-last in passing yards allowed per game while allowing upwards of 117-yards per game on the ground! The injury to Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was probably the best thing that ever happened to the Patriots. They might get out of the AFC alive, but can you really see this team running with the Saints & Packers?!? I can't.

Just a couple of thoughts mid-week . . . Hit us on Twitter!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Up For Bowling?!?

With Temple and Wyoming set to meet in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Saturday afternoon, bowl season is about to kick-off. For the next three weeks we'll 'bowl' from Albuquerque to Vegas and from Shreveport to the Bronx. All matchups that we don't get to see everyday from The Big Ten vs. The SEC and The PAC-12 vs. The Big XII . . .

Let's get after it!

(5) OUTBACK Bowl Michigan State vs. Georgia This contest between the runners-up in both the Big Ten Championship & the SEC Championship is sure to draw some attention. Spartan signal-caller Kirk Cousins, a senior, will do battle against Georgia's second-year quarterback Aaron Murray. Both quarterbacks took big strides this season throwing for over 2,500 yards each and in Cousins' case, over 3,000 yards. Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio and Georgia's Mark Richt will have their defenses ready to go in Tampa on January 2nd, in what will sure to be a shootout with their two star quarterbacks who have risen to the occasion all season long. Keep an eye out for Michigan State's junior defensive tackle Jerel Worthy. Weighing in a 310 lbs., Worthy has ben a stand out all season long earning him 1st team All-American honors from the Associated Press.

(4) TAXSLAYER.com Gator Bowl Ohio State vs. Florida It's not often that a matchup between two powerhouses such as Florida and Ohio State feature programs with matching 6-6 records and 3-5 in their respective conferences. However, our second game between Big Ten and SEC teams has a more interesting twist off the field. After stepping down from Florida a season ago seeking time off, Urban Meyer recently agreed to become Ohio State's new head football coach, enter the drama. Will the Gators show up to make a statement to Meyer and on behalf of their head coach Will Muschamp whose first year hasn't gone as planned with losses to Alabama, LSU, Georgia, and Auburn. Or does Ohio State play inspired football as they had earlier this season beating Illinois and Wisconsin? We think the Buckeyes are going to look fantastic with Meyer watching, mainly because Florida's defense has been putrid for most of the year and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is already on his way out the door to Kansas to takeover the Jayhawk football program. Either way, they'll be a ton of hype surrounding this one!

(3) TICKETCITY Bowl Houston vs. Penn State Both Top 25 ranked programs are currently under the direction of interim head coaches, for entirely different reasons however. With all of the scrutiny and embarrassment Penn State has gone through this season, the TicketCity should have been a welcomed distraction for some of their older players, things have unfortunately taken an awkward turn this past week with news fluttering out of in-fighting between quarterback Matt MaGloin and oft-injured receiver Curtis Drake. Then there is the Houston Cougars who were undefeated behind super-quarterback Case Keenum before losing to Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA title game. Since then, Keenum wasn't invited to New York and the Heisman ceremony, Houston found themselves on the outside looking in at the BCS, and worst of all, head coach Kevin Sumlin jumped ship for College Station, TX and Texas A&M. Two programs in interesting positions at this point, the back drop of TicketCity has got everyone buzzing. Will Keenum give us one last Houston Cougar mind-numbing performance?!?

(2) AT & T Cotton Bowl Kansas State vs. Arkansas What the BCS is missing out on, Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones isn't. Bringing #6 Arkansas and #8 Kansas State to Cowboys Stadium for the January 6th Cotton Bowl is going to make for quite an event. The 10-2 Kansas State Wildcats have played great football for head coach Bill Snyder all season, most of all quarterback Collin Klein who has had an absolutely great junior year. In Kansas State's 4-overtime victory against Texas A&M, Klein put the Wildcats on his back rushing for five touchdowns and passing for another. As for Arkansas, they've just destroyed everyone on their schedule with the exception of both teams in the BCS National Title game. Klein vs. the Hogs?!? I'll take that!

(1) TOSTITOS Fiesta Bowl Stanford vs. Oklahoma State I don't know why more people aren't excited for the fireworks that will go down in Tempe, Arizona on January 2nd. Two high-powered offenses led by Andrew Luck at Stanford and Brandon Weeden at Oklahoma State are most definitely going to light up the score boards. The #3 team in the country Oklahoma State has been on a tear all season long. Weeden's offense torched Heisman winner Robert Griffin's Baylor Bears hanging a 50-spot on them. After thumping Texas earlier this season in Austin, the Cowboys turned it on against Oklahoma in Bedlam and made a statement roughing up Landry Jones and the Sooners to the tune of 44-10. As for Andrew Luck, you can bet the future of the NFL is going to want to put his stamp on his time at Stanford and what better way to do it than on a national stage in Tempe. After getting smoked by Oregon in early November, Luck's banged-up Stanford team saw their National Championship hopes vanish along with his shot at a Heisman Trophy. Now, the Fiesta Bowl will give him and Stanford a great opportunity at redemption!

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

This is better?!?

In recent days the likelihood that the NBA's best point guard will be a Laker or Clipper by Christmas is becoming a reality. While Orlando Magic franchise center Dwight Howard wants out of Disney in hopes of a landing spot in the Tri-State Area, things are seemingly going to change. All this proposed movement has really got me thinking. Is it just me or is today's hoops star not interested in being 'the guy' anymore? Is he too scared to go it alone? Is the struggle of fighting for a championship surrounded by talent not as good as him too daunting? Are they all that afraid to be the next Charles Barkley, 16-years with zero rings? Whichever it may be, we've seen the last days of any semblance of league wide balance in the NBA and the game has changed, this time not for the better.

Should we be pointing our fingers at the first successful attempt in recent years to combine talent strictly with the goal of winning an NBA Championship? Were the 2008 Boston Celtics and team President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge the architects of what we're seeing today? Probably not, I don't believe it's the same scenario. What the Celtics accomplished was simply what the Houston Rockets attempted in to do in 1996 and then again in 1998. If you recall, the Rockets first added the 'desperate to win a title' Charles Barkley following the '96 season, running a starting five that included himself, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Clyde Drexler. Then, after the retirement of Drexler the Rockets would once again add a superstar in 6X-champion Scottie Pippen to pair with Olajuwon and Barkley. Both of these attempts by the Rockets didn't pan out the way they had hoped, but still it was an attempt to push together as much talent as possible on a single roster to win a title. When Ainge and the Celtics traded for the veteran Kevin Garnett at 32-years old and a 32-year old Ray Allen to pair with their franchise All-Star Paul Pierce it worked, and the Celtics won an NBA title. So the blame can't go completely on the Celtics, they just saw the blueprint which Houston laid out over a decade earlier, and did put together All-Stars at a younger age than the Rockets had.

On the heels of the Celtics championship campaign in 2008, the catalyst for today's NBA began, enter the '08 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. For the first time in their young NBA careers every star from LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Deron Williams to Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh began to realize what it was like to share the load and carry less of the burden of winning. After spending a summer with stars on the same level as they were and successfully winning a gold medal in the summer games, they were going to determine the landscape of the future NBA. 'Melo wasn't going to be the only player carrying the Denver Nuggets. Dwight Howard didn't want to make it on his own in Orlando anymore. LeBron James hadn't played with a player better than Larry Hughes during his time in Cleveland. Chris Paul was tired of carrying his team in New Orleans. Chris Bosh wasn't about to play north of the border any longer in Toronto. Deron Williams no longer had the stomach for the Utah Jazz. Utah, Toronto, Cleveland, New Orleans, Orlando, and Denver were all entering a new NBA, one where hoping you keep your superstar was no longer an option, but their option.

Starting with LeBron, Wade, and Chris Bosh joining together in Miami and then with Carmelo Anthony finding his way to New York alongside Amare Stoudemire, everything has changed. Former Jazz star guard Deron Williams found his way to New Jersey when he forced Utah's hand knowing he wasn't re-signing after the 2011-2012 season. Chris Paul is in the midst of leaving the NBA owned New Orleans Hornets with ten cents on the dollar for his talents to find their way to Los Angeles. Dwight Howard is likely to find his way with either of the two point guards, the best two the NBA has to offer. When their talent was stretched coast to coast it made the NBA interesting, now we're just looking at a world with the Nets, Knicks, Lakers and or Clippers, paired with the Miami Heat with the majority of the young talent in the league, and that can't be better. We're still left asking, why?!? LeBron had reached an NBA Finals in Cleveland, Dwight Howard reached one in Orlando, Wade won one in Miami, Deron Williams had the Jazz going to the Western Conference playoffs year after year, Carmelo Anthony reached the 2009 Western Conference Finals, but you couldn't keep doing it? Now where are you? What are you doing for the product? How many of you are actually going to win multiple rings? There is no way this NBA is better.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Don't Like It; But It Is

How are we 'supposed' react?

Obviously, some of us are left scratching our heads just days removed The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) announcing which collegiate football programs were being rewarded with BCS Bowl Games, and The Heisman Trust releasing their finalist for the namesake's 77th presentation on Saturday night. Then there was Tuesday afternoon and the announcement that The Big East Conference, with just five remaining football playing members, were going to double in size via a virtual Mountain West & Conference USA coup d'etat, with two of three service academies to follow.

Questions are coming out from all angles at this point . . .

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Five finalists headed to New York, is the Heisman field THAT wide open?

The easy answer is no, it isn't as wide open as you're led to believe. Whether you choose to agree me with me or not, finalists Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson weren't playing for a conference championship this past weekend, and they both had opportunity to do just that. Richardson managed to peel off his third lowest rushing total in the Crimson Tide's November 5th game against LSU's over powering defensive front. While suffering with injuries all over their offense, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was intercepted twice in a 23-point loss to conference rival and eventual conference champion, Oregon. Super Wisconsion running back Montee Ball, finished the season just one touchdown shy of former Oklahoma State Cowboy and Detroit Lions Hall of Famer, Barry Sanders' single season record. Unfortunately for Ball, if we don't buy Alabama's Trent Richardson as the Heisman winner, we don't buy what we consider the second or third best running back in college football either, and that's you. With that out of the way, there are just two 'Heisman finalist' which we'll make a case for;

1. LSU Sophomore cornerback, Tyrann Mathieu - We believe this when we say it, Mathieu is the most electric player in college football today. The strip-tackle turned seven points vs. Oregon, the interception and strip turning LSU's game around in Morgantown, the game-changing punt returns versus both Arkansas and in the SEC Championship game vs. Georgia, just a few of Mathieu's WOW moments in 2011. More impressive though, Tyrann Mathieu is the showcase talent to watch on the nation's best defense. A defense that includes a terrifying pass rush, shutdown corners, and a 'Honey Badger' who creates turnovers as if it were required of him.

2. Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III - What makes Griffin different? He's got more passing yards, fewer interceptions, and more passing touchdowns than Stanford's Andrew Luck, while doing it with four fewer passing attempts. The multi-dimensional Baylor quarterback has led the Bears from beginning to the end with big wins. Against TCU to open the 2011 season, Griffin III put up mind boggling numbers in a game which 98 total points were scored in a 50-48 victory over the in-state rival Horned Frogs. After a mid-season lull in which Baylor dropped three of four games, all on the road in such places like Manhattan, Kansas, College Station, Texas, and Stillwater, Oklahoma, not exactly your easier places to pull out wins, Griffin would return to form. Winning their final five games including a season punctuating win versus Texas to close it out, Griffin would amass 13 passing touchdowns and six rushing touchdowns! Watch this kid play for a half, and you're all in.

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We're confident that 'Bama is the 2nd best team in college football, aren't we?

We are, and while we do love to watch Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State play football, the Cowboys couldn't make it easy for us and we can't shake what happened in Ames, Iowa. When the 2011 season over and written, it won't be a surprise if Alabama is raising its second national championship in three years. If not for a couple of missed opportunities against LSU the first time back on November 5th, this wouldn't even be a discussion. They've got a stout defense that won't give an inch and a backfield on offense which includes the best running back in the country. There isn't a person out there who could look you in the eye and tell you that Alabama isn't the best 1-loss team. You may not want a re-match, you may not even have enjoyed the first LSU vs. 'Bama game from an entertainment perspective, or maybe you just don't want to see two teams from the same conference, but I say it again, you cannot deny that Alabama isn't the best 1-loss team. The 'Tide earned their spot in the title game as far as we're concerned.

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What does Virginia Tech have on The Sugar Bowl selection committee?

Hey, I'm a fan of the ACC and even I think this is a fair question. I agree that Virginia Tech and their fans travel extremely well and The Sugar Bowl wants to sell tickets, and make money first and foremost. However, Kansas State could have done the same thing Virginia Tech will do for their wallet and they're more deserving. The Hokies were embarrassed by Clemson in the ACC Championship Game just a day before The Sugar Bowl selected them, embarrassed for the second time. Nothing the Hokies have done this season made them BCS Bowl worthy. The (2) losses to Clemson by a combined score of 61-13, zero wins against a Top 25 opponent, just a 7-point win against non-conference foe East Carolina (a team Houston smashed 56-3). So I ask again, what does Virginia Tech have on who? This is a team that clearly should have been left out of the BCS picture, benefited from a weak Atlantic Coast Conference in 2011, and when they had the opportunity to shut down the naysayers, they got dropped, badly.

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A 'State' should have a problem, but is it Boise State, Michigan State, or Kansas State?

I too do not feel bad for Boise State in 2011, strictly because I believe they are the third in line who should be upset about not participating in a BCS Bowl Game;

(1) Kansas State had an amazing season in Manhattan and finished with a 10-2 record and a #8 ranking in the BCS. The Wildcats are one of just a few teams in 2011 that can say they beat Heisman frontrunner Robert Griffin III and boast two victories against Top 25 teams. If they play in a much tougher conference than Virginia Tech, with the same record, and a loyal fan base, I'm sorry but we need an explanation.

(2) Big 10 runner-up Michigan State is easily next in line if you aren't taking Kansas State. The Spartans had just two slip-ups in the regular season, both on the road in tough places such as South Bend and Lincoln. They too however boast two victories against Top 25 teams, Wisconsin and Michigan. One step further, they played in their conference championship game as winners of the Big Ten 'Legends' division, and came very close to beating Wisconsin a second time. One of the largest student bodies in the country and somehow the Spartans are ignored by the BCS?

And (3) Boise State and head coach Chris Petersen were clearly upset when they looked down at the BCS Bowl Game announcements and didn't see any 'non-aq' programs and were even more upset when they were accepting an invitation to the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl. The BCS' #7 ranked Broncos are a very, very, good football team but need to understand what public perception is. To the 'public' and bowl organizers, the 'non-aq' program doesn't play more than one or two difficult games a season. In 2011, the Broncos were 1-1 in those two games. A season-opening win against Georgia which is too far in the rear view and a late season loss to 'Top 25' ranked TCU. Petersen knows the game and it didn't work out this year.

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Has Big East commissioner John Marinatto made things worse?

Marinatto could be compared to the 'average' guy who asks out the hot chick the day she finds out her boyfriend cheated. Insert calling on disgruntled Boise State and Houston to join a conference with an automatic BCS qualifier just hours after being snubbed for a BCS Bowl Game while touting 1-loss records. It worked and for the Big East to continue as a legitimate football conference after being poached in 2011 for three of its remaining eight members, something had to. With the additions of Boise State and Houston, in fell San Diego State from the Mountain West Conference, along with Southern Methodist and Central Florida from Conference USA. With service academies Navy and Air Force expected to join after the 2013 season, the Big East will be a twelve-team football playing conference. Stretching from Storrs, Connecticut to San Diego, California seems strange for a Big East Conference, but in Marinatto's mind we aren't traveling by stage coach and they'll go to the furthest reaches to keep their conference viable. Marinatto did his job, the same way ACC brass came together and increased their conference buy-out to $20 Million, the same way the SEC called on Texas A&M and Missouri, the same way the Big XII stuck together adding West Virginia and TCU. Tip your cap!

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Kuechly Collects Butkus

A special post for Boston College junior linebacker Luke Kuechly. We've been season ticket holders for quite some time on Chestnut Hill at LynchyRightNow, and no one is more proud to be fans than us on a day like today.

With Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly being awarded the 2011 Collegiate Butkus Award Winner, it might just put a bow ever so tightly around his time on Chestnut Hill. It should however come as no surprise to anyone that Kuechly is awarded as the nation's top linebacker in 2011. Amassing over 530 tackles in his three-year career, including an Atlantic Coast Conference single-season record of 191 tackles this season, Luke Kuechly has been in a word, awesome. On a 4-8 team in 2011, Kuechly never quit leading his team to a 3-2 finish in their final five games. During those final games, Kuechly's Boston College defense held opponents to just over 19 points-per including just two touchdowns against Notre Dame and 10 points to bowl bound North Carolina State. For voters, it was his game clinching interception returned for a touchdown against Miami in the season finale that must have done it. On the road, a day after Thanksgiving, with no shot at reaching a Bowl Game, and Kuechly led his defense to yet another standout performance.

For Kuechly, his time at Boston College has been interesting to say the least. Under-recruited out of St. Xavier High in Cincinnati, back yard recruiting for both Notre Dame and Ohio State, Kuechly arrived at Boston College with the intent of being red shirted while studying under the tutelage of a reigning ACC Defensive POY Mark Herzlich and senior linebacker Mike McLaughlin. Then thrust into a starting role as a true freshman when Herzlich began his battle with Ewing Sarcoma, Kuechly would immediately be noticed by Eagles fans and fans of the ACC. In 2009 Kuechly recorded 150 tackles, an impressive mark for any linebacker let alone a true freshman just months removed from his senior year in high school. Playing alongside Herzlich as a sophomore, Kuechly evolved into the leader of a tough, gritty defense and for the first of two times set an ACC single season record for tackles. Finishing off his junior season, Kuechly has already broken his own record, been awarded an ACC Defensive Player of the Year award of his own, and now becomes the first linebacker at Boston College to win the Butkus Award representing the best linebacker in the country.

From all of us who are fans of the Boston College Eagles, his name may be alongside some of the recent star linebackers such as Clay Matthews and Von Miller, but his shines the brightest! Congratulations Luke Kuechly!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Championship Saturday; The Road

It's Championship Saturday, we're running the gauntlet and getting after all the games on the dock! After an uninspiring PAC-12 Championship, we're moving on!

Get After It!

#10 Oklahoma vs. #3 Oklahoma State Oklahoma Bedlam Game - Trip to the Fiesta Bowl (possibly more for the Pokes), the Big XII Championship on the line, you can bet there will be some monster moments tonight. For us, we think Oklahoma State has to make a statement against a very, very good Oklahoma team. The Cowboys haven't beaten Oklahoma since 2002 and it's going to be tough to do it tonight, but they've got the offense to do it. Running back Joseph Randle and the Cowboys offense has had more than two weeks to stew over their disappointing loss in Ames, Iowa. As soon as head coach Mike Gundy and quarterback Brandon Weeden get their running game going, expect them to air it out and let those big Oklahoma State receivers led by Justin Blackmon open the game up and put the wood on the Sooners. Stillwater rises up and pushes the Cowboys & Gundy to the next level and their most successful season in years! Oklahoma State 45 Oklahoma 42

#24 Southern Miss vs. #6 Houston C-USA Championship Game - Let's give some credit and credence to the University of Houston and 15-year starting quarterback Case Keenum, (ha ha ha small dig). Seriously though, you've got to show some respect to what the Houston Cougars have been able to do. They've got a quarterback who has been a Heisman candidate since day one this season, he's tossed a mind numbing 43 touchdown passes to 3 interceptions, all while leading the Cougars to an undefeated 12-0. It may be a C-USA schedule, however they shut down that Georgia Southern option offense, beat a UCLA team who appeared in last nights PAC-12 Championship, and they wacked an SMU team 37-7 who beat TCU in Ft. Worth. Now Southern Miss isn't a push over, with victories at Navy and Virginia, they've shown they can come to play. The Golden Eagles aren't stopping the Keenum express; Houston 35 Southern Miss 24

#5 Virginia Tech vs. #20 Clemson ACC Championship Game - Primetime on Saturday night with conference elite, while you may not love the Atlantic Coast Conference, the PAC-12 could take something from their championship playbook. We praised the Tigers for winning in College Park, MD earlier this season, and I'm still trying to figure out why? Since that victory on October 15th, Clemson proceeded to drop three of their final five games en route to a disappointing 9-3 finish for a team looking to be a player in the National Championship scene. For the Hokies of Virginia Tech however, they played their cards perfectly. After losing to this very same Clemson team they'll play tonight way back on the first weekend in October, they've been decisive. An 11-1 record heading in to tonight, a defense coming off a masterpiece shutout in Charlottesville last weekend, and a ground game featuring 1,500-yard running back David Wilson. More so, Virginia Tech knows how to win these games and handle their busines in prime-time. Hokies slow down super-freshman Sammy Watkins and toss around oranges; Virginia Tech 30 Clemson 24

#15 Wisconsin vs. #13 Michigan State Big 10 Championship Game- We'll have Virginia Tech on in the back to distract us from Wisconsin vs. Michigan State. In the Inaugural Big 10 Championship, we've got a rematch from an early game which was very exciting and capped off by one of the biggest plays we've seen in college football history. As exciting as Michigan State's previous win was, a Kirk Cousins 44-yard hail Mary to win it, don't expect the same thing this time around. Wisconsin has outscored it's last four opponents by a combined score of 177-54. On the legs of running back Montee Ball, Wisconsin's super-star running back who has put up 34 total touchdowns, Wisconsin is finding the endzone early and often. Ball has rushed for over 150 yards in each of those four games and Wisconsin will plan on pounding the ball into Jerel Worthy and Michigan State's defensive line all night long. The Badgers get revenge in a big way; Wisconsin 34 Michigan State 24

Finally, #1 LSU vs. #14 Georgia SEC Championship Game- It doesn't matter where the 'Bayou Bengals play, they come to play each and every time. It doesn't matter who they're playing, from Oregon to Alabama to Arkansas, they've answered the bell. Is there a team in the country who can get ahead of themselves, and have it NOT be a problem? Yes, it's LSU. I like Georgia's quarterback Aaron Murray just as much as the next guy and he's had an outstanding year bring Georgia all the way back from their 0-2 start to finding themselves where they are today. That being said, it's the Tigers from LSU who get after the quarterback, who turn big problems into bigger problems, who force turnovers, score points, and smother teams. For ole' Les Miles, this win is just as big as any other and they don't care if the National Championship is a lock, they're playing for blood and an undefeated season in the SEC along with that SEC title. LSU 38 Georgia 13

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

West Coast Flop

For everyone of us that refuses to give credence to any and all things West Coast football, the beat goes on! The inaugural PAC-12 Championship Game is just another perfect example why when it comes to football on Saturdays, the West Coast and the PAC-12 is JV!

Let's Get After It. . .

10. The expansion of the PAC-10 to the PAC-12 has gone off with very little fanfare. Additions Colorado and Utah combined for a less than steller 10-15 record in their first season on the Left Coast. An even more degrading 6-12 record in-conference.

9. Neither PAC-12 Heisman candidates; SoCal's Matt Barkley nor Stanford's Andrew Luck will be participating in the conference's inaugural championship game. Worse? Their teams tout a combined 21-3 record yet PAC-12 'commish' Larry Scott couldn't find a way to get the 'real' PAC-12 South champs into the title game?

8. PAC-12 South "Champs" UCLA, had to apply and get awarded an exemption to participate in a potential post-season bowl game. Why? Because 1 of 2 teams on national display in the PAC-12 Championship Game ended their season with a 6-6 mark, one win shy of becoming bowl eligible through the typical way, winning.

7. SEC East Champion Georgia finished their regular season with a 31-17 road win against in-state rival Georgia Tech. SEC West Champion LSU finished their regular season with a 41-17 victory against a #3 Arkansas team. Big Ten Leaders Champs Wisconsin finished with a 45-7 victory over a ranked Penn State team. ACC Coastal Champs Virginia Tech finished with a 38-0 road victory over Virginia. Those PAC-12 South "Champs" UCLA, they were like lambs sent to slaughter as Southern Cal tuned them up, 50-0.

6. Whose genius idea was it to play the VERY FIRST PAC-12 Championship Game on a Friday night, December 2nd? As Henry Hill said in GoodFellas "Friday night was for the girlfriends, Saturday night was for the wives." College football is to be played on Saturdays, not Friday nights, let alone a BCS Conference championship.

5. It's the lowest price ticket around, or as I like to refer to it as, the easiest to get! As outlined in this article, compared to the SEC the PAC-12 Championship Game 'cheap ticket' is as little as seventeen dollars which is $121 dollars cheaper than it costs to sit in the last row in Atlanta this Saturday for the SEC dance. In case you aren't putting this together, conferences expanded to have championship games to have increased revenue, not a discount to the main event!

4. UCLA can get an exemption to participate in a postseason bowl while they didn't meet the seven-win qualifier, but somehow Larry Scott can't require them to NOT fire their head-coach heading into said championship game? How can it be good for the PAC-12 Championship and any revenue which would have been made, if one of the two teams has a head coach on the sideline who has ALREADY BEEN TERMINATED?!?!? Since last Sunday, Washington State has fired Paul Wulff, Arizona State has fired Dennis Erickson, and UCLA has fired Rick Neuheisel, the difference? The Cougars and Sun Devils weren't playing in their conference championship!!!!

3. USC should be playing in this game. I know they've been banned from post-season play, I know they aren't eligible to play in any bowl games, and we don't have the time or the energy to ponder how it's fair for Pete Carroll to be bolt to the NFL without a penalty and Reggie Bush to be making millions in the same league, but somehow the institution which gave them their start is on probation. That being said, the Trojans waxed UCLA 50-0 last weekend, they went to Autzen and dropped Oregon, dashing their national title hopes, and no one is going to stand up for them? Really? Their own conference commissioner who from day one said the penalties were too severe, isn't going to step-in and make a change to the conference by-laws to allow them to participate? Hmmm.

2. This has got to be an empty win/night for Oregon right? They choke in big games as it is, see; 2010 National Championship, 2011 Cowboy Classic, and their November 19th coughing up at a second-straight title bid at the hands of USC, but now they're going to celebrate a PAC-12 Championship with a trip to the Rose Bowl, having never beat what most consider the best team in the conference? Someone should have told Phil Knight that the next time he wants to bring out a 'Nike' athlete on the sidelines of a big game, it probably shouldn't be a player who failed to show up in big games countless times in LeBron James, not a good idea. Who's next? Jim Kelly?

1. Last but not least, why would the PAC-12 sign-off on having their conference championship game played on Oregon's home field? Nearly every other conference plays a neutral site conference championship game, in order to be you know, neutral. Yet the PAC-12 is headed to Eugene? Oh wait, I get it . . the only place the PAC-12 would sell out is in Eugene!

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Urban Who? This is Hoke Territory

In his first season in famed Ann Arbor, Brady Hoke is already writing himself into Wolverine lore. As I wrote last winter, Brady Hoke is everything that former Wolverine head coach Rich Rodriguez (from 2008-2010) was not. With one regular season down, that ain't conjecture . . . . it's a fact. Capping off a remarkable 10-2 year at Michigan, Hoke led the Wolverines to their first victory against rival Ohio State in seven years, just one of his big accomplishments this season.

1.) Down 24-7 heading into the fourth quarter on September 10th, against storied Notre Dame playing in a remarkable setting under the lights at The Big House, Hoke and Michigan stood tough as the Wolverines put 28 points on the board to overtake the Irish and come out with a 35-31 victory. Yet, it was Hoke's call to have his offense go for the victory with eight ticks on the clock, when a simple field goal to tie was still an option. These are the moments, that when they work out, simply endear a coach with his fans.

2.) After dropping two of three, with losses to Michigan State and Iowa, the Wolverines needed to bounce back against Illinois on November 12th in Champaign. After clinging to a 17-7 lead into the fourth quarter, with star quarterback Denard Robinson knocked out of the game, Hoke turned to sophomore running back Fitzgerald Toussaint. Calling Toussaint's number 27-times, the Youngstown native would rack up nearly 200 yards on the day while earning Michigan the win they needed, 31-14.

3.) November 19th, Big 10 matchup in Ann Arbor, Nebraska enters The Big House ranked 16th in the nation. The Wolverine defense swarms Cornhusker signal-caller Taylor Martinez as the Michigan offense puts together their best game of the season in a 45-17 blowout win. The Wolverines were taking form at the best time, with Ohio State just days away.

Now, boasting a victory over Ohio State and very successeful regular season, Brady Hoke has the Wolverines awaiting a possible 'at-large' bid to a BCS Bowl game, only something Michigan faithful were only dreaming of during the previous three seasons.

Our hat goes off to Hoke and the Wolverines, for more LynchyRightNow, follow us on Twitter!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What A Roar!

Were you shocked? Stunned? Did you even have to think twice? In 'Red Stick,' you thought it was going to happen? No way, no how. A 41-17 rout of the 3rd-ranked Razorbacks left zero doubt with pollsters, fans, BCS computers, and possibly most important, themselves.

How many programs can spot the 3rd-ranked team in the country, who just won seven straight, fourteen points? How many programs in the country get their stars to show up week after week and make THE play that turns the game? The answer is in their BCS ranking, one.

The Tigers had the over 100,000 packed into Tiger Stadium rocking yesterday afternoon. Superstar defensive back Tyrann Mathieu takes a 92-yard punt return to the house which knotted the game at 14. Beleaguered senior signal-caller Jordan Jefferson ripped off a 48-yard touchdown run to increase the LSU lead to 38-17 in the fourth quarter. Future 1st-round pick, corner back Morris Claiborne, intercepts a Tyler Wilson pass late to end the Razorbacks comeback chances. LSU's 'players' showed up in a big way in a post-Thanksgiving SEC dogfight.

From the first week of the season to the last, LSU has impressed. Not one, two, but three star players suspended in-season and still LSU never dropped off. The win in Tuscaloosa, the heart-stomping defense, and the consistent beat downs of SEC heavyweights, LSU's season has been packed with highlights;

Beating the 3rd-ranked team in the country, twice. It didn't get past the 'Mad Hatter' in his post-game interview. In the wake of their 41-17 victory over Arkansas, LSU head coach reminded everyone that they opened the season hanging 40 on the then ranked #3 Oregon Ducks.

LSU has truly been road warriors. You all remember their OT, hang-on 9-6 victory on the toe of Drew Alleman in Tuscaloosa. However, the Tigers also put up victories in Starkville, Morgantown, Knoxville, and in Oxford. None of which proved any contest for the Tigers, outscoring their opponents 156-37 in those four road games alone.

More on that score differential. Is there a better team in college football at adding style points? Outscoring opponents by an average of 28-points (four touchdowns), the Tigers have no problem putting the hurt on opposing teams. More so, LSU held opposing teams to less than 10-points in seven of their twelve games while scoring north of forty in eight of those same twelve games.

No team across the nation has been as dominating as LSU. Luckily, this wasn't the last time we get to see these Tigers, not a chance. After clinching the SEC West and capping off a 12-0 regular season, LSU heads to the SEC Championship Game and possible shot at the BCS National Title. Geaux Tigers!

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Be Thankful

While we're most thankful for a friday afternoon throw-down in Baton Rouge, between the #1 'Bayou Bengals and #3 Arkansas Razorbacks, we've got some more stuff on the docket. If you're attempting to avoid watching the parade and want a little college football 'stuffing,' get after it!

This is what we're thankful for . . .

To the BCS, a playoff on it's own. Week 10; #1 LSU vs. #2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. While a 9-6 OT loss may not have been what the packed house at Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium had been hoping for, nothing showcased the nation's top two defenses better. Week 11; The high-flying Oregon Ducks go into Palo Alto and torch a #4-ranked Stanford team ending their National Championship bid and letting everyone know they could possibly be the best of the '1-loss' teams remaining! Week 12; How's a #2 ranked Oklahoma State, #4 ranked Oregon, #5 ranked Oklahoma, and #7 ranked Clemson all taking a nose-dive with losses sound? For the detractors of the Bowl Championship Series, isn't this the best way to sort it out? For three consecutive weeks we've had major landscape changing football outings, something a playoff could only wish for. As for Week 13; #3 Arkansas has an opportunity to play big-time spoiler heading to Baton Rouge to beat the top-ranked LSU Tigers. The Iron Bowl (Auburn vs. Alabama) on Saturday, topped off with #5 Virginia Tech vs. in-state rival Virginia with an opportunity to compete in the ACC Championship. The BCS, well it works!


To Southern Cal quarterback Matt Barkley; Since he and the 'Men of Troy' stormed South Bend in late October, we saw this coming. Despite a post-season ban, (see; Reggie Bush), Barkley is leading the Trojans on a late-season, statement making tour, ripping right through the PAC-12. After going toe-to-toe with Heisman frontrunner and future top-NFL pick, Stanford's Andrew Luck, we took notice. Then there was Barkley's arrival in Eugene, Oregon this past weekend. Like Maximus arriving in Germania, Barkley squashed the Ducks hopes of a National Championship, they silenced a packed house in Autzen, and he himself put up his banner game as a Trojan. Four quarters later, completing 76.5% of his passes, while finding the endzone four times, and what we wrote a day earlier came true, Matt Barkley is going to give NFL 'war rooms' something to think about!

To our 'flighty' favorite coach, ex-Gator Urban Meyer; At 46-years old, Meyer felt the need to leave Gainesville and the Gators just two years into a six-year contract in order to get healthy and spend time with his family. That was on December 8th, just last year. Over the past year Meyer has worked with The Worldwide Leader, covering you guessed it, college football. Now, less than a year from his resignation, Meyer is rumoured to be headed to Columbus. For Buckeye fans, Urban Meyer is the best thing possible. What better way to forget Jim Tressel, 'pins' for Tattoo's, and Terrelle Pryor, than with college football's most elite available head coach, Urban Meyer. With the Buckeyes being out of the mix this season, the Big 10 is going to need it's banner carrier back next season, that's why we're thankful that Meyer isn't holding out for South Bend and possibly is headed to Columbus.

To Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly; I'm a big fan of the junior linebacker, BIG FAN! Named a finalist for the Butkus Award this week, announced on December 7th, Kuechly is in the midst of one of the most productive careers of any linebacker in recent college football history. A part of over 520 tackles, nearly 300 solo tackles, averaging north of 14 tackles per game, and more than 10 tackles in 33 of his 36 career games, how's that for production? With Kuechly being announced as a finalist for the Butkus Award (given to the nation's top linebacker), the Rotary-Lombardi Award (nation's top lineman or linebacker), and the Bronko Nagurski (nation's top defensive player), it's safe to say that the under-recruited linebacker from Boston College has really impressed. For his Boston College Eagles (3-8) Kuechly has been one bright spot in a season full of disappointment.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, eat as much as you can and un-button the top button if you need to men!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

'Bama Coming Ya'll

First off, two things . . .

(1) The 55,000 rocking Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa last night were amazing from the opening kickoff through the second overtime. It was going to be awfully difficult for the #2 Oklahoma State Cowboys to go into that building and stay focused. Ten penalties and five turnovers later, they got bit.

(2) With Stanford falling last week and Oklahoma State having the stage to themselves on Friday night, the Cowboys were in the pressure cooker. All eyes on newly anointed Heisman front runner Brandon Weeden, a direct path to the BCS National Championship, and the stage looks like it was too big for that program.

Where are we now?

Assuming (and I agree that assumptions in college football aren't wise) LSU remains unbeaten, both against Arkansas on Friday, November 25th and in the coming SEC Championship Game, they'll await an opponent in the BCS National Championship Game. We're making the case that the team they'll meet in New Orleans for the 'crystal football,' should be their in-conference rival; Alabama.

The Crimson Tide are the best of the '1-loss' programs, period. Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart caused a ton of problems for LSU when they came to Tuscaloosa, despite the Crimson Tide's 6-9 overtime loss against the 'Bayou Bengals. Place the emphasis on overtime-loss here. Alabama's only blemish on their record is an extremely tight defensive battle with the consensus best team in the country. That's enough to say they don't deserve a re-match with no AQ-undefeated's remaining? Of course not. Running back Trent Richardson and Alabama deserve a shot more than any of the '1-loss' teams. I'll reiterate, in the last five games including that loss to LSU, the Crimson Tide have allowed no more than the nine-points they allowed to those Bengals. You want to see two evenly matched teams compete for the National Championship, find a way to put Alabama in front of the lot!

Why not Oregon!?!? I can sum it up really quickly;

(1) LSU hung 40 on Oregon back on September 3rd; You want that again?

(2) Ducks star running back LaMichael James has rushed for 103 yards on 31 carries in his two games against SEC heavyweights. In that game against LSU earlier this year and against Auburn in last seasons BCS National Championship? I'll pass.

Friday, November 18, 2011

College Football Friday

We're closing in on the end of the college football season, with the SEC on a virtual week off, LSU vs. Ole' Miss, Alabama vs. Georgia Southern, and Georgia vs. Kentucky, we're going through the rest of college football and what's on deck!

Let's Get After It!

Quarterback Brandon Weeden & the 'Pokes' get their tune-up tonight in Ames, Iowa. Then, they welcome the Sooners to Stillwater. Win out and the undefeated Cowboys will find themselves on their way to the BCS National Championship and Weeden will wind up in New York with the Heisman finalists. How have the Cowboys got to this point? Along with Weeden and big-game receiver Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State also presents an explosive ground attack with running back Joseph Randle. The Cowboys sophomore running back has peeled off 993 yards this season. His most impressive stretch this season was at Mizzou then back in Stillwater against Baylor where he ripped up 290 yards on 28 carries while scoring seven rushing touchdowns. With that kind of production on the ground and Weeden & Blackmon doing their thing through the air, it's no wonder the Cowboys boast one of the nation's most explosive offenses.

So. Cal quarterback Matt Barkley has two weeks. Two weeks to prove he's a Top 3 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. With his Trojans being barred from post-season play and the PAC-12 Championship, Barkley is going to put his best foot forward against both Oregon and UCLA to close out the season on November 26th. In Barkley's last three outings the Trojan offense is averaging over 40-points a game, while Barkley himself has thrown ten touchdown passes in that same stretch. Even more impressive is Barkley's ability to stay mistake free. The junior quarterback has thrown just six INT's to go along with his 29 touchdown passes. From every angle Barkley is having his best year as a Trojan while being asked to do much more in the offense. Even more impressive is what he's going to do in NFL Draft Rooms, he's going to force Indianapolis to either draft Andrew Luck or someone else, because Seattle, Washington, and Miami aren't giving up the farm when Matt Barkley will also be available. I expect the junior signal-caller to show up big in Oregon and put Autzen Stadium on the edge this weekend.

Typically, I need an excuse to watch Big 10 football. What?!?! Sorry that I don't yearn for ground and pound, slow-paced football. (Don't get me started on Denard Robinson, who can't throw the ball, and Russell Wilson, who is a fraud leaning on Montee Ball's great season). That being said, both Wisconsin and Penn State play big games tomorrow which will have Rose Bowl implications. For all the Penn State coverage for the wrong reasons over the last few weeks, these athletes would love to put it behind them and reach the Rose Bowl. As for Wisconsin, a trip to the Rose Bowl might make them feel better after having their BCS National Championship hopes crushed earlier this season in Lansing. Can Penn State show up in The Horseshoe and win a very tough road game? I doubt it. Ohio State's seniors are out on 'Senior Day' in Columbus and their last home game. If there was ever an afternoon they were going to show up in a big way it'd be tomorrow. The Badgers however are going to roll through the Illini despite it being a road game for Wisconsin. Why? Illinois is reeling with four straight Big 10 losses after opening the season 6-0, expect another loss and the Big Ten Leaders Division to be decided at Camp Randall next week.

Why am I discussing Houston quarterback Case Keenum? I've been down this road before, with former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell and former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan, they're great quarterbacks on the college level who put up mind-numbing numbers in a system designed for their abilities. Keenum's Houston Cougars are undefeated, ranked #11 in the BCS, it's impressive, but that is where they stop if you ask me. They aren't Boise State who goes out of conference to beat teams like SEC heavyweight Georgia. His toughest opponent this season was UCLA, a team which is ranked 92nd in points against this season. The Keenum apologists who want to send him to New York with Heisman finalists better be sending Kellen Moore from Boise there as well. I'll give them their due, because to remain undefeated in college football from week to week is hard to do, anything can happen. Ask Oklahoma what happened when Texas Tech came to Norman, ask Wisconsin what happened on the last play of the game in Lansing, ask Andrew Luck what happened last week in Palo Alto? Houston staying undefeated is impressive, but there are limits to the props we'll give them!

Another exciting Saturday on deck, for more LynchyRightNow, follow us on Twitter!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Penn State Pontificating

Is it too early to do this? Nahhhh. By next season, the once-proud Penn State Nittany Lions are going to have to turn the page and hire a new head coach, responsible for one of the toughest tasks any head coach has ever had to do. It's hard enough to follow a Demi-God, but in the wake of recent events in Happy Valley, the task is on an entirely different level. While we're probably not going to get the call to assist the new administration at Penn State on their coaching search, we'd still like to offer up our assistance.

Let's get after it!

Greg Schiano, Rutgers University head football coach. In our opinion, Schiano might just be the only candidate with connections to the Paterno-era (defensive backs coach '91-95) that we'd even seriously consider, that is if he'd do the same. Not once but twice Schiano has balked at the opportunity to leave Piscataway for greener pastures, those pastures being in Miami at another of his former coaching stops, defensive coordinator 1999-2000. So why would Happy Valley under their current circumstances draw him out of New Jersey? (1) Schiano has to have concerns about Rutgers place in The Big East conference and the conferences' viability going forward, concerns that don't exist in The Big 10. (2) His familiarity with recruiting in the Tri-State area. Most recently, Schiano and Rutgers landed Pennsylvania's own Chris Muller, offensive tackle from Boyertown, PA and pro-style quarterback Blake Rankin from Bloomsburg, PA. This isn't recruiting on South Beach. (3) Schiano can win, he's turned Rutgers into a winning program. Aside from 2010 and a down year, Schiano had been to five consecutive bowl games with a 4-1 mark. Furthermore, the type of program Schiano runs wouldn't be that far of a cry from what Penn State has run, on the field that is. If the new Nittany Lions brass can get past Schiano having a link to the previous administration, then he might just be a very good fit.

Charlie Weis, University of Florida offensive coordinator. I cannot imagine Weis is long for second-fiddle in Gainesville, and wouldn't be shocked in the least if he made a move at a head coaching vacancy this coming offseason. That being said, doesn't he seem like a good fit in Penn State? Weis is bold, he's brash, he's upfront, he's larger than life (and I'm not talking about his struggles with weight). It's going to take someone like Weis to shake up Happy Valley. Forget what people said about Weis when he was on his way to South Bend, about bringing his three Super Bowl rings into living rooms of perspective recruits, about being an offensive genius, or anything else for that matter, Weis is a game changer. He still commands respect, could get Penn State alumni excited about football again, and is a big enough name to start the process of pointing the program in the right direction. To me it seems as though Weis just fits comfortably here. On a football level, he can scheme very effectively on offense and could bring in defensive help as well. For Penn State, Charlie Weis would be a different type of help in Happy Valley, a help they desperately need right now, and unlike his time in Notre Dame, he wouldn't be the main attraction, there is a bigger picture.

Kirby Smart, University of Alabama defensive coordinator. Had you asked me on September 11th if Kirby Smart was leaving Alabama at seasons end I would have responded; most definitely. However, that was in the wake of his former Alma Mater, the Georgia Bulldogs, jumping out to an 0-2 record with losses to both Boise State and South Carolina to open the season. I thought Georgia coach Mark Richt was boiling on the hot seat and Georgia would most definitely make another run at Kirby Smart as they had following the 2009 season to add him as a defensive coordinator then. With Richt and Georgia peeling off eight straight wins and firmly placing themselves in position for a shot at the SEC Championship, it doesn't look like they'll be a vacancy for Smart in Athens. Which brings us in a round about way to Penn State. Everything about Kirby Smart will be new in Pennsylvania, for both him and the Nittany Lions. Smart has made coaching stops in Tallahassee, Baton Rouge, Athens, and Tuscaloosa, make note of the geographical nature of his stops? He's never coached north of the Mason-Dixon line. Isn't that part of what we're looking for here though? No ties to the region, as far away from the program you can get, yet a man who brings a winning nature with him and the drive to put a powerful defensive product on the field every Saturday. But let's call a spade a spade here, Kirby Smart has been working alongside college football's premier coach in Nick Saban nearly every day since 2004, give or take a season here and there.

Disclaimer; Left out is former Gators head coach turned ESPN college football analyst Urban Meyer, he isn't coming back into the college football fold just yet. If I were to look into the future for the 47-year old Meyer, I'd say his next job won't be till 2014 when Notre Dame gets tired of current head coach Brian Kelly's sideline ways and his failure to reach a BCS bowl game.

It may be too soon to begin thinking about this topic, but just to give you a taste of well-researched coaches that Penn State should be proud to interview and think about hiring, we got it!

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