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) 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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