31
Jul
09

2009 Pac 10 College Football Preview2009

2009 Pac 10 Preview

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USC has been a powerhouse in the PAC 10 for many years. Now other teams are showing they can compete with USC and the other elite teams in the country. Do not overlook the PAC 10 this year. The preview will list the teams in predicted order of finish in the Pac 10.

1. Oregon DucksChip Kelly takes over as head coach and he is in good shape as this is one of the best Duck teams to come out of Eugene in awhile. QB Jeremiah Masoli will have this offense running full throttle and scoring plenty of points. Kelly needs to replace four starters on the offensive line, but that should not be a problem with the depth that they have. The defense will

Can the Ducks beat the Trojans for the Pac 10 Title?

Can the Ducks beat the Trojans for the Pac 10 Title?

play well enough to give this Duck team a shot at the Rose Bowl.

2. USC Trojans—Pete Carroll has firmly put himself in the top of the college ranks as a head coach. He has reloaded with talent after losing superstars and has always been in the top ten. This year they have to reload but don’t look for the usual results. They will have multiple problems with trying to choose a great QB and replace nine starters they lost on defense. USC will always be on top of the heap but this year they are more vulnerable than ever.

3. California Bears –Kevin Riley will finally get to show what he can do at quarterback this year. Last year the QB’s were flipped flopped all year long and Riley never got a chance. Head coach Jeff Tedford will need him to play well if he wants to have a good season. Jahvid Best is back and will go after the Heisman as he runs for Cal and that should solidify the offense. That combined with 8 returning starters on defense equals a great season for the Bears.

4. Arizona Wildcats—Mike Stoops finally made the Wildcats a team to be feared in the Pac 10. Matt Scott is the favorite to take over at quarterback and Sonny Dykes (OC) will have all of the tools he needs to run his vaunted spread offense. The Wildcats finally made it to a bowl game but now they have to keep the momentum going and fight for the title.

5. Oregon St. Beavers—Mike Riley has done an unbelievable job with Oregon St. They continue to surprise powerhouse teams and are off a great season and a bowl win. The defense could be an issue as they must replace some all-stars that anchored this team last year. The secondary is young and filled with sophomores and their development could be the difference in a winning season. The offense will always be electric with the Rodgers brothers but they must remain healthy. Watch for the Beavers after a bye as they always prepare and play well as evident by the 9-4 ATS record since 1996.

6. Stanford Cardinals—Jim Harbaugh has made an incredible impact in a short time at Stanford. The Cardinal needed to work on the defense and they addressed it in the off-season moving two talented offensive players to the defensive side of the ball. Toby Gerhart will be back to run the ball and he will not be alone. Stanford returns nine starters on offense and eight starters on defense. This type of experience will make the Cardinal a Bowl team this year and keep the team moving in a positive direction under Harbaugh.

7. Arizona St. Sun Devils—Dennis Erickson needs to turn this team around after a disappointing 5-7 campaign last year. He returns seven starters on offense but will have to replace Rudy Carpenter at QB. He has a stable of talented kids to choose from and is overloaded with talent. The defense is top notch and should hold down o0ffenses and keep the Sun Devils in every game.

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8. UCLA Bruins– Rick Neuheisel will bring an experienced Bruins team into this season that returns nine starters on offense. The young players from last year will start to blossom and Neuheisel had one of his best recruiting years ever. With seven returning starters on defense to include Korey Bosworth at defensive end, this team is ready to win some games. The Bruins will improve from the four win season and look to make an impact as a solid bowl team.

9. Washington Huskies—Steve Sarkisian steps in as head coach and takes over for Tyrone Willingham. The Huskies are off maybe the worst season they have ever had and things are not looking any brighter. The good news is that Jake Locker will be back and healthy at quarterback. The bad news is that will be the only positive for this team. Generating a few wins this year will be the only thing this team can get excited about.

10. Washington St. CougarsPaul Wulff is in his second year at Washington St, but it could be his last. The Cougars are off a miserable two win season and he was hit for violating sanctions in the off-season. He will have to produce a decent season to get the boosters happy. The first thing he has to do is choose a quarterback. Last year four different players took snaps and not one of them showed results. He does return plenty on defense but that may not be a good thing as they ranked poorly in almost every defensive category last year. Look forward to another bad season and last place in the Pac 10 for the Cougars.

Pac 10 Winner: Oregon Ducks

Other College Football Previews:

Big 12

ACC

Big East

SEC

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19
Jul
09

Big 12 College Football Preview

2009 Big 12 Preview

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The Big 12 rose to be the best conference in the country last year passing up the SEC.  The North division pales in comparison to the South division but as a whole the Big 12 is the tops.  With returning superstars and great rivalries it looks like it is going to be another great year for fans of the Big 12.

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North Division

  1. Kansas JayhawksMark Mangino put the Jayhawks on the map and made them a force to be reckoned with.  Year in and year out they are the favorites to win the North and this year will be no different.  This offense will be the best in the North and will be able to play with the big boys from the South. Todd Reesing brings experience to the QB
    KU will win the Big 12....north

    KU will win the Big 12....north

    position as a quality passer and he is bringing his targets with him.  Dezmon Briscoe racked up over 1,400 yards receiving last year and will be the go to guy this year.  The problem lies on the defensive side of the ball where Kansas has to replace almost the entire linebacker core.  The schedule is filled with tough opponents in Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech and that could cost them the north division in the end.

  2. Nebraska CornhuskersBo Pelini has the Nebraska faithful talking about the black shirts again.  His impact on the defense was seen immediately as the Huskers swarmed to the ball on every snap. The defense is back and barely lost anyone and will be a force to be reckoned with once again.  The same thing cannot be said for the offense. Joe Ganz is gone and there will be a battle to play Quarterback in the spring.  All of his targets are gone and Nebraska will need young players to step up on offense if they want to have an impact on the race in the North division.
  3. Missouri Tigerswhat a disappointing 2008 for the Tigers.  With Chase Daniels at quarterback, the talk was about Heisman and BCS, but instead they did not live up to the expectations.  Now Chase Daniels and most of the talent have departed and the talk surrounding Missouri football is rebuilding.  The one unit that is returning some quality payers is the offensive line.  With the line back, Missouri will not be as pass happy as they were last year and instead will look to run.  Derrick Washington is a suitable runner and will be able to put up some yards behind the experienced front line.  Blaine Gabbert has to try and fill the big shoes of Chase Daniels and that will be nearly impossible to do.  Missouri takes a step back this year.
  4. Colorado BuffaloesDan Hawkins had higher expectations for his team last year than five wins. Injuries played a huge role in the outcome and if not for that it is almost certain that Colorado would have been bowl bound. They return a good chunk of the starters from last year and look for the Buffaloes to implement a two quarterback system.  Tyler Hansen and Cody Hawkins will work together to put points on the board.  The entire offensive line is back and that will give them the protection they need.  On defense the entire front line needs to be replaced and this may cause some problems for this unit.  Colorado will not fight for the championship this year but you can expect to see them in a bowl game.
  5. Kansas St. WildcatsBill Snyder was called in to work his magic with the Wildcats again.  Bill Snyder knows how to score points and should be able to do it with the unit he has in place.  They are very deep on the offensive line and return four starters from last year.  Brandon Banks is the most talented player on the field and if he can find someone to throw to him than this offense could surprise.  The defense is decent and has some talented youngsters that can keep the Cats in any game. The real question will be who will run the offense.  Carson Koffman will get the call but he is unproven and may have some growing pains.  The Wildcats will be good again under Bill Snyder, just not this year.
  6. Iowa St. CyclonesPaul Rhoads takes over as head coach for this team and he might rethink his decision when he sees what he is working with.  As a defensive coach Rhoads will tackle a defense that was the worst in the conference.  DE Christopher Lyle will give him some flexibility with the pass rush, but this is a work in progress.  Austen Arnaud returns to play quarterback but this team will be adjusting to a new spread offense.  Iowa St will be the doormat of this division again this year with better things to come in the future.

South Division

  1. Texas Longhornswhat a tough year for Texas and their following.  One loss basically erased the chances for a national title and to make matters worse, their rival played for the crown even though Texas beat them!  Colt McCoy decided to come back and try to make it to the big game this year much to the delight of head coach Mack Brown and the Texas fans.  The Longhorns need to replace the font line of the defense
    Can Colt McCoy lead Texas to a Championship?

    Can Colt McCoy lead Texas to a Championship?

    but other than that they return the entire defense and that will make life easier on the offense.  The pass defense was spectacular from last year and they are back to do it again.  Colt McCoy has four returning starters on his line and he will be the key factor for this team as they only go as far as he can take them.  With a chip on their shoulder from last year Texas will win the Big 12.

  2. Oklahoma SoonersBob Stoops must have been jumping for joy when he heard that Sam Bradford was coming back to play quarterback at Oklahoma.  He wasn’t the only one as defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, offensive tackle Trent Williams and tight end Jermaine Gresham all joined him for another season with the Sooners.  Bradford will have his backfield intact and this offense should be explosive once again.  The offensive line has some holes but Oklahoma never has a problem with finding talent.  The defense may steal some headlines as well as every starter is back for another season.  The Sooners will settle for nothing less than a championship.
  3. Oklahoma St. CowboysOklahoma St proved to have one of the best offenses in the Big 12 and could put up points against any defensive unit.  The problem is in the Big 12, every team can do that.  The Cowboys return eight starters on offense so they should dazzle again. QB Zac Robinson is back to lead his team onto the field every Saturday.  Kendall Hunter joins him in the backfield after rushing for over 1500 yards last year.  The problem for the Cowboys is the defense.  They lose almost the entire secondary from last year and the pass rush is absent.  The only way the Cowboys are going to do well this year is by winning with offense and making up for a porous defense.
  4. Baylor Bears--Baylor won just four games last year and that was a good year for the Bears.  This year they get a healthy dose of experience back as they get nine starters back on both sides of the ball.  Don’t underestimate this team or this offense.  Robert Griffin returns at QB and he had 28 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions as a first year player.  The backfield and his top receiving targets are back and Baylor is ready to make some noise.  The defensive front could be a problem since they failed to pressure any opposing QB’s and in this conference that could be their downfall.
  5. Texas Tech Red Raiders—what a difference a year makes for the Red Raiders of Texas Tech.  They only had one loss last year and had a shot at the Big 12 title and the National Championship.  They had a heisman caliber QB and the best wide receiver in the game and now all of that is gone.  Texas Tech will be in rebuilding mode this year.  Mike Leach will try to recreate the offense he had last year just with different pieces.  The defense has to be replaced and the younger players will be a victim of the talented offense in the division.  Texas Tech will be able to score and move the ball but they will give up a ton of points at the same time.
  6. Texas A&M Aggiesthe good news for the Aggies is that they return plenty of players from last year’s team.  The bad news is that team was dreadful last year.  The offensive line returns four starters and Jerrod Johnson is back at quarterback so the offense may show some signs of life.  The real trouble sets in on the defensive side of the football.  They have to replace the front four and the inexperienced group with get manhandled by the experienced huge offensive lines in this league.  That will lead to the secondary getting beat all year long and A&M will stay at the bottom of this division.

North Winner: Kansas Jayhawks

South Winner: Texas Longhorns

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Big 12 Winner: Texas Longhorns

13
Jul
09

Odds to win the AFC East: Pats not a lock

Odds to win the AFC East

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As part of a series I am going to cover all of the divisions in football and talk about who will win the division and look at a few dark horses that may surprise.

I am going to start with the AFC East:

All odds that are listed in this article can be found by CLICKING HERE

Favorite: New England Patriots -425

As expected the Patriots are the odds on favorite to win the AFC East now that Brady is back at the helm. The Patriots were confident enough to trade

Are the Patriots a lock to win the East?

Are the Patriots a lock to win the East?

Matt Cassell and look to regain the form they had when they were undefeated. The problem is this is a tough injury to recover from and Brady may be skittish in the pocket until he gets some hits. This could cost the team a few wins early in division and although they are the team to beat there has to be better value than -425.

Darkhorse: New York Jets +700

They have a rookie quarterback in Mark Sanchez and a rookie head coach in Rex Ryan, but the Jets may be poised to make some noise. Sanchez can grow in an offense that will depend on the run and defense to keep the game in control. This kind of new attitude can take the Jets from pretenders to contenders.

My Pick: Buffalo Bills +800

It’s hard to ignore the Dolphins since they played so well last year but this is the year of the Bills. T.O. starts his own VH-1 reality show when he went to Buffalo but the reality is that he will make the Bills better. They get New England at home on December 15th which may just turn into a battle for the AFC East.

10
Jul
09

2009 ACC College Football Preview: Can anyone stop Virginia Tech?

2009 ACC College Football Preview

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The ACC has is now near the top of the list when it comes to winning conferences.  They are still behind the Big 12 and the SEC but ever year they put together a winning effort.  This year the ACC will be out to prove they are just as good as any other conference in the country.

Atlantic Division

  1. Florida St. SeminolesBobby Bowden showed that he can still coach and when all the experts expected the Seminoles to falter they played very well in 2008.  Experience is going to aid the Seminoles this year as they return Chris Ponder at quarterback and the majority of the offensive line.  Jermaine Thomas will get a full time role running the ball and will have a breakout season.  The defense lost some star caliber position players but will reload with recruits.  Depending on how fast they may gel as a unit could be the difference between a good year and a great year.
  2. Wake Forest Demon Deacons-Jim Grobe has made the Demon Deacons into a force in the Atlantic division.  His recipe of running the ball and playing stingy defense has been a winning formula.  Riley Skinner will be under center and is one of the best signal callers in the ACC.  Josh Adams will be at tailback after sitting out with injuries and the offense will be fierce.  The problem will be on defense where Grobe has to fill vacancies left by outstanding NFL players like Aaron Curry.  Grobe is a defensive coach and will be able to put new players into his system and Wake Forest will be a force yet again.
  3. Clemson Tigers-Is there any other team with more talent that has disappointed more than Clemson? After a rough start Dabo Sweeny took over Clemson and made them play to a higher level at the end of last year.  Now this year he looks for a full season of effort from the Tigers.  Luckily for Sweeny C.J. Spiller returned for another season and he is the Clemson offense.  The Tigers will win and lose games based on the line play.  The offensive and defensive line has gone through some changes and need to replace some position players that have departed.  It may be asking too much for a huge season this year but that is exactly what Clemson fans expect.
  4. NC St. Wolfpack-Tom O’Brien is ready to take the Wolfpack to the next level.  This hard nosed coach is known for turning programs around and a bowl game is not out of the question this year.  Russell Wilson returns as quarterback and leader of the team and this kid is truly a special talent and if he can stay healthy he will shine.  The Wolfpack bring back the core of the offensive line and will be potent on offense.  The defense ranked last in pass defense but they return seven starters.  If anything, the experience will help this team and will bring the Wolfpack back to near the top of the standings in the Atlantic division.
  5. Boston College EaglesJeff Jagodzinski left the Eagles in one of the most bizarre firings in the off-season.  In comes Frank Spaziani to right the ship.  The Eagles are stocked and return seven players on both sides of the ball but that does not automatically equal success.  Dominique Davis will get the start at QB after playing in three games last year.  He will not have much time to adjust.  The defense was one of the best last year but you can expect a downgrade after losing BJ Raji and Ron Brace.  Boston College will have to get some big games out of the offense to compete in this conference.  Expect a down year for the Eagles.
  6. Maryland TerrapinsCoach Ralph Friedgen will look to finally get Maryland over the hump and into the ACC Championship game.  On offense he returns some key pieces starting with Da’Rel Scott in the backfield.  He ran for over 1,000 yards last year and should have another successful campaign.  The problem is they have to replace some serious talent on the offensive line to make some way for Scott to run.  On defense the Terps need to replace seven starters from last year’s bunch.  This transition will lead to a poor season for Maryland fans.

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Coastal Division

  1. Virginia Tech Hokies-Virginia Tech should be considered to be one of the best in the country and will have a real shot at the National Title. Tyrod Taylor will be back at the helm calling the shots and is one of the most explosive QB’s in the country.  His ability to run and throw will make him a dual threat that defenses will have a tough time dealing with.  Darren Evans is a fierce runner and this offense will be able to move the ball on the ground.  The defense has some holes at linebacker to fill but Frank Beamer
    Who can stop the Hokies?

    Who can stop the Hokies?

    knows how to recruit.  This team will win the coastal and a win against Alabama early in the season could set the bar.

  2. Georgia tech Yellow Jackets-Paul Johnson brought the triple option offense to Georgia Tech and it worked very well as the Jackets won nine games in his first year.  The offense rushed for over 5 yards a carry and all the pieces are back to run it again.   With a year in the system they could be even better at it this year.  Jonathan Dwyer and Roddy Jones may be the deadliest backfield combination in the country and will pound the ball against defenses with a threat to break a big run on any down.  The Jackets return eight players on defense and even though they lost some key players, the defense should be just as good as last year.  Look for the Yellow jackets to challenge for the crown in the costal division.
  3. North Carolina Tar Heels- Coach Butch Davis has turned this program around and he has Carolina fans watching football instead of just basketball.  Davis has a unique ability to recruit star athletes and should have this program going in a positive direction for years to come.  The defense was the strength of this unit and look for a return to form as they just lost two players from the starting unit a year ago.  T.J. Yates is back at quarterback but his targets have all left and he will have to rely on young freshmen to make an impact.  If those targets pan out this team can be deadly.  If they don’t pan out yet look for Carolina to challenge for the ACC title in the near future.
  4. Miami Hurricanes-Randy Shannon got a lot out of a young group last year but the real challenge will be to see if he can get more out of them this year.  Mark Whipple came in as offensive coordinator and this will be the first year that Miami will be using his pro-set system which may cause some growing pains.  Linebacker Sean Spence leads 8 starters back on defense and that will help the offense adjust to the new style of defense.  If the offense picks up the new system than the defense will push it to the next level and Miami will go to the post season.
  5. Virginia Cavaliers- Al Groh is on the hot seat in Virginia and this could be his last season.  In the off-season a slew of new assistant coaches were brought in and any one of them could replace Groh if the season turns ugly early.  The offense is shaky and there will be a QB battle in the spring.  On defense the Cavaliers were gutted at linebacker by the NFL draft and they will be soft in the middle.  Al Groh bids farewell after eight seasons as the Cavaliers struggle through another losing season.
  6. Duke Blue Devils- David Cutcliffe got Duke Nation to appreciate football again.  The team only had four wins last year but that was the most they had in quite some time.  It is too early to have high hopes for Duke football but it is on the right track.  Thaddeus Lewis is back at quarterback and this will give the offense an experienced leader that limits turnovers.  They lost three starters on the offensive line and it may be asking too much of this team to win enough games to go to a bowl.

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Atlantic Division Winner: Florida St.

Costal Division Winner: Virginia Tech

ACC Winner: Virginia Tech

09
Jul
09

Dallas Cowboys ex linebacker claims Ware hid so he could play—what does this say about this team?

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It was reported today by ex-linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys Greg Ellis that his former teammate DeMarcus Ware hid on the sidelines so he could play. While this is a noble gesture by Ware it may show something more about the Cowboys from a coaching standpoint.

To have a player, even of the caliber of Ware miss a play is no big deal and that happens all the time. To even hear that coaches did not know where he was is not surprising because the sidelines get crowded and it can be easy to get lost or to “hide”. But was does this say about the Cowboys coaching staff?

Ellis says Ware would hide so he could play

Ellis says Ware would hide so he could play

The players must have zero respect for the coaching staff to do something like this.  It shows that they don’t care what the coaches think and they don’t value their decision making so they take matters into their own hands. This kind of selfishness and disregard for the coaches is contagious and will spread.  When this story gets around and gets some publicity it will be another black eye on Dallas and will make a rift if any between the coaching staff and the players bigger, if there is one.

The bottom line is that there needs to be a coaching change in Dallas and it needs to happen now.

The NFL football season is almost here and preview of each team in College and the NFL will be up shortly so stop by and check them out!

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07
Jul
09

Time to show some respect for Steve McNair

Over the holiday weekend Steve McNair and Sahel Kazemi were both found fatally shot. Since then the media has exposed some facts about the two and what may have happened leading up to the events. They talk about a relationship, who bought the gun, and even motive.

This information is important for the investigators and how this may have happened but not for the rest of us.  There is no need to drag the names of the victims through the mud.  This is a unfortunate event for fans, friends and family of Steve McNair. Assuming events of his life and his marriage is not

How will you remember McNair?

How will you remember McNair?

something for us to judge. Steve McNair was not perfect and he had problems in his life, just like we all do.  As a fan I knew him as a quarterback and when he was on the field I never once asked myself how his family was or if he was ever arrested. The main reason is because I could appreciate him as a quarterback. The other issues that have come to light is for the family and his friends to go through and not the media and not the thousands of fans that seem to be talking about McNair the person when all they ever cared about before this was McNair the quarterback.

The titans will hold a 2 day memorial for Steve McNair

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04
Jul
09

Steve McNair Found Dead

Today Steve McNair was found dead.  It is still to early to say what exactly happened but it is tragic.  Here is the latest from ESPN.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4306322

I am sure more details will follow on his death but for now the important part is to realize how short life is and how enjoying life should be a top priority.

RIP “Air” McNair




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