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13 Sep 2007

Seventh Day Adventure: Hate Week

by Russell Levine

I'm turning back the clock on this college football season, all the way to Aug. 31. I'm not hiding from Michigan's 0-2 start, mind you, it's just that I've decided not to spend another week wallowing in self-pity about it.

So I'm hitting the reset button and trying to recapture the frame of mind I had all of two weeks ago, when my first thought each morning was, "How many more days until football season?"

The worst thing about Michigan's situation is that it threatens to rob me of that excitement. This is college football season! I can't let it slip away just because my favorite team may have nothing to play for.

Especially this week. This is clearly the best week of the early-season schedule, and maybe the entire season. To help me recapture my mojo, I'm joined on this week's podcast by Orson Swindle of Every Day Should be Saturday.

Orson is a rabid Florida fan, but his blog has become a must-read for college football fans of all stripes. If you're not a regular of EDSBS, you either A) Have no sense of humor; B) Have the last name "Fulmer;" or C) Hate America. Remember, kids, if we don't laugh at Houston Nutt, the terrorists win.

Orson's not just here on a mission of mercy to pick me up, either. His Gators play Tennessee on Saturday, which is where the "Hate Week" title comes from. The color orange and checkerboard end zones stir unique passions in a Florida fan. Listen to this week's podcast to find out what Orson has riding on the game (hint, it's a personal humiliation wager). He also compares and contrasts the relative evils of Bobby Bowden and Phil Fulmer, and ruminates on the topic of whether or not Papa Bowden supported the reconstruction of Europe following World War II. If you weren't already sure, Orson is not your average college football fan.

Florida-Tennessee is just one of three SEC games on this week's docket. So get ready to play fast and break down all the week's biggest games, including:

#22 Tennessee (+8) at #5 Florida, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

We'll know a lot more about Florida's chances of defending its national title after the Gators take on the Vols Saturday. Florida may have defensive issues, but Tim Tebow is quickly putting concerns about his passing ability to rest.

A loss here would drop Tennessee to 1-2, and bump Fulmer up a few notches in the hot-seat ratings.

#10 Ohio State (-4) at Washington, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Washington has been one of the surprising teams of the early season. Ty Willingham's Huskies throttled Syracuse on the road (admittedly, not that impressive a result) and then beat Boise State by two touchdowns at home last week.

Willingham is threatening to return Washington to glory -- at the same time as Notre Dame looks very much like, well, Notre Dame under Ty Willingham -- but talk of that will go no further if the Huskies are routed by Ohio State this Saturday.

The player to watch is Washington quarterback Jake Locker, whom Orson dares to compare to Vince Young. Ohio State's defense is ferocious, but the Buckeyes have looked pedestrian, or worse on offense.

Notre Dame (+7.5) at Michigan, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Sure both teams are 0-2 and unranked, and only Michigan's gigantic early season stink bomb has managed to keep the focus of the college football media completely off Notre Dame.

Many people who don't live in South Bend believed the Irish would struggle this season, but I think they expected more than zero offensive touchdowns and minus-eight rushing yards after two games. Jimmy Clausen showed poise, but not much production, in his first start at Penn State last week. Expect Charlie Weis to open up the playbook a bit more against Michigan's awful defense.

Michigan starts freshman Ryan Mallet, a 6-foot-7 giant who has a JaMarcus Russell-like arm but didn't show much touch when he relieved the injured Chad Henne in the second half against Oregon last week. The winner here has a fighting chance for a moderately respectable season. That is, if you want to call the Motor City Bowl respectable. The loser could be headed for 2-10.

#16 Arkansas (+3) at Alabama, 6:45 p.m. ET, ESPN

Alabama plays its first SEC home game under Nick Saban after an impressive 2-0 start. Saban has become quickly beloved among the "Roll, Tide!" set, but things might cool off a bit if Arkansas pulls the upset on the road to cool 'bama expectations.

Arkansas can't throw the ball at all, particularly with top receiver Marcus Monk still out with a knee injury, but the Razorbacks are as good a one-dimensional offensive team as you'll ever see with Darren McFadden and Felix Jones in the backfield.

#9 Louisville (-7) at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN Classic

Our third and final SEC stop is the Bluegrass State battle between Louisville and Kentucky. If you love offense, this should be your favorite game of the week. Both starting quarterbacks -- Louisville's Brian Brohm and Kentucky's Andre' Woodson -- are sure to be high draft picks next April, and neither team bothers to play much defense.

Louisville has designs on a return to the BCS, but the Cardinals won't get anywhere near the marquee bowls if they play the way they did in allowing 42 points in a win over Middle Tennessee State. The Big East now features at least four other teams -- West Virginia, Rutgers, South Florida, and Cincinnati -- that are capable of knocking off anyone in the conference, so Louisville really needs to emerge from the non-conference season unscathed.

#1 USC (-10) at #14 Nebraska, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

The nation's top-ranked team (at least according to the AP and coaches polls, but not the BlogPoll) is at Nebraska in the back-end of a home-and-home series.

Nebraska played to not get embarrassed last season, running repeatedly in the second half and never showing any sense or urgency in a game they ended up losing to the Trojans by 18 points. The home crowd in Lincoln won't stand for a similar effort this year.

This is the game transfer quarterback Sam Keller needs to prove he can run Bill Callahan's offense, because Nebraska has no chance if they stick to the ground game and Marlon Lucky.

After Oklahoma and LSU posted impressive routs in marquee games last week while USC was idle, look for the Trojans to make a similar statement.

#21 Boston College (+7) at #15 Georgia Tech, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Are these the two best teams in the ACC? Preseason favorite Virginia Tech hasn't shown anything this season and just got embarrassed at LSU. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, has unveiled a potent rushing offense to go with a defense that is one of the nation's best.

Tashard Choice ripped up Notre Dame and ran for 100-plus yards in just a quarter of work against Samford last week.

Boston College is already 2-0 in conference play, having beaten Wake Forest and North Carolina State. Quarterback Matt Ryan looks like he might be one of the best in the country, and he gets a chance to prove it against a blitz-happy John Tenuta defense.

Florida State (-4) at Colorado, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN

This is an interesting matchup despite the recent struggles of both programs, and it was included for reasons other than just giving Orson another chance to kick Bobby Bowden while he's down.

Well, maybe not.

Dan Hawkins has his work cut out for him in trying to turn around the Colorado program, and his son, Cody, has struggled as the starting quarterback. He'll have a tough task against Florida State's defense, which is still loaded with NFL-caliber talent.

The Florida State offense has yet to gel under new coordinator Jimbo Fisher as the offensive line has struggled to protect inconsistent quarterback Drew Weatherford.

If FSU wins, will the Seminoles take a chunk of the Boulder turf with them to plant back in the sod cemetery in Tallahassee?

The SDA Podcast


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The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Orson Says Russell Says
Tennessee +8 Florida Tennessee Florida
Ohio State -4 Washington Washington Ohio State
Notre Dame +7.5 Michigan Michigan Notre Dame
Arkansas +3 Alabama Arkansas* Alabama*
Louisville -7 Kentucky Kentucky Louisville
USC -10 Nebraska USC USC
Boston College +7 Georgia Tech Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
Florida State -4 Colorado Colorado Florida State
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Guest: Brian 5-3-0 (0-1-0)    
Guests Composite     8-8-0 (0-2-0)
Russell 5-3-0 (1-0-0) 8-8-0 (2-0-0)

Posted by: Russell Levine on 13 Sep 2007

174 comments, Last at 20 Sep 2007, 9:40pm by Kevin 11

Comments

1
by stan (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 5:30pm

I'm not sure that the Tenn game will tell us all that much about Florida (unless they lose). Last year, the Vols lost by one. Only a blown pass protection kept the Vols from a late FG.

Yet, clearly the Gators were much, much better by mid-season and season's end.

2
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 5:41pm

I wish Ty had recruited... I don't know, ONE good player in his last year at ND. Maybe the team wouldn't be so awful this year.

The loser of the Michigan-ND game won't go 2-10, which I expect to be the Irish. ND's last 4 games are winnable, but I have no expectations for victory Saturday.

3
by hooper (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 5:41pm

Is there any reason that Orson picked Tenenssee here, but Florida on Rocky Top Talk? If so, what was the reason for the switch, and which way did it switch?

4
by hooper (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 5:42pm

Double post.

Never mind #3. Here, he was picking the spread. There, he was picking the win. His margin of victory explains it.

Oops.

5
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 5:43pm

As a Gator fan living in west Tennessee I can tell you I definitely hate the Vols more.

6
by James G (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 5:54pm

I thought Florida's true rival was supposed to be Georgia.

7
by Derek (Brooklyn) (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 5:56pm

Sweet. Now I can get away from the Patriots espionage thread where someone with my name is engaged in endless debate with Will Allen.

8
by DoubleB (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 6:08pm

As an older Florida fan, I definitely hate Georgia more. I could see a younger UF fan (30 or less) hating Tennessee more and taking a win over UGA for granted.

9
by strannix (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 6:14pm

I'm a Gator, and I hate the Seminoles far more, because 1) they're out of conference, and I feel compelled to root for any SEC team playing out of conference, and 2) the Gators have had much less success against them in the last 20 years (my frame of reference). Plus, I went to the 1996 game in Tallahassee and would therefore have been scarred for life had Texas not somehow beat Nebraska.

10
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 6:14pm

Oh boy long raving Alabama post coming up:

Big game for Alabama, if they win this one convincingly I think they are setting themselves up to be undefeated going into the Tennessee game. Even with Georgia and Florida State in between those games. But yes this game will either raise or temper expectations for Bama.

Orson should know how load Alabama can get-I swear the loudest that stadium has ever been was when Florida came to Bama in 2005....absolutely deafening.

Alabama should have beat Arkansas last season, its as simple as that-the kicker of that game, Lee Tiffin, will be the kicker this year (unless Christiansen comes back from whatever he problem is)-he looks better this year, but still missed an easy field goal against Western Carolina.

I knew McFadden was going to be a star after his 70 yard TD run as a freshman, he had 112 yards rushing last season on 25 attempts (Felix Jones had 4 attempts and 65 yards) against Bama with Mitch Mustain as a starting QB. Containing McFadden is the X factor of course, easier said then done, but Bama's run D has impressed me so far this season-but to be fair they have not played anyone like Arkansas. Lorenzo Washington needs to play out of his mind at NG this week.

But this is not Bama's offense from a year ago either. The OL is a lot better (and no more Chris C(r)apps starting at tackle, really after starting RT Mike Johnson had an injury scare against Vandy, instead of putting a 2 year starter in the game in Capps, they moved starting center Antoine Caldwell to RT and had RS Soph. Evan Cardwell play center instead,a move Shula did about 4 series too late against Auburn as well). Capps has probably cost Bama 2 or 3 games alone the last 2 seasons, no joke...and now he is on the bench. Terry Grant, Glenn Coffee, and Jimmy Johns have all looked good in the backfield, especially Grant and Coffee (who played some as a true freshman, but was hurt last season) giving Alabama a run game, something they missed last season. Really, Grant has 5 rushing Tds in 2 games, Bama had 8 overall last season and none by their starting RB. J.P. Wilson has not looked great this season, so hopefully he has a big game this week.

I think Bama wins this week, there defense is just good enough and the offense looks a whole lot better then the Shula era's offense.

Players to watch on Bama:
Sophomore LT Andre Smith-should be a top 5 pick in 2 years if he is healthy
RS Freshman RB Terry Grant-already mentioned him, but he is fast and shifty.
Senior WR D.J. Hall-underrated SEC WR (really no one in the SEC media thought he was a All-SEC WR-and they had 3 times to get it right...) has no had a big time game yet, but he had one against Arkansas last year.

and on defense:
Freshman ILB Rolando McClain: He is a big imposing LBer for the Saban 3-4 look, he actually is starting over 2nd team All-SEC LBer Prince Hall (who will get playing time as well spelling McClain or Darren Mustin at the other ILB spot).
Senior CB Simeon Castille: playmaker, gets picks, forces fumbles, recovers fumbles.
Freshman CB Kareem Jackson he was actually matched up against Earl Bennett during most of the Vandy game and did pretty good (Nickson scatter-shooting the ball everywhere helped as well).

You may go on to your scheduled Big Ten/Big East talk.

Though really Florida played better later in the season? Which game, the almost loss to Georgia, South Carolina, Vandy, or Florida State where they playing better...Florida was a good team, but they had more then 1 scare near the end of the season.

11
by BB (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 6:25pm

Ohio State’s defense is ferocious, but the Buckeyes have looked pedestrian, or worse on offense.

Well, they're ferocious when not playing Michigan or Florida, neither of which had any trouble scoring on that same defense last year.

Of course, if it comes down to coaching this week then advantage OSU, but going on the road to a loud stadium out west (a situation where the Big 10 often sucks) with a first year starter at QB who has been rather uninspiring thus far is a recipe for an upset. OSU's D may have to create some offense to get the win.

12
by James G (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 6:37pm

A loud stadium out west? I don't think you're describing Husky stadium. Out west is correct, however.

Then again, the years I attended games there were some of their bleakest, so I'm sure they're louder than that normally.

But I attended Penn State during the first two of their poor years as well, and they were consistently louder than what I ever saw at Washington.

13
by hector (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 6:51pm

I'll be shocked if Mike Hart doens't run for a giant number this week. I'm calling for 175-plus, assuming he's able to get through the whole game.

14
by Derek (Brooklyn) (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 7:01pm

It may not be loud but Husky Stadium sure is a beautiful place to watch a game.

15
by James G (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 7:18pm

Derek - I won't dispute that. although I watched at least a few games there from the general admission bleachers which has your back to Lake Washington (and the scoreboard). I much preferred it when I ended up knowing somebody who knew somebody else willing to give us a couple games off their season tickets. When your back's not to the lake, I couldn't imagine much more of a beautiful place to watch from.

16
by Russell Levine :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 7:39pm

My impressions of Husky Stadium were based upon a single visit. Michigan @ UW, Sept. 8, 2001. The place was packed, people still believed in Slick Rick, and when the crowd got going you could not hear at all. We were in obstructed view seats right behind the Michigan sideline. Obstructed because they were too low down to see over the players.

Nothing quite like flying cross country to get kicked in the crotch. At least I flew back on Sept. 10.

17
by Derek (Brooklyn) (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 7:52pm

Russell,

I had recently moved to Seattle before that game and remember being fascinated by seeing tailgates on the water. Growing up in Philadelphia with a father teaching at Temple University never inspired much love for college football. Going to Vassar College didn't help. Seeing the excitement at Husky Stadium in those years sparked something that was only fully ignited when I went to grad school at the University of Iowa.

Sorry for the life story but these connections are part of what makes college football great for me.

18
by Vincent Verhei :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 8:04pm

Russell: I was at Husky Stadium for the Todd Marinovich "Purple Haze" game. Trust me, it was louder then.

19
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 8:32pm

Remind me again why I did my undergrad and graduate work at schools that haven't seen a whit of football glory since Pearl Harbor? Oh, yeah, because I'm an idiot.

20
by dCalla (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 8:44pm

The Horseshoe is one of the loudest stadiums there is. Noise is one thing, anyway, that is not going to be an issue for tOSU.

21
by James G (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 8:44pm

19 - I tried to go work at glorious football schools, but I ruined them. After high school, and undergrad school at small tech school out west that combines with 1 other to make a DIII footbball team, I went to Penn State for grad school. The year before I started? Undefeated, finished #2, won the Rose Bowl. My final two years there: 5-7 and 5-6 (although only 2-4 before I left). Then I was out to Washington for my postdoc, just off a Rose Bowl win itself. They blew that season and lost the Holiday Bowl to Texas. Then came the total destruction, including the 1-10 season my final year there (maybe that's why I don't think Husky stadium is loud). Now, the closest big program to me is Syracuse.

22
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 8:49pm

As a young Florida fan, I hate FSU the most. I think the big reason was that it's in-state- the people who attend FSU were my classmates, so there's more at stake. Losing to Tennessee sucks, but I don't see Tennessee fans walking around for the rest of the year rubbing my face in it, and I don't likewise have a chance to rub it into Tennessee's face, either. I asked my significant other and she agrees. If we lose 3 in a row to Tennessee, that blows, but we aren't constantly reminded of it. If we lose 3 in a row to FSU, then we are reminded of that fact every single day until we finally even the score.

I always thought that all Gators fans felt this way, so I'm kind of surprised to learn otherwise. I mean, picture this scenario... you're walking down the street and you see someone in an FSU shirt, a Tennessee shirt, and a Georgia shirt all walking down the street arm-in-arm. Tragically, you only have one egg with you. Is there really any chance that the FSU fan is walking away from that meeting clean?

23
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 9:13pm

and enjoy Ole Miss Russell, they produce Miss Americans as they say. Lots of pearls, high heels, and dresses, and uh drunk soristiutes

24
by kevin11 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 9:29pm

My Top 25:

1. LSU
2. Oklahoma
3. Southern Cal
4. Florida
5. West Virginia
6. Texas
7. Penn State
8. Cal
9. Georgia Tech
10. Nebraska
11. Clemson
12. Louisville
13. Wisconsin
14. UCLA
15. Ohio State
16. Oregon
17. South Carolina
18. Missouri
19. Tennessee
20. Texas A & M
21. Arkansas
22. Arizona State
23. South Florida
24. Georgia
25. Boston College

Pick of the week: Louisville -7 over Kentucky. I'm 2 - 0 so far.

Notre Dame could easily open 1 - 7, or even 0 - 8. They have a brutal schedule during a rebuilding year, and I expect the national spotlight to be off Michigan's troubles soon.

Hypothetical question for Michigan fans that want Lloyd Carr fired: Carr departs after 2007, and Les Miles turns down the job...now what?

For those that think Miles succeeding Carr is a slam-dunk, Barry Alvarez was once a slam dunk to replace Lou Holtz. Ditto Tom O'Brien succeeding George Welsh at Virginia, and Bob Stoops succeeding Steve Spurrier at Florida.

Watch out Michigan...you could get Zooked.

25
by Derek (Brooklyn) (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 10:26pm

kevin11,

Why not Arkansas over Alabama since you have the Razorbacks at 21 and the Crimson Tide unranked?

Also, Michigan may have fallen off a bit but I think they can still do better than the Zooker. Still, I wouldn't mind hearing who the Michigan fans are mentally targeting...

26
by kevin11 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 10:47pm

25- I had Alabama over Arkansas (as in, the other way around) until the last moment.

Neither team has really done anything yet, but Arkansas is the defending SEC West champ, so they get the slight nod. If I had a top 30, Bama would be ranked.

27
by BB (not verified) :: Thu, 09/13/2007 - 11:49pm

20, that's all fine and good that the 'Shoe is loud, but they ain't making that noise when OSU has the ball (unless they're morons), so it doesn't really matter that the 'Shoe is loud for the purposes of evaluating how the OSU offense will react to a loud hostile crowd. OSU had a devil of a time in Happy Valley a couple years ago, and that was with a vastly superior offense to what they have this year, with a much more experienced QB.

24: Good question. They may be forced to pony up and pay big bucks to someone (Tedford? Ferentz? Rodriguez? Who knows). I think they should at least consider Mt Union's coach, provided they can also hire someone as an assistant who is a great recruiter. D-3 obviously isn't D-1, but I think that guy can just flat-out coach.

28
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 12:02am

Re: 25

I may or may not have spent a little time on the Michigan boards the last two weeks. Here are some names that are being bandied about beyond Miles -- whom I wouldn't exactly call the clear cut choice among fans. Michigan fans are split on Miles just like LSU fans seem to be.

Other names that come up a lot:
Tedford
Rodriguez
Schiano
Brian Kelly (U of Cincinnati)

29
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 12:14am

Rodriguez is going nowhere, he signed a big contract after almost going to Alabama last season and if Schiano turned down Miami, I can't imagine him going to Michigan.

Too bad the Appalchian state coach is older, he could have been Jim Tressel.

I like Brian Kelly for the job-though he just went to Cincy.

30
by kevin11 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 12:24am

28- Russell, holy crap.

Michigan and LSU are "split" over Miles? Exactly what coach would satisfy those fans? As if what Miles has done at LSU so far isn't enough to satisfy Michigan or LSU fans.

Heads up- if you're an LSU fan that isn't happy with Les Miles, you're an idiot. Ditto to a Michigan fan that wouldn't welcome Michigan alum Miles with tears of joy.

Did I spell idiot correctly?

31
by Tampa Bay Mike (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 12:34am

I'm a Florida alum and I hate Tennessee much more. If Florida loses to a fellow Florida school it's no big deal - sometimes you lose to your peers. However, losing to the inferior Tennessee is an embarrassment to the state of Florida.

32
by Derek (Brooklyn) (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 12:42am

Russell,

Thanks for the message board speculation. I wonder if Bielema would get any attention from the Wolverines if the Badgers were to win the Big Ten this year.

BB,

Kirk Ferentz has lost a bit of his luster after the last 2 seasons but I don't think we'd see him in Ann Arbor anyway. The NFL is a possibility as is Penn State (though I suspect the Lions will hire a coach from within the program) but Michigan would surprise me.

33
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 12:59am

Nobody is questioning Miles' results. I think there's a general feeling that he can recruit and is dodgy as a gameday coach.

I agree, it smacks of people never being satisfied.

I don't want Miles because he's a loose cannon prone to shooting his mouth off and saying some embarrassing things. Plus I have a completely unjustified feeling, based on some even more unsubstantiated internet rumors that he's plays it a little fast and loose with the rules. I just don't like the guy, but I could probably learn to, especially if he's willing to leave an awesome situation like he's got now for LSU.

As for the others, none are out of reach. Michigan is a far better job than Miami. The facilities and budget are in far better shape. I would also argue that Michigan is a better situation than Alabama, mostly because 'bama has so much competition for talent in its geographic region and also has a lot of schools to climb over to even get to the top of its division in the SEC.

So Rodriguez and Schiano staying where they are doesn't necessarily mean they won't listen to somebody else. Especially Schiano. Rutgers has a budget crunch like you wouldn't believe and they still have poor facilities relative to the major powers. I'm not sure I want Schiano in Ann Arbor because I think he's more of a program builder. We need an innovative offensive mind.

Rodriguez might consider it, but only if Michigan shows it's willing to spend what other schools are on coaches. Our AD just committed $250 million to build stadium suites and club seats though, I bet he won't penny pinch when it comes time to hire a coach.

Tedford may elect to stay at Cal long-term, or he may be waiting for the right NFL gig. But Cal needs to get a stadium built or he can walk for not much. And the tree-living hippies are holding that up right now.

Kelly really, really intrigues me. I don't care that he just got to Cinci. He's not going to say no to Michigan.

Michigan has not conducted an outside search for a football coach in 40 years. It's still one of THE jobs in college football. UM will almost certainly be the highest profile job open this year. We will get plenty of face time with all the big names.

34
by joe football (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 1:16am

Would it be overreacting to ask whether Devine should be starting over Slaton? The kid is a perpetual juke

35
by kevin11 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 1:19am

Russell- Michigan is a paramount program. I'm neutral on UM, but that's obvoius.

Of course, Nebraska felt that way when they canned Solich.

Be careful what you wish for. I'm a Vols fan that says that every time Fulmer's seat gets hot.

36
by Jon (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 1:42am

Russell, why do you think Rutgers has poor facilities? Ok, they have a small stadium still. Everything else is absolutely top notch. That's how we keep pulling the kids from Florida. Schiano insisted on millions being spent on facilities when he left Miami, otherwise he wouldn't have taken the job. In fact, the program has been criticized for lavish spending on facilities. Check these out -> 1, 2I know you live in NJ now, but it's hard to get a grasp on this if you just read the papers and aren't a dedicated fan really following the program. The school overall has a budget crunch but that doesn't really have anything to do with the athletic department which is running about a 1m deficit per year. Football has done wonders marketing wise and internal studies have calculated the value of the success as being in the tens of millions.Rutgers gave in to every one of Schiano's demands. They let him build a house on campus. They're expanding the stadium. You're really off base here and in last week's podcast.

37
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 2:09am

yeah thats why I am glad Bama got probably one of the best college coaches to come to the school, instead of coach who is worried about "more" competition.

I know its early in recruiting, but the state of Alabama has one of its deepest classes in years and right now you would not even think Auburn had a football team in the state-that is how much Alabama is dominanting in recruiting the state.

I think Les Miles is a good coach and I agree some people have unrealistic ideas about what a coach should be doing year in and year out (like someone said Michigan has been to 3 out of the last 4 Rose Bowls and Carr is a lot better coach then even St. Bo), but to me Miles will always be the Mack Brown of the SEC, he is going to lose a game or two and will probably be outcoached by someone.

I still don't see Rodriguez leaving West Virginia. I am not even sure how he is a fit at Michigan considering he has been running the same offensive system for years that Michigan does not have the players for.

I still have no idea how Devine qualified, but hey when a fellow Big East team can get a RB that cannot qualify at a SEC school it shows how fair the BCS conferences can be.

38
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 8:18am

Re: 36,

Not poor facilities, but as I understood it there is already budget wrangling over funding a stadium expansion.

Michigan is about to open a brand-new indoor facility -- the 2nd one it has built -- just finished an academic support center, and is going to spend a quarter billion on fixing up the stadium.

39
by Russell Levine :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 8:20am

Re: 37

Bama got a great coach, no doubt. But the fact that Rodriguez said no and Jim Leavitt turned them down twice speaks volumes. They got Saban because they basically doubled the pay scale for college coaches.

UM doesn't have the players for RR's system today, true. That could change in a year.

I'm not one of those "please would you fire Carr already" types. I've long been a supporter. But now that he's almost certainly gone, it's time to start thinking about who's next.

40
by Michael David Smith :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 9:46am

Rutgers has fine facilities, from what I've heard, but not up there with Michigan. Is there any doubt in anyone's mind that Schiano jumps if Michigan calls?

41
by SGT Ben (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 9:47am

#34

"Would it be overreacting to ask whether Devine should be starting over Slaton? The kid is a perpetual juke"

I wouldn't advise having Noel Start. If they limit his carries (I believe) then he can actually "redshirt" his freshman year and maintain more eligibility. Though he is quicker/more agile than Slaton, he's still not as fast. He got caught at the 1 yard line (last night) on a couple of runs that (IMO) Slaton and White would have scored on.

I also think he needs to add a little more muscle to his frame. I think that Slaton has done that this year, because he's managed to bull through several tackles that he probably would have gone down to last year.

Devine is devine, but Slaton is still the man! Of course, no matter how you look at it, WVU has a very stacked backfield/offense.

Even Reynaud (WR, sort of) is more halfback than WR. Should something happen to both Devine and Slaton, you could move him back there and the offense wouldn't lose much of it's effectiveness.

The real key to the Mountaineer offense is Pat White. Maryland keyed in on him on nearly every play and managed to "limit" WVU to 31 points and several stops behind the line. I think that should other teams pick up on that (particularly those with better offenses), WVU will drop out of these rankings very quickly.

42
by Marty (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 10:32am

You left out Raider Bronco week!

43
by Derek (Brooklyn) (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 10:48am

#41 (SGT Ben),
"If they limit his carries (I believe) then he can actually “redshirt� his freshman year and maintain more eligibility."

This is not correct.

From the NCAA website (click my name for link): "NCAA rules indicate that any competition, regardless of time, during a season counts as one of your seasons of competition in that sport. It does not matter how long you were involved in a particular competition (for example, one play in a football game, one point in a volleyball match); you will be charged with one season of competition."

44
by Derek (Brooklyn) (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 10:57am

Russell's point about the lack of tradition at Big East schools (in a generally complementary article) seems relevant to the Michigan coaching discussion.

I wonder if Schiano, Rodriguez, and Leavitt will all move to more established powers within the next five years or if they'll elect to keep building their legacy in the Big East.

45
by BB (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 11:30am

The only reason Ferentz's name gets tossed out there is that he has a prior relationship with Michigan's president (who was the pres at Iowa when he was hired there). I don't really think he'd move to Michigan either, at least not as likely as some of the other candidates would be to move.

I think Tedford is ideal compared to others given he's a known offense guy who develops QBs and would not have to overhaul Michigan's personnel when he came in -- he'd already have the cannon-armed Mallett. Maybe Tedford could teach him he doesn't need to throw it as hard as he can on every pass. I just don't know if Tedford will want the job, but if he does he's the one I'd want of the other candidates besides Miles.

Also fine with Miles, and I'm sure he's the first one they call with his Michigan background. And if he brings Crowton with him, all the better (Crowton's offenses with the Chicago Bears were always fun to watch -- Erik Kramer looked like a real live NFL starting QB in that offense, which says something -- he just wasn't a good head coach).

46
by Jon (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 11:32am

Michael, he's often spoken of being the next Paterno at the school, building it from nothing into a power. Michigan is an exceptionally better job than Miami, yes. But a few months ago, it was us against the world, insisting that Schiano would stay when everyone and their mother had him pegged as the next Miami coach. He has a great situation going right now. It's his home area, where he has established a comfort zone. In fact, a lot of his success stems from his deep roots in New Jersey, giving him advantages in keeping local talent home. He's become nothing short of a god to RU fans, and can do no wrong in our eyes. He'll still be beloved if he only wins 7 games next year. That's not going to cut it at Michigan. Besides, why do you really want him anyway? Is locking down NJ and Florida recruiting that important to Michigan fans? He is a great defensive mind, but no one will ever confuse him with Parcells as an overall HC. More of a program builder, as Russell noted last week. Michigan should be going after truly innovative minds like Tedford and Leach. Why not go after Brian Kelly? Sure, he'll spring the swinging gate on you every once in a while; but he's absolutely brilliant and a midwest guy to boot. Seems like exactly what Michigan needs.

47
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 11:33am

Regarding the redshirt rules:

I recall a few years ago when Pete Carroll brought in John David Booty to do nothing other than kneel the ball in the final minutes of a game, during his Booty's first year at USC. That was the only time Booty had played that year, and therefore used up a year of eligibility. (I believe Booty ended up using the redshirt year the next year, though).

Carroll said that he understood the redshirt process to be similar to Ben's interpretation, that there was some minimal play time that a player could be allowed and still redshirt, else he would not have put him in the game. Since they used Booty's redshirt year the following year, there was no real harm done, but it was a mistake.

48
by DoubleB (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 12:09pm

Re 22:

I grew up watching Georgia slice and dice UF in the late 70's and early 80's: Herschel Walker, Belue to Scott, the '84 game that was the only loss on the record. These aren't just flashback clips for me, but actual memories. Tennessee was hardly ever on the schedule then (UT-UF was a rivalry created by SEC expansion in 1992) and FSU wasn't yet the dominant FSU of the late 80's and 90's.

I also feel as Tampa Bay Mike does in post 31. I have a lot less issue with UF losing in-state state schools than to rival SEC teams.

49
by mactbone (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 12:56pm

Re 45:
What are you talking about?

Ron Turner was the O. Coordinator for Erik Kramer. Gary Crowton was there in 1999 with Shane Matthews, Jim Miller and Cade McNown. They were bad and they kept doing WR screens and that stupid smoke play.

50
by Fire Millen (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 1:39pm

Russell, what makes you think Carr is in his last season? No way he gets fired even if they go 0-12. I get the impression if UM has a successful season he might retire (based on the contractual changes he made for the asst coaches). But I also see a bad season acting as a goad to keep him one more year to turn it around and protect his legacy. I think he is a fine coach, better than most but not in the top 5 or 10.

51
by Fourth (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 2:32pm

Re: Tennessee/UGA/That School Out West

A lot of this who we hate more stuff boils down to when you became a fan, obviously. A lot also seems to be based on if you think in terms of conference loyalty/pride or state loyalty/pride.

To me, the state thing would mean more if UF still played Miami every year, but we don't. Even then, I'm not sure it would trump my conference loyalty. I try not to be one of those SEC zealots, but I do think we've had the best conference in the nation more years than not. That means something to me, especially in an era where quite often you're going to be arguing about a 1-loss SEC team's inclusion in the BCSCG.

For that, I need Tennessee to do well, so I pull for them against Penn St, Cal etc (way to let me down there guys...good thing I still hate you). It isn't even that hard or unnatural really (as long as I don't think about the actual Tennessee fans). Georgia isn't an issue for me because they've beaten us about twice in 15+ (?) years or so.

Anyway, long story short, the tomahawk chop is 10 times more annoying than rocky top (really, it is, especially in the Swamp). Also, ever since Meyer called them "The School Out West" everyone is doing it...when else has a rival school become he who shall not be named?

52
by Steve the Pict (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 3:54pm

This Gator (Class of '89) hates 'em in this order: 1. Georgia, 2. Miami, 3. FSU. Tennessee's just another SEC opponent to be beaten en route to the title, and I'll root for them or any other SEC school except Georgia. Best thing Steve Spurrier did besides the first national championship was hanging 50 points on the scoreboard in Athens.

53
by hrudey (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 4:12pm

I grew up in Jacksonville in the 80's, and it's definitely Georgia first, then Tennessee, Auburn and FSU in no particular order.

48: I think you meant to say "Herschel ****ing Walker" and "Lindsay ****ing Scott." Not that I'm bitter or anything. ;)

54
by Kevin Eleven (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 8:29pm

I don't think Rodriguez is leaving WVU. He turned down a monster offer from Bama earlier this year to stay with his alma mater.

Although it would be funny to see Michigan snag West Virginia's football AND basketball coaches in the same year...

With Bo gone, I wonder if UM could hire the best candidate, even if he were not a "Michigan Man".

55
by joe football (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 11:08pm

JLS watch:

Troy runs a fake punt on their own 15, up 20-3 vs. OKST in the second quarter. What?

56
by MB (not verified) :: Fri, 09/14/2007 - 11:42pm

#55: That was a stupid coaching trick, but O State is playing so poorly it's probably not going to matter. (Although as I am typing this Troy displayed an Edwardsian (as in Herm) grasp of clock management, letting the half end without scoring after having first and goal with 30 secs or more on the clock.)

IMO, the leading candidate for the JLS award is the TCU OC* who called for a pass when they had the ball at the AF 22 yd line with less than a minute to go in a tie game. AF picked the pass and won in OT.

* Normally the award would go to the head coach, of course, but TCU's Gary Patterson was quick to point out that he only calls the defense. Classy guy.

57
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 12:43am

Wow, the Big 12 sucks. I mean did Oklahoma State give up on the season after the Georgia loss?

58
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 2:08pm

Auburn should never throw the ball ever again. Time to do the Arkansas offense.

59
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 2:15pm

Penn State vs. Buffalo, 3-3, right before the half? Eesh.

60
by Dales (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 2:17pm

"Time to do the Arkansas offense."

It might not work as well without Felix Jones and, especially, Darren McFadden.

61
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 2:24pm

Wisconsin defense spent all preseason woofing how great there were going to be.

And it's 2 1/2 games into the season and they still haven't really stopped anyone consistently.

14-14 so far.

And the Citadel has SHOVED the Wisconsin defense around. WI has lost a couple of starters to injury but that really doesn't matter.

Badger defense right now has no answer for the Citadel quarterback who is making them look pretty terrible.......

62
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 2:27pm

PJ Hill 40 yard run to the 1 followed by Hill TD.

Be nice if the defense stopped Citadel before half.........

63
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 2:39pm

Citadel goes 81 yards in 9 plays to tie it up. Wisconsin defense completely confused. This is the third straight team that has employed some form of spread offense the defense STILL is blowing coverages and missing assignments.

Citadel clearly hyped and blitzing nonstop on defense. Donovan slammed to the turf on an incomplete third down pass and helped off the field.

Citadel is the tougher team today. That's the FIFTH Wisconsin player who has had to be helped to the sideline. And three have not returned.

Make your own judgements........

64
by TheWedge (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 2:40pm

59:
And just as I was about to say something, it's 17-3.

65
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 2:43pm

I know that Wisconsin has a history of starting the season slow. But this is game three and the defense has regressed.

245 yards given up and all of it fair. No cutesy trick plays or weird stuff. Just straight up football. The Citadel offense is repeatedly gashing the Badger defense. I have no idea what halftime adjustments can be made as the Citadel is making umpteen yards a play on pretty basic stuff.

The Wisconsin offense will have to play perfect in the second half. Grind the ball to play keep away while keeping the ball away from the Citadel. If Wisconsin turns the ball over at all this game will get away from the Badgers FAST...........

66
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 2:46pm

One of the guys who is out is Jack Ikegwuonu, the Badgers best cornerback. His replacement has been torched. Barring a healing miracle the Citadel will have a bailout option whenever needed..........

67
by DMP (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 2:58pm

Apparently Mike Dantonio also brought the 2001-2004 Tressel offense with him from Ohio State. Conservativelicious! Only no Maurice Clarret and exceptional defensive players to support it. It was ugly then, it's even uglier at Michigan State right now. A number of missed tackles and overpursuits, and Ringer not staying inbounds at the end of the half to kill the clock -- I can see that not everything has changed in East Lansing just yet. Well, we do have a gun-shy QB. That's definitely different...

But this is a new day, a time for revitalized dreams. I'm enjoying the Dantonio era so far.

68
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 3:16pm

Wisconsin offense continues to do its part driving 81 yards for the TD. Four rushing touchdowns for PJ Hill today. It's to be wondered what was said to the defense at halftime.

69
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 3:36pm

Charles Davis: "Wisconsin hasn't run any screens or draws lately to slow down the pressure from The Citadel."
Next play: TE middle screen.

70
by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 3:45pm

cognet.catch22.org for irc football chat

71
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 3:54pm

45-21 Wisconsin......

72
by Kevin Eleven (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 4:21pm

Minnesota is getting beaten up by Florida Atlantic.

73
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 4:24pm

The left DE at Michigan State just absolutely abused a double team on consecutive downs. It's 17-13 MSU late. First time, blows completely past the RG and RT, strips the ball on the way past the QB, Pitt recovers to preserve hope. Next play, blocked by the RT, chipped by the RB, and it's like they're not even there. The QB is better prepared this time and scrambles away, but my goodness. It's awfully tough to come back when they get such incredible pressure from the prevent.

74
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 4:38pm

3rd play of the game (UT-Florida), and the white guy is called a possession receiver by the announcers.

75
by CA (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 4:40pm

Notre Dame-Michigan isn't being filmed in HD? Well, that settles it: I'm not watching that one. I know the teams aren't very good, ABC, but no HD? C'mon!

Also, what an insult to Ohio State and Washington that those two good teams are relegated to ESPN while two bad teams like Notre Dame and Michigan get ABC.

76
by David (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 4:47pm

Michigan/Notre Dame is a game of fundamentals. By which I mean that whoever can successfully snap the ball the most times will probably win.

77
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 4:49pm

As we go on in the season, some preseason rankings look better than others. Michigan has already fallen out of the polls, deservedly so. It looks like the next error correction may be for the Hokies, who are tied 7-7 with Ohio more than halfway through the 3rd quarter.

I'd also like to congratulate Sylvester Croom, for bringing Mississippi State into Auburn and coming away with a 19-14 victory.

78
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 5:01pm

Michigan/ND doesn't need announcers, it needs Yakkety Sax.

If I remember correctly, the last time OSU played Washington they had a real uncertain QB situation. It was a big primetime game, and Steve Bellisari won the full-time QB job - by throwing a mean block on a reverse. Ah, the Cooper era. About three years and nine thousand dumb decisions later, we finally got a look at what a smart QB can do with that kind of surrounding talent when Krenzel whooped up on Michigan. I'm just hoping this isn't the week another mediocre QB gets cemented in as starter based on some non-QB-related activity.

And thank you, Washington, for taking a stupid running into the kicker penalty and giving away a free first down. Of course, it came after they had completely stuffed OSU on 3rd and 2 inches.

Did I mention how happy I was back in 2001 when OSU chose Tressel over Willingham? I thing Willingham's OK and all, and I certainly hope his team goes about 10-2 this year (with one of those losses today), both to make OSU's shameful schedule look slightly less repugnant and for Weis-related reasons. But being from the Youngstown area, I had to favor Tressel, and so far it seems to have worked out OK.

After being burned once already on a punt return, Tennesse at least knows to kick it towards the corner (touchback, barely). Although maybe going for it on 4th and less than one from the 41 would've been a better idea. They were absolutely stuffed on 3rd, though, so that might've been weighing on Fulmer's mind.

79
by stan (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 5:17pm

Tenn has to figure out how to stop the block in the back on punt returns. Cal got away with 2 illegal blocks on their punt return and Florida just got a TD thanks to another.

Maybe they can get refs to call the penalty?!

80
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 5:26pm

Tebow's throwing the ball with great touch. Those last two passes on their latest TD drive were into pretty good coverage.

And OSU dodges a huuuuuge bullet. Trying a quick WR screen, the ball slipped out of Boeckman's hand and went backwards. Based on where the WR was standing, it could've been a lateral anyway. Washington picked up the ball, ran in for the score - but the officials had for some reason blown it dead as incomplete, and it's unreviewable. Wow. Bad call, and a lucky, lucky break.

81
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 5:27pm

Playing Notre Dame. It's good for what ails ya.

82
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 5:31pm

Oh wow. You don't see a shovel (shuffle?) pass intercepted very often. But then again, there aren't often FIVE defenders between the QB and the RB. It's hard to be so completely fooled and in such perfect position simultaneously, but hey, go Buckeyes.

83
by Alex (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 5:37pm

Oh wow. You don’t see a shovel (shuffle?) pass intercepted very often.

Yet another example of Lauranitis doing his amazing "get the QB to throw it right by me and then tip the pass to myself" thing. Just crazy.

84
by Alex (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 5:38pm

Btw, it's a shovel pass

85
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 5:50pm

Hey, remember when OSU could actually kick a dang field goal? That was awesome. Amazing how much better those long-but-not-long-enough drives turn out when you can be reasonably sure of getting points...

It would also be nice if they didn't false start on 4th and 1 when going for it. But my dreams have always been a bit ambitious.

86
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 5:56pm

Graham Harrell, TTU: 19-25, 320, 4 TD
I wonder what he'll do in the second half. Red Raiders up 35-17 on the Rice Owls in Houston.

87
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 6:00pm

Remember when Tennessee used to have effective line play? Um, yeah. The Clinton years seem so long ago...

88
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 6:06pm

I asked Aaron and MDS at the Chicago PFP signing if they'd done any research into the Curse of 370 and how college workloads affected NFL careers. I asked it because of Cedric Benson and Marcus Allen's crazy workloads, but Mike Hart is probably wondering about it right now after 26 carries in the first half. Yes, this is the same Lloyd Carr who gave Chris Perry had 50 or 52 carries against Michigan State, I think, a couple years ago.

89
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 6:09pm

Notre Dame has *-45* rushing yards at the half vs. Michigan.

-45.

Notre Dame.

Negative 45.

8 total yards.

No matter how "young" a team may be, that is inexcusable. They could lose to a service academy the way they're playing right now.

90
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 6:19pm

Tom: Chris Perry had 51 carries (plus 2 catches) against Michigan State in 2003. Strangely, he never had more than 31 carries in any other game.

If anyone here doubts that Syracuse is one of the worst 2 BCS teams, today's 41-20 home loss to Illinois should change your mind.

91
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 6:22pm

Not sure I'm believing my eyes with UM-ND.

And trust me, it's not that I think Michigan is playing that well. They're playing well, but Notre Dame is beyond terrible. This is the week the natives are going to start getting restless with Weis, especially if Washington beats OSU.

92
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 6:26pm

So Am I right in thinking that everyone universally agrees that the Big Ten...isn't very good?

Maybe Notre Lame SHOULD join.

93
by Al H (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 6:28pm

Re: 74

The hilarious thing, if you're talking about Riley Cooper is that he's not even a possession receiver, he's one of our deep threats. I think I heard he has 6 TDs on 9 catches.

94
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 6:38pm

Re 90: Who's the other of the two worst BCS teams? I assume you're talking about Duke, but it actually never crossed my mind that I was watching anything other than the worst BCS team getting pushed up and down the field by an Illinois team that struggled with Western Illinois last week.

95
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 6:39pm

Huskies meltdown, they lose the lead by giving up a long TD bomb, then fumble away the ensuing kickoff. 316 curses long and loudly.

96
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 6:42pm

Russ, the strange thing is, from the Notre Dame fans I know, the natives really aren't getting restless with Weis. I can't figure out why, but they're not.

Of course, this is only Game 3. After the USC game they're going to be either 1-7 or 0-8. By then, yeah, Weis will be burned in effigy, but with that contract, he's not going anywhere.

97
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 6:49pm

Re: 93

I believe it was Cooper, but I wasn't sure. I wasn't actually looking at the TV until I heard "possession receiver", so I looked up. Sure enough, the guy was white. Maybe the white receivers should join the NAAWP...

98
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 6:51pm

Wow. Tennessee is back in this thing now. True freshman Eric Berry 95-yard interception return.

99
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 7:03pm

Eh, so much for that. Florida defensive TD makes it a 15-point game.

100
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 7:06pm

MDS:

Indeed, the few ND people I know are doing the "It's early, the team is young, this is the first year he has some of his own players" line. If I mention to them that they dismissed those very same statements when sportscasters made them with respect to Ty Willingham, they get extremely pissed off and tell me to STFU.

Given the revelations that came via the Patriots this week - and Dr. Z's quote about Weis admitting to an NFL opponent "I knew all your defensive signs yet you still won!" - one wonders how good a coach he really is. Good recruiter, though, and that may save him.

101
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 7:13pm

Yeah, I'm baffled by the way Notre Dame fans and administrators seem to excuse the failures of Weis in ways they would never forgive with Willingham.

In other news, I've watched a Kevan Smith and a Kevin Smith today, and I haven't even put in my Clerks DVD.

102
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 7:17pm

Purely for the sake of investigating possible non-racial reasons for the patience that ND fans seem to have for Weis: could his "pedigree" (coming from an NFL team with recent success) be affording him more benefit of the doubt than Willingham's (Stanford - school without a historically epic football tradition)?

103
by bradluen (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 7:18pm

Great to see huge grins on the faces of Michigan's offense. I don't know if I've ever seen a favored team look so genuinely happy about the state of their game.

Of course, to have one's heart warmed by this, one has to ignore the looks on the Irish sideline.

104
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 7:24pm

re : 93, 97

No, it was a Tennessee player - he had just dropped a third-down pass, and the announcers were saying how critical it was for him to make those plays. (And aren't pretty much all of their wideouts 'possession receivers' this year?)

105
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 7:28pm

Hey, does anybody remember how UF was criticized by some people for bringing in Urban Meyer? The logic had something to do with the spread offense not working in the SEC...

106
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 7:29pm

re: 104

You're right. Perhaps I should have learned the names of the UT receiver well enough to realize that Cooper plays for Florida.

107
by TheWedge (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 7:50pm

Anyone watching the Texas-UCF game? I see UCF is up, what's going on?

108
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 8:01pm

I was mostly watching tOSU-UW, but I've seen a little of UT-UCF. UCF has been able to run the ball consistently with effectiveness, while Texas hasn't. UT also hasn't shown much confidence in Colt McCoy, relying mostly on a short passing game.

109
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 8:11pm

I am way drunk, but Bama is going to kick those arkanasas asses.....

110
by jtp (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 8:31pm

I watched the Notre Dame-Michigan game today and it's amazing how bad the Notre Dame offense is. Notre Dame managed to rush for -6 yards on 33 attempts (and nobody can claim they faced a top-10 defense today), which kept them in negative yardage on the season with -14 yards on 100 attempts. These totals include yardage lost on sacks, but those are still some incredibly bad offensive totals after 3 games.

111
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 8:36pm

can we get Texas out of the Top 10 please.

112
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 8:44pm

I'm amazed at how bad Arkansas looks now. This is just a whooping.

I'm even more amazed at just how horrible Notre Dame's offense is. And I don't even want to hear about a lack of talent. I thought all the good players would want to go to ND and be coached by Weis the genius. And even if the talent was middling, shouldn't an offensive genius be able to make them, I dunno, not pathetic? I have a very hard time believing Notre Freaking Dame has Syracuse-level talent, but their offense is as bad or worse. Given that Weis is a certified genius, that must mean their offensive talent isn't even at the level of a good high school. This is one of the most hilarious and pathetic displays I've ever seen. I love it.

113
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 8:48pm

and what is up with UCLA. I thought Utah had no one left on offense

114
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 8:54pm

way too drunk prediction. Alabama is going to be undefeated going into the LSU game

115
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 8:59pm

Re: 116

Nice, safe prediction. All the "tough" games are at home until then. Georgia next week is probably the biggest road block to that.

116
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:02pm

I'm starting to think this might be one of those years where there's a handful of teams that are really scary good, and then a huge gooey muddle of mediocrity.

117
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:06pm

goddammit those Bama twins aren't that hot...stop showing them

118
by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:09pm

Re: 119

I'd love to see preseason polls disappear. There are two system's I'd be perfectly happy with:

1) No polls until after week 6 or 7. Give every team a chance to show us what they've got. Get past the cupcakes (Michigan excepted).

2) Don't allow a team to be ranked until they're bowl eligible (6 wins).

I'm more partial to the second idea. You'd never see a losing record in the top 25 that way. The obvious downside is that a lot of teams would try to schedule a lot of sure wins early so they could get ranked faster. The obvious upside is that non-BCS teams would get a chance to get in the rankings (teams like Hawaii this year, and Boise State last year) to where the other teams would have to displace them in order to be ranked ahead of them. It *might* increase the odds of undefeated teams actually having a shot at the championship.

Either way, they need to quit putting out preseason polls so they don't spend the entire season trying to defend their opinions.

119
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:11pm

go to City Cafe if you want to eat in Bama. A meat and veggie place, cheap as hell, great sweet tea.

120
by Alex (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:15pm

I’m amazed at how bad Arkansas looks now. This is just a whooping.

Yeah, but did you see that long bomb by Casey Dick? Who told Arkansas about the forward pass?

121
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:18pm

Now this is more like the Arkansas I was expecting. Their defense finally decided to show up, and with that running game all they need is for the QB to not completely and totally suck. For one throw, he didn't.

McFadden is really good.

122
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:23pm

I love Rece Davis.....come on Bama-hold them to a field goal defense...

123
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:24pm

they never call goddamn offensive pass interfence in college football.

124
by Tiresias (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:27pm

Brent Musburger is impossible to listen to. God he's terrible.

125
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:36pm

Wow what the hell happened to UCLA today.

126
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:38pm

Does anyone know why Perriloux is starting for LSU?

127
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:42pm

nope and I had a free ticket to the game, but I love Bama too much to watch LSU-MTSU

128
by morganja (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:50pm

I bet Notre Dame could lose to a Div 1-AA team right now....

Congrats to Michigan. I think the shocker of the opener carried over to game 2, but they're back on track now.

129
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:55pm

What was that penalty they just called on USC? I don't recall that ever being called in a college game before.

130
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 9:59pm

D.J. Hall was screwed by SEC voters, he should have been an all SEC WR but the media was too busy jacking off to Percy Harvin, Doucet, and Andre Caldwell

131
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 10:07pm

This week's reason for everybody to hate Rutgers: Against Norfolk State, the Knights go nuts in the 2nd quarter, scoring 6 touchdowns (with an elapsed game time of 91 seconds), and are up 45-0. There's about 2 minutes left to go in the first half, and Norfolk State has the ball around their 30. Schiano calls his timeouts so Rutgers can get the ball back. Thankfully, karma stepped in and there was a roughing the punter penalty.

His story afterwards was that as long as the starters were still playing, he felt he had to coach like he would in a normal game. To which I, loyal RU fan, say "bullshit". Leaving the starters in through the first half is fine (Rice and Teel came out at the half, everybody else after one more series), but calling the timeouts was totally unnecessary.

132
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 10:19pm

Javier Arenas is the most underrated kick returner in the league

133
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 10:23pm

#112... It's certainly not the talent. The problem is the best QB is a true freshman. The best RB is a true freshman. The best WR is a true freshman. On top of that, there is not one experienced area on the team. IMO, the lone area one could kill Weis about is the play of the offensive line. Today, one of the top 5 centers in the entire country snapped the ball over someone's head in the shotgun TWICE!!! Their LT was one of the nation's top 5 recruits and he's sucked since the second he got on campus. Otherwise, I can't kill Weis. I don't expect him to win with all freshmen and sophomores. More than anything, this is a result of playing a tough schedule combined with having no upperclassmen due to 2 bad recruiting classes in a row (Willingham's final recruiting class and prior to Weis' first season).

134
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 10:33pm

133

How bad were those classes actually ranked? I see a lot of times Notre Dame has a top25 class, which all things being equal should mean they have top25 talent. Were those two classes really in the 80s or so? Cause that looks o be about where this team is playing.

135
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 10:41pm

I think there's only one thing you can take from the Notre Dame-Michigan game. There is absolutely nothing to be learned from watching a team play Notre Dame.

They have no offense. None. Zero. Zilch. It doesn't matter who the defense is, they can't pass. And they can't run against probably any Division I front seven.

And any moderately competent skill player just runs over them. That game could've been "Mike Hart versus Notre Dame" and I think Mike Hart would've won.

All the final score tells you is when the coaches realized 'okay, there's no way this team can possibly beat us, let's just end this.'

136
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 10:56pm

134 - Those classes were ranked 27th and 28th. That sounds good, but it's a little like the NFL draft... you have to really judge the players a few seasons later. Out of those 2 classes COMBINED, there is literally only 1 good player. That was Darius Walker, a slow college RB who left school early to barely make it onto an NFL practice squad. The 2004 class has only 2 other players I would describe as starter quality (I don't mean starters on LSU, I mean any program in the country, i.e. Norfolk State). The 2005 class has 6 current starters, none of whom is anything special. Basically, this team is a few remnants of the great 2003 Willingham recruiting class and all the kids Weis has recruited the past 2 years.

137
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 11:07pm

I did not see bama blowing a 21 point lead....but then again we made the same mistakes against Vandy (fumbled snap, picked off screen pass).....this is pissing me off.

138
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 11:16pm

Alabama-Arkansas: It's not PI because the receiver was within 5 yard of the LOS. Idiots.

139
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 11:18pm

yeah if you are in the NFL. So you can just grab people anywhere on the field-in it was at least 5 yards on the field

140
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 11:21pm

That's still PI. You can't hit the guy with the ball in the air even if he is within five yards.

141
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 11:30pm

I am drinking no matter how this game ends.

142
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 11:35pm

Wow, Alabama is getting some nice breaks with penalties, and generous spots causing the clock to be stopped for a measurement...

143
by Russell Levine :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 11:37pm

Wow. Are they fitting Saban for a houndstooth hat after that finish?

144
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 11:48pm

Thanks for playing, Nebraska.

What a weird game (currently in the 3rd quarter) - USC's first half was kind of slow, taking a 7-0 lead, and Nebraska responding to take a 10-7 lead. USC has since rolled off 28 unanswered points, and Nebraska has looked completely and utterly outmatched.

It's like USC said at one point "Hey, we're supposed to prove we're #1, time to start."

145
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 11:48pm

I am King of the World!!!!!!!!

Caddell you might have been a bust, but you forever are going to be a hero!!!

146
by Gerry (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 11:48pm

Awful officiating at the end, but Arkansas really was lucky to be in that game, no less leading at that point.

147
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 09/15/2007 - 11:59pm

oh and Shula never won a game when Bama was losing in the 4th quarter. Saban is now a god in Alabama

148
by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 12:02am

The announcer in the Lou-Ken game just hyperventilated.

149
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 12:06am

How in the world does a receiver get that wide open behind a prevent defense? Absolutely unbelievable.

150
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 12:06am

Louisville is in what is essentially a prevent defense. Yet somehow Kentucky manages to get behind, well, everybody, for a deep touchdown.

This is like one of those TMQ moments. Where might Kentucky go? Why, up the field!

151
by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 12:07am

Big day for upsets. Wow.

152
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 12:09am

Once again I feel the need to point out that the Arkansas-Alabama game just took nearly four hours. Not that I'm dying to see FSU-Colorado, but if I was a fan on either of those teams I'd be pissed. ESPN had a 3:15 window for this game and didn't come close.

3-25e was stupid in its execution, but not its intent and the NCAA was silly to give up on it after just one year.

153
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 12:15am

as an Alabama fan, that game could have lasted 9 hours, as long as the result was the same.

I still blame the stupid commercial breaks

154
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 12:30am

Congratulions to Duke, no longer the worst team in I-A. They beat Northwestern 20-14, forcing 4 incompletes from the 7-yard line at the end of the game.

155
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 12:31am

I'm watching the USC-Nebraska game. It started a little after 8. It's now 11:30, and it's only 12:31 to go in the 4th quarter. And this is a game that's featured a good amount of running by USC.

Callahan just challenged a call of pass incomplete that on replay certainly looked incomplete to me. I'm surprised he wasted the timeout.

156
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 12:31am

The NFL has $18 gazillion in TV contracts, and they manage to fit in enough sponsor breaks to justify those rights fees, and their games are still almost always over in 3:05.

Why does the clock need to stop on a first down in the first and third quarters?

Why can't they go to the 40 second play clock?

The point is there are ways to trim the length of games without dramatically affecting how they are played. You'd still have all the dramatic comebacks.

157
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 12:32am

Oh, and I just realized that while I picked Louisville in the podcast, the picks table originally listed Kentucky. That has been fixed :(

158
by navin (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 12:34am

As a Duke alum, I wish Duke was playing Notre Dame next week. The two don't face off until November, and by that time ND will probably have developed an offense.

159
by Russell Levine :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 12:49am

Congrats, navin.

Good God, how bad is the bottom half of the Big Ten this year? Northwestern, Minnesota, Iowa, all just suffered brutally embarrassing losses today.

After today's results, my conference rankings look like this:

SEC
Big East
Pac-10
Big XII
Big Ten
ACC

160
by PHn (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 1:04am

Oregon has so far faced Huston, Michigan, and Fresno State.

Cal has faced Tennessee, Colorado State, and Louisiana Tech.

Next week's game sounds great (ranked unbeatens), but together they've only beaten one semi-quality opponent. It's tough to know if this actually is a match of two contenders.

161
by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 1:20am

Hi. You may not know me. I'm the 2007 NCAA Football Season. I know, you've known my siblings, 2006, 2005, etc. I just want you to know I've decided to *!^* some $#@* up. I mean, I know 2006 fooled you with that crazy "Ohio State is clearly number one" gag, and I know some of you loved 2005 for the whole "nostalgia" thing, but seriously, I've decided that things were getting way too predictable.

So I figure - hey. Let's blow up some old programs. Michigan? Boom, suckers - loss to a Division IAA team followed by an utter blowout. And Notre Dame's renaissance? Hah. We'll replace their offense with gummi bears and see who notices. Then, when I got to thinking, I figured, skip it. Why go halfway? I see all these storied old programs in the Big Ten? Ka-boom to 'em all. Enjoy your 'rebuilding year', folks. Don't be surprised if Ohio State loses to Illinois or something crazy.

But just detonating old programs - that's so old hat. I figure, let's just go wild. You won't know who can beat who. Top-5 team last year? Whatever. I'll find some random previously 6-6 team to take 'em down. You'll be watching close games between Ohio State and Washington, wondering if the Citadel can take down Wisconsin. One of the top Heisman Trophy candidates will be from Hawaii. Last year's "Cinderella" Boise State? Boom. Let's have Utah beat the crap out of UCLA after losing to Air Force.

But what to do to top it all off, to make this season as utterly crazy as possible... oh yeah! We'll bring back the 'BCS Disaster' year teams, and toss them up at the top. Just so all of those "Cinderella" teams thinking "maybe this is our year" - nope, suckers, it's still the massive money and recruiting pits, not you little peons.

Just wait, though. Still haven't figured out what to do about the BCS Championship game. There's got to be a way to get "Duke vs. Vanderbilt." Bet you won't see that coming.

162
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 2:27am

I was listening to the BC-GT radio call. The announcers were saying it was the ugliest they've ever seen, what with students constantly throwing things and creating general havoc. Several warnings were issued. Someone threw a bottle of Jagermeister at the players.

163
by bradluen (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 3:12am

- How much of Brian Brohm's money did Andre' Woodson take today? Rightly or wrongly, that last pass legitimizes him as the top QB pick.

- Anyone else think Boston College will be 10-0 going into their Clemson game?

164
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 4:51am

All I know is that WI has played 3 half games and won all three. By that I mean WI played 2 good quarters in each victory.

I don't know if this reflects a learning curve, not being very good in some aspects or lack of focus.

In today's the defense was HORRID in the first half and then completely stifled the Citadel in the third quarter holding them to -5 yards.

Surprised by Iowa's loss to ISU.

Not surprised by Minnesota's loss. The Gophers have no defense.

Congrats to KY. And Mississippi St. And Utah. And AL.

165
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 9:32am

Here is my train of thought leading to a question:

Knowing that Notre Dame is dreadful

Knowing that PSU has played all 3 games at home

Knowing that Michigan has a legit offense

Knowing that Anthony Morelli is the PSU qb

Knowing next week's game is in Ann Arbor

Anyone think Michigan will win?

I think PSU has a fine defense and that WR is a real playmaker. But I have little faith in Morelli. I still see him making odd decisions.

When Pat wakes up I will look forward to his input. Morelli isn't Zack Mills but he's challenging the record for Scooby-Doo utterances on some throws: "Ruh-ro"

166
by kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 11:43am

Four years ago I thought Mike Stoops was a great hire for Arizona, but yesterday's loss to New Mexico all but cements his firing.

Anyone think Petrino and Louisville realy, really miss one another?

Phil Fulmer is back in the fire after yesterday's debacle. Tough to look backten years ago and call the 90's "glory days" of UT football, but I'll take losing to Spurrier every year over loing to Meyer AND several other teams every year.

Anything else major on the coaching front yesterday? Carr may have taken a step toward leaving UM on his own terms, Pitt has to be even less happy with Wannsdedt, and Croom may have taken a step toward getting one more year at MSU.

167
by Yinka Double Dare (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 2:41pm

165: Given the way that PSU didn't exactly impress against that awful ND team in the first half, and just how terrible ND is, Michigan has a good shot. PSU doesn't run the spread option, they run an offense that Michigan can play against. I think it's going to be an ugly game, unless Henne can play and can remove his head from his arse, where it was for the first two games. Mallett will be good, but he's very raw right now and an experienced D like PSU should eat him for lunch.

Teams only playing one half in the Big Ten has been common. OSU's offense only seems to show up in the 2nd half, for example. If they can get that rolling for a whole game, they're the conference favorite, as their D looks clearly better than any other in the league.

168
by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 9:33pm

#165: Let's be fair to Zack Mills, okay? His problem wasn't blatantly stupid plays. It was arm strength (due to a shredded shoulder) and lack of receivers. He was fine his freshman and sophomore years, and was actually a very talented college QB before his injury. After his injury, he should've been pulled for Robinson completely, but Paterno never really let him develop.

As for Michigan versus Penn State:

Honestly, I don't think Michigan has much of a chance. Morelli isn't the key for Penn State. The wide receivers are, and Butler, Norwood, Williams, and Bell will run wild versus the Michigan so-called defensive backs. Will Morelli screw up? Maybe occasionally, but I don't think it's that big a factor. Wide receivers were getting wide freaking open in the game versus Oregon, and Morelli's problems are figuring out complex coverages, not completely broken ones.

Michigan's offense versus Penn State is pretty much going to be a wash. They didn't run over them last year, and I doubt they will this year. The big difference is Michigan's defense, which won't be able to take Morelli's head off like last year.

169
by Pete (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 9:34pm

Most older (40+?) Gators I know seem to dislike Georgia after the numerous losses in the 80's. Many younger Gators seem to be favoring FSU (especially if they have friends who harp on them about it), but Tennessee is a big threat/rival. I think UF plays LSU every year, so I am surprised that they are not in the mix (although I agree that rivalry does not seem to be as heated).

I think Tebow looked good on Saturday, although there seems to be a bit too much of a tendency for Tebow to run (however, this may have been setting up for later fake-runs). I agreed with the commentator who said Tebow should have been taken out when the Gators were up by 3 touchdowns. I do appreciate that Meyer may have wanted him to get practice in a game throwing to different receivers, however.

I think Florida should have huge concerns over their defense. The Gators never got any pressure on the QB unless they brought in multiple blitzing defenders (and never really pressured the QB that much, IMO). This could be a huge problem against LSU who practices against one of the best defenses lines. I am not positive, but I also do not remember Stafford throwing many bad passes when he is not pressured (although his receivers still seem to drop at least a half dozen passes every game... much like Tennessee did against Florida).

The Florida Defense eventually did stop the screen passes (apparently 1 defender for 2 receivers was not working well). However, I really hate how Charlie Strong (ever since Stoops & Zook) defends against the pass. Does any pro system consistently have 1-2 cornerbacks in man coverage start 5-10 yards off the line of scrimage and back-pedaling?!? The Gators consistently give any team a 5-8 yard pass. Last year only Auburn (and LSU, to a lesser extent) really took advantage of this. Am I missing something here? (other than passes into the flat being potentially risky for an intereception)

170
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 9:58pm

Gee Pat, I was just referencing that Mills became associated with poor decisions/throws mostly because he held onto the ball forever.

Anyway, I appreciate the input. I just think that it matters a bit that Michigan has played 2 games against pretty decent teams while PSU has not. The Lions have played 3 bad teams.

Something to be said for learning under fire.

Less than a week to find out.......

171
by peachy (not verified) :: Sun, 09/16/2007 - 11:11pm

re : 169

Those are valid points about the D, but let's not overstate the issues; it's tough to string together enough 5-yard completions to march down the field for a TD, much less the four or five it will usually take to keep up with a high-powered offense. One mistake - a botched snap, a dropped pass, a false start - and the drive stalls, and you have to be very efficient converting third downs (since you'll face a lot - 17 in this game for UT.)

And in fact, in twelve meaningful drives UT went 3-and-out five times, lost a first snap fumble on a sixth, had two picks and went over on downs once.

172
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Mon, 09/17/2007 - 12:55am

I love seeing Alabama getting love in the polls.....but a jump to 16 really?

173
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 09/17/2007 - 3:10am

#170: Mills held onto the ball too long because 1) no one was getting open, and 2) no one was getting open because he knew he couldn't make throws downfield. Robinson was the best WR on the team but he never ran routes well because Paterno had him being used as running back/returner/god knows what else.

Mills in 2001/2002 was really a very good QB. In 2002 they were 9-4, and the first game they were outclassed in was the Citrus Bowl. Mills made some fantastic throws those years, including the ones that led to instant replay in college football. Two damn feet, you bastards. Two damn feet. (If you can ever find replay of those games, those throws were things of beauty. I mean, really, really amazing touch on those throws. They landed exactly where Tony Johnson could catch them, and even a four-year old could've caught them.)

I just think that it matters a bit that Michigan has played 2 games against pretty decent teams while PSU has not.

Sure, sure. But the question is "what's the same, and what's different?" from last year. Penn State's defense is still pretty much the same. Still got fantastic linebackers. Still have King, Scirotto, and Wallace in the secondary. Likewise, Michigan's offense is pretty much the same, too.

Remember, Michigan only beat Penn State 17-10 last year, and that was completely the result of the defense. Seven sacks. Seven. They knocked out two Penn State quarterbacks. The one wild card is that Manningham was out last year, but I don't really think that changes much. The big, huge, change is that Michigan's going from a decimating pass rush to a meager one.

The wild card, of course, is switching stadiums as well. But I'm just not so sure how enthused the Michigan crowd is going to be - especially if Penn State gets up early.

Then again, who knows. "We Own.. Penn State" is probably the last little thing they can cling to. It's the one thing that seemed to keep Brian happy in 2005 after losing the Jug.

174
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 9:40pm

My Top 25:

1. LSU
2. Oklahoma
3. Southern Cal
4. Florida
5. West Virginia
6. Penn State
7. Cal
8. Boston College
9. Clemson
10. Oregon
11. Wisconsin
12. Texas
13. Ohio State
14. South Carolina
15. Arizona State
16. Alabama
17. Missouri
18. Kentucky
19. Texas A & M
20. South Florida
21. Georgia Tech
22. Nebraska
23. Georgia
24. Rutgers
25. Virginia Tech

Pick of the week: Georgia +3 ½ over Alabama. I’m 2 – 1 so far this year.