Monday Morning Quarterback by @YeahFlanny

College football no longer has a defending national champion. The formally #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide tasted defeat for the first time Saturday, and must prepare to relinquish the title belt come January 6th. The Tide lost a heart-breaker to their in state/arch rival Auburn, in the year end clash known as, The Iron Bowl. In a finish that was EASILY the craziest I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes, the Tigers trumped the Tide and punched their ticket to Atlanta for the SEC title game. Below I’ll dissect this weekends 4 marquee conference titles games, and unveil the new BCS top 10.

  1. Florida State
  2. Ohio State
  3. Auburn
  4. Alabama
  5. Missouri
  6. Oklahoma State
  7. Stanford
  8. South Carolina
  9. Baylor
  10. Michigan State

ACC Championship Game- The newly minted #1 Seminoles of Florida State have just one hurdle in their way in order to punch their ticket to Pasadena. That hurdle comes in the form of the Duke Blue Devils, easily the countries most surprising team this season. Duke clinched their first ever 10 win season on Saturday after besting rival North Carolina, and will make their first appearance in the conference title game. Duke coach David Cutcliffe seems to be a shoe in for national coach of the year with the exceptional job he’s done turning around this once dismal program. Cinderella story aside, the Blue Devils may have finally met their match. FSU is without a doubt the best and most complete team in the country. There is not a single hole anywhere on this Florida State roster, and with the BCS title game in their sights, you better believe coach Jimbo Fisher will have his team exhibiting laser focus Saturday. Couple that with the superior athletes on FSU’s side, and most are expecting a runaway victory for the Noles.

NCAA Football: Florida State at Pittsburgh

Big 10 Championship Game- The only fans in the country who were happier than Auburn fans Saturday night, were those in Columbus. With Alabama going down, Ohio State finally found itself on the inside looking out after nearly two years. Now at #2, the Buckeyes find themselves one win away from reaching the Rose Bowl to play in the BCS title game. Michigan State and the nations #1 defense stands in their way. All year Big 10 folks have wondered what would happen if OSU’s high powered O, met Sparty’s vaunted D, on Saturday evening we find out. All the talk has been about QB Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes wide receivers but Carlos Hyde is a MAN, and one of the more under appreciated players in the nation. I personally believe this game will be decided when the Spartans have the ball. The Michigan State offense hasn’t scared many folks this year, but yet the OSU defense can’t seem to stop a nosebleed. The Buckeyes enter the game as a slight favorite, but I’m having a hard time having any confidence in Urban Meyer’s squad, now that they control their own destiny.

SEC Championship Game- Riding high off of their miracle win over Bama, the Auburn Tigers now find themselves in the spot Ohio State’s been in for weeks, spot #3. They draw the SEC east champion, Missouri Tigers in the Georgia Dome, Saturday afternoon. A stingy defense, filthy receiving corp, and clutch quarterbacking has vaulted Mizzou to the top of the SEC east. Senior James Franklin is back at the helm after a mid-season shoulder injury and he’s the leader the Tigers will need if they want to hoist the SEC crown. Auburn will have to take their momentum into the Georgia Dome and again rely on the arm of QB Nick Marshall to lead them to victory. Unfortunately for both teams, winning this game may just be a consolation prize, as I wouldn’t expect either to pass the Buckeyes in the polls if OSU beats Michigan State. Of course, if Ohio State losses (wouldn’t surprise me) the winner of the SEC title game would then head to Pasadena, to play for it all.

Pac 12 Championship Game- I know you were expecting hurry up offense, scat backs everywhere, beautifully hideous uniforms (had a nice ring to it) in this game but, nope, no Ducks. Just grown men, smash mouth football, and traditional uni’s, kinda. The Arizona State Sun Devils will host the Stanford Cardinal in this year’s title game. The Cardinal come in as the national power, who dismantled the conference favorites earlier in the season. The Sun Devils come in with a chip on their shoulder, as the national media has seemed to neglect that they even exist, let alone that they’re on the verge of a Rose Bowl birth. Even with a loss, the Cardinal may receive a BCS at-large bid, but of course they’d like to keep it rolling with a victory. Winning this game is the only way for Arizona State to make a BCS appearance. Expect them to be ready, and Tempe to be rocking.

Extra Point- I would like to sincerely thank the Big 12 conference for NOT having a conference title game, thus forcing me to explain the scenario to you regarding who can win the Big 12 title this Saturday. It’s really not that complicated actually, I’m just getting toward the end of this post and my arthritis is beginning to kick in (I’m 24, going on 42). Oklahoma and Oklahoma State face of in their year end clash known as, Bedlam. If the Cowboys can beat the Sooners at home in Stillwater, they will be the outright Big 12 champs and clinch a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. If the underdog Sooners pull off the upset, things get interesting, and the atmosphere in Waco will ratchet right up. The nightcap between the Texas Longhorns and the Baylor Bears would then be for the Big 12 crown. While I have no dog in the race, the college football fan in me wouldn’t mind seeing a Sooners victory, in order to make the Texas vs Baylor contest for all the marbles.

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Monday Morning Quarterback by @YeahFlanny

BCS Top 10 (11/24/13)

  1. Alabama
  2. Florida State
  3. Ohio State
  4. Auburn
  5. Missouri
  6. Clemson
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. Stanford
  9. Baylor
  10. South Carolina

We have made it to the last week of November. Most folks refer to it as Thanksgiving week, but us college football fans would prefer to refer to it as, rivalry week. Rivalry week, which doubles as the last week of the college football regular season is often the most exciting week of the season as not only bragging right are on the line, but in many cases, conference titles and national title implications hinge on this weekend’s slate of games. Let’s dissect some of the weekends marquee match-ups.

  • The Iron Bowl. Alabama vs Auburn. Number 4 hosting number 1, with the SEC West crown on the line. It’s been a few years since we’ve had an intriguing Iron Bowl match-up with both Bama’s supremacy and Auburn’s rapid dissent from the top of the mountain. The Tigers enter this game riding high, with an undefeated record, and the luxury of hosting this always important rivalry game. While QB Nick Marshall still has some question marks a passer, his running ability and the ability of his backfield mate Tre Mason have helped Auburn become one of the nation’s best rushing teams. We all know what to expect from #1 Bama by now, laser focus, pinpoint execution, and grown man football. I expect the Tigers to come out firing, but I don’t expect it to last long. The Tide will weather the early storm, and pull away late, strengthening their hold on the #1 spot in the BCS, heading into the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.
  • The #2 team in the country, the Florida State Seminoles, coming off of an 80 (YES, 80) to 14 victory over lowly Idaho will travel to “the swamp” to face off against the dumpster fire that is the Florida Gators. The Gators coming off what just may be the worst loss in the history of the program, a 26-20 defeat to Georgia…Southern, stand absolutely NO chance against the high-power Seminoles. The Florida players seem to already given up on their coach, who may be roaming the home sideline at Florida for the last time. The Noles will look to keep it rolling against their in state rival, while attempting to avoid any injuries with the ACC title game looming December 7th. FSU quarterback Jameis Winston, who with 2 passing TD’s will break FSU’s single season TD record, currently held by former Heisman winner, Chris Weinke, hopes to pad his Heisman resume, while continuing to block out the off field issues he is currently dealing with. I said months ago that this Florida team would endure a 4-5 loss season, after Saturday’s game they’ll end the season at 4-8…
  • In the other BCS top ten match-up, the #6 ranked Clemson Tigers will make the short trip to Columbia to face their arch rival, and #10 ranked Gamecocks of South Carolina. There are HUGE postseason implications for both squads in this season finale. The Gamecocks must win, and hope for a Missouri loss in order to qualify for the SEC title game, while the Tigers are looking to lock up a BCS at large bid, likely sending them to Miami for the Orange Bowl, if they can beat South Carolina. The Gamecocks have had Clemson’s number for what seems like forever, but I have a feeling this is the Tigers year. Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins have never beat their in state rivals, and I think that changes before they head off to the NFL next year.

Quick Hitter Predictions-

– Ohio State at Michigan- It really pains me to see a Michigan team THIS bad. They can’t pass, they damn sure can’t run. Honestly, I don’t know what they can do. Ohio State is rolling, and hoping that style points can somehow get them ahead of FSU (no chance) in the BCS. Urban and his crew will be out for blood, I got the Buckeyes…BIG.

– Texas A&M at Missouri- The jig just may be up for Johnny Football. He looked horrendous against LSU on Saturday and floundered any chance he had left of winning back to back Heisman’s. The Tigers have their leader back at the helm in senior QB James Franklin. Mizzou knows what’s at stake, comes out firing, and books their trip to Atlanta.

– Minnesota at Mich St- Sparty may be the best team in the country that no one is talking about. They are undefeated in conference play and last week locked up an appearance in the Big 10 title game. The Gophers come in at 8-3 after a crushing defeat at the hands of Wisconsin last Saturday. I got the Spartans winning this one, but closer than the experts think.

– UCLA at USC- Bruins QB Brett Hundley has been extremely underwhelming down the stretch, while the defense has been a little suspect themselves. Myles Jack has been the savior on BOTH sides of the ball. The Trojans come in rolling, winning 5 in a row, and 6 of their last 7. This SC team seems to want Ed Orgeron as their official new head man, and while I don’t believe he’ll get the gig, I think the players send him out with a victory in his last game in the Coliseum, as the Trojans head coach.

2013 Champions Classic Preview by @YeahFlanny

The start of the college basketball season marks the beginning of the best three month stretch of the year for sports fans. This is when we get both college football and basketball, the NFL, and the NBA, at the same, damn, time! And while Friday marked the beginning of college basketball, tonight is the TRUE start to the college hoops season, with the third installment of the, Champions Classic.

Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State, and Kansas are four of the nations top five teams this year, and four of college basketball’s most storied programs. These four teams, coached by four hall of famers, have combined to win five of the last thirteen national titles, with each team reaching the Final Four at least once in the past five seasons. The site of this year’s Final Four is “Jerry World” in Arlington, TX, and all of these teams are poised for a deep postseason run, with hopes of it concluding in the lone star state. These two early season match-ups will be a great measuring stick for each program, and their fabulous freshman, in games that will feature an NCAA tournament feel. Let’s see how these teams stack up, and find out who I have prevailing tonight.

Michigan State vs Kentucky

It’s been well publicized that Kentucky features the nations best freshman class, and likely the best freshman class in the history of college basketball. My second favorite incoming freshman, PF Julius Randle was better than advertised in the Cats opener, scoring 23 and adding 13 boards. H e already has an NBA body and is a sure fire top 5 pick in next year’s draft. The Wildcats also feature elite freshman guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison, and sophomore big men Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein. As usual under Cal, Kentucky will look to get up and down on offense, and use their length and athleticism to pressure the ball while on defense. While blue chip recruits aren’t anything new for Coach Cal and Kentucky, we have seen them struggle early in the season, as they’ve attempted to gel with one another on the court. Michigan State is the perfect early season test for this Cats squad.

On the other side, Coach Izzo’s Spartans are an experienced and battle tested group. The State backcourt has a perfect balance of youth and leadership with sophomore Gary Harris and senior Keith Appling. Appling has been the Spartans leader and starting point guard for three seasons, and has no fear of driving the lane amongst the tree’s. Harris was one of the nation’s top freshman in 2012-13 before a shoulder injury derailed his season. He is again healthy, and brings immense versatility to the Michigan State lineup. He can score from anywhere and is always a threat to take over a game. The Spartans also feature one of the countries nastiest big men, Adreian Payne. The light bulb seemed to finally turn on for Payne down the stretch last year, making him a formidable threat in the low post, to go along with his special skills in transition. The Payne, Randle match-up down low will be worth the price of admission alone.

Prediction: Michigan State over Kentucky 77-72

In the night’s second match-up, the nations #1 and #2 recruits will face off, in the latter’s hometown. SF Andrew Wiggins, and PF Jabari Parker lead two star studded squads in a blue blood battle. The Kansas Jayhawks lost all five starters off of last year’s team and still find themselves ranked 5th. That’s mostly because of the athletic freak that is, Andrew Wiggins. This young man possesses tools that are tailor made for NBA stardom, more so even then they are for college basketball. Had he been eligible last year, Wiggins would’ve been the #1 pick in the NBA draft.The Jayhawks also feature another great freshman in SG Wayne Selden, who can fill it up in the half court, and get out and run in transition. The Jayhawks will be looking for major contributions from junior PG Naadir Tharpe and sophomore PF Perry Ellis this season. Both will be considered veterans on this Kansas team, and will be relied on heavily by coach Bill Self.

The #4 ranked Duke Blue Devils arrive in Chicago with a vastly different look from last year’s Elite 8 squad. The Blue Devils lost lottery pick Mason Plumlee, seniors Ryan Kelly, and Seth Curry, and just may have gotten better. My favorite incoming freshman, Jabari Parker and Miss St transfer Rodney Hood wasted no time getting acclimated in Duke blowout win over Davidson Friday, combining for only three missed shots, and 44 points. The long and athletic wings will be asked to mask to lack of size on this Duke roster by playing in the paint and on the glass often. The Duke backcourt is a very talented and deep unit. Led by junior play maker Quinn Cook and sophomore sensation Rasheed Sulaimon, the Blue Devils guards are very versatile, intelligent, and battle tested in the biggest of games. Duke also welcomes back senior sharp shooter Andre Dawkins after a year away from the team. While very young, this Duke team is extremely athletic and deep. Duke also features the  nations best coach in Mike Krzyzewski, who is looking to go 3-0 in the Champions Classic.

Prediction: Duke over Kansas 81-74

Monday Morning Quarterback by @YeahFlanny

BCS top ten (11/11/2013)

  1. Alabama
  2. Florida State
  3. Ohio State
  4. Stanford
  5. Baylor
  6. Oregon
  7. Auburn
  8. Clemson
  9. Missouri
  10. South Carolina

Last week I posed the question, can they do it again? “They” being the Stanford Cardinal, with “it” being a second straight victory over the Oregon Ducks. The answer was an emphatic, yes. The Cardinal flat out dominated the high flying Ducks for three plus quarters, and if it wasn’t for a comedy of errors late, they would’ve blown the Ducks out. While I did not pick Stanford to win this one, I did say they matched up perfectly against the Ducks, and had more than a legitimate shot to pull off the upset. Stanford asserted their will in the trenches on both sides of the ball, and kept (former) Heisman frontrunner Marcus Mariota in check all night. The Ducks are now all but eliminated from title contention, and now must hope for a Stanford loss in order to play for the Pac 12 title. Winning out will assure them an at large bid. The Cardinal find themselves ahead of the Ducks in the BCS standings, and in the Pac 12 north. Continue to win and they’ll find themselves in Pasadena…for the Rose Bowl.

Thursday night’s “other” top ten match up, just was not that entertaining, unless you’re a Baylor fan. #10 Oklahoma traveled to Waco to face the #6 ranked Baylor Bears in a contest that was over, well, before the main event out west even kicked off. Baylor was up 24-5 at halftime, and cruised to an easy 41-12 victory. Baylor now jumps into the BCS top 5, at #5. They still has match ups with Texas and Okie St left on their schedule and can bolster their resume en route to wining the Big 12 title. Many people feel that Baylor should at least be at #4 ahead of Stanford, or even ahead of the Buckeyes at #3. I can surely understand where those folks are coming from being that OSU hasn’t beat a damn soul, and Stanford lost to Utah. Baylor just needs to  keep winning and their resume just may vault them to #3.

Saturday’s main event saw the #13 LSU Tigers travel to Tuscaloosa to face #1 ranked Alabama. This game rarely disappoints and Saturday was no different. Both teams came out throwing hay-maker, after hay-maker, in what can always be counted on as one of the season’s most physical contests. After securing only a three point halftime lead, Aj McCarron executed flawlessly in the 2nd half leading his team to a 38-17 victory. While the Tide won by 21, the game seemed to be a lot closer than that. Ironically enough, Bama showed some vulnerability on their way to obtaining a resume bolstering victory. The Tide defense was ran through and over early in the game, while the LSU wideouts had their way with the Alabama secondary all night. Bama remains at #1, and rightfully so, but Saturday’s contest may have gave teams some insight on how to attack the Tide.

Quick Hitters-

  • The Florida State Seminoles were the big winners this weekend as they not only dismantled Wake Forest 59-3, but vaulted up to #2 in the BCS rankings with Oregon’s defeat. For once Jameis Winston was overshadowed on Saturday, but not by the opposition. The FSU defense stole the show in Winston Salem forcing SEVEN turnovers, including SIX interceptions, two of which were returned for TD’s. With the Noles defense now playing on par with the offense, it’s easy to argue that FSU is the most complete team in the country.
  • The Auburn Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide are now officially on a crash course. The newly minted #7 Tigers are playing some of the best football in the country right now. They will welcome in Alabama in three weeks for the “iron bowl”, with the winner heading to the SEC Championship Game. Alabama seems to have only one thing in front of them and Pasadena, and that’s their in state, arch rival.
  • The team most likely to meet Alabama or Auburn in Atlanta, is the Missouri Tigers. Maty Mauk continues to impress, with major help from his stellar wide receiver corp, notably sophomore Dorial Green-Beckham, who hauled in 4 TD’s in four jaw dropping ways Saturday. Only the season finale against Johnny Hancock and A&M stands between Mizzou and the SEC title game.
  • Speaking of Johnny Heisman, don’t expect that moniker to be renewed for another year. While I do understand that statistically Manziel is having a better season this year, the Heisman voters will do everything they can to NOT award him with the trophy for a second consecutive year. Not to mention, it’s Jameis Winston’s Heisman to lose at this point. The odds makers have Winston as a virtual lock. With upcoming games against Syracuse, and Idaho, and a rivalry game against Florida, Winston will have ample opportunities to pad those stats, and make another statement to the Heisman voters.

Gameday will be in LA this Saturday, for Stanford and SC. While the Trojans have looked mighty impressive since sending Lane Kiffin out to pasture, I can’t see them beating a bigger, and better Cardinal team. Georgia travels to Auburn in a very intriguing match-up. This Georgia team has three losses, but they also have Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley, watch out Auburn. Oklahoma State travels to Austin in a fun Big 12 match-up. The Longhorns are undefeated in conference play, but a letdown game has been destined for weeks now. In a game with HUGE ACC coastal implications, the Duke Blue Devils host the Miami Hurricanes. Miami is reeling after two straight conference defeats (blowouts), while the Blue Devils control their own destiny in the division after beating the Hokies. Duke knows it’s, win and their in, meaning they’ll be ready to go Saturday afternoon.

NFL Thoughts with @YeahFlanny

– Nicholas Foles, go head boy! Wow, was that impressive?! It was the Raiders, i know, but throwing for 7 TD’s on any NFL defense is a truly remarkable feat. Foles just may have officially ended Michael Vick’s tenure in Philly. As an Eagle fan, I’m excited to see what Foles can do as the clear cut #1 for the remainder of the season, hopefully Chip Kelly gives him that opportunity.

– Do y’all believe in that Jets defense yet? I’ve been saying for weeks now that the Jets defense is the real deal, and the front four is one of the top position groups in the NFL. Like they did with Tom Brady a couple weeks back, the Jets continuously got under the skin of Saints QB Drew Brees, and would not allow for him to become comfortable, thus leading to the Jets upset victory.

– Three things are for certain in life. Death, taxes, and an Andrew Luck 4th quarter comeback. The sophomore sensation did it yet again on Sunday night, leading his Colts from behind to victory in the 4th, over the Texans. The kid’s unreal, and on the road to being a perennial pro bowler.

– The Atlanta Falcons super bowl odds were pretty darn high coming into the season, their odds of having a top 10 pick in next years draft, may be even higher at the moment. SMH.

– Kansas City does it…again. Alex Smith is the epitome of game manager, seemingly never turning the ball over, and that defense is a well oiled machine. They head into their bye week, a marquee match-up with the Broncos looming in two weeks.

– Richie Incognito is a disgrace, but should we even be surprised? Sadly enough, I’m not. This is his M.O., has been his ENTIRE career, dating back to college even, when his head coach at Nebraska, Frank Solich had to suspend him. In 2009 he was voted as the NFL’s “dirtiest player”. This incident wasn’t an “incident” it’s simply just who Richie is., it just took a decade to come out publicly. I for one hope the man never plays another down in the NFL, he’s not deserving…never was.

– Didn’t I tell y’all not to send the good ol’ boy Tom Brady out to pasture just yet? The so called “greatest living american” went bonkers on Sunday, throwing for 432 yards and 4 TD’s. It’s also safe to say that Gronk is back at full strength , after recording a career high in receptions on Sunday. Nobody’s happier than Brady, seeing #87 back out there.

– Best wishes to head coaches, Gary Kubiak and John Fox. Both experienced serious health issues this past week, Kubiak’s unfolding right in front of us on Sunday Night Football, and Fox’s resulting in heart surgery. We’re in awe over the work these athletes put into the game, and often forget how much is done behind the scenes by coaches and personnel. This game can, and will consume you, and I hope coaches as a whole see these recent events, and take the  necessary precautions moving forward.

– Nine weeks in, and the AFC North has made a complete 180 degree turn from the norm. The Bengals and Browns are atop the division with the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens, and perennial Super Bowl contender Steelers lagging well behind. The Bengals lost Thursday night to the Dolphins, making the Browns the hottest team in the division. YES, the same Browns we accused of tanking after trading former 1st round pick Trent Richardson to the Colts just weeks ago.

– The win less Bucs went into Seattle, one of the league’s toughest places to play, and dominated the game for three quarters….Luckily for the Seahawks, there’s 4 quarters in the NFL, and a fifth if needed. Seattle rallied and kept the Bucs win less with an overtime victory Sunday. The Bucs can’t buy a victory, and our fighting MRSA, while the Dolphins are dealing with a HUGE internal debacle, that will only get worse in coming days. Um, does this make the Jacksonville Jaguars the most stable team in the sunshine state???? Welcome to the twilight zone.

Monday Morning Quarterback by @YeahFlanny

BCS top ten (11/3)

  1. Alabama
  2. Florida State
  3. Oregon
  4. Ohio State
  5. Stanford
  6. Baylor
  7. Clemson
  8. Missouri
  9. Auburn
  10. Oklahoma

Last week saw five of the BCS top ten enjoying a bye. Alabama, Oregon, Stanford, Baylor, and Oklahoma all used the week to rest up and prepare for HUGE conference games this week, with even bigger national title implications. Alabama will host SEC west foe LSU Saturday night, while Thursday will be filled with fireworks, as Stanford hosts Oregon, and Oklahoma travels to Waco to face Baylor. Before we look ahead to next week, let’s first discuss Saturday’s college football happenings.

Saturday’s marquee match-up pitted two of college football’s biggest rivals against one another, as the #7 ranked Hurricanes of Miami traveled to Tallahassee to face the #3 ranked Florida State Seminoles. The spread was -27 in favor of the Noles, by far the biggest of any top ten match-up, and while it looked in jeopardy for a half, the Noles went on to cover with ease winning 41-14. Jameis Winston looked like a freshman, for once, in Saturday’s first half, tossing two interceptions, resulting in two Miami touchdowns, having them only down 7 at halftime. The second half for “Jaboo” went a lot differently, as he executed with precision, and let his workhorses in the backfield carry the Noles to victory. Junior running back, and Miami native, Devonta Freeman was unconscious Saturday night, with nearly two hundred yards of total offense and three TD’s. The FSU defense also stifled the Miami duo of QB Stephan Morris and RB Duke Johnson (get well soon!) in the 2nd half, not allowing a single point. Florida State proved that even when their freshman sensation QB is off his game, they are still an elite team, and that’s downright scary. While Miami proved what I’ve been telling you all year, they are not in any way, shape, or form, a national contender. The win vaulted the Noles to the #2 in this weeks BCS rankings, but that can and will change with an Oregon win over Stanford Thursday. FSU must just continue to win, and hope for an Alabama or Oregon loss down the stretch if they want to reach Pasadena.

Quick Hitters-

  • The Ohio State Buckeyes dominated yet again, against the cellar dwellers of the Big Ten, Purdue, by a score of 56-0. OSU has looked very sharp these last few weeks, and is acquiring a ton of style points, style points that will do them no help, since their only chance to get to Pasadena is for two of the three teams ahead of them to lose. Well, stranger things HAVE happen.
  • Clemson has seemed to finally recover from their drubbing at the hands of Florida State three weeks ago, as they dominated Virginia on the road, 59-10. The last team between the Tigers and a BCS at large birth are their in state rivals South Carolina, who seem to always have their number.
  • Texas Tech has now gone from a BCS hopeful, to all but out of the Big 12 championship race after a devastating home loss to Oklahoma State. The game wasn’t even as close as it’s 52-34 score, at least Kliff Kingsbury still has his looks.
  • Don’t looks now, but the Auburn Tigers might just be on to something. Running back Tre Mason found the endzone FOUR times, leading the Tigers to a 35-17 win on the road at Arkansas. The season finale between Auburn and arch rival Alabama continues to get more, and more interesting, and could decide who will go to Atlanta to represent the west in the SEC championship game.
  • Missouri and South Carolina both took care of business Saturday, cruising to easy victories over conference opponents. While they lost to the Gamecocks last week, the Tigers of Mizzou still control their own destiny in the SEC east. The Gamecocks may hold the tiebreaker, but that only comes into play in Missouri drops another game. Still A LOT of football left to play.
  • A round of applause for Johnny Football. My god, this kid is fun to watch!

Can it happen two years in a row??? Oregon travels to Palo Alto Thursday, for what will be their biggest test of the season, against the Stanford Cardinal. While I don’t think this Stanford team is a championship caliber team, I think they can be the squad to knock off the mighty Ducks. They are a big, physical, and extremely well coached team, a few of the necessary ingredients if they want to pull off this major upset. I’m certainly not calling the upset, as my better judgment tells me the Ducks will find a way to pull this one out, on the shoulders of their Heisman candidate quarterback Marcus Mariota, but my Garnet and Gold heart is forcing me to put the Ducks on upset alert Thursday night.

Also on Thursday, we get a Big 12 style shootout in Waco. As the Sooners come to town, looking to slow down the Baylor aerial attack. Both teams come off of a bye, and should be healthy and focused for the match-up that will go a long way towards deciding the Big 12. The Baylor Bears come in as the favorites, while not having a signature win on the season. The Sooners are a big, tough team, who are really starting to come into their own. Expect Oklahoma to assert themselves on the ground, taking the air out of the ball for themselves, and Baylor. If the Bears though can get out to a fast start, the scoreboard may get lit up, all night long.

LSU vs Alabama. In recent years it has not gotten any better than this SEC west rivalry. For as long as we can remember, the winner of this game often goes on to win the entire SEC and well, the national championship. This LSU team comes in with a very balanced attack, highlighted by two of the nation’s best wide receivers. The defense though, has been a bit suspect this year, especially in the secondary. With all that said, it just doesn’t matter, the Tigers are running into a buzzsaw this weekend in Tuscaloosa. This Crimson Tide squad is clicking on all cylinders right now, and there may not be a team in the country that can beat them right now….well, maybe there’s one.

saban