Gimme tha trophy…Part 1

September 8, 2011

Time to dust off this old blog of mine and allow for a little college football talk.  Since all of the college football pundits are talking and predicting these days, I thought that I’d put my picks on record as well.  So here we go!

Big East Conference

Gimme tha trophy: West Virginia-Geno Smith(2,763 yds 24/7 ly) is going to put up BIG numbers in Holgerson’s offense, really, really big numbers. If the defense can stay steady, the Mountaineers should wrap this up quickly. Tavon Austin is fast…really really fast.

Close but no cigar: Pittsburgh-the Panthers have a new outlook on life now that “the Stache” is gone. I listened to new head coach Todd Graham’s press conference before their opener, and boy was he a confident guy.

Darkhorse: USF-Head coach Skip Holtz has an athletic team that is starting to believe.  If BJ Daniels can keep his mistakes to a minimum, they’ll definately challenge.

Mountain West Conference

Gimme tha trophy: Boise State-Heisman hopeful, Kellen Moore will put up video game-like numbers again this year (3,845 yds 35/6 ly), and Chris Petersen’s group will most definately run the table.  Will the BCS finally deam them “worthy?”  Has Petersen found playmakers on the outside to replace Titus Young and Austin Pettis? I guess we’ll see quickly.

Close but no cigar: TCU-Like Petersen, Patterson is due for a big time job soon.  This will be Patterson’s first really big coaching test.  How will his team respond after graduating Andy Dalton and a ton of productive players on both sides of the ball. Sophomore QB Casey Pachall has big shows to fill.

Darkhorse: Air Force-Only because, it’s the Air Force.

Conference USA (I think they need more teams, don’t you?)

Gimme tha trophy: Houston-Chase Keenum is getting a 6th year. It seems like he’s been there for 12 years.  He’s the perfect fit for the Houston offense that bubble, slip and jailbreak screen’s people to death. Patrick Edwards is the speed demon WR that gets a lot of touches that way.  Can they win the conference and make this conference respectable in the same year?

Close but no cigar: Tulsa-Damaris Johnson is pretty unstoppable in the Tulsa offense. The Senior WR is a “do-it-all” player that rushed for 560 and had 876 receiving with a combined 11 TD’s.  They have a tough schedule though, starting with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the first three weeks.  Their reward for the tough games…Boise State in week 4.

Mid-American Conference

Gimme tha trophy: Toledo-As much as WR Eric Page gets the pub, I really like the two RB’s that the Rockets offense has.  Adonis Thomas and Morgan Williams are two versitale backs that can grind it out all day.  That will definately help the Rockets to close out games.  Coach Tim Beckman can waste little time to get the Rockets ready though, as they play Buckeyes and Boise State in weeks two and three, both on the road.

Close but no cigar: Ohio-I’ll say this again, I’m really impressed with the job that Frank Solich has done with OU.  He’s 98-55 in 7 seasons and he has the Bobcats believing and making plays. The big question mark will be if Solich’s defense can hold up.  They have only four returning starters on defense.

Darkhorse: Temple-That sounds really funny to me, because the could easily be in the “Gimme tha trophy” category. Since fomer head coach Al Golden has taken his talents to South Beach, for a destroyed Miami team, Steve Addazio steps in to kick the tires this year.  One thing Temple will be is physical.  Something the MAC usually isn’t very comfortable with.

Big 12 Conference

Gimme tha trophy: Oklahoma-Two words: LANDRY JONES.

Close but no cigar: Oklahoma State-Justin Blackmon is probably one of the best WR’s in the country, if not THE best.  Brandon Weeden could be a darkhorse Heisman candidate because of how much Okie State throws the ball.  Last year he had 3,433 yards passing 34/13.  The senior will be looking to do it big this year and definately has the December 3rd date with big brother Oklahoma circled.  This years game should live up to its nickname…Bedlam.

Darkhorse: Texas A&M-I almost didn’t put them here because I’m a little tainted with all of their jumping to the SEC bullshit, as if they are really good enough to fit into that league?  I think in his fourth year, it’s probably put up or shut up time for Mike Sherman.  Sherman is 19-19 overall, 1-4 against Top 10 teams, 3-9 against Top 25 teams, and 6-7 on the road against BCS teams. Time will tell for the Aggies.

Big 10 Conference

Gimme tha trophy:  Nebraska-Taylor Martinez brings the Huskers option offense of old back to life, he’s a ridiculous athlete, and the Huskers have that “black shirt” defense back.  Their defense could boast the best defensive tackle in the conference with Jared Crick.  Somehow Bo Pelini has a super pipeline to freakishly good defensive line players, and Crick is do difference.  The October 1 showdown with Wisconsin in Camp Randall is going to be racous environment.

Close but no Cigar: Wisconsin-I really, really like Wisconsin this year.  Especially now that they have Russell Wilson.  Bret Bielema’s Badgers could also be the conference winner.  Can he get his team to forget about the bowl game loss to  TCU last year? Can all his offense playmakers stay healthy.  I’m expecting Wilson and Nick Toon to have HUGE years. Especially since defense will have to pick whether they want to be beat up all night by Montee Ball and James White, or get beat deep by Wilson.

Darkhorse:Michigan State/Ohio State-These two teams have a lot of talent. Sparty has a great set of leaders with Mark Dantonio and QB Kirk Cousins.  Their power running game will be as good as ever and should beat up defenses all year.  They have a really tough October though having to face Michigan and Wisconsin at home and then go to Lincoln on three consecutive weeks.

The Buckeyes had a tumultious off season, have all types of players suspended, have a new coach and got ditched by their QB 1. I think most people are writing off Ohio State  and new head coach Luke Fickell this year.  I’m telling you that they are going to be a lot better then people think.  If they can scratch and claw their way through the first 5 weeks(which is a long time to do that), they can have enough guns to get through the Big 10 schedule and make some noise.

Ok, that’s enough for one day. I still have the WAC, SEC, Pac-12 and ACC to do.  Overall, I’m really excited for the early season match ups this year.  Teams are finally getting away from scheduling cupcakes.  We’ll see who survives and stays healthy enough for conference play.

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Callin’ it

October 2, 2009

College football can be a real joke for the first couple of weeks.  So finally this week we see some actual matchups of note.   All good games, all will have an impact on conference championships and even the BCS.  So, we here at Frank-ly sports wanted to wait to pick the conference.  I’ll even take a stab at the Heisman.

Big Ten-Penn State

JoePa’s team really has a two game season this year, both at home.  Illinois and Ohio State will come to Happy Valley and take on the loaded Lions offense.  They could also have the conferences top offensive threat in Daryl Clark.

Darkhorse: The Ohio State University-The loss to USC was early which has proved to be ok in the BCS.

Team I’m obsessed with: Michigan-I might be the only person that Rich Rod imagesand the gang are going bowling this year, and they could even give the Buckeyes fits.  Tate Forcier has proven to be a force to be reckoned with.

Pac-10-USC

Yes I know they just lost to Washington after a win against OSU, but they are still the best team in the conference.  They have to go to Cal later in the year which should be an EPIC battle, but Pete Carroll’s crew will be WAY better by then, you can count on that.  The loss probably takes them out of title contention right now, but again an early loss isn’t a bad thing.  As Matt Barkley matures, Carroll will give him more and more responsibility.  SC is by far the closest thing to an NFL team in college football this decade.

Darkhorse:

Team I’m obsessed with: USC-mostly because I want ND to beat them.  Matt Barkley is an intriguing storyline for this team.  When will he make his “freshmen” mistake.

SEC-Florida

SEC Championship game:  Florida vs. Alabama

We all know that Tim Tebow is great. But this team is loaded folks.  I meantim_tebow really, really loaded. Brandon James, Chris Rainey, and Emmanual Moody give Tebow a ton of speed in his running scheme. Let’s not forget 18 returning starters.

Darkhorse: LSU-The Bayou Bengals got kicked around last year, and that rarely happens twice.  Jordan Jefferson is a year older but will have to prove that he can make a big play in the through the air.  LSU is sure to have a tough defense.  If they don’t stumble along the way they could end up in the National Title hunt. Les Miles’ group finds a way to win, and that will always keep you alive in a very tough conference

Team I’m obsessed with: Alabama-Julio Jones could be the best WR in the Country(58 catches 948 yds).  Nick Saban always has his defense cranked up, and last years loss to Utah has the Tide looking to roll everyone. Greg McElroy has been a gigantic surprise

Big 12-Texas

Big 12 Championship: Texas vs. Nebraska

3387884412Colt McCoy is really good.  On this very site I have mentioned that he should have taken the money and jumped to the NFL.  He’s proving my point so far this year.  McCoy is a for sure heisman finalist(forshadow), and he and Mack Brown have a national title lined up in their sights. I look for his main weapon and roommate Jordan Shipley to be ripping people all year for the horns. He averaged 11.9/catch and had a long of 68 yards last year.  He can flat out fly.

Darkhorse: Kansas-the North side of the conference is weak, and Todd Reesing works extremely well in the Kansas spread. He was in the top 5 of the conference in total offense last year. If Nebraska doesn’t take care of business, I think that Ralk Chalk can fill in nicely.

Team I’m obsessed with:  Texas Tech-I’m an ex-high school wide receiver, of course I want to see 100 WR’s on the field and people chucking it 65 times.

ACC-Virginia Tech

ACC Championship: Virginia Tech vs. FSU

Va. Tech has dominated this conference since they added teams.  Frank Beamer’s team will be more experienced this year with16 returning starters. Tyrod Taylor will need to prove that he’s more then just a runner to get that tough Hokie defense some leads to hold.  The Hokies were horrible last year because they were so young.

Darkhorse:  North Carolina State-Russell Wilson is a pretty nice player for the Wolfpack.  This conference is so watered down, someone is always capable of sliding in the back door.  NC State is probably the 5-6 best team in this league, but you never know.

Team I’m obsessed with: Clemson-mostly because CJ Spiller is electric.  Other then that they have obnoxious fans and ALWAYS underachieve.

tony-pike-ncThe Big East sucks, so I’m not even going to waste my time.  Cincinnati’s QB, Tony Pike is phenomenal.  He has a big time arm, and that team is going to be good for a while.

National Championship: Florida vs. Texas

An easy one I know. Oklahoma is going to struggle to beat Texas, especially if Sam Bradford isn’t 100%. Plus, I can’t pick that game, it happend last year. In that match up, I like the Gators, but in a close one. McCoy is too good not to keep his team in it.

 

Heisman Trophy(As of right now)

Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, Jahvid Best, Jimmy Clausen

This really is a two man race between Tebow and McCoy.  If Tebow doesn’t play this week against LSU it could give McCoy the edge right away.  The Heisman voters only want one Archie though…

Colt McCoy is your winner….


In the Fletch-Rant and Rave

November 25, 2008

In Fletch’s defense, the editor has been slacking and didn’t get this up in a timely fashion…More good stuff to come.

 

BROWNS

 

As I sat at work, daydreaming of a season that didn’t end with disappointment and more questions than answers, I heard something coming from the sports department that I have been expecting to hear for weeks. “Brady Quinn is getting the start”. That one simple sentence has a number of implications. First, as much as the CC trade symbolized a white flag for the Tribe…the Browns are beginning to extend their own white flag. They have, officially, not fallen out of anything at this point, but it would take the type of miracle that Clevelanders are just not used to. Second, it marks the beginning of an era. If all the hype and the belief in his talents are accurate, Brady Quinn will never relinquish his position. If he in fact is the future of this organization, Brady Quinn will be under center for the rest of his career…no more clipboards.

 

The third implication is one that I may be reaching on, but I truly feel this to be true. Romeo is fighting for his life. The man has made a million mistakes and in turning to offense over to Quinn may buy him more time. The Browns should be in the playoffs at the end of this season. That is bold, but it is true. They have talent all over the field and the gross mishandling of them falls on the bulldog-like head of Romeo Crannell. He is desperate and by removing DA…one year removed from being the “savior” of the team…he is trying to appease the media and the fans. My opinion…he will be a sought after coordinator come next August.

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

           

I have done everything I can to keep myself occupied on Saturday afternoons this season. I have even gone as far as registering for baby stuff while my beloved Wolverines were on television. I can rant and rave about all the mistakes and injustices that have occurred in Ann Arbor, but I won’t. Because I have, for the first time in many many years, allowed myself to enjoy the game as a whole. I have stepped back from my team and enjoyed unbiased football viewing. In doing so, I have enjoyed the game because it is a great game, not because I was worried about the Wolverines standing or who they needed to beat.

           

I rarely sit and watch a non-Michigan Ohio State game. I have to lean on the fact that I hate OSU so much that I refuse to watch them and their “fans” rejoice in victory after victory. Makes me sick. But I did sit and watch most of the Penn State v. Ohio State game a few weeks ago, and I loved it. The ending was the icing on the crapcake of the season. But I have to feel sorry for the guys in blue and white, because even though they beat the Buckeyes, it is the Buckeyes that will keep them out of the National Title game. Why? Because the Big Ten is considered weak. Due to the way the Buckeyes have been beat in the past two championship games it would take a two loss SEC team to put the Lions in the title game, and even then it would be close.

           

However, I would have to put that PSU v. OSU game as the second best game I’ve seen this year. To no one’s surprise the Texas Tech and Texas game this past Saturday was the best ending I have seen since the LSU v. Kentucky game of 2003. I have a tendency to root for the underdog in those types of games. I have nothing against the Horns, but I always seem to root for the guy that isn’t expected to win. The poise and the play of that Raider team was incredible and I was left speechless by the conclusion.

           

I doubt that Tech will make it through all the way to the National Championship game, because they have a brutal schedule to finish the season, but it is great to see a program like that stepping up and making a name for themselves. It put to rest the idea that the Red Raiders are a pass all over the field, shoot out type team. They played a complete game on both sides of the ball and showed that they are (at least this season) one of the best teams in the country.

 

           

INDIANS

           

Come on…you didn’t think I was going to write an entire piece without mentioning the Tribe? I have nothing to rail on and on about. But I want to take a second to mention the free agents (or additions) that I feel could be a great fit for this team. The first name on my list is Adam Dunn. For the first time I read another Cleveland writer agree with that. Dunn has flaws and with teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Mets and Cubs focusing on names like Sabathia, Texiarra, Peavy (maybe), Ramirez, etc…a guy like Dunn won’t be commanding a huge payday. He is only 29 and plays left field pretty well. Put him in the shallow left field at the Jake and he is an above average outfielder. What makes him a great fit…he hits the ball. We don’t know if Hafner will ever hit again, and a guy like Dunn is a natural 3 or 4 guy in a lineup. You can chalk in at least 30 homeruns, and that is low-balling it. Plus, he is the low key, no flash type of player that Wedge works well with.

           

Next, Bob Howry. He is familiar with everything Cleveland. He played here and was the best reliever the team had. He is a little older now, which financially gives the team more flexibility to sign him to a short contract. He is a veteran (which this team needs badly) and he gets outs. However, EVERYONE in the league needs relievers and he may become expensive as the winter plays out.

           

Third, make a trade for Houston Street. He is still a very young man who has shown he can be a very good closer. He plays for a bad team and his chances to finish games dwindle in June every year because his starters get traded. He has good stuff and given a chance to play for a contender would make him one of the better closers in the league. We have more prospects than we have teams to play them, which makes a trade very very possible.