Archive for the ‘NCAA Football’ Category

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Lane Kiffin having a deal with the devil is the only possible explanation I can come up with for his hiring as the new Offensive Coordinator at the University of Alabama. First off, I am a huge USC fan. I grew up in Southern California and thoroughly enjoyed the Pete Carroll years, and have therefore enjoyed the best, and worst, of CLK. When he was hired following Petey’s return to the NFL, I was ecstatic. He was a guy that knew the USC brand, had just come off a semi-successful, if not controversial, first year with Tennessee, and the guy could recruit. Even this past year, I felt that he should have been let go after the Sun Bowl following the 2012 season. The collapse that was the 2012 season was simply inexcusable. After the putrid end to 2012, the mass exodus of top rated recruits on National Signing Day 2013, and the start to the 2013 season with losses to Washington State at home and a throttling to Arizona State on the road, I was very ready to see him go. That said, I am not like Tennessee, and some SC fans that hate the guy. He is largely lacking in personality, and those that claim he has never earned any of the jobs that he has gotten have a point, but I don’t hold any ill will towards the guy. To me, he is a young guy with a family football pedigree, that was part of outstanding coaching teams early in his career which overstated his contributions to the success of those teams. He subsequently got some of the top spots at traditional powerhouse college football schools, and was simply in over his head.

This is why I simply do not understand the hiring of Lane by Alabama.  Nick Saban is widely regarded as the best coach in college football, and if there is someone that should be given the benefit of the doubt with decisions, it’s him. I simply don’t see what Lane brings to the table. Prior to the collapse at the end of the 2012-2013 recruiting cycle when Lane’s fate was known by top recruits across the country, the fact that Lane was a top notch recruiter was undisputed. There was even a consensus that Lane was a genius offensive mind following his time at SC the first go, his transformation of Jonathan Crompton from an SEC and fan base whipping boy to NFL draft pick, and his ability to get Matt Barkley and the sanction hampered Trojans of 2011 to be playing as well as anyone in the country at the conclusion of their last bowl-banned season. However, his body of work just doesn’t suggest that that is the case. Certainly not for the standard of modern college football like the Crimson Tide.

Now, do I think that Lane can be successful at Bama? Of course. The depth chart at Bama would make any coach or offensive coordinator look good. Lane loves to preach a “pro-style” offense, and this is where him and Nick see eye to eye. The dominant O-line and succession of punishing running backs will make play calling easy for the super technical and complicated offensive mind that is CLK. These things will allow him to bring Bama’s new, inexperienced QB along slowly, a CLK staple. He has historically refused to take the reigns off the offense without having absolute trust in his QB. And heaven forbid his QB make a mental error or throw an INT, because then the playbook is likely to be a combination of passes and runs all taking place within 10 yards of the LOS.

Recruiting will not see a decline with Lane on the staff, but that’s because Bama is currently the top of a handful of college football programs that compete every year for a national championship and churn out NFL draft picks. His ability to recognize and evaluate talent has always been heralded (although some contend that it is in fact Ed Orgeron that has the true eye for recognizing hidden talent and untapped potential), but that isn’t something that is lacking for the Crimson Tide. It’s not necessary to search for diamonds in the rough when your entire compliment of 25 scholarships are being fought over by 4 and 5 star recruits. In fact, Lane being on board gives opposing coaches some ammunition for negative recruiting, an unnecessary chink in the previously unflawed Alabama armor. For every Jonathon Crompton story Lane sells young Quarterbacks, there is a Matt Barkley story to refute it.

I guess this is why I JUST DON’T GET IT. This is the last thing that Alabama needs. There are upsides, but the calculated risks just seem to outweigh the possible benefits that it makes me scratch my head. All I can assume is that with Katherine Webb moving on to the NFL with AJ McCarron, the Bama brass decided to bring in Layla Kiffin as a replacement for the team barbecues.

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It will be interesting to see how this turns out for Bama fans, but until that happens, all Bama fans repeat after me: “IN SABAN WE TRUST”

Jameis Winston

USH-
Alright so here is the BCS bowl lineup for this year:
Rose Bowl- Michigan St vs Stanford
Fiesta Bowl- Baylor vs UCF
Sugar Bowl- Alabama vs Oklahoma
Orange Bowl- Clemson vs Ohio St
Natty- Florida St vs Auburn

To me, the two intriguing match ups are the Rose Bowl game between Stanford and Michigan St, and the Fiesta Bowl between Baylor and UCF. I can see the Clemson/Ohio St game being entertaining, but I tend to lean more toward Ohio St winning going away. I honestly thought they had the best chance of knocking off Florida St, outside of Alabama.

The matchup between Stanford and Michigan St is a classic, old school, smash mouth matchup. Both teams hang their hats in the trenches, with offenses that start with punishing ground games and game managing quarterbacks, combined with physical, hard hitting defenses. Both teams boast a workhorse RB that has over 1300 yards on the year, and passing games that average 202 ypg. I think the difference here tilts in Stanford’s favor in two places. I think Stanford has one of the truly elite defensive front sevens in all of football. MSU hasn’t faced a front seven this punishing and physical. Also, I think that Stanford’s change of pace backs and playmakers on the perimeter will make a play or two that changes the game.

Stanford swarming to the ball

The next matchup between Baylor’s NCAA leading offense and the UCF Knights, the BCS debut for both schools. This is intriguing because on paper, Baylor’s high powered offense should run UCF off the field, however with the attention that Blake Bortles is getting as a potential top-10 NFL draft pick, you have to think that he will be able to keep UCF in the game. This will be a big test for him and I think he will rise to the challenge. Also, it’s possible he has the hottest gf in the NCAA cheering him on so even if his performance falls flat, I’m sure he will be ok.

Recruits are transferring to UCF at the moment

What are your thoughts on the upcoming match ups?

STILTZ

I love the Rose Bowl matchup this year, it should be an instant classic. If you love old school hard nosed football this is your game. It should be a low scoring affair in Pasadena and I’m leaning towards Michigan State to win this game. I think their season has been off the radar for the most part due to an early loss at Notre Dame. That turned out to be their only blemish of the year. It also turned out to be their only close game of the year as they have won all of their games by an average of 18 points.
The strength of schedule advantage goes to Stanford, as they have played the cream of the crop over in a strong PAC-12 conference this year; whereas Michigan St has only played three ranked opponents(Michigan,Ohio St,Notre Dame) in a weak B1G conference. Both schools have great coaching, Stanford has the edge running the ball and I think it’s a tie throwing the ball. You won’t find a closer matchup this BCS bowl season, it should be a fun one. My final score prediction is Michigan State 16 Stanford 13. If all you care about is scoring, then you should probably turn your attention towards the Fiesta/Orange bowls.
For everything that the Rose Bowl will be, the Fiesta Bowl is its polar opposite. It is going to be a shootout, anybody remember the game Baylor and Washington had a couple of years ago in the Alamo Bowl?? This game has all the makings of another high scoring matchup, except this one is in a BCS bowl. Baylor has that high powered offense led by Petty but the Knights have one of the top NFL prospects in next year’s draft, Bortles. People always sleep on the American conference, formerly Big East, when it comes to BCS bowl games. The last two years should have changed that, West Virginia 70 Clemson 33 2012 and Louisville 33 Florida 23 2013.
The Sugar Bowl was Terry Bridgewater’s coming out party last year and I expect Bortles to surprise a lot of people this year as he torches that Baylor defense. You know I love those underdogs, and look no farther than the UCF Knights one of the surprise teams of the year. I like the Knights to win this Videogame matchup 56-52.

Bortles!!!

Other predictions: Urban Meyer in BCS bowl games, how can you bet against the guy? He is too good of a coach and I expect Ohio St to crush Clemson 45-24. Another great coach who always wins big games is Nick Saban. I expect Alabama to come out and make a huge statement to the rest of the NCAA that they should have been playing for another national title, Alabama 34 Oklahoma 10.
Let’s talk about the SHIP, Ush. Who do you like in this game and why?
USH
I’m with you on the other two games, and in the ship I am going with Jameis Christ. It’s really quite staggering what Florida State has done this year. With the exception of Boston College, they have blown out EVERYONE. It’s hard for me because given the way that Auburn has gotten into the natty, its hard to not believe that they are a team of destiny. Unfortunately for them, they are playing a fast, athletic defense that swarms to the ball. I think their speed and physicality will negate the Auburn running game, and I don’t think they can keep it close without their running game being a big factor.

Who you got?
STILTZ
Yeah I was really hoping to see Florida State vs Alabama, because I thought it would be a better matchup. I’m taking Florida State as well, I just think they have the best defense and one of the top offenses in the country. They have a great coaching staff, Stoops really has that defense running on all cylinders. I think the coaching staff will have them ready to roll come January 6th. You’re right, Auburn has been in some crazy finishes this year and luck has been on their side. I think their luck runs on out on Monday and Florida State cruises to it’s first title since 1999. It’s going to be nice next year when we get to watch the 4-team College Football playoff, “can’t wait!”-Bart Scott Voice Enjoy the bowl games, and Happy New Year everybody.