Thursday, September 23, 2010

Week 4

-Can we officially shut the fuck up about Jake Locker now? I don't care if he was playing the Pittsburgh Steelers, 4-20 for 71 yards, a TD, and 2 INTs is unacceptable. If you take away a 45 yard TD strike to Jermaine Kearse, he was 3-19 for 26 yards and 2 INTs. He's got lots of talent and I'm sure he's a perfectly decent kid but the idea that Locker is the ultimate prospect in this year's NFL Draft is inexplicable. His Heisman campaign is obviously deader than dead at this point and I see no reason that he won't be the next Tim Couch.

-Here's a random one: Kansas is down 31-10 to Southern Miss...they score a touchdown with 5:17 left in the game...and go for two?! Uh...what? Who did the math on that one? What possible scenario are they planning for? Are they planning cut the deficit to 13 instead of 14 in hopes that, in the event that they have to settle for two field goals at some point, they can still tie the game (with the addition of another touchdown)--all within the time frame of the last 5:17 of the game. Or maybe they just wanted to ensure that if they did score two more touchdowns, they would WIN the game, instead of sending it to overtime. Or perhaps they were planning on going for two again if they scored again, in order to, you know, cut the deficit to 5...for some reason. The point is, Turner Gill is probably a misunderstood genius.

-It occurred to me while watching the Georgia Tech/North Carolina game that it seems, by and large, that everyone has basically figured out Paul Johnson's triple option attack. For the first couple years he was there, it was this mystical thing that no team could prepare for unless they had more than a week to do so (hence their struggles against teams with a long week to prepare as well as in bowl games), but now teams (especially in the ACC) are becoming more and more adept at playing assignment football. The only thing that makes it work at all is the fact that the Yellow Jackets have superior athletes to many of the teams they play (especially in the backfield). The only reason it was effective this past week against the Tarheels is that the Tarheels were decimated by suspensions, lacking depth at key defensive positions, which made it easy to wear them down. Just wait til they meet Clemson, Virginia Tech, Miami, and Georgia in four of their last five games (and three of those are on the road with only Miami coming to Bobby Dodd Stadium).

-Anyone who was lucky enough to have seen the Auburn/Clemson slugfest will attest to the fact that it was one of the hardest hitting games they've seen in quite some time. I certainly can't remember the last time I saw that much violence in a football game. It's a shame that Kyle Parker could barely breathe without excruciating pain radiating through his body for the most crucial parts of the game (no way he misses a wide open receiver in the end zone if his ribs aren't throbbing) but even in defeat, Clemson did the ACC proud. It still lacks a marquee non-conference win but the Tigers did a lot on this night to improve the ACC's image after some ugly losses. On the other hand, if you thought Auburn and Clemson was a war, just wait until Stephen Garcia, Marcus Lattimore and the Gamecocks roll into Jordan Hare. More on that later...

-Speaking of the SEC, let's talk about the two SEC openers:
*Florida/Tennessee: Well, the Gators did look a little bit better. Brantley at least seemed to find some rhythm eventually. However, in the first half, at least, they looked like the same team from the first half of the USF game and the Miami, OH game. Mike Pouncey continued to struggle with snaps and the running game never really got going with Jeff Demps averaging less than 3 yards per carry. The defense again had to bail the Gators out by capitalizing on a few royally stupid throws by Vols first-year starting QB Matt Simms and if not for a brilliantly called fake punt on a stalled drive late in the third quarter of a 10-10 ballgame, who knows if the Gators would have escaped with the win? Kentucky comes to The Swamp this weekend and that will be the last chance the Gators will have to work out all the kinks before their trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium begins a brutal six-game slate that includes clashes with LSU, Georgia, and South Carolina--all of which they will lose if they play the way they've played the first three games.
*Arkansas/Georgia: I'm not exactly sure what to make out of this game but I damn sure don't see what about this win was impressive enough to rocket Arkansas into the top ten. Their defense was able to get a good pass rush when they wanted to but they had problems all day stopping the run and were consistently vulnerable to the long ball. Ryan Mallet will win his share of games for them this year but there's only so much he can do and that will become apparent this week when the Tide roll into town.

-First, let me say that I'm glad Mark Dantonio is out of the hospital and doing fine. That being said, you couldn't write this stuff. College football head coach calls for a fake field goal on fourth down in a do-or-die overtime period to win the game and then goes home and has a heart attack three hours later. If it was fiction, it would be bad fiction. And while we're on the subject, as gutsy as the call seems on the surface, the more you think about it, the less gutsy it seems. I mean we're talking about a 46-yard FG attempt by an inexperienced, unreliable kicker. Granted, it was 4th and 14. I'm not saying it wasn't gutsy because it took some serious brass balls to try "Little Giants" on 4th and 14 but I'm just saying going for the field goal may not have even been the higher percentage choice.



THURSDAY

#19 Miami, FL @ Pittsburgh

I have to say, I watched Pitt's season opener against Utah and I watched Miami's gut-wrenching loss to Ohio State and based on what I've seen from these two teams, I don't think Pitt will even come close in this one. The Hurricanes have way too much athleticism on defense for a Pitt team with no passing game and a struggling Dion Lewis. Even if Pitt's defense forces a few Jacory Harris miscues--and I don't think they will because Utah's Jordan Wynn exposed a massive amount of holes in the Panthers pass defense--the offense won't be able to capitalize on any field position that's outside of field goal range. Picking the Canes over the Buckeyes was a homer pick. This one is completely and totally rational. I would put every penny I had on the Canes to cover the spread if I had even a single penny to my name.

Hobbitcore sez: Miami

SATURDAY

#1 Alabama @ #10 Arkansas

Wait. You mean this week's only matchup of two top ten teams (alliteration is always awesome) isn't the Game of the Week? Well, maybe theoretically, but A. I don't see any reason why Arkansas should be the #10 team in the country and B. they don't match up well at all with the Tide. This one might be close for a half or even for three quarters depending how much time the Razorback offensive line can give Ryan Mallet to work with. But, eventually, the Tide will pull away. Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson will pummel the Arkansas front seven into submission and Greg McElroy and Julio Jones will exploit a very vulnerable secondary with at least 3-5 deep balls much like Aaron Murray and the Bulldogs did last week. Bama wins and also covers the spread.

Hobbitcore sez: Alabama

#16 Stanford @ Notre Dame

The Irish are looking to rebound from two absolutely excruciating losses (continuing a trend that began last year). Unfortunately, they have to rebound against probably the best NFL prospect in college football right now. The good news for Irish fans is that they match up considerably better against the Cardinal than they did against Denard Robinson and the spread option. This game will be close because they know how to defend Andrew Luck's offense--in theory. The Irish will lose another heartbreaker because they can't defend Andrew Luck's offense--in practice.

Hobbitcore sez: Stanford

#24 Oregon State @ #3 Boise State

This one is actually closer to being Game of the Week than Bama/Arkansas. Anyone who expects the Broncos to blow the doors off of the Beavers, prepare to be disappointed. The Beavers have one of the more dynamic offenses in the country and will have no trouble keeping up in a shootout. This one won't quite reach that level--although there will be a pretty respectable amount of points put on the board--because Boise State will come up with just enough defense to get past the Beavers.

Hobbitcore sez: Boise State

#22 West Virginia @ #15 LSU

I was entertaining the possibility of making this my upset of the week pick. I really like West Virginia's speed and Noel Devine is the kind of back that could give the Tigers fits. But LSU also has their share of speed and although Jordan Jefferson won't be special, he'll have a good enough game and his backs will help him out just enough to win a squeaker. LSU simply doesn't lose night games in Death Valley.

Hobbitcore sez: LSU

GAME OF THE WEEK/UPSET OF THE WEEK

#12 South Carolina @ #17 Auburn

I was kind of surprised to find that Auburn was favored in this game. They are coming off of a huge win in an all out war with Clemson and Cam Newton is pretty impressive but the Gamecocks have been impressive in their own right, specifically Marcus Lattimore and Stephen Garcia. If you thought the Battle of the Tigers was physical, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Cam Newton and Marcus Lattimore are gonna be looking for contact all night long and Stephen Garcia isn't afraid of taking a lick or two either. I really, really like the Gamecocks right now, they seem like they have all the pieces in place to make a run at the SEC East crown.

Hobbitpick: South Carolina 22, Auburn 17

Keys to the Game
Gamecocks:
-Don't miss ANY blocks
-Offensive diversity
-Spy Cam Newton
Auburn:
-Get Garcia's jersey dirty
-Tackle soundly; don't try for big pops on Lattimore
-Make SC's offense one-dimensional



Out-of-Whack Spreads
Miami, FL (-3.5) over Pittsburgh
Toledo over Purdue (-11.5)
Tulane over Houston (-19.5)
North Carolina (-1.5) over Rutgers
Ball State over Iowa (-28)

My Heisman Ballot (if the voting ended today)
1. Denard Robinson
2. Ryan Mallet
3. Justin Blackmon (leads the country in receiving yards and scoring)

BCS Predictions
ACC: Miami over Florida State
Big 12: Nebraska over Oklahoma
Big East: West Virginia
Big Ten: Ohio State
Pac 10: Oregon
SEC: Alabama over South Carolina

BCS Championship: Alabama over Nebraska
Sugar: Boise State over Oklahoma
Orange: Miami over West Virginia
Fiesta: TCU over South Carolina
Rose: Oregon over Ohio State

73 comments:

hobbitcore said...

I think I speak for the vast majority of Canes fans when I say it's about bloody time this team ran some no-huddle

hobbitcore said...

There's the Jacory we know and love...

hobbitcore said...

You can tell the defense has been working on tackling...Sean Spence already has two phenomenal open field tackles (not that he needed any work on that)

hobbitcore said...

First shot of Randy Shannon yelling on the sideline...good to see

hobbitcore said...

Jacory continues to throw into coverage...scary stuff...

hobbitcore said...

That's a drop on LaRon Byrd

hobbitcore said...

Canes should be up by at least two scores...too many stupid mistakes

hobbitcore said...

Panthers offense can't buy a first down to save their lives

hobbitcore said...

What happened to the no-huddle?

hobbitcore said...

Miami's offensive line is doing a terrific job of run blocking and the Pitt defense is getting worn down

hobbitcore said...

Hankerson has to come up with the catch there

hobbitcore said...

This game should be over right now...Canes are killing themselves and letting the Panthers hang around way too long

hobbitcore said...

This Pitt offense is straight up anemic

hobbitcore said...

5th consecutive 3-and-out...I can't remember the last time I saw a team go the entire first half without a first down but it might happen

hobbitcore said...

Jesus fucking christ...

hobbitcore said...

Horribly stupid call on the reverse there

hobbitcore said...

Horribly stupid call to blitz on 2nd and 28

hobbitcore said...

If the Canes offense was playing as well as the Canes defense, Miami would be up 3-4 touchdowns

hobbitcore said...

Yet another terrific open field tackle by Spence

hobbitcore said...

Canes need to hire Ken Dorsey or Bernie Kosar to coach the QBs because Whipple is doing a pathetic job in that capacity

hobbitcore said...

Jojo Nicolas could have had a pick there if he wasn't focusing so hard on making a big hit

hobbitcore said...

How do you possibly make a block in the back on the FIRST MAN DOWN on a punt? Do you think they're not going to notice or something?

hobbitcore said...

NC State doesn't appear to be having any trouble at all with the triple option...no one's fooled anymore, Paul

hobbitcore said...

If I was Paul Johnson, I would tweak that triple option and turn it into a no-huddle triple option...tell me that wouldn't be an insanely effective offensive scheme

hobbitcore said...

Didn't Georgia Tech used to play defense at some point? I'm almost positive they did...

hobbitcore said...

Russell Wilson has about as much poise as any QB in the country...throws a pick-six, comes back to lead a 74 yard drive including a tough-as-nails first down run and an ice cold touchdown pass into traffic on 3rd-and-6 in the red zone...this guy would be a first round pick if he was 3-4 inches taller...I still think he could be a solid NFL QB

hobbitcore said...

Dear Austin-Peay,

I know you're not a FBS team but how bad do you have to be to give up 70 points to WISCONSIN?

hobbitcore said...

jesus christ Ryan Mallett just made Alabama's secondary look pitiful

hobbitcore said...

Bama isn't doing themselves any favors with that playcalling...they should have launched one deep on the first play of the game...not only is that the Arkansas D's biggest weakness but they badly needed to swing the momentum back in their favor...trying to run outside on a defense this fast was just about the worst thing they could have done there

hobbitcore said...

Kirby Smart is really confusing Mallett right now

hobbitcore said...

I keep waiting for the Tide to go deep on this secondary...it has to be coming soon

hobbitcore said...

...or...you know...just give it to Mark Ingram

hobbitcore said...

Bama needs to start really getting some pressure on Mallett

hobbitcore said...

Bama's defensive front is missing a lot of tackles

hobbitcore said...

I can't help but wonder what in god's name Bama is doing running East-to-West

hobbitcore said...

I can't believe they spotted that third down completion short of the first down...no way he was short

hobbitcore said...

I can't remember ever seeing two consecutive INTs thrown into the end zone by opposing QBs

hobbitcore said...

Ingram is such a decisive runner...to me, that might be the most impressive thing about him...his mind works amazingly quickly

hobbitcore said...

McElroy had his man wide open there but the throw took way too long to get there = INT

hobbitcore said...

If I have to watch Ohio State go undefeated and finish #1, I'm gonna set myself on fire

hobbitcore said...

This is not at all the same Arkansas defense I saw against Georgia...especially the secondary...the team I'm watching right now absolutely is a top 10 team

hobbitcore said...

Denard Robinson be damned...if Arkansas wins this game, Ryan Mallett is your Heisman frontrunner until Denard Robinson carves up Ohio State

hobbitcore said...

Arkansas's defensive line is getting a really good push, especially in the run game

hobbitcore said...

Bama blocked better on that last series than they have all game...a couple serious sticks on that series (that block in the back was absolutely not a block in the back, by the way)

hobbitcore said...

Greg McElroy is so fucking money on 3rd and short-to-medium

hobbitcore said...

Arkansas has to score on this next drive...even a field goal might not be enough with the Bama offense starting to click

hobbitcore said...

Arkansas has been really helping Bama out with dropped balls in the second half

hobbitcore said...

wow...you do NOT see that from Ryan Mallett

hobbitcore said...

Another HUGE drop...

hobbitcore said...

Alabama's secondary has just grown up before our very eyes

hobbitcore said...

Holy cow, Cam Newton just leaped about 5-6 yards into the end zone at the end of that run...that was insane

hobbitcore said...

Lattimore is impressive early but what a BEAUTIFUL throw by Garcia for the TD...this is gonna be a good one

hobbitcore said...

Cam Newton is looking good throwing the ball tonight

hobbitcore said...

Auburn is starting to give ground...they can't afford to let the Gamecocks score here

hobbitcore said...

Tiger D stepping up big time at a crucial point in the game

hobbitcore said...

Wow, that's a crushing conversion on 3rd and 12...Auburn had the Gamecocks' offense backed against a wall

hobbitcore said...

Major league hitting in this game already very much reminiscent of last week's Auburn/Clemson war

hobbitcore said...

Someone should give #38 for Oregon State a helmet sticker because he very nearly brought that punt return TD all the way back but pulled up JUST in time to avoid a block in the back...super heads up play

hobbitcore said...

South Carolina defense stepping up huge to create turnovers

hobbitcore said...

I really need to figure out a way to get more than one TV in one of the rooms of my house...flipping between channels is exhausting (mentally)

hobbitcore said...

I can't remember the last time the Red River Shootout had less luster...Oklahoma is going to barely survive Cincinnati and Texas got blown off their home field by UCLA...as a matter of fact, I can't think of a single top ten team that has been legitimately impressive so far this year...Alabama and Ohio State are very good but inconsistent and not without weaknesses...Boise State might actually be the best team in the country...Oregon has been impressive but hasn't exactly played a team with a pulse...TCU looked pretty good against Oregon State but vulnerable against SMU...Nebraska is in kinda the same boat as Oregon...we might be headed for another 2007...and if we are then this is Boise State's lucky year

hobbitcore said...

I wish the Canes ran no-huddle like Auburn does

hobbitcore said...

Wow...BRUTAL sequence for Auburn right there...that is soul-crushing

hobbitcore said...

WOW...college football, you are a fickle beast...and I love you for it

hobbitcore said...

Where has Marcus Lattimore gone in the second half?

hobbitcore said...

Garcia is playing phenomenally tonight...never cracking under the pressure no matter how many times the Tigers answer back

hobbitcore said...

I know Garcia has fumbled the last two series but I really don't like the decision to pull him at this point in the game

hobbitcore said...

Like I said...good move pulling Garcia

hobbitcore said...

Like I said...bad move pulling Garcia

hobbitcore said...

I'd be surprised if Spurrier sent Nash back out there if the Gamecocks get the ball back here

hobbitcore said...

This is a bad call

hobbitcore said...

Like I said...good call...

hobbitcore said...

Like I said...bad call...