December 15, 2008

The 2008 Goat Awards

You have to love this time of the season. All the individual award winners have been announced. The Heisman. The Outland. The Nagurski. The Lombardi. The mystery is over and everybody is given a big fat smiley face because love is all around.

But we always forget that there's the other side of the coin. I'm talking about the teams, players and coaches who did not come through in the clutch. In other words, who are the biggest goats of the season? The plays that, had they been made would have changed the complex of the season.

(This play never should have happened, except for the Goat Award winners that allowed it)

Here's our top five for the Goat Awards for this season.

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December 07, 2008

11 Lessons Learned from Week 15

Yep, the regular season has been great, riveting and surprising at every turn. Now it has come to an end. So let the satisfying regular season end and let the aggravating post-season begin.

(Amongst a sea of hands, Sam Bradford is all smiles, knowing he just obliterated Missouri and screwed rival Texas out of a more-deserved chance at the BCS title game. Again, if you were a Sooner, wouldn't you be happy about all that too?)

Here's the lessons we learned from this past weekend.

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December 01, 2008

11 Lessons Learned from Week 14

Polls. Computers. Politicking. Facebooking. Banner-pulling. Placard-holding.

Why do I feel like if I bore into the Earth's core in this college football world I'd find Alfred E. Newman at the controls. What, me worry?

(Sam Bradford and Oklahoma sent the college football world topsy-turvy with their win at Oklahoma State this weekend, catapulting the Sooners to No. 2 in the BCS rankings)

Look, if the Barack Obama Invitational were put in place this year, we'd have none of this Hatfield & (Colt) McCoy feuding over who deserves to go where at all.

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November 30, 2008

Notre Dame's Regression Hits A New Low

Even at his most optimistic, Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis can't have imagined it to be this bad. Since moving on from Franklin Township High School in New Jersey 19 years ago, he's been considered one of football's greatest offensive minds.

(This is the kind of season it's been for Charlie Weis and Jimmy Clausen)

But Saturday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum, things hit rock bottom in a loss to USC.

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November 23, 2008

11 Lessons Learned from Week 13

Sam Bradford called it "the most fun he's ever had playing in a football game."

Brian Kelly said it was "the biggest win in Cincinnati school history."

Mike Leach said, "Judging by how they handled us and the fact that we beat Texas, I'd say Oklahoma deserves to be rated higher."

Joe Paterno said, "I'm planning on coming back, yeah. I never planned otherwise."

Joe Tiller said, "This win won't change my mind, I'm done with coaching."

Greg Robinson called Syracuse's win at Notre Dame "truly a great day for our program."

And Barack Obama said he "doesn't know a single fan who disagrees with him that there should be a playoff in college football."

Yes people, this was a statement week in college football. And now, as we head into Thanksgiving week, we're down to just two more weekends of action. And though it doesn’t always hold true when it comes to politicking for the BCS, action is always supposed to speak louder than words.

(The refs are howling at football players that don't hear them. Texas Tech and Oklahoma players get into a skirmish before the kickoff of their game in Norman.)

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November 17, 2008

11 Lessons Learned from Week 12


This week in college football had all the excitement of the tour of a box factory.

Just about everything went as planned. Nobody in the Top 10 lost. In fact, those teams won by an average of 30 points. Nothing Earthshaking anywhere else on the college football landscape. Okay, maybe LSU's 28-point comeback against Troy, sure. But if you look at the final score of 40-31, you just shrug your shoulders.

Don't worry. While we motor on to next week hoping for something of substance, there were still some lessons to be learned from this bland college football weekend. Tell you what, let's cue the hyperactive rave music that they use on Access Hollywood and get to the lessons. It'll give this Saturday wrap-up a totally new dynamic, I swear.

(If Tim Tebow and Company keep playing as well as they have the last few weeks, Florida will be in the driver's seat for the BCS title game. Meanwhile, he's probably telling CBS's Tracy Wolfson, "You buy a hat like that and you get a bowl of soup with it.")

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November 14, 2008

When College Football Lost Its Cool

by Eric Sorenson

In this fad-a-minute world, everything will eventually lose its "coolness" edge. Dylan went electric. Starsky and Hutch became a spoof. Miami Vice transitioned into a fashion punchline.

Sadly, even college football has its own level of lost cool as well.

(Barry Sanders had an incredible senior year in 1988, rushing for nearly 3,000 yards if you include his bowl game romp against Wyoming. Though no one will get close to breaking his single season mark, the 1,000 yard club is easier than ever for a running back to attain.)

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November 09, 2008

11 Lessons Learned from Week 11

There's no doubt that the best place to be on a college football Saturday has to be Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. Especially at night. The noise. The deep passion. The record crowds. The secret flasks of whiskey. That's how I spent my Saturday as I sat with 93,038 other SEC fans plastered in purple, gold, crimson and cream.

(A stadium record crowd of 93,039 was keyed up and foul-mouthed for Nick Saban's return to Baton Rouge. But the No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide made three or four key plays to win 27-21 in OT.)

Like the rest of the football nation, I watched with keen interest as Nick Saban made his return to the place he won a national title just five years ago.

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November 02, 2008

11 Lessons Learned from Week 10

(One of the best moments of the college football season. Cincinnati's Marshwan Gilyard flew into the crowd trying to catch a touchdown pass and went trucking over this poor little kid. Gilyard immediately helped the boy to his feet and gave him a hug before returning to the field.)

Wow. Just, wow.

The twists and turns of this college football season are becoming so... so, 2007ish. Texas Tech beats in-state big brother Texas, knocking the Longhorns from the No. 1 perch. Florida obliterates Georgia, knocking the Bulldogs from the national title chase. Penn State sits at home and gets leaped by other teams in the rankings.

If this first weekend of this month is any indication, we're in for one wild ride people. November spawned a monster. Again.

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October 27, 2008

11 Lessons Learned from Week 9

It was kind of an ugly weekend. Not hideous, but let's say ugly like the Wendy's hamburger girl ugly. Scoreboards took a lot shots and needed a lot of replacement bulbs.

(The Big Uglies have a lot to cheer about here as win No. 381 for JoePa U. was one of his biggest. Penn State took a huge step toward the national title game with its 13-6 win at Ohio State.)

Competitively, take away the slight scare of Texas by Oklahoma State and a little bit of intrigue in the Ohio State-Penn State game and this was a bore of a weekend. Oh sure, there were a few upsets near the bottom of the Top 25, but the Top 10 had all the mystery of a Harlem Globetrotter game.

Let's get to the lessons we learned from Week nine.

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October 20, 2008

11 Lessons Learned from Week 8

I would make an opening comment about college football before we get to the lessons we learned from this weekend, but I'm being blinded by this giant burnt orange steer that seems to be crowding all the limelight.

(Party At Ground Zero! Good to see the members of the band Fishbone enjoy going to Clemson games.)

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October 12, 2008

11 Lessons Learned from Week 7

While the emotions of college football are getting more and more Springer-like, let's get our pens and paper out for the 11 lessons we received from the roller coaster world of college football this weekend.

(It's obviously Colt McCoy's world and we are merely taking up all the end zone seats and yelling "Woo!" at him.)

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October 06, 2008

11 Lessons Learned from Week 6

We're already into the second month of college football for 2008. My, that first third of the season went quickly. Here's what we learned from this weekend's action.

(You think the media wants to know how Mark Sanchez's knee is doing? Here he is under a crush of media after the Oregon game. USC's easy win was part of the reason this weekend was a rather boring one for college football.)

Lesson 1-

This was a pretty pedestrian Saturday in college football. Other than Vanderbilt's win over Auburn, it was mostly quiet scoreboard watching.

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September 30, 2008

11 Lessons Learned from Week 5

Uh-oh, here we go again. Nine. Nine ranked teams took it on the chin in college football this weekend. Six of those losses were levied by unranked opponents too. If today was any indication, that pesky, seemingly over-used phrase - parity - may just be rearing its ugly head again this year. Hell, it may be rearing its ugly shoulders, torso, arms and legs as well.

(See, he can smile. Well, sort of. This is actually as close as it gets for a grin from Alabama coach Nick Saban after his team pasted the Dogs between the hedges in Athens.)

Here are the 11 things we learned from another sanitarium-like weekend of college football.

Lesson 1-
Nobody's national championship hopes have gone down the drain.

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September 23, 2008

The Most Memorable College Football Moments At Yankee Stadium

Unless you've been living under a rock you know that Sunday's Orioles-Yankees game is the last baseball game that will be played in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The old lady on 161st Street and River Avenue has a date with the wrecking ball, making way for a new Yankee Stadium that'll bring the the pinstripes into a new home and a new era.

But what you may not know is that this place used to live under a Rockne. Well, under a Knute Rockne that is.

(The great actor Pat O'Brien as Knute Rockne, giving his "Win one for the Gipper" speech to the Notre Dame team in the movie "Knute Rockne All American")

Yes, this old stadium used to be a staple for college football as well. In fact, the annual Army-Notre Dame tussle was held there between 1925 and 1947. Also, nearby schools Fordham and New York University, long time powers prior to WWII, used the stadium as a regular venue as well.

With the passing of the graceful old lady, here's a look at some of the top moments in college football that took place in Yankee Stadium.

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11 Lessons Learned from Week 4

The SEC had five teams in the Top 10 going into the weekend, and we found out it's well-deserved. As Les Miles said, "It's another weekend in the SEC... come from behind and fight like hell."

We could spend all 11 lessons on the SEC. But in the name of fairness, we'll touch on other insignificant conferences as well.

(When he's not doing color commentary for Thursday or Friday night ESPN games, Rod Gilmore is attending his son's games at Occidental College, which is right near Dodger Stadium. I was at the Saturday night game on the same campus where they filmed the original "90210" to see Oxy host my good friends' Menlo College team in a battle of Division III teams when I saw Mr. Gilmore in the crowd texting friends from his concrete seat.)

Now, back to the Division I games, here are the 11 lessons we learned from college football this weekend.

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September 15, 2008

11 Lessons Learned from Week 3

It's official, USC is the best of the least in the West. Now you see why there will be no reason for the ESPN GameDay crew to go past the great plains again this season, because other than the Trojans, football in the West is awful so far.

(Sadly, the only thing that hasn't been up to par so far for the Trojans has been this year's crop of USC Song Girls. I've seen better.)

Read all about it in tonight's 11 Lessons Learned from this college football weekend.

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September 08, 2008

11 Lessons Learned from Week 2

Here are the 11 things we learned from the second Saturday of the college football season.

(We found out why Pirate eyes are smiling, following their second straight win over a nationally-ranked opponent.)

Lesson No. 1-
The non-BCS teams are still highly discriminated against.

Exhibit A: East Carolina.

After today's win over West Virginia, the Pirates are 2-0 with wins over a pair of ranked opponents and their defense is on lock-down mode, holding Pat White to just three points. But guess how close they'll get to a No. 1 ranking when the polls come out? Not a snowball's chance in Hades, people.

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September 02, 2008

11 Lessons Learned from Week 1

(Jim Tressel is one of many coaches with key injuries on his mind)

Here are the 11 things that were discovered on this opening Saturday of the college football season.

Lesson #1:
Five straight days of college football is just so cool.

From Thursday night to tonight and on to Monday night, we are in the middle of college football nirvana without any break at all. Nice. Wish all weekends could be like this. Oh and the bonus to it all? There is no NFL stuff in there to mess up all of our scholastic fun. Can't wait to see what Sunday (Louisville-Kentucky) and Monday (Fresno State-Rutgers and Tennessee-UCLA) have in store for us.

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August 25, 2008

50 Things That Will Happen In College Football In 2008

Every college football season comes with numerous certainties that we can all count on. So I've decided to take the first 50 things that I'm sure will happen and lay them out for you here. Feel free to disagree with any of these, I'm so sure I'm right that I'll shave my head if I miss out on any of these 50 predictions for 2008.

So here you go. Here's what will happen:

1- There won't be a 2-loss national champion this year.
Like a Bigfoot sighting (or another hoax), it's hard to believe that last year really happened. As you recall, it took some outlandish, even unthinkable circumstances for LSU to fall into the No. 1 slot. Sure there's parity, but don't expect this to become the norm.

(Ricky Jean-Francois and the Tigers will need to do better than last year to repeat as national champions.)

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August 12, 2008

2008: Grading the non-conference schedules


We've created a vicious cycle in college football. Sure we all love the fact that just about every game is on TV nowadays. And because coaches and athletic directors want their teams to look good on TV, so they schedule a lot of limp fish opponents. Because wins beget bowl games. Bowl games begets job security. Job security begets more money. Thus, more money is insured by wins. You spin me right round baby right round, like a record.

No longer do college football teams across the country take chances. Or, well, rarely do they. Have you noticed how boring Septembers have become, except for the occasional Appy State upset of Michigan or Ohio State showdown with Texas?

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