Archive for the ‘NCAA Football’ Category

Rich Rodriguez was shown the door by Michigan after three very un-Michigan seasons.  A win in the Gator Bowl might have saved his job but, sadly for him, it didn’t happen.  Instead, the 52-14 loss to Mississippi State highlighted the terrible, young Michigan defense.  The 52 points given up by the Wolverines were the most ever for a Michigan opponent in a bowl game and the 38 point loss margin was also their worse bowl defeat.  Rich Rod was already teetering after the 37-7 drubbing at the hands of Ohio State in the regular season finale and the Gator Bowl performance probably made the Michigan AD’s decision a lot easier.

You're not from around here are you?

Rodriguez went 15-22 in his three seasons at Michigan.  The Wolverines didn’t make it to a bowl game his first two seasons.  Rich Rod went 0-6 against their biggest rivals, Michigan State and Ohio State. Ryan Mallet transferred as soon as Rodriguez took over for Lloyd Carr because the spread offense wasn’t his style. Justin Boren transferred to Ohio State because Rich Rodriguez and his staff didn’t make the team feel like a family, like Carr did. The football team was placed on probation for the first time in its history under Rodriguez. Rich Rod only recruited one 5-star recruit during his tenure at Michigan.

Those all sound like good reasons to fire Rodriguez but the worst thing about Rich Rod, and the easiest reason for the AD, was that he’s wasn’t “a Michigan man”.  I don’t think people outside of Michigan realize how much being “a Michigan man” means to the sheep in Ann Arbor. I believe that if a Bo Schembechler or Lloyd Carr disciple were at the helm during this period, he’d still be around.  Speaking of Schembechler and being “a Michigan man”, remember the 1989 NCAA Tournament? Then coach, Bill Frieder decided to take the Arizona State job right before the tournament. Frieder was supposed to finish out the season and then join Sun Devils. Then AD, Bo Schembechler didn’t take too kindly to that and fired Frieder on the spot and installed assistant Steve Fisher.  Schembechler said, “a Michigan man is going to coach a Michigan team”, and the fans in Ann Arbor ate it up.  Being “a Michigan man” is huge to Wolverine fans, especially in football.

Schembechler: The Patron Saint of Ann Arbor

What will become of Michigan now? Denard Robinson has been coy when asked if he’d return after Rodriguez was fired? Will Michigan look for a coach that runs the spread offense Rich Rod brought in or will they look for a coach that brings back the glory of three yards and a cloud of dust that was a staple in the good ol’ days of Wolverine football? Robinson is made for the spread offense. He might not be a good fit in a drop back passing scheme. Some names being thrown around are Jim Harbaugh (Stanford), Les Miles (LSU) and Brady Hoke (San Diego State). Harbaugh is “a Michigan man” but the NFL is going after him. Why would Les Miles, another “Michigan man”, leave LSU to take over a mess of a program like Michigan? Miles was Michigan’s first choice before they hired Rich Rod.

Whoever they get, this defense isn’t getting any better in one year.  This team is years away from being back.  What kind of recruits can Brady Hoke pull that Rodriguez couldn’t? Tate Forcier could take over if Robinson decides to go so that’s not that big of a deal. Plus, let’s not get too excited about Denard Robinson. He’s got talent but he’s a slightly better version of Woodrow Dantzler from Clemson. Who worked with Dantzler at Clemson? Rich Rodriguez. Rich Rod will be back on his feet before Michigan is relevant again. I don’t know why Pitt hasn’t snapped him up already. Rodriguez can coach. He just had a bad run in Ann Arbor. Good luck in your future endeavors Rich Rod.

 

God, I hate Michigan football!

Great Day to be a Chiefs Fan in Jorts

1) This is the year of the 68 passer rating. In the rain, the Chiefs hold on to beat the Chargers in the opening kick-off of the new Arrowhead Stadium, (some of you may ask:  What’s a new Arrowhead? It’s a knife so watch your back, I will now referred to it as such so not to deceive people who want to go, I mean the stadium is in Missouri.) Not only did Matt Cassel have a passer rating of 68- it was also the number of yards he threw for. This definitely did not look like the Charlie Weis offense we saw last year with Clausen gunning it around at Notre Dame, but this time his team won.  Yet beware Chuck being too cautious could lead to an embarrassing exit in Kansas City.  Romeo thanks for beefing up the KC defense, missed tackles and blown assignments have been a fixture for the past two and half seasons. Oh wait, there was still a former Boise State receiver left wide open for an easy touchdown that made all of us sweat. But too Romee’s credit the Chiefs held strong against two fourth down situations deep in KC territory.

# 23 in this weeks Bearded Guy Poll

2) FCS teams are not to be trifled with.  After victories at Ole Miss and Virginia Tech, many athletic directors will be looking at their match up this week and hope they can survive  their ‘cupcake’ before entering into Conference play.  It’s quiet apparent that North Dakota State should be in the top 25 despite their loss to Northern Iowa, based simply on the round-a-bout logic of Kansas losing to them (6-3) then Kansas Beating 15 Georgia Tech (28-25) and coming in with a 1-0 record.

So here’s The Bearded Guy’s first Edition  Top 25

1-6) Ohio St-Alabama-Boise-Oklahoma-TCU-Nebraska

7-10) Some really good teams and Florida

11) Northern Iowa 1-0, Key Win: NDSU

12-21) Some good teams and LSU

22) The Denard Robinson’s and 20+ practice hours

23) NDSU 1-1, Key Win: Kansas  Admirable Defeats: 11 Northern Iowa

24) Virginia Tech, 0-2, com’on they have really cool uniforms so they get to stay

25) Kansas 1-1, Key Win: Last weeks 15 GT  Admirable Defeat: NDSU, I mean seriously losing to a ranked team by a field goal can’t hurt you!

Wasn't playing Youngstown St. in Week 2

3) Time to be serious: I observed that freshmen are still freshmen: when you put them on the road week two at number one, they might figuratively crap themselves (See Penn State at Alabama). The score reflects total domination, not the two turnovers in the first half in the red-zone that killed the lions, but not Joe Paterno.

Grinnell 2-0 and Monmouth 0-2

4) Apparently preseason Division III rankings do not mean all that much, go figure. As my Alma Mater, preseason 240, decided they would play spoiler on the road against an opponent with post-season aspirations. Not only that, it was the 1000th game in the programs history and would have made the Monmouth head coach the winning-est coach in the program’s history. This was salt in the wound for Alex Taney who was injured on the first pass play of the game, turns out the offensive line might have been a little suspect. I hope he’s able to make it back for basketball season and he can make the trip to Darby. I remember him referring to our student section so lovingly. If you don’t get the references its Grinnell vs. Monmouth. Shout out to the  Grinnell student body for giving the pioneers a heroes welcome upon the teams arrival home.  I don’t think the Pioneers, not the ones who didn’t make it to the Mississippi River, are satisfied just with these two games but it’s a great start for Jeff Pedersen’s squad.

Week 1-2 High School Team of the Week

5) Gardner Edgerton is my high school team of the week.  2-0 and coached by my former high school coach, Marvin Diener, they lost in the state final last year to a loaded Hutchinson (KS) team. I don’t see Diener and a top prospect Bubba Starling (Real name, I promise) letting that happen again.

In jest, yet serious

The Bearded Guy

LeBron James’ ill conceived “The Decison”  happened  on July 8th but the bad taste it left in everyone’s mouth is still here.  To be honest, I am not an LBJ fan and couldn’t care less where he decided to go unless it was to my beloved Clippers.  If that had happened, he would have automatically been my favorite player.  That didn’t happen but what did happen left most sports fans disillusioned with LeBron, ESPN and the state of sports in general.

The people of Cleveland beg to differ

I will tell you what I think about “The Decision” in a minute but if you want to get it from a pro please go to ESPN’s Ombudsman, Don Ohlmeyer, and read his magnificent piece on “The Decision”.  Ohlmeyer’s article is probably one of my favorite pieces of sports writing in a long, long time.  The only thing I would’ve added is that this wasn’t the first time ESPN blurred the line between being a news organization and self promotion.  The Adam James/Mike Leach saga last December showed that ESPN had trouble being truthful and objective when the story concerned one of their own.  Here’s Ohlmeyer’s take on that too.  Another good read.

But even before that there was ESPN’s promotion of baseball’s Home Run Derby between 1995 and 2006 and the Sosa-McGwire saga of 1998.  I have no problem with the Derby but I did have a problem with ESPN being outraged to learn that baseball players were on the juice.  I wrote a little about it here.  ESPN had specials on the Sosa-McGuire home run battle and they would even cut in on all Sosa and McGwire at bats late in the season but no one ever thought to question if these guys were clean.  Later, they felt betrayed by both Sosa and McGwire after the whole congressional hearings thing played out.  That’s an insult to all sports fans because we all had an idea it was happening but wondered why it wasn’t investigated more.  When Selig made his big announcement that MLB would be cleaning up the game of PED’s, the only people surprised to hear that players were on the juice were ESPN and MLB.  I could write a World Cup length piece on it but I’m on vacation and can’t be bothered right now.  I’ll wait until some big name star gets outed for using to write that.

Note to ESPN: A lot of people feel this way

Back to “The Decision”.  ESPN had to know that having an hour-long, prime-time show was overkill and wouldn’t go over well with anyone not living in South Beach.  If they didn’t, then they don’t know their audience and are out of touch with todays ever cynical sports fans.  Truthfully, I didn’t watch it but already hated the idea when I heard it.  I didn’t know all the details until I read the Ombudsman’s piece on it.  How did ESPN allow itself to be taken over by LeBron and his posse for one night?  What was the reward?  Sure they did mad numbers but at what cost?  They didn’t make any money because LeBron pretty much made them pay for the privilege of allowing him to be on their airwaves that night.  Plus, ESPN should’ve known that something was up when LeBron decided that he wanted the loathsome Jim Gray to conduct the interview of him on a show LeBron and Co. conceived.  My favorite quote from the Ohlmeyer piece has to do with Gray’s involvement.  Ohlmeyer writes, “if the interviewee also brings along his own interviewer, you cannot protect the integrity of the broadcast”.  Word!!!

Jim Gray? What, wasn't Stephen A. Smith available?

Not only was ESPN at fault but how did LeBron not realize what the backlash was going to be?  He went from a loveable man-child to probably one the most hated guys in the NBA.  He’s right up there with Kobe now.  I hate Kobe Bryant and now LeBron but I can’t deny these guys are talented as hell.  Oddly, I think Kobe benefits from this short-sightedness by LeBron.  I immediately wished Kobe was in the gym at the time of the broadcast and thinking to himself, “I’m gonna turn it up this year and there ain’t nothing 6-3-1 can do about it.”  Kobe somehow was more tolerable to me and another Lakers championship wouldn’t be as hard to swallow as a Miami Heat triumph.

Go ahead and win another title. As long as 6-3-1 doesn't I'm cool with it

LeBron James, for all his business acumen, seems like an insecure child sometimes.  He’s already defined his career and legacy as a failure is he doesn’t win a ring.  He needs that ring to be Michael Jordan or better.  The only thing is that Michael would never have gone to another team to get what he wanted.  Michael was going to make things happen on his terms.  People would have to join him and not the other way around.  Kobe is the same.  Magic and Larry Bird were also the same.  LeBron just wants to be part of something and if that gets him the ring, nothing else matters.  That’s why he’ll never be like Mike.

Jordan would've never joined The Bad Boys. It was his way or no way

Was it worth it LeBron?

Does Dwyane Wade realize that he’s gonna be LBJ’s lackey in Miami and not the other way around?

Be careful what you wish for Dwyane

I dont look like this person, but he has a beard

Warning: This is going to be a Rant. This is going to be the loudest thing I have written on this website.  Picture me screaming these words.

Missouri and Nebraska have both shown interest in expansion of the Big Ten (actually 11, referenced the rest of this article as Big 11).  They have to declare their future intentions and desires by Friday, a deadline created by the Big 12. If both teams decide to move against the conference then another big  domino could possibly fall. When the South minus Baylor plus Colorado might get an invitation to play in the late game, I mean the Pac-10.

First let me ask the a question:  The Big 11 wants to expand to 13 or 12? I think this is a huge question that is being overlooked.  So the Big 10 has been hiding the eleventh team long enough that they are thinking about expanding, maybe adding a championship game, etc. So why would they go after both Missouri and Nebraska? Ok, you caught the Big 11, they were playing the field dating around a bit and the dates started bragging, only to find out they are both being courted. Instead of being upset by this slut-manship by the Big 11, they are approaching it as kind of a Big Love situation and embracing each other as sister wives.  They are making people believe this is about two teams, but isn’t it really about 1? Why haven’t we heard more from the Big 11 commissioner? Why is this based on the courted and not who is making the final selection? Don’t they actually want Notre Dame?

Fact: I love question marks.

Theory: The Big 11 will either chose one of the teams or chose the team that remains after they make their decision on Friday only if its Nebraska, and will choose neither if its Notre Dame.

Break Down of the Ladies:

Nebraska

He has the power

Strength: Football and Volleyball

Natural Rivals: Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri

Big 12 Connection: Original member of the Big 8, built a Dynasty of smash mouth option football under Tom Osborne.

Big 11 Connection: Some suggest a rivalry between  the Huskers and the University of Michigan as both programs have storied pasts but they have seldom crossed paths.

Overall Rationale:  Nebraska fits the mold of the Big 11, built on tradition and the run game and loves thinking highly of itself. Nebraska fits the conference in mindset, but would loose a large part of it’s image in playing in the Western division of the Big 11 that would feature strong football programs like Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern. Although Wisconsin and Iowa have a little more tradition, its a very similar situation as being in the Big 12 North.

Missouri

Norm's Watching for sure

Strengths: Football, Basketball and Baseball*

*all generously listed as strengths.

Natural Rivals: Kansas, Kansas State, Illinois, Iowa State, Nebraska

Big 12 Connection: Member since 1907 the Tigers have had a long stand rivalry with Nebraska and Kansas with two of the longest run game streaks in the NCAA. The Boarder show down based on the Civil War with the football game played at neutral site to increase seating and revenue.

Big 11 Connection: Started a series with Illinois called the Bragging rights series (I guess every real name of the rivalry was taken). This dates back to 1980 and has run consistently since 1983. The football series although older (1896) has only played 21 games.

Overall Rationale: Missouri wants this. But if they are accepted its cause three other girls decided not to dance with the Big 11. With the expansion of the rivalry in recent years Missouri has tried to build name with the 11.  Missouri sees this as a chance to expand in both of the two major sports as the division would favor them for Basketball and Football.

So there’s the break down, and this leads to the new question. Since I am painting it as only one going, if only Missouri goes will Texas and Co. stick around? The Answer is yes, but the Marriage between the South and the Pac-10 is a whole other issue.

The Bearded Guy

Number 2-5

The NFL draft just concluded yesterday but all the talk has stemmed from Day 1 and the Broncos taking Tim Tebow in the first round with the 25th pick overall. It had the recently mute Blasian blowing up everywhere besides the blog he writes for. Let me remind readers of  his specialties, NASCAR and Basketball, but he is positive this is the worst pick EVER. On the other hand, I am not opposed to the pick instead I would have actually taken him at 1(22) and not have worried about trading all the picks to Baltimore, but the draft slot is worth it to jump a head of franchises who had been very serious about taking Tebow in Buffalo,  Seattle, Tampa or Cleveland. So Denver got a little antsy 1 (25) but besides that here’s what I like about him.

Proven Hard Working Guy and Willing to take any role:

Freshman year comes in as one of the most sought after players in the country to a second string role to Gator Nation chagrin, they were not huge on Chris Leak by then. But he provided hard nosed running and a few jump passes and Florida rolled to a title.

Took over a team and became the vocal leader and pressure:

Put into the starting role, he  statistically dominated his sophomore year with the cabinet cleaned of a lot of the talent that had won the title Tebow kept them a float in a middle year. Adding a Heisman trophy, finalist the next two years.

Applies the pressure:

Coming in as favorites to win it all Tebow and the Gators falter fairly early to Ole Miss in which  Tebow gives the speech declaring no one would  play as hard or lead like him… etc basically he was going to be beast among children.  Thus he public took responsibility for the team’s success and failure and continued to produce.

Student of the game:

I really was somebody ask Kentucky

Recognizing the Florida system does not easily convert to the NFL he went out of his way to work on his delivery and foot work. He impressed enough people with his raw abilities at the combine. Tebow with the desire to be a NFL quarterback at all costs has put it all on the table, he is not Eric Crouch (another Heisman winning quarterback from a different college system) who thought he would give the QBing thing a shot his way and hopefully someone would fit him. Tebow is reinvented. If this was basketball Tebow’s ceiling would be about a Duke journey man like Laettner but then again this isn’t basketball.

Can't Miss

Systems are far more advanced in football, and its been proven that  those willing to put in the time in the film room and working to develop a knowledge of other teams can be the most successful players in the game. I would like to recall the 1998 Draft of a couple of kids named: Peyton and Ryan. Both declared can’t miss guys, great college careers and honors, but Mr Leaf was more of the guy you saw at the club than in the film room, and he became known as one of the biggest busts in draft history. Peyton on the other hand was forced into the starting role early and took some lumps but eventually became the premiere quarterback in the league, basically calling the offense on his own. P.M. does have a great arm, but have you seen this guy move? He is slower than anything, but as a student of the game, he has made himself into the most frustrating players to defend against.  This is only possible in football, and this is the real reason I think Tebow has a shot.

Get one thing straight…I am not a Florida fan, I actually hated Tebow in college, and I will continue to hate him as he plays for Denver. But I also think he is going to hurt us (The Chiefs) in the near future. Bottom line: Nike signed him…..

Show to Watch: Breaking Bad, got to love a cancer stricken chemistry teacher go off the deep end and start cookin‘! Thanks you AMC, can’t wait to see Don Draper again soon.

who said Walt doesn't Party

Salute

-The Bearded Guy

Football said I wasn't listening enough or something like that, I dont remember I wasn't really paying attention.

I feel like we don’t know each other anymore.  We have been growing apart, although it’s not like I have not tried to stay together. We have both done spiteful things, but you especially Football. 

First, it started with my retirement from the game, not that I wouldn’t have continued to play, but I ran out of eligibility, and the demand for offensive linemen overseas is almost negative. But I made it up to you by going on a bowl trip across Texas catching 3 games in five days including a game between Michael Oher and Michael Crabtree. It was a shift, but a great transition in our relationship. It also came with the addition of my ability to bet on games without NCAA violations. 

The Michael Bowl

 

Following that, you gave me a great Super Bowl last year, besides you letting  Pittsburgh win their sixth title, but I could not hold it against you. I covered the spread and saw a great game. Things were going strong between us. I had a party with stadium seating and more food than our house could eat for the next week. 

Then I started missing the old us! Playing in games and such, I didn’t believe I would miss summer camp  in 80 percent humidity. But I did, and things started to go down hill from there.  I got a terrible job working on most Saturdays and missed several great games.  Especially a classic between Michigan and Notre Dame, a game I wish it was possible for both teams to lose. Not to mention what was continually happening in the pro ranks to my hometown Chiefs, a home loss to the Raiders. Really Football, how could you do that to me? 

Things took another turn for the worse when I moved to Korea. Football, you just stopped communicating with me! You were never on television and I would only get five-minute updates from you online. You changed all the times you were on, all of sudden I had to get up in the middle of the night to catch day games. Whats up with that football?  You said I changed, but look at you Football, coming on in the middle of the night! 

Yet, we were still working through things,  I started blogging my opinions on games, and making a few picks. But you could see the distance between us. Out of spite you made the Big 12 title game too close, and then hurt Colt McCoy in the first series of the BCS title  game, making it completely anti-climactic.  You have done some hurtful things Football! 

Football messing with everything!

Then came the playoffs, and you seemed to spite me at every corner. I couldn’t pick a game to save my life for two straight weeks.  I was a bookies dreams, and I think I would have had my knee stomped both times by someone looking like Joe Pesci

Finally you dropped the bomb on me, you made the Super Bowl on a Monday morning, not any Monday, but the first Monday I had to teach in 8 weeks.  I couldn’t even call in sick, since another teacher had told his co-teacher he was skipping work to watch the game!  Any plan was foiled.  At first, I thought I would ignore you and come back to you later in the day. Then I checked and the Colts were up 10, and I thought you were going to give me a blow out so I would not feel bad about missing the game.  Such was not the case,  you gave the world a second half for the ages with gutsy calls, and Hank Baskett references for years to come and I missed it all and have only seen the 8 minutes of highlights on NFL.com. Now that there isn’t even slow transition out of the year (no postseason pro bowl), I have to let you know how you have hurt me, but let’s try to mend some fences before August, maybe in late April perhaps? 

Regretfully yours 

The Bearded Guy 

PS. Football did you realize that basketball is trying to rob your cradle? Making your book “Hurricane Season” into a movie about basketball, while still using the same Mascot? You might have realized it because it went straight to DVD as a Blockbuster exclusive. Basketball’s cruel hearted too, just ask The Blasian. 

Weird, I thought Hurricane Season was about the Football Patriots and Joe McKnight?

Best Super Bowl Ad 

This post is slightly delayed. I was given a surprise week of vacation at school as my Winter camp was over and I was what they call “Desk sitting.” I don’t think students ever go to school in Korea. Anyways I was away from my computer, but I am back to talk about the anti-climatic ending of Jersey Shore and the weekend in sports, although it is technically still going on.

First off, how terrible was the ending of the shore?

It almost killed the series. There was no drama, no fighting, and a lot of Snookie looking for a date that was not to be found, which was the main emphasis.  Of course this was not a new theme for Snookie, even some of her homely hook-ups* from the past month were not vibing going on a real date with her on her final night at the Jersey Shore. It was pretty embarrassing, to see her throw her self at everyone including The Situation and come up empty. Which prompted her to respond in the reunion, about how she had on beer goggles some of the time and regretted her decisions.  Really? Seems like they did as well!

The highlight of the finale was the reunion! In which Ronnie “…cuts girls like barbers,” over some never before seen footage.  The show was filled with more awkward moments as the cast is stuck in limbo between fading to obscurity, while still being at the peak of what their lives will become.  Would you really hire any of these guys, besides at a screen printing shop on a boardwalk? The answer is yes, only Ronnie though, and only as a cage fighter in an untested MMA league. MTV needs to release a 2 hour long dvd of the fights of Jersey Shore with interview commentary, it would be a cash cow! Tell me you wouldn’t buy it or at least download the torrent.

Sadly I bid farewell to the show as it probably will not be returning for a second season, “Thats one punch kid” to pop culture.

In an interesting week, Kentucky held the number one spot for roughly a day before falling to Devan Downey. Obama must have really jinxed them, as he called in them to congratulate them on becoming number one. I appreciate Prez. Although, as I said before, I am not worried about Kentucky too much, as soon their season will be stricken from the record books, they will fall under 2000 wins and North Carolina and Kansas will beat them to the milestone. Got to love Calipari.

Because there is never anything to do on a lazy Saturday

On a side note, I have to say ‘Com on’ to K-State fans and their Sport Information Department. The Octagon of Doom is ridiculous. Of course,  ESPN had to run with it cause their is nothing else to talk about in the area, the stadium lacks character and history, so hopefully the fact that it has 8 sides will carry College Gameday had to be their thought process. Granted, the fans were loud, especially a certain male clarinet player, but when you have lost on your home floor to Kansas 25 of 26 times, who is the team that is suffering from being in the octagon of doom?

The Bearded Guy: What is K-State!

Trebek:  Correct, now moving on to your NFL lines…..

About my picks, technically I won both games last week. Picking against the spread, the Colts covered thanks to a nice second half, and so did the turnover ridden Vikings who seemed to have the ball the whole game but continued to give it to the Saints.  Still they covered the 3.5 for which I am thankful.

Great Season All Day

Great Season All-Day

In reality, I picked the Vikings to flat out win. So I was really 1 and 1. It might be time for some one in the media to call out Adrian Peterson. He has gotten a ‘pass’ long enough, two lost fumbles one at the five yard line to score right before half.  Why does not anyone talk about the clutch-ness of Running backs?

Super Bowl pick is still the same I will take the Colts.

Korean Sports:

Dudes Volleyball last night and….no cares.

Handball highlights, This ones for Brian!

This might be the only time anyone has said this,  FEAR CROTIA!

Korean Pop Culture:

The long awaited sequel is here! Attack the Gas Station 2. Spoiler alert: Dumb criminals get bored and rob the gas station again. Impersonating workers they pump peoples gas and keep the money! Apparently based on real events! Don’t miss it!

*Snookie technically only made out with the guys, nothing more. Not her choice!

Salute

The Bearded Guy