Sunday, September 28, 2008

Week 5 recap

This weekend was upsets galore. The team that proved the most this week had to have been Alabama going into the blacked out Sanford Stadium and hanging 31 in the first half over Georgia. Alabama rose all the way up to #2 in the Associated Press and many are now picking them to play for the national title. Don't speak too soon, Tide fans. The Florida Gators also went down losing to Ole Miss after giving up their first three turnovers of the season. Once again, an SEC team won on the road in a hostile environment.

The main upset this week was #1 USC. Once again, they go into Corvallis and once again lose to the Beavers of Oregon State. Maybe unfairly, but because of their soft schedule, USC may have left their national title chances at Reser Stadium on Thursday night.

Wisconsin found a way to lose at the Big House again. They were up 19-0 at halftime, managing mostly field goals in that game. Michigan may not be the same Michigan as in the past, but it is still tough to win Big Ten games with only field goals.

What has happened to East Carolina??? After beating Virginia Tech and walloping West Virginia, they lose in overtime to NC State and do not even show up against Houston. The media darlings, the fighting Skip Holtzes have quit fighting for some reason.

Clemson found a way to be Clemson again. Just when you think Clemson has righted the ship, they found a way to lose to a somewhat disappointed Maryland team. That is the second win in a row against a Top 25 team after losing to Middle Tennessee in the second week of the season.

Next week should be exciting as well. Preview coming Wednesday. Also, look forward to the VinSane bowl projections, coming after next week's games.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Week 5 preview

This week starts the meat of most conference schedules. The last week in September is indeed the most important week in September, some teams have succeeded expectations, such as Vanderbilt, Alabama, and BYU. Others, like Ohio State, West Virginia, and Clemson, have found a way to disappoint. Last week was a good week to be a couch potato, but this one will be a better weeks. These games of the week will go a long way to determine conference and national titles.

1) Alabama at Georgia- Alabama has not beaten Georgia since 1994. Most games involving these two have been classic. This one is sure to not disappoint either. UGA is going on a blackout for this game. I would love for the Tide to come out with the white helmets in this one. Expect Georgia to win a close one.

2) Illinois at Penn State- JoePa is proving this year that even though he may not be able to stand for a whole game, boy can he and his staff still coach em up. Ron Zook needs a second signature win. That will not happen this week.

3) TCU at Oklahoma- does TCU pull off the inevitable again? Last time they played OU in '05, they won in Norman. They also lost to SMU that year, but that was taken care of last week. TCU will keep it a game but Sooners in the end.

4) USC at Oregon State- 5 words: USC needs to win this. 2 words: they will.

5) Wisconsin at Michigan- This would right Michigan's season. However, Wisconsin still has a chance to be undefeated and win the Big Ten. Expect the Big Badgers to dominate Big Time in the Big House!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Week 4 recap

How could this have been a big weekend??? The #1 and #2 ranked teams did not play this weekend. What would I have missed if I decided not to look at a Tv or go to a game this weekend?? Well, here is what happened!!!!!

This was a huge, huge weekend.

Georgia did not disappoint as they crossed the Mississippi for a non-conference regular season game for the first time since 1960. Many thought they would get caught looking ahead just like their opponents in the Sun Devils did the week before. Not only did they bring their game west, but they also brought UGA VII over as well and gave him a 3-0 record as a mascot. All Arizona State did was prove for the second week in a row that they did not belong on the national stage and they better find an offensive line before Pac-10 play starts or they might not see a bowl game this year.

LSU vs Auburn actually had a little bit more offense that most as well as myself expected. LSU goes into a very tough Jordan-Hare and pulls out a victory. Many feel like LSU should be given a shot at the national title if they are undefeated. With that schedule they will play, I believe if they are 12-0 at season's end, they should jump USC, Oklahoma, and whomever might be undefeated in front of them and they should get to play in Miami in mid-January.

West Virginia is proving they don't belong. Boulder is a very tough place to play. Ask Oklahoma last year, but there is no way that game should have even been close. Look for them to have an average season and possibly play in a lower tier bowl. Pat White may end his college career where he ended his high school career, at Legion Field in Birmingham, AL.

Boise State and Ball State are trying to do what we know now that East Carolina will not do, bust the BCS. They joined the likes of BYU and Utah with huge wins this weekend over BCS league teams. Boise State dominated Oregon for the first 45 minutes at Autzen Stadium and held on at the end. Ball State was close against Indiana and blew it away in the last two quarters. Tulsa is also still undefeated with their blowout win over New Mexico. That game against Arkansas is looking more and more winnable every week.

Speaking of Arkansas, they could not hang with Nick Saban's men as Alabama calls off the Hogs in a defensive domination for the Tide. Defense has never been a problem with Bama teams. It looks now like they have an offense to help out.

Urban Meyer continues to prove that Tennessee is not important. Second straight year that the Gators dismantle the Vols, this time at Knoxville. I wonder how many hits that has received.

Vandy Vandy has shown their gold. After their win in Oxford over Ole Miss Saturday night which was not televised, the Vanderbilt Commodores are 4-0 and are now ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since 1984. Vandy is also 2-0 in SEC Play now. The rest of the seaosn will be tough, but Vandy will get to play Mississippi State, Kentucky, and Duke and well as potential upsets to try and get that first bowl game since 1982, maybe Birmingham playing Pat White????

Week 5 preview coming either Tuesday or Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Week 4 preview

Week 2 and 3 were pretty slow. Week 4 is when America gets to start seeing what teams are all about. This is the week where most conferences get their conference season started. The top 5 this week are very important to the national landscape. There are other very important games this week as well.

Top 5 games of the week:

1) LSU at Auburn- A battle of two top 10 SEC Tigers where both sides are saying, "Thank God for our defense." Last time these two tangled in Auburn, it looked very similar to Auburn's game last week with Auburn winning 7-3 in 2006. 2004 saw Auburn win 10-9. Don't expect much scoring this year on the Plains as both teams look to get a head start on the SEC West.

2) Wake Forest at Florida State- Battle of two top 25 ACC teams which will deem very important. Wake is now considered the class of the ACC, but FSU needs to win this in order to get back to where it was before. FSU will still be without many of its starters due to the suspensions handed down before the Music City Bowl last season. Expect Wake to run over the Noles while FSU throws past the Deacs. Whichever is done better will be victorious in this one.

3) Georgia at Arizona State- Someone forgot to tell ASU that there are 12 games in the season. This was to be the game of the week but the Sun Devils quit in the fourth quarter and got beat in OT by UNLV. Despite this, expect Dennis Erickson to keep this close for a little while but UGA in the end.

4) Florida at Tennessee- UT is out to prove that UCLA was a fluke. Florida wants to be undefeated going into the UGA game in Jville later in the year. Will the Gators be up for this??

5) Boise State at Oregon- Fresno could not keep it up, losing to Wisconsin last week. If Boise beats Oregon, Boise State will be the non-BCS darlings alongside East Carolina.

Other game of note:

West Virginia at Colorado- West Virginia has lost one already. I don't expect them to get a shot at the national title with one loss. If they want to prove they still belong despite the loss to ECU, they need to step up in primetime on Thursday night.

Others worth watching this weekend:

Notre Dame at Michigan State-first road game for the Irish.

Alabama at Arkansas- two losses in a row at Fayetteville for the Tide.

Troy at Ohio State- How does Tressel's boys respond to the beatdown at the Coliseum??

Rice at Texas- Only worth it if Rice wins. Expect it to be close for at least two quarters in this one.

Buffalo at Missouri- Second week in a row for a hail mary by Buffalo?

Vanderbilt at Mississippi- Vandy 3-0, Ole Miss should be 3-0. We'll see what happens!

TCU at SMU- last time TCU went into Gerald Ford stadium, that was their only loss of the season.

This Saturday will be a good day to sit in front of the TV if you are not headed to a game. I will be doing that as well as listening to XM Radio for games not televised.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Week 3 recap

Week 3 did not see many surprises when it came to who won the game. The surprises came, for the most part, on how teams won the game, whether it was a blowout when expect to be close or "closer than the experts predict". The conversation going into Saturday was about Ohio State vs. USC in what was dubbed "The Collision in the Coliseum". What came about was "The Drubbing in the Coliseum." USC proved that they deserved to be #1 while Ohio State proved that they did not deserve to play for the national title for the third straight year. Despite what people think, there were other games this weekend.

#2 Georgia is #2 no longer thanks to barely queaking by a team that lost to Vanderbilt the week before. Even though this year's Vandy is not your father's Vandy or your older brother's Vandy, there's a faction of people out there that think that losing to Vandy is like losing to Appalachian State. Georgia starts the year out #1. They are 3-0 and have dropped to #3 in the polls without losing.

#3 Oklahoma is now #2 thanks to beating a Washington team on the road that many feel were robbed the week before. Brigham Young showed that Washington was no fluke by blowing out an overrated UCLA team. Can these two keep it up during the season or will they find ways to lose to inferior opponents on the road like they have in the past????

Speaking of Vanderbilt, they are #26 in the latest AP Poll. That's right! If Vanderbilt goes to Oxford and beats an improving Ole Miss team, they will more than likely jump into the Top 25. Whodathunkit???

Down the road from Oxford, we saw a baseball match of sorts with what will more than likely be the lowest scoring game of the season. Neither Auburn nor Mississippi State wanted to win that game and the best of the worst pulled it out in that one.

Missouri is starting to make people believe that they belong in the national championship conversation while Kansas is once again proving to be overrated.

In the Pac-10, one team was caught looking ahead while the other took too long to adjust to the time change. Arizona State was leading UNLV late but the Runnin' Rebs came back to tie the game and take it to overtime. The Rebs then won the game when they blocked ASU's FG in OT.
California did not start scoring against Maryland until late in the 4th quarter but it proved to be too late. Maryland lost to Middle Tennessee the week before and Troy beat Middle Tennessee in the first week. Why isn't Troy ranked in the Top 25???

Middle Tennessee almost pulled off the Bluegrass Miracle Part Deux. MTSU had success against Vandy the last two times they played and almost equalled that success with Kentucky. MT came up a yard short on a tipped hail mary, once again in Lexington. Finally, something goes UK's way at the end of a game.

Charlie Weis goes on the injured list for the Irish.

Week 4 preview coming Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Week 3 preview

Week 2 did not have much of anything when it came to games. Week 2 for the most part was a "almost only counts in horseshoes" week including an almost in the Horseshoe. Week 3 figures to be a more exciting week and a week that many might decide to let the yardwork wait another Saturday. Others may try to do the yardwork in the morning, that way they can have the afternoons and evenings all to themselves either in the living room or the sports bar, with the spouse's approval of course.

Week 3 Top 5:

1) What a shocker. Ohio State at Southern California- a Keith Jackson-type game that will get even the most casual of college football fans going. Ohio State survived a Bobcat scare last week and now travels to the Coliseum. Chris Wells should be back running for the Buckeyes, while Sanchez is expected to throw it all over the place.

2) Wisconsin at Fresno State- a battle of 2 Top 25 teams that Fresno State finally gets to play at home. Wisconsin is taking a big chance by flying out to Cali, but this is not a no-win situation for the Badgers. If they win, expect the Big Ten competitor to climb at least two spots.

3) Oklahoma at Washington- after last weekend's robbery at home, the Huskies will once again host a ranked team. Does anyone remember two years ago when Oklahoma went to Oregon and lost a controversial game??? What did the Sooners AD say after that? To paraphrase, if Pac-10 officials are officiating that game, then the Sooners will not honor the game. Ask the Huskies how they feel about Pac-10 officials now.

4) Kansas at South Florida- USF squeaked by their state rivals last week. This is the first ranked non-conference team that Kansas has played since, well, no telling but it's been a long time. And they are travelling too. Amazing!!! What do the Jayhawks do in a situation they have not seen in many years??

5) Oregon at Purdue- The Boilers could really make a statement here by beating the Ducks. Oregon has aspirations of a Pac-10 title. They do not need to blow this one after getting off to a good start in 2008.

If you missed week 2, please do not miss week 3. Find a TV with picture-in-picture or head to your favorite place where there are multiple TVs. I will be running back and forth from one room to the other because I will not have that this weekend.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Week 2 recap

In Week 2, we saw one major upset, which by year's end may not be an upset. We also saw one minor but important upset and a bunch of close calls that easily could've turned seasons around.

Start with East Carolina putting a major beatdown on West Virginia. People were still not giving ECU a chance in this one even after the Pirates beat Virginia Tech. West Virginia would have had no trouble with the rest of their schedule until Auburn in mid-October. They may still have no trouble the rest of the way until Auburn, but West Virginia did not think Skip Holtz could get his boys ready twice in two weeks for top-20 matchups. Because Holtz did get his Pirates up for both, they now rest in the top 15 of most polls.

The minor but important upset started our week 2 off in fine fashion as Vandy beats Steve Spurrier and South Carolina for the second year in a row. This may be what Vanderbilt needs to catapult themselves into six wins and a bowl berth. Possibly in nearby Birmingham. South Carolina, on the other hand, had aspirations of an SEC East title and may now not even crack the Top 5 in the East.

The close calls will start with the call that may not have needed to be called. The BYU-Washington game ended after an unsportsmanlike penalty after a touchdown resulted in a long extra point. That point went on to be blocked and that was the game. If Washington comes back and wins this in overtime, this may give the Huskies momentum and carry them to a well needed bowl game to help Tyrone Willingham keep his job. Instead BYU stays alive for the BCS and Ty may be looking for his fourth head coaching job in a decade.

South Florida and Central Florida may have played for the last time in a while, maybe ever unless they are matched up in bowls. This could have possibly turned out to be a great rivalry and eventually pushed UCF into a BCS conference, possibly the Big East, in a number of years. As far as the season is concerned, if USF loses this one, they would have a tough time getting up for the rest of the season and pushing forward in Big East play. UCF would have gained a lot of confidence by winning this game and perhaps George O'Leary may have started talking to the Orlando Sentinel again.

In Winston-Salem, if not for a pass interference call, Ole Miss and Houston Nutt may be going into week 3 undefeated. Ole Miss is already considered a sleeper in the SEC West and fought hard in this game but just could not stop the Deacs at the end. If Wake Forest loses this game, there would be NO ACC teams ranked in the Top 25, so the ACC commish and the rest of Wake's conference brethren better be glad Wake pulled this one off. May the Big East rule become the ACC rule??

In Columbus, they are complaining about how Ohio State was dropped two spots after the win. They better be happy the game with USC this weekend is still a big game. Had the Ohio University returner not fumbled the ball near the out-of bounds line, we might be talked about #1 vs. unranked rather than #1 vs. #5. Well, maybe not that extreme but the highest they would have been is 20th.

Finally, in South Bend, if San Diego State doesn't fumble at the half yard line, Notre Dame may not be looking so hot headed into Michigan. Now they are a favorite to beat Michigan. Explain that one to me please. A team that should've lost to a team that lost to Cal Poly San Lius Opispo (pronounce that if you can) is favored against Michigan?? Well, stranger things have happened.

Wekk 3 preview coming on Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The VinSane Week 2 preview

This is the first installment of the VinSane weekly preview. I did a season preview last week, but probably should've done a weekly preview also. I will definitely have a little bit on at least 5 national games of the week and then mention other games of note! Let's do the preview.

Thanks to the events of Week 1, upsets included, the game of the week becomes:

West Virginia at East Carolina- WVU had an easy time with the 'Nova and now plays a team that just upset its former conference brethren in Charlotte. This game will be played at ECU so that gives ECU a better chance. WVU will win the game but it will not be by much.

South Carolina at Vanderbilt- Steve Spurrier starts Chris Smelley against the Dores but Vandy has a lot of confidence going into this game after blowing out Miami(OH). Winner of this game looks pretty good early in the SEC season and this may be the upset Vandy needs if they want to play for a bowl for the first time since 1982.

Miami(FL) at Florida - The last win for the Gators in this series was 1985, but looks to be the better team and have the better athletes in this one. Miami(FL), like the Gators, are coming off an easy victory in the first week, but will have had two extra days to rest by the time this kicks off on Saturday night.

Cincinnati at Oklahoma- Both teams breezed through the first week but Oklahoma has a history of losing to teams that they shouldn't lose to early, remember TCU (at home) '05 and Colorado '07.

Stanford at Arizona State- There is talk of Pac-10 title in Tempe, AZ. There is talk of bowl game plus in Palo Alto after the upset over Oregon State. Can Stanford make it 2-0 in Pac-10 play. That would be a good start!!

Other games of note:

Tulane at Alabama- Tulane practices in Birmingham all week for the first game of the season for the Green Wave. The Crimson Tide is high after beating down the Clemson Tigers. America may be sentimentally pulling for Tulane in this one, but don't expect much from the Wave without their star, Forte.

Ole Miss at Wake Forest- The Deacs, with Clemson losing last week, are now expected to win the ACC. They handled the hype against Baylor in the week. Can they continue against Houston Reb??

Central Michigan at Georgia- How does Georgia respond after losing the #1 ranking without losing a game??

Southern Miss at Auburn- Second game of the year, what happened to Auburn last year?? Lost to South Florida. So Miss and new head coach Fedora will be looking to pull off the major upset. Auburn will be looking to finally getting the spread moving.

Ohio at Ohio State- Will Ohio State get caught looking ahead to USC by the fighting Solich's??? I think not!!!!!

Miami(OH) at Michigan- Does Michigan lose first two home games of the season two years in a row?? Does Michigan lose Coach Rod's first two games?? We'll see!!

Northwestern at Duke- Someone will start out 2-0. Will it be Fitzgerald or Cutcliffe?? This was Duke's only win last year.

Minnesota at Bowling Green- BGSU shocked some by beating Pitt last week. No shock this week when they beat the Gophers.

Texas Tech at Nevada- Red Raiders' biggest test before the Big 12 season.

Louisiana Tech at Kansas- Does La Tech pull off an upset two weeks in a row??? Derek Dooley starting to take a little bit after his dad.

Georgia Tech at Boston College- first Big ACC game and both got by fairly easily in the first game

BYU at Washington- If BYU goes to the BCS, they need to win this one.

There's others, but this should be an exciting week 2.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The VinSane Week 1 wrapup

In Week 1, we learned a little bit about what will happen in college football in 2008, but did not have anyone "shock the world" the way that 2007 started. The preseason top 10 took care of business in the first week with the exception of Clemson. Much of America, especially the Southeast, is ready to put the team that beat them, Alabama, in their place in the Top Ten. As Nick Saban said, "It is just one game." If they play every game like they played that "one game", they might have a chance to shock the world as the season goes along.

Other teams that lost that should not have been a surprise include the likes of Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, Michigan, and Rutgers. America's favorite mustached sweetheart, Dave Wannstedt, is once again trying to tell the one's who annoint him that he does not belong in a head coaching position.

At A&M, Mike Sherman is taking his first as a head coach at any college. He found out that college is very similar to the pros. You have to be ready to play every single week, no matter who the opponent may be. While at Green Bay, he found himself losing to the Detroit Lions every once in a while, and Arkansas State played the role of the Lions.

Michigan, of all teams, should have been ready to play. Utah could be playing in the BCS and the Utes jumped this hurdle with perhaps only one more hurdle to go against Brigham Young. They do not need to get tripped up on the straightaway before the final hurdle.

As bad as Rutgers played, they probably should've lost 44-7. Fresno State is yet another team that could crash that big BCS party.

Week 2 presents a brand new number one team and very few intriguing matchups. It's still a week where teams do not need to be caught looking ahead. Other teams, such as Clemson and Virginia Tech, will try to fix what is broke.

The VinSane Week 2 preview coming up tomorrow.