Wednesday, December 30, 2009
As we come to the conclusion of 2009, it's time to look back in a bit of reflection. That's why we are naming our favorite girls of 2009 who have graced Walker Sports and our Daily Erin Andrews section. Needless to say you'll see all your favorites here, Erin Andrews, her sister Kendra, a few of Tiger Woods's mistresses (let's be honest we cannot fit them all) and a few extras.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
It's the Granddaddy of them all. The Rose Bowl, Big 10 and Pac 10, the massive parade, everything you could ever want in a football game, except for the excitement, at least for the past few years that has been the case. USC has won the last three Rose Bowls and to say they did it in convincing fashion would be an understatement. Enter Ohio State and Oregon. Two fresh faces and both teams have plenty to prove.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have overcome plenty this season. The last time they played a Pac 10 team it looked like the Buckeyes were outmatched and were in no position to contend for a Big 10 title, or even think about reaching the Rose Bowl. It's amazing what a few weeks can do, along with a few key losses for conference foes.
At times the Buckeyes have been an impressive team that appears to ready to turn the corner and become a true national contender. In order for Ohio State to do that they must have exception games from quarterback Tyrelle Pryor. He is the key to the Buckeyes offense. However, if the Buckeyes want to be successful they need Pryor to do more than simple play an effective game as a quarterback. He must be dynamic. For the bulk of his career in Columbus Pryor has tried to convert himself into a pocket passer, but the Ohio State offense is at its best when their quarterback is a duel threat with both his arm and his legs.
It's hard to believe that Ohio State has not been to a Rose Bowl since 1996, but they have played in 5 consecutive BCS games, and frankly have little to show for their experiences.
The Oregon Ducks have been on a seemingly magical journey this season. They began the season and were embarrassed by Boise State. Then things really got back when LaGarrette Blount punched a Boise State player during a post game altercation. After that the Ducks went underground for a few weeks. What happened during that period is Chip Kelly's teams gathered one of the deepest and best rushing attacks in college football. By the time Blount returned to the lineup redshirt freshmen LaMichael James had stepped in and gave the Ducks a new dimension with his explosive running style. Now Oregon has a thunder and lightning combo in their backfield. To make matters even more interesting, Oregon also has Jeremiah Masoli who has accounted for over 600 yards on the ground himself as a quarterback.
This game features Oregon's 6th ranked rushing offense against Ohio States 5th ranked defense, you have to love it when things come together like this. The spread is sitting at 3.5 points and favors Oregon. The key will be can the undersized Oregon defense stop what has been an inconsistent Ohio State offense.
Winner: I love my Ducks Take Oregon to win the game and cover the 3.5
We've talked a lot of football over the past few days, and there have been some great bowl games to watch (by great we mean horrible blowouts) but now its time for the big boys. That's right the BCS Bowl games are here. First up for us here at Walker Sports, the All State Sugar Bowl with the Florida Gators and the Cincinnati Bearcats.
The Cincinnati Bearcats were one of the most exciting teams to watch this season. Tony Pike was in the front running for the Heisman before his wrist injury, and the Bearcats had weapons to burn on offense. Pittsburgh found that out the hard way when they squandered a 21 point lead to Cincinnati in what was effectively the Big East Championship game. Since that game not much has gone well for the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Notre Dame came a calling, and Brian Kelly found himself packing up and heading north. Then came the coaching search that left coordinator Jeff Quinn to coach the Bearcats, but after being spurned for the head coaching job, Quinn has found greener pastures and Cincinnati has three lame duck coaches. Butch Jones is the new head man, but he is not in town just yet.
In a nutshell the Cincinnati Bearcats have gone from college football elite to disaster. The players are angry and feel betrayed. While they want to prove they are capable of playing without Kelly, the Bearcats have no one to help them guide or channel all that frustration. Perhaps now more than ever the leadership of Tony Pike is needed.
Another problem the Bearcats are facing is one of the worst defenses in the country. Cincinnati gives up points in bunches. That may work against the low scoring teams in the Big East, but when you're facing Florida, spotting them 30 points could be a very bad idea.
Tim Tebow was ready to ride off into the sunset as one of the all time greats in college football history. While Tebow will still go down as one of the all time greats, he will not get a shot at a third national title. The Gators were destroyed when they faced a revenge filled Alabama team. We have all seen what Florida is capable off when coming off a lost. The time time they lost a game, the Gators went on a 8 game win streak and won a national title. However, what was most impressive was the way they destroyed teams on their way to the national title. Tim Tebow put on one of the all time great examples of leadership.
The Gators have all their focus on New Orleans and Cincinnati. Urban Meyer's put a an end to all Notre Dame rumors very early and focused all their energy to winning the Sugar Bowl. Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow see this as a legacy game. Both men want to put an emphatic stamp on the past four years.
The spread is sitting at -12 and favoring Florida. While this is a lot of points for two top 10 teams, the turmoil surrounding Cincinnati cannot be ignored, or overcome. Adding fuel to the fire is the recent announcement that Florida head coach Urban Meyer will retire after the game. That means Meyer and Tebow are leaving U-of-F at the same time, no way they close out on a down note.
Winner: Florida comes through with a big win and covers the spread.
Monday, December 28, 2009
New Year's day means hangovers and football, both of which can be fun if done correctly.
Outback Bowl-Northwestern vs. Auburn: It has been a 12 year wait but the Northwestern Wildcats are back in a bowl game for this first time since 1997. The Wildcats are one of the hottest teams in country right now, winning six of their final eight games, including a three game winning streak to complete the the season. Northwestern will need to remain hot if they want to change recent history. Northwestern has not won a bowl game in 60 years, and knocking off Auburn will not be easy.
Auburn has been a surprising team to watch this season. They experienced no drop off in play in adjusting to their no head coach. Even their 7-5 record is a bit misleading. Three of their loses came by seven points or fewer. This game to signify the end of an era as many of Auburn's best players will be moving on due to graduation. You can believe they will give this game their all in an attempt to go out on a high note.
The spread for this game is sitting at 7 points and favoring Auburn. While I love what is taking place up at Northwestern, it is still hard to picture the Wildcats as a New Year's day bowl team. Auburn is a very good team and they will be ready for whatever the Wildcats throw at them.
Winner: Auburn wins the game and covers the 7 points.
Gator Bowl-West Virginia vs. Florida State: Frankly I don't even care what West Virginia does, or who they decide to suit up. The 2010 Gator Bowl is all about Florida State and more importantly one of the all time greats in college football, Bobby Bowden. It was announced earlier this month that Bowden would coach his last game as Florida States head coach in the Gator Bowl. In many ways the unthinkable is about to happen. The 2009 season started with a lot of promise for the 'Noles but much like the past few years, things simply fell apart for Florida State. They failed to do anything impressive on the field and finished the season with a 6-6 record. They should not be playing in the Gator Bowl, but because of the special circumstances, the Gator Bowl committee and the ACC made an exception to the rule.
The spread is sitting at 3 points and is favoring West Virginia by 3 points. I'm saying throw that out the door. Everyone in Seminole nation is making the trip to Jacksonville to see Bobby Bowden off. The Seminoles will be fired up, and ready to prove a point. You can rest assured that Bobby Bowden does not want his lasting image to be a thumping at the hands of the Florida Gators.
Winner: Florida State comes through and wins one for Bowden sending him out on the right note.
Capital One Bowl-Penn State vs. LSU: The biggest non-BCS game without a doubt. Both teams are ranked in the top 15 and both teams have plenty left in the tank and want to prove a point. Many thought Penn State would win the Big 10 and perhaps challenge for the National Title, but home loses in conference to Ohio State and Iowa knocked the Nittany Lions down to the Capital One Bowl. The it factor for this game will be Penn State Daryll Clark. He is the Big 10 co-MVP and he can transform a game with his arm or his legs if he needs to.
Typically Les Miles and the Tigers are guided by their defense but that has not been the case this season. What was once a feared team now has holes in their game plan. Most recently the Tigers blew a 17-6 halftime lead against Arkansas and required some last minute heroics to secure the win. On the offensive side of the ball LSU is suffering from serious injuries in their backfield. RB's Charles Scott, Keiland Williams, and Richard Murphy are all out with injuries. This could spell serious trouble for the Tigers as they struggle to jump start their offense, against a very good Penn State team.
The spread for this game was favoring Penn State by 3 points but because of injuries many books have pulled the game. The injuries only help Penn State.
Winner: Penn State wins the game, and covers whatever spread you can find.
New Year's Eve means lots of drinking and fun times, but it also means some great college football. Of course we are all over these predictions, and this is no difference.
Armed Forces Bowl- Air Force vs. Houston: Get your popcorn ready for this one. This may be the match up that puts the Armed Forces Bowl on the map and for good reason. The nations best passing offense taking on the best passing defense in the land, as I always say, styles make fights.
Houston is looking for a repeat of last years Armed Forces Bowl where they knocked off Air Force 34-28. This year the Cougars boast one of the most explosive passing attacks I've ever seen. Quarterback Case Keenum is averaging 450 yards passing a game. Last year Keenum was able to knife through the Air Force defense, and guided the Cougars to a 1-1 record against Air Force. One thing is for sure, if Air Force does not put pressure on Keenum and make him move and miss targets they will be in for a long day. Even if they bring the heat against Houston, Case Keenum will continue to toss the ball down field and look for opportunities.
Air Force has rebuilt their defense from a year ago. They moved from 50th in the country in pass defense to first. Troy Calhoun's bunch will be put to the test in the Armed Forces Bowl. On the offensive side of the ball Air Force is no slouch itself. Their option attack chews up chunks of yards at a time is good enough to place Air Force 3rd in the nation in rushing yards per game with 273 yards ppg. If Air Force really wants to stop Case Keenum and company that dominating rushing attack may be their best weapon. Houston cannot score if they do not have the ball in hand.
The spread on this game favors Houston by 4 points which is a very good spread. I won't lie this game is very difficult to call, and truth be told I would stay away from it when placing bets. That being said, we don't do that here, so I have to pick a winner.
Winner: Houston's offense is too good and wins the game and covers the spread.
Sun Bowl-Stanford vs. Oklahoma: It's not very often that you see Oklahoma playing in a bowl game before New Year's but from time to time, the Sooners end up in this situation. Obviously everyone knows of the struggles Bob Stoop's team experienced this season thanks to the injuries Sam Bradford sustained early in the season. While the Sooners offense has struggled this season, their defense is one of the best in the country ranking 7th in overall defense. Oklahoma held Oklahoma State to just 65 yards on the ground when they met earlier this season. The Sooners will need to flex their muscle on defense if they want to keep Stanford's Toby Gerhart in check. Also at stake in this game is head coach Bob Stoop's reputation. Stoops has lost three straight bowl games since their last victory over Oregon in the Holiday Bowl.
The Stanford Cardinals are coming off of one of their best campaigns in school history. Their 8-4 record marks their first winning season since 2001. The secret to Stanford's success is Toby Gerhart, the senior back led the country in rushing this season (1,736 yrds) and touchdowns (26 tds). For his efforts, Gerhart nearly won the Heisman, and you can rest assured he has more left in the tank. Thanks to Toby Gerhart's efforts, head coach Jim Harbaugh was able to sign a contract extension for the next three years. Perhaps the wild card in this whole situation is quarterback Andrew Luck. For as good as Gerhart is as a back, Luck has proven himself as one of the great freshmen QB's. He will have to make plays with his arm in order to keep the Sooners defense honest, and help open up lanes for Gerhart.
The spread is sitting at 8 points and favoring Oklahoma. This is kind of surprising considering that Oklahoma enters the game unranked. A big part of this line is due to the reputation Oklahoma has.
Winner: Stanford covers the spread, but Oklahoma wins the game.
Texas Bowl: Navy vs. Missouri: The Missouri Tigers have had an up and down season. They came out the gate 4-0 but then dropped three consecutive games to Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Texas, the Big 12 will do that to a team. Despite that, Missouri bounced back and find themselves in the state of Texas for a bowl game yet again. The Tigers averaged 285 yards ppg in the air which is impressive considering they had to replace Chase Daniels this season. When the Tigers are winning they are scoring points, they average 36 points a game when they won four of their final five games. If they can get the passing game rolling, they have the potential to blow the Midshipmen out of the water.
Navy finds themselves in a bowl game yet again, as they are the cream of the crop when it comes to the service academy's (sorry Air Force). Once again Navy led the country in rushing thanks to their triple option offense. The option could prove to be the difference maker in this game. Not only is it effective in getting Navy on the score board, but it can keep the high powered Missouri passing attack on the sidelines and render it useless.
The spread favors Missouri by 7 points, and I like this a lot. Navy is a hell of a team, but once again the size and overall athletic ability of their athletes will be shown when they play a solid Big 12 team.
Winner: Missouri wins the game and covers the spread.
Insight Bowl-Iowa State vs. Minnesota: Who would have thought Iowa State would lose a head coach and end up experiencing their best season in four years, but that's exactly what Iowa State is doing. On the field the Cyclones really are not terribly impressive. What they do have is a ton of enthusiasm and a firy first year coach in Paul Rhoades. Iowa State has waited for this moment for a long time and you can believe the players understand exactly how important this is.
The Minnesota Gophers find themselves in very familiar territory. They are playing in their third Insight Bowl in fourth years. For the most part the Gophers are a middle of the line team. With a 6-6 record they are one of those teams, that frankly I hate seeing in bowl games. They finished last in the Big 10 in scoring averaging 21 points a game, and they are very turnover prone.
The spread favors Minnesota by 3.5 points which is insane. Iowa State has everything to play for and you can believe they will put it all on the line just to prove a point.
Chick-Fil-A Bowl-Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech: Lane Kiffin has brought life back to the Tennessee Volunteers, depending on who you are you may or may not like that. Along with a renewed sense of excitement, Kiffin has also brought plenty of controversy to the Vols. Nonetheless the young team appears able to separate those distractions and play some good football. Much like in years past, there's plenty of talent on the Tennessee football team, it's just a matter of can their coach keep everything together, and stay out of the way enough to allow the players to do their thing?
The Virginia Tech Hokies find themselves in their second home Atlanta Georgia. This is the third time the Hokies have made to the trip to Atlanta this season. The previous two trips yielded loses to Alabama and Georgia Tech. The lasting impression of this season for Virginia Tech will be the emergence of quarterback Tyrod Taylor who has truly grown into his role as the starting quarterback and become a reliable pocket passer. Joining Taylor in the backfield is Ryan Williams the freshman RB totaled 19 touchdowns and is a load to bring down when coming out the backfield.
The spread only favors Virginia Tech by 4.5 points which is fair enough. Both teams are pretty evenly matched. The Peach Bowl (Yes I still call it that) has been a house of horrors for the Vols in the past, and the trend will continue this year.
Winner: Virginia Tech wins and covers the spread.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
It's almost New Years, that means put the champagne on ice, get the beer nice and cold and get ready for a fun night out on the town, followed up by a day on the sofa watching football. However, before we get there, we have to get through December 30th and a couple bowl games.
Humanitarian Bowl-Bowling Green vs. Idaho: Bowling Green has the best player in college football that you have never seen, and this time I mean it. Freddie Barnes is a flat out stud receiver. Currently he is just a few receptions away from setting a NCAA record. Barnes has accounted for 138 receptions and 1551 yards. If Freddie Barnes played for a team in the Big 12 or the SEC he would be a household name and a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Idaho has not been in a bowl game since 1998 and they are eager to get back into post season action. They are also hoping this trip to the blue turf in Boise does not yield the same results as their 63-25 defeat at the hands of Boise State earlier this season. What the Vandals do have going for them is the obvious home field advantage. It is estimated there are as many as 16,000 Idaho alumni in the greater Boise area.
This game promises to be a high scoring affair. Both teams average 27 and 31 points ppg respectively. The Idaho defense is horrible and if nothing else, you can bank on watching Freddie Barnes break a record.
The spread favors Bowling Green by 2 points, this should be easy for the Falcons to cover even in the hostile confines.
Winner: Bowling Green wins and covers the spread. The over hasn't been set for this game, but take the over as well.
Holiday Day Bowl-Nebraska vs. Arizona: If the Humanitarian Bowl is your offensive delight then the Holiday Day Bowl is a defensive lovers dream. The Cornhuskers ranks 20 in the nation in defense while the Wildcats come in at an impressive 22nd. Both teams came oh so close to representing their conference in BCS games, but instead had to settle for a date in San Diego.
Without a doubt the highlight of this game is getting to watch Ndamukong Suh the defensive end from Nebraska. Suh had a legit opportunity to be the first defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy since Charles Woodson. Don't believe how much of a game changer Suh can be? Ask Colt McCoy and the Texas Longhorns, he nearly cost them a shot at the national title.
The Arizona Wildcats are riding the high of beating USC for the first time in seven years. They will need more of that intensity to subdue Nebraska. Arizona is a blitz happy team that brings pressure from every angle, and they will create havoc in the Cornhuskers backfield. The question is do they have someone who can block Suh, and allow Arizona to put points on the board.
The spread on this game is sitting at 1.5 points favoring Arizona. It's a bowl game so you can throw that spread out the window and call this a pick'em game. This will most likely be a low scoring affair but if you're a football purest, it's something worth watching.
Winner: Nebraska pulls the upset and wins the game.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
According the the Florida Gators official website, head football coach Urban Meyer is prepared to step down. Obviously this comes as a bombshell. According to a press release from the University of Florida Urban Meyer is stepping down to focus on his health.
“I have given my heart and soul to coaching college football and mentoring young men for the last 24-plus years and I have dedicated most of my waking moments the last five years to the Gator football program,” he said in a report on the school's athletic Web site Saturday. “I have ignored my health for years, but recent developments have forced me to re-evaluate my priorities of faith and family.” - Urban Meyer
Sources are saying that Meyer's break is wanted to as a result of the mental and emotional toll coaching has taken on him and it is not a serious/critical condition. However, for what it's worth we've also had sources say it is a form of cancer, so take what you wan from that.
All other details are still in the air at this time. Urban Meyer will coach his final game in at the Sugar Bowl.
As details continue to emerge, Myer's has explained part of his reasoning in this interview with the New York Times.
Alright by now you should be through your Holiday hangover, hopefully all the family has gone back to their own homes and you are settling back into some sort of a routine. The only issue with this time of year is, you've reached that lull between Christmas and New Years, and the BCS Bowl games are a few days away. No worries, Walker Sports has you covered to get you up to speed on all the other bowl games.
Music City Bowl-Kentucky vs. Clemson: Ever get that feeling that we've been here before? In this situation it would be true, Kentucky and Clemson met two years ago in the Music City Bowl. The Clemson Tigers were just minutes away from their first ACC title since 1991 before falling to Georgia Tech. There is no doubt what keeps the Clemson Tigers going, and that is RB C.J. Spiller. Against Georgia Tech Spiller ran for 233 yards and four touchdowns. For those of you who have not seen Spiller play, do yourself a favor and catch this game. If it were not for some early season injuries, there is no doubt that Spiller would have been right next to Mark Ingram and Toby Gerhart at the Heisman Trophy presentation.
It's still hard to picture Kentucky as a football school, but this marks their fourth straight bowl game appearance which is a school record. The Wildcats are becoming used to the trip up to Nashville as it marks their third trip to the Music City Bowl in four years. Despite their familiarity with this bowl game, and the obvious disappointment of being in Nashville once again, you can believe the Wildcats are not going to downplay the importance of this game. They realize they have a prime time slot on Sunday night and a national audience. All things that a UK football team is not used to experiencing.
The spread is set at 7 points favoring Clemson. This is a fair amount considering how good Clemson can be when they put it all together. C.J. Spiller is a stud and he has a lot to prove after being snubbed by the Heisman voters.
Winner: Clemson wins the game and covers the 7.
Independence Bowl- Texas A&M vs. Georgia: This may prove to be one of the best bowl games of the season. If you like offense, then you will love this game, the Aggies and Bulldogs can light up a scoreboard and there will be points to be had by all in this one.
The Georgia Bulldogs have one of the worse defenses in the SEC. They gave up over 24 points a game last season, and as a result the bulk of the defensive staff has been removed. Head coach Mark Richt will be responsible for handling things on the defensive side of the ball in the Independence Bowl. Perhaps Georgia's best defense will be their offense lead by senior QB Joe Cox. He tossed 22 touchdowns in 09 but was also responsible for 14 interceptions, as a result the Bulldogs have turned to their running game a bit more late in the season. This has worked well, over the final four games of the season Georgia averaged 252 yards a game.
Texas A&M nearly pulled the upset of the century on Thanksgiving night when they pushed instate rival Texas to the limit. Jerrod Johnson is an extremely talented quarterback, who is an obvious threat with his legs, but he has as good of an arm as anyone in the country. Johnson is responsible for over 3,600 total yards of offense and 36 total touchdowns, he knows how to get things done. The downside of the Aggies game is their horrid defense that ranks 107 in the country in three Big 12 losses Texas A&M gave up over 60 points.
The spread on this game favors Georgia by 7 points, and because their defense has at least some ability to stop opposing teams, it makes them somewhat of a threat. However, I love the offense the Aggies produce.
Winner: Texas A&M pulls the upset and wins the game.
Eagle Bank Bowl-UCLA vs. Temple: Al Golden had was passed over for the UCLA coaching gig a few seasons ago, and instead he landed in Temple where he has done the impossible and gotten the North Philly school bowl eligible. Thanks to the quick turnaround Al Golden has become one of the hot coaching commodities.
UCLA has experienced an up and down campaign under Coach Neuheisel. Unfortunately the Bruins seems to be more well known for controversy rather than their play on the field. Neuheisel and company are good at tweaking the USC Trojans, but they will need to perform on the field if they want to get by the Temple Owls.
The nice part of the Eagle Bank Bowl is it takes place in our backyard at one of our favorite stadiums RFK in the District of Columbia. The spread is sitting at five points favoring UCLA. None of this should be surprising. Temple has come a long way but this is only their fourth bowl appearance in 30 years. A win would be monumental and send the Al Golden's coaching career to the next level.
Winner: Temple Owls cover the spread, and pull the upset.
Champs Sport Bowl-Wisconsin vs. Miami: It seems like Wisconsin has a permanent spot in the Champs or the Outback Bowl every year. This year the Badgers find themselves taking on the Miami Hurricanes. Wisconsin plays typical Big 10 football, that means they punish opponents with a bruising ground attack, racking up 206 yards a game. The Badgers also put points on the board averaging 39 points a game in their final five outings. The Badgers also have revenge on their mind. Last season they were embarrassed in the Champs Sports Bowl by Florida State, and you can believe they are looking to take out some revenge against another ACC opponent.
The Miami Hurricanes are so close to regaining glory it's not even funny. They have a stud at quarterback, they have talented backs and great receivers. It will not be long before Randy Shannon puts the swagger back into The U. The Canes will go as QB Jacory Harris goes, if he is on, Miami has a dynamic passing attack. Harris ranked 15th in the country with 3,100 passing yards and over 20 touchdowns. Miami believes they are onto something special and the 2010 season will be their year. However, they have to remained focused and get through the Champs Sports Bowl first.
The spread only favors Miami by 3.5 points which is surprisingly low considering the location of the game. Wisconsin has a good team, and they have talented backs, who know how to find the end zone. They say styles make fights, and this game showcases two great styles. The grind it out tradition of the mid-west and Miami's wide open passing attack. Whichever team is able to impose their style of offense will win this game.
Winner: Miami wins the game and covers the 3.5 in a blowout.
Friday, December 25, 2009
From all of us here at Walker Sports, I'd like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays. Thanks for another great year, and I hope that everyone out there is enjoying a little downtime, and spending some time with their loved ones.
We are off on the farm, and in various other places, enjoying time with our families. I can assure you that all of us are looking forward to getting back to the grind, and talking some college football here in a few days.
Till then enjoy!!
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Thursday, December 24, 2009
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl-Ohio vs. Marshall: Ford Field has not been kind to the Ohio Bobcats. Last time they made the trip up north, Ohio failed to win their first conference championship in 31 years when they fell to Western Michigan. The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl give Ohio the opportunity to redeem themselves when they go for their first bowl victory in school history. Ohio is led by quarterback Theo Scott who stepped in for the injured Boo Jackson. In replacement duty Scott toss 19 TD's to 10 interceptions and was good for just over 2,000 yards on the year.
The Marshall Thundering Herd have been anything but impressive entering the final stretch of the season. Marshall dropped three of it's final four games to end the regular season. To make matters worse, head coach Mark Snyder resigned after Marshall's 51-21 defeat in the season finale. Rick Minter will step in as the interim coach for the Thundering Herd but it will only be for this game as Marshall has found their new head man.
The spread for the game is sitting at Ohio -3, and if Ohio was not playing with a backup quarterback the spread would grow larger. The bottom line is Marshall is in disarray, and right now the Thundering Herd just wants to complete the season. This is the perfect recipe for a bowl game collapse.
Winner Ohio wins and covers the spread.
Meineke Car Care Bowl-North Carolina vs. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt will have to do his best coaching job of the year in order to get the Pitt Panthers ready for their bowl game. Not necessarily because the Tar Heels are such a great opponent, but getting the Panthers up for this game could prove difficult. Pitt was one defensive stand away from reaching a BCS game. Instead, they fell all the way to the Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, you have to love the bowl system. To say playing in this game is a letdown would be a complete understatement.
The North Carolina Tar Heels are a work in progress. They showed some promise at times this season, but an inconstant offense kept them from achieving anything substantial. Butch Davis has done a good job in rebuilding this program but you can believe he is sick of making the trip across state to the Tire Bowl. The Tar Heels are hungry they consider their 8-4 campaign a failure and they are looking to jump start the 2010 season with a big bowl win.
The spread has Pitt as a 3 point favorite, and I am all over this one. The Tar Heels have a solid defense that gets better each week as they mature. Pitt has nothing to play for, and they just want to end the year, while UNC is hungry to prove a point.
Winner: UNC wins and covers the spread.
Emerald Bowl- Boston College vs. USC: Sometimes teh Gods of Bowl season just don't smile upon you, Boston College is learning that lesson the hard way this year as they prepare to embark on yet another late December Bowl game. This time they are off to the emerald Bowl. The Eagles are led by freshmen quarterback Dave Shinkske who has been shaky at best completing just 52% of his passes. In typical BC fashion the Eagles rely on a big offensive line and solid production from RB Montel Harris.
USC is not where they want to be, and that is obvious. The Trojans have won at least a share of the Pac 10 title for the past seven seasons. The worse the Trojans have fared during that stretch was a trip to the Orange Bowl. To say that 8-4 is disappointing would be the understatement of the century. For all the obvious reasons every aspect of this game falls in the Trojans favor. Despite some irratic play, the Trojans are simply too fast and too talented for BC.
The interesting and dare I say the wild card for this game are the off the field issues currently surrounding USC. Star RB Joey McKnight is under investigation for NCAA violations along with 3 other teammates. When will the NCAA finally take some action against USC for these violations? Seriously this smoke has been smoldering for five years. But I digress, the USC empire is once again under attack from above. However these seem to be the games where Carroll rallies the troops and they come up with a big win for the program.
Winner: Thanks to the NCAA suspensions, there is no spread on this game. It doesn't matter USC will run with this one.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Las Vegas Bowl-Oregon State vs. BYU: Believe it or not, this is actually an historic game for the Las Vegas Bowl. This will mark the first time that a ranked team has played in this bowl game, and just so you can double your pleasure, both teams participating this year are ranked. One thing is for sure, this years pre-Christmas classic in Vegas, should be a barn burner.
Oregon State is one hell of a team, and they have shown it in spurts throughout the season. Quarterback Canfield was the best player in the Pac 10 at times during the regular season. His efforts along with those of RB Jacquizz Rodgers helped to lead the Beavers to a 34 ppg average in 2009.
The BYU Cougars have made this trek to Las Vegas an annual pilgrimage, Tuesday night will mark the fifth consecutive year the Cougars played in the desert. This is why Las Vegas will feel like a home game for the Cougars. Many on the BYU staff have circled this game as a must win. It has nothing to do with a rivalry with Oregon State, but more many within BYU are targeting this game because they want to make up for last years disappointing showing in the Las Vegas Bowl against Arizona.
The spread on this game is sitting at 3 points favoring Oregon State. While my predictions have been a bit off thus far, this Bowl Season, I do like these odds. Plus the underdog has gone 2-1 against the spread thus far.
Winner BYU wins the game thus covering the spread.
Poinsettia Bowl-Cal vs. Utah +3.5: Continuing the the West Cost swing of Bowl games, the Poinsettia Bowl has always been a personal favorite of mine. There's no real logic behind that, but I've always enjoyed it. This year's game will definitely give fans something to worth watching.
The Cal Bears have to consider this 2009 campaign a bit of a disappointment. With Best, as their stud RB many thought he could bring in the Heisman and the Bears could bring up a Pac 10 Championship and who knows what other accolades. Turns out the Bears forgot to build the rest of their offense. Once teams were able to shut down Best the rest of the Cal Bears had nothing to fall back on. If the Bears want to be successful on Wednesday they will need Best to be at the top of his game.
The Utah Utes are far removed from their venture last year and their victory in the Sugar Bowl. However, Utah is still a very good team. The Utes have been lost in the fray that is the Mountain West Conference, but they are still a top ranked organization. Utah will use their typical open attack to spread the Cal defense, and send the ball down field.
The spread is sitting at 3.5 points and favoring Cal, which just comes across as odd considering that Utah is the ranked team of this duo. Because of that I am sticking with my underdog kick.
Winner Utah wins and covers the spread.
Hawaii Bowl-Nevada vs. SMU: The Christmas Eve classic that the majority of the United States will never see. The Hawaii Bowl comes on late in the day and well it has a couple teams that you have never seen. That being said, there is plenty worth watching in this game.
Nevada burnt me bad last year, I had a lot of faith in their pistol offense and they let me down. This year I am going back to the well again and hoping for better results. Nevada can put points on the board, and they know how to move the ball. Their unique offense is one that teams can struggle to catch up to. It's hard to duplicate in practice and there are plenty of wrinkles that can be thrown into it.
For all of your old school football fans out there, it has to be a bit strange and nostalgic to see SMU back on the bowl scene. It's good to see they have fought their way back to prosperity. However, this is a rough welcome taking on a very good and vastly overlooked Nevada team.
The spread is sitting at a massive 14 points favoring Nevada. While that's a lot of points and it's a game that I typically love the dog, I just have to think that SMU is not ready for this moment in time.
Winner Nevada wins the game and covers the spread.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Cardiff Blues utility back line player, and Wales international superstar Gareth Thomas rocked the rugby world with his recent announcement stating he is a gay. While some of his teammates and Cardiff Blues head coach Scott Johnson have known this since 2006 when Thomas told them, this is the first time Gareth made his sexuality known to the public. This is a groundbreaking announcement and makes Gareth Thomas the first openly gay rugger who is still playing.
While it is difficult to gauge the reaction to Thomas' announcement, at first glimpse it appears the response has been very positive from the fans that this blogger has been in contact with. While that is not surprising, it is very comforting to see the general public is that open and accepting. At the end of the day Gareth Thomas is Wales most capped individual and one of their all time great players. This is what fans care about, not what is going on in his personal life.
As an American sports blogger this case brings up another interesting situation. For the past few years there has been the debate of could an American athlete, most specifically a football player, come out of the closet and be accepted by his teammates and friends? The popular argument has been no, it is not possible for an American athlete to come out and be accepted. And for the most part I have always agreed with that line of thought.
However, after hearing today's news and reading and speaking with people, I am recanting my previous position. While I am sure this was not an easy task for Gareth Thomas, and he will have plenty of hurdles ahead of him, I have no doubt that he did the right thing. He has the right to be proud of who he is. As far as him being a rugby player, anyone who questions that needs only look at his 100 international test appearances.
What I am learning form this situation is perhaps the public is more accepting than I originally anticipated. Could it be that the old cynic is gaining faith in humans? Well I may not go that far just yet, but I will say this could be a small bright spot.
Gareth Thomas is a great rugger, and at the end of the day, that is all that matters. Let's move on.
Friday, December 18, 2009
The 2009 College Bowl Season is ready to kick off and there is plenty to talk about. There are 33 bowl games in total (yeah that's too many) and Walker Sports has predictions, sports lines and recaps of every game. Let's get things started with the opening weekend games.
New Mexico Bowl-Fresno State vs. Wyoming: The best part of this game is you will get to see one of the best players in the country, and I can almost promise you that you did not watch him all season. Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews is a stud. He led the nation in yards per game at just over 151 yards per. Mathews is the epitome of consistency in the backfield.
Wyoming was 4-8 last season and snuck their way into a bowl game this year. If you look at their offensive stats 86th in the country in rushing yards and 103rd in passing stats. Needless to say this is a team that struggles to put points on the board.
The line on this game has ground to 11.5 points and it could shift to 12 before the weekend. For what it's worth Fresno State is 4-5 against the Mountain West conference, however I don't think that will be a factor in this game. Fresno can easily handle Wyoming and cover the spread.
Winner: Fresno State and they cover the spread.
St. Petersburg Bowl-UCF vs. Rutgers: It still comes across as odd to see Rutgers in a bowl game, but for that matter it's still new to see UCF in a bowl as well. Nonetheless both teams have done a great job rebuilding their programs. The key to this game will be the play of UCF quarterback Brett Hodges. The Wake Forest transfer completed 61% of his passes and tossed 15 touchdowns. If he can guide UCF down the field, they will be able to keep pace with a Rutgers scheme that has slowed down significantly this season.
The spread on this game is favoring Rutgers by 2.5 points which for a bowl game is nearly a pick'em. Rutgers has struggled putting points on the board this season, and this is basically a home game for UCF. For those reasons I like UCF to pull the upset.
Winner: UCF wins, thus covering the spread.
New Orleans Bowl-Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee State: This could prove to be one of the most interesting games of the bowl season. I know, Southern Miss and Middle Tennessee State don't exactly make you think quality college football, but these are two programs that can score points, and they can score them in bunches.
Tony Franklin found new life post Auburn at Middle Tennessee State. He was once thought to be one of the great offensive minds in college football, but his spread offense failed down at Auburn and cost Tommy Tuberville his job. Southern Miss has put up some impressive performances this season including a come from behind victory against Virginia (guess that's not too impressive).
The spread for this game is sitting at 3.5 points and favors Southern Miss. While Tony Franklin has done a lot to redeem the Middle Tennessee State program and inject life into the offense, the defense is still lacking. They will struggle to contain a high powered Southern Miss attack. Expect Southern Miss to win the game and cover the spread.
Winner: Southern Miss wins and covers the spread. Also take the over just to be safe.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Seemingly all news for Tiger Woods these days is bad news, and on Thursday morning, things got worse for the AP Athlete of the decade. According to ABCNews.com Elin Nordegren is prepared to file for divorce from her husband any day now. This information is being reported by a "source close to the family."
Elin is reported to have said "divorce is 100 percent on."
All of this news comes on the heels of reports that Elin Nordegren was photographed without her wedding ring over the weekend. In addition Elin is shopping around for divorce attorneys. To make matters worse for Tiger Woods it appears that Elin is looking to file for divorce in the state of California where the current divorce laws would allow her to file for more money.
From all indications Elin Nordegren is playing her cards carefully, she wants to have all the facts on the table before she files. This will allow her to present the best case and insure the best outcome in her favor.
I think it is safe to say the 2009 holiday season will be one that Tiger Woods will never forget.
From time to time we have to provide sad news to our readers out there, and unfortunately today is one of those days. It is with sadness in our hearts that we announce Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry has passed away this morning due to the injuries suffered in a car accident yesterday evening in Charlotte North Carolina.
According to reports Henry was involved in some sort of a domestic dispute with his fiance yesterday and fell from the back of a pickup truck. He was said to be in serious condition yesterday evening. Doctors announced Henry's death this morning at 6:36 am, and that was confirmed by Charlotte police at 10 am.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris Henry's family, and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
According to ESPN's Joe Schad, the Cincinnati Bearcats have wasted no time in finding a replacement for coach Brian Kelly. Cincinnati is returning to familiar hunting ground and hiring Central Michigan head coach Butch Jones. The Bearcats hired Brian Kelly from Central Michigan back in 2006.
Butch Jones has been the Chippewas coach for the past three seasons and has racked up a 26-13 record. This season the Chippewas are 11-2 and on their way to the GMAC Bowl.
One interesting situation that has come in the wake of this hiring is who will coach the Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl? Butch Jones has not made a decision as to who he will coach in a Bowl game. Central Michigan plays in the GMAC Bowl on January 6, while the Bearcats have a date with Florida on January 1.
Currently Cincinnati is being coached by offensive coordinator Jeff Quinn who took over when Brian Kelly bolted for Notre Dame last week. Quinn had hopes of landing the head job at Cincinnati, but those dreams have been dashed.
Much like his predecessor, Jones is an offensive guru. He worked under Brian Kelly at Central Michigan. He was also an assistant under Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia from 2005-2006. While there Jones helped to shape one of the great high powered spread attacks in college football history.
There will be plenty of talent at Jones' disposal when he gets to Cincinnati. The Bearcats are returning the bulk of their talent on offense including quarterback Zach Collaros who stepped in this season when Pike went down with a wrist injury.
Butch Jones is being given the keys to a Mercedes with the Cincinnati Bearcats high powered offense, now it's just the question of can he handle it all. The first task at hand will be to gain the players trust. Many of the Bearcats players were angry with Brian Kelly's choice to leave for Notre Dame and they felt betrayed. If Jones can win over the players, he has all the pieces in place for a happy stay in Cincinnati.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
It's been a few years since this last happened, so it is possible that we are due for a bit of a shakeup. Of course I'm talking about realigning the conferences. Not too long ago the ACC raided the Big East to expand to twelve teams. The purpose was to give the conference a championship game and help gain notoriety. With the current BCS system teams are rewarded both financially by having the extra game, and it helps bolster their BCS rankings. Now it looks like the Big 10 (technically 11) is looking to get in on the conference expansion game.
Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delany let writers at the Chicago Tribune know that conference expansion is something he was considering at some point in the near future. Of course the obvious reason is money. The ACC, SEC, and Big 12 have huge money makers in their conference championship games to conclude the football season. You can also rest assured the powers to be in the Big 10 do not enjoy watching these three conferences hog the spotlight on conference championship Saturday. By the time Wisconsin took the field against Hawaii on December 8, everyone was either in bed or worn out from watching two amazing finishes in the ACC and Big 12 title games.
Most Big 10 teams complete their regular season schedule by mid to late November, that means they are off of national television for at least a month. Ohio State has taken up to 40 days off between their final game and a BCS game. Many blame this long hiatus for the Big 10's difficulty in making a final climb in the BCS rankings, as well as losing votes on Heisman Trophy candidates. If Ndamukong Suh had not put on a show in the Big 12 game there's a good chance he does not get the invitation to New York to attend the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
Commissioner Jim Delany is not the only person within the Big 10 who supports expansion, Penn State coach Joe Paterno has come out in favor of adding an extra team as well. Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema has also thrown his support towards adding a twelfth team. For what it is worth, Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald has spoken out against the idea of expansion, citing wanting to stick to traditions.
If the Big 10 is looking to expand then the question becomes, who is the lucky twelfth team? Here are a few names that have floated around, and some reasoning behind these choices.
Rutgers: The Scarlett Knights have vastly improved in the last few seasons despite having a down year in 2009. Adding in Rutgers will expand the Big 10 to the East coast as well as give them inroads to the New York media outlets.
Syracuse: Cuse was on the wish list for the ACC a few years back, but the Big East fought hard to keep them in place. If the opportunity arises again, the Big East may not be so lucky. Syracuse has had a historical football program that has hit on hard times. However, they do add a big gain when it comes to basketball.
Pittsburgh: Bringing in Pitt brings in the possibility of creating an instate rivalry between the Panthers and Penn State. Pitt has put together a solid program over the past seasons and would help the overall strength of the Big 10.
Missouri: This one is more of a rumor, the Big 10 would love to bring them in, but the Big 12 is not so keen on letting them go. This is probably the most likely of all teams to jump ship.
Cincinnati: Brian Kelly turned the Bearcats into a national story this year, on two levels. The Bearcats proved they can play with the big boys, and being based in Cincinnati means the conference can remain predominately oriented in the mid-west.
Louisville: Just like the Bearcats, Louisville just changed conferences a few years back when they moved into the Big East. A couple years ago Louisville was considered a BCS buster with their football program. Despite recent difficult times, it would not take long for the Cardinals to come back into form.
Notre Dame: The Domers are America's most famous independent school. The spurned the Big 10 back in 1999. However thanks to recent troubles, it may turn out to be Notre Dame begging for entrance into the Big 10 rather than the other way around. Fool me once shame on me, fool me twice.... you just can't fool me.
All of these teams make legitimate arguments as to why they can join the Big 10 and without a doubt they would help to build out the conference depth and a few of them can make an immediate impact on the landscape. While the change will not likely happen this off season, several Big 10 authorities have brought it up as something they want to pursue aggressively this year.
Monday, December 14, 2009
The Kansas Jayhawks wasted no time in replacing Mark Mangino. It is confirmed that Kansas has agreed to terms with Turner Gill to become the new head coach of the Jayhawks football team.
This is not Turner's first time in the Big 12, he was a star quarterback for the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the 80's. He was also an assistant on the Nebraska coaching staff during the 90's where he helped to lead the Cornhuskers to a National Title under Tom Osborne
As a head coach Gill turned around Buffalo guiding them to a 20-30 record in his time up north. Gill is also responsible for taking Buffalo to a bowl game as well as racking up coach of the year honors in 2007 and 2008. Not bad for a football program that spent the bulk of it's existence as the powder puff on most teams schedules.
The Kansas Jayhawks are not in complete disarray, they are only two years removed from an appearance in the Orange Bowl. However, the 2009 campaign was less than successful, and the final month of the season was scared thanks to scandal surrounding coach Mangino.
With Turner Gill coming to Kansas it just helps to strengthen the already re surging Big 12 North.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Okay so we all know that Mike Ingram won the Heisman Trophy last night. However, all of us bloggers gave out our own Heisman Trophy Saturday afternoon. Thanks to the efforts of our good friend Shotgun Spratling from The Blueworkhorse, the ballots are in and they are counted
Check out this great article courtesy of The Blue Workhorse
That's right folks. The votes have been tallied. There were 71 ballots cast with each having an outcome on the overall standings. It came down to the wire between the top two contenders. This is as close as it gets with the top two being separated by ONE MEASLY POINT!
We traveled from coast to coast collecting ballots from Florida to California to New York to Oregon with a myriad of stops in the midwest. Eighteen different players received votes while another three men, including Jesus Christ, were noted as honorable mentions. Without further ado...
(drumroll) Your 2009 Sports Blog Heisman Trophy winner is...
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1. Toby Gerhart (Stanford)
"Leads the nation in rushing yards, rushing TDs, and carries. In the best conference in the nation top to bottom this year (except Wash St of course), Gerhart led a young, undertalented team to a victory over Oregon and a pounding of USC. His stats are not the function of bad competition, a specific offensive system (Texas Tech, e.g.), or incredible talent around him. With a combination of power, agility, and stamina, Toby Gerhart was the best player in the nation this year." (Russell - East Coast Bias)
"To call Toby Gerhart dominant would be a disservice. In fact, I’m not sure adjectives exist to fully grasp the impact that Gerhart had on not only Stanford, but the teams he played against. Considering only his statistics, Gerhart’s 1736 yards and 26 TDs is ridiculous. Taking a further look at how those yards were gained tells a more complete story. The Cardinal went to Gerhart early and often, and he always delivered, including a pounding of Oregon for 223 and 3 TDs." (Alan - Over the Pylon)
"Played his best, against the best competition, in the best conference in college football. Overall numbers are better by every measure than Mark Ingram. Last 4 games (3 ranked opponents plus Notre Dame): 742 yards (185.5 YPG) and 12 TDs. Stanford had 85th ranked defense.." (Jonathan Lee - AccuScore)
"Cuz he's a frickin' beast." (Kellex - Blaze of Love)
"There is no debate, Gerhart is the MVP, the heart and soul of his team and the Cardinal wouldn't be in the position they are in without him. Give the Heisman trophy to him and let that be the end of the debate." (Brett - Midway Illustrated)
Those who listed Gerhart #1 on their ballot (official ballots in blue):
SoB Mike - Sports of Boston; John Havard - Garnet & Black Attack; ghtd38 - RockMNation; The Beef - RockMNation; The Ciskie Blog; FalconBlog; The Original Blawger - Bulldawg Blawg; cocknfire - Team Speed Kills; Russell - East Coast Bias; Samuel Chi - BCS Guru; Alan - Over the Pylon; Jon Lee - AccuScore; Pedro Moura - USC Student Sports; Kellex - Blaze of Love; OC Domer; Dan Greenspan; Sean - Michigan Sports Center; JPH - Lets Go Rockets; KPatra - The Sports Union; Ken - Fang Bites; Doug - HeyJennySlater; Sportsdawg - An Opinion On Sports; Bunch - Modern Hombre, co-founder of Blogs with Balls,; Brett - Midway Illustrated; BJ Fischer; Heisman - The Blue Workhorse; Chris H - The Blue Workhorse
2. Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska)
"On a day where “Heisman Frontrunners” Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow were supposed to make their final statements of deserving the hardware it was Suh who stole the show and produced the most dominating performance college football fans have seen on national television in a long time. For the season Suh has 82 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, 1 interception, 10 pass breakups, 24 quarterback hurries, 1 forced fumble and 3 blocked kicks." (Matt Hofeld - Crimson & Cream Machine)
"He will be the #1 pick in the NFL draft in April and absolutely made the Texas offensive line look like children in the Big 12 Championship game. He was in the backfield on every play and is the most dominating player in college football." (Scals -The Blue Workhorse)
"Everyone else finally got to see what everyone in the Big 12 has been seeing for awhile. Suh is the best DL in college since Warren Sapp. He is worth the price of admission." (Mike Tag - I Am the 12th Man)
Those who listed Suh #1 on their ballot (official ballots in blue):
Dave - Tailgating Ideas; RPT - RockMNation; Darrell Owenby - SEC Rivals; Cynic - Hugging Harold Reynolds; MLMinTampa - Alligator Army; Joe Tetreault - Tetreault Vision; Bill C - RockMNation; Ace - The Wolverine Blog; Luke - Eleven Warriors; Mark Kieffer - Clone Chronicles; Bull Run; Red Cup Rebellion; Allen Kenney - Blatant Homerism; Chris - Seahawk Addicts; Mizzourah; Tye Berger - Bring On The Cats; Scott - Badgercentric; Dr. Aaron - Joe Sports Fan; Tom Fornelli - Blog Ten Football; Alex - Double Extra Point; James - NE Patriots Draft; Jamie Gilkey - Suns Stufft; Will Stewart - Tech Sideline; Marco - @SAGonzo; Mike Tag - I Am the 12th Man; Mark - Crimson & Cream Machine; College Game Balls; Brian Cook - mGo Blog; Shotgun Spratling - The Blue Workhorse; Rosenblogger - The Blue Workhorse; Scals - The Blue Workhorse
3. Mark Ingram (Alabama)
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"He's a workhorse who powered Alabama through their (soon to be) national championship season, and he utterly demolished Florida, to win a national title berth, with 189 total yards and 3 TDs." (Mitchell Blatt - Juiced Sports Blog)
"There's no padding here. Ingram's yards were hard fought, against SEC defenses who routinely stacked the box and dared QB Greg McElroy to beat them. Ingram also tallied over 1,000 yards of total offense after contact - more than half of his yards." (Ell - Bama Sports Report)
"The dude is a brute. He has all the necessary ingredients when you think of a prototype RB. Strong, fast, and has power. And at 5'10' and 215 lbs, he has shown he can steam-roll and shake would be tacklers. He rushed for an Alabama record 1,542 yards and 15 touchdowns. " (Jeff Garcia - Project Spurs)
Those who listed Ingram #1 on their ballot (official ballots in blue):
John Havard - Garnet & Black Attack; Ell - Bama Sports Report; Mike Parisi - Sports of Boston; Mitchell Blatt - Juiced Sports Blog; Brian - BC Interruption; Jeff Garcia - Project Spurs; Dan Shanoff; L8N - Lets Go Rockets; LawVol - Gate 21; Robert Weintraub - One Foot Inbounds; MoonDog Sports; Drew M - The Blue Workhorse
4. C.J. Spiller (Clemson)
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"The biggest homerun threat in college football. A threat to score from anywhere on the field." (Alex Morgan - Double Extra Point)
"Put C.J. Spiller on Alabama, or Texas, or Florida, or even Cincinnati, and he might just be the odds-on favorite for the Heisman Trophy this season. His ability to affect the game as a runner, receiver, and returner is unmatched by any other back in country — Spiller finished 2009 with 1145 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 201 carries (5.7 yards per carry), 445 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 33 catches (13.5 yards per catch), 210 yards and a touchdown on 13 punt returns (16.2 yards per return), and an astounding 708 yards and four touchdowns on 21 kick returns (33.7 yards per return). Just for the hell of it, he even threw for a touchdown this season.." (Ace - The Wolverine Blog)
"Spiller, arguably the NCAAs most dynamic special teams player of all-time, wrapped up a brilliant career by nearly single handedly carrying underdog Clemson in the ACC Championship on 20 carries for a career-high 233 yards and four touchdowns against Georgia Tech. The senior averaged a mind boggling 270 all-purpose yards in four games against top-15 opposition this year. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has preemptively elected to retire Spillers #28, and despite not having the accrued halfback totals of a Gerhart or an Ingram, it’d be difficult to argue with Spiller’s overall contribution to his program (and the game) in the last 4 seasons." (Luke - Eleven Warriors)
Those who listed Spiller #1 on their ballot (official ballots in blue): Winfield Featherston - From The Rumble Seat
5. Colt McCoy (Texas)
"He really took control in the final two games. He had an impressive game against Texas A&M when his team needed it and made a clutch drive for the win against Nebraska." (Travis - Hammer & Nails)
"You’d be hard pressed to find a player across the country, save for Tebow, more valuable than McCoy for his team’s attitude, performance, and success. 3512 yards and 27 TDs are the raw numbers through the air, but often overlooked is McCoy’s ability to scramble and use his legs for conversions, TDs, and keeping opposing defenses in check in critical situations. (Alan - Over the Pylon)
6. Kellen Moore (Boise State)
"39 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 3325 yards passing. Most efficient passer in college football (167.3) and while Boise State played no one this year, their signature win over Oregon is better than anyone Texas beat all season" (Brian F - BC Interruption)
"No. 1 nationally in pass efficiency, throwing 39 TDs against 3 INT in leading the Broncos to another undefeated season." (Dan Greenspan - College Football News)
7. Tim Tebow (Florida)
"He is still the juice that fuels the Gators offense and is a great leader, but a down year statistically in a year where the D carried the team"
"The Chosen Nne has not had his best of years, but his stats are still silly. In the end, Tebow became his own worse enemy. You can't get 50 TD's and win the Heisman and then come back to the table with anything less." (DWalk - Walker Sports)
8. Golden Tate (Notre Dame)
"Seventeen total touchdowns on the season, and never once was he tackled by a single defender. The kid is a threat to score anytime he touches the ball, and plays like a linebacker at WR." (Tom Fornelli - Blog Ten Football)
"You can't keep him from getting the ball, you can't tackle him, and you can't catch him. Despite being double or triple covered every play, Golden still came up with huge plays time and again. Golden kept the Irish in games single-handedly for seven weeks (while Michael Floyd was injured)." (OC Domer)
Tate had no first place votes.
8. Case Keenum (Houston)
"While his numbers are impressive, what is most intriguing about Keenum is his ability to step up in tough situations. He engineered early season upsets of Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. And, most tellingly, look at his numbers in Houston’s three losses: 1440 yards, 13 TDs and 4 INTs. You certainly can’t pin those losses on Keenum, and he did just about anything anyone could ask of him to keep his team in the games." (The Cynic - Hugging Harold Reynolds)
Keenum had no first place votes.
8. Jeremiah Masoli (Oregon)
"The Ducks bounced back from the opening game disaster to win the conference, thanks to Masoli's performance. Over 2,000 yard passing, 650 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns." (Samuel Chi - BCS Guru)
Masoli had no first place votes.
Sports Blog Heisman Trophy voting breakdown
3 points for a first-place vote, 2 for a second-place vote, 1 for a third-place vote
|Five other players (Brandon Graham, Jimmy Clausen, Dion Lewis, Josh Nesbitt, and Danario Alexander) each received two points while Rolando McLain, Jake Locker, and Freddie Barnes each received a single third place vote..|
***I sent out as many e-mails as I could to sports web sites all across the nation and received back 71 ballots. Of the 71 ballots that were sent in, the most represented region is the Midwestt with 25. The remaining representations: Southeast - 18; Northeast - 13; Far West - 8; Southwest - 8.