May 20, 2009

JoePa wants a Playoff

He is 82 years old and so resistant to modern technology that he claims to not have a cell phone or know how to retrieve or send e-mail. It’s a pretty safe bet he doesn’t know much, if anything, about the newfangled Twitter craze that is sweeping the nation.

But despite some of his more hidebound ways, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is college football’s ultimate maverick, tilting at the windmills of injustice as if he were Don Quixote in khaki pants, blue windbreaker, black field shoes and those trademark Coke-bottle glasses.

JoePa has won at least a few of the fights he’s undertaken, perhaps most notably when the NCAA — an organization even more steeped in tradition and resistant to change than he is — instituted limited use of instant replay so that officials’ disputed calls could be gotten right.

Other battles he has welcomed with the NCAA, the Bowl Championship Series hierarchy and even his own conference, the Big Ten, continue to be waged. And while Paterno shows no signs of giving up, time might be running out on him to live some of those perhaps impossible dreams that swirl around in his head. Nothing goes on forever, except maybe the Mississippi River, and that includes the Nittany Lions’ grand old man of the sideline.

Take the disinclination of NCAA and BCS honchos to even consider an eight-game playoff that would finally determine a true national champion, instead of the hodgepodge of computer rankings that almost always leave one or more teams feeling shafted. This past season the odd team out was undefeated Utah, from the non-BCS Mountain West Conference. Even the endorsement of President Obama for a playoff seems to have had little effect on university presidents and athletic directors who tend to move with the speed of melting glaciers.

"It makes sense that we have a playoff," Paterno said last week at the 35th annual Daily News-Eagles City All-Star Game banquet at Dugan’s Restaurant in Northeast Philly. "I don’t know what the problems are, but I don’t like to hear the phony reasons why they don’t have it. ’The kids are going to spend too much time away from class.’ Aw, come on. Look what they do with the basketball (NCAA Tournament). All the other divisions in NCAA football have playoffs. I really think a playoff is fairer."

In 2004, when Southern California, Oklahoma and Auburn all finished the regular season undefeated, Paterno, then a voter in the USA Today coaches’ poll, sent in a ballot on which those three teams shared No. 1. All that accomplished was to get him removed from the list of coaches who vote, a sort of blackball that continues to this day.

"They said, ’You can’t do that,’" Paterno said of his decision to split his ballot into equal thirds. "They didn’t want to count my vote, and they didn’t. But what did they want me to do, go against what I believe is right? I can’t do that. I won’t do it."

December 14, 2008

Bradford wins 2008 Heisman Trophy

Bradford wins 2008 Heisman Trophy

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford has won the Heisman Trophy, college football's most prestigious honor.

Bradford beat out last year's Heisman winner, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, and Texas QB Colt McCoy.

Bradford, a redshirt sophomore, became the fifth Oklahoma player to win the Heisman, joining quarterback Jason White (2003), running backs Billy Sims (1978), Steve Owens (1969) and Billy Vessels (1952).

"I was definitely surprised," said Bradford. "I think it's everything of what I imagined. I think it's going to take a couple of weeks to soak it all in."

In the breakdown, Tebow actually had more first-place votes (309) than Bradford (309), but the Sooner QB totaled 1,726 points. McCoy was second with 1,604 points, including 266 first-place tallies. Tebow came in third at 1,575 points.

Bradford captured the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Thursday, the same night Tebow edged fellow signal-callers Graham Harrell of Texas Tech and McCoy, for the Maxwell Award, signifying the nation's top all-around player. But two nights later in the Big Apple, it was Bradford who came away with the top honor.

That sets up a Bradford-Tebow battle in the BCS national championship game on January 8 in Miami.

Last year, Tebow became the first sophomore to win the Heisman. He was denied a shot at joining Ohio State running back Archie Griffin (1974-75) of was the only two-time winner of the Heisman.

With his left hand in the cast following surgery on his thumb, Bradford lifted up the Heisman Trophy with his right hand.

October 13, 2008

Just another wild Saturday in college football

It's one of those Sundays when you feel as if you spent all of Saturday watching a foreign film without subtitles. You think you figured out what happened, but you're not sure you understood all of it.

Chase Daniel and Missouri could not stay unbeaten and fell to Oklahoma State.
Anyone who needs order is granted permission to look forward to college basketball season. The 2005 season, when USC and Texas began and ended the regular season ranked first and second, is a long-ago memory.

But if it makes you feel any better, Texas is back. Hang on to that palliative while we recap the rest of the carnival ride of a college football Saturday.

Three of the top four teams lost and gave up an average of more than 41 points per game while losing. Oklahoma began Saturday No. 1. The Sooners ended it tied for fourth in the Big 12 South with Baylor.

Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel threw three interceptions in the second half of the second-ranked Tigers' 28-23 home loss to Oklahoma State. Daniel had thrown only one in Missouri's previous five games this season.

Northwestern and Vanderbilt are no longer unbeaten. That doesn't necessarily surprise anyone, but it's not a sentence you get to write very often.

Michigan lost to Toledo 13-10. Repeat the last sentence of the previous paragraph. The Wolverines, at 2-4, have three games against ranked teams remaining on their schedule: against Penn State, Michigan State and Ohio State. Michigan will have to defeat one of them to extend the sport's longest bowl streak of 33 seasons that began during the Ford administration, college football apparel.

Penn State and USC are the only teams in the top 10 that won by dominant margins. The Trojans defeated Arizona State 28-0. The Nittany Lions played their best game of the season at Wisconsin, winning 48-7.

But Penn State and USC are the exceptions. On this kind of Saturday, it made more sense not to play. Alabama, by remaining idle, stands as the last unbeaten team in the SEC.

California, by remaining idle, took over sole possession of the Pacific-10 Conference lead after Arizona lost 24-23 to a Stanford team that was playing a third-string quarterback.

Georgia Tech, by remaining idle … oh, wait a minute. Turns out the Yellow Jackets actually played a game Saturday. But it was hard to tell whether they knew about it. Georgia Tech's Derrick Morgan tipped a 43-yard field-goal attempt on the final play of the game to preserve a 10-7 victory over FCS squad Gardner-Webb. A week earlier, Gardner-Webb lost by the same margin to Charleston Southern.

If you can make sense of that, please share.

July 15, 2008

Boston College Team Upclose Look

For Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski, the goal of spring ball, especially the spring game, was simple.

"Stay healthy," said Jagodzinski, who begins his second season at BC.

The day now-former quarterback Matt Ryan became the highest BC draft pick ever (No. 3) and offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus followed at No. 17 (cornerback DeJuan Tribble went the second day), the Eagles held an abbreviated scrimmage at Alumni Stadium. Jagodzinski left the field "very pleased" with what had transpired in spring ball.

"I was happy with the way spring ended," Jagodzinski said. "We didn't have any major injuries."

But they did, just the same, lose one player -- defensive end Brady Smith was booted from the team after being arrested on a sexual-assault charge. However, Jagodzinski learned he might be getting running back/kick returner Jeff Smith back after Smith's career had apparently ended last year because of concussion problems.

The Eagles face the 2008 season after the loss of Ryan, with fifth-year senior-to-be Chris Crane set to take over. He will make his second college start when the Eagles face Kent State at Browns Stadium Aug. 30. The return of Jeff Smith, who was still awaiting final medical approval, would give the Boston College Eagles their only experienced tailback, and most of Smith's experience has been as a return man.

While all of the pieces are put in place, the offense will be a work in progress. But the defense, particularly the front seven, should be as good as any anywhere and will be the foundation for this team this season.

The kicking game was also a huge question mark and one of the things Jagodzinski and his staff have to deal with when summer camp starts.

2008 Navy College Football


During his four years of high school at Stratford Academy and The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla., junior linebacker Clint Sovie had four different head coaches.

"And each time [a new coach came in] it was a regime change," Sovie said.

So one can imagine Sovie's sense of relief when he heard that longtime Navy assistant coach Ken Niumatalolo had been tabbed to replace former head coach Paul Johnson, who left to become Georgia Tech's head coach.

He wasn't alone.

Considering Johnson's success, it was only a matter of time before a major-conference team scooped him up. Georgia Tech made sense, considering Johnson first made a name for himself at Championship Subdivision powerhouse Georgia Southern. When it finally happened, Navy could have chosen to make a splash with an outside hire. But instead it took a chance on a young minority coach who helped build the best rushing offense in college football. Niumatalolo, 42, is the first Samoan head coach in NCAA history. One of college football's oldest teams.

Niumatalolo has served in many capacities with the Midshipmen. He was an assistant head coach and offensive line coach for the last six years, and he was the offensive coordinator from 1997-1998. So he knows the culture, and, more importantly, knows what works, most notably the option offense.

Although Niumatalolo will retain most of Johnson's football ideology, his personality is much different than Johnson's. Johnson had a quick wit and his press conference transcripts often read like a transcript from Late Night with David Letterman. Niumatalolo doesn't have a gift for gab, choosing to answer questions more succinctly and without any discernable humor. Niumatalolo, however, is closer to the players because of his days as a position coach.

"They're both great guys, but coach Niumatalolo might be a little more personable," Sovie said. "You see coach 'N' more than you saw coach Johnson."

Funny or serious, a coach is ultimately judged by wins and losses. It's impossible to say how Niumatalolo will fare long term. But short term, Navy fans should be happy with the results. After finishing 8-5 last year, including a season-ending loss to Utah in the Poinsettia Bowl, the Midshipmen will be better this season, thanks to an improved defense and more mature offense. Senior quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada is entering his third year as the starter and has improved every year. Last season he boosted his passing numbers. This year he'll have to take on more of a leadership role. Although the Midshipmen aren't loaded at receiver, they have talent and depth at running back and should be able to put up big numbers once again. Defensively, they have eight returning starters. That should be enough experience to keep opposing offenses within striking distance, and let their offense do its job.

No matter who the coach is, Navy has high standards. No class wants to be the one that lowered them.

"We want to raise the bar; we don't want to ruin what so many other teams have built," senior quarterback/slot-back Jarod Bryant said. "We're all so close with former players. That serves as motivation."

April 8, 2008

President Bush Welcomes 2007 NCAA Football Champion Louisiana State University Tigers to the White House

THE PRESIDENT: Good to see you all. Welcome. Go Tigers! (Applause.) Sit down. Please sit down. Thanks for coming.

So I met some of these men in 2004 -- they feel pretty comfortable they were going to be back here. Some of them weren't so sure I was going to be back here. (Laughter.) It's good to welcome you back. Proud you're here. Nothing like being called, "National Champs." (Applause.) LSU has the honor of being the first school to win two BCS titles. This year there is no split. (Applause.)

Louisiana State University Tigers' running back Jacob Hester stands next to President George W. Bush after presenting him with a football during a visit to the White House Monday, April 7, 2008, by the 2007 NCAA Football Champions. White House photo by Eric Draper I appreciate Les Miles, and Kathy -- thanks for coming. Proud to have met you, Coach. It was a great honor for me to have called you after you won that day. And I know you told the team that at least one guy called to congratulate you. (Laughter.) I welcome the LSU administrators, personnel, coaches, trainers, locker room folks, and most of all, the players.

I want to welcome members of Congress -- Jim McCrery. Jim, good to see you, sir. And, Scott and Clark, good to see you boys. Rodney Alexander -- Congressman, good to see you. Charles Boustany -- I'm glad to see you, Charles. Thanks for coming. I appreciate you taking time to be here. Out of the state government is State Treasurer John Kennedy. John, thank you for coming. Appreciate you coming up for that. Glad you brought Preston.

Is Breaux here? No, he -- (laughter) -- he's working. (Laughter.) Which is a major upset -- no. (Laughter.)

Winning requires very strong leadership -- that's what it takes. After eight years of welcoming national champs there's always one common denominator, and that is it requires a strong leader to motivate people toward a common goal. And that's exactly what you have in Coach Les Miles. Coach Miles's three years has helped the team compile a 34-and-6 record. And this is a guy who's not afraid to take risks. He tried two fake field goals, fake punt, went for 4th down -- went for 1st down on 4th down -- 15 times. Made it nearly every time. (Applause.) Of course, he had the players who helped him take that risk.

He also had to deal with some delicate situations away from the field, like inaccurate press stories. (Laughter.) Coach, let me just say, I know the feeling. (Laughter.)

This is Coach Miles's first time celebrating here at the White House, and a lot of folks are going to remember it because it's the first time he's been seen in public without a hat on. (Laughter.)

LSU fans had an amazing season. They -- first of all, in the season, the number one ranking changed hands six times. Of course, LSU was number one on the day it counted; that's why they're here. You had to overcome adversity to get here. You played as a team, and you won some dramatic football games. And when you lost, it was pretty dramatic, too. You beat Florida in a comeback with the largest crowd ever to watch a game at Tiger Stadium. Two weeks later, you rallied to beat Auburn on a touchdown scored with one second left on the clock.

President George W. Bush holds up an LSU Tigers' jersey presented to him Monday, April 7, 2008 by the 2007 NCAA Football Champions during their visit to the White House. White House photo by Chris Greenberg After you lost to Arkansas, a lot of folks counted you out. But you held a team meeting and decided you had something to play for. In other words, you didn't let adversity affect you. You said, we're going to do something about it. And then you beat Tennessee to win the SEC Championship, and you went from number seven to number two -- and you went straight to the national title game, which didn't start off so good. And yet you had 31 unanswered points, like a true champion team, to win 38 to 24. And you're here at the White House, representing LSU University as the National Champs. And we congratulate you. (Applause.)

Being raised in Texas and growing up in Texas, I've got a lot of friends in Louisiana. And you inspired people across the state. I thought Matt -- quarterback Matt Flynn put it best. He said, "You can't dream it any better than that." And that's what a lot of people were saying around your state.

You earned your place in the record books. You scored the most points in school history. And the seniors will go down as LSU's winningest class. No other senior class has had a better record than those at -- (applause.)

I welcome defensive tackle, Glenn Dorsey. And so did the team when he turned down -- when he decided not to turn pro last year. A lot of fans said, "Thank you, Glenn." (Laughter.) A lot of opponents said, "No, thank you, Glenn." (Laughter.) After all, he was the defensive player of the year for SEC, Outland Trophy winner, Lombardi Trophy, and Nagurski Award. He'll have his time in the NFL, and a lot of teams are sure anxious to have him play for them. Congratulations, and welcome. Glad you're here. (Applause.)

This is a team of great athletes. Two players were drafted by Major League Baseball. One of the stars, Trindon Holliday, holds the school record in the 100 meters. One of your linemen, Herman Johnson -- he holds a different kind of record. (Laughter.) He was the largest baby ever born in the state of Louisiana, at 15 pounds, 14 ounces. (Laughter.) That's why he's known as "The House," which puts him in good stead with his fellow teammates known as, "Putt," or "Surfer Boy," "L-Crazy," and "Cheese." (Laughter.) Whatever nickname you prefer to be called, all of us here are calling you "Champs." And you deserve it. I want to thank you for being champions on the field. (Applause.)

I appreciate you understanding that once you're a champ on the field, means you have a responsibility to be a champ off the field, as well. And there's no better inspiration than Les Miles and his wife, Kathy. They host events that raise money for the Children's Miracle Network. They're active in cancer fundraising and the Special Olympics, the Baton Rouge Children's Advocacy Center. I told the coach that I was going to mention this, and that is, I'm aware, as the Commander-in-Chief of the finest military ever assembled on the face of the Earth, that he went to boost our troops in Iraq and Kuwait as part of a USO tour. I want to thank you, Coach, for doing your job. (Applause.)

The Louisiana State University Tigers appear on the South Lawn Monday, April 7, 2008, as President George W. Bush welcomes the 2007 NCAA National Football to the White House. White House photo by Chris Greenberg I appreciate the example that Glenn Dorsey has set on the field and off the field to -- he works to educate children about the dangers of drugs, and encourages them to work hard. His advice is: "Dream big and make things happen." There's nothing better than a champ to help somebody dream big and to encourage them to make something happen.

And so when you leave here, I hope you leave here knowing that you've got a special responsibility, not only to represent your school on the football field, but to help make America a better place, just like Ciron Black did, when he heard the story of an 8-year-old LSU fan who was suffering from leukemia. And he took time to send an encouraging message, then he wrote the boy's name, Mikey, on his wristband during the national championship game. Sometimes people say, I can't help because I can't solve all the problems. But in this case, he showed that you can help one person. And in helping one person, he helped the nation as a whole. And I want to thank you, Ciron, for your leadership. (Applause.)

There's a lot of great stories about the character of the people behind me, but it's getting chilly, and I'm looking forward to getting my LSU jersey. (Laughter.) And so I want to welcome you all to the White House, to the South Lawn of the White House. I'm so honored and proud to welcome the LSU Tigers here as the National Champs. God bless you. God bless LSU, and God bless America. (Applause.)

November 27, 2007

What A Barn Burner!

Eric Ferguson was 6/14 with 172 Yards and 2 TDs (2 INTs)
Jimmy Sullivan was held to 67 yards rushing, but had a 67 yard touchdown reception.
David Swan put up 2 TDs on 28 Yards

This game was brought to you by: Minneapolis Landscaping

This week in the fictional land of Digital Madison the Badgers played the #5 Ohio State Buckeyes. The first play of the Wisconsin offense was a Pick 6, however, the Badgers answered quickly with a 53 yard touchdown pass to Senior Wideout A. Williams. Then again just before the 1st quarter clocked expired to Jimmy Sullivan for 67 more yards. Midway through the second quarter Wisconsin put another touchdown on the board, making the score 21-7. Looking dominate, Wisconsin appeared to be rolling, however, Ohio State put on more TD up on the board on a 12 yard pass with 17 seconds left in the half. The crowd in Minneapolis was excited for a great second half.

The Bucks came out with a long drive and were held to a 24 yard field goal on the opening drive of the second half. Another returned interception, this time for 66 yards before the Touchdown. Ohio State takes the lead 24-21 heading into the 4th quarter. The Badgers worked the ball down the field setting up a touchdown with 24 seconds left in the game. They held on for the win 28-24... whew!

November 21, 2007

The NCAA Football Results Blog

Welcome to the NCAA Football Results and Information Blog. This blog is used to follow a fictitious NCAA Football team through their recruiting process, season, and eventual NCAA BCS National Championship game.

The team, unfortunately is the University of Wisconsin Badgers... I'm in the Big Ten, trying desperately to get a job offer from the Gophers!

Minneapolis will hopefully be my next stop, as I will not renew the Badger's contract and should have plenty of places to pick from.