The most memorable things from the first weekend of college football
1. Hey Erin Andrews…you’ve got company. Samantha Steele explodes on to the hot ESPN sideline reporter scene.
Just blue Steele all over the place. Samantha Steele so hot right now, Samantha Steele.
2. What the hell was going on with those Maryland uniforms? Those are by far the ugliest things I have ever seen. They looked like they should have been playing at Midevil Times in Rosemont.
3. To all of the people who disagreed with me about Dayne Crist…you were right, I was wrong. You’re smart, I am stupid. You’re good looking, I am…not attractive.
Rees needs to be the starter going forward with some Everett Golson sprinkled in.
4. Who knew games could be called for lightning?
I still can’t believe that not finishing games is an option in football. The West Virginia and Michigan games being called cost me money as both games were deemed a push because they didn’t play a full 60 minutes. Notre Dame did it right. Delay the game for as long as needed, then head back out and finish the game. This was something lacrosse or soccer would do…not football.
5. Russell Wilson makes Wisconsin really effing good
Be afraid BigTen, be very afraid. Wilson didn’t even look all that sharp, but he is clearly the best QB the Badgers have ever had. Wisconsin could very well be a National Title Contender if they can get their run defense tightened up.
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The four-man quarterback competition taking place this fall at Notre Dame is getting plenty of media coverage and everyone seems to have an opinion. It is easy to get into Tommy Rees’s corner. The kid went 4-0 down the stretch with wins against “quality” opponents like Utah, USC, and Miami, while Crist went 4-4 with embarrassing losses to Stanford and Navy. Having said that, Dayne Crist MUST be the starting quarterback for Notre Dame. Giving the nod to Dane Crist is the best move for the Irish in both the short and long-term.
Crist is just better. Even though it often looked like Coach Kelly hated Dayne Crist on the sidelines, the truth of the matter is that Crist gives the offense a greater ceiling than Tommy Rees. Crist has far superior physical skills that enables the Irish offense to threaten defenses both vertically and horizontally. As much as I like Tommy Rees, there are certain throws that he simply can’t make. Notre Dame’s offense will be far less predictable with Crist running the show. Crist is also the superior athlete, and all reports are that he has regained his mobility after his second major knee surgery.
Year Two in the System. If Dayne Crist looked completely lost on the field at times last year, it’s because he was. Crist and Rees had essentially the same amount of time to learn the new system as both quarterbacks participated in the 2010 spring practice. Crist’s participation was even somewhat more limited than Rees’s due to his knee surgery. However, being the upper classman, Crist had much more of the playbook thrown at him in comparison to Rees. By the time Rees became the starter, the 10 other guys on the field were also more comfortable in the new system. Crist had to deal with not only his learning curve, but that of his teammates as well.
Numbers Don’t Lie: Crist actually faced tougher competition. Rees certainly knocked off some impressive names, and ND fans everywhere will remember him as the starting QB who finally beat SC. The truth of the matter is that the Irish faced much tougher teams in the beginning of their season. Crist played against 6 teams that played in bowl games including two conference champions in Michigan State and Stanford. Advanced metrics show that Crist played much higher quality defenses than Rees.
The Future of the Program: No matter who wins the starting job this fall, neither Dayne Crist nor Tommy Rees are the future of the position. I believe that title will belong to freshman Everett Golson. Golson is the most mobile of any quarterback on campus, but Golson isn’t just an athlete. Golson has an explosive arm and was rated as the most accurate high school quarterback when he attended the ELITE 11 camp. If Golson were 6’3″ and 210lbs, he would have been the top rated player in the country coming out of high school. Golson has all the tools to be a great college quarterback that can lead the Irish to a national title. He is a Troy Smith clone who seems to have been born to play in the Kelly spread offense. If Rees becomes the starter this season, that could stunt not only the growth of the program, but the growth of Golson. The quarterback position would be again unsettled next season and possibly the 2013 season as well. Allowing Crist to be the bridge to Golson is the best route for the future of the Notre Dame football program.
wake up the echoes. Go Irish
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(South Bend Tribune)–A sculpture of former University of Notre Dame football coach Dan Devine will be dedicated Oct. 7 at Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish play Air Force the following Day. The dedication will take place at Gate A. Notre Dame graduate Jerry McKenna created the sculpture. Devine served as head coach of the 1977 consensus national title team and also won two of the most dramatic postseason bowl games in Irish annals – the 1978 Cotton Bowl victory over top-rated Texas and the ’79 Cotton Bowl triumph over Houston that featured a stirring second-half comeback from a 34-12 deficit.
Can someone please explain to me why the hell Notre Dame is building a statue for Dan Devine? I am pretty sure this guy is the biggest asshole ever to set foot on campus. I mean what does Rudy have to do to make the dress list on Senior Day? Good thing Roland Steele organized a mutiny and told Devine to suck it. Then when he dressed Rudy so the team wouldn’t quit on him, he refused to put him in until 80,000 people started chanting his name. I hate Dan Devine. He had no soul. Easily my least favorite ND coach of all time not named Ty Willingham. Yeah…Devine won a National Title in 1977, but that thing was on cruise control. He was just riding Ara’s players to glory. Bill Walsh also said that Dan Devine hated Joe Montana and just ran his name through the mud when NFL teams asked about him. And the speech he gave before the Georgia Tech game was probably the worst thing I have ever heard. Really, that’s supposed to fire me up? That’s the best you got?
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I am so excited for the Cam McDaniel era at Notre Dame I can taste it. The kid is very dynamic. Looking at his highlight tape and reading his scouting reports it seems like McDaniel is more quick than he is fast, but that will certainly do. His cut-back ability and strength to drive through tackles reminds me a little bit of Julius Jones(without that extra gear). McDaniel will likely be the 3rd string tailback behind Cierre Wood and Jonas Gray which means he will inevitably get touches on offense when Jonas Gray sucks and Cierre Wood needs a breather. Coach Kelly also mentioned Cam McDaniel by name when talking about potential punt returners for Notre Dame in 2011. Its pretty much a lock that McDaniel will see the field and will be a fan favorite in no time with an Irish name like that.
PS: Not to be racist, but I love a good white running back. Its so rare.
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28 touchdowns and counting for soon to be 2011 Belitnikoff award winner Michael Floyd. Wake Up The Echoes!!! The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame are back in a big way. BCS bound for sure. Wouldn’t shock me one bit if Floyd is a Heisman finalist. All Notre Dame needs to do is find a quarterback.
PS: The South Florida game kind of scares the shit out of me. That team as a ton of athletes and its a program on the rise. ND better come ready to play week one.
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NCAA Football win totals are probably my favorite bets of the year…probably because they are the easiest. Hilton Sports Book in Vegas released their lines this past weekend and they are basically putting an ATM on my front lawn with these. Easy money. I also feel a lot smarter when I nail preseason picks. Six picks to chalk up here. Too bad you can’t parlay win totals.
Boise State – Win Total Line: 10.5 over(-135) Under(+115)
Normally I would stay away from a win total line higher than 10 for any team, but I love this line. Kellen Moore is back for a senior season and should be a Heisman Finalist. The Broncos have only three tough games on the schedule; @Georgia(Georgia Dome), Nevada, and TCU. Nevada and TCU both have to replace long time starters at quarterback and both of those games will be played on the blue turf. Playing Georgia in Atlanta will be a tough test, but Boise State historically plays very well against the big boys when given ample time to prepare. No way the Broncos lose 2 games on their slate provided Moore stays healthy. TAKING OVER(-135)
Virginia Tech– Win Total Line: 10 over(-160) under(+140)
Full disclosure, I was ready to take the under when I saw this line. 10 wins at -160 is not a very attractive line, but then I decided I would actually look at the Hokies’ schedule. What a cake walk. They don’t play Florida State and they get Miami, Clemson, Boston College, and UNC at home. They should be favored in all of those games. Even though I am not really buying to the hype surrounding VaTech’s new QB, its hard to find two losses on that schedule. Its either a win or a push at 10 wins. TAKING OVER(-160)
West Virginia– Win Total Line: 9.5 over(+150) under(-170)
If you had read this blog in the past couple of weeks it’s no secret that I LOVE West Virginia this year. Geno Smith and Dana Holgorsen are a match made in offense heaven. They are going to light up the BigEast this season. The test will come in their non-conference schedule. West Virginia takes on SEC power LSU and ACC up-and-comer Maryland. WVU probably splits those games and maybe drops a conference game somewhere along the line. I just don’t see this team losing three games. WVU is BCS bound. TAKING OVER(+150)
USC– Win Total Line: 7.5 over(-130) under(+110)
Look, I hate USC as much as the next guy, but there is absolutely NO chance that they lose 5 games this year. They are in year two of the Lane Kiffin era, have the best quarterback in the conference(maybe the country) not named Andrew Luck, and they don’t have nearly as many distractions this season. I only see three losses on the schedule at this point. @Notre Dame, @Oregon, and home against Stanford. There other “tough” conference tests come at home. I am simply not buying Utah and Arizona as real contenders in the Pac12. USC is still probably the most talented team in the conference and will rebound this year with a 9-3 record. TAKING OVER(-130)
Notre Dame– Win Total Line: 8.5 over(-130) under(+140)
There simply aren’t 4 losses on ND’s schedule this year. The Irish are returning almost all starters on both sides of the ball and will be much more comfortable in year 2 of Brian Kelly’s system. Michigan State historically gives the Irish fits, but the Spartans are coming to South Bend this year and ND will be looking to avenge last season’s heartbreaking OT loss. Notre Dame could very well be unbeaten heading into the season finale @Stanford. So if the Irish are 11-0…that means they aren’t losing 4 games. TAKING OVER(-160)
Miami(FLA)– Win Total Line: 8 over(-120) under(even)
Kudos to the Hurricanes for scheduling probably the toughest non-conference slate in the country…however that means that they will be fighting for bowl eligibility in their first season under coach Al Golden. Miami opens at Maryland on Sept 5th, before heading home to face Ohio State and Kansas State in consecutive weeks. The ‘Canes also play VaTech, Florida State, UNC, and USF on the road. A quarterback controversy, a new system and the schedule from hell will have Miami well under 8 wins. TAKING UNDER(even)
I am calling it now, the National Champ in 2011 will come from a school outside of the SEC. I watched some of the SEC Media Day coverage on ESPNU and I am so tired of everyone kissing the SEC’s ass. Yeah, yeah, yeah you guys won the last five national championships…whatever. That streak ends now. They are still the best conference, but there isn’t a dominant team among them. Auburn lost 99.6 percent of their offense when Newton bolted for the NFL. LSU can’t go undefeated with Jordan Jefferson at QB, and Les Miles easily could have had some of those crazy plays go against him and he would be out of a job. Alabama has QB issues too. Florida is in transition with Will Muschamp and Charlie Weis taking over in Gainseville. South Carolina is good, but Stephen Garcia is basically a functioning derelict at quarterback. Those teams will all beat each other up, paving the way for a new Conference to take home that Glass football(side note: I am a little clumsy and would be scared to death to touch that thing. Good thing I never won a national title…or got a scholarship). Mark my words, the National Championship will be won by one of the following schools”
Wisconsin Badgers: +2500
The Badgers have a tricky game early against Oregon State and then open up their Big10 slate with newcomer, Nebraska. The Badgers also face back-to-back tough road night games in October when they meet Michigan State and Ohio State respectively. Schedule makers didn’t do the defending Big10 Champs any favors, but Russell Wilson gives the Badgers talent at QB like they have never had. If he can acclimate himself to the system quickly, and Wisconsin makes it through October undefeated they will be in great shape to go to the BCS Title Game.
Oklahoma Sooners: +350
The Sooners are the favorite according to most odds makers at +350 to win the National Championship and with good reason. Oklahoma returns both Landry Jones and his favorite target, Ryan Broyles. The Sooners’ biggest challenge will come in week 2 against Florida State. If Oklahoma survives their trip to Tallahassee they won’t have too many more challenges the rest of the way. Oklahoma will battle Texas in Dallas, but the Longhorns are in the midst of rebuilding phase and the Sooners should take care of business. Oklahoma also gets Big12 challenger, Texas A&M at home. If the Sooners are undefeated after week 2, you can pretty much punch their BCS ticket.
Oregon Ducks: +1000
Full disclosure I wouldn’t make this bet in a million years. The Pac-12 is just goofy. I never know quite what is going on over there on the West Coast. The only sure-fire bet in the conference is that if everyone is saying Cal is good, it means they really suck. Oregon’s schedule is sneaky tough. Starting the year off against LSU. Then they end it with @Stanford, USC, and rival Oregon State. Then would have to win the Pac-12 title game. Having said all of that…the Ducks could very well make it back to the title game. Kicking off the year in SEC territory against LSU will be their most difficult challenge. A win against the Tigers and all of our retinas could be burned by those highlighter yellow unis the Ducks rock in the National Title game again.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish: +3000
Ok, hear me out on this one. Notre Dame has tremendous momentum from the end of last season as they head into year 2 of Brian Kelly’s system. Notre Dame has two of their most difficult games at home(Michigan State and USC) and should be favored in every other game with the exception of Stanford in the season finale. The Irish could very well be undefeated when they head to Palo Alto on November 26th. The Irish have depth and experience coming back on both sides of the ball and have a few blue chip recruits who will bolster the pass rush. Floyd will be catching bombs and Te’o will be crushing skulls and breaking wills. Wake up the echoes and watch out for the Irish.
Dark horse Pick…West Virginia+2500…you heard it here first.
PS: On second thought…Alabama is totally winning the National Championship.
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Ohio State is in shambles and is now looking for a new coach. While this is a major black eye for the state, the football program, and the university, Ohio State has endured coaching scandals in the past and is still one of the crown jewel coaching jobs in NCAA Football.
1. Notre Dame– ND has had their struggles, but it is still the best job. You win at ND and you are set for life.
2. Texas– Hot bed for talent and has a great tradition. Texas football makes a ton of money and the coach is paid accordingly
3. USC– Very much a national program and Southern California is a great pipeline for talent.
4. Alabama– When you win at Alabama you become more powerful than the Governor
5. Florida St– Great tradition with loads of in-state talent. They also play in a weaker conference
6. Ohio St– Has dominated the Big10 just about every year and can draw from the entire midwest.
7. Florida–All the same qualities as FSU, but playing in the pressure packed SEC makes it less desirable
8. Oklahoma–Great tradition in a football mad state.
9. Michigan– Still relevant and plays in an iconic stadium
10. Miami–The U has a unique tradition and a wealth of talent to draw from. Still a great job.