Posted on 29 October 2010.
Posted on 27 October 2010.
With only six weeks remaining in the college football season, College FootBlog takes a look at who is making the strongest cases to make the trip to New York for the Heisman ceremony. Here are the four elite players we feel have the best shot at bringing home the hardware this December.
Cameron Newton (QB/Auburn): When you’re leading your team in rushing as a quarterback and your team is ranked #1 in the country, you’re making a very strong case for the Hesiman. Newton’s numbers have been sick this season, averaging over 305 yards per game with 27 total touchdowns. He will get at least one more chance to shine on national television when he leads his Tigers into Tuscaloosa to face Alabama in the Iron Bowl. A strong performance against Nick Saban’s defense would essentially lock up the Heisman and an SEC Championship game.
LaMichael James (RB/Oregon): After missing the opener due to a suspension, many writers had removed the talented running back from their Heisman watch lists. But James has burst back onto the scene and currently leads the nation in rushing yards per game with 161. If Oregon keeps winning and James keeps getting his touches, he could be the fourth straight sophomore to win the coveted award.
Kellen Moore (QB/Boise State): Once again, BSU’s quarterback has quietly put together the most efficient passing attack in the NCAA. The junior signal caller has thrown for over 1,500 yards and 16 touchdowns, with only one interception. With six more games remaining, he could end up with video game statistics again this year, and his Broncos have their best chance ever at playing for the BCS Title. If his stats hold up (and based on his career, they should) and if BSU can secure a BCS Title game, Moore will have as good of a shot as anyone at winning the Trophy.
Justin Blackmon (WR/Oklahoma State): Dez Who? Blackmon has ripped through secondaries all season long for the 6-1 Cowboys and leads the nation with 158.9 yards per game. In last weekend’s shoot out with Nebraska, the sophomore wideout eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark to go along with 14 TD receptions. If he keeps this pace, he would finish the season with 1906 yards and 24 touchdowns–numbers that should lock him up for a trip to New York. OSU has a tough road to finish the season, with games against Texas and Oklahoma, so keeping that pace will not be an easy task.
Look for another breakdown in a few weeks that will provide our pick for the top three, along with who College FootBlog thinks will ultimately bring the award home.
Posted on 26 October 2010.
The first week of the 2010 college football season is officially in the books, and while the January bowls are still months away, we did manage to learn quite a bit from opening week. The Big East posted an 8-0 record in the first week of the 2011 season. While most of the wins came against inferior competition, both Syracuse and South Florida came away with quality victories over Wake Forest and Notre Dame, respectively. Continue Reading
Posted on 25 October 2010.
Almost immediately, fans jumped on the Bronco bandwagon quicker than the rise and fall of Jared Zabransky’s career- the Boise quarterback that fateful night. That New Year’s Day, America’s sports bars erupted in a collective cheer, Boise running back Ian Johnson proposed to his then girlfriend on live television- she said yes- and the mustache-toting redhead, Zabransky, found himself seated comfortably in video game immortality, his face planted on the cover of EA Sports’ NCAA Football 08’.
Cut to today- Not much has changed since the Broncos sent Glendale, Arizona, into an orange and blue frenzy three years ago. The heroes, Zabransky and Johnson, have since graduated and left the program in good hands. In fitting fashion, the Broncos continue to pummel every team on their schedule, neutral field and all. Stoops still has his Sooners in the national title hunt virtually every year, Glendale still hosts the annual Fiesta Bowl, and America still has an N’SYNC-like infatuation with the Boys of the Blue Turf.
Unfortunately, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, and the boys wore out their welcome with the American public. Boise faces the same fate. The college football community told Boise to win, and win big. They have done both. The College Gameday crew told Boise to beat the big boys- away from the blue turf. They have done both. This is how we have arrived at today’s crossroads, the Boise bandwagon a little less full, and the American public a little more annoyed with this pest of a football team who refuses to do the unthinkable- lose.
The next time Chris Petersen calls your school to try and set up a game- on your field in front of your fans- respect the man, and the Broncos, for their undying confidence. When the BCS dangles them at number three, unwilling to nudge them into the top two, Boise smiles, laughs, and hits the blue turf to get better. What happens next is comical. Each fall Saturday, the Boise State Broncos dawn their blue uniforms, lace up their blue-stained cleats, smile, laugh, and hit the blue turf, ready to hit you in the mouth.
Posted on 24 October 2010.
Week 8 in college football was saw another big upset and saw a Heisman contender move to a Heisman front-runner. We cover these topics and more in this week’s edition of our 3rd & 1.
1st: Oklahoma’s lack of a vertical passing game finally caught up with them. Whether it is conservative play calling or zero confidence in quarterback Landry Jones, the Sooners’ lack of the intermediate and deep passing game was finally exposed by the Missouri Tigers this past weekend. In match ups against Florida State, Texas and Mizzou, it was abundantly clear that the OU coaching staff does not want the sophomore QB to make reads down the field. Until the Mizzou weekend, Jones’ weaknesses were somewhat masked by a barrage of bubble screens and the fast pace of the no-huddle offense. Mizzou walked their safeties and corners up to the line of scrimmage and kept the bubble screens in check, and begged OU to challenge their pass defense. Still, the OU play calling was bubble screens and quick slants, and it cost the Sooners one loss and could easily cost them another if the coaching staff doesn’t improve the passing game.
2nd: The Heisman Trophy is Cameron Newton’s to lose. Auburn’s junior signal-caller eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in last weekend’s victory over previously undefeated LSU. Although his passing numbers were far from explosive (10 for 16 for 86 yards), the elusive QB rushed for over 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns against a LSU defense that had previously only allowed one player, Tennessee’s Tauren Poole, to break 100 yards. Newton is 9th nationally in total yards per game with 305.1 and has already accounted for 27 touchdowns, despite going against the stout defenses of the SEC. If he can put up similar numbers in the Iron Bowl, not only will he have a great shot at the Heisman, but he will have the Tigers in position for a BCS Championship.
3rd: Oregon’s offense is scary-good. The Ducks lead the nation with just under 570 yards per game. Their lowest scoring output so far this season was against Arizona State, when the Sun Devils “held” them to a mere 42 points. Last Thursday’s 60-point, 582-yard thrashing of UCLA gave the rest of the nation an opportunity to see just how explosive the 2010 Ducks are. Quarterback Darron Thomas has made everyone forget about Jeremiah Masoli’s departure last spring. The sophomore QB has accounted for over 1,500 yards passing and 17 TDs to go along with 269 yards and two TDs on the ground. Sophomore running back LaMichael James has picked up right where he left off last season and currently leads the nation in rushing yards per game with just over 161 YPG.
….and 1: Only Iowa stands in the way of a Big Ten Title for Michigan State. The undefeated Spartans invade Iowa City this weekend and face the Hawkeyes, who lost a heart-breaker at home last weekend to Wisconsin (who Michigan State beat earlier this month). MSU has the luxury of not having Ohio State on the schedule this year, and after this weekend’s trip to Iowa, they wrap up the rest of the regular season with home games against 1-7 Minnesota and 4-3 Purdue, before traveling to Penn State for the finale. If the Spartans can knock off Iowa this weekend, they can still afford to lose one game and be guaranteed at least a share of the conference title. Look for Kirk Ferentz and his Hawkeyes to give MSU all they can handle in what should be a great game.
Posted on 17 October 2010.
For the second consecutive week, College FootBlog rolls out our 3rd & 1 feature, which breaks down three observations from the college football action from the previous weekend. And we finish by giving one key match up to look for in the upcoming week. Let’s get to it, shall we?
1st: Another week, another set of hangover games. Last weekend, the Alabama Crimson Tide fell at South Carolina after thumping the hated Florida Gators the week before. This weekend, Kentucky returned the favor. Steve Spurrier took his Gamecocks into Lexington, and the Wildcats shocked them 31-28. Not to be outdone, Oregon State lost a double-overtime thriller to Washington, just one week after knocking off previously undefeated Arizona.
2nd: Michigan QB Denard Robinson cannot take the punishment of a full Big Ten schedule. Although Robinson is the most explosive player in college football, Rich Rodriguez has no other legitimate weapons on offense, making Robinson a one-man show. Robinson is on pace for around 250 rushes this year–if his body can take it. They need more production and more carries from their running backs to take some pressure off Robinson (RB Vincent Smith is second on the team in yards and carries and currently has nearly half the rushes (70) that Robinson has accumulated this season. More importantly, Robinson, who is listed 6’0″ and only 188 lbs. does not have the body to take that many hits in the thick of the Big Ten schedule.
3rd: John Clay is the real deal. The Big Ten’s reigning Offensive Player of the Year, along with Wisconsin’s massive offensive line smacked Ohio State right in the mouth this weekend, en route to this season’s biggest upset as they took dominated the Buckeyes 31-18. Clay led the Badgers’ ground assault with 104 yards and two touchdowns on just 21 carries (5.0 yards per carry). Behind arguably the most physical offensive line in the country, the 255 lb. junior proved to be too much for a Ohio State defense that features seven players who could be playing in the NFL in the very near future. Clay and fellow tailback James White will get another opportunity to shine on national television this upcoming weekend when they travel to Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes. If he has a similar performance against Iowa’s stout defense, Heisman voters will be forced to take notice.
…and 1: Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert will get his first major test of 2010 this weekend when Oklahoma comes to town. At 265 yards per game, Gabbert ranks 20th in the country. Statistically, the Sooners defense has been far from stellar this season, but a closer look shows that Bob Stoops’ squad has brought their A-Game in their only two legitimate contests so far this season. The Sooners shut down Florida State in week 2 and rattled Texas QB Garrett Gilbert in the Red River Rivalry game a couple of weeks ago. Look for OU to come after Gabbert, who has battled through a hip injury. The Sooners will bring it this upcoming weekend, and they will look to ruin Mizzou’s homecoming weekend on the national TV game of the week.