Sunday Morning Wrapup – Week 10

Half of the teams ranked in the Top 10 of the BCS were off yesterday, so that left so some slim pickings. The afternoon games didn’t disappoint, and Florida State rolled. That’s where we’ll find most of this week’s winners and losers.

Winners – Florida State, Michigan State, North Texas

Miami was a 21-point underdog to Florida State going into the game, and some analysts were suggesting that spread might be a bit high, since

As it turns out, it was too low.

#3 Florida State crushed #7 Miami 41 – 14, ending the Canes’ undefeated season and sending them back down to South Florida with their tails between their legs. Jameis Winston did not look perfect, as he threw two interceptions that he’d probably like to have back, but he still completed 21 of his 29 passes for 325 yards and a touchdown. The Seminole offense made Duke Johnson a non-factor, holding him to 97 yards on 23 carries.

This win will almost certainly propel Florida State into the #2 spot in the BCS. With Oregon on a bye, enough voters in both the Coaches and Harris Polls will be impressed by Florida’s dismantling of Miami to give the Seminoles the #2 ranking. Oregon, currently #2 in the BCS, plays Stanford this Thursday in prime time. Their performance against the Cardinal will go a long way to determining their, as well as FSU’s fate.

And in the battle for the Paul Bunyan trophy, #22 Michigan State came to play. The Spartan front seven held the #21 Wolverines to only 168 total yards while sacking Devon Gardner seven times and holding Michigan to -48 RUSHING YARDS. The boldface, italics, and capitalization all are mandatory, as this is an incredibly ridiculous feat. Any team that does this deserves to win their game, and the Spartans did just that, defeating their in-state rivals 29 – 6. The Spartans have a week off before playing Nebraska in Memorial Stadium, and a win in Lincoln would almost assuredly clinch them a spot in the B1G Championship Game.

And congratulations are in order for the University of North Texas, who defeated Rice 28 – 16 and became bowl eligible for the first time since 2004! North Texas joins Rice, Houston, Baylor, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech as teams in Texas that did became bowl eligible before Texas.

Losers – Miami, Florida

As bad as a 41 – 14 loss to your in-state rival is (for both player morale and recruiting efforts), it’s even worse when you lose a star player. And that’s exactly what happened to the Canes. In the third quarter, after the game was already well in-hand, Duke Johnson was tackled by a gang of Florida State defenders and landed awkwardly on his right ankle. He lain on the ground in pain for several minutes before being taken to the Canes’ locker room. Reports that surfaced confirmed the worst fears of the Miami faithful.

Source close to situation tells Miami Herald that #UM RB Duke Johnson has broken his ankle and is out for the season. Surgery next week.

— Susan Miller Degnan (@smillerdegnan) November 3, 2013

Duke Johnson is a hell of a player and fun to watch. We wish him the best in his recovery.

Miami has to regroup quickly if they want any chance of a shot at revenge in the ACC Championship Game. They play Virginia Tech in game that could very well decide the Coastal division.

Florida looked absolutely awful in their 23 – 20 loss to Georgia in the annual Cocktail Party. Although the score makes the game appear close, Florida’s repeated insistence at shooting itself in the foot made the game virtually unwinnable. Positive plays were negated by penalties too often to count. And it was the nature of the penalties that is really striking – taking one’s helmet off after a great play to take your team out of field goal range, chippiness after taking umbrage at something Georgia did – all of these are dumb penalties that impede your chances of winning the game. Some Florida fans have taken to calling the Gators’ style of play BIG DUMB WILL MUSCHAMP FOOTBALL, and we agree.

Speaking of Coach Muschamp, he needs his team to regroup and focus their attention on Vandy, and do so rather quickly. The Gators need two wins to become bowl eligible, and should they fall to the Commodores on Saturday, they would have to beat either South Carolina or Florida State to do so. And the odds of beating either of those teams is slim at best. And if the Gators do not make it to a bowl, Will Muschamp may find his seat very hot indeed.

Top 25 Upsets

  • #18 Oklahoma State over #16 Texas Tech, 52 – 34
  • #22 Michigan State over #21 Michigan, 29 – 6

A Look Ahead

We have quite the slate of games this week. MACtion on Tuesday, and a pair of Top 10 matchups on Thursday: #6 Baylor plays at #10 Oklahoma, and #2 Oregon travels to #5 Stanford. Both of these games have national title implications, and if either of these games were being played on Saturday, College GameDay would be there.

As it stands, College Gameday is traveling to Tuscaloosa to watch #13 LSU play #1 Alabama. LSU always gives the Tide trouble, and this game should prove no differently. The Tigers are one of two roadblocks the Tide have left on their schedule, and a firm showing would improve their resume, while any slip-ups may doom their hopes for a three-peat. As mentioned above, Virginia Tech travels to Miami in a matchup that could decide the Coastal, while undefeated in-conference Houston travels to Orlando to play undefeated in-conference UCF to perhaps determine who will represent the American Athletic Conference.

BCS Standings

[To Be Updated]

Posted in College Football | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Wrapup – Week 9

Week 9 was not nearly as crazy overall as last week, as only one team in the Top 10 went down. #21 South Carolina upset #5 Mizzou (and yes, that is a real sentence we just typed), while #6 Stanford, #7 Miami, and #15 Oklahoma escaped close scares. #1 Alabama, #2 Florida State, #3 Oregon, #4 Ohio State, and #8 Baylor all cruised to easy victories.

Winners – Duke, Minnesota, Tulane

This may seem like a weird amalgamation of teams to select as this week’s winners, but they all have something in common (besides having a color in their team name): they all got their sixth win yesterday. The Duke Blue Devils, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and the Tulane Green Wave are all bowl eligible. Duke upset #14 Virginia Tech 13 – 10, Minnesota upset #24 Nebraska 34 – 23, (for their first win over the Huskers since 1960)  and Tulane defeated Tulsa 14 – 7. All three of these teams are now bowl eligible. For the Blue Devils, it is the first time they are going bowling in consecutive years…EVER. This is a first in program history, and congrats to David Cutcliffe and his staff for a job well done. And for a Tulane program ravaged by Hurricane Katrina less than a decade ago, this a tremendous accomplishment. Perhaps even more surprising is this:

Incredible.

Losers – Texas Tech, Mizzou

As you’d expect, the two teams to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten are this week’s biggest losers. Texas Tech was competitive with Oklahoma all game, and Kliff Kingsbury pulled out all the stops, from trick plays to onside kicks. Alas, it wasn’t enough to defeat the Sooners, who triumphed 38 – 30. Bu of the two losses, Missouri’s was the far tougher one to swallow.

Up 17-0 at the start of the 4th quarter, the Tigers allowed 17 unanswered points to the Gamecocks, who forced overtime at Faurot Field. Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the first overtime (although it took a conversion on 4th and long by South Carolina to extend the game), and the Gamecocks settled for the field goal in the second overtime to go up by three. The corresponding Mizzou drive stalled at the South Carolina 6-yard line. So Andrew Baggett was called upon to make a chip-shot 24-yard field goal from the left hash. Easy enough.

Except it wasn’t.

Doink.

No good.

Mizzou loses, 24 – 27.

As Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde points out, the north end zone is cursed. From the Flea Kicker by Nebraska in 1997, to Colorado’s “5th down” in 1990, to yesterday’s soul-crushing missed field goal: all occurred in Faurot Field’s north end zone. If they wanted to knock the whole damn thing down and start over, I don’t think anyone would blame them.

Top 25 Upsets

  • #21 South Carolina over #5 Missouri, 27 – 24
  • #15 Oklahoma over #10 Texas Tech 38 – 30
  • Duke over #14 Virginia Tech, 13 – 10
  • Minnesota over #24 Nebraska, 24 – 23

A Look Ahead

The biggest game by far next week will be #7 Miami at #2 Florida State. A matchup of two undefeated Top Ten teams, GameDay will be making the trip to Tallahassee for this in-state rivalry. The Canes open as a 21-point underdog at Florida State, and our only question is: is this enough? Miami has struggled against Wake Forest and North Carolina the past two weeks, while Florida State has been blowing teams away with ease. As fans of college football, we hope it will be close, but we have a feeling this one will get out of hand quickly.

In the Big 12, Texas Tech looks to bounce back against Oklahoma State after a tough loss to the Sooners, and the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party actually means something after the Mizzou loss – it serves as a de facto elimination game in the SEC East: Florida and Georgia play in Jacksonville on CBS at 3:30. Michigan travels to East Lansing to play Michigan State in next week’s featured matchup in the B1G.

BCS Standings

RK TEAM RECORD
1 Alabama 8-0
2 Oregon 8-0
3 Florida State 7-0
4 Ohio State 8-0
5 Stanford 7-1
6 Baylor 7-0
7 Miami (FL) 7-0
8 Clemson 7-1
9 Missouri 7-1
10 Oklahoma 7-1
11 Auburn 7-1
12 Texas A&M 6-2
13 LSU 7-2
14 South Carolina 6-2
15 Texas Tech 7-1
16 Fresno State 7-0
17 Northern Illinois 8-0
18 Oklahoma State 6-1
19 Louisville 7-1
20 UCLA 5-2
21 Michigan 6-1
22 Michigan State 7-1
23 UCF 6-1
24 Wisconsin 5-2
25 Notre Dame 6-2
Posted in College Football | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Wrapup – Week 8

If you wanted a shakeup in the Top 25, this was your week.  Teams ranked 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 15,  20, and 22 all lost. AS ESPN’s Brett McMurphy put it:

Winners – Florida State, Baylor, Miami, Duke

The Florida State-Clemson game was billed as perhaps the best conference game in ACC history. #5 would being playing #3, and College GameDay was there to add another degree of pageantry. Florida State came prepared and ready for battle; it was s shame Clemson decided not to show up. You could tell it was going to be that type of game for Clemson when the Tigers fumbled it on their opening possession and it took only three ensuing plays for Florida State to score. This game as over before the first quarter even ended, as Mario Edwards Jr. recovered a Tajh Boyd fumbled and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown to put the Noles up 17-0. They would never look back on their way to a 51 – 14 victory. With the win, they very well might be the #2 team in the nation when the first BCS Standings come out tonight.

Baylor continues to roll, winning their 10th consecutive game (dating back to last season) and crushing Iowa State 71 – 7. Somehow, the Bears were ranked only 12th in the AP Poll last week; with all of the upsets concurring this week, look for that number to jump significantly, perhaps into the Top 5.

The #10 Canes looked like the worse team nearly all of Thursday night against North Carolina, and it took a last minute drive to beat the Tarheels 27 – 23, so you wouldn’t expect them to end up in the winner’s area of this blog. But with all of the other Top 10 teams being upset and losing this week, the Canes are going to fall up, probably into a Top 5 spot. It’ll make their matchup against Florida State in a few weeks all the more compelling. They’ll be annihilated, most assuredly, but at least the events and trash talk by both fanbases leading up to the game will be entertaining.

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the Duke Blue Devils defeating the Virginia Cavaliers 35 – 22. Although a matchup of mediocre ACC teams, the win gives Duke its fifth win of the year – only one victory away from bowl eligibility. And although Virginia Tech, Miami, and UNC are in front of them, so are NC State and Wake Forest, so they have a chance!

Losers – Louisville, the SEC

For #8 Louisville to even be in the discussion for the national championship game, they were going to have to run the table and win each of their games solidly. Any loss would knock them out of the running. Alas, a loss is exactly what they suffered at the hands of George O’Leary’s UCF Knights on Friday. The Cardinals were up 28-7 in the 3rd quarter, but the Knights scored 24 consecutive points en route to a 38 – 35 home upset of Charlie Strong’s team. Not only did the loss eliminate any shot Louisville had of making the national championship game, it may have also ended any shot they had at making a BCS Bowl. By virtue of their victory over the Cardinals, the Knights have a two game lead over Louisville in the American. UCF doesn’t have to play Cincinnati either this year, making their path to the AAC’s at-large spot all the easier.

The SEC was one of our big winners last week; for the first time in AP Poll history, eight teams came from one conference. The conference was riding high. Then yesterday happened. Of the six preseason favorites to win their division, five lost yesterday. #22 Florida lost to #14 Mizzou, #15 Georgia lost to Vanderbilt, #11 South Carolina lost to Tennessee, #7 Texas A&M lost to #24 Auburn, and #6 LSU lost to Ole Miss. For the casual fan, this was great; the underdogs beat the favorites. For the conference as a whole though, several teams eliminated themselves from the national title conversation, and only three teams can win their respective division in the SEC now: Mizzou, Alabama (both undefeated), and Auburn (who already has one loss but plays Alabama at the end of the year). Everyone laughed when a few people said that the SEC East goes through Columbia, Mizzouri this year, but they were right. If the Gamecocks lose to the Tigers next week, consider Mizzou’s ticket to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game all but punched.

Top 25 Upsets

  • #5 Florida State over #3 Clemson, 51 – 14
  • Ole Miss over #6 LSU, 27 – 24
  • #24 Auburn over #7 Texas A&M, 45-41
  • UCF over #8 Louisville, 38 – 35.
  • #13 Stanford over #9 UCLA, 24 – 10
  • Tennessee over #11 South Carolina, 23 – 21
  • Vanderbilt over #15 Georgia, 31 – 27
  • Arizona State over #20 Washington, 53 – 24

A Look Ahead

The pickings are slim next week, but we’re well into October, so don’t discount any team from being upset. That being said, the most compelling matchups will be UCLA-Oregon (where GameDay is going next week), Texas Tech-Oklahoma, and South Carolina-Missouri, in a game that very well may decide the SEC East (just as we all predicted). Penn State plays Ohio State under the lights.

BCS Standings

RK TEAM RECORD
1 Alabama 7-0
2 Florida State 6-0
3 Oregon 7-0
4 Ohio State 7-0
5 Missouri 7-0
6 Stanford 6-1
7 Miami (FL) 6-0
8 Baylor 6-0
9 Clemson 6-1
10 Texas Tech 7-0
11 Auburn 6-1
12 UCLA 5-1
13 LSU 6-2
14 Virginia Tech 6-1
15 Oklahoma 6-1
16 Texas A&M 5-2
17 Fresno State 6-0
18 Northern Illinois 7-0
19 Oklahoma State 5-1
20 Louisville 6-1
21 South Carolina 5-2
22 Michigan 6-1
23 UCF 5-1
24 Nebraska 5-1
25 Oregon State 6-1
Posted in College Football | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Umpire Wally Bell dies at age 48

As the HardballTalk article states, Wally Bell was never involved in any notable controversy; he did his job, and he did it well. He was one of the ever shrinking number of umpires who knew the people came to see the players play, not the umpires officiate. Prayers for him and his family during this difficult time.

Rest in peace, Wally.

HardballTalk

Sad news coming out of Ohio on Monday night: Wally Bell, who just finished working the Cardinals-Pirates NLDS series last week, has passed away of an apparent heart attack, according to the Youngtown Vindicator.

“One on my dearest friends,” fellow umpire John Hirschbeck told Youngstown’s WFMJ. “We worked together for 11 years. He was like to a son to me, my wife Denise, very dear friend. It’s devastating. Wally was one of the first to call me and congratulate me on working the World Series.”

Bell had spent 21 years as a major league ump, handling one World Series, four LCSs and seven LDSs. According to his MLB.com bio, his proudest moment as a major league ump was returning to the field following open heart surgery in 1999.

“All of us at Major League Baseball are in mourning tonight regarding the sudden passing of Wally Bell,” said…

View original post 191 more words

Posted in Baseball | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Wrapup – Week 7

It was Upset Saturday in college football yesterday, as nearly a third of ranked teams lost. #17 Florida’s offense reared its ugly head in a 17 – 6 loss to #10 LSU, and #16 Washington could not contain #2 Oregon and its explosive offense, losing in a shootout, 45 – 24. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for this week’s Winners and Losers.

Winners – Missouri, Northern Illinois, the SEC

M-I-Z! The Tigers of Missouri shocked the college football world this week, upsetting #7 Georgia in Athens, 41 – 26. With the win, Mizzou goes to 6-0 on the year and became the first SEC to become bowl eligible in 2013. Not all that glistens is gold though, as the Tigers lost their starting QB James Franklin to injury. With Florida and South Carolina coming up next, Mizzou has a tough road ahead of them.

And Northern Illinois looks to bust the BCS for the second consecutive year, as they beat Akron 27 – 20 to go to 6-0 on the year and 2-0 in the MAC. The Huskies extend their home winning streak to 23 as well. Look out Fiesta Bowl.

And finally, congrats to the SEC, who as you’ll see below, had a record eight teams in the AP Top 25. By comparison, the Big 10 had only 2.

Losers – Oklahoma, Stanford, Michigan

All three of these suffered upset losses to in-conference opponents. #12 Oklahoma was crushed by Texas in the Red River Shootout, 36 – 20, Utah shocked #5 Stanford with a goal line stand as time expired to dash the Cardinal’s title hopes, 27 – 21, and #18 Michigan lost a heartbreaker in quadruple overtime in Happy Valley to unranked Penn State, 43 – 40. The most crushing of the losses has to be Michigan’s. In additional to taking four additional periods, Brady Hoke’s conservative play-calling cost the Wolverines dearly. After Penn State missed a field goal in one of the overtimes, all Michigan needed to win the game was a field goal. But rather than try to gain field position and make the kick easier for his college kicker, Hoke called three straight five plays, right into the line, for a net gain of 1 yard. Needless to say, the 41-yard field goal was missed, and the game continued. Penn State would win in on a touchdown.

Top 25 Upsets

  • Utah over #5 Stanford, 27 – 21
  • #25 Missouri over #7 Georgia, 41 – 26.
  • Texas over #12 Oklahoma, 36 – 20.
  • Penn State over #18 Michigan, 43 – 40 (4OT)

A Look Ahead:

Quite a few Top 25 matchups next week. #22 Florida plays #14 Missouri on the SEC Network, while #24 Auburn plays #7 Texas A&M on CBS. And College GameDay returns to Clemson for the second time this season to watch #5 Florida State battle #3 Clemson with National Title aspirations on the line. Additionally, a solid 4-1 UCF team plays an undefeated Louisville team in a Friday night showdown that will in all likelihood determined who represents the AAC in the BCS.

AP Top 25 Poll

RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Alabama (55) 6-0 1495
2 Oregon (5) 6-0 1438
3 Clemson 6-0 1352
4 Ohio State 6-0 1330
5 Florida State 5-0 1242
6 LSU 6-1 1137
7 Texas A&M 5-1 1105
8 Louisville 6-0 1077
9 UCLA 5-0 1017
10 Miami (FL) 5-0 912
11 South Carolina 5-1 896
12 Baylor 5-0 849
13 Stanford 5-1 824
14 Missouri 6-0 749
15 Georgia 4-2 615
16 Texas Tech 6-0 590
17 Fresno State 5-0 383
18 Oklahoma 5-1 380
19 Virginia Tech 6-1 352
20 Washington 4-2 309
21 Oklahoma State 4-1 264
22 Florida 4-2 249
23 Northern Illinois 6-0 185
24 Auburn 5-1 156
25 Wisconsin 4-2 153
Posted in College Football | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment