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College Football: BCS Mess Has Us Right Back Where We Started 75

Posted on November 20, 2011 by Dean Hybl

After three crazy college football weeks LSU and Alabama are back on top, but can they stay there?

After three crazy weeks of college football upsets, looks like we are right back where we started the month when trying to determine which college football teams will play for the national title in January.

We began the month excitedly waiting for the matchup of the year between top-ranked LSU and second-ranked Alabama. The general consensus at the time was that they were unquestionably the two best teams in college football.

While the game did need overtime before LSU emerged victorious, few were willing to call the 9-6 defensive struggle a thriller. Granted, both teams had great defenses, but Alabama missed four field goals and neither team played with the offensive confidence you generally expect from a top-ranked team.

Except for a few folks from the SEC, most across the country were not interested in a potential rematch and glad that there were several undefeated teams, including Oklahoma State, Stanford and even Boise State still in-line to serve as LSU’s opponent in a national title game.

However, two of those teams took a tumble the very next week as Stanford was rocked by a suddenly resurgent Oregon (which had been unimpressive in an opening loss to LSU, but had quietly started playing like a national title contender again) and Boise State had its dream of finally making it to the title game snatched away by TCU.

This weekend was expected to be more like a place-holder weekend as most BCS contenders were prohibitive favorites and biding time for big games over the final two weeks of the season.

Instead, it suddenly became the weekend of the big upset. It started on Friday night when Iowa State shocked Oklahoma State in overtime to hand the Cowboys their first loss of the season. Then, just as quickly as they returned to the national conversation, Oregon was gone again as USC (anyone remember them) jumped out early and held on for a 38-35 victory. Read the rest of this entry →

College Classic Rewind: LSU Defeats ‘Bama in Inaugural “Saban Bowl” 55

Posted on November 01, 2011 by A.J. Foss

This Saturday, #1 LSU travels to Tuscaloosa to face off with #2 Alabama in the latest “Game of the Century”.

This showdown between the Tigers and the Crimson Tide is the latest chapter in a SEC rivalry where the intensity has risen since Nick Saban became the head coach at Alabama.

From 2000-2004, Saban was the head coach at LSU where he compiled a 48-16 record, won two SEC Championships, and the 2003 BCS National Championship in his five seasons at Baton Rouge.

Saban left LSU following the 2004 season to become the head coach of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins while Les Miles moved from Oklahoma State to become the LSU head coach.

During the next two years, Miles would lead LSU to back-to-back 11-win seasons while Saban would struggle in Miami as he compiled a 15-17 record during that same time.

Almost immediately after the 2006 NFL season ended, Saban left Miami to become the Tide’s head coach, which in the minds of LSU fans was seen as an act of betrayal since ‘Bama played in the same division as LSU, the SEC West.

So when ‘Bama hosted LSU on the first Saturday in November 2007, it was an emotionally-charged game for the Tigers as the fan base demanded a victory over Saban and the Tide.

Alabama entered the game as the #17 team with a 6-2 record, and were 4-1 in the SEC, tying them with #3 LSU who were 7-1 but also had a 4-1 SEC record. Read the rest of this entry →

Rating College Football’s Top 25 After the First Month of the 2011 Season 35

Posted on September 26, 2011 by Anderson Melvin

The LSU Tigers have had plenty to shout about during the first month of the 2011 college football season.

Isn’t it hard to believe that something that takes so long to get here, can already be going by this fast? If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that drinking beer and watching football passes the time like no other. The good news is it’s only the first third, and plenty of exciting football remains.

People often say that the polls don’t matter this early. But ascending your way through the rankings and ultimately being crowned #1 is what it’s all about. Seeing as how we are now one-third of the way through the regular season, it seemed like the perfect time to do a special breakdown of what we’ve seen so far from each team. Top 25

1. LSU Tigers (42) (4-0, 1-0 SEC)
So far LSU has been the most impressive team of the season, and are deserving of their new #1 ranking. Three of their four wins have come on the road and have come in dominant fashion. All three against ranked opponents, including last years runner-ups and #3 ranked Oregon. The Tigers may look like the best now, but the daunting SEC West may be too hard to make it out alive. If they keep up their winning ways, they will without a doubt be making a short trip to New Orleans in January.

2. Oklahoma Sooners (12) (3-0, 1-0 Big 12)
The Sooners were jumped by LSU this week despite being alloted top spot to begin the season. With an impressive road victory over the #5 Florida State Seminoles already, the Sooners sit at 3-0 with an easy Ball State opponent coming to Norman. Oklahoma’s next test comes in two weeks when they travel to Austin to face the Longhorns. Read the rest of this entry →

College Football Classic Rewind: Tide’s Missed Kicks Give Victory to ‘Hogs 91

Posted on September 19, 2011 by A.J. Foss

To fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide, the last name “Tiffin” is considered as royalty because that is the last name of former kicker Van Tiffin, who made a 52-yard field goal as time expired to give ‘Bama a 25-23 victory over arch rival Auburn in the 1985 “Iron Bowl”.

But after the Tide’s 2006 game with the Arkansas Razorbacks, most Alabama fans probably cringed when they heard the last name “Tiffin”.

Alabama entered the game with a 3-0 record and a #22 ranking as they traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas for their first road game of the season.

The Tide were under the direction of head coach Mike Shula, who was in his fourth season as the Tide head coach and was coming off a 10-2 season the year before.

Alabama had 13 starters back from that team including running back Kenneth Darby and kicker Jamie Christensen, who made three game-winning field goals for the Tide in 2005.

But right before the start of the regular season, Christensen pulled a groin muscle and would be out of action for the first few games of the season.

That left the job to freshman walk-on Leigh Tiffin, son of ‘Bama hero Van Tiffin, to take the reins of the field goal kicker.

Tiffin filled the role quite nicely in the Tide’s first three game as he made seven out of nine field goal attempts, including a 47-yard game-winning field goal against Vanderbilt in the second game of the season.

While it seemed the future looked bright for Shula, the future was uncertain for Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt as he was coming off two losing seasons in Fayetteville and was on the hot seat as the 2006 season began.

But there was hope for the ‘Hogs in ’06, as a new offensive coordinator and the running back duo of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, gave optimisms’ that Arkansas would rebound with a winning season.

However, after a 50-14 loss to USC in the season opener and unimpressive wins against Utah State and Vanderbilt, Nutt was in need of a victory against the Tide.

Both teams traded punts until the Razorbacks’ second possession when Arkansas took over in ‘Bama territory and drove 30 yards in 10 plays, with McFadden carry it six times for 25 yards. Read the rest of this entry →

College Football Preview: 5 Bold Predictions for 2011 28

Posted on September 01, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Just because Andrew Luck is the best player in college football doesn't mean he will win the Heisman Trophy.

Excitement is high as the kickoff to the 2011 college football season is finally upon us. After all the off-the-field scandals of the past several months, it will be nice to finally be able to talk about action happening on the playing field.

Since many with far greater insight and knowledge of college football than I have spent the last several months analyzing all BCS teams and ranking them for the upcoming season, I don’t see the need to just regurgitate information you can find elsewhere, but I do want to kickoff the 2011 season by looking ahead and making five “bold” predictions for some of the things I anticipate will happen in 2011.

Prediction 1: A team from the SEC will not win the BCS Championship

Considering that a team from the SEC has claimed each of the last five BCS championships I guess you can say that I am starting out with a pretty bold prediction right out of the gate.

Don’t get me wrong, the SEC will continue to be the epicenter of college football, but given the deficiencies in each of the top programs, it is difficult to believe that any one team can withstand the brutal conference schedule to come out unscathed. It is certainly possible that a one loss SEC team could reach the BCS title game, but that will only happen if other teams across the country falter. But given the parity in the SEC, I think it will be a challenge for any team to even complete the season with just one loss in this tough conference. Read the rest of this entry →

The Old Ball Coach Throws a Wrinkle into the BCS 8

Posted on October 10, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Steve Spurrier reemerged on the national stage by leading South Carolina to a victory over top ranked Alabama.

It might have come as a surprise to some folks who live outside of the Southeastern United States to find out last night that Steve Spurrier was still coaching college football.

Once one of the highest profile coaches in the game, Spurrier has spent the last six years in relative obscurity coaching mediocre teams at South Carolina (35-28 record entering 2010) while three other Southeastern Conference coaches, including two by the man now patrolling the sidelines at Spurrier’s alma mater, have claimed national titles.

During his decade of glory as the coach of the Florida Gators, Spurrier’s teams typically won because they had better talent than the opposition. Their high-scoring offense was known for producing big numbers through the air, but in actuality, Spurrier’s most successful Florida teams were those that countered the aerial attack with a solid running game from backs such as Fred Taylor and Errict Rhett.

Spurrier reemerged on the national scene this weekend by showing the rest of college football that the “Old Ball Coach” still has a trick or two up his sleeve. This time around, Spurrier didn’t have better talent than the opposition, but they had a game plan capable of producing victory.

Displaying a balanced attack that was the trademark of his best Florida teams, Spurrier’s Gamecocks ran through and then passed over the defending BCS Champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

      Read more »

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