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Sports Then and Now



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 →

College Football Week 2: How Bout Them JMU Dukes! 3

Posted on September 12, 2010 by Dean Hybl

The scoreboard tells it all as JMU becomes the second I-AA team ever to defeat a ranked Division I-A opponent.

While the teams at the top of the rankings were able to pull out victories in the second week of the college season, there still were some big surprises and interesting stories during the weekend. Of course the biggest was the shocking upset of Virginia Tech by I-AA James Madison University, but other teams are starting to provide some interesting storylines for the 2010 College Football season.

JMU KNOCKS OFF VIRGINIA TECH AND BOISE STATE IN ONE GAME!

When the James Madison Dukes became the second Division I-AA team ever to defeat a ranked Division I-A team with their 21-16 victory over Virginia Tech, they didn’t just knock out the Hokies, they likely took potential BCS bowl buster Boise State down with them.

Given the overall poor performance of the ACC in the early season, even if Virginia Tech is able to turn things around and run the table within the conference, their power ranking isn’t going to be high enough to give Boise State the boost they are going to need if they hope to score many points for strength of schedule come BCS formula time.

Consider that while Boise State needed a late touchdown to defeat the Hokies by three points at a neutral site, James Madison led for nearly all of the fourth quarter to win by five points in a game played in front of Tech’s home crowd.

With Georgia Tech losing to Kansas, Miami getting knocked around at Ohio State and Florida State getting blasted by Oklahoma, it is very possible that the ACC won’t have a team ranked in the top 20 in the next poll. That doesn’t help Boise State at all as their hope for earning a spot in the BCS title game was in part based on Virginia Tech being considered a top 10-15 team throughout the season and the ACC being given some overall respect. Read the rest of this entry →

Waiting For The Weekend: Here Comes September 1

Posted on August 28, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Waiting for the weekendThis is the “I can’t believe it is almost September” edition. While time seems to fly, at least the fact that it is almost September means that football season is starting. So, this week I’m looking primarily at some subjects related to football and the start of the new season.

College Season Getting Ready To Start
There is a smattering of small college football games starting this weekend, but most schools will play their first game on Labor Day Weekend. Here is a great schedule that is on the ESPN site that includes all schools, from I-A through Division III. (http://espn.go.com/college-football/schedule).

There has been a lot written down here in Florida about the Labor Day evening game between Miami and Florida State and the fact that it is not yet a sellout and probably will not be.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Stan Jones – Weight Training Trailblazer
      October 11, 2020 | 1:48 pm
      Stan Jones

      The Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month was one of the great linemen of his era and is considered a trailblazer for using weight training and conditioning to develop his skills.

      After a standout career at the University of Maryland, Stan Jones spent nine seasons as an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, making seven Pro Bowl appearances and earning first team All-Pro three times.

      In 1962, assistant coach George Allen suggested Jones move to defense to help solidify that unit for the Bears. He played both ways in 1962 and then in 1963 moved permanently to the defense.

      Read more »

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