Tuesday Morning QB

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s Wednesday. Sue me. I didn’t get it out yesterday. But it’s here today, after the opening weekend of real football.

College football started last Thursday with a bang, leading into 5 glorious days of the sport we all love.  Opening up was a conference game involving SEC teams South Carolina and Vanderbilt. On the surface this is not something to get too excited about.  But what a game it was to start out the season with. South Carolina has aspirations of SEC glory this year with the return of Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Lattimore from a serious knee injury which ended his 2011 campaign.  He had a little rust to knock off, fumbling on his first carry, but came back strong with a solid outing with over a 100 yards and 2 TD’s. With the help of tough QB Connor Shaw, who himself hurt his shoulder during the course of the game, they staved off upset to the upstart Commodores from Vanderbilt, 17-13.

New Washington State coach Mike Leach

Thursday also brought back the return of the pirate, embattled coach Mike Leach who opened up his tenure at Washington State. It was great to see him back on the sidelines, even if his team was disappointing, failing to score a TD for only the 3rd time in Leach’s ten year head coaching career.  BYU knocked off the pirate 30-6.

On to Friday night and the marquee matchup between two top 25 teams Michigan State and Boise State.  Although MSU took control of this game, 17-13, it was a slug fest through out and MSU TB Le’Veon Bell running wild on the Broncos D.  But I give so much credit to Boise State, they go into someone elses back yard to start the season every damn year, and usually win! And not just anyone’s backyard, perennial powers such as Georgia, Virginia State, and now Michigan State.  They are a young team, replacing the winnigest QB in NCAA history in Kellen Moore, they will be back, but this year at least we can stop the mid major in the title game talk early.

Michigan State RB Le’Veon Bell

Saturday started off with the earliest start time I can ever remember with Notre Dame taking on Navy in Dublin Ireland. A 7 am kickoff, central time, is awful early to start drinking and tailgating, but I know some of you did! You know who you are.  I actually missed the first half of this game, sleep is important to me, but caught the second half when ND already had control of this game leading to a 50-10 blowout for the Fighting Irish.  But this only led to a full slate of games, not all good. This weekend was peppered with blowouts, stinkers, but like all college football weekends, plenty of upsets and near upsets. Like Pitt losing to FCS school Youngstown State on the debut of their new coaching staff.  And Houston welcomed newly appointed FBS school Texas State by promplty laying down for dead. The Cougars are in a decent mid major conference in Conference USA, Texas State? Haven’t a clue.  Then we get to the sad affairs in Happy Valley, which hasn’t been such a happy place much since it was deemed the child molestation capital of the country, at least the football country, thanks to Jerry Sandusky.  Penn State hoped to forget the ugly past, and start a new with a new regime, headed up by first year head coach Tom O’Brien.   But the good feelings didn’t last long with the upstart Ohio Bobcats rolling into Beaver Stadium ruining things for the Nittany Lions, 24-14.

Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA

This leads us to the big matchup of the weekend. Alabama met Michigan in the annual JerryWorld bowl in Dallas.  Michigan is supposed to be back, they weren’t. There were questions whether Alabama could reload coming off their BCS Championship in 2011, they could. They dominated from the start, racing to score after score on the Wolverine defense.  They dominated enough to jump back into the top spot in the AP poll. And Michigan.. well, they looked like Michigan of recent years, just not very good.

That leaves us with the local boys, OU, OSU and TU. OSU played a glorified High School team, so they really don’t even get a mention here. Damn, Union or Jenks could have beat Savannah State handily as OSU rolled to the tune of 84-0.

TU traveled to Ames, Iowa to take on the Cyclones of Iowa State, a decent Big 12 team as of late. TU was actually favored, which I didn’t quite understand, and I would be correct because ISU was too much for the Golden Hurricane, finishing the Conference USA favorite 38-23.

Now to OU. Not a lot to say. They won. That’s the only good thing that came out of this matchup with UTEP in El Paso, Texas. But they won ugly, very ugly, only leading 10-7 in the 4th quarter before finishing off the Miners late 24-7.  The defense did pitch a shutout, the only UTEP score coming on a blocked punt early in the game. The offense was hit and miss.. and that is saying something. Landry Jones looked much improved moving out of the pocket, but his happy feet were still prevelant through out much of the game behind a revamped and inexperienced offensive line. They say the most improvement comes between week 1 and 2, for me and other Sooner fans let’s hope that is the case.

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Bounties? Part Of The Game?

I am very torn on this subject. As it was revealed this week that the New Orleans Saints are guilty of having a bounty system to knock opposing players out of the game. Most notoriously apparently targeting Brett Favre and Kurt Warner during their 2010 Super Bowl run.  The master mind? Defensive Co-ordinator Gregg Williams, who is now the DC of the St Louis Rams. Is this really surprising to anyone?  Not to me. It’s been part of the game for as long as the league has existed probably. But now it has come to the surface. And in a big way.

Then New Orleans DC Gregg Williams

Gregg Williams has already issued an apology with this statement. “I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, Mr. Benson, and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the ‘pay for performance’ program while I was with the Saints,” Williams said in a statement released by the Rams.  “It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it. Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role. I am truly sorry. I have learned a hard lesson and I guarantee that I will never participate in or allow this kind of activity to happen again.”  I guess that is an admission of guilt. But why are we singling out the Saints, when everyone is taking part in this. And I have read a couple of articles where the players are getting a pass, and Williams and the Saints organization as a whole are the only villains here. But contrary to what Mike Judge wrote about here, the players have to be culpable, they were the ones laying the hits. 

But then, I have to play devil’s advocate. It IS a violent game. It is dangerous. You are out to inflict a hurt on the opposition. Especially the QB. If they needed incentive to go out there and try to give their team the best chance to win, what is wrong with that, especially in the scope that is the NFL. They know the dangers, they know the risk, and are compensated handsomely. Now, I would never support the practice of late hits, hits on unsuspecting, defenseless players. Never. But is this what it is about? On second thought, that is exactly what this is about. Players are constantly complaining about the commissioners office being hypocrites about player safety, especially in regards to concussions. But who is really the hypocrite as this comes to light? Squarely on the players I think. As Mike Freeman of CBS Sports writes here, and I agree with him. The players should know better, and should be in a position to protect their fellow combatants who have families to support, who are making a living at this violent sport. Aren’t they all part of the same union? Then bounties have to go, and hopefully this is the first step to make it not part of the game.

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The Tale Of Two Number Ones

How many drafts in recent memory have had two legitimate number one franchise quarterbacks? None that I can recall. Maybe back when Peyton Manning came out and was up against Ryan Leaf. And we all know how that played out. Manning is still (arguably) in the midst of a Hall of Fame career, Leaf is somewhere between selling insurance and drug convictions.

So how will this class pan out? Is it Andrew Luck, or Robert Griffin III? Which would you choose? I have an opinion.  And it probably isn’t the status quo.  What would you do if you were the Colts, who happen to hold the rights to the number one pick in the 2012 upcoming draft.  They also have that guy I mentioned earlier, you know that Manning kid.  The guy who is a sure fire Hall of Famer right now.  But there in lies the rub. Manning’s health is questionable at best.  After having 4 neck surgeries in the past year, which caused him to miss the entire 2011 season is Manning ready to resume his all-star career? The debate is still in. So I ask again, what should the Colts do? There are numerous suitors if the Colts decide to part ways and go with youth, which most talking heads believe is the course they will take. And I agree. In this league, you go with youth, especially if you have two arguably can’t miss franchise QB’s ready to step in.

Robert Griffin III with the 2012 Heisman

So then the argument changes. Which one. Luck or RG3? Both have ability, that was proven on the national stage in the college game. But both have slightly different games. Although, I will argue not that different. Not that different at all. Some will say that Luck is the best pure pocket passer to come out of college since.. well since Manning. I would probably not disagree. He has tremendous presence in the pocket. Can read a defense like a veteran NFL QB right now. He is the most ready to play right away QB I might have ever seen.  A definite can’t miss prospect.  But RG3 is no slouch either. The difference is RG3 can break defensive backs ankles when he decides to take off from the pocket. Luck can not do that. Edge to RG3.  So the kid can run. That means he probably can’t stand in the pocket and pick apart those same DB’s. Wrong. Go watch some of the film. Repeatedly his Senior year he stood tall in the pocket and threw deep, medium, all over the yard. Checking off defenders, finding the open man. Throwing a beautiful ball.  And what pushed me over the edge was hearing him at the combine, being interviewed. The kid is smart, insightful, well spoken.  He will be a great addition to any team and especially to any city.  So I guess if I were the Colts, I would be picking RG3. But we all know, they are already going with the safe pick.  Some it’s safe, I don’t.  Well all I say is.. Good Luck.

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Sooners Report

The Walter Camp list finally came out.  Of course Broyles and Jones are on there.

Sooners are so loaded with depth. Most in the Stoops era. That is going to be scary.

Here is more looks at the depth chart with camp about to open up.

Really, we have already used NCAA 12 to have OU winning BCS Title?

More OU Baseketball news.  Lon Kruger is showing to be very popular.

Big 12 recruiting is starting to take shape for 2012.

This is an interesting piece by our friend David Ubben of ESPN on paying athletes.

Not OU, but thought this was an interesting read from  Berry Trammel. Which came first the chicken or the egg? 

Who has the best uni’s in the Big 12? Fox sports creates this list.

I wrote about cheating in college football a couple of weeks ago here, it is still a hot topic.

As always good, bad, either way, leave a  comment.

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WOW James Harrison Rips.. Well Everyone

Is there anyone that is not fair game for Steelers DE James Harrison? Now I understand him bashing the commish, Roger Goodell, I mean who wouldn’t be upset for being fined over 100K for playing his sport hard.  But maybe just a little too hard. Personally, I don’t think so, it’s football. It’s violent.  Players know this. They sign up for it.  But to use a gay slur to describe Goodell, along with other choice words, like devil, stupid and others, in the August issue of Men’s Journal magazine, is just well, stupid.  It is full of ignorance.  And then to go on and say this “If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it,” Harrison told the magazine. “I hate him and will never respect him.” But Harrison doesn’t stop there, he bashes his own team mates, including two time Super Bowl winning QB Ben Roethlisberger along with running back Rashard Mendenhall.  He had this to say about Roethlisberger, “Hey, at least throw a pick on their side of the field instead of asking the D to bail you out again. Or hand the ball off and stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain’t that and you know it, man; you just get paid like he does.”  Wow again.  Good thing they are team mates, what would he really think about him?  I know he has a mean, dirty, reputation, but this is just spouting off at the mouth and not really thinking about what he is saying.  Then he goes on to make racial accusations like this “I slammed Vince Young on his head and paid five grand, but just touched Drew Brees and that was 20,” Harrison said. “You think black players don’t see this s— and lose all respect for Goodell?” This is the one thing I might tend to agree with him on if you watch both hits, he does barely touch Brees(a white QB) and slams the hell out of VY(a black QB). Not the racial aspect, but the disparity of the fines. v But do we really think that in this day and age those kind of things go through the commisioner of the NFL’s head when handing out fines? I would surely hope not.  Cause then I would have to really say WOW!  The ESPN article is  here.

 

(Agree, disagree, but leave a comment!)

Austin Box Toxicology Report Out

And it is what we all feared.  The young man had five different pain killers in his system.  That is not pain managment, that is getting high.  But that is just my opinion.  I think Box was a very fine young Sooner and had his whole life, a very good life, ahead of him.  He had just obtained his college degree the weekend before, a huge accomplishment.  Was set to be the starting middle linebacker for the Sooners.  Life was good.  Taken away much to soon.  And for what reason? Was it really an attempt to mask physical pain? Or did it become an addiction which afflict soo many people in this country today.  Sad that we will never know.