Posts Tagged college football

The Thundering Blurb Football Show – 7/12

Morning folks – brief recap of the episode today as it looks like I’m in store for another round of chaos at the day job.
 
First of course, I am happy to announce the official launch of BigEastGridiron.com – my site dedicated to all things Big East football. Listening to the show, you’ll note that five minutes before air, the site imploded.
 
It’s back up and running now though, and there is a piece on the Rutgers offensive unit posted already.
 
Expect a companion piece on the defense later this week, followed by more of the same on the other seven teams.
 
As the summer goes on, I’ll be adding a regular video feature, news links and analysis of the same.
 
I’m excited and very happy I was able to de-Plaxico the site last night post-show.
 
 
Beyond BigEastGridiron.com, we touch on quite a few things including:
 
- Lebron James and the fact that he needs to slap whoever suggested ‘The Decision’ to him. Nothing good came out of that except for the Heat.
 
- World Cup – I learned from my barber the final was going to be fixed. Beyond that, had both the elements I love about futbol (exciting near goals, energetic crowd) and hate (too many ticky tacky yellow cards, copious amounts of flopping). I wanted the Netherlands to win because nobody else seemed to but Spain played a fine game and honestly Netherlands side just wore down, much like the US against Ghana.
 
We then move from futbol to football and cover a wide range of news including the Bears running back situation, rumors of Randy Moss to the same Bears and then we talk about some interesting Big East games to look forward to this fall.
 
Lots of stuff to do and as always, thanks to the guys in the chat, thanks to you for listening and downloading and letting me be a part of your offseason experiance.

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The Thundering Blurb Football Show – 7/5

Jammed packed show last night and a lot of ground covered – the 1 hour format is getting a bit crowded.

First the link – check the show out here at BTR or on Itunes (and subcribe won’t you?)

Second – I promised a big announcement and so here it is. In one week I will be launching a new website called Big East Gridiron whose aim will be to give you full coverage and analysis of all eight teams in the Big East ranks.

Big thanks to Jim Day (aka Fantasy Taz) who tweaked my logo/header from very good to awesome. You see the results above.

The site will contain a lot of analysis of all the teams, some video and audio links (including to the Blurb show) and I’m hoping to do a weekly roundup of college football news from around the web.

I’m very excited and look forward to sharing everything with you next Monday. Spread the word to anyone you know who loves College Football and especially the Big East.

After that Earth Shattering Pronouncement, we move on to the the business at hand.

Last week I read an article by Evan Silva at Profootballtalk.com about how QB “Guru” Tom Martinez blames the Raiders for JaMarcus Russell’s struggles. Of course he backpedals to say Russell needs to improve his work ethic as well but all in all on a better team – say the Jets – he might flourish.

You can imagine my issues with this. (Side note – this is Silva reporting on an article from the NYTimes, not Silva’s opinion.)

You can also imagine I go a little long on it. Sure, Martinez makes some good points about it but let’s be honest – Russell’s biggest problem (pun intended) is Russell. Even his teammates say so.

It isn’t brain surgery kids. And oh bye the way – someone tell Martinez that a run first team with a guy picked at #5 in the 2009 draft is not a perfect situation for Russell.

Just sayin’.

After that I talk about Phil Steele’s College Football Preview Magazine, one of my favorite pieces of reading material every year. We talk about how the Top 25 and how Rutgers isn’t in it, though Pitt is.

We’ll use it a lot more as a touchstone and common point of reference throughout the summer. (PS – I love Phil’s work but the website is a little painful to look at – don’t let it dissuade you. You’ll be missing out if you do.

Finally we touch on the Listener’s Segment, this week’s topic provided by frequent chat denizen GMoney.

G asks :

Was wondering what your thoughts are on why this off this off season it seems so many football players and front office personnel are getting into legal trouble.

Every day it seems someone is in the police blotter. I don’t understand why these guys want to jeopardize their careers. Love to hear what you think tonight on your podcast.

It’s funny but as I talked about it and thought about it, I started thinking maybe there isn’t really THAT much more being reported. I feel as though I was thinking the same thing last year and as soon as the season started, we forgot.

Regardless though, I touch on a few reasons – everything from a lack of follow-up help for incoming rookies (who are still young men and prone to silly decisions) to ever present media out of sensationalist stories.

There’s no single easy answer I think – more like there are many factors which make the news seem bigger, though there are certainly some serious issues.

Also, Goodell better be ready for some repercussions if Lions president Tim Lewand skates easier than players have.

That about does it – as always thanks for reading and listening.

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USC CFB Sanctions – Here Comes The Hammer

So – and really it’s not officially official until the press conferences happen – but there are reports are that the NCAA has finally gotten it’s courage up and bringing the hammer down on USC.

As far as sanctions go, it’s not too far over the top. It’ll hurt but it’s not a killing blow.

First off, a few things. One, I went to USC and I am a Pac 10 fan. So I’m not gunning for USC and I’m no hater.  Two, I’ve been super critical about the ‘first not best’ reporting of the media for the last month. I stand by that.

Listen, either get it right or don’t print it. If people worried about getting a story right and doing it well, maybe they wouldn’t catch crap when the story is wrong because they jumped early.

Also, it’s almost depressing how quickly some of the media gets their knives out about stuff like this. I understand fans hating USC. But some national level columnists are acting like bitter kids.

As a country we both crave and hate success – and oh how we love the fall.

Media is no different. It’s already tiresome to read column after column of ’USC got away again’ because the NCAA didn’t drop nuclear missles or something.

Maybe it’s tired because  this has been dragging on for nearly five years. Which is stupid. This isn’t a FBI investigation into a crafty serial killer. It’s not an episode of CSI: Miami.

It’s an investigation into a) whether Reggie Bush took money during college and b) whether USC knew.

I’ll give you two years. On a morning where I’m in a good mood, you could talk me into three years. Four? Five? Come on.

You know what dragging your feet does NCAA? Here it is – in caps so I KNOW you can see what I’m saying:

IT LETS EVERYONE RESPONSIBLE LEAVE AND ESCAPE YOUR WRATH.

Who is getting punished by the ban? Not Pete Carroll. He bugged out as soon as investigators finally looked serious. Not Reggie Bush – he was gone before you started your investigation. 

So a bunch of students – none of which were even at school when USC screwed up – are now hosed. Just like the OJ Mayo debacle, it’s not the guilty who are punished, but those left behind.

Except Lane Kiffin, who was there for the Bush fiasco, left, then ran back in time to get sanctioned. So one out of at least three, probably more?

Nicely done NCAA.

But enough about the broader aspects of this. Let’s talk details.

Assuming this is all true – and I’m giving benefit of the doubt since reports are coming out of Los Angeles this time – here’s the nitty gritty.

According to ESPNLosAngeles:

The USC football program will receive a two-year postseason ban, a reduction in scholarships and a forfeiture of wins from at least the 2004 season when the NCAA releases its sanctions on Thursday, a source told ESPN’s Shelley Smith.

Let’s examine this point by point. Before I go further though, the article mentions that it is possible (I don’t know about likely) that the school could be considered a repeat offender as they were sanctioned in 2001.

If you get sanctioned again within five years of your first sanction, the NCAA can lower an even bigger hammer on your head. Now you may ask yourself ‘Self? How could a violation in 2001 cause repeat offender status in 2010?’m

Your ‘Self’ may not have an answer but I’ll point to the snail-like pace of the NCAA again where the violations happened way back in 2004 but they only just got their act together.

Clearly this is stuck in my craw, so let’s acknowledge I think it was way too long and move on.

Assuming the repeat offender thing isn’t a reality then the penalties are harsh for those still at USC, but aren’t earth-shattering.

1) The two-year postseason ban – This sucks for the kids there (and new staff not named Kiffin) but it isn’t that terrible. Also, if the Pac 10 expansion happens, I’m not sure if this applies to any BigPac Championship games (that title is Pat. Pending by the way) so USC may still have a crack at a Title of some sort.

Again, who does this hurt? The people at USC who weren’t when Bush and Carroll violated NCAA rules. This is why I think anyone calling for tougher sanctions needs their heads examined.

Matt Barkley should be punished more for something someone did when he was starting high school? Isn’t it enough he’s going to miss the post-season for two years?

For some, nope. Hate of USC trumps sense I guess.

I think many of the players will stick it out, but I can imagine some other schools are drooling over maybe stealing a few players. That could be a problem for USC, but they seem to be able to hold onto recruits far longer than you’d think.

People go to USC because it’s USC – that’s why they can have three great running backs and a host of linebackers – all of whom could start elsewhere – on the bench and recruit more of the same.

Speaking of recruiting, this will hurt a little in the short term but long term, it will be a blip. USC was able to withstand the defection of Carroll, the knowledge something was happening with the NCAA and the arrival of Kiffin just fine.

I think in the end, the brand will recruit the kids regardless. And some of these kids will barely even see the sanctions – guys recruited for 2011 and 2012 might not care. It’ll be over by the time they reach the atatus of starter.

As a whole the school could lose out on money from a major bowl (which despite the above linked article’s opinion, isn’t that far fetched for USC) and that will affect the entire conference.

But again, definitely something you can recover from.

2) A reduction in scholarships – This also isn’t a disaster although it isn’t great. I read somewhere in the last few days that USC was well under their limit of scholarships so it might sting less, but it’s never good to lose more than 20 scholarships.

Will this lose them recruits until they earn them back (I don’t even know right now how long they lose them for)? Perhaps. But USC has recruited well for years and if you think that the cream of the crop will be the ones without the full ride, you’re dreaming.

This might hurt the bench depth more than anything. And like the post-season ban, totally surmountable.

3) Forfeiture of wins from at least the 2004 season – this hurts the present team the least as – sure losing a shiny trophy sucks, but history is history. Various Pac 10 teams and Auburn will likely feel a bit smug, but they still didn’t really win a title because let’s face it – at the end of the day they lost and you can ‘what if’ it to death and nobody outside of those groups really will care.

I think it’d be nice for the players from way back when to get their rewards, but no recruit is going to go ‘Wait you lost games in 2004 due to sanctions? Let me get Michigan on the phone…’.

So again, not a crisis.

Really, as far as USC is concerned the sanctions aren’t pleasant but also not insurmountable. So long term, not horrible.

Couple that with the news that the Pac 10 is likely expanding, including perhaps Texas – and you can almost breathe a sigh of relief.

It’s over – although you can guess USC may contest the ruling which would mean more nonsense and likely 14 more years of deliberation.

But for NOW it appears to be over. Like most sanctions, everyone is probably unsatisfied. There are some who feel USC got off lightly and there are some who may think the sanctions are too much – there are some walking around blank eyed and sure that all is well *COUGHNCAACOUGH* even though it took so long to be dealt with.

In the end, USC shouldn’t have much trouble rebounding two years from now and we’ll move on and forget this happened. Could the sanctions have been tougher? Perhaps. I don’t have all the details so I don’t know what they had to judge on. 

It seems to me the length of time says they had to work awfully hard to prove anything – and so I imagine that it’s a fair amount of punishment even if there isn’t enough bloodletting for some.

Besides, Texas will remind them Vince Young beat them in the Rose Bowl in 2006 every time they see each other.

That might be painful enough.

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The Thundering Blurb Football Show – 6/2

Lots of stuff to cover last night not the least of which is the new show time.

Check out the whole episode here.

First off, the new time and day for the Blurb show will be Mondays at 9pm EST! As I’ve said before (and said on the show) it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with Joe, Momo, Jared, Ray, Tony and Jim in making the Wednesday night thing work and I’m going to miss it. It’s hard to regret leaving given I love working with Footballguys, but all the same it is a great group and it was a great night to be on.

Now I can harass them in the chats when I can break free on a night though and that might be even better!

During the show we hit some NFL News and notes throughout the evening as well as touch on the Jets approaching my work to see if we wanted PSLs, the ridiculousness of the ‘USC is going to get sanctioned’ weekly refrain, CFB Tv talk (should Notre Dame join a conference? Haven’t we done this before?) and touching on the news that Wes Welker is already practicing.

Looking forward to the move – make sure you tune in next Monday – the Itunes feed will, of course, remain the same.

Thanks to everyone who has made Wednesday night a success by listening and participating. I hope you stick around for the guys when I am gone, and followme to Monday nights – College football reviews, NFL recaps and Monday Night Football – we’ll be going hard every Monday night this year!

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Blurb TV – Ep 10 – College Superconferences

Check out all the great college football stuff over at In The Bleachers…

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Big East Football Talk w/In The Bleachers.net

Last night I had the distinct pleasure of chatting college football with Michael Felder of InTheBleachers.net. I don’t get as much time to talk college football – especially Big East football – nearly as much as I like and Michael was kind enough to let me run my mouth for close to an hour.

You can check it out here on the ITB site.

We talk a lot of Big East football, chiefly about the problems facing the Conference with the Big Ten sniffing around Rutgers and potentially one or two other schools. What they can do to avoid it – and what they can do to survive it – are both topics we air out a good long while.

Check out the podcast and stick around for the great content they have about everything CFB.

Thanks to Michael for having me on – I look forward to returning the favor as we approach CFB season and returning again to talk more college ball in general.

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The Thundering Blurb Show – 1/13

Click here to listen to the Thundering Blurb Show for 1/13.

As has been the habit the last couple of weeks, there’s so much more than the playoffs to talk about. Don’t worry, we talk plenty of playoffs in the last half of the show.

It’s just hard to stop talking about everything else. 

Like Defensive Player of the Year Charles Woodson.

We kick off the show with that conversation. Listen, when I’m not wearing my analyst hat, I wear a green hat. I love the Jets and Darrelle Revis is an amazing cornerback.

But I really cannot fault the selection of Woodson. As I wrote in an article both for the Blurb and Bleacher Report, both players are worthy and a lot of people arguing (on both sides) are ignoring the abilities of the other player.

As always I think we make more noise about it than the players do—hell Revis even voted for Woodson in the Sporting News Defensive Player of the Year vote.

After that, we’re on to Pete Carroll/Lane Kiffin/USC/Seattle/Tennessee.

Listen, Jemele Hill said it very well here on ESPN.com - don’t hate the player, hate the game.

And this is the game—coaches will leave when they want, how they want. Right or wrong, that’s the truth.

I don’t like the way Carroll appears to be fleeing USC right before sanctions hit. I don’t like that USC staff didn’t return phone calls to recruits during the tumultuous weekend when everyone was sure he was already gone.

I don’t like the way Kiffin is leaving Tennessee pretending he ‘gave it his all’. I also dislike the fact that players are trapped when coaches are not.

But it’s the way it is. And until the NCAA changes something any player needs to remember that.

By the way—does USC really want a guy who was AT USC when Bush was allegedly getting paid, was recruiting Joe McKnight (fresh off his own issues) and comes to LA trailing six infractions?

At least six we know about.

Speaking of things needing to change – the Rooney Rule is a joke. It’s got a noble aim, but when Seattle can skirt the rules and get patted on the back for it by the Fritz Pollard Alliance who manages the Rule.

“Our position is, if Pete Carroll comes there as the head coach, he will only be in charge of the 53-man football roster,” Wooten said. “That’s the extent of his authority. Because of their commitment to swear that to us, we have agreed to let them interview Leslie Frazier.

“They can hire Pete Carroll if they want. But he cannot be anything more than a head coach. He does not have control of the draft. He does not have control of the trades. He does not have the last word on anything other than the 53 men he puts out on that field each and every week.”

Really guys? Come on.

Fact is, the Seahawks skirted the rule. Like Kiffin though, I really don’t blame them. If you can get away with something, you do if it will help you win.

That’s the way things are. Until something changes.

Also, I think Carroll is GM in about three years tops assuming he’s still there. Which makes this a bigger joke.

For what it’s worth, I still say this all ends badly for the whole bunch. I don’t feel great about Carroll’s chances in Seattle, I think Kiffin will win but the Trojans may end up in even more trouble and we can already see recruits for the Volunteers fleeing so we know where that’s going.

We wrap things up with playoff talk for all for games and—as is often the case—we run a bit over the 60 minute mark.

Enjoy!

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NFL Late Hits – Playoffs Week 1

An amazing weekend of football—well ok, a decent weekend of football with an amazing finish to the last game.

This week’s edition of the Gunfight at the OK Corral is brought to you by the Cardinals and Packers—two teams who might be watching a lot of tape on their own defenses in the coming months although Arizona should probably do that sooner since they have a game this weekend.

Hard to imagine that a team scored 45 and LOST, but that’s what happened as QB Aaron Rodgers lost the ball and the Cardinals ran it back for a game winning touchdown.

Which team is the Earps and Doc Holliday and which is the Clantons and McLaury is up to you.

However, it would have been awesome if Rodgers had winked at the Cards Defense and said ‘You’re a daisy if you do!’

You can argue the penalty (or rather non-penalty) at the end all you want—it won’t change the outcome. Also, holding the ball a bit too long to try and make something happen shouldn’t diminish a great job by Rodgers bringing his team back.

Thanks goodness for it too, because the rest of this weekend was pretty anemic, excitement-wise.

I mean, as a Jets fan that game excited me but it really broke down close to what I thought might happen. Ditto the Cowboys/Eagles game and to an extent the Ravens/Pats game—although you always half-expect a crazy comeback by Brady and company.

So seeing a shootout—even if it represents a complete failure on the defensive side of the ball by both teams—involving a fantastic comeback, was a relief.

Back to the call/non-call to end the game. I know there are many penalties which the referees miss every game. However, this weekend seemed chock full of horrid officiating.

You might flag me for bitching about a team you know I like, but those two Darelle Revis pass interference penalties were completely ridiculous, as were the non-calls for offensive pass-interference by Ochocinco.

There were terrible calls throughout all four games though and even if the NFL has explained the non-facemask on Rodgers, it doesn’t take away from some bad calls and non-calls across the board.

Nor the ignored helmet-to-helmet shot two plays earlier, but I digress.

The fact is, we shouldn’t be talking about this every week, yet I feel like we do. The officiating has been shaky entirely too often during the past season. I don’t know what needs to change exactly, but something needs changing.

The other large piece of news which wouldn’t go away this weekend was the new that USC Coach Pete Carroll was wasn’t was wasn’t might might not leave the school to coach the Seattle Seahawks.

Now, I like USC and have liked what Carroll has done with the program by and large. But almost everything about this has been mishandled and reeks of floundering desperation.

First, this looks a lot like Carroll heading out just before NCAA sanctions hit.

The NCAA has been looking closer and closer at USC in general and that was before the OJ Mayo/Tim Floyd basketball fiasco embarrassed them by pointing out how flat out stupid the one and done rule is for college basketball.

For USC football though, this has been brewing since Reggie Bush left, trailing questions as to whether he took some illegal payola while at the school.

You want to see a Coach stick with his team—the guys he recruited—and try to overcome this, not to mention the four loss season they just finished up.

Instead, Carroll leaves, leaving more mayhem than Godzilla in his wake.

The program is in utter chaos. Some of that is USC’s own fault. Here’s a tip folks and it’s free: when your coach is rumored to be leaving and your recently signed recruits start calling.

CALL. THEM. BACK.

For some reason, recruits couldn’t get a call back from coaches at USC. Now, I get the staff might have had precious few answers, but even to call and say ‘I have precious few answers, it’s in flux’ would have been something.

At the very least, call the recruits and tell them that despite the change you look forward to working with them, that whatever coach comes will continue on the traditions USC has built on, yada yada yada….

Give them something, even if it’s all just nothing. But not calling them back?

You might as well call them anyway, insult their parents and tell them to ’suck it’. In the cases of top recruits, you did that anyway by not responding.

I hope it works out for Carroll, I really do. However, I just have this feeling that this is going to end badly for all involved. Will Carroll’s rah-rah exuberance play with million dollar athletes? Will it be as easy recruiting vets as it was high school kids?

Hard to say, but my gut says no. Could be wrong, wouldn’t mind if I was. Just suspect I may not be.

I’ll probably return to this in the next few days for more on this including my feelings on the skirting of the Rooney Rule by Seattle and the challenges Carroll will face.

But for now, I’m going back to watch more Packers—Cardinals highlights and bask in the gunfire

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The Thundering Blurb Show – 12/30

Last night was- as always- a great deal of fun. As the Fantasy Football year winds down, things don’t slow down for me. I’m getting ready to do some draft stuff and I’ll be on the interweb radio pretty much every Wednesday all year long.

snowIt’s snowing here in New York, which makes the decision to NOT do Times Square for New Years Eve seem very wise.

I love the white stuff though, so despite the fact it requires scraping and shoveling I’m happy to see today’s snow.

I’m sure I will be jaded at some point.

Last night’s show included some lineup questions from TheBoyz, the crazy bastard in a Week 17 championship (and which revealed that some of my show notes and matchups were wrong – D’OH!), some continued Colts benching outrage as well as pre-outrage for what might be benched Bengal starters.

Oh and lawsuits by Indy councilmen. Those get talked about too.

I also talked a little about Tim Tebow and whether he should play in the Senior Bowl and the Texas Tech Mike Leach firing. As $GMoney$ said in the chat, there is something more to this story. Something isn’t adding up though I can’t say exactly what.

Also: If Craig James wasn’t Adam James’ dad, would this be such a big story?

That’s it for now – feel free to leave comments here and as always thanks for reading and listening.

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Thundering Blurb Football Show 12/17

Great show again last night and I was joined once again by Matt Waldman of  Footballguys.com and the Rookie Scouting Portfolio.

Among the subjects we touched on were:

  • Chris Henry (this was before the news this morning that he had died, but it didn’t look good then)
  • Heisman Awards – We chat a little about Ingram but settle on Suh and the seeming inability of many old school voters to understand Suh’s position and many of the ‘non-sexy’ positions. I posit the idea that with the web coming of age, maybe we’ll start seeing more diversity in the award. Admitedly it won’t happen any time soon, but I hope.
  • The Colts potentially sitting their players this week. I think it’s insane. Matt does not and makes a good argument for his point.
  • After we bid Matt tonight, I continue my thoughts on the Colts/Jags game then answer a few chatroom questions.

Thanks again to Matt for coming on and thanks to you all for listening – I need to get a ITunes link up in here for you to subscribe with, but until I can manage that bit of technology, drop by the Itunes store and subscribe – you won’t miss a show all year round.

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