More Picks  

Posted by Frazier


Cal -4.5 over Air Force

The Falcons have had a nice season but I simply cannot believe that
they can hang with a team that was actually ranked #2 in the nation at
one point. Cal has the huge talent edge and I have to believe it is
substantial enough to overcome what will no doubt be an utter lack of
interest. Cal big 34-20.

Auburn +2.5 over Clemson

Not a banner year for either school but I just like the way Auburn
plays better. Clemson has been known to have lapses of caring in
meaningful games under Tommy Bowden there is no reason to think
they'll show up for this meaningless game. Aubun wins ugly 17-15.

Fresno St +6 over Georgia Tech

Yes the wheels have officially come off the GTech bandwagon. Well
actually that happened a while ago but its safe to say that the wheels
are still off. Fresno proved they can beat nonelite BCS teams when
they thrashed KState. This one has a similar feel. Fresno wins 31-24.

Florida St +9 over Kentucky

Why? I don't know why. Just a feeling I guess. Unlike a lot of teams
Florida St usually plays with a lot of pride in their bowl game. Add
that to the talent gap along the line of scrimmage and FSU should keep
it close despite the suspensions. Kentucky wins it late 32-30.

Indiana +4.5 over Oklahoma St

Lost in this season has been the amazing story at Indiana. After the
tragic death of their coach the Hoosiers managed to get to a bowl
game, something that means a lot to all of them. Maybe I'm just hoping
but I think they finish what Coach Hep started. Indiana wins 21-20.

South Florida -6 over Oregon

Its not every day you get to bet against a Leaf boy. Its almost never
that you can do while only laying 6 points. The Bulls huge. Like 45-17


My grandmother turned one hundred today, so this is gonna be quick.

Air Force +4.5 over Cal

Gut feeling. I just think that the service academy stays focused, while the Bears audition for the NFL. Bears win in a squeaker, 34-32.

Auburn +2.5 over Clemson

Neither Tiger team really stepped up, but Auburn's defense was excellent all year, and they have some nice wins. Tubberville or T. Bowden? Gimme the Auburn Tigers, 20-13.

Fresno St. +6 over G Tech

Pat Hill's bunch love to knock off BCS foes, especially ones who would rather be taking it easy, instead of fighting for every yard. The win outright, 28-24.

Kentucky -9 vs. Florida St.

Yikes. I have a bad feeling about this one. FSU always plays with a ton of pride, and I don't know if that will change. However, they are so ridiculously depleted, especially in the defensive backfield, that I have to go with Woodson and Co. Not like the 'Noles can do anything on offense. 34-17.

Indiana +4.5 over Ok St.

The fighting Hoeppner's have more to play for than anybody right now. They win this one for their fallen coach, 31-28.

Oregon +6 over S. Florida

No defense for this pick. I just have a feeling that Belotti is smarter than we're giving him credit for. His staggering bunch pull together, 28-24.

Bowl Pickoff 12/30  

Posted by Walter

Frazier: bama -3.5 vs. colorado

saban really needs to redeem himself here, especially because he has competition for being the most vile coach around (petrino is making a serious run). frankly, this season was a catastrophe for the tide. tell me mike shula would have had a worse record, i dare you. anyways, bama has more to play for, and a smart coach with something to prove. tide, 28-23.

Walter: Alabama -3.5 over Colorado

Roll Tide!

Happy New Year from the323.

Bowl PIckoff - 12/29  

Posted by Walter

Liberty Bowl

Frazier: Miss. St. +3 over UCF

good luck kevin smith. the fighting croom's held mcfadden to one of his worst outings of the year, and every yard smith gains will be a tough one. i'll take the battle tested sec team, that is THRILLED to be playing in any bowl game, to take care of business here. let's call it 27-13.

Walter: Miss. St. +3 over UCF

Miss. St. was competitive in the SEC this year and their defense is very impressive. Plus this will be the first bowl game for every player on the team so they will be amped the entire game. Miss. St. was not, repeat not, terrible this year. It will be ugly, but Sylvester Croom gets the win outright. Call it 17-14.

Alamo Bowl

Frazier: Penn St. -5 over Texas A & M

coach fran is finally gone, but a&m hired the utterly uninspiring mike sherman to take over. i have a feeling that the players will be as flat as the search process was. on the flip-side, psu will be gunning for the aggies following comments that paterno should be coffin-shopping. also, morigami thrives in completely meaningless bowl games, so he'll be at his best. nittany lions, 30-17.

Walter: Texas A & M +5 over Penn. State

I like Joe Pa. I hate Morigami. I hate Coach Fran or Coach Sherman or whoever is in charge in college station. I like Stephen McGee. Frazier makes a great point about Morigami in a meaningless bowl game, but I'd rather hitch my ride to McGee. Call it 21-20 A & M.

Meineke Bowl

Frazier: Wake -1.5 over UConn

uconn will be facing the more-talented mirror image of themselves. however, while wake had some bad breaks (and boneheaded decisions, see the virginia debacle for examples) uconn had someone looking out for them this year. still, i can't back a team that got gift wins against the likes of louisville and temple this season, and got blasted by most of the good teams they faced. wake should roll, 31-20.

Walter: Wake -1.5 over UConn

I love Frazier's point hat Wake is a more talented version of UConn. It is dead on. But the key really is the talent on the Wake side. UConn has some nice players, but Jim Grobe had done a great job getting some elite talent to Winston Salem. Folks, this one won't be close. Wake takes it in a walk 30-13.

Bowl Pickoff Records

Walter: 7-4

Bowl Pickoff - 12/28  

Posted by Walter

Champs Sports Bowl

Frazier: BC -5 over Michigan St.

This will be an interesting one. If the eagles show up, they should win handily. Sparty isn't exactly terrifying this year, and Matt Ryan is playing well above any of the stiffs the big ten has been throwing out there. However, the Eagles went from a BCS game to the champs bowl in the blink of an eye, so there could be motivation issues. Still, I think Ryan goes nuts auditioning for the scouts, and BC cruises, 38-24.

Walter: Michigan St. +5 over BC

Well Frazier you head the nail right on the head....then you went and ignored it. BC will win this game, but they haven't exactly been the model of consistency this year. Add that to the HUGE letdown of going from #2 in the nation to the Champs Sports Bowl in a matter of weeks and you have a the making of a flat performance. The suspensions will hurt the Spartans, but they have the big play guys in Devin Thomas and Javon Ringer to keep this close. BC squeaks it out 31-28.

Emerald Bowl

Frazier: Maryland +5 over Oregon St.

I will probably live to regret this pick. The Beavers have been cruising, and the Pac-10 was certainly better than the ACC this year, but i just have a feeling about this one. When I don't know enough about the teams, I look at the coaches, and I hate picking against the Fridge with a month to prepare. Terps fall just short, 24-23.

Walter: Maryland +5 over Oregon St.

This line is real weird to me. Oregon State has the better record, but they haven't exactly been lighting teams up while the Terps have played a lot better with Turner at QB than they did with Steffy. On the Oregon State side, Lyle Moaevo might have a decent record, but they've been winning in spite of him, not because of him. Maryland can be sneaky good at times (witness the romp of BC and NC St.) and sneaky bad at others (losing to UNC). I say they bring their A-game and take it outright 31-14.

Texas Bowl

Frazier: TCU -6.5 over Houston

TCU was supposed to be the BCS-buster this season, but they completely imploded. That being said, I have to take the Frogs over a newly rudderless houston team. I think TCU has a chip on their shoulder, and they go turnover happy, winning 34-20.

Walter: Houston +6.5 over TCU

Talk about a lack of motivation, it won't be a new thing for TCU. Ever since they lost to Texas in the second week of the season the Frogs have been going through the motions. This is a talented team but the effort simply isn't there. Am I worried about Houston because Art Briles left the team right before the bowl? Well, both Southern Mississippi and UCLA were the proverbial "rudderless ships" before their games and they both covered. Let's make it 3 for 3. TCU in a close one 28-25.

Bowl Pickoff Records

Frazier: 1-7
Walter: 6-2

Bowl Pickoff - 12/27  

Posted by Walter

Holiday Bowl

Frazier: ASU +2.5 over Texas

In the game of superfrauds, I am going with the new kids on the block, instead of the proven-frauds. Frankly, it's most likely a mistake. But ASU actually played some good defense this year, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. McCoy will be behind center for the Longhorns. He throws a half-dozen picks, and ASU wins, somehow, 28-24.

Walter: Texas -2.5 over ASU

Well Frazier you are right. Colt McCoy is a very Jekyll and Hyde quarterback. However, I think you forget that a single QB does not a backfield make. Texas has a guy named Jamaal Charles who has rushed for about 750 yards in his last 4 games. Yup, you read that right. McCoy can go ahead and match ASU's equally inconsistent Rudy Carpenter pick for pick. ASU doesn't have anyone to answer Charles on offense or defense. The Longhorns roll thanks to a 200 yard, 3 TD starmaking performance from the soon to be 2008 Heisman sleeper Charles. Call it 35-21.

Bowl Pickoff Records

Frazier: 1-6
Walter: 5-2

Quick Hitch...  

Posted by Frazier

Wow, I suck at bowl-picking. I sucked last year, and I am sucking again this year. My main problem is failing to assess "motivation" in these games. Underdogs often find themselves playing for a lot more than teams who feel "slighted" by their bowl. I know this phenomena all too well, it is hard to forget Virginia being banished to Boise and simply deciding to mail it in against a feisty Fresno St. team. Those sorts of games are insults to the dedicated fans, friends and alums of those schools. We're seeing plenty of it this year.

In my defense, the big man said that he "agreed with all" of my picks, and changed his to "mix things up". Which is to say, that we both suck at this, I just suck even harder.

Now that I have returned from "the land that cable forgot" I'll be able to catch the rest of the games. Although, I don't feel like I've missed a whole lot.

I still managed to show up more than Nevada did in their pathetic effort.

Bowl PIckoff - 12/26  

Posted by Walter

Motor City Bowl

Frazier: Purdue -8.5 over Central Michigan

I may like the Chippewa's, but I can't get behind a team that fell behind 38-0 to their bowl opponent in a matchup earlier this season. I mean, things change in college football, but it's not like Purdue has any huge injuries, or like Central Michigan has been blowing people out (squeakers against Akron, and Western Michigan, and a loss to Eastern Michigan in 3 of last 4 games). Also, it's the last time to get on-board with my pathetic "sleeper" pick, which apparently was in a coma. Boilermakers take it, 41-24.

Walter: Central Michigan +8.5 over Purdue

I almost went with Purdue here, and I may regret it. However, this game should be an absolute shootout (think 90 points total or so) and there are tons of questions for both teams. Such as.....Can anyone stop Dan Lefavour? Will Purdue care? Can anyone stop Dan Lefavour? Will Purdue be able to shorten the game with the run? Can anyone stop Dan Lefavour? Well since I am going with Central Michigan I will answer No, No, No, No, and No. Seriously, Dan Lefevour is my hero. Central Michigan wins a shocker 50-48, setting them up as the chic non BCS team for 2008.....remember you heard it here first.

Bowl Pickoff Records
Frazier: 1-5
Walter: 4-2

Quick Hitch  

Posted by Walter

Quick comments on the first set of Bowl Games……..

Still not quite sure why Utah QB (1) Brian Johnson is flying so far under the radar. The 6’2’’ Junior runs that spread offense to perfection, and should be even better in 2008 when he 2 full years from his devastating knee injury. Look for Johnson to be “Dennis Dixon Lite” next year……You wanna know why (2) Florida Atlantic suddenly looks like a team to be taken seriously? Well there are two. First is the superb coaching and recruiting job done by the legendary Howard Schnellenberger. Second is that Florida Atlantic University happens to be located in, yup you guessed it, FLORIDA. Of the 80 or so players listed on FAU’s roster, exactly 12 of them are from outside of the state, and that number includes three backup QB’s and the punter. With the success of FAU and South Florida proving that there is more than enough talent in that state to go around, one has to wonder why every Florida school, no matter how small, doesn’t have a football team……I told you about Southern Mississippi tailback (3) Damion Fletcher. 29 carries for 155 yards added to 7 catches for 50 yards against a very solid Cincinnati defense it damn impressive. This sophomore (!!) has a bright future ahead of him as an collegian and as an every down NFL back…...From the “opposite ends of the spectrum but same side of the score” file we give you (4) Nevada and (5) UCLA. Never have I seen a team look as disinterested in a bowl game as Nevada did in getting shutout by New Mexico. Conversely, playing with their 23rd string, and walk on, QB, UCLA gave an outstanding effort only to come up just short against BYU. Goes to show you that not all losses are created equal…….The unit that should be most ashamed of themselves thus far through bowl season (well, aside from the entire Nevada team): the (5) Boise State defense. 476 total yards to East Carolina? Come on, you beat Oklahoma for goodness’ sake. Big time teams tanking meaningless bowl games is a bowl month tradition. Is it possible that Boise State, as a mid major, had entered the rarified air of it being acceptable for them to tank a bowl game it’s not a major one? If that’s how we all look at them now, that may be a bigger accomplishment than reaching the BCS and beating Oklahoma combined!

Bowl Pickoff - 12/23  

Posted by Walter

Hawaii Bowl

Frazier: Boise St. -10.5 over East Carolina

This game is a joke. Boise is bowl-tested, battle-scarred, and not about to go out on a whimper. They've lost two games in two seasons, and they aren't about to make it three. From a talent, coaching, and experience standpoint, this is a walk. I like the Broncos, 44-27.

Walter: Boise St. -10.5 over East Carolina

Boise goes from playing Oklahoma one year to East Carolina the next. Ain't college football grand. This one shouldn't be close. Expect Boise to dominate on the ground with Ian Johnson, and control both lines of scrimmage. Something tells me Chris Peterson won't need to dig as deep into his bag of tricks to win this year's bowl game. Boise in a walk 38-21.

Bowl Pickoff Records

Walter: 4-1

Bowl PIckoff - 12/22  

Posted by Walter

Las Vegas Bowl

Frazier: BYU -5.5 over UCLA

UCLA won in the early matchup of these two, but since then BYU has blown up (in the good way) by winning nine straight since. UCLA, on the other hand, has blown up (in the bad way) by losing four of five. The Bruins got obliterated in their bowl last year by a weak FSU, and this year they don't have a coach. Ugly all around. Give me BYU 31-24.

Walter: BYU -5.5 over UCLA

Quietly Bronco Mendenhall has done a fantastic job of restoring the Cougars to their past glory. And while Karl Dorrell maybe deserved at least one more year in LA, the bottom line is that he was NOT able to restore anything to a Bruin program that still doesn't live up to its potential. Dorrell was nothing special so losing him won't hurt too much. What will hurt the Bruins will be Max Hall, Harvey Unga, and the rest of the Cougars trying to make it 11 straight wins. BYU big, 42-21. Bowl

Frazier: Cincinnati -11 over Southern Mississippi

I cannot give a team any support when they fire a coaching legend at the school for no reason. Jeff Bower turned that team around, consistently won at a no-name school, and got fired because his team isn't Auburn. Southern Miss is annually in the running for the best college football team in the state of Mississippi, and two of the others are in the friggin SEC. It was a gutless, thoughtless firing of a man who once again put together a winning team and made a bowl. I wish Bower the best, but i can't imagine that team has its' head on straight right now. Cincy wins, 30-13.

Walter: Southern Mississippi +11 over Cincinnati

Frazier makes an excellent point about Bower. He really got the short end of the stick. Still, 11 is too much to lay when Damion Fletcher, one of the best backs you've never heard of, is lining up in the opposing backfield. Cincinnati is good, but are they that good? After making their name by beating creampuffs in the first six games (6-0), the Bearcats have dropped 3 of 6, including losses to unranked Pitt and Louisville teams. Southern Miss keeps it close, but loses in the end 28-21.

The New Mexico Bowl

Frazier: Nevada +2.5 over New Mexico

Well, I liked this Nevada team, and their gutsy QB, Colin Kaepernik, BEFORE the Lobos lost their leading rusher for this one. It's Wolfpack time, 24-17.

Walter: New Mexico -2.5 over Nevada
Admittedly, I have no idea what to do with this game. I mean is anyone in the entire fucking world excited to watch this shit? Fuck it, I'm going with the home team. New Mexico wins it on a last second field goal, covering by half a point. Fuck the score.

Bowl Pickoff Records

Frazier: 1-1
Walter: 2-0

Bowl Pickoff - 12/21  

Posted by Walter

Just a quick note before getting to the picks. What is the deal with the disturbing trend of college football players being suspended for bowl games. Not one day after hearing that Florida State may have to forfeit thanks to 20+ suspensions, but both Ohio State and Tennessee announced that they are suspending starters for their bowl games thanks to various rule violations. As disturbing and upsetting as this news is to college football fans, the worst may be yet to come........we're only ONE day into bowl season. There is a lot of time left.

The New Orleans Bowl

Frazier: Florida Atlantic -2.5 over Memphis

When you know nothing about the teams, go with the coaching legend. I'll take FAU, and the fighting Schnellenberger's in this one, 38-34.

Bowl Pickoff Record: 0-1

Walter: Florida Atlantic -2.5 over Memphis

I admit that I, too, know almost nothing about these teams. However, I do recognize that one team's recruiting base in South Florida, while the other's is somewhere in Tennessee. That's the equivalent of pitting a Las Vegas based team against anyone else in a farting competition. I'll take my chances with the Miami based team. Nuff said. Gimme FAU 27-21.

Bowl Pickoff Record: 1-0

It's the most wonderful time of the year......  

Posted by Walter

Merry Christmas? Eh, not for everyone. Happy Hannukah? For even fewer. Kwanzaa? Don’t even get me started…..Oh, Happy New Year? Hmmmmm, we’re recovering from our third snow storm this week in the Northeast, what exactly is so happy about it? Sigh……..

Yup, there’s only one thing we can all actually agree on……..Happy Bowl Season!

Traditions are an important part of the holiday season, and we here at the323 have but one holiday tradition. That’s right, the Bowl pick off. Check in daily to track Frazier and Walter matching wits to decide who reigns supreme as the world’s ultimate college football expert…’ more of an unofficial position.

On to the picks:

The Poinsettia Bowl

Frazier: Utah -7.5 Over NavyUtah has an absolutely stellar bowl record, winning six in a row under three different coaches. Speaking of coaches, navy lost theirs, which may be difficult to overcome. The midshipmen will battle, and have plenty of local support, but don't mess with team December. Utes, 31-20.

Walter: Navy +7.5 over Utah

Losing Paul Johnson hurts, but to be honest his the best thing Johnson did was install the offense. Heck, Navy only runs 5 plays, I think I could call the game. That loss would hurt a lot more if they hadn’t already named Johnson’s replacement, and if that replacement wasn’t an internal choice. Screw it, I ain’t going against the first Somoan head coach in the history of football. Navy’s magical season ends just that way. Navy 30-28.

Dear Santa....  

Posted by Frazier

It's that time of year! Now, we're all about to get our wishes fulfilled as Bowl Season kicks off after a couple of tough Saturdays, but what else are we going to ask for this holiday season? Well, here's out wish list, in no particular order:

1: An entertaining National Title game. Frankly, we may have to go over the Jolly Man's head for this season, and appeal to the big guy upstairs directly. We've been writing the blog for two years, inspired, in part, by the thrilling Texas-USC tilt, but we're staring a second consecutive dud straight in the face. We'd love to be able to end the year with a bang, instead of a whimper.

2: More players like Darren McFadden and Dennis Dixon, and more coaches like Urban Meyer and Rich Rodriguez. College football is better than the NFL because the schemes are so unique and exciting, and the elite players can do such incredible things on the field. We love innovative coaches, and electric performances. Here's hoping we get another season full of them.

3: An underdog who can seal the deal. Here's a list of National Champs since 1992: Alabama, Florida St, Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Miami, Ohio St, LSU, USC and Texas. Pretty much chock-full of bluebloods, eh? This year, the year of the upset, pits Ohio St. against LSU. This sport desperately needs a Mizzou, or a Kansas, or an Oregon, or somebody to step up and take home the title for all the little guys.

4: Common sense for the NCAA presidents. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that NCAA football needs some sort of playoffs. Year after year of unfulfilling conclusions (USC v. Texas notwithstanding) has to eventually lead to the inevitable. The school presidents love the bowl games because they provide a reward of sorts (not to mention a whole truckload of cash) to the schools at the end of the year, but common sense tells us we CAN have a playoff WITH the bowls still in place. An 8 team playoff won't make the bowls the equivalent of the NIT. It's football fellas! People will watch the games even if they are officially labeled as meaningless.

5: More coaches who care about their school. I always say that if given the choice of being a college coach or an NFL coach I'd choose the former every day of the week and twice on Sunday. The reason is college, if you're great they name the stadium after you. Well these days that's about as likely as Mark Mangino going on Atkins. With coaches moving around more than ever it will be a long time before we see another JoePa build an empire out of nothing. Rich Rodriguez is just the latest in a long list of coaches who leave what they've started to pursue greener pastures. Heck, if it weren't for Greg Schiano you could eliminate the word "more" from this wish.

It's So  

Posted by Frazier

My esteemed colleague makes an excellent point regarding Mr. Rodriguez. "Fit" really does matter for coaches. Bill Belichick was not a "fit" with Cleveland, but it's not like he's a completely different person suddenly. I certainly understand that Coach Rod may not "fit" at Michigan. In fact, it may turn out to be a disaster. However, I think some things warrant mentioning.

West Virginia ain't exactly South Carolina. Coach Rod is familiar with Big 10 recruiting, and the kind of players, and the kind of football played there. West Virginia is more of a midwestern state than a southern one in many respects. He understands what he is getting into there, this isn't like Bill Callahan trying to find Lincoln, Nebraska on a map. He's a smart enough guy to know what he's doing.

Coach Rod has shown flexibility. Urban Meyer inherited a team that wasn't in his mold and won a title with them. Coach Rod can do the same if he's smart. This is a many who started his career flinging it all over the field, and then turned into a running guru. He has coached players who have passed for over 500 yards in a game, and ones who have rushed for over 300. At Tulane they passed for over 300 and ran for over 200 regularly. Of course, the Big Man points out that the "spread" itself may be a problem at Michigan, but he's shown a willingness to change his formula for the talent. So we shall see.

Maybe this is what the Big 10 needs. Ohio St. shocked the world by beating Miami, but the Big 10 has generally looked a step slow for the last decade. This is a conference playing checkers while everyone else is playing chess. I think the Michigan braintrust saw their team lose to App. St. and Oregon, and Ohio St. get killed by Florida, and lose to Illinois, and realized that this "spread" thing, and this "speed" thing have been KILLING the top of the Big 10 recently. They are thinking that the "spread" plus Michigan's ability to draw great recruits, may turn them into a powerhouse once again. Right now, the Big 10 simply can't hang with the speed game, and Big Blue is trying to use that fact to their advantage.

All that being said, this is a monumental risk. If Coach Rod can get his team running his offense with the kind of players Michigan can draw (read: almost anybody they really want) then they could be a juggernaut. Or, they could turn into a fun, gimmicky team that lacks the resolve to win when it matters.

Say it ain't so Bo  

Posted by Walter

Fair points Frazier. Perhaps in my hast to debunk the “mediocre” label I went a bit overboard. By no means am I claiming that Nehlen is one of the college football coaching elite. However, he was a very good coach who brought a WVU program to its highest point, despite starting with much less than Rodriguez had. If you measure success by wins alone, Rodriguez’s tenure in Morgantown was unmatched. But if you consider longevity and influence on the program it is clear that Don Nehlan was the architect of WVU football.

Now, onto how Michigan screwed up. Here is my problem with the Rodriguez hire. The University of Michigan is the winningest program in the history of college football. They have been a consistent top 10 team for the better part of Lloyd Carr’s tenure, and were this close to playing for the national title last season. I understand that 2007 was nothing short of a debacle. I understand that Coach Carr’s time had expired. But NO, I don’t understand why Michigan felt they needed to pull a complete 180 and perhaps irreparably alter their program’s identity. Folks, this isn’t a moribund and mostly irrelevant University of Florida program hiring Steve Spurrier and his fun n’ gun offense here. This is the University of Michigan, the Maize and Blue, the self anointed Victors, abandoning everything that made the program great.

And believe me, this is nothing against Rich Rodriguez. I think he is a dynamic offensive mind, and there are few fans out there that admire his offensive creativity as much as I do. But one lesson we’ve learned time and again in college football is that the fit is as important as the X’s and O’s. Bill Callahan knows how to draw up some plays. Heck, he was a the head coach of a super bowl team. However he was the wrong fit at Nebraska. Asking the Cornhuskers not to hand the ball off is like asking a bird not to fly, a fish not to swim, a tiger not to turn back into a Chinese man at midnight (thank you very much Tracy Jordan). Callahan was an unmitigated disaster in Lincoln. It’s not because he forgot how to coach. It is because he was the wrong fit. I’m not so sure the same thing won’t happen in Ann Arbor.

Ask yourself, why is Michigan, or any iconic program for that matter, so great? Well you have to have a fertile recruiting base. Check. The Midwest is chock full of football talent. You have to have success sending guys to the NFL because, after all, college has basically become the NFL’s minor league. Check. Michigan has been a virtual factory for NFL drop back QB’s (Brady, Harbaugh, Grbac, Griese), physical wideouts (Howard, Edwards, Streets, Toomer), bruising tight ends (Tuman, Shea, Riemersma, Masaquio), and the their signature mauling offensive lineman (Runyan, Backus, Hutchinson Baas, Long). And finally, you have to have tradition. Check. No comment needed here. Add all those things together and you get a very rich team identity. One that has been successful for a century.

But you also get an identity that is wholly different from what a Rich Rodriguez team is. Think about it. Rodriguez has thrived at three jobs in his career: offensive coordinator at Tulane, offensive coordinator at Clemson, and head coach at West Virginia. His three quarterbacks at those jobs: Shaun King, Woody Dantzler, and Pat White. See a problem? Not exactly the classic Michigan quarterback eh? In fact, it gets worse. All three came from Southern high schools, where 6 foot 5 inch statues play tight end instead of QB. The high school game in the Midwest is very different from its counterpart in Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama (the home states of the three aforementioned QB’s). Michigan has a fertile recruiting base, but I don’t know if it can support the type of offense Rodriguez is known to run. Now am I saying that Rodriguez can’t go out and get the guys he wants? Of course he can. But I am saying that his hire may have already forsaken one of the greatest strengths of the Michigan program. Namely, its historic dominance of the Midwest recruiting wars.

Moreover, with Rodriguez at the helm, Michigan will no longer be the NFL factory is has long been. Rodriguez eschews the drop back passer for the runner, even though the NFL prefers the former. Rodriguez rarely uses his wideouts, limiting their ability to showcase their talents for scouts. Rodriguez recruits lighter lineman, proficient at pulling and getting up on linebackers which is nice in college, but limits a their pro potential. Think about it. Who are the signature Michigan offensive players of the past 20 years? I would say Tom Brady, Charles Woodson, Anthony Thomas, Mike Hart, Jon Runyan, Braylon Edwards and Steve Hutchinson. Aside from Woodson, NONE of them would get on the field for Rodriguez.

Perhaps Michigan made the right move because they need a change. We’ve commented that the Big 10 needs to be brought into the 21st century. And perhaps Rodriguez is the man to do it. Will his offense mystify the Big 10 with its speed (see Florida v. OSU last year)? Only time will tell, but I think we all also have to prepare for the possibility that Rodriguez will fit in at Michigan about as well as Callahan did in Lincoln.


Posted by Frazier

Ok, I need to add a little depth to my earlier comments regarding coach Nehlen. That came out of a morning of going on WVU message boards and hearing him praised like some sort of god, while Rodriguez was vilified. That being said, calling him "mediocre" was unfair.

I will stand by the statement that WVU was a mediocre program.

The two best bowl WINS in WVU history came in the last two years under Rodriguez. Nehlen won 4 bowl games in twenty-one years, the Peach, Bluebonnet, Hall of Fame and Music City bowls. Not exactly a murders row there.

Cupcakes? That 1988 team had wins over Cincy, Rutgers, East Carolina, Bowling Green and Cal-State Fullerton. Scheduling cupcakes is a long-time college tradition. Don't blame it on the new guys.

Coach Rod has his team going to their 6th straight bowl. And don't say it's because there are SO many of them, since the bowls he has gone to are: Gator, Gator, Sugar, Gator, Fiesta. Yes, the first year it was the Continental Tires bowl, but tell me that's a far cry from the Bluebonnet?

In the ten years Nehlen coached in the Big East, he had three seasons with fewer than 5 losses, and only one season with fewer than 4. The only time they finished the season ranked was 1993. College football from 1990 on is pretty similar in terms of scheduling, and number of games.

Yes, Nehlen re-built the program (after Cignetti screwed up what Bobby Bowden started). So he deserves some credit, but it's not a great program. They have the same great pedigree as a team like Virginia, my alma mater.

There, George Welsh had a .608 (134-86) winning percentage, to Nehlen's .614 (149-93). He has 12 bowl games to Nehlen's 13, and 4 wins (even) 2 Peach, an All-American and an Independence. Both were inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame immediately upon retiring. Virginia reached #1 in the polls (something WVU didn't do under Nehlen). Welsh finished ranked 6 times to Nehlen's 7.

Virginia is a mediocre program, and from 1990-2000 had greater success than WVU. Don Nehlen and George Welsh are practically interchangeable.

So if you don't want to call them overrated, that's fine. They both took lousy teams and turned them into pretty decent teams. Then Nehlen struggled over his past ten years, while George Welsh started to slip, and the team had those 8-5 Hawaii Bowl kind of years.

Frazier Has Lost His Mind  

Posted by Walter

Wow, I was debating whether or not to chime in immediately on the Rich Rodriguez hiring and then THIS happened: “He (Rodriguez) built that program (WVU). Nehlen was a mediocre coach, and that was a mediocre school” (emphasis added).

First, let’s address this simply preposterous statement uttered by my cohort Frazier. Perhaps it’s the strain of the holiday season finally getting to him. Perhaps it’s because we live in a “what have you done for me lately” society. Heck, perhaps it’s simply that Frazier doesn’t know anything about college football history outside of the ACC and Big 12 country (for the record, I never would have even thought that the last choice there was even a possibility before the Nehlen comment). Whatever your reason is Frazier, you are FLAT OUT wrong. Rich Rodriguez is a great coach who has done some good things at WVU, but that program is and always will be Don Nehlen’s.

Actually, your comment can and must be broken down into two equally ridiculous statements. One, that Rodriguez built the WVU program, and two that Nehlen was a mediocre coach. Let’s start with point number 2. Don Nehlen coached at WVU for 21 seasons. When he retired from coaching in 2001 he was the 17th winnengest coach in college football history despite coaching his entire career at Bowling Green and West Virginia (not exactly football powerhouses). Nehlen was almost immediately elected to the college football hall of fame in 2005. During his career, Nehlen led the Mountaineers to 13 bowl games (back when there weren’t 300 of them), 9 eight win seasons (again, during the glory days of the Big East and before it was acceptable to schedule East Carolina and SW Missouri State every year), and 15 winning seasons. Nehlen’s resume also includes a trip to the 1988 national title game against Notre Dame, and a defacto title game against Florida in the 1993 Sugar Bowl. Though Nehlen lost both games it should be noted that if not for an injury on the third play of the game to star QB Major Harris, the 1988 matchup with Notre Dame likely would not have ended in a 34-21 loss.

It should also be noted that even though Nehlen was 0-2 in Title games, that is still 2 more appearances that Mr. Rodriguez…..Which brings us to the first part of Frazier’s ridiculousness. It is simply undeniable that Don Nehlen built the WVU program. When Nehlen took over the Mountaineers program from Frank Cignetti it was floundering. Cignetti’s career record at WVU was 17-27, yet Nehlen was able to lead WVU to a 41-19 record in his first 5 seasons at the helm, including three bowl wins and three top 25 finishes. Conversely, when Rodriguez took over from Nehlen, his former teacher, WVU was coming off of a stretch for 4 winning seasons in 5 years. I concede that Rodriguez’s win totals are impressive, but they are inflated due to the weakening of the Big East and the cupcakes that are permitted on the schedule (not to mention the expansion of the schedule).

The bottom line is that while Rodriguez’s numbers are gaudy, he has NOT, repeat NOT, built on what Coach Nehlen accomplished. The 1988 Major Harris led WVU squad is still the gold standard for the school. Rodriguez has not brought the program to another level. In fact, his teams can be viewed as underachievers (loss at home to Pitt, ahem ahem, losses to South Florida every year, ahem ahem, fumbling away games to Louisville, ahem ahem).

Frazier you are too smart of a college football fan to get sucked into a couple of cupcake padded Rich Rodriguez 11 win seasons. He is a good coach, but Don Nehlen is WVU football. He is now, and probably always will be, the greatest coach in the history of the program. To say otherwise is an insult.

Oh boy, I need a break……check back later today for my post on why Michigan blew it in their coaching search.

Quick Hitch...  

Posted by Frazier

WOW! Michigan got themselves an amazing hire. Rodriguez is one of the best coaches in the country, and will make the Big 10 an interesting league for a change. I'm thrilled.

Now, WVU fans are reasonably distraught. However, let's settle down here. Rodriguez didn't lie to anyone. You HAVE to say you're committed to your job, there's no option there. I believe he was. I also believe that Michigan is one of the top two or three jobs in the country (prestige-wise). I think Coach Rod realized that if his team couldn't break through this year, it was never happening, and he just couldn't turn down a once in a lifetime opportunity. Also, WVU is a nice place and all, but it's a second tier school in a second tier conference.

Also, I have heard some WVU fans claim he blew the Pitt game on purpose, supposedly to get fired so as to get out of his huge buyout. Um, that's insane. His team choked. Maybe he should have handed to Slaton more, but Steve did average 1 yard/carry. Also, it's not like he hurt Pat White's hand, or forced his kicker to miss a pair of gimmes.

Also, how exactly was he going to get fired for that? For bringing his team to a second BCS game in three years, or within a hair of the title? He could lose the Fiesta 100-0 and still not have any chance of being fired.

He built that program. Nehlen was a mediocre coach, and that was a mediocre school. Coach Rod is one of the best in the nation, and made that team an annual national-title contender. He also recruited his ass off at a tough place to get commitments. WVU fans have every right to be hurt, but to bad-mouth the guy is inexcusable. There was too much of that after the Pitt game, and all this belly-aching now is just plain sad. You got dumped by your girl for the big man on campus, and now you're calling her a slut, and saying she was bad in bed or some shit.

Let's quote his players, "Coach Rod was a man about it." Give credit where credit is due. He did great things for that school, and should be remembered that way. Sometimes relationships just don't work out.

Quick Hitch...  

Posted by Frazier

Had to comment on Arkansas stealing Bobby Petrino. Of course, this is an absolutely brilliant move. Petrino is one of the best offensive minds in all of football, and has been an incredibly successful college coach. He's also the sort of big-name that Arkansas is convinced it deserves. Anyone of lesser stature would have made the firing of Nutt seem ridiculous. Now, we all took shots at Houston, but he won 3 SEC West titles from a second tier SEC school, which is nothing to sneeze at.

His sin was bringing on a egotistical high school coach in order to recruit an egotistical high school quarterback who had read one too many of his own press clippings. Basically, the people in Arkansas have nothing better to do than be obsessed about their football team to a frightening degree.

Anyways, Petrino is a brilliant hire. He may have a tough go of it if Jones and McFadden leave, but he'll get the ship righted soon. However, we'd be remiss if we didn't point out a great article by Pat Forde about Petrino. Pat is one of our favorites, and he knows Bobby P better than most since he lives and writes in Louisville. Pat can't question Petrino's record, but he'll make you wonder if he's the kind of guy you want coaching your kid. See for yourself.

Quick Hitch  

Posted by Walter

The coaching carousel goes round and round and round and round...........

Quick, knee jerk reactions to some of the coaching vacancies.

1) Arkansas
Who's out?: Houston Nutt
Who they should hire: Butch Davis
Skinny: The Razorbacks fancy themselves a major program, even though they are probably in the middle of the pack at best in the SEC. Davis is a MONSTER name, and probably the only coach who can instantly elevate the entire program. Plus it don't hurt that he's an Arkansas alum and former standout defensive end for the Razorbacks.

Who's out?: Karl Dorrell
Who they should hire: Rick Neuheisal
Skinny: Whether Karl Dorrell got a fair shot or not is a discussion for another time. The bottom line is that there simply is no excuse for a Los Angeles school not challenging for a national title every year (just ask USC). Neuheisel, a UCLA alum, is a proven winner and has the offensive mind required to compete in the Pac-10. Neuheisel's firing from Washington was disgraceful and he deserves another shot.

3) Washington State
Who's out?: Bill Doba
Who they should hire: Ryan Leaf
Skinny: Just kidding (although Leaf is currently a collegiate golf coach). But seriously, this is an easy one. Mike Price has already shown he can win at Wazzou. He's available and would love to come back. Like Neuheisel he's paid his price, and deserves another shot.

4) Michigan
Who's out?: Lloyd Carr
Who they should hire: Bob Stoops
Skinny: I simply don't understand Michigan's obsession with Les Miles. Miles is a nice coach, but he hasn't exactly lit the world on fire since taking over Nick Saban's talent laden roster at LSU. This is MICHIGAN!!!! The Wolverines are the winningest program in the history of college football, have a fertile in state talent base, and has a leg up on everyone in their weak conference outside of Ohio State every year. Basically, Michigan is one of the best coaching jobs on the planet and it would be a waste on a tier 3 coach like Miles. If I am the Michigan AD, I make a list of the 10 best college football coaches on the planet. Then I start down the list making calls. Stoops, who would probably rank around #5 or so, is a former Big-10 player (at Iowa) and would fit in perfectly. There is no doubt he would do at Michigan exactly what he did at Oklahoma......return a mighty program to glory.

Quick, knee jerk reactions to some of the coaching hires.

1) Nebraska
Who's out?: Bill Callahan
Who's in?: Bo Pelini
Skinny: BAD hire. Callahan needed to go, but Pelini is an uninspiring choice. Pelini was a nice d-coordinator for the Huskers, but he has underachieved big time since taking over once of the 3 most talented defense rosters in the nation at LSU. More importantly, though, Nebraska really needed to make a splash looking towards the future.....not the past. Just like with Miami's Randy Shannon hire, Pelini was part of the steady decline at Nebraska. The Huskers needed to go in a different direction. I would have placed a call to a guy like Paul Johnson, the one man who could have brought the power running game back to Lincoln.

2) Georgia Tech
Who's out?: Chan Gailey
Who's in?: Paul Johnson
Skinny: On paper a great hire, but I wonder how Johnson is going to tweak his triple option to compete in the ACC. Georgia Tech is not Nebraska. They don't have 300 pound farm boys around every corner. Johnson's schtick would have worked well in Lincoln. I don't know how well it will work at GT.

3) Ole Miss.
Who's out?: Ed Orgeron
Who's in?: Houston Nutt
Skinny: Great hire. Nutt did a superb job at Arkansas, even if the school administrators didn't realize it. Nutt is used to recruiting in the SEC, and has shown a tremendous ability to lure some superstar talent (see McFadden, Darren and Mustain, Mitch). Ole Miss. has themselves a keeper.

4) Texas A & M
Who's out?: Dennis Franchione
Who's in?: Mike Sherman
Skinny: What??? Mike Sherman??? Really? Something tells me the rest of the Big 12 isn't shaking with this hire. Sherman is a decent, repeat decent, NFL coach. Hardly the big name we expected from an Aggie program that has as big an inferiority complex as any in the country. A & M is admittedly a miserable coaching job. The expectations are too high, and it's murder trying to compete with the Longhorns and Sooners for recruits. But the Aggie boosters have DEEP pockets. They definitely could have gotten someone with a whole lot more cache. Why not call Butch Davis? Or if you wanted someone with more experience in Texas why not TCU's perrennially underrated Gary Patterson? Or if you were hell bent on an NFL name, why not give former Aggie Gary Kubiak a shot (his Texans are going nowhere fast)?

Heisman Final  

Posted by Frazier

We here at the 323 went into the bunker following the BCS-matchups. It was simply too much for these college football loving fools to take. Anyways, I am re-emerging to get my heisman thoughts on record.

In retrospect, our whole Hawaii argument doesn't seem so crazy, does it?

They would beat OSU, you heard it hear first.


1) Darren McFadden

I am not giving up on my boy. He has better numbers than last year, and finished the season doing something that Tebow could not: he took down LSU in Baton Rouge, by himself. It was a monstrous performance, and it seems to have been forgotten. Let's put it this way, there is one player who by himself is better than the team likely to win the national championship. His name is Darren McFadden, his position is swiss-army running back, and he should win the Heisman Trophy.

2) Tim Tebow

June Jones actually has a point. For everyone to look at Brennan's incredible numbers and call him a "system quarterback" but look at Tebow's numbers and not do the same, that's insane. Tebow plays in a system that allows him to put up those numbers. Last year Colt put up 5,900 total yards and 63 total touchdowns (Tebow has 4,000 t0tal yards, and 51 touchdowns), and didn't even sniff the trophy because of his "system" I just don't see how Tebow is significantly different. I thought Brennan had a brilliant year last year, and Tebow has this year, but let's compare apples to apples here.

3) Dennis Dixon

He's the Heisman winner by a landslide if he isn't hurt, and seeing the #1 team in the country implode with out him is all you need to know.

4) Colt Brennan

The numbers aren't as gaudy, but his team is, ahem, undefeated, and he has been absolutely fabulous every game. Injuries robbed him of having a similar stats from last year, but he's also a great leader. The comeback against Washington proved that.

5) Chase Daniel

By a hair over Pat White. Two dynamic quarterbacks who dragged their teams to a whiff of the national title.

Our buddy at BCS Know How also weighs in:

1 Tim Tebow: Tim Tebow enters the Heisman finalist group with the
possibility of becoming the very first underclassman to win a Heisman
trophy. In compiling unmatched statistics both through the air and on
the ground, Tebow proved his worth in the defending national
champion's offense. In combining to score 51 TDs, 29 passing and 22
rushing, Tebow made his way into the record books as the first
quarterback in the FBS history to rush and pass for 20 and became the
single season record holder in the SEC for rushing touchdowns. The
only downsides to his candidacy, other than his age, include Florida's
three losses and the fact that his best performance of the season came
against a less than formidable South Carolina defense.

2. Darren McFadden: In and out of the Heisman race all year, Darren
McFadden is headed back to New York City. This time there is no Troy
Smith to compete with, as no one quarterback preformed quite like
Smith was able to do last year, but McFadden has his share of
competition. Much like Colt Brennan, McFadden proved his Heisman worth
over the course of just a few games. His 323 yard performance against
South Carolina pushed McFadden back into the Heisman spotlight, and
his 206 yard, three touchdown performance against National Title
contender LSU were definitely his Heisman defining moments. McFadden
is quite possibly the best overall player in the country, but may be
hindered by performances that kept him out of the conversation for
much of the season.

3. Colt Brennan: Brennan, who started the season on the list of
Heisman hopefuls, but failed to be a constant presence with his
comparatively less than spectacular season, used the exposure of his
BCS bowl-bound Hawaii Warriors and the last two regular season games
of his college career to lock up an invite to NYC. In match ups that
secured a BCS bowl bid for Hawaii, Brennan combined to throw 10 TD
passes to only 2 INTs. The two games most likely locked up his
finalist bid and a trip to NYC, plus an undefeated season never hurt
any Heisman hopeful.

4. Chase Daniel: Chase Daniel, the leader of the surprising Missouri
Tigers is an equally surprising Heisman finalist. Among the four
finalists, Daniel is the only one to not appear in any preseason
Heisman hype or hoopla. Daniel had to prove his way to NYC this year,
and did most of that demonstration against bitter rivals Kansas. In
the border war, which this year pitted #2 Kansas against Daniel's #4
Missouri, Daniel shined on the brightest of stages. In completing 40
out of 49 passes and throwing for three touchdowns, Daniel proved his
Heisman worth. There were definitely voters who mailed in their
ballots right after that Heisman-moment worthy performance, but his
very next outing was not nearly as good. Daniel may be hindered by his
weak performance in the Big 12 Championship Game, but to get to NYC is
as good as a win for the Tiger's quarterback.

Check out all his great insight at:

Voting Fraud  

Posted by Frazier

Ugh. I am completely sick to my stomach. How the hell does LSU get a friggin third chance?

LSU has the most overrated offense, defense, and coach in the entire country.

They get the benefit of the doubt "good loss" because they lost both games in overtime. Although each team is unranked, and over their last three games LSU slipped past a mediocre Tennessee team, lost to Arkansas, and escaped a TERRIBLE Ole Miss team after giving up 500 yards of offense. What, in those games, would make them seem like the best team in the country.

They were definitely the best team in the country in September, but they've been riding that play all season (and their win over V. Tech when they had the game of their lives and the Hokies didn't show up vaulted them into the title game).

Of course they don't get the same reaction to "bad wins" as to "bad losses" while everyone has forgiven OT wins, saying its' close enough, no one has punished LSU for doing the following since October began.

1) Beating Florida in the last second by converting 5 4th downs. Tell me there wasn't more than a little luck involved.
2) Losing to Kentucky. Last time I checked, OT losses still counted as losses.
3) Escaping against Auburn on a last-second pass called because the coach is a moron. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.
4) Scoring in the final minute to beat a shit Alabama team.
5) Crushing pathetic La. Tech
6) Escaping a terrible Ole Miss team after surrendering nearly 500 yards to them.
7) Losing to unranked Arkansas AT HOME.
8) Beating a Vols team that has flirted with disaster for a month.

Not exactly an impressive resume. On the flip side, since the last Georgia loss, LSU has lost twice to UNRANKED teams. So it would have been better if Georgia had lost to some unranked team, but made the SEC title game? That would have made them more legit?

And don't give me "LSU beat the Vols who beat Georgia" the Vols caught Georgia in a bad game over two months ago, before Moreno got going, this is an entirely different team.

Virginia Tech has won 5 straight, and avenged one of two losses. Yeah, they got killed in Baton Rouge in September, but damn, that was also a fundamentally different team.

Also, how can Tech have won 5 straight, and finished the season by beating #16 and #11, and be ranked ahead of LSU, fall behind them when LSU has lost to an unranked team and beat #14.

If voters wanted to say LSU was still better than Tech, fine, but that should have been reflected in their votes LAST week. Instead, everyone wanted to play match-maker, this proving the BCS is a fraud, by taking the #7 team, and have them leap the #6 team when they beat #14 and #6 beat #11. That doesn't make any sense. Most inconsistent voting of all time. You say Virginia Tech is better, they play and beat a better opponent more convincingly, and you elevate the other team? Absurd.

Only the BCS could have #7 leap 5 places by beating the #14 team in mundane fashion, including leaping over a pair of teams that were idle.

Look at the polls all season, I defy you to find an instance where ANY team leaped 5 places, particularly over two teams that didn't even play, AND a team that had a more impressive win.

Nope. Instead of voting as they normally would, everyone turned into a matchmaker. Somehow, everyone "knows" that LSU is the best team in the country, and the games be damned.

Poor USC, playing as well as anyone right now, having won 5 straight. They had the nerve to lose to #1 in one of the toughest environments in the country. (Yes, Oregon is now unranked, but would be playing for the title with a healthy Dixon, no question). If they had also lost to an unranked opponent, like, a week ago, would they now be #1. I would be anything that if USC had beat this same UCLA team in the "Pac-1o Championship" they would now be playing for the title.

Sorry, this was long. You really don't want me to get started on Ohio St....

Quick Hitch  

Posted by Walter

Knee jerk reactions to the 2007 Bowl Matchups..........

Ohio State vs. LSU is one of the most uninspiring title games in recent memory. The matchup features two teams that lost a total of three times when ranked number one, with two of those losses coming against unranked teams at home. Just an absolute joke of a title game.

Moreover, has it ever been clearer that the only thing, and I mean the ONLY thing, the BCS cares about is money. You think if Boston College or Rutgers had a resume similar to OSU or LSU they would have even been considered? No way, and the reason is because their fans don't travel. OSU and LSU may or may not be the best of a weak group, but we're all fooling ourselves if we don't think the reason they made it is because the BCS can count on each school bringing 50,000 fans.

The fact that the Big 10, yes THAT Big 10, has two teams in the BCS is downright absurd. Boston College gets exiled to the Champs Bowl in Orlando while Illinois gets to go to Pasadena???? Not to mention Michigan's absurd invite to the Gator Bowl. Again, I guess it's better to draw fans than to actually be a good football team.

Five games that are appointment viewing........
1) Hawaii v. Georgia (Sugar Bowl) - The Dawgs make their case to open 2008 as #1, and we finally found out if our faith in the Warriors was warranted.
2) Missourri v. Arkansas (Cotton Bowl) - Arkansas can't stop the pass, Mizzou can't stop the run. Chase Daniel and Darren McFadden could put up 10 TD themselves.
3) Georgia Tech v. Fresno St (Humanitarian Bowl) - John Tenuta's blitz happy Tech defense versus the red hot Tom Brandstater led Bulldog passing offense should be a fun matchup.
4) Purdue v. Central Michigan (Motor City Bowl) - I can't wait to see what Dan Lefevour and the best kept secret in the nation do against some serious Big 10 competition. Seriously, Central Michigan could be the BCS crashing darlings in 2008.
5) Tulsa v. Bowling Green (GMAC Bowl) - We all know how good Tulsa QB Paul Smith is (more on him when we do our draft analysis), but this game could be Bowling Green's Tyler Sheehan's official coming out party.

Five games that aren't........
1) LSU v. Ohio State (BCS National Title Game) - BCS apologists claim that the system makes the entire regular season a playoff. How then can two teams that lost AT HOME to unranked opponents be vying for the national title. Makes me sick!
2) Illinoi v. USC (Rose Bowl) - Illinois beats a wildly overrated Ohio State team and earns a spot in Pasadena. This team lost at home to Iowa for goodness sake. The Illini might be talented but this is USC. USC rolls by at least 30 points.
3) Michigan v. Florida (Capital One Bowl) - The biggest mismatch of the bowl season. The Wolverines made App. State's Armanti Edwards look like Fran Tarkenton, how the hell are they going to deal with Tim Tebow. Florida might score 60!
4) Arizona State v. Texas (Holiday Bowl) - Might as well call it the Fraud Bowl. Seriously, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
5) Penn State v. Texas A & M (Alamo Bowl) - Aggie fans are already thrilled that Coach Franchione is gone. They'll share some of their joy with the Nittany Lions faithful who'll cheer the end of the Anthony Morigami era in Happy Valley.

The Team

How's the look?