Tuesday, December 30, 2014

College Football Playoffs | The Biggest Bowl Games of 2014

NCAA 2015 Bowl Games
Over the last several weeks, I have previewed the various NCAA Football bowl games. Now it is time to preview the inaugural college football playoffs. The first game will be the Rose Bowl and it will feature Oregon vs. Florida State. The second game will be the Sugar Bowl and it will feature Alabama vs. Ohio State.

Oregon vs. Florida State- Remember the 2006 Rose Bowl when Vince Young made all those millions of dollars he got from the NFL in one game, the Rose Bowl, in which he had 467 yards from scrimmage and no turnovers? Well many consider that game to be perhaps the greatest college football game ever played. This one won’t top it, but it will come very close. Florida State has  the nationals longest winning streak, with 27 in a row dating back to 2012. Jameis Winston has yet to lose a game as the starting quarterback of Florida State. Still, Florida State has lived dangerously all season, falling behind often and needing second half comebacks to remain undefeated. Bad news is that won’t work in this game. Oregon is better than any opponent they have faced in the ACC this season. Marcus Mariota won the Heisman, and is the number one player on every NFL big board right now for the 2015 NFL draft. I believe the living dangerously finally comes back to bite Florida State, and Oregon wins this game 45-31.

Alabama vs. Ohio State- What a ride 2014 has been for the Buckeyes. They had dreams of a national championship with Braxton Miller as the quarterback. Yeah, that was two quarterbacks ago. Miller was lost for the season during Fall camp, so the Buckeyes turned to freshman J.T. Barrett. After that early season debacle against Virginia Tech, Barrett got better as the season went along, but was lost for the season late in the year with a leg injury. The Buckeyes now turn to Cardale Jones, who has just one career start. Meanwhile the Crimson Tide have been less than impressive all season and are the number one team by default. If this is the best team in college football this season this is a down year, seriously. Still, I expect Alabama to win this game 41-20.

National Championship- This leaves us will Alabama and Oregon in the National Championship. Some might say this will be a good game, but to tell you the truth, I won’t expect it to be. In recent years, whenever that great Alabama defense has played a quarterback with a pulse, they’ve looked bad. Well guess what, it doesn’t get any better at quarterback than Marcus Mariota. I think this one is going to be a blow out. Final score Oregon wins 48 24.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Gary Anderson Blows Off The Badgers | Alverez To Coach The Outback Bowl

Badgers Gary Anderson
Wisconsin football head coach Gary Andersen abruptly announced on Wednesday that he would be resigning his position to take a job at the same role at Oregon State. Less than a week after the Badgers trouncing at the hands of Ohio State in the Big-10 Conference championship, Andersen notified University athletic director Barry Alvarez of his intentions, which were accepted as an immediate resignation of his head coaching duties. Alvarez spoke to reporters at a press-conference on Wednesday night to give details of the meeting, which he says was as much of a surprise to himself as it was to fans and players.

When asked about the player's reactions to the news, Alvarez mentioned that the older team members, many of whom had been witness to Brett Bielema's departure of a similar fashion, took it in stride. Though the younger players, the athletic director and former head coach said, were much more upset. Star Badgers running-back Melvin Gordon, who announced his own decision to enter the draft in 2015 rather than stay at Wisconsin, weighed-in on the topic over the weekend, exclaiming his surprise at the news, stating that no one on the team saw any sign that Andersen was contemplating the move.

Reporter's questions at Wednesday's news conference slowly trended towards the team's future, including the naming a successor and if that new coach would be in place for the team's Outback Bowl game against Auburn on January 1. Alvarez gave no speculation as to who would be named to the helm, though he said he hoped to have an applicant chosen by New Year's Day. As for the meeting with Auburn, Alvarez revealed later that evening that he would reprise his role as head coach for the game, returning to the sidelines for the first time since coaching the Badgers in the 2012 Rose Bowl in lieu of Bielema. Before being named athletic director at Wisconsin, Alvarez coached the Badgers to three Rose Bowl victories as head coach between 1990 and 2005.

Who Will Replace Anderson? 

Despite Alvarez's reluctance to name even a list of potential replacements on Wednesday night, media outlets on Friday were already reporting that one-time Wisconsin offensive coordinator and current Pittsburgh head coach Paul Chryst is set to fill the vacancy. Neither Alvarez nor Chryst have publicly acknowledged the report, though local media says that a reliable source close to the university is providing them with the information. Chryst would return to Wisconsin after three seasons in Pittsburgh, where he compiled a 19-19 record. He was a coordinator at Wisconsin for six seasons prior to accepting the Pittsburgh offer in 2012.   

Andersen's own comments regarding his decision were kept short when he released a statement late last week thanking the Badgers for having him as a head coach for two seasons. Though he did not give details about the reasoning behind his move, Alvarez revealed that in his meeting with the coach, Andersen made it clear that it was for family reasons that he chose to return to the west coast. Andersen leaves the Badgers after coaching them to a 19-7 record over two full seasons.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

NCAA Bowl Games 2014 | Which Teams Play In Which Bowl Games?

NCAA Bowl Games 2014
Outside of the Army-Navy game this weekend, the college football regular season has come to a close, and the bowl game matchups have all been announces. Let’s take a look at some of them, not counting the playoffs or major New Years Bowls. Those will be saved for a different day.

Boca Raton Bowl, Marshall vs. Northern Illinois- The Thundering Herd were one 2-point conversion away from an undefeated season and possibly a New Years Eve or later bowl game. Instead, they are stuck in the Boca Raton Bowl on Dec. 23 against Northern Illinois. This will be a really good game. Very high scoring, and whoever has the ball last is going to win.

Sun Bowl, Arizona State vs. Duke- The Sun Devils have been the luckiest team in America in 2014. The Blue Devils are a program on the rise. The Blue Devils should win this game unless Arizona State gets lucky again.

Independence Bowl, Miami (FL) vs. South Carolina- This bowl game usually features teams whose seasons did not go a planned, and this year will be no different. Both these teams underachieved this season, and both are looking to end it on a high note. Expect South Carolina to win a low scoring contest, something to the tune of 20-17.

Pinstripe Bowl, Boston College vs. Penn State- The Nittany Lions make their glorious return to the postseason after a bowl ban due to the darkest hour in American sports history, the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Penn State has played really hard this season for first-year head coach James Franklin, and Boston College is in for a fight if they expect to win this game. Expect Penn State to come out on top though.

Holiday Bowl, Nebraska vs. USC- This game is basically the pretenders vs. the rollercoaster. Nebraska has played the role of pretender all season and USC has been as up and down as any team in the nation. The questions for this game are can USC stop the Nebraska rushing attack and can they throw the ball well enough? If they can do those two things, they will win this game as Nebraska is without a real head coach in this game due to the firing of Bo Pelini.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Badgers Part Of Conference Championship Weekend 2014

Badgers Championship Game
Well, we have reached the final week of the college football season, also known as “Conference Championship Saturday” and there is plenty left to be decided as far as the playoffs are concerned, meaning the final four teams that will get to play for the national championship. So lets take a look at these games

Arizona and Oregon, PAC-12 Championship- For Oregon, this one is very simple, they win, their in. Arizona has been really lucky at time this season, luck like that usually runs out in the big moments. This should be an easy win for the Ducks.

Iowa State and TCU- This one is not a conference championship game, but this one does have national championship implications. TCU has no choice but to win this game, and they must win convincingly. Fortunately, that should happen. I expect TCU to win by several scores.

Kansas State and Baylor- This is another huge game with playoff implications. This is a chance against a great team for Baylor to make a statement and sneak in to the playoffs. Final score, Baylor by three.

Florida State and Georgia Tech, ACC Championship- Despite being the defending national champions, despite carrying the nations longest win streak, the Seminoles currently sit number three in the polls. This can be a good game if the Yellow jackets can control the clock early and prevent the Seminoles from getting up early. Still, I expect the Seminoles to win this game by two scores.

Wisconsin and Ohio State, Big Ten Championship - Oh the Gophers are getting closer to winning that game against the Badgers every year. But, the Badgers prevailed and they will take on Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game. J.T. Barrett will miss this game as well as the postseason for the Buckeyes, so it is going to take a great gameplan for them to win this game. Badgers should win this game.

Alabama and Missouri, SEC Championship - This one may turn out to be the blowout of the day. I do not see how Missouri can win this game. Final score, Alabama with the mercy rule.