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January 1, 2014
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January 3, 2014
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January 7, 2014
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College Football – The Rise of Notre Dame
It’s been a long time coming but the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have battled their way back into the heights of college football. Many were dubious, including this writer, but it can no longer be denied that Notre Dame has a legit case for being in the Top 10. We’ll see how the polls deal with it but at least they now have an argument.
It was with some surprise to me and others that the Fighting Irish went out and knocked off Michigan State last week. Doubters spent the week very quietly, pointing to the matchup with Michigan this Saturday as a yardstick for the progress this program is making under Head Coach Brian Kelly. That progress was evident in a convincing 13-6 win over the 18th ranked Wolverines this Saturday. In order to gain credibility Notre Dame would not only have to win but win convincingly against a program that has been the bearer of last second heartbreak for the past three seasons.
How does five interceptions and a fumble recovery grab you? The Notre Dame defense stifled Denard Robinson all night and denied Michigan the end zone completely. Two Red Zone stops highlighted the defensive performance.
At 4-0 the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are where they haven’t been in a decade of college football and in a place some thought they might never be again. Some tough challenges remain. Stanford looms on the Notre Dame schedule, as well as a road game at Oklahoma. But may of the Irish faithful are thinking what was recently the unthinkable. And that a good thing for college football.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs Arkansas Razorbacks Preview
Talk about taking the bloom off of the rose. When fans were lining up for tickets to see Arkansas take on Alabama in 2013 it was with the expectation that the Arkansas Razorbacks were going to give the Crimson Tide a run for the money. After all, Arkansas was coming off of a good season and looked to be loading up for another fine season, with a legit shot at competing within the SEC for a possible title.
But there were some things lurking in the background that few saw coming. The whole Bobby Petrino scandal was a big stick in the spokes for a program that was definitely on the upswing. It looked to be settled with John L. Smith taking over. After all, Smith was familiar with the program and would inherit a fine quarterback and a better defense. Even the schedule was leaning the Razorbacks way as they got take on LSU and Alabama at home in Reynolds Razorbacks Stadium.
Now things have changed. Arkansas took one on the chin last week, losing to 30-point underdog UL-Monroe in a shocking upset that has the whole of Arkansas reeling. If there was any confidence factor building within the Razorbacks it’s probably gone now. In a single week, Arkansas fell from the #8 team in the nation to……unranked. To make matters worse, quarterback Tyler Wilson was injured in the game and his status against Alabama is very uncertain.
The whole situation has changed the nature of this game. The Crimson Tide has to be feeling very confident, despite the assurance of Nick Saban about respecting Arkansas. Alabama pretty much destroyed Michigan in the season opener and it’s pretty obvious that Saban isn’t overly concerned about matching up against a demoralized and injured Arkansas squad.
There are two ways this Arkansas vs Alabama matchup can go. Either Arkansas bucks up and delivers a solid performance, not winning mind you, but delivering a good effort in the wake of their loss, or the Razorbacks fold their tents and get eliminated early in the season from any possible SEC contention.
College Football Tickets – Seeking Out the Top 10
College football tickets have their own allure. Everything from the small Div. II college up to the top tier squads in the country will draw their own fanatical fans. Some college football fans though, seek out the top contests in the country and simply have to have tickets to see nothing but Top 10 college football teams. For those fans the challenge is keeping up with exactly who is in the Top 10. So here we go.
The Alabama Crimson Tide have grabbed the #1 spot in both college polls. Their convincing win against a tough Michigan team allowed them to knock off the former #1 USC.
USC has dropped to #2 despite their win over Hawaii. Simply a question of who is playing a better team. The battle is still on.
The LSU Tigers held on to their #3 spot after winning over North Texas, beating them soundly as they should have. The Tigers and Crimson Tide will seesaw all season long depending on opponent and performance as will USC.
At #4 comes Oregon and the #5 spot is held by Oklahoma. I can’t argue with that as neither has played anyone in their own league just yet.
From there we’ve got a mix of Georgia, Florida State, Arkansas, and West Virginia in no particular order.
Remember that the college football Top 10 is always a work in progress and starts out subjectively from the top and gets even worse as the list moves down. Toss in an upset or two and the whole thing becomes a guessing game. That’s a major reason why college football draws so much discussion and dissension. There are no hard and fast answers because it’s not a situation where everyone plays everyone else.
College Football – Major Coaching Changes
It’s a common occurrence in college football as each and very school attempts to latch on to the big time payoff of gridiron success. Here’s a look at who is where and what they might do.
Ohio State – Can Urban Meyer make up his mind? Maybe not but he can coach football. After taking leave of Florida (twice) Meyer declared his health as the reason. Suddenly he pops up and takes over the Ohio State Buckeyes. An opportune hire for Ohio State for sure. Meyer could be just the guy to pull in talent grown leery by sanctions with the promise of great times ahead.
Arkansas – John L. Smith take over at Arkansas after the lurid Bobby Petrino fiasco. This is a pick probably helped along by Smith’s familiarity with the system and the players as he had just departed the program. The fact that the Razorbacks had a good season in 2011 and retained enough talent to be competitive in an always tough SEC was enough of a lure for any coach. Smith is in the big leagues now and it’s going to be interesting to see if he can keep Arkansas on the ascension.
UCLA – Jim Mora Jr. takes over at UCLA and he brings a good bit to the table. He’s got college and NFL experience, although he’s operated mostly in the pros because of his father. If he can adjust to the college game and handle the recruiting end of the deal he should do very well.
Washington State – Mike Leach is now the man at Washington State and this looks like a good fit. His offensive acumen is top notch and the Cougars look to have players that fit his scheme. They are playing in the PAC-12 North and that means Leach has a good chance to sneak up on a few people unprepared for his wide open system.
Picking a college football coach is usually a crap shoot nowadays. Rarely do schools get a chance to pick a lockdown guy who can assure them a winning season or at least a stedy path of progressions. These four universities seem to have done just that.
College Football Previews.
Before the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can begin to regain their lustre they’ll have to come up with a quarterback who can keep them in a game. As it stands now the incumbent Tommy Rees has something to prove. The skills are there but the decision making process isn’t. Rees and the Fighting Irish spent large parts of games in 2011 fighting back from self inflicted wounds. The problem for Rees and Head Coach Brian Kelly is that there are a number of intriguing prospects on the roster, including a couple of freshman, who have the talent and need only experience to complete the puzzle.
Tennessee Volunteers tickets will bring college football fans a solid SEC season with the visit of the defending BCS National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide on Oct. 20th highlighting a schedule that includes home games with Georgia State, Florida, Akron, Troy, and Missouri.
The Tennessee Volunteers will be trying to capitalize on some well earned experience in the 2013 college football season. Derek Dooley has managed to put together a talented squad capable of going as far as determination can take them. there are some weak spots but the Tennessee Volunteers could easily put together a double digit winning season in light of the fact that they have been treated very well by the schedule makers.
BCS Championship Tickets – The Very Best
BCS Championship tickets are the best in college football bar none. The 2014 BCS Championship is offering just that, a contest between the two best college football teams in the nation, the LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Throw away all your thoughts of how some other teams were deserving of the honor of playing in the BCS Championship. Here are a few facts. The SEC is the toughest college football conference in the nation. Just to get through an SEC schedule with a winning record puts you in the top teams in college football. A team from the SEC has now given their fans the chance to enjoy BCS Championship tickets five years in a row, won all five, and will now claim a sixth. There’s no doubt, LSU and Alabama are the two best teams in the nation and the claiming of the crown will be witnessed by fans with BCS National Championship tickets.
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