Archive for the ‘ Football ’ Category

TSX Rapid News (1/14)

Welcome back to TSX Rapid News, lets go into the top stories for the Afternoon so far.

– The Kansas City Chiefs? or the Kansas City Patriots? Former Patriots assistant now turned Chiefs GM Scott Pioli has hired former Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel as the defensive coordinator for Kansas City. This came a couple days after Pioli hired former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis as the team’s offensive coordinator, taking the role away from head coach Todd Haley. Pioli, Weis, and Crennel all worked with each other in New England during their dynasty years of 2001-2004. With a young team that showed promise late in the season, Kansas City is looking to be a force to be reckoned with in the next decade. All by doing it the “Patriot Way”.

– Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin will undergo season-ending surgery on his knee and will be out for four months. Griffin, the #1 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft, injured his knee in the final preseason game against the New Orleans Hornets. He was targeting to make his debut Jan. 20th, but now with this news of surgery he will not. He will be a rookie next year.

– Lane Kiffin was introduced as the head coach of University of Southern California on Wednesday. Kiffin, who took the job after Pete Carroll left USC for the Seattle Seahawks as their head coach/executive vice president, went only 7-6 after one season at the University of Tennessee. The Volunteers who were really on the rise with recruiting, have had several players de-commit from the school upon the news that Kiffin was leaving Knoxville. Students were not happy either, forming a riot and burning team merchandise in protest of Lane’s departure.

– New York Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran will undergo knee surgery and will miss the first few weeks of the season. The surgery however, was not cleared by the Mets, and after injuries ravaged them to a 70-92 season a year ago, this is the last thing they needed. The Mets did say that Beltran’s osteoarthritis has worsened, and that surgery was need to clean the affected area. At least they do have Jason Bay now.

Stay tuned this tonight (early tomorrow AM) for TSX Rapid News: Late Edition.

BCS Recap

The Bowl Season is complete, and the BCS has been concluded with the Alabama Crimson Tide taking home the National Championship after a 37-21 victory over the Texas Longhorns to take home their 8th National Championship and first since 1992. We will talk more about that.

In the four bowl previews (missed the National Championship game due to other obligations), TSX went 1-3, add the National Championship, and the record was 2-3. So with that said, lets go with what was said in the previews, and what actually happened. The teams were picked on the numbers that were put up all season long. The games are played on the field, and some things do not work out like they have all season. That is the beauty of sports.

The Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi- Ohio State shut Oregon down, Jeremiah Masoli could not get anything going, so it was a great defensive game by the Buckeyes. This game was the coming out and coming of age of the much touted Terrelle Pryor. He willed his team to victory, and Ohio State finally snapped that BCS losing skid, and Oregon STILL hasn’t won a Rose Bowl since 1917. Wrong Prediction, and congrats to THE Ohio State University.

Allstate Sugar Bowl: This was an easy prediction, and it was hard to go against Florida in Tim Tebow’s final game at the University of Florida. Cincinnati was way overmatched and they did not look like the same team that was coached by Brian Kelly, who left them for Notre Dame. Simply was too much Tebow, and too much Gators. Welcome to the big time, Cincy.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: No offensive explosion from Boise, but they adapted to TCU’s style of play and tempo of the game with the ball control, and used their trickery in the same place where they pulled one of the greatest upsets in college football history. The more impressive thing about this game was the defense of Boise State. It was a concern coming in, but they handled TCU’s defense with no problem. Of course, they STILL can not get any kind of respect. Still sad. But it was the wrong prediction.

FedEx Orange Bowl: This one was wide left. TSX really thought that triple option of Georgia Tech would be hard for Iowa to figure out. Iowa figured it out and shut it down. When you shut down the bulk foundation of an offense, it’s hard for it to do anything else. Another factor was that Ricky Stanzi played this game. He came back from injury and really stepped up to the plate. He was/is the true leader of the Iowa Hawkeyes. They responded in his first game back, and he answered the call. Big win for Iowa, and a bigger win for the Big Ten.

Citi BCS National Championship Game: Alabama rolled the Longhorns, but you can not put down the fight of Texas. Star QB Colt McCoy was knocked out of the game on the second drive, and True Freshman Garrett Gilbert got his first significant amount of playing time in the biggest game of his life. At first it looked like Texas was doomed as they trailed 24-6. But a great job by the Texas offensive coordinating staff to adjust to Gilbert’s style of play, and he threw two touchdowns to Jordan Shipley to put the Longhorns within three. But when crunchtime came, Gilbert felt the crunch, and Texas felt the National Championship slip away. Alabama won the game due to its will to keep grinding away despite nearly collapsing. Congrats to the Tide on the victory.

It was a great college football season, and next year should be even better. Can’t wait for it to commence in August.

BCS Orange Bowl Preview: Iowa vs. Georgia Tech

The BCS previews continue with the FedEx Orange Bowl featuring the at-large Iowa Hawkeyes and the ACC Champion Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. This is the fourth of the five BCS previews, with the final one being the BCS National Championship Game.

Offense: Definitely in this area, the advantage goes to Georgia Tech. The Jackets’ option-style offense is one of the best in the country. QB Josh Nesbitt has been great at running this offense, and mistakes have been few and far in between on the way to a successful 11-2 season. With over 2500 yards from scrimmage and 28 touchdowns (18 rushing), it has worked to near-perfection. Nesbitt has so many escapes with this offense, as he can give the ball to Jonathan Dwyer, who has 1396 yards this season and 14 touchdowns, and Anthony Allen (597 yards, 5 TDs). Nesbitt also has a strong arm, and when the option is so successful on the run, it opens up the pass and man coverage, and Nesbitt can air it out, and usually it goes to Demariyus Thomas (46 rec, 1154 yards, 8 TDs). This offense is so complicated, and Iowa is going to have to be solid on defense for any chance of victory against the Jackets.

The Hawkeyes are in some trouble, as they are without QB Ricky Stanzi for the season. Replacement QB James Vandenberg has not been too effective as a replacement, as he has struggled in the Hawkeyes final three games and the Hawkeyes did just enough to get into the BCS with a 10-2 record. Stanzi threw 14 interceptions to 15 touchdowns, but the Hawkeyes had a solid defense that kept them in games throughout the whole season. The running game of the Hawkeyes is a two-headed monster with Adam Robinson (775 yards, 5 TDs) and Brandon Wegher (528 yds, 7 TDs) and balanced receiving with Derell Johnson-Koulianos (41 rec, 687 yds, 2 TDs), and Marvin McNutt (30 rec, 653 yds, 7 TDs). If the Hawkeyes can manage the game, and keep that potent Ga. Tech offense off the field, they should win this game just fine.

Defense: The Hawkeyes have the advantage on this one, and it will depend on if they can get the Yellow Jackets off the field quickly, and allow their offense to control the game. They have to control the gaps on the option, and not get Thomas out on the open one on one. If they play man coverage on the option pass, have a safety back in coverage. The Iowa defense has not allowed 30+ points at all this season, but Georgia Tech has seven 30+ point games this season.

Georgia Tech’s defense gives up a lot of points, which has resulted in the games of 30+ points seven on offense. But without the game managing Stanzi, and Vandenberg playing under the biggest stage of his young collegiate career. Tech has to take advantage of the inexperienced QB, and if they can get Iowa off the field quickly, expect the offense to wear the Hawkeyes out. Iowa will have find ways to strike and strike often if they want any chance to get by this Ga. Tech defense because if the offense strikes quickly, the defense will play better.

The Yellow Jackets have the clear advantage in this game, and they are the favorites to win. The only way they will not win this Orange Bowl is if they make mistakes and commit turnovers. Vandenberg will need to play the game of his life for Iowa to have a chance in this game.

BCS Fiesta Bowl Preview: Boise State vs. TCU

The third of five BCS Bowl Game previews heads west for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. In what has been regarded by the detractors of the BCS as the “Protection Bowl”, the Fiesta Bowl should nonetheless be a good game as two at-large teams, the WAC Champion Boise State Broncos and the Mountain West Champion TCU Horned Frogs. These two teams met two years ago in the Poinsettia Bowl, with TCU winning 17-16 in San Diego.



Offense
: Both teams can put up a lot of points, but the advantage is in Boise State’s favor. Boise State has one of the best offenses in the country and it’s led by Kellen Moore, the sensational sophomore quarterback who leads the nation in touchdowns with 39 to only three interceptions. Along with Jeremy Avery running the ball, they are the prime reason the Broncos average 44.2 PPG, which is most in the country and eighth in the country in yards per game at 460.5. Moore was not even mentioned in Heisman voting, so he has motivation to show why he was snubbed in front of a national audience. The only thing standing in his way and the Broncos’ way is one of the stingiest defenses in the country.

TCU has just as efficient of an offense as Boise State. They are tied for third in the nation with Texas in points per game (40.7) and fourth in the nation in yards per game with 469.1. Gary Patterson has a great balance of offense with the run and the pass. QB Andy Dalton has not as many yards or touchdowns a Kellen Moore (2484 yards and 22 touchdowns), but TCU has a three headed rushing monster in Joseph Turner (732 yards, 11 TD), Michael Tucker (667 yards, 8 TD), and Edward Wesley (630 yards, 4 TD). Dalton has also been a decent runner this year, with 522 yards and three touchdowns as well.

Defense: Advantage goes to TCU. The Horned Frogs are sixth in the country in points allowed per game with 12.4 and allow the fewest yards with 233.3 YPG. They defeated two powerhouse Mountain West teams in Utah and BYU easily. This defense has the strong capability to slow down Kellen Moore and his aerial attack that is drawn up by Chris Petersen. Running the ball will be a tall task for Avery, as TCU has allowed only 966 yards all season long, which was second fewest only to the Texas Longhorns. If TCU can stop the run on Boise, and ground Kellen Moore, this game should be no problem for them.

Boise State has allowed 17.7 PPG, but has shown lately that their defense has some holes in it, especially in the running game. With the way TCU can attack you from so many ways on the ground, it may be tough for the Broncos to stop. The best way to take TCU out of their element is to stop the run, and make Dalton throw. The offense of the Horned Frogs is balanced, but they prefer to run a little more than the pass. If Dalton has to throw more than he and the coaches like to, it could really help Boise, especially if Moore and the offense can get down the field and score points in the opposition.

This game is going to come down to which defense shows up. All season long, TCU has been the team that has played the best and among the big boys. This game can show the BCS selectors why they should have received a better game against a big time team. However, do not be surprised if this is an offensive show. Advantage goes to TCU based on defense.

BCS Sugar Bowl Preview: Cincinnati vs Florida

The BCS matchups were announced Sunday, and TSX will preview them all. We started already on the lone determined matchup, the Rose Bowl between Ohio State and Oregon. Now we go to the other New Year’s Day Bowl game, the Sugar Bowl, between the at-large Florida Gators and the Big East Champion Cincinnati Bearcats.

Offense: This matchup is even. Cincinnati has not one, but TWO very efficient quarterbacks in Tony Pike and Zach Collaros. Pike, the senior who had a rough time in the game at Pittsburgh for the Big East crown, but he has no quit in him. His 2,350 yards and 26 touchdowns in only nine games of play on the year really showed that he could have been a bigger threat and candidate for the Heisman Trophy had he not got hurt. Collaros, who took over when Pike had his injury, is an option style QB that can run and pass with the best of them, and in the nine games he played, he threw for 1434 yards with 10 touchdowns to only two interceptions. The Bearcats also have a big time playmaker in WR Mardy Gilyard who had 80 receptions for 1150 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also has 1074 return yards on kickoffs with two touchdowns and 202 yards on punt returns and a touchdown. The running game led by Isaiah Pead, who ran for 758 yards. Cincy has all the weapons on offense to score a lot of points.

Florida has a very efficient offense led by one of the greatest college football players of all time, Tim Tebow. Tebow’s 2413 yards passing, 859 yards rushing, and 31 total touchdowns and his fiery passion is what fuels the Gators to their success and why they are 22-1 in the last 23 games, with the last loss coming in the SEC Championship to Alabama. The Gators aren’t just all Tebow on offense. Jeffery Demps (758 yds rushing, 7 TDs) and Chris Rainey (548 yds, 4 TDs) can make huge runs in the open field. The Gators also can air it out, and Tebow’s favorite targets are Riley Cooper (44 rec, 780 yds, 8 TDs) and Aaron Hernandez (59 rec, 739 yds 4 TDs). This offense is balanced and can score a lot of points, and score a lot of points in a hurry.

Defense: Advantage goes to Florida, the Gators allow 11.5 PPG, which is third in the country and fourth in the country in yards allowed per game at 252.8, and if the Bearcats turn the ball over, this is a defense that can make you pay. The turnovers that were committed in Pittsburgh will not fly in New Orleans. Florida has a hungry defense, and the status of DE Carlos Dunlap will be called to question by head coach Urban Meyer for his DUI arrest that suspended him indefinitely and caused him to miss the SEC Championship game. If the Bearcats can get Gilyard running wild on this defense, then they have a good chance of winning.

Cincinnati’s defense has a lot of holes and are coming in allowing 35+ points in three of the final four games of the season. This has to improve and they need to get up the middle of the line to get pressure on Tebow. If Tebow has enough time in the pocket, he will make you pay with his arm and with his legs. Remember, Cincy gave up 31 points at halftime against Pitt. If they give up that many against Florida in this game, they can forget about winning this game. When the Gators get the ball (off turnovers especially) and if the defense is unprepared, they will exploit you.

With all this said, this game will be won by a defensive stop, and all signs point towards the Florida Gators. Sure they gave up a season-high 32 points to Alabama, but they make adjustments, and with Tebow’s last game in a Gator uniform, he will definitely be looking to go out on a winning note in New Orleans. The Bearcats will put up a fight, but it will be the Gators that come out victorious.

Tomorrow: TSX takes a look at the Fiesta Bowl

BCS Rose Bowl Preview: Ohio State vs. Oregon

TSX is going to preview the BCS, and it’s going to start with the matchup that is already set: Big Ten Champion Ohio State vs. Pac-10 Champion Oregon in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.

Offense: The advantage goes to Oregon. Jeremiah Masoli has emerged as one of the better quarterbacks in the country. He has a strong arm, and some very quick legs, and Chip Kelly’s offense is known for confusing defenses and scoring a lot of points. The Ducks have a good running back combination of LeGarrette Blount and LaMichael James, also known as “Thunder & Lightning”. James took the load for the Ducks after Blount was suspended for his punch in the opening game against Boise State and ran for 1476 yards for the season with 14 touchdowns. Masoli’s 27 TDs on the season (15 pass, 12 rush) is a testament of the option style offense that Kelly likes to use and with this balanced option attack, you never know what Oregon will implement. Even the best defenses have trouble with their style of play. (Just ask USC)

Ohio State’s offense is more methodical and Terrelle Pryor’s been very successful this season. His style is similar to Masoli’s, but he’s more of a game manager type of quarterback. He also leads the Buckeyes in rushing, but he also has the tendency to overthrow his receivers at times, and it sometimes results in turnovers and blown possessions. However, in this game, with Oregon’s not so great defense, he can really be able to manage the game a lot better and make plays. The Buckeyes have a good redzone threat in Dane Sanzenbacher, and look out for the explosiveness of WR Devier Posey. Pryor’s athleticism will be key to Ohio State if they want to be successful in this game, and he will have to try to match Oregon and Masoli point-for-point.

Defense: Advantage goes to Ohio State. The Buckeyes never allowed more than 30 points all 12 of their games this season, the most they allowed this season was 27 on opening weekend against Navy. In fact, they are 5th in FBS in points allowed per game (12.2) and 4th in total yards allowed per game (262.5). They have three shutouts and allowed less than 10 points in five of their games this season. The old saying goes: “the best way to stop a good offense is a great defense”. Ohio State has a great defense, but Oregon has a great offense. If they can close gaps and stay in position when Oregon runs that dangerous options and do not bite on any Jeremiah Masoli fakes, they should be able to give Pryor and their offense a good chance for victory.

Oregon’s defense is shaky. They have allowed 30+ points four times this season, and three in the last four games. That will make things a lot easier for Pryor, as he and Jim Tressel like to keep opposing defenses on the field to wear them down and keep the time of possession in their favor. If Oregon can get off the field quickly and Masoli and the offense back on the field, they can make it very difficult, since the Ducks know how to score in an instant. They allow 23.6 PPG, which is middle of the pack in FBS, buti in the last four games, they have allowed 36.5 PPG, going 3-1 in that stretch.

So with that said, the match up is even, but Masoli is going to be difficult and Ohio State is going to get frustrated with the different looks that the Oregon option brings. With that said, Oregon should get its first Rose Bowl win since 1917.

TSX will preview the rest of the BCS next week after the teams are set.

The Fall of Charlie Weis

The writing was on the wall. It was inevitable.

Charlie Weis was fired as the head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Monday, with a legacy at Notre Dame pretty much tarnished with empty promises, and underachieving teams.

The legacy of Weis at Notre Dame is going to be a tarnished one. He was an alum of the prestigious school, and when the team was not performing, he complained about the state of the program to the president of the university. With the chance to have the job himself, coming off the wave of three Super Bowls in four years, Weis seemed like the perfect fit for the Irish. He promised them that this program would return to prominence, and he promised them that this team would be dominant and nasty.

The results on the field were no where near dominant or nasty. Weis started out his first two seasons at 19-4 (mainly with previous coach Tyrone Willingham’s recruits), but then declined to 16-23 over the final three years, including a 3-9 record in 2007. After two 6-6 seasons in 2008 and 2009, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick decided it was time to pull the plug.

So what’s next for Weis? He will not be out for long, as several NFL teams have contacted him already for offensive coordinator positions. He is a brilliant offensive mind, he won three Super Bowls, and eventually he will be a head coach again… in the NFL. A team will need his services, and he will be back.

The Irish though need a head coach, one that understands the tradition and prestige, and the huge responsibility that it takes to win national championships. Florida head coach Urban Meyer, who once said Notre Dame was his “dream job”, is staying put. Do not include Bob Stoops of Oklahoma in the discussion, as he has stated that he is staying at Oklahoma, and that “you can’t be in two places at one time.”

Some names come to mind though: Phillip Fulmer, former Tennessee head coach, who won a national championship in 1998 with some guy named Peyton Manning. Others include TCU’s Gary Patterson, Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly. Whoever takes the job has a huge responsibility in bringing Notre Dame its first National Championship since 1988, as they are mired in their worst championship drought in years.

Weis may be out of a coaching job, but at least his love for the university will be in his blood forever. There will be no hard feelings between him and his alma mater.