The Tussle in Tuscaloosa; LSU/Bama Preview

This weekend is going to be one of the biggest games of the season. It is being touted as “Armageddon in Alabama”, by news agencies and sports networks around the country. This is one of the rare, but very exciting “in season” matchups of a #1 team and a #2 team. This meeting though, will be an SEC battle between the LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The LSU Tigers have easily looked like the best team in the country to this point of the season. They have rolled through their schedule to this point with no real major challenges. They had one game earlier in the season with Mississippi State that was probably closer than most would have expected; but this team with its dual quarterback threat has beaten highly ranked opponents like Oregon and West Virginia by double digit margins.

Les Miles will have his Tigers ready to play, and there will be thousands of fans in Bryant-Denny stadium, and a small few decked out in their purple and gold. This is going to be a big test for the Tigers as their foe, the Alabama Crimson Tide, coached by Nick Saban, will be the toughest opponent the Tigers have faced to date. This game is truly an irresistible force meeting an immoveable object.

The Alabama Crimson Tide have a chance to firmly plant their foot in the top spot and be an odds on favorite to play for the national championship if they beat LSU in Tuscaloosa. Much like the Tigers, Alabama has won most of their games this year with ease…having only one close call in Happy Valley in a game against Penn St. According to the “talking heads”, Alabama has been touted as the 2nd best team in the nation by most experts all season long. However, this will be their greatest challenge of the season.

Nick Saban coached the LSU Tigers to one of their earlier national championships before going to the NFL and ending up at Alabama. He has also coached Alabama to a national championship during his tenure there. No one really cares, but rest assured while most of the country won’t hold a grudge over all of this – the LSU Fan base will give Saban an ear full all day on Saturday if he gets within earshot. Other than this being a SEC conference game and probably the most important game of the year, there are many underlying stories to add to the drama.

Whether you have a rooting interest or not, this will be one of the biggest games of the season and it should live up to all the hype. Be prepared to watch the two best teams in the country battle it out, because whoever is victorious in this game will have a chance to stake their claim on a chance to play for a national championship.

I hope you’re ready America, because this will be the best 3 hours of television all weekend, or maybe even for the year. I don’t really know who to pick as a winner, but if you made me choose I would say LSU wins this game 17-14. It’s gonna be a donnybrook!

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Kody’s Sports Korner Heisman List; Week 9

It is finally the time of year where I can start talking about Heisman candidates. I know people have been debating this topic since the first week of the season, but I wanted to see a hand full of games before I came out with my first list. After 8 weeks I feel like I have a grip on who’s good and who was only a pretender this season. Here is the first Kody’s Sports Korner Heisman list for 2011.


 

  1. Andrew Luck– The Heisman trophy is supposed to go to the all around best player in the entire country. Andrew Luck was anointed the Heisman winner by most experts and pundits before the first snap of the season. While he has been a great QB and put up some good numbers so far this season, I would debate the fact he is the best all around player so far this year. Luck has some impressive numbers and that is why I put him as the number one, but this isn’t a popularity contest and if he has a bad game, he will fall.

     

  2. Case Keenum– Case has become the dark horse candidate for most people because he has put up unbelievable numbers and picked up where he left off before his season ending injury last year. The only knock on Case at this point is the fact he plays in Conference USA. In some people’s opinion it is weaker competition. This is a flawed argument, and if he is putting up the best numbers and winning who is scheduled, then he should have a fair shot at the Heisman.

     

  3. Kellen Moore– Another candidate who doesn’t get the proper attention is the QB from Boise State and just like his “Small School” counterpart from Houston, his biggest knock is the quality of competition he faces on a weekly basis. The one difference is, Kellen gets at least one possibly two games on a national scale every year, so America and voters are familiar with him. Moore has some solid numbers this season and probably deserves more attention than he is getting.

     

  4. Russell Wilson– The guy who transferred from NC State to Wisconsin is finally getting a chance to really showcase his talent, but after Wisconsin suffering back to back heart breaking losses, he has lost some ground when he looked to be a top 3 guy at the beginning of the season. This doesn’t mean he won’t climb back up the chart before the end of the season.

     

  5. Trent Richardson– Coming off of the bye week, he will be at the bottom of the top 5. It could all depend on how he does against LSU. If he carries the game he could easily climb really fast. He is a dangerous back, but it will be interesting to see how he is handled by the LSU defense this week as well as the remaining SEC defenses.

 


 

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Kody’s Sports Korner Bowl Preview; Part 3

If you  have missed the first two bowl previews I did, check out part 1 here and part 2 here

TicketCity Bowl:
Northwestern vs Texas Tech –
Sadly this New Year will begin with this lackluster bowl. In the inaugural Ticket City Bowl in Dallas, there will be a first time meeting between the Northwestern Wildcats and Texas Tech Red Raiders. While Northwestern is looking for it’s first bowl win since 1949, Texas Tech has some concerns if it’s coach will be around for next year. But all of that aside, there are a lot questions on how will Northwestern handle the pass heavy attack of the Red Raiders. Sadly to say, Northwestern will not get it’s first bowl win here. They will be lucky to stay within 21 points of the Red Raiders.
Prediction: Texas Tech 52 – Northwestern 21

Outback Bowl:
Florida vs Penn St
:
When this match up was announced, you figured there would be retirement talks from one coach. But the coach who is going to step down isn’t the 84 year old Joe Paterno, but the 46 year old Urban Meyer. While this is a shock to most, it isn’t that big of a shock after last years flip flop. The big question about this game will be whether or not Penn State can contain a good Florida team. After their struggles with an Alabama squad earlier in the year, I don’t see this one being pretty for the Nittany Lions.
Prediction: Florida 35 – Penn State 14

Capital One Bowl:
Alabama vs Michigan St
While most everybody will be expecting Alabama to roll in this game, I expect to see Michigan St give Alabama a run for their money and pull off a upset. Michigan State has been an underrated team all year and is probably the best team coming out of the Big Ten this season. Expect an exciting game, one that should give the Big Ten it’s few bowl wins this season.
Prediction: Michigan State 28 – Alabama 21

Gator Bowl:
Mississippi St vs Michigan
This is a very ho hum match up, there are a lot of better game to watch and I am sure Michigan won’t show up so they can assure to get rid of Rich Rod. That being said, Dan Mullen will have Mississippi State ready to play. Expect this one to be a blow out.
Prediction: Mississippi State 35 – Michigan 17

GoDaddy.com Bowl:
Middle Tennessee vs Miami(OH)
For a match up of two teams that nobody cares about outside of their respective cities. This could be a good game to watch for college football enthusiasts. Miami is going to be playing with a lot of momentum from their surprise win at the MAC championship. Meanwhile Middle Tennessee is trying to get one more win and finish with a winning record. Should be a good game and expect it to be a close one.
Prediction: Miami (OH) 24 – Middle Tennessee 21

Cotton Bowl:
LSU vs Texas A&M
In one of the more exciting bowl match ups, this game should be a lot of fun to watch. But don’t expect to see any surprises here as LSU should be able to find a way to win this game and put another notch in the belt for the SEC. Only question will be if Les Miles will have some Tiger Stadium grass available at this game.
Prediction: LSU 35 – Texas A&M 28

Compass Bowl:
Pittsburgh vs Kentucky
While everyone has Pitt as their favorite and expects them to win this game, Kentucky has been able to hang tough when least expected to. This could be a spring board into next season for the Wildcats and look for a very exciting game between these two teams.
Prediction: Kentucky 28 – Pitt 21

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl:
Nevada vs Boston College
Expect Nevada to play with a lot of pride and be able to move the ball at will on Boston College. This is not going to be a pretty game for the Eagles, but it could be a very close game throughout if Boston College can contain the Pistol.
Prediction: Nevada 42 – Boston College 21

That is the last of the bowl previews for the lesser bowl games. Check back soon for the BCS Preview.

Auburn and Oregon hang on to stay on top.

This afternoon we were treated to an incredible game between Auburn and Alabama. This game had everything you would want in a college football game. For most of the country, the result was meaningless, but for the residents of Boise and Fort Worth, their BCS bowl dreams lived on this one football game. Which from the early onslaught, it looked like Alabama was going to be their best friend at the end of this day. But there are two halves in football, and Auburn owned the 2nd half and found a way to win the game behind it’s Heisman leading quarterback.

This was probably one of the most exciting games to watch just in the sense, you thought at half time that Alabama was going to walk away with this one and we would see a possible Boise State or TCU team jump to number two. But Cam Newton had other plans, and he came out to prove that and probably earned his Heisman trophy today in the toughest road game he has ever played. This game was what every college football fan loves, because you just didn’t know what was going to happen on the next play. In the end, the Tigers were the victor and seemed to have punched their ticket to Glendale, but they still have to play one more game in Atlanta against South Carolina. So don’t think this team is a sure lock to be there, but they are one step closer to the ultimate goal.

So then our friends in Boise and Fort Worth had to turn their eyes to the north west and pull for Arizona to out duel the Ducks in Eugene.

Which turned out to be a laughable joke. Once again this was a game that in the first half looked like it had some hope of actually being a ball game. Arizona struck early and was able to capitalize with a bad snap on a punt for a safety. But then came the field goal before the half. The kicker decided to point his finger at the sideline after the feeble “icing” attempt. Well, that did nothing but tick off Oregon, because they came out with a vengeance in the second half, and pretty much scored at will.

While you can’t blame the kicker for the scoring onslaught, it is easy to say he awake the offense on his gesture. But then again, Oregon has been doing this all season. So, for the second time in 12 hours, two cities in America are having to deal with the thought that they will still not get a fair shake at the BCS title game. But once again, while it looks futile, there is still a small sliver of hope because Oregon has their annual “Civil War” meeting with Oregon State next weekend.

And any smart college football fan will tell you that these rivalry games can always go a different direction than thought. Regardless of what happens next weekend, Oregon is going to a BCS bowl game. It is just going to either be the Rose Bowl, or the National Championship game. So once again we will have two cities rooting hard against these two teams. Heck, maybe the entire country. But just like Auburn, the work isn’t done, they have just completed one more step to reach that goal.

The question remains going into the next game for these two, do they have what it takes to finish the journey and be in Glendale in January? After what I have seen from these two today, I wouldn’t count them out yet. But there is still time for some BCS chaos.