As a part of the Football Writers Association of America, I get to vote for various awards and honors throughout the year, and once again I was given a Ballot to vote for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year. This year’s ballot was challenging to say the least, because each Coach had their own justification to being named Coach of the year. Continue reading
Ever since the end of the 2010 college football season, there have been questions about what would have happened if we had the +1 game of TCU and Auburn. While sitting around contemplating this, I found a simulation website that made this information possible. I ran a series of simulations to make sure that this wasn’t a fluke. And after some work, this is what the simulator came up with.
TCU jumped out to an early lead with a couple quick field goals but then the Auburn came roaring back with 10 points in the 2nd quarter, but that didn’t gain any ground because TCU was able to add 17 to their already nice lead. In the 2nd half it was much of the same, TCU held Auburn scoreless in the 3rd, while getting 6 points and then Auburn made a charge late, but TCU was able to hold off and seal the victory. The 2010 version of the TCU Horned Frogs held on to beat the 2010 Auburn Tigers 46-32 on a neutral site.
While will never know how this game would play out in real life. It was fun to run the simulation and read the play by play. This is the ultimate what if scenario, and firmly plants the belief that the NCAA and the BCS is only hurting the football fans of this country by not allowing these games to happen. Who knows, May try to do a couple more simulations of historic games.
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Since the start of 2010, there has been one constant theme in college sports and it continues into the first part of 2011. NCAA crackdowns and investigations have almost become a daily occurrence and breaking news on every news wire across the country. This seems like a cyclical thing that happens every 5-10 years, the NCAA decides to get tough and clean up everything that may have been overlooked for the last few years to the previous decade.
The one thing that really got the ball rolling here was the final decision on the USC and Reggie Bush investigation that took years to complete. Then before the start of this past college football season, we had what was coined as “agent gate” where the NCAA was investigating North Carolina’s football team and it ended with some suspensions and some players being kicked off the team. But that seemed to be the sign of the times where every other story written was some school was self-reporting this, or this team had to meet with the NCAA about that. It just became a never ending line of violations and compliance issues that dominated the papers everyday but on Saturday.
The one story that really got everyone going was the breaking news halfway through the season about Cam Newton supposedly being shopped to Mississippi State for $180,000. This was a soap opera story at its finest. Every opponent took their shots and continues to do so, but the real questionable thing that happened here is the fact that Cam got suspended prior to the SEC championship game, then was re-instated 24 hours later. Then all he did was go on to win the Heisman and a National Championship. Since the end of the season, this story has since gone away and will probably be resolved with nothing being done. Because for once there is no real trail of wrong doing, it has all been here say.
College sports fans would have thought that moving on to basketball season would help break away from the problems, but as it has been, the NCAA was investigating Tennessee for recruiting violations with their head basketball coach. But the SEC decided to go ahead and suspend him at the start of conference play, but then the NCAA delivered their letter. Now everyone around the program is wondering what the program will face and if firing Bruce Pearl would help lessen that blow. But this matter won’t be resolved until June.
The one that surprised everyone was the fact that Jim Calhoun of UCONN got busted with a recruiting violation and is going to have to sit out 3 games next season in the Big East conference play. So, it is looking like anyone and everyone is in danger and everything is being magnified 100 times. The question that lingers for everyone is this going to be a long term deal, or will the NCAA do what they did in the past and start lightening up on everyone after they prove a point.
Cheating happens on every level of college athletics, and there is no real way to stop it, unless the NCAA will hit every team they catch with heavy sanctions, regardless of how big or how profitable the program makes the sport. Until the NCAA can find a way to scare everyone straight, it is just going to be an endless game of who gets caught and who gets away with it. The bottom line is, if you are stupid and don’t cover your tracks correctly, then you will face the wrath of the NCAA. But most fans are getting tired of hearing about another school facing sanctions and having problems, just because something slipped out that wasn’t supposed to. I am all for a clean and fair sport, but that will never happen as long as there are schools that make huge amounts of money and there are other schools who can’t make a dime.
Now that we have crowned a national champion, and I have had time to digest what the last few months have held. I decided to do a season in review and hit on some points that were big stories throughout the season. I am sure I am not the only person who is mourning the end of the season, but can start counting down until the next kickoff.
Auburn: The hidden Champion
At the beginning of the season, nobody in their right mind had Auburn picked to win the championship. They were ranked 22nd andwere picked to be a mid-pack team in the SEC. But as with any season, things tend to happen to change perception. Cam Newton became one of the most electric players to watch, not to mention the fact that he was making plays nobody could fathom. As for Gene Chizik, nobody ever thought he was the right coach for the job, but he turned what was a good team, into a great team and put them up on the mountain top. This just proves that if you have some luck, and some really good players, a team can climb from the bottom of the top 25 to champion.
Down Years: Texas and Florida fall off the wagon
There are seasons where you expect teams to fall off and have trouble. For both Texas and Florida, this wasn’t going to be that season. Maybe it was the experts were putting more into the teams than what they really were, or maybe it was the past 10 years set up for high expectations for both. Either way, the seasons of both teams were very down compared to where everyone thought they would be. Florida had a decent season and was able to attend a bowl game. Texas on the other hand just imploded and lost games to teams that they should never lose to. There has been turnovers on both campuses as for coaching staffs. So, hopefully fans of these two programs can get back to where they belong next season.
TCU: The not so little sister of the Poor
At the beginning of the season, everyone expected Boise State to be the team to break through the barrier and play in a BCS bowl. But thanks to an upset in Reno, that opened the door for the TCU Horned Frogs. Who completed a perfect season with a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin. This is a huge step for the program and could catapult them into the national conscience every season from now on.
As the season has now ended, these were the biggest stories I focused on during the season. Sure, there was the NCAA making headlines every other week, and always investigating someone. But I tried to be positive. Only 200 plus days until the next kickoff.
Now that we have previewed all of the other bowl games in part 1,2 and 3. It is time to get down to the games that really matter, the ones most everyone will want to watch. The BCS bowl games are usually pretty entertaining and have the best match ups of the bowl season. The only game that is really a joke is the So called national championship.
Wisconsin vs TCU –
The “Grandaddy of them all” should be the most exciting of all the BCS bowl games. TCU has been one of the more exciting teams in the country this year and probably deserved to have their shot at the title. But they did get left out because of their supposed “lack” of quality schedule. Meanwhile they get to face a very tough Wisconsin team from the Big Ten conference who has made it a point to wear down opponents with a power running game and hang points in the second half. TCU has one of the best defenses in the nation, and they have a constant rotation of fresh bodies, so Wisconsin may have to find other ways to wear down the Frogs defense. On the other side of the ball, TCU has a high powered offense and can hang points with the best of them. This could be a track meet, or it could be a game won in the trenches. Either way this will be a must see game and could be a game won in the final seconds.
Prediction: TCU 35 – Wisconsin 28
UConn vs Oklahoma –
In one of the more boring match ups of the BCS bowls, you have the Oklahoma Sooners taking on the Connecticut Huskies. While Oklahoma had a great year and earned their way into this game by bringing up an 11-2 record. The Huskies are kind of the head scratcher here, how did they get into the BCS? Oh Yeah! they won a mediocre Big East. But they had to win it with a 53 yard field goal against a South Florida squad. So, while this game has all the makings of a route, it can be noted that Oklahoma hasn’t won a BCS game since their last national championship in 2000. I know, your thinking, this is the year they break this streak, well every one said the same thing about Boise State. Look what happened there, but do I really think Uconn has a chance to beat a high powered Oklahoma team? …hold on, I am thinking about this one…No, I don’t see it, even with all my sooner hatred. I think the big question here is how many will Oklahoma put up. Did I also mention this will be a half empty stadium? According to reports, UConn can’t sell it’s allotment and Oklahoma fans are ho-hum about this match up.
Prediction: Oklahoma 52 – Uconn 14
Stanford vs Virginia Tech –
Going off of records, this should be a great match up of two very tough schools, then you throw in the fact that one team in this game is Stanford, and realize they they will not travel very well for this first BCS game in school history. The other school, Virginia Tech will travel well and will make this an almost home game for them in Miami. I think Stanford will put up a great fight and throw some stuff at the Hokies that will be interesting. But in the end, Beamer ball will win out.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 24 – Stanford 17
Ohio St vs Arkansas –
Once again we get to watch Ohio State face a team from the SEC, and we will probably watch the same old song and dance there too. While Ohio State is probably the better team against Arkansas, I also feel like Ohio State folds up like a lawn chair when it comes to facing opponents from the SEC. This has the makings for a good game with two quality quarterbacks, but Arkansas is such a wild card and could prove to be a tougher opponent than everyone wants to give them credit for. That is why I think the Hogs win this one by two touchdowns.
Prediction: Arkansas 28 – Ohio State 14
BCS National Championship:
Oregon vs Auburn –
This is the match up that everyone has wanted to see since about week eight. These two teams have proven to be the two best teams in the nation. Auburn against Oregon has the makings to push the limits of the modern day score board. Because both of these teams can put up points with ease. But at the same time, they do have quality defenses. It is really difficult to pick one player, or one part of either team to focus on. This game should be exciting from the get go. But I think everyone knows what this game could become, what will probably happen is a good old fashion defensive struggle and you will have a low scoring game. While most fans will call this boring, or would prefer a fast paced score fest, I would rather see the low scoring defensive battle. If it comes down to that, then I have to give the nod to Auburn.
But on the other hand, if you have a track meet, then the advantage slightly goes to Oregon because of their fast paced offense. But that could also benefit Cam Newton who is a single handed wild card in this game. If he is able to make plays, then Auburn is the better team by far. If he is contained, then you will have to say Oregon will end up being the better team. This is a very tough game to call, I really want to say that Auburn will win. But I can’t say it 100% because of how good Oregon has looked all season. Either way this will be a fun game to watch and could end up being the game of the year if it lives up to the hype.
Prediction: Auburn 42 – Oregon 38
There it is, every bowl game has been previewed and I have picked a score. It is sad to see football season coming to an end, it is time to go ahead and enjoy these bowl games and relish in what this season has given us. Enjoy the games, because once they are over, it is the end until next September.