Thursday, September 19, 2013

NFL Expert Picks Week 3

Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) @ Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)

Josh: Andy Reid is returning to Philadelphia bringing his thus far dominant defense and it will go up against the fast pace Eagles offense. The interesting thing about the Eagles is that we’ve seen pros and cons of the Eagles offense in their first two games. We’ve seen the benefits of their fast paced offense which can create confusion amongst the defense or if the offense goes three and out repeatedly the defense will find themselves on the defense a lot longer because of the speed of those offensive plays. For the Chiefs, Jamall Charles and Josh Smith have both been effective and I like the Chiefs on the road in this one 26-17, as a Brandon Flowers INT will be the difference.

Connor: Andy Reid returning to Philly will garner a loud cheer… I think. Either way the Chiefs are the more complete football team. Alex Smith does not turn the football over and that is crucial to winning on the road. Anytime someone scores 30 at home and loses, I wonder about them. I’m wondering about the Eagles, Chiefs win.

Ben: This game is a tale of two teams that have taken substantial steps from where they were a year ago. Emotions will be high running high as Reid returns to the place he has called home for so long. I think this will be one of the best games we see all Sunday, but I think the Chiefs defense will in the end be able to figure out Chip Kelly’s offense enough. I think the Chiefs win it in overtime, as Charles has a career day with a final score of 37-31.

Green Bay Packers (1-1) @ Cincinnati Bengals(1-1)

Josh: Green Bay offense is hot, more specifically Aaron Rodgers, but the Bengals have a rather stingy defense which Marvin Lewis has playing at a very high level. But not a high enough level to stop the best QB in the league, and I also like the way James Starks is running the football in the absence of Eddie Lacy, Packers win 31-17

Connor: A great game in Cincy between a defensive team and an offensive team. I like the Packers after last weeks great effort against the Redskins. Andy Dalton cannot score with Aaron Rodgers at this point in his career. Packers 31 Bengals 20

Ben: The Bengals looked good on Monday night, but Green Bay looked great. Rodgers and Starks both had career days against a Redskins D that looks to be a little down at this point. The Bengals defense will bring the Packers and Rodgers back to earth a little bit, but in the end Rodgers hits a big touchdown pass late to give Green Bay a solid 45-38 victory.

Atlanta Falcons (1-1) @ Miami Dolphins (2-0)

Josh: I’m going to spare you generic BS of “you’d expect Atlanta to be the 2-0 team in this situation” and tell straight up the Dolphins are an average team at best. They have a quarterback who I would say could be the 20th best QB in the league. I don’t think they have a very good running game in Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. Let’s be honest Mike Wallace is their only good wide receiver and their defense is okay. They beat Cleveland and Indy, I like the Falcons without Steven Jackson in a 35-20 win.

Connor: Miami is surprisingly 2-0 after 2 road wins. Unfortunately for them, it is probably going to end this week. Atlanta is the much better team all around and will handle Miami without a problem. The quest for 16-0 is over in Miami.

Ben: Miami has greatly overachieved at this point. The Falcons will not be stopped and Matt Ryan has a breakout game. Tannehill will struggle a little bit against a solid Falcons secondary and Atlanta obtains a convincing W, 34-21.

Indianapolis Colts (1-1) @ San Francisco 49ers (1-1)

Josh: I’ve had the luxury of knowing about the trade which was made sending Trent Richardson to Indy which is going to contribute to their power run game which they are trying to establish. That being said, I don’t think they will be able to integrate him into the offense immediately so this week could be tough considering how good this SF defense is. On 49ers side, these guys are itching to have a good week after their performance last week against the Seahawks and I think they beat the Colts in a close 38-24 win.

Connor: The 49ers are angry after last Sunday’s game in Seattle. Coming home, I think they can tear the Colts a new one this weekend. Indy has struggled in its first two games, both of which were on their home field. Has the makings for a rough Sunday if you’re a Colts fan. 49ers 38 Colts 27.

Ben: The Seahawks absolutely shellacked the 49ers last week, and Colin did look like the star he did in Week 1. However, as Connor said, this team will be angry and hungrier than ever. Andrew Luck has looked nothing more than average in the first two weeks and he struggles against the 49ers defense, giving the boys on the Bay a 41-20.

Chicago Bears (2-0) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (0-2)

Josh: The Steelers suck Chicago 27-13

Connor: I actually like the Steelers in an upset this week. The Steelers do not like to lose at home and after being beaten by the Titans the Steelers will be the more desperate team. In the NFL, the more desperate team often wins. Steelers 24 Bears 21.

Ben: The Steelers will turn things around enough to have a respectable year, but it does not start in Week 3. Yes the Steelers will be inspired and hungry, but that can only carry this nothing short of aged team but so long. The Bears have had two remarkable 4th quarter comeback victories, and they get it done again to get off to a 3-0 start and send the Steelers in search of a plethora of answers. Bears take it 24-14.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Indianapolis Colts complete offense with acquisition of Trent Richardson

The Indianapolis Colts and a star RB are not words used in the same sentence too often. However, we can now say that a star RB has arrived in Indianapolis. The Colts traded a first round pick in next year’s draft to Cleveland for Trent Richardson. It now appears the Colts are poised for a playoff run, and have built a strong core for the future around Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson, Dwayne Allen, and T.Y. Hilton. The 225 pound RB from Alabama was in his second year in Cleveland when he was sent to Indy today. 

What does this trade mean for both teams moving forward?

Cleveland Browns:

The Browns season is unofficially over after two weeks. Without their only offensive weapon, the already 0-2 Browns will not be scoring many points this season. They are trying to load up on draft picks; therefore, attempting to get their franchise QB and bolster the rest of the offense. Brandon Weeden has been unable to prove his abilities thus far in Cleveland, and his days are numbered. This trade sends Cleveland back into the dark age for multiple years. Just when everyone believed Cleveland was a budding team, they make this trade, setting them backwards. The race for the first pick may become a two-team race between Cleveland and Jacksonville. 

Indianapolis Colts: 

Many people, like myself, were absolutely stunned when the tweets flew in today that Richardson; the Browns prized possession was heading to Indianapolis. I believe the Colts instantly become a contender in the AFC. A team that had just lost current starters Dwayne Allen and Vick Ballard for the year, knew they had to make a move if they wished to contend this year. Not only does Richardson add a dimension to the solid Colts offense, but also he provides the physical boost to the team that they desperately needed. He adds a theme of toughness to Indy. No longer can opposing defenses sit back and force Luck to beat them, as they now have to contend with a top 6 back. If you add Richardson to a budding, young team, you now have an offensive juggernaut for years to come with tons of talent developing. If this Colts team stays healthy, they will contend with Denver, Houston, and New England for the AFC crown.

In the long haul, I believe both teams will benefit from this deal. The Browns were going nowhere soon, and decided to rebuild again. Meanwhile, the Colts added the piece that they needed, a physical running back, to a team that now has what it takes to be in Lombardi Trophy contention.- Anthony Dabbundo

Photo credit:

NCAA week 4 Expert Picks

#3 Clemson @ NC State
Josh: NC State almost lost to Richmond and the Spiders are not a bad division a FCS team, but if they needed a last second field goal to beat them at home the Tigers might be a challenge. That’s exactly what Tajh Boyd and this lethal Clemson offense will, way too much of a challenge, and I like the Tigers big 42-17.

Connor: The talent and speed of Clemson will be way too much to handle for NC State’s defense. Offensively, the Pack are still looking for a new Quarterback. This has the makings to be a rout.

Ben: This one is not even a question. NC State is definitely not a force on either side of the ball as they should have fallen to a Spiders team that could not get past Gardner Webb this past week. Clemson is on an entirely different level in all aspects of the game, and they take it convincingly 52-20.

#23 Arizona State @ #5 Stanford
Josh: Well Arizona State beat Wisconsin last week and we all saw one of the most bizarre finishes to a game ever. Credit to the ASU defensive line for staying down on that ball, smart play and they took advantage of the referees confusion. This is Stanford’s first test of the year. They struggled with Army last week, but they will quickly get into a groove. Kevin Hogan is a good quarterback and I love the Cardinal running back Tyler Gaffney, I think he will have a big day and propel the Cardinal to a 28-21 win.

Connor: Stanford was less than impressive last week against Army. They will have to be better to beat Arizona State who is coming off of a big win against Wisconsin. I expect the Cardinal to be much better and get a tight win. 27-24 Stanford.

Even though the Sun Devils won on a game that ended in about as much confusion as you will ever see out of a referee, I do like this team a lot. Stanford is a very talented football team, but I do believe they are slightly overrated as they had an unimpressive victory over Army. However, I agree with my comrades that the Cardinal are going to wake up enough to squeak by ASU 34-28.

Auburn @ #6 LSU
Josh: Gus Mahlzan is now in control of Auburn and has guided them to a (3-0) start and I have been impressed so far. They grabbed a late win last week from Mississippi State give them their first SEC win in 10 tries. QB Nick Marshall will have his hands full this week with this LSU defense. The more important QB in this matchup is Zach Mettenberger who has answered the critics. Last season he threw 12 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Through three games this season he has thrown 9 touchdowns and no picks. Hes completing 62% of his passes and it’s beginning to feel like he finally gets it. That being said who doesn't love an upset? Auburn 31-28

Connor: Auburn is 3-0 and looks much better than last year. However, winning inside of Death Valley at night is a new challenge. Auburn will keep it close in the first half but in the second the LSU Tigers will run away with it. I like LSU 33 to 17.

Ben: The LSU Tigers have been missing a reliable offense in the past couple of years, which is the one thing preventing them from reaching success. However, it appears that Zach Mettenberger is a completely different man. After an impressive win at TCU, the Tigers have routed UAB and Kent State, but they will face a brand new task this Saturday. This Auburn team has a lot of confidence, and Nick Marshall has looked nothing short of impressive. I think the 3-0 Auburn Tigers lead most of the game and put quite the scare into LSU, but in the end the experience of Mettenberger trumps that of Marshall and LSU escapes 37-34.

Tennessee @ #19 Florida
Josh: Boy this Florida offense looked like an offensive train wreck against Miami. Driskel did not look good, the running game could not seemed to get established consistently, and on the last play of the game they false started, which basically sums up their offensive day. Now Tennessee gave up 674 total yards of offense last week to Oregon, so it will be important for Jeff Driskel and Mack Brown to have good games so they can build confidence heading into their difficult SEC games. They have Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas these next three games and it’s important they go (3-0) I think they get past Tennessee 25-17

Connor: After the disaster in Eugene last Saturday I am not sure if I am going to pick Tennessee one more time this season. Seeing the putrid Florida offense will be a relief however so the Vols can keep it close. But can they score enough? Doubt it. Florida 23-16.

Ben: If you are a big fan of offense, change the channel. Florida has proven early that they are unable to score many points at all, as Driskel has yet to prove he is worthy of any praise. On the Other side, you have a Tennessee team that looked like a high school team against the Ducks. In the Vols defense, Oregon can do that to a lot of teams. In this battle of who can get to 20 first, I am going to take a risk and pick the upset with the Vols winning on a time expiring field goal to stun the Gators, 20-18.

Michigan State @ #22 Notre Dame
Josh: Boy do I love Notre Dame football! Okay kidding, but as much as I dislike Tommy Reese he’s been quite effective this week. This offense has been like no other ND offense and they love to air it out. On the other side of the ball, guess who has another great defense? You got it, Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State Spartans. Once again they are top 25 in points allowed per game and I am scared of their defense. It’s unfortunate the offense is terrible, but I like the running back tandem of Jeremy Langford and the 5 foot 8 inch 198 pound Nick Hill. I think the Spartans take it 23-21 behind new QB Connor Cook and the two backs

Connor: Wow is this one going to be low scoring or what. Neither one of these teams are great on offense and there is not a whole lot of separation between the two overall. Because of home field advantage I like the Irish 13-10.

Ben: Speaking of abysmal offenses, how about them Spartans? Let us put things in perspective. Those mighty Cowboys over at McNeese State put up 53 points on the Bulls of South Florida. On the flip side, Michigan State could only muster 23. I have not been too impressed with the Irish offense either, but I see them winning this one without too much trouble, 24-10.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

AFC North Preview

The AFC North is one of the most fascinating divisions to watch out for this season. Any of the four teams could take home the division title, and few people would be surprised. The North features the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, who lost key starters. Additionally, the up and coming Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns, are destined for a solid year. And finally, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be looking to reach the playoffs for the first time in three years. 

Here is how I think the teams will finish in the division:

  • Cincinnati Bengals (Last season 10-6, 2nd in the AFC North)

The Bengals will be a top contender in the AFC this season. They have made the playoffs the last two seasons; however, they have yet to win a playoff game under QB Andy Dalton. He has struggled mightily in playoff games, going 14 for 30 for just 127 yards and no touchdowns against Houston last year. I feel that Dalton will be much better this season, along with star WR A.J. Green. The team acquired long time Steeler James Harrison this offseason. They drafted RB Giovani Bernard, who will help Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis carry the load on offense. Plus, Cincinnati drafted TE Tyler Eifert, to compliment Jermaine Gresham. The defense will be solid as usual, and Dalton will carry this team, with the improved offensive weapons, to a division title and a playoff win this season. 
Season prediction: 10-6, division title, loss in Divisional Round after earning first playoff win under Dalton. 

  • Baltimore Ravens (Last season 10-6 won division and Super Bowl)

The reigning Super Bowl champions will struggle this season. A team that was champions in February, have lost 9 starters since then. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard, Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, Anquan Boldin, Vonta Leach, Cary Williams, and Matt Birk are gone. That is a lot to try to make up for. However, Ozzie Newsome always seems to get the job done in Baltimore.  The Ravens drafted star safety Matt Elam from Florida, who was the leader of the defense at UF. They also drafted Arthur Brown, an excellent LB from Kansas State. They gave Super Bowl MVP QB Joe Flacco a huge extension worth 120 million over 6 years.  The pressure on Flacco is more than ever; he is going to have to lead the team and be more consistent. The Ravens are truly going to struggle this season. It doesn’t matter who is at QB, replacing almost half of your starters is a challenge.

Season prediction: 9-7 6th seed in the AFC, first round playoff loss)

  • Cleveland Browns (Last season 5-11, last in North)

Bit of a shocker here at number 3? The Cleveland Browns are going to be a much improved football team this season. They lost a bunch of close games last season; also, I think they will be even better this year. I know it was preseason, but their defense was excellent. 1st round pick Barkevious Mingo was an excellent player at LSU, and will have a good season in Cleveland. The Browns also signed former Raven Paul Kruger to help the pass rush. Brandon Weeden will continue to get better as a QB; however, the Browns will be in a lot of low scoring, boring games. They will rely heavily on star RB Trent Richardson. But I expect them to win 7 games this season.  

Season prediction 7-9, no playoffs

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8 3rd in North)

Finally, we arrive at the Pittsburgh Steelers. It may seem crazy, but the Steelers have not been in the playoffs since their Super Bowl loss to Green Bay two seasons ago. The last two seasons, the Steelers have struggled mightily, especially on defense. The team has not been able to stay healthy either. Troy Polamalu has been a rare sighting, and James Harrison is gone. All of the guys that made this defense so great are gone, injured, or aging. Ben Roethlisberger will need to be even better this year, as they have lost their top WR, Mike Wallace, to Miami, and have lost rookie starting RB Le’Veon Bell to injury in the preseason. The offensive line is in shambles; injuries, departures have hurt them. I struggled to find games Pittsburgh will win. 

Season Prediction 6-10 last in division, no playoffs

Let’s give out some awards 

MVP: Ray Rice
Best offensive player: A.J. Green

Best defensive player: Rey Maulaluga

Rookie of the year: Matt Elam

Biggest surprise player: Torrey Smith

Biggest letdown: Joe Flacco

This division is one of the most intriguing in football, anything could happen… 

But for now, Cincinnati is the team to beat. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Week 1/2 Expert Picks(College and NFL)

#12 Florida @ Miami
Josh: Jeff Driskel is the Big Ben of college, it’s ugly but he gets the job done and that is exactly what Florida will do. Running back Mack Brown will be a monster this season. Countering him will be star sophomore Duke Johnson. Johnson is great, but Miami won’t be great enough to beat the Gators. 27-17 Florida.

Connor: Miami, I have the Florida Gators on upset alert this weekend. Their performance at home against Toledo was not promising, and Miami is a much more talented team. Miami has a great running back in Duke Johnson and a solid quarterback in Stephen Morris. Morris orchestrates a game winning drive in the fourth quarter to give the Canes the win. 24-20

#6 South Carolina @ #11 Georgia
Josh: The Bulldogs are lucky because USC isn’t an offensive powerhouse and UGA’s defense was exposed last week, giving up 38 points to the high-powered Clemson’s offense. USC needs to get pressure on Murray, which means Jadaveon Clowney needs to get into the backfield. I am going to bet on UGA for the 2nd straight week against my better judgement. UGA 27-21

Connor: UGA bounces back this week with a win at home. Georgia most quickly forget about last week’s defeat and I think they will. Coming home against a top 10 team will provide a lot of motivation, leading to South Carolina’s first loss of the season.

West Virginia @ #16 Oklahoma
Connor: WVU looked horrid last week and that does not bode well for beating Oklahoma. Oklahoma is the more talented team and they are playing at home. Boomer Sooner in a rout.

Josh: WVU struggled with William and Mary. It feels like Clint Tricket should be better than what he’s showing and with the Mountaineers QB controversy it will be Bob Stoops Sooners who get a big W to open up Big 12 play. OK 41-21

#14 Notre Dame @ #17 Michigan
Josh: This is the replay of the first night game at the big house two years ago in which Michigan triumphed in insane fashion. Tommy Reese against Devin Gardner, and I just trust Gardner so much more at the quarterback position although Gardner threw two picks last weekend. The backfield combination of Fitz Touissant and Freshman sensation Derrick Green will be to much to handle at night in the big house. Michigan 35-21

Connor: A night game in the big house always proves to have a raucous crowd and Saturday will be no different. Notre Dame does not have the ability to score with Michigan at this point in the season which give Michigan a leg up. Wolverines by 10.

Washington State @ #24 USC

Not a whole lot here, it’s going to be all USC 31-14
Connor: USC did not turn it on until the second half in their last game out against Hawaii. They will need to start stronger this week and they will playing at home. There is too much talent on the Trojan side for the Cougars to keep up with. USC 31 Washington State 20

Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos
Connor: Finally, the first NFL game of the year. The Ravens are losing a lot of talented players which will be a problem against a team as talented as the Broncos. The Broncos open up with a win even without Von Miller 27 - 24.

Josh: I think the Ravens end up covering the 7 point spread, but they won’t win in Denver, not with the pissed off Broncos team and crowd. Denver (34-28)

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints
Josh: Sean Peyton is back and damn do the Saints look good. Drew Brees will have a monster game and a monster year. The Atlanta defense lost their best pass rusher in John Abraham, I like the Saints in a close one 35-31

Connor: You know the Superdome is going to be going crazy for this one. This game pits to strong offenses where homefield advantage makes a big difference. If the Falcons cannot get consistent pressure on Drew Brees, and I do not think they will be able to, the Saints will be difficult to stop. New Orleans 34 Atlanta 31

Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers
Josh: Green Bay was exposed against San Fran last year and will be lucky if they don’t get backhanded again this year because the 49ers are loaded. Kaepernick, great backfield, great offensive line, great tight end, and a solid receiving core is what the 49ers have to work with offensively. The defense will do enough to stifle Aaron Rodgers and company, 49ers 35-24

Connor: The San Francisco 49ers are the better all around team. We saw this matchup last year in the postseason and it could be very similar. San Francisco’s defense makes the difference.

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
Josh: If the Cowboys had won 1,000 straight games I still would not pick them. The Giants are 4-0 in Jerry world, make it 5-0. 27-21

Connor: I like the Giants in an upset which is partially because I never trust Romo and Dallas. I still think the Giants are a better team and more importantly, have a better big game quarterback. In the fourth quarter there is only one man in the building you want throwing the football.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins

Josh: Finally my Redskins are in action. I don’t know what we will see from Chip Kelly’s offense but I think London Fletcher and the Redskins defense are up to the task. RGIII’s return will add to the fantastic atmosphere and I think the Redskins take care of business 31-13

Connor: Washington Redskins. The Eagles are experiencing turmoil as today’s fight involving Riley Cooper proved that whole issue is not over yet. Too many issues heading into opening week will prove too much to overcome. Washington 31 Philadelphia 17

Thursday, September 5, 2013

NFL Week 1 Lines Podcasts

It was rough, but we got through it. 10 members of the Sports spin writing crew got together and created this odd compilation of comedic commentary, weird background noises, and ultimately ended in 35 minute podcast of 15, 16, and 17 year olds giving you the best betting advice for week 1. Plug these links into your search bar and enjoy the chaos.

A New Beginning

If you know me in the slightest, you are fully aware that I am a true sucker for the Cinderella story. It is true. Nothing gets me more emotional than a team like Florida Gulf Coast winning two games in the NCAA Tournament, or the Oakland Athletics defying the odds of baseball and becoming one of the best teams in all the land. And I assure you, when the Chicago Cubs break the worst curse in the history of sports, no matter how long it takes, it will be the best Cinderella story of all time. However, in the world of college football, the Cinderella story is not something we are as used to seeing. We all remember the Mountaineers of Appalachian State going into the Big House and taking down Michigan, and of course Boise State defeating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, but my point is that the monumental upsets we see in other sports are more of a rarity in the college football world. However, to the incredible elation of me and the soft hearted upset lovers everywhere, this may no longer be the case.
The record for most FCS over FBS wins in one weekend was set in week 1 as 8, count them, 8 FCS teams took down FBS teams in one week. Even though this does not break the single season record, the FCS simply has to win only three games to set that mark that was reached in 2010. Now you may think that this is just one dominant conference, but just like if you said Duke does not flop, you would be 110% incorrect. The eight victorious teams are a part of six separate conferences: CAA, Missouri Valley, Big Sky, Ohio Valley, Southern, and Southland. This is incredibly remarkable in my opinion. Let’s dig a little deeper.

Alright, I will admit maybe a couple of these wins were a little less than impressive. Are Samford over Georgia State or Southern Utah over South Alabama wins that should stop the presses? Not quite. However, let us forget about those two for a moment. Big 12 member Iowa State fell to Northern Iowa, UCONN fell to the mighty Towson Tigers, and San Diego State fell to those boys from Eastern Illinois. When none of these upsets are what impress me most, you know it was a special weekend.

I want to talk about that team that not only beat an FBS team, but completely embarrassed them. Those fighting Cowboys from Mcneese State put an absolute walloping on USF. They won 53-21, which just happens to be the second largest margin of victory in FCS over FBS history. However, the two teams that looked the best to me were North Dakota State and Eastern Washington. They defeated Kansas State and number 25 in the country Oregon State. In upsets of this magnitude, it usually happens to be a complete fluke as to how they pull the upset. However, you must look a little further. North Dakota state has won the past two FCS National Championships and who won the one before them? None other than Eastern Washington. North Dakota State looked like a fantastic team, and although K-State should have won the game, they did not necessarily lose the game. North Dakota State went out there and won it. The same could be said about Eastern Washington. They won because they played a fantastic 60 minutes of football. Oregon State is surely not a poor team, but an Eastern Washington team had a little more edge, and in the end that was the difference.

So what’s the point?

The point is that the gap is closing. By this I do not mean that any FCS team is going to sneak up on an Alabama. There is absolutely no chance of this happening at least for a long long time. However, that gap between top of the FCS and middle of the FBS is rapidly closing for sure. We are starting to see more upsets, and that is no fluke because there are so many incredible athletes now that the playing field is coming as close to even as it ever has. With a postseason system lacking the excitement we live for in other sports, this change in the scheme of things may just provide the extra kick of intensity that we miss as a result of the bowl system. Even though the four team playoff is developing as of next year, that still leaves out the opportunity for the incredible Cinderella story I live and die for. However, have no fear friends, associates, colleagues, comrades, and any other name that means the exact same thing as the others, the underdog story is on the rise in the world of college football, and it should not be long until more records arise and history is made. However, until then I leave you with this thought,

“When we dream alone it is only a dream, but when many dream together, it is the beginning of a new reality.” -Friedensreich Hundertwasser

-Ben Greer

Monday, September 2, 2013

5 Takeaways: Week 1

I hope everyone has enjoyed their weekend full of college football, the only weekend college football owns 100%. Even though it's to early to get a real gauge on most teams, there are some things we can takeaway from this week. Here are my 5 takeaways.

#5. University of South Carolina players have the best names in college football.
Last year, it was Ace Sanders returning kicks. Ace Sanders sounds like a great special teams player. Then it's the most dominant defensive player in college football in Jadaveon Clowney. The last name Clowney....damn. Finally we have wide receiver Shaq Rowland who hauled in a 65 yard TD pass against UNC on thursday night. The name Shaq Rowland flows about as well as USC's offense did the other night and that's pretty darn good. I'm excited for the matchup next week against Georgia, it will be the team with the best names in the country versus the team with the best nickname with the formidable running back tandem known as "Gurshall".

#4. Tajh Boyd proved he is one of the smartest Quarterbacks in the country.
I was incredibly impressed with Boyd's decision making the other night. It was obvious he has been spending hours in the film room. My only critique of Boyd in the past was that he seemed unsure at times, but against Georgia he made all of the right choice scoring five total touchdowns, three through the air, two on the ground. On the ground he slid on almost every run, never getting greedy and attempting to take more then he should. Overall, Boyd has gotten a fantastic early jump on his heisman campaign.

#3 The Washington Huskies are going to be tough to beat at home.
The Washington Huskies new stadium loud as hell, like every other stadium in the northwest. The combination of the 70,000 strong as well as Gus Johnson's always electrifying commentary made the 38-6 beat down of Boise state a pleasure to hear and see. Washington is my dark horse and the PAC-12 because of the trio of QB Keith Price, RB Bishop Sankey, and currently injured NFL bound tight end Austin Sepharian-Jenkins. Everyone circle October 12th on your calendars as the Huskies will welcome Oregon to Seattle for what should be an insane atmosphere.

#2 Either Virginia Tech's defense is terrific or Alabama has some major offensive concerns.
It was pretty evident from the beginning of the game that Bama was going to win, but I was extremely impressed with the amount of pressure Tech was able to put on McArron. The Tide were held 206 total yards of offense as the defense and special teams did most of the heavy lifting in the 35-10 victory. I know Alabama is trying to replace three offensive linemen, but the offensive display was not worthy of the number one ranking. ACC opponents should fear Virginia Tech's defense, especially the Fuller brothers in the secondary, but the more pressing issue was Alabama's consistent inability to move the football. If the proceeds, it will be a rude awakening for the Crimson Tide as the defenses only get stingier once they enter into SEC play.

#1 ESPN Needs to Calm Down About Johnny Manziel(Mark May and Lou Holtz).
Let's first make note of the fact that everyone is gunning for this kid. Everyone wants to talk trash to him. Also, everyone was talking about how great it was to see a player like Johnny Manziel running around and playing with charisma, but now with everything that's happened this offseason, the swagger has turned into arrogance in the minds of many analysts. He was destroyed this weekend by the media for the personal foul, while it was stupid, there is at least one un-sportsman like conduct penalty in every game. I will admit, he was dis-respectful towards Coach Kevin Sumlin, but it appeared he had no intention of coming across that way. In his self disappointment, he put his head down in embarrassment and did not intend for the action to come across as ignorance of his coach. At any rate, lets all calm down and wait two weeks for the matchup with Bama, then our focus can shift to the field and this constant nit-picking at the behavior of a 20 year old kid will cease.-Josh Neighbors

Photo Credit: