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"Steveo's Salvos" - December 2013 Edition
Happy Bowl Season!
"Salvos" is presented as the editorial content of CollegeFootballFan.com focusing on current issues surrounding college football and news about some of the teams on the CFF schedule this year. Originally from a newsletter, this web site, CollegeFootballFan.com, has evolved.
What a clown – …I mean Clowney. Arrested for breaking the speed limit clocked at 100+ mph on I-77 on Sunday in a Chrysler 300, a car that lots of college students can afford, Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina evidently intends to live life in the fast lane. Must be nice to be a college student enjoying those kinds of benefits already. Funny also because most other students at USC were studying for finals this week. He should probably do the same. He should take advantage of the free education USC offers him because he could be looking for a “real” job in a few years himself. He’s still living off “the Hit” against Michigan last season. Surely he’ll enjoy his big contract that some hard-up team in the NFL is going to offer him. If nobody blocks him, he plays “hard”. Against Clemson, I watched him do a lot of hand-checking when someone came at him. He didn’t use that big body to his advantage. Is he really preserving himself, or is that how he’s always going to play? He could be the biggest fake ever to enter the NFL draft. He doesn’t give a hoot about his team or his school. Does anybody think his mind set is going to change when he’s the member of a pro team? If he does, it’ll be a surprise to a lot of people. It all about Jadaveon in his camp. He’s going to take the money and run after his “handlers” reap the benefits of the contract he’ll eventually sign. Better be careful, there might not be much left for him when they abscond with their shares. South Carolina football will probably be on probation after this season. Talk about a lack of control. Here’s a guy who tell his coach he can’t play right before the Kentucky game we also attended, and didn’t have to even suit up. Maybe the guy who let him drive the car was the one who told him to be careful not to get hurt. There’s more behind all this, sorry to say.
114th edition of college football's greatest rivalry – We watched Army beat hapless Morgan State this season to see one of the Cadets’ three wins. We also saw them lose to Wake Forest, 25-11. The Mids played on our schedule three times. We saw them dominate a decent Delaware squad, 51-7, upset Pitt 24-21 on a last second FG (…who?), and start slowly before upending 0-9 Hawaii, 42-28. Two weeks later, Hawaii won their first game – against Army, 49-42. Both Academies lost to Western Kentucky. Navy beat Air Force and Army lost to them out in Colorado. It’s a rivalry. Army will give it their all. Will it be good enough? They also run the same type of offense so they will be very familiar with it, but Keenan Reynolds of Navy is a very special option QB who can throw the football as well as he can run it when necessary. Despite starting last season in this game as QB as a Plebe to defeat Amy,17-13, he now has two seasons under his belt, and he’s gotten better and better. Note: seven touchdown runs against San Jose State in his last game! We look for Navy to score by land and by air against the Army. If the game was played on water, there’s no question who would win. Army has no one in their camp these past two weeks who can emulate what Reynolds can do. This will be our ninth Army-Navy game of 114 played. We’ve seen Navy beat Army six times in eight tries so far. We see Navy winning this week against Army for the twelfth straight year. Go Navy!
What’s in a name? – New Era Pinstripe Bowl? No- it should be the UConn, Rutgers, Syracuse Bowl! Sure the guys making the money are the guys who own the team that plays in pinstripes there throughout the summer, but without fan bases from those three schools, there be no sense in playing this game. Despite being billed as a game between the Big 12 and the American Athletic Conference (foermerly Big East but far from “east any more) , they would never host a game let’s say between …oh, Iowa State and Houston. Though both schools might attract decent contingencies from out of town to spend some time in “The Big Apple” , they would not arouse the local fan interest in the New York metropolitan Area. The entire even is to promote New York Yankee baseball. They give away Yankees stuff including the $2500 seats that very few true Yankee fans buy any way. Who from Iowa (Cub fans?) or Houston (do the Astros have any fans) is going to trek all the way to NYC next season to spend one night watching a Yankee game. No, they have to bring in the locals and in this case go the benefit of Notre Dame’s true subway alumni to attract enough locals willing to buy into all that New York Yankee propaganda. Even after getting the Irish invited, why do you think they invited suddenly 6-6 Rutgers instead of a more competitive Houston Cougar team(8-4) to put up a fight against ND, also 8-4. It’s not about the game on the field, it’s all about selling and promoting Yankee stuff in the stands. Bowls were created years ago to get the cold people from the north to enjoy some sunshine during the winter in Florida and California, no doubt about it, but this bowl is not about finding two good teams to have a good competitive football game, it’s a blatant Yankee commercial. Not only does is its sole purpose is to promote Yankee tickets in the offseason, it’s the worst stadium of 120 we’ve been to to watch a football game. Phooey! Too many bowls as we’ve said in recent years. This would be the first to go in our book. Damn Yankees!
RU-tude – The head coach and AD of Rutgers were shocked according to media reports of how the Scarlet Knights just seemed to rise above the occasion to snap out of their three-game losing streak to such a power as 1-9 Connecticut, and the thrashing by Houston, 41-17, led by a frosh QB, and Cincinnati ‘s 52-17 win ,especially after a last minute RU win over eventual 2-10 Temple. Overnight, their team just got healthier and hungrier and improved to defeat South Florida, 31-6. Now they are ready for Notre Dame, a team who seems to struggle when they get to a bowl. And boy, did we disappointingly get to see them do that last year in the BCS championship against Alabama. We figure it should be different for the Irish this year though. Why? Did Kyle Flood and AD Julie Hermann notice who the Knights rose up to the “occasion” against last week? It was 2-10 South Florida, also with a freshman QB on a team from Florida playing in 30 degree temps for the first time who probably couldn’t wait to get back on to the heated bus by halftime. This win is going to catapult them into the Big Ten? We don’t think so. Notre Dame is better than most teams on their schedule this year, and the Irish should come in with chips on their shoulders based on previous poor bowl performances in the past. RU-tude tells the Knights they are headed in the right direction. Ru-tude is the curse of RU football. They think they can win without really trying. They caught the right team at the right time last weekend. They can’t build on that.
Biggest fear- I didn't happen! Well not all of it. After waiting for someone to knock off Alabama, excitingly done by archrival Auburn last week, my worst case scenario this weekend hoping to end the SEC lock on the BCS championship didn't exactly happen. Ohio State's loss to a tough Michigan State team happened, but upstart Duke couldn't surprise Florida State. Auburn's high scoring 59-42 win over Missouri will put them past OSU to play the Seminoles in the final BCS championship game. At least Alabama will not be in it, and with our ties to Auburn through Charlie Murren and family, if it's any team from the SEC (OK besides my daughter Alex's beloved Gamecocks), we're glad it's the Auburn Tigers. Still bring on the playoffs, but expand it to eight teams instead of four. My Playoff Proposal written ten years ago is still linked on this site. Check it out! I still thinks it's better than what is proposed to start next season.
Big Ten Repeat? – Nebraska’s Head Coach Bo Pellini is flailing his arms all over threatening an assistant and coming close to striking him, and the University pays his fine to the Big Ten after he challenges NU to fire him. How long before we see another Woody Hayes incident along the sideline of a Cornhusker game? It doesn’t necessarily mean it will involve a player from the opposing team.
What’s he thinking? - Pat Haden, AD of USC, makes me wonder. How did he hire and then defend inept Lane Kiffin to begin with? His replacement for the interim, Ed Orgeron, seemed to have had great chemistry with the Trojans leading them to a 6-2 record since they got rid of Kiffin. So what does he do? He goes back out and gets former assistant coach Steve Sarkasian, another boy wonder like Kiffin to some extent. In five seasons as HC of the Washington Huskies, he’s 34-29 overall, 24-21 in the OAC 12. He’s 9-3 this year. What makes him a better qualified H for the Trojans than Orgeron? His California ties from Pete Carroll’s organization? Was it Orgeron’s two losses were to rivals Notre Dame and USC? Good for Orgeron to move on rather than stick around to coach USC in a bowl game. Somebody will stand up and take notice shortly.
Sophomore class - Last season, we added all four new FBS teams that joined that level last year to bring the top level up to 124 teams. Here's how their sophomore seasons are looking: Texas State finished 6-6, 2-5 in the Sun Belt. One of the C-USA wins was 33-31 over fellow sophomore South Alabama. UT San Antonio finished with a 7-5 record under Larry Coker. They finished 5-2 in Conference USA winning their last five games of the regular season. Maybe the will sneak into a bowl game. South Alabama is 5-6 and has lost three games by one point. They play Louisiana-Lafayette this weekend. They beat the newest member of the FBS, Georgia State Panthers (0-12), last weekend. UMass of the MAC finished 1-11 with its lone win against one-win Miami of Ohio.
Incoming Freshman - Five new teams join the FBS next season: Appalachian State finished their last season in the Southern Conference at 4-8 including a win over the other team in the SoCon making the jump, Georgia Southern. The Eagles upset the mighty (or formerly mighty) Florida Gators, 28-20. Next year, Georgia Southern is in our plan to see when they visit Navy in Annapolis. Georgia State finished 0-12. Like the previous two squads mentioned, they'll be joining the Sun Belt. We hope to work them into a game at Appy State over the next two years to kill two new birds with one stone so to speak. Charlotte went 5-6 against small schools and lost to D3 power Wesley, 35-25. Old Dominion was 8-4. The Monarchs four losses were to legit FBS squads East Carolina, Maryland, Pitt, and North Carolina , who pummeled them in their last game, 80-20. What goes around, comes around, Tar Heels.
By the numbers – On October 19 when we had a great time at The Grove in Oxford, Mississippi where we saw Ole Miss pull the 27-24 upset over No. 6 LSU, we recorded our 450th game since 1979 when we officially started this obsession. It got us to reflect on some other milestones and interesting numbers we have hit this year:
120- The number of different stadiums we’ve seen college football games played in (all levels) when we attended our 450th
90 – Our 90th PSU game, vs. Syracuse this year
50 – Our 50th Army game, vs. Morgan State this season
48 – The number of FBS stadiums we attended games in – latest Ole Miss’s Vaught-Hemingway
30 – Our 30th Army loss, vs. Wake Forest this year (sorry about that, boys)
20 – Our 20th Navy win vs. Delaware this season. We can’t believe that’s all.
14 – Our 14th OT game in the FBS, Illinois vs. PSU
14- Widest margin of victory this season in a game played between FBS teams (Wake Forest 25 Army 11)
10- Our 10th FBS national champ, Alabama in the BCS championship game on Jan. 7, 2013
09- Our 9th
Army-Navy game since 1972. Greatest and most oft attended rivalry game
we've ever attended.
06- Number of games among seven FBS games attended in 2013 decided by seven points or less
Rematches 2013 still to come - Last season Penn State clobbered Illinois in Champaign, 35-7. As we said, this year could be even worse for the Illini in State College. However, there are a host of other games we'll be attending this season where last year's results were very competitive. Based on last season's scores, we should see some good grudge matches. Here were the results of last season's games between schools we'll see play this season:
Wake Forest 49 - Army 37 (this year WFU 25 Army
11) South Carolina 38 - Kentucky 17 (this year USC
35-28) Kean Univ. 34 - College of New Jersey 30
(this year TCNJ 7 Kean 0)
LSU 41 - Ole Miss 35 (this year Ole Miss 27 LSU 24 with a
last minute FG)