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"Steveo's Salvos" - October 2009 Edition
"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.
SEC reprimands - Coaches Lan Kiffin of Tennessee and Dan Mullen of Mississippi State may get reprimanded by the SEC for raising issues about suspicious calls by officials in late, tight SEC games, but Commissioner Slive can't put the clamps on the fans. It's a conspiracy theory that the SEC keeps the teams with the best shots in the national championship hunt however they can. The recent Sports Illustrated cover story repeated the dominance of the SEC just as they did last year. The SEC's powerful propaganda machine exhorts that the conference is so tough that they don't have to play any good teams outside the conference. Everyone looks past the non-conference blow-outs against the likes of Charleston Southern, La-Lafayette, Southeast Louisiana, Missouri State, and the like as the norm against any foe outside the conference, but then looks past losses this year to Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Houston, UCLA, and Army among others as if they never happened. No one ever mentions that just about every bowl contract the SEC enters into is within a one-day drive of most of their schools assuring a home crowd advantage. No post-season game is contracted in Arizona, California, Hawaii, or any place north of the Mason-Dixon line for that matter. You can't have undefeated Alabama losing to Tennessee or undefeated Florida losing to Mississippi State this late into the season. So coaches, keep your mouths shut. You didn't win early, so you can't win late. You can't ruin that undefeated SEC championship game in Atlanta to assure one of them will get the BCS bid. We're all in this together. It doesn't matter if your team wins, it only matters if the conference wins. What would the rest of the country do if an SEC team wasn't in that BCS mix? Undefeated Texas against undefeated Cincinnati, or Boise State or Iowa, heaven forbid! How about TCU? Yikes! The SEC has the process down. Take the bowl money and run!
The Magic of Brian Kelly - Cincinnati HC Brian Kelly has the Bearcats at 7-0 and ranked No. 5 in the nation. Last season his team finished 11-3 including the school's first ever trip to the Orange Bowl preceded by the schools first 10-win season the previous year. Before Kelly arrived in Cincy to lead the Bearcats to their International Bowl win over Western Michigan, he had left the Central Michigan program where his team finished 9-4 including a trip to the Music City Bowl which he did not coach them in. This year, the Chippewas of CMU are 7-1 with 76 votes placing them just outside the Top 25. Prior to Central Michigan, he was HC at D-2 Grand Valley State for thirteen seasons finishing the last three with a record of 41-2. His Lakers won the D-2 national championships in 2002 and 2003 before going to CMU. Grand Valley State is 7-1 so far this year. The guy not only turns programs into winners in the short-term, but long after he leaves, they keep winning. What big-time school is going to offer this Massachusetts native a lot of money to come turn around their program next?
Tempted by Temple - We're kind of committed to seeing Lafayette host Bucknell this week as a player on the Bison squad is the son of an old high school friend we'd like to catch up with. We haven't seen George in a while, and it's his son's senior year, so we're hoping to sneak up on him. On the other hand, Navy isn't in our plans this year which is unusual, and at 6-2 and hosting Temple ( 5-2, 4-0 MAC East), this weekend's game might be worth seeing. The Mids are bowl-eligible already and the Owls could be playing for their conference championship. Don't be surprised though if you find us in Annapolis this weekend instead of Easton.
Sweet potato - Last time we saw Idaho play to finish out our Goal, they lost to Nevada in 2007. First-year HC Rob Ackey 's team went on to finish with a 1-11 record with a win over FCS Cal - SLO. Last season they doubled that win total with another win over an FCS team and one over 3-9 New Mexico State. The third year's a charm. They opened the season with a win over NMSU once again and then lost to Washington under their new HC Steve Sarkisian. A week later, we teased our friend Tom Ables when his San Diego State Aztecs under promising new HC Brady Hoke took it on the chin from the Vandals, 34-20. "Not so fast!" according to Tom. The Vandals looked like a much improved team! The Idaho Vandals? Tom was right. U of I has not lost a game until getting slaughtered last Saturday by Nevada, 70-45. They own a current record of 5-2. Wins over Colorado State, Northern Illinois, and Hawaii may not sound like much, but this is Idaho. On Nov 14, they may turn out to be the biggest obstacle this year for intrastate rival and WAC conference power Boise. No publication had the Vandals climbing above their preseason bottom 10, but Ackey has something brewing up under the Kibbie Dome. This could be fun to watch!
Didn't have to go far after all - We were excited before the season and disappointed later on when plans fell through to attend the Clemson-TCU game on Sept 26 won by the Horned Frogs, 14-10. We looked forward to watching TCU sackmaster Jerry Hughes perform. Thus far he totals eight sacks. Little did we know that two game at West Point featured Josh McNary of Army. He's ahead of Hughes with nine. He had one against Duke in the loss we witnessed that day and had none in the win over Tulane. Though probably not double-teamed like Hughes, Army foes have to be wary of McNary.
Prior thoughts - After the Ohio State 18-15 loss to USC we watched on TV. we commented to OSU fan and Lum Greg Masica that we didn't think much of Terrelle Pryor as a QB. It seemed his skills would be better off at receiver or RB. Put in a good passer and get the ball to Terrelle and the Buckeyes would go places. Greg said he's fine at QB. He was at the game and impressed by his passing. Greg may be in the minority now. We're reading OSU fans are now demanding HC Jim Tressel make the change we thought of back then. Tressel's stuck with his QB even after the five turnovers his QB suffered a 26-18 upset a the hands of Purdue. OSU handled Minnesota, 38-7, but so is everyone else in the Big Ten. We'll see if we think any different when and if he's will playing QB on November 7 when the Buckeyes visit Penn State. The game's lost some luster, but there will be some hitting going on that day.
One if by land? Two if by air? - In the FCS, we saw No. 17 and 7-0 Colgate defeat Princeton in 2 OTs, 21-14. The Red Raiders rank No. 4 in the nation in Total offense. with 3,019 yards. Averaging 276 yards rushing per game, they lead the nation in rushing with 1,932 yards and 20 rushing TDs. RB Jordan McCord is 10th in the nation with 689 yards, QB Greg Sullivan is 20th with 570, and RB Nate Eachus is 32nd with 532. This week, they battle Patriot co-leader Holy Cross (5-1, 1-0) ranked No. 22 in the nation. The Crusaders do it through the air. QB Dominic Randolph is second in the FCS with 1,964 yards passing and 18 TDs averaging 327.3 yards per game. He has a151.7 QB rating. Surprisingly, none of his receivers are rated in the top 40 whereas Colgate's Pat Simond's is 10th overall with 502 yards. The game in Worcester, MA will be an interesting match between highly potent offenses who roll up yards two different ways. The winner will have an upper hand in the Patriot League, but important game loom on Nov 7 and 14 when 6-1, 2-0 Lafayette hosts Colgate and visits Holy Cross on consecutive weekends. Those games will be sandwiched between Lafayette home games against Bucknell and their traditional finale at Lehigh. We will be at both.
Ball dropping - Remember how Ball State was one of the darlings of the mid-majors last year going 12-0 in the regular season until falling to Buffalo on the MAC Championship and then getting crushed by Tulsa in the GMAC Bowl last year (can they afford a bowl game this year?) after Brady Hoke escaped to San Diego. The Cardinals are 0-7 this season under former Rutgers coach Stan Parrish. In the off-season we said to "Parrish the thought." We were right on this one. However, the Cardinals came up with their first "W" last weekend as the beat Eastern Michigan in a battle between the winless, 29-27.
Bowl season just got worse - The Big Ten's 2010-13 bowl lineup will begin in late December with the Texas Bowl, followed by six more postseason contests played over an estimated 26-hour period on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The Insight Bowl will be played at night on Dec. 31, followed by five more conference bowl games over a roughly nine-hour period on Jan. 1, including the Dallas Football Classic, Capital One Bowl, Outback Bowl, Gator Bowl and Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi. So us fans get "rewarded" not only getting to see teams finishing 4-5-6 in their conference on what used to be the biggest day every year in college football, we get to watch a conference that in recent years has struggled to maintain its reputation as one of the best. No wonder why pro hockey is beginning to draw interest on New Year's Day.
On track - D-3's No.1 team and 10-time National Champs Mount Union Wilmington College on Saturday, 56-0. Most likely on their way to fend for another title, they will no be challenged again in the Ohio Athletic Conference until their next-to-last game when they host currently No. 7 Otterbein (7-0) on November 7. Otterbein came from behind on Saturday to edge No. 16 Capital, 35-34. No. 2 Wisconsin-Whitewater defeated UW-River Falls, 38-14. Their prime challenges will come when they play UW-Steven Point (5-2, 4-0) this weekend and UW - La Crosse who currently checks in at 5-2, 2-2 on the last day of their season. We plan to be in Salem again for the national championship on Dec. 18. We think we'll see another rematch between these two once again.
Give us Liberty - While at West Point when we saw Army play Tulane, we received a voice mail from Slippery Rock's Bob Jones who was attending the Liberty's 45-7 stomping over WV Wesleyan in Lynchburg. Bob reports very passionate fans cheer on the home team Flames in a beautiful setting and recommends we get down there. Maybe we can see fellow Big South team Stony Brook take a trip down there in the future. Liberty's had a strong FCS program over the years. We'll have to see if we can pull that off.
The winless - There are several teams remaining this season without a win. We saw one at the FBS level when Western Kentucky opened our season at that level at Tennessee in a 63-7 hurting to start off their season. They're now at 0-7. They were demolished last week by Middle Tennessee, 62-24. This week, they visit 1-6 North Texas who hasn't won since its season opener against now 1-7 Ball State. This seems like the last legitimate chance for the Hilltoppers to win a game this season. We'd forgotten that we've seen a winless team at the D-2 level as well. We watched Cheyney State fall hard to second-year program Lincoln back on August 29, 41-20. The Wolves stand at 0-9 which includes three shutout losses to C.W. Post, East Stroudsburg, and 59-0 last week against West Chester. Not much hope remains to salvage a win as they play 7-2 Shippensburg and 6-3 Clarion to finish their season.
Where it all began - In 1966, the first opportunity to attend a game in person came back in the day when parents could send their kids off on a bus trip with a few adult chaperones and not have to have their kids call from their cell phones every ten minutes to enjoy an all-day outing. My father gave me a few bucks for cleaning his pigeon coops to buy the combination game/bus ticket arranged by my grade school gym teacher, and my mother packed a lunch in a brown paper bag to send me off on a bright, October Saturday to see the Red Raiders of Colgate visit the Tigers of Princeton at Palmer Stadium about fifty miles away. Back then, schools like these played a notch below the big-time teams, but it was a thrill to be there none-the-less as Colgate defeated Princeton in a very unimpressionable, inaugural game, 7-0. What’s vividly remembered, however, are many events surrounding the game, such as the Tiger marching band prancing in-step down the field before the game in tiger-striped jackets and white straw-hats. Tiger tails flew from the slides of trombones out in front as they marched playing the school song, “Princeton Cannon”. Colgate QBs tossed spirals to one another along the sideline during warm-ups. During halftime, two pennants were purchased from among large stacks of long, triangular, felt banners on tables under the north end zone seats of old Palmer Stadium. Pennants from every big football school imaginable were for sale. An elderly couple, who should be at least 150 years old now in 2009, walked by as that first purchase of anything ever remembered was made. The gray-haired lady turned to her husband and quietly sniggered, “Notre Dame.” She probably thought I was too young to realize what game I was at! Wrong! I loved the Fighting Irish in those days, usually listening to their games on an AM radio in our kitchen. That blue and gold Notre Dame pennant and that black and orange Princeton banner purchased that day stayed on the wooden panel wall of my family’s damp basement for years. Looking back at the game from a historical perspective, it was a pretty good match-up as Independent Colgate came in at 2-1-1 against the 2-1 Tigers of the Ivy League. It would be the last loss for either team that season as the Red Raiders finished at 8-1-1. The Tigers would finish tied with Dartmouth, to whom they had lost already, and with Harvard for the 1966 Ivy League title. Each finished with one conference loss each and identical 7-2 records on the season overall. Colgate fullback Marv Hubbard would continue to play at the next level for the Oakland Raiders in the AFL and played football in what later became known as Super Bowl II. Forty-three years and 393 college games later, we return to Princeton to see Colgate play Princeton for the second time this Thursday night.
Yankee Bowl - A yet-to-be-named Bowl game will be played between the Big East and the Big Twelve after the 2010 season in January at Yankee Stadium. A game in January in a stadium built for baseball? Anything to do with the Yankees will be expensive. We don't know about this one. Hopefully we'll be someplace balmier, but we'll see depending on the match-up between # 4 Big East and #7 Big Twelve. At least we'll save again on the FF miles. We heard the Meadowlands is looking to get a bowl. There's too many already. We hope to find warmer climes. They should have put on a retractable roof.
Ten years ago - The surprise team of C-USA sailed up the Hudson on October 2, 1999 with their big guns ready, battle-tested, and Hurricane-proofed in more ways than one. The East Carolina Pirates invaded the banks of the Hudson sporting a 4-0 record including a 27-23 come-from-behind win the week before over the Miami Hurricanes to vault into the AP Poll for the first time at No. 19! Led by QB David Garrard, ECU took a 19-0 fourth-quarter lead. Army cut the Pirate lead to 19-7 with less than ten minutes left, but scores on a fumble recovery and an onside kick put the game out of reach. Army’s defense held the Pirate runners to only 52 yards, but 300 passing yards by David Garrard and two TDs picked clean off Army’s playing surface made the difference in the victory for the purple Pirates who shivered the timbers along the Hudson that fall Saturday. We saw another future NFL star from a non traditional powerhouse play in person. Garrard, Randy Moss, and Travis Prentice were a few have big names we saw play against the Cadets at West Point.
Bowling season - The past three seasons, we've done "bowl tours" in Florida, Texas and Tennessee. With FF miles a little lower than usual this year, we're re-thinking this season's post season excursions. Also, this year's bowl schedule doesn't seen as convenient chronologically and geographically. Originally, we were thinking about a quick West Coast Tour featuring The Holiday Bowl and Insight.com after flying out after the Eagle Bank Bowl in D.C., but it seemed like such a rush and not getting a chance to savor any of it. We're thinking of spreading things out this year and taking advantage of lower gas prices and 6-cylinder Chevy Malibu that gets about 40 mpg on the interstates as well as usually finding the cheapest, tackiest hotel rooms we can find within an hour or two from our final destination. This year, we're thinking of taking aim on Chattanooga, TN to attend a real championship at the the finals of the Football Championship division (FCS) on Friday, December 18. The next day, we'll shoot up to Salem, Virginia for the D-3 national championship which could shape up to be the fifth straight between Mt. Union and Wisconsin-Whitewater. We saw the square off in 2006 when MU won its ninth title/ Then, after Christmas, we'll go to DC for the second year in a row to check out the Eagle Bank Bowl. Army actually has an invite if they reach six wins, and they might be at the half-way point this weekend. On New Year's Day, we'll travel through upstate New York to find a place to stay in time to watch The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl that evening. On Saturday, January 2, we'll cross the border into North Country to visit Toronto's Rogers Centre to enjoy the International Bowl. MAC Champ Central Michigan with QB Dan LeFevour might be seen battling a team from the very balanced Big East . We'll bank those FF miles for a hopefully more friendly bowl schedule at the end of 2010.
The 'Beast" - Of the Big East? Looks like a Bearcat despite the injured non-throwing arm of its QB. Zach Collaros started his first game for UC and threw for 253 yards and three TDs as they walloped Louisville, 41-10. The Bearcats sit at No. 5 now with key games remaining against UConn, West Virginia, and Pitt.
But... - We really hope to get a chance to see currently No. 7-ranked New Hampshire host an FCS play-off Thanksgiving weekend. The Wildcats have no easy road. With a win under their belt over No. 4 Villanova, 28-24, and a loss to No. 23 UMass, 23-17, their game on Nov. 14 against currently No. 5 William and Mary in Williamsburg looms large. We love those play-offs! We just hope that the Wildcats finish so well that they end up with bye during the first round.
The Marshall's back in town - We hope, especially when we plan to see them host Southern Miss on the 39th anniversary to the day when the fatal airplane crashed killing all 75 people on board including 37 players on November 14, 1970. The Thundering Herd is 5-3, 3-1 this season with a visit to Central Florida before we drive out to Huntington. Last week, the knocked off Alabama-Birmingham, 27-7. We'll see them host Southern Miss, also 5-3, 3-1. Their lone loss was to that UAB team earlier, 30-17. We want to be on hand for the memorial ceremony that day, but we're hoping the C-USA match-up will mean something as well. It looks as if it's shaping to be a pretty good match-up with Thundering Herd emotions running in overdrive that day.
The unchallenged - Early season schedules are not only misleading, but we believe weak ones even give players a false sense of security. Take Penn State, whom we love, for instance. Put them up against three teams who they manhandle in the first half, and what happens when they pick on a team their own size? See: Iowa 21, PSU 10. The Lions got off to a quick 10-0 start, but that didn't continue like the others. Iowa still trailed 10-5 entering the fourth. They outscored PSU in the final period, 16-0. PSU hasn't played four full quarters until this weekend, and evidently they are not used to it. The early non-conference schedule should offer some challenges as well as some "gimmes" to get ready for the conference teams you have to play. Once again, we say that there is no excuse for Penn State and Pitt not to resume their old rivalry every year once again. This would light a fire under the Lions to prep them for conference play. On the other hand, throw in Florida State until JoePa or Bobby B steps down. Let's see them add some excitement to their friendship. Bobby's always looking for a good game. Maybe that'll light a fire under the two of them as well. Joe can still have Temple and the other MAC teams to get his 2-to-1 series to get his eight home games in.
25 years ago - On September 22, 1984, we trekked down to Philly to watch Pitt, coming off an 8-3-1 season, visit a typically mediocre Temple team in cavernous and empty Veteran Stadium. Part of the attraction to see the game was the Panthers' new frosh RB, Passaic, NJ's pride, Craig "Ironhead" Heyward. He and his brother, Nate, a DB, were on the same roster. Things continued to sour for the Pitt program coming in 0-2 that day already having lost to eventual national champ BYU in their opener, 20-14. They fell to Temple that day, 13-12, on their way to a 3-7-1 season. Temple finished with a winning record that season, 6-5. To bring in more fans, the Beach Boys were featured at the Vet in a post-game concert. They didn't exactly pack the place. I didn't stick around as I considered those guys "old" in 1984. Of course, they continued to give concerts into the new millenium. Ironhead played for 11 seasons in the NFL, a force to reckon with at fullback weighing close to 300 lbs and over during some points in his career. In May 2006, his life was cut short by a malignant bone cancer he fought for several years. He died at the age of 39. This weekend when we visit Ohio State for the first time, his son, Cameron Heyward, will start at DE for the Buckeyes - a fitting tribute for us after seeing his father play his freshman year 25 years ago. Another son, Craig, Jr, plays for Middle Tennessee State.
"Who the heck is Pierre Garcon?" - That's the question several media outlets have asked in regards to the second-year WR for the Indianapolis Colts who scored on a 48-yard "bubble screen" pass with 3:48 remaining for the final TD in the Colts' 27-23 win over the Miami Dolphins Monday night. Well, if you've been following along with us, Garcon comes from perennial D-3 champion Mt. Union. We saw him play in the 2006 Stagg Bowl for the D-3 national championship when we saw the Purple Raiders with their ninth title with a 35-16 win over the Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks. What a thrill it must be for Pierre, from the Miami area, to win a couple of national championships at the D-3 level, and now be catching passes from Peyton Manning to win games in the NFL. Garcon scored the last TD for Mt. Union the day we saw him play. We hope that he has a long and successful career in the NFL. He scored another TD against Arizona in Sunday night's game on Sept 27.
The Undefeated: and then there were none - Colgate fell to 7-1 and to No. 25 in the FCS after falling to Patriot League co-leader Holy Cross on Saturday, 42-28. The Crusaders jumped to No. 17. If either of these two run the table for the balance of the season, we'd expect to see the winner of this League play at UNH if the Wildcats host a first-round game. It's not automatic for either though as both have to contend with 6-1, 2-0 Lafayette, whom we'll see host Bucknell this weekend and visit Lehigh in their long-storied rivalry on Nov. 21. The Red Raiders visit Easton on Nov. 7, and the Crusaders host the LC Leopards the following week in Worcester, MA. Bloomsburg, who opened our season is now 8-1,5-1 (PSAC East) after suffering a 28-27 loss to 7-2, 5-1 (PSAC East) Shippensburg last week. It looks like these Red Raiders will have the Eastern division of the PSAC sewn up now because Bloomsburg travels this week to face tough West Chester while SU plays winless Cheyney. The Western championship seems to favor California, PA whose win over Edinboro State gives them the tie-breaker. If Shippensburg hosts the championship, we'd love to go but can't since it was announced that the Penn State-Ohio State game will kick-off at 3:30 pm. The Bloomsburg Huskies should still get a D-2 playoff berth should they finish with wins over always tough 5-4 WCSU and/or 4-5 Gannon. We'll keep and eye out if they provide us an opportunity to see a playoff game some Saturday at Robert B. Redman Stadium.
It's all over - NC State QB Russell Wilson had not thrown an INT since the third game of last season against Clemson. His streak set an NCAA mark of 326 passes without an interception in his game against Gardner-Webb. We witnessed part of that streak earlier in the Wolf Pack's opening night 7-3 loss to South Carolina. Since Clemson, we're sure Wilson might want to trade a few measly interceptions for an injury that put him out for a portion of last season, a bowl loss to Rutgers, and the sloppy start to this year's season. NC State went on the road for the first time this season to visit Wake Forest Saturday and came back to Raleigh with a 30-24 loss. In the second period, Wilson's streak ended at 379 when he was picked by Josh Bush. Even more critical, he was intercepted in the end zone by Ken Okoro with 2:02 left in a final gasp to try to win the game.
Conference refs - We're tired of non-conference games being officiated primarily by the visiting team's conference's officials. We think the NCAA should step in and assign neutral officials or schedule the refs from a national pool rather than a conference pool. There are too many questionable call that could be influenced by familiarity. We'd prefer to see teams of officials assigned on a more neutral basis to quell the issues of questionable call.
What else is wrong with the BCS - First of all we never really get a true nationals champion. Secondly, the fans are deprived of an exciting playoff scenario whether it's the top 4 teams or the top 8. Third, the BCS makes all the other major bowls insignificant as far as a national championship. Fourth, it took away all the anticipation of New Year's Day Bowl games which after they would play would unravel into your final rankings the next day. Usually more than one game would have significance to watch. Now you have to wait every other night to watch another game instead of seeing one after another. Fifth, the New Year's Bowl games (Outback, Gator, Cotton, Capital One, etc) have no impact on the national championship. Sixth, each bowl game has more than one conference alignment. At least with one, they would invite in the best competitor available for the best match-up no matter what the conference affiliation. Seventh, good teams (like Boise State) and good conferences like the MWC get forced to affiliate themselves with non-significant bowl games. Eighth, it was better when it seemed most bowl games had at-large berths available to create match-ups you would rarely see. Ninth, it forces everyone to line up non-conference patsies for three or four wins before getting to conference play so just tow or three more wins make a team bowl "eligible". Tenth, with 6-6 teams becoming bowl eligible, it's hard to tell the winners from the losers.
Exhibition games - On one radio talk show somewhere between NJ and Tennessee last weekend, someone spoke about the perception of "practice games" for FBS schools to work out the early season kinks and to "hit somebody else". High schools do it, The pros do it. I know some colleges used to do it. At Juniata, we'd scrimmaged Bucknell, Franklin and Marshall, and Millersville State back in the '70s. Someone told me that when he was being recruited by D-3 Allegheny back then, they tried to impress him with a film of their preseason scrimmage. It was against the Ohio State Buckeyes. I know Princeton has played formidable D3 teams like Montclair State and Rowan to warm up for their regular season slate. I think most teams would like this concept for the aforementioned reasons . On the other hand, what would stop such preseason scrimmages from becoming preseason spectacles that some of the spring games have become? How would you keep 50,000 fans away? Would the school not want to take advantage of them with the revenue potential? What would they do to keep the press away adding further fuel to already insignificant preseason polls? For major college football, the only way to do this would be to do them as closed practice sessions. Without this the concept just wouldn't work. Nowadays, most colleges play their exhibition game or scrimmage on the first week of the regular season, and some even play two or three more right in a row.
#121 - We have the South Alabama jaguars locked in our sights already. This year they play a junior college schedule. In 2011, they play their first season as a transitional FBS team and in 2013, they will become full-fledged members of the Sun Belt Conference. The Head Coach os Joey Jones, a former Alabama QB. Two assistants are from Auburn. That makes us feel certain that they'll end up on Auburn's schedule in that first year or two. We'll have to call the Murren's and make it back to the War Eagle Supper Club as well this time.
We were there - USA Today ranked the "Golden Years "of each FBS team from the beginning of college football history and stated their comments. We've witnessed several of the eras since we started attending games in 1979, and we can give you our historical perspective on the ones we've witnessed:
Air Force '97-'00 - In '98 we saw them dominate Army 35-7, but haven't they always?
Boise State '99-present - We witnessed a blip on the screen when we saw them hammered in their '05 season opener at Georgia losing, 47-14.
Florida State '85-'95 - We watched the Seminoles in a stellar performance in the Kickoff Classic as eventual Heisman winner Charlie Ward and company rolled Kansas, 42-0. Saw the era end in the '97 Sugar Bowl for the national championship as they were rolled by Florida in the Sugar Bowl, 52-20.
Iowa State '00-'05 - Saw them just barely get by a weak Army team in '05, 28-21. Not very golden to us.
Louisville '98-'04 - Saw a thrilling loss to Army on a Thursday night in OT, 59-52, in our highest scoring game.
Nebraska '94-'97 - We witnessed the start of an era when the Huskers opened '94 with a 31-0 win over WVU.
Oklahoma State '06-present - We saw Zac Robinson replace Bobby Reid and win a 49-45 shootout over Texas Tech and Michael Crabtree that day. Mike Gundy claimed to be "a Man!"
Rutgers '05-present - It really started in '06 as we watched RU beat UConn and then witnessed their dramatic win over Louisville on a Thursday night before falling to WVU in their Big East finale. This year will make or break their "era". We'll see them get three shots at it.
South Florida '05-present - We saw them suffer brain-freeze in a 15-10 loss to UConn in '05 and a 30-27 loss to RU in '07. We may see them make or break their era when we see them play RU in Nov.
Texas Tech '00 to present - We've seen firepower but no defense in a 49-21 loss to NC State and the aforementioned 49-45 loss to Oklahoma State.
Utah '03 - present - 0-2 in our book with losses to mediocre North Carolina and UCLA respectively in '05 and '06.
Virginia Tech '04 - present - We saw them start this era with the most lopsided victory in our history, a 63-0 whipping of Western Michigan.
Wake Forest '06-present - Beat Navy twice including last year's inaugural Eagle Bank Bowl.
Washington State '01-'03 - Lucky we saw them when we did as they lost their '03 opener to ND on OT, 29-26.
TOP 19 - This isn't what you think it is. This is our pre-season poll indicating how we see the 19 FBS teams on our slate will finish relative to one another this season: 1.) Penn State 2.) Ohio State 3.) TCU 4.) Pitt
5.) West Virginia 6.) Clemson 7.) South Carolina 8.) Rutgers 9.) South Florida 10.) Minnesota 11.) Southern Miss 12.) NC State 13.) Tennessee 14.) Michigan 15.) Marshall 16.) Army 17.) Duke 18.) Tulane
19.) Western Kentucky. Things will change if we plan to go to that aforementioned Florida game.
We did it!!! - October 27, 2007. CollegeFootballFan.com is #1!!! Aside from any media types, no one can say that they've seen more College Bowl Subdivision teams than we have. It's impossible. There are 119 teams and now we've seen 'em all! Great time with some big Nevada Wolfpack fans for the Grand Finale against Idaho in Reno. Now we move on to more great football games season after season! Western Kentucky becomes #120 in 2009. We hope to be at their opener, but a certain Guest Game Analyst (GGA) we've had with us over the years will probably start playing Freshman football in HS this season. We'll have to work around that.
Watch for more Salvo updates throughout the season!
- Steve Koreivo, ed.