Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Posted on: February 7, 2010 2:10 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2010 3:57 pm
 

Maryland vs. UNC

2:09 - Unable to make it to College Park today, I'm live with you here, in Gaithersburg, Md.  Terps in Gold.  Milbourne, Vasquez, Hayes, Mosley and Williams.

2:12 Vasquez with an open 3.  Milbourne with a BIG block from behind on Davis.

2:13 - Terps are definitely focusing on stopping the Tar Heels inside, defense is collapsing in, and leaving the guards with open shots.  Thompson takes a step back, fades away and hits a jumper over Milbourne.

2:15 - Heels break the press but Ginyard throws the ball away.  Milbourne went in for a big dunk, but drew iron.  Ball clanks out to Hayes who knocs down the open 3. 

2:20 - Another Hayes 3 pointer makes it 13-8.

2:23 - Vasquez and Hayes hit 3's to make it 19-9. 

2:26 - Timeout. 19-13.

2:29 - Nice decsion by Bowie not to pull the trigger on the 3 and drive, found Milbourne for a layup.  Bowie drives again, and gets the foul and will go to the line for two.  Makes the first, misses the second.  Fast break for UNC, Ginyard gets fouled on the layup attempt and will go to the line for two.  Missed the first, makes the second.

2:32 - Vasquez breaks the double-team and finds Tucker open for 3. 

2:33 - Terps double team Thompson, Bowie steals the ball.  Tucker with another shot, he LOVES playing against UNC.  Tucker feeds Vasquez for 3 this time, 30-16. 

2:34 - Vasquez finds Gregory underneath to make it 32-16.  Graves hits a 3 for UNC.  Thopmson gets in easy dunk to make it 32-21 with 7:39 to go.

2:38 - Sloppy pass by Mosley up ahead to Milbourne, picked off, but UNC travels so the turnover does't cost the Terps.  Ginyard playing pretty well today, not a good thing for the Terps if his confidence grows.

2:39 - Strickland hits a 3 to cut the lead to 6.  Terps offense looks stagnant.  Vasquez with a two-pointer.  Tar Heels on a 12-2 run to cut the lead to 34-28. 

2:41 - Milbourne's pass kicked out of bounds, trying to feed Williams.  Bowie and Gregory back in for Mosley and Williams.  Vasquez with a selfish take as Hayes was WIDE open for a good 5 seconds. 

2:43 - Milbourne with the wide open 3, good defense by Vasquez but misses the wide open layup.  Bowie with the reverse layup off the fast break.  Terps up 39-30 with 3:04.

2:47 - Maryland called for the travel, didn't see it.  Bowie rushes the 3, no wonder they are leaving him wide open.  Tucker makes the shot, comes down the court the next possession and takes the 3, took a contested shot and off the rim and over the backboard.  Ginyard fouled and will go to the line.

2:50 - Milbourne with the foul, that's #2 on him.  Ginyard makes both free throws.  Vasquez backs down Drew, only to have his shot rejected by Davis.  Vasquez gets the rebound and misses a 3.  Vasquez gets another rebound and makes a two-pointer.  Vasquez takes the final shot, and takes a terrible off-balance shot.  Padgett draws a jump ball, Maryland has possession.  End of the half.  Terps up 44-34.

2:55 - Vasquez leads with 14 at the half, Hayes with 9 and Milbourne and Tucker with 7.  Tucker averages 16 against UNC and 4 points against everyone else.  He's looked great all season, but he's doing it again to UNC.  Ginyard, Graves and Thompson with 7 and Davis with 6. 

2:57 - Terps should be up by more at the half, but let UNC back into the game.  Terps need to be careful not to let a 10-point lead turn into a 2 or 3 point lead and lose the momentum completely in the second half.  You have to imagine Gary Williams will focus on getting Sean Mosley and Landon Milbourne more involved as they've both looked invisible at times in the first half.  The defense has looked great so far, and they need to keep up the intensity.  Maryland has shot well from 3 as well, hopefully they won't fall in love with the three as they may not be able to keep up their torrid pace.

3:11 - J. Williams runs the floor and gets a great pass from Vasquez for the open dunk.  Vasquez with 7 assists.  Williams with another basket.  Milbourne gets another block on the defensive end.

3:13 - Deon Thompson with the three point play.  Hayes to the free throw line.  Makes the first, and the second.  52-42 Terps.  Ginyard hits the 3 to cut it to a 7-point lead.  Williams dribbles the ball off of his foot. 

3:15 - Gary Williams calls a timeout as the Tar Heels cut the lead to 52-47. 

3:18 - Thompson gets fouled down low, and another timout.

3:23 - Hayes hits a runner to put the lead back up to 5.

3:24 - Gregory with the block on the defensive end, then is rewarded with the ball on the fast break, but he's fouled on his dunk attempt.  Gregory makes the first, and the second.

3:25 - Graves gets an offensive rebound and puts the ball back up to cut the lead to 58-53 for the Terps.  Ginyard steamrolls Gregory, and Gregory with the foul. 

3:27 - Gregory looks great, cleans up the offensive glass and hits the jump hook.  Vasquez with the steal, works the ball to Bowie who misses a Vasquez-type off-balance shot.  Hayes open from the corner and hits the 3.  Vasquez with the easy layup.  Williams forces the ball out after a bad pass from Drew into the post, Bowie takes the ball down court and gets fouled.  65-54.

3:33 - Vasquez pushes the fast break and hits the open 3.  Vasquez finds Gregory off the inbounds pass and Gregory slmas it home. Terps up 70-56. 

3:35 - Mosley gets on the board with a nice pull-up jumper.  Vasquez hits another 3 to push the lead up to 16.  Jordan Williams is not playing like a Freshman today inside.  Gets the block, the rebound, and gets the outlet to Vasquez.  Mosley with the layup.

3:41 - Maryland has good ball movement, but a Jordan Williams 12-foot jumper was probably not the desired shot.  Mosley skies over a defender to hit the jumper at the free throw line 79-61. 

3:42 - Terps up 20! Milbourne hits a fadeaway to make it 22 point lead. 

3:45 - Williams gets his fourth foul, and Padgett comes in off the bench.  Padgett makes the first free throw, but misses the second. Not quite sure how, but Milbourne somehow came away with that rebound.  Mosley with the foul, and Davis will go to the line. 

3:48 - Davis misses both and Vasquez comes away with the rebound.  Padgett misses the layup attempt.  Larry Drew is ice cold for the Heels.  Milbourne tried to go over Henson, but his high-arching shot was an air ball.  Milbourne breaks away and throws down a two-handed jam.  Maryland up 23, 88-65.

3:53 - Terps are up 88-67 with under 2 minutes to play and at this point, Terps are just winding down the clock.  Milbourne will head to the line. 

3:54 - Milbourne makes the first.  Vasquez and Hayes come out of the game, and Milbourne makes the second free throw.  Mosley with the steal and the slam.  92-67 with 79 seconds left.  Vasquez showing a big smile on the bench.  Milbourne and Mosley comes out and Levent and Pearman come in. 

3:55 - Maryland winds down the clock and Tucker finds Padgett under the basket, but Padgett misses the shot.  Heels hit a shot to make it 92-71 and at this point UNC isn't fouling so that will be your final score.  MD fans chanting "We Want Duke".
Posted on: February 3, 2010 10:54 am
Edited on: February 3, 2010 11:59 am
 

Maryland Recruiting Blog

As of now these are the commits that have signed National Letters of Intent to play at the University of Maryland:

  • Max Garcia (7:01 a.m.)
  • Andre Monroe (7:13 a.m.)
  • Tyrek Cheeseboro (7:06 a.m.)
  • Sal Conaboy (7:35 a.m.)
  • Matt Robinson (7:10 a.m.)
  • Nate Clarke (7:37 a.m.)
  • Tyler Smith (7:01 a.m.)
  • Darius Kilgo (8:47 a.m.)
  • Rahsaan Moore (7:20 a.m.)
  • Titus Till (7:01 a.m.)
  • Jeremiah Johnson (7:50 a.m.)
  • Jeremiah Wilson (7:40 a.m.)
  • Ian Evans (7:01 a.m.)
  • Jacob Wheeler (9:00 a.m.)
  • Desmond Kearse (7:15 a.m.)

  • Terps are still awaiting the signatures of DE Clarence Murphy and S Mario Rowson.  There are still some undecided players who could sign with the Terps.

    11:41 AM - Just got an update that Clarence Murphy has signed his national letter of intent.  That leaves just Rowson and a possible surprise left.

    11:58 AM - Apparently, that was false information, Murphy has yet to sign.



    Posted on: January 27, 2010 8:07 pm
     

    Nitpicking Maryland Basketball

    Because I can.  I'm very confident this team is going to make the NCAA Tournament, however, this is due to them finishing high in the ACC.  They still have a few issues.  The positives you guys have listed, I have no reason to repeat.  So these are just the things i'm nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking because they could be problems down the road.

    Major Issues:

    1) Vasquez takes too many shots.  He doesn't need to take as many shots, his teammates are stepping up this year, but at times he will take too many shots.  See: Wake Forest, Florida State and Longwood.  (Now, you may argue he only took 9 shots in the LU game, however, his shot wasn't falling, and all of his teammates were, it was selfish). 

    2) Free Throws.  Hayes is the only one living up to what he shot last year.  Vasquez, Milbourne, Tucker and Bowie are all way below where they were last year. 


    Mosley and Gregory are above average but you can see Mosley is hit or miss on free throws. 


    Minor Issues:

    1) Inconsistency from the bench.  You have argued that Bowie and Tucker have stepped up, in the blowout of NC State Bowie wasn't even on in garbage time.  They had Tucker running the point because Bowie has been inconsistent.  Bowie's 3 pointer is off.  He's shooting 27%, but it's not just that, he's rushing his shot.  Last night at the end of the half he had about 7 seconds to take a shot, a wide open shot, but he rushed it and caught iron.  He's been doing it all season.  Tucker had a good 6 game stretch, but last night Tucker's shot wasn't falling and he forced a few passes.  If he plays like he did against NC State every night he would see more significant minutes.

    2) Late-game play from the end of the bench.  Last night the Terps were up by 31 at one point.  Against BC, they were up by 24.  Against FSU, Terps were up 13 and ended up winning by 9.  This may not seem like a big deal, but they get lazy at the end, and that's before Levent and Pearman come in.  They just need to stay focused. 

    3) Getting Away from Milbourne.  Honestly, he's been the most consistent player on both sides of the floor.  It's almost as if Vasquez has a need to be the leading scorer every game and therefore doesn't feed Milbourne anymore.  Milbourne and Williams were working their ass off last night to get open down low (and they were) but the guards would settle for jumpers. 
    Posted on: January 26, 2010 6:46 pm
    Edited on: January 26, 2010 8:54 pm
     

    Maryland vs. Miami Running Blog

    To make this more accessible, I'll be keeping a running blog during the game on here rather than in the message board area.  10 minutes to tip in CP Miami has lost 3 straight in ACC play.  Miami's best Out-of-conference win is a neutral court win against South Carolina... not saying much.  Terps should win this game tonight. 

    6:48 - Starting for the Terps: G - E. Hayes, G. Vasquez, S. Mosley F - L. Milbourne and J. Williams.  Starting for the Canes: G - D. Scott, M. Grant, J. Dews, F - C. McGowan C- J. Gamble

    6:51 - Coach Gary Williams comes out to a standing ovation from the students, the rest of the fans look like they have yet to file into the arena.

    7:03 - Canes win the tip, Maryland out in their standard man-to-man defense, force Canes into a tough shot, Milbourne with the Def. Rebound.  On offense, Terps hustle to save the ball after going inside to no avail.

    7:05 - Terps strike first as Milbourne hits a jumper from the right elbow.  2-0 Terps.  Terps force a shot clock violation.

    7:06 - Williams with the offensive rebound and put back.  On the defensive end, Williams grabs the loose ball and gets it ahead to Vasquez who slows down the offense with numbers not in his favor. 

    7:07 - Hayes misses the three, but Mosley saves it off a Miami defender.  Vasquez with his trademark runner, off as usual.  Terps defense continues to be tough.  Mosley draws a foul on offense.

    7:12 - Vasquez gets the charge.  Mosley with the block, Milbourne gets it ahead to Vasquez.  Vasquez finds a streaking Williams whose dunk is altered, Milbourne with the layup.  6-0.  Canes give up a long two-pointer.  6-2.  Hayes hits a jumper right back to make it 8-2.  Hayes with a steal on the defensive side, up to Vasquez who misses the three.  Williams just grabbed the ball away from Collins.  Timeout 8-2 Terps with 14:43 to go.

    7:14 - Vasquez misses another 3.  Mosley looses the offensive board.  Gregory in for Williams.  Milbourne with the defensive rebound.  Vasquez races down court and makes his trademark layup, finally.  Vasquez with a steal off the in-bounds pass and dunks it home.  12-2 run to open the game.  Miami calls a timeout. 

    7:17 - Gregory with the foul, A. Thomas will head to the line for 2.  Makes the first, and the second. 

    7:17 - Milbourne gets the pass down low and fights his way for a layup, and good.  Thomas comes down and hits a 3 for the canes to make it 14-7.  Hayes responds with a three of his own 17-7.  3 shot foul on Milbourne in the corner right in front of the Maryland bench.  Needless to say, Gary = not happy.  Thomas makes the first, and the second, Tucker in for Mosley before the third shot, and Thomas makes the final free throw.

    7:20 - Hayes 3 rims out.  Scott clearly carries the ball, but no call.  Vasquez misses another 3 once Terps get on offense.  Official timeout: 11:07 to go Terps up 17-12.

    7:23 - Bowie in for Vasquez and Williams in for Milbourne.  Hayes hits another 3 off the restart.  Miami comes right down the court and Collins with a wide open dunk.  Gregory hits a short jumper in the paint to make it 22-14.  Bowie slow to rotate on defense, but Miami doesn't convert the three.  Tucker with a nice pass in the paint to Gregory who gets fouled.  He hits the first free throw.  Hayes gets an ovation as he comes off the court, Vasquez in for him.  Gregory's free throw rolls around on the rim and backboard, but goes in.  Vasquez slow to get back on D and Dews hits the three. 

    7:26 - Bowie drives inside and gets the layup.  Touch foul on Gregory.  Mosley in for Tucker.  Milbourne is being looked at by a team trainer. Dews pushes Mosley to the floor, offensive foul. 

    7:28  - Mosley makes the layup, and the free throw.  Mosley fights for a loose ball on the ground and we head to a timeout.  29-17 with 7:38 to go.

    7:32 - Padgett in for the Terps.  Williams makes the free throw.  Canes make both free throws.  Vasquez loses control of the ball on the baseline and is looking for a foul, none coming.  Miami travels right off the in bounds. 

    7:35 - Milbourne back in for Terps as Canes throw the ball away.  Mosley with a block/catch-in-air off a Miami 3, fouled and goes to the line for one-and-one.  Makes the first and misses the second.  Malcolm Grant just hit a 3 from a few steps inside the half court circle.  Hayes in for Bowie. Vasquez floater as the shot clock is running out is no good.  Vasquez draws the foul on the drive.  He'll head to the line.

    7:38 - Vasquez makes both free throws.  Williams in great position on defense and draws the foul.  Milbourne hits a three right at the top of the key. 38-22 Terps.  Dews breas the press and hits the three.  Vasquez hits a three right in front of the Miami bench, shimmied down the court and no one on the Miami bench even looks upset.  Air ball by G. Adams and we head to a timeout with 3:33 to go in the first half, Terps up 41-24.

    7:43 - Milbourne with a foul-line jumper and good.  Tucker with a dumb foul, but Collins misses both free throws.  Hayes finds Milbourne in the low post, Milbourne shakes left and turns and fades right and hits the jumper.  Another travel on Collins, making that 14 turnovers so far.  Gregory in for Williams.Vasquez gets cocky and takes the parking lot 3.  No good. 

    7:46 - Scott makes the first free throw, and misses the second but gets his own rebound.  Hayes with a loose ball foul.  Williams to the line.  Williams misses the first, but makes the second 46-27.  Dews with a long two, and Gary getting on Tucker for leaving him open. Milbourne works inside, shot is no blocked out of bounds.  Terps take a timeout.  46-29 with 36 seconds to go.

    7:50 - Vasquez gets McGowan in air, takes the shot which rims out, but he'll go to the line for two.  Vasquez makes the first, and the second.  23 seconds left.  Tucker with a cheap foul on Dews, and he'll head to the line.  Looked like he had lost possession.  Dews hits the first of a one-and-one.  Dews makes the second.  Terps get the ball with 9.8 seconds left.  Vasquez finds Bowie in the corner, he rushes the shot and misses.  Halftime- Terps up 48-31 over the Canes.

    8:21 - After some technical issues we're back, Terps up 63-39 with 12:52 remaining.  Collins just got his fourth foul and Terps are in cruise control. 

    8:23 - Gregory makes both free throws.  Padgett goes up for the dunk and is fouled by D. Jones, Padgett will head to the line. 

    8:25 - Tucker misses a three that would have sent most of the students home.  67-39 with 11:47 to go. 

    8:29 - Terps still up 67-39 with 10:06 to go.  Terps with the foul and McGowan to the line.  Foul on Padgett.  Mosley, Milbourne and Vasquez back in for Padgett, Bowie and Tucker.  Maybe it's just me, but the three stars should just rest for Clemson on Sunday.  Vasquez hits a runner in the lane.  Terps draw a charge and the fans could care less.  They are up 29.  Greagory with a great feed from Vasquez, turns and hits the layup.  Grant hits another deep 3.  Timeout with 9:13 left, 71-43. 

    8:35 - Terps hold the canes in check for most of the shot clock, Gregory with a foul as shot clock was winding down.  Collins misses the free throw, Mosley tracks down the long rebound and slows down the offense.  Terps just clicking on all cylinders, Vasquez finds Hayes underneath for an easy layup. 

    8:38 - Milbourne draws the foul and he'll head to the line after a timeout.  6:06 to go Terps up 76-48.

    8:41 - Milbourne steps to the line, hits the first, misses the second.  77-48.  Williams goes up for the shot, tied up for a jump ball.  Terps keep possession.  Vasquez takes the quick 3, and misses.  Milbourne with some tough D.  Bowie and Tucker in for Hayes and Mosley.

    8:44 - Vasquez with a great feed to the cutter Bowie, Bowie converts the layup.  Padgett with some good defense.  Dave Pearman looked ready to check in and Gary sits him down on the bench.

    8:48 - Pearman headed in for the Terps. Bowie drives and draws the foul.  Bowie misses the first free throw.  Pearman in for Vasquez.  Bowie misses the second.  Levent coming in.  Bowie then takes a long two, and gets nothing.  Levent in for Milbourne.  Foul on Pearman on the floor. 

    8:51 - Levent throws the ball away, but hustles back to alter the dunk attempt, Tucker tracks down the loose ball. Pearman gets a look and takes the jumper.  Tucker grabs the rebound and will head to the line.  Makes the first attempt, and the second. 81-55 Terps. 
    Posted on: January 7, 2010 6:43 pm
    Edited on: January 9, 2010 2:52 am
     

    How I am Going to Fix College Football

    Everyone has a bone to pick with College Football.  Anyone you talk to will find something wrong with the game.  Weather it's the lack of a playoff system or the emphasis on pre-season rankings.  Maybe you do not like the fact teams from non-bcs automatic qualifying conferences have played in a championship game.  Maybe you do not think they deserve too.  Now, you do not think so, but school president's think the schedule is too long as it is, but the championship game continuously gets pushed back ever year (odd, huh?).

    It's ok, because I've got the answers, or the solutions, whichever you prefer to call them.  Conference Realignment. Check. 24-team Playoff. Check.  Lose the bowl system, but still keep an emphasis on the regular season? Check.

    Let's get to this.  I'll start off with the conference realignment because I feel like once that is out of the way, everything will become simpler.  I based the conferences mostly off of a regional basis.  I tried my best to keep traditional rivalries intact.  Some did, and some did. not  However, with the way the schedule will be set up, the traditional rivalry games can still be played.  Drum Roll Please.....

    Appalachian Conference
    Ball State Cardinals (2-10)
    Bowling Green Falcons (7-6)
    Cincinnati Bearcats (12-1)
    Marshall Thundering Herd (7-6)
    Miami (Ohio) Red Hawks (1-11)
    Ohio Bobcats (9-5)
    Ohio State Buckeyes (11-2)
    Pittsburgh Panthers (10-3)
    Toledo Rockets (5-7)
    West Virginia Mountaineers (9-4)

    Thoughts: This is an improved MAC conference essentially.  It's very top-heavy, and likely the same four teams will be competing every year for the championship.  If a smaller team like a Bowling Green or Marshall returned to some of the better times they saw in the early-2000's this could be a good conference.  Cincy is becoming a power and will challenge OSU for all the top recruits in Ohio now.

    Chesapeake Conference
    Duke Blue Devils (5-7)
    East Carolina Pirates (9-5)
    Maryland Terrapins (2-10)
    Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (10-3)
    Navy Midshipmen (10-4)
    North Carolina Tar Heels (8-5)
    North Carolina State Wolfpack (5-7)
    Virginia Cavaliers (3-9)
    Virginia Tech Hokies (10-3)
    Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-7)

    Thoughts: This is the basketball portion of the ACC, mixed in with some strong "mid-majors".  I wanted to put Tennessee in over MTSU, but the strong ties to the SEC overcame the fact they were actually the closest team to Virginia Tech.  Marshall and West Virginia were considered, but they fit just fine in the Appalachian Conference.  The Mid-Atlantic is a talent rich area, so recruiting should not be too difficult for the top teams in the conference and adding MTSU could open roads to the south some teams do not have.

    Colonial Conference
    Akron Zips (3-9)
    Army Black Knights (5-7)
    Boston College Eagles (8-5)
    Buffalo Bulls (5-7)
    Kent State Golden Flashes (5-7)
    Penn State Nittany Lions (11-2)
    Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9-4)
    Syracuse Orange (4-8)
    Temple Owls (9-4)
    UConn Huskies (8-5)

    Thoughts: This is clearly Penn State's conference.  Rutgers and UConn are improving and Boston College has established itself as a good team year in and year out.  Penn State will still recruit nationally, but other teams will be stuck with their Northeastern limitations.

    Great Lakes Conference
    Central Michigan Chippewas (12-2)
    Eastern Michigan Eagles (0-12)
    Indiana Hoosiers (4-8)
    Michigan Wolverines (5-7)
    Michigan State Spartans (6-7)
    Northwestern Wildcats (8-5)
    Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-6)
    Purdue Boilermakers (5-7)
    Western Michigan Broncos (5-7)
    Wisconsin Badgers (10-3)

    Thoughts:   This is an intriguing conference.  It could be very strong (if Notre Dame rebounds and Northwestern continues to build) or it could be very weak (Central Michigan drop-off and Purdue and Michigan State spiral downward).  Michigan is the big wild card though.  If Rich Rodriguez can turn them around, this will be a good conference and you could imagine seeing a National Champion out of this conference, otherwise.... this could be the weakest hypothetical conference.

    Gulf Coast Conference
    Central Florida Golden Knights (8-5)
    Florida Gators (12-1)
    Florida Atlantic Owls (5-7)
    Florida International Panthers (3-9)
    Florida State Seminoles (7-6)
    Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (6-6)
    Louisiana State Tigers (9-4)
    Miami (Fl.) Hurricanes (9-4)
    South Florida Bulls (8-5)
    Tulane Green Wave (3-9)

    Thoughts:   Honestly, any one of these teams COULD be good.  I mean, they are in the south in talent-rich areas.  A realignment would challenge Florida and Miami for the state of Florida, both in the win-loss column and in recruiting.  To this point this has to be the most loaded conference.  I think South Florida would finally become a power in this conference.

    Lone Star Conference
    Baylor Bears (4-8)
    Houston Cougars (10-4)
    North Texas Mean Green (2-10)
    Rice Owls (2-10)
    SMU Mustangs (8-5)
    TCU Horned Frogs (12-1)
    Texas Longhorns (13-0*)
    Texas A&M Aggies (6-7)
    Texas Tech Red Raiders (9-4)
    UTEP Miners (4-8)

    Thoughts: "I wouldn't do it".   The traditional Big 12 powers are combined with smaller teams within the state.  Texas, TCU, Houston and Texas Tech make this a very strong conference.  It's similar to the Appalachian Conference where it needs a weaker team to stay competitive (preferably A&M and SMU).  Rice was recently strong, but has taken a nose dive and do not look ready to come out.

    Midwestern Conference
    Illinois Fighting Illini (3-9)
    Iowa Hawkeyes (11-2)
    Iowa State Cyclones (7-6)
    Minnesota Gophers (6-7)
    Missouri Tigers (8-5)
    Northern Illinois Huskies (7-6)
    Oklahoma Sooners (8-5)
    Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-4)
    Tulsa Golden Hurricane (5-7)
    Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (0-12)

    Thoughts:   This has the potential to be a very, very strong conference.  Oklahoma will reload.  So will Oklahoma State.  Iowa just doesn't lose more than four games.  Missouri has really started to improve the last five years.  Tulsa and Minnesota usually have good offenses.  Illinois is the wild card, if they can turn things around this could be a scary conference.


    Mississippi River Conference
    Alabama Crimson Tide (13-0*)
    Arkansas Razorbacks (8-5)
    Arkansas State Red Wolves (4-8)
    Auburn Tigers (8-5)
    Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (6-6)
    Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (4-8)
    Memphis Tigers (2-10)
    Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-7)
    Ole Miss Rebels (9-4)
    Southern Miss Golden Eagles (7-6)

    Thoughts:  Like most of the conferences there are 4-5 strong teams at the top, and a few teams that are considerably weaker.  Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Southern Miss should dominate this conference.  Miss. State could rebound.  The teams here should have no problem recruiting, as most don't bother recruiting out of state.

    Pacific Northwest Conference
    Boise State (14-0)
    California Bears (8-5)
    Idaho Vandals (8-5)
    Nevada Wolfpack (8-5)
    Oregon Ducks (10-3)
    Oregon State Beavers (8-5)
    San Jose State Spartans (2-10)
    Stanford Cardinal (8-5)
    Washington Huskies (5-7)
    Washington State Cougars (1-11)

    Thoughts: Boise State was the most winning-est program of the decade, they are a strong team.  They are 2-0 in BCS bowl games.  Oregon, Cal, Oregon State, Nevada and Stanford are all good teams in their own right.  Idaho is a team on the rise, while Washington and Washington State are mired in a stretch of mediocrity, or worse.

    Rocky Mountain Conference
    Air Force Falcons (8-5)
    BYU Cougars (11-2)
    Colorado Buffaloes (3-9)
    Colorado State Rams (3-9)
    Kansas Jayhawks (5-7)
    Kansas State Wildcats (6-6)
    Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-4)
    Utah Utes (10-3)
    Utah State Aggies (4-8)
    Wyoming Cowboys (7-6)

    Thoughts:   I should have just called this the "Versus Conference" since that is the only place you will ever see these games.  I am sure the other 11 conferences would find a way to bar Nebraska, Utah or BYU from the playoff.  This covers a big area geographically, and recruiting, while not great, is prosperous.  BYU and Utah will open recruiting areas to the mid-western states. 

    Southwestern Conference
    Arizona Wildcats (8-5)
    Arizona State Sun Devils (4-8)
    Fresno State Bulldogs (8-5)
    Hawaii Warriors (6-7)
    New Mexico Lobos (1-11)
    New Mexico State Aggies (3-10)
    San Diego State Aztecs (4-8)
    UCLA Bruins (7-6)
    UNLV Rebels (5-7)
    USC Trojans (9-4)

    Thoughts:   USC should control this conference, but presuming some of these teams can rebound from a few down years it could be a good conference.  This is not a far stretch from what the Pac-10 is now.  USC and everybody else.  San Diego State should be good, how hard is it to show a recruit a photo of Marshall Faulk and tell them its sunny year round... who would not want to go there?

    Southeastern Conference
    Clemson Tigers (9-5)
    Georgia Bulldogs (8-5)
    Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11-3)
    Kentucky Wildcats (7-6)
    Louisville Cardinals (4-8)
    South Carolina Gamecocks (7-6)
    Tennessee Volunteers (7-6)
    Troy Trojans (9-4)
    Vanderbilt Commodores (2-10)
    UAB Blazers (5-7)

    Thoughts: I am not sure if this is an incredibly strong conference, or an overrated conference.  If Lane Kiffin can stop acting like a spoiled 7-year old and gets his program under control this could be a good conference.  Same for the Ol' Ball Coach at South Carolina.  Louisville is a mess right now.  Troy is an unheralded program, but could really gain national exposure in this league.

    Now that we have the conferences taken care of, the next step is the regular season.  With ten teams in each conference, there is no need for a conference championship.  Now, people will argue that this will cost the teams and conferences money.  However, with a 24-team playoff, you can subtract the conference championships while simultaneously solving the bowl issue, since you will have 23 playoff games, and then have "bowl" games for 20 more teams.  Teams will play nine conference games and then have two out-of-conference games.  This will allow teams to play traditional rivalry games if they are in different conferences.  I am really imagining Ohio State-Michigan, Tennessee-Florida and the Commander-In-Chief games.

    The Playoffs are the next issue, 24 teams is not something other divisions have.  Division three has 32 teams, Division two and FCS have 16.  So the way the playoff will work is the ten conference winners will all get seeded and have an automatic bids into the playoffs, and the top eight of the ten conference winners will get byes in the first round.  Then, the next 14 teams will seeded and the opening round matchups will be determined.  #24 will travel to #9, #23 will travel to #10 and so on to #17 traveling to #16.  These first games will be played at the higher-seeded teams home stadium.  Then for the next round the eight teams with the byes would host the eight winners from the previous round, but the highest seed will face the lowest seed.  So in a normal playoff bracket, the 1 seed would play the winner of #16 vs. #17, however, to keep the best matchups we can, if say #21 is the lowest seed remaining, rather than #21 play #5, they would play #1 and so on down the line.  Now these games are home games for the higher ranked teams, but we can assign a "Bowl" to them.  So the sponsors still get in, but teams can be rewarded with a home game and all the revenue from the game.

    There are six Bowls with too much history to take away and just call them the bowl, but not play them at the actual stadium.  These Bowls are the four BCS Bowls (Rose, Sugar, Fiesta and Orange) and the Cotton and Gator Bowls.  It was a tough decision among the Gator, Capital One (Citrus) and Chick-Fil-A (Peach) Bowls, but ultimately, I decided on the Gator.  The Championship will rotate among the six games every year.  So the round of eight will be held at four of the stadiums, and then the round of four will be held at the other 2, with the championship held at one of the final two stadiums.  The stadiums will rotate the championship every year.

    Teams who make it to the championship game could play as many as 15 or 16 games, depending on their seed.  This is in line with every other division where the champions will play at least 15 games.  So this system is no different from the other divisions, leaving the President's no "out" for saying they think the Student-Athletes are playing too many games. Most of the country wants a playoff anyway, I am here to help the country.

    Then there is the issue of dropping 11 bowls.  I think the easiest way to solve the issue is to just have Bowls for teams that do not make the playoffs.  It's somewhat like a one-off NIT.  Obviously teams are going to have arguments as to who should be the final teams into the tournament, and at least they will not feel like they are empty handed here.   The extra bowls will also help some of these cities out which rely on this tourism revenue.  I would say you pick some of the smaller bowls, like the GMAC Bowl, Music City Bowl, Humanitarian Bowl and Sun Bowl.

    This sums it up pretty well, feel free to leave comments if you agree or disagree.




    Posted on: December 26, 2009 1:46 am
     

    Day After Christmas Bowls

    2-4.  Wow.  I'm disappointing myself.  Seriously.  Although, no one saw that Nevada beatdown coming.  I mean, they were 13 point favorites and got blown out.  That will be the most shocking result of the bowls, unless somehow Cincy can beat down Florida that way. 

    LITTLE CAESAR'S BOWL
    Marshall (6-6) vs. Ohio (9-4) -3
    Sat. Dec 26 at 1 PM on ESPN

    Why to Watch:  Nothing like mediocre football to wake up too while the girls are out for the "After Christmas Sale's". 

    Who to Watch:  Marshall: RB Darius Marshall - Ran for 1054 yards despite missing 3 games.  Easily the Thundering Herds best playmaker on offense.
    Ohio: LB Noah Keller - Finished 5th in the nation in total tackles.  Not really a pass rusher, mostly stays in coverage. 

    What to Watch:  Watch to see if Marshall comes out with any passion.  Former Coach Mark Snyder resigned just days after the Herd finished their season.  They went and poached Doc Holliday from in-state rival WVU to be their next coach.  If Holliday can get the Herd in any sort of mood to play football this game could be competitive.  Ohio's offense will rely on QB Theo Scott and the Pistol offense.  Scott has had some great games this season, but when he was "on" in the ground game, Ohio looked like one of the better MAC teams. 

    Prediction: Bobcats 27, Thundering Herd 17

    MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL
    Pittsburgh (9-3) -3 vs. North Carolina (8-4)
    Sat. Dec 26 at 430 PM on ESPN

    Why to Watch: Strength vs. Strength.  UNC has the #6 defense in the country and Pitt has the top Freshman RB in the country in Dion Lewis.

    Who to Watch: Pitt: WR John Baldwin - He had 54 catches for 1080 Yards and 8 TD's, and him having a good day would force UNC to not leave 8 men in the box all day.
    UNC: LB's Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter - The nation's premier LB duo and the reason why UNC had the #6 defense in the country.  Both will be playing on Sundays, and both will need big games to shut down Dion Lewis.

    What to Watch: While the matchup between the UNC defense vs. Pitt offense will be intriguing, the UNC offense in a word is 'Terrible'.  QB TJ Yates isn't bad he just had a sub-par offensive line and no running game to support him.  WR/RB Greg Little is UNC's answer to Percy Harvin.  Little was mostly used as a RB up until this year, but moved back out to receiver, but he needs to get the ball more.  Pitt finished #1 in sacks in the country, so with the subpar line I'd expect DE Greg Romeus to have a big day and limit Yates' ability to go deep. 

    Prediction: Panthers 27, Tar Heels 13

    EMERALD BOWL
    Boston College (8-4) vs. USC (8-4) -7
    Dec. 26 at 8 PM on ESPN

    Why to Watch: See if USC can rebound from a disappointing season as they go to a non-BCS game for the first time since 2001. 

    Who to Watch: BC: LB Luke Kuechly - The Freshman won ACC Rookie of the Year honors and First Team All-ACC, and he and the other talented LB's on the team will need to have a big day to slow down the potent, but inconsistent USC offense.
    USC: FB Stanley Havili - The Best in the business in college, is a threat on the ground or in the air.  Not used nearly enough by the coaching staff, but without TE Anthony McCoy and RB Joe McKnight, he'll have to step up all over the field.

    What to Watch:  I'm pretty sure USC is going to come out flat, and uninspired in this game.  That said, there talent is unmatched.  QB Matt Barkley needs time to develop, and would have benefitted if Sophomore Aaron Corp or Senior Mitch Mustain had stepped up.  No McKnight or McCoy will hurt the USC offense, but they still have Damien Williams and Ronald Johnson on the outside, and Allen Bradford had the best season of his career at USC.  BC suffered a huge loss before the season when they lost LB Mark Herzlich.  Obviously, Kuechly stepped up, but Herzlich was the emotional leader of this team.  While the defense wasn't bad by any stretch, the offense was terribly inconsitent, but after the offseason turmoil that saw their starting QB transfer and a 25-year old newcomer enter the picture, it's no surprise. 

    Prediction: Trojans 27, Eagles 20
    Posted on: December 22, 2009 2:51 am
    Edited on: December 22, 2009 7:50 pm
     

    Pre-Christmas Bowls

    Well, the first weekend I went 1-2.  I plan to improve upon that.  But really... who saw Wyoming putting together that performance.  No one, that's who.

     MAACO LAS VEGAS BOWL
    Oregon State (8-4) -2.5 vs. BYU (10-2)
    Tues. Dec 22 8PM on ESPN
    Why to Watch: It's one of the few matchups between Top 25 teams.  The Las Vegas Bowl is usually an offensive shoot-out and this year will be no exception.  Both teams have high-powered offenses.  This game was made for January 1st, but you get it a week early, Merry Christmas from the Bowl committee. 

    Who to Watch: OSU: The Brothers Rodgers - WR James had 2213 total yards and 10 TD's. RB Jacquizz had 1900 total yards and 21 total TD's. BYU: WR McKay Jacobson - He's 6th on the team with receptions (21), but second on the team with 529 yards.  He averages 25.2 yards per catch, he's the definition of a big-play receiver. 

    What to Watch:  This is going to be the most entertaining December game, by far.  Both teams offenses are big play, high-powered offenses.  This is the perfect early bowl matchup.  No MTSU's. No Wyoming's.  Two ranked teams, and two entertaining teams.  QB Sean Canfield has improved throughout the season and has steadied this offense for Oregon State.  QB Max Hall has had a rough senior season.  After defeating Oklahoma to start the season there was talk BYU could go undefeated, but that dream fell short.  He had some good games, but he did throw 14 picks this year.  Overall, I think Hall will have to spread the ball around to Jacobson, TE Dennis Pitta and WR O'Neill Chambers to have a chance. 

    Prediction: Beavers 45, Cougars 41

    SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL
    Utah (9-3) vs. Cal (8-4) -3
    Wed. Dec 23 8PM on ESPN

    Why to Watch: The biggest reason was RB Jahvid Best for Cal, but unfortunately he's doubtful for the game.  It'll still be a good game, but Best was the highlight of this matchup. 

    Who to Watch: Utah: QB Jordan Wynn - Wynn is a true Freshman and will lead this team against Cal, he's had accuracy issues, but his mobility could be his biggest asset.Cal: RB Shane Vereen - In the 5 games he subbed for best he averaged 133 Yards per game on the ground.  He had 12 TD's on the year.

    What to Watch: The Utah Defense is going to do all it can to shut down Vereen and force Cal QB Kevin Riley to beat them.  Riley is not a big game QB and will never be confused for one.  This is a pretty big game, so I wouldn't expect a lot out of Riley.  Utah has won 8 straight bowl games, and i am expecting them to make it 9 straight.

    Prediction: Utes 24, Golden Bears 21

    SHERATON HAWAII BOWL
    Nevada (8-4) -12.5 vs. SMU (7-5)
    Thu. Dec 24 on ESPN

    Why to Watch: Nevada's Three-Headed Monster in the backfield.  Also, SMU's June Jones makes his return to paradise for the first time since leaving Hawaii two years ago.  

    Who to Watch: Nevada: QB Colin Kaepernick - He threw for 1875 yards and ran for 1160 and had 35 total TD's. SMU: WR Emmanuel Sanders - Leads the team with 91 receptions, 1215 yards and 6 TD's.

    What to Watch: Watch to see RB's Vai Taua (1345 Yards, 10 TD's) and Luke Lippincott (1034 yards and 9 TD's) alongside Kaepernick in the nation's most potent rush offense.  As a team, Nevada averaged 7.6 yards per rush.  That's video game type numbers.  SMU ranked 88th in rush defense, so there is a huge statistical advantage here for Nevada.  SMU has a great RB in ShawnBrey McNeal, but he and Sanders alone won't be able to keep pace with the Nevada offense.

    Prediction: Wolfpack 42, Mustangs 17
    Posted on: December 19, 2009 12:58 pm
     

    Bowl Previews and Picks (The First Weekend)

    There are 3 bowls this weekend, two on Saturday and one on Sunday, with five of the six teams being non-bcs teams.  That doesn't mean they can't be entertaining.  So, without further ado, I give you What, Who and Why to watch and my prediction.

    NEW MEXICO BOWL
    Fresno State (8-4) -10.5 vs. Wyoming (6-6)
    Sat. Dec 19 at 430 PM on ESPN

    Why to Watch:  You are snowed in and Saints-Cowboys doesn't start until later. 

    Who to Watch: Fresno: RB Ryan Matthews - He's the nation's second leading rusher with 1664 yards and 17 TD's.  He also added 146 yards and 2 TD's through the air.
    Wyoming: WR David Leonard - He was the teams leading receiver with 70 receptions and 645 yards, but only had one touchdown.

    What to Watch:  Matthews and the potent Fresno State offense should be able to control the clock and the game.  I believe this may be one of the more lopsided bowl games.  Fresno played a tough schedule and played Boise State close.  This WAC-MWC matchup won't be nearly as important as the Fiesta Bowl, but Matthews is definitely a reason to check this game out. 
    Prediction: Bulldogs 42, Cowboys 16

    ST. PETERSBURG BOWL
    Central Florida (8-4) vs. Rutgers (8-4) -2.5
    Sat. Dec 19 at 8 PM on ESPN

    Why to Watch: You will be even more snowed in, and you need something to do during commercials of the Saints-Cowboys game.

    Who to Watch:  UCF: RB Brynn Harvey - Leads the team in rushing with 1077 yards and 14 TD's on the ground. 
    Rutgers: QB Tom Savage - With his top wide receiver unlikely to play, the freshman is going to need to find a way to win.  In games he played well they won.  He threw for 1917 yards and 12 TD's but took 34 sacks on the year.

    What to Watch: Savage needs to get the ball in the hands of WR Mohamed Sanu and the other receivers to open lanes for RB Joe Martinek.  With talks of the Big Ten possibly purging someone from the Big East, UCF will be looking to impress the Big East personnel at the game to show they could join and compete in the conference. 

    Prediction: Scarlet Knights 23, (Golden) Knights 20

    NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    Southern Miss (7-5) -3.5 vs. Middle Tennessee State (9-3)
    Sun. Dec 20 at 830 PM on ESPN

    Why to Watch: You most likely took Wednesday off, so watch some entertaining offenses while you warm up from all the snow.

    Who to Watch:  USM: RB's Damion Fletcher and Tory Harrison - The two combined for 297 carries for 1563 yards and 17 TD's.  They have combined to average nearly 5 yards a carry and will control the clock for USM. 
    MTSU: QB Dwight Dasher - I watched this guy play and he is fun to watch.  He single handedly beat Maryland.  He lead the team in passing and rushing.  Combined he had 3580 yards of offense, good for ninth-best in the FBS.  He had 32 total TD's.

    What to Watch:  Both teams have high powered offenses and (30th and 31st respectively in total offense) and strong defenses.  It will be a close game, but it should be entertaining.  I think USM has better talent, but Dasher is the great equalizer. 

    Prediction: Golden Eagles 30, Blue Raiders 28
     
     
     
     
    The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com