Is Notre Dame A National Championship Contender?

October 30, 2012

- See all 177 of my articles

1 Comment

My My….crow is tasty and best served when cold….

In lasts week’s article I went on the record about Notre Dame with the following statement:

I am going on record that Boomer Sooner will roll one up on this over-rated team. Of course I could be completely wrong as frankly Oklahoma can be pretty average as well (see loss to Kansas State). Coach Stoops has a way of losing the big one, but I predict this will look more like the game against Texas than the turnover plagued loss to the Wildcats.

I even went as far to proclaim in the office that you can’t spell “BLOWOUT” without “OU”

After a Sunday to prepare for the onslaught of grief in the office on Monday, I supplied some cookies from a local establishment – Eileen’s.  While I am not a paid endorser, I am giving Eileen’s some free publicity today as their cookies are the GREATS!. Of course everyone in the office already likes them and how can you not like chocolate cookies with green mint frosting to celebrate a Fighting Irish victory over Oklahoma.

Of course my cookie offerings could not stop the onslaught of emails of Manti Te’o’ and various signs popping up on my cubicle throughout the day when I would be away at lunch or at the printer.

Gotta love those Irish fans.

The Big 10?

BLOOMINGTON, IN - SEPTEMBER 15: Nate Sudfeld #...

Could Nate Sudfeld lead the Hoosiers to the Big 10 title game?

Another crazy week in the conference. Denard Robinson gets injured and Nebraska wins rather easily against Michigan. Neither team looked very good on the field, matter of fact you could argue the play of both offenses rivaled the condition on Sunday morning of most of the people that were at our football tailgate party all day on Saturday at Memorial Stadium…..sluggish….

The Huskers have the lead in their division but head into what is sure to be a dog-fight this weekend in East Lansing. This side of the equation for the Conference Title game in Indianapolis is still wide open in what has been a very average year in comparison to the national stage.

On the other side of the league, Wisconsin loses to Michigan State last week at home (the first home loss in 21 games for Bielema’s boys was the 2nd longest streak in the nation) but since both Penn State and Ohio State are ineligible for the Title game, they are still clearly in command to make that game. Unfortunately they have lost their starting QB Joel Stave to a broken collarbone so they will have to go to the back-up plan and basically just hold off pesky Indiana to play for (gulp) the automatic BCS berth. But as Kosmo alluded to in his article yesterday, the Big 10 is still full of scenarios that could have them sending no one to BCS Bowl this year.

The many possibilities as they say are very …well….possible. I am guessing conference athletic directors might be secretly rooting for Nebraska to run the table just so everyone can get a slice of the BCS payday pie.

Optimus Klein

Collin Klein has pretty much distanced himself from the rest of the pack and barring a major crash and burn by his team or injury he looks to be the guy to hoist the trophy at the Downtown Athletic Club. On the year he has 1630 passing yards 634 yards rushing and a combined 28 Td’s. The Mildcats have Oklahoma State, TCU, Baylor and Texas on the schedule…What that spells to me is more huge stats by the lead Cat.

Fighting Frankies!

Once a Husker always a Husker, and I was disappointed to see that former Husker Coach Frank Solich and the Ohio Bobcats lost their first game of the year this past week to Miami of Ohio. The MAC is tough and this drops them from the rankings and even outside mention at a possible BCS bid if they ran the table, to now being in third place in their own conference.

Know a Good Real Estate Agent?

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Head coach Gene Ch...

Really? This was 2011? Seems a lot longer.

I have a hard time believing that Auburn will keep Gene Chizik after the abysmal year of the Tigers. They got wood-shedded again this past week losing by 42 points. The good news for Auburn is they have New Mexico State this week and still have to play powerhouse Alabama A&M in another examples of two cases of an SEC school playing weird home games late in the year against poor opponents or downright patsies.

The bad news is that they also have to face Georgia (who I still think really isn’t that good) and Alabama (which I think IS really that good)

I am sure for War Eagle fans it seems so very long ago that they had paid Cam Newton and won their BCS Title. Wonder where Gene will end up?

Until next time, stay classy Tarpon Springs, Florida

Enhanced by Zemanta

Is Cam Newton For Real?

September 19, 2011

- See all 763 of my articles

No Comments

It has been a quick rise to the top for Cam Newton.  He hit rock bottom in November 2008 when he was arrested for theft of a laptop (charges were dropped after Newton completed a diversion program).  This dark day resulted in Newton transferring to Blinn College, whom he lead to the JUCO national championship.  He then transferred to Auburn, leading them to the NCAA national championship and snagging a Heisman Trophy along the way.

The critics weren’t sure that Newton’s game would transfer to the NFL.  Would he become a super star, or go the route of JaMarcus Russell and set his NFL franchise back a few years?

Two games into his NFL career, Newton seems to have answered his critics.  With 422 yards in his first game and 432 in his second game, he broke Kurt Warner’s record for most passing yards in the first two games of the season (which had been 827).  Tom Brady smashed the mark later in the day when he reached 940 yards for the season, but that certain didn’t diminish Newton’s accomplishment.

However, before we build a statue for Newton, it’s time to take a step back.  First of all, other than Newton’s time at Florida (before Blinn) where he backed up Tim Tebow, he really has just one season of major college football under his belt.  This also means that there’s not as much film on Newton as there are on other rookies.  Newton is also on pace for 664 attempts.  Only twice in the history of the NFL has anyone thrown more than that many times – so it’s likely that his pass attempts will trend downward a bit.  Let’s also not overlook the 4 interceptions.  I’m not saying that Newton won’t be a great NFL quarterback – but let’s not start the work on his Canton bust quite yet.  Two games does not an NFL career make.

Around the NFL

The city of Philadelphia watched in horror as Michael Vick suffered a concussion and was replaced at quarterback by Franz Kafka.  Sorry, MIKE Kafka. Philly’s normal backup, Vince Young, was dinged up an inactive for this game.  That means that over the long term, the Eagles will be a bit stronger at QB than they were for this game (no disrespect to you, Mike – you certainly made the best of your opportunity).  A big factor in whether or not Michael Vick is worth $100 million is his health, especially has he ages.

Rumors are starting to swirl that the Colts might pursue Brett Favre in an attempt to save their season.  Really?  You want that soap opera on your team?  I’d take a pass and work out someone like Duante Culpepper.

Teams that have started the season 2-0: Patriots, Bills, Jets, Texas, Redskins, Packers, and Lions.  Teams that have started 0-2 are the Dolphins, Colts, Seahawks, Vikings, and Cam Newton’s Panthers.  The AFC North has a four way tie for first place, with the Ravens, Bengals, Brows, and Steelers are starting the season 1-1.

Cyclones Rally Behind Man of Steele

Iowa State QB Steele Jantz engineered a 4th quarter comeback for the third straight game, pushing the Cyclones to a 3-0 record with a win against Connecticut.  The state’s “other” 1-A team, the Iowa Hawkeyes, rallied from a 21 point second half deficit to knock off the Pitt Panthers.

Sadly, Notre Dame notched their first win of the year.

In realignment news, Syracuse and Pitt are the newest members of the Big East.  Iowa State and Baylor have initiated discussions with the Big East regarding joining the conference if the Big XII implodes (which seems to be a near certainty at the moment.  I think I’d prefer to simply become a 1-A independent, but the money is probably better as a conference member.

Around the diamond

Detroit’s Justin Verlander picked up his 24th win of the year with a complete game 3 hitter on Sunday.  Nobody has reached 25 wins since Bob Welch went 27-6 in 1990.  In the era of the five man rotation and extensive use of the bullpen in late innings, this is an almost impossible achievement, even if you’re on your “A” game all year.  I’m in the camp that says a starting pitcher can be an MVP candidate.  While it’s true that they don’t play every day, they have a massive amount of influence on the outcome of every game they player.  Even Albert Pujols has a lot of games where he’s a small factor in the outcome – position players simple have fewer opportunities to affect the outcome.

The Red Sox are finishing the season the way they started it (remember that awful April), losing 11 of their last 14 games.  After being arguably the best team in baseball for the majority of the season, the Sox are only two games up in the wild card race as we head into the final two weeks of the season.

In the National League, the Cardinals have tightened up a wild card race that was a runaway a few weeks ago.  They stand 3 1/2 games back as we head down the stretch.  The streaking Giants (8 straight wins) are just four back of the Braves in the wild card and five back in the division.

My favorite Brad Pitt movie ever?

Brad Pitt takes to the silver screen this weekend in the movie adaptation of the Michael Lewis book Moneyball.  I’m a big fan of the book, but am worried that the movie will distort or over-simplify the Bean approach.  Contrary to what many people think, it’s not just about walks (although a number of teams still don’t realize the importance of a free base on balls).

Eleven For Eleven

January 4, 2011

- See all 177 of my articles


Here are Johnny Goodman’s Top Eleven Sports items to keep an eye out for in 2011.

11. – Cam Newton – What will be the eventual fallout of all of the alleged financial improprieties? Will this be another case of Reggie Bush – meaning the real facts will come out years after the allegations? Will the penalties be as severe, or is everything clean as a whistle? One thing is for sure. Cam Newton proves that just like Vince Young at Texas, you can’t mess up good players even with sub par coaching

10. – Tattogate at O State. Why the heck did the NCAA not ban these players from the Bowl Game? Just shows the favoritism that the NCAA gives certain schools (thuh ohio state) while other schools (Georgia) get thrown under the bus with similar acts of conduct of players selling school issued item for money (immediate 6 game suspension for future Star NFL Prospect Green)

9. – Will Tiger Woods return to being a force on the PGA tour, now that he has apparently put all of his troubles of 2009-10 behind him? I am saying yes to this one. Woods appeared to play pretty darn well later in the year and in the Ryder Cup. I fresh start in 2011. I will lay early odds that he will be the favorite when we tee it up at Augusta this Spring.

8. – Will the Miami Heat win it all? They started the year slow, and now they are on…well….a heater. They have all the talent, all the hype and all the expectations. This will be fun to watch come August, or whenever the heck the NBA playoffs actually get over with.

7. – Can ESPN land any more deals to cover any more football games? We had to put up with the crazy schedule that had some games starting at 10 pm on the East Coast, all to fit the programming of the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. However, I sure don’t miss the constant Fox Sports showing 38 shots of the band in the stands every game.

6. – Will the big name acquisitions of the Boston Red Sox lead them to another World Series Title? They have ponied up big bucks this offseason to bring in some talent, namely Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzales. Should be another fun year in Beantown.

5. – Will The Huskies repeat again and women’s NCAA Champs? Now that the “streak” is over and we no longer have to listen to the ever spewing of Geno the hut, I am curious to see if Stanford or Baylor led by Brittany Griner can knock off the Huskies this year come tourney time.

4. – As more and more players from the “steroid era” in baseball are coming up for consideration for the Hall of Fame, will they continue to be turned away by the BBWAA?

3. – Will Hoodie and Tom Brady come away with another Superbowl Title early this year? Does it really seem like they went 14-2?

2. – Will the Nittany Lions Volleyball team win an unprecendented 5th straight title?

1. – What will happen with the new collective bargaining agreement for the NFL? Rookie contracts need to be restructured as it is ludicrous that rookies who have never played can make more than a guy like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. Will there be a lock out? Will the league move to an 18 game schedule? All key questions for the most popular of American sports.

Dan Hawkins Fired, Cam Newton Ineligible?

November 10, 2010

- See all 177 of my articles


No picks this week as I want to go around the world of college football.

Coaching changes – Adios Dan Hawkins in Colorado. I guess we all figured out now who the real brains behind the Boise State empire was when you were still coaching there.  Too bad the Buffs athletic department did not figure that out sooner.  The last straw was the 35 point meltdown to the Kansas Jayhawks who rallied from that huge deficit for the 2nd largest comeback win in NCAA history.

Cam Newton – This gets better every day.  First the $200,000 allegation.  Then the cheating allegation.  Now this morning the money allegation again.  Why does this type of thing always seem to pop up in the SEC?  Are their fans just so rabid that they have spies everywhere on everyone else’s campuses to get an edge when their team is down and some other team is up?  I call it the SEConspiracy theory.  What I still don’t get is how he goes from Florida to a Juco, before coming back.  I mean would sitting out a year somewhere have really been any worse … or … did he really need some academic help meaning the allegations of cheating at Florida could be true? Hmmmmmmmm.  Can’t wait to see what unfolds as this week progresses as news seems to come out daily on the current Heisman Trophy Front Runner.

Heisman – First it was all Denard Robinson’s to lose.  Now it might be Cam Newton beating various raps to keep the hardware.  Of course an Iron Bowl spoiler courtesy of the Tide could change a lot of voters minds in November.  Kind of reminds me of the year Deshaun Foster was running away with it and then got in trouble and suspended … along with his Heisman hopes.  This could be the year of the last man standing wins.

Big XII – The might South Division is struggling.  Bad losses last week by Oklahoma and Texas, well, I have thrown them under the bus for weeks now, more on that later.  Oklahoma State looks to be in control in the South, who the heck would have predicted that to start the year.  Also thanks to the Missouri Tigers who once again show they have no coaching, abandon the running game and get throttled in the last three quarters for a horrible loss at Texas Tech. Merry Christmas Nebraska, you just won the North.

Texas – I have been piling on for weeks, it will get worse.  Does anyone think they are going to stop Oklahoma State this week?  Texas is in SERIOUS jeopardy of not being bowl eligible.  From BCS title game to not even making the Motor City Bowl.  Wow it must really be bad to be a Longhorn fan this year.

Oregon – These guys are Playstation 3 football.  Can anyone hold them under 50 points?  Does anyone want to play them at all?  The weird thing is when you watch them play they really don’t look that good, they just score fast, play fast and wear other teams out.  Wonder when someone figures out how to stop that from happening.

TCU to the Big East – Horned Frog Officials are indicating they want the all or nothing package.  They are not just going to jump ship for football, where they would roll, but they want the mighty basketball program to travel thousands of miles each week to get their butts kicked in the biggest thug ball conference in America.  Good for you for standing up to your beliefs.

This is one of the worst weekends for college football this year.  Due to many traditionally good teams struggling there are not a lot of meaningful games this week.  I will be back next week with picks, but if you want a short list…..Take Oregon, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and until next week, good luck!