By Paul Myerberg // Sep 18, 2012
With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, particularly with only two weeks in the books, so you may see one team ranked below a team it just beat — see Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech, for example. Don’t be alarmed. Everything will become clearer by the end of the month.
Tags: Alabama, Arizona, B.Y.U., Florida, Florida State, Fresno State, Georgia, L.S.U., Louisville, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
By Paul Myerberg // Sep 16, 2012
Earlier this summer, I wrote of Notre Dame’s ability to “push back” against more physical opponents – in the widescreen view, I wrote of Notre Dame’s quest for a tougher mentality, a sort of rediscovery of the bullying, confident mindset that propelled the program for generations. I thought that the Irish were close; I thought that under the surface, behind the negativity, the program had made clear and steady progress in nearly every facet of the game. No one game can possibly encapsulate this idea more so than Notre Dame’s dominating victory over Michigan State.
Tags: Andrew Maxwell, Brian Kelly, Cierre Wood, Everett Golson, John Goodman, Le'Veon Bell, Manti Te'o, Mark Dantonio, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Pat Narduzzi, Robby Toma, T.J. Jones
By Paul Myerberg // Sep 15, 2012
Do you remember the last time Notre Dame took a trip to East Lansing? You might not remember the game’s first 60 minutes and change, but that’s fine: things didn’t get wild until overtime, when Michigan State answered a Notre Dame field goal with the most audacious coaching decision of the 2010 season. Now you remember, right? Dan Conroy is lined up for the potentially game-tying 46-yard field goal; Aaron Bates, the punter and team captain, was the holder; tight end Charlie Gantt was lined up one spot inside from the edge to Conroy’s right. The call: “Little Giants.” The snap went to Bates, as expected – and then came the unexpected. You’ll see the rest of the play later tonight, when the Irish and Spartans meet in one of the day’s marquee games. Let’s run down the entire weekend’s action.
Tags: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, B.Y.U., Big Ten, Bill O'Brien, Bo Pelini, Bo Wallace, Bobby Petrino, Boise State, Boston College, Brady Hoke, Braxton Miller, Bret Bielema, Brian Johnson, California, Clancy Pendergast, Cody Fajardo, Connecticut, Danny O'Brien, Eastern Michigan, Everett Golson, Florida, Florida State, Gene Chizik, Georgia Tech, Hugh Freeze, Illinois, Jimbo Fisher, Jon Hays, Kevin Parks, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Mark Hudspeth, Maryland, Massachusetts, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan State, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi, Montee Ball, Navy, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Paul Chryst, Penn State, Perry Jones, Pittsburgh, Randy Edsall, Ron English, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Travis Wilson, Tyler Bray, Tyler Wilson, U.S.C., Urban Meyer, Utah, Utah State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Will Muschamp, Wisconsin
By Paul Myerberg // Sep 14, 2012
Earlier this week, U.S.C. announced that Scott Wolf, who covers Trojans’ athletics for the L.A. Daily News, was barred from attending two weeks of practice and would not be credentialed for U.S.C.’s home game against California on Sept. 22. Why? Because Wolf, doing his job, reported on an injury: Andre Hedari, per Wolf, will miss about three weeks to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. U.S.C. didn’t like that; U.S.C., like many others, has a policy that forbids media members from reporting “on strategy or injuries that are observed during the course of watching that practice or result from that practice.”
Tags: Arkansas, John L. Smith, Lane Kiffin, N.C.A.A., Pat Haden, Scott Wolf, Tyler Wilson, U.S.C., Western Kentucky
By Paul Myerberg // Sep 14, 2012
Watch the above video. UTEP is in white, Mississippi in red. The Miners’ quarterback, Nick Lamaison, throws a deep post to Jordan Leslie, the team’s second-leading receiver. The throw is high and outside – a receiver’s worst nightmare. Based on the video, Leslie knows the hit is coming: he tenses, pulling his arms back into his body, growing smaller as he peeks up towards Mississippi’s Trae Elston, covering the deep middle of the field. While the hit did not draw a flag, it did draw a response from the SEC: Elston has been suspended for the Rebels’ game against Texas on Saturday.
Tags: Jordan Leslie, Mississippi, Nick Lamaison, SEC, Trae Elston, UTEP
By Paul Myerberg // Sep 14, 2012
Blind squirrels are known to stumble upon a nut every now and again, especially if that nut is, say, Maine’s football team. Or if the blind squirrel is Middle Tennessee State and the nut is Florida Atlantic, which houses the only Sun Belt team more impotent than Rick Stockstill’s Blue Raiders. So what to make of these wins? At face value, dates with Maine and the Owls pushed Boston College and Middle Tennessee State into the win column – that’s the biggest takeaway for both the Eagles and Blue Raiders. But beyond that point, what did these wins prove? That B.C. is not good enough to run with Miami (Fla.) but good enough to beat an F.C.S. opponent? That Stockstill’s gang can beat F.A.U. but not McNeese State? The wins prove nothing, in short, because for teams of this quality – or lack thereof – true colors won’t shine until the calendar turns to conference play, and for both B.C. and M.T.S.U., the season looks bleak indeed despite a bump up to .500. The coaching quote of the week come from U.N.L.V.’s Bobby Hauck:
Tags: Bobby Hauck, Dan Enos, Derek Dooley, Frank Spaziani, Jeff Tedford, Joker Phillips, Jon Embree, Mike Price, Randy Edsall, Rick Stockstill, Robb Akey, The Locksley, Tommy Tuberville
By Paul Myerberg // Sep 13, 2012
Rewind eight months. Houston capped one of the finest seasons in program history by decimating Penn State, 30-14, during bowl play. Southern Mississippi won its program-record 12th game against Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl – and in their last time out, the Golden Eagles had harassed Case Keenum and the Cougars out of the B.C.S. conversation. Tulsa, S.M.U. and Marshall acquitted themselves well in the postseason, with the Mustangs beating Pittsburgh, Marshall beating Florida International and the Golden Hurricane leading B.Y.U. for 59 minutes before a late collapse. Was last season the finest in the history of Conference USA? It’s not hard to make that case.
Tags: Conference USA, Curtis Johnson, Dana Holgorsen, David Bailiff, Devon Walker, Ellis Johnson, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Memphis, Mike Nesbitt, Rice, S.M.U., Sonny Dykes, Southern Mississippi, Texas State, Tony Levine, Travis Bush, Tulane, Tulsa, U.A.B., UTEP
By Paul Myerberg // Sep 12, 2012
Notre Dame will join the A.C.C. in all sports with the exception of football and hockey, the conference announced Wednesday. As first reported by Brett McMurphy of ESPN, the university’s arrangement with the A.C.C. differs from its previous affiliation with the Big East in one significant fashion: Notre Dame will play five non-conference games annually against A.C.C. competition. In a way, this slides the Irish into a role as the league’s 15th member – while certainly not a full-fledge football member, seeing that the program is not playing for any sort of conference hardware, Notre Dame’s relationship with the A.C.C. is far deeper, far more meaningful and far more significant than the university’s prior connection to the Big East.