As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football ELITE, 7 about football “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.
(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens game analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)
Ryan Chell and I made the drive up to Filthy Saturday, and I will admit I expected much worse than what I got.
As Darren Pang would say, “holy jumpin’!” Perry Hills wasn’t great-but he made some nice throws. Marcus Leak was fantastic, and Stefon Diggs more than made up for an earlier fumble with that spectacular catch you saw there at the end of the game.
Most of us would have settled for just not giving up 12 rushing touchdowns like it felt like they did a year ago against the Owls. Instead we got Randy Edsall’s first EVER road win.
While I was in the “Illadelph” (to quote The Roots), I had a tasty chicken cheesesteak and a pretzel. I did not however get to stop at the place The Nasty One recommended, “Talk of the Town” for one of their steaks.
Anything anybody can tell me about this place?
I was a little disappointed we didn’t bump into Temple fan and friend of “The Reality Check” Bill Cosby at the game, but apparently he was busy looking dapper at UMass…
The Jets didn’t just look BAD in the preseason, they looked like one of the worst teams in the history of football. They scored one offensive touchdown. They looked to have the offensive ineptitude of a JV football team, but at one of those schools where they only have like 300 students so the JV team is mostly made up of girls and kids that thought they were trying out for badminton.
And then, this.
I’m not as baffled as you. I’m significantly more baffled. I had sort of assumed the Jets were just going to panic and line Tim Tebow up at every position to try to set some sort of bizarre record because they cared so little about winning.
What the eff? I PICKED THE JETS TO WIN?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!!?
Heh. I knew it all along. And you doubted.
Here’s what Thurman Thomas thought about the Bills’ effort…
But other than that I hear he enjoyed it. Before we move on, here’s Bills TE Scott Chandler knocking down Rex Ryan…
Here’s Antonio Cromartie flipping into the endzone…
And after the game Bart Scott announced a media boycott. Who says he didn’t learn anything from Ed Reed while in Charm City?
For like five seconds as it was storming in New Jersey Saturday there was a thought Syracuse could hang with USC. Nope.
There was a bit of a weather issue in the New York area Saturday (hell…in the Baltimore area too). You might have noticed it if you were watching the U.S. Open semifinal between Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych…
You know how good Calvin Johnson is? He had over 100 yards receiving Sunday and NO ONE noticed. No one except Matthew Stafford of course, who needed somewhere to throw the ball to help move past his THREE interceptions…
What you missed in that highlight package? Cortland Finnegan chucked an ear pad from Megatron’s helmet to the Rams’ sideline. Dirty? Clever? Rhubarb?
Here’s a picture that shows the Lions cost Floyd Mayweather $100,000 during the first half of the game…
Meanwhile…in the Windy City…the Brandon Marshall experiment is working thus far. Who would have ever thought a tall receiver would be something a NFL team would actually want?
And if I were to ask you, “who is the longest tenured player in Chicago Bears history?”, what would your answer be?
Would your answer have been this?
That’s LS Patrick Mannelly, who began his 15th season with the Bears today.
Coach Randy Edsall seems confident that his second year will have a much better outcome then his first at Maryland. His Terrapins spun a dismal 2-10 season in his first, so as they say, things can only get better. Edsall and his players were in the spotlight at today’s Media Day Event at the Gossett Team House next to Byrd Stadium. Today’s hot topics were the new 3-4 defense, the FieldTurf, which former University of Maryland and NFL quarterback, Neil O’Donnell, spoke about, and C.J. Brown’s legs.
With C.J. Brown being the only quarterback on the roster with any collegiate experience all eyes are on him and his longevity. The other two QB’s, Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe are both freshman straight out of high school. Brown is the kind of quarterback that uses his athletic ability as his biggest strength, he’s never afraid to run and take a big hit. But with the lack of depth at quarterback with last season’s initial starter, Danny O’Brien departing to Wisconsin, there is no room for injury. “Anytime you think about getting hurt or playing different than you’re used to playing, you’re more prone to injury,” stated Brown.
Brown’s targets are plentiful this season led by fellow captain Kevin Dorsey, a senior who pulled in 45 receptions and three touchdowns last season. Kerry Boykins and Marcus Leak, who combined for 49 receptions a year ago, are for now the number two and three receivers respectively on the depth chart but all eyes are directly aimed at five-star recruit Stefon Diggs from Good Counsel High School. Edsall says that Diggs will be given an opportunity to show what he can do as a wide receiver and as a kick returner, but he’ll have to earn his playing time and he’ll have to continue to play well to keep it. Edsall’s favorite part of his offense is the tight end position. He believes they have an incredible tight end core led by senior Matt Furstenburg, who is on several first team All-ACC lists. Seniors Devonte Campbell and Ryan Schlothauer along with a healthy junior Dave Stinebaugh, give the Terps four reliable targets at the tight end position.
As for the defensive side, Edsall is very excited about the front seven of the Terps new 3-4 scheme brought in by new defensive coordinator, Brian Stewart. Edsall’s biggest concern on the defensive side of the ball is the depth at defensive back, but with Stewart’s specialty being defensive backs, Edsall believes that things can be pulled together to make the unit stronger as a whole. Stewart has been a defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys and the University of Houston Cougars. The Terps defense returns 10 of 11 starters from a year ago with the addition of Kenny Tate, the stand out linebacker who missed most of last season. The biggest name on the defensive squad is Joe Vellano. This season Vellano will be moving from his usual Nose Tackle spot to Defensive End but he isn’t worried about the position change, he’s excited. Vellano has gained national recognition and is a preseason First Team All-America according to Athlon and a USA Today First Team All-ACC member.
Of course it wouldn’t have been a Maryland press conference without the mentioning of the uniforms and new FieldTurf. Neil O’Donnell compared the new field to a coffee filter as he spoke about the draining system that will filter snow and water through the field creating no puddles. His biggest emphasis on the new field is that “it is actually safer than a natural grass field.” O’Donnell’s team hopes that the field severely decreases the amount of concussions and injuries mentioning that Junior Seau was a good friend of his and that concussions really cause problems to these athletes, something that nobody wants to see.
The new uniforms will have the player’s names on the back of both the home Red and the away white, but only those two. The pride uniforms and black alternate home uniforms will not have the player’s names on them. Captain Joe Vellano said that the players had no idea this was happening but that it was a nice surprise and something that the parents like.
Perhaps the biggest debate in sports for the past few years has been a playoff system for college football. Many fans are in favor of a playoff system because it has the potential to better determine a worthy National Champion.
It would be an understatement to say that the Southeastern Conference has dominated college football. Texas, in 2005, was the last team not from the SEC to win a National Championship.
Since then, no other school besides Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Louisiana State has won a National Championship with Florida and Alabama winning four of the last six national titles.
Obviously, something had to change. The computer formulas that are currently in use are just not an effective way of determining the best teams and I am very happy this change has been made.
Formats such as this have been presented in the past but have been laughed at and no progress has been made until now. For this new system that will go into effect in 2014, a committee will select the top four teams to compete in the playoff system. The committee will most likely consist of current conference commissioners and athletic directors with the possibility of former coaches.
Strength of schedule will obviously be the biggest criteria for the selection committee to determine the top four teams. Other criteria will include head-to-head matchups from the season and conference championship results.
So could this playoff system be expanded? Brian Brennan, an avid college football fan and host of a sports radio show for High Point University believes this is just the beginning. “This is a step in the right direction,” Brennan said. “I always thought the BCS was kind of stupid and that because of it the best team didn’t always win every year. I like the four team playoff but I only feel this is the beginning. I think it will expand to eight and maybe 10 teams in the future. It’s as if the four teams are a sample to see how successful this will really be.”
Although this is a possibility, the very people who approved and passed this playoff system recently said that it would not be expanded. They added that the extra games would increase the possibility of concussions and other injuries. Presidents also expressed the concern for an expansion in regard to academics. Saying that an expansion would make football a two-semester sport.
Like Brennan, I do think this system will better determine the best team in the nation and it would be nice to see teams from other conferences win the national title.
If there was a playoff system last season and the top four teams were chosen, LSU would have played Stanford and Alabama would have played Oklahoma State.
Andrew Luck against the Honey Badger, Morris Claiborne and the rest of LSU’s vaunted defense? Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon against Dre Kirkpatrick, Mark Barron, and the rest of Alabama’s star-studded defense? Yes please!
These matchups would be riddled with NFL talent and would be a great way for individual players to showcase their abilities to NFL scouts, coaches, and fans alike.
At the risk of going down the road that Ozzie Guillen recently trekked by acknowledging admiration for someone that most find to be despicable, I have to say that I have a lot of admiration suddenly for the BCS, and the process by which they have infiltrated and taken over college football.
For years we’ve argued about the process by which college football decides its national champion, and how to fix it. And for years we’ve come away disappointed, ultimately submitting to the realization that the money making juggernauts that are the current college bowls were simply too powerful and too influential to supplant. Then along came the BCS…
Instead of simply conceding that the broken system that controlled college football would always trump cries for a truer process, the BCS instead infiltrated that corrupt system, capitalized on the greed that defined it, and ultimately used that greed to create a niche for themselves and to entrench themselves in firm control of the process.
First, the BCS did away with the formulary approach to matching bowl participants strictly by conference affiliation, and separated the haves and have-nots. The Orange, Sugar, Rose and Fiesta Bowls were deemed the most important, and by way of the new process they were given the power to decide the “true” national champ and to host the game in their respective bowls once every four seasons.
What happened next was the smartest and I suppose most ironic part of the whole equation. Given the money that they were making in hosting the national championship on a rotating basis while also still running their own prestigious bowls during the in-between years selling the big four on a 5th BCS game was probably much easier than it should have been. Now the bowls could still rotate the title game year-by-year and continue to host their regular bowl games too, essentially double dipping every fourth season. What the “bowl gangsters” likely failed to realize at the time, is that in accepting the extra game format they essentially gave full control of the national title game to the BCS and totally compromised their position of power as a result.
At the end of last season, the BCS announced their intentions to consider taking their show on the road, and entertain locations other than the big four bowl sites. It didn’t get a lot of attention at the time, but maybe it should have. As reports indicate that the BCS is now in the process of creating their own 4-team tournament to decide the title, the bowl commissioners are likely on the brink of panic, and possibly the brink of irrelevance too…and all I can say is that it serves them right and they had probablt better play nice with the BCS. They’ve relinquished the driver’s seat.
A couple of interesting side-conspiracies come to light as well. First is that shortly after “Jerry World” was built in Dallas, the Fiesta Bowl came under heavy scrutiny for bad financial business. Some would suggest that it’s more than a coincidence that one of the big four would come under fire at a time when the Cotton Bowl would look awfully appealing to everyone. Wherever the controversy actually came from, it has only served to remind everyone of just how corrupt and flagrant the bowl system is and has been. It also seems to be only a matter of time before a BCS title game is played in that magnificent building.