OSU vs PSU - The "Cover Up Bowl" 2018
In anticipation, fans have been calling the upcoming Ohio State vs. Penn State game, “The Cover Up” bowl. While the staff that facilitated Penn State’s child abuse scandal are no longer there and James Franklin has ushered in a new era of Penn State football, many still feel that Urban Meyer deserved a harsher punishment for his alleged cover up of domestic abuse within his coaching staff. Off-the-field controversies aside, this game will have a decisive impact on the entire 2018 season. Both teams are currently undefeated, but also enjoyed easy opponents last week in Tulane and Illinois.
The first Ohio State-Penn State Match-Up was a Blood Bath
Historically, Penn State and Ohio State have a long-standing rivalry that dates back to 1912 when Penn State, coming off an 8–0–1 season in 1911, shut out Ohio State, 37–0. The entire game was a bloodbath with Penn State's Al Wilson getting knocked out cold and losing several teeth. Red Bebout (who later died in World War I) was severely lacerated from being stomped in the face. But this was 1912 so both men sucked it up and got back in the game.
With about nine minutes left in the game, Ohio State player was viciously laid out during a kickoff. Coach Richards screamed illegal blocking, but no penalty was called. He had had enough and walked his Ohio State team off the field, even as the judge informed him that he would be automatically forfeit the game before time expired.
So the Penn State players walked about the field as the hometown fans threw insults and debris at them. One PSU fan came down out of the stands and began to rush them, but was knocked him out cold with a single right fist by assistant coach Dick Farlow. Police rushed the field to surround the Penn State players and protect them as fans grabbed some blue and white bunting under one of the goalposts and set it on fire. The game was such an insult to both teams that it would be another 44 years until the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions would meet again. They would only play each other sporadically before 1993 when Penn State joined the Big Ten.
Paterno vs. Tressel vs. Franklin vs. Meyer
For an entire decade between 2001 and 2010, Joe Paterno and Jim Tressel enjoyed an intense in-conference rivalry. In fact, Penn State's "whiteout" tradition, which is being revived this Saturday, was born out of this rivalry in 2005, when Penn State upset the then-favored Buckeyes 17–10 in State College with the help of a of a loud and boisterous home crowd. All in all, Tressel finished this 10-year rivalry on top with 7 wins to Paterno's 3 (if you count the Ohio State wins vacated in 2010).
In the aftermath of Penn State's prolific scandal and the emergence of the Coach Urban Meyer era in 2013, Ohio State served Penn State's their worst loss, and most points scored against the team, since 1899 by beating them 63-14. Under Coach Franklin, Penn State has only beaten Ohio State once in 2016, but came incredibly close last year, only losing by 1 point. Here's a recap of this shoot-out below. Now the Buckeyes are the ones still reeling from a largely publicized scandal and Penn State is enjoying incendiary success with their relatively new coach James Franklin.
Penn State's Odds
First off, the game is going to take place at Beaver Stadium, giving the Nittany Lions the home field advantage. The last time Penn State hosted Ohio State, they beat the then No. 2 ranked Buckeyes 24-21, outscoring them 17-0 in the fourth quarter and taking the lead with 4:27 remaining on a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown. The odds were against them then and the odds are against them now, but statistically underdogs with big offenses like Penn State often deliver big upsets.
The Nittany Lions allowed 23 points by the unranked Fighting Illini last week, and nearly lost their season opener to App State, 45-38. By no means, is Franklin's defense vulnerable, but with only 3 returning starters, he's been doing a lot of swapping and shifting to develop his backups. So far, it's been working and if this game was later in the season, I probably wouldn't even question Penn State's defensive unit against Haskins and the Ohio State offense.
After their win against the Fighting Illini, James Franklin admitted to the press, “we have starters, and we have guys we’re rotating in, but I don’t know if anybody’s separated themselves from the pack. And I think that’s probably some our challenges there. Having a guy who you know is running the defense and can be an eraser for you in terms of making plays, we’re not there yet.”
Ohio State's Odds
QB Dwayne Haskins has been extremely impactful in his first four career starts, averaging 10.4 yards per attempt and completing 76 percent of pass attempts. He is currently ranked second in the nation with 16 touchdown passes, while only throwing a single interception. Aside from the likes of Alabama, there are few teams in the NCAA that could conceivably stop Haskins in the passing game.
Ohio State became the target of unrelenting moral outrage following their decision to keep Meyer as head coach, so they are probably doing everything in their power to make that decision count. Moreover, the 2016 loss to Penn State on the road was Urban Meyer's first true road loss as the esteemed head coach of Ohio State. For Coach Meyer, this game is about more than the rivalry or making playoffs, it's about his legacy.
Ohio State football should have running back Mike Weber and defensive tackle Robert Landers back this week against Penn State, but will still be without junior DE Nick Bosa due to his recent surgery to repair a "core muscle" injury. Bosa was considered to be a central part of the Ohio State defensive unit, and they will need every defensive weapon available against Franklin's highly productive offense.
Which ever way the wind blows, Penn State's offense is going to put Ohio State's defense to the test. But with two of the most productive offenses in the nation, it is going to be up to Penn State's rotation-heavy defensive unit to find their rhythm and stick to it in order to stop QB Dwayne Haskins if they want to pull of an upset. It's going to be a loud and high scoring shoot out between two teams who began their century-old rivalry with a literal bloodbath. Two Top 10 teams will enter Beaver Stadium on September 29th, 7:30 pm ET and only one will leave with an undefeated record.
This battle will also serve as a major recruiting showcase, as Penn State is expected to host several of its top targets from various classes. The winner of this matchup will move forward as the favorite to win a Big Ten title in December.
FCS Over FBS Upsets 2018
UC-Davis Beats San Jose State
Coach Hawkins boasts a 112-61-1 record as a collegiate head coach and it comes as no surprise that UC-Davis was able to defeat San Jose State in the season opener. UC-Davis has suffered only one loss this season to the hands of our fifth ranked FBS Stanford Cardinals and have had exceptional play out of QB Jake Maier.
Villanova Beats Temple
Temple Football either got off to a very slow start, or Villanova and FCS football are to really be feared on the national landscape. Why? Temple lost 19-17 to 'Nova and then proceeded to lose to Buffalo who is undefeated. Maryland upset now nationally ranked Texas, but Temple was able to dismantle the Terrapins 35-14 a few weeks after their triumph over the heavily favored Longhorns. Maryland has since gone on to beat Minnesota by a score of 42-13 and hosts Michigan on 10/6. To further exhibit the strength of FCS-1AA football in 2018, Towson beat 'Nova on 9/15 45-35 which begs the question, "how is this possible in college football today.
Northern Arizona Over UTEP
The UTEP Miners are not very good in 2018 as they have started the season 0-4 and have struggled offensively. With that being said, their defense only allowed 24 points against an SEC opponent in the Tennessee Volunteers and Northern Arizona was able to light up the scoreboard in their 30-10 upset. Northern Arizona has since gone on to lose to nationally ranked Eastern Washington and get obliterated by Missouri State 40-8. Makes you start to wonder about the recruiting strategies of FBS programs as a whole.
North Carolina A&T Beats ECU
North Carolina A & T is no joke and obviously ECU failed to acknowledge this fact after they re-scheduled and lost the game against the Aggies 28-23 at home. NC A&T has since gone on to beat Gardner-Webb handily, but slipped up recently in a 16-13 loss against the bears of Morgan State. The Pirates of East Carolina were then able to pull off a shocker against in-state rival UNC and you started to wonder if the Tar Heels were the worst football team in the state of NC. ECU was able to win handily over the Heels in a 41-19 decisive victory. However, they recently lost a heart breaker on the road against a very well coached and undefeated South Florida team by a score of 20-13.
Maine Beats Western Kentucky
Western Kentucky nearly pulled off the upset against in-state rival the Louisville Cardinals, as they lost the contest 20-17. The week prior, The Hilltoppers then hosted Maine and learned more about Black Bear football, as they were upset 31-28. Maine was so excited they called out UCF on Twitter and asked them to add them to their schedule. It was a bold move that proved to backfire, as their offense sputtered out at Central Michigan in a 17-5 loss. Still exhibiting more of the power the lies in FCS Football.
Illinois State Beats Colorado State
Illinois State, who we regard as a Top 5 team nationally in our College Football Today FCS Rankings, was able to upset the Rams 35-19 in Fort Collins, CO. We had no question that this would be a contest, but we did not see the Redbirds running away with this game so easily. With over 50 "3-Star" recruits boasted by the Rams and not one on the Illinois State roster, I believe this further proves the severe lack of scouting on a national scale in College Football Today.
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NCAA Football Top 25
Note: Our Top 25 is released nearly a full day before the AP & Coaches Polls are released.
Why Georgia Over Clemson in AP Top 25 & College FB Today Poll?
I believe this solely comes down to the QB shuffle at Clemson and the very close win at Texas A&M, who just was ripped apart by No. 1 Alabama. Trevor Lawrence may have been the top QB recruit in last year's class, but voters are going to have to see consistency in his play before the Tigers are placed over the UGA Dawgs. We also were considering Ohio State for the 3rd spot, as they have had an impressive three game stretch and showed they did not need Urban Meyer to win at TCU in Dallas. Georgia on the other hand, has beaten a very good South Carolina team and handled a Missouri team that arguably could be in the Top 25 with one of the best QB's in the nation in Drew Lock. Georgia will try not to look ahead to its match-up against LSU on 10/13, as Coach Kirby Smart has prepared the Dawgs extremely well heading into Death Valley.
Why The Stanford Cardinals At #5?
I was on the Hawaii ban wagon until they ran into Army Football. I was a fan of Oklahoma this year, until they ran into–guess who– Army Football. Except Oklahoma did not lose to Army, however they did go into overtime with a team that is not ranked in any Top 25 nationally. We all love Lincoln Riley & Baker Mayfield (except Cowherd), but in our poll you must remain consistent throughout. We do not use the "they woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning" excuse that is often given to keep certain teams high in the rankings. I am not as crazy as Lane Kiffin, so I will not tell Kyler Murray to stick to baseball just yet, but he needs to step his game up as we move forward.
What Do We Have Against The LSU Tigers?
LSU struggled at Louisiana Tech and Stanford won a tough game at Oregon, who remains in the Top 25 in all three polls, showing the legitimacy of the Stanford Cardinal football team in the 2018/2019 season. LSU always has the best athletes and has produced many next level ball players, but they are known to be inconsistent in SEC play and I do not see them streaking very long, as they face off against a very good Ole Miss team next week and then travel to The Swamp™.
West Virginia Mountaineers Penalized For Not Playing?
The game that was postponed against NC State has seem to hurt the Mountaineers, who just finished blowing out Kansas State 35-6. WVU has struggled defensively in the past, but this year we really like the pieces they have on both sides of the football to make a run into the BCS playoffs in the final rankings. They have arguably the best QB in all of college football and one of the most dynamic offensive schemes we have seen in this decade. Washington has not looked good this season at all, so having them ahead of WVU shows the complete lack of football knowledge in the individuals picking the Top 25 possess.
The 2018 Cover Up Bowl - Ohio State vs Penn State
We have dubbed this "The Cover Up Bowl", as these schools have been under intense scrutiny nationally for off the field incidents. That being said, Penn State has appeared to have cleaned up their program under the direction of Coach Franklin and this game against the No. 4 ranked Buckeyes could propel them into the BCS playoffs, as the Buckeyes will travel to happy valley this weekend in hopes of remaining in the top four.
The Fighting Irish Have Not Been Impressive
We still are hung on the fact that Notre Dame struggled against a team that got obliterated by Indiana 38-10 and whose only win has come against FCS opponent Central Connecticut State. Ball State lost to Western Kentucky this weekend and was in a very close contest with Notre Dame on 9/8, where they were defeated 24-16 by the Irish. The win against Michigan also did not impress us that much, as Michigan did not have any continuity offensively and are not the same defensive unit of last year's Wolverine squad.
A Pivotal Win or Was Miss St & Florida Overrated?
Kentucky fans nearly lost it after they beat Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators, but the issue was that the Gators were really over hyped in 2018. They have beaten a bad Colorado State team and a really bad Tennessee team who has players who do not even want to enter the contest. That being said, Kentucky rose to the occasion and beat a statistically good Mississippi State team, as they also have only beaten the likes of Kansas State, LA-Lafayette and FCS opponent Stephen F. Austin. Ironically, the Bulldogs of Mississippi State will face off against Florida this weekend in The Swamp™ and then they might get to redeem themselves against Auburn to help Kentucky's win matter more to pollsters. Either way, whether at No. 14 or 17, Kentucky is back in the Top 25 for the first time since 2007!
Colorado In College FB Today's Top 25 - Not in AP or Coaches
The Buffs were off this weekend after not losing to an FCS opponent last week against New Hampshire. They were able to blowout the CSU-Rams in the Rocky Mountain Showdown and went on the road to beat Nebraska in Lincoln 33-28. We spoke about many key JuCo transfers in our2018 season preview and they have been paying off in huge ways for the Buffs defense. Their offense is prolific in itself, as Montez has been able to find the likes of Laviska Shenault Jr. for massive chunks of yardage and the Buffs will be well rested, as they head to a struggling UCLA team coached by Chip Kelly.
Duke Was In Our Top 25 Last Week & Boston College Was Not
Duke beat who by a score of 34-14? Army! I bet they did not know at the time that a game against West Point would have significance on Top 25 polls, but it did and it is why teams must handle business week in and week out. Duke also beat a very good Northwestern team 21-7 and we could not believe the pollsters left them out after a 40-27 win over 3-1 Baylor! Guess the pollsters are really starting to value the FCS, because after this weekend's blowout of NC Central 55-13, they finally gave Duke the love they deserve. Well, kind of, as we believe Duke would beat the teams in our Top 20-25 and it is why we they have moved up in our poll to No. 19.
Cal? No, really Cal?
Maybe the California Bears will make me eat my words, but I cannot justify them being in the anybody's Top 25. They beat a dreadful Tar-Heels team who lost to East Carolina barely by a score of 24-17. While they were able beat BYU, who almost was replaced by the likes of Syracuse or Texas Tech in our Top 25, I do not see Cal hanging around anybody's Top 25 very long. Cal will host Oregon this coming week and I guess we will find out if they are all the AP has cracked them out to be or if they are just selling more gear this year than USC.
Too Harsh On Oklahoma State & Virginia Tech?
Virginia Tech lost to ODU, who had a 1.8% chance of beating them on paper and were not mentally prepared heading into yesterday's contest with the Monarchs. ODU took advantage and produced one of the biggest upsets in FBS football history yesterday and we removed the Hokies from the College Football Today Top 25. Also exiting out poll was Oklahoma State, even though they were able to beat Boise handily, they let Kliff Kingsbury come into their own backyard with his surging Texas Tech squad and dismantle them 41-17 in front of Pokes Nation. The Red-Raiders' only loss came to a good Ole Miss team this year in their opening game and they have improved drastically since that contest under the direction of Kingsbury. They have our 6th ranked team heading into town this week in WVU, who has historically struggled on the road in Big 12 play. This will be a marquee match-up for both teams, as they look to make a case for all three Top 25 polls in the 2018 College Football Seasons.
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Is College Football More Popular than the NFL?
NFL vs. NCAAF: Economic Influence
It’s no secret that the NCAA selection committees leans towards programs with illustrious histories and powerful fanbases. Sometimes this is validated in top programs that have proven they’re worthy of the title. Other times, it can keep struggling big time programs in the top ranks at the expense of less influential programs with undefeated records. The argument that strength of schedule plays a big role in the decision process has validity, but it seems to be selectively applied based a team's economic influence.
With college football, these markets are the most stable in states and areas where NFL franchises wield little influence and vise versa. “But if the NFL and NCAAF air on different days, how would that affect viewership?” Well Mr. Football McFootball Face, contrary to what you might think, most people don’t spend their entire weekend watching football. Which is why there are NFL strongholds, college football strongholds, and battleground states, where viewership and influence fluctuate between NFL franchises and college football programs. Looking at the bigger picture, sure, there could be an equal number of college football and NFL fans out there, but the more an NFL franchise or college football program dominates in an area the more pervasive it becomes in the culture and social lives of the people who live there. This is economic influence and it's what the NCAA is trying to gain more of. Economic influence comes from viewership, ticket sales, merchandise sales and general fan engagement with a franchise or institution. The more people that watch a game in particular area, the more social engagement with the team goes on amongst the people of that area. Social engagement with the traditions of franchise/institution and news about the season contribute to rises in ticket sales and in turn merchandise sales. The more fans in a city or neighborhood wearing jerseys and socially engaging with related content on game day, the more viewers are drawn to the franchise/institution and the cycle repeats. Psychologically speaking, humans create a sense of belonging and will often conform to feel like a part of a community. The NFL and the NCAA earn the most revenue from places where buying fan merchandise and engaging with the local team is an easy way to fit in and get that sense of belonging.
How the AP Poll is Really Decided
Below are two maps from separate collections of data showing where the NFL and the NCAA wield the most commercial influence and where commercial domination is contested. The first map is from an ESPN fan survey taken in 2012, and the second is from an analysis conducted August 2017 by Ben Koos from the Comeback. In both cases, the NFL won but college football has clearly minimized the gap.
(above, courtesy of Ben Koo from The Comeback; below, courtesy of ESPN)
SEC Country and the rest of College Football Land
States where college football holds a football fan monopoly are shown in a deep red. These states have two defining qualities, the lack of a (satisfactory) NFL franchise and a deep-seated sense of nostalgia, sentimentality, and tradition associated with their college football teams. The deep-seated influence college football teams have in these areas is compounded by the fact that many alumni of these institutions remain in-state and raise the next generation of college football fans with a sense of sentimentality associated with their team. If you’re from one of these states, you probably already know the faux pas of planning your wedding or any big family event on a Saturday in the Fall. It is completely socially acceptable however to have Nick Saban riding an elephant hoisting the Coaches Trophy as your wedding cake that your bride will fill with Auburn colors as prank I assume is a part of some SEC marital ritual.
Why is Alabama Always Number 1?
While the college football programs in these states don’t need to compete with an NFL franchise, they almost always have intense, long-standing rivalries with neighboring college football programs that can get at times get unnecessarily heated. These rivalries appeal heavily to the football fans’ competitive nature and further compounds their personal identity with their home team. Because the personal significance of these teams run so deeply in these states, college football programs don’t even necessarily have to win to maintain their commercial value. The Tennessee Volunteers have won more than 10 games in a season since 2001 and are continually blown out by their SEC rivals, but that won’t stop a Vols fan from claiming superiority over another team for titles they won in the 90’s. Though college football's economic stronghold in these states remains stable even through losing slumps, there is a powerful incentive to rank them favorably and bring them to the BCS. It is much more financially advantageous for selection committees to push these teams into the forefront of the national CFB playoff conversation. When making BCS selections, a selection committee will usually ask the question, "will this fanbase buy expensive memorabilia and continue to engage in college football content through the off-season if they win the national championship?" With fans like these, the answer is always yes.
Best Rivalries in Football
NFL Territory: the rest of the country
On the other end of the spectrum, in metropolitan areas such as New York, DC, Denver, Chicago, Seattle, etc, NFL franchises dominate football fan markets and can take away significant viewership from any college football program that exists in the greater metropolitan area. The states where the NFL dominates are shown in a deep blue. Not unlike the deeply red states, football is a pervasive part of life for fans, and no matter how successful the local college football team is doing, local news coverage, sports bars, and football fans will always favor their beloved NFL team. If you look closely at the electoral map, you'll see that long-time rivalries make for deep-seated influence. Whereas, Ohio and Michigan are strong college football states with their intense rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois, who share a long-standing rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, lean towards the NFL.
I have always lived in NFL cities. I grew up in DC where there was one Maryland fan for every 100 Redskins fans, despite the fact that Maryland was actually closer to DC than FedEx stadium in Landover, MD. Now I live in Fort Collins, CO and despite being miles and miles from Denver in the same city as a D1 FBS team with a brand new multi-million dollar stadium, more people wear blue and orange on Sundays than green on Saturdays. Being a college football fan in areas like this is difficult, because nobody plans their weekend around watching college football, so it's near impossible to catch every game of the season and still maintain a social life. Much like how college football programs conflate support and team spirit with a sense of identity and belonging through unique chants/catchphrases and sometimes odd traditions like petting a rock before a game, NFL franchise create this connection literally through their names. The New England Patriots is a reference to the area's celebrated history as the birthplace of the American Revolution, the Pittsburgh Steelers is a reference to the city's steel and mining industry, the 49ers is a reference to the California gold rush, etc, etc.. As such, there is little economic incentive in giving college football programs in California or Pennsylvania serious coverage in the national CFB playoff conversation. Sure, Penn State, USC, Pitt, UCLA, or Cal fans might rally together for a playoff run, but the NCAA is fighting a losing battle trying to compete in NFL strongholds, when they could be catering to places where people will buy a college football merchandise just to fit in.
The Battleground States
The states where domination of the fan market is contested between the NFL and the NCAA are shown in either light blue or light red. In these states, there are prevalent NFL franchises and college football programs whose popularity can fluctuate if they experience a losing slump. In the cases of Wisconsin and Indiana, the NCAA risks losing reliable sources of fan-based revenue to NFL franchises with more flash and overall stronger economic influence in the area despite its influence weakening in recent years. Thus, there is economic incentive to keep Wisconsin and Notre Dame in the national CFB playoff conversation. Yes, both teams have strong core fanbases and consume Notre Dame and Wisconsin Badgers content year round, but in order to redirect the attention of more casual fans from the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts, there has to be something to invest in, which is why the NCAA risks lost profits by cutting down or discounting these programs, even if they did struggle against Ball State or lose to unranked BYU. More than anything, the economic potential of Notre Dame's exclusive television contract with NBC is a cash cow that needs to be milked. Unlike NFL dominated states, the state of Indiana is no stranger to college football culture and can be tapped for a lot of profit if Notre Dame can at least appear consistent year after year.
Of all the NFL vs. NCAA "swing states" shown here, Texas and Florida are by far the biggest battlegrounds, as they are also two of the most highly recruited states in the country. Both states have multiple NFL franchises as well as a considerable number of big time college football programs. In these states is where you'll find those rare fans like Mr. Football McFootball Face who spend their entire weekend watching football, including their local high school football team as well. In cities like Miami, there is considerable fluctuation between the Dolphins and the Hurricanes. Both teams have celebrated pasts, like the Dolphins' perfect season in 1972 and Miami's multiple national titles during the Jimmy Johnson-era in the 80's, so they share an associated sense of nostalgia and sentimentality by the football fans of South Florida. For this reason, there is a big economic incentive to keep U of Miami nationally ranked, especially with the profitability of those gold chains.
NFL vs College Football
As more and more self-proclaimed "football purists" are rejecting the NFL, the NCAA has been given a new market of viewers who want more straightforward football but are accustomed to a certain level of production quality. Pandering to alienated NFL fans through cross-promotion and boosting the standings of previously well liked programs is effective in getting more casual football fans to engage with their favorite team. However, in doing so, the NCAA employs a lot of the profit-driven production gimmicks that actual football purists feel not only dilute the game of football but is unabashedly money-grubbing considering the student-athletes at the center of it all don't receive a dime of the profits. It's one thing for the NFL to sign players solely for public attention and have a corporate sponsor for every conceivable facet of the game because at least the athletes are being paid while they irreversibly damage their bodies. For the NCAA to adopt an identical business model is callously unfair to the student-athletes. Fans have been drawn to FCS and lower levels of college football as less diluted alternatives where student-athletes are just that, student-athletes.
The War Against The Texas Christian Horned Frogs
I have never been a fan of coaches who jump ship for another program that was built by another legendary football coach. Coach Meyer took over after Coach Jim Tressel built the Ohio State program to a national powerhouse as in the days of legendary Coach Woody Hayes. Coach Tressel was 94-22 from 2001-2010 and won a national championship in 2002 against the Miami Hurricanes. It appeared with a .810 winning percentage that Coach Tressel would be the Buckeyes coach forever, until Terrell Pryor sold some Ohio State gear.
"On March 8, 2011, Ohio State suspended Tressel for the first two games of the 2011 season and fined him $250,000 for failing to notify the school of NCAA violations involving Ohio State football players. The players had a financial arrangement with Edward Rife, owner of a local tattoo parlor, who was at the time under investigation by the FBI for drug trafficking. The arrangement, which resulted in five Ohio State football players being suspended, involved trading championship rings, jerseys, and other football-related awards for tattoos. That arrangement was a violation of NCAA rules, and would have rendered the players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, ineligible to play for portions of the 2010 season." - Wikipedia
Click on South Park Meme To Read About How Coach Meyer is Sorry That He Got Caught.
Urban Meyer is partly hated across the United States because he has been one heck of a football coach that has amassed a 73-8 record while at Ohio State and has a record of 171-31 overall. His tactics on the field seem to always work, but his reputation for being very untruthful and his attempt to cover up domestic violence has left America wondering what is expected out of a high performing Head Football Coach off the field. Do they not have to live up the laws that average citizens of America do or even former Head Coach of The Buckeyes, Jim Tressel. If Coach Tressel did attempt to cover up his teams NCAA violations for the sake of a young man (Terrell Pryor) or his team as a whole, it is now completely excused if we look at all of the evidence against Coach Meyer throughout his illustrious career. Many D1-FBS college coaches have stated to me that "everyone is breaking the rules, it's just about who reports them". This statement is obviously 100% correct, as things of this nature are failed to be reported to ANY authority everyday. Why? When the clock strikes zero in the 4th quarter, we must be on the winning side in order to live up to that big name, contract or just to fulfill an ego that big time coaches seem to develop rather consistently.
Let's take a look at the current TCU Horned Frogs roster and how they recruit outstanding football players that fit their scheme, instead of looking at how many stars a recruit has by his name.
Instead of departing after immense success all through the 2000's, Coach Patterson has exemplified what it takes to build a program from the ground up. They were so dominant in the Mountain West Conference, that Coach Patterson and TCU were able to move on to the BIG 12 and they were instantly productive, as in their third season they were able to finish tied for 1st in the Big 12 and finished the season 3rd in the AP and Coaches Polls.
Ohio State Runs A Very Similar Scheme To The Killer Frogs
TCU uses a spread formation attack that makes the defense cover the entire field of play, which can create opportunities in both the run & passing games. But in order to run this particular version of the spread offense effectively, you first need an outstanding Dual-Threat QB like 6'2, 228-pound Shawn Robinson. The Horned Frogs attack utilizes almost all of the running backs that they dress on game day, as they want fresh legs and speed on the field at all times. Browsing through TCU's roster, I even found a running back as small as 5'5, 148 pounds in Sophomore Jason D'Armore and many other key components to the TCU offense that helped the Horned Frogs become the best program in the state of Texas.
The two recruits above were deemed 3-star recruits by 247 sports and so was College Football Today's top recruit Daimarqua Foster. All three players have produced off the chart numbers that prove they are much better football players than their 5-star counterparts. Foster has rushed for 4,290 yards on only 385 carries (11.1 avg) and now has 68 total touchdowns after his record breaking performance last season. On the contrary, 247 Sports top running back recruit Trey Sanders out of IMG Academy has 101 total yards rushing (3 games) behind an offensive line chalk full of big time recruits. When I look back at the class of 2015 wide receiver rankings by 247 sports, I see that KaVontae Turpin received the same treatment by the mainstream recruiting media. I guess 5'7, 157lbs is not worthy of anything above a 3-star rating, yet his production on the field and blazing speed will probably get him drafted into the NFL. There are so many different styles of college offensive and defensive schemes that when you combine each individual coaches overall philosophy, it is impossible for media outlets like 247, Rivals or ESPN to even come close to gauging the actual potential of a college football recruit. This style of recruiting has become similar to the hype surrounding the NFL draft and is used to generate revenue for big corporations like everything in America today.
Most high school athletes do not know what type of scheme that they fit in at the next level. They are often told they are too small or not big enough to play at the FBS level or at all. There are still many coaches like Coach Gary Patterson and staff that value overall football players, academics and character before they trust an online source. Their knowledge of the game of football is light-years ahead of many in the industry because they had to build a program into a house that can withstand any storm.
"It’s the last test for Ohio State without Urban Meyer on the sideline, and it’s an opportunity for TCU to show it’s no “little sister of the poor” as former Ohio State president Gordon Gee called the Horned Frogs in 2010 when saying programs like TCU and Boise State didn’t deserve to play in the BCS Title Game." Coach Patterson - 247 sports
In 2014, the BCS Committee had TCU ranked 3rd during the final poll of the regular season and the Buckeyes 5th respectively. The next week TCU beat Iowa State 55-3 and Ohio State won the Big 10 championship 59-0 over Wisconsin. When the final BCS rankings came out, TCU had dropped to 6th and the Buckeyes had moved up into the 4th and final BCS playoff spot. Coach Patterson thinks much like College Football Today and was very confused by the final outcome.
“The rules seem to have changed,” Patterson said. “I thought we got into it so we could take the computer part out of it. Now we’re looking at strength of schedules and who we played, championship games and everything else. I thought it was just a committee looking at tape, seeing the four best teams that were playing the best at the end of the season and choosing them.
“If I was the committee, I’d want six to eight teams in the playoffs so you could get everybody in.” Coach Patterson quote from 247 sports.
Can Ohio State Overcome Distractions Brought On By Their Own Coaching Staff?
Read Articles Written By President Maddy Sperling & Coach Trout On The Ohio State Buckeyes Head Coach Below!
Why am I writing about an NFL story on College Football Today?
Recently, I wrote a couple articles about the Urban Meyer scandal. Inmy first article, I referenced the issue of how domestic violence is treated in football and in the criminal justice system. Today, (coincidentally the first day of the 2018 regular season) the Milton, GA police have no incriminating evidence against LeSean McCoy for involvement in the home invasion, robbery and aggravated assault of his ex Delicia De Cordon whose friend had accused McCoy of brutal domestic violence back in July in a graphic Instagram post. Ultimately, the Bills nor the NFL will take any disciplinary action against McCoy.
To many, this may exonerate McCoy, but regardless of the lack of punishment or formal criminal charge, there is still reasonable doubt that the NFL running back is innocent. Law enforcement is still investigating the attack, and the Bills and the NFL are both investigating the incident and allegations as well. Meanwhile, McCoy has hired well-known defense attorney, Don Samuels, who also represented Ray Lewis in the double homicide case in 2000 and Ben Roethlisberger in 2010 when he was accused of rape.
The majority of domestic violence cases in the NCAA and NFL are swept under the rug by first the respective administration and then press who take whatever excuse they are given at face value and completely disregard the victim’s side of the story. There are detailed allegations of McCoy brutally beating his son and his dog, as well as Cordon herself, but as the NFL running back returns to work without any penalty, they are omitted from the popular narrative.
So here's the story...
How mainstream sports media is helping the NFL sweep this under the rug.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported about the “insufficient evidence” in McCoy’s case, and there is one line that feels almost laughably naive, given what we know about football coaches’ tolerance for domestic violence allegations:
“If Bills coaches and officials were alarmed about what the investigation would yield — and they have been in contact with people involved in the case — they would not have allowed McCoy’s selection as a captain to stand."
The bigger picture
Though McCoy, 29, has never been suspended in his NFL career, he was accused in 2016 of being involved in a bar fight which resulted in two men hospitalized. No criminal charges were filed against McCoy due to “insufficient evidence” and the NFL opted not to penalize the running back.
In 2013, a woman sued McCoy for assault, alleging he or his bodyguard struck her and shoved her off a party bus in New Jersey. McCoy was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles at the time and wasn’t suspended for the incident.
Police records show there were multiple calls for domestic disturbances to the home of Cordon and McCoy. None of which resulted in charges. The fact that law enforcement rarely make arrests on domestic abuse calls is something we should have learned from the Smith case, and it should not be cause to dismiss a domestic violence allegation. Of course, I am not definitively saying McCoy is guilty, but to say that there is no evidence that he ever physically assaulted Cordon or was involved in the violent robbery of the jewelry he wanted back from her is nonsense and offensive to victims of domestic abuse.
It is not just these administrations that aid in protecting those accused of domestic violence, it is also the responsibility of the press to hold those accused and those who protect the accused accountable. While it's easier to go along with what NFL and NCAAF administrations say and relieve the fear amongst fans, it is an injustice to the victims not to tell their story and not allow abusers and enablers to remain unchecked.
Today, 44 active NFL players have records of domestic violence, and 12 were invited to join NFL teams even as they were facing outstanding court cases based on alleged physical or sexual assaults, many committed against intimate partners. So congratulations to Adam Schefter, Ian Rapaport, and many other sports reporters for once again validating the NFL for protecting players accused of violent crimes.
By William Cruz III
Game 3 for Coach Eric Dooley
Last week Coach Eric Dooley had an impressive win over North Carolina Central. His Offensive Coordinator called an excellent game performed precisely by QB Jalen Morten. With just over 600 yards produced, Dawonya Tucker carrying 224 of those with a fairly even favoring the run game. They were able to produce 32 first downs and were perfect in all 6 red zone visits.
Passing statue of Sam Houston
Being from Houston and going to school in Iowa, I drove north and south past Huntsville on I-45 several times a year. In between Huntsville had a very unique way of showing you that you had arrived. There on the East side of the highway nestled in between several tall pine trees stood a 66 foot tall stone figurine of Sam Houston himself. Seeing this statue had a lot of significance to me, on my way North I had reached the point of no return I was officially on my way to college and would only turn back if completely necessary. Heading south I knew I was getting within a couple hours of being home.
Back to football
This Saturday, the Panthers will pass that statue of Sam Houston twice on their way to and from the Elliot T. Bower Stadium to meet the Bearkats football team for their Third time in school history. Coach KC Keeler is leading his team into his 5th season with home opener with a home win streak of 20 on the line. Coach Keeler had the pleasure of replacing a record setting QB. He has commented that either of the three QBs on his roster could take the starting job and produce at satisfactory levels. He has yet to announce a starter but I think he might go with Jr Transfer Mike Dare. He produced a ton of offense while at his Junior college and most of Coach’s commentary on the three QBs was about him so.. What I do know is that with a great team Coach Keeler can be quite successful. He is returning most of his O-line and has the momentum of opening your 2018 season at home. It is unlikely he will allow his team to take a home loss to PVAMU, but Coach doesn’t have anything in the bag yet.
Coach Dooley and the PVAMU needs to maintain focus and run a very disciplined game that they can persevere through that initial 1st half and keep chipping away capitalizing on any mistakes SHSU might make. PVAMU has some offensive weapons that have 2 games this season under their belt and know their way to the endzone. Defensively they have been effective, but they spent more time on the field than off last week. There is some uncertainty of the mesh of SHSU’s QB situation making it possible that on any given saturday an underdog can walk off the field victorious.
QB Jalen Morten has been setting the tone for this offense. When he is productive, the Panthers are successful. He started and finished a game last week but PVAMU needs him all four quarters this week. He will have an opportunity at the beginning of the game to take advantage of the bearkats finding their groove with their new QB. Whether he is handing the rock, throwing the rock or running the rock; he can’t let go of that will to win and play mistake free football, especially late in the game to pull it off. They were only 3 of 14 converting 3rd downs last week, they cannot have that this week. Every touch is vital to their win.
Division One FBS Top 25
2018 Top 25 Playoff Standings
While the Buckeyes offense looked almost unstoppable in their week one match-up, they appear to have some major issues on the defensive side of the ball. They were not able to produce any turnovers against Oregon State, a coming off of a season where they finished 127th out of 130th in the nation according to SB Nation when the numbers are crunched. Ohio State plays Rutgers tomorrow in Columbus,OH at 3:30 EST and needs to prove they can play at a high level defensively if they are to move up in our College Football Today rankings, as they will face far more superior offenses here in the future.
Florida Atlantic was rated a Top 25 program in some polls prior to the start of the season and it has a lot to do with their very popular Head Coach Lane Kiffin. They were a very good football team last year under Coach Kiffin and Kyler Murray simply dismantled the Owls Defense. In a decisive 63-14 victory, Murray was able to lead the Sooners' offense to an unfathomable 650 yards of total production and did not turn the ball over. If Coach Kiffin still thinks Kyler Murray should be playing baseball, he should have put his money where his mouth was and found a way to shut the Heisman Trophy "watch list" student-athlete down in week one. Oklahoma will face a more formidable opponent tomorrow at 1:00PM, as they face off against the UCLA Bruins in a PAC-12 vs BIG 12 showdown.
We do not consider 1AA-FCS opponent Southern University a nobody, as the AP Top 25 tends to do, but probably a more formidable opponent than Oregon State. They were in a dog fight last year in the Bayou Classic vs Grambling State and TCU was able to blow past them 55-7 at home without any hiccups. We also believe that the BIG 12 will be the strongest conference from top to bottom by the end of the season. You can catch TCU Football tonight against SMU live on ESPN2 at 6:00PM EST. If TCU does not live up to their ranking this year, they have the number one recruit in America on offense heading their way for the Class of 2019 in Daimarqua Foster.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish at #13?
We could be wrong here, but with being an Independent and the very tough schedule they face, we just do not see them getting through the likes of Stanford, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh. Because of this three game stretch, which includes a trip to Blacksburg, VA to take on the very talented Hokies, the season finale against USC will not have BCS playoff implications in our opinion. Did Notre Dame play very well against a terrible Michigan offense or was Notre Dame's defense that good? I guess we will have to see what the future holds, as the Fighting Irish take on Ball State tomorrow at 1:30PM EST.
I have spent a lot of time in Morgantown, WV over the years and they always have a prolific offense that can light up the scoreboard with this year being no exception. The difference in this year's Mountaineers is that they have a very stout defense up front with the likes of USC transfer Bigelow, who was able to make a immediate impact against Tennessee. We all know that Will Grier and David Sills are destined for big things if they stay healthy for the entire season. If the defense can play at the level they did in week one and sustain for the entire season, WVU is one of our favorites to win the BIG 12! On the contrary, the Huskies did not look like they could compete in SEC play in 2018, as they fell flat on their face against the Auburn Tigers, who are in both polls' Top 10.
#11/17 USC at #10 Stanford
We both happen to agree on the ranking of the Stanford Cardinals, whom David Shaw has ready year in and year out. But we do differ somewhat on where USC should be ranked. Either way, I guess neither of us can really be wrong if Stanford wins, but if USC beats Stanford tomorrow night at 6:30PM EST, how far do they move up in both polls?
Colin Cowherd says score will be 27-23 Stanford over USC
As Coach Franklin stated, App State is one heck of a college football program and I am glad the AP Top 25 realizes this and did not slide Penn State far in the rankings. They have one of the better Penn State teams I have seen and obviously have some things to sure up defensively, as they face off against the University of Pittsburgh to re-kindle an old in-state rivalry that my father David Trout took part in. Pittsburgh has received many votes for our FBS Top 25 and can move up into the College Football Today Top 25 with a victory over Penn State.
4 Different Teams In Each Poll
We have four different teams our poll that are not featured in the AP Top 25. The differences are listed below:
A History of Football Rule Changes & Penalties
New NFL Tackling Rules Explained
There have been a lot of controversial rule changes this year in both the NFL and NCAA. Critics of these new rules see them as cursory attempts at minimizing injuries on the field, while simultaneously interrupting the game with constant penalties. At first I saw these criticisms as merely old-timers complaining about reform and change. However, as I looked more into the history and evolution of the NFL and NCAA rules, I found some striking irony in how rule changes and penalties made in the 1970s change the game forever.
In 1970, there was only one player in the NFL over 300 lbs, and there was only 3 in 1980. Compare this to a whopping 523 players over 300 lbs at the start of the 2010 NFL season. It’s not just weight either, in fact prior to the 1980s, most offensive linemen fell below 6’4.
So What Happened?
First off, in 1974 the NFL made blocking below the waist illegal when not against the ball carrier. The rule states:
Prior to his rule change the most common blocks occurred below the waist, which would have made being tall and top-heavy a huge disadvantage as you were vulnerable to getting their knees knocked out. What we know today as "chop blocking" or "cut blocking" below the knee was common practice in 1960s and before. I found some Big Ten footage from 1960 and if you watch the line of scrimmage it looks like a mess with 6-foot, 200-pound offensive linemen scurrying around and diving for their opponents' knees. Defensive linemen also did a lot more running, whereas today a defensive tackle's strategic responsibilities revolve around the QB and stay localized near the line of scrimmage.
The irony of it all...
A government study in 1994 found that NFL linemen had 52% higher risk of dying from heart disease than other football players. Herein lies the irony: in an attempt to minimize injuries through new rules and penalties, the NFL, NCAA and even high school football have created strategic system that prioritizes the physical size of a player over their health and well-being in the long run. Like the penalizing of below-the-knee cut/chop blocking, the NFL's new helmet rule, which prohibits players from lowering their helmet to initiate contact, has good intentions to try and minimize brain damage endured during a game. However, as we've seen before, win-driven football coaches will adapt and find alternative strategies and systems regardless of the potential harm it could inflict on their players.
By no means, am I bringing this up to fat shame or criticize linemen for their size. Many large players in the NCAA and NFL are in great shape, despite our preconceived, superficial notions of what health looks like. In fact, one of my favorite moments in football is when one of these larger players gets the chance to make an interception or recover a fumble for a touchdown. Linemen are often the unsung heroes of the game of football, and I think we all get a little inspired when we see a 250-300 lb man excitedly job into the endzone for probably the first time in his career. Pressuring players as young as high school to gain or lose mass amounts of weight at a time is incredibly dangerous as it leads to unhealthy diets and the overuse of supplements. I’m not saying any of these new rules for the 2018 will ultimately lead to a similar unhealthy trend, but reflecting on the history of football can reveal that rule changes and penalties may not be the effective way to minimize on-field injuries. This doesn’t mean there is no solution to the high frequency of injuries during games, it just means we need to think more critically and outside the box to find it.
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