Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Wednesday's Game Predictions

3-0 in Tuesday's Games. Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech came down to what would have been a last second tip-in that was waved off because of an over the back call on Jeremis Smith. The call gave the Hokies two free throws with 0.5 second left, which they made one to give them a a 65-64 win.

Clemson @ FSU 7:00
Both teams are coming off tough home losses and face a crucial game in hopes of separating themselves from the conglomerate in the middle of the ACC. This game will come right down to the end, but I think Clemson is good enough to win this one on the road.
Prediction: Clemson

Virginia @ NC State 7:00 FSN
Virginia came back to earth this weekend and faces another tough test at the Wolfpack. NC State scrapped out a tough fought win at Clemson. Pack should win this one fairly comfortably at home.
Prediction: NC State

Duke @ BC 9:00 ESPN
Should be the best game of the night and possibly an upset. BC poses one of Duke's biggest remaining threats to an undefeated conference season. The atmosphere should be electric in the Conte Forum, but Duke gets it done on the road.
Prediction: Duke

Alabama @ Georgia 7:30
Alabama is on a winning streak of late after starting the season slow. Georgia is the reverse mode having a tough go as of late. Stegeman Coliseum is a tough place to play for any opponent. I think Georgia wins, but it will take everything they have to pull it off
Prediction: Georgia

Vanderbilt @ Tennessee 7:30
Can anyone stop Bruce Pearl and the Volunteers right now? My guess is that it won't be Vanderbilt.
Predicition: Tennessee

Auburn @ LSU 8:00
Auburn got its first conference win Saturday, but don't look for a second one in Baton Rouge.
Prediction: LSU

Kentucky @ Miss. St 8:00 JP
Kentucky may have started to hit their stride though they still find a way to dig themselves into a whole early in games. The Bulldogs need a win bad, but the Wildcats and Rajon Rondo will be too much.
Prediction: Kentucky

Monday, January 30, 2006

Tuesday Game Predictions

Tuesday's ACC & SEC Action
Season: 7-5

Georgia Tech (9-9, 2-5) @ Virginia Tech (11-9, 1-6)7:00 FSN
After starting 2-0 in the ACC, Paul Hewitt's club has dropped five games in a row. They have been competitive in four out of the five, including a narrow defeat at Boston College on Sunday. The Hokies are coming off their first conference win at Wake Forest. This game has a really good chance of coming down to the wire. I think the Yellow Jackets are beginning to turn the corner as a young team, but Virginia Tech may by poised for a min-run after getting the monkey off their back. Road games are tough to win in the ACC, especially for a young team like Hewitt's club who is winless on the road this season. I like Virginia Tech in a narrow victory.
Prediction: Virginia Tech

Florida (18-2, 4-2) @ Ole Miss (13-6, 3-3) 8:00 ESPN2
This would normally be a trap game for a team like Florida, but after they lost two in a row on the road last week could they have another let down?
Ole Miss is 10-2 at home, but that record is very deceiving as they lost to the two best teams they played at home (Memphis & LSU) and their best victory is probably against South Carolina. This is a very important game for Ole Miss as they have lost three in a row. Ole Miss will be able to hang around and give hope, but Florida will pull away at the end.
Prediction: Florida

Wake Forest (12-8, 1-6) @ Miami (12-8, 4-3) 9:00 FSN
Miami comes into this game after holding off a late charge on the road at FSU. Wake's confidence
has been severly shaken after losing yet another home ACC game. Miami's duo of Diaz and Hiat is good enough to beat anyone not named Duke on any given night. Wake Forest is not showing that they can pull it together and make a run right now, so it looks like their struggles will continue.
Prediction: Miami

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Looking Back...Looking Ahead

7-5 with my picks last weekend. Not great by any stretch of the imagination for my picks. The only real shocker was Wake losing (again) at home to a winless Virginia Tech team. Wake was without its leading scorer Justin Gray, but VT was missing 3 key players as well. I guess Chris Paul was that valuable. I look for the Hokies to make a small run here to get back close to .500 in the conference. They have dug themselves in such a hole though that they still need to get to at least 7 wins and go far in the ACC Tournament to have a shot at the Tournament. Their next 2 games are at home vs Ga Tech (coming off its fifh straight loss) and BC (who has 4 in a row in conference play).

I thought Clemson-NC State would be the best game of the weekend and it turned out to be with a 2 overtimes needed for the Pack to pull it out.

Florida got back on track, but they needed a dominating second half performance to win. LSU looks like the class of the SEC West right now. They went into Oxford and pretty much controlled the whole way in route to their 6th straight conference win. Kentucky, led by Rajon Rondo, showed a lot of poise and grit coming back from 18 down very early on to beat Arkansas. I still like Arkansas come SEC Tourney time to make some noise. Kentucky is doing just enough to win games right now, but their margin for error is still razor thin. Alabama has gone from below .500 to 4-2 in conference.
I will have to change my most disappointing to Mississippi State (though I think the SEC is shaking out about like expected - except for Tennessee).

Home teams went 7-4 this weekend (63%), less than I would have thought.

Looking ahead to some of the top games this week:
Tue: GT @ VT 7:00 FSN, WF @ Miami 9:00 FSN, Fla @ OM 8:00 ESPN2
Wed: Clem @ FSU 7:00, UVA @ NC St 7:00 FSN, Duke @ BC 9:00 ESPN, Alab @ UGA 7:30, Vand @ Tenn 7:30, Aub @ LSU 8:00, UK @ Miss St 8:00 JP
Thur: UNC @ Mld 7:00 ESPN

Some teams face must wins this week if they want any shot at the NCAA's (Ga Tech, Va Tech, Wake, Miss State, Georgia). Clemson vs FSU may help start to settle out the middle pack of the ACC. Alabama will face a tough road test traveling to Athens.

Best game of the week should be Duke @ Boston College. After losing their first three ACC games, BC has ripped off four straight. This may be the toughest game remaining for Duke in the ACC. Ole Miss will be no picnic for the Gators either. The Gators are not nearly as good on the road as they are at home.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Weekend Bball Predictions

Previewing this weekend ACC and SEC action.

Saturday, January 28

Arizona (13-6) @ North Carolina (11-5)
Arizona was thought to be on the top teams in the country this season, but it seems as if they still have a hangover from their crushing Elite 8 loss to Illinois last year. Still the Wildcats went on the road and beat Washington this season and will be a tough test for the Tar Heels. Getting others involved besides Tyler Hansborough will be a key for UNC because you know he will get 20 and 9. Arizona has too much athleticism for the young Tar Heels.
Prediction: Arizona

#18 Maryland (14-4) @ Temple (10-7)
Maryland just lost their best player Chris McCray, but it didn’t seem to bother them in a resounding victory over Georgia Tech on Wednesday.
Prediction: Maryland

Virginia Tech (10-8) @ Wake Forest (12-7)
Battle of the bottom dwellers in the ACC. The Hokies have had some close losses this season and are 0-6 in the conference. Wake has been a huge disappointment so far this season. I will go with the home team in this one-Wake is too good to go 1-6 in their first seven games.
Prediction: Wake Forest

Vanderbilt (12-4) @ #5 Florida (17-2)
The Gators get back home after two straight road losses. Vandy will be a tough test, but Florida is even tougher at home.
Prediction: Florida

LSU (13-5) @ Ole Miss (13-5)
LSU is off to a fast start in the SEC at 5-0. Ole Miss has been tough at home so far. LSU will come back to earth-of sorts-with a road loss.
Prediction: Ole Miss

Georgia (12-7) @ Auburn (8-8)
Auburn looks to get their first SEC win of the season. Georgia has played very well at home, but struggled on the road. Their confidence may have hurt with the blowout loss to LSU.
Prediction: Auburn

South Carolina (11-8) @ #19 Tennessee (13-3)
Tennessee is the big surprise of the season so far in the SEC. South Carolina is coming off a big upset over Florida-don’t look for a second one here.
Prediction: Tennessee

Mississippi St (11-8) @ Alabama (10-7)
Alabama is better this season and they are at home-case closed.
Prediction: Alabama

Sunday, January 29

#15 NC State (15-4) @ Clemson (14-5)
How good is NC State really? They just got blown out at home Seton Hall. Now they go on the road to play an improving Clemson team. This game may be the best all weekend. I will take NC State in a nail biter.
Prediction: NC State

Miami (11-8) @ FSU (12-4)
FSU is 7-1 at home this season and is coming off a big road win. Miami just got smoked by Virginia. I like FSU at home.
Prediction: FSU

Georgia Tech (9-8) @ #20 Boston College (15-4)
The Yellow Jackets won the first meeting this season, but this is a different BC team. BC should roll in this one.
Prediction: Boston College

Arkansas (14-5) @ Kentucky (13-6)
Which Kentucky team will show up? Arkansas is one my sleeper teams this year in the Tournament, but the Wildcats are looking up these days after four straight victories.
Prediction: Kentucky

Finishing Touches on Recruiting

National Signing Day is February 1st and while many of top prospects have already made a verbal committment there is always the chance we will have a big switch when the intent letters are faxed in.

The rankings below are based on average number of stars-a better indicator of the talent in the class. The usual suspects are there USC, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Michigan. No real shockers this year though schools like Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, and Arizona are recruiting much better than years past.

For the remaining top prospects all the big dogs are in the hunt, so these rankings could change any day. Also, it will be interesting to see what the rankings would be after all of the test scores are in...

As of January 26, 2006
SchoolCommitsTop 1005 Stars4 Stars3 StarsOff.Def.Sp.T.H.S.J.C.Avg. Stars
1USC 16117908801514.44
2Florida 2786137131402703.89
3Texas 2564127131112503.72
4Notre Dame 2863121218912803.61
5Michigan 1744477911703.59
6Georgia 2664911141202603.58
7Penn State 236211891402303.57
8Ohio State 207210581202003.55
9LSU 2142710111002013.43
10Auburn 1911969911813.42
11Florida State 16234651001333.38
12Miami (Fl) 19101069911903.37
13Pittsburgh 21427881302013.33
14Texas A&M 191161011801633.32
15Arizona 2402613121202043.29
16Oklahoma 2521910141102143.24
17Mississippi 2922813171202183.21
18Alabama 2000612101001913.2
19Oklahoma State 2610815131302333.19
20UCLA 221061491212113.18
21Tennessee 1810779721623.17
21Nebraska 230171014901583.17
23California 191061010811543.16
24Clemson 191141081011813.11
25Texas Tech 3101512121903012.81
25Maryland 210121112902102.81
27Virginia Tech 19005510901902.79
28Arizona State 240041291411682.75
29Oregon State 2600313101511972.73
30Washington 1820479901172.72
31South Carolina 2300212131001942.7
32Illinois 2510213121212322.68
33Arkansas 18110910801622.67
34Wisconsin 17002710701702.65
35North Carolina 2810312151302802.64
36Louisville 190011012701722.63
37Mississippi State 2200111121001932.59
37Washington State 220021116601572.59
39Kentucky 281129141402532.57
40Stanford 1600179701602.56
41Georgia Tech 1500168701502.53
42Michigan State 230101281411942.52
43Purdue 230011081321492.48
44Boston College 17000851201702.47
45Missouri 2400011101401862.46
46Iowa 1800338911712.44
47North Carolina State 1500077621502.4
48Kansas 230009131001942.39
48Virginia 23000914902302.39
50BYU 240024111212132.29

Who is Up, Who is Down

Now that we are about 1/3 of the way into the conference season, lets take a
look at who has been surprising and who has disappointed so far.

Surprising: Virginia (10-6, 4-2)
The Cavaliers are off to hot start this season under first year coach Dave
Leito.  The Cavs have knocked off UNC, Clemson, Miami, and Virginia Tech so
far.  Many picked this team (myself included) to finish at the top bottom of
the pack.  Virginia will have some tough road tests coming up though against
Duke and NC State.

Disappointing: Wake Forest (12-7, 1-5)
So I guess Chris Paul did mean that much to Wake.  The Deacons have
struggled mightily this year with their lone win over a young Georgia Tech
team at home.  Home losses to FSU and DePaul have put the Deacs in a hole.
The conference schedule should get a little bit easier, but most every home
game is a must win from here on.

Surprising: Tennessee (12-3,3-1)
The Volunteers under first year Head Coach Bruce Pearl have shocked everyone
in the SEC with their play so far this year.  Count victories at Texas and
at home versus Florida to knock the Gators from the ranks of the unbeatens
(and a shot at a #1 ranking). The Vols losses are at Okla. St, at LSU, and
at Memphis.  A start like this puts some of the football seasons misery

Disappointing: Kentucky (13-6,3-2)
Blowout losses to rival Indiana and Kansas put the Wildcats in this spot.
Vanderbilt came in and snapped a 31 year winless streak at Rupp Arena.  Poor
outside shooting and a lack on inside presence (until the return of Randolph
Morris) have led to one of the worse seasons since 1990.  But, Kentucky has
won its past three conference games and there is a lot of basketball to be

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Can Duke Go Undefeated?

NC State gave Duke a scare for about 33 mintues Wednesday night, but in the "fourth quarter" the Blue Devils elevated their game to a level the the Wolfpack could not keep up with.

For Duke, what went right....
-Creating Turnovers
-Foul Shooting
-Defense late in the game was outstanding
-Recognizing the open man

what went wrong...
-Allowed Cedric Simmons to go off in the first half
-Did not shoot the ball exceptionall well

For NC State, what went right...
-Simmons (11-18, 28 pts)
-Outrebounded Duke
-52% shooting from the field

what went wrong...
-Evtimov, Atsur, Bethel combined for 6 points
-3pt Shooting: 2-11
-Free throw shooting late in the game killed any chance of a comeback
-17 Turnovers

Duke has a very good shot at going undefeated in the regular season considering the ACC is a little down this season. I highly doubt Duke will lose to anyone at home this year. Their toughest games will be on the road, especially Maryland and UNC. I don't think Duke will go undefeated in the regular season, but they sure look like the team to beat in the Tournament.

Game Recap

Marcus, Why You Do Me Like That?

An editorial by a Virginia Tech frequent visitor.

For Virginia Tech fans, the last name Vick was golden. The Hokies almost never lost with a Vick starting at quarterback. 33-3 (22-1 for Michael, 11-2 for Marcus). But winning isn't everything. That has become even more clear in the days since Tech's Gator bowl win on January 2 over Louisville.
It would be pointless for me to repeat the laundry list of things Marcus did wrong. You can find that in plenty of places around the internet, newspapers, and T.V. The list has grown long and no one I know wants to defend his actions. Disappointment is the only word I can come up with to explain what this whole episode has been for me as a VT fan. Disappointment for Virginia Tech football, disappointment for what-could-have-been for Marcus, disappointment for a kid that grew up not too far from where I did and whom I had convinced myself to believe in.

I'm not worried about Virginia Tech football. The Hokies are not weak at the QB position. Everyone should expect another year of challenging for the ACC title and possibly more. On-the-field leadership will be stronger next season than it was under Marcus.

Maybe I'm just being naive, but I don't think Marcus Vick is a bad kid. He's immature and he's made some really bad decisions. Some really bad decisions for which he needs to pay the consequences. I hope he will learn from the consequences of his actions and will grow as a person. I hope he'll prove everyone wrong who's given up on him. And I hope in a few years I'll be watching him play football on Sunday afternoons.

But for now,

I'm looking forward to next football season and having to live with the embarrassment this whole situation has brought on the football program and its fans. But next season is only around 7 months away.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Conf Season in Full Swing

NC State 87 - Georgia Tech 78
Game Recap
My Thoughts....
-NC State has 4 guys who can light it up from the outside (Atsur, Bethel, Evtimov, Bennerman). If these guys get a good look, it is almost like a free throw for them.

-Looked like it would be a blowout early, but Georgia Tech turned up the defensive intensity and tied the game by the halfway point in the first half.

-Despite shooting 15/18 in the first 13 minutes, the Yellow Jackets could only stay even with the long range shooting of NC State.

-GT's Zam Frederick is improving on his PG skills each game. But he took 13 shots, second most on the team. He still has a ways to go, but has made strides (only 2 turnovers).

-NC State struggled to get back on defense. This is why they lost to a fast UNC team a week ago. With 2 minutes left, only up by 7, and with a 50% FT shooter (Simmons) at the line they decided to send everyone back to protect against a fast break.

-Georgia Tech struggled getting off of screens defensively. This created 27 three point pportunities for State, which they hit 13.

-Both teams played pretty well offensively (only 20 turnovers total), NC State just out shot Georgia Tech (54 % vs 52 %).

-NC State looks like the second best team in the conference right now and the only one able to challenge Duke for the title.

Alabama 68 Kentucky 64
Game Recap
-Down the stretch Kentucky's offensive woes were painfully evident. Rondo was unware of the shot clock winding down and was forced to take a fall away three-this was after a timeout too.

-Every shot the Wildcats took down the stretch (last 2 min) was a three pointer outside of a tipback attempt. Why do you put the game on three pointers when you are shooting about 20% for the season?

-The loser of the game was going to have an uphill climb at the NCAA Tournament. The winner of this challenge is Kentucky.

-So why is Kentucky struggling so much? Check back in a couple of days for a capsule of what has gone wrong.

Miami 81 UNC 70
Game Recap
-Miami matched UNC and then some in the athleticism department.

-I thought the intentional foul (bogus IMO) on the layup attempt by Hansbourgh with about 5 minutes to go and the game tied was going to be a turning point. Hit the two free throws, but then turned it over. Miami really dominated from this point on.
-The turnover bug contintued to kill UNC (16 today)

-Hansborough did have 25 points and continues to play very strong in the paint.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tues Bball Instant Analysis

UNC 64 VT 61
-Virginia Tech is a very athletic team, but is not skilled enough on offense right now to beat the upper echelon teams this season.

-Tyler Hansborough (20 pts, 8 reb) is turning into a dominant low post player in his freshmen season. He gets good position, has good moves, and a good touch. But, Hansborough will get exploited defensively by quick forwards who can play on the perimeter.

-The Tarheels did a better job at getting good shots and converting them than the Hokies (48% vs 41% on FG). An inside player like Hansborough will help that stat.

-UNC’s Wes Miller is a poor man’s JJ Reddick. A couple of times Miller looked like he literally came of the bench during play to shoot from Roanoke.

-The Hokies have now lost 5 games by a combined 15 points this season.

Game Recap

Vandy 57 – UK 52
-Watching the Wildcats on offense is downright painful at times. The shooting woes continue with a 1-9 shooting effort on 3 pointers in the first half; ended up 5-20 for the game.
Randolph Morris made his season debut and provided some instant inside defensive help-7reb, 2 blocks.

-The Kentucky crowd sounded very excited to just be able to stay with Vanderbilt in the first half. How times have changed in Lexington.

-Kentucky’s starting lineup went for a whopping 23 points. Rajon Rondo was the leader with 9 points.

-Vanderbilt got their first win in Lexington since 1974.

Game Recap

NC State 78 – BC 60
-With the BC students not yet returned to class, the Conte Forum was virtually a library, of course the score didn’t help.

-Simmons is the key to this NC State team. He is a defensive force on the inside blocking 2-3 shots per game and altering about 8-10 more.

-BC may wish they were still in the Big East. They wouldn’t have had to travel to Boise for a bowl game, and probably would not be 0-3 in conference play right now.

-After a tough loss to UNC, NC State came right back and beat a team rated second preseason on the road by a sound margin. NC State looks to have a very legit team this year.

Game Recap

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Hot Topics on the Msg Boards

Georgia Tech's Theodis Tarver is academically ineligible for the rest of his Senior season. Although, Tarver was not a stat sheet filler, he was the lone Senior on a Yellow Jacket squad just now beginning to find themselves. He provided a good inside defensive presence and experience for a team starting with 8 freshmen and sophomores in the playing rotation. Georgia Tech is playing Centenary today in Shreveport, La for Tarver's Homecoming game.

On Devil's Den, 376 replies for who is better
McRoberts or Hansborough?

Right now, Hansborough is showing better stats and I do think he is the better player right now. He has stepped up and given Carolina a good inside precense, bringing them into the Top 25 in what was to be a major rebuilding year. McRoberts will turn out to be a very good player at Duke, but it will not show until he gets out of the shadow of Shelden Williams and JJ Reddick.

Duke fans ask the question, Did Coach K pick McRoberts over Hansborough?

Miami Fans Discuss who will be favored to win the ACC next year in football.

It's very early, but who doesn't like predictions without knowing all the facts?

On what we know right now (early entries, recruiting, returning players), my predictions would be:

1. Miami

2. Va Tech

3. Clemson

4. FSU

5. BC

6. Ga Tech

7. NC State

8. Virginia

9. Maryland

10. UNC

11. Wake Forest

12. Duke

NC State Fans Calling for Sendek's Head?

After a 12-2 start, NC State fans are actually debating whether or not Herb Sendek should be the coach. Sendek is the longest tenured coach in the ACC, next to Gary Williams and Mike Kryzewski. The last few years have been some the best, but State fans clamor because he cannot beat Duke or North Carolina. I think Sendek is doing a pretty good job at NC State. If NC State had beaten UNC last Saturday, then people would be praising him.

Florida is off to a fast start with a 14-0 record. The SEC looks down this year and Florida should march fairly easily through the conference schedule if they keep playing the way they have been. Some Gators fans are beginning to think their team would beat Duke and so does Georgia Head Coach Dennis Felton. I think this is a case of coaches looking out for each other within the conference. Duke is the clear number one in the country right now in my opinion. Florida is a very good team, but not at the caliber of Duke yet. Florida is right about where they should be at #5.

Monday, January 9, 2006

I'm Committed But Willing to Listen

Recruiting is a big time business and keeps rabid football fans satisfied in the slow months of January and February. This article talks about how a recruit's commitment is not the end of the recruiting battle. If I am a top prospect, I would probably visit as many schools as I could too just to get the experience and make sure I was looking at my best options.

It was late November. Days earlier, Florida had beaten Florida State on the field. Months earlier, Florida State had beaten out Florida for the services of one of the nation's top prospects, safety Myron Rolle. Now, despite Rolle's word and strong commitment to the Seminoles, the Gators coaching staff was trying to win him, too.

It's all part of recruiting, too. These oral commitments everybody goes ga-ga over mean absolutely nothing. Want proof? Just ask quarterback Ryan Perrilloux. He committed to Texas in 2004. He signed with LSU in '05. Ask defensive back Demetrice Morley, a one-time Florida commitment who had second thoughts and wound up at Tennessee.

Full Article (Reg Reqd)

A second article discussing the business of recruiting and how the heck these guys find out about players who play in the middle of nowhere. Former Georgia Tech Head Coach and current Army Head Coach Bobby Ross talks about the recruiting process today versus 15-20 years ago.
For the old-fashioned Ross, he rates prospects on a slightly different scale than the scouting sites. The number of stars a player boasts isn't glaring enough for the man who has coached football for 44 years.
"There are still some separate things I look for in a kid," he said. "Whether he's a three-, four-, or five-star doesn't make much difference. There's still stuff I look into - size, weight, caliber, speed. A five-star, you're still going to take a look, but the fact that he's a four- or five-star is not gospel."

"College coaches use our sites daily," Kennedy said. "They use it for the video. They also use it for the updates. There are so many periods where they can't talk to the players. They ask us, 'I know what he's telling us, but what's he telling you.' It happens all the time with college coaches finding out from us."

Full Article

And for those who are thrilled or disappointed with their school's recruiting ranking, here is an
website comparing Recruiting Rankings to Actual Results.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Conference Schedules Kick Off

North Carolina 82 NC State 69

NC State's first road conference game got off to a great start in Chapel Hill as the Wolfpack jumped out to an early 11-0 lead. After Roy Williams' called a timeout however, UNC came back with a run of their own to draw to within 2 with 13 minutes to go in the first half. From there, it was a back and forth game with NC State leading by 3 at half time. The final score does not indicate how close this game really was as UNC pulled away at the end with outstanding free throw shooting (26-28).I was really surprised to see NC State play as up tempo as they did. They run a Princeton style offense, which frustrates most teams' and leads to many easy buckets. But the 'Pack seemed content to run with the 'Heels at times during the game. NC State began to go downhill when Cedric Simmons (not the entertainer) went out with 4 fouls. At this same time, UNC's Tyler Hansborough stepped up his game on his way to a team high 20 points. UNC won a home game against an equal opponent in the ACC; a must if you want to compete for the top tier in this conference. This win would have been huge for NC State as they look to compete with Duke this year for the top spot.

Other ACC Games:
FSU 74 VT 68 Tallahasse, FL
Miami 84 Maryland 70 Miami, FL
Virgina 65 Clemson 58 Charlottesville, VA

ACC Games Today:
Boston College @ Georgia Tech 5:30 ET FSN
Duke @ Wake Forest 8:00 ET FSN

SEC Scores:
Kansas 73 Kentucky 46 Lawrence, KS
Kentucky cannot wait to get Randolph Morris back as they have no inside threat to and the three point shooting has been atrocious (3-25 vs Kansas). Tubby Smith has now suffered two of his worse losses at Kentucky in the same season. After the game, Tubby Smith said "We're just not very good". Not exactly words of confidence.
UConn 67 LSU 66 Storrs, CN
LSU was up 37-30 at halftime, but 14 turnovers to UConn's 6 were the undoing of a great effort just coming up short.
Florida 90 Georgia 72 Athens, GA
Ole Miss 71 Alabama 61 Tuscaloosa, AL
Miss St 69 Arkansas 67 Starkvile, MS
Vandy 74 Auburn 50 Nashville, TN

SEC Games Today:
Tennessee @ South Carolina 1:30 ET

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Bowl Wrap Up

Conference Breakdown in Bowl Games


Big 12            5-3

ACC              5-3

Pac 10          3-2

SEC              3-3

Big 10            3-4

CUSA            3-4

MWC             2-2

MAC              1-1

Ind                 1-1

WAC              1-2

Big East         1-2

Sun                0-1


The SEC was favored in all six of its matchups, but suffered two of the biggest upsets in the Capitol One and Sugar Bowls.   The ACC was favored in 6 out of 8 games, managing to win 4 of those with Virginia beating favored Minnesota in the Music City Bowl.


Best Bowl Game:

Tie, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl.  Both resulted in losses for the SEC and ACC, but both provided unmatched drama outside of the Rose Bowl.   In the Sugar Bowl, West Virginia jumped out to an early 28 point lead after Georgia tried to bully them around.  Georgia, like the champion they are, pulled back to within 10 at halftime and 3 by late fourth quarter.   Rich Rodriguez make a brilliant call (hindsight is never wrong) by faking a punt to seal the victory for the Mountaineers.  Not the biggest upset by the numbers, but not too many really thought West Virginia could hang with the SEC Champions.  The Orange Bowl pitted two of the greatest coaches of all-time in an epic battle.  FSU struggled for much of the night, but got some big plays from their defense and kick returners to give big favorite Penn St. all they could handle.   In the end, the kicking game undid Bobby Bowden again.


Biggest Disappointment:

Emerald Bowl.  Georgia Tech was disappointed after being passed over by the Music City Bowl and that disappointment traveled with them out to San Francisco.  The Yellow Jackets should have been able to handle Utah after beating Auburn and Miami on the road, but lack of motivation and a precision passing attack was their undoing.   If the game had been played on a real football field, then maybe the outcome would have been different.  Once Georgia Tech got down big, they knew their offense would not be able to bring them back.  This one will one will leave a sour taste for a long time, putting a damper on a pretty successful season.


Biggest Surprise:

Peach Bowl.  LSU ran over, through and around a Miami defense ranked third coming into this game.   Offensively, Kyle Wright could not get anything going against an LSU defense blasted for 34 points in the SEC Championship Game.  This game gave the SEC a 4-2 season advantage in head-to-head matchups, but the ACC will point to their 5-3 bowl record and their 8 bowl teams to the SEC's 6.   The ACC is the only to have a .500 or better record in bowl games each of the last five years. 


Rose Bowl:

Maybe the best championship game of all-time.  Vince Young was unstoppable.   Matt Leinart threading passes against double coverage.  In the end, the Texas defense stiffened and USC's did not.  It was too bad somebody has to lose this game, but credit has to go to Texas for their 12-point comeback with under 7 minutes to go.  You cannot ask for anything more in a national championship game.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

AARP Will Have To Wait

#3 Penn St (10-1, 7-1) vs #22 Florida St (8-4, 6-3) Miami, FL 8:30 ET ABC

Line: PSU -9; Total: 47
ATS: PSU 8-3; FSU 5-6
O/U: PSU 5-6; FSU 7-4
PSU Favorite: ATS 5-3 W/L 8-0
FSU Dog: ATS 2-1 W/L 2-1
Games over 47: PSU - 8
Games over 47: FSU - 7
Common Opponents: None

PSU Offense:
35.2 Points Per Game
204.7 Passing YPG
219.5 Rushing YPG

FSU Defense:
21.7 Points Per Game
196.5 Passing YPG
105.9 Rushing YPG

PSU Defense:
16.5 Points Per Game
207.5 Passing YPG
99.1 Rushing YPG

FSU Offense:
29.4 Points Per Game
285.7 Passing YPG
99.7 Rushing YPG

PSU: +0.36 per game
FSU: -0.42 per game

Record vs Bowl Teams:
PSU: 5-1; PF: 29.7 PA: 17.8
FSU: 3-4 ; PF: 17.4 PA: 23

PSU Best Win: vs Ohio St (9-2) 17-10
PSU Worst Loss: @ Michigan (7-4) 25-27

FSU Best Win: vs Virginia Tech (9-2) 27-22
FSU Worst Loss: vs NC State (6-5) 15-20


Penn St 28 Florida St 20

Monday, January 2, 2006

sUGAr Bowl?


#8 Georgia (10-2, 7-2) vs #11 West Virginia (10-1, 7-0) Atlanta, GA 8:30 ET ABC

Line: UGA -7; Total: 47
ATS: UGA 6-6; WV 8-2
O/U: UGA 6-5-1; WV 5-5
UGA Favorite: ATS 4-4 W/L 8-1
WV Dog: ATS 2-1 W/L 2-1
Games over 47: UGA - 6
Games over 47: WV - 5
Common Opponents: None

UGA Offense:
29.1 Points Per Game
225 Passing YPG
157.0 Rushing YPG

WV Defense:
16.3 Point Per Game
194.2 Passing YPG
99.3 Rushing YPG

UGA Defense:
14.6 Points Per Game
173.8 Passing YPG
124.0 Rushing YPG

WV Offense:
31.5 Points Per Game
116.2 Passing YPG
262.5 Rushing YPG

UGA: +1.16 per game
WV: +1.00 per game

Record vs Bowl Teams:
UGA: 4-2; PF: 25.5 PA: 15.67
WV: 3-1 ; PF: 29.25 PA: 26.25

UGA Best Win: vs LSU (10-2) 34-14
UGA Worst Loss: vs Fla (8-3) 10-14

WV Best Win: vs Louisville (9-2) 46-44
WV Worst Loss: vs VT (10-2) 17-34

West Virginia will be playing essentially a road game vs Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. The big question in this game will be whether or not West Virginia can run on this tough Georgia defense. The Bulldogs have faced a similar offense when they play Florida, but West Virginia is more dependent on the run than the Gators. Auburn’s Kenny Irons had a stellar day against Georgia in the Bulldogs last loss. While West Virginia’s stats may indicate a good defense, they have given up almost four touchdowns a game to bowl teams. Georgia’s Offense will have some tough sledding at time, but their defense will carry them to victory.

Georgia 31 West Virginia 14

Alvarez's Last Stand at Cap One

#7 Auburn (9-2, 7-1) vs #20 Wisconsin (9-3, 5-3) Orlando, FL 1:00 ET ABC

Line: AUB -11; Total: 53.5
ATS: AUB 8-2; Wisc 7-5
O/U: AUB 6-4; Wisc 6-6
Games over 53: AUB - 4
Games over 53: Wisc - 7
Common Opponents: None

AUB Offense:
34.2 Points Per Game
222.9 Passing YPG
202.7 Rushing YPG

Wisc Defense:
24.9 Points Per Game
259.3 Passing YPG
173.3 Rushing YPG

AUB Defense:
25.0 Points Per Game
264.7 Passing YPG
96.7 Rushing YPG

Wisc Offense:
35.2 Points Per Game
222.3 Passing YPG
162.3 Rushing YPG

AUB: -0.18 per game
Wisc: +1.00 per game

Record vs Bowl Teams:
AUB: 3-2; PF:27.6 PA:19.6
Wisc: 2-3; PF:26.6 PA:32

AUB Best Win: @ UGA (10-2) 31-30
AUB Worst Loss: vs GT (7-4) 14-23

Wisc Best Win: vs Michigan (7-4) 23-20
Wisc Worst Loss: vs Iowa (7-4) 10-20

Auburn 34 Wisconsin 24

Hokies as Gator Bait?

#15 Louisville (9-2, 6-2) vs #12 Virginia Tech (10-2, 7-2) Jacksonville, FL 12:30 NBC

Line: VT -8; Total: 55.5
ATS: VT 9-3; Lville 6-5
O/U: VT 6-6; Lville 5-6
Games over 54: VT - 2
Games over 54: Lville - 9
Common Opponents: North Carolina (VT30 UNC3)(Lville 69 UNC 14), West Virginia (VT34 WV17)(WV 46 Lville 44)

A matchup of one of the best offenses in the nation versus one of the best defenses in the nation will be featured in this year’s Gator Bowl. Louisville QB Brian Brohm is out for this game, so the Cardinals will rely on RB Michael Bush, who leads the NCAA in TD this season. Virginia Tech will have to return to the site of their ACC Championship Game loss, but this did not faze LSU in the Peach Bowl.

VT Offense:
18th in Scoring Offense (33.7)
28th in Rushing Offense (191.0)
91st in Passing Offense (189.2)

Lville Defense:
36th in Scoring Defense (22.7)
20th in Rushing Defense (107.4)
51st in Passing Defense (210.6)

VT Defense:
3rd in Scoring Defense (12.0)
4th in Rushing Defense (90.6)
2nd in Passing Defense (149.1)

Lville Offense:
3rd in Scoring Offense (45.2)
27th in Rushing Offense (194.1)
9th in Passing Offense (300.6)

VT: +0.42 per game
Lville: +0.91 per game

Record vs Bowl Teams:
VT: 5-2; PF:30.85 PA:16.85
Lville: 1-2; PF:38 PA:32

VT Best Win: vs BC (8-3) 30-10
VT Worst Loss: @ FSU (8-4) 22-27

Lville Best Win: vs Rutgers (7-4) 56-5
Lville Worst Loss: @ USF (6-5) 14-45

Virginia Tech 31 Louisville 21

Cotton Clash

#13 Alabama (9-2, 6-2) vs #18 Texas Tech (9-2, 6-2) Dallas, TX 11:00 ET Fox

Line: TT –1.5; Total: 47
ATS: TT 4-5; Alab 3-6-2
O/U: TT 3-6; Alab 3-8
Games over 47: TT - 7
Games over 47: Alab –2
Common Opponents: None

TT Offense:
4th in Points Scored (42.8)
1st in Passing Yards (426.3)
105th in Rushing Yards (107.4)

Alab Defense:
1st in Scoring Defense (10.7)
4th in Passing Defense (154.8)
7th in Rushing Defense (93.5)

TT Defense:
22nd in Scoring Defense (19.4)
8th in Passing Yards (171.8)
70th in Rushing Yards (156.4)

Alab Offense:
87th in Points Scored (22.5)
64th in Passing Yards (233.7)
64th in Rushing Yards (142.3)

TT: +0.82 per game
Alab: +0.73

Record vs Bowl Teams:
TT: 3-1; PF:26 PA:30.25
Alab: 3-2; PF:25.8 PA:16.4

TT Best Win: vs Oklahoma (7-4) 23-21
TT Worst Loss: @ Oklahoma St (4-7) 17-24

Alab Best Win: vs Florida (8-3) 31-3
Alab Worst Loss: @ Auburn (9-2) 18-28

Alabama 20 Texas Tech 17

Bloomin Onions

#16 Florida (8-3,5-3) vs #25 Iowa (7-4, 5-3) Tampa, Fl 11:00 ET ESPN

Line: UF –1.5; Total: 48
ATS: UF 5-5-1; Iowa 6-4
O/U: UF 3-8; Iowa 3-7
Games over 48: UF - 3
Games over 48: Iowa –6
Common Opponents: None

UF Offense:
28.4 Points Per Game
144.7 Rushing YPG
222.0 Passing YPG

Iowa Defense:
19.0 Point Per Game
122.1 Rushing YPG
254.7 Passing YPG

UF Defense:
18.4 Points Per Game
97.7 Rushing YPG
192.1 Passing YPG

Iowa Offense:
30.5 Points Per Game
186.7 Rushing YPG
249.7 Passing YPG

UF: +1.6 per game
Iowa: -0.09 per game

Record vs Bowl Teams:
UF: 2-3; PF: 18 PA:19.8
Iowa: 2-4; PF: 21.33 PA:23.83

UF Best Win: vs Georgia (10-2) 14-10
UF Worst Loss: @ Alabama (9-2) 3-31

Iowa Best Win: @ Wisconsin (9-3) 20-10
Iowa Worst Loss: @ Iowa St (7-4) 3-23

Iowa 24 Florida 23