MWC Football

September 15, 2006

Showdown Saturday

Tomorrow is Showdown Saturday. There are seven games that feature AP Top 25 teams going head-to-head. Teams from seven conferences plus Notre Dame will take part in those games. For some odd reason (or perhaps because it's the best game on ABC tomorrow), ESPN College GameDay is headed to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the Nebraska-USC showdown, even though it was voted as the 3rd most popular game this week in an ESPN user poll. I suppose they didn't want to hype a game on CBS (LSU-Auburn) or NBC (Michigan-Notre Dame). It's a shame that they can't go to a better game though. Anyway, here are the games with my score picks (with rankings in parentheses):

(2) Notre Dame 21 - (11) Michigan 20
(3) Auburn 15 - (6) LSU 9
(12) Louisville 27 - (17) Miami 24
(18) Oregon 31 - (15) Oklahoma 17
(20) TCU 38 - (24) Texas Tech 31
(4) USC 42 - (19) Nebraska 21
(7) Florida 20 - (13) Tennessee 14

September 05, 2005

UNLV Onside Kick

After failing a two-point conversion attempt with under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter against New Mexico, UNLV was down two points and needed to recover an onside kick, which they did after the ball deflected off a Lobo player. A UNLV player caught the ball, ran downfield about 5 yards and then was tripped up. Stellar execution on the part of the Rebels. Not so stellar was the analysis of the instant reply by ESPN analyst Chris Spielman.

"He might have gone for six if he hadn't tripped," Spielman said. In fact, the kicking team is not allowed to advance an free kick.

Spielman redeemed himself moments later, most likely when word of the rules came through his earpiece from someone in the trailer: "You can't advance an onside kick," he explained. Okay, that's more like it.

But then he faulted one more time when he attempted to reiterate this point, saying, "I stand corrected: you cannot advance a free kick if you recover a fumble." What fumble? Yes, there was a muff that occurred during the play. But that certainly was not a fumble. In fact, had the Lobo player possessed the ball, then fumbled, the ball could have been advanced by UNLV. In trying to correct himself, Spielman committed another sloppy error. Most likely, very few fans caught this mistake, probably because of the very fact that many fans' knowledge of the game comes to them from announcers such as Spielman. It sure would be nice if these guys would actually read the rules book at least once.

September 04, 2005

Notes from San Diego

I got back to Los Angeles from San Diego this morning at 1:00 a.m. Here are some highlights from my trip down south to see the Bruins battle the Aztecs.

San Diego Freeway

It was quite a long trek from west L.A. down the 405 to the 73 to the 5 to the 805 to the 52 to the 15 to Qualcomm Stadium. I left my place at about 3:15 p.m. and didn't get down to Qualcomm until 6:30 p.m. That's Labor Day weekend traffic for you, I guess. But I still got there in plenty of time for the 7:15 p.m. start.

Colorado wins

And on the way down there, I listened to the fourth quarter of the Colorado State - Colorado game on my new Sirius satellite radio. I love that thing! After that game was over, I tuned in to Notre Dame - Pittsburgh.

Great seats

Point of advice: Don't sit in the field level of Qualcomm Stadium. This place was built for baseball, not football. I'm sure that my seat in the eighth row is great for catching fowl balls, but the sight lines are horrendous for football. Anyways, the Padres don't even play there anymore! I can't believe they actually hosted a Super Bowl in this dump just two years ago.

Two games at once

During the first half of the UCLA - San Diego State game, I kept one eye on the field and the other on my TV screen so I could keep up with the second half of the Notre Dame - Pittsburgh game. I had my pocket radio plugged into my ear for good measure.

ESPN cameraman

Eventually, I moved to the other end of the field and found a seat in the plaza section, just above the field section, but those ESPN guys kept getting in my way!

UCLA wins

Well, in the end, the Bruins won big, thanks mainly to the ineptness of the opponent that they had scheduled. Next week's game: Rice - UCLA at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

September 03, 2005

Air Force Second-Team Offense

How about Air Force playing their entire second unit offense for an entire series during the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second quarter? The idea by head coach Fisher DeBerry is to keep both units fresh and healthy because the triple offense style of football that the Falcons play is so punishing on the body play after play. And that second team led by quarterback Adam Fitch looked pretty impressive, keeping the football for about six minutes and moving it down to the Huskies 30 before fumbling. The drive also included a successful fake punt.

TCU Stuns Oklahoma

TCU is in victory formation as the final seconds tick off the clock. Down 10-0 at halftime, the Sooners scored 10 in the third quarter to tie, but TCU shutdown Oklahoma once again in the fourth quarter. Clearly, without Jason White under center, Oklahoma is a much different team. The defense may still be strong, but putting up a measly 10 points at home against the Horned Frogs will not get the job done, especially with a tough Big 12 schedule right around the corner. Adrian Peterson can put his Heisman campaign on hold for a while, as well, as he finished with only 64 yards on 22 carries. The loss was Bob Stoops first in September as the Sooners head coach. After being ranked #7 in the AP preseason Top 25, it now looks like this should be a very long year in Norman. Congratulations are in order for TCU quarterback Tye Gunn, who finished 24-for-45 with 222 yards and one touchdown.

Trouble in Norman

The Oklahoma Sooners, the perennial big time losers of the BCS title game, are in big trouble at halftime, as TCU leads 10-0 going into the lockerroom. What is the deal with these guys? I guess they're still reeling for that embarrassment of a "game" against USC in last year's Orange Bowl. They better get their act together fast or their title hopes and running back Adrian Peterson's Heisman Trophy dreams may end before Labor Day. The College Football Index currently features the headline "The Forgotten" referring to the Sooners as being overlooked and underrated: "OU is an afterthought in the Big 12." Yes, but perhaps for good reason!

Jimbo's Game: UCLA at San Diego State

To start this college football season, I will be attending tonight's UCLA vs. San Diego State game at Qualcomm Stadium. This will be my 158th college football game that I have attended and the 10th that I have seen at Qualcomm Stadium (formerly known as Jack Murphy Stadium).

After starting going a meager 12-13 in his first two seasons, UCLA head coach Karl Dorrell is under serious pressure to get the Bruins turned around in 2005. The Aztecs are 0-19-1 vs. the Bruins all-time. That trend will continue tonight.

My Pick: UCLA 33 - San Diego State 27

Speaking of this being my 158th college football game, here is a table of my previous 157 games with results:

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