National / Sports / October 26, 2011

Fulton County Haze: Football mania

Nathan Williams: It’s Business, It’s Business Time…

College Football Upsets

N: College football last weekend; that was fun eh?

Gabe Ayers: Yeah, I would say that some top 25 teams came out unhappy with how they did.

N: We will start out with the game that sent the most ripples throughout college football. That would be Texas Tech upsetting Oklahoma 41-38 in Norman.

G: Oklahoma came out a little flat against the Red Raiders like they have been prone to do this year. After the 1 hour and 30 minute weather delay, Texas Tech came out and scored on their very first drive. Both teams had over 400 yards passing and it seemed like Texas Tech was in control the entire game. Oklahoma had to play catch-up after that.

N: Oklahoma has not really done much to impress us. When they started slipping down the rankings, we both felt it was pretty well deserved because they have not really done much so far.

N: There are grumblings coming out of Norman for Bob Stoops’ head. What do you think about that?

G: I think that it is a bit silly to think that Bob Stoops should be fired after this loss. I guess I understand where they are coming from because of past losses, but he has had them in the BCS Championship conversation for what seems like forever now.

N: Moving onto the Big Ten (which of course has twelve teams): Wisconsin vs. Michigan State.

G: Ultimately Michigan State won on a last second Hail Mary from the Wisconsin 45-yard line that was caught by Keith Nichol.

N: This shakes up the Big Ten race a bit with the Leaders and Legends Division (gosh, those division names are awful). Penn State is in control of their own destiny to make it to the conference championship, while Michigan State, Michigan and Nebraska are still battling for the Legends spot.

National Title Implications

N: With these two big upsets from this weekend, there were rather large Nation Title implications. Oklahoma falls out of the power position, and Wisconsin did little to their causer as well.

G: Well, with the number three and six teams losing this weekend, the standings seem wide open for a number of teams now. I would say that the big winner of the weekend is the new number three team: the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

N: There are some Knox College ties with Oklahoma State actually. Did you know that their Offensive Coordinator, Todd Monken, was a former quarterback here? That is some pretty cool stuff there. But I would say Oklahoma State has the best shot of making it into the National Title game because LSU (#2) and Alabama (#1) will face off in two weeks. Both teams are off this week. As you said Oklahoma State is sitting pretty right now, but they don’t have the easiest schedule down the stretch.

G: I would love to see Oklahoma State go undefeated and go the National title game but let me put it this way: even if they go undefeated until they face Oklahoma, the Sooners lead the Bedlam Series 82-16-7.

N: I would also say Boise State going undefeated is expected. Their toughest game will be against TCU coming up in two weeks, and you could make a case for San Diego State, but I really don’t see them losing. Do you see Boise finally getting into a Championship game?

G: There is no way that I could say that Boise State won’t get to the BCS Championship game. They are just too good with Kellen Moore. He just recently tied Colt McCoy for the most FBS career victories and with five regular season games left it seems like he will crush it.

N: Now what about Clemson? They are quite a sneaky team.

G: Yea, they are one of the quick-paced teams that are taking over football now. They don’t like to huddle on offense and prefer to pass first, but they have a formidable rushing game as well. They played a tough three-game stretch against Virginia Tech, Florida State and Auburn. This week they have a tough matchup against the triple-option minded Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets who just recently dropped out of the top 25. If they can get past them it seems like their next big challenge will be on the last weekend of the regular season at South Carolina.

N: And finally to Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinals.

G: I would say that they are the most interesting team right now sitting at number six. They can do just about anything with Andrew Luck at quarterback.

N: If you like quarterbacks 6-4 laser, rocket arm.

G: They are averaging almost 50 points per game and are also fourth in the nation in points allowed with just fewer than 13 per game. They have a tough stretch right now ending with the Blur offense of Oregon, but if they can get past them it will be a fun last couple of weeks in the FBS.

N: These next three games will be the key for them, as well as for Andrew Luck with his Heisman campaign.

Andrew Luck Sweepstakes

N: And speaking of Luck, would you say that the winless teams in the NFL have begun with the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes?

G: I think that Andrew Luck is a special kind of player. Most professional analysts are saying that he is more NFL ready than both Cam Newton and Sam Bradford.

N: Some Dolphins Fans have been a little more creative if you don’t mind Gabe.

G: Yes, as a Dolphins fan I personally know that there is a “Suck for Luck” campaign being held in Miami this season. He is expected to be the number one overall pick for next year’s NFL draft and there is a somewhat common idea that some teams may start performing badly in order to be able to draft Luck. But the question is out of the three winless teams, if you were in charge of them, would you draft Andrew Luck? Let’s start with the Indianapolis Colts.

N: In the case of Indianapolis I would still take Luck, even if Manning were available. Manning is an offensive genius. Anyone could benefit immensely from Manning, especially someone with the skills and tool set of Luck. It would be a very nice, but potentially a new Brett Farve/Aaron Rodgers situation. But that is all speculation.

G: What about the St. Louis Rams who just drafted a QB, Sam Bradford, a few years ago with the first pick?

N: In the case of St. Louis, I would say it is a no-brainer that you would have to trade the pick. You just drafted quarterback Sam Bradford last year, and have a lot of money invested in him. It would be a shocker for them to draft a second young quarterback onto their team.

G: I’m saying that any team without a superstar quarterback will be trying to make a trade with whoever has the first pick in order to draft Luck.

N: Give me a couple other teams that could maybe finish with the worst record?

G: I think that the Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos have outside chances to hit the jackpot and get Luck. Let’s face it: no one really wants Tebow as their quarterback of the future.

FOX World Cup

N: So moving on to the international brand of football, which has some big news of its own.

G: Yes, it was just announced the other day that FOX has bought out the rights for the 2018 and 2022 Men’s World Cup which means that they will not be aired on ESPN after the 2014 World Cup. In fact, FOX also has the rights to the 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cup. To me this is a little disappointing because the common soccer fan will be missing out on a spectacular event. ESPN no longer having it means that you cannot watch multiple matches on ESPN3 anymore like I did over the last World Cup. Instead the games will be aired on FOX, FX, the FOX Soccer Channel and FOX Soccer Plus. The last two channels are not standard on most cable companies’ basic packages.

N: I agree. This is pretty devastating to the casual soccer fan, which I would classify myself as. I didn’t start getting into soccer until I got into college, and ESPN’s universal coverage really helped me get into it. I hope by the time 2018 and 2022 come along, guys like us will have jobs, so we can maybe afford the FOX Sports package. But for the next generation of potential soccer fans it will be really tough to follow. I just hope that soccer does not become irrelevant as hockey did for while after they were taken off of ESPN.

Nate Williams

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