Saturday, October 30, 2010

Southern Cal in Unique Spoiler Role

The No. 1 Oregon Ducks must face the USC Trojans on the road today.

The Trojans are the underdog today and will try to tame the high-flying Ducks. My have the mighty fallen. Still many like USC’s chances.

All the pressure is on Oregon. An undefeated season and national title hopes are on the line today. All eyes are on the Ducks. Oregon has been on the national scene in recent years but still wear the tag of “Can’t Win the Big Game.” This is a big game. Can the Ducks pardon the pun, dodge the bullet today?

The Trojans must enjoy their position in this game. They are having an ordinary season (5-2 overall, 2-2 Pac-10). If they upset the Ducks, fine. It’s a signature win. If they don’t, thanks for trying and move to 5-3.

USC’s tall order is to limit the Ducks high-scoring offense. Oregon’s worst point total has been 42 points ouch. Second thought, USC better just try to outscore the Ducks.

Most of the nation will get this game on ABC. Better settle into. With all the expected offense, this one could take a long time. How about four hours?

Does USC really have a chance? Or is Oregon truly the favorite?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Michigan State has Golden Opportunity Saturday

Michigan State opposes Iowa Saturday in Iowa City. The Spartans are hoping to keep alive their undefeated season, Big Ten title hopes and a national championship.

The fifth- ranked Spartans (8-0 overall, 4-0) will battle an angry Hawkeye team. Iowa lost to Wisconsin 31-30 last week at home which put a serious hurt on its Big Ten championship hopes. Another Iowa loss would be a crusher.

This will be probably become Michigan State’s toughest game to date. Many so called experts are picking Iowa. The Hawkeyes beat the Spartans in the closing moments last season and seem to defeat the Spartans regularly lately. Iowa is 8-4 in its last 12 games against Michigan State.

But don’t count the Spartans out. They seem to cherish the underdog roll. Even in the top five nationally, few people discuss the success of the Spartans. Is it because another team in that state grabs all the ink whether Michigan wins or loses?

Michigan State will run the ball on Saturday and try to pound the once feared-Iowa defense. Wisconsin proved last week that teams can score big on the Iowa defense. So again this weekend: it’s prove your manhood in the Big Ten.

Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins is also an interesting story in this game. The junior quarterback has ties to Iowa. His grandfather played for the Iowa and Cousins wanted to be a Hawkeye too. Therefore, Cousins has extra motivation Saturday.

Look for a close game as Michigan State hopes to make a statement. The Spartans want to prove that they do belong with the nation’s elite.

Who do you think wins this game?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Wolfpack and Seminoles Battle Tonight

North Carolina State and Florida State have developed a nice little rivalry in football. The two ACC foes renew that rivalry tonight in Raleigh on ESPN.

The Seminoles have won five out of the last nine meetings including three straight. But the Wolfpack made this a rivalry early in the decade.

Former NC State player Chuck Amato began his coaching in Raleigh after serving as an assistant under Bobby Bowden with the Florida State.

The two had some spirited battles and the pupil beat the teacher too. But Amato didn’t win enough games and the Wolfpack fired him. Bowden took Amato back.

That situation seemed to fuel the rivalry in a different way. But now Bowden and Amato are no longer with Florida State.

But the rivalry lives on and ESPN likes it too especially on a Thursday night.

New Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher has the Seminoles playing well. They are 6-1 overall, 4-0 in league play and ranked 16th this week in the AP poll.

North Carolina State has surprised people. The Wolfpack hope to surprised their visitors too and improve on 5-2 and 2-1 records.

This has the making of an interesting contest.

So if you want to take a break from the World Series, you might want to check this ACC fight out.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Boise State and the Blue Turf

I have been a fan of Boise State from a far for a while. I appreciate the Broncos’ winning ways as an underdog in the BCS. It brings freshness to the college football story. Freshness is good.

I have written about the blue turf in Boise State’s stadium before. From the beginning, it was a ploy to get national attention. It worked and ESPN listened. ESPN started doing games at Boise State.

But this blue turf story is getting old. It’s time for Boise State to abandoned the blue turf and return to the traditional green stuff. They would do a great service to American TV viewers if they retired the blue turf. America gets the message. Boise State is a good football team. Rest on your productivity, forget the gimmicks

I cannot watch much of a Boise State home game on TV such as last night’s contest against Louisiana Tech. The blue turf is just too hard on my eyes. It makes them hurt and besides, it’s difficult to follow the football. And I would think there are plenty of viewers out in TV land with the same opinion. I wonder what eye doctors think.

Does Boise State want to turn away viewers? No. The Broncos are still marketing their program and seeking attention. But in my view, they can now do it without the blue turf.

Does the blue turf bother your game watching?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mack Brown and Texas

After Iowa State’s upset victory over Texas last Saturday, I was wondering what the people in the Lone Star State thought about the game. Obviously, I knew they would be upset.

In case you didn’t realize it, they take football pretty seriously in Texas—especially Longhorn football. But maybe as the Texas losses mount, the fans are being conditioned to accept the worst.


This one columnist was going after the coaches and players. Pretty typical stuff. He said that Texas will probably only qualify for a low tier bowl like the Insight Bowl. Memo to the writer: the Longhorns have just four wins, they need six. Don’t count your chickens, I mean steers before it’s time.

But this columnist also went after Brown’s salary—more than $5 million per year. I don’t understand why writers and fans go after coach’s salaries only when the team starts losing. When a team wins consistently, the coach’s salary is largely a mute point.
But folks, the coach is going to get paid whether he wins or loses. The money is only affected in terms of bonuses and termination.

So if Texas fans believe Brown is such a bad coach, then call for his firing. But as the old saying goes, “Be careful what you wish for.”

Brown is the same guy who led Texas to a national championship. Did his coaching skills decline that fast?

Food for thought Texas fans as you await a hungry Baylor Bears team this week.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Missouri Tigers Show Muscle

There is a new hot team in college football and it comes from the Show-Me-State.

The Missouri Tigers put on an impressive show Saturday night in beating previously undefeated Oklahoma.

Like a hot stock on Wall Street, the Tigers are climbing in the polls and in college football talk. Missouri is now ranked sixth in the BCS standings, seventh in AP and eighth in the coach’s poll. Before the Oklahoma game, the Tigers were buried in the rankings.

Missouri is now 7-0, but face another stern test this week at Nebraska. Hangovers have been the norm in college football this season (defeat a highly ranked team one week, and then fall the next), so the Tigers must be on alert.

Most people picked Missouri to have a good season but not a great one. The Tigers have been competitive in recent seasons, but spotty. Now, they have an opportunity to climb into the elite class.

But the word is out about Missouri. Teams will focus on playing the Tigers.

Can the Tigers live up to their name? Or will they turn into a pussy cat? We will find out starting this week.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Iowa State Shocks Texas

I didn’t see this one coming. No way, no how.

Iowa State came into today’s contest a wounded football team. Utah destroyed the Cyclones two weeks ago and then Oklahoma chewed them up and spit them out last week in Norman.

I read the quotes about them leaving that all behind and focusing on Texas. This time, maybe the talk wasn’t so cheap.

Iowa State looked like giant killers today. Texas looked like the old Iowa State team.
Both teams played definite roles but not the usual ones.

Texas continues its split personality. They go into Lincoln and pop the Nebraska Huskers. They then lose in front of the home crowd and look confused in the process. The Longhorns are now an ordinary 4-3.

Iowa State had never beaten Texas before today. The Cyclones looked confident and determined. Gaining their fourth win never felt so good.

Last year, Iowa State dumped Nebraska in Lincoln. This is starting to become a pattern with Paul Rhoad’s bunch. The Cyclones are suddenly in the hunt for a bowl game.

Texas still wonders what hit them. Instead of a tornado, it was a Cyclone.

What are your thoughts on today’s upset?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Iowa-Wisconsin: Old-School Big Ten Football

Iowa and Wisconsin battle each other in Iowa City Saturday and look for an old-time Big Ten Conference football game.

Both teams will try to establish their manhood early. Translation: both want to run the ball well and often. This will resemble Bo and Woody in the Michigan-Ohio State days.

The Badgers feature John Clay—a powerful back. The Hawks feature Adam Robinson who has power but also speed.

Iowa will throw the ball too. Wisconsin wants to keep it close because it doesn’t function well depending on the pass.

These games are usually tight and this one should be the same. Look for a low-scoring affair.

Iowa and Wisconsin are not only neighbors but run similar programs. Both recruit a similar player: guys who aren’t necessarily blue-chip prospects but embrace the team concept. Often, they compete for the same player.

Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema also has extra motivation this week. He is a former Hawk player and coached at Iowa.

Besides all the sub-plots of this game, it is an important one. Iowa is undefeated in the Big Ten, while Wisconsin has just one loss.

The victor will also have bragging rights for a long time. Because of the Big Ten realignment, the schools don’t play again until 2013.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why the Negative Talk About Georgia's Richt?

The pinks slips for college football coaches are already in the mail. Minnesota and North Texas are looking and others will be issuing their own pink slips.

And apparently people aren’t happy with Mark Richt at Georgia. That puzzles me.

Here’s a guy with a 93-31 record in his 10th season in Athens. He has guided the Bulldogs to nine straight bowl victories. He teams usually compete well in the rugged Southeast Conference.

But this year has been a struggle. The Bulldogs are 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the conference. Plus, Georgia has had a number of off the field issues with players. Some say Richt has lost control. There is still time to right the ship on both accounts however.

My problem is that the discontent appears focused on one season.

Richt hasn’t all of a sudden forgotten how to coach. He is still a great leader of young men.

Sometimes a team will record a bad season. Sometimes players get into trouble. That happens when you have a group of 110 teens and 20-some-year-olds.

Richt is a good football coach and a better man. He has a proven body of work. Georgia fans need to lighten up and stay the course.

Georgia could do a whole lot worse with a new football coach.

What do you think of the Georgia situation?


HOUSEKEEPING--In a previous blog, I connected coach Skip Holtz still with East Carolina. I forget that he moved to South Florida. Sorry for the error.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nebraska: the Big 12 Target

Nebraska hosted Texas last week holding onto an undefeated season and a No. 5 ranking.

Texas, who has displayed a split personality this season, was very unkind to its guest. So the Huskers said goodbye to the undefeated season and the No. 5 ranking.

It was Texas’s last trip to Lincoln (as conference foes) because the Huskers will join the Big Ten next season. And I’m sure the Longhorns wanted to give Nebraska a little going away present.

I sense other Big 12 schools are set on giving the Huskers the same present. It just might not work out for those schools.

Colorado is leaving the conference too but I don’t think there is as much disdain for the Buffaloes as Nebraska. Colorado’s squad has not been competitive in recent years, so why bother with the Buffs.

But Nebraska is Nebraska. And Nebraska is back on the national scene after taking a break. So if you are a Big 12 team, you want to beat them all the more this season.

The Texas loss was crippling for Nebraska’s national title hopes, but it can still make the last Big 12 season memorable. Barring a collapse, the Huskers should play for the conference title as representative of the weak North Division.

I see two potential real gift givers on Nebraska’s remaining schedule. The Huskers travel to Oklahoma State this week to oppose an explosive Cowboy’s team. Then late in November, they play Texas A&M in College Station which is a tough place for visitors.

Nebraska has a real opportunity to win the Big 12 championship. If that happens, it will not be a happy memory for the remaining Big 12 schools.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Minnesota Golden Gophers Need a Splash Hire

The Tim Brewster watch is finally over at Minnesota.

Not many coaches get fired in mid-season, but a change was necessary. The bleeding wouldn’t stop. So instead of having a lame duck coach for the rest of the year, Brewster is gone.

Brewster received a nice going away package—reportedly $600,000. Not bad for a coach who won one game this season and couldn’t beat teams like North Dakota State and South Dakota.

Brewster will be fine. He will resurface as an assistant coach somewhere. That is the usual former head coach route.

But the Golden Gophers are in trouble. This season is pretty much a wash. The coaches and athletic director will say all the right public relations things, but it will be tough to salvage this season.

Right now, Minnesota clings to basically two positive things: a beautiful, fairly new stadium and money from the Big Ten Network.

Minnesota need a wow hire as its next football coach. No, Glen Mason or Brewsters this time around. The Gophers need to spend money on a name coach or a so-called can’t miss rising young star.

Two guys who jump out are Mike Leach and Skip Holtz. Leach had his well-documented problems at Texas Tech but would bring some excitement to the Gophers with a high-scoring offense. Holtz keeps winning at East Carolina and might want to jump to Minnesota if asked. His famous dad, Lou had a short stint with the Gophers.

The bottom line is things cannot become much worse with the Minnesota football program. The selling hope program gets old.

The Gophers simply need results. And soon.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Told You So

Ohio State proved Saturday night my observation that the Buckeyes are not the best team in the land with a thumping at Wisconsin.

The Buckeyes held the No. 1 ranking only one week. Now Oregon is No. 1 in most polls and will hold it for at least more than a week because the Ducks are idle this Saturday.

But back to Ohio State. The Buckeyes have played a soft schedule and it showed Saturday night. The Buckeyes gave Wisconsin a major punch in the second half, but the Badgers responded and it was over. As I stated in an earlier blog, Ohio State must still face Iowa and Michigan. Two-loss teams will not make a championship run.

But if somehow Ohio State could run the table with its remaining games and stay at one loss, the Buckeyes could still make noise. This could be the year where even one-loss teams could compete for the title.

Oregon and Oklahoma should be concerned. The upset bug is alive-and-well in college football this season.

Right now, the Sooners and Ducks are one and two in the BCS standings, but this race could get really crazy at the end.

Isn’t college football a grand game?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Midnight Madness Means College Basketball is Near

Depending upon where you were in the country, 12 a.m. had significance today. Many Division I schools hosted their Midnight Madness and kicked off the 2010-11 season.

This ritual is basically a basketball party. Sure, the team may go through a few drills, but it’s basically to invite fans, have contests and get a positive vibe for the upcoming season.

Of course, TV doesn’t hurt either. ESPNU was reporting from various venues. This Midnight Madness is also show business.

I didn’t watch any of the coverage. It was too late for me. In middle age, we try to make it to 10 o’clock before saying good-night.

But I might be the exception. This Midnight Madness stuff seems to grow and get bigger ever year. Someone on TV said it was good for recruiting. It may also sell additional tickets How about team apparel? For schools with lousy football teams, it gives hope that the basketball team will make you forget about football season.

Hope springs eternal at Midnight Madness. But for some schools, once practice really starts the reality sets in. And the good feeling passes.

But whether your team is good or bad, it starts for real in early November. And for 68 special teams, Midnight Madness joyfully will turn into March Madness.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Iowa and Michigan Really Need This Game

When Iowa and Michigan tangle in the Big House tomorrow (Saturday), the stakes are high.

Can Iowa defeat a quality opponent on the road? It’s only the Hawks second road game of the season and they failed miserably against Arizona earlier. Iowa should become a Big Ten title contender this season but a slipup at Michigan will greatly hinder that quest.

With its running game under siege due to injury, look for the Hawks to throw the ball more and put the game in the hands of senior quarterback Ricky Stanzi. Their strong defense must contain an athletic and potent Michigan offense.

But a Michigan question is a big one. What Wolverine team shows up this week? Will it be the club that Michigan State humbled in Ann Arbor last Saturday? Or will it be the team that exploded on offense in their previous victories.

Despite the winning start this season, Michigan fans are not in love with coach Rich Rodriquez yet? It’s been a rocky marriage and would get worse with a loss to Iowa.

Iowa wants a good old fashioned grind it out Big Ten game. Michigan wants lots of offense and a high score. It’s essentially the old vs the new in the Big Ten this week.

It sounds like a great match up.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Norm Parker: Iowa Hawkeyes Inspiration

Norm Parker is the defensive coordinator for the Iowa Hawkeye football team. He has led a stout Iowa defense since 1999. Although the average football fan may not know Parker, his peers know all about the guy.

Parker has battled diabetes for a long, long time. He has had serious bouts with the disease the last couple years and it finally struck him down this season. He has missed several Hawkeye games.

Reports say that he has been hospitalized and doctors apparently removed a foot. How far they went with this procedure is unknown. Head coach Kirk Ferentz believes Parker will rejoin he team at some point but is unsure when.

So the Hawkeyes move forward without their defensive guru. Parker’s influence is still apparent, but the defense is handled by committee these days.

Parker is obviously missed. He is a tough, old football guy, but a media delight. He is honest with his comments and has a great sense of humor. With the humor part, he is more like a basketball coach than a football one.

Parker keeps battling like his Iowa defenses. You would expect nothing different from this coach.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Ugly Side of College Sports

The news cycle lately seems full of bad news in college sports.

It’s not about injuries but the age-old cheating on campuses across the nation.

Today, I read about a possible investigation at Baylor regarding a recruit. Yesterday, I read about a sports agent who said he gave money to numerous players. The fallout of North Carolina football continues. UCONN admits violations in its men’s hoops program.

The sad thing is we have become accustomed to these incidents and hardly blink anymore. We would rather talk about games and winners and losing on the field. But these incidents influences games and winners and losers on the field.

Maybe the NCAA needs to inflict harsher penalties on universities. Plus, maybe it should suspend more coaches who are ultimately responsible for their programs.

Cheating continues to get worse and we never hear obviously about the ones who don’t get caught. It’s time for somebody somewhere to stand up for integrity.

Integrity may not receive the flashy headlines, but it is simply the right thing to do.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ohio State Not the Best Team in the Land

Ohio State moved into No. 1 in the polls this week, but I like to think it was because of default. Someone had to become No. 1, right.

I’m not saying the Buckeyes won’t deserve a No. 1 ranking sometime, but not yet. They have played a soft schedule and now some Big Ten games will challenge them. This week, Ohio State travels to Wisconsin. Then later another road game with tough Iowa. And then the annual battle against Michigan. How about this: the Buckeyes catch a break with no Michigan State on the schedule.

So if they can defeat the above mentioned opponents and others then Ohio State deserves a No. 1 ranking and a shot at the BCS title game.

Of course, will anybody claim the No. 1 prize this season? It has been a wacky year so far. Alabama loses and Texas falls twice. Who would have thought that coming into the season? Cinderella teams like Boise State and Texas Christian (TCU) still have a legitimate chance.

It may be a wacky season, but it is an enjoyable one. The stakes change about every week and it makes for high drama.

Look for that drama to continue throughout the year.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Alabama Proves a Point

Nick Sabin’s bunch looked like world beaters this season. Alabama was the cream of college football until last Saturday.

There’s nothing like a double-digit defeat to South Carolina to give everyone a little taste of reality, however. The old saying is true: “On any given Saturday, one team can beat the other.”

Perfection is a real burden carrier. And maybe the Tide paid too close attention to their press clippings. Arkansas almost beat them earlier in the year. This time, the home team finally whacked Alabama.

The Tide’s role now becomes cheerleaders. They hope undefeated teams fall like they fell. Defending their national title appears unlikely with one loss. Off course, that assumes they win their remaining games.

Leave it to South Carolina to give Alabama pain. The old ball coach, Steve Spurrier, is probably still smiling on this Monday. Smiles have been rare during Spurrier’s time with the Gamecocks.

Suddenly, smiles are definitely on vacation in Alabama. That’s what happens when old sayings become true.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Nebraska is in a Unique Spot

Watching Nebraska’s appearance on ESPN Thursday night caused me to think the Huskers are like a team without a country.

It’s reminds me of a guy who takes a new job but is finishing out his old one. He isn’t really part of the old job anymore even though he finds himself there. He is an outsider yet with the new job because he is not there. The people at his old job treat him differently now because he is not part of the future. The new job folks are still in the major welcoming stage but unsure how this guy will fit.

Nebraska has divorced the Big 12 for the Big Ten. But they are still playing in the Big 12 this season. Conference schools want to defeat the Huskers in a different way now. Nebraska wants a strong finish in the conference to prove it is a quality program and to convince the Big Ten the program is definitely worthy of joining its conference.

Nebraska’s strong team this season makes its more interesting. The Huskers could march themselves through the Big 12 championship game and represent the conference in a major BCS game.

If that happens, other Big 12 schools might compare the feat to kissing your sister. And Nebraska might term it the perfect going away present.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Big Game in the Big Ten

Any year the Michigan-Michigan State football game is a big one especially in the motor state. But Saturday’s game is a big, big one.

Michigan State travels to Ann Arbor and puts its 5-0 mark up against Michigan’s 5-0 record. Both teams have had hiccups, but have moved beyond them. Now, we will see what team has real chops.

The Spartan’s main story has been the heart health of coach Mark Dantonio. He plans to be in the press box on Saturday. Michigan’s main story is quarterback Denard Robinson. This guy is lighting up college football. The question is can this youngster keep it up. This game should provide a stern test.

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez’s job is probably safe with the Wolverine’s undefeated start. His offensive style of play with the multiple-style quarterback is finally clicking. Just don’t tell the old Michigan traditionalists.

My Michigan relatives are huge Wolverine fans, but I’m cheering for the visitors in this one. It’s hard not to like Michigan State with the Dantonio story and a class act quarterback in Kirk Cousins.

Who is your favorite?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Tim Brewster Watch

Minnesota football coach Tim Brewster is in big, big trouble. He came into the 2010 season needing victories to probably save his job.

But it’s not happening.

The Gophers enter their game at Wisconsin Saturday with a 1-4 marking including fourth straight loses at home. Let me repeat four straight losses AND at HOME.

The lone victory was at Middle Tennessee State. Ouch!

Brewster needs a football miracle now. The problem is negativity is as powerful as the positive stuff. And after four straight losses and talk of Brewster’s dire circumstances, will these college kids respond with fight or accept their plight?

For Minnesota fans, the Brewster era seems like a broken record. The Gophers haven’t been competitive for a number of years. Sure they have been to bowl games but with records generally around the .500 mark. Glen Mason preceded Brewster and his tenure was also rocky. Gopher fans who watch the Big Ten Network see Mason sitting on the set and probably think “The nightmare just continues.”

Being located in Iowa, we experience the good-natured Minnesota-Iowa jokes. But come the last regular season game of the year when the Gophers play Iowa, the Minnesota coach will probably be without a laughing attitude.

Because it may be his final game as coach.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What Last Saturday's ACC Game Really Meant

Virginia Tech’s victory over previous undefeated North Carolina State last Saturday was a defining moment for both teams.

The Hokies were highly ranked coming into the season. Their pre-conference losses were surprising. But after Saturday’s win, maybe Virginia Tech will come alive in the conference and win many games. The Hokies definitely possess the talent and speed to accomplish that goal.

Wolfpack fans realized again that how Russell Wilson goes, so goes the Pack. Wilson had a sub-par game throwing touchdowns but also throwing interceptions. When Wilson stars, the Pack wins. When he doesn’t star, the Pack often falls. To use a little baseball speak: Wilson can carry the team. He is that good.

Expects believe the ACC is down this year and the Pack is a surprise. So Saturday’s game was a battle of two teams seeking division titles. Maybe that contest was the first of a two-game series. Virginia Tech and North Carolina State could end up in the ACC championship game against each other.

Stay tuned.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tennessee Coaches Need Counting Lessons

Tennessee must still be in shock over the Vols lost to LSU Saturday.

Tennessee had the road victory in its sights and then somebody forget how to count in the waning moments. The Vols placed 13 players on the field to try to stop LSU deep in Tennessee territory. The flag gave LSU another chance and consequently the victory.

Now, I can understand having 12 men on the field (that happens occasionally) but 13? Wow. That’s practically an army rather than a football team.

Maybe the university math professors should offer a counting class to the Tennessee coaches. It is you know a place of higher learning. This doesn’t require higher learning however, just simple, simple counting. One, two, three…

Tennessee has played some memorable games in its rich football history. This one may go down as the top game with plenty of orange checkered towels draped over it for crying purposes.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

This Iowa-Penn State Matchup Looks Lopsided

While most TV sets will air either Oregon-Stanford or Florida-Alabama, most sets in Iowa and some in Pennsylvania will turn to the game in the corn state.

Iowa and Penn State have staged some close games over the years with Kirk Ferentz usually besting Joe Pa. By the way, Ferentz being a Pennsylvania native probably takes great delight in beat the Lions.

Most expects don’t give Penn State much of a chance in this one. The Hawkeyes have too many weapons on both offense and defense. And with a non-experienced quarterback, Penn State figures to lack in scoring production against that tough, tough Iowa defense.

But maybe Joe Pa likes his underdog status. He can sneak through the backdoor rather than go through the front. Some people question whether Joe Pa has the athletes anymore, so a surprise in Iowa City would be more notable.

Iowa already has an unexpected losing falling to Arizona a couple weeks ago. The Hawkeyes want to get back into the national picture and setup the game with Ohio State in the near future.

Ferentz will have Iowa ready.

Friday, October 1, 2010

ESPN Should Stop Airing Friday Night College Football

I think ESPN performs a great service televising high school football on Friday nights. The sports giant began airing those games this season.

ESPN has also featured a college football game on Friday night for a number of years. I felt bad for the high schools when that started because it takes away from high school football all across the country on that special night.

Friday night IS high school football in rural communities and large cities. Out here in the heartland, Friday night football unites a community. It’s a gathering point and usually the most important event of the day.

But when the weather gets a little rugged like rain, cold or wind, it is easier to stay home. Then if you need your football fix, you turn to ESPN. But then you lose community, your favorite team loses your presence and your revenue.

I think ESPN should expand its high school football coverage on Friday. Do a doubleheader. Celebrate the occasion. Draw people into high school football. It might actually improve the local gate.

The colleges have enough primetime exposure on ESPN. They have Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights and all day Saturday.

What are your thoughts on ESPN Friday night football?