Friday, October 24, 2014
#3 OLE MISS at #24 LSU
TIGER STADIUM - BATON ROUGE, LA
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25 - 7:15PM on ESPN
Once again, the LSU-Ole Miss game features a national title favorite and a talented division rival gunning for an upset victory, but for the first time this century the rolls are revered. Let's get ready to watch the SEC West turned upside down in our Game of the Week...
When you consider the championship history, or lack thereof, of each of these programs it's easy to assume the Tigers have owned the Rebels, but the Magnolia Bowl has been anything but a guaranteed LSU win during the Miles Era. Ole Miss has taken three of the last six from LSU and stayed within a touchdown in two of their three losses despite being outgunned by the Tigers in each matchup. This year they'll wear the unfamiliar favorite hat (they've been underdogs in their last 15 against LSU), but they're still primed for another epic clash with their neighbor to the west.
We could go on and on about Bo Wallace's troubles with turnovers (which, in his defense, he's really improved this year), LSU's depth, and the nighttime atmosphere in Death Valley, but this game is going to come down to one thing: Anthony Jennings throwing the ball against the Ole Miss defense.
When you're facing a team with a defense as good as the Rebs they force you to "beat them left handed," and for this matchup that means the Tigers need to win in the air since the Rebels are too good up front for LSU to get any kind of ground game going, no matter how big and highly recruited the Tigers linemen are. Jennings has had trouble against SEC defenses this fall, and his life's not going to get any easier against the best secondary in the West (tied for the league lead with 15 interceptions). Ole Miss gets more pressure on the QB rushing three defenders than any team in the country, so the secondary is going to have a field day with Jennings and his inexperiences targets.
It's going to be entertaining. It's going to be close. It's going to be brutal in the trenches. But don't let the uniforms or the history fool you: Ole Miss is too good for LSU. Let's not over think it.
The Pick: Ole Miss 24, LSU 17
1. MISSISSIPPI STATE (6-0): The Bulldogs don't deserve to lose their #1 spot during their bye week, but the Seminoles made a pretty convincing case with their second half performance against Notre Dame. With three straight games against unranked opponents the Bulldogs may need dominant wins to hold the Noles off in the polls and in our rankings.
2. FLORIDA STATE (7-0): The Seminoles survived again, winning their 23rd straight thanks to some outstanding halftime adjustments from Jimbo Fisher's staff and an epic second half performance from Jameis Winston. It's hard to see anybody left on FSU's schedule knocking them off, so expect them to stay in the Top 4 until the Playoff.
3. OLE MISS (7-0): Bo Wallace and the Rebels mauled Tennessee this week, but this team is still going to live and die with their loaded defense. They've got a tough road ahead with LSU and Auburn looming in the immediate future, but this is a championship caliber defense if we've ever seen one.
4. ALABAMA (6-1): Alabama was left for dead after their loss to Ole Miss, but that looks better each week as the Rebels continue to roll and the rest of the unbeatens fall. The offense and special teams are still a big question mark but they're coming along under Blake Sims just in time for a playoff push.
5. AUBURN (5-1): The Tigers still control their own destiny with Ole Miss and Alabama left on the schedule, and that win over Kansas State will continue to look better as the Wildcats mow through their Big 12 schedule.
KRQE - A powerhouse college is suing New Mexico State University, claiming the Aggies have plagiarized their mascot. The suit claims it is “confusingly similar” to its own and includes an image of Pistol Pete that NMSU has used in the past when it first adopted the mascot in the ’60s.
NMSU said it initially paid royalties to OSU when it claimed Pistol Pete as its mascot about 50 years ago. OSU said it has had the mascot since the 1920s.
In the lawsuit, Oklahoma claims NMSU’s mascot image is “likely to cause confusion” and that it asked NMSU to “cease and desist from its infringement, but it has failed and refused to do so.”
I was ready to root for the underdog and jump to the Sun Belt school's defense when I saw the big, bad, Power 5 school with a trillion dollar sugar daddy try to take them to court, but then I remembered the critical rule when two schools have the EXACT same mascot...
Tie goes to the badass alternate helmets:
He's all yours, Cowboys.
What's the best thing to do when your conference has been sliding into irrelevancy for a decade, you only have one team in the Top 10, and you're almost guaranteed to get left out of the College Football Playoff this year?
No, besides signing marquee football powerhouses like Maryland and Rutgers...
Of course! You make a Taylor Swift parody video with your mascots so you can lockdown the 14-year-old girl corner of the college football recruiting market!
Good luck getting that out of your head today.
And how about your boy Sparty killing it with the ladies?
Way better game than this nerd:
Thursday, October 23, 2014
I've got to open our Week 9 Picks with a confession: we can't do every FBS game anymore. It's not that it's too time consuming, and it's not that we don't care about all your teams, but the 2014 season doesn't make any sense and we can't give rational predictions on Sun Belt schools that were Division II like six weeks ago when we haven't even figured the SEC out yet. So you win, college football. From now until the end of the season we'll be returning to our 2011-13 roots and only picking the Top 25 and the Service Academy games. If you're looking for Georgia Southern and UTSA coverage you'll have to come back in August. Sorry.
#18 ECU over UConn: If the Huskies can just avoid fumbling on their first drive they can chalk this up as a win, or at least a growing experience.
#6 Oregon over Cal: Cal is 120th in the FBS in scoring defense. Oregon averages 44 points per game. Those poor cheerleaders are going to die pumping out those push ups.
#1 Mississippi State over Kentucky: We live in a world where these two teams are a combined 11-2. In football. THAT'S why we can't pick every game this season.
#3 Ole Miss at #24 LSU: DC's Game of the Week
#4 Alabama over Tennessee: Remember like six days ago when Bama didn't have an offense?
#5 Auburn over South Carolina: If South Carolina falls to 4-4 can we just send Spurrier back to UF?
#8 Michigan State over Michigan: Sparty takes five of six from Big Brother for the first time since 1962.
#10 TCU over Texas Tech: TCU swiped OC Sonny Cumbie from Tech this year and revitalized their offense. He'll be an asset on both sides of the ball in the film room this week.
#11 Kansas State over Texas: If the Wildcats had a kicker they'd be in the Top 4 in the country...
#13 Ohio State over Penn State: The Buckeyes still haven't played anyone, but I think they're too talented and deep to lose to Penn State. As long as we're GIFing it up:
Washington over #14 Arizona State: I don't actually think this, just got sick of picking favorites.
#15 Arizona over Washington State: Arizona should win this game by 28, so they'll probably lose by 14 because that's what Arizona does.
#16 Nebraska over Rutgers: That's a good, old fashioned Big Ten match-up if I've ever seen one...
#20 USC over #19 Utah: Like I said yesterday, I need to see the Utes actually beat USC once before I can realistically pick them.
#21 Clemson over Syracuse: It's not fair to college football fans that we've still got like three weeks before we can see Deshaun Watson again.
Oklahoma State over #22 West Virginia: I don't trust the Mountaineers on the road.
#23 Marshall over FAU: Yes, Marshall is going to go 13-0, BUT DO THEY BELONG IN THE BCS PAWWWLLLLL???
#25 UCLA over Colorado: Honest question, how the hell is UCLA still ranked?
Navy over San Jose State: West Coast teams playing the early game on the East Coast never fare well, especially against an offense like Navy's.
Endicott over Coast Guard: The Gulls have won four straight and are unbeaten in conference play.
Merchant Marine over WPI: It takes more than a surprising upset of Union for us to trust this WPI team.
Idle: Army, Air Force
ESPN - In case you hadn't heard, Lane Kiffin is not a very popular man in state of Tennessee.
Even five years later, his one-and-done tenure with the Vols still irks UT fans, who have suffered through a horrific 7-28 SEC stretch since Kiffin's bravado and high hopes left for Los Angeles. And does it help that their hated former coach is now the offensive coordinator at UT's most ancient rival, Alabama? No. No, it doesn't.
So with Kiffin's Crimson Tide coming to Knoxville this weekend in his first appearance back at Neyland Stadium, you knew things were going to get a little zany. And so far, we have not been disappointed.
Let's start with the Tennessee State House race pitting incumbent Gloria Johnson against challenger Eddie Smith. Kiffin is so unpopular in this East Tennessee district that he's being used in a direct mail ad that compares him to Johnson.
Once more for old time's sake:
"IT'S GONNA BE A BLAST!"
Rick Pitino's getting up there in years, but he's only like 17 months removed from his last National Championship and he coaches one of the best basketball programs in the country. He's still got it together, right?
Oh. I guess not.
PS: EFF THAT DUDE.