The Southeastern Conference has long been regarded as the premier league in college football. And for good reason.
The league has won seven straight national championships and just had a whopping 63 players selected in the NFL Draft.
As dominant as it may seem, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops doesn’t seem too impressed. During a recent caravan stop, Stoops reportedly called the SEC’s dominance “propaganda” and said the gap between it and the rest of the conferences isn’t as wide as people may think.
Stoops referred to the bottom half of conference as evidence.“Well, it depends on what gap you’re talking about,” Stoops said. “What are the bottom six doing? “So they’ve had the best team in college football,” Stoops said. “They haven’t had the whole conference. Because, again, half of ‘em haven’t done much at all. I’m just asking you. You tell me.”In a way, Stoops does have a point, as flawed as it seems. The five SEC schools, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Auburn, and Tennessee, who failed to go to a bowl game last year were a combined 19-41. Meanwhile, the bottom half of the Big 12, Texas Tech, TCU, West Virginia, Iowa State, and Kansas, combined to go 29-35 overall.“It depends on who you want to listen to,” Stoops told the Tulsa World. “Listen, they’ve had the best team in college football, meaning they’ve won the national championship. That doesn’t mean everything else is always the best. “So you’re listening to a lot of propaganda that gets fed out to you,” he said. “You’re more than smart enough to figure it out. Again, you can look at the top two, three, four, five, six teams, and you can look at the bottom six, seven, eight, whatever they are. How well are they all doing?”
N.C. State fans talking about Chris Paul’s late grandfather. D.J. Strawberry hearing comments about his troubled father. Duke fans holding up signs with “J.R. Can’t Reid” written on them are just a few examples of times students cross a line in their creative chants.
Some Wyoming fans crossed that line Wednesday night when they chanted “alcoholic” at Colorado State coach Larry Eustach.
Eustachy was fired from Iowa State in 2003 after he was photographed drinking with undergraduates. He admitted he was an functioning alcoholic — “probably the best in the country at it” — and sought treatment. He was quickly hired at Southern Miss and spent eight years there before moving to Colorado State last spring.
This April, Eustachy will mark 10 years of sobriety, he says.
The chant in Wyoming started before halftime of the game in Laramie. The Cowboys had been trailing for most of the game and would go on to lose 78-56.
Brent Musburger is not shying away from the Katherine Webb situation instead he’s embracing it.
Musburger was calling the Kansas-Iowa State basketball game and was approached by a fan who brought a Katherine Webb poster to which he signed it with a personalized message.
“She’s a 10!”
University of Kentucky Wildcats super fan and Hollywood actress Ashley Judd has access the to teams locker room and that all out access caused a bit of mix up. After Saturday’s win over Iowa State accidentally stole forward Terrence Jones’s phone.
Judd realized her mistake after she was long gone from Louisville but had someone meet up with her to give the phone back and she wrote him a note of apology, which Jones tweeted a picture of that night. No word if she included a nude pic in his photo album for the mishap.
The son of rapper, producer, actor, business mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs is drawing the interest of quite a few BCS schools to play football. Justin Combs is a 5-9, 175 pound cornerback for New York’s Iona Prep and already has offers on the table from Virginia, Wyoming, Middle Tennessee State and UAB. Combs says he’s also been contacted by Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, UCLA, Arizona State, Cincinnati, and Illinois.
“I talked to the coach at Illinois, and they told me that they were going to give me an offer,” Combs said. “They seemed very excited. We talked about the academics, the football team, the campus, the life there and stuff like that just so I could know a little bit about it. I am going to go out there and see the campus soon before my season.”
The younger Combs said it’s always been a dream of his to play college football and make a name for himself.
“I just want to show my hard work and how it pays off and to show that I deserve that spot and I deserve that scholarship. This why I deserve that scholarship I am going to show you why.”
Iowa State University Cyclones head football coach Paul Rhoads decided he would spend his Big 12 off season reenacting the Clark Griswold at Walley World scene from the movie National Lampoon’s Vacation, one of my favorite comedies of all time. Rhodes is joined by his wife Vicki Rhoads, Leonard Johnson and Ter’ran Benton which was done at Cy’s House of Trivia.
But here is the best scene in the actual movie…….”Roll ‘em up!”
This game goes down on the ESPN network and it features the University of Iowa Hawkeyes take on the University of Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium in Tucson.
The Hawkeyes come in undefeated having beat Eastern Illinois, 37-7, and Iowa State, 35-7, but not really tested. Iowa is led by Kirk Ferentz, who owns an 83-55 mark in his 12 years at the top. Iowa isn’t the flashiest offensive team but has been a surprise on offense. The Hawkeyes have averaged 457 yards in two both games this year all maned by senior quarterback Ricky Stanzi, 29-64 for 433 yards 3 touchdowns and zero interceptions. However Stanzi is not alone in the offense attack as sophomore running back Adam Robinson, 265 yards and 4 touchdowns, looks to be one of the top backs in the Big Ten.
Coach Ferentz has 8 defensive starters returning including ALL-SGE-NCAA Football Team member and Orange Bowl MVP Adrian Clayborn and have held their first two opponents to 216 ypg and 14 total points. The Hawkeyes also have more talent on defense than just Clayborn like teammate senior defensive tackle in Karl Klug,10 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and senior linebacker Jeremiha Hunter,14 tackles.
Arizona head coach Mike Stoops,who was an All-American safety at Iowa in 1984, brings his Wildcats into this game 2-0 and has amassed a record of 35-39 in his six-plus years at the school. The Wildcats have averaged 503.5 total yards and are 10th in the nation in passing, 344 ypg with junior quarterback Nick Foles completing 83.1 percent of his attempts.
Foles, who permanently took over the starting job from Matt Scott midway through last season’s 27-17 loss in Iowa City, will look for help from senior running back Nic Grigsby, 160 yards 5 touchdown. Foles favorite target is junior wide receiver Juron Criner, 12 catches 236 yards one touchdown.
Arizona has been downright stingy on defense as well, as it has yet to allow a touchdown this season and is 15-1 since 2008 when holding opponents under 120 rushing yards, and 3-9 otherwise. The Wildcats defense already has 4 players with double digit tackles, led by junior linebacker Paul Vassallo, 14 tackles, and senior safety Joseph Perkins,13. The team is averaging 6 tackles for a loss and already created 5 turnovers.
The all-time series between these two teams in tied at 6-6. The Hawkeyes have won four of the last five meetings with the most recent victory going to the Wildcats who won in Tucson back in 1998.
PICK: University of Iowa Hawkeyes
This game goes down on ESPNU network and features the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, who will be facing off for their first ever meeting at Floyd Stadium in Tennessee.
Minnesota is the more recognizable school since they play in the Big Ten but are coming off yet another disappointing season in which they finished 6-7, 3-5 within conference, and lost to the Iowa State Cyclones in the Insight Bowl.
The Golden Gophers return senior quarterback Adam Weber, 2,582 yards 13 touchdowns 15 INTS, and will look at his leadership to carry the majority of the offensive side since their running game only averaged 99 yards a game last year. That’s not very good, especially in a conference that relies heavily on the run in the winter months of the season. Minnesota used a running back by committee that saw no single running back produced more than 400 yards rushing.
Minnesota wasn’t just 6-7 because of the offense they struggled in many areas of the game on the defensive side as well. The Golden Gophers couldn’t much run the ball and they definitely couldn’t stop it in 2009. Opposing running backs were able to rush for over 150 yards per game on the ground and 19 touchdowns.
Middle Tennessee is coming off of one of the best seasons in program history after recording a 10-3 record and 7-1 in the Sun Belt Conference. The Blue Raiders went on to defeat Conference USA Southern Miss in the New Orleans Bowl.
Middle Tennessee uses a high power offensive attack that averaged 32 points per game, and showed skill in both the passing and ground attacks. The Blue Raiders running backs were able to get into the end zone 22 times while averaging 186 yards per game. The air game of Middle Tennessee was just as productive as they found the end zone 25 times at just a little over 235 yards per game.
The biggest blow to Middle Tennessee was finding out on August 27 that quarterback Dwight Dasher, 2,789 23 touchdowns, has been ruled ineligible.
PICK: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
Eight Athletic Directors from the Big 12 Conference met with Learfield Sports on Friday to discuss forming their own cable network, according to Dennis Dodd of CBSSPORTS.com. The ADs from Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Texas Tech were part of the discussions about the net, which is not related to any conference shifting, but is seen as a new revenue stream.
Texas A&M AD Bill Byrne, who has “talked and tweeted about the meeting publicly,” said of the net, “It’s something I’m quite interested in. … It’s something that our fans are going to be demanding sooner rather than later.”
Dodd reported experts have indicated that the success of a college sports cable net is dependent on the number of football and men’s basketball games it can broadcast. FOX, ESPN and ABC own those Big 12 rights, but there could be some flexibility in new negotiations.
Dodd noted it wasn’t immediately clear what Colorado was doing at the meeting if it is soon leaving the league. Texas rights are not handled by Learfield, and the school has made it clear it wants to develop its own channel or network.
This also comes on the heels of a NCAA report shows that just 14 of the 120 Division 1-A schools made money from campus athletics in 2009, down from 25 the year before.
Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, Texas and Tennessee are among the select group that made money. So is Missouri, which reported generating $2 million in profits from campus athletics in 2009.
The largest reported amount of revenue generated by an athletics program was $138.5 million — nearly three times the median of $45.9 million. The top-spending program reported $127.6 million in annual expenses, with a similarly sized gap from the median. 68 schools reported turning a profit on football, with a median value of $8.8 million. The 52 schools that lost money on football reported median losses of $2.7 million.
In Iowa, the Board of Regents voted unanimously to order school presidents at Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa to come up with plans to scrap or dramatically decrease such sports subsidies.
The 21st annual Insight Bowl will see for the third time in four seasons the Minnesota Golden Gophers as they take on the Iowa State Cyclones in Arizona at Sun Devil Stadium.
The Gophers fell to Kansas last season, 42-21 in this bowl, and were also defeated by Texas Tech 44-41 in overtime back in 2006. Overall Minnesota is just 5-8 in bowl games and has dropped its last three postseason contests. The last time Minnesota captured a victory in a bowl game was in 2004 when the Gophers slipped past Alabama, 20-16, in the Music City Bowl. 2009 was an inconsistent season for Minnesota, which finished with a mere 6-6 overall and 3-5 in the Big Ten.
The Golden Gophers did very little offensively all season long and tallied just 295.8 total ypg on the season, and that lead to a mediocre 21 ppg. The ground game struggled and the team averaged a meager 97.6 ypg on 2.9 yards per carry, ranking 112th in the country. Daune Bennett scored 6 rushing touchdowns on the season, but the tailback rushed for just 376 yards, while Kevin Whaley added 325 yards and 2 scores on 4.2 yards per attempt. The passing attack was not much better for the Gophers, as the team threw for just 198.2 ypg during the regular season. Adam Weber was inconsistent completing just 51.6 percent of his throws. Weber totaled just 2,321 yards in the air and tossed just 12 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. The only reliable target for Weber has been Eric Decker, who led the team with 50 receptions, 758 yards and 5 touchdowns but he is listed as questionable due to a sprain foot.
Tim Brewster’s Gophers come into this matchup allowing 24 ppg, but struggles against the pass and the run. Opponents have thrown for 217.4 ypg against the Gophers, and stopping the run has been an even bigger problem for Minnesota, as the team is being gashed for 146.7 ypg on the ground and has also allowed 18 rushing touchdowns. Lee Campbell has racked up 112 tackles and 9.5 for a loss. Nate Triplett has 96 tackles.
The Cyclones also finished with a mere 6-6 overall record and 3-5 in the Big 12. This is the 10th bowl appearance for Iowa State, and the first for the team since 2005. The Cyclones have dropped seven of their nine bowl matchups, but one of their two victories came in the 2000 Insight Bowl, as Iowa State defeated Pittsburgh, 37-29.
Paul Rhoads Cyclones have been mediocre at best offensively, finishing the regular season averaging a mere 21 ppg. The rushing attack has been successful turning out 177.3 ypg. Alexander Robinson has rumbled for 1,058 yards and 6 touchdowns on the season, while quarterback Austen Arnaud has contributed with 485 yards and 7 rushing scores on the ground but only throwing for 1,799 yards, tossing 13 touchdowns against 11 interceptions. The Cyclones at times use San Antonio’s Robert E. Lee High Schools Jerome Tiller to pass the ball. Marquis Hamilton has been the most reliable wideout hauling in 46 receptions for 574 yards and 4 touchdowns while Jake Williams has scored 4 times on 320 yards.
Iowa State has held the opposition to just 22 ppg on the season while surrendering a whopping 414.3 total ypg. Iowa State was gashed for 169.3 ypg on the ground, and against the pass the team was even worse, allowing 245.0 ypg through the air including 22 touchdowns. On the season the Cyclones have collected 14 interceptions and have also recovered 16 fumbles. Jesse Smith has racked up a team-high 128 tackles and Christopher Lyle has 11 tackles for loss and 4 sacks.
The Golden Gophers hold a commanding 22-2-1 edge over Iowa State in the all- time series, but over the past 85 years these two schools have only collided three times. All three matchups went in favor of Minnesota, including the last meeting in 1997 when the Golden Gophers pounded Iowa State, 53-29.
PICK: Iowa State University Cyclones