Archives for category: Saturday Stand-Outs

Heisman Trophy

Since the day Manti Te’o shocked the recruiting world picking Notre Dame over USC and BYU, becoming the first Defensive Player of the Year to sign with the Irish in forever, he’s held a special place with Irish fans. Te’o has lived up to his reputation in four years in South Bend,  and easily could have been a first round pick along with teammate Michael Floyd and nobody would have blamed him.

Middle-linebackers don’t usually come back for the glamour of a senior season’s to be on the cover of magazines and to be talked about as Heisman favorites on the game day shows. The Hawaiian knew if all the pieces fell into place there was a chance he could be invited to the Heisman ceremony like Ndamukong Suh or Tyrann Mathieu but likely would come home empty-handed as defensive players really need to go above and beyond to take home the Heisman.

While everything was falling into place on the football field, with Heisman frontrunners literally throwing away their chances week after week (Barkley, Geno Smith, Colin Klein, McCarron), once the media got wind that both Te’o grandmother and girlfriend past away in a 24 hour period, it melted the hearts of everyone that heard his story, leaving a soft place for Te’o, even for those who grew up hating all-things Notre Dame.

One of the benefits of playing at Notre Dame, since they’re not bound to a conference, the played in the East Coast (Miami, Boston, Pittsburgh, North Carolina) the Mid-West (Oklahoma, Indiana, Michigan) and on the West Coast (Los-Angeles, Palo Alto, Utah) so everywhere the Irish and Te’o went, his story was told all over the place. With all eyes on Te’o, he lead the Irish defense to an undefeated record and the number one scoring defense in the nation.

While the Notre Dame struggled from their own quarterback issues, the Irish only played one offense in the top 20 (Oklahoma #12) then you’d have to go all the way down to USC at #31 and Miami #39 before it drops off drastically with BYU (58), Stanford (59), Purdue (62), Pitt (65), Michigan (83), Michigan St. (92), Navy (95) and Wake Forrest (119). Not really the murders row of college football. They basically played against one fringe NFL QB in all season in Landry Jones. Which is kind of getting lost in all hoopla of ND being back on top.

This is also not Manti’s best statical season, last season Te’o had 128 tackles to 103 in ’12, 13.5 tackles for loss to 5.5 in ’12, and 5 sacks to 1.5 this season. Of course, he did have the seven interceptions with went a long in pulling out wins versus Michigan and BYU.

It’s clear that this years award is Manti’s to win by the sheer redundancy of the other two candidates. Kansas St. Colin Klein and Texas A&M’s John Manziel are mirror images of each other, the only difference being age. Klein sealed his Heisman fate when then no.1 Kansas St. lost to Baylor and Manziel while exciting, is a freshman and getting voters from the South to vote for a freshman to win the Heisman is like voting for Obama.

Not having USC wide receiver Marqise Lee at the ceremony is an outrage. The kind of year he had deserves recognition, but I guess the Notre Dame fans who voted for Te’o probably left the Trojan wide-out off their ballot as a little screw you to ‘SC fans. Lee had 112 catches, 1680 yards, and 14 touchdown catches this year, 802 yard on kick returns with 1 TD, 106 rushing yards and two tackles on defense. By my horrible math, that’s 2588 total yards, which jumps off the page a little more than Te’os 1.5 sacks.

  • The Hornets landed on the Pelicans to rebrand the franchise. Was “The Roadkill” taken? What color scheme goes with a Pelican? Dirt and Oil spill? Do they really want to associate a basketball team with something that’s known to fall out of the sky and dies? Maybe they should have dropped the nickname thing and just gone as New Orleans.
  • Must be nice to be a professional baseball player these days. Shane Victorino and Dan Haren coming off what could best be described as average seasons get paid 13 million a year. If I have a child, I’m praying for a left-handed knuckle-baller.
  • I just saw The Dark Knight Rises for the first time yesterday, that movie is so unrealistic, Hines Ward returning a kickoff for a TD, ya right! Especially when you have Gotham City Mike Wallace on the bench. What does Gotham City Mike Wallace run a 40 in? my guess like 3.99 seconds and casting picks Ward.

Something a little thicker.

#20 Michigan Wolverines vs #4 Ohio State Buckeyes @ Buckeye Staduim, 12 PM on ABC – Urban Meyer’s first game in this legendary rivalry that’s made and lost many national champions will 33 degrees at kickoff with chances of flurries. Somebody’s going to tell Urban “he ain’t in Gainesville no-more”. The weather and improved quarterback play for Michigan in Devin Gardner should have this one being another classic finish.

(Side note: While we are finally getting a playoff in college football. I find it astounding that the college basketball season starts earlier and earlier every year without a peep. It’s November 23 and we have the Mich/Ohio St. game, but did you know their basketball teams are 4-0 and 5-0 respectively. We still have a week left in the month!

Used to be you’d be watching the early smattering of early bowl games and ESPN would break to show you some highlights of a tourny in Maui, followed by the thought “Oh yea that starts soon!?”, then finish your third diet coke by the pool. The Syracuse basketball team started their season on Nov 9th, did the BCS even send out their first poll by then? If ‘Cuse makes it to the Championship game of the tourney, and they are good enough to do it, that games played on the SECOND Monday in April.

How can you claim these kids are student/athletes, this is basically slave labor. In the NFL there’s 32 teams, 53 roster spots and seven rounds in the draft, in the NBA you have 30 teams, a 15 man roster with a two round draft. What benefit does continuing to add games for these players when there so little opportunities for employment out there. You argue European leagues, but they have limited roster spots for foreigners, then add then all the cultural changes, it’s a weak argument.

A friend of mine goes to University of Syracuse and is a huge basketball fan, he told me that last season (now Boston Celtic) Fab Melo missed and failed all of his classes both semesters and only missed the NCAA tourny. Yea, they attend summer classes, but there’s six players in a room with 24 tutors doing everything but signing their name on the teams work. I’ve been to summer school and nothing gets learned in the summer classes.

The only reason I can come to why we haven’t heard any argument for this brutal treatment of players in a “lesser” sport, with all the networks like FOX, CBS, ESPN and NBC making deals with conference networks or school networks, they lack good content.What do you do, get your cheap labor force that actually brings in ratings, add 20 games to the schedule and boom ratings and advertising dollars roll in.

The biggest crock in all this is if the NBA makes it mandatory to be two years removed from high graduation to be draft eligible. There’s no conceivable way a large number of these “student/athletes” would be able to maintain a solid enough grades to keep them eligible to play. Good luck to the coach that has to deal with a bunch of 18 to 21 year old kids, that have to be on campus all year, playing basketball and in the library. Better luck running a prison. I’m not complaining but what took so long to get me my two more GOD DAMN FOOTBALL GAMES.

 

 

#5 Oregon Ducks vs #15 Oregon St. Beavers @ Reser Stadium, 3 PM on FOX – Oregon can keep a slight title dream alive with a win in the Civil war on Saturday. The Beavers are averaging 48.5 ppg so look for the Beavers to try and fly with the Ducks.

#1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs USC Trojans @ The Coliseum, 8 PM on ABC – How the script to this game flip on this game early in the season. Notre Dame still has a test in this match-up as USC is one of the few teams on the schedule with NFLers up and down the roster. Also ‘SC QB Matt Wittik could surprise people in this one.