Monday, October 12, 2009
Anyway, there won't be much here. I just don't have time to fail miserably at being witty. I'll still show up at my normal haunts, but there will only be occasional posts here to highlight what I feel needs to be shared. Read more!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Illinois St. vs. Illinois
6pm Big Ten Network (Ari Wolfe, Tony McGee, Sarah Spain)
Illinois looked terrible last Saturday. How terrible? Their greatest living player called out the effort of the team and said he had to turn the game off. If I were Zook, I’d be watching over my shoulder when unlocking my car for Dick Butkus. Fortunately, the 1-AA Redbirds are visiting right in time to be a sacrificial lamb. The Redbirds do have a WSR-coached player in RS-Fr OL Cory Christianson, but he probably won’t play unless the game is a total debacle (which it could very well be since…ZOOOOK!)
Western Michigan vs. Indiana
11am Big Ten Network (Matt Devlin, Anthony Herron, Larra Overton)
Western Michigan has to be a terrible team. They got slaughtered by Michigan last weekend. But Indiana is terrible-er. Do yourself a favor, America: don’t look directly at the “football.”
Iowa vs. Iowa St.
11am FSN (Joel Meyers, Dave Lapham, Jim Knox)
Jack Trice Stadium
Both teams played D1-AA powers last week. One team dominated their opponents 34-17, the other needed TWO blocked FGs in the last :10 to win at home. Somehow, Iowa decided to wake up in the last 4 minutes of the game, but it wasn’t pretty for a while before that. Don’t that fool you, though: this one is already over, Ferentz just needs to decide how much he wants to win by.
Notre Dame vs. Michigan
2:30pm ABC (Sean McDonough, Matt 0-16 Millen, Holly Rowe)
I try to hold back on my biases, but there are some teams I can’t be nice to. That being said, fuck Michigan. I don’t like Charlie Weis, but I want the Irish to put 70 on Michigan, along with a big old doughnut on the scoreboard for the skunk helmets.
Central Michigan vs. Michigan St.
11am ESPN2 Pam Ward, Ray Bentley
This game has one of the best defenses in the Big Ten trying to catch LeFevour. That should be enough to entice you to watch. Unfortunately, it also has Ray Bentley and Pam Ward, which should be enough to entice you to throw a brick at your TV.
Air Force vs. Minnesota
6pm Big Ten Network (Wayne Larrivee, Chris Martin, Charissa Thompson)
TCF Bank Stadium
There’s nothing important about this game at all. I don’t even think it’s worth discussing here. Well, there is one important thing: will I be able to replace the Receiveress with Charissa Thompson? We’ll find out Saturday.
Eastern Michgan vs. Northwestern
11am Big Ten Network (Matt Rosen, Mark Campbell, Rebecca Haarlow)
Northwestern is my sneaky team to win the Big Ten. With a homefield advantage like they had last week for the battle with Towson (17,857), they should be able to intimidate everyone. It’s a good thing they’ve got a better football team then they do fan support, because otherwise they’d be next to Indiana in the standings.
Southern Cal vs. Ohio St.
7pm ESPN (Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Lisa Salters)
I don’t need to cover this one. Everyone else is doing it better, including BHGP and EDSBS. Just watch it.
Syracuse vs. Penn St.
11am Big Ten Network (Craig Coshun, Glen Mason, Kenny Jackson)
Last week, Greg Paulus earned praise from writers assigned to cover sports with his poise, and nearly knocked off a magnanimous Minnesota team that didn’t want to ruin his return to football after a 5-year layoff. PSU is also going to make sure he’s ready for football by offering a comprehensive rectal exam.
Purdue vs. Oregon
9:15 FSN (Barry Tompkins, Petros Papadakis, Michael Eaves)
I don’t really know what to think about this game. It’s late, I’ll be at a bachelor party after the Gopher game, and to be honest, Oregon’s offense has lost some of it’s punch.
Fresno St. vs. Wisconsin
11am ESPN (Dave Pasch, Bob Griese, Chris Spielman)
Camp Randall Stadium
Fresno St. is 1-1 all-time at Camp Randall, winning by 12 in 2001 and losing by 2 in 2002. They aren’t the same giant-slaying program they were back then, but Wisconsin isn’t the same program anymore, either.
The M will be marching toward me, but I'll be working on my tremendous tan at the same time. Or sitting in my poncho getting drenched telling the Receiveress to quit whimpering because we're watching football outside. Either way, It'll be the best day of football in my life...until Air Force wins.
There's going to be a few things showing up at different times today: I'll have a write-up about the Big Ten's matchups this weekend, a few thoughts on the game tomorrow at TCF BANK STADIUM, and perhaps something I've been working on about the person most responsible for the Gophers move to the Bank.
Have fun. It's Friday, and there's more football just a day away. Read more!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Any hack can do a terrible job of the "What Team A needs to do to stop Team B" preview. But it takes a dedicated idiot to look into a program's past. I'm that idiot.
United States Air Force Academy
Colorado Springs, CO
First Season: 1955
All-time Record: 303-260-43
Bowls: 18 (8-9-1)
Home: Falcon Stadium (Opened 1962)
Capacity: 52,480 (56,409 vs. Notre Dame 10/19/2002)
Record vs. Minnesota: 0-0-0
For every other team, I’d just start skewering their history and making stuff up. Not Air Force. They get a little more respect due to the fact that they actually field a team of student-athletes. Sprinkle in the fact that the players have a 5-year service commitment after they graduate, and you’ve got a special breed of men coming to open our stadium.
The Falcons first started to taste success after Ben Martin took charge of the program in 1958. Despite a dearth of talent, teams were competitive because of the scheme Martin used. Instead of the widely-used option, as synonymous with the USAFA as the lightning bolts on the helmets, he used a “new” offense that relied on rollouts and short quick passes. Of course, everybody and their aunt knows about the West Coast Offense now, but using a precursor then allowed Air Force to earn some major bowl berths. Martin’s 96-103-9 record is overshadowed by appearances in the Cotton Bowl (1959), the Gator Bowl (1963), and the Sugar Bowl (1971). That’s a pretty impressive resume, especially when you remember that bowls then weren’t the equivalent of participation ribbons that they are now, and that the Falcon program was less than 20 years old while all this was happening.
After Martin retired in 1977, he was replaced by Air Force’s most famous coach. Not Fisher DeBerry, but Bill Parcells. The Big Tuna was in charge for 1 season, compiled an astounding 3-8 record, and hightailed it out of Colorado to become the Giants defensive coordinator.
Kenny Hatfield followed Parcells, and despite a 26-32-1 record, he is generally credited with two things during his tenure. First of all, he laid the groundwork for the successful program that thrived under his successor, finishing 8-5 with a win in the Hall of Fame Classic in 1982 and 10-2 with an Independence Bowl win in 1983. But more importantly, he brought the option to the Falcons. I think it’s safe to say that it’s stuck.
When Hatfield went running home to mama (and his alma mater Arkansas) after the 1983 season, he was replaced by the legendary Fisher DeBerry. When I say legendary, I mean 169-107-1, 12 bowls in 22 seasons, finished 1985 ranked #5 (a 7 point loss to BYU away from contending for a national title), struck fear in the heart of opponents everywhere Legendary. Air Force, under DeBerry, achieved its current status of a trap team that can jump up and bite anyone in the ass at any time. This is due to the attitude instilled in the program. They’re not the biggest, strongest, or fastest. But they expect to be the most precise, and they’re tenacious. There are some teams (ILLINOIS) that will quit if you get up on them early, but Air Force is not one of them. DeBerry retired in 2006, but Air Force is still the same solid program under Troy Calhoun.
Calhoun, despite never having been a head coach before (sound familiar?), is 18-9 at Air Force following the 72-0 stomping of Nichols St. last Saturday. Some things haven’t changed a bit with the Falcons. They still run the option with the reliable efficiency of a Maytag washer, they still are smarter than every team they play, and they’re still going to serve our country after they’re done offering up blood and sweat to the football gods.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009