2012 BBVA Compass Bowl: SMU -vs- Pitt

Written January 6th, 2012 by Joe Dexter

More pointless bowls after New Year’s Day? Heck Nah! This game matters! To Dallas Fort Worth and the five people that aren’t Steelers fans in Pittsburgh. Okay, enough bitterness about the Bowl System. If it’s a bowl, we got it covered here at TBBC!

The Basics: Saturday, January 7, 2012, 1:00 PM EST on ESPN, from Birmingham, Alabama. SMU (7-5, 5-3 CUSA) and Pitt (6-6, 4-3 Big East).

History: Formerly known as the Papajohns.com, All-American, Hall of Fame and Dixie Bowl, this is the second year that BBVA Compass has been the main sponsor of Saturday’s event. Pitt returns after a big win over Kentucky last season. UCONN beat toUSC in 2010 pretty easily as well. The bowl was established in Birmingham in 2006, but there is a rich history of bowl games in the city in years past.

SMU: So…. June Jones isn’t the coach for Arizona State. He is only looking for win number 100 as a head coach at the D1 level, against the team of Todd Graham – Who Arizona State swapped from Pittsburgh. Oh how college football is a mess sometimes. The Mustangs will look to J.J. McDermott to lead a very inconsistent offense. SMU will be without Zach Line, who had season ending surgery in November. He is one of five in SMU history to have two 1,000 yard seasons. They surely have struggled on defense this year, but look for SMU to exploit Pitt’s 55 sacks given up with blitzing and aggressive line play.

Big Win: @TCU Key Losses: USM, Houston, Texas A&M

Pitt: Is there a player on this roster that you know? Quarterback Tino Sunseri doesn’t count. It seems like he has been in Pitt forever. Top running back Ray Graham will be out of this one and defensive coordinator Keith Patterson will be inserted on the interim as head coach (even though Paul Chryst is done coaching…). Insanely they are looking for their fourth straight bowl victory. I guess that’s as close as calling a team “Toilet Bowl Champions.”

Big Win: South Florida  Key Losses: Utah, Cinci, Iowa, West Virginia

Fun Fact: Legion Field was built in 1926 and cost a total of 429,000 dollars to construct.

Who We Got:

  • Chris – USM
  • Eric – USM
  • James – Pitt
  • JoeD – USM
  • JoeL – USM
  • Chuck – USM

March Madness 2011: Southeast Region

Written March 15th, 2011 by Joe Laing

Ok, let’s take a look at the much maligned Southeast bracket…I also plead you don’t listen too much to what I have to say, because it may just confuse you more as you try to win tBBC Challenge. I’ve linked to some of our previous impressions as well, so you can make a better guess.

Cakewalk?

This maybe the most difficult region that I have ever tried to predict in recent memory.  On the 1 line is a very solid Pitt Panthers team, but they are a team that can struggle offensively at times.  If they face someone that gets hot from deep not sure they can keep up.  Then you have a 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 seeds that are so similar that it would be hard to call any win by them an upset.  I’m not sure that any team is favored by 8 points or more, with most of them are probably toss up or 3-5 point spreads.

This region also has two teams hurting with lost players.  BYU lost 3rd leading scorer, and main big man, Brandon Davies to team rules while St. John’s also lost their 3rd leading scorer in D.J. Kennedy.  Both losses make these teams vulnerable to first round upsets to Wofford and Gonzaga respectively.  I will speak about Belmont later, and also have Utah State as a team that could pull the 12-5 upset.

At the end of the day I am not sure who to pick.  I am making the safe pick and advancing Pitt, but read along and you will see some stars to watch, under the radar players to watch as well as my sleeper pick and elite 8 picks.

Read More

Super Bowl Sunday- Why I’m A Packer Backer

Written February 5th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Shiny

UPDATE: Whooooo!!!!!!

The chili is simmering, my daughters have already made the only dessert appropriate, and the tasty beverages are chilling awaiting consumption. I’ve got my spot staked out in front of the plasma, and the guy that’s been at my Super Bowl party for eleven of the last twelve years has flown down from Seattle.

But, you know what? I have no idea who I want to win.  Seriously, and I know that there’s a lot of folks who are like this, but this is the most apathetic I’ve ever been about a “Super Bowl”… heck, at this point, I wouldn’t care how it was spelled.

I haven’t watched the fifteen months of coverage, so I’m not all that informed about this year’s game. I know Roethlisberger did something creepy and this is a chance at redemption and everyone got freaked out because he liked Billy Joel.  Although, I don’t hear a lot about other quarterbacks who did something creepy in the past and might have repeated that behavior… so maybe it’s not an issue.

I know it’s cold, and everyone’s griping about that (Great idea, NFL- and next year you’re in Indy? With NYC to come? Good thinking.); although as a B1G fan my response is to suck it up and play the game as it was invented. Although, since the Super Bowl has become more for the bandwagon folks and celebrities, I’m not surprised at the complaining- in fact, it reinforces my belief that a playoff for college football isn’t a great idea (but that’s another post).

But, with all that “research” and the copious coverage, I still have no preference for a victorious squadron. Read More

BVA Compass Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Kentucky

Written January 7th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

What, no pizza?

Pitt (7-5, 5-2 Big East) vs. Kentucky (6-6, 2-6 SEC)

January 8, 2011 Noon ET

History: This ‘classic’ event in Birmingham Alabama was initially chartered as the Papa John’s bowl, which had a history of issues from its inception; including poor ticket sales that required the crowd to sit on one side of the stadium (so it looked full on TV), to continual problems with the sponsor providing enough pizza. Our friends over at The Wizard Of Odds have done a great job at covering the fiasco- my favorite is the misspelled “Cincinnati” on the game t-shirts. Look, when the local media is making fun of you, and you’re supposed to be a tourism event, you know there’s a problem.

So, of course, with this much prestige it deserves a January 8 broadcast date. And why does it get the prime slot on ESPN? Well, probably because the network owns, operates, and profits from this matchup. When you argue about “why can’t we have a playoff?”, make sure you discuss the fact that the World Wide Leader will need to make tons of cash off of whatever solution you come up with. TV + Tourism = Money.

If you were looking for another reason to watch this, be aware that you’ll be able to enjoy the dulcet tones of Dave Neal and Andre Ware. Congrats.

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The Week That Were: 11.27.10

Written November 28th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

Here’s the soundtrack for this week’s journey through the recent past. It’s from one of my favorite artists, and the greatest Thanksgiving movie ever ANDIWILLFIGHTYOUIFYOUDISAGREE. Ahem.

Although I usually don’t take requests, I almost made an exception for Coach Rodriguez.

What a great week of football- three days worth of collegiate goodness, interspersed with some NFL stuff, lots of food, and the occasional neighborhood game. Although, this year things ended up being a little messy.

There, there... let it all out...

I guess you could say that the mess all started on Thursday, when our friends in burnt orange managed to lose their rivalry game against the Aggies.  As you can imagine, the good folks at Shaggy Bevo are taking this well, particularly given that most of the losses happened in Austin.

The Longhorn’s collapse is the first time in recent memory that a team has gone from the BCS championship game to not even being bowl eligible.  As a “fun fact”; this BCS season will be without the following names: Pete Carroll, Mack Brown, Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and Les Miles, with the jury still out on whether Bobby Stoops gets an invite.  You know who’s going to be at the BCS Ball?  Jim Tressel.  Again.

Fridays’ games were just as exciting, with Auburn performing the “Greatest Iron Bowl Comeback Ever To Be Vacated” against ‘Bama after being down 21-0 in the first quarter.  Granted, Alabama QB McElroy was injured in the second half, but the Tide followed their protocol and inserted the next person with the same haircut. Read More

The Week That Were: 10.09.10

Written October 10th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

This weeks’ post comes with a soundtrack:

Not all that original, so if you want to get your “Gospel” on and hear the song that was going through my head all day yesterday, this is the link for you.

Almost perfect.

Like a no-hitter blown at the last minute, yesterday was this close to being the apex of the college football season. Ohio State won, as you know, and so many other teams failed to meet expectations (or came back to reality), all in all pretty good. Before we get to the good stuff, let’s get the disappointment out of the way. Read More

Total domination, thy name is Terrelle Pryor.

Most fans wanted to see total domination of one of the worst teams in college football on Saturday.

While it is difficult to call a 73-20 victory (the first time Ohio State has scored 70 since the “Mark May is going to hate Ohio State forever” beat down of Pitt in 1996) anything but that, Ohio State fans, as usual, are left with some questions.

The two biggest question marks revolve around the running game and defending the pass.

In the run game, Ohio State has failed to establish a “go to” back in the first four games. Brandon Saine and Boom Herron, the two most experienced players, have not separated themselves from the pack.  This has left many fans questioning the effectiveness of Ohio State’s ground game and calling for more playing time for the explosive Jaamal Berry.

The other question that fans are left with after EMU is why Ohio State’s passing defense looked so weak against such a bad offense.

In an uncharacteristic performance, Ohio State gave up 208 yards through the air against the hapless eagles to the point that they looked downright soft at times right in the heart of the Buckeye secondary.

Luckily for you, I have thoughts on both these issues after the jump.

Spoiler alert: I don’t think they are issues at all. Read More

The Week That Were- Opening Weekend 2010!

Written September 6th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

Late Sunday/early Monday during the season (what can I say- west coast timezone), tBBC will be bringing you reflections on that week’s game. And, since it’s always great to have mood music to read to, let’s start with this clip from Pitchfork’s top ten videos from the ’90′s

All is right with the world- football is back, baby! And what a slate of games we had… although, for Buckeye fans, it all seems anticlimactic after Thursday night, amiright?

Ignore Akbar at your peril

In case you’ve forgotten, Houston Nutt has a penchant for overtime games, being on the sidelines for several of the longest contests in history while at Arkansas.  The one thing, though- he needs to remember how to “win” in OT and not just “play for OT”, as the Rebels were upset Saturday by the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State. As a public service announcement, tBBC would like to remind you that Jeremiah Masoli is now 0-2 in his last two games. Best part? Ole’ Miss paid $300,000 for the pleasure of the upset. Almost as much fun as my favorite season opener ever.

We talked about Mich1gAAn during the livechat, and will do so again later on Monday. I will say this; their version of the wildcat offense looked pretty good. And UConn’s defense and offense looked pretty terrible. In my opinion, the highlight wasn’t the running game but something far more significant.

Kentucky’s new coach beat Louisville’s new coach, in the first match up of these two teams while each had an African American at the helm.  Interestingly enough, Kentucky’s three major programs (UK, UofL, WKU) are all led by African American head coaches- there are only nine others in Division 1A (FBS, whatever). For the Kats and Cards, it’s probably exciting to talk about coaches and not use the word “investigation” or “payoff“.

Late Saturday night “Ohio’s BCS Team” gave up a late comeback to lose to Fresno State… Are we sure they didn’t import the entire Western Michigan team along with their coach? In addition on Thursday, The Utes upset the Pitt Stachers, in overtime. Let’s see- UofL, UC, UConn, Pitt all blow opening weekend games… Yup, Big lEast it is. I hope Jim Delaney was watching as he ponders even more expansion options… each of these teams has a chance to win that conference. Read More