College Football

Tidbits From The Tailgate: The Case For Rutgers

I have heard a lot of talk about Rutgers not having a chance at getting into a BCS Title game and I think that is complete horsesh*t.  Here are four reasons why Rutgers should be involved.

1.  The Second Half Of Thursday Night’s Game

If Louisville’s offense is the second best in the country then Rutgers defense has to be considered an elite unit.  They bottled up the Cardinals in the second half of that game.  Under 100 yards of offense.  It was more than just that though.  They were in Brian Brohm’s kitchen on every single play.  Brohm didn’t look like a guy who is going to play on Sunday last night.  He looked scared and it was for good reason as he was taking a lick on every single play.

2.  They didn’t make up the schedule or the rules

All Rutgers can do is win the games that are their slate.  They have done that.  In their defense, I am sure when they scheduled North Carolina and Illinois in the nonconference that they expected them to be better than what they were.  If Louisville was considered a BCS Title Game contender then Rutgers deserves the same consideration.  

3.  Greg Schiano might be the biggest up and coming name in college football

After last night’s victory I can already see the Athletic Director at the University of Miami putting together their offer letter.  The way Rutgers plays football is a reflection of their coach.  They line up, they run the football and they play defense.  Doing those things might not be pretty, but they win football games.  I think Schiano is one of those coaches that if you give him two weeks to prepare, he will come up with a way to beat you.

4.  It’s always more compelling if a Cinderella is involved

Let’s face it.  What would bring in bigger ratings.  Ohio State versus Florida or Texas OR Ohio State versus Rutgers.  Option 2 gives you the NCAA Tournament style David versus Goliath matchup.  It would be like when George Mason made the Final Four.

College Football

Tidbits From The Tailgate: Louisville’s Dreams Will Die On The New Jersey Turnpike


That is the word I would use to describe the Louisville-West Virginia game last night. The two teams might as well have been playing flag football out there as the two defenses were just awful.  Not only do I not think Louisville deserves to go over a one-loss Florida or Auburn……..I would add that I think Texas, Notre Dame, and USC are all also superior to the Cardinals.

Louisville’s chances of beating The Ohio State University for the national title are roughly the same that Michael Spinks had against Mike Tyson or Alabama State had in the NCAA Tourney against Duke or even Trevor R. Freeman esq. currently has of bedding down Kirsten Dunst.  Don’t give me that Brian Brohm gives them a puncher’s chance talk.  That defense would have problems stopping Ohio University let alone Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr. and the rest of the Buckeye assault.  

Luckily for us……….Louisville is going down next Thursday in Piscataway, New Jersey to the Cinderella of College Football.  While West Virginia was Louisville’s toughest hurdle, I submit to you that Rutgers will be the one that they trip on.  The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers are going to line up and they are going to run the football and control the time of possession.  Their defense is a poor man’s version of Greg Schiano’s old Miami Hurricane defenses and they will make Brian Brohm uncomfortable which he wasn’t at all on Thursday night in Louisville.  

Next Thursday is the biggest game in Rutgers history and they will play like it.  Big-Time College Football excitement will officially hit the New York Metropolitan area as there will be Glory Days in New Jersey.  The goal posts will come down in a Rutgers 24-21 upset.  

College Football

Tidbits From The Tailgate: The Great Escapes

Oakland Bound?

1.  The Great Escape Part I
If Notre Dame somehow backs its way into the national title game it will be because Brady Quinn would not let them lose.  The stirring comeback he led on Saturday afternoon will be remembered for both its precision and drama.  If the Oakland Raiders draft anybody other than Quinn with the first overall pick they should be kicked out of the NFL and replaced with whatever team wins the BCS championship.

2.  The Great Escape II
Forever will Ryan Bailey be known as the walk-on who saved Texas.  Their hopes of a repeat national championship were in his hands and did they ever prove capable.  You have to take your hat off to Bill Callahan as he has revived the Cornhusker program.  Callahan’s a guy who never got the credit he deserved for leading the Raiders to a Super Bowl in one of the only two years that he coached.

3.  Bring The Ruckus
I’m not saying Rutgers is the best team in college football………but they deserve more respect than they have been getting.  As somebody who has now taken in two full Scarlet Knights games, I can tell that Rutgers is good at two things.  The first thing is that they play killer defense and are extremely fast up the middle.  Former University of Miami Defensive Coordinator, Greg Schiano has this defense looking like a poor man’s version of the Old Canes.  Secondly, Rutgers is going to line up and they are going to run the football.  I don’t know if they beat West Virginia, but mark my words………Rutgers will beat Louisville.

4.  Chad Johnson is Jealous
Marshawn Lynch driving the injury cart around after a touchdown is one of the greatest things I have ever seen.  Nice win by California over an improving Washington team.  I think Ty Willie is two years away from having a national title contender

5.  Still on Track
The Ohio State University and Michigan are still rolling along with their date in November getting closer and closer and closer………….

College Football

Tidbits From The Tailgate: The Standings Are Released

1.  Let The Bickering Begin

In my opinion, the BCS Standings are pretty fair.  Unless Notre Dame can top USC in Los Angeles, I think the Trojans will get to a BCS Title game against the winner of Ohio State-Michigan.  

The team with the biggest complaint has to be West Virginia.  All they have done is follow-up last season’s Sugar Bowl win over SEC Champion Georgia with a perfect start to this year’s campaign.  At the very least the Mountaineers should be ranked fourth.  The conference that should be complaining about a lack of a playoff system is the SEC as you can make a compelling argument that Auburn and Florida are as good as any of the unbeaten teams.

2.  We’re back……….

Just when you count out Auburn, they circle the wagons and beat Florida 27-17.  You have to take your hat off to Tommy Tuberville.  He may well be the most underrated coach in the nation.  If Notre Dame beats USC and Louisville beats West Virginia then the Tigers may well get into the BCS Title game.

3.  Are you sure it’s not basketball season?

Indiana over Iowa 31-28……….Vanderbilt over Georgia 24-22………these are the kinds of losses that send 87,154 people onto a message board to complain.  The Iowa loss truly surprises me as I had thought the Hawkeyes were a national title sleeper at the beginning of the season.

4.  Wins yes……….style points….not so much

USC keeps winning but they aren’t doing it with flair right now.  They should count their lucky stars that Dirk Koetter is an idiot and decided to play for a loss (at least from a time management perspective).  John David Booty is making nobody forget that Matt Leinart is starting tonight for the Arizona Cardinals.

5.  The L Stands for Loser.

John L. Smith is going to be out of a job at Michigan State by the end of this season.  The way the Spartans have quit on their coach is ugly.  At least Michigan State students can take comfort in the fact that basketball season is right around the corner.  

College Football

Tidbits From The Tailgate: Gettin’ Hog Wild

1.  You better hold off on printing up those National Championship T-Shirts.
Some are going to say that the Detroit Tigers beating the New York Yankees was the surprise of the weekend.  I’m going to humbly disagree with that assessment.  The Arkansas Razorbacks dominating Auburn en route to a 27-10 victory was an outright shock.  This was the same Arkansas team that lost at home to USC 50-14 in the season opener.  Houston Nutt (an outstanding porn name if I’ve ever heard one) deserves a ton of credit for rallying the Razorback troops.

2.  Tell Billy Donovan he’s not the only one who will be hoisting a national title trophy.
I’m not sure if there is a better offensive football coach in the country than Urban Meyer.  Meyer is shuffling Chris Leak and Tim Tebow and making what should be a quarterback controversy that would weaken the team, a strength that is helping to win ballgames.  

3.  Living Dangerously………….
To the USC Trojans.  For a second straight week they barely escaped against a Washington school.  I love the Pac 10, but I’m not sure that you can rank this USC team ahead of Florida or Michigan.  They do not look in sync right now.

On a sidenote, let’s tip our cap to Tyrone Willingham who has turned around Washington in two seasons.  Notre Dame running him out of town is still a great injustice.  I guarantee he would have put together the same year Charlie Weis did last fall.  I’m eager to see the UW rise again and lift Willingham back into true national prominence.

4.  That was easy.
The Ohio State University and Michigan remained undefeated and are on a collison course to play what should be a national title eliminator.  The Buckeyes beat up Bowling Green 35-7 and Michigan beat a reeling Michigan State 31-13.

5.  Don’t worry……….I care
Boise State needs more attention.  They whupped Louisiana Tech 55-14 this week and are the most entertaining team in the country to watch.  I’d love to see them paired off with West Virginia in a BCS bowl.

College Football

Tidbits From The Tailgate: Kudos to Lloyd Carr

Well deserved

1.  Welcome Back
Congratulations to Michigan for returning to relevancy as a football program.  After last year’s sputters nearly every pundit had written them off.  They came out and took it to Notre Dame from the very beginning.  Everybody watching on TV was in awe of what was happening as the score read 34-7 midway through the second quarter.  Not only did Michigan become Michigan but they did it at the expense of ending rival Notre Dame’s national title hopes and Brady Quinn’s Heisman Dreams.  

2.  Can We Cut In
To the TCU Horned Frogs who vanquished Texas Tech on Saturday.  TCU stands an excellent chance of running the table.  They can play with anybody in America as evidenced by their 3-0 record against the Big 12 over the past two years (wins are over Oklahoma, Baylor, and Texas Tech).  Gary Patterson is easily the most underrated coach in America and this might be the best team he’s ever had.  My personal hope is that TCU and Texas get matched up in the Fiesta Bowl.

3.  If It’s Not Going To Work………Why Have It
The instant replay crew at Oregon should be suspended for the remainder of the regular season.  Their ineptitude heavily contributed to Oklahoma’s defeat in that game.  It also gave the Big 12 a kick in the balls on top of what already was a rough Saturday for the once-powerful conference.

4.  Who’s #2
Both Auburn and USC staked their case on Saturday.  My personal belief is that Auburn is the best team in the country so I would have them installed at the #2 spot.  That being said, USC is one 56 point whupping of a Cal or Oregon to stating their case as the #2 team in America.

5.  Is that you…
The much-maligned Chris Leak has rediscovered some flair as he led the Florida Gators to a huge win over Tennessee on Friday night.  I think Florida’s schedule will still prevent them from winning the SEC, but the win over the Volunteers was huge feather in the cap of both Leak and Urban Meyer.