Friday, December 3, 2010

Week 14 Ranking Implications

With the college football season coming to an end there’s very few ranked games coming up this weekend. Making a move up in the rankings this week will be difficult but I do see it happening. Here’s what I have going down:

#19 South Carolina losing to #1 Auburn

#13 Nebraska losing to #9 Oklahoma

#15 Virginia Tech losing to #21 Florida State

This will result in a 2 spot jump up to #15 in the BCS and #12 in the AP. Considering we won’t be getting a BCS game invite you might be asking why does any of this matter? It matters for bowl games. A higher viewed bowl game like the Las Vegas Bowl or the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl are more likely to give a spot to a higher ranked team in the hopes of creating a better match-up and maximizing profit.

With a win against La Tech and the Nebraska losing we could see an invite to the 2 aforementioned bowls. With Virginia Tech going down at the hands of Florida State, that will all but be a guarantee. Goodbye crappy Humanitarian Bowl, goodbye even worse New Mexico Bowl. With BYU already accepting an invite to the Las Vegas Bowl, it will be more likely that Nevada would take the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco and leave the other to once National Champion hopeful, Boise State.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nevada vs. La Tech

With one game left in the season, Nevada is on pace to finish its best season in history since it’s joined the ranks of the division 1 elite. At 11-1 this Nevada team has shown that it is capable of matching up against any team out there on any given Saturday. Will we ever get that respect? Probably not, but the real fans, the coaches, and the players know it…and that’s all that matters.

Nevada has already traveled as far west as it can go this season (Hawaii), and now it will go as far east as a WAC opponent will let them (Louisiana). Much like Boise State has had Nevada’s number over the past few years; Nevada has had La Tech’s.

The only real question going into this game is how much will Colin Kaepernick play. On the verge of a few more records the question is, does Ault put him in a position to get the records and set his place in history more-so than he already has, or does he save his star quarterback for a bowl game? Either way expect him to play the first half and put up, dare I say Heisman like numbers?

Another question going into this game is what defense will show up. Will it be the defense that allowed Boise State 24 first half points, which by all means is respectable, or will it be the 2nd half defense that held Boise State to 8 rushing yards? Either way the game should be pretty much in hand, but for ranking sake we need the 2nd half defense to be there.

Last game we saw great defense from Duke Williams who made a great 1-on-1 tackle in the open field saving a critical first down. Brandon Marshall and James-Michael Johnson also kept their games up and have become one of the best linebacking duo’s in college football this year. But what’s more impressive is #58 Ryan Coulson and the already brilliant Dontay Moch. Both of them are defensive linemen and on every play that we give up for 20 or more yards, one of these two is down field in position to make the tackle. Coming from two “hog-mollies” that’s down right impressive. This defense is fast and outrunning them is a tough task to do, breaking tackles on the other hand might be a bit easier, evident in the Boise State game.

As far as our offense goes we showed last week why we are one of the best offenses in the nation. The pistol went in fully loaded and tore apart one of the best defenses in the country. After a slow start, it seemed like there was nothing that could be done to stop Colin Kaepernick. Unlike previous Boise State games, he took it to the air and lit up their secondary much like we have been lit up in the past. I don’t expect much of a stand from the bulldogs this weekend, if Nevada can tire out Boise State’s defense, it can put La Tech’s to sleep.

Now you might hear that this team is looking past La Tech and they feel like they can do nothing wrong but there’s really nothing to look past. Going into this game a bowl game is guaranteed, which and against whom we will know after this weekend. What’s not is a ring and that trophy. Utah State doesn’t stand a chance entering the smurf turf of Boise. Hawaii hosts UNLV which isn’t a conference opponent so they will finish the season with a ring guaranteed. If Nevada wants that ring, it will take a win against La Tech and they know that. Last week was Nevada’s shining moment, but this week is their championship moment. A win against Boise State means nothing to this team unless there’s a ring associated with it at the end.

I’m expecting a valiant effort from La Tech, but with the swag this Nevada team is walking around with, I expect it too be too little too late. Unfortunately I still don’t see us getting that shut-out. But I do think we will see Mike Ball finally run back a kick-off, unfortunately I see them doing the same thing.

Final Score Prediction

Nevada 48 – La Tech 17

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Enough is Enough

“The Wolf Pack will finish AT BEST, 5-3 in the WAC”

These are the words of Juan Lopez, a student who writes for the school newspaper, The Sagebrush. The sad thing is that it’s Nevada’s school newspaper. And this single quote is all I need to remind myself of why I started this blog.

For far too long now I have heard students talking about how bad this Nevada team is, all the while knowing they have no idea what they are talking about. Now I realize that Nevada is not a football school by any means and most of the students who attend don’t really care, let alone know the rules. But you have to realize that those who get their information about this team read it in the school newspaper, at least that’s what I’ve noticed. And quite frankly, the writers of The Sagebrush haven’t known what they’ve been talking about for at least 8 years.

You, Juan Lopez, are part of this problem while you sit there laughing as your friends cheer on this team.
“Their optimistic cheers aimed at the 42-inch flat screen TV in front of them were funny to me. Regardless of what was happening on the field, they thought Nevada would snap out of it. But I knew there was no climbing out of that 17-point hole. Nevada wasn’t mentally tough enough. End result: A 27-21 season-shattering loss.”

You then went on to call this team mediocre for losing to Hawaii saying at best this is a 5-3 team in conference play. I really do enjoy how you didn’t say “if they don’t change fast” or “if they continue to play this way”, you just came out and said that 5-3 is the BEST this team can do as if you’re some expert on college football, or even Nevada football.

The rest of your article went on to criticize Colin Kaepernick (do yourselves a favor and click on the picture, it gets nice and big for you all to read for yourself). Saying the loss was 100% his fault. That he runs too flashy and loose with the ball. That this is the worst playing you have ever seen by Kaepernick and he “is getting progressively worse and it’s bringing down the entire team.”

You basically did everything but say that he needs to be benched.

My question is this, did you cry when you found out we beat Fresno and Boise State? I’m assuming those are the 2 other teams you expected us to lose to, are they not? Or did you act like you never made the statement that this is a 5-3 team at best? Luckily you’ve kept your mouth shut about football since your column after the Hawaii game…until yesterday.
In yesterday’s edition you made no acknowledgment that you were wrong in your prediction although we all know you were just hoping for a loss against Boise State so you could say that we would lose against La Tech as well and you could be right. Because that’s the type of person you are Juan Lopez, you think you know what you’re talking about but you know NOTHING.

What I want to know is why all of a sudden you sounded proud of this team, saying the game “almost brought tears to your eyes.” Or better yet how on October 19, 2010 you threw Colin Kaepernick under the bus, then on November 30, 2010 you called him “the best athlete in school history, hands down.” You then went on to say “This capped Kaep’s career as one of the best players in NCAA football history.”

Now I’m not saying he’s not amazing, in fact I’ve been saying that for at least 2 years now, but since when do you believe this? And do you honestly believe this or are you just writing what everyone else says? You have become the John Kerry of Nevada sports writing with your “flip-flopping” stances.

I’m disappointed in The Sagebrush for not checking individual’s credentials when hiring them. Students rely on you to get the facts straight and all you have done is confused them and filled their heads with nonsense. To be honest I don’t even know why they still publish The Sagebrush, nothing of any worth has been published in there for as long as I have picked it up.

Juan Lopez, thank you for giving me the motivation to continue my blog; I might not understand the game as much as a lot of people out there, but I sure understand it a million times more than you.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Buncha Crap System (BCS) Part 2

Excuse me as I rant, but let’s get this weekend straight BCS ranking wise. It started out with #2 Auburn barely beating #11 Alabama (9 team difference in ranking), and to be honest had McElroy not been concussed, I think Alabama would have pulled off the win.

Then there was an upset in #19 Nevada beating #4 Boise State (15 team difference in ranking). Boise State was a 14 point favorite and yes there was a field goal missed that could have won he game but lets give credit to the Nevada defense who not only shut down a high-powered offense in the 2nd half but also stopped them in overtime.

Number 5 LSU lost to #12 Arkansas (7 team difference in ranking).

Oklahoma State at #9 got beat by #13 Oklahoma (4 team difference in ranking), in what was an amazing 4th quarter by Oklahoma.

#20 Utah barely beats BYU in a game that shouldn’t have even been close.

And then we get the rankings…

#2 jumps Oregon who has done nothing wrong to get the #1 spot.
#11 barely falls, moving back only 5 spots to #16.
#5 drops 5 spots to #10.
#12 jumps 5 spots in comparison.
#9 drops back to the #14 spot, once again a 5 spot drop.
#13 who pulled off the upset moves up 4 spots to the #9 position.
#20 who should have lost stays put at #20, they shouldn’t have any complaints about this.

So, so far everything looks up to par and the only thing to question is did #2 Auburn really deserve to overtake the BCS #1 ranking? Let’s talk about Nevada now who pulled off an amazing come from behind win when all the lights were on them.

#4 Boise State gets booted from the top ten to #11, a 7 rank drop.
#19 Nevada, little sister of the poor Nevada, who put on a show that people will talk about for at least a year jumps 2 measly spots in the BCS.

There is no respect given to a little school, the only thing sports programs are talking about is how Brotzman missed the kick. NOT about how this Nevada team, against all odds, being down 17, went in at halftime and made the adjustments that shut down a potent offense and in the end won the game.

The fact of the matter is this, everyone who has a say in the votes believes this, “Boise State handed the game to Nevada, Nevada did nothing to earn that W”.

Now let us talk about Colin Kaepernick, have we heard anything about him? Forget the records he now owns, he only put up better numbers than Cam Newton but he doesn’t even get mentioned 99% of the time that a commentator talks about that game.

Cam Newton had 216 yards through the air as opposed to Colin Kaepernick and his 259.

On the ground Kaepernick had 45 yards rushing with an average of 4.5 per carry, Newton 1.8 per carry for 39. Should we also mention that Cam ran 12 more times in this game?

Kaepernick threw a pick that was amazingly intercepted and not his fault; it was a ball that should have been caught.

Cam Newton did however bring a team from behind to win a game against a team that was the favorite.

Kaepernick did the same damn thing only showing composure many athletes would rival. With 13 seconds left in the game, Colin was able to tie the game up with an amazing pass into tight coverage.

Just give the guy some credit, that's all I'm asking. Here's were the 2 guys now stand, and keep in mind that by the end of the season, Colin Kaepernick will have put up 4,000 yards of total offense:
The AP poll seems to be more accurate with Nevada at #14, that's closer to what they really are than #17.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Boise St. vs. Nevada Recap

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!!!! (as said by Maximus)

What a fun game to watch and an amazing performance but let’s be honest, it takes a little luck, and I love Kyle Brotzman! The game of football is all about how you capitalize when you get a chance and that’s what Nevada did, I’m just glad it wasn’t Ricky Drake kicking our game winner.

The hearts of Nevada fans dropped as somehow Kellen Moore made a hell of a throw downfield and still left 0:02 on the clock to win the game with a field goal. Why we did not have at least 4 men in a deep zone, I still don’t know. But that’s beside the point, the point is that had that kick gone, Boise State would still be getting the praise they deserve. They would hop over TCU and close the gap against Auburn, after what I consider a poor performance on their part. They had a shot at a national title game, although they would have never gotten it, they had a shot.

Boise State is a great team, but so is Nevada, and I’ve been saying that for a while. Do I think Nevada could match up against Auburn or Alabama? Yes, do I think we could win? No, but for so many people to write us out of the Boise State game before it even started, hurt. I never thought I would have to defend myself from my friends who didn’t believe Nevada had a chance. After the first half the odds-makers looked like they overestimated Nevada and that Boise would cover the 14 point spread, thousands of people thought they had just won a nice bet because “Nevada is a horrible team and Boise State is gonna run all over them”. But I said it would be a close game and would be decided on the final possession by 3 points or less…now I may have gotten the score wrong a little but I was pretty spot on.

The first half we played ugly on offense. Their defense had no problem containing us, their offense may not have moved the ball as fast as they usually do but they moved it. The second half though could not have been a different story. After letting them run all over us in the first half we held them to 8…yes I said 8...yards on the ground for the rest of the game. The defense held them to 1-6 on 3rd downs. This defense who has struggled and people said was horrible was BY FAR the best defense I have seen in college football this year, in the second half that is.

I can only hope that that game showed this Nevada team is better than South Carolina, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Missouri, and Arkansas. Unfortunately we will have to wait till tomorrow to find out but it doesn’t seem like it. Hardly any of the commentators are talking about it today and when they do they just state how Boise lost, not that Nevada played an amazing game to knock them off their throne.

The game is over. Nevada has pretty much assured itself a share of the WAC title and a great bowl game. But what has not been discussed are the records that were set last night.

Congratulations to Colin Kaepernick, you are now the only quarterback in NCAA history to throw for 2000 yards and rush for 1000 in the same season, for 3 seasons in a row. I believe this record will stand for a long time if not forever.

Congratulations to Colin Kaepernick and Vai Taua, you are now the most prolific rushing duo in the history of college football passing Eric Dickerson and Craig James. You still have 2 more games to set that number higher.

For now the biggest game in school history is over, Ault can rest, there won’t be the naysayers like there was after the Hawaii game. You proved you are an amazing coach; the adjustments you made at halftime were perfect. You led your team into battle and beat one of the best teams in D1 football.

To everyone who says Boise State didn’t deserve a shot at a national title, if you watched the game last night you saw nothing but praise for them from the commentators, then they showed quotes from all the coaches whose teams have lost to them this year…all of them said that this is a legitimate team and possibly the best in the nation. You killed a Virginia Tech team that lost to a D2 school, but they play in a BCS conference and will win it and get their BCS game. At the end of the season they will be ranked ahead of you just as you will remain ranked ahead of Nevada. This is the cruel world we live in that makes no sense.

If you truly understand football and you watched the game last night, then you know how good of a team Boise State really is and now you know why I said this will be the greatest Nevada team in its school history.

Oh and how cool is this? I took this screen cap at 3:00am PST (click to see a bigger picture of it)...

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Little Dose of HIstory


No that’s not a locker combination that will lead you to millions of dollars. They’re key numbers for amazing records.

16 – The number of yards Colin Kaepernick needs rushing to become the FIRST player in NCAA history to throw for 2000 yards and rush for 1000 yards in 3 consecutive seasons.

84 – The number of rushing yards Colin Kaepernick and Vai Taua need COMBINED to become the most prolific rushing duo in NCAA history. Who holds that record? Just a guy by the name of Craig James and E.D., E.D. by the ways might be one of the greatest running backs to play in the NFL and the 2nd overall pick of the 1983 NFL draft, none other than Eric Dickerson.

5 – The number of rushing TD’s Colin Kaepernick needs to hold the record for the most rushing TD’s by a quarterback in NCAA history. He currently has 55. With 3 more he passes that guy Tim Tebow who I’ve never been a fan of, and with 5 more he passes Eric Crouch. Now both may have had great college careers but Crouch never made it in the NFL, and well Tebow…let’s just say I hope he doesn’t make it. Either way its great company to be in and leading that category is just another notch on a belt for a quarterback who’s already achieved more than anyone thought possible.

I give you this information because you should know and I can easily see the commentators neglecting all of this information as we see at least 1 record broken tonight. 10:15pm EST, 7:15pm PST, tune your dials to ESPN, it’s going to be a good one.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Week 13 Ranking Implications

Are you excited for this game yet? It’s just a shame it’s this week because this would be a great week to move up in the rankings. Here’s what I have for this week:

#2 Auburn losing to #11 Alabama

#12 Arkansas losing to #5 LSU

#13 Oklahoma losing to #9 Oklahoma State

#17 Texas A&M losing to Texas

#21 Arizona losing to #1 Oregon

What does this mean? Well if Nevada loses we could potentially still be ranked, probably at #25. If Nevada pulls off the upset we might get the recognition we deserve but we will likely hear “I think this is proof that this Boise State team just wasn’t as good as we thought they were and truly did not deserve a chance at the national title”. Regardless I see us moving up 4 spots, and an additional 2-3 for taking down Boise. With a win we might be talking about the #13 or #12 Nevada Wolf Pack.

Regardless it’s going to be a great Friday of college football with the #’s 1, 2, and 4 teams in action, all against ranked opponents.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families! Be safe and enjoy college football!