Saturday, September 29, 2007
The Empire Strikes Back
Despite the complete lack of posts this week I'm still alive, but I'm not sure if that's worth a shit right now. The nun-killing pedophiles at espn have apparently started hating me back, because it's not enough to just NOT air the best game in the country in my region. Oh no, you have to spend two Goddamn hours in front of Autzen, then don't tell the local cable mafia which game will air, and then give me Clemson-Georgia Tech one one channel and Wisconsin-Michigan State on the other. Have you watched any Wisconsin games this year? It's like watching old people fuck. You have something like 20 channels, and one of them is showing cars going in circles while there's sweet, sweet football being played all over this glorious country. A tease of this magnitude is the equivalent of waving a gravy-covered chicken fried steak in front of Charlie Weis, and eventually you're going to lose a limb.
And another thing, all of the games you've aired so far have totally sucked- that's on you too, because an evil empire that's as big as yours should have influence on things like the tides and the actions of men. Even the games on the other channels have sucked so far and that may as well be your bad too, you fucking fuckbags. You know what else is your fault? The horde of trees to the south of my property preventing me from getting satellite TV service, forcing me to go to Corporate McCarpetbagger's Sports Bar and pay $7.50 for a pint of Miller Lite. Ever tried that polock piss? I use it to clean drains.
ASU's on Fox tonight, suckas. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, you bunch of puppy kickers.
Labels: hatred for the 4-letter network
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Beavers get Licked
Ahem. I couldn’t help but notice this little article from some website called house of heat or something of that ilk. To wit:
9/22, Oregon State: Nobody in Corvallis realizes how much they're going to miss departed QB Matt Moore. He was the heart and soul of the team that beat USC and I don't expect them to be in fighting shape by week four.At this time I’d like to toot my own horn and point out that I totally called this game... in July. Did they miss Moore? Fuckin’ A right they did, to the tune of FIVE interceptions and a few more almost-picks. Oregon State got away from their gameplan after the Devil D stopped RB Yvenson Bernard a few times and Canfield started churning out interceptions like free candy flowing from a van without windows.
After getting down 19-0 in the blink of an eye, there was absolutely no quit in the Sun Devils- not on offense, defense, or special teams. Kudos, I guess, to the new coaching staff for instilling a mental toughness in this team that was not there a year ago. Last year’s game at Oregon State didn’t start all that differently than this one did, but chins were up this time and the Sun Devils simply executed. How did they do it? In the words of Rudy Carpenter in an on-field post-game interview, “I don’t fuckin’ know.” Well said Rudy, and the mainstream folks will have to deal with a little pottymouth since you went 25-36 for 361 passing yards and four TDs.
Saturday’s game against Oregon State was a lesson for the Sun Devils. They are human and can get punched in the mouth by anyone, but just the same they can get back up and whip anyone up and down the field. Were the six OSU turnovers the difference? Absolutely, but that helped offset the 19 point 1st quarter donation to the Beavers. Stanford gave Oregon a serious scare before the Ducks pulled away, and they seem just as capable of upsetting an athletically superior ASU as they did two years ago on the Farm when Sam Keller tried to play through injuries, and poorly.
The to-do list for next week’s game at Stanford begins with being ready to go when the game starts.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
More than you ever cared to know about: The Oregon State Beavers
Name: Oregon State University
Location: Corvallis, OR
Motto: Open Minds, Open Doors
Colors: Orange and Black
Mascot: Benny the Beaver
Stadium: Reser Stadium, capacity 46,000
While the school was founded as a prep school (Corvallis Academy) in 1858, it didn’t add college classes until 1865 and the first degrees were issued five years later in 1870, so it seems that Oregonians have been smoking weed and slacking off since the beginning of time (not that I have room to poke fun at folks for taking over four years to graduate). The campus was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the father of modern landscape architecture, to showcase the local trees and brick structures.
Nature, nature, nature. Do those people care about anything other than trees? You too can become a Master Gardener at Oregon State. OSU’s College of Forestry is also a consensus #1 in the nation as well. The school has roots (no pun intended) as an agricultural institution and it’s a land grant school, so I guess it’s to be expected. We can all thank the Ag program for developing the Maraschino cherry in 1924, for without them our Manhattans would be naked.
The feather in the Beavers’ academic cap is that they are one of only two schools in the nation to possess research grants in land, sea, sun, and space. Just think, if they add a research grant for Milla Jovovich they can surpass Cornell and have all five elements!
Heh heh, Beavers. Say no more, as OSU graduated TWO Playboy PMOY’s, Jodi Paterson (1998) and Sara Underwood (2006).
No available pictures of Jodi Paterson could be deemed safe for work. Find your own porn, you perv.
Some other folks too:
Douglas Englebart, inventor of the computer mouse
Pinto Colvig, the original Bozo the Clown
Leonard Shoen, founder of U-Haul
Dick Fosbury, 1968 Olympic gold medalist and inventor of the Fosbury Flop
Rich Brooks, former Oregon Duck and current Kentucky Wildcat head coach
Brent Barry, white boy dunk champ
Rick Barry, his dad and NBA hall-of-famer
Gary Payton, loud-mouthed basketball player
AC Green, born-again virgin and former LA Laker
Lots of other football players in the NFL recruited to OSU by Dennis Erickson
Other than wearing orange, mocking the Ducks’ uniforms, and making "beaver" jokes, this was surprisingly difficult to find any information. I met a few OSU undergrads in 2000 when some fraternity brothers crashed at our house for the Fiesta Bowl. They all wore shirts showing a tapped keg with the words "a drinking team with a football problem." They said that anything over 6-6 is a bonus and that they only have fun with athletics, never expecting much.
Who's making fun of whom now?
Beaver athletics were a lot of doom and gloom for most of the 20th century, but the arrival of vagabond coach Dennis Erickson changed all of that. In 2000 the Beavs went 11-1, including a 41-9 thrashing of Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl and a final national ranking of fourth. Before Erickson's arrival OSU had not been to a bowl game in 28 years. Although DE's stay was short, his tenure was a springboard as OSU football has seen four bowl games in the last five seasons, including last season's Sun Bowl victory over Missouri. Current head coach Mike Riley was also the head coach before Erickson's arrival, and his biggest career win would have to be upsetting USC last season.
OSU has also managed to put together a powerful baseball program that has claimed the last two National Championships. Even though Arzona State won the Pac-10 regular season championship, Oregon State got hot in the NCAA tournament and peaked to win the COllege World Series for the second year in a row. The school only has three National Championships in it's history, with the third coming in Cross Country in 1961.
Like everyone else in the Pac-10, the Beavers have a natural rivalry with the University of Oregon referred to as the Civil War. The Ducks lead the football rivalry 55-45-10 (10 ties! Jesus!) and while one might think the Ducks would possess recent dominance, they've split the last ten matchups with the Beavs and the home team has won all of them. In a Benedict Arnold fashion, Oregon State alum Rich Brooks is commonly credited with bringing the Oregon Duck football program to prominence with a series of NFL quarterback busts at the helm.
Head to Head
Not too many of these things have been close in recent years with the exception of the 2002 game when Terrell Suggs single-handedly beat the Beavers in a 13-9 defensive fight. Outside of that slugfest, the average margin of victory has been close to 23, with the two teams splitting the last four games. Overall OSU has been Sparky’s bitch as ASU leads the all-time series 23-9-1, but it was the other way around last season as the Beavers dismantled the Devils 44-10 in a rain-soaked afternoon in Corvallis. Expect revenge to be on the minds of the Sun Devils on Saturday after suffering such an embarrassing loss a year ago. ASU safety Jeremy Payton will face off against his brother Bryn, who plays safety for OSU.
Phil Steele Says…
Last year was OSU's second best in school history, but there will be a drop off in play losing QB Matt Moore and SS Sabby Piscatelli but the season should be successful and the Beavers should go bowling again. The home team is 6-1 in the last seven matchups.
A staunch defense loses All-Conference Safety Sabby Piscatelli but they return almost everyone else and they’ll be a physical, tough bunch, especially since they possess good depth on the front seven and stay fresh by continuously rotating players. Even without Piscatelli, the Beaver secondary won’t drop off much as their corners are seasoned vets that will want to take ASU’s young receivers to school. I’ve said it before, but Matt Moore was the cog that made last year’s Oregon State machine run, both emotionally and as a playmaker. Sean Canfield is getting a grasp of the offense and it wouldn’t surprise me if these Beavers finish on a tear as they did a year ago, but I don’t think they’re there just yet. Yvenson Bernard will be a beast on the ground, but if the Devils can avoid blowing coverages like they did against Colorado and SDSU it should be 4-0 for ASU.
Oregon State University
Building the Dam
Thursday, September 13, 2007
More than you ever cared to know about: the San Diego State Aztecs
Moving stuff with your mind? That’s just crazy talk.
Name: San Diego State University
Location: San Diego, CA
Established: 1897, as San Diego Normal School
Motto: “Minds That Move the World”
Colors: Scarlet and Black
Mascot: Monty (as in Montezuma) the Aztec Warrior
Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium, capacity 54,000
Conference: Mountain West
Considering the school is located on Montezuma Mesa in San Diego, which offers easy access to Mission Beach, the Gaslamp District, Pacific Beach, Tijuana, Stone Brewery, and what is possibly the greatest bar in the history of time(Lahaina’s in P.B.), I don’t know how they get anything done at SDSU. Even the weather is cooperative- the Aztecs have only played two home games in the rain since 1984. It’s no wonder that they received 57,167 admission applications for the upcoming fall semester, a school record and tops in California for 2007. With all of this going for them, they still sit 5th in Playboy’s party school rankings, two spots behind ASU. Bitches. As if all of that wasn't enough, the school has been the setting for Bring It On and Veronica Mars. Oooooo that's teh hotness!!!11!!1!!
Like ASU, SDSU started as a Normal School, then moved up to a Teacher’s College, then to a State College, and then became a State University (1970). In its humble beginnings as a Normal school, what is now SDSU was located upstairs from a downtown drug store. SDSU possesses a branch campus in Calexico, CA, which couldn’t be further from San Diego in terms of culture and nightlife. You know you’re in hell when you apply to SDSU and end up in Calexico. It’s like a smaller, less interesting, dirtier Tucson, which should speak volumes.
Julie Kavner, voice of Marge Simpson
Vintage hottie Raquel Welch
Apollo motherfucking Creed!
Don “Air” Coryell
Herm Edwards, seen here flipping the fuck out:
People in the 1920s really had a sense of humor. Like many Western schools, SDSU faced naming issues after a school merger so they held a submission contest to solve the problem. Many alumni must be happy that “Aztecs” won out over such submissions as Staters, Professors, Wampus Cats(WTF?), Panthers, Balboans, and Thoroughbreds.
SDSU makes a special effort to play most of their games at night and they traditionally sport all-black home uniforms, but they were doing it way before Nike and the like were marketing to gangstas. The black uni’s were introduced in 1963 by head coach Don Coryell for an intimidation factor. Coryell is also credited with introducing the modern passing game to college football, and after great success with the “Air Coryell” offense at SDSU he was moderately successful with the NFL's St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers. Coryell will always be known for SDSU's glory years, where the Aztecs went 55-1-1 in a span between 1965 and 1970, including a 25-game win streak.
In addition to Coryell, there’s really only two names to know here: Tony Gwynn and Marshall Faulk. Baseball Hall Of Famer Gwynn played both baseball and basketball for the Aztecs, and since retiring from Major League Baseball he has returned to his alma mater to coach the baseball team. SDSU plays their games at the on-campus Tony Gwynn Stadium, which has to be trippy for Tony. Marshall Faulk burst on to the college football scene in 1991 where, as a freshman, he ran for 386 yards and seven touchdowns IN ONE GAME against The University of the Pacific. He went on to do ok in the NFL, too.
Chuck Long is in his second year as head coach for the Aztecs. He went 3-9 in his first season and he’s a former Hayden Fry assistant. You know who else is? It’s amazing that SDSU has a problem getting a long-term coach considering the coaches they have produced. In addition to Coryell, there are three Aztec alums that have coached in the Super Bowl: John Madden(XI), Joe Gibbs(XVII, XVIII, XXII, XXVI), and John Fox(XXXVIII). Herm Edwards went there too.
They don’t seem to really have any, at least as far as football goes. Out of all of their opponents they’ve faced Fresno State the most (50 times, 26-20-4 all-time) but the two teams haven’t seen each other since 2002. It seems that since SDSC converted to a University in 1970, they left their small college rivals (26-8-1 against UC-Santa Barbara) behind for larger schools with better programs. The Aztecs are 0-20-1 against UCLA, so at least you know they hate somebody with a bloody passion.
Head to Head
The last time ASU played against San Diego State, they went down 22-0 to the Aztecs early in the first half when head coach Dirk Koetter pulled starting quarterback Chad Christensen for the relatively unknown Andrew Walter. A-Dub threw four touchdowns in the Sun Devils’ 39-28 victory, including TD’s on each of his first two passes en route to the school record for career passing yards and touchdowns. Arizona State leads the all-time series 9-0-1 outscoring the Aztecs 352-88, however SDSU gave the Devils a big scare in the 2000 season opener but shanked a field goal in the waning moments allowing ASU to escape with a 10-7 win. Thanks for shaving years off of my life, Jeff Krohn!
Phil Steele Says…
The Aztecs have had a bad run of things. They lost 32 starts due to injury in Chuck Long’s first year as coach, including their top two quarterbacks, but they have nine starters returning on offense. They lost 3 games by a total of 12 points, and they didn’t have their top quarterback or running back for most of the year, leading to a weak-ass 16.3 points per game in 2006. They’re usually talented since they’re located in a great recruiting area but the whole never seems to equal the sum of the parts. (sound familiar?) Even though they’ll be better, they probably won’t be in contention for a bowl until 2008.
After watching some youtube highlights, SDSU looks like they have some playmaking wideouts that could cause fits for the weak Sun Devil secondary. The Aztecs only have four returning defensive starters from a 3-9 team, which gives me confidence should a shootout occur. The three close games the Aztecs lost last year were to relative creampuffs and they rolled over against the tough teams they played. As long as ASU doesn’t look ahead to Oregon State, they shouldn’t have any problems with SDSU. The Aztecs have played one game so far, where they received a 45-17 thumping at the hands of Washington State.
The University’s official website
SDSU’s official athletics site
The Wikipedia page
The College Football Data Warehouse Page
Labels: opponent previews
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Meh. For the second year in a row Arizona State stays undefeated in OOC play by defeating a hapless Colorado team in lackluster fashion. Rudy Carpenter threw a pick-6 in the opening series and the defensive secondary created a pile of those oh shit moments but were underexposed by a Colorado receiving corps that couldn't catch crabs from a 10-peso Tucson hooker.** Freshman QB Cody Hawkins looked stunning for a kid making his second career start, but perfect passes in stride were literally going through his WR's hands. The score could have easily been 28-0 before the ASU offense came to life in the second quarter.
Despite the secondary getting beaten several times, the front seven looked solid and they were especially stout against the run only allowing 37 yards on the ground. The newfound depth in the D-line rotation kept legs fresh, but the primary concern for this group is that they were unable to establish a lot of pressure on the quarterback when only rushing four. Many conference QBs would have picked apart the secondary with that much time in the pocket.
Everyone in Tempe has gone totally gay for Ryan Torain, even CU defender Alonzo Barrett. How is there a hands to the face penalty but nothing covering this? The Train racked up 91 yards on 17 carries, and while it pales in comparison to last week's numbers he recovered well from a slow start and a slight injury to propel the team through a medium-hot second and third quarter.
The line play of the Hell Hogs in front of Torain was up and down, and it appeared that they are beginning to take on the streaky nature of QB Rudy Carpenter: they play well when things are going good, but there's something lacking when things go south. Once things got going on offense, huge holes were opening up but the same can't be said for the first quarter. This could also be attributed to the thin Colorado D-lne and the 100-degree heat, but one thing is for sure- this position group needs the Koetter kicked out of them. A senior group like this one needs poise and confidence on every play.
One of the O-line's better moments as captured by 4VRADVL.com
QB Rudy Carpenter sprayed passes on Saturday night and was only one pass over a 50% completion rate on the evening, but these weren't poorly executed dink and dunk passes. With the exception of one 6-yard screen pass to Torain, the shortest pass completion was for 16 yards, and that was a fourth and one toss to Nate Kimbrough. The receivers deserve a lot of the credit for catching balls thrown behind and above them on many ocasions. The night's biggest huzzah goes to Kyle Williams for his only catch, a 22-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone to end the first half. There were four to six defenders surrounding him and Carpenter put the ball in the one place that Williams and no one else could reach it. I was impressed with the placement and decision of the pass until I read Carp's post-game thoughts on the matter:
That was an unbelievable, unbelievable catch. It was late in the half so I figured whatever, if it is an interception they're not going to get much, I might as well take a chance for the end zone.Jeebus Cripes. WR Mike Jones had a pretty good view of the play from the field, here's what he had to say:
I saw four guys on Kyle [Williams] and I saw the ball go up in the air. I was like, `Oh my God.' Then I just saw the ball stick in Kyle's hands. I was like, `Wow, we scored.'
Scary, yet effective. (photo credit: DevilsDigest.com)
I'll be crucified somewhere for saying this, but Carpenter's tuck and run ability looked Plummer-esque last night. Scrambling around trying to make a play was a big no-no under Koetter even though that's the trait that Dirk originally noticed in Rudy, but it suits his natural instincts and abilities well. He knows how to carry the ball when he takes off and I wasn't once concerned about a fumble.
Erickson's system also caters to Rudy's talents through the use of the shotgun, another Koetter no-no that was surprisingly used in Jacksonville today. While Carpenter was shaky and out of sorts in the first quarter, he looked like the brilliant 2005 Rudy during the no-huddle drive to end the first half, making quick reads and dissecting the Buff defense without out-thinking himself. Was the no-huddle applied in reaction to his slow start? Perhaps, and if it was then Coach Erickson deserves heaping praise for knowing his players and understanding how to manage them.
The man can read minds!
Coach Erickson wasn't the only Sun Devil coach in attendance as hoops head man Herb Sendek took in the game from the student section where he was handing out headbands to the sweaty undergrads. This was his second game in a row hanging with the kids, and last week he was seen meeting and greeting in the student wristband line where he sprayed the sun and beer soaked students with a water gun. When asked why he didn't bring it this week, he said that security wouldn't let him bring it inside the stadium. Good to see Herb cultivating a grassroots following for ASU basketball, which is how it will have to be done in the already crowded valley sports market.
The chicken little sky is falling response has been that this team is no more disciplined than they were under Koetter after tracking up 136 penalty yards. Judging by Erickson's body language and halftime comments the players responsible for the careless penalties will be dealt with, like running wind sprints until they're blue in the face. DE knows what his legacy and reputation have become and I believe he wants to change that. Players that headed to the sideline after committing the infractions got an earful from Erickson and other coaches. I don't think this will be tolerated for very long, and remember that there were only four penalties against SJSU just a week ago.
I hate to sound so doom and gloom because it was a Sun Devil victory and a convincing one; it's a game that the coaches can point to and say "this is what happens when you take a team lightly, this is what NOT to do." Despite the inconsistencies in some areas the team is leaps and bounds better than the 2006 squad. The defense has given up one touchdown in eight quarters of play, Torain is averaging over 100 yards per game, the receivers are catching balls that would have been drops last year, and Carpenter's TD-INT ratio is 5-1. Will the schedule get tougher? Absolutely, but the team will also improve as time goes on. Of the weaknesses exposed against Colorado, all of them are correctable. It's still probably better that the east coast writers and coaches went to bed before watching the ASU game, because the final score was more impressive than the actual game.
**- on a side note, Florida State's DeCody Fagg might be the worst receiver in D-1 football. Next week's CU-FSU matchup in Denver should be a clinic in drops and fumbles.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
More than you ever cared to know about: the Colorado Buffaloes
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine...
Name: University of Colorado
Location: Boulder, CO
Motto: “let your light shine”
Colors: Silver and Gold
Mascot: Ralphie (live) and Chip (costume)
Stadium: Folsom Field, capacity 53,750
Conference: Big XII
The University of Colorado was founded in 1876 in Boulder, Colorado at the base of the Flatiron mountains because the settlers were just too damn lazy to make the uphill trek. The campus features uniform Italian Rural architecture, boasting a light-colored sandstone and steep sloped, red-tiled roofs that give it a classic Ahwatukee look and feel, sans the garage doors.
The CU folks won't get that joke, but anyone who's been to the Took will find it hilarious.) The campus really is beautiful and Boulder's a great city, highlighted by the Pearl Street Mall, which is like Mill Avenue but instead of kids bumming change they have mimes and street performers. Well, scratch that, they have bums in Boulder too.
espn's Chris Fowler
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of South Park
Rae Carruth, noted wide receiver and murderer
Rashaan Salaam, 1994 Heisman Trophy winner
Skier/footballer/dreamboat Jeremy Bloom
Chauncey Billups, 2004 NBA Finals MVP
Dr. James Naismith, inventor of basketball
Second Lady Lynne Cheney
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia
Colorado boasts one of the best traditions in all of college football, the running of Mascot Ralphie before each half at home games. Ralphie is in select company as one of the few live mascots in college football, joining Texas’ steer Bevo, Georgia’s UGA the bulldog, Auburn’s War Eagle (Tigers anyone? –ed.) and LSU’s Mikey the Tiger. Current mascot Ralphie IV can reach speeds of more than 30 mph, and happens to be female since the neckerchief-clad chaps found it too difficult to keep up with and control a male buffalo. It has been discussed that Ralphie may make the trip to Tempe and run on Frank Kush Field, but no official decision has been made. You know who really needs to let a live mascot run on the field during games? Florida.
If you thought it was bad that ASU has changed from the Owls to the Bulldogs to the Sun Devils, check this out:
Prior to 1934, CU athletic teams usually were referred to as the “Silver and Gold,” but other nicknames teams were sometimes called included Silver Helmets, Yellow Jackets, Hornets, Arapahoes, Big Horns, Grizzlies and Frontiersmen. The student newspaper decided to sponsor a national contest in the summer of 1934, with a $5 prize to go to the author of the winning selection.The schools official colors are silver and gold referencing the state's rich mineral deposits, but black was substituted for silver since the original colors didn't match well on uniforms.
Wow, they even have their own Whizzer White! Wilford “Whizzer” White attended Arizona State College from 1947-1950 and has his #33 retired at Sun Devil Stadium, but Byron “Whizzer” White played football and basketball for Colorado in the 1930s. Weird. Both are considered to be among the all-time elite athletes of their respective alma maters.
Although they have run up against recent struggles in the wake of Rick Neuheisel and Gary Barnett’s NCAA violations, the Colorado footballers have had a fair amount of success in recent years. They won the Big XII Championship in 2001 and made their only appearance in the BCS, falling to Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl. That was the first in a run where CU won 4 out of 5 Big XII North Championships, although 2001 was their only outright conference title in that span.
The glory days of Colorado football happened under coach Bill McCartney in the late 1980s, where they won three straight Big 8 Conference Championships in 1989, 1990, and 1991 behind a powerful option attack. Know who Sal Aunese is. For every reader that doesn't acknowledge Sal's legacy, revere him, and weep a bit after watching the linked video, I will personally barbecue a basket full of puppies- not that you'll care, because you obviously brokered your soul in exchange for dirty motel sex with an underage orphan boy years ago. Anyway, the team leader and starting quarterback contracted stomach cancer and passed away in 1989, but the team’s spirit was unconquered as they dedicated their season to his memory and won a share of the National Championship by defeating Notre Dame in the 1990 Orange Bowl.
A funny thing happened on the way to the national championship, the forever controversial 5th down situation. The Buffs were running a hurry-up offense late in the 4th quarter at Missouri and marching down the field quickly- so quickly, in fact, that the chain gangs were having a hard time keeping up. CU spiked the ball to stop the clock on second down but the sideline marker was never changed to reflect the loss of down. CU scored on the drive and won the game, but many critics point to this incident as the asterisk in Colorado’s championship. Nebraska fans all at once: cheater cheater pumpkin-eaters!
If there is one single play that Coloradoans will always remember, it’s the Miracle at Michigan. No time left, down by five, 64 yards from the end zone. In the Big House. Against the #4 Wolverines. Using periods for effect. Is. Kinda. Lame.
Like the Sun Devils, the Buffaloes have an abysmally bad basketball program but they've hired a new coach. Unlike the Sun Devils, CU has a monster ski team that has won 16 National Championships. This compare to the Snow Devils, an ASU club that does little more than throw huge keggers. Not to be outdone, Colorado has a more casual ski/snowboard organization for students called Boulder Freeride, that with over 3,000 students is larger than CU's Greek system.
It's hard to beat a rivalry of the University of _________ vs. __________ State University. Colorado has always been considered the more elite of the two schools, both in athletics and academics, and they're always sure to point it out their Colorado State counterparts. Their natural rivalry is unique in that they are in different conferences, but their football teams still face off every year at Denver's Invesco Field. The all-time series is a bit lopsided in CU's favor at 59-20-2, but CSU has made small strides in recent years winning four of the last eight. Arizona State has caught a scheduling break both last year and this year by facing the Buffs the week following their highly emotional rivalry game.
Like most of the other teams in the Big XII North and the old Big 8 Conference, Colorado hss a strong dislike for the University of Nebraska, especially after their three National Championships in the mid-1990s. Nebraska's chief rivalry with Oklahoma has waned in recent years after the teams were put into different divisions, and since then the Huskers have begun to return the resentment to their neighbors to the West. The two teams play every year on Thanksgiving weekend, and the game often carries implications on the Conference Championship. Since the formation of the Big XII in 1996, these two teams have combined to win eight of the possible ten Division Championships.
Head to Head
Even though the two states kiss at the four corners, last year’s match up was the first between ASU and Colorado. The Sun Devils won 23-3 on the wings of Rudy Carpenter’s newly broken throwing hand. Last year's storyline was about former Koetter assistant Dan Hawkins taking over as Colorado Head Coach and poaching Mark Helfrich from the ASU staff to be offensive coordinator at CU. It didn't make much difference last year and it sure won't make much difference this year either now that Koetter's ship has sailed.
Phil Steele Says…
Nine starters back on offense will help the Buffs immensely after they averaged a lowly 16.3 points per game last year. Four of last year's losses were close by Steele's standards, but CU was surprisingly +8 in turnovers. Steele expects their defense to be in the top half of the Big XII, returning six starters from a unit that allowed only 341 yards per game, the lowest average for a Colorado squad in eight years. Even though their schedule contains seven teams that were bowl eligible last year, Steele thinks they have a shot at bowl eligibility.
Nine starters on offense are nice and all, but the most important position on the field is a mess. Bernard Jackson, the incumbent quarterback, was bumped down to third on the depth chart by the end of spring practice by redshirt freshman Cody Hawkins and JuCo transfer Nick Nelson, who are #s 1 and 2, respectively. No matter how well the coach's son knows the offense he'll receive a trial by fire having to start his career against Colorado State at Invesco and the play in Sun Devil Stadium in an early season night game where the crowd will be big and well-lubricated. Phil Steele seems to think that the offense will improve based on the you can only go one direction from last year philosophy, but I don't think a ton of improvement will occur with an unproven QB. Yes, they'll probably do better, but improving from 16.3 points per game doesn't mean that you'll set the world on fire. They may have a shot at bowl eligibility since they're in the Big XII North, but I don't think their chances of defeating ASU in Tempe are too good. Losing all-everything kicker Mason Crosby won't help, either.
And don’t think for one second that I’ll pass up the opportunity to post this:
The University’s official website
CU's official athletics website
NetBuffs, an unofficial athletic site and message board
The College Football Data Warehouse Page
The Wikipedia page
Labels: opponent previews
All is right in the world- it's football season!
Apologies for the lightish posting this week as real life has been a bitch. It's been a disease-ridden, loud-mouthed whore of a bitch, so much so that I currently can't access the internet during work hours. Pitchfork Nation will have to do for now. Sorry folks.
As for a quick review of the Spartan smack-down, I was part of the radio audience on Saturday night so it's tough to judge a team's performance by a homer announcer and his alumni sidekick (Healy and Van Rapphorst). Few games can be summed up in a single word, but this one can: efficient. Carpenter was 14/20 (70%) with no picks, the defense allowed 115 total yards, and Torain and Herring combined to average over six yards per carry. Torain didn't see the second half and Robert James won Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week.
James' wallet says bad mother fucker on it.
For an even quicker dash through last week's games, here's a blurb regarding each game I watched:
* LSU should probably be #1.
* Everything everyone said about UW's Jake Locker was right, except for that one guy that said he sucks. He's a moron, and the Huskies will give ASU a game in a few weeks.
* I might have been wrong about Florida dropping off after losing their QB and 10 starters on D.
* Michigan/App State? Watched the whole fucking thing, baybee! Viva sports bars with DirecTV. It was glorious, except for all of the happy Ohio State fans. It's also nice to see ASU in the news, even if it isn't the right one.
* Virginia Tech? Meh. I've been on emotion overload regarding Tech since 4/21 having lived in VA when all of that sniper business went down. They're going to get smothered by LSU this Saturday, and QB Sean Glennon is worse than anyone could have imagined.
* Ole Miss looks good enough to create a lot of disappointment for their fans. More specifically, they look better but they're still Ole Miss and they still play in the SEC. Poor bastards.
* Miami isn't back just yet, but their defense is well on their way. They could really use a quarterback not named Kirby. Also, I had no idea Randy Shannon was black. Good for him.
* Is Notre Dame gloriously bad or is Georgia Tech a lot better without Reggie Ball? A bit of both, methinks.
* BC QB Matt Ryan is worth most of his hype, and Wake Forest doesn't look like they're ready to go back to their hole at the bottom of the ACC anytime soon.
* Oklahoma? Scaaaarrry. They might run the table without a proven QB. Ohio State did the same in 2002 with a guy named Craig Krenzel, a good running game, and a monster D.
* Tennessee and the rest of the SEC can eat a dick thanks to DeSean and the boys at Cal gaining redemption over the Vols. They looked solid in all phases, but there may be a weakness somewhere on defense, just not sure where.
* Willie Tuitama's new nickname? Dizzy. Hurrah to BYU for officially putting Mike Stoops on the hot seat. If it's written on the internet, it must be true. I thought you could only go one direction from the 2006 UA offense, but they're magically worse. Don't question miracles, I suppose.
And finally, Florida State has a porous and freshman-laden O-line, but Clemson probably boasts the best defensive front the Noles will see until they travel to Gainesville to face the Gators in November. Some free advice- don't watch FSU football with FSU fans when there's a tequila collection on hand. It makes for a bitch of a Tuesday.