NCAA

BCS Championship Game – Tide Roll

First half

 

On January 7, 2013 Alabama faced off against the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a highly anticipated matchup for the NCAA football National Championship.  In the first half, Alabama started out hot opening up a 28-0 lead.  It seemed apparent in the opening drive when Notre Dame overloaded the box at the 5-yard line that they misread the play Alabama was calling.  They assumed Alabama would rely on their all-star running back to punch it in after successfully running the ball on the previous play to set up a first down and goal situation.  However, in an unconventional play call, Alabama adapted to Notre Dame’s goal line defense, faked the run and found a wide open receiver in the back of the end-zone to complete McCarron’s first touchdown pass of the game.

 

Upon the first completed TD, Alabama appeared to have outsmarted Notre Dame. The theme continued for the rest of the first half.  For 30 minutes, Notre Dame seemed to be guessing on defense and found little success in shutting down the Tide.  Going into the second half, A.J. McCarron had already racked up 158 yards and 2 TDs (Lacy/Williams) on 12 completions, complimenting another 2 touchdowns converted in the running game by running backs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon. 28 points later, a comeback by Notre Dame was unlikely.

 

Second Half

 

The Tide continued to roll entering the second half – striking first on an AJ McCarron pass to Amari Cooper for a 34-yard TD.  The lead was stretched to 35-0.  With 4:08 left in the third quarter, Notre Dame finally found the scoreboard on a 2-yard rush from Everett Golson.  The Tide scored again with 11:27 left in the 4th quarter, regaining a 35-point lead on another AJ McCarron pass to Amari Cooper, this time for 19 yards.  Notre Dame answered back on a Golson pass to Theo Riddick for 8 yards and a TD and with 7:51 left in the 4th quarter, the Tide led the Irish 42-14.

 

Summary Stats

 

With under three minutes left in the game, Alabama pulled starters from the game and Lacy was named the offensive MVP having racked up 140 yards on 20 rushing yards and 1 TD in addition to 17 reception yards and a TD on 2 catches.  T.J. Yeldon split carries with Lacy, finishing with one more carry than him (21) for a total of 108 rushing yards and 1 TD.  AJ McCarron completed 20 of 28 passes for 264 yards and 4 TDs.  Amari Cooper finished with 6 receptions for 105 yards and 2 TDs.

 

Although the Tide went on to win 42-14, Notre Dame reported a couple of notable statistics.  Namely, DaVaris Daniels, TJ Jones and Tyler Eifert racked up 266 reception yards on a combined 20 catches (split 6/7/6 for 115/90/61 respectively).  Quarterback, Golson, completed 21 of 36 passes for a total of 270 passing yards, 1 TD and 1 interception.

 

The Tide shut down Notre Dame’s running game, allowing just 32 rushing yards on 19 total rushes.  One of those rushes went for 20 yards, meaning the remaining 18 rushes mustered up a mere 12 additional yards.  This would have been the outstanding statistic and likely recognized as the difference maker if it weren’t overshadowed by the fact that Notre Dame’s defense was shredded by McCarron and company, thus leaving little doubt the Tide would have won regardless of whether the Fighting Irish had gotten their running game working.  This is the Tide’s third National Championship in 4 years and with this latest win, McCarron became the first quarterback in history to win back-to-back National Championships.  Three other quarterbacks had the opportunity since 2000 but none were successful in winning the second game.

 


Nerlens Noel And Shabazz Muhammad Select Their Schools, See Why They Selected The School That They Picked

Shabazz Muhammad (Left) and Nerlens Noel (Right) have selected their schools; see who they picked.

On a night where two of the top high school prospects from the class of 2012 made their decisions of where they wanted to play basketball next season, some schools who were hoping to land one of the top two prospects of 2012, walked away empty handed.

First it was number two of the class of 2012, Shabazz Muhammad to make his decision. Muhammad who was considering Duke, Kentucky, and UCLA selected the baby blue and gold Bruins making the University of California, Los Angeles a for sure title contender.

“It was down to Kentucky, Duke and UCLA and I chose to be a Bruin,” Muhammad said during a nationally televised appearance on ESPNU. “I’ll be at UCLA next year.”

Muhammad explained that his reasoning for picking the Bruins was that he felt most comfortable with their coaching staff as well as he was looking forward to the challenge of getting the Bruins back to where they’re usually at; the National Championship level.

“I just think it’s a challenge,” Muhammad said. “Knowing how bad they were these last two years, it’s a challenge to really get them back up to the top knowing they are the leaders in all-time championships with 11.”

After Muhammad shocked the viewers as it seemed like he was the for-sure pick for the University of Kentucky, number one prospect of the class of 2012, Center, Nerlens Noel was on the clock.

After being asked a few questions before the big one; where was he going next fall? Noel when finally asked the question, selected, Kentucky.

Here's what the Kentucky logo looked like on the back of Noel's head.

After thanking ESPN, his recruiters, and all of the coaches that he met, Noel dropped the famous line, “I’ll be taking my talents to” and then said, the University of…paused and turned around where the University of Kentucky logo was sketched out on the back of his head.

“It was the toughest decision of my entire life,” Noel said during a nationally televised appearance on ESPNU. “Georgetown and Syracuse are great programs.”

“Coach Cal recruited me real hard. He is a good person who cares about his players, he helps them reach their goals and the team’s goals,” Noel continued. “They play as a unit and are very unselfish. Also the fans were incredible on my visit. They are behind the program 100 percent.”

With still several top players from the class of 2012 still un-decided as of now, it was great to see the top two players of the class of 2012; Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad decide where they wanted to go and play basketball next fall.

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Frank Martin Out Of Kansas State? See Why It May Not Be Happening

Kansas State head coach Frank Martin out?

With just a little over a week after losing to the number one seeded, Syracuse Orange, the Kansas State Wildcats might be losing again, except this time, one of their own; head coach, Frank Martin.

Martin who’s been apart of the Wildcats since 2006, where he was an assistant coach under Bob Huggins and then eventually taking over the following season in 2007, has been with the University for six years. And during those five years at the head coaching position he lead the Wildcats to four NCAA Tournament appearances, one elite eight and an overall record of 117-54 (.684).

Not to mention that Martin brought to them many notable accomplishments such as, their first tournament appearance in 12 years in 2007-08, most wins in school history, 29 coming with that the highest seed in the NCAA tournament in the schools history, 2, and lastly countless amounts of other coaching awards.

Though according to Kellis Robinett of the Kansas City Star and the Wichita Eagle, Kansas State’s head coach Kevin Martin is headed to the University of South Carolina.

“Source close to Frank Martin just told me Martin has agreed in principle to become South Carolina’s coach. Press conference tomorrow,” said Robinett on his twitter account just moments ago.

While it’s still all un-official, as the reports are all just rumors as of now, Kevin Robinett of the Kansas City Star and of the Wichita Eagle is sticking with his story.

“News is traveling fast. Legit SC newspaper reporter says USC is expecting to hire Martin tomorrow. My sources tell me no done deal, but …,” Robinett posted on his twitter account this morning. “They have obviously gone pretty far down this road. Could depend on what kind of push K-State makes to keep him.”

Though Robinett is not the only one talking about head coach, Frank Martin as ESPN’s NCAA insider, Doug Gottlieb is as well.

Gottlieb however has confirmed that the two parties, the University of South Carolina and head coach Frank Martin are talking however; no deal has been made nor as a face to face meeting been in place, according to Gottlieb’s sources.

Gottlieb would also go onto add that he’s been told that there has been a lack of communication between athletic director John Currie and Martin, which could be making this “deal” or rumor evolve.

Now if Frank Martin were to leave Kansas State, then the two recruits who have already signed with the Wildcats, Center Robert Upshaw and Center Laimonas Chatkevicius would be aloud to select a different school.

No official word has been made yet by Martin or by either of the two Universities, South Carolina or Kansas State.

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Other Reports Are Wrong: Joe Paterno Is Still Alive

Joe Paterno is still alive

After being fired from Penn State in November former head coach Joe Paterno who was fired from allegations surrounding assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is now in what people close to him are calling serious condition.

“Over the last few days Joe Paterno has experienced further health complications,” the spokesman said Saturday. “His doctors have now characterized his status as serious. His family will have no comment on the situation and asks that their privacy be respected during this difficult time.”

Paterno is Division I Football’s all time Winningest coach and would’ve most likely have gotten a couple more if he wasn’t fired.

Paterno’s cancer diagnosis was discovered on November 18th, just nine days after being fired due to Sandusky’s sexual abuse charges. Since being notified of the cancer, Paterno has been getting treatment for the disease.

After hearing the news CBBSports.com would report that Joe Paterno had died, however Scott Paterno, Joe’s son, denied the reports saying, “CBS report is wrong – Dad is alive but in serious condition. We continue to ask for prayers and privacy during this time,’ Scott Paterno wrote on Twitter.

After hearing of the news from CBS, many people began posting facebook updates and twitter updates in the idea of saying rest in peace Joe Paterno, however they aren’t necessary as he’s still fighting.

CBSSports.com would later say that they got there information from Onward State, a Penn State blog. Onward State retracted its report, saying “We were confident when we ran with it, and are still trying to figure out where our process failed. We apologize sincerely for error.”

Onward State’s managing editor announced his resignation later on tonight.

Another one of Paterno’s sons, Jay Paterno, would tweet “I appreciate the support & prayers. Joe is continuing to fight.,” Jay Paterno wrote on his own Twitter account.

Since taking over Penn State 46 seasons ago, Joe Paterno won 409 games (The most in Division I Football history) two National Championships, three Big Ten Championships, as well as many other awards, and donated millions of dollars to Penn State University. However, his legacy will always, as for now be tarnished by the sexual abuse charges that his former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky performed.

As for if Joe Paterno is going to fight off his cancerous disease or of how much longer he has, there has been no word, however it has been confirmed that Joseph Vincent Paterno is still alive.

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Roll Tide: Alabama Defeats LSU And Wins The BCS National Championship

They did it, the Alabama Crimson Tide are the 2011-12 BCS National Champions.

Coming into tonight and even before tonight’s game, many said that the Alabama Crimson Tide didn’t deserve to be in the National Championship game and that they weren’t good enough as they already lost to LSU earlier in the season 9-6. Many said that this game wouldn’t be a high scoring game. Many said that Alabama would get pounded by the Tigers running game. Many said that Alabama wouldn’t win, but come around 11:30 Eastern Time, the Alabama Crimson Tide were the National Champions.

Defeating the LSU Tigers 21-0, Alabama not only proved that they were the best, but they proved that they could score and stop the Tigers running game as they held them to 39 total rushing yards, 92 total yards, and most importantly zero points.

The Tigers offense crossed the 50 yard line once; they had five first downs, and completed two third downs. They just got out played and they [LSU] looked the team that didn’t belong.

It was a game of field goals in the first half as Alabama lead 9-0 at halftime and it continued in the second half as Alabama hit two more field goals of 35 and 44 in the third quarter. However it wasn’t until the fourth quarter with less than five minutes remaining until the first touchdown was scored when running back Trent Richardson would score on a 34 yard touchdown.

Richardson’s touchdown would pretty much seal the game as the Tigers with 4:36 left on the clock, down by three scores, with only two timeouts were pretty much done as they would suffer their first loss of the season.

This win would mark Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban’s third National Championship and would mark history as Saban’s BCS Title win tonight would make him the only coach in the new BCS era to ever win three National Championships.

It was a game that many said that Oklahoma State should’ve been in, but it was it game that Alabama showed that they deserved to be in by winning 21-0 and shutting out the former number one team in the Nation. Two words…Roll Tide.

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Matt Barkley Decides To Stay At USC: Good Or Bad?

It's a yes, Barkley will opt out of becoming an NFL player and will instead come back for his senior season at USC.

Around 12 o’clock this morning Matt Leinart tweeted “So does Matt Barkley stay or does he go?? In my opinion, I think he stays!! You heard it first here.”

A couple hours later, news would break that USC Quarterback, Matt Barkley would decide to remain and a Trojan and play for USC in his senior year. “This 2012 team has some serious unfinished business to attend to and I plan to play a part in it,” Barkley told ESPN. “I have firmly decided to forgo the 2012 NFL draft and finish that.”

Barkley was projected to be a top ten draft pick in the 2011-12 NFL draft, however he wasn’t focused on that as he was focused on their upcoming season next year.

Barkley announced his decision in USC’s Heritage Hall with his head coach Lane Kiffin in attendance as well as his family. After making the decision to stay, Barkley would be applauded by a sea of cheers from students and the school’s marching band would play their music.

Now this wasn’t an easy decision for the junior quarterback as he said that he spent some “considerable time” deciding rather to go pro or play another season at USC. However despite talking to former USC athletes, pro athletes and NFL experts who all told Barkley that he would be an NFL player, he decided to postpone his NFL career for one more season at USC.

“I am not postponing my dream of playing in the NFL just so that I can have one more year of college life,” Barkley told ESPN. “I am staying because I want to finish what I started.”

Barkley threw for 3,528 yards, 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season, leading the Trojans to a 10-2 record and a number 5 overall finish in The Associated Presses Top 25.

Though, did Barkley make the right decision? Now yes he’s projected to be the second best quarterback in the draft behind Stanford Quarterback Andrew Luck, who threw for 3,170 yards, 35 touchdowns, and nine interceptions and lead the Cardinals to an 11-1 record. But while maybe that’s a reason as he wanted to be the first quarterback/first pick in the draft selected, however what more can he really do at USC? Because he certainly can’t take them to a bowl game, as the Trojans are banned from bowl games for two years, so why did he want to stay?

That’s exactly it, for the love of the game. He knows he can’t really do that much more or that he can’t take his team to a bowl game, now sure maybe he wants to be number one next year, but it looks like Barkley’s decision to stay was just for the love of the game and for the love of his college.

“This is a special, special college student-athlete story,” Kiffin told ESPN. “To be a part of this story is unbelievable for all of us involved.”

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LSU vs. Alabama: Round Two

The wish of the College football world came true.

During week 10 of this year’s NCAA Football season fans saw what they called this year’s BCS National Championship game; except the only difference was it was happening during the season. It was the number one ranked LSU Tigers versus the number two ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

Many said that this would be the game of the year and that it would be better than the BCS National Championship game in January as many felt that these two teams were the best of this year’s college football season. They thought right as LSU won the game with a field goal in overtime making the final score 9-6.

Fans, analysts, players, and the college football world were thrilled of the game that they witnessed but they were heartbroken at the same time as everyone wanted to see a rematch between the two teams. Possible right? Not really due to the BCS ranking system and that the fact that it was already late in the season all pointed that LSU, Alabama wouldn’t be played again this season.

However when the BCS rankings came out that following week, the Crimson Tide of Alabama would still have a chance; getting the number one spot was LSU then followed Oklahoma State at number two and then Alabama at number three.

The Crimson Tide still had a chance as all they needed was an Oklahoma State loss. The only problem was; Oklahoma State didn’t lose. However, looking at their upcoming schedule Alabama appeared to have a chance. Reading Texas Tech, Iowa State, and number fifth ranked Oklahoma, a loss for the Oklahoma State Cowboys appeared to possible. Except not possible against Texas Tech or Iowa State, but, Oklahoma ranked fifth in the country seemed very possible.

Though on Friday the 18th the number two Oklahoma State Cowboys would blow a 17 point lead against the Iowa State Cyclones and lose 37-31 in double overtime. It happened, the Cowboys lost which meant that Alabama pending a victory would move up to the number two spot.

Like expected, the Crimson Tide would defeat Georgia Southern 45-21 locking up the number two spot in the BCS rankings. However, just to make sure the number fourth ranked Oregon Ducks trailing right behind the Tide in the BCS rankings would lose as well.

The Ducks would lose to the USC Trojans 38-35 closing the book to their BCS Championship hopes. And just to make sure that Alabama really had it locked up; the number fifth ranked Oklahoma Sooners would lose to the number 22nd ranked Baylor Bears, 45-38.

Rather someone wished for this to happen on 11/11/11, or if this is a sign that the world is coming to an end, or maybe it’s just fait; who knows? But what we do know is come January as long as both teams, LSU and Alabama win out, the rematch and game that everyone was hoping and wishing, for will happen. I guess their really is a Santa Claus.

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Arms Wide In Controversy: Debating Brad Wing’s Punt

Arms wide in controversy

It was fourth down and 15 for the LSU Tigers when Brad Wing the punter from Australia faked the punt and ran with it. Running strong down the sideline Wing put out his arms at the ten yard line for a brief second before bringing them back into score the touchdown. The crowd was ecstatic in Baton Rouge Wing leaped into the crowd.

Though the cheers wouldn’t last for long as a flag came down on the field; “Unsportsmanlike conduct 38 on the kicking team, taunting the 15 yard penalty will be enforced from the spot of the ball,” said the referee.

Then the boos came as the points were then taking down from the scoreboard and Brad Wing’s touchdown was now just a distant memory.

Some fans were in shock as they saw the six points taken down from the scoreboard with responses like how could they do that? What a harsh penalty?

Well the answer is they can. The NCAA states in Section 2 of the NCAA Rule Book, article 1, Unsportsmanlike Act (Celebration) that “If the penalty occurs before the play is dead, it is ruled a live ball foul and the penalty is enforced from the spot of the foul (Where the player’s feet are at the beginning of the act).”

So this eliminates all high stepping, back pedaling, and anything else along those lines. Which brings in the question of, where’s all the fun? In a game where emotion plays such a big role, this rule enforced by the NCAA this year really changes the game.

However looking at it from the NCAA’s point of view this rule makes sense, because any sort of touchdown dance or motion known as excessive celebration is enforced by the NCAA. The difference is that it doesn’t take away points; it just enforces a 15 yard penalty enforced on the kickoff.

So this new rule is okay…but to a certain extent; taking points of the scoreboard? That’s a bit harsh. Especially in Wing’s case, because all he did was raise his hands for about two yards before bringing them back down. Now if that’s really worth taking away six points from a kid who probably won’t score for the rest of his career, then that means something has to change, because what Wing did was not worth penalizing him of six points.

I wonder what’s next, no pumping the crowd up before a play? Then after that no cheering on the sidelines? Man, things aren’t looking that good for the NCAA after this one, should’ve just gave the kid his six points.

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A BIG Comeback in the Big House: 28 Points in the 4th Quarter Locks Up A Win For the Wolverines

Crowd Pleaser

Denard Robinson threw an amazing 16 yard touchdown pass to Roy Roundtree for the touchdown giving Michigan the lead, 35-31 with two seconds left. That was the scene Saturday night in the Big House as the Wolverines who started the drive on their own 20 yard line down 31-28, went 80 yards in three plays in 28 seconds to take the lead, and the win.

It was instant classic.

35 total points scored in the fourth quarter, five touchdowns, and three of them coming with a minute left to play; instant classic.

Heading into the fourth quarter Notre Dame who had been dominating the Wolverines all game were up 24-7 and were just 15 minutes away from a victory, and then it happened.

With not even ten seconds off the clock in the fourth quarter the Wolverines scored cutting the lead to 24-14. Forcing the Irish to go three and out on their next possession the Wolverines would get the ball right back. Capitalizing on the quick three and out the Wolverines trailing 24-14 would get the ball back going 40 yards in five plays scoring again off of a 14 yard touchdown.

The lead was now cut to three and the Big House crowd which was in silence about five minutes prior was then in insane. Trying to stop the momentum the Irish began driving down the field and once again they couldn’t be stopped; first and goal on the seventh yard line the Irish were about to score yet again and probably lock up the game.

And then it happened…

Tommy Rees hit…balls loose, it’s a FUMBLE! The Wolverines knocked the ball loose stopping the Notre Dame drive and retaining possession. Getting the ball back Robinson completed a 45 yard pass Junior Hemingway to the Notre Dame 30 yard line; it was a ball game. Robinson on the next play stepped back in the pocket throwing to the end zone…intercepted.

The noise in the Big House dropped to a whisper as the Wolverines failed to capitalize on again on much needed score. Though, their defense would back them up forcing the Irish to go three and out. Retaining possession Robinson knew that his team needed a score and he would do that leading them 58 yards in five plays for a touchdown. The Wolverines for the first time in the game had the lead at 28-24.

Everyone was on their feet in Ann Arbor as the Wolverines took the lead.

1:12 to go heading back on offense the Irish who just blew a 21-7 lead within less than 15 minutes knew that they had to score. 3rd and 5 on the Michigan 29 yard line with 36 seconds left on the clock Rees would throw a 29 yard touchdown over the middle to receiver Theo Riddick giving the Irish back the lead.

Trailing 31-28 with 30 seconds left ball on their own 20 yard line with two timeouts left a comeback for the Wolverines looked just about impossible.

Ball thrown incomplete to Jeremy Gallon, 23 seconds left.

Robinson steps back in the pocket looks…looks, steps up, throws, and wide open is Gallon! Gallon who caught the 30 yard pass managed to pick up 34 yards after it making it a 64 yard gain, putting the Wolverines in scoring territory.

Ball on the 16 yard line, eight seconds left, down by three, Robinson stepped back in the pocket, lobbed up, caught, touchdown Michigan! The Wolverines with two seconds left took the lead at 35-31 and shocked the world and the Fighting Irish, as the luck wasn’t on their side, it was on Michigan’s.

The Irish who lead the game for 58 minutes and 48 seconds gave up 28 points in the fourth quarter and one crucial touchdown in the remaining eight seconds of the ball game. It was an instant classic in Ann Arbor and it ended with a leap into the crowd as it was Michigan 35, Notre Dame, 31.


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