By Matt Asher, Pit Crew Sports Media Freelance Network
Before the tournament began on July 1,…
The first game of the College Football season is not until August 29th but the buzz and predictions about the season are already coming in flurries. The most prestigious award in all of College Football is the Heisman Trophy. The past three winners Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M (2012), Robert Griffin III QB Baylor (2011), and Cam Newton QB Auburn (2010) were all for sure winners. I have a good feeling that this year will be different. There are many quality contenders and a few dark horses to think about. This Heisman race will be sure not to disappoint.
Last year the Heisman was between Manziel, QB Collin Klein from Kansas St., and LB Manti Te’o from Notre Dame. Manziel burst on to the scene excelling in coach Kevin Sumlin’s high-powered offense. The redshirt freshman completed 60% of his passes for 3,706 yards, 26 touchdowns, and only nine interceptions. Then on the ground he rushed for 1409 yards and 21 touchdowns. He accounted for 47 touchdowns. His Heisman moment came when he led his Aggie team into Tuscaloosa, Alabama and defeated the National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide 29-24. He completed a 24-yd pass to Malcome Kennedy to give the Aggies a 29-17 lead. The defense intercepted AJ McCarron on 4th & Goal with only two minutes left to seal the victory. Manziel went 24/31 with 253 yards and 2TDs and adding 92 yards on the ground. The Heisman was his from that point on.
Two years it was Andrew Luck the QB from Stanford as the frontrunner before the season but then came Robert Griffin III. He led Baylor to a 10-3 record and an Alamo Bowl victory over Washington. Griffin completed 72.4% of passes for 4,293 yards with 37 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He added 699 yards on the ground along with 10 touchdowns. Just like Manziel he accounted for 47 of his team’s touchdowns. Griffin was Baylor’s first Heisman winner in the school’s history. Griffin took a stranglehold on the Heisman Race when he went 518 pass attempts without throwing an interception in the first four weeks of the season ending midway through Baylor’s week five game against Kansas State. Andrew Luck had an impressive season as well but it was Baylor’s “Superman” winning the award.
Three years ago, Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers took the nation by storm on the way to a National Championship. Newton started his career at Florida but was kicked off the team due to some criminal activity. He then attended Blynn JC and led them to a Championship in his one year there before going to Auburn. Auburn entered the season unranked but behind Newton they played incredible football. In 2010 Newton completed 66% of his passes for 2,854 yards, 30 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Newton added 1,473 yards on the ground along with 20 touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. He accounted for 51 touchdowns. Newton was a force and had the Heisman locked up for nearly most of the season.
All three of those winners were “dark-horses” none of them were talked about to win the Heisman that much before the season. In 2010, it was all about Alabama RB Mark Ingram (2009 winner). 2011 all the talk was about Stanford QB Andrew Luck (Finished 2nd in 2010). Last year all the talk was about USC QB Matt Barkley. Unfortunately for those three they did not win the trophy. Barkley and Ingram did not meet expectations. On the other hand Andrew Luck met the expectations but was outshined by Robert Griffin. The frontrunners in August and September aren’t always the frontrunners in November and December.(1)
So enough talk about the past lets look to this upcoming season. We will look at five frontrunners and three “dark horses”. The five frontrunners in my mind are 2012 winner Texas A&M Johnny Manziel, Ohio St. QB Braxton Miller, South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney, Clemson QB Tajh Boyd, and Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. The three dark horse candidates in my mind are Alabama QB AJ McCarron, Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater, and USC WR Marqise Lee. All of the players mentioned are game changers and key players for their perspective teams and I would not be shocked if one of them ends the season with the hardware.
Lets start with the frontrunners. Of course the overall frontrunner has to be Manziel. As mentioned before his stats were impressive last year as a redshirt freshman. I am probably not the only one who is excited for his encore. But I wonder how teams will game plan for him after having a full season of tape on him. Manziel will have to adjust to teams ready for him and are prepared to shut him down.
Now lets take a look at Braxton Miller. I for one am shocked that he was not invited to New York last year. I think it was the sanctions against Ohio State that had to do with it. Nonetheless, Miller had an incredible season. He led the Buckeyes to an undefeated season (the only unbeaten in College Football last season). Miller completed 58.3% of his passes for 2,039 yards, 15 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He also ran for 1,271 yards and 13 touchdowns. Miller had to do a lot of things on his own last season. If he can continue with his strong play and if the Buckeye playmakers like Dontre Wilson, Devin Smith, and Carlos Hyde take some pressure off of him expect Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes to not only fight for a spot in the National Championship but another Heisman trophy may be on its way to Columbus as well.
Jadeveon Clowney is an absolute freak of nature (just ask Vincent Smith). He controls games on the defensive side of the ball. The Heisman trophy is normally for offensive players but Clowney can be the second defensive player ever to win the Heisman. Clowney terrorized backfields last season. He 40 solo tackles along with 13 sacks, 23.5 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles last season. Clowney is a game changer. He is the best defensive player in Division 1 and NFL teams are chomping at the bit for him to come out. Clowney will get a lot of Heisman hype all season long if his stats and performances are there. The last defensive player to be invited to New York as a Heisman finalist was DL Ndamukong Suh in 2009,that year Suh finished 4th in Heisman voting. Suh had 54 solo tackles, 12 sacks, 20.5 tackles for loss, along with 3 blocked kicks and punts. Look for Clowney to have another monster season and to be talked about for the Heisman trophy come December.
Tajh Boyd decided to stay in school for his senior year. That may turn out to be a great decision for the Clemson QB. Boyd had a tremendous junior season completing 67.2% of his passes for 3,896 yards with 36 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He added 514 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Boyd’s big performance game against LSU in the Chik-Fil A Bowl. He went 36 for 40 with 346 yards and two touchdowns against that pesky LSU defense that produced six players drafted in the first three rounds of the draft. Boyd’s top target Sammy Watkins returns to school and he is another electrifying wide out. Boyd’s Heisman watch will start from Week 1 on when his Clemson Tigers host the Georgia Bulldogs. If Boyd can find a secondary target and the running game can continue to be strong after Andre Ellington’s departure Boyd may be the first Heisman winner in Clemson school history.
Last but not least is my last frontrunner Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. Mariota took over the high-powered Chip Kelly Ducks offense last year after the shocking departure of QB Darron Thomas to the NFL. With Mariota at the helm the Ducks didn’t seem to even lose a step. In fact, except for that one slip up against Stanford they looked more like a well-oiled machine. In his redshirt freshman campaign Mariota completed 68.5% of his passes for 32 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He added 752 yards on the ground and five touchdowns and one receiving touchdown as well. What makes Mariota so special is how he keeps his cool on the field nearly at all times. He improvises some incredible plays when he is under pressure. When he gets flushed out of the pocket he doesn’t seem to play worse he plays better and makes smart throws down the field. Even though Chip Kelly bolted for the NFL, don’t expect Mariota’s play to diminish. New Coach Mark Helfrich, Oregon’s offensive coordinator last year, has come out and said look for the Ducks to pass more this season. To be honest, why not? With Mariota at the helm, a great receiving core of Josh Huff, Bralon Addison, Colt Lyerla, and explosive De’Anthony Thomas the Ducks look in place to have another electrifying offensive season. If Mariota progresses and continues his great play an invite to New York would not be out of the question.
Now lets move on to the “dark horses.” All of these players I expect to have great seasons and be in the Heisman conversation late in the season. In all honesty these players can be in the conversation now. Let’s begin with Alabama QB AJ McCarron. McCarron led his Crimson Tide to a second consecutive BCS National Title. McCarron completed 67.2% of his passes throwing 30 touchdowns and only three interceptions. McCarron is a great game manager and a good clutch QB. His first big clutch moment of the year was against LSU in Baton Rouge. The Tide were down 17-14 with 1:34 left in the game. McCarron completed three straight passes the Kevin Norwood for 18, 15, and 11 yards each. Then on 2nd and 10 from the LSU 28 he found TJ Yeldon on a screen pass and the rest is history, Alabama won the game 21-17. Then in the SEC Championship game against Georgia the Tide started the 4th Quarter down 21-18 with the ball at the goal line. Eddie Lacy scored to give the Tide the lead at 25-21. Andy Murray led the Georgia Bulldogs down the field and a Todd Gurley 10 yard score capped off the drive. The Bulldogs led 28-25. With 5:24 left McCarron launched a bomb to WR Amari Cooper for a 45-yard touchdown to give the Tide a 32-28 lead. The Alabama defense sealed the victory. McCarron has already had the Heisman moments. Let’s see if McCarron’s senior swan song can end with a third consecutive National Title for Alabama and a Heisman Trophy.
Another stellar QB is Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater led the Louisville Cardinals to an 11-2 record capped of with a Sugar Bowl win over the Florida Gators 33-23. Bridgewater was phenomenal in his sophomore season completing 68.5% of his passes for 3,718 yards with 27 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. The Cardinals have a very easy schedule and a great QB. Bridgewater can lead the Cardinals to a second consecutive BCS bowl berth. Bridgewater may also be the best NFL Prospect at QB. Look for him to lead the Cardinals through an easy schedule with stellar numbers. Bridgewater may already have a ticket to New York on hold.
Now let’s talk about the best receiver in College Football, USC WR Marqise Lee. Lee is so talented and fast he strikes fear into defenses. With Robert Woods gone, the new USC QB either Max Witter or freshman Max Browne will look to Lee as a primary target. Last season Lee caught 118 balls for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. He added a kick return touchdown as well. He averaged 132 yard receiving per game. Lee is always a threat to score. He had four games with two or more touchdowns. He also had a game where he caught 16 balls for 345 yards and two touchdowns (@ Arizona). Lee is a rare receiving talent. He will have a lot of pressure on him this season with the first new USC QB in the last four years not named Barkley. Lee needs to handle the pressure of being a primary target and still play at a high level to get an invite to New York.
All seven of these players are great athletes. All seven of them can win the Heisman. But here are some other names to look out for to make some Heisman Buzz and maybe even get invited to New York. Oregon RB De’Anthony Thomas, Baylor RB Lache Seastrunk, Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch, UCLA QB Brett Hundley, and Northwestern RB Venric Mark all have the potential to crash the Heisman party. The Heisman trophy is the most coveted award in all of College Football I know the award is not announced until December but there is no harm in talking about it now. College Football is now only 59 days away and I for one cannot be more excited for this upcoming season.
Also posted at SBNation Everyday Should Be Saturday http://www.everydayshouldbesaturday.com/2013/7/3/4491246/why-this-could-be-one-of-the-more-intriguing-heisman-races-in-years
(1)Past Heisman Predictions based off of Yahoo and BleacherReport Articles
All Stats Courtesy of ESPN.com
Look how far this division has come. Let’s look back three years ago to 2010. On a gloomy Sunday Night in Seattle the St. Louis Rams (7-8) and Seattle Seahawks (6-9) battled for the division title on National television. The Seahawks won the game 16-6. The Seahawks then “upset” the New Orleans Saints in overtime. The Saints had the better record but the Seahawks won the West so they had home-field advantage. Let’s move on to 2011. The division was up for grabs and the 49ers took control. QB Alex Smith led the 49ers to 13-3 record and a NFC title appearance before losing to the New York Giants 20-17 in OT. Last season we saw the emergence of QBs Collin Kaepernick (San Francisco) and Russell Wilson (Seattle). Both QBs led their teams to the playoffs. Kaepernick and the 49ers fell just short of winning the Super Bowl after a great goal-line stand by the Baltimore Ravens. This past off-season the most noise came from the NFC West. All four teams made some solid improvements. The 49ers added WR Anquan Boldin, along with re-signing a lot of their players and an impressive draft haul due to a whopping 11 selections. The Seahawks added another weapon to the offense in Percy Harvin and added to their defense in Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett to beef up their defensive line. The Rams added OL Jake Long and TE Jared Cook in Free Agency and moved up to draft WR Tavon Austin and moved back to draft LB Alec Ogletree in the first round to add so much needed talent on both sides of the ball. The Cardinals have a new coach in Bruce Arians, a new QB in Carson Palmer and they still have a stellar defense. Last year the division was very top heavy. San Francisco went 11-4-1, Seattle went 11-5, St. Louis went 7-8-1 and an impressive 4-1-1 in the division, and Arizona went 5-11.
When you look at what each team added and the coaching staffs I see San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis all making the playoffs. San Francisco has a great young QB in Collin Kaepernick but teams will start to game plan better for him because they have had a lot of time to dissect tape. Their offense took a hit this off-season when they lost WR Michael Crabtree for the season but look for bigger roles from WRs Mario Manningham and hoping the 2nd year AJ Jenkins can have some impact on the offense, and TE Vernon Davis. Their run game is dynamic with Frank Gore and the explosiveness of Collin Kaepernick (ask Green Bay, about what he did in the playoffs). But what makes the 49ers so special is their defense. Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith are perennial pro-bowlers and cause havoc for the QBs. Their one weakness on defense is their secondary. Their front seven is very strong but they are replacing safety Dashon Goldson with rookie Eric Reid. So we will see how they fair with a rookie safety. I predict the 49ers to go 11-5, 4-2 in the division and finish atop the NFC West.
Let’s head up north to Seattle. The Seahawks added another weapon to an already dangerous offense by trading for Percy Harvin. He adds another deep threat to their roster. The key to the Seahawks offense is how teams game plan for Russell Wilson. Just like Kaepernick teams have had a full off-season to game plan for him so how he reacts is key. But Wilson is a film hound and studies film like a coach. He is a very smart QB so I don’t expect this to faze him that much. I believe Marshawn Lynch will have another good productive season. The defense will be tenacious. Richard Sherman is one of the top CBs in the NFL and he is hungry. The additions to the line make them stronger and Bobby Wagner will thrive in his second year. I predict Seattle will go 11-5, 3-3 in the division as well but lose the tiebreaker to the 49ers.
Now let’s go to the Midwest where the Rams are looking to improve on the success they had in their first season under head coach Jeff Fisher. Fisher took over the team after a 2-14 season and you quickly saw a different team starting in Week 1 when they pushed the Lions to the wire (The Lions were coming off their best season in recent years at that point). The Rams swept the 49ers last season going 1-0-1. Last year in the off-season the Rams focused on defense and this year it was to help out their young QB Sam Bradford. They signed TE Jared Cook and added OL Jake Long to protect his blind-side. The big key to the Rams offense is that this is the first time Sam Bradford is in the same system for consecutive seasons. In the draft the aggressive Rams offense jumped to the 8th overall pick to select WR Tavon Austin out of West Virginia. This kid is a flat-out playmaker. He adds a much-needed weapon to the Rams offense. The Rams have a solid core of young wide outs look for Austin Pettis, Chris Givens, and Brian Quick to all contribute and watch out for another rookie Stedman Bailey. The weakness in the Rams offense is the loss of RB Steven Jackson. Jackson was a Ram from 2004-2012 and was a workhorse back the Rams will need to replace him. The replacements as of now are the trio of 2nd year players Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead and rookie Zac Stacy. I think Stacy will break out be the starter and Pead and Richardson will be great complements to him. Defense is the staple of any Jeff Fisher team and last year the Rams defense was great. I only see them getting better. The addition of Alec Ogletree the rookie out of Georgia will shape up the linebacker core. The secondary I believe is one of the best in football. CBs Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins have the opportunity to be one of the best if not the best tandem in all of football. The weakness is the safety spot. The projected starters are Darian Stewart a third-year player and T.J. McDonald a rookie they took in the 3rd Round. Stewart was hurt most of last season but in his first year he showed signs of promise but has the tendencies to overrun plays at times. McDonald is a big, bruising safety that fits the mold of a Fisher safety. If he can mature like the Rams hope he can, he will solidify the spot for years to come. I predict the Rams to 10-6, 4-2 in the division and lock up the last wild card spot.
The Cardinals are another strong team. Bruce Arians was the right man for the job. He adds an offensive mind to a team with lots of weapons on that side of the ball. The wildcard for this team is which Carson Palmer will show up. Carson Palmer is a Heisman Trophy winning QB but has not looked the same since his injury in 2005 playoffs. Hopefully throwing to the likes of Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd helps him play better. The addition of RB Rashard Mendenhall is another moved that if he is healthy he will do wonders for their offense/ The defense is great with playmakers Patrick Peterson, Daryl Washington, and Darnell Dockett. If Tyrann Mathieu can remain out of trouble he adds another strong player to that defense. I feel the Cardinals are still a couple of years away from contending in this division but I would not be shocked in the slightest if they cause some trouble. I predict they will go 5-11, 1-5 in the division and look to draft a QB of the future in the next draft.
This will be the best division in the National Football League. With three teams in the playoffs don’t be surprised to see one of these teams hoisting the Lombardi trophy in New York this February.
Oregon Basketball: Ducks Remain Red Hot and Continue Pac-12 Dominance
by Bryan Kalbrosky
Perhaps the most telling moment for No. 12 Oregon’s defeat of No. 5 Oklahoma State was when, in an attempt to put the Ducks at the free throw line, Oregon guard Jonathan Loyd raced around the team as if he were practicing a cone sprinting exercise.
No more than thirty seconds later, teammate Damyean Dotson followed suit and did the exact same thing: his quickness made Oklahoma State look not only sluggish in comparison, but wildly foolish and ill-prepared as well.
Oregon plays like one of the fastest team in the nation. When the team came out of the gates fighting, they took early control of the March Madness matchup. Even the folks over at Nike Fuel noticed the impassioned play.
“Ducks got after it from the opening tip,” tweeted Nike Fuel.
The Oregon Ducks continued to control the tempo as the game went on, and the No. 12 Oregon Ducks went on to defeat the No. 5 Oklahoma State Cowboys in a convincing victory.
According to ESPN States & Info, the Oregon victory was the first time the Ducks had ever beaten a higher seen in the NCAA Tournament. But fans across the nation affirm that this was hardly an “upset” for the University of Oregon. I learned that if you even tweet the word, you would hear an earful from those who confirm that Oregon was indeed a better and more complete team than Oklahoma State in this tournament.
With the return of Dominic Artis, the team has finally been restored to order. In his absence, the tempo and offensive playmaking began to suffer. In his health, the team looked alive and thriving.
“Mr. Artis is playing like he’s been here before,” tweeted former Oregon star Aaron Brooks, who also had been there before having taken the Oregon Ducks to the Elite Eight in 2007.
The offensive speed was back on track with Artis, and with 13 points and 4 steals he looked limitless. With his presence, the future of the program looked bright even with E.J. Singler, Arsalan Kazemi, Carlos Emory and Tony Woods graduating at the end of the season.
“We wanted to be aggressive on the boards, we wanted to be aggressive defensively and we wanted to be aggressive offensively,” coach Dana Altman told CBS. “I thought our guys did a great job of that.”
Artis set the tone, as Oregon acts as a developing program when they’re on the court together. By and large, this means that “knowing your role” plays a pivotal role in the cohesion of their offensive and defensive units. For Oregon, that means finding senior E.J. Singler for the open three. It means Tony Woods coming up with the pivotal and monstrous block. It means diversifying the scoring threats and allowing five players to score eight or more points in the game.
It also means continuing to get in the head of the opponent via a quick and consistent offensive tempo. If the Oregon team can take advantage of the opportunities created by the extreme defensive hustle and turnover creation, the Ducks will continue to thrive.
The most helpful aid for Oregon, however, was their unique ability to create opportunity via the art of the offensive rebound. Oregon pulled in 14, whereas Oklahoma State pulled in only four, two fewer than Oregon senior Arsalan Kazemi who recorded six in the game.
When Arsalan Kazemi comes prepared to play, Oregon looks nearly unbeatable.
In their first March Madness game since 2008, Kazemi was undoubtedly here to play. Kazemi recorded 17 total rebounds, one short of his career high, and continued a unique athleticism that could help solidify an opportunity at a potential NBA career. He will need to continue his incredible performance for Oregon to continue their magical run.
Oregon and Cal will both play in San Jose on Saturday afternoon.
In conjunction with the California Berkeley student section (“The Bench”) and the Oregon Pit Crew student section, the stands will be filled with a sea of gold and yellow to represent the Pac-12 conference and their collective rooting interest.
The No. 12 Oregon Ducks will play No. 4 St. Louis Billikens on Saturday at 4:10 PM. St. Louis averages only 32.8 rebounds per game (251st in nation), whereas Oregon averages 37.4 (52nd in nation).
If Kazemi can stay strong and play with outstanding purpose, Oregon could easily advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
(Photos: Alex McDougall/Emerald)
Super Bowl XXXIV
St. Louis 23
Well it’s finally that time of the year. It’s Bowl Season. There are a lot of great Bowl games and it should be another exciting Bowl season. The Bowl season is always culminated by the BCS games. This year while the games may not be as exciting on paper expect some stellar match ups.
Rose Bowl: Stanford (Pac-12 Champ) vs. Wisconsin (Big Ten Champ) 1/1/13
This game comes with a lot of storylines. Brett Bielema out at Wisconsin and the team captains asked former coach and current Athletic Director Barry Alvarez to coach. Then there is, Stanford, in their first year after Luck finally making it to the Rose Bowl. Since making the switch from Josh Nunes to Kevin Hogan they have won five straight games against top 25 teams. Wisconsin started the season off slow, they have picked it up in recent weeks and it all culminated with a 70-31 shellacking of Nebraska in the Big Ten Title Game. Montee Ball has really picked up of late along with James White and Melvin Gordon they have a serious three-headed monster. Stepfan Taylor is another stellar running back that will play a huge factor in this game. Kevin Hogan will need to be a great game manager in this game. I just really cant see Wisconsin going to the Rose Bowl for a third straight year and not coming out with the trophy. Alvarez leads the Badgers to a victory.
Wisconsin 24 Stanford 17
Orange Bowl: Florida St. (ACC Champ) vs. Northern Illinois (MAC Champ/At-Large) 1/1/13
Well nobody expected this game. Northern Illinois got in due to the BCS rule if a team from a Non-AQ is ranked in the top 16 and ahead of an AQ conference champion they get and automatic bid to a BCS game. Northern Illinois just made it as they are ranked 15th in the final BCS standings. Anybody who says Northern Illinois doesn’t deserve to be here may be right but you cant be upset that they get the chance. In college football especially, any given team can win on any given day. Yes head coach Dave Doeren is no longer there but Jordan Lynch is. Jordan Lynch is an incredible football player. He is a huge factor in this offense and he will cause a lot of problems for this FSU defense. Also don’t overlook that Husky defense. They are fast and physical as well. For FSU, I don’t know which team will show up. This team entered the season with National Title implications but the team lost to North Carolina St. and blew it against Florida. EJ Manuel needs to have a big game. This game will be much better than people expect. Everyone is doubting Northern Illinois in this game and I think that will motivate them “Every Dog has their day” and I think that January 1st will be the Huskies day. Jordan Lynch leads NIU to victory.
NIU 31 FSU 21
Sugar Bowl: Florida (At-Large) vs. Louisville (Big East Champ) 1/2/13
Florida had one slip-up all season and it was against SEC-runner up Georgia. It has been a phenomenal year for second year head coach Will Muschamp. QB Jeff Driskel and RB Mike Gillislee have emerged, as centerpieces for Brent Pease’s offense and that Muschamp defense is downright nasty. Charlie Strong former Florida defensive coordinator has himself a great QB in Teddy Bridgewater and he has been huge for the Cardinals throughout this season. The only problem with Louisville is that other than Bridgewater they cant really do much. I just think Florida is way too good and will blow Louisville out of the water.
Florida 35 Louisville 10
Fiesta Bowl: Kansas St. (Big 12 Champ) vs. Oregon (At-Large) 1/3/13
Well, only a few weeks ago this was thought to be the National Championship but both team slipped up on November 17th. The Ducks offense has been an unstoppable force all season except for that dreadful game on November 17th against Stanford. Collin Klein has been also an incredible force except for that game against Baylor on the 17th. The major difference in this game is the defenses. Oregon’s defense is very underrated in my opinion. Near the end of the year they were banged up pretty bad but when healthy they were incredible. They shutout Arizona, stifled Washington and so on. Kansas St.’s defense has been good but against the poor man’s Oregon in Baylor they looked downright awful. I see that Marcus Mariota, Kenjon Barner, and De’Anthony Thomas will cause a lot of problems for this Kansas St. defense. Collin Klein will be very effective but the Oregon defense will cause problems with the pressure schemes Nick Allioti can come up with. This team gave Cam Newton a lot of problems in that National Title game two years ago and I believe this defense is much better. They force the turnovers when they need them. Chip Kelly and the Ducks will roll in this one.
Oregon 49 Kansas St. 28
National Championship Game: Notre Dame (BCS #1) vs. Alabama (SEC Champ BCS #2) 1/7/12
Well, what a National Championship Game. We have the Dynasty (Alabama) vs. the Revival (Notre Dame). In history the 3rd year of a coach’s tenure at Notre Dame they have won the National Title last was Lou Holtz in 1988. Brian Kelly has a great defense lead by his star MLB Manti Te’o. The offense is the only thing I see a huge problem with. All season long they have not been very efficient. They are now going up against the best defense they have seen all season long in Alabama. This Alabama defense just continues to reload year after year. This season as well you have seen A.J. McCarron mature and the dual-headed monster of Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon has been great. WR Amari Cooper will be the X-factor for Alabama in this game and WR/RB Theo Riddick is the X-factor for Notre Dame. I feel that this Alabama team is way more complete and they will win their second consecutive national championship.
Alabama 28 Notre Dame 10