Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Believe It Or Not: Florida could face Kent State in Sugar Bowl

The University of Florida is obviously disappointed about not playing in the BCS National title game.

But that might pale to what the Gators will feel if they wind up playing Kent State in the Sugar Bowl.
Did we say Kent State and Sugar Bowl in the same breath?
Yes we did and it’s a possible scenario.

Florida is a virtual locked in to play in the Sugar Bowl. Two possible attractive opponents for the Gators are Oklahoma and Kansas State.
But if things fall a certain way the Kent State Flashes could be facing the Gators.

Now raise your hands. How many football players who signed to play with Florida consider Kent State a reward for a good season.
That’s what we thought. But be prepared. This could happen thanks the Mid-American Conference’s strength this season and the lowly Big East Conference, which is evaporating right before our eyes.

If no. 18 Kent State beats No. 19 Northern Illinois in the MAC championship game and moves into the top 16 of the BCS rankings and is ranked higher than the champion of at least one automatic qualifying conference they would have to receive an at-large BCS bid.
Well the Big East doesn’t even have a ranked team. Rutgers and Louisville play Friday for the conference title and don’t expect the winner to move ahead of Kent State if it wins the MAC.

If Kent State receives a BCS bid the Big 12 runner-up does not get a BCS Bowl bid. In that case scenario the Sugar Bowl would have to chose between Kent State and the Big East champion. Now 17th ranked UCLA or Texas most likely have to lose to make this happen, but that is entirely possible.
Florida is slated to play the Big 12 runner-up if that conference gets that bid and right now that appears to be Oklahoma or could be Kansas State. But if that conference loses its runner-up spot then the Gators will play Kent State or Rutgers or Louisville, none of whom are a very appetizing opponent.

Well there is one good thing. There are a lot of watering holes on Bourbon Street in New Orleans where Gator fans can drown their sorrows.









































Monday, November 19, 2012

Bottom line for Gators: They have to beat FSU

There are three good reasons Florida's game with Florida State this Saturday is one of the most impotant in Gators' history.

The reason can be explained in three letters: BCS

While everyone on the planet seems to be taking about a Notre Dame-Alabama matchup in the BCS National title game January 7th in Miami, the Gators (4th ranked in BCS) still have a chance to be there.

Granted it will be difficult and take some good fortune. But it's possible and can happen__Only if Florida beats FSU.

If Notre Dame loses to USC this Saturday the Gators could wind up playing in the BCS title game against the winner of the SEC title game between Alabama and Georgia, assuming both of those take care of business this Saturday in their rivalry games: Alabama-Auburn and Georgia-Georgia Tech.

You may smirk at USC beating Notre Dame espeically with Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley out, but this long standing rivalry has produced many upsets through the years. And playing against a quarterback you have no film on has caused more than a few defenses to struggle.

Another worry for Florida is Oregon. If the Ducks make it into the Pac 12 title game they could jump the Gators in the BCS rankings with a win there.

But that could be difficult. Oregon has to beat Oregon State this weekend and hope UCLA beats Stanford, which would then put the Ducks in a Pac 12 must win title game.

If this is getting too complex for Gators fans just remember this: If you beat FSU anything is possible. If you lose to FSU nothing is possible.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Schiano least favorite coach! Do you really think he cares!

The Tampa Bay Bucs Greg Schiano was voted the NFL head coach you’d least like to play for in a Sports Illustrated poll of players released today.

Schiano was atop the list ahead of his good friend, Bill Belichick of New England then the New York Jets Rex Ryan. Sports Illustrated said 103 players from 27 teams partook in the poll, which asked a variety of questions.
Here is what one player said: “The thing he did at the end of the game early on in the year, the game where the Giants were killing the clock off and downing the ball, there was no reason for that—no reason at all. Everyone’s worried about injuries and safety and that’s what they are doing?”

A question that wasn’t asked, but might be a good one is “Does Schiano really care?”
All those who believe he cares about being the least popular coach raise your hands: that’s what we thought. Schiano has proven in half an NFL season that he does what he wants and too bad if you don’t like it.

A lot of players on the Bucs seem to buying into what he is selling, which is respectability and accountability. It’s led to a 4-4 first half season after last year’s disaster.




Ronde Barber switch might be Schiano's best move

Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Greg Schiano is looking like a genius these days for many reasons; try Doug Martin, a 4-4 record, Lavonte David and Mark Barron.
Ronde Barber found new life at safety 
But the most astute move the first year coach might have made is switching Ronde Barber from cornerback to safety. It has given the 16 year veteran a new life. You might argue he is beating Father Time, which is undefeated against all of us.

After eight games, Barber has 10 defensive stops on third down, which is the most of any player in the NFL at any position.  Last week in the Bucs 42-32 victory at Oakland Barber was targeted four times on passes. He broke up two and allowed just 19 yards.

Barber is tied for third in the league among safeties with three interceptions and with four passes defended.  He is fourth on the Bucs and second among defensive backs (to  Barron) in tackles with 38.




Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bucs ship Talib out of town; now a Belichick headache

Troubled Tampa Bay Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib will no longer be Greg Schiano’s headache. Instead that chore now belongs to Schiano’s good friend New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

The Bucs announced today that Talib and a seventh round draft pick were traded to New England for a fourth round pick in next year's draft.

Talib was serving a four game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy for taking Adderall, a banned substance the league cites as a performing enhancing drug. His suspension was scheduled to end after the Bucs game at Oakland Sunday.

Talib is in the final year of a five year rookie contract and is expected to help a Patriots secondary that has been shaky and is ranked 28th in the NFL allowing 281.1 yards per game passing.

Tampa Bay ranks 31st in pass defense giving up 309 yards per game.

In four games this season Talib has one interception, seven passes defended and 21 tackles. He has been inconsistent in pass coverage and was burned early this year when he covered the New York Giants Hakeem Nicks in a game Eli Manning threw for 500 plus yards.

Talib was suspended in 2009 for allegedly assaulting a cab driver. He was accused of assault with a deadly weapon in Texas, but the charges were ultimately dropped.

The Bucs could also lose another cornerback, Eric Wright, to a suspension. He reportedly failed a drug test that involved the use of Adderall. It is unclear whether he will appeal that charge or if the league takes action on him next week.

Shipping out Talib falls into line with the philosophy of Bucs rookie head coach Schiano, who said he wanted to men of character and would not tolerate anything less.