Sunday, October 21, 2012

Week 8 recap - ACC

Since we still have scores trickling in from other conferences, I'm easing back in with just analysis of the ACC.

It hasn't been quite the season anyone predicted, as we see Duke on top of the Coastal Division.  I'm sure this has happened before, but only in September, when Duke was the only ACC team to play a conference game and win.  But this is late October, basically the end of the month for any team with a bye next week.

Duke and Miami control their own destiny.  Even though Miami has one more loss, they have yet to play Duke, and a win would give them the head to head tiebreaker.
Virginia Tech needs to win out and have Duke lose another game.  VT has the head to head tiebreaker.
GT and UVA might still have a chance if everyone else loses, but it's so complicated, we can probably say they're unofficially out.

NC State controls their destiny.
Clemson needs to win out and have FSU lose one more.
FSU and Maryland need to win out and have NC State lose one more.

bowl eligible:  Duke, FSU, Clemson
one win away:  NC State
not eligibile:  UNC
one loss away:  UVA, Boston College

Games to watch that could determine who plays in Charlotte:
-NC State at Clemson, 11/17
-Miami at Duke, 11/24

Update on the Logan Thomas drinking game:
After four weeks of averaging 6 shots, we got 1.5 shots last week, and only 1 shot this week.
We're setting the over/under at 4.25 shots for the Thursday night game against Miami.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Logan Thomas drinking game

If you have watched a Virginia Tech game on television during the last two seasons, you have no doubt heard the commentators repeatedly remind you of the height and weight of quarterback Logan Thomas.  (6'6, 260)

Of course, such repetition leads to a drinking game.  Take a shot every time his height and weight are mentioned.  If only one of those is mentioned, take half a shot.  If you don't value your liver or your life, you can up it to a full shot for either stat.

This season, we are keeping track as best as we can of every mention.  I don't have numbers for the first two Tech games, since I was at the first one, and had to work during the second and did not have access to the game on ESPN3.  These numbers might not be exact, since sometimes they get slipped in casually, or I lose track between long stretches.

Pitt - 5.5 shots
Bowling Green - 7.5 shots

Two things seem to affect the number of mentions:
-The quality of announcers/the tier of broadcast.  (i.e. ESPN3 and ESPNU announcers are more likely to mention it than ESPN announcers)
-How many VT games the announcers have called in the last two or three years.

This could be the start of a new feature here.  The over/under on the LT drinking game.

I'm placing the over/under for the Cincinnati game at 6.5.  Will the announcers go over, under, or exactly at 6.5?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Games to Watch: Week 5

Hard to believe that we're still not out of September.

Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of matchups that look interesting on this side of the weekend.  I'm sure that will lead to a crazy day if you just want to flip around the various ESPN, Fox, and regional channels.  But I can't predict anything right now, so we'll have to forgo the usual list this week.

There are several conference games across all leagues, but not too many marquee games.  Ohio State at Michigan State would be a lot bigger if Ohio State wasn't banned from the postseason.  Baylor at West Virginia also seems like the closest "big" game, but that's mainly due to WVU's recent entrance to the conference.  I'm sure several of the games will help shape the conference races, but ACC matchups of NC State at Miami and Duke at Wake Forest do not really look all that appealing on paper.

Virginia Tech plays Cincinnati at FedEx Field at 3:30 on ESPNU, and I'm hoping to finally see a Cincy team go home from that stadium with a loss this weekend.  If I have access to a TV that can pick up the ESPNU channel, I'll be watching.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Week 4 recap

We still have yet another week in September, but we're already seeing some separation in conference races.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Games to Watch: Week 4

Another week, another list of games.  As we near the end of September, this list gets more interesting.  I'm not sure if that's because we have better matchups, or because we actually have some storylines.  Unlike last week, we're back to being primetime heavy.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week 3 recap

Week 3 didn't exactly go as I had hoped, or even predicted.  While I'm not sad to see some predictions turn out wrong (USC), VT's loss to Pitt is still stinging.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

College Football Online - 9/13/12

Random bits from the interwebs...

Notre Dame joins the ACC, except in football. This Ivan Maisel piece summarizes the deal and the history pretty well.  Both sides say it doesn't mean ND eventually joins for football, but no one is really buying that.

There are many pieces to this puzzle to keep in mind:
-the NBC tv deal.  NBC needs every decent sports property they can get, for both the main network (lagging in 4th place), and it's sports channel.  The deal is up for renewal in 2015, which is the same year that Notre Dame can leave the Big East if they abide by the full 27 month notice.
-a 16th team.  The ACC is at a size where it needs an even number of teams in football.  This gives them time to look for one other team.  Plus, this is the first time the ACC has allowed someone to join but not be all in.
-5 ND vs. ACC games per year.  Could this affect the ACC's 9 game conference schedule proposal?  Meanwhile, ND is one school that seems to care about it's long rivalries - which includes USC, Navy, Michigan, and Michigan State.  If ND joins the conference, it won't be able to schedule any other games, and might have to lose one of those.
-playoffs.  2014 changes everything.

Florida Atlantic will be the Savannah State of the next two weeks.  Or not quite.  FAU is not an FCS school.  Instead, they are a poor Sun Belt school.  In fact, I'm not really sure if there should be an outrage, since the primary reason for the Sun Belt's existence is for the SEC to schedule a second cupcake without resorting to a second FCS school.  And in this case, they are playing Georgia and Alabama back to back.

The Pac-12 Commissioner has the exact same opinion I have about the Coaches Poll.  I've long said that Frank Beamer (for example) only cares about 13 teams a year (and usually one of them is an FCS team).  Sometimes 14 or 15, depending on how the postseason goes.  Yet, this is one of the polls that still counts for the BCS.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Games to Watch: Week 3

We're back with a preview of the upcoming weekend.  This looks like one of those weekends with a more interesting early slate than primetime.

Monday, September 10, 2012

week 2 recap

You may have noticed I didn't post a list of games to watch for week 2.  That's because I didn't find a lot going on that had any significance going into the week.  However, week 2 had plenty of action that became apparent while watching.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week 1 recap

Not a lot to speculate about yet, since week 1 was mostly cupcakes and tune up games.  But still a few notes on the long opening weekend.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Games to Watch: Week 1

Welcome back, football!  This is the post you've been waiting for all offseason.  These are the games to keep your eye out for during the first week of the season.

The season kicks off tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Conference Realignment Scorecard - updated

The Mega Conference Realignment of 2010-2015 has taken a few more turns since we last posted the scorecard. With the season beginning this week, here's the updated scorecard.

2 days until kickoff....

Monday, August 27, 2012

Countdown to Kickoff: Where's my game?

In the NFL, figuring out which channel that a game is broadcast is easy.  It either depends on the conference of the visiting team or if it's a night game.

In college football, tv deals work a lot differently.  We're here to try to give a general overview.

3 days until kickoff....

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Countdown to Kickoff: New Rules

As the new season begins, there are some new rules, according to Wikipedia.

  • Touchbacks will go to the 25 yard line for kickoffs and safety punts.  Still at the 20 for regular punts.
  • No leaping over other players to block punts.
  • Helmets flying off results in players sitting out a play.  Of course, those that get them knocked off because of a facemask penalty are not affected.
  • Kickoffs are at the 35 yard line, and the kicking team has a 5 yard head start.
4 days until kickoff....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

2011 recap: Non-AQ

5 days until kickoff....

And it's Saturday! It's the final football-less Saturday until January.  In one week, you'll be too busy watching football to be reading about it.

But today is the final part of our 2011 recap, and this time we take a quick look at the non-AQ teams.

Friday, August 24, 2012

2011 recap: SEC

So, we're nearing the end of the week and closer to kickoff.  We've also reached the conference that you've probably heard the most about, so we'll keep our discussion of the SEC brief.

6 days until kickoff....

Thursday, August 23, 2012

2011 recap: Big East

A quick look at the ever evolving Big East's 2011 season.

7 days until kickoff.....

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2011 recap: Big 12

The Big 12 began 2011 wondering if they were going to survive until 2012.  They will begin 2012 looking as a very different conference.

8 days until kickoff....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2011 recap: Big Ten

9 days until kickoff....

...and we're looking at the conference that hasn't been able to count since 1993!

Monday, August 20, 2012

2011 recap: ACC

In the first of a series of 6, we do a quick recap of the 2011 season to remind everyone where these teams are standing going into 2012.

10 days until kickoff....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Countdown to kickoff: Our most popular post

Not that we have a lot of people reading this blog right now, but there is one post from last season that stood out among the rest as the most read post.

Today, I want to continue our countdown to kickoff by highlighting that post, and directing you back to my comments about the 2012 Sugar Bowl:  Kirk Herbstreit Can Eat It.

The only thing I would add to that, looking back, is how disappointed I was in the replay official.  That was the only person in the entire world that didn't understand what a touchdown catch is.
11 days until kickoff...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Countdown to Kickoff: Pearls Before Swine

I saw this comic strip in June, and thought it summed up college football fans perfectly during the season.

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis, originally published 6/6/12.

You can check out the strip online here.  Not trying to rip anyone off, just sharing something I thought was funny.  Props and respect to Mr. Pastis.

12 days until kickoff...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Countdown to kickoff: What If?

Back in the spring, between conference realignment, playoff debates, and rumors, the possibility was floated that we might be headed towards 16 team superconferences.

How might that play out?
13 days until kickoff....

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Countdown to kickoff: 2012 Wish List

With two weeks until kickoff, it's safe to say that we're back.  It's our first full season of blogging at College Football Arena, and after a long offseason, we're more than ready.  We haven't been as active since January, but over the next couple of weeks, we are going to change that.

We begin our countdown with a compilation of the 2012 Wish List items that were posted during the early months of this year.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Once again, the NCAA punishes the wrong people

Don't get me wrong, Penn State needed some sort of punishment.  But outside of the $60M fine, how much actually punishes the institution, and how much punishes the current coaches and players?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

ACC Schedule Changes: Atlantic Division

Now we take a look at how the Atlantic Division might have to adjust to adding Syracuse to the schedule.

ACC schedule changes: Coastal Division

In the past week, Syracuse and Pitt both officially got their release from the Big East, effective 2013.  That means that the ACC will debut a 14 team league, and 9 game conference schedule next season.

And that will lead to some scheduling shake ups across the conference.  What teams might get bounced from the ACC schedule?

In the first of a two part post, we look at how the Coastal division will have to adjust for the addition of Pitt.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Another bowl name change...

The Champs Sports Bowl is no more.  It's now the Russell Athletic Bowl.  Maybe we need to make a scorecard for the different bowl names.

This is one reason why I don't like the whole "naming rights" in bowls.  It's hard to keep track of the history of a bowl when it's named after a company and then the company changes.  I don't mind the sponsoring so much, because in common discussion, you can just drop the sponsor name.  Who among us refers to the Allstate Sugar Bowl?  Only ESPN when they are telling you to watch it, and that's due to contractual obligation.

Even though I love Chick-fil-a and their bowl, I do miss it being the Peach Bowl.  That's a lot easier to say, and it keeps a sense of history to the game.  Corporate sponsors come and go, and bowls named after them seem cheap and new.  But bowls with names like Rose, Orange, Sugar, Cotton, and at one time Peach, carry a bit of weight.  Even without the BCS, those bowls would still be considered prestigous.

72 days until kickoff....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The most positive BCS playoff news I've heard

With 74 days until kickoff, this article at ESPN has the best news I've heard regarding a playoff.

Not sure how the BCS bowls will play out if they are incorporated into the playoff.  The National Championship game looks like it's going to be rotated around like the Super Bowl.  The Rose Bowl will keep doing its thing, and two of the three remaining will be semi-finals.  What of the odd bowl out?  Especially in light of the Big 12/SEC bowl game coming up.

But, what if we get a semi-final that is supposed to be the Big Ten/Pac-12?  Will the Rose Bowl sit out of that?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

100 days....

We hit the 100 day mark in the countdown to the football season two days ago, but today marks 100 days until the first Saturday of the college football season!

(102 days for Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech fans, though.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why I support a "conference champions only" playoff approach right now.

The BCS has established there will be a four team playoff of some sort coming soon.  One idea out there is that they will take the four highest ranked conference champions.  Of course, there is the argument from the other side about wanting the four best teams, period.

But this is where, as fans, we also need to realize that there is a difference between "champions" and the "best team". Were the Giants really the best NFL team in 2011? Of course not, but they won the Super Bowl, so they are champions.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thoughts on realignment and postseason

I'm holding off on any victory celebration about college football playoffs until an actual plan is adopted.  So far, all we've gotten is "we'll do it if we find a plan we like."

Instead, I'm following more realignment talk. I've been thinking about Boise State's move to the Big East and how it will affect their recruiting.  Sure, they might have a better chance at getting to a bigger bowl game.  The strength of that conference schedule though is a mess.  And then let's say there is a kid who is being recruited by one of the Pac-12 schools in Washington or Oregon as well as Boise State.  If they go to the Pac-12 school, the longest trip they'll have to make for a conference game is to Arizona.  For Boise State, they'll be all over the place, and all the way out to Florida.  Perhaps a potential player doesn't want to spend all of that time on a plane across the country.  Perhaps he would like to study, practice more, or party.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

There will be some BCS change...but what?

It's that strange time of year just prior to the NFL Draft, where the NFL analysts start talking about the people that the college analysts have been talking about for three or four years.  So while attention is on the NFL and those who have just left the game of college football, the current NCAA football landscape is sort of chugging along quietly.

But there are still some BCS meetings going on, and changes will be coming.  ESPN reports that the silence could be telling in BCS discussions.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Xbox Playoffs, Part 2b: Why 16 teams just might be too many.

After a tournament that lasted far too long (largely due to a long break between some games), I have come up with the Xbox NCAA Football 11 National Champion, based on the Death to the BCS tournament suggested for the 2010 season.

Of course I'm not going to reveal it until after the jump.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Xbox Playoffs, Part 2a

It's been a while since the first part of the Xbox Playoffs series.  That's why this is only part 2a, instead of a full part 2, because I'm still not done with the next round, but wanted to get something out there.

This time, I'm playing through the tournament suggested by Death to the BCS.  The 16 team format includes 11 conference champions and 5 wildcards.

Monday, March 26, 2012

College Football Online - 3/26/12

I almost called this one "I heard it through the Grapevine."  Look at the dateline on the article, and you'll understand.

More BCS meetings about the future of the postseason.  And more fans wondering how there can be so many idiots in one room.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Vacating wins: Who benefits?

Over the last few years, we've seen several schools get sanctioned by the NCAA for different violations.  The most common punishment is vacating wins.

But the question I keep asking is why?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Not all playoff ideas are created equal

One of the ESPN blogs ran an interesting article, where fans wrote in with their playoff ideas.

Now I realize that this opinion could sound hypocritical coming from a fan running a blog, but some people just don't have enough basic knowledge about how things work to propose a playoff idea.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Football conferences: Then, Now, and Later

While writing up the Conference Realignment Scorecard, and seeing how many teams will be switching in 2013, it gave me the idea to do a quick look at various affiliations over the last thirty years.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Another school sanctioned.

Just as USC in the Pac-12 is able to return to postseason play, North Carolina gets banned from the postseason.  This includes the ACC Championship Game.

This makes at least the second team to be banned from the postseason this year - Ohio State being the first.  And I'm not sure if Miami has sanctions this year or not.

But this will rekindle the debate over college sports punishments.  In a lot of cases, schools are punished years after the fact, well after the offending coaches and/or players have moved on.  I guess I can sort of see the scholarship sanctions - that will affect the school moreso than the individual players.  But, is it fair to hinder future coaches and players that had nothing to do with the crime with punishments?

Comparing the conferences, team by team

How do the 11 FBS conferences stack up against each other?  Let's compare them, team by team. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

College Football Online - 3/11/12

Interesting college football stories from around the internet during the weekend of March 11, 2012.

Jeff Hurd named interim WAC commissioner
Isn't this a little like being named captain of the Titanic as the iceberg approaches?

NCAA denies GT appeal
This whole process of vacating wins and championships just seems silly to me.  It's not like it helps the other teams after the fact or levels the playing field. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Conference realignment scorecard

With so many teams changing conferences right now, it's hard to keep track of who's what where and when.  Here is a nifty little scorecard to keep track of teams.

College Football Online

Maybe I'm starting a new feature here.  In this post are links to articles I've found online related to college football that I find interesting, but don't have a lot to say about.

Because sometimes all you can say is "just read this."

Survey of NCAA Presidents reveals disconnect (ESPN)

What Did I Miss Part II (Death Valley Voice)
This article goes over some of what is being discussed at the offseason meetings.  This particular segment discusses playoffs.  First, it gives signs that they might not be too far off.  Second, it goes over the history of the FCS playoffs, which grew from 4 teams in 1978 to 20 teams currently, with 4 more being added by 2013.

Temple back in the Big East (Yahoo!)
This was the big news of the week, and should be the last bit of conference realignment before the 2012 season begins - although we do have six months left.  Maybe the rest of the FBS schedules will be released next week.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Revamped blog

The urge to start a football blog hit in the middle of the season, and I didn't have time to think of a really good name.  I was trying to come up with something clever, and "Saturdays in the Fall" was the best I could do.   I decided to go with it for a while, and actually start posting.

But now, I've settled on College Football Arena, along with a new URL.  And I might be making some cosmetic changes around the site, but it's still the same.  Sure, we're a bit slow during the offseason, but I'm hoping we'll be back to full speed in the fall, and hopefully with some new features and discussion.

(And we'll still be posting some stuff every so often in the meantime.)

Friday, February 24, 2012

New rules in 2012

The big headline grabbing rule change is that kickoffs have moved from the 30 to 35-yard line.  But after the NFL did it last year, is it really that surprising?  Especially when the NCAA has to be even more concerned about player safety than the pros.  After all, in theory, the playing career of a student-athlete comes second to their education, and a serious injury could jeopardize both, as well as future earnings.

But the rule I'm more interested in is regarding helmets coming off.  I've seen entirely too many helmets flying off of players in the last few years, both at college and pro levels.  I like the idea that if a helmet comes off, the player has to sit out a play.  There are very few legitimate reasons for a helmet to get knocked off, and most of the time, it's the result of a hard enough hit that's going to require the player to leave for a while anyway.

Click here for the Yahoo! Sports news article.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Temple back in the Big East?

Temple and the Big East are talking about getting back together.

The same Temple that was so bad they were kicked out of the Big East.

It should mean something that the Big East - who has been hurting for teams since 2004, and has had pretty much a revolving door on membership since then - kicked someone out.  And now they want them back - is that desperation?

FSU has filled out their schedule!

Let's hope this means the ACC schedule will be out by the end of the week.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Why a larger playoff system would be more beneficial to college football.

After reading "Death to the BCS (2011 edition)" by Dan Wetzel and others, I've come to accept the idea of a larger playoff system that includes all conferences.  The book proposes a 16 team playoff, which includes 11 conference champions and 5 at large spots.

With the news of the CUSA/Mountain West merger, that means we'll be down to 10 conferences within a couple of years.  Seeing as how scheduling 8 playoff games in one weekend could be problematic without having them be simultaneous, perhaps a 12 team playoff is more equitable?  Ten champions, 2 wildcards, and the top four get byes.  It would basically be the NFL system.

And, if each conference has an equal chance of getting into the playoffs, then there shouldn't be so much conference realignment.  Unless you get some middle of the road team thinking they could become the big fish in the small pond of the Sun Belt or MAC.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Possible Solution for Big East 2012

With West Virginia headed to the Big 12, each of the seven remaining Big East Schools now have yet another hole to fill. In addition, WVU had to cancel its out-of-conference game at Florida State in order to make room for their Big 12 schedule.

Now, I'm sure the Big East is in talks with Boise State to come on over a year early; so far, it appears that Boise is content staying in the Mountain West for one more year.

If, in fact, the Big East is left with just the 7 teams for 2012, one non-obvious possibility for a schedule filler could be: each other!

Each of the 6 northern Big East schools could pair up for a non-conference game. Conference play usually doesn't start until October, which means the September matchups can all be the ones not counted in the conference standings.

In addition, USF could pair up with FSU for a second non-conference game. The Bulls and Seminoles are already scheduled for a game in Tampa, why not add one more in Tallahassee (or even Jacksonville to get a home-away-neutral)? The Bulls would have had to travel to Morgantown anyway.

I doubt the Big East will take this approach. It's a shame the 7 schools might be in this bind, and as an ACC fan, I wish FSU could land a decent game so that I can finally get the ACC schedule. Hopefully we get our answers...and in good time!

2012 Wish List: If the VT/GT Labor Day night game is true....

Please, ESPN, keep Kirk Herbstreit away from it.

Never mind the fact that I just don't like him calling VT games.  He hasn't yet called one that Tech wins (at least not in the last three or four years).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dear ACC, please release your 2012 schedule.

Some of us require as much notice as possible to plan football games.  (Not everyone gets every Saturday off.)  So, please, hurry up and release the 2012 football schedule already.  It's already later than you've released it in past years.

Is it really that hard to formulate a schedule?  The SEC released theirs back in January (or was it December?) and they had to make two or three different schedules depending on how many teams they had!

We know the ACC is staying still at 12 for 2012, so there's not a lot of variables here, except maybe we get the battle of the Techs in Blacksburg on Labor Day.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Xbox Playoffs, Part 1

After finally getting an Xbox recently, my first game purchase was NCAA Football 11.  While still playing around and getting used to it before diving into a dynasty, I decided to see how I would fare with a hypothetical playoff.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012 Wish List: Virginia Tech, keep moving on up

Over the last several years, it appears that Virginia Tech has been moving up in the way they play football, slowly crashing through several ceilings as they hopefully make their way to a national championship.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012 Wish List: A New Champion

This one is simple.  I want to see a National Champion come out of a conference that's not the SEC.  At this point, I might even take USC as the champion.  Anything to break the streak that the SEC has, and hopefully shut ESPN up about them for a little bit.

What would make it even sweeter is if no SEC team makes it to the big game.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What have we proven?

When it came to determining champions, this season was very disappointing to me.  I have also come to learn there is a difference between being a champion, and being the better or best team.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Sugar Bowl: Kirk Herbstreit can eat it.

Apparently, there was a lot of outcry over the choice of the two teams to play in the Sugar Bowl.  I can't say for sure how much outcry there really was, because it was largely reported by ESPN, who I have determined is not a reliable source for opinions of that nature.

The biggest critic regarding the Sugar Bowl's team selection was Kirk Herbstreit.

Now that the game has been played, even though I wish the outcome was reversed, there are four reasons why I want to tell Mr. Herbstreit to eat it.